I manage a salon and day spa. It's been a great job for the last 3+ years and boy howdy do I get to hear some real doozies from where I work at the desk. Just minding my own business while one of the hair dressers was applying color to her client when I thought I heard the word "surrogate"...part of my brain said, "Kari, you have baby on the brain you are going crazy" and then the other part of me said "Be nosey and listen to what she's saying" ***side note the "be nosey" part of me generally always wins***. One of my coworkers who doesn't know I'm adopting (mainly because she works one day and up until a few weeks ago I had NEVER worked a consistent shift with her) says "I think surrogacy is better than adopting because at least you know what you're getting...I have a friend who adopted a little boy and he ended up being bipolar and causing them lots of problems". Oy vey. I wasn't offended, I wasn't even sad, I was just annoyed that there are more people in the world that discuss things they have no knowledge on rather than the other way around. This whole story refers back to this post. How can people actually think that having your own biological child is a guarantee against mental illness? Is this lady for real? Is the world really this ignorant about adoption? I blame it on the media mostly and also lack of education regarding the desperate need there is for adoptive families and how not every adoptee is a troubled runaway who abuses drugs. I wanted to set the record straight but the "keep quiet Kari it's not worth your time" side of me won (this side rarely shows itself because I never listen to it, poor thing). I received a myriad of responses to this and chose my favorite one from a respected woman who fostered many children..."A friend of ours who adopted one of our foster babies was asked by a doctor who was examing him for possible health issues if that would keep her from adopting him. Her answer, "none of my birth kids came with a guarantee stamped on their butts". I've known too many "difficult" kids born to good birth parents--we just accept each child God gives us with our without their problems." People like her are invaluable to the cause of adoption and foster care, outspoken but respectful.
Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Thursday, March 25, 2010
Its been six months. We started searching for agencies six months ago. Six...long...months. I'm sad, frustrated and impatient. I feel like we've been standing still for a couple months, nothing is changing, our grants have fallen through, our coffee sales are non existent, and we can only save so much you know? It's not like in the next two months if we cut out some things in our budget that $13000 will suddenly appear, no matter how hard we try. I haven't heard from fab social worker in a couple weeks and I miss her, which is weird. She's my direct line to mommyhood and I miss her, even though I mentioned in a previous post that my writing denial emails to her were my least favorite thing. There are so many things going on in our lives right now, the church plant we helped start is planning a kick butt Easter service, we're paying down some debt, Tyler is looking for a vehicle again, we're planning a family vacation mid July, we're moving in June-ish, and I feel like I'm planning all these things and they are moving forward except the adoption. I wanted our baby to be here by now, I wanted to bring maybe baby with us when we see tons of family in July, to move in and decorate a room that can be gender specific....
Sorry I don't have anything super positive or life changing to write about today. Count this as my every couple months mope post. I'm just tired of waiting, I want to have and to hold my child...now, not later.
I miss you maybe baby. I don't know you yet but I need you already.
Monday, March 22, 2010
I've discovered over the last few months that risk when starting a family comes in all forms. It's risky, this adoption game. Birth mother's changing their minds, the cost, the unpredictability. Since this process began I've known someone who has miscarried twice and just now another who lost their newborn daughter to a condition she had from conception. I started to think to myself, people remind me all the time how unpredictable and risky adoption may be. They like to ask questions like "Why don't you just have one of your own and then you wouldn't have to pay so much?" or "Aren't you scared the birth mom will change her mind and come back for her child?". "It's so risky". Well guess what, people who should mind their own business and not ask rude questions, child birth is risky. Why don't you go over to the pregnant woman and ask her if she's worried that the child is going to be born with webbed feet?! Pregnancy is risky. IVF is risky. Having a surrogate is risky. It's risk in the name of love and parenthood. It's a risk you take paying thousands upon thousands of dollars to be able to carry your own biological child, a risk that you take carrying a child full term when you know she may not live a day, a risk when your as planned natural delivery turns suddenly into a C-section, a risk when the fertilized whatever it is doesn't attach in the right place, it's a risk to rely on a mother to follow through with her decision to give her child away. It's crazy what us women will do in the name of being a mother, we'll get fat and waddly, shoot ourselves up with hormones more than once a day, ask some lady to carry our spawn and pay an agency the price of a brand new car to make our dream of becoming a mother a reality. All in the name of love. I'm down with that.
Sunday, March 21, 2010
I have a friend from college...her name is Jenny. She has one very adorable little girl named Gwen and just shy of a week ago had another little gem ON THE LIVING ROOM FLOOR, named Olivia. One problem. Olivia has a very terrible disease called Trisomy 13, you can read more about it here. Basically only a few short months into her pregnancy she found out that not only was she carrying a child who would have significant physical abnormalities but the chances of the Olivia making it full term were not very great...and the chances of her making it full term, surviving the birth and living were even more grave. Let me just tell you something, Jen is my new hero. She pressed on through the entire pregnancy (opting not to terminate, which was suggested by her doctor). She wanted whatever time she could have with her little girl, even if it was minutes. She had to make funeral plans while this little one was kicking around inside of her. She had to make the tough choice of decorating the nursery and setting up the crib knowing full well that Olivia may never make it home. I absolutely can't imagine what kind of strength someone possesses in order to make decisions like that. I would probably be in my jammies, under the covers, depressed and emotional if that were me. Instead just a couple weeks ago she arranged a family photo shoot so that they could get a picture together, all four of them (hubby, jen, gwen, and olivia in utero). I literally could go on for pages about the strength that she has exhibited up until this point. However, right now, Olivia is struggling to breath, struggling for life, and this is a new reality that Jen will have to face...the reality of losing a child. I don't think anything could have prepared her for these moments, and I'm sure that she is a hot mess. I'm sure she's really grasping at the good things in this situation...she got to meet her, touch her, see her, hold her. Please pray for her over these next few weeks and months. Please pray that God will provide her with the strength to make it through.
Late last night (Sunday) Olivia passed away.
Thursday, March 18, 2010
I have always ALWAYS been a woman of convenience. I just like it to be easy and quick, bread mix instead of making my own, precut veggies instead of cutting my own...you get the picture. If it saves me time I'm all in (which almost always ends up costing more). I've had some creative juices flowing these last few days. Thoughts of creating and maintaining my own vegetable garden, do it yourself design ideas, and even opening my own Etsy store to help bring in some much needed dough for Maybe Baby. It feels good to let my brain run around to each idea, to plan and brainstorm and see how I can make things work. In truth, I've never considered myself very domestic. I've always loved to cook and garden but even that was never a totally organic beginning....back to the whole woman of convenience thing...I'm no Martha Stewart that's for sure. There's something to be said about starting something from the very beginning and following it through to the end result and being proud of what it is that you've made. In an effort to cut back and save some cash I've had to reevaluate the importance of convenience vs. cheaper and let me tell you convenience is always the loser...
Which brings me to this:
It would have been convenient that our no interest loans would have proved to be a valuable resource (yes we got our second denial from LifeSong on Monday). It would have been convenient to pay those back when we received our tax refund. The truth is, the adoption process, is not at all a convenient situation. In fact I'd go as far as saying it's very inconvenient, from receiving short notice on the availability of an infant to waiting on paperwork and scheduling appointments with the social worker. It would be convenient to be able to give my work ample notice when I need to leave, or even when I'll return. God is doing a mighty work in this girls heart. He is teaching me patience to it's fullest. He is teaching me needs vs. wants. I need to be a mom, my heart needs it, Tyler and I need it. We need the challenges that having a child will bring, we need the laughter, we need our marriage to be enriched in that way that only a child can bring.
Please continue to pray for our fundraising efforts. We have one last grant we're waiting to hear back from and after that we're on our own. Even though LifeSong for Orphans was unable to loan us any money the great thing about them is they are able to provide us with a tax free way for people to donate money through them. 100% of whatever someone donates goes directly to our adoption! The perk is that donating through their organization allows it to be a tax deductible donation! We only have until May 10th to use their tax deductible umbrella so please spread the word to any friends or family whose lives may have been touched by adoption and pass along this information. Checks are made payable to Lifesong for Orphans and in the memo section be sure to include ZIELASKO#1164, and send checks to:
Lifesong for Orphans
PO Box 40 / 202 N. Ford St
Gridley, IL 61744
Sunday, March 14, 2010
Currently I know quite a few pregnant women. I see their bellies growing, I see them tired, I see people rub their bellies and ask when they're due and if they know whether it's a boy or girl, any names picked out. What is that like for a woman who doesn't intend on keeping her child? Does she pretend she's excited about this? Does she lie and chat baby names and such? What's strange is that I want strangers to ask me similar things, because I'm excited to be a mom and finish this long journey, but how the heck would they know?! I've had clients at work ask me in the last few months if I have children, and of course I answer no and sometimes (depends on the client) I tell them that we're adopting. I could make it really awkward and make an announcement every time I started a conversation with someone. Maybe I should by one of those fake preggers bellies and then they'll all be confused when I "birth" a brown baby...HA! Not because I want to be pregnant but what a conversation starter that big ole pregnant belly is!
I always think about my future child's first mom. I think about what they truly deserve and how they probably think they don't, I've mentioned that in previous posts. I have and always will think she is the bravest woman I will ever have the pleasure of maybe knowing.
In other news, we're moving again. We've moved 12 times in our 8 years together, that's a long story and not very interesting so I'll spare you the details but the bottom line is our new place is a MASSIVE answer to prayer. Seriously, it's an absolute undeniable answered prayer. We live in a townhouse, it's cute, it's new, it's the nicest place we've ever lived (and the longest place we've ever called home). We got a great deal on it when we moved in almost two years ago, but we've simply outgrown it. Guster (our almost 80 pound Weimaraner) and our future child made us realize that we need a real house. Fenced yard, our own space, no sharing walls with people, no sharing parking spaces with people. About three or four months ago we started praying that God would allow us to rent a home with a yard for CHEAPER than what we pay now. Basically we were asking for more for less. Last week I was informed by a coworker that one of our massage therapists husband had to take a job in California and they were moving ASAP. Three bedroom, two bath, two car garage, large fenced in backyard, an acre and a half...and the list goes on, the best part? We'll be saving $150 a month in rent. A direct answer to prayer. We will more than likely be in there by Mid-May to early June.
Oh yeah one more great thing...I'll be able to decorate a nursery.
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
Last night I prayed with Tyler that God would prepare our hearts for the possibility that some, if not all, of our grants and loans wouldn't produce any financial aid in this process. I prayed that I would trust Him to know the correct path for us as we move forward. I asked Him to truly allow us to dive deep into His Word, and pray for trust in regards to funding this adoption. We said we would in the beginning and by golly we will do just that. I said in the last post that this month would be make or break it month for us. We will be hearing back from nearly every grant/loan we applied for by the end of the month. I thought to myself today...this time next month we will be on a different path with this adoption. We will either be happily on our way, thanking God for his monetary provisions that allow us to move forward with maybe baby in April/May...OR we will be scratching our heads for ideas on additional fundraising efforts. Either way, I know it's His plan, I just have to pray like a crazy person that I will be ok with it. This very afternoon, strangely enough on a Tuesday (everything monumental up until this point has seriously occurred on a Tuesday), we received an email from one place we applied to. It was a thanks and we're happy for you pursuing this adoption thing but we got nothin' for ya email. I've never received an email like that before this very day and I'd prefer not to receive one any time soon. SO, that's one down.
I'm a tough cookie, I'm a move forward don't sulk kinda gal, but deep down I'm just a future mama that wants to hold my little guy or gal sooner than later. I want to be inconvenienced by their crying and their pooping and peeing. I look at kids in the store or restaurants that are screaming their bloody brains out and I smile because I want that. Continue to pray that God's will be done for us in this process of funding our adoption. Tyler and I would greatly appreciate that!
Monday, March 8, 2010
Sometimes I have a lot of ideas for a blog post and I store them up and post them at appropriate times. For some weirdo reason these last few days I've got nothin'. I took a break from work on Saturday and worship team on Sunday in an effort to refresh myself and have a nice relaxing weekend, well that meant blogging too. Oddly enough. I don't consider this blog a chore by any stretch of the imagination, I love it. I love the outlet it provides for me and I love that people read it. I am, in fact, the one that started it. =)
Still no word from any grants or loans we applied too. I'm expecting a call in the next week from Lifesong for Orphans and desperately hoping we get some help from them. In a couple weeks we'll hear from ShowHope and Abba Fund. This next month will either make or break, and that scares me. I'm praying ten times a day that we are blessed with grant approvals. Please pray too!
Psalm 40:1 "I waited patiently for the Lto help me, and he turned to me and heard my cry"
Wednesday, March 3, 2010
It occurred to me this afternoon, as I was self medicating with shopping at Babies R Us, that I sometimes feel like I'm buying stuff for someone else's baby. Sometimes when I get frustrated or sad or when that longing feeling overwhelms me I'll buy something baby related. Even if it's something really little like a pacifier or a gender neutral onesie, anything to remind me that this process will have an end result. When I walk in I feel like there's an arrow pointing at me saying, she's buying off a baby registry this purchase isn't for her. It's my own issue, this I know. It's different when your belly isn't growing, you aren't puking, your boobs aren't hurting, you can't feel them move inside you to remind you they are almost here. Fab social worker emailed me today, she said that the situation with little girl is still really iffy and there is a very big chance that the mother won't decide to place the child until she is born. Because it's so tentative her supervisor is pushing her towards finding a family in case the mother decides to place...she needs an answer. Asap. I hate asap. It's stupid, it's insensitive, it's impatient. Doesn't asap realize that I would love nothing more than to say, hey asap TAKE THIS...YES WE CAN TAKE HER! You're not the boss of me. What now asap? The ridiculous time constraint you represent doesn't scare me one bit. Sadly right now asap is the boss of me. So, if any of you find yourself with an extra twelve grand that you can't manage to spend yourself, by all means call me. asap.
Monday, March 1, 2010
Every once in a while I really spend more time than my usual ADHD brain allows on how much heartbreak my child will go through in life...more than the other children who stay with their first mom's. I absolutely will not allow them to wallow in a defeatist attitude but I will most certainly love, comfort and hear them on their blue days, those days where they are thinking a lot about their first mom and wondering why she couldn't keep them. I am terrified about not being able to relate to the loss that they will have their whole life. I wonder at what age will their brain comprehend what being "adopted" actually means? This is why it's ideal that children are born to parents who intend on keeping them forever and ever. Now I know that every single situation is very different from the next, but abandonment no matter how it happens, it just plain sucks. I know I've written before about my admiration for birth mother's that carry a baby full term knowing that they will give their baby up for adoption, and I'm being 100% honest when I say I don't care what their "situation" is. I don't care if it's their 1st or 10th pregnancy. I don't care if they're 16 or 40. They still carried a child in their belly instead of terminating the pregnancy. They still went through an entire labor and delivery and post delivery healing. They are heroes. Agree with me or not, that is what they are and always will be to me. To my future child's first mama...I will have more admiration for you than you think you deserve. I will thank you every day for following through with your decision to let me be your child's second mom. I will speak good things of you always, and think good thoughts of you always, even when our child is lost in hurt, they will know you like I do, even if it was for just a moment...their first mom and my hero.