Sunday, October 31, 2010

Persuasion via creative writing...

***From this post forward I will refer to Emery's biological mother as FM (first mama), for her privacy I won't include her name and I no longer am referring to her as "Her mom".***

The day before we learned Emery was ours I had a conversation with my mom, on her lunch break in the car...don't ask, and I said to her..."I feel like if I were given the opportunity to be IN THE ROOM with FM I could 100% convince her that we were the right people, I could convince her, I'm great at convincing, it's a proven fact". So when we had to fill out a little packet about ourselves for and the last section gave us the opportunity to add any additional details, boy howdy did I jump on that! I had to, this was my opportunity to convince, this was my meeting room. I started to think about FM, about the hard unnatural choice she was about to make and live with for the rest of her life...and I started writing. I didn't use big words, I didn't talk down to her, I did however write..."You will always be a part of her story, you will never be kept a secret." That sentence was the deal maker. That sentence is what made FM change her mind and pick us. Unbelievable. Seriously, when I think about it I still can't believe it. I still can't believe that this last Friday marked 4 weeks we brought this amazing little bug home. She has been fantastic to get to know....she's funny, and sweet but loud and demanding. Her personality is already big and today when Tyler was up on stage singing she sat and stared....and craned her neck to see him. My heart is full to the brim of love for my little wild woman.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Sometime's I forget...

That she hasn't always been ours. That she wasn't born out of my womb but out of my heart instead. That I wasn't there to see her take her first breath or cry her first cry...and not only those first days but first months. It's weird how we've transitioned from being total strangers to lifelong companions...and I truthfully can't imagine my life without her. I was worried in the beginning that I wouldn't connect with her, that I would always feel like she was at arms length away from belonging to me and now it's gone. Today I said to Tyler...I feel like she's mine now. I feel like I know her better and she knows me better...I feel closer to her. This week was my last week before going back to work. No, I wasn't afforded the opportunity to take a full six weeks but I feel like these three weeks have NOT flown by and that I've had so much time to spend with her. I am also glad that my work schedule allows me to only have her with a sitter two days a week...that is a HUGE blessing.
So, my little brown girl and I continue to to form an unshakable bond that I was afraid wouldn't happen in the first place.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Can I just say...

I love my little brown baby. I love being her mama. We have made serious strides in working out our "stranger" issues and have begun the journey of connecting. She knows me now...she knows my voice and my face. Little girl has the sweetest disposition. She laughs the cutest little laugh and smiles the gummiest widest smile...I can't get enough. Now begins the time when I go from "terrified new mama" to "hey I think I got this mama".
One random prayer request if you don't mind. It generally takes 2-3 months for finalization to be completed and Emery truly becomes our child according to the law. We'd LOVE to have this finished by the end of the year so we can spend the holiday's together for real as a legal family. Our social worker doesn't think this is possible but then again she didn't think that the birth mom would pick us either...heeheehee.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Let's play a game called...


Things you wouldn't have found in Kari & Tyler's house two weeks ago...
Our mad scientist bottle setup...

I still think this "nursery water" thing is fake, just to get you buy special water but whatev's...

And last but certainly NOT least...


Thursday, October 14, 2010

She likes it....

Among the many amazing things about Emery's journey to us we have since discovered that homegirl LOVES music. Coincidence? I think not. She sits quietly when I comb through her hair only if I'm singing to her. When Tyler busted out his guitar a few nights ago she sat there for a solid 30 minutes and just stared at him and the guitar. To think that He "knit her together" (Psalm 139:13) with Tyler and I in mind is humbling. He was thinking of us when He made her, He knew she'd eventually make her way to us and as a little fantastic bonus he let her share in our love of music. It's a huge part of our lives. It's Tyler's job, it's something we talk about and debate together. Now we can enjoy it together as a family...

Monday, October 11, 2010

Clarification...

I feel like I need to clarify. I never ever will ever make our adoption story or adoption out to be something that only people who adopt can understand...just like with anything if you know someone who has done it or is doing it, you tend to relate more. Now that we actually have her here a lot of my musing's are probably typical new mother musing's with little sprinkles of adoption fears and concerns. I have absolutely LOVED the emails and comments of encouragement from mother's who have biological children and faced the same fears that I am facing....it makes me feel like less of a freak. So please, I beg of you, don't think that I'm trying to glorify my experience as something more superior and sacrificial than actually going through a pregnancy and birthing your own child.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

This connection game is for the birds...

In my opinion adoption has one very alarming down side...connecting with a child that isn't your flesh and blood. You know, nothing major. I think I psyched myself up for this too much when we brought Emery home. I kept thinking...why aren't I totally 100% head over heels for this little being? Shouldn't I be? Don't get me wrong she is completely and utterly fantastic. Her smile melts me into a blubbering puddle and when she stares at me I feel like once we get to know each other it's going to be astronomical. For now though, it's an ebb and flow. Some days I'm on like donkey kong, we are a well oiled machine...I pick up on her non verbal cues, soothe her and we go to bed fulfilled and happy at this little connection dance we've done. Other days she revolts, she screams, she won't soothe for me, she defies my need for connecting with her and I feel like we have to get to know each other all over again. My nerves and anxiety creep up on me like a pesky neighbor and I'm back to square one with my little brown baby. I wonder if sometimes she knows...that I'm not her bio mama. I wonder if she misses her voice. I wonder if in those times of revolt she's trying one last time to change her situation in hopes that when she wakes up it's not my eyes she's staring into but her first mama's. Ahhhh the dance...the pesky connection dance. It's this mama's nemesis, but one day I know we'll lick it. She'll say my name, run to me with open arms for comfort and safety...she'll wake up one morning and stare into my eyes with hers and think..."there you are...I've been waiting for you mama".

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Coming to terms with "not the same"...

My "normal" first time as a mother is unlike any other...it's all mine, and Emery's of course. There isn't a single thing I would change. My sister said something interesting tonight after a less than stellar turn out at my first ever, first time mama baby shower..."I just wanted you to have everything in this experience that a first time mom would have". That is something I'm coming to terms with. I missed the first 4 months of my daughter's life, I only had 3 hours to plan for her arrival, I had to fundraise for her, save all my pennies for her, and not know who she was for a whole year. These are all things that make up The Ballad of Emery Brooke. She's one of a kind, she's unconventional. When you think back on the dream of motherhood it almost never involves registering by yourself at Babies R Us while your four month old sleeps at home. However, it almost always involves the beginning of an amazing journey of self discovery as a new mom.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

What most new mom's don't talk about...

I'm telling you, when we brought her home it was so weird. When we were driving the almost three hours home and she slept the entire way it as like she didn't exist. When we brought her into our house and went to bed that night it was like I was babysitting. When I woke up in the morning on Saturday and she was still there that's when I started panicking. What's this going to be like? What if she is a horribly needy fussy child? What if I don't "connect" with her like I need to. What if I get bored with her and need a break? What if I want to "return" her? How can I be thinking these things??? She's an answer to prayer, direct prayer and a year of waiting. I can't be thinking these things. Why doesn't anyone talk about this? Does this only happen to people who adopt? I mean don't get me wrong everyone talks about not being prepared for sleepless nights, eating dinners cold, snot and puke everywhere, being peed on, and not being able to go to the bathroom without being interrupted but no one talks about the true fears of things changing. This was pure unadulterated anxiety. I truly mourned the loss of my "old" life. I cried for the first two days. Does this make me selfish? Uh no. This makes me normal. I've been married to Tyler for 8 1/2 years and I've pretty much been able to do whatever I want, whenever I want. I was sad that we wouldn't be able to spend the same kind of time together without more planning involved. I love my husband, and I love spending time with him. We truly are each others best friends and I was really worried how this was going to change "us". The new "us" was going to take some getting used to...but here's the cool thing.
I love the new "us". We're exhausted, we talk about poop but just like with the old "us" we make a great team. Also, Emery, is fantastic. She smiles all the time, she's talking like a crazy person and she has the most adorable facial expressions. Her sleep schedule is pretty average and she smells absolutely fantastic. SO, all of this to say. I'm not crazy for being sad that the old "us" is gone, and one of these days we'll be alone in our house again missing the other "us".

Monday, October 4, 2010

I love it when a plan comes together...

And boy was this plan in the works for a lot longer than we thought. The middle of September marked one year of this wild adoption ride and we are far removed from the original destination BUT we have the same result.
If you'll read this post first then you'll have a better understanding of exactly how this started. This is going to be a pretty long post so if you're not in it to win it you can always come back later!
First lets clear up a few things that even Tyler and I didn't know until about two hours before we met Emery.
1. She is four months old, not two and a half, obviously not a deal breaker...she smells the same as a two month and she eats, pees and poops the same as a newborn.
2. Both of her parents are not in the picture. The dad who is also 13, hasn't had any contact with her since she became pregnant.
3. Her birth mom is an orphan. About six years ago, her parents and sister moved here from Haiti and shortly after both parents became ill and passed away.
4. Birth mom was in the same foster home as birth dad and that's how it all happened.
5. Birth mom took care of Emery for two months right after she was born and then after that she was in two different foster homes, one short term placement, and the second was supposed to be permanent.

Now on the to the good stuff...
We were told from the very beginning that the possibility of this actually happening was slim to none. We were told that unless the birth mother loved our profile even after someone had been taking care of her for three weeks that it most likely was not going to happen, however we were told to BE PREPARED BUT DON'T GET YOUR HOPES UP. On thursday I had a melt down about the very high likelihood of this not happening and I just couldn't wrap my mind around why in the world this opportunity would sprout out of nowhere and meet all requirements but not work out. I was praying for understanding, harder than I've ever prayed before. On Friday I gave Tyler specific instructions on how to notify me of the final decision. Text me if it's a "no", call me if it's "yes". At 2:05 I received the call to end all calls..."Kari, she picked us". Me: "No way...no way...I can't believe this, are you serious, I can't believe this". Tyler: "Yes I'm serious, and we have to leave to get pick her up now!". Thus began the Friday that I thought would never end. I woke up that morning at 7:00 am, a married woman without children and I went to bed at 3:00 am with a little girl asleep in her bassinet. I have never ever in my life pleaded with God more than I did on that Friday. Tyler and I had our whole family and a few close friends praying for this little girl. Praying that if we were meant to be her parents that the birth mom would choose us. I had to believe that day we were meant for her life. I had to. I had to risk the chance of some heartbreak to have faith that God provided us this opportunity for a reason. We all know how the story ends...or really actually begins. There are parts of Emery's story that I'll never tell people, sacred private moments shared between First Mama and Forever Mama and Papa. Secret glances and mental pictures that I try and drive into my memory forever. This little one is amazing.
I'll be doing some additional posts that kind of branch off of this one a little, there is absolutely no way I could actually type out the whole experience in one post!