Sunday, November 28, 2010

Denial is a risky game...

Often times when we are updated during our finalization process we learn new details of the bio parents situations. For instance, we only know the Bio Dad's age. We don't know his specific ethnicity (FM is from Haiti) but him...we don't know if he's just your average American born African American. We don't know his name, or his story. He was served papers a couple times before we adopted Emery and never responded, until the final time he was served. Which was about a month ago...when he denied completely that he was even her father. I know he's young. I know that he probably doesn't have wise counsel from the adults in his life, and that he thinks just denying the whole thing might make it easier but it doesn't make it true. I really have found myself feeling a deep sense of loss for Emery. I experience her fabulousness every single day and I think to myself...you're going to deny this???? That smile, that face, that laugh, that entire living being...just wish it away??? Sometimes I think closed adoption is a cop out. It allows you (the parents) to be completely unknowing of the gory details behind your child's story. Which then, in turn, means you don't have to answer any of those difficult questions because you simply do not have the answers. Then other times I think it's genius because you yourself are spared the hurt of knowing certain things about the situation. Sometimes the details we learn are hurtful and a little scarring. They make me defensive. Like if I encountered the birth dad on the street I would want to throw down and make him admit that he knows she's his. Just admit that you couldn't handle it. That you made a mistake...COP TO IT you little punk! At least FM had the unbelievable strength to carry a baby full term, go through child birth, try it on her own at the ripe old age of 13 before she realized she just couldn't handle it. There is nothing, I repeat, NOTHING in my opinion that will ever make me question WHY they couldn't handle it, but to deny it totally is just plain crappy. So, in the mean time the question in my head remains...what will I tell my sweet bug when she starts asking about her bio dad? Obviously not what I truly feel otherwise she might turn me in to the authorities. There are details that won't be shared until she's much older, but I'll tell you one thing. She'll know how brave her FM was. That's for sure. That woman...ahem...girl is a saint in my book. Yes she made a very poor decision but don't we all? Part of what makes someone fabulous is admitting it, and figuring out how to fix it. Until then, I'll savor her innocence. These next few years when her world is just as it should be, how it should have always been. The three musketeers.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

What I have to be thankful for...

When I look back on this last year and how much it has brought us I seriously can't believe it. Such a roller coaster and the end result was everything I had imagined. So to be ultra cheesy I'll start a giant list of things I am grateful for.
1. I'm thankful for being able to mend a relationship that was broken between myself and my dad.
2. I'm thankful for a job that valued me enough to hang on for three weeks while I learned to be a mama.
3. I'm thankful for my very best friend Jaci and her prayers and support.
4. I'm thankful for my very best sister friend, Kelly and our understanding of what is means to value each others friendship and lean on each other during our struggles to become mamas. Her struggle continues on and she has shown so much grace during her difficult times.
5. I'm thankful for God answering our prayers directly with the home we're living in.
6. I'm thankful that He provided us with places to live/stay in July when our home wasn't ready yet.
7. I'm thankful for the generosity of my friend Fran when we brought Emery home. She went grocery shopping for me, hit her friends up for baby stuff, and even offered to do the dishes and fold laundry. She called me almost every day to check on us and I seriously was so touched.
8. I'm thankful for God showing us that He is bigger than any obstacle we could ever imagine. He blessed us with an amazing adoption story and journey, one that can only be described as completely Him so that Emery's story will always be a way for us to share Him with others.
9. I'm thankful for an amazing husband who has surpassed my expectations. He's a good leader, friend, talented musician and absolutely amazing dad. I have been thankful for him for the last nine years.
10. Finally, I'm thankful for the little brown eyed girl in the next room. I'm thankful that she makes me laugh with her silly faces and noises, and that when I'm away from her I feel like part of me is missing. I've always felt that way during this process, like part of me was missing. She fits into our family so well, she's so easy going and chill.
I'm thankful that when we look at each other we know we belong together...like Batman and Robin, my little sidekick.

Monday, November 15, 2010

First update letter...

I've been avoiding this task for a week now. Actually, over a week. I don't know why, I guess I'm just experiencing the unrest and newness of an open adoption a little differently than I thought I would. I have to write an update letter and send some photos to our social worker so she can forward them on to FM's social worker and I'm just dreading it. Or was dreading it for that matter because about five minutes ago I did it. SO I kept it simple. Included random silly little things that are fantastic about her but not overly fantastic because I don't want her to know how much she's missing out on. Like I said in my last post...I understand the benefits but right now I'm just a protective mama bear who doesn't want to see my child in the arms of her child mother. I'm struggling. I'm dreading. I'm jealous. Jealous because I will never EVER be able to offer Emery what she'll feel she has lost by not spending a lifetime with her FM. I will never be able to fill that void. I'll fill a different one, but not THAT one. I know that by sacrificing some privacy right now (updates and pictures to FM) I'll be able to answer some questions Emery will have later on in life. I'll be able to show her pictures of FM pregnant with her and ultrasound pictures. I'll be able to show her pictures of the the four of us together, on a day where FM made the ultimate sacrifice. Emery's quality of life above hers. FM may be too young to understand the gravity of the entire situation, she may not be feeling the loss as deeply right now as she will when she's older and maybe gets married, and has another child. But her decision to allow Emery a better life because she wanted a better life for herself is something I will always be thankful for but at the same time never quite understand.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

What will we say?...

As we near our very first visit with FM, on December 6th, I start to get a little nervous. We haven't seen her in a couple months, Emery is getting bigger and healthier and she's just so gorgeous...I'm afraid she'll want her back. Legally, a lot of things would have to take place in order for that to actually happen so my concern isn't warranted really. For now these visits will be pretty easy, in my opinion. Emery won't be talking yet, she won't be trying to figure out the connection, she won't be asking questions. When you step into this unknown world of open adoption at first it seems fantastic. It seems like the perfect situation, you are able to get so much information because you maintain contact with the birth family but I'm not sold on it yet. Not until I get this first visit under my belt.
This whole thing has me thinking about what we'll say when Emery gets older in regards to FM. I mean obviously Emery will always know she's adopted (even if her skin color was the same as ours). What will we have Emery call her FM? It's just such a huge responsibility to be honest about the situation and represent the facts well but also to generate a little compassion in the situation too. Who knows if FM will continue the visits, I mean really it's up to her. I'm scattered in this post...usually at this point I'll erase certain parts of it and try and start over but this time what you see is what you get.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Pretty girl...

One of the most disgustingly sweet things I've noticed about our new life as parents is that Tyler always refers to Emery as "pretty girl". He picks her up from her crib..."hey pretty girl". She's cranky in her car seat..."It's ok pretty girl". When he arrives home after being away all day..."I missed you pretty girl". I can't get enough. I hope it never changes. One of the greatest things a father can do for his daughter is to help instill self confidence and self worth at an early age. Make her feel like she is, in fact, the "prettiest girl" in the world. My man, is an amazing dad. He is calming, nurturing, funny, and compassionate. This morning he was discussing quarterbacks with her and gearing her up for the Steelers game this evening and I discovered...parenting really highlights things about each other that you never knew existed. I mean after eight and a half years of being married I'm learning something new about Tyler just about every day. It's refreshing. Never, ever in a million years did I anticipate how amazing of a father he'd be. I knew he would be awesome, but this seriously has exceeded my expectations ten fold.