Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Two years of questions and some magic...

Ten days ago I was a part of something magical. Scratch that. Two years ago I was a part of something magical. First, becoming a mama and then just recently watching the beauty that is our open adoption. I'm careful to say that open adoption isn't for everyone. There are MANY variables that make each situation unique but for us...open adoption is amazing. From the beginning FM has had the privilege of being a part of our girls life. Whether it's through pictures and emails or an hour or two every few months. For us. It works. I will tell you though that there has always been this little part of me that hoped for something more from our visits. For FM more than for me. We've met at a library, a couple of parks, and a conference room. Every single time I wished for normalcy. I wished for her to be in our home in a casual environment and my dear friends it finally happened! Through a process of extremely weird circumstances our dear sweet FM sat here in our living room and played with Em for two hours. It was magical. I was in awe with how natural it was and there was an underlying, unsaid sort of knowledge that this is the way we've always wanted it to be. We shared in the happiness that in the future our visits will become more of what she needs and more of what I want. All of this aside, I was privy to some information that I've been wanting to know for two years but didn't want to monopolize our visits for my own selfishness. I have always wanted to make sure that certain aspects of Emery's story remain private and very much only hers to tell so there are some things that you just won't know. What I learned was something that in the future will benefit Emery so much. The truth is, I always knew that FM tried to keep Emery at first. I was just very unsure of the timeline and the struggle she faced to make the final decision. I'm so thankful for the way God has woven together our special story and I was even more thankful to discover that when times are tough and my girl is struggling with her identity I will be able to tell her how her first mama fought for her. Her first mama worked through 3 months of dealing with a newborn who had acid reflux and had no one to turn to. No mother to call. No mama friends to ask for advice from. She had no one...except Emery. In the end it was just too much, as it should be for an orphaned 13 year old in a state run home for teen mothers. But you guys, she freaking fought for that girl. She worked through exhaustion, through unrest, through unfamiliarity, thru loss and in the end made the wisest most unselfish choice she could have ever made. Gosh I love this girl. I love this girl who looked at my photo and my written words on a page and decided that I could parent her child. I love this girl who expressed her dream to become a famous singer and stated her fear for Emery having a boyfriend later in life all in the same breath. I love that she believes in me. I love that we both love this little firecracker that has her genes but hugs my neck every night. I love this girl who by making a sound, wise and incredibly tough choice just made it easier for me to explain to my baby girl that her birth mom was a super hero. A freaking rock star. There were other things that were learned that day. One thing though, we're very different in age and ethnicity we're both very much the same in the way we love. Hard and fast.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Attachment...

These last five-ish days have been super reflective for me. After FIVE months (to the day) of applying for jobs and interviewing I was hired on at a doctors office! I'm super pumped to get back into our "normal" and for us to be in a better place financially. Honestly this time around it was much different. We had to factor in so many things before I could commit to a position (pay vs. childcare vs. time away from Em) and spent months and months praying for the right one to come along. I'm so excited to use my brain in this specific way again but I'm going to tell you something. I will miss my girl. So much. I've had most of my days with her for the last year and a half and I loved it. We have our own rhythm, our own language, our own understanding. We can make each other laugh and at the same time make each other cry, I just love it. This new job means that she'll be in the hands of someone else for approximately 36 hours a week, and it has me counting the amount of hours I get to spend with her in comparison. Which started my adoptive mama fears rolling in hard core. Fear #1, attachment. This was my fear in the very beginning. Bringing home a four month old that had already been cared for by multiple people had me terrified out of my mind that she wouldn't know that Tyler and I were IT. We were there forever. The first few days and months brought about a lot of little freak outs and definitely reading into things but we adjusted and her attachement to us was undeniable. I often doubted if I had taken enough time off of work (I actually believe I should have taken longer), but was certain we would get thru this time. There have been little circumstances here and there that cause me some insecurity and each time my girl comes back around and only has eyes for me. Now I'm back to square one. Will she misunderstand why I'm not around all day? Will she miss me? Will she be happy to see me when I arrive? We've done all the major developmental milestones together so really this should be ok right? So much of what I blog about is trying my best to not separate adoptive mamas from bio mamas, trying to bring these woman together in solidarity but sometimes it just can't be done. Sometimes these parts of adoption suck and I know it won't be the last time some parts of adoption will suck. Sometimes these fears get the best of me and sometimes I give in to them spiraling downward until I'm a mess of tears. There are still some days where I have to convince myself that she will always love me the way I always love my mom, there will be days where DNA won't be a factor and the fact that I didn't carry her in my belly and know her the minute she was born won't unpack their bags in my mind. But for now, they still occasionally do and that makes things pretty hard.

Monday, September 3, 2012

On the eve that my sister becomes a mama...

*If I can get through this entire post without any typos it'll be a miracle. My eyes are swollen, snot is dripping down my face...in other words I'm dead sexy right now* I just finished a skype conversation with my big sis who was literally heading out the door to the hospital. It's time. My big sister and very best friend is headed to the hospital right now to begin her "cervical ripening" (read, eww) for her induction in the morning. I love this girl more than quite possibility anyone in the world (sorry Tyler, j/k). Her journey to become a mama is not short of complications and heartbreak. In these last three years she has watched friends, relatives and me become what she had assumed she'd become the first time she was pregnant. What you should know is that she endured three miscarriages (one of which was twins), one D&C, and three colossal blow offs from "professional doctors" in regards to her lack of progress during pregnancy. One said, "you're just unlucky" another mentioned that she'd have to endure yet another miscarriage before they could "diagnos the issue". Thus some of the reasons for my lack of trust in most doctors. My sister? She fought for this baby. She did research, she withheld certain foods (hello gluten free!), she straight up located a doctor ON HER OWN who helped diagnose her issue as a diet change and a bit of a wonky thyroid. SHE found HIM. Once she did become pregnant she discovered she had a blood clotting disorder that required twice daily shots, but did she give up? No way Jose. Of course she had her meltdowns but I'll tell you right now, this woman? This woman is strength. This woman is grace. This woman is a shining example of how to make it through difficulties without losing yourself and boo hooing the entire time. The only time I really ever knew she was struggling was if I asked her point blank..."dude, are you struggling with this at all?". I love her and oh my stars am I going to love her as a mom. And oh my gosh is this child going to experience love and gratefulness like no one else has on this planet. Life has a funny way of stepping in and showing you really who's boss and this time...life didn't allow me the privilege of being there for the birth. Which if you know Kel and I, that's a big freaking deal. We're there. We always show up for each other and just the other day when I was on the boo hoo train I said to her, "Not that you'll actually 'need' me but our relationship is such that there are times when I know I can get through it without you but I'd rather not." That pretty much sums it up. It's not a total sob story because Em and I will be there by Sunday but one thing you should know about me is that I'm totally clutch in situations like this. Pressure? I'm your girl. I'm in there like swimwear finding solutions and working through the miscommunications. I'm like a silent ninja working behind the scenes to obliterate problems before they become problems to those who don't need them. Need food? No problem. I'll drop my People magazine like a bad habit and run to the store to get you your favorite snack food, candy bar and drink and the real ninja-esque part of that is I won't even have to ask what those favorite foods are. This is how I show love to people in my life and I have one really super important person who is bringing my very next favorite important person into the world and I'm literally 1109 miles away. Here is what keeps me from diving head first into a gallon of ice cream while watching Steel Magnolias...the reunion. Next Sunday when she picks me up from the airport and I get to feast my eyes on that little, squishy, delicious smelling miracle. Oh I'm certain there will be tears, because ninja mode will be turned off and doting aunt mode will be turned on. Oh sweet litte baby, you will always know how much your mama and daddy love you. How thankful they are for you. You will also know how much you mean to me as well, and how much I love you. And to my sister and best friend, your poise and perseverance during this time is unprecedented. Your ability to smile through the pain of loss and push through to this final result is nothing short of award winning. Your care, your spirit, your humor, your grace during these last three years is something that I will always admire in you. You are consistently my ninja. My very favorite friend. I love you.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Handpicked perfectly...

I know sometimes I gush and gush AND gush over my little girl...I make no apologies. She is hands down the best thing that has ever happened to us. Her smile has the ability to melt me into a million pieces. And her laugh? Forget about it. I'm done once she lets that sucker loose. I love that I can see her thinking and learning and you know what? She is really such a good kid. Do you know how proud that makes me? Do you have any idea what it feels like to see your child make good choices? To see her little wheels turning and things making sense? She says "I love you" to me first now, instead of repeating it back to me. When we were at the store the other day she learned forward in the cart and hugged me while saying..."sweet mama". She skips over to see me when I come home after being away. But you know what really makes my heart melt these days? Watching her be a mama to her babies. She is so gentle and patient with them, she whispers to soothe them and tells them "it's ok sweet baby, it's ok". She tells them to go to sleep and holds them close. It's weird that I find myself being proud of her mothering techniques to fake babies but it's true I am SO proud of her. Her love of music and dancing is probably one of my favorite things and even though she does not share a single gene of ours she is undoubtedly just that...OURS. I know these days of simplicity will soon be complicated by plenty of angst, disappointment, confusion, and heartbreak but what I hope to build with her over these years is something that I'm sure she'll return to in those hard times. She is the one who made me a mama. She is the one who God chose for me. There is no greater love.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

On the flip side...

I have a very good friend who is experiencing adoption on the flip side this week. She watched her daughter give her baby up for adoption. She watched a new life enter the world and then kissed it goodbye. She watched her daughter painfully come to terms with her own deficits and then make the wisest, hardest, most selfless, best decision for her child EVER. To this day I've never known anyone who has experienced the very opposite of what I experienced. I've never been a witness to the pain involved in the process and if I'm being honest I'm a thousand miles away and I felt it. I felt for her. You see, what makes this story "interesting" is that she herself is adopted and knows the heartbreak that this baby will inevitably come to terms with...I can't even imagine. I love birth moms and I've said this many times before, they are my heros. I don't care how they got there, I just care that they made it and that they didn't take the "easy" way out. I care that they gave a gift to someone who more than likely tried for a very long time to make a gift of their own. I care that they endured pain and will continue to endure pain even after they go home empty handed. I care that they say goodbye to their babies and a piece of them is forever lost but they still do it. They still move forward. They still say goodbye and I love you. I love you forever and I'm sorry I can't do this. I hope you understand. I found myself thinking this week about the struggle of birth moms after they return home and resume their lives. Putting away their maternity clothes, staring at their large post pregnancy belly. Do strangers ask them when they're due? Do people who recognized them from before ask about the baby? You see, their pain doesn't end when they come to terms with placing their child in someone else's arms forever...it continues on even after all of this. While the new parents adjust to life with a newborn she's adjusting to life without. Oh my sweet birth mom heros, you are some of my favorite people in the whole wide world.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Injustice...

I believe I've touched briefly on "causes". What makes it important to you is not for anyone to decide, for example Whale Wars. I could never ever imagine devoting my life to saving whales but people are serious about that stuff and truth be told...I don't think what is happening to the whales is fair or ok at all I just know there are other issues stealing my attention. Ones that don't cause intense motion sickness or the possibility of having to wear a wet suit. Facebook is so telling. Where peoples importance lies and how far they are really willing to go for that "cause", and sometimes it makes me sad. Other times it pumps me UP! Other times it's discouraging because darnit I want to be passionate and involved in a lot of things! Orphans are my cause. Orphans are my ticket to tears every. single. time. I can't imagine what some of them are thinking. As we gear up for the potential to adopt again our minds always wander towards our options. Domestic again? International? Foster Care? Tyler and I have always agreed that we'll go where the need is the greatest. I'm sorry to say that the need is the greatest everywhere. Children in foster care need us. Newborn babies waiting to placed in a domestic adoption need us. Children who are truly orphaned by disease, poverty, slavery? They need us too. Sibling groups? Special needs? Older children? My hands are tied. They all freaking need us. They all need us and truth be told Tyler and I are only two people with one very small bank account. Whenever I see photos of children waiting to be adopted my heart literally breaks. I mean seriously, there is NOTHING that brings me to my knees quicker than to see an orphaned child posing for a photograph. Some have sad eyes. They are the ones that know. They know it isn't normal to live in a home like that. They know it isn't normal that their mommy and daddy don't come around anymore. They know it isn't normal to sleep in a room with a bunch of other children they don't even know. Those sad eyed little ones just rip my heart to shreds. Then there are the oblivious ones. The ones who God has gifted with the ability to make lemonade out of the lemons. The optimistic fighters who are still holding out hope that THEY are worth it. That someone will love them eventually if they just keep on keeping on. They are my very favorite because they invoke change without even knowing it. They provide hope without even trying. The damaged ones are whole other story. They are the ones who doubt. They doubt they are in the right place. They doubt they are lovable and they most certainly doubt they can be happy again. They've seen things they shouldn't have seen and they know beyond a shadow of a doubt that everything is NOT going to be ok. That things will not resolve themselves and that this isn't fair. These children aren't their friends. This bed is not their bed. Their "new" parents aren't their parents. The damaged ones are my project. They are the ones I'd like to prove wrong. They are the ones that have the capacity to love beyond measure however they have nobody to show love to. Oh my sweet babies...to take you home with me whenever I felt the need would be the happiest day of my life. To fill my home to the brim with children who need it is my sincerest and greatest dream...and of course that they all call me mama.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Starving for the Basics Pt. 2...

I realize the "basics" is a pretty relative concept. Tyler and I are sorta weird so I think our "basics" aren't what most people would refer to as "normal". We move a lot and we appear to do things at the last minute. We like the idea of a lot of kids from all different parts of the world making up what we know as our "basic" family. I'm starving for adoption again. Literally famished. This last year it wasn't an option given our current living situation but my friends that has changed in this last month. God has blessed us with this larger home with a lot of room for growth, and I can imagine our family filling it to the brim. I'm starving for the paperwork, the rejection, the wins, the wait, the first photo or email with our prospective child, THE phone call, the belief that there is a child(ren) out there who belong to us that we haven't even met yet. The adventure of the unknown, perhaps a new country and new friends along the way who shared in that experience with us. I'm excited to see us parent more than one child and I'm unbelievably thrilled at the thought of seeing Tyler pour more of himself into making our family great. The sounds of chaos, the mess. None of it frightens me. When it all comes down to it that's what matters. For us TZ's.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Clean up on aisle emotional breakdown...

I had a breakdown tonight. The kind of breakdown that leaves Tyler wondering, "What in the name of Sam Hill?!". My girl is getting so big...like scary big. The kind of big where I just miss her baby-ness. I miss the chub, the drool, the baby noises and it's not that I'm even just in love with the "baby" stage because if I'm being honest that's not my favorite stage. It's just that it means time is moving fast, and I hate it. I'm at the point in her life where I can actually look back on a significant amount of time and recall what life was like with her as a very different child. She's two now. She's so much more interactive and fun. I love it. I hate it. I am so lucky right now to be able to spend every day with her and I know that soon enough I'll have a job again and those days will be a distant memory so I'm literally trying to cherish each moment. Some days more than others. Ahhhh this nasty time marching on, changes things and sometimes and somedays I just plain don't like it.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

The need to feed, and a birthday...

For me personally there aren't too many things more fantastic than feeding people yummy food...that I made with my own two hands. I just love it. I literally spent four hours on my feet cooking in the kitchen today and not one time did I think to myself..."gee this sucks". First I should say that I'm not one those cooks who can dream up anything and make it into something fantastic. I'm strictly by the recipe kind of gal. Most of the time. And nothing too crazy because I have a cave man for a husband who barely eats anything green, freshly steamed, had a shell at one time or contains some sort of vinegar. That's not all, I'm being nice. There's something about getting all the ingredients to agree with each other and become one big happy family at the end playing nicely on the plate or bowl. It's pretty cathartic for me actually as is this blog or maybe running for some people. I pop on some tunes and begin the process of which I enjoy every last part. I guess it's the chance to really be alone with my own thoughts, make my brain work a different way than normal, problem solve and anticipate. But my need to feed really is fulfilled when I make a lot of food that people love and then send them home with leftovers. Tis my favorite. I can still remember one of the first things I learned to cook by myself, scrambled eggs. My mama taught me and I think it's awesome that I can still remember it. It wasn't any dreamy magical mother daughter moment but it was time out of her day with a million kids to focus on just me. Even if just for a few minutes. I hope to be able to make those kind of intentional moments with Emery as times she can remember. Right now this time I have with her, just us isn't going to last forever. Or at least I hope we are blessed with more children. I cooked for people I love tonight. People who prayed for my girl before she became my girl. People who financially supported my girl before she became my girl. They all came together to celebrate her turning two. My baby turned two last week. I am verklempt. I was so emotional that whole day and I kept thinking to myself, "PULL YOURSELF TOGETHER! She doesn't want to remember you crying on every single birthday she has!". She is turning into to such a little lady these days. Forming complete sentences and asking questions too, I simply can't get enough. She's my little sidekick and one of my dearest little friends. She does the cutest thing ever. She'll walk up to me standing or sitting doesn't matter and she'll grab my leg and hold on to me saying..."Awwwwww mama". That's it, and I love it. She's so smart! She can count to ten (occasionally she'll skip six), she'll say things like "where's daddy?", "I got it", "I go potty", "I don't want to". She's so sweet to our puppies and they both are very tolerant allowing her to climb on them and also shout "NO!" if they are in her face. I have no idea where she learned that. She copies basically everything I say which I've discovered is sometimes hilarious and also a swift kick in the pants. I just can't imagine not having her in my life. She has made me dig deep in myself to discover a very self absorbed person in need of a rescue. She has shown me humor and kindness and has made me want to be a better mama for her. This little love of mine can't be moved. She's here to stay and there isn't a day that goes by where I don't I tell her I love her, that I need her, and that I'm thankful for her. Tonight I watched people eat my food, love on my girl and leave my home with fully bellies and some leftovers.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Here is what I know...

I know that we were meant to endure this last year for a reason. I know that some of those reasons are evident and some have yet to make their way to the surface. I know that it flew by. I know that it sucked sometimes. I know that I missed my family, my friends and my job. I know that God seriously kicked me in the butt with some pride and materialsim issues. But you want to know what I know most? I know that I have, hands down, the most amazing mother in law and father in law. They offered up their home, their privacy and some of their finances to provide us with a temporary home for the last year. I remember a couple of months in to our new living situation I kept thinking to myself...this is going really well! We maintained open communication with them and seriously all worked together as a team. Alternating cooking and dishes with normal household chores, it just plain worked! The great thing about Jim and Terri is that they ALWAYS, and I seriously mean ALWAYS show up. Whether it's to help fix a clogged drain, plan a party, help move...they simply always free themselves up to make sure they are being utilized. The friends in their life are lucky to have them, and I know that Tyler, myself and Emery in this last year were extremely lucky to have them. Oh sure there were times where we were over it and probably many times where Terri was annoyed with our clutter but we made due and didn't kill each other...I call that a WIN! If I'm being quite truthful, I'll miss them. I'll miss cooking fun dinners for Jim and I while the picky eaters were gone for the night, hearing him in the other room get his coffee ready for the morning and my intense dislike for Bill O'Reilly. I'll miss the weird things like being able to leave them little notes in the morning with treats I made for them the night before or watching M*A*S*H reruns and also mine and Terri's chats about home decorating and deserts. I'll miss them being able to say goodnight to Emery every evening and watching her grow up. You should have a Jim and Terri in your life, I'm lucky to have mine.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Starving for the basics...Part One

I've neglected my dear blog recently. I find that when things are tough and we're in transition (hello current state) I struggle with figuring out what to write and when to write it and do people even like to read it if it doesn't have to do with adoption or Emery. The thing is, I formed this space coming up on two years ago. To allow myself a way to decompress all of the info that was being thrown my way. It transitioned into an "adoption process" blog, to a "done with the adoption process look at my pretty, amazing miracle child" blog, to "boo hoo my husband lost his dream job, we moved away from my entire family to a podunk town, but isn't my kid still the most amazing thing on the planet" blog. That's a lot of different things all wrapped up into one space and quite frankly. If no one besides my dear friend Fran and my sister Kelly read this then who the crap cares, eh? It's my safe place. It's painfully personal but weirdly public. It feeds my need to unload, document, create, and grow. I've never been one to really follow the "plan" per se but instead just feel my way through things. Every once in a while, a plan doesn't hurt. I'll be doing a series of posts over the next couple weeks involving some personal growth I've been experiencing lately. Inside each little blog "packet" you'll find random smatterings of fun Emery facts or thoughts mixed in with other things as well. It works for me like a nice blog casserole, if you will. Please welcome the series called...Starving for the Basics. I've been restless recently. Extremely unsatisfied with my current state and that eeks its way into my relationship with Tyler as well as Emery. Living away from each other for almost three months certainly didn't help things either but we do what we have to do in order to pay these darn bills and make things "work". In the last couple of months I've started to feel really guilty about not putting more thought into what I feed my family. Mainly, how much instant food I provide for them even down to something as simple as freaking pancake mix! I love to cook. I have almost an entire unpublished post about cooking and how it's cathartic for me (more on that later). How much time does it really take to just make something from scratch. It's cheaper, this I know, soooo much cheaper and so much better for us. It's fun (for me) to know that I created it from the ground up instead of just popping the top off and sticking it in the microwave. And it sure as heck fire tastes better. What you should know about me is that there is freakshow farm girl trapped in this "city girl" body. I want horses, chickens, goats, gardens, riding lawn mowers (no cows though, those things stiiiiiink!), quiet nights, country air. I also want Sephora, Chipotle, Apple Store, Tijuana Flats, Anthropologie, Williams-Sonoma and Crate Barrel within AT LEAST a 20 minute drive. I like country comforts but the convenience of city life. There's one great change that I've found in myself this last year...I'm really happy in a small town. There, I said it. I like the safety, the community that it has to offer. So in the last few months I've made a concerted effort to make things from scratch, from spaghetti sauce and sloppy joes to cinnamon rolls, pancakes, and pizza dough. I love it! It gives me such creative control over what I actual put in my families bellies. Fresh. Fresh. Fresh from my hands to their tummies. Here's a little disclaimer *I don't think you're a loser if you don't make things from scratch*. Done. I'm reorganizing the way I grocery shop and menu plan. It's going to be tough for me to get my ADHD brain to commit to a task this large but for my sanity and in an effort to budget more effectively it has to happen. And I'm happy to give it a try! So these next posts will fill you in on how, for me, starving for the basics can happen in just about every aspect of my life. The juices are flowin' ya'll buckle up!

Monday, April 30, 2012

Cliche but true....

Mama needs a break. A serious break. I have just spent the last two and a half months being the primary caretaker of my spirited (ahem) stubborn almost two year old and I'm going to be honest with you...that's freakin' tough! I had more than enough help between my sisters and my mom but it's just not the same as if I was sharing the normal parenting duties with Tyler. I can't expect those auntie's and grammies to discipline like I do or follow the exact same schedule I do either, and quite frankly after relying on them for all of my child care while at work I would feel too guilty to ask any of them to watch her while I went and saw a movie with friends or even spent time without her with each other. In fact the entire time I was down there (Florida) my sisters, mom and I never did anything just us. They would watch her if I needed to run a quick errand and trust me when I tell you....if I had just asked they would have done it without even batting an eye. But I couldn't. I felt too guilty. Why is that?! I'm not really one to embrace all of these silly cliche sayings (no matter how true they sound) like "pregnancy brain" and a myriad of other dorky sayings. But I'll tell you this. "Mommy guilt" is real. It really really is! I assist my photographer friend, Jaci (www.jaciforshtay.com) at her workshops and there's one coming up over Memorial Day weekend. I'll be gone for about five days and I'm contemplating not taking Emery with me. We're staying at Jaci's parents super awesome farm and all I can think is..."Oh man, she'd love to see the chickens and cows and other random farm animals." Every time we've gone away and leave her with family I'm always sad to have left her behind. There's just something about being able to sleep uninhibited and just feed my soul with some serious alone time that makes me want to bite the bullet and do it. I'll keep you posted. He he.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Made for us, not from us...

I've recently changed the name of my blog...in fact I'm not even certain that anyone really even knew I had an actual name for my blog. When I named it "Pocket full of posies" it came to me after spending a few days trying to "think of a good name for my blog". This never bodes well for me because then I come up with things like..."Pocket full of posies". Anywho, whilst writing this post my new blog name arrived in a subtle, flow off the fingers onto the keyboard kind of way. I typed it. I liked it. I patted myself on the back for it and then immediately changed my title page. It's versatile, which I love purposeful yet simple and all encompassing no matter the size of our little kaleidoscope family.
Yesterday we celebrated one year since our little love's finalization! That day one year ago was perfect. The judge was nice, some of my family was there, Emery wasn't screaming her bloody brains out and my hair was behaving itself. We swore in, made promises to care for her, signed paperwork and celebrated her permanent place in our family. I can't believe that much time has passed and how much she has changed since then. She's amazing. I have a friend who is contemplating diving into a foster to adopt scenario and quite frankly she's a lot freaked out. Rightly so, it's a huge step and a major change for her family too but she is feeling the call in this situation and I admire her greatly for it. I was answering some of her questions the other night which led to talking about aspects of Emery's story that I sometimes forget about which then in turn had me say this phrase..."there is absolutely no reason at all why it should have worked out". And that's 100% true! MANY aspects of that Monday when we first heard about her thru Friday when I got the call from Tyler at work that she picked us just don't make any sense. In fact I remember emailing my foster parent teacher to ask for her to send my fingerprints to our social worker and I said these words..."The chances of this working out is minuscule", "I mean if I had to put a percentage on it I would say it's 98% not going to happen" and "Once again the chances of this actually working out would be a miracle." I am forever and always grateful that God overlooked my complete lack of faith in Him. Even though it probably made Him sad that I had such a low opinion of his power and provision in our lives but he still honored our desire to be a family. He blasted through all of the barriers that we had no idea even existed and made it possible for us to be parents to this amazing life. Unreal. He wanted her for us so badly. He made her for us, not from us.
I will never ever underestimate the power of the One who gave ME life, and also the One who gave my girl life.

Monday, March 19, 2012

The year of "No's"...

One year ago the church plant that we helped start shut down. There are some days where it feels like FOREVER, but most times it has flown by for me. Tyler on the other hand probably doesn't share that same view...you see my husband lived and breathed for planting a church. He studied, he gave his time above and beyond what was expected, he believed in what he helped to start and he believed he would be in ministry long term. I believed it for us as well. I've never seen him so passionate about his PURPOSE before and it did my heart good every single day to see him using his talents and be fulfilled in his job. For the last year we have said goodbye to family and friends, relocated to another state and are living with Tyler's parents, suffered through months of job searching, and endured "no" after "no" after "no" after "no" when it came to worship leader positions for Tyler. I'll touch briefly on this because it absolutely needs to be said. Just because you're applying for a job at a church doesn't mean they're always going to respond professionally or even respond at all. This has been such a weird phenomenon to me and in my opinion when you're representing Christ's name as a business you should act professionally and above and beyond any other business out there. If this is making you uncomfortable, I do not apologize. *Stepping off of my very much downplayed (because Tyler would kill me if I said more) soap box*.
Do you want to know the hardest part about this? The silence. The weird "almost" opportunities that creep up and are gone before we could even give them a second thought. I'm not complaining, honestly. I'm, ahem WE are just confused and searching. There are moments of clarity that are like striking gold. We have both been able to identify necessary changes in ourselves and also new desires that we had no idea even existed. We both want to make a difference. We both want to give back and we sometimes know what that looks like and other times we don't. We both feel like it's time to take a risk. A real, unadulterated risk that leaves us terrified out of our minds and more than likely other people scratching their heads. One of the things we struggle with is being wise and responsible while taking a risk. It's a delicate balance and I don't know that anyone has ever perfected it. There is movement on one particular opportunity that we're pretty pumped about...alas, it's back to the waiting.
Here is what I know. The three of us are in it to win it. We're tough and we're not giving up. We pray constantly for God's direction in our lives and for a new path and would plead with you to do the same for us.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Today...she is bigger.

Man. I knew people were telling the truth when they said "enjoy her when she's little because time flies!". I really did actually believe them and in my belief I was hoping for a reprieve of some kind. Some stoppage time, anything at this point to make time slow just a little bit so I can remember and appreciate all of these moments that will soon be overshadowed by new moments. Remember her chubby face and arms that have now been replaced with long and lean. Every night before I go to bed I always cover her up and every night before I go to bed I think to myself....I remember when she looked so tiny in this thing. She takes up about 3/4 of it now. She used to sleep on her belly with her bum in the air...for some weird reason I'm so emotional about this lately. Tears are flowing as I write this too late at night because it simply had to be written. Seize the moment I suppose or perhaps it's because of the year we just endured or maybe I'm just chemically imbalanced and therefore weepy. If I'm being totally honest with myself and subsequently you, I miss my baby. I miss my little squishy gummy smiling baby girl. Her personality is so strong maybe that's why I'm feeling the growing pains so much harder than I ever imagined I would. Nevertheless I'm feelin' it. I'm feeling the pain of time marching on whether I want it to or not. Motherhood is weird like that. You want to see growth and change and independence but at the same time you long for the simplicity and innocence of just "being". I need to appreciate her more. Her humor, her laugh and smile, how freaking adorable she is, how much she loves her daddy and how much she loves me. Some people probably think I'm weird when I say that I forget she hasn't always been ours, but on the other hand literally not a day goes by where I don't remember she wasn't born FROM me. She's so much of Tyler and myself which is so very cool and so extremely bizarre. Made for us not from us.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Blanky and "Ass"...

You read it correctly. My little lovey has seriously exploded in the last couple weeks when it comes to her vocabulary. I must say I'm very proud of her and if I'm being totally honest proud of me and Tyler too! All of the book reading, not talking to her like a baby, using real words and just ongoing dialogue is really paying off! I'll start with the "ass" explanation. From the beginning of her life with us she has taken a pacifier and fallen in love with her blanket. You should know that I always wanted a child that had some sort of attachment to either a blanket or a stuffed animal because I'm weird like that. No other reason. Anywho, we call her blanket "blanky" and her pacifier, "pass". The name just sort of created itself really. We had tossed around calling it "passy", "buddy", "binky", "yum-yum" and other completely ridiculous words that neither of us could stomach. So oddly enough we unknowingly settled on "Pass". Short for "pacifier". Well my little genius can't make the "P" sound yet. Nope, not at all. So it's just "ass". Which is completely inappropriate and consequently HILARIOUS! She is obviously not using it in a derogatory way and we always correct her and say "Puh puh PASS". She'll get it eventually but for now we have a 21 month old that knows profanity. And now the rest of this paragraph is more for me than anything, I'd like to remember the other little things she's doing and you are the lucky (or unlucky however you choose to view it) recipients of this stream of consciousness. She knows certain parts of her favorite books and will finish the sentences if I remember to stop and let her. Currently "Where the Wild Things Are" and every single "How Do Dinosaurs" series are her absolute favorite. She asks for hugs and keeping in time with not being able to make a "P" sound she also can't make an "H" sound as in (huh) so it comes out more like "UG! UG!" with her arms stretched out ready for some love. This has to be one of my new favorite things for my otherwise non-cuddly toddler. She makes the sounds of pigs, dogs, cats, snakes, cows, monkey, lion, duck, sheep/goats, and the faces for bunny and fish. She can count to five, as long as I start off with saying one. He he. She tells me "bless you" when I sneeze or when anyone sneezes for that matter, "excuse me" when she burps, and is a master at please, thank you and more. A couple of weeks ago I asked her to do something and I could have swore on my favorite mascara that she said "I don't want to". No way, I thought to myself. How on earth could she have learned that? Nope. Didn't say it. For sure. Until she said it again in front of my sister. Nah, another fluke. It had to be. Until she said it front of Tyler when we were skyping. So that's interesting. An entire sassy, independent phrase and I honestly have no earthly idea how she learned it. I mean I'm sassy and all but I'm just being honest here...she did NOT learn it from ME! She loves to pray before meals and at bed time (Lord knows we need that with her new potty mouth she has developed) She'll finish with a good old fashioned "AAAAAMEN!". Also lovey will literally repeat anything you tell her to, sometimes it sounds like the word and other times it's just a valiant effort. She's so much more interactive and silly and I honestly can say so far this is my absolutely favorite age. I can see her making sense of things, wanting to know how they work and the process of how they got there. It's like all of this repetitive teaching we've done over the last year has finally started to produce this little communicating human. I love it. She has major stranger danger tendencies and I'm telling you sometimes it's embarrassing. People come up and chat with me about how cute she is or how much they love her hair and they'll touch her arm or hand and she'll scream "NO!!!!!" like they straight up teach you to do in elementary school with strangers. "Oh, I'm sorry. She's just hungry right now so she's a little edgy". Lie. But I can't help it! The truth is, she wants you to step off and not touch her. Then there are others that she seriously loves and sometimes it just doesn't make sense but that's cool. Most of her behavior or tendencies don't make sense so at least she's consistently confusing. =) Overall she's wicked awesome and pretty much my favorite person in the entire world. We've been in a weird transition the last few weeks. My old salon/day spa job came a calling and needed some help with training two new desk people so I obliged. And with obliging came a 900 mile separation from Tyler for Emery and me. We bridge the gap as best we can, a few skype phone calls a week and visits home when the flights are cheap. It's only temporary and I should return back to the Hoosier state in approximately 6-8 weeks. So I'm a single mom. Which by the way is completely for the birds and makes me admire women who have no choice but to do it on their own. I have an insanely huge amount of help between my mom, and two sisters we make it work but at the end of the day, I am mama. The be all end all of discipline which sometimes I hate.
We're finishing up a nice extended weekend here in Warsaw, where she was able to fill her daddy tank up and to see their interactions are just pure heaven. They compliment each other well and boy oh boy do they love each other. We've stayed in our jammies until it was completely inappropriate, and really relished in the wonder of no schedule. Tyler was able to take time off of work which I know he needed desperately so we had an awesome time together. Tomorrow morning we fly back to Florida and back into the groove of things.
Our time apart provides amazing perspective. Amazing thankfulness to the Creator of my little family.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Different...

As weird as it may sound, this last visit was sort of "normal". I always like to use that word lightly because an open adoption still doesn't feel "normal" to me. In fact, it's very abnormal. Bringing your kid, who in fact is biologically someone else's, to a meeting with the very person who gave them up is just not normal. I know eventually it'll be our normal though. We met a library which was an amazing idea because my little bookworm is eating up any sort of literature right now so to be surrounded by all of those books was, I think, a definite help. My mom came along this time and I loved it. I also really appreciated her willingness to engage in conversation with FM too and she also did great at not making it feel awkward. You know, one of the best things about my mom is she pulls her crap together and makes it happen. Even if she was nervous or slightly uncomfortable she sure as heck didn't let me in on it. She was friendly, and just fantastic. I love her, and because I was a little unnerved about doing this visit by myself I needed her. At the age of 29 she still offers me the only comfort a mama can give. I love that. Anywho, overall it was a success. Emery warmed up a little to the situation at hand but was not super engaging with FM. I was able to get her to say all of her new words and animal sounds which left FM grinning from ear to ear! While Emery never allowed FM to hold her without crying I still felt like FM got what she needed from this visit. At the end I expressed that in my opinion this would probably be one of the hardest visits because of where Emery's at developmentally and that I understand she is probably sad because she didn't get to hold her really at all but eventually that will change. So overall it wasn't a disaster it was just...different. Right now, this is easy. Right now I don't have to answer questions from Emery. I know I've written before about how much hurt will eventually surface with her as she gets older and I'm just praying that this relationship stays in tact and that together they can understand why this situation works better than what originally was happening. I'm not looking forward to the conversations that will hurt her and I just want to protect her. But alas that would be over protecting and I ain't rasin' no cry baby! Ahem...anywho it is what it is most days. There are hours that pass without me thinking that she's adopted but as of right now 15 months later there isn't 24 hours that pass where I don't think about it, at least once. Most of the times it's my amazement at how well this works. How caring for her seems so natural and not having her be mine is unimaginable. I've said this a lot and I truly mean it. We were made for each other...us three.