Friday, December 23, 2011
Many blessings to you and your family for the up coming year!
Melinda and Joe
Friday, December 9, 2011
This past year has been full of so many ups and downs. Good times and bad, happy and sad. We started the year out with so much hope for our adoption. With every passing holiday we sat and thought will this be our last New Years as a family of two, then our birthdays and Easter and Memorial Day, our Anniversary. By the time July had come around it was like oh no not another holiday. Each passing one brought sadness and dread not happiness and joy.
But I need to realize that the adoption was not the only thing going on in my life. My father had not 1 but 2 health scares this year and 3 surgeries and by the grace of God he is cancer free and bouncing back from neck surgery. My mom has been my biggest supporter and shoulder to cry on. My relationship that had not been so great with a family member who was my best friend growing up is back and I am loving every second of it. I celebrated the birthdays of 2 nieces and a nephew who are all over excited at the idea of a cousin.
We had an amazing fundraiser for our adoption that always makes me emotional when I think about the love and support of so many people in our lives. Those we know and love and those we don’t know so well but came to support us anyway. To have our family and friends to work so hard to help us reach our dreams means more than any one knows.
During this all the one relationship that has gained the most is my relationship with God. Maybe he had me travel the road I have over the past year so I would be walking one step closer to him and trust in him and his plan. God knows my heart and he won’t let me get hurt any more than he thinks I can take. He has also shown me it is ok to keep any news close to my heart until I am ready to share it and people will understand if I don't if they find out that we know something and didn't tell. Emotions run very high for all parties involved in adoption and things are forever changing, day to day and minute to minute. It is also our decision as to what type of adoption we want to have and that is ok too.
So as this year comes to an end I find myself still being hopeful about the entire adoption process but cautious about it too. I am going to celebrate Christmas this year with a new light in my heart and hope too. Hope that next year will find my family well, my friends well and life being better than every. I will wake up Christmas morning not worrying that we don’t have a baby yet but that my family is together and doing well, but hoping is silence that maybe just maybe this might be the last Christmas with 8 people at my parents and just Joe and I at our house. That maybe my nieces birthday present this year will be the baby she asks about every time I see her. I am just going to trust that is all going to be ok, I have no other option but to do that.
I wish you all a Merry Christmas!
Friday, November 11, 2011
That is how many days on Sunday it will be since we were home study approved. For those of you who don’t know the adoption process there is paper work, more paper work, interviews, back round checks, references, and having your home checked for them to determine if you are fit people to parent and if your home is fit. Sort of funny if you think about all the people who have children and you have thought wow how is that possible. And I don’t care what you say you have all thought that at 1 time or another in your life, I mean we all shop at Wal-Mart! A little intrusive, yes, to me a little over kill, yes, a lot of money, God yes! But I have nothing to hide and I know I will be a good mom, not saying a perfect mom but a good mom!
I have been really torn as to how much to share in what is going on and what not to share. Do I write every time we make contact with a birth mom, do I write every time we get shown to a birth mom? I mean yes I want to yell it from the roof tops each time it happens, for a couple of reasons. First from pure excitement and second the more prayers the better right? Plus I want to share it with everyone who has been so supportive and pray for us everyday. But it is also very emotional for us if we tell people every time because when you see them again and they ask you and it didn’t have the turn out you wanted it brings all the emotions up again. I know people aren’t asking to be mean, they are asking because they really care. But there are parts of this journey that will be private and hard to deal with for us, so if you don’t hear anything that does not mean there is nothing happening, there in fact could be great things happening, we are just choosing to get a handle on them for ourselves first. Have our time to pretty much grieve for the child that was not to be or to wrap our minds around the fact that some mom felt we would be great parents to her child. To lay the foundation of a trusting and loving relationship with her for the years to come as we move through open adoption. There have been many times over the past year I have wanted to throw my hands up and say I am done, I can’t to this to myself anymore, but then I rethink and know I can. God choose us because he knew we could walk the road and handle it. At the end things are going to be so amazing when it happens if it’s in 9 days, 90 days or 9 months. I know it is going to be amazing because I have seen it with our friends and “fellow” blogger who had been placed and have “their” baby at home.
So please keep praying for us and know that as soon as we feel ready to share any big news you will all be the first to know.
Monday, October 17, 2011
When we do the best that we can, we never know what miracle is brought in our life, or in the life of another
In the past year we have had a lot of “miracles” in our lives as we move along the road in our adoption. I am always so amazed and taken back by the kindness of the people in our lives, if it be family, close friends, old and new, and people we simply don’t know. Yesterday was no different! We had an amazing turn out at our fundraiser and so much support from the people who love us and people, who really didn’t know us and might have just been there for the baskets, but that is ok; we hope our story and cause moved them as much as we were by them being there. It also makes you realize that no matter what good or bad family is the best. My parents are the best, they have done so much for us and yesterday was no exception, my dad made the most adorable wooden doll cradle, that some lucky little girl will be getting to play with, an amazing picture stand that my friend now has in her new home and all of this while pushing through his own pain, and being 5 days before major neck surgery, he is my hero! My mom was just as amazing, helping me get baskets and get the word out and telling me to not worry about it when I cried that I didn’t think it was going to work, she is truly my best friend. Also my brother who helped us as much as he could. He is also just a few days away from surgery. Keeping those two “down” was a struggle but they did well listening and helping in other ways. My Aunt and Uncle worked their butts off selling tickets at the party and my Uncle made and donated an amazing wooden blanket chest for us to chance off. My cousins who also helped! Kelly your support has been amazing since you know what my heart is feeling right now. Wendy, I told you last night what I had to say, so I hope there are no other words needed, because I can say them right now, I have nothing but I love you. To a new friend who also gave us an amazing prize to chance off. You have left footprints in our hearts that will never go away and I know that you will forever be a part of our adoption story and life. If I am forgetting anyone I am so sorry just know we love you all.
After we got home last night and things settled down, I went upstairs to the nursery to just sit and think and reflect on the day. It hit me that this baby, that we don’t know, has SO much love around it already. The amount of love makes my heart overflow; I wish I could bottle it and send it to any birth mom that is considering us, so she could be assured of just how much her child will be loved. The only thing I can do is pray to God that he lets her feel in her heart when she is thinking about it. That she welcomes us as extended family and to allow us to share with her child the amazing family and friends we have. I feel it in my hearts it is going to happen and when it does it is going to be so amazing. Life is good and only going to get better!
Love to you all
Melinda and Joe
Tuesday, October 11, 2011
There have been many dark days for me in the past few weeks. It sort of comes in waves for me. I do really well for a while and handle it ok. I have learned that as long as I am busy with other things and don’t think about it too much it is better. So that leads into me having to find things to keep me busy. Maybe now is a good time to go through all those boxes and things that sort of get forgotten and I mean forgotten as I haven’t needed anything from them since we moved 3 years ago, so I am sure they are just taking up space boxes. Getting things ready for when “the” call comes because when it does I think I might be too busy to be worrying about getting things in the nursery ready. Because of right now most things are in bags with tags still on them.
I have also realized, after much talking to me by my mother and husband, I think with my heart. I jump at my first reaction. Sometimes a good thing sometimes it’s not. Over the past few weeks I don’t think it has so much been a good thing. I have realized I may have some psycho tendencies. Laugh if you want, but we all have them and admitting it is half the battle right? So I am half way there right? This is not an easy process by any means, and I think each person’s journey is different. If you talk to a family that was matched pretty much right away, yes they had their stresses and struggles, but they are different than a family that may have been waiting for 2 years to be matched. Or a family that was matched and then the mom decided she wanted to parent her child. Everyone’s journey is different everyone’s feeling are different. That being said, that doesn’t make any of them wrong. It also doesn’t mean your journey is over once you get matched there are so many other things involved.
I have taken a step back to really look at things and also look at myself. I am really trying to become the person I want to be and when things are right in my life things will be right in so many other areas. I have learned a lot about myself and still have a lot to learn.
Thursday, September 15, 2011
It is hard not to get attached when you make contact with a birth mom who is a possible match. You spend weeks getting to know someone and then they pick someone else and you never hear from them again, in a small way it seems like losing a friend and a baby all in one motion. I feel like I need to guard my heart but I don't want to become "cold" to it all and not show what a caring person I am or how I am feeling. So at this point it is a do we try to network on our own and have this happen again or just stick with the agency? We are open to feed back and suggestions at this point.
This process stinks, it is hard, it is trying and so many other things people won't tell you. You check your email like every 10 minutes, you keep your phone with you at all times. Maybe I am different from other people but it has become my life not part of my life. I need to get back to living my life I guess, or at least find a balance. Joe and I have alot of thinking to do and alot of decisions to make and to what will happen from here. So please pray for us that we follow the road that God is trying to guide us down. He has big things planed for our lives and I hope we get to them the way he planed for us.
Thursday, August 18, 2011
We have also had a birth mom find us through some listings I placed on-line and we have been in regular contact with her. I am not sure where this will lead and what will happen. I do know that it has been an eye-opening thing and I have some personal struggles with some aspects of this. This is something I need to deal with on my own and with God. He knows what is in my heart and that is all that matters. I pray that this mom finds peace with what she decides to do and what path she plans to take. I can't imagine what the birth mom's go through to make this decision and this mom is trying to do it on her own with no help from an agency. I think she worries about having some sort of contact with the adoptive family because she has 2 other children. I am really trying to keep my heart guarded until she contacts our agency and we get the go ahead that we were chosen. I will keep you updated as we go with it.
So that is what is going on for now. I promise I will try to be better and not wait so long in between updates! Reading back through the post I guess not much isn't a good title..lol!
Monday, July 25, 2011
The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge. He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. Psalm 18:2
So we got some news today from the Social worker about the family that was considering us. The birth family has chosen a different family for their child. For we shed tears of sorrow tonight as another family sheds tears of the greatest joy. We know that this has been a very hard decision for this birth family since it has taken them a month to make it. We pray for the birth family as they say good-bye and the adoptive family as they say hello. We have peace with this for someday it will be us shedding tears of joy when God is ready for us too.
Joe and Melinda
Sunday, July 24, 2011
What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within. -
Ralph Waldo Emerson
There has been so many times I have thought about the strength other adoptive families have for doing what we are doing. NEVER have I included myself and Joe in that, and I don't know why not, we are doing the same thing they are, right? I think of the road I started to travel at the age of 12 to get where I am at took alot from within. I had to deal with things most girls my age didn't even know they had, and I am still dealing with it, having surgery as recent as last Friday for problems. I have spent alot of time praying to God, the past few months. I feel like my relationship with God has grown so much during this process. I have asked for signs when I need them and they have been shown to me. I have asked for strength and it has been given to me. I have cried so many tears and thought so many thought. I spend hours sitting in the nursery just thinking and spending quiet time. I have also been reading alot of other adoptive family blogs and realize that in so many ways our stories are the same, we are all just traveling this road at different times and speeds.
I believe there are flaws in the process, I believe there are things that can be done different, by all parties involved. I think some agencies are not good agencies, so are in it for the money only, as sad as that way seem and sound to you, but it is an EXPENSIVE, process. I think some agencies try to do the right things. I often wonder how these social worker do their jobs. In case you don't know this, adoptive mothers can be crazy, I know it is surprising, it surprised me too...lol. To us we are the only people they should care about. I think communications could be better but it is what it is.
No matter what strength I think lies within me, I can't find the words to say what I think lies within that birth mom, if she is 15 or 50, that has to be a decision and a choice that is like no other. You are making a choice to let another family, you know pretty much nothing about, take, love and keep your child for life. I feel I need to say this after reading some blogs and to address some something some people may be thinking. Birth moms have choices. No one is "ripping" her baby from her arms. In fact most of the cards are stacked for her. She is the one that gets to choose you, she gets to choose if she is going change her mind, she gets to take a month to make a decision and you can't do a thing about it. And in our state she gets to let you have that baby for 30 days and then come back. I don't mean to sound bitter about it because I am not. What I am bitter about is people who say things like that not knowing the real process. No body should be told a family member should die so you feel the pain of the birth mom, that is crazy. Yes I am sure that birth mom is in pain, a pain we as adoptive moms will never know. But we have pain to, the pain of not being able to do the one thing women should be able to do, have a child! That is a pain like no other too.
So after that....we are still waiting to hear the births moms decision. If it's not this one it will be another. God has a plan and that is what matters.
Thanks for listening to my rant..I just really need to get that off my chest.
Sunday, July 10, 2011
It's funny how people who are in the same place we are view things. I was so sure we would get picked by the first family, it would go well. No problems, we would bring home a perfect baby. Then we have friends who have told us the fully expect to have this happen to them, they are prepared for it. I guess I should have been to. It's funny when I hear people say my arms ache to hold our child. My arms don't ache, my heart does, to just love them, my eyes ache for the sight of them, my ears ache to hear the words mom and dad, my skin aches for their touch. I know that it will all happen in God time and when the right family comes along everything will fall into place. Until then, I am going to have good days and I am going to have bad days. Some days I don't think about it and other days, like today, I can't stop thinking about it and hoping for it and praying for it. I have cried so many tears on days like this one. Out of frustrations, hurt and anger. Out of not knowing what will happen.
I hope that things turn out amazing with this mom and in a few weeks I get to tell you I am a mom and if not it will happen. In the mean time I am going to focus on living life and praying and planning our fundraiser because who knows maybe our birth mom is in Ohio, Florida or New York and the extra money will help us find her.
Thank you for all your love and prayers while we wait for Baby Oklamchak to find us.
Sunday, June 26, 2011
This is a big step for me. I had put up such a wall that I wouldn't allow myself to feel those type of things. We had a nursery totally done and I couldn't even have the door open to it; was to hard to see. It was full of heartache not hope and joy. I wouldn't let myself think that this would ever happen for us. That we would have the joy of a baby in the house and our lives. Finally I realize it is going to happen and that we are going to have a family. We are going to be happy. Yes there will be problems and hard times but it will happen.
I was able to get some great things to have for "that" phone call. I got a great travel system on clearance at Toys R Us where I can get the bases for the other cars. So I am able to get the system and 2 bases for the cost of 1 system we picked out. Lots of other good stuff to have on hand for a few days at home and until we have a shower.
So now all we need is a baby! I know that it will come in God's time. he has had a plan for us from day 1 and it will happen when things are right and ready! I have decided to take a few other "waiting" mom's and I am going to use that room as a prayer room and in time it will be blessed!
Please keeps us in your thought and prayers you just even know when that call will come.
Thanks so much!
Friday, June 17, 2011
Last year when we planned to have a basket party so many times during the planning I thought I must be crazy to do this. We were in the middle of our homestudy no less while doing that. And being the "control freak" that I am, it was hard to put my faith and trust in people doing SO much to help us. And that people would come and want to support us. Like everyone you have those few memories that stand out in your mind forever. I remember the day Joe and I got married, so many memories, like seeing him for the first time that day, finally being married, my dance with my dad. One stands out for me, and there were no photos of it, and no one else there, it was just me sitting at the front of the room after eating and just taking everything in and thinking all these people are here to support us, love and celebrate with us. That is the same feeling I had the day of our party last October as I looked out at over 200 people, alot of who I didn't know, that had come to support us. It also taught me that you need to put your trust and faith in people, they will do what they say they will.
I pray that we have as many people reach out to help us this year again and as many people come to support us. I can't find the words that will ever express how we feel about the things people have done to support us and help us reach our dream. We pray for you everyday!
Last month Joe and I had to go to Pittsburgh for a class and stopped at a store to walk around for a little bit. I found a bracelet with a charm on it that has "Dreams become reality one choice at a time." I have worn that bracelet everyday since to remind myself that my choices will help me reach my dream of a child. But I also know that we could not do that with out everyone's help too.
So to end I hope that we see you all there and if you would like to help please let me know.
Thursday, June 9, 2011
It’s hard to explain it and understand it, the waiting that is, or the feeling you have of sadness. When your 3 year old niece asked, “Will the baby be here for my birthday?” I want to say “I thought he/she would be here for my birthday,” which was a month before. Or when she gives you a hug and tells you, “Maybe the baby will be here next we come camping Aunt Mindy.” The one that got me the most is when she said to my mom “I hope Aunt Mindy get’s a baby soon because she is sad sometimes.” I want to say yes I am sad, so sad that some days all I want to do is cry, that the walls feel like they are closing in around me. Then there are other days that I don’t think about it, I find joy in the little things. Like her smile, the way she tells me she loves me more when I tell her I love you. The way Mikey's eyes light up when he sees my dad. And then I realize those moments, those are the moments I am doing all this for. And as I am writing this I realize that those really aren't the small things but the best things, the most amazing things.
So when I say that each passing day of the 7 months feels like a year, now you know why. Don’t get me wrong, I can’t wait for my pot of gold, but unfortunately it hasn’t been all rainbows to get to it.
Tuesday, June 7, 2011
We did get 1 important piece of paperwork in the mail today...our updated homestudy. We were so happy and excited to receive it! When we first started this process we let fear of what people would think, say and do lead us to make some decisions that we would have made differently at the time. It took a little bit of pushing but God finally helped us see that if people love us they will love "our" child no matter what race they are. Who are we to decide what child should get a home and what child is worthy of our love and our families love. Are we all not worthy of this? I would love to think people will not see color when they look at a child and a family but the truth of it is they will, and that is ok. We know there will be barriers that we will need to over come but I think that God will help guide us and see us through it. When the day comes I will not say look at my black child, or my white child I will say this is my son or this is my daughter and I love them with every breath I take and would do ANYTHING for them. And I can say that knowing it is true just by the things we did to have them as part of our family.
Monday, June 6, 2011
So...Joe and I started our adoption journey about this time last year, wow to think it was a year ago, I remember like it was yesterday the emotions and feelings I had at that time. And to be honest I still feel all of them from time to time, and I think I will until we meet "our" child. I have always known I would never be able to have a child and family the "normal" way but I never thought it would happen this way, funny how God works! He also worked in letting me meet an amazing man who was on board to do this too.
It has been a long road so far and only God knows how much longer the road will be but I have on my best walking shoes and my praying knees ready. My mom likes to tell me God is trying to teach me patience during this process, I keep telling her it is never going to work. I do know that my relationship with God and my faith has gotten so much stronger and that is an amazing thing to experience. It has also shown me the kindness of my family, friends, community and even strangers. I just pray he continues to work in the same with us and them after we are placed and need the support with our child and relationship with his/her birth mother.
So please come along with us for the ride for how ever long it may be.