Thursday, December 20, 2012
Sunday, December 9, 2012
Noah has been growing and learning so much. He loves daycare and the kids there and they even recognize him when were are out and about. His favorite word is dada and loves to shake his head no, no, no! He only will say mama when he is sick or I am not around, he knows it drives me crazy...lol! We are a non napper on most days for mommy and daddy, but at daycare sleeps for hours. He has started clapping for himself and waved this morning to us. He is super speed crawler and is standing and pulling himself up on everything and wants to walk; you can see it in his face but he just can't yet. He knows exactly when he is not aloud to be doing something because he will stop and look at you to make sure you see him before he does it. We now have to block off the steps because the other day he was up the first 4 before I knew he had left the room. So when they say you need eyes in the back of your head that is so true.
Time is going by so fast and it hard to believe that he will be 1 in like 6 weeks. We started to plan his birthday party this weekend and that makes me sad, but excited at the same time. It is so great to see what an amazing little guy he is becoming. Sometimes I miss the days of the little tiny baby he once was and would love to go back in time even for a day, sometimes I feel like we missed out on a little with the stress of the adoption process. And others I know it is just a normal part of life.
Joe and I are looking forward to our first Christmas as a family of 3 this year and not just wondering when it would happen, or like last year being excited and getting ready to be a family of 3. Some how
Here are a few new pictures of Noah!
Wednesday, November 28, 2012
Wednesday, November 14, 2012
I love to talk to people about adoption so when the opportunity came up to sign up for the interview exchange I jumped at the chance. I was matched with Susan of Susan and Mitch (hope to) adopt . Susan and her husband are still in the waiting game of adoption, and are hopeful for a match soon. They are a great couple who love to travel and are always on an adventure of some sort. You might find them using their season tickets they have to Disney, on a crafting trips, going the OC fair or the Festival of Books. I am glad I got matched with Susan and have to say I wish I would have stumbled across her blog before. Our blogs are so different, my blog is much more emotional and hers is up beat and talks about all the fun things they are doing to stay busy. It also talks about a fun project she is working on while they are waiting for a match. Their blog is very light and fun and was a joy to read. I have enjoyed the emails we have exchanged so far and look forward to continuing to be in touch with each other and following them while they wait for a placement and hopefully about parenthood too.
How did you settle on the agency you are using?
We chose Independent Adoption Center (IAC) for several reasons. Probably the most significant was that we met 2 other couples who had adopted through IAC and were very happy with their service. We also got a very good feeling from the person who led the initial orientation session we attended. She had worked for IAC for several years and was very familiar with adoption both from her work and also from her experience adopting 2 kids 20+ years ago. It was clear during the orientation session that IAC is very committed to making sure everyone in the adoption triad (adopted child, birthparents, and adoptive parents) are supported through the process. We really liked that IAC’s services include free counseling for birthparents. We also appreciated that IAC is nationwide and has as a significant online presence.
Did you talk to a lot of agencies?
No, we only talked to 2 agencies in person. This is largely because we joined a Resolve adoption support group in our area a few months before making our decision to adopt and several months before choosing an agency. We learned about different agencies from other couples in the group so we already had a good idea of which ones would appeal most to us before we met with any. At the same time we also were doing research on agencies in our area and our research confirmed many of the opinions we formed from our group meetings.
Has your agency guided you in the path your blog is taking? You have a lot of pictures and more information on places you go and things you do and not a lot about your feeling and things about adoption or is that just your personality? The reason I ask this is because I remember the agency we used telling us not to use a lot of information that it overwhelms the birth mom, so I was just wondering if different agencies see different things. But I think it is great seeing all the amazing things you do while waiting.
Our agency was very particular about our official adoption letter and online profile. They meticulously review both before you are “live” in their system. However, while these are reviewed in great detail, the same is not true for other online outreach tools we use and this surprised us. Aside from a general instruction that we should continue to post new photos, we did not receive any further instructions on content for our blog, Facebook, etc. This is both liberating and bewildering at the same time. While it is nice to be able to post freely without any restrictions, sometimes we also have been anxious about what we should or shouldn’t post or blog about. It’s less of a concern now, but it made for some stress when we first started sharing our story online.
I like this question because it highlights the differences between your blog and ours. I hadn’t realized quite how much we focus on things we are doing and how little we bring up feelings on our blog until I read yours for this project. I’ve been doing a lot of thinking to answer this question and there are a few reasons we haven’t focused on our feelings. First, our agency advised us to include as many photos as possible on the blog and this can be a challenge especially when it comes to illustrating concepts or feelings. Second, while I write most of the blog posts, my husband has been trying to contribute more. All along our posts have been written from our voice, not just mine or his, and it’s more of a challenge to incorporate feelings from our voice. If I were writing from my voice alone I would write more about my feelings going through this process. Third, we’re also been encouraged by our agency to stay as positive as possible and express this in our communications. As you know, many of the feelings you have during a long wait often aren’t very pretty or positive. We always try to keep our readers in mind and we know they could be anyone including prospective birthparents, other parents waiting to adopt, friends, family, and other people we’ve met on our journey both online and off. While we don’t want to sugarcoat our journey, we also want to be careful not to make our blog consistently a downer with some of our sadder moods.
Overall, we’ve seen our blog as a vehicle to expand and deepen the ideas in our official letter, as well as provide updates on our life during our wait. That said, your blog has really inspired me and I’m looking to see how we can constructively discuss our feelings in more depth going forward.
You talk about the cross stitch project you are working on. At one point I felt like you might be holding back on finishing it because if you do and don’t have a placement yet you will be let down, is that something you have thought about?
Yeah, that is something I’ve considered. Some days I plan to work on it, but find other things to do and don't get around to stitching. I think part of it is a fear that it will be completed before we match. Of course, it’s such a big enough project that I’d be unlikely to finish before we match, unless it takes us years!
You said that you say NO to closed adoption, does that mean you would not be open to an adoption situation if the birth mom only wanted a closed adoption?
At first I wondered about this question, but then I went back and looked at the post we wrote in July about open adoption and realized how our post could be seen as being a statement against closed adoption. We were inspired to write this post for a couple of reasons. First, we felt it was really important for us to define open adoption on our blog, not just in the textbook sense, but what it means to us. Second, we try to stay engaged with the general adoption community and this post was also in response to some of what we had been looking at. We’ve read many painful stories about closed adoptions and had seen Dan Rather’s report, “Adopted or Abducted” looking at women from the “baby scoop era” in the 1950’s to 1970’s who were forced to give up their children without any possibility of further contact. We know things are different from that era now, but we’ve seen painful birthparent stories out there that are current and our hearts break for the men and women who want to connect with the child they placed, but cannot. The most important thing to us is that we can discuss openness with our child’s birthparents and find the best option for all of us. Our first choice would definitely be an open adoption, but we recognize there are many reasons this isn’t what every birthparent wants. We would consider a closed adoption provided this is what the birthparents truly want and they know that we are always willing to reevaluate this decision if they would like us to do so. Another good thing about IAC is that they are always willing to help facilitate contact if a birthparent changes his or her mind.
My husband and I waited for around 16 months for placement and I always wondered could I be doing something different should I have done this not that, is there anything you would change? There are a few things we would change. First, we realized several months in that we hadn’t made the best choices for us when we first set up our match preferences. We realized this was preventing our profile from being seen as much as it could have been. Second, we just took it as given that we were going to match quickly and we definitely were not very proactive in the beginning of our wait. We’ll always wonder if we would have already adopted by now if we had made different choices with our preferences and also been more active in getting the word out online. Third, we wish we had thought to take better photos while we were checking out agencies and getting through our home study. The good news is that we now get the chance to redesign our adoption letter and change out the photos. Luckily we’ve been saving some good pictures just for that.
If you would like to read Susan's interview of me click here.
I have to say the experience of having one on one time with another family was so nice and being able to ask the questions you think when you read a blog was pretty cool. There were over 100 people that signed up for the exchange this year, and I think that Heather Schade of Production Not Reproduction has done an amazing job at organizing this and the site for all adoption blogs. You can see a complete list of matches here. Take the time to read them if you can.
Wednesday, October 31, 2012
I was at my lowest of lows. Joe and I had just decided that we were done with the adoption process at the end of the year. I was just so defeated. Halloween is one of my favorite holidays, all the little kids talking about costumes and getting to be anything they want to be. The leaves are changing colors and there is a crisp feel in the air. For me last year I didn't see any of this all I saw was darkness. I didn't even participate in trick or treating last year I sat in my house in the dark wanting to fade away.
Little did I know that in just 5 short days things would change so much. I would be so full of hope and excitement. The few months we waited for Noah were not always a walk in the park but neither were the months leading up to that.
I guess the point I am trying to get a is not matter how bad it gets it will get better. It will all be worth it in the end. The pain of it all never goes away totally, or at least is hasn't for me, and I hope it doesn't to be honest. I am afraid if it does I will take what I have for granted and not appreciate it. Also things can change in the blink of an eye so always keep the faith that tomorrow could be the day.
Nine months have gone by and each day has new changes now. Noah was not in the picture taking mood tonight so I am hoping we will get his 9 month pictures tomorrow. He has month doctors visit tomorrow too so I will have his update too.
We didn't get to have trick or treating tonight because of the storms but below is a picture of Noah from the other day for a parade they had at Joe's work that we took him to.
Noah's update to follow soon
Monday, October 22, 2012
We have been trying very hard to have families that have adopted, are in the process of adopting or will be adopting in our lives. Not to down play the other relationships or people in our lives but we do want to have those relationships in our lives too. No matter how hard someone tries they don't know what the shoes we have walked in are like unless they have walked too. Not only do we want it for us we want Noah to have other children to relate to in this area of his life down the road too. Like I said before, we have amazing people in our life who have shown such support and love to Joe and I, but the love they have for Noah is beyond words.
A few months ago we were connected with a family from our area that was in the process of adopting. She and I have been in touch for a few months via email and facebook. It had been a busy summer for both of our families. Us with finalizing Noah's adoption and them planning for a placement! Finally after weeks of communication, earlier this week our families finally got to meet. I have to say leading up to the meeting I spent sometime thinking about how in some ways our journey was the same and is so many ways it was different. I was worried that our feelings, experience and views would be so different on things, more so the agency that we would not hit it off. They would not want to talk to us again or see us again. We had used the same agency and had very different experiences and I was really worried about that. Just a short time into the meeting I realized my worried were going to be unfounded, and quiet honestly able to finish each others thoughts and feelings on some things. This got me to thinking, we have several couples we are friends with, well more the wifes are friends, that have adopted. We each started our path at the same place, maybe all for different reasons, or not so different reasons, and ended in the same place. We have had twists and turns along the way, some of us more than others, some of us took longer than others. Heck one of the couples wasn't even really looking to adopt when they got matched with their second child but God had other plans. Some of us started with the same agency and that is how we meet, some walked away with a great experience and other not so happy. But we all still have a common bond the same feelings, the same start and finish and that is what really matters isn't it? We are here to support each other and be there for each other as we navigate the world of adoption. Sometimes we can relate directly with each other and other times we can't but what matters is we are all there for each other. To listen to the other cry when need be, to celebrate for each other and to lend an ear and really that is what friendship is about right. Just think if we were all the same had the same experiences and live the same life.
The great thing is all of the families have adopted boys all with in a few months of each other so I am looking forward to them growing and hopefully becoming friends, and having each other's backs too.
Anyway, we had a great visit and she and I are even looking into trying to start an adoption support group in our area since there are none here. I am looking forward to moving through these relationships.
Saturday, October 6, 2012
Today was an unusual day for me because my parents kept Noah for me to run my errands because it was so cold and rainy out. I was able to go and do my shopping and even have lunch by myself which was something I never thought I would like to do. I got to put my food away without picked up the toys while doing it. I ran the vacuum without Noah freaking out from the noise of it.
After I got home and fed Noah and was putting him down for his evening nap and it hit me. Noah was asleep on my shoulder and I could see his face, his angel like face, and was sitting and rocking in his room. There was just enough light coming in the windows that I could see around the room, and that is when it hit me! Just a year ago this room that used to bring me such peace and does now, didn't at that time. I had hit rock bottom this time last year, I just couldn't do it anymore, I wanted Joe to pack the stuff up in the room and get rid of it, I couldn't look at it anymore. My emotions and heart had been pulled through the ringer. I was an emotional mess and didn't know which end was up. I cried each day, sometimes all day, just praying for an answer, some sort of sign as to what was right to do. It hurts my heart now to think I wanted to walk away! Especially as I looked at the miracle sleeping in my arms. Not a day goes by that he doesn't do something that melts my heart, no matter how hard of a day it is,he either smiles at me just when I need it or he will rub his hand on your cheeks after you give him a kiss.
It is hard to believe that he is 8 months old already! He has 2 teeth and is giving his all to crawl! He is vocal, very vocal when he wants to be, and God does he have a temper! But I wouldn't trade it for a second. God continues to send me small reminders and not so small reminders each and everyday!
Sunday, September 23, 2012
I thought when the day would come it would be no big deal, I mean really the hard stuff was over, and things were not going to be any different. Then it hit me Wednesday night as I was getting our clothes ready for the following day. I am not sure really what it was, the realization that something I have dreamed of my entire life was going to become a reality. I have known since I was 12 years old that it was going to be pretty much impossible for me to have a child. Then at 22 that became even more real. Then my thought's went to Noah's birth mother, does she know that tomorrow is even happening? I know this is what she wanted I am not saying that, but is still my thoughts kept drifting to her.
We were up early and on the road the following day to Pittsburgh for our hearing to take place. I was crying the minute we left the driveway, thank God my dad was driving. All the tears and years of heartache are coming to an end in just a few short hours. I know that Noah has been with us for 7 months, and he has been our son that long so it shouldn't be any big deal. But it is! We get to the office and visit with the social worker for a few minutes, before the call comes. We were lucky enough not to have to go back to Vegas for the hearing we were able to do it over the phone. The call lasted less that 10 minutes but it changed our life forever. It was a very emotional 10 minutes and hearing the judge say that Noah was legally OUR child my heart burst with joy. Knowing that NO ONE can ever come and take him means so much to us.
So one asked me when they found out things were over, so this means your adoption journey is over right? I didn't know how to answer that, I guess in some ways yes it is and in other's not even close. So this step in adoption is over and we move on to the next. Figuring out our relationship with Noah's birth mother and thing's down the road with Noah when he is old enough to ask questions.
I would love to say we will do it again, but I don't know if that will happen. Adoption is expensive and a long preocess and lets be honest money and age is not on our side. But if it is in God plan then I will not question it because I look at my son and see his work.
So I will continue to blog about Noah and other things at this point! Here are some pictures from our day!
Joe, Melinda and Noah
Tuesday, September 11, 2012
Write a response at your blog–linking back here so your readers can browse other participating blogs–and share your post in the comments here. Using a previously published post is fine; I’d appreciate it if you’d add a link back to the roundtable. If you don’t blog, you can always leave your thoughts directly in the comments.
What were your reasons for choosing open adoption? (Or, for adoptees, what are your reasons for continuing to invest in your relationships with your first family?)
I have never wrote for any of the roundtable topics before but I felt drawn to this one for some reason.
To say open adoption was something we wanted from the get go would be a lie to be honest. We started to adoption process 2 years ago with the mind-set that we wanted a closed adoption we wanted no parts in an open adoption at all. I think what made us start off as wanting a closed adoption was starting this process in the foster care end of things. We took the classes thinking that is what we wanted to do. We left feeling all birth mothers were bad people. They lied, did drugs, took advantage of people. What else was a person to think, right. Over time and much thought and prayer my mind slowly changed. Well maybe a letter and pictures once in a while won't be so bad. Then it was ok well maybe a visit every so often would be ok too. It was a slow process coming to that decision to say the least, and I can't say there was just 1 thing that made us decide that. It was just the realization that this woman is giving us an amazing gift. The gift of a child, us being able to have a family, the gift of a life, what is the big deal about letters and pictures and visits. I have to admit part of it was for selfish reasons. God forbid something happens down the road, those birth parents will be our link to the medical history we need and maybe even worse, organs or other things. I know that sounds really bad and it sounds even worse as I type it out but it is the truth and I can't help it.
Then our son's birth mother got in touch with us and my outlook changed even more. We spend months building a relationship with her, getting to know her. Growing to love her. It became so much more than about a girl, or woman, who was going to give us her baby. She was a woman who needed someone who would be there for her no matter what. I remember being in the hospital after Noah was born and her telling me something and when I asked why she didn't tell me before she said remember how you told me you were afraid I would like you once I saw you and met you, well I was afraid if you know EVERYTHING you would change your mind. I wanted you to meet Noah and love him before I could tell you so you wouldn't change your mind. It was in the very moment that I knew that I would never go back on my word and I would always have an openess with her. And it wasn't for any of the reasons I listed above because the pretty much don't matter in this situation. I also saw the demons she fought everyday in her life, see she herself was adopted and it was a full closed adoption. (That is all the more I will say about her story, it is her's to tell). But I never wanted Noah to have the questions down the road and no one to answer them. Someday he is going to want to look at her and see his own eyes looking back, just like I can look at my father and see my eyes looking back. Or little things he does now I often wonder where does he get that. I am lucky enough to be able to ask that and find out.
Yes I will be honest it had been a hard road, alot of ups and downs. But I think we are getting to a better place in our relationship, or at least I am hoping we are. For the first time since Noah was placed with us we got an honest heartfelt letter from her and so did Noah (for when he is old enough to read and understand). Her heart hurts right now and that is ok it is allowed to and it will for a long time. She was a parent doing the best she could and she made a decision that most of us could never make if we were in those shoes. She is a human with feelings and I am not going to just write her off.
Sunday, September 9, 2012
Noah has grown alot in the past few weeks. He is eating everything and everything you give him and yells when you don't give it to him fast enough. From our 4 month check up to our 6 month check up he gained 4 lbs. which was a little bit of a shock but also a happy site since he wasn't really gaining a ton of weight with the spitting up so much and everything. That has seemed to slow down a great deal now which makes mommy and daddy happy. He is sitting up on his own, when he chooses to that is. He gets up like he is going to crawl but just rocks and rocks and then gives up. So I do think he will be crawling very soon. He is "talking" away when you let him and loves to laugh at the dogs. The dogs look at him like he is nuts which just makes him laugh more and harder.
He has become quick a pappy's boy over the past few months, especially since my mom started to watch him for us. I think all 3 of them are going to be lost come October when Noah starts going to daycare and not Grammy and pappy's house.
Each day my heart grows with the love I have for him. I didn't think it was possible to love him more than the day he was born and I am proved wrong each day. Being a mom is everything and more than I ever thought possible. I told my mom a few weeks ago I wasn't really living before Noah came into my life and the only thing I EVER wanted was to be a mother. That has happened now and when the time goes I can die a happy woman.
Enjoy the new photos of Noah.
Sunday, July 22, 2012
On top of the blogs I have been lucky enough to read we were able to see a preview of an adoption show on Oxygen and it was nice to see the other side of things. In contrast to an adoption show that was on a few weeks ago, that I feel was a pretty unfair telling of most birth mom, this was more true to things. Most people think that "girls" that place for adoption are teenagers or on drugs or in jail. Yes I am sure that is true to some point the reality of it is most are 20's and older, and most are not addicted to drug. They are just at a place where they don't know how to raise a child or just are not equipment to have a child. It takes a pretty big person to say that and make a decision to say good-bye. Sometimes they get the pleasure of having a relationship with the child and the adoptive family. Some don't get to or want to.
I know this post is all over the place, and to be honest my thoughts and emotions are on the topic all the time. I guess my point is, I don't understand people who need to make negative comments on posts about a topic that they may not be 100% educated on. I am sure most people who are writing blogs would answer any questions someone may have or share their back story on the topic, and then if you still feel that a negative comment is due then that is fair.
I will NEVER be able to find the words to express how I feel about our son's birth mother. She made me a mom, my husband a dad, my brother and uncle and gave my parents a gift that they would never had have without her, to see their daughter happy and have pure love come from her. My family will forever be greatful to her for those things. So all I am asking is for people to be kind and understanding about adoption.
Thanks for listening I just needed to get that off my chest.
Wednesday, July 11, 2012
The month of June was a busy one for us and I think that is how I lost track of time. Plus the heat has been crazy that is drains every ounce of energy a person has.
Noah was baptised on Father's Day and things went well. I do have to say that morning when we got to church and realized that it had been moved to the basement I was not happy but after a little pep talk from my mom I quickly realized it was not about where it took place but that it took place and that the people who have supported us and loved Noah were there. We had been planing a surprise 60th birthday party for my dad for months for that day to being with so we were able to use Noah as a cover for it. It worked perfect. We were able to spent the day with our family and celebrate.
He is getting so big and I swear grows over night sometimes. He also learns something new each day, which sort of makes me sad in some ways. The other night when I was feeding him before bed I was just sitting watching him and realized that I don't remember him being a small tiny baby and that makes me so sad because it wasn't that long ago. I remember sitting in the hospital in Las Vegas trying to memorize every detail of him not wanting to ever forget him. At that moment it was because I didn't know if I would be able to call him my son. But some how it has slipped away. I went and looked at our pictures from then trying to bring it back. The thing that makes me sad is when I look at the pictures it bring back the memory of the stress and worry of what was going on and what would happen. Yes things worked out, amazingly but still it is hard to remember the good from then.
We got the news we were waiting for the week after his baptism from Las Vegas, that the hearing had taken place and the unknown birth father's rights had been terminated. So the only thing left is the last two home visits, one is scheduled for this Thursday and then finalization. Noah has always been our son and there is no questions for anyone once you seen Noah with Joe and I that he loves us. But it will be nice to have it legalized, because in most situations we don't really have alot of rights at this point.
Other than that we are just loving our time with Noah and watching him grow. He learns something new each day, but I long for the days passed. We waited so very long for him and he is growing so fast.
Tuesday, June 12, 2012
Noah is being baptized on Father's Day! It is very important to Joe and I and we are glad we are able to get this done. Our church and church family have been such a big part of our lives and our journey and we want to share this day with them. For me to have this day come is extra special in the fact I never thought that I would have MY child baptized because I never thought I would have one. Plus the fact that I was baptized, had my confirmation and got married in this church; so it is extra special for me.
We only have 2 visits left before our hearing for finalization of the adoption can be scheduled. According to our social worker Meaghan we should be finalized by October at the latest. We only have one more hurdle that we need to get over and we should have news on that any time now. Our social worker does not expect any problems with it and it is more a formality but it is still scary that something can still keep us from becoming a legal family. It's funny how each state's court system works. The are two other fellow blogger s that each have son's; one was born in October of last year and has no court date for finalization in site. The other's son was born two weeks after Noah and her adoption of her son was finalized weeks ago. All three of us finalized in different states and have each had to deal with our struggles. When I get frustrated that we are not finalized like our one blogger friend, I realized how lucky we are to at least have a date in sight. I think she is handling things much better than I would be if I were her so you go girl! I am using you as my source of strength in this all!
It's funny as our visits come to an end and things are starting to wind down we keep getting asked from both agencies, will you do this again? Have you thought about going back on the "waiting" list? I would love to say without a doubt we would do it again, but I can't. It is a very expensive process and with Joe being out of work for almost a year, the chances of having the money to do it again are pretty slim. I will have to say he and I agree at this moment there are only 2 ways we would 100% without a doubt do it again. The first is if D would call us down the road, yes we would do it. The second is if our social worker in Las Vegas would call. Other than that we don't know. In no way do I want anyone to think we would not consider or that we do not want to. I would have 10 kids if I were able to do it. For right now we are going to just enjoy Noah and take things one step at a time. God know what the master plan is and if it is in his plan for us to have another child then it will happen. I would in no way change how things have turned out trust me, Noah is my life, but the process of adoption is such an intrusive and emotion thing, so I think I need a little recovery time as well, but that is a different story for a different day.
Here are a few pictures of our growing baby. I promise that I am going to carve more time out to keep on top of things and keep you all updated, since you have all been so supportive and amazing on the hard part of the road, you deserve news on the good part.
Monday, May 21, 2012
I have never had that oh God its Mother’s Day I want to crawl in a hole and die moments. Yes, I have always had this ache in my heart to be a mom and some days were worse than others. Mother’s Day was never one of the bad ones, and I think it was because I have the most amazing mom in the entire world and I focused on it being about her and didn’t have the time to worry or be sad.
As Mother’s Day came around this year, of course I was excited. I was talking to Noah one evening and asked him if he got mommy something special for Mother’s Day. My husband overheard me talking to him and said I need to buy you something? This turned into an argument over the topic. The pas couple of years we really haven’t done anything for each other for Birthday’s, our anniversary or Christmas, as we were trying to save money for the adoption. Then Joe lost in job last July which made it worse, and he is till not back to work. I tried to explain to him it’s not about spending money. I downloaded my memory card last week and have over 500 pictures in 3 months time, pick a few and make a collage of pictures, make prints of Noah’s hand or feet so I can frame them, we didn’t get that stuff from the hospital his birthmother has it all. I have to be honest my husband “doesn’t always get it”.
Then our agency that did our placement contacted me about a program that they were having for Birth Mother’s Day, which is the day before Mother’s Day. They understood we could not come back toLas Vegasfor it but it we wanted to participate in anyway we could. I wrote a letter for them to read about D and also a sent card for them to give to the other birth mother’s who were in attendance.
So I was having some mixed emotions going into the weekend. Here was my first Mother’s Day and I was having to guilt my husband into caring about it and was thinking about D. Saturday when we got up and moving, our entire family was camping, I had checked my email on my phone and also jumped onto facebook as well. I saw a post about Birth’s Mother’s Day and the program inLas Vegasand I got very emotional. I cried several times during the day Saturday. Mostly when I would look at Noah or we would talk about it. I need to make clear I was emotional not just because of D but for all the birth mother’s. I have met a lot of couples during this process and follow a lot on blogs. I know of 5 of us that have been places within the past year, 3 of us with our very first child. All of our birth mother’s choosing to place for many different reason, but still making the very painful decision to do it and celebrating mother’s day without the child they carried and loved for 9 months. And giving us all the gift and chance to celebrate our first Mother’s day, which is amazing.
Needless to say I got it out of my system and woke up Sunday morning feeling pretty good. I was able to wake up with MY baby on the floor in his cradle beside me sleeping and enjoy it for a few moments. Joe came around and he and Noah got me a beautiful cross with a heart of diamonds around the cross. My mother she “got it” so I am hoping it will rub off. I have always wanted a lilac bush, but not any lilac bush a start off the bush in my parents’ yard that was my grand mothers. So pappy helped Noah dig it up the other day and gave that to me.
You weren't there when I took my first step
You weren't there when I said my first word
You weren't there for my first day of school
You weren't there to tell I met my best friend
You weren't there to cry to when other kids made fun of me
You weren't there when I lost a friend
You weren't there when I started high school
Or when I graduated
You weren't there when I left for college
And when I moved back home it wasn't to your house
You weren't there when I left home again
You weren't there because you love me
You loved me so much you let someone else be there
You let someone else do the things
You didn't think you could do
Because you loved me too much
Monday, April 23, 2012
I know I also said before that I was able to come to terms with it and move past things but I really wasn't. I was is some way not able to view myself as his mom. I think the slap me across the face I needed to move on moment was about a week ago when we were at my parents house and my dad was playing with Noah and he said about his big brown eyes and I said "he no doubt has his mom's eyes." To which my dad said "No he doesn't his mom has blue eyes." I realized then if I can't view myself as his mom how is anyone else or even Noah. I had a so to speak come to Jesus moment and really spent sometime in prayer and was ready to just move on.
I know that God answer's prayers, he answered my prayers when my dad had cancer last May, he answered my prayers when my dad was on a vent from a surgery that had complications last October. And most of all he answered my prayers when D found us and when Noah was born. He answered my prayer that night when I asked for a chance to have that closure, and I got it. The next day D got in touch with me. We had our first real conservation since we left Las Vegas. It was a good conservation, I got to say the things I needed to say, she got to say she understood. She also got to say things I needed to hear. That it is ok to be happy and be his mom. To love him the way she loves him and to be happy that I am his mom. Not to feel sad or that I am rubbing it in her face by doing that. I have only ever felt that kind of peace 1 time before and it was the first night we spent with Noah knowing no one was coming to take him.
Like I said before I keep telling myself that no relationship that offers meaning and true connection is without ups and downs. And lets face it you can't have someone give you a child without the relationship having meaning and you have a connection. I also have to remember that she is hurting. Hurting for reasons that I don't want to go into and for the obvious. So please once in a while say a prayer for not only her but all birth mothers. Also remember just because they place their child for adoption doesn't mean they don't love them and care for them. In fact I feel sometimes that maybe they might love their child more than someone who keeps a child whom they can't care of just because they don't want to hurt.
I am finally at peace and I know things are going to be ok. Noah knows who his mom is, he can't find me fast enough when he hears me speak and he is the same way with his daddy too!
Below is a poem that I came across when searching for something else. It is wrote about a daughter but I think you will get them meaning anyway.
A Birthmother's Love
by Shelia Davis
As I watch my precious child drift off to sleep
My thoughts are with you with love so deep,
We prayed that someday a child would come
Although we had no idea where she'd be from
You carried her with love beneath your heart
Knowing your lives would be lived apart
You searched for parents that could raise her right
to love her, read to her, and kiss her goodnight.
When we first met there was such a conncection
You chose us to parent with little hesitation
Delivery day came and with that a beautiful dauhter
and we want her to know the love of her birth mother
A part of her life we asked you to stay
so she could know you and your loving way
For if it weren't for your Love and unselfihness
this bright little child's life we would have missed.
God blessed us beyond our wildest dream's
a child, our family, and you!!
Wednesday, March 28, 2012
He makes the cutest little sound when he is happy, like Chewbacca from Star Wars. He is alot more aware of the things around him and voices. He also know what he wants and wants it when he wants it no questions asked. We have found the changing table has magic powers because no matter how mad he is as soon as you lay him on it he is the happiest kid around.
I think he is going to have long arms and legs because most things that fit him size wise to to short in the arms and legs. He has the darkest brown eyes and plump lips, it is hard to look at him and not be reminded of D because looking into his eyes are like looking into hers. I am ok with that as strange as it sounds. Because after my last post I received such amazing support and I know I am his mom and I am secure in that and it is ok if he has her eyes, they were beautiful eyes.
I can't wait to see what the next 4 weeks are going to bring for us. I hate to see them come but it is going to happen so I might as well enjoy them!
Monday, March 26, 2012
Let me start by saying when we started the entire process of adoption Joe and I were not open to having an open adoption, not at all. We really wanted no part of it at all. We wanted to walk into the hospital get "our" baby and leave and never look back. I know it sounds so heartless and cruel but that is what we thought at first. We were very uneducated and selfish. The more into the process we got and the more we educated ourselves and the more we opened our hearts the more God spoke to us about this. We then moved to the well; letters and pictures won't hurt will they? Then it was well maybe a visit or two a year but that is it, I still want to be the parent not the baby sitter, if that makes sense to you. I mean she is giving us such an amazing gift, the gift of a life we could not create. I know alot of that is very blunt and can come across as mean but I have promised to be nothing but honest with you about this process and our feeling during it and I can't change what they were, I can only learn from them.
Then D found us and everything changed! We had SO much contact during the time we were waiting for Noah to be born. We talked everyday, several times a day from the beginning of November to the end of January. We learned
While we were in Vegas and after TPR was signed our relationship with D took a major hit and alot of hurtful things were said. I can't help think it was her way of dealing with the pain and distancing herself from it all. But it hurt and it has been hard to recover from it sometimes. There has never really been any closure on this chapter we never really got to say good-bye and spend some time paving the road of this relationship before we left. We never saw each other after the night in the hotel she signed the papers for Noah, it is not how I wanted it but it is how it happened and we can't change that and I have told her how sorry I was it happened that way. There were alot of things that took place that lead to the decision and we both may have handled it wrong. I think it would be easier to move forward from it if she was showing she really wants the type of relationship with us and Noah she said she did, but she has done everything but show that and it is hard. I can't help but wonder if she has never had people in her life that are truly sorry for something that may have hurt her, or if the people she has in her life make it a habit of feeling people are only out to hurt her.
There have been so many things she has done to show she does care, like letting me/us be there with Noah from the very first breath, literally. Or the very large pack of her medical records, yes I said her medical records I received in the mail over the weekend. When I got the pack in the mail and saw the return address to the agency I really had no idea what it could be. I sat for a moment before opening it not knowing if I wanted to know what it was. And then when I did I sat and cried. I cried because that showed me the D I had gotten to know was still there that she cared enough to want Noah to have these. I have to be honest I have not read them, and I am not sure if I want to or will. They are Noah's history not mine. Do I think there is anything in there that I don't know, not really. Is there anything in there that will change things, not really, but on the outside chance there is I don't know if I want to know anyway. It will only change the way I look at D and I don't really want anything else to have a factor on that.
Also alot of people ask why do I care, why do I want her in our life. I do for Noah, part for selfish reasons, like if something were to happen to him and I needed medical information or even worse bone marrow or anything. Other are for him, down the road he is going to have questions; he is going to want to know, know things I can't answer for him. D and I have talked about how hard it is for her to have questions and no answers, she was adopted as well, but it was a fully closed adoption. I don't want him to become the lost soul she seems to have become. At the time it happened I thought it so strange, the last day she had with Noah to spend time with him before signing TPR she choose to spend it with me in a casino/bar telling me things, things I couldn't understand at the time. Now I know they are things she wanted me to know incase we got on that plane and never looked back. But most of all I want her in our life because we have grown to love her too and we will continue to love her. Maybe in time things will get better and we will figure this out. I have to keep telling myself it has only been 7 weeks and things like this take time. I guess the big question is does time heal all wonds? I hope in this case it does I really do. If I had to say right now in this very second do I think she will be better about staying in touch down the road, I say yes, I do think she will. I say that because in my heart I know D loves, Noah and loves us and knows we love her, and knows she will be welcomed with open arms and hearts!
Sunday, March 18, 2012
Tuesday, March 6, 2012
Everyone in the family is head over heals in love. My nephew who is 2 really loves him, for now anyway. When we were visiting the other day he kept coming to me and saying "Noah, up!" "Noah, up!" He was sleeping in his car seat. A few times I went to check until I realized he wanted me to GET Noah up. He covers him with kisses each time we see him he covers Noah with kisses. My niece who is 5, she is a little harder to read but I know she was excited about him. Last year for her birthday she asked her grandma if I would have a baby for it and grandma told her no, well this year we do! I know she was a little unhappy it was a boy and not a girl. I don't think she realizes that having a girl would mean having to share the title of princess, which she would NOT do happily.
Stat tuned for more updates
Joe, Melinda and Noah
Thursday, February 23, 2012
So our flight leaves Sunday around 1 from Pittsburgh and we fly to Atlanta. We have about a 2 hour lay over so Joe, my mom, she went with us, and I go and get some dinner. It is a 5 hour flight from Atlanta to Las Vegas so we want dinner before we leave. We are sitting talking and I start to cry we are one step closer to meeting her. Just as we are talking my phone rings I have a text message it is "D" asking when we leave and will get to Vegas. I tell her we are on our way and give her our flight information. We board our flight we are on our way. We get to Vegas around 9:30, which is 12:30 here in PA. We get off our flight and head to baggage claim and there stands "D" with signs for us and her 5-year-old son "T". She met us with BIG hugs and pictures and signs and just like we were going to see family. Now keep in mind this is the FIRST time we have ever met, we have just formed such an amazing bond over the phone.
The following day we pick "D" up and go to lunch and spend hours talking and visiting. We head to the doctor for her last visit. She gets called back into the room and turns to me and said well are you coming? I am not going to say no! We get to her room and the nurse starts asking questions and said to "D" and who is this and looks at me and she said this is the babies mom! I start to cry, I am such a baby! Then the tears get worse, I get to hear his heart beat for the first time, it is a sound I will NEVER forget. "D" and I cry together at the sound of it and that we got the share it together. After the doctor's office we head to the hospital to get registered for tomorrow, her C section has been scheduled for 7:30 PM. Are you kidding what are we going to do ALL day tomorrow?
We get up on Tuesday morning and decide to head to Hoover Dam and Lake Mead to keep us busy and not just sitting and watching the clock. It was nice spending the day with Joe and my mom. I didn't think about the fact in just few hours the child that may be our son is going to be born. We got back to our hotel for dinner before we left for the hospital. We stayed at this amazing Marriott, with the best staff ever, it had a full kitchen, living room/dining room combo, 2 bedroom and a full bath. In fact it was bigger the first apartment Joe and I had. Anyway, we cooked dinner and sat to eat. I remember saying, I feel like I should have gone to church today. So the three of us, my mom , Joe and I all held hands and prayed. Prayed the "D" the baby made it through surgery ok, that the baby was healthy and that God was in our presence of the next few days. Before we know it it's time to go to the OR, we go to a back room, "D" and I, they take her into the room to get her ready and have me in the hall putting on a gown. The next thing I know the nurse that had been taking care of us came out into the hall and put her arm around me and said, she wants her mom. I feel my heart drop and I don't know what to do or say. Her mom came back to the hall and they got a gown on her and the doctor was there washing up, he looks at me as I am crying and said to the nurse does she not want her in there and the nurse said yes but she wants her mom too, they will only let 1 person in with her. He said come on let's go your son is about to be born. The next few minutes were nothing I will ever be able to put into words and I feel bad that Joe was not able to be there with me. I do know that I knew in the instant my life was never going to be the same again, even if this baby didn't leave this hospital with me, my life was going to be changed. I have only ever experienced that kind of instant love 2 other times in my life, but yet it was so different.
The next 48 hours were spent sleeping on the pull out bed in the hospital with "D". I think I left the hospital for a total of 3 hours and that was not even 3 straight hours. To some people it may seem a little strange that we did that, but we had become so close over the past few months. To be honest I think she needed that time with both Noah and I, to be ok with her decision. I got VERY little sleep those few days. Monday night I was up just nervous about Tuesday and then very little at the hospital. So needless to say by the end of the week I was spent. Thursday morning we found out that she and the baby would be discharged from the hospital. In so many ways this was bad, because she could not sign paper, they were called TPR, until Friday night. So we needed to get a plan together as to where she and the baby would go until then. Everyone was trying to talk her into staying at the hospital but she was sent on leaving. The more they tried to talk her into staying the worse it got. The hospital social worker came into talk to us before I left to go shower and get the car seat. The feeling I had that morning is a feeling I never want to feel again in my life. The social worker stopped me in the hall to see if everything was ok and how things were going. I lost it, I was hysterical crying, telling her I know that I was never going to see her or Noah again. I truly felt in my heart that she was going to be gone when I came back to get her and Noah. She and I talked a little and she promised she would go and speak with "D" and call me. I kept saying don't make me come back and find an empty room please don't. Not long after I got back to the hotel to shower she called and said that "D" was worried I wasn't going to come back for her and the baby. I realized at that moment that God wanted me to feel that way, to think I was never going to see the child I had grown to love and think of as my son. To feel so helpless in the situation. He wanted me to feel that way so I could feel what she was feeling so I could better understand and appreciate what was about to happen. I try not to think of that moment very often because I can't breath when I do. Anyway we returned to the hospital and "D" was there waiting for us. Plans were set up for her to stay in a room at the same hotel as us so we could all be close together. We had a wonderful evening visiting and spending time together, her parents came to visit and brought her 5 year son "T" to visit and he spent the night with her. She said she wanted 1 night with her two boys before Noah left, as hard as it was for me I could not stop her from taking him. At one point she was sitting on the sofa with Noah and was sobbing and talking real soft with him. Looking back now I realize she wa saying good-bye, but at that moment I didn't know. She went to her room to get "T" ready for bed and was coming back for Noah, she never did.
The next day was THE day, the social worker was coming at 7:30 pm for "D" to sign TPR. We took Noah to the doctor at 11:30. On the way back to the hotel "D" said she would like just her and I to spend sometime together. We left Noah with Joe and my mom and she and I went to lunch. We spent hours talking, talking about everything, our childhood, our dreams our goals. The things we both wish for Noah, things I think she wanted me to know to be able to tell him when the time comes. I found it so odd she didn't want to spend the time with Noah. We almost didn't make it back to the hotel in time for the social workers to come. We did get to spend a little bit of time with him and then the came. We all visited for a little bit and then they asked us to leave. We let them use our room so "D" would have some privacy as she made a decision that was going to change her life forever. We waited for what seemed like hours in the lobby of the hotel, in reality it was more like hour to an hour and a half. Our social worker rounded the corner and our eyes met and she smiled, and I lost it. I cried to finally be holding "our" child, for the craziness of the week that I did not speak about to be done and for the pain "D" must be feeling. Noah is perfect in every way and for being such a small little boy has answered so many prayers. My mom said to me your face is going to hurt from smiling and I said never besides I cried alot of tears to be able to smile like this.
This is where I feel things with this part of the story ends. Some of the things that happened since then I want to keep just for Noah.
We want to thank you all for coming along for this ride with us, for your love, support and prayers. The thing is the ride has just started. We plan on keeping with the blog and we move through this adopt and as Noah grows. So you are all invited to continue on the ride with us if you would like.
Thank you for everything.
Melinda, Joe and Noah
Thursday, February 16, 2012
We are on our way to our nephews 2nd birthday party, just another Saturday evening right. Then the chime on my phone rights, it is D we have been talking with each other for a few days now. She found us on a website we listed our profile on, sort of a networking type thing as we wait with our agency. It is always exciting when you make contact with a mom that is thinking of making an adoption plan. But it is also like don’t get too excited because the other shoe is going to fall, it always does. We spend most of the evening texting and then I get “the” text, I want you and Joe to adopt my child. I fell in love with your profile. Small party on the inside right! I can hardly keep it in and Joe and I sneak away for a second so I can tell him. A million thought run through my mind, we have talked to other mom’s in the past but none that have ever said I want you to adopt my child. We leaving it that we are going to talk on the phone the following day. How am I ever going to sleep tonight!
I made it through the night, not much sleep but made it. We went to church and ran some errands before D is to call. Now the waiting! Well we waited almost all day but she did call. She is the most amazing woman. We spent 2 hours on the phone talking about everything. Why she wants to place her child for adoption, why she chose us, what we both see for a relationship for us all in the future. D herself is adopted and only wants an open adoption of calls and emails and pictures, she just wanted to be able to sit down in the future and explain things and answer questions that she was never able to ask since she had a closed adoption. When it is time to get off the phone I know this will be the true test of if she is sincere about making an adoption plan. I tell her we are signed with an agency and everything needs to be done with them. I feel my heart fall as I tell her this because I don’t want to hear what she has to say because I love her and then it happens, she said the words… Not a problem I think it is best for us both to have an agency involved. Here is my address and my mom’s phone number, talk to your social worker and find out who I need to call. And then it happens I lose it, this might be happening! I know we have a lot to work out still but this is good right!?
It has been a whirlwind week. We were in contact with our agency to see what we needed to do and who D needed to get in touch with at the local agency in her state. Only to find out that our agency does not have an office in that state at all, they will need to find an agency to transfer us to. Great we have been down along road so far and now we need to get used to another agency. We get the information on the new agency and what will happen, we can’t be reading this right can we, the fees are less than ½ of what we thought they would be. Now we will have the money for travel, this is working way to well, something is going to happen, and it always does.
We have a great conservation with the social worker at the new agency, she is the sweetest girl. She explains some things to us and what our options are and what they can do for D. The first piece of advice given to us by the social workers at both agencies, since we will still be working with our agency here in PA as well, tell us to pay for an assessment to be done with D. Just for the social workers to get a feel of things and get back round information we may not get on our own. Joe and I instantly agree that we want to do this. So the meeting is set up with D and the social worker for next Tuesday and we should have a report Thursday or Friday.
I don’t even know where to begin as I sit to write this, so many thought and emotions are running in my mind. We got the assessment emailed to us late last night from our PA social worker. I sit for a long time this morning before opening it. This is either going to say this is it or run, run as fast as you can in the other direction. I finally open it and read it I have to do it eventually right. So I read it and email our PA social worker some questions we have and we both agree there are a few things that are not overly clear and we need more information on it. So I make it through the work day with all this going on in my head counting down the minutes until I get home and call our other social worker. The great thing about this is they are several hours behind us in time so I can still call her today. Joe and I call and have a conference call with her. We talk and she answers all our questions and we talk a little and she gives us her advice on moving forward. I start to cry and can’t control it. I just break down, everything emotions from this entire process comes out. I don’t think our social worker really knows what to say, I can only hear her say are you ok? I can’t even get the words out, so Joe answers with tears yes we are ok, we have just been matched with D! I never thought this day would come. I know we have a long road ahead of us and there will been good days and bad days, but there are those in life in general for now today is a good day. We have been matched! D is due on February 4th with a boy!
The past few weeks have had many ups and downs. I don’t understand many of the decisions D makes and the things she does. It keeps me up many nights worrying about her, and I mean her not the baby. Joe and I have grown to care about her so much over the past few weeks. A friend who also adopted said she wishes she had more direct contact with her child’s birth mother and all I can say is no you don’t. Yes building a relationship with D at our pace and being able to call when we are thinking of her is great. We are building that trust with each other to know we will each do what we say we are going to do is great. But with that also comes knowing all her problems and being involved in every bad decision. It has caused so many night crying and not knowing what to do to help her. Our social worker from the state D lives in has been a God sent, I don’t know what we would do without her during this process. One of our social workers from our agency was here today to update some paper work we need to be legal in the adoption world. The state D lives in has different laws that ours so we had some updates we needed to do. She also had many encouraging words for us during this process. Right now we are going on prayer and hope that things will work out.
January 4, 1012
D is due in 1 month from today. With each passing day new thoughts and nerves enter my mind and body. With each passing doubt I try my best to breath and get on bended knee to God. I have to be honest I don’t think D will make it to her due date, and I hope for her she goes a little early. See D is a very small girl and the last picture we got at Christmas, she is very large. Every day we talk to her she is saying about how much her back and shoulders hurt her from the weight on her tummy.
Things have been so busy with getting our stuff ready to go and the babies stuff, and getting a hotel lined up and cars and stuff. Plus getting things taken care of at work, thank God I have great employers and they have been so so supportive of this.
I think the next few weeks might be the longest of my life, but I will just try to stay busy and not think about it…easier said than done right!
January 13, 2012
Well D had a doctor’s visit today. Things are looking good and moving along slowly. They are still working on trying to get things together for her to have a c section for Joe and me to be there for his birth. There are so many emotions with each passing day. I have really highs thinking this could be happening and then really lows thinking my heart will be broken. I keep telling my mom that God won’t let my heart get hurt again, and I really believe that, most of the time!
So my mom and I went for pedi’s tonight thinking this might be our last “girls” night for awhile. Plus to just get my mind off of things and pass the time. Just as we get into the chair my cell phone rings and I know the number is to Dena’s doctor’s office. This could be it….well it wasn’t, it was just the phone call to say that a c section has been scheduled for the 31st. Not even 5 minutes later D calls, she is so excited, you will get to meet your son soon. We talk for a few minutes and then I get to relaxing…ya right. It hits me all at once and I break down. Every thought, every emotion, every tear to this point hits me in the middle of a nail salon, great! They are all going to think I am crazy, or more than I am. My mom and I talk, so this is our last “girls” night. It is decided then that we will fly out on Sunday the 29th. We will get to finally meet D and spend Monday with her. This is really happening.
January 28, 2012
Well we are packed and ready to go, our plane leaves tomorrow at lunchtime. All the years and tears and hopes and everything has come to this. I hope we don’t travel all that way to be let down. I wonder what D will think of us, what our first meeting will be like. What if she decides she doesn’t like us? What if she sees him and decides she can’t do this. Will I still love her if she does do that? But surely God would not have brought this far for it not to happen. I have so many thought running through my mind at this point, thought I can’t put into words and thought I really just want to keep to myself. I know that to this point we have been very open about things but some of this story is going to be kept to us and maybe someday for our son.
Once we get back I will post with all the details of our trip.
Melinda and Joe
Noah George was born in Las Vegas on January 31,2012 at 7:36 pm. He weighted 8 lbs. 6 oz. and was 19 inches long.
Thank you for all your love and support it has never gone unnoticed by us.
Like I said I promise that I will post the entire story this weekend.
Melinda, Joe and Noah