Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Terrific Tuesday


Adoption Blogger Interview Project 2013

Last year I had such a great time and experience with the Interview exchange I couldn't wait until this November and Adoption Month came around.  I made a life long friend with my partner Susan last year from Susan & Mitch hope to Adopt.  There were so many people who signed up this year it was broken down into 3 groups, you can find a listing of them all here.  You can also read all the interviews from the 3rd group which I am a part of here.

This year I was matched with Kelly from Surprised By Hope.  Kelly and her husband are the parents to two daughters S who is 4 and A who is just a few months old; both added to their family through domestic adoption.  It was a joy reading Kelly's blog and catch up on the past 5 years of the process to adopt S her growing up and the journey to adopt A.  She blogs about her faith in the Lord, everyday life, raising two daughters in a transracial family and many other things.  There were so many funny joyful moments but there were moments I had tears in my eyes because as a female waiting to adopt I knew how she felt, as a woman not being able to have children I knew how she felt.  The one that got me the worse was a moment when S met her baby sister A and as a mother I knew she she felt with some of the questions S asked.  I really hope you stop over and check her blog out.  I look forward to following along with her now.  You can also read my interview at her page as well at Surprised By Hope.  

Have you been able to take any time off work with the placement of A?  If so how long and have you gone back to work yet?
  I was able to take about 2.5-3 weeks off work. Definitely not the full 12 weeks I had with our oldest daughter. But for any new people stopping by my blog for the first time we had an adoption placement from foster care at the beginning of the year that did not work out (for privacy reasons I took down those posts and can not share details publicly) and I used up a lot of my FMLA. So I didn't have much time left. But I tried to make the most of my time home with her. Then my Mom came down from Ohio to care for her for my first week back to work, then my husband's mom who lives nearby kept her for 2 weeks too. So that has been a huge blessing. 
When we were filling out our profile information during our homestudy I have to admit it was very hard to decide what to do when the question of race came up.  We live in a 99% white community.  We were worried about our child fitting in if they were of another race.  We felt life is hard enough on it's own and then to add in a factor that could be controlled was hard, we did end up saying yes and decided we would move if we had to. God had led us this far he would help us through that too.  How hard was that decision for you?
 I grew up in a multiracial extended family and I grew up in the North in a diverse city. I was also the child who always played with all the dolls that didn't look like me. I knew from a very young age I wanted to adopt and I was pretty sure they wouldn't look like me. After we married we moved into a diverse part of town intentionally. I felt very uncomfortable in some ways being in an all white community. So we intentionally bought our house a couple years ago in a diverse neighborhood with diverse schools, and have chosen diverse doctors/dentist offices and a very diverse church. But I can completely understand families who are not in the same place we are. I believe every child needs a home, no matter the race, and prospective adoptive parents need to really think long and hard about all of the numerous lists you have to go through on the paperwork. I think it would be a very different life for our girls if they were the only children who looked like them growing up. 
I know you said you had a comment made to you when S was a baby do you still run into that?
I haven't run into it lately. I think part of that was that we were so young when we adopt S. I think people thought they could say anything they felt like and she was too little to understand them. As she's gotten older the comments have stopped for the most part. The comments we get now are more about whether we will adopt again or if we will try to conceive, but of course they aren't always the terms that we believe are appropriate around our girls. 
I love the fact you have an open adoption with S's birth mother, it seems as if it has come so easy for you.  I know it is new with A's birth mother but do you see the same type of relationship with her down the road?
We love our open adoption with S's birth mother/first mom. For the most part it has come easy. The first year was the hardest. I had a hard time with guilt--my greatest joy is her greatest pain. And I was so worried before every visit. But once we got there and we saw each other everything went smoothly. And the planned 2 hour visit turned into an all day event. So I do hope that we have the same relationship with A's first mom. One of the reasons she chose us is because she loved our open adoption with A's first mom. I think it will take a little more work because of distance, but we have stayed in touch. Again, I think emotions for everyone run so high the first year, and everyone is trying to settle into their "role" in A's life. I just try to fulfill our promises to the best of our ability and pray that she continues to find peace in her decision. 
I gathered from your blog that A was born in the same town that S's birth family is in, do you know if the birth mother's stayed in touch to support each other?
So yes, the girl's first families are in the same town. We just had a visit with S's first mom a couple weeks ago and I asked if they had kept in touch. But they didn't exchange numbers when they met. So no, so far they haven't. I'm sure if we go back to visit we'd do something together at least once again. I know they both love seeing the girls together. :) 

I have to admit I sat and had tears in my eyes when you said that S asked what would happen if A got bigger and they fought more or less.  You were correct that  growing a family through adoption is different.  I don't think there is a right or wrong answer because each situation is so different.  But knowing what effect it has on S would you still be open to taking at risk placement from the foster system again? 
I feel like this is the our biggest question right now, and one we wrestle with still. After the siblings left in April I swore I'd never be able to do it again unless they could return to us. But to be honest I still find myself looking at the 100,000 kids waiting in the US foster care who are legally free for adoption, so no risk. And I have a hard time saying, no- we will never do foster adoption again. I think we made some mistakes in how we prepared S for the process. And we didn't realize how much it would affect her and she's such a deep thinker. I think we'd have to give her a bigger voice in our decision and I think we'd do a lot more to prepare her for the possibility that they may not be her forever brothers/sisters. That we will love them while they are here. Now we are trying to soak up every day with our two girls. Because we never know what tomorrow may bring. 

I would like to thank Heather at Open Adoption Bloggers for having such a great website for everyone involved in adoption to gather and get to know each other.   With out her I would not have found so many amazing women I can relate to.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Fall update

It has been a very busy fall for us here; and the holiday season doesn't look like it will be any different.  I wanted to share a few pictures from our fall adventures, we went to the zoo, a pumpkin patch & some trick or treating.  Only in Western PA do you need rain boots for that!!





Friday, November 8, 2013


Wednesday nights have become mommy and Noah night, because Joe works late that night.  I really love the 1 on 1 time with him.  Yes as a almost 2 year old (did I really just type that)  he can push you to the limit, but I do enjoy the time.  We get to have dinner just the two of us, and play time, bath time and snuggle time before bed.
He has grown so much the past few months and is really becoming his own little person.  Not a day goes by that I don't sit and laugh at something new he does or has to say.  Yes at most times it is not legible words but you can tell by the tone and stance when he does it he is pissed about something and telling you off.  And when he wants something he wants it and doesn't care how you feel about it.  For instance he was doings something the other night and I told him "NO".  He stopped doing it went and got his backpack out of his toy box and brought it to me to put on him, which he does that often.  He then walks out of the room and turns to me and waves and said "bye" (his version of bye sounds like die, he does it like he is singing it to you).  I guess if I wasn't going to let him stand on the couch he was going to run away.  I mean he is 2 how does he know that.  There are other times he brings you a book and will sit and tell you a story as he turns the pages like he is reading it to you.  He is a lover of books just like his mommy.  But he is just as much boy with his love of cars and trucks.  He brings so much laughter and happiness into our life I can't imagine him not in it.
Even with all the great joys in my life there are still days my heart aches for the things that never will be.  To some people that may sound so selfish as if I don't have enough or if Noah isn't enough.  I love Noah with every ounce of my being and would die for him; I don't ever want that to be questioned.  My entire life all I have ever wanted to be was a mother and yes I am one, but I wanted more than 1 child.  I can't just say to my husband lets have a baby and have a baby the old fashion way.  I have to say lets have a baby fill out tons of paper work, pay ton's of money and wait for years to get matched with a birth mother.  I mean  everyone knows adoption is expensive but know one talks about the fees and the loan payments some have and other things.  We have been paying on the loan to pay the fees for Noah's adoption for 3 years, and have at least 2 more left.  I for the life of me don't understand why it is so expensive but it is and if it is what you choose to do then you accept it.  You don't have to like it but you accept it.
That doesn't mean that there aren't times I ache to know what it is like to have my child move in my tummy and all the good and bad that goes along with it.  It doesn't mean that I don't ache to be able to bring another child into my family, no matter how they come there.  Most days I am ok with things, I really am happy in my life, and am blessed beyond words.  But the longing to make Noah a big brother is so strong lately.  I worry about him down the road being an only child, not having anyone when something happens to Joe and I.  These are the times it is a sad reminder that my body has failed me in so many ways and at this current time is again.  I wouldn't change a thing about how my life is and the things I have experienced to get me to where I stand today.  I think God know that Noah's birth mother, Noah, Joe and I would all need each other at just the right time in life.  I think it was all part of the bigger plan, and I know that God has great things planed for my life and my entire families life, but for right now I have a bit of an aching heart for the things that won't be.