Tuesday, November 18, 2014

National Adoption Month / Anniversary

It's funny how the emotions of certain days never leave you.  It was 3 years ago today that we were officially matched with Noah's birth mother.   We had been in contact with her for a few weeks but were waiting on the agency to meet with her and get a good feeling of things.  Any match situation is a leap of faith to say the least but to go in and match with a birth mother across the country that you will never meet until the the baby is born 3 months later can be very scary.  The emotions still hit me this time every year like it was just last week.  I was so sure the agency was going to tell us it was a bad idea, that it wouldn't work.  As much as I told myself to guard my heart and not get attached and get our hopes up it was hard not to.  It was an instant connection, an instant feeling this is gonna work, this has to work.  God would not let me get my heart get hurt, and he didn't!
I would lie if I said that I think about him being adopted every single day because I don't.  We spend most days living life like a normal family.  We view Noah's birth family as family members we talk to a few times a week.  I don't say this to make them feel any less or down play their roll, but that is what we are 1 big family.  Then when I least expect it the emotions hit me like a ton a bricks, like when we are spending quiet time before bed, or he give me a hug and kiss and calls me mommy!  I know that my best days are mostly likely her worse days.  She shares the joy of holidays and birthday but I also know they come with pain for her, I would be naive to think they didn't.  But I also know she is at peace with her decision and we have worked to have the relationship we have.
Below are some pictures of Noah celebrating National Adoption Month at his amazing daycare!


Terrific Tuesday

describes so many things...

Friday, November 7, 2014

The Last Time

To say the past few days have been trying would be an understatement to say the least.  We have all had colds going on a week or more at our house and everyone is a little on the cranky side.  With my husband working 2nd shift there is no walk away time in the evenings for a sick mommy as well.  I am not telling you anything you all haven't been through before but it is still trying at times.  Last night I think I had hit that I have had enough point of Noah thinking he was a dog and eating out of a bowl on the floor and cleaning food up like 100 times and then him coming by where I was folding clothes and hanging dress clothes and tearing them off the hanger for no reason at all, I was over it.  I yelled at him smacked his butt and said it's bed time.  As we were spending our quiet time in his room rocking before he went to bed he wrapped his arms around me and said "Mommy I love you" but it doesn't come out as love, it is more uve, and gave me a big kiss I said and cried.  I cried because it had been a hard week, I cried because I had waited for so long for these moments, and have taken advantage of them the past few days.  I saw a post this morning and thought how fitting that I need to keep this in mind, that someday soon, he will say Love, and he won't want quiet rock time, and he won't want to pretend he is a puppy on the floor.  And I will long for these days again just like I did before.  Below is the poem I saw, I want to share it for everyone to read to remind them, that we need to just slow down sometimes.

The Last Time
From the moment you hold your baby in your arms you will never be the same
You might long for the person you were before
When you had freedom and time and nothing in particular to worry about
You will know tiredness like you never knew it before
And days will run into days that are exactly the same

Full of feedings and burping, Nappy changes and crying
Whining and fighting, Naps or lack of naps
It might seem like a never-ending cycle

But don’t forget….
There is a last time for everything
There will come a time when you will feed your baby for the very last time
They will fall asleep on you after a long day and it will be the last time you every hold your sleeping child
One day you will carry them on your hip then set them down and never pick them up that way again
You will scrub their hair in the bath at night and from that day on they will want to bathe alone

They will hold your hand to cross the road then never reach for it again
They will creep into your room at midnight for cuddles

And it will be the last night you ever wake to this
One afternoon you will sing “the wheels on the bus” and do all the actions then never sing them that song again
They will kiss you goodbye at the school gate then the next day they will ask to walk to the gate alone
You will read a final bedtime story and wipe your last dirty face
They will run to you with arms raised for the very last time

The thing is, you won’t even know it’s the last time
Until there are no more times…and even then, it will take you a while to realize

So while you are living in these times, remember there are only so many of them and when they are gone, you will yearn for just one more day of them.
For one last time –

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Dear Mom of an Adopted Child

I came across this in a blog the other day and had to share it.  I can't take credit for writing it Kathy Lynn Harris can.  It is like she has been in the heads of every adoptive mother.  I feel it is fitting to share it because it is National Adoption Month.

Dear Mom of an Adopted Child,
I met you in adoption education class. I met you at the agency. I met you at my son’s school. I met you online. I met you on purpose. I met you by accident.
It doesn’t matter. The thing is, I knew you right away. I recognize the fierce determination. The grit. The fight. Because everything about what you have was a decision, and nothing about what you have was easy. You are the kind of woman who Makes.Things.Happen. After all, you made this happen, this family you have.
Maybe you prayed for it. Maybe you had to convince a partner it was the right thing. Maybe you did it alone. Maybe people told you to just be happy with what you had before. Maybe someone told you it simply wasn’t in God’s plans for you to have a child, this child whose hair you now brush lightly from his face. Maybe someone warned you about what happened to their cousin’s neighbor’s friend. Maybe you ignored them.
Maybe you planned for it for years. Maybe an opportunity dropped into your lap. Maybe you depleted your life-savings for it. Maybe it was not your first choice. But maybe it was.
Regardless, I know you. And I see how you hold on so tight. Sometimes too tight. Because that’s what we do, isn’t it?
I know about all those books you read back then. The ones everyone reads about sleep patterns and cloth versus disposable, yes, but the extra ones, too. About dealing with attachment disorders, breast milk banks, babies born addicted to alcohol, cocaine, meth. About cognitive delays, language deficiencies. About counseling support services, tax and insurance issues, open adoption pros and cons, legal rights.
I know about the fingerprinting, the background checks, the credit reports, the interviews, the references. I know about the classes, so many classes. I know the frustration of the never-ending paperwork. The hours of going over finances, of having garage sales and bake sales and whatever-it-takes sales to raise money to afford it all.
I know how you never lost sight of what you wanted.
I know about the match call, the soaring of everything inside you to cloud-height, even higher. And then the tucking of that away because, well, these things fall through, you know.
Maybe you told your mother, a few close friends. Maybe you shouted it to the world. Maybe you allowed yourself to decorate a baby’s room, buy a car seat. Maybe you bought a soft blanket, just that one blanket, and held it to your cheek every night.
I know about your home visits. I know about your knuckles, cracked and bleeding, from cleaning every square inch of your home the night before. I know about you burning the coffee cake and trying to fix your mascara before the social worker rang the doorbell.
And I know about the followup visits, when you hadn’t slept in three weeks because the baby had colic. I know how you wanted so badly to show that you had it all together, even though you were back to working more-than-full-time, maybe without maternity leave, without the family and casseroles and welcome-home balloons and plants.
And I’ve seen you in foreign countries, strange lands, staying in dirty hotels, taking weeks away from work, struggling to understand what’s being promised and what’s not. Struggling to offer your love to a little one who is unsettled and afraid. Waiting, wishing, greeting, loving, flying, nesting, coming home.
I’ve seen you down the street at the hospital when a baby was born, trying to figure out where you belong in the scene that’s emerging. I’ve seen your face as you hear a nurse whisper to the birthmother that she doesn’t have to go through with this. I’ve seen you trying so hard to give this birthmother all of your respect and patience and compassion in those moments—while you bite your lip and close your eyes, not knowing if she will change her mind, if this has all been a dream coming to an abrupt end in a sterile environment. Not knowing if this is your time. Not knowing so much.
I’ve seen you look down into a newborn infant’s eyes, wondering if he’s really yours, wondering if you can quiet your mind and good sense long enough to give yourself over completely.
And then, to have the child in your arms, at home, that first night. His little fingers curled around yours. His warm heart beating against yours.
I know that bliss. The perfect, guarded, hopeful bliss.
I also know about you on adoption day. The nerves that morning, the judge, the formality, the relief, the joy. The letting out of a breath maybe you didn’t even know you were holding for months. Months.
I’ve seen you meet your child’s birthparents and grandparents weeks or years down the road. I’ve seen you share your child with strangers who have his nose, his smile … people who love him because he’s one of them. I’ve seen you hold him in the evenings after those visits, when he’s shaken and confused and really just wants a stuffed animal and to rest his head on your shoulder.
I’ve seen you worry when your child brings home a family tree project from school. Or a request to bring in photos of him and his dad, so that the class can compare traits that are passed down, like blue eyes or square chins. I know you worry, because you can protect your child from a lot of things — but you can’t protect him from being different in a world so intent on celebrating sameness.
I’ve seen you at the doctor’s office, filling out medical histories, leaving blanks, question marks, hoping the little blanks don’t turn into big problems later on.
I’ve seen you answer all of the tough questions, the questions that have to do with why, and love, and how much, and where, and who, and how come, mama? How come?
I’ve seen you wonder how you’ll react the first time you hear the dreaded, “You’re not my real mom.” And I’ve seen you smile softly in the face of that question, remaining calm and loving, until you lock yourself in the bathroom and muffle your soft cries with the sound of the shower.
I’ve seen you cringe just a little when someone says your child is lucky to have you. Because you know with all your being it is the other way around.
But most of all, I want you to know that I’ve seen you look into your child’s eyes. And while you will never see a reflection of your own eyes there, you see something that’s just as powerful: A reflection of your complete and unstoppable love for this person who grew in the midst of your tears and laughter, and who, if torn from you, would be like losing yourself.
--Kathy Lynn Harris

Sunday, September 28, 2014


I have been a little MIA over the past few months but am back and ready to get at it again.  Instead of writing a long post as an update I will just show a few pictures from our summer.  Other than the 7 weeks I spent down and out from surgery we had a great summer!

Monday, July 7, 2014


I just realized looking at my blog how long it has been since I last posted.  I have been dealing with alot of personal stuff and didn't really have time to blog nor had much I wanted to talk about or felt like talking about.
I had surgery on June 11th that was going to be a simple robotic surgery.  I was to spend 1 night in the hospital and have maybe 2 weeks off work.  Well things didn't go at all as planned.  They were not able to do the robotic surgery and had to cut me open, I had over 30 staples in my stomach.  I spent 4 nights in the hospital and have been staying with my parents since I got home because I am not able to lift Noah or even go up and down the steps at my own house.  They live in a 1 story house and having 2 sets of extra hands really has helped.  I don't know what we would do without my parents and to be honest I don't think I am going to want to go home!
Being off work that long without my income was a concern at first and has been in the back of my mind but I have loved the time off with Noah, it is time I never got when he was born and have really enjoyed being with him.  Watching him play in the yard, swim in the pool and just watching him with my dad.
My parents have been so great in making sure that I take the time I need to heal properly and not rush it so I am back in this boat again 5 or 10 years down the road.  So I am so thankful for them.  So that is a little bit of what is going on with me.  The financial worry is still there but I have decided to just let it in God's hands and not worry myself sick over it.
Now for a LONG over due Noah update.  He is grown like a bad weed.  We had him at the doctor a week ago for a little cold he had.  He is 34 inches tall and weighs 28 lbs.  He eats like a horse but is in constant motion so runs it off as fast as he puts it in.  He is so funny in things he does and has to say.  He new one is when he sees a plane or helicopter he comes running yelling "run..hide".  I have no idea what that is even about but it is so random and funny.  He will cover you mouth and "shhh" you if you are talking while he is watching tv.  He went camping several days with my parents last week and loved every second of it.  Almost a week later he still looks for the "chippies" he fed while they were there.  He has become a complete fish in the swimming pool and I feel confident in saying he will be swimming on his own by the end of the summer.  I love seeming him grow and becoming his own person.  It also makes me so sad at home much he has grown and how fast the time has gone by.
My hope is once I get back home and get back on a schedule I will start blogging more often.  I was in so much pain before surgery it took all I had to get through the day sometimes.  Please keep me in your thoughts over the next couple of weeks.  I feel sure that going back to work is going to be very hard on me since I never got the mommy time with Noah in the beginning it is going to be like leaving my baby for the first time.


Wednesday, May 7, 2014

The little things

There are so many times in life we all take the little things for granted.  For example I call my mother every day sometimes several times a day and never thought how lucky I was to just be able to do that.  Then in January when she had surgery I couldn't be there and she wasn't able to talk on the phone those few days of not being able to hear her voice hit me really hard!  What would I do without her, then it hit me my husband hasn't hear either of his parents voices in years.  Neither ever had the opportunity to meet his son!  How lucky mine are to see him grow everyday.
I take for granted I have food in my stomach and clothes on my back.  Yes most times Joe and I live pay check to pay check.  And times that isn't enough but for the most part not one of the 3 of us go without something.  We both have cars that run (for now anyway) a roof over our head and the love of family around us.
In talking to Noah's birth mother a few weeks ago about what we were getting our mother's for Mother's Day and what I thought Noah and Joe would get me this year it hit me with something she said.  I mean I LOVE the fact that she is comfortable enough to say what is Noah gonna get his mommy for Mother's Day!  I mean I want to cry now thinking about it, this is the woman who carried this child for 9 months and loved him and cared for him.  To say what is he gonna get his mommy and that happens to be me not her, wow!  I always tell people when they say I don't understand why you care, or why you talk to her, look at it this way.  She is a mommy in a way I never could be, and I am a mommy in a way she couldn't be at the time and together we are a perfect match for Noah.  Think about the love she had, to have for this child, to be able to say I can't care for him and place him in the arms of a woman she had know for 3 months and only met in person 48 hours before that.
In the conservation with her that evening we talked about the things Noah is doing as he is growing.  How he is learning something new everyday and learning colors, numbers, animals, and animal sounds.  Is he right handed or left (she is left that is why she asked).  Little things that most people would never even think to notice.  When I said he seems to be that he is going to be right handed because now that he is holding crayons and stuff it is with his right hand she said those are the things I miss, the scribbled on coloring pages that they think are master pieces!  We talked a little longer said our good-byes and made plans to talk soon!
A few nights later as I was standing in my kitchen cleaning up for the night I turned to get Noah's milk from the frig and I looked at all his Master Pieces he brings home daily from daycare.  I thought, God am I lucky to have my frig covered in these, all because of her!  But for weeks I have taken them for granted and thrown the old ones out as new ones come, let's be honest you can only keep so many of them.  So over the past couple weeks as the old ones come down they have been put in a special place in our home and kept to send to a special woman on a special day coming up.
I am secure enough in my position in Noah's life as his mother to say he is her flesh and blood I can't change that, nor would I want to!  The day before Mother's Day is Birth Mother's Day, yes is it a real day, and she will be receiving the little things in the mail from "our" amazing little boy!
So stop and enjoy the little things once in a while, out there someone is dying to just be able to experience them!


Thursday, May 1, 2014

Exciting News

I have been dying for weeks to be able to tell you all about this and I finally am! I am SO exited to announce that myself and a fellow adoptive mommy, my best friend Megan, have formed an adoption support group.  What To Expect Adoption Support is something that Megan and I have talked about for a long time about getting started.  After the first of the year we decided lets not just talk about it; lets do something about it.  So for the past few months we have been brainstorming and working to get our site up and running.  I am so proud to say today we launched our site live!!! We have so many amazing things in the works and plans for support.  Not just for adoptive families but for birth mothers and their families as well.  We have a couple partnerships in the works to make this all the more amazing.  
Please check out our information below, share and follow along to see the amazing things ahead!  We have big hopes and dreams for this group!

Thursday, April 10, 2014


I have been pretty quiet on here lately.  I have sat down a thousand times in the past month to write a post and just sit and look at the blank white screen screaming at me WRITE SOMETHING, SAY SOMETHING!  But I couldn't and didn't.  What do I write, what a mess my life feels to me right now?  How I feel everything is crashing down around me?  That I have made some pretty crappy decisions the past few weeks?  That I feel like the worse person in the world at times?  Yet at times I feel like I have finally stood up for myself and said I can't do this anymore!  I feel like I am being pulled in a million different directions and don't know which is the right way or wrong way to go.  I don't know who to trust and believe in.  Why is it that life as an adult is harder than life as a teenage.  Isn't it supposed to get easier because we are older and wiser?  I have been making steps to get things figured out and get back on track and that is all I can do at this point. Life really throws you some curve balls sometimes and I guess it is all a matter of if you step up to the plate and swing or sit back and watch.  I am swinging and missing sometimes but I guess at least I am trying.  I let to much get in my head and hold me back.  What people will say or think or do.  I would love to say no more but I know that is never going to happen that isn't me.  I am who I am and can't change that.  I just need to remember that I am also a strong, determined woman, who goes after anything she wants and most times gets it.  Yes it will take hard work and some people trying to push me down and make me doubt myself but I need to just look past that.

I do have some good things in the works for the blog and the adoption community in general.  I wish I had some more details about it but it is all still in the works and we are trying to work out some of the details for stuff still.  I have had the thoughts and ideas for this in my head for months and my best friend and I have talked about it and we have now taken action on it.  It was at a point of listen we can either say we wish or we should or we can just jump in and see what happens!  I am not sure how it will work out or what will come of it but I can at least sit back and say at least I tried and followed yet another dream.  Or I can say wow look at what an amazing thing this has become.  When I think is this crazy to do I look at Noah and think look what came of the last big dream you had!  I need to remember I am stronger than I give myself credit for.  It is going to take hard work and figuring out how to juggle everything but great things don't come easy; they come to those who work for them.  So please stick around to see how things come together.

Oh my gosh. This is perfect timing!!! My life in California begins in just 3 weeks

Thursday, February 27, 2014

She's Amazing

I want to start by thanking everyone who has been praying for my mother and family over the past month or so.  Also thank you for understanding that I didn't want to go into details at the request of my mom.  This past Monday she finally got a bit of good news and she was finally ready to talk about things and tell people what was going on.  Below is the post she put on her facebook page:

In November, I was having a great deal of pain and started some tests. EGD showed nothing. We moved on to the stress test. I failed it and had a stent inserted on December 11 or 12. When they did the chest xray for the stent, the doctor found a tumor in my right lung. Hence, the prayers. After consulting with a doctor in Pittsburgh, he did surgery on January 23. The tumor was cancer. After all the tests came back, all cancer cells were totally contained to the tumor. All surrounding tissue was negative. Today, I had an appointment with the Oncologist and got the actual first good news in a long couple of months. No Chemo or Radiation needed.

Again, thank you all for the prayers and God does answer.

This is the compressed version of what took place, she failed to mention that she had to have part of her lung removed with the tumor.  That is not important the fact that she is ok is what is important.  As you can imagine this rocked my world (as well as the rest of my families) to the core.  What started out as a simple EGD for heart burn turned to a heart cath and stent being put in to lung cancer, all in the matter of 3 weeks. And I might add all of this between Thanksgiving and Christmas.  It was a long few weeks, but during it all my mothers strength and faith was beyond anything I can find words for.  Never 1 time during all of this did I see my mother cry, get angry or be upset.  She was the one who was strong for all of us.  I can't say how she was behind closed door or at night when no one could see her, or how she feels about it all now.

I will say what I learned about my mother over the past few months is something I will keep with me forever.  I have learned more about her faith in God in the past few months than ever before.  Not that we were not faithful people before but during a time when most people question and run away, she ran right to her faith and let it wrap her with love and protection.  She is one of the strongest people I know and can only hope to be that strong myself and to tech my son to be that way as well.  I also saw the way my parents relationship strengthened, not that they don't already have an amazing relationship but it was different.  My mother has always been the care taker for everyone, always putting everyone before herself, so this way hard.  Yes she has had things done in the past, two knee replacements and a hip replacement but this was different, this was unknown, this was scary.  This could have been life or death!  She still have the recovery ahead of her but she gets stronger everyday.  She has 1 more surgery in a couple of weeks so please pray for her for that as well.

My mother and I have not always had the best relationship, I was a very high maintenance, stubborn teen and made it hard on her but over the past 10 years she has become my best friend and in the past 2 months she has become one of my hero's!

Much Love


Monday, February 17, 2014

Cabin Fever

This has been such a long cold winter with more snow that I care to talk about here in Western PA.  We have had more days in negative temperatures than I can even remember and it pretty much snows 3 plus inches a day.  The snow piles are so high at the ends of driveways most people can't even see to get out.  We have to shovel paths in the yard for the dog to go out and you can't see our neighbors first 3 steps going to their front porch.  People are having to shovel roofs and have ice several feet long hanging from houses.  The snow on our back deck is almost as high as our patio table.  Add a two year old to the mix as well and you have a ticking time bomb in the making.  You know you have a problem when you fight with your husband over a $2.00 bottle of soda!  I am more and more convinced that we need to encourage Noah to go to college some place warm and then stay there so Joe and I can retire there with him and his family!

This snow on the side with the banister is thrown so high it is higher than the SUV I drive.
This is our neighbors steps. 
The angle of this picture doesn't really show how high the snow is.

I am not a great winter weather person to begin with, so this winter has been really hard.  I used to be embarrassed to say it but I get the winter blues so bad, I mean really bad, but this year is worse than anything I remember.  I am a warm weather person, I love the sun and sand, the warmth of it on my skin.  I love to be in the water or near the water, I swear my parents switched me at birth with the wrong family!  I don't belong in the mountains of Pennsylvania.  My feet don't belong in thick wool socks with heavy winter boots on them, no matter how cute they are!  Seeing my parents swimming pool buried in feet of snow just depresses me even more, because I don't think it will ever melt enough for us to swim this summer. 
As I said earlier, on top of being stuck in the house add a 2 year old to it, plus the issue with my mom.  The last time we had this much snow we were in the early process of adoption looking for an agency, doing research things like that.  So being stuck in the house was no big deal!  I could do research, get the nursery together, heck watch a movie or even take a nap no big deal.  This time around is so different.  I love my son so much so please don't think I am complaining.  I have loved the one on one time with him and watch him develop so much over the winter.  But he has become VERY attached so even going to the bathroom has become difficult.  Most days a boom has gone off in my living room and I am embarrassed to say the below pictures were taken on a calm, clean afternoon. 

I know this to shall pass.  My winter blues will go away and my summer joy will be here soon.  I will look back and miss this time with Noah, because he won't want to be in the house with me soon.  He won't care that I left the room to hide in the bathroom for a few minutes.  Yes I did just say that please don't judge me!  I will miss having to clean up trucks, trains and building blocks.  I will miss watching him learn new things each day, like his animal sounds, and new words.  Him interacting with the shows on television.  Thinking about all the time I have had with Noah this winter and the time I will never get back might help me to get through the remainder of this winter.
I guess there is a silver lining to every dark cloud!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

2 years old

Wow Noah, I can't believe it!  You are 2 now, where has the time gone!  Your growing into your own person now and are so independent about everything!  Your talking like crazy now and picking up everything others say and do.  Right now the words of the moment are mine, icky (Mickey), choo choo and help! Help is used at all times and all places so it can get a little embarrassing! 
You started a new daycare last week because grandma isn't able to watch you now and you have adjusted so well.  It amazes me how easily you adapt to new things.  You have no fear of anything, sometimes that worries me but others it makes me happy.  Having that quality will get you far in life. I see a lot you myself in you with that and hope you never lose it like I did a little bit.
Not a day goes by that you don't make me laugh with something silly you have done, like try to walk around with your pants at your ankles, pull a funny face, wear my shoes or just act silly.  You melt my heart daily too with you random hugs, smiles and kisses for no reason what so ever.  Like at bedtime right before you fall asleep you will sit up and give me a kiss like it has to be the last thing you need to do before you fall asleep.
I love to watch your eyes as your experiencing new things or even old things and think they are the most amazing things in the world!  The joy in your face is just amazing to me and I can't stop thinking of how lucky that I am that I was chosen to be your mommy.
I think my most favorite thing is hearing you say mommy!  It is a name I will never get tired of being called.  I love when you just call mama mama when your looking for me in the house.  Or when I get home from work, your so excited to see me as if I am the most amazing person if your life.  You have really become a mommy's boy these past few months.
I can't wait to see what this upcoming year has to bring for you and how you will grow and explore life.