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