Wednesday, January 30, 2008
if you are new to this series, please start here and follow the links.
We leave the hospital and go to a nearby deli for lunch. We order our sandwiches and sit in silence for awhile. Neither of us are eating and neither of us is talking. Both of us are lost in our thoughts and emotions. We are not aware of our surroundings or of each other. Something finally snaps between us and we are aware of each other and the food sitting in front of us. We look at each other, smile tentatively, and we are back in the moment.
We both have the same fears taking root in our heads and hearts. We talk about it, we pull up the roots before they settle in and sprout. We smile again and talk about how beautiful our daughter is. We marvel in the fact that we are parents...finally we are parents. We eat our sandwiches and try to decide if we have been gone long enough. We are anxious to be back. Our arms are aching to hold our precious daughter. We have been parents for 3 hours and already we feel the longing for her. That is it...we have to go back...we can't wait any longer. We have been gone for only 30 minutes.
As we are entering the hospital, A's parents are leaving. We stop to talk with them. They tell us how beautiful Cassie is and how happy they are for us. They tell us that A is resting now and Cassie is back in the nursery waiting for us. Tears are in their eyes, they form in mine. They are grandparents now, but not really. They have also been in our shoes 18 years ago. A was adopted in an open adoption eerily similar to this adoption. The emotions we are feeling have been felt by them all those years ago. Eighteen years later, they are on the other side.
Adoption was very near and dear to all of us that day. I was also adopted. My adoption was closed, that was how they did it in those days. I have no idea who my birth parents were, or are. That day I saw and felt what they went through on the day I was born. A was adopted in an open adoption, but she had lost track of where her birthmother was. She did have her name and had the potential to find her. A is now a birthmother herself, she is now experiencing what her birthmother went through on the day she was born. A's parents are adoptive parents and now also birth grandparents. They know the emotions we are experiencing, they are now realizing the emotions A's birthgrandparents experienced on the day A was born. A full circle of love and emotion, loss and pain.
We enter the nursery, scrub up, don a lovely yellow gown and reaquaint ourselves with our daughter. She has become more lovely in the past hour while we were gone. We find our rocking chair and rock, cuddle, love, and talk. Peace fills our hearts once again. We are complete, we are whole.
Mid afternoon the phone in the nursery rings. A requests the baby again and she wants us also. The nurses allow us to roll Cassie's bassinet to her room. A is in wonderful spirits. We have a wonderful visit with her. She holds Cassie and we are able to take a beautiful picture of the two of them. We marvel at how perfect she is and thank her profusely for giving us this precious gift. We cry and we hug and we laugh and we talk.
We decided before Cassie's birth that our adoption would be as open as A would like it to be. We were open to anything - visits, letters, phone calls, pictures...whatever she wanted. A decided that all she wanted was a picture and letter in 6 months, but we made a pact that we would always know the whereabouts of each other. If either of us moved, we would forward our new address to each other. I asked A to write a letter to Cassie that I would give her at an appropriate time. She agreed, actually, she had already started one. I told A that if she changed her mind about visits, all she had to do was call and let me know. We were open to anything. We would not deny her a letter, picture, phone call, visit....we loved her and trusted her, just as she trusted us and loved us enough to allow us to parent her daughter.
We finally left the hospital that evening and drove home. Many phone calls were made. Friends and family members were over the moon with excitement. We would be bringing home our daughter, their granddaughter, their neice the next day. We knew we needed sleep...we knew we would not sleep....we were right....we didn't sleep.
The next day we drove back to the hospital and went immediately to A's room. She was up and in good spirits again, she was amazing! We told her we were going to bring Cassie home that morning and asked her if she wanted to see her again. A told us that she had Cassie in her room last night after we left and she said her goodbyes at that time. She told us that she did not want us to bring Cassie to her that morning. My heart broke for her. We hugged and cried, thanked her again, told her we loved her. I promised a letter and picture in 6 months. I again told her that if she changed her mind about letters or visits, to please let me know. One more hug, more tears and we walked out of her room and entered into parenthood.
We entered the nursery and the nurses were waiting for us. They were very excited for us and very sad for A. This was their first open adoption and they were very impressed by the level of love and respect all of us had for each other. Cassie was dressed in her special 'going home' outfit and we began our journey home.
Our Journey to Parenthood began 7 years ago on the day we were married. In that 7 years there were many potholes and curves along the way. Rivers of tears flowed, many disappointments. We climbed to the highest peaks and descended into the lowest valleys. Those 7 years culminated into this day....the day we walked out of the hospital carrying our new daughter. The potholes and curves of our journey were forgotten....we were looking ahead into our new journey...Our Journey of Parenthood.
stay tuned for an Epilogue and Life in Pictures of Cassie....
Thank you everyone for your kind words and hugs on my previous post. They mean so much to us!! I spoke with the vet yesterday and because of Zack's other health issues, he has pancreatitis, we have decided not to give him anymore meds. One of the meds used to treat this cancer is prednisone and that would exasperate his pancreatitis. When he has a flare up of that he is violently ill. We want to spare him of that at all costs. We don't know how fast this cancer will progress....time will tell. We are going to keep him comfortable and enjoy every minute we have with him.
Zack has been an awesome dog and a wonderful companion. We will know when the time comes. We have done this before with our beloved Koni. She died 3 years ago at the age of 15. It is very hard and painful, but it is also peaceful because you know you are doing the right thing.
On another note....my son is home sick today so I am housebound and plan on writing the next and final installment in Our Adoption Journey....
Don't forget to enter my contest ... the winner will be drawn at random on Friday. There have been some wonderful acts of kindness performed this week!!
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
Is that a face only a mother could love? If you knew this guy, you would love him too! He is 120 pounds of pure love and joy. He will be 10 years old next month, and we just found out that he has malignant Grade 3 mast cell tumor. Our hearts are breaking.
His name is Zack and he came into our lifes as an 8 week old puppy. He weighed 15 pounds that day and we had no idea he would get so big. He is a boxer/lab cross and has the best of both breeds in him. We think he is like Clifford the Big Red Dog....he grew so big because of all the love he was given. Zack has given it back two fold.
He is my shadow, follows me everywhere. Always looking to me, making sure all is well. I can no longer say the word "walk" without instantaneous excitement. We started spelling it...he figured that out also. He is our Big Galoot...he has captured everyone's heart.
Why does it have to hurt so bad? I can't stop crying....we all can't stop crying.
We have decided to just do palliative care at this point. We don't want him to suffer at all. When the time comes, we will give him peace and let him go with dignity....God, please give us strength to know when the time is right.
Zack has given us so much in his 10 years.....We love you Big Guy.
Monday, January 28, 2008
I was so lovingly tagged by 3 of my nearest and dearest last week. I am going to lump them all together in one post...so here goes nothing....everything you always wanted to know about me and then some....
My first tag was by Jennifer and it went something like this....
1. WERE YOU NAMED AFTER ANYONE ? yes, my middle name is Patricia, after my dad Patrick
2. WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU CRIED? today in church, I saw an old classmates mother and she looked old, made me sad!!
3. DO YOU LIKE YOUR HANDWRITING? sometimes, if I am not in a hurry
4. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE LUNCH MEAT? salami, but I don't have it too often, not very healthy
5. DO YOU HAVE KIDS? yes, 2
6. IF YOU WERE ANOTHER PERSON WOULD YOU BE FRIENDS WITH YOU? Of course I would, wouldn't you!!
7. DO YOU USE SARCASM A LOT? absolutely, positively
8. DO YOU STILL HAVE YOUR TONSILS? Nope
9. WOULD YOU BUNGEE JUMP? Not in a million years..no way
10. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CEREAL? Maple Pecan Crunch by Trader Joes
11. DO YOU UNTIE YOUR SHOES WHEN YOU TAKE THEM OFF? No….that would expend too much energy
12. DO YOU THINK YOU ARE STRONG? Yes, emotionally and physically
13. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ICE CREAM? Ben and Jerry Cherry Garcia
14. WHAT IS THE FIRST THING YOU NOTICE ABOUT PEOPLE? Their teeth…sorry, part of my job
15. RED OR PINK? red
16. WHAT IS THE LEAST FAVORITE THING YOU LIKE ABOUT YOURSELF? My checkbook balance
17. WHO DO YOU MISS THE MOST? My millionaire Sugar Daddy
18. WHAT COLOR PANTS AND SHOES ARE YOU WEARING? blue pajama pants with stars on them, black slippers
19. WHAT WAS THE LAST THING YOU ATE? a milk chocolate truffle
20. WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW? my heater and my son blowing his nose!!!
21. IF YOU WERE A CRAYON, WHAT COLOR WOULD YOU BE? forest green...I love the forest!!
22. FAVORITE SMELLS? puppy breath, babies, roses, earth, baking
23. WHO WAS THE LAST PERSON YOU TALKED TO ON THE PHONE? my best friend for the past 30 years...where has the time gone???
24. FAVORITE SPORTS TO WATCH? soccer
25. HAIR COLOR? real color - brown with blonde highlights
26. EYE COLOR? depends on mood, can range from red to green
27. DO YOU WEAR CONTACTS? no, glasses
28. FAVORITE FOOD? any, I don't discriminate
29. SCARY MOVIES OR HAPPY ENDINGS? Happy….I am a chicken
30. LAST MOVIE YOU WATCHED? Alvin and the Chipmunks
31. WHAT COLOR SHIRT ARE YOU WEARING? black
32. SUMMER OR WINTER? both, love the different seasons...
33. HUGS OR KISSES? both
34. FAVORITE DESSERT? anything chocolate
35. WHAT BOOK ARE YOU READING NOW? A Thousand Splendid Summers....great read!!
36. WHAT IS ON YOUR MOUSE PAD? don't have one
37. WHAT DID YOU WATCH ON T.V. LAST NIGHT? didn't watch TV last night
38. FAVORITE SOUNDS? laughter, especially deep belly laughs on kids
39. ROLLING STONES OR BEATLES? neither
40. WHAT IS THE FARTHEST YOU HAVE BEEN FROM HOME? England, Wales
41. DO YOU HAVE A SPECIAL TALENT? too many to list!!
42. WHERE WERE YOU BORN? Alameda, California
Whew, that was a long one.....I won't officially tag anyone for that one....if you care to do it..let me know...
Now on to the next one...
This tag came from Cynthia and here are the instructions...
Link to the person that tagged youPost the rules on your blogShare six non-important things/habits/quirks about yourselfTag six random people at the end of your post by linking to their blogsLet each random person know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their website.
1. I always look at people's teeth and if they are dirty, my fingers itch to clean them.
2. I have a "pile" fetish...I have piles all over my house of stuff I am working on, or papers to go through.
3. I wash off my back patio with Pine Sol every week to get rid of doggy smell....I hate doggy smell, but I love my dogs!!
4. I hate to have dirty dishes in the sink and will not go to bed or leave the house until they are dealt with.
5. I hate telemarketers and have been known to f*** with them until they get so exasperated they hang up on me.
6. I give my cats a bath once a month.
Okay...that wasn't so hard....now to tag people...Oh, I don't know...how about YOU....yes you reading this right now...go ahead and do it and let me know so I can find out how weird you are!!!
Now for the next and final tag....this one was by Meg ....hey...wait a minute..it is the same one as above....Yea, I already did it!!!
Enough about me now...how about you???
Sunday, January 27, 2008
So continuing in the spirit of "being interested in people", I would like to know, or see, what's on, in or under your bedside table! So open those draws and bare your soul to us! Is there anything special there that has a story or a memory that you can tell us about? Books that you keep there to delve into from time to time? Trinkets that you don't know where else to put? Let's see!
Just to warn you...this may not be a pretty sight, especially if you have OCD tendencies and like your space to be nice and orderly! OK, don't say I didn't warn you......
Oh look...a little treasure. This bookmark was made by my son. I will often find little treasures like this on my book piles. Totally unexpected and random...I love them!!
Speaking of treasures. I found this treasure in my mailbox today. It was sent to me by my dear blogging friend Irene from Word Lovers Unite. It is her book of poems and I can't wait to delve into it tonight!!!
Saturday, January 26, 2008
if you are just joining us, please start here and follow the links to this post
Five Days. In Five Days our dream would come true. We would be parents. We will become a Family of Three. We will lose our DINK (double income no kids) status, and we could not be happier.
Those five days were a whirlwind. We were afraid they would creep by, but they didn't. Our home was ready to welcome a newborn. Our families were ready to welcome their first grandchild and first neice. It was a very exciting time. Not only were we becoming parents for the first time, our parents were becoming grandparents for the first time. Both grandmothers were very excited to be having a granddaughter!!
Finally, the morning of May 31, 1995 is arrived. A is scheduled to have her C-section at 8:30 in the morning. It is a Wednesday, which means traffic for us driving to the hospital. We don't want to be late, how horrible would that be?? We leave our house at 6:30 to make the drive to the hospital. Traffic is light, we are there in plenty of time. We are so excited, we can barely contain ourselves. I don't think our feet touched the ground when we walked. We were literally floating with giddiness.
During A's pregnancy we obtained a doula for her at her request. This woman was a godsend. She was a highly spiritual woman and had a peaceful, serene demeanor. Her name was Debra, we called her an angel. She met with A during her pregnancy, answered questions, formed a bond. She was going to help her through labor. When the C-section plan went into effect, Debra stayed also, even though there would not be a labor. We are very thankful she did....she was a godsend this day.
We walked into the hospital and went up to the labor and delivery floor. We immediately saw A's parents and gave them a hug. They were very worried and anxious for their daughter, but they were also very excited for us. We still cannot believe the level of generosity this family bestowed upon us. A had already been given her spinal and unfortunately, she was very sick from it and was not up to visitors. Debra came out of her room and gave us a hug, told us all was well, A was a bit nauseous, but OK, her spirits were up. The doctor came out of the room to talk to us while they were transporting A to the operating room. He told us that we would be able to go into the nursery immediately after the birth. Apparently the nursery was connected to the OR and when we saw a baby brought in "through that door, that is your baby and come in" were his exact words. The surgery should only take about 20 minutes he said and then he left.
And we waited....and we waited....20 minutes felt like 20 hours. We visited with A's parents for a while. We then planted ourselves outside the nursery window, watching, waiting. This was the first adoption the hospital had participated in....let me clarify...the first open adoption like ours. The nurses were excited about the event also.
Finally, the door opens and in walks the doctor carrying the most beautiful baby we had ever seen. He holds her up to show us and motions us to come in. We go to the door, get buzzed in and wash up. A nurse calls over to us - "What is her name?". We answer - "We don't know. We need to see her." The nurse holds her up and both say at the same time - "Her name is Cassie."
By this time we are scrubbed up and have gowns on and are able to go over to this precious bundle to touch her for the first time, to look at her, to feel instantaneous love. Tears are rolling down our faces. Debra walks into the nursery to be with us. A is fine, she tells us, she is finishing up and will be transported to a room. At this point Cassie opens her eyes for the first time. Debra points this out to us and says - "Her spirit is entering her body right now and she is happy. She knows you are her parents and is peaceful and happy about it." Tears flow again...or did they ever stop?
At some point I remember that A's parents are watching through the window. I turn to them, with tears in my eyes and mouth the words - "She is beautiful". They nod at me with tears rolling down their face, then they turn to their daughter to comfort and be with her, as I turn back to my daughter.
The nurses don't quite know what to do with us. Once Cassie gets placed in my arms I don't let go. I find a rocking chair and hold her, talk to her, smell her, love her...I let Dave hold her for a while until my arms start itching for her again. We sit, we rock, we talk, we laugh, we cry. At one point the nurses looked for a room to put us in, but there wasn't one available. We are happy in our corner, in our rocker, getting to know each other.
Around 11:30 the phone to the nursery rings. It is A and she asked the nurses to bring her the baby for a visit. We asked if she wanted us to come down also and the nurse said no, just the baby.
Deep down we trusted A, we knew this precious baby was our daughter, the daughter that had been growing in our heart and soul for years....we still panicked. Was she changing her mind? Will she hold her, smell her, love her, will her heart melt like ours had? Will she decide that she can't go through with the adoption plan?
All those thoughts went through our heads as we watched the nurses take the baby out of the nursery. We left the hospital to get lunch.....
to be continued
Thursday, January 24, 2008
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
Julie over at Another Chance Ranch is hosting Thankful Thursday again this week. She would like us to write about something we are thankful for. I love this idea. It reminds us to focus on the positive instead of the negatives. On days like today, this task seems very daunting!
I have thought about this all day...and I am not feeling it at all. The usual crap went through my mind...a house, mine and my family's health, my job....yada, yada!! Nothing really grabbed me today. I have had a rough week with my children and The Dreaded Homework Woes and I am PMS'ing in a bad way.
So today I am thankful that Julie had this wonderful idea and I decided to participate in it. I need to think about the positives on days like today, because I can easily get mired in the negatives.
I am also thankful for bedtime right now!! The kids are in bed and the house is peaceful. The heater is on, keeping us warm and toasty, I have a nice cup of decaf coffee I am sipping on, my husband is watching basketball on TV, and the dogs are snoozing on their beds. Our day is coming to a close and I am very grateful for that. Tomorrow will be a new day, and a better one!
Thank you Julie for this wonderful idea...I feel better already!!
Head on over to Julie's place and visit more Thankful Thursdays!!
Monday, January 21, 2008
If you are just joining us, please refer to the following posts before reading this one: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7 I was just finishing up a patient when my pager beeped. I looked at the number displayed and my heart froze. The feeling you get when you know you are going to experience incredible excitement, or horrible dismay. Your heart is not sure yet which way to turn, so it freezes until your brain tells it which direction to go. I run to the office phone and dial the number, A's number.
"Hello A, I just received your page. How is everything?"
"Everything is OK, I guess", she replied. "But I just came back from my doctor's office and he doesn't think I can deliver the baby vaginally. He has scheduled a C-section for me on Wednesday."
My heart turns in the direction of incredible excitement! Next Wednesday! Today is Thursday! How many days is that? 1, 2....5 days. In 5 days I am going to be a Mom! In 5 days my dreams will be coming true. In 5 days...in 5 days.
"Are you ready?" she asks me.
Am I ready? I was ready when I was 21 years old and stopped taking my birth control pills and had the optimistic opinion that I would be pregnant in a month. I was ready when I was 23 years old and we went to our first appointment with the infertility specialist. I was ready when I was 27 years old, a college graduate finally, and we went back to the infertility specialist. I was now 28 years old and had been ready every one of those days, every hour, every minute, every second. Yes, I was ready.
"Are you ready?" I asked her.
"Yes," she said. "I am ready."
What was she thinking? feeling? Her baby had been a part of her for the last 10 months. She felt it grow inside of her. She felt it kick her under her ribs, in her bladder. She was kept up at night, having to pee every hour, not being able to find a comfortable position. She would soon see her daughter, see the foot that kicked her ribs incessantly. See the elbow she could trace on her abdomen when the baby moved. She would get to hold her daughter, briefly, a few hours, maybe a day, and give her to us to love and raise and parent, for a lifetime. She would walk into the hospital in 5 days with her daughter, and walk out with empty arms. What was she feeling?
I couldn't help but worry about A. By this time I had deep feelings for her. She was so young, yet so very mature. She was more than confident about her decision. She had told me many times that she got pregnant for a reason, so we could become parents. She firmly believed that. She got pregnant while using a condom and birth control pills. She believed that her baby was meant to be ours from the beginning. Her faith was very strong.
The time frame was eerily parallel between her pregnancy and our journey. August - A gets pregnant, we find out we will never be pregnant. September - A finds out she is pregnant, we start the adoption process. October - A contacts the adoption agency, we contact the same agency to begin our homestudy process. January - A chooses our letter, our adoption plan with K fails. To make this even more eerie, when A received the packet of "Dear Birthmother Letters" from the agency and she opened the packet, our letter fell out, fluttered to the ground and landed face up. A looked down and saw our smiling faces looking up at her. She said she knew at that moment that we were the ones. Even now, this sends shivers up my spine.
I can't describe the incredible joy and excitement I felt after that phone call. I don't know how I finished up the work day and drove home. I do remember calling Dave and giving him the news. Once again we were at the epitome of the roller coaster ride. In 5 days we would become parents. This precious little girl was not growing in my body, but she was already growing in our hearts. The roots had taken hold and a beautiful tree was sprouting....and we have not seen her, touched her, or smelled her yet.
to be continued....
Sunday, January 20, 2008
Award winners....see the post below!!
Her assignment this week is the following:
Here's the assignment. For those of you who did NOT post a picture of your view from your front door, then your assignment is to post a view from your front door. To do this you stand in your doorway looking outside and take a picture. That simple. We (I) want to see what you see when you look out your front door.
For those of you who DID post your view, link back to that post you posted a year ago, and then re-list your very first post ever. We want to see how far you've come baby! Also, if you can, post the comments you received on that post.
Since I am relatively new to Fun Monday, my assignment was the first one.
Here is the view from my front door today. I am standing in the doorway taking the picture.
This picture shows my front garden and all the work that I still need to do, which I am planning to do tomorrow - cut back all my roses and perennials. It also shows the calm before the storm because an hour later it looked like this:
We had 6 Wolf Cub Scouts and their siblings over to make their Pinewood Derby cars. They were eating pizza in this photo so they were fairly calm. Twenty minutes later they were running around like wild banshees while their parents were in the garage making the cars....hmm...something is just not right here!!
Now head on over to Catch the Light and visit some other front yards. You have alot of visiting to do, the guest list is huge...you might want to grab a cup of coffee first!!
My very dear friend from Such Simple Pleasures has bestowed upon me my very first Blogging Award!!! I could not be more excited. Thank you so much Melissa, you are awesome!! Melissa is one of my first blogging friends and I was very excited to meet her!! So thank you from the bottom of my heart for the award and the awesome things you said about me on your blog!! You are so sweet and I adore you also!!
Now, I believe the proper protocol is to Pass It Forward....so I humbly bestow the above award on the following blogger friends of mine:
Blue Momma of course...not only is she a supportive blogging friend, she is also responsible for my awesome layout she did for me....just because she wanted a bag of Jelly Belly Flops!!!
Debbie from Four Angels Momma - Debbie always, always has a kind for me in my comments. She is so supportive and so sweet...I just love her!! I would love to meet you in real life someday Debbie!
Nekked Lizard Adventures - for always supplying me with a good laugh, even when Nekked Lizard Man goes off on one of his tangents which leaves me shaking my head...I love their sense of humor. They are also one of my first blogging friends!
Cynthia for always having an sweet comment for me. I love visiting her site, her adventures with her children are to live through vicariously. She is an awesome mom!
Meg Just Megnificent for winning my First Evah Contest!! Her blog is real...and I always get a chuckle from her adventures. Meg, you are a sweet, sweet woman and an awesome mom!!
Ms. Cellinia - her photography is beautiful. I am very upset that she was in my neck of the woods before I got to know her...I would have loved to meet her and have a cup of tea with her.
Speaking of tea - Peppermint Tea is another favorite visiting spot of mine. Her blog is also very real and thought provoking. She has always been very supportive and kind to me.
and last, but definitely not least
Irene from Word Lovers Unite. I love her writing and she is so kind and supportive also. Plus...I won my very first blogging contest from her this week!!
There are so many blogs I visit daily for laughs and inspiration. I have met a wonderful community of bloggers, these are just a small few!!
Saturday, January 19, 2008
If you are just joining us, please refer to the following posts first:
Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6
February 14, 1995
Dave and I went out to dinner to celebrate Valentine's Day and to get a break from the phone, from staring at it, waiting for it to ring. We walked in the door and to our astonishment, the phone was ringing.
"Hello Alison. This is A."
My heart stopped. Time stood still.
"Hello A", I stammered. "How are you?"
"Good. Happy Valentine's Day. Are you ready to be a Mom?"
That is exactly what she said. Those 7 words changed my life forever. In that moment the breath I was unaware I was holding left my body. The smile that grew on my face let my husband know that finally we had some good news. In that moment I forgot about the pain, the waiting, the disappointments, the anger, the fear, the hurt. I felt immense joy, immense love, immense peace.
"Yes A, I am ready to be a Mom."
We talked, we cried. She said that she wanted to give us a Valentine's Day gift and that was why she waited until then to call. I was astounded by her maturity and selflessness. Through all her soul searching and decision making, she thought about us and wanted to give us a gift.
The Gift she is giving us is the Gift of Parenthood. Words cannot describe the immensity of this Gift. This young woman is selflessly putting the needs of your unborn baby before her own. She has made the commitment of 10 months of pregnancy, labor, delivery....to give someone she just met a Gift. She will trust us to love and cherish her baby and give her baby a life she would love to, but is unable to. She will trust us with her Gift and we will trust her to take care of her Gift while she has possession of It. She will have It for 10 months, we will have It for a lifetime. We will both hold her Gift in our hearts forever.
The baby is due on May 31. We have plenty of time to ready ourselves and our home for our new addition. No rush this time. We don't need to travel. A lives 45 minutes away from us. We are able to talk and visit frequently. We are able to establish a relationship and a bond. We are able to form a trusting relationship. Adoption is all about trust - A trusts us with her most precious Gift, and we trust A to allow us to parent her most precious Gift.
The birthfather is open and accepting towards the adoption. Unfortunately, we are unable to meet him. He signs his papers before the birth and we are able to terminate his parental rights quite easily. A will sign papers terminating her parental rights after the birth of the baby. She will have 2 weeks to change her mind. We don't any qualms about this. We already trust her.
The pregnancy is very normal and A is very healthy. I am able to attend doctor's appointments with her and I am able to see our baby for the first time 2 weeks before the birth. The baby is very large and her doctor wanted to get a final ultrasound to determine the baby's weight. I go with her to this appointment and see our beautiful baby girl for the first time on the ultrasound screen. Yes, she is a girl!! She appears to be healthy and everything is going along smoothly. We are estatic...we are overjoyed...words cannot fully express our feelings....our feet do not touch the ground when we walk.
A week later I am at work when I receive a phone call from A.
to be continued....
Posted by Alison at 1:42 AM
Friday, January 18, 2008
Thursday, January 17, 2008
Julie over at Another Chance Ranch has a wonderful idea. She would like us to write about something we are thankful for. I love this idea. It reminds us to focus on the positive instead of the negatives.
Count me in!! So here is my debut Thankful Thursday post.
Today I am thankful for my husband. He is a wonderful man but some days he just shines. Last night I came home from work and he was making dinner. Both children had completed their homework. He had a load of laundry in the washer and he folded the load from the dryer. But the one thing that brought tears to my eyes.....he had picked up all the dog poop from the backyard AND washed down the deck! That means that I don't have to do that gross job today on my day off!!
That makes my Thursday very Thankful!!
Head on over to Julie's place if you need a little positive jumpstart to your day!!
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
How do you like my new look??? I think it is awesome!! Blue Momma so generously and lovingly created my new look for me. Didn't she do an awesome job?? I still have to figure out how to put my favorite blog sites up...but other that that..it is perfect!
Thank you so much Blue Momma..you are wonderful, talented, awesome, kind...the list goes on!!
Let me know what you think of it!! Don't be shy...leave a comment!
To get caught up please visit the following: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4Apparently I had Mommy Intuition before I even became a Mommy!!
The next day I was at work when I recieved a phone call. It was from our Attorney. K had indeed been in labor the day before and she had given birth to a healthy baby boy early in the morning. I was not surprised....my heart was racing....
"Unfortunately", my Attorney continues, "She has changed her mind about the adoption."
Surprisingly, I was not shocked to hear this. My heart was telling me this the previous day while I was on the phone with her. My heart was telling when I was relaying our conversation to my husband. My heart had been telling me this ever since our phone conversation ended. I knew this would happen.
"What do we do now?" I asked our Attorney.
"What do we do now?" I asked God. "You showed us this path. How many curves will it take?"
Our Attorney advised us to wait. Perhaps she will change her mind again. She did just go through labor and childbirth. She is only 17 years old. Anything could happen.
I call Dave and give him the news. He is not surprised either. Perhaps his Daddy Intuition was giving him the same message. We both stay at work this time and meet up at home that night. We comfort each other, we cry in each others' arms, we grow ever closer through our mutual pain. We provide ourselves with another chink of cement for our marriage. We wait for more news. Deep down in our hearts we know our journey is just beginning. We know our journey will end with a beautiful baby to hold, to love, to cherish. Not knowing the details is the hardest part....When? Who? How?
The next day we receive more information. K has decided to parent her baby. She is very sorry to put us through this. She does not want to talk to us at all.
The first leg of our journey is a dead end.....no outlet...it is over.
We pray for her and for the sweet baby boy she birthed. We prepare ourselves for the next leg in our journey.
Our letters are still going out through our Attorney and our Agency.
The waiting, the wondering...all begin again.
When will the next call come? The wait was not long....
to be continued...
Monday, January 14, 2008
Our gracious hostess with mostess this week is Ann. Thank you so much Ann for hosting.
Her assignment is the following:
I want to hear about a web site and not just about any old web site. I want to hear about a web site that's changed your life. A web site that you can't live without. A web site whose inventor you'd like to see win a McArthur Genius Grant. Maybe you want to sing the praises of a dating web site for helping you meet your spouse. Maybe the only thing getting you through the dark days of winter is an Internet comic. No story is too big, no story is too small - I want to hear it all on Monday.
Well, I have thought and thought about this all week and I could not think of any website that has changed my life. The only thing I could think of is all the blogs I visit, which in turn led me to starting my own blog. This blog has been very therapeutic for me. When I sit down to write, the words just pour out of me. I am becoming a calmer, more peaceful person because of my writing. I look at the world with new eyesight and I am becoming more grateful for my life and the people in it. So I guess all of you bloggers reading this have changed my life. Wow!!
With that being said, I do have 2 non blog websites that I visit regularly and I would have a hard time doing without.
The first is Amazon. I am a voracious reader and I have an obsession with books. The more the merrier. I have about 20 or more books piled on my nightstand waiting to be read and I buy more books regularly!
The second is the English Premier League. I am a huge soccer fan, the real football. I love, love, love watching the English league the best. My favorite team is Manchester United. We have cable on our TV just so we can get the Fox Soccer Channel so I can watch soccer on the weekends.
Now head on over to Ann's place to see the huge list of other Fun Monday players and visit their sites.
Sunday, January 13, 2008
to read previous entries click here - Part 1, Part 2, Part 3
Let the ride begin...buckle in..hold on....you are in for a ride you will never forget!!
Our attorney was a wonderful lady. Apparently we had two options - a Private Adoption or an Agency Adoption. We opted for the Agency Adoption. In an Agency Adoption you use the services of an Adoption Agency and the birthparents's rights are terminated 2 weeks after birth. In a Private Adoption you use the services of an Attorney and the birthparents' rights are terminated 3 months after the birth. (Please keep in mind that laws have changed since then and every state has different laws). In actuality we did a combination of the two because we used the services of an attorney and an agency. Our attorney put us in contact with an agency, gave us a mound of paperwork, a set of instructions and sent us on our way.
The first item on the "to do" list was to was to create a "Dear Birthmother Letter". This letter would be sent out to prospective birthmothers to peruse in their search for adoptive parents for their baby. In this letter your goal is to "sell" yourself as wonderful people, without being too pretentious or over bearing. What a challenge!! We agonized over this for days. What to say? How to say it? What pictures to use? Decisions...decisions.
We finally decided to just be ourselves. Keep it simple. Be real. We wrote from our hearts. Dave wrote about me and I wrote about him. What a wonderful exercise in strengthening your marriage. We included pictures of us, our house, and our pets. We wrote about our families, our hopes, our dreams. Our letter was concise, our pictures were "real", and hearts and souls were in the words. The writing of this letter provided us with another chink of cement for our marriage.
We took our letter to the local printers. Our agency and our attorney each wanted at least 25 letters on hand to send out. Mission accomplished...letters ready..on to the next step.
Our Homestudy. I think all parents-to-be should do a homestudy! We had forms upon forms to fill out. We were asked dozens of hypothetical questions, such as "what form of punishment will you enforce?" Now, we have all said "I will never spank/yell at my child". That is all good and well until you actually become parents and reality sets in. How do you honestly answer questions like this when you really have no idea?? Other questions delved into our childhoods....how our parents raised us, was our childhood happy? It took hours to fill out the paperwork. After the forms were filled out, we had to have a complete physical and our doctor had a form to fill out. Forms, forms, and more forms.
The next step was the dreaded home visit. Before this stress induced event could occur, we needed to clean and paint and clean and landscape and clean some more!! The visit was really not as painful as we thought it was going to be. Our social worker was an amazing woman. She really made the whole experience as painless as possible. Her report did amaze us though. She was in our house for approximately 30 minutes and briefly walked through it. Her report had minute details about our house...they must be trained to see everything without seeming to see anything.
During this homestudy process, our letters had been going out to prospective birthmothers.
Let's do a time frame here:
September 1994 - sign up with an attorney and an agency.
October 1994 - Dear Birthmother Letters complete, sent to attorney and agency.
November 1994 - Homestudy process started, Dear Birthmother Letters going out.
One letter is all it took....We've been chosen. November we get a phone call from our attorney. A Birthmother, K, has chosen us. She is due the end of January, she is expecting a boy, she lives in New Jersey. They give us her phone number.
Oh My God!! This is happening so fast!! Can it be true?? January...only 2 months away.....we call her.
K is a very sweet young girl. Her pregnancy is normal. We get along wonderfully on the phone. We agree to the adoption. We make plans....
Because we live across the country from her, and we are not wealthy by any means, we are unable to meet in person. That will have to wait until the baby's birth. We are okay with that....all of us would prefer to meet prior to his birth, but circumstances prevent it.
So, on we go with our planning and preparing....
Finish the homestudy - check.
Finish the nursery - check.
Tell all family and friends and anyone that will listen. check.
Get swamped with baby items at Christmas, including lots of boy clothes. check.
Keep in contact with K via the phone, establish a relationship. check.
All is going well. I speak with K on the phone almost weekly. She is feeling well, all is good. The birthfather has agreed to the adoption. Smooth sailing....almost too easy you might say?
I speak with K shortly after the New Year. She is due at the end of the month, but that day she is not feeling well. She is just tired she said, nothing to worry about. I hang up the phone and mention to Dave that K is not feeling well. I think she may be in labor. I don't know why I felt that - intuition maybe? Turns out I was right...
to be continued....
Saturday, January 12, 2008
I was lost. Which way to go? How to get home? Which road to take on our Journey Towards Parenthood? Just walk, put one foot in front of the other.
I made it home that day, weary and hot. I was gone for hours, it felt like 5 minutes. Dave was home by then and we needed to do some soul searching. We could consider IVF but we would have to use a donor. Our chances would not improve, and it would cost more money. I didn't care...my dream was still alive in my heart. I still saw that little baby from my dreams. I was not ready to give up. We talked, we cried....and then Dave said something that changed my perspective.
"Our dogs are adopted and we love them and they are wonderful."
That sentence made me stop and realize that my dream can still come true. Why did those words make a difference? I don't know, for some reason it made perfect sense to me. That baby in my dreams is still there. She may not grow inside me, but she is already growing inside my heart. She may not BE a part of us, but she will BEcome a part of us. We made a huge and vital decision that day. Our child would have both of our DNA, or none of our DNA. That is a huge decision. Everyone has to choose their own path on this journey. Everyone has to choose the path that works for them. I was also adopted and I had a wonderful childhood. Adoption had been a great experience for me.
This is the path we are to take on our journey...Adoption. Yes, I was ready. I was ready to let go of the pregnancy, labor, breastfeeding. We were ready to become parents. Our hearts were open and ready to love and cherish a child. We were a unit, a working team towards one objective - Parenthood.
The next day I called an adoption attorney and we embarked on another rollercoaster ride.
Friday, January 11, 2008
I had run across the term cyber sex a few times lately, so I decided to try to figure out what it meant. I figured it had something to do with the computer, so I started trying to find the sex drive on mine. I looked everywhere, in all the folders on the My Computer section, the add/uninstall software, install hardware part of the control panel then I got out all the manuals and went through them. I finally came to the conclusion that my computer is not equipped with one.
Thursday, January 10, 2008
To read Part 1 visit here.
It was a perfect summer day in August. I was just finishing up a patient when I received a phone call. It was from our doctor and it wasn't good. Apparently the tests we recently had done revealed bad news. We were no longer IVF (Invitro Fertilization) candidates. I have no recollection of his exact words or if I even replied to him. All I remember is the cloud that came over me. No longer was the sun shining, no longer was it a perfect summer day...it was dark and I was devastated. The tears were pouring down my face. My dream was shattered.
I was unable to continue to work. Luckily I was working in a very sympathetic office. They cancelled my patients for the day and I went home. I called my husband and through my tears and sobs told him the news. He wanted to come home but I told him not to. I wanted to take the dogs for a walk to clear my head.The day was still sunny, but I didn't notice. My mind was in a fog. Walking on the streets was not an option for me. I wanted to be away from people. I was angry at this point, I was furious. My anger was directed at God. How could He do this to us? We were good people. We were going to be good parents. We were responsible. Why? Why? Why?
In my irrational mind, through my fog of disappointment and anger and frustration, I decided to take the fire trail up into the hills. Somewhere in the back of my mind I concluded that the higher I was, the closer I would be to God, and the easier it would be to tell Him how I felt. Up we climbed, to the top of the hill. There was no one in sight, just me and the dogs, and God.
"How could you? Why are you punishing us? What are we doing wrong? Why are you so vengeful? Don't you love us? And You call Yourself our Friend? Some Friend You are...."
And so on, and so on....screaming, crying....until the fight was gone. I was exhausted...my eyes were dry, my throat was hoarse. I gave in, I gave up. A peace overcame me and a voice in my head said...."There is another way. Your journey is not over yet."
I looked up...and realized that I was lost, emotionally and physically. I did not know where I was, how I got there, or how to get home! I also did not know the course of journey....which way to go?
to be continued....
Wednesday, January 9, 2008
The year was 1994. We had been married for 6 years. During that time, I had gone to college, graduated, and started my career as a Dental Hygienist. We had just bought our first house and had gone on a wonderful trip to Victoria, British Columbia. We had also gone through some rough times in our marriage and had worked through the bumps in the road. Our marriage was strong, our careers were set, we were financially secure (as much as one can be!!), we were ready to begin the next phase of our lives. We were ready to become parents.
We knew our road to parenthood would not be easy. We did not use birth control, at all. We delved into the infertility nightmare about 4 years prior to this. At that time we decided to finish my education before getting on the infertility rollercoaster. So, here we were, 4 years later, ready to jump on the ride....away we go!!
Without going into all the details here...after much testing we found out that our only option was to do Invitro Fertilization. This procedure cost around $10,000 and we had roughly a 20% chance of success. I wanted to be pregnant more than I wanted to breathe. I dreamed of pregnancy, labor, childbirth, breastfeeding. I ached for it. I envisioned a little girl with her Daddy's brown curly hair, or a little boy with my blond curly hair. I even dreamed of being in labor and giving birth to a little girl. I wanted to go for it. I needed to go for it. My emotions were in control....all sensibilities were gone. My mind was set....we were going for it, I was ready. Dave on the other hand was not so sure....
He was more practical. He saw the figures...the cost, the success rate. He was not dreaming of pregnancy or labor or breastfeeding. He was looking at dollars and cents and percentages and emotional costs. He was being realistic.
Have you ever seen a woman on a mission? When her emotions overrule all sensibilities? When her mind is on a one way track? That was me and no one was changing my mind.
"We will just give it one shot honey. If it doesn't work than we will look into adoption. I just want to try once."
That was my mantra....."I just want to try once."
He agreed. We would give it one shot. This was in the summer of 1994. We figured we would have the money saved up by January of 1995. We were on the rollercoaster, buckled in and ready for the ride, test after test, appointment after appointment...
...until one warm sunny day in August, 1994 when I recieved a phone call from our doctor which would turn my world upside down....
(to be continued...)
Tuesday, January 8, 2008
Doesn't she look sweet and adorable and totally innocent? Yes, I agree with you....now fast forward 2 years.....she is changing faster than I change my mind!
We are back to school this week and our typical morning is harried and hurried as most of them are. Usually about 5 minutes before we have to leave the house my sweet angel and I have the following conversation:
Cass: Mommy, can you do my hair, I can't get it?
Me: Cass, we have to leave now, it looks fine. Let's go!
Cass: (whining) But Mommy, it is bumpy on top and it looks stupid!
Me: It looks fine honey.
Cass: (more whining) No, it doesn't. It looks stupid and everyone will laugh at me.
Me: Ok, hurry up, how do you want it?
Cass: (crying, hiccuping) I want a ponytail, half up, half down, in a bun.
Me: (exasperated) Which one, half up, half down, bun or ponytail?
Cass: (slight crying now) All of them, I want a combination.
Me: (wondering when I became a contortionist cosmetologist) Fine, bring me your brush and hurry, we are now late:
I fix her hair. It is beautiful. She smiles. She loves it. It is perfect.
I get in the car. I start it. I am patiently waiting for her. Michael is in the car. We are both waiting. She comes out of the house.
Her hair is down, no barrettes, no ponytails, nothing....nothing...nothing!!
Sunday, January 6, 2008
Lisa is our gracious hostess this week - Thank you Lisa!! Her assignment is the following:
Great topic especially since we have a houseful of pets!! If you read my blog regularly you have already met them in their morphing personas, but this time I will introduce them to you in their "normal" personas.
This is Leo our leopard gecko. He loves to ride around on Michael's shoulder. If you are looking for a low maintenance, non smelly pet, than I highly recommend this little guy. Actually, we don't know for sure if he is a he or a she, but to me he has the "phallic" look, so I call him a he!! All he needs is a cricket or two thrown to him regularly and he is happy!!
This is Zack. He is almost 10 years old and is a boxer/lab cross. Actually we think he is a freak of nature because he weighs 130 pounds and I have never seen a lab or a boxer weigh that much!! In this picture he is sharing his bed with Tucker. As you can see he is a big sweetheart!! We love this big galoot!
These are our 2 cats Tucker and Rooney. Rooney is the orange boy and he is named after my favorite soccer player - Wayne Rooney from Manchester United - the best soccer team in the world!! Sorry, I digress....Rooney we adopted from a rescue organization when he was 8 weeks old, he is now almost 2 years old. Tucker is the sweet one hugging his brother. He is still a kitten in the photo...he is now bigger than Rooney. We rescued him when he was 2 weeks old, he just turned one last October. My brother had a feral momma dump her babies on his doorstep. He was bottlefeeding all 3 of them (what a nice guy!!). We took Tucker and then found homes for the other 2. Tucker is a little slow in the head and we are sure he would never have made it as a feral!! He is very handsome though!!
This handsome devil is our newest addition. His name is Baron and he is a Chesapeake Bay Retriever. In the photo he is about 4 months old. He is now almost 8 months old and we figure he weighs about 80 pounds...another moose in the house!! He is our very first pedigreed pup....all our other dogs have been rescues. My good friend is a breeder and GAVE us this monster for free...well actually, we all know how "free", free pets actually are!! He is a very good puppy, is training well, and we hope to train him to be a Therapy Dog.
This little guy is our box turtle. His name is Turdy (named by our 7 year old!!) He is hibernating in our yard somewhere at the moment and we hope to see him again in a few months.
Thanks for stopping by and meeting the critters....now hop on over to Lisa's place to see all the other fine pets us bloggers have!!
Thursday, January 3, 2008
A girl asks her boyfriend to come over Friday night to meet and have dinner with her parents. Since this is such a big event, the girl announces to her boyfriend that after dinner, she would like to go out and make love for the first time. The boy is ecstatic, but he has never had sex before, so he takes a trip to the pharmacist to get some condoms.
That night the boy shows up at the girl's parents' house and meets his girlfriend at the door. "Oh, I'm so excited for you to meet my parents, come on in!" The boy goes inside and is taken to the dinner table where the girl's parents are seated. The boy quickly offers to say grace and bows his head. A minute passes, and the boy is still deep in prayer, with his head down.
10 minutes pass, and still no movement from the boy.
Finally, after 20 minutes with his head down, the girlfriend leans over and whispers to the boyfriend, "I had no idea you were this religious."
The boy turns, and whispers back, "I had no idea your father was a pharmacist."
...we have Chicken Pox!!! How very exciting!! We had a few more Destinations planned for this week but now our only destination is our home. Poor Cassie came down with the Chicken Pox! She is pretty miserable with the itching but other that she is feeling OK. Before you ask...Yes, she did have the vaccine and Yes, she did have the booster shot last year, or the year before, and Yes, she did have them before when she was about 2 years old. So, that being said, her new name is "Chicken Pox Head" since the varecella virus seems so attracted to her!!
But, we do have a few things to be grateful for:
*she did not break out until Christmas was over
*she is still on vacation from school
*we got a number of Destinations done before we were quarantined
That being said, we are anxiously waiting to see if Michael breaks out....he has been vaccinated also....time will tell.
On the contest front...it is still open...I will look at everyone's pictures tonight and announce the winner tomorrow with my Friday Funny post. Thanks to everyone who entered!!!