Tuesday, June 29, 2010

More Ramblings

I feel the need to write, though I'm not sure what exactly to write about. We'll see where this goes! Everyone keeps asking me if we have more news. No, we don't. On the one hand, I'm so happy that everyone around us is so excited. On the other, this just reeks of how our pregnancies went. We allow ourselves to be hopeful, share our "expectant" news, get everyone all riled up, and then have to call everyone up and say the words we have said way too many times...."We lost the baby." Then, tragically, not only do we get to deal with our own grief, but we also get to feel guilty that we caused so much grief in our families.

Honestly, I needed to write that but I don't want to go there. Unlike our pregnancies, this baby is not ours...yet. She is her parents', and she is their daughter until she is placed in our arms. That these amazing people chose us, even as their Plan B, is a gift. While it is hard to know we may not be able to parent this little girl, it is heart-warming to know that a couple believes we could do it, if they needed us. Adoption can be so beautiful. It is also so sad. But it is nothing short of amazing. Until you've been touched by it, you can't even fathom the beauty in it. That one set of loving, adoring, and selfless parents chooses another set of loving, hopeful and (in our case) desperate parents for their child is a true miracle.

If nothing else, this match has only made me more adoring of the adoption process. Even if we don't bring this little girl home, we are committed to this process more than we ever have been. I may not know the miracle of birth (yet), but I am becoming intimately acquainted with the miracle of adoption. And I wouldn't have it any other way.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

We Got A Call!!!

On Thursday afternoon, I got the most anticipated, yet unexpected, call of my life! My social worker said to me, "I have a situation I'd like to discuss with you." I was all ears!

Before you get too excited, there is good news and there is bad news...

The good news is a healthy, bright, compassionate and insightful young couple picked is to be their baby's parents...

The bad news is we are only going to get to parent this baby IF the mom's legal situation does not change and she cannot get out of prison as soon as she would like.

Like I said, it's hard to get too excited. Without going too much into this family's story (it will be our baby's story to tell one day, if this is meant to be), the mom is in prison on a 1.5 year sentence. She is going to court in about a month (no date set yet, uggghh) to try and get her sentence reduced to time served. If she doesn't get the sentence reduction, they are placing the baby....with us! If she does, they will parent their baby. According to our social worker, they have become less and less optimistic over the last couple of months that she will get out soon, hence their plan for adoption.

We are in a difficult situation. The baby (it's a girl by the way:)!) is due August 23rd. We will not know until the end of July or early August what the judge will decide for this mom. And we have a hard time wishing for this woman to be in prison longer than she'd like (her crime was one of being too naive and did NOT have to do with drugs, alcohol or violent crimes). So, while of course we want this baby girl more than life itself....we want her momma to be safe and happy as well. The bottom line is we hate the idea of benefitting from another person's misfortune. And therein lies the irony of adoption.

So, we are doing what we have gotten really good at doing....waiting! I don't think many people actually understand the agony of waiting like we do. It's excruciating. I am already dreaming of a baby girl in my arms, and I know there is at least a 50/50 chance she'll go home with her parents. It is so reminiscent of pregnancy. I try so damn hard not to get excited, not to attach, not to actually love the little life growing inside of me. But, the truth is, I am maternal to the bone. I adore babies, and love being a mom, if only for a brief time during pregnancy. It's the only thing I've ever desired more than life itself. So, how do we not begin to dream of this little girl? We already love her parents, and we already love her.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Our Sweet Boy

Our sweet boy had a tough day. Let me first tell you that King (our doberman) is our first born, through and through. We adore him. We both remember visiting him at the breeder's home when he was too young to come home. We remember going back to pick him up, giddy with excitement, truly. We drove away with him lying there between us in the truck and just looked at each other with the biggest smiles on our faces. He slept next to our bed in his puppy crate (that was gigantic) the first night, and when he whined, I put my hand down for him to sniff, and all was fine. King stayed his first night in the dorm room we lived in (it was my job!) and moved out with us the next day to our first home. He has never left our side. Those first few months were tough. I was as sleep deprived as any new mom, as he was sick all the time. He had chronic diarrhea and was up every couple of hours every night. I am now a light sleeper, always listening to be sure both of my "babies" don't need me. He has definitely prepared us to be better parents, and today was no different....

King has always been a sensitive dog. He has underlying liver disease, which affects his health on many levels. He has a special holistic vet and is on HUNDREDS of dollars of supplements...a month. We would do it all over again to have him in our life. Well, this morning, he kept us up licking himself, which he does often. So, Jason got extremely annoyed and decided to put him in his crate at about 6am. When we went to put him in there, King was limping, holding his right front paw up. He refused to put any weight on it. It looked like this:

We knew it was too early to get into a vet, so we went back to bed, vowing to call the vet when we got up. We were able to see the on-call vet this morning. After a brief examination, it was determined that he had a minor nailbed infection. An x-ray was taken to confirm. However, the x-ray showed a much more severe nailbed infection. His nail had to be completely taken off, and the infection had eaten the bone in his toe. He had to be put out because it was so painful, the gentle sedation didn't work. (Yeah, don't even ask me about the vet bill). Here is our boy now, bandage and all:

He is currently sleeping very heavily. He looks pathetic, doesn't he? King has taught us so much in the 6 years we have been blessed to have him in our lives. Most of all, we know we can come together and do what we need to when our babies need us. I was almost in tears when the vet told us how bad his infection was, without us knowing! Jason just kept saying, "I wish I would have known. I feel so bad." We can love and take care of King like no one else can. Isn't that what parents do? We can do this! Now....we just need the baby:).

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Three Months!!!

Well, we've made it to what I like to call the "possible, but not likely" stage of the waiting game. I have known other adoptive couples who have been matched right around the three month mark. But, I also know the likelihood of that is slim.

The last month did go by much more quickly than the first two. I hope each month after this continues to pick up the pace!

Thank you everyone for all your thoughts, prayers and well wishes. I can assure you they are felt, and they are helping us through this difficult wait. Here's to another month behind us!!!

Friday, June 11, 2010

What Not To Say

I found this on another mommy's blog who experienced 5 losses, and went on to have her beautiful, healthy son. There is hope, people! Anyway, that said, I really liked how it was written - respecting and honoring our children lost too soon. I hope you will feel the same way. I know many of you reading have angels in Heaven, wishing more than anything they were here with you today. My heart is with you, today and always.

What we wish you knew about pregnancy loss:

A letter from women to their friends and family
by Elizabeth Soutter Schwarzer
I assert no copyright for the material. Please use it as you see fit to help women who have endured this terrible grief. Thank you.

Date: Sat, 23 Mar 2002

When women experience the loss of a child, one of the first things they discover they have in common is a list of things they wish no one had ever said to them. The lists tend to be remarkably similar. The comments are rarely malicious - just misguided attempts to soothe.

This list was compiled as a way of helping other people understand pregnancy loss. While generated by mothers for mothers, it may also apply similarly to the fathers who have endured this loss.
When trying to help a woman who has lost a baby, the best rule of thumb is a matter of manners: don't offer your personal opinion of her life, her choices, her prospects for children. No woman is looking to poll her acquaintances for their opinions on why it happened or how she should cope.

-Don't say, "It's God's Will." Even if we are members of the same congregation, unless you are a cleric and I am seeking your spiritual counseling, please don't presume to tell me what God wants for me. Besides, many terrible things are God's Will, that doesn't make them less terrible.

-Don't say, "It was for the best - there was probably something wrong with your baby." The fact that something was wrong with the baby is what is making me so sad. My poor baby never had a chance. Please don't try to comfort me by pointing that out.

-Don't say, "You can always have another one." This baby was never disposable. If had been given the choice between losing this child or stabbing my eye out with a fork, I would have said, "Where's the fork?" I would have died for this baby, just as you would die for your children.

-Don't say, "Be grateful for the children you have." If your mother died in a terrible wreck and you grieved, would that make you less grateful to have your father?

-Don't say, "Thank God you lost the baby before you really loved it." I loved my son or daughter. Whether I lost the baby after two weeks of pregnancy or just after birth, I loved him or her.

-Don't say, "Isn't it time you got over this and moved on?" It's not something I enjoy, being grief-stricken. I wish it had never happened. But it did and it's a part of me forever. The grief will ease on its own timeline, not mine - or yours.

-Don't say, "Now you have an angel watching over you." I didn't want her to be my angel. I wanted her to bury me in my old age.

-Don't say, "I understand how you feel." Unless you've lost a child, you really don't understand how I feel. And even if you have lost a child, everyone experiences grief differently.

-Don't tell me horror stories of your neighbor or cousin or mother who had it worse. The last thing I need to hear right now is that it is possible to have this happen six times, or that I could carry until two days before my due-date and labor 20 hours for a dead baby. These stories frighten and horrify me and leave me up at night weeping in despair. Even if they have a happy ending, do not share these stories with me.

-Don't pretend it didn't happen and don't change the subject when I bring it up. If I say, "Before the baby died..." or "when I was pregnant..." don't get scared. If I'm talking about it, it means I want to. Let me. Pretending it didn't happen will only make me feel utterly alone.

- Don't say, "It's not your fault." It may not have been my fault, but it was my responsibility and I failed. The fact that I never stood a chance of succeeding only makes me feel worse. This tiny little being depended upon me to bring him safely into the world and I couldn't do it. I was supposed to care for him for a lifetime, but I couldn't even give him a childhood. I am so angry at my body you just can't imagine.

-Don't say, "Well, you weren't too sure about this baby, anyway." I already feel so guilty about ever having complained about morning sickness, or a child I wasn't prepared for, or another mouth to feed that we couldn't afford. I already fear that this baby died because I didn't take the vitamins, or drank too much coffee, or had alcohol in the first few weeks when I didn't know I was pregnant. I hate myself for any minute that I had reservations about this baby. Being unsure of my pregnancy isn't the same as wanting my child to die - I never would have chosen for this to happen.

-Do say, "I am so sorry." That's enough. You don't need to be eloquent. Say it and mean it and it will matter.

-Do say, "You're going to be wonderful parents some day," or "You're wonderful parents and that baby was lucky to have you." We both need to hear that.

-Do say, "I have lighted a candle for your baby," or "I have said a prayer for your baby."

-Do send flowers or a kind note - every one I receive makes me feel as though my baby was loved. Don't resent it if I don't respond.

-Don't call more than once and don't be angry if the machine is on and I don't return your call. If we're close friends and I am not responding to your attempts to help me, please don't resent that, either. Help me by not needing anything from me for a while. "

Monday, June 7, 2010

More Updated Nursery Pics!!

The glider has finally arrived! I want to thank our amazing friends (who will go un-named for confidentiality purposes) for giving us such a generous and thoughtful gift. We could never thank you enough! We LOVE it! Without further ado....

This is a straight on view of the glider. The pillow was made with extra fabric by...you guessed it, our "Arizona Mom," Sheree! How gorgeous is this chair, people??

So...I mentioned to Jason that I wanted some sort of side table by the chair to put bottles, burp clothes, whatever on. My mistake was mentioning it AT the store that happened to have this zebra cube. He saw it and immediately had to have it. The top flips over to just be a full zebra cube, or a table top as shown here. It is empty inside so we can use it for storage - I'm thinking toys:).

This is the view from the door. So, tell me honestly, is it too much? I felt like it was a little much with the whole zebra situation, but he LOVES it. I don't hate it, just wasn't the look I was going for:). It's cute, though...I think? I guess I should just be happy that he is so excited about something in the nursery:).

And I just had to share this adorable taggy toy I got during my shopping trip with J. I don't normally buy toys, knowing people will probably buy enough for three kids! But, I couldn't resist this one!

Things to still be done:
  • We need a tall, narrow set of black shelves for the corner of the room by the dresser. It's the only space we have left, and I really want shelves for books, the cute piggy (zebra) bank I bought, etc. Of course, can't find what I need.
  • A cute lamp, preferably with crystals to add some glamour to the room:).
  • Light filtering shades. We hate putting shades up, so we're procrastinating! I'm not a curtain girl, but we need to keep that light out - our baby is GOING to sleep:).
  • Paint! But we all know we can't do that until Babylove is identified as a boy or a girl.

That's all the excitement for today, folks! Can't wait to hear all your honest opinions (wink)!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Friends, Old and New

My day began with a new friendship. I had the honor and pleasure to meet and hang out with J, a fellow blogger and expectant adoptive momma, in real life! We have been corresponding through blogs and email since I started blogging in January. It was so nice to start a new friendship and know that I am not alone. I absolutely love blogging, and I love even more that it offers opportunities for even deeper relationships. One of my most memorable moments today was when I noticed (and she noticed later) that we wore the same charm, she on her wrist, me around my neck:

This small symbol of our love for our lost angels reminded me that we are forever connected. No matter our differences, our spirits know the same loss. Soon, we will also know the same joy and love that comes with bringing home our babies. Amazing.

My day ended with some much-needed bonding time with an old friend, my oldest friend in fact. There is nothing like the history shared, the comfort and ease, that comes with friends who have walked through life with you for many years. This particular friend and I have had very different journeys when it comes to motherhood. Because of that, I find that we struggle to connect at certain times in our lives, not sure what to say all the time. But, what is always true is that we can undoubtedly come back together, settling into the warm comfort of a seasoned, tested, and strong friendship.

I am grateful for so many gifts in my life. By far, some of my greatest gifts are my friends, old and new.