Tuesday, May 6, 2008


For those of you who have adopted and have an open/semi-open arrangement with the birthparents...do you do anything to commemorate Mother's Day for the birth/first mother? I am really struggling with it? I don't know if she would appreciate it or if it would just be too hard...

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

If you are the praying kind...

My dear friends that I spoke of in my previous post could both use some positive thoughts and prayers this week.

My friend, E, delivered her twin girls at slightly over 33 weeks on Sunday. The girls are doing really great, but they will be in the NICU for a couple of weeks or more. It has to be so hard to leave the hospital without the babies you have waited so long for.

My friend, L, is in a bit of a holding pattern with an opportunity at the adoption agency. The whole waiting game is just so anxiety provoking and can take such a toll on you - both physically and emotionally. Hopefully all will work out and they will be bringing home a very sweet little boy some time in the next couple of weeks.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Miscellaneous Ramblings...

See, I am getting better about this! Posting two days in a row, aren't you proud?? There are many topics to cover since I am such a slacker!

First and foremost our precious little Addie. Can you believe that she is already 5 months old?? I don't know where the time has gone. Part of me is so excited to watch her grow and the other part of me wants her to stay this little and innocent forever. A sure sign that she is growing up? As of today she is no longer the youngest infant in her class at daycare :-( I don't know why, but that makes me really sad. She has started eating baby food. So far she likes bananas, peaches, sweet potatoes, and carrots. Last night I broke down and tried some of the "green" stuff - I'm sorry, but that just about made me gag! Well low and behold - she liked it! Maybe that fact that she doesn't have my genes is good in this case. Meat and potatoes are more my thing, but I have branched out some. After 3 ear infections, resistent to antibiotics, in just 6 weeks, we decided tubes were the right way to go. We are lucky in the fact that I work for a major health system and that I work directly with the ENT physician who did her surgery. It really put me at ease to know what good hands she was in. All in all she did good, although coming out of the anesthesia was a different story. She screamed for about 2 hours straight. Yes, it just about broke my heart. The day of the surgery she was pretty puny, but the next day she was like a whole new child. She "talks" so much more now - yeah, probably because she can actually hear! It really makes me feel like we made the right decision. Addie is such a great child and is starting to develop such a cute little personality. We could just sit and stare at her for hours (and often do). Life has a whole different meaning now that she is part of it.

Infertility will always be a part of my life. Sometimes it rears its ugly head when I least expect it. As much as my life has changed, that pain will always be there in some form and I will never forget what it is like to "be in the trenches". My pep talk for those of you still fighting the fight, don't ever give up on your dream! If it is what you want, you will get there...it just may not necessarily be the path you expected to take. While I was always open to the idea of adoption, I truly never thought it would get to that point. We had decided on at least 3 IVF cycles, of course at least one of them had to work. Two positive pregnancy tests, of course one of them had to stick. Well we all know how that turned out. Everything happens for a reason, I am now a firm believer in that. October is a very significant month for us - it is the month where I had my first miscarriage (twins) - it is the month that I would have been due had the second pregnancy stuck - and it is the month that we became a "Forever Family" when we brought our sweet little girl home.

What helped me immensely to get through the difficult times was to participate in a local Mind/Body group that is based off of the book Conquering Infertility by Alice Domar, PhD. I can't recommend this enough! Through it I learned to deal with stress much better than I ever had before and I formed an amazing friendship with two of the women I met in that class. It helps to have other women close to you going through the same thing that you can really talk to, cry to, yell to, vent to...it is true that while people not having experienced the joys of IF, can be very sympathetic - they can just never understand fully what you are dealing with. I would have never made it through some of my darkest times without these two women. To my surprise, the leader of our Mind/Body group contacted me last week and has asked my husband and I to come and speak to her new group about our experience with adoption. Wow, how weird it will feel to be on the other side! I remember so clearly sitting in their seats almost a year ago and looking at the couple that spoke to us, wondering if I would ever get there. While I do feel honored that she asked us, I also feel that it is a great responsibility - will I say the right thing? will I convey to them that I do know how it feels...I haven't forgotten what it's like? what will they think of the choices we made/or didn't make? Overall though, I am very excited about speaking to the group. I want them to know and see that there will be a happy ending.

Wow, I had a completely different direction for this post than where it ended up...but again, that is just one of those things IF does to you I guess?

Monday, March 31, 2008

5 Months Old!

I really have to do better about getting these posts up!! I have good intentions, really I do...life just gets in the way sometimes. Being a new mom is so much fun, but doesn't leave a lot of free time. Of course I wouldn't have it any other way!!

Here is our big girl...

Monday, February 25, 2008

My little "lady"...

Last night we were shopping at Babies-R-Us for a friend's shower this weekend. A very cute couple with their little "gun" in hand stopped us to debate the finer qualities of the Diaper Genie versus the Diaper Champ. They were obviously going to be first time parents and both of them had that "deer in headlights" expression trying to decide what to register for. My advice - take someone with you who has done it before! I would have never made it through that store alive otherwise. But, I digress...back to the point of my story. The mom-to-be was looking at Addie and saying how beautiful she is. Addie is looking right back at her and giving that gorgeous smile of hers when all of a sudden I hear a very loud, adult sized, fart. Addie looked at me with a look of "surprise" on her face quickly followed by another little grin that said "whew, I sure do feel better". Mom-to-be didn't know what to say, of course my comeback was...see what you have to look forward to? Hunter would have been so proud...

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Such a big girl!!

Addie Grace is now 4 months old! As I have said many times, where does the time go?? She had her 4 month check-up today and she now weighs 13 ½ lbs and is 23 3/4 inches long - still under the 50th percentile for height and weight, but she is growing steadily - just a little on the petite side. The pediatrician said she is just perfect, which we already knew ;-) Okay, so we are biased!

She seems to learn something new every day. She is rolling over now, has
discovered her little "pigs", is pushing up during "tummy time", wants to
put everything in her mouth, and is definitely developing her little
personality more and more. She loves her daddy and thinks he is just the
funniest thing, especially when they go on a "drive".

Can't wait to see what new and exciting thing tomorrow brings!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Addie's Birthparents

So, I realize I left out a lot of detail about Addie's birthparents when I finally got around to posting her adoption story, but after the events of this past weekend I feel that I need to share more about them and how/why we have now switched to an open adoption (something I said I never wanted).

At our agency the adoptive parents typically meet with the birthmother prior to being matched which occurs prior to the baby's birth. Addie's birthmother ended up delivering earlier than expected so our "match" process happened kind of backwards. When the email came out that Addie was available all we knew about the birthparents was that they were a young couple (19 & 20), had been dating for approximately 2 years, the birthmother (A) had taken a year off from college to work and save money, and the birthfather (J) was working as a waiter and going to community college. They both lived at home with their parents, who didn't know that A was pregnant (what?? don't you think you would notice that???). To their credit A only gained 20 lbs during the entire pregnancy and didn't know herself that she was pregnant until she was already 25 weeks (again, I find that hard to believe...but I have heard that it happens). At this point in their lives they just weren't prepared emotionally or financially to parent a child. I admire them for recognizing that they weren't and for making a birth plan for their child. A & J had selected us from all the profiles that they had reviewed and the night that the adoption counselor called us to tell us we had been chosen, Hunter got to talk to J. They had a great conversation and hit it off right away. After the placement it was decided that we would have a belated "match" meeting with A & J and that we would take Addie with us. At the time of the match meeting, Addie had been home with us for 2 weeks. The day of the meeting I was so nervous I literally thought I was going to be sick. I really wanted them to like us. We met at a restaurant and from the time they walked up I just wanted to grab them both and smother them with hugs and kisses to tell them how thankful I was for the gift that they gave us. The meeting went great and the conversation really flowed. We ended up have a lot of things in common - hobbies, values, tastes in music, etc. They were just the cutest couple, but I have to say they seemed more immature than I remember being at their age - although now I can chalk that up to nerves. I offered to let them hold Addie and it just about ripped my heart out to hand her over to them. My heart was breaking for them, I can't imagine ever giving my child away. I know that our circumstances are very different and we have wanted a baby for so long. We did get them a little gift - a weekend away at a beach close by and we got A a necklace with an opal charm on it (October's birthstone). I mean what do you get for someone who has given you the gift of a life?? At the end of the meeting I was an emotional wreck, but A held it together very well. I was so glad that we met them and knew that I will be able to tell Addie all about them some day.

In November our adoption agency hosts a potluck/holiday gathering for all the past placed adoptive parents and current waiting parents. It was a lot of fun and we got to have Addie's first picture taken with Santa.

The main point of this is to tell you (sorry, I tend to get long-winded...I think it comes from Hunter) that we saw our adoption counselor there who had a letter for us from A & J. It was so very sweet and talked about how after meeting us that they knew they had picked the right parents for Addie. They also included A's ultrasound pictures. I still can't believe how incredibly thoughtful that was of them.

Our initial arrangement with them was a semi-open adoption which meant that Hunter and I would send letters and pictures on an agreed upon schedule through the agency so that A & J could have them if they chose. I was never very comfortable with the thought on a fully open adoption, I don't know why...maybe it is the selfishness in me that wanted Addie all to ourselves, maybe I was scared that if Addie knew her birthparents that that would somehow change her relationship with us...I really don't know.

There isn't a day that goes by that I don't think of A & J and what a wonderful gift they give us, but beyond that I wonder how they are doing, has A gone back to school, how is she coping with the whole situation, has her relationship with J suffered at all or are they still as in love as ever? Part of me really wanted to keep in touch with them and wanted Addie to know how much A & J really love her and what they did so that she could have a better life.

Early in January our adoption counselor called to tell me that she had been talking with A and that she had requested another visit with us and Addie. She still didn't feel like she had closure. My immediate thought was, no - Addie is ours, no one can take her from us. But once that initial thought passed and I verified that legally even if she did change her mind, there is nothing that can be done at this point - I was excited at the thought of seeing them again. That brings us to this past weekend and our second meeting with J & A. I wasn't nervous at all, I was really excited. I got Addie all dressed up, she had to look her best! As soon as we saw them it was like running into old friends. I gave them both a big hug and the conversation just flowed from there. We talked a lot about Addie, but we also talked a lot about our lives. They asked us a lot of questions about what we were like when we were their age and we in turn asked them about what their plans are and what they want out of life. They held Addie and called us "Mommy and Daddy" - I felt very weird and comforted by that all at the same time. They also brought us the sweetest gift, a framed and matted picture of Addie right after she was born in the hospital. There were several tears shed by both A and I at this visit. We talked about how we want to communicate in the future and decided that we did want an open adoption after all. I don't really know what all that means right now, but they do have our email address and a telephone number where they can call and check on Addie and we can keep up with how they are doing. As far as more visits, I guess we will just play that one by ear. Addie will truly know how much we both love her and care for her and I think that through our love for Addie we have a deep respect and love for A & J as well. I am so thankful that God has brought them back into our lives and really couldn't ask for a better situation. I hope that if they do get married one day that they invite us to the wedding. They will always hold a special place in our hearts.