Wednesday, February 25, 2009
Thankfully, Ben and I are not major stressers. I mean, really, what can you do? So, we wiped out our entire maternity leave savings account in 3 days...there are worse things that can happen, right? Do you know what stopped us from completely giving up and running to Mexico (besides the fact that we don't speak a lick of Spanish and my legs are currently the pastiest of whites)? Baby boy.
My heart is so full of joy, nothing can cloud the sunshine (not even losing thousands of dollars, unexpectedly!) Someone at church gave us a beautiful gift and framed Babyheart's ultrasound picture with a heart magnet frame so that he could hang on the fridge. Pouring my morning OJ takes three times the amount of time because I just can't stop staring. I have memorized every feature; every curve. I think about him every second of every day. I think about holding him for the first time and smothering his cheeks with kisses...I imagine us walking hand in hand and him proudly yelling, "Mommy" from the highest slide on the playground. I picture him with Ben everywhere....sitting on the couch, running in the yard, fishing with his uncles. There isn't a minute that goes by that I don't think about that boy.
Words fail to describe the love and anticipation I feel.
All that to say, in the midst of a trying week, our mama and daddy hearts rejoice. We got our pack and play in the mail, today, and we were like two kids in a candy store. Thankfully, we got it all setup without a hitch (we had a trial run at the store last week which had me peeing my pants from the hysterics of our delinquency at figuring out baby gear!) Our purchase came down to price and ease of setup. We found this little gem for $109 on A.mazon and had it up in a snap!
The problem is...we love it so much we can't take it down! Of course, leaving it up in the middle of the living room for the next four months would be ridiculous....or rather...should be ridiculous...but I find myself convinced that the living room wouldn't be the same without it and impulsively felt the need to assemble every unopened baby gaget stored in the closet....is that bad?
We can't help it. We have fallen head over heels in love with our baby boy. So what, if our living room could compete with a fully stocked Babies 'R Us? We may only get one shot at this. We're soaking it all in.
Sunday, February 22, 2009
"We're still believing that you'll have your own baby, someday. Crazier things have happened!"
I used to let this one go, but now I respond with, "That would definitely be a miracle, but it's a miracle I'm not praying for. We love that our family is being built through adoption and hope God continues to use us that way." And P.S. we are having our own baby...it's just coming through Rebekah.
"Oooh...do you think she'll change her mind?"
I can't tell you how many people have asked me this question. It's an instant conversation end-er if I've ever heard one!
"I don't understand why she wouldn't just keep the baby, if she already has kids of her own..."
And I don't understand why you would be saying this to me, right now! You do realize that the only way Ben and I will ever become parents is for someone to give us their baby, right? That, of course, is what I wanted to say...instead I politely turned the conversation around and told them just how awesome Rebekah is and that we support the decision that she feels God has directed her to make.
"She already has kids? Doesn't she believe in birth control?"
This one took some serious restraint as I almost punched this woman straight in the nose. I immediately asked her if she remembered the story of Mary Magdalene when Jesus said, "Let he without sin cast the first stone," and continued to tell her that this is the first child Rebekah has had outside of wedlock and that she's one of the better moms I've seen. She stammered over her words, got flush in the face, and tried to tell me that she didn't mean to insinuate that Rebekah wasn't a good mother. I walked away with, "I know what you meant," and didn't let her finish.
Now this last one actually came from Rebekah's doctor and was asked of her...
(Doctor sees adoption on her chart - asks about a match - she tells him about us)
"My wife and I are actually looking to adopt. Do you think we could be next in line if something falls through?"
What?!? Doesn't this breech some sort of doctor code? "Next in line?" This isn't a couch on Craigslist, buddy...That's my son, you're talking about!
All the other questions are fun. I love answering questions about Rebekah and the baby... if we'll get to name the little guy, etc. It's the off-the-wall ones that send me to the ring. I love this woman so much and would defend her to the death. Why do people feel they have the right to be so insensitive? Everyone always says, "Oh, they mean well." But do they?
Just this week I have had two people ask if they could pray for me. I'm not one to turn down prayer, but I'm seriously considering it next time someone asks. Both persons immediately touched my belly and started praying for God to open my womb....SERIOUSLY? "Um...Lord, pardon the eye roll, but could you please send out a memo?" Ben happened to be around for the second request...revert back a couple weeks and remember his valiant knight-in-shining-armor efforts...he stopped the person before they started praying. His response, "Actually, we're going to decline that prayer, thank you. We appreciate your thoughtfulness, but we're really excited about the path God has for us and would like to continue it. Those kind of prayers don't help."
I know, I know, some of you non-adopting/infertility people might think that may have been uncalled for. It's only prayer, after all, right? Maybe for you, but for us, it's a constant reminder of how many people don't respect our decision to adopt....and how many don't see adoption as the miracle we've been waiting for. After two years of this nonsense, we're calling it like it is. This girl is closed for "open womb" prayers. Been there, done that. If God chooses to do so, great, but I've moved on with my life. Why can't everyone else?
Friday, February 20, 2009
1) You must shop off season to get the best deals.
2) It is totally possible to outfit your kid in Gymboree and Baby Gap for under $10.
3) There are entirely more clothes for girls than there are boys.
4) Baby Boy does not have to be a girl to dress sassy!
5) I need to start my own clothing line.
As far as number five goes.... Can I just ask - What does a girl gotta do to get all hammers, basketballs, teddy bears, pooh bears, and cartoons removed from every article of clothing???? Seriously. I'm sorry but I want my little man to look classic and cuddly...not a billboard for sesame street. Do you know how hard it was to find plain pj's?
Anyway, I had so much fun, I thought I'd share some of my favorite finds!
All this for $20.00 Between Old Navy, Target, and Walmart
I love pj's!!! Only 2 were bought brand new at Target ($5.99 each) The others were all bought at Salvation Army for $0.50 to $1.50
Shirts - Old Navy $4 for both (Can you believe that? The sweatshirt was $1.50), Pants - Baby Gap via Salvation Army: $2, the shoes were the big splurge....$5.00 at Walmart!
I'd show you more, but I tuckered out of taking pictures and getting clothes out! You'll have to wait to see Baby Boy in all my sweet finds! I don't have many things for 0-3 months because a) I like newborns to be comfy and cuddly (that stuff isn't as fun to buy!) and b) summer stuff is just now coming out and stores expect you to pay a premium! I'll have to wait until the end of spring. I pretty much have the kid outfitted for winter, though!
I hit 2 jackpots. One, I was at Old Navy the morning of their 50% off the clearance racks sale and came out with two bags full of stuff for $100...the most expensive item was $6. And two, I have no qualms about shopping at Salvation Army. I know it's dirty; I know it's gross, but you HAVE to look past it! Everything washes (twice if necessary!) I've got that store down to a science...and I'm a brand snob (only when it comes to shopping at Salvation Army) . Here's what I do:
1) Go often! Sometimes you come out with nothing...but other times you have your hands full!
2)Only look for brand name tags. The quality is far above and most people that shop brand names take great care of their clothes.
3) Every week a tag color is designated for 50% off. Only shop that color. you can quickly scan the racks for the appropriate tag. Sometimes they go a step beyond and give you 5 items of that tag for $5 (Like today! Hence all the overalls).
4) Scope out the other items and if you see pieces you like with the same color tag, ask one of the workers when that tag will be 50% off...then remember to come back that week! Obviously, if it's too cute too pass up just splurge and spend the $4-5!
I have serious amounts of clothes for 3-12 months and I haven't spent more than $250.00!
I'm having such a blast. Hope you had fun looking through all the bags with me!
Thursday, February 19, 2009
I wrote something a couple of years ago about the lies I started to believe in regards to my barrenness. I was re-reading my journal entry and overwhelmed with the pain behind the words.
There's something wrong with you....You’re living in sin...You have done something wrong to deserve this...You’re not ready...You’re not worthy...Maybe you’re not doing it right; It really shouldn’t be this hard…You haven’t given enough...You’re not enough...You’re not even a real woman…
I will never forget that pain.
I think the reality of being a mom is starting to sink in and I'm in awe of the process as it unfolds before me. I had an amazing night last night. I came home, made the world's greatest meatloaf [really], thought about making banana bread, did the dishes, organized baby boy's closet, and played a game with Ben. You're probably thinking, "that sounds pretty lame to me..." but for me it screams life. For months, I was so mentally and emotionally exhausted that all I could was be sad. I still made dinner (sometimes) and cleaned the house (halfway), but I never enjoyed it. Everything was a chore.
I love the Message version of Psalm 13, "Take a good look at me!" I am celebrating his rescue and singing at the top of my lungs. I feel alive. It's incredible. I am head over heels in love with my baby and my Ben and my Savior. I actually whistled while chopping veggies last night...whistled! Who knew life could be so good?
The part that makes me laugh the most is my ability to trust again. There are complex details surrounding this adoption that still haven't been worked out and I feel as though I haven't a care in the world. Over and over again I hear myself telling people, "I'm just trusting God with it." Me. The girl who three weeks ago wasn't even sure God was listening. Now I'm trusting. Believe me, in the natural this thing has hypocrisy written all over it, but in the spirit GOD HAS REVIVED MY SOUL. There are no other words to describe it.
There's a song in my heart again and I just can't stop singing...
Sunday, February 15, 2009
The first of many story times to come....
[And completely disregard my appearance I had the flu, this weekend and haven't gotten out of my sweats!]
Friday, February 13, 2009
As you can imagine I am still living on a complete adrenaline high. I am overwhelmed on so many levels: God's love for me, the perfection of his plan, the beauty of this baby boy, the beauty of his mother, and not least of all the love and support from all of you. I had a surreal moment tonight when we came home from a celebratory dinner with friends (their treat!), I finished returning my countless text messages and voicemails, and read all 49 blog comments on the baby boy news. Most people have to die and listen to their eulogy/see attenders before they realize just how many people care. The overwhelming number of comments and calls and emails have humbled me. How could I have felt so alone for so long....when all of you were right here the whole time? Your support and genuine excitement has revived my soul. This God-sized miracle is not ours to hold onto...it's too big. We are thrilled to share it with all of you, our faithful friends! Ben and I decided, today, that a massive party is in order, mid-August, so that everyone who is able can meet our sweet miracle!
There are literally a thousand things running through my head, 10 of which are posts that I want to write, but tonight I'm going to highlight the strange contentment I feel toward my belly-free pregnancy. It's taken me by surprise and I want to be sure to document my feelings.
Rebekah and I have connected on so many levels, but the one that stands out most to me has to do with how we relate to others walking in our same shoes. I have probably read through a couple hundred adoption blogs over the last several months and many times what I read leaves me confused and questioning. I have never felt this draw toward pregnancy. Naturally, I want a baby more than anything and the simplicity of the pregnancy process has been a major point of contention in my life. But, my momma heart has always been centered on baby...not belly. And hear me, dear adoption friends, there is nothing wrong with wanting to carry a child, I've just never had this burning desire to do so. I don't understand the pain adoptive mothers feel at not being able to experience a baby in the womb, because I've never had it.
Likewise, when it comes to identifying with birth mothers, Rebekah is at a loss. She doesn't understand the bitter, angry words that, years later, come from the mouths of birth mothers. She doesn't relate to the overwhelming regret and guilt that she finds entangled in their adoption stories.
I share these two threads to show this amazing bond that God has woven between our two lives. We may not fully relate to others, but together our stories fit. I know I keep saything this, but something just feels right. My bumpless belly feels pregnant. I may not birth our sweet baby boy, but their is an everlasting love that sinks to the deepest part of my being that is birthing love for my son and his mother. I am astounded by what my heart feels for this woman. It's only been three weeks, but I love her. Already, she has become an extension of me...an extension I don't think I'll ever be able to live without.
I may have skipped over the morning sickness [real bummer], but Rebekah and I are walking this pregnancy together, hand in hand. Last weekend, Meeghan and I went shopping for maternity clothes. Meeghan looked for herself, I shopped for Rebekah. A few nights ago I looked up the development at 20 weeks and told Ben that Babyheart now has fully developed ears to hear Rebekah's heartbeat and voice...and that he is officially peeing! I was so excited to read about his growth, I immediately emailed Rebekah and sent her kisses for her belly. She quickly responded that little Babyheart is moving all the time and closed with these sweet words: "When I start feeling tired and achy, I think of you and Ben and then its all worth it."
I've seen the pictures, heard the heartbeat, felt the love. No belly is needed for this mama. It's strange and unexpected, but feels wonderful. Baby boy may not physically be growing inside of me, but his heart certainly is.
Thursday, February 12, 2009
Smiles for his Mama
I cannot stop the steady stream of tears because I've never seen anything so sweet in all my life. I have seen a dozen ultrasound pictures before, but never before were they my son...my love.
My sweet, sweet little boy...if you only knew the love my heart bleeds....If you only knew how quick years of pain were erased with one glance of your very small black and white face. If you only knew the path God has marked for you life...
I'm laughing, I'm crying, I'm soaking in God's goodness to me. I have never known such joy.
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
I've had exactly two weeks, today, to process this amazingly exhilarating news and I can tell you that I'm still a whirlwind of emotions. I can't work. I can't sleep. I can't eat. My mind is just reeling with excitement! How am I supposed to function when I'M GOING TO HAVE A BABY. Me. The girl who thought this was never going to happen. Always the birth friend never the birth mother. Countless pregnancy tests, hours of weeping, months of drugs, adoption highs, adoption lows, unforgiving hearts, anger toward heaven....all for this sweet, precious life. A life that will be entrusted in my care, call me mommy, and run to me when pain needs to be kissed away. This is too wonderful for words.
Our situation is unique, in the fact, that Rebekah and I have had numerous contact with each other and little contact with the agency, so far. The woman read every one of my blog posts. There's not much left untold....we certainly didn't need a caseworker mediating our interaction. We've been talking every day, several times a day for two weeks now and are still waiting to meet with the agency. It's funny to me that we're going to meet with our case worker on Friday and that there's nothing she's going to tell me (about Rebekah) that I don't already know. I love that. It feels right. And natural. I finally heard from the case worker yesterday on when we could meet and her advice to me was to be "cautiously optimistic" until the papers are signed (after the birth).
Nope. Sorry. Can't do it. Take the "cautiously" part out and maybe we'd have a deal. [smile]. I KNOW the risk. I've seen the devastation and heard the heartbreaking stories. I know what can happen. What does happen. But you know what? That baby. Rebekah's baby. Our baby....deserves all my stored up love, for as long as I'm given the opportunity to give it. How much fullness would be taken away from my life if I succumbed myself to cautious optimism? Where's the passion in living life cautiously? I'm an all or nothing kind of girl. I don't know how to do something half-way. I don't want to do things half way. The Bible tells us to be excellent at what is good. I've taken it on as my life mantra. I try to apply excellence to every area of my life and I'm not going to change my ways now!
I love this woman. I love her family. I love this baby. I have to trust God with all of their lives. Our sweet little Babyheart was in her mama's womb during some of the lowest points in my life. I have to believe that we were only shown once in 5 months because it took that much time for Rebekah to find me. Wouldn't proceeding with caution scream complete lack of confidence in God's will for my life? Haven't I done that enough? I know some of you will disagree. Call me naive, but this girl is throwing all caution to the wind! My heart is exploding with love for this baby and I'm going to love him/her like I've never loved before.
Monday, February 9, 2009
Since we're talking about good stories, I thought I might tell you one. Feel free to settle in with some popcorn...and watch a God-sized miracle unfold...
For weeks I was in a love/hate relationship with January 27th. The "27th" of every month holds significant weight for me because we had our first agency meeting on April 27th and oddly enough, 4 months later, we were officially put on the waiting list on August 27th. I look forward to every 27th for two reasons. First, we receive agency updates and second, it marks another month of waiting behind us and puts us one month closer to our Babyheart. So...it wasn't the 27th I took issue with....it was January. January 27th marked 9 months exactly. I knew it shouldn't be a big deal. I knew that we should expect to wait 12-18 months...but I was struggling with the fact that every other woman would be having her baby on the day that simply marked another "waiting" milestone for me. My heart was a wreck. The injustice can be suffocating at times...but back to the story...
For weeks leading up to January 27th I was a mess. Agency drama coupled with difficult decisions, made that time even worse. The longer we waited the more impossible the situation felt and in our hearts the give-up process had begun. I woke up with a heavy heart on Tuesday, January 27th, and on my drive into work, I questioned God for the umpteenth time, on what the heck he was doing. I bitterly threw out, "the least you could do is have the agency call, today....give me some sign of hope." I reminded him that every other woman would be having her baby, today...and that I could have had four babies by now had my body been made to work.
At 12:30pm (on the 27th) I received a voicemail from Ben, "Honey, call me back right away, the agency called."
Five year's worth of frustration came through my tears and my heart wept because I knew. I knew that God had finally heard my cry. Because I never thought this day would come, I really hadn't put much energy into thinking about how it would happen, what I would do, or how I would feel. I can't explain the rightness of what I felt in the 5 seconds it took for me to call Ben. The phone rang once...Lord, you heard me...twice...it's been 9 months, today...a third time...thank you for --
"Honey! The agency called and a birth mother picked us!!!"
I was so clouded with emotion [and again as I type] all I could muster was a meek, "Really...?"
"Yes! It's a crazy situation. She found us through your blog....called our agency...and told them she was already signed up with a different agency, but that she wants us to be the parents...."
I am seriously weeping as I type this...I can't even process the miracle of it all...I know that you want to hear the end of the story....but you have to let me continue to build it...this is a "good" story, remember? I have to go back to this feeling of rightness. It's the only way I can describe to you what I felt. As soon as Ben told me that our birth mom found us through my blog, I knew it was God. Apart from the fact that there are hundreds, if not thousands, of women blogging about infertility and adoption and this precious woman found me, it resonated perfection. I started this blog so that I could document our journey through adoption. I wanted our son/daughter to one day read their story, through my written word, capturing the raw emotion of our love. I had no idea how healing this blog would be...and the personal growth that would result. When I heard that someone read my words....including all the dark, nasty moments...and still said, "this is the family for me," I knew it was right. Doesn't it just make sense that God would take something so raw...so personal...so real...and use it to connect two people forever? I am astounded by his love for me. He truly is faithful, even when we are faithless. Hear my testimony and be encouraged. My heart can be described no other way. I lacked all faith that morning...but God sill heard my heart cry. And answered.
Okay, okay, back to the story! [smile] Ben was only given a handful of details, at first, including the mother's name, location, age, and baby's race and due date. I have to tell you that nothing about this match is what I expected. Ephesians 3:20 says that "He is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us." The truth of this has hit full force. He has done immeasurably more...
Our baby's mother is named Rebekah. Yes, you read it right. I've met two people my entire life that spelled their name the same way as mine. He has done immeasurably more... She was with another agency and had looked through dozens of profiles, but didn't have peace about any of them. He has done immeasurably more... One of my blog friend's real life friends told her about my blog this summer and she "happened" to meet Rebekah on a discussion board several years ago and they've been buddies ever since. When Rebekah chose adoption this woman sent her my blog address and told her to check us out. He has done immeasurably more... Rebekah's exact words, "I clicked on the link and as soon as their blog came up I started jumping up and down....I KNEW it was them. I started reading and it only confirmed that it was." He has done immeasurably more...
Rebekah is around my age, with kids at home. She is a good mom and it was immediately apparent that she loves her kids more than life. She loves the Lord with all her heart and chose us because she wants her baby to grow up in a Christ-centered family. He has done immeasurably more... She does live out of state, which she thought might change our minds about picking her [she doesn't know that I would go to the ends of the earth...]. Little Babyheart will be a beautiful mix of Caucasian and Hispanic and has a loosely planned birthday of July 6th. He has done immeasurably more... The part that screams miracle to me, is Rebekah. She is extraordinary. I mean it. I'm not just saying that because she's about to give me the world. She is strong and confident and hard working and excited. She is actually excited that God has brought redemption to the situation and is using her to ignite life in us. I am speechless. Ben is speechless. The ageny is speechless. God is smiling. He has done immeasurably more...
There is so much to write...but like any good story, I'm going to let the fullness sink in before I share more.
I want to look life in the eye...
I've thrown myself headlong into your arms—
I'm celebrating your rescue.
I'm singing at the top of my lungs,
I'm so full of answered prayers.
Oh, and by the way. This is my 100th post. [Huge Smile]
Wednesday, February 4, 2009
If I could drive any car in the world it would be the Lexus RX. I’ve had my eye on it ever since I started working a big girl’s job and I feel that I’ve unknowingly cheated because in the meantime I’ve fallen hard for my Jeep.
I love the quiet...and rarely feel the need to have music playing when I’m in the car.
One of my top five, all-time favorite songs is Killing Me Softly by the Fugees and I have no idea why.
I refuse to wear tampons after my best friend unashamedly had to rip one out of me because it was too full and had gotten "stuck." I discovered two things that day: 1) I am indebted to Laura for testing the bond of our friendship to the max and 2) Being poolside in a bikini is not worth the pain!
I am as girlie as they come but when it comes to sex I am 100% man. I require zero frills or forethought. I like it short and sweet and often. [When Ben gets around to reading this in a few weeks he'll be mortified...but in agreement!]
Talking on the phone is one of my least favorite things to do.
I LOVE making lists. Grocery lists, to-do lists, future project lists, when-there's-nothing-to-do lists...I'm so neurotic about it that sometimes if my list isn't neat enough, I'll tear it up and make a new one. Only clean straight lines are allowed when crossing off items on the list and I will add something completed to the list just so I can cross it off. I have a problem really....
I live for Choo Choo's Chocolate dark chocolate turtles.
I love being with me and soak in the time I get to spend alone.
I could spend 5 hours shopping and come home with one pack of socks for Ben and be completely satisfied.
I hate driving in the rain.
Growing up my favorite numbers were always 3 and 5....but 3 lost it's luster, so now I roll with 5. I try to use it as often as I can.
I am a Notory Public and took my oath very seriously...in a mini jean skirt. My first act in office included notorizing my love for Ben...and my closest girlfriends.
I must keep my toenails well manicured because I have this nail fetish that can't be satisfied. I love to peel back the layers and clean out jam....albeit disgusting, it offers me disturbing amounts of satisfaction.
My alter ego is named "Straight Haired Girl" and Ben enjoys his dates with her.
I don't like potato chips of any kind, but have a maddening addiction to T.G.I.F Potato Skins, Sour Cream & Chive flavor. Their existence taunts me with rarity....but when I do find them, I buy every bag on the shelf. [Dan, I seriously blame you for this one.]
I have never heard the alarm clock in the morning. Ever. A marching band could parade through the room and I would continue to sleep.
I have this bizarre habit of spelling words I like, in my head, when I hear them for the first time...You probably shouldn't play Scrabble with me because of it
I only write with blue pens.
Samuel is my favorite person in the Bible and I love that he chose to sleep in the very presence of God...and that his words never fell from his mouth. I strive to be him.
I wish bees didn't exist. They make me nervous.
I don't know how to french braid and will be in serious trouble when I have a little girl.
One of my favorite summer chores is bleaching the garage floor.
At night, my feet need to hang off the end of the bed or I'll never fall asleep.
I love simplicity and try to use it in every area of my life.
There you have it! I tried to think of items that most of you wouldn't know and hopefully, you don't think I'm a complete nut job.
I have been a little lax in the blogging because I've been studying really hard for my GMAT (admission test for Grad school). I'll be back in full swing next week. My next post will be my 100th....and I promise it'll be good!
Sunday, February 1, 2009
Anyway, here's some pictures of the fun!