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Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Echos of being good enough in parenting

Been doing some thinking, after some frustrations with customer service issues and reading parenting thoughts by other bloggers.  Namely this mother at Lishous.com where she wrote THIS article.  I recently dealt with a member of our club that was upset when a membership was not cancelled on his time.  In the short of it, policies and procedures are laid out for a reason.  I am firm believer that the customer is right, and sometimes, we as business owners have to bite our tongue, suck up your pride and give in.  However, I am not a proponent of disrespect. When someone speaks to me (mind you, this someone is nearly 20 years younger than I) with profanity and swearing every other sentence telling me I am wrong, I do not take well to this.  I certainly am not perfect, and as an imperfect human, am very willing to own up to my mistakes.  However, bullying me into getting your way, disrespectfully, is not going to get you anywhere.  Ok, now that I have vented, onto my reason for this post.

As a parent, respect is a big deal in our home.  This world is losing its respect for self, for others, for mother nature, for religion, for just plain everything.  In the article mentioned above, this mother talks about how her perspective of parenting changed with one sentence.  I love her take on this view, and certainly will be considering this as a mother myself.  However, I do have some other thoughts.  I hope she would agree, but here's what I have to say.

Yes, we should be speaking to our children with respect, to get the same respect in return, and certainly getting down to their eye level.  Its important that our children don't feel they are being talked down to.  But when a child speaks to you with the same disrespect I got from the before mentioned member of our fitness club, then the tone will change, naturally.  Not because it should, it just does.  This is where we as parents have to learn self control with our own emotions.  And prayer has been the key for me in this endeavor.

Yesterday, my 8 year old son was dealing with some tough emotions.  He was reprimanded at school for "disrespect", and when I talked to him about it, asking what he had done, his immediate response, as is his usual effort to justify his actions, was to share with me how he feels the other kids were being mean to him and he was retaliating with anger.   Then shortly after, when asked to complete a chore (cleaning up dog poop from the yard), he lashed out in anger yelling at me, spewing mean words in the mix, with tears in his eyes.  Storming out of the room, he slammed the door to the outside behind him and proceeded to drag his feet while gathering the necessary tools for the job.  Admittedly, as a younger mother, I would have retaliated with similar behavior, in an effort to show him how ridiculous he was behaving.  The whole approach of mimicking, or mocking.  Either way, not a good approach.  It has not proven to be effective in our home as a quality parenting skill.  However, at times, it has brought laughs and lightened the mood.

So I sat there, wondering what to do with my heartbroken and troubled son.  Yes, he was out of line in disrespecting me in his moment of anger, after feeling attacked at school by both his peers and teacher.  I am not saying he was not at fault, but that is how he felt.  I stood up, went outside and began to help him scoop the poop.  Not only were we literally scooping our dogs poop, but we were cleaning up the mess that was made of our emotions that afternoon.  Scooping the poop from our lives.  As we quietly surveyed the lawn for Ozzie's little lawn treats, Zander began to cry.  This was a different cry than the angry cry while he yelled at me, this was a quiet whimper, where he was burying his head in his jacket.  I asked what was wrong, to which he replied, "I don't like when I hear those words at school and then say them to you".

My sweet, big heart-ed son had felt the sting of true sorrow and remorse from his actions.  He didn't need a mother to yell at him, he didn't need to feel belittled by parents he looks up to (literally), he needs to be heard, he needed to be in his thoughts and emotions, and he needed to see his mother put aside her own emotions and serve him.

I am not always so calm, but I pray each day for the effort to try to be.  In a talk given by Elder J. Devn Cornish found HERE he says,
"If we must compare, let us compare how we were in the past to how we are today—and even to how we want to be in the future. The only opinion of us that matters is what our Heavenly Father thinks of us. Please sincerely ask Him what He thinks of you. He will love and correct but never discourage us; that is Satan’s trick."

Our children deserve to be heard, they deserve to be able to express their own emotions and learn to deal with them.  They don't need to have us rub their noses in the poop, for them to understand that sometimes, it just sucks to have to deal with people and poop.  I have learned a lot in the last couple years from my children, that even though I am the mother, and my husband and I lay down the ground rules, my children still have a voice and it deserves a place in our home and our hearts.

Final quote by Elder Cornish from the same talk, 

"If you will really try and will not rationalize or rebel—repenting often and pleading for grace—you positively are going to be “good enough.”

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Mother's Day

I love Mother's Day, always have, always will.  I have heard many times others say they hate this day and it breaks my heart to hear that.  I wonder why they would have such ill feelings towards a holiday that we get to celebrate the joy of being able to be a mother, to be blessed to have the Lord entrust us with his most precious.  So why do I love Mother's Day, for that reason exactly.  I am a mother, and I count my blessings everyday that I get to be one. 

I am not perfect, I don't have homemade baked cookies ready for my kids after school.  I don't take them to the park everyday, and they do have to clean their rooms and do chores around the house.  I get angry and sometimes even yell.  Somedays I want to pull my hair, out of frustration because my kids don't listen.  I work a lot and just the other day decided to try for "mother of the year" by forgetting to get home in time for my kids after school, until my daughter texted me, "Where are you?".  Yikes, that was a winner mom moment for sure. 

But, I try.  I have plenty of hugs and kisses to give, I try to teach my children manners and gratitude and service for others.  I am there for them when they cry, when they laugh and when they just want to throw a fit or be defiant.  And for this, I am truly happy I get to celebrate this day.  With all my imperfections and weaknesses, I get to be the best mother for my kids.  I am who my Father in Heaven wanted for them.  And because of the unconditional love that two amazing women had for their little ones, I am a mother. 

The day before Mother's Day is Birth Mother Day!  Appropriate since they were mother's before I was able to be one.  This is also why I love Mother's Day, because of the opportunity to celebrate with my two sisters gained through adoption.  I get to celebrate them and the love I have for them. 

I love Mother's Day, always have, always will.




Sunday, May 1, 2016

Precious moments

Early on in our family, when Kya was just a little girl, learning to walk and talk we had an experience of uncertainty in how our open adoption was going to work.
 
Sitting around the living room of Jerica's house, enjoying conversation with her parents and siblings, after stuffing our faces with a delicious meal made by Mama G (as Carl has lovingly named her), Kya was crawling around the floor playing with toy horses.  She had recently learned to say "mama" and called to me for some help with a toy.  I went to her and played with her for a moment.  The weekend went on this way, hanging out, eating good food and chatting it up. 
 
Jerica had graduated from high school at this time and was spending all her free time with her friends before they were leaving for college or moving on in their lives.  Leaving their small town to experience the world.  We didn't get to spend as much time with her in Kya's early years.  Surely she was doing her best to get on and cope with adoption and the openness we were blessed to have with them. 
 
Sunday after church, Jerica and her parents pulled us aside.  We sat around the sitting room, away from the other family members, while Kya was being watched by her aunt (Jerica's younger sister).  
 
I could feel the emotions in the room begin to build and it was evident that there were concerns and heavy thoughts coming from Jerica.  Mom and Dad G were also a little more somber than normal.  My heart began to pound for fear of what I felt was about to happen.  Jerica's dad began to explain, as Jerica was clearly unable to speak while tears began to well in her eyes. 
 
We were told that Jerica wasn't sure how to continue an open adoption.  Hearing Kya call me "mommy" was a little too much for her to handle at the time.  She didn't want to lose the closeness we had, but wasn't dealing with it as well as she had hoped.  We were told that she wanted to take some time to think about it and make a decision of how to move forward in her own journey, with or without us in it.
 
Communication and honesty are very important to Carl and me in our open adoption journey.  We have always said from the beginning, that if ever our children or our birthfamilies needed a break from openness then we all had to respect that right.  Adoption has always been for the best interest of our children and our birth moms and birth dads.  At this moment, Jerica's best interest was our concern.  Unfortunately we had to tell her that we would respect her wishes (as difficult as this was for me to imagine losing my "sista from anotha mista") but that she needed to also understand, that however long it took for her to come back to us, if she did, then it would be up to Kya and her best interest if she would be able to allow that open adoption in her life. 
 
Jerica took a few days to think, as we tried to patiently wait.  We left that weekend with heavy hearts and puffy eyes, with the thought that we may not be able to have Jerica in our lives regularly.  The next week she called and told us she didn't want to lose our family and wanted to continue on our open adoption journey with us.  I was thrilled and so grateful for her decision.  She was just struggling with  life changes, friends leaving and decision of what to do post graduation.  It was all a little overwhelming. 
 
8 years later, we are going strong and I count my blessings everyday for all the beautiful family we have gained through both our kids. 
 
I took these pictures just a few weeks ago while visiting Jerica and her husband and two little boys.  We were getting ready for the day and Jerica was doing Kya's hair.  I cherish these precious moments we share.
 
 

 

Monday, April 25, 2016

Tess and Zander

Lately I've been writing more about life lessons I'm learning and experiences and trials.  This crazy roller coaster ride or rather life journey we are on.  This is all good and grand as we all learn how to deal with hurdles.  But tonight I wanted to share some simple precious moments we've had lately with our open adoption journey. 

Open adoption is a daily learning opportunity.  I've never done this before, I've never had a nine and seven year old before now with seven families to love them.  We are constantly experiencing new life lessons and ways to handle how Love makes a Family, not always blood. 

It hasn't always been easy, but its always worth the lesson. 

Zander was just a few months old when we were preparing for his adoption finalization and sealing in the temple to our eternal family.  Both sets of Zander's birth grandparents had been able to come and visit and spend time with our little baby boy.  He was such a tiny little baby, and had so much personality, very early on.  From very vocal lungs, just minutes after birth to a curious spirit and animated facial expressions as a baby, he has always brought spice to our family.  During their visits from states away, I would constantly share the similarities I was seeing in Zander and our family, and especially his similarities to me.  This was hard for Tess to hear, how could I try to compare this little boy that clearly was a big part of her, to me (not a biological mother)?

As an adoptive mother, learning how to raise children I had not born, was educational.  I have always felt strongly that once these children are in my care and in my home and family, then I was going to do my best to make sure they never felt "different" or less than anything but my children and our family.  It was my (and Carl's) responsibility to bring them 100%, wholeheartedly into our family.  Once their birthmoms hand them over to me, that's my job.

We love to find the "nature vs nurture" attributes in our children.  Its almost a fun game we play, trying to pick out their quirks or unique personalities and claiming those from us or naming those to a birthparent.  I love every bit of who my children are and where they came from and I will proudly own it all. 

For example, my son has a wild and creative personality.  The imagination running through his brain is mind blowing.  He has such a free spirit about him and will do things his own way and in his own time.  He was born with blonde hair, despite his Mexican and Italian blood, and beautiful olive skin.  Many times I would hold this little one in my arms and stare into his eyes, hold his little hands and feet and try as I might to find the similarities he and I shared.  But even in this same thought, I could not see past the beauty he held in his soul of where he came from, the qualities he possessed that he shared with Tess and Jon.  He has her eyes, he has her laugh, he has his charming dimples.  He was my child to raise and love and entrusted with, but not a day goes by that I don't see Tess and Jon in him. 

Unfortunately, I did not express this as well early on.  I was learning to be a mother, and entrusted to be his mother by another.  I searched hard to find the similarities he shared with me.  My daughter is just like her father, in personality, spirit and even looks.  I was determined to see me in my son.  But how could this biologically be?  This was a concern Tess had and feared we would forget what she had done for us.

To this day, as much as Zander is my son, I don't see him, without seeing her or Jon.  And I love that about my children.  That there is evidence of all of us in them, while they both still maintain their own uniqueness and absolute greatness as human beings.  My children know they are loved in our home and family and they truly are my children, but they came with so much more.  More greatness, more family, more beauty that I get to share with the world. 

Tess shared these pictures with me, from her recent visit to our home.  She made a special 8 hour drive to help me out just days after my hysterectomy a couple months ago.  Unfortunately, not only was I recovering and mostly bed ridden, Carl and Kya decided to come down with a nasty flu/cold that also put them down.  Thankfully, Zander did not get sick and was able to spend some precious one on one time with Tess. 

Again, precious moments that I cherish.  I am so grateful for Tess, Jerica and ultimately my Father in Heaven who first and lastly brought these children to my home, family and heart and have shared, entrusted and allowed me to be their mother. 


Saturday, April 16, 2016

Finding Peace in the Silence

 My daughter loves horses.  Its in her blood.  At our very first "face to face" meeting with Jerica, I was in awe of her beautiful hair and then she told us that she just had an ultrasound and saw Kya's hair.  They told us Jerica has a "mane" of hair, just like a horses tail and we all hoped Kya would have the same gorgeous hair.  We like to refer to Kya as the "animal whisperer", and that definitely includes horses.  She communicates with animals better than she does with humans. 

"When can we get horses mom?", "Why can't we now?", "Can we buy a house with land, so we can have horses?", "Can I ride someone else's horse?".  The questions are never ending, she even prays that we will one day soon be able to have horses.  My answer is often, "not now", "we don't have horses for you to ride all the time", "I don't know when we will have horses".  Its endless, and I just don't know how to answer her.  In the meantime, we have tried to get her riding lessons, but that's not exactly what she wants.  What is a mother to do?  So I stop talking about it, and if she inquires, I often answer with, "sweetie, I've already given you the answer, I don't know what else to tell you, not right now, maybe someday...." 

For five years we have tried to adopt again, and have had 3 birthmoms choose another option; another family or keep and 3 other potential scams.  Needless to say, its been difficult.  We have so many supporters and I am grateful for so many words of encouragement.  Many prayers have come our way, and for that I am overwhelmed with gratitude.  However, I still have those feelings of "emptiness", and I know there are so many others out there that struggle as well. 

Just the other day, a beautiful mother of 18 children (half through adoption), reached out to me to send me words of encouragement and share a story with me from another mother.  Mama Karmel shared her miraculous story just days ago with the blessing of a little baby girl brought to her through adoption and truly angels.  Her story is fascinating and brought me to non-stop tears.  I was so touched by her story and my heart was full with the hope that she shares.  But then other feelings crept in.

Just when I start to find peace in the fact that I will probably only have two children, then thunder strikes.  A birthmom contacts us, or I read these stories and wonder why it's not happening the same way for me.  My tears of joy for Mama Karmel turned to tears of sorrow for my empty arms and feelings of being lost.  Why, when I am so blessed would I even allow the adversary to put those feelings and thoughts into my mind?  I called my husband, and I cried to him over the phone.  "If I am to only have two children, then thank you, but what else am I supposed to do?"  I know I have more to give, and I am very blessed to be a mother to the two greatest kids in the world.  But my kids are fairly easy, in that they are getting older, independent and well behaved (for the most part...wink wink).  So, what is it you would have me do, Lord?  I have love, service and time to give.  What can I do?  I know, as soon as I ask....then life gets too busy. 

My amazing husband is so calm and understanding of my silliness.  I am so blessed to have him as my sounding board...but he doesn't just listen, he knows what to say, even if I don't want to hear it.  And this is how he counseled me, he told me, 'I know you want certain things, and its great that you do, but I know that the Lord knows His plan for us and He will answer us when an answer is warranted.' 

Why does that mother get so many answers and another baby and I hear nothing?  Why does that other mother have so many kids, and I don't?  When is it my turn?  Why, Why, Why....???  I am sure the Lord is up there rolling his eyes, just as I do sometimes with my daughter when the questions just keep coming.  I've answered you, I don't know what else to tell you right now.  I don't have a horse for you right now.  Patience my dear.  Patience. 

My husband calls it, "radio silence".  "You've gotten your answer, its just not what you want to hear right now", Carl reminded me, "You can keep asking, but He doesn't have anything new right now".  My Heavenly Father is there, but he just doesn't have answer for me right now.  He's given me the answers necessary for me to move forward and be the best mother I can for my kids.  The radio silence is His patience with me.  Why can't I be patient with Him.

I know my Heavenly Father is there, and that He knows my sorrows and concerns.  I know this because He sent me comfort through another.  Post hysterectomy, a month ago, I knew that going to the gym to workout was not an option, but I had to do something to stay active and sane, so I started to walk along the Snake River Canyon Rim.  We have an amazing trail system with breathtaking views.  The sunrise in the morning is so peaceful and this seemed to be the perfect place for a refreshing walk.  One morning while walking alone and in my thoughts, I wore black pants and a black hoodie.  Not my normal attire, I am often in bright colored tops with matching shoes, and hair tied up in a high messy bun.  I must have wanted to be hidden from the world, focusing on the roller coaster I was on with our most recent birth mother experience (see previous posts for story).  A day or two after this walk, I got a call from a lady.  She said, "my name is Sue, and I met you a couple years ago while at girl's camp."  She was one of our fabulous cooks that year.  "I passed you while walking and you just didn't seem as chipper as I've seen you before.  I just felt like I needed to call you and see how you are doing".  WOW!  Someone, whom I've only met once, who had to call someone else to get my name and number, was inspired to "say hi, how are you?".  Later she tells me that while she was running past me she felt a strong impression to stop me, then and talk to me, she had other things to attend to and didn't know my name.  So she continued on her way.  Again she felt impressed to talk to me, even though she was surprised she even recognized me in my dark and mysterious appearance.  A day or two later, she called. 

This was the Lord telling me, "I hear you, I know you are there and I know your concerns, your worries, your questions.  I am here and I do hear you". 

So, how do I find peace in this "radio silence".  My husband gave me some things to think about...again.  You have to almost beat it into me.  That day I went to the temple, looking forward to being closer to my Father in Heaven, in hopes that I will find more peace.  I have prayed before, turning my heavy heart and empty, lost feelings over to Him.  Pleaing with Him to take this from me, I cannot not carry this burden anymore.  I want so badly to just have peace with this.  I've prayed, I've said it, am I really allowing Him to take this from me. 

I am still on this journey to find peace in the silence, its only been a few days of this new perspective, but as I sat in the temple and literally felt peaceful and calm with a feeling of comfort that my Heavenly Father and Lord and Savior KNOW ME.  They hear me, they let me know this with Sue. 

In Mama Karmel's story, she shares a talk from the October 2015 Conference by Russell M. Nelson, "A Plea to My Sisters".

After this "eye opening" experience with my husband and "radio silence", I went to this talk again and listened to it a few times.  Feel free to read the whole talk here, but I wanted to share a portion of it that has spoken to me during my "finding peace in the silence" journey...

My dear sisters, you who are our vital associates during this winding-up scene, the day that President Kimball foresaw is today. You are the women he foresaw! Your virtue, light, love, knowledge, courage, character, faith, and righteous lives will draw good women of the world, along with their families, to the Church in unprecedented numbers!6
We, your brethren, need your strength, your conversion, your conviction, your ability to lead, your wisdom, and your voices. The kingdom of God is not and cannot be complete without women who make sacred covenants and then keep them, women who can speak with the power and authority of God!7
President Packer declared:
“We need women who are organized and women who can organize. We need women with executive ability who can plan and direct and administer; women who can teach, women who can speak out. …
“We need women with the gift of discernment who can view the trends in the world and detect those that, however popular, are shallow or dangerous.”8
Today, let me add that we need women who know how to make important things happen by their faith and who are courageous defenders of morality and families in a sin-sick world. We need women who are devoted to shepherding God’s children along the covenant path toward exaltation; women who know how to receive personal revelation, who understand the power and peace of the temple endowment; women who know how to call upon the powers of heaven to protect and strengthen children and families; women who teach fearlessly."

I just love this talk, and have listened to it several time, this week alone.  As I continue to learn and grow on this journey of "finding the peace in the silence", I have learned that continuing to ask the same questions, is not necessarily going to give me the answer I want, or an answer at all right now.  There just isn't one to receive.  Just as when my kids ask me over and over for the same thing and I don't have an answer for them.  Timing and patience.  In the meantime, I can serve others and help other mother's survive their tough "mommy moments" to the best of my ability.  What kind of women am I or can I be, according to Elder Nelson's talk?  And that is my "peace" for now. 

Sunday, April 10, 2016

We have a WINNER!

Yay, we have a winner for our $50 gift card.  Thank you everyone that participated in the "open adoption" survey contest.  I truly loved hearing the opinions and ideas of others views of open adoption.  Congratulations Mallory, you were our random picked winner.  Now go buy yourself something pretty.  Love a good giveaway!

As for the conclusion of our recent adoption story.  I've had a few people mention they want to hear the rest of the story.  As for Maddie, there is no more to the story, unfortunately we never did get confirmation of pregnancy from her and she has no longer contacted us. 

As for the lessons learn, there is a whole new story there.  I won't bore you with all the details, but I will share some of my insight and things I've learned.  I understand I am not the only one facing trials, we all have them and we all struggle with our own demons.  I also understand I am not the only one struggling with infertility or the desire to want more children.  Its a righteous desire and I'm sure I will always have this desire to be a mother to more children.  However, this desire does not replace and never will replace the feelings of gratitude I have for the two children I have been blessed with.  My life revolves around them and always will.  They are the reason for everything I do, everyday.  I am eternally grateful to their birthmothers, birthfathers and all our extended family we have gained through their adoptions.  My desire to be a mother again may never be fulfilled here on this earth, and I am finding peace in the fact that I am still a mother and have two amazing and beautiful children already. 

Everyone struggles, everyone has trials they sometimes wish they didn't have to deal with, but I am grateful for my trials because I often grow spiritually from them.  I have learned to look at others with a different light and try to be more understanding that they too are fighting.  I try to gain a greater understanding of my Heavenly Father's plan for me.  There is always a reason we face what we do, and as far as I understand, if we don't learn and grow from them, what is our purpose for our trials. 

I have no hard feelings towards Maddie, if anything I have a greater love for her and her reasons for contacting us in the first place that I cannot explain.  Putting ourselves out there for adoption is difficult, and sometimes can result is pain and confusion.  But it also allows for opportunities to love, it allows for eye opening experiences and ultimately offers opportunity for me to try to become more like my Savior, gaining unconditional love for all. 

Thank you for those who have read and shared.  Thank you for allowing me this outlet to "talk it out", "let it off my chest"...whatever the reason, I am grateful for my experiences.  I pray that by sharing, this can be received well with the best intentions and also portrayed for the reason of mostly learning and growing from our trials. 

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Giveaway contest EXTENDED

I am absolutely loving all the responses and viewpoints of open adoption. Please keep them coming. I have decided to extend the contest one more week to see other's comments. Please continue to share. Someone may need to hear all your beautiful comments.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

How "open" is "open adoption"?

I'm conducting a little survey/contest. We have a very open adoption in our family, but I have often wondered what it means to others to have an open adoption?  What is the relationship between birth family and adoptive family. I'm putting this out there as my own little research. Please leave a comment here with your knowledge or ideas of open adoption. You do not need to be a part of a birth family or adoptive family to participate.
Please share and I would love your participation. The contest part comes in here...I will choose a winner from the comments in a week. Leave a comment, tag a friend, follow and share. Winner receives a $50 Visa gift card. Wahoo...let the comments begin.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Part 4

Maddie asked constantly, about every half hour, if we had gotten our answer.  Finally on day 4, I responded with this.  "We would love to move forward with you, get to know you and look into this adoption", sounds promising right?
  "So you want my babies, then?"
 "We would love them, can you get us some information and let's definitely stay in touch"
"Yea"
"Did you get your answer from God?"
"No, but we are moving forward with faith"
"Yea"

This is where my desperate attempts to find her a support system and proof of pregnancy came into play.  I called counselors in her area, my own counselor locally, my adoption attorney and even bishops near her.  She agreed to work with a counselor, but not an agency.  I sent her the 13 page medical and social questionnaire, that she would eventually have to fill out for the completion of a legal adoption.  Birthdad would have to do the same eventually.  We needed to get the ball rolling and get information from her to be able to proceed forward. 

By day 5, we still had not received any information from her including confirmation of pregnancy.  I asked her when her next doctor's appt was and she told me in two weeks.  Awesome, we can spend the time to continue to develop our own relationship.  Unfortunately she was becoming more and more resistant to getting support and was focusing more on her own needs for attention.  She had requested to contact one of our birthmoms on day 1, so she could get to know us through their eyes.  I was able to get a hold of Jerica and she was more than willing to chat with Maddie.  She wanted to know how long it took for us to know if Kya was our baby.  "Why does she want to meet my parents?"  "Why is it taking so long for them to know?"  "How long did it take them to answer you?"  "Why do my parents need to be involved" and so on.  Tuesday, day 5, started off rough with a lot of resistance from her and the need of certainty for us.  She contacted Jerica that "we were adopting the babies", after I told her we were moving forward.  And Jerica heard very quickly that, "we got in a fight today", when she would not allow me to meet her parents.  Or got upset because I encouraged her to stop drinking when she asked me what she should do, and then advised she drink water or juice.

Then, my world got dark, I felt myself falling, fast and hard.  She informed me that the babies had not moved in a while.  "What should I do?"  Call the doctor, drink some water, you could be dehydrated.  A call was made to the doctors, the uncertain decision to go to the hospital, finding a ride from a friend to take her (her car is broken) and her arrival and blood pressure were obtained...all within a matter of about 10 minutes.  Wow, that was fast!  I continued to correspond with her and even requested to chat with her on the phone, maybe even chat with the nurses, with her consent.  We were needing to get some clarity and now that there was a threat of "miscarriage", we really needed some answers. 

By the time she had been to the hospital and home in a very short time, after a whole day of non-stop conversation, I was tired, it was late and my eyes were nearly swollen shut with tears.  My head was pounding and spinning and my heart was physically hurting.  Carl was trying his best to console me and help me understand things as best he could.  Why can't I just know for sure what it is I am supposed to do?  If not more children, then what?  I know I have so much to give, where else can I?   Are these babies mine?  Are there really babies there?  Why won't she cooperate?  Why won't she allow her parents to support her?  Why was I so lost and so numb?  Why, why, why?  So many unanswered questions.  I couldn't do it anymore, so I put my phone down and tried to ignore her constant texting.

"Why do you want to talk to doctor, they busy"
"Besides, I would have to tell them about you" This after already agreeing to sign a release of information form.
"Besides, I tired and want to go to bed"
"You right, I dehydrated, just want to go to bed"
"I hate water, I don't like drinking that"
"Jerica, did Paula talked to your doctor?"
"Were they ok with that?"


Finally, I texted and said, "ok, goodnight"

"Do you still want babies?"

What was she doing to me?  Did she know that my heart was not only breaking for the potential loss of twins, or the idea of twins, but also breaking for her?  If this is real, what can I do for her?  If this is not, what can I do for her?  Why can't I just have more children?  It shouldn't be this hard, should it? 

"Goodnight, we'll talk more in the morning", but our conversation didn't end there.  She wanted to know why it was so important for her parents to be involved.  She wanted to drink.  I couldn't let her go then, with the possibility of that happening.  So I did the best I could to end the night with love. 

"Sweetie, drink lots of water, and it had to be explained to her again why, because you are dehydrated and need to take care of yourself and your babies"
"They are your babies", she would reply.
"Get some sleep and lets talk in the morning"

Phew, I was exhausted.  This was only 10% of our conversations that day.  I was in a "face down in the arena" moment.  Quote from Brene' Brown's book "Rising Strong".  (more on this book later) 

Day 6:

"Good morning Maddie, how did you sleep?"
I tried to start the next day off with a positive note, and her replies were as if nothing happened the night before.  Two job interviews that day for her, and her mom was home from work for her own birthday.  After our usual small talk she shared with me that the babies were moving again.  This is good news.  "Are you drinking water?"
"I hate water"
"Add flavor to it"
"ya"
Often our conversations were on repeat.  Just breath, I thought to myself.  

"Why do you want to talk to my parents, or doctor?"

Was this unreasonable for me to ask?  "If you say you want me to be the mother of your girls, then I would like to know how they are doing and their progress.  I would also love to have you have a support team while you go through this.  It's important to us that you have that"

"I an a adult, its not their decision"

I couldn't take anymore, she needed to cooperate, as we were willing to do whatever it took to help her from a distant. 

"Maddie, I need you to get me proof of pregnancy, either with an ultrasound, the doctor's notes on your visit, a call to or from the doctor, you meeting with a counselor, attorney or agency or something to help us be able to move forward, this week please"

"Fine, I get you proof tomorrow, don't know why you need it, but I get it"

Thank you, that's all we need right now, in order to continue with adoption.  If you want my friendship, love and attention, usually you just have to ask.  I have a lot of love to give, but not when I am promised babies, for it.  Preying on my vulnerability isn't an invitation for my love. 

Three days went by, with small talk and excuses.  I am upstairs, I'll get the doctor's name and number for you later.  I am in the bathroom.  I am in a mood, had a fight with boyfriend, I'll text you later.  After the first time she told me about her being hit by her boyfriend, I did ask if I could call the police for her, this is not a good situation to be in.  She refused.  I'm lazy right now, don't want to get up.  I forgot the doctor's name.  I don't have money for a counselor.  Although meeting with an LDS bishop initially is free, and possibly finding a counselor or financial aid wasn't going to work for her either.  My car doesn't work, how would I get there.  I don't want my parents to help me

One after the other, there was a reason she would not cooperate.  She did however have a doctor's appointment on day 8.  When the time passed for her to contact me about the appointment and how the babies were doing, I heard nothing.  No texting, no calls, nothing. 

"How was your appointment today?"
"Good"
"Wanna tell me about it?"
"I tired"
"Did you sign the release form at the doctor's?"
"yes"
"Can I get the doctor's name so I can call?"
"I tired, got in fight with boyfriend, want to sleep" at 3 in the afternoon
"Maddie, please give me the name or give me something to work with or I will need to cut this off"

Silence

"Fine"
"Fine what?"
"Fine, cut me off"

Nothing.........................but heartache. 

To be continued

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Part 3...and the story continues. Part 4 very shortly behind.

I feel a little bad.  My initial intention was not for this story to be a cliffhanger.  However, it's a bit of a story and I knew I wouldn't be able to write it all in one night, so I had to break it up.  So I apologize for making everyone wait for the truth of the story.  And unfortunately I don't have a baby in my arm ending of the story.  It's simply a life lesson, and education opportunity of the reality of the roller coaster ride called, "Adoption".  Seriously, I should design an amusement ride that takes one through the peaks and valleys of adoption.  What a ride that could be!

Well, Maddie and I were connected every day for over a week, usually with a simple "Hi" in the morning, that followed with the activities of our days.  Maddie was needing someone to talk to, she needed love and attention.  We even had a great FaceTime conversation.  The majority of the call was  small talk and me looking up her nose.  She was watching a movie during our call and I think she must have forgotten that she was on FaceTime.

I was still very concerned with many "red flags", namely her constant comments regarding drinking, "Why is it bad", "Life is hard and it helps", "I don't drink very often".  Then to her desperate cry for help when she would talk about her boyfriend's controlling behaviors, punching her in the stomach when she told him she was pregnant, or him "ripping up the ultrasound".  I found this out when I asked to see it and see the babies, where in the back of my mind, it was my first attempt to get "proof of pregnancy".  This is important in the very early stages of any adoption story.  In the past we had either met with birth moms face to face and could clearly see their cute baby bumps, or were corresponding with agencies that could confirm this information for us.  Family, case workers, doctors, attorneys; these were all our ways of confirming the pregnancy before.  With Maddie, it was pulling teeth trying to get proof.  She did send me a picture of herself, but I really couldn't see a baby bump.  No worries, she would get to the doctor again and I would get my confirmation.

The days went on and she was very persistent with the need to know our answer as to whether or not we would adopt the twins.  With so many concerns and uncertainties still out there, we still hadn't received our answer.  This is so difficult for me at times.

With Kya's adoption, I spent countless nights praying to my Father in Heaven.  I may have even begged a little.  "Please let whatever birthmother that finds us, be unique to us.  I pray that our 'story' will be so special to us that we will just know".  My prayer was answered, the words that came out of grandma's (Jerica's mom) mouth were the answer to my prayers.  "This baby was grown in Hawaii".  Jaw dropping moment for me.  I was born in Hawaii.  That was my baby, without a doubt, I felt it, I knew.  My heart pounded and joy filled my soul in that very moment.  Even through the tough times before Kya's birth....I still knew.  With Zander, we had a similar experience.  If you've already read it, I apologize for the repeat, but it applies here.  I was awakened in the middle of the night with a potty training little girl.  Once she was back in bed and sound asleep (I love to watch my kids sleep sometimes) I lay wide awake in my bed with the nagging thought that I needed to update my family blog, the blog we shared with birthfamilies in our profile of our little family.  Updating my blogs seem to be a repeat offense for me.  Well, we had recently moved, were in the middle of our first house complete remodel and I had neglected to post in a while.  I couldn't sleep until I posted something.  The next day, Tess found us.  She had prayed the day before for us to post so she could get her answer.  That night, the Lord woke me up and told me to get her an answer.  I knew that was my baby.

Didn't we deserve to know about these little baby girl twins the same way?  This is what Carl believes.  I often question, "do we need to just have faith and jump in with both feet, He will answer us later?"  Faith, that's what it was going to take, we just needed A LOT of faith.  Why did I still feel numb and why hadn't we gotten our answer yet.  It seemed so easy before.  Ever since Zander's story, we have struggled with the answer.  Which then leaves me to believe I may not be a mother again in this life.  This thought hurts, it truly brings pain to my heart of the idea I may be done.  I just can't bring myself to say it, "I'm done".  Is a mother ever really done?  Even though her family feels complete, can a mother honestly say they are done?  I may stand alone in this thought, and that is ok with me, but it's a battle I fight everyday.

Maddie.