Monday, December 30, 2013

Apology from the Circus

Dear Doctor,

I would like to apologize for the unexpected circus show you were witness to today.  

Thank you for holding my baby while I took my three year old to the bathroom to clean up her poopy butt three seconds after you walked in the room.  I know you had a thousand other things you could have been doing.  Emme has decided to give up on potty training.  If you want to call it that.  She has been "training" for over a year and she could give a crap less.  Pun intended.

Sorry Corbin screamed for 99% of the visit.  I know how hard it is to concentrate with a screaming baby.  I'm glad you called for backup.  I'm pretty sure that nurse will forever dread our appointments.  Thanks to the chaos I paid no attention to my baby's stats and instead focused my energy on keeping Emme away from your computer and medical supplies.

If you at any point you looked at Emme and thought "wow, this little girl is like a rabid raccoon stuck in a cage," then we were on the same page.  She was extra feisty today.  Actually, that's just what I tell people so they don't think she's like that all the time.  She is.  

Speaking of raccoons, does she always treat Corbin like a juicy steak?  Why yes, yes she does. Don't worry,  I NEVER put him down if she's in the room with him. Thanks for being concerned for his safety and to answer your question, yes, it is exhausting.  

Also, thanks for breaking the news softly that my poor two month old has bronchiolitis and torticollis.   I look forward to spending the next three weeks stuck in the house while my sick little baby coughs up his lungs.  I also look forward to the added physical therapy appointments I totally have time for.  Not that I'm blaming you of course.  It's just a series of unfortunate events.  

Lastly, please personally apologize to your front desk ladies that my daughter emulated Darla from Finding Nemo.  If your fish hide from you for now on, you know who to blame.  I hope the big sticker you gave her comes off the tank eventually.  I tried my best to peel it off, but it was a lost cause. The sticker she stuck on the table shouldn't stick as long.  I wouldn't know though as I decided getting our Ringling show out of there was more important and your secretary readily agreed.  

When our time was finally coming to an end I saw the pity in your eyes.  Your words of kindness made me choke up and I could not speak.  I pray for the day our hard work pays off and you no longer look at me with sad eyes.  I love my children ADHD, colic, reflux, rabidness, and all.  I hope that shows through the shadows under my eyes.

Your patience was much appreciated.
The Animal Handler  

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Mary's Lullaby

As I mentioned before, this Christmas season has been tame.  Having a very sick baby has given me a lot of cuddle time which means I've had a lot of time to think.  I've dreamed of having a baby boy since before I knew of our infertility.  To actually have this said baby in my arms is surreal.  

While I was holding Corbin during singing time in Primary the chorister pointed out to the kids that Gregg and I were like Mary and Joseph. Joseph was not Christ's biological father, but he was given the responsibility to raise him.  Someone also chose us to be Corbin's parents and has put a lot of faith in us.  

For the first time ever I have really reflected about Mary's feelings upon meeting her baby boy that sacred humble night.  Unlike Mary, my son will not redeem the world, but LIKE Mary I worry about the trials my small babe will endure in the future.  I know he will only be little for a short time and soon enough the world will be against him.  Will I be able to protect him?  

Eventually, he will be his own person.  I hope he will have a desire to marry and have children.  I hope I can teach him to be a good husband and father.  I hope he will know what the spirit feels like and will follow Heavenly Father's plan for him.  

I have many hopes and dreams for his life on this Earth.  Right now though, he is mine.  He is a perfect child of God.

We sang the most beautiful song in my church choir for our Christmas meeting.  I'm thankful for Mary and her willingness to raise our Lord and Redeemer.  I'm thankful for Christ who died for my children.  I wish you all a very beautiful Christmas.  One where you can reflect on the miraculous event that saved us all. 

Mary's Lullaby

All mine in your loveliness baby, all mine. 
All mine in your holiness baby divine. 
Sing on herald angels in chorus sublime; 
Sing on and adore, for tonight you are mine. 

The wise men are coming to worship their King, 
The shepherds are kneeling their homage to bring. 
Out yonder the star over Judah will keep. 
No harm will befall thee, then sleep baby sleep. 

O let me enfold thee, my baby tonight, 
While legions are singing in joyous delight. 
A new star has risen to hail thee divine, 
For you are a king, but tonight you are mine. 

Away spectered future of sorrow and plight, 
Away to the years that must follow tonight. 
The pangs of Gethsemane, let them be dim, 
The red drops on Calvary, not Lord, for Him! 

O let me enfold thee, my baby tonight, 
While legions are singing in joyous delight. 
A new star has risen to hail thee divine, 
For you are a king, but tonight you are mine. 

All mine in your loveliness baby, all mine.
All mine in your holiness baby divine.
Sing on herald angels in chorus sublime; 
Sing on and adore, for tonight you are mine.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Ode to Next December

December 2013....You suck.

I'm tired, so very tired.  I blame December.  I blame winter.  I blame asthma, bronchiolitis, and ADHD.

Poor, poor Corbin had a brutal two month check up.  He has bronchiolitis, torticollis, reflux, and his little tummy hurts a lot.  He's been a really fussy baby, but I would be too if I had to deal with all of that.  I'm over him coughing up mucous while I watch helplessly, but here's to a few more weeks of it.  I don't suggest it to anyone.  Then there's the torticollis that requires physical therapy.  I'm too tired to explain anymore.  The best news is that we are now proud owners of the most expensive formula out there for his hurting stomach.  We call it liquid gold.  It may actually be more pricey that gold.  It smells bad and costs as much as a car payment, but he has been so much happier on it.  I would pay hundreds more because he seems to feel better and we no longer have a screaming baby for 8hrs straight.  Let's pray it continues to work.

Then there's Emme.  Emme is as Emme does and Emme does some beautiful poo art.  Said no one ever.  Except maybe Emme.  Her mirror recently got a brown make over if you know what I'm saying.  I hope for the day she can be trusted around her own feces.  Or any feces for that matter.

Then there's Christmas.  Oh Christmas.  You will be very simple this year.  Corbin is just too sick to go out in this crappy air.  Trust me, I've tried.  It has not been a festive year whatsoever.  I hate the pressure of Christmas.  If I've learned one thing throughout this month, it would be that it's okay if you don't have Elf on a Shelf, you haven't been to temple square, you only put up a few decorations, and the only Christmasy thing you've done is stare at a broken gingerbread house.  You will survive and your children will not be scarred for life.  I think.

Here's to hoping December 2014 will be a little less sucky.  

Monday, December 2, 2013

Baby Looga

"Emme what did you do at school today?"

"I have a baby Looga!"

"What is a Looga?"

"A baby Looga!" 

"What is a Looga?"


"What does a Looga look like?" 

"A whale!"  As in duh, mom. 

She then ran to her backpack and pulled out the cutest Looga I've ever seen. 

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Corbin's Story:: Placement Day

Gregg and I arrived at the hospital early in the afternoon and spent the whole day with M and K.  I will always cherish our time together that day.  We laughed, took walks together, ate lunch from Arby's, and just plain got to know each other better.  

We wanted to make sure M and K had as much time in the hospital with Corbin and never wanted to overstep our boundaries.  I mentioned this to M a few times and her reply was, "I love you guys and love when you are here."  We are so lucky.

Since M had Corbin C-section, they stayed in the hospital longer than usual.  They really wanted M to stay one more night, but she was done with hospitals and convinced her Doctor to let her go home  a night early.  The first thing she told us that day was, "we all get to go home tonight!"

M's caseworker came to have everyone sign papers so Corbin could be released to Gregg and I.  I'll never forget his face when he entered the hospital room and saw how comfortable we all were with each other. I was playing angry birds with K (M's son), while M had gone for a walk and Gregg and K (Corbin's birth dad) had gone to get something out of the car together.  It was a look of, "this is not something I see very often."  If you didn't know our story you would have guessed we were all close family.  Which is exactly how we like it.  He later mentioned how lucky we were to have M and how our situation was very rare for a placement day.  We agreed.  She is so good to us as is her family.  We are so blessed to have them in our lives.  

After everyone else had left and M and K had their "fancy" hospital dinner, the nurses started discharging us.  It was such a different experience from Emme's placement day.  We have all come so far since then.  There is a trust between us now that was only a hope when Emme was born.  We only knew each other for two weeks back then and now we have three years under our belt.  This time around our goodbyes were thankful and tearful, but very calm and relaxed.  Gregg expressed his love to them and we all got emotional.  M told us how much she loved us and was so happy she could add to our family.  She said watching Emme with Corbin made everything worth it.  We hugged, shared another laugh and M and K left while we waited for a nurse to become available to escort us out.  It was beautiful and peaceful. We will forever be grateful to our children's families.  We truly love them so much. 

Corbin waiting to leave the hospital.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Corbin's Story::The Second Day

Corbin's second day of life was filled with lots of visitors.  It was a very memorable day because we were able to have all four siblings together.  It was crazy having us all crammed in a little hospital room, but we loved it.  

Gregg taking a turn feeding Corbin.

Corbin getting snuggles from his big brother.

Love from K's mom.

M was adopted and this is her biological sister.  Her boys look so much like Emme.  We love it.

So fun to watch these three together.  Emme and her sister B are only a year apart.  In true toddlerhood, Emme had just stolen her baby and was about to poke her in the eye.  

M with all of her children.  K and Emme are so much alike.  They were not keen on picture taking.

Papa (M's dad) with Corbin.
I love this picture of Emme saying goodbye to M's mom.

Gregg captured this photo without me knowing. I will forever cherish it!

Monday, November 25, 2013


My beautiful cousin Sharee just moved back to the states from living in Argentina for a few years with her husband and kids.  She taught Relief Society in her branch and asked if I would share my feelings for her last lesson. (Yes, she learned Spanish while there. She's amazing.) 

Her question:

How has God guided and strengthened you as your desire to have children is not yet fulfilled?
We have two women in our branch that are going through this very trial, and it has been heartbreaking for them.  The lesson is, "I Seek Not My Own Will, but the Will of the Father."

My answer: 
*I wrote this in about 15 minutes and copied and pasted it directly from the email so please excuse any typing flaws.

Healing came slow, but eventually after years of trying to get pregnant and all the yuck that comes with that, I felt the need to change my prayers from “help us get pregnant”, to “Heavenly Father I am ready for your will not mine so what do we need to do?”  Before that I had shrugged adoption off thinking it was way beyond my capabilities emotionally and financially.  But shortly after I changed my prayers, adoption kept popping up everywhere I went and with everyone I talked to.  My heart slowly softened to the thought and Gregg and I eventually became ready to pray and fast to see if adoption was the right path to choose. 
Until then I can say there was a lot of confusion.  In all honesty I felt as if Gregg and I had been forgotten.  I felt that my prayers had not been heard and maybe I was unworthy of what I was asking for.  I can see now, that during that time it was the Lord helping me morn a loss.  Meaning, I needed to morn a child that would never be and forgive my body for not being able to bear children.  I needed that time.  Not only to morn, but to grow and become a better wife and have a strong relationship with my husband.  I know even now that I needed that time for things I still don't quite see, but that the Lord does.  It is said in the adoption world that if you do not go through the grieving of what could have been, that you are not ready for the next step of what can be.  It was a hard time for me, but I don’t ache for it anymore. 
Our answer to adopt came when we were ready to hear it.  The Lord had softened us and prepared us.  One fast Sunday we fasted that we would receive and answer to see if adoption was right for us.  I remember after our couple prayer, I went into our bedroom and gave a silent prayer “humbly” begging to have a clear answer. 
Well wouldn't you know that there was a baby blessing of twins that day.  I hated baby blessings and had a hard time sitting through them.  The twins were grandbabies of some people in our ward whose daughter was not active.  This daughter stood up to talk over the pulpit which was a surprise being she wasn't a fan of the church at that time.  She then told how her twin boys were adopted and that she was also adopted.  She shared her feelings of adoption and how it has been an immense blessing in her life.  Gregg and I both felt the spirit very strong and knew she said those things for us.  You see, our prayers are usually answered through someone else.  If that wasn't confirmation enough her mom and dad also stood and bore their testimonies of the blessing of adoption.  It was as if the spirit was screaming at us that adoption was right. 
After that experience every time I prayed about adoption I felt the strong burning that we were on the right path.  We were not forgotten after all! 
Fast forward to the day that we took our little girl to the temple to be sealed for time and all eternity.  They let Gregg and I spend some time in the Celestial Room before the sealing.  At one point we were all alone in the huge Salt Lake City Temple Celestial Room.  To say the spirit was strong is an understatement.  I feel it as I write this.  I had a strong thought come into my mind saying “Lacey, this was your plan all along.  Isn't it wonderful?” 
My plan was better than anything I could have imagined for myself.  I KNEW that our savior cried with me, and hurt as I did all those years before.  The atonement is real and not just to wrong our sins.  HE felt our pain and knows exactly how we feel. 
The joy I felt that day was beyond that of any other day. My testimony grew a millions times bigger and when I feel my faith dwindling I often think of that day and how I knew with a surety the I have a plan and Heavenly Father knows me and loves me.  It has helped in times since when things have not gone my way to know that there is something I need to learn and when it’s all said and done I will be a better person because of it.  I trust in Him so much more.  (though I still have why me days.)
The ache of not bearing children is now a memory.  Sure, I have moments here and there, but I can chat with pregnant girls about their growing bellies and not even feel a sting.  Gregg and I both believe families come in many different ways and they come when they are meant to come.  Because I gave up my own will and truly wanted to know His will, my life here on Earth has been more beautiful and rewarding than I could have ever imagined.  I learned I am a lot stronger than I thought and that I can do hard things. 

Friday, November 22, 2013

The Wheels On The Bus Go....

Stay in your seat, stop hitting other kids, keep your shoes on.

I've mentioned before that Emme rides a bus to school.  When she first started at her therapy school, the bus gave me super anxiety.  I know Emme too well and knew she would get bored on the 45 min ride.  Bored means taking things into her own hands. 

Her BT assured me that they have been in business for 50 years and know what they are doing.  I was still very nervous, but long story short, once Corbin came around I knew it wouldn't be easy to go back and forth every day.

She loves her bus driver Joo wee (Julie) and looks forward to seeing her every day. 

As predicted, Emme got bored. She would do harmless things like taking her shoes and socks off and playing with the belt buckle next to her.   When I would pick her up she would proudly show me the work she had done. 

I would ask her if she was nice to her friends on the bus and she would usually tell me she hit them.  At least she's honest, right?  Although Emme admitted she was being mean to the other kids, Joo Wee never notified me of anything. She goes to school with kids just like her so I'm sure that type of behavior is common.  

So needless to say, when I got Emme off the bus last Thursday I could see in Joo Wee's eyes something was not good. 

"We have a situation."

"Uh, Oh."

"Emme got out of her seat belt.  I saw her standing on the seat at our last stop.  You need to help me reinforce that she needs to stay buckled."

I think in my head "if I could reinforce things like that she wouldn't be at this school."

I turn and say to Joo Wee, "I'm so sorry.  We usually zip tie her straps in our car."

She cuts me off, "We can't do that, it's unsafe.  If she doesn't stay in her seat she can't ride the bus anymore."

Emme and I proceed to get off the bus.  Me with my head hanging low and Emme clueless she is in trouble but very proud of her accomplishments.  

Emme ran into the backyard to jump on the trampoline (our daily routine) and I went inside a sobbed while I watched her out of the window.  It was happening.  Adults are starting to get frustrated with my child.  Not only does Emme not listen to me, she doesn't listen to anyone.  I had flashes of the future where teachers misunderstand Emme and she is in constant trouble.  It made my heart hurt for her. 

It didn't bother me so much that Emme got out of her seat belt, which is a 5 point harness by the way.  I was actually surprised it hadn't happened sooner. What bothered me was the exasperation in Joo Wee's voice.  I could tell she had done everything in her power to get Emme back in her seat.  She was at her wits end. I don't blame her.  I had the same feeling the day Emme got out of her seat belt on the freeway and opened the car door. Talk about panic. 

What I should have said to Joo Wee was; my child doesn't listen to me.  I have no control.  I'm a bad mom.  I zip tie my child's car seat straps.  It's apparently unsafe.  Maybe I'm just prepping her to be the next Criss Angel because let's be honest, she'll eventually figure how to get out of those too.  

We have a long road ahead of us.  One where Emme and I will make mistakes, one where adults and teachers will get frustrated with her, one where I will be judged harshly as a mom.  

Today though, today I don't care. I know she was meant to be mine.  Her mother chose me, I chose Emme, and most importantly Heavenly Father chose us to be a family.  I will fight for her no matter the cost.  No matter the tears.  No matter the judgment.  No matter the driving back and forth to school.

She was meant to be mine.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Guest Post:: A Birth Mom's Story

I am elated to share with you this beautiful story.  Whenever I hear a birth mom talk about her experiences it makes me cry.  I think it's because EVERY one I hear always includes the word PEACE.  You know that our Heavenly Father is with them through this courageous act of selflessness and love.  

This account is even more special to me as it is my gorgeous cousin's story.  Two months after Emme was born we cried together in her father's hallway.  When you've been a part of something so sacred and so miraculous, you share a bond.  I can't even put it into words.  I have always had a soft place in my heart for birth moms because of her and her great example of what a real mom's love is.

 I love you, Linz!  Thank you for sharing!

So once again...grab a tissue.  You'll need it.

I was 17 and a senior in high school when I found out that I was pregnant.  I wasn't a "bad girl" I just made a mistake and it changed everything.  Naturally my parents were not happy and even tried to ground me from my boyfriend which only resulted into me sneaking around and late night phone calls, I even used a pay phone (does anyone even know what those are anymore?)  I had the mentality that I was already pregnant what more trouble could I get in to? 

I was set on keeping my baby when I found out I was pregnant, actually, in my mind there really wasn't even another option it was just what was supposed to happen, right?  It's kind of ironic really because I had done an essay on adoption only a couple months before and of course all of the books I read to do the paper had nothing good to say about adoption, so It just really wasn't a thought.

 I remember the day my mom mentioned that I should maybe consider adoption.  My heart broke hearing the words from my mom.  I now know that it wasn't an easy thing for her to bring up to me either; I know that she must have felt at peace with it or wouldn't have mentioned it at all.  I was mad at her, however, the idea started to pop in my head...a lot.  I became really confused because I REALLY wanted my baby.  I loved her and wanted to be a mom, I was mentally preparing to be a mom and thinking of all of the things I needed to do.  Yet every time I thought of adoption I felt somehow ok and that kind of annoyed me.  Every one kept saying, "you need to pray about it"  that bugged me too, cause I wasn't really in to church or praying; I wasn't really in a good spot spiritually I guess you could say.  I did pray, not really like I should have because at this time deep deep in side I already knew my answer...I just didn't want adoption to be my answer, I didn't want to feel ok about adoption being my answer.  One thing about me is that once I make a decision I stick to it; I officially came to terms of placing my baby in late July.  I was at peace with my decision but it did not take away my heartache.  

Now I begin a on a different journey of my pregnancy and choosing a family.  My boyfriend and I sat down with the counselor from the LDS social services and rattled off what we wanted the parents of our baby to be like.  I literally remember saying "I don't want her to have mom hair"  :) I did want our baby to be the couples first baby, as it would be mine, I wanted the mom to be into scrapbooking, (at the time I was into it), we wanted a country couple, (somehow we thought people that live in country were nicer:)  So after all of this and some researching for our counselor we were narrowed down to 5 couples.  I don't even remember what the other couples were like because I was immediately drawn to my couple.  It is really the strangest thing to explain how drawn I was to the couple.  (FYI, footprints in the sand is my favorite poem because it is the closest I can describe how I went through my adoption process).  Doug and Heidi were the couples name and they began to write me the moment they found out that we chose them to be parents.  They would express how excited they were and wanted to know how I felt and what I was doing and really just anything and everything. 

Here is some of the journaling I wrote:
Oct 26, 1998
I got another letter from Heidi and Doug.  They are so excited, the letters made me cry.  Last night when I laid down to sleep I just started crying cause I was getting contractions and it just made me think how close I actually am to having my baby.  I'm going to have the most precious baby girl in the world and I'm giving her to a couple who will love her as much as me.  But it hurts so bad.  I called my mom and cried to her.  She worried about me all day.  Then I saw a lady I knew today and she asked when I was due, I told her, then I told her I was placing her for adoption and she said why don't you want her.  How rude, huh?  I had just got done crying too.  People think it's so bad but they don't see.

Oct 31, 1998
I'm so depressed right now.  I am so fat, uncomfortable and ugly.  The clothes I wear are so annoying I can hardly breathe.  I get pains every where possible and I wish I could just be skinny.  But  I ruined that.  I hate the thought of giving my little baby to someone else.  I should be taking care of her this going to be so hard.  I have no idea how I am going to it.  I wish I hadn't already committed to my decision.  I'm so sick of people asking me when I'm due and saying "well call me when you go into labor".  ok..I'll just have them announce it over the news so who ever wants to come can.  I don't want anyone to hold her, only me.  She's mine and I want her.  I hate how everything changes, I have all these stupid stretch marks, chunks of fat on my thighs.  Then after I have her ill have more on my stomach.  Then with my luck I'll never lose weight.  So I'll never get to wear my own clothes.  Am I going to be miserable for the rest of my life?  If sure the heck seems like it. 

The time came to finally have my baby.  As miserable as I felt being 9 months pregnant, I was really sad to go into labor because I knew I would soon have to say goodbye to my baby.  I can't describe how right I knew this all was, yet the heartache was so much and so hard and I knew I had many more hard days ahead of me.  I went into labor on November 2, 1999, only 2 days before my due date.  I had a very easy delivery and was blessed to have my mom there.  I had my little girl, who I named Jacobi, at 4:22pm.  At the time the adoption was so closed that I had to have a name I choose for her that we would use with letters being written.  I later found out they named her Sierra.  I stayed up all night with her and didn't let her go, unless it was for my mom, dad or sister to hold.  I just stared at her, wishing I could take her home.  I knew I legally could...but I couldn't.

Nov 3, 1998  (my actual journal the moment I got home from placing her)
Yesterday I gave birth to the most precious beautiful little girl, Jacobi.  She is so adorable.  She was born at 4:22 pm, 7 lbs 4 ounces and 19 inches long.  She is so wonderful.  Today was the hardest day of my life, I made the toughest decision in my whole life, deciding between keeping or placing Jacobi.  I was having second thoughts so bad; I almost bundled her up and brought her home.  It was really tough. I kept staring at this little perfect girl sleeping peacefully wondering what to do.  But I kept looking and then one time I had a thought, "she's so precious how could I give her away", at the same time I was thinking, "she's so precious she deserves a wonderful 2 parent home".  I kept her till 10:00 tonight.  My boyfriend, mom, my aunt and I all went to the social services.  My boyfriend and I drove her over, I cried and hugged and kissed her the whole way there.  Meanwhile my boyfriend is crying and trying to comfort me.  Well at the social services we all said our good byes and I took her to the back room and I handed her over to Heidi.  It was really hard but I comforted me a lot more.  I sat and watched her.  But I know everything will be o.k.  Doug and Heidi are wonderful.  I'll get pictures soon of her.  I'm already missing her.  I can still hear her cry, hear her sniffles, see her beautiful face, see her little feet stretch out, her pouty lips, her gorgeous eyes, her nose, how she would look around at us and wonder where she was.  Everything about her is perfect.

My memories that night are still so clear and It really is amazing I didn't drop my baby walking down the hall because I was crying so bad and just had a baby the day before.  The moment I walked into that room the feeling was so overwhelmingly peaceful, I was so content and can tell you for someone that wasn't very spiritual, at the time, I was and I KNOW with all of my heart that my decision was not only the right decision but the way it had to be.  I would do it all over again to learn what I did from this, to be the person I am today. 

It took me a really long time to get confident about saying I placed.  I didn't like the way people would say  "awww".  I don't like to feel I need to justify why I do what I do.  I know I could have raised her, millions of single mom's do it all the time.  I didn't want my little girl to start out in a broken home.  

4 years after I placed I ran into a girl I sort of knew who was considering adoption.  She attended the group session's like I had when I was pregnant; with the LDS social services.  She invited me to come one night and there were several girls there that night.  I sat next to a girl that was so excited about her decision to place and the family she choose.  She handed a picture to me to see who she chose and I whispered "that's my family"  I was in such shock because I could not believe my eyes and it all seemed so surreal.  I always secretly wanted to meet whoever else placed there baby to my family, I just never thought it would actually happen so I never said it out loud.  It was amazing and put a little twist to my story:)

By the way....I did lose my weight, I didn't get stretch marks and I survived.  I like to share that part because it shows that I was young and the pregnancy hormones were really talking. 

Monday, November 18, 2013

Guest Post By Rachel, Two: A Love Letter

I am so excited to have a guest post today by one of my great online friends Rachel from FYI on Rach and Ry.  (Soon to be real life friends) 

A few months before we we were chosen by Emme's birth mom I was really struggling.  After returning from vacation I received the sweetest comment on my blog from a girl named Rachel.  I remember distinctly how she told me we were a cute couple and would be chosen shortly.  I never told her how much that meant to me and how I REALLY needed to hear that.  We have stayed in contact ever since and I have watched as she has adopted a beautiful baby boy and has become a wonderful mother.

I love this post you are about to read and you will soon see for yourself what a beautiful writer and person Rachel is.  Check out some of her other great adoption posts here.  A few of my favorites are The Birth and From One Birth Mother To Another.  The second one is written by their birth mom.  So amazing!

Okay get ready and grab a tissue!

Two: A Love Letter


The other day, as we were hanging out in the kitchen together--I doing dishes, you playing with cars at my feet--I told you that I wanted to sing you a special song because it makes me think of you and your adoption story every time I hear it.

You looked at me pensively and then said, "That sounds great, Mommy."  (I'm not kidding--you actually say things like this.  I have no idea if you really understand what you are saying, but it never fails to startle me when these things come out of your mouth.)  After such an unexpectedly mature reply from you, I started envisioning the moment we were about to have: I was going to sing a beautiful ballad for you, and you were going to stare at me intently and really soak in my love for the entire 4:37 minutes.  I pushed play on my laptop, and the lyrical music started flowing out of my speakers--and then you started screaming angrily because you expected to hear "Brave" by Sara Barellias instead of the peaceful melody that I had in mind.  ("Brave" is our favorite song to dance to together.)

And so I switched the music, and we danced.  And we never got our tender moment.  But tonight, on the eve of your second birthday, I want to take a few minutes to write down some thoughts that have been in my heart these past few weeks.

The song that always makes me think of you is called "Blessings," and it was written by an artist named Laura Story, but my favorite version is sung by the group Mercy River.  The first verse and chorus go like this:

"We pray for blessings, we pray for peace,
Comfort for family, protection while we sleep.
We pray for healing, for prosperity.
We pray for your mighty hand to ease our suffering.
And all the while, you hear each spoken need,
Yet love us way too much to give us lesser things.

Because what if your blessings come through raindrops?
What if your healing comes through tears?
And what if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know you're near?
And what if trials of this life are your mercies in disguise?"

This song makes me think of you because before you were born, I prayed and prayed to become a mother.  It didn't matter to me how I became a mother--your daddy and I started the adoption process at the same time that we started fertility treatments--but when both avenues seemed only to lead to heartache, I started to doubt and fear.  Life got dark and difficult.  An ectopic pregnancy.  Countless negative pregnancy tests.  Lots of contacts from expectant mothers who were considering adoption but eventually chose to parent or chose a different adoptive couple.

I prayed and asked why.  I prayed and asked that God end our wait immediately.  I prayed and asked what He wanted for my life.  I felt confused.  I felt angry.  I didn't understand why such a good and honest desire, to be a mother and give love to a child, wasn't being answered.  The emotions that I felt during those difficult months are captured so well in the words of the second verse of the song:

"We pray for wisdom, your voice to hear,
We cry in anger when we cannot feel you near.
We doubt your goodness, we doubt your love,
As if every promise from your word is not enough.
And all the while, you hear each desperate plea,
And long that we'd have faith to believe.

Because what if your blessings come through raindrops?
What if your healing comes through tears?
And what if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know you're near?
And what if trials of this life are your mercies in disguise?"

Last week, you and I sat outside in the backyard together at your little picnic table and ate brownies and ice cream.  At the faint sound of a train whistle in the distance, you sat up straight and listened intently.  "What's that noise, Mommy?" you asked.  And when I just smiled, you said excitedly, "I hear a train, Mommy!  I hear a train!"

My heart ached with happiness, and I leaned in close. "Give Mama a kiss?" I asked.

You reached for me across the table, your fingers sticky with gooey chocolate, your face smeared with melted ice cream, and planted a peck right on my lips.

In that perfect moment I was reminded, as I am almost daily, that you--you, my perfect little boy--are the reason that God could not give me what I wanted right when I wanted it.  He knew that you were on your way, and He knew that your brave birthparents would find us when the time was right.  He couldn't send us just any baby--He knew that we needed you.   

I am grateful for my infertility.  I am grateful that none of the other adoption opportunities worked out.  I am grateful for Father in Heaven who always heard each of my desperate pleas and yet "loved me way too much to give me lesser things." I am grateful that He let me wait.

A leader in our church, Dieter Uchdorf, has said, "The children of Israel waited 40 years in the wilderness before they could enter the promised land.  Jacob waited 7 long years for Rachel.  The Jews waited 70 years in Babylon before they could return to rebuild the temple.  [In the Book of Mormon], the Nephites waited for a sign of Christ's birth, even knowing that if the sign did not come, they would perish.  Joseph Smith's trial in Liberty Jail caused even the prophet of God to wonder, 'How long?' In each case, Heavenly Father had a purpose in requiring that His children wait.
          Every one of us is called to wait in our own way.  We wait for answers to prayers.  We wait for things which at the time may appear so right and so good to us that we can't possibly imagine why Heavenly Father would delay the answer...
          Often the deep valleys of our present will be understood only by looking back on them from the mountains of our future experience.  Often we can't see the Lord's hand in our lives until long after trials have passed.  Often the most difficult times of our lives are essential building blocks that form the foundation of our character and pave the way to future opportunity, understanding, and happiness."

On the eve of your second birthday, Noah, this quote touches me because I am thinking about the experience of waiting for you--and I am also thinking about the future.  I hope someday our picnic table in the backyard will be full of little people, your brothers and sisters who will sit with us and eat brownies and listen to train whistles.  I don't know how they will join our family.  We are going to start fertility treatments again in the next few months, and we are always open to adopting again.  Sometimes it scares me to think about starting this process all over again, about embarking on a road that I know brings heartache.  But in the past two years of being your mama, I have learned a few things that I hope will make the experience of waiting at least a little easier this time around.

I've learned that the joy of squeezing tiny hands and feet, of snuggling a squishy baby in bed first thing in the morning, of listening to you sing the ABCs all the way through for the first time--it far outweighs the heartache that it took to get you here.  I would do it all over again, a thousand times, to be your mother.

I've also learned what I always knew yet didn't totally understand: that He has a plan for our lives and for our families.  I hope that if we face disappointments as we try to add to our family in the next few months and years, I will pull you into our cuddle chair and put my head on your hair and read you a story.  I know that won't completely take away the pain--because the heartache that often comes along with infertility and failed adoptions can be truly excruciating--but I hope as I feel my heart beating against the weight of your little body in my arms, I will remember to trust in Him and His timing.

You couldn't have come to us any sooner than you did, and as difficult as the wait was, I learned for myself the truth of the last line of the song: "What if trials of this life--the rain, the storms, the hardest nights--are His mercies in disguise?" 

Happy birthday, my little love. You are the best thing I've ever had to wait for.

Eternally yours,
*Listen to Laura Story perform "Blessings" here

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Corbin's Story::Meeting Corbin

Read Corbin's Story::The Birth here

Later in the day we brought Emme back to meet her brother.  She had been anticipating this event for months and was so excited.  When we got to the hospital room Emme walked right up to M and said "where is my baby?"  To this day she calls him her baby.  Luckily, M thought it was great that Emme took ownership over her brother so quickly.  It was only fitting that Emme be the first to hold Corbin.

Proud big sister.

She is always talking M's ear off.  

My first time holding Corbin.

Gregg's first time holding Corbin.

M's son and Emme and Corbin's brother came to visit at the same time. He's such a sweetie.

Getting changed by M.

Emme and her older brother are trouble together.  I love watching the bond they have.  They are always immediate friends whenever they are together.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Corbin's Story::The Birth

Read The Phone Call here.
Read Corbin's Story::The Start here

The Hospital

We all were prepared for M's c-section that was scheduled for 7 AM so Gregg and I arrived at 6:30.  When we arrived at the hospital we found out poor M was told the wrong time and wasn't scheduled until 9:00.  I felt so bad for M and K because they had arrived at 5:30 AM and had a very long day ahead of them.  The extra hours did give us time to hang out with just M and K though and we were able to grab a little breakfast before all the business of the day started. 

Just the four of us. I love M's hands on her belly. 

The hospital Corbin was born at was different than Emme's.  M wanted us to be the first to hold Corbin, but it just wasn't possible the way this hospital was set up.  Emme's hospital had a recovery room where we waited and once she was cleaned up they brought her out to us, then M joined us shortly after she was finished in the operating room. 
 This hospital didn't have a recovery room so they kept M in the same room the whole time until she was able to go back to her assigned room.  Only one person was allowed with her in surgery and only one person was allowed to have a wrist band other than M.  Meaning only M and one other person would be able to go into the nursery and be alone with the baby.  We all personally thought they should make an exception, but what do you do?  The hospital offered me the other wrist band, but I knew without a doubt K needed it and deserved it.  He supported M throughout her pregnancy and  he was by M's side the entire time in the hospital.  Not to mention he was the father and we wanted him to have as much time with Corbin as possible.  K was such a sweetheart the whole time and only left M if Gregg and I were there to be with her.  He even slept on the horrible chair/bed every night.  

So needless to say Corbin's birth was a lot different than we were expecting, but it was still beautiful and exciting. 

The Birth
Newly born Corbin.  They had just passed him through the window from the operating room.

Getting our first glimpse.

This nurse was awesome.  Here she is telling us the birth weight.  

Showing us Corbin up close.

The nurse came out to tell us he was perfectly healthy.

K's mom showing us pictures.

K holding Corbin in the nursery.

So sweet!

Bundled Corbin in the nursery waiting for M to get done in surgery.

M's first time holding him.  She was checking to see how much hair he had. 

After we checked on M and made sure she was doing okay, we left so her and K's family could have time alone with Corbin.  We made plans to bring Emme back later that day.  We didn't get to hold Corbin by this point, but we knew we would have an opportunity later and also knew this would be a special time for M and K.