Friday, January 31, 2014

Birthmom Q&A

This post is long overdue.  I've had it waiting patiently for a few months now.  My cousin who is a birthmom shared her story here.  She was kind enough to go the extra mile and answer some questions for me.  Enjoy!

You talk about adoption being very closed when you placed.  Did you receive any letters or pictures?  My adoption was "closed".  What that meant back then, was that the only thing I knew about the couple was their names.  I did not know where they live, last name or anything.  I received pictures the first year once a month and once a year until she turned three.  They did a fantastic job.  I can't imagine developing pictures and getting them to the services (adoption agency) to get sent to me.  Oh, and the services had to review everything to make sure that there was no personal info being sent. 

Have you had any contact since? The only contact I have had since the 3 year mark was when my friend, the one who chose my family to be her family, had her baby.  Doug and Heidi were at the hospital when I showed up...what are the odds?  :)  The adoption process was starting to become more open at this point. 

Open adoptions are quite common now.  What are your feelings towards having a relationship with your daughter one day?  I have always been okay with the closed adoption, maybe because I am so much of a 'it is what it is,' kind of a person.  I didn't know any different.  I believe Sierra will find me one day, it does excite me, yet I get nervous too because I don't know what to expect.  I hope she doesn't have negative feelings towards me and that I don't disappoint her when she chooses to meet me.  Adoption is such a positive thing to me I just hope she feels the same.

If you could say something to your daughter right now what would it be? If I could say anything to Sierra I think it would be...I hope you know how much you are loved, not only by me, but my whole family.  There is not a single day that goes by that I don't think of you.  I really truly know that I did the right thing for you, for me, and for your parents.  (I know it doesn't sound that profound, but I mean every word.)

When did you feel your heart had finally healed after placing your baby?  I am not really sure how long it took for my heart to heal, but I do know that by the time my three years of pictures and letters were over I was good.  I guess you could relate it to how people heal when they lose a loved one.  Time does heal and life keeps going.  I kept busy, had a full time job 2 weeks after I placed, met my husband 6 months later, married 11 months after placement.  I really believe that my husband came at the right time and I had a new focus. I was really sad when the three years were up and every year I have my moments near her birthday.  I wonder what she looks like, what she likes to do, if she is hanging out with good friends, does she get good grades and all of those things. 

You told me once that it was very lonely during your pregnancy and that your journal was your best friend.  What was life like with your boyfriend, friends, and family after placement? Yes, I was lonely during my pregnancy.  It seemed like my parents tried so hard to keep me away from my boyfriend, he didn't like them any more then they liked him; I was really torn and had my own feelings.  My boyfriend didn't even want to hang out with me, he thought it was ok to go out with other girls and his friends.  His life didn't stop.  So after the placement, I found myself somewhat separating with my boyfriend, yet, I still didn't really have friends so I still hung out with him.  I had a hard time with the concept that we placed a baby yet now he wanted me more than he did when I was pregnant.  My parents were great, they kept me busy so I wouldn't sit around and get depressed.  Over time I became myself again and my relationship with my parents and sisters was the same as it had been.  Eventually I got rid of my boyfriend.  I was ready to move forward.

What would you say to expectant mother that is considering placing? I have actually helped out the LDS social services a lot so I have been able to help girls that are expecting and considering adoption.  I have met some that knew they would place from the moment they found out, some that go back and forth on the idea so I think a consistent message I have always sent would be to make sure you are committed to placing because no matter how much you prepare it is not easy when you deliver your baby.  If I had not been committed I would not have gone through with it.  I'm not sure many would.  You have to know what you are doing is the right thing for your baby.  Keep busy after you place, don't allow yourself to be home and alone and have time to let your mind wander.  Move on and always remember why you placed so on those really hard days they won't be worse than they already are.  And there will be some really hard days in the beginning.  They do get better, as we all know, time heals.

Have you ever regretted your decision? I really truly have never regretted my decision to place.  I really believe that I was meant to bring Sierra here to Doug and Heidi.  I was the answer to their prayers and I get so spiritually overwhelmed when I think of my experience because I am not sure I can express how much I know I wasn't meant to raise Sierra, even though I wanted to. 

If you could go back in time, what would you tell your 17 year old self?  If I could go back in time I would tell my 17 year old aren't the only one going through the adoption process, your not the only one who feels pain...your not the only one.  It took me a few years after to realize how selfish and ignorant I was towards my mom, dad and sisters (and maybe more).  I wasn't very nice to my family, even though I know at the time I felt alone and confused I feel really bad that I never once asked how anyone else felt about my decision, I never even thought to.  I'm not even sure I have apologize to my family to this day.  I know they miss her too, I know they wonder all the same things I do about how she looks and what she likes to do, all of those things. 

Do you have any advice for couples hoping to adopt?  I hope everyone wanting to adopt gets to.  I have seen so many wait for so long and not only do they get to adopt they find out they are pregnant.  :)  Heavenly father does work in mysterious ways, so try to be patient because your gain is someone else's loss. 

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Hot Chocolate Smorgasbord

I'm so proud of myself for keeping up a few of my New Year's resolutions. Hot Chocolate almost every night, I read an ENTIRE book, and I'm into a new TV series on Netflix that has brought me some great entertainment.  You may say I'm totally nailing it. 

Other unmentioned goals have not been so successful.  

Last week was a rough one.  Corbin contracted Croup and took a trip to the ER.  That poor little guy can't catch a break.  My anxiety level before bed is pretty high because I'm so worried he can't breath. He keeps waking up with snot all over his face, mad as heck that his nose is plugged up. 

Emme went on a 3 day hiatus from sleep.  It caused some major behavioral issues and finally after a broken down prayer I had the thought to just hold her and play with her hair. Sounds dumb, but Emme has always been pretty good about going to sleep without our support.  Ninety nine percent of the time it creates more problems if we try to soothe her than it helps.  The thought to hold her didn't cross my mind before. Sure enough, she finally succumbed to sleep and took a much needed nap.  The power went out and woke her up so she came out of her room and then fell asleep on the couch for a few more hours. I tried waking her up several times, but she wouldn't budge. I was worried she wouldn't sleep that night, but she went down with no issues and slept the whole night. 

I'll be vaque on the rest, but let's just say I was pretty broken down by Thursday.  Friday, Gregg decided to take the day off. Something he's never done, but we needed it.  I needed it.  Since then I've felt much better and don't get me wrong, there are good things happening as well. 

I hate that my blog has turned into a whine fest as of late.  My kids do bring me insurmountable amounts of joy and if I didn't love them as much as I do, I wouldn't be so dang stressed all the time. Sleep deprivation does crazy things to the mind. Corbin is starting to sleep 8hrs a night more consistently so there is a light at the end of the tunnel.  He gives the biggest smiles a coos the cutest sounds.  I love kissing his soft little cheeks.  Emme says the cutest things and I wish I could record her all day to catch her funny phrases.  The other day she got three Hershey squares for going poo in the toilet. She broke one off for me and then split the third in half and handed a piece to me.  I could have squeezed her to death.  I was so proud.  We're having breakthroughs and it warms my heart.  

Here's to more sleep, health, and hot chocolate headed my way. 

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

You Might Need a Nap If...

You fall asleep sitting up while playing play dough with your daughter. 

You get a bib for your baby only to put it in your three year old instead.

You don't realize your mistake until your three year old asks why you put her baby brother's bib on her.   She does look pretty silly.  

You husband looks at you like you've lost your mind. 

You have. 

You don't understand why the lid to the water jug won't fit on the baby's bottle.  Slowly it dawns on you the two don't go together. 

You have every intention of getting ready and cleaning the house, but eventually tell yourself you can do it tomorrow. 

Tomorrow turns into a week. 

You are dizzy from lack of sleep. 

Dizziness makes you run into walls. 

You finally get a nap and wake up in a panic because your clock says 5:30 and you think it's am, but it's really pm. It takes you several minutes to figure it out. 

Even in your dreams you dream of sleeping.  

You are in bed at 9:00 writing a blog with every intention of being asleep in two seconds. 

Saturday, January 4, 2014

My Unhealthy Resolutions

You scare me '14. 

If I had one goal this year it would simply be to survive.  Which does not seem very simple at times. 

Gregg will be in the MBA program all year.  This is the only year that will happen as he started in May of 2013 and will end in May of 2015. Which kind of makes me sound like a baby now that I read that. It could be so much worse, but if you've read this blog for long you know that I am in no doubt a baby.  So wah...

Gregg being in school has been a huge sacrifice for us.  I feel like we are barely keeping our heads above ground.  Most days it's more like I'm sucking in dirt.  I just pray it's all worth it in the end.  This will be a hard 365 days though.

What is my plan of action to "survive" this year?  I have no idea, but I will tell you how I will make it through the ugly months of January and February.

Diet Coke.  It has become a delicacy as of late because Gregg stopped drinking soda months ago and it is no longer a staple in our home.  A trip to the drive through of Mickey Dees for their Diet Coke will be like a trip to paradise.  

TV.  After the kiddos go to bed and Gregg is at school or studying, you better believe I will be catching up on my favorite shows. Luckily, a bunch will start up this week.  I won't tell you which ones because a few are embarrassing,  but if you want a hint one of them rhymes with the thatchelor.

Books. I love to read, but this last year I only read a handful of books.  Escaping to a different time, place, or dimension is just what I need.  If it means less sleep, so be it!  Well, actually I really need sleep right now so I'll figure that all out later.  

Amazon. Thanks to Prime we are addicted to Amazon. It has cut down leaving the house tremendously.  With being alone a lot, working when Gregg IS home, a little girl who doesn't function in stores, and a baby who screams the entire time he's in a car seat, I don't like to set out of the house much.  I rarely make it to get groceries so Amazon is a perfect solution for miscellaneous items. 

Hot Chocolate.  It's so dang fattening, but oh so warm and creamy.  Plus, I've discovered Reddi Whip makes it that much more awesome.

Work.  It has been so amazing to have a salon in my home.  Had I not decided to do this before Corbin was born, things would be really messy right now.  The babysitter I had for Emme moved far away and with Corbin as sick as he was last month I wouldn't have been able to work at all.  I love that I can work while Gregg is home.  My clients are the best and I get adult interaction.  It's been such a blessing. 

Fast Food.  I hate you, but I love you.  I'm so tired as of late that my body screams for sleep.  Every muscle and every brain cell is crying in pain for some shut eye.  Corbin has slept through the night once, but Emme woke up several times that night.  She's has been struggling to stay asleep for the last few months.  A curse of ADHD.  What does that have to do with fast food?  I'm tired ya'll.  I don't have time to cook while Corbin is screaming and Emme is destroying.  I rarely make it to the store.  Good ol' Gregg has been picking things up during his lunch break.  So yes, fast food will have to do for a little while.  That and eggs.  We eat a lot of eggs.  

There you have it.  My survival guide 2.0.  I may come out of this year a little/alot heavier, and a little older looking, but I will still be standing.  Or crawling or rolling.  The point is... I will survive.