9 07 2009

The other day I had an unexpected conversation about adoption. It caught me off guard and afterward I cried. I didn’t like where the conversation came from and I didn’t really like the way I handled it.

At my SIL’s house after work last week, my two nieces had their friend over. When I arrived, little H (their friend) was telling my BIL about how her “parents don’t have a very good relationship. They don’t communicate well, so when dad made mom mad, mom gave away his lawn mower.” This girl is very exposed to real world stuff and has no problem asking questions in a very adult manner.

“Are you going to tell R that she is adopted?” is how it all started.

What I thought, “No, I am going to tell the little neighbor girl, but not R.”

What I said, “Of course. We already do tell her.”

What I wish I had said, “Of course! We are very proud of having adopted her. The day we adopted her was one of the best days of our lives. We have already started telling R how she came into our family, how she is our wish come true, and how truly special she is to us. We tell her about how much her birth parents love her and wanted the very best for her.”

I wish I was quicker at thinking when it comes to adoption questions.

My response brought on a slew of questions that insinuated that adoption was kind of a dirty word. It hurt my heart and I stumbled over my words trying to teach them otherwise. I don’t feel like I did a very good job.

So, the neighbor girl aside, I feel like I need to re-tackle this issue with my nieces. In my heart I know that they look at R the same way they do the twins. I don’t think they think of her as anything less than their cousin. But when it comes to talking about adoption, I think they have some negative stereotypes in their heads. Part of me is also concerned about where they are learning these stereotypes. It does come to mind that their mother has shown little or no interest in the adoption process…

I need some recommendations here, my blogland friends. How do I tackle this with them? Or do I at all?


Confession and temporary pics

27 01 2009

Ok, so last night I had a little mini breakdown. It was different though. I was overwhelmed by the intense urge that I had to pick up Baby Boy L and cuddle with him the moment I saw him. I was overwhelmed by the love that I felt for these little babies instantly. (Very different from when I held my friends’ baby) So I cried. But it wasn’t the bitter, hurt, jealous, angry cry that I have been crying so often. It was just a LONGING cry. It was the first time in a long time that I was crying because I want a baby so badly instead of because I don’t have one. Does that even make sense? Small distinction, but the feeling was amazingly different and it didn’t make me feel selfish and ugly.

I told Hubbs that it made me feel a little creepy that I want peoples babies. Seriously, a little part of me wants to take these babies home. He said it is good that I feel that way because it shows that I will be able to bond to our child seamlessly. He said that in a way, I will have to do that very thing, but of course at that moment it will become our baby.

In other news, last night both babies got to be held and I cried when I got the picture messages on my cell phone. I feel myself catching Hubbs’ cold, so I am banishing myself from the hospital with promises of phone call updates and photos daily. My BIL already promised me the spot of favorite aunt so I have some work cut out for me!

Here are a few pics as suggested by Debbie. These will be taken down tomorrow or Thursday. SOOOO CUTE, huh?!?! Don’t let the tubes on Baby Girl M startle you- she is doing VERY well and she should get it taken off hopefully tomorrow!

Baby Girl M

Baby Boy L

Beautiful Updates

26 01 2009

Wow. I have so much to write about. I don’t even know where to start. A few main points:

I am VERY proud of myself- not for the way that I acted, but for the way that I feel.
My in-laws are completely NUTS!

First- the important stuff- The BABIES! So cute and tiny!! They were 4.5 lbs and 18” and 4.75 lbs and 17.25”. They are both doing very well, but at of yet haven’t been able to be held by anyone yet. They are in the NICU and are breathing on their own and sucking and swallowing and maintaining their own temperatures. Their only issue is that their lungs are a little underdeveloped. Baby Girl M has a tube in her nose (that is very sad so see) that is helping to keep her lungs fully inflated. Baby Boy L is doing great and will hopefully be held and breastfed by day’s end. I wish I could post pics, but I would want to get permission and then they would KNOW!!!

I ended up going the hospital when she was fully dialated and waited it out in the waiting room. It was HORRIBLE! I wasn’t upset about being at the hospital or anything. It had NOTHING to do with my feelings, but the whole family drove me nuts! They were ALL going in and out of the room while she was pushing and they even brought Pizza into the room. My SIL’s father and sister kept going back and forth after they were asked to leave. I was shocked and irritated to no end- but only for the mom-to-be, not for myself. There were only a few awkward moments in regards to me, but with my in-laws, that is to be expected. So, the moral of the story is that this is why God “blessed” me with infertility. Because if I were to give birth, I would end up murdering all of my in-laws and spending eternity behind bars. Yes, it was THAT bad. No respect!

We didn’t get to see the babies last night because it was sooo late by the time they were ready to be seen and Hubbs still wasn’t feeling well at all. So we went home and I couldn’t sleep. I just kept thinking about those babies!!

This morning I went back to the hospital and went to the NICU to see them. I burst into tears with my BIL when I saw them! I just instantly fell in love with those little tiny things! It made me really sad to see them there in the hospital incubator all by themselves and wanted SOMEONE to hold them so bad. It was so strange because the second I saw those babies, all the resentment and bitterness just went away. Suddenly, I wanted to have a better relationship with my BIL and SIL, and even more importantly, I really wanted to have an awesome relationship with those little babies. There was only a twinge of my own pain present while at the hospital and any tears shed were of happiness and awe at the creation of life before me. It was awesome.

It brings me hope for my relationship with my sister. She emailed me today. I emailed her back. I hope we can talk via email for awhile until my pain subsides a little more. We will see how it goes.

P.S. My therapy session was the best yet and I learned a lot about myself and I also had a GREAT time with my friends at dinner!

Celebrating the Holidays While You Wait

12 12 2008

Jamie send me this link and I really liked it so I thought I would share. It is about coping with the holidays while you wait. My favorite part was when it recommeded limiting time with pregnant people. I think I should be exempt from the holidays with the in-laws. How do you think that would go over with the in-laws; “Well, AdoptiveFamilies.com said…”

Some good little updates!

2 12 2008

I have been avoiding writing. Some because I haven’t had a lot of time, but mostly because I was sick of listening to myself whine. I hate to be all “woe is me,” but that is how I was. It is funny how financial struggles always seem to magnify other stresses (i.e. adoption). I have been pretty frustrated with just about everything and even the announcements of matches have sent the green eyed monster my way. I hate that. But things are looking up.

Here are some snippets from the past couple of weeks — all good news info.

– I got a free snowboard. A friend of mine had an old one that she was taking to goodwill, so she gave it to me. It isn’t the best, but it will do until the time comes for a new one.

– I convinced the In-laws to draw names this year for Christmas rather than giving EVERYONE gifts. That means that not including each other, we only have 5 gifts to buy for Christmas. YAY!

– I successfully attended SIL’s baby shower. It was weird for me, but I resisted the urge to cry, participated in all activities and accepted the numerous compliments of my gifts graciously. How much more supportive can a person get? I made her a twins diaper cake and a little stand with the babies initals on them in the theme of their room. I also got them three outfits apiece. So cute!

– We sold our SUV. I have never been so sad to see a car go. I miss it and I don’t particularly care for the little sedan I am driving around now, but I guess we all make sacrifices. If I told you guys how much money it is saving us each month you would probably have to change your drawers. No joke. Even with gas as low as it is the number is astounding.

– We went to Utah for Thanksgiving. We had a GREAT visit and even got to hit the slopes for the first time this season! Boy, were we sore! We are excited to head back that way for Christmas, too.

Hubby got a job! Thank God above! Man, I was pretty stressed about it. Talk about the worst time to be unemployed. It sounds like it will be a pretty good job for him, but it will take him a little time to get his feet wet, which is fine (it gives me a reason to be ok that we haven’t been placed yet). We are currently working on a game plan for what our financial picture would look like if we were placed and if I would be able to not work like I want to. We are throwing around the idea of watching a few neighborhood kids if we need extra money (not ideal, but worth it to not have to go to a reg. 9-5 job). Also, I was so nit-pickey and financially savvy the last few months during this rough time that we are picking up where we left off financially, except that we also have ALL of our adoption money set aside. I am SO PROUD of us! We were looking at our spending report that our bank creates for us and WOW! We can really scale back if need be. We are going to try to continue to live this way for the next six months and see how much money we can save! So, today we are very thankful!

I’ve tried to catch up on some blogs and there is lots of GOOD NEWS!

– Visit Dave and Amy and congratulate them on their new little bundle of joy that came a bit early yesterday. Annica Grace was born at 31 weeks but is doing fantastic and is the cutest little thing!

Aaron and Angie are parents! Last week little Holly arrived and they were placed before Thanksgiving! It fills me with great joy to see them smiling as a family! (me next, please!)

Reggie Bobby and her husband are matched! Congrats time and time again!

In not so great news, our little puppy is very sick! He went on the trip to Utah with us and has been miserable ever since we got back. He can’t keep any food down at all. After three trips to the vet, he seems to be feeling fine, but still can’t keep anything down. Poor baby!

External factors

11 11 2008

I’ve been having a really rough time lately. I’m not quite sure what it is, I think it is probably a combination of things. Hubby’s job situation, SIL pregnancy, people and their ignorant comments, and this waiting for a baby thing. I’ll address them individually.

Hubby’s Job
Hubby is looking ever so diligently for a job. He works in the auto finance industry and as I am sure you all, that industry SUCKS right now. There is a possible job at my company (which is also his old company that he left 6 months ago) which he is perfect for, more than qualified for, and the absolute best person for the job (my professional and personal opinion). The hurdles there are 1) the actually replace the person who left and 2) they forgive him for leaving the company 6 months ago. He also has a few other jobs in play, the most promising being one where he would work weird hours- every other weekend, ALL weekend long. It would be ok, but it isn’t the most stable of jobs (strait commission) and we wouldn’t see each other for half the weekends. But, it is a job, and for that we should be thankful.

SIL pregnancy
My SIL is being very nice. I saw her last night and she complimented me on my weight loss, my long, healthy fingernails and squeezed my hand while we were talking about the job/adoption funds stuff. She is just REALLY pregnant right now, and I just kept staring at her belly. It is crazy that she is going to have babies. I wish I could be happier about it, but it literally stings to talk about it.

People and their ignorant comments
This past weekend I went to my dad’s house for a party. He had lots of his friends and his family there. When I walked in, my aunt introduced me to her friend and her friend said,

“Oh, we HAVE to talk!”

Me: “About what?”

Friend: “I know four girls that have adopted and they all have gotten pregnant.”

Me: “Well, I don’t need or even want that to happen.” Even though I wanted to snidely thank her for being the tiny light in the dark, cold tunnel that is my adoption journey and that without her, I might never have known that after I adopt, there still might be a chance for me to REALLY be happy.

Friend: “REALLY????? Why not?”

Me: “We have chosen to build a family through adoption for a reason. We are very happy with that decision and don’t have any desire change it.”

Friend: A series of other ignorant questions that I battled a little sarcastically.

Then, throughout the course of the evening people kept making comments to us about becoming parents.

“Well, you won’t be able to do THAT once you kids.”

“Being parents isn’t always easy.”

To Hubby, “you know, you will be expected to be home by 5pm once you have kids.” (like he isn’t already!)

Hello!?!?! We didn’t get knocked up at a frat party. We have been SERIOUSLY trying to bring children into our home for FOUR years. We have thought it through quite a bit and know the highs and lows raising children. I know we still have a lot to learn, but nothing that advice will teach us- only things that parenting itself will teach us. The whole night I wanted to scream for everyone to just SHUT UP!!! (deeeeep breath…..relax!)

Waiting for Baby
The waiting for baby thing is really giving me a run for my money lately. I think it is mostly because of our financial situation. Right before hubby lost his job we had just transferred the final amount we needed into our savings account to pay for the adoption. We haven’t had to touch it yet, but it is because I am guarding that money with my life. This situation just reminds me how unfair this whole situation is. It just stinks that how much money I have in my bank account affects if/how many children I will have. I know that this comes into play for everyone regardless of how they chose to grow their families, but with adoption, it is a significant amount of money DOWN, then all the other stuff. I feel like I have my light saber and I am protecting my savings account from all my bills.

I hope things let up a little bit soon. I feel like internally I am happy, but all these external factors keep getting in the way!

There is no pleasing me…

7 11 2008

So, I have been thinking a lot about where I am at right now and what I expect from others. I have been feeling a little down about my lack of validation. I don’t really FEEL like people think of me as an expectant mom, but I also don’t really feel like an expectant mom myself. I’ve complained a few times about how my in-laws have started focusing so much on the “real” babies and that I feel left in the dust. I’ve also complained about how they say stuff like, “next Christmas you will have a baby stocking to fill,” and I ask them not to say things like that because we don’t KNOW that to be the case. I get frustrated when they talk about me having a baby, and I get frustrated when they don’t. How unfair of me is that?

I can say that they don’t treat me how I want/need to be treated during this process with strong convictions. But I wouldn’t know how to ask them to change it. I don’t know how I want them to treat me. I don’t know what I want them to say or do to make me feel validated without making me feel like we are playing a grown-up game of “let’s pretend.”

The thing is, though, nobody else makes me feel the way that they do. Everyone else seems to say the right things, be the right amount of excited, and have the right level of optimism. But, are they really doing anything different than my in-laws, or are my interpretations of their actions just different?

I do know that I get hurt when anyone talks about my SIL’s babies. I get irritated when my MIL is over at their house putting together their cribs. I get annoyed when my other SIL calls me for help with the baby shower. I even create situations in which I am going to be even more hurt. For example, right now my biggest fear is that on Christmas, there will be gifts under the tree for my SIL’s unborn babies and nothing for mine.

Am I just angry and bitter about the fact that my SIL is pregnant and angry and bitter at all of them for being happy about it?

The worst part is I don’t even really want the anger and bitterness to go away. It is like it gives my emotions something to focus on. How messed up is that?