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?


I was just thinking…

16 05 2009

The other day I went to get my haircut. My sister watched R for about an hour and a half. It was my first time leaving R with anyone other than Hubbs, but we all did just fine! Anyway, I always go to the same salon to get my haircut, but take the first appointment available with whomever. After getting my haircut, another stylist that I vaguely remembered asked me if I had adopted a baby yet. It meant so much to me that she remembered me telling her about our journey (even though I didn’t remember). It was slow in the salon so I talked to the three stylists about our journey to R and I even got a little teary-eyed. It got me thinking a lot about adoption and my expectations.

I didn’t think that I was going to have trouble falling in love with my baby… and I didn’t. I did think that I would have a little bit of sadness associated with the fact that my child was not biologically connected to me. Honestly, I have not had an ounce of sadness over that fact. In fact, I LOVE that she isn’t. I LOVE that the story of how she came into our lives is so unique and special. I love that R has so many people in her life that love her… instantly. I love that there are things about her that Hubbs and I would have never been able to create. I will always celebrate those things about her that make her uniquely who she is… along with those things that make her so much a part of our family.

I am amazed at the father adoption has created in my husband. He is so warm and loving towards her. He has turned into such a softie and coos and baby talks with her. I love that when he comes home from work he rushes right over to her ready to play. He really misses her. Our last two doctors appointments he has been unable to attend and has called immediately when he thought it might be over to see how they went (everything went swimmingly, but the way!! No heart or hip issues to be found!). He loves to pick out her little outfits and is always sweetly partial to the ones that say ‘daddy” on them. He is just beside himself about how he is going to handle next week when we are out of town M-F without him (he joins us Friday night). He feels so bad when he doesn’t wake up at night to feed her because he has to work in the morning.

I am shocked at how wholeheartedly our family has embraced R as an equal part of our family… even those I thought might have some trouble with it. There are those that I know will never outwardly acknowledge that she was adopted and instead choose to pretend it isn’t so, but I am ok with that. For the most part, I would just rather it be Hubbs and I that address anything adoption with R. I am immensely pleased with how much everyone has just completely fallen in love with her. But at the same time, how could they not?? Just look at this cutie!!

People told me over and over again how it would all be worth it in the end. The pain would subside and the anger would fade. I cannot tell you how true this is for me. We waited 17 months and 1 day from the day we decided to pursue adoption (6 months actually being presented). It seemed like an eternity for me. On Mother’s Day, I was just shocked at how many moms I was sharing my first mother’s day with. Moms that, in my mind, adopted their babies an eternity ago and were veteran parents… but it wasn’t that long ago. I would do it all again ten times over if it would lead me to R. She is my dream come true. She is everything I wished for and everything I prayed for. It was more than worth it for me. Looking back, considering how fulfilled and happy I am, it was kind of easy (don’t shoot me for saying that.)! And oh, how the pain has melted away!! I was never one of those people that NEEDED to be pregnant. But I was jealous of pregnant people because of what it meant. I do not feel that jealousy any longer. I just spent an entire week with my gigantically pregnant little sister. The news of her pregnancy was by far the darkest of dark times for me and I didn’t handle it well. But this week, I honestly felt no pain for myself, no jealousy. We were the same old sisters, laughing and being silly together. I wouldn’t trade what I have for ANYTHING. Not anything. I hoped I would feel this way, but deep down I didn’t really think I would. I will never forget those feelings. I don’t regret them and I think they are definitely a part of who I am, but I don’t feel them anymore. Now, those feelings may resurface when we have to wait again once we decide to add to our family, but for now, I am peaceful and beyond blissful.

**Thank you all SO much for all the advice on my last post. I decided to order the baby book I was looking at and then when the adoption is finalized purchase a mycreations book. Also, I am much more comfortable with telling R her story.

Some Adoption Notes

13 04 2009

R’s birth parents:

I forgot to say in my last post one of the coolest things. R’s birth father was adopted himself! We thought that was very cool and it became even cooler when we talked with them at length about it. He had a whole different perspective on it (from a typical birth father). When he first started talking about his story and he mentioned his dad- I wasn’t sure who he was refering to, his biological father or his adoptive father. Then, R’s birth mother said, “Those are his parents, they loved him and raised him every day. It doesn’t matter who gave birth to him. Those are his parents.” While I will never ever discount the tremendous nature of the amazing gift that J and C gave to us, it is really cool that they are able to have the perspective from the other side of things. I am thankful for that.

I will never forget the maturity, conviction and strength they exhibited when they talked about why they were chosing adoption. I knew I wasn’t going to have ill feelings for the people who gave life to my child. What I didn’t know was how powerful the positive feelings were going to be. I was so impressed with them. So in awe of them, yet so sad for the decision they were about to make. I have nothing but respect and admiration flowing through my veins for them. I love them. It is weird to say that about someone I only met for a few hours, but I do. They are absolutely amazing and full of love. For each other, for little R and for life. I cannot imagine the amount of strength, courage and self awareness they have. I am eternally grateful for all of that.

I am immensely protective of her birth parents. Their identities, their decisions, and everything to do with them. I get very tense when someone talks about them. I worry I will have to defend their honor!! So far, nobody has made that necissary, but I tend to interject my respect for them early in any conversation about them.

People are obsessed with appearances:

1 – It is funny how people feel the need to comment about how much R looks like us. She probably will not look unlike us, but we don’t NEED her to be similar for her to be our daughter. She could be purple with four noses and we wouldn’t care. We aren’t trying to pretend she is biologically linked to us. We are proud that she came to us a different way. Immensely proud. It doesn’t offend me when people say these things, I just think it is amusing- like they think they are making us feel better. My only worry with it is that I think people want to “erase” where she came from- and I want to honor that. I don’t want her to ever feel like we are pretending she doesn’t have her own biological history that is very important.

2- People are very concerned with what her birth parents look like. “Does she look like you?” “What famous person does she look like?” “Was she tall?”

The Biology of it all

Hubbs was talking to his best friends’ father about something with R. He misunderstood what he was saying and thought I was struggling with the fact that she isn’t biologically connected to us. I realized then that I honestly couldn’t care less. I like that our family was created in a different manner. I think it is going to make me a better mom than I would have been and I will have a stronger bond with my family. I honestly don’t care one ounce that I didn’t carry her for nine months. I thought I would. I don’t feel threatened at all by the two amazing people that gave her life. I feel they are an extension of her that I honor and respect. (how many times can I say that in one post? Ok, you get it.) The only way I will have any angst about this adoption is if she does.

Our adoption in general

I wouldn’t change a thing.Not one thing! I do think this situation has been absolutely perfect (post-placement potential bump aside- even though when all is said and done I will grow to love that part of the story and its imact as well) I do believe everything happens for a reason. I am thankful beyond works for this wonderful blessing. Someone said to me, “I don’t know who is more blessed, you two or her.” Definately us – but I thought that was a great thing to say rather than the, “she is so lucky!” that we get. Hello? We went through a lot find this amazing blessing. WE ARE BLESSED!

25 03 2009

I was reading a blog post about how painful it is to learn of someone’s pregnancy and have to watch/listen to our friends and family experience what we will never be able to. It made me think of how far I have come.

The past year there have been so many pregnancy announcements. It has been really rough dealing with it, but I feel like for the most part, it is getting easier. I think most of it has been due to my little sister’s pregnancy. Lets face it, my little sister who hasn’t a penny to her name getting pregnant from a one-night-stand with twins is about as hard as it gets. I reached the peak of the uphill battle, and I think from here on out it will be more of a downward slope. It seems to be getting easier.

Today, I talked her off the ledge, so to speak. She was expeicing some pretty signficant spotting and was freaking out and couldn’t find my mom. She called me beacuse she thought she might be with me (my mom is still in town, just with my grandma and aunt while I work). She tried not to tell me about what was happening, but I could tell she was upset. I talked to her for about an hour while she drove to the doctor and waited to get in. It is funny that although I have never pregnant, I know more than most about pregnancy. I was certain from her symptoms that everything was fine, and of course I was right. It made me feel good to be able to calm her down and I didn’t have any saddness at all.

She also found out the sex – two baby girls. She was CERTAIN that there were two boys cookin in there and at very least one of each. She even commented that there was no way it was two girls and that would be her least favorable outcome. I guess I haven’t come that far, because the fact that she was wrong made me smile a little. I guess some of the spite never goes away! Hehe. So, two little girls! How very exciting. The doc even thinks they are identical even though they are in two different sacs. I guess one placenta??? I don’t know that much about that whole thing. It is cool because I know 3 girls and 3 boys that are/will be born in my family/close cirlce of friends in 2009. Whevenever my child decides to find me, he/she will have playmates in both genders.


I have also been thinking about the insensitive comments that people make. I feel like I have become too sensitive. The fact that SO many people say SO many insensitive things makes me wonder how often I spout off insensitively and don’t even realize it. I am going to try to be a little more understanding of those- take a more educational approach than a defensive approach.

Here is what happened today: A coworker (that I talked about here) is finding out tomorrow the sex of their baby. I mentioned my sister is having two girls.

Him: “are you going to buy one?” (I just shook my head and looked down)

Another co-worker: “thats terrible to say.”

Him: “I told you I’d sell you mine for $50k.”

That was it. I had to say something.

Me: “That is very, very offensive to me and I would appreciate it if you would not say things like that to me.”

Him: “I’m sorry.” (looking me square in the eye)

It was a little awkward becuase multiple co-workers were there listening, but I felt the need to elaborate

Me: “I know you don’t mean anything by it, but your comment insinuates that I am in the market to purchase a child, and since I am not by anymeans buying a baby, it is offensive to me.”

Him: “I’m very sorry.”

Ok then.

I felt a little uncomfortable and didn’t want there to be uneasiness, so I sent him an email;

Me: I know you didn’t mean anything by your comment, but I wanted you to know how I felt about it. Sorry I made it awkward.

Him: I do apologize for it. It was totally my fault; I should be more sensitive to your situation. No awkwardness now.

Me: Consider it squashed.

Him: Works for me…..

I was very very proud of myself for the way I handled it. I didn’t get mad, like I have done in the past, and I didn’t just let it go, like I have done in the past. I think most people don’t know they are making an insensitive comment…..they have never walked in our shoes and sometimes you don’t know something is offensive unless someone tells you. I was also really suprised at how he handled it. He is what many would describe as cocky and assertive, but the second I said something, he was nothing but appologetic. I think it is tough to not get defensive or make excuses when someone calls you out.

Anyway, I guess the point of random, scattered post is that this process continues to change me . In all directions, all the time…

Slightly spewing

26 02 2009
I gave blood yesterday and today I feel like crap. I think too much coffee and not enough blood in my veins is making me very lethargic. It is also putting me in a cranky mood, so I have been lingering on a few things that have been irritating me.

– My little sis’ babies’ daddy (did I mention he and I used to be friends) emailed me. All it said was, “When are you getting your baby?” I can’t really explain why it was so irritating and insulting to me. I know part of it is the fact that I haven’t spoken to him since before he knocked up my sister- but I think the very nature and nonchalant-ness of the email totally ticked me off. It’s like, when are you getting that new TV you were talking about? I am surprisingly angry about it. What do you guys think? Is the content insulting or is it just me?

– Na.dya Su.leman. This whole situation is beyond irritating me. Both because of the situation itself and how the media and people I know are handling it. From foreclosures to family drama to [proposed] one million dollar po.rn contracts, Bleh! Frankly, I feel sorry for this woman(in a weird way that she doesn’t really deserve), and even sorrier for her children. The fact is, what is done is done and now there are a bunch of babies that need to be taken care of. I am incredibly sick of people saying, “she needs to adopt them out” and asking me if I would adopt one of them. Both things just piss me off. What? What the heck does is mean to adopt OUT? Grrr…. I won’t even go further into this. I’ve probably already said too much.

– A barely acquaintance asked me this weekend, “have you heard anything about your adoption yet.” My response, “No, nothing yet.” Her response, “Well, you just need to be patient.” What? Shut up. Don’t tell me to be patient when you are asking ME questions about it!

So, like I said. I am feeling irritable today!

On the brighter side, Hubbs loves his new job and he is doing great so far! I hope SOOO much that it continues to go this way for him!

My baby sister (12 y/o) called me yesterday and asked if I would teach her how to out on make-up when I see her this weekend. How stinkin’ cute! I am so excited! I got her this:
And then added a few things to it. It’s like a little make-up starter kit! I’m so excited!

My SIL seems to be doing much better and I think she might actually love those cute little babies. I spent the afternoon over there a few days ago and got to hold them both at once. It was fun! I could totally do twins!

I’ve decided to send the “business cards” to our friends and family. I think I am going to just do the cards and then send a warm letter with them instead of a postcard.

Oh, and I decided to move here because I created another blog for family and I didn’t want this one to be searchable with my name and “adoption.” So, thanks for following along.

A rant followed by an update

22 12 2008

Uggghhhh!! Things just suck.

First of all, I just want to say that I hate advice. I hate it. I don’t think I am ever going to give advice again because it is next to never helpful. ESPECIALLY when it comes from someone with no frame of reference!! If you have never experienced infertility, you have NO idea what I am going through. Absolutely NONE! If you have, then you may be able to relate, but I also believe that everyone experiences things differently.

I know women who have quit their jobs and spend three months lying in a dark room doing nothing. I know people that were on the road to adopt before they had had any IF treatments and were very happy to be there. I know plenty of people that have handed their IF much “better” than me and others who have handled it much “worse.” It doesn’t mean that some people want it more or that some people are weaker. It just means that people are different and people deal with life differently.

For me, getting through and accepting my own infertility wasn’t that big of a deal. It sucked and the treatments made me crazy for a bit, but emotionally I didn’t have too much trouble dealing with the fact that I would never bear children. Living childless is something entirely different. I can’t handle it, and I don’t see an end in sight and the salt in my wound is that literally everyone around me is pregnant.

I am dealing with this the only way I know how. Truthfully, I think I am doing a very good job of it. I have been open and honest with everyone involved with how I feel. I am not hiding and I am trying to heal. I am not going to feel guilty for feeling this way, but I am also not going to spend my life sulking in a corner. I am not going to push myself, I am not going to put myself into situations that I cannot handle. I am responsible for my own well being, so I get to decide. In short, don’t judge me!!

ANYWAY……..enough of the rant.

I went to see a therapist of Friday. It was ok. Nothing really good or bad. Actually, we talked most about my in-laws, which was funny to me. I’m going back in a couple of weeks. I don’t think I will go for an extended period of time, though.

I talked to my sister on Saturday. It went pretty well. I have a good grasp on how things are going to be from here on out. It wasn’t weird. I guess I kind of expected that she would be a different person now that she’s pregnant. She isn’t, but I kind of wish she were. I can’t imagine that irresponsible person having a child. I guess those things don’t happen over night. She was at a loss because she didn’t know what she could do or not do to make things easier for me. I thought that was nice. I told her that I just need her to not forget to be sensitive to me. We both recognize that this isn’t fair and that it is difficult for me and I told her that I need her to remember that throughout her pregnancy. She said ok, but then the conversation that followed clearly illustrated that she wasn’t going to be able to do that. I guess it is fine. I just realized that really I am just going to have to suck it up and pretend to be ok with it. I am well versed in that game.

I talked to my grandmother on Friday. I wanted to wring her neck after talking to her. My g-ma got pregnant at 15 and then again at 17. She basically told me that I needed to talk to my sister because she knows how it feels to be so alone and that it is a pain that is unimaginable. I laughed at her. All I could say was that I understand that kind of pain, but the reality is she is going through this pain because of choices that she made and I would be there for her when I could be and nobody can ask any more from me. THEN she started talking about her Pro-choice beliefs (which are really pro-abortion) and started talking about the “A” word. She was literally telling me that she thinks she should get an abortion. I was floored! I mean, everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but know your audience. You are talking to someone that has been trying to have a baby for four years and is waiting to adopt!!!! My goodness! I simply stated that I don’t agree and that it would deeply hurt my relationship with my sister if she took that route. If she doesn’t want that baby, I do and I know about 20 other couples that also do. [For the record, I am pro-life but I don’t think abortions should be illegal. I think there are exceptions to every rule and if as a society it is illegal, people will still find a way.] Anyway, I am thankful that abortion wasn’t legal in the 50s because my mother wouldn’t be here today (and thus me).

It just goes to show that people don’t get it!

Mean People Suck!

7 12 2008

Last week I had an old acquaintance that I used to work with (and talk in depth with about IF) call to tell me she was pregnant. M and I hadn’t spoken in over six months and when I say she called to tell me she was pregnant, I mean she called, said she was pregnant, that she had just found out two hours before (yeah, seriously) and then said she had to go. Literally no small talk, no asking how I was doing or anything even close to polite. It was the most rude phone conversation ever, and she even called me on my work phone. My feelings were really hurt and I felt like she had done it to be spiteful, and I have never felt that way before. She knows what I went through TTC and I felt like she jumped at the chance to one-up me. I mean, we haven’t talked in six months and she calls me literally hours after finding out she is pregnant to share the good news?

I didn’t say anything to anyone about because I felt like I was being a little silly. A few hours later a co-worker came up and said that M had emailed and told him to ask me about her big news. So, I told him and he flipped his lid in my defense. He had been there for most of our IF conversations so he also knows what I have been through. He told me he is 100% sure that she called just to hurt my feelings and that is just her. She has said many things to him to try to hurt his feelings (they used to carpool for 3 hours a day together) and even said horrible things to his wife. It made me feel better, oddly enough. I FELT that she had tried to hurt me, but I had a hard time convincing myself that someone would actually do that. Having someone else confirm makes me be able to just feel sorry for her that she is so insecure that she would enjoy hurting someone like that. Not that she was really in my life before, but I can assure you she won’t be anymore.

I got into a long conversation with a friend about the whole thing. Here are some things that I discovered (even though some I already knew):

Even though I have grieved and moved on from my IF, I will never “get over it.”

Some people really are just mean.

I hate that most people have a hard time telling me when they are pregnant, but I NEED them to be somewhat sensitive so I want them to have a hard time telling me.

I’m not sad that I can’t get pregnant, I am sad that I don’t have a baby

I wish I hadn’t told so many people about being in the adoption pool. I want everyone to know, but I am sick of being asked about it and I am sick of hearing people’s un-educated comments.
It is really frustrating that most people (even our parents) just don’t get it.