Tuesday, May 27, 2008

is this normal?

For the last 2 nights, I have been having vivid dreams about receiving calls about being matched from agencies and birthmoms. I am not sleeping very well. Maybe it is just my obsessive, impatient nature. I can only imagine what I will be like once I am home study ready! I am trying very hard not to drive my husband bananas with all of my constant research. 
We had a beautiful afternoon as a family. After dinner we went for a long walk on the beach, and I found the most beautiful seashell I have ever seen. It was as if it had been polished to shine. All I kept thinking was that I would save it for my baby for when he or she finally comes home. I guess that is silly, but for some reason it felt like that is what it is meant for. 
Yeah, I am a big old sap!:) 
J agreed it is indeed beautiful, and our favorite seashell ever. So there you go!
I am going to sleep now, and hopefully it will be restful and sweet.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Missing my kids

The toughest part about my job is sometimes being away from my kids on the weekends. I have an awesome mother, who is the kind of mom I strive to be (more on that in another post:)). Many weekends I take the kids to her house when Dale and I work. We moved about an hour and a half away from her last year, but I still commute a lot. 
This past weekend is the kind that I dislike pertaining to seeing my babies. I took them down there after school on Friday, and I have worked everyday since, but closer to our house. I don't like to make the kids make that commute more than once a week if possible (it is especially hard on J), so I let them stay at Grandma's. They don't mind. They miss her, and she misses them, plus they see all of their uncles, Godbrother, etc...but I can barely STAND it. I am usually okay the first day since I am out late the night before and I sleep a little later than J usually lets me, but after that I am a teary mess! Of course, we talk on the phone. I try really hard not to let on how sad I am when I tell them how much I miss them. 
I say all of this to say that I have a goal of being home much more. As it is, I have always considered myself a working stay at home mom. Before we moved here, the kids were almost asleep by the time I had to leave for work. The commute adds almost 3 hours a day to my commute (giving me an almost 7 hr work day), and robs me of precious time with my family, but I have a plan! I am looking forward to being home just about every day with my kids. 
I think this weekend has been especially hard, because it's the first time in a long time that I been away form them this long. Good news is that I am about to be on my way to see them before work tonight and they are coming home with me later. Summer is coming and that changes everything. I just want them home. 

Sunday, May 25, 2008


I am really enjoying blogging, even though I can't imagine anyone caring about what I have to say. It really is a great way to work through feelings. I am a journaler by nature, and this is that but with the possibility of feedback. I love it. 

I am in tears right now watching an HGTV episode of Deserving Design. The couple adopted 3 siblings. The family is so sweet, and they had the kids rooms made-over. So awesome. It is such a great example of how adoption changes lives for the better, and something else for me to bawl over.:)

Anyhoo, anyone who bothers to read my blog, I truly appreciate it and if you give me feedback, that is even better. If it seems like I am rambling, I am.:) I am consumed with getting the adoption process started, but I can barely, if at all, put those feelings into words. So I always feel like I am off topic. 

I wonder how many ways and times I can express my heart's desire to adopt, without doing anything about it, before I sound ridiculous. I mean, I am in major research, fundraising, filling out application mode, but seriously folks not much is happening. I am not discouraged, but I feel like time is a-wastin'!!

I think I was prepared for an immediate rollercoaster ride (I know that's coming too), but right now I feel like I am in the line to get on the rollercoaster (in the really hot sun). Patience is not my strong suit, but I am working on that. 

Everything and everyone around me is life as usual, so I think that makes this a little tougher. I want to shout about it, but somehow that doesn't seem appropriate. I am trying to wait until we get closer to bringing our baby home.  I am sure I won't be able to help myself at that point.

Am I rambling? Yes. Knowing is half the battle, so I am out of here.;)

Friday, May 23, 2008

Lunch with my kids.

So I pick my kids from school today, and we go to lunch. Before we ate, we blessed the food. Once we finished, an older gentleman tapped my shoulder and with a smile, jokingly asked "were you actually praying in public?", to which I replied, " can you believe it?". He said "Do you know that you might get arrested for that?" So we  talked a little bit about what a shame it is that public prayer is somehow offensive to some people.
I told him we do what we need to do, and we pray. He said, "AMEN, I'll see you up there!".
He was adorable, and he put a smile on my face. 

Man, oh man, what a crazy world. 

On another note, I am watching the effect our adoption journey is taking on my husband. It is subtle and sweet. I feel for him, knowing how I have been feeling lately. As a teacher, he sees and hears about situations with kids more than I do. As tough as it is, he is sometimes visibly upset, and I think that it makes him more proactive. It has made him want to be an even better father. It is all good. 

Thursday, May 22, 2008

In my quiet time

I rarely get down time, I have to carve out time for pretty much everything these days. Today has been interesting. My husband's car went berserk yesterday, so we put it in the shop. I chose to let him take the car instead of dropping him off at work, and somehow I managed to leave my cell phone (which is the number that rings all day, and has all of my contacts in it) in the car! I am paying attention Lord, I am taking a little time for me. So for the past couple of hours, it has been just me and my thoughts. 
I had a beautiful midday lunch with some amazing women yesterday. They are all extremely talented vocalists and brilliant, successful business women. They are all powerfully faith-filled women. We prayed more than once, we laughed, and cried, shared ideas, scriptures, stories, and plans. I am always honored and in awe of them. I was the youngest one there, and I am often overwhelmed by their daily Christian walk. I want to be like that. I want to be like that! I want to be like that!!
I pray to be pleasing in God's sight. I pray to be the example that He would have me be. I can't put into words all that I feel, so most of all I pray. 
I have been thinking about all of that today.
Of course, I have also been (pretty much always am) thinking about adoption. I have been feeling hopeful abut helpless about really starting the process. I know I will come up with the money to start, but really that is just based on faith. I know God will provide, as long as I am doing my part. It is a struggle sometimes to stay positive, but failure is not an option. 
The luncheon yesterday was just what I needed when I needed it. Not only was it uplifting spiritually and emotionally, but in terms of my future financial success. It was as if God was telling me again, in yet another way, that it everything taken care of. I am constantly renewed. 
It is interesting to note that my husband found out that it will cost $900 to fix his car today. The man I married less than 3 years ago would have flipped out, or at the very least gotten discouraged and despondent. But I watch him grow all the time, and today my man was calm as we both agreed that the blessing is that we actually have the money to pay for it (that is not often the case). I suppose I could be upset that the money could have covered much of the cost of our home study, but I know that God's timing is perfect, and it will come from somewhere else. I don't know where, but it always does.
So in my quiet time today, I am feeling peaceful. I am trying to be still, even if it is only for a little while longer.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Awesome idea!

I recently added this badge from Revolution Money Exchange. A good friend turned me on to it as a great way to raise funds for our adoption. I also really like the idea that I can contribute to her fundraising effort and my own at the same time. It's like Paypal, but without the fees. When I signed up, I received $25, and my friend, wife to the rockstar, earned $10 because I signed up under her. You can add a badge to your blog, spread the word, and do the same thing. There is nothing to lose, and it is easy. Click on the badge below or in my side bar to check it out!

Refer A Friend using Revolution Money Exchange

Day by day

It is interesting how different I feel since I started this journey. I have been crazy busy with work and life lately, but adopting is never far from my mind. the knowledge I have gained so far, seems to permeate my life. I find myself thinking about all of the children in need of a family. Such a given in most lives, that it is often taken for granted. I am certainly not perfect, but I have always known how blessed I am to have all that I do. I am rich in the ways that count. I have never gone without, I have been loved and well taken care of my whole life. I was given wonderful examples...I could go on and on. 
My heart is having a difficult time with the plight of so many children. As I learn about these babies (unless they are adults, they are all babies to me) without families to hold them, and love them, my capacity to look outside of myself seems to grow. I am forever changed. I keep wondering "how can this be?" Intellectually I suppose I get it. Many different circumstances come into play, but "how can this be?"
Long before I had my children, I felt the desire to adopt. Then life kept on happening and my children came in the form of "unexpected" blessings:). Then I finally met and married the man God intended for me, and we discovered our infertility. When the subject of adoption came up I didn't discard or embrace it. I don't think I ever looked at it as a last resort, still I sometimes wonder what would have happened had we been blessed with a biological before now. Right now, I can say that even if I discovered I was pregnant at this moment, I am meant to adopt and nothing would change that desire. How is that for clarity? 
I am taking it day by day. God is working on me all the time.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Weekend mornings

I sing for a living, so I work nights mostly. I get home pretty late on the weekends (I am talking 2 or 3 am typically). Before I had my kids, sleeping in was a given. Even after I had my daughter, she is a night owl like me, so her getting up early was never an issue. Fast forward to today. I would like to introduce J. He is my extremely spirited, complicated, emotional, dramatic, creative, entertaining, sensitive, tender-hearted, rambunctious, athletic, affectionate, charismatic, amazing, sweet-as-pie baby boy (absolutely no bias here:)). He is 6 years old, can never seem to get enough attention, and wakes me up at the crack of dawn every Saturday and Sunday morning by climbing into bed with us, hugging me, and declaring his love for me. I do my best to let Daddy sleep a little longer. Now, I don't get out of bed right away if I can help it, but unless he goes back to sleep I am up. He doesn't just watch television, he interacts with it. There is a running commentary on everything he does. He likes for you to "watch this" constantly, (dance he has made up, art he creates, song he is composing, outfit he has chosen, etc...) I am smiling as I write this, He tells jokes, cries at the drop of dime, and generally keeps me on my toes. 

I wonder all of the time, how I got so lucky. I am truly blessed. As I try to shake off the grogginess, and struggle to function on just a few hours of sleep, I still find myself laughing at his shenanigans, and shining from the inside out when he lays his little head on my chest and tells me I am the best mommy in the world, and that he loves me. There is nothing better.

Then there is T. My 13 year old, beautiful, quiet, shy, brilliant, quirky, closet-goofball, private, easy-going, unemotional, focused, non-girly, talented, creative, competitive, athletic, introverted, generous, daughter. She is like me in so many ways. People mistake us for each other (she is prettier). She never wakes up at the crack of dawn. She doesn't like for you to "watch this". She is very self-sufficient (rarely asks for help with school work, it has to thrust upon her), takes great pride in her intelligence and has always excelled in school. We worry that her book smarts interfere with many common sense skills. She is an avid reader, and goes nowhere without her novel of the day. She can trip on air and has a great, dry sense of humor. She rarely complains, even if it is warranted. She is not especially affectionate, but that seems to be changing lately. So far, her interest in boys is minimal at best (so grateful for that). She is a wonderful artist, and has recently discovered a passion for playing the piano and is so good even her teacher is shocked. She is my first-born, and she is more, better than I prayed for. God is so good. On the weekends, whenever she gets up, or we wake her up, I get a basic "good morning". If I want a hug, I have to ask for or give one. If I say "I love you" she says it back, and I often have to seek her out to spend time with her. Even then, sometimes I can tell she just wants to be alone. 

I wonder all the time, how I got so lucky. I am truly blessed. Even while I miss the days when I was her world, and the unsolicited kisses and hugs she stopped giving long ago, my child is fabulous! I am so proud of her. Even when she tries to walk through the store with her head in a book, and I have to explain to my straight A student why that makes no sense, even when I have to insist that she go outside once in a while, knowing full well she will probably fall down for no reason, I know she is hands down one of the greatest gifts I have and will ever receive. I am honored to be her mommy and she will always be my baby.

My children could not be more different if I planned it. They are the best of both worlds. They teach me so much. The experience of motherhood is one I am so glad I didn't miss. This is yet another reason I wait in barely containable anticipation for my next baby. To learn and know another personality, and watch as we all learn from another beautiful soul, and experience new love so great it can only a blessing to us all. 

So this morning when J climbed into bed with me, demanding to know when I was going to get up, I smiled knowing what a gift God has given me to have these angels in my life. Another blessed day has begun.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Time to tighten up!

Now that I am on this adoption journey, and understand the financial aspect of it, I am having an interesting dilemma. How do I reconcile the me that wants to give in some way to the families that are "adoption-financially challenged", like myself, with the me that desperately wants to bring my child(ren) home as soon as possible and therefore needs to tighten up and get to saving?

One seems counterproductive, while the other seems selfish, but there it is. I have been thinking about this quite a bit more than usual. The more I learn, the more I want to do something, anything to help as many as I can. 

In the meantime, I will keep praying, as that is a powerful something. In my confusion, it is good to at least be sure of that much. 

Friday, May 16, 2008

Thank you!

I guess if one were to actually give it some thought, it would be a no-brainer to know that the adoption community is full of strong faith, and open hearts, but the to experience it first hand is something that can't be put into words. I feel as though I am being held up by gentle hands full of strength. It is so comforting in the midst of what seems to be chaos. My heart is full. You ladies are amazing.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Figuring things out

I think I figured out at least some of the reasons that I am so out of sorts these days. Adoption is unlike anything I have ever experienced. 

I recently attempted IVF (didn't work), and that was very emotional. It still hurts...more than I like to admit. I wanted it to work so badly. Infertility in and of itself is deeply painful, obviously. I won't go into all of that here, anyone who deals with it knows. 

Still, adoption is so different. I certainly don't want to sound dumb or offend anyone. I am simply saying what I am feeling. I have been so emotional since making the decision to adopt, and am realizing part of that is that it's so much bigger than me. 

Learning about the process is overwhelming, and thinking about what it means, what it really means, to grow our family through adoption, really makes me hurt for all of the children that need a home. All of the circumstances that make that so. All of the pain, all of the love, all of the lives, all of the disappointments, all of the joy, and yes all of the money involved. 

Then I realize that we are just one family, only helping one or two, only one or two children helping us. It makes me feel so small and helpless, and scared that I can't handle all of the tough stuff. Then I think about my child or children coming home, and I know that whatever I have to do, this will be, and in the end I will be even more blessed than I already am. 

I am at the beginning of my journey, but I can see the ending already. My family will be complete, and God will still be smiling on us.

Feeling helpless and overwhelmed

I spent most of yesterday feeling out of sorts. I want to do something, anything, to start the process. I am still waiting to find out if my hubby's employer offers any adoption assistance. That would make such a difference in getting started, and then maybe I could relax a little.

I wonder if I am nuts to start this process now. It is interesting to note that we seem to make huge changes in our lives every summer. My husband and I are both professional musicians, and summers are very tough financially, but that hasn't stopped us from moving each summer since we met 4 years ago.  We thought that we broke the cycle when we closed on our 1st home at the end of March (yes, 2 mths. ago:)!), but no-o-o-o-o. Here we are with a brand new mortgage and loads left to do (buying furniture, painting white walls etc...) and now we decide to adopt. He is teaching now with an 11 month contract, but guess what month he doesn't get paid...July!!! Smack dab in the middle of summer when my big money gigs are nowhere in sight!

Of course, one might think we could wait, but that is not up to me. I feel like we are not meant to wait. I am praying and trying very hard to be still let God lead me in this. I know He will. So while I am chomping at the bit to get going and hold my baby in my arms, I know that His timing is perfect. In my heart I know it will all work out, and if the urgency I feel is not of Him, it will go away.

In the meantime, please bear with me.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

It's official!

So!... We have officially decided to pursue adoption. I am almost paralyzed with fear. Pushing through it, though. My biggest fear is allowing myself to want this so much and then it not happening. After my IVF journey, I did not fall apart, but I don't know how much my heart can take. I feel like I am TTC again. I am excited, and I am trying to patiently await my miracle. I can envision holding my baby in my arms, and I am overwhelmed with emotion. This is all so new. I can't believe I am a blogger, but I do think I need to document this journey in a special way, and reach out to the adoption community. I am truly flying blind, way out of my comfort zone. 

I am sure that sounds so obvious. How many people, new to adoption, are in their comfort zone?!

I am very blessed to have started a fledgling friendship with a beautiful, large family(still growing:)) including 3 adopted children, that is helping us on this journey. They inspire me. I believe God brought them into our lives for a reason(s).

The absolute main issue is money. That is probably the biggest reason we haven't pursued adoption sooner. I now feel a sense of urgency, and I can't put off trying any longer. I am planning to use all of the resources available to me, and for once in my life rely on the kindness of strangers, as well as family and friends. We are taking a leap of faith, to expand our already amazing family. I know our other child(ren) is/are out there waiting, and I know God will bring us together when the time is right. In the meantime I plan on doing all I can to be ready.

My sweet, spirited 6 year old has longed for a younger sibling for years. I want that for him so much. He has been praying for a baby brother and/or sister, and asking me if we could adopt. My heart is so full whenever I hear his prayers of we discuss this, it brings tears to my eyes.

My husband is just amazing. I came to this marriage almost 3 years ago with 2 beautiful children (my daughter is 13) and he loves them as only a father could and should. We discovered fertility issues a year ago, after ttc since the wedding. We pursued many options to no avail. While we have not given up on the dream of having a biological child (he doesn't have any) we want to grow our family now and parent a child together from the start, along with all of the other glorious experiences that come along with a larger family.

With all of that said, I am ready to put my heart on the line do this. I will not operate from a place of fear. I will put my faith in God and get ready for our miracle!!!! Prayers are appreciated!