Monday, February 21, 2011

Baby Proofing Attempt and Random Thoughts

This is me, trying to babyproof my bathroom... Felix is SO intrusive!!! Ha ha ha. He wants to cuddle only when I'm not paying him any attention. Gotta love cats.

Have mercy. Ha ha.

Well, March 9th is only 16 days away! I know due dates don't mean much, but I'm holding on to that date for dear life, lol. I don't want him to come early. I told our birthmom that she better keep him in for as long as possible and she said, "Believe me, I'm gonna try!" She's trying to work as long as she can to save money for the time she'll be off recovering after she has the baby. I'm always getting onto her about working too hard, but she's strong-willed (*ahem* stubborn :D)! I just hope she's not at work when she goes into labor. Lol. Poor girl needs to rest!

I'm trying to work as much as I can too. Lots of money to save before the baby gets here and there is absolutely NOT MUCH TIME LEFT!!! Ahhhh! The placement fee plus what's called "pass-through expenses" (those two together are the biggest adoption cost next to having to pay our own travel expenses) has to be paid before placement, so we went ahead and paid it since we're so close! And we could basically have to take off any day now to go meet our baby! It was sad to see that chunk of savings disappear, but I feel so blessed that the money was there and that LDS Family Services is so much cheaper to work with than any other agency that I know of.

Zay's trying to "get his mind right" about staying home with the baby instead of working. We're both naturally hard-workers and he's trying to focus his mind on something a little more important than just working to make money. There's more important things in life, and we're excited to take this step into parenting! We've been reading "ABC's for Expectant Dads" at night before we go to bed... we try to imagine having a baby in the room with us and how different our lives are going to be. We do silly things like Zay will put a basketball in the car seat as a placeholder for the baby and I'll hold Felix and rock him back and forth and make all the annoying baby "goo goo ga ga" sounds I can think of. HA! May sound crazy, but it's seriously so funny. We actually spent our entire Valentine's night sitting at Taco Bell and talking about what kind of parents we do and don't want to be like. How romantic! Ha ha ha. :) It's been really cute to watch Zay move from being almost against adoption because he didn't think it would work out, to hesitantly participating in all the paperwork and interviews and background checks, etc., to thinking "hey maybe something will happen for us eventually," to talking as if he finally *believes*! Ha ha ha. I knew he'd come around. I guess it's just been hard for him to get his hopes up... As a side note, I have always been amazed with Zay for some of his qualities... committed, loyal, dedicated, protective, affectionate... He's gonna be an amazing Daddy. If half of being a father is just being there (or "showing up" according to Modern Family), Zay's already got that down. He's not just gonna stick around, he wants to be so involved in every aspect of parenting. I love it. :)

Okay, so the plan is to wait to hear from the birthmom (or her family...she might be too preoccupied to be making phone calls) when she's in labor, and then hop on the first flight to GA. We would love, love, love to be at the hospital (and she really wants us there too to share in the experience and to be able to tell our son about his birth story), but timing is going to be everything...and it's not something we're going to have too much control over... what with not knowing when this is all going to go down and dealing with airlines and rental cars and traffic and how quickly labor will go for her, etc. etc. etc.!! That's why I'm hoping the baby doesn't come early, because then we might actually get to fly out a couple days early and spend some time with her first. But who knows?

She wants to try to have the baby naturally, without an epidural specifically. She's afraid it'll paralyze her. Ha ha. I'm all about home births and water births, so I'm totally rooting for her! More power to her for wanting to give it a shot with a natural hospital birth. But if she chose to get induced or get an epidural or whatever, I wouldn't care either. This is going to be all about her and what she wants. All I'm really hoping for is that she doesn't need an emergency c-section! And that the baby is healthy!

I'm having a couple baby showers - the big one this Saturday and then one at my job next Tuesday. I feel like I'm cutting it a little close to the due date, but I'm just going to go with it and hope everything goes smoothly. It's all I can do at this point! I had a couple days where I got panicky and was freaking out about every little thing that could possibly go wrong. There is SO much that could go wrong. And then I was making a To-Do list and it kept getting longer and longer until I panicked and suddenly felt SO overwhelmed. But after talking to Zay and my mother-in-law and our birthmom's aunt, I started to feel more confident and calm...and very reassured.

This is going to happen. It's what I've wanted to happen for a very long time! We were approved in October and less than 4 1/2 months later we're going to meet our son! In all his beautiful newborn squishiness! Ahhh!

Friday, February 18, 2011

"Enjoy Every Minute of It"


After enduring an absolute overload of emotions in the past few months, guilt was the only one that I didn't anticipate.

I feel guilty that I'm leaving behind a lot of people who are still struggling with infertility. They say adoption isn't a cure for infertility, just a cure for childlessness... but to tell you the truth, now that I'm going to be on the other side of things, that distinction doesn't matter to me anymore. I found out I was never suffering from infertility, just childlessness. Now that we're adopting a baby, I feel guilty that I'm not going to consider myself "infertile and TTC (trying to conceive)" anymore. I feel like a traitor, but I honestly don't want to be considered infertile anymore. It was a struggle and a headache and a nightmare... something I kind of just want to leave behind and purge from my memory.

I feel guilty that we were chosen by a birthmother so quickly, because there are sooo many couples trying to adopt and any one of them probably deserves this more than we do in one way or another. I prayed that it would happen fast, because I seriously couldn't handle the fertility treatments and the waiting, waiting, waiting that goes with adoption. But it happened WAY faster than I expected! I have a friend who kind of gave up on adoption after waiting for so long to be contacted with no luck. And she is incredibly amazing!!! It makes me feel guilty as crap that things worked out for us and not for her.

I feel guilty that I'm such a hypocrite when it comes to being excited about baby stuff. Before, it was difficult for me to get too excited about other people's baby news... but now I'm SO FRIGGING EXCITED that I'm sure I'm just as annoying as those women seemed to be to me. I announced my good news during the "good news minute" at Church, just like pregnant women have done all around me every Sunday my whole life it seems. Ugh.

But I was given some advice from my friend who had decided not to pursue adoption further... she just told me to ENJOY EVERY MINUTE OF IT. Feeling guilt isn't going to do anything for me now. This is my moment, our turn to be happy... and I can't waste it by being worried about everybody else's feelings. Just like the excited, newly pregnant women at Church ignore the bitter, grumpy infertile in the corner who is rolling her eyes and choking back tears... I'm going to have to suck it up and do the same. And at least for now, I can't feel guilty. I have too much happiness to take in to feel guilty.

Maybe later, when I'm calm and have settled into motherhood, I can turn that guilt into empathy. I've been there, I feel for you, I'm so sorry for what you're going through...

But I can't let that keep me from feeling insanely happy right now! I'm planning on enjoying every minute of this, so bare with me! I still love you guys!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

I'm Having a Baby Shower!

Front of the awesome baby shower announcements my friend made for me! Superman theme!

Our little baby boy is due on March 9th! That's only 3 weeks away! I'm having a baby shower on the 26th, so I'm hoping and praying the baby doesn't come any earlier than that! Ha ha. It's very possible that he could disrupt any plans we try to make, but that's okay. We've come this far with plenty of surprises, so nothing would shock us at this point. If anyone needs specifics on where and when the baby shower will be held, email us at xavierandaliceanne AT gmail DOT com

A friend of mine made the invitations. I gave her no directions at all, but they turned out perfectly! Zay absolutely loved them and said that he might have to show up if it's Superman-themed - "I feel like it's a birthday party for ME!" LOL. His birthday's on the 27th and he's just happy as can be that our adoption is taking place so close to his special day.

I'm so glad that things feel so solid with our birthmother and that she made up her mind with enough time for us to actually have a baby shower and enjoy the pre-birth excitement with her. We got to see videos from her 36- and 37-week doctor's appointments. Heard the heartbeat! I didn't know how much that would mean to me until I heard it. I was at work, watching the video on my phone and my heart was beating just as hard as his! One of my coworkers gave me the biggest grin and said, "That's your baby!" Oh! I almost died! I hadn't made that connection for some reason. It all felt real and I was so grateful for that small moment. I can't be right there with the birth mom to feel the baby kick or go to doctor's appointments with her and things like that, but her and her aunt make sure we feel involved and I am so, so, so very grateful for that! Our baby's 2,000 miles away, but I can feel him. :)

Monday, February 14, 2011

"How Could She Give Her Baby Away??"

Our baby boy Kal & his birthmother "K." (I went back to this post and added this picture after he was born :D)

I read a blog HERE that got me thinking about this associate of mine that I had to disassociate myself with a little while ago. And I felt like venting a little bit...

She irked me to NO end, but I put up with her to be nice. For years! But you know, if someone brings out the worst in you every time you see them and it's only a one-way relationship, then it's just toxic and "being nice" has nothing to do with it anymore. Eventually I just severed it to save my sanity.

The final straw was when she got to speaking all LOUDLY (like she does) and very OPINIONATED (like she always is) about something that is very dear to my heart - adoption and birth mothers. Her comments were very ignorant and inconsiderate and I couldn't take it.

I couldn't be around her, because all I wanted to do was be excited about the adoption journey we were on...and all she wanted to do was talk about how she could NEVER give her baby away and that it was basically the same as having an abortion and that she couldn't understand why anyone could see their baby after it was born and not love it enough to keep it. And of course, they need to take care of their responsibility - they made their bed, so they should lay in it.

O...M...G. How did I refrain from strangling her??? I don't think she has a tactful bone in her body.

I tried to convert her to the truth, haha. But it was a lost cause. I tried to explain that adoption is the OPPOSITE of abortion...instead of letting the baby have NO chance at life, birth mothers are giving their baby EVERY chance at life by handpicking who they want to be the parents. By removing their own selfishness from the equation and focusing all their efforts on their child and thinking about what would be best for him/her, adoption is a beautiful answer to many situations that could have turned out badly. And adoption isn't about a lack of love that's making them look their baby in the face and say "I don't want him - here, you take him." Omg, not at all! It's ALL about love! And it's a devastatingly difficult thing to do! Just because it's the most difficult decision ever and you can't imagine ever doing it yourself, doesn't mean that people who choose adoption are heartless creatures. They aren't running from their responsibility... They're facing it head on in a very unique and loving way.

Did she get it? Of course not. She just stuck up her nose like she was too good for somebody who would choose such a thing. If I wasn't so angry, I would've laughed at her for thinking she was better than anybody.

What's ironic about this girl is that... Well, I couldn't really give her a reason good enough in favor of adoption, because she had kids (which she kept) living under the same conditions that many women choose adoption because of. I'd tell her, "Some women do it because they want their child to not grow up in poverty"...and she'd say, "So? What's wrong with being poor? I grew up poor. My kids will grow up poor. That ain't no reason to give your baby away." And I'd say, "Some women do it because there won't be an adequate father in their lives or the baby's father wants nothing to do with them," while her husband is constantly in and out of jail for drug use and can't keep a job long enough to provide for them properly. Soooo, basically there's no talking to her because she thinks her life is normal and that it doesn't affect her kids that her situation is so messed up, so why should anybody else in similar circumstances think differently? She doesn't understand what kind of impact an unstable home and childhood can have on someone and that it's a mother's responsibility to do everything they can to protect their children, even if it means admitting if they can't do it alone.

I tried to befriend her for the sake of those poor kids. But I couldn't do it anymore. It was too emotionally draining... when this was supposed to be a happy time for me and my husband.


I've met lots of birth mothers and "potential" birth mothers who are considering adoption, and from my own experience and in the open adoption world in general, there's an overall consensus that birth mothers are strong... selfless... brave... full of love and hope for a child growing inside of them. They chose life and then they wanted to choose the best life (not just drag a child through the horrible circumstances they were born into - they didn't ask to be here!)... I don't see how anyone can pass judgment on that and ask, "How could she give her baby away??"

Done venting now.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Our Baby Mama

The most beautiful girl in the world to me! Meeting her was amazing. She was everything I imagined when I thought of a strong, determined, selfless young lady making the hardest decision of her life to place her baby for adoption.

~ mistakes becoming miracles ~

Friday, February 4, 2011

No Need For Passalong Cards...

My computer crashed and my hard drive is toast, so I'm borrowing a laptop right now... because I know I need to update! Too many things have been happening for me to be able to keep up with blogging. Seriously, it's been nuts. This is my attempt at an abbreviated version. :)

We got approved at the end of October. A month passed and I had no idea how long of a wait we'd end up having, so I started worrying about the "wait time" and how completely out of our hands it would be. I was obsessing, and other people's good news aggravated me. :(

I had my "marketing" gameplan all ready to roll out - a vamped up blog, better pictures, passalong cards, ads, and getting friends and family to spread the word about our adoption plans. I didn't even get a chance to do any of that... and now I know we'll probably never have to. (more about that later)

At the very beginning of December, we got our first email from a birthmother! I couldn't believe it! It had only barely been a month since we were approved. I saw the email early in the morning before I left for work. Zay was asleep and my first thought was to figure out a way to surprise him later that day, but halfway through work when I couldn't focus on anything else, I just had to text him! I was excited to say the least.

We met her the next week, since she lived fairly close by. It went well! Or so said our caseworker. We didn't have anything to compare it to. She was considering adoption and we were one of the "few" couples she wanted to meet with. But the entire time we talked, a lot of the questions and topics relied upon her choosing us... so we just had to talk as if she had already picked us. That was difficult, because it was just getting us more and more excited. Zay was so happy. We were giddy with each other at home. It felt so perfect. She was having a girl, full Caucasian (more about that later), due January 29th. The birthmother was so excited to meet us! I just knew it was going to work out. We emailed back and forth with her every day. We ate out with her and the baby's father. Her family wanted to meet us, so we went to her house and met her mom and dad and sisters. Again, I didn't have anything to compare it to... and everyone seemed so excited, so I couldn't help but think this was perfect.

We waited for her to make a decision. She met with another couple and it turned out to be super awkward. Even her caseworker said it was one of the most awkward meetings she had ever been to! Ha ha ha. She finally told us that it was safe to say that if she went with adoption, it would be with us. I was thrilled! I couldn't stop talking about it. Zay and I were getting along better than ever and everything made sense. We kept waiting... didn't want to pressure her at all, because this was a HUGE decision and I wanted her to make sure she knew what she wanted to do.

I was at work when I got a phone call from an area code I didn't recognize. It was a caseworker from Georgia! Another girl was really interested in us! OMG. I panicked. I didn't know what to say. Never in a million years did I expect that. Especially since we had somewhat of a hold on our profile while we were waiting for birthmother #1 to make a decision. We wanted to respect the time she needed to make a decision, but here was birthmother #2 who apparently had already decided on adoption for sure and was just trying to find the right family. She was having a boy, full African American, due February 2nd. Zay said, "I know black women... and she ain't gonna wait for nobody." I could tell he wanted to pursue this opportunity, but at the same time we were conflicted. Can't we just get both babies?! - a little mini me and mini Zay??? (more about that later)

I worried about offending birthmother #1 or making her decision harder or making her feel rushed. That's the last thing I wanted to do. And who could say whether jumping from one opportunity to the next without fully exploring the first one was the right thing to do? We discussed it with our caseworker and we were told that birthmother #1 would have to make a decision soon. Her caseworker actually gave her a deadline or else our profile would be taken off of its hold and we could pursue birthmother #2. OMG, I didn't want that! I felt horrible. She needed to make a decision soon, but I didn't think it was anybody's place to tell her when she had to decide. It sucked that she was indecisive, but it was understandable and I wanted to respect that.

All of a sudden, birthmother #1 got really distant. The deadline came and went and we didn't have a clue what was happening. Everytime I tried to talk to her, I felt like I was harassing her. I was heartbroken and didn't know what to do! We waited and waited. Our caseworker told us to go ahead and move on because they were taking her unresponsiveness as a "no." I had already grown so attached to what I thought was going to be our daughter. We loved birthmother #1 and wished things had gone differently. We never even really got to talk the way I wanted, because she never made a decision. I wanted to be excited with her and hear about pregnancy-related things and hang out, etc. But the distance and the stress of indecision was just killing me.

We talked to the GA caseworker. Sure enough, birthmother #2 didn't want to wait on us while we were waiting on birthmother #1. And she had chosen another family. BIG SAD FACE! We only had a few seconds to grieve over that lost opportunity before the caseworker said "... but, I have another girl who is interested. She's really nice and I think you'll like her." Birthmother #3! She was having a bi-racial baby boy, due March 9th. I wasn't as excited at that point, because I was dealing with the loss of my daughter that obviously was never my daughter. :( :( :( And then I had started to imagine another birthmother with an African American baby boy due only 4 days after birthmother #1, but I had to erase that from my mind too. Ugh! So confusing! I obviously was not emotionally cut out for this. :(

I sucked it up and emailed her... and waited. We didn't get an email back for about a week! Seriously, I was about to fReAk OuT about that. But we had to grow some tough skin in a very short amount of time. We were much more cautious about our excitement. We were more controlled emotionally, asked all the questions upfront that we never got to ask birthmother #1, told her we would respect her decision (whatever it may be), and basically we just didn't expect much out of it. Hoped, but didn't expect.

Birthmother #1 texted me to say that she didn't want us to wait on her and that it would probably take her until after she had the baby to decide. I was glad she was giving us her blessing to move forward. I told her how the situation turned out with birthmother #2 and she was kind of upset about it. Apparently she had gotten so distant because she thought we'd move on and get chosen really fast by this second girl. I wish she had just told us that, but everything was so complicated at that point that I understood how difficult it was for her.

We started texting and emailing with birthmother #3 a lot more. I got to talk to her aunt, who apparently "adored" us from the minute she saw our profile! We didn't get our hopes up like before, but it was just fun to talk and get to know each other. We kind of understood each other... I think it's a Southern thing. We all got along so well. She wanted to meet us. And we just looked at each other and said, "Let's do it!" Who cares, right? We'll get to see our families... and no way it'll work out anyway, right?

I knew it was nuts... I kept thinking, "But what if birthmother #1 changes her mind again?" I hadn't fully gotten over that, and Zay even asked me often if I had heard anything from her. If nothing else, we just cared about her and wanted to know how things were going to work out for her. But she stayed distant and we just had to let go. It hurt. She was going to try to parent by herself, and I struggled with that. Talking with birthmother #3 helped a lot. Things with her just felt so comfortable, like we didn't have to try... we could just calm the frick down and be our fun, normal selves.

We flew to GA. We met birthmother #3! We ate out with her and her caseworker. I was so nervous and so comfortable at the same time. It was a weird feeling, something I had honestly never felt before. The nerves were hilarious, though. Seriously, I think I got an arm twitch that wouldn't go away. I had to go to the bathroom and take a few deep breaths to calm down (and the bathroom is a horrible place to do that! HA HA). She was nervous too! But it went so well! I found out she wanted to choose between us and one other family and that she had given herself a deadline to make a decision (thank goodness!) by the end of January, a little over a month from her due date. She was 100% going with adoption. She knew her child needed a stable home with a father, and she wasn't in a position where she could provide for a baby by herself, as much as that hurt and as much as she wanted to. She was a very strong and determined girl. Absolutely amazing.

Her family really wanted to meet us, so we ate out with them the next day... and then got to hang out with them at their place afterwards. It was so relaxed and so comfortable. It seriously started to seem like we were just old friends. We got to look at the birthmother's baby pictures. Zay went out and played basketball with the uncle and cousin. We laughed a ton. It was so much fun! Our trip all of a sudden felt too short! We went and saw our families (and that was seriously awesome), and then went right back to their place to spend our last day there with them. She baked for us! Mmmmm.... pineapple upside-down cake! Ha ha. It was just amazing.

We came back to Utah and waited...tried to give her some space to make a decision. She finally texted and said, "I have some news for yall..." AHHHHHHH!!! Holy cow! My heart was beating so fast! No way. It was a "yes." She loved us. She knew we would be amazing parents. Her aunt was ecstatic about it! Everything finally felt *real*... I could actually tell people that I was going to be a mom! Zay has never been so happy. I'm gonna have a baby shower! We're going to fly out when she's in labor! Depending on how fast she has the baby and how fast we can get there, we'll get to be at the hospital with her... I can be in the room! Everything I've ever wanted could happen really soon. I'm a mess. I could cry just thinking about it.

I don't even know how to put all this into words. And I've left a lot of details out that are private, or not my business to share, or too hard to explain. So I think for now, I'll leave it at that.

It's all happening so fast......!!!!

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