Sunday, April 28, 2013

"I Loooove Schoolboys"

First, let me explain that quote. Because I'm laughing right now and I can barely type! A "schoolboy" is a type of haircut. Years ago... back before we were married, one of Zay's neighbors was over (probably waiting for a haircut) and a bunch of folks were talking about haircuts that they like. And this neighbor friend said, "I loooove schoolboys." It sounded so wrong. Like how a girl would say she loves chocolate - eyes closed and everything. And we just cracked up! We'll never let him live that one down!

K, so Zay's been cutting hair for as long as I've known him. It's just a talent he's practiced and made perfect (although he'd never say he's perfect at it) and it has never left him. He cuts family's hair for free and brings his clippers on vacation with him. He cuts hair almost every day of the week, late into the night some nights. He seeks out well-known barbers and calls them up and asks them how he could do better. That's just the kind of person he is.

But speaking of schoolboys! Zay's been tackling school lately and I am so beyond proud of him. :D He has always regretted not going to college right after high school, but it's never too late to start of course. He wants to show our kids that education is important and he wants to be able to provide for us with a job that doesn't require cutting hair every day for the rest of his life! He's majoring in Social Work and he's been writing papers and leaving the house with his backpack on... that is just SO ADORABLE. I love it! Makes me so happy. He aced his classes this semester. Awww, yeah baby! Got me a college man. :)






Saturday, April 27, 2013

Hypothetically Speaking...

My heart & soul right here. :)

We heard back from our caseworker that she had finally touched base with D's caseworker. She confirmed all the details we already knew. It was nice to hear, though. Nope, not a scammer. Yep, she's really liking us as a potential adoptive family.

Then we waited some more.

I knew D had a lot of stuff going on in her life and that making a decision about who will raise your child is probably one of the most difficult decisions you could make. So I didn't panic about not getting a response to my email just yet. There was plenty of time and as much as I'd like to say Pick Me! Pick Me! It really isn't my place to even think I know enough about her or her situation to try and make her decisions for her. I didn't know how far she'd gotten with decision-making. I didn't know if she was setting a timeline for herself to decide or if she would need to meet us first or whatever. Didn't have a clue.

Then we got a call from our caseworker saying D was trying to decide between us and one other family and she'd get back to us when she knew more. I felt eerily calm with that information. There really wasn't a rush. July seems so far away in adoption terms. She has plenty of decision-making time ahead of her if she wants it. And she knows what she's looking for in a family. If it's us, it's us. If it's not, it was for the best. Part of going into adoption is having to know that your future is pretty much out of your hands. There's a peace that comes with that when you learn to let go.

Hypothetically speaking, if it worked out... that is absolutely AWESOME! Another newborn baby boy? Yes, please! A trip to Louisiana? Yes, please! Another beautiful birth mom to claim as family? Yes, please! A little brother for Kal? Yes, yes, yes, yes. Absolutely. I will love the heck outta that little boy. Ha ha ha. And Zay wants enough sons to start a basketball team!

My calmness confused me at first, though. I thought maybe I was being prepared for the eventual "she chose another family" phone call I was starting to think was sure to come. It's really hard to know. I thought maybe that's why she wasn't answering my email. I asked too many detailed questions, I scared her away. I don't know. Maybe I'm just learning to deal with the stress of adoption better.

If it didn't work out... it's okay. Our 9th wedding anniversary is in July, so let's plan a big vacation get-away and go somewhere we've never been!!! Zay and I stayed up late one night, talking about the what-ifs and making potential plans. Take Kal to the beach for the first time, relax in the sun and read as many books as I want, eat great food, spend hours and hours of free time talking and laughing with the hubby? Yes, please! Also, it never works out the first time, right? How lucky would we be? Seriously. I'm sure the other family she's considering is amazing. And our child will come to us soon, I just know it. We need a vacation, so either way we'll have something to look forward to in July. Best idea ever. :)




Friday, April 26, 2013

We've Made Contact!

We've heard from a real live expectant mom, yall! Not a scammer. Ha ha ha.

I'll call her "D." She emailed us last week. I read it and my first reaction was, "No way." I had convinced myself that we'd wait a little longer... maybe hear something by the end of the summer. I read it probably ten times over before I even tried to respond. Had to make sure it really did sound legit.

Then I just felt... excitement!!!!!!!!!!!! BABY BOY!!!! AHHHHHHH!

Then nervousness. Oh my friggin heck. Baby is due in July - are we ready?

And then an explosion of questions ran through my head: Is she really gonna choose us? Should I get my hopes up? Does she want to meet us first? How many families has she contacted? How sure is she about an adoption plan? How is her decision-making going up to this point? Does she have a timeline for herself about choosing a family? Why is she choosing adoption? What would she like as far as future contact with the adoptive family (more open or closed)? What did she like about us in particular?

I spent all day emailing back and forth with her after that first email. It sounded very, very promising. Zay was at work. And he protects himself from getting his heart involved in anything that is unsure, so I didn't tell him at first. I knew he wouldn't want me to. I wanted to see how long I could hold out... and see how much info about the situation I could get before I told him anything.

Then I felt... sadness. I don't know why, but it always surprises me to hear each story about how someone ended up pregnant and on the road to adoption. Seriously, the stories are never the same. And my heart breaks every time. But the girl behind the story is always so strong. We all make choices that we regret, but not everyone has to wear theirs so publicly with a huge pregnant belly.

I forwarded all the emails to my caseworker and made sure D was set up with a caseworker herself with LDS Family Services in Louisiana where she'll be having the baby. As legit as the situation sounded, I wanted to make sure our caseworkers could talk first before I got my hopes up too much. I wanted our caseworker to verify everything first.

I casually mentioned to Zay that I'd talked to a girl about adoption. He acted all distant like he does, but then he wanted me to read all her emails to him and I did. We spoke in hypotheticals for the rest of that night. :)

The weekend came and it felt like it was going excruciatingly slooooow. I thought I had left off our emailing on a good note, so I didn't want to bother D and I wanted to give her some space to think things over. By Tuesday I couldn't take it anymore, and I emailed D again to tell her I was thinking about her and I asked her some more open, detailed questions that I had thought of as I pondered her situation and wondered how things would go if she picked us.

She didn't answer right away and our caseworker reassured us that she wasn't worried that the Louisiana agency hadn't gotten back with her yet... *the suspense was killing me*

So we wait. And pray for D's family...

Ready for a little brother, Kal?






Saturday, April 20, 2013

Placing A Child for Adoption | A Birth Mother's Story

This adoption journey has been amazing in so many ways.

Besides adopting Kal, the best thing that has come out of this journey has been learning more about what the Atonement of Jesus Christ really means for me in my life. Nothing I've done in life up to this point has been as life-changing and spiritually enriching as adoption has been for me.

The process of adopting a child pushes your personal envelope as a woman, as a mother, and ultimately, as a human being. It takes more courage than you think you have, offers more self-knowledge than you think you want, and reassembles your characteristics into someone familiar but changed.

I have such a testimony of adoption and how it can transform a scary, confusing, sad, abusive, inadequate, or tumultuous situation into a blessing, a miracle where peace can be found and love can multiply, families can be created and extended to include everyone involved. Everyone is changed after an adoption and it can be a huge opportunity for growth for everyone whose life it touches.

Meeting and hearing so many birth mothers speak who are now advocates for adoption is probably the thing that brings me to tears the fastest.

For example...

Video of "A Birth Mother's Story":




Sunday, April 14, 2013

Best Smile Ever

Have you seen this video??

Best Smile Ever video:


We watched it and couldn't stop laughing. I would just picture the guy randomly and go into a fit of giggles.

Later on I got a series of picture messages on my phone:






Ha ha ha ha ha!




Saturday, April 13, 2013

The Best Adoption Scam Email I've Gotten Yet

I giggled all the way through it.

~~~~~

Hello my dear, how are you today,

I found your post on wanting to adopt child ; I will like to inform you that my real Name is Zahinah mariam Fabius I am (22yrs) old from North Mali, west Africa by origin but I am presently leaving in Burkina Faso as a Refugee because of the incident that occurred in my family.

l am a lady who lost her parent's in the ongoing conflicts in my country this has brought great pains into my life that I find myself struggling to stand again. My survival here has been really tough. I will really consider this relationship as serious thing, open in everything and honest because i was raped by these people and became pregnant as a result but i do not know what to do.

I am fair in complexion, 5 ft7 in, 60kg, I am undergraduate, I like reading novels, watching movies and sports, I love going beside the beach during the summer season, I love swimming, I also like watching football but I am not a footballer, I know this email will find you in good emotional condition. Knowing fully well that race, age, religion, ethnicity and nationality can give no hindrance to our relationship, wish we are building as it the best to the way I am seeing it.

My Dear, I have no experience of any foreign relationship but I believe with you I am covered, we black are good and respectful to our beloved one, I believe your presence is making a great difference in me, It bring joy to my life again, my Dear your little word has brought great joy to me, My tears has been wipe up, I really cannot express my feeling about you today but I am happy,

My dear I am confident and believe with your sincerity understanding and everlasting relationship, I feel something strange in me that has made me decided to extend relationship into a deep and everlasting relationship although it depends on your considerations, to me I need someone who I will settle and help me out with what is left behind for me.

I also wish to let you know that things have never been the same ever since our arrival. i like to look into the possibility of taking in the unborn baby through your support. I know how difficult it takes the heart of love of an individual to do such kind of help to person so easily like that but my believe is that God will use you to help me recall my dream again. I will be happy to meet you if possible.

Thanks
Yours ever,
Zahinah

~~~~~

I'm kinda digging that name, though. I might have to steal it for my baby names list... Zahinah. Heh.






Monday, April 8, 2013

Adoption: The Danger of Impatience

I may have said this before, but I think in a perfect world adoption wouldn't exist. It's kind of a broken answer to a broken world.

It's supposed to be a solution that is child-centric: what's best for the child? What do they need to survive and thrive?

A family. The fundamental unit of society. A support system. Safety. Structure. Opportunities. Love.

One problem with adoption that I've been thinking a lot about lately is the entitlement adoptive parents can feel about adopting. For example, I've done this, this, and this... so I deserve a child. And someone should give me a child. And I don't want to jump through any more hoops or have to wait any longer to get a child.

That is not child-centric at all.

I think ethically, if you want to adopt a child... you have to also accept that you may not adopt, or it probably won't be on your timeline. Being open and willing to adopt and going through the steps is fine. I'm sure God blesses all those who have opened their hearts to adoption, whether they adopt or not. But when things don't happen immediately or exactly how you planned, demanding the Universe that you get a child is refocusing the attention back on yourself, not the child. And I think that's when you miss the point.

What if theoretically there were no children to adopt? But those who wanted to adopt demanded that they get a child? It's simple economics - supply and demand. If the demand is there, somehow babies will appear. Somebody will supply them. There are so many cases of kidnapping to supply children to orphanages in third world countries. Prostitution rings that produce children to sell to "adoptive parents" in America and elsewhere. And even more subtle and close to home, there is coercion for young, unwed mothers to place their babies for adoption with bribery and misinformation about what "rights" they will have in an "open adoption." Because infertile couples get impatient and they want what they feel is rightfully theirs.

As I wait to adopt, I remind myself that it's not about me. Yes, we did this, that, and the other thing to be approved to adopt and now we're available and waiting, but that does not mean we have the right now to demand the Universe to provide us with a child.

There is danger in getting impatient. The moment impatience sets in is the moment I've turned from focusing on what I might be able to do for a child to focusing on what a child could do for me. That's when it becomes selfish.

I remind myself that I'm actually waiting for someone else's life to fall apart in order for my family to come together. That's heartbreaking, devastating. I've seen it with my own eyes. I wish life wasn't so hard and decisions like whether or not to place your baby for adoption didn't need to exist. My desire for a child does not trump the suffering of another person.

That is worth a little patience.

Enjoying the here and now.














Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Easter 2013

Can't believe it's Easter already!

I'll be the first to admit that I'm all kinds of confused about how to calculate when Easter will be each year. I'm sure "When is Easter this year?" is one of those questions that more people have Googled than not.

But anyways, yay! It's Easter!

Last year we didn't do anything. With Kal not walking yet and me being emotionally exhausted from quitting my job and making the transition to stay-at-home mommyhood, last year just wasn't the year to be trying to start traditions with Kal.

But this year, Kal is all kinds of fun. And he's at the perfect age to start Easter egg hunts and to really get the point of the activities, even if the activities don't really get the point of Easter... ha ha.

Pictures!































A Letter to My 2-Year-Old & A Chuck-E-Cheese Birthday Party

Kal's 2nd birthday invitation


Dear Kal,

You are 2 years old!

I can't believe it, but it was not that long ago at all when your father and I were trying hard to picture a child in our mind. We laugh all the time about how perfect you are. You are everything we ever imagined, but better. Even silly specific things like how we hoped you'd like basketball - you've far exceeded our expectations on that one!


I hoped you'd be gentle, yet a total boy. You are. You are so affectionate. Yet you like to tumble and jump and punch and do sit-ups (even pull-ups!) with us. You are hilarious. You don't even talk well yet, but the eye-rolling and the smirks you give us just crack us up! You have an attitude. But at the same time, you dang well listen to your Mama & Daddy.

You are attached to your Mama, but you look up to your Daddy and I love watching you guys have Daddy/Son time. He will sit you down and have serious talks with you (as serious as you can get with a 2-year-old) and you hang on his every word and nod your head as if you get it. You fold your arms for prayer and you like to pretend-read books with your made-up language. Then you get these excited bursts of energy (like your Mama) and you squeal and run through the house like a maniac. You'll grab a basketball and dunk your goal and then fall and lay on your back and start kicking your legs up in the air. I just laugh with you, because you match my silliness perfectly.

We also see so much of your birth mama in you. Certain facial expressions (again, the smirk!) and the tiniest things like how you hold your hands at your sides. I hope over the years you'll get to see those similarities on your own when you visit with her and have a unique relationship with her outside of us. I hope those visits will make you feel whole and even more loved than you already are.

I hardly remember your baby days now. You're all toddler. We're working on you with your vocabulary and you've made lots of progress. I'm loving how smart you are and how you find the humor in everything - you think it's hilarious to smell your own feet and scrunch your face up. I don't know where you learn these things! I also love your endurance - I took you hiking and you made it halfway up the trail. You practically ran it. I was so proud! It's funny to think that I used to wonder if you were ever going to walk.


We think about all the things we want to teach you - about respecting women, following your dreams, being confident yet humble, sticking up for your friends and family, serving others, and living the Gospel. It's overwhelming to think about all we want you to learn, but I think you are going to be an amazing young man. I am proud to be your Mama. 

We spent your 2nd birthday doing whatever you wanted. It started with cartoons, breakfast, then there was lots of jumping on the bed, playing with the kitties, lunch, bath time, nap time, and then Chuck-E-Cheese! It was a little overwhelming for you and your cheeks got really red because it was sooo hot in there, but I know you had a lot of fun and you were so excited to see so many of your friends there. The adults were impressed that we had pizza for everyone. I've decided that I don't know how to do anything tame. I know you're only 2, but ice cream and cake at home just wouldn't cut it for me. :)

You are my world. I love you from your new haircut to your fat little caterpillar toes. Bring on the Terrible Twos!

Love, Mama

~~~~~~~~~~

Watching cartoons.

Moo Moo Ragamuffin

"Naptime"



"Lunch time"
Chuck-E-Cheese's











































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