Sep 2013 - Hypothyroid Diagnosis, started thyroid hormone
Jan 2014 - Failed Placement
Mar 2014 - Completed final cycle of Clomid, 16 total cycles with no pregnancy
May 2014 - Confirmed MFI and PCOS, back on Metformin
Jun 2014 - Started cyclical bio-identical progesterone treatment for PCOS and Zinc supplement for MFI
Sep 2014 - AA's labs look GREAT - thyroid, testosterone, & vitamin D; started vitamin D supplement and Clomid treatment for male factor; Also started foster care classes
Nov 2014 - Matched with "S"
Dec 2014 - Put foster care and thoughts of doing IVF on the backburner for now. We want to buy a house before fostering. And Zay's not comfortable with IVF. Adoption seems to be the way to go.
Feb 2015 - Brought home baby boy #2 from Kansas!
Apr 2015 - Finalized Shakir's adoption.
May 2015 - Adoption Paperwork Approved specifically for a match with "L"
Jun 2015 - Brought home baby boy #3 right here in Utah!
Dec 2015 - Finalized Lamar's adoption. We have two babies not quite 4 months apart!
LDS Family Services Counseling
LDSFS offers support groups and free counseling to help create a parenting or adoption plan that works best for women with crisis pregnancies.
We are an interracial family (African American & Caucasian) hoping to adopt a baby of any race. We have one bi-racial son, adopted at birth in 2011. Click on our picture above to view our adoption profile.
Families Supporting Adoption
FSA is an organization sponsored by LDS Family Services which advocates a positive view of adoption and provides support to birth parents, adoptive families, and all friends of adoption.
We Support Open Adoption
We are a part of Open Adoption Bloggers - a group of writers from all sides of open adoption, encompassing hundreds of blogs by adult adoptees, first parents, adoptive parents, adoption professionals, and extended family members.
The Open Adoption Roundtable is a series of occasional writing prompts about open adoption. It's designed to showcase the diversity of thought and experience in the open adoption community.
Celebrating the best of online writing about openness in adoption from 2012 & 2013, as selected by the blogging community.
We were featured on The R House's "Adoption Good News" Series.
I interviewed and was interviewed by the lovely birthmom Sarah from Sunshine in a Bottle for the 2013 Adoption Blogger Interview Project.
Pregnant and/or Parenting through Adoption/ Infertility/ Loss. PAIL is a place where we can support each other as parents, no matter what the journey looked like to get there.
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*Cornrows by Alice*
Practicing my skills for my hypothetical future baby girls!
"By adopting a child and helping them reach their potential, they help us reach ours. ...[This is] a child who was searched for, prayed for, cried for, begged for; received by arms that ached, making empty hearts full. Love is meant to be shared." -- Author Unknown
"They came to see that family need not be defined merely as those with whom they share blood but for those for whom they would give their blood." -- Charles Dickens ("Nicholas Nickleby")
"...no misfortune is so bad that whining about it won't make it worse." -- Jeffrey R. Holland ("The Tongue of Angels")
"alis grave nil" (nothing is heavy to those who have wings) -- Latin phrase
"Adoption is not a breaking of trust but a keeping of faith... not the abandonment of a baby but an abandonment of self for a baby's sake." -- Curtis Young ("The Missing Piece: Adoption Counseling in Pregnancy Resource Centers")
"...could we consider this one possibility about our eternal female identity...? Eve was given the identity of 'the mother of all living' — years, decades, perhaps centuries before she ever bore a child. It would appear that her motherhood preceded her maternity, just as surely as the perfection of the Garden preceded the struggles of mortality. I believe mother is one of those very carefully chosen words, one of those rich words — with meaning after meaning after meaning. We must not, at all costs, let that word divide us. I believe with all my heart that it is first and foremost a statement about our nature, not a head count of our children." -- Patricia T. Holland ("'One Thing Needful': Becoming Women of Greater Faith in Christ")
"...it's about making an ugly thing beautiful, it's about making a wrong thing right, it's about making a bitter thing sweet..." -- birth mother from the www.itsaboutlove.org video "Adoption and Abortion"
"Everywhere in nature we are taught the lessons of patience and waiting. We want things a long time before we get them, and the fact that we want them a long time makes them all the more precious when they come." -- Joseph F. Smith ("Children: The Richest of All Earthly Joys")
"Yea, I say unto you, my son, that there could be nothing so exquisite and so bitter as were my pains. Yea, and again I say unto you, my son, that on the other hand, there can be nothing so exquisite and sweet as was my joy." -- Alma 36:21 (BOM)
"He is mine in a way that he will never be hers, yet he is hers in a way that he will never be mine and so together, we are motherhood." -- Desha Wood (Birth Mothers 4 Adoption)
"And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord." -- Ephesians 6:4 (KJV)
"For this child I prayed; and the Lord hath given me my petition which I asked of him..." -- 1 Samuel 1:27 (KJV)
"If you wait for perfect conditions, you will never get anything done." -- Ecclesiastes 11:4 (NLT)
"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."
"If I get it all down on paper, it's no longer inside of me, Threatening the life it belongs to And I feel like I'm naked in front of the crowd Cause these words are my diary, screaming out loud And I know that you'll use them, however you want to." -- Anna Nalick ("Breathe (2AM)" Lyrics)
"Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You." -- Dr. Seuss
"...in all of living have much of fun and laughter. Life is to be enjoyed, not just endured." -- Gordon B. Hinckley ("Stand True and Faithful")
"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres." - 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (NIV)
"Women are like lionesses at the gate of the home." -- Julie B. Beck
"With God, all things are possible." -- derived from Matthew 19:26
"Who am I to judge another when I walk imperfectly? In the quiet heart is hidden sorrow that the eye can't see." -- Susan Evans McCloud (Hymn "Lord, I Would Follow Thee")
"And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you." -- Ephesians 4:32 (KJV)
"So often we get caught up in the illusion that there is something just beyond our reach that would bring us happiness: a better family situation, a better financial situation, or the end of a challenging trial... Sometimes in life we become so focused on the finish line that we fail to find joy in the journey... Doesn’t it seem foolish to spoil sweet and joyful experiences because we are constantly anticipating the moment when they will end?" -- Dieter F. Uchtdorf ("Of Regrets and Resolutions")
"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." -- Philippians 4:6-7 (NIV)
"Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you." -- 1 Peter 5:6-7 (NIV)
"Let us relish life as we live it, find joy in the journey, and share our love with friends and family." -- Thomas S. Monson ("Finding Joy in the Journey")
"Whatever hour God has blessed you with, take it with grateful hand, nor postpone your joys from year to year, so that in whatever place you have been, you may say that you have lived happily." -- Roman philosopher Horace
"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." -- Jana Wolff (Secret Thoughts of an Adoptive Mother)
"Laugh as much as you breathe and love as long as you live." -- Johnny Depp
"You've gotta dance like there's nobody watching, love like you'll never be hurt, sing like there's nobody listening, and live like it's heaven on earth." -- William W. Purkey
"When you walk to the edge of all the light you have and take that first step into the darkness of the unknown you must believe that one of two things will happen: there will be something solid for you stand on or you will be taught how to fly." -- Patrick Overton (Carried in Our Hearts)
"While battles rage, diseases spread, and evil rears its ugly head, God is working quietly behind the scenes using mothers and babies to change the world." -- Montse (from Chocolate On My Cranium)
"Hope is the thing with feathers; That perches in the soul; And sings the tune without the words; And never stops at all." -- Emily Dickinson (American poet)
"Love yourself, for who and what you are; protect your dream and develop your talent to the fullest extent. Don't lose sight of your goals. Don't allow anyone to tell you what you can and cannot do. Be tough, be stubborn, love yourself, and find friends who believe in you." -- Joan Benoit Samuelson (Olympic gold medalist)
"Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure... than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat." -- Theodore Roosevelt
"Adoption has the dimension of connection - not only to your own tribe, but beyond, widening the scope of what constitutes love, ties and family. It is a larger embrace. By adopting, we stretch past our immediate circles and, by reaching out, find an unexpected sense of belonging with others." -- Isabella Rossellini
"Like the intense fire that transforms iron into steel, as we remain faithful during the fiery trial of our faith, we are spiritually refined and strengthened." -- Neil A. Anderson ("Trial of Your Faith")
"The past is to be learned from but not lived in. We look back to claim the embers from glowing experiences but not the ashes. And when we have learned what we need to learn and have brought with us the best that we have experienced, then we look ahead and remember that faith is always pointed toward the future." -- Jeffrey R. Holland ("The Best Is Yet to Be")
"He is not nearly so impressed with our late nights and early mornings as he is with the peaceful trust that casts all anxieties on him and sleeps." -- John Piper
"Choice in life is not just an occasional thing. We are afloat on a sea of choices. And we ought not to think that we can avoid accountability by refusing to make a choice, because refusing to decide is itself a choice – a choice to be borne wherever external forces will take us." -- Camilla Eyring Kimball
"'Stuff your eyes with wonder,' he said, 'live as if you'd drop dead in ten seconds. See the world. It's more fantastic than any dream made or paid for in factories. Ask no guarantees, ask for no security, there never was such an animal. And if there was, it would be related to the great sloth which hangs upside down in a tree all day every day, sleeping its life away. To hell with that,' he said, 'shake the tree and knock the great sloth down on his ass.'" -- Granger, Fahrenheit 451
"In light of what we know about our eternal destiny, is it any wonder that whenever we face the bitter endings of life, they seem unacceptable to us? There seems to be something inside of us that resists endings. ~~ Why is this? Because we are made of the stuff of eternity. We are eternal beings, children of the Almighty God, whose name is Endless and who promises eternal blessings without number. Endings are not our destiny. ~~ The more we learn about the gospel of Jesus Christ, the more we realize that endings here in mortality are not endings at all. They are merely interruptions—temporary pauses that one day will seem small compared to the eternal joy awaiting the faithful. ~~ How grateful I am to my Heavenly Father that in His plan there are no true endings, only everlasting beginnings." -- Dieter F. Uchtdorf (Grateful in Any Circumstances)
"...we often have to scrape off a LOT of old hurt and pain and resentment in order to apply a fresh, healing coat of grace and mercy and tenderness." -- Blessings & Raindrops
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I'm an open book in my personal life. That spilled over onto the Internet, of course. Ever since a college friend back in 2006 told me I just HAD to get on this new site called Facebook. Lol. I've had online journals since then and thought our journey to adopt deserved a blog. A way to get our message out there and possibly network. And it kind of morphed into... whatever it is now.
I share tons of pictures of Kal and myself. Every once in awhile of Zay. His new motto is, "Don't social media me!" Ha ha. So I've had to limit myself. I wonder how much Kal is really gonna appreciate that (not) when he gets older and there's tons of baby pics of him online, complete with his name attached... easily searchable by his classmates. Whoops.
Sharing our "adoption story" is harder than I thought it would be because I'm not anonymous here. I want to promote open adoption, but I don't think I should share
details about Kal's birth family or how our open adoption works, really. And every time we interact with someone considering adoption or get matched with someone, all the details aren't really mine to share. So... I feel stuck. Like, I want to tell a story but I probably shouldn't to protect people's privacy. (I read THIS POST that kinda got me thinking about what I share and what I don't and when I think I should get permission to share something, etc...) So I ride this line of speaking vaguely, generally about adoption topics... and I want to say more. But I don't know how or what to say. Also, when we are matched... I obviously get all excited and share how we're gonna have a baby... and then the last two have fallen through and that sucks and is embarrassing. Soooo.... there's that.
Sharing our "infertility story" is harder than I thought it would be too... because it's not just about me. Ya know? Talking about sperm analyses and things of that nature aren't really things my hubby wants me to share with the world, no matter the results. Lol. So I talk about myself, because I don't care if the world knows about my cycle (or lack thereof)... doesn't bother me in the least. Infertility is hard in real life for me because it's NOT just my problem. I'm a take control type of person and I'd go to a million doctors' appointments and be poked and prodded if that would solve the problem, but it takes two to make a baby... even with a sterile lab environment, ha. I have to think about another person before I blurt things out.
So I'm trying to decide what I'm doing and I haven't been writing here as much. But I don't want to quit blogging, so I'll figure it out.
Important updates (that I don't mind sharing - ha ha):
- I'm ending my reign as stay-at-home/ work-at-home mom: Kal started full day pre-school (that he absolutely loves and was totally right for him) and I got a job! I'm excited/nervous/super grateful for the opportunity. It's going to give me some great experience related to my education and that makes me so, so happy! I'll still be volunteering at the animal shelter on Saturdays, but will take on fewer hair appointments during the week... which I think is the direction I should go.
- The semester started up for Zay and he's still working full-time and cutting hair too, so he's busy busy. Keeping busy keeps his mind off things he wants that he doesn't have control over. To him, the best thing in the world that could happen right now is if we adopt a baby. He would quit his job so fast, lol.
- We're changing adoption agencies, from LDSFS to PACT. I think that
will give us our best shot at adopting because they focus on black &
interracial families, and their cost structure is similar to LDSFS. I get an "ethical" impression from them. If
an adoption works out, it's back to stay-at-home daddying for Zay, which he would love... he fills that role so well. But in the meantime, we're just gonna keep going as if Kal will be our only child. That's the only way to stay sane with all the "what if's"...
Foster care classes start next week for us. We decided to go ahead and
get licensed here and see how it goes. We've had a few powerful
spiritual confirmations that this is what we should do and we've got to
stop the procrastinating and get started already. I have no idea if we'll even get any placements, but I want to go through the classes and get a feel for the process.
- I'm feeling healthier than I have in years. Not just physically speaking, but emotionally/ mentally/ hormonally. Focusing on taking care of myself this year has been amazing. I've pinpointed so many sources of stress and found ways to completely eliminate them from my life or go about them differently. I feel healthy and confident and optimistic again. That feels awesome! I need to include self-care on a regular basis rather than letting it all build up. Things are really good. :)
Sooooo.... sometimes I start a post and never finish it. I'm reminded of this when I glance over in blogger and see that I literally have 157 draft posts. I guess I just never fully know what the heck I'm doing with my blog.
I never wanted to be a "mommy blogger" but I kinda do that sometimes to keep my family and Zay's family and Kal's birth family updated on things easily. I used to be an "adoption blogger," but my excitement for that has been waning as I've learned more about adoption as a business rather than a humanitarian effort. Ugh. Plus it's hard to talk about details when I want to protect other people's privacy. I'm also an "infertility blogger," but I'm not actively pursing any treatments that are fun to talk about, like IUI or IVF. I'm just making slow hormonal changes over time in the hopes that I can get my body to ovulate regularly and on its own (well, without ovulation-inducing drugs, I guess). That may or may not work.
I don't know what the heck I am writing about and I can't always finish a thought. I'm just writing. For free. Cuz I can. I like to write, but I can just as easily fill up my journals and abandon the blogging. I think I'm waiting for my happy ending, a way to wrap up our story of trying to add to our family. But I don't think I can keep up telling the story when I have no idea when that ending might be. And while it still feels like someone's missing, I just can't wrap it up and say "happily ever after." .... So I keep droning on and on.
Do I have any lurkers out there who want to ask me a question? Or... what would my readers like to hear about more often? What's going on out there on the Internet??? Anyone blog and wanna link up in the comments? Anyone reading any great blogs you wanna share? Anything exciting happening?
Talk to me, folks. Or else I'll just keep on rambling. :) This infertility/adoption madness sometimes just doesn't feel like it has a point to it.
Zay & I read The 5 Love Languages
out loud to each other and took the quizzes in the back to help us figure out what "love language" we're speaking. I remember learning the idea behind the love languages concept years ago, but more recently we were able to read it together and try to really apply the principles. It helped answer some questions about some of our biggest conflicts and really helped me understand what a friend of mine is going through in her marriage. Seriously, as soon as I finished the book I immediately texted her. I could see so many applications to myself and to those closest to me as I read it.
I love this book. It's so simple. It's all kind of "duh" when you read it, but people complicate love and marriage, and get so caught up in what the other person should be doing. When you realize everyone learns to love and feels love differently, your eyes are opened and you're able to consciously love someone the way they would recognize it rather than solely relying on how you think they ought to be loved. Because those two things aren't always the same. It's much simpler when you're speaking their language! If you continue speaking only in the language that makes the most sense to you, it's like banging your head against the wall.
If you're in a tough spot in your marriage and you're ready to give up, the chapter "Loving the Unlovely" spoke to me as truth. So much so that I had to share it with my friend and I really hope she reads it and takes it to heart. But you know how sometimes people don't want to change and avoid advice if it means they have to... Too many marriages are thrown away because conflicts, miscommunications, and unmet expectations in love build up until your spouse is no longer your best friend but your biggest enemy, or so it may seem. And people will quit at that point rather than realizing that that is the time to give it your all and really rely on God and the vow you made before Him.
We've learned a thing or two about what it takes to make it in marriage, but I still feel like we're young and have room to grow. It's not always pretty, but we actively work to protect our marriage and nourish it. Letting your guard down and forgetting to fill your partner's "love tank" destroys so many marriages. Leaves them cold and loveless. If your marriage gets to that point and all you feel is a dull heart and contempt for the person who is supposed to be your companion, it's so easy to walk away and break that vow. It might feel justified at that point, but the key is to prevent it. With small steps every single day. Or to realize that all is not necessarily lost. Loving someone the way they can feel it could change everything.
Marriage is work. It's commitment. It's a choice. Finding and learning to speak our "love languages" to each other helped it make a little more sense and eased some of our most common conflicts/misunderstandings. Just wanted to pass that message along and encourage everyone to grab a copy and find what language you're speaking. It's good information to know! :)
Mine, in order of most important to least important:
Tied for 1st: Acts of Service & Quality Time
Close 3rd: Words of Affirmation (huge gap)
4th: Physical Touch
5th: Giving Gifts
Zay's, in order of most important to least important:
Tied for 1st: Acts of Service & Words of Affirmation
Close 3rd: Physical Touch (huge gap)
We're celebrating 10 years of marriage this year. I wanted some kind of "do-over" for our engagement photos. We didn't get professionally done photos back in the day and wanted something a little nicer. I wish I could find any of our old engagement pics, but I can't figure out where I put them right now.
We are just too goofy to do "romantic" poses (and Zay looks bored), ha ha. But we tried. This was so fun! Angie Harwood Photography did these for us in Provo. She got family shots too, so I'll post those too a little later.
The "How Zay and I Got Engaged" story goes something like this... We were dating only a couple of months and we already knew we wanted to get married and had talked about it, so it wasn't a surprise. To me, he was the most intelligent and mature man I'd ever met and it blew me away that he wanted to be with me and accepted me for all that I was (and am). Zay wanted to wait till that Christmas to officially ask me, but he couldn't wait that long. He spent his whole paycheck on a ring (like 300 bucks) and I was super pissed at him for spending that kind of money on me. 1) I don't like jewelry and 2) I have a poor man's mentality... $300 seemed like way too much.
I remember 3 different proposals, because I know I made him re-do it a couple more times after we would "break up" and get back together. I would throw the ring at him all dramatically during a fight and then he would re-propose later when everything was good again. Lol. Teenagers!!! So, I honestly can't remember which proposal came first.
One was in my front yard. He told me he loved me and asked me to marry him and he put the ring on my finger... and I fussed about him spending his whole paycheck, but grinned and was so excited that it was "official." For the record, he was the first one to say "I love you" in our relationship. It shocked me and he asked me if I loved him back and I said, "Ummmmm... I have love for you." Lol. Poor guy.
Another time we were out on a date at a bowling alley and he had written this long proposal on a napkin and he let me read it... or maybe he read it to me. The details are fuzzy. He may have gotten me flowers. I can't remember. But I still have that napkin. And the box my ring came in. They are tucked away safe and sound in a box with all my other treasured mementos and love letters (we wrote lots of love letters to each other and he drew me lots of pictures).
A third time, we were driving to my house and it was raining and I was upset about something. I was angrily looking out the passenger window at the water running down the glass and he pulled over on a bridge, got out in the pouring Georgia rain, and came to my side of the car and knelt down in all the rushing water on the street/bridge and proposed to me again, apologizing for whatever he did to tick me off. I freaked out and told him that was dangerous! And told him to get in the car! Ha ha.
Needless to say, eventually the proposal "took." We got married the summer after I graduated high school and have been growing up together ever since. Out here on our own, adjusting to adult life, college life, Utah life, and now being parents. We've been through a whole heck of a lot together. And this man has stubbornly loved me no matter what I or he was going through (I could probably say "loyal" or "dedicated"... but "stubborn" kinda works). :) Ten years into marriage, thirteen years together... hindsight is 20/20. We were definitely meant to be together. He is all I've ever needed, my partner in crime. ;)
Our car battery died a couple weeks ago. It was so dead that I couldn't change gears to get it in neutral to push it out of the carport to jump it off. I called my dad and was asking him if there was an emergency override way to get power to change the gears. I found out in some cars, yes actually. But not in mine. Turns out we needed a whole new battery because we hadn't changed ours in the 7 or so years we've had the car, so we went and got one. Problem solved.
Earlier this year I was taking Kal to a friend's birthday party in our minivan. All of a sudden, there was an odd sound under the hood... like a *pop*... and it started sloooowing down. I pulled over on the highway, got it towed to our mechanic, found out something (the water pump?) was rubbing up against the timing belt until it snapped, and we got it fixed. Problem solved.
Kal in the tow truck. I think he's counting. :)
These may seem like normal inconveniences for some, but for me they trigger something. I want to say it's an irrational fear about cars breaking down, but if I explained my childhood to you it wouldn't seem so irrational. Lol. It's more of a survival instinct from having death-trap cars growing up. Cars that would catch on fire on our way somewhere. Cars that would break down all the time and then we wouldn't have a way to school for weeks or months at a time. Cars that my mom got for free or paid someone 20 bucks for. Not reliable cars by any means.
So when my car breaks down now, I tense up and that fear rushes back that I won't have a way to
school or work or church or to the grocery store or whatever. That I'll be trapped. That we won't have enough food in the house. That I won't be able to make up my schoolwork or graduate. That we'll have to bother someone to help us, again. And that no one will want to, because sometimes no one does.
I have to remind myself that I'm not in that situation anymore. I'm not in high school. Zay has a job to provide for us. We
have two reliable cars. When something goes wrong, it's not a death
sentence. We have a great mechanic who is trustworthy. It will get fixed
and everything will be fine. We have money to pay for it. Everything's
going to be okay. There's food in the house and we're in walking distance of anything we need. We have a huge support system of friends and church members who would go out of their way for us, the same way we would for them.
Sometimes I think back to how rough my brothers and I had it and don't really know how we even survived. Zay came along and saved me, honestly. If it wasn't for him, my younger brother and I wouldn't have had a ride to school for a long time there. The bus didn't run all the way out to where we lived (in the sticks). If it wasn't for him, I wouldn't have known how much I was worth and what I could do. He has loved me unconditionally from Day 1. When I told him I wanted to go to college across the country, he sold his most prized possession (his car) and bought a van to pack all our stuff in and drove across the country into the unknown with me.
He continues to save me. Reassuring me that we "got out." That we don't have to live the same way. That we've educated ourselves and made choices to remove ourselves from the struggles we once faced. God sent Zay to me, I know that for a fact. And the little bit of car trouble we've had this year reminded me of how far we've come together.
I love this boy to death. He changed my life and his birth set me on a path that led me to wanting to be a mother. Any chance I get to see him now that he lives out of state is a blessing. I've gotten to see him twice this year so far and that makes me SO HAPPY! Because I know we won't see him much if & when we move back to Georgia. I'm taking advantage of how relatively close he is at the moment.
He is so grown up and looks just like my brother when he was a kid. He's obsessed with zombies (me too! must run in the family...) and is super goofy. I didn't get a chance to get to know my niece very well because I was young when she was born (she's a teenager now) and she lived far away too, so I hope I can do something to reach my nephew and help him remember me over the years. I don't get to be an aunt much and I wish I had that opportunity.
My brother picked him up a couple superhero toys and the movie 3 Ninjas for his birthday. When we were kids, we watched that movie thousands of times, I swear. While he's separated from his son temporarily, he thought that might help them feel closer. They talk about the movie on the phone now and it's just so cute! Brings up old memories and makes new ones at the same time.
I remember when it was the 5 of us (me, Zay, Kal, my brother, and my nephew) all living in a one-bedroom apartment for like a month. We had just adopted Kal and my brother needed a place to stay and it was an interesting time. It was hard. But now I miss how close (figuratively and literally) everyone was back then. Everyone has gone in different directions and change can be hard sometimes. It was living in that apartment that my brother learned that his mother-in-law had died in a plane crash. That was painful, to say the least. My heart jumps to my throat every time I think of her and how my nephew won't remember his grandma because he was so young when she died. She loved him SO much. Soon after that is when my nephew moved to Colorado with his mom and life hasn't been exactly the same since. Road trips to see him help piece my heart back together a little bit at a time.