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Archive for May, 2007

Birthday presents

Look what I got for my birthday today…

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I still have the bedding on layaway, but the nursery is certainly coming together. I’m loving my little water critters.

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Unbelievable

DH and I can’t afford to adopt. We knew that when we started on this journey. We don’t have enough equity in our home to get a loan – we simply haven’t owned it long enough. We don’t have a large savings account, what we have in that account is my income (that comes in sporadically) which supplements our monthly expenses. But we still felt called to adopt. And then some friends of ours gave us $1000. Just gave it to us to start our adoption fund. Then we got a couple hundred from some family members. All of a sudden we had an adoption account. We decided to walk out on faith and take each step as we could afford them. The first was $150 to apply to the adoption agency. Next up was the homestudy which cost $1000. The same friend who gave us that first big check is the one who did the baby bottle fundraiser, I’m not sure what the final amount is, but I know we have some coming in. Then last night we went to DH’s office so he could check his mail since he’s not in the office full-time during the summer, and there in his box was an Express Mail envelope. And tucked inside was a letter:

Dear Paul & Robyn:

Please use the enclosed gift to help out with your adoption expenses. You should be able to deposit this cashier’s check with your local bank. We admire how readily you opened your hearts to this idea and pray fervently that God will bless you with a child.

Sincerely,
Some anonymous friends

In with this letter was a cashier’s check for $2000.  Who does that?  Who just sends people a chunk of money like that?  We’re just utterly speechless.  And we’re feeling so incredibly blessed.  God is faithful in providing and we know more that ever that this is the course we are meant to be on.  So if you’re out there and you’re the one who sent this money to us, while thank you seems so lackluster for such a gift it is the only thing we can say.  Please know we do so from the bottom of our hearts.  We hope someday we are able to give back in a similar manner.

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Piece of cake

We had our big homestudy visit yesterday and it was great.  Our social worker is so laid back and kind that we weren’t nervous at all.  Before she got there neither of us felt nervous, but evidently we had been because after it was over yesterday we both felt a huge sigh of relief. We only have a few things remaining.  Today we’re going to get our background check done and our fingerprints.  She said she’d start typing up the report this weekend and that she’d incorporate the references as they came in.  She wants us to be homestudy ready in case the situation in Texas pans out.  So we’re essentially done with the hard parts of the home study.  PHEW!

We’ll take a bit of time off to recoup and then we’ll jump back into paperwork for the adoption agency.  Of course we won’t activate until we have the chunk of money we’ll need and we’re still up in the air as far as when that will come in – hopefully this summer.

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Yesterday

I had expected yesterday to be terrible, but I was pleasantly surprised that I had a rather great Mother’s Day. It started out with my very sweet husband giving me the cutest card and a DVD (POC: Dead Man’s Chest – just in time for #3 coming out only 3 days after my birthday). We got up and got ready for church and the service was great. There weren’t any awkward moments where I had to decide to stand if I’m a mother because the priest never asked all mothers to stand (which is fairly common in some churches) and a friend gave me a Mother’s Day card. She’s lost 3 babies herself and knows what it feels like. Afterwards we all went out to lunch, me and DH and our friends and their 4 children. We had a great time, chatting and laughing.

DH and I went to Kinko’s after lunch to print up a copy of the Dear Birthmother letter I’d put together. I’d infused pictures through-out the letter and wanted it to be color printed so they could get a snapshot of our life. Last night we addressed that letter and put it in the mail, which was surprisingly rather emotional. We’re not really expecting anything to come of this, but we wanted to give it a shot. Right now the father is thinking he wants to parent, but the mother still doesn’t want to. In a perfect world, their daughter would get them both together, but for whatever their reasons they have not opted to do that. It’s my understanding that the mother wants to go to school and get her degree. Unplanned pregnancy has a way of throwing kinks into your plans, I suppose. I just really empathize with this young couple and hope that whatever decision they come to, it gives them some sort of peace. In any case, we wanted to give them more info about us in case they do opt for an adoption plan at some point.

In the meantime, DH and I will be getting the house ready for the homestudy. We still haven’t finished up our paperwork, but we should wrap that up tonight or tomorrow. And tomorrow we have to go get our physicals. Oh and we need copies of our birth certificates. Hmmmm…I need a list.

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For years this holiday is about your mother and it comes and goes with a card and some flowers and you pause and are thankful for the woman who gave you life.  And then one day you’re pregnant and now look who’s the mother. But then the unthinkable happens and your baby dies before they are able to take a breath. There are some people out there who would argue that they weren’t a life yet, and frankly I’m not even going to say they are entitled to their opinions. What my husband and I lost was a daughter, a healthy child, who, for whatever reason couldn’t sustain 9 months in my womb. Does this make me a mother? Even though we have no child at home, I haven’t been rearing a little one for the last year. So am I a mom? Do I deserve acknowledgement on this Sunday’s holiday?

It’s kind of like you’re in Mom-limbo in this situation. And doubly so for me this year since we’re pursuing adoption and I feel as if I’m paper-pregnant. The transition from where I am now to where I’ll be when we have a baby at home will be enormous. And so no, according to traditional thinking, I am not a mother. I haven’t breast-fed, I haven’t changed diapers, I have soothed a crying baby to sleep in the last year. And society would tell me that I don’t count, I haven’t worked as hard as real mothers have, I haven’t been through labor. But I had a child and you can’t be a mother one day and not one the next. I was a mother and I nurtured and loved and talked to and could feel the life inside me. She was there. As real as you or I.

So am I a mother? You bet I am. Perhaps there are those who won’t understand, who’ll think it’s silly and foolish for me to put myself in that category. But I don’t care. Last May when our daughter died, we grieved, we are still grieving now, we have pictures of her from my womb, we heard her heartbeat several times and saw her wiggle her little arms and legs. She was real, alive and because of her I am a mother. So tomorrow I will celebrate the day designed to honor mother’s. I’ll call my own and tell her how amazing she is. My husband will take me to lunch after church. It will be difficult, I don’t suppose it will be a happy holiday for me until we do have living children at home, but we will acknowledge it because to not do so would be to negate her existence. And we will not do that.

So for all you mother’s out there, the ones with children in heaven, I say to you Happy Mother’s Day!

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Support

They did a segment on the Today’s Show (which I don’t normally watch – I’m a GMA girl) on miscarriage. It was even a rather lengthy segment and they did it well, which is so appreciated. There just isn’t enough media coverage on miscarriage and infertility despite how many people it effects. I’ve talked a lot about my loss on this blog and for me, that’s been part of my healthy. Being a writer by profession, expressing myself through the written word is as natural, if not more so, than talking. And expressing your feelings about miscarriage is crucial. For some reason, in our society, there is a stigma attached to it and women are ashamed to talk about it. All this does is perpetuate the myth that these women are to blame for the loss of their children. So if you’re out there and you’ve lost a child, find someone to talk to. If you’re like me, you’ll probably want some of those someone’s to have been through the experience themselves.

I found this myself on a site that until my miscarriage had been a “fun” place to go. Fertility Friend. It’s a charting website for women to chart their cycles and take charge of their own fertility. And until the day that we lost our child, the day we lost control of our fertility, that’s all that site was to me too. But some time around June of last year I saw a post on the bulletin board. A call for women who’d lost May babies and I responded. Many of us did. Some of the women got pregnant again right away and eventually left the group. But there is a core group of us that have been together the entire time. Talking about our feelings, sharing our bad days and our good.

I don’t know these women. Not in the way that I know my everyday friends, but they are as real to me as any friend I might meet for lunch. They have been there for me in ways that my sister or my mother could not be. We are all spread across the country (we even had a member from Australia) and are from different backgrounds, have different professions, been married a variety of years, and we would probably never have met had it not been that one thing that joins us together. We are the statistics. The 1 in 5 pregnancies that end in miscarriage.

These women have been life savers for me. Supported me through times I didn’t think I would be able to survive. Held me (virtual) hand as I walked through the ugliest part of life where I swore that if I ever got to the other side, I’d never be the same. I’m not the same person I was before we lost Cordelia, but I didn’t lose myself like I thought I would. And much of that is because of the kindness and camaraderie of these women. Many of whom are pregnant right now – Mika (who should be having her baby any time now!), Chassie, Katherine, Kellie, Jen, Becca and Tremaine (who is having all her kids at once with her triplets!) and Lisa and Sue, who like me, are not pregnant (YET!) but who will be very soon. Thank you from the very bottom of my heart, you honestly have meant the world to me.

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God’s timing

Today I feel a bit like Veruca Salt. I want my baby NOW!  Sometimes I get so impatient, so eager and it seems like it will never happen. DH and I both feel as if God has led us down this path to grow our family, we know that we have a kiddo out there with our name on them. We just don’t know when we’ll get to bring them home. I’m ready to get started now. I look at our agency’s website at the prospective birth mothers and I think, “oh, we’ll take that one!” but we can’t activate yet and it’s so frustrating.

We can’t activate yet because we don’t have the money yet. And I promised DH that we’d be responsible with this and we’d take each step as we could afford to. Of course the mother in me wants to throw caution to the wind and take out a cash advance from a credit card. Yes, I know that’s horribly irrisponsible and it’s not that I WANT to disregard the smart decision for the sake of speed. But when your arms are empty and you crave those babies, you really don’t care what it costs to bring them home. But I shove that crazy impatient part of me down and try to be a responsible adult. I’d be a liar though if I said it wasn’t difficult.

Most days it’s hard to see, but I know that we’ll raise the money when we need it. Maybe not until the very moment we need it, but when it’s time, we’ll have enough. I have faith that God will provide for us for this. I’m trying to rely on this, but it is challenging for me since I tend to like things figured out and planned long in advance.

Homestudy update:  Well, I think we have our homestudy meeting scheduled, the big one that’s at our house – should be next Thursday.  By then DH and I will have time to finish up the paperwork and hopefully go and get our physicals. I haven’t heard yet if we’ve gotten clearence to go and get our fingerprints, but I suspect that will be coming soon.

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