Friday, August 24, 2012

Take a Moment

Tonight I sit here with a very full, but very broken heart. Tonight we heard from friends of ours that they just experienced a disrupted adoption. Instead of bringing home the babies they have been preparing for for the last few months, they are going home from the hospital alone. I can't even imagine their pain and loss right now.

So tonight, baby N's bedtime routine was done so much more intentionally and with so much gratitude. Tonight I feel so undeserving of the gift of parenthood. These friends have been through so much more than we have in their journey to parenthood already and somehow we have our baby before they do. I don't understand and I feel so humbled. Tonight I allowed my heart to swell at every kick and squeal during bathtime and coo during story time. I feel like I'm taking in his every moment like I haven't done in awhile.

Tonight I'm reminded of how grateful I am for N's birthmother. I'm in awe of her whenever I think of her and need to take more moments to do so. She chose what she believed was best for him and I can't believe she chose us to raise him. It's so incredibly humbling. We owe so much to her and are so thankful that we are forever connected to such a loving, kind and selfless woman. How can you ever thank someone for giving you the gift of your child?

So tonight, as much as I've been thinking I need to post about what it's like juggling mommy-hood and a nearly full-time job, right now it's unnecessary. Life is busy, but it has never been more wonderful. We are so blessed and do not take the gift of being his parents for granted. I want to remember this feeling. It's similar to the one I had when we brought him home and I couldn't believe the change that happened to our lives and our home in less than 24 hours. I hope I remember this feeling and take it with me through every step of his childhood and beyond.

Please take a moment and pray for our friends. I can't imagine what the coming days will be like for them. Sometimes I just don't understand.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Lifesong in Honduras Post

I promise to post more soon about baby N! But, life is crazy! I started back to teaching last week, so I've just been attempting to get life together as a working mom. :) But for now, please read about Honduras. :-)
Please enjoy this video produced by Plan Escalon students featuring graduates in 'Life after Plan Escalon'...

Isn't it beautiful to see former students like Elmer, Marvin, Santos and Doris 'change their nation' by the education and spiritual discipleship they received from Plan Escalon/Lifesong Honduras?  

Honduras has a 30% national employment rate, yet Plan Escalon students have achieved more than twice that reaching 70% employment rate after graduation.
Praise God for finishing what He has started in the lives of these four young men and women and may He continue to work in the hearts of the current students.
To see another 'Life after Plan Escalon' story, click here or to learn more about how you can become involved in helping Plan Escalon's new building project, click here.

"And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns."  Philippians 1:6

Friday, August 3, 2012

An Adendum

I just want to add something to my post from yesterday. As much as I can be exhausted, I will say that "mommy exhaustion" doesn't come close to "infertility exhaustion." Now, I imagine this depends on how long your infertility lasts and the temperament of your baby.

BUT, from my personal experience, even though you may still be sleeping 8 hours a night when dealing with infertility, the emotional, physical and mental exhaustion is on a completely different level. So, if you're dealing with infertility and you're waiting for parenthood, when you get there, the exhaustion is totally worth it and is filled with countless blessings! =)

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Mommy Exhaustion

So, I wrote about "mommy guilt" and now I'll write briefly about what I have termed, "mommy exhaustion." Who knows? It MAY be a real thing, but I'm too tired to look it up! ;)

This evening I was catching up with a friend on the phone and she asked if I was totally and completely in love with N and if I couldn't get enough. And of course I'm totally in love! Especially when you've waited awhile for the gift of motherhood. But there are times where I'm totally exhausted and I just wish he would be as tired as I am at the appropriate time. :) Like at 8am when I want to go back to sleep. :) And sometimes I just wonder WHY in the world will he not stop crying?! And there are times I wish I could just leave the house on a whim or even take a nap on a whim! And N is a VERY good baby!

This kind of makes me feel like a "bad mom" to admit this, but my goal on this blog is openness and realness. Being a mom is such a blessing and is super fun! But, it's a challenge! And if anyone says otherwise, I've got to wonder if they've got a "wonder child," or if they're just not telling the truth!

Anyway, we are doing well. We've been on several trips this summer (2/3 for weddings), which have been super fun! But, since they've all been in the month of July and involved driving until 2-4am at night to keep N on his sleep schedule,  it's no wonder we're so tired! Add in staying up until 11pm every night to catch all of the Olympic coverage, and you get "mommy exhaustion." :)

Just 11 more days until I return to school!! Ahhhhh!!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Our Miracle: How We Became The Buddy's Parents!

Written in November 2012

“OUR story…” Just writing that feels funny. A year ago I couldn’t imagine having a “story.” As excited as I was about adoption and becoming a parent, I mostly just felt like it would never happen. After all the ups-and-downs of infertility (and really, there were just “downs”), it was hard to ever feel hopeful that parenthood would ever really come to us.  At the time I was actually pretty obsessed with hearing about others’ journeys to parenthood. I loved hearing how God would orchestrate situations and move in people’s hearts and it seemed like God made them parents (whether through miraculous conceptions or adoption) in the perfect timing. I heard so many beautiful stories and was both amazed and jealous. And also in disbelief that we would ever have a story where God worked so beautifully that there was no denying His will and purpose. How could WE ever have that story?!

But, He did and we do! He moved and worked in our hearts and in our circumstances to confirm for us 100% that He wanted it to be this way and that it’s the BEST way, despite all the sadness and grief that infertility has caused.

The excitement REALLY began when we were contacted the first weekend of May by one of our adoption agencies.  They told us that we were chosen by a birthmom due with a baby girl in just 3 weeks! We were SHOCKED! We were not expecting it since we were told the average wait time would be much longer. Sometimes I think back on that day and remember the excitement, exhilaration and fear that I felt. I don’t know I how I got through that week with any kind of focus on my job or getting things done around the house. J Unfortunately, we weren’t able to schedule a meeting with the birthmom until May 14th, a date over a week after we heard we were chosen. So, for that week we hoped and planned and were also scared that it wouldn’t work out when she met us. What if we didn’t like each other? What if she changed her mind? What if something went wrong? So we pretty much kept it just between the two of us. We talked about it ALL the time with each other, getting excited about a sweet, baby girl becoming our daughter! I truly couldn’t believe we would very likely become parents in just 3 weeks!

On Mother’s Day, one day before we were scheduled to drive 3 hours to meet the birthmom, we broke down and decided we just HAD to tell my parents. We took the opportunity to tell her on this special that she could become a grandma in just 2 weeks. Right after we shared the news with my family, including my mom (who bawled her eyes out), dad and sister and upon starting a skype call with my other sister and brother-in-law the phone rang out of the blue. When I saw that it was the agency, my first emotions were fear and disbelief! We hadn’t met the birthmom yet! We were NOT READY for whatever our social worker was going to tell us on the other line! Did she change her mind? Was she already in labor!? We thought we still had 2 weeks to get used the idea of actually becoming parents!

I answered the phone with shaking hands and shouted to Dave that he HAD to answer the phone with me. With my whole immediate family in the background, we were shocked to hear that the birthmother had not only given birth on 12:15 on MOTHER’S DAY, but also that it was to a baby BOY! She told us we needed to head to Memphis ASAP to come meet our son and his birthmom and give him a name! They told us that when she held this precious baby boy in her arms for the first time she said, “He’s beautiful. But, he’s not mine. He’s David and Elizabeth’s.”

I can’t even describe all the emotions of the day. The excitement, the surprise, the fear, the shock of a BOY instead of a GIRL, the anxiety of wondering whether or not the birthmom would change her mind once she met us, or once she spent more time with this sweet boy in the hospital. The panic of needing to buy basics, like bottles and diapers! Less than a week and a half ago I had wondered if I would ever become a mother, and TODAY, on Mother’s Day, I found out I will probably be bringing home my SON in just 48 hours.

The next 2 days were a flurry. If you’re interested in domestic adoption, just know that the time at the hospital will be hard, VERY HARD and full of conflicting emotions, many of which you feel for the birthmom. We brought sweet boy home on Tuesday, May 15th when he was just 2 days old. Pictures taken of me from these days show sheer exhaustion yet pure joy. I couldn’t believe this was MY life, that THIS was happening to ME! TO US! Everything came together in those days that I lived in a whirlwind. And the pain of infertility all seemed worth it. Worth it one hundred times over. I studied every finger and toe. Every time he opened his eyes I couldn’t stop staring at him. He was the answer to so many prayers and despite my lack of sleep I was deliriously happy. And completely in awe that this was our son and that God had completely orchestrated the way he came into our lives. After so much loss, God had truly redeemed our pain and our loss and turned it into joy and thankfulness.

Six months later and I can’t even believe time has passed so quickly! Parenthood is hard and sometimes very tiring. I’ve had a couple of meltdowns and cried when I’ve felt like I couldn’t do it all. And days where I wonder where God will take us next. Or how He will provide us with our next child (we always wanted 3 or 4). But, I have to remind myself of those days surrounding Mother’s Day. How God has held us in His hands every day, every minute of this journey. Even when I thought I couldn’t take one more pregnancy announcement, one more disappointment, one more miraculous story that wasn’t mine. Sometimes we get into our routine and I forget to stop and praise God for the work he has done in our lives. I feel humbled that God chose us to be this sweet boy’s parents. We don’t deserve to have been blessed with such a wonderful baby. But, He HAS blessed us indeed. With a beautiful story. A story of changed hearts and changed lives. 

People say that he is lucky to have us as parents. That we did such a “good thing” for choosing adoption. But, these people have no idea. It is US who are truly blessed to have him in our lives as our son. He brightens our day and makes us smile whenever we think of him. WE are the lucky ones, for he truly is what his name means, even more than we ever would have imaged. He is our true “gift from God.”