Tuesday, November 30, 2010


Not long after we brought newborn Moses home from the hospital Matt left to drive out to Florida where we were going to live for the summer. I stayed at my parents' house with Ava and Moses until we would fly out there to be with Matt. That never ended up happening and Matthew came back to work in  Utah. During those long days and longer nights without Matt I struggled. Sleep deprivation is never easy and my body was still recovering from my very recent miscarriage. More than that I struggled with a mother's grief--not mine, hers; which, in one of the many ways two strangers connected, became mine also. I wrestled with my son's loss and wondered if I could ever be enough to patch up that gaping hole. Every time he cried, I cried with him.  I held him in my bed throughout the night, just as she had not long before. I whispered through tears, words about two mothers and a love it would take him a long time to understand.

Those days were incredibly happy too. I was in love and it was new and joyful. Moses was the snuggliest baby ever and when I held him, he held on back. I was overcome with the enormity of the ways I had been blessed. I was a proud mama of that beautiful boy.

I still tell him about those two mothers, and many times it is still with tears in my eyes. I often think about those same mothers sitting outside a hospital in the sunshine, crying together, right before one got on an airplane alone and one drove home with a baby. Life is never one or the other, it is joy and pain together. Moses experienced loss earlier than most, but he has also known a wholly selfless love. Everyday I hope to be the mother she did so much to give to him.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


November 23 celebration.
three years since little buzz was sealed to us.
i remember everything about that day.
love love love our babies.
we've worked hard for every one of them.
and we would do it all over again.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

monster baby

So lady-like, this little one.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Adoptive Mamas' Club

If you have adopted a child--voila--you are automatically a lifetime member. I entered the club officially on May 12, 2007 when guardianship of a certain brown-eyed boy was signed into my name. And even though the law didn't recognize me as his parent until November 21, to say that he was not "mine" until then--well, them's just fightin' words.

There are all kinds in the AMC. All kinds of hows and whys. All kinds of whens and wheres. Sometimes we are united by our shared experiences, and sometimes even the common ground is not enough to forge a real bond. So we choose those who lift us up and we keep them close.

I have not struggled with infertility like the vast majority of adoptive mamas. There was no grieving process for me to wade through before I considered adoption. So I cannot fully relate to most of them on that level. I made the decision to adopt long before I was married and trying to become pregnant. However, I gained some understanding of that grief when I experienced my first miscarriage 8 days before the birth of my son. My grieving over the loss and my joy in adopting happened simultaneously; somewhat seperate, yet inevitably intertwined.

Just like in the general population, there are varying opinions of birthmothers/fathers in the adoptive community. It is nice to think that there are other people in the world who just might really know what it is to love the woman who gave you a miracle. It is nice to have someone else who understands the battle we fight to protect the birthmother's/father's name and our child's right to their own story. It is nice to stand beside others to declare to the world that birthmothers are not the sixteen-year-old druggies that you think they are. They are mothers, in every sense of that word.
On the other hand, it is disheartening to see an adoptive mom not fulfill the contact agreement-letters, pictures, phone calls, visits, etc.-because she can't be bothered, because "other" moms don't have to do that for their kids, or because contact somehow threatens her own motherhood. It is sickening to have to walk out of a room because you just heard an adoptive mom tell somebody that they don't send pictures anymore because, "It's been a year and we are just over that. We've moved on with our lives."

Before you adopt you think you know a lot more about adoption than you do after the fact. One day you wake up to find your sweet little baby is three and can understand when a stranger asks a probably-innocent-but-completely-inappropriate-not-to-mention-stupid question in front of them. Or a family member makes a comment about your "real kids". Or someone at church tells you how noble you are for adopting. It's then you realize that all those responses you thought you had prepared fly right out the window. And it's then that the only people you can hash it all out with are the AMC (after your husband of course). They are the ones that really get that yes, the little remarks matter, yes, our children notice and learn from how well and how quick we respond, and yes, what we really wanted to do was blow up in their face but that was not in the best interest of our child--you know, the one that we want to hide from the ignorance of the world because we've never loved anything like we love them. Yeah, that one.

The AMC is where you go to discuss birthparent gifts and lifebooks. It's where you go to talk lawyers and birth certificates. It's where people know just what a big deal finalization is and the relief of not having to officially document all that is parenting anymore. It's where we find inspiration and where we learn from those that have gone before so we can pass it on down the line. It's where we learn from others' mistakes and where it's okay to admit our own as we cry buckets of tears. It's where we ask questions that might sound bizarre to others and where we go to freak out because sometimes we need to do that. The AMC is all of these things and more. We're just a bunch of mothers trying to get it right, change the bad and the ugly, and love our babies like there's no tomorrow.

*A special thank you to the few people in my life who, having never lived it, get it anyway. I have dubbed you honorary members of my AMC.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

The turtle tradition---who's who

Monday, November 8, 2010

little lovey

Oh,  you need to see some more pictures of my baby love?
Well, here ya go.

yes, she gets sweeter everday.

Monday, November 1, 2010

about me.

...life has been a little teensy-tiny bit hard as of late. Claire and her family are constantly on my mind. I find myself struggling with the worry, and the not knowing, and the questions that can't be answered. My mind swirls with questions of faith, and healing, and plans that are not ours. I feel the need to enjoy my children more and more often, and the guilt of continuing life normally when it seems nothing is normal at all.

...lately I've been feeling the pull towards things beyond this everyday of mine. Things I need to do. Things besides get on the treadmill more and have my hair done. You see, I'm kind of in charge of these three little people and they are going to do big things, or maybe small things that really matter. And I've got to show them how.

...it's November. National Adoption Month. You remembered, didn't you? I'm not going to say that I will post everyday about adoption because.. I won't. Obviously I have many strong feelings/opinions about adoption and everything that goes with it, but you are not going to get it all on blogger. That being said, November is a month dear to our hearts around here, in which we have much to celebrate, and I think I can come up with a post (or two) having to do with this crazy little thing called adoption in the next 30 days. 

Halloween Fun

We had gorgeous 85 degree weather for our Halloween weekend. There were pumpkins, and trunk-or-treats, and trick-or-treating, and dinner with friends, and caramel apples.

It's fun when the kids are old enough to really get into all the festivities of the holiday, but sad when they pick out their own costumes. Funny, it's just never what I would have picked out. Alas, we have Jesse and Woody, and in the name of cheapness tradition, our little turtle.

Ava wanted to make sure her hair was braided just like Jesse's and for the first time was interested in getting as much candy as possible. Mosey's costume barely made it to Halloween in one piece and he was scared of the "Frankenlion". Tate enjoyed riding on Daddy's shoulders and hanging onto his hair and ears (and may have been the cutest turtle yet--sshhh).