Saturday, December 27, 2008

Still here...

It has been a rough four weeks.  My dog's death really hit me harder than I expected and I didn't do the best job dealing with it.  Then both of my little girls ended up with ear infections.  Just as we recovered from that and as I was trying to get myself out of my depressed fog and try to focus on Christmas....the stomach flu hit.  All of us.  All four of us.  Oh my... 
Somehow, I managed to pull it all together and went on a whirlwind last weekend to wrap and bake and clean to prepare for Christmas.  I didn't think I was going to pull it off, but with very limited sleep, I did it.  
We actually had a very enjoyable Christmas holiday and thank God, we were all healthy by then. I am so grateful for that.  So, now I am trying to again get a handle on things like the laundry back- up and the fact that I can't see my living room floor due to the embarassing excess of toys for two very lucky little girls.  
I will try to get back into a regular routine for my blog in the new year.  
Hope everyone had a very blessed Christmas holiday!  

Monday, December 1, 2008

A sad good-bye

For those of you who are animal lovers, I'm sure you can relate to and understand my sadness today.  My 11 year old golden retriever recently was diagnosed with a form of cancer that could not be treated. He was just the best dog. He was loyal, active, gentle, great with children, and a great companion. He was with me through some low times and some high times.  I got him when he was about 12 weeks old.  He reached a point in his illness yesterday which was the sign we were waiting for, and I was insistent from the moment of his diagnosis and prognosis that he not be allowed to suffer at all.  So today my dad brought him to the vet for me and said good-bye while he had a peaceful ending.  I offered to bring him trying to be courageous, but was secretly grateful for my dad being the stronger one to be the one to have to bring him for that last vet visit.  

I know he had a great life.  He was treated very well and had a lot of fun.  I swear at times he would smile at me.  :)   

Good-bye, Teddy.  Thanks for a great 11 and a 1/2 years.  

Not Me Monday

Here is another of my Not Me Monday posts inspired by MckMama's blog.  
After reading mine, be sure to go to her page to read her's and check the other links out as well! 

This past week, I did Not read the first and second book of the Twilight series.  I am Not completely obsessed now with the series and did Not already start reading the third book.  I absolutely do Not feel like I'm sixteen again!  haha

I did Not overly rely on my husband being home for the long weekend to spend so much time with the girls so that I could read.  

I did Not do a little happy dance when I realized that there was still some pumpkin pie left from Thanksgiving. 

I do Not still have boxes and boxes of Christmas decorations all over my dining room waiting for me to put things out.  At least it is only the first of December and I still have time. 

So what did you Not do this past week? 

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Off to a flying stop...

After so much praying, thinking, and discussions over the past year, my husband and I finally came to the decision that God meant for us to have a third child.  We decided that a domestic infant adoption was the best choice for us. A good friend who I was talking with recently told me about a friend of hers who had the best experience with an adoption facilitator.  I stopped believing in coincidences a long time ago and view everything now as part of God's plan, even the small details in life. 

So once we came to the decision to adopt, it just seemed like God was guiding us to apply with this adoption facilitator.  We were so excited about starting this new journey for our family and relieved that we felt that God was sending us in the right direction.  We mailed the initial application last week.  

I received an email two days ago from them regretfully informing me that they prefer not to work with the state that we live in.  Not that they couldn't, but due to some restrictions in our state, they choose not to work with prospective adoptive parents from here.  
I read the email three times just to make sure I understood it and each time I read it, my heart felt a little heavier.  

We are planning to call them to just clarify exactly what restrictions they are talking about.  
Then we will decide how to proceed from there in choosing another facilitator or agency.  
As my husband said, we are off to a flying stop.  ugh

At first I moped and felt sad. Then I started second guessing everything.  
Then I took a minute and thought about how I am choosing to live my life.  God is in control and it is His plan. Not mine.  Instead of seeing this "flying stop" as a bad thing, I have chosen to see it as simply another guiding force from God to send us in the right direction for the plans He has for me and my family.  

This positive attitude and strong faith thing doesn't come easy, but it is such a powerful way to shape my thinking and hopefully help me be the person He wants me to be.  

Happy Thanksgiving!

On this day of thanksgiving, I decided to post about things that I am thankful for in my life.  I thank God everyday in my prayers for all of these things.  I'm sure I've forgotten something to add to my list, which shows me just how blessed I am and how many things I am so thankful to have in my life.  

What I am thankful for...
  • my two most wonderful blessings, Princess and Precious
  • my husband
  • my family
  • my faith in God and my trust in His plan for me
  • our good health overall
  • my husband's job and work ethic that allows me to be a sahm
  • a house to live in that we have made a home
  • food to eat
  • clothes to wear
  • people in our lives who have helped and supported us through challenging times
  • people in our lives who work with Princess and Precious to help them overcome delays and challenges 
  • an optimistic outlook 
  • smiles and laughter in my heart and in my home
I hope you have many things to be thankful for today. 

If you have a chance, check out Angie's blog today.  It really made me think and changed how I started my day.  It also made me a little extra grateful for being able to write the list above. 

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

A fever and pie, and some music too!

We've had a busy kind of day here today.  Princess woke up really early and very hyper.  Not a good thing.  Whenever she has been that hyper in the past, she has always gotten sick later that day.  It is a strange thing her body does.  I, unfortunately, just wasn't making the connection earlier in the day.  It wasn't until around lunch time that I noticed she had suddenly become very quiet and was just sitting.  Not the usual Princess we know and love.  She also didn't want to eat anything for lunch.  Sure enough she had a fever by that point.  So, we are just hoping and praying that it is a 24 hour thing and she will be better by the morning.  She is just so excited about going to her grandparent's house (my parents) for Thanksgiving dinner.  I want her to be able to enjoy it and feel good.  

This of course sets into motion the usual "on guard" stance my husband and I take waiting for Precious to then come down with whatever illness Princess picked up at school.  oh boy..... And Precious doesn't seem to just get over things as quickly as Princess.   With prayers said and fingers crossed, hopefully Precious will stay healthy and fine.  Last November, Precious ended up in the hospital with pneumonia after catching a cold that Princess gave her.  

I did manage to bake a pie today.  It wasn't easy since Precious decided to be clingy or I should say more clingy than usual.  It is a walnut, cranberry, and white chocolate pie for tomorrow. Yummy!   Last night while watching the Biggest Loser, I was able to make my cranberry chutney and tomorrow morning I will put together a green bean dish that my family enjoys.  I wish I could do more to help my mom with the dinner, but with two little ones it isn't easy.  

I figured out today how to post a playlist of music at the bottom of my blog.  It is all Christmas music.  I totally took the idea from Cassandra's blog.  Hope she doesn't mind!  I was going to wait until after Thanksgiving to do it, but couldn't help myself.  There is something about Christmas music that is cathartic for me.  I love it.  Even the more somber tunes make my heart a little lighter.  I did post the playlist in such a way that the reader has to turn it on to hear it just in case anyone prefers not to hear the music. I found out that I could even post it that way by reading Jen's blog.  So, thank you Jen for that bit of information.  This blogging thing is still very new for me and I am learning as I go.  

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Getting Princess

My beautiful, little Princess.  Here is another "chapter" in her story. 

Princess was placed with us from the state system at four months old.  The first time we saw her at the foster home, she was dressed all in pink and had the most beautiful blue eyes. Looking back on it, there was definitely a sadness to them.  But that day, all I saw was my little girl.  My baby. I was so overwhelmed and honestly think I was in shock.  I just could not believe my dream was coming true.  We met Princess for that first time five days after getting the initial call from the social worker.  My feet still had not touched the ground, I was so excited and anxious and nervous.  
During the course of those five days, my husband and I narrowed our name choices to two with one being kind of a spunky name and the other being kind of a calm name.  So on the drive to the foster home for that first visit, we decided that we would pick the name based on her behavior and temperment.  She was so calm so we went with the second choice.  Boy oh boy... if only I had known that the calmness most likely was her withdrawal due to neglect in the foster home.  The spunky name definitely would have fit her better, but I convince myself now that the more "calm" name we gave her is something to strive for in our future. haha

Princess was exposed to drugs and alcohol and cigarettes while she was in utero.  We were told this from the initial phone call.  However, we were also told that she was very healthy and from the social worker's prediction, Princess had no lasting effects from her exposure.  If only I knew then what I know now....

Princess was also exposed to domestic violence in utero, but it was testing positive for drugs at birth that warranted the involvement from dcf.  She was released from the hospital and placed into a foster home with an older woman who specifically took in babies, specifically exposed babies.  That impressed me and comforted me that this woman had done this for years and Princess would undoubtedly benefit from all of that experience.  oh how wrong I was....
It was the only foster home our little girl was in and once it became evident that parental rights were going to be terminated, we got the phone call to start the adoption process. It was such a whirlwind.  We received the initial call on a Friday and met Princess for the first time the following Tuesday.  We took her for a weekend visit that Friday through Sunday.  We had to bring her back to the foster home on Sunday.  It was an incredibly difficult thing to do after having her in our home for three days. Then, we saw her again at a doctor's appointment that next Tuesday and the social worker brought her to us for good on Wednesday.

Twelve days from the initial phone call to her being permanently placed in our home under a "preadoptive" license.  Twelve very fast, very overwhelming days.  My husband and I went from being by ourselves praying and hoping for a baby to becoming parents in twelve days.  I went from being a full time elementary school teacher to a stay at home mom in twelve days.  We had a crib and a changing table/dresser and a bassinet in the house....just because.  We had gotten the nursery "set up" in a bare minimum way to take pictures to add to the photo book we had to submit during the licensing process.  In twelve days through the generosity of family, friends, and my co-workers we filled our house with a ton of stuff ranging from clothes, diapers, toys, and bottles.  I have often looked back on that whirlwind time and still get a smile on my face from the generosity that was shown to us.  I also get an ache in the pit of my stomach wishing I could go back and do it over.  Of course, life doesn't work like that. 

What would I do differently?  I would have read so much more- about drug exposed babies, sensory issues, and most importantly attachment parenting of an adopted baby.  I would have been focused on all of those things rather than on whether we had toys for her to play with.  I would have held her all the time.... literally.  I would have worn her in a wrap or a sling.  I would not have so easily put her down because she pushed away from me and I wanted to do what would make her "happy".  I would have attempted to breastfeed her.  (I didn't even know that was possible until recently.) I would not have let anyone else hold her for a very long time. I would have done infant massage with her and would have gotten a co-sleeper for our room. Oh, if only I had known.  I completely realize that none of these things would have guaranteed that we would not be dealing with some of the issues we have now, but I think it definitely would have helped.  

What I would not change is adopting her.  She is my answer to prayer, my miracle (my first miracle), one of my many blessings!  I love her beyond words I could express, even with all of the challenges she and I face together on a daily basis.  I strongly believe that God gives me what He thinks I can handle. I often joke that sometimes I think he has too high an opinion on what/how much I can handle, but I trust He knows what he is doing.  I also trust that we are now on the right path in getting her the help that she needs.  
I will tell more about that in a future post.  

Monday, November 24, 2008

While reading some of the Not Me's on MckMama's blog, I came across Cassandra's blog and have really enjoyed reading it so far.  I am going to try to find more time later to read back through her older posts.  I always try to do that when I find a new blog.  
She is having a giveaway which I always love!  So check out her blog to see the awesome necklace she is giving away.  She also has some great Christmas music playing to enjoy!!!
She also has Crazy Eight tag that seemed fun to do.  She invited others to join in even if we aren't tagged, so here is mine:
8 t.v. shows I like to watch: 
1. Lipstick Jungle
2. Brothers and Sisters
3. Ghost Whisperer
4. Biggest Loser
5. Ghost Hunters
6. Law and Order-SVU
7. Numbers
8. John and Kate plus 8

8 places I like to eat: 
1. Ninety Nine House
2. Olive Garden
3. Applebee's
4. Outback Steakhouse
5. Wendy's
6. McDonald's
7. Panera Bread
8. Ruby Tuesday

8 Things that happened yesterday: 
1. went to the movies with a friend (1st time in 3 years-ha)
2. did laundry
3. attempted to clean kitchen
4. read a lot of books to my girls
5. made an awesome split pea and ham soup
6. sent emails 
7. worked on my blog
8. talked with my husband

8 Things I look forward to: 
1. Thanksgiving
2. seeing some family members on Thanksgiving who I haven't seen in awhile
3. visiting with friends this weekend who we haven't seen in months
4.  decorating my house for Christmas on the day after Thanksgiving
5. reading a few new books that are piling up, waiting for me to have the time
6. hearing from the adoption facilitator we are applying to contract with 
7. beginning some craft projects for the holiday season
8. sending out our Christmas cards

8 Things I love about Fall:
1. the cooler weather
2. the pretty colors here in New England with the fall foliage
3. all of the great foods like pumpkin bread and pie
4. crock pot recipes that are warm and comforting
5. wearing sweaters again and coats
6. pumpkin spice coffee - yummy
7. the fun holidays and decorating
8. it is one step closer to Christmas!

8 Things on my wish list (some serious and some not)
1. trusting in God's plan for me to not be such a struggle everyday
2. being okay with not always being the one in control
3. free maid service
4. nanny on call service with a nanny I trust and could rely on
5. all developmental delays and challenges my girls face to just magically disappear
6. a complete package outfit for my new SLR camera with new lens, etc.
7. to take a family vacation somewhere next year
8. a third baby to join our family through adoption in 2009! 

So, that was fun.  Since I wasn't originally tagged, I'm not going to tag anyone else, especially since I am still new to this blogging world.  
If by chance you stop by and you read my list and decide to do one of your own, please comment and let me know so I can read yours! 

Not Me Monday

I've been reading and enjoying all of the Not Me Monday posts since MckMama started it a couple of months ago.  It is fun to read other's Not Me posts.  If you have some time, go to MckMama's blog and read her Not Me's and others!
This is my first time posting one.

During this past week, I most definitely did Not let a clean load of laundry sit in the dryer for a day and then sit in the basket for more than two days before I finally folded it.  How lazy could I be? 

I did Not "avoid the complete truth" when telling my three year old that Mommy had bought her one munchkin doughnut for a special snack rather than admitting that there were actually three in the bag and I really felt that I needed those other two munchkins more than she did. 

I did Not finally relent and bake some brownies knowing full well that I would be the one eating most of them.   And this would Not have been on the same day I secretly ate five little snack size candy bars  I found left over from Halloween.  hmmm Can anyone say major chocolate craving time? 

I did Not secretly start listening to Christmas music over a week ago because I just love it so much and couldn't wait until after Thanksgiving.  (For the record, so far I have controlled the urge to actually start decorating until the day after Thanksgiving.)

I did Not use way more time than I should have writing for my new blog and "trying on" different free backgrounds for it.  (I'm finding that little activity becoming a fun habit.  Not as fun as trying on shoes or purses when shopping, but pretty close since it is free and all.)

And most importantly, my husband and I did Not complete and mail our application to start the process of adopting again!!!  I swear there are times I think I must be crazy to have a third child (like when there is toddler chaos all around me), but we have been talking about it for a year now.  I spent a whole year praying about it and came to the strong decision that this is indeed what God wants us to do.  So.... I say bring on more chaos and fun!!! (I'll be writing much more about this new journey for us in the future.) 

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Some random thoughts tonight....

It's been quite the weekend around here.  Not our best, to say the least, but not our worst either so that is a positive. 
We went shopping yesterday looking for a nativity set for the girls to play with and learn from. I personally think it is a good idea for them to have one that is okay for them to touch and play with, and hopefully "act out" the story of Jesus' birth.  I already own at least four or five that are not to be played with and I know they are going to want to touch them. Unfortunately, I had to order the one I wanted online because I couldn't find it in any of the local stores.  I swear sometimes online ordering is so much easier anyway.  I spent some time looking through ads for the big black friday sales, but I most likely won't enter a store on that day.  I didn't go last year either and actually found a couple of incredible deals online.  I'll probably do the same this year. Besides, I have to be home that day to start what I have designated the beginning of the "decorating extravaganza".  I get my husband to drag all of the boxes out of our basement and bring them upstairs on Thanksgiving night before going to bed. Then I start decorating for Christmas the next day!  
I love Christmas!!! It is my most favorite holiday.  It is filled with so many family traditions and memories for me.  With the girls getting a little older, I am excited to figure out which traditions I can start including them in and which will have to wait until they are older.  I'm sure I will be posting a lot about Christmas and all of our activities in the next few weeks.  
Unfortunately, most of the holidays we have had since adopting Princess have not been the easiest.  Partly because of her sensory challenges (sensory overload can be difficult to control and avoid for her with holidays, but we do our best), partly because of her attachment issues (I can look back now that I have learned so much about attachment challenges in the past few months and see how these challenges have affected holidays), and lastly partly because of tension with some relatives (my husband's -not mine).  However, I am bound and determined to work hard to make this Thanksgiving and Christmas different-better!  
We have already streamlined our Thanksgiving.  We are just going to my parents house and there will not be the usual crowd there due to some people going other places. So that should help with cutting down on some of the overload.  We won't be "hopping" around to other houses.  Yay! It is a relatively short ride, so that is good.  We are going to do our best to keep to our usual napping schedule, and that always helps.  
This morning was quite a treat for me.  I went with a friend to the movies.  I have not been to the movie theater in almost three years.  First because my life has not allowed it and secondly, I find it absurd to pay the prices they charge.  When my friend asked me, I hesitated on saying yes for a couple of reasons.  She wanted to see Twilight and I have not yet read the book.  I usually don't watch a movie based on a book unless I have read the book first.  Books are always better, in my opinion.  Even if it is a really good movie, I always seem to like the book more.  Just me.  Another reason I hesitated was because of guilt.  It sounds a little silly since I am a stay at home mom and spend a ginormous amount of time with my girls, but I still feel guilty when on the rare occasion, I go out.  My husband assured me he could handle it (I knew he could) and my friend really needed a friend today, so I went.  
I first learned about Twilight from Jen's blog Tale of Two Coins and I am planning to read the book.  I had actually tried to borrow it from my sister last week, but she had lent it out to someone else.  I will probably end up buying it myself.  I love books and although at first I wasn't really interested in reading Twilight, I was sold with people's reviews about how great of a book it is to read.  At first, it just didn't sound like a book I would like. Well, let me say that I loved the movie!  And if my theory of the book always being better is true, I know I am going to just love the book.  The whole vampire thing is so not my thing, but the underlying love story was great!!!  
One last thing... I was reading Angie's blog tonight and thought I would pass along the Soles 4 Souls project of collecting 50,000 pairs of shoes for those in need.  A donation of $5 buys two pairs of shoes.  Especially with the holiday season on us, $5 seems like a really easy donation to make that would allow two people to get much needed shoes.  After all, so many people easily spend that much every day buying a fancy coffee.  Please consider donating.  It will do someone's feet good and your heart good! 

Saturday, November 22, 2008


MckMama is having a Small Fryday contest.  I love reading her blog and have been a daily reader for months now.  I found her blog through Bring the Rain and was hooked after my first reading. I have spent countless hours going back through her blog and reading past posts.  I like her writing style and her story telling abilities.  It is easy to feel her emotions through her words whether it leads me to tears or rolling laughter! Her MSC * (many small children) are beyond adorable and provide her with many posting subjects!  MckMama's faith and trust in God and His plans for each of us has deeply affected me.  I have done much reflective thinking and praying about my own faith, which I used to consider to be strong.  I have a renewed faith and hope in God's plans for me and have been inspired by MckMama's faith and the miracle of Stellan (a.k.a. mckmuffin) as a result of reading her blog.  My faith in God and my daily effort to trust in Him has undoubtedly been strengthened. 
I would suggest to anyone to take some time (for me it is usually during nap time for my two little ones or after bedtime) and read through MckMama's blog.  You will cry, laugh, smile, and most of all, think about so many things....which will hopefully lead to a better you! 

Thursday, November 20, 2008


This has been a crazy week.  Actually, most of my weeks are crazy.  In my head, I just have this little range of craziness I use to "grade" the level of crazy for the week.  Like, surprising good- low crazy level, or the usual hectic crazy level, or the terrible pulling - my hair out- crazy level.  This week started out at the usual level and has since escalated to the pulling my hair out level.  Not good.  
As a side note, I decided that I will refer to my oldest daughter as Princess and my youngest as Precious.  They are terms of endearment and yet can also convey a certain amount of sarcasm giving the day/hour/moment.  I tend to have a sarcastic side on occasion. 
Princess is three years old and is quite the complex little girl.  I should back up a little...
We are approaching the three year mark of the day we got the call from the social worker telling us that we had been chosen as a possible adoptive family for Princess.  I truly believe I was in shock for weeks afterward.  I couldn't believe my wish, my dream was coming true.  We had battled with infertility for about a year and a half and had just the day before the phone call started the process leading up to an IVF.  I had mentally gotten myself ready for all of the drugs, appointments, tests, and high hopes that I knew would go along with the IVF.  We had done many unsuccessful months of various drugs and unsuccessful IUI.  I was at such a low point in my life.  It seemed like everyone around me- friends, family members, and every stranger I saw was pregnant.  Honest.  I would go to a store (or worse- the mall) and I swear everyone I saw was pregnant.  Or at least that is how it seemed to me.  What was wrong with me???  I went through the rollercoaster of emotions: hopeful, depressed, angry, downright annoyed.  I had to suck it up and congratulate those I knew who were pregnant upon hearing their news.  And to be honest, deep down inside, I really was happy for them.  I would never wish the pain and heartbreak of infertility on anyone.  I just couldn't understand why I wasn't able to get pregnant.  
So, when that phone call came, my head started to spin and didn't stop wait, there are days I am still waiting for it to stop.  haha
We adopted Princess from the foster care system in our state.  We had taken the classes and gotten licensed during the previous year when we started to realize that getting pregnant to start a family might not happen.  Being adopted myself, I was very comfortable with the idea. And my husband (haven't really thought of a good code name for him yet...working on it though) really warmed up to the idea of adoption.  
It was a whirlwind process of adopting Princess.  She came with one TPR (termination of parental rights) in place and they were waiting for the other TPR to be done by a judge within a month or two of her placement with us.  We were assured that her case was a very low risk one just as we requested.  We weren't comfortable with any high risk cases.  My heart had been broken too many times by that hated pregnancy test stick.  I knew I could not handle having a child placed with us and then having it taken away.  
Looking back, knowing what I know now, I would have had a lot more questions for the social worker.  I would have read a lot of books.  I would have done a lot of things differently with Princess.  But I would never change our choice.  I would still jump at the chance to adopt such a blessing.  I thank God everyday for the gifts He has given me and she is at the top of my list.  
I meant for this post to be about Princess.  I think it ended up all over the place.  And my posts all seem to end up longer than I had intended them to be... oh well, I'm still new at this blogging thing.  I will write a future post all about my little girl, Princess. 

Monday, November 17, 2008


I have been reading this blog, for many months and have been following Adrienne's story very closely lately as she and her husband prepare to adopt a second child into their family.  She and I even emailed once about some questions I had for her regarding her upcoming adoption.  H. and I are strongly considering adopting again, so I am naturally curious to hear about other's experiences.  
Today's post from her has my heart breaking and my stomach aching for her and her family. Please pray that the adoption goes through for them and God blesses them with their sweet little baby girl.  

A phone call

Yesterday I spoke with my birth mother on the phone.  There are times I still can not believe that I can even say that.  I was adopted at the age of ten weeks old by my parents and I consider myself so blessed that they are my parents.  They adopted my younger sister two years after me.  My sister and I were always told that we were adopted.  It was never something that was hidden or something to be ashamed of or embarrassed about. I am so grateful for that.  We celebrated our "anniversary day" as well as our birthdays in my house.  Our anniversary day is the day that my parents were able to take us home from the adoption home/orphanage.  My mom always made a small cake on that day and we talked about how lucky all of us were to be a family.  I treasure those little celebrations as times that built up my self identity and self esteem.  Growing up, I really didn't know anyone else who was adopted other than my sister.  I'm sure that there were others throughout my school years who were adopted, but it's not like I introduced myself as being adopted.  That would be weird.  It would also be implying that I was different somehow in a bad way.  Don't get me wrong.  I have plenty (too many actually) of experiences with someone implying being adopted was a negative thing.  Maybe someday I will write about some of them, but not today.  
Even though I grew up feeling secure about being adopted, I could not help but wonder about things.  I had some questions.  Okay... a lot of questions.  I don't really believe someone who is adopted who claims that they never thought about things while growing up. I would often wonder what "she" was like, what "he" was like, what happened that lead to my being given up for adoption.  But more importantly, the one question that haunted me was, "does she ever think about me".  I don't know why exactly this question was so important to me, but it was. Maybe I needed to think that I wasn't some awful painful memory that had been driven away. Maybe, even worse, I needed to know that I wasn't forgotten because "she" didn't care.  
Five years ago, I "found" my birthmother.  I used a person who does that kind of thing.  At the time, I did it because I was having a lot of health problems and the doctors had yet to figure out what was wrong with me.  I thought if I just had that huge missing piece of information (my medical history), things might make more sense to the doctors and then they could help me feel better quicker.  It was such an emotional experience to make that first phone call and to hear a voice on the other end that I felt should sound familiar to me, but didn't.  It was a very bumpy start to something I now like to refer to as a special friendship.  The communication was so awkward at first that we went almost three years ( I think) without any communication.  Then my mom gave me an article in a newspaper about an author who wrote the book, "The Girls Who Went Away".  I ordered the book and read it.  All I can say is wow.  It was a very difficult book for me to get through and I love to read and usually can read very quickly, but not that book.  I found some chapters mentally exhausting for me to wrap my thoughts around. However, it was one of the best things I could have done for myself.  I found so much understanding and sympathy for my birthmother after reading that book.  I gained a new, important perspective on what she must have gone through having given birth to me in the early 70s.  It was not a very understanding time, especially in a strict Catholic Italian family.  
After reading the book, I decided to write her a very heartfelt letter and told her about my two girls.  At the time I wrote the letter, dd1 was 2 and 1/2 years old and dd2 was about 4 months old.  I figured if my birthmother responded to the letter, then the communication between us would resume.  If she didn't respond, then I would respectfully leave her alone and not try to communicate with her again. I basically told her this at the end of the letter.  Six weeks later, I received a letter back from her.  I had told myself that I had made peace with whatever decision she made, but boy did I feel relief and happiness after receiving her letter to me.  Since then, we have exchanged many emails, photos, and have had many long phone calls.  It is different this time and I think it is because of the letter I wrote to her after reading that book.  It is more comfortable.  It still has its awkward moments on occasion, but those are rare.  We haven't met in person yet.  She lives pretty far from me and it would require a plane ride which just doesn't fit in my life yet and hasn't fit into hers yet.  We are however making plans to meet next summer provided our lives allow it to happen.  
Talking with her on the phone yesterday still feels so surreal sometimes.  We have no problem talking and the conversation flows easily which is nice.  It is usually after I hang up the phone and think about it, that a little smile emerges and I feel so thankful.  I thank God every night for all of the people in my life who love me and my family and I am so thankful to know that my birthmother is one of those people.  

Saturday, November 15, 2008

My introduction

I have been working on getting this blog ready now for a couple of weeks and decided I should write my first post to introduce myself.  I have been reading blogs for about six months and it has turned into quite a habit.  I had no idea how addictive it would become for me!  I find that I get inspired and motivated from reading other's blogs.  Sometimes they make me think, sometimes they make me cry, and sometimes they make me laugh.  After doing a lot of thinking lately, I came to realize that I have so many blessings in my life and thought it was time to start writing about them. I don't know if anyone else will ever read this blog, but it will be good for me to journal about all of the things in my life.  
I am a 36 year old wife and mother.  I am also a teacher, but have decided to be a full time stay at home mom since starting our family three years ago.  This blog will be about myself and my family, although because I am a private person, I will not be using any real names.  My H. (husband) is 39, my oldest daughter(dd1) is three and her sister (dd2) is 22 months old.  I am a busy mom of two beautiful little girls who both have some special needs.  My dd1 is adopted and my dd2 is biological, but my heart sees no difference between the two.  I myself am adopted, so I have an interesting perspective as both an adoptee and as an adoptive mother.  In the past ten years, I have fallen in love, gotten married, got a full time teaching job, H. and I bought a house (before the market got crazy-yay!), I dealt with a serious illness that was later diagnosed as ulcerative colitis, I dealt with infertility and subsequent treatments, H. and I became licensed to adopt and then adopted a four month old little girl, I shockingly found myself pregnant three months after our daughter's adoption was finalized, I "found" and began building a friendship with my birth mother, I have learned a lot about PDD, sensory processing disorder, developmental delays, severe colic and reflux, and being a very busy mommy!  
I am passionate about my family, especially my children, my faith, breastfeeding, and attachment parenting. Some things I love doing are cooking, baking, reading, crafting, journaling, and organizing.  I don't get to do all of those things much anymore, but I do what I can when my crazy life allows it.  
I recently made the decision to start every day with an optimistic attitude that each day will be a "glass- half- full" kind of day.  Some days I am more successful with that attitude than others, but I am trying my best every day.