A “Perfect” First Day of School

This morning was E’s first day of “real” Preschool. She had been in a Preschool environment since April, but today she started a new school that is an actual Academic Institution (literally) and not a daycare. To say it went perfectly means you have to understand my definition of perfect.

E has been home with myself or with a nanny for over 2 and a half years. This has meant that she has set her own sleeping schedule. Because she’s never really been required to wake up at a certain time to get to a sitter or daycare center based off of our work schedules, she tends to sleep in, take a later nap, and go to bed later then most kids her age. This has worked really well for our family. A often works late, and by her being up later has meant she’s gotten some quality time with daddy. This morning however, it backfired, severely.

Last night E had a very hard time getting to sleep. I laid down with her for over 3.5 hours before she finally fell asleep, and even then it wasn’t a deep sleep as whenever I tried to get out of her bed, she woke up and called out for me. In the end, I bunked with her for the night. I think she likely fell asleep around 11:45 or Midnight. This made her 7:00 a.m. wake up call tretourous. Let me simply say that if this was a preview of what we have to look forward to in her teenage years, well, I’m going to need to invest in protective armor considering she won’t be nearly as small as she is now.

On a typical day A will drive her to school since her school is walking distance from his office (which is a godsend). However, since it was her first day, I wanted to accompany them. Can I just say, after being a Stay-At-Home-Mom for the last two years, I have forgotten how horrible rush hour traffic is, let alone rush hour traffic in the rain? (We live in a desert, we don’t get too much rain, but it’s our monsoon season and this morning we got hit with a doozy!) Needless to say, this did not help the mood of the morning.

When we finally arrived to school, E was willing to be content enough to pose for a photo. Don’t let the smile fool you though my friends, plenty of tears were shed this morning:

First Day of School

 

Drop off went well, E has an excellent teacher who is more then equipped to handle helicopter parents (me) and get them out of the classroom quickly in a kind and loving manner.  I know she’s going to have an amazing first day in her new school.

I don’t start school until next week (say what?!) so her two days of school this week mean I have 12 hours of “free” time.  As I began my drive home I was still reeling from the events of the morning, somewhat disappointed that we had such a rough first day, that I spent this morning having to fight to get her ready instead of babbling on and on with her about what a wonderful first day she’d have.  Until, I drove by this:

1332870092-1-phoenix-childrens-main-hospital-entry-528x346

 

It’s our local Children’s Hospital.  The same one E spent countless hours, days, and nights in until we finally got her illnesses under control.  And I realized that on the other side of those walls were parents who would give anything to have had the ability to fight with their children as they prepared them for their school day, because it meant they were healthy enough to go to school.  And I thought of Jennifer.  And I thought of all of the waiting mama’s on the adoption boards I belong to and how they so desperately yearn for a child to “fight with” because that means they’re a parent.  And then I felt like a douche bag for setting unrealistic expectations.

So, while today may not have been the perfect first day of school according to Pinterest, or Facebook, or all the Mommy Blogs out there, it was perfect for us.  It was perfect for my baby girl who is a strong willed, determined, “do it in my own time” independent little girl.  A little girl who calls me mama, a title I am blessed beyond measure to have.

 

Posted in Baby E, Confessions, Day Care, Dream Come True, Personal Reflection, Taking Care of E | 1 Comment

It’s Not Fair.

I have about a million other things I need to accomplish this evening, but I have to put these feelings I’ve bottled up into words and release them before I allow them to darken in my heart rotting my soul.

As I’ve previously mentioned I went to a pretty bad place a few months ago, a place of disparity and angst. One that I thought I had reclaimed in my battle with infertility and trials of parenthood. It turns out, I may have won a battle, but the war will continue indefinitely as I see it.

And so, to keep myself ahead of the war, I’ve come here. To express the feelings I’ve been to ashamed/afraid/humiliated/proud (pick your favorite emotion and insert it because I’ve likely felt it) to say for too long in hopes that letting them out will loosen their grip on my heart.

It’s ironic too, because I feel like this disparity hits me when I’m at a peak of confidence. Maybe that’s why they hit me, because Satan so badly wants to claim me. Because misery loves company and he’s likely the most miserable of us all. Just yesterday I was expressing how content I was in our journey, how at peace I was with where we were at in trusting that it wasn’t in my control, so I could simply roll with it. Yesterday I was at peace knowing God would provide a child for our family if and when He made a child to match our hearts.

And today, that peace disappeared. I’m not quite sure why it did. It started so simply and it quickly snow balled into something different. At the root of it came the same phrase I’ve muttered over and over for years.

It’s not fair.

I realize that life isn’t fair, and by making that statement I likely sound like a high school drama queen. I own that. I don’t want to revel in that sentiment for months, or weeks, or even days. So, I’m saying it. And I’m saying it knowing that as horrible as I may feel about my “unfair” situation right now, I could easily think of a dozen people who are in an equally or more so “unfair situations”.

But for this moment, I’m claiming my situation unfair.

I feel like I’m being punished. I feel like God is not providing the child I so desperately want right now because He doesn’t think I’m worthy. I feel so alone in the journey, and feel like A & I are alone because we’re not worthy of having the support other’s have. I am so ashamed of the way I feel because I know how blessed I am to even have E. I have such an internal conflict of emotions and feelings raging in my head that I’m almost certain that if anyone else caught a glimpse of what was “going on” up there, they’d have me committed because it certainly cannot be normal to be in such a conflict with yourself.

When I attended Created for Care this past March, the worship band included Crowder’s song “I Am” in their line up. When one of the musicians introduced the song, he stated that sometimes in our relationship with God, it’s not just about us holding on to Him, sometimes, it’s about Him clinging so desperately to us. On evenings like this, when I feel like a feather is all that it would take to push me over the edge, I literally play the chorus over and over and over again in my mind:

I am, holding on to you.
I am, holding on to you.
In the middle of the storm, I am holding on, I am.

And I focus on one simple prayer:

Hold on to me oh Lord, please, don’t let me fall.

Posted in Adoption, Amazing Husband, Baby #2, Baby E, Fear, God is Faithful, Infertility, Personal Reflection | Leave a comment

Why I Will (at least for now) Always Return to Walt Disneyworld: The really long back story.

I’m sure it doesn’t come as a surprise to you that the months leading up to our trip were pretty rough for me emotionally and therefore also on my family.  I was overcome with intense desperation and fear and it quickly grabbed a hold of me and dragged me down deeper then I even care to remember right now.

I saw a doctor, I saw a counselor, I spoke to a few friends who understood what I was feeling.  It took a while but I finally started to claw my way out of the trench I had been drug into.  After meeting with my (amazing) primary care doctor for a few hours one afternoon about everything and trying to decide a more permanent course of action he recalled a video a colleague had sent him regarding eating lifestyles for women with endocronological (is that a word?) disorders like PCOS (which I have), Diabetes (which I do not have, and do not want), Insulin Resistance (which PCOS can cause), etc.  I watched the video and while I was skeptical at first, I was willing to try anything.  Low and behold…it worked and it worked fast.  In less than a weeks time I felt more emotionally balanced and stable then I had felt in months.  And while I had already started to climb out of my whole (which I’ll likely delve into more later I suppose) this change was like someone strapped a jet pack on me that launched me out of the hole with a vengeance.

I say all this not to word vomit to you about this lifestyle change I made, but because the last time I left you, it was pretty obvious that I was not in a good place.  And I want you to know that place resonated with me for a lot longer then I would have liked it too, but I also want you to know that I got out of that place before we took this trip, and I feel that’s really important to the outlook my little family of three had that week.

For my husband, his wife was finally smiling and happy and enjoying herself again.  And if you only know one thing about my husband, know that he would sacrifice anything to see his ladies (myself and E) happy.

For my daughter, mama was happy and playing and believing in magic, and even at her ripe old age of 3 (even though we may have told Disney she was just under 3…) she was fully aware to the change in my mentality and personality.

For me, I could finally feel the magic again and really, that’s what Disney is all about right – the magic?

We left for this trip excited not for the attractions, or Mickey Mouse, or dining experiences, or even Dole Whips we left purely excited for the fact that after a long, daunting few months we had a week of freedom to enjoy as a family no work or school, no appointments or commitments, no distractions, a week as the T family purely to explore and enjoy our time together.

And that my friends, is exactly what my little family needed.

Posted in Amazing Husband, Baby E, God is Faithful, Personal Reflection, Vacation | Leave a comment

Why I will (at least for now) Always Return to Walt Disney World – It Begins.

I know, I know.  Clearly I am an indecisive woman.  I spent months telling you all the reasons why I would never return to Disneyworld and now I’m telling you I’ll always return, it’s madness I tell you, pure madness.

My family and I just returned from the most amazing week long Walt Disneyworld stay I could ever have imagined.  It was the polar opposite of our trip in the fall.  It was the trip to end all trips.

And I spent half of what I spent on my fall trip on this trip.  (Ironic how that works, isn’t it).

Anyway, I have a lot of back story to fill in before I go into detail on this trip, but if you’re intrigued as to what on earth could have possibly happened that warmed my heart to Walt Disneyworld, stay tuned, you won’t want to miss it!  Our story includes a couple of Frozen princesses, a mine train, lots of Vitamin D, and a few Star Wars friends.

For now I leave you with this, pure and utter joy.

wd056wdw201416485903006_6997577144_18

Posted in Personal Reflection, Vacation | Leave a comment

Desperation

For the last month or so I’ve been in a place that is completely foreign to me, a place I thought I had returned my entry pass a long while ago.  It’s a place I don’t want to be, a place I know brings nothing but pain, sorrow, and misery, it’s not a place worth living in.

And the devil knows it.

When I reflect back on the events that have brought me the most happiness and unconditional love, the easiest thing for me to identify is that it took relinquishing my addiction to control (which is quite frankly an awful, ugly process) and coming to peace with not only what may be, but with what is right in front of me for the next chapter in my life to present itself.

The love of my life: I met A 7 days after ending a more than year long relationship with a man I was twitterpated with, a man I thought was the love of my life, a man who quite frankly wasn’t worthy of my time let alone my heart, but when he ended our relationship with me I was devastated, cried for days.  I thought I was unlovable among many other things.  But then, just a few days later, The Lord brought me my husband, a man who most days I wonder how I am worthy of his love.

My dream come true: The day before we found out about E my drawn out internal struggle over being able to procreate came to a head and lead to a break down on the freeway (emotional, not an actual vehicle breakdown).  A point when I felt like my lifelong dream of becoming a mother would never happen.  A point when I had reached and challenged every single relationship I had be it personal or professional over my inability to grasp why I was failing so miserably at the most primal thing a woman is designed to do.  And yet, less then two months to the day of that break down and finally relinquishing control, I was a mama, to the most amazing baby girl in the world.

My addiction to control is a hold the devil has over me and he knows it.  It’s a hold he will fight like hell before he has to relinquish bringing me nothing but a life full of insecurities and bitterness trashing the relationships I love and value most.  I think this recent turn of events caught me off guard because for so long I was so secure in believing that The Lord had an amazing story in mind for our family.  I was so certain of His ability to move mountains to bring our babies to us.  I believed with every core of my being that He would not forsake me.

Until I didn’t.

And as soon as I allowed the smallest sliver of doubt to creep in, Satan knew…he knew and he flourished on it and now I find myself in this bottomless pit of despair clinging to even the smallest grapple I can find to keep myself from sinking further and further into the oblivion of darkness with one simple prayer.

Heavenly Father, can you hear me, have you forgotten me?  I beg you Father, please come back to me.

 

 

Posted in Amazing Husband, Confessions, Fear, Personal Reflection | Leave a comment

The Words In My Head

I’ve been mulling over how to write this post for days, but just can’t seem to find the words to say.  I still don’t know that they’re the right words, but I know that I have to get them out.

I feel like every day I wake up thinking it’s going to be a better day, that I can bask in appreciation for all the abundant blessings I’ve received and I usually can last a good portion of the day until at some point I’m caught off guard, emotionally triggered, and set off on an emotional tail spin leading me right back at ground base zero with some sort of comfort food that’s going straight to my ass in hand.

The act of adoption is beautiful.  The process of adopting is so, so hard and so broken.

As an adoptive parent I’ve never felt like I’ve missed out on carrying a child in my womb.  I don’t envy women who are pregnant and I don’t feel like my relationship with my daughter would be any different if I would have given birth to her.  I was lucky, I felt her kicks, I saw her on an ultrasound screen, I heard her heart beat in the womb and I was there the day she was born.  My daughter has not known any other mother but me, so I’ve never felt jaded that she didn’t grow in my womb.  I realize how lucky I am as not all adoptive mother’s get to experience these moments waiting for their children to come to them.  I say all this to hopefully get across the message that I do not look at pregnant women and think, “oh, I wish I was them”.

There is however, one thing that I have begun resenting about women who carry their children in their wombs.  One thing that has begun to eat away at my soul.

Their confidence.

I don’t mean confidence in their body’s that may or may not exist or their confidence in their ability to parent.  I mean their confidence in getting to publicly announce their pregnancy, their confidence in getting to nest and prepare for their children, their confidence in adding a new child to their family and how they get to share it with the world.

In adoption, you don’t get that.  In the “matching” phase, you don’t know if you’ll be picked by an expecting birth family.  You’re thrown into a pile with a variety of other potential adoptive parents while birth parents review photo’s of you, your home, letter’s from friends, etc in making the heart wrenching decision if you should parent their child.  When you are, you get “THE” call.  When you aren’t…you get “that” call.

And no one knows that you’ve just been rejected by a family to raise their child.  And sometimes you know things about the other family (ies) that also submitted their profiles, and sometimes those things make your core ache, and then you find out that regardless of those horrible things, at the end of the day they are still the ones who are going to parent this precious baby, and you try not to take it personally – but how do you not take it personal when your seemingly healthy, happy, loving family is passed up by people who make your heart wrench.  How do you not analyze every.single.thing about yourself and wonder how or why the alternative is better than you.

But you can’t share that this is happened, because then you have to explain to people that you were passed over for people who 95% of the country would say are disgusting human beings.

And then, you’re thrown into social media where all around you women you love and care about are beaming and glowing about their pregnancy’s and literally every.single.woman who could be pregnant in your social circle is.  And you’re SO happy for them because you know those babies are going to be so loved.  And you’re so broken because your reminded that it’s a confidence you’ll never have and the raw gut wrenching emotion in the depths of your soul is the example of why, because in the adoption process, rejection is common, and this likely won’t be the last one you face.

And then you remember that you weren’t good enough to be picked over nasty people.  And you try to tell yourself that your God is a mighty, powerful, and wonderful God.  That each step you take is a step to your complete forever family, that He moves miracles, and this is a piece to your miracle and you start to feel better momentarily until you’re suddenly immersed in babies again.  Everywhere.  And you find yourself breaking down and balling in a baby store shopping for a gift, thankful for the kind strangers who don’t know your story, but know your pain.  Strangers who in a single moment of pure kindness provide more comfort and support then people you’ve entrusted for years.

And you start to wonder not only why am I doing this when I have an amazing and beautiful daughter, but rather how can I continue doing this.

And suddenly your prayers turn from “Lord, if you have other children for my heart, please bring them to me.” to “Lord, please take this off my heart.  Let me be happy and satisfied with my beautiful child.  Lord take this desire from my heart” and you pray it as fervently and with as much reverence as you prayed for the child you just tucked into bed.  Because your heart can no longer stand this type of rejection, this type of pain.

And truthfully, neither can your ass.

 

Posted in Adoption, Baby #2, Confessions, Personal Reflection | Leave a comment

He Has Not Forsaken Me

Tomorrow my sweet little girl turns three and while I’m full of emotions just typing that one statement, I can’t help but allow myself to think back to this night three years ago, the night before her very first ever birthday.

It was a Monday. There was nothing really notable about March 28th, 2011 other then the fact that it was the last day that we were just a husband and a wife, the last day before we became a mama and a daddy. On Friday of the previous week Sam* had asked her doctor for an induction date during her spring break to minimize the amount of school she’d miss, and her doctor agreed. We knew that Tuesday, March 29th our daughter would be born (unless she decided to enter the world sooner).

A & I both worked Monday as we typically would. It was his first day in his new office building and subsequently one of the last 30ish days he’d ever worked for that company (though we didn’t know that at the time). I had a very busy day full of preparing for my upcoming leave. It was a hard preparation though, while some people knew of my impending leave, not everyone did. I kept it that way…just in case. Really, this was the tone for the entire day, I’d catch myself getting very excited about the fact that in just a matter of hours I’d be a mama before having to reign in my excitement…just in case.

After work A & I took Sam out to a carb loaded dinner so she would have her strength and we presented her with a couple of tokens of our love and gratitude. We took her home, we came home, and we sat. I remember sitting at the top of the stair case with Aaron that night thinking, “This is it, either our house will never be this quiet again or it will be all too quiet for a very long time.” With adoption, there are no guarantees. I mean, to be honest we didn’t even know what ethnicity our daughter would be having thought we’d never met her birth father. We felt Sam* was steadfast in her decision, but we couldn’t be for sure and our hearts were guarded because of it.
We packed our bags, not wanting to be too confident that 1) we’d have a baby to stay with and 2) we’d have a hospital room to sleep in with said baby, loaded our electronics, and placed E’s car seat and baby bag in the car. I remember hearing the snap of the infant carrier into the car seat base and thinking to myself I was only making a one-way trip with an empty car seat, it was either coming home with a baby, or it was staying at the hospital.

And then we prayed, reverently. I prayed until sleep and my soul finally met. I prayed for Sam that she’d be given peace in her decision and that whatever her decision may be, that she would make it confidently. I prayed for the sweet baby girl in her womb, my sweet E, that she would enter into a world full of love in good health and without stress to her delicate little body. I prayed for the hospital staff, that they’d accept all of us for our situation and see the beauty in our uniqueness. I prayed for the medical staff overseeing Sam* and E, that they’d make all decisions with their best interest in mind.

I prayed for our hearts. I prayed that we’d have the strength to endure the next few days of uncertainly, that we’d have the courage to love this little girl with our entire hearts placing all faith in The Lord that He would not forsake us, I actually literally prayed the words, “My God, please do not forsake me. My God, please do not forsake me” over and over until I drifted into a place somewhere between being asleep and awake.

And as you all know, my God did not forsake me.

Posted in Adoption, Baby E, Dream Come True, God is Faithful, Personal Reflection | Leave a comment