Saturday, February 28, 2009

8 Months

Until recently, reaching the eight month mark would mean HUGE referral news very soon. But, the big news these days is really nothing new at all...more delays. We are now looking at 11-12 months for our referral. This will give us a late spring/early summer referral, which means that we will likely not make it through court before it closes in August (until October), which also means that we will not be traveling until 2010. OMG, that is soooooo scary to think about right now.

I NEED to think about other things. Things that are more concrete and more fun. So, over the next few months these are the days I will be counting down to:

March 5: My 35 birthday - yikes!
April 9: New Kids on the Block concert...and I can hardly wait to see my dreamy teen crushes again - "oh oh oh oh oh, just hangin' tough" - oh yah, you know what I'm talkin' about.
May 15: Chad and I will celebrate our 10 year wedding anniversary - double yikes! Big plans for that, massage in the afternoon, dinner in the evening, hotel that night, and fancy brunch the next morning...
June 21: Manitoba Marathon. I have started training for the FULL marathon (26 miles). I have ran a few 1/2 marathons, but never the dreaded full - hopefully my knees cooperate. I told myself a long time ago that in my lifetime I would run a full marathon at least once. And this year IS the year. Can't think of a better distraction then that.
June 28: Sara turns 5-years-old - my baby girl starts kindergarten in the fall (not so baby anymore) - triple yikes!

That is as far as I am going, because after the last date we are past our 1 year waiting mark - I just can't go beyond that yet.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Who needs a good chuckle?

Who doesn't need a good laugh from time to time? This gave me a chuckle today. Not adoption related whatsoever; although, the “stuck/helpless” part could certainly be an analogy for how we all feel sometimes in this adoption process. Enjoy, I hope you at least smile.

video

Thursday, February 19, 2009

What if...

What if we did not make the right choice to go international - what if we would already be holding our second child if we would have just stuck out the wait in our domestic adoption - what if we would have been a few months faster with our dossier - what if we would have known the wait was going to be this long from the start...would we have still chosen this path?

I know, I know hind sight is twenty-twenty, don't dwell on the past, what is meant to be will be, blah blah blah....I already know all this, sometimes I just need to try to make sense of all this; it's the way my head works. But I also don't like to dwell on the "what ifs" in my life, because what do I really have to complain about? Is my life really that tragic? This is what I know about my life:

I have a beautiful daughter who fills my life with joy.
I have an amazing, loving, supportive husband.
I am healthy.
I have parents and family who would do anything for me.
I live in a free country, where I can say what I want, when I want.
I have a job. I have a job that I enjoy.
I have no debt (besides the usual - house, car).

I am thankful and so fortunate to have these blessings in my life - So it's taking a few extra years then we thought it would for us to have a family. Yes, it is MY story and MY reality. But is my story really something to write/talk/complain about? When we look back on our life, these years will simply look like a bump along the way - Right?

I need to believe that this too shall pass...

Monday, February 16, 2009

Picture Tag

I was tagged by Lyndsey.

Here is what I had to do:
Go to your fourth folder of photos.
Post the fourth photo you find there.
No editing allowed.

This is Sara's cake I made last June for her 4th birthday. It's not perfect, but it was my first try.

I will tag Melissa, Dae, and Lorie (where'd you go?).

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

"Hope"

“Hope.” A simple word, yet, filled with so much meaning. I most often associate the word hope as something positive. Synonyms for hope include expect, trust, anticipate, wish, look forward to, desire, faith - All words that imply a strong belief in the future.

We use the word hope so freely in day-to-day conversations - "I hope it doesn't rain today." We sometimes use the word to be sarcastic - "I hope you aren't planning on wearing that tonight." We also use the word for things that will probably never happen - "I hope we win the lottery." And we, of course, use it for more significant events - "I hope our baby comes soon."

Hope is nothing more or nothing less then simply having a belief in something that has not happened. There is no guarantee, promise or assurance in hoping. Hope means that we are waiting on or wanting something, that something has not happened yet and there is a chance that it may not. The only guarantee in life is what happened yesterday, not what will happen tomorrow.

So why bother with hope.

Hope gets us out of bed each morning. Hope is sometimes the only thing keeping us going. Hope can never let us down. If you have hope, anything is possible.

Hope is sometimes all we have...

Monday, February 09, 2009

"Expect a summer referral"

That is what I was told today. The funny things is that it didn't even seem to really phase me. I have become numb over the past couple months and have gone into complete denial - I think this is my way of coping and protecting myself from having to feel anything right now.

Numb...not a terrible place to be...I can't feel a thing.

Friday, February 06, 2009

Sara's a star...

Watch quickly, she is the one in the red snowsuit in the first 2 seconds of the commercial spot. This commercial is part of a campaign for a program through my work (that is how she was asked to take part) and will run over the next couple months in our provinice. If you notice, she is trying so hard to keep a smile on her face the whole time. They had to do a few takes because she called out to me during the shoot "Mommy, my bum is cold!"
video

Sunday, February 01, 2009

The Sara Surprise.

I've been wanting to write this post for awhile now, but I knew it would be a long one. However, after my mom's story, it seemed fitting to share my experience of the days leading up to Sara coming home. Plus, it is an absolute comforting distraction from our current wait and will keep me smiling for days.

Tuesday, August 24, 2004: My phone rang at approximately 1:00pm in my office (as it does all day long). "Hello, Laura?" - "Yes?" - "Are you somewhere you can talk?" At that point I really don't remember much about the next 20 minutes. Thank goodness I was madly writing everything down. I cried twice during that phone call - once when she said that there was a birthmom who wanted to meet us and again when she told me that it was a girl!

Of course, there was no work being done for the rest of the afternoon. So, I walked down to The Bay and wandered through the baby section. I picked out the pinkest booties and most girly baby card I could find. Back at my office I printed out the following words on separate pieces of paper - "If you could have one wish what would it be?" I rushed from work to beat Chad home. I set the words at the front door, up the stairs, down the hall, and into our spare room...and waited. What was only about 10 minutes seemed like FOREVER before Chad arrived. I stayed in the spare room with the door closed. I have never heard Chad move that fast in his life - did he even have time to read the words? He burst into the spare room and in front of him was the pink booties on the floor.

I came around the corner and handed him the card. It read "It's a girl...and her name is Sara." We both just held each other and cried. At first Chad was a bit confused about the whole "baby girl Sara" thing, because most of the adoptions that occur at our agency begin when the birthmom is still pregnant, not after the baby is born. So after I explained that, yes indeed, we have a baby girl who is two months old, we began crying again.

We decided that since we only had a week or so before she would be home that we would not tell a soul about our big news. The best word to describe the days building up to her coming home is "numb".

We did not sleep AT ALL that night. We would be lying in bed at night and one of us would say "You awake?" and the other would reply "Yup, wide awake." This continued each night for a week.

Wednesday, August 25, 2004: Back to work, but not much getting accomplished. We called each other back and forth all day long. No sleep that evening either.

Thursday, August 26, 2004: "Match meeting" with birthmom. During this meeting we saw pictures of Sara for the first time - that moment is indescribable. We posted her picture everywhere around the house. No sleep again that night.

The Weekend, August 27-29, 2004: The BUSIEST weekend of that summer - Friday, we drove to Chad's parents for the night (preplanned, or we probably never would have gone) and left late the next morning. Saturday, our friends wedding. Sunday, my parents 35th wedding anniversary celebration. All I wanted to do is sit at home, stare at her picture and scream in delight. People would talk to us, but we could not hear them. People would ask us questions, but we did not answer. We walked around like zombies that whole weekend. And STILL no sleep, that is six straight nights now.

Monday, August 30, 2004: "Details meeting", where we discussed with birthmom about Sara's name and details of the placement. And we found out that we would be meeting Sara the next day at her temporary placement home. Because Sara was an older infant, we were required to spend time with her before she could come home. Do you think we slept that night?

Tuesday, August 31, 2004: We had to drive an hour outside the city to where she was staying. We walked in the house and her care worker said "She is still sleeping, she should be up shortly." - So I'm thinking "Are you kidding me? I am not waiting another second" and slowly started moving my way to the room where she was sleeping. Chad and I both walked in the room and Chad began to cry uncontrollably (funny thing is that Chad does not cry easily, so when he does, I seem to go into protective mode and did not cry much in that moment). Chad picked Sara up and held his precious daughter for the first time...that is when I started crying too. We spend about 2 hours with her that day holding, feeding, changing, starring, etc.

That evening we went shopping for baby supplies and because we wanted to keep her arrival top secret, we drove all the way across the city to shop, so we would not bump into anyone we knew. Even still, as I placed everything into the cart, Chad was the lookout.

Wednesday, September 1, 2004: Gotcha Day. We spent the whole day with her at her temporary home, just being a family. That evening our case worker, birthmom, and Sara came to place her with us in our home. It was surreal; like an out of body experience. After everyone had left and we were finally left alone with our sweet precious baby girl we had our first traditional "Cuddle Time", where one of us yells "Cuddle Time" and we all go running into our bed for a cuddle - it was one of the best moments of my life as a family.

We hopped in the car and headed straight to my parents - they were expecting us, as we had told them the day before that we might drop by that evening to say hello. We walked into their house unnoticed. We could hear my dad on the phone and could hear my mom watching TV. We stood in their front room for a few minutes, waiting for my dad to get off the phone. But when it became apparent that he would be awhile, we decided to walk straight in. Bundled in a bright pink blanket (so there was no mistaking that it was a girl) my dad started babbling to the stranger (his insurance broker) on the phone saying something like "daughter... baby... adopting... here with baby... got to call you back..." and my mom simply took her from my arms and said "We have been waiting for you my sweet girl" and kissed her gently on the cheek. It's almost like she knew, like she could sense Sara's arrival. She is so perceptive and intuitive with her daughters and I often say to her "Mom, you are no fun" because she always just knows.

Next, we headed to my younger sister's. Her and her husband were painting the outside of their house. We parked the car a bit down the street (by the way, in all the excitement we forgot to strap Sara into her car seat on that ride - we started off as such great parents :)). Now, if you know my younger sister, you would know that she is wild, emotional, and a bit unpredictable at times, so as we were walking up the street with Sara, my mom was trying to lure the paint brush from her hands. Too late. She spotted us, carrying our pink bundle. And in the middle of her front lawn she fell to her knees and began crying hysterically. It was exactly what I expected from my younger sister...it was perfect. Her poor husband was in the backyard and (said afterwords) was scared to come to the front.

Next, over to my older sister's house. Her husband and son were home, but she was out. So we all (mom, dad, younger sister, husband, and nephews) just waiting for her to arrive home. You have to know that at that time my grandmother was 92-years-old and not doing very well, so my poor sister immediately thought, when she saw all our cars in the driveway, that grandma had passed away. But when she walked in the door I was standing in front of it with Sara. Ironically, my older sister is quite opposite then my younger sister, more laid back, strong, and steady. But she could not even control herself in that moment. And here is the picture my mom was referring to in her story.

Thursday, September 2, 2004: The next morning, at about 6am, after our first night of sleep after eight days and our first time sleeping with our babe between us, we headed out to Chad's parents, who live about 1.5 hours out of town. When we arrived at there home, they were still sleeping. While Chad held Sara, I was banging banging banging on the door, until Chad's mom finally came to the door. As we walk inside she asked us repeatedly "Whose baby is this?", "Chad, whose baby is this?" and each time Chad replied "Ours mom, she is our baby."

September 21, 2004: In Manitoba, a birthmom has 21 days to change her mind after placement. Even though we felt quite confident of our birthmom's decision, on the evening the 21st day, our family and friends came to celebrate with us and we popped a bottle of Pink Champagne.

And we have been celebrating Sara's arrival ever since. To this day still (in fact, just this morning) one of us will say "I still can't believe it" and we always know exactly what the other is referring to. I don't think I will ever get over it - I never want to.