Sunday, December 18, 2011

On Remembering


Hi friends!  Can we talk?

I have been thinking a lot about how our little family will be changing soon.  And I have been thinking a lot about how the birth of our baby will not only change our lives, but the lives of those around us.  So many of you have been such a support to me, and I want you to know that I am still mindful of our friends who are still waiting.  Something that is very important to me is that I don’t forget. 

I don’t want to forget the things I have felt or the things I have learned.  I know it hurts.  Infertility sucks.  I’ve been there!  Heck, I AM there!  I am SO grateful for the little miracle that is coming into our lives.  I am in no means diminishing how grateful I am for our baby when I say that infertility is still hard.

That’s not to say that we aren’t over the moon excited.  We are.  That’s not to say that my infertility pain will still be as great as someone who still waits with empty arms.  It won’t.  In spite of infertility, I still get to be a mom.  Adoption doesn’t cure infertility, but knowing that I can be a mother takes away a lot of the sting.  

I guess my point is that even though we are expecting our little miracle in a few weeks, I haven’t magically forgotten all of the pain from the past several years.  Nor would I want to.  I don’t say that in a “wallowing in self pity” kind of way, rather a “I know it’s hard and I’m still there for you” kind of way.  One of the things I struggle to understand is how people who at one time struggled with childlessness/infertility can seem to lose the sensitivity towards others that they used to desire for themselves.  I really don’t want to be that kind of person. 

So I have spent a lot of time trying to figure out how to strike a balance between voicing our excitement and allowing others to share in our joy, while remaining sensitive that our good news can also be hard news for some.  And then I worry that by telling all of you this, you might think that I am being too egocentric by thinking what I write here on my little blog even matters that much one way or another.  I overthink things.  It’s a gift.  But I did want to tell you how I’m feeling because you DO matter to me and I DON’T want to be a stinker.  I want you to know I’m trying. 

I found some articles that really helped me to process all of this.  The first is from An Infertile Adoptive Mom.  This was one of my favorite parts:

The main thing I wanted to get across to the audience was that they did not have to "get over" their infertility in order to choose adoption. I felt like this was the best gift I could give them. It was permission for them to still be grieving their biological child while rejoicing their child who would be theirs through adoption. I told them it was OK if they still didn't want to attend baby showers, baptisms, certain family functions, or to be around pregnant women. That didn't mean that they shouldn't adopt. It means that they are infertile and always will be. That is what they have to accept.”   

Jill (from the Happiest Sad) also wrote an AMAZING blog post (it was actually a copy of her presentation from FSA) on grief.  You really should read what she had to say.  It was so insightful to learn more about grieving from a birthmother’s perspective.  And it reminded me again that even though our experiences are different, our emotions are universal.  One thing that Jill said that really stood out to me was this:

“I should also mention that you may experience several of these feelings at once. It is possible to feel more than one emotion at a time. It doesn't mean you're crazy. It means you're human. You are absolutely allowed to feel happy for someone and jealous of them at the same time. You can feel sad and happy at the same time (and I'm the "happiest sad" chick, so trust me on this one). You can feel grateful and impatient. You can feel depressed at the same time you feel a lot of love.”

Perhaps my take home message is that I know that we are all down here on earth together to help one another.  Even if my wait is winding down, I hope that I can use the things I have learned to help lift someone else.  I want to always remember. 

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Made My day

I am lucky because I get to work with the most adorable elementary school students each day.  I love my job as a tutor; it is so rewarding for me to watch my little students enthusiasm for the progress they are making.  They get so excited when they are finally able to grasp a concept or answer a problem correctly.  I love watching those “light bulb” moments. 

One of my student’s asked me out of the blue one day, “Mrs. Blake, what are your fop five favorite bugs?”  I had to think for a while before supplying her with an answer.  I admit I found her question a little unusual, but kids come up with some pretty funny questions sometimes, so I didn’t think much of it. 

The next week she excitedly told me to close my eyes while she pulled a surprise for me out of her backpack.  This was her surprise gift to me:


My heart just melted.  She worked so hard to make such a thoughtful present for me; I know she spent a lot of time on drawing, coloring, and cutting out my favorite bugs.  I should have taken a close up, the little butterflies and bumblebee have eyelashes.  SO cute! 

So today this same little girl told me that she had a Christmas present for me.  She gave me a very thoughtful gift, which her mom helped her pick out, along with a handmade card.  I didn’t take a picture of the front, but here’s a peek at the inside:


She told me she prepared two fun activities for me.  I get to draw a nose on Rudolph (he’s pulling Santa’s sleigh in case you can’t tell), and I get to draw hair on the snowman. 

Adorable right?

This may be my favorite Christmas card I have ever gotten.  It totally made my day. 

Well, I’m off to go draw hair on my snowman. 

Nighty night. 

Monday, December 12, 2011

Extra Extra

Hello friends!  I don’t know if you heard our good news.  Hop on over here to read all about it.

Sunday, December 4, 2011



Even though it sounds horrible to admit, Sundays can be one of the hardest days of the week. 

Most of the time, I have a really positive attitude when it comes to adoption.  I am not at all shy when it comes to sharing my feelings about adoption with friends, family, or even the check out lady at the grocery store or person sitting next to me on the airplane.  I love it!  Adoption can be such a beautiful, wonderful thing!  I truly believe that.  I have seen miracles happen and I have seen so many lives blessed through adoption. 

Recently one of our friends commented to me, “You seem really open about discussing your experiences with adoption.”  It was one of the nicest compliments I had ever received.  I am so passionate about sharing adoption information because so much of the information out there is inaccurate or less-than positive.  I’m not generally a very, shall we say, talkative person by nature, so that our friend recognized how strongly I feel about adoption meant a lot.  Being open about most things does not come naturally to me, but I am willing to pour my heart into the things that matter most to me.  Adoption is one of those things. 

Occasionally, however, I’ll have days where I feel a little frightened. 

Adoption IS beautiful and IS wonderful, but like any potential parent (adoptive or biological) I sometimes have my worries.  “What if our child makes poor decisions?”  “What if we have lots of contention in our home and have trouble getting along?”  “What if he or she doesn’t like me?”  I know that parenting doesn’t always mean you are going to be “liked”, but I am so grateful for my parents and have a fabulous relationship with them.  They are truly some of my best friends.  I want that someday!  I want my child to have a good relationship with me.  I want them to know how much they were and are wanted.  I want them to know how much I love them. 

These worries are sometimes compounded by adoption fears.  “What if our child one day resents the fact that they were adopted?”  “What if our child is made to feel less than others because they don’t look like us?” “What if our child thinks that we don’t understand where they are coming from because we don’t share the same genes?”  Perhaps some of my concerns are silly.  What can I say, I’m kind of a worrier (Spencer or my Mom will vouch for this.  It’s very very true, bless my heart).  I do know that Satan does NOT want eternal families to be created.  I know that he will try his hardest to work on my fears.

My point is, I have had my days that are dark or discouraging.  I have had my times where I wonder if I can do it.  These days often happen to be on Sunday.  It’s hard to be surrounded by little families, when we want that so much for ourselves.  As a side note there were THREE baby blessings today (buckle up, right?).  They were beautiful blessings.  I was just feeling a little wistful waiting for our turn someday.  I feel like I don’t really fit in.  It is in those weaker moments that fear creeps in. 

It can be hard to live for what you know is right, even when the future can seem a little scary. 

Perhaps my favorite talk in the whole widest world is “Cast Not Away Therefore Your Confidence,” by Elder Holland.  If you haven’t heard it or read it, I urge you to do so now.  I promise it will be well worth your time.  I may or may hot have every BYU devotional given by Elder Holland memorized.  I’ve listened to them so often, I know them by heart.  But this one is my absolute FAVORITE.  In fact, this talk played a role in my relationship with Spencer (but that’s another story for another day).

Here is one of my favorite parts:

There are cautions and considerations to make, but once there has been genuine illumination, beware the temptation to retreat from a good thing. If it was right when you prayed about it and trusted it and lived for it, it is right now. Don't give up when the pressure mounts… Don't give in. Certainly don't give in to that being who is bent on the destruction of your happiness. He wants everyone to be miserable like unto himself. Face your doubts. Master your fears. "Cast not away therefore your confidence." Stay the course and see the beauty of life unfold for you. 

I love to read this talk on the days I may be struggling.  It reminds me that I can do it.  Heavenly Father has confidence in me.  He will help me do hard things.  Our family will come together in the way it was meant to.  More importantly than having confidence in me, I have confidence in HIM.  I know that God keeps his promises.  I also know that there is power in the sealing covenant.  I will not be left alone as I am doing His work and striving to build our family. 

Maybe my child won’t always like me.  Maybe our child won’t always make perfect decisions GASP.  :).  The road to creating our family can be bumpy sometimes; I know that.  There are no guarantees. 

I love the story in Matthew of Christ walking on the water.

25 And ain the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea.

26 And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear.

27 But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of goodacheer; it is I; be not afraid.

28 And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water.

29 And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus.

30 But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was aafraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me.

31 And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little afaith, wherefore didst thoubdoubt?

It’s interesting that while Peter kept his sight on the savior, he was fine.  It wasn’t until he focused on the storm that be became afraid and began to sink. 

The storms going to be there.  One way or another, it just will be.  I can’t do much to change that fact, but I can chose where to put my focus.  Right now I’m trying to focus on Him.

It will be okay.