Thursday, February 27, 2014

Shopping for a Baby Girl

I'm a practical person. I like things that are functional, not fancy.

Having a son makes that easy, because we got a TON of hand-me-downs from my nephew and haven't had to shop for Kal's clothes for almost 3 years. Isn't that crazy?

Now he's growing out of the last of the stockpile and we've been clothes shopping a few times recently. Super easy peasy. Anything that's warm, anything with sports or dinosaurs or trucks on it. He doesn't care, he just wants to play.

Seriously, piece of cake. He's a cutie no matter what.

Then I had the opportunity to dote on a new baby girl! Who didn't end up being my daughter, but I love her all the same. And shopping for baby girl clothes has been a whole different story! All of a sudden my practical-ness went out the window and I just wanted ALL THE CUTE THINGS. Pink, glitter, butterflies, princesses, sassy phrases, flowers, leopard print, dresses, tutus, the tiny shoes with bows, omg - it's all so cute... I can't handle the cuteness. Everything that I've gotten in the mail to send to Miss H has been so friggin' adorable! (Thanks again to everyone who is donating to this!! This has been an awesome service project!)

I seriously don't know what I'd do with a little girl, lol. I feel out of my element. Boys are easy. Girls are so foreign to me! I feel like I would end up spending way too much money on clothes if I ever got a baby girl.

Because of ALL THE CUTE THINGS. Lol.

Like this (eep!):


What are your favorite places to shop for kids clothes?

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

2014 Goals

2013 was cRaZy, yall!

My resolutions last year all circled around the idea that I needed to stretch myself and get out of my comfort zone and throw myself full force back into the adoption ring.

So, that's exactly what I did. We got approved to adopt and totally emotionally threw ourselves into the ring again, only to be shot down in a terribly confusing way - by never, ever hearing from that expectant mother again. Ouch. Then our second match started going awry as well.

I started a business with a friend and put a WHOLE LOTTA time and energy and money into it, but we're having some personality clashes that we didn't have as just friends but now have surfaced as business partners. Ugh. Gotta figure that out.

Anything and everything that was announced in Church, I signed up for. It didn't matter what it was, I was there. I joined the choir, showed up to play basketball and volleyball with some of the sisters, gave blood at blood drives, made meals for families, etc. Went to every meeting. On top of getting a new calling and trying to do my best at that.

I went social-media-free for an entire month (that was hard, ha ha).

Bought a 2nd car all by myself (car salesmen scare me).

Cooked on a regular basis (this is new to me!)

I made myself available to people whenever they needed me. Lots of babysitting and giving people rides.

I interviewed a second time for a company that I really, really, really want to work for, but again didn't get the job.

Plus I kept everything else going: temple attendance, raising Kal (a full-time job in and of itself), regular Date Nights, family nights, keeping our marriage strong, sending pics to Kal's birthmom, doing hair almost every single day (1-4 clients a day Mon-Sat), blogging, journaling...

Etc. Etc. Etc.

I really tried to stretch myself and I had a lot of hope and motivation, but the disappointment of things not working out how I imagined them in my head kinda shot me down and made me lose all my hope and motivation by the end of the year. And I was super burned out. I was doing way too much, but ironically felt like I wasn't doing enough because nothing felt like it was going right. I felt desperate for HOME, so I made a last minute trip to Georgia to help re-fill my tank.

This year, my goals are to:
  1. learn to relax
  2. say "no" more often
  3. don't start any crazy big projects
  4. don't sign up, volunteer, or commit myself to anything
  5. be brave and speak up for myself
This is my year of self-care. Getting healthy because I want to feel good, not to reach a goal. Shaving my legs a little more often, ha ha. Doing my own hair. Doing what I like to do. Reading. Not letting people take advantage of me. Focusing more on myself and my little family. Scaling back on Church service and hair clients. Practicing saying "no" and not quickly following it with an apology. Not investing in friendships that don't benefit me at all (I tend to find "friends" who have lots of problems that I try to fix...).

I need some healing time and I deserve to "take a year." There's a time and season for all things. Having the second adoption fall through so early this year left me feeling free. A clean slate. Nothing committed to. I'm ready to simplify my life, re-focus my priorities, include "myself" in my priorities, enjoy the here and now, and really really learn to relax (that's harder than it sounds for me - I'm always go, go, go!)...

I have no plans, no specific (or huge/unreachable) goals for 2014. And it really does feel amazing, allowing myself to live unplanned, future unwritten. If I can pull off relaxing, enjoying, settling in, being brave, standing up for myself... then 2014 will be a success. I think I can do that. I NEED to do that. Because I haven't been myself. I've been grumpy and sad and preoccupied and hurt. I want my hope back. To get it back, I feel like I need to rest first. Digest what's happened. Settle into the now. Take the necessary time.

Healing takes time.

Camping in the living room. ;)

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Allergy to Baby Oil

I've learned a lot being a first-time parent. Things I've never had to think about before, suddenly I need to know all about. My formerly selfish life (relatively speaking) is long gone and is now consumed with the care and safety of a mini person, who is completely reliant on me for food, clothing, shelter, and love. That's a lot to get used to! Especially after so many years childless and not interested in babysitting anyone else's children ("snot-nosed children," I'm sure I called them).

Anyway, I've made lots of mistakes (totally dropped Kal when he was only months old) and assumptions. One of those assumptions was that things with the name "baby" in them were actually good for babies. My mistake! Baby oil was one of those things. Actually, I can blame Zay for this one. He slathered Kal with baby oil after a bath once (not sure why - guess he thought it was interchangeable with lotion). The next day, Kal woke up entirely covered in a rash. Eyes swollen, skin puffy and red ALL OVER.

I remember thinking he looked like Will Smith in the movie Hitch when he reacted to a food allergy:

Who knew that would happen, right? It says it's for babies!... I looked up "allergy to baby oil" and found out baby oil is pretty much terrible and shouldn't be applied to a baby's skin. Or anybody's skin. And regular Johnson's baby products are loaded with chemicals and really aren't something you should apply to your skin and absorb into your body on a regular basis. Rashes from the mineral oil and/or the fragrance in baby oil are common (because it's not good for your skin).

I didn't take a picture because I remember thinking he doesn't look like my little boy! And it was the one thing I didn't want to document, lol. Poor little guy. We treated the rash with a soothing oatmeal bath multiple times a day to remove as much as the baby oil from his skin as possible. Gave him a little pain reliever. It cleared up in a few days. Hydrocortisone cream would've probably helped as well.

We now avoid any "moisturizer" with mineral oil in the ingredients list... or basically anything we can't pronounce. Much better alternative: coconut oil.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

You Know You're in the South When...

I notice things about Georgia when I visit now, since I'm no longer a Georgian. Things that used to be normal to me... now make me pause and chuckle. I love the South. Totally miss it when I didn't think I would. Ten years into Utah living is making me miss home sweet home (and makes me want to sing "way down yonder on the Chattahoochee!" lol)...

Chattahoochee River with Atlanta skyline

Things I've noticed:
  • in Georgia there are pecans, boiled peanuts, blackberries, and peaches sold everywhere - the best ones are found at side-of-the-road stands
    • in Utah it's hard to find good produce in general, but the peaches are the worst
  • street names: Honeysuckle, Sweetwater, and Peachtree
    • I'm used to the grid system! in Utah, I can find any address just by hearing it... in Georgia I've gotta use GPS or go by landmarks
  • made-up word: learnt (oh, there are many, many made-up words in the South, but I heard this one a lot the last couple trips)
    • Utah has its own made-up words... like "onry"... the word is "ornery," yall! You're pronouncing it wrong and it's been driving me crazy for 10 years!!!
  • on Georgia radio, if it's not country, it's "all I want for my birthday is a big booty girl" (totally heard this when I was riding in the car with my father-in-law, awkward for me - he and my toddler nephew just sang along! ha ha ha)
    • I enjoy rap every once in awhile, but to hear a white radio host on the rap station in Utah just ain't right
  • car seats for kids are treated as optional if you're just "going up the block" (think Britney Spears with her kid on her lap when she was driving in Los Angeles)
    • I wouldn't dare NOT strap Kal in and I'm sure in Utah there are "mommy wars" going on about which car seat is the safest (I can't imagine hearing that kind of argument in Georgia)
  • tractors and riding lawn mowers are just part of traffic in Georgia, everybody goes at a leisurely pace
    • forever ongoing construction is the norm here! and terrible and fast drivers
  • people ain't afraid to tell you how it is (or how they think it is)... passive-aggressiveness, sarcasm, and tact are rare
    • in Utah, I can't tell when someone is being sarcastic or beating around the bush or not... sometimes that causes some miscommunications (especially when people think I'm being sarcastic when I'm really being genuine)
  • just about every black guy has dreads or at one point had dreads... Zay likes to tell his brothers, "Man you ain't never gonna get a job with that hair!" ha ha
    • I see just about as many black guys with dreads in Georgia as I see white guys with side parts in Utah (and white shirts & ties!)
  • I can no longer understand people without concentrating really hard; expressions that have come about in the last 10 years are lost on me (like "I'm feeling some kinda way" - still don't really know what that means)
    • I'm losing my accent! when I first came to Utah, it was THICK and someone even once told me that they thought I was faking a Southern accent because it was so ridiculous; now it only comes out if I stay on the phone with my Mama too long; my heart tickles a little when I hear a good ole Southern drawl
  • there's nothing better than a bonfire or a downpour of rain, either one make me extremely happy
    • I get neither one of these out in this desert!
  • everyone is religious to some extent, or so they say (can't really tell who is religious or not on a Saturday night)
    • everyone here is an "intellectual," but also many are religious and they take it very, very seriously (too seriously); if you're not super religious, you're atheist (don't think I ever knew an atheist in Georgia)
  • a slight breeze outside and everyone has on parkas, hats, scarves, gloves, boots (snow is a cause for a panic)
    • in the dead of winter, I still go outside barefoot in Utah... I'm used to it now; Georgia cold ain't nothing!
  • when I say "I don't drink sweet tea," I get a dumbfounded look... and it's hard to bring up my "no beef or pork" diet either!
    • in Utah, I have many vegan friends and Mormons don't drink tea or coffee, so I fit in... :)
Anyways, I'm homesick and thinking about these things! So glad I got to go home in December, but the trips are never long enough. Utah has been great. I found myself out here, really grew up, learned how to build a strong marriage, got a higher education, really figured myself out spiritually, gained confidence in who I am, developed talents, figured out what I really wanted in life, made amazing friends. But something is calling me home to my roots and it's been on my mind a lot recently.

This isn't really a pros and cons list, just things I chuckle about when I think about Utah vs. Georgia.

EDIT: A friend pointed out I didn't mention the bugs! I can definitely say I don't miss spiders, cockroaches, gnats, and mosquitoes (and other creepy flying insects). Ha ha ha. It took me 4 days to get used to the spiders surrounding me when I visited last. But I did get used to it. :)

Saturday, February 22, 2014

"You Should Just..."

Stop trying to adopt. Have your own babies. 
(As if we're adopting solely for the fun of it.)

Adopt from foster care. Adopt internationally.
(Like we haven't considered all our options or like either of those options are easier.)

Use this agency, or that agency.
(Like there aren't a million agencies and many that require upfront or outrageous fees or only work in their local areas.)

Advertise yourselves more.
(I don't like the idea of having to pimp ourselves out.)

Try IVF. Use a surrogate.
(Hello, expensive. Plus, probably unnecessary. No one jumps right to IVF or a surrogate without exhausting other options.)

Try acupuncture, primrose oil, this that or the other that worked for so-and-so.
(Fertility is complex and personal and one get-pregnant-quick thing doesn't work for everyone.)

Relax. Have faith.
(Because it's my lack of faith that is keeping me from getting pregnant, right?)

Feel lucky you have only one child. Because I have (fill-in-the-blank number of kids) and it's hard!

Be grateful you don't have to go through pregnancy.

Get over it.

( -_- )

Don't you love people's comments?

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Package #1

Yaaaay! I actually had enough stuff to fill up the box and ship it off today. I wish I had more time/money to dedicate to this, but I'm so so thankful for what we've managed to get together in a short amount of time. And I'm so excited that more donations are on their way!

Here's what was sent to Miss H for Baby Girl today:

1 changing table pad cover
2 baby blankets
2 jackets
1 coat
5 pairs of socks
1 pair of shoes
9 onesies (one with the cutest tutu attached)
2 bibs
3 sleep sacks
10 pairs of pants/leggings/jeans
4 pajamas
4 hats
1 headband hairbow
7 shirts
7 dresses
1 pair of shorts
88 size 1 diapers

How cute is this Zebra blanket???

The back of my minivan is my go-to "packing & shipping station."

Package #2 will be sent when enough stuff comes in to fill another box. Thank you to everyone who donated and for those who would if they could! Send me an email if you'd like to participate or have questions. xavierandaliceanne AT gmail DOT com.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Birthmothers Are People Too

I'm so glad people have reached out and donated baby girl clothes and gift cards, etc. to contribute to the package I'm mailing to Miss H. You guys are awesome. :) I'm sending the first package on Tuesday, so I'll take pictures of everything and post about it before then! Anything I get after that will go into a second package. I am humbled by everyone's thoughtfulness and generosity in such a short amount of time for a complete stranger!

I'm really hoping to surprise her with this outreach of kindness. She needs this. She didn't get a big celebration when this baby came along... rather a lot of depression and gut-wrenching heartache. No one deserves that. I refuse to condemn her for deciding to parent her child, even if it meant that our plans to adopt and add to our family had to be set aside for now.

I've been told, "I don't know if I'd be as nice as you are being." But dang yall! Why not?? We weren't nice to her during her pregnancy just so she would give us her child. We were nice because she's a person... with feelings... and she was having a hard time. These women aren't nameless, faceless vessels meant to bring our children into the world for us and then disappear quietly.

Anyway! It's been a ton of fun shopping for girl clothes. All I really know is boys, boys, boys. Since I have 3 brothers and no sisters. My nephew Evander. I've got 3 brothers-in-law (Zay has no sisters either). And then there's Kal. It would've been awesome to have a girl and get to experience that as a mom, but I totally still got to shop for one and spoil her even if she's not "mine" and I'm really, truly okay with that.

I'm not gonna lie and say I haven't cried about any of this. But mostly that's because I wish I had more control in this area of my life. I wish I could just get pregnant on demand and not have to depend solely on adoption to grow my family. I love adoption, I really do. But it has not been kind to us lately. And that's worth a few tears every once in awhile. But I'm okay. I've learned a lot on this journey and one thing I've definitely learned is that this is not the end of the world. Seriously.

On a side note, I saw this absolutely ridiculous depiction of adoption in a Kay Jewelers commercial that left me wondering if this is how the average person imagines it going down? Nothing about it was realistic and it was embarrassing to watch. Back to that nameless, faceless birth mother idea... Where was the birth mother in the story? That's what I wanna know.

I understand you can't show all the intricacies of an adoption in a 30 second commercial, but dang - I think they could've done a better job than this. The moment they portray is not the time to be giving jewelry anyway, in my opinion. If anything, it should have been a necklace given to the birthmama with the baby's name or birth stone or something. That would've made more sense. But... whatever. Big sigh, Kay Jewelers.

Video of Kay Jewelers "Adoption Center" Commercial:

Monday, February 10, 2014

Overcoming Envy

God has a way of leading me directly to the message I need to hear. The moment I need it. Even when I didn't know I was in need. This happens to me quite often and I want to start sharing. :)

Last week, Zay got up in one of our Church's monthly "testimony meetings" and expressed his feelings about people seemingly bragging about being blessed, or putting off the air that we are all racing to or in a competition to get to heaven. Rather than working together and uplifting one another. His testimonies usually turn into some kind of scolding, which I think is funny. But he always has a point and sometimes we need the chastisement.

Comparison from person to person and family to family is a great way to cultivate envy and depression. The grass almost always looks greener on the other side. And sometimes it seems like some people are saying, "I'm more blessed or more highly favored of the Lord than you, so I must be doing something better than you." "Oh, really? You have that problem? I never struggle with that. You should have more faith." "Look at how awesome my life is - you wish your life could be like mine!" Even if those words never come out of their mouth, their social media presence may do it for them.

(I am SO over Facebook, by the way. But blogging is harder to get out of my system!)

I remember the first time I recognized envy in myself. Zay and I felt it at the same time. It was when a certain family member of mine, who was not making very good choices... kept having things handed to him time and time again. And then he got his girlfriend pregnant. UGH. We both were pretty furious about that. He was terrified and didn't see it as a blessing at the time, of course. But we were angry.

Since then, I find it so much easier to compare myself and my life to others and come to the conclusion that I'm not good enough, smart enough, educated enough, pretty enough, accomplished enough. Or whatever. To get the blessings I want out of life. Why are good things happening to them (whoever they are) and not me?

I so needed to see this video. And be reminded that we're all in this together. That we are all family - children of a Heavenly Father. And that someone else's good fortune doesn't diminish my own.

Video of "The Other Prodigal Son":

My favorite quote from this talk:
"One who has heretofore presumably been very happy with his life and content with his good fortune suddenly feels very unhappy simply because another has had some good fortune as well.

"Who is it that whispers so subtly in our ear that a gift given to another somehow diminishes the blessings we have received? Who makes us feel that if God is smiling on another, then He surely must somehow be frowning on us? You and I both know who does this—it is the father of all lies." -- Jeffrey R. Holland (The Other Prodigal)
Steps to overcoming envy from this talk:
  1. start making our way back to the Father
  2. count our many blessings
  3. applaud the accomplishments of others
  4. best of all, serve others ("the finest exercise for the heart ever prescribed")
  5. and remember that God's grace is sufficient... for everyone
God wants us all to be happy and to come unto Him and be saved:
"Behold, hath the Lord commanded any that they should not partake of his goodness? Behold I say unto you, Nay; but all men are privileged the one like unto the other, and none are forbidden." (2 Nephi 26:28)
Quotes from another great talk by Jeffrey R. Holland (The Laborers in the Vineyard) about good fortune and envy:
"... surely the thing God enjoys most about being God is the thrill of being merciful, especially to those who don’t expect it and often feel they don’t deserve it."
"... coveting, pouting, or tearing others down does not elevate your standing, nor does demeaning someone else improve your self-image. So be kind, and be grateful that God is kind."
"Brothers and sisters, there are going to be times in our lives when someone else gets an unexpected blessing or receives some special recognition. May I plead with us not to be hurt—and certainly not to feel envious—when good fortune comes to another person? We are not diminished when someone else is added upon. We are not in a race against each other to see who is the wealthiest or the most talented or the most beautiful or even the most blessed. The race we are really in is the race against sin, and surely envy is one of the most universal of those."
So let's appreciate a little more the things that we have! Stop comparing so much. And coveting so much. Lift another and we'll both be lifted. If we all learn to really love one another, then we have figured out what the Gospel of Jesus Christ is all about! Love, charity, gratitude, service. Not hatred, selfishness, envy, and greed. It is a tendency in all of us to turn inward and focus on what WE want. But to recognize that and to reach out to others whenever envy sets in, we'll become a changed people.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Clingy much?


Kal is totally like a little zombie, I've decided.

Always reaching for me, no matter where I try to hide. I close a door (just so I can pee, geez!) and little fingers poke under it and wiggle around to get me. There's groaning and high-pitched whines accompanied with this. He comes for me with out-stretched arms all day long.

I'm afraid he's trying to eat my brains!

Well, they do feel like they're leaking out of my ears sometimes...

What was I talking about? Oh, yeah...

Being a mother means never having personal space. Little elbows and knees are always digging into me in the softest places. I get accidentally hit, poked, punched, and head-butted on a daily basis. A busted lip here, a bloody nose there. This boy has a HARD HEAD. Being head-butted with that thing is like getting hit in the face with a wrecking ball.

My leg is pulled on. Chants of "C'mon! Mama! C'mon!" and "Mommy, Mama, Mom..." I have to block out while I try to think about what I was trying to do before I got distracted. I walk into a room and then I can't remember why I'm there. See? My brain is gone.

And I'm constantly soaked with something. Catching vomit in my hands, getting peed on, spilled milk, mystery liquids/stains that are suddenly just ALL OVER MY GOOD SHIRT.

He's something. A little clumsy wrecking ball zombie, perhaps.

But with the sweetest smile and funniest personality. :)

Who tells me he loves me and makes me just want to melt into the ground with happiness.

Whose daily request for "hugs!" I never, ever ignore and hope that he will always be so affectionate.

He will be all grown up one day. Off living his life without needing me, his mommy, as much. Hopefully we can teach him to be a very responsible, independent young man by then. These clingy days will be long gone. He's a mama's boy and I sure don't want that to change, but I know it will.

I'll miss these exhausting, absent-minded days. :)

And if he's NOT being clingy and is being suspiciously quiet, I know he's off with my phone, taking selfies somewhere. Like this gem. :)

Friday, February 7, 2014

Easier This Time

A few months ago, I wondered how I would feel if this adoption fell apart. And then it did. And I braced myself for the emotional turmoil. I think I spent a day of self-pity and worked through some anger about it all. But it definitely has felt much different this time around.

We're so glad we didn't travel first before finding out the news that this wouldn't be our daughter after all. Being home made everything so much easier, because our lives weren't put on hold. We just kept going the way things were before... and I love my life and family the way it is, so it wasn't disappointing to continue on.

We feel relieved that it's over, that we got a clear answer, and that we weren't left in the dark about what happened like we were last time. We respect her change of heart, although we don't agree with the reasons for it. But that wasn't our decision to make, so it doesn't matter what we think. We get to see lots of pictures and get updates on her health in the NICU, so... we're good. Closure is coming much sooner with this one.

Focusing on gathering together a package of baby things for Miss H is also personally helping me to move on. It's not like we didn't have an attachment to this child and her mom, so I wanted to do something for them to make this transition a little easier. I feel like it's the right thing to do. I'm actually quite excited about it and I know it will make a difference for her. :)

We're not sure where we go from here, but I'm totally fine NOT having a plan for once.

This is an important year for us! We're celebrating our 10th Anniversary this summer, so I'm thinking we need to do something for ourselves. Take a little time for rest and healing and renewing. I'd much rather be thinking about that than hypothetical future babies! For serious.

Wedding Day 2004 ... Love this guy! ;)

Monday, February 3, 2014

Help for Miss H

Let's say you had a friend. And this friend of yours was having a hard time. I mean, a really hard time. To the point where she almost had to sacrifice her new baby so that her other children could eat and have a roof over their head. A baby she was unprepared for. A baby she did not ask for, but was forced upon her. A baby who she chose life for and now loves more than anything. She could've placed this baby for adoption, but she just couldn't. And she will struggle and she knows it. She's not asking for help, but she'll need it. You need more than love to raise a child.

What would you do for your friend?

What would you do if she wasn't your friend at all, but a stranger? Does that make a difference?

More than 16 million children live in poverty in the United States. You don't have to be wealthy to have a happy life or a good life, but there's a standard of living that I think everyone should have a chance at. Some people don't have that chance. Some people don't know how to get out of the cycle of poverty.

I want to do something for Miss H. I want to show her that there are good and nice people in the world. That there's hope. That there's a chance for her and for Baby Girl.

If we had adopted her, I would've thrown the biggest baby shower ever! I know my friends would've stepped up and brought gifts and showered her and me. And I would have spoiled that little girl rotten... in the best way possible. With all the love and safety and security and opportunities I could give her for the rest of my life. I know she would've had a completely different life with me.

Is that fair?

Is it fair that this same Baby Girl won't get that same treatment because Miss H wants to parent her? NO. She should have better support and resources than she does. It's not fair. A woman should be able to parent her child. Period. This is America. We should have a better system in place.

There should be more options than abortion, adoption, or suffering in poverty.

I don't know how to make America better in general. I don't know how to end poverty or rape or create a better support system for single mothers. But I do know that I can help one child in the short-term. I know I can do that much. WE could do that much, right?

If you would've been all for sending me some diapers or some cute baby girl clothes before... would you do it now for the same child? The only difference is we didn't adopt her? Does she still deserve something, anything?

If you want to help in any way, email me at xavierandaliceanne {AT} gmail {DOT} com with the subject "Help for Miss H." Even if it's just to say, "I'm in!" I'm still brainstorming what would best help her, so share your ideas with me!

EDIT: So it sounds like people will be sending things to me and I'll take pictures of everything (to post later), pack it all up in a big package (or multiple packages if it's a lot!), and send it off in a couple weeks. Diapers are a good idea. And cute girl clothes! She's a premie, but she's a very chunky, healthy premie. So "normal" sized clothes are good. It'll be hot and humid where she lives this summer when she's about 3-8 months old. Email me if you're interesting in contributing to this "virtual baby shower"! :)

I Am Blessed

I know that:
  • God accepts our sacrifices in wanting to be parents, wanting to adopt, and wanting to do it ethically.
  • Being infertile is a trial we have to face in this life, but to have a son despite that is a miracle!
  • Miss H appreciates how kind and respectful we've been to her with her decision-making. Hopefully now that she's sure she wants to parent Baby Girl, we can still contribute to her life in a positive way and help her get on her feet.
  • I love my family just the way it is and have been enjoying every moment of the present lately. "This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it" (Psalms 118:24).
  • The future is a mystery, but if we keep living faithfully we are bound to have some amazing experiences and have the ability to adapt to whatever life throws our way.
  • I am blessed.
It didn't take long for the dominant feeling in our household to be relief. Having this adoption fall through at the beginning of the year while we're still in Resolution/Clean Slate mode has just felt right. Freeing. No tears shed here, surprisingly (yet). Maybe because it wasn't a surprise. I'm pretty sure our first words to each other were a very sarcastic, "Well, who saw that coming???"

We've spent a lot of time thinking about the next child. I know a lot of people do this. Women especially. But I don't want to look back at this time in Kal's life and feel like I wasted my energy and I missed moments. I'm a really active mom with Kal, but I want to be fully present as much as I can with him right now. He'll only be this age once and I'll only get to be a mother to him at this age once. So I'm going to be spending my time enjoying it. Making it magical for him. Embracing my family of 3 and knowing that if this is all the family I ever had, I have been blessed abundantly. And really, I couldn't ask for more.

Last night Kal asked me to go camping. Well, he kept looking up at me and saying, "Make tent. Make tent," and nodding and smiling the way he does when he comes up with a great idea. It was near midnight and he was trying to drag our HUGE 8-person tent out of the storage closet. It was like 10 degrees outside. Lol. I got him to bed because he was exhausted, but today... I'm setting that tent up in the living room. And we're going camping. Because we can.

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