It is my feeling that Time ripens all things; with Time all things are revealed; Time is the father of truth.

Lets talk about time.

I’m not talking about five PM comes before six PM and after four PM. I’m talking about this is your life, and every second ticking by you can’t ever get back. I’m talking about Sunday can’t get here soon enough. I’m talking about June can’t get here soon enough.

Really, Lo, I’m talking about you.

Today the sun is shining beautifully, its sixty-five degrees and outside feels like spring. If you walked out there with no sense of time, you’d be looking for chirping birds, wondering why the trees aren’t blooming and looking out for hidden Easter eggs. But we do have a sense of time, and tomorrow is the first day of February. It’s very confusing (get used to Maryland weather! Marylanders are prepared for anything – snow, sunshine, rain, sleet- any time of year. Except of course Summer, thats reserved for nothing but miserable, sticky, hot humidity. Ugh.) So here we are, tomorrow is February. One month down, the time ticked on. But as RB said last night: February is a big month for us.  It felt so far away for so long, and now its upon us.

Time can be really funny like that. It seems to pass so slowly when it’s coming towards you, but once its passed and you look back on it, it seems like it all went by so quickly. Thats basically how it feels right now in this journey. I feel like that car ride to New Jersey and my mom telling me about you was years ago, and I feel like hearing about how counseling goes on Sunday is years away. In time, a second can feel like a flash or a lifetime. I’m stuck inbetween the two extremes.

Time is funny in other ways too. For instance, when I’m stuck in those eight hours of work the time goes by so extremely s l o w l y. But when I’m at home in my pajamas vegging out on the couch, the time speedsby. When you’re waiting on an important answer, it seems like the moment hangs in the air over your head for an eternity when in reality, its in the flash of a second. But when you’re laughing with friends the hours pour through your hands like a mound of sand. Traveling is no different: you’ll notice one day that getting to an exciting destination feels like it takes a lifetime, and coming home feels like it took half the amount of time.

Time is malleable in our hands, but most people don’t know how to manipulate it. Including me. I wish I could say to you little one that I’m so very clever, that I can take all this time I’m worried and anxious and turn it into laughing, traveling home seconds instead of waiting on an important answer, getting to a great destination crawling hours.

But I can’t. Unfortunately, I’m not as clever as you think. (You do think I’m clever right? I’m going to just pretend thats a yes. Maybe by the time you read this you’ll be eighteen, and I will have learned how to be a much hipper Mom and person than I am now). While I can’t figure out to change it, I think I’ve figured out why it is the way it is. You are the destination. You’re the exotic vacation. You’re the important answer we’re waiting on.

And I have to keep reminding myself what beautiful things time brings to us. Time gives us memories. Time gives us lessons and something to anticipate. Time gives us a sense of being, a connection to others in the world. Time gives structure to chaos and explanation and reason to experiences.

I just can’t wait to reach the destination, because I know watching you grow up into an amazing adult is going to fly by, and I’ll have to consciously soak up every fleeting moment to store in my memory bank.

After all, timing is everything.

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Random Thoughts

Hello little one, its RB again.  I just wanted to write in some random thoughts that I have.  I know Becky has mentioned in here that she would like to be able to breast feed you.  A few weeks ago we heard that they (scientists) have found a way to allow men to breast feed as well, don’t worry I wont put either of us through that.  We have one more day of January left after tonight is over.  Then it is February.  It is the coldest month of the year and the shortest, this year it is a leap year.  This means that the short month gets one extra day and this happens every four years.  The great thing about this one though is that although it is the shortest month, it is also a very big month.  As Becky has mentioned before, it is the month where BM will be counseled.  Also as Becky and I have mentioned it is the month that we will have our first meeting with the lawyer.  Another event this February that is crucial to our journey is the home study, which we need to initiate in February.

No one can tell you enough little one, how much you are loved and will always be loved.

Bad Day…

Oh Little One. Today will not go down as a good day in the books. Luckily, it could have been a lot worse.

It started with a call. It was one of those calls you never, ever want to be on the other end of. It was late in the morning, and RB and I were still asleep. The phone call woke us up, but we couldn’t make it to the phone in time. It was my mom, and she had left a message. RB had went to the bathroom and I listented to the voicemail. It was pretty much nothing but screams, my mothers voice which is always so calm on the other end screaming, “My head, my neck, my car! You need to come NOW! I need you at the house..oh God my car, my head, it hurts, it hurts, COME NOW!”

Of course when we tried to call back, there was no answer, so I threw on clothes and screamed at RB to get dressed, we had to go.

Long story short, my mom got in a car accident right outside of her front door. She was backing her truck out of the driveway to drive her sister home, and just as she was about to put the truck in drive and move along down her street and into a normal day, a big black SUV came barelling down the road at fifty miles per hour and slammed straight into the back of her truck. An ambulance ride and five hours in the ER later  after a few staples in her head, a concussion and lots of bumps and bruises everything is relatively okay.

But its days like these that make you realize that everything in your life can change  in an instant.  And sometimes thats good, and sometimes its bad. And while its easy to fall into an anxiety ridden existance, worrying and wondering whats going to go wrong around every corner, you just cannot think like that. And it drives the point home more and more: I can worry the next six months that you won’t end up as our little one at the end of this, I can think about it every second of every day, worrying myself to death. But you just never know. Unexpected things happen all the time, and life has the power to change in an instant. I have to stop worrying about it and put my trust in faith that it is all going to work out the way its supposed to, for the better.

I am so happy that mom is okay, that tonight she is safe in her bed. And she’ll be sore tomorrow and the next day, but in the end she’ll be okay. And thats whats important. They always say you only get one mother, and its true. Love and cherish your mother, because they will be one of the most important people in our lives. I love my mother more than words could ever express, and I make sure to tell her every single day. (And of course love and respect your father too, they are just as important).

This time next week, BM will have had counseling and we will hopefully know more. This week is going to crawl by for us. But then again, life can change in an instant. 

I’m going to try my best not to worry between now and then. It won’t be easy, but no one ever said life is easy. Everything in this world worth having is worth all the worry in the world, including you little one.

 

Shower Weekend

Short post today sweet little one, as I’m quite tired tonight.

A few things:

1. We told our best friends about you last night. It was a pretty memorable experience. We all had a good long (albiet a little drunken for some of them, haha) talk about how wonderful the situation is. We really do have some amazing friends, and you’re going to have some seriously awesome uncles and aunts in the future.

2. My sisters baby shower was today. And while it was still hard to be there (as it is for any baby shower for us) it was awesome getting to see my sister happy, and that made it all worth it. I thought about you a lot though, and there were a few times I had to stop myself from smiling just thinking about how much you’ll be loved be all these people too.

You are going to be so, so loved. I mean obviously you’ll be craaaazy loved by RB and I, but also by the great people we have in our lives. They already love you (at least the ones that know about you right now) and the ones that don’t know about you are going to fall head over heels in love with you when they realize you’re here.

Is it possible to miss someone you’ve never met? Because I miss you.

 

Until tomorrow little one, sweet dreams.

A Confession…

Let me confess something to you little one. Ready for it?

 

You’ve already changed me.

And you’re not even here yet! But knowing about you, having something to work towards and fight for and make myself a better human being for…its downright amazing. And you’ve done it. I feel like no matter what I have to do to get you in my arms, to get to have the privledge of being your mother- thats something I could move mountains to make happen. And thats not a feeling that comes easy to me these days, little one.

Let me explain something to you. Infertility affects every woman differently. I’ve heard Marc Sedeka, the author of What He can Expect When She’s Not Expecting say that he’s seen women react in weird ways to infertility. That women who were so strong and willful in everyday life would just crumble under the pressure, unable to move and women who were meek and terrified of everyday life somehow grew superpowers and were able to take on infertility with a brave face and an unstoppable ferocity. I am the former. I can handle a lot of crazy stressful things in everday life. I’ve given speeches to governors in front of hundreds of people, I bought a house when I was twenty, I fly through job interviews like its not a problem at all… but when it comes to the crazy scary mixed up world of infertility, I’m frozen. I’m terrified to make a move, like a deer caught in the headlights. Even though I’ve known about my infertility since I was sixteen, when you’re actually in the trenches and trying for years it still somehow manages to catch you off guard, even if you’ve known about it for a long time.

But then here comes this message about you existing and growing only a few hundred miles away, and my entire attitutde does a complete one eighty. Where there was once fear residing in my heart and my mind, now lies hope. The days where I would come home from work depressed, sitting on the couch in a daze of worry and hate for my own body and confusion and despair, that time is now spent researching and organizing and hoping. My entire energy has shifted. The negative space is coming in to the light again, and it feels like a baptismal rebirth of a new beautiful life I never knew could be possible.

Even if you don’t end up being our little one, you’ve motivated me to find the one who is. Because I now belive they are out there. Whereas before I didn’t think adoption was something that would ever be possible, I never researched it or looked into the possibility based on fear alone- now you’ve lit the fire under my heart and soul to make the leap. Now I know this is something that not only can we do, but that we are meant to do. And while it’s completely unexpected, it’s so beautiful and amazing.

 

And you did it.

 

Not to put too much pressure on you little one. But I think you should know just how powerful you are. Though right now you only weigh about ten and a half ounces and you’re on the halfway mark on your journey into the world, But you’ve already changed the world. Don’t ever underestimate how powerful you are little one. Don’t ever let anyone belittle you or make you feel any less than you are, because what you are is simply amazing.

You’ve already changed me for the better. You’ve already made me and RB better people. You’ve changed our outlook on life completely, and you’ve given us a reason to smile and laugh again in a world that before felt like a giant black cloud was forever stamped over our heads.

You’ve ignited a passion in my heart. It’s an indescribable feeling of pusuance and motivation and hopefulness that I wouldn’t be able to shake even if I wanted to…but trust me, I don’t want this feeling to ever go away.

And no matter what happens, no matter how this pans out or what the future holds, I know in my heart of hearts that you’re already a part of our family.

 

The rest is just paperwork.

Almost a Whole Other Week

Hello little one, its RB again.  It has been almost a week since I last posted on this.  So Becky already mentioned that we have our consultation with the lawyer on the tenth of February but it is definitely worth mentioning more than once, which makes it OK for me to bring it up too.  That is exciting because it is the next major step that we can take for this journey.

Becky has also already mentioned that she really wants to be a mom and  I really want to be a dad.  We both want to be able to be there for you.  We both want to be able to teach you things about life.   We both would really love to have the opportunity to watch you grow up and experience life.  I can remember hearing stories from my family from when I was a kid and all of the things they enjoyed watching me do.  I am thinking that would have to be a very awesome feeling to be able to celebrate with you every little step of the way, little one.  Becky and  hope that everything will work out, then we can actually get to be there for you for all of those things, among others. It cant be said enough that you will always be loved.

I’m ready to suffer and I’m ready to hope….

So lately I’m very obsessed with the Florence + The Machine song Shake it Out. Check out the lyrics, little one, and maybe you’ll understand why:

Regrets collect like old friends
Here to relive your darkest moments
I can see no way, I can see no way
And all of the ghouls come out to playAnd every demon wants his pound of flesh
But I like to keep some things to myself
I like to keep my issues drawn
It’s always darkest before the dawn

And I’ve been a fool and I’ve been blind
I can never leave the past behind
I can see no way, I can see no way
I’m always dragging that horse around

All of his questions, such a mournful sound
Tonight I’m gonna bury that horse in the ground
So I like to keep my issues drawn
But it’s always darkest before the dawn

Shake it out, shake it out, shake it out, shake it out, ooh woaaah
Shake it out, shake it out, shake it out, shake it out, ooh woaaah

And it’s hard to dance with a devil on your back
So shake him off, oh woah

I am done with my graceless heart
So tonight I’m gonna cut it out and then restart
Cause I like to keep my issues drawn
It’s always darkest before the dawn
And it’s hard to dance with a devil on your back
So shake him off, oh woah

And given half the chance would I take any of it back?
It’s a final mess but it’s left me so empty
It’s always darkest before the dawn

And I’m damned if I do and I’m damned if I don’t
So here’s to drinks in the dark at the end of my road
And I’m ready to suffer and I’m ready to hope
It’s a shot in the dark and right at my throat
Cause looking for heaven, found the devil in me
Looking for heaven, found the devil in me
Well what the hell I’m gonna let it happen to me

And it’s hard to dance with a devil on your back
So shake him off, oh woah

 
Needless to say, its a pretty powerful song, and I’m totally addicted to it. Its a song that gets me pumped up when I’m thinking about you little one, because I am ready to suffer and hope and it is a shot in the dark that you’ll be our little one, but I’m ready to take the shot.
 
The Numbers:
138 days until you are due to come into this world.
10 days until we find out if this is going to be truly serious.
14 days that we’ve known about your existence.
15 days until we meet with the lawyer.
48 days left to begin the homestudy.
90 days to have a home study completed.
 
What the Numbers Feel Like:
An eternity and half a millisecond, all at once.
 
Its always darkest before the dawn.
 
 

Whats in a name….

There are a few things RB agree on, and a few things we don’t. Thats what makes up a normal marriage. Choosing a name for you is no different.

We both agree on a male name, that one came fairly easy. We both like James Patrick with the nickname Jack. There are many reasons behind this particular name.

Firstly, RBs grandfather was nicknamed Jack. RB had a very close relationship with his grandfather, so this name would be an homage to him. Patrick is a strong name in my family, Almost all my uncles have the name Patrick as their middle name, and its a strong Irish name. James comes from a lot of places. We both enjoy the name, it’s a good name that carries well into adulthood (if you’re a boy Jack is adorable and playful, but when you’re thirty and hunting down your first hedgefund James sounds more professional than Jack anyday).

But heres where we woefully disagree: girls names.

RB likes very tradtional girls names (See: Caitlyn, Brittany, Megan, etc). I love old names. My favorites are Evelyn (it means wanted child – what could be more perfect?) and Genevieve. Of course, Genevieve is a mouthful for a kid, so the nickname would be Evie (pronounced Ee- Vee) for either Genevieve or Eveyln. RB thinks they both sound like ninety year old women and they conjure up an image of a ninety year old with blue hair and a one year pass to the local bingo hall. I, however, think they are timeless.

We do agree on a middle name for a girl though (but we both agree we don’t like it for a first name). The one thing we agree on for a girls name is the middle name of Hope. I normally hate, hate, hate the name Hope. But as a middle name, in this situation especially, I think its just perfect.

But Evelyn Hope, a child that was both wanted and hoped for– well that would describe you perfectly, little one.

But we’ve got a while to try and figure this one out. Hopefully its something we will be privledged enough to even have to figure out – but just the thought of it is exciting.

Of course, we could always go celebrity and just call you Little One forever.

What do you think about that, Lo?

First gain the victory and then make the best use of it you can

Small victories little one:

1. We found a lawyer. A top lawyer who specializes in adoption, and moreover in ICPC (Interstate Compact on the Protection of Children- laymans terms: state-to-state) private domestic infant adoption. We have our first meeting with her on February 10th. We’re both nervous, but so excited to be taking a big step forward…as long as we get a good call after the first weekend in February. Even though the meeting is at 5 PM, I took off the entire day. I know I’ll be a bundle of nerves, so I figured I can use that nervous energy to get some constructive things done at home before we meet the woman who might change our lives (one of the many people who will influence this journey).

2. We hung up blinds. I know this sounds absolutely ridiculous and silly, but it was a small victory for us. We have been meaning to do it for a long, long time and we finally did. And it felt so good. We felt so accomplished. We spent the entire night drilling the walls and listening to old music (Old in this instance means mid-nineties. Though I did fill my old music quote for the week by listening to a little Glenn Miller on my way home from work yesterday).Its a small victory because it was the first step we’ve taken in improving our house to get it ready for the home study.

Other randomness:

My Aunt Susan (who knows nothing at all about any of this) had a dream she told my mom about last night- that RB and I had a little girl. I’ve had this feeling from the very second I’ve heard about you that you’re a little girl. I don’t know why. But when you turn out to be a boy, you can look back on this entry and have an explaination for your therapist. Just kidding 🙂 We’ll be absolutely thrilled no matter what gender you turn out to be, as long as you turn out to be ours.

Today is a much more stable day than yesterday. I wish I could say that my emotions are pretty flat about this whole thing, but they really fluctuate day to day, from one extreme to the other. I am trying to just soak up every minute of a good mood when it sticks around, because you just never know about tomorrow.

 

But for today the sun is shining, the birds are chirping, and we’ve made some progress.

 

 

If you lose at the end, you’re choking….

So yesterday was the big football game that could have gotten the Ravens to the Superbowl.

It came down to the last fifteen seconds, and thirty two yard field goal attempt to even the score and move the game into overtime. And then it happened.

Our kicker choked.

It went wide left. And when I say wide left, I mean wide left. And in a flash of a second, the game was over, just like that. All that hard work, the practices, the games we sat on the edge of our seat for since September – all down the drain. In one split second.

And I know its just football, there is always next year, we played a good game and had a great season yadayadayada. But sports are often used as metaphors in life. And it scared me, because what if that happens to us?

What if we get to the zero hour, the last seconds before glory and it all falls apar? All the hard work we’ve put in to it, the nights laying awake wondering, the homestudy, the money, the emotions, the time, the heartache and tears…and in one split decision, in the blink of an eye it all just vanishes. Our hopes and dreams and hard work all done in vain.

I’m all over the place lately.

One second I’m excited and looking at nursery things and wondering what you’ll be like, what your name will be (besides, of course, little one), how old you’ll be the next time the Ravens get a chance like this, silly things. And then I snap out of it and think, what in the hell am I doing? I’m planning and thinking about a baby that we might have no chance at ever parenting. I’m spending so much time and energy on what could just be a pipe dream.

What if this is all for nothing?

And it doesn’t scare me that we are at least trying. It scares me that it won’t happen at all. That I’ll wake up one day, get a phone call and it will end the dreams and happiness we’ve gained thus far. And it just kills me to think about it. What if the birth mother backs out? What if, when she gets counseling in two weeks she decides then she’s going to parent? What if we don’t pass a homestudy? What if we don’t have the funds necessary to carry this out? What if one of us loses a job, and thus loses a chance at a family? What if it all falls apart?

And here we are, a young happy couple on the brink of greatness and not at all prepared for a let down. Even though we are young, other couples we know are doing laps around us…they are turning out kids like there is no tomorrow. And when we look at the pictures of the pink cheeked swaddled bundle of joy the parents are so (understandably) happy and proud of, we think back. When they were having their firsts, we were still trying.

And here we are, three years later. Childless. Still trying. Grasping for straws, holding on to dreams of a baby that might never be. And its scary. Its quite possibly the scariest thing we’ve ever been through…and trust me, we’ve been through some scary stuff. Medical emergencies, job losses, car accidents…we’ve had a taste of it all. And while we’ve been extremely lucky in some respects (we both have good- albiet stressful- jobs, we own our own house- albiet small, we have a great support system in our great family and friends, and more than anything we have a great marriage and partner in each other) we have also been extremely unlucky in other respects (mainly medical problems). We’ve gone through things couples that have fifty years on us have never gone through. I had my kidney removed less than a year after we moved in together, and subsequently lost my job. And we’ve made it through it all, we’ve walked through hell and made it to the other side on several occasions.

But this? I’m not sure I could come out on the other side. I’m not sure I could handle this kind of heartbreak. And I know that I would have thought that before- if you would have said you’re going to go through this and that, I would probably say No way! I will never be able to handle that! But when faced with it, we did. And we will if this falls apart. We’ll pick up the pieces and move on. But the anxiety is killing me.

I just want to close my eyes, and open them in June. Knowing the outcome, knowing what happened and being able to move on either way.

But I can’t. And it hurts.

All I want in this crazy mixed up split-second life changing world is you in my arms. And even though its terrifying, its worth it. And we’ll make it through this together, as we always do. The benefit far outweighs the risk.

And if it doesn’t work out, it will break my heart- but it won’t break my spirit.

I won’t choke.