Perhaps all pleasure is only relief…

Image

Little One, at around 8 PM on Thursday the elephant that’s been sitting on my chest for the past three months got up and sauntered out of the room.

It was glorious.

Our first home study appointment went wonderfully. Our social worker is extremely nice, helpful, insightful and very approachable (and she likes pinterest! She asked if one of my home decorating ideas was a pinterest idea! Brownie points for sure.). She said our house was lovely, had no problems with our pets, was impressed by the fact that we’ve already baby proofed and that all of our cleaners/medicines are put up and locked and that we have more than enough smoke detectors. It felt non intrusive, and more like a natural conversation. When she left, we took the biggest sight of relief of our lives. Relief is one of the best feelings in the entire world.

Now we get down to the nitty gritty. We have to submit all of our paperwork before going on to the next three visits, so we’re getting down to the wire now. Lots of things to schedule, appointments to make and papers to fill out. But we’re getting there, closer and closer one step at a time.

Last night someone that lives less than thirty miles away from us won the mega millions lottery. In one night they gained six hundred and forty million dollars. I cannot even picture that much money. But I hope, even though I know its crazy, that luck is like radiation: maybe that person had so much luck there is a thirty mile radius of good luck surrounding them. If someone one county away could hit a lottery that is more than a one in a million chance, that over forty four states were participating in, that was, in all ways, a shot in hell: then we have a chance. We have hope to adopt. Because one day, we’ll hit the lottery in our own way. One day, we’ll have you.

Until then, we’re working as hard as our bodies will allow us to get the parts we can control finished.

Holding my lottery ticket close to my heart with love,

Mom

The stars are the street lights of eternity…

The beautiful night sky

 

 

Tomorrow is the big day, Little One.

Well, technically today is the big day, considering it’s almost one AM and I haven’t event entertained the notion of sleep yet.

Tomorrow is our first home study visit.

Earlier tonight, I took a step outside in between cleaning to get something left behind in the car. While I was walking outside, I took a minute to look up, and the view of the night sky took my breath away. You would think after all the years I’ve been on this planet that the sky would lose its luster, but it never does.  Tonight is a beautifully clear night, the spring air is warm with a slight chill that makes you feel ultimately alive when you breathe it in. The sky tonight is such a deep hue it almost looks purple, and the stars poke through and shine like tiny diamonds that spilled all over the night. Tonight is the kind of night dreams are made of, and my dreams are made of you.

In this moment I realized with  great clarity, these stars that  illuminate the sky are actually millions of miles away. They are an unfathomable distance away from us on earth, and yet we can physically see them.

You are my star, Lo. The thought of you being in my arms seems millions of miles away right now, but I can see it. You are the star that gives me hope. In the darkest of night skies, you shine on like a diamond.

In our essence, we are all star dust. As Dr. Carl Sagan said, we’re nothing but the same elements of the stars- we are ourselves “star stuff”. At our core we’re a beautiful blend of nitrogen and oxygen, atoms waiting to be released into the world to start our journey. It is such a hopeful and beautiful thing to think that millions of miles away, your atoms might be out there. The stars might be aligning to get you home to us. And that is just the beginning of life, Little One. Atoms exploding into action is only the start of this amazing journey.

I never want you to forget that, what a beautiful miracle it is that you’re a part of this world. It’s a miracle to be alive every single day, to be that atom that makes it to the earth and sparks life where there was none before. Whenever you have a rough day, take a step back and look at the sky. Remember that we’re all lucky stars in this vast universe.

Tonight is a night of hope, a night full of beautiful stars. I pray that many more nights filled with this amount of hope will follow in the months or years ahead.

As for tomorrow, I can guarantee you I will be a nutcase. But I promise whenever I feel nervous about this process, I will take a step back and look to the sky. By looking at the beauty that is nature and science and all things miraculous, I will remember that you are out there, waiting for your stardust to settle.

Always your guiding star with love,

Mom

Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope.

We’re jumping those hurdles, leaping those fences and knocking over those walls, Lo. This weekend has been all about you. We’ve been cleaning our house, organizing every cabinet, buying up every smoke detector, locking up every medicine and putting it on a high shelf, scrubbing every wall and polishing every glass. The first visit for the  homestudy is just a few days away, and we’re busy as ever.

My mom came and helped us pretty much all weekend, and we were so grateful to have her there. It’s a different situation, Little One, but I like it. I’m not pregnant. My Mom cannot help me pick out maternity clothes. She can’t help me register at a baby store. She can’t rub my belly and feel you kick. But she can come over and help us get ready for the social worker. She can calm my nerves when I’m on the brink. She can hold my hand and tell me that everything is going to be okay. She can look me right in the eyes and say, in a way only a mother can, “You can do this. I believe in you.” And that is worth more than any experience I’d ever have if I were pregnant with you physically.

Something hit me last night, after we’d been cleaning for three days straight and I was exhausted. That’s when strong feelings always seem to come on, at least for me- when I’m too exhausted to fight them and move on. I had my closet open and was looking for pajamas to change into, when I looked up at my closet door and staring back at me was a picture of me and my sister. It was taken at her wedding, almost five years ago. I’d stuck it on the closet door just hours before when I had found it cleaning, a safe place to keep it until I buy a new frame. But when I looked up it was just there, right in my face, and it brought on a flood of emotions.I thought nearly unconsciously: My sister is the spitting image of my mother. I am the spitting image of my father. And I realized while staring at this tiny moment captured in time, our hands clasped together as we were dancing, my sister in her beautiful white gown and both of us with big gleaming smiles- you won’t have that.

You won’t be the spitting image of me or your Dad. You just won’t. In the off chance you look even remotely like us, it won’t be like that picture of my sister and I. Her eyes and smile are like my mothers features frozen in time. My face shape and sunken eyes, the nose genetics gave me that I’m always told looks like my great Grandmothers, I am my father if he were female and thirty some years younger. But you won’t be able to look at us and say, “Yep, I got Moms nose, just like my great-great Grandmas. And I have Dads voice- which is just like his Dad’s, and my Uncle’s. You can’t even tell us all apart on the phone.”

But as quickly as the thought crossed my mind, so did the resolution. You won’t have that, and that is okay. You are not the result of your genetics, you will be the result of our hard work, our love, our determination, our inner desire to nurture and love and care for another human being and to put that human being above ourselves. You’ll be in a class all your own: you weren’t created by us to let our genetics live on (honestly my tiny nose is nothing to be that proud of, and your fathers voice, while amazing to me, is not the only great voice out there),instead, you were chosen.

People often wonder what their future children will look like, and they can gather up a pretty good guesstimation. Glossy expectant parents coo over these features: Well I’m sure he’ll have my eyes, everyone in my family has my eyes. I’m sure she’ll have your cheekbones, they are so prominent. For us, we honestly have no idea what you’re going to look like, and Little One, that is so exciting. We walk through the mall and look at every child and wonder if you’ll look like them. Every baby is an opportunity, someone you might share features with.

In a way I think this has made us better people. We’re not as quick to judge others, we look at every person as if they could be our family members, that one day our son or daughter could grow up to look just like them. Part of me thinks that if everyone had this mentality the world would be a much more peaceful and happy place to reside.

 

And honestly Little One, I will teach you this over and over, time and time again: looks are not important  Your personality says far more about you than your body ever will. As long as you’re healthy, your body is just a vessel for who you really are on the inside. Don’t ever let anyone tell you different.

I can tell you now: no matter what you look like, whether you resemble us a little, a lot, or simply not at all: we’ll think you are the most gorgeous person on planet earth.

Putting my tiny nose to the grindstone to get to you,

Love,

Mom

Passion rebuilds the world for the youth. It makes all things alive and significant.

 

 

Little One, RB and I have been bitten. The symptoms began in January, and in February they got worse, but now I realize that our full diagnosis has actualized in March.

I hear its a lifetime diagnosis.

The symptoms are as follows:

  • Compulsion – We’re compulsive in everything we do. For example, we know we need to get new smoke detectors, but suddenly they need to be installed at one in the morning OR ELSE THE WORLD WILL EXPLODE!
  • Obsession- Everything all around us is adoption. The magazines we read, the shows we watch, the talks we have, the books we’re engrossed in, the pins I pin on pinterest (try saying that one three times fast) – everything is centered around it. It’s so bad I have honestly looked at a slideshow of pictures of inter-species adoption and wept at work. Its a problem.
  • Exhaustion – We’re tired all the time! I slept for three days straight when I was sick, and I’m still tired…how is that possible?
  • Fast heart rate- Is it from the running around? Is it from anxiety? Is it from the amount of love we have in our hearts that they are so full they might spontaneously combust? I’m not sure, but it’s definitely there.
  • Foggy brain- RB locked his keys in the house this morning. Luckily I hadn’t left for work yet so even though he locked himself out I could let him in, but still… he hasn’t done that, well…ever. And I’m no better, trust me.

And all this leads to the last and final stage of the condition: Hysteria.

Yep, thats right Little One. We’ve been bitten and bitten hard.

We’ve got the adoption bug.

People often talk about being bitten by the “acting bug” or “baby bug”. We’ve definitely been bitten by the adoption bug. I hear there is no cure, that its a lifetime thing. And I’m totally okay with that.

Right now, we’re getting to the hysteria part. In less than one week we will have a social worker sitting in our home judging how we’ll be as your parents. I don’t mean this in an aggressive way, after all that is her job to decide who is fit and unfit to parent. But it does not deter from the fact that she will be judging us on how we’re going to be as your parents while sitting in our home. She will judge how our house is, if it’s big enough for you, has enough smoke detectors, is filled with enough love and support to carry you through to adulthood. And to be completely and utterly honest, Little One, I am knees-shaking-head-sweating-can’t-sleep-can’t-eat-can’t-breathe-bone-crushingly-terrified. I know we’ll be good parents. I know our house is good enough for you. But I don’t know if she will agree. And to know that the fate of our lives with you rests in the hands of this woman scares me to my core.

But as I’ve said before, and I’ll say a million times over: this is teaching me so much. I do not give my trust easily. In most situations, it takes a long time to earn my trust. I need to change that. I need to change it to be a good mother, to show you the good in the world and that the majority of people in this world are loving and trusting people that you can give your heart to without worry. But I need to learn that lesson myself first, and this is forcing me to learn. Not only do I have to trust our social worker, I also have to trust whichever expectant mom places you with us. I need to trust that a yes means yes from her, that it is going to happen and that she trusts in me also.

I also needed a lesson in patience and relinquishing control, which I am most definitely getting schooled in throughout this process. I am a pretty type-B person most days; I am easy going and laid back and have a pretty solid carpe diam lookout on life. But when it comes to certain things, I want to hold onto the reigns. I want to be in the drivers seat (quite literally sometimes, I am neurotic about other people driving). But I need to stop and let go, and this is making me.

I have realized so many faults in myself and I how I want to change them for the better for you. No one is perfect, and I will most certainly never be perfect. RB and I will never be perfect parents, and that is just the Gods honest truth. No one is a perfect parent, no matter how much effort or love or money they put in to their parenting. People make mistakes, and we’re human. We’re going to make mistakes. But when we do, I can promise to you that we’ll do our best to learn from them. We’ll do better the next time. We’ll be humble and take ownership of our mistakes so that we can do better for you.

This has also taught me another thing about myself: I am strong. I am completely determined and passionate about getting to you. I have more strength in my mind and body than I could ever imagine, and I realize that now. No matter what happens, come hell or high water- I will get to you. I have a mothers love inside of my heart, and I know you’re out there waiting for me to find you. I promise you, as your Mom, I will always be strong enough for you. That’s a promise.

We’re getting so much closer to the finish line, Little One. We’re chugging along at full speed, terrified or not. We’re making mistakes along the way, but we’re learning from them as we go. We’re preparing our hearts and souls to be at their peak for when we parent you, so we can do it to the best of our abilities. We are full immersed in this, and we’re feverish with the adoption bug. And even though its laborious, and hard, and time consuming, and at times heartbreaking: it will be worth it in the end. It will be a blip on the radar when we’re cuddled in together for family movie nights, taking you to the park, snapping your picture for the first day of school and in your prom dress/tux on the front lawn or crying with happiness on your wedding day. I am so glad we’re writing this to you, Lo, because you’ll have a full first hand account of how badly we wanted you and how fiercely we love you. How many other children will have that?

And the adoption bug is pretty contagious. I’m almost certain we’ve spread it around to your Grandparents and Aunts and Uncles and our friends. They’ve all been posting our website and this blog on facebook and all over the place to get the word out. They’ve been bitten just as hard, and they can’t wait to meet you.

You’re so very loved, Little One. I just hope when you meet us you’ll be bitten too.

 

With a bitten heart full of love and determination,

Mom

 

 

Small Victory!

Small victory, Little One!

 

Due to your Moms awesome creative skills and your Dads awesome computer skills (or just his great computer skills…but still!) we have officially launched our website!

 

http://www.rickandbeckywanttoadopt.com/

 

I hope people visit it and share…we’re one step closer to getting to you.

 

Fighting for you each day,

 

Mom and Dad

If the individual is to be happy in the contemporary order, he must be open-minded with respect to new values and new arrangements.

Its been a busy weekend, Little One.I will update more on it later. But today is slowed down to a halt when I woke up with no voice and a high fever. I’ve basically been sleeping and have been a big ball of non productivity today- which is no good considering we only have a few choice hours left to get our home ready before our first home study visit. It’s officially next week. Hard to believe!

The only good part about being sick is that it forces you to take time away from the real world and curl up inside of your head for a few hours. That’s a pretty hard task to accomplish in the real world. Everyday there is so much going on around us that sometimes its hard to even investigate how we’re really feeling deep down. But today I took the time (inbetween naps and tylenol doses) to do some soul searching.

I realized in all this time in my head today that in the beginning of this process I was fairly close minded about a lot of things. I’ve heard many horror stories about adoption and I thought I knew the facts. I was totally wrong.

One of the biggest misconceptions I had at the start was about open adoptions. I remember thinking, “How could I let my child have another mother? How could I share them with someone else? I don’t want them to be confused about who their mother is… I want to be number one. I’m going to be the one tucking them in at night, I’m going to be the one up with them at three in the morning singing them lullabies when they are sick and can’t sleep. I’m going to be the one crying at their graduation, getting them ready for their wedding, being there every second of every day in and out. I’ll be their one and only mother.”

But then I educated myself. I read books, adoption blogs, adoption boards, statistics. And once I opened my mind to an open adoption I realized something very, very important. Yes, I will be your mother. Yes, I will be the one to do all of those things. But I’m not the only person in this equation. I’m another part, but before me there was another mother. A first mother, who loved you just as much as I do. And is it really fair, knowing how much I am head over heels in love with you already, to know there is someone else out there who is hurting and making the ultimate sacrifice for you- and I’m cutting them out? And is it really fair for you to wonder where you came from biologically, if you don’t laugh like me or your Dad – where did you get your infectious laugh from? The answer is simple: its not.

I’m still exploring in my soul the level of openness RB and I are comfortable with. But I am sure of this: You will have two sets of parents that love you so much they are willing to do what is in your best interest. You will have two sides on your team. And maybe at your graduation, you’ll have more than just our two sets of eyes crying in happiness for you. I can’t see that far ahead (hell, I can barely make it through this part without being on the brink of a nervous breakdown) but I do know that RB and I will do whatever is best for you- even if we have to adjust our comfort level.

It’s a process, Little One. It takes some time to make that shift in your mind of what your family picture is going to look like. But the more we open our minds, the more room we’re making for other people that also love you to be included in our family picture. If it’s best for you, it’s best for us. And I’ve read a lot of sides from birth mothers who say that they were duped in their situations. That their adoptive parents said, “oh yes, we’re totally open,” but when the paperwork was signed and delivered, the door shut right in their faces. RB and I won’t be those people. Just as it will hurt us to our core to have a failed adoption, we can open our hearts and minds and realize how much that would hurt someone else to shut them out, especially on false pretenses. And it just wouldn’t be fair or right…and isn’t that what we’re trying to teach you? Whats right and fair in this world?

In some situations, there can be a lot of hurt in adoption. We’re making a vow to you to eliminate as much hurt on all sides as much as possible. That’s our role in your lives, to make your life as best as it can be, to give you a great childhood filled with memories of love and fun and understanding. We want to teach you about trust, open communication, love and the power of relationships with other people. How can we effectively teach you those lessons in life if we shut out the person that brought you into ours?

The old saying that it takes a village to raise a child is supremely true in adoption. We cannot physically bring you into this world, that is someone else’s duty. But maybe your birth parents couldn’t parent you with everything we have to give, and that is our duty. Its a two way relationship.

And this might be a little self indulgent, but adoption has taught me so much already and we’ve only just begun. I definitely needed a hard lesson in trust and patience. I needed a reminder to not be selfish with my love. You have taught me so much already, and you’re not even here yet.

 

We vow to always be open and do what is best for you, Little One. We vow to be your forever parents, to instill those values that we’re learning in this process in you.

And I trust that you’ll be here soon…and oh, the lessons we’ll learn together then!

 

With love and an open mind forever,

 

Mom

 

They say the beat of a butterflies wings can set off a storm a world away….

Time to get a bit nerdy, Little One.

I am strong believer in the Chaos Theory and the Butterfly Effect. What are these two wild and crazy guys philosophies?

Chaos theory studies the behavior of dynamical systems that are highly sensitive to initial conditions, an effect which is popularly referred to as the butterfly effect. Small differences in initial conditions (such as those due to rounding errors in numerical computation) yield widely diverging outcomes for chaotic systems, rendering long-term prediction impossible in general.This happens even though these systems are deterministic, meaning that their future behavior is fully determined by their initial conditions, with no random elements involved. In other words, the deterministic nature of these systems does not make them predictable. This behavior is known as deterministic chaos, or simply chaos.

In chaos theory, the butterfly effect is the sensitive dependence on initial conditions; where a small change at one place in a nonlinear system can result in large differences to a later state. The name of the effect, coined by Edward Lorenz, is derived from the theoretical example of a hurricane’s formation being contingent on whether or not a distant butterfly had flapped its wings several weeks before. Although the butterfly effect may appear to be an esoteric and unusual behavior, it is exhibited by very simple systems: for example, a ball placed at the crest of a hill might roll into any of several valleys depending on slight differences in initial position. The butterfly effect is a common trope in fiction when presenting scenarios involving time travel and with “what if” cases where one storyline diverges at the moment of a seemingly minor event resulting in two significantly different outcomes.

 Non-jargon: Everything happens for a reason. Not always fate, not always a miracle – but a tried and true reason. A butterfly flapping his wings in Africa can affect the hurricane season in North America. One little tiny change in the ecosystem, and everything in the world is altered.

I firmly believe that is playing a part in us getting to you. We heard about this situation in January and (Sidenote: still no news about any decision made or not made) while it might not play out that the expectant mom in New Jersey is carrying you it doesn’t mean that we didn’t hear about that for a reason. It was a catalyst in us starting our adoption journey. That was the butterfly, and now we’re in the eye of the hurricane.

Like the eye of a hurricane, right now all is quiet and still, but you can feel in your bones something huge is about to hit. That is the way I feel right now. It’s a sixth sense, a feeling. Maybe its the almost deafening silence and stillness in the air. Maybe its the way the air smells, all the ions being released from the storm that surrounds you. But I can sense something big is about to happen, and its all because of the butterfly in New Jersey. Because that butterfly flapped those tiny little wings, our whole world has changed.

And I feel its going to continue. Everything happens for a reason, and while we may not understand it yet it’s going to make sense one day. I have seen it firsthand many times in my life. disappointments, triumphs…they all play into a master plan. It doesn’t matter whether you believe in fate, religion, Kismet or luck. Science proves that nothing in this world is random. Even if you look at the very surface of human anatomy. The beauty of how our bodies work is truly amazing, no parts of what makes up who we physically are was put in to place without a bona-fide reason for being there. (Of course now we don’t need a few organs, we can all spare a gallbladder or appendix, but they had purpose before in the evolutionary cycle). Our bodies are amazing things, and they are not random. Science, religion – whichever camp you come from – there is a reason they are there. Whether you think God put them there or Evolution did the trick, we can all agree that it’s for a reason.

The reasons and actions that had to be in place for RB and I even meeting were pretty amazing. We were both looking at the same time in our lives, and we were at the same place in our lives. RB once had plans of joining the Air Force, but they didn’t work out. If they would have, we would most likely not have met. I had plans of going to college far away, but decided against it. If I had, we probably wouldn’t have met. We both had failed relationships and knew what we wanted in a partner, and all those sad days and disappointments were actually setting us up for this amazing part of our lives together. Those broken roads led us to each others arms.

I could go on and on. Fate and chaos theory and the butterfly effect are the reasons behind everything in our lives, good and bad. Right place right time has brought so much good into our lives. It’s the reason we have the jobs we have now (If I wouldn’t haven gotten laid off and had to have kidney surgery, RB wouldn’t have had to have sought our a different job and that led him into the great position he’s in. If I didn’t take the opportunities that have been given to me I wouldn’t be in the position I’m in.) It’s led us to our pets, our friends, our schools, our home. Everything, positive and negative, has had its reason.

Similarly, there is reasoning behind when and where our family will begin. Do not get me wrong here, Little One. It’s going to take a lot of work. There will be a lot of long nights and countless hours spent trying to find you. A lot of these reasons and luck are built on a strong foundation of hard work and perseverance. But still, I feel there is a master plan at play here. I’m not sure who is in control of that plan. Dependent on your beliefs it could be God, or fate, or energy, or a butterfly flapping its tiny wings thousands of miles away. What I do know is this: the way you’ll come in to our lives will not be random. It will be for a reason, at the right time and the right place.

 Meanwhile, RB and I are laying all the groundwork. It has been hard, tedious, and nerve wracking. But in the end, it will all be worth it.

 

Until then, I’m waiting patiently for the beat of your wings, tiny butterfly.

Absence sharpens love, presence strengthens it.

Little one, there is so much to tell you. I don’t even know where to begin.

Firstly, we got a social worker. That makes it sound like we’ve kidnapped a forty year old woman and we have her holed up in a compound somewhere… I think what I meant to say is we’ve been assigned a social worker. We’ve only talked through emails, but so far she seems very nice. Secondly, and very important- we have our first date for our first of three homestudy appointments. I’m extremely nervous and overwhelmed, but I’m also very excited.

Our lives have been consumed with paperwork and exhaustion. RB and I have decided that this is our labor. We may not have to go through a physical labor wherein I give birth to you, but this is most definitely laborous, and we’re doing it for you. One of the most awesome things about adoption so far is that we get to experience this together. Yes, other couples who have biological children do go through the birth and labor “together” – but not in the same way. We are birthing you together. We’re filling out the paperwork together, we’re running around getting notarized signatures and reference letters together, we’re really in this simultaneously. Which really, in a physical labor, is impossible. Its one person coaching the other. In this experience we’re coaching each other and holding each others hands as we labor hard to get to you.

Everyday, I have this crazy ritual. It happens almost daily, sometimes even twice a day. Everytime I catch the clock at 11:11, whether it be AM or PM – I make a wish for you. You could call it a wish, or a prayer, or just insane ramblings of an adoptive mom going crazy…but I make a wish in my head to be able to adopt you soon. The other day RB and I were driving, and we went under a train underpass while the train was barreling over us, and we both made a wish. I’m not really sure that this is some kind of superstition or if I just made it up in my head, but I screamed out to RB, “Quick, make a wish while you go under the bridge!” and we both looked at each other and smiled. We knew.

I don’t know what exactly sparked this superstitious side of me, but I’ve been very hard pressed to make wishes and do “things that will bring luck.” (Which really , Little One, I know logically is impossible. Nothing BRINGS luck, luck is a manifestation of the right place at the right time. Luck is not a forcible thing, thats the ultimate beauty of luck).

If it works, it works. If it doesn’t, it still makes me feel a little better and helps me get through the tough days- so either way its a win/win. I’ve never been like this before, but then again I’ve never wanted anything more than I want you in my entire life.

We haven’t heard anything more from the BM who is due June, so we’re not totally losing hope but it is fading quickly as the days have turned into weeks and now months. So we’re working hard on plan B. We bought a website address, and we’ve been working tirelessly to create the website. I’ve been reading board after board coming up with ideas for how to “market” ourselves to potential BMs. We’re going to create business cards, bumper stickers, car decals, tote bags- whatever we can to get the website address out there. We’re going to make a facebook page, a twitter account, a tumblr and pinterest accounts…anything we can to get the message across. Right now we’re holding off on sharing it with everyone until we pass the homestudy. Again with the crazy luck thing- I don’t want to jinx it.

This post has been fairly rambling, so I’m just going to continue the trend here. There is something I’ve touched on before, but I want to just explore with you, Little One.

There seems to be a central theme in those adopting after facing infertility. Its on the homestudy application, its on adoption board websites, its written in chapter long diatribes in adoption books: you have to mourn the loss of not being pregnant and not giving birth to successfully adopt.

And here is where I feel like maybe there is something wrong with me. I don’t feel like its a loss. I don’t feel like I’m just ignoring those feelings – because they simply are not there. I’m still jealous of women who get pregnant easily. It still hurts to go to babyshowers. But it hurts in a why-do-I-after-four-years-not-have-a-family-yet way, not an I-want-to-have-a-huge-pregnant-belly-way. Honestly, if I ever in the future get to experience pregnancy- great. If I don’t- also great. As long as I get the experience of being a mother. And adoption will not make me any less of a mother just because I don’t carry you inside of my body for nine months. You’re in my head, my heart, and every action I’ve been taking since January 13th, 2012. You’re here, you don’t need to be in my uterus too. I’m not sad about losing that part of our relationship, we have so much more in our lives to experience together that nine months isn’t going to make a difference.

So there it is, Little One, my big rambling message to you. I wish I could post more, but we’re so busy getting ready for your arrival that unfortunately time gets away from us. So for now, I’m going to go rub my lucky penny and say my wishes and prayers and turn my magic eight ball upside down until it all gives me the answer I’m looking for.

 

But really, I know in my heart you’ll be here soon.

And once you’re here, I’ll know for certain I’m the luckiest person in the entire world.

Except, of course, for RB too!

Waiting not so patiently but with a heart full of love,

Mom

I hope that people will finally come to realize that there is only one ‘race’ – the human race – and that we are all members of it.

Things are about to get touchy here, Little One.

I’m going to bring up a very sensitive subject. But I feel its a subject that needs to be explored.

I’m talking about race.

Many adoptive families have to make a sensitive decision very early on in the process. When filling out a homestudy application or an agency form, there are a lot of tiny boxes waiting to be filled with answers. They ask about your job, your marriage, your siblings, references, how long you’ve lived in your current home. They ask you why you want to adopt (It was really hard for me to narrow that down to a few words. You know me and words. I could write a novel on why we want to build our family through adoption, but I digress). They ask you about your social security number, your past criminal history (that would be none for us), your high school and college names. Then you scan down the page, exhausted by all the tiny boxes, and then comes one you never quite expect.

When genders are you open to adopt?

What race(s) are you open to adopt?

Your head rushes with information. You begin to picture your family, in the flesh, for the first time in filling out this mundane piece of paper. You have to delve deep into your soul and really question yourself…what am I open to?

We looked at each other.

Any? I said.

RB nodded his head. Any, for both questions.

Yesterday I was reading an adoption message board, and one woman was venting that her husband was not open to adoption outside of their race. She wrote the words that are so hard to say out loud, Do you all think my husband is racist? Her question was met with a resounding no from everyone on the board, just that he has trouble adjusting the picture in his head of what he thought his family might look like. Its a normal reaction, and it has nothing to do with preconcieved notions about a certain race or culture, its just natural to desire children that share the same race and culture as you.

And I will be totally honest with you little one, I’ve put a lot of thought into race. I’ve thought a lot about the challenges that we’d face being an interracial family. I’ve done a lot of soul searching, delving down into the depths of my very identity to see if when I resurface this is something we’d consider.

And it most definitely is.

I am of the camp that the skin we are born in is not who we are. Our bodies are not who we are. Who we are is our souls, our personalities, our families. I find the most beautiful people to be the people with passion and kindness and big hearts, not the pigment of their skin. I will love you, Little One, no matter what genetics say your skin color will be.

I’m not niave, however. I know this may be met with some challenges. For example, if you are a different race people will automatically know through asthetics that you are adopted. I am okay with this. I will embrace the sidelong looks, the questions, the wonderment. People are curious by nature, and there is nothing wrong with being curious. People are going to be rude, and I’m expecting that no matter what race you are. People are rude for so many reasons, so of course they are going to rear their ugly rude heads about an interracial family. That, in my opinion, is their problem and not ours.

We don’t live in a small southern rural town where its more likely to be an issue. We live in a suburban neighborhood woven together with all forms of modern families. If we had a biological child we could not pick and choose which features go where, so why think we could have that option when adopting? You’re going to be who you are, Little One, And who you are is just fine by us.

If you are not from our racial background or culture, we will teach you about your roots. We will fold our family traditions into the fabric of what makes up our family.

Your body is merely a vessel to carry around who you are. We don’t care what your vessel looks like in comparison to our own. We don’t want to be parents to have little clones of who are. We want to be parents to nuture, love, create memories. We are surrounded by an extended family who will also not pass judgement on the color of your skin. If we meet any potential friends who do pass judgement, they will not be welcomed in our lives. We will protect the sacred bond of our family at all costs.

It might not be easy. It might not be traditional. But our house will be filled with more love than most.

And that is what will make up our race. Our family.