There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.

Image

On this journey: a shot from the trail we took this weekend

Little One, I am realizing more and more the older that I get that every little thing is a miracle. Life is all in how you look at it, Lo. Some people feel like a miracle must mean water into wine, but I believe that it’s a miracle to wake up every morning. It’s a miracle that we”re in this moment, right now. Every single breath that fills our lungs full with air is a small miracle. Each and every one.

Meeting your Dad was a miracle. The beautiful life we’ve been given together is a miracle. And most of all, you will be a miracle.

As June looms closer and closer, I feel myself slipping. I’m not being as positive as I need to be, because the wound of having a possible match has not completely healed. I know it will, but it takes time, and I know in my heart and soul you’re still out there waiting for us. That just wasn’t our baby, it wasn’t our time, it wasn’t our lead…. it wasn’t you. But the closer it gets to the date where we thought you’d be here, it’s getting a bit harder. I’m trying to remain positive despite this. But sometimes, you just have to let it all out. It’s almost like the summer weather in Maryland: it gets muggy until the air is heavy and hot, until finally the storm comes. As the storm roars past, the air calms and becomes cool again. I need to let my storm pass before I can see the end of this rainbow.

Even so, we are remaining positive. We’re reading success stories, thinking of new angles, and looking at nursery decor. I think we’re going to start getting the nursery together in the next few weeks. Tonight we spent time pouring over gender netural greens and yellows, deciding which color would work best for the walls. We were afraid of this at first, but we have faith. Having that faith means that we’re no longer afraid to make steps towards the finish line. Having faith is a miracle.

This past weekend was memorial day, and your Dad and I went camping with family. On the road trip to PA, we had a long talk about our journey. We made a pact. This journey is going to get difficult, and there are going to be times when one or both of us are going to feel defeated and want to give up the fight. But we promised each other that no matter what, we’re going to be each others rocks. We’re going to pick each other up when one of us is feeling down, and encourage each other until we get to our destination. We’re there for each other through everything, as a marriage should be. That in and of itself is a miracle.

Image

Your Dad, leading the canoe

Your Dad and I went canoeing in the Brandywine River, and it exemplified teamwork. I would steer as he paddled, he would lean as I would lean. We’re one amazing team, Lo. Once you come along, we’ll be steering this canoe for you- but trust me, we’ll all always be in the same boat together. Always working together and being there for one another, the way a family is meant to be is one giant miracle.

For your nursery- an owl and duck your Grandma made, and a bear I made for you

 

 

On Sunday, your Grandma and I went and painted ceramics. We picked out the above picture and painted them for you. When I painted the words Little One on the bears hat, your Grandma began to cry. Having family that is support and loving is definitely a miracle.

We have so much to be thankful for in our lives, Lo. Even before you get here, this life we have is so miraculous. You’re arrival is only going to make it more so. We will remain positive that our big miracle is on the way, and that all of these breaths and days we wake up are tiny miracles that all play into the larger miracle- you being in our lives.

We only get this one life Lo. We have to take in every single moment as a miracle. Though the next few weeks are going to be hard for us, we know you’re still out there. We know that one day, hopefully soon, our big miracle will come through.

 

Knowing Everything is a Miracle,

Love,

Mom

The secret to living the life of your dreams is to start living the life of your dreams today, in every little way you possibly can.

Image

Little One, it’s surreal. The visit part of our home-study journey is finally complete. The paper work was long ago turned in. All the appointments, the doctor visits, the faxes… all checked off, completed, finished. Now we wait for the report to be finished (most likely 3-4 weeks) and we’ll finally, officially, in every capacity be paper pregnant.

It’s the closest to being any kind of pregnant we’ve ever been.

The great news is that if we found you tomorrow, we’d be able to place with you because we’re done the paperwork. So the search for officially on. We are officially expecting, and it feels absolutely amazing. After our last visit with the social worker lats night, I feel like a huge weight has been lifted from our shoulders.

 

It hit me last night how amazing your Dad is going to be as a father. I knew it all along, but listening to his answers during the interview about parenting and what he’s looking forward to made me realize just how incredibly luck you’re going to be to have him in your life. During the interview I was nervous, as I am during every step of the process. It’s nerve-wracking to know how badly you want something and that the power lies in someones hands. But your Dad? He’s a champ. He thought of every answer quickly, honestly and correctly. He remained calm and steadfast.Your Dad is my rock, and I’m his. We’re there for each other, and we’re going to be there for you in the same capacity.

 Not every kid has two parents in this world, and if we have an open adoption (which ideally, we would like)then you’re going to have up to four parents who love you and care about you. My God, you’re going to have a beautiful life, Lo. We’re going to make every effort we can to make it as wonderful as possible.

I feel like our dreams are finally coming into a realization. Up until now, it’s been about focus. We had a laundry list of papers to fill out, lawyers to interview, appointments to make and written tasks that we happily drew a line across each week when they were accomplished. Now, that is all done. The legwork is over, and what remains is this large vast expanse. There is no list we can check off now, it’s all about the ways we can be inventive to find you out there. I’m not sure yet if that is going to be more or less difficult then having a list to check off, but either way we’re up for the challenge.

Last night the social worker asked us what we’re most looking forward to doing with our children in the future. I had a complete rush of blood to the head, because there are so many things we’re looking forward to. Where other parents might complain about diapers, late night crying sessions and spit-up, we’re pumped. We can’t wait. We can’t wait to take cheesy pictures on your first day of school. We can’t wait to chaperone your school field trips, and help with school projects. We’re excited to take you on camping trips, vacations and new adventures. We’re anxiously awaiting quiet nights at home where we help you do homework and the routine that comes with it all. We can’t wait to teach you how to drive (though I can totally wait to hand the keys over, because that seems terrifying). We can’t wait to see you graduate high school and college. We can’t wait to see you get married (if thats what you choose) or see you get your doctorate, or see you have children, or not have children. We can’t wait to see the life you create for yourself with our support and love as the pillars holding it steady. No matter what your life holds, Lo, you’re going to set the world on fire.

 

People have a lot of dreams and ambitions, and they are different for everyone. Some people dream of big houses, others fantasize about burgeoning careers or trips around the world. But what your Dad and I dream about is more simple. We dream about having a family.

We dream about you, sweet Little One.

 

And I know our dreams are going to come true. When they do, then our focus will shift again and it will become all about making your dreams come true. That is our job as parents, to be there for you and support you every step of the way. We’ll be your biggest cheerleaders in this world, Lo. Dreams are such an important gift. They are what gives us drive, that hunger to wake up in the morning and take the day on with ferocity. We want to always add fuel to your dreams, as you’ve already done to ours. Anything we can do as your parents to give you the courage to dream and the bravery to act on those dreams, I promise you we’ll accomplish.

 

Now the real part begins. From here on out, it’s all about the search. You’re out there baby. You might already be on this planet in some capacity. Maybe not. It’s not for us to know right now, but for us to find out. We’re done with the ground work, and now we can begin the brick and mortar. We’re build our dreams, one step at a time.

 

Living the Dream,

 

Love,

Mom

Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans…

Every day, in every way it’s getting better and better, Lo! I love the song Beautiful Boy by John Lennon, and I’ve been listening to it on repeat lately. Whether you’re a boy or a girl, it doesn’t matter- you are already beautiful in our eyes.

Music helps your Dad and I a lot through this journey. We’ve been listening to a lot of the Beatles (In My Life has been another favorite) and I’ve also been obsessed with  the Michael Buble song Just Haven’t Met You Yet. I know it’s a song about romantic love, but the lyrics are so perfect right now. It’s full of hope and faith: the love is there, we’re just waiting for the right moment.

And when it happens, it’s going to be amazing and life changing in a way I don’t think we can even understand until it happens.

Do you know that moment, Little One? That moment where you can feel something big coming on and your heart beats heavy and leaps into your throat? That moment when you know you’re standing on the edge of greatness? I’ve had this moment only a few times in my life, but lately I have this overwhelming feeling that something big is about to happen. I had this moment when I graduated from high school, and again from college. I’ve gotten this feeling after a great interview when I’ve gotten a really good job. I got this feeling when we bought our first home. I had this feeling when I married your Dad.

It’s this indescribable feeling, and I’m not doing it justice with words.

But this time the feeling is different. All of those other life events were things I controlled, completely. This is one situation where I cannot control every aspect, and I can’t see the future. But I still have this feeling, and it catches me off guard some days. It’s like a good surprise you didn’t see coming at all.

We’re almost done the homestudy. Just one more visit, and we’ll be finished. Maybe that is sparking this feeling of a hopeful completion, but something in my heart tells me it’s more than that. We don’t have any solid leads or prospects right now, but something tells me it’s going to happen. I wish I could put it into words, Lo. I wish I could articulate it to you. But it’s this weird faith that I have and can physically feel in my chest and in my bones.

It feels like we’re in the build up part of a story. Like when you’re watching a romantic movie, and the music swells as the two protagonists kiss for the first time and it’s magical. It’s that moment you’ve waited for, and before it happens your entire body floats with anxiety and hope, and you feel weightless. It’s that moment on the rollercoaster when you’re at the top of the hill looking all around, and you get the feeling in your stomach that it’s about to drop, even though it hasn’t yet. It’s standing backstage before a big show, looking at the lights and the crowd before you take a deep breath and jump out (unless you have terrible stage fright like your Dad, because while standing in the wings is exciting for me, it’s dreadful for him.)

It’s that moment right before the greatness.

Look, Little One- when you come onto the scene, life for us is going to change immeasurably in a great and powerful way. Life is never going to be the same. We’re going to fall in love with you in a way neither of us has ever loved before, and we cannot wait. You are the greatness, and we’re stuck in that moment right before the big kiss, the opening night, the adoption day.

But we know it’s coming because we’ve got that whole faith thing down. And for now, before we get to the greatness we’re enjoying the anticipation. It’s going to be so life changing, so beautiful and amazing when it happens. It’s going to be surreal and other wordly.

It’s going to be us, as parents, and you, as our child.

Really, Lo, you’re going to blow us away, just like all the dandelions we’ve been wishing on lately. Until then, we’re holding on to the edge of greatness, and loving every moment of this feeling.

With a floating heart full of anticipation,

Love,

Mom

Hope says, “I wish my future will be bright,” where faith says, “I know my future, and it is bright.”

We had an inspiring weekend Little One. Your Dad and I took a trip to Virginia to attend the Families for Private Adoption Seminar. Words cannot describe how amazing it was.

We arrived Friday afternoon and stayed at a nearby hotel, so we were able to relax. We went to a movie, walked around the Tysons Corner mall and had a nice dinner out. It was wonderful to feel like we were getting away for a little while.

The next morning, we were on our way to the seminar. It was a gorgeous spring day, the sun was shining and the sky was blue as ever. We walked into the church conference room where the seminar was held, and immediately it felt like a big hug. It was such a friendly, warm environment that felt so supportive. We heard stories from all walks of adoption life- successful adoptive parents, adoption lawyers, social workers and even a birth mother. It was wonderful to get perspectives from every angle.

Looking around the room, I couldn’t help but think I was surrounded by the best parents in the world. Not to pat our own back, but adoptive parents are a certain kind of special, Lo. They are the parents that fight for their children from the very start. They are the parents that want more than anything to be parents. They were just like us. We’re not alone in this.

It was amazing to hear from adoptive parents who had sat where we were sitting not long before, and knew what it was like to be in the trenches. It was amazing to hear their stories of how they did it, and see their beautiful babies. It was amazing to hear from a birth mother who was still okay and proud of her decision, even though it was 28 years ago. It was amazing to hear how she was a part of her daughters life, walked her down the aisle on her wedding day with her adoptive parents. It proved that our idea of family does work, that we’re not crazy and that thousands of families get there this way.

 

The last speaker of the day was a psychologist who is an adoptive father himself who gave a spirited talk about the difference between hope and faith, and it really resonated with us. Faith is knowing something is going to happen, whereas hope is, well, just hope. It’s easily lost, a short fall from despair. But we have faith, now more than ever. We know this is going to happen, because we’re going to make it happen.

One thing almost all of the speakers at the seminar said repeatedly was, “You only fail if you give up. If you don’t give up, don’t quit, you’ll get your baby.”

 

Well, Little One- if there is one thing your Dad and I aren’t it’s quitters. We’re never giving up. We won’t quit until we get you in our arms.

 

Tonight is session 2 out of 3 with our social worker for the homestudy. The last one is on Thursday. We’re nervous, but it’s a completely different feeling from the first visit. She knows us now, she’s seen our home and now she’s just trying to get to know us as people. It’s hard to believe that soon the homestudy will be over and our focus will be solely on finding you. Hopefully the search won’t last long, but we’re willing to wait.

 

We’re never giving up, Lo.

 

With faith,

Love,

Mom

Water is patient. Dripping water wears away a stone. Remember that, my child. Remember you are half water. If you can’t go through an obstacle, go around it. Water does.

Image

Little one, I’m having difficulty lately. I’m trying so hard to be patient, but patience is still alluding me and I can’t seem to pinpoint the cause. We’ve only just begun this journey in January, we’ve only started the homestudy process in March, but I’m feeling incredibly antsy lately.This is not good, considering we could have months or years of road beyond us until we reach you.

Mothers Day was actually really nice this year. I even received pre-Mothers Day gifts from my Mom and Sister, and they are gorgeous and made me bawl. Here is what they look like: Image

Grandma made you a binky blanket with owls that is so soft that you Dad and I want to cuddle up in it and nap until you get here. Your Aunt made you a sign we’re going to hang in your room that says, “Little One, You Grew in Our Hearts.” It couldn’t be more true.

It was the first Mothers Day in five years that I wasn’t depressed. I have hope now, Lo. It’s amazing.

 

Other than Mothers Day, I’ve been incredibly busy with work lately, so I’ve had little time to write. That doesn’t mean that you don’t weigh heavy on my mind every moment of every day. I’m in a coffee shop and the barista is pregnant. I want so badly to ask her if she knows anyone who is looking to make an adoption plan, but I know it could end up coming off as rude and hurtful so I bite my tongue and order my coffee, sans small talk. But she’s pregnant, so she must know other pregnant mothers…what if this was our one shot, and my Miss Manners mindset blew it?

Sometimes, I feel like I want to be your mother so badly that my skin crawls with anticipation. I get so jittery at the very thought if it that I want to leap out of my body and find a way to fast forward time like some magical plot in a sci-fi movie.

Unfortunately, life doesn’t work like that, and I need to practice patience.

I’m not good with patience, Lo. I hate to admit that, and I hope you don’t get that quality from me. I wish I were patient, and I try my best, but some days are a lot harder than others. Lately I’m having more hard days than easy. Who knows how long this process will take? Some couples take years, others weeks. We have no crystal ball, no way of knowing what the future will hold for us or how long it will take. In a way, that is a beautiful thing. How often does life get to surprise you with something amazing, something out of left field? It’s a rare time in our lives that we should be treasuring, not frittering away with worries and tapping our feet while staring down the clock.

 

Of course, that is much easier said than done.

To be completely candid with you Lo, I’ve always been impatient with exciting things. I remember one year my sister tested this theory. It was my eleventh birthday, and she got me a Will Smith CD (yes, I can already imagine your eyes rolling. At the time, it was an awesome CD. Big Willie Style defined my eleventh year on this planet. Oh my goodness, just writing that sentence made me cringe.I promise not to hold your pre-teen music choices accountable when you’re an adult…because I’m sure there will be some winners there too). So it was in a CD case (which, considering the way technology is going- I will reference for you since I doubt they’ll be around much longer in the future. A CD case is 5.5 inches by 5.75 inches- thanks to Google for that answer. I’m sure Google will still be kicking in the future, so I won’t explain that one)… back to the story, she put the CD case inside of about ten boxes, all larger in size- all stuffed into a giant box leftover from a newly purchase recliner.

It took me a solid hour and a half to get to Big Willie Style, and she thought it was hysterical. Looking back, it was- but at the time, I just wanted to hear Mr. Smith serenade me about biting on cigars but not lighting them.

I never let your Dad surprise me. Every anniversary, birthday and Christmas he tries so hard to keep presents a secret, but I always figure them out. I’m probably the worst person to surprise, because when I hear there is something exciting coming I turn into a private investigator so skilled that the FBI could recruit me to learn my tactics.

So you can see how this process would be the ultimate test of patience for me. You are no CD or Christmas present. You’re no birthday surprise party or hidden wedding shower. You’re the greatest thing that will ever happen to us, and I’ve never been this anxious about anything in my entire life.

We keep hearing about situations from those around us, and yet none have resulted in you being here. It’s difficult to hear, “Well I might know someone…” and getting nowhere with a promising lead. It’s going to happen though, and it’s a good thing that it is happening because it shows that the word is getting out and we will eventually make the match that leads us to you. But it makes it incredibly hard to remain hopeful and patient, and unfortunately the closer June gets the harder it’s becoming for me. I’m trying to not let it, I’m working extremely hard to stay positive, hopeful and faithful. But it’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done, Little One.

But it will be so incredibly worth it. And I promise I will never expose you to Will Smith’s attempt at music. That’s a promise. 

 

Patiently Gettin’ Jiggy With It,

Love,

Mom

 

When you are a mother, you are never really alone in your thoughts. A mother always has to think twice, once for herself and once for her child.

Little One, it’s been a crazy long week! I’ve been in Philadelphia for most of the week for work, and Rick has been home. It’s been tough being away, but it was a good distraction from the impending black cloud of Mothers Day this weekend.

That was until tonight, when your Dad and I made the pilgrimage to look at Mothers Day cards at Target. Pouring through pink envelopes filled with sappy sentiments, cheap jokes and childish poems we found an odd card among the mounds of Mothers Day greetings. A card about waiting. The label actually said it was an adoption card. It even included the phrase, “you can finally bring your little one home.”

And it hit me, Lo. This card was in the Mothers Day section, because I am amother. I’m just a childless mother.

 

It’s a weird predicament not many would understand.

Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about motherhood. What does motherhood mean? How do you define it? When in adoption do you actually become a mother? Am I a mother because this is our decision? Am I a mother when you’re placed in my arms? Am I a mother when the home study is complete? Am I a mother when the final adoption paperwork is signed?

 

I believe it’s all of the above and none of the above. I am your mother now. I put your needs before my own, I think about you night and day, I live and breathe and would take a bullet for you. My every breath is only an effort for me to live to move one step closer to you. For the shot to hold you in my arms. For the chance to be your mother. I’m going through hell in my own head and heart in order to just have a glimmer of hope to be your parent. I love you more than life itself.  

My God, if that isn’t a parent then I don’t know what the hell is.

 

I am a mother. I am expecting you, I just don’t know when. I have to say, maybe selfishly, that takes a bit of the sting off of mothers day. In the past, I didn’t feel like a mother on mothers day, I felt like a woman who was bitter over infertility. There is still that woman inside of me, fighting to come out and hem and haw at mothers day cards and hallmark commercials. But then the adoptive Mother bear in me comes alive and fights that bitter woman down. and roars in her protective voice, “I AM a mother, whether society sees it or not.”

It doesn’t matter that you’re not here yet. Motherhood to me means love, protection, fighting for your children tooth and nail for them to have the best life possible, nurturing, caring, placing the needs of your kid before your own. I do all of that and more already, I am Mom.

It might not be traditional parenting yet. I’m not yet changing your diapers, feeding you a bottle, watching you drift peacefully to sleep in your car seat on a long ride home. But I’m placing fliers up, handing out our business card, cleaning up for social workers, going to adoption seminars. I’m laying the groundwork for the diapers and bottles and car seat naps of the future.

My love for you surpasses everything right now. I love you beyond what a greeting card encompasses.

 

And Hallmark doesn’t make a card for that.

 

Waiting for the Mothers Day card aisle of next year,

Love,

Mom

Little darling, it’s been a long cold lonely winter, little darling, it seems like years since it’s been here…

Image

Here comes the sun, little Darling.

For some reason lately, we’ve been getting signs everywhere. I’m not sure if they are signs from those who have passed, signs from God himself or signs we’re just making up in our own head. But regardless, we’re taking them for all they’ve got.

My grandfather used to collect dimes. He’d give us dimes each time we’d visit, filling our piggy banks with the beautiful click clack clack of our dime collections from him. He’d always have dimes in his pockets, large dime replicas in his bedroom and books of collected dimes on display. He died when I was thirteen, and ever since then whenever I’m having a bad day or I need some reassurance, a dime appears out of nowhere.

This has been happening quite a bit lately.

On the night of our first home study, I found a dime shining right outside of our doorway. The other night I was frustrated and tired, and I opened the door of the oven to get out dinner and there was a dime in the bottom of our oven. Shiny and silver it stood out, and I audibly gasped when I saw it there. How does a dime get in ones oven? How would that even happen? It certainly wasn’t there when I put dinner in the oven, so how would it get there?

My grandmother, who has also passed, always wore the same perfume. Every time I feel scared or I’m having a bad day, I will smell the same perfume. It’s a strong smell, like when I was younger and she’d wrap her arms around me and my face, snuggled into the side of hers, would get a big whiff of the familiar scent.

I know these are not tried and true signs, Lo. But this is a little something I like to call faith. I know when I see and smell these little signs that they are my grandparents up there looking out for me. I know with my logical brain that they are probably just things I’m pulling from the environment around me that I’m sensitive to, but then my spirit comes in and knocks some sense into my logical side- and I know my heart that it’s them.

The other day my father had to have neck surgery. Thankfully he’s doing well, and in the long run it should help him a great deal. While my mother was waiting for him to be released, she took a cruise around the hospital gift shop. Next to a pink owl, she found this:

Image

If anyone knows anything about me, it’s my love of Owls. Your Dad and I are planning on doing your nursery in owls, and what did she find? An owl frame, with the phrase Little One. Now I know logically they sell hundreds of these frames in gift shops across the US, and that Little One is not a proprietary name that only we call you (though I must admit, we sometimes feel like it is!) But here it was, a sign.

I know I probably sound a little crazy right now, Lo. But in this process, all we have to go on now is faith. Faith in each other, faith in adoption, faith in our family and friends, faith in how we’re doing this, faith in God, fate, kismet…and most of all, faith in you.

And we have faith. That is something I want you to have and cherish, Little One. Life is crazy. Life is unpredictable. The surprises of life sometimes bring terrible things, but more often than not it brings joy and situations so amazing and wonderful you wouldn’t have been able to plan them yourself, because they would far surpass your wildest dreams.

Have faith.

Have faith in us as your parents, that we love you and care about you more than anything in this world. Have faith in yourself, because I know you’ll possess more smarts and power than you even know. Have faith in the world, and whatever God you believe in. Have faith in life, that it always gets better, that you have a purpose and meaning in this world. Have faith that things will work out.

We do.

Things will come together, I’m sure of it. You’ll come into our lives when the time is right, we know that in our hearts to be true. In the meantime, we’ll be clinging to the signs we have and carry them around with us for comfort.

But we have faith, Lo. And no one can ever take that away from us.

The sun will shine on us soon, little darling.

Love,

Mom

On Children

Little One, I’ve been in an odd mood lately. I’m not really sure why, but I have this weird longing to go somewhere beautiful, get lost in the woods and read poetry for hours.

Unfortunately, It’s a bit difficult to do such things when you have a job and a mortgage to pay. So instead, I keep getting lost in poetry on my breaks at work. I think maybe this weekend your Dad and I might go for a walk in nature. Whenever I feel my head getting cloudy, I take to the tall trees and infinite water. I hope you love nature too, but even if you’re an indoor person I hope you always see that there is so much beauty to be appreciated all around us.

I found this poem in my travels today, and I think it explains our view on parenting so beautifully and simply.

 

Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them,
but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

You are the bows from which your children
as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
and He bends you with His might
that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
so He loves also the bow that is stable.

-Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet

 

Waiting to be your stable bow,

Love,

Mom