You are not the momentary whim of a careless creator experimenting in the laboratory of life. . . You were made with a purpose.

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Little One, we’re only given this one life. Just one… and if there is one thing I want to teach you in this world, it’s to find your purpose and appreciate everything in this beautiful journey we’ve been given. 

 

Appreciate the quiet calm of a sunset. Appreciate the purity of the air that fills your lungs and sends oxygen to your beautiful brain. Appreciate that brain of yours- marvel at the intricate, mysterious way it works without us even knowing how or why. Appreciate your sense of wonderment and your talents.

Appreciate waking up in the morning- even on the days when you’ve woken up on the wrong side of the bed, even on days you don’t want to get out of bed…appreciate waking up. It’s a luxury many see come to an end far too soon. 

 

Appreciate the bad time, for they are the shading on the bright focus of a picture. Without the bad, we wouldn’t see the beauty in the good. I want you to believe that there is good in everyone, as hard as it is some days. I want you to see beauty in the darkest of places, because that is often where the beauty of life is hiding.

 

I want you to live. Really live. I want you to take the long way home, driving with the windows down as you feel the wind tickle your hair around your scalp, sending shivers down your spine.  I want you to see and do everything on your bucket list. I want you to try new things, even if they are scary or foreign. I want you to never stop learning, to want to know more always, to seek out the truth and meaning behind everything.

 

I want so very much for you, Lo.

 

I want you to have the best life possible. 

I want you to find your purpose, because once you do- you are really living.

 

My purpose is to be your Mom. 

My distinct feeling throughout this whole process has been just that… I was put on this earth to find you, to be your Momma. My purpose is to give you these things, to show you the beauty of this world and teach you everything I possible can….

And above all, my purpose is to love you. Sweet baby, I am going to love you in a way only a parent can- that fierce kind of love, the kind of love that would stop a freight train. That is my purpose in life. My purpose is to be a mother. 

 

But I know I am more than that. My purpose to be a mother was not accidental. My purpose to be a mother was set apart from the rest, because I  will be a mother through this miracle that is adoption. It’s a purpose I don’t take lightly, baby. It’s a purpose I appreciate and try to learn from every day.

 

I will not know motherhood the way most women do. I will not know what it’s like to feel the cold jelly of a sonogram machine on my stomach to find out your gender. I will not know what it’s like to feel your kicks from the inside, or to hear your heartbeat for the first time. 

I will know motherhood in a completely different way. In what is possibly the coolest way. My motherhood will be so instant, and at the same time so gestational. I get to experience what most other Moms don’t. I will get a call to know your gender. I will be able to hold you, this tiny person already formed,  whose soul I’ve been connected to for so very long, and get to know you in a way most mothers can’t understand.

 

My purpose is to advocate for that amazing miracle. Once you’re in our arms, adoption will still be ever present. It will be in our lives every day, in one way or another. It won’t always be front and center but it will be part of the background scenery forever. My purpose is to be there for new adoptive mothers, to be a sounding board and help them through this scary process. I am so thankful for the brave women put in my journey so far to help guide me, that I want to give that back as much as possible. 

Once you’ve found your purpose in life, there is a fire lit from under you that cannot be extinguished until it’s fulfilled. It’s a drive that takes over you, body and soul, and consumes you. It’s a beautiful energy that comes from nowhere. It’s the will that tells you not to give up when you’re exhausted from trying. It’s the whisper in your ear telling you to keep on hoping after another failure. 

 

I appreciate the purpose. 

 

I don’t know what your purpose will be, sweet baby. That is for you to find out… but just know your Dad and I will support you in the journey to find out, and we’ll always be here patiently waiting to see what you find. We’ll do everything we can to support you following your dreams. Maybe in thirty years when you look back and read this you’ll think, “Really Mom? I was your purpose in life? Dream a little bigger next time…. I mean, I am going to be President*, and all you wanted to be was a Mom and adoption advocate?” (* or doctor, or lawyer, or sanitation specialist—again, that part is up to you!)

 

But then I’ll look into the eyes of the beautiful child that I worked for five (or more) long years to bring into our lives, the one who appreciates life and learning and the pursuit of their own happiness… and I will smile and tell you how very worth it it was. 

 

I will always appreciate you. You are my purpose in life, and I will appreciate every breath that fills your lungs, and every thought in your amazing brain. 

 

Being your Mom is going to be the most amazing journey I’ve ever embarked on. 

 

I can’t wait to fulfill my purpose.

 

With love and wind in my hair,

Love always and forever, sweet baby, 

 

Mom 

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A man only learns in two ways, one by reading, and the other by association with smarter people.

Little One, we must learn from others. Others experiences, others journeys- they will teach us more than any textbook in this world.

So when the opportunity arose to participate in an interview project with fellow adoption bloggers, I jumped at the chance. I never knew I would be so lucky as to be paired with Lori Lavender Luz from Write Mind, Open Heart. Lori is a  soon to be published author (check out her book debuting in March 2013 and preorder here),  a mother through adoption and an open adoption advocate. She knows far more than I do about the open adoption journey, and I learned so much from my interview with her.

Please read the following interview with Lori, and learn as much as I did about this amazing beacon in the adoption community:

STBH: What motivates you to write? Have you ever faced writers block, and if so, how have you overcame it?

Lori: I’ve always been a wonderer. I’ve always liked to see the same thing from different angles to understand it better. I find, when I’m writing a post, that in trying to be clear with my reader, I’m also finding clarity for myself. This is why some consider writing as therapy — it requires focus to take an idea or issue or emotion and reduce it to words. It’s the yoga equivalent of finding my core, of honing inward. Writing is introspective and causes me to be more honest with myself, with my motivations. I also like to write because it makes me more observant, more present as I move through my day.
As for writer’s block, I do get it every once in awhile. Sometimes I just take a short break from my blog (usually not more than a week). Sometimes I just sit down with a blank page and commit to be there for an hour. If it flows, great. If not, so what. Guess what…? Usually it flows when I commit to showing up.
STBH: If there were one misconception you could clear up about open adoption, what would it be?
That open adoption is super-hard, that only exceptional people can “do” it. True, parenting in open adoption can be more complicated than parenting in a biologically-built family, but with complexity often come unexpected gifts that you don’t get from simplicity.
Know what’s hard? Relationships! In them we don’t always feel we have the power we want. We don’t always know how to get our needs met. We fear someone else being a “wild card” that makes things be beyond our control.This isn’t unique to open adoption relationships, though the feelings may be heightened in OA because of strong swirling emotions — guilt, fear, debt, regret, anger, sadness, envy.

May I address two misconceptions? The other is that love can ameliorate all possible adoption-related issues for the adopted child. Some people are probably wired to be relatively issue-less, and others not so much. Parents (biological and adoptive) don’t know which they are getting. I remember thinking that my children would come to me as blank slates whom I could fully influence with my love and guidance (and my husband’s). I forgot that they come to me with 23 pairs of other people’s chromosomes, which — surprise — pack a punch! These babies already had personalities by the time I met them as newborns — shocker!

So, because your child may have issues with identity formation as s/he grows up (and really, who doesn’t?) you might as well provide what you can to them about their birth parents. Maybe that’s contact, maybe it’s open-hearted conversations, maybe it’s just you not being threatened by their wondering and processing.
STBH: How do you feel about PAL (positive adoption language)? Do you think it affects the way your children view their family structure? 
I’m all for being mindful, for choosing one’s words deliberately. But if we’re too careful, if we tiptoe around the realities of adoption, we indicate that there is something to hide and that there is shame around adoption.For example, I don’t say to my daughter, “Crystal put you up for adoption.” It sounds so careless and impersonal, like you’re talking about a discarded toy. In reality, Crystal’s decision was anything but careless and impersonal. Instead, I would say, “Crystal couldn’t parent a baby at that time in a safe way, so she decided we would be your parents and she placed you with us.” I try to understand how the words would feel to my child.

I wrote about this topic once regarding whether it matters if I say “we adopted my son” (which indicates it’s something we did — or “my son is adopted” (which indicates it’s something he is). He seemed to pick up on this distinction, as I found out one morning at Take-Your-Parents-to-School Day. But does it really matter? Some adult adoptees have said that being adopted IS who they are. Or at least a part of who they are.

As for language affecting how our children feel about our family structure, yes, I believe it matters. The more secure and issue-less I can be about the way we became a family, the better the soil from which my emotions and words grow, and the more secure and issue-less our kids will have the opportunity to be. For then they can be left to deal with only their issues and not mine.

STBH: What has been the hardest part of your adoption journey so far?
Once we set out on the adoption journey, back in 2000, most everything seemed to fall into place relatively easily. It was the infertility process that brought me to my knees. Once I learned how to relax the grip I had on controlling my life, I was in a better position to yin-yang my way through the adoption process and now the parenting process. I was always good at the yang part — making things happen; I had to get comfortable with the yin part — letting things happen.
STBH: What do you like to do to relax?
I enjoy practicing yoga. For an hour I try to bring my awareness to the confines of my mat. It’s a practice of focusing attention, of taming the wild-child that is my mind. It yokes my mind to my body and helps me remember to be more present even off my mat. Through yoga, I’m beginning to “get” that life is a journey and not a destination and shed the “I’ll be happy whens.” It’s still a process. In yoga, everything is a process and no pose is ever perfected.I also love to read  and write and do cool things with my kids like paint pottery. My daughter, 11, plays volleyball and my son plays whatever sport it’s the season for, so Husband and I spend a lot of time cheering them from the sidelines.

STBH: Being a self proclaimed new age libertarian, how do you feel about the upcoming election? 
I wish we could break free from our two-party system. The way it is, a candidate doesn’t have to get you to vote FOR him (or her); he only has to get you to vote AGAINST the other guy (or gal). So campaigns are based on smear and fear and that makes everyone feel dirty.My family lives in a purple state (and a purple home!) and are thus bombarded with ads and robocalls and fliers that indicate only jerks, idiots and crooks want my vote. My kids have been told by the campaigns that no matter who wins, we’re all doomed — DOOMED I tell you! Husband and I have been doing some damage control surrounding these ubiquitous messages

STBH: Tell about your upcoming book on open adoption.
I was thrilled to announce that my project had a heartbeat last December and that I was going to give birth, metaphorically speaking. I spent the next several months gestating The Open-Hearted Way to Open Adoption: Helping Your Child Grow Up Whole with the help of a lot of midwives (and their male equivalent; midhusbands?). My daughter’s birth mom, Crystal, is a contributor to the book, as are a host of other adoptive parents, first parents, adult adoptees and adoption therapists and advocates who shared their insights, viewpoints and wisdom with me — many who are part of this Open Adoption Bloggers Interview Project!The book will be published by Rowman & Littlefield in April of 2013, and if you’d like to be notified when the book is available, you can get on the contact list. Thanks for asking 🙂

Lori Lavender Luz

Again, thank you to Lori for the amazing interview. I cannot wait to read your book when it comes out!

We can learn so much when we just open our eyes and ears to others experiences, Lo.

With my eyes and ears wide open,

Love Always,

Mom

This post is a part of the Adoption Blogger Interview Project. To read more about the project or to read other bloggers interviews, please visit the projects page . To read my interview with Lori, please visit her post.

Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.

Little One, the quote above is from the late Steve Jobs, a fellow adoptee who undeniably changed the landscape of technology forever. How did he accomplish so much? He followed his heart with a level head.

If there is one thing I want you to learn in this world, the most important lesson that I am relearning everyday, it would be this: follow your heart, and trust your intuition. 

I’ll say it again.

Let the words sink in.

Follow your heart.

Trust your intuition.

We have been presented with a few situations where it was a tough call so far in this journey. At times, we’ve had to make really, really tough decisions.Hard things to face. We’ve had to say no to some things, some people- and it’s been incredibly difficult to make those decisions. But when something doesn’t feel right – you need to trust your intuition. And when something feels so right that no matter how much thinking you do about it, you can’t get rid of that indescribable, airy feeling of hope- trust your heart.

It’s been a lesson we’ve learned a lot recently, and it can be applied to almost everything in life. It’s tough to balance the logic of your brain and the flood of your emotions. It takes some fine tuning and finesse to be able to detect which one is leading you where at what times. But there will be two very distinct feelings you can never ignore.

The first of which is that feeling in your gut. The one that gnaws and tears at you, no matter how good you may think you feel about something. It’s the voice in the back of the theater screaming fire while you’re blissfully watching the movie play out in your head. It’s the friends advice your ears won’t let you hear. It’s that outside perspective. It’s that fight or flight feeling. It’s your intuition, your sensory point of danger. Trust it. Put your life in it. You won’t want to hear it a lot of the time. You’ll want to drown it out with positives, put a new spin on it, get your emotions involved. It’s incredibly hard to ignore, and at the same time, incredibly hard to listen to. In my life so far, my intuition has been a beacon, a lighthouse that brings me back home in the darkest of storms and roughest of seas. It’s the keeper of the logic, the neutral safe place in your head that gives you another perspective- not for any reason other than to keep you safe. It’s the cold armor of truth round your warm heart.

And then, sweet baby, there is your heart.

Trust in your heart. Follow your heart. When someone says something is impossible, trust in your heart to guide you. Your heart is not the booming voice of intuition, it’s the tiny whisper that you have to slow down to understand. It’s that little voice inside of your head that when you’re so down on life, it softly tells you to try again. It’s your soft side, the ship that will take you to the lighthouse. It’s that gnawing feeling that you need to stop thinking and make the leap in the zero hour. Sometimes it’s the illogical decision that no one understands but you. Sometimes it’s going against the grain.

Don’t follow trends, Lo. Follow your heart instead.

And they need each other, these two. Intuition needs heart, heart needs intuition. There may be times where it hurts so much to take this advice. Where it feels like the world is crashing down because you are following one or both of these feelings. But know that it’s not.

Following your heart is following hope.

We have been burned so far. A lot. But we follow our hearts. Our hearts are telling us to not give up, to keep going, that maybe we’ve already made the contact we need to make. Our hearts are telling us that this is not a matter of if, but when. That when may not be this month, next month or the following month, but when is when it’s meant to be. Our intuition guards our hearts from the people who could potentially hurt us, but lets its guard down when something is safe.

Together, trusting these two feelings will help us find you. And once you learn to trust in them (which is something we’re still learning every single day) they will help you find peace, acceptance and where you’re meant to be.

And you’re meant to be here with us, sweet baby.

With trust, love, and a gut feeling about this going right, 

Love always,

Mom

Though the wait is long, my dream of you does not end.

Little One, this blank page is haunting me. I’ve been trying to write to you for weeks, and the words just aren’t coming. I’m not really sure why, but I think I have an idea.

 

It might sound insane, but a fraction of me feels like with every passing week that goes by that you’re not here, I’m failing you. I’m doing something wrong. I’m not doing enough, I’m doing too much, I’m looking but not finding. Every day that goes without you here, I feel like I’m not living up to my full mother potential.

 

I know that sounds insane. I know, logically, that I cannot control a lot of the aspects of this journey. But for some reason, I can’t help feeling like a failure when people ask if we’ve adopted yet, and I tell them no. Or when I open up the door to your nursery, and I can almost physically feel the emptiness of the room hanging in the air. Or when anniversaries pass– which seem to be happening more and more often. We thought we’d have you in June, but no. Then we thought you’d come into our lives in October, and we would get to buy your first Halloween outfit. But no. Then we thought, okay- by Thanksgiving- this match should come through.

But no.

 

Week after week after week.

Holiday after holiday.

Ridiculous date after ridiculous date.

 

And the craziest part about all of this is that we’re making up these insane deadlines in our head. Yes, we’ve talked to potential matches in every one of those scenarios that haven’t worked out for one reason or another (fall throughs, scams, lost contacts). But it’s not the other person that is putting these ideas of a timeline in our head- it’s us. We’re the ones who are putting this pressure on ourselves.

And it has to stop.

 

You’re going to come into our lives when you do. If a situation doesn’t work out, then it just wasn’t the one that was meant to be. Then it wasn’t you. It’s so hard to remember that, but we have to in order to keep a level head. When I think of these dissapointments, I try to remember the red thread.

I’ve talked about the red thread in here before: but basically it is the idea that an invisible red thread connects us all in the adoption tried- us, you, and your biological family. We’re all connected by this invisible thread, and it will come together when it’s meant to be, because that thread is unbreakable.

And yes, I obviously wish I had a blacklight that would light up this invisible thread and we could follow it to you. But it doesn’t work like that. I am a firm believer in things happening for a reason, and though the wait is hard I’m not giving up that idea. When we have hurt, setbacks, pain and heartache- they are all for a greater good. We might not be able to see that good in the present, but in the future we can look back and realize how much we learned and grew in this time.

 

Just the other day I heard a song on the radio that took me back to my college days. More specifically, this was a song I listened to on repeat after a particularly bad breakup. And it made me think (the way music often does), that if time wasn’t so linear I wish I could jump back to that time, to face that young college kid and explain to her that her tears are for nothing- because in just a few short months, she would meet the man she’s going to marry- her true soulmate. That very quickly in the scheme of things, she’d be married and own a house with this wonderful man. That her life is going to be more amazing than she could ever imagine. That she is crying tears over something she doesn’t even understand yet- because when she meets this man she’ll finally understand what head over heels, earth shattering, life changing love feels like. That she’ll be happy, very soon- for a long time.

And it made me wonder- in years down the road, will I want to travel back to this time to tell the present me that I’m worrying for nothing? To not waste the tears? That this is going to happen, soon, and that this whole waiting process will feel like a blink of an eye?

 

I sure hope so, LO. And that is one reason why I want to push myself to continue writing to you, no matter how hard it might be for me. I want you to be able to read these words and have your history with us, even before it begins.

 

Because though you’re not here yet, you are here in so many ways.

 

And this way, you’ll be able to look back and read and understand just how much we loved you before you ever came to be in our lives.

 

Though the wait is long, my dream of you does not end.

 

And it never will.

 

 

With love and hope,

Love,

Mom

Any man can be a father, but it takes someone special to be a Dad.

 

Your Dad, studying

Little One, today is Fathers Day. For some reason, I think it’s hitting me harder than Mothers Day did this year. I think I know the reason (we thought you’d be here by now, and that we’d be celebrating fathers day with you) but the reason doesn’t really matter.What matters today is the man who you’ll one day call your Father.

Today is all about your Dad.

Let me tell you a few key things about your Dad, that you’ll know as you grow up with him but I should point out:

At our wedding

Your Dad is the sweetest person alive.I know all wives (well, a lot anyway) say their husband is the sweetest, but trust me. your Dad really is the sweetest. At the end of our first date I was cursed with a migraine (they happened a lot when I was in college) and your Dad offered to drive behind my car all the way home to make sure I got home safe. At that time, he lived over 40 miles away from my house, but it didn’t matter to him. It didn’t matter to him that it was our first date, that he had just met me, that I lived far away- he would do anything to make sure I was safe. That night I knew he was the one.

 

On the train in Strasburg, PA

 

Your Dad is extremely smart. He always has been. There is an age old tale that your Dads side of the family always brings out when talking about your Dads childhood. He was young (three or four years old) and got in trouble as toddlers do. His punishment was to sit at the top of the stairs for a few minutes, and he whined to his family, “Can I get a reprieve?” What three year old says that? And now as an adult, he will try to explain computer programs or theories to me and I’m at a total loss and will usually make a joke to not look so dumb about whatever it is he’s talking about.

We Mustache you a question

Your Dad is silly. He’s a joker, a laugher and a prankster. He can put on a silly voice and have full on conversations with me about things that don’t exist, just because we think it’s hysterical.

All Smiles

– Your Dad is romantic. Not in a traditional flowers way (though he does do that too) but what counts more is the little ways in which he shows his love for me. The everyday romantic gestures that mean so much more than big sweeping dates. The little notes left on the door, the whispers that I’m the most beautiful woman he’s ever seen. I hope that one day, you either find a man as wonderful as him or become a man as wonderful as him.

Holding our nephew

– Your Dad is nurturing. He cares about our two dogs as if they are our kids, he cuddles with them and shows his love easily. When I’m sick or feeling down, he’s right there to lend a caring hand and soothes me back to health. Every cell in his body exudes his caring, loving personality.

In NYC

What does this all equal out to, Little One? It all means this: your Dad is freagin’ amazing. He’s going to be one super Dad to you. Does that mean he won’t make mistakes? Of course not. We both will. I can guarantee that there is going to be a learning curve for us since we’ve never experienced parenting. But I also know that now, in this moment before you’re even here, he’s more of a Dad than most Dads out there. He’s been there every single step of the way, we’ve been in this journey together, one thousand percent. He cleaned the house spotless with me for the home study, he took time off of work to get things done, he talked me to sleep on tough nights when the crying wouldn’t stop. He’s going to be your Dad for the long haul, forever. He’s always going to be there, day or night. You’re going to be so incredibly lucky Little One.

I’m trying to remember how much this fathers day hurts. I know that sounds odd, but it’s in a good way. My hope and prayer is that next year at fathers day, we’ll be holding you, talking cavalierly about last years Fathers Day being the last painful one. I hate putting a timeline on this journey, because each time we have it’s been met with hurt and pain- but I think in order to be hopeful we have to put a time on it. And if next year, we’re still waiting, then we wish and hope again.

You’re out there, sweet baby. It’s just a matter of time.

Until then, I’m wishing your childless Dad a Happy Fathers Day regardless. He’s already one of the best Dads I know.

Your Dad and I walking on the boardwalk with our nephew

Waiting for next June,

Love,

Mom

It takes a village…

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Reflection: the view from the hike we took in the park by our house on Saturday.

Little One, I’ve been reflecting a lot lately. I’ve realized lately that adoption is the ultimate truth to the old adage that it takes a village to raise a child… only with adoption, it takes a village to find our child.

And boy, Lo. We’ve got quite a village around us.

 

Over the weekend, we recieved gifts from complete strangers of the following:

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Your future things!

It’s a baby bath tub, a co sleeper, a high chair, a changing table pad and a closet organizer. My sister has also put a lot of stuff aside for you from your cousins. Our neighbor is holding on to things for us. There is an entire community cheering us on every step of the way. It’s such a beautiful thing to be thought of and given things from strangers, neighbors, family and friends. We’re so incredibly lucky, Lo.

You’re so incredibly lucky.

I have friends calling to tell me they’ve seen our flyer up at places where we haven’t put it up. Our family, friends and neighbors are working hard to get the word out on our behalf. They are all so involved and caring. They ask how we’re doing, they excitedly inquire about potential nursery decor and offer words of encouragement when we’re having bad days. Strangers happily say congratulations when we tell them the news that we’re trying to adopt. The world has been painted in a much more positive and beautiful light for us since this journey began.

 

Here is the thing, sweet baby… this whole village isn’t just surrounding us for the here and now. The village surrounds every aspect of adoption. You’re so lucky in that aspect. Most children have two people involved: their Mom and Dad. To make our family, there will be at the very least six people involved just for the match to be made. There will be us, your biological parents and two lawyers. That is not counting the potential counselors, social workers, physicians, nurses, extended family on both our end and your biological families end. There will be an entire team getting you to us: a team Little One. We’re part of the founding members of team Lo, but trust me your team has more members on it than an NFL league.

It will take a village to even get you here, baby.

 

If you’ve never seen the symbol for adoption, it empitomizes this theory. It’s a triangle intertwined with a heart. It symbolizes the three sides of adoption: the adoptive parents, the biological parents, and the adoptee (that would be you, Lo). They are all intertwined within a heart to show that all three sides are touched with the unwavering love of the adoption, and each other. We’re going to love your biological parents so much, Little One. They are giving us the best gift in the entire world. Hopefully, they’ll love us an incredible amout as well. After all, they are trusting their greatest gift with us, in our hands and our care.

 

And you will love both sides, and that is perfectly okay. We want you to love both. We want you to realize the sacrifice your biological family made for you, and realize that we’re no better than they are, and vice versa. We’re just pieces to a big family puzzle, Lo. We are people that love and care for you above all else, and we just happened to be in different places in our lives at a certain place in time. That doesn’t mean they don’t love or care about you, and we want you to love and care about them too.

 

Don’t ever, even for a split second think that you loving them will make us feel threatened. It won’t. And to that point, we’re not the important piece here, we’re not whose feelings matter in this equation. It’s ultimately you who matters most, sweet angel. It’s your feelings, your love to give. We respect and honor that. We realize that your heart has so much room in it, room for more than just us. And that is okay. That is a concious decision we made when we  decided to adopt, and why we would like an open adoption. We realize that you have enough love to give to this entire village that brought you here.

Love the village, Lo. Love every entire person in the equation. It will only make you a better, more well rounded person.

I’ve thought a lot lately about how it may seem for you as a child. Will it be normal to be adopted? Will it be special? Will you boast with pride when people ask about your family? If you have a visit with your biological family, will that seem normal to you, or will you wonder why other children don’t have those visits?

No matter how you see it when you’re young, I hope you see that we are making the decisions that we think are the best for you. You might go to school and talk about your Mom and your First Mom, and that may confuse your classmates. But always know that it’s a blessing to have so many people care and love for you, not a curse.

It’s a blessing to have this village. I hope you see it as a blessing too.

 

I’m sure it will also take a village to raise you. But I’m not worried. Between our supportive family, the beauty of open adoption and the community around us, our village will be nothing but people ready to help you and our family.

 

We have a full team of “love soldiers” working on our side. When you make your appearance, it’s only going to get better. You’re going to have this love and support forever, as are we- and for that, we’re the luckiest little family in the world, Lo.

 

The Village Waiting Mother,

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.

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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

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.

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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…

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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:

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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