Sunday, March 16, 2014

He Makes All Things Beautiful....

4 years ago today a little boy was born to a woman whose name begins with "R". He was supposed to be ours. We were to have a son. A little boy. Which was strange because we felt like God had given us a girl name, and we had a vision of a daughter, but then we thought maybe we saw that wrong??

On March 17th, my world came crashing down around me in a way I never expected. The son I thought I would be holding in my arms became someone else's son.

And the world moved on while I lay in bed unsure of how I would survive the future without this little boy. No one outside of my husband really knew the utter pain and sadness I was in, knowing I had lost a son.

Today he is 4. Perhaps running through the beautiful Texas sunshine. Making a mess of his little hands and face as he digs into his birthday cake. Surely, being loved on by his parents. The ones meant for him all along.

I still wonder about him and wish that somehow I could convey to his parents how thrilled I am that they were the ones who were chosen to be his daddy and mama.

Of course, I always think of her, "R", the brave woman who had to make a decision she didn't want to make that day. She chose them and I wonder if she had her doubts. Doubts that she was doing the right thing, doubts that even though she originally chose us, were they really who she should have chose? I wonder if she knows him and has been able to see him like she wanted? Most of all, I wonder if she knew how much it killed me that day to not be able to give her everything she wanted?

I may never know the answer to those questions. I may never know who exactly "R" is, or even who that sweet little boy is. But I do know this, not a day has gone by in 4 years that I haven't thought of them. I've written about the loss several times over the years. I've prayed for both "R", the little boy, and his parents many times.

Ultimately, I've learned that God makes all things beautiful in His time.

Have you recently known someone who had a failed adoption? Check out this short post that I wrote on how to help someone who is going through one.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

On Loss With Adoption

Hi blog world! It's been awhile! I actually wrote this post a few months ago and then held it close to my heart, unsure if I wanted to share something so personal to me, and especially to her. Ultimately, I decided to share because I want to be honest in all aspects of adoption. Although I don't post very often, I still have hundreds of hits on this blog every month. I also often get e-mails asking me questions about how adoption works, which agency we used, more information on how we adopted debt free, and also questions on post adoption life. At the beginning of our journey, I promised to be honest in all aspects of our adoption, and loss is a big part of that. However, I also value my daughter and believe that her journey is hers to tell, so much of her story I hold close to my heart. I ask that you please be cautious in your response. It's easy to read a blog and to respond without thought of the feelings behind the other side of the screen. But I assure you she & her feelings are real and I am too, and lately, our hearts have been hurting.

This girl! Her smile captures all of our hearts!

She's 3.5 today.

Time has flown by faster than I ever could have imagined.

I'm still convinced that adoption is one of the most beautiful things ever.

3.5 years later, I'm fully aware that adoption also brings loss.

Lately, we have been feeling that loss more than ever before.

Just because Xiomara came to us at two days old doesn't mean she doesn't experience loss. She does. It has never been more evident than lately. Through tears, and lots of talking about her birth mom. Her heart has been breaking and so has ours.

One day, while I was making supper in the kitchen, she was quietly playing in her room with her sound machine. We always keep it on a white noise, so I was surprised to hear her going thru different sounds on her sound machine, something we have never done before. She came to the heartbeat sound and out of her mouth was a gasp and then words that broke my heart, "I love that sound. It's my favorite. That was from when I was a baby with my birthmom." She listened to that sound over and over. Tears came from my eyes. My baby was experiencing a loss that was never more known than at that moment.

My mama heart breaks.

For my daughter and the loss that she has. I wish with all my heart that she didn't have to experience that loss. I want to cry out for her. No 3.5 year old should ever have to experience a loss this great. It doesn't seem fair. I wish I could take the pain of that loss away. But I know that is not a possibility. So instead, I hold her through her tears and cry some of my own.


My greatest joy has been her greatest loss. As my heart beats with hers, it becomes my greatest loss too. I grieve with her. I hurt for her.

Adoption is beautiful. Adoption is loss. Adoption is love all around.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Wishing You A Merry Christmas


Monday, July 8, 2013

She's 3 Today

Three years ago today I met my daughter and her birthmom for the first time. I wrote this on Xio's birthday, but I share today as today is a special day for all of us and one I will never forget. As I watched Xiomara's birthmom so beautifully hand us her daughter and then walk away sobbing, my heart broke in half and I promised to do my part in allowing her to be a part of Xiomara's life. This is one little way I can do that.

Dear J,

Our daughter is three today. Three sweet and precious years old. Can you believe it?

That teeny, tiny, precious baby is definitely more grown up now (although thankfully not all grown up). Instead she is talking, running, tantruming, pottying, singing, dancing, and making us laugh daily.


She's been talking a lot about you lately. Asking me questions, or just declaring random things. Tonight at dinner, Xio declared, "My birf (birth) mommy gave birf to me in a bath tub". I told her the story of her birth again (although it wasn't in a bath tub), and then I showed her pictures of you and pictures of her. She sat there staring at the bright screen with her thumb in her mouth mesmerized, and probably a bit confused at it all.

I'm thankful she is free to ask questions. I'm thankful I have so many answers, thanks to you.

On this day I always think and pray for you, maybe a bit more so than others. I know as a mama, that birthdays are special and a mom never forgets the birth of her child. I'm hoping by now you received the package in the mail filled with pictures and a DVD. I'm thinking hearing her voice for the first time may be a balm for your soul.

Today the plan was to take her swimming as she is a little fishy, but we had rain here and it made it so we just stayed home and played (she liked it anyway). She wants vanilla cupcakes with chocolate frosting for her birthday cake and has asked me all day long when she gets to eat her cupcake! :)

I'm so thankful for her, J! I know I've said it a million times, but I'll say it again, I never knew joy until she came. She brings a certain spunk and happiness to our whole family. I know one day, you will get to experience that yourself, but for now, just keep cherishing these memories and these moments, in your heart.


We always love you and thank you on this day, as we do each day. Kisses from afar from your little girl.

With much love...

Thursday, May 2, 2013

An Update and An Interview

I know it's been a little while since I've blogged...it's how life goes and you can always catch up more on my life, or see pictures on our family blog.

In the meantime, I wanted to let you all know that I was interviewed for an article on Going Into Debt for In Vitro or Adoption: Is It Worth It? Feel free to check it out, but know that my name is not Kirsten; I promise it's Vanessa! :) Edited: It's been updated correctly to Vanessa.

The post should be syndicated on The Huffington Post at some point, so look for it there, and I'll come back and add the link when it finally is! Edited: Here it is!  It was an honor to be interviewed and just showed me once again how God was in control of our debt free adoption, and not us as He wanted this story told to a million people or more. Please note that while the article states we took out a small loan, what it failed to mention, is that the loan was paid off almost immediately after we adopted Xiomara. I just wanted to mention that in case anyone was confused by that statement!


He has pretty incredible plans for our little girl! Speaking of her, I couldn't share an update without a picture and a little bit about what life is like for her right now. Xiomara is all two right now. That means she is into everything. Her newest adventures include coloring over her dolls with pens, crawling up on the bathroom sink to play with the water, and every once and awhile throwing herself on the floor in a tantrum. She honestly spends most of her days smiling and laughing! She is talking a ton now and repeats a lot of what we say, or what her older sisters say. She hasn't quite mastered potty training, but with summer and her third birthday coming up, mommy is going to work on it with her. She finally ditched her paci, only to replace it with her thumb. While it sure is cute, I'm pretty sure it's worse to have a thumb sucker as I can't get rid of her thumb!


Everyday with her is a joy and I can't imagine my life without her. I'm looking forward to watching her grow into the amazing girl, and one day woman, God is already forming her into. •

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Dear Yahoo Shine and Elise Solé,

I'm sure many women out there appreciate your article on how super models are the most physically insecure women on the planet. I'm sure it felt wonderful to know that we "normal" women aren't the only ones who feel too fat, that our hair isn't perfectly coiffed, or that we have some body part that just isn't measuring up to the super model standard. I'm sure to an average woman, it felt wonderful knowing that we are not alone. Instead we are amongst the super models in this one area of our lives. We are all insecure.

However, I am not an average woman.

You see while you, Elise, took from model Cameron Russell's talk that models are insecure, I took from it that my bi-racial daughter has a less than 4% chance of ever becoming a model. It's not that I have high dreams that she will become one, but it's the fact that she is part African American that will potentially bar her from being what she may want to be one day. Meanwhile, my two Caucasian daughters have a 96% chance of becoming a model if the genetic lottery plays in their favor.

Something is wrong with that.

Outside of briefly mentioning Cameron's quote: "I am on this stage because I am a pretty white woman and in my industry we call that a 'sexy girl'", your article did not focus on what America needs to hear so that change can happen.

America needs to hear that Cameron didn't focus on her insecurity as a model. Rather a good portion of her talk was on how racial inequality plays a role in our society today. She talked about:

-How we have defined beauty as white skin.
-Last year (2011) in New York City, of the 140,000 teenagers that were stopped and frisked 86% of them were Black and Latino and most of them were young men. There are only 177,000 young Black and Latino men in New York City, so for them it's not a question of "Will I get stopped, but how many times will I get stopped? When will I get stopped?".
-How difficult it was for her to unpack a legacy of gender and racial oppression, when she is one of the biggest beneficiaries.

You had an opportunity to open America's eyes to this inequality, and yet, you chose instead to focus on a small piece of her talk. One that most likely won't cause controversy because we can all agree to feeling insecure at times.

But I won't ignore that racial inequality. Perhaps, as a white woman, I would have focused on the insecurity part of her talk. However, all of that changed in 2010 when I became a white mama to my bi-racial daughter. I can no longer pretend I didn't hear the facts about inequality in Cameron's talk. Because if I do so, one day my daughter will ask me why I didn't fight harder for her to have the same privilege as her white sisters do. I would have to answer her honestly, that I turned away from it and chose to ignore it because it's too controversial of a battle to fight. It's too large. It's too hard.

On that Tuesday when I became a mama to my daughter, I promised her first mom that I would fight for her. That I would not let the color of her skin change what she can do in this life. In making that promise to her first mom, I made that same promise to my beautiful Xiomara.


Thus I write this letter to you. The Xiomara's of this world deserve a chance too. No matter the color of their skin. They deserve to be all that they can and want to be. It's time to talk about it, not just shove it under the controversy rug in feigned ignorance.

In Proverbs it says, "Once our eyes have been opened we can't pretend we don't know what to do. God, who weighs our hearts and keeps our souls, knows that we know and holds us responsible to act." Proverbs 24:12

Perhaps Cameron said it best, "There are people paying a cost for how they look and not who they are". I think it's time to do something about it. I only wish I would have known long before I became a mama to a bi-racial daughter. I only wish I would have cared when I was just another privileged white woman.

For now, I'm just going to wait on the world to change.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

I Get To Be The One

Dear Xiomara,

Today is National Adoption Day! A pretty important day to celebrate if you ask me. It's hard for me to imagine that a little over two years ago, you weren't here. Today, I get to be the one.



Well hello, little baby
Your eyes have never seen the sun
You should know, little baby
That I am the lucky one

The one to nurse you before bed. To hold you tightly in my arms as you drift off to sleep. The one to hear you exclaim you were in your birthmom's tummy. The one to tell you all about her; and the love she had for you.

I get to be the one to hold your hand
I get to be the one
Through birthdays and broken bones
I'll be there to watch you grow
I get to be the one



The one to take you potty for the very first time. To hear your excitement over each chocolate chip earned. The one to hear your soft little voice sing Jesus Loves Me to your dollie when you think no one is listening.

Don't feel alone now, little baby
Do you hear me singing you a song?
I can't wait to show you, little baby
How to crawl, how to walk, and how to run


The one to mourn her loss; yet celebrate mine. To stare at your beauty and play with your curls. To watch your face light up, dimple come out, and hear that full belly laugh.

How does someone so small hold my heart so tightly?
I don't even know you
I love you completely


Photo by: Holly D Photography

Little one, we truly are the lucky ones. To watch you form a bond with your sisters over a pillow fight. To hear you say "I love you". I am so thankful little one, that I get to be the one.

With all my love,

Mama

Lyrics are in italics from the song I Get To Be The One by JJ Heller (it is definitely worth a listen)!

 

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