Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Last Day To Vote

Hopping on real quick to ask you all to go VOTE for me one last time!!

Clicking on the word VOTE above will bring you directly to the page to vote for my blog. Just click the thumbs up and you have voted. :) Right now, I'm around 34th place. Which in and of itself is a huge honor. I still would love to jump up to 25th place because then I get an interview in which I can share my dream. That interview is shared with 6 million people! Which in turn means a greater chance of my dream becoming a reality! Which in turn means helping someone. Which in turns means changing one life forever!

Can you come help make that happen? You have until 5 p.m. PST! So go VOTE!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

A Letter To My Husband

Dear Christer,

I write this letter to you on Father's Day because you need to hear it, to understand it, and to believe it!! You are amazing! Ok, well maybe you already knew that, but I'm telling you again! ;)

But this letter isn't to tell you how amazing you are for working hard for our family. Or for owning two businesses. Or for parenting our three girls. You are amazing for all of that.

But no..this letter is to tell you how amazing you are to love a little girl who isn't your own flesh and blood.

I think that love comes naturally for a mother. No matter if said child is adopted or birthed, it is just ingrained in a mother to love. And so she does. The maternal instincts rise up and she becomes mama bear to her cub. For a dad, there is a certain pride in looking down into that little face and knowing that he/she is a part of you. That she has your nose, or that he has your chin.

But you, you didn't get that with our daughter. Instead, you looked at her on that hot July day in Georgia, with more love in your eyes than I can ever remember you looking and it literally shone throughout the room. You loved a little girl that looked nothing like you, or I, and that somewhere has a different biological dad. You looked past all of that and saw her for who she was: A little girl in need of love from her daddy. In the days after her birth, I watched a love and protection well up in you like none other.

 I remember before we adopted, while we were still in the waiting process friends would ask me how you felt about the adoption. Or would ask me if you could really love a child that was not your "own". I never hesitated in knowing that you could. And I was right.

Because you are amazing. Because I love. Because they love you. Happy Father's Day!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Vote For My Blog Please!

Ok, big breath here. I'm asking for votes. Right now there is a contest going on for the Top 25 Adoption Blogs. I've entered mine. I have no grand thoughts of becoming #1 (nor do I think I deserve it), but I would be very honored to be in the Top 25.

So why ask for votes? I have dreams. Lots of dreams. All involving adoption. I constantly am asking myself what I could do to help the orphans in Ethiopia? How can I touch birthmoms just like "R" or "J"? What can I do for a family just like us that has no money to adopt, but feels very called to it?

So my mind spins and the dreams come.

I want to explore those dreams! But I need people backing me, encouraging me, being a part of those dreams. One way to do that is to expose my blog to others who have this passion just like I do. Who can help or know someone who can.

Right now, my crazy dream is to take $10 and turn it into $100. $100 into a thousand, $1,000 into $10,000 and from there the possibilies are endless. I want to use that money to all go towards adoption. Perhaps to a family wanting to adopt. Or to an orphan in Africa. Or maybe something else yet to be revealed to me.

It is very humbling to put my dreams out there on a public blog. For fear that they may fail or never happen. But I'm taking that leap of faith knowing that I have to open myself up in order for the dream to get started. Big dreams, but not impossible and I truly believe with the help of others we can make adoption more the "norm" and perhaps more attainable.

So if you have a minute, would you go vote for me? All you need to do is click on the thumbs up and you are good. You can vote once every 24 hours (until June 21st)! Just follow the link, look for my blog: On Our Hearts, and click the thumbs up. Also, please spread the word because I really want to see this dream become a reality!

Friday, June 10, 2011

The day my world changed

One year ago, on June 10, 2010, my life changed. That day had always been just another day on the calendar, and also a day to mark my half birthday. But on that day, it became SO much more.
The day I found out about you Xiomara.

I'll never forget the exact spot I was standing. Meridian was sleeping, and I was already late to get Zoelle down for a nap. It was a little after 2 p.m. and I was heading up the stairs to put Zoelle to sleep. I was a little cranky because she wasn't cooperating and then the phone rang. I did what all moms do, the fake and happy, "Hello" when in the inside, I was feeling the opposite. It was our social worker. We had been in talks with her for a few days about updating our profile books to be more current, so I wasn't shocked it was her. In fact that morning she had called me several times asking if I had decision about whether or not we wanted to agree to the new policy that An Open Door Adoption Agency in Georgia had. The new policy concerned money being given at match and then if the adoption did fall through, that money would be tied up with the agency. So we would basically be "stuck" with them if something went wrong. I remember Chris being super busy that morning and he refused to give me an answer. I was feeling down and frustrated and just wanted to give her an answer, but Chris was far too busy to make that important of a decision.

Thus when I saw it was the social worker, my heart sank. I knew I didn't have an answer for her yet. My heart was leaning towards yes, Chris was leaning towards no. I answered  the call anyway prepared to fully tell her that I would call her back no later than that night with an answer. And I did tell her that when almost immediately she asked me if I had a chance to ask Chris yet. I'll never forget her answer, "Well...apparently they umm...they didn't understand me when I said you hadn't agreed to the new policy...and well, they showed your profile to a birthmom this morning and she picked you".

And just like that my life changed.

All breath left me as I wondered about you Xio, and of course my thoughts went to you "J".

That day we learned very little. We learned that most likely you were a girl and I remember being overjoyed at that news because we always felt like God had a little girl named Xiomara for us through adoption.

That night as I went to bed, I could hardly sleep. I was so excited, nervous, and scared. My mind wandered back and forth between the baby that was to become you Xiomara, and to you "J". I wondered what you were like, what your pregnancy had been like, how it felt to have the baby move within your tummy. Was she a kicker like some babies? Did you carry her up high, or way down low? Had you been miserably sick like I am for my pregnancies?

And somewhere between June 10th and June 11th, I felt like I became a part of you. For you had chosen me to be a part of your daughter's life. And I fell in love with her before she was even born.

I began to wonder that night at the sheer courage it took to make a decision on who would raise your child. After all, who could possibly love her as much as you do?? I slowly realized that in choosing us, we became joined together; connected. She would no longer have just a mom, but two. One who was in her everyday present life, and one who choose to carry her and love her enough to give life to her.

And my life changed. Forever. And your life changed "J". Forever. And your life changed Xiomara. Forever.

One decision. One day. Changed.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Help during a failed adoption

No one wants to experience a failed adoption. Even though the child you were all set in place to adopt isn't legally yours, your heart has been opened and you have spent many nights dreaming of him/her. It hurts.

I realize I never spent much time talking about our failed adoption. It was too fresh and raw at the time to do so. Today, I thought I would share three tips to help a family who has gone through a failed adoption.

1. Listen. Acknowledge the loss, make sure they know you care by saying "I'm sorry", but stop there! Don't ask questions, or tell the story of a friend who you know who went through the same thing, don't assume the birthmom is horrible for changing her mind either. There is a story to every story and unless the adoptees want to share, just be there for them as a listening ear when and if they want to share.

2. Bring them a meal. When our adoption feel through, it literally felt like a child of mine had died. I wanted to stay in bed all day, hide, and cry. The last thing I wanted to do is cook. So bring over a meal (but remember just drop it off and leave as they probably aren't up for entertaining). If they have other children in the home, bring some cookies to cheer up their day (they are probably hurting too).

3. Pray. There is nothing much better than asking God to heal the hurt, give them peace, and to protect the birthmom/child.

Anyway you look at it, failed adoption stinks. But hopefully, with a little help from you, and a lot of help from God, they can get through it and come out stronger on the other side!