Tuesday, July 26, 2011

An Award!

My First Award

Wow!  How shocked was I to be reading one of my favorite blogs, Sunny in Seattle, when I realized that Sunny had nominated me for my very first blogging award!!!  So very exciting!  It looks like this is just a fun award to pass along from one blogger to another.  I’ll take it.  Thanks Sunny! 

The rules of this award are simple: list 7 things about yourself and pass the award on to 7 other bloggers. Done!

So here we go…7 things about me:

1)  I take a clipboard, a large one, to the grocery store.  I clip my list and my coupons to it and am way over the weird looks I get from people.  I love grocery shopping.  I love my grocery list.  And I have no idea how other people cross things off of their list without using a clipboard.

2)  I can’t spell.  A few months ago I was quizzing my niece, giving her words to spell.  I gave her “balloon”.  She got it right.  I told her that she was wrong.  Luckily our whole extended family was there to help straighten things out.

3)  I am totally smitten for over-priced fancy coffee drinks.  The less it tastes like coffee and the more sugar added the better.  Anything that Biggby sells with the word “bear” at the end is good with me.

4)  I prepare every single meal in this house except for Saturday morning breakfast.  Chris and Addison make smoothies and pancakes on Saturdays…and have branched out to French toast upon request.

5) I always have my toes painted.  I used to always have my toes and fingers painted and they always, always, always, matched.  Enter Addison.  I always have my toes painted.

6)  Before I go to bed I always give Addison one last kiss.  I love watching her sleep, smelling her sleepiness, and wondering what she might be dreaming about.  It is the best way to end my day.

 7)  I am not a morning person.  Never have been and probably never will be.  I am very lucky to have a husband that accommodates and coddles my morning grumpiness.  He gently whispers to me that I have 15 minutes before my feet need to hit the floor and then comes back to tell me I have 3 min at which point I end up crawling out of bed.  This happens every day… a pretty good deal on my end!

And I am passing this award on to:  Deanna at Growing in the Family Way, Sarah at Confessions of a Pomomama, Amy at Journey of the Heart, Jill at the Happiest Sad, I am at Statistically Impossible, Cami at Cambria Leann, Sterling at My Adoption Journey.  All of these bloggers are writing wonderfully substantial stuff!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

We Are Not Complete

When I ordered Addison her first Christmas stocking, I also ordered two extra stockings (I would have ordered three, but Chris stopped me at two - not ready to totally commit to my 4 kid plan).  Yes, I am a planner and maybe it was a little premature to order Christmas stockings for children that did not exist…but I wanted them all to match, of course!  In all seriousness…the thing is that even at that point in our lives, just months after welcoming our first baby into our lives, my heart was preparing and leaving space for our future, for our dream, for our children.  The possibility of Addison being our only child never crossed my mind. 
The heaviness of this journey is weighing on me this week.  I am tired.  I am sad.  Hopelessness has crossed my path once again and this period of waiting has become hazy and suffocating.  It is all a part of the process…all a part of what we knew, or thought we knew, as we began the adoption process. 
It has been almost 3 years since we began trying to bring another life into our home.  Three long years.  And with each year the world has continued spinning, although some days I wish it would stop…so we can catch up, catch our breath, catch our tears. 
We know that so many of our friends, family and supporters are tired of hearing about our losses, hearing about our pain and hearing about the adoption process.  We understand.  We know that so many are also feeling hopeless for us… changing their once reassuring tone of “It will happen” or “I know that there is a baby for your family” to the ever so slightly less hopeful, “I think it will happen”, “It seems like this would happen for you”.  I notice the difference.  I notice that others are tired too. 
Others ask or wonder why we continue down this path.  Why don’t we just stop and be happy with the family that is already ours?  Why do we continue to put ourselves through the hardships, the ups and downs, and the emotional strain of this process?  Adoption is, after all, a choice.  A few months ago I asked a similar question of a friend who has also been waiting to adopt for a very long time.  Her response was simple and clear, “we are not complete and we will not give up until we are complete”.  There is no answer better than that.  We are not complete.

This hopeless week has stirred conversation and motivated Chris and I to look at how we might go about this process differently.  Our talks include exploring other agencies, becoming licensed as foster care parents, trying to better “advertise” our family on our own.  All of these additional paths will take our time, our energy and our hope.  We don’t have any answers yet, or know which path we will take, but we do know that we will continue to look at ways to better connect with those children who may need our home, and with those moms considering an adoption plan for their child.  There are many children who need homes and we just need to do a better job of reaching out to those children.  We will find them and we will complete each other. 
While hopelessness prevails this week and sadness returns, one thought keeps us moving forward, one simple sentence reminds us that we are not ready to give up…we are not complete.   When our brains and our emotions get the best of us and the over-analyzing becomes obsessive, the simplicity of the statement, we are not complete, momentarily puts us at ease.  During a week like this, maybe that is all that we can ask for. 
In the face of hopelessness I will hold out that someday all of my purchased stockings will be hanging, waiting for Santa…and if I really hold on to my dream…maybe, just maybe, I will get to purchase that forth stocking…even if it doesn’t match. ;-)

Thursday, July 7, 2011

A Chris Blog

Dana finds such comfort in writing this blog and I am so happy that she found an outlet for the many emotions that run through her mind as we continue on this journey to once again become parents.  I am so appreciative of each and every one of you that takes the time to read and follow along with us.  Since I also love to write, I am excited to share my very first blog with you all tonight.   I am sure it won’t be Dana quality, but hopefully it will shed a little more light on me and what this journey has meant to me…   

She just can’t seem to get enough “Daddy Time” recently.  Since I work full time, Addison and I get limited time together during the week…we spend the early mornings together before I leave and I am welcomed home by her every evening for dinner and am usually the one who takes her to bed.   The weekend is when our “real” time together begins…Addison loves the weekends and is all about our crazy games and our silly inside jokes that can sometimes drive Dana crazy…which of course, make them all that much better.      

At one point during this past holiday weekend, I was lying on the family room floor hoping to get a short nap in before our next event of the day began.  Dana and Addison were playing in the same room and I started to doze off.  My little girl, however, wanted nothing to do with me resting.  This was her time, our time, and she was not going to give up that easily.   As I lie there on the floor she started to crawl all over me, gently placing checkers on my face, and whispering in my ear “Daddy, don’t go to sleep” … all in an attempt to keep me awake and spend as much time with me as possible.  The nap never happened - as it never does.  Unless she is napping, there is no nap for Daddy. 

Times like these make me sit back and realize what a precious gift it is to be a dad.  There she is … more perfect than I could have ever dreamed, and she wants nothing more than to play with me and share all this love overflowing from her heart.  I found myself lying on the floor that afternoon smiling at how great it is to be this little girl’s dad.  At dinner that night, a time we often go around the table and share what we are thankful for, I told her that my attempted nap was the best part of my weekend.    

What an awesome responsibility to be that important to another person, to be that loved and cherished and for nothing more than being her Dad.  It is an honor to parent this little girl, to guide her and help her navigate her way through this life.  It is so important to me to always remember that every interaction with her creates this mosaic which will become her childhood.  To remember that even when I am tired and would really like to nap, this little person is bursting with love and life and the most important thing I can do is simply spend time with her.  I don’t see this as pressure or a burden – quite the opposite actually.  Being a parent is the best gift I have ever received.   

I always wanted to be a parent, but understandably had no idea what that actually entailed.  Now, almost 5 years in, I have a better perspective than ever, but I know I still have so much to learn.  I think that’s the best thing about being a family.  You are in this together and even though we don’t know what’s around the next corner, I find tremendous comfort knowing that at least Dana and Addison, the two most important people in my life, will be there beside me.

Even though we desperately hope for the opportunity to raise many more children, and I cannot wait to be a Dad again someday, we will only get one chance to raise Addison.  We will only get one chance to cherish this time that is her childhood.  I try my very best to not get caught up in the “what if’s” of the past and the future, but instead to stay present with her…even if that means skipping a nap as my little girl decorates my face with checkers.