Monday, August 5, 2013

AWESOME 2 weeks!!

Open adoption ROCKS! I just had to put that out there first, because it does, and because it's been such a wonderful 2 weeks with my granddaughter Angel, and The Awesomes.

It was CJ's birthday in July, so The Awesomes decided to surprise her by showing up a week early on her special day. I was aware of what was coming, and helped them plan the surprise. CJ was so happy to see them here. It made her birthday so special. They are so thoughtful and loving. We are so blessed.

The greatest part of all this, is that because they came so early (their own family reunion didn't start for another week), they stayed at our house for 5 days! Yes, you read that right. It was a dream come true for me, to have them here for such a long time, just spending time with our family. We had a blast! We went to the local water park twice, played at the city park, took family pictures, went out to dinner, and played in the sprinkler (just to mention a few things). Having Angel here all day, every day, was wonderful. CJ spent as much time with her birth daughter as she possibly could, and had some special moments with her.

The Awesomes spent a week at their family reunion, and we attended one of our own (my husband's family), and also helped our oldest daughter move from where she and her husband had been living, 400 miles away, back to our area.

The last weekend they were here, they came to my own family's reunion, and camped overnight with us. I was so happy to be able to introduce them to my siblings and nieces and nephews! It was so great having them there. It was a perfect day! Then we camped that night and roasted hot dogs and marshmallows around the campfire. The next morning, they left to drive back home home (sob, sob), but my youngest daughter went with them, and will be flying back at the end of the week. The Awesomes are so thoughtful. They invited my youngest daughter to come with them because she has been struggling with depression, and has had a hard time lately. They hoped the trip would help her, and cheer her up a little. That's the kind of people they are. We are so blessed to have found them, and so blessed to be able to add them to our family.

The time I spent with my granddaughter was so precious. I really felt a close bond, and had many "moments" with her. I'm so grateful.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Birth Mother's Day

The Saturday before Mother's Day has been designated as Birth Mother's Day. I didn't know this until my daughter became a birth mom, and informed me, on the first Mother's Day weekend after the birth, that I should be honoring her. Of course I honor her in my heart every day for her unselfish decision, but I also try to let her know, on that day, how much I do honor her strength and courage as a birth mom. I am proud of her always and always!

This year on Mother's Day weekend, we all took a little mini-trip together. My oldest daughter and her husband live about 6 hours away from us. The rest of us packed up and went to stay in my husband's hometown, just 2 hours from them, so we could all meet there and be together for Mother's day.

On Saturday, Birth Mother's Day, CJ received a text from her roommate telling her that an edible bouquet (the kind with fruit pieces on sticks in a vase, to look like a flower arrangement) was delivered to her apartment. It was from Angel (with the help of Mrs. Awesome, of course).

We both got tears in our eyes when we found out what the card said:

"Thank you for ME, and for bringing me to my mommy and daddy. Love, Angel"

She's starting to understand already.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

The Legacy of a Child in an Open Adoption (LOVE this poem)

The Legacy of a Child in an Open Adoption
  By Brenda Romanchick

Once there were two expectant mothers.
One carried and cared for you beneath her beating heart
She became your Birthmother.
The other carried the hope of you within her.
She became your Mom.
As the days passed, and you grew bigger and stronger,
Your Birthmother knew that she could not give you all you needed after
your birth.
Meanwhile, your Mom was ready and waiting for you.

One day your Birthmom and your Mom found each other.

They looked into each other’s eyes and saw a friend.
Your Birthmom saw the life your Mom could give you.
Your Mom saw how much your Birthmom loved and cared for you.

They decided that what you needed was both kinds of love in your life.

So now you have two families,
One by birth, the other by adoption.

And you have a home where you can get:
your questions answered,
your boo boos bandaged,
your heartaches soothed,
And much needed hugs.

And a place where you can find:
answers to your questions,
your image in the mirror,
a part of yourself,
And much needed hugs.

Two different kinds of families
Two different kinds of love
Both a part of you.


Being Grandma

Sorry, I've been such a slacker and haven't posted in several months. I think I've been too into perfectionism, trying to think of the "perfect" thing to post about.

I started this blog for 2 reasons: The first reason was selfish. I needed to write about my experience for my own sanity. I needed to get my feelings down on "paper", so to speak. The second reason was to get the adoption message out there. I hoped that other people would read it and see how positive adoption can be. I hoped to make a difference in someone's life who was considering adoption, both from the birthparent side and the adoptive couple side. I have now had almost 3000 people read my blog since I started it only 8 months ago. I hope I have touched at least one of those person's hearts to help them realize that adoption is truly a loving, and even joyful alternative. Thank you for reading my scattered thoughts and feelings!

About 2 months ago, I asked Mrs. Awesome if I could call Angel once a week. I told her I really want to be more a part of Angel's life. I wanted to establish a habit with her, so that she will know I love her and want to be there for her. I started calling her every Sunday. We usually talk on Google Plus so that we can see each other. My husband, or whoever else is around at the time, joins in with the conversation.

Talking to a 3 year old is not always as fun as it may sound. As many of you probably know firsthand, most 3 year olds are not very good phone conversationists. Angel doesn't say very much when I call her, and when she does I often have a hard time understanding what she said. There can be long periods of silence, or moments when I can't think of anything to say or do so I show her the dog or the cat or something, There was once that she wouldn't even stay in the frame of the computer camera to talk to me, so her parents were literally chasing her around with their laptop to get her to talk to me! It was pretty hilarious. Of course, I don't get hurt or mad when this happens. I understand. I just want her to know that I love her  and care enough to try to keep in contact with her. Hopefully, it will get better as she gets older (hopefully no one has to chase her around to talk to me when she's 16). I look forward to our call all week. I love seeing her cute little face on the screen, even if there's not much quality conversation. I'm grateful that Mrs. Awesome is so supportive of me doing this, and is willing to sit there and help her (and translate her gibberish when I need her to).

Recently, I found out that Mr. and Mrs. Awesome and Angel will be coming here for their family reunions in August, and they have set aside 5 days to just spend time with CJ and with our family! The best part about that though, is that at the exact same time period my own family reunion is happening. I asked them if they would go with us to my family reunion, and they said yes! I am so excited to have my family (my siblings, nieces and nephews) meet Angel and her adoptive family. Most of them haven't met Angel yet. I can't even express how excited this makes me! I can't wait to show her off to EVERYBODY!! We're also going to go camping with them in the same area as the reunion that same weekend. I get butterflies just thinking about it.

I've sent Angel several packages lately, with Easter and St. Patricks day clothes and toys. I also made her a little mini photo album of pictures of her with our family, and just some fun pictures we took of her. Then I bought a frame that holds 2 snapshots, and I put one photo of she and I, and one with my husband and her. I wish I'd taken a picture of it so I could remember what the words were on the frame, but it said something cute. :)

Saturday, January 26, 2013

So Grateful

This week I turned 52 years old. OLD being the operative word in my mind. It's amazing how your spirit doesn't age, so inside you feel the same as you did when you were 25, but when you look in the mirror you think, "Who is that old person staring back at me?" But even though I wonder how I got all these wrinkles and saggy skin, I feel so grateful that I am able to have another birthday. That I am able to turn 52, and still be here on this earth, enjoying my life and my family, in good health. I think about my good friend Diane, who died of cancer at age 42. I think of my two brothers-in-law, who died at the ages of 33 and 45. They didn't get to be 52. They missed out on so much living and enjoyment in watching their family grow up. I am so grateful for every day, every wrinkle, and every sag!

More to be grateful for: Speaking of my birthday, I had an especially great one. Mrs. Awesome and Angel came to our area for Mrs. Awesome's grandpa's funeral (so sorry). Since we had just spent 7 days at their house only a few weeks before, we didn't expect to see them while they were here. We knew it was a difficult time for Mrs. Awesome and her family, and they needed time to be together. So, when my phone rang on the evening of my birthday, right after lunch and a movie with my hubby, I was surprised to see it was Mrs. Awesome calling. To my bigger surprise, she asked if we would want to watch Angel that night while the adults in her family had dinner out together. Of course I couldn't find enough ways to say YES, YES, YES!! To say we hurried home is an understatement. I was on cloud 9 or maybe it was 10, or 11. We are blessed to see Angel a lot in our open adoption, but it's rare that she spends time with us, in our home, alone. It was the best birthday present Mrs. Awesome could have given me!

My kids were all there, except my oldest and her hubby, who recently moved out of state (I hate that they aren't close enough to come to our family birthday dinners!). CJ was making dinner for me, so I got to enjoy some playtime and reading time with Angel while dinner was cooking. I was feeling like a real grandma, and loving it! She had dinner with us (and made us laugh the whole time) and then she "helped" me open my presents and blow out my candles. It was so wonderful to have her there with us. I can't remember when I've felt so much joy. I'm so grateful! I couldn't thank Mrs. Awesome enough when she finally came to pick Angel up. I know she had other, closer, places she could have had Angel stay that night, but she drove all the way to our house and let us have time alone with her. Thank you Mrs. Awesome!!

I have so much to be grateful for. I have been blessed with a funny, annoying husband, 5 loud, obnoxious and hilarious children (and a son-in-law who fits right in), a job where I can enjoy 26 crazy ten-year-olds every day, and even when one of my hardest trials happened, the Lord made it all okay by giving us the best open adoption situation there could ever be. I am so grateful.