Friday, May 30, 2008

Finalization pics

Here are the pics, as promised. The hearing went off without a hitch. The judge was very nice. She really enjoyed the girls. First she had us bring Princess up and she officially granted the order of adoption. Once that was done she asked us to bring Bug up there and officially ordered her Big Sister. She even gave her a Certificate of Sisterhood and she signed and dated it. Both girls got to hit the gavel to make their certificate "official." Princess didn't want to let go.

This morning Bug woke up and informed me that she no longer wants to be a doctor who delivers babies, but rather she would like to be a "judger." LOL...she is such a silly girl and has great goals for herself.

We had the girls grandparents and aunties there with us along with one of my very best friends and her parents. It was great to have loved ones there with us to be a part of this special day. It was a formality, but we wanted to honor its significance as well. Afterwards people came back to our house and we ate cake, played with Princess and the other kids and just relaxed...good times.

The fam heading into the courtroom

Waiting for the judge to enter

Princess is insisting she can keep the gavel...the judge did say she has another one "just in case." :)

Bug was overjoyed to be up front with the judge

This is the group minus my friend and her family (not sure why, but she didn't end up in the pic)

Some (apparently long) thoughts on adoption

I am going to post some pics from our finalization in the next post or two, but as I was thinking about what to write, some other adoption related feelings surfaced and so I am writing about those here first.

I will start this by saying that I had/have mixed emotions going into finalization. I am thrilled, tickled pink that Lil Princess is our daughter. She is more perfect than we even imagined possible. We don't want her to have the burden of feeling like she completed our family...that is a lot of responsibility for a little person to carry, but secretly to her daddy and I that is exactly what she does...completes our little family unit.

With all of the sugary-sweetness that The Designer and I experienced relating to adoption, I am not naive that others involved in our triad have not had the same positive experiences. I know that although Princess is well adjusted and happy, she has suffered a loss. She lost her first mother and father. Sure, she will have the opportunity to know them. She will be able to call them and ask questions when they arise. She will be able to share the highs and lows with them, should she choose. But she still experienced loss. For 9 months she was taken care of by N. She was warm, fed, and comfortable in N's belly. Then she was born and had to adjust to life outside the womb and then just a few short days after that, she had to adjust all over again when she came home with us.

I think God allows adoption and even blesses adoption, but I am not going to lie. I don't think He originally planned or hoped for adoption to be a way of life. I hope to ask Him for clarification when I meet Him face-to-face, but I just can't imagine that He originally planned for it because the amount of hurt and loss that people experience just doesn't seem like a God thing to me. I could be wrong..what do I really know anyway, right?

N lost. D lost. Princess lost. Sure, they all gained something too, but that doesn't negate their losses. We have heard some ridiculous statements, but this one has come up a few times over the past year of our lives..."Well, they shouldn't have gotten pregnant in the first place if they didn't want to go through this!" Seriously? I mean, SERIOUSLY? First I have to resist the urge to slap them, but once I can speak I am usually quick to remind them that they are not perfect either! We ALL make choices that have consequences...some are good and some not so good and then there are the few that are both good and bad consequences at the same time.

I know that N didn't want to get pregnant, but never for one minute did she not want Princess to exist. She loved that baby girl from the beginning. Ok, so the consequence of premarital sex for these two was the creation of a life that neither were prepared to care for, but that doesn't make them bad. That doesn't make them evil. That makes them human. Just because they got "caught" with a pregnancy doesn't make them not allowed to hurt when they placed Princess with us. Of course they hurt. Who wouldn't be gutwrenched to give away a piece of themselves to someone they have only known for a few short months. Heck, I can't even give away my "stuff" easily..try pricing some of your things for a yard sale, for example. Of course your stuff is worth more to you than someone else which is why it is hard to price for a sale. Yes, that is a ridiculous comparison, but my point is clear...they are entitled to their hurt feelings. They are entitled to suffer. They are entitled to grieve. No one, and I mean NO ONE has a right to take that away from them!!! So stop trying!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I am over the moon happy that I am Princess and Bug's mommy. I am not going to lie. The fact that both of these beautiful girls are in our household makes me smile from ear to ear. They bring us a joy that is unparalleled. I am proud of them like any mother is proud of her children. I don't go around hanging my head low and dwelling on the sadness that is associated with adoption. 99.9% of my life is filled with joy and happiness. However that doesn't mean I don't think about N and the hard time she is experiencing. I do and when I think of her I get sad. When I think of her, I worry. I have that right. I can be concerned for her. I don't have to explain it to anyone. It is nobody else's business, to be honest. I don't have to defend my feelings. I love N so much...I love her for who she is. I love her for choosing us to be her daughters parents. I love her as a friend. Like any of my friends that are hurting, I am sad when she suffers.

I hope this doesn't come across as complaining or whining, because that is the last thing I am wanting to do. I hope this comes through as my raw, honest emotions. (N, I know you are reading this and I am sure this will spark some conversation for us later!) With all of that said, it is extremely hard to be everything N needs and wants me to be. I want to be her friend, but I don't really know how.

First, there is an age difference causing us to have very different points of view on life. She is young, doing the young girl thing. Her focuses are/should be on school, her future, her goals, etc. I am not so young and my focus is on my immediate family and meeting the needs of my children and husband. I was her age once and I remember what it is like to have your whole life ahead of you and the possibilities endless. I still have a long life ahead of me, but many of "possibilities" are now realities and that brings us to different places in life.

Second, we have very different upbringings. Many of my friends and I do experience different upbringings. That is not a bad thing, but it does make us view things differently. Neither more right than the other, just different. She may think some of the the things I I do are wrong or different from the way she would do things and the opposite of that is true too...I wouldn't do everything the way she would. Neither of our ways are better than the others. It is ok to be different and I am thankful we are different in our makes us US!

Third, it is hard for me because I am not stupid...I know I have a life she wants. I am happily married. I have a house. I have an education. I have a strong, supportive, loving family. And, the most important...I have two beautiful daughters (one of which is HERS!) that I get to raise. I have a life that she hopes to have someday. That makes me feel guilty at times. I want to be able to give those things to her too. I want to give her the hope that she can also have those things. I want to make things right for her. I want to erase some of her past...some of the hurt. I can't do any of those things for her. Not one of them! That is hard for me to accept. I cannot give her a husband, a house, a safe life, an education or her daughter back...I just can't. I don't know how to tell her that she can have those things in the future without sounding condescending. She can and she will...I KNOW she will. She has every opportunity to have the life she wants if she grabs hold of it and runs. But, in the meantime I know she doesn't have it and I do and that sucks for her and as a consequence it sucks for me because I just don't know how to fix it.

I know it is not my job to fix things, but it is my character, my personality. I am a "fixer" in life. I want harmony. I want people to be happy. Most of the time I talk to N, she is not happy. Our conversations are heavy. I feel like I am a constant letdown to her because I can't give her those things mentioned above. I know she doesn't expect me to, but I am sure she would love it if I could. When the time comes for our phone conversations to end I can hear the disappointment in her voice. I don't know exactly what it is she needed or wanted more from me, but I can tell that whatever it is, I didn't meet her needs.

I am learning how to walk this fine line. I think, generally speaking, I do a decent job. I never ever EVER lie to her. I don't promise her things I can't life up to. I always try to be realistic about visits and such. I hope she knows that. I hope she knows I try. I hope she knows that I want so much more for her. I suppose soon enough she will know my thoughts because I know she reads my blog.

Anyway, I will get together some thoughts and pics from our finalization yesterday and share those hopefully still tonight or over the weekend. It was a great day for us and I want to share it with all of you, my readers.

God Bless!

Monday, May 19, 2008

I'm sorry and here's an update

I have to start out this post with an apology...I'm sorry. I'm sorry to those that are worried about me. I'm sorry to those that have needed me and I haven't been around.

Thanks to all of you who have called, emailed and left comments inquiring about our wellbeing.

You see, I haven't just been absent from blogland, but I have been rather absent in real life as well.

To start, I'm doing well. The girls are doing well. The Designer is doing well. There, got that out of the way.

Now, what have I been up to, you ask? Let me think...

Oh, I know, I'll make a list of highlights and low lights from the past couple of weeks to get you all up-to-date.

* Lil Princess is EXTREMELY mobile! (see also lowlights)
* The girls and I did a walkathon a week ago for the national kidney foundation.
* We have been outdoors a lot recently. The girls love to be outside.
* We took our first trip of the year to the zoo and had a picnic lunch a couple of days ago. That was fun!
* I'm all done teaching for the summer...woot! They called and asked me to teach a summer class 2 nights a week, but The Designer reminded me that summers are entirely too short around these parts and to just enjoy my time off.
* We're going "camping" this will be Lil Princess's first camping experience.
* Lil Bug is doing fabulous with her forearm crutches...she is getting speedy!
* We have been working on getting Lil Bug on a bowel management program (fancy words for timing when she has a BM) and that is going well...we are going to try big girl underpants soon!!!
* The Designer has NOT been working overtime, so he has been home more lately. That is nice.
* Speaking of The Designer...not sure if this goes on the highlights or low lights, but Lil Princess is a HUGE daddy fan...she will not let me hold her if he is in sight. Now I know how he felt when Lil Bug was little...she did the same, just preferred me over him.
* My Luckybug carriers are selling, selling, selling! I have had lots of special orders. It is fun! I am hoping to add a variety of products, but the carriers haven't slowed down enough for me to try out the other ideas I have just yet.
* Although I am not a huge Kenny Chesney fan, I am excited to be going to his concert this week on Wednesday.
* Planning on a long weekend trip to Chicago with my girls and my mom. My mom has never been to Chicago before (even though it is only 3 hours from here by car) and we are meeting up with some other friends that are involved in the world of adoption. Looking forward to it.

Low lights
* Lil Princess has ANOTHER ear infection. She has been on antibiotics for a couple of days and is finally starting to return to her normal, delightful self.
* Lil Princess is MOBILE! She crawls very fast now. She heads straight for the dogs ball (she has her own, but prefers the drooled, nasty one!) and straight for the DVD player and TV (which are low enough for her to reach).
* I have been out of touch with some of my dear friends. I hope they all know that I am not avoiding on purpose, just needing to address some personal issues in my life.
* The Designers grandfather (in Florida...his dads dad) had a major stroke a couple of weeks ago. They didn't think he would make it through, but he is actually out of the hospital and in a rehabilitation center.
* The Designers step-grandmother (in the Upper Peninsula...his moms step-mom) is dying. She "disappeared" about a week ago, no one could reach her. His uncle drove the 9 hours to get to her house and couldn't find her so he went to the hospital and discovered she is there. She has COPD and Pneumonia...she is refusing to see anyone and is refusing the treatments she needs besides the little oxygen things up the nose. They doesn't expect her to make it out of the hospital alive.
* The Designers uncle has Parkinsons and it is getting VERY bad. Not sure what the process of that disease is, but he seems to be going downhill so very quickly. He has had the disease for several years.
* Have been out of touch with Lil Princess's birthmom. Thinking about her a lot and hoping all is well. We have played phone tag recently and haven't touched base. Wish she would leave me a message when she calls. :( (If you are reading this, N, leave me a message next time, ok?)

I'm sure there is plenty more to "report" but that is all I can think of right now. Lil Bug is at school and Lil Princess is taking a nap so I am going to clean up the house a little while I have the chance.

Love to you all!!!