Tuesday, November 30, 2010

National Adoption Month

Here we are at the 30th of November. I'm not exactly sure where this month went. It seems like it was just 31 for 21 in October and now we're at the end of November. Thanksgiving is over. Christmas is upon us. The year is nearly done.

It occurred to me that I had failed to post anything in regards to National Adoption Month. I feel like a total slacker!

November is indeed National Adoption Month. I LOVE that there is an entire month dedicated to adoption. We talk about adoption often in our home. National Adoption Month is just another way to focus on the topic.

For those of you who may not know, all three of our incredible children came to our family through the miracle of adoption. Tyler was ten weeks old when we adopted him on August 11, 2004. Emmalee came to us just eight months later when she was exactly two weeks old. Her adoption day is April 20, 2005. Nathaniel was born on September 1, 2007. He was 15 weeks early and spent almost four months in the NICU. His adoption day is December 21, 2007 and he came home from the hospital on December 29.

Each of our children's adoption stories is unique; as unique as each child. Each of them came to us when they were meant to. Each of them came to us HOW they were meant to. I have no doubt that these children were meant to be ours. And I have no doubt that adoption was always the plan for our family.

Of course, that is easy to say now that I am blessed with these little ones. I wasn't always so sure. I wasn't always so confident that adoption was our plan. There were many, many tears shed, many prayers uttered, many days of worry and fear. There were also years of doctor's visits and fertility treatments. Years of self pity and doubt.

I will tell you that once we made the adoption decision, everything fell into place. It was as if Heavenly Father breathed a sigh of relief that we had finally figured it out. Things happened quickly once our final decision was made. We completed our initial home study in April 2004 and Tyler was home in August. One year from the initial home study we brought Emmalee home. And just three and a half years after that first home study we were blessed with Nathaniel. Yes, once we accepted and understood the plan for our family, we were blessed.

There isn't a day that I don't think about and pray for each of our children's birth parents. It is because of them, their love and their sacrifices that we are a family. We will be forever in their debt.

Tyler was also blessed with "first parents." Not only does he have incredible birth parents, he has amazing first parents. We love his first parents as well.

Did I ever expect when Brent and I got married that we would build our family thorough adoption? In a word, no. It honestly never occurred to me that we wouldn't be able to have biological children. It just wasn't something I had thought of. But WOW! I simply can not imagine our lives without THESE children. I know, without a doubt, that these children were meant to be in our family. And I also know that the only way they were able to come to us is through adoption.

Our children are the greatest blessings in our lives. They have made us a family. They have brought us closer together as a couple. I thank my Father in Heaven every single day for these beautiful children!!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Eye Color and Love

Dear Emmalee,

I adore you! You are one of the sweetest little people I know.

Sometimes I wonder if you will ever sleep through the night in your own bed. You are almost six, you know.

Okay, the truth is that I secretly like that you come snuggle with us. We could set a clock by you. It is almost always 1:00 a.m when you come in. Sometimes you are a bit cranky and get a little irritated if I don't move over right away. Sometimes I wake up in the morning and don't even remember you coming in. And sometimes, like two nights ago, the best thing in the whole world happens.

As usual, you came in right around 1:00. You snuggled right into me and I was still kind of awake so I said hello to you and then you and I had the best conversation. You were so smiley and had the sweetest little whispery voice. You told me how much you love me, (all the way to the moon, all the countries, all the states, all of China, all the way back to the bottom of the deep blue sea, all of New York and all around the world.) And then you asked me how much I love you. (All around the world forever, all the way through the entire universe and all the way back to the bottom of the deep blue sea.) You told me how much you love daddy and Tyler and Nate. You told me that you're glad I'm your momma. It was perfect. It made me so very happy! I told you that you and I and daddy have the same color eyes. And guess what you said? You told me "that's how we know we were meant to be together forever!" You know what, sweet girl? You're right. We were meant to be together forever. No doubt about it. You were meant to be our girl and we were meant to be your momma and daddy. What an incredible gift it is to be a forever family!

I know that someday, all too soon, I will wake up and you won't be snuggled in bed with us. I'll stay awake until 1:00 in the morning and you won't come in. You'll be too big. And when that day comes, I will be sad. I may even cry a little. But no matter what, I will always have the memory of one perfect night, snuggled tight with my baby girl, whispering about how much we love each other. Thank you for giving me that amazing gift, Emmalee. I am so blessed to be your momma!



Monday, November 1, 2010

I Am The Child

I found this on another blog and cried as I read it. Grab some tissues!


I am the child who cannot talk. You often pity me, I see it in your eyes. You wonder how much I am aware of -- I see that as well. I am aware of much -- whether you are happy or sad or fearful, patient or impatient, full of love and desire, or if you are just doing your duty by me. I marvel at your frustration, knowing mine to be far greater, for I cannot express myself or my needs as you do.

You cannot conceive my isolation, so complete it is at times. I do not gift you with clever conversation, cute remarks to be laughed over and repeated. I do not give you answers to your everyday questions, responses over my well-being, sharing my needs, or comments about the world about me. I do not give you rewards as defined by the world's standards -- great strides in development that you can credit yourself; I do not give you understanding as you know it.

What I give you is so much more valuable -- I give you instead opportunities. Opportunities to discover the depth of your character, not mine; the depth of your love, your commitment, your patience, your abilities; the opportunity to explore your spirit more deeply than you imagined possible. I drive you further than you would ever go on your own, working harder, seeking answers to your many questions with no answers. I am the child who cannot talk.

I am the child who cannot walk. The world seems to pass me by. You see the longing in my eyes to get out of this chair, to run and play like other children. There is much you take for granted. I want the toys on the shelf, I need to go to the bathroom, oh I've dropped my fork again. I am dependant on you in these ways. My gift to you is to make you more aware of your great fortune, your healthy back and legs, your ability to do for yourself. Sometimes people appear not to notice me; I always notice them. I feel not so much envy as desire, desire to stand upright, to put one foot in front of the other, to be independent. I give you awareness. I am the child who cannot walk.

I am the child who is mentally impaired. I don't learn easily, if you judge me by the world's measuring stick, what I do know is infinite joy in simple things. I am not burdened as you are with the strifes and conflicts of a more complicated life. My gift to you is to grant you the freedom to enjoy things as a child, to teach you how much your arms around me mean, to give you love. I give you the gift of simplicity. I am the child who is mentally impaired.

I am the disabled child. I am your teacher. If you allow me, I will teach you what is really important in life. I will give you and teach you unconditional love. I gift you with my innocent trust, my dependency upon you. I teach you about how precious this life is and about not taking things for granted. I teach you about forgetting your own needs and desires and dreams. I teach you giving. Most of all I teach you hope and faith. I am the disabled child.

Author Unknown