Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011... In Pictures!

Well, I'm pretty sure we started a new tradition in 2010 with our 'picture post' to close out the year... I just can't come up with a better way to document our most favorite memories of the year! Here it is....

 2011, in pictures...

We prepared our hearts and home to bring home Baby Smith #2....

 Someone special turned 3 years old....

We spent special time with our cousins....

We spent time with siblings....

Onk & Day graduated AND got engaged....

We dated each other....

Bonk drove across the country and came home in time for Christmas...

We went on a carriage ride...

We wore reindeer noses...

And paper hats...

And reindeer noses...

And paper hats....

Did I mention reindeer noses??

Families were together despite distances...

We dressed like Princess Peacocks and made silly faces...

Joey got a new job....

And we moved half-way across the country...

It was hard work...

We acted like princesses, even when doing breathing treatments...

And we even lost a couple adenoids and tonsils...

We rode the carousel...

We dated each other...

We ate ice cream....

We stayed close to best friends even though we don't live close anymore...

Someone learned how to use the big-girl potty...

We got some 'interesting' mail...

Hannah got to know her Great-Grandparents...

2011 will forever be remembered by us as one of the most challenging years we've ever had;  we planned for babies and lost those babies, we struggled through job loses and losing friends... but we also are thankful for a new job and new friends, our finances took hits along with everyone else in the world, we cut back but learned to appreciate the things we have and the people who love us, Joey and I both at times distanced ourselves from each other and the Lord... but we always found our way back to both and realized that things are much easier to get through with both, we found people whom we had lost.... in some cases, we were better off without them... and in others', we're thankful for their return and missed them so much, we learned that it's ok to be vulnerable and transparent... and to trust again, even though we have felt deceived so many times before, we learned that our Jesus never deceives us and that HIS plan should always be our plan.

As challenging as 2011 was, we were stretched and challenged and at times, didn't think we could make it... but we did;

and we loved each other through every second!

 ~ 2011 will be our last year as a family of 3... we just know it!! 2012 ... twenty-twelve... will ALSO be a year that we'll never forget and we'll appreciate it so much more, thanks to 2011. Thank you for taking this ride with us... hang on because it's going to get fun :-)

Friday, December 23, 2011

A Plea.... For Adoptive Parents

(I might piss some people off tonight but ultimately, I've decided that that's ok with me ;-) This is ONLY directed toward those first parents and adoptive parents who are involved in an OPEN adoption....)

I have had the privilege and complete honor of getting to know 11 birth moms this year alone... I consider them friends. These women, along with our own baby-girl's First Mom, have sacrificed what is good and pure and right for them in order to give someone else what they could not.

They're amazing... they're inspiring... they're strong (even though I know they feel weak, sometimes)...

and Christmas is one of the most difficult times of year for every one of them.

As special as it is to you... it's equally as bitter-sweet for them.

Adoptive Parents (mainly Moms because that's who most of you are ;-))~

(Please keep in mind that this is directed toward those AP's who have agreed to an OPEN relationship with their child's birth-parents, where there is some sort of contact, however limited it may be...)

There is another woman in this world who loves your child.... she is the ONLY other person in the world who's love for your child can even compare to YOUR'S. She, too holds the kind of love in her heart that a mom has for her child. You know the love I'm speaking of.... it's deep and sometimes so intense that it hurts.

Maybe your 'open adoption' consists of contact once a year. Maybe it's a few times a year. Maybe you meet in person from time to time. Maybe you email each other, or chat on the phone, or text once in a while. How often you connect and how isn't what matters....

For the past 2 weeks I have been emailing back and forth with 3 hurt, broken, and disappointed First Moms. Not ONE of them doubts the love their child's parents have for their child. Not ONE of them wishes they had made a different decision. Not ONE of them hates or dislikes their child's parents...

 And not ONE of them has been granted the opportunity for a picture, or letter, or face to face with their child... with your child. That means that WE, adoptive parents, have failed in some way. While in some cases contact around Holiday's wasn't 'agreed' upon, it is hoped for by every birth-parent I know and that makes me fairly comfortable stating that it is hoped for by EVERY birth mom in an open adoption... YOUR child's, included.

One mom I've spoken to is in what was decided to be (before baby was born), an open adoption. While I know better than anyone that there are always 2 sides of a story, here's this mom's side of the story; as soon as her baby's parents left the hospital, she became an in entity. She's had very little contact, other than a short, once-a-month email and a picture or two. A couple years ago, I would have thought that was enough... maybe more than enough. My opinion has changed.

She emailed her baby's parents a few weeks ago to ask if they could find a time when she could give her daughter the Christmas gifts she had chosen for her.

Their response?

"The Holiday's are busy and we don't have time to meet."

Christmas was a specific Holiday that they all agreed would be a time they would get together each year, at the very least.

Another mom? Her baby is less than 2 months old and her baby's parents said that they would contact her so that they could get together BEFORE Christmas. Today is Thursday, Christmas is Sunday, and she hasn't heard a word.

These Mom's have amazing attitudes and perspectives; Holiday's are busy for everyone. They have lots of family to see over the next few weeks. I can't ask them to travel at this time of year.... etc.

So, here I am, trying my best to speak to other moms who's children have First Moms;

Have you sent your family and friends Christmas cards this year? Maybe your child has made a special craft for his/her grandparents over their Holiday break. Did you write friends and family a card or send your child's picture with Santa to special people in your lives? Maybe you did something as simple as posting a picture of your child screaming while sitting on Santa's lap on Facebook (I've seen SO many of those...they're my favorite ;-)).

Did you make one or two extra and send them to your child's First Parents? Maybe Christmas wasn't included in your 'schedule' of contact but....

Why not? What can it hurt to stick an extra copy in the mail or order one extra family Christmas card?

Can I tell you something that I've learned this year?

Sending that card or making one extra special craft won't hurt anything or anyone.... it's NOT going that extra inch (because the effort involved really doesn't equal a mile) that will hurt someone.

It has the potential to hurt one of the most influential, special, wonderful people you'll ever meet;

The person who gave you your child.

Maybe you did send a thoughtful gift or order an extra card, buy an extra stamp, help your child make one extra special craft... if you did, 'THANK YOU' on behalf of all of the moms I know!

If you didn't... it's not too late.

These moms, no matter how long ago they placed a child in someone else's arms, are vulnerable to every decision you make... and let me tell you; WE, us adoptive parents, hold the power to crush a mom on one of the most special, exciting times of year;

(I think birthday's rank right up there, too!)

Will you do me a favor?

No matter your 'agreement'. No matter your level of openness (as long as it's open). No matter where or who your child's First Parents are...

will you go the extra inch and at the very least stick something in the mail? Make it special.... make THEM feel special.

Yes. I'm begging you. I have seen the broken hearts of women who have been denied the chance to just see even a picture of their child this year... and for some of them, a picture is what they desire more than anything. Maybe you send pictures but haven't met for lunch in a while... try to find time to do it now.

You'll be giving your child a special gift, too; a memory and pictures that will last forever.


** I recognize and appreciate that 'openness' can be a somewhat scary thing for adoptive parents, even if it IS what we agreed upon when we brought our children home. I am in NO way the best at reminding Hannah's birth parents of how special they are but I do try... even when it's not a Holiday. There's always more that I could do and these special moms I've gotten to know have inspired me to work harder at making sure Hannah's birth parents NEVER doubt for a second how healthy, happy, secure Hannah is, much she is loved, and how much THEY are loved! 

I have noticed that many of us struggle with what is 'appropriate' when it comes to small tokens that remind our child's first parents that they are special so I'd like to start posting some ideas; they're simple, affordable, and simply send the message that even though you are now this child's parents, his/her first parents (and their hearts) still matter, too. Will you help me?!

Here's what we made with Hannah this year and sent to grand-parents, aunts, uncles, and her birth parents... simple, easy, and now proudly displayed on many refrigerators (her birth parents', included!)

(We bought this set of 15 at Michaels (COUPON HERE) and you can get them for every special occasion you can imagine... so easy for our 3 year old to make and so fun)

Do you do something special for the birth parents in your life on special Holidays? Please share your ideas with me... I am always looking for creative ways to show that we love them!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

What NOT To Say To A Birthmom

I was so excited for our newest What Not To Say (part IV!) simply because it was an opportunity to bring to light some common questions/ comments people might make to birthmoms that, even though they're well intentioned, end up hurting. In preparation (and since I'm not a birthmom and don't feel equipped to come up with this list myself), I posted last week and asked birthmoms to send me their list of hurtful comments and questions that they have received.... I was NOT prepared for how many amazing women I would hear from!

You ladies are simply wonderful! Birthmoms? Yes. Beautiful women who are compassionate, successful, and honest? YES! The title 'birthmom' is not what defines you yet so often society does just that.... and I'm so sorry :-( None of us want to be defined by the choices we make; good or bad.

I LOVE this list! For those of us who have a woman in their life who chose adoption for her child, please read carefully. I tend to be very cautious when speaking to someone about something I haven't experienced but I think I am guilty of saying one or two of these things  :-(.... maybe you are, too?

** Keep in mind that this is a judgment-free zone; these woman have all come from very different backgrounds.. I LOVE comments and sincerely hope some of you choose to respond to this post... either to me or to these moms (they'll be reading this, too ;-)) but as always, please be sensitive! **

Some of these were obviously said with very good intentions behind them... and some of them are just mean; you'll know which one's are mean ;-)

Here we go...

What NOT To Say To A Birthmom; by birthmoms!

1. Do you honestly think that someone else can love your child more than you?
~ Thanks R!

2. What a selfless act of love!
** I have said this before and never considered what birthmom 'K' wrote to me; "Does the fact that I'm 'selfless' make adoptive couples 'selfish'? I'm not comfortable with that implication." WOW! I love this one!**
~ Thanks K!

3. You threw your child away, like trash. You don't deserve to have more kids!
** :-( **
~ Thanks K!

4. You got pregnant with her so she/he was meant to be with you! How could you do that?!
** K said it best; "As much as I'd love to be a mom and a dad to this baby, no one can  be 2 people." **
~ Thanks K & S!

5. You made the right decision; You made someone else's dream come true and now they have a family.
** I'm sure this was said out of compassion but when you think about it, you're implying that this mom doesn't have a family. Hannah's birthmom is an EXTENSION of our family and it would not be the same without her! **
~ Thanks L!

6. She's not your daughter anymore... why do you keep calling her that??
~ Thanks K!

7. One day you'll forget about her and life will go on.
~ Thanks K, R & T!

8. I’m so glad you had the strength to do what was best for you.
** Placing a baby in someone else's arms is NEVER what is best for you, but sometimes it is what's best for that baby... these women are strong enough to know what's best and what's not; a strength I think many parents don't have.**
~ Thanks L!

9. There will be other children in your life someday and you will get your chance to be a mom then.
** What L said next, I could not say better; "While I certainly hope I have more children someday, my sweet babies cannot be replaced.  I’m already a mom, even if I am just their birthmom." **
*** My note to any birthmom... you will NEVER be JUST a birthmom! You are their First Mom; the first person in the entire world who loved that baby... no one can take that away from you.***

10. Why didn't you want your baby?
~ Thanks L!

11. I know how you must feel.
** This was spoken by someone who is NOT a birthmom **
~ Thanks L!

12. I really hope he/she doesn't grow up to resent you!
** That's all up to US adoptive parents... WE are responsible for instilling respect and love in our children for their birthparents. It's NEVER too soon or too late to start!**
~ Thanks L & M!

13. I'd never be able to give my baby away!
** I think about this all the time; someone GAVE our baby to us... chose us and placed her in our arms for us to raise as our own. Even knowing this, I have considered what a special, unique kind of love you have to possess in order to do what birthparents do. We love our girl with all our hearts, with everything we have.... but even THAT is not the same kind of love a birthparent has for his/her child. **
~ Thanks L & S!

14. You're so lucky you get to have a relationship with your child without having to change diapers and stay up all night with a fussy baby!
** Again, what L said next cannot be said better; A new mom said this to me. I know that she didn't mean to upset me, but I'd give anything to be in a place where I could stay up all night with my baby and change a million diapers! She doesn't know how fortunate she is to get to do those things every day. **
~ Thanks L!

15. Why didn't you just let your mom and dad raise your baby? That way, he/she could at least stay in the family.
~ Thanks S!

17. Since you don't want her, can I have her?
** S said it best; "WANTING her was never the issue; I always knew that she deserved much much more than I could give her, at this time."**
~ Thanks S!

18. Stop complaining! You're the one who got yourself in this situation!
~ Thanks S!

** Did we miss any? Leave a comment and we'll add it to our list :-) **


The majority of these moms mentioned at some point in their email to me that a hug, an "I'm thinking of you" card, and the offer to listen if she needs it are all they need/needed to feel loved and supported.... every one of us longs for approval from those who are close to us and a simple "I'm proud of you" can instill a lasting peace in someone.


Do you love this list as much as I do? Don't walk away feeling as if you can't be honest or ask questions of a birthmom... sometimes it's just the way it's said that stings.

Moms~ Thank you for your help! I am honored to be someone  you trust with one of the most personal and difficult experiences I can imagine. I know that this list will impact many... it impacted me and the things I will and won't say from here on out :-)

** A very sweet friend, Sarah, sent me an email the other day with a suggestion for our next What Not To Say.... What Not To Say To An Adult Adoptee! I LOVE it! If you're an adult adoptee, would you start thinking about YOUR list?

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Some Comedy; Courtesy of Hannah!

While this blog's primary purpose is adoption and infertility, I love throwing in a few posts about our baby-girl, too. I like to think of those special posts as a way for me to document her life.

At just 3 years old (and even aside from my obvious bias ;-)), Hannnah is one of the most hilarious toddlers/ kids I know! She has such a quick wit and never misses a beat when she has an opportunity to make people laugh!

Here are just a few of her most recent moments that have kept us laughing every time we remember;

 Keep in mind that we've just finished potty training so some of these are 3 year old 'potty jokes' ;-)

* Me: Hannah, I have a Candy Cane for you when you poop on the potty!
Hannah: I don't poop for Candy Canes, Mommy... only for Chocolate.


Hannah's prayer at bedtime; "Dear Jesus, thank you for today. Thank you fir my family and my friends. Help me have sweet dream tonite. Amen!"

"Wait Mommy!! And Jesus, please help me poop on the potty so I can go to school one day. Amen!"

* I was putting Hannah to bed and she sang to me (I had Laryngitis), said prayers, and I gave her a kiss on the cheek. She sat up so I gave her a hug, kissed her cheek again, rubbed her back and she said, "Mommy, what are you doing?"

I said, "I'm loving on you before you go to sleep!"
She said...
"Mommy, I just need a drink of water and that's all."

Telling knock knock jokes...

H~Knock knock.
Joey~ Who's there?
H~ Skunk! Cookie! Kangaroo! Banana! Orange! Choo choo train! Aaaaaa hahahahaha!

* "Mommy, my tummy hurts."
"Why does it hurt, baby?"
"It just has lots of gas."

* Me: Hannah, you're having some trouble listening today."
Hannah: "I know Mommy... My ears are just broken."

* Hannah was in the playroom this morning and came running into the kitchen yelling, "Mommy!!! Hurry to the doctors office... Daddy's having a BABY! A REAL one!!"

* Me: " Hannah, what do you dream about when you're sleeping?"
Hannah : "Dora, and Diego, and Baby Jaguar, and Boots!"
Joey Smith: "What does Mommy dream about?"
Hannah : "Hannah !"
Me: "That's right! What does Daddy dream about?"
Hannah : "MOMMY!!!!"

* Hannah: Mommy, thank you for my delicious cupcakes!
Me: You're welcome, baby... I'm glad you liked them!

5 seconds pass...

Hannah: Mommy? May I have a cupcake for breakfast?
Me: I think that's a good idea!
Hannah: Oh! I'm so happy, Mommy!


And our all time favorite Hannah moment.....

Hannah: "Mommy, did you sex daddy today?"
Me: "WHAT?!"
Hannah: "Did you sex daddy on your phone?"

~ Pretty sure she meant 'text' ;-)

 ** I have heard from so many women this week and I'm so so excited for our What Not To Say To Birthparents (because I've heard from a birth-FATHER, too... I never meant to leave you guys out!) post (see below)! If you have some questions/ comments to add to our list, PLEASE email me at Thank you for being so transparent with me; I've loved hearing from so many of you :-) **

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

For Birthmoms....What Not To Say; Part IV

I would LOVE to make our next What Not To Say a post for Birth Moms.... but I'm not a birth mom so I need some help!

I've already heard from some of you but if not and you're a birth mom (or maybe you're not but you've had this discussion with someone), would you email me at and give me YOUR list of hurtful, naive, or even just dumb comments people have said to you? If you'd also include things people COULD say that wouldn't be as painful to you, that'd be great, too!

If you'll email me by Wednesday, December 14 I'll put our list together and add to it for a week or so... then I'll go through the list and add things that people could do/say differently. Remember that we use these posts as tools to help people know what they can say that won't be hurtful... but it's also ok to just vent ;-)

** Someone asked so I thought I'd mention that the list you share with me will remain anonymous... no name, no links to blogs, no email address~ Just a list :-)  If you DO want me to link to your blog, just let me know in your email!**

These posts are some of my FAVORITES and I love how everyone responds... if you missed our last 3, here are the links so you can catch up;

Monday, December 5, 2011

I hate 'Adoption Update' for a title but that's what this is ;-)

Warning.... this is one of 'those' posts. Maybe long overdue, maybe entirely too long, but therapeutic all the same... probably more for me than for you ;-) Thanks for sticking with me, if you do!

This is a hard post to write. It's full of emotion; some good and some (ok, a lot) well, not so good. It's also full of lots of explanation... sorry, Mom! :-) I have spent the past few months contemplating this post; how do I write all of this? I don't want sympathy... but isn't that ultimately what this form of expression gets you? Really, it's not my intention.

About 4 months ago we started our home study update.... it's one of those milestones in adoption that you NEVER EVER want to reach. Well, we did; partly because it's been a year since our home study was completed and partly because we moved. We are SO incredibly blessed that our first social worker, Kim (the one who's home study brought Hannah home ;-)) was able to do this home study, too!! (And truthfully... Kim's home studies tend to lead to us bringing home a baby.)

Right, Kim?!?! ;-)

Kim knows me well. She started out 3 years ago as our social worker... the person you're initially most intimidated by as your adoption process begins.... and she's now a friend. She's a confidante and she's also an adoptive mom of THREE, herself. Her advice and experience combined with how well she knows me make what she said to me a couple months ago resonate so deeply...

"You will get to a point where you'll write about this past year; the good and all of the bad. You need to. That's how you heal."

She's right.

I've done a lot of learning and breaking and healing in this past year... and this is the final phase in that process.

For those of you who've been around for a while, you read this post back in April. We were coming out of a pretty tough 5 months; the toughest... so I thought. Here's a 'quick' timeline...

* September 2010~ Completed home study for adoption #2 & signed up with a small, local agency

* October 2010~ First heard from 'A' about her plans to place her twins for adoption and we started getting to know each other

* November 2010~ Started our Facebook page, blog, and pass-along cards as a way to get the word out about our desire to adopt

* December 2010~ 'A' placed her beautiful baby girl and boy with a family where they would be the first kids

* December 25, 2010~ First heard from 'M' about HER plans to place her twin boys for adoption; due April 16th. She found us through Facebook.

* January 16, 2011~ "It might be my belly... but they're YOUR babies." ~ 'M'

* February 4, 2011~ Agency calls; we've been chosen by a young mom to adopt her baby girl who is due in 2 weeks.... through gut- wrenching prayer, we said no to this baby-girl; we already loved those boys and 'M' so much!

* February 15, 2011~ 'M' calls; she's having second thoughts.

* March 8, 2011~ 2 healthy baby boys are born 5 weeks early... we get a play by play of their delivery and they go home a week later... with their parents. Not us.

If you had asked me in April (which some of you did) if we could go through any more heartbreak, we would have said...'absolutely not.' We were so sure... too sure, that all of that pain had led us to that point because we we close to bringing our baby home.

And this is where we'll pick up... (Are you staying with me?!? ;-))

* July 2011~ Joey gets a new job and we move... it's a good move and a huge blessing  :-)

* July 2011~ Start and complete our home study update for our new state

(I never lost contact with "M"... we texted and emailed on a regular basis from before the boys were born, through their hospital stay, during their first weeks home, up until they turned 6 months old...)

* July 2011~ 'L first contacts us through Facebook about adopting her baby girl, due in November

* August, 2011~ "Would you and Joey consider taking the boys on a temporary basis with the ultimate goal being a permanent adoption?' ~ 'M'


Adoption never left 'M's mind... I think it haunted her. She was a good mom... a really good mom. But like any other mom, she started to feel like she was coming undone. She turned to me for advice and we debated and cried and hashed emotions out together for a couple weeks and she and 'C' decided that their original plan for the boys was more manageable for them... 'manageble' being a very loosely-used word here.

How can placing your child in someone else's arms ever be 'manageable'?

We immediately lined up attorneys, started making travel plans, mom bought her plane ticket to meet us, and we continued making plans with 'M'... the past 7 months were beginning to come together and make sense.

These boys WERE supposed to be ours!

What happened next happened suddenly. I don't know that I understand it all even now, but all of a sudden, we were no longer talking about adoption but were negotiating guardianship. In the state they live in, they had a 45 revocation period... 45 days to change their mind and take the boys back. We knew this and it was the law so we were ok with that. We planned to spend some time in their state, easing the transition for these babies and their parents and then would bring them home and begin the 45 days, giving 'M' and 'C' a chance to 'feel' and experience their new reality.

But something changed... I don't know if it was fear or doubt or a nasty combination of both but 'M' was no longer talking about adoption; it eventually felt like we were negotiating over a car or a house... not babies.

Can you take them home for 30 days and just keep them as our friends so we can get used to not having them around? Can you take guardianship for 60 days and then start the adoption process?

Panic set in for us; do they just need a break? Do they really intend on placing these boys with us? How would it affect Hannah if we brought these boys home and then lost them? How would that affect the boys? And our bank account.

We went back and forth for so long.... we tried. Really tried to make something work. They DID want the boys to be with us. I think the reality was too tough.... and I get that. But... we had to say no. With the only absolutes in mind (Hannah, our family, our whole adoption process and the hurt we'd already experienced), we had to protect it all.

And it was excruciating.

I haven't heard from 'M' since then. I guess I don't really blame her... we were the one's who said no. At the same time, I'm hurt. Maybe I don't have the right to be hurt but it's there. I know she was hurting and desperate and afraid.... so was I. I know they wanted to protect themselves and their future.... so did we. I know they love those boys more than anything in this world.... so do we. I grew to care so much about her...


I don't know where the boys are; if they're with 'M' or someone else. I don't know how 'M' is doing... but I think about her every day. Not many people can love your babies like you do... but I loved those boys, too. So much.

We 'moved on' isn't an appropriate phrase; I don't know that I've 'moved on' yet... does a mom who miscarries move on? Does a mom who loses a child move on?

No. They keep going.

So we kept going...

* August 2011~ 'LC' contacted us about adopting her twin girls; due in January.
(Are you noticing a trend? Me, too...) She chose us.

* September 4, 2011~ 'D' called us from the hospital; she's a friend of 'M' and just had a baby-girl... would we come get her?

(We called 'LC' and told her right away about this baby... she was thrilled for us and would consider still placing her twin girls with us; she liked the thought of 'triplets', in a way :-))

I finally felt like clarity had come and I was seeing the purpose of our relationship with 'M'... she DID lead us to our baby!

In a matter of mere hours all of Hannah's baby clothes were washed, the crib was set up, our new infant car seat was in the car, mom bought a plane ticket to meet us, and our bags were packed. Our attorney tried endlessly to talk to a rep from the hospital so we knew what the babies health was like, what the state laws were, and if we could take the baby from the hospital even though it was a Holiday weekend. We couldn't contact an attorney in her state... simply couldn't. Our attorney told us that we could go and work things out when we got there but without knowing details from someone in authority, we were also risking a lot.

Remember this post?

We should have gone anyway.

What we didn't know was that a local agency caught wind of this birth and one of their social workers was encouraging 'D' to pick one of their families. She was using the fact that we weren't 'there yet' (she's 13 hours away) to persuade 'D' to pick another family who could be there within the hour. 'D' panicked... and she picked another family.

About 2 hours after that family left the hospital with 'HKS' (the name we had picked for her, with 'D's help), an attorney called us back and offered to represent 'D'in her state.... but it was too late.

We should have gone.

The truth? I don't know why we didn't. I guess in hindsight, she just wasn't our baby... our's is still out there... but I don't know why we didn't go.

Just keep going...

* October 2011~ 'LC' met with our attorney in her state about us adopting her twin girls... she chose us.

* October 2011~ We signed up with a small local, Christian agency and have continued praying that the word about our desire to adopt would continue to spread

* November 2011~ 'L' had a healthy baby girl and placed her with a family who lived closer to her so she could see her baby... and I'm glad she'll be able to!

* November 2011~ I was perusing Facebook and came across 'LC's page... her public page. Her public page that mentioned her miscarriage of twin girls only 2 months before.

2 months; about 5 days after she chose us, and 2 months BEFORE she met with our attorney.

We've dealt with scammers... they're not worth a post or my time. But 'LC'... she started out honest and ended up a lie. 'Hurt' took on a whole new meaning but the thing is, this hurt turned into anger. I cared about her, too and I just don't know why she lied....

All of that, my friends, brings us to today. In 14 months we have had the privilege of praying for and knowing all of these amazing moms! We've seen pictures of some of the most beautiful babies we've ever seen. We've prayed for every single one of them every single day. While we consider it an honor, we're also tired and more anxious than ever to finally bring home our baby. He/she/they are eagerly awaited... can you tell?!

I realize that I haven't mentioned all of the amazing, positive, happy, answer-to-prayer moments we've had this year... and there have been MANY (a happier post is coming :-)); but this post is about our adoption process....

and it has been a process. A long one, if you haven't noticed ;-)

Have you ever gotten to a moment in time when you think, "I just can't handle much more, Lord. I'm stretched and bruised and exhausted and I just can't handle any more... please don't give me any more"

I've been there, too. I lived there for quite a while.

I'm finally writing this post because I'm not there anymore; Funny how the therapy I find in writing always comes after the dark.

I've learned so much in this past year; Relying on God is not easy... I don't think it's ever easy. Sometimes 'things' and people have the ability to block out the blessings and the good in your life... but they're always there and you can choose which one you block out. I've met some amazing women; birthmoms, expectant birthmoms, and other adoptive families... and they all have become to special to me. I also have had the privilege of watching many other families grow this year; through adoption and biologically.... and as deeply as I desire to have our next family member in my arms, nothing can take away from the joy I find in watching other families grow. I also learned that Facebook works... I've met some of the most incredible women and people (many of YOU) through our page and I'm so thankful for the relationships and support we've received from it!

And even though our journey isn't over yet, here's the biggest lesson I've learned;

God's plan for your life always trumps your plan for your life. Every. Time.

Here's what I DO know; there is a woman out there who has chosen life for her baby and one day (hopefully soon), she will choose us, too! Our baby is on his/her/their way and I am choosing to spend from now until then praying for our baby's First Mama.... and enjoying being my First Baby's mama :-)

My First Baby can do a mean split and can officially leave the house without a diaper... we've had a busy and fun few months; stay tuned for THAT update and some hilarious new quotes from our little comedian ;-)