Tuesday, May 31, 2011

This one is for you, Poppa!

I found out that Rusty's dad, "Poppa Woolley" often shows off pictures from my blog in the Sunday school class that he teaches. We went to visit that class this weekend and I heard about the fact that I have become a slacker in my blogging. So, now that I have some accountability (and a new swing that Ben loves and will nap in while I blog), I am going to try and be better.

But for now, this one is for you, Poppa!

1 month birthday! Celebrating with a lunch date with Poppa!

Visiting Meme in her class

All 5 grandkids together

Addison and Whitney

Addison's 5th birthday

I have been threatening to go get Addison's ears pierced ever since she was born. 
Well, at the grown up age of 5, she decided that she was ready!
She was so brave!

My first Mother's Day

Playing basketball with Daddy

Watching him play from the comfort of the bouncy chair

SO sleepy!

Just chillin'

Meme and Poppa with their grandson and granddogs

Ben and his "brother" George

Ben's first pool party!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


So, I am still working on that "What not to say post". It's kind of becoming a novel. And I haven't let my editor Rusty approve it yet. This is a vital step in the process because my first versions on topics like that are sometimes a bit, shall we say, "emotional and irrational?".

Anyway, I'm not getting his approval on this one. I just need to vent. And it's my blog, so I can do that here. Pardon me while I get up on my soapbox.

There are two things that I hear almost daily that are just like nails on a chalkboard to me. I know that people are just trying to encourage me with these statements. No one intends them to be hurtful, but the truth is, they are. And if no one explains that to them, they will continue to say it to others.

1. Please don't say "As soon as you adopt, you will get pregnant!"

Does that happen? Yes.
Do I have friends that has happened to? Yes.
Does that happen to everyone? No.

God has a perfect plan for every single family. Sometimes that includes a biological child as well as an adopted child. Sometimes it does not.
I can assure you that us adopting was not in any way a plan to try to "trick God" into getting pregnant. (Nor anyone else's!) We all adopted because God called us to.

2.  And if I ever happen to become one of those stories, please do not say that I have "one adopted child and one of my own."

Ugh. Really? I even hear this from adoptive parents and it just makes me cringe. Can you imagine how that would make an adopted child feel if they ever heard that from their parents? And it does not only make the child feel like "less." It also insinuates that I am less of a mother than someone has a biological child. And that hurts.

As Erica explained to me today... children come to us not only in different colors, sizes and shapes "packages" you could say, but also in different methods of delivery.
You may have gotten your baby delivered by a stork and mine may have come from the Fed-Ex man, but he is mine just the same.

Please hear me say that it is not my intent to be hurtful with this post. If you have said this to me, be assured that I do not hold a grudge (or probably even remember because I hear it so often.) Just please take these words into consideration the next time that you try to encourage someone walking this path.

I have more, but I am going to get off my soapbox now. My child is waking from his nap.

Friday, May 13, 2011

My first Mother's Day

It was as special as I could have hoped for. 

And yes....I got my chance to stand in church and be recognized as a mom! 

They were doing a contest to find the oldest mom in the room and Pastor Gregg almost forgot to have all the moms stand up before he started. Panic rushed over for me for a split second as I thought "Oh, sure... the ONE year that they don't do it!!" But then he remembered and I hopped up. 

I looked down at my sleeping child and then to my husband at my side and the tears began to flow. Then I looked down the aisle to see some dear sweet momma friends that were standing themselves, but looking down at me and smiling from ear to ear at the fact that I was standing with them. 

And then the flood gates opened. I was completely overwhelmed.

I have the most amazing friends and family. SO many people reached out to me on Sunday to let me know that they were thinking of me. The calls, texts, emails, Facebook messages and cards, and gifts were so incredibly humbling! It was such a joy to see just how many people were celebrating BEN with us this year!!
God blessed me beyond measure when He gave me such an incredible husband. I am so honored to be the wife of such a thoughtful and loving man. He spoiled me rotten with a beautiful Pandora bracelet and a gift certificate to have a session with one of my favorite photographers, Mackenzie Wheatley

And need I even mention that I have the most perfect son? I just can't imagine any other child completing our family the way that Ben does. I am so in love with that little boy. And so thankful to his birthmother for the gift that she gave to Ben.

When I thought I had reached the pinnacle of emotion for the service, he acknowledged the fact that Mother's Day is hard for some people. And in that moment, my heart broke for those women. I felt the pain of those who are still waiting for their arms to be filled. I begged God to reveal His plan to them and to give them peace. My mind was flooded with images of others like my dear, sweet friend Ashley who is waiting on her miracle still.  
And for those that have lost their mom. For many years, I have known the pain of not getting to celebrate this day with my mom. That is a void that can never be filled by anyone or any amount of years. 

I have not forgotten what it is like to be the one sitting, the one grieving, the one wishing, the one praying for things to change. 

But, this year, I am certainly celebrating the fact that I was able to stand!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Ben's Mother

It's that time of year again. In just a few short days, it will be Mother's Day.

And guess what...for the first time in years, I don't have to run away and hide!

So many years of sitting in church, sobbing as they asked the moms to stand and be recognized. Every year, I debated. Do I stand? I know that I am a mother, but it feels like no one else considers me to be one. How much longer do I have to bear this "stupid holiday" with empty arms?

Well guess what folks... this year, you will find me on the front stinkin' row, ready to jump up when the moms are asked to stand. I might even wave my hands and say "I am a mom! I am a mom!" And I just might wear an obnoxiously big corsage- just so there is no question. Maybe a wrist one too.

And yet, I have a new sadness in my heart this year. The pain that I felt all those years is now going to be felt by our dear birthmother. Is she dreading the day as much as I always did?

I have written about it before, that the day before Mother's Day is Birthmother's Day. There is much debate in the adoption world about whether or not Birthmother's Day should be celebrated. Some people feel that it gives a special opportunity to recognize a birthmom for the special role that she plays. Some people believe that it is an insult to differentiate her as anything but just a plain mother. As a birthmother, I was never really sure how I felt about the day. It's not like anyone really even knew about Birthmother's Day, so not many people would recognize me on that day either. It felt kind of pointless to me.

It's funny, but it took me becoming an adoptive mother to really know how I feel about Birthmother's Day. In trying to find cards to celebrate Birthmother's Day, I came across a lot of blogs and opinions about the day. I read a sentiment that really struck a chord with me. One blogger asked, How would an adoptive mother feel if she was not recognized on Mother's Day, but instead got her own day and card that said "Happy Adoptive Mother's Day!"?
I certainly don't want to be considered anything other than Ben's mother! I realized at that moment that I was putting way too much emphasis on this whole subject.

So I decided that I am going to celebrate both.

On Saturday, I will remember her for the sacrifice that she made to give Ben a better life. 
And on Sunday, I will be filled with gratitude for giving Ben life which gave me the chance to be a mom.

And in that, I will be able celebrate Ben's birthmother for who she is: His mother.
And I will celebrate the fact that I am his mother too.

That may be hard for some people to grasp, but if you were to walk in my shoes: the shoes of a birthmother and an adoptive mother- you would realize that there isn't a competition. There doesn't need to be any labels between us.

We are both women who love Ben and make up who he is and who he will become. I think that makes him pretty special.

And I am going to celebrate that.