Category Archives: mom

when we met your mother

*****this post was written in 2016, but i never posted it because circumstances changed so quickly.  i debated not posting this but decided to post it now because this is still part of our story (part of that transparency).  our experience in june 2016 has had a profound impact on our lives.  while things did not turn our how we hoped or expected it has shaped who we are today and we still talk about it and want to post those experiences for others to have a glimpse*****

when you google the word that i never thought would be us this is what you find.

chosen: having been selected as the best or most appropriate.

i still can’t believe it.  we have been chosen by a birth mother.  now that we have had some time to process, i am able to give a little more information.  i would also like to take a moment to add that we are given very vague information and the birth mother is given very vague information about us (to protect both sides).  at our training meetings we were taught that the entire adoption process will be a part of our child’s story and we should always think about that whenever we are placed and give out information about the specific scenario.  with that bit of information – we encourage questions, but please know and understand that we will tell information as we think it is appropriate.  we may have more information than we are leading on – but we also may not have that information at all.  so don’t be surprised or offended if you ask a question and we either tell you we don’t know or that we aren’t going to disclose that information yet.  i promise it isn’t to be mean or rude.

i mentioned a phone call stating that the birth mother wanted to meet us.  when we called our case worker together after work she gave us some information about the mom and about the situation.  she also told us about the birth mother coming to the adoption agency.

i will break to rant (as usual and again).  we have been officially waiting for over a year.  we went to some of the first meetings and heard people talk about how they were placed quickly.  one story was of a couple that was placed 2 weeks after they were approved.  several stories were that they were placed within 3 months of approval.  so few people that we talked with stated that they waited over a year.  so once we hit that year mark and went beyond it, i was completely convinced that we would never be chosen.  that something was wrong with us and that this was not even meant to be.  it hasn’t always been pretty and when i am feeling especially low and like we would never be chosen i would email our case worker and ask if we had any feed back.  she would tell me that nothing was wrong with us.  that our profile book was being shown and that when it happened it would happen.  we had to just trust the system.  i would roll my eyes.  when we had our home study update we asked again in person about the feedback.  (with the profile books the birth mothers are asked to put them in order of who they like better – i am sure there is a more politically correct way to say that).  she told us that we were number 2 for a birth mother (their number one worked out so they didn’t need to go to number 2) but we were at least in a short stack!  that gave us a little hope.  but we heard once again that when it happened it happened.  and again i rolled my eyes and held my tongue.

it isn’t that i don’t believe in God’s timing because there is a part of that concept i can get behind, but if anyone else told me it would happen when it was right – or any of the other ways to remind me that God was in control i was going to just cry – and maybe throw something.  we felt like it was a cop out answer.  we wanted answers and we were getting generic, religious, pat on the hand responses.

::slams head against desk::

so back to the phone call.  i was holding my cell phone (on speaker) in the passenger seat and andy was in the driver’s seat and we were listening to this information and she told us this: the birth mother went to a friend who told her that they were going to our agency in the morning to talk about adoption and so she went on the website and started to look at profiles.  the next day she walked into the adoption agency and said that she knew who her family was.  she told them she wanted andy and alison.  they asked her if she wanted to see other profiles and she told them no.  they asked her if she wanted to actually see our profile book and she said yes.  she looked at it and said again that we were her family.  they asked if she was sure that she didn’t want to see other profile books and she turned them down.  she said she just knew.  both of us got chills.  (i will admit she loved the family farm and that andy looked goofy and fun).  but she wanted us.  she chose us.

when we met your mother…

we are still using the agency to do our communicating.  the plan was to meet at the agency at 4:00 to meet the birth mother.  we pulled into the parking lot at 3:28 and andy said we couldn’t go in yet.  (i agreed).  we sat in the car and talked a little bit and waited forever before we went inside.  i think i was contemplating throwing up in the bushes and asking what this meeting was going to be like.  andy was looking up a restaurant to see if they opened their new location.  i finally said we needed to go in because i needed to pee and it was time (3:37).  we went in told them we were there and waited in the waiting room.  we waited forever and imagined what this meeting would be like.  finally (3:44) our case worker came to get us.  we asked a few follow up questions before we met the mother and she said you ready?  we walked down the long hall.  my heart was beating out of my chest, my mouth was drying out, and my legs felt like jelly following her down the hall.  we got to the door and walked into a room full of people.  the birth mother was there (and her friend).  our case worker and her pregnancy counselor were there (as well as an intern that has been working with the birth mother).  the agency workers were at the heads of the table and the birth mother and her friend were sitting on one side and andy and i went to the other side.  he sat across from the birth mother and i took the place across from her friend.  we all were introduced (first names only).  we looked at each other with that curiosity and mortification of a really weird blind date.  i was very thankful for the agency workers because they helped us get the conversation going.

the birth mother asked (through her friend) why we wanted to be parents.  we answered and they nodded.  then we sat in silence for hours (maybe a minute).  they asked about the farm and we talked about the animals – and a spark lit up her eyes and the corners of her mouth tilted up and the shyness was drifting away and her full personality started to emerge.  i asked her favorite color – pink is the answer (any shade).  we talked about hobbies (she likes to be outside and loves horses) and playing instruments (she plays the piano – self taught).  she told us that she picked us online before she even walked into the agency out of thousands of other profiles.  i can’t remember the exact course of our conversation, but we talked.  we laughed together.  she got choked up.  i got choked up.  the magnitude of the situation didn’t escape us.

once it seemed like our first date was coming to a close we prayed and were told to take 24 hours and get back with our case worker (and her with her pregnancy counselor).  she basically said before we walked out of the room that she had made her decision.

andy and i went to dinner to celebrate getting to the next step.  i called our case worker and left a message for her to call me.  she called a little bit later and answered a few questions.  my biggest one being – how did she think it went.  she told me great!  i looked at andy across the table and shrugged – he nodded and i nodded and i told her we wanted to move forward.

after dinner we went to babies r us and walked around.  a place that made me cry hundreds of time over the past 6 years had me crying again – bittersweet tears.  the end of one journey and beginning of another journey.  it wasn’t that big of a shock that the theme we picked out years ago had been discontinued, but we did buy a bear to remember the day we meet our child’s mother.

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nov. 2013

 November was a long month in many ways.

my mom and dad both have birthdays in November.  dad the 5th and mom the 18th.

mom and dad awards

(my mom was awarded nurse of the year!  ok maybe not but she should be!  she was awarded for being at the hospital for so long)

i cried my first time (maybe second time) at work (i mean really cried) because i was so angry at a mean person who wouldn’t stop yelling at me it just frustrated me to tears.  it was also a time i was reminded at how awesome it is to work with wonderful people.

one morning we got a call that my aunt ann passed away.  November 19th.  (i am going to get on a soap box for a few minutes…sorry in advance – listen to your doctors and communicate with your family).  ann was my only “real” aunt.  my mom was an only child and my dad only had the one sister.  sure i had several great aunts but she was my only real aunt.  i have so many memories of her – good and not great.  i can remember when we stayed in tn for part of the summer that sometimes we got lucky and would go to her house to eat dinner and spend the night (if my grandparents had meetings).  we would make personal pizzas from scratch and would set up our tables (ironing board with a sheet over it) and would watch movies with her.  it was something that we didn’t get to do often, but will and i enjoyed it when we got to.  i remember baking with her growing up.  i remember helping at the green house when i was little (planting and helping deliver).  i remember many conversations with her and her support.

there are some iffy memories in there too that aren’t as positive…i remember the time that i offered to help her at the green house after we moved and she snickered and laughed at me because it “wasn’t my thing” and the unending comments about city people and country people.  but in a time of mourning and death i think it is customary to try to push those out of ones mind.  looking back those things don’t change the fact that she was my aunt and i loved her and i will miss her.

the other day we were standing in the green house and it was very surreal (as death is to me) knowing that she isn’t coming back.  i looked around and part of me was mad that she didn’t take care of herself better and that she wouldn’t listen to what the doctors told her and she was so guarded with her personal life that nothing we could say would change her mind about that.  that was who she was and at her funeral that was the message that we got.  even in her stubbornness she was who she was.  in those moments of anger it made me think of her funeral and at her funeral we laughed.  we told Jamie to keep it light and real and he did.  it was the most beautiful memorial service and the perfect send off.  in the good and not great, and the anger and laughter, and expectations met and not met there was love and at the end of the day that is what i choose to cling to.

ann

my aunt was an organ donor at the time she passed away and i was the one that talked to the screening people at the donation organization.  i am an organ donor because i like the idea and thoughts behind it.  i will be honest i never really knew what that meant.  i never really thought about what that means for the people that are left behind.  while i understand completely the need for the questions i was asked, somewhere in the middle of the million and a half questions i thought i have no idea on some of these answers.  on my soap box i would like to tell everyone and anyone who will listen – talk to your family…make sure they know your history and wishes as detailed as possible.  after i got off the phone (an hour conversation) i was exhausted.

will came for the memorial service (actually the service was delayed 10 minutes waiting on him since his plane was delayed.  we took him to the farm and it was so funny.  the ganged up on him and tried to take the treats.  i will post pics of the farm in another post.  but here are a few with the family.

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it snowed.

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church harvest auction with guests jed and lisa.

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thanksgiving happened. it was later this year and to be honest it was bad.  it made me lose a week before Christmas and that was so bad.  we went to charlotte for thanksgiving and it was great to see family and friends.  andy was glad to see tall buildings.  we got to see cj and ellen which is always fun and an adventure.  i had another allergic reaction to thanksgiving dinner but i was prepared and had medicine on hand to stop the itching.  i think i have it narrowed down to what dish i am allergic too, but still researching that.  who knows?!  cj wanted to take pictures with my camera.  i only had a mild heart attack when she almost dropped it so from now on if she has my camera the strap has to stay around her neck (she is ok with this).  she took mostly blurry photos and picks of people’s knees but with a little help she can center people and take a good photo.

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we also went black Friday shopping.  it was great to be so close to stores…

we also got our tree from the church and brought it back to tn with us.  it was really funny watching all of the cars go back towards charlotte with trees from the mountains and we left charlotte and took our tree to the mountains.  it was very scary for me.  i had a slight freak out when we left charlotte and could envision our tree rolling off the top and taking out all the cars around us.  so i kept an eye on it.

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we made it home with no trouble.

the only other thing i can think of is that andy trashed ace of base (i love ace of base and am still slightly upset over that) but, that pretty much wraps up an exhausting November.

imagination: my own little world

i blamed my dad earlier for long drives and since i don’t want my mom to feel left out so…i blame her for my imagination and being in my own little world.

let me explain:  when i was growing up my mom was rarely without a book in her hand (a real book with paper and words and a cover – shocking i know).  i can remember watching tv as a child and mom with her nose in a book.  i can remember her laying on the beach on family vacation and her nose in a book.  i can remember her floating in the pool with a book (threatening me and will not to splash her or else), i can remember her hiding in her closet to get away from me and will with her nose in a book (ok maybe not that one).  but the point is that she read – a lot.

i always thought that my mom was ignoring me when her nose was in a book.  i always thought i could get away with whatever i wanted because i could stand in front of her yelling her name, hang on her arms or climb in her lap begging for something, hang from the rafters of the house, stand on my head, roll in the floor crying and having a temper tantrum and she wouldn’t bat an eye…just calmly get one hand free so she could turn the pages.  but at the last second she would say my name and i don’t know how she did it (reading and being fully in the book and still able to tell the exact moment i was going to hit/pinch will and to stop me) but she did.  it wasn’t until i got older and started going on youth trips that i understood.  i remember taking a book on the youth beach trip and sitting on the towel and being totally involved with my characters and the murderous plot and being able to police the kids without batting an eye.  one of the other adults with me was like how do you do that?  i can honestly say i have no idea…it’s my mom’s fault (i am pretty sure that was my actual answer).  i was able to ignore the things that they did to try to annoy me but was able to get them to be nice to each other and focus on the important stuff (like not letting them drown).  after that weekend trip i knew that i had her magical power too.  it is amazing.

needless to say, i got my love of reading from her and for me when i read i throw myself in the story completely. i get attached to the characters and invested into their fictional lives. i feel the emotions that they feel and the experiences that they go through. when i am reading a good book i see if unfold with my own eyes in my own little world and am completely consumed (i am sure if andy were sitting next to you while you read that statement he would be nodding his head like crazy). that doesn’t sound so bad but see the problem is i don’t do that with just my books. i do it with songs and movies and tv shows. (since my regular shows aren’t on until fall i am back to my summer show rookie blue and have gotten so attached – and we are just 2 episodes in). my imagination in my own little world runs away from me and i get excited to watch my shows, read a good book, hear a song with a story line, see a play, people watch in walmart (or restaurants) or day-dream while i was dishes and do laundry.  as i hesitate to admit this but i jump into it completely that if i am reading a sad book sometimes it takes me a minute to “get back into the real world” and remind myself that it is just a book and they are fake characters or to realize that it was just a very vivid day-dream that i created and not actually an event that happened.  i hesitate to admit that i get so caught up in some of my shows that i get mad at the characters and have to remind myself that they are playing roles and not actually in love or hating or trying to kill their costars.  i hate to admit that i jump so fully into my own little world and imagination because sometimes i think if i admit that i will be admitting to and owning up to the fact that i am crazy…but i’m not crazy.

i often find myself consumed by my imagination and in my own little world…and i am ok with that – it isn’t really my fault.

allstar race 5/18/13

ever since i can remember i have been going to the all-star race with my dad.  i remember being little and getting locked in the women’s restroom because the door was too heavy and my dad and will making fun of me.  i remember dad writing our seat information on our arms incase we got lost.  i remember running to the car (parked at texaco) after the race was over.  i remember counting out winston cigarette foil packs to get discounts on tickets and the smell of stale cigarettes.  the memories run deep.  i have always loved the all-star race (aka winston).  i don’t know if it is because i used to get a frosty (before they moved the stand) at each race, or if it is because it is short enough to hold my attention span or because it was the race that we all went to (mom too).  it was just fun.  i still love going and andy does too.  things have changed a ton over the years but it is still fun.  this year they changed the stage up a lot and the way they did the driver introductions.  they changed the rules of the segments this year (again).  here are some pictures.  (i didn’t include the pictures of the drivers so that i can save space…let me know if you want one e-mailed to you or something).

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we have a pool and i never win it…i can remember a time when i was going to win (i was maybe 10) and my car got black flagged on the last lap so i didn’t win…but anyways this year we had a great chance of winning (we actually had good driver’s) and yet they all did horrible!

happy mother’s day

i was blessed that i got to spend the day with my mom for mother’s day (as well as my grandmother, aunt, cousin, and friend).  mother’s day is a special day that we should set aside time to remember our moms and everything that they do for us.  it is a time we should really show our thanks and our love and appreciation.  it is a day we should honor them! (shouldn’t we be doing this all the time?)  i am so thankful for everything that my mom (parents) does for me.  over the years the support has been unending and the love unconditional.

in church it was talked about how mother’s day wasn’t just for moms but for all women who have helped in your life (faith journey and life journey).  i know that there are several women in my life that are instrumental in my faith life and life in general.  they have been there for me during various times in my life and i have great respect for them and love for them.

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happy mother’s day mom!  i love you!

thanksgiving

happy thanksgiving!

i am so thankful for my  husband.  i can’t imagine where my life would have taken me without him in my life.  we don’t claim to have a perfect marriage but what we have is perfect for us.  he is my best friend, my rock, and my soul mate.  i love you andy.

i am so very thankful for family.  i know growing up i could be a pain and moody (but really what teenager isn’t?) and my parents were always there for me (usually giving me really early curfews – thanks dad or threatening to throw my toys away – thanks mom).  but i learned unconditional love from them and for that i will always be grateful.  i love you two.

we are so very thankful for our home and that we have shelter each night.  we are thankful for our jobs (even if sometimes we would rather sleep in and not go to the office).  we are thankful that we are able to cook and eat yummy food and clean and take care of the things that we have.  we are thankful for being able to get our and about and for our car.  we are thankful for being able to laugh until we cry and cry until we laugh.  we are thankful for our friends and for family.  we are thankful for the changing seasons.  and as much as he can drive us crazy we are thankful for our gee.  as i sit here and watch santa arrive on the macy’s day parade i realize that i need to make my list for black friday shopping.  happy thanksgiving!  enjoy your day and don’t eat too much!