One letter was from a couple we went through our adoption classes with. They are an amazing couple who have three biological boys and are in the process of bringing home their little princess (Sophie) from Korea. On the card was a picture of the five of them and then there was one other picture of their little Sophie...what an amazing Christmas present for them!
The next card we received was from a couple that we met in the hospital the day that Allie was born. This couple was quite possibly the sweetest couple I've ever met. We met early in the day and spent the rest of the day waiting and chatting together. They were waiting for their first granddaughter (fourth grand baby at the time) to be born. It was nice to have someone there for us on that day and even though they were strangers, they were incredibly comforting. We still have the little stuffed bunny (it was 3 days after Easter) they gave Allie that day in her crib. The card they sent had a picture of them with all six of their grand babies. I'm sure their Christmas is going to be amazingly busy!
The last card we received was from Cory's aunt & uncle. What touched me about this card is what they wrote inside the card. It said, "Isn't it amazing how much of a difference a year can make?" It really is amazing how much of a difference a year can make. When I think back to last year, I remember the longing for a child. I can remember how I thought that the Christmas holiday is all about children, and as much as we adore and love our nieces and nephews...that longing was always there.
It makes we wonder what next year will bring to us. Allie will be one and will be walking around everywhere. Ray and Nancy will have their beautiful little baby boy (we can't wait for that). Jen & Jason will have little Addison home from China and hopefully we'll be having play dates with our little girls. Shallyn will have another little one running around (I think it's a girl). We'll be going through the adoption process again, praying for yet another miracle.
This last year has been amazing and we are looking forward to a very special Christmas and I'm sure a busy, exciting, and fun-filled new year!
At last, the phone call came! Jen and Jason are the proud (excited) parents of a little girl! This precious little angel was born on March 24, 2008 (2 days before Allie)! Tomorrow Jen and Jason will finally be able to see a picture of their new little blessing! How are they going to sleep tonight?!?! And so begins the sleepless nights!! : )
Throughout this journey, Jen's strength has amazed me. I have a hard time waiting for my toast to get done in the morning, let alone waiting 33 1/2 months to find out who my little girl is! God is great and he helps us to get through the tough times. I truly believe that this little girl is a miracle and even though she is half a world away, she was meant to be Jen and Jason's. Congratulations!
Here's their website if you'd like to follow their journey;
Allie trying on daddy's hat while grandma decided to see how she liked bubbles!
Grandma & Grandpa Klukas and all the grandkids (and Teresa's dog, Riley)...it's actually the first picture we've been able to get of all of them together.
Grandma Klukas and Allie working on walking. I can't believe how good Allie is getting at "walking" with just a little help from us!
Auntie Teresa and Allie just smiling for the camera!
Teresa wanted to get some family pictures, so I offered to take a few. Next year we are going to make sure to do it earlier...it was COLD!
Teresa and Dan...
This weekend Allie started saying mom (she's been saying da da for months now...save the best for last?!?!), she cut another tooth (now she has 2), and tonight she started crawling! It seems as though she changes every day! I thank God for her every day and I cherish every second we have with her!
About a month ago, I had professional pictures scheduled. Unfortunately, the woman that was supposed to do them cancelled. They were rescheduled for this past weekend and again she had to cancel! I decided that I better take some pictures of Allie in her outfit due to the fact that she might not fit into it pretty soon!!! Here are just a few pictures...
Allie and Auntie Teresa just smiling for the camera!
I remember that pain. I remember crying so hard over the possibility that I might never be able to fulfill my lifelong dream of being a mother that I would want to crawl in a hole and never come out. I remember avoiding baby showers. I remember coming up with excuses as to why I could not visit family and friends in the hospital following the births of their children. I remember skipping church on Mother's day, Father's day and baby dedication days. I remember feeling as though friends didn't understand and I remember feeling so alone. I remember cursing Johnson Baby commercials that talked about how having a baby changes everything. I remember walking through the baby departments at stores hoping that one day, I would be buying something for MY baby. I remember Cory trying to shield me from news stories about women dumping their babies in trash dumpsters because he knew it would hurt me. I remember the guilt I felt because I was the "broken" one. I remember feeling like my one job on earth was to have children and I couldn't do that. I remember the pain. I remember the countless comments from family, friends and even complete strangers as to how we could solve our little problem. I remember feeling like the reproductive endocrinologist held my future in his hands and instead of seeing my pain, he saw dollar signs and a chart. I remember the pain of realizing that if I ever wanted to become a mother, it was going to cost me big bucks and even more emotionally.
I also remember the day Cory said he was ready to look into adoption. I had been ready for a while, but he wanted to consider additional infertility treatments. I remember him coming home from a wedding where he met a little girl who was adopted. I remember thinking that I was so thankful that somehow his heart had changed and that he believed that it was Gods will for us to adopt. I remember all the paperwork, home study visits, required training and reading that we had to complete to be approved to be parents. I remember the forms that we had to fill out explaining what things we would "accept" with our child. I remember feeling as though we were ordering a child. I remember the bitterness that I felt because most people we knew that were parents did not have to go through any of this. They simply got pregnant!
I remember the Tuesday night last January when I cried myself to sleep begging God for a sign that he was there and that he had a plan. I remember asking him to give me some type of sign that things were going to be okay...that I needed something to give me strength. I remember waking up in the morning and telling Cory about my "talk" with God (he was gone the night before). I remember when, three days later, we received our first phone call about a little baby boy (A) who was born...get this....three days before (late Tuesday night). I remember our meeting and thinking that this might just be our birth mom, the one that would make our dream of a family come true. I remember hoping that this was it, all the while knowing that I didn't feel as though it was. Unfortunately, I also remember coming home the night before the birth mom (N) was coming to visit...walking into our living room seeing Cory sitting in the dark. I knew. I knew that this dream was over. I remember the tears.
And I will always, always, always, always remember the phone call I received about 2 months later at work. I remember our secretary calling into my room and asking me if I could take a call. She said it was someone (B) from CHS and my heart jumped...I knew. I knew what this phone call was...I pretty much ran out of my room. I remember hearing about a young woman (T) who sounded wonderful. She was pregnant and was due "soon". I remember calling Cory and I remember him not believing me that CHS had called. I remember the next night when B called me back and told me that T had decided that she wanted us to parent her baby and that she was actually due in 4 days!!! I remember how the tears POURED down Cory's face and I remember the shock and fear that I felt. I also remember how the fear melted away after I talked to T on the phone the next day. She was amazing! I remember telling Cory how smart, funny, down-to-earth, and just sweet she sounded. I remember waiting for 10 days before we met T and how two days later, Allie was born and our dream of becoming parents finally happened.
It didn't happen how we planned, and I thank God everyday that it didn't. When I look back at all the negative pregnancy tests, the perfectly timed intercourse because the ovulation predictor kit said it was time, the countless tests and drugs, and the 8 IUI's that didn't work - I realize that had we conceived, we wouldn't have Allie.
Infertility sucks big time and I would not wish it on my worst enemy. Nor would I force the adoption issue on someone that is not ready to look into it as a way to fulfill their dream of becoming parents. However, my heart breaks every time I hear someone say they are spending thousands upon thousands of dollars in the hopes that they can have a "child of their own." Perhaps it was the adoption etiquette training we received at CHS that has made me a bit touchy about that phrase, but any adoptive parent will tell you that ALL of their children are their own, regardless of how they came to be.
So, to all those that are struggling with infertility...I feel your pain. If you know someone that is struggling with it, don't try to find something to say just because you feel like you need to. Trust me, they have already heard or read anything you are going to say to them about how to get pregnant. Just be there to listen and (due to the situation and the drugs) probably be a shoulder to cry on.
It's aways amazed be the power that music has. A song can make you laugh or it can bring you to tears. I stumbled across this video tonight and I couldn't help but post it. This video touches me because one of my best friends is currently in the process of adopting from China. Jen & her husband have been in the process since the summer of 2005! If any of you are aware of the process of international adoption...especially Chinese adoption...you know that this is a very difficult path to travel! Jen & Jason are now down to the last few weeks/months of waiting. Hopefully, they will receive their referral within the next few weeks. If any of you have an extra prayer tonight, please say one for Jen & Jason. They have been through more pain than I could ever imagine and they are going to be AMAZING parents! We can lift them up and give them strength through our prayers! Thank you everyone...I know that it will help them get through the next few weeks!
1.Post the rules on your blog
2.Write 6 random things about yourself
3.Tag 6 people at the end of your post
4. If you are tagged, just do it, and pass the tag along!
1. I spent my afternoon cuddling with little Evie while at the same time playing with Allie! I can't believe how BIG Allie is! Boy I hope that they both sleep through the night!
2. I'm secretly scared out of my mind of adopting again. (Cory doesn't even really know that)Our situation was as close to perfect as it probably could be, and I'm scared of the next one not being that way.
3. I broke my camera over MEA, so I've been searching online for the past week or so trying to find what I want. Any suggestions???
4. I'm in need of a girls shopping day out! This last week was parent-teacher conferences, and boy does that ever wear me out!!! A girls day always seems to do the trick!
5. I LOVE winter!!! Hot apple cider, hot dishes, cuddling up with heavy blankets, and (my favorite) SNOW DAYS!
6. I LOVE blogging!
I'm not sure who reads this blog, so I tag everyone who actually reads this. Just post your message in my comments box. You don't have to have a account, just log in anonymously and make sure to sign your name at the end!
I keep telling myself that this is going to be good practice seeing's though we are going to begin the adoption process again in January. Hypothetically speaking, we could be placed with our second little miracle as early as next March (the day after Allie turns 1)!
We'll see how tonight goes....I'm pretty excited!!! Wish me luck!!!
Daddy, Mommy, Allie, and our judge on Allie's Adoption Day!
This is how Allie waves! She grabs one hand by her wrist and waves backwards at herself...it is SOOO precious!!!
One of my friends made this hat and give it to Allie...we just love it! I'm going to be sad when it doesn't fit her anymore!!!
Our choice to adopt an infant from the US (now our sweet little Allie, of course) rather than a child from an orphanage in another country was not an automatic decision. In fact, when we first began looking into adoption, we were heavily leaning towards going international! But we wanted to consider all the options, make an informed decision, and be sure of the Lord's leading. Over time, our desire to adopt internationally did not really diminish, but our desire to adopt domestically grew exponentially!
It seems to me that in the perception of the general public domestic adoption isn't as cool as adopting internationally. People don't understand it, are sometimes afraid of it, and often have false impressions. Shame is sometimes associated with it, apparently left over from the times past when adoption was not often handled very wisely. But regardless of the reasons and misunderstandings, it is definitely a complicated subject, and there is no standardized formula. Every state has different laws, every agency has different policies, and of course many people adopt without using an agency (called independent and/or private adoption).
All these variables make it difficult to discard the myths from the facts unless you are seriously trying to do so. And as a side note: I have yet to see a television show involving adoption where facts are even accurate. It seems writers don't do their research before scripting the shows. We have an interesting drama at the expense of reality (okay, rant over). Now that I am an adoptive mother, people are not as quick to express concerns and ask questions to me personally as they were when we first acknowledged our adoption plans. But I know there is still a need for good info, and I love sharing our story, so I that is one reason that I wanted to continue the blogging that I started shortly after Allie's birth. Through this blog, my hope is that I am able to help another couple know that they are not alone in their walk through infertility and/or adoption.
Thanks so much for reading!!! Please feel free to leave a message in the comments box. You can do this without starting an account. By doing this, I know who (if anyone) is reading our blog.