Thanksgiving pictures

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...

Grandma and Allie checking out her Christmas tree for the first time.


A picture is worth a thousand words!!!

Can you guess what we're thankful for this year?!?!


Talking, teeth, and crawling!!!

It's so neat to see how Allie is growing! The first thing that EVERYONE says about Allie is that she is SO long! She's going to be a tall girl and she grows out of her clothes about as fast as we buy them...but I'm not complaining! I LOVE IT!

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...


Pictures from this weekend...

We had a very busy weekend! I had Friday off of work, so Allie and I hung out all day! I can't believe how much fun she is!!! Here are a few pictures...

Daddy's girl...can you tell?!?!

Look...I'm such a big girl! This was my first time drinking from a sippy cup and I did awesome!

Allie and Auntie Teresa just smiling for the camera!

I LOVE my pretty dress Grandma bought me! Isn't it cute?!?! Can you see my new tooth???

Cousin Kaleb still adores me!! He had so much fun playing with me!!! I think I have him wrapped around my little finger!!!
My two newest favorite things...Elmo and baby dolls. Mommy and daddy aren't sure where my love for Elmo came from, but I just adore him and baby dolls! I'm going to ask Santa for my first baby doll!!!



Since entering the blog world, I have enjoyed reading other blogs, mainly those involving adoption and infertility. I love reading how God has brought families together through adoption, especially open adoption...something near and dear to my heart. However, it's the blogs about infertility that stir up old wounds and break my heart for those that are living with the infertility curse.

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.