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I’m Not a Hero

I get a lot of questions about adoption. Some people wonder how a mother can give up her child. I also get a lot of comments about how great it is that we are adopting, as if we are doing some noble good or charitable act.

There are a lot of reasons why a birth mother may not be able to raise a child. Everyone has different circumstances. I feel, in many cases, it also takes a lot of maturity and introspection. So I think that people shouldn’t judge mothers who make the very difficult decision. I’m just glad that our birth mom chose life, and that she chose us.

As an adoptive parent, I don’t feel as if I am saving a child or that I should be put on a pedestal. I truly believe that our adopted daughter needed us just as much as we needed her. I’m so thankful for every day that we have together.

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2 1/2 Months

From there…

Ava at almost two weeks with the bunny from her birth mom. In Idaho. Waiting for the green light to fly *home*.

This photo is with her bunny, Amorae,  from her birth mom. We took the photo about a week after she was born while we were waiting for the green light to fly her from Idaho to California.

One morning we heard a voice from Ava’s bedroom.We thought it was strange because we weren’t aware of any of her stuffed toys having sound. When we entered her room, we found our little Westie dog, Dexter, with the bunny. He always tries to play with her toys. That is how we learned when you squeeze the bunny’s hand, her birth mom’s voice says, “Hi Ava. I love you.”

Talk about an emotional moment. We love her birth mom and we know how much her birth mom loves her. That morning I could not stop crying. There’s been so much sacrifice on both ends–all for the love of one very special little girl.

to here…

Ava at 2 1/2 months in Cali.

Fast forward to the present. The second photo was taken just this past weekend, here in California, the place we call home. Ava is now over 2 1/2 months and changing so fast! She’s doubled in weight. She’s smiling and cooing. She smiles and cackles at herself in the mirror. Grandma Cathy said she is turned from her back to her side today more than once. It’s amazing how much she has grown already and it’s amazing how much our lives have changed. I’m loving every single minute.

Every day I fall deeper and deeper in love with her. Every day I feel like I’m in a dream, but she’s here. She’s really here! She came just when I was about to give up on being a mom and thought maybe it just wasn’t in the cards for me. We went through a lot of trials and failures with infertility, and at least one previous adoption attempt. And now there’s nothing else that I can believe except the reason we were not successful all those times is everything had to fall right into place for Ava to be here *now* with us.

We’re back!

Image

Meet our baby girl, Ava. She is the most precious gift we have received–ever.

She was born on Superbowl Sunday. We got the call in the wee hours of the morning the birth mom was in labor, a week earlier than we expected. We spent the entire morning packing and rearranging our travel. Our flight was delayed, and the check-in agent felt so bad she didn’t charge us for our luggage. We arrived at the hospital 4 hours after she was born and spent the next three days shuffling back-and-forth to the hospital room where she stayed with her birth mom.

It was the strangest, most wonderful, most nerve-wrecking time of our life. Not only was she in her birth mom’s room most of the time, but there seemed to be a revolving door of friends coming to visit the birth mom and the baby, which left us with less time than anticipated holding our little one. But, at the same time, it was great to see that the birth mom had so much support. Her friends were a testament to her giving and loving nature, and they all congratulated us. One of her best friends and roommate stayed the entire time.

The third day, and the last day before checkout, the birth mom wanted to spend the majority of time with Ava. We visited for about an hour or so in the morning. During that time, we shared a special moment. She said, “This is going to sound strange, but I want to sit next to you.” She walked over with Ava and we sat side by side with our beautiful girl. She said she was glad it was us.

That night when we came to check out and pick up Ava, it was an emotional time for us all. I can only imagine what the birth mom was going through. Even though we only spent a few days together, I felt like we were family. We all hugged. I hugged the birth mom and told her I loved her. Her roomy gave me the biggest, longest, heartfelt hug and said, “Thank you!”

There’s more to write, but even now, I’m tearing up with emotions. Let’s just say, it’s good to be home, and it’s good to finally be a mom.

Dear Ava,

I know you are not even here yet, but my heart is already filled with so much love for you. Our entire family is so excited and can’t wait to meet you. There have been tears of happiness and screams of joy, especially from the grandmas and aunties.

Auntie Liz started giving me things she’s been saving for you. Grandma Cathy is coming with us to your hometown to help out when you arrive. Grandma Cheryl and Auntie Tammy have volunteered to buy you a portable crib/playpen. Auntie Lyn wants to come help take care of you. Grandma Beth has been praying her rosary for you every night since she found out you were coming. Some have offered to take Dexter doggie, but, well, he’s big brother and he will be sticking around. I’m sure he’ll be giving you a lot of kisses.

You should see how happy everyone is. We are preparing for you as much as we can. We are now frequent shoppers at Buy Buy Baby and Babies ‘R’ Us. Family and friends have been giving us a lot of the things you’ll need, too, and have already volunteered to babysit. This includes your cousins, Ryan and Logan. But, they are 11 and 4, so those will be supervised babysitting sessions. 🙂

Right now I’m working on your room. It’s not pink because I’ve never really been a real girly girl. But, there’s plenty of green, purple, and blue. I hope you like butterflies.

The next step is up to you. We’re waiting for your grand entrance.

Lots and lots of stuff!

My head is spinning. Now that we’re preparing to bring a baby girl into our family, there is so much to prepare for, and so much to buy!

Last weekend, we got the basics: a bassinet, car seat, stroller, and a few clothing items. We started a list that keeps growing. There are lots of big and little items, and so many of them very important.

In addition to baby stuff, we’ve signed up for a baby care class at the hospital, watched a baby care video, are looking into infant day care and pediatricians. And we’re looking into hotels, apartment and condo rentals — because the baby is out-of-state and we’ll be living in her birth town for a while until we can legally bring her home.

There’s a little voice in my head that asks if we’re doing too much, or not enough. While I’m trying to be optimistic that nothing will go wrong, I’m afraid to be surrounded by all this baby stuff if it does. But, I also want to be as prepared as possible, and as soon as possible, because the baby is due in about a month and a half. What if she comes earlier than that?

I guess no one is ever 100% ready. But, with adoption it’s extra tricky! So we wait, heavy with anticipation. And pray.

Rollercoaster

This is turning out to be one wild ride. Fortunately, at this point, we’re on one of the ups instead of the downs. But, there’s a lot of nervousness and fear on the way up! I’m bracing myself!

We got a call from the agency today. The latest word is the birth father is agreeable to adoption. He wasn’t previously. We are set to fly out to meet both parents very soon. We’ll be meeting with each of them separately. I have no idea what to expect or what they’ll want to ask us. Crazy, eh?

It’s exciting and surreal to think in just a few months we could be parents! Maybe it really is time to start preparing.

Somebody Likes Us

It has been a while since my last post–7 months to be exact. I’m actually not sure if I should write about this, but I feel the need to. It’s the first time in a long time since I’ve felt motivated to write about anything.

For many years my husband, John, and I haven’t been able to conceive. We signed up with a new adoption agency and have been in waiting mode all year. Just recently, we heard the news that a birth mom has selected us!

This news came at a point where I was starting to feel like giving up. I’ve been starting to feel too old and was about to give myself a cut-off. If nothing happened this year, I was going to resign to the fact that I’d never be a mom, and that I would just continue to share my love with my godchildren and the rest of the children in my extended family–and be content with that.

Now there’s a flurry of emotions. I’m excited and scared at the same time. I don’t want to get my hopes up too much. What if the birth mom changes her mind? Even in writing this, I’m worried that I’m going to jinx the whole thing. There are more details that I could share, but I’m scared to say too much right now.

We’ve been through so many ups and downs with trying to get pregnant and adoption over the last 5 or 6 years. So, I’ll try to stay positive and just trust that whatever is meant to be is meant to be. Wish us luck!

Stay tuned…

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