Sunday, January 31, 2010

birthmother visit

I intended to post about our meeting with the birthmother as soon as we got back, but of course that didn't happen. :) I have been neglecting my blog lately, and it's hard to get back in the groove. Anyway, I wanted to write about how the trip went; partially for you all to read about it but mostly to document it for myself.

We traveled up to Greenville, South Carolina, on Friday afternoon {January 22nd}. We got to the adoption agency's office at about 6:15, and there we met the two social workers and our birthmother {hereafter referred to as G...to protect her privacy, I won't use her name}. We all sat down together in the conference room and...well, just chatted. We talked about the weather {of course}, our drive up to SC, etc. Small talk. One of the social workers asked us a few questions that G had asked her previously. It was a little awkward - forced conversation usually is. And we were sitting around a conference table, so that's not really "comfortable". Anyway, after chatting for a little while, and being very indecisive about where to go for dinner, we finally left for the restaurant {Texas Roadhouse...which we have in Montgomery but hadn't had before...YUMMY, BTW}. G went to pick up her close friend, J {obviously not naming her either :)}, on the way to the restaurant.

Baron & I got to the restaurant first, and it was super crowded. We went outside to wait for a table, where we caught up with G & J. J, who has never met a stranger, made the situation a lot more comfortable. Baron & I are not very good at chit-chat/small talk/gab. J, on the other hand, is queen of the gab. In a good way. :) We were glad she was there to lighten the mood. Anyway, we enjoyed our dinner together, and talked about so many things...football {G is a UGA fan - this is definitely meant to be! :)}; family; jobs; weather; the pregnancy; our lives; our pets; our hometowns; etc. It was great conversation, and it was not awkward one bit!

That night, we were blessed to be able to stay with some friends in Greenville - Patrick & Amanda (Palmer) Bowling. Amanda & I grew up together at church until her family moved to Atlanta. Patrick & Amanda have two adopted kids, so we enjoyed talking to them about their experiences, and asking advice for ourselves. Staying with them was WAY better than a hotel - great company, a super comfy bed, our own bathroom, and breakfast at IHOP. :)

After breakfast, we said our goodbyes to Patrick & Amanda, and then headed to Wal-Mart. We had planned to walk around downtown Greenville with G & J, and it was COLD. We were prepared to walk from indoors to the car in cold weather; not to walk around outside in cold weather. :) So we went on a mini shopping spree at the local Wal-Mart for some extra layering.

We headed to downtown Greenville, and followed the GPS to get as close to Starbucks {our meeting place} as possible to find a parking spot. There had just been a race of some sort downtown, and the runners were starting to clear out but the road was still blocked. We found a parking spot a couple of blocks from Starbucks...so we thought. It seemed like we walked 2 miles from the car to Starbucks. Maybe it was just my improper shoe choice & the bitter wind that made it seem longer. :) Anyway, we finally got there & ordered our much-needed white chocolate mochas, and waited for G & J to arrive. They got there shortly, and we chatted some more. G gave us the first of several gifts that she wanted the baby to have: a book by a local author that takes kids on a search for little mouse statues down Main Street in Greenville.

We walked around downtown Greenville, admiring the beautiful work they've done there to develop the area. They have a great park around their river, and a suspension bridge that made us all a little nervous. :) We enjoyed walking & talking together, and just enjoying each other's company. It was actually...fun! Who knew this would be a fun experience? :) We visited a small general store there that has old-fashioned toys, and admired the retro lunchboxes, tinker toys, Raggedy Ann dolls, wax lips, and bottled Cokes. After visiting the store, we grabbed lunch at a little pizzeria. There we sat & talked some more - preliminarily about our plans for when G goes into labor. Then we walked back toward the car & said our goodbyes.

We are so impressed with our birthmother. She is mature, responsible, smart, and loving. We are so fortunate to be able to have a relationship with her. She is excited to be able to bless us with a child, and I could not be more thankful for her incredible attitude. It is amazing to watch how God works out His plan in our lives!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

unpregnant.

When we began the adoption process, I knew it would be different. Different for us, different for those close to us, and also different for everyone else in our lives. While we know a lot of families who have adopted, the majority of the families around us are biological. I have a lot of experience watching my pregnant friends during their pregnancies, attending their baby showers at church, visiting them in the hospital when their babies are born, and taking them meals after they bring their babies home. So, while I don’t know what it’s like to be pregnant, I know how to be a friend to someone who is. I, too, am an expecting mother. But guess what? I’m not going through all of that. I’m not pregnant, so I don’t exactly know what I’m supposed to go through. People don’t rub my belly & ask how the baby is. {No, I am NOT asking you to start rubbing my belly! :)} When I go somewhere, no one can look at me & see that I am an expecting mother. I don’t get to hear my baby’s heartbeat at the doctor’s office. I don’t have weird cravings. {Ok so maybe I do. But not as a result of pregnancy. :)} I can’t feel my baby kicking in my belly. I can’t see her through the ultrasound. All of these things – experiences of a pregnant mother – help her & those around her grow to love her baby. She bonds with her baby as he/she grows inside of her, and the people close to her can see that & experience it with her.


So where does that leave me? I am expecting a baby in April, who will be born of another woman. How do I bond with that baby? How do I love her before she is even here? Well, I don’t know how. But I know I do. I love that baby girl. I have never met her, but she is mine. I have never seen her on an ultrasound, but I know she is beautiful. I haven’t heard her heartbeat, but I know it is beating. She isn’t growing underneath my heart, but she is growing in my heart. Some of you are probably thinking, “Laura, isn’t that dangerous to grow so attached? Can’t the birthmother change her mind? Isn’t there a possibility that the adoption could fail?” Yes, of course. I’m not na├»ve – I know the reality of failed adoptions. But would you tell a pregnant mother not to grow attached to her baby because of the possibility of a pregnancy loss? Of course not! She is expected to bond with her baby, so I should be expected to bond with mine.


Maybe adoption shouldn’t be "the new pregnant". Maybe I need to stop trying to make this adoption a pregnancy, and embrace the difference that it is. So what if I don't get to park in the "expecting mothers" parking spot. And I may not get the “awww, you’re just GLOWING!” that the pregnant moms get. People may forget that I’m expecting because they don’t have the visual reminder. But I feel that there is a baby in South Carolina right now that is my daughter. And soon, she will be here for all of you to oooh and ahhh over. And when that time comes, none of this confusion/awkwardness/emotional roller coaster/stress will matter, because it will be all worth it to have that baby girl in my arms.


If you are adopting, or considering adoption, I urge you to enjoy the differences between adoption & pregnancy. Adoption is a beautiful {and exciting!} thing, and a tremendous blessing to so many people! It saddens me when people view adoption as a "backup plan" for growing a family. I have struggled with comparing adoption with pregnancy, and it can lead to disappointment. Unrealistic expectations of other people are unmet. Negative differences are amplified. Blessings go unnoticed. The fact is, our experiences are similar, but at the same time different. Enjoy being an expecting mother; don’t pity yourself for being unpregnant.


{Side note: tomorrow (Friday), Baron & I are travelling to South Carolina to meet our birthmother. We are super excited about this trip! Please pray for our safety during the trip up there Friday & back on Saturday, and for a good meeting with her. Thanks!}

Saturday, January 16, 2010

better late than never...

Here are a few pics from our Christmas. Yes, it's the middle of January & I'm just now posting Christmas pics. It hasn't been at the top of my "to do" list! :)

Some of these are pics of handmade gifts & some are Christmas decorations. All of them together took lots of time. :)
{If you're friends with me on facebook, I have a few more pics on there.}
gift bags that I decided to decorate, with gift tags that I made

personalized trivets for some of the Wishum clan

Freeset bags for our nieces decorated by me


the mantle


our tree


"brown paper packages tied up with string..."
And, if you haven't read the post below, please do so because it is much more exciting than this one! :)

Friday, January 08, 2010

January 7th.

January 7th, 2009:
I am in total shock. Am I really pregnant? After 2 1/2 years of trying, is this finally happening? I can't breathe. Baron gets home, and I just show him "the stick". He can't believe it either. I pee on another stick. Positive again. I think. Is it? Maybe it's negative. I'm not sure. It's a Wednesday, so we have to face people at church with our normal, "nothing is going on" faces, when in our minds we're...well...shocked. There's no better word to describe the feeling. {Side note: we had directory pics that night. You can totally see the shock on my face.} Two more pregnancy tests later, and I'm almost convinced it's true. Finally, a doctor's visit eases my mind. I'm pregnant!!! I believe it, but it doesn't really sink in. We just barely get into the planning stages before devastation hits. After just 12 weeks of pregnancy, we find out that we lost the baby at around 7 weeks.

January 7th, 2010:
I'm browsing stock photos online at the office to use in a new brochure. The search category I typed is "security". For some reason, baby pictures are peppered throughout the list. Why are BABY pictures in here? At first it's cute to see the pics, and then a twinge of sadness creeps in. A year ago, I found out I was pregnant, and then we lost the baby in March. We started back into the adoption process, and waited. At this point we've been trying/adopting/pregnant/adopting again for almost 3 1/2 years. I. WANT. A. BABY. Other people have babies. Why can't I have one? It's the usual frustrating/impatient/almost depressing thoughts that creep into my mind once in awhile. Then, Baron calls.
B: Whatcha doin?
Me: {in a slightly bored tone, because I'm late leaving for lunch & the hunger pangs are kicking in} Looking at stock photos online.
B: We've been chosen.
Me: What?
B: WE'VE. BEEN. MATCHED.
Me: Are you SERIOUS?! {of course he's serious, this is nothing to joke about!}
B: {gives the details of the birthmother} She wants to talk to us on a conference call either today or Monday.
So, we scheduled a conference call. Talk about nerves. I didn't have butterflies in my stomach, I had giant moths. You know, the scary looking furry kind of moths. And they didn't go away until after the phone call. Which, by the way, went very well, and the birthmother was convinced that she wanted us to parent her child! She is having a baby girl, due April 12th. We are so excited, it's surreal. I can honestly say I'm more excited now than I was when I got pregnant. I don't know if it's the short timeline to wait for the baby to arrive, or the fact that we've been waiting a year longer now, or just the romantic unknown that comes with this adoption process, or maybe that THIS is really what God's plan is for us so He is putting that feeling of excitement in me. But WOW. What an exciting time for us! In the next few weeks we will be going up to South Carolina to meet the birthmother.

Please pray with/for us over the next few months!!

God, thank you so much for this awesome blessing. Thank you for bringing us to this point in our lives and for choosing us to go through this wonderful process of adoption. Our prayer is that this is the baby you want us to raise. Help us to trust you to work out your will for us. Keep your hand on the birthmother & her baby. Keep them safe & healthy. And help us to show your love to them, always. Please deliver this baby to us safely in your time. Amen.