Thursday, January 27, 2011

An update

I got pictures of sweet Brit on Tuesday.  Which meant two nights without sleep.  She is 10 months old and I keep waiting.  Do you think they will let me see her on her first birthday in March?  And why can't I be grateful for what I do have?  They send beautiful emails that let me know what Brit has accomplished in the past month.  And I love that.  But I would really like to snuggle her.

I'll write more later, but until then, here are pictures of our sweet Brit at Christmas.  She is now walking, clapping, dancing and saying a few words.  Yes, she is advanced.
This is a cropped picture because it also includes her dad, who has much the same look on his face.  C and I cracked up when we saw it.  They both look very confused by the Farmer Says toy.

Dad is touching Brit's nose with her fairy wand.   Yes, this great big athletic man is destined to a life of tutus and princess parties.  And probably lots of drama.  Thankfully he is a high school girls basketball coach so he knows girl drama all too well.  I think he will be well equipped. 
Where is this girl's hair?....
She just looks so little.  And I guess she always will be.  I often chuckle as I think about how her her dad is 6'5" and very athletic. Her mom is right at 6' tall and gracefully beautiful. And ironically, Brit's birthfather is 5'8" (when he is standing tall) and I am 5'5" (with my hair puffed up).  I am also the most uncoordinated person I know.  Thankfully her birthfather is coordinated and athletic, so maybe that will balance things out.

But here is a little girl who will grow up with a dad who is a high school girls basketball coach, and a mom who is a professional ballerina.  So sorry Brit.  Wish we would have contributed more to your gene pool.  Hopefully just living with your parents will make you grow taller and be athletic. :) 

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

An amazing woman

I rarely watch TV except for the nightly news, but last night I got sucked in.  Just like millions of others.  I watched the Oprah "family secret" show.  And now we know that Oprah has also been touched by adoption.  Her mother is a birthmother.

Two things that struck me.
1. I wanted to shake Oprah's mother and ask her what is going through her head that she would deny meeting her daughter when she requested over and over again!
2. Oprah's half-sister Patricia is obviously a beautiful Christian woman filled with forgiveness and grace.

As a birthmother, I am appalled that another birthmother would NOT want to have contact with a child who is desperately reaching out to her.  Especially since she is not exactly living a pauper's life.  Her daughter is one of the wealthiest and successful women in our society.  And this is not a secret that is going to go away.  I have decided that I would need to know the mother better to understand what she is thinking.  And it is not mine to judge.

So instead, I want to talk about Patricia, the daughter relinquished to the state.  She was a victim of poor choices by the adults in her life. She has every right to be angry, hurt and bitter.  But from all appearances, she is not.  She seems to have a kind heart, sincerely concerned for the well-being of all the family who has just found out about her.  She could have sold her story.  Especially after her birthmother hurt her so badly when she repeatedly declined to meet her.  But she didn't.  She trusted God through the entire process.  She believed that God would provide for her.  A girl who was seemingly abandoned trusted God to provide for her.  To guide her through this process.  And her children acted the same way.

I hope and will pray that Patricia's faith and forgiveness will change Oprah and her mother.  I hope Oprah will see that there is one divine God, who is alive and cares for each of us.  And those who have a relationship with Him can have peace and forgiveness for human wrongs, even when the world would think they shouldn't.

Patricia, you are a beautiful woman, and no matter how the rest of this story works out with your birthmother, I will continue to admire you and your faith and perseverance.

Isn't God good!

Saturday, January 22, 2011


I am thankful today that I have peace.  It may only be for today, but I have it for now. And as a birthmother, and a parenting mother, most of the time, peace is hard to come by!

I woke early this morning and laid in bed and decided that instead of letting my mind wander, I would pray.  As always I started by praying for Brit's family and that their heart would soften toward opening our adoption more.  But then it hit me.  All I do is ask.  I ask God for this, and plead for that.  But rarely do I stop to be worshipful.  Truthfully, prayer time is all about me.  What I want, what I think I need.

I am pretty sure I do not make the list of God's top ten closest friends.  (Yes, I know he doesn't keep a list like that, but you get the idea.)  In our relationship, it is all about ME.  Now I will add that I pray for others all the time too.  But it is definitely a parent child relationship that God and I have.  I ask for things.  Over and over.  And not always are they selfish things.  I do pray for healing for friends and family.  But I am always asking for something.  And what do I give in return?  Usually it is a quick, "thanks God for still loving me even though I am selfish.  Now back to my requests..."

So I need to start working on that.  I have let my Bible reading go completely by the wayside.  I spend no time trying to know God better.  I give back nothing.  I just take.  Thankfully God is willing to wipe the slate clean.  But surely He is getting pretty tired of this one-sided relationship.

I will make an effort to be better.  To give the glory due to God.  And maybe then this temporary peace will turn into a life filled with God's grace and peace, that comes from truly walking with Him.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Not much to say

Not too much to report today.  Yesterday was my birthday and for some reason I thought maybe Brit's mom would send an email or a note.  That didn't happen.  Actually, I take that back.  She did send an email reply to one I sent her on Monday about a mutual acquaintance of ours whose husband had a brain tumor removed.  She thanked me for the update.  And to be honest, it was a nice light hearted email.  Just a couple of sentences, but I figure any correspondence from her is better than none.

I try to keep my interactions with Brit's mom light hearted and non-chalant.  I know that there is a huge white elephant that stands between the two of us and meaningful conversation.  I try not to dwell on the conversations that we had prior to Brit's birth about how we would always be friends.  I know things change.  I just wish they hadn't.

So now I wait for my January email update with pictures.  I am so very glad I get that.  So many birthmothers don't.  So as sorry as I feel for myself and how our relationship hasn't developed like I thought it would, I do remember that I am still very fortunate to have what I do get.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

A song to all birthmothers

In addition to being a phenomenal singer and songwriter, Mark Schultz is also an adoptee.  I love all of his music, but for obvious reasons this is my favorite song. 

Thank you Mark for loving your birthmother.

Monday, January 17, 2011

My oldest child is now an adult

Yesterday was J's 18th birthday.  While he is officially an adult by legal terms, I think it will be a few years before he actually reaches adult maturity.  But when I met his father (who was 22 at the time), he was also just starting to grow up, so I know there is hope for J too.

Hard to think that in the past year I had a baby, became a step-grandma, and had a child turn 18.  I am working my way through seasons of life at a record pace.

So here's to life changes, and coping with curve balls.  And enjoying where I am today.  Even if I wouldn't have chosen it given the chance.

Life is funny. 

Happy birthday J!  Hope you enjoyed those crab legs.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Words of love and encouragement

I am a devout reader of the blog Heart Cries.  And while she didn't know it, Rebekah's blog became very therapeutic to me on some of my worst days.

The other day I did reach out to Rebekah in a personal email to thank her for her words and how she touches my heart. In the email I shared my story with her. And in her email back to me, she said some great things that I treasure. 

If you are a mother touched by adoption, I hope these words are meaningful to you too.  Below is an excerpt from her email (with a few edits).  I highlighted the parts that I continue to ponder.

Lisa, I am honored that you would share your story with me. If I'm sharing, honestly, it broke my heart. When adoptive mothers act the way you described, it tells me two things. 1) They never fully healed from infertility before persuing adoption and 2) They're not confident in who God has created them to be.

It is very sad to me when adoptive mothers can't see past the threat they feel over having their son or daughter's birth mother in their life. All that being said, God is so very sovereign. He knows your heart and her pain. He knows the fullness that both of you desire for Brit's life and He can orchestrate it better than anyone on earth could. Don't lose hope!

I will pray and believe that healing will take place for all hearts involved.  Adoption is such a raw process. Even for Rebekah and me, the first few months were so difficult. It was agonizing for me to hear how much pain she was in. (It would have been easier not to know or have contact). It took nearly a solid year for her to find a healthy spot of peace. We went to visit her when Ty was ten months old and although many tears were shed, they were all happy! Just give yourselves time...God can move mountains.

Infertility has a way of bringing out the worst in people. Believe me, I've had some very ugly moments of regret. Your adoptive parents sound like wonderful parents and despite their reservations on opening the adoption up, I guarantee they are loving your sweet Brit with the love of 4 parents.

This side of adoption makes you so grateful for where God has brought you and a day doesn't go by that you don't remember what He's done. Ty is nearly two and I've never uttered (or heard Ben say) anything that could even closely be linked to a complaint. We just don't take our moments with Ty for granted.

Here are some of my thoughts on what Rebekah shared:

Confidence in what God has created us to be (specific to our roles in the lives of our children)
While she was referring to my daughter's adoptive mother it made me reflect on MY role too.  Who did God intend for ME to be to Brit?  Yes, I wish mom would open up to me and share more of Brit's life with me and her birthfather, but am I trusting God to orchestrate the best situation for this little girl?  Or am I just completely obsessed with what I think my role should be?  Who would know best?  Me or God?  Yes, I know the answer to that question.  What has God created me to be?  I need to pray on that one ALOT.

It is very sad to me when adoptive mothers can't see past the threat they feel over having their son or daughter's birth mother in their life.
This is an area that I wish I could tell Brit's mom would be OK if she would just allow me in.  Had I thought that I would be the best mother for Brit, I would have kept her and raised her in our family.  But I know that God had another plan for this sweet little girl.  If He didn't, things would not have worked out like they did. 

And I am not a crazy, inconsistent woman who will just scramble Brit's life.  I am a professional, working mother with 3 boys of my own, who are all well adjusted and happy.  The only addiction I have is to Diet Coke and a propensity to volunteer for too many activities and committees. 

And Brit's father is the same.  He is an accountant, with two boys of his own who are also normal and well-adjusted.  We are good parents and would never interfere with letting them be Brit's parents. 

We picked them because we trusted that they would be the very best parents for our little girl.  If we didn't think that, we would have kept her or chosen another family.  If I could just remind Brit's mom that I know my place.  And I just want to give even more love to the little girl that will forever be connected to me, her birthfather and all of her biological brothers.

They are loving your sweet Brit with the love of 4 parents.
I need to focus on this when I am having a pity party for myself as I long to hold and love the daughter who I miss.  While I might not be able to hold her and love her directly, her parents do.  And because they longed and prayed for her for years, they are finally able to give all the love they had saved up to this beautiful little girl.  She is the lucky one.  And Brit knows no different.  She has her parents, she loves them, and they love her.

So, I will pray.  Pray that God will guide our relationship down the path that He intended.  That He will orchestrate a beautiful relationship that develops according to His time, not mine. (THAT IS SO HARD!!!) And I will pray for healing for all of our broken adult hearts.  Because our little girl is not broken.  Her heart is full of love.  And she is also loved to the moon and back by not one, but two sets of parents.

Brit is a lucky little girl.  And God is using Brit to form her mom and me into the people He intended us to be.  So we need to just let God do the hard work of changing our hearts.

So much easier said than done, but I intend to pray my way through this.

Thank you Rebekah for your Heart Cries.  Because your words help dry my tears.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

A good day

I am amazed by how much peace I have felt about my adoption situation the past couple of weeks.  Nothing has changed at all.  But I think God is just granting me some peace about it right now.  I can think about little Brit without crying.  And I continue to pray for her parents and that their hearts might soften to the idea of allowing us to have a relationship with her.  But I don't cry or become consumed with feelings of hurt and disappointment like I have in the past.

I know it is no coincidence that while my heart is content with my adoption relationship, the rest of my personal life is spinning out of control.  My ex-husband has filed for primary custody of our two little boys because he has decided that he doesn't want to pay child support which I just requested.  He has not paid a penny to me for almost two years and I decided it was time that he helped out a little.  So in response to my request for financial assistance, he has filed for custody.

That means we are making two attorney's very wealthy.  So not only is it financially difficult to be a single parent, I am also hemorrhaging money as the attorney needs another $1,000 every time I turn around.

I know this process will work out fine for me in the end, but until then, it is very stressful.  And my kids definitely feel stuck in the middle. You would think two grown adults could work this out without having to see attorneys and judges.  But I guess not.

So today is my last full day in the office as tomorrow I have to appear before a judge so he can determine what our shared parenting schedule will be for the remainder of the month.  Then Friday I have to see another attorney who is supposed to see if she can get the ex and me to come to a civil agreement without further involving the court.

I am hopeful that this process is over soon and we can all move on.

But until then, we keep trudging through it.  And thankfully the kids and I are all resilient.

Some happy thoughts for the day:
  • I love my hot tea.  Good Earth Sweet and Spicy blend.  Unbelievably good.
  • My oldest son turns 18 on Sunday and C and I are going to spend some one-on-one time with him to celebrate
  • I have free passes to see a screening of the movie The Green Hornet tonight.  I plan to take the two little boys and eat popcorn and drink Diet Coke, even though I am trying to avoid pop as much as possible.
  • I have great, supportive co-workers.
  • I have an awesome best friend who is there for me, no matter what.
  • Zoloft is an inexpensive anti-depressant that seems to work really well for me when taken in large doses. (Yes, I am better when I take medicine.  It is not weakness, just something to help me through this valley.)
  • I live with a friend who has been very kind and understanding with my financial situation.
  • C and I are in a great place in our relationship. (Which I also think helps me with my adoption feelings.)
  • I am healthy and employed.  Which is better than many of my friends.
  • God has provided for me.  And even though I am stubborn and disobedient, He still gives me second chances and pours His grace out upon me.
So there you have it.  Things aren't really that bad.  And I have much to be thankful for.

Monday, January 10, 2011

We will always be here.


Today I felt like I needed to actually write and tell you how much your birthfather and I love you.  While we chose different parents for you, you are always with us.  Every day we speak your name.  We wonder what you are doing.  We wonder about your little personality and wish we could spend some time with you.

We keep a baby book that is all about you.  Each month we get an email from your parents and they include photos.  We make a scrapbook page with as many pictures as we can.  I make a photo collage every month too that he and I have displayed in our homes.  The boys love to look at the pictures of you.  D has a little pink photo album that says "Little Sister".  Sometimes it makes me cry to look at it, but mostly it makes my heart happy to know that he and the other boys all think of you as their sister, in spite of the different parents.

We all love you very much and can't wait for the day that your parents let us see you again.  We want to include you in our lives.  We still love you so much.  So much in fact, it hurts.

I read about adoption every day.  And the saddest stories to me are those where the birthparents stop contact with their child and his/her family.  We will never disappear.  We want to be here for you.  For everything that we are allowed to share.  We don't want to miss a thing.  And we hope someday that we will be able to share parts of your life with you.

But until then, we will continue to love you in our hearts and pour over your pictures.  And we will be thankful for the stories that we do get to hear from your parents.  It gives us great joy to see and hear how happy you are.  That is exactly what we wanted for you.

We love you very much!