Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The big 14 month old

I got my Brit update.  As usual, it was very nice.

Important facts to note:

Brit loves apple cores.  Not apples.  Notice the core she is eating in the picture.  When served an apple she won't eat it.  When she finds an apple core, it's hers!

We now have noticeable hair!  FINALLY.  Look at that cute curl on top!

She is learning how to be cute and adorable when she is testing the water with something she knows will get her in trouble.  When her parents tell her that something is "not for Brit", she comes over and hugs their leg.  I love it!

Grandma and grandpa have created a Brit playland in their backyard filled with slides, a house, a picnic table and just lots of room to run back and forth.  It is her favorite place.  Thankfully they live just down the street.

Her momma is still doing well with the pregnancy and the twins.  She is trying to hold out as long as possible.  She is due in August, but just hopes to make it to July.  Dad is home now and can wait on both of his girls all summer long.

I am lucky to get updates.  But I still feel the pain of wanting to touch her, hold her and snuggle her up.  I'm pretty sure this feeling never goes away.

It's the 25th

I get an update from Brit's parents the 25th of each month (her birthday).  I woke up this morning and it was the first thing I thought of.

I can't wait to hear how things are going and to see her sweet little face.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Just when you think they have grown up

I am home from work today because my newly graduated 'adult' son is sick.  So sick that he didn't want to be home alone.  There is something very lonely about puking (or dry heaving in his case), without someone around to make sure you don't die.

It is kind of nice knowing that your child still needs you, even if it is just when they are sick.

Now I get to look forward to sharing this nasty virus to the rest of my kids.  Could be a really long week.  Let's hope mommy's flu shot works and I can stay strong.

Being a parent is not for the weak of heart - or stomach in this case.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Big weekend

It was graduation weekend.  But in true Lisa fashion, we can't just have graduation, we have to add all kinds of other complicating factors.

Saturday morning I got my little Princess from her momma at 7am.  That began the fun of the day.  Princess and I ran some errands for a couple of hours. 

Then we went to my sister's house and picked up her two little girls so they could go with us to my oldest son's high school graduation party.  My nieces are 10 and 4 and positively adorable. 

So this momma who is not raising any girls, had a car full of them headed to J's graduation party, being hosted by his dad.  Because my other two boys were in a baseball tournament, they weren't with me and didn't get to participate in the graduation festivities of the day. It was just Lisa and the girls.

J's party went great.  His dad and step mom were gracious hosts welcoming all of my family as they came to wish my son well.

After the party, I took all three of the girls shopping at the Goodwill store down the street.  We spent TWO hours there trying on clothes!  Imagine having a 5 month old baby, 4 and 10 year old girls.  It was quite the adventure.

We each walked out with a bag full of clothes and big smiles (except for the baby, and she was asleep by then).

I dropped the girls off with their dad and the Princess baby with her momma who had gotten off work early.

J met me at a friend's house (where they were also having a graduation party), and he and I decided to go out to dinner, just mom and son, to celebrate his graduation accomplishment.  He chose the local hibachi grill and we had the typical hibachi experience.

The next morning Princess was dropped off at 6am so the fun could begin again.  I was so thankful that she fell asleep in my arm and we were able to take a one hour nap before she woke back up at 7:30am.  I needed the sleep!

Then we were off to my grandson's baptism in a Catholic church in a rural community where my daughter lives, about 40 minutes from us.

I will have to say, two days of carrying a baby in a car seat while wearing 4" heels was more than I could stand!

We watched the baptism ceremony (not being Catholic myself, it was interesting to see how the ceremony is done and what the belief is behind child baptism).

While I snapped pictures, my youngest son D held the Princess.  It was a huge help.

The ceremony was really special because there were two babies being baptized that day, and they are cousins.  A neat memory for two little ones who will grow up together.

I was also so glad to see what a great daddy my daughter's fiance is.  (They will be getting married in November.)  That baby loves his daddy and that daddy loves his baby.  So cool to see a young man who takes being a father seriously.

Aren't they the cutest little family?!?

The we were off again to head to the actual graduation ceremony for J.  This included another 40 minute drive across town.  If Princess would have been sleeping this would have been an easy trip.  But she didn't sleep, and she wanted to eat NOW.

So we took a detour, stopped at a Golden Corral where my youngest son thought he was in heaven because all of his favorite foods were at his fingertips in any quantity he wanted to eat.

I, on the other hand, tried to make a plate while walking and eating with a child in my arm.  It is amazing how that skill came back to me even when it has been 10 years since I carried around an infant regularly.

Lunch was done, baby was fed, diaper changed and we were off.

We made it to J's town in time to watch the traditional march that the graduates make through the town to the school.  I had never seen anything like that.  The students were hot and tired by the time they got there, but it is a cool memory that they will have of the annual graduation tradition from their community.  We snapped a picture of J as he walked by.

Got to the school and navigated all the stairs down to the gym floor where J's dad had saved us a seat.  Have I mentioned how hard it is to walk in heels and carry a baby in a car seat?  It was KILLER!

The ceremony was great.  They had 18 valedictorians.  Apparently all of them were 4.0 students.  Quite a deal.  My youngest son D made it clear to me that he will NEVER be on the stage if you have to get straight A's all through high school.  Apparently he doesn't even have any aspirations of being an academic overachiever!

I did make J stop and take a picture with his momma.  Doesn't he look delighted?!? (Notice the white shirt, got it at Goodwill the day before.  I love it!)

Once the ceremony was over, D, the Princess and I headed back to our home another 40 minutes away.  Once again Princess had enough of the car rides and fussed on the way home.  We were all just worn out.

We got back to our house and Princess's mom called and said she was on her way, she had gotten off work early.  It was a good deal for all of us.

So with Princess gone for the day, D and I went to get his haircut to correct the haircut his dad had given him the night before.  D told me he wasn't going to school until he got it fixed, so it was a non-negotiable task we had to get out of the way.

Then it was off to the BF's house for a quick visit, and now I am back at home thinking my bed is calling my name.

To think, I have a Monday waiting for me tomorrow when I wake up.  Yuck. 

Congrats to my new high school graduate.  I am so proud of you and how you are growing up!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Adoption does not have to equal tragedy

I read a post of an adoptive parent this weekend and it got me worked up.  Nothing that she said, but the reason she was posting.

She was upset by reading other blogs and sites where adoption is referred to as a tragedy and those posting make reference to how adoption should always be a last resort only chosen in times of abuse and neglect.

I would like to voice my opinion about this subject.  As you know, I am a birthmother.  I do not speak for all birthparents.  I especially do not speak for birthparents of generations past where unwed mothers were pressured into decisions they didn't want to make.

I speak from only my perspective based upon my experiences.  So here it goes.  How and why I came to the adoption decision - much abbreviated.

I was the one who made a choice that led to an unplanned pregnancy.  It is no more the birthfather's fault than it is my own.  Above all else, I did not get pregnant to provide a child or a 'gift' for someone else.

No one told me I had to choose adoption.  On the contrary, most of those closest to me told me they would do whatever it took to help me raise a child on my own.  Birthfather/boyfriend and I were not guided toward adoption in any way at all.  We had to seek the option.

I am educated, currently parenting 3 boys as a single mother. I have a career.  I do not live in poverty.  I am not without the resources needed to raise a child.

I was not afraid of the stigma of being a single mother.  Those days are over.  Even for someone like me who lives in the public eye in a smaller community.  Regardless of the support or lack of support I would have had from the BF, I knew there were resources of all kinds to support me if I chose to parent.

Adoption was not my last resort.  Abortion was never an option.  I was choosing single parenting vs. choosing a married couple as parents for my child.

My decision was based upon what I would choose for my child, knowing that a married biological mom and dad was not in the immediate future.

I considered the life that this child would have with me vs. what life would be like with a different family.  The kind of family I wished I had.  Not because I think society pressured me to be married, but because my child DESERVED that advantage from birth.  All of my other children had that.  At least at the beginning of their lives they had a married mom and dad caring for them under the same roof.  Single parenting didn't come until later.

I am a good single mom.  Being single does not make you a poor parent.  It just makes you a tired parent.  I was a tired parent when I was married too.

I did not choose adoption because I didn't think I could be a good mom to this child.  I would have loved her (and I still do) just as much as I love my other children.  But I had to decide if the circumstances which I would bring this child into was fair to all of us.  The unborn child, the children I currently parent, the birthfather and me.

Single parenting would have been the easiest decision.  It was the default decision.  I had to actively pursue adoption.

I thought I understood what adoption would be like.  I was wrong.  I also thought I knew what marriage would be like, but I was wrong there too.  That doesn't make adoption the wrong choice any more that it makes marriage the wrong choice.

I chose a road that few choose.  Not because I am better than those who choose single parenting.  I know how hard single parent's have it.  Been there, doing that.

I chose adoption because I wanted more for this child.  Not more material items; she lives with a stay at home mom and a school teacher father.  I would guess that her birthfather and I make more individually than they make as a couple. 

Financial condition of her parents was not our number one priority.  Her birthfather and I were both young and living paycheck to paycheck when we had our first children.  That doesn't determine if you will be a good parent.  Economics was not the reason for this adoption plan.

I did not want my child to be caught between two households of a mom and a dad who lived apart.  (Yes, this is ironic to me now as I long for a more open adoption relationship.)  I had no gaurantees that her father and I would still be together 5 years after her birth.  Statistically the odds are/were not in our favor.  At least with married parents she would have a 50/50 chance.

Above all else, never once did I feel like I was a victim to the 'adoption mill'.  I was in control of the entire process.  I realize I might be an exception in this area.  But it is important to note, that not every adoption has tragedy associated with it.

Do I wish I would have made a different choice?  Maybe.

Did I make the wrong choice? No.

I did what I thought was best for my child at the time I had to make a decision.  Things have changed since that adoption decision.  Life does not come with a manual or a crystal ball.  We do the best we can with the circumstances we are presented.

There was no perfect solution to the situation I was in.  Neither choice was right or wrong.  Brit would have had a good life either way.  Both choices would have involved loss for Brit.  Not growing up with a married mom and dad, or not growing up in her birthfamily.  I had to choose which I thought was better for Brit.

I do second guess my decision.  Of course I do. But that still doesn't mean I made the wrong decision.  Human nature is to wonder how things would have been different.

Now I am here.  This is what we have.

So I will work toward creating the best outcome for the child who had no say in her circumstances.  She did not choose to be born to an unwed mother.  She did not choose to be adopted.

But like me, she will always have to live with that.  So it is up to her parents, BF and me to make the best of what the reality is for her.

I know this is tough.

But this is not tragedy.  Brit has a happy life with parents who love her.  She also has birthparents who love her very much.  That is not tragedy.  Her parents did not steal her from me.  I handed her over to them willingly, trusting that they would be the parents to her that I could not be.

Sure, Brit will have to deal with her feelings about why she was adopted.  I do not want to marginalize this burden that she will have to carry.  However, how many of us have had to bear a burden of somthing that we have no control over in our own, biological families?  Substance abuse, neglect, mental health issues, even issues as seemingly simple as parents who are just very different from us (even if we have the same gene pool!)?

I am very hopeful that Brit will grow up with a loving understanding of her story.  I am also hopeful that she will never have a feeling of abandonment because we will not go away.

I am also very hopeful that her parents will love her so much that they will be willing to allow her to have whatever kind of relationship with she wants with her birthfather and me when she is old enough to ask. 

As a parent of my own children, I have a great respect for parents and their place in a child's life, and I will never knowingly overstep my boundaries in Brit's life.  I have no delusions of her "coming back" to me as if I was her mother all along.  She has a mother, the only mother she has ever known.  That will never change.

I am her birthmother.  I love her and will always make sure she knows that.  I will be available to her in any way that I can be.

Open adoption is hard work.  But a healthy open adoption for the sake of a child is possible.

I love Brit and I believe I have a role and obligations to her.  And together with her parents, her birthfather and me, we will make this adoption relationship anything but a tragedy.

Friday, May 13, 2011


With Blogger being down, I wasn't able to get back online and post that I was doing better. But thankfully the sadness wasn't too long lived. A big thank you to all of those who sent me words of encouragement.

The real reason I was able to push through (not that the words of encouragement weren't helpful, because they were) was that my day at work got hectic. Which apparently was exactly what I needed on a day that I was having a pity party.

I was forced to pull on my big girl panties and move on.  I wouldn't say I got happy, but I definitely got distracted.  Funny how that helps.

Then yesterday, in God's divine intervention, Brit's mom emailed a thank you for the mother's day card.  Funny how simple words from her can be the salve I need for my heart.  No big conversation, just a simple acknowledgement.

To my adoptive parent friends, I hope you realize how much power every interaction from you has over our birthmother emotions.  I see it time and time again on birthmom blogs.  We wait in angst for an email, phone call, text or letter.  Our minds wander to conclusions that are far from the truth.  Then we get the communication, and all is well for a while.

Thank you to all of you who are sensitive to this fact and make an effort to continue communication even when it is a hassle.  It means the world to us who are watching and waiting from the outside.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

So sad

I just cannot get past the tears this morning.  I woke up with a piece of my heart missing.  I desperately want to see Brit.  Where does this grief come from?  Why does it sneak up when I don't expect it?  I wasn't ready for this today.

I guess I will just sit at my desk and cry all day.  I hate this.

What ever made me think I was strong enough to do this.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Mother's Day weekend - come and gone

Disclaimer:  Post filled with baby pictures and lame details about my weekend.  If you would rather not endure the pictures and play by play of my life, scroll down to the area of this post labeled BEING A BIRTHMOTHER ON MOTHER'S DAY  for my reflections on birthmother's day and Mother's Day as a birthmom.

I filled my weekend with lots of baby time and bonding time with my three sons.
Friday night I kept nephew B overnight.  He is just simply an angel.  It was perfect.  I was even able to entertain guests that evening.  Baby B really does love me.  I promise he does.  Please disregard the look of horror on his face as I kissed him.

Saturday morning B's parents came to pick him up, and while they were there my little Princess (my friend's daughter) was dropped off for my weekend babysitting duty.  Which I can hardly call duty considering how much joy it gives me.

We got Princess dressed and ready then we were off to my other nephew's birthday party.  While we were there, Princess was held by everyone in the room.  We are all suckers for babies.  Being the oldest of 5 sisters, you can bet that we all love our baby time when someone brings a baby to family functions.

Sister #3 with Princess

My mom with Princess

Sister #2 carrying Princess
The sweetest words spoken that day came from my 12 year old LanMan when he looked at the Princess before we walked out the door and he said "She is just so pretty!  I am so glad we get to keep her."

That afternoon I dropped the boys off at their dad's house and went to BF's house so I could gather up his two boys and take them to a photo session as a surprise for their dad's bday (which is today - Happy Bday C! Enjoy 39!)

Because Princess fell asleep before I was heading out the door, BF said he would be glad to keep her so I had my hands free while I was with his boys.  He is so good with that baby.  BF was definitely designed to be a dad.

The boys and I did the picture thing, got a frozen yogurt and headed back to the house.  By the time I got there Princess had been picked up by her momma, who got off work early.  So being baby-free, we headed off to the movies to celebrate BF's bday by watching Thor in 3D.

Sunday, Princess was dropped off early in the morning again and I got her ready and took her to church with me.  Where they all gush over her too.  Then it was back to BF's house for a Mother's Day lunch with him and his extended family.  They were a little shocked to see me walk in the door with a baby in a carrier.  I think they were very confused.

The boys and I spent the rest of the day at BF's house just hanging out.  We went home around 8:30pm where we settled down for the night and Princess was picked up at 9:30pm.

We were all worn out from a day of fun.  Sleep came easily to all of us. So easily as a matter of fact, I didn't call my OWN mother and wish her Happy Mother's Day after Princess left (like I had planned to).  So I had better make a really apologetic call today.  Thank heavens I have 4 other sisters who probably didn't drop the ball like I did!

I was thankful for the time with Princess and baby B this weekend.  It consumed my attention so I didn't shed any tears of loss and grief for my dear sweet Brit, who was distinctly missing from the weekend festivities.

I have made up my mind that Birthmother's Day is too painful for me right now.  I love that people use it to acknowledge the multitude of birthmothers who have chosen adoption for their children.  But it is too hard for me because I am not acknowledged in any way as being Brit's birthmother.  Neither on Birthmother's Day or Mother's Day.  BF says nothing of it, and Brit's parents do not acknowledge it either.

Last year when that happened, I nearly had a breakdown.  I had just given birth to Brit about 6 weeks before and the wound to my heart was deep and fresh.  Compound the hormonal imbalance of being post-partum, with the fact that NO ONE acknowledged Brit's relationship to me during the Mother's Day weekend, I was a disaster.

So this year I prepared myself in advance.  I had no expectations of acknowledgement.  I knew that thoughts of Brit and how she was spending her mother's day would just be my own personal torture.  Expectations met.  I did send Brit's mom a mother's day card, telling her I am grateful she is the mother of Brit and wishing her a happy Mother's Day.  I hope she received it and it brought her joy.

Thankfully I was so busy that I didn't dwell much on the loss of the day.  I didn't cry.  I laughed with my boys and enjoyed the present as it was. 

But I would be lying if I said that I didn't pretend that the sleeping angel in my lap was the daughter I was missing.

I know this will get better.  Maybe when Brit gets old enough, she will want to reach out to me on Mother's Day.  That will sure be nice if she does.

So I will leave no on a happier note.  My 18 year old son J thought this would be the best way to give me Mother's Day wishes.

My rearview as I took the kids to school this morning

I guess I know what I will be doing tonight after work.  Carwash here I come.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Prom Pictures

I forgot to post these last week.  My first child at his last prom.  I will be the mother of a high school graduate in just a couple of weeks.  WOW!

The bottles

The Princess - all smiles
I unloaded the dishwasher last night and saw that I had two bottles in there.  It immediately put a smile on my face.  Only two more days until another weekend with the Princess baby.

Baby B eating his first birthday cake
And I get a super added bonus, I get to keep my nephew B overnight Friday night while his parents celebrate their anniversary.  It will be his first time away from them all night.  I feel so lucky.  I love that baby boy so much.  I seriously can hardly wait.

Such a happy little guy!
I sure love feeling joy like this.  Thank you God for bringing me two beautiful distractions that let me share my love with them.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Baby love and hindsight

So I have spent the weekend loving a 4 month old little girl.  **smiling**

The good news is her momma has asked if I will do the same every weekend.  I agreed unless I have something that would prohibit me from taking the Princess along with me.  Looking ahead I don't see anything that would fit that bill.  Hooray!

I know my last post was a bit apprehensive about how I would feel caring for a little girl.  It turned out exactly how I hoped.  Instead of pain, it was therapeutic.

She is the best baby.  Happy most all of the time.  Just a joy to have around for all of us.

And for all of you adoptive parents who read this, you'll love this one...

BF and I had a date night planned for Saturday night prior to me committing to watching the Princess.  We decided to go ahead and bring her along with us since we were just going out to dinner.  We knew that our dinner would be a little late because we were going to meet up with my 18 year old son to take pictures before he headed off to his senior prom.

We took the obligatory pictures (I will post them tomorrow.).  The teenagers were quickly fed up with all of us parents snapping hundreds of photos.  I believe it is our parental right. And my son knew he had to bear it, because I would insist. :)

After pictures, BF and I had trouble finding a restaurant that wasn't packed with prom dates.  We were finally able to get in at Outback.  I'm sure we were quite the sight, two almost 40 year olds acting like we had never carried a baby in a carrier before in our lives.  Let's just say we were a bit rusty.  It has been a day or two since our kids were that little (more like a DECADE).

People would come by as we sat in the waiting area and ooh and ahh over the baby as she slept.  We didn't say anything about her not being ours.  We just agreed that she is beautiful. (Photo to prove it. Don't mind the bow that slipped down her forehead, I didn't want to wake her by fixing it while she slept.  I did fix it later.) 

So we finally get seated and our over-exuberant waitress comes by.  She looks at the baby and says "How precious! Is she your first?  She sure looks just like you!"

I giggled, looked at BF then replied. "Actually she would be our 6th child, if she was ours.  But we are just babysitting."

I thought that was pretty funny.  Princess looks nothing like us. Not even remotely.  I still smile when I think about it.  Maybe that is just a waitress line to get better tips.  Whatever it was, it did make us laugh.

So we enjoyed our dinner and we were thoroughly entertained by the Princess.  It was very nice to have her along with us.  We took turns talking and playing with her.  We were just like first time parents.  I am sure we were pretty darn cute.

But that is one of the happy/sad things that I felt this weekend. 

BF absolutely doted on that little girl.  He held her, fed her, and let her sleep in the crook of his arm.  He tickled her face when she was awake and offered many times to take her from me so I could get ready, or eat, or whatever other thing I had to do next.

That was really hard to watch.  Knowing that he and I had a little girl together that we could have been doing all of those same things with.  If he were a deadbeat, this never would have been an issue.  But he is a terrific father. 

Watching him with Princess hurt my heart.  I loved watching him gush over her and be so attentive.  But that little voice in the back of my mind that makes me second guess my adoption decision kept saying "see what it COULD have been like".

It also hurt to remember that BF absolutely, without a doubt, did not want to parent another child when I told him I was pregnant.  In his mind, there was no viable scenario that included keeping our child. 

He didn't want me to parent a child alone, but he also had no intentions of committing to me.  He was done with kids.  No negotiation.  He didn't want the responsibility of another child. 

He also didn't want me to keep her because he felt like he would be obligated for a child he didn't plan for. 

Now in my rational mind, I know that alot of the things said during this time were during a period of shock for both of us.  Neither of us had any idea that we were capable of having more children, so an unexpected pregnancy was unbelievable.  Stress and shock do not create the most thoughtful comments or actions.

But that same man, who couldn't even fathom parenting another child, loved all over Princess.  I felt a deep sense of loss watching it.  It was almost like seeing in a crystal ball what "could have been" had I made a different choice.

Hindsight. Regret. And unrealistic expectations of the "what could have beens."

Truth be told, had I kept Brit, it probably would not have ended well for BF and me.  The stress of parenting a child from two separate households would have taken a toll on our relationship.

I probably would have been resentful, thinking it wasn't fair that BF wasn't helping enough. 

He would have been resentful that I made him parent a child that he did not plan for and that he had no control over whether I kept or not.  (The age old issue of a woman having all the 'rights' to maintain a pregnancy or keep a child.  No matter what the father wants.)

I am smart enough to know that keeping a baby for a weekend is nothing like parenting day in and day out.  When Princess went home with her momma this evening, I knew I had the rest of the night to myself.  My boys are big enough that I can have alone time without having to be a hands on parent.  I can even go potty alone!

If I would have parented Brit, I would have been exhausted all the time.  My temper short.  My stress level even higher than it is today.  Brit would have definitely not gotten the best of me.  She would have gotten what was left over from a working single mother.  She would have spent lots of nights out late at ball games.  Many hours in daycare.

Instead, Brit has a stay at home mom (Not that I think working moms can't be great moms.  I'm one and happy with it most days.)  She has never spent a single day in daycare.  Her daddy comes home every evening and loves all over her.  The world revolves around her (until her twin brother and sister are born!).  If you could paint an ideal babyhood, she has had it. (Knowing that she has no idea she is adopted yet.)

I am glad I didn't know how painful being a birthmother would be before I chose adoption for Brit.  If I had, I would not have made the decision I did.  That doesn't mean that the decision was wrong.  I think it is just human nature to make the choice that hurts the least.  And being exhausted some days would beat a lifetime of grief any day.

So I remind myself that those icky feelings of regret are no different than ones everyone has when we second guess ourselves and our decisions. 

Should I have married the man I did? 
What if I would have taken that other job instead?
Did we make a mistake moving? 

We all have these kinds of questions.  The difference is how we deal with them.

If I let it, it could consume me.  And boy, oh boy, do those feelings try to consume me.

I have to consciously decide that I cannot change the decisions I have made.  I am the sum of my experiences.  We all make decisions based on the best information we have available at the time.  Hindsight is always much more clear.  But looking back keeps me from looking forward.

Brit is happy.  I did what I thought was best at the time when I had to decide.

I never could get the picture when she was smiling.  Go figure!
So I will love on the little Princess I have with me on the weekends and I will be a blessing to her mother by caring for her child while she works.  Hopefully I can alleviate some of Sara's stress by caring for her daughter.  I will do my part to be part of the village that it can take to raise a child.  In return, loving Princess will soothe my soul.

I will not be jealous of Sara because she has her daughter and I do not.  I will rejoice that Sara has her daughter with her so she does not have to feel the loss of a birthmother. 

I will rejoice in watching BF love on her too. 

I will focus on what IS, not what I think I could have had.

I will know that I made a decision for the best for my child.  I will not regret choosing what I thought was best for her, not what was best for me.

I will remember that just because I don't have the relationship I wish I had with Brit right now, it may not be like that forever.  Time heals. My love for Brit will not wane.  I will be steadfast and always available for her.

I will love on the sweet Princess who God has placed in my life for reasons I may not ever fully understand.  There is a reason our lives have intertwined.

I will be fully present to the boys I do parent. I will not allow my grief to affect their joy.  I will be the parent to them that they deserve.

And I will seek God's will for my life, rather than trying to figure it out on my own.