Letters to Lillian

Letters to Lillian
First it was two,
then we had you.
Now we have everything.

Letters to Lilly,
our daughter through adoption.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

A baby is a messenger of peace and love, a resting place for innocence on earth, a link between angels and men.

And then there we were. In the car, on our own. Scared. Breathless. Tight chested and determined, almost like we were the ones being born that night.

As the sun dipped below the earth,we scooted down the windy Pennsylvania roads and slid into Maryland where we stopped for gas. My hands shook uncontrollably as I handed the money to the cashier for the power bars and coffee I knew we'd need for energy for the journey, as I looked out the window and saw your Dad pumping gas. His eyes darted, and I could tell he was making lists in his head and trying to check off everything that needed to be done.

My body felt like I was shivering, but I wasn't cold. I stepped back in the car and nervously smiled at your Dad. There were so few words in those moments between the two of us, because there just didn't need to be- we both knew how the other felt. Words couldn't do it justice, the look in our eyes said everything.

We took the camper back to the storage lot, and without saying a word simultaneously got out of the car and pushed the camper into the space. We hurriedly rushed back into the car and sped home, talking on the way about the plan. Your Dad had to go into the attic to get the carseat and stroller- we'd hid it away weeks ago after yet another failed match. I didn't want to look at it, the smiling baby face on the side felt like a mockery to my lack of motherhood in those dark weeks.

I had to run into your nursery, which was complete but far from organized, and grab whatever I could. Luckily we already had clothes packed (and overpacked, because, well, you know me- the classic overpacker) from the camping trip, but I grabbed even more. I threw baby toys and blankets and bibs and pacifiers into random bags. Then I saw it draped on your changing table- the owl blanket.

The week before while walking through Target, I grabbed that blanket and couldn't put it down. There was no reason for it. We had no match on the horizon, but for some reason I just felt compelled to buy it. And of course, sweet little one, as you well know- it was pink.

We threw everything into the car and hit the road. As we pulled onto I-95, we suddenly couldn't stop talking... is this real? Are we really doing this? Did we seriously just pull onto a major highway to drive into the night with no idea about what lies before us? The nerves started to subside, and it felt like a giant adventure we were embarking on, just the two of us...hoping it would end in three.

I drove from Maryland to North Carolina, and your Dad slept. In those moments all I could think of was you...what did you look like? How were you doing? How was your first Mom doing? Was she okay? We were getting updates from the social worker, but I wanted nothing more than to not be driving on that road- but to be by her side. I wanted a time machine so I would know how it all turned out, so I would know if we would be driving home with the car seat still in the box, or with you in it.

One thing that I will always remember about that drive was the moon. It was enormous, and it lit up the entire highway. At one in the morning when nothing else was lit up on the long stretch of road,the rays of light splashed over the asphalt. It always seemed like it was right in front of us, guiding us to you.

We switched off  driving duties in North Carolina, and when I got in the passenger seat I grabbed the pink owl blanket from the back of the car. I wrapped it around my arms and held it close, clutching it to my beating heart. I took a deep breath in and out into its soft fibers, and I prayed for you. I prayed for your first Mom. I prayed you'd be alright, and she'd be alright, and that everything would be alright.

Me in the car, under the owl blanket on the way to Florida. 

I just kept looking at that moon, unable to sleep. I found myself in the wee hours of the morning talking to the moon. Tell me she's coming soon, Moon. Tell me she's safe, tell me she's here. 

At 3:32 AM, you took your first breath into this world, and our lives forever changed. I could feel it. Something inside of me, deep inside my soul changed at that exact moment. Somehow, someway, I just knew you were here. I knew it in my bones that you were on this planet with us, at last. 

A text from the social worker a few minutes later confirmed what I already knew: she's here. Weighing 8lbs 9oz, Apgars are 8/9. Everything is good. 

It was only after that text that I felt I could rest. My soul was once, finally, at peace. 

I wasn't there to see you take your first breath, sweet one, but my soul was there with you. Those special moments right after birth were just for you and your First Mom. That was your special time, and in a way, I'm so glad you have that to share with her and only her. I have a lot of time with you,and for you two to have those special moments means quite a bit to me. 

But the journey wasn't over. Once morning light hit, so did reality- you were not our daughter yet. We were heading into completely unknown territory. That morning when the sun rose, the moon stayed in the sky for a very long time, as if it knew we were nervous, it stayed with us, reassuring us we were still on the right path. 

The sunrise on your birthday 

Georgia felt like it lasted forever. I thought that state was never going to end, and it felt like the car just couldn't move fast enough. Once we crossed into Florida, I felt my stomach drop. I was terrified of what would happen next. 

We arrived at the hospital around ten am. We'd been driving all night, hadn't showered and our faces were swollen from the tears of our worry. Walking into that hospital felt so surreal, so terrifying. We had never met your first Mom, we had never met the social worker or the lawyer or anyone there. Every face was a stranger, every street and stop sign and long hospital hallway was brand new to us. 

We met up with the lawyer in the hospital and talked for a bit- she had already met with your first Mom and had met you. She said that your first Mom was spending some alone time with you. This scared me, because after all of the losses we'd experienced my greatest fear was losing you. But we completely understood. We told her to take all of the time she needed, to let us know on her terms what she felt comfortable with. I am so glad you had that time with just the two of you, that bonding time was important. She is and always will be your Mother. You are her daughter in a way you'll never be by daughter, and you're my daughter in a way you'll never be her daughter. But at that very moment- you were hers alone. We were just the people in the waiting room, for all intents and purposes. At that moment, I knew we had to just sit back and let things go how they were meant to go... but it was killing me inside not knowing how they'd go. I found myself calling my Mom and crying to her, telling her my fears, praying with your Dad that things would turn out how they were meant to, rubbing the edges of the pink owl blanket for comfort. 

After what felt like a lifetime, we were asked to come in. I ran to your first Mom and gave her a tight hug, asked her how she was doing, she asked me how the drive was, and we had chit chat. 

Then the lawyer brought you in... and suddenly, everything was quiet. 

And suddenly, love exploded all around me. 

It's so hard to describe this...seeing you for the first time. It wasn't how I pictured in my head it would go. I always thought seeing my child for the first time would be like meeting a person I'd never met- but it wasn't. I knew you. From the moment my eyes met yours, it was as if my soul had said, "Oh there you are. I've been looking for you." The gleam in your eyes, the quick smile you flashed me, the tiny fingers that curled so tightly around mine. I knew you. I've known you since forever. I looked at this tiny face staring back up at me, eyes wide open and focused. I looked deep into your eyes, and I broke down and wept. I wept because in my soul, I knew I'd finally found you. I knew that after all the searching, all the pain and heartache and looking for the past two years... I knew it was over. I just knew. You were my daughter, through and through. Just as you'd always been, just as you'd been in these letters I've been writing. Your face was the face that had appeared in all my dreams of our future baby. Your smile was the smile I've known in my heart for so long. Your big soulful brown eyes were the windows to that tiny soul I'd been praying and wishing and hoping for. It was you. That was the moment my heart had been waiting for. It was the moment of a lifetime. It was just like the first time I looked into your Dads eyes- I'd known him forever, and once I looked into his eyes I knew. And once I looked into your eyes, I looked back up into your Dads hazel eyes, those eyes I'd fallen in love with so many moons ago, and with my lungs working hard for me to breath between the gasps of tears I whispered out, "It's her. She's here. She's really, finally here." 

Your Dad held you and his eyes welled. There was a look on his faced like I'd never seen- this immeasurable amount of joy that only a father can have. I will never forget that look. I will never forget a single moment of that beautiful day, your first day gracing us on this big green earth. 

That day you spent in the nursery, and we spent in the room with  getting to know your first Mom alongside the social worker. That is a day I will forever cherish, because we got to know so much about her. We bonded over food and books and movies. We talked about your future, what all of our hopes and wishes and dreams are for you. We talked about family and traditions. We talked about your hair and skin, and how I would take care of it. We talked about how very loved you are- and how you'd always know you are loved, especially by your first Mom. We talked about your siblings and their traits, and wondered if you'd share the same. We talked about openness. 

Then, we talked about your name.

Your first Mom asked us if we had a name in mind. I told her we'd always had the name Lorelai picked out for a girl, but we were open. She suggested the name Lillian, because it goes well with one of your siblings names. We agreed- it just fit you. It was you through and through. 

She then asked if we had thought of a middle name. Yes, we said, Faith, because of the faith it took to get us here, to this place. She happily agreed, and said she loved that name. 

And then you were you, Lillian Faith. 

I am so grateful that we came up with your name together, and that your first Mom graced you with such a gorgeous first name. That is a gift you will always carry from her, now and forever. Your name is such a representation of who you are- first hers, then ours, and always ours together. 

The social worked dubbed it a "cursive name", because of how beautiful it would look in cursive. We all agreed.

That night we headed to a hotel your first Mom suggested. We walked along the water, taking in what would be our last night as just the two of us. We grabbed pizza, and crashed that night. We were so exhausted from the drive and all of the emotions of the day, sleep came easily. 

Our last night as a family of two!

Placement day was difficult, but somehow peaceful. Your first Mom was so incredibly courageous and stoic that day. She felt in her heart that this was what was best for you, and she put aside all of her own pain and hurt and anguish to make that decision for you. We will always be so grateful to her for the decision she made. We took pictures together, took turns holding you and praying over you and crying over you. She gave you the most beautiful kiss I've ever witnessed on your soft baby cheek, we agreed to talk soon, and then it was just the three of us.

After placement, they had to get a room ready for us to stay in. We went downstairs to the cafeteria to get our bearings and call family, and I couldn't contain the tears. Then, when I sent the first picture of you to our family, our phones rang off the hook. They were all so elated for you to be in our family, and they all couldn't get over how absolutely perfect you are.
The view from the hospital

You stayed one more night in the hospital, and we just couldn't put you down. We took turns holding you, wrapped in that pink owl blanket. We would just hold you tight and stare at you.

I remember cradling your tiny hand in mine, wondering what those hands would do. Would they heal the sick? Would they help the less fortunate? Would they type on important computers? Would they pet animals, or craft things, or drive fast cars? The possibilities were so endless. 

Whatever those tiny hands grew up to do, they had already changed the world. They certainly changed our world that day. We were new people because of you. Life was suddenly full of love and light. Your Dad and I held each other close, with you cradled in between us. We were suddenly, finally, a family.

It was the best day of my entire life.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Blackbird singing in the dead of night, take these broken wings and learn to fly. All your life, you were only waiting for this moment to arise...

Wow, little one. It's been a while since I've written....but there is good reason.

You're no longer Lo. You have a name outside of Little One. You have a birth date, and a birth story...because you're here. You exist beyond the pages of my letters to you.

You're flesh and bone, you're crying, laughing, jumping, full of life and personality and spirit and more love than I have ever experienced in my entire life.

You, my dear, are just simply amazing.

The past nearly six months have been a whirlwind, and I finally feel like I have my bearings to put into words the miracle and amazing experience we've just been through. I must admit however that I've been writing and rewriting this post in my head for months. I want it to be perfect. I want you to know just how much you mean to us, to know your full story and every detail as best as I can remember it all. This post will encompass some of it- but some details are for just us to talk about later. There might be some holes that I've left intentionally-because as with every good story, there are things that are just meant for us and our discussions later in life.

But we'll start with our side of the journey.

Where do I even begin? The last time I wrote to you was May 9th. I had no idea at that time, writing about the pitfalls of spending another Mothers day childless, that you would be in our arms within the month. Sometimes life is just funny like that...just when you think something may never happen, miracles happen.

And never mistake this my sweet one...you are nothing short of a miracle.

It was May 24th, 2013. Your Dad took off of work that day, because we were going camping for Memorial Day. We went to the Amish market in town, and I was really excited about two things that morning- they had cinnamon butter, and the traveling fair was in town which was such a beautiful signal of summer that was right around the corner. Little did I know those things would be absolutely dwarfed in comparison to where that day would actually take us.

Coming back from the market to our home, we got an email from the agency. It just said that an expectant Mom who had our profile wanted to talk with us- no other information. We were excited, but we tried to hold it back. After being hurt so much the past year in this journey we didn't want to get our hopes up. We knew no other information... our profile had been shown so many times, we weren't sure which expectant Mom this was. We called the social worker and she set up a call for that afternoon.

We packed up the car and hitched up the camper, and that afternoon on a state road in Pennsylvania, we made the call in to the social worker. Your Dad was so nervous his hands were shaking. For some reason, from the very start, I just had a sense of peace that is completely lacking in explanation. We talked with this wonderful woman and the social worker and answered a few questions, then the social worker said she'd call us back in a little bit. As we hung up, your Dad was in a full on panic. "What if I said something wrong? What if this is another one that doesn't work-", and I cut him off. "If it's meant to be, it's going to be. If not, it won't. It's as simple as that. We don't have any other information, so let's just enjoy this weekend."

You know me, sweet one. You know that this is not my usual self-- anyone who has read anything written from me to you knows that this is not my usual response. But for some reason, on this day, I was at peace. I was calm.

After that call we had more information- including your gender. We knew then that you were a girl.

About five minutes from the campground, we pull into a gas station to fill up the tank. My parents were driving in front of us, and they stop and get out as well. I tell my mom that we had a call with an expectant Mom, and she's excited- but she knows the drill. Hold onto hope, but not too tightly on this rollercoaster of adoption. We pile back into the car, and the second I get in and shut the door the phone vibrates- the social workers number flashing on my screen. My heart nearly jumps out of my chest.

We answer...
And we're told that we've been chosen.
And, by the way, she's due in four days.
You're due in four days. 

My heart drops....what do we do? Is this really happening?? Is it real this time?
Your Dad and I looked at each other- and we both just break into tears. This is different. This one feels different. This is happening, this is now.

What do we do? Turn around and go home? We're five minutes away from the campground...since there are a million details that need to be worked out, we do the only thing we know to do- we drive on. Once we pull into the campground and lumber out of the car, we can barely stand up. I take the dogs over to the enclosed dog park where my Mom is standing with her dogs- I yell to her to go get Dad. They both come over, and I look them in the face with tears streaming down my face, and I ask them if they're ready to be Grandparents again. They are both beyond elated, and soon had tears of joy running down their faces.

The rest of that day feels like a haze- I felt like I was walking around in a giant fog. Everything was a mess for camping- our electricity in the camper didn't work, our pop up tent blew away, it was windy and freezing and the coldest Memorial day on record in recent history. But none of it mattered. All I had my mind on was you, all I could think of was you. I could barely sleep that night.

The next morning your Aunt Sarah, Uncle David and cousins came to the campground. I'm on the phone all day working things out with the agency, the social worker, lawyers. The day flies by. We get news that they think your first Mom is going into labor, but it's not certain yet- so stay put. We follow directions.

I remember your cousins playing in Grandma and Grandpas camper. I remember noticing how happy and carefree they were, when on the inside I was terrified. I wondered if the next camping trip would be with you- but before I could even think about it, I shooed the thought away and focused back on the practical things. I made lists for what we'd need to pick up from home, what we'd have to buy and pack. In my mind, I just kept thinking that we had more time- you weren't due until the following week.

Then we got the call that changed our lives- it was time. We had to get to Florida as soon as possible. We checked flights the day before but because of it being a holiday weekend, most were booked or were too late. We knew we'd have to drive. I started hyperventilating-- how were we going to pull this off? How would we get there in time? And then it hit me- there is no way we're getting there in time for the birth. We were going to miss it. And then a whole new thought hit me- your first Mom wanted me in the room with her for the birth. I didn't want her to feel alone because we weren't there. I started bawling, shaking with worry and excitement and a feeling I wish words could explain, but in this instance they fail. I've never felt like that before in my life, and I doubt I ever will. It's a once in a lifetime kind of emotion, the first of many that weekend.

The entire family jumped into action while I stood there frozen in that feeling. Aunt Sarah packed up bags of food for the road, Grandma and Grandpa and your Dad and Uncle Mike and Aunt Kelly and your cousins all packed up our camper, cleaned out our car and popped down our pop up faster than I've ever seen. And when Grandma and Aunt Sarah and Aunt Kelly were done what they could do, they carried me. They gave me strength. They talked me down off the ledge. They held my hand and hugged me tight and told me it would all be alright, no matter what happens on this journey, it was all going to be okay. Nothing can compare to the support they gave me in those moments. They collectively picked my soul up from the fear, and lifted me up. They scooped up my anxiety and turned it into determination, and for that I am eternally grateful.

They say that all it takes is thirty seconds of insane courage in order to change your life. Getting in that car with our camper strapped on the back, our family waving goodbye and screaming out supportive words in the rear view, your Dad and I looked deep into each others eyes, grabbed each others hands and said, "Ready to do this?"

All it took was thirty seconds of insane courage, and it changed our lives forever.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew, To serve your turn long after they are gone, And so hold on when there is nothing in you, Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’




Oh sweet baby. Mothers Day is Sunday, and to say that I'm not taking it well is an understatement.


Part of me wants to scream.  I want to scream out to the world to get them to understand that this isn't right. How they can keep on moving when my world has been shattered so much? I want to scream until there isn't a single breath left in my lungs, until they sting with the energy I've expended and my words hang in the air for all to hear. I should be a Mom by now. It was my turn. It's been my turn so many times....and yet here I am, at this junction again- a childless Mother on Most Definitely Not a Mothers Day.

The part of me that doesn't want to scream wants to curl up into a ball and pretend this isn't happening. I was supposed to have not one, but two bouncing babies on my lap this year. This year was supposed to be different, it was supposed to be my first mothers day.


And to be honest, this holiday is not just full of sadness this year- but it's also full of fear.

The fear that I will never be a mother hangs over my head like a storm cloud following me around. It's the little voice whispering in my ear when I'm searching the greeting card aisle, taunting me, "will you ever get one of these cards?" It's the lump in my throat that chokes on the tears whenever I hear another pregnancy announcement or adoption match announcement, not because I'm not happy for them or excited, but because I wonder- again- if I will ever get to be in their shoes. Will I ever get to be a mother? Will I ever find you?

It's the disdain for every greeting card, every TV commercial, every restaurant promotion, every radio ad, every magazine cover... all of these reminders that I am not, in fact, not a mother. That I failed. That what has come so easy to so many others is still an every day battle for me. That I don't have my precious baby to spend this holiday with, that I am once again knocked down, because I let my hopes get so incredibly high.


It's the reminder that another year has passed without you here.

That hurts most of all.


I know that it will all be worth it. You mean more to me than any holiday, any time table and every heartache we've endured. I know that this is just part of the journey to get to that elusive finish line, that even if I cannot see it, I feel that it's there somewhere in the distance.


The other day I reread one of my most favorite poems, If by Rudyard Kipling. A lot of the words spoke to me now more than ever:
If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream – and not make dreams your master;
If you can think – and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ‘em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
‘ Or walk with Kings – nor lose the common touch,
if neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And – which is more – you’ll be a Man, my son!


Right now, there is nothing in me but the will to be your Mother. That is my will telling me to hold on, to not get caught up in the loss and get tired of waiting. I refuse to sink, because sinking means not getting to you- not being your mother. I refuse.

So I've been thinking of my own If's for this Mothers Day.

If I can wade through the greeting card aisle, and focus on the positives, like having my own mother and mother in law who support and love us every step of the way.  If I can hold my head up, and count my blessings. If I can believe, really believe that you'll be here soon. If I can pick myself up ten times after getting knocked down nine. If I can tie a knot and hold on with everything that is in me. If I can keep preparing, keeping moving in the direction of our dreams. If I can let myself feel that deep down, this waiting and heartache will end.  If I can let myself let go of the pain, let go of what was supposed to be and what isn't and prepare myself body and soul for the goodness that is coming down the road if I just keep on walking.

If I don't give up.


Then mine is the earth and everything that's in it,

And- which is true - that is you, my daughter or son! 


And if you're not here next year, I will just keep trying. I will never give up on you, on us being a family. I will push through all the hurt and pain and glaring reminders. I will silence that little voice of doubt in the back of my head, and replace the if's of doubt with the if's of reassurance.


I will be a mother. I will find you, sweet baby.

No if's, ands or buts.


Waiting for the earth and everything that's in it, 

With love and unwavering hope this Not Yet a Mothers Day,





Wednesday, April 10, 2013

You are not the momentary whim of a careless creator experimenting in the laboratory of life. . . You were made with a purpose.




Little One, we're only given this one life. Just one... and if there is one thing I want to teach you in this world, it's to find your purpose and appreciate everything in this beautiful journey we've been given. 


Appreciate the quiet calm of a sunset. Appreciate the purity of the air that fills your lungs and sends oxygen to your beautiful brain. Appreciate that brain of yours- marvel at the intricate, mysterious way it works without us even knowing how or why. Appreciate your sense of wonderment and your talents.

Appreciate waking up in the morning- even on the days when you've woken up on the wrong side of the bed, even on days you don't want to get out of bed...appreciate waking up. It's a luxury many see come to an end far too soon. 


Appreciate the bad time, for they are the shading on the bright focus of a picture. Without the bad, we wouldn't see the beauty in the good. I want you to believe that there is good in everyone, as hard as it is some days. I want you to see beauty in the darkest of places, because that is often where the beauty of life is hiding.


I want you to live. Really live. I want you to take the long way home, driving with the windows down as you feel the wind tickle your hair around your scalp, sending shivers down your spine.  I want you to see and do everything on your bucket list. I want you to try new things, even if they are scary or foreign. I want you to never stop learning, to want to know more always, to seek out the truth and meaning behind everything.


I want so very much for you, Lo.


I want you to have the best life possible. 

I want you to find your purpose, because once you do- you are really living.


My purpose is to be your Mom. 

My distinct feeling throughout this whole process has been just that... I was put on this earth to find you, to be your Momma. My purpose is to give you these things, to show you the beauty of this world and teach you everything I possible can....

And above all, my purpose is to love you. Sweet baby, I am going to love you in a way only a parent can- that fierce kind of love, the kind of love that would stop a freight train. That is my purpose in life. My purpose is to be a mother. 


But I know I am more than that. My purpose to be a mother was not accidental. My purpose to be a mother was set apart from the rest, because I  will be a mother through this miracle that is adoption. It's a purpose I don't take lightly, baby. It's a purpose I appreciate and try to learn from every day.


I will not know motherhood the way most women do. I will not know what it's like to feel the cold jelly of a sonogram machine on my stomach to find out your gender. I will not know what it's like to feel your kicks from the inside, or to hear your heartbeat for the first time. 

I will know motherhood in a completely different way. In what is possibly the coolest way. My motherhood will be so instant, and at the same time so gestational. I get to experience what most other Moms don't. I will get a call to know your gender. I will be able to hold you, this tiny person already formed,  whose soul I've been connected to for so very long, and get to know you in a way most mothers can't understand.


My purpose is to advocate for that amazing miracle. Once you're in our arms, adoption will still be ever present. It will be in our lives every day, in one way or another. It won't always be front and center but it will be part of the background scenery forever. My purpose is to be there for new adoptive mothers, to be a sounding board and help them through this scary process. I am so thankful for the brave women put in my journey so far to help guide me, that I want to give that back as much as possible. 

Once you've found your purpose in life, there is a fire lit from under you that cannot be extinguished until it's fulfilled. It's a drive that takes over you, body and soul, and consumes you. It's a beautiful energy that comes from nowhere. It's the will that tells you not to give up when you're exhausted from trying. It's the whisper in your ear telling you to keep on hoping after another failure. 


I appreciate the purpose. 


I don't know what your purpose will be, sweet baby. That is for you to find out... but just know your Dad and I will support you in the journey to find out, and we'll always be here patiently waiting to see what you find. We'll do everything we can to support you following your dreams. Maybe in thirty years when you look back and read this you'll think, "Really Mom? I was your purpose in life? Dream a little bigger next time.... I mean, I am going to be President*, and all you wanted to be was a Mom and adoption advocate?" (* or doctor, or lawyer, or sanitation specialist---again, that part is up to you!)


But then I'll look into the eyes of the beautiful child that I worked for five (or more) long years to bring into our lives, the one who appreciates life and learning and the pursuit of their own happiness... and I will smile and tell you how very worth it it was. 


I will always appreciate you. You are my purpose in life, and I will appreciate every breath that fills your lungs, and every thought in your amazing brain. 


Being your Mom is going to be the most amazing journey I've ever embarked on. 


I can't wait to fulfill my purpose.


With love and wind in my hair,

Love always and forever, sweet baby, 



Friday, March 15, 2013

Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all.




You're the most important thing in this entire world to me, sweet baby. So it pains me that I haven't written more in these past five or six months. As I said before, there has been a lot going on- but beyond that, there is a more important reason I haven't been writing. 

There are parts of your story that are going on before you're here. And that is part of the reason for this blog, so that you have an account of how you came to be and how your life started out. It's a memory book for you before you have your memories, a history predating history.

It's your baby book before you're our baby. 

That being said- there are things, as your mother, I'd like to shield from you. Pain in this journey you don't need to know about. Disruptions. Failed matches. Heartache. Nights up crying the bellowing cry of a childless couple in turmoil. Pain, pain, and more pain

. I already have that motherly instinct to guard you from all the pain of this world, to keep you tightly cradled to my chest so you don't have to know the kind of hurt that happens out there in the wilds of modern society. I want to keep your beautiful innocence and happiness in tact at all costs. 


Even when you read this blog years down the road, I don't want to you to know the details of the pain your Dad and I have experienced in this journey. That pain is not a part of your story, just a story. That burden is not yours to bare, and it's never, ever not even for a split second ever something you should feel guilty about. This is what we signed up for in this journey- a rollercoaster ride of emotions from the highest of highs to the lowest of lows.


It's a delicate balance here, Lo. I want to keep you from the pain and absolve you from ever having a guilty feeling- but I also want you to know the hell we've been through before you are going to come in and light up our lives. I don't want to ever hide anything from you, and I want to be completely transparent in this journey. So here it is. 


We've had six disruptions so far. Six.. One was twins.


We've had seven babies called ours that would never come to be in our arms. Seven. Seven times we've had our hopes up and had them crash upon us once more. Seven times we've thought this was it, you're going to be here-- and it never happens. We just can't seem to get to the finish line. We get chosen- and then disruption after disruption. Moms deciding to parent, Dads refusing to sign off rights- another hopeful couple swooping in and offering more money..you name it. And those seven are just counting the ones saying "this is a match." They are not counting the seemingly endless line of possibilities, or the never ending rotation of scam artists vying for our attention and our wallets. 


But they just weren't you, Lo. They weren't you. We have to remind ourselves of that. This is all for a reason. We are firm believers that everything happens for a reason, that fate and God and the forces of the universe combined are leading us to you, that this is bigger than us.


And through the pain and the hurt and the sorrow, there is always a silver lining. There is always a shining light peeking through the darkest of clouds. We have met amazing people. We have met moms and dads that will go on to be great parents. For every bad person we've encountered, there have been two amazing friends in adoption we've made in their place. 

And we believe we are where we need to be right now. That this journey has not been all for naught, that it's shaping us to be the best parents we could possibly be. 


And if there is one thing I can say for your Dad and I, it's that we are strong people. We're not quitters, we don't give in easily or at all. We keep going. We hold each other up, lift each other when the other one is down and we find joy in the darkest of nights. That is why we're true soulmates, sweet baby. We just get each other. Your Dad knows when I'm having a bad adoption day, and he does all he can to make it better. After we lost the last situation, he looked me right in the eyes and said in his sweet voice, "It is going to get better. February sucked. It just plain sucked. But we're going to get through this and find our baby, no matter what." Then he made surprise dinner reservations and took me out for one night of adoption-free discussion. I couldn't have asked for a better person to share this journey with, and he is going to make one fantastic Dad.


So where do we go from here, Lo? What do your parents, the fighters, do when they've been knocked down six times? 


We stand up seven. Because maybe the seventh time is the charm to get to you. Or maybe it's eight, or nine or ten-  the number doesn't matter. What matters is, it could be ten million and we'd still stand up for you. That's just the kind of parents we are for you. We're never, ever giving up on you. 


You're the most important thing in this entire world to us. And though now it might feel like there is no hope at all, your Dad and I know better. We're just going to keep trying, keep going until we get to you.

Hoping the seventh time is a charm.


Tuesday, January 15, 2013

You can't always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, you just might find- you get what you need.

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="595"]Image                                                 Reflection is a beautiful thing.[/caption]

Little one, I'm going to admit something that I'm sure you'll hold against me in the future. Your Mom is kind of a brat. 

Yep. That's right. I said it. I am kind of a brat. 

In talking to your Dad tonight, I came to a realization... I like to get what I want- and so far, I've been pretty good at it getting what I want. 

When I see a job I'm really interested in, I apply. If I get to the next step, I usually get the job (unless it's President of the United States..haven't quite landed that one yet). I study the company, look for things they value in the employees. I research and research until I feel I have it down. I practice my interview skills in front of a mirror, the dogs, Rick- anything and anyone I can. I go shopping for a new suit that screams whatever I need it to scream, "rockstar professional" or "laid back creative type that will still show up on time". I show up early for the interview, crisp copies of my resume on expensive resume paper in an envelope with the company's logo sealing the outside. I shake the hand firmly of the person interviewing me, I look them directly in the eye and appear extremely interested in the position even if what is running through my head is actually my grocery list or my ongoing mental checklist of all the movies I've ever seen (I do this when I get nervous sometimes...it's less noticeable than sweaty palms in situations such as these). I smile, I nod. I ask questions when it's my turn in order to prove I was paying attention and I have ambition. I ask about follow up communication. I leave, and usually within a few days time I get a call with an exciting HR person on the other end offering me the position using pithy HR talk like "bring you onboard" and "can't wait to have you on the team" like the real position is playing shortstop on a Navy ship. 

But of course, that is not always the drill- there have been foibles (like the time I accidentally sat and waited in the wrong building for over an hour and missed my interview when I was fresh out of college), and sometimes when I really really wanted a job, I missed the opportunity. But it was always for good reason...sometimes, a short time later I would get a better job that suited me more than I could have ever dreamed.

 But generally speaking I try hard, work hard, earn hard.

When I was dating, I would go on one date with a guy and know whether or not I wanted to continue within the first hour. I would put on my best dress and spend hours battling my overly thick frizzy hair against Maryland humidity using a straightener or curling iron as my weapon of choice. I'd make sure I asked questions about them and focus on their wants in a relationship while keeping it light. If I wanted the guy, in most cases it worked out (for a while, at least...until I met your Dad and learned what knee-shaking, soul awakening love is really like). 

But I'm frustrated because I can't do this to get what I want in this situation- which is you. I am trying my hardest. Every single day, twelve months into this process, I am researching situations, agencies, lawyers, consultants. I am calling them and giving them my best interview voice. I am constantly re doing our profile, thoughts running through my head that  maybe it was too serious, maybe it was too humorous, maybe I focused too much on family, maybe I didn't focus on family enough. 

I can't know within an hour if a situation is right. I can't know if I can just get in for an interview, I'll land it. It just doesn't work like that.

There is no control, and for a control freak such as myself, it's arduous. 

I can look at this two ways: 

1. This sucks. I have no control. I want control. Why can't I just have control? I'm going to get depressed and drown my feelings of self doubt and lack of control over life in mindless TV and junk food. I'm going to sit back and wait for the right situation to come to me. I hate rejection, and every time we see the numbers creeping slowly up on our profile views and each time we submit for a situation where a family gets chosen or we talk to an expecting Mom who suddenly disappears is another painful experience, a reminder of the rejection that stings so badly. Every day is harder and harder. 

2. This is a new adventure. How beautiful is it to have things in life that can still surprise us? How many of us are lucky enough to have the chance to have something new to look forward to every single day. In a world controlled by planners and iPad calendar apps and dinging phone reminders- we are in a situation right now where all of that doesn't matter, because life is in fates beautiful hands and all knowing timing. I am going to work hard, never give up, keep on going. I am going to look at this from every angle and figure out a way I can network more, work harder, work smarter. I am going to be a mother, come hell or high water. I am going to make sure the baby or babies that were meant to find us do. Each time we feel rejection will be motivation to keep going. Each time we talk to someone that doesn't return our communication was for a reason- maybe we helped that woman with her decision in some way shape or form. Time isn't being wasted because we're working towards a goal, and that time would have passed regardless of our efforts. We're planting the seeds that will bring in the flowers down the road. We don't know the whens wheres and whats, but that is what makes this journey so unique and beautiful and amazing. 



Guess which way I'm going to look at it? 


Answer key: If you guessed 2, you'd be right. 


Positive thinking always, Lo. It makes a world of difference. And you can't always get what you want. I didn't always get the job or the guy I wanted in the moment... But you know what? If you just keep working, keep trying, keep staying positive- you just might find you get what you need. And maybe what you needed was something you never even saw in that moment... a different job you didn't know about yet, or the person that you're meant to be soulmates with and marry. Life can be funny that way. 


I know that we need you and you need us. And we're going to keep on trying until we get what we all need. 


And remember: as your Mom- I want you to always choose the second option in life. Positive thinking leads to positive results. Always keep your beautiful head up sweet baby. 


With love and determination forever,


Sunday, January 13, 2013

Confusion never stops, closing walls and ticking clocks. Gonna come back and take you home, I could not stop that you now know. Come out upon my seas, cursed missed opportunities....Am I a part of the cure? Or am I part of the disease?

Little one, it's been too long. I'm sorry about being MIA. I have not been MIA from this journey, just from writing to you. In fact, this journey taking so many twists and turns is the reason I haven't been writing to you.

Let me try to explain. 

Today marks one year since we've been on this journey. One year since that car ride with my mother, where I learned about the situation in New Jersey. One year since I frantically busted through the door when I got home, eager to tell your Dad about our new life plans. That night your Dad and I made the decision to adopt while our friends were waiting outside our house in their car for us to go bowling on a freezing January Friday night. One year since we couldn't stop smiling while continually bowling gutter balls because our mind was on you- and our friends asked us what was up with our game. 

One year since our lives changed forever.

But I'm not the same person, at all.

I'm not the same person I was one year and one day ago, either. That version of me was sad. Sullen. Heartbroken. Lost. Hurt. Confused. That person was overtaken by the grief of infertility with seemingly no way out. That person was bitter. She loathed going to happy bubbly baby showers. She would dig her heels in when going to family gatherings with children. Her heart sunk when she walked past a baby aisle in a store. 

I'm definitely not her anymore. 

But I'm also not who I was this time last year. I cannot be, because I've been through too much. I've seen too much, felt too much, talked to too many people and learned too much. I am not that hopeful person that looks at each new day as an exciting opportunity. I'm not that nervous girl frantically cleaning every crevice of her kitchen counter before her first homestudy visit. I'm not that woman who wished on stars and imagined that they could actually come true. 


I'm now the woman who has had five fall throughs in one year. I'm the person with all the failed matches. I'm the one who has spent countless nights this past year lying awake, wondering what went wrong. I'm no longer bitter about baby showers- I'm bitter about other peoples fast matches. I'm hurt, and a little broken. I've seen the dark, painful underbelly of adoption. 


One year to date and still, I'm the childless mother. I'm the one who has had so many women tell me I'm the one- only for them to drop off the face of the planet, or send an email mere hours later telling me they've gone a different way. I'm the one on the other end of the phone while a mother in crisis screams at me because I legally cannot pay her living expenses, and then threatens me with physical harm. I'm the one answering heavy breathing phone calls from sex offenders calling our adoption phone line in the middle of the night. I'm the one losing faith in humanity, in how much strength I once had, in myself. 


And yet sweet baby, I'm still your Mom.


I'm still the woman who has hope. 

A glimmer of unwavering faith.

Endless love and determination for you. 


I'm not going to say this past year has been easy. It just plain hasn't. There have been endless sobbing tears into a soaked pillow at three in the morning. Sleepless nights, lying awake wondering and hoping and wishing and praying for an answer, if you added them up I'm sure it would be a full two months of those nights.

And it's difficult, because with each fall through and scam we've experienced, a part of it feels like a miscarriage. Only it's not at all. Those babies are in homes, they are loved. But they have no idea about me- about the other way their life could have gone. They have no idea that before they were born, at one point in their lives they had a stranger who loved them. A mother who knew nothing of the features of their face, but held them in her heart and loved and cared about them mercilessly. 

And it's difficult to mourn these children who will still go on to have what I'm sure will be beautiful lives. In doing so, my grief is selfish- I'm only sad for myself. That isn't fair to them.

Adoption is not for the faint of heart, and I knew that going into this- but I also had no idea the year that would lie ahead. Despite this, it has been one of the best years of my life- because it's leading me to you. 

I think it's been so hard to write to you because unbeknownst to you, the idea of you just keeps changing. Throughout this year we've had so many names for you, so many names for your first mother. It feels endless. I feel like I'm failing you by not getting to the finish line. 


It takes a lot of strength for me to come back to the place where I need to be. I know that those babies weren't you. Those babies aren't our babies. Those little faces I've loved so much that I'll never see- they aren't the faces we were meant to love forever. 

And I can tell you this, sweet baby- it will be worth every. single. second. Every molecule of every single tear that has streaked my face for the past three hundred and sixty five days are worth all that you are and all that you'll be. You are so worth every heartache, every wrong turn, every misstep. You are worth a million days of walking through the desert without a drop of water. And sometimes, that is what this journey feels like. 

I have to keep reminding myself that one day- it won't feel like that anymore. 

One sweet, beautiful, incredible day- you will be placed in my arms. I will physically hold you. I will see your tiny nose and your soul through your eyes. I will rock you,sweep the whisps of hair from your forehead and cry a thousand tears of a joy so deep and meaningful- and you will forever be a part of who I am in a way that I can't even picture yet because it seems so far away. But I know one day, it won't be far away. One day, it will be THE day. 

And I'm not letting my heartache be the roadblock to that amazing day. 

I wish I could adequately put into words how much I love you, how much you mean to me. I wish I could explain the feeling in my heart when I think about being your mother- and the soul crushing fear that overcomes me when I fear that it will never happen. But I don't think there are enough words in the English dictionary to cover those emotions. They are far too deep. Just know this sweet little one- I am never, ever giving up. 

I am blessed by this journey. Though the road has been broken, it is the right road for us. It is the road we will keep traveling down until we reach you. No matter the pitfalls, the detours or the wrecks along the way- we won't stop until we reach you. But for that, I am thankful. I am grateful that I will never for one millisecond take for granted the gift it is to be your mother. I will study your amazing personality, I will stand in awe of your existence. Because I have seen what it takes to get a miracle, and the hard work that goes in behind the scenes. I will be a better mother because of everything we've been through. 

And it hasn't been all bad, either. This year has brought me some amazing gifts in the form of women I've talked to who are going to make (or already are) great mothers who've decided to parent. I've bet first mothers who have placed, who I've connected with in the kind of grief only those in the adoption triad understand. I'm leaving this year with great friends by my side walking the same path as me- some who already have adopted their little ones, others who are in the trenches like us. 

I'm definitely coming out of this year with lessons learned, friends made and support. 


And sweet baby- let me just say this- your Dad is so very amazing. We have been in this together, every single step of the way. He is taking each and every painful experience to heart just as much as I am- only he's also being the one to hold me and tell me it's going to be okay. He's the rock that keeps me grounded when I feel like it's never going to happen. He is the cheerleader by my side, whispering to never give up. He's downright amazing, and he's going to be an amazing Dad to you. 


No matter how hard this road gets, we're not giving up. We've made it through the first year alive, and nothing can stop us now. 


I keep listening to this song by Jason Mraz every time I feel down: 

And just like them old stars
I see that you've come so far
To be right where you are
How old is your soul?
I won't give up on us
Even if the skies get rough
I'm giving you all my love
I'm still looking up

We had to learn how to bend without the world caving in
I had to learn what I've got, and what I'm not, and who I am

I won't give up on us
Even if the skies get rough
I'm giving you all my love
I'm still looking up, still looking up.

I won't give up on us (no I'm not giving up)
God knows I'm tough enough (I am tough, I am loved)
We've got a lot to learn (we're alive, we are loved)
God knows we're worth it (and we're worth it)

I won't give up on us
Even if the skies get rough
I'm giving you all my love
I'm still looking up


I can't wait to sing you to sleep with that song. 


After a year on this road, I'm not giving up. God knows I'm tough enough.  


And God certainly knows your worth it. 


Not giving up, even for a second

With unwavering love forever and ever, and still looking up-