12/20/09

he's home now

I'll write a longer post later I'm sure, but having our son home and in our arms is an incredible, indescribable feeling. As every parent knows, every minute is true magic.

12/19/09

Please welcome, Mason Blake Sanders to our lives!!


 He was born on December 17, 2009 at 10:27pm. Weighing all of 5 lbs and 1 oz and at 18 inches.  He is perfect and healthy so handsome! We love him so much. We are eternally grateful to our sweet birthmom.
He's coming home today!!!

12/12/09

why is Luke's last name Skywalker?

Glenn here.

I've seen the original Star Wars Trilogy like a billion times. And yet one morning this week as I was getting ready for work did a new thought about the films suddenly pop into my head. This very week. After 30+ years of exploring and obsessing over every tiny facet. The subject line says it all:

Why is Luke's last name Skywalker?

In broad strokes (and without getting into too much of the detail "revealed" in the prequel trilogy, which I don't really consider on the same level as the originals), Luke and Leia are twins whose father is Darth Vader. Yoda and Obi-Wan separate them and scatter them to the far edges of the galaxy to spare them the fate of being killed by, or worse, raised by, the evil Dark Lord. Leia is handed over to a prominent Galactic Senator, and her name is Princess Leia Organa. Luke is brought to Owen and Beru Lars, childless farmers on the desert planet of Tattooine. But no one calls him Luke Lars. His name is Luke Skywalker.

OK, so maybe it's a detail I did think of before (you would not believe the conversations I've had about the minutia of Star Wars over the years), but it never struck me with such resonance as it did today. Luke and Leia are adopted out to save them from the Dark Side of the Force. And yet, bizarrely, despite the fact that everyone in the galaxy knows that Anakin Skywalker turned into Darth Vader, and Yoda went into hiding in a remote swamp, and even Obi-Wan changed his name to disguise his presence, Luke remains openly a Skywalker. He calls his adoptive father, who's literally Darth Vader's brother, Uncle Owen. It shouldn't have taken the Empire more than a couple weeks to figure out that there's a Skywalker kid on Tattooine, the very planet that old Darthy himself was born on. That's like the worst witness protection program ever. Really, all they had to do is just change the baby's name and not ship it off to the most obvious place to look for a Skywalker.

By now I've probably lost anyone who's not as intimately familiar with these movies, so I'll bring it back to point. Which is that I've been noticing a lot more lately how the media treats adoption. The message time and again is that adoptive parents aren't the "real" parents, and only a reunion with the "real" (read: birth) parents will make the child complete. Star Wars is only an extreme example of that. But even in this age of open adoption, this belief persists with shows like "Find My Family" (as if to suggest that the adoptive family isn't "theirs" but just a proxy for the true family).

Now this is a complex topic, and can't be resolved by using more examples from sci-fi movies. But it seems to me that the continuation of this belief system tends to do more harm than good when it comes to people's beliefs about adoption. It appears to be a holdover from the days, not so long gone, when adoption was a hush-hush thing that you didn't reveal to your child until she was "old enough to understand" (as if there's ever a good moment to drop a sudden, often devastating bombshell like that). In a sense, we put adoption in the back of the attic with all the rest of the family secrets that we don't talk about in polite company.

Increasingly, that's changing, and the "professionals" are finding that integrating a child's adoption story into his life from an early age, as something that's just a fact of life - not to be hidden away - leads to a far more healthy child from a psychological standpoint. It takes the teeth out of adoption when it's treated as just another way to create a family, and not just a last resort for desperate parents.

For our part, we don't exactly how much, but our Birthmom will be a part of our, and our child's life, forever. That doesn't mean she'll help us raise Junior, but in a sense she will, because her presence - even as a photo in his room - will serve to normalize something that in our recent history was treated as shameful. I'm not suggesting the little guy won't have issues around his adoption, but we'll never have to hide it, or keep it secret, or pretend it didn't really happen, or strategize for the perfect moment when he's 8 or 10 or 20 to reveal that he was born from another mother. And really, because he's the child of a white woman and an African-American man, it's going to be pretty hard to keep something like that a secret past the day when he notices our skin color doesn't match up perfectly.

A friend and former boss of mine (if she's reading this now, she knows who she is) revealed shortly after we first started telling people we were going to adopt, that she was adopted. I was surprised, because I didn't know that I knew any adopted people. But also very heartened by it. As we've been on this journey, I've often sought out signs that adopted kids are just as happy and normal as biological kids (or just as unhappy in so-called normal ways, as we've all had our issues). Along with the research I've done, this friend completely assuaged all those fears just by being one of the most awesome people I know. She recently responded to someone posting about how much they loved the reunion scene at the end of "Find My Family" by writing (paraphrased): "Adoptive babies love their adoptive mommies and daddies, no reunion necessary."

I'm not suggesting it's all going to be a perfectly easy path we're taking - heck, our path has been anything but easy. But it's good to know that in the real world of adoption, not the fake Hollywood world, you don't have to spend your life hoping your kid never finds out the truth, because the truth is right out in the open.

And all that said, I don't think Star Wars would have been half as cool if the hero was named Luke Lars, Jedi Knight.

12/11/09

A new kind of waiting.

Our birthmom has been having contractions on and off for the last week. Though they are most likely Braxton Hicks which are not the real McCoy. Just getting her ready for the real deal. They do hurt and she has been having a hard time sleeping during the night and then sleeps during the day.  Oh boy! That means, that will be the little guy's schedule when he comes out!
It could be any day now!  Wow!
As we lite the candles on our Menorah for the first night of Hanukkah, I can't help to think about sharing the wonderful tradition with him and telling him the story of the Maccabee's and the miracle of the oil lasting the extra 7 days.  I love the holidays and look forward to them being even more magical with our son around to enjoy them.
I have my cell phone with me every where, even when I go to the bathroom!! Every time it rings, my heart leaps out of my chest. I have butterflies all the time!
We've been waiting a very long time for our baby and this last stretch of it is a whole new kind of feeling!  It's a good one!! Exciting times!!! Eager anticipation!
Happy Hanukkah!!

12/10/09

It could be anyday.

A perfect time for a miracle!!  Either during the 8 days during the Festival of lights and during Christmas time!! Wow!  Fingers & toes crossed. Excited and trying to trust that all is well and will be well for everyone.

12/8/09

it's the final countdown

Glenn here.

Remember that awesome 80's song "The Final Countdown" by Europe? No? Then here:


Now have that on in the background as you read this. It'll be stuck in your head all day regardless.

So as Angie wrote in her post, the sonogram from about 2 weeks ago showed a healthy baby boy with about 4-6 weeks left to cook. Yesterday, a follow-up sonogram showed significant growth, and an overall checkup of Birthmom left the OB/GYN telling Angie and Birthmom that she'd be very surprised if the kid stayed in the room til Christmas. She then specified that it could be within the next 2 weeks. 2 weeks! So yeah, it's definitely the final countdown.

We've got a few pieces of business to take care in the short meantime. I'm going to be installing the car seats (finally). We have to buy a bunch of little things, organize a bunch of little things, and throw out a bunch of little things. It's going to be a busy and exciting next couple weeks as we prepare. And, to quote the doc, "it could happen any day now." In fact, Friday night Angie took Birthmom to the ER with some intense Brazton Hicks, which I'm sure she'll write all about. Thankfully, all was well. We want our little guy safe, sound, and fully baked. Just hang in there a couple more weeks, young fellow.

Another thing I've suddenly discovered is a series of awesome albums that will help indoctrinate our child into our favorite music while still being baby friendly. I may post them as Amazon affiliate links when I get a chance, so I'll hold off on mentioning them now. So while we await our own special little package, I may also be sending another special little package. Of music. Man, that's a pained metaphor.

In the midst of all this, our dog Vivian caught a nasty stomach bug. After Angie got home from the ER at around 3am Saturday morning, Viv started puking and didn't stop til we got her to the vet a few hours later. An IV and some helpful drugs, and she seemed to be doing fine til Sunday night when she started up again. So I spent half my Monday in the vet, as he tried to figure out what's going on. We get blood test results this morning, so hopefully it's nothing more serious than just a really bad bug that'll quickly dry up. The worst part is we can't give her anything to eat or drink, and when you look in those big brown eyes you really want to at least let her get a sip of water. But doctor's orders. A little bit of discomfort now is better than a much worse situation in the long run. We've been stressed about Vivian (and our other dog Indiana is confused and stressed too), but we realized this is just another test to prepare us for parenthood.

Ultimately, I believe the dog's going to be fine, the baby's going to come when he's darn good and ready, and we'll have all the little things done that we need to get done.

12/3/09

It's a match!

It's been a whirlwind these last couple of weeks. The birthmom we met with, CHOSE US!! We have been matched, as they say in the adoption world.


She is local, so we've been able to spend time with her and get to know her. I'm so grateful for that, so we can tell our baby all about her. It will be an open adoption, with pictures, phone calls, letters and some visits too. We want whatever is best for the baby!

I was able to go with her and saw the ultrasound. She and the baby are healthy. It's a BOY!!! He was actually moving his little hands and playing peek-a-boo during the sonogram! So amazing! We also get to be there when she's delivers him. Wow! Can't wait!!


It's exciting but also a little scary. As you know, with adoption, it's not official until the papers are signed and the baby is in our home. But we feel really good about this and sense this is going to happen. He is due the end of the month or early January! So we have been very busy organizing and making more room for baby!

It's such an odd feeling, that there was this young woman who was a stranger and is now one of the most important people in our lives! We have a new found love and affection for her and want the best for her too. We are eternally grateful to her and have such respect for her strength for all she's been through and to come to this decision to choose adoption and extremely glad she chose us to parent her child.

We appreciate all the love and support we have received from everyone. It was a special Thanksgiving with much to give thanks for. How wonderful next holiday season we'll be enjoying them with our son! Our son!!?? Wow!! It's still so surreal and hard to believe. But I do believe. I believe!


11/18/09

Holding pattern.

I want to say so much (which I know I usually do) but this time it's hard to put it into words. I'm so full of emotions. Having the chance to meet with a potential birthmom was intense, lovely, sweet, sad, hopeful, amazing, and a whole list of other descriptive words that I can't seem to find right now. She was just so.. real. Right there in front of us. With her big belly full of a live, kicking baby. It was active alot of the time during the meeting and it was so surreal. I wanted to reach across the table and feel it and ask so many questions. But I refrained. I felt the best thing to do would just try to keep it light for the first meeting. Make it more about getting to know each other and not focus on the baby and try to sell her on what amazing parents we would be. Now in retrospect, I wonder if that was the right thing to do.

We had no guidelines of the dos and donts for this kind of situation. We just winged it. We were told by some other birth moms that I've met on the adoption forums I've become a part of, to let her lead. But she was so quiet most of the time. Her two friends who were there for support, asked most of the questions and were just great and so helpful and open and just delightful ladies. I guess she felt shy, which I can understand.

Did we say too much? Too little? I know all we could do was be ourselves but it's hard not to keep re-thinking it all and replaying all that was said and wonder if I should have something different or more or less.

The result as of right now, is she has asked for more time to think about it. Now I feel so vulnerable and raw. But want to focus on all that we have to be grateful for.

I just can't help thinking of her though. No matter what happens, I want her to be happy and do well in life. She was so sweet and talk about vulnerable. Please! I have nothing to complain about. Our life is so good. She has to make the most difficult decision of her life. I totally respect that and she should take all the time she needs. Absolutely! It's important that everyone feel 100% about everything.

So, once again. We wait. We're in limbo. We're in a holding pattern.

first birthmother meeting

Glenn here.

having just had our first meeting with a birthmother, and no clue what the results will be, I did notice a couple things that I keep thinking about.

first and most importantly, it seemed to me to be more about trying to see a connection between the moms - meaning her and Angie. knowing that this person has had a difficult past, and good reasons not to trust, I tried to not be too forceful in trying to connect with her or even make eye contact, which may sound strange but really wasn't. it felt like giving her her space. but Angie was able to break some of those barriers a little bit more so - more direct conversation and questions, and even a hug at the end. I shook her hand. but I was ultimately most hopeful that Angie's energy and spirit would make the connection. no clue whether it did, only time will tell.

secondly, as a writer I've often read (and been taught) that good dialogue has subtext - meaning people say one thing and really mean another. bad dialogue is just saying it on the nose. for example, "I'm crazy about you" has less meaning and depth than "I really like that shirt you're wearing" (when you want to be professing your love). this was a dinner that was all subtext and hidden meaning, and very little open discussion of the matter at hand. mostly by intention, but partly by situation. it was a scene that had crazy depth to it... we talked about everything and anything but the reason we were all there, and yet everyone knew that was really the discussion at hand.

as a creative person, I imagine myself someday channeling all these experiences into something fictional (and somehow entertaining)... no idea what form that would take, but if I were to ever attempt to circle around a moment like this, it wouldn't take much adaptation to make it a truly powerful scene. strangely, living it was slightly less emotional than the thought of witnessing someone else living it, which when I think about it seems exceptionally poignant. complete strangers coming together in hopes that the pains and loss of the past might somehow be redeemed with an act of love towards a being that doesn't even technically exist yet. but in the end it was just a dinner with an uncertain outcome.

amazing how this journey has brought us into situations that we never thought possible. all we can do now is hope and wait, as we've been doing for years, only it seems a lot more intense at the moment.

11/17/09

A big meeting!!

We are meeting with a birthmother tonight!! We are meeting with a birthmother tonight!!! I have to say it twice because I still can't believe it myself. We are finally at this point in the process. I know nothing is set in stone until the papers are signed and the baby is in our home. But I am so excited to meet this young lady and let her know how much respect I have for her. I just hope I don't burst into tears when I see her and freak her out!! :)
Glenn & I are nervous, sure, but actually feeling good and know all we can do is just be ourselves and be in the moment and listen to her and answer all her questions and let her know how much we care about her and how we will love her baby more than anything else. We want to get to know each her and see if there is a connection and if we are a match! I sure hope so. I really do. It would so amazing to have our baby before the end of the year!! Wow! Okay. I'm breathing. All is well. Here we go!

11/16/09

What a journey!

Oh, life! you unpredictable and amazing thing! I have been doing much thinking and feeling these last couple of days and I realize though adoption may not be an ordinary thing, it is so extraordinary.  I may not get an expanded waistline from being pregnant, but my mind, spirit and heart have been forever expanded from this whole process. It really is making me a better person. I have looked deeper at my own insecurities, judgments and feelings about my myself and others. I'm so grateful that we are on the adoption journey! Still so much more to experience, for sure but I am enjoying the ride. All the ups and downs are worth it. I am all about growing and being the best person I can be and this has certainly forced me to do more of that and I'm glad.

11/15/09

Hope, faith, wishes, dreams & knowing for sure.

I'm sure you've heard the expression, "Don't get your hopes up." or, "Have faith." Or, "You gotta have hope." Well, which is it? It's all of those things when waiting to be matched and chosen by a birth mother for adoption. All the different words and saying,evoke different reactions for different situations. When someone makes a makes a wish, someone else usually says, "I hope it comes true." So, is wishing and hoping the same thing or different?
I need hope to keep going on, but if we get to being presented to a another birth mom, we don't want to get our hopes up. But we always have faith the right situation will come to us at the right time. It is actually such a delicate situation and so emotional. I believe Glenn & I handle it all pretty well. But there are times it just all gets to me and I wonder am I handling it well, or just hiding it well and pushing it all under the rug? If I go to that emotional place, it feels like it will overwhelm me sometimes. To dream, to wish for it to happen now and to not have to wait anymore almost seems so distant, yet feels so close it scares me. If we are chosen, then get to the next phase and have the amazing opportunity to meet with a birthmom, I will just be beside myself!! Talk about overwhelmed!!! So, I try to stay in each moment, breath and allow myself to feel whatever I need and just enjoy life. I do know we will be parents. I keep saying that, but I will be totally honest, I hate not knowing when and I am getting weary of it. I am getting impatient and want to have our baby before the new year. This is my hope, my wish, my dream. I know it will come true.

11/6/09

November is National Adoption Awarness Month

The Adoptive Parents Group I started now officially has 23 members. Though, each in-person meet up we have, only a small amount can attend. I'm so proud of it and have come to realize that the subject of adoption is my new passion. I want to do more. So, in honor of National Adoption Awareness month, I've thinking about trying to speak on it at different places and write about it more and to get out there and inform others about the whole unique, yet extraordinary journey of adoption.
I look forward to the group tomorrow. And look forward to what I might accomplish with this new found desire to share what I have learned and will continue to learn about the process of adoption with others.
Here I go!!

10/31/09

Happy Halloween! 2009


I was so excited about Halloween this year. I already know that we get tons of trick or treaters, so we got ready for them. We decorated the house up nice & fun. We even boomed scary music out our window! We had steady groups of kids for 3 hours and actually ran out of candy right at the end. Better for us, so we don't eat the left overs!
I just read my post from last year's Halloween and how we thought that we might have a baby this year. Well, it looks like it will be next year now. Yes, that makes me sad. We both long to take our child out to enjoy this special holiday. It will happen. We just choose to keep enjoying life as we wait.  That's makes us better parents and individuals.

Hope you enjoy these fun photos of us celebrating this fun and scary night. 

10/30/09

Our baby shower.

I've been meaning to post on this here blog all week but have been busy doing laundry and getting things organized. Cleaning and folding the cute little clothes, socks, hats, blankets, towels, etc. that belong to our future baby. It's been so fun and brings me such joy.

My long time friend and mother to my God son threw us a very nice baby shower last Sunday. Others friends gave her much needed assistance. Thanks to Dana for opening her home and working so hard. And to Kari for all her hard work and contribution. To Polly & Noah for the amazing, creative decorations. To Lauren, Tracy, Sam, Stephanie, Mary, Monica and all the many others who also helped with food and their time and efforts to make it a special day. It was a couples and family welcome day. Perfect Los Angeles weather to enjoy Dana's sweet backyard. There was a fun kids zone to play and create. Silly games and prizes. Yummy food and gifts! All and all it was just a good time! We are so grateful and so touched by all the love and support we felt from everyone that was there. Missed all those that were not, but were in spirit.

To Glenn & I, having a shower before being matched feels like a great way to affirm we know it is happening and to manifest us being chosen and receiving our baby in our home. Since we are getting a newborn, being prepared by having all we need, gives us peace of mind. We'll be in the, "we're so tired, aren't getting any sleep, but it's the best feeling every mode" dealing with our new arrival, we will not be much up to organizing and arranging all the little and big bulky things needed to make baby's life more full and happy. So, having the room and all our ducks in a row is just so comforting. We even got ducks. Rubber and stuffed!

Folding the tiny little clothes and putting them in their right place is an indescribable feeling. The wonder of what our baby will look like, will smell like. Imagining how they will feel in my arms is just so lovely to experience. The real thing will be even better, of course! I wonder how much they will weigh, how many inches long will they be. All the normal things that a mom-to-be feels. It's so exciting!!

After I was all done, I sat back in the glider rocking chair and looked all around and just breathed it all in. I held the Elmo doll (a great shower gift!) like a baby, cuddling in my arms, and the dogs were very curious and standing up to see what I was doing and what was in my arms. Our youngest dog Indiana seemed jealous and wanted to jump into my lap too. So, it's good training to do with them to help get them prepared. Their perfect world will be rocked and forever changed too. All for the better, is my intent but I know it will be a challenging adjustment for the dogs and cats, as well as us too. But we are aware of what's to happen. They don't really know what to expect. They certainly can sense something is going on. But they all love to hang out in the baby's room already. It's the brightest, cheeriest room in our house. I have faith they will love and want to protect the baby as much as we do.

I've said it before and I'll say it again. We are ready. Ready to receive and love our child. I have such an attitude of gratitude!

All is well and peaceful in the Sanders home. It will be even better SOON!!!

10/22/09

Haven't Met You Yet.

I heard the end of this song on the radio yesterday and had to look up the lyrics. I'm sure it wasn't Michael Buble's intent, but I related it to our whole journey to become parents and now waiting to be matched with a birth family and our baby. I'm sure you'll understand why. Here are the lyrics. (It's a fun catchy tune too.)

I'm Not Surprised
Not Everything Lasts
I've Broken My Heart So Many Times,
I Stop Keeping Track.
Talk Myself In
I Talk Myself Out
I Get All Worked Up
And Then I Let Myself Down.

I Tried So Very Hard Not To Loose It
I Came Up With A Million Excuses
I Thought I Thought Of Every Possibility

And I Know Someday That It'll All Turn Out
You'll Make Me Work So We Can Work To Work It Out
And I Promise You Kid That I'll Give So Much More Than I Get
I Just Haven't Met You Yet

I Might Have To Wait
I'll Never Give Up
I Guess It's Half Timing
And The Other Half's Luck
Wherever You Are
Whenever It's Right
You Come Out Of Nowhere And Into My Life

And I Know That We Can Be So Amazing
And Baby Your Love Is Gonna Change Me
And Now I Can See Every Possibility

And Somehow I Know That It Will All Turn Out
And You'll Make Me Work So We Can Work To Work It Out
And I Promise You Kid I'll Give So Much More Than I Get
I Just Haven't Met You Yet

They Say All's Fair
And In Love And War
But I Won't Need To Fight It
We'll Get It Right
And We'll Be United

And I Know That We Can Be So Amazing
And Being In Your Life Is Gonna Change Me
And Now I Can See Every Single Possibility

And Someday I Know It'll All Turn Out
And I'll Work To Work It Out
Promise You Kid I'll Give More Than I Get
Than I Get Than I Get Than I Get

Oh You Know It'll All Turn Out
And You'll Make Me Work So We Can Work To Work It Out
And I Promise You Kid To Give So Much More Than I Get
Yeah I Just Haven't Met You Yet

I Just Haven't Met You Yet
Oh Promise You Kid
To Give So Much More Than I Get

I Said Love Love Love Love Love Love Love .....
I Just Haven't Met You Yet
Love Love Love .....
I Just Haven't Met You Yet

10/19/09

What is open adoption?

* Open adoption is about honoring the connection adoptees have to both of their families.
* Open adoption recognizes the rewards and joys of adoption.
* Open adoption recognizes the losses and grief of adoption.
* Open adoption does not diminish one family in favor of another.
* Open adoption is flexible, understanding that needs and circumstances change.
* Open adoption sets boundaries on the basis of what is best for the child in question.
* Open adoption looks like different things for different families.
* Open adoption is about commitment and sharing and love.

From: http://openadoptionsupport.com/

10/14/09

People really do not understand the process of adoption and how painful and challenging it is for waiting adoptive parents. They can make you feel like such an outsider, like you are wrong and so different from everyone other parent. I guess we are, really. I want to scream at some and shake them. But that is against the law. Don't want to end up in jail when my baby arrives!! Ha Ha. We have to laugh about it all or we will go insane! Trying to keep strong about it all!

The adoption books and articles in Adoption Families say we will have to be the educators of adoption for people in our lives and even strangers and I'm finding out it's so true. Strangers I don't care so much about because they don't matter in my everyday life. It's those that I love and have been a part of my life for so long that can hurt me.

Plus it's a rainy day her in Los Angeles, CA. Makes me want to curl up in bed and pull the covers over my eyes. Sending love and support to all my adoptive parent pals. You are the only ones who really understand. I didn't realize adopting would change and effect my friendships. I guess maybe I expected it would be easier. Makes me sad! Most of my friends and my family have been great. I have to focus on the positive but it's just hard when I get hurt. I need time to process it.

Thank goodness for my best friend, my husband.

10/7/09

Adoption T-shirt

I just purchased a T-shirt off of the website adoptionbug.com. It reads:

MOM-TO-BE
Just waiting to find out WHEN!


I wore it today and a woman I didn’t know saw me in it and said. “Oh! Are you expecting?” I said, “No. We’re adopting.” She replied. “You ARE expecting! Congratulations!” I wanted to hug her for her kindness! I felt so happy and proud and thanked her!! She is totally right. I AM expecting!! I'm an expectant mom!!

I also wore it tonight to a pre-adoption support group that our social worker recommended and when I walked in the therapist who runs the group said with a big smile on your face “Where did you get that shirt!?” When I told her adoptionbug.com she said she had never heard of it and wrote it down. I felt proud and can't wait to wear it more and see the reactions I get!

(See the adoption bug link on the right side of this blog to browse their adoption attire.)

10/6/09

My Birthday wish & sickness

My birthday was October 2nd. It is every year. I sure hope this is the very last birthday that I am not a mother.
I proceeded to get sick the day after my birthday and have been ever since. It fills me with great compassion for moms and dads who must go on being the best parent they can to their kids when they themselves are sick.
Being sick is not fun. It's the only time I ever think, "Gosh, I hope I don't get the call today for our baby. I wouldn't want to get our newborn sick with my cold."
I have laryngitis now. So, not much to say. Enjoying not speaking and just focusing on healing.
We did put up the Halloween decorations on Sunday and that made me happy. I love the holidays! So, now our house looks festive and fun. I look forward to seeing all the treat or treaters.
Must get some sleep now.

9/30/09

A Poem I wrote

I wrote this poem a little while after my first miscarriage which was a blighted ovum. That means the sac grows but a baby never does. We were so elated and filled with joy. I told Glenn by giving him an early birthday present telling him I just couldn't wait to give it to him because it's something he's wanted for so long. He opened the bag and it was a baby's bib that read "I love my Daddy." I will never forget the look on his face as he realized what it meant and then I said, "I'm pregnant! We've having a baby!" One of the happiest moment's of my life, to see the man I love, so full of joy and emotion, that the tears just flowed from both of us. Then lots of hugging.
Then at the doctors visit about 6 weeks later to hear the devastating news was just so shocking. It took a while to comprehend it. But I recovered feeling grateful at least now we know I could get pregnant (We had been trying for a year) and believing it would happen again and we would have a biological child.  Two miscarriages later, it has not happened. But we will still get to be parents!! We are so happy we are adopting!!

Writing this poem was therapeutic in my healing process. I'm sharing it for the first time publicly here.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Blessed One

Though I will never hold you, I couldn’t love you any less
I won’t know what color your eyes were, I can only guess

To wonder who’s smile your would have had, mine or your dad’s
It just gets me at my core sometimes, I’ve never been so sad

I know it will be fine and all will be well
But right now it feels like I’m living in hell

What deep pain I feel for what will never be,
I never thought that this would happen to me

I’ll feel all the feelings, then I will have to let them go
It wasn’t meant to be me they say, but what do they know

Even though you are gone, and never really were
I wish I could have known if you were a him or a her

I will hold this love forever in my heart
Trying to understand why you had to part

Go on your way my baby, my sweet blessed one
I love you so dearly, my almost daughter or son


Written
By Angela Sanders
August 23, 2006
9:37pm


9/27/09

2nd Adoptive Parents Group

Five new members joined and we had a bigger group yesterday at our second meeting! I was so thrilled and excited to listen to everyone share. I'm touched by everyone's honesty and desire to be a great parent. A sweet, interesting mix of folks. A couple of single moms, one single dad (looking into adoption), some who have adopted internationally and some who are waiting to adopt internationally, and one from foster to adopt. We had 4 kids there too, ages 2 to 6. It was good to be in the kids section at the Borders bookstore that sponsors our meeting so they had fun things to occupy them. Because us grown ups can be boring talking our grown up talk!

We talked about finding a better location that is not so public but where kids can play too. Perhaps at a church or synagogue. Will look into it.

I feel so proud that I've created this group. I've worked hard to get more people to join and it's something that I am very passionate about!

I look forward to it growing more and seeing how all the relationships build.

9/25/09

Poem - Legacy of an Adopted Child

Once there were two women
 who never knew each other
One you do not remember
 The other you call mother

Two different lives shaped to make yours one
 One became your guiding star
 The other became your sun

The first gave you life
 And the second taught you to live it
The first gave you a need for love
 And the second was there to give it

One gave you a nationality
 The other gave you a name
One gave you the seed of talent
 The other gave you an aim

One gave you emotions
 The other calmed your fears
One saw your first sweet smile
 The other dried your tears

One made a difficult decision
  it was the best that she could do.
 The other prayed for a child.
And God led her straight to you.

And now you ask me through your tears
 The age old questions through the years
Heredity or Environment - which are you
 the product of

Neither my darling - neither
 Just two different kinds of love

 Anonymous

9/24/09

Here is the book I'm currently reading. I sort of skimmed it a first because I borrowed it but now am taking my time and really enjoying it. Very informative and inspiring! Even though I haven't met her yet. I already love our Birth mother and have such respect for her and the difficult decision she will make.

What the ???

OMG! I checked the news on line today like I do every day and the headlines were about a woman who conceived another baby while already pregnant!!! What the ______?!! It's very rare they say but has happened before. I will admit that it felt like a blow to the stomach. Here I am, having had 3 miscarriages and not able to get pregnant again for almost 2 years now and almost 44 years old, so the chances are getting smaller and smaller and then to read this!! OUCH! It sure doesn't seem fair!

It also reminds me of my last pregnancy. I made it to just about 11 1/2 weeks. They say after 12 weeks the chances of miscarriage drop drastically. So we were feeling like we were in the clear. The heartbeat was strong and looked well. On one of the last ultra sound appointments, they found another sac growing also and my OB/GYN even brought in her partner to take a look because she was so baffled by it. They said how rare that is. We made jokes about me having 3 cats and maybe having a "litter" rubbed off on me. They said it would be one for the books, that's for sure. I left feeling so special and like it was a miracle. If it was two babies, we would have been doubling blessed. Then just one week later at my next appointment the ultra sound showed no heartbeat and that they were now misshaped and I was having a miscarriage. In just one week's time, from feeling so elated and full of joy to the full other end of the spectrum. Complete heartbreak and devastation. It will be two years ago this December it happened. I have done much grieving and healing in that time period and am grateful for the strength we have gained from that experience. That doesn't mean I'm glad it happened. I still wish it didn't, but it is what is and life goes on. We still have our love. We have decided not to be defined by just that. We are so much more.

Hearing about this woman was just a bit surprising. I'm finally getting better at hearing news of others pregnancies but this is just a bit too much! Comparing lives to others doesn't help at all. That's her path and I'm on mine! I am just going to focus on the little one that is going to be ours through adoption. Just hope to be matched soon! Getting tired of the waiting!! Just had to vent! On to enjoy my day now!

Support Group

Glenn & I went to a Pre-adoption support group tonight. I've had a cold these last couple of days and not feeling well but since it was the first meeting of 8, I really wanted to make the effort. Even though my head my all stuffy, I'm really glad I went.

It's a group for parents who have dealt with infertility or not able to have kids who are in the process of adopting or considering adopting. It was recommended to us by our adoption agency. It is run by a therapist who specializes in this subject. She is a mother of two. Her first was adopted, her second was by an egg donor. She also deals with that family choice and surrogacy in her practice.

It was a small intimate group in the therapist'soffice. Two other couples and one single woman. I went wanting to meet others going through the unique journey of adoption and I'm always open to learning more and gaining new insights.

Both of us were glad we went. Listening to one of the couples, who are waiting to be matched in domestic adoption like we are, share their emotional roller coaster they've dealt with was sad and touching. I always love when people can allow themselves to be so honest and raw. The other couple are just starting to investigate the possibility of adoption. Same for the single women.

When we meet people for the first time it's hard not have that little voice in your head making opinions and judgments about them. Not too cool, but it's normal and what we do. Then what I love, is that once you start talking and getting to know them, you were not right in your opinions. They surprise you with who they are. That is exciting and reminds me why it's not a good idea to make quick judgments. That's why I went into this support group with an open mind and ready to receive whatever I could from the other people and the therapist.

After it ended, I felt really good about all we have done to educate ourselves. It was a reminder of what a painful and rough journey we've been through and yet we seem to have the ability to continue to go on and remain faithful, positive and with our sense of humor in tact. I admire that about us! I'm proud of us. We are strong and I believe have become even stronger through all this.

On the car ride home we were inspired to open up more about some of our own fears and worries and able to dissipate them some just by opening up and talking. We are fully aware being adoptive parents will be challenging. We are ready and know there will always be more to learn. Just like any parents. Sometimes you learn as you go along, no matter how prepared you think you are. Once you're in it, is when the real schooling begins.

Lord, know it has not always been easy. Actually there have been times, it down right sucks and is SO painful and frustrating! But bottom line, we knew that going in. We were well informed and went for the ride anyway. I'm talking about the adoption process. I will admit I was not at all prepared for having 3 miscarriages. Total surprise and there is no way to know how to deal with that kind of heartache other than just going through it. Thank goodness we had a great therapist at the time and we have such honest communication.

This Saturday is the second meeting of the Adoptive Parents Group I started. More members have joined! I'm really looking forward to it! No professionals. Just us grownups talking and sharing. Totally informal. I'll let you know how it goes!

9/9/09

9-9-09

Nine has always been one of my lucky numbers. So, I plan on enjoying this day. I woke up thinking of the parents that did get chosen this time and had their dream come true with a new son. I'm happy for them. I understand what they must have gone through too.

I think of the baby getting a good home. He will be loved and well taken care of. That makes me happy. I'm getting to know more and more adoptive and waiting adoptive parents on websites for adoption. I feel like part of the group. We all understand and support each other. I appreciate their kindness and words of encouragement. Same thing for all my friends and family. I know everyone is rooting is for us.

I'm having my next adoptive parents group that I started on Sept. 26 that I look forward to also.

So, much love and good energy all around me!

I'm so thankful!

9/8/09

not the chosen ones

It's very disappointing. A bummer. A downer. It sucks! No other way to put it! Don't need to sugarcoat it. Would have much rather been chosen and knowing our baby was coming to us. But the birthmom did not feel we are the right ones to raise her son. Yes. It was a boy. I respect her decision. Of course I know we would have been great parents but I know she has to feel right about it. Some friends meaning to be supportive have said things like "She's an idiot if she doesn't choose you!" or "She'd be a fool not to pick you guys!." I know they mean well but really I don't agree. If it's not right, then it's not right. I want her to feel right about us or I wouldn't feel right. When I think of the birthmom of our future child I only have great love and respect.

Yes, perhaps if she knew us like our friends who made those comments did, she would choose us. That is one of the frustrating things about adoption. Her first decision is made from a piece of paper with written words about us and a photograph. So we are going to take some matters into our own hands and create a better profile and post it on a site specifically for prospective adoptive parents. It will make me feel good, knowing we are doing something and putting it out into the world more!

I will admit that I was a basket case this morning. I am not the kind of person to get nervous. I was darn near close to having a full blown anxiety attack!! Glenn had to talk and soothe me down. But it was good I got it all out in the AM. Shedding tears and talking about it with Glenn really helped. We had been waiting really since Tuesday night, wondering if this was our turn! So, when our Social Worker finally called today at 3:30pm I was more than ready to know one way or another. It was a relief to get the news, even though it was not the news we had hoped for, it felt so much better to know. BIG sigh of relief! Now we can get back to waiting. We know how to do that and are very good at it.

We eased the disappointment by taking our beloved, adorable dogs to the dog park. We call it the happiest place on earth! We love Disneyland but the dog park is just pure fun and full of energy. To see so many smiling, happy dogs, especially our own two, always picks us up. We can never be sad there. So, it was the perfect medicine! Also, one of our favorite dinners, delicious gyros at the best place in the valley, helped too!

I have the baby shower that my friend is going to through for me next month to look forward.

I have being a mom to look forward to!!

I KNOW WE WILL BE PARENTS!!!

the worst case scenario

We didn't get chosen again. Third time.

Strangely, our feeling is more one of relief than sadness.

Oh, we're sad. No question. Everything we'd heard about the birth mother seemed right for us. We could see it happening. We are ready to be parents.

The relief is just having an answer. We'd been waiting a week. Today, Angie was particularly on edge, because we knew we'd get some kind of answer. It took all her will power to stay calm. I gave her little tasks to do around the house until she left for work. Just things to keep her mind occupied, or at least her body while her mind was running a thousand miles a minute.

The reason I call this post "the worst case scenario," is that this is really what it is. We're either chosen or not. The worst case scenario is not being chosen. We've experienced it before, we know what it feels like, and it's not great, but it's OK. It's survivable. It's just more waiting.

Apparently, we were the second choice, which is good. The reason the birth mother didn't choose us is something that we simply cannot, or will not, change about our lives. And we're fine with that. It means, very clearly, that this was not the right situation for us. But the right one is already on its way.

Rather than just wait, we're going to make a list. The last things we need to do to really be prepared. Final preparations in the room. Making sure the car seats are clean and ready. And a few extra things. We're probably going to create adoption profiles and printed cards. It's now been just over a year of waiting, and we need to feel like we're putting some of this process back in our own hands.

So now is a time for regrouping and more preparations.

That's a worst case scenario I can live with.

metaphors about waiting

There’s a classic image in old movies when a woman is going to give birth. While Mother disappears behind a set of swinging doors, surrounded by doctors and nurses, Father paces the waiting room, wondering if Mom and Junior are safe.

I can’t quite say it’s like that for me right now, but it’s pretty close. Angie typically experiences the high emotions, or rather a more intense version of the various emotions we’ve been going through. The longing, frustration, sadness, joy, excitement, nervousness. Meanwhile, I metaphorically pace. Meaning, I try to find some way to channel all these same emotions. Angie experiences them, and I pace them out. Dive into work, read a book, read a magazine, clean up the kitchen, watch TV, check email, Twitter. All the distractions you can think of. While she’s blogging, and building a small community of adoptive parents both online and in the real world, I’m business as usual, but more so.

But that doesn’t mean I’m not feeling it too. Everyone has their coping mechanism. I think it’s more typical of men to look outside for theirs, and women to turn inside. Regardless, I’ve recently taken up the practice of meditation in the mornings. I find 6 minutes is about as much as I can handle for the time being, though I’d love to build up to 10 one day. I’m by no means perfect... they call the scattered thoughts that bounce around your head “monkey mind,” and mine is the monkeyest. But I do find that if I’m at least consistent, it sets the tone of the day as positive, and that can carry through all the other stuff that crops up.

At the end of the day, we lie in bed and share a short list of things we’re grateful for. It’s usually the same things every night, with minor variations depending on what’s happened in the past day or so. Again, it’s a nice way to cap off the day and to remain focused on the positive, no matter what’s gone on during waking hours. I find I’ve been sleeping better too.

This past week, the biggest thing we’re grateful for is, of course, that we’ve been presented to a birth mother. We’ve been waiting for an answer since last Tuesday, but I keep trying to remind myself that no news is good news. Every time we’ve been presented in the past, we got the “no” within a few hours. So this is by far the longest time we’ve been stuck in this limbo. Today, literally today, we could start the day as we normally do, and end it as parents. It’s pretty wild.

I feel like Luke heading into the Death Star canyon: “Stay on target... stay on target.” There’s clocks floating around my head. Calendar pages flipping past. And every other cliche about the passage of time.

I decided to wear a t-shirt today in honor of the occasion. It’s got an image of a Scrabble hand that’s all high-value consonants. Q, Z, X, etc. Everyone who sees the shirt who plays Scrabble immediately “ooohs,” and then realizes what’s missing. There’s no vowels. You’ve got a great set of letters but possibly no way to use them. Success or a missed turn depends entirely on outside forces: what’s on the board, or what the other player lays down in their turn. That is possibly the best metaphor for our situation. We have a lot to be grateful for, but we’re at the mercy of outside forces.

So no wonder I’m pacing the waiting room like an expectant Dad. Cause that’s exactly what I am.

9/5/09

Presenting again.

Got a call from our Social Worker on Wednesday saying "We have a birthmom that we want to present you to, let me tell you about her and the situation." Oh my goodness! My heart started to speed up and my stomach had butterflies! All the info she told me sounded fine to me and I wanted to yell "Yes! Please, go ahead!" But I knew I needed to call Glenn first and our SW agreed. So I did and he got off a business call right away when I told him there was a possible birthmom! He and I talked and felt good about giving the green light to move ahead. But we had just taken a new photo we wanted to use instead (see above, that's it) and we made some changes to our profile. My SW said I could bring it by her office the next morning. This mom has not delivered yet, so there is some time.


That whole night we kept our excited energy. We did some major praying and meditating to calm ourselves. We went to services to get some extra support and got it in spades! Everyone is so positive and encouraging. We love the philosophy they teach to stay in the moment and focus on all the blessings we already have. WE are more then enough whatever happens. It will happen. We will be parents. We must continue to believe that always.

So that is the foundation that has got me to tonight, sitting here writing this at 1:30 in the morning. It's not that I can't sleep. I've been on other adoption blogs and discussion boards for hours. It really helps to read about others who have gone through or are going through the same thing.

I have not received a call from my SW since Wednesday AM. I called and left a message this AM but wonder that she might be out for the holiday weekend. She was so great when I went to give her our new info and pix. She wanted to help make our profile perfect for this birthmom to choose us. It made me feel good and supported by her! But now, I wish she would have called even if to say, "She's still thinking it over and will let us know next week." Something like that would have been nice.

Even though I'm still working and going about my life, my mind sure can wander at times. Here are some random thoughts that have gone through my head since we found out we are being presented again for the 3rd time:

--
- Please I hope this is the one!
- I feel good about this one. It just feels right and would be so perfect.
- Don't think that way and get your hopes up too much or else you'll be really disappointed.
- Third times the charm.
- I wonder what she is doing right now.
- If we don't get chosen, some other parents or parent will get to have their dream come true. That will be nice for them.
- I wonder what the other potential adoptive parents who were also presented are thinking. (I feel a connection with them.)
- I pray the birthmom will be at peace with her decision and have strength as she makes this very important decision.
- Our whole life could change any day now!
- I think about the baby and their journey to this planet.
--

All day Thursday while I was with the 2 boys I nanny for I kept thinking, what will I do if she calls? I had my cell phone on my body every second. If the phone rang, my heart raced. But it was never her! I kept imagining how I would tell Glenn the good news.

I'm still on pins and needles, waiting and wondering when we will find out. Even if it's not our time, knowing, is better than not knowing.

It's obvious that I really, really hope for this to be our baby! I can handle it if it's not but will be sad, of course. I will feel that and go on knowing it wasn't meant to be. But I really hope this is it! Part of why it would be so perfect is Thursday was our 8th wedding Anniversary. We still went out and celebrated! Our mind and conversation did turn to the adoption quite a bit but we actually we were really calm and happy and just enjoyed our time together.

We continued with our annual Anniversary tradition and returned to the place we got married. (The Castaway in the Burbank Hills) Every year we return to the same Gazebo we were married in and we restate our original vows and add new ones that pertain to that current year. We like to say "We renew the contract." This year was so special and emotional. We felt so connected and in love!

I'm so grateful for my husband and our marriage. He truly is my best friend. I would marry him all over again. I guess I do every year! I would not want to be on this journey with anyone else.

I'm so grateful to all the support we receive from friends and family. My dear friend Dana is going to throw me a Baby Shower next month! I can't wait. How fun it will be to all our friends and family together to celebrate our adoption and our baby. I sure hope the baby will be here before then. If the baby does not, come it's okay. I'd rather be more prepared and together then not.

Another thing that would make this match so nice is that it was exactly 1 year ago that we officially started the adoption process. When I first started this blog. It was our anniversary present to ourselves. Getting our baby would be the best present ever!! It's not due until sometime in October. My birthday is October 2nd. I want nothing more than to be a Mommy for my birthday!

8/20/09

The Rainbow Connection

After our Adoptive Parents Group, my husband and I browsed around the Borders bookstore that it took place at. We both love books!! We are suckers for any used book sales and we love to stop at yard sales and see what books there are. That day he found a great find on sale and had to get it. It's a small little book with a green trim and photo of Kermit the Frog. The title is: It's Not Easy Being Green and other Things to Consider. By Jim Henson, The Muppets & Friends.

What a huge fan we both are of Jim Henson and his genius! What an influence he has had on us are whole lives. When I think of him I can't help to smile. He was so talented, so creative, so full of compassion and joy. He was an educator, a big hearted, human being. He was a friend to all. I remember when he passed away and they had the tribute show for him with all the Muppets. I sat on my couch and just cried. I felt the loss of his pure desire to bring joy to others. His desire to bridge any gaps that remained between us silly humans. His Monsters and Muppets opened our minds and heart. He was the real deal, as I like to say. He had such passion for his work. He was so lucky to be able to do what he loved and to be so successful at it. We were so lucky to have had him! He will live on forever!!

I've been reading our new book. It's a collection of quotes, stories, anecdotes, songs & insights from Jim himself via some of his amazing characters and from people who worked with him and other friends and people who knew him or where just influenced by his art. It's a funny, sweet and inspiring book. Many familiar songs and quotes that bring back such great memories.

As I read the lyrics to one of his most famous songs from the brilliant film "The Muppet Movie" it effected me in a whole new way. It made me think of our adoption process. About the waiting and wondering about our birth mom and our future baby. I wonder where she is and what she is doing and how she is feeling. I wonder what our baby will be like. What will it look like? I keep dreaming of that day that I hold our little one for the first time. So here are the lyrics and see what connection you make to the words this time.

THE RAINBOW CONNECTION

WHY ARE THERE SO MANY SONGS ABOUT RAINBOWS,
AND WHAT'S ON THE OTHER SIDE?
RAINBOWS ARE VISIONS, BUT ONLY ILLUSIONS,
AND RAINBOWS HAVE NOTHING TO HIDE.
SO WE'VE BEE TOLD
AND SOME CHOOSE TO BELIEVE IT.
I KNOW THEY'RE WRONG, WAIT AND SEE.
SOMEDAY WE'LL FIND IT, THE RAINBOW CONNECTION,
THE LOVERS, THE DREAMERS, AND ME.

WHO SAID THAT EVERY WISH WOULD BE HEARD AND ANSWERED,
WHEN WISHED ON THE MORNING STAR?
SOMEBODY THOUGHT OF THAT , AND SOMEONE BELIEVED IT.
LOOK WHAT IT'S DONE SO FAR.
WHAT'S SO AMAZING THAT KEEPS US STARGAZING,
AND WHAT DO WE THINK WE MIGHT SEE?
SOMEDAY WE'LL FIND IT, THE RAINBOW CONNECTION,
THE LOVERS, THE DREAMERS, AND ME.


Twitter Moms: The Influential Moms Network

8/17/09

First Adoptive Parents Group

This past Saturday was the very first ADOPTIVE PARENTS GROUP that I organized through Meetup.com. We have 10 official members (12 including me and my husband)! There were only four (5 including the adorable 2 year old of one of the parents) there but it was great! Such open, honest and real people! I was grateful for their candor and desire to share and listen to others about their journey with adoption. Eacht story is truly unique, yet beautiful! I look forward to my relationship growing with these people. I especially look forward to more people being at the next meeting in Septemeber and for even more parents to join the group. I'm busy getting the word out. Going to post flyers and do the whole web networking thing! Will also post a listing in adoptive families magazine if I can!

I wanted to find a support group for adoptive parents and there just wasn't any near me. So, I went and started one myself! It feels so good! I'm really proud of myself for making this group happen. It was a goal of mine and it has been achieved!

Two of the moms that I've started communicating with through emails that I've met on adoptive family websites have been matched!! They've been waiting a really long time. I'm so thrilled and happy for them! There was no pang of envy this time. Only validation that it does happens for others and it will happen for us!

I will admit during a brief bout of PMS this past month, I got emotional and felt that yearning for our child, so deep to the core of my being. It felt good to cry and allow myself to feel it. I can tell you that it is possible to love someone you have not even met. To miss them and want to hold them and love them. I feel so full of love already for our baby that I could just burst! I have all this love to share. So that's what I'm doing. Sharing it! Starting this group helps. To be there and share with others who understand the journey. I'm also volunteering more so I can share of myself and be of service. To get outside of myself and connect with others. Also making plans to visit with friends & family more helps too.

I am enjoying every minute with my husband. I am a complete person. I am a wife, a sister, an Aunt, a daugther-in-law, a friend and mom to our pets. All these roles are so important to me and I cherish them. All the relationships I have add such value to my life. They help to make up who I am. So they must be nurtured. They help me be a better me and that will make me a better mother.

7/10/09

visit with our social worker

Glenn & I had our 6 month check in meeting with our social worker yesterday. She is very nice and we are grateful for all her help. But honestly it was a bit startling that the first thing she did was present us with a list of attorneys to possibly contact to hurry up the process. It seemed that she was wanting to turn us over to them and was saying "Sorry. We can't do much for you now."

But that's not what was going on. She was just doing her job and stating the facts. Yes. Things are faster with an attorney but also way more money. We have faith that we've chosen the right path for us. Our agency has recently hired a new person to do more outreach. So I'm feeling positive that things will "pick up!" We were told from the very beginning that it could take a year, to year in a half. So we are half way there, could be less, could be more! I believe with all my heart the right situation will happen. And sooner than later!

We are still doing more to prepare. We signed up for and started taking classes on newborn care. I have lots of experience but Glenn not as much and I'm all for us doing all we can to be the best parents we can. I love learning more details from pediatric doctors and nurses. We make such a great team. All of this only bonds us closer and will make us better parents.

I love how the nursery is starting look. It makes it all more real. We are creating the right energy for our little one.

We are getting good at waiting! So, that's were we are. Waiting but knowing with full faith we will have our baby soon.

6/30/09

Another call!

I got a call from my social worker today saying she wanted to present us to a birth mom that was leaving the hospital today. Were were avail to pick up the baby that afternoon if she chose us? YES!! I said. She told me some details about the mom and baby and I said yes to all of it. I called my hubby right away and he said YES too, of course. I rushed home and we both started getting the room even more ready. He had literally just sold our Queen size bed that was in our former guest room, future nursery. We already planned to use this 4th of July weekend to get the room more organized. Wow! Our hearts were racing and our stomachs full of butterflies. We were told it was a little girl. I looked at all our the lovely clothes so many great friends and family have donated. I couldn't help linger on the girl clothes, wondering if we would really have a little one to wear them by that night!? I wanted to pick the first outfit out that we would bring our baby home in. So full of emotion. Such love is already in my heart for our baby. A giddy, nervous excitement we both felt.

Alas, we were not chosen. The birth mom chose a couple that already have children. She wanted her daughter to have siblings. I can understand that. The feeling in my stomach and chest immediately changed. It sunk. My heart was sad. We were both disappointed but knew it was just not meant to be. Now, still more time to prepare. It's all good. Just intense! Life could change that quickly! So surreal. So beautiful.

This little girl that will not be ours has a good home. That's a good thing. Throughout the day as we waited to hear, we sent loving thoughts and prayers to the birth mom as she made her decision. We also sent love & light to the little baby. We still do. We took many deep, long breaths to calm our nerves. We hugged each other a lot and made lists of what we need and what to do. I'm looking forward to doing them this weekend. We are going to register at Babies R Us and Target. That will be fun!

The baby today is an African-American. We are open to any race or sex. We know we just want a baby to love and will love it with all our hearts, as our own no matter what. Though once we knew it's ethnicity my sweet husband got on line and found some good articles to read about transracial adoption. More good info to have, just in case. We've already read many stories, articles and book and have taken seminars on the subject to prepare but it was good to further discuss possible conversations with others and with our child that we might have. I love that about us. We talk through everything. We are such great partners. I know we will make amazing parents. It was just 7 weeks ago, we were presented to another mom who did not choose us. We are getting closer. I can feel it.

We will be parents!! We will hold that sweet baby and all that we have gone through will just slip away and we will just focus on the magnifence of this perfect being and be in awe of the love we feel for him or her. I get emotional just thinking about. Right now, I just have an attitude of gratitude and will continue to live life with an open, gracious and loving heart.

6/11/09

Still Waiting

It's been 6 weeks since last my post. Much has happened. So much to write. I was thinking about writing on Mother's Day but wanted to just have that be about my own mom. She passed away a year ago, last May 8th.

We spent this year's Mother's Day in nature going for a long 3 hour beautiful hike in the Malibu Hills. Very therapeutic & inspiring. We went down to an amazing Grotto. There were some pretty steep and jagged boulders that we had to maneuver around. It took much focus and step by step action to reach our destination. I realized it was a wonderful metaphor for life. One must take it all one step at a time and be truly present in the moment so you don't loose your balance and get off course. Also, deep breathing helped. We so often get scattered and lose sight of each precious thing that is in front of us. Or else we are so focused on the bright light at the end of the tunnel we miss out on the gems along the way. So, it's all about balance. That is my intent in life. I am not fist clenched, so crazed about wanting our baby right this very minute anymore. I'm just enjoying the journey and knowing the perfect time and birth mom will present itself. I'm not saying it's always easy. I will get to that stuff later. I just want to let you know where I am right now.

Being in a good place really helped with a call we got while our regular social worker was on vacation. I had just spoke with her before her trip and she said it was really slow right then. So, we just didn't expect anything, especially for the two weeks she was out. Well, we got a call from the lady covering for our social worker saying she was presenting our profile to a birthmom that day who had given birth 2 days ago and was leaving the hospital today. She wanted to make sure we would be prepared if we had to come pick up the baby that afternoon! Wow! We were and told her so. We have a car seat and I put it in my trunk, in case. When I called my husband I could hear the excitment in his voice too. He had a business trip coming up and would gladly send someone else in his place. Our stomachs were filled with butterflies all day. Each time my cell phone rang, my heart pace accelerated! It was tense. She called about 9am-ish and it wasn't until almost 5:30pm she finally called back saying we were not chosen.

Major disappointment. Big let down. Sadness. But honestly it was okay. We knew it was just not meant to be. There were no tears, just acceptance, and actually feeling like it was a step closer to getting our baby. It was something, at least. It is now just part of our adoption story. It sure had our minds racing that day and we had a lovely longer walk than normal that evening with the dogs, as we discussed our thoughts and feelings. We made more plans and have been doing more reorganizing in our house and selling things on Craigslist.

Okay, here is the part that can be hard for me. I have a part time gig as a Nanny for 2 amazing boys. Age 4 & almost 9. They are so smart, creative, fun and funny. I enjoy my afernoons with them. I pick them up weekdays afterschool at their nice private school. I believe I'm the only nanny there. It's all moms & a couple of dads & few granddmas . I see all the moms talking, who have become friends through their kids being classmates. I hear their conversations about classes and playdates and parenting and that's where I feel left out. All of them are nice and smile at me and say Hello but I'm clearly not a mom and so therefore they have no need to connect with me. Understandable. It just makes me long for that time when I'm the mom and I can plan play dates and talk about our little one's challenging times with his heavy homework load or what should we do for the weekend. It seems to intensify the missing piece in my life right now. I more aware of the child I don't have. It can make me sad. Sitting in the audience of tee ball and little league games with the parents does the same thing. I sit there with my book and water and just wait to cheer for my little guys. And I do. Being a caregiver for kids that aren't mine does not lessen the special feeling I have for them. The geninue love and pride I fee for them is strong. It assures me what a good mom I will be. Plus, getting ready for 3 grade math homework! Yikes!! I never did like long division!

I'm working on starting a support group for adoptive parents and will tell more about that soon. Joining more message boards on line and gaining more knowledge and hearing more stories. Also reading other blogs on adoption.

All is well. Sending love & light to our birthmom, wherever she is.

4/29/09

Our Babymoon




My hubby and I just went away for an extended weekend with our dogs. It was a mini-vacation that we are hoping will be our Babymoon. That's the last trip you take together as a couple before the baby comes. We rented a cabin in the hills of Julian, California which is in San Diego County. It was just lovely. We brought the dogs because this cabin is geared for dogs to run around and play. Since we don't have a big backyard we knew they would love to roam around all that land and they sure did! They ran and dug holes and played and were just in doggie nirvana. It was glorious to watch. We also were able to nap and relax and BBQ and sit by the fireplace at night and connect and be romantic. It was a magical 3 days.

Our thoughts were filled with how much more fun it will be when we have our child with us. It will be more challenging and more to pack but so worth it. We talked about the many trips and vacations we took as children growing up and look forward to making those kinds of memories with our kids. I love traveling and the new facets of my personality it brings forth. I love experiencing new places and people and cultures. Even if it's just a few hours drive away I get a feeling of being away from it all and find the time to exhale and get a new perspective on my life. It's invigorating!

I also love antiquing and discovering old treasures in small over crowded little shops and antique malls in the small towns we find along the little winding roads or highways. You never know what you may find in them. I like the feeling of time gone by and the unknown memories the piece holds. I like yard sales for the same reason. Oh and getting a good bargain is nice too! These are things that my mother loved and instilled in me. I hope to also pass along this tradition of hunting for bargains and appreciating items that were once loved and now it's their time to move along to a new place. To see the value in all things and to find the story behind them. To observe people and to see that we are all connected and really the same at heart. These are things I think of when I visit new places.

I can't wait to hit the road with my little one and watch them grow and gain so much knowledge from all the places we'll travel to and the people we'll meet along the way!

4/15/09

Spring Holidays

Well, Passover & Easter have come and gone. We enjoyed them both, as we always do. Went to a lovely Seder which is that like a Jewish Thanksgiving. Good food, good people and an historical story to tell and remember. Also a time to be grateful. It's also a time for family and friends. We know ours will be bigger soon. We were able to be a part of a huge Easter egg hunt and seeing all the kids so excited was just adorable. I love seeing them all dressed up. Little boys in their sweater vests and ties and the girls in their pretty dresses. So sweet. Glenn and I just watched with big smiles on our faces knowing we would be watching our kids doing the same thing soon. We look forward to sharing with our children these wonderful traditions and teaching them the importance and special meaning each holiday holds for us. How fun it will be having our little one search for the hidden Afikoman and opening the door to let Elijah in at a Seder. How thrilling to hide eggs around our place for the little one to find. Hmmm. Similar traditions of "searching for something lost and then the joy in finding it." Symbolic. Wonderful!

I've had a big transformation lately. I'm feeling so much more at peace and much lighter. For so long, I've been "crazy lady, obsessed with being a mom" that I lost sight of who I was. I am Angela. I am me. I must not and cannot forget that. I must remember and know exactly who I am before our baby comes, so that 18 to 20 years later when they leave, I'm not a lost, empty woman wondering what happened to me. So, I'm really letting go of the the past and being in each moment. I'm more fully present and feel so grateful and happy. I'm also looking into things I can do to share with others and feel connected. So, I'm starting a local support group for adoptive parents. I'm really excited about it and already have a couple interested parties. It will start slowly and grow. Looking into ways to pamper and care for myself more and also be more active and productive. I'm not waiting for the phone to ring with that call that a birth mom has chosen us. I know it will happen when it's suppose to happen, however it will happen with the right person. I feel a big relief with this realization and shift in perception. I'm feel more authentically me.

My life is so good! I have an attitude of gratitude!!

4/9/09

The waiting is the hardest part!

Still waiting. I feel in limbo. I want to be a mom so much!!! It's not in my control. I can do nothing but wait. It's very frustrating, sad, upsetting and odd. The not knowing can drive you crazy!! We are sure keeping busy but we are filled with anticipation of becoming parents. Our minds and hearts are all about that. So it seems everything else is a distraction. We are focusing on really appreciating this time we have 'before the kids" when it's just us. Trying to bond more as a couple and work out any kinks we still have. We want to be the best us we can be, as individuals and as a couple. So, we do the work needed and we wait. It's hard, there is not denying it. The waiting is the hardest part. (Yes, I can hear the Tom Petty song in my head too.)

3/1/09

Still waiting!

It's been 38 days since we met with the adoption social worker and it feels like longer. Patience is a virtue but it's bloody hard when you are longing for something with all your being! But I keep saying "Trust in the flow of the Universe." I've also found a great new tool that brings me such hope and inspiration. It's a half hour TV show called "Adoption Stories" on Discovers/Health Channel. I love it. Glenn and I watch some together and get emotional and know it will happen to us.

We also made some baby purchases. (Thank you, Craig's list!). A Co-sleeper and Pack and Play. We're getting a car seat and sling from a friend today and my sister-in-law has been very generous with so many things. A bassinet, diaper bags, and lots of clothes. So has my good friend and mom to my GodSon. I'm so grateful! Another friend suggested giving me a baby shower! Wow! That would be amazing! So, we may register somewhere, like Babies R us or Target. The Social worker suggested doing this also.

We've also put the word out that we are avail for babysitting more to our pals with kids. Because it's so fun and gets us better prepared and we want to be there for support and build a good support team!

So, getting more and more excited with each day and also more and more aware of all our freedom now that may soon be gone. So an impromptu date last night was fun. Things like that that won't be so easy once baby is here. But we won't complain! We are homebodies at heart really. Our hearts and home is so very ready to receive our new addition to the family. We're getting the dogs ready too by more training. They are such gentle beings. Love them so much!

Going to go babysit one of our lil buddies right now.

2/6/09

...and now back to our regularly scheduled waiting

We've dotted every i and crossed every t, and now we settle in for the Big Wait.

But we're not just sitting on our hands, we're starting to prep the house for our eventual new arrival. As Angie has said many a time, it's like being pregnant but not knowing how long it will take.

Last weekend, I started the process of clearing the office so it can also become a guest room, to let the now guest room become the baby's room. The first thing I did was clean up my old desktop PC of any leftover files, then broke it down, salvaged all the parts that are useful, and dropped it off at an e-cycling place. With the box, keyboard, monitor, and speakers gone, there's a surprising amount more room in the office. I'm not sorry to see the PC era end in our house, as I'm now a Mac devotee (much to the shock of "2003 Glenn").

We have an open space under our stairs that is blocked by the sofa. Until now it's just been a blank area, gathering dust. But we have to get rid of some bookshelves in the office, so I took a couple small collapsing shelves we had against the living room window, moved them under the stairs, and put all my writing books, Angie's acting books and plays, and our spirituality stuff on those shelves. Now that space feels like a cozy little book nook, and I could even see putting an area rug back there. Someday it'll be a great spot for a play area for our child, as it kinda feels like a secret fort.

Next is figuring out what to do with the two desks. My mom gave us an idea of taking off the sliding doors to the closet in the baby's room to open the space up, and I think we'll do that in the office as well, so perhaps the rolltop will go in the closet. I like both desks a lot for different reasons, and can't imagine getting rid of either one. By ousting 2 of the 3 bookshelves, and the cat tree that's falling apart, plus moving a desk into the closet area, I think we could even fit a small couch, daybed, or futon in the office.

We're managing to secure a lot of needed furniture from friends and family, but are also digging through craigslist to find anything else we might want. The big necessity is a changing table or dresser, or combination of both.

We moved the bed in the baby's room to the corner and filled the bookshelf in there with all the kids' books Angie's collected over the years. No shortage of books in our house, that's for sure. I always think books make a house feel like a home. And I find homes without books to feel kind of sterile and empty.

Two weeks ago we went to the local library and even checked out some books, several on adoption. One of them is a compilation of adoption parent stories that we've been reading to each other when it's not too late at night. It's all certainly making us feel more and more the reality of the situation - both the benefits and challenges of adoption.

There's lots for us to do as we wait, so that it doesn't feel so... "waity."

1/24/09

It's becoming apparent that we will be parents.

First off, Happy New Year! I'm feeling so excited about 2009. This will be the year we become parents. So much has happened already. I felt so proud of my country as we welcomed our new president into office. It was such a thrilling day to see all the people who weathered the cold to be there in person on the mall in Washington D.C. I'm so grateful that our child will come into the world with a man like Barack Obama as our leader. It was a day that I will not soon forget. It was a spectacular moment in history! One that instilled me with so much hope. Hope for the future.

We got final approval for adoption and are officially in "the book" for birth mothers to choose from. We met with our new social worker who we just clicked with and are so glad she will be on this journey with us. I will admit that I was a little nervous on our way to meet her, not knowing what she would be like and feeling such an importance in her role in our life. But I felt so comfortable with her right away. She told us that we got our home study completed in record time. That some people take a year just to get all their paper work done. We were too eager for any fooling around and got to action fast. She also said that our Family Profile was exceptional too. It's good to hear because we worked so hard on all the details and shared so openly about ourselves. She also told us there are things we can do to connect with potential birth moms by putting the word out to all we know. Because you never know if you will know someone, who knows someone, who knows someone and so on who may know a woman investigating the option of adoption. I already called my OB/GYN about it and will make more calls to all our doctors.

I wrote our "Dear Birth Mom" letter recently and that was very emotional. Such an odd, yet amazing process it was. Here I was writing to a total stranger that could potentially venture into such an intimate and unique relationship with us. When I wrote about what kind of parents we would be, it just felt so real and exciting. When Glenn read the letter he got emotional also. I was a little worried about writing it and even thought I should just have Glenn do it since he's the better writer between us, but I just felt the inspiration one night and wrote it in one sitting. It came from my heart and I felt very proud of it. Of course, Glenn proofread it.

I know it will be full of challenges but I also know that we will make such wonderful parents. It's something we were both born to be! No doubt about it. And now as it could happen any time between now and 6 months, so many of our thoughts and conversations are geared towards our future as parents.

We want everything to be ready for him or her when they arrive, so we are starting that process. We are also discussing what to say and do when it comes to how we want to handle telling the details of the birth mom and the actual adoption story to others. Part of the reason I wanted to write this blog was to share the process with family and friends and anyone else interested in the amazing journey of adoption. But now as it grows nearer, our parental protective instincts are kicking in. We want to do the very best thing for our child. So that is why we are doing much research and reading all we can from other adoptive parents and children and also from experts in the field. We feel it's best to not share intimate details about the birth mom's situation or history or how the process may unfold with anyone other than our child. It should remain their story to decide to tell when they are older. We know how much those that love us will understand and support this decision because it is best for our child. So, even though we normally are very open people, there comes a time when some things are just better left in the "it's personal" file. This is one of them. It will remain between us, our baby, the birth mom and our social worker. We are still going to blog and share more information about our journey, we just felt best to put that out there now.

Knowing that our baby may come at anytime, I've decided to make a change for the better by getting in better shape so I will have more energy when the baby comes. Especially in my upper body, since I'll be doing a lot of holding and cuddling the wee one. I'll be slinging him or her around with me where ever I go. I won't want want to let them go! I can't wait! I'm also reading books on how to better train and prepare our dogs for when the baby arrives. I'll post more on that another time.

Until next time.

some progress!

The new year has already started quite well with regards to our adoption journey.

We received notice that our home study was officially completed and approved, and we're now "in the system." This was on the first Friday of the new year.

Then we found out who our social worker for the placement process will be. This past week, we met with her. She said most parents don't ask to meet with her, so it was a bit unusual to have an in-person meeting. But she took an hour and a half with us, answered all our questions and then some, and made us feel even more excited and hopeful about our adventure. She's the perfect match to help us - very friendly, open, talkative. And she loves Coffee Bean. We think she'll be a great ally in this next phase.

So a lot of folks have been asking, what is the next phase? Do we just sit and wait for someone to "pick" us?

The answer is yes and no. We're not auditioning for the role of parents (even though it feels like it sometimes), and the prospective birth mothers don't get a giant encyclopedia of waiting parents to weed through. The social worker meets with the birth parents, learns what they feel comfortable with, and then determines which adoptive parents from her roster of clients most closely fit the bill. Sometimes it's a specific attribute, like religion or family life - and sometimes it's a gut feeling, something intangible. Then the social worker gets the adoptive parents involved, and they all work together to make sure the situation is right for everyone - especially the child. These matches can happen very quickly or take months, and sometimes matches that look promising don't happen at all even late into the process.

So there is an element of waiting - a very large element. But we can also do some outreach ourselves. We are considering some advertising options, but more likely will be looking to friends, family, and the larger community to see if we can find a birth mother on our own. Our social worker encouraged us to put it out there - so if you reading this can think of someone who might know someone who might be a birth mother considering adoption... please get in touch with us. We'll be looking to some of the people we know who are involved in social work, or volunteering, or health care.

We're both getting more excited every day, and are talking about how to really transform the guest bedroom into the baby's room (which will require making changes to the office and our bedroom as well). We spent some time at the library today and got some more books on adoption, parenting adoptive kids, etc. The reality is sinking in that sooner, rather than later, we will be bringing a new child into our hearts and lives forever. I even told my coworkers, so they wouldn't be surprised if suddenly one day I had to take some time off for a new baby.

Which brings me to my next point. We're generally very open people, tend to not keep secrets, wear our hearts on our sleeves, and often give out more information than is really necessary. But with respect to our adoption, we must for the sake of our child, set some informational boundaries. Our child's birth story, whatever the details, belong to him or her alone. We, as parents, are merely the keepers of that story. But what we cannot do is be cavalier about it, for a million different reasons. So the reality is, for our friends and family, we are planning to keep that story to ourselves. It's not because we don't trust you, it's because it's simply not our decision to make. We just ask that you be understanding and respectful of that.

All of which is to say that it feels more real than ever now, and all the more exciting.