Sunday, August 24, 2014

Signs Of Life

I knew I'd have to let go of a little of my OCD when our little one came home, and I was right. It's been a challenge, but one I'm happy to accept. Obviously. I'm actually pretty amazed I'm okay with a slightly messy house. In fact I find it satisfying. I recently read an article about how creativity thrives in a messy space. Items not in their "proper" place somehow forces your mind to think outside of the box. Interesting, although, I can't say I've felt more creative lately. I can say I seem to be more comfortable at home. The house feels very lived in now. 

Toys, burp cloths, bottles, kid's books on a shelf that used to house electronics (now moved out of reach), brightly colored everything strewn on the floor. These are signs of a child. A child at play, learning and growing. Something I've waited a long time for.

Dishes in the sink, crumbs on our dining table, used bibs hanging from a dining chair. These are signs of family dinners. Meals made by hand with love. Togetherness.

A bathtub filled with squirt toys, rubber duckies, tiny washcloths, piles of hooded towels. These are signs of a bedtime routine. A sense of calm brought on by warm running water and the smell of lavender. 

An unmade bed, soft multicolored blankies unfolded due to frequent use, pillows everywhere except the head of the bed. These are signs of cuddling and mid-day tickle attacks. Signs of nap time and comfort.

I'd much rather have these signs of life than a clean house.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Adoption Love Blog Link-Up

Blogging about our adoption journey has been very therapeutic for me. I love the sense of community I've found with other adoption bloggers as well. I think the support we give one another throughout this process and into parenthood is incredibly valuable. As a result, I've decided to start a monthly blog link-up specifically for adoption blogs. When I first started blogging, it was to spread awareness of our hopes to adopt. I felt so small though when I realized I was only one tiny blog in a sea of adoption bloggers. This blog link-up encompasses any adoption blog. Whether you're waiting for your child, or they're already home. If you write about the blessing of adoption, share the love! We can learn and grow from one another. 

As part of the link up each month, I'll pose a topic for discussion. If you'd like to join in, follow the rules on the "Adoption Love Link-Up" page at the top of this blog. The more you share, visit, and comment on other blogs, the more traffic your blog will receive as well. Win for everyone!

This month's topic:
Since this is a brand spankin' new link-up, let's start with intros. How did you become part of the adoption world and where is your family at in their journey? (*This topic is closed. Click here for the current topic.)

Looking forward to reading your posts!

*UPDATE: To clarify, you don't have to write about the monthly topic before you post your link on the Adoption Love Link-Up page. I don't like the idea of telling people what they have to write about on their own blogs. If you want to write about the discussion topic, you can do so at any time after you post your link. Of course, there's a new topic every month so don't wait too long...if you want pressure. ;)

Friday, August 15, 2014

The Way It Is

Adoption doesn't cure infertility. I still live in my body. These days, there's generally another little body hanging off mine via sling, or wrap, or good old fashioned hip-sittin'. While Squeaks has changed my heart and enriched my life beyond anything I could have imagined, my body remains the same. Fertilely challenged. 

I'm not complaining. God used my infertility to open my heart to adoption. I would have complained in the past, before Squeaks, but I'm not now. I am simply reminded of the fact once in awhile, I feel a slight twinge deep down, and then push past it. I bring it up now because, wait for it.... I want more kids. Squeaks is so awesome, I want ten of her! It's no secret I want a big family. But it's just not an easy thing for us. That's just the way it is.

The phrase that prompted this post has been on my mind since an innocent unknowing soul uttered it weeks ago. He didn't know Squeaks was adopted, didn't know about our years of fertility treatments and failed IVF, didn't know about our Evelyn waiting for us in Heaven. So as he said "When you guys decide to have more children...", he just didn't know what that would entail. Not that he should have, my mind has just been chewing on it. The average person can say "Let's try for more kids!" and head happily to the bedroom with their husband or wife. For us though (more specifically me) it would take serious medical intervention, possibly donor eggs, mass quantities of meds, lots of money, and/or an act of God. I am not discounting an act of God, but 
I'm also not counting on it. Hopeful but realistic. So adopting again it is! Hold on, before everyone gets worked up, this isn't any kind of announcement. This is an "eventually" kind of thing. Cause, you know what? I've learned something. Wanting to adopt is not the same thing as being called to adopt. We were called to adopt and it is obvious to us now that God meant for Squeaks to be ours all along. Adoption isn't a cure. It's not a fix. My heart still wants to experience a healthy pregnancy and 
I think that's normal for most woman. Squeaks didn't fix my body.

I am a driven person. I use to be determined to get pregnant, then I was determined to adopt. It's been nice the past seven months to switch from "I want to be a mom! I NEED to be a mom! Baby, baby, BABY!! GIVE ME A BABY!!!" to "I'm Squeaks' MOM!!!!" *insert teary-eyed, joy filled grin here*. Not feeling that call, not having that drive feels foreign, but in a very good way. It's as if I've broken a very strong habit. Well, actually, that's exactly what it is. It was a habit to want, want, want. What a relief it is to bask in God's blessings. I need to hold on to this feeling. We will wait and see where God takes us. We will adopt again, when/if God eventually calls us to.
 Showing off her two new teeth!

Friday, August 8, 2014

7 Months and 1 Year

Squeak's seven month birthday lands on the one year anniversary of the day I started blogging! 

One year since I invited the world in to read about our adoption journey.
One year since I realized I enjoy writing A LOT!
One year since God started blessing me through friendships with other bloggers I've never met (but hope to someday).
One year since I wrote "I Woke Up".

Seven months since I became Squeaks' mom.
Seven months since she made this blog a happy place.
Seven months since God blew. My. Mind. And He continues to do it again and again every time I look at her.

I see no reason to stop writing now.
Here are a few pictures from her seven month mini photo shoot. She's trying really hard to get mobile, so taking these pictures was a lot of fun. She almost came right off the front of the chair a few times.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Clapping One Handed

Some of you may have noticed, if you look very closely at a few of my pictures, that I have no fingers on my left hand. I know this seems like something maybe one might have mentioned sooner, but I really didn't think it was important. In fact I forget sometimes because I've become so accustomed to it. 

I've mentioned before that I was in a car accident about a month after Josh and I were married, but 
I've never really written about what happened after. Well, the short version is, I rolled my car down a freeway overpass (the result of another driver distracted by her cell phone). My left hand was crushed (later removed entirely due to infection), and I broke my neck and back. I spent three weeks in the hospital, and three months in a halo. It took years to physically heal and acclimate to my hand. I struggled with self esteem issues, especially as a new wife. Josh was by my side, never wavered, and supported me patiently, as he still does.

Now, I thank God for taking my left hand. In fact, it makes me tear up, I'm so thankful. Not having my left hand has forced me to slow down. It is nearly impossible to multi-task one handed. I had to relearn a lot. Tying shoes, chopping veggies, typing, anything you do with two hands. But now, a lot of those things I can actually do better then before my accident. I type faster, chop faster, and tie better bows then I ever did before, because I was forced to slow down. I expect parenting will be the same. I am forced to slow down when changing diapers, dressing, feeding, and playing with Squeaks. And isn't that a gift!? To slow down and watch, learn, and enjoy her life happening. Enjoy living with her. 

Someday, Squeaks will notice my hand, notice that it's different. I look forward to it. My hand is a visual aid. A visible example of God's grace, mercy, and His ability to make beautiful things from life's trials. I did NOT thank God for my accident when it happened. I panicked. I questioned Him. I was angry and scared. Now I can show my daughter the happiness and discipline that come from the trials God allows you to face. I am proof you can clap one handed.
Recently Josh and I were selected for a great honor. Our story and picture, along with fifty others, will be displayed at Josh's work as an example of what the hospital stands for and the people they help. I've always thought it was pretty awesome that Josh ended up working for the hospital where I was treated after my car accident. It is also the hospital where Evelyn was born. It holds a special place in our hearts. The above picture is one of many they took. It was a fun and humbling experience.
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