Fun To Be ONE

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Our little angel had his first birthday! We decided to do the unconventional route and celebrate in his birth state near where he was born so that family & friends (and yes birth family too) could be there.

We rented a room at a Carousel near the hospital where he was born and began party planning. It was a little stressful planning everything from a few states away but it all worked out. Family and friends who supported us through our adoption journey as well as his birth family were able to attend.

Some people were confused or bothered by this (usually older people) but I really want to ensure that his birth-family is apart of his life and that they are apart of his life. I’m friends with his birth-mom, we have a special relationship. She wasn’t ready to be a parent¬†and we longed to be parents. She’s grateful that we’ve welcomed her son as our own and that we encouraged her to be apart of his life. It’s not a lack of love or lack of bonding on her part it’s just where she is in her life. She was devistated and heart broken to put him up for adoption but she knew she had to be responsible with her decision and put Mateus first. She said she knew when she met us that we were meant to be her baby’s parents.

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Back to party planning…… we decided on an safari theme since the carousel had different animals on it and we often call our little guy a little monkey. I did a picture collage with pictures from birth then monthly. It was so much fun seeing how much he grew every month. Our baby is now a little boy!

10306639_10153202567761950_3574116879013964926_n 11150409_10153202567836950_986541358004473825_nwe had jungle juice at our watering hole, fruits and a few candies that we creatively named like: Gorilla Chips (banana chips), twigs (pretzels), snake eyes (grapes), peanut butter pretzels (elephant treats), safari sunrises (orange slices), ants in the mud (chocolate covered rasins), fire ants (crasins), Tarzan Vines (green licorice), crocodile eggs (doughnut holes) – instead of cake, etc. It was fun brainstorming and coming up with names for each item. We offered gluten & dairy free items (since we are) to keep everyone happy. ūüôā

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The kids all had fun riding on the carousel and adults enjoyed visiting. Mateus was teething and off his nap schedule so he wasn’t his usual out going self but still managed to have a good time. Our trip was fast, hectic and a bit stressful but well worth it. It meant so much to us that our friends who were so supportive during our adoption journey got to be there. Having Mateus’ birth-family there was great! It wasn’t awkward or uncomfortable.

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On his actual birthday we were very low key. My sister came to town and we went out to the Red Rock Canyon. It was great. Mateus loves being out doors. He also got the dreaded (on my part) first haircut. I am really bummed, I miss his long hair but it’s no longer in his eyes and now he looks like a boy and I’m not constantly correcting people about his gender.

This past year was a whirl wind and we’re so thankful and blessed to be Mateus’ parents. He is such an incredible kid and we are head over heels for him.I am beyond grateful that we have been blessed to be his parents, he is truly our greatest joy!

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National Adoption Month

There have been a lot of trending articles, blogs and stories about adoption this month. I’ve found them to be so interesting and some to be eye opening. One of the most eye opening ones were very negative towards the adopting family because they’re not their “biological family”. Negativity towards the saying An adoptive child grows in their mommy’s heart” ¬†I found some blogs/stories to be very sad.

For me I loved our son and yearned to have him in our lives for YEARS, I cried for him every month that we weren’t successful, I rejoiced when his birth-mom chose us. Now just because I use the term birth-mom does not have any negative meaning to him he will know her as *Anna and if he wishes, Momma*Anna, she is and will always be his birth-mom. She chose us to be his parents so he will call us mom and dad (I was surprised that some adopt-ees dislike calling their adopting parents mom & dad). Mateus will have 4 parents and we all love him. I spent years mourning the fact that I cannot carry a baby (let’s be honest, couldn’t make a baby either). However, I love that little guy, MORE THAN ANYTHING!

Being his mom, getting to love him, care for him, raise him is an answer to our prayers.He will always know who made him, nurtured him, cared for him for 9 months and made the decision that she wanted us to have him, she made us a family and we welcomed him to our family, are raising him, loving him as if he were born from us and that we forever will do! She will be in his life just as she has been and I hope and pray that Mateus doesn’t have resentment towards any of us.

Truth-He is such an amazing gift (this was another thing that was talked about negatively in blogs by some adopt-ees this month, when adopting parents refer to their adopted child as a gift, I find this very odd, ¬†every baby should be seen as a gift. Mateus’ birth mom loves him so much that she made a decision that was best for him not necessarily best for her and I say it like that because I know it’s hard on her. I get the messages, I see the posts and I know she thinks about him all the time, that she longs to see him (which we’re going for a visit soon) and I also know that she wasn’t in a place where she could take care of him and she says when she sees pictures of him, has a visit and even video chat that it helps her know she made the right decision and he is with the best possible family.Can you imagine how hard that has got to be on her? Someone mentioned that they felt like they were taken from their real family and that their adopting family felt like had saved them from a horrible life. The truth is becoming parents saved us. We were so broken by not being able to have our baby and Anna* says that she feels blessed that she was able to make our biggest dreams for a family come true. *Anna had the need to know that her son would be well cared for, loved and nurtured…. our needs fit together.

She wants a family, some day down the road but to us she will always be an extension of our family. I know that for me, genetics have very little to do with who my family is, I had a birth-mom who I consider just an egg donor. I have a step mom who is my mom. I know it’s not the same as if she had birthed me but I also know that she loves me more than my birth-mom ever could.

One of my favorite sayings is “each person carries with them at least one piece to someone else’s puzzle” when it comes to adoption this is so true.¬†lil turkey beach with baby beach playground mommy mateus beach

Our little guy has said his first few words Momma, Mom and Yeah. He is shaking his head no (appropriately) and is walking holding on to furniture. He’ll be 8 months old soon! So hard to believe!

Happy Thanks Giving! Our little guy and I will be doing the Turkey Trot, I can’t wait! He loves the jogging stroller, it’s so fun to hear him squeal and babble while we’re out for a run. Gobble-Gobble!

(*Anna is not her name but for privacy I changed it)

I am

Looking back, my poem from June 11, 2012

I Am

I am a wife and a friend
I wonder if we will have a family
I hear the hum of the fan
I see light peaking through the blinds
I want a large family
I am a wife and a friend

I pretend my father is on a long vacation
I feel like I need to hold my breath
I touch the sun shining through the window
I worry about letting my husband down
I cry for the children we can’t have
I am a wife and a friend

I understand God has a plan
I say I must be here for a reason
I dream about my husband being a father
I try to always lend a helping hand
I hope to be a mom
I am a wife and a friend

What’s changed…..

I am still a wife and a friend but, now I can add that: I am a mom, blessed and (I don’t get emotional now when I mention) I’m infertile.

We do have a family. A start of one. As someone who always wanted a large family I wonder if God has any more little ones in our future but I don’t dwell on it every second and it doesn’t bring me to tears.

I now hear the hum of lullabies, our little one blabbering and making noises on/with everything he comes across and these sounds melt my heart.

I see toys, books, burp rags, laundry to fold, dishes to do and I’m content. My to do list has more than quadrupled and with time it will get done. I admit that a lot of time I would rather forget about most of it and just hang with Mateus.

I want a happy home, full of people and love. This can be our family, extended family and friends. Currently we live far from our close family and friends but maybe that will change in the future.

I still miss my dad, I think about how much fun he’d have with Mateus and know he’d be honored that his middle name is in his honor. If he were alive he’d be sharing our journey with everyone. Seeing God’s hand in this adoption has been such a gift. It’s not very often we get to witness a miracle.

I feel like I want to pause time, enjoy Mateus being a baby and freeze these moments. He’s grown and changed so much in the past (almost) 7 months.

I worry about contact with his birthmom, (I am hopeful that being in contact will that make it easier on her), I worry that our open communication could be harder, I don’t want to make anything harder on her. I love that when she says she’s missing him I can send her a picture and she knows he is ok, loved and being cared for but I can only imagine how hard it must be on her.

I cry when I think of where we were last year at this time, hopeless and devastated such a reminder that so much of life is temporary.

I’ve seen that God has a plan and I’m excited to see what our next chapter will bring. There’s talk and plans starting to be made about moving. Where will we go? On a new adventure or revisit old stomping grounds? We shall see.

I know we’ve endured the path we have for a reason and I will not forget the journey we’ve had. While it was beyond painful I can not imagine our lives without Mateus and had we taken another route we wouldn’t have him.

Seeing my husband as a father has been magical. I never would have imagined, it brings tears to my eyes watching him hold him for the first time, fall in love with him in a matter of seconds and now playing together. It is such a joy for me!

I still try to lend a helping hand when needed but Mateus is my first priority. I quit a part time job and don’t volunteer like I use to for various projects, activities, etc. But I’ll make stuff at home for them, offer lot’s of suggestions and when we’re able to make donations.

I am a mom, yes and adoptive mom but a mom none the less. I say it like that because I recently had some moms who’ve had children and adopted children tell me that they don’t feel the bond with their adopted child. I would rather have Mateus and the bond that I have with him versus not have him at all. I don’t know about the difference between natural children and adopted children but I will say Mateus has my whole heart, there is nothing I wouldn’t do for him. He is my greatest joy and I am thankful that I get to be his “adoptive” mom.

A lot of changes have happened since the I Am poem. What a journey it has been. We went through heartache and hell getting to where we’ve ended up. Happier than we ever could have imagined and overjoyed that our little miracle is here.

My heart breaks for those on the infertility journey, it sucks. I’m sorry if you’re going through it. My prayers are with you.

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Family, Birth-Family

Some people find it odd that we’ve become friends with our son’s Birth Family. For me that was never a question if we should, I knew for our son’s sake, it was best. I truly enjoy the time I’ve spent with his Birth-Mom and valued the time I’ve had with their families. That’s not to say friendship didn’t come easily for everyone, (especially since not everyone was supportive of the adoption) but as things became final all of that changed.

So far we’ve had 3 visits (post hospital discharge) with his Birth Family and will have more in the future. Since we live in a different state there are set boundaries. I’ve created a private Facebook group for them so they can watch our little guy grow and be a part of his life. We post updates, share milestones, an occasional video and they keep us posted as well. I hope someday it will provide our Lil-Man with comfort knowing he’s always been loved and the best part will be that they’ve always been a part of his life.

Before our little guy arrived we threw a blessing shower for his Birth-Mom. Her friends and family came and showered her with gifts to celebrate her. It was a great experience. I was able to meet a lot of her extended family along and some of¬†her close friends. Granted it was a little awkward especially as someone introduced me as the woman the¬†Birth-Mom was making the sacrifice for ….ouch….I always wanted to ask that person how she thought we came in to contact, we weren’t going around asking expectant mothers if they’d be willing to make a sacrifice and give us their baby. His birth-mom was looking for a family for her baby. She found us, and that is only the beginning of our story.

Our son’s Birth-Mom turned to friend in October opening up about her pregnancy and saying she was considering placing her baby for adoption but that she wanted to find a family for him/her. That friend had just been emailed from my cousin, our letter to family and friends asking if anyone knew of someone expecting wishing to place their baby for adoption and she shared our story. ¬†On Christmas Day his birth-mom asked that same mutual friend if we were still looking for a baby to adopt, and they called us, that’s how we came to meet.

It is crazy to think that a year ago this month we came to the end of the road with our fertility clinic, wrote a letter to friends and family and put our journey out there. It also marks the one year since our Lil-Man’s Birth-Mom was almost 4 months pregnant, scared, overwhelmed, worried, questioning adoption and looking for a couple who could raise and love her baby as if he/she were their own. Our friend of the family gave her our letter sharing our journey and letting her know we would love to add her little one to our family. It was still a few months before she made contact with us.

Today marks the end of my 37th year, last year on my birthday-eve I felt like such a failure, I felt like I was less of a woman because my body wouldn’t do what it was suppose to do and I truly believed I had let my husband down. This past year was a blur…. full of change and the biggest and best adventure…..motherhood. It’s been something I have wanted to be for as long as I can remember and it is everything I imagined it would be and so much more than I ever dreamed, if that makes sense.

This year I know I’ve experienced a miracle, life sure has changed, in a good way! I quit a part-time job and am blessed to work from home. I enjoy every second I get to spend with our baby, he’s such a dream come true! I am thankful that we will get to share his life with his Birth-Family! I’m so thankful that times have changed and that we can have open communication with them. So many people love this little guy and I’m blessed to be one of them and thankful that his Birth-Mom chose my husband and I to be his parents.

Our Little-Big Love:

monkeys october 2014

mateus October 2014

6 months

Our Journey

I may not have gone where I intended to go but have ended up where I was meant to be. 

I met my husband 7 years ago on a blind date. Our friends tried fixing us up for about a year before I finally gave in and agreed. Why? Because I had already dated 2 of their friends and it was a bad idea both times.

I remember sitting in the coffee shop waiting for him to arrive and when I saw jeep pulling in I began praying, please let that be him, please, please, please……and it was. He took be on a 5 1/2 hour hike, it was a hard hike and I loved the challenge. We couldn’t stop talking and couldn’t wait for our next date.¬†

we made it up a tough hike, our first date

we made it up a tough hike, our first date

Looking out from the top, first date

Looking out from the top, first date

 

We were married within 10 months and wanted to begin our family as soon as possible (I was 31 and my husband 37).

our wedding

our wedding

I grew up in a full house and my husband an empty house. We talked about having a house full of kids. My husband just wanted to get started, I wanted at least 5 little ones. We tried, tried, tried, for over 62 months we failed. Unless if you’ve experienced infertility you can’t really understand how hard those failures are month after month. We saw doctor after doctor, started acupuncture, did crazy diets, hormones, Chinese Teas, changes in diets, cut back on exercise (I was an avid marathon runner and did a lot of boxing/kickboxing) surgeries, etc. and that journey came to a dead end. 5 years later we still had empty arms. I was inconsolable.

Our 5th anniversary, before our last treatment.

Our 5th anniversary, before our last treatment.

Last October we heard a sermon on desires of the heart and how God wants to bless you with those desires. We came home from church, I looked at my husband and said you know someone in our community has to be able to help us with a private adoption. I challenged him that we could put having a family in God’s hands and share our journey with our friends and family. He was a little hesitant but came to the conclusion that at this point what do we have to lose besides the embarrassment of telling others we struggled with infertility, (which is really stupid that we’re made to feel like less of a person because we can’t reproduce).

Very few people knew of our struggles to have a family so, we wrote a letter telling our story and shared our dreams for a family. Then we asked if anyone knew of someone expecting who happened to be looking for a home for their baby and wanting to do a private adoption, that they put them in to contact with us. We shared it on Facebook and emailed it to our friends/family.

Little did we know that shortly after we put it out there a family friend had a visitor, a young lady who was expecting and was thinking about adoption but unsure how to go about it. Our friend shared our story. 

November came and went, nothing. We waited, we knew God had orchestrated a plan for us that would be nothing short of a miracle.

A few months later in our Christmas cards we reminded everyone we were still waiting for our little one. That same young lady had returned to our friend’s house asking about us. On December 26th we got a call from my cousin asking if we were still looking for a baby to adopt. That same young lady who was just thinking about adoption was ready to start the process and she was due in 3 months. We were put in to contact with her and set up a time to meet. When this young lady laid eyes on us she got chills and became very emotional, she knew we were meant to be her baby’s parents.

We were able to be involved in the rest of the pregnancy and even threw a blessing shower for his birth-mom. 3 months later we welcomed a baby boy to the world and our family! Our dreams for a family are now our reality.

Baby Boy's Birthday!

Baby Boy’s Birthday!

baby arrived

our baby boy a few days old

our baby boy a few days old

7¬†years ago we had hope and then month by month, treatment after treatment, year after year it dwindled away. Then letting go and putting it out there to really let God work his magic and……………… here we are, with an amazing little miracle.¬†

For those of you struggling remember that the way we think things should happen is rarely the way they will. Be flexible, be open to different paths, don’t be too stubborn to think that your vision is the only way, and don’t let go of those dreams that come from your heart! There has to be away.

Give Faith a chance

Don’t give up on Desires of the Your Heart!

We named our little guy Mateus because it means a Gift from God, that’s exactly what he is.¬†

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Our happy little guy

Our happy little guy