It’s a Christmas (or Birthday) Miracle!

We have some news… we are expecting! No, I’m not pregnant. A wonderful girl named Samantha has chosen us to be the adoptive parents of a baby girl she is expecting in July. Holy cow! Which almost completely negates the 40 hours I spent designing and coding (and figuring out WordPress) with this forsaken website. But Hallelujiah! Everyone we talked to told us to brace for the long-haul. The first agency we went with told us less than half of their hopeful adoptive parents ever get chosen. So we got to work creating a website, getting a profile up on adoption.com, and getting the word out via social media. Turns out we didn’t need any of it. The very first birth mother we were presented with ended up choosing us – and we couldn’t be more excited! So hang tight while we brace for the short-haul of mere weeks until our baby girl arrives!

It truly has been a crazy week. Lincoln graduated pre-school on Thursday. He looks so dapper in his blue dress-shirt and tie, so I put that on him for his graduation program. Much to his dismay, we walked into the classroom and all of the kids were dressed in regular clothes. One kid shouted out, “That’s weird!” I resisted the urge to shout, “Your mom’s weird!” It would have been lost on the 5-year-old. All Lincoln said was, "I look handsome." Damn straight! After his graduation ceremony we took him swimming, followed by a graduation party with family, complete with strawberry cupcakes (requested, but not eaten, by Lincoln) and coconut cream cupcakes.

And if that weren’t enough stimulation for all of us, we had a BBQ the very next day with my family for Grandma Petty at our house. She was out of town on mother’s day, so I thought we needed to celebrate her when she came back. I also have this secret addiction to something called "Meat on a Stick". If I can find a reason to grill that stuff, I will. It is, however, a buttload of work. But oh, so worth it.

Giving Back

Making-Blankets-for-Utah-Share

My sister-in-law lost a baby at 28 weeks. I was heartbroken for her. I saw many reach out to her, as they should. One organization, Utah Share, helps people deal with pregnancy and infant loss. One way they do this is by providing blankets and burial clothing. May 23 marks the one-year anniversary of they day their little baby died, so to remember her, and also to give back, we got together and made lots of little blankets. It was fun, and it was such a great opportunity to do some service for those who suffer such a great loss as the death of a baby.

In my previous post I mentioned how hard it is to lose a baby. The first time we did in-vitro I was pregnant for only a few short weeks, but I truly do believe I was just as bonded to that child as someone who was pregnant for 30 weeks and loses a baby. For us, after pouring so much time and money and heart into it, it felt like the end of ever having another child. If you know someone who has suffered a miscarriage, please reach out to them. Offer them a meal, or just hang out with them and talk. I promise it will mean a lot.

All of this has me thinking about birth parents. In many ways, I can see how placing a baby for adoption might feel like the death of a child. I can only imagine that it takes a similar emotional toll. I wonder if these miscarriages, in some ways, have prepared me to empathize a little with a birth mom. To be able to understand, really understand, another’s grief is to relate to them on a different level. It bonds you to another person and makes you more charitable and loving. Orson F. Whitney wrote:

No pain that we suffer, no trial that we experience is wasted. It ministers to our education, to the development of such qualities as patience, faith, fortitude and humility. All that we suffer and all that we endure, especially when we endure it patiently, builds up our characters, purifies our hearts, expands our souls, and makes us more tender and charitable, more worthy to be called the children of God . . . and it is through sorrow and suffering, toil and tribulation, that we gain the education that we come here to acquire and which will make us more like our Father and Mother in heaven.
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It’s Not All Rainbows and Unicorns

unicornspukerainbows

We are pretty stoked at the prospect of having another child. But with adoption, we have no freakin’ clue what we’re doing. We don’t know what makes a birth mom choose a certain family. We don’t know the law. We don’t know why some adoptions are more expensive than others. Because of that we’ve hired an adoption agency all of that stuff we have no clue about. We feel good about choosing this particular agency, but they are very busy and we have lots of questions. I wish I knew how to navigate through this jungle. We were just approved the other day to start seeing birth mother situations. I already have thousands of questions! I get lots of questions about adoptions from others and I still feel like saying "Sorry, you’re asking the wrong person. I have no idea how adoption works."

I know we will find that baby who is supposed to join our family. Maybe that baby is with a different adoption agency, maybe it’s with this one. There’s a lot of anticipation and guesswork. The point is, this process is certainly not rainbows and unicorns. Infertility really sucks. It seems really, really unfair at times. We have cried rivers of tears over lost babies, painful fertility treatments, and trying so hard to have another baby, only to be disappointed time and time again. We see loved ones around us having babies and not really being able to relate to the heartache, the immense and overwhelming heartache, of not being able to have more children. But when I count my blessings, the sun comes out from behind the clouds for a moment. I have a loving, hard-working husband, a sweet and kind boy, and good parents who are there to support us through it all. When this life is all said and done, I will be able to look at my Heavenly Father and say, “Thank you for blessing me so abundantly.” And in the end these trials are here to teach us lessons. But for today, you’ll have to excuse me while I go have an ugly cry.

Swim Lessons!

So Lincoln has been in need of swimming lessons. With summer months approaching I decided it was time. If you’ve never witnessed beginner swim lessons, go make your way down to your local rec center and watch some (in a non-creeper sort of way). Hi-lari-ous! They always start out with the rules and they spout them off for the first ten minutes, forgetting that they are speaking to 4-5-year-old children who can, at best, follow a 3-step process. Lincoln kept turning around and making funny faces at me. The girl next to him was dunking her head under the water every 30 seconds, and the girl on his other side was trying to wander over to the slide area. Cousin Gigi was MIA.

So after pointless giving of the rules, they began teaching the kids to blow bubbles with their noses under water. At this point is where the adorableness of it all comes in. They were so enthralled with moneky-airplane-rocket, nose bubbles, and head dunks. Not one child cried (though Lincoln claimed his hands were stuck together and he couldn’t do “airplane” for a solid 5 minutes). I’m excited for the next lesson on Wednesday. Hopefully his cousin Gigi will show :)

Swim Lessons

The 350-person orchestra

It was a sight to behold: 350 6th grade children, all playing their stringed instruments under one conductor. I will say, as a musician (and with empathy for the conductor), it sounds like a friggin nightmare. When you sit near the back of any regular orchestra, it’s hard to see the conductor, keep time correctly (acoustics do weird things near the back), and hear the rest of the orchestra appropriately. Add about 300 additional people to that number and I can’t even imagine how it screws things up.

All that said, we watched my niece, Elsie, play in the first violin section with this massive group. Great job, Elsie! I teach private lessons to Elsie and she works so hard every week. She’s a special little girl, for sure!

Elsie's Massive Concert - Family
Elsie's Massive Concert - Elsie and I