Thursday, April 11, 2013

Life goes on...?

On March 9th I got the news that my Mother had passed away unexpectedly. To say the least this last month has been such a rollercoaster of emotion. We were flying on Cookie's birthday and instead of preparing for a birthday party the following weekend we were preparing for a funeral. I feel like if grief was a muscle mine would look like the muscles of a professional bodybuilder. There is just so darn much I have had to deal with. I'm not saying that I need people to feel sorry for me. In fact that is one part of this I am having such a hard time dealing with. Since we have been back home I have been seeing my counselor and trying to process things. I've been down the path before but on a different journey. After placement I do remember feeling this kind of numbness but I think, in the same way I forgot the pain of labor during childbirth, I forgot how this effects me. I feel... I think hazy is the word. I keep forgetting things, I sleep when I should be doing things around the house, and I find myself snapping at A and even being short with Cookie. I'm not actively thinking about the loss of my mom anymore, but I feel like each time I am reminded of it I am punched in the gut. Because of my history of depression and anxiety my counselor had me stay home until this last Monday. In some ways it is a relief to have something to do during the day besides just think. In other ways I feel like I am no good at my job at the moment. I wish it felt real to me. I think because we lived so far away and there were so many times I went weeks or even months without talking to her I haven't quite grasped that I wont get that chance again. I wish I could forget, but at the same time I am terrified that I will somehow forget her voice, or her smile, or the way she smelled when I hugged her. I just have this terrifying knowledge that this is one of those times when the grief will never truly be gone and I will always miss her. I cant stand knowing all the things she will miss, or should I say the things that I will miss her being there for. I feel like I am not only grieving the loss of the person but also the possibilities. Every big moment will be less, and every happy time will be more bittersweet, all because this one person is not there. I don't think anyone ever thinks they got enough time with their parents, but I cant help feeling I am too young for this. My Mom drove me nuts but dang I miss that crazy lady...

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Adoption Interview Project: Meet Sarah

Last year I participated for the first time in the Adoption Bloggers Interview Project. It was one of my favorite Adoption related . Getting to know another blogger is an amazing experience. This year I decided to participate again, although I knew my hectic schedule would make it much more difficult this time around. I hope I have still done a good job of representing my partner this year, but I guess you all will be the judge of that... I was paired with a hopeful adoptive mom named Sarah from The Adoption Project. I am actually thrilled to be paired with a HAP since this is one of the few perspectives I dont hear much from. I know sometimes the before can be rough, but Sarah and her husband seem to be taking all of this in stride. I am so happy to be paired with someone who has such a positive outlook on life. Her blog is a little newer but I look forward to continuing to read about her adventures and her adoption story. Now on to the interview:

1. If you could say something to your child's birthparents, what would you want them to know?
  This is not something Eric and I have discussed yet, because it is so personal and we still in the very early stages of trying to pull together enough funds for our adoption. That being said, I know that when we do sit down and write our Dear Birth Parent letter it will include all our hopes and dreams of becoming a family and the things that we look forward to doing together. It will express our love for each other and what that means for their child. It will include how important it is for us to include them, the birth parents, as a being a permanent part of our family too.

2. Do you have a name picked out for your child(ren)?

 We do have an always growing list of names we like, but we are not going to choose one until we are matched with a birth mother and can share that with them. After 5 years of trying to conceive naturally this is definitely a topic that we have talked and joked about a lot though. I think that we use it as a way to stay positive and focus on the dream we share of being parents. The current running name is that we like Olivia Rae. However, our last name is Clevenger, which would make the child's initials ORC and if you are into fantasy of any kind you know what an Orc is. Eric thinks it is awesome because he is into fantasy/sci-fi and I am not so much. To make it worse for me Olivia also means Elf Army, Eric once again thinks this is great.

3. Describe yourself in 5 words or less.

  Creative, Passionate, Curious, Generous, Happy

4. What kind of parent do you think you will be? (Fun, strict, nervous, embarrassing, adventurous?)
All of the above! I think being a parent involves knowing when the right moment to be each of those is. I think that is the best way to create lasting family memories. I know personally that when I look back on my childhood my parents were, and still are, all of those things too.

5. What is the best part about your relationship with your husband?

  I don't know if I can narrow it down to one thing. I love taking road trips, we go to Chicago, Northern Indiana and Dayton, Ohio several times a year, because we always have amazing conversations. After over 10 years of being together, it amazes me that we can still find so much to talk about on a 4 hour drive. This is something that I am slightly embarrassed to admit, but I love the little silly moment we share together. We will often do something odd, like just Charlie Brown dance for no reason, and just look at each other and realize how silly we are.

6. Where is your favorite place to travel? Is there somewhere you haven't been that you would love to go?
 That is a surprisingly hard one for me to answer because I am a traveler to my very core. A little piece of my heart is in NYC, I have been twice and cannot wait to go back, there is a special kind of magic about the city that I cannot get enough of. I feel the same way about Chicago. We lived in the burbs of Chicago for 2 years and every time we visit it feels like going home. For relaxation, we love to go to Dale Hollow Lake, which is on the Kentucky/Tennessee boarder. I also love love love London, England. One of the places we most want to go to is Rome because of the incredible history, we have talked about going for our 10th wedding anniversary. Both of our families took vacations almost every summer growing up and it is definitely something that Eric and I would like to continue with our children.

7. If you could have any kind of animal as a pet what would you choose?

  Funny you should ask because I am about to embark on a new pet adventure. At our house we have all the animals we can handle, two 8 almost 9 year old cats and a very rambunctious 6 month old puppy. I do some free lance sewing for a women who has chickens and ducks, two of which are mine but they live at her house. Within the next year her family will be getting goats and I will get to "adopt" one of them. I was pushing for sheep, but it should be interesting to bottle feed baby goats.

8. What is the most important thing you want your readers to know about you and your husband?

That we passionately believe that one day we will have a family. Before we even tried to conceive naturally we had talked about wanting to adopt children as well. Now after 5 years trying we are actually more excited that all of our children will be adopted. We really want to adopt trans-racially because we love the idea of having a family where everyone is looks different and has their own unique heritage that we can explore and celebrate together. For someone who loves history as much as I do, knowing your own families history and that of your ethnicity is important.

I want to thank Sarah for being so understanding about how busy I have been. I also wish her and her family (present and future) happiness and luck in all things.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012


    I have not had very much inspiration lately. It has been a busy few months for me, but life is still so good and I am still so much happier than I thought I could be. Some days the greif still rears it's ugly head, but I am much better at dealing with that monster than I used to be. Then inspiration struck again.
    Recently I came across this post while browsing some other blogs I follow. It is a beautifully written piece by another First Mom (I use this term because it is what she is comfortable with) who has struggled with her adoption decision. Our experiences and feelings toward adoption are very different, but some of the wounds left behind are very similar. In particular she wrote this paragraph that reached into my body and squeezed my heart:
"...I never once considered that my deep fear of losing my younger children in some way or another had anything to do with the loss of my first child. Never imagined that my self-doubt of my worth as mother was tied in to being led to believe I wasn't a good enough mother for my oldest son. Never even considered my heart wrenching reaction to even the smallest form of loss was a direct result of suffering the loss of my own child."
    I suppose that part of me always felt like my fears and anxieties about Cookie were more pronounced than most mom's. I guess I always knew that my dreams of her being kidnapped, the waking up screaming and the fear of any slight hurt or sickness was over-the-top. Truly, though, I never thought to connect those feelings with my placement. I only know that losing her would somehow kill a piece of me that I would never be able to revive again. I had never even begun to wonder why it meant so much to me to be the best Mom possible for her, to not allow her any harm and to make sure the world saw my commitment to her.
     I certainly noticed how the slightest trip into grief could make me shut down in a way I never knew a person could. How even months or years after the slightest loss it could still be a soft spot, but this was just my sensitive nature, right? As an example, I had a cat when I was younger that my mom gave me when I was 10. He was my baby before and after my son was born, and in many ways I felt like he was a placeholder after placement. Right before I turned 18 he died. He was old, logically I knew this would happen one day. Yet, when I found him in my back yard I wailed so loudly in despair that my mom heard me on the opposite side of the second story of our house. She thought I was injured. In a way, I think I was. I felt the loss of that Cat like I did the loss of my son. Feeling that way again seemed to rip open all of those precariously healed wounds again. This was just the FIRST time I felt this exaggerated loss response. It was not the worst, but I still get misty-eyed when I think of that day.

    I have lost friends and family since then, and each time I felt like my response was out of place even in the grief around me. I have no idea if this is normal, I just know it is MY normal now. Does any of this mean I regret my path? Not at all, it just means I am dealing with this all the best way I know how. This is a conversation I will most likely have with a proffessional sometime soon, but with the knowledge that knowing my issues is the biggest part of dealing with them. I dont think I will ever really "Get Over" any of these strange neuroses, but as time passes I am learning the skills to deal with each of them. I am so glad to know that no matter what other differences there may be in our experience, I will always have the cameraderie gained by finding other birth(or first) moms around the web and locally.

Friday, April 27, 2012

What's Going On?

Things have certainly been crazy lately. We had an amazing visit in february, then I started a new job in March and since then it seems like one thing after another is getting in the way of me posting. I can honestly say that for the last 2 weeks or so I have been trying to write something and failing to finish anything I've written. Honestly, some of the posts should not be posted publicly anyway (Cookie's bio-dad has kind of been pissing me off lately). I think with all the stress and new info I've been absorbing it has been really hard for me to focus on the adoption-related subjects. There are still so many things I want to write about but this block just keeps getting in my way and making it difficult for anything to seem coherent. Over and over in the last few months I have been reminded of the importance of Adoption and how lucky I am to not only have experience from a Bmom's perspective, but also from the view of my daughter. She and I are both so lucky to have A and a few weeks ago I got a perfect example of their amazing relationship.

Of course I happened to get sick over the weekend. While I was in a light coma in my room all weekend A took over as cheif parent and did a phenomenal job. Cookie turned 2 back in March and we had been trying to start potty training. We had a bit of a struggle with getting her to go potty at our house. She would go perfectly all day at the sitter and then wouldnt go for us. That weekend with her Daddy, Cookie found her groove and something clicked for her. All weekend I heard their exclamations and dances each time she would go. Every time A would come into the room to talk to me I could see the pride in his eyes that she was accomplishing this next step. He is most certainly her Daddy, and a darn good one at that. A will always put Cookie's needs before his own, he would never make a choice that would hurt her. He is a mature adult who takes care of his responsibilities and loves his fammily. He keeps his word and doesnt lie, he has integrity. He doesnt just take care of us, he cares FOR us. I know this has turned into quite a gush-fest so I will wrap it up. Basically it has become painfully obvious that we actually dodged a bullet in a way. Cookie and I are both blessed to have A in our lives. I will try to get some more posts out soon. Enjoy your weekend!

Friday, February 24, 2012


Tomorrow we will be having a visit with Dawson and D & G. I am SOOOOO exited. I promise to post pictures! Sorry (once again) for the lull.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Happy Birthday...

Happy Birthday sweet boy. Today I will miss your sweet face more than usual. The sting of loss will be a little more acute. Today I will also try to celebrate that amazing day 9 years ago when you changed my world. I am proud of you every day, I love you every moment, and I am always grateful to have had my short time with you.

I hope your day is filled with laughter and love. I hope it is a special and memorable Birthday. I hope you always remember how momentous this day will always be in so many lives. I love you boy, and I always will.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012


I have affectionately come to think of the week before my son's birthday as "The slow crash". For me this is a time in which my mind is always split. I cant do a single thing without thoughts of him, of our time together and of how he is doing. While washing the dishes my mind will wander to thoughts of 9 years past. While I am grocery shopping I will forget something because his face seems to hover within my brain. Cherished and painful memories of his voice and his hand in mine. A distant and still poignant ache in my chest.

It starts every year on the 22Nd of January. All of a sudden the memories flood in, and I am 16 again:

On that night 9 years ago my sister and I spent the evening together. My mom took pictures of us both, extremely pregnant and posing belly to belly. My sister had been feeling uncomfortable all day, and that night she went into the hospital. I went too, but was soon turned back out the door with my little man still in my belly. My nephew was born on the 23rd. He was 6 lbs 12 oz, and he looked like Elmer Fudd (I called him Elmer for weeks after he was born, to my sister's annoyance). I held him and felt so happy for my sister, while also feeling a burning jealousy. I watched her hold her baby boy, kiss him and feed him and love him freely. I felt guilty for praying my child would stay put so that I could love him as his Mom just a little longer.

Those nights weren't the hard ones, or at least not the hardest. If they were tough for me then I don't remember, those days before his birth are so shattered by the events they lead up to. I remember the days seemed to fly, even as I wished I would not have to separate myself from this piece of me.

Now, 9 years later, I dread his birthday. Not because having him was painful, but because after his birthday comes the aftermath. For the most part January 29Th has not been excruciating for me since his first birthday. The days I dread are the 3 after that. Memories from our time together flood my mind, I cant focus, I cant sleep and I cant stop thinking about the inevitable bittersweet thoughts. I always know that day will come, February 2Nd, the day I handed a piece of myself over to his Mom and walked away. I know how this all ends, but I still relive it each year. Sometimes more difficult than others. The last few years I have found ways to distract myself. Work, family, friends, activities, sometimes a few drinks. It's worked mostly, numbing what used to be a devastating crash into a minor breakdown that I can manage.

This year all the distractions are out the window. His Birthday is on a Sunday, meaning not much in the way of distractions. I'm not working, and so my only sources of distraction are Cookie and A. I think I will be OK on that day, and I even planned a little party in Dawson's honor. We'll eat dinner, have cake and enjoy some company that night. I think the real kicker for me will be those 3 days after. I will be home on my own, A will be working and so I will be alone with those memories.

Here's hoping that after 9 years this crash will be easier to handle.