Friday, January 16, 2015

Q's & A's #1

I'll try to cover a question every few days, at least. Makes for a lot of typing, haha! I don't mind at all though, it's fun and relieves stress. It's the re-reading afterward and I try to keep all of the information to a minimum because I actually want people to read what I post. Some people get intimidated and don't look forward to super long posts!

  • Why choose adoption? (Let's just get right to it!)
    I considered all of my options IE keeping Faith, and raising her as a single Mom, abortion, and adoption. Keeping Faith, to raise as a single Mom was going to be the most difficult of the three options. It would be a daily struggle, emotionally, physically, and most of all, financially. (I feel the need to include the fact that during this decision making process, I didn't know Faith was Faith yet. She was just a little peanut with out a name or a face yet growing in my belly!) While currently my only means of income is a spousal support payment and child support payment twice monthly from my ex-husband, I would've also received child support from Faith's biological Father. However, this would involve time spent in court, time that, as it passed, would mean supporting Faith on my current income. My ex-husband would literally be supporting myself, our son, and my daughter. That's not fair. Yes I felt like a failure. Eventually, the child support payment would be settled in court but as many single Mothers know, this process can take a while. So what about everything else that goes into being a parent? It's not easy caring for a newborn. It is incredibly rewarding but to say it requires a ton of work  and patience would be an understatement. I have no family here in Saint John. I wouldn't have the luxury of calling my Mom, Aunt, cousin or what have you to come over and give me a break. All I could imagine was the 3rd week in a row of being up all through the night with a crying infant, (and let's face it, postpartum depression isn't extremely uncommon so I had to also consider that I may've had it), day 3 or 4 with out a shower.. All of this with out a single break. I realize that people do it every day but what I also considered was my son, Kale. How could this affect his life as well? He didn't ask for this. No more McDonald's Happy Meals or peanut butter cups from the store because Mommy has to buy diapers. No more laying with him until he falls asleep because Mommy has to feed the baby. And I can't forget to mention that from before she is even born, Faith's Mom and Dad wouldn't be together. What kind of life is (everything that I mentioned) for anyone? It wasn't what I wanted for Kale, myself, or Faith.
    At the time, although it was with such a heavy heart, I felt my only option was to have an abortion. It didn't feel right at all; it just felt like the wrong decision for me. I was incredibly hesitant and reluctant to do it (now I know why) but it was the route I was going. At the time that I made that decision, I was extremely uneducated and misinformed in regards to adoption so I wasn't even considering it. I honestly didn't want to go through being pregnant for 9 months, gaining a bunch of weight, feeling sick, having to buy clothes that fit me,  having to explain to Kale what was going on, all to just "give up" my child to a stranger or even worse, place my child in the "system." There was no way! So I made the appointment. I want everyone to know, I had an abortion when I was 18. I felt like the biggest hypocrite in the world at this point (even considering abortion a 2nd time) because I always felt (and still do) that abortion should not be used as a form of "birth control." I knew what I was getting myself into and I was so unhappy with myself for even considering it. Again, yes, I felt like a failure. What a low point in my life that was! So the date was set and the days leading up to it, all I could do was cry. I was so disappointed in myself.
    During this horrible time, a friend of mine disagreed with the choice I was making and let me know that because of the choice I was making, she no longer wanted to be my friend. It broke my heart but I understood. I didn't feel I could get much lower at that point. (I'm so happy this is all behind me!) A few days passed and my appointment drew closer and closer with each passing day. After a few days, that same friend sent me a message and told me she was just sending me a message to let me know that she knew of a couple that were currently going through the process of adopting internationally. I knew immediately the couple she was referring to and on a whim, I sent the Adoptive Mom a message! I didn't know what to say but I just kind of told her my situation. I think I knew in my heart of hearts that this was an option I wanted to explore with her and her husband (if it were even possible, remember, I knew nothing about adoption or if this was even legal at this point!) After just a few messages (and I was roughly 10 weeks along), the Adoptive Mom said "we would love to adopt your baby." Well that was it! Within moments I went from being the saddest person in the world to feeling excited and curious and most of all, hopeful! I literally called the next afternoon (after speaking all that day and the next morning with the Adoptive Mom) and cancelled my appointment for an abortion. I spoke about it with family members and friends within that 24 hours prior to calling and they shared in the excitement with me so I knew this was what I wanted to do and I had their support.
    *Awesome side story here; the Adoptive Parents had recently (at the time) received word (after going through the extremely tedious and time consuming process of filling out paper work, preparing their home, etc for International Adoption) that the time frame had basically expired and they'd have to begin the process all over again, from the beginning. "J" (Adoptive Mom) and "S" (Adoptive Dad) were crushed. "J" said to "S," (and there is more to it than just this, they have their own story that begins even before mine), "this just doesn't seem to be in the cards for us. We are just not meant to do this. We have our health, our home, our family, no one is sick, we need to just be thankful for what we have and stop wishing for something that doesn't seem to be meant to be. The only way we'll ever have our family is if someone picks up the phone and asks us to adopt their baby!" And then literally, a few days after saying that, "J" received my message on Facebook. Go figure!
    We also made an appointment for, and attended, a 4-d ultrasound. `I don't think there was a dry eye that day!! (Technology is awesome!)

    All of that being said, I feel like I should say something. I realize what an amazing gift it is that I have given. How many lives I've changed and most importantly, the bright future I've given Faith a perfect opportunity at having. But at the same time, I often feel guilty for getting so much praise over such a selfish/selfless act. It was selfish when I was considering abortion, and it was selfish when I couldn't keep her because of MY own issues/shortcomings. I understand what a selfless act adoption is; but the praise I receive sometimes doesn't feel deserved. I feel like a war hero who received a medal and feels guilty or undeserving of it because it was possibly "earned" at the expense of someone else. I don't know. Just my thoughts.

    Thanks for reading, and I'll be posting again soon!

    Please enjoy this pic of Faith taken during the aforementioned 4-d ultrasound, in comparison to her brother <3

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

3 weeks today! No regrets.

Today, January 7th, 2015, Faith is three weeks old. I can't believe 3 weeks have gone by since I first laid eyes on that beautiful girl. I look at my 5 year old and wonder where the time has escaped to so fast! So many bumps and bruises, laughs and tears, hugs, kisses and bedtime stories. 5 years worth. Faith's parents are 3 weeks in and in what will seem like only days, 3 years will have passed, and then 5. It's so bittersweet, being a parent. You're anxious to find out what they'll be like later on down the road. What new habits they'll form, what their personality is/will be like, who they're going to resemble. But the whole time you're looking forward to those things, you're overwhelmed with feelings of nostalgia because they're even older and more different now than when you tucked them in the night before. No kidding. It's like saying "bye" to a younger version of themselves, every single day. I used to tell myself when Kale was a baby, that "I never want to forget this moment." And the truth is, I have. I've forgotten so many of those moments and can only remember saying that but not what I was saying it about. But from what I hear, that's normal; I just don't like it. I commend and admire those that have the patience to document every little thing. Those that write in a daily journal and get to look back and reflect, and remember those moments. "Should've, could've, would've." I can't take back that I didn't do that but I can make an effort now, knowing how I feel, because there are still so many of those moments that are worth remembering. I want to go on about how much I love my babies but the feelings are just too deep and complex to ever articulate and express with mediocre words. So to Kale, and to Faith, please know how much I love you. Just trust it and feel it and know that it's true. 

*(I apologize in advance if I jump around a lot. I'm just getting the hang of writing/typing what's in my mind and I'm afraid it'll be as jumbled on here as it is in my head. I'm sure (I hope) I'll figure out a way though, that works and isn't too confusing!)*

Today I went and signed the documents surrendering my parental rights to Faith. It was something that I knew was coming, and although I didn't have any idea of what day it would happen (until yesterday), I was already prepared emotionally. Or so I thought. I sat in the car waiting for 3 o'clock to come so I could go in, see my lawyer, and sign. As I was sitting there I started feeling shaky and nervous and so many thoughts were racing through my mind! I could feel the tears coming on and I was doing my best to hold them back because I know for me, once they start, it's difficult to turn them off! I'm still not sure why I was feeling the way I was. It was something I knew was going to happen, Faith is already with her parents and doing amazingly well, and this was just expected to be a simple signature on a piece of paper. Even still, my emotions got the best of me.
I went in (with the biological Father who we can just call "G" for the sake of keeping his name private). While sitting waiting for the lawyer, me getting my emotions in check, all I wanted to do was look at the pictures I have of Faith. I looked at the pictures, on my phone, and I stopped crying and of course (as anyone would), I could only smile. What was I crying for? Faith is beautiful, healthy, loved and taken care of. "G" and I got taken into the room where we'd sign the papers and sat in there alone for a few minutes. He asked me "Why do you seem upset? It's not like anything is changing. Faith has been where she's at since she was born." And he was right. I know that. Again, I didn't know exactly why I was crying and I told him that too. I guess I knew it didn't matter so I didn't need to give him an answer because everything was going to be okay. I knew that then and I still know that now.
The lawyer came in with the mounds of paperwork and we got right down to business! We were signing machines! Honestly, sitting in the chairs, all I could picture were Faith's Mom and Dad sitting in our seats. I could see them there, together. "G" and I were sitting with not even a foot between us and yet looking at him, I felt like we were a thousand miles apart. This is why. This is why we were signing. "G" and I could never (this day or any other), be anything like (together) what Faith's adoptive parents will be. That's just the reality of the situation. So I pictured her parents in our seats and came to this realization and although it saddens me that I can't compare to them in that way, it makes me so happy and grateful that they are who they are. In my mind, Faith is the luckiest little girl in the entire world. I mean, in this day and age, how many children even have parents that are still together? It seems everywhere I look, there are children that come from broken homes. I do, my son does. And that's okay, that's life. But how lucky for those that don't. She gets to be one of those lucky ones.
This post isn't going to be a "brag up her parents" post, I'm sure I'll have plenty of those to follow.. but yet a post about how I felt today. It was a big day. Having a few hours pass since I signed, I know that the emotions were a result of the feeling of "closure" that I feel. Signing the paper(s) made this journey we've been on the business of everyone. (I know I've kind of made it everyone's business, haha!) but the business of people in power. The business of the province, of the country. It's real. There's no turning back. It's emotional. It's going to be okay. And most of all, Faith's life is going to be as perfect as anyone could ever hope for or dream of for their child(ren). I'm incredibly happy and blessed. And now I have to get back to playing "Skylanders" with my 5 year old!

Thanks for reading and sharing this special day with me. I hope you like Faith's "3 week old" picture, courtesy of her amazing Mom and Dad! <3 

Sunday, January 4, 2015

What is Faith?

Dictionary definition: 

  1. 1.
    complete trust or confidence in someone or something.

What the Bible says: 

Matthew 21:21 
Jesus answered and said to them, Truly I say to you, If you have faith, and doubt not, you shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if you shall say to this mountain, Be you removed, and be you cast into the sea; it shall be done.

Luke 7:50 
And he said to the woman, Your faith has saved you; go in peace.

Luke 17:6 
And the Lord said, If you had faith as a grain of mustard seed, you might say to this sycamine tree, Be you plucked up by the root, and be you planted in the sea; and it should obey you.

Ephesians 6:16 
Above all, taking the shield of faith, with which you shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.

1 Thessalonians 1:3 
Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labor of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father;

Philemon 1:6 
That the communication of your faith may become effectual by the acknowledging of every good thing which is in you in Christ Jesus.

Hebrews 11:1 
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

James 1:6 
But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavers is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.

James 2:14 
What does it profit, my brothers, though a man say he has faith, and have not works? can faith save him?

1 Peter 1:5 
Who are kept by the power of God through faith to salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

1 Peter 1:21 
Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God.

1 Corinthians 13:13 
So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

2 Corinthians 5:7 
For we walk by faith, not by sight.

2 Timothy 4:7 
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.

These are all meanings of the word "faith." I thought it'd be a good way to introduce myself and this blog because it's a beautiful word with a very deep and powerful meaning to those who have it.
But to me, faith is more than any of these meanings, and it's more than just a word. For me, it's also a name. The name of my daughter that was put up for adoption just a few short weeks ago. 

She is just one of the many subjects I will talk about on my blog. I have a story to tell, and a story that has yet to be written that I'm hoping we can all share in on together. The more open I am, the more support I receive and the more FAITH I have in myself. I'm (finally) feeling positive about my future and while it's taken a lot of lessons learned the "hard way," I feel I'm now on the right track.

So all of that being said, I hope you all follow along and leave comments and give me feedback and constructive criticism whenever necessary. I look forward to the upcoming year! Here's to having FAITH in each other and more importantly, FAITH in ourselves!