Sunday, May 10, 2015

Mother's Day

On Mother's Day Abby's birth mom, Cheyenne, joined us for church. This is the third time she has come with us. The first time was within the first few weeks after Abby was released from the hospital. The second time was when Abby was blessed at 6 months. So it's been a while. I enjoyed having her there with us both of those times, but having her join us for Mother's Day was extra special! I was grateful for the chance to share this special day with her as we were both honored for our roles as mothers. And I was grateful that I was able to enjoy it so much. At the beginning of our adoption, when I was less secure with what having Cheyenne in our lives meant for my role as mom, I don't know that I could have enjoyed it quite as much. It is hard for me to know how to describe how I felt then compared to now. I always wanted her in our lives, I always wanted her to be part of it, and I always felt like I was Abby's mom. I just feel more secure now and better understand the role of a birth mother. And I guess, if I'm being totally honest with myself, at first I didn't want to share. I know that probably sounds selfish, after all Cheyenne had just made the hugest sacrifice ever and made it possible for me to even be a mom. But I had waited SO LONG to be a mom. I really wanted an infant so I could have the experience of us both just being totally consumed with each other. It was hard for me to share her with anyone, not just Cheyenne. But sharing the role of motherhood has been something I have had to grow into - it did not come naturally to me. It was hard on me that my body didn't produce a child and I really just wished for an experience similar to a mother who does grow her own child. But that wasn't my experience. I am happy that over the years I have become increasingly grateful that that wasn't my experience. There are so many hard things about adoption, but so many wonderful things too. I'm so grateful to be where I am now in this journey, so grateful to share motherhood with Cheyenne, and grateful she made it all possible!

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Perfect visit with our new expectant mom

We just got back from visiting our new expectant mom. IT. WAS. AWESOME! Seriously couldn't have been better! We arrived on Good Friday, the 3rd (which also happened to be my mom's birthday - happy birthday mom!) Her brother had flown in the previous night for a surprise visit so we only got to see her for a few minutes on Friday. We got her some orchids and stopped by for a a quick visit. We wanted Abby to hand them to her but she was a asleep and not waking up smile emoticon. She was the only one home when we got there so we got to have a little one-on-one time (well I guess it was 3 on one since there are 3 of us.) She is so sweet. I loved getting to talk to her. I don't really remember what we talked about, I more just remember it was super comfortable (at least for us) and just felt like she was family. After 10 minutes or so her mom and brother arrived and we got to talk with them for another 10 minutes. They felt like family too. So comfortable, so peaceful, so wonderful. Even though it was a quick visit it was so good and I loved that we got to meet her on Good Friday - we met Abby and Cheyenne on Good Friday 3 years ago!
Saturday night my sister Maggi and I went to her house for a girl's night - her mom and two of her sisters were also there. We just ate and talked but it was seriously so much fun. We laughed a ton! They told us stories that definitely made us feel like we were part of their family. I won't tell what all we talked about, but it was an awesome girl's night! I enjoyed just getting to know more about their family, and I loved that they were comfortable enough with us to share so much.
Sunday night Ryan, Abby, and I had dinner with all their family that was in town. Again, just so comfortable and so fun. I got to talk with her one on one some, which was my favorite part. It was nice to just get to know her personality a little more and just know her more. I LOVE HER! I love her whole family. Like, I seriously love them. I am continually amazed at how comfortable I am with them and how natural it feels to consider them family. I know I haven't shared anything really specific about our visits - but mostly what I remember is how good it felt and continues to feel. So grateful to have them in our lives!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Abby Loves Cheyenne

Abby was telling me this morning that she wanted to go to the park, but a different one than yesterday, she didn't really, really love it. I told her I really, really loved her. She said "I really, really love you, and Daddy, and Penny, and Cheyenne". So sweet.

Yesterday we were talking about something she wanted to do, I can't remember what. I told her she needed to grow bigger first. She said "I need to get back in Cheyenne's tummy and grow." Cuteness.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Open By Choice

It seems like lately I have been asked several times if I am glad we have open adoptions and if I really want our next adoption to be open, or if I would prefer to cut off contact with birth families. I think people may have the idea that our adoption is open because that is something we had to agree to in order to adopt. Well, the truth is, we did have to agree to let Cheyenne (Abby's birth mom) see Abby twice a year (on each of their birthdays) but that is the only commitment she asked for (and her mom told me when she was telling me about Abby and Cheyenne that we could probably get Cheyenne to agree to just one visit a year.) 

Ryan and I are the ones who chose to have Cheyenne, and her parents, be a part of our family, not just people who share DNA with our daughter, not someone we obligatorily see once a year. They are our family, and our friends. We love them. Our adoption is as open as any I have heard of. We talk regularly, get together regularly, celebrate holidays together. And not because we have to, we do it because we want to. 
That doesn't mean that having this relationship is always easy. I think any time you include another person in your life you open yourself up to heartache and pain. When there are the extreme emotions associated with adoption (on both the birth and adoptive sides) those difficulties can increase. There have been moments that it seemed like it would feel so nice if I was Abby's only mom. But I'm not, and never will be. Cheyenne will always be a part of Abby, a part of Abby that I love.
If you had a family member that sometimes caused pain, or frustration, or anger, or other negative feelings (whether because of poor choices they make or the way they treat you or others or whatever) there may be times when you distance yourself a bit or protect yourself in some way, but for the most part, you wouldn't wish that person out of your life.
I will say that our open adoption has caused pain at various times, fairly significant pain, but I have not for a single second wished we had a closed adoption, or considered closing it, or wished Cheyenne out of our lives. We love her, I LOVE her. She made it possible for me to be a mom!!!! And I just love her. 
We chose open adoption for Abby - I never want her to wonder why she was placed for adoption, I never want her to feel unloved or unwanted or abandoned, I never want her to have questions about her past that she has no one to ask. I want her to have as much closure and peace as possible. Also, here is another person that loves my daughter like a parent does. How many people will love her that way, that selflessly. Cheyenne loves her as much as I do. She doesn't have the responsibility I have, but she does have the love. Why would I keep Abby from having that love in her life? We chose open adoption for our birth parents - we love them and want them to have the opportunity to be part of their children's lives. But even for us, we want the adoption open. It would be so hard on me to not know where she was, how she was doing, what was going on in her life. Like I said, I love her, and I want to know how she is. I want to be able to pray for specific blessings for her. She is as present in my thoughts as any other family member. And I need to be able to connect with her regularly.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

The Baby Is A ....

We Got To See The Ultrasound!!!

Yesterday Ryan and I had the super awesome experience of getting to skype in to the ultrasound of our baby!!!!! Abby was 11 days old when we met her, so we didn't experience any of her pregnancy. I loved how things worked out with Abby, but this is so fun!!!!! We got to hear the baby's heart beat, learn the weight, and also the gender! So what do you think, boy or girl? 
(This ultrasound pic was actually from the 14 week ultrasound, we didn't experience that one but they sent us pics!)

Friday, February 6, 2015