About Me

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I placed my daughter in an open adoption in 2002. I started this blog in 2004 as a place to journal and eventually I became part of a community. The community has moved on, but I have decided to come back.

Sunday, December 31, 2006

The Year In Review

January: Flashback: Figuring Things Out- There has been a lot of talk out in the adoption blogosphere recently about birthmothers and their roles in the adoptive family's life.

February: What You Should Do Today-
You should hop on over to paragraphein and read the last few posts about adoption reform and the State of the Union and adoption numbers.

March: Help Me Respond- I subscribe to Dear Abby by email.

April: How Many of You Have Children?- An innocent question.

May: Quick Note-
I do have some things to write- I just haven't been in a blogging mood.

June: Ramblings (letter to my daughter)- Little Poor_Statue,
June is going to be quite a month for me.

July: It's Done- I have moved.

August: Thankfully- I have been in rough shape.

September: Sending You Away Again- Guess who's back in school?

October: Hugs for Jana-
I've been disturbed lately by the number of troubled relationships in my little blog circle.

November: Things That Are Keeping Me From Blogging- 1. Reading all of your blogs.

December: My Daughter Is...- I started my latest class this weekend.

So that was interesting for me. I think next year, the rules should be changed to use the first sentence of the most significant post in each month. Of course, I could have done that this year (I'm sure the meme police would've allowed it), but I'm so bad at breaking rules.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

The Year Is Almost Over

If you need a pick me up, check out this blog which chronicles a year of giving flowers to strangers.

I finally updated my links.

There has been lots of talk of people closing shop. I've definitely noticed that many of my faves aren't posting as often. I added some random blogs I've discovered to my bottom section of links, but if any of you have found any good adoption-related blogs that you think I'm missing, let me know. I really haven't found any new adoption blogs so I wouldn't mind the heads up.

And yay to a new year.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Christmas With My Daughter

I slept late Christmas Eve morning so we got a late start. I called their home when I got on the road. My daughter answered. When I told her we'd be there for dinnertime (she checked to make sure my beau was with me) she told me that was too late and if I found a shortcut, I should take it. She then described to me in great detail a shortcut she knew. Her mom and I laughed at that.

She was excited when we arrived and immediately attached herself to my beau. That was it for the night. He was king. Pretty much every picture I have is of the two of them together- many with her smiling up at him adoringly. Even her routine picture-taking consisted of photographing him (and one of us together at her insistence). He checked in with me occassionally to make sure he wasn't hogging my time. I didn't mind. I was glad to see them enjoying each other. Her folks remarked that this was the first time she's really taken to someone I brought there.

We had a big delicious dinner followed by lots of desserts including gingerbread cookies that my daughter had decorated. Of course, she insisted that my beau sit next to her.

Then I took her to put her jammies on. She requested my beau, but he declined the request and we all laughed. I had to ask her what her routine was, and she said she didn't have to wash up unless her mommy said something. I thought that was funny and shared it with her mom.

After that she opened her gifts from us. I got her some glow-in-the-dark Silly Putty (her mom's request) and my beau went with her to see how it worked in the dark. He made her laugh so hard that she wet her pants.

She pulled out the books I gave her and asked me to read them all to her so I did. It was nice.

She asked my beau to sleep on the trundle in her room and when he said no, asked me. Her mom stepped in to decline for us both.

I didn't sleep well and was lying in the dark when I heard her waking her parents up Christmas morning. She came for my beau and I next and I came out while my beau slept. It was about 5:30.

Her faith in Santa was so sweet- of course he would get her what she asked for. Still, she wasn't overeager for the gifts. She went straight to the cookies and milk and carrots to see that Santa and his reindeer ate well. Then she slowly went to the gifts (it was the same with ours the night before- it was hours before she opened them all even though there wasn't much). I was happy to see that Santa had brought her only the three things she requested.

She tried each one out as she opened them. I was able to capture some perfect gift-opening pictures with my camera. Her folks had a few other gifts for her- mostly practical things along with a few classic toys like a slinky and a slide whistle. She tried each of those things out, too.

My beau finally came down. At first she got excited, but then before breakfast she got really cranky- the way she used to do when I first started staying over- and insisted that one of her parents be with her at all times. I made her cry when I tried to stop her from bugging her mom in the kitchen. Luckily her mom understood exactly what I was trying to do, but it was still a bit unsettling for me.

So we ate breakfast like that- her cranky and wanting nothing to do with us. I was afraid the visit would end that way, but by the end of breakfast, she was back to her happy, chattering self and insisting we stay all day.

Her mom took some pictures of us under the tree- some just the two of us, but my daughter insisted that my beau be in them so we relented.

And then we left. She gave me a big hug when I went.

I cried some after leaving. It was Christmas. It was hard to leave her.

I'm glad I went.


In other happenings, I'm loving the way her folks are supporting her beginning reading and math steps without pressuring her. And her grandmother (who came Christmas Eve) was genuinely interested in making it to next year's Christmas party. When I mentioned it at Thanksgiving, she seemed shocked that I would even suggest she come, but we talked about it a lot on Christmas Eve and she gave off the sense that she really wanted to be a part of it. And as my sister pointed out, this was the woman who was the most against open adoption in the beginning.

Yay to family!

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Emotional

I'm having trouble making words today. I've had a whole bunch of posts in my head for the past two weeks, but now I can't write.

Some of it's the holiday. I actually love Christmas. I love the music and the lights and the goodwill feeling. I don't want to think about sad things or heavy topics. I just want to dance and laugh and enjoy.

Yet there are all these emotions attached, sad and happy, that are making me feel a breakdown brewing.

I looked everywhere for a specific gift for my daughter- I've been planning to get it for her for months. I couldn't find it anywhere. Turns out they sell them in a store I would never have thought to go in, but was right next to. I don't know if I'll make a special trip before tomorrow. Not being able to find it bothered me so much.

I haven't wrapped anything. I really want another day in between. I'm so tired. I just want to spend a day doing nothing.

I told two more people about my daughter this week, but not in person. I'm waiting for the response to that. It's hard to keep her a secret, but exhausting to tell the truth. I sat at our work lunch listening to the talk of kids and what they want this year and I so wanted to chime in. I've taken to saying "There's a little girl in my life who...." so that I can talk about her without lying or revealing. Nobody ever asks me to clarify.

I showed the big group family picture to my coworkers and nobody asked about her then either. I was wondering if anyone would and was relieved when no one did.

I imagine I'll post a lot next week. I'll be on vacation so I'll finally get a chance to blog about all the stuff I've been thinking about.

Until then, I hope everyone enjoys the holiday.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Conversations, Complications

The good:
My daughter: Are you coming to my house for Christmas?
Me: Well, what do you think? Do you think I should come to your house for Christmas?
My daughter: (excitedly) Yeah! You should come here for Christmas.
Me: Okay then, I'll come there for Christmas.
My daughter: And can you bring [your beau]?
Me: Sure, I'll bring him.
My daughter: Good, cuz I want to touch the ceiling.

It was nice to be invited by her. Her mom hadn't read my acceptance email yet, so they didn't know my decision.

The hard:
I was at my beau's aunt's house when they called. My daughter had lots of questions about who was there and what we were doing.

My daughter: Why didn't you invite us?
Me: (stumbling) Well, you live really far away. I don't think you could have come.
Her: Well, where does she live?
Me: Near where I live. It's really far away from you.
Her: Well, couldn't you have waited for us?

I hadn't really thought about it lately- the distance. I considered it while I was pregnant. Occassionally I thought about how I would manage to get there if I were invited to a school function or something. Lately, as our adoption has become more and more open, I thought about how I'd see them more often if I lived closer. But I never thought about what my daughter might think. Now that I am so much more a part of her life, I wonder if this is something she'll be angry about. As she rolls it around in her head, will she wonder why neither set of parents considered distance?

Of course the conversation also brought the now familiar pang of knowing that had I raised her, we wouldn't have these questions. She wouldn't be asking me why she wasn't invited. She would just be there with me.

The future:
And later, I talked about it all with my beau- a myriad of things- Christmas, her birthfather, moving, siblings.

He hadn't realized that this would be my first Christmas with her. And I talked about the increasing openness and my feelings and my thoughts about the distance. And he brought up our future family.

Me: Yes, and she'll want to know her brothers and sisters.
Him: So when we have kids, she'll have siblings? And our kids will already have a sister?
Me: Yes. (I say something about the added complications and the different feelings and stuff.)
Him: Hmm. Well, at least we won't have to worry about our kids feeling unique. They'll already have a pretty unique family.

The thing is, I knew about the added complications of going on to have other children. I didn't plan to have other children. My daughter was going to be it. While I don't know what will happen, starting a family is looking like a very real possibility. And then what?

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Christmas

With all the stuff going on in my head this week, I need an entire week to blog.

But I thought I'd pop in long enough to say that today I accepted the offer to spend Christmas Eve and Christmas morning at my daughter's house.

I'm getting teary just writing it. I'm spending Christmas with my daughter.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

The Christmas Party!

I removed some pictures, and will be removing the rest tonight.

Get out your tissues. My Christmas party was awesome. I didn't do much visiting, but my super critical family from all the different sides visited with each other, had special moments together, and all said the food was great and it wasn't too crowded and they all had fun. Everybody came including a few extras. My daughter and her family arrived early and stayed late and they were thrilled that my daughter had a chance to meet everyone as was I of course. My daughter was all excited about her grandparents and kept going around saying "You're one of my grandpas." and asking first about all the pictures in my home and then about all the different people there that day.


I couldn't have asked for a more perfect get-together. I'm not sure how much you all know, but I haven't seen my mom since my daughter was born and my mom's family and dad's family haven't been all in one place in about a decade. My daughter was meeting most of my family for the very first time. Plus, there were three of us there out of my parents' four children and we all haven't been in one place in ages either.

My daughter bonded with my Dad. He was really moved. He hadn't seen her since the December after she was born. He wasn't even supposed to come to the party, but they decided to surprise me. I got all choked up when I saw him coming through the door. It really did end up being my whole family.

My youngest niece really wanted to make friends with my daughter. My daughter was really shy at first because it was pretty overwhelming, but she warmed up later.

My daughter spent lots of time playing with my beau. He later said that the time he spent playing with her was the best part of the day and night.

They had a thing at school for my daughter to Christmas shop. She made her list, picked out all of her own gifts, and brought them home wrapped. She presented them all at the party. Her mom said I was first on her shopping list, followed by all her grandmas and grandpas. It was so sweet to watch her presenting all her gifts. She got me bath beads (and explained to me how they work) and she presented me with some artwork.

She also opened all her gifts to me (Can I please open these for you?):

I got a four generations picture- my grandmother, mother, me, and my daughter.




My friend, Liz, came and was kind enough to take some family photos for everyone.

And last, all the ladies (stepmom, stepsis with daughter, two sisters and three nieces, mom, grandmother, daughter's mom, and me).



I will never forget this day. What a special time!

Friday, December 08, 2006

It's time...

I already posted on my other blog, but thought I'd check in here to say that tomorrow is the big day. I'm tired and stressed and excited and wondering how it'll go.

It's quite a mix of family and even though my daughter's mom isn't worried about it all, I am. She may have met most of the guests, but it's been awhile for most of them and they've never been all in one place before.

My biggest worry is my mother. I'm afraid she'll get offended or feel left out or not be happy with something about the day. I'm trying to let go. There will be plenty of people there. I may be hosting, but it's just because there is no other family gathering so I'm opening my home up in order to facilitate a get-together.

I'll let you all know how it goes.

Monday, December 04, 2006

My Daughter Is.....

I started my latest class this weekend.

We modeled a parent teacher night.

The professor picked a classmate and started modeling the activity.

Professor (pretending to be the classmate who is pretending to be a parent at this night): And my daughter's name is....(gestures to classmate).
Classmate: Um, I don't have a daughter.
Professor: Make one up.

Then we made a big circle (by birth geography) and we all pretended to be a parent (Hi my name is Poor_Statue. I was born in ___. My daughter's name is _____. She likes to make up songs.)

And I used my daughter's name (her full first name, not the nickname we call her) and a real thing she does.

Because how do I make up a child when I have one? Yet how do I use the name we call her without crying? And will anyone know she's real? Will people ask?

I'm not sure if my professor sensed my discomfort. It was like being in a tunnel as I waited my turn, spoke the truth, then recovered from speaking the truth. He called a break right after the exercise. I was flustered, heart racing, mind racing. I needed to clear my head so I could learn again.

Will it ever feel normal? Will I always experience this anxiety at the mention of children?

It's truly awful.