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Saturday, October 6, 2012

Triggers

Fall is officially here and has no qualms about bringing back all of the memories from two years ago. I wonder if those memories will ever fade. Not that I want them to, but I wish they wouldn't sting quite so much. I stepped outside this morning to go grab a coffee and it hit me like a ton of bricks, in a way that it hadn't in a while. I saw the leaves all over the ground, the same leaves I've seen for the past week or so, but for some reason, today they brought tears to my eyes. I suddenly remembered walking through the leaves to get into the car when I was in early labor. The smell in the air, for whatever reason, somehow filled my entire body. Smells are my worst fear. I know how crazy that sounds. Smells trigger the most distinct memories for me. You can block something from your sight, you can block something within earshot, you can even block something from your mind if you try hard enough. But smells hit you hard and fast and by the time you communicate to your brain that you don't want to think about it right then, it's too late, because it's already there. And once it's there, you can't get it out. The other day, sitting in my car driving home from work, I could smell A's birth father. I could smell the way his sheets always smelled back when it all started, in the fall of '07. In reality, I'm sure they always smelled that way (unless he switched detergents!) but I distinctly associate that smell with that particular time. This morning, it was the autumn air. It crept up on me, and suddenly (and all at once), I saw myself in his driveway, covered in leaves, working on his Impala five years ago. When it was all new. I saw him and myself walking into the movie theater to see The Secret Life of Bees four years ago. He so did not want to go see that movie, but I begged and begged him to go with me. I saw myself walking into the emergency room doors of the hospital, with a huge belly, the walkway covered in leaves, two years ago. I saw myself walking to class with an apple cider in hand, through the parking lot covered in leaves (also with a giant belly), two years ago. The smell of fall somehow sneaked into my nose and morphed into these four images all at once in my mind.
I guess Fall is so hard for me because I think of two of the things (people) I loved the most and how they are no longer "with" me. My daughter is with me in my heart always. And I know she is only a mere hour or so away; not that I can go see her whenever I please or anything even remotely close, but I know she is still "with us" literally. But not in the way I would like her to be. Her birth father is only a mere fifteen minutes away now, and although my feelings towards him have changed drastically over the past two years and I no longer yearn with every fiber of my being to be madly in love with him again, he is still not "with" me in the way I would have wanted. No, I don't want that now. I want "us" back. But I want the "us" that we were five years ago back. Too much has changed, and too many true colors have been brought to light, so I know we never can be and never will be that "us" again. I've accepted that. I've let go of him, but I need to let go of the old "us." I guess people can change, and I'll never say never because I haven't a clue what the future holds for either of us. But once you've broken something fragile, even if you have all the teeny tiny pieces, you can glue them together but something will always be different.
Speaking of her birth father, his grandmother just passed away. If you could please keep him and his family in your thoughts, I would appreciate it. He had taken this upcoming week off from work to go to NC to visit her because he had heard that she had gotten very ill, very quickly.  I feel terrible that now he will be taking the trip down there for a different reason. We spoke last week and he was really excited that we had gotten new photos of A (Yes, I got new pictures!) and he was going to take his copies down there to show her. There was one picture in particular, where he said she looked exactly like his mother. He was floored. He was so excited to show his mom and grandmother. He can still show his mom, but he was more focused on showing his grandmother.  I know he has his ways, and I don't agree with a lot of his actions (past or present) but he will always have a special place in my heart and I truly feel for him now.
Well, I'm off for now. I volunteered to work from home here and there for the long weekend, and I'm not doing anything right now, so I may as well put an hour or two in.
But before I go, look at this little princess! She has grown so much since I last saw photos. I can't believe she will be two years old in less than a month.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Officially 2 Days Into Fall

Oh, so much has been on my mind lately. Contrary to all of the things I spill in my blog, I'm a pretty private person by nature. I have a few close friends that I tell all to, but even then, I sometimes hold back.
When it comes to blogging, I have to hold back a lot to protect the privacy of some people involved (i.e. A's adoptive family, my family, and her birth dad). But you know what? I can say what's on my mind and still be respectful. I don't know what the point of having a blog is if I am not going to use it to get these weights off of my chest. I never name names.
That being said, I think I will be writing (or some may call it 'venting') a lot more in the next few months. My little one's second birthday is coming up, and my head is already spinning thinking about that.
A lot has happened over the past couple of months between her birth father and I, and I've kept quiet because it's easier to vent to my friends via text than it is to sit down and write coherent sentences. But, you know what else? To him, I say:


On Saturday, I got a new tattoo. It's something I drew up at work a couple of weeks ago (I know, I know, I broke my own rule - my "one year rule," which was to decide I want a tattoo, wait a year, and if in a year I still wanted the exact same tattoo, I'd go get it. Yeah, this decision started and ended all within a month). In order to explain it, I have to give away the first letter of Arianna's name - her name now. We both share the same first letter in our names - "E." It's also really the only letter that you can turn into the shape of a heart (besides "M," I guess). So from a forward-facing view, it's a cursive "E," and from a side view, it's a heart with some little swirls in it. Either way, it's both the letter and a heart and it is drawn with no 'breaking point,' showing how we are connected as "one." I absentmindedly drew it at work one day while I was writing my name. I loved it, so I went with it. Here it is:

This photo doesn't necessarily do it justice - it's an Instagram'd picture I took, and it makes it look as if the lines are bleeding. They're not, though. How do you guys like it?

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Sarah McLachlan ~ Fallen



Heaven bend to take my hand
And lead me through the fire
Be the long awaited answer
To a long and painful fight

Truth be told I've tried my best
But somewhere along the way
I got caught up in all there was to offer
And the cost was so much more than I could bear

Though I've tried, I've fallen...
I have sunk so low
I messed up
Better I should know
So don't come round here
And tell me I told you so...

We all begin with good intent
Love was raw and young
We believed that we could change ourselves
The past could be undone
But we carry on our backs the burden
Time always reveals
In the lonely light of morning
In the wound that would not heal
It's the bitter taste of losing everything
That I've held so dear.


I've fallen...
I have sunk so low
I messed up
Better I should know
So don't come round here
And tell me I told you so...

Heaven bend to take my hand
Nowhere left to turn
I'm lost to those I thought were friends
To everyone I know
Oh they turn their heads embarrassed
Pretend that they don't see
But it's one missed step
One slip before you know it
And there doesn't seem a way to be redeemed

Though I've tried, I've fallen...
I have sunk so low
I messed up
Better I should know
So don't come round here
And tell me I told you so...

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Fall: Emotion-packed

Fall has been such a tough time for me ever since A was born. It always has been and always will be my favorite season. I love just about everything about the months between and including September and December. The cooler weather, the smell in the air, the leaves all over the ground, the days getting shorter and nights getting longer. Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas. My favorite holidays. Fall of 2007 was the "best time of my life," or so I thought. Now this season brings on bittersweet emotions that I sometimes wish I never had to deal with in the first place. That's not to say I wish I never had my daughter, not at all. I mean to say that I wish I could look back on my pregnancy and remember feeling joy, with no fear, sadness, or guilt....I wish I could look forward to planning her 2nd birthday party in November. I know it's for the best, I really do know this. But that doesn't make me happy about it. I lived through it, but I am not yet sure that I survived it.
I am excited that it's September. I am not excited about all of the tiny Halloween costumes that are already starting to be sold in every retail store in every city ever. I'm not excited about Christmas this year, even though it's my 2nd favorite holiday (next to Halloween). I am very scared about her birthday. I handled her 1st birthday better than expected, because we Skyped with her and I am pretty certain (no, actually, I am sure) it was the best evening of my life. Her adoptive mom suggested it last year. So now here we are, approaching her 2nd birthday, and I'm not sure if I should ask if we can do it again, or wait and see if she suggests it. If I ask and she says no, I will be crushed. If I don't ask and she doesn't bring it up, I'll beat myself up over not taking the risk and asking. I would love to make it into a tradition with them.
I think I will wait until mid-October and when we chat about gift-giving, maybe I'll bring it up then. I know she already knows I would love to do it, and I know she already knows that no matter what my schedule may be that weekend, I will make time to do it. I would do anything for that little girl, although it seems silly to say that because she is only two, and the Skyping would be 99% for me. So, I guess I'll have to go with the flow and see what happens...I'll pray that she brings it up, and if she doesn't, I'll hope for a good opportunity to throw the idea out there myself. 

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Trying Something Different...

I have been a TERRIBLE blogger. So I've decided to write to all of my faithful readers (hahaha) to see if anyone has any questions they are dying to ask of me...anything you've been wondering or have wanted to know! Meaning anything about me personally, or my adoption story (I will share anything that doesn't invade the privacy of her adoptive parents or birth father). After all, if I'm answering questions, I should only answer those which are mine to answer!

Maybe this will prompt some writing ideas! You can ask here or email me.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

THIS JUST IN.

Yesterday, I showed up to what I thought was my 12:15 appointment at the OB/GYN office. After sitting there, waiting to check in, amidst a sea of pregnant women and infants, I was finally called to the desk. It was then that I was told that my appointment was at 11:15 and they couldn't fit me in. I have never, ever missed an appointment or been late to an appointment. Maybe it's the veterinary hospital receptionist in me, but I think it's one of the rudest things to stroll in an hour late or to blow off an appointment altogether. The receptionist was understanding, and said they could squeeze me in today at 4:00.
I don't know if I've said this before, but I absolutely love my doctor. She is the sweetest, most amazing woman I've ever met - and it's funny, because she says the same about me (see how sweet she is?)! She's been there for me since my first prenatal visit and she is still just as attentive and caring now as she was then. She never fails to make me cry, but it's in a good way. I'm one of those people who will be on the verge of tears until you hug me or console me, and then all hell breaks loose and I'm bawling. It was one of those things. She is going to do some research and find me a support group in the Boston area because she feels that it would do me a world of good to talk to others in person and she also thinks I'd be a great "counselor" for birth moms who have just recently signed, or expectant moms who plan to sign their rights over. How flattering is that?! She always asks if she can see photos, which makes me feel so happy inside...knowing she genuinely cares not only about me but about my little girl (theoretically speaking). I've been so blessed to have found her and to have had her helping me through this. While she is a nurse practitioner in the gynecological field, she's still been more support to me than any of my therapists have. She's extended the offer for me to come in if I ever just want to talk (and not be probed by metal wands and scopes) and has told me that if I ever need her, to just call and tell the receptionist who answers that she has given me permission to ask them to personally come get her to take the phone call. Not many doctors will extend that offer, and she has, in fact, followed through.
I've been meaning to write her a hand-written card, and I think I will do just that tonight. Maybe I'll ask A's aparents if I can have their permission to send her a photo or two. I don't think they'll mind.
Anywho, I've gotten off track. The point of my post was to share that I've lost 21 pounds since my last visit with her in January! So that silly IUD was the culprit! Downside: I don't feel like I've lost weight. My clothes still fit the same way and I don't notice much of a difference in any other areas...BUT!...I would rather have lost than have gained! This must have been some "behind the scenes" weight or something. Either way, I was shocked when I saw the number on the scale. My doctor was thrilled for me.
So, even though I went in there biting my nails and left wiping mascara off of my face, it still was a good visit. I will see her again in January and hopefully by then I will have lost another 21 pounds (or more, please)!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Dear blog, I have missed you!

I've missed writing. No wonder I've felt all pent-up and frustrated for the past couple of weeks...I haven't been blogging! I've been so focused on trying to keep busy in ways that don't involve me being confined to my room that I've barely spent more than 20 minutes or so at a time on my laptop. Well, I'm here now, so bear with me.
I've been contributing to another blog and I'm so honored to be able to write for such a great cause. I've been following the blog for a while, and I have met a few great people from that blog as well as personal blogs I've come across through comments, etc. Each of us has a different story - some open adoptions, some closed - but that's the beauty of it. No two adoption stories are alike; heck, even if you asked a birth father for his thoughts and a birth mother for her thoughts on the same adoption, they would vary, I'm sure.

At some point over the past few weeks, I'm not sure when, exactly, but I came to the realization that my feelings for A's birth dad are part of a much larger, much more tangled web than I had originally thought. Yes, I love him. He is my daughter's father, my first born child. She is half of him. He was also the first man I truly loved. I convinced myself I was 115% over him, when I was not. I saw him and didn't feel the butterflies I had grown accustomed to feeling over the past few years, so I figured that was that. The "love" I felt was simply because of the bond we shared over the child we share. Then strange memories would creep into my mind. This would happen when I couldn't fall asleep at night. I tried to tell myself that I just missed the memory of "us," and that I need to simply make new memories with someone else. I also tried to tell myself it was the company that I missed, not him. I've never been more confused. I know I am talking in circles, but as I already said: please bear with me. I'm glad that we can get along, I really am. I don't want to be with him, I really don't. So pardon my language, but what the hell is it that I want? (I've typed, deleted, re-typed, and deleted this about 3 times already). I can't put my crazy, twisted thoughts into words! How can I love a man, not want to be with him, miss him with every fiber of my being, and resent him for things he has done to me in the past at the same time? When will I get off of this ride? I know, I know. The answer is simple: just don't talk to him. Well, if it were that easy, I would have done that. In fact, I did that, last year. And I survived. I was fine. I managed to go weeks at a time without so much as thinking about him. I guess it's not as easy this time around for me to make a clean break. I lost both him and my daughter at damn near the same time, and he is the closest "thing" to her that I have. It terrifies me to the core to think about completely losing him, too.

All of these revelations have brought me to a few other points. Some things I'm happy to finally grasp, others, I wish I hadn't thought about.

I have been very (very, very) apprehensive to date, after all I've gone through. Not only because I am not fully over her father, but because I feel fairly selfish at this point in my life and want to do whatever I please - whatever will make me happy at the time that I want to do it. Selfish, I know. But I'm not hurting anyone in the process. So, as I've said before, I was seeing a guy (we'll call him Z) last January - March. That was going great, until it fizzled out (by fizzled, I mean he tried to trick me into giving him money). I was over the moon at the very real prospect that I could potentially develop feelings for someone other than G. Well, look how that turned out. After that, I declared "F*!* men!" (in my head of course) and didn't want to put myself out there again, only to be hurt and/or aggravated by petty stuff that I didn't need in my life to begin with.

Fast forward to the end of April, when I decided to give it a go one more time. (I know, I didn't last long). I met someone, B, and things were going fine. Slow, just the way I needed them to be. The problem was, he was a bit "clingy." Texting all the time, and when he didn't get a response within 3 minutes, another text came my way. If that went unanswered, I could expect a phone call within 2 minutes. It wasn't at the crazy stalker level, but more of the 'you're really annoying me' level. I pretty much (very rudely) just stopped talking to him altogether. Out of the blue a month or so ago, he texted me again. Said he was sorry for anything he may have done to upset me, and asked if we could get together. We ended up walking up and down the beach (how cliche!) for a couple hours, talking and laughing. We have a lot in common, and while G was never downright mean to my face (with the exception of when we argued, most of the shady stuff he did was behind the scenes), it was nice to have a carefree conversation with a guy. We hung out a couple times after that, and one of my friends met him and thought he was a cool guy. Then he started with the texting non-stop thing all over again. I told him nicely that I was fine with us only talking once a day (or even less), and that I didn't need constant, every-hour contact. This, essentially, caused me to stop talking to him all over again. (What a witch, right?!)

He texted me Sunday morning. Said he was thinking of me and just wanted to know that I was alive. He knows about the adoption and a good chunk of the essential information about her birthdad. He is aware that we talk from time to time when it's about A, and he is fine with it. Well, he really didn't have much choice, but it's amazing that he "got it." I told him I was just going through some stuff, and when he asked if I wanted to talk about it, it finally clicked with me: I am not happy with myself. I cannot be happy with someone else NOR can someone be happy with me until I am happy with myself. I hate the way I look, I hate the way I act half the time, I hate a lot of things about myself that aren't worthy of hating. I just do it because....I just do. I explained this to him; I explained that being in a relationship with him right now would not be fair to him, as I need to focus on healing myself. I know grief is an ongoing process, but I need to get going on that and keep it under as much control as possible. I've convinced myself that I'm "fine," simply because I'm able to get out of bed every day and go through the motions. That's not living, though. It's just being. I was never one to just "be." If anything, my daughter should (and does) inspire me to do more than just exist. In a nutshell, I explained all of this to him to the best of my ability. I also finally admitted to myself, and to him, that I am terrified of letting myself care for (and love) someone else because I am so very scared to lose them. I think this mainly has to do with the 'loss' of my daughter, but also the loss of her father. While the loss of her father is much less profound, it's still there. I love(d) her father. I trusted him, completely gave myself and my life to him and look where I wound up...I'm now single, I became a mother with no child to show for it (other than in 1 dimensional photos), and I've gained an abhorrent amount of weight. Yes, I realize I cannot blame all of this on him. But what I also cannot do is put all of that behind me and jump head-first into another situation with a man where I am required to be vulnerable all over again.

I am not used to being treated the way he treats me. I have stopped speaking to him, cold-turkey, twice now. And he still is being patient with me (maybe because he knows my story. Or maybe he is desperate. Not sure). He told me that no matter what happens, he hopes the fact that he thinks I am beautiful to him will console me at least a little. How sweet is that? I've only been called beautiful by one other man before, and we all know who that is by now. Every other compliment is much more shallow than that.

I just don't know what to do. I don't want to be selfish, I don't want to hurt anyone. But I'm scared.

In other news, I recently found out that I am hypothyroid, which is both good and bad news. It explains a lot, but also means I will be taking a pill every day for the rest of my life. I started the prescription last Tuesday. I hope that the medication, along with some better eating habits that I've already been practicing and a walk 3 - 4x weekly will help me lose the weight I've been so miserable over for so long. I would be fine going back to my post-pregnancy weight, when I was in a 14. Not tiny, but the size I've always hovered around. I have a ways to go, but I believe that if I truly focus on myself right now, I can do it. I did it once, I can do it again!

Monday, July 9, 2012

'Saying Goodbye was the Hardest Part' - MTV trailer

I have been away! I've missed writing! I've just hit another slump, that's all...just a little writer's block. I've got so much to say, but no motivation or willpower to sit down and say it. I hope to get better, though. I used to at least write several times a month...not just once or twice.

I was playing around on my laptop last night, looking for something to watch. I went to mtv, and saw this trailer. It caught my eye because Catelynn (from Teen Mom) was on it. This show goes against almost everything I believe in, and I hate watching shows like this, especially now. But something draws me to Catelynn (besides the obvious) and I think I just may have to watch this episode tomorrow night. I better stock up on the tissues and eye make-up remover now.

I like the line where the woman says to use "positive, empowering adoption language; none of you 'gave up' your babies, you placed them for adoption," LOVE it! This 3:25 clip managed to make me cry. I held it in until Catelynn's great-grandmother started talking about how she got to hold the baby and smell the baby, but her husband never did and hopes he can one day. She got choked up saying it, and I lost it. It made me think back to my hospital experience with my daughter. Both of my parents, her birth father, and my best friend (like a sister to me) got to hold her, snuggle with her, feed her, and love on her. I have no regrets about that, and wouldn't want it to have been any other way. I just wish there was a local support group like this on the east coast. I would go in a heartbeat.

Monday, June 11, 2012

FREE Shoes!

Remember last summer when I was so excited about these baby shoes? Well, her a-mom wasn't sure whether or not she was a size three or a four and told me she'd have her try on both at the mall in the same brand to let me know. Well, me being me (instant gratification and no patience), I ordered them in both sizes and planned on just returning the one that wouldn't fit her. She wound up needing the smaller size, so I packed the other ones up and planned on shipping them back. And planned...and planned..and planned. And then completely forgot. So, they've been in the back of my closet for almost a year now.

I think they're adorable, so if you or anyone you know could use them, let me know! I've also cross-posted this on my Facebook. I'm not asking anything for them, because they aren't doing anyone any good just sitting in my closet, so someone else might as well enjoy them! And the 4th of July is right around the corner. I'm just asking that you pay the shipping if you don't live nearby. If you know someone in need (someone struggling, etc) let me know and we can definitely talk about it. I'm willing to ship for free to anyone who could use a little help. elizabethanne02 AT gmail .com


They're an infant size 4, never been worn, and still have the brown wax paper stuff inside of them and are still inside the Converse box.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Asking a favor...

I would just like to ask a favor of anyone who is reading.... If you pray at all, could you please keep my grandfather in your prayers? Thank you in advance! He's been ill since last July, and we were essentially told by doctors in December of this past year that he was on "borrowed time." Well, he got 'better,' or as good as you can be while suddenly nursing-home bound for the rest of your time on earth. Mentally, he's in too good of shape to be in a nursing home - he is fully alert and feels okay - but he can't live at home due to a multitude of problems he has. Mainly with his heart and lungs. Since December, he's had several scheduled surgeries as well as an emergency surgery and is now survived by weekly dialysis. Last Wednesday night, they called my mother in to the hospital, as he was rushed there because he couldn't breathe. He has a lot of fluid in his lungs. He got to go back to the nursing home yesterday afternoon, only to be rushed back by ambulance last night around ten. Each time this happens, he gets a little weaker, and you can see the sadness in his eyes. He's continuing dialysis, so he's not "ready" to let go yet, but he's also signed a DNR, so if things take a turn for the worst, they will take a turn for the worst quickly.

I'll be back to my normal blogging soon, I hope! It's just been a little crazy around here lately.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Things I Wish All Adoptive Parents Knew (from a Birthmother's Point of View)

**This is not targeted towards my daughter's adoptive parents whatsoever, nor is it meant to offend anyone or put anyone off. It's just a little list of things that I truly wish all adoptive parents knew. Some of it is said out of experience, some is said out of wishful experience - experiences I hope to have in the future, and some are just thoughts that swim around in this crazy head of mine. This mainly applies to post-placement**

(1) Nothing means more than calling the child we share an immense love for 'our child.' Recognizing that the child does in fact have two sets of parents who love him or her means the world to us birth parents.

(2) That old, crinkled up sheet of paper with errant crayon scribbles all over it that you are about to throw away because you've already kept approximately 8,000 of them? Don't. Send it to your child's birth mom or dad, no extensive letter necessary. What may be every-day and semi-"meaningless" to you may mean the world to a birth parent.

(3) You can never send enough photos. If you don't want to send one for fear of being too "pushy," I can assure you almost certainly that you are not. If we aren't ready to look yet, we'll save it for later. But just knowing you thought of us means everything.

(4) Including us as part of your family is the biggest honor you could give us. Even if visits are not part of the adoption plan, including us on group emails (with photos) to far-away family members doesn't go without notice. (My daughter's adoptive mom sent a photo of of our little girl waving two flags in her hands last year on the 4th of July. I love emails she sends only to me, but to see all of my daughter's many aunts and uncles from both sides of the family included on the email, along with myself and my mother, made my heart practically burst!)

(5) Likewise, being part of you "Christmas card list" is also amazing. If you're one of those families who takes professional Christmas photos and sends them out on little postcards, consider sending one to your child's birth family. (I still have mine from the two Christmases that have passed since she was born).

(6) No matter how much we love you (which, trust me, is a lot!), it is still extremely hard to trust someone else with your child. Think of how nervous you were the first time you let someone babysit your children...this is how we felt at placement, only it was magnified seven-fold. This is not to say we don't trust you - we more than trust you, and are secure in that trust - but keep this fear in mind when we send quick texts or emails just to see how everyone's doing. We don't mean to bug you.

(7) Sending us quick emails just to say hello, check in, or wish us luck on upcoming finals or whatever it may be, mean the world to us. Feeling like we not only share a common interest in the child, but also share a friendship, is wonderful.

(8) Not sure if we want that low-quality, grainy video you took on your cell phone? We do! You may have better ones that you took with a digital camera, but we cherish anything - and I mean anything you send us.

(9) Always keep your promises. This goes for birth parents and adoptive parents alike. Promises in open adoption are worth gold...there is no relationship more delicate or fragile on earth, so promises are sacred.

(10) We may not admit it, and a lot of us may share our pain quicker than we share our joy, but we love you for providing our children with what we couldn't at the time. Whether it's a two-parent household, a solid financial ground, or just a house period, it's something we couldn't provide or provide properly. I've heard it said that people think adoptive parents should "owe" their child's birth parents the world for "giving them a child." Well, birth parents feel indebted (in a good way) to adoptive parents for loving their child above themselves. We didn't give our child to you, we gave you to our child.

(11) Don't hold back on what you tell us. Don't be afraid to tell us that you missed 'our' baby while you were away on a business trip because you're scared we'll think "how do you think I feel?." The feeling we get when you are expressing your love for our child will eventually win over any jealous feelings we have about the time you get to spend with them that we don't.

(12) Allow us to send gifts. While some of us can't bear to walk down the baby aisle or the kid's toy aisle at Target, others find immense comfort in buying things for the child. The occasional "spoiling" we get to do feels amazing.

(13) Sending photos of your child wearing outfits we sent to her/him or playing with toys we sent are priceless.

(14) Always feel free to send us the "outtakes," too. While pictures in nice lighting, in cute outfits and with huge smiles are great, we want to see pictures of our kids just being kids, too. Not sure if you should send the picture where his or her back is to the camera and they are playing with toys? Please, send it! That one where they are crying or in mid-scream...send that one, too. We want as much insight into their daily lives as you are willing to give.

(15) If you don't already, please understand that as long as the safety of the child isn't at risk (mentally or physically), it can never be a bad thing for more people to love a child. When everyone has that child's best interest at heart, the more love, the better. Please don't close us out, we are not a threat. We don't want to take over your title or role and 99% of us would never have that intent nor would we dream of trying. We just want the opportunity to let our child know that he or she always was and always will be loved by us.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Not Something to be Proud of...

I haven't been around here much lately. I'm back in that slump I was in a few months ago, but it has nothing to do with my adoption. Well, maybe it does, indirectly. I just feel so...'blah,' for lack of a better term. It fits perfectly.

As I've said before, I'm not happy with my weight gain or my weight in general, and I haven't been for a while now. Honestly, I don't even know what I weigh, but I know it's too much. It really hit me the other morning when I was frantically looking for an outfit to wear to work (I hate not having my clothes ready the night before!). I found a pair of black dress pants, and thought I had hit the jackpot and would be out the door as soon as they were on. Well, no such luck. They were my old work pants, from the job I had in 2009, until I was laid off in December - about a month or so before I got pregnant. They were practically half the size of the pants I'm in now. Maybe not half, but damn near half. I immediately felt depressed and my day was heading in a very bad direction. Let me say this - I know you gain weight when you have a baby. It's unhealthy not to gain weight when you have a baby. But you're supposed to lose it. I did lose it when I had my gallbladder out. I was almost back to my 'normal' weight (which, mind you, was still overweight, but I'm not built to be stick thin. I was wearing anywhere from a size 10 to a size 14, depending on the brand, before I got pregnant. I look back on those times and remember feeling like I was so overweight. I wanted to be a size 4, because magazines told me that's what beautiful was. Now, I would give my left arm to be a size 12 again. And to think, it was only a mere two and a half years ago).

See below: my old pants (2009/early 2010) on top of my new pants, and my old favorite skirt on top of my current one. I want these pictures to be flipped - I want the ones on top to be the ones that fit, in due time.

Two months or so after she was born, I was feeling pretty confident about it. I want to say I was wearing a size 14 to 16, which to some is "plus size," but to me, was right around where I had always been from high school on. At my highest weight during my pregnancy, I was about 235 lbs. Before I got pregnant, I think I was somewhere around 180. Not thin by any means, but not morbidly obese, either. I was back around there (maybe 190 or so) until June, when I got my IUD put in. It was all downhill (or, according to the scale, uphill) from there. I don't blame it fully on the IUD, because I know I was (and still am) an emotional eater and I can finally admit the fact that I was severely depressed. I wasn't even sleeping. After I got it removed this past April, I lost about 10 lbs...and then completely plateaued.

Admittedly, I haven't been doing much to change it, other than cutting out Mountain Dew (I've been "clean" since 12/26!) and drinking at least 7 glasses of water a day. It's easy to do at work, because there's a little water fountain right by my desk and I don't drink coffee or anything.

I've talked about this before on my blog and said I was going to get my bum in gear, but now I'm really, really motivated. I'm not happy with myself, and it's affecting everything, not just the size of my pants. I need and want to be someone my daughter can be proud of one day...I want to be someone who truly deserves to be in her life when the time comes, not someone who's there because we're blood related and I'm 'defaulted' into being part of her life. That's not what she deserves by any stretch. I need to be happy, confident, and successful before I can be around her.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Figured it Out

I think I just cracked the case. Finally. Sitting here at my desk at work, I just figured out what has been wrong with me lately. I struggled so much with the fact that other single women my age raise their children JUST FINE...so very much that I had to justify to myself why I couldn't raise her. I told myself, over and over, that she wouldn't have had an amazing life with me. I wouldn't be able to provide for her the way I would want to. I wouldn't be able to give her everything she deserves - and that includes a stable, two-parent home. I had to basically brand this onto the inner side of my forehead in order to be able to get up in the morning. Whenever I got any confidence about the matter, any inkling that I could have raised her, or I could have made it work this way or that, I would start to regret my decision. I can't handle that pain. Right now I'm just numb. I shouldn't still be numb. In order to "dumb myself down" enough to believe that I did do the right thing for her and she will hurt so much less without me, I've wiped away any bit of self-confidence I had in every other aspect of my life, too. None of my clothes look good on me. My hair never looks right. My makeup never flatters me. I know I am an intelligent person, I know I could have been a great mom to her. I convinced myself I must not be worthy of being a mom. She would never have gone without her necessities or love. I KNOW she deserves better than just the "necessities." I also KNOW it's not just about material things, it's about security, and family. But I have security, and I have family. Not a picture-perfect family to raise a child in, no, and she would have had an in-and-out dad, but my parents wouldn't have left us homeless. Whenever I realize this, I just start to get angry - at everything. If it's not about money, or material items...why was I not "qualified?" Why was I not "good enough?" I love that little girl more than anything or anyone in the world. Why did I think I wouldn't be able to give her enough of it? Why did I think she would go without? I wanted her to have better - and there certainly is "better" than me out there. But I can't figure out how to balance it. I can't figure out how to stop hating myself for the decision I made. I feel like I either hate the decision I made because I feel that I must have been good enough, or I hate myself because I've convinced myself that I'm the lowest of the low and I was no good for her. It's the hardest thing in the world to realize that you weren't good enough for your own and only child.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Gift-planning, 6 months early!


I know it's a ways away, but I'm already putting some thought into what I should get Miss Arianna for her birthday. I want to have time to save up, if need be. I 'stole' a few good ideas from some of the girls on the Facebook support site...one of which was to create an American Girl Doll that looks like your child (particularly your daughter). I wish you could create the doll from scratch - I can't find one that looks *just* like her. Growing up, I had three - Samantha, Kit, and then one that was supposed to be "me." She had medium-blonde hair and blue eyes, and looked considerably like me - if I were a 2-foot tall, lifeless, plastic doll, that is. They have a much larger variety of dolls now than they did then. The one that looks the most like her is the one with "medium skin, curly dark hair, brown eyes," even though her skin is a little lighter than this. I know I loved my dolls as a child..I learned how to french-braid hair on these dolls! Hence why the "me" doll is now downstairs with tangly, bushy (absolutely ruined) hair.



What do you guys think? Is this a good idea, or should I do something a bit more age-appropriate? Do you know of any good sites for customizing dolls or other toys?

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Simple Quote I Love...


Oh, how I wish I had a recording of her heart beat. I don't think I'll ever hear a more amazing sound in my life.

Friday, May 18, 2012

My Mother's Day


Mother's Day weekend was surprisingly okay. Much better than last year, although that makes sense. Saturday was my self-proclaimed "me" day...I got a manicure, pedicure, and my eyebrows done. I went by myself, something I normally don't do, but I just wanted to be alone and relax. It was actually really nice.

On Sunday, My grandmother came over and we had a nice dinner and watched a movie with my mother. My mother made turkey or ham or something along those lines, so I had my usual "vegetarian" dinner:



My mom gave me some new beads for my Pandora bracelet, including an "E" which is the first letter of Arianna's 'new' name.


...and an Alex and Ani bracelet with the same letter. Apparently these are the "new thing," according to her!



I did give in and decide to meet up with her father. It was honestly against my better judgement and I know many people won't approve of this, but whatever, I did it and it's done. It was my decision and I did what I felt was right in my heart. Did my head agree? No, but we can't always listen to our heads, can we?


It was surprisingly a very nice time. Not too nice - not "I think I'm falling back in love with you and now I'm all confused because you treated me so amazingly this one night" nice - but very calm and peaceful. Very uncharacteristic of us as of late. We went to dinner and a movie on him (sounds date-like, but it wasn't), and then he gave me a really sweet gift and a card. I can tell he put a lot of thought into the gift...I was floored. It was so thoughtful.



It was a huge basket filled with a bunch of different things - some things I would use daily, some things that represent old jokes between us, and some things that are a bit more sentimental. Now, you wouldn't really think getting shampoo and conditioner in a gift basket would mean much, but the fact that he remembers which brand, type, and scent is my favorite means something to me. Sounds silly when I write it out! The card, of course, made me cry - he wrote about how he knows that a lot of what I have facing me is hard to deal with, but he knows me and knows that I have a strong spirit. He said that I more than deserve to be treated on Mother's Day, and he also said that even though this is one of the toughest things he has gone through in his life, he is glad that it's me who is the mother of this baby and that we are going through it "together," and that he is always here. I won't write out the entire thing, and I'm not one to normally even go in to that much detail, but it showed me that he (maybe, just maybe) is growing up a little. So funny to say about a man who is 10 (give or take) years older than I am, but I guess age really is just a number.
(And yes, he did color the boy in with a pencil on the front of the card and gave him curly black hair. If you didn't know, my daughter's father is African-American and she is bi-racial. Now you know!)

We had a few good conversations, which were needed, and he didn't try to pull any funny business. I think he respects the situation enough now to not try that with me. This doesn't mean much of anything really, I know I need to take it at face-value. So we had one good get-together...it doesn't mean we will start hanging out on a regular basis again or even speaking on one. I'm grateful that it went well and I felt appreciated, but I'm not a fool (anymore). I did, however, make one teensy (huge) mistake. He called as I was pulling on to my street, to make sure I got home. I was tired from working all day and then going straight to meet him, and it was around eleven when I finally got home. I said that I was just getting home, and thanked him again. He told me that I more than deserved it, and there was no need to thank him. Then he said, "okay, so...I'll talk to you...sometime.." and I replied, "yeah, sounds good. I love you, have a good night," and before I could even realize what I had just said, he said "I love you too, goodnight." Old habits die hard, I guess. I couldn't believe I said it, and it was just that - habit. But he replied as if I had just said "hey, what's up?" and he responded "nothing." It was that natural. Maybe that was out of habit, too. Yeah, there are worse things...but that's a pretty big faux pas in the land of let's-be-civil-because-there's-a-kid-in-the-"picture"-land. 

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Friday, May 11, 2012

In Other News . . .

I am so thankful that it's Friday. This week was so stressful at work. I have only one week and four days to get through until I have a 5 day weekend! The 27th is Memorial Day and we have the Friday before off as well. Thank you, national holiday declarers. Thank you very much.
I put my letter in the mail for A's mom the other day, and it felt really good. I didn't do it to get something from her, not at all...but I am a little eager to hear how she feels about it. I hope she likes it, and I hope she knows it came straight from my heart. I didn't even do a first draft like I normally do for "important" letters, I just laid on my the rug in my bedroom floor and wrote until I felt I had covered it all.
What else has been going on? This past Wednesday marked two entire weeks that I have gone to bed without taking Ambien and still successfully slept like a baby. And I actually slept better and felt 1000% less robotic than I felt when I was taking it. I started taking it in October, and took it faithfully every night since. Yes, I slept, but when I woke up, I didn't really feel rested and I didn't really feel like 'myself.' Then again, I haven't been my old self for a while now...not that I necessarily want to be. My worst fear had started to come true, and I finally realized it: I was becoming addicted to it. There were several nights that I tried to go to sleep without it, but I would lie there and convince myself that I wouldn't fall asleep without it, which stressed me out even more than I already was, so I would end up taking it. I wanted to be off of it so badly. I've never liked taking medications, especially not for prolonged periods of time. Especially not for sleeping. One night, I went to take it, and realized the bottle was empty...I had forgotten to refill it. I'm a little ashamed to admit this, but I would up on my floor, looking for the one that I thought I heard fall the night before. To admit that I would have taken a pill that I found on my bedroom floor is appalling to me. Not that my room is dirty - that's not it. What's appalling is how loudly it screams "desperation." (Side note: I didn't find it). That night, I probably would have fallen asleep on my own, had I not been so stressed about not falling asleep because I didn't take it. I eventually got up and took a Tylenol, just to swallow something and try and convince myself that I took the Ambien. That. is. a. problem. No? So, fast forward a month or so, after I had refilled it once more. I fell asleep one night, on my own, without taking it or even thinking about taking it. Once I woke up in the morning and realized this, I decided that if I could do it once, I could do it again. So I didn't take it the next night, or the next night, and slowly I realized that I could fall asleep on my own and that maybe I had overcome the psychological side of it all (not the adoption, but the medication). Before I knew it, I realized it had been two weeks since I had taken it. I still have 5 left in the bottle on my nightstand, and I'm not going to throw them or the prescription away, but it feels so good to know that I don't "need" them.

I've kept this in for a few days, but I have to share. On Tuesday, I got a phone call from her birth dad, out of the blue. We do occasionally talk (about our daughter) but we hadn't in a while and we sort of left it at "we'll talk sometime...eventually..." and that was that. Anyways, he called and said that he had been thinking about what to do for me for Mother's Day (SHOCKER!!). Last year, he gave me a card, and while it was simple, it was sweet. We've been through a lot, he put me through a lot, and at times he hurt me to the core and worked my last nerve, but as a person, he is a good man. He's made some mistakes and hurt some of the people closest to him, but at the end of the day, he is not a bad person. I was flattered that he called to acknowledge the day at all this year. He said that he wanted to do a little more for me than just getting a card or a gift, so he asked me if I'd be able to spare a couple of hours to meet up with him because he wanted to surprise me with something nice. I have absolutely no clue what he is or could be planning. Dinner, possibly. I know many of you reading this are probably thinking "he just wants something," and honestly, the thought went through my head, too, and even though I have been with him (read: slept with him) a couple of times since the baby was born, I know he respects me enough not to pull that with me again. The couple of times that it happened were two too many, and it was a while ago. He wouldn't cross that line now. I'm not completely naive to him now, though. With his track record, it's tough to give him the benefit of the doubt all the time. But at the same time, I suppose I have to admit that I've wronged him in the past before, too. We've wronged each other and both tried to move on from it. I told him I would let him know. I want to go, but I don't want to make a mistake, either. I don't want to back track here, I need to move forward. I was flattered by the invite, and am honored that he wants to acknowledge me as the person who carried and delivered his child. I want, with all of my heart, to believe that he has good intentions. I'm torn. And I only have a few more days to figure it out...

Thursday, May 10, 2012

"I Would Have Loved to be Her Mom"

Through various links, I came across this amazing blog post today. Which led me to this even more amazing video:


Watch that and try not to cry! These birth moms are putting my exact emotions into words, which is a sentiment that I am sure will be shared by almost any birth mom who watches the video. This five-minute video made me cry happy tears as well as sad tears, and gave me an even deeper appreciation for my daughter's adoptive family...did I mention that this happened all in under 6 minutes?

Monday, May 7, 2012

A Mother's Day Letter (in the works)

The gears have been turning and spinning in my brain for a couple of weeks now. I was trying to figure out what I could get for my little one's mom for Mother's Day. Everything I thought of was either cliche or not fitting. The last day that I saw them, she gave me a necklace with our daughter's birthstone on it and told me that she had one for Arianna for when she's older, too. She wrote me a beautiful card to go with it and when she got to the part about the necklace, she said "Of course, it is her birthstone. We cannot thank you enough for your selflessness and this necklace in no way represents how grateful we are to you, because there are no words or objects that we could say or give to you that would show how much we love you. You and ----- both have matching ones, and we will explain the significance of her necklace to her for the day that they (and you) come together again." (God, I could cry just typing that.) So, the idea of birth stone necklaces was out of the question. Then I started thinking about mani/pedi/spa day gift certificates, but that seems too generic. Don't get me wrong, it's a great gift, and I know she deserves to treat herself to a "me" day. I posed the question to some girls in the support group last night, and I got the most perfect response from one of them. Kari - if you read this, you rock! She suggested I write her a letter! I've been meaning to do that for the longest time, but I just haven't done it. I was too focused on writing to my little girl and writing back to emails from her a-mom that I never took the time to actually hand-write her a letter. What better time than now? I will probably keep it personal and private, because I think even the most sentimental things become cheapened a little when they're publicly read or written, but I can tell you that I am going to thank her for giving our daughter everything that I couldn't give her and more. I know I talk a lot about the hard side of things on this blog - how much it hurts sometimes, how it KILLS me sometimes - but I never really talk about how much I truly love this woman and her family (but especially her. There is a bond you share when you are both mothers of the same child that's not really explainable to anyone other than another birth mom or adoptive mom). I could go on for days about how I feel about her family. I know I went through a really rough time from January to March of this year, what with the waiting for photos and the broken promises, but that's water under the bridge now. I haven't forgotten, but I know life gets in the way sometimes. All that matters is she followed through on her word. It may have (okay, it definitely did) taken longer than I would have liked it to, but she came through.
Okay, I'm going to go get some paper and a box of tissues and lock myself in my room and start writing...

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Self, make it through the week, please.


1 week til Mother's Day 1 week til Mother's Day 1 week til Mother's Day. One more week of sappy commercials and even sappier Lifetime specials...I can do it! Mother's Day is so bittersweet for me. I love and appreciate being recognized by those who send me well wishes on this day, but it doesn't take away the sting that the "holiday" brings on at full-force. It is the one day that I can be acknowledged as a mother, yet I have no child to celebrate with me. More to come on this, I'm sure...

Saturday, May 5, 2012

"Go Away"

Right before I got out of work on Thursday, I had a conversation that both baffled me and made me want to smack someone at the same time. Luckily it happened a few minutes before 5:00, which is when I leave. See, I have a photo of Arianna on my desk. It's been there since the day I started working at this company, and I love having it there. It makes me smile throughout the day. Every now and then someone will walk by and say "she's adorable, who is she?" and I usually just say "my daughter," and for the most part, they keep it moving. I went back and forth about whether or not I should keep the photo there, because (a) simply saying "my daughter" leads them to believe that I am raising her, and there is a huge risk of someone asking me something later on down the road that I cannot answer... (b) it is usually not the time nor the place to go into the 'adoption' discussion because I've realized that people either give you that sympathetic look, become extremely awkward and don't know what to say, or a mix of both... and (c) I refuse to lie and say "my niece" or something along those lines. I'm proud of her, I love her, and I feel that if I want to have a photo of her on my desk then I will have a photo of her on my desk. I don't discuss much of my personal life at work - I'm not really friends friends with any of the girls there, so we usually keep it professional and we don't have much time for joking around anyway.
So - back to Thursday. A woman, who is probably in her late 40's/early 50's, came over to my desk to ask me to look up a case on my computer. As I was doing it, she said "who is THIS!? She is beautiful! Look at her hair!," and I said thank you and told her it was my daughter. (This is usually followed up with - "oh, what's her name?" or "how old is she?" and that's that.) This woman said "I didn't know you had a daughter!" I just sort of smiled at her and kept looking for the case. By that, I mean, I just let her talk, because she was talking so much I couldn't get a word in anyway. She was being so nice, talking about how cute her smile is and just throwing compliments out left and right. She asked me how old she was; I told her one and a half. She asked me her name, I told her the name that her a-parents gave to her. After all, that is her name now. She asked me what her dad looked like, because she didn't look much like me. Meanwhile, thoughts were spinning around in my head because I kept thinking, 'I need to tell her...but I'm so afraid to make it awkward..' but before I could even say it, she says "Is she really your  child!? I just never knew you had a baby. You never talk much about her at all - like, you never say 'motherly' things!" and then she leaned in and whispered, "plus, you look too young to have a baby, you know?" That right there sort of flicked a switch in my head and I got defensive. I am 24 years old. Is that on the young side to be a mother? I guess so - ideally I wish I had waited til I was 28 or maybe even 30 to have my first child, but that does not make me too young to have a child. I know plenty of girls my age that have 6, 7, 8 year olds. I didn't even know how to respond to her, other than to use that as my opportunity to tell her the truth. I told her that my little girl was adopted, and we are not raising her. The look on this woman's face went from judgmental to 'oh shit' in 10 seconds or less. She apologized up and down for the things she had said; and I told her that she did not need to apologize, because she didn't know. I knew she didn't know, so it was fine. She kept saying she never would have pushed the issue of me not talking much about her, had she known. I told her not to worry, and I meant it. It would have been one thing if she had known - but how could she have known? She never would have said those things if she had known. I knew that. So I told her over and over not to worry.
She carried the conversation on, asking me if her dad (she meant birth father) is still in my life or not, etc. I didn't go into much with her...I just told her that he and I speak when it has to do with her, and that's it. She asked me how I get the pictures, and I told her that we keep in fairly close touch and talk regularly. This is where the  conversation gets stupid. She asks, "how do you keep in touch? I mean, how do you communicate with them?" I told her, "Facebook, email, phone, and skype, for now." After I said this, she gave me this crazy look and made that infamous 'hummmpf' noise and said, "Wow, that's odd. Usually they want the parents to go away, and I can see why...so they can really raise them as their own" and she sort of giggled. My blood instantly started boiling and I know I was bright red. I did not even know how to respond to her. Do I try to educate this woman on how ignorant she is being? I didn't really want to go down that road, especially not at 4:58pm. I wanted to leave, right then. I get that she is older, and when she was my age (or younger) a lot of adoptions worked that way. Women signed the papers and never heard from the adoptive family again. I also realize that I am probably naive to a lot of things that others are passionate about and could innocently say something that could be portrayed as ignorant simply because I honestly don't know any better. But I don't see any excuse whatsoever - whether you aren't familiar with a certain subject, or you truly believe what you are saying - to look someone in the eye, someone who just told you they placed their child for adoption, and tell them that it's odd that they are kept in their child's life because you wouldn't want that person in your child's life if you didn't birth your child.
Maybe she meant no harm by the comment, I don't know. I can't see how she didn't, but whatever. I will never look at her the same way again. I was cursing myself the whole way home, because I brought it on myself by having her photo on my desk. I promised myself I would take it home with me the next day so I wouldn't have to deal with stupid comments anymore. Then I realized that, no, I would not be taking the picture down. No, she isn't "mine" mine, but she will always be mine. Makes no sense, right? Except it does make sense. I should be able to have her photo there, in the privacy of my own desk, if it makes me happy...and it does make me happy. Regardless of the stupid, ridiculous comment she made.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

18 months...

Little Miss is 18 months old today! An entire year and a half has gone by since the day she was born. Sometimes I feel like it was just yesterday, others, I feel like it was centuries ago. I feel like 18 months is a milestone. She's really not a "baby" anymore but she's not quite a toddler yet, either. Even though she's as tall as her three-year-old brother ;)


I created an email address for her last year. Only two people have the address - myself and her birth dad. I'm the only one with the password. I promised him that I wouldn't read anything that he sends, in the event that he sends anything at all. It will be hard (I'm still a little nosy by nature when it comes to him). I wanted to have a way to feel like I was "talking" to her on tough days, good days, and all of the days in between...especially holidays and her birthday. Whenever the day comes that she and I can have a relationship of our own and she is old enough, I will tell her about it and give her the password so she can go on and see everything I've written to her. I'm still going to write hand-written letters, as they are so much more personal, but I wanted to have the email as well. I like the idea that they are dated and timestamped and all of that, so she can see exactly when I wrote it, down to the hour. She's always on my mind. I constantly hear songs or read poems that remind me of her, and those are the things that I send in a quick email. Or sometimes I write to her as if I'm writing in my own journal. Sometimes I send it, others I don't have the courage. (I know I can go in and delete anything I send at any time, but that sort of defeats the purpose!) I just sent her a Happy "1/2 Birthday" email and pasted the lyrics to the song above in the email (because who knows when youtube video links will expire?!).
I hope one day she can treasure these things.

Monday, April 30, 2012

In Fact, There Was No Spark at All....

I saw a post that someone had shared on a Facebook page asking how you met your significant other/child's father/husband etc., and if there was a spark there right away or if it took some time to develop. It got me to thinking about something I don't think about too much - how things began with Arianna's birth father. Of course I think about the ending all the time (too much, really), but I rarely think about the beginning.
I took a part-time job in the summer of 2006, right after I graduated high school. He had worked there for a couple of years, but I didn't meet him right away. Coincidentally, he was away on paternity leave when I started (ironic, isn't it?) and came back about a month or so later. Mind you, I was 18, and knew he he just turned 30. I remember the day he came back like it was yesterday, although I'm not sure why, because he meant nothing to me then and didn't make much of an impression on me then, either. I still remember it, though. I had just gotten my nose pierced and one of the first things he said to me after introducing himself was that it "looked cute" on me. I remember turning that awful shade of red that I think all pasty Irish girls like myself can relate to. I remember, for a while, I was very quiet around him and he intimidated me. He never did anything to upset me or anything, in fact, we barely even spoke or interacted with one another. But he was a big guy, seemed to have authority over everyone else who worked there, and wasn't shy about anything, and that intimidated me. So, fast forward to December or so - I heard through the grapevine that he was moving out of his house (he lived with his girlfriend and their 8 month old daughter). Around this time, you could cut the tension with a knife and he was really edgy. He had an attitude that was just awful. He said something to me that offended me and I wound up in tears, begging my manager to change my hours around so I could work a shift opposite his. We were in a department the size of your average master bedroom. I wanted away from him, and fast. For months (by months, I mean until March) we didn't speak to each other. Even when we were the only ones there, we did not speak. If I had a question about something, I went elsewhere to find my answer. We simply ignored each other and I was fine with it.
One day, somehow, we were alone yet again, and ended up laughing about something. I don't think we meant to laugh at the same time and we certainly weren't laughing together over it, but we both laughed. It was like all of the issues just went away, and it was a weight off my shoulders. I didn't have any feelings for him whatsoever at the time, but it was nice to be able to walk in and say 'hello' rather than walking in the opposite direction of a co-worker.
Some more time went by, and we got to talking in the mornings because we both worked at 5 a.m. We found a common ground in talking about cars and music, and he was talking about some CD that he liked a few years back and I told him that I actually owned that CD (I think it was Mase or something crazy like that) and that I could burn it for him if he wanted a copy. He gave me his phone number and told me, "don't play the way you normally do. Don't be shy, if I don't pick up, leave me a message." That was how numbers were exchanged. Over the next month or so, we talked a lot about his car and how he wanted to modify it, convert it, etc., which is something that I was genuinely interested in. I've always loved cars, and he got so giddy talking about it that you couldn't help but be interested in what he was selling. We developed a pretty good friendship in that month alone. Then, when my birthday came in April of 2007, he called out of the blue and asked me if I could meet him in Boston. I went, and we got in his car and went to Chili's to "celebrate my birthday." He paid for our lunch, and still, my mind never went anyplace other than a strictly platonic friendship. Over the next few months, we talked more and more and hung out outside of work more and more, and it was that summer that I finally started to see him in a different way. I had loved him like a brother for a while - he protected me, looked out for me, and talked to me about anything. But towards the end of the summer, I started to wonder about us. I started to feel like something was bound to happen; it was only a matter of time. I had never been with anyone at that point, and found myself thinking more and more that he was someone that I wanted to be with. I thought about it, a LOT. (TMI warning)! I was still a virgin at the ripe young age of 19, and really felt like I wanted him to be my 'first.' I talked to my friends about him all the time. How close to perfect it all was, yet in hindsight, it wasn't perfect at all.
One night, around the middle of September, he told me that he was going to get his car towed from one garage to another, and he wanted me to be there with him (I'm telling you, the cars were like children to him). I went, and we hung out and talked while we waited for the flatbed to come get his car. We ended up lying on the front lawn of his cousin's house half-cuddling and I was over the moon. I remember that night like it just happened...I can even remember what I was wearing and everything. I couldn't think of one place I would rather have been that night. I remember wanting to kiss him, but I was too shy. It felt like it would have been "right," but I just wouldn't make that move, and I think he was trying to be respectful and not make that move either. I was now at that crossroads that no one wants to be at: do we go for it, and possibly risk ruining our amazing friendship, or do we just let sleeping dogs lie and stay just friends? I did know for sure, though, that I definitely had feelings for him by that point. And that they wouldn't just 'go away.' Two weeks later, on a Sunday, I was at work alone and he called (he called every Sunday because I worked alone in the afternoon, so we would talk to pass the time) and said he was having a bad weekend for whatever reason. I agreed, because I remember that I was just having a bad day. He asked me to meet him in Boston again when I got off work. I met up with him later that night, and we went to a reservation area with a huge pond and miles of woods. We called it our 'mountains.' It is beautiful there. We just went for a walk and ended up lying down up against a giant log that was at the top of a hill. Not to get all gushy - but you could see the stars through the trees and hear the water and it was about as close to perfect as you could make it. So, as the story goes (the part you've all been waiting for!), this was the night that he kissed me for the first time. I had been waiting for so long for it, and when it finally happened, it was almost as if nothing else mattered at all. That was September 30th, 2007...and the rest is history. Well, it's history until January of 2010 when I ended up pregnant. But you get the idea. Everything in the middle - the fun, the laughs, the fights, the tears, the drives, the screaming, the talks, the sex, the letters - has made me who I am today. Sometimes I miss it all, and sometimes I wish it all never happened. Sometimes I cry about it, others I laugh. When I start to think about the good times, I feel empty, I feel sad. But when I start to think about the bad times, I feel glad that they are behind me. He was a lesson learned, as was our friendship, and as was our relationship. I wouldn't change a second of it, though. Everything has it's repercussions, every action creates a reaction. Changing one second of our history might mean that our little girl wouldn't be a part of this world right now. And while I do live without her everyday, I still couldn't imagine living without her.
So, that's how we met, and that's how it all unfolded. If someone told me years ago (when he and I weren't even on speaking terms) that we would end up where we are today, I would never have believed it. Hell, I probably wouldn't have even done it. Despite all of the pain, resentment, anger (etc., etc.,) of it ending, and all of the hell I went through with him for the duration of it, I have to say that I'm glad I didn't look before I leaped.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

I'm Always Thinking of Her, I'm Doing This Because of Her

This song always makes me cry, no matter where, when, or why I'm listening to it. It's an r&b song, which isn't the first genre that would come to mind when you're thinking of songs about your child, but it's exactly how I feel about my little one. Her birth father told me once, on one of our various "breaks" that this song described us. Still not sure if that was a good thing or a bad thing - but either way, it always makes me think of her now and I'd rather think of her than him! (Just being honest. Ha!)



Sometimes...
What may be the best thing for you to do
Sometimes it the hardest thing for you to do
And that's real
Cause I know that I love you
I know how I feel about you
But i also know that don't make everything alright
And for that reason
I gotta say goodbye

Tell me have you ever been in a
Situation where the best thing you could do
Is the hardest thing you've ever done
But you try to do whats right
And I know that deep down inside
That i really wanna be there by your side
But i can't stand to see you cry
Not when its because of me

And its over, I'll never love another
I'm always thinking of her, I'm doing this because of her

Don't wanna say goodbye
I don't wanna let her see me cry
Looking out the window and wondering why
Did we have to say all those things that we said last night
Baby I don't wanna say goodbye
So I'm just standing here wondering why
Just don't like to see when you cry
So I'ma say goodbye

If you think I cause I packed your stuff
That inside I ain't really really cracking u p
Cause you're wrong I just hide it good
Cause I know that's what you need
And there's more to life than loving yourself
You gotta learn to love somebody else
And that's why I do the things that I do

And its over, I'll never love another
I'm always thinking of her, I'm doing this because of her

Don't wanna say goodbye
I don't wanna let her see me cry
Looking out the window and wondering why
Did we have to say all those things that we said last night
Baby I don't wanna say goodbye
So I'm standing here wondering why
Just don't wanna see when you cry
So I'ma say goodbye

There's no one in this world that can ever take you place
All the love that we share, it can never be erased
and i know that, that it hurts so bad
And its so that, that you're the best i've had

There's no one in this world that can ever take your place
All the love that we shared, it can never be erased
And I know that, that it hurts so bad
And its so that, that you're the best I've had

There's no one in this world that can ever take your place
All the love that we share, it can never be erased
and i know that, that it hurts so bad
And it's so that, that you're the best I've had

There's no one in this world that can ever take your place
All the love that we share, it can never be erased
And i know that, that it hurts so bad
And it's so that, that you're the best I've had

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Support

I decided to join the support group on Facebook that I was a part of for a few months starting last fall. I left because I was getting antsy about not hearing from my daugher's a-mom, and I kept reading a lot of posts from girls whose adoptions had suddenly closed or were closing, and I couldn't handle reading it. It would freak me out. It made doors closing the norm, since I read so much about it. I know that it's not the norm, and I can see no reason why her adoptive parents would suddenly shut me out, but the idea still crept into a tiny corner in my brain and made itself at home for a while. Once I got my promised update (plus a few more) and some more regular/consistent communication with her a-mom again, I decided it was safe to go back. I love it. I feel like I can say whatever is on my mind and I won't be judged, which is amazing. I really do need to start making some more positive changes. Since my birthday just passed, I figure that now is as good a time as ever. I can use it as a "turning point." I stopped going to therapy once I started working full-time because I just felt like I didn't have enough time. Most therapists work banker's hours; 9 to 5, just like I do. So it's tough. But I'm starting to realize that there's always a way to find time to work on yourself. There has to be. I can go to work, come straight home and relax but still have that 'I'm miserable' feeling linger in the back of my mind, or I can go to work, go straight to therapy, and slowly but surely feel better. It's clear which of the two is the better option, it's just a matter of taking the first step. It's a step I've taken a few times in the past year and a half-ish. I've had three different therapists, but none have really been that perfect match for me. I need someone well versed in adoption loss, self-esteem, and male/relationship issues. I need to talk to someone not only about my baby, but about her father. I need to feel like I can be fully honest. I've never been 100% honest with any of them, which is why I've never moved forward the way I should have. I've always left out teeny bits of the truth here or there - mostly (okay, only) about him. His age when we met. How our relationship began. What we fought about, etc. I can't expect anyone to be able to help me if I can't even be honest about what kind of help I need. Basically, my seeking support from other birthmoms led me to the realization that I need to seek help from someone totally outside the box, too. I need to start to be more open. I need to get "me" back...or as much or "me" as I can possibly get back. I know I'm a different person now. I became a mother and lost that title all within the span of 8 days. Honestly, I barely even know who I am anymore...

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Potentially Boring Post! Test Images

It's Saturday! I finally have some time to play around with my new camera that I got for my birthday. I picked it out, of course (getting older = choosing your own gifts) and I have been looking forward to playing around with it ever since Thursday. It's a Canon SX260 HS. I figured I would post a few of the test images I took using the different digital filters that came built-in. This is going to be my "point and shoot" camera that I can take with me whenever I feel like it. It's tough lugging my larger (read: more expensive, valuable, and not to be handled by a klutz on a day-to-day basis) camera around, and my other digital camera was getting a little old/outdated. I believe I got it as a Christmas gift in 2008 - it's a Sony CyberShot and I actually loved it despite the fact that I had a pretty crappy CyberShot a few years back.
These pictures are not great quality, I just took one of my Tinkerbell figurines (yes, I collect those!) and put it down on the rug in my bedroom floor and tested out the filters. If you actually look at all of the photos, you can see Lily make a brief appearance, before she's scared away by the flash.

FishEye filter

 Toy Camera filter (blue tone, you can also shoot in red and sepia)
 Soft focus
 Monochrome
 Vivid Color
 Posterize
 Monochrome with color selection - pink (I'm not too happy with this one. I took one of a vase of pink, yellow, and white flowers which came out much better)
 Color Swap (green to purple)
 Normal auto focus with no effect (this one's a little blurry...not the camera's fault. My phone vibrated and scared the bejeezus out of me right when I took it)


Miniature Effect (blurs the top and bottom of the image)

Manual focus with flash


I'm really excited to play around with it some more. I know these are fairly basic features, but to an amateur who is just passionate about taking and editing photos, and someone who has always had a much more basic carry-around camera, these are really neat. I want to learn and use this camera to it's full potential!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Mixed feelings

I'm excited because last year on my birthday, my mom gave me a framed 8 x 10 photo of my little girl that I had never seen before. She 'went behind my back' (haha) and asked C for some photos that I had never seen so she could surprise me. Well, my birthday is tomorrow, and I'm getting my hopes up that it may happen again. I know it's against my better judgement to get my hopes up about anything like that, but I can't help it!
I'm a little nervous, because I'm worried that I won't get a text or call or email from C tomorrow for my birthday. Call me selfish - yes, I know it sounds selfish - but I think I would be a little let down if I didn't hear from her. I know she has her life and I have mine and we are both (more so her) busy with our lives, and my world "revolves," if you will, around them/Arianna more than their lives revolve around me. I know that. But I would be lying if I said I wouldn't be just a teeny bit disappointed. My birthday doesn't mean much to me anymore, really. I'm working 9 - 5 and then going out to dinner and I already know what my gift is from my parents - a new camera! So in the grand scheme of things, it's definitely not as exciting as it used to be. Which is to be expected! Nothing would make my day more than a simple "happy birthday" from her, though. Even if she didn't send any photos, that's fine! I am blessed beyond belief to have been able to Skype with them for A's birthday, which is so much more important to me than my own. In a way, her birthday was my birthday too - a metaphoric birth from my old life into the one that I knew I needed to start living after her.
Am I selfish for feeling this way? For feeling a little nervous because even though tomorrow should and will be a happy day for me, part of me is worried about the hurt/disappointment that I'll feel if I don't hear from them?
The more I read what I'm writing, the more selfish I feel. I assure anyone who is reading this that it's not because I feel that I deserve recognition or that I am 'owed' an acknowledgement. I guess it would just be nice to know she was thinking of me. Then again, she constantly assures me that she is and that our daughter is lucky to have such an amazing birth family. So with that said, do I really need a 'happy birthday' text from them? I think not!
(This is the most back-and-forth post I think I've ever written. However, I answered my own question and that could very well be a first, too)!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Rather Blah

I'm having a rather "blah" day today. I don't know exactly why; no one has done anything to upset me or make me angry or anything. Maybe it's the humidity outside...who knows.

I don't want to dwell on it, though, I know that much! That picture kills me every time. It makes me smile no matter what!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

The jungle is your head can't rule your heart

I'm home from work today. This is the third day that I haven't been to work this week! I'm going stir crazy. I felt really dizzy on Tuesday morning and felt like my room was spinning when I woke up. I thought it was just me being a little disoriented because it was around 3 a.m., so I rolled over and went back to sleep. When my alarm went off at 7:00, I grabbed my phone and tried to shut the alarm off but I kept seeing triple. I couldn't put my finger on the right part to turn the alarm off - I was aiming beside the phone, not at the phone, apparently. That freaked me out. When I stood up, I immediately felt like I was going to vomit, but didn't (THANK GOD). I hate throwing up. It scared me a lot (a lot, a lot, a wicked lot) because the last time I felt light headed and actually lost my balance and fell over, I was 8 months pregnant. Now, there's no way I could be 8 months pregnant right now, but I still had a flashback and it freaked me out even more), so I stayed home from work and made a doctor's appointment. Turns out I have vertigo. Which is scary in and of itself, because I was never told exactly what causes it, I was just given medication and sent on my way. I have since read and read and listened and listened and medication is said to do absolutely nothing for it. Instead, I'm doing some physical therapy at home that I found online. It's not the best source, but since my doctor wasn't a great deal of help, this will have to do.
I went to work yesterday and lost my balance about 8 times. By 10:30, the computer screen was just a smudge of black and white and I couldn't focus on anything. I called my mom and had her come get me, and we went back for my car later that night. I really shouldn't have driven to work in the first place, but I was feeling better, and heard that it can come and go - so I figured it had "gone." I couldn't even really go on my computer yesterday because I couldn't focus and straining my eyes made my head hurt, so I literally laid in my bed for about four hours, not sleeping. How completely boring.
I felt nauseous this morning and still fairly lightheaded, so I stayed home one more day. I'm really hoping to be able to go tomorrow, and drive myself there and back. I don't want this to debilitate me forever.