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!)

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


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
 Vivid Color
 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.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Perfect Summer Outfit

This is the outfit we picked out. I know, I'm a dork, but I know one day I may want to look back and see it. I like to have it all in one place!

Love these sunglasses. I would wear them if I could get away with it! (read: if they fit).

Easter & THIRD update!

I have been away for a while again - I've been immersing myself in my scrapbook and not spending too much time on the computer. I hope everyone who celebrated Easter had a good one! It's a tough holiday, not as bad as Christmas, but tough simply because it is centered around children. At least in the commercialized way. I suppose every holiday is like that, though, now that I think about it. Easter is really only hard when I see all of the beautiful dresses in all of the stores and I imagine what it would be like to actually be able to choose one for A and dress her up and take pictures. Oddly enough, one of the hardest aspects of this is thinking about the day-to-day things that I don't get to do. Yeah, it sucks to think about the future and how long the road is ahead of all of us involved (particularly on her birth side), but thinking about the little things kills me. What is she wearing today? Is she wearing a pretty dress? I wish I could pick out her outfits, I wish I could do her hair. There are so many hair bows, headbands, etc., that I would love to buy for her and put in her hair. Isn't that the best part of having a baby doll when you're little...doing her hair? And she has SO much of it. I remember how much I cried when I found out I was having a girl...not because I wanted a boy, actually, it was the opposite. I always said I didn't want children, but somewhere deep down, I could see myself with a little girl. So to find out that I was getting what I've always wanted at the same time that I realized that I couldn't have what I really wanted was really hard. I enjoyed hearing the words, "it's a girl!," but knew I wouldn't get to fully enjoy her myself.
Enough about the sad stuff! Right after I posted the picture of her Easter gifts, I sent an email to her amom double-checking that it was okay to send her something. I woke up in the morning to an email on my phone - but it was not from her (I could have sworn up and down that I filtered all of my spam mail to be automatically deleted, but apparently one sneaked through) and my heart dropped. Not because I expected an immediate reply, but just because that spam mail totally teased me. So, I forced my mind to go elsewhere and got ready for work. When I got to work, I looked at my phone out of habit, and there was an email! I rushed in so I could read it on my computer. It was from her! She said that of course it was absolutely fine if I sent a gift, and that they were heading to a nearby state to celebrate Easter. She also attached some pictures from the Easter egg hunt they went on that past Sunday...I was so happy. Here I was, thinking the world was literally ending (yes, literally) just a couple of weeks before this - and now here I was, looking at two photo updates within a week and a half of each other. It was great. I will post one or two pictures below! Her amom said that once she caught on to what she was supposed to do with the eggs, she loved it and grabbed as many as she could fit into her hands before she dropped any in her basket.
On Sunday, we had a holiday-less holiday in my house. It was low-key and we just stayed in and had dinner together. Earlier in the day, I spoke with her birthdad via text and told him that since they told me that they were going to be away for Easter, I thought I'd wait and mail her package on Monday so it wouldn't be sitting outside for too long. She doesn't know Easter's over anyways ;). I told him that since I had a little more time, there was something else I wanted to get her. I felt like I wanted to send a little more - not too much, but just a little more. He mentioned something about being around, and didn't come right out and ask, but eventually we discussed going shopping together. Now, this is the first time this has really happened. He said he would pay half of her Easter gift last week, but the one and only time I actually asked him to physically go and pick something out for her with me, he told me he "wasn't ready" to do that. It was her first Christmas, when she wasn't even two months old. I understood. It is so hard for me, too...on one hand, I want to burst into tears when I see all of the cute pink baby girl and toddler clothes. But on the other hand, I get to feel "close" to her when I'm doing it. And to see her actually wearing or playing with things I've sent her is an indescribable feeling. Any adoptive moms who read my blog, if you want to know a sure way to your baby's birthmom's heart, send her a picture like that!
Long story short, we went to Old Navy together and he truly shocked me. For one, I thought his idea of 'going with me' would mean going for the drive and staying in the car. He came in with me. Secondly, I thought he would wander around while I went straight for the little girl clothes, but he came with me and was by my side the whole time. I picked out an adorable pair of bright pink capri pants and was looking for a shirt to go with them. I turned around, and couldn't see him, but when he came back, he had the cutest pink shirt with silver butterflies and dark pink flowers on it that said "think happy thoughts!" It doesn't seem like a big deal - and trust me, my guard is and was still up with him, and it in no way negated all of the absolute bullshit he has put me through over the years - but there was something about him standing there with this teeny shirt in his hands, pointing out which color flowers matched the pants I had, that was adorable. There's just something about a grown man shopping for bright pink shirts, pants, and tutus that softens me a teeny bit. We picked out a pair of sparkly heart-shaped sunglasses to go with it, and then we left. We went to the 24-hour post office together (for the first time) and sent it off to her with a card. I was the only one who signed the card, and I didn't offer it up to him because he is still in a bit of a tizzy over the letter he got from them about the card he sent, and I didn't want to get him started. He was in a good mood, I was fine, and we were getting along fine, and I wasn't about to ruin it. I feel like I will need to write a post explaining some things about him in the near future, whenever I get in whatever sort of mood I have to be in to do it. Some people who are reading this are, I'm sure, thinking... "why are you even speaking to him?" (and they have every right to wonder that. Sometimes I wonder that, too. Other times, I don't. Confused would be an understatement).
Anyways, I sent an email to her amom afterwards, in reply to the one she had sent me on Thursday morning and to let her know I had put the package in he mail. I told her that G had helped me pick out the outfit and told her how much it means to me that she allows me to send her gits directly and how much it meant that we could share in that. She wrote back saying that we are too sweet and she can't wait to see the outfit. And, most importantly, she attached a few pictures from Easter! Her Easter dress was so beautiful. I have no words for how grateful I am right now - I have to reference this if/when a couple of months go by with no word from them again. It just plain sucked - the waiting - but I "made it" and can now see that the end result of all of my waiting has been experienced not twice, but three times in the past two weeks. Three photo updates! Unreal.
Now, for a couple pictures...

 At the egg hunt
So excited on Easter morning! She got the tiara in one of her baskets

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

I'm sending these to the little one for Easter!
I love any excuse to send little gifts to her, and I'm very blessed to be able to do so! One is from me and one is 'from' her birth dad (they were only $10 each, plus $6 for the tutu, but if he wants to help out, it's more than fine by me). This year she'll really be able to enjoy the holiday, which is great. This past weekend they went to an egg hunt at a nearby school. Hopefully I'll get to see pictures of that soon - she did say she'd send some, but I don't want to get too spoiled after that huge update she sent last week!