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.