Marc and Megan Logo

family photo family photo family photo family photo family photo family photo

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The way things were

I had a moment in the hallway at church the other day that caused some moments of reflection. I anticipated being confronted with a moment like this, so it didn't come as much of a surprise.

As I was walking to the bathroom to change (what turned out to be) Ben's first blow-out, a middle-aged woman walked alongside me offering her congratulations and then made this comment:

"So, I bet now you're wondering why you wanted kids so bad, ... (insert her laughing)... and wishing you could go back to how things were before."

And, you know what? Even though I anticipated getting a comment like that, it surprised me how deeply it pulled on my heart strings.

Yeah, I'll admit that I've come to realize the demands of motherhood, the sacrifices, the exhaustion, and so much more... but, even after the longest night or the most exhausting day, I have NEVER once wanted to go back to what life was before bringing Ben home.

Not even close.

I guess she didn't realize that I already know the sleepless nights... or realize how much worse they were than our sleepless nights now. They were empty and quiet and piercingly lonely. She must not know the pain of infertility and what a heavy burden it is to carry. Or the grief and devastation of losing our girls and how exhausting that pathway is to have to take. Those are days that were filled with heartache and suffocating fears that we'd never know the joys that come with welcoming a little spirit from heaven into our home and life (and by that I mean to stay for a while). 

And even though I've been blessed now to come out on the other side of that dark valley, I am not suddenly a stranger to the pain and heartache... they have been carved into my soul, forever to remind me of the paths I had to take to get to where I am now and to remind me to never take any of my joys and blessings for granted. Knowing the fragility of life and that we aren't exempt from feeling its effects, we are living in the moment and soaking up all it has to offer. 

My response to the woman was a forced, half-hearted laugh as I went my way and she went hers. She clearly didn't understand. There will never come a day that I will ever wish to go back to our childless state. Now that we know the joys (and even the beginnings of the challenges), we embrace it with our whole hearts, feeling so deeply grateful for the abundance of our blessings.

I wouldn't trade the lack of sleep, the poopy diapers, the spit-up on my clothes, for anything. The joys, the healing, the pure bliss, the love we've experienced in the last ten weeks is far more amazing and beautiful than anything I've ever known or could have imagined. 

Benjamin is without a doubt the sweetest blessing from heaven. We love him and cherish every single moment we have with him. We don't have any desire to go back to the way things were before him.  

There's no going back... and I feel so grateful.

(Now, I guess I just need to come up with an appropriate response in case this scenario happens again. I don't like that my lack of response to her may have left her believing that I might want to go back to life before, but I also wouldn't want to spew out a sarcastic remark that I would later regret. What would you say in a situation like this?

Monday, March 8, 2010

As of yesterday...

Ben is now ten weeks old.


we now have ten weeks (approximately) before welcoming baby boy #2.

To be completely honest, I'm starting to feel a bit overwhelmed. Excited, for sure... but also overwhelmed. We've been taking a birthing class and making other preparations for our little addition. Fortunately Ben has been feeling much better these days, after some miserable weeks of acid reflux, gassiness, and constipation. With the absence of pain and discomfort, there have come some better nights of sleep for him and for us, which has resulted in a greater reserve of energy during the day to get things done, and a much happier little guy.

I often find my mind wandering a couple of months into the future, trying to imagine what life will be like with an almost five month old and a newborn. I'm still trying to figure out how all of this happened. I wasn't expecting any of it and I'm feeling more and more undeserving of such rich blessings. I know there isn't anything I've done to deserve this kind of abundance. I count myself simply the beneficiary of God's mercy and love. I know these blessings have come from Him.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Our Adoption Story - the Birth

I keep thinking that with time it will get easier to write down the final details of our adoption story, the happy ending of bringing home an angel boy. But, I'm still feeling as insecure as ever in finding the right words to adequately express the emotions of those moments; the experiences that effectively turned our world right side up again. 

After so many years, filled with disappointment and loss, our world literally started to feel like it had been turned upside down. Particularly after losing our twin daughters, we seemed to enter a dark winter early that year, which then seemed to last longer than any winter ever should.

Then came Tracey. There is so much you don't know about Tracey. She is one who has faced her own steep mountains. Multiple steep mountains. She has not had an easy path and is not a stranger to pain and disappointment. And yet, here she came into our lives with the most loving, unselfish heart, offering to give us the one thing that would melt away the wintry darkness that hung over our heads. She gave us the greatest gift - the gift of a family - no doubt knowing that to some extent that gift of healing to us would only add another mountain for her to climb. And, still, she did it.

Saturday, December 26th, as I was leaving from working my afternoon shift at the temple, I turned on my cell phone to find a message from Tracey. I was excited to see she had called, but wasn't expecting anything more than her wishing us a belated Merry Christmas, since we hadn't connected the day before. Instead I heard an excited/anxious voice telling us that she'd been having contractions for approximately that last fifteen hours and that they were starting to progress even more. 

My parents and my sister, Dawnette, were in the car with me. I don't remember for sure how I relayed the news to them, but I think my tone was rather subdued and a little in shock - "So, Tracey's in labor." And, then I called her back to find out how she was doing.

Our phone call started with her asking for me to "hang on a sec", since she was right in the middle of a contraction. I silently counted to forty-seven (or so) before hearing her come back on again. She apologized and I assured her there was no need for an apology. She was still at home, but figured she'd be heading to the hospital soon. We talked for about six minutes when she needed another forty-something second break again. I think that's when it hit me that this little boy was really on his way. When she came back on this time, we decided it was best to end our conversation so that she could focus on her laboring and I could focus on my pleadings for everything to go okay. She asked if we wanted updates through the night, to which I replied that no matter the hour we would be anxiously waiting to hear from her.

When I got off the phone, I sat in silence for a bit until someone (either my Mom or my sister, I can't remember who) asked why I wasn't calling Marc to tell him.

Oh yeah, that's a good idea, I thought. I was still trying to let the news sink in. I don't remember a thing about my conversation with Marc, but I know I called him. (Maybe he remembers our conversation....)

That two-hour drive home was spent looking out the window, into the dark tranquil evening, allowing my mind and my heart to soak up the anticipation of finally meeting the little boy who was meant to come to us through this miracle called adoption. You see, about five years ago (before we officially jumped into adoption) I had a very specific experience that helped me understand that one future day I'd be holding a little boy that would come to us through someone else. I didn't fully understand the experience at the time, but looking back I sense it was definitely a moment of preparation for this blessing.

Later that night, around 10pm, we received news from Tracey that she was at the hospital and already at a seven. Just two nights before that we celebrated Christmas Eve... but the night of the 26th felt a million times more exciting than any Christmas Eve I had ever celebrated. I don't know how we managed to fall asleep, but we did.

I kept my phone right next to the bed. At 2:03am Tracey called. Her precious little son was born only 31 minutes before that. I could hear his little noises in the background. He was actually here. Tears came immediately as the most overwhelming joy washed over me, which was then followed by a feeling of indebtedness to Tracey for bringing this joy to our life.

How could we ever pay her back for a blessing like this? Would she ever fully understand how much this one act of hers is changing our lives forever?

After finding out that she and baby were both doing well, we ended the call. Marc was awake, ready to hear the details. Our mutual shock kept the conversation short and the silence of the night eventually lulled us back to sleep.

We went to church the next morning with the decision to keep the news of Benjamin's birth to ourselves. I don't know why, but there is something that I love about savoring special moments like this and hanging onto them tightly before feeling ready to share the news with others. I don't know if that is weird or selfish, but that's just the way I am I guess.

We talked to Tracey a few times throughout the day. We were relieved to hear that she was recovering well, surrounded by family and close friends, soaking up every moment with her newly born baby boy. We also heard from the agency and started making plans to drive down the next day for the placement. After hearing so many other adoption stories, it all felt so surreal to be smack-dab in the middle of living our very own personal adoption story. 

Monday morning, Placement Day, came. After all these years and so many tears, it felt like the dawning of a new day, a new beginning, a bright morning after a very long, dark night.

(Those details to come soon. I really am sorry that this is taking me so long... but, better late than never, right?)

*In a week or so, I'll be moving this Adoption Story post and the next (final) one to follow in order after the other previous Adoption Story posts, found here and here.