Marc and Megan Logo

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

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Oh Blessed Tupperware

With Thanksgiving around the corner, much of today was spent preparing for tomorrow. I made a dairy-free pumpkin pie, a caramel apple pie, and a traditional apple pie with the leftover pie crust and apples.

I had arranged with Marc to have some extra help with the boys for a couple of hours, so that I could get the pies done faster. At one point while Marc ran to the store to pick up a crucial ingredient for me, I was left with my little walking boy playing at my feet. 

I was busy peeling the granny smith apples. Ben was busy pulling out the Tupperware from the bottom cabinet and the red plastic cups. Then he found his favorite cupboard that holds the Emergen-C packets that he likes to tote around and chew on.

I paused to watch him playing at my feet, and thought of Hugh still napping upstairs... and felt so grateful for these two little boys who have come into my life. A year ago they were both on their way, but I was still feeling very hesitant to trust that they would both arrive safely and surely. But, hope was as strong as ever.

And, here we are a year later with our greatest hopes realized. Benjamin and Hugh have filled the space in my heart where pain once set up camp and threatened to stay forever. I never would have imagined life could be so sweet. Even, or maybe especially, with a kitchen floor covered in Tupperware.  

With so much to be grateful for, tomorrow is bound to be a wonderful day of celebration. Happy Thanksgiving to all my friends!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Finding my voice

For most of the last six months I haven't had much free time. When I have had free time, like when the boys are down for naps, I've been so exhausted that I've napped with them. And I've discovered that two naps a day is my kind of lifestyle!

Lately, though, we've finally had some success with the boys' sleeping habits (hallelujah!) and I'm starting to feel like I don't need my two naps as much as before. So, in those little pockets of time when I'm not running around trying to stay ahead of my little guys, I feel my writing bug itching to find release. The problem is that I'm struggling lately to find my voice.

For whatever reason words just seem to come flowing out when I'm in the middle of a crisis. Tragedy seems to be my best genre. Now that we're living in happier times, I almost feel like moving out of that valley of sorrow I somehow lost my voice along the way. Well, maybe it isn't that I've lost my voice so much as my voice has added a new octave and I'm trying to learn how to use it and feel comfortable with it. 

My head feels backed up with thoughts that have been sitting and waiting for their escape. Hopefully my voice, in all its newness and oldness, will find a way to release all that has been building up. 

Saturday, November 20, 2010

A walker and a talker

Ben started taking a couple of steps here and there a month or so ago. Just a couple of days before his 10-month birthday, at the end of October, he started taking 5-6 steps at a time. These days, I'd say he's walking about 90% of the time, and getting increasingly more and more steady. It is so fun to watch him grow and figure things out. 

Here's a glimpse of our little walker... and Hugh, our little talker, in the background!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Sunny's Adoption Story

My cousin, Sunny, has been affected by adoption in so many different ways that I find her perspective to be enlightening. I feel so grateful  that she would be willing to share some of her thoughts and feelings, especially since I know they must be connected to emotions that run very deep. I appreciate her openness and am so grateful to get a glimpse into some of the sensitive feelings that come with adoption, from many different angles. I've always felt a special closeness to these three cousins - Sunny and her sisters (all adopted) - and am so glad to call them family. Here is Sunny's story.

Thoughts on being adopted

* My parents with  me - my first day home

I was adopted through LDS Social Services 35 years ago. Things were very private back then, so I don't know a whole lot. I was 3 days old when my parents picked me up from the LDS Social Service Office. After six years of waiting my parents were so happy to finally be getting a baby. I was told at a very young age that I was adopted and it was openly discussed at home. I really never felt any different from other kids. My parents loved me and I felt like they were meant to be my parents.  

* Sealing day

Being adopted was not an issue with me. I also have two younger sisters that were also adopted so it was just a normal thing in our home. Sometimes I would feel awkward when people knew we were adopted but for the most part it was not an issue. Some kids would make fun of us but I never let it bother me. I always knew my parents loved me.

I often wondered about my birth parents and I asked my parents several times about my them, but since it was a closed or private adoption they had no information. I have often wondered what my birth parents were like. What was going on in their life at the time of deciding to place me. What they are doing now. Even though I don't know anything I am always comforted that everything is okay and that I have a loving family now. My middle sister does not know anything about her birth parents either. My youngest sister did come in contact with her birth mother. Her adoption was through mutual friends of our family. I have always had a tender spot in my heart coming from a family that was blessed by adoption.  

Experiencing the other side

I have also been on the other end - considering placing a child for adoption. I was a young single pregnant mother. I really wanted to marry the father of my child but he was nothing I had dreamed of, and he had no desire to marry me either. My parents suggested I work with LDS Social Services. It was really not what I wanted to do. I just wanted to raise my baby, but finally I softened my heart and went and listened to what they had to say. I was really touched and reflected on the courage and strength that my birth parents had to have.  

I ended up choosing to go through the adoption process. At the time the agency had me list what I wanted the adoptive family to have. Then they narrowed it down to a few families and I had to decide from there. I took it to the Lord and asked that he would help me decide which family I should place my baby with. I really never felt comfortable but finally narrowed it down to one.

As time crept closer I just kept feeling uneasy about the decision and would talk with my case worker about all that I was feeling. She let me know that they had the family I had chosen on hold and that no one else could pick them until I made up my mind. That made me start to think even more. This family had their dreams on hold because I couldn't make up my mind. Realizing it was very selfish of me, I told my case worker that I needed to stop the process and that my heart is pulling me to raise my baby myself.

I reflected a lot on my life and how much adoption effected my life and my parents. I thought of my child and what he would think of me and my decisions. In the end I ended up keeping my baby. I struggled a lot trying to raise my baby on my own. Knowing the fact that my baby would not have a father. My parents were very supportive and helped me through the tough times.

Blessed by adoption again

When my son was three-years old I got married. Dustin and I were married in the LDS temple and one year later my husband was able to adopt my son and has since considered him as his father. Finally, my dreams had come together. I am not saying that all stories turn out like this. But I am very thankful for the chance to experience adoption on both ends of it.  

* Wedding day

Adoption is a wonderful thing. It has a very tender spot in my heart. Someday I hope to find my birth parents so that I can find out more information about them. But most of all I can tell them Thank you! It may never happen.

I love my parents and would not have it any other way. They have been the best parents to my sisters and me.

* My family (all three adopted)

For a more recent glimpse into Sunny's beautiful life, you can find her blog here.

Thanks, Sunny, for sharing your story!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


With November being National Adoption Month, I've reflected more than usual on adoption and the many ways it has blessed my life. Not only do we have our little Benjamin, but we have added a whole new circle of friends in the adoption world that have blessed our lives. There's Benjamin's birth mother and her entire family, there's other birth mothers we've come in contact with and have remained close to, there are the many other adoptive couples who have been an incredible team of support through all the ups and downs.

In my own personal life I have three cousins who were adopted and were like best friends growing up. I always knew they were adopted, but I don't remember it ever being an issue. It was just a fact... like, having blue eyes or brown hair. They were my cousins and they felt completely the same as any other cousins I had.

To help spread the good that comes from adoptions, even closed adoptions that happened a long time ago, I asked them if they'd feel comfortable sharing some of their thoughts and experiences with being adopted. I hope getting a glimpse from their perspective will help some of you that might have concerns or fears about how adoption affects the adopted child. I've been impressed with how my three cousins were raised with love and openness, as well as their level of confidence in who they are. I hope we can provide the same things for Benjamin as he grows.

So, be on the lookout in the next few days for some great personal stories that will come from my cousins and their experiences with being adopted.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Hoping to Adopt - Robert and Clover

Another couple I know in real life that is hoping to adopt is Robert and Clover. You can check out their blog here, and their online profile here.

It was sixth grade band class sitting among the other flautists in the flute section - that's where I met Clover. There was a whole group of our friends that were in band together and it seems like we were pretty much inseparable even outside of class. 

* with just a few from our group of friends - Sarah, me, Clover, Casey

As far as friends go, Clover was the "first" in a few different ways - my first friend who was a vegetarian, my first friend who owned a real life-size horse, my first friend who lived "in the country" (way up in the hills on the outskirts of town), just to name a few. I remember going out to her house for slumber parties and seeing her with her horse and understanding how perfectly she was in her element in those beautiful hills with her stunning mare. It was so obvious.

Through high school with the ups and downs of school, relationship drama, and boys, Clover was one who was fiercely loyal. I remember the feeling of standing next to her and it was almost as if I could feel a surge of strength flow from her to me. There was no fear in my friend Clover.  

* Clover, Sarah, me

Just to illustrate - on one of our hikes at Girls' Camp we came across a rather large rattle snake. It was about three feet long and I was just inches away, mesmerized by the way it was coiling its lanky body together into a tight little ball. Little did I know, as an innocent 13-year old town girl, that the subsequent rattle was a sign of grave danger. I remember very clearly Clover grabbing my arm very firmly and practically pushing me out of the way, calmly explaining what rattle snakes do just before striking. Calm, level-headed, unafraid.

Unfortunately we briefly lost touch after high school. But, about five years ago we reconnected again. I still remember sitting on the steps of our family room, talking to her on the phone one Sunday evening - the first time in eight years or so. In that time she had married her high school sweetheart, and they had already experienced some great losses in their pursuit to starting a family. I was impressed with Clover's strength and faith, and knew that sharing our struggles with infertility would bring our friendship to a new level. And it did. As much as they had gone through then (six years ago), they have since gone through even more. Thirteen years of disappointment and heartache - and, still when I talk to her now I feel that same surge of strength and courage coming from her.

I look forward with great anticipation to watching Clover naturally assume the role of mother hand-in-hand with Robert. They are a good couple - solid and faithful through whatever storms they face. Lucky is the birth mother who will merge her life with theirs, as they will both immensely bless each others' lives.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Hoping to Adopt - Sarah and Brad

I have some close friends (from real life) who are currently hoping to adopt. Because nothing would make me happier than to see them in the middle of the joys and chaos that come with a baby, I wanted to help them get the word out.

First up - Sarah and Brad. Check out their blog here. And their online profile here

They were approved to adopt a year or so ago. They have had some heartbreaking disappointments along the way, including a placement that was reversed after having the baby home with them for a couple of days. And, still, they remain hopeful and positive in the face of even the most difficult of circumstances. Which is exactly what I loved about Sarah when we first met.

We met briefly on a humid August day in Modena, Italy. I was a brand-spanking-new missionary. I honestly don't remember much from that short visit, except that she was much more energetic than any sister missionary I had yet met. It wasn't until the following January, when I found out I was being transferred to Mestre, that I really got to know Sarah much better.

* Sarah protecting me from my first exposure to the pigeons in Piazza San Marco

At first, I wasn't sure how our personalities were going to jive and I was a little nervous about being in a new area with a new companion. As it turned out our strengths and weaknesses complimented each other really well and we had a wonderful two months together. I learned a lot about Sarah during that time - about her childhood, her challenges, her determination to overcome difficulty, her ability to find good in everyone and her optimistic view even in the face of struggle. I don't remember her ever getting discouraged or upset - even when I woke her up from talking in my sleep or the time when I accidentally gave her a black eye with a frozen Snickers, our treat of choice on P-day Eve.

We worked hard, we worked together, we encouraged each other, we became really good friends. One of my favorite memories was doing "Mostra" on a busy street corner in Mestre. I had just finished talking with someone when I looked over to see Sarah in the middle of teaching this little Italian man about modern-day prophets. With her fists pumping up and down with enthusiasm, she confidently declared "C'e' un profeta sulla terra oggi!" (There is a prophet on the earth today!) Her enthusiasm was contagious, as evidenced by the reaction of the kind gentleman. It was such a perfect moment that demonstrated so much about Sarah and what I love about her personality.

I can just imagine the kind of life Sarah and Brad will provide for their children. There will be some lucky little ones who will have the blessing of being raised by them and I hope that day comes soon. 


Sunday, November 7, 2010

Halloween Photos

Halloween five years ago Marc and I were asked to chaperone a youth dance, so I whipped out some costumes for us one afternoon... actually I think it was the same day as the dance, since that's typical for a procrastinator like myself.

*Halloween 2005

This was also a rare event when Marc revealed a more outrageous side of his personality, which left some with their jaws on the floor and their bellies aching with laughter. It included Cyndi Lauper and some Napoleon-Dynamite-like dance moves. He still gets comments about it, five years later.

So, anyway, to make costume ideas simple for this year, we dug out our old costumes and I whipped out some mini versions for the boys.

(Photo quality isn't the best when using an ipod...)

* Those are two little teeth on Ben's smiley - to match his own (except now he has a top one poking through, too)

Fortunately (or maybe unfortunately), for Marc's sake, there was no dancing this year. I'm sure I wasn't the only one disappointed.

And, here's just a glimpse of the craziness of the night and a first time (over) protective Mama. But, really, what 10-month old would survive a pen of crazy kids hyped up on candy (and who knows what else) without his Mom to shield him just a bit?! Ben loved it and seemed oblivious to all the crazy kids about to trample him... I, on the other hand, was a bit of a basketcase. 

(Okay, the video is taking FOREVER to upload... so, I'll try again tomorrow. I need to get some sleep!)

Monday, November 1, 2010

Candy Experiment

Last night we realized that the boys' bedtime was going to interfere with Trick or Treaters (or, actually the other way around), but we were determined to get rid of the huge bowl of candy so we came up with a plan.

We put the bowl of candy on the porch with a sign - "Please take TWO pieces of candy" - hoping that would be enough to set some limits while at the same time depleting our supply.

As we were heading upstairs I made a comment to Marc about wishing I could sit and watch to see what people would do. Would one kid come along and dump the entire bowl into his bag? So, at the last minute Marc decided to set up the video camera in a perfect position to catch all the action without anyone knowing. We turned the lights out and went about our bedtime routine as usual.

I headed downstairs around 9pm, expecting to find an empty candy bowl. Instead it was still half full. I know there were kids who came by, since I was spying on a couple here and there. Apparently kids are more honest these days than what I would have expected, especially on a night like Halloween when the greed for candy is at an all-time high.

Or maybe taking a bowl of candy to fill your bucket ruins the fun of going door to door for three hours.

Or maybe they didn't like our choice of candy.

Whatever the reason we still have far too much candy than we know what to do with.

Save it for next year? Ha!