I'm excited that I am a blogger today because I want to write about something that I hold near to my heart.
My dad served in Viet Nam, though I won't pretend that has had any profound effect on my life, as I wasn't alive when it happened, so I wasn't without a dad for a while, there has never been any worry about him during a deployment or anything of the sort. I do however, remember him in fatigues, as a little girl. I've always thought my dad quite handsome, as most little girls adore their daddy's, I did especially!! I remember him in that camo and going to work with him a few times, very vaguely. Being so young, I didn't fully understand, but I've always had a respect for those who serve our country to allow me the life that I so comfortably live!
What I have seen first hand, being a Speech Pathologist in Shreveport, LA, is many many many children and families whose loved ones serve our country right now. I've seen countless children whose parents were deployed, and if anyone for even one minute believes that it doesn't affect these little ones, they need only spend a week or two in one of the pediatric clinics in our area. There you will find brave faces, hurt faces, scared faces, of countless children, wives, and husbands waiting for their loved ones to return. This has probably impacted me the most profoundly over the past few years, and I will be forever grateful to each of these families and their beautiful children for the sacrifices that they make for the United States of America.
I am an American, I am PROUD of that! I am eternally grateful that God allowed me to be born in a place where I could worship Him freely and witness all that is glorious about this country. Flag burning and unpatriotic comments infuriate me! I believe that should infuriate us all, and I believe that if you aren't proud to live here, you can move! I believe that you don't have to believe in war to support our troops, nor do you have to think that fighting is right to stand behind our men and women in the service. I believe if you won't support them and stand behind them, then you should stand in front of them! That is my heart!
A very special person to me is joining the Army soon and going to serve this great country, this makes the whole thing even closer to my heart. I will pray for his safety everyday, just as I pray for the safety of all of our men and women in uniform. My heart breaks at the danger that he will be in, but my heart swells with pride at the choice that he has made. I am grateful that he has been called to serve this fine nation, and knowing his heart and his patriotism only makes me more proud!
I THANK our service men and women for all that they give. They give their time, their energy, their heart, their holidays, their children's birthdays, their comfort, their convienence, all for my freedom, for your freedom! So, as we approach memorial day remember the lives that have been lost, let them not be lost in vain, as we continue to support this great nation, and honor those who have died fighting to preserve our life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness!
I've come and started a number of posts tonight, but there really aren't words for what I'm feeling right now. Or maybe it's just that they aren't words that I want to put on here.
So, I'll do what I usually do, and I'll just be honest. I just read Lori's blog where she tells the story of the birth and death of sweet Matthew. I bawled my eyes out. It was cathartic for me. Do you know that feeling where things are so very overwhelming that you know you need to cry, but you can't? That's where I was, so I thank her and her husband both for writing their story, so I could get out a good long cry.
I am a faithful person, and I know that God is good, and I know that fear is from the devil, but 'beans' if it doesn't just sneak up on you and sometimes swallow you whole. Somehow, satan keeps seeming to sneak in and steal my joy, to put all kinds of doubt in my mind, and to make me imagine that the worst is about to come. Maybe it is. Maybe July will come and we won't bring home a baby. These are my thoughts. I can't seem to stop them, no matter what I do. They stop for a day or two, maybe a few weeks, but then they come back and they torment me like some movie I've seen where evil spirits dance around someone. Maybe like in "Where the Wild Things Are" where they are dancing and singing around that little boy. Could it be that after so much loss and heartache in trying to become a mother, that I no longer believe that I can get my happily-ever-after? Some days that is how I feel. Today is one of those days. These days make you feel so isolated, so alone, so empty that you're not sure how to move forward. I don't care for these days even a little bit.
I continuously have to remind myself of the miracles that have already occured in my life. I remind myself that God is good, ALL THE TIME, that He is unchanging when everything around me is in constant flux. Whatever comes, whatever I face, whatever I'm tried with next is no match for my God. And I march forward. But for tonight, I'm exhausted, and NEED sleep, so I'm going to try that next.
This week was a beautiful one for me. I went on a mission trip to New Orleans, and I LOVE that city. I have for years, and have always wanted to live there, though that may never happen. To be able to go there and help provide a home for someone who doesn't have one, well, that my dear is just plain goodness. To see the hearts of the college students who went with us, to hear their love for God, to see the love that they continuously show to people around them regardless of that person's situation, that is priceless. Each day I am grateful that God has allowed me to work in youth ministry. Having two hilarious co-workers is just icing on that cake. I didn't want to move to Tyler, but I know I'm here for a reason and that God is so good.
(Sometimes you just have to write to get back into perspective!!).
The much awaited nursery pictures are finally being posted. I'm very happy about how everything has turned out. I'm also excited about the things that I made myself, I covered her lamp shade, made the bulletin board, painted the Calla Lillies, and the "Monkey See Monkey Do" sign, put together the flower arrangement on her bookshelf, painted the letters of her name to match her bedding, and painted her cross and added the cute sequin monkey! I'm also going to do a nightlight to match her lampshade, so I'll post that later.
I decided to post a link to shutterfly for everyone to see the pictures there, as posting all of the pictures on here would be too much!! Also for those who don't want to look, you certainly don't have to!!!
I've also washed a lot of her clothes and put them in the closet, in her dresser, and am starting to pack up diaper bags.
I leave tomorrow for a mission trip in New Orleans with our college kids, which I'm very excited for, but I wanted to be as ready as possible before I left so I could give my all while I'm there. When I get back I'll be here for two weeks, then take our youth to camp, which I'm banking on being a life changing experience for them, so again I wanted to be able to give my all while we are there too! Please be praying for those trips, but also for our baby girl as we prepare to bring her home. She can come anytime after I get back from camp. Baby Mama will be 37 weeks on June 17th, which is full term, so we'll see when she arrives. Pray for an easy delivery for Baby Mama, as her first childbirth was very awful, and I know she doesn't want that to happen again! So, keep us all in your prayer!
What's in a name? Usually a lot!! I know that trying to pick a girl name for Sean and I was a tough thing to do. I've heard countless stories of the arguments that couples have over what to name their children. Also, I feel it's inevitable, if you have a name you've agreed on for one sex and not the other, you're gonna get 'the other'. I have a huge fascination with middle names, likely if you've met me and known me for any amount of time, I've asked you what your middle name is. Then I like to know the stories behind them, if there are any. So, here's the story behind Cala's name and my own...
Cala is Greek for Beautiful, who doesn't want a name that means beautiful?!?! In picking that name, it was one that Sean didn't immediately veto, and I'd been mulling it over for a while, so I was just praying that he'd cave (I mean agree)!! Recently, I was at my sister's house in New Orleans (one of my favorite places in the world), and she had this 'Cala' doll (it's a porcelain figurine, like 2" tall, pictured above). She is the 2010 Cala Lady, Vendor of rice cakes. I'm linking an article from www.neworleans.com that gives the history that was included in our figurine! Esentially, it is like a beignet, but made with rice that is generally left over from the night before. I don't love history in general, but Louisiana history moves me, so I'm excited about this!! We'll be putting our little Cala Lady on Cala's bookshelf! My mother-in-law is from NOLA and I know she has a million and one stories about this great city and I can't wait for her to share them with Cala! Also, it's like the lily, and in reading this summer a new book by one of my favorite authors, Rebecca Wells (i.e. Ya Ya Sisterhood), her main character was named Calla Lily Ponder. It just solidified the name as I read it chapter after chapter and fell in love with the lull, the southern sweetness that it seemed to posess! My biggest fear was that this book would, too, become very popular and people would start using the name all over the place (like Lillie, after SATC!). So, here's hoping it stays somewhat unique!!
As for Fay, well that is my middle name, and was my Granny's middle name. Granny had a hideous first name, so she went by Fay and I think my mom made her day (if not her whole life) when she chose that for my middle name. I get traits from her that are endearing (and some that may not be so). She used to tell me that I could be anything I wanted to be, that I was beautiful, and as we watched Miss America together each year, she'd tell me I could be Miss America if I wanted to! I'm quite certain she believed that with all her heart (nevermind that I haven't been a size 2 since infancy!!). I found a onesie that says "Miss America" in sequins, no less, you know I bought it for my little one! So, for me, using Fay as a middle name was a lifelong plan, something that was never a question! I never considered that someone else might argue with that, but Sean tried, and bless his sweet heart I think he thought he might win. This, though, as my dad would say "is non-negotiable" and it wasn't his mother!!
So, Cala Fay, lots of goodness to that name I believe, I hope she treasures it as I do mine!
My first name is actually Denise, which is the feminine version of Dennis, my dad's name, that's pretty self explainatory! His family called him Denny (and still does as do some of his old friends, so confusing!), and mom said she'd name me Denise and I could go by Deni. I love this name, though in 3rd grade I believed it was too childish, and asked to be called Denise (much to the confusion of my mom who came to pick me up from school, asked for Deni and was told there was no Deni there). That didn't last long, and now I prefer it, though my dad often calls me Denise, as does my friend Carrie. Throughout college lots of people called me Deni Fay, which I adore. I've always loved having a name that there weren't a lot of, even though I've always had to spell it for everyone!
So, that's in a name, lots of love, lots of history, and some character! I hope Cala Fay Troxclair loves her name as much as I do!!
They are getting easier to hear, but they still sting. And it does seem like they are everywhere right now. Most of the ones I've heard lately are from fellow BLMs, which makes them so very bittersweet. There is nothing more that I wish for my sweet friends. Some of them are announcements that I'd rather not hear, and some make me really sad that it's not my announcement. Maybe that will always be the case, but I'm sure once Cala is here and in my arms, the announcements won't be nearly as hard to hear.
This brings me to a blogpost that I read just now on Anchored By Hope, you should check out the poem, it's very insightful!
We had a good time last night with friends here in Tyler and I was very happy that my dearest friend, Shawn, came over from Shreveport. I miss her a lot and it was just good to have her here and comfortable to have someone who knows you well enough to know that the reason you really like Drug Emporium is because they have cinnamon Certs (no one carries those anymore and they're my fav!!). I'm very blessed with very great friends, and Shawn is loyal beyond what could ever be expected.
When I mention a friend on here, I'm always worried that someone will get their feelings hurt that they weren't mentioned, that's not my intention, like I said I have many many many great friends that bless me beyond measure.
In saying that I'd also like to say Happy 3rd Birthday to my sweet godson, Henry, who is about the cutest little boy that you've ever seen, and I'm not biased! ;)
Finally, I want to just say thank you to everyone who has been praying for us lately. I know that you've been praying for a long time, but this past week I've been so filled with peace and calm, that I know that it has to be attributed to intercessory prayer, so thank you, ALL of you!!
Why, you ask? Because we are having friends over, that's right, friends! We have Jenny and Derek over as often as we can, which we love, but this weekend, we add a few more people to our group, and I'm excited about it! I love to entertain, and so does Sean, he's marinating meat as we speak! So, here's to a beautiful weekend (even if it storms) and getting to enjoy friends. We're welcoming Scott, Jessica, and Gracie Cantwell to town too (and their baby to be)! So glad to have them here in Tyler too!!
So, Happy Weekend everyone, hope you get some R&R! I'll start mine by chaperoning a 5th grade lock-in at the church...
We are adopting in Louisiana, and I have to say that for those of you who know me, that makes my heart smile a bit, as Cala will be born at the same hospital I was! How cool, huh?!!?
So, someone asked about why it takes so long in Louisiana. Who the heck knows, but in that state, the time for finalization of the adoption is one year after placement. I know in Texas it's only 6 months, and since my friend lives in Alabama, but did her adoption in Louisiana (she's from LA too!), there it is just a matter of you getting in front of a judge to finalize it, so that can be really quick (in Alabama). Every state is different, each have different laws, as to what you can provide a birthmother, if they do a paternal registry, how long it takes to finalize, etc. If you're interested in knowing more, there is a great chart in "The Idiot's Guide to Adoption" that lists some basics from state to state. It's good information to have.
We could move our adoption to Texas, in order to have it done faster, but that would require another attorney and more paperwork, who needs that, right?!?! So, we'll be official about a year after placement, though our hearing last week made us the legal guardians until then (after the birthmother signs over her rights). Another interesting fact, that I did not know is that the baby will not have our last name initially, that will also be official in a year, when the adoption is final. I will say I didn't love that, but I'm pretty sure they go by both names until then. She will have a new birth certificate issued with us listed as her parents, and giving her our last name. Interesting facts for you there.
If you ever have any other questions, please ask and I'll share whatever I know. I'm happy to help someone else with some of the background work for this process.
I have almost finished Cala's nursery, but I'm not posting pictures yet, I won't until it's done. Why? Because I'm OCD, and I want you to see the finished product! But I will say this... It is SOOOOO CUTE!!!!
First, an update that we did have our hearing and were approved for placement on Friday. That means that Cala will be able to come home with us, legally, when she is born. Our attorney said it made us the 'official babysitters' for her for the first year of her life, until the adoption was final. I'm going to say it, I didn't love that term, but he's a guy, so I don't take it personal!!
Second, It amazes me that so many miracles happen everyday. I want to reiterate what a miracle Cala is! If you haven't read the story about how we got matched up with our Baby Mama and all of that, you should, it's amazing! But I also wonder, will I ever know that feeling of having a baby, carrying it to term, delivering, all of that? Will that be part of MY miracle story? I'm just ready for it to be my turn. And what if it never is? That may be God's plan, but I'm sure not ready for that! I just keep praying and keep standing firm that He has a perfect plan. Sometimes I just feel like the whole world is marching on without me and I'm left behind, wanting to be in the game, but not being picked yet (I was never good at sports, so not being picked is typical!).
Third, Do you know how funny it is to watch my 100+lb white shepherd clean my 1.6 lb chi-poo? They crack me up, as it's the most unlikely pairing, but they clearly love each other--hilarious!!
Forth, I feel sorry for people who don't have friends like mine. To name all of my friends, that I consider close and special would be a little bit bragadocious! Seriously, I feel infinitely blessed everyday when I realize how many people love me, care about me, support me, and are TRULY there for me. I've had some very hard situations where I realized that someone I thought was a true friend turned out not to be, but I can't really complain, considering the number of phenominal friends I have. Thank you to each of you for touching my life and making me a better, stronger person!
Finally, who loves HOUSE??? I do! I do! And it comes on tonight, so that's where you'll find me!
First of all, Happy Mother's Day to my mom, who gave me life, loves me unconditionally, taught me to love God, and supports me all the time. She gave me a Mother's day gift, from Layla and Michael. It's a pitcher from Pier One. We Reid women have a sick obsession with dishes. I seriously could buy dishes constantly, I have to make myself not do it! So, thank you for that Mom, that was a beautiful gesture and I appreciate it so very much. Layla and Michael are my children and I am their mother forever!
Secondly, it's Mother's Day (well technically not anymore since it's so late!). Today was fraught with ups and downs. Getting to church this morning and seeing friends was great, the music was, as usual, AWESOME. I'm grateful to go to a church (at home) with such great talent, and that makes me feel so at home, (no offense to my church here in Tyler, it's just not home). I started out fine and I flip-flopped between fine, ok, not-so-good, and sad all day long.
I'm putting this on here, so prepare. Dealing with a birthmother is H-A-R-D! I'm confident she feels the same way. She's having her own issues in life (which seem quite overwhelming without the whole 'I'm giving my baby to someone else' thing), and she's hormonal, and while we both have the best interest of the baby at heart, we are human people, dealing with our own human emotions. It doesn't help that we only communicate via text, which I think is a piss poor way to talk. That's all I seem to get, and you can't communicate feelings, emotion, and tone that way. So, I find that I think she is pissed pretty much constantly, and I think she thinks the same of me. Truth be told, sometimes I am pissed. I'm pissed that she is carrying this baby and I'm not. I'm pissed that this isn't just some easy peesy, hallmark movie that goes just so and no one ever gets upset. I'm pissed that it's hard! Who knows what I really expected in the beginning, but it hasn't gone 'that way', not that I can identify 'that way' or that I could've told you what 'that way' was beforehand. We (me and baby mama) have in our moments of clarity, said that this is hard, we both recognize that, and that we wish there were a manual to tell us how to handle all of this. So, I think that's the best we can hope for.
I know that God gave me these circumstances for a reason, and I see glimmers of them here and there and I know they will become more clear as time goes on. I am grateful to have a birthmother, grateful to be getting a baby in the next 6-8 weeks (yes, seriously, that soon!!). I am grateful to have the love and support of my family, and though it's often hard, I'm grateful that I communicate with my birthmother. I hope that in the end we will both be better for all that we've gone through. Most of all I hope that for all that is good, God gets the glory, and for where it fails, that all know it's my humanness taking over, not God dropping the ball.
That's my Mother's Day post. Happy Mother's Day to all and to all a good night!
The first is for my sweet Kindred Spirit, Andrea, as today marks her son, Christian's first Heavenly Birthday. I know she misses him so much, but I know that her strength of spirit and faith in God has led her to see the great good that He has pulled from this pain! Just send up a special prayer for her!
The second is that our hearing for preapproval placement for Cala is tomorrow. Just pray that all goes well. I have no clue what to expect, but my attorney's office made it seem pretty simple, so prayers for that!
The third is for Baby Mama, life seems to just constantly be dumping on her, like a black cloud is following her. She recently lost her grandmother, and I know how hard that is, as I still grieve the loss of Granny. Her car is in the shop again, yeilding her unable to get around on her own, which we all know is frustrating. So, just pray for her peace, for a little bit of sunshine in her life, a reprieve from the trials.
I hope everyone is having a great Thursday, I am! I just enjoyed my pool (though hubby hates it and thinks the vacuum motor is out!?!?).
I've been debating this post over and over, but have decided in honesty, I just needed to post it.
Yesterday, Sean and I headed over to BRU to get a carseat for little Miss Cala Fay. We did leave with quite a lot more, which was not all my doing, as Sean is going to spoil this little girl.
Here's the thing about that store, it reminds me constantly of what I haven't had, there are pregnant people everywhere, people dragging around their screaming babies (and I mean tiny babies), people with huge bellies that look at me funny because I don't have one, people who are experiencing the pains, flutters, discomfort, and wonder that is pregnancy. I have such a hard time in that store. For some reason this baby super depo really makes me uncomfortable, I have gone in more than once and turned around quickly and bolted out. Yesterday, though I did manage to stay for a little while, but I wanted to bolt, and more than once I had to choke back tears, as I am still not sure I should be in there. Your mind plays horrible tricks on you when you are going through something that challenges you, I pray it's an effort to make me a stronger person. I though about all of the things that could go wrong, how horrible it would be to get these things, and end up with nothing in the end. I struggled through that visit, and yet, knew that I needed to make it through, like some of that tough love therapy. We did get a carseat, and a pack-n-play (with pinks because Sean said we could just get another one if we have a boy one day), some gowns, and a few outfits. We're waiting to get the furniture to get the mattress and changing pad, so any tips about doing that would be greatly appreciated. **Any thoughts on the fact that when I got home there was a flyer in the mail stating that pretty much everything we bought will be on sale Friday, should I return it and re-buy, talk to the manager, what to do? It's a significant amount of money overall.***
When I left I emailed my sweet friend Beth, told her about my near breakdown and asked if it was normal to feel this way. Thank you God for friends like Beth who explain that that fear of losing another baby doesn't go away until you actually have them in your arms! She also stated that this isn't what God intends, that I should be enjoying my time and celebrating my baby and that fear is NOT from God. Thank you Beth.
A few weeks ago a sweet lady named Amy, who was connected to me through my husband, called me to introduce herself and tell me that she was a three time adoptive mommy (a girl, then less than 2 years later, twin boys), and went on three years after that to have a biological child. She invited me to a luncheon today that was to support the Christian Homes Adoption ministry, where she was adopted from as a child (nice little bit of info she shared today, warmed my heart), and the guest speaker was Sheila Walsh. If you've ever been to Women of Faith, you've heard Sheila, as she's amazing. Her testimony is one of fear, overcoming, and God's grace. I'm not sure what anyone else heard in her message today, but I heard..."Do not let fear control you." "If God is for us, who shall be against us?". Was that message given FOR ME? It felt like it and I told Amy that, I greatly appreciate her inviting me. It was weird because they had people stand who were involved in adoption, and though I didn't want to, (not for shame, but because I didn't really feel worthy), I did stand and honor my daughter that WILL be coming to be part of my forever family.
This path, this journey, it isn't easy, as I've learned from other people and felt on my own walk, but I know that we were meant to adopt, and I'm excited to welcome my baby girl into my life.
While I say that, I ask that everyone continue to remember baby mama as we continue this walk. Her surrender is not going to be easy, the remaining weeks of her pregnancy will most likely be the hardest, and I ask that you pray for her. I've been trying to read as much as I can about adoption, from the birthmother point of view, the adoptee point of view, and ways to open my own point of view to not focus completely on myself (which is easy to do in this case), and I pray that I will be able to be a better mother, a better supporter and advocate for adoption, and that this will be a happily-ever-after story for our family, including baby mama!
While at the luncheon today, I picked up a DVD and a book of GiGi, who is Sheila Walsh's children's book character, I can't wait to read to Cala about how she is a princess in God's kingdom and have her know that with her whole heart!
Today is International Babylost Mother's Day! How beautiful is that? Someone cared enough about us to declare a day, and even if we are the only ones who celebrate, who cares, I know that there are people out there celebrating me as a mother. I wanted to share the pictures that Blue Sparrow did for me (and all the BLMs that blog together/walk this road together). Thank you, I know you know how much this means to me!
Wife, daughter, sister, now mother after infertility. I continue to struggle with infertility and the scars that will always remain. I am the mother of two angel babies in heaven, and one miracle on earth!