Lilypie - Third Birthday

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Two Days To Go

Two more days until Baby E arrives! Its been a long journey for us to this point since we were chosen by emom when she was only about 4 months pregnant and I'm ready to bring my baby home and settle in as a mom of two.  He will be delivered via c-section on Friday.  The birthplan stated that she wants us in the delivery room and to cut his cord.  That will be a new experience for us since J was an emergency c-section we were not able to be there.  I will be staying at the hospital but DH will come home so J can sleep at our house.  I'm hoping for a one night stay at the hospital, I did not sleep at all the one night we stayed with J.  I was glad they didn't have room and made us go to a hotel after that.  Everything is ready and I'm just trying to enjoy my time with J as an only child.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

3 More Weeks

Baby #2 is arriving in three weeks!  I can't believe how fast time is going by.  I finally got a few baby things out and washed them up two days ago.  I've been super stressed out about this adoption the past couple weeks.  I thought things were going great with L but then we got an email from the lawyer just letting us know that she is taking a lot of pressure from her family to keep the baby but that she was committed to her decision.  I would have preferred they kept that info to themselves because all it did was stress me out.  Later that week I could not get through on her phone and she didn't contact me before the doctor appointment that was scheduled.  So I went to meet her there and she never showed up.  That all added up to me freaking out that she was changing her mind about going through with this.  We straightened it all out and she got a new phone number.  Her appointment was rescheduled for this week.  I made DH take off work and go with me for moral support, in case she didn't show or acted awkward like she didn't want to see me.  I was actually feeling pretty angry towards her and wondering how she could use us to fully financially support her and then change her mind.  I know she has a right to her decision but it would still make me mad.  So I had a prayerful heart to heart with God.  I didn't ask him to make everything ok and make her follow through with this adoption.  I've found that prayers asking for a specific outcome usually end up with me frustrated at God for not answering the way I wanted.  So instead, I asked Him to give her peace and comfort during this time, ease her pressure from family and take care of the baby.  Then I prayed that I would put all my worthless feelings of anger, worry and judgement towards her aside and just be the friend she needs right now, just be there for her in whatever way she wants and just love her for who she is.  And that prayer was immediately answered, I felt so much better.   She did show up and was just as friendly and nice as always.  The next day she had to go back for an ultrasound and I went to see the baby.  We had a good talk and she has started opening up more about her family.  I feel like we have developed a better relationship that I have with J's bmom.  This time is different in so many ways. 

BTW-  Baby is healthy and looks good, they measured him about 5 lbs and 7 oz today and he has 3 weeks to grow yet. 

Something I've been thinking about this week is adoption loss.  Everyone worries about going to the hospital and walking out empty handed because the birthmom changed her mind.  It is real and although it hasn't happened yet to me, I feel for those who have experienced it.  These past couple weeks when I was sure she was going to change her mind, I started to feel like I did when I had my miscarriage.  I cried almost every day, developed my eye twitch that only happens when I'm super stressed and have been short on patience with everyone.  The worst part is always that its hard to talk about because no one understands.  People have asked me if I'm really that attached, its not like he's been growing in my belly, we can just move on to the next situation and a different baby right?  No people, no, I can not just let him go and wait for a different baby.  I've been thinking about him for 6 months, I've been making plans for him, imagining what he'll look like, thinking about him and J playing together in a few years, wondering what kind of man he'll grow up to be, I've seen him on the ultrasound, we named him.  He has a name, OUR name.  So if this doesn't work out, don't act like its no big deal.  If she keeps this baby, it will be a very big deal to me.  I respect her right to make her decisions and I can't imagine what she's going to feel if she does follow through with this adoption.  But my heart is all in this too. 

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Why is open adoption hard to understand?

Here's a quick summary of what's new......James had his second birthday last weekend.  We spent the weekend with his birth parents.  We hadn't seen them for almost a year but everything went great.  I'm not even really sure what to say because its so much like visiting any other part of our family that its not really news worthy.  So many people don't understand open adoption or the relationship we have with them.  I heard so many times from friends and family "oh you have to go see them for his birthday?"  And the answer is no we don't have to, we are choosing to because we want to.  We don't just do it because we are suppose to or because its the right thing to do or because its the best thing for James.  We do it because we want to. The other question I've been asked a lot is "does he recognize them?"  Recognize them as what?  His mom and dad?  The people who conceived him?  How would he recognize them as anything other than extended family or friends we see occasionally?  Until he gets old enough to understand the adoption process he's not going to think of them as his first parents.  He might always have a special connection to them but for now he's so friendly with everyone that I couldn't really tell a difference.  They are not our enemy, I'm not threatened by them  or afraid that he will grow up wishing they were his parents instead of me.  There are so many people that think adopted children grow up longing for their birth parents and resenting their adoptive parents but I have personally met several adoptees and they all have said their adoptive parents are their parents in every way.  They even appreciate them more so because they were chosen and loved by them in a special way.  Seriously why do so many naive people, including family, act like I'm a second rate parent?  I won't even get started on that rant.

As far as baby #2 to goes, the drama continues.  They have helped her get food stamps and some other local assistance that has eased our burden of fully supporting her financially.  Although it is still costing us so much in birth parent expenses that its frightening.  We should still end up spending about the same as our first adoption though.  I was getting really upset feeling like she was only using this for the financial benefit but since having a talk with our facilitator and L herself, I do feel a little better about helping her out.  We just believe in the "hand up not a hand out" theory and it was really starting to feel like we were just giving her a free ride and that was upsetting to us.  We really do want to see her end up in a better place after she has the baby and now I feel like we're making a difference.  She recently got her own place and both her daughters are starting school this year so she should be able to find work after she has the baby.  The new dramatic twist is that the birth father is back in the picture and is apparently a dangerous guy with dangerous connections.  That was one of the reasons for her getting her own place, so he couldn't find her. He's not in favor of this adoption but I don't for see him contesting the adoption legally because he will not want to draw attention to himself.  But I have had night mares about him hunting us down looking for his child.   Night mares that always result in death.  So needless to say I'm a little freaked out by who he is.  DH made the mistake of giving my parents the details and now they are asking us to get out and let someone else have this child.  But how could I do that when I feel like God called us to this situation.  A good friend reminded me that maybe its just Satan trying to scare us away from this path.  That made a lot of sense to me since its been one thing after another causing me doubts.  Really if we adopt this baby it will become part of God's family and if we don't it will more easily be another soul for Satan to claim, so of course he's trying to stop us from adopting this baby.  At least that's what I tell myself. 

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Can I get my straight jacket in pink?

I haven't updated for a while.  Life has been stressful.  A couple weekends ago we were at a wedding, J didn't get a nap and by 9pm showed a side of him I have not seen before.  It was pure 2 year old evil.  And I lost it, like really lost it.  There were tears, screaming, bad words, hyper ventilating, and that was just from me.  Add a two year old tantrum and poor DH had his hands full.  Although I did wait until we were in the car and J was asleep to have my tantrum.  Sometimes when life is so busy and stressful, I don't even realize its getting to me until I break.  It definitely takes a special man to stand by me through all the crazy and still love me.  Although a brief stay at the asylum does sound like a nice get away sometimes. 

A few weeks ago I went to an ultrasound appointment with L and we got to see the baby.  I feel like I should say it was awesome to see the baby but I didn't really feel any sort of attachment, it still felt like someone else's baby.  She hasn't had any doctor appointments but I was glad I got to go and hear for myself that everything is looking good.  And we found out if James is having a baby brother or sister, which I will reveal later :)  Sorry!  We also found out her due date isn't until late September.  Which is fine except that means we are paying a couple extra months of her expenses, which are getting ridiculously high already.  With our first adoption we used an agency with a flat fee, so we were hoping to save money doing it this way.  And we should still save around 10k but the financial risk is huge this time.  We paid the agency after placement so if J's birth parents had chosen to keep him we would not have been out our money.  This time if she chooses not to place we will be out 16k.  I would be super worried if she hadn't already gone through with an adoption before, it gives me some peace of mind although I'm still very worried.  We've had a lot of drama with her in and out of jail and other circumstances.  I've been losing a lot of sleep over this the past several weeks.  And just when I think everything has calmed down there is a new twist.  Last week the law firm actually offered us the chance to get out now and get all our money back and I was seriously tempted.  But I do believe that this is God's plan for us so we will stay the course and hope we don't end up broke with no baby in the end.  It really should not even be legal to have someone pay your bills for 7 months and then keep the baby and they are just out their money, it really is robbery.  But we agreed to take the financial risk so we will just keep praying it all works out. 

Besides all that drama, life with a two year old is a whole different kind of drama that makes me seriously wonder what is wrong with me for wanting another child.  Yesterday James fell and hit his head, it was pretty ugly and I was worried about him.  But he was fine, just kept on playing like it was no big deal.  A couple hours later he had a total melt down, like he was seriously dying because the wagon wouldn't stay hooked to his tractor.  Two year old logic leaves me completely confused.  Potty training is an ongoing battle, some days I feel like he has it mastered and the next I think we've made no progress.  And no matter what we're doing, if its mommy's idea, there is no way he's going to do it.  5 minutes later when its his idea, its the coolest thing ever.  Even his kisses are painful, they usually start with banging his head into mine, followed by licking my face,then a nose rub that may or may not involve snot and then a hug that comes with a complimentary shoulder bite.  Yep, he's a sweetheart!  


Tuesday, April 29, 2014

My Little J Is Growing Up!

I can't believe it was almost exactly two years ago that we were just finding out that J was on the way.  Time really does go by too fast.  Since we got the news about a new baby coming soon, I got to thinking about how it will affect J.  He will turn 2 right before this baby arrives and there have been a couple transitions I've been thinking about making.  Moving out of the crib and potty training.  Potty training has been on my mind for a long time and I just have not wanted to do it.  Even though I feel like he's been ready.  We started with the transition to a toddler bed around Easter.  It was so much easier than I thought.  J has always gone to sleep on his own, we read a few books then put him in his crib.  Sometimes he would cry a few minutes but unless he wasn't feeling good he would go right to sleep.  In the mornings he would play in his crib until I got him out of bed.  I actually put a gate on his door because he is upstairs and the steps are so steep I don't want him falling down them when he gets up.  The first night I sat next to his bed until he fell asleep.   I think I was more of distraction.  It took about an hour and half but he didn't cry.  Just wanted to play.  The next night I tucked him in and left.  He got out of bed, cried for a few minutes and when I went to check on him he was back in his bed sound asleep.  In the mornings he gets up and sit in his chair to read his books.  The nights really depend on how tired he is and he's been sick so sometimes I do spend more time than usual putting him to bed.

Since that went so well I decided we should get started on potty training this week.  My strategy is get rid of the diapers and just stick with it.  Except at night we will still use an overnight diaper for a while.  So yesterday was day 1 and we went through 12 pairs of underwear.  But I think he did good, a lot of those were just leaks and we would run to the bathroom and finish.  He goes when I ask him too and when he has an accident he says "oh no, potty!"  I think recognizing those things is half the battle so I feel like if we stick with it he can totally do this.  We are half way through day two and he only had 2 accidents this morning.  I'm happy with that and hoping that's a good sign that he's figuring it out.  Even though he's doing really well its exhausting for me.  I was so tired of running to the bathroom and changing his clothes yesterday.  I am determined to be committed to it this time, we've tried a couple times before but I gave up.  This time I think he's ready, he seems willing and I just have to have patience and keep at it.  The sooner we can make some of these transitions the easier it will be when the new baby comes home.   

Friday, April 25, 2014

My Blind Date

We met our new future birth mom this week and I really liked her.  She is so cute and funny.  I wrote before that I was trying not to be nervous, like I was just going to make a new friend but DH had a better way of putting it.  He said it was like a being set up on a blind date.  We didn't know much about her, brought a small gift we had to guess she might like, and then had dinner while trying to make small talk and get to know each other.  All the way home I kept asking DH "do you think she liked us? Do you think it went well?".  And when we got home I cried to DH because this is just so hard sometimes.  Its hard to be emotionally invested in something we have so little control over.  But if I'm not all in emotionally I stand to lose a lot of good memories and joy to share with my child someday.  The next day I kept waiting for the phone to ring hoping our facilitator would call and tell us what L thought of us.   She said she really liked us and is happy her baby will grow up on a farm.  

I'm suddenly remembering how hard adoption was.  In retrospect it seems like adopting J was a piece of stress free cake.  It wasn't although it was easy compared to other stories I've heard.  But even when its easy, its still hard.  Our meeting was pretty relaxed and I think everyone was as comfortable as possible given the situation.  Our facilitator, I'll call her B, said I should bring a small gift.  So I spent about $15, got L some lotion, body wash and a facial scrub.  I included a coloring book, glitter crayons and a Minnie mouse book for the two girls she is parenting.  I also got a cute little flower pot, put a packet of flower seeds in it and filled the rest with candy.  She seemed happy and said her girls would love it.  Its hard buying a gift for a stranger that wants to give you her baby.  The whole situation is potentially awkward and strange if you think about it.  But I just pray and try to go with the flow knowing this is the plan God has for us.  

Yesterday when B called she told me that I should call L today and just say that I wanted to check in and it was nice meeting her the other night.  I did not want to do it very badly, I'm not good at making phone calls or small talk.  I warm up to people slowly, I'm just not overly friendly, more reserved usually.  So I spent most of the day stressing over it and when I finally did it was weird.  First she was confused about who I was, then acted like it wasn't really her, then when she realized who I was said oh sorry I saw your number and thought you were someone else.  Then she didn't seem to want to talk, just get off the phone quickly.  Maybe she was just busy or maybe she doesn't want to have that close of relationship.  I don't know.  This is so hard sometimes.  It really is like dating, wanting the other person to like you but not knowing or being comfortable enough to ask what they are thinking or how they really feel, just guessing and over analyzing everything.  All the time feeling pressured to be perfect because she has the power to take my dreams for the future away.  Making the whole thing worse I facebook stalked her before I called.  Of course a lot of her stuff is private but what I did see seems very different from the woman we met.  Adoption is a roller coaster sometimes.  We had ups and downs our first time around too.  I just need to stop worrying about everything.  We're taking J to the circus this weekend for the first time and I know he's going to love it.  If everything else falls apart I still have DH and J.  Not all my dreams for the future revolve around this new baby.  

Father help me to remember that my future is in Your hands and no one else.  You know the plans you have for me, I don't need to know them and I don't need to control them.  I trust You.  One step at a time. You have brought me this far and as hard as adoption can be, I know You chose this path for me for a reason.  Give me the strength and courage to emotionally invest and grow this relationship with my new friend L into what you desire it to be. 


Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Big Day For Our Family!

Today is a big day for our little family.  First of all we had our home visit to finish our homestudy.  I have been cleaning and organizing like a mad woman for the past week and J has been working like crazy to undo all my efforts.  Since this is our second homestudy I understand that they don't care how clean the house is.  But I care, I don't want her thinking we live like pigs around here.  Even though we totally do, the house is always a mess and I hate dusting.  This home visit was good motivation for me to do some spring cleaning so I'm glad that can be crossed off the to do list now.  The meeting went great, this social worker is so much better than the last.  I felt like with our first homestudy, the agency social worker didn't like us or was always judging us.  This one is so friendly, seems to understand and have a lot in common with us and is just over all more pleasant.  So now our homestudy is done, we just have to wait for it to be written and approved which will take no longer than 30 days. 

In even bigger more exciting news.....we have already been matched with a expectant mom!  The facilitator we're working with has been showing our profile since early February.  With our first adoption I blogged about the process after the fact, so this time I'm trying to share it as we go.  Last Monday we got an email about a situation.  It sounded perfect for us.  While this is not the first situation that sounded good it was exactly what we were hoping for.  Local, actually a price we can afford, no drug or alcohol use, she has already had 4 healthy children and she has made an adoption plan before so this is not her first experience with adoption either.  Tonight we have our first meeting with her.  When we had our first meeting with J's birthparents I was so nervous.  I wanted nothing more than to get in the car and go home.  This time I have been more relaxed and laid back.  But I'm a little nervous.  I believe 100% that God's hand is in this so I completely trust that this will work out as He intends.  If we can't be ourselves then its not a good match anyway so I have no reason to be worried about impressing her.  Every thing worked out perfect with J's adoption and I know this one will too.  I'm excited and nervous but I keep telling myself I'm just going to make a new friend tonight.  Nothing to worry about :)

This is happening so much sooner than we planned.  I thought working privately with a small facilitator that getting a match would take longer.  We know people who worked with this group and waited a year and half with no match before moving on to work with someone else.  I thought we would just put our profile out there and patiently wait while we saved some money and if it never happened then J was meant to be an only child.  One thing this adoption seems to have in common with our first is that God just keeps giving me a little nudge, saying "just take this one step right now, don't worry about where the road leads".  So I take it one step at a time and before I know it I have one kid and now maybe two.  But its a good thing, I'm really excited about having another baby.  We only plan on two so this will make our family complete, at least I think so according to my plan.  Who knows what God's plan is for our family!

Friday, April 18, 2014

The Easy Roads

Some of you may have noticed that this blog has been hard to access lately.  I've always kept it sort of a secret from people I know in real life because I'm a private person and I am not quick to open up and share with people until I know they can be trusted.  I have shared this blog with only a few trusted friends.  Several months ago I made a mistake trusting it to someone I shouldn't have and I've made it private recently in hopes that person would stop reading and forget about it.  But I don't just write this as a journal for my own feelings, I want others to be able to relate to our adoption, infertility and life struggles and hopefully something I write will be meaningful to them.  That won't happen if no one can access it so I'm putting it back out there anyway and I won't censor what I write just because I'm afraid of who is reading it.
Here's whats been on my heart and in my prayers lately.  Hate.  Its not usually a feeling that I find overwhelming.  I'm generally pretty positive but recently its been trying to take its hold on me.  Life has been hard, we're financially struggling, J is acting like a two year old, gave up on my best friend and DH is constantly stressed and in a negative mood.  I've been praying for my own attitude and asking God how to deal with people when all I want to do is treat them they way I think they deserve.   Anger, hate, indifference, self centeredness - those are the easy roads to take.  The easy emotions to feel and express.  But God keeps telling me to take the hard road -  forgiveness, love, compassion, patience. Why God? They don't deserve it! 
Somewhere I read that hurting people are the ones that hurt others.  When someone one hurts you, its not their fault, they really just need love.  Last night I was reminded of Jesus and Peter.  Peter loved Jesus whole heartedly, gave up everything to follow Him.  And in the moment of truth, when it all mattered Peter said he didn't know Jesus, turned his back and left him out in the cold.  And he didn't just do it once, he did it three times.  I imagine Jesus was pretty hurt that a trusted friend would betray Him like that.  But maybe Peter was just scared and hurting too.  I bet Peter felt like a real jerk and a pretty bad friend, like He failed and let Jesus down when He needed him the most.  After He had risen, Jesus not only forgave Peter but He gave him a chance to make up for it in a way by asking Peter three times if he loved Him.  And Jesus wasn't all bitter and angry and act like "how can you say you love me now when three days ago you denied it?".  Instead he trusted Peter and sent him out to be a fisher of men because He knew Peters heart. 
I may not know another persons heart but God did command me to love my neighbor so maybe I shouldn't judge how people deserve to be treated and just love them anyway. 

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Turbofire Inferno Plan

This past week DH and I followed the Turbofire Inferno Plan.  Its a 5 day workout and meal plan to help you cleanse your body and kick start your metabolism. "Get hot by the weekend!" is their claim.  Its the weekend and I'm not hot but I do feel a lot better.  They claim you will lose 5-10 pounds in 5 days and I know that's not realistic in terms of fat loss but is most likely what I call garbage weight, water retention and junk in your system.  So I lost 5.5lbs in 5 days and my jeans do fit better so I consider it a success.  This was the first time for me following a meal plan and this one is designed to be restrictive.  Its just under 1200 calories a day and 400-600 of those you burn doing the workouts.  It was tough, I've never liked restrictive diets but it was nice having meals planned out and the recipes were actually really good.  I had a cheat meal on Day 3 when I had to have lunch with family but I tried to keep it low cal and Day 5 I had a piece of banana pie.  So I didn't follow it perfectly. 

Here's my new plan.  We're going to try to follow the Chalean Extreme meal plan 5 days a week with freedom on the weekends to eat responsibly.  I want to do the weight training workouts as they are laid out but substitute turbofire on the cardio days.  I'm just not a fan of the Chalean Extreme cardio.  My goal is make the weight training non-negotiable and be somewhat flexible when it comes to cardio.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Homestudy Meeting

This past weekend we had our first home study meeting.   We are doing the homestudy only option through Adoption Minnesota.  We are much happier with our social worker this time, she is much less bossy and judgemental than the last one.   We also got a free consultation with an adoption attorney in our state.  Since the law firm we are working with is out of state we will need to hire an attorney here in MN as well, plus an attorney for whatever state the child is from.  This one charges $3200 just to handle the paper work.  I can see how private adoption can get expensive.  But we set our budget and still hope to spend around $20k vs the $30k our previous agency is now charging.  Our final meeting will be the end of March.  We needed some time to come up with the second half of the homestudy fee.  Since our profile is already being shown we are in no rush.  I haven't heard back about the native american baby situation.  I assume she hasn't chosen us or is reconsidering her adoption plan.  I'm a little disappointed, I was getting excited about having a new baby soon but I'm also relieved because I have no idea where we would get the money to pay for another adoption so soon. 


Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Just Be Held







You all know I'm a big Casting Crowns fan so I'm super excited they have a new album out.  I'm also going to their concert again in April, this will be the third time for me.  I'm a fan of several different kinds of music.  I am most definitely not musically talented but still feel a connection to music as a listener.  It makes me think, helps me understand my feelings and see things in a way I can't quite put into words on my own.  Whenever I hear a song from the past that was an old favorite I can tell you exactly what was happening in my life at that time and why I felt a connection to that song and it brings those feelings back.


Here are a couple lines that really speak to my heart "And when your tired of fighting, chained by your control,  There's freedom in surrender, lay it down and let it go". "Your world's not falling apart, its falling into place, I'm on the Throne, stop holding on and just be held."


 I've been trying to focus more on the important things in life lately.  For a long time I have been caught up in doing things my own way and not really wanting God to be part of my life like He used to be.  I think its because I had some sins I didn't want to let go of and by pushing God away it made it easier to hold on to them.  Then one day a couple months ago I prayed and told God I didn't want to give them up but that I knew I had to and it would be hard but I was ready to lay it down and let it go.  And it did feel like my world was falling apart and it was really hard to let it go, I was tempted so many times to go back to those sins.  I still am, Satan knows my weaknesses and will always be calling me back to dark places.  So many things have changed for the better since I did that, I just feel happier and more at peace.  Sometimes its really hard to let go but we have to do it and someday we can look back and see how it really was an important step for things to fall into place according to His plan.   I'm not the faithful child I once was but I always come back to My Father with a deeper understanding of His love.   


Here's a couple more lines I like.  "And not a tear is wasted, in time you'll understand, I'm painting beauty with the ashes, your life is in my hands."  "In the storm is where you'll find Me, And where you are I'll hold your heart."  


When I think about things that I am currently struggling with I wonder how much I bring it on myself.  Maybe I'm so focused on the storm that I can't see anything else, maybe I keep myself in my own sorrow.  There is joy to be found in the storm. The storm is where God works His wonders on us.  I don't know why I keep
fighting to get myself out of the storms, I know God will protect me whether I fight or just sit back and relax.  It would save myself a lot of trouble if I would stop fighting and let Him do His work on me. There is joy to be found here, I just have to look. 


DH and I have been through a lot of stuff over the years.  The longer we are together the more we recognize and honestly accept our own faults rather than being defensive and protecting ourselves.  Now sometimes an
accusation is responded to with a "yeah your right", instead of more angry words.  There have been many times that a fight ends with me crying in DH's arms about how broken I am, how I fail as a wife and mother and how I will never be the person God wants me to be or even the person I want to be.  DH always says that he loves me more at those times then any other, when I'm vulnerable and my soul is bared.  I'm an ugly mess,falling apart and he loves me more.  Joy in the storm.  I think when we're honest with ourselves we're all a broken mess inside.  But He is painting beauty with the ashes. 


Father, thank you for taking me back into Your arms no matter how many times I try to go my own way.  Your love is so hard for me to understand when I know how unworthy of a sinner I am.  Thank you for the hard times that bring me back to You and remind me how much beauty you really do paint from the ashes.   Protect me from myself and my own weaknesses.  When it feels like my world is falling apart, help me to keep my eyes and heart focused on You, let go and just be held. 

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Disneyland For Adults

In April it will be our 10 year anniversary.  I've been itching to take a real vacation and our anniversary seemed like a good excuse to get away.   Plus if we are adopting another child soon, we won't be getting away without the kids much for a while.  I've heard Las Vegas called the Disneyland for adults and after a few days there I have to say it was.  I have been there twice before with my family, once around age 12 on a road trip to visit my grandparents and again when I was 18 and we went to a NASCAR race there for my brother's graduation.  We took a lot of family vacations when I was a kid and they are some of my best memories.  I hope that we can do the same for our kids when they get old enough.  DH never did much traveling so everything is new to him too.  That's part of why we chose to go to Las Vegas.  Its not somewhere we would likely go on a family vacation with kids. 

Las Vegas is known as sin city and I was not sure DH and I would have fun there.  We're not party animals and we are to tight with our money to be gamblers.  When I thought of Las Vegas I imagined parties, drinking, gambling, food, show girls and spending lots of money.  While we did experience all of those things, it wasn't nearly as bad as I imagined.  Here's a summary of our 3 days in Vegas.

We flew in on Thursday night, with the time change it was after 2am according to my clock so we went right to bed.  I had a horrible time sleeping that night, DH was snoring, I was feeling terrible guilt over leaving James for several days and I wasn't sure we should have even spent all this money for a weekend away.  So the first night I only got a few hours of sleep, not a good way to start the weekend.  We stayed at the Monte Carlo and I really liked it.  It was quieter than a lot of the other hotels, the beds were super comfy and the rooms were fairly spacious.  That morning we got up and went to Planet Hollywood for breakfast at The Spice Market Buffet.  DH had prime rib for breakfast at 9am.  Not really my thing but he wanted to get his money's worth.  It was a good meal though.  After that we walked around and checked out some of the other hotels at that area of the strip.  We went to the dolphin and white tiger habitat at the Mirage.  It was alright but we live close to the Omaha Zoo and most other exhibits fail in comparison so I wasn't too impressed.  We had some time before one of our tours started so DH thought we should bring the stuff I bought back to our hotel.  That was a mistake, the extra walking killed my feet and we were only half way through our first day.  Then we got picked up for our Pawn Stars tour at TI.  While the Pawn Shop was a disappointed the other stops and the tour itself was great.  We visited Ricks Restorations, Count's Customs, Toy Shack, and my favorite Tanked.  We are big fans of the show even though a lot of other people had never heard of it.  The General was our guide and he's a really cool guy.

After our tour we had about an hour to relax and get ready for our party bus.  DH and I are generally pretty lame, we have never been the wild and crazy party type.  But I love to get dolled up and dance so the one thing I wanted to do on this vacation was check out some of the top A-list Las Vegas clubs.   I wasn't sure if we would get in and didn't want to pay the covers or buy expensive drinks so Party Tours sounded like a great idea and they gave me a two for one promo code.  We saved a ton of cash doing it this way.  We started at the Hard Rock Cafe where we got 2 for 1 specials, champagne on the party bus to the first club which was Light at Mandalay Bay.  By far my favorite, ladies got two free drinks, they have amazing lighting and atmosphere and the best part was the cirque du solei dancers.  They were awesome and added to vibe.  After that we got free drinks on the party bus, took a little cruise down the strip and our next club was Surrender at Encore.  DH and I had enough to drink that we were able to dance the whole time we were here without losing that good feeling.  Back to the party bus for more free drinks on the way to our last club which was Pure at Caesars Palace.  I thought this would be the best but it wasn't, too crowded, it was 4am and my feet were really killing me by this point.  But we had a great night and met some interesting people on the party bus that kept us entertained.  We donated some money to the casino before we went to bed.  DH was winning at one point but of course we didn't quit while we were ahead. 

After a few hours of sleep, I was ready to go again except for my aching feet which now had some sore legs from dancing all night to go with them.  We ate breakfast at our hotel's buffet and walked over to the Excalibur and Luxor to pick up our show tickets for that night.  Then on to Mandalay Bay to check out the Shark Reef Aquarium.  It was alright but again I wasn't too impressed.  We didn't rush much this day, spent a lot of time just sitting, people watching and enjoying being together with no stress.  Donated some more money to the casino.  Tournament of Kings was the show we chose to use our free tickets for since it came with a meal.  It was a good show, more DH's thing that mine but still entertaining.   After that we had some time before our next show so we spent some time in Coyote Ugly at NYNY, we were there early enough to avoid the cover charge and get two for one specials.  I was surprised at the guy to girl ratio here, by far way way more guys.  I don't know why because ladies got free shots!  The girl on the bar doing the entertaining was pretty funny, a bit harsh the way she treated the guys but some guys like their women that way.  Then we went back to the Luxor for Fantasy.  I thought this show might be a little risque for us but it was actually really good.  Jamie Lynch had an amazing voice and the comedian was hilarious too.  It was only about 2am when we went to bed that night but I was getting pretty exhausted.

Sunday morning we didn't do much, ate at our hotel, did some shopping and donated a little bit more money to the casino.  We had to be at the airport by 2pm so it was a short day.  We agreed to only spend the cash we brought with us and not use the credit card.  That cash was saved with the intent that it would spent in Vegas.  So anything we wanted to do, DH just had to open his wallet.  We didn't worry about how much it cost or how much we had left.  We had a great weekend.  We needed it.  Daily stress had really been wearing us down and eating at our marriage to the point where we have asked each other why we are even still married. Turns out when you take away the stress, DH and I are still very much in love and enjoy being together.  Maybe DH has always been my best friend, I've just taken it for granted.  Overall Las Vegas was every bit the Disneyland it was promised to be.  For us it was a magical place where stress, parenting, bills and work did not exist.  I wish that I could make that vacation feeling last but unfortunately we lost it by the time we got our car unthawed in the -6 degree Minnesota weather.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Forgiveness

My heart hurts today.  A good friend really hurt me this week.   I won't get into details but I'm not sure our friendship will be repaired this time.  Maybe its a good thing, maybe its a mistake, I'm not really sure.  I gave this person a huge part of me and now I'm wondering how to go on without it.  I used to go this friend about everything in my life, good, bad, exciting, boring or just to talk about nothing at all.  So now it feels empty, like something is missing.

I know DH should be my best friend.  But everyone needs someone on the outside.  Someone they can talk to for a different perspective.   I have other friends but not like this.  Not someone I talk to almost every day and that knows my deepest darkest secrets.  I'm not really mad at this person.  I've never really bought into all that not hurting people you love stuff.  Its life, people are going to hurt you and your going to hurt them, even if you love them.  The only perfect love is the love Our Father has for us.


 Forgiveness was never in question, its always just automatic with this person.  I'm a little angry though.  I'm not perfect, I hurt people too but I usually feel bad enough to at least offer a band-aid afterward.  It makes me angry when someone can just walk away like nothing happened.  But we never really know how other people deal with things, not everyone expresses themselves the way I do.   

Do you ever notice how sometimes other people don't understand forgiveness?  Even Christians who know what Jesus did for us and hear endless sermons on forgiveness don't really understand it.  When someone wrongs you, they expect you to be mad and hate them and so when you don't they seem confused or feel worse.  Of course some people go on with their lives, not even seeming to care whether you forgive them or not.  But for some people I think it hurts them more when you forgive them and still love them because they know they don't deserve it.   How true of God's forgiveness towards us.  We did nothing to deserve it, usually we take it for granted and continue on with our sins. We are so unworthy of forgiveness yet Our Father gives it anyway.   

Thank you Father for sending Your Son to bear the burden of my sins even though I don't deserve Your forgiveness.  Please heal my hurt and fill this emptiness with peace and love for You.   

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Adoption Update

Remember that lawyer I said we met at an adoption seminar?  In December we decided that we were ready to meet with them and get the ball going on another adoption.  I actually am not sure I'm ready to be mom to two children but we figured by going the private route that it will take longer.  We want J to have a sibling and I want to complete our family sooner rather than later.  I think that I'd like to have another little boy that looks like J.  I like boys and want him to have a brother.  But I told DH that I feel like what we need is a little native american girl.  DH has some native american heritage but doesn't know much about it since his family is so disconnected from each other.  If we had a native american girl to add to our family we would have a boy and a girl, one that looks like me and one that looks like DH, plus it would be a way for him to connect to his own heritage.  So even though I don't feel totally ready we started our homestudy.  All the paperwork was so much easier the second time!  In a couple weeks we have our first meeting with the social worker.  This law firm does their own profile books and I gave them all the info and pictures they needed for that.  But they hadn't worked on it for weeks, which was fine since I'm in no hurry.  Then one day she calls and says they want to work on our profile book immediately and by the way there is a birthmom they want to show us to.  WHAT!?  I'm thinking we are on the long slow route here, not the fast track!  We were away for the weekend so it had to wait a few days but then they put a rush on finishing our profile and sent us more info about this birthmom.  And what do you know, she's native american and pregnant with a little girl, due 2 days after our 10 year anniversary in April.  She has some addiction issues, is only an hour away, wanting an open adoption, and already has a child.  All of which makes me nervous about the situation.  But she hasn't even chosen us yet so we will see and I'm trusting God to lead us to the right child.  I'm telling myself that I will be happy if she chooses us and somewhat relieved if she doesn't so either way is fine. 

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Worst. Auntie. Ever.

My SIL had their 3rd baby a few weeks ago.  Most of you know that a lot of my posts have centered around her and my jealousy.  I thought I was over it now that I have J.  But I'm not really.  Its different but its still there.  When she first got pg again I made my usual "must be nice to get pg so easy"  comments to DH but I didn't give it too much thought.  Throughout her pregnancy I didn't really think much about it, at this point it kind of seems like she's always got a pregnant belly and was nothing new.  I've had a little baby fever myself so I was a excited to have a new baby to snuggle and love on.  I was excited to be an auntie again.  Until my new little niece arrived.  Then I felt the need to be distant.  We stopped by the hospital and I held her but we only stayed less than 10 minutes.  I just didn't get that new baby love feeling, I think its because I'm jealous that it seems so easy for everyone but me.  They don't even appreciate the freedom they have to choose how many children they want to have and when they have them.  Then they tell me that I have it so easy because I don't have to be recovering from giving birth while taking care of a newborn.  But nothing about adoption is easy and it is definitely not under my control or choice.  We have to trust every step of finding our children to God.  That's not a bad thing, its just not an easy thing like deciding you want another baby and then getting pregnant and having one.  After that short visit at the hospital I didn't visit my new niece for 10 days and they only live 5 min. away.  When I finally did visit I held her for about 1/2 hour.  When she was baptized DH and I were her sponsors but didn't even get in on the family pictures and I didn't hold her at all that day.  I feel bad.  I'm not a good auntie at all.  Or a good SIL.  When we brought J home my SIL was always here bringing food. playing with J, offering to babysit. 

I haven't actually shed any tears of jealousy or hurt over this third baby of theirs so in that way its different.  I'm not openly anger and bitter like before.  I just don't care.  Maybe I should make more of a fuss.  Maybe I'm being too self centered and too wrapped up in my own problems.  Its just seems like I get less emotionally invested in things these days.  I don't know if I'm growing up, growing cold hearted or just growing too busy giving all my energy to J.