Tuesday, September 19, 2017

5 Things I wish I Had Known About Adoption

1. Failed Adoptions Are Common
We knew failed adoptions were real but we thought we were invincible. So, I guess when ours happened it hit us hard. We thought how could we go on,  do we even adopt, why us? But when we opened up more about our failed adoption we realized how common these are. Now a failed adoption doesn't mean that you sent in our profile to a birth mom and weren't chosen. A failed adoption is when you were matched with a birth mom and she decides to parent. Whether it was a little after the match was made or right after the baby is born. (I felt like I needed to clear the air on what it specifically is) As hard as it is, it is common around adoptive families. Advice: don't think your invincible, and talk about what you would do in that circumstance so you are ready if it were to come. But let me tell you, you do recover from it, it just takes time. 

2. There Is A Huge Adoption Community Out There That is So Supportive
As soon as we got our Lemmon, friends, family, followers, strangers, ANYONE really, was popping up telling us about how close adoption is to their lives. We couldn't believe it! We still get it to this day and we love hearing how their lives have been blessed because of it. We've relied on these people many times when we hit some bumps in Lemmon's adoption. I've called up friends or family and asked their advice with an adoption situation and it's helped so much.  If adoption is close to you, open your mouth! Because people have opened their mouth to us, Lemmon now has so many people to turn to and relate to. Thank you!

3. Legal Adoption and Emotional Adoption Don't Always Happen At The Same Time. And There Is Nothing Wrong With That.
This goes for both side of the adoption. Riley felt like he didn't fully connect with Lemmon till she could start interacting more (3-6 months). He loved her so much but the bond for them two didn't start till later. And that's okay! It was so comforting to have our social worker meet with us every few months and go over the bond we were having with Lemmon. She reminded us that it takes time and if you do all you can then the bond will come. I can't fully speak for our Birth Mom, but we would receive text from her right after the adoption checking in on Lemmon (we personally loved it) She knew it was done legally but emotionally, she wasn't ready to go. AND THAT'S OKAY! Embrace it!

4. You Don't Know Your Birth Mom Until You've Met Her
We thought we had it all figured out. We talked with our birth mom on the phone before Lemmon's birth and asked lots of questions. We knew we wanted to get her a gift to give to her when we all left the hospital. We went shopping for her a few times and had our cart full of pampering stuff, clothes, food, etc, but always ended up putting it back. We decided to just wait till we got to New Orleans. After being with her for a few days, we understood a little more of her personality. We asked more in depth questions and felt more at comfortable face to face. We decided to get her something that we thought would mean more. The look on her face when we gave her her gift was priceless. We wanted it to mean something and it did. Wait to get to know your birth mom face to face if you can and if you can't, pray that you'll understand a little more of who she is. We just assumed we knew so much about her after one phone call.

5. How Hard It Is To Say Goodbye
No one told me that part. I knew, of course, that we would have to say goodbye to our birth mom, our angel. But I didn't know how hard, sad, heart wrenching, emotionally draining it would be. I wish I hugged her more. I wish I thanked her more. I wish I cried of gratitude in front of her more, rather then in the hallway. I wish I had pictures of all of us parents with Lemmon. But Mostly, I wish I hugged her more. Nothing can compare to that goodbye. Take the hardest saddest moment in your life and times it by 1000. But the most amazing thing is, you recover from it. I didn't know if I would or how I would share that part of Lemmon's adoption with her. But I'm confident that that will be the most memorable part of Lemmon's adoption.

*** These are what we feel we wished we would have known before we had adopted***

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

6 Ways To Cope With Infertility

1. Therapy
I can't express enough on how much therapy has helped me. The key is finding someone you connect with and feel comfortable opening up with. I had been to a few before I found my current therapist. And let me tell you, those were horrible experiences for me! I needed someone who understood me and could help me see the bigger picture and how to cope with such a hard trial in my life. I started going once a week and would just talk and cry and talk and cry. But I always walked out feeling such a weight lifted off my shoulders. I kept our infertility a secret for over 2 years. Not even my family knew. So imagine all that was built up over time. I still see my therapist now and it is such a nice feeling to let everything out and to not feel judged from the other party. If you can't go to a therapist then journal! I journaled my whole experience and still do. It's very therapeutic and it's fulfilling to go back and see how far I've come
*If you are in the northern Utah area and need a therapist, email me! My therapist is incredible!!*

2. God
If you don't believe in God, then believe in something because this is the time you'll need someone/something to lean on. I was/am constantly praying for strength and comfort and I immediately get it. I knew that God had all the power in this circumstance so why not go to him when I felt to weak. 

3. A Safe Haven
For me, that meant the Temple . A place I can go to that let go of the worldly views and stereotypes. I would go often and just sit and ponder and feel safe. If you can't go to a temple, then make a specific park or a trail or even a restaurant your safe haven. But go there often! Your brain will start registering that this is the place you go to to feel safe and at ease and to forget your infertility for just a moment. 

4. Hold Babies
This one might seem like I'm back tracking or pouring salt in the wound. But trust me! It helps! I would often crave holding a newborn in my arms or to just sit and play with a toddler. So, I would! It may have not been my baby but it filled that hunger for those few minutes. Most moms are more then happy if you ask to hold their baby (wash your hands of course hehe) or to play with their toddler for a moment. They need the break and you need the love! I had to learn that it was okay to yearn for these things and to give into those needs with a "substitute" child. 

5. Be Happy For Others
I know this one may seem harder then the rest. How can you be happy for someone else when they are easily getting exactly what you've been praying for for years?! Easy! Because they would be happy for you. It still pricks my heart when hearing about a pregnancy but it brings me soo much happiness that they don't have to go through this hard trial. I decided to choose that happiness over bitter because simply, it's easier and I am happier. I want to be happy too! And it starts with being happy for others. Be happy it's their turn, be happy they are not the 1 in 8 (would you really wish that upon them) be happy that one day they will be even happier for you!

6. Stay Busy!
When we first started our treatments I was working in a salon. I decided that if I couldn't get pregnant right then or if we were doing a treatment too, I would put my all into my work and become the best stylist out there. Let me tell you, that's when my clientele boomed! It was my distraction from throwing a self-pity party. Now, since I'm not at the salon, I stay busy with other things. The gym, crafting, keeping Lemmon busy, finding new places around my home. The more we sit and stew the more angry and bitter we become. 

**This is personally what has helped me with Infertility. It is written in past form and present form, but I still use all 6 of these things to help me. ***

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Lemmon's First Birthday

Happy first birthday to The Squeeze!! Everyone said the time would fly by, but it flew by even faster then what I thought. I feel like Riley and I were just driving to Las Vegas to catch a last minute flight and sleeping in the JFK airport for 8 hours to get to New Orleans. 

I'll never forget the day we saw her first. Or when I held her for the first time. Or when we drove back to our hotel as a family of 3. 

Riley said something that had me really thinking a few weeks ago. "You may not be able to relate to a woman who has given birth or who has been pregnant. But you have the experience of adoption that most do not have." All 3 of us have this incredible story and experience that is so dear to our hearts and is a very rare opportunity for many. I love adoption. I love what it has done and will do for my family. I love my sweet Lemmon for accepting two birth parents in the life before. I love our strong birth mom who made the most selfless decision. I love adoption and am proud of it!