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On Belly Babies and Adoption and Things of that Nature

09/09/2014

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If you read my last post, you know that we’re expecting a baby. This time, the baby is in my belly. What?! I’ve spent a lot of time in disbelief the past few weeks. Not that I didn’t think it was possible but I just hadn’t really gone there mentally. I just wanted to be a mother; whether it happened biologically or through adoption didn’t matter to me. Even just being a foster mom was so fulfilling to me. Once we adopted our sweet Alianna in 2012 my mom-heart was totally content. But in the back of my mind there was a small hope for a forever sibling for her—one that she could grow up in our home with and grow old with.

I’m super excited to have a baby, another child—and particularly one that will be a part of our family forever, one that won’t leave. In other words, I’d be just as excited if we were adopting again. There is no difference in my heart. But this time, we get 9 months to prepare! In the past we’ve only ever had hours to prepare for a new kid. We get to name this one, too—from scratch! That’s pretty special. I’m confident in caring for a child—I’ve had five, including a teeny preemie. However…

I’m pretty nervous about the whole reality of being pregnant and giving birth. I’m kind of a wimp. So far I haven’t been too uncomfortable. It’s been more like mild PMS symptoms that have lasted four weeks.I’m tired and I basically need to eat all day—at least every two hours—and then I feel pretty good. I’ve been hot a lot of the time—very unusual for me! I have to pee approximately 15 times a day. The idea of a little person living inside of my body is amazing and also freaking weird. It has always seemed like such an alien concept to me. Lord, help me to have peace about it before I start to feel our baby moving.

“You know that always happens. You adopt and then you get pregnant!” I burst out in laughter when Jason said that to me shortly after we high-fived and hugged and stared some more at the positive pregnancy test. “What are you going to say when people say that?” he asked, “Because you know they will.” I told him I’d probably laugh just like I did then. I laugh because it’s so far from reality. Our reality is that we were actively preventing pregnancy from before we adopted our daughter up until earlier this year. I hate those kind of comments because it’s heartbreaking for people who have struggled with infertility before pursing adoption then adopt and still don’t get pregnant. One is certainly no guarantee of the other. I know lots of those moms and they’re my sweet friends. My biggest problem with the above statement is that it implies that pregnancy is what we really wanted all along but we settled for adoption. That’s not our story. We actively pursued foster parenting. It was hard work. It wasn’t a back up plan. We chose to become foster parents as our first way of becoming parents. We fought hard to adopt Alianna. As I mentioned above, being her mother as well as being a foster mother—a mother to many—has filled all of my dreams for motherhood. I have no regrets or unfulfilled longings. I wouldn’t want it any other way.

That said, we really are excited about this belly baby. As much as I was in shock originally, this baby is totally and completely wanted and welcome. All three of us are very excited. Alianna was such a wonderful big sister to baby Firefly and I’m really excited that she’ll get to be a big sister again, this time for good.

[Quick note: Several people have asked how this will affect us foster parenting. We have no plans to quit foster parenting. We’re still on the list of available homes, waiting for a call that could come at any moment. We may consider taking a year off around the baby’s arrival and then reevaluating. But as of right now, nothing has changed.]

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New Placement

09/08/2014

We said yes to a placement of a newborn. Not sure yet if it’s a boy or a girl.

Estimated arrival: April 2015

The biological parents and big sister are all pretty excited.

Oh, I should probably mention, this baby—about the size of a blueberry—is in my belly.

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Introducing… Bee!

11/25/2013

On Thursday afternoon we got a call—only our third call in 3.5 weeks of being open to new placements—and it was a “yes” call. A 6-month old girl? A baby? Yes! God has been preparing my heart since August for our next placement to be a baby girl…ever since I found out Alianna’s biological mom was pregnant with a girl. Bee is not Ali’s biological sister, however, I know that God was preparing me for Bee as well as putting that baby sister on my heart so I’d pray for her a lot. In fact, when I found out baby sister was coming into state custody, I bought some formula, diapers and a newborn onesie from the clearance rack at Target just in case. They put baby sister with another family member so we never got that call. However, funny how God works isn’t it? That onesie I bought just in case…I found an exact duplicate in the tub of clothing that came with Bee!

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I love when God gives me these little signs to show that He knows me and He cares what matters to my heart.

So, back to baby Bee. That’s not her real name, of course. It’s my online nickname for her. We don’t really know how long she’ll be with us at this point. There is a family member out-of-state that they’re hoping will work for her placement but state-to-state transfers and documentation can be slow. Initially we were told it might take 6 months. By the next day, we heard they’re going to try to expedite it, but they still couldn’t give me a time frame. Just “faster.” One day at a time. It would be nice to know if she’ll be with us for Christmas so I can prepare but such is the way of foster care.

Bee is a big baby! That’s part of the reason for the nickname…she’s round and bumbly. I though Ali was a big baby but Bee is already too big for all the 6 month clothes she came with. I have some 9 and 12 month hand-me-downs from Ali that suit her much better. We’ve been blessed with another very easy-going, happy, good-sleeping baby. Praise the Lord! She is really delightful and we’re all so happy to have her join our household for however long we get to kiss her big, soft cheeks and inhale her delicious baby smell. I’ll write more about how we’re all transitioning when I have more time.

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Call #2: Up in the Air

07/28/2011

On Monday we got our second call for a foster care placement. The placement worker left a voicemail for Jason. He called me as soon as his plane was on the ground and he got the message but it was already too late. It was for one little girl. We probably would have said yes. I am at peace about it—I’m believing she ended up in a good home and things turned out the way they were supposed to. But, it’s hard to wrap my brain around it all… one phone call can change everything. Missing a call (by 35 minutes) can change everything.

Instead of going over to a friends house for dinner, cake and a birthday celebration Monday night, I could have been fumbling around with setting up our car seat, running to Kroger for diapers and formula and baby food (and Googling what you can feed a 9 month old), calling my boss to let him know I may or may not be stopping in to the office tomorrow, texting my friends to start praying, calling my mama to say HELP! But tonight that little baby girl will be laying her head down to sleep at another house and I’ll be going about business as usual. Again, I have complete peace about how it all worked out, it’s just strange to think about how differently this week could have turned out. And “business as usual” feels a little lame.

Seeing as we’ve had 2 calls in 5 days, I imagine we’ll get a placement soon. I have a tangle of contrasting emotions: excited, scared, hopeful, sad… It’s beautiful thing, foster parenting, and also a horrible thing. I wish the need for it didn’t exist. I know I’m only seeing and understanding the tip of the iceberg at this point.

One of my co-workers aptly put it in an email the other day, This is truly a unique journey.