Saturday, May 13, 2017

More About Us

The summary of each member of our family along the side covers quite a bit, but I think expectant/birth mothers must have so many questions. I'd like to give some more detail about us in the hopes of helping you get to know us better.

I (Cassie) was born in California, but if you ask me where I'm from I'll say Missouri. That's my home. We live in Utah and I love it here, too. I adjust pretty well and consider myself to be very adaptable. Steven was born in Texas but his family moved to Missouri when he was a kid so he answers that question the same as me.

Our son, Liam, was born in Indiana. We adopted him from birth and it was a beautiful experience. We have a semi-open adoption with his birth mom. She is free to contact us any time. We love her dearly. Liam is going to be 2 in August and he is the sweetest and most social kid I know.

We are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We are very devout in our faith and love the Lord. We believe that all God's children are created equal and we do our very best to show love towards our fellow man.

Steven is the 2nd of 5 boys. His parents are incredible. His dad recently passed away due to cancer, but we hope to help our kids come to know him still through pictures and stories. His mom now lives in Michigan with relatives. She is funny and sassy and loves her kids and grandkids. 

I am the oldest of 8 kids (5 girls, 3 boys). My parents are divorced. I have a huge family and love how many wonderful people, especially siblings,  have been made a part of my life through the sad circumstance of divorce. I think it's really important to dwell on the good, not the bad. Family means the world to me.

We love movies and board games. We enjoy being outside, but only in warm weather. It's harder to get us out in the cold. However, all the best holidays are during the cold seasons so we have to suck it up cause we LOVE holidays!!! We like to make a big deal out of everything. We love old and new traditions.

Steven is half Mexican and half Italian. He speaks German and served as a missionary in Switzerland for 2 years. I don't speak any other languages, but I do enjoy studying them. I have introduced many different language videos to our son and think it's really important to expand our minds.

Liam is our little sunshine. He is a huge fan of Moana and The Secret Life of Pets. He loves music and dancing. I'm currently teaching him a lot of oldies. His favorite right now is "What's New, Pussycat?" He's an excellent dancer. 😊

Liam is becoming a big basketball fan. We are a San Antonio Spurs family and he now recognizes the logo and will chant "Defense! Defense!" when a game is on. It's a source of pride for Steven.

Describing ourselves in great detail is so complicated because we don't know what you want to know. If you are interested in getting to know us more and have any other questions, please don't hesitate to ask. God bless you. 

Thursday, March 30, 2017

How the Process Feels

Every single day, I think about how blessed we are to have Liam. He came to us so suddenly and we will forever be grateful for his wonderful birth mother who placed the needs of her child ahead of her own desires. She has given us our greatest joy.

I've received a few comments recently related to the feelings that go along with the process of adoption. I've decided to address the emotional side of things for anyone who may want some insight.

Bringing a new baby home is the greatest feeling in the world, no matter how it happens. Biological or adopted, that is your child and the heart can hardly take one more piece of excitement. But with adoption, there are a lot of things that you feel before that moment. Feelings that sound the same as any other parent would experience, but which are actually vastly different. Anticipation, fear, disappointment, gratitude, hope, (did I mention fear,) stress, anger, guilt.... I could go on. Starting the process is stressful enough. Feeling like you're about to have every aspect of your life judged, knowing you have to meet so many requirements in order to become an "approved" future parent... it sucks. This is one place anger comes in. It's so hard overcoming the frustration of having to pay a crazy amount of money and meet all these expectations in order to become a parent, and yet there are teens, addicts, and people who just weren't even trying who are having kids every day! I swear almost every single person I talked to for the first couple of years said their pregnancy was a surprise. And all I could think at first was, "Shut. Up. Seriously. I'm gonna kill you." More anger! Your body rejects the fact that it's supposed to create life! You have to rely on strangers to make you parents.

Then there's the hope. Hoping that someone will like you and trust you enough to raise their child. Adoption has made me a better person simply because I want to be worthy of that trust. There's hope that it won't take too long to be chosen; hope that it will be as wonderful as you've heard (and it is.) So much hope.

Fear comes along with hope. There are so many back-and-forth moments! Before being chosen, there's the fear that you'll NEVER be chosen, or that it will take too long. After being chosen, there's the fear that they'll change their mind. There's fear of offending, fear of not knowing your place, fear of getting too excited too early, fear of someone talking the birth mother out of it at the very last moment, fear of everything! It tears you up.

When we were at the hospital with Liam's birth mom, we loved spending time with her. She was so great and we loved her instantly. She spent some time alone with her son and soaked in the 2 days she had to say goodbye..... And this was the greatest guilt I've ever felt. Taking her baby out of her arms and walking out the door, leaving the hospital, knowing she was back there and alone.... I cried. Adoption comes with guilt, whether we're prepare for that or not. It's heavy, and, although it eases up, it never goes away. The situations are different for different people, but how could anyone not feel sorry for taking away someone else's child? True, it was her choice, but she wasn't excited about it. A birth mother is the most selfless kind of person. I read something recently that said we shouldn't call them selfless because they "aren't selfless, they're just planning ahead." WHAT? No. Regardless of their plans, it is their desire to do what's best as a mother that drives them to place their baby with another family. So. Selfless.

The feelings of gratitude simply cannot be expressed. Grateful for this new baby, grateful for their mom, grateful to BE a mom, grateful for all the support of friends and family and even strangers, and - most surprisingly - grateful for infertility. Without it, your perfect child would never have come to you. I can't count the number of times I've thought, "I'm so thankful that the Lord said no when I begged to be pregnant." It doesn't mean you ever give up that hope for the future, but you learn to be happy in your circumstances.

I feel like I could write this forever. The emotions are endless. The purpose of my writing this is to shed some light on just how challenging, but rewarding, the emotional side of adoption is. Adoption is beautiful. People outside of the adoption world probably don't think much about what happens before the baby arrives in an adoptive home, but I think it would be nice if they did. If you know someone who is waiting, offer a listening ear. I promise they have a lot they'd like to say.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

The Zombie Virus

How is your Valentine's Day going, thus far? Better than ours? That's not surprising.

Picture this:

You wake up and it's pitch black. Your spouse isn't in bed and your toddler is just chillin. Is it morning, already? No. It's 3:45am. WTH?

So here's what happened. Liam got out of bed and went to the bathroom door where he began to call for Daddy. (You can't hide from him.) I got up, went over to him, and decided to change his diaper. We go in his room. I change his diaper. I try to think of the last time I got 8 straight hours of sleep. And then I feel dizzy. I think I'm gonna pass out, I think to myself. I quickly finish and pick Liam up (which, in hindsight, I probably shouldn't have done because I could barely stand) and rush back to my bedroom. I set Liam down on the bed and think, I made it. But no. There's more going on beneath the surface. Oh no. Here it comes. I turned to run to the bathroom, but remember it's occupied...... and there's nothing I can do. I double over and puke. And not just a little. On my hands and knees, in the dark, right on my bedroom carpet, I'm vomiting up everything I've eaten the day before, along with my dignity. Suddenly I realize there's a gigantic pile of dirty laundry next to me, so I could be throwing up on that instead. I moved a little to the left. It's still going!

Just as it's ending, Steven opens the bathroom door. "Are you okay?" Steven. Really? I mean really. I got up and tried to rinse the disgusting taste out of my mouth and clean off my face, and of course my hair. My sweet husband went to get stuff to clean the carpet, but then. You guys. It happened so fast. He came running into the bathroom, straight to the toilet. And he hurled his guts out. I kinda think he just didn't want to have to clean up my mess, so he said to himself, Self. Let's win this thing. It was a good effort, but we both had to clean up our own puke, so maybe there were no winners here.

Liam, of course, being the parrot he is, went over to his cute little miniature toilet and started leaning over the bowl and spitting. He just wanted to be a part of things. But he'd had his time! HE did this to us! At this point, I started worrying that he wasn't going back to sleep because MAN was he awake. But we were up for about 45 minutes cleaning things, anyway. At one point, I walked right through my yucky spot. I think there was cleaner on it then and most everything was cleaned up, but I went to the bathroom to wash my foot and decided it was a tender mercy because I was about to climb in bed with puke on my ankle that I hadn't noticed before. I guess the Lord was lookin out. #Blessed, right?

As we laid back down, we sort of laughed. What a great way to kick off our Valentine's Day.

So today we stayed in bed. No romantic dinner or candy or flowers. Just terrible sickness. We'll have to make up for this.

The best part is that it wasn't just us. Apparently almost everyone that was at our house on Sunday got sick, too. Lots of puking all over the place. Good times. And again. Our apologies.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Tyranny in the Home

In my whole adult life, I've never felt more controlled than I have today. Today, Liam was the boss....... and rightfully so. He is so over this "school" thing. Every time I tried to do homework, he complained. When I'd open my computer, he'd shout, "NO!" And if I tried to sit on the couch, he'd pull me away. I also tried doing the dishes. He tried to help, at first, which led to one of my mixing bowls getting broken, but that's fine.... 😶 . And then he pushed me away from the sink. I tried to explain to him that Mommy gets embarrassed when people come over and the house is a disaster, but that didn't seem to have any effect. He'd made his decision. So now we're downstairs watching cartoons while I attempt to blog. He's sitting on my lap, though, and keeps pulling my hands away from the keyboard, so I'm typing this via my voice.

And now that's over. He's giving me a break, I guess.

Even though I'm not gonna get my homework done, and therefore fail all my classes, today was totally worth it. Liam got some good playtime and I got to spend time with my baby. He is becoming such a...... person! He's a person, you guys! He tries all the time to talk to me and tell me things and tell me what he wants. He's got such a personality.

Ok, he's dragging me away from the couch now.


Friday, September 9, 2016

Update

I'm sorry to have to share the news that the babies have died. The mother (C) has been in the hospital for the last couple of days and is going home today. She is, of course, saddened by what's happened. We are, too. We obviously had hope of these being our daughters, so it's heartbreaking that they won't be, but mostly my heart goes out to C. She was struggling with her circumstances already and this hasn't made it any better, I'm sure. Please keep her in your prayers. I've grown to love her in the short time we've been in contact. I know God loves her and I know things will work out. She just needs to be comforted.