Tomorrow, Tomorrow

We were at Target this weekend and I saw the movie Annie in the $5 dvd section. I loved this movie as a kid, so of course I had to buy it. I meant to set it aside for M to watch when she’s a little older, but she found it on the counter tonight and wanted to watch it. How could I say no?!

She didn’t really grasp the full story (thankfully – it’s kind of heavy for a toddler), but she loved the music and the dancing in the movie. She kept jumping off the couch and dancing along in front of the tv. By the end of the movie she was singing the chorus of “Tomorrow” at the top of her lungs. We were sitting back just smiling at her antics and her enthusiasm. I think “Hakuna Matata” has been replaced with “Tomorrow” as the song request at bedtime, at least for now. :)

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Sweetheart

Sometimes, I call Miss M “sweetheart.” As in, “good morning, sweetheart!” Well, lately she’s been calling ME sweetheart, and it is hilarious.

I was leaving for work one morning and she came running up to me and said “bye sweetheart! I love you!” (My heart melted just a little.) She also calls me sweetheart when we’re playing with her dollhouse or her play kitchen. She’ll say, “I’m going to be the mom and you’re the sweetheart.”

I love it! It makes me laugh to hear my 3-year old call me sweetheart. I hope she never loses this sweet and loving nature.

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Mother’s Day

Yesterday was Mother’s Day and I have a lot of feelings about this topic that I need to get out.

First, there’s an e-card thing going around on FB that makes me livid every single time I see it. It says something like “All moms gave birth to a child. Except my mom – she gave birth to a legend.”

While I understand this is intended to be funny, I don’t think it’s funny at all. In fact, I find it infuriating. Clearly, I did not give birth to a child. But I am a mother. Making the assumption that you are only a mother if you gave birth insults all the moms out there who are raising children they didn’t give birth to. GAH.

Next up – Birth Mother’s Day. Mother’s Day as an adoptive mom is complicated. I always longed for the day I would finally be able to call myself a mom and celebrate with my child. But as I celebrated, someone else was grieving.

Did you know there’s a thing called Birth Mother’s Day? Apparently it’s the Saturday before Mother’s Day. I don’t get it. Why should it be a separate day? Again, can’t we be inclusive of all mothers on Mother’s Day? She may not be raising M, but she carried her for 9 months, gave birth to her, and loved her so much she made the gut-wrenching choice to place with her us.

It’s funny though, because M’s birth mom disagrees. I sent her a video yesterday of M saying happy Mother’s Day and blowing her kisses. She responded that she loves the video but she’s not M’s mom – I am. She said “all I did was get pregnant and give birth – that doesn’t make me a mom. You are the one raising her, teaching her right from wrong, and teaching her to be the very best she can be.”

I get it. I am M’s mom. But M will always be her daughter too, even if I am the one she calls mommy. I feel like she should be honored on Mother’s Day with the rest of us. Complicated feelings all around.

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Maybe Cross-Country Running?

My parents put me in sports as a kid and I loved it. I played three sports in junior high and high school and continued to play for fun through college. I made lifelong friends, learned the importance of working together, stayed in shape, and had fun.

I know sports aren’t for everyone, but I want M to be exposed to different sports and other activities so she can find something that she loves to do. So far, we’ve tried gymnastics, dance, and now soccer. I thought she would like soccer because it’s fast-paced and requires lots of running around, so I signed her up for a 5-week soccer camp.

After the first three weeks, these are my observations:

  • 50 minutes is too long to expect 3 and 4 year old kids to pay attention.
  • Splitting the kids into groups and expecting them to stay with their group the entire time is insane.
  • I think she’s bored out of her mind.
  • The coaches change each week and only some of them seem to know how to “coach” little kids who’ve never played soccer before.
  • My kid is the only one running (and I mean RUNNING) around the park away from the class. She runs toward the street, or past her soccer field to the huge open fields furthest away from her class, or to the bathrooms, or the parking lot. Really, anywhere except where she’s supposed to be.
  • I’m the only parent yelling “stop! come back! stay here!” (on repeat) and it’s embarrassing.
  • I’m also the only parent getting any exercise at this camp because I have to chase my kid and bring her back. I get in about 30 minutes of sprints each week, especially when she heads for the road.
  • My 3-year old is FAST. I am not.

I know she’s only three. I know this her first exposure to soccer. I know I shouldn’t expect her to pay attention the entire time. But holy hell, I am so tired of chasing her. I’m thinking maybe she’ll be a track star or a cross-country runner in the future. I’m also thinking maybe we need to get her back to dance class because at least she’s contained in one room for that activity! :)

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This Is Three

IMG_1324My daughter turned 3 last week. I cannot believe we have a 3-year old! Where did the time go? She’s an amazing, caring, stubborn, independent little girl and I can’t get enough of her. I decided to interview her tonight just for fun. Some of her answers made me laugh, some were completely expected and some I’m still trying to figure out. Here is a quick recap of our interview.

  • What do you want to be when you grow up? A mermaid
  • What’s your favorite color? Purple
  • What’s your favorite toy? Trains
  • What’s your favorite book? She said something that I couldn’t understand. Even after 10 minutes of trying to get her to repeat it, guessing, and asking her to bring the book to me, I still have no idea what she said. I’m assuming it’s a book she read at school because she couldn’t show me.
  • What’s your favorite tv show? Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and Bubble Guppies
  • What’s your favorite movie? Monsters (Monsters, Inc.)
  • What’s your favorite food? oranges (I expected cheeseburgers or cake pops, but she actually picked a healthy food!)
  • What’s your favorite animal? Piggy!
Posted in Celebrations and milestones, Just for fun, Parenting | Leave a comment

You Are Not Alone

2015-niaw-homepage-image

April 19 to April 25th is National Infertility Awareness Week. (Read more about it here.) I’ve never participated in the conversation around this week even though infertility is part of my life. However, this year’s theme is You Are Not Alone and this theme is so so so important to me.

Roughly ten years ago I was sitting in a pizza place with one of my closest childhood friends. We were talking and laughing and catching up like old friends do. Somehow – I can’t remember exactly how it went – I told her that we were trying to have a baby and it just wasn’t happening. I will never forget the look on her face. It was her words, however, that shocked me more. She told me she was facing the same thing.

I remember how we both cried when we realized we’d each been holding on to this secret and feeling so alone when we didn’t have to. I remember thinking how awful it was that she was also experiencing the sadness and the disappointment, but also feeling relieved that I had finally told someone and she understood.

So often, people suffer through infertility in silence. It’s insanely personal and the pain is raw. I realized that day just how alone and isolated I had felt.

As soon as we were married, everyone wanted to know when we were going to start having kids. We were repeatedly asked personal questions about our plans to have a family. While these friends and family members meant well and were clearly excited to welcome a baby to the world, their questions hurt. Every comment about when I was going to get pregnant was like a knife being pushed deeper and deeper into my heart.

No one knew that we desperately wanted to start a family but that things just weren’t happening the way we’d planned. No one knew how every single month I cried when my period showed up, dashing our hopes yet again. I suffered in silence and tried to provide non-committal answers and blow off the comments.

After talking to my friend, I decided to stop being silent. If people were going to ask personal questions, they were going to get personal answers. I got a lot of shocked looks when I responded with statements like “we’re having a hard time getting pregnant so I don’t know when or if I’ll ever have a baby, but thanks for your excitement.” You know what? It felt GOOD to put it out there. It was like a weight had lifted off my chest and I felt free.

Around this time I also discovered the power of social media. I found several bloggers who wrote about infertility and their struggles with building a family. I found a community on Twitter who felt the same things I felt – alone and broken. The online community was amazing and helped me through some of the darkest times of my life.

One in eight couples experience infertility. I am one in eight. My friend Erin is one in eight. Both of us went on to have beautiful children – her through IVF and us through adoption. Wherever you are at in your journey, please please please remember that you are NOT alone. There are so many of us who’ve been there. Who understand. Who get it. You will be okay. You are not alone.

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Distractions

April is the busiest month for my family; we basically celebrate something new every week. My brother kicked things off with his April Fools Day birthday and then a few days later we celebrated Easter. The day after Easter was our 13th wedding anniversary. This weekend is Miss M’s birthday party and next week is her actual birthday. My birthday is about a week later, and a few days after that is my dad’s birthday. Plus, this year we have a bar mitzvah thrown in the mix, too.

This means LOTS of family time, lots of parties and lots of celebrating. It also means I have several distractions from the never-ending wait to become parents again.

I desperately need all these distractions right now because I’m having a difficult time sitting around just waiting for my phone to ring. I’m going to be 38 in a few weeks and I’m struggling with the fact that I am going to be another year older and still not a mom again. It sucks. And it’s out of my control. I’m not a patient person and this wait is starting to wear me down. I guess the bright side is I get to eat lots of cake this month while I wait for my phone to ring….

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