Adoption, birth mom, family, infertility, marriage, mom, teen pregnancy, Uncategorized

The Lingo Ate My Baby….

  It is funny how the choice of words people use can make a huge difference in what they say or ask. I have been humored, hurt and angered by the the wording and questions people to choose to use.  All along this journey of teen pregnancy, infertility and adoption, I have come to realize language and the way we comment, ask and label situations is so important. Some people really have no idea that what they are saying is hurtful or even not politically correct. I would like to address some of these.

Lets talk teen pregnancy, shall we? When you learn of a teen (or even a young girl surprised with pregnancy) do not say “oh. eeh. geez. wow. what are you going to do!?” with a face that looks like you just ate something terrible. A young girl is already scared and feeling as tho they did something wrong and let down people. You do not need to be one of them. A simple “You are? Are you ok? Is there anything I can do?” or a simple “I’m here for you” is plenty. A hug doesn’t hurt either! If this girl chooses to keep the baby after weighing options and thinking it over, then be supportive – offer advice or even resources that can help. Don’t be “You ARE?! You are so young! It is hard work – blah blah blah”.  If she chooses adoption for her baby, the words “gave up” “giving up” are not favorable. It is not an old out of date sweater that is going to Goodwill. It is not chocolate they are giving up for lent. It is a young human being that is loved and the choice to choose adoption was carefully decided. You mourn the loss and are equally happy for the couple that will be this child’s family. It is a very emotional time. the comment “Oh, you’ll be fine! You will have other children when the time is right.” is NOT OK. You can’t replace that baby. It is a part of you that will always be.

Ok, let’s talk infertility, shall we? I remember when Mike and I were trying to conceive, it seemed as tho EVERYONE around us was getting pregnant. People would ask all the time “When are you two going to have kids?” Little did they know we were trying and failing. (wait, let me clarify….we knew HOW, just those pesky sperm and eggs didn’t want to do their part).

* insert sound affect: Needle screech across a record album……WAIT! Let’s back up a bit. After people get married, not all of them WANT to have kids and a family. So why assume they do. When you think about the question “So when are you two going to have kids?”… you are asking quite a personal question that really is none of your business!

Ok…back to infertility… our first doctor we saw after months of trying said “Ah, relax! Light some candles…it will happen”. Gee, ok. We never thought of that one. (eye roll) Then we moved onto charting my temp EVERY morning, Mike getting his sperm tested, getting shots, taking pills and having mandatory sex. Let me just tell you – sex on command is not as great as some of you think. Sure we would giggle and laugh at first. The thought of a literal nooner was hysterical. But 6 years later…there was no laughing. So when a couple is going through all that and crying every month when the test comes back negative… a person asking “When are you two going to have kids?”  may get a punch to the throat – so don’t be surprised by it! Especially once we found out I was the problem and couldn’t get pregnant. I actually had people ask me “So are you going to find the baby you put up for adoption?” …to those people I say “Are you on drugs!?!?” Because why on earth would I disrupt a plan that I carefully chose and had a hard time coming to terms with? Not to mention being so selfish to disrupt a young child’s life because of something I couldn’t have.

If you do know a couple is struggling, always asking how it is going is really just a reminder of how long and painful their journey is. Remember, that the couple is different from your aunt’s niece’s friend who went through infertility…Trust me, WHEN there is news to share, that couple will be the ones screaming it from the rooftops, skywriting it and will be so excited to share the news. It is their news to share… not your question to be answered.

Adoption. This area of conversation has SO MANY things to address. Grab a cup of coffee, have a seat and let’s educate! First thing right out of the gate when we told people we were adopting was “Oh, you’ll get pregnant now for sure!!” To these people asking I say “No, we have medical proof we wont and I am not the Virgin Mary” and “We closed that painful door we struggled with for 6 years, made some closure and moved forward by opening the door labeled ADOPTION – why would you rip the band aid off that wound we are finally healing from!?”

We chose to adopt from South Korea. (That means they are ASIAN, not oriental. Oriental is a type of rug people!!) We didn’t need our child to look like us. To us, that was not important. To some it is. But we would get comments like “Oh. why wouldn’t you adopt from here and then your child might look like you?” During the process people would comment/ask “I heard it is expensive! How much does it cost!?!?”  – first off all, adoption fees are usually on a sliding fee. So it is different for everyone. And, WHAT BUSINESS IS IT OF YOURS?! That is just a rude question…period. Unless of course you are asking because you too are thinking about adoption and want advice.

This is a good one too. Once we had our daughter – who again was Korean – 5 months old. People would constantly ask “Will she speak English?” Ok, let’s stop and think about this. A.) She doesn’t even speak yet and B.) We know maybe 2 words in Korean.  We would also get “Is she adopted?” Well, first off all I do not walk up to a mother in Target an just randomly ask “Did you give birth to your son?” – I must say tho – 90% of the people asking that particular question were adopting or had an immediate family member or friend that was. So we had an immediate connection about it. But remember, still a strange question to ask.

Oh here is a good one!! Once we adopted our second daughter we would get the age ol’ favorite question “Are they sisters!?”…. Let’s step back and look at this. I am at Target (yes I do shop there a lot) and I approach a mom with two boys (or girls) and just randomly ask “Are they brothers?”… the mom would probably look at me and slowly say “ummm, yeah?!” – and stare at me like why on earth are you asking. Ok, back to me now. When people ask this question I know what they want to know is: Are they birth sisters? I get it. But again, why is it someone’s business? And to our family and to each other…YES they are sisters.

“Will they ever find their REAL moms?” – I assume people mean their BIRTH mothers. We are both REAL moms. One of us gave birth and one of us raised and loved unconditionally. Maybe someday my girls will want to meet their birth mother and make the emotional journey and I will beside them sharing all the beauty of it with them.

“They are so lucky you saved and adopted them” – um, no. We are the lucky ones. They made our family whole. WE decided on adoption because WE wanted children and WE wanted a family. We are not fostering a hurt and sick animal here.

The bottom line with all of this is, be mindful of the comments and questions you ask. Be educated on the language and terms you use. You don’t always know what people are going through.

family, marriage, Uncategorized

Confused….

The events this past week leave me feeling confused. I LOVE the fact that #lovewins. I love that all human beings can share in the sacred union of marriage. Marriage is not something you enter on a whim – it is a commitment. If two human beings love one another, respect one another and want to commit to one another for better for worse, for richer for poorer etc til death do them part – WONDERFUL.

I do not like to talk about religion and my faith openly and publicly…it is a very personal journey to me. I am not looking for a big religious debate. I am stating my opinion and what I believe. What I think, pray about and believe are between God and I. But I am finding myself confused….and I believe others must be as well. I believe in God. I believe the Bible is the holy book in which we live our lives by. I believe God has the ultimate plan for us and he is the man (or woman) in charge. If you put your trust in God – all things are possible. I believe that he creates each one of us differently. How we go about our journey with what we are given is what matters. He gives us the crazy detours in life and its is our job to find a lesson out of them. I also am a person that is not black and white – I believe there is gray area. Why would God create a beautiful human being that cannot help who they love. If two people love each other, why is that bad!?!?! If the two people are both women or both men – why is that bad? Why would God create a person who is designed to love a person of the same gender and say it is bad? They just want to love and be loved. period. I know many people in same sex relationships – to see the way they look at the person they love is beautiful. I also know many man/woman relationships that are filled with bitterness, anger and divorce.

The God I know and trust teaches us to love one another. That all human beings are worthy of love. We are all beautiful and loved in the eyes of God…

 

family, marriage, Uncategorized

Love is patient…Love is kind.

MarriedCoupleCartoon “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs, love does not delight in evil, but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. But where there are prophecies they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.  For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears.  When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.  And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”

Twenty two years ago last week I met the love of my life. I was a tipsy bridesmaid in a green satin dress. He was a cute charming guitar player in the band….This week we will be married 20 years. I look back at all our friends and some family who have been married and divorced throughout this time. I see new brides to be planning over the top expensive weddings. I see shows like “Say yes to the Dress” and “The Bachelor” or “The Bachelorette” and wonder…how and why?! And don’t even get me started on the show “Dating Naked”. I wonder what IS the ingredient that makes a marriage work? It is a mixture of things, patience, respect, and the greatest: LOVE.

I wonder do some give up too soon? Does all the glitz and glitter of the planning part cloud their judgement? I don’t know… I don’t have the answers.

For us, we did a lot of things. We did live together before marriage (ooooh, I hear all the gasps of air as people read this)…but yes we did. Mike was 32 and I was 25. We were grown adults. We were engaged. Why have 2 rents and 2 sets of everything? It was practical and worked for us. We have fond memories of our first “home” together and call it the Love Shack. It was cheap, lackluster but filled with love and allowed us to save money to buy our first home.

We came from two different backgrounds. Mike came from a divorced home where he had to grow up fast and be the man of his family. He helped care for his sisters and mom. I grew up with married parents (still married 48 years!). We had different pictures of what married life was supposed to be like. Mike was married briefly for a couple years before…an unhealthy marriage with no children. I was not. His dad and wife got married a month after us – also married 20 years.

I believe all these differences made us who we are today. Yes, we have a good solid marriage, but that doesn’t mean we haven’t had our share of difficult times. We have gone through addiction, infertility, religious differences, adoption and reuniting with a son I had as a teenager. We vote differently, pray differently and relax differently. We have different looks on money. We have had AWESOME salaries and months of grilled cheese. Some of these things just about ripped us apart and left me wondering if we would make it. And other of those things made us happy and complete. Point is, we hung in there and didn’t give up on each other. I can see where it would have been easier to yell “it’s over – get out”, but we never did. We fought through the storms and made it to the other side stronger and more in love.

Do we argue and fight – hell yes. Do we make up and forgive and love – yes. Mike has seen me skinny, fat, happy, sad, bitchy, nice, broken, all together, fed up, you name it – he’s seen it, experienced it and still here loving me.

I believe it is hard and takes work, the work of both people. You share the load…its not always equal and fair, but it all balances out. We have learned to take time for “us” – because it was “us” first. Granted we are not always good at making time for us, but we try – even if its a quiet 1/2 hour together watching the news. Nothing glamorous. If we as a union aren’t happy and finding the time to reconnect and talk…we drift apart. That is easy to do – especially when you both work and have children. We at times tend to put ourselves as a couple last…when in fact it should be first – because we are the foundation for our family.

If I could tell couples about to get married a few things, it would be to remember the reason for the wedding – to unite a couple in matrimony…it is not about the dress, the flowers, the meal, the wine etc. In 20 years those details aren’t the things that matter the most. Don’t go to bed angry – no one sleeps well. You don’t have to be right and get the last word in (and I am guilty of this too often!). Hold hands for no reason. TALK TALK AND TALK: communication is key – mind reading does not work!! Trust me! It is ok to have a different opinion, just respect the other one. You don’t have the bigger and best of everything to be happy. Love one another, support each other, respect each other even if you see things differently – it is not a contest to be the right one (even tho it secretly may feel good)….