Friday, September 30, 2011

of.fi.cial

of·fi·cial 
/əˈfiSHəl/


  1. Of or relating to an authority or public body and its duties, actions, and responsibilities

  2. Having the approval or authorization of such a body

  3. Employed by such a body in a position of authority or trust

  4. Emanating from or attributable to a person in office; properly authorized

  5. Perceived as characteristic of officials and bureaucracy; officious

We got something pretty awesome in the mail today.  A tiny packet of papers that say that Miles is officially, legally ours as of September 26, 2011.  Many, many happy tears were shed in our house tonight. 

Friday, September 23, 2011

Out like a light

Apparently Miles has an off switch...he must have flipped it about 3 seconds into this video.  

video

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Pain and loss and healing

Something I get asked quite often is if having Miles takes away the pain of infertility, miscarriages, false starts and failed adoptions.  The short answer?  No.  The longer answer?  It makes all the pain WORTH it...but is sure doesn't take it away.  

We were in Utah on August 22nd.  I didn't make a big deal about it, in fact I don't think I even mentioned it to anyone...but my heart knew what day it was.  And although that isn't the day the twins ended up being born (at least we don't think it was) that was the day we had looked forward to for months.  As that day inched closer our excitement grew and when everything fell apart the crushing blow left us teetering on the edge of an emotional crevice so deep it was frightening. 

I remember all our losses...all our close calls...all our heartache.  I think I always will.  Time numbs the pain of them all...but every now and again something during day-to-day life will snag and it's like the loss just happened yesterday.  The pain surfaces and there is little I can do to stop it.  

I love Miles...and I LOVE being a mother.  Experiencing this pain and heartache does not make me less of a mother/person...it makes me more.  I appreciate every. second. I have with this tiny little miracle.  And on days when the pain of loss creeps in, surprises me and leaves an ache deep in my chest, I hold my Miracle Miles a little closer, kiss him a little more and feel deep reverence and humility that I have him to help heal the parts that ache.  

I think many people expect the very act of adopting a child to be a cure for infertility - physically and emotionally...if I have one more person tell me "watch, now you'll get pregnant because you've adopted" I will snap.  So when adoptive mothers express sadness over their losses or they struggle to grieve the fact that they will never carry life inside them...people think "well that's not quite right".  Just because we've finally gotten our miracle doesn't make us forget the struggles we went through to get him. 

Monday, September 12, 2011

Famous

I can't believe I forgot to share this bit of awesomeness.  While at the Adoption Conference a photographer for the Deseret News snapped Nathan and Miles and they ended up on the FRONT PAGE of the Deseret News on Saturday August 13th!

Cool eh?
 
(Poor Miles...you can see in his sweet little face that he feels miserable.  
The horrible Utah air and burning farms and pollen gave him the worst allergies.)

Oh Bear Lake...how I love thee

Since my family (my parents & siblings) is starting to grow my mom decided (with possibly a little prodding from me) a family reunion would be a good idea.  We planned to go somewhere as a family while Nathan, Miles & I were in Utah...and OBVIOUSLY  Bear Lake is the best choice.  We got a condo and spent three days just enjoying each other's company.  Having the opportunity to spend that much concentrated time together with my family was awesome...it's been probably 10 years since we had that much time together.  I could tell you more...but I'll let this plethora of pics do that: 

 View from our condo.  

 Our first night we went out to dinner at Cafe Sabor (SO excited that now Garden City has one too!)  Shanna got fajitas and Austin & Blaine had to go check it out...but not before donning appropriate protective gear.  

 Bryce got embarrassed (or reveled in the attention...jury is still out) by the obglitaory 'Happy Birthday singing by the waitstaff

 My nephew Austin helping me frost cupcakes.  

 Sarah (niece) had to help too. 

 We brought no matches so we made Bryce light his own b-day candles...boy scout style. 

 Brad was SO happy to be there.  

 While we were all together we took the opportunity to take some family pics...since it might be 3-4 years before we're all together again.  I can't wait to see the finished photos from the photographer!

 The crew in our beach shelter.  

 Me and squishy...and apparently the girls felt like they needed to be in the pic too (hey...I am blessed in that department...and it's hard to find good suits that will contain them)

 The kids...er, I mean boys, playing in the sand.  I think Mitch, Bryce, Brad and Nathan had more fun playing in the sand than the wee ones. 

 Brad actually changing a diaper.  Anyone who knows Brad knows what a big deal this is...seriously. 

 All tuckered out (plus he had HORRIBLE allergies in Utah so he was drugged...poor little guy)

 Family of three at Bear Lake.  I can't tell you how this just makes my heart swell.  I love Bear Lake and I was SO happy to share it with Miles.  :)

 Miles and grandpa napping.

 Grandma and some of the grandkids hanging out on the balcony. 


Nathan and his Dr Phil haircut.  (insert rolling eyes here)  He has begging me FOR YEARS to do this.  I told him he couldn't until after we got a baby...and then it was not until we have family pics.  As soon as we got back to the condo after taking family pics he and my brothers whipped out the buzzers and fashioned this beauty.  

Mom playing in the sand with the kids and some new found friends. 

 Bryce and Mitch blowing up all the floaties...leave it to my brothers to find the most interesting way to do anything.  

 Because of this bang-up job I have heretofore been fired from the post of sunscreen applicator.  I honestly have NO IDEA how this happened.  

 Miles in his other swimsuit.  I may or may not have purchased three suits in preparation for Bear Lake.  Hey.  No judging. 

Sarah likes cheetoes.

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Cheese

Isn't this just THE. MOST. adorable face ever??  

Families Supporting Adoption

Nathan and I are part of an adoption support group called Families Supporting Adoption (FSA)...in fact I'm co-chair (with my awesome friend Christy) of the Illinois Chapter of FSA.  Every year the National Board of FSA hosts an Adoption Conference.  We planned on going last year, but the twins were due the week after the conference so we never bought plane tickets to go...and then when that adoption fell apart the last place we wanted to go was somewhere where we would be reminded of what we had JUST lost. 

We made plans - long before Miles came along - to attend this year's conference.  But then we found out that the Illinois Chapter (read: Christy and I) would be receiving an award for all the work we've done with the chapter...to we knew we had to be there.  An award!  Yay!
The conference was Fri-Sat August 12-13th.  It's all day, with keynote speakers, breakout sessions, a banquet Friday night and it all ends with a birthmother panel Saturday evening.  

It was beyond fantastic to be surrounded by hundreds of other people who GET IT.  Who get the heartache and frustration of infertility and waiting to be chosen.  Who also bristle when people ask things like "why did his real mom give him up?" (If that doesn't make you bristle...PLEASE, PLEASE read THIS)  Who also have beautiful multi-racial families.  We learned SO much and filled our adoption cups...so to speak.  The transracial adoption classes were something I looked forward to the most and I was not disappointed.  We learned a lot about what it's going to be like to raise Miles in a world where he will experience life differently that what we experienced growing up.  It was also great to {finally} meet some of my online adoption peeps...to prove to Nathan that I they were real and not imaginary.  I plan on attending every year that we'll be in the US (I cannot even tell you how many tears I've shed knowing I won't be able to go again for three years...)  

Here's the part you were all waiting for...the photographic evidence:

Friday morning the keynote speaker was Sister Julie Beck:

My mom and Miles at the banquet...Miles sure charmed all the ladies in his bowtie. 
 

Me and the hubbs at the banquet:

I got this necklace from the r house couture...LOVE it. 

The three of us ended up at the back of the room during the Transracial Adoption Panel.  All three of these beautiful babies were born in May.  Miles was OBSESSED with the little girl...he's already such a ladies man. Miles is the youngest...but the thickest and the one with the least amount of hair.  

Here are Christy and I with our fancy schmancy award:
And here are all my adoption peeps :) You should recognize quite a few of them from my plethora of posts last November for National Adoption Month.


Jill, me, Brittany & Brie


Me, Miles, Mary, Natalie & Kara
(We met these ladies at the conference...they were enamored with Miles.  I felt like if I had sisters...they would be like these ladies.)

Val
It was a FANTASTIC couple of days...if you are touched by adoption in ANY way I highly recommend going to this conference.  My mom went and said she learned a lot of valuable information.  It's usually held in August and you can find information about it and just FSA in general HERE.