Balloons in the Clouds

I have so many things I feel like I want to say but as always feel like I don’t have the time to find the words, or maybe they just aren’t there yet.

The past few weeks have been crazy with amazing things, as well as filled with worry and uncertainty.

Our niece surprised me by painting me a portrait of our dog Ruger that passed last year with the biggest Mother’s Day card I’ve ever seen and the sweetest message written on the envelope. I spent the day watching her play and laugh and feeling like the day was peaceful and bittersweet.

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We released balloons for her Mother in Heaven and I sent a silent prayer to her and thanked her for blessing me with this amazing little girl. She truly is my light. I wish I could explain the way she has changed my life.

I faintly remember years ago, after suffering our second miscarriage my sister-in-law let our niece spend Mother’s Day with me, and we released balloons to my angel babies and the day felt just a little less empty. Who would have known all these years later we would stand there together, a child without a mother, a mother without a child, somehow both now having both sending their love to angels in Heaven that made us who we are.

We will celebrate her graduating 6th grade next Monday, and we will spend Tuesday and Wednesday out of town with the 6th grade class for a end of year trip. Just seeing the email about her graduation had me in tears.

Life continues to buzz on and between swim practice three times a week, work, and family it never slows down. I hope you all are well and as always thanks for taking time to read ❤

This blog was written for #MicroblogMonday. Find my blog and others that also participate here every Monday.

This Life

I feel steady. I feel at peace. I feel happy.

Last night as we drove home from our niece’s second swim meet of the season I could hear her and her friend giggling in the back. In that moment, a lifetime of hopes and dreams and the past year of pain and heartbreak, all seemed to be settled in my heart.

Things are far from perfect and we still have so many struggles in front of us, but for that moment, all felt right.

I continue to struggle with my feelings of guilt for my feelings of happiness. This happiness did not come without great loss. I miss my sister-in-law daily and I wish I could share these amazing moments with her, although I know if I could, they would not exist.

It’s all very complicated, yet so simple. It all feels so normal, and like it has always been this way. I can barely remember what life was like before this, I can’t even bare to think of going back to the life we had before.

Although legally her name remains the same, she has asked that the school use our last name, her mother’s maiden name, the name her mother was trying to get back before her life was taken from her. Her swim shirt, and ours, have our last name on the back, and I have chills as I write that. I still feel a lump in my throat when they announce her name for her event. If it’s possible, I feel as though not only can I feel my pride, but I can feel her mother’s as well. I think it will always be that way, that not only will I feel joy in moments for myself, but also for her mother. It’s intense and amazing, and I am grateful to be the one lucky enough to experience it. I know I am not the only one. Each moment is even more precious, and emotional, and we all are so thankful to be a part of her journey.

I can’t thank everyone enough for their support and love the past year. I also apologize for my inability to be as present in my support for all of you. I tried spending my morning catching up, reading, and showing you all love and I hope to be able to do that more often now. I am sending you all my love and gratitude and hope that I can repay this community one day for all of the fierce undying support you have shown me.

Here are a few images of our last 6 months together ❤

What I Wish I Could Say

Dear Biological Father,

There are so many things I want to say to you, but you see my mother raised me to be the “bigger person”. When I was younger I thought that meant I had to be a push-over but I learned there is a fine line in standing up for yourself and stooping to someone else’s level. Well, it is time I stood up not only for myself, but for your daughter, and I know you’ll never read this, but the universe needs to hear  it, and I need to say it.

When your daughter’s mother passed away we knew instantly that everything would change. Her mother made her wishes known that she wanted her daughter to live with us if anything were to ever happen to her. Those thoughts were confirmed when the first thing your daughter said to us after getting home from the hospital is that she wanted the same thing.

Over the next 6 months we answered the phone every single time you called , which wasn’t much, and sometimes had to sit back and watch as you “bullied” your 11 year old daughter into tears. While most of the time you still treat her like a small child instead of the intelligent young lady she is now, sometimes you forget you are talking to a child, your child, and you say selfish and hurtful things. Maybe you think that she will feel bad, and you will “win”, but I assure you that you are the one losing. As you push her further away you are not getting the chance to know just how amazing she is.

We tried to talk to you, reason with you, help you. We offered to help in any way we could to facilitate a good relationship between the two of you, but we remained firm that we would not only honor her mother’s wishes but her wishes as well for her to live with us. We told you we did not want money, we just wanted what was best for her, and although you may not agree with us, we know that being with us, and the only family she has ever truly known, is what is best for her.

There are times I have felt sorry for you. Maybe you never had the relationships she has with her family when you were younger, so you don’t understand that what you have been giving her is never going to be enough. Maybe you truly don’t know that as the parent it is your job to make a valiant effort to be in her life, even if she pushes you away, even if you argue and fight, it is your job to love her anyways. That is what being a parent means.

I thought once you heard her tell the judge why she feels the way she does, you would wake up. You would see that you have made mistakes and take action to correct that, but it is consistently made obvious that you don’t seem to be listening to her at all. Maybe you hear her, but are you really listening?

I know you are angry, and I would assume you are hurt, but honestly I can’t see that. Your anger is the only thing I see. But I will not apologize. I will never be sorry for taking every step necessary to do what I believe is best for her. I will never apologize for fighting for her, and for her future. I will not feel bad for assuring that she has a happy, healthy, and successful life.

You can tell everyone that you were “robbed” and that your “rights were taken from you”, but the truth is, we were fighting a losing battle. We are just her aunt and uncle and in every law you are preferred. So while you will prefer to place blame on us for “taking her”, we gave you the chance, and had you taken it, the outcome would probably have been much different.

I have allowed you to “shush” me over the phone, and I have heard the distaste in your voice when you say my name, but I don’t care. I don’t care if you like me, or respect me, but you will respect your daughter. Now that the court has made their decision, and we are her legal and permanent guardians, I can assure you that I will not allow you to disrespect her anymore. I will honor her mother and I will protect and love her without reservation.

Sincerely,
Me

PS: I meant what I said, I hope that you can find a way to put your pride aside and have a good relationship with your daughter, but if you don’t, you will be the only one to blame.

 

2WW?

Well, here we are again, in another period of waiting. When our attorney told us it could take 2-3 weeks for us to receive the judge’s decision from our hearing yesterday the irony didn’t slap me in the face until much later. That here we are, caring for a child, that is not yet officially “ours”, and it could be two weeks, maybe a little more, until we find out if she gets to stick around.

I wish I could tell you how the hearing went but most of what I know was told to me by others. They called for a “separation of witnesses” which means anyone who was going to testify that wasn’t on the original petition for guardianship can’t be in the court room until it is their turn to testify. We originally did not put my name on the petition because we believed it would go further without it. Her biological father has always shown a very obvious distaste for me so we thought it would help us in the long run. Lesson learned.

I heard her testimony was strong, and well said, and the judge was paying very close attention, so I pray that he takes her testimony with the most consideration. All I know is when she left the courtroom she ran to me, wrapper her arms around me and cried. All I could say was, “I’m sorry”. It’s just not fair that she had to be put in that position and I pray that it wasn’t for nothing.

The hearing took over 2 and a half hours and the judge left stating that he would take it all into consideration and would give us a ruling “as soon as possible”.

I’ll be honest. I have been in a very dark place since we left that court room. Not being able to be in there with my husband and our entire family on what was easily the most important day of our life was extremely hard. The thought of having to tell my niece that a judge has decided she must go live with a man she barely knows  scares the hell out of me On a very real note, I don’t know what I’ll do if she has to leave. I keep praying and asking God to help give me peace but I can’t shake this extremely nervous and terrified feeling in my chest.

Please continue to keep us in your prayers. As always all of your kind comments on my last post help keep me uplifted and in the right frame of mind. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. ❤

I’m Trying

I tried writing a post last week. It took me hours to edit and piece together the thoughts that had flooded onto the computer screen. But I couldn’t publish it publically.

I feel like this blog is a book sometimes, and I have hit a massive writing block. Not because I don’t have anything to say, but because I don’t want to say it. I type it out and I delete it. I read it and change it, only to delete it.

My life has been a series of unfortunate events and I’m sick of being a victim. I am trying to be positive, I am clinging onto the strength I have left, but I don’t want to feel this white knuckle feeling of fear anymore.

Things are still so uncertain with the guardianship of my niece. It leaves me with a permanent lump in my through and makes me sick to my stomach to worry that for no other reason than the fact he is her biological father, the judge will say she has to live with him. Even though, for the last 11 years, she has had more over nights, holidays, and memories with us. Even though, she has made it clear that that’s not what she wants.

I continue to be on blood thinners for the blood clot in my leg. It’s frustrating because this one little pill is the only thing standing in the way of us doing a FET. I keep thinking I will call the doctor and ask if I can stop them sooner and maybe just take Aspirin or something but I quickly talk myself out of it, and part of me thinks this is God’s way of making us wait.

I am going to pull out my “In the Wait” book today, try to clear my head, and start this week off right. Thank you to everyone for their continued support, comments, and love. I read every single one of them and they help me through the tough days. I pray that you all are well. ❤

#MicroblogMonday

I feel…

Well, honestly, I’m not sure. And it’s the post I’ve been trying to write, the thoughts in my head that I’ve been trying to process, and right now, I just don’t know how. It’s like I am lost in a maze of my mind and I just don’t know what I’m going to be like once I reach the exit sign. Will I make it out? Maybe… Will I make it out in one piece, still happy, still optimistic, still hopeful…I just don’t know.

I could go down this list of the things that just keep piling up, but to write it all down seems even more redundant than living each horrible moment, one right after another, like we have been.

Friday, we said good-bye to our boy Ruger. He passed in my husband’s arms in our back yard. We took him to be cremated and his ashes were brought home with an impression of his paw print by the next day. He was my “Marley”, he is the dog who changed how myself and my family and friends viewed pit bulls, he is the reason I started volunteering with a local pit bull rescue, and he was always there to comfort me through all the things we have faced since we brought him home almost 10 years ago just a couple weeks before Christmas. He loved every person and animal that he ever met. He was my heart dog. The bed seems a little more empty, dinner time is hard because I don’t see his eyes peeking over the table, and I cried as I got out of the shower last night because he wasn’t standing there trying to lick the water off the side of the tub.

It is getting to the point where I feel like people are texting me often and sending me kind words because they want to make sure I don’t do something stupid. People have all of but stopped offering to help us because they know there is nothing they can do, they have stopped trying to remind us to stay positive and have just started saying things like, “I just don’t understand,” or “Will you guys ever catch a break?”. Even the most faithful people have questioned why God has put us through all of this in a short amount of time.

I don’t know what I’m feeling. I’m questioning if I’m doing really well at coping or I’m just numb to it all. I go through moments where I feel like I am angry with God, but I also have moments where I still trust Him, I still believe this is all for the greater good, and humorously I think to myself, well maybe because all of this bad stuff is happening right now, all at once, we will have a year or two of peace after this. But as each bad things keeps happening, I feel a little more jaded each time and that maybe this is just our new normal. Maybe it won’t stop, and maybe this is just how life is.

There is so much more going on even behind the scenes. Too much to type. I just need a break. I feel like I’m somehow I am remaining positive, but that goes back to what I said earlier when I question if it’s that or if I’m just numb at this point.

 

The big 3 – 0!

I don’t even know where to start. Or how to sum up everything that has happened the past month. So I’m just going to let it be…just leave it here…in between the lines.

My niece started 6th grade today and I can’t express my feelings on being the one dropping her off. It’s bittersweet. I shared a picture to her mother’s Facebook wall to help me feel like she was there.

Our donor is a ROCK STAR! She gave us 10 more eggs than she has given the 2 times before. I’m keeping numbers, and dates, and when that happened in between my husband & I but it’s been very weird getting GOOD phone calls recently. I said a prayer in the waiting room and got chills. I know God was embracing me and telling me it’s all going to be ok.

On another note. I am 30 years old today. I can only hope it’s the start of a new chapter in our lives. My family threw me a HUGE Surprise Finding Dory themed birthday party Saturday and it was all I could have ever imagined and more! They even got a bounce house, and although they planned that before I got my foot broke, the kids enjoyed it and I loved watching them have fun.

Without realizing it apparently I like to take the same kind of picture around my birthday. I realized it today and had to post this:

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I guess I get Sassier with Age! haha!    (21. 29, and 30)

Happy Microblog Monday everyone!

The Crash.

I don’t even know where to begin.

We said good-bye to my sister-in-law last Thursday. It was a beautiful service and we received so much love and support. Everything still feels very unreal. We filed for guardianship for her daughter and she will hopefully be enrolled in a private school in our area this week.

It’s bittersweet. Yes, I will have my niece living with me, but I wish her mother was still alive so she didn’t have to. I can only pray that I will do half as good as job as she did raising her this far…

Just when I thought we would be climbing our way out of the ditch we’ve been in….this happened…

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On Monday night after I left dinner with my best friend (I was alone in my car), a guy in a big Jeep crossed the center line and hit me head on. I have three broken bones in my foot and a few scrapes and bruises but other than that, I’m ok. I am very lucky. I didn’t get to see my car because I was put in an ambulance and when I got to see the car yesterday I couldn’t believe how bad it was…I know that God was in that car with me. I know Jess was my guardian angel that night.

But, onward and upward. I could very easily let this put me in a very dark place but I refuse to let Satan win the battle he is waging on our lives. God will prevail.

I did get to see my RE and my nurse yesterday. It was so nice seeing their faces. I am so thankful they are part of my team. My donor is doing great and my uterus is behaving so we are right on schedule for retrieval and transfer. WOOHOO! We pray that everything continues to go as planned and that we will have something to put a smile back on everyone’s faces. God knows His plan for us, we just have to remember to trust Him.

Thank you for all of the wonderful comments and support I have been sent the past month.

That was the plan.

Married by 21. First kid by 23. Second kid by 25. And done.

That was the plan.

When I was 21 and married I thought I was well on my way to my “dream life”. I had a great job at a publishing company (my dream job), and even though I never saw him, and at one point he actually didn’t live at home, my husband was making a LOT of money at a job he got through my dad (dream scenario), and we were off birth control and actively trying to have a baby.

By the time I was 23 I had lived my own personal nightmare. I had spent many nights in bed asking God, “Why me, why us?” Why do we have to take all these medications, and go to all these appointments to have a baby. As I left the surgery center in 2008 after my first D&C I had convinced myself that this was normal, it would be different next time. In 2009 I begged the anesthesiologist to not let me wake up from my second D&C. A tear rolled down his cheek and he promised me I would be ok. I told my husband to leave me; I told him he would be happier with someone else and that he could have children with someone else.

It’s been over 8 years since I saw my first positive pregnancy test. In that time I have seen my friends and family get married, have children, and then have more children. I have lost a dear friend that I met through the TTC community to cancer and leave her husband and little girl behind. I have watched happy couples turn into different people and get a divorce.

I lost my dream job, and then lost the next one. My husband left his high paying job out of town to come home and be with me. We experienced some dark times in our marriage and there are days I look at him and can’t believe that he is still with me. I pushed HARD, but he says that God gave him broad shoulders for a reason. No matter how hard I pushed, he just held on tighter.

We fostered 9 children. We helped them through hard times, and then said good-bye.

Now I lay in bed, and I tell God, “I’m glad it was me, I’m glad it was us.” I am so thankful to have lived the life I have. To have experienced great success and even more failure. I am thankful that it hasn’t been easy. I am thankful for the circumstances that led us to be able to attempt donor egg IVF, I am thankful for the medicine, the science, and the appointments that we have to endure. I am thankful God believes in us enough to put us through such trials.

Even without a child, without the “happy ending”, I am happy.

#MicroblogMondays (yea I know I’m a little late lol)