Thursday, May 26, 2011


I'm a little late, but I wanted to say that we made it 1 year!   May 22nd was our first anniversary of being married.  Time has flown by and I can't believe it's already been a year since our awesome wedding day.   On the other hand, I feel like I have known Brandon forever.   We have this thing we call a "mind meld" where we think of the same thing even when we're apart or we say the same thing at the same time.   He truly knows me better than anyone else in the world.   I am so lucky to have found him and to have him as my partner in life and in this journey to grow our family.

Our wedding day... ridiculously happy and we still are!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Pre-Adoption/Pre-Foster Training

This past Friday and Saturday we had our intensive pre-adoption training.  It was 8 hours each day and it was filled with tough topics that were sometimes very emotional.   Because it was also for people who are doing foster care or adopting older children who have been in the foster system, we had to learn about a lot of the things that these kids have gone through in their young lives.   We listened to a 911 call that was heart wrenching - a 6 year old girl calling the police because her step-dad was beating her mom.  We also talked about the loss that kids experience and how we can  help them through it.   

Even though there was a lot of doom and gloom, there was also the message that we can be great parents to these kids with the right tools.   Although we aren't adopting an older child, every kid has their own unique special circumstance that may need a different approach.  I really think that every parent could use training like this.

As I was sitting in our agency's training room, I looked around at the people who I had gotten to know in the last couple of days and I felt a sense of camaraderie. Although there were lots of differences among us - married, single, straight, gay, young, and older, we had something in common.  Everyone in that room is longing for a child or children - waiting to have kids in our home so that we can give them love.

I had an emotional week last week. This journey is not an easy one, but to realize that I am not alone in it gave me peace.   

The night before the training, I was hesitant about the class and feeling discouraged about the process.   When I left on Saturday, I was filled with renewed hope and determination.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

What is a Mother?

Since I was a little girl, I dreamed about being a mother.  For years there has been an ache in my heart for it.

But, what is a mother?
Well, my husband doesn't call me the "googlemaster" for nothing!   Yes, I googled the definition of "mother".

1. female parent: a woman who has a child, or a female animal that has produced young
2. woman acting as parent: a woman who acts as the parent of a child to whom she has not given birth
3. originator: a woman regarded as the creator, instigator, or founder of something
4. origin of something: the cause, source, or origin of something
"Necessity is the mother of invention."
5. protector: something that protects and nourishes like a mother
1. take care somebody with tenderness: to look after somebody with great care and affection, sometimes to an excessive degree
2. give birth to baby: to give birth to and bring up a baby
3. bring something about: to give rise to something
I have not given birth nor am I the origin of any other human (or animal for that matter).    However, I have protected, I have nurtured and cared with tenderness.  I have "parented" a child that I did not give birth to.  
Ok, so according to this defintion, I could be called a mom and there have been times when I really did feel like one.
This weekend was not one of those times. This weekend I struggled to believe it when my own mother said, "Happy Mother's Day" to me.    I started asking myself, "does someone need to call me mom so that I feel like one?"    I'm still not sure I know the answer to that. 

All I can do is be myself. If that means that I "mother" my step-sons even when they don't want it or understand it, I will do it because I love them and care about them.   If that means that I call myself Marley's mom and people look at me like I'm crazy, too bad for the non-dog lovers.  If that means that I still long to be called "mommy" for real, then so be it.  I will embrace that need and continue to hope for it.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Happy Birthday Marley!

Today is a very special day.  It's is Marley's 3rd birthday!   Well, ok, we don't know for sure that she was born on May 5th, but that's my guess based on her age when we got her.   The youngest calls today "Cinco de Marley" , but unfortunately Marley does not get a margarita on her special day.

So Happy Birthday to our beautiful girl.... we love you even though you sometimes stink, sometimes steal kleenex directly from the box, eat too many treats, and can't sleep without us during storms.  You are really more like a toddler than a dog and we can't imagine our lives without you.

And a couple of outtakes....   

What Have We Been Up To?

Well, first of all, both boys took the Hunter's Safety Course. They learned a lot and both passed their tests with flying colors!  The youngest would like to hunt, but the oldest thought it would just be "good knowledge".   I took both of them to their range day while Brandon was working.   Luckily, they had some great instruction while they were there.

Last weekend Brandon and I participated in the March for Babies, a 4 mile walk to raise money and support the March of Dimes.   Unfortunately, it was unseasonably cold for May 1st and we were freezing as we walked around a lake.   It was still a great cause and I am happy I was able to be involved.     There were a couple moments when I thought I might cry while reading some of the signs. One in particular hit me.   It was a mom pulling her children in a wagon and they had a sign that told us they were walking for their triplets... in memory of two of them, but in honor of the one that survived.    Wow, just writing it now gives me the chills.
I decided that although the kids weren't with us, Brandon and I were walking for our future child.   Of course we hope that they are healthy, but we know that there are some amazing things done through the March of Dimes if they are not.

Here's a photo of Brandon with some special guests before the walk (don't hate on his jogging suit, he might get mad).
Here we go! You can tell how yucky it was outside. There was even snowflakes... in May.

At the finish... it felt good to walk 4 miles, but we were hungry!
Not the most flattering photo, but I happen to love it anyways... 

And after we grabbed a bite to eat, we went to visit an old co-worker of mine.  I haven't seen her since her 2nd child was born and I was very excited to catch up and hold a baby!!
She was such a fun baby - very smiley and talkative, although in this pic she was watching her brother.

We've also been working on the bathroom remodel and our autobiographies for the home study.  We have been a busy family!