Thursday, December 31, 2015

Word of the year: Love.

I have been meaning to write a new post for some time now.  Being a mom has sure kept me busy!!! And I wouldn't have it any other way!  I can't believe we are getting ready to celebrate New Year's Eve with our sweet baby girl.  Just three months ago, I never thought this would happen.

Since this blog was primarily meant for adoption journey, I thought about ending it.  But, the adoption journey doesn't end when you get a baby.  So I thought I'd keep it up!  I'm sure I will always find things to write about.

How has life been since October 23?  Well, I'll tell you.

First of all, Mike, Alice, and I have been completely blown away by all the love and support we've had.  I will never forget walking into school on the morning of Friday, October 23.  It was like a celebration!  My Meadowbrook family was so happy for us.  There was happiness, tears, presents, cards, and so much love.  SO. MUCH. LOVE.




Mike and I traveled to Tampa to get our baby girl, and when we got home, Alice got to meet so many of our good friends!  Our house was like a revolving door that weekend!  There was so much love that weekend!

My parents got to meet Alice that weekend also.  And let's just say there were so many tears of joy!  Alice sure does love her Nana and Grandpa!

When they left, I was 100% ready to be a stay at home mom.  A few short days later, after lots of crying, I begged my mom to come back for a week.  She helped me immensely and got me more settled in a routine.

Alice got to meet Uncle Mike and Aunt Mary a few weeks later.  She enjoyed watching football with them!

That brings us to our baby shower.  There are no words to describe how loved and special we felt.  Even though it's a silly thing to worry about, one thing I was sad about after finding out I'd never get pregnant was that I wouldn't get to have a baby shower.  I know! it's so stupid! But, my amazing friends made sure that didn't happen.  My wonderful friends, Leigh and Melissa, planned a beautiful Alice in Wonderland themed shower.  It was more perfect then I ever could have imagined.  And the best part was that Alice got to be a part of it!  There were beautiful cupcakes that Amanda made, a fun headband making station that Carissa planned, and all kinds of other wonderful things.  Mostly, there was a ton of love! =)


          We got to travel to Georgia for Thanksgiving and Alice got to meet Aunt Sarah, Uncle John, Gracie, Andre, Penelope, Aunt Lisa, Grandmanana and Grandpa!  Her favorite thing was sleeping and cuddling with her cousin, Gracie.  And then we went to the Cecil house where she got to meet Aunt Di, Jaime, Aunt Jan, Arthur, and Denise.  What a fun time that was!  She even got to go to her first Georgia Tech Tailgate that week.



We came back to Gainesville and Alice watched her first Star Wars movie with Aunt Monica.  She also went to her first Christmas party with a bunch of her other aunts! Our handbell choir threw us a surprise baby shower a few weeks later. (We thought it was a Christmas party and had forgotten to bring a gift!)  So. Much. Love.

A few weeks later, we went back for Christmas and my best friend, Brishelle's baby shower where Alice got to meet Brishelle, Uncle Pat, and Aunt Joan.  She loved meeting everyone and can't wait to meet baby Jacob in a few months!  She also got to meet my oldest friend, Beckie!


And now, we are here.  New Year's Eve.  These last few months have felt like a dream.  In a few days, we go back to real life...with a baby!  I go back to work on Monday and Alice gets to go spend her days with Amanda, Lorelai, and Owen.  While I am one hundred percent comfortable with where she will be and who she will be with, leaving her will be hard.  Thankfully, I have wonderful friends at school who will be there for me =)

As I said, the word of this year has DEFINITELY been love.  As I sit here writing this, Mike, Alice, and Phoebe are all sleeping so soundly.  My heart is so full.  I can't wait for more love in 2016.

<3<3<3<3<3<3<3<3<3<3

Until next time,

Alice's mommy

Friday, October 23, 2015

Alice Jane Malo


There are NO WORDS to describe the way I am feeling now.  Happy. Excited. Terrified. All of the feelings!!!!  There are little tiny onesies, socks, and blankets in my washing machine right now.  There are clean baby bottles in my kitchen.  There is a packed baby bag on my counter.  This is happening!!!!!!

Here is how it all went down:
We got a phone call from Brandon Family Law Center Thursday evening asking if our book could be shown to a woman who gave birth on Monday.  We, of course, said yes.  The adoption coordinator, Alyce, met with the woman yesterday at 4:00.  We got THIS PICTURE texted to us at 5:39 saying it was the first picture of our daughter!  We talked to Alyce, got some details, and then preceded lose our minds!  That was followed by a run to Melissa's to get all the things and a Target run to buy out the store =)

EVERYTHING that EVERYONE said was right.  THIS is meant to be.  The failed matches failed for a reason.  This is our perfect, beautiful, baby girl.  She is OURS.  We are parents.  I am a mom.  My life is changed completely.

We were BLOWN AWAY by all of the texts, phone calls, facebook posts, and everything else last night.  We have the best friends.  We have the best family.  I can't wait for you all to meet our girl.  I can't wait for US to meet our girl!!!!!

Until Next Time,
Katie (Mommy)

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Everything Happens For a Reason....Right?

I just keep saying this over and over today.

Today marks the second situation we were considered for but were not chosen.

The first situation I spoke about in my last blog post.  We were told that we were a "really close second" choice for that birth mom.

This second situation, I was so sure about.  I had a feeling.  We received the e-mail for it on our anniversary.  It was a girl.  There were all these signs, I thought.  It was us and one other couple.  I knew we would be chosen.  I started making plans in my head.  I was ready for my life to change.

And then it didn't.

This was going to be a hard situation (the mother is addicted to drugs).  It was going to be weeks in the NICU, and other potential problems.  But we were ready.  We were ready.

And then, we got the e-mail..."Unfortunately, you were not chosen for this situation..."

I felt blindsided.  I feel so sad.

However; I KNOW our baby is out there.  And we definitely learned from this situation.  We learned that we are a little more open to non-perfect babies then we thought we were.

In the words of Walt Disney, we must "keep moving forward".

Thank goodness for the support network we have.

I am sad today.  I am allowed to be sad today.  Tomorrow is a new day.  I will be okay.  I know we will be amazing parents.  We will love this baby so much.  I even think we love our future baby a little more every time we are not chosen.

Until then, I will keep busy.  I will spend time with my friends.  I will lose myself in books and television shows.  I will enjoy my 800 children that I teach.  I will go to Disney.

I will keep moving forward...

Until next time,
Katie

"DNA doesn't make a family, love does." - The Fosters

Thursday, September 10, 2015

How?

I do not know how people go through this process without losing their sanity.

There's been a lot going on over the past few weeks.

We were given several other places to contact about adoption through a friend of mine who has adopted five children.  So...we did that.  We now have our book with several other attorneys and St. Gerard Campus in St. Augustine.

Nothing happened for a while and then I was contacted by St. Gerard Campus about a potential birth mom who was going to look at our book, but they didn't have our book (they only had an electronic copy).  I rush-shipped a book to them only to not hear anything for a few days.  Then I heard that they got our book and she would look at it soon.  At this point, I was under the impression it was just our book.  Today, I was informed a birth mom is looking at our book and two others and then she will choose one "soon".  Soon.  What does that mean?

How am I supposed to function without anxiously awaiting a phone call or e-mail?

This is hard.

This is the exact reason that I told our social worker at Catholic Charities to not tell me if someone is looking at our book unless it is necessary.  If she does not choose us, I will be devastated.  I will feel rejected.  I will think we aren't good enough.  People can tell me all day long that it just isn't the right fit, and this isn't what's supposed to happen, and all of the other things that people say.  I will still feel terrible.

On the other hand, if we do get picked, this woman is not due until January.  That is a long time.  She could change her mind.  She could change her mind more than once.  Who would fault her?  No mother should be faulted for wanting to keep her child.

If she picks us, how do I not become attached instantly to the baby?

It's so hard.

I know it will all be worth it.  I know that in two years, I will look back at this post and wonder why I felt so sorry for myself.  I know our baby is out there finding its way to us.  I know all of the things.  My brain knows all of the things.  My heart doesn't.

Because I have been so emotional and things have been so hard, I have been feeling the need to "nest".  Man did that alleviate some anxiety!  Maybe I just need to do more of that all the time?  Here are pictures of the nursery so far:




Writing also alleviates the anxiety.  I'm glad I decided to write this all down.  Hopefully someone out there in cyberspace reads it and understands what I'm going through.  Actually, my real hope is that someone reads this and is happy that someone else understands the way they feel.  

Surely, more people than just me going through this process are asking "how?".  How do people do it?  How am I supposed to feel?  How am I FINALLY going to feel when it all comes together and our baby is with us? 

In the mean time, send happy thoughts our way!

Until next time,
Katie

"DNA doesn't make a family, love does." - The Fosters

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Happy Birthday, Blog!

You know how on Facebook, it shows you your memories of what happened a year or two years or a billion years ago in your life?  Today, it told me that I wrote my first blog post a year ago.  So, I thought now would be a good time for an update.

There actually isn't much to say, but here goes.

I can't believe it has been a year since we started this process.  It's amazing how fast time goes, but also how slow it can feel when you are waiting on something life-changing to happen.  For a year, my heart has jumped every time my phone has rung.  For a year, I have been nervously checking my e-mail every chance I get.  For a year, I have been wondering, dreaming, and worrying about being a mom.  For a year, I have been watching person after person get pregnant and wondered when it will be my turn.  For a year, I have woken up every day wondering if this will be the day we get "the call".

It has been really interesting living in this constant state of not knowing.  

A few weeks ago, a friend of mine was matched and took her baby home.  This happening to her and the message she sent to me after really renewed my faith in this whole system.  I was in a bit of a depression after not hearing anything at all for several months.  I see how happy she is, though, and I know that will be me soon enough.

It has almost been a year since our home study, and we just moved.  So, we have to do more paperwork! (Yay...)  We need to get two background checks, fingerprints, medical records, financial records, and updates from our references.  All of that expires after a year.  After we have filled out all the paperwork, Geralyn will come back out for a visit to our new house.  In the mean time, if someone chooses us, it won't stop the process or anything.  We would just have to do things quickly!

Since we are in a new (bigger) house, we actually have a room just dedicated to future baby!  This means we can turn it in to a nursery without dismantling a guest room.  Before school starts, I'd really like to have a nursery set up so that when we get the call, it is one less thing we have to be stressed about.

Thankfully, I have some great friends who have helped by supplying us with a car seat, baby monitor, boppy, hanging swing, play set thing...all kinds of things!  Of course, my mom gets us stuff all the time that will be really helpful when the time comes! =)  Mike and I are really lucky with some amazing family and friends who have been and continue to be so supportive during this process.  

There is one thing that I know for sure:  this baby will be loved by SO many people.

That makes me smile.

Until next time,

Katie

"DNA doesn't make a family, love does" - The Fosters

Monday, April 20, 2015

Six Months ~ A Thousand Years

As of April 6, 2015; we have officially been on the waiting list for six months.  In most adoption cases, this isn't a long time to be waiting.  The average adoption through Catholic Charities takes two years.  That being said, I really thought that we would be only waiting a few months.  I figured..."a teacher and an engineer who love Disney!?  Who WOULDN'T pick us!?"  While I know that we will get picked and I am not REALLY in any hurry, I still find myself with hurt feelings.  I know our book has been looked at a few times.  But, obviously, we were not picked.  I find myself wondering and wondering why they didn't pick us.  I look at our book over and over trying to find something that someone didn't like.  The logical side of my brain KNOWS that we will get picked.  It WILL happen.  Everything happens for a reason.  That's my belief in life.  I just have to keep reminding myself.

On another note, I have talked to several people about possibly adopting in the future.  It makes me SO HAPPY to be able to help other people, even just a little. Infertility is heartbreaking.  Period.  Adoption is a wonderful thing.  It's also difficult and trying.   But, if I can help anyone even the tiniest bit, that feeds right into my "everything happens for a reason" philosophy.

I am also catching up with an old friend this upcoming weekend who is going through the adoption process as well!  I can't wait.  It will be so nice to talk to someone who is in my same situation.  She understands.

I have considered myself an expectant mother since October.  Lately, I've realized that expectant adoptive mothers go through "pregnancy brain" as well!  I am one of the most organized people I know.  And recently, I have been misplacing things, spacey, etc...  After some research, I realized that it is completely normal for an adoptive mother to go through this.  Thank God.  I am normal.  I am not physically pregnant, but my brain and heart are preparing for a child.  All my feelings are valid.

Lastly, I was on my way home from school today feeling especially down,  and this song came on.  I am convinced that THIS SONG came on for a reason. <3  This how I imagine I will feel when the time comes and we are given a child.

Until Next Time,
Katie


A Thousand Years by Christina Perri

The day we met,
Frozen I held my breath
Right from the start
I knew that I'd found a home for my heart...
... beats fast
Colors and promises
How to be brave?
How can I love when I'm afraid to fall?
But watching you stand alone
All of my doubt suddenly goes away somehow

One step closer

I have died everyday waiting for you
Darling don't be afraid I have loved you
For a thousand years
I'll love you for a thousand more

Time stands still
Beauty in all she is
I will be brave
I will not let anything take away
What's standing in front of me
Every breath
Every hour has come to this

One step closer

I have died everyday waiting for you
Darling don't be afraid I have loved you
For a thousand years
I'll love you for a thousand more

And all along I believed I would find you
Time has brought your heart to me
I have loved you for a thousand years
I'll love you for a thousand more...

I'll love you for a thousand more...

One step closer

I have died everyday waiting for you
Darling don't be afraid I have loved you
For a thousand years
I'll love you for a thousand more

And all along I believed I would find you
Time has brought your heart to me
I have loved you for a thousand years
I'll love you for a thousand more