blogging wars

Does anyone else have this problem? Adam and I can’t seem to come to an agreement on what the ‘real’ purpose of our blog is. There is so much I want to say about fertility and adoption and parenting adopted kids. I am not sure that it belongs on our fun-family-for-the-grandmas blog. That’s what Adam envisions our family blog being.

And to be fair, he does not mind that I write heavier posts, and he certainly does not dictate what I write (we all know how far that would get him). And yet, I feel myself holding back, censoring, and sometimes not writing because I feel uncomfortable.

And all this to say that I am considering reopening our adoption blog. In fact, writing this has made up my mind! :)

a strengthening of faith

So my best friend is pregnant. And we’re not talking a little pregnant. We are talking bursting boobies, peeing constantly, going to have the little guy any day pregnant. I haven’t blogged much about my personal experience with her pregnancy because 1. this is a sacred experience for her and her husband, which I have done my best to honor, and 2. I haven’t wanted to jinx the good luck she has had with this pregnancy.

It seems like just yesterday that she called me in Bogota terrified and sobbing. I will never forget that moment. Jena and Brian were trying their best to wrangle the wild beasts (that really is what they were at the time) into bed so I could step out on the balcony and take the phone call. It was rainy and dark and cold, and I could hear the franticness in her voice. I knew those emotions and thoughts all too well, and I felt her desperation through the phone. It killed me to know that my house was just down the street, but I was thousands of miles away.

The realization of another pregnancy left us both fairly faithless that it would develop into something miraculous. I am not ashamed to admit that. When you have experienced miscarriage after miscarriage, your first thought isn’t “Woohoo, I am pregnant again.” It is, instead, “Oh crap, here we go again. Are you kidding me?” We end up checking ourselves every hour for the inevitable spots of blood. We remember the physical pain, and emotional anguish, of all the grief we have felt before.

And yet, we still try. Why do we try? Because we are believers. And because faith and hope are tightly and inseparably intertwined. So when we feel like our faith is almost depleted, those little glimmers of hope–however shiny and tiny–pick us up and push us on. Hope that something miraculous could eventually happen. Hope that tomorrow is always better than today. Hope that God knows us individually and is keenly aware of our most righteous desires. Now, eight months from that phone call, we are hanging baby clothes, having baby showers, and sprinting happily toward the baby finish line. A true miracle. A true strengthening of faith.

For me, there have been moments of jealousy, of course. There has been some sadness for our own fertility hopes unfulfilled. But those moments have been surprisingly few, actually. Part of it is due to being so busy with our little adopted sunshines. Part of it is me consciously deciding to be happy, no matter what. Part of it is the ability I have to talk to my friend…there is no pretense between us that everything is always okay!

But also, I am just different now than two years ago. I am so grateful that I purposely allowed my recent trials to refine me and to strengthen me. I can’t wait to hold Baby Lea for the first time, truly. I can’t wait to cuddle him, smother him, and spoil him. And I know that the allowance of these feelings are only due to the compassion and strength I have gained from miscarriage and adoption. Look at what I would be missing out on, if I had allowed infertility to consume me. I am so grateful that my faith continues to be strengthened by wonderful experiences such as Jaime’s pregnancy.

And it is not a moment too soon, since all of my friends have decided to be pregnant at the same time!!!!!!!!! (We are still rooting for you, sis.)

happy 33rd to me

6350YUMMY peanut butter cheesecake from Cheesecake Factory.  My mom and dad were in town on business during the week of my birthday so Adam and I were lucky enough to spend the evening out with both sets of our parents. I had the Luau salad, as usual. And we ordered the Factory Nachos as a starter. Does food get any better? Thanks again, mom and dad, for treating us. And Thank You–Angelina and Emily–for watching the kids–and for the scrumptious cupcakes. They were so cute, I didn’t want to eat them.


So becoming a mother is the only goal I wasn’t able to reach in my 25-30 five year plan. Instead of one healthy baby, I mourned three losses. Somehow, even at 33, I am still insanely jealous of those who reach that same goal. I think it is simply because I am used to doing whatever I say I am going to do. In that respect, not bearing children has been a completely humbling experience for me. And yet, I am still jealous. I guess I have a ways to go in the perfection department.

There were some momentous positives to my before 30 plan. I got married, traveled to five more countries, and finished my masters degree. All things I am extremely proud of, and grateful for. So at 33 I am left wondering, why didn’t I make a new five year plan at 30? I am all about goal-making and attaining. I think fertility and adoption took over my life for awhile, and it was difficult to focus on anything else. I am now resolved to have a two year plan. I will post the results when I am finished contemplating.

the fertility verdict

My post-miscarriage consult with Dr. S. went well. We reviewed the past five years, and talked over all of my options. I appreciate my doctor’s candor. He has never promised me anything, although he is still hopeful. At this point, our only option is to seek a fertility specialist. Been there, done that, not too excited to go back just yet.

After pondering our options for a couple of weeks, Adam and I are both of the mindset that right now all our efforts should be focused on the ninos. They take all of our energy and all of our time, in the most delicious way. Although I have many dear friends who are opposed to this idea, if I had to choose right now, I would opt for Adam getting snipped. But we don’t “have” to make a decision so we are going to wait a year and see how we feel. Maybe we’ll go to a specialist. Maybe we’ll try naturally. Maybe we’ll go on clomid again. But for now we are choosing to do nothing.

So back to square one we go. At least this time around we have a house full of joy.

zero to five, and back to four

Finally, I had ‘that’ moment. For months I have waited and wondered when it would actually happen. This morning, as I awoke from a very vivid dream, it did. It finally hit me that I am actually a mother of four children. And not just any four children, but four little Colombian strangers who I would never have known, let alone have the opportunity to mother, if it wasn’t for our faith and hope in adoption. How did this happen?

Everyday I realize just how fantastic my reality really is. I did not create my children one, or even two, at a time. I went from zero to four quite literally overnight. Why am I not overwhelmed? I should be overwhelmed. One awesome August morning, at the age of 32, I woke up, packed my bags, drove to a lush hillside on the outskirts of Bogota, and instantly became a mom. Isn’t that surreal? It’s the coolest way to become a mom, I think. It’s not the easiest, but definitely the coolest.

And maybe my recent reflections on the adoption are just my way of coping with the recent miscarriage. This miscarriage (we’ll say it’s #5) was weird to say the least. I mean, it was unexpected, short-lived, and just weird all the way around. Part of me is too busy doing mom stuff to think about it much. And the other part of me doesn’t want to go back to the warm comfort of functional darkness. And yet, the thought of that familiar place is so very tantalizing.

I am so grateful that my experiences have given me not only perspective, but also wisdom. The ninos demand all of me all of the time, and that is a job worth doing well. We still want a baby. The kids want us to have a baby. But we don’t crave a baby. We don’t pine for a baby. We don’t hate people with rear-facing carseats. I mean, come on. There is so much more to living.

As for fertility, I guess this particular miscarriage takes us back to the proverbial drawing board. We were just getting to the point where we thought we might start deliberately trying, so I guess the timing couldn’t be anymore perfect. Do we try? Do we call it quits? Do we do more testing? Do we go back on Clomid? Do we…..? I have a consult with Dr. S on Tuesday–we’ll see how it goes. Decisions, decisions.

simply, thank you

“The sudden disappointment of a hope leaves a scar, which the ultimate fulfillment of that hope never entirely removes.”–Thomas Hardy

You know who you are. And we are so very grateful.


six months, seriously?


How did we spend our anniversary?

Grocery shopping, practicing the alphabet, lunching with daddy, and driving through town with the windows down singing to the tip-tops of our lungs. Just another ordinary day full of messes, tantrums, games, and laughter. And I cannot imagine it any other way, nor would I trade it.

What is the biggest lesson learned these past six months?

That the soul’s capacity to love is larger and more encompassing than I ever imagined. This adoption has helped me see beyond myself in very specific ways. It has acquainted me with the darkest parts of this world. My mind now houses real images that were previously only viewed from an armchair. Images that remind me of exactly what my children have risen from. Images that, although I wish didn’t exist, have increased my ability to love. Images that have increased my capacity for compassion and mercy.

Just as I have seen the cruelties of man hard at work, however, I have also seen the magnificence of the heavens right along side. Our children are living miracles! Each of their ability to love and forgive is incredible. Danny’s gentleness, Ezzy’s sureness, Nikki’s sweetness, and Juan P.’s–well he’s just Juan P.–assures me that tender mercies still abound. There is beauty to be found, and there is joy to be had!!!

Over the past five years, there have been many many days when I have felt as though my beating heart was literally being ripped from my chest. Moments when I could not breath for the feelings of emptiness and loss were so great. Even now, I can picture vividly those tumultuous times, and feel the despair that engulfed me. But those feeling cannot and never will compare to the feelings that my oldest son felt as a toddler when he was expected to beg for drug money on the streets, or when he was bounced from home to home finally ending up in an orphanage with his siblings. My experience will never hold a candle to my youngest son’s experience of being taken at two days old and never having a mother to bond with until now.

Can you imagine?

Can you imagine never knowing from day to day, especially as a young child, if you will be fed or bathed or clothed or safe? Although I have seen it, I still cannot fathom experiencing it. And yet, my children are valiant little spirits. They have keen minds, and they try to do good (except when it comes to toothpaste–don’t ask:). In six short months, I have felt more love for and from them than I ever expected. Even in my best of the best case scenarios I am still blown away by our Colombian Sunshines, and our overall adoption experience. I know not everyone has the same sort of experience, and I know that we have a very very long road ahead. Our home runs far from perfectly! But we trudge along each day…finding joy in the journey.

Six months seems like six days, but also like six years! And I think that is the way it is supposed to be.

it is finally time……

…….to stop posting on our adoption blog! :(

Originally, we wanted a place separate from our “everyday” blog to post the ups and the downs of our adoption process. I am so glad that we did it that way. Psychologically, it allowed me to keep the journey separate–just in case it ended in disappointment as all of our pregnancies had. But now that the kids are home, it seems counter-intuitive to keep separate our fun family adventures and the not so fun family struggles that are a natural part of adoption. I still plan to write real, honest, and open posts. I still plan to write on adoption, fertility, and other issues that shape our existence as a couple, and as a family. My hope is that it brings continuity to our days and weeks and years.

For posts on our full adoption story and related topics, please visit Everything is archived on that site. 

On a friendly side note: We are more settled than we have ever been, which means we have new friends, neighbors, and church members who are finding our blog and joining our journey. For those of you who are new to our lives–please know that what I say here in reference to babies and fertility and adoption is never meant to offend. My opinions and beliefs are never said out of malice or anger. They are simply my private feelings shared in a very public arena. We keep our blog public so that those who are experiencing infertility or contemplating adoption can gather information, learn from our experience, and share their own stories.

We hope you continue reading. Our adoption journey has only just begun!!! :)