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Family Life (79) Surrogacy (66) Rachael (43) So Sayith... (22) Justin (16) Jordan (14) Taylor (12) Elijah (5) Nerdness (3) Adoption (2)

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

I Didn’t Marry the Man of my Dreams



11 years.  That is (almost) how long ago I got married.  I was a young 21 years old and for years I’d been excited about someday being married to my ‘soul mate’, the ‘man of my dreams’, the man who would ‘complete me’.

I should start by saying that I had some high expectations that started to develop around the age of 16.  My husband had to be taller than me, blonde hair, blue eyes, NO body hair, clean shaven, fit (but not to where I could see a 6 pack – that’s too much pressure), and of course he needed to love the Lord.  Personality? At 16, obviously looks meant a whole lot more to me.  And if I was honest with myself, the ‘loving the Lord’ part was what I was “supposed” to say at that point in my life – I’m not sure I would have ACTUALLY considered that a deal breaker (I’d never admit that though).

By 18, I had had a few boyfriends and realized maybe ‘looks’ were not the best way to choose a lifelong mate.  So, my husband had to be attractive (I mean I had to like looking at him), NO body hair, taller than me, fun to be around (yes – this is when I realized being friends before jumping into a relationship was probably a good idea), love the Lord (at this point I actually meant it), and somebody who made me feel comfortable in ‘us’ (like ‘us’ was a priority). Those were the attributes I’d admit to.  Deep down there were all these crazy expectations I didn’t even know I had.  I had built the ‘perfect’ man in mind, we’d never fight, he’d always see things my way, he’d take care of my every need (I probably meant ‘want’ and not ‘need’), he’d always give me his undivided attention, our philosophies on parenting and marriage would be exactly the same, and so on.  THAT was my dream man.

Then I met Justin.  He was not THAT dream man.  Sure, he met my superficial qualifications, but he wasn’t the man of my dreams.  Then I started to fall for the guy.  I didn’t want to fall for the guy.  I was just out of a crazy un-healthy relationship (and so was he), he wasn’t what I had been ‘praying for’, he just wasn’t THE guy, the dream guy.

But who am I kidding!? He had that smile (and dimples) that made me feel all giggly. He made me laugh like nobody ever had.  He went out of his way to make me feel appreciated.  He took on all that early baggage that came with my mess of a life and made me feel safe.  I fell in love with this man – and he wasn’t the man of my dreams.

I image that the many times in prayer, asking God for the ‘man of my dreams’, God must have found my prayers rather ridiculous and shallow.  I image a smirk on his face like only a parent can give.  The ‘you think you know what you want but you are SO wrong’ smirk.  A pat on the head and a ‘there there my poor naïve child’. Instead, all those years he was preparing Justin and me for the day we would choose each other. 

So, did I marry the man of my dreams? By God’s amazing grace HECK NO! I married the man I didn’t even know I needed.  I married the man who pushes me to better, even when I don’t like it.  I married the man who questions me when I know I’m right (I’m totally not) and makes me actually think through my decisions and opinions.  I married the man who comforts me when I’m falling apart. I married a man who is as determined as me to make this marriage work despite the crap we do to each other along the way.  I married the man who is so much better than anything my naïve 18 year old self could ever have imagined.  Marriage is NOT easy, it’s a whole lot more work than I ever thought it could be, but I’m grateful that Justin is the one I’m in it with.

Then...

















Now...

Thursday, May 11, 2017

You're A Parent And I Don't Trust You



I try not to be a helicopter mom.  I want my kids to be safe, but I also want them to experience the world and be given chances to make their own choices in it.  That does not mean, however, that I will not do my hardest to protect them and ease them into those choices as they are ready.

I struggle with this.  I struggle with saying “No” to my kids’ requests to go to a friend’s house (like 90% of the time).  But really, just because you are a parent doesn’t make you trustworthy.  By default, I will NOT trust you with my kids until you can prove otherwise.

Today while driving to work I felt justified in my feelings.  I was listening to a radio station where they were taking “Mother’s Day” calls about something “your mom let you do that she probably shouldn’t have”.  I listened to story after story of things like:

·         My mom took me and 3 friends down to Mexico for my 16th birthday to get drunk. (when the radio host asked how the other parent’s friends felt she said that the mom never told them they were even going to Mexico).
·         My mom bought my whole swim team wine coolers for our post-game win celebration in high school.
·         My mom dropped us off at a concert in LA with some friends after the friend’s parents said she wasn’t allowed to go.


This stuff happens. I experienced it growing up (being from a strict home).  My parents had rules to protect me.  Like, you know, not drinking until it was legal.  So, when I went to a friend’s house and their mom offered us beer I would decline and call my parents to come get me. 

And as a parent, I will not be sending my kids to your house unless I trust you.  They are still too young to trust to make those choices.  ANOTHER example?  A few years ago we were at a friend’s house.  My kids were with us.  We were talking with our friend in one room and my kids were in another room with the friend’s mom (this is a woman with an ADULT son by the way).  My daughter comes to us crying and we find out that this friend’s mom thought it would be funny to stick a cigar in my daughter’s mouth and have her try it.  EXCUSE ME?! So, until they are old enough and wise enough to deem a situation safe for themselves, until they are old enough and wise enough to be able to stand up to their friends and/or adults, my kids will not go with you unless I trust you.  Parent or not.

ALSO! If you are one of the parents that are ok with this type of thing I have a hard time sympathizing with you later in life when your child is stuck in that loop.  Another example? Somebody I know would buy their daughter alcohol long before it was legal.  She was able to drink it at home or on vacation (‘special occasions’).  This daughter is now older and an alcoholic.  An angry alcoholic that has done a lot of damage to her family.  Are the parents the cause? Of course not.  That is a choice she had to make. But did they help her get there, heck yes they did.

EVEN on the school bus with Elijah on a 2nd grade field trip there were issues! The bus driver had on the radio half the kids were singing along with this song about what this guy wanted to do to “her body”.  It had what the media calls “OK” swear words in it and although I’m sure most of those kids didn’t realize they were singing about several sexual acts, it is still ingrained in their head.

So, I’ll be that uptight mom that doesn’t let my kids do drugs or drink (once it’s legal for them it’s their choice).  I’ll be the one telling my kids not to swear or use vulgar language. I’ll be the one telling my kids any lie – is still a lie (they are ALL wrong) OR EVERY law is to be followed (if they don’t like it find legal ways to change it – breaking it is not ok).  I’ll be the one ensuring the music they listen to and the movies they watch are not full of things inappropriate for their age (not matter how catchy the toon or that ‘everyone’ is watching it). AND I will not trust you with my kids unless you can show me that, even if you don’t agree, you will support me on those choices when it comes to my kids.

None of us get this parenting thing 100% correct. I am not saying your way is better/worse than mine.  I am saying, that we can respect each other’s parenting decisions and if we can’t…our kids probably shouldn’t be hanging out anyway.

Monday, April 24, 2017

733

Over the weekend I began to feel nauseous. It would come in waves.

Was it a sign of pregnancy? Or was I just coming down with something? Maybe knowing the upcoming pregnancy test was a couple days away was giving me butterflies/nausea.

Regardless, I had to wait until Monday (today) to know for sure.  If you are savvy in the world of baby growing you may already know my results.

In case you aren't (or you missed it) the title of this blog is my HCG level.  733.

I am most definitely pregnant.

Prayer Requests:
  • That this little girl continues to grow and she is strong and healthy
  • That the nausea is manageable (maybe this time I wont lose wait the 1st trimester)
  • That my Intended Parents (IP) can see Christ in us

Thursday, March 16, 2017

It Has Begun!

Hey, remember me?  It's been awhile. I hope we are still friends.

The last couple of weeks have been crazy.  From illnesses, to packing our ENTIRE house, to unpacking our entire house, oh and this surrogacy thing.

Again?! Why yes, again.  Because the last one was a little rough we weren't sure we'd be back here.  Even when we decided to give it a shot we weren't expecting to actually get matched with a family.  We were being pickier then before and  I had the twins preemie. Not a good combination.

But to our surprise we met an amazing family.  We will call them P2 because both of their names start with P.  P2 are amazing.  We clicked when we met them and we are super excited to work with them.  Within the last 2 DAYS s a lot has happened:

  • Match Agreement Signed
  • Contract Signed
  • Calendar Given (injection and transfer schedule)
In the last 2 days a whirlwind of paperwork ended with me realizing that in less than a month I could be carrying my 7th baby!  Justin pointed out that this will mean over half the babies I have carried will not be his.

And so the process begins (well officially next week). And as always we'd love your support in the form of prayers.  Specifically...

Prayer Requests
  • P2 only have 1 embryo.  Let's pray this little girl sticks and that she is strong and healthy.
  • Injections.  So many injections are coming.  I know they hurt, I don't expect anything less, but pray for a fast recoup between injections (soon to be 1-3 per day).
  • And as always, pray that P2 can see Christ in us.  That our interactions with them just ooze with Christ's image on our lives. Side note, they MIGHT come to church with us when they are in CA which would be crazy awesome.


DISCLAIMER aka THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

Click here for my Surrogacy FAQ. As always PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE contact Justin or I if you have questions or concerns. We are open and willing to share everything

Thursday, January 26, 2017

A New Type of Nickname



Growing up, my parents were always very honest with me.  I was an inquisitive child.  I asked a question, they gave me an answer.  They didn’t really dumb it down either.  Whether that was always intentional or related to the fact that they were teenagers raising a child who just HAD to know EVERYTHING.  All that to say I knew a lot about things kids my age had never heard of.

When raising our kids, Justin and I decided on a quite similar approach.  There have been times we have told them we are NOT giving them the full answer because they were not ready to process it all.  Add to that the fact we were a surrogate family which involved a lot of explanation to the kids about how the baby I was carrying was NOT our baby – which involved a lot of explanation about the difference in a baby mom and dad created vs IVF.  Needless-to-say, my kids know quite a bit about growing babies and understand clearly that mom and dad are incapable of growing their own.

Then adoption came up.  As we explained that we might bring home another brother.  Not a baby brother, but a brother their age, they understood.  They understood that for some reason another mom and dad couldn’t take care of their son so we would help for a while (foster) and if after some time, they still weren’t able he would join our family permanently (adopt).  We’ve been having these conversations with them for about a year.

That being said, for Christmas I got this awesome gift from my mother-in-law.  I’m not typically a jewelry gal, but this I love.

Jordan sat with me one day being an awesome cuddler, playing with the necklace and then this happened:
Jordan: Mommy, this isn’t a very good necklace.
Me: Why? I love it.
Jordan: It will make our new brother sad.
Me: It will?
Jordan: yeah, his name isn’t on here.  That’s not fair.
Me: Maybe I can get a new one or we can figure out how to add him.
Jordan: I know! We can just name him Taylor, Jordan, or Elijah!
Me: We don’t get to name him.
Jordan: We can just give him a new nick name.
Me: That’s not really how nick names work.
Jordan: No, it’s OK.  It’s a great idea.

My kids are ready for a brother.  Justin and I are ready for a son.  Let’s hope our adoption agency actually gets back to us AND when they do it is good news (that we qualify).