Category Archives: growing family

Wedding Whirl…

{For those of you who haven’t read here before, N. is my son Woob’s first mother.  This is the story of her wedding day.}

Saturday was Wedding Day for N. and S.  For those of you who read the previous posts, yes, I did find something to wear and yes, I did manage to decide on a gift I thought was appropriate for the occasion.  Neither of those things happened without way too much anxiety and energy, but that’s just my defective worry gene rearing its ugly head.  In the big picture, none of those things mattered.  They got married regardless of what I did or didn’t do or buy…and it was absolutely beautiful. 

The weekend was a little exhausting for several reasons.  Probably the biggest reason being that my job has been trying to kill me over the past three weeks.  I started the weekend with being just so tired, that I think it made it harder to do what needed to be done to prep for the wedding (shopping! packing! shopping! driving!).  Add the wedding and visit on top of that and my head is all awhirl with different emotions and thoughts about the way things are.  Its been hard for me to put events into neat little categories that will help other people understand, and parts of the story that I’ll probably never speak to any IRL friends or family about.  So many of the IRL people seem to be the CAUSE of a lot of the whirling and swirling in my head, as a matter of fact.  But here I’ll try my best to break it down.


Our little part of the world got pummelled with about three inches of rain on Thursday and Friday, which caused lots of flooding, mushiness, and just outright grumpiness for a lot of people.  Did I mention that N.’s wedding was to be an outdoor one (at her mom’s house)?  In addition to the wet dreariness, there has been quite a chill in the air as well.  It wasn’t boding well, but when I called to check on N. Friday to check the state of the union (haha, get it?), she was in good spirits, and totally committed to the whole outdoor thing, come hell or high water–literally.  It was cloudy for the full two hour drive to her town, but by the time we got there, there was full sunshine and a beautiful blue sky.  If you stood in the sun, you could manage to be comfortable in long sleeves and a sweater.  The afternoon weather was nothing short of a miracle.  Where there had been standing water in the yard yesterday, family and friends were gathering before the wedding, socializing and putting last minute touches in place.  Little weiner dogs were running around 🙂 and Woob was having fun petting them and reacquainting himself with his little sister, J.  Within 30 seconds of our arrival, the knees of Woob’s pants were covered in mud, because those little dogs were just too irresistable!  For the record, there is not enough “SHOUT” in the world to shout out what he did to those pants that day.  I started snapping pictures as soon as we got there–of the wedding setup, the cake/gift table, the guests as they milled around, the kiddos, and the family members that we know. 

I do think its kinda cool that we are able to attend an event like this and be welcomed, and that we know enough people to be comfortable (with very few exceptions) and to realize that there are no secrets there.  It seemed that everyone knew our role, and if they didn’t early on, N. never felt the need to hide the fact that Woob is her son and that we’ve adopted him. 

Before I go further, let me just set the scene…bright blue sky with a few swirly clouds, about 35-40 guests surrounding a wedding aisle lined with gorgeous gold and orange mums.  The aisle led to an arch which was twined with a fall leaf garland, and punctuated with more mums on each side.  The grass was thick and green from all the rain we had gotten this fall.  The groom and his groomsmen were all wearing brown pants with autumn-orange shirts.  Such a simple setting, but so pretty on a day like that.

We all finally got situated and music began playing and Granpa G. and N. peeked their heads out the back door to begin their procession.  Because I can’t let a good picture go untaken, I started walking around to get better shots.  Before very long, I realized that I was the ONLY ONE taking pictures.  The photographer didn’t show up, andI had unwittingly become the official photographer of this wedding with my little digital Canon, so didn’t really get to sit quietly in my seat to watch the ceremony.  And, oh…no pressure.

Walking down the aisle, I must say that N. looked so, absolutely beautiful.  She’s a rather tiny young woman, and as my son looks just like her, I think her face is absolutely beautiful.  I think I would think that even if he didn’t look like her.  That day, even moreso, all made up perfectly, and with her hilited auburn hair curled into sharp corkscrews a’la Shirley Temple.  Her white dress fit her beautifully–strapless, mermaid-style with a train, and with a back that laced up like lattice-work.  She was breathtaking, like all brides hope to be.  Her daddy walked her down the aisle and handed her to her new husband, who looked pretty serious and nervous, as many grooms do.  We’d never met S. before, so have no idea what he might be thinking, but he didn’t take his eyes off her the whole time they repeated their vows and exchanged rings, until their first kiss as a married couple.  N., for all her composure in the days prior to the wedding, had through the course of the ceremony, become a blubbery mess, however 🙂 .

The reception following the ceremony was held there in the yard and the garage, converted just for the occasion.  There was food and music, throwing of garters and bouquets, releasing of balloons, and cutting and eating of cake, with just a little bit of that cake flying through the air as the bride and groom smooshed it in each others faces.  And LOTS and LOTS of photos taken (130 I think??).

This could go on and on, so I’ll stop here and declare it the end of PART 1.  PART 2 to follow very soon.



Filed under adoption, birthparents, growing family, open adoption, things that make me smile

What kind of Gift?

N’s wedding is getting closer and closer.  I am at a loss as to 1) what to wear (isn’t that always the question??), and 2) what type of gift to give for the occasion.  here are some details…

  • small, backyard wedding
  • we’ve never met the groom
  • so far, we’ve only gotten a verbal invite with the date and place…don’t know time of day, registry, etc.

Ideas, friends??  Please?


Filed under adoption, birthparents, growing family, open adoption

Goin’ to the Chapel…

Another chapter in our evolving family will begin this fall, as Woob’s first mom is getting married.

Yep, married. And my overly-invested heart/mind is flip flopping over this. On one hand, I’m all “uh, oh–her track record over the past few years in picking men has been less than stellar,”(NO, I’m not simply being judgmental–if you haven’t heard the story straight from me,  which came staight from her you’ll just have to believe what I say), and “but she hardly KNOWS this person!” On the other hand, I’m all “GREAT, I hope she’s found somebody who will treat her the way she deserves to be treated,” and “It will be great to have some stability for both her and the girls for a change,” and “awww, LOVE!”

I hate that.  Why can’t I JUST be the supportive, happy person who accepts things at face value?  Shouldn’t it be enough for me that she’s over the moon for this guy and feeling happy?  That he’s employed and feels protective of her and the girls?  Shouldn’t I MEET him before getting all dubious about him?  I wonder if its a motherly/protective feeling thing I have going here or simply my own control issues coming out?


What I do know is this:

  • She’s getting married in October and making plans for the wedding as we speak.
  • She’s having fun with the whole thing (Yay, N.!)
  • They are living in a house together, and have been for about the past two months.
  • Her mom AND her dad both like this guy (and they rarely agree on anything!)
  • I’ve seen a picture of him on myspace.
  • He’s age-appropriate for her (by my own standards, I understand not everyone agrees with me on what age appropriate is.)
  • He’s employed, and has been, stably, for awhile.
  • He’s not on the sex offender’s registry. (Please don’t judge me for checking–its public record.)
  • We will be getting an invitation in the mail.
  • What’s good for N. is good for Woob.

I like the idea of this.  I want it to be the fairy tale.  She needs something good in her life–the past few years have been so hard for her and the past year in particular has been pure crap.  Please join me in praying, chanting, doing whatever it is that you do, that this becomes N.’s “happily ever after.”  White horse, and all.


Filed under adoption, growing family, open adoption

And then there’s the other side of things…

As I discussed earlier, things are going along pretty smoothly with Woob’s birthmom and our contact.  (I know, give me a month and I’ll be moaning and complaining again about lack of contact or something).  But there will always I think, be a struggle a little bit on OUR side related to the openness.  Its one that’s always been there and it has changed a bit over time, but as new things come up, out pops the issue.  What I’m talking about here is the contant need for us to educate, explain, justify, defend not only our own choices and actions within this adoption, but also those of Woob’s first family.  We have countless times had to explain our choice to adopt, defend our choices related to how much contact we have with N and her family, how we choose to talk to Woob about his adoption and origins, etc.  People somehow believe that although we should talk to Woob less about adoption related things, that THEY somehow should be privy to all the nitty gritty details, AND be able to give commentary about those details.  BLECH.

What spurs this little rant of mine is conversation with my mom yesterday.  Erm…seems that I forgot to tell her that N. had another baby.  Maybe I didn’t really forget so much as avoid the topic and forget that the conversation never took place.  But can you blame me?  Its not a topic that just comes up easily, especially when you know you’re going to get the whole “OMG-anotherbaby-what-is-she-thinking-and-how-will-she-ever-take-care-of-them-who-is-the-father-and-why-isnt-she-on-birth-control-and-cant-she-just-stop….”  Its not just from my mom, but that’s what got me going yesterday.  Woob and I were telling about our visit and that Woob got to meet his new sister.  “Huh?  NEW sister?  When was she born (does the math in her head)?  But J was just born a year ago! (does more math) That means she had three babies in three years! (Bravo, mom, you can count to three!).    And this isn’t really a “oh, wow, that must be hard for her…” kind of reaction, but more of an “are you kidding me?” kind of one.  Um, and Woob in the meantime is right there in the back seat.  And later as she brings it up again while we’re at the mall, I refer to Woob’s sisters as his sisters.  “He really has no idea what that means, you know.  Everybody else who has sisters lives with theirs.”  Me:  “Yes, but if we don’t talk about it now, then he’ll NEVER understand. <sigh>”  And so it goes.   And later, when my dad was around, she says “Granpa, Woob has a new sister.  A NEW BABY SISTER.”  To which he replies, “Hm.”  He was raised to say nothing at all if he had nothing nice to say. 

Some days I feel like carrying around a card with all the answers on it:

  • Yes, it must be difficult to raise two young babies without being married/without the support of the daddy
  • Actually, she is quite smart, and continues to work towards a degree, despite lots of hardship
  • No, I don’t know/care how many guys she’s slept with/what type birth control she uses–I’ll ask her those questions if you tell me all about your total sexual history so I can pass it on to her.
  • We actually are quite fond of her/like her/enjoy knowing how she’s doing/like talking to her
  • Eh, no, she isn’t going to try to reclaim Woob.  Why would she?
  • Eh, no, she isn’t going to give us her other kids.  Why should she?
  • We/she would appreciate your prayers for health, safety, and security for her family as opposed to your criticism.  They take the same amount of time.
  • She is one of the hardest working people I know. 
  • She is one of the bravest people I know.
  • She is one of the most honest people I know.
  • She’s my son’s mother.  Have some respect.

I’m sure there are many more responses, but time is running short.  Back to convo’s with my mom.  I really feel like we have to have these conversations even when they’re hard and when I’m defensive and protective to keep slogging through it all.  But, Oh the Frustration!

And all these things cause me to hold back on our end.  Here’s the thing:  we have been welcomed into N’s life and introduced to family and friends from the beginning.  That has to be SO hard for her/them to do.  We have welcomed N and her family into our home and our immediate family, but we’ve been reluctant to pull her into our bigger family/friend circle because of the judgment, because people obviously don’t really know how to “behave” around us.  I fear for what it would be like for her if she were in their midst–would they “behave” around her?  Would they ask her stupid/embarrassing questions?  Would they ignore her for lack of anything better to do?  It saddens me that I even have to ask these questions.  It saddens me to keep her at arm’s length.  It saddens me that I’ve felt the need to distance myself from long-term friends because of things like this.  I’m sad for her, for Woob, and for us. 

But we’ll eventually work through it, probably sooner than later.  Because the last thing my mom said on the subject yesterday?  “I’d like to meet her someday.”  But we’ve got more work to do first.


Filed under adoption, birthparents, growing family, motherhood, open adoption, reflection, vent

Physically and Emotionally Exhausted

Too much has been happening too fast over the past several weeks, and my head is in a whirl and my body just feels tired.  

My second blood test yesterday wasn’t what they’d hoped it would be numbers-wise.  I have to do another one first thing tomorrow morning.  In the meantime, I’ve been pre-grieving the loss of this pregnancy, even before its definitely lost, and am shocked at how hard its hitting me.  Meanwhile, I’m having to show up at work fresh-faced and professional with my co workers, who are finding out the genders of their babies, coming to work with morning sickness, and all of that.  Let’s do the time-warp, shall we?  I mean, isn’t this the same thing I could’ve typed many, many years ago??  but what can I say?  I invited this into my life by initiating IF treatment.


We visited with Woob’s first family Sunday.  He got to visit with his mom and her boyfriend (who he LOOOOOVES), and meet his pretty new baby sister, who he isn’t really interested in or disturbed by one way or another.  He also got to see his grandparents, and was charming towards them.  His grandma was especially melted I think, and told me what a good job I was doing with him.  I don’t know if she was reassuring me as a parent, or herself as possibly someone who influenced her daughter’s decision to place (???).  Who knows.  Either way, my boy was sooooo good all day including in the car 2+ hours both ways.  I was so proud of him.  I do wish me and N. could have more time just to ourselves, because Woob is so drawn to C. that I think she gets ripped off in that department.  And I never get to talk to her about anything of substance…I worry that we might never.  I don’t even know what specifically that substantive topic would be, but just that there isn’t the opportunity to do it.

And I was proud of myself, because I made this trip by myself.  DH was off on a golf outing for four days.  Probably another reason why I feel so exhausted and irritable.  I need a break.


I haven’t had my hair cut in eons, my house is a total disaster, and my laundry is as piled up as it can get…clean, but piled up.  I’m wondering what in the world I was thinking, believing I had the energy to raise another baby…


Pray for my blood test tomorrow that it was just a flukey kind of thing–though rare, I hear these things happen.

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Filed under adoption, birthdays, birthparents, faith, grief, growing family, infertility, adoption, open adoption


For those of you who don’t follow me at, here’s the scoop.  Woob is going to be the big brother to someone here at home by Thanksgiving!  He doesn’t know it yet, but his world is about to be rocked to the core!!

We are in disbelief.  And humbled.  And terrified.  Some days I don’t feel I do justice to the one I have, and now I’ll have TWO!  So many blessings in my life.

And tomorrow we go visit N.  Pray that my boy is a little bit well-behaved so she doesn’t think I’m a horrible parent!  I can’t wait to see her and meet Baby J.! 


Filed under adoption, birthparents, growing family, infertility, adoption, motherhood, open adoption, things that make me smile

What’s Going On in My World

  • Plodding through with our first (and it looks like only) round of IVF.  See for more detials if interested.  Stress abounds.
  • Planning Woob’s Second Birthday Extravaganza!  Yes, you heard that right, two years old!  I love him so much!  Still haven’t purchased the birthday gift yet, but have the place reserved.
  • Planning a visit to see N. probably the weekend of Woob’s birthday (yay!).  She emailed news that she got an apartment that she and C. and Baby J. will be moving into soon.  Thank Goodness, Thank Goodness.  That’s all I can say about that.  I can’t wait to see her and meet J.!!  It will be interesting to see the similarities between Woob and J.  (And Gretchen, I did buy a W*l M*art card to send in the mail this week.  Thanks for the suggestion!)
  • It has been almost exactly a year since I started this blog, and if you’ll remember, at that time, Woob was getting ready for the first birthday and we hadn’t heard even once from N. in that whole year.  She called on his birthday, then soon after, invited us to her graduation party where we had a great visit!  Then she and C. came to see us this fall.  We have occasional email, mail and phone contact in the meantime.  Wow have things changed!
  • I’m missing some of my adoption bloggy friends…drop me  line if I haven’t seen you in awhile! 


Filed under adoption, birthdays, birthparents, growing family, infertility, adoption, open adoption, reflection