Tuesday, October 12, 2010

A Labor of the Heart

I just want to say a quick thank you to everyone for your very kind comments towards my last “Labor of the Heart” post!
Out of everything I have shared over these past 3 months, that was by far the most personal and the most anxiety inducing!

 In fact, after I hit the "Publish Post" button I sat down and ate 4 oatmeal cookies...in a row...yep...that's right...just popped 'em in one right after the next.
They had chocolate chips in them too, of course.

But, you were all very gracious and kind and so I am venturing forth with the next installment of our story. After some of the feedback and questions I received last time, I thought I would start including some Helpful Hints for Adoptive Families. We, by no stretch of the imagination, have all the answers but these are things I wish someone would have told us when we were just starting out as new parents... a.k.a. "big ol' idiots"!

I just couldn't resist sharing this photo with you!
It is in the top 5 of my all-time favorite pictures of my precious girl!

*Helpful Hints for Adoptive Parents!*

When you first bring your baby/child home, immediately begin telling them things like, “We feel so blessed that we Adopted you!” and “Adopting you was the best thing we have ever done!” Even if you are saying this to a sleeping infant, feeling the word “Adopted” roll off your tongue will make you so much more comfortable with it. And if you are comfortable with it, your child will be too! Practice in front of the mirror if you have to, but make sure that this term is as natural to you as it can possibly be. Trust me, it will be a gift you give to your children!

And now…A Labor of the Heart-Part 2
(If you missed Part 1, you can find it under the Labor of the Heart tab at the top)

The other night I dreamed I was pregnant. I woke up in that state of mind where you are not quite sure if you are still in dreamland or if it is reality. The tears stung my eyes and I was surprised. Surprised that the hurt could still be there after all these years. And yet, I quickly remembered another night, many years ago, when I awakened to realize that I had been sobbing in my sleep. How is it possible to be in so much pain that you are crying when you aren’t even awake? On that night, though, I had my “Experience” with God. I’m going to save the details for another time. But, let me say that this was a life-changing, faith-changing moment and one that I cling to whenever I have doubts or whenever that pain winds its way around my heart once more.


They had told us, “It will be very unlikely that you will be able to get pregnant.”

But doesn’t "unlikely" leave room for maybe!

“You will probably never have biological children but who knows what kind of advances in medicine will be around by the time you actually want them!”

So, when you say "probably", that means that there is still a chance, right?

 What no one ever realized is that those nuances of conversation would cause us to never fully grasp the reality of the situation. And besides, how can you know the deep pain of wanting something that you will never have, until you actually begin to long for it? Babies weren’t on the agenda anyway! We were going to travel and eat out and just enjoy being a couple. Newlyweds aren’t supposed to be worried about things like the 'I' word...INFERTILITY!
They don’t really cover that in pre-marital counseling.

To be continued...

P.S. Are you the kind of person who reads the last page of a book first? Well, if so, I'll let you in on a little secret...this story has a very, very happy ending!
 Just in case you wondered!

From this Southern Girl at Heart,


Traci said...

It's amazing how little words like "maybe" & "probably" can control your life so much. Not that I want to live a life without hope & faith but sometimes I wish I would've had a more definitive answer to my infertility issues. Those little words did a number on me. That is the most precious picture ever!!!

Lynn Richards said...

Stunning, Vanessa. I missed part one, but I am glued to your blog for part 3. Life just isn't what we ever think, is it??
LOVE. the picture!

Modern Country Style said...

Oh, Vanessa, my heart really goes out to you for the pain you've been through.

Please take this big cyber hug from me


Anonymous said...

Back in the day, I'd never heard of infertility until I had to deal with it myself. There was no book, no movie, no lesson on living and dealing with infertility. It's tough.

I understand.

Big hugs, Marla

Christy said...

Thank you Vanessa for sharing your heart! Your transparency is such a wonderful gift and I am so grateful for your openness.
Again I am honored to call you my friend :)

Steve said...

Blessings. It's been a long but short, hard but rewarding, stretching but manageable journey, but the two little punkins put perspective to it all.
Love you.

Debbie said...

I feel the same way reading this that I did in part one. It's one of those feelings...

They happen in the face to face life too...

where you feel that you want to "say" something, but anything that you say will cheapen the moment and intrude on what has been said.

Hope that makes sense.

I'm commenting to let you know that I'm listening with my heart to this posts.

I want them to help me be the mother/sister/aunt/friend/prayer partner that I want to be.

Gypsy Heart said...

That picture speaks volumes! Just totally adorable...makes me want to just kiss those sweet cheeks. I know she's older but hey, once a Mom or a Mimi, always the same. :-)

I totally agree with your suggestion about using the "adopted" word. I haven't experienced your situation but have lived near two...one child was always told she was adopted and she wore that 'badge' proudly! The moment I met her at age 5, she explained to me that she was indeed special 'cause she was adopted and her mommy & daddy chose her because their hearts matched hers. The other situation was my cousin, A. Her mom (aunt) divorced the father when A was very small and he did not participate in A's life ~ those reasons are unknown. The aunt remarried and A was always told he was her dad...and 2 more daughters were born to that union. Years later, when all were adults /another/ cousin, L, told A that she was adopted! This was verbalized in anger and shattered A. Not a good thing...

Anyway, enough of that! I so admire you and look forward to more sharings from your heart.


Lisa ~Suburban Retreat~ said...

Dearest Vanessa ... As a new follower, I don't have a clue what your post is about so I'm going to have to investigate further. As a female who simply adores children, the picture of your little girl simply 'tickles' me as she's probably the cutest wee thing I've ever set my eyes upon. And finally, as an adoptee, I'm very curious to discover your prospective on the subject.

Debbie said...

I know it is a happy ending...I can tell that much...and yes I read from back to front...I wonder what that means???

Melanie said...

You little one is adorable. Yummy, yummy, yummy!

I agree that you should start out from the get go and tell them about being adopted. My aunt adopted two girls and it was never a secret. Your babies just grew in your heart and not in your tummy!

Ms.Daisy said...

Hi Vanessa,
Thank you so much for your kind words on my The Daisy Chain blog today - I only hope I can live up to them!
I've enjoyed reading your story and can't wait for #3 installment!It has been quite a journey for you and your husband and I wish only the best for you and your family.


NanaDiana said...

Vanessa-That is one of the cutest pictures I have ever seen of anyone's child. She is just adorable! I hope someone special made that little crocheted hat and sweater set for her.

I know your heartbreak..not for myself but through my dear, dear friend. I can't wait to hear your happy ending. Hugs tonight- Diana

Nancy said...

If I could get my hands on that beautiful baby I would eat her up! No, really! I wouldn't be able to keep my lips off her! She is so adorable. I am an Aunt to 29 nieces/nephews & their children (I was 1 when they were all born....Just kidding. I am a new follower & friend too! I love your blog and your background with lemons (Crazy cute!). Thanks for stopping by my blog. Visit me!

Val said...

When I read these posts my heart truly hurts for you and at the same time it's beyond happy for you and the little treasures you have. I really respect that you pore your heart and soul in your posts. I believe it helps people in the same situation! What an adorable picture of your little one. Be still my heart! Hugs~Val

Marydon said...

G'morn ~
Your daughter is breathtakingly beautiful, I want another one!
My heart melted, Vanessa ... last page of the book not usually but in your case, I'd love to read it first.

Your bathroom is over the moon awesome!

Have a beautiful day ~
TTFN ~ Marydon

Heather@Gourmet Meals for Less said...

You my sister, have a story to share...it has been "birthed" in you and is asking to come out. Keep letting the words flow. Do not deprive the world of your journey...the joy, the sorrow, the agony, and the triumph....keep writing!

And I am so lucky to have kissed those sweet cheeks many, many times! grin!

I love you,
your sis

Courtney ~ French Country Cottage said...

Hi Vanessa,
Reading this story really brings so much of you out to your blog~ I'm glad you have decided to share it. What a darling picture of your precious baby!! So adorable! :)

Karen said...

She is adorable-I see why this is one of your favorite photos. Vanessa, you have shared a very tender spot of your heart, I pray that others who have dealt or dealing with this pain, can benefit greatly from your openness.

Pam @ diy Design Fanatic said...

Vanessa, thanks so much for sharing your heart and the adorable photo of your daughter- she has chubby cheeks just like my girls did when they were babies. I'm glad you aren't afraid to use the word adopted...she's your child- the love you both have for each other isn't dependent on whether you share dna.

Lori said...

Your daughter is absolutely adorable! I love her big eyes and chubby cheeks! Thanks for sharing your story. I went through infertility issues so I can relate to what you are feeling. I think it is healing to just talk about it and make others aware. You are just an awesome person and an awesome decorator!!

Lori : )
Thrifty Decor Mom

Tyla said...

What a sweeeet 'lil pumpkin!!!

Jennifer said...

Hey girlfriend! She is beautiful! That would be one of my favorite pictures too! Can't wait to hear more!!!

Take care sweet Vanessa!!!

Sonya@Beyond the Screen Door said...

Thank you for opening your heart and telling your story. You are such a blessing! You had me laughing with the oatmeal cookies! I can so relate to that feeling!
Your daughter is precious!

Ann Nichols said...

Dearest Vanessa,
God bless you for telling your story... Don't eat more oatmeal cookies this time though! You are doing the right thing in posting your wonderful experience (I understand where you are coming from though...I felt the same way when I first starting posting on my history blog - but I ate chocolate!). This is something that could make a life changing difference directly to a woman or two (or three or four or many more) "out" there who are dealing with the "I" word. Regardless, of the situation we are facing - and most everybody has something - it is helping us all to learn to deal and in the right way.
Thank you for being so brave!
God bless!

Ashley said...

She is absolutely beautiful! I can see why that is one of your favorite pics. Can't wait to hear the rest!