Sunday, October 30, 2011

November is ....

November is Prematurity Awareness Month and Adoption Awareness Month. This November I am double thankful for the miracles that my children are.

I have always taken time to reflect on how much of a miracle Zoey is - especially during the month of November. I try and make an extra donation to the March of Dimes, post articles and videos in an effort to spread awareness, and I try and share Zoey's story so others can help fight the fight on premature birth.

One in 8 babies are born too soon....Zoey Marie was born nine weeks too soon. We named her Zoey because Zoey means "life" and she just had to live.

I remember praying to God, sometimes hourly, to find a way to keep her on the inside. As I sat in bed for several months, most of it (8 weeks) in the hospital, I would read the March of Dimes website and try to prepare myself for whatever may come. I remember barganing over and over to myself - that if my baby girl could just be alright I would make sure to join the crusade to ensure that all babies have a healthy nine months.

 I am forever gracious that I have a story to tell. I am forever thankful that Zoey didn't become part of the statistic that premature birth is the number one cause of death in infants.

I still remember those early days as if they were as fresh as yesterday. I remember walking into the NICU for the very first time and seeing her entangled in wires and tubes and feeling like my world was rocked -hard. I remember being several feet from her incubator and hardly having enough strength to stand. The room was spinning and I could hardly see through the tears streaming down my face. I just kept thinking this wasn't the way it was supposed to be.

The first days were hard and for every step we took forward we seemed to take three back. Zoey's Nicu stay was some of the longest days of my life.

I am thankful that Zoey had minimal complications for a 31 weeker. 

I am thankful that she only had to spend 22 days in the NICU and am still suprised that she came home ,at almost 4 lbs, with just an apnea monitor when I would have just reached 34 weeks gestation.

I am thankful that her PDA closed on its own, that drugs like caffiene reminded her to breath, and that machines like the monitor she was attached to for eight months alarmed us when she would occasionaly "forget" and scare this MaMa silly.

I am thankful for the March of Dimes because it wasn't too long ago that Zoey wouldn't have had the same prognosis.

The March of Dimes is an incredible organization and because of their research and campaigns  I  am blessed to be Zoey's mommy.  Being a mother to a premature baby has taught me to never take a single minute of motherhood for granted. It has taught me just how fragile life can be. The many sleepless nights with a screaming baby who suffered severe reflux because of complications with her esaphagus reminded me that she was alive and breathing and everytime her alarm sounded and I had to lift her up quickly so that she was startled into breathing again reminded me over and over that she was a miracle.  My pregnancy complications and giving birth to a premature baby questioned my faith and then strengthened it over and over and over again. It taught me that miracles happen when we believe. It changed me.
 It made me take a walk outside my comfort zone and navigate through new waters. It made me vulnerable and scared and thankful and joyous - sometimes all at the very same time. It made me a MaMa for the very first time...her MaMa...Zoey's MaMa... and  it made me see just how much of a blessing and a gift that motherhood is.
It makes me remember to never take for granted the gift of motherhood. It reminds me to have patience with Zoey's special needs and to never forget just how far she has come already. It reminds me of my own strength and to never lose my faith.

It helped affirm our desire to adopt. It showed us that miracles happen and then happen again with the referral of James. Zoey and James remind us daily that God is so so Good.    

I have no doubt that I was meant to be a mother. It suits me in a way that I just can't explain. It challenges me to be the very best version of me. It pushes me to do more, be more, and give back more so that my children can learn from example. It inspires me to cherish every moment because my littles won't be little forever. It lets me find hapiness in the little things like preschool art and classroom parties. Motherhood has made my heart love like I never knew possible.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


Things have been quiet on the adoption front since all of the EP's have been given for the year and since James is a year old now. When babies turn 1 in the Korea program they generally only come into the Holt office for a "WBC" or well baby check every other month. So, this month I did not expect to hear anything.

Low and behold, out of nowhere, I received an updated physical report. James continues to do well and is very healthy.

He now is 30 innches tall

He is 22.9 lbs

He has 8 teeth  - 4 on the top
                          4 on the bottom

Everything else was normal, normal, normal :)

He plays pat a cake.

He plays ball with the examiner

He drinks from an open cup with help

He plays with a spoon ( not quite sure about the meaning of this)

He walks with assistance from furniture

He has a good pincer grasp

He stands alone well

He says Umma, Abba, and baba.

I am happy to report that in just 66 days it will be 2012. We will then see some movement in the process and be much closer to bnringing home our sweet little boy.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

No More EP's

Well,  last week the dreaded e-mail update arrived. The EP (golden ticket to bring your baby home to the states) quota for 2011 had been met and if you had not already received a permit you would have to wait until the new year.

I was so happy for all  the friends that I have met along this journey who received an EP but I was still sad for those of us who would have to wait several months longer. I cried hard and had to take a break from the adoption world for a few days while I grieved the dream of having James home for the holidays.

So, we have already waited 5 full months - close to six.

In just 76 days we will celebrate the New Year and never have we ever had a reason to look forward to the start of a new year. In just 76 days the quota will reset and we will be preparing to bring James home. I am thinking this is going to be the most celebrated New Years Eve yet.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Still Waiting

Welcome October, it has now been one year since we started the adoption process. Fot the last year we have been on this journey filled with highs and lows and twists and turns.

Today completes 5 months of waiting to bring James home. It has been five months too long. I wish that as time goes on the wait would get easier - but it doesn't. Instead it gets harder.

It is harder because each day that passes we love our little boy more. He has been growing in my heart since the very moment I saw him, 5 months ago.

We have waited and prepared and waited some more. We have prayed and cried and prayed some more. We have kept ourselves busy in hope that time would pass more rapidly and we have made so many AP friends which helps make the wait more bearable. We have tried to be understanding but some days it is just so freaking hard.

Tomorrow begins the 6th month of waiting. At one point, just a few years ago, waiting six months was considered long. Then the waits stretched from 4-8 months for our agency. Even when we started the process 8 months was what was on the extreme long end of things. Now, well now we are looking at a minimum of 10 months. Ten looong months.

This MaMa really needs both her babies under the same roof.

This MaMa wants to see her sweet boy. I want to hold him, and hug him, and love him. I don't want to miss any many more days in his life.

This MaMa doesn't want to see his room empty anymore. I want to see his toy bins dumped and trails of messes after he has played hard all day. I want to sweep up trails of cheerios and puffs and I want to watch him sleeping late at night and think about the miracle that he is.

This MaMa wants the waiting to be over. She just wants her boy home. Forever.