Saturday, May 7, 2011

One happy mother

Disclaimer: It is almost 1 a.m. and I can't sleep. Adam is camping out with the boys on the trampoline, and I am lying awake with so many mommy thoughts running through my head. I decided I wanted to write this stuff down because it is important that I never, ever forget it.

I have a lot of anxiety and always wonder about the "what ifs". I remember sitting on the couch at the Arizona Fertility Center with Dr. Nemiro in 2004. He was telling me that the procedures we had done were not working. My ovaries were not responding to the high dose of fertility drugs or AI. He was proposing I undergo ZIFT. This is where I have 2 surgeries within 24 hours and the embryos are implanted directly into my fallopian tubes. In addition, he was talking about some bad results from blood tests; bad things from my uterus scan; steroids; and 2-3 shots per day for 8 weeks. He was very matter of fact and he told me what would happen, the costs, and the statistics. Most people would have a lot of questions. My one and only question was "What do we do if this doesn't work?" He wouldn't answer me. I was scared. I was scared throughout my pregnancy always wondering "what if" something happens. I had already gotten adoption paperwork because I had told Adam that if something happened during my pregnancy, I wouldn't try again. Everything was done with caution. I gave birth to my two little boys 8 weeks premature but yet I couldn't see them for hours. They weren't breathing when they were born, but I just laid there as they intubated them -- not being able to focus on anything. They tried to wheel my bed into the NICU but I still couldn't see them because the isolettes were too high. In fact, the first time I saw my boys was in a picture on our blog. In that moment, I fell in love immediately. When I saw their pictures I was just overwhelmed with emotion and how much love I had for these two boys. They were my boys.

The first pictures I saw of Calvin & Wes (respectively)
Allie's story isn't much different. Throughout our adoption process, I always had the "what if" playing over and over in the back of my mind. I said things like "Oh we will definitely pass court eventually even if it isn't on the first time" . . . but inside, I'm worried. I remember riding in the van on the way to court and the "what ifs" were going through my mind. What if her grandfather doesn't show up? I got this sense of determination come over me as I thought "That can't happen! This little girl is my daughter! She is mine! That just can't happen! She is mine!" I realized that was the first time that I could no longer think of "what if" because there was no "what if" -- I would fight and fight for my daughter. Before passing court, she was already my daughter. In that van ride, I knew that I had fallen in love with her.

The next day it was time to say goodbye to Alemitu. I knew it would be hard. I knew I couldn't prepare for it. I still wasn't prepared for how hard it would be. When it was time, I gave her back to the nannies and I tried to wave bye and explain to them that I wasn't coming back. The nannies didn't speak English, but they understood when they saw my eyes well up with tears. I just quickly handed her over, waved goodbye, and turned around and walked away. I walked to the balcony where Adam was standing and he went to give me a hug. I said, "Please do not touch me. I will fall apart." He understood and we left the transition home quickly as all I could think about was just putting one foot in front of the other and not falling down on the ground with tears. She was my daughter.

Those are tough memories that I never want to forget, but they are such happy memories as I know distinctly when I fell in love with my children.

My kids make it easy for me to be a good mom. They are just really, really good kids. We laugh every single day. Do I mess up? Oh yeah. But I make it known to them that I am not perfect, and I quickly apologize if I've done something wrong. As they grow older I know it will get harder, but I'm ready for the challenges that will arise. They are my kids. I love them. I will fight for them.

So this year, I've chosen to do nothing out of the ordinary for a regular Sunday in our house. As cliche as it sounds, I feel blessed every single day of the year with great kids and a great husband.

So many people talk about how special this Mother's Day will be for me now that I have my daughter at home. It is. But this Mother's Day -- and future Mother's Day, it will be a day for me to not only celebrate my love for my own mother and my children, but to also celebrate Alemitu's birth mother. I was so very sad when I had to leave Alemitu at the transition home and walk away. But I knew I was coming back. I knew she was mine. Allie's mother had to say goodbye to her child knowing she would never see her again. There were so many uncertainties. Alemitu's mother needs to be celebrated for bringing such a beautiful little girl into this world and into our lives. I pray for Alemitu's mother all of the time. Sometimes I wonder if she crumbled to the ground in tears when she walked away. I cannot imagine her pain. But I can give thanks to her for her sacrifice. I can pray for her healing.

Today, this Mother's Day, will be a great day. But they all are.

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