featured post – “the most important thing i want you to know about our open adoption” by mackronicles

Every once in a while, I stumble upon a blog post that hits me in the gut – hard.  It’s posts like this one from Kasey of MacKronoicles that motivate me to be the best mother I can be.  Why? Because she’s honest and her relationship with her son’s parents is respectful and familial.  Talking and living OA as an extension of family is something I LOVE and wish existed in more adoptions.

While everything is GREAT with the relationship we have with our birth family I do have fears of how our daughter will feel when she’s older and wants to have that conversation with her birth mother about why she was placed.  That is a conversation I know will be hard for her to hear and  harder for her birth mother to talk about, and hell while we’re at it, HARD for me to watch her have.  But – they get to have that conversation because of the work we all put into making our family close.  It doesn’t happen this way for everyone, but I think Kacey’s post is a good reminder that fear is always present in adoption but the love we have for OUR child always comes first.

I truly believe that you have to hear everyone’s voice when considering domestic adoption and this post by Kasey is probably one of the best I’ve read in a while.

I hope you will always know that it does not matter what anyone else thinks about your adoption and our family. It doesn’t matter what your future classmates think, what people on the internet think, what people who write movies/TV shows think, or what the guy at the grocery store thinks. It only matters what YOU think. I hope you never feel ashamed to tell someone you are adopted, but I also hope you never feel like you have to explain your adoption to everyone…

ALL OF THAT

Head over to Kasey’s kick-ass post “The most important things I want you to know about our open adoption“.

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Kasey is a wife and mother of two boys, the oldest placed in a wide open adoption. Further self-definitions are still in progress and can be found chronicled at mackronicles.wordpress.com.

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the monday snapshot – Jess

Jess of It’s just a box of Rain is going to open up the week for us with her contribution to the The Monday Snapshot – an evolution of the MMM feature, meant to bring the PAIL blogroll to life by giving its members a chance to feature themselves and make new connections. 

If you would like to be featured on The Monday Snapshot, please sign-up here!

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V is the light of my life. She is my 14.5 month old daughter. I recently made the transition from full-time mom with a baby in day care to a SAHM. This is not without its sacrifices, but I was unwilling to make the sacrifices required of me working in a stressful career and not getting to spend enough time with the daughter I had waited 7 long years for… it was an adjustment but I am pretty happy about it. Most excitingly, V just started walking! It’s been so much fun but wow, pretty tiring too.

Despite the belt-tightening due to my SAHM status, we lucked into some vacations recently (for little to no many) which has been awesome, as I always wanted to travel with my child. We went to the Outer Banks first, where V frolicked in the sand and waves. And last week, we went to Disneyland and had so much fun, it truly is magical, especially as a parent…especially because I was so often doubtful (in the past) I’d get to see the joy of a child watching a parade, hugging Pluto, and riding on Peter Pan… So my snapshot for this week is from our recent trip.

I am in the middle of trying to figure out more about who I am these days, beyond infertile… beyond a recurrent loss mama… beyond an adoptive mama… beyond someone with endometriosis… come stop by any time if you’d like to connect or learn more about my journey! All are welcome!

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Now, get to know a little more about Jess with her answers to the Monday Snapshot “5 Questions”:

1) How long have you been blogging and how did you get started?

I started by blogging about IF and loss experiences and then IVF… and now adoption! I have
been blogging for about 4 years. I started just by writing about my feelings but stayed
for the company.

2) Tell us a little about your ALI journey and your family (3-4 sentences):

We TTC for 6 years then moved to domestic adoption. We tried 10+ IUIs and 4
IVFs and lost 4  babies along the way. We are now proud parents to a daughter
we adopted as a newborn, and in an open adoption and oh I just became a SAHM.

3) What makes you unique in the blogging world? (e.g. special talent, rare diagnosis, life experience)?

I am a recurrent pregnancy loss sister and an open adoption mama
– both of which are a little on the rarer side.

4) One word to describe yourself: 

open

5) What blog or website (IF or not) would you recommend to others? Why?

Buzzfeed!   There’s always a quick bit of humor or news centralized for a busy mama
and they have a great app. (and sometimes recipes too!)

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As always, we want to see your Monday Snapshot as well, so please comment below with a link to your post– and of course, go visit Jess at It’s Just a Box of RainIf you would like to be featured on The Monday Snapshot, please sign-up here!

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the monday snapshot – My New Normal

My New Normal of Finding My New Normal is going to open up the week for us with her contribution to the The Monday Snapshot – an evolution of the MMM feature, meant to bring the PAIL blogroll to life by giving its members a chance to feature themselves and make new connections. 

If you would like to be featured on The Monday Snapshot, please sign-up here!

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My daughter, who I call “Frostina” on my blog is an avid cruiser. She won’t crawl even though she just turned a year, but she loves to cruise. She can only cruise to the right at the moment so I devised this clever “cruising track.” It goes in a circle so I don’t have to keep getting up to put her back at the start like I did before this idea came to me. I worry a lot that she’s not crawling, but I suppose she may just be one of those babies who skips crawling and goes straight to walking. Today, Frostina figured out she can cruise on the outside of the circle which opens up a whole new level of fun. That Frostina is a clever one.

As you can see, in addition to being an expert “cruising track” maker, I am also an excellent housekeeper. No toys laying all over the place at my house (ha ha). I’m still amazed at how much of a mess a semi-mobile, almost-toddler can make. I apologize for the blog logo covering her face but since I blog anonymously, I never post photos of us where you can see our faces. I hardly ever post photos of Frostina on the blog so even with her face covered, this is a pretty big thing for me.
I’m happy to be featured here today in the Monday snapshot If you are the least bit intrigued by what you read here, then why not come visit me at my blog? I’m always looking to make new connections. Especially now that my journey has moved from being lost in my grief to parenting a living child.
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Now, get to know a little more about My New Normal with her answers to the Monday Snapshot “5 Questions”:

1) How long have you been blogging and how did you get started?

I have been blogging for just over two years. I started my blog a few months after losing my son at 36 weeks. I was absolutely devastated and didn’t know what to do or where to turn for help. I needed an outlet for my grief but didn’t know exactly what that would look like. At the suggestion of a friend I started this blog just as I was preparing for our first trip home to see the family since our terrible loss. In the beginning I was just writing for me… literally just for me as no one else was reading. But as time went on I found other women and men just like me, who were struggling with their grief and trying to figure out how to live each day. I found solace in a community of people who were living my nightmare. People who knew exactly what I was going through and people who had lived my nightmare and come out the other side. If not for this blog, I’m not sure where I would be today.

2) Tell us a little about your ALI journey and your family (3-4 sentences):

After about a year of trying for a baby, The Hubby and I were diagnosed with unexplained infertility (which in my opinion is no diagnosis at all). We were also told that we were both carriers for Cystic Fibrosis. It took 6 years of off and on fertility treatments to finally get pregnant with our son. It was a very long and difficult road but we thought we were finally having our “miracle baby.” At 36 weeks pregnant I went in for a growth scan only to be told that our son was no longer alive. I had no idea anything was wrong in the pregnancy. This news was earth shattering. Somehow, despite our grief, we decided to take a huge leap of faith and try again. This time around due to my age and also our genetic issues we decided to use an anonymous egg donor. We got pregnant with our rainbow baby on the second attempt. Our beautiful rainbow baby was born in June of 2012. She is the light in our hearts. We are currently trying to decide if we want to try again for a second rainbow baby or just be grateful for the one we have.

3) What makes you unique in the blogging world? (e.g. special talent, rare diagnosis, life experience)?

I’m not so sure that being unique in the blogging world in an ALI capacity is such a good thing. But I suppose what makes me unique is that I have experienced infertility and a full term stillbirth. I am a fully fledged member of the club that no one wants to join,,, that’s for sure. Plus I’m an American living in London so I’ve had to deal with most of these issues far from friends and family.

4) One word to describe yourself: 

Resilient

5) What blog or website (IF or not) would you recommend to others? Why?

It would have to be Count the Kicks.  If I had been more vigilant in my first pregnancy. If only I had known how important it was to pay attention to your babies movements. Then maybe I would have noticed something was wrong sooner. Maybe I could have saved my son.

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As always, we want to see your Monday Snapshot as well, so please comment below with a link to your post– and of course, go visit  Finding My New Normal.

If you would like to be featured on The Monday Snapshot, please sign-up here!

Share. Visit. Read. Comment. Support.

the monday snapshot – Beth

Beth of A little bit of special is going to open up the week for us with her contribution to the The Monday Snapshot – an evolution of the MMM feature, meant to bring the PAIL blogroll to life by giving its members a chance to feature themselves and make new connections. 

If you would like to be featured on The Monday Snapshot, please sign-up here!

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This picture was taken at a local custard place in Milwaukee. There aren’t very many pictures of Hannah and I so we make an effort to get pictures when we can. In the picture, we are sitting in front of the fountain and Hannah just won’t sit still and smile at the camera. So I start laughing and she starts laughing because thats what she does, and it is such a great moment that truly represents where we are right now. Things aren’t perfect, but we are loving every minute of it.
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Now, get to know a little more about Beth with her answers to the Monday Snapshot “5 Questions”:

1) How long have you been blogging and how did you get started?

I have been blogging for almost a year and a half. As I mention in my first blog post, I’ve started a bunch of blogs, but I’ve managed to stick with this one. I think it helped to have a focus: our struggles with conception. I got started, I think, mainly because I needed an outlet to vent. We were open with a few close friends about our struggles, but I wasn’t ready to post on Facebook about it. So I started the blog with the intent to talk about our struggle with infertility. Luckily for us, I only got nine posts into my blogging career before we became pregnant.

2) Tell us a little about your ALI journey and your family (3-4 sentences):

My husband and I had been married for just over five years when we decided it was time to start trying for our first baby. Due to my personal and family history, we had a hunch it was not going to be easy and pursued a variety of interventions sooner than later. Although we ended up pregnant without drugs exactly a year after we started, I believe if we hadn’t pursued the procedures and tests as quickly as we did, we wouldn’t have our beautiful baby girl today.

3) What makes you unique in the blogging world? (e.g. special talent, rare diagnosis, life experience)?

The way I approached both getting and being pregnant as well as how I interact with Hannah is strongly influenced by my experiences as a teacher. I have taught everything from 3 year-old kindergarten up through high school students and also supervised infant and toddler rooms at a day care. I am dual certified in music and special education so I have a variety of teaching techniques that I use with Hannah.

4) One word to describe yourself: 

planner

5) What blog or website (IF or not) would you recommend to others? Why?

Alphamom. I love this blog! I found it while I was pregnant and followed along with the weekly updates to see what I probably had to look forward to. I have continued to read it as the letters and articles often relate to things that I am going through with Hannah.

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As always, we want to see your Monday Snapshot as well, so please comment below with a link to your post– and of course, go visit  Beth at A little bit of special.

If you would like to be featured on The Monday Snapshot, please sign-up here!

Share. Visit. Read. Comment. Support.

the monday snapshot – Emily

Emily of Emskyrooney is going to open up the week for us with her contribution to the The Monday Snapshot – an evolution of the MMM feature, meant to bring the PAIL blogroll to life by giving its members a chance to feature themselves and make new connections. 

If you would like to be featured on The Monday Snapshot, please sign-up here!

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When my husband and I met we were excited to find out that each of us wanted three children as we both had two younger siblings.  We started trying for our first baby about a year after we got married and although the four months it took to get pregnant seemed like FOREVER to me as I’d fully expected to get knocked up right away, we now know that four months is laughably short.When LP (short for Little Paul as he’s the 4th Paul in a row on (hubby’s side) was almost 1 we decided to try for baby #2 as we were hoping our children would be about two years apart.  Four months passed, then 6 months, then a year.  We had two “positive” home pregnancy tests which turned out to be chemical pregnancies.  At that point my OB/GYN suggested we go see the Reproductive Endocrinologist. All the usual tests were done and we were officially diagnosed with “unexplained secondary infertility.”   I was devastated.  There was nothing really that we could do other than keep trying using clomid and then moving onto IUI.  Another year had gone by at this point and so we decided to take a break for the holidays after three rounds of clomid before trying an IUI.   Three days before Christmas I had another positive home test.  The bloodwork showed that my hcg levels were very low however and I was told to come back the day after Christmas to see if this was yet another chemical pregnancy.  Thank goodness we had Christmas with LP to keep our mind off things! Fortunately the news was good and our baby girl Eliza was born in August, 2012, almost 4 years after her brother.I was so worried about what the almost 4 year age difference would mean to our children.  My husband and I are both only 2-3 years older than our next sibling, and four years seemed so far apart.  But seeing them together now, it seems so right.  LP loves his baby sister more than anything.  Last night, in the bath together he looked at her and then said, “Mama, Baby Eliza is soooo cute that I can’t stop watching her!”   I feel the same way about both of them.

So far the age difference hasn’t mattered at all.  I’m sure they’ll have their squabbles, all siblings do, but I know they’ll always be as close as they are right now when LP stops his playing to run over and kiss his baby sister, and when she looks for him as soon as he enters the room._DSC3295

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Now, get to know a little more about Emily with her answers to the Monday Snapshot “5 Questions”:

1) How long have you been blogging and how did you get started?

I started blogging in the spring of 2008 when I was pregnant with my son, mainly as a way to keep my family up to date on what was going on in our lives since we don’t live nearby.

2) Tell us a little about your ALI journey and your family (3-4 sentences):

My husband and I were married in the fall of 2006 and had our first child (our son LP) in the fall of 2008 after just a few months of trying to conceive. When we decided to try for baby #2 in fall of 2009 things didn’t go as well- after several chemical pregnancies I was “diagnosed” with unexplained secondary infertility. We did several rounds of clomid with no luck and then took a break from trying just before Christmas, 2011. Surprise surprise, we found out we were pregnant two days before Christmas! Our baby girl was born on August 24, 2012.

3) What makes you unique in the blogging world? (e.g. special talent, rare diagnosis, life experience)?

I’m not sure what makes me unique. I blog about everything from infertility to parenting to sewing to crafting to cooking to photography. In the world of PAIL I haven’t seen too many other bloggers who struggled through secondary infertility- perhaps that makes me somewhat unique?

4) One word to describe yourself: 

creative

5) What blog or website (IF or not) would you recommend to others? Why?

I love so many blogs but have to say that the blog of one of my college besties is so well-written that I just adore it. She blogs at Oh! Henry Thomas, Eleanor Louise, and Charles Edward about the adventures of life with 3 kids in the Foreign Service. It’s a great mix of “Kids say the darndest things,” thoughts on parenting, and random musings… I highly recommend checking it out! (seriously, her kids say and do some hilarious stuff!)

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As always, we want to see your Monday Snapshot as well, so please comment below with a link to your post– and of course, go visit  Emily at Emskyrooney.

If you would like to be featured on The Monday Snapshot, please sign-up here!

Share. Visit. Read. Comment. Support.

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