Thursday, January 31, 2013

Questions of finality.

I am not sure I will be able to fully express to you the experience we had this past Tuesday when we were able to adopt our son, Jared.  But I want to try.  For any of you who have been in the room when a birth-mother lovingly signs the papers that ultimately says she is giving her child to you, you will understand what I am feeling, but for those of who haven't, I hope you will be able to feel a part of the love and joy I felt that day and the fear and confusion I felt the two days before.

When I finally met Jared's birth-mother and little Jared, I was so nervous.  It is such a delicate circumstance of knowing what to say or what to do.  You don't want to run in there declaring your right as a mother, in fact, I just stood back and watched most of the time.  We talked a lot and got to know each other.  I held Jared as much as they would let me, but ultimately, I wasn't his mother yet.  So when the nurse came in to do some tests I wasn't the one to comfort Jared, the Grandma did.  I wish I could have picked him up to sooth him, to kiss him, to love him, but it wasn't my choice.

I was a bystander for almost two days.

But in those two days I grew to love Jared's birth-mother and her mother.  I saw the pain in their eyes.  I saw how much they love this little baby and how letting go was going to rip their hearts out.

So as Jared's birth-mother signed those papers, I sat back, holding Jared and cried.  She was asked so many difficult questions of finality.  Letting her know that she could never change her mind and what placing Jared really meant for her.  She answered each question so surely and looked at me with love and assurance.  All I could mouth was, "thank you.".

I just sat and cried some more, holding this baby boy, who I could finally call my own.



Her sacrifice and selfless love will be something that I will treasure for the rest of forever.

For any birth-mother out there, who has ever placed their baby,  you are my hero.  You are braver than the world will ever give you credit for.  And I hope that one day you will find the happiness you brought to those with whom you placed your baby.

Adoption has changed my life.  I am grateful to both of our birth-mothers.  Their love has completed our eternal family and their example has made me a better person.

lots of love,
Niki

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Do I dare fall in love?

Ever since we found out the wonderful news of being selected to adopt, many emotions have run through my heart and mind.

Being a veteran adoptive parent and having gone through a process both successfully and unsuccessfully, I think my mind has gone into protective mode.  And what I mean by that is, my mind is trying to protect my heart.

I want to be perfectly honest about my feelings at this moment.  And I wish I could totally understand them myself, but the emotions that come with any life changing event are for anyone, I am sure, all over the place.

While I am so excited to be the mother of this precious baby boy, I realize that I am not his mother yet.  My mind tells me to hold off on falling in love right away.  It is telling me to try to wait and not think about him or desire him in my arms.  My mind wants me to be safe from harm that may be caused by this wonderful woman's ultimate choice.

So my question my heart keeps asking my mind is, do I dare fall in love?

Do I dare dream of holding him, loving him, feeding him, comforting him?  Do I dare imagine him with my girls, my husband, my family?  Do I dare dream of the man he will be or the things we will do together?  Do I dare look forward to what may or may not be?

The agony of not knowing has caused my mind to rule over my heart for now.

Although my whole being is filled with excitement and hope, I am also filled with dread and fear.  I am not sure if I will be able to recover if this sweet, wonderful woman takes one look at this perfect baby boy and decides she can't let go.  I don't think my heart can handle much more loss when it comes to having children.

However, I do know my Savior will carry me through, as he always has in the past...

(picture by: http://jodibeacon.blogspot.com/)


For now, I am not daring that leap of love.  My desire for him is great.  But my fear of loss is almost just as great.


Lots of love,
Niki

Sunday, January 20, 2013

A call I will never forget...

Last night Flavio and I had the opportunity to talk with the birth-mom of our future son.  Getting ready for a call of that magnitude was a little overwhelming.  While we had been able to talk with other birth-moms with previous potential placements, it had never been set up.  One birth-mom called us on her own, one night at 11:00 pm.  She was sure we were to be the parents of her sweet little girl and we talked with her almost every day, until the birth-father made her change her mind. :(

Yesterday, our case worker told us that we would be talking with this amazing woman that night.  So we had a day to plan, a day to think about what we should and shouldn't say.  A day to worry that saying something wrong could destroy the whole thing.

Let's just say I was a little overwhelmed.  So much so, that today, I had a stomach ache from the stress....



But let me tell you how it went... 

...It went absolutely amazing.  

She was so open and loving.  She called us his mom and dad from the get go.  She asked us what we plan to name him, and from that moment on, she called him by that name.  We fell in love with her immediately.  Her mom was there by her side, supporting her and loving her as any mother should. We are grateful to her family for helping her make the decision that will be best for the baby and for their daughter.  I can't imagine letting someone else take my baby or my grand-baby away from me.

I can't wait to give our son's birth-mom a big hug.  There is no way one can thank someone for this kind of gift.  I just hope that one day she will understand our gratitude for her selfless act.

I pray that she will continue to want us to be her baby's mom and dad.  We will do everything we can to make sure her decision was the right one.

Lots of love,
Niki


Saturday, January 19, 2013

Our journey begins...

This past week, in fact, the day of our 9th wedding anniversary, we got an email from our adoption case worker.  She let us know that there was a baby for us. 

 These are the kinds of emails that drop your stomach to the floor.

This precious little boy will be born in February.

And while the circumstances of his health was, at first, a little scary,   
 we have felt through much prayer that he is to be ours.

We are very excited and we ask for your prayers and thoughts at this time...

...Because, there is still plenty of time for this amazing woman to change her mind, so while we are filled with excitement, we understand, having gone through two failed adoption before, that anything can change at any moment.

But, we pray that nothing will.

Our lives are very blessed.  
And we are so excited to hopefully welcome our son home, very soon.

Lots of love,
Niki and Flavio

Friday, January 18, 2013

Choices

Choices are usually a great thing.  They give a sense of freedom and individuality.  Choices allow us to be in charge of our own fate and life.  I know my kids love it when I give them choices.  Such as, what shirt do you want to wear, or would you rather have five minutes to play or ten?  Giving children these options to choose, allows them to feel useful and fulfilled.

One of the best parts of being an adult is being able to make most of your own choices.  We get to chose what we want to eat, when we go to bed, we get to choose what to wear and what we do in our free time.

On the other hand, one of the worst parts of being an adult is having to make our own choices.  I realize I just contradicted my previous thought here...but there is usually good and bad to everything.



Choosing one's college, career, spouse, home, when and how many children to have, can be overwhelming and confusing at times.  Their are choices you wish someone could choose for you.  Choices that leave you dazed and confused.

Flavio and I are facing that kind of choice at this time.  It is in regards to adoption.  The circumstances are not ideal.  Being a mom of three healthy children, the idea of bringing one home that may or may not have health issues is, I will admit, terrifying.

This is where adoption is very difficult.  Knowing that I would have taken extremely good care of my body and baby, where this child would have had every chance to be okay (of course that doesn't promise a perfectly healthy baby) but I would know that I did all that I could to start him/her off well.

And now we are facing a situation where this isn't the case.  While our heart aches and longs for any child placed in our way, we are also experienced parents and understand the difficulties surrounding such a child.

We will be praying at this time and ask for your prayers as well.

Also, if we do accept this opportunity, that does not mean it will happen.  Giving yourself up to a birth-mom and her baby for adoption, does not mean you will be receiving the baby in the end.  The process of hope and loss, joy and heartache are a major part of the process.

We hope to be strong.  We hope to be able to do the right thing.

Lots of love,
Flavio and Niki

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Our Own Love Story

Nine years ago today, Flavio and I were married in the Utah, Bountiful Temple.  We were surrounded by our family and friends and it was a glorious day!
Those nine years have brought us so many changes.


We went from this... 

...to this, in nine short years :)


With jobs and job losses, new homes and health issues, with deaths in the family and deaths of our friends, degrees in school, callings in our church and most of all, with our trial of infertility and the miracles of our girls, we have been tried and tested, we have laughed and cried, but we have done it together and Flavio, you have only made me stronger.

What a journey it has been.  With all the ups and downs there is no one else I would rather travel this journey with.  I love you, Flavio Martins.  You are my rock, my shoulder to cry on, you make me laugh and you are there when I cry.  You are my best friend.

Nine years of love, joy, hardship and trial...
...and I can't wait for the rest of our story to unfold!

One of my favorite Disney shows is, UP.  It is such a beautiful love story, and it reminds me of Flavio and me. :)  
I hope our love story will prove to be just as sweet.

Here is a clip from the movie:

Enjoy!



Lots of love,
Niki

Monday, January 14, 2013

Losing one's child...

I came across an article today that for me, was very personal.  It talked about how many of us, who suffer from infertility, feel alone.  And this is true.  It is like people will avoid you, or will avoid talking to you about what you are going through, it is as if the word, "infertility", is taboo.  While getting into someone's business is truly not the idea, but if you know someone in your family or if you have a good friend who you know is going through infertility being there for them is as important for being there if their child died.

Yes, both are a very painful loss.

Losing a child at any stage is still a loss.

When you lose a child, you cry, you get angry, you go numb, you grieve, you feel empty...I know because I have been there.

And while losing a child after they have been born to you is truly one of life's greatest trials...

Many lose this child through miscarriage.

Many lose this child through an adoption gone awry.

Many lose this child the moment the doctor tells them conception is not possible.

Many lose this child with a negative IVF pregnancy test.

Many lose hope that this child will never be theirs.

Being infertile is a lonely road.  You don't have the hoards of people coming and caring for you as if you lose your child after it is born; you don't have people calling or sending dinners.  It is if you have the plague.  People avoid you.  Or they just don't know.  It is hard to talk about and tell people.  No one knows the pain you are suffering, because no one seems to ask.  I know the feeling of good friends and family staying clear of me during the hardest times of my life.  I was in the blackest of holes when we lost our first, second and third baby during IVF.  No one called, no one knew. When we lost our first and second babies in adoption and aside from a few select amazing friends, again, we were for the most part left alone in our grief.  I know the isolation that comes from going through infertility.

I hope you will be the one to reach out to these couples who need you.  Please, if they are open to help,  help them.  Even if you don't know what to say, just being there for them will make all the difference.

Lots of love,
Niki

This is the article I read:
http://www.resolve.org/support-and-services/for-family--friends/when-infertility-strikes.html

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Downton Abbey and getting back into blogging....

I realize it had been awhile since I blogged last.  It is amazing how busy the holiday season is.  So many fun and crazy things going on in our lives, but I will just start with the one that has taken up most of my time these past two weeks:




I am completely and totally obsessed with it.  

I have, as of late, not tried to get into any new shows, as I have been spending my time elsewhere, but after so many testimonials and my husband's encouragement,  I sat down to watch the first show of the first season.  And now I am embarrassed to say that only five days later, I am now on the last show of the second season....yes, they are that good.

So if you are looking for a good, clean drama to get yourself into...start with Downton Abbey...the writing is brilliant, the cast is amazing and the setting is beautiful.  I have rarely felt the hate, the love and annoyance with fictional characters in my life that I feel for these characters.  They are frighteningly a part of my daily thoughts now..and though I am sure that will pass, the story is worth it.  If you are a Jane Austin, 19th century, drama loving fool like myself...you WILL love this series.  

lots of love,
Niki