To begin, I have to give a little information on myself.  I came from a family of three boys and two girls.  I grew up with Superman, He-Man, Star Wars, and any other “man” toy you can name. I was active.  I never sat around playing with dolls or barbies.  I was hanging out with my brothers

{my sister was the youngest and I was the oldest}.

I had mostly guy friends and a few girlfriends that could run and play with me.  This pattern continued through high school.  I loved the free spirit and *get over it attitude* that you typically find in the male species.  No drama for me please.  I did love to do my little sister’s hair and remember praying that I would have a daughter for that reason.

 I am beginning to learn that prayers are listened to and answered, in His time and how it is best for us in the long run.   I planned on having boys, lots of them. I wanted to eat hot dogs at football games, cheer on the sideline at soccer games and stock my fridge with food so all their friends would all hang out at our house.

And then I was married, and remember that one little prayer that was set up on a shelf somewhere in heaven? It began to be answered, in a big way.  My hubby came with a girl named Syd, we had another baby girl soon after that we named Kinley, and welcomed Whitney within two years.  Two weeks later, we were surprised to find out we would be legal guardians to our niece, Shauntyl.  She had been mistreated in many ways by people that should have been safe, and we were her out.

Four girls in two years!
It looked like I would be doing a lot of hair.  I couldn’t believe it. I was twenty-two years old.
I loved them more than anything, but was sure there was a mistake somewhere.  I was confident that  somebody had forgotten my son.
I took a three year break and had Brighton and Ella two years apart.  It took me 3 years to decide to give one more shot for a boy because I wanted to know I was excited to have another baby,  not just a boy.  It took me 9 months to get pregnant which was crazy for me, and had another girl.
 Our dog is a girl, Our cat was a girl, and I would bet, all of our fish are girls!
If there is one thing I want you to know, it’s that I LOVE MY GIRLS.
We have SO much fun together and I wouldn’t trade my life for anything, but that hole in my heart hadn’t been closed.  When my youngest was two, I started looking online obsessively to adopt a son that would fit between my last two or after the end of the row.  I realized quickly how much money it cost and felt quite guilty for possibly taking a baby away from a family that couldn’t have children. After about a month of looking, I started feeling sad.  I knew it wasn’t for me and I was wasting time.
 I had beautiful kids and full hands.
I had to find a way to move on and appreciate what I had been given, so I knelt down in my laundry room by the computer, and prayed.  I started to cry, and poured out my heart to Heavenly Father asking him to help me accept that I wouldn’t ever get the chance to raise a boy. I expressed my gratitude for all that I had, and my love for each of my children.  I asked if I could turn this over to Him.  I asked that if there was ever a little boy out there that needed a homel and we would be a good fit, that he would be dropped off on my front doorstep.
I knew this was a stretch, but it made me feel better.
I promised to focus on the children I had, and doing my best as a mother. As I closed the prayer, a flash of my friend Jared’s face went through my mind.  He is actually one of two guys that nicknamed me “shmonae” so many years ago. I wasn’t sure why, but I saw him that same week and mentioned to him that if he came across a little boy that needed me, to let me know.  He laughed and agreed.
I felt so much better.  I got up off the laundry room floor and went about my business.  I felt like I had closure and didn’t tear up every time I saw a little boy that looked something like “my son”.
 I was content watching my nephews grow and handing them back when they pooped.  I felt relieved that I was finished with the diapers, high chair, bottles, and long nights. “haha, sucker’s”
 My kids were almost all in school and I wanted to contribute.  I was content.
Fast forward two years.

 

{THURSDAY}

 

 I received an email from my buddy Jared.  He and his darling wife are adopting their second son in November, and were asked by the birth mom, if they wanted two babies because her friend was thinking about placing also.  He was worried that 2 kids the same month would be crazy, so he asked if Jon and I were interested.
I read it out loud to Jon with a shocked, half quirk smile on my face.
“Yea right!” I exclaimed…
Jon looked me straight in the eyes and said,
“Janae, you really want this don’t you?” 
I just teared up.
I am speechless and have so much to say, but can’t.
My life never seems to just be on cruise control, there is always something big going on.  I guess that is how I like it, but sometimes it takes my breath away.  I actually can’t even tell you what I am going through, not even family knows.
 I will discuss my situation by next week sometime.
I guess I just have to vent somewhere and my blog has become a way to decompress and process thoughts.  If I think too much about it, it actually brings me to tears and is so emotional for me.  How can I write a blog post today and not share how I am feeling?
 Nothing bad is happening, in fact it is very good either way it goes so don’t worry for sickness or loss.  I am sure I will have to share those types of things on my blog at some point
 (if it is OK for it to be public information.  A lot of the really hard things in life aren’t).
I have a decision in front of me. A very big decision.
 One that would change my life and the life of our family forever. If you know me personally, please don’t call and ask what I am talking about, because I won’t answer you anyway and I don’t want to find ways to tell you that nicely 🙂
Isn’t it odd how we have choices; options on life that change everything in the blink of any eye.  It would be nice to have a crystal ball  and to know what your choice should be, but it isn’t that way.  We have free agency and without it, we would go crazy.  Heavenly Father wants us to weigh things out in our mind, and make a decision.  I will be fasting today…and tomorrow…and possibly the next until I have an answer to my prayer.  This is a no messin’ around kind of thing.  I am normally so “fly by the seat of my pants” and I overestimate my ability to take on anything and everything, but I have learned over years of experience to be a little more cautious.
 A little.
I know I am building this up for you and you have no idea what I am talking about.  Humor me and let me vent.  I have been writing lists in my mind on both sides of the equation.  You know the kind, where you put positive and negative down.  Don’t you hate it when there are 10 hard things…or reasons you wouldn’t do something, and less reasons you would, but those can somehow balance it out?
So I am on hold, trying to functions like everything is normal, but it’s not.
It reminds me of the poem *The Road Not Taken* by Robert Frost

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth.

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same.

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I–
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

I decided to fast all day Friday, in hopes of clarity and help in making a very serious decision so fast.  Jon and I prayed in the morning and went on our separate ways.  I had huge lists on both sides of the equation.
My list looked like this
Cons:
I am back to baby stages after I just put away the high chair, diapers, and car seats.
Would my kids be jealous and feel like I wanted them less?
Would this add extra stress that Jon and I couldn’t add to our plate right now with everything in business going on?
Would I have to deal with lawyers?  After going through a step daughter and the legal aspect, a niece and being her legal guardian and that legal aspect..and on and on…was it in me?
I wanted to make sure this was a joint venture for us, not that I just want a boy so we will get one.
Pros:
I get to raise a son, and
The chain of events that brought us to this place.
As you can see there were less on the Pro side, but the draw there was still more.
Friday night Jon came home feeling more comfortable with the idea, and I was more stressed out.  It’s hard to make this big of decision this fast.  My head was reeling..and it only got worse when Jon said,
“Let’s call the birth Grandma and let her know we are interested. Let’s just find out what she says and if it is even a viable option.”
I got the chills and groaned at the same time.
What were we doing? We have our hands full…quite full.  Between business and 6 kids, we are already running fast.  We both love it this way and actually thrive on a lot to do, but were we being smart?
I picked up the phone and dialed….
“Hello..?”
“Hi, I got your number from and friend that said you were interested in placing a son for adoption.”
“Yes?”
“Could you tell me more?”
I could hear her breathe in fast and hold it for a minute.  She went into details of Handsome’s birth mother, (her daughter).  With love and emotion, she explained her situation that led her to this day.  She was very supportive of her daughter and patient with letting her choose what she felt was best for her son.  I won’t share all of the details publicly, but know that they both felt like it was the best thing for little Mr. Handsome.  The mother was young and tried with all of her might to make it work on her own.  That is a lot for any 15 year old.
It is very apparent that Handsome has been loved and taken care of.
I felt myself smile bigger and bigger as I thought of this little sweet boy.  Could this REALLY happen?  Was I dreaming?  Was I being selfish taking this opportunity away from another family that couldn’t have children?
And then she said it…
“We have already asked someone else if they want the baby.  He has been playing with their kids and getting to know them.”
My heart fell.
“OK” I said and held my breath.
She went on to ask who we were and where we heard about them.  I explained the connection and told her that we had a public blog if she wanted to read more about our family and see pictures, then she asked,
 “Can we come over to meet you on Sunday night if the first family changes their mind?”
I agreed, but knew this was opening up to be heart broken.
SATURDAY
was a waiting game.
Luckily it was General Conference and it helped distract me.  My emotional self was so raw after fasting the day before and the adoption was forefront in my brain. I vacillated back and forth between letting myself get excited and keeping up walls of protection.
I have had a path of motherhood that has prepared me for may facets of this situation.  I knew how big of deal this was.  Back when I was 20 and naive, everything seemed simple.  Parenthood is not simple.  It is intense and all encompassing.
I realized today that I have been a step mother to my oldest daughter “Rooz”,  foster parent for four years to my niece we can call “tellie”,  biological mommy of course, and now an adoptive mom.
All situations present their own challenges.
I have been the weekend mom, the mean full time mom, the aunt/mom, and now a new mom.  I have sat in court and battled for visitation, sat in court trying to fight for justice when my  niece was treated horribly, been pregnant five times, watched family torn apart as Jon and I fought for my nieces rights, sat in counseling for countless hours, dealt with DCFS, had family home studies done, been certified as a legal foster parent, and tried to find peace between it all.
You see Saturday and Sunday were  a waiting game.
Maybe a chance to reflect on if this was REALLY what we wanted.  It was so hard to have all of these emotions swirling in me and not be able to talk about it.  I was watching my nephew Jackson and kept imagining he was my own.
Bug would fight over toys with a new brother…for sure. She has been the typical baby and knows she is the queen in this house.  How would all of the kids react? This was at the top of my list of things that worried me.  The stress it would cause on the kids and on our stress load as a whole, but it didn’t matter
We had decided.
Now it was in their hands and the other family hadn’t decided.
I went to bed Saturday night, but didn’t sleep.  Visions of “my” Super Man were floating through my scattered, detached dreams.

Sunday

I woke up anxious to get to the end of the day when we would meet Handsome.  Once again, I was very thankful to be watching General Conference and feeling the spirit of the day.  I look forward to General Conference every six months so I can veg in my PJ’s, watch church on TV and still get credit for attending!  We always get crafts to do with the kids, so it is easier to sit through all 4 hours.  The little ones come and go as they please, but they catch quite a bit of it.

Jon had taken the kids to a new “old fashion” toy store at “Shops in the Riverwoods” on Saturday to find crafts to do.  They have darling stuff, all the toys from my childhood. I found scratch and sniff stickers there, old candies, old board games etc.

I took notes as the speakers shared their messages, and doodled as I listened for any inspiration that I could glean.  Here is a link to some of the talks given on Saturday and Sunday for those who missed it.  I was trying so hard to listen with my spiritual ears…I needed inspiration, I needed help and guidance.

Jon made us dinner because he knew I was in some sort of twilight zone.  It has also been a deal between us from day one.  I get all the kids ready for church as he makes Sunday dinner.  He can’t do hair, and I can’t cook.  OK, OK…I can cook, but it isn’t my favorite thing to do, that’s for sure.
As conference was coming to an end, I went to shut my journal that I was taking notes in and a piece of paper fell out into my lap.  I reached down and opened it, curious to see what it was.  I was somewhat surprised to find my patriarchal blessing in my hands.  I didn’t even know there was a copy inside.  I started to read the familiar words that I have studied over and over again.  Patriarical blessings are beautiful things.  They are a guide for your life and a special prayer that you receive from a patriarch of the L.D.S. church when you are ready.  The things that it says in my blessing are obviously just for me.  Jon’s are no doubt for him.  The words are straight from our Heavenly Father.  I feel the spirit so strong every time I read it, but I didn’t realize how much it would mean to me on this day.
I scanned it, I have it almost memorized.  It has been a guide and direction piece for me over the years.  Then, a sentence stood out that never had before.  It said that
“I had been blessed with children, and others would come to my home.”
I only thought this to mean I would have another biological baby when I was younger, but on this day I knew it was speaking of Handsome.  Yes, it was a direct message to me and answer to my prayer.
That night  Handsome was supposed to come and meet us with his mom, Grandma (Na Na), uncle, Grandpa, and mom’s friend who was also placing with our friend Jared.  Jared is the one that we heard about Handsome from in the first place.  I tried not to think about it most of the day and kept myself busy…until five.  They were planning on showing up at six.
I let my kids know that some friends of ours were coming to play.  They asked who they were and where they came from, but I was pretty vague.  They were ready and so excited to meet them, but I was even more excited.  Jon kept hugging me and laughing, what else could he do?
Six o’ clock came
and went.
Seven o’clock came and they hadn’t shown up.
I called to see if they were lost and if they needed directions to our house.  She said they hadn’t left yet *they live 45 minutes a way*.  There was as lump in my throat.  The biological mother was having a really hard time coming to meet us.  I didn’t blame her.
How would that be, getting into the car with your one and a half year old child, to meet some strangers that could be his parents.  The thought process is like a heavy weight on my chest.  I can’t breath when I think of it.  I couldn’t relate, I never could relate.

She and Na Na had fed him, changed him, rocked him to sleep, and bonded with him for 19 months, not to mention carried him as her own for nine months and felt him grown within her.

I know all too well the sickness, fatigue, sleepless nights, and pain.
I know how it feels the first time you feel a tickle in your belly and wonder if it was just your imagination or the real thing. I know the indescribable feeling you get when you feel bubbles in your tummy that eventually grows into bumps and pushes against your ribs.

You can feel the baby taking over your body, your emotions, and your thoughts.
They become part of you, the best part.

It’s no wonder when they leave the comfort of your belly and enter into this loud bright world, they want to be snuggled and hear the beatings of your heart once again as they lay on your chest in in the night.  It’s also no wonder we ache for them as we watch them cry, or get hurt for the first time.  It is painful to see the doctor prick their little feet in the office, even though we know it’s for the best.  We become attached, joined by the months of preparation to come into this world.  Attached by the spirit love that is comparable to nothing on this planet.

The bond of mother and child.

How could she get into the car?
Somehow, Na Na was strong enough to pull the weight for the mother.  Handsome’s biological mother is young. She is a child herself, trying to make it on her own and don’t think for a minute that Na Na isn’t just as attached as Handsome’s mother.  She has more years under her belt to really process what is going on, and she was there from day one supporting Handsome.  She was adopted herself, and understands this huge commitment.  Yes, she is just as much a part of this as the mother.  She loves him more than anything, he is hers also.

Eventually they made it to our house about 8 o’clock.  I had sweat through two shirts, and was sick to my stomach. I was trying so hard to be patient and not get too attached.  I don’t know that I was doing a very good job.  I felt like I had gotten my answer, but I still had to wait for  free agency and what they felt was best for their family.

I could only hope they would feel the same.
He belonged with us.

When they walked in, we felt comfortable immediately.  Handsome ran up to our salt water fish tank and climbed up the step stool to see it.  This was a great plus for Jon…possibly a spiritual sign 😉  He watched for a bit and then started playing with the kids.  By this point we had told Mack what was going on, and I could tell by the look on her face that she understood the magnitude of this meeting.
Handsome was darling with huge brown eyes, long eye lashes, and the same color of hair as my kids.  He had an enormous smile and was quick to laugh.
I was in love.
We started talking about the path that brought their family into our home this night, as Noo Noo pushed Handsome around in a huge Tonka truck Jon had bought him the day before.  We couldn’t help but giggle as the girls flew around and around in a big circle passed the front room, through the kitchen, into the piano room, and back into the front room.
over
and
over
again.
Pretty soon Handsome came running in with a ball and rolled it across the floor as if to say, “Stop chatting, and come play!”
I would have, had it been any other circumstance, but we had things to talk about.  We were all taking this very serious for obvious reasons.  They needed to feel comfortable with the decision, as did we.  We both had questions to ask of each other.  Some were minor, and some were major.
We both felt like we were supposed to meet that night, I just wished Handsome’s mother had come so she could feel comfortable with the situation also.  It was interesting hearing the things the family wished for Handsome, because they are all things we would do raising him naturally without having to change a thing.
They wanted him active…well, I can say that we are always doing something!  We rarely just sit around as a family.  They wanted him in sports, and I had no reservation in promising them this.  I explained that although we have lots of girls, they aren’t sissy girls.  They snowmobile, four wheel, snow ski and snow board, wake board in the summer on our boat, hike, play soccer, play in the dirt, and many other traditional “boy” things.
Do they like to dress up?
Of course, but as I see it, there is a time to play with worms and a time to put on your favorite pair of high heels.
I was curious about his eating, sleeping, and play time habits.  If he came I wanted the right music in his room *Jewel’s lullaby CD*, food in the kitchen *bananas, apples, apple juice, and slide shots* I wanted to show him his favorite cartoons when he wanted to be calm and veg *Wonder pets* I wanted the transition as easy as possible.
For this reason, I explained that we would be keeping his first given name.  He would have enough life changes to deal with.  He would loose his family, home, stability and everything he knew to be real.  How could I take his name also?  Plus, Jon and I liked his name and with the changing of his middle name it would make it the same initials as his dads.
Yes, we would keep his name.
  Handsome had climbed up onto his Na Na’s lap sometime during the long evening and fell asleep on his own.  He didn’t cry, just snuggled up and dozed off.
When they decided it was time to leave *around 10:30 p.m.* they got up and we said our goodbyes. Handsome awoke and looked around with a dazed, squinty eyed face.  I am sure he wondered where he was, and why he was still here.
As they were walking out our front door, Handsome said, “GO?”
Na Na leaned over and said, “Yes Handsome, we are going home.” as she walked toward the car.  Handsome again said, “GO?” but this time we all realized he was leaning toward our house.  His Na Na got big eyes *big brown eyes* and said,
“I think he actually wants to stay!”
Jon and I couldn’t believe it.
It was a sweet reassurance that he felt comfortable in our home.
We couldn’t be more happy and went to bed with a smile.
I didn’t smile because I was sure we would get him, I smiled because the meeting went well and I had a firm belief that whatever was supposed to happen, would.
Monday I woke up frustrated.
 I just wanted to know if Handsome would be coming to begin a life with us or not.  I had started to get attached and I didn’t want to do that unless it was a sure thing.  My hat goes off to people that play this game all the time.
 I really started to feel like a wimp.
 My friend that told us about Handsome in the first place has been through fertility issues with his wife for years and finally started to look into adoption.  YEARS of waiting and stress.  Now they have a darling son and another on the way..but think of it, waiting months and months while the birth mom is pregnant, never knowing if she will change her mind at any point in time.
I had only been through three and a half days of it!
Pregnancy and the stresses that I have dealt with have been completely opposite.  Children in our home just seem to show up!  Rooz was there when I married Jon, Mackaroochie came soon after we were married, Noo Noo made her entrance 22 months later, and my niece moved in at the age of seven when Noo Noo was two months old.
 *This was just the first 2 years of marriage!
 I was 22 and had four kids* Sprite, Monkey, and Bug followed suit every two to three years after.  During this twelve years of having babies I really kept busy.  I would have to say that our first years of marriage were not made of cherries and ice cream.
Yes, we have had many friends and family that had stress because they couldn’t have a child, our stress came from having them so fast combined with life’s extreme ups and downs. I had no business complaining after only three days.  Besides, if he were coming, an average adoption takes anywhere from two to six months.  She could change her mind at any point and he wouldn’t be living with us for months anyway.  Na Na had let me know that if it were to happen, they wanted it to be sooner than later.
I text Na Na and asked if they had heard anything from the family that may be adopting him.  They said that the family hadn’t responded yet and they had given them until 8 o’clock that night.  She asked if they could come back again that night with the birth mother so she could meet us.
“Only if there is a chance we could get him.”  I said.
I didn’t want to get my hopes up even higher.

She assured me that we were still in the running and there was a possibility, but they didn’t want to take back their offer of placing Handsome with the other family if they were interested. I understood their reasoning, but felt so helpless.  Why would it feel so right, if it wasn’t.  I started to second guess myself.

Na Na asked me if I wanted to speak with the birth mom.  I said I would love to.  I didn’t know quite what to say to her, but felt like I wanted to express how I was feeling.

“Hello?”
“Hi” I said, “I just wanted to tell you that I am so sorry for the situation you are in, and I just want everyone to be happy.  I don’t want to pressure you into something you aren’t ready for, but I am willing and able to raise your child if you want me to.”

I could tell she was emotional and I couldn’t imagine what she must be feeling.  She let me know that she felt good about us adopting him but she has promised him to someone else.  I told her that I was aware and we were waiting until we got the final word.  She asked if she could come and meet us that night and I told her I was planning on it.  I thanked her and told her I would see her that night.

and so,
I started to hold my breath for another ten hours.
How was I going to survive another day of wait?
I had a list of things I wanted to do if he would be coming.
I wanted to buy boy clothes for the first time
Get his room ready
tell the family
buy boy toys
and start loving him up!
But I couldn’t.
I didn’t even know what to tell my family, because really there wasn’t much to say yet.  I sent my kids to school and started cleaning.  This was something that would help me out either way it went.  A fresh start.
Jon called our Carpet Cleaning business guys and had them come clean the carpets for us.  The people that owned our home before put in WHITE carpet upstairs in all five bedrooms, I don’t know what kind of mommy she was, but I have a hard time keeping stains off of white carpet.  Between the glitter that spills, rogue markers, and shoes that weren’t taken off in the mud room, we have our share of regular spills.
I kept busy watching Bug and my nephew Jackson all day and paid special attention to how these to toddlers played together. If Handsome came, there was no doubt in my mind that I would be breaking up fights over toys.  Bug was the youngest and not used to sharing her things and Handsome was an only child and didn’t have competition either.
I loved watching the two toddlers playing together, almost like having twins. Handsome and Bug are almost exactly two years apart and would keep each other *and myself* busy, that was for sure!
I had walls built up around me, for my protection and theirs.
I had already found myself staring at him longingly when he slept in he Grandma’s arms the night before and I didn’t want to creep them out!
They pulled up to our house, parked the car and walked up the front sidewalk.
I was waiting and opened the door.
The Grandma “Na Na” was holding him and the birth mother said,
“He is yours.”
I was SO SHOCKED, I couldn’t even respond.
I blurted out something stupid like, “Um, OK…, did the other family respond yet?”
“Yes, they said after having him play with their kids they felt like he was someone Else’s child.”
I couldn’t believe my ears!! I teared up for just a minute, still in shock.
Was this REALLY happening?  Was I going to have a little boy placed in my arms?  Were my prayers answered in such a miraculous way that I would have a son after hearing about it four days previous?
Yes.
Yes I was.
We sat down and got to know each other a little better.
After much talking and planning, I brought my kids into the room.
Before I explained what was happening, I turned to Bug and asked,
“Do you know who this is?”
“Yes, he is my brother!”
We were all shocked and the girls were so excited!
I don’t know how to express the magnitude of this statement to you.  All of the girls instantly knew how big of deal this was that Bug already knew him.
Last February 26th, Bug started talking about her brother.
  Her what?! you say!!
She was convinced, and now I am.
I am convinced that kids sometimes understand more than we do, and heaven is closer than we know. I am convinced that prayers are answered and Heavenly Father watches over us all. I am convinced that families come together in many different ways and family is the most important thing on this earth.
I am convinced.
If you guessed that I slept Monday night in a silent slumber because of the previous days events, you would be wrong.  I tossed and turned all night, my head swimming with possibilities
*some good* some bad*.
Even if my body relaxed and fell into some sort of sleep, my mind didn’t and this makes for the craziest dreams ever, not that that is anything new for me.
TUESDAY
was bound to be an emotional day for everyone.
Jon had the lawyer on alert the day before, just in case they came back with a “yes, he is yours!”  I thought Jon was jumping the gun, but once again he was right.  He wanted the insurance in ready in case Handsome was placed in our care.  Sure enough the wanted him  to come live with us onTuesday!  They had mention they wanted this whole ordeal to go fast, and they weren’t kidding!

One of my main concerns with adopting a son, was that I didn’t want my other kids to feel like I didn’t love them as much.  I knew this wasn’t possible, but I was worried that their young minds might view it this way.  After Handsomes family left Monday night, Jon and I spent time talking to Noo Noo and Mack to make sure they were feeling OK with the situation.  I have had children, *and I wont say which ones*
bring up the fact that they thought I loved boys more than girls when they were upset.  Of course this isn’t true, I just wanted the chance to raise both. If I had given birth to 5 boys and had 1 step son, I would by dying for a girl!

I was so mentally worn out by this point, I slumped down in my bed as Jon went and talked with both of them.  I just didn’t know if I had the patience to hear that they weren’t ready for a brother after all that had transpired.

I was pleasantly surprised when I realized Noo Noo didn’t feel that way, but was more concerned about Handsome.  She worried that he wouldn’t feel he was part of the family because he was adopted and nobody else was.  Thank goodness.  I would have had a really hard time if all my kids were mad at Jon and I for making this decision.
I don’t remember what time I woke up on Tuesday, probably because I was partially awake all night.  I got all five kids ready for school, but let Mack stay home with us to go pick up Handsome.  Noo Noo chose to go to school because she was in charge of a devotional.  She was planning on sharing our adoption story as it related to prayer.  Rooz also came with us to the lawyers office.
The drive to Salt Lake was torture.  On one hand it felt like Christmas, and on another like I was about to take away someones family member.  I was so overwhelmed with emotion and could barely speak. The whole thing happened so fast, and was so surreal.  It had been only 5 days since I heard of Handsomes existence.
FIVE
As you can tell from our business ventures, Jon and I move quickly.  We make decisions pretty fast and if it feels good, we go for it with everything we can muster and this wouldn’t be any different.
When we arrived, we got out of the car and they pulled up along side of us.  Their family got out of their car with Handsome.  I couldn’t help but stare at him, was this really happening? Was I still dreaming? …no, I was sure I wasn’t.  My sweat was down to my elbows again, just like the first night I met him.  I was giddy, yet somber. I was excited, yet nervous.
We said our hellos, and walked into the office.  The lawyer came out and greeted us, and quickly divided us into different rooms.  I didn’t realize we would be signing papers in different rooms, I felt a bit relieved.  I don’t think I could watch that.  I needed to bond with handsome, and the visual of the whole family crying and heartbroken would be hard to get out of my mind.

As we sat and waited, we looked around the lawyers office.  Let me take that back, there were chairs to sit on but I couldn’t hold still.  I was pacing back and forth trying to clear my jitters.  I  glanced around the office and noticed a wall full of pictures.  It took a minute for me to realized that ALL FOURTEEN kids on the wall, were in fact the lawyers family.

Some by adoption, and some his children from the start.
Kids from many nationalities and backgrounds that all had one thing in common.
They had a stable family unit now, and they all belonged.
It didn’t matter their color or birth place, all that mattered was that they were loved.

Not many people make me feel like a wimp when it comes to number of children, but this man did.  He was so calm and collected, I guess  you would have to be in order to head a household that size. That AND have an amazing wife behind the scenes that took care of their every need!

Next thing I know, our lawyer came into the office and showed us where to sign.  I didn’t realize it, but it was all done.  The mother has signed away her rights already.  Such a short amount of time that changed such a large amount of time.  With a stroke of a pen, he was now our responsibility.  We signed our end of the agreement and shook the mans hand.
It all seemed to easy.
We walked out into the lobby and the lawyer let us know that the transfer of Handsome into our care needed to happen that very instant.  It felt so abrupt.  I felt kind of awkward, wanting them to have their time to let go.  We walked out to the car and my girls started buckling Handsome into our car, to go home with us.
I walked up to the birth mom and Na Na and said,
“I know  you are giving me your heart through Handsome, and I am so very grateful and will take care of him forever.”
I started to cry because the power of what was happening was overtaking me.
They asked if they could come to our home to drop off Handsomes things and say goodbye.  We were fine with that and we all got into our car.  On the way home we stopped at Handsomes Aunts school to say goodbye for one last time, and also stopped to his great aunts to let her cut his hair one last time.
She cut it to “look like daddy”.
When she said it, we didn’t even get it for a minute.  *Oh ya, he is ours… and Jon is the dad!* Handsome kept running his fingers through his hair because it was spiked up with gel in it and he wasn’t used to it. I had to giggle looking at his sweet confused little face.

We drove home quickly because Handsome had had enough of the car seat.  He was done, and cried a bit the last time we put him in the car.  When we got to our house, he jumped out and was fine.  We filled the front room with all of his toys!  Bug must have thought it was Christmas!  We chatted a while and said our goodbyes.

Handsome was totally fine until they gave him a kiss and he watched them walk out the door, then he cried.

I cried
Rooz cried
Mack cried
we all cried
I actually cried longer than Handsome.  He was soon distracted by the swing set outside and went on his way.  Kids are so resilient.  I guess that’s why we are told to be as a child,
forgiving, loving, and without resentment.
I pray to be like Handsome.

He was already changed our lives in so many ways, spreading love wherever he goes.  His smile is contagious, and his big brown eyes so deep you could get lost in them.  He laughs easily and even covers his mouth if giggles really hard.  He tries to put up a fight sometimes when it is time to go to bed, but the second I put in  *his* music, his eyes glaze over and he says, “oooooo” quite close to on pitch with the singer.

Before Jewel makes it past the fifth song, he is always asleep.

Me on the other hand, I spend all night checking on him whenever he makes a peep.  I want him comfortable and happy.  It brakes my heart the times he has woken up scared, wondering where he is.  He has been in our home for one week now and he is comfortable enough now that when we wakes up, he just looks at me and grins as he falls back asleep.
He has my heart, and yes Jon may have reason to be jealous.  I have fallen in love with my son.  Good luck dating, little Mr. Handsome with six sisters checking out your crushes and a “ma ma” that watches your back.
She will have to be one special chick to get past Pink Moss.
I have been through a whirlwind of emotion over the past six days.  Do you remember that decision I was trying to make last Friday?  Well, we decided to go for it.  Our lives will be changed forever, and we are grateful for the chance to raise a one an a half year old baby boy!!
From last Thursday night until today I have experienced feelings that are incomparable to anything I have felt before.  I don’t have the time or energy tonight to write the whole story of “Handsome”, but I do want to share some pictures from our first day together bonding as a family.
 I will start writing our journey tomorrow…and what it journey it has been, only having begun.
We woke up this morning ready to go sign papers to make Handsome part of our family!
I was sweating profusely and kept having to use the bathroom.  I was so many emotions at once
excited
scared
happy

nervous

and so worried about he family giving him up…or giving him more, in my opinion.
How do you put into words that process of placing your child into another home.
It is an act of pure love….unselfish love.
Handsome’s mom and family wanted something for him that they couldn’t give him.
I am hoping a praying that we can provide the life they would wish for him.
Bug is SO proud of her new baby brother that I will call “Handsome” on the blog.  She ran around with him all day and didn’t get jealous of my attention once, which is pretty unbelievable! They did however start defining their territory in the way of toys.  I fully expected this and couldn’t help but laugh at them.
Handsome walked up and down, and up and down the stairs on our play house outside.  He was so pleased with himself, that he clapped over and over again…and of course we joined in.
After he ran around forever, “Mack” and I hopped on the teeter totter with he and Bug.  Handsome was facing me and I started singing songs to him…
*twinkle twinkle* *I am a child of God* *I wonder when he comes again*
Pretty soon his big brown eyes started giving up the fight. He held my gaze until his eyelids fell.  I laid him down on the hammock with me and rocked back and forth.
Bug couldn’t handle watching so she jumped on and rocked with us.
and tickled his face as he slept.
I text for a bit, returning countless well wishes and congratulations.  Thanks for being so supportive my friends!  Every message made me smile!

Something special happened on that hammock

Our souls melted together

Bonded for eternity and

I fell in love with my new son.

Even after he woke up, he laid there looking into my eyes for a long time

time

it stood still.

The chain of events that brought us here to this point are nothing less than a miracle.  The spirit was so strong in our home today.  Angels were with us, it was beautiful.

At one point he found the radio and danced…

and another point, jumped back into the big truck “da da” bought him.
Flowers were sent from our work family…beautiful Gerber daisy’s which I LOVE.  As you can see there are apples and banana’s on the counter, and plenty of tippy cups. All of which he loves.  We are trying to make him feel as comfortable as possible, with the least amount of changes possible.  His first name stayed the same for this reason, plus his initials are the same as daddy’s.
Eventually we made it to Mc Donalds for and easy way out on dinner.  We were exhausted and didn’t even realize we hadn’t eaten all day.  They ran around like crazy.  ALL SEVEN OF MY KIDS and Scott!!!
Would you believe it if I told you that in the middle of our order the cash register started beeping loud and the teller called over the manager to reset it because we went over the maximum order?!  I thought she was kidding, but she wasn’t.
“I’m sorry sir, we are going to have to have you place two separate orders because there is so much.”
I bust out laughing really hard and looked at Jon, “Well, that may just be a sign that we have too many kids!”  His eyes just got big, so I laughed even harder…what else do you do? It took him about 10 minutes to lean over and say, “ya, that’s pretty funny…”  Poor guy is still in shock, as are the rest of us!
It was like something from the movie, cheaper by the dozen!
When they finally got all of our food to us we sat down and…not ate..we got up and down, and up and down…man this kid is going to keep me hoppin’.  He loved the playground and wanted to run around with his nuggets.
 *yes I let him*.
  Maybe at some point I will be more stern and try to get him to stay still, but not today.
Handsome is thinking…”Why does that dude look so weird?”
After he ran around on the play ground and we were packing up to go, Monkey yelled, “MOM, he is running in someone Else’s barf!!”
Ugg, here we go..
I ran over and snatched him up and walked out of the place only to realize it was coming out of HIS pants!  That’s right, it was everywhere.  Poop.  On my arm, on his socks, and in the air.  All the girls started dry heaving and I reminded them that they had all smelled like that at one point in time.  He just smiled and looked around oblivious to all the groaning.
I put him in his car seat with a plastic cover and drove home to change the blowout.  This wasn’t the only one today.  He is breaking me in quick.  Remember…?  Diapers?  Yes, I had a break there for about a year.
That was nice.
Dad made sure there was plenty to play with.  He was wanted to do this for years!
BOY TOYS!!!
After Mac Donald’s we went to Old Navy to pick up some clothes for him.  He is a growing boy and had grown right out of everything he had.  Just ask us how much fun we had picking out stuff to go with his brown eyes and big smile…
Imagine it…each girl picked out an outfit. Scott even snuck to get him some *darling* Converse shoes just like his!  I LOVE watching Scott bond with Jordan.  They will be so good for each other.  He has already started playing ball with him and helping us make him feel at home.
Some funny things I have learned about Handsome so far:
He LOVES to pick up trash and sweep *perfect for our janitorial company*.  He walked around Old Navy and picked up a ton of stuff and through it in their trash.  Some things I wouldn’t let him touch though!

He LOVES to shut doors
He rips off his socks and shoes the second he gets into the car and doesn’t like his car seat all that well.

He gives great kisses and hugs, if you can catch him.He calls all of the girls “mama”.  I don’t think he knows what else to call all the little mommies.

He has a fabulous laugh and huge smile when he thinks something is funny.
AND

He is a great snuggler when he finally gives into sleep…

Tomorrow I will start telling the unbelievable story about how he arrived in our house and hearts only after 4 days of hearing his name.
This story is so crazy to me, I have decided to write it in parts, six parts.  There were six days from start to finish in this story that changed all of our lives forever.
*****************************

Before I start the next series in the story of Handsome, I want to give a big thanks for Handsome’s “nana” for sharing her side of the process.  This story has touched many people’s lives on both sides of the equation…and together we wanted to share a story of adoption that worked out for everyone involved.

We also wanted Handsome to hear the story through both view points and understand that he was very loved and we were all on the same page.  We all wanted the best for him and hope to relate that through these posts.  At some point when Handsome is older, I will have him read this.  I believe he will catch a glimpse of the endless love we all have for him.
*Thank you Na Na!!*
********************************

The other side of Adoption Part One:

My dearest Grandson,

I am writing you this letter in hopes that one day you will be able to read this and understand parts of life, and why they happen, and for reasons that they happen.
I am your Na Na or (grandma) but you called me Na Na. You were the very most important thing in my life including my three children, your auntie, and Unkie, and then most of important your mamma, but I am going to go back for a minute and explain a couple of things to you if that is OK?
 I was placed for adoption when I was 3 days old.  My mother and father could not have children at the time so they eventually signed up for LDS Social Services in hopes to be able to adopt.  I am the oldest of 5. I have a brother that you were very close to and you loved going over to his house to play and wear his little boys cowboy boots. They were the first thing that you would go and find because you loved them so much and then to walk around on his hard wood floors to just hear your little foot clomps on the floor and then you would look at us and just smile!  My brother has severe Epilepsy, but do not worry it does not fall into your family genes because I was adopted and so was he…….but you loved going over there to play and cuddle with my brother, your mamma’s uncle, and your great uncle.
Next there is my sister…….She too has a lot in common with many things she was adopted and she too placed a baby girl up for adoption about 11 years ago, but you lived there with her and your mamma for about 7 months you were very spoiled…..and then my sister gave you your very first haircut of which we loved watching because you thought that you were the man!!!!!  You loved getting your haircut…..and then when your mamma decided to give you more of a life to two people that could provide you with more, she also gave you your last haircut with us.  It was very emotional and I cried, your great auntie cried while she cut your hair and your mamma cried, but your mamma and daddy were very proud they were there also.  Matter of fact she cut your hair to look like your daddy’s!!!!!
Then there is my other sister and your other great-auntie…..She is a special ed teacher. Then I have my last sister and she just loved you like no other she loved to feed you hold you and comfort you, but she was pregnant herself for the first time.  She and her husband were so happy they were finally going to have a baby after several tries.  You were a very important child in our lives!!!!!
 We loved you like no other.
My mother your great grandma loved you my father your great grandfather loved you, there was so much love to go around that it was so unreal! As I grew older I was about 15 years old when I found out that I was pregnant with your mamma and with me being adopted I felt like I wanted to take on the chore of raising this baby as my own.  My mother and father were against that and told me that I needed to place, but as normal teenagers do, they rebel of which I did………
The question in all of this is was I sorry for rebelling at the time?
No… I had a baby and she was a girl and then my dad told me that I had to marry the father of the child because he did not want the child to be born out of wed lock, so we did. We married and then I had two more kids your unkie and then your auntie…….but my marriage did not last.  I tried so hard to make things happen but, things in life are just to different and to hard to understand when you grow and mature more then 15 years old, and thought that I knew everything. I was 26 when we divorced.
Later on, I met the man of my dreams.
You called him Gampa….it was so cute.  But I was diagnosed with cancer so I had to have emergency hysterectomy which then ended me from being able to have any children with him, but I had my three and that was okay with him.  We loved each other and loved the kids to no end, but then something happened when your mamma was 14, she was pregnant.  I was sad at first hoping that she would of learned from what I went through seeing how hard it was for me to struggle with life, with kids, and being a single mamma, because that was what she was going to be a single mamma.
Your father was not an active part at all.  (All of this we can talk about when you are much older to know better.) but that did not stop your mamma from loving you at all, but the type of person that I am… I was sad, but then I heard that little heart beat in the doctors office and then saw that little baby on the ultra sound and I loved you more then you will ever know!

 I cried when I heard that little beat.

 

 You mother was trying to decide what she wanted to do…. keep or place, and I wanted to do for her what my parents did for me.  Be there for her in the decision that she made.  She wanted to keep you, and love you.  So when I found out her choice she went to therapy and counseling to help her with that fact that she was going to be a young single mother.
 I have to admit though I went shopping clothes shopping for you, I wanted you to have the world and on a silver platter.  I think at first I bought you 20 0-3 months clothes, and then 15 3-6 months….and it went on and on your mamma even told me,
 “Mom stop, he is going to out grow these before he can even wear them.”

but I wanted you to be happy and comfy and stable.

 

Your mamma went into labor and then after 2 hours of pushing, here you came with dark hair and beautiful eyelashes. Everything about you was so perfect I cried. Your mamma cried, and then they had to take you to NICU.  You were born with a lot of free air around your lungs, so they had to draw all of that air out, so you were there for a week, but we came in all the time and sat by your side holding your little hand rubbing your little face, loving you as every mother and grandmother would.

 

Finally you came home, but certain things of which I will explain later it was not to my home but another, and then shortly after that to my sisters your great aunts, you came home to my house and your mamma came home when you were 7 months old.  Boy did I smother you! Your mamma was the best little mamma that you could of asked for.  She loved you, held you and never took you to babysitters. Where you were, she was.  I even tried to watch you when she would get in the bath, but no it was, “Handsome is going to get in with me.”
 That is what she called you all the time from the minute your were born,

Handsome.

 

Something happened in July of 2010 that started to make your mamma’s life go down hill,
but her eyes were open and you were almost 19 months old when she said,
 “Mamma, he needs more, he needs a mamma and a daddy, he needs financial support, he needs moral support, more then just what I can give.”
I was mortified because by this time every morning I would hear little foot steps come to my bedroom door knock and say, “Na Na”, you would come in and lay with me and we would sing, and play, then get up and you would go to school with your mamma.
 I could not bare to loose any of that, I couldn’t loose any of that.
By this time we were having a hard time in the church. Instead of facing our demons, I started smoking again and loosing faith in the important things in life. I even started teasing saying that I was a Born Again Christian, (which I wasn’t).
Then the phone call came in from your mother now……..I can not lie my heart dropped, I did not know what I was going to do.  At first was I going to say, “I am sorry but you have the wrong number?”

  No, because after she called you walked into the room and looked at me like you knew who was on the other line.  I then set up a time to go down there to meet your future mamma and daddy.

The other side of Adoption: Part Two
The thing that is so funny about my little grand baby is that he did not like going places that he never recognized, and if he did go, then he was always on Na Na’s lap or holding onto mamma’s hand.
 Not the night that we went to meet your new parents, it was a total different story.
He got down and actually wanted to play.  I then shortly realized after we were there that he had a manly sized dirty diaper, so I asked them to excuse me while I went in the other room to change his dirty bum……….Bug which is the youngest daughter of the family followed me……
I still laugh about it because she looked at me and said,
” He is stinky isn’t he?????”
 I replied,” Yes he is, he is a messy boy.”
She looked at me with big beautiful eyes and said,
“He is a boy huh???? We don’t have any boys in our family….”
I laughed and said, “What about your daddy?? He is a boy.”
She looked back at me with a serious look and said, “No he isn’t, he is a man.”
 I could not help but laugh and just wanted to hug her at the same time, but I didn’t because I did not want to startle the little girl. I just love little kids, and maybe I attach myself more to them because I can no longer have children of my own.
 I had Ovarian cancer, so it forced me into emergency surgery so I can no longer have children, but I am cancer free and I can enjoy other peoples children.  I think that is why I was so excited when I found out that you were coming in a sense of a baby?  Really???
Now see I went off track. It is easy to do for me after all my nick name is Dori, I know.. I know after the little blue fish off of Finding Nemo.
Anyways, after I changed your diaper you were right back into the front room playing and looking at the fish tank, you loved that fish tank.  We all had fun talking about your likes, your dislikes, and what I expected out of the fact that you were my grandson and I wanted you to be in the best home possible.
Your mama didn’t come the first night that we met because she was having a very hard time…  More then what people could really ever understand.  I felt comfortable, and I knew that you did as well.  After we got done talking, we went on a tour of the house and you were in my arms, and then after the tour we went back into the front room to finish talking.
 I knew that you were tired, so as we got close to ending the conversation for the evening you climbed up on my lap, held my hand and looked into my eyes then fell asleep.  I knew that you were comfortable right where you were.
  The thing that is so funny is that my cousin and his wife were looking into wanting to adopt you first, so when we were getting ready to leave I told them that, and they understood, but I also saw the look of want and the look of love in their eyes thinking,
“This is our son we just know it.”
We opened the front door to get ready to leave and you woke right up almost like
 “STOP WAIT WHERE ARE WE GOING?????”
 I held you and kissed you and, said, “Handsome, it is okay we are going to go home now.”
  You looked at me and said, “GO……”
I held you and said, “Okay we are,”
So I turned to go to the car, and you pulled on me like,
 “What are you doing? You are going the wrong way!!!!!”
  You looked toward the house pointed and said…..”GO….!!!!!”  Almost like I want to go back inside Na Na, I want to go home.
 I looked at your new family almost with tears in my eyes, and I knew that you had picked where you had wanted to be.  I told them that he never does that ever, he is always wanting us to go to the car and go home, so he must know something that we do not.
We went to the car and I put you in your car seat and you started to cry looking at the house as we pulled away still saying “Go.”  I pulled down the DVD player and turned on Alvin and the Chipmunks for you I held your hand for I sat in the back seat because 1…….you were sad and crying because you wanted to stay and I wanted you to feel comfort…..2….Your unkie is to big to sit in the back seat.  He is 6’1″ and weighs 265 and he is only 15…..he is a football player and he is hoping that you will be one too.
When we got home, I called and spoke to my cousin and his wife and he said,
 “We have knelt down in prayer, we have fasted, we have been to the temple, but we feel like this little boy already belongs to a family.”
I started to cry because I knew what family you were supposed to go to.
 The one that you wanted to stay the one with all girls even the dog…….your poor daddy.
So that is when I called up and asked if we could come back down the next day and  introduce them to your mama.
The other side of Adoption: Part Three
I know that after I asked if we could come down to their home again so your mama could meet the family, there was a pause……..Then she spoke saying,
 “What do you think our chances are of getting this little boy? I just do not want to keep getting my hopes up then having them crushed suddenly by someone else getting him.”
 I then reassured her that I had a gut instinct that my cousin and his wife were going to be saying no…. Not because they didn’t love you, that was not it at all!!!!!  It was because they had 2 kids a girl and a boy, and the fear that they had was that their little boy was going to have a hard time adjusting.  He was okay when you went over there, but to become his brother he was not to sure, and they didn’t want to cause a emotional trauma for him and for you.
So we got in the car me, you and Gampa, and your mamma, (we cannot forget unkie)!! Then started to make our way down so that your mamma could meet the family. By this time I still had not heard from my cousin until we were about half way, and then the phone rang,
 I paused and then told everyone that it was my cousin, and to get prepared because he was going to tell us if you were going to be apart of his family or not.
So I answered, and I heard two voices on the other end.  It was my cousin and his wife and they were both so emotional that you could cut the tension in the air with a knife, and this is what he said:
 “We have come up with a decision and we are both wanting to talk to you about it, is that okay???”
I could start to feel my eyes well up with tears and the flood gates were open.  I knew in my heart of what they were going to say, but I needed to hear it so I said:
 “Yes please tell me……”
“Well, we have done some fasting today and a lot of prayer and we know that we love this little boy more then ever, but we feel like our prayers have been answered by the Lord, and his answer is that
this little boy already has a family picked out, and it is not us…….”
My heart dropped and I just started to cry. I was sad for them because they have wanted to adopt for so long, I was thinking, “Here is your chance what are you saying????  What are you doing????”
 Then I stopped that thought process in it’s tracks then I cried even more and even harder because that is when I knew that Handsome already knew where he belonged and that he had already picked his family.
My mother and father always said,
“When we are in heaven we pick our families.  It does not matter how they get to us, if it be that the kids are adopted, or if the mother is able to give birth to them, but one way or another we picked our family in the Lord’s presence. It does not matter if you come to us as a newborn, a toddler, a child, or teenager, you still picked us and now we are just that,
a family.”
 I told my cousin that I had the feeling deep down inside that I knew that this was going to be the decision, and that I knew where he was to go.  We cried together all three of us, and then he told me:
“Angie I love this little boy so much and he has a purpose in life.  God put him here on the earth for a reason, and that is to be loved and cherished forever. Please will you send me a picture of him when he gets settled into his new home so that my wife and I will know that he is okay and that he is loved?”
 I agreed and then the conversation came to a end, and we hung up.
 I looked at everyone in the car and we had all agreed that we were going to surprise Handsome’s new family with the news when we got there.  We pulled up to the house and got out of the car. My favorite thing to do was to get you out of your car seat and then you would give me a kiss and say….
“Go!”
 We walked up to the door, knocked and they answered both of them……..your new mama and daddy.  I looked at you then Iooked at them and I said,
 “Would you like to hold your son?????”
 I was in tears like you could not believe.  Thinking in my mind at that time “I just got off work, oh I am a chef at the hospital and I really need a cigarette!!” but you were in the car and I never smoked with you in there.
  They looked at me with tears in their eyes and they said
“Really??????”
I said, “Yes!”
 and then your mamma came in behind us and she hugged your new mamma now.

The other side of Adoption: Part Four

As they hugged in each other’s embrace your new mamma said,
 “You will not regreat your decison. I promise.”
There were so many things that I was feeling that day as well. I was feeling excited, sad, and I was anxious.  I almost could not wait until we got back outside to have another ciggarette. Then your daddy came in the room and he had bags of boys toys and he was so excited!!!!

 He even found a metal tonka dump truck, and for us that was amazing becuase everything is plastic now.  You were so excited to see the toys!  You sat in the back of the dump truck and your little sisters pushed you around the house like you owned everything…..

you loved it.

 

Then your new mamma took your mamma on a tour of the house so that she could get a feel for how you were going to be taken care of.
{Life stood still}
While they were on their little tour and you were getting pushed around in your new little dump truck, I was thinking of you but at the same time myself.
I was thinking who am I going to watch Wonder Pets with????
When he is sad I won’t be there to turn on the Sesame Street theme song that was on our DVR.  Who was going to help me unload the dishwasher by standing on it?
 *I was going to miss all of that*

When I gave you a bath and we put bubbles in the water you loved to put your little hand in the suds and wipe them on my arm thinking that was so funny. I would rinse them off and you would laugh.  I think the thing that I loved the most is when I would feed you something yummy and you would say mmmmmm because that is what I would do with you.

{Yours Truly}
*The crazy thing is that so many of the things Na Na did with Handsome, I do.  They are things I have done with all of my kids.  The exact things she has mentioned in this, and other posts coming.  We do the piggie toes, itsy bitsy spider, bubbles in the bath, and more.  No wonder it’s been a smooth transition!  It amazes me the more I receive emails the similarities…I even LOVE wonderpets*

The other side of Adoption: Part Five

 

 The big day came.  
The day that you were going to go with us to the lawyer’s office so that your mamma could sign the documents so that your mamma and daddy now could have you forever.
Forever…. that sounds so final… so long, but it is not in time I will be able to see my little grandson again.  I know I will, I do not care how big you are, but I am going to hold you in my arms and cry on your shoulder because no matter where you are, you are still my grandson and my Handsome, your mama’s handsome.
*Sorry off track again*
  We woke up and you came running into my room so that we could follow our traditions of you coming and laying with me in my arms doing the “This little piggy” with your little toes, and then patty cake, and the intsy wintsy spider, that was one of your favorites because we used to really get with it when the sun came up……..then after that I would say
“Where is Handsome?”
and you would hide your face and come back up and go grahhhhhhhh……then laugh.
This particular morning we did our routine and I cried, and cried, and cried, but you still laughed and smiled more then usual.  Is it because you knew that you were finally going home? Were you just really getting into our routine to let me know that you were going to see me later???
I just bawled,

but then we got up and I went out and smoked, and then I got you in the tub.  The thing that was so funny is when I would go out and smoke you would look at me out he window like

“Na Na stop!!!!!”

After we got you out, I rubbed baby lotion on you and cried. I knew that this was going to be the last time that I was ever going to be able to do that.  After all, when we meet again you are going to be a grown man and I do not think that you are going to let me lay you down and do it then.
I fed you cereal, but the thing that is so funny is that you only liked the Marsh mellow cereals because you only liked to eat the marsh mellows, but I did not care. I was and am your Na Na and I wanted to give you what you wanted with no delay.
 Then I went out and put you in your car seat and we left, me, you, Gampa, and Unkie and your mamma.  I cried the whole way there. I twiddled a cigarette in my fingers not being able to wait to be able to smoke it, and then we pulled up.
 I was nervous, I had anxiety, and a lot more emotions.

We went in and you walked in almost like you owned the world and you knew what was going to happen, you knew that you were going home and that you were going to see us later.  You kept opening and shutting the door to the office because you liked to hear the door bell go on and off.

The secretary brought out some toys for you to play with, but you looked at her like,
“Lady are you serious? I am a boy not a baby.”

  It was priceless.
Shortly after, your mamma signed the documents and then the lawyer went in and had your new mamma and daddy sign the documents. They came out of the rooms and the lawyer looked at us and said,
“Okay now you need to let Handsome go with his new parents.  So mamma we will give you some time to hug and kiss him good-bye.”
I just about dropped out of my seat.
I could feel the tears well up inside my throat, I couldn’t catch my breath.  It was over!!!!!  That was it????  I could not believe it, he was gone.  As we walked out to our cars I got to hold his little hand, I did not want to let go!!!!!
Could I let go???
 When we got to where we were parked, your mamma and daddy asked us if we wanted to go anywhere so that people could say goodbye.  My heart welled up again and that is when I said,
“Really?????  You guys are amazing and you are the best!!!!”
That is when they both replied
“We do not want to leave with hard feelings after all you guys took care of our son for 19 months it is the least that we could do.”

 I had tears in my eyes and said,
“Well we need to go to my sister’s work….”

That is where your great aunt was and that is where we all cried while you got your last hair cut.  Then after we left there we went to your aunties Jr. High so that you could say good bye to her.

The amazing thing to me in all of this is that you got into your mamma and daddy’s car with no problems.  I think it is because you knew that you were home.
Your two older sisters came with your mamma and daddy so that they could be in on all the new comings of Handsome.  They took the first picture with their baby brother,
YES DADDY, I SAID BROTHER!!!!!
You now have a son.

Eating a doughnut in the back seat, and you were all smiles with powder sugar all over your face, so cute!!!!!!!!

 

After your auntie hugged you and kissed you she went to go back into school crying, but she knew that your happiness was so profound, we could see all that joy in happiness in your face of Don’t worry mamma and daddy I am finally home!!!!

I think to tell you the honest truth I had at least 5 cigarettes from Draper to Lehi because I was so happy for you, but deep in sorrow for me, but you are the most important thing in my life and your true happiness is so important and I could see that when you were with your new family.

We were getting ready to leave and that is when the Moss’s invited us over to their house so that we could spend at least a hour with you before we were to split our ways. I think on the drive I had another 4 cigarettes.

I could not handle my emotions at that time after all I am known as the Tin Man I do not cry that much because I did not want my tear ducts to rust.

As we pulled up into the drive way of your new home I called over to your daddy and said,

“I was doing some thinking and I want to be around for Handsome when he is finally able to meet us, and I do not want to meet him with a ventilator or smelly clothes, or a raspy voice, or the worse part cancer because I could not quit.  So here are my smokes, and as of now I am done.  I love my grandson more then anyone will ever know and for him I am done.”

He took the cigarettes from me and got rid of them.  Just to let you know that has been almost 2 months now and I have not picked up another one.  I see you in my mind, my heart, and my soul.  I quit for me and for you so that I can hold you again!!!!!!

It was a couple weeks after this that I went back to church, just to sacrament meeting, but I went back!!!!!  What would you know that it was Fast and Testimony meeting on top of it.  Unkie did not want me to go alone so he came and went with me, and Gampa was in Cali picking up his Semi truck.

After about half way into the meeting I got up and went to the stand and said,
“I need to bare my testimony today more then I have ever needed to bare it before.  So much has happened in my life within the past 1 1/2 that I just need to share.  My oldest daughter got pregnant and some people where not the nicest to us for that so we found every excuse there was to let go of our truths, and our faith and we let go of the rod.  Shortly after that I ran into some problems with my son, and then after that my husband lost his job due to lay offs.  I did not know what to do at the time, because it was after that my brother lost his wife and three kids due to the fact that she did not want to be married to him any longer because she did not want to deal with his Epilepsy any longer.  So when that happened I went down every day after work to be with him because he could not be alone. I would get home every morning around 3 sometimes 4 sleep for 2 hours and then get up and go to work.  I did that every day for 4months.  Shortly after that I did a Domestic Violence walk for women and Children and then donated all the money to the shelter because they were in need of supplies.  100 Miles I walked and I felt the Lord help me with every step because I know that with my smoker lungs I could not of done it alone, and not only that I could feel the women and children that have lost their lives to this crime smile down upon me and helped carry me that last 10 miles. That was Sept.  Then shortly after that my mom called and said that my dad was in really bad shape.  He was in the hospital for 90 days and we almost lost him several times. Then it was shortly after all this my daughter told me that she wanted to put my grandson up for adoption.

I did not know what I was going to do.  All of this trauma happening all at once.  Then I quit smoking, I was going crazy.  Then my daughter making bad choices and now she is gone until she is 18!!!!!

I am of course CRYING my rusted tear ducts out.  My family what was I going to do.  That is when I went to my father in law and said I need a blessing please help me!!!!!!!!!!

That is when I felt the spirit of God come back into my body!!!!! The rod then lit up brighter then I have ever seen it in my life and that was you my grandson it was your smiling face!!!!!  Your spirit, I believe in GOD I BELIEVE IN THE ATONEMENT OF CHRIST, I BELIEVE IN THE SCRIPTURES AND NOT THE BORN AGAIN BIBLE, BUT THE BOOK OF MORMON. I LOVE MY SON MY HUBBY MY DAUGHTERS AND MOST OF ALL MY GRANDSON. I KNOW THAT HE IS HAPPY I CAN FEEL IT, AND I KNOW THAT HE IS IN THE RIGHT PLACE, AND IN THE RIGHT HOME!!!! I JUST WANTED EVERYONE TO KNOW THIS IN THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST AMEN.”
Now I chew ice instead of smoking and I am going to be a guest speaker to tell my story.

The other side of Adoption: Part Six
I believe that there is a big story to tell!!!!!
The importance of the gospel, the importance of keeping your self morally clean, the word of wisdom.
I know that I am not a perfect person, and I know that I make a lot of mistakes as do others, and I am not telling my story to get people to feel sorry for me, or to think that I am better then someone else.  I am telling it so that people can learn form someone else’s mistakes.
When I say this, I am not saying that Handsome is a mistake, because he is not.  He is the light at the end of my tunnel, he was the light that I saw so that I could find my way from outer darkness into the light of the Rod, into the light of Christ.
No one will ever know how much I love him.
 I am going to be making a scrap book that is all about Handsome, so the day that I get to see and hold him in my arms again I can show him, and tell him see I followed you as you grew, and as you were my strength.  I want you to know that I never forgot about you.
I cry for you in the morning
and at night,
 I cry because I am happy,
I am happy that you are with your eternal family, I am happy that you now have a mama and a daddy and most of all siblings that love you!!!!!  I know that I loved you more then you will ever know!!!  My daddy always tells my mama that I love you more today then yesterday but less then tomorrow.
My love for you will be always so strong!!!!!!
I can not wait to see the young boy, young man, and then man that you will grow into being.  The day will come where you will be baptized, and then a deacon, and then next thing I will know is that you will be a young missionary getting ready to preach the gospel.
I know that when the time is right for you to marry, please marry someone who is going to respect you, and love you, and be worthy to go to the temple with so that you can marry for time and all eternity.  You are my light and my beacon for I know that on the days that I feel lost of helpless and frustrated, and still having that craving for when times get tough, I pull up your mama and daddy’s blog crew ice and see what beautiful pictures of my handsome that have been posted.
You have saved me in more ways then you will ever know, and I know that your mama feels the same way. I see her eyes light up and tears flow when she sees pictures of you, and I know that in time when her heart mends, she too will write you a letter announcing her love for you, and why she decided to love you more, and want to give you more.
Please do not feel like we have decided to give up because that is not the case at all.
WE LOVE YOU, AND WE KNEW DEEP DOWN THAT YOU WHERE TO GO FROM GOD’S ARMS TO OUR ARMS TO YOUR MAMA AND DADDY’S.  I LOVE YOU HANDSOME AND I ALWAYS WILL! KNOW THAT I THINK OF YOU DAILY AND THINK EVERYDAY OF OUR ROUTINE AND KNOW THAT ONE DAY I WILL BE THERE FOR YOU TO HUG AND KISS YOU AND TELL YOU MY LOVE THAT I HAVE FOR YOU.  I WANT YOU TO KNOW THAT YOU ARE VERY MUCH SO LOVED AND ALWAYS WILL BE LOVED, AND THAT WILL NEVER CHANGE,
 BUT FOR NOW MY PRECIOUS GRANDSON, I WILL BE WAITING FOR 16 YEARS TO GO BY SO THAT WE MAY HAVE THE CHANCE TO BE REUNITED AND I CAN THEN SHARE MY LOVE WITH YOU!!!!!!!!!
I LOVE YOU HANDSOME MORE TODAY THEN YESTERDAY BUT LESS THEN TOMORROW.
 I WILL SEE YOU SOON ENOUGH!!!!!!!!!

YOUR LOVING NA NA FOREVER!!!!!!!!!

 

After I read these words this morning…I couldn’t help but let my emotion well up inside of me.  I believe that this all happened for a reason.
I believe that there is a loving and caring Heavenly Father that oversees all.
I believe that if we try our best every day, we will be carried…through it all.

I am so grateful for Na Na and Handsome’s birth mom.
They have given us a chance to raise a son.  A chance that I thought would never come.
They have followed their hearts, even though it is so painful.
I admire women that find the courage to place their child into someone else’s arms, out of pure and selfless love.

After all,
isn’t that what Heavenly Father did?

He sends his spirit children down to earth and places them in our care.
Our imperfect care.

He trusts us with his most valuable love…his children.
All of my children are on loan to me.
I have only a few short years to be the best I can, and help them develop the courage and fortitude it takes to survive in this crazy world.

It is a big job, and one I don’t take lightly.  In a way, I have adopted 8 children into my care.
Five biologically, one step, and one foster…but they are all mine on loan.

Imagine how it must feel for Heavenly Father to watch us struggle…
To understand us more than we understand ourselves, and to trust that his children will help each other…for him.

We are his hands.

Handsome is in our care.
He is on loan…

They all need support and love.  I thank my Heavenly Father for the blessing of being a mother.  There is no better calling on this planet.  It supersedes any earthly thing I could fill my time with.

I am not perfect.
I fail.
I fail daily.

But I know that because of the atonement, I can keep going.
I can be a better me…and to use Na Na’s words…I am more today than yesterday, but not as good as tomorrow.