Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Happy Day Times Two!

Today was already a special day. You see, nine years ago on this day, I gave birth to a little blue-eyed handsome man who changed my life forever. Happy Birthday, buddy! Mommy loves you so very, very much!

And at 12:36 this afternoon, my dear lifelong friend "Maria" gave birth to a beautiful little 6.5 lb baby girl!

Just when I think my heart cannot be more full. My cup truly runneth over.


My amazing Snowsister continues to progress very nicely! Another week and a half and the 2nd trimester milestone has been achieved! How incredible is that?

All of these new lives entering the world just fills me with such a sense of hope and promise. I can't believe that one month from today we'll be celebrating the 1st birthday of our sweet little princess. What an unbelievable blessing she has been and oh how much love and joy she has brought to everyone!

This may sound strange, but I like to think of her as having had a tremendous hand in our decision to place our embryos up for adoption. One look into those big blue eyes and the decision was made.

The circle of life. Isn't it something?

Happy, happy day indeed!!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Somewhere Over the Rainbow

This was the title of the ad we placed on the "Miracles Waiting" website what seems like a lifetime ago.

Although in hindsight it seems incredibly ironic considering the location of the family with which we were ultimately united! ;)

I had initially seen my Snowsister's profile on another website, and then was awestruck to see she'd also placed an ad on "Miracles Waiting".

When I first start researching couples with which to potentially place our embryos, I had several criteria in mind. One of the most important that I will discuss today was geographic location.

I know that for many couples, a significant geographic distance is preferable for reasons relating to avoiding a potential genetic conflict when meeting and developing possible future relationships. On the opposite end of the spectrum, I also recall having seen several ads where placing couples expressed a preference for a family within driving distance so as to maintain a close relationship with the recipient family and their biological child(ren), which in many cases was deemed to be primarily for the benefit of full genetic siblings.

As I've stated on numerous occasions (and probably will on many more to come!), I felt an instant connection with our recipient family. Yes, it certainly made the decision easier as they were located half a country away, but it was also very much a case of  just "knowing"; similar to how many people describe feeling upon meeting their future spouse, finding the perfect home, etc.

My initial thought was that for my own personal protection, meaning emotionally and mentally, that I would have much greater peace of mind knowing that while our embies had found their forever family, that physical distance would eliminate any pain or loss that I might experience in the future. I suppose in hindsight this could be perceived as a conflict with my desire to keep an open relationship with the recipient family. All I can say is, in my mind at that time, a significant geographic gap was of great importance to me.

While I have zero regrets about our decision, I will admit that I've already experienced sadness that we're not closer to one another. I realize every situation will be different, and that ultimately people need to make the choice that they believe will be right for them. And if I had it to do all over again, I would choose this couple every single time. But as our daughter's 1st birthday approaches, it hurts my heart that they can't be there to share in the celebration. When I think about #2 daughter's high school graduation this summer, our wedding next fall, I can't imagine the void I will feel not having this newly discovered part of our family there to share it with us.

We talk about them in our home on a regular basis, and my older girls are so incredibly excited to hear each update. They are so very dear to my heart, and I honestly can't remember life before them. This also presents the inevitable question that should we be closer, would that also be reciprocal? Would I be invited to the baby shower? Would I see him/her after they're born? If so, how frequently and in what capacity?

There are so many questions, so many unknowns. But the truth is that I've removed most of these variables from the equation by this"self imposed distance".

When we made our trip out west last fall, I tried to view everything through the eyes of their future child/ren. Their home. The neighborhood. The school. The community. And I was overcome with an indescribable feeling of happiness. Peace. Certainty. This was it. This was HOME.

We have a long future together ahead of us, and I am completely confident that we will continue making joint decisions that are ultimately in the best interest of everyone~~primarily, these precious little ones. And the truth is that even though there are thousands of miles between us, we are always no more than a call, a text, or an email away.

And most importantly, ALWAYS in one another's hearts.

Friday, January 7, 2011

New Beginnings

A belated Happy 2011 to everyone!

The tree and "all things Christmas" have been packed away for another year, and we are now looking forward to all of the exciting things 2011 has in store!

First of all, an update on my dear expectant friend "Maria" whom I was so concerned about going into premature labor months and months ago. I am THRILLED to report that her little princess decided to hold tight and is still snuggled in nice and cozy! She is now 36 weeks along (well out of the danger zone!), and scheduled for a C-section later this month, assuming labor doesn't begin sooner. We are all thanking God for an uneventful past couple of months, and are eagerly awaiting this little one's arrival!

I'm also elated to report that my Snowsister has had a lovely past couple of weeks (with the exception of some nausea and fatigue, which I consider GREAT things!). She is scheduled for another ultrasound next week, and will then be graduating from her RE to OB! {Insert happy dance here}

When I embarked on this embryo adoption journey 6 months ago, I consumed myself with blogs on infertility, infant loss, etc. And I have been overwhelmed with stories of bravery, resilience, and strength. I am truly humbled to be included in a sisterhood of such amazing women.

Lately, however, I've found myself taking a slightly different route and have been devouring all things open adoption. Adoption is such an incredibly selfless act (and I do not mean this in any type of egocentric way), but also appears to be a somewhat complex road to travel at times, depending on the individual circumstances.

Closed vs Open. If Open, to what extent or degree. Who to tell. When to tell. How much to tell them. There are so many different factors and individuals to consider, not the least of which is the child or children involved.

I will say that I am at complete peace with our choice to maintain an open relationship with our donor family. Although some may not understand or necessarily agree, I've done as much research as I could on the alternative, and with some minor exceptions, open adoption seems to be the overwhelming choice in providing the greatest benefit to everyone involved. Yet once again, I struggle to find my place as an "embryo donor mother", as opposed to a "birth/first mother".

This is such new and unchartered territory, which translates to it being exciting, but also quite daunting. I have much to learn, much to discover. And this is only the beggining.

However, I realize that I am incredibly blessed to have such an amazing woman to be walking with me on this journey.

I see how much support she consistently provides to this huge network of women, offering words of encouragement, reassurance, compassion, and wisdom, and I realize that as lucky as they all are to have her as a resource (and in many cases, a friend), I am even more fortunate.

Because this child (and God willing ~ these children), are going to have the most amazing mother in the world.