Bring Bennet Home

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Peace with No Pregnancy

*This blog is just some personal musings and conclusions I've been wrestling with the past few months. If you continue to read, please do so knowing this is a gut-level honest step in my journey that I want to remember. 

It has been five years this month since Chris and I first decided to stop taking birth control. We were good if I got pregnant or not at that point, but when I wasn't pregnant that first month, I must admit, I was disappointed. At that point I hadn't learned to not let myself go to that place or hope or anticipate a positive pregnancy test. Those were lessons that waited for me down the infertile road. 
I used to dream of the day that I found out I was pregnant and how I would tell Chris and the rest of our family. Most months I would plan a specific reveal depending on holidays or what was going on that month. I had some pretty good ideas, but they never got used. When I would start my period I would spiral into the mopies and live there for several days. I snapped easily and was highly oversensitive because of my disappointment that yet another month had passed with no baby. As the months turned into years I began to learn how to cope. I stopped hoping a little every month. I wouldn't let myself go to Gap Baby and swoon over all the cuteness. I still struggled, but I dealt with it better. At this point learning that a friend was pregnant was no surprise and fewer of those bothered me. I know it's awful to say but sometimes when certain people would get pregnant I was so jealous I couldn't be happy for them. I thought I deserved it more or they hadn't put in their time trying like we had. All of these thing were difficult, but the very hardest part of being infertile was knowing and believing that God is the author of life and he chooses where He will create it. It took a long time before I was able to come to terms with the fact that He was not choosing to create life in me. He was choosing to allow us to walk through heartache and disappointment after disappointment. Motherhood was something I wanted more than anything and He wasn't letting it happen. I begged. Other people begged for me. And still the answer is no. Five full years of no. 
After three and half years of not being able to conceive and some preliminary tests, we were lead to adoption and I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that was the right decision. Even as we walked through that process and brought home the most precious baby boy I still held out hope that someday I would carry a baby. I would get to be pregnant.
When I wasn't looking something has changed in my heart. It was like I woke up one day and the HUGE desire to carry a baby was a little less and a little less until peace has replaced that longing. Would I still love to be pregnant and get to know what that right of passage feels like? Sure. Would I love to see what a Chris/McKenzie combo would turn out to be? Of course. But am I ok if I don't ever get to do that. Yes. 
Before we had Tucker I found the only aspect of baby-dom that wasn't super hard or disappointing. The Nursery. I would decorate our nursery in my head. I would tuck ideas into the back of my mind. I had several totally planned in my head. The perfect room to welcome a long awaited baby into our home. In fact this was so important to me that when we found out we were having a baby in three weeks I whipped one of those nurseries into reality. People teased me about stripping the wall and doing so much to that room when we had so little time, but it was important to me. 
Looking back I realize that Tucker didn't care, still doesn't care really. He was happiest in my arms, not in a beautiful room that I worked so hard on. He needed love not color coordinating fabrics, decor, and finishings. I placed so much importance on the nursery. I thought that if that wasn't perfect I would be failing at my first act of motherhood. I worked nearly around the clock to get everything just right. And now I realize that pregnancy is a lot like that room. It's important and valid to want it, but it isn't what makes you a mother. Cute decor and feeling a baby kick are both relatively short lived. They only last for a short time. Motherhood lasts the rest of my life. I'm not saying that somedays I don't still grieve the loss of the dream of pregnancy, but I'm so thankful I'm able to say, "You give and take away, blessed be the Name of the Lord," and mean it. 
I will admit when we first brought Tucker home and I read blogs of other new mothers I wondered if some of the blogs I wanted to post were valid. I didn't really feel like apart of the club. Another misguided step on my journey. My heart made me a Momma, not my uterus or ovaries. The day I found out Tucker was coming I joined the club. I just came through a different entrance.
I hope these thoughts that have been swimming around in my heart and head for the last several months haven't offended any of you who have gotten to be pregnant. I'm no longer envious of your blessings, but thankful for the clarity that this path has brought to me. 

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Adoption Refund

On April 17, 2012, Rep. Bruce Braley (D-IA) introduced the Making Adoption Affordable Act. The act will permanently expand the federal adoption tax credit to $13,360, an increase of $1,000 over the current credit, and make it refundable.  The current tax credit is non-refundable and is set to expire at the end of 2012. 

Basically this means that if this doesn't pass, we will receive NO help from the federal government to help towards our adoption. If it does pass, this means a substantial amount of the costs to get our baby home will be refunded by the government. 
It also means that if it doesn't pass, many other families considering adoption won't follow through because the costs are too high to tackle. 

Please take a moment of your time today and tell your Representative to say YES to the MAKING ADOPTION AFFORDABLE ACT.  

You can find your representative HERE.

We are so thankful to be a part of a country that wants to help the 147 million orphans worldwide find a family! 

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Hear Ye, Hear Ye

    Some of you may know, some of you may not but it seems as though we've come to a place where an announcement seems fitting. We are adding to our family through adoption again this year! Right now, we are working on paperwork/home studies/background checks/fundraising and will officially go on the prospective parent list at Deaconess Pregnancy & Adoption (the same agency that brought us Tuck) in August after we return from our mission trip to Zambia, Africa.
    Days after Tucker was born I knew I wanted to adopt again. I wanted someone for Tucker to share his bond with and selfishly, I just wanted to experience it again. I thought we would pursue fertility treatments or at leasts the tests in between adoptions but when the time came (because, of course, I had it planned out) Chris and I neither one had a peace about it. I think at some point I would like to know the medical reason that we are unable to get pregnant so I don't suspect that maybe we are pregnant this month, or we don't unrealistically still hope. But for now I believe there are other reasons its not happening and we are both totally ok with that.  We believe beyond a shadow of a doubt that the babies that come to our family through adoption are meant to be OUR babies, no one else's. Our Father is bigger then dysfunctional ovaries, slow sperm & poor timing. He is allowing our babies to be conceived just not the old fashioned way.
    This time is different. This time we're taking our time. This time we're talking publicly about it before anything is official. This time we feel a little more prepared for what is to come. Last time the entire process from our first meeting at DPAS to baby coming home was less then four months. This time it will be almost twice that long before we're even going to be considered. We are excited to see how the Lord brings Baby 2 (that's what Tucker calls the baby) into our family and what providences He puts into place for his or her story to join ours.
   This part is hard. I'm no good at waiting. But we believe that I am supposed to go back to Africa and we're not comfortable being considered by Birth Parents until that trip is over because if we were placed with a baby before August I wouldn't go on the trip. All that being said, it's so hard for me to want to wait. I'm anxious for Baby 2. I liked the three week pregnancy. I thought it was a perk of not actually carrying the baby. But I am actively trusting that His timing is better then mine and it is no accident that this trip was planned long before our second adoption journey began.
   I wanted to share this news for several reasons, but the main one is so that you all can begin praying with us through this journey. For our Birth Mom, we're praying for wisdom, comfort, peace, guidance, support, and safety. For Baby 2, we asking for health, protection, future bonding and a peaceful pregnancy. It's so hard to trust that someone else can love your baby as much as you can, but with adoption you have to trust that the Birth Mom is doing just that. She may not take her vitamins everyday, make all of her doctors appointments, avoid second hand smoke or caffeine, but that's just another miracle of this journey. Also pray that funds are provided to bring our baby home. It is not cheap, but it is totally worth it. We are planning some different fundraising events as well as applying for numerous grants. Favor and blessing financially are a big part of this too. And lastly pray for our family of three as it grows to four. Many of you have or are making this transition as well. I hope it goes smoothly and is best for all of us.
   Here's to Baby 2!!!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Second Birthday Letter

Tucker William Gordon,
   Somehow you are two today! I really don't know how that is possible. It seems like yesterday you made your grand entrance into our family. It's safe to same life is better with you and I wouldn't want to imagine it without you now.
   You are so funny these days! You've totally figured out how to talk and can say anything you want to. You are a very talkative little fellow and you're learning the meanings/correct usages for phrases and words. It's amazing to us how fast you are learning! Everyday you do or say something new. Your newest funny phrase is, "I cannot believe it!" from the Little Einstein's.  It's pretty cute. You exclaim your disbelief over a lot of things throughout the day.
   You are still a big boy! You weigh 35.12 pounds and your 34 inches tall. You've grown two pounds and two inches since your 18 month check up. Our doctor thinks there is a high likelihood that you will have childhood asthma but he doesn't want to do any tests and things just yet. Every time you get any kind of sickness it always ends up in your chest as a lung infection. Your just getting over the most recent one and that's how I know your height and weight. We go in tomorrow for your two year check up. I'm excited to hear the percentages and your Dad is really hoping they'll tell us how tall you should be tomorrow. I think he's been waiting for this appointment since you were a few months old!
    You are still a pretty good eater. Your favorite foods include: mac & cheese, apples, strawberries, grapes, (really any fruit you like) noodles, rolls, goldfish, fruit snacks, turkey, pancakes, green beans and cereal. You don't love vegetables or meat. Sometimes you'll eat chicken or bacon but you refuse all beef. You are a milk drinking fool! You love that stuff. You also like juice and gatorade a lot.
    Your favorite activities are being outside, riding in your wagon, running fast, playing with cars, reading your books, singing and watching tv. Toys that you love are Hot Wheels, Buzz Lightyear, your trike, tent and anything else with wheels. You are ALL boy when it comes to how you play. Lately you've been making more sound affects and moving the toys correctly. I love watching your little imagination come to life. I hope you have a very active imagination that entertains you.  When we are outside you go directly to the nearest dirt pile and proceed to get filthy! You also love a good water puddle. It's rained a lot lately and you've loved the numerous dirty options when we go out.
    You love to watch the "TVV." Your favorite movies/tv shows are: Toy Story 1 & 2, Cars, Tarzan, Little Einstein's, Bubble Guppies, Chuggington and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. We have to really pay close attention to how much we leave the television on because you would watch it all day if we let you.
   You sing lots of songs! Justin Bieber is still one of your favorites and you regularly request the playlist we made you on our computer. You also remind me throughout the day of different songs you want to sing. "I've got the joy, joy, joy" is one of your favorites right now as is "Deep and Wide."
    You LOVE people! Everywhere we go you say, "Hi. How are you? I'm good." all as one sentence. You especially love kids who are bigger then you. You never understand if they don't speak to you or want to play. Emrie is still your very favorite person and you ask about her about 100 times a day. But you also really like our neighbor Cade and our friends Turner and Lydia. You are very social and love to play and talk to anyone who will listen.
   You are definitely more of a little boy now then my baby. But I think you're good with that. You are Mr. Independent for the most part. Sometimes you still like the reassurance of my hand to hold, but you love to explore on your own. You are so brave, sometimes too brave! You love to climb and jump, which I think will eventually land us with broken bones but for now its such an accomplishment for you.
   You are so stinking smart! I know every parent thinks this, but you really are. Probably the smartest kid EVER! (Right Momma friends?) You know all of your letters by site and many of the sounds that go with the correct letter. You know most shapes, numbers, colors, animals & noises. You can count straight to 20 and usually add in several of the 20's out of order after that. You will be reading site words soon I think. We've been working on that a little bit. You follow two step commands when you want to and you recognize all kinds of objects. I'm so proud of how smart you're getting!
   Everyday I look at your sweet face and it serves as a constant reminder to me of God's grace and love for his children. I cannot imagine life without you and I'm so blessed to get to be your Momma. I love getting to play with you and watch you learn and discover. I am infinitely proud of you and I can't believe all that you have accomplished in the last year! Thanks for making me a Momma and showing me how to love someone so completely! You make me a better person and I love you to infinity and beyond!


Tucker's 2nd Moustache Bash

I'm not sure how it happened, but my baby is two!

We had a Moustache Bash to celebrate! All of his favorite snacks and toys even came to the party!
Here's the cake table and some of the decor. I think it turned out really cute!
He got some GREAT toys! This race track complete with cars was his favorite. Thanks Turner! You picked a great gift.
He waited all day for his "tup-a-take" and by the looks of things it was worth the wait!

Our sweet friends, the Satterfields, came and we had so much fun with them!

And what's a party without a mini-horse! At Granna's house it's no party at all. So Rudy made his appearance. Miss. Lydia LOVED it!