Archive for March, 2006

I will be the first to admit that when I’m pregnant, I go nuts. Seriously. Would you believe that when I was pregnant with Pacey I would not share just ONE of my 300 popsicles with my 8 year old son? SERIOUSLY!

I went to my birthing classes that recommended bringing in some popsicles to suck on during labor…hubby and I went shopping and bought 3 boxes (THREE BOXES) with 100 popsicles in each box. As I was approaching my last month (in July), it was hot and humid.

My poor son simply asked, “Mom, can I please have one of those popsicles in the freezer.”


Yes, I yelled at him.

My husband snuck popsicles to my son throughout the month with a “don’t tell your mom.” I usually don’t condone such secretive behavior between marriage partners, BUT he was completely justified in this case. He was married to a psycho pregnant woman.

The sad thing is, I had many other crazy moments…and what broke my heart was a few months after giving birth, it was like someone snapped and I came out of my psycho spell. I was doing something with the baby (probably changing a diaper) and it hit me. Oh my gosh. No I didn’t!

I finished up and sought out my husband for the truth.

“Did I really do that?”

He looked at me as if he was trying to decide if this was a trick question. Yes, It just hit me. I did do that and I didn’t think anything about how crazy it was of me to hoard 300 popsicles for myself until my brain (which must have spontaneously popped back up to it’s right size) reminded me of that very moment. I felt aweful.

“I was horrible!” I cried, especially after thinking about the 10 popsicles I went through during my 27 hour labor. My husband didn’t seem to disagree with me, but it was all in good humor. He confessed to sneaking a few popsicles to the poor kid. (and I didn’t even notice…I guess I wasn’t crazy enough to keep inventory).

So with this next pregnancy…I’m trying to keep in mind that my hormones are just waiting to take control of my body and do things that seriously, are just plain irrational. It can happen at any moment.

Yesterday my 9 year old son was pulling out a disinfectant wipe out of the tub when he came to me and said, “Oh, Mom? I accidentally pulled the cap off and it’s ripped now. I broke it off, I’m sorry.”

I sat there and thought, “My pregnancy hormones would scream at him now, and probably hand him a lighter to melt the plastic back together so the cap will stay attached to the lid.”

But I responded way differently. I said, “It’s okay, you can still just pop the cap off and on. See? It’s no big deal, don’t worry about it.”

My husband looked stunned (and relieved), and so did my son. Too be honest, so was I. Wow. A very brief moment of victory. For once I didn’t act completely irrational. But then again…I am only 4 months along. I’m hoping if I can keep this brief moment of victory in my head, that I will be encouraged to rationalize things before responding…and maybe I’ll even share my popsicles with the 4 kids I have now.


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Difficult Little Child!

I went in for my 16 week prenatal appointment this a.m. I’m learning that this baby is enjoying being quite difficult. (He/She must get it from my husband’s side of the family! It couldn’t be from me!)

First, the best news. I only gained two pounds since my last appointment. I was a bit nervous because I totally pigged out several times this last week. I was convinced I’d gained a few pounds in just a few days. I’m really feeling fat right now.

Last month the Dr. couldn’t find the heartbeat. I got an extra ultrasound out of it. This month the Dr. couldn’t find the heartbeat either. I of course, got an extra ultrasound out of it. I was a bit nervous about it since you’d think at 16 weeks you’d be able to hear the heartbeat, but the baby was fine and moving around. (Thank you God!)

The Dr. tried to determine the sex, but the little brat wouldn’t uncross his/her legs! This baby just HAS to be a girl. Maybe I’m being a bit stereotypical here, (and a tad bit superstitious), but wouldn’t a girl keep her legs crossed while a boy flashed his goods? I know when I was pregnant with Pacey, he was not the least bit shy about his little package! I think this kiddo is having a blast playing with my mind.

I go back in 2 weeks from now for another ultrasound. I pray that we will find out the sex because as of now, I have very few baby items. I gave all of my stuff away to a friend who was having twins. I have my pack & play, and about 6 baby outfits (some for boy, a couple for girl) that this same friend sent to me. If they can’t determine the sex, this child will be wearing lots of yellow and white at first! Then, don’t even get me started on the nursery! I suppose the child will have to get used to the green Nickalodeon slime painted on the walls (previous owner did it) if that’s the case!

Oh, one more thing, they are doing that one screening (forgot what it’s called), checking for downs syndrom and spinal bifida. They say that a a good amount of the tests come up with a false positive. I’m praying that mine comes out normal so I don’t have to worry!

Until then…I’m going to assume everything is okay and that I am having a very stubborn (or shy) little girl. 🙂

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A song came up this morning that prompted me to think the same thing I’ve thought every time I hear the song. Tree 63’s “Blessed Be the Name of the Lord” has a line that I love and hate all at the same time. “You give and take away…You give and take away. My heart will choose to say, blessed be Your name.”

You give and take away. I love the give part. This may be becaues I’m pregnant again, but my body goes stiff with the take away part.

I heard a preacher teach one time that the Lord does NOT take away. (Only Satan does; he’s out to steal, kill and destroy. The good Lord giveth and the good Lord taketh away is not in the Bible, etc.). Although I don’t think God should have to take the blame for all the pain in our lives, I respectfully disagree with this preacher’s sermon and here’s why.

About 6 years ago I found out I was pregnant and my husband and I were thrilled. This baby was going to be our first. This pregnancy, although planned, came at a very stressful time in our life. We were getting ready to move to another military post, I was working a very stressful job for a construction company with some very immoral people, and we had to figure out if we were going to sell our 1 year old home at a loss or rent it out and trust someone to manage it well.

During this time, the stress began to build up, I broke out in hives. This had happened one time before. These hives were just weird. I went to see the Dr. looking completely normal and told him, “I itch everywhere, and where ever I scratch, welts appear.” I remember the first time I went, the Dr. didn’t believe me. He took a wooden instrument and scratched my arm and waited. Nothing. He had to think I was crazy. As he was writing up his report about to let me go, it popped up. He was intrigued. These welts were weird. He’d never seen anything like it. I wasn’t crazy after all!

When I broke out in hives during my pregnancy, I was even more miserable. This times the squiggly looking lines appeared and disappeared at random throughout the day. I didn’t have to scratch to see them. The Dr. prescribed me Benadryl and even that didn’t ease the itching. I looked and felt miserable.

It took about a month before my hives went away. That was one long month. Shortly after, I felt good as new, but things weren’t going as well as I thought.

One day at work, I went to the bathroom to discover I was bleeding. I couldn’t help it…I exclaimed, “Oh no!” I knew this wasn’t good and I suppose the whole office knew as loud as I yelled. I rushed to the emergency room and tried frantically to get a hold of Scott. He couldn’t be reached.

I went in alone and countless nurses assured me this was nothing. It will be okay, you’ll see. The Dr. comes in and she says the same thing as she pulls out the ultrasound machine. It wasn’t okay. There was no heartbeat.

Why is this happening to me? Everyone in the room became disturbingly silent. I wondered if those nurses who tried to comfort me in my distress felt stupid now. They were wrong. Things weren’t okay.

The Dr. left me alone in her office as I tried to call Scott. His stupid brother answered…let me just say he missed out on the sensitivity 101 classes. I told him to tell Scott I was at the emergency room and to call. About 5 minutes later Scott called…and I muttered through my tears that we were not having a baby after all.

Scott came and picked me up from the hospital because he knew I was in no condition to drive. We sat in the parking lot on that rare sunny Washington day just stunned. Why would God let this happen to us?

Finally, he started the car and we headed home. We hadn’t even left the military hospital grounds when he started bawling himself. I’d never seen him cry like that. Finally, he spoke. “Melissa, I’m sitting here asking God why. Why would you take this baby from us? Why are you letting this happen to us? It’s just not right…and God spoke back. He asked me if I’d rather watch my 7 year old die from cancer.”

We could have easily soaked in the warm tub we created with all the hot tears that flooded out of our eyes. At that time in our marriage, my husband had never said, “God spoke to me.” This was the first time, so I knew. I just knew this was God speaking to my husband’s tender heart.

Over the next two weeks, I waited for my body to let this baby go, but it wouldn’t. I prayed. “God, you can give this child life again. Please give me back my baby. Please breath your life back into this body.” I went back at least 3 more times for an ultra sound just hoping for a miracle. I didn’t get one.

Finally the doctors prepared me for a D&C. My body wouldn’t let this baby go, so they were going to take it from me. They called it “tissue,” perhaps to make me feel better about the procedure. I called it my baby. I saw its little bean-shaped body on the ultra sound machine.

With the surgery complete, we moved just a week later. I remember by that point we’d already moved out of our house and stayed with Scott’s dad. I was drugged for pain, but it was the emotional pain the drugs numbed the most. I still didn’t understand. Why would God do this to me? I couldn’t cry. I was numb.

What never occurred to me then, was how God’s heart must have broken to see me so sad. Surely He wasn’t just watching me from a distance. Surely He felt my pain. Perhaps He even cried for me when I couldn’t cry for myself.

Finally, we moved. Welcome to Ft. Huachuca (pronounced Wo Choo Ku), AZ – A very small place with new beginnings. We quickly became friends with the small group in Scott’s military classes he was attending. Good. Something to keep my mind off things.

Three months later, I was pregnant again and scared to death. We tried not to tell a soul. My mom found out because she got on my babycenter.com account and found I’d changed the due date. I was relieved she was so nosy, but God doesn’t give moms intuition to waste on silly notions. He knew I needed someone to know and to pray. We waited and held our breath. Would God take this one from me too?

The first trimester passed and all was well physically, but emotionally I was not well. Scott had just gotten off the phone with his friend, Joe. His wife had her baby. A Girl. January 7th. I cried and he didn’t understand why. That was MY due date! It was supposed to be MY day. He didn’t understand. I was pregnant again, shouldn’t I be happy for the baby I’m going to have? It’s not that easy and I was jealous. I felt like God gave her my baby.

Throughout my pregnancy, I loved the baby in my womb, but I still cried over the baby I lost. I could have easily been driving in the car, talking to my mom, when a song would come on and I’d just cry. My mom would beg me to pull over so I didn’t kill us both over my grief. I kept driving so I wouldn’t have the opportunity to cry harder.

Finally, July arrived, and I gave birth to the most beautiful baby boy I’d ever seen. He was perfect. I just couldn’t stop staring at him. He was truly perfect. His lips…they looked like an angel’s lips. I felt that if I could just kiss those lips, time would stand still and I’d live forever. I kissed those lips again and again, trying to freeze time.

As my son has grown into the precious 4 year old he is today, I still sometimes grieve the child I never even got to hold, but I wouldn’t trade my Pacey for the world. I will never forget the child I carried first, but now I see. God knew me better than I could ever know myself. If that child had been born and I had to watch him or her die a painful death after 7 years of falling completely in love with him or her, I don’t think I would be alive today. If I somehow survived, I would never be the mom to my other 3 children that they desperately need. I’d one way or another die with my child.

The greatest comfort I can have is this, He didn’t just take this child away from me. No, he took this child into His loving arms into a much better place – A place without pain and disease, a place without tears. I look at Pacey and thank God for sparing me the greater pain, because truly He took a pain He knew I could not bear.

You give and take away…
You give and take away…
My heart will choose to say,
Blessed be Your name.

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My four year old loves Super Heroes, so I kind of get where this comes from, but at the same time, I’m a bit confused. Sue Bats. It started while watching Bat Man. Then it evolved from the cartoon character off the television to seeing a real live “sue bat” flying around outside his bedroom window. “Mom, have you ever seen a sue bat?” I can honestly say I haven’t. What in the world is a Sue Bat?

This same kid is for some reason obsessed with perfection.

“Mom, am I perfect?” He asks.

I didn’t want to burst his bubble, but afraid he’d try to set unrealistic standards for himself, I explained, “Honey, nobody can be perfect, but you are the perfect son for me.”

Not good enough.

“BUT, am I perfect?”


“No, sometimes you make mistakes, just like me or anyone else you know. But that’s okay. I still love you no matter what. You don’t HAVE to be perfect.”

“Will I ever be perfect?”

“I imagine when we get to heaven, you will be perfect,” I say. (Please let this satisfy him).

Ugh. It doesn’t.

“But why can’t I be perfect now?” …

Tonight, he was trying desperately to stay up past his bed time. He brought down two of his blankets and arranged one of them nicely on my sofa recliner.

“See Mom? I made the blanket on your chair perfectly for you. See? I did it because I love you!”

How sweet. Sure enough he took the time to lay that blanket nice and neat without a single wrinkle in the blanket lying on my chair.

“See mom? I made it perfect for you because I love you so much.”

His little act of thoughtfulness did make me feel loved. He knows I like to curl up in my seat to wind down at the end of the day with a nice cozy blanket to keep me warm. He brought down his blanket and placed it on my chair to bless me.

And as I sit here with his blanket still with me, I think, “Yes, You are perfect, but please don’t think you have to be. You will always be the perfect son for me.”

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Tonight was Pacey’s very first T-Ball practice. He’s actually just a couple months short of “qualifying” to play, but he’s been begging to play T-Ball since last summer, so we got an exception.

Scott is the team’s coach and I love watching him work with the kids. I feel so blessed to see him out there investing some time in these kid’s lives.

Going through what I went through with my dad, God knew how important it would be for me to have a husband who spent time with his kids. Knowing Scott loves our children and wants to spend time with them actually heals me in a way. Is that weird or warped? Maybe it is, but I feel so loved. I feel God’s love shining down on me saying, “I know what you went through as a child. Now I will pour My love over you. I will bless you with a husband who loves you and your children.” Yes, I am abundantly blessed.

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My husband and I love each other very much. We’ve been married over 8 years now, endured his military deployments, (although tough, I have to admit nothing like the war-time deployments military families must deal with at this time), got custody of a 4 year old to help catch up developmentally, moved an average of 18 months, and adopted two children. Through all this, I can honestly say we truly do love each other.

We currently lead a small married couples group at our home and have found that there are some unhappy marriages out there. It makes me sad to see that a marriage that was once a blissful relationship is now a “roommate” arrangement with legal vows tied to it. What’s really sad is many of these couples don’t have horrific problems to deal with, yet they are unhappy. So I wonder how it gets this way so quickly?

Just a few minutes ago my husband was sweet enough to get my 4-year-old ready for bed (other 3 kids were tucked in sweetly). While he was upstairs, I decided to hop off the couch and make myself a dcaf ht tea with our little coffee machine thing. I started looking for the tea, and wouldn’t you know it, it’s gone. To make a long story short, I looked everywhere and it wasn’t anywhere! Finally, my husband comes back down and claims he put it up. I’m ticked by that point because he’s put my 4 year old to bed and I should be back on the couch with my hot tea by now.

Put it up? Oh! There it is. It appeared to have been tossed up to the very top of the pantry camouflaged behind a bunch of crap. (I can’t tell you how many countless hours I’ve spent organizing that pantry!) So, next thing I know, we’re snapping at each other. I’m pissed at him for just recklessly throwing my decaf tea where I couldn’t find it; he’s annoyed with me for not appreciating him for helping keep things picked up around the house.

A few minutes later we are back on the couch not speaking to each other when he pauses the DVR to ask, “How often do we fight about serious issues?” His clever little smile caught my attention…

I paused to think. Never. Although we’ve thought we’ve had some serious fights…we’ve never yelled at each other over relationship-breaking issues. We’ve never threatened each other with the D word.

No, we argue over tea bags, Beanie Babies, and what ride to go on next at the theme park. And yes, I did say beanie babies!

During our first year of marriage we were in a little shop in downtown Seattle with our son and another couple and their two daughters. Each of the girls picked out a beanie baby, which was very popular back then, and when our son picked out a Dinosaur beanie baby, I agreed to get it for him. Let’s just say my husband and I ended up storming out of the store yelling at each other like maniacs. He tells me I’m not buying our son a DOLL, while I was trying to convince him he was being irrational and the “doll” was a dinosaur, an obvious boy toy.

So, back to the present…we laughed. We were arguing over tea bags. Seriously! But as we got serious, we talked about how easy it is to let those little irritants that occur on a daily basis creep in and create issues that lead us to such frustration that we stop communicating altogether. Then we drift apart, realize we no longer know each other anymore, and we’re in an unhappy marriage. Am I wrong or isn’t that how it works?

I’m sure when we get to the point that we let the little things build up, or the big things creep into our relationships, it’s much harder to just pause the TV and have a 5 minute discussion ended in laughter and an I love you…but I do believe that love conquers all and if that’s the case, if husband and wife love each other, then they can make their marriage work.

Ten years from now, my hot cup of tea won’t matter. What will matter is if we are still saying, “I love you” and really mean it. What else could be more important?

Oh, and Yes, we returned to the store in Seattle and my son DID get that Beanie Baby.

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Okay, so here is a fear I need to get off my chest. I grew up with several kids who were adopted. Two of the girls I played basketball with in Jr. High and High School were adopted. My very first real boyfriend was adopted, so was his brother. I was literally surrounded by adopted kids during my high school years. But remembering those teenage years when my friends really started to deal with the fact that they were adopted is what is freaking me out now.

My family and I just celebrated our One Year Adoption Anniversary last December. We adopted a brother and sister (9 and 2 respectively), who happen to be related to my husband through a cousin. With the entire family knowing, we can’t exactly keep the adoptions a secret for now. If you know my husband’s side of the family, spilling out some juicy gossip gives them as much of a high as snorting cocaine, so I know one of these people are just dying inside to tell these kids that they are adopted and who their “real parents” are. Granted, our 9-year-old son certainly knows the story. He lived through quite a bit of trauma before we were able to bring him into our home, however, his sister we got at 15 months old and she does not remember her foster mother and foster brother.

So, my dilemma is that I will have to tell her as soon as she is able to understand, because if I don’t, someone else will. I do believe honesty is the best policy and feel that being honest sooner than later is the better choice for our daughter, however, I don’t want her to think I’m constantly reminding her that she is an outsider – adopted. And that is what each of my friends went through as teenagers. They all felt a sense of loss to their true identity.

They didn’t, after all, know who their parents were, or why they were given up. Sometimes I wonder if it’s better not to know. After all, when I tell my daughter that her mom and dad were both too strung out on drugs to raise her, is that really going to make her feel better? She is already brilliant and understands way too much for her age. I can’t imagine how she will reason all of this in her head.

My 9 year old on the other hand sees his biological mother as “bad” while he idolizes his dad. He remembers his mom as being mean while his dad was nice most of the time. What he doesn’t get is that his dad never was motivated to do what it takes to take care of his kids, nor get his kids back, and as a result, lost a kid through abuse by another family member.

Maybe I’m a bit harsh, but I hold him just as responsible as the person who killed the boy. He helped bring the kid into the world, He should have done everything he could to protect him from the horrors and tortures he suffered before death. (I read the police report and yes, it was a horrible death to die).

So how do I convince these kids that I love them? How will they know that they were so important to us, that my husband and I cried so many tears…tears of defeat, tears of hope, tears of joy, tears of doubt, all of it. We prayed so hard. There were times I cried out to God, “Why are you letting things happen this way? These kids are supposed to be mine, I just know it!” Yes, I did say that, and I knew deep down inside that these kids belonged to me, they were destined to be mine. My heart and soul ached to hold them in my arms and call them my own. But will they see how special they are to me when the time comes to reconcile their origins with where they are now?

I strive to give them a good life. I am working on scrapbooks sharing the journeys we went through to bring them into our lives and I plan on reading my daughter’s to her beginning on her 3rd birthday. Yes, her very own special bedtime story.

I worry that they will want to meet their parents and try to reconcile with them. Part of this is selfish of me. We do have somewhat of an “open adoption” agreement and if the parents really were interested, they could pursue visitation of our daughter. But my fear is that our kids will be given false hope and excitement at the prospect of getting to know their biological parents only to be let down with the reality of who these people really are. I know there is hope that these two adults may get their lives straightened out one day. I would love it if they did. I can’t imagine the guilt and shame they must have to live with over the loss of their 3 children. I would die inside if someone took my children from me, not to mention murdered one of them. So if it comes down to it, I would be willing (upon proof that they have truly turned their lives around…and that proof would take time), allow some sort of visitation if I thought it would provide some sort of healing for the parents and the children, but it’s a risky move. It could make things too confusing for a kid if they weren’t emotionally ready.

Just last summer my 9-year-old found out that his biological dad moved away from his mom and married someone else. His dad sent a birthday card with a picture of their wedding day. After making sure there wasn’t anything inappropriate in there, I gave it to him, and to my surprise, he started calling the other woman, “Mom.” That lit a fire in me like nothing else (call me jealous). I corrected him immediately. I’m sure after living with family after family, it would be easy to label any woman as mom, but I let him know that he could not call her mom since he has never even met the woman! His dad will probably always be his dad in his heart, and I’m okay with that, but not a stranger, not after what I went through to call him my son.

To be honest, I think my son kind of liked seeing that spark of jealousy in me. I suppose he needs to know that I really think of him as MINE. He immediately complied to my demand and began to call this other woman by her first name. I felt better and guilty all at the same time.

I imagine I’ll get to deal with more of these sorts of scenarios throughout the next few years, but I ‘think’ my children will know how much I love them. They say, “Love Never Fails.” I suppose the best way to handle this whole situation is to FIRST shower them with my love. Maybe that’s what my high school friends were missing all along…just feeling completely loved, or maybe it’s inevitable and my children will question the importance of their identity no matter what I do. Either way, I’ll always be here for them. I hope they will always know that.

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