Broken

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They told me that this would be hard. That adoption comes from brokenness and that it is never as joyful and sunny as it seems like it should be. In our minds, adoption should be happy. A child has been rescued, right? It’s difficult to wrap our brains around the fact that “rescued” is a terrible way to describe it.

Yes, a child was without a forever home, and now s/he isn’t, and that’s so great, but they often don’t feel rescued, and what happens before, in between, and after the courtroom is still broken. (I’ll be using that word a lot in this post, broken, so buckle up and prepare yourself for some redundancy.) I haven’t even had a taste of the heartbreak that some adoptive and foster homes experience, and I am already exhausted. Exhausted from things not going my way, exhausted from the system, exhausted from waiting, exhausted from everything being out of my control.

Some of you are familiar with our adoption process. If not, you can find previous posts here, here, and here. As for a further update, we are still waiting. Sorry. I know some of you want precious, and I just don’t have any of it for you yet.

We have been selected as the pending adoptive family for a boy, but he has not been placed in our home yet. I’m finding it difficult to write about all of this without betraying anyone’s confidence or integrity and I’m sorry for that. I will share more as I feel more comfortable with the situation. That’s the hard part about being known as a writer who is brutally honest. I want to be, but sometimes even I have to have a little more tact.

Here’s some brutally honest for you, though. Seeing the intricacies of the system and how broken it is in and of itself makes me want to quit. It does. I’m so burnt out, worn down, and discouraged that it makes me feel like my small part in what is supposed to be the solution feels like it doesn’t matter. If all I get is pushback, what’s the point, right? This is the ugly side of adoption. It’s not all rainbows and butterflies like our unseasoned brains think it should be. Kids are broken. Homes are broken. The system is broken. WE, are broken.

The formula we make up where a kid is abandoned and then we come in on our white horses and “save” him/her and they are eternally grateful and happy and everything is beautiful just isn’t realistic. Not even a little bit. Yes, it can be beautiful in the end, but something had to break first. God never intends for those kids to be with adoptive parents. They were always supposed to be with their biological families, but through turmoil and heartbreak, we are second-best. We, who God commands to take care of the widows and the orphans. The members of society who are most desperate and in need of love and care. He doesn’t say “Take care of them if you feel ‘called’.” There’s your calling. Take care of them.

He paints a beautiful picture of adoption through the death of His Son. His intention was never for sin to enter the world, but it did, and it took brokenness in its worst form to fix it. The world was broken, so He became broken to come to our rescue. These kids come from situations that most of us can’t stand to imagine, and it’s our job to break and bend in order to take care of them. Not if it’s easy. Not until it’s not worth it anymore. Not to make us happy. But because those kids need to see God in us. Because if we aren’t patient while they figure this out, and walk through the process slower than we’d like, and are hesitant when we feel like they shouldn’t be, and when the system gets us down, who will?

Love, Alex

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Ladies and Gentlemen…Well, really just mostly Ladies

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So when I was pregnant, I was of the “meet me in the parking lot with the epidural” camp as far as giving birth is concerned. I had friends that did all natural childbirth, and a part of me was happy for and proud of them, and part of me was sorry for them. Just keeping it real. Ripping my vagina open and feeling every bit of it did not seem like something I wanted any part of. So my “birth plan” consisted of “I go into labor. Bryan drives my panicking butt to Willow Creek. I check in, get epidural, and push out baby. I smile and cry at miracle. The end.”

God must have been all “HAHAHA that’s cute. Remember how your mom had preeclampsia, spent 22 hours in labor pushing and then the doctor told her that her pelvis didn’t do that? And remember how I created genetics?”

So yeah, NOTHING happened like it was supposed to. I got preeclampsia and was induced at 39 weeks and some change. I almost tied my mom’s labor record. He wasn’t a-comin’. At almost 22 hours, I was still only at a 5 and Grady was still a -3 station. (For those of you that don’t know what any of that means, it is a measure of cervical dilation and how far down into my lower extremities he was, respectively. The station starts at -4, so he had only moved one unit after all of those contractions.)

At long last, the doctor told me I would have to have a c-section. I was devastated. I felt like a failure. I was terrified. My mother’s fate had become mine. I cried, Bryan cried, my mom cried. We all know how well I deal with change, and I had been served a whole lot of it all at once. Laying on that table waiting to be cut open was one of the most out-of-control, least fun feelings I’ve ever experienced. But you guys, look what I got out of it.

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Wait, no. Bad example.

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That’s better.

I found myself becoming so thankful that I live in a day and age where my experience was possible. What if c-sections weren’t a thing, or if I lived in a place without access to the right equipment to do one? One or both of us may have died. And also, there are perks to having a baby extracted from me instead of pushed out of me. I didn’t poop in front of anyone, for one thing. There are others, I’m sure, but I was pretty psyched about the poop thing.

So when I was asked to do a tour of The Birth Center, I was skeptical. I had friends who went there for their pregnancies and childbirth, but what could they do for me? I mean, even if I wanted to participate, that ship had sailed, right?

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The founder of the Birth Center in Rogers, Cara, telling us all about it. She is an extremely educated, wise businesswoman who is passionate about women’s maternity health.

So wrong. What I imagined was a super crunchy, all natural, granola place was actually an incredibly modern, beautifully decorated, home-like place. Their 4 birthing rooms are set up like bedrooms I want to live in STAT. They have heated, vibrating, cleaning toilets, you guys. WARM TOILETS. I gave birth in December, you do the math. They also boast of low waiting room times. As someone who had to wait upwards of an hour at my appointments sometimes, I was all ears.

Imma need to know where you got that bedding.

Imma need to know where you got that bedding.

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Here is me striking an awkward pose during a tour to show off how nice their bathroom set up and decor is.

I have to pause here and give a shout-out to my friend Sarah, so I’m sure is thinking “I tried to tell you all of this, you jerk” right now. Sorry I didn’t listen, Sarah!

This was all fine and dandy…for other women. The ship had sailed, right? I had the scar that got me into the “no vaginal births unless you want to drive somewhere else to maybe, possibly, painfully make it work” club. Then I took a look at their exam room and found out that they do all-over women’s care. So basically, I can partake in the dreaded yearly in a fluffy robe in a warm environment instead of the alternative, which I feel no need to explain. They also do birth control care, will test for hormone levels, can give prescriptions for UTIs and stuff, and tons of other needs.

I mean, look at that. That just looks comfy. My friend Jacqueline actually put it on. I wanted to but am less brave than she is.

I mean, look at that. That just looks comfy. My friend Jacqueline actually put it on. I wanted to but am less brave than she is.

I loved my experience with Willow Creek, and will definitely go back IF I have another baby by growing it and not adopting it, but I am going to the Birth Center for my yearlys from now on. I didn’t expect to be sold, but man, it’s hard to say no to their amenities, especially when it’s just as, if not more affordable than traditional settings.

Above all, I love how empowering they are for women. They have somehow found a way to make you feel like a delicate flower and strong warrior all at the same time. And I love that.

Acorn Disclosure

You can find more info on The Birth Center in Rogers here. They are happy to answer all questions you may have and THEY DO FREE TOURS, y’all!

Love, Alex

The Adoption Thing

So we broke the news to social media land last September that we are looking to rapidly expand our family. I wrote that we were opening up our home to adoption and foster care and that we were seeking two specific kids. I realize that it’s been way too long since I’ve given an update, and those of you that know me IRL have been asking about it and giving us so much support. We are so thankful!

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I thought I’d give an update for those that aren’t in the know.

To start with, our home was opened (yaaaay!)! It took much longer than we had anticipated, but I think God knew what He was doing because this hormone-crazed mama would so not have been able to handle it. The second piece of news is not so great. We did not get those two kids. It is ultimately, probably, a blessing. It was decide that their current housing situation would become more permanent, and even though it is sad for us, stability is so great for waiting children.

Our reactions to this news were much different than we expected. I think somehow I saw the writing on the wall and subconsciously prepared myself. Bryan, on the other hand, was pretty heartbroken. Where I was ready to move on pretty quickly (part of which was probably a coping mechanism), Bryan was wanting to take a break and mourn a little longer. I think it was better that way. Even though it was so, so sad, seeing Bryan grieve the loss of kids he never knew reminded me that he is in this and wanting to love children that need it. It’s good to be shown that he’s not just ok with this plan of mine, but that it’s his plan too.

Our original intentions for this were to be a concurrent-planning foster care home, meaning that our home was open to foster kids, but that we are ready and willing to adopt if that became the plan for the child(ren). After these events and my not-so-speedy emotional recovery from having a baby pulled out of me, we decided to be adopt-only for a while, meaning that children who come into our home will already be terminated from their birth parents and on the road to a forever family.

Since all of these events, we have had a couple of calls about kids, and a disclosure meeting about one. We decided that that particular situation was not best for our home right now, and thus are still a 3-person-2-dog family. We have inquiries out on a few kids, however, and we continue to pray about them and hope for the best.

Oh! And we’re buying a house! It happened very quickly, and we move in 3 weeks, which is why I have been more MIA on the blogging. This type-A lady is trying her best to not get overwhelmed and stay organized as I pack and purge and plan (alliteration only somewhat intended).

AAAAAAAHHH wish us luck!

Love, Alex