Thursday, May 23, 2013

Sweatsuits, Wings, and Shoulder Pads

We all have been guilty of it. Making fun of our mothers for their hairstyles(or lack thereof), their outfits(if you could call them that), and their overall style in general. But since becoming a mother, I completely get it.

While in a bible study for moms, I was discussing the fact that I may look a little bit like 'poo' for a few years, but hopefully when the kids are somewhat self sufficient I will be able to pick up the pieces of what's left of my style. One of the girls in the study commented that she and her siblings used to always tease their mother about the pictures of her in a sweatsuit, and now, she finds herself in the modern day pants and a Tshirt.

Now that I have little people that call me "mommy," I realize that the reason for the style "freeze" is that our mothers spent time and money on us kids instead of their own looks. And I deduce that this is what happens--

When we get married, we usually get a makeover of some sort. It may be new make up, a new hairstyle or color, manicured nails, and a cute wardrobe for that teeny body that we once occupied.

We keep all of those up to date looks for a period of time. Pieces of it may be modified and added to because we can afford to spend time and money on our appearance.

Then comes baby number one. Maternity clothes may or may not be worn for 9 months, but new clothes are not bought because all funds are already going to baby...nursery, clothing, swing, car seat, etc.

Then when baby actually comes, you think that you have no time or money to get a makeover. Hairdo stays the same, and is simply maintained. You may replace make up that has run out with the same colors that your stylist suggested for your wedding. You probably still go to the name brand make up stylists though. You wear the clothes that you wore before baby, adding in a few of the maternity ones that can still be worn. And then...

Baby number two. The same maternity clothes are worn. Your closet holds a range of about three sizes of clothing. Your hair is normally now in a ponytail or under a hat. Make up? Yeah right. But if you do wear it, you buy what is on sale at target or walmart. This may or may not cause an allergic reaction that causes your eyelids to swell. May. (Thank goodness my brother in law is an ophthalmologist.) Then comes baby number three...

Oh boy.

Clothes in your closet now probably have a 4-5 size range. There is, after all, always hope that you can get back to the "before baby number one size." Make up has become a basket of samples and sale items(not from target or walmart)...who knows if the color is "in" or "out"?!?! Hair is a few colors because a)you can't afford the same person that you used to use, and b)you wouldn't have the time to go alone anyway.

So what is the conclusion? You find yourself frozen in a time warp. Somewhere between marriage and baby number x. And lets be this point, yoga pants and a Tshirt are WAY more comfortable than something trendy. What is the point anyway? Nice clothes would get ruined know. Food, runny nose stuff, poo, jelly from hands, etc. (I realize that I discuss poo a lot--that is just the period of time that I happen to be in right now--never a day without it showing up somewhere inappropriate...)

So here we are. Stuck in the last decade, (or two), because what we wore then was cool, and we don't have the time, energy, or funds to move forward in time. And even if we did, we would most likely use it to dress, feed, and spoil our children.

So I suppose every generation of mothers must endure the mocking of their offspring. But we know that eventually they will understand that we were sacrificing for them.

And hopefully we will one day graduate from the sweatsuits, wing hairstyles, and shoulder pads, but until then, we will continue to buy yoga pants on sale at target in order to give our children most of what they want.

After all, the definition for mom is sacrifice, but we wouldn't want it any other way.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Thank you is never enough

So here it is...Mothers Day.

It is a day when all mothers fantasize about lounging by the pool with a cold drink, a good book, and not a care in the world.

But that seldom happens.

It seldom happens because you can't turn off being a mommy. So the day usually ends up being pretty normal with crises, poo diapers, and tears.

This Mothers Day happens to fall on Sisters birthday. So she and I have 'shared' the day--which equates to the day being hers...just like the other 364. But that is okay with me. I don't need a pool, or a drink, or a book--well, maybe a drink.

I am actually used to sharing Mothers Day--because two of my children came to me through two amazing woman. I would not have my babies if it weren't for them. So I have always felt that the day was not completely mine.

As I sat in church this morning, I felt overwhelmed (I realize that I get a lot of these epiphanies at church...I suppose that is the best place for them:)). I suddenly realized that I had tears flowing over as I thought about my childrens' birthmothers'. I felt so much thankfulness, that I thought my heart might burst if I couldn't hug their necks right then and there. I don't know how to explain how much gratitude I feel towards these women.

I knew that as soon as I got in the car, I would text one of them and tell her thank you--as lame as that sounds. The other wanted a closed I cannot go further with her. I so much want her to know what an amazing little child she created, but that is not her wish. So I have to honor that.

It is hard in these moments. I want to track this birthmother down and squeeze her so tightly and show her this teeny little person that is completely extraordinary, and scream, 'THANK YOU' at the top of my lungs like a crazy person. But I can't. So I just thank Jesus for this little blessing and do what I can...text the other birthmother. As I got into the car and picked up my phone, I realized that she had beat me to the punch. She had sent me a text telling me Happy Mothers Day.

I texted her back telling her that there was no way to express my thanks for this little person that we could not imagine our lives without. She went on to say that God had put us in her life for a reason...


And her in ours.

If you have read 'our story', then you know that God blessed us with a biological son. So I know what these two women went through to bring these babies into the world. Heartburn. Indigestion. Weight Gain. Backaches...the list goes on, and gets worse...

I can't imagine the feelings that they went through knowing that they couldn't provide, but that someone else could. And they found the courage to go through the process to find that person to take care of their children for them. I have said it before, and I will again...AMAZING.

Unless you have been in these shoes, it is truly impossible to understand. But I know that I cannot take full credit for these children. Because there are two women out there that gave a piece of themselves to me. And absolutely nothing in the world can compare to that.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

It's A Bird, It's A Plane...No--It's Better!

I know that I talk a lot about my kids, because they are my world right now. But I have not forgotten where I was before...

I do want everyone to see that there is a light at the end of the tunnel, and that there is a beautiful family waiting there. But I also want you to know that I was at one time in that dark place--and now I am not. Thank you Jesus!

At the time, I could only see what was going on right around me. It was as though I was in a dark subway tunnel. I could see my immediate surroundings, but not the entire sunshiny world above. God was working on the whole picture, but I just couldn't see it. I felt the cold darkness, but no sunshine. I know that some of you can relate.

I was having a conversation about infertility with a lady recently. She had not experienced it personally. I was discussing the possibility of having an infertility/adoption group at church. The pastor of the church discussed the fact that the 'grieving team' was going to be amped up to help people who had lost loved ones, and that this class could deal with another grieving milestone in life. The lady that I was speaking to could not see the similarity. I explained that she couldn't unless she had been there.

People that have not experienced infertility cannot understand what it does to you physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

Loneliness. This is the one of the main feelings felt by women experiencing infertility.

I watched a Louie Giglio video in my Sunday School class this week. If you have never seen him speak, look him up... he is great!( Louie Giglio ) This particular series is called 'Lift' . In it, he is discussing the importance of always keeping your eyes looking upward.

If you are looking down, you can get completely bogged down in the things of this world-the troubles, the disappointments, the hurt.

But if you keep your eyes on Him, your focus changes. What you are going through may still be hard, but looking at it through Him makes it more bearable-and may possibly even bring clarity.

He gave a few examples. One was Daniel in the lion's den.(Daniel 6)

When Daniel was thrown into the lion's den, he continued to look up and have faith in God. How hard would that be? I don't think that I would have taken my eyes off of the lions...but he kept his focus up.

Infertility feels a bit like a lions den-or an underground subway. It is cold and lonely. Even though you may be surrounded by people, they cannot give you comfort. They are all getting on and off of the train with their new families, and you are left wondering which train to take.

But if you keep your focus up, you can find peace. Because God is the only one that can bring it.

Oh, and can he bring it!

Another example that Louie Giglio used was Stephen.(Acts 7) He was in the process of being stoned. But he held on to God. And even though he was, in fact, stoned to death, he was okay because he was in the presence of God.  God helped him "fall asleep" and all of a sudden he was with Him.

You can't be more okay than that, right?

In the midst of my heartbreak, I had no idea that while I was praying for a child, my daughters birth mother was wondering what she was going to do with another one.

While I was pleading to God to please let me be a mother, she was wondering how she could provide for another mouth. I couldn't see what was going on, but God had it.

So if you are struggling--keep your eyes--and your spirits up. God is busily orchestrating an amazing outcome for you.