Monday, October 25, 2010

Birth Mothers

I've been thinking so much lately of Kiira's birth mother, who I've been calling Sh on this blog to protect her privacy. Sh is a somewhat shy person, so I haven't wanted to embarrass her or anything. But I have to write about what a wonderful person she is and how she's become a part of our lives.

Many adoptive couples are nervous about open adoption, and some birth mothers are too. Forest's birth mother, for instance, didn't want to meet us until after she was discharged from the hospital which was a few days after Forest's birth. We met at a restaurant, and we were able to take pictures of her with Forest and with his birth sister who is 2 years older than him. That's the first and last time we ever saw her. We have written letters and sent pictures through the adoption agency, but she has since lost contact with the agency. We hope one day she will contact them again and get back in touch. Even though she has gone her own way, we still have a special place in our hearts for her because she gave our son life and also his talents, his good looks, his calm sweet demeanor, and his heritage.

With Kiira's birth mother, it has been very different. We have an open relationship with her which has been a real blessing for our whole family. Sh and I talk on the phone and more recently have gotten in touch online, so we're sending messages back and forth. She also visits this blog and we send pictures and letters in the mail. I would say that our relationship with Sh is one of the most important in our lives; she has become family. We have a special bond because she and I are both Kiira's mothers. Sh is the mother who gave Kiira life and all of her beauty, talents, and her amazing smile. I am the mother who will raise Kiira up, along with my husband, to become the young woman God plans for her to be.

I realize that every adoption situation is unique, and it's not always possible to have an open adoption. And, often there are legitimate concerns on both sides. But I am so grateful that we have been able to have an open relationship with Sh.

We love you, Miss Sh!

Friday, October 22, 2010

The Other Side

In the last 2 months that I've been sick and the last 2 weeks recovering from surgery, I've had plenty of time to throw some pitty parties. Poor me with 4 children 5 years old and younger and not able to care for them, and feeling miserable, and why couldn't I have been a mom earlier so I would be younger and strong? And...and...and...

Then in the last couple of days several of my friends have had awful things happen - major injuries to their children, husbands losing jobs, and suddenly it hit me that the grass really isn't greener on the other side. In fact, Elder Mervyn B. Arnold just said that earlier this month in LDS General Conference (where leaders from our church speak to us every 6 months) -

"The grass is never greener on the other side of the fence—nor will it ever be."

Of course, he was referring to sin, but I think it's true even when contemplating one's own challenges in life. It's sometimes hard to remember that the grass is not greener somewhere else or in some other version of one's life. This version of my life is the best version. My children are healthy, sweet and wonderful. Because of modern medicine I will be healed from my illnesses. I'm actually married (which I wanted for so long) and have the family I always dreamt of. And, by the way, my husband is kind, loving, supportive, and helps with the kids, the laundry, the dishes, and makes dinners. Shall I go on? Yes, this version of my life is where the grass is the greenest and right where I'm supposed to be.

Sunday, October 17, 2010


It's been 6 days since I had hernia repair surgery, and it's been a LONG six days. I can move around a little, but getting up and getting down is pretty painful so I spend most of my time sitting around. I've watched lots of Stargate, read a book, created a Shutterfly calendar for next year, ordered way too many things off the internet, and taken plenty of pain pills. If I didn't have 4 children, I might actually be enjoying this time to rest, but it's almost like torture watching others take care of my children and not be able to do it myself, especially my baby Kiira.

I can hold Kiira and feed her, but I can't get up when she's crying and change her diaper, make her bottle, etc. She has to be brought to me, and it makes me feel guilty and frustrated that I can't take care of her like I normally do. Of course, it hasn't even been a week yet, and I can tell that within another week or so I'll be back on my feet for the most part.

I don't know the details of what they did in the surgery (I see my doctor Tuesday so I should find out then) but they basically cut along two-thirds of my c-section scar, so I feel like I've had a c-section. The nurse in recovery told me they put some mesh inside to keep the intestines in their place. Because the incision is on my c-section scar, it's a bit like I had a baby, except that the baby is 3 months old and weighs 12 pounds, and she smiles already.

The jury's still out on how my recovery will go overall. I'm so grateful to have my mother here and that my husband has been home a lot helping. And my friends and women in the ward have been amazing to bring dinners and take the kids to play. I feel very lucky to have so many good friends and family.

P.S. I have to add a funny quote I overheard:

Bekah telling Maija: I pooped in my panties. Naughty panties!!!

Thursday, October 7, 2010


On Monday I'll be having hernia repair surgery. I've been hearing all kinds of recovery horror stories and frankly I don't buy it. One person told me it's like recovering from a bad c-section; this person has never had a c-section mind you. I've also heard that I won't be able to lift any of my children for several months. All I have to say is... yeah, right.

Here's why I am skeptical. This will be my sixth surgery in the 7 years I've been married. My mother jokes that I must be allergic to my husband, but I think it's more like an allergy to childbearing since most of my issues have been related in one way or another to having children. I had an ovarian cyst and endometriosis removed, then my appendix removed while I was pregnant with my first child, then an emergency c-section to deliver her, another c-section 2 years later for my second daughter, and 2 months after delivering her I had my gallbladder removed (apparently it's common for pregnancy to cause gallstones.) So, I'm just outpatient hernia repair surgery doth not scare me. I may eat my words, but for now I'll choose to believe that all will be well.

By the way, this hernia is in my c-section scar, so technically you can even trace this one back to childbearing.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Kiira - Sealed & Blessed

It's taken me 2 weeks to get this posted, but everything has taken me a little longer lately. I've been having some health problems which means that it's pretty much all I can handle just taking care of my kids from day to day. The women in my ward (church congregation) have been amazing helping out with the kids and bringing dinners. And weekends are always easier with Kent home.

So, on Saturday, Sept. 18th we went to the Mesa Temple as a family and were sealed to Kiira. It was a very special day. I can't describe how amazing it is to see your children all dressed in white and knowing that we are a forever family now. The next morning Kiira was blessed at church. It was a beautiful blessing Kent gave her, and we were grateful to have my parents and my aunt and uncle in town and to have good friends join us.

Kiira's Sealing Day:

Click on picture to Start Slideshow

Kiira's Blessing Dress: