Sunday, June 13, 2010

Baby Blessing

Okay. I'm actually going to do a blog about adoption. Something that I haven't done in a while. But I realized that I need to get my feelings out. I need to VENT. I've shed some pretty serious tears today.

I'm visiting Tayler in Idaho for the weekend. I'm staying at his friend's house. And I went out to see him because one of his friends (his "sister") had a baby. And the blessing was today. They are just way close and call each other brother and sister. She and her husband are SUPER cute and they made a SUPER cute baby. I'll call the baby CJ for privacy purposes.

Me and Tayler took his car and you know, I didn't think of the baby blessing much on the way. I was seeing a good friend of Tayler's. Who practically has adopted me as her sister. And I hadn't seen CJ yet. And I was pretty stoked.

When we got there, we walked into the house (Yes, they had her blessed in their home, not in a church). Sister's husband was holding CJ. CJ was in this GORGEOUS little white dress. It was white and had these little flowers on it with little sparkly jewels in the middle of the flowers. And for some reason, maybe just to me. CJ quickly resembled Olivia to me. It's like she almost morphed in to her and I instantly went into mommy mode. I bet sister is going to think I'm a FREAK for thinking that. She's probably thinking, "Oh, no way! This is my baby!" I get that. Yes. But in that moment. I missed the baby Olivia.

Yes, Olivia is still a baby. But she's practically walking now. She'll be 9 months old at the end of this month. 9 months have passed. It's been 6 since I've seen her. CJ was 3 months old. The exact same age Olivia was the last time I saw her. But Olivia was so advanced. I couldn't just hold her like a newborn baby anymore. After the blessing, Tayler saw I was crying and he asked me what was wrong. I told him that I would tell him later. And he pulled me aside outside. And he asked me again what was wrong. And I don't exactly remember what I said. To the extent it was about Olivia and how she'd be blessed soon.

I know that in the past, I've written blogs where I've been okay with the idea of her being blessed and sealed. I'm still okay with that. But in that moment, I just realized it's all real. Even though CJ isn't mine. Olivia is. Er. Was? How do I even say that? I've had people ask me, "Don't you think Dustinn and Val are offended that you talk about Olivia like she's your daughter?" She's my BIRTHdaughter. That will NEVER go away. Nothing will take that away. You don't just give birth and sign some papers and walk out of the hospital without any feelings (contrary to popular belief).

It's all sort of denial through your pregnancy. You look at a pregnancy test (or find out from your doctor) and you're pregnant. You're in denial because you don't feel anything yet. Then you hear the heartbeat and you're like, okay... I guess I really am pregnant. You feel the baby kick for the first time, I'm even more pregnant. You see your little one on the big screen, and you're like, WHAT? That's in me? I AM pregnant? Your belly gets bigger. You're still in that denial. Then that human being enters the world and you're like, "Wow. I was pregnant."

You learn to grow a bond while that baby is inside of you. Some people don't realize how much you actually even sacrifice before having your baby. You have to eat healthy for your baby, you have to keep yourself healthy, follow all the rules on the little pregnancy website. Whatever it is you do. Even after that baby is born, it still needs your attention. 24/7. They can't change their own clothes, their own diapers, or feed themselves. You have to do it. I sacrificed my sleep just to stay up all night with Olivia in the hospital. While most mothers, after giving birth, send their babies to the nursery. I wanted to memorize every sound, every movement, every smell. I wanted that.

The bond doesn't just automatically stop after you sign papers. I still cried. I still cry to this day that Olivia isn't in my home. I still get pictures and updates, sure. But some days, I do realize how much I'm missing out on and I will never get that time back. Yes, I made that decision for her to be with her family. It's not that I look back and regret my decision. I just feel like I missed out on a lot of her life. But that's a lot of how it will be.

This girl that I know that has recently placed, I read her blog and seriously, I couldn't describe placement any better than she did. Her blog is private so I will keep her and her baby's name confidential as well. She has such a strong and sweet spirit. Oh yeah, by what she describes is about the same amount of pain that each birth mother endures. We may not all go through placement the same, but we have all been through the same thing. We gotta stay strong for each other but if we also feel like we want to fall apart, we can for each other because we've all been there at some point. I hope this girl know she's loved and she can talk to me anytime. :)
"I had spent the past 9 months preparing for that final moment. The moment when I'd literally have to say goodbye and relinquish my parental rights. Well, I can tell you that no amount of counseling could have prepared me for the real thing. It was the most heart breaking moment of my life. Living through that first night without S was the hardest thing I've ever had to do. My arms literally ached to hold her in my arms. The memories of her sweet little face and her big beautiful eyes looking up at me caused me so much emotional pain that it actually became physical. I couldn't breathe and I couldn't function. I barely made it through that first night. I was screaming out prayers to just make it through with out going insane. It's only been two days now, and it's still extremely hard, but I can already feel Heavenly Father easing my pain. I know that the pain will never fully leave me, but I do know that it will fade to a point where I can start to live again."

Anyway, totally getting off topic. So after I told Tayler that. He tried the best he could to comfort me and he said to me, "Maybe it'll make you feel better if you hold her." My first initial reaction was to smack him and say, "Maybe you're crazy and I want to be by myself." But I went with my second reaction and cried. I wanted more than anything to be in sister's shoes in that moment. To have everyone in that room, crowded around my baby, MY Olivia. But I wasn't going to have that. We went back in after I felt I had calmed down. Sister handed CJ to Tayler. And Tayler offered for me to hold her. And I didn't hesitate. Yeah, it had been a while since I held a baby that small. But I wanted in that moment, to go back in time and be back in that hospital room. I wanted to be welcoming Olivia into the world again. Saying hi over and over. I cried as soon as she was placed in my arms.

She got fussy and had to go back to mom and dad to be fed. Then we went outside to eat some refreshments and I asked to hold CJ again so that her dad could eat. I just wanted to hold her again. But knowing that whole time, CJ wasn't mine. But I wished more than anything that she'd be Olivia again. After she was done eating. I went to burp her and of course, she spit up all over my shirt. Sister pointed it out. But I didn't care. I wanted to wear it proudly.

As I believe, I could be wrong, most mothers take those moments for granted. They take those moments at nights when a baby is screaming loudly in their ear at 3 in the morning. When a baby spits up all over their church outfit. These past 9 months. I would've loved every minute of that. I would've loved it if someone said to me, "Time to go back to mom" when the baby started crying. I guess it's that burden of knowing what having empty arms felt like.

I wanted to share this quote that Jessica's mom posted on her Facebook,
"Your sadness is real, yet it need not be final. While it brings you pain it can also bring wisdom and strength. From it you will learn secrets about yourself and truths about others, You have known deep joy before;you can yet again. Despite your brokenness, and somehow even because of it, wholeness awaits you. Despite what you have lost, and some how even because of it, you stand to gain. You hold the possibility of experiencing life with a maturity and a compassion and appreciation you have never known before. So be open. Know that the life which flows through you has been given as a sacred gift. Cherish that gift. Nurture it. Above all else, hallow the preciousness of each passing moment that is yours, for this is where the miracle of life resides, and this is where you must go to find it. Finally, remember that your destiny was predicted by the writer of the Book of Job: "You will forget your misery, you will remember it as waters that have passed away, and your life will be brighter than the noonday; its darkness will be like the morning. And you will have confidence, because there is hope"! (James E. Miller from the book Listen to your Sadness; Finding Hope Again After Despair Invades Your Life)

You know, I could even react totally different to when Olivia will be blessed. I could be totally stoked and happy. Maybe this was just a good wake up call for me. Or maybe I really did need to grieve just a little bit. God's been putting that on me lately. That I need to realize that it's okay to cry to sometimes. Even in front of other people. It doesn't mean that I'm this fragile soul that will fall apart any minute. But, believe it or not. I am a human being. I do have feelings. I do get hurt sometimes by what other people say. I am vulnerable. Use it however you want. Just don't use it to your advantage. I trust that you won't.

I feel a lot better to get that off my chest. Here is my formspring. Feel free to ask me any questions. Feel free to tell me what you'd like to hear from me. Anything marriage, adoption, or life related. I'd like to hear it. I feel like my blog is this huge mess. I hope everything comes out all right.

Thanks for reading.

Here's a picture from today. Tayler was showing me their puppies that his younger brother got for hunting. This one's name is KeeLa.
I hope you all had a beautiful Sunday. Pray that I'll get a call this week for a job. :) Thanks!


  1. I understand where you are coming from. Back in Feb. My step daughter had a baby and it was so hard to see that baby.I so badly wanted my baby girl back. It really took a long time for me to move past the feelings of sadness. It wasn't until my husband was asked to babysit and I got to really hang out with her. But my step daughter keeps me at a distance because she doesn't like that I am married to her Dad. So, as soon as I got more comfortable around the baby, I noticed how I generally am not wanted. So, even though it's not personal, I have a hard time not taking it personally.

  2. I'm so sorry that the blessing was so hard for you. I cry for you. I know i won't be able to fully understand your pain, but there are times when I hold my children a little longer, kiss them a little sweeter and cherish the quiet rocking moments in remembrance of what you did for Olivia. I love you.

  3. dear stefanie.
    i love you :)
    thats all.
    from, mccall.

  4. I am glad you have a place to vent and I am so blessed to read your honest feelings. I am praying for you to have comfort. To get that job or the call for it :) I am praying that you know that little ones are waiting to come to you and Tayler and soon you will feel more complete and whole. No one can replace Olivia but in time you will be so busy with your new life that it will help ease that pain you carry. You are her BIRTH MOTHER! You can't just smother those feelings because it might upset someone else or offend them. Always be true to your self and your heart! :) You shine and your amazing! You are in my prayers! HUGS!

  5. Your blog is turning out beautifully, don't worry about that. So sorry for your grieving, but it's OK you are dealing with it in very healthy ways. We are all grieving in our own way because no one gets through life without losing something or someone. But the beauty of the gospel as you pointed out in your quote is the promise that the day will come when our grieving will have an end and all will be made right through the Atonement of our Savior. Stay strong, have faith, and never stop believing in God and his neverending love for you! Love, Mom

  6. That was written very well. Thank you for being so open. It gives me a perspective of what our birth mother feels and for that I am thankful.

  7. Wow Stefanie, I love what you wrote. I bawled...because it's something I do so well;) But seriously, thanks for venting all that. And I'm glad you found my explanation of placement useful, I'm really honored you used it. And also, the stuff you posted for Jessica, that was really cool. You're so strong, and you're doing great things:) Love ya!


  8. I love reading this post and I didn't think you were a freak ;) I was happy to have you guys there because you are my are our daughter's auntie even if you aren't blood you are still family. Love you guys!