Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Power of a Quarter

Howdy Y'all!

To say I have been obsessed in finding another girl name for our future daughter MIGHT be an understatement.  I knew that it took Tony and I a LONG, LONG time to come to an agreement on Kinley - so I wanted to start on the journey of finding a new name ASAP.

I think I have said this before - but, Tony and I really don't agree on names.  He likes more traditional names and not so much for me.  So, I have been throwing out all sorts of names - Scarlett, Molly, Piper, Landry, London - but, Hadley and Harper have been my favorite.  Tony likes Hadley - but, he doesn't really care for Harper, but he made a pact with me.

The Pact
Tony said he would post the name Harper on facebook - and if more of his friends said they liked it, we could coin-flip for a name.  Poor Tony realized just how much people liked the name Harper.  :)  Guess what...more people liked it than not and this made for one happy wife.  HA!

The Coin Flip
Last night before we went to bed, I found the official coin-flip quarter - and to make sure we didn't change our mind about which side was each name, so I made it semi-permanent.  Heads for Harper, Tails for Hadley.

We decided that one coin-flip wasn't enough - I suggested a best of three flip - but, Tony went for a best of ten flip.  Let the flipping begin!

The first flip resulted in tails - Hadley scores one point.  The next four flips were all Harper.  Wow!  Then, came a rush of Hadley's...we are now 4 points for Harper - 3 points for Hadley.

Who finally won??  Well, that would be Harper.  So, our future daughter's name will be Harper Aline Poll.  Of course, if something happens with our next adoption, we have a super cute back-up name picked out too...no coin-flip required.  HA!  I think this will be a great story to tell Harper when she grows up - and we are keeping the coin for proof!  It is safe and sound in my jewelry box.

And, I should say, I have already purchased something with her name on it.  My friend Tracey McClure got me the cutest owl blanket with Kinley's name on it - so I bought the replacement this morning.

We can't wait to be picked by a birth mom, we are ready to start spoiling Miss Harper.


Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Oh Gawd! I love Pedicures!

Howdy Y'all!

How much do I love pedicures?  The answer: A LOT!  Laura and I went for our first pedicure of the season today and my feet feel so much better - and they (being my feet) are so excited to wear open toed shoes starting tomorrow!  Yay!

There are so many things I love about our nail place...
1) I love that they haven't seen us in 4 or 5 months and they still know everything about us.

2) I love that the husband (we don't know his name! Terrible, I know, considering they know all about us!) knows that I got a new car.  And, he wanted to know if I liked it better than the Beetle.

3) I love that he always talks to me about Longhorn sports!  As soon as I walked in the door tonight, he told me that he thought about me the other night when the Horns lost.

4) I love that I am told pretty much every time I go that I have big, beautiful eyes.  It kind of cracks me up.

5) I love that the husband says "Oh Gawd" as an exclamation.  It makes me laugh.

6) I love that they are always so excited to see us.

I just think Van and her husband (whatever his name is) are the sweetest people.  Our conversation tonight was just too cute...it was all about the Chinese New Year animals.  We learned that this year is the year of the Rabbit in China - BUT, it is the year of the Cat in Vietnam.  We also learned that a baby girl that is a Tiger (last year) is not good...and they are hard to marry off.  We also learned that 5 girls in a row in a family is good luck - and so is the same with 4 boys.  Just some random facts about Asia for you.  Hope you enjoyed.  :)

When I think about nail salons, it makes me think of Anjelah Johnson's (Bon Qui Qui from Mad TV) stand up comedy routine all about nail salons.  It makes me laugh because you know there is always a time when you just can't understand what is being asked of you.  Enjoy!


Thursday, March 17, 2011

If at first you don't succeed, try, try again...


I want to thank you all again for all the prayers, emails, letters, cards, flowers, meals, etc that we have received over the last week.  It has been one week since the worst day of my life - but, we have come through it stronger with the thoughts and prayers from each of you.

We received a call on Thursday from the adoption agency asking how we felt and to let them know when we would want to try again.  At that point on Thursday, Tony and I were thinking that we didn't want to go through this again any time soon - but, by Friday afternoon, we were ready to try again.  I know that it took us a little over a year from the start of our paperwork until the birth of Kinley - so, we potentially have a long time to wait again.  Why not jump right in and have faith it will all work out okay?

We have decided that we will pay the extra fee and go for a gender specific adoption.  Because we have so many beautiful girl things that we don't want to go to waste, we think it is the best decision to do this.  This could make our wait longer - but, we are going to have the faith that it will all work out.  The waiting this time around is going to be worse...before we really didn't even think about it - we just went on about our own business.  However, because we were so very close to having a baby of our own, the waiting is going to be tough this time.

My mom told me that when she was trying to adopt she carried a verse around with her all the time with the date of when she first started on the venture.  She has been carrying around a verse for me as well - with 2/20/10 written on the back of it.  This is the date that we told her we wanted to adopt.  She gave me the verse on Tuesday night - and now I am going to carry it around with me.  The verse reads, "Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours." Mark 11:24.  I think this verse is fitting - so I will pray and believe and have faith and I am sure the waiting will be much more bearable.

Even though this has been tough, I have come out stronger and I know that I have the best friends and family that a girl could have.  We are much better - we are both back to work and getting on with life.  There is no point in dwelling in the past - especially when I can't change it.  My spunk is almost back - but, I have been told by a few people that I have been quiet at work.  I think it is expected after you go through something like this.  I am excited about next weekend though - luckily they had two spots left at our local weekend scrapbook event.  I originally wasn't going to go because of Kinley - but, I am pretty excited about having some girl time with my friends next weekend.  This weekend, Tony and I will probably just relax.

Thanks again for all you guys have done for us.  We love you so much!


Thursday, March 10, 2011

Today = Heartbreak

Thank you so much for all the love and support that we feel being thousands of miles away.  We are up here all alone in upstate New York dealing with the worst day of our lives and we are just receiving an outpouring of support from friends, family and even strangers.  I can't tell you how much we appreciate it.

There is so much emotion pent up inside me - and the tears just won't stop falling.  I am not sure how I could fall in love with someone so fast - it has only been 3 days - but, that sweet, perfect little girl stole my heart right underneath me.  Sarah, our birth mom, after promising to not change her mind - changed her mind this morning.  The adoption agency is pretty certain that her mom was behind this situation.  I am not angry with her - I am just extremely sad and in pain for myself.

I want to give you some background information about her and her family - and then I want you to continue to pray for Emma (the name Sarah has chosen for our sweet little Kinley) and her family.  Before we flew up here, we knew about Sarah and I have withheld a lot of information from this blog because it was so personal for Sarah, but I feel like I have to share it now because it is all part of a bigger story. 

Sarah tried to commit suicide when she first learned she was pregnant.  She was living with a 46 year old man that was not working and had no interest in having kids and she didn't think there was anywhere else for her to go.  She thought she had made the biggest mistake in her life.  After this episode and a stay in the psychiatric ward, this is when she first contacted the adoption agency and got some information about putting her baby up for adoption.  A month after contacting the agency, she and the baby's father got back together and she put a hold on any of the adoption proceedings.  As soon as the birth father found out she was having a girl, he didn't want to have anything to do with her and basically threw her out like trash and then a potential adoption was back on.  After months of talking with the agency, they finally thought she was stable in her decision and that is when we found out in January that we were matched with Sarah.  When we talked with the lawyer in NY, he said that Sarah has a good head on her shoulders, but she always tends to get herself in trouble by making really bad decisions.  Today, her sister found a text message on her phone she sent to someone that said "I just want to die in my sleep."  This, of course, got her sister and her mother worried about it - which I think is why they eventually changed their mind.  I never want anyone to kill themselves over what they have given me - but, this girl needs more help than parenting a baby.  She probably needs more psychiatric help and I hope that Emma does not get her in the process.

A little more family background - Sarah has 3 sisters and 1 brother.  Two of the sister's and Sarah have now 8 kids between them and only 2 (counting Emma) live with their mothers.  I don't know the circumstances in all of these kids not living with them - but, I can't imagine just letting the father's take the children.  Knowing Hailey's circumstances with my brother and Hailey's mom, it was NOT a good situation.  Chris got custody because of very bad situations with her mom.  Sarah has a son that she doesn't really see on a regular basis which was another reason why she wanted to give the baby up for an adoption.  She didn't think it was right that her son get left behind while she spent all of her energy parenting a new baby.  I pray that he doesn't get hurt in all of this as well.

Like I said above, I have so many emotions other than just feeling sad for Tony and I...

...I feel bad for my friends and family that have spent their money giving us great things for a baby that we aren't bringing home.  It doesn't mean we won't get a girl someday where we can use these things - but, the name Kinley will not be used so much of the stuff goes to waste and I am so sorry for that.  Heck, I think that my mom was helping the economy all by herself with the beautiful things she bought...and I am so sorry to think it all may have been for nothing.

...I feel sad for my grandmother.  She came up for my shower while still grieving for my grandfather and she said it makes her feel better that the circle of life is working.  My grandfather dies, but gets replaced by a brand new baby in the family.  How do I tell her that we don't have a replacement?

...I am mad at myself for thinking we would fall into the 80% (higher normally if the birth mom meets the adoptive parents before the birth) of adoptions through our agency that go through smoothly.  I never thought I would fall into that 20% category.

...I feel anxious to get back home, but I don't know how I go back to work without the tears flooding to my eyes at work.  And, I don't know how I face my house that has a precious little room all set up for a sweet little baby.  How do I open the closet full of adorable girl clothes?

...I feel nervous to ever go through this process again.  It was so HARD!  I have never cried this much in my life.  I am truly heartbroken.  I know that if we want a baby, this is our avenue - but, taking that leap of faith to put ourselves back out there again is going to be so difficult.

...I feel so bad for my husband.  He is the sweetest, kindest man in the world - he will do anything for me.  And, he is heartbroken that he can't give me a baby.  He was weeping about it this morning - and I tried to reassure him that this did not happen because of him.

Again, I want to thank each and every one of you for the prayers you have given my family.  As bad as I feel now, I know it could be a lot worse if I didn't have God and all your prayers on my side.  I am so thankful to have the best friends and family in the world.  In a book that Sarah made for Kinley for us to give to her, she put a quote in there from Oprah...I am not going to get it exactly correct...but, it goes something like this.  "True friends are not those that ride in the limo with you, but the ones that ride the bus when the limo breaks down"  I think I have many bus riders in my life and I am so blessed to have you there.  From the bottom of my heart, I appreciate your love and support.  Tony does too.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The Hardest Three Days of my Life

Howdy Y'all!

I want to say first and foremost that adoption is a great thing!  I don't know what I would have done without my parents adopting me.  I am not sure where I would be in life...I am sure that my life would have take a completely different road.  I know that my parents have given me so much opportunity in life and it is all because my birth mom did the hardest thing in the world and put her baby up for adoption.

As much as I thought I was prepared for this week - I was not emotionally prepared.  Watching Sarah go through the emotional rollercoaster has been completely heartbreaking and one of the hardest things I have ever done in my life.  She is afraid that Kinley will grow up hating her.  I tried to reassure her last night that I have never hated my birth mother - that I have nothing but love for her.  And, because I have seen how much she loves Kinley, I will not allow Kinley to grow up hating her for what she has done.  She is giving us the greatest sacrifice a mother can give.

Yesterday was the first day that Sarah broke down - and it scared me to death.  I have already become so attached to Kinley - she is just the most perfect baby!  After all the tears went away and I talked to her about my feelings toward my birthmother, she promised me that she will not change her mind and that we will be going home with Kinley.  Tonight, she had a similar breakdown and we were asked by her to give her the rest of the night alone with the baby.  How could we not grant her that request?  This will be the last time she sees that precious little girl.  Thanks to all the prayers from you all - all our wonderful friends and family - I feel more reassured tonight.  She again promised us that we are going home with the baby and that she won't change her mind - but, she has a feeling of her baby dying.  She is going through the grieving process.

If I can ask you one more time, I need you all to pray.  Don't pray for me and Tony - even though it is extremely hard for us, it is 100 fold for Sarah.  We get to go home with this precious baby girl - and Sarah will be left with nothing but her memory.  Pray for her and her family.  Pray that she can handle all the pain she is going to have to go through.

Tomorrow is the day Kinley and Sarah will leave the hospital and it will be the hardest day - and your prayers will be greatly appreciated to make this as smooth as possible for Sarah.

Thank you so much for all your support - we really appreciate the calls, texts and facebook posts we have received.  We know we are loved dearly by you all - I just want you all to share a little of it with Sarah.


P.S. One day this will return to being a Laughing Place and not a Palace of Tears as Tammy Lakin has called it.  :)

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Meeting Sarah

Howdy Y'all!

What is the most nerve-racking thing you have ever done?  Last night was probably tops on my list...we met Sarah, the birth mom for dinner.  Before dinner, my hands were shaking and I felt like I was going to puke.  The butterflies in my stomach were doing a whole gymnastics routine...it was no bueno.

We got there after Sarah and her sister - and she saw me and called my name.  As soon as she said my name, all the butterflies went away.  Thank goodness!!!  I didn't want to get sick at the table.  :)  Our adoption specialist at the agency told us that we may be at dinner for an hour or so.  I took it as a good sign when we first looked at the time - it had already been THREE hours. We just talked and laughed and exchanged gifts.

Sarah gave us two Willow Tree Angels to represent her and our new family.  One is a pregnant lady - and the other one is a mom, dad and baby.  These will be something that we will keep forever.  She is also working on a book for Kinley when she is older that is about her life, her pregnancy and her decision on why she chose adoption.  We gave Sarah the heart necklace I showed you all a few weeks ago.  We also got her a card and wrote what the heart necklace means to us and how thankful we are that she is giving us the chance to parent her child.

Right before I went to sleep last night, I heard my phone 'ding' with an email.  It was an email from Sarah - and my feelings of a great dinner was exactly right.  Here is an excerpt of her email to us...

"I just read your card.  It is beautiful and something I will treasure always.  I enjoyed getting to meet you tonight and know that I have made the right decision.  Kinley is going to get to grow up with so much love from so many people.  Her parents are fun loving happy people and I am so happy that I could give her that.  I put my baby first and I will never regret this decision especially knowing she will be well loved and cared for.  I  believe everything happens for a reason....

...Thank you so much for being parents to my daughter.  For the first time in the last few months, I will go to bed at peace knowing she will be okay."

It was so reassuring to receive this email - now, we are just ready for Kinley's arrival tomorrow morning.  Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers - and I love how you all have been following Kinley's story.  We are so blessed to have so many great people in our lives.