I wish I had been there.

I read a post the other day describing the days of a premature baby in a neonatal unit and my heart broke. Not because Daniel was born at 26 weeks because my little fighter survived, but because I wasn’t by his side through it all.

How crazy is this that I’m torn inside by a grief, a guilt for a time I didn’t know. For a time when I didn’t know my boy. The idea of him facing what he did without me by his side breaks my heart.

The whole time before he came my son is one I cannot focus on. I cannot bare to think of the symphony of emotions he had to face alone.

I have read his medical file and my heart just tears, 26 operations before we met him. 26 anaesthetics, 26 procedures, 26 times I wasn’t by his side holding his hand.

I know it’s crazy and deep down I know it’s not my fault and I do just have to have trust in the journey but I honesty wish he hadn’t had to face one step without me.

I get frustrated when people tell me that he shouldn’t be as clingy as he is. I honestly ask them to walk his pathway and see if you didn’t want to hold on tight.

When the world has been full of procedures and strangers. Pain and suffering. When you cannot see who is picking you up tell me you wouldn’t hold on tight to the one you know, the ones whose arms to trust.

I’m so proud of this clingy I want my mom stage, because this means he knows I am always there. That in my arms he is safe.

I adore the way that when he is ill he only wants me it’s further testimony to our bond.

Mother and son.

I cannot change the past and that’s something I do have to let go. I’m just so thankful that he came to us and that his heart fitted perfectly inside mine.

The future isn’t mine to see and I will not make promises that I cannot guarantee but what I do know is that why my heart still beats I will be by his side, whenever he needs me that’s a promise.

Living to love

I wanted to write about this last week, explain what had happened with Daniel but for the first time in a long time I just cannot. I cannot find the words to describe the fear, the words needed to give light to the darkness.

Let’s just say I was scared, frightened to the point where I couldn’t breathe.

I’m so thankful for the outcome, thankful I got to bring my boy home but I think it’s going to take time to actually process this last week.

Everyone tells me how strong I am, how much I face yet they don’t seem to understand when I say I have no choice. You see loving someone doesn’t come with guarantees. No one promises you a life full of unicorns and balloons. You take a step in faith, in love.

When we adopted Daniel I knew I was opening myself up to fear. Embracing the unknown yet with the knowledge that he was extremely complex, that he was vulnerable.

Some people ask me why, yet why not? Just because I didn’t birth Daniel doesn’t make our bond any less strong. I do wonder if someone asks my friends who did birth they children “why they do it”. With Livvy everyone used to ask “how do you?” Not “why do you?”

He is my child, my son.

Love is a choice, loving my son is the best choice I’ve ever made.

So yes my heart is healing and fear is holding time but love, love is the greatest bond, the greatest emotion and the very best reason to be living.

Living to love.

Not a thing

I know people mean well but sometimes I want to scream “shut the heck up. “

Only the other day I was having a conversation with someone who I have known for a while. I won’t say we are friends but we chat when we bump into each other. In fact sitting here now I cannot actually remember how we met but anyway hey ho I digress. Me digress what a shocker.

Anyhow we were chatting as you do when she turned to me and said “ I don’t know how you do it, I don’t know why you do it” then the clanger “you have to give up so much”.

Now before I seem like a complete bitch I know she meant no harm but the “it” she was talking about was fostering, adoption and ultimately Daniel.

Yet you see adoption isn’t a thing.

It’s a heart, a heart that you are promising to love, care and protect for a lifetime. It’s a web of emotions, a tangle of heartbreaks and brokenness that you have committed to hold in your arms and whisper I love you’s to.

It’s a gift, a blessing and hard work all rolled into one but it’s never about giving up it’s about getting so much more.

I know the questions was aimed at the special needs aspect of our adoption but Daniel isn’t his special needs, he is everything all squashed together into one adorable package.

I’m not going to pretend it isn’t hard at times it is but that’s ok, life was never promised to be a bed of roses.

When I met Daniel I didn’t see a list of conditions, it wasn’t the pages of hospital notes that won my heart, it was the way his tiny hand gripped my finger. Not opening his eyes or turning towards me just holding my finger tight.

My heart just opened and he jumped right inside, right then, right there.

He had my heart.

I knew it wasn’t going to be easy but I truly believe that the best things in life aren’t.

I know my friend didn’t mean harm and I wasn’t offended but this is something we have come across so many times. People telling Alan and I how amazing we are caring for such complex children. How lucky the children are.

Children in foster care aren’t lucky that they have a new home. Their hearts are broken and their souls sore. What they knew is gone and even if it wasn’t the best of experiences as they often aren’t It was what they knew, their normal.

Children who get adopted aren’t lucky, the parents who now get to call them their child are the lucky ones.

My girls, Alan and I, we know we are fortunate , we are wonderfully lucky that we get to love upon children that need it. We get to open our hearts and our home to children who need us. We get to love, care and cherish.

How incredible is this?

As for Daniel I haven’t given up anything to be his mama, I have been incredibly blessed that I get to call this wonderful little boy my son.

My heart, my boy.

This is not his story.

Daniel has been adopted now for over a year and because of this it was time for the social workers to step out of our lives and allow us to move forward as a normal family. Part of the adoption support was the creation of a life-story book for Daniel and what they call a later in life letter, a synopsis of what had happened and how he became to be adopted. These letters are the child’s right to know their history to be given to them when they are at an age of understanding.

Daniel’s letter broke my heart, I thought I knew most of Daniel’s journey, but I hadn’t a clue. I knew he had faced numerous medical procedures but 26 operations before his 2ndbirthday, well that simply sucks. The number of foster placements he had and the amount of time he spent in hospital all more than one child should ever have had to face. The pain and the fear he must have felt is something I have really struggled with over the last week or so.

Livvy faced a lot in her life, regression, seizures, breathing issues and more but throughout all this she knew we were there for her, knew how much she was loved. Livvy understood that we were walking alongside her and that she didn’t have to face anything alone. It’s this I am struggling with for Daniel, how alone did he feel?

My faith is my strength but for the last two weeks I have been so angry at God and at the world.

It’s a strange situation I have found myself to be in, everything has really got to me and I have found myself raging over the stupidest of things. I was angry at Alan for being seemingly ok over this new found knowledge, angry at family members for not grasping how hard this is, not wanting to acknowledge what he had faced and even angry at complete strangers who would moan of the simplest of things, wanting to scream “What the heck, try living his life for a moment”.

Being angry at God is something I struggle with, it just feels wrong, yet I was so, so very furious at him.

If we were to be part of Daniel’s future, why the heck couldn’t he have gotten him to us earlier?

Why so many operations?

Why so much pain?

Why so much fear?

 

Yesterday I was sitting in church listening to the worship when the words being sung finally started to sink into my soul and I realised that ;

Daniel was never abandoned by God,

God never left him.

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Right there in those numerous operating rooms God was with him, as he fought against the brain bleeds and the meningitis God was with him, and when professionals were making decisions for his future, God was with them.

Daniel was never alone.

Daniel was never on his own.

When we received the call asking us to have a fostering placement for a weekend God was with us. He was in the Yes that I found myself saying, he was the one that placed adoption on my heart so many years ago ready for Daniel.

I still don’t understand why Daniel has had to face so much, just like I will never understand why I had to lose Livvy, but I do know without a shadow of a doubt that God is with us always.

As the words of the worship began to soothe my heart I realised I was free from the anger that was consuming me. Free from the what if’s and free from the past I couldn’t change.

I was overwhelmed by how much God loves Daniel and me. How blessed I am that however hard Daniel’s journey has been we are so very blessed to have found each other.

I don’t have all the answers but that’s ok, I have faith and God’s promise.

I actually shared this at church yesterday, something which scared me like crazy, but I am so glad I did, because Daniel’s story and my story of fear and anger actually spoke to a number of people and they shared their journeys with me. Their sharing allowed me to realise that whilst I don’t believe things have to happen for a reason, beauty can be found in ashes. How many of us have felt completely alone and so far from God? It’s hard in the midst of pain to remember the promise that we are never alone.  

Daniels past is not all of his story.

Every day is a new page yet to be written and I am so lucky I get to be part of his story.

I get to see all that God has planned for Daniel, the hearts he will fill, the spirits he will move and the smiles he will bring.

My boy will change the world.

I’m so thankful I get to be his Mom and I’m so excited for his next chapter.

Let’s get writing

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A year today.

I cannot believe it has been a year today. After what seemed like such an endless wait our boy has been officially our son for a whole year now, where has this year gone?

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From the moment he came into our lives I knew I loved him and the professional detachment I was supposed to have, was completely lost. Yet still I never allowed myself to hope, to dream that one day he would be officially my son.

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I remember this day last year so vividly, everyone kept congratulating me but I couldn’t accept it, not until the very moment that the judge signed those papers. I was scared to dream, scared to hope, scared to believe until that paperwork was in my hands. I can still remember how I felt when he was introduced as our son. It was as if at that moment my resolve which wasn’t that strong anyway was lost and the overwhelming emotions of love was poured into my heart. I remember this feeling when having the girls, I loved them and was so excited when carrying them but nothing prepared me for the moment that they were placed in my arms, nothing prepares you for the intensity of love that you feel.

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Wow a whole year and what a year it has been, my gosh I love being Daniel’s Mom. The novelty of introducing him as my son is still as new now as it was then. Just saying his new full name still makes me smile.

I have so enjoyed watching him grow and develop this last year, watching his character emerge. From the little detached baby into this cheeky, mischievous toddler.

I love being a mom and I love being an adoptive mom, although some find it hard to believe I can honestly say that there is no difference between the children born from my womb than the one born in my heart.

Daniel is such a gift, his smile just blesses my heart its crazy, getting to love on him is well just wonderful.

How did I get so lucky?

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Adoption is such an incredible thing, it’s a journey of so many emotions. I have laughed and I have cried but now here a year on I am so thankful for this journey. Whilst at times it was so hard and I felt so scared, Daniel is so very worth every moment of fear, every moment of doubt.

All I can say to anyone right now, if adoption has every been on your heart please consider it. Yes you will give a child a forever family which is amazing but the gift that you receive is so incredible.

Hearing my precious boy call me Mama will never get old.

Happy One year of being adopted Daniel, thank you for giving me the greatest gift of being your Mama. Love you to the moon, stars and back again.

Lots of love and rainbow kisses, Mama xx

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My son

I looked around the courtroom convinced everyone could hear my heart beating in my chest.

I could barely breathe, could barely trust in the moment.

“Congratulations to you both on your new son.”

It was official

It was complete

This precious gift was now ours to call our own.

Yes i cried, to be honest with the amount of adrenaline pumping through my body i was surprised i didn’t burst into dance.

My heart exploded, the love i had held on too wrapped in chains of fear was now free to fly.

My son

My beautiful precious boy.

Adoption is a journey of pregnant moments.

Full of expectation,and excitement but also full of pain and fear.

A free-fall into the unknown.

A parachute silk woven in faith.

I cannot say its been easy,

A labyrinth of broken promises and painful expectation.

Yet whilst the scars will take time to heal.

Whilst the emotional burden will take time to lift it is with no doubt in my heart that i can say

He is worth it all and so much more.

My son

My precious boy xxx

 

To scared to voice my dream

Have you ever wanted something so desperately that you actually cannot voice your desire?

That the fear of hearing the words outloud is so scary that your stomach does flip flops.

That when people tell you to release your hopes into the universe it feels like a gigantic scam to make your world tumble down.

This is exactly how I have felt about the adoption of my new son. That if I actually shared the ins and outs of the situation it would actually explode in my face, my heart.

It hasn’t been helped by social workers who should have the words “hopefully” and the statement “it should” ripped out of their practice handbook. The hedging of their bets or professional distance is nothing but frightening for an adoptive parent. 

We need to hear “of course” or “it will“.

I honestly feel as if I have been walking on eggshells this last year. From the moment we decided we wanted to adopt our then foster son my heart feels as if it has been ripped out of my chest, trampled on then replaced. It’s been hard and the reason I haven’t really shared this journey here is simply because I couldn’t voice my fear. 

I couldn’t allow the inner demon inside my head any space here on this platform. It was doing enough damage inside my head.

“You aren’t good enough”

“Adoptive parent, you, ha really”

“It’s going to fail”.

The adoption process isn’t easy, I guess it shouldn’t be. The assessors actually have the lives of children in their hands. They have to probe, explore, question. 

“How did you feel when this happened?”

“How would you cope with this?”

And the big one

“Why adoption”?

Your answers of course have to be the truth but I have woke night after night with fear that my truth wasn’t enough.

Thankfully, my truth was enough and last week we found out that the judge has signed our adoption order and in a few weeks our boy will be our son.

I cannot tell you how excited I am, how much it matters to call him mine. I am simply on cloud nine. My heart feels full and I’m sure I haven’t stopped smiling since I heard the decision. 

I may not be able to write down our complete adoption story yet. It’s still a little too raw and it’s not actually at the end point yet. I still now wait impatiently for the date of our celebration hearing and my heart will still probably jump at the delivery of the morning post for a while yet.

But I will state this here, our adoption journey has been hard, we have cried many tears, had many sleepless nights and had way too many stress headaches. 

Yet I promise you this, every stinking moment of this chaos and fear has been worth it, my son, he is so completely worth it.