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Posts posted by linlacor

  1. I am sure this has been covered elsewhere on here but I am looking for a book list recommended for Adoptive Parents or Parents in Waiting that helps them understand or grasp some of the issues that Adult (or Teen) Adoptees may experience. I remember from Orientation Primal Wound was one....as well as Twenty Things Adopted Kids Wish Their Parents Knew. The main reason I am asking is because the therapist I see works with Adult Adoptees and as we talk about adoption and my thoughts (I am a birthmother and a mom through adoption) she is very interested and open to learning more and asked if there were books I could recommend. I told her everything I know is thanks to Abrazo and the exceptional job they do educating Parents In Waiting and most of the Adoption books I've read were on the list Abrazo gave us 13 years ago when we were eagerly awaiting the placement of our first child. I may still have the list tucked away but am lazily asking if that list is readily available AND if there are any updates? It's been a long time since I've been on the Forum....I sure miss it. Yay!! Just after posting this I found the topic called Suggested Reading....so happy. Exactly what I was looking for but if there are other books, I'd love to know.

  2. I am certain this topic already exists or one similar but after spending 10 minutes trying to find it I've given up. If this is a duplicate, please feel free to post a link to it here and I'll pick up on that one instead.

    Anyway, I have quite a collection of Adoption Books and wanted to list them here and thought this could be a good place to comment/discuss the books. Sadly, it's been awhile since I've read most of them so maybe this will motivate me to go back through them and have a refresher. Some of them may not be the best books but for one reason or another, I have them in my collection. I'd love input from anyone/everyone (Elizabeth, pretty please would love some of your input in your "spare" time) and would especially love to see others reading lists. For those I remember well, I'm commenting a bit but just because I don't comment, doesn't mean I don't recommend a book, it just means I need a refresher.

    Here goes:

    The Adoption Life Cycle - The Children & Their Families Through the Years by Elinor Rosenberg

    Arms Wide Open - An Insight into Open Adoption by Jane Waters

    Birthmothers - Women Who Have Relinquished Babies for Adoption & Their Stories by Merry Bloch Jones

    I bought this book soon after placing Joanna for adoption - at the time, it was the only book on adoption I could find.

    Birthright - The Guide to Search & Reunion for Adoptees, Birthparents, & Adoptive Parents by Jean A.S. Strauss

    Children of Open Adoption - Kathleen Silber & Patricia Martinez Dorner

    (LOVE this book!!! Highly recommend)

    Dear Birthmother by Kathleen Silber

    A must, right?

    The Family of Adoption by Joyce Maguire Pavao

    (love this book)

    How It Feels to be Adopted by Jill Krementz

    This is another book I bought a long time ago when trying to understand my own placement and how my daughter (who I placed for adoption) may grow up feeling.

    How To Open An Adoption - A Guide for Parents & Birthparents of Minors by Patricia Martinez Dorner

    I Choose This Day by Sharon Fieker

    My Child is a Mother - A True and Happy to Story of Open Adoption by Mary Stephenson

    I LOVE this book! It is a quick read and very good!!

    The Open Adoption Experience - A Complete Guide for Adoptive and Birth Families - From Making the Decision Through The Child's Growing Years by Lois Ruskai Melina & Sharon Kaplan Roszia

    (LOVE this book!!! Highly recommend!!!)

    Perspectives on a Grafted Tree - Thoughts for Those Touched by Adoption by Patricia Irwin Johnston

    I'm ashamed to say this but this was a gift to me from someone who adopted through Gladney and I haven't read it (yet) because I worry that it may have a Gladney spin on it.

    Raising Adopted Children - Practical Reassuring Advice for Every Adoptive Parent by Lois Ruskai Melina

    (Also love this book!!)

    The Same Smile by Susan Mello Souza

    I LOVE this book!!! One of my favorites....

    The Spirit of Open Adoption by James L Gritter

    Stories of Adoption by Eric Blau

    The Stranger Who Bore Me - Adoptee Birthmother Relationships by Karen March

    This book is a little too technical for leisure reading and for what I was looking for.

    Telling the Truth to Your Adopted or Foster Child - Making Sense of the Past by Betsy Keefer & Jayne E. Schooler

    Twenty Things Adopted Kids Wish Their Adoptive Parents Knew by Sherrie Eldridge

    I read this book (or tried to) when we started the process to adopt Kayleigh which was before I found Joanna (the daughter I placed for adoption who at the time would have been around 14/15) I couldn't read it because I remember all I could think about was whether or not Joanna felt that way? It was hard as a birthmother to read the book and I can't even remember what it said...anyway, I should pick it up again and give it a try now that I've found Joanna and my kids are getting older and see what nuggets of wisdom/enlightenment I can get from it.

    Waiting to Forget - A Motherhood Lost and Found by Margaret Moorman

    I haven't read this yet...

    • Upvote 1
  3. Wow! I can't believe I've never seen or responded to this topic! For prospective birthparents out there, I'm a birthmother but did not place through Abrazo so question # 2 doesn't apply to me. I placed my daughter for adoption 21 years ago in a closed adoption (closed adoption wasn't my choice/preference but it was all that was offered at that time) through Gladney (wouldn't recommend them, I have a friend who adopted through Gladney and her viewpoint on adoption and how she handles her childrens' adoptions make me feel as though Gladney still hasn't caught up to what adoption needs to be like for adoptees, birthparents, & adoptive parents). I reunited with my daughter (I found her after spending 3 years on and off searching) a little over 2 years ago and it's been an amazing reunion - we're very close and it went much better than I could have ever anticipated).

    Here are my answers to Elizabeth's questions:

    1) This is why I needed to make adoption plans when I did...

    I spent forever answering this question for my daughter because it was one of her first questions she asked me. I won't go into all the details but I do want to point out that at least for me, it wasn't just one reason and also, what I discovered when trying to answer that question honestly is that my reasons for placing her were totally shaped by my life experiences up to the point I became pregnant.

    I was 17 when I got pregnant and it was the summer before my senior year of high school. I was using drugs when I got pregnant and my circle of friends were people like me who were not in a good place in their lives. I now know why I was involved in all that stuff but mostly, it had to do with masking the pain I felt emotionally at that time (it didn't work). I stopped using drugs once my pregnancy was confirmed at around 4 - 6 weeks. However, I had been using drugs off and on since I was 12 so I still felt very vulnerable and unsure about the permanency of my new relationship (or lack of) with drugs and friends who used drugs. My parents were divorced and I lived with my mom who worked 2 jobs. We were not on welfare but did not have any extra money at all so I knew that it would be a major struggle for all of us and I wanted my baby to never know what it was like to struggle financially. To me, that equated to a life like I was experiencing and it wasn't a good one so I wanted her to have a better one (for example, my mom started working 2 jobs when I was 10 years old, I had very little parental supervision and ended up hanging around with people who were like me and that's when I became involved with all the bad stuff I look back on now and cringe). I wanted her to have a mom and dad and did not want her to be raised by a single parent. I'm not knocking those people who are single parents, as I've become older, I know that being raised in a single parent home does not mean someone will experience the life I did being raised in a single parent home...but to me, all I knew then was what life was like for me being raised by only my mom and I didn't want her to experience that. I imagined this ideal home environment with parents who had waited and waited for this dream baby and were able to take care of her emotionally, financially, etc etc etc and I felt I couldn't do that as well as they could. I wanted to go to college and make a better life for myself and my future children and I felt that I couldn't do that if I parented her because I would be working so much and it would be this endless cycle. Also, I felt that a stepfather would likely be in her future since I knew her birthfather and I were no more. I worried that once her stepfather and I had children together that she would feel left out and have a hard time "sharing" me with him and our children since she and I would have a special bond since it was just the two of us on our own for a period of time. There are all sorts of other smaller reasons as well as lengthier and more detailed reasons but this is it in a nutshell.

    2) This is how I found Abrazo & why I chose this agency...

    Doesn't apply to me but I can say that if I were faced with an unplanned pregnancy now, Abrazo is the only agency I would consider and trust. I love them!!!

    3) This is how my decisions have benefitted my child...

    My daughter has had so many experiences in her life that she would have never had if I would have parented her. She is attending college and her parents pay for every penny of it including her car, living expenses, and private college tuition. She has no idea what a benefit that is (I put myself through college and struggled every step of the way - it took me 7 years to finish...she'll probably finish in about 3 1/2 years). She's only had 1 job and it was just for a summer and she didn't like it so she hasn't had a job since. She is able to 100% focus on school and just being a kid with no responsibilities. One day, she'll have responsibilities but I don't think it's ever a good thing to have too many too soon. She makes awesome grades, she's very smart and loves school and challenges. She spent a year living in Italy between high school and starting college - completely paid for and supported by her parents. She has a little brother who she absolutely loves so much and has told me numerous times she can't imagine life without him. They are really close and have such a great relationship! She grew up in a very safe neighborhood with a really good circle of friends who are still a very big part of her life. She is extremely close with her dad and he is the kind of dad I dreamed of having. They have traditions together (at Christmas, they always make shortbread together) and he is who she goes to for any sort of advice and he is always so neutral when he gives her advice. He is very patient with her (she questions everything) and is a wealth of knowledge. She would not have had this type of father if I would have parented her. She has had so many vacations to so many interesting places and so many memories from them and holidays and birthday parties, etc. She has so much good in her life and likes where she is at. I have no regrets. I will say though there are a few things that I perceive are related to my decision to place her. She has never said they are but I still feel as though being adopted has something to do with them. She has some trust issues and is really sensitive about relationships breaking up/falling apart (loss issues). I have these issues too and I wasn't adopted so just because you're not adopted doesn't mean you won't have issues but I do feel responsible for some of the issues she deals with.

    4) This is the encouragement I'd offer others in my shoes...

    With time comes healing. If you do decide to place your baby for adoption, it will be the most painful experience you will have in your life. The pain will be unbearable and for me, it felt like I absolutely could not handle it once it started and I didn't know what to do, I was scared to wake up every day because of how I felt. I ached tremendously for my daughter. There's nothing I can say to prepare you for what it actually feels like when you no longer have your baby with you. What I can say though is that with time, the rawness of that pain will ease gradually and you will find a way to live with your decision and find a place to put that pain where you are able to function once again. Then, over time you'll find that you're actually okay and years later, you'll look back and it will be impossible to remember exactly how it felt but you'll know it was overwhelming but you won't be able to completely capture that feeling again (thank goodness!) Only you know if placing your baby for adoption is the best option for you and your baby so feel free to listen to what everyone has to say but remember that it is your decision and whatever decision you make you will find a way to live with it and make it work (whether it be struggling to raise your child or struggling to cope with your grief and loss). Just know that you will be okay but it will take time.

    Also, feel free to message me if you ever need someone to talk to...I'm always available to talk about adoption.


  4. Welcome to the forum 1st X Grandma!!!

    I wish the forum could have been around when I placed my daughter for adoption, I am glad you found it and glad you decided to share and invite others into your world. I placed my daughter for adoption 20 years ago - I was 18 at the time and my mom was my ROCK during that experience (the most painful experience I've ever gone through). I got through it because of her. She didn't have anyone to talk to and so I guess she dealt with it on her own - I was so wrapped up in my own grief, I never once considered hers until much later when we talked about our feelings (I found my daughter a year ago and am now in contact with her which has sparked a lot of conversations about the placement between my mom and me) and she finally felt comfortable telling me just how painful it was for her too - both because of seeing her baby (me) in so much pain and the placement of her granddaughter. I don't know how helpful it would be for you to hear from her since it was such a different situation then (my adoption was closed) and it was such a long time ago but pain is pain is pain - if I can get her on here (she's now 74, was 54 when I placed and isn't much of a typist but I could probably do that part for her) I'll ask her to share some of her thoughts. We (my mom and I) have also experienced life on the other side of things as my husband and I adopted 2 children through Abrazo over the past 6 yrs.

    But most of all, I want to welcome you to the forum and let you know how much we appreciate you here - you're so right, there is soooo much more activity from adoptive parents on here than from birth parents and especially from birth grandparents...but it only takes one and hopefully you've started something here.

    Thinking of you and your daughter as you find your way through this incredibly emotional journey in your lives.


    P.S. the profile picture of me was taken last month when I went to visit Joanna (my daughter who I placed for adoption) in NY (this was my 3rd visit with her over the past year)

  5. Hi Amanda,

    This is just my own personal preference but I prefer using the first names of both our childrens' birthmothers. Meg (Brennan's birthmother) is obviously very ok with this and I think would be offended if I didn't - we have an extremely open adoption and everyone under the sun knew she was pregnant and placing and I think there were about 10 people in the delivery room when Brennan was born (all family except for one very close friend). On the other hand, Kayleigh's birthmother (Rachel) isn't in contact with us and I know is extremely private about her placement (her parents/sisters knew only because they were actually there when Kayleigh was born). She's never told us not to use her name (she's never actually spoken to us) so I use her name - I use it very casually around Kayleigh - Rachel, Rachel, Rachel - and if I talk about Kayleigh's birthmother to our friends, I also say her name. I say her name on the forum but honestly, that's the only place I'm less comfortable using it "just in case" she ever logged on here and was offended that I used her name (i.e. if she interpreted it as a sign I wasn't repsecting her privacy). When I first wrote letters to her (which go to her file at Abrazo so she's never actually received them (yet)), I didn't use her first name because I wasn't sure if I was supposed to know it - it felt so strange for me to know it - like sneaky or something (I guess because of the closed nature/confidentiality of Kayleigh's adoption that they requested). I ended up asking Elizabeth if it was okay for me to address Rachel directly in my letters to her and she said yes, ok to do so...so from then on, I would write "Dear Rachel".

    Now, I'm coming from a very different perspective so that may influence why I've made the decisions I have and had the feelings I've had about using their first names. I'm not sure what the adoption experts say but here's my thoughts on our own situation. I placed in a closed/confidential adoption (not my choice, just how it was done). I didn't know Joanna's name (my daughter I placed) until she was 19 years old. I hated not knowing her name...I wanted to know it sooo much! So, names in an adoption are just sort of a big deal to me - I understand that there is a need to respect privacy though. When we adopted Kayleigh - her birthfamily wanted a confidential adoption so here I was back to secrecy/privacy again and in a weird way, it felt comfortable to me but at the same time, I didn't like it. Once I began to accept that it was ok to say her birthmother's name, I just began using it very freely, regardless of who I was talkinng to. I guess I don't want to do anything to cause Kayleigh to feel as though she can't openly talk about her birthfamily and adoption and to me, it just feels like if I don't use her name in a consistent manner (i.e. only when we're together but not to friends/strangers), then it will be something she comes to believe is secretive (??? maybe not the best word??? or should be hidden/private) I may be doing things wrong but as Heidi said, it's a personal choice and one that everyone makes based on their own situations and comfort zones and relationships. If Kayleigh's birthmother specifically requested that I not use her name except when talking to Kayleigh, I'm not sure how I'd handle that or if I'd be able to honor that - it just still feels to me like I would be laying a foundation for Kayleigh that it's something to be private about and I just don't ever want her to feel like her birthfamily and adoption story is something she needs to hide or feel like it is or isn't okay to discuss - and I think however I am with it will project onto her. Definitely not judging your decision though - just thought I'd throw in another perspective (and possibly all my details make this post better suited for another topic????)

    Now, I notice you refer to your childrens' birthmothers as their mom. I find that really interesting :) I always always always refer to Meg and Rachel as Brennan & Kayleigh's birthmothers - I don't think I've ever referred to either of them as their mom. There have been times when I'm with people and they'll say "Kayleigh's mom" or "Brennan's mom/real mom" and I'm totally not offended by that - I know what they mean and if it seems like a good opportunity to give them an adoption language primer, I will do that but there are times when it just isn't the time/place to do so and I just let it go, it really doesn't make me feel any sort of anxiety inside when that happens (unless someone was intentionally trying to make me feel like I'm NOT their mom since I didn't give birth to them but that's another story and I'd have bigger fish to fry with them other than teaching them positive adoption language). The one I've always struggled with was what to call Joanna (especially before I knew her name). Now, I can just say "Joanna" and everyone who is familiar with our story knows who Joanna is - but there are still times when I refer to her as my birth daughter - but that just sounds SOOOO cumbersome! But, if I say "my daughter", then I feel like (for someone who doesn't know our story) I'm misrepresenting her or slighting her parents and their role in her life - and also, for someone who knows Kayleigh (my daughter who I am raising) but doesn't know Joanna and I say "my daughter" referring to Joanna - it will just create a bunch of confusion I think for them so in that case, I say "birth daughter" and will give a brief explanation on what the deal is with that. And then...there are times when Joanna and I are together when someone will ask if she's my daughter and I say yes (to avoid confusion) or will ask her if I'm her mom and she'll say yes (to avoid confusion) and that seems fine too - it's just not a simple/one size fits all sort of thing - at least for me. LOL, clear as mud as they say :)

  6. What a special relationship two women can have when they both love their son and only want what is best for him.

    but in open adoptions, there is often an amazing "soul sisterhood" between firstmothers and mommies-- when both are willing to embrace the intimacy that comes with sharing a child.

    Amen to that! :wub:

  7. (So be it! What's that old joke? "If you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans...")

    Well, if anyone has read any of our posts regarding our journey to our son Brennan....you'll know that God really had a good laugh at us!

    Honestly, we were about as inflexible on gender as anyone could be (don't even get Elizabeth started....if anyone deserves an opportunity to do an "I told ya so, told ya so, told ya told ya told ya so" dance...she certainly does) (don't think we would have walked out of a delivery room, I'm sure I would have drawn the line there) and God, Abrazo, and our dear precious sweet Meg brought the other love our life to us (our daughter Kayleigh being the other other one) and our lives just couldn't have unfolded any better with any other child and any other birthmother. We "thought" we were supposed to bring another daughter into our family, we "thought" it would be best for us and for Kayleigh but Kayleigh, her mommy, and her daddy all will emphatically say that our son Brennan is exactly who we were supposed to welcome into our lives - he is it! Not to mention his special birthmother Meg who we would have missed out on had we not changed our minds (with some encouragement from the big "E") on the gender thing - can't imagine my life without Meg being a part of it...and sure can't imagine it without our Brennan.

    Trust me - the gender thing - not something to pick and choose...take it from someone who's been there. It just isn't. I'll have my crow over easy please....yum, doesn't it taste good? :)


    P.S. If ya want a good laugh, here's a link to our 2nd adoption journey The Cornish Chronicle

  8. Just a few facts and figures from today's conference seminar on birthparents, with thanks to the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute:

    * 90% of domestic infant adoptions in this country now entail some degree of openness;


    90% down....10% more to go! A goal worth striving for!!!

  9. Just plugging this book again as Elizabeth did several years ago - I just finished reading it, posted about it under a different thread Suggested Reading and thought I'd share here as well.

    I also ran across a quick article on P.A.C.T.'s website by the author of this book, Mary Stephenson called A Birthgrandmother's Perspective in case you don't have time to read the book - but I highly recommend the book, especially if your daughter has or is planning to place her child for adoption.

  10. One of my greatest passions is reading although I just don't seem to have or make the time to read like I used to - I'm the kind of person/reader where when I start a book, I like to just soak it all up in one go - will stay up all night until I can't keep my eyes open any longer and then pick the book back up again as soon as I wake up.

    So on Mother's Day - I'm enjoying a book I bought months ago - a book that I found online that I thought would interest me as I am a birthmother - the book is called "My Child is a Mother - A True and Happy Story of Open Adoption" and was written by Mary Stephenson. Mary is a birth grandmother - the book is her story of learning that her 17 year old daughter was pregnant (at 7 1/2 months), and going through the process of choosing open adoption with her daughter and most importantly, the after part with her daughter, after she gave birth to and placed her daughter for adoption.

    This book held significant interest for me now as we are matched with a beautiful person right now who is due to have her baby boy very soon and we hope to adopt her son and carry on with the wonderful relationship we have formed with his birthmother and her family. The story is so candid and so raw and so real - I related to it a thousand times over, both as a birthmother and as an adoptive mother. It particularly affected me because Karen (the birthmother) placed her daughter for adoption in a fully open adoption in 1986! I placed my daughter for adoption in a fully closed adoption in 1989 - thinking that's all that was available to me at that time - I did not realize open adoption even existed and as I've learned about open adoption as an adoptive parent, I've been comfortable with my decision because I just kept convincing myself that it was all I knew at the time, and what is common today just wasn't around when I experienced my unplanned pregnancy - well anyway - now I know differently - can't change anything but it is a hard pill to swallow to know that Karen and her daughter's family shared such a special experience with each other and developed such an amazing friendship/relationship and it was 3 years before I gave birth to my precious baby girl...

    So anyway, I wanted to plug the book - I highly recommend it - especially if you're someone who's curious about what an open adoption is like - what a birthmother goes through when she places her child for adoption, what the birth grand-parents go through - etc, etc etc - I think this book appeals to all audiences - both on the adoptive parent side and on the birthfamily side - I think birth grand-parents would find this book very useful (for lack of a better word). I feel like I know these people now - it's just written as though "Mary" is just talking to me (the reader). I felt such a strong connection with Karen and just grew to respect and admire her and what she did. After she placed her daughter for adoption, she was asked numerous times to participate in both local newspaper and TV interviews and she and the adoptive family always participated - all very passionate to spread the word about open adoption - very committed folks!

    I wanted to know more about her (Karen) and her mother - the book was published in 1991 - I thought, "Hmmmm....it's been a long time, I bet they've written other books or are active in the open adoption movement somehow, I should be able to get more info about them" so I googled the author's name - ran across an article she wrote that is posted on P.A.C.T.'s website - the article is called Gone Too Soon - By Mary Stephenson . Well, I guess I should have taken a clue from the title of the article but I just figured it was referring to the child who was placed for adoption...unfortunately, not the case. Mary is writing about how at the age of 27, her daughter, Karen died a year after being diagnosed with Leukemia.....Ten years after placing her precious Livia for adoption with her "other family" as Karen and her mom referred to the adoptive parents. I am just so sad now after reading that - but Karen's memory will definitely live on with me - and thank goodness her mother honored her by sharing her daughter's story - well before they could possibly know that she wouldn't be around forever to share it herself.

    It's a great book, I can't recommend it enough - I picked it up for next to nothing on Amazon.com.


    P.S. Guess I'm not the only one who has read the book - I see a post from Elizabeth on here (before we adopted Kayleigh even) under the Birthgrandparent's section of the forum -

  11. I know...as if it's not great enough that they post these announcements...now, we're not satisfied with just the "Stork Announcements" - we beg for pictures before they even leave Abrazo's offices :) Crazy clients - look what they've created with us :P

    In the "olden" days (like 2 years ago), we had to just be happy with the announcement....

  12. :wacko:I CAN'T STAND IT ANYMORE!!! :wacko:


    Okay, there - I've said it - just really, really am dying to see pictures!!!

    Lisa :)

  13. How exciting Karen! I can just imagine how much you guys were beaming, seeing your baby girl up there! Congratulations Cassie! What a fantastic experience and accomplishment! (Theater/Drama is very near and dear to my heart - I was very involved in theater in high school and had a part in The Music Man my freshman year and had a part in Oklahoma! my sophmore year then did some Shakespeare stuff my Junior year - so.....I'm SUPER proud of Cassie too! Way to go!!!)


  14. Very interesting.....I hadn't really ever thought of this - there has never seemed to be any sort of bonding issue or any difference between my mom and Kayleigh (Lance's mom is just so far away, in England, it's really hard to know how things really are with her - but at least she seems as though she totally accepts Kayleigh - of course, Kayleigh is her only grand-child also).

    I hate to speak for my mom but I guess I will - I'll have to get her to read this sometime though when she's at my house and get her to express her own thoughts as well. My mom did not really support our infertility treatment efforts - she began pushing adoption very early on - she did NOT want me to do in-vitro (the hormones made her nervous) and she had a friend whose daughter and son-in-law had such a wonderful experience adopting their son (through Abrazo), she begged me for 4 years to call that agency in San Antonio that Michelle had used. She was so relieved when I called her to ask for the number - so, adoption was always her "first choice" for how our family should be built anyway. My cousins were adopted (my dad's sister and her husband adopted their 2 children) and so my mom always saw them as members of our family who belonged in our family - she just never had any hang-ups really with adoption. She never really had any fears of birthparents - perhaps because her daughter (i.e. me :) ) is one - I mean, I don't think she was quite as educated/fearless as I was with regards to open adoption, etc and she has learned a lot along the way through me - but she's also been open to learning about it - and I've been armed with good information on it compliments of you guys (Abrazo) so it's been easy to explain things to her, answer her questions, reassure her, etc. Now, she's very excited about open adoption and I wouldn't say she finds the lack of contact with Kayleigh's birthfamily as frustrating as I do but she does have a strong desire as well to have them in our lives and more importantly, in Kayleigh's life.

    There is a very, very, very strong bond between my mom and Kayleigh - my mom even tells me that she never thought she could love a child as much as she loved me...until Kayleigh came along - and I don't know what it is exactly, but the connection between my mom and Kayleigh is deep and thick and mutual. My oldest sister also shares a very strong connection with Kayleigh - we never planned it this way but both my mom and oldest sister were very involved in the process when we rec'd the call about Kayleigh - I was actually with them and not Lance when that call happened. Lance was in Seattle and I was in Dallas with them - so they experienced that first 24 hours with me, every high, every low, every twist, every turn - it was them that I went through it with - not so much with Lance - they were sitting right there when the call came in the first time - they were sitting right with me when the call came the second time, the next day when we learned that Kayleigh was in fact going to be placed with us - so they felt very, very emotionally invested in the process - my other sister, was being kept informed on the phone but it wasn't the same as actually being with me like Stacy and my mom were. Then, again - we didn't plan this but I went to Austin to be with Kayleigh when we got the "okay" and Lance arrived later that night - unfortunately, he had to fly back to Seattle to get back to work shortly after placement/paperwork signed because we had just returned from a 2 week vacation a few days before getting the call about Kayleigh. Kayleigh had to stay in Austin in the NICU and I stayed with her - I thought I could do it alone and I was trying to be strong but I realized, a few hours after he left how much I needed someone with me - I called my mom and she flew to Austin that day and stayed with me the rest of the time - she was with me and Kayleigh in the NICU every day, every night. We stayed in the same room at the Ronald McDonald House - she rocked with me, she was my rock and we experienced that week or so together - the three of us - so again, my mom was very emotionally invovled and I depended on her - as did my baby girl, for emotional support.

    It helps too I think that my mom and Kayleigh share a birthday - my mom is convinced it's no accident that they share a birthday - my mom says all of our beloved relatives in heaven knew we needed our Kayleigh in our lives - and just to make sure we all knew they had a hand in it, they chose my mom (and sister's) birthday to give us a sign. My mom just feels as though Kayleigh has always been who our child was supposed to be - people my mom worked with before she fully retired were always surprised to find out that Kayleigh is actually my mom's 7th grand-child - not her first because of how much my mom talks about Kayleigh (the other grand-kids are all grown - that was another big thing I think when Kayleigh came along, there hadn't been a baby in the family for 17 years - and my mom was soooo ready at that point to be a grand-mother again).

    Very interesting though - I'll try to remember to have her come back to this and add anything I may not have thought about.


  15. Thank you...when I re-read my post, I hope it comes across as I meant it - I guess one of the biggest things I looked for, when we first rec'd my sister's diagnosis was survivor stories - I wanted to read about those who had "beaten the odds" and I took so much comfort in reading about those who had come through their cancer battle and were counting down the years they were a survivor.

    So, hopefully - my sister's story will also offer hope and comfort to anyone else who may need it.

    We have learned to make every effort to not take a day for granted.....


  16. In light of Elizabeth Edwards' announcement that her breast cancer has metastisized (spelling?), I wanted to share some positive news about a breast cancer survivor who is near and dear to my heart...my oldest sister was diagnosed with Stage III Breast Cancer (Inflammatory Breast Cancer) in August 2004. She just had her regular follow-up appointment (they have been every 4 months since treatment) last week and got another excellent report. She is almost at the 3 year mark which is HUGE for IBC survivors (their 3 year suvivor milestone is like other breast cancer 5 year survivor milestones).

    Praise God, thank you for your prayers - and thank you to those amazing doctors who helped my sister.


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