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1st x grandma

A Birth Grandmother's Role

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I should have recognized your courage and strength right off in your posts as the the same courage and strength we saw in your granddaughter (through the forum). :)

PS thank you for continuing to share and to your daughter for endorsing your posts as well.

Edited by suziandben

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I know it must be very hard to write about such hard times, but it helps me as I am sure others to read what you and your daughter went through.

Blessings to you and your daughter.

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I should have recognized your courage and strength right off in your posts as the the same courage and strength we saw in your granddaughter (through the forum). :)

Susi,

Our strength comes from generations... ;)

Melissa,

It has been tough. I have a hard time just writting for me and my eyes only, so I knew it would be a challenge to go on the form and share our story, I just didn't realize how tough it would turn out to be once I took the leap. I do plan on finishing what I started though, and if this helps just one family and what they are going through then all the discomfort of re-living our heart aches will be well worth it.

Blessings to all,

Mari

Edited by 1st x grandma

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Continuation….Part 4

My daughter agreed that the first thing we needed to do was determine what she planned on doing, and in order to determine this she was going to have to ask herself and answer truthfully some very tough questions. Although all of us were unsure of anything beyond the fact that she was with child, we had to look at the whole piece more intellectual then emotional now, we knew no matter what she decided to do, nothing she chose was going to be easy, her life as she once knew it had now changed forever, it would not only impact her life, but the baby’s and ours as her parents, really her entire family. I assumed also her boyfriend and his family; we needed to know what his roll was going to be, had she told him, if so what did he plan on doing, how much responsibility and accountability was he going to take in all this. Were they going to be able to decide what was going to happen now? I wanted to make sure that it was her decision, that she didn’t feel like she was being pushed into any one thing. Though we had to deal with her anger and short temper at the time, which I believe was more of a cover up to hide her fear, I also had to deal with her father who felt that if I hadn’t let her have a boyfriend in the first place, she wouldn’t have been in this jam. I gave up trying to tell him that whether we had allowed her or not, if she wanted a boyfriend she would have one, the only difference would be is that we wouldn’t know about it. I had to turn my focus back on her and back to the issue at hand. I didn’t want her to one day blame us for forcing her to do this or that, but also because I wanted her to make a parental decision about her child and I was not going to make the decision for her and make it easier, not that anything would have been easy anyway. I know this probably sounds cruel, and even if it was killing me, she needed to understand the consequences of her actions and that now she had someone else she had to think about besides herself. I had to listen to that irrepressible inner voice reminding me that our life had taken a huge detour, but no matter how unbalanced we (I) felt our life had become, it was something we could get through if we allowed our head to tell our heart what to do, I didn’t leave her totally alone, I did offer to help her. It was important to know what her boyfriend's role was going to be, by the time she told us, she was already well into her second month, had they already determine the baby’s fathers role? I couldn’t believe my ears when she told me he chose not to be a part of her decision; he was going to leave it ALL UP TO HER, what ever she wanted to do. WOW, what a cop out, I can’t even put in writing (for public view) the thoughts that went through my head. To find the positive in this I told my daughter that I saw it that this in a way made it easier for her (us) to move forward, but in my view which I kept to myself at first, he took the cowards way out. It was all left on her shoulders to carry and bear the burden of a decision so important and life changing. My understanding was the only involvement at the time he wanted was for her to let him know how her dr. appointments went.

Another one of her task was to determine what type of parent her child needed her to be, she certainly couldn’t count on the now ex-boyfriend, what did a child need in this world to survive and thrive? How was she prepared at this time to provide life’s necessities to her child or by the time her child was due, what skills did she need, what life would her child have with what she could currently provide, what future did she see and want for her child and could she accomplish / provide her vision for her child at her age? She had to also seriously look at the safety of and for her child, we talked about how many children had been abused or killed by their “mother’s boyfriends”, how many times we heard on the news or read in the newspaper these stories. Being young, she would still want to date later; she had to think about the risk she would be taking with her child, she would have to scrutinize very carefully the person(s) who her child would be exposed to. It took her several days to finish her list and when it was done and she weighed the pros and cons, she knew that she was not in a position or equipped to provide the life for her child that she wanted or that a child should have, at least not now, not for many years to come, she chose adoption, to entrust another couple to parent and raise her child, even though I knew this was probably the best choice, the thought bothered me, based on what little I knew at the time about adoptions, knowing that I would have a grandchild somewhere out in the world that I would never be able to see, to hold, to spoil, to play with, to rock to sleep, and shower with grandma’s kisses, or to know whether my grand-baby would be safe, happy , in a good home, it tore at my heart. Was this the best thing for my grandchild? I knew that it was hurting my child twice as much if not more then it was hurting me, I couldn’t let her see the anguish I felt, I spent days/nights in tears away from her view, I took long showers just to be able to cry and let out my frustrations. For days and weeks I would find myself driving and felt the desire or need to just keep going, no place in particular, just driving as far away as I could (but I didn’t), kind of running away from home, from my life at that moment, from my aching heart and my daugter's. What would I have done had I been her? I didn’t know, all I knew at the time was that when I was a teenager, my mom was a tough cookie, she told my sister and I often, that if we ever got into that kind of trouble, we could just forget we had a place to come home to, I don’t think she would ever have turned her back on us, but we certainly weren’t going to take any chances and find out by calling her bluff. There had to be a better way I kept thinking, I couldn’t let this happen, but my head told me that it was the right thing to do, even if my heart ached and felt like it would break in a million pieces. I knew my daughter was far from ready to be a parent, and I knew she didn’t want it to be her dad’s and my responsibility, it was hers and she couldn’t fulfill that role at the time. So maybe she had listened to me at times, when I would tell both her and her sister that when they became parents they had better make sure it was when they were ready to put their child before their wants, that it was their responsibility, not mine or anyone else, their life would be different, because they now had to care for another life.

To be continued…..

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....For days and weeks I would find myself driving and felt the desire or need to just keep going, no place in particular, just driving as far away as I could (but I didn’t), kind of running away from home, from my life at that moment, from my aching heart..... There had to be a better way I kept thinking, I couldn’t let this happen, but my head told me that it was the right thing to do, even if my heart ached and felt like it would break in a million pieces.

If only you knew how many other people echoed the way you feel/felt. (((Mari)))

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....For days and weeks I would find myself driving and felt the desire or need to just keep going, no place in particular, just driving as far away as I could (but I didn’t), kind of running away from home, from my life at that moment, from my aching heart..... There had to be a better way I kept thinking, I couldn’t let this happen, but my head told me that it was the right thing to do, even if my heart ached and felt like it would break in a million pieces.

If only you knew how many other people echoed the way you feel/felt. (((Mari)))

A common ground for all of us...with those of use that deal with infertility, too!

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If only you knew how many other people echoed the way you feel/felt. (((Mari)))

A common ground for all of us...with those of use that deal with infertility, too!

Though, I don’t consider myself living in a sheltered world or sheltered life, this experience has lead me to know and continue to learn so much about both sides of the adoption process. It’s funny, that sometimes we can go through life and not really know so many things unless we are impacted or touched by them ourselves or someone close to us, in this case either Placing or PIW.

Gosh, so many other experiences that are not part of everyone's daily lives, for instance, touched by death, I have been touched by it since I was a young teen, yet there are so many people I know who have never experienced a loss of a dear loved one , they have been very lucky in that sense. To me it is a part of life and now, here is anothe part of life that my family and I are now a part of.

I have no doubt that there is so much more in common down this road that I have yet to realize, and how many people have been where I (we) are now. Thank you for your continued support, lending an ear and helping to educate me in this process of life in the world of BPs & PIW, I am truly grateful.

Blessings,

Mari

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A common ground for all of us...with those of use that deal with infertility, too!

This statement is so so TRUE

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Continuation…Part 5

Meanwhile the doctor’s appointments began; we also had to decide what we were going to do about school. She was due to start in 3 weeks and because of the type of school she attended it was a concern, she could start but would have to change after she began to show, her father and I decided that we would just start her at another school from the beginning. Luckily there was one we found that she could attend and that wouldn’t make her attend yet another school (alternative) once she had the baby, it also provided child care if she later decided to keep the baby. I called the new school to get enrollment information, I had to keep trying to get through the conversation, because it was just so hard to think and converse without breaking down. I had mentioned earlier that she played sports, but since the end of June she had not played because of a back injury during weight training. Her dr. at the time had advised for her to take several months off or she would injure herself further and possibly have to give up playing her sports for several years. She was now facing no sports, a different school, away from the peers/friends she was use to seeing daily and pregnant.

Her ex after just a short time decided he really didn’t want to know anything, sometimes he would take her calls, but mostly he didn’t. And YES even if it was 50% her fault she didn’t get pregnant alone, it really burned me up that his life had remained untouched, he continued at the same school, played sports, able to hang out with his same friends, go to homecoming, prom, you name it…I felt like he should have been paying some of the price, I know this was unrealistic on my part, he was a kid, an immature kid at that. Even though my daughter acted like it didn’t matter, I knew it did. She was still in communication with several of their mutual friends, some of them with good intentions (they thought) would tell her, what he was up to and doing. She didn’t talk about it often, but once in a while she opened up, I would have to think before I spoke, because the first things that would come to mind where not very nice, so I just kept telling her that one day he would get his, and probably live with the biggest regret of the two. She was the bigger person of the two and she was doing everything she needed to do to come out ahead. The last I knew was that he hadn’t even told his parents, not sure if he ever did, but if he did or if they ever found out, which I am thinking they did, since the school they attended was small, they never made an attempt to contact us. This was all on my daughter now and of course with that on us as her parents.

At first even though she was conflicted, she didn’t want others (mainly her dad and I) to get involved with the process of making the important decisions of how, where, who, when. We started her in counseling and after a couple of sessions she decided to ask for my help. The first session was with all three, and I made no attempt to hide my anger at the situation or my disappointment, my husband on the other hand, was calmer, he said that “at least it is just a pregnancy and nothing more serious like other parents had been facing”. “It wasn’t the end of the world”, well for me it was pretty close at the time, and my thinking was irrational and clouded. What he was referring to about nothing more serious was due to a friend of my daughter’s who had been diagnosed with a very aggressive type of Leukemia the year before, she was in remission, but it was tough to see a 15 yr old that we knew so well, her parents and family going through that . I knew he was right, I can’t begin to imagine what they were going thru, but even so, at the time I would have preferred not being in the situation we were in. The rest of the sessions were just with my daughter, though she didn’t like going at first, especially since her counselor was a nun, her view was, “what does a nun know about pregnancy”, she eventually was comfortable and didn’t have a problem going, our goal was to get her past all the anger she was feeling and directing at us her parents. I had already spent endless days researching adoption for her, and would have the information when she was ready for it. I didn’t realize that there were several options in adoption these days, closed, semi open, open, I had gathered all I could find and when she was finally ready we spent days discussing the options, weighing the pros and cons, we talked to her ob, she gave us some literature to read on adoption.

My daughter and I sometimes watched the show The Locator, there was an episode of a young girl in her early 20s that was looking for her birth mom, she talked about having a good family, but feeling like she didn’t fit in, and wanting to know about her birth family, why she had been placed for adoption, one of her aunts on her adoptive moms side knew her birth grandmother, but wouldn’t give her any information. After that episode, my daughter decided that she never wanted her child to feel like that young girl on TV; she didn’t want her child to feel out of place, or feel not wanted or loved by her or wonder why. My daughter decided to seek an open adoption after watching the show. This episode came at just the right time, when she was trying to decide what type of adoption she wanted for her child and at the same time for her. We now had to find the right agency; we narrowed our search to two, one in Dallas and one in San Antonio. During this time she was not only dealing with the pregnancy, but with health issues, headaches that had been diagnosed as migraines (several years back), constant vomiting, now it seemed they were getting worse, pregnancy symptoms mixed in with hormone changes, she was barely getting through the each day. We also had several big family functions; we chose not to share the news of her pregnancy with other family or anyone else until we got through the family events. It was also avoidance on my part, I just didn’t want to have any other complications or deal with anyone else’s input, the only one that we told was her sister, who flew into town to see her and spend time with her. We knew eventually questions would be asked, we would cross that bridge then, but we agreed to keep personal the information about adoption, we would tell our families when the time was right, but for anyone else it wasn’t any of their business. My daughter and I felt strongly about that. Remember we are both private, no one had to know what our/her plans were.

To be continued....

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Mari,

You are a wonderful mom! I have been reading your posts and have learned so much. Thank you for being so open and honest. I am a parent in waiting and reading this helps me understand even more.

Tracey

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Mari, as I read your installments, all I can think is how blessed we are to have you and your daughter as part of Abrazo's community, and how surely your gracious sharing of your story will help other mothers and their daughters out there. I think learning your daughter is pregnant before she's ready is probably every mother's fear, and yet, you demonstrate how such crises can be faced with grace-- and how all the tears shed in the course of such a personal tragedy can help grow a garden of miracles, in time. Bless you, my friend... and bless all those other mothers out there who are reading your words right now and struggling to find a way to support their own daughters in the midst of similar circumstances.

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Dear Abrazo family,

I awoke last night thinking of something, maybe because I had been thinking before going to bed about my journal. Felt the need to say, that in my writings, I may be using words/descriptions in regards to adoptive families/birth families that some (either side) may be sensitive too. I hope that I do not offend anyone with my use/choice of terminology in the world of adoption. I am very new to this and am learning quickly that it is a very sensitive topic to some as to how they are classified (labeled). I certainly do not mean any disrespect for anyone and will never minimize any ones position including the extended families of either PIW or BP. I have the up most respect for all involved, including those that make it possible to bring both families together.

Blessings,

Mari

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Mari, you just keep writing...however it comes. Your posts are a treasure and your heart is in such a warm loving place - I'm so happy you're here!!!

Thank you for your thoughtfulness - you are a special special person!

Lisa

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Mari, you just keep writing...however it comes. Your posts are a treasure and your heart is in such a warm loving place - I'm so happy you're here!!!

Thank you for your thoughtfulness - you are a special special person!

Lisa

Mari,

I second what Lisa said. You have said nothing offensive in your posts. And you do not have to apologize for writing how you feel. We are all in this together, and we are all learning. Thank you for sharing your heart with us.

Susan

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Mari

Nothing but love is written all over your posts...

Hugs

Heidi

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Mari, thanks for journaling this time in your, and your daughter's, life. I read every word. I have a daughter about to be 14, so you know my worries and concerns.

My hope is that the heartache of this pregnancy will fade away (in time) and lead you and your daughter to peace and acceptance of the actions and choices which resulted in this pregnancy, and the beautiful life who is here... for all the right reasons.

I say this because, as much as we try to use positive adoption language in our home, our child's Birthmom is not as tuned in to the sensitivities of her child and her adoption. She has said in front of our child, her pregnancy at such a young age was a mistake. My daughter interprets this as, I am a mistake. As much as I try to neutralize and explain what her Birthmom really means, I can't seem to totally make the doubt disappear in my child's mind.

And so, I guess all of this to say, I appreciate your candidness and willingness to keep on learning on behalf of your daughter and your granddaughter.

Thanks for helping me to keep on learning too.

Karen

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Thank you for continued support.. I really appreciate all of your input, honesty and insight.

Blessings,

Mari

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Continuation ….Part 6

Though it had only been a few weeks that had gone by since my daughter dropped her bomb, it felt like it had been an eternity, we had been in a wind tunnel going round and round fighting against the gust. I tried to get on with life as normal as possible, and encouraged my daughter to do the same. A couple of weeks before the news, I had returned from a week with her sister out of state helping her plan her upcoming wedding that would take place in a couple of months. I banked on the fact that I had been busy helping my niece and her mom with a 15 b-day celebration working on center pieces and floral arrangements for the event in a couple of weeks and would continue to be working on floral arrangements for the wedding which I had to get done and ship out to my daughter. Boy, was I off base completely, who was I kidding, apparently just myself. Even though I had tried to keep busy, it was difficult for both of us, day in and day out, we felt like we were walking in a fog, lack of sleep, fatigue and stress had consumed our life for what seemed like too long already. She was due to start in a new school shortly and I knew she was pretty nervous, not only regarding school, but all the changes that were happening in her life at one time. I really wasn’t’ sure how she was going to handle it much longer, everyday, I felt like we were walking on egg shells, I kept a watchful eye on her, not knowing if all of a sudden the bottom was going to fall out, either from her or from me. So I guess getting back to as normal an existence as possible was a must for us both, but it was going to take more work then I had originally thought.

About a month after the news in early September, my daughter and I were in church one Sunday, and she passed out on me; several parishioners helped me with her and we took her out for air. That, in itself wasn’t new, but it hadn’t happened in a few years. For some reason since she was very young, every once in a while she would just pass out with no warning, test were done by her doctor, he couldn’t determine anything, so his advise was to make sure she always had breakfast before she left the house, also to watch for room temperatures, thinking that maybe places were too warm (it usually happened while in church) for her. Luckily, we were kneeling when it happened, so she didn’t go down far, but it scared me to see that she took a good bump to the head and she was out for a little while. The body heat coming through her clothes was unbelievable, her cheeks were flushed and she got sick to her stomach. I took her home and called the dr. and they advised to keep an eye on her and if it happened again or if I saw something unusual to take her into the ER, if she did fine, to take her in the next day to see her (ob). Her dr. thought that maybe it was all the stress compounded by the pregnancy; smells like perfume, cologne or anything strong gave her an intense headache and nausea, all her symptoms should be getting better after the first trimester her dr. felt.

Since we had been busy with all these events, we had decided to wait to contact an agency, a little part of me was hoping she would change her mind, but I kept scolding myself because I knew I was only being selfish and not thinking clearly. (Now I feel that maybe that’s why some parents of birthparents don’t agree or fight adoption, because they are trying to avoid the heart ache for themselves and their children.). I also thought that maybe her sister could raise the baby, which really, if I had been thinking rationally, it really shouldn’t have been an option. She was due to get married at the end of the month; she was going to be a newly wed when the baby was due, but I had been having horrible thoughts and nightmares that frightened me. What if something happened to my daughter, my only link to her would be my grandchild. Then, the sister of a school friend of mine, people who I hadn’t seen in 25 or so years, passed away, she had a child when we were in high school (which was why my mother threatened my sister and I with no home to come to if we got in trouble) who was placed for adoption, and it was almost like this was a sign, this was confirming my thoughts, morbid I agree, but still very real to me, it was sending me a message. When I attended the vigil, my friend told me that her sister found her son a couple of years earlier, he was in his late 20s, her sister and her had spent several years searching for him, her sister had a desperate need to find him after they found she had cancer. Even though her son agreed to see and talk to his bmom, he really didn’t feel any connection or at least not that he showed from what they could see, he knew he was adopted, but he really had not come to a place where he needed to find her. Not long after that I heard more bad news, a young girl 18, who had attended my daughter’s current school two years prior passed away; she left behind a two year old son. What was happening, another sign? I know, I know I was just grasping at straws, but I couldn’t help thinking about all the different negative scenarios and what ifs. These incidents kept fueling my fears.

To be continued....

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Continuation….Part 7

I kept wondering if my daughter would be able to handle the adoption, loosing her child, would the heartache be too much for her. I prayed for God to guide us, to show us the way, I would find myself asking him for the answers to those questions at all hours of the day or night. If only I knew, but we don’t and can’t know until that time comes, and that was the frustrating part for me. Is my child, my baby going to be ok, how I wish I had the answer right then and there. I had to get past that in my head, in the pit of my stomach and my heart. I also had to get past that the decision of adoption was not going to be taken very well within our family, I knew at least on my side, because this was something new ( teenage pregnancy ) for us to personally experience, it would not be a popular choice. I was not really sure on her dad’s side, we really didn’t spend much time with them, I guess I just wasn’t too concerned with all of them, it was more with my mom. She had just turned 75, even though she was healthy I (we) didn’t know what it would do to her; and we really didn’t want to find out. My daughter didn’t want to see the disappointment in her grandma either and she was afraid to tell her. Heck, I was afraid to tell her.

During a family dinner to celebrate my daughter’s & nephew’s 16 and my mom’s 75 b-day, my mom and I were talking about the school friend who had passed away, my sister made the comment “didn’t she go out of town to have her kid and just gave it away” ..I corrected her memory of the situation and what really happened and continued to talk to my mom; luckily my daughter was sitting at the end of a large table with my sister in law, and her little cousins. I was seeing red with my sister, with her tone, her judgment (facial expressions made) and the insensitivity with her comments stabbed at me like a knife, but it was like..DING, DING, DING, bells, sirens and flashing red lights went off in my head, yeah, we were making the right choice in not saying anything, we were going to delay telling the family as long as we could.

Meanwhile I researched legal guardianship just in case, also researched what needed to be done to terminate parental rights of the ex. I wanted to make sure I had as much information as possible for whatever came up next or might come up. If my daughter decided to keep the baby, I knew she would need a lot of help to be able to continue attending school and care for her child. I didn’t try to discourage her from the adoption plan; I just wanted to be as prepared as possible, I didn’t share with her, or her dad, my research for legal guardianship. They had been having a difficult relationship for the last several years, I think because they are so much alike, they each have to have the last word, or contradict each other, if she said something was white he would say it was cream or vise versa. They both constantly challenged each other’s point of view. I knew if she kept the baby, the tension between them would be more intense because she would struggle with parenting due to her age and he would want to take over, causing even more problems. I was concerned with putting the baby in the middle of their battles. On the one hand I wanted her to keep the baby, but on the other I knew that she couldn’t be a fulltime parent yet. It was driving me crazy; I felt like I/ we couldn’t move forward, I was so torn and conflicted with everything. I hurt for my child and for the day that would come when she would relinquish her rights, I almost detested those three POWERFUL words. Those questions that made my head throb, would she be able to do it? Was it going to destroy her? Would she be able to recover and find peace with her decision? These are all questions that I asked daily; there was no escape from my thoughts.

When my daughter sometimes talked about keeping the baby, getting a job and providing for her child, and also continuing with school, as gently as I could, I would try to explain and paint a mental picture for her, that even with a two parent household, with two mature adults it was sometimes difficult to juggle everything, and knowing that she didn’t want our help, because it was her responsibility, how would she manage? I knew for her it was also a little wishful thinking. Those different possibilities, it was like being in that place, “between a rock and a hard place”, (never really understood that saying), but between two very huge difficult and overwhelming solid walls she would hit no matter the choice she made. Keeping her baby would certainly diminish her/our pain and heart ache, but she wouldn’t be able to give her baby everything she wanted for her child, she probably felt like her heart was getting pulled in opposite directions. It would have been easier on the heart to keep her child, but what about in the long run? Even if our days at times felt like they were turned inside out and upside down, I knew we had to keep considering the best-case scenario, a different possibility today, a positive possibility each day, was going to have to be our road map and our goal.

To be continued.....

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Mari, you are such an amazing woman and such a prolific writer... even knowing your story as I do, I marvel at your strength and courage, and the resilience of the human spirit. (I see so much of you in your daughter!) I hope you give some thought to sharing your story with a wider audience (perhaps as an article for Adoptive Families magazine?) because I think you have much to teach us all! :wub:

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You keep me hanging on by a thread....like a mouse for that small bite of cheese......loving your dialogue/story. Please continue I keep learning from you.

xoxo, Amy

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I love reading your posts!!!

Heather :D

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Mari,

Thank you so much for sharing your story. I'm learning so much from you!

Paula

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You keep me hanging on by a thread....like a mouse for that small bite of cheese......loving your dialogue/story. Please continue I keep learning from you.

xoxo, Amy

Amy,,,,,with your post, I have to say you gave both my daughter and I a good laugh (this is a good thing), one that we really had needed for a while..I didn't realize that Our Story was unfolding as you described it, it is just very, VERY difficult for me to get through too much at one time.. Don’t mean to keep anyone on the edge of their seats if that’s what I am doing. Most of you probably figured out by now who my grand-baby’s new and loving parents are, and that there is a Wonderful out come for them, for her and yes us.. I am just sharing the journey with detours and bumps it took to get her to where she is and the post placement from our side. Thank you for adding a light moment to our day. Blessings,

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