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Mari reading your story makes me feel all the emotions that you were going through you are so amazing. I am so glad that you are sharing your story with us.


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Mari, I just wanted to tell you that you are such a blessing to this community. Your insight and wisdom are so valuable. You always have a level head and loving heart in the words you share, and I ap

Thank you Leah! I'm glad I was able to add to my photo gallery. I was trying to figure out how to post from my phone, since I can't get access to Abrazo website from home computer.. And to borrow

Beth Thank you Beth… I needed the hugs …. Not feeling sorry for myself or anything, it’s just part of the journey and process and those bitter sweet moments that creep up especially during SPECIAL/Me

As I reminisce on the day you were born

Along with your entrance, came a cold winter storm

The newspaper contained such depressing news, happening in the world

Little did they know, that day would be born, a beautiful baby girl

A headline read: Gray day in S.A

But a miracle happened, on that cold winter day

Though seven weeks early, doctors could no longer wait

On pins and needles, we prayed & we waited, to learn your fate

And all of sudden, here we are, one year later

Our love for you, expands our hearts so much greater

Even though with you, on this day we cannot be

You’re not far from our thoughts & our hearts, please believe

As we see pictures of you today, with sparkling eyes and smiles

We hope our immense love for you, reaches you across the miles

Your first year of life we will also celebrate

Never forgetting you made your entrance, on this forever special date

God answered our prayers from far above

To give you the strength to thrive, our beautiful angel, we will always love

With lots and lots of love, your grama


FROM YOUR FIRST FAMILY, We love you so much...

May God continue to keep you safe and well...

Edited by 1st x grandma
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And if your extraordinary poem didn't say it all, your beautiful avatar surely does!

We know so many adoptive families that wish their child/ren could have such a dear and devoted first family championing their child through life.

Thank you for your unending love for your daughter and granddaughter, and for always being willing to "be there" for her adoptive parents, as well.

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Thank you for your kind words… Though my daughter was a little sad at times, over all we really had a good day…Her day actually couldn’t have started out any better than with the call we rec’d from my grandbaby’s mom, first thing in the morning…that was exciting…which really made my daughter (actually both of us) feel warm and glowing.. We had the chance to talk to our angel girl, twice actually.. We greatly appreciated the opportunity, what a beautiful gift we were given…

I also kept ourselves busy.. I took the day off of work, kept her out of school (I know, not a good example, sorry)… Hit the spa for a massage and facial, then went to a movie and dinner, just the two of us (not being selfish or anything,but her dad is out of town, otherwise I think he would have joined us for movie and dinner, don’t think he would have been too keen on spa)…It was a better day then we both expected…

Hope all have a wonderful and warm weekend…. Be safe and well…



Edited by 1st x grandma
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I don’t think I did anything that another mother wouldn’t have done for her daughter in the same situation I would hope. I just did the mom thing which is to continue to try and take care of my daughter, since I knew I couldn’t take her sadness away, I just tried to add something pleasant to the mix.

I thought it was important to be able to balance the VERY IMPORTANT DAY, which I knew would be sad for her, with something that would be a little fun to do and give her some new memories…Now she can also remember her daughter’s first b-day with the first time she had a massage/facial at a spa… Had been thinking about different possibilities for over a month, finally deciding on our outing two weeks before, but didn’t tell her until the night before..So I am so glad it worked out for us (that she wanted to do it)…

I will always be there for you

I am your mom.

Someone to share the good times

As well as the bad.

I make no judgments by what you say

I just listen with my heart and

Hope to be of help in any way I can.

I will be there for you now and forever

And always please remember

I am your mom!

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Continuation…Part 36

It didn’t take long for Nurse Elizabeth to come back in with a bag which was a steroid...the lab was called and not long after another bag of drip was added, this time it was potassium. She had been on both after surgery and they had been removed earlier that morning when the bags were finished, but a few hours later it look like she was having some type of withdrawal/reaction to not having them, so the doctor ordered them back for her. He was on his way back in to check on her. My daughter was pretty much out of it, they had also given her morphine which pretty much knocked her out.

As we waited for the doctor and talked with Elizabeth, we found out that she was not due to be on duty, it was supposed to be her day off, but the nurse that was scheduled had been in a slight fender bender that morning, due to rain we had been getting all night and into the morning hours. All we could say was thank goodness she had been there, God was truly looking out for my little girl. I waited for her doctor to check her out before I called my daughter, she had already called, but I had told her the doctor was there and I would call her back, even though at the time of her call he wasn’t there yet, but I wanted to make sure we knew what was going on before I spoke with her.

Once the doctor came in and checked her, he asked Elizabeth to increase the steroid drip and gave her some other instructions that only they understood, but it had something to do with stabilizing her vitals, there had been drops in her heart rate then it would go extremely high, so keeping her as quiet and still as possible was necessary. Currently that didn’t seem to be a problem, due to her being pretty much out of it, but it would be important as the other medications started to work and her body started to respond to the meds and regained strength. Every morning lab techs came in to take blood, labs were done on her daily, prior to surgery they took the blood from her arm, after surgery they took it from a port-a-cath that had been inserted in the left side of her chest, and because he didn’t want her moved, he asked Nurse Elizabeth to have radiology come in and do some x-rays, instead of the normal process of unhooking her from the big monitors and hooking her up to portable ones to take her to radiology. He would be back later, but they knew to call him if there was a need. Though we knew she was well taken care of, she was in good hands and all precautionary measures were being taken, it was still nerve racking to watch this unfold and feel utterly helpless, all we could do was wait, wait on the latest test, wait on the findings of the tumor from the Mayo Clinic, wait to see if she was going to need chemo or radiation treatments, wait for her vitals to stabilize, JUST WAIT…….

When I finally did call her sister back, I told her that she was asleep when she asked to speak to her, I told her she had not had a good morning and was resting, but I assured her she was doing better, a short while after we got off the phone, she called me back to tell me she was going to make arrangements to fly in the next morning. …No need for me to try and talk her out of it, I knew it was something she needed to do, it was important for her and I knew her sister would love to see her. I just asked her to call me once she had her flight scheduled so I could make arrangements to have her picked up at the airport.

As my husband and I sat there doing the only thing we could do, keep vigil, I told him that I had several calls from the night before; one was from my friend J, the mom of my daughter’s friend who has leukemia. Her call had come in around 11 pm, but I just wasn’t’ up to talking to anyone outside the family at the time, so I decided not to take the call, I would call her the next day.. I felt bad, because I had always told her to call me when she needed to talk, I couldn’t imagine what she was going through with her daughter’s illness, and if being there and lending an ear when she needed to talk was how I could help her deal with the situation then that’s how I was willing to help her. Sometimes she would call me around midnight if she had been having a hard day and couldn’t sleep, I would stay on the phone with her until the early hours of the morning. I hoped her daughter was doing ok, she had been in remission for about a year, but the cancer had returned just a month prior and she had to have a bone marrow transplant a couple of weeks before my daughter’s ER visit…but right then and there when the call came in, I just couldn’t focus on anything outside of my daughter, I hoped it didn’t make me a bad friend or selfish person, I just couldn’t’ take on someone else’s grief at the time, and I didn’t know if I could remain calm enough not to tell her about my daughter, she also had enough to deal with at the time. My husband asked me if I was going to call her back, I told him she was probably at work, I would call her that evening..

Though my husband (originally before the episode with my daughter) was going to go get some breakfast, we were both no longer hungry..I guess both of our insides were a jumble of nerves that had stamped out any appetite we may have had. We were good though, had tons of snacks, that my mom, sister, and SIL had been bringing, I just needed something to drink, so he had gone out to get me some orange juice, of course something stronger probably could have done me some good to settle my nerves, could probably have been able to handle a stiff drink like a Starbucks Coffee, but juice would have to do. Received call from my daughter with flight info…told her I would make sure someone was there to meet her and that she would be staying at her grama’s, so she wouldn’t stay at the house by herself.

To be continued……

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  • 1 month later...

Continuation….Part 37

When my husband walked back in he told me my friend J was out in the waiting room wanting to see me, I wondered out loud how she knew we were there, then he shared with me, that the mother of one of my daughter’s classmates had gone by the night before, I hadn’t seen her, she happened to come by when my sister in law and I had gone to the food court before she left for the night, and when I got back into my daughter’s room, the only person there was her dad and visiting hours were over. I personally didn’t know her, or her son, my husband was the one who knew this mom, they worked as volunteers for a project at the school my daughter use to attend and even though my daughter was not attending that school currently, he was still very involved with this project. Apparently this mother had gone to see my daughter’s friend O, but found that she had been released from the hospital already so she went to see my daughter while there, after which she was going to the house of my daughter’s friend to see her. It occurred to me that was probably the reason for the call from my friend J the night before; this mother probably told them about my daughter. When I shared that thought with my husband, he said he hadn’t thought of that, and didn’t think to mention to me the visit. Tish, I now felt a little worse for not taking her call, I was sure she was concerned about my daughter. Had I known though about the previous nights visit I could have expected her call and yes even her visit.. I knew I would have done the same, well what was I thinking, I had done the same when my daughter and I found out about her friend the previous year, and we were there every single day visiting her until they released her from the hospital several months later. I braced myself and went out to see her.. As soon as I saw her she asked me how I was doing, didn’t wait for a reply, she apologized for not being there sooner, but she had only learned of my daughter’s situation the night before…and as I had figured, it had been my daughter’s classmate’s mother who had been there. After we cried together, I caught her up on my daughter’s situation, and we talked about the irony of two friends who were dealing with life threatening experiences within a year of each other.. She shared with me that the previous Sunday she had seen my jeep in the parking lot, and thought we were there to see O, but when she got to her daughter’s room and she hadn’t mentioned we were there, she thought maybe we were there visiting someone else.. We hadn’t been to the hospital since O had returned for her bone marrow transplant due to her immune system and blood counts needing to stabilize, even though we were some of only a very small group of none family members who could visit her.. We just didn’t want to take a chance with her and expose her to any illness that would put her life at greater risk. So we were waiting for her to be released from the hospital to go see her. I told her that I would have really preferred her not finding out, only because she had enough on her plate with her daughter’s situation, but I had thought of her often while there. I was glad thought that O’s health had finally improved enough to be able to go home, O wanted to see my daughter, but she could not freely walk the hospital corridors yet, her platelets were still too low, she could only go as far as the clinic to get her treatments three times a week and still could not have too many visitors. I needed to get back to my daughter’s room, I felt sort of anxious and uncomfortably not being there, especially in the state she was in. So when I told J that I appreciated her coming by, as well as her prays and concern, she asked if she could see my daughter before she left, her husband was with her daughter who was getting a treatment down the street, I told her she was sedated but she could go in to see her, I tried once more to paint a picture of how she looked to give a little heads up.. I asked her to tell O that my daughter was doing good, no need or sense in her being concerned with my daughter, she needed to focus on getting well and stronger herself.

After J left, I sat there and thought about what we talked about, two teen girls who had become friends when they met their freshmen year…They were each other’s date to their first homecoming dance (neither were allowed to go with a boy yet). They both played volleyball and golf, she usually went with us when we went to tournaments, practices or other functions away from the school, including out of town football games, and it was as if we had acquired another daughter. O, was looking forward to being in my daughter’s quince the year before, they had been practicing for it the day before she ended up in the ER..She kept trying to talk her doctors into letting her out of the hospital so she could be part of the celebration, and of course that wasn’t going to happen, but no one could say she didn’t try. We did make arrangements with her parents and doctors permission for my daughter and her court of honor to stop by the hospital on their way from the church to the reception hall to see her. Once O was able to return to school, my daughter was her protector, watched over her like a mother hen, the dean of women called my daughter her friend’s guardian angel. Little did we know at the beginning of their high school years that they would both be dealing with life threatening situations before they had graduated, what were the chances?

My daughter pretty much slept (a better way for me to look at it) well into the late afternoon; her vitals were finally looking better and were staying stable. She still seemed to be more out of it then not during the short times she was awake. Even though she seemed to be resting more than being in the comatose state (as the nurse and doctor had described it) she had been in that morning, I was still too worried and filled with the anxiety of not fully understanding or rather knowing what might come next, we knew her situation was crucial, it had been an unforeseen set back, I prayed a small set back, but it was a setback not less and I was not about to leave the immediate area for any length of time. I knew there was nothing I could do to make her better, I couldn’t snap my fingers or wave some magic wand over her and make all this go away, though at that time I sure wish it was possible and I could have pulled out some special love filled angel dust to use, but all I could do was continue to leave it in God’s hands, continue to ask him to keep her wrapped in his loving arms and to protect her and her child, after all he had gotten both of them this far, I knew he would continue to embrace them.

Her neuro doctor came by during his afternoon rounds to check on her, advised us that after the CTS the following morning he would decide whether to remove her ventriculostomy tubing that had been inserted in her head that previous Friday, but only if the fluid was still draining properly. Depending on how she was doing he was also going to have someone from physical therapy and a speech therapist come see her and work with her, he would get the nurse to contact them and schedule. Her OB also came by to see her; she had already been brought up to date by my daughter’s neuro doctor of what had transpired that day. Nurses from maternity floor where still coming in daily to monitor the baby’s heartbeat, we had made sure that when they took her for her CTs, and when they had come to her room for x-rays they knew she was pregnant so they could take the necessary precautions…

Family started coming by in the evening, not staying long, they all just wanted to see how she was doing and to check on my husband and I. Everyone kept trying to get us to go eat something, or just go take a break, but neither of us were moving from there for now. One of my friends was going to bring us dinner, she would call us when she got there so my husband could meet her out in the waiting room, so we were pretty much set until he had to go let my daughter’s dogs out and feed them. Friends that called were still told that we would call them when she was up to having company outside of the family. Several religious sisters, one from our church, and two from her school came by to give her blessings, we were not going to turn them away… They were Gods angels, yes as we all are, but to me though, they had more of a direct line to him then me and with closer ties, we would take all the blessings and help we could get. Meanwhile we continued to wait, I sure wish I could say waiting became easier, but it really didn’t, it took so much work and was emotionally draining just to sit there and not be able to do anything for her.

To be continued……

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  • 1 month later...

Hello Forum Family...Hope all are doing well...

Just want to wish each of you and yours a wonderful, blessed and safe Easter....




I was walking down life’s highway a long tme ago.

One day I saw a sign that read…”HEAVEN’S GROCERY STORE.”

As I got a little closer the door came open wide…

And when I came to myself, I was standing right inside.

I saw a host of angels…they were standing everywhere.

Once handed me a basket and said, “My child, shop with care.”

Everything a Christian needed was in that grocery store.

And all you couldn’t carry, you could come back for more.

First I got some PATIENCE. LOVE was in the same row.

Further down was UNDERSTANDING…you need that everywhere you go.

I got a box of WISDOM, A bag or two of FAITH.

I just couldn’t miss the HOLY GHOST, for it was all over the place.

I stopped to get some STRENGHT and COURAGE to help me run the race.

By then my basket was getting full when I remembered I needed some GRACE.

I didn’t forget SALVATION….for salvation that was free.

So I tried to get enough of that to save both you and me.

Then I started to the counter to pay my grocery bill,

As I thought I had everythng to do my Master’s will.

When I went up the aisle, I saw PRAYER and I just had to put that in,

For I knew when I stepped outside…I would run right into sin.

PEACE and JOY were plentiful. They were on the last shelf.

SONGS OF PRAISES were hanging near, so I just helped myself.

Then I said to the angel…”Now how much do I owe?”

He just smiled and said, “Just take them everywhere you go.”

Again I smiled at him and said…”How much do I really owe?”

He smiled again and said, “My child, Jesus paid for your bill a long time ago.”

Author Unknown

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Thanks for sharing Mari- you must be so proud of your daughters' accomplishments

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  • 3 weeks later...

Thanks for sharing Mari- you must be so proud of your daughters' accomplishments

Thank you Heidi…Your right, extremely proud of her… You would have thought she won the Pulitzer prize.. She has worked so hard, given her challenges and the last almost two years she’s had, it makes this milestone that much more meaningful for us..

Thank you also to all who have congratulated her..It is not only heart warming but comforting that so many are joining us (her family) and cheering her on..

I know I have slacked off on posting.. things have just been really tough, here I had thought that a year and a half later it would all be easier to deal with, but I found out much too soon that they are not, so I am not going to say that I haven’t had time, it’s more that I haven’t wanted to or been able to continue at this point.. With every doctors appointment I take my daughter too, every time something else pops up with her health due to the brain tumor, just continues to bring all of the scary frightening feelings back up and it feels like it was yesterday.. I really look forward to finally having to stop adding new doctors, new specialist to her extremely long list and her being healthy again in all aspects. Don’t get me wrong, I thank God for her daily, he and I continue to have numerous conversations daily, and he keeps sending me reassuring signs that we are on the right track.. It is just the human side of me that has trouble wrapping my arms, head and heart around it at times..I do feel confident that I will eventually make it there, of course hoping for it to be sooner then later. :D

Blessings to all,


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Never lose that hope. The power of positive thinking and looking forward to the future when your daughter has a healthy body again and the need for less doctors, I believe can have a great impact on what happens. No matter what, everything happens for a reason and usually one can emerge stronger than when they first got into that situation or chapter in their life.

You are in our thoughts!


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My heart always smiles when I see there is a post from you.

I am sad to read that your daughter is still struggling with her health. It is so hard to watch our children not succeed to their fullest.

We also struggle with several health issues that compound the education process for our son.....none of this is easy, but we work through each issue/problem the best we can & move forward.

We rely on faith to carry us through each day as well.

Keep the faith, keep walking your journey, there are so many of us here on the forum who think of your family....praying for recovery in all areas Mari---stay strong, keep being your daughter's advocate.

Much love, Amy

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I have no words or insight that will take away the pain you feel. But just when you think you might be alone, remember that many of us on the forum feel connected to you and your journey. We are here to support, and love you, your daughter, your granddaughter, her parents and all that touch your heart as you have touched so many.

May the blessing of health be yours



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Jocelyn, Heidi, Amy,

you ladies ROCK...thank you so much


Wanted to share the following with all and pass on info asap.... it was forwarded to me by a reliable friend,,,it sure does have all kinds of info..in some cases there were even phone numbers... It only lets you delete two or three entries per email address..it is easy to delete your info,,,just follow instructs... Please feel free to pass on to family and friends and help them protect their privacy.. Hope you find this helpful



There is a site called www.spokeo.com It's an online phone book that pictures of you and family members and your home, profession, your age, materitail status, how many people are living in your house and the ages of your children, credit score and so much more. Go there and do a search and see if your name is listed. To remove yourself click on Privacy button on the bottom right. Just do what it says to remove your profile. Also do a search for everyone in your house for their profile to delete it.

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May is Brain Tumor Awarness Month

Our brain controls many of the complex activities that we perform on a daily basis. Unfortunately sometimes the first time that we think about these "how to" steps is when we encounter difficulty performing the tasks. When someone we love is affect by the effects of a brain tumor, we want to do everything we can to help. The recovery is at times very stressful for the surviors, dealing with relearning simple task and just trying to do everyday activities can at times be challenging, this can take its toll on many. Sometimes, even for the caregiver, the demands of caregiving combined with the ongoing stress of everyday life can seem like a lot to cope with all at once. There are many from children, to the elderly that are affected. The road can sometimes seem long, continuing and taking one day at a time may be all we can do, what better way to help then by including them in our prayers, wherever these families may be. Reach out and touch someone with your prayer this month.

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May is Brain Tumor Awarness Month

Our brain controls many of the complex activities that we perform on a daily basis. Unfortunately sometimes the first time that we think about these "how to" steps is when we encounter difficulty performing the tasks. When someone we love is affect by the effects of a brain tumor, we want to do everything we can to help. The recovery is at times very stressful for the surviors, dealing with relearning simple task and just trying to do everyday activities can at times be challenging, this can take its toll on many. Sometimes, even for the caregiver, the demands of caregiving combined with the ongoing stress of everyday life can seem like a lot to cope with all at once. There are many from children, to the elderly that are affected. The road can sometimes seem long, continuing and taking one day at a time may be all we can do, what better way to help then by including them in our prayers, wherever these families may be. Reach out and touch someone with your prayer this month.

Edited by 1st x grandma
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Even though daily, I keep all first mothers and grandmothers and their families, in my thoughts, heart and prayers. I am sending out special prayers for each first mother and grandmother on Mother’s Day. Hope you have something special planned to pamper yourselves physically, mentally and/or spiritually.

My daughter and I will be out of town on Saturday attending a mother/daughter retreat. We are both looking forward to this event and our time away from the everyday comings and goings. Happy Mother’s Day to all Mothers, Our blessings to one and all..Love, Mari

I said a prayer for you today

And know God must have heard.

I felt the answer in my heart

Although He spoke no word.

I didn't ask for wealth or fame

I knew you wouldn't mind,

I asked Him to send treasures

Of a far more lasting kind.

I asked that He'd be near you

At the start of each new day

To grant you health & blessings

And friends to share your way.

I asked for happiness for you

In all things great & small.

But it was for His loving care

I prayed for most of all. Unknown Author

Dear God,

We thank you for taking us into your family through the miracle of

your grace. Today, loving God, we pray for mothers:

• who cared for us when we were helpless

• who comforted us when we were hurt

• who love us unconditionally

• whose love and care we often took for granted

Today we pray for:

• those who are grieving the loss of their mother

• all first mothers

• mothers grieving the loss of their child

• all adopted mothers who unselfishly share their child

• families separated by war or conflict

• Lord, give them special blessings

Gracious God, continue to keep us united with you and with each other, so that we can be and become all that we are meant to be. Amen.

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Beautiful poem Mari thank you for sharing that! I may have a mother's day use for that poem - you are just in time! Have a wonderful Mother's Day Mari!! You are near and dear to my heart. :)

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Blessings to you, and your daughter. Same to Sloane and her Mommy. I wish you all peace, happiness and days of health and laughter

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Happy Mothers Day Mari! I loved the poem and too will pass this along. I hope you and your daughter will have a wonderful weekend together relaxing and enjoying each other.

Blessings to you and all your family,


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