Wednesday, December 16, 2009

A Visit to the Fertility Clinic

Today Zoe and I drove over to visit the staff at the fertility clinic that Steve and I went to - I had kept in touch with a counselor who is on staff there. She was really wonderful and helped me get through the grief I felt when our last IVF hadn't worked. She had stayed in touch afterwards to see how I was doing.

When I sent out announcements for Zoe, I made sure to send one to the counselor as well as our R.E. and her staff. The counselor called me to catch up and since we've been playing phone tag, I decided to stop by the office. We stopped in and were able to go inside by the reception desk (but out of the actual waiting area.) I didn't want to be in the waiting area and upset anyone by bringing in a baby...I remember how hard that was for me when I would wait in the waiting room and someone would come in with a stroller or a carseat. The sounds of a baby crying or cooing as I was waiting to have a pregnancy test done (or some other form of treatment) were just too much for me emotionally.

The staff was so excited to meet her! They asked all about her adoption and how things happened. We talked for a bit. Then I got to really sit down and talk with the counselor I mentioned above. She's wonderful - she is so excited for us and asked a bunch of questions. She is working with someone else considering adoption, so I was able to give her some information for that person as well.

Our R.E. was able to visit for a few minutes, too. She actually had tears in her eyes. Zoe had been asleep for everyone else, but she woke up when Dr. K walked in the room. Zoe just smiled and batted her eyelashes at her. It was really sweet.

It was one of those full-circle kind of moments, you know? Back after our IVF hadn't worked, I dropped off a box of unused medications. I wanted to donate them to someone else who could use them instead of us. I felt like it gave me a little bit of closure, particularly as I drove away after donating them. Not sure if that makes sense, but for me, it seemed to help. Going back today was such a celebration and such a feeling of a new just made everything feel full-circle.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Don't worry...

Yes, somebody said that to me just a couple of days ago. "Don't will be just like she's your daughter." I was at a party, and it was said to me by a stranger who had just learned that we are in the process of adopting Zoe. I had shown him a picture of her and explained that we were new parents. His first question was, "Well, where is she from?" Meaning he assumed that we had adopted internationally. I explained that she was born right here in our state. Then he made the daughter comment. I assured him that she is most definitely our daughter. I honestly don't think he meant any harm by the comment; I think it was just what popped out of his mouth at the time. But it has bugged me ever since he said it.

Zoe has two mothers...the mother who gave birth to her and chose to place her for adoption with us. The mother who made a huge decision that affected not only her future, but Zoe's and ours. The mother who cares about her, loves her, asks about her and will spend time with her.

And she has me...the mother who thanks God every single day for Zoe. The mother who is so grateful to Z for choosing adoption. The mother who gets up in the middle of the night to feed Zoe or calm her crying. The mother whose day is made when I see her little eyes light up, and I hear her little giggles.

"It will be just like she's your daughter."

She felt like my daughter the moment I saw her. How could I adequately explain that moment to a stranger I had just met? The moment she was in that tiny crib in the hospital nursery with her tiny purple knitted hat on her head. The moment I held her. The moment I saw Steve hold her. There was never any doubt about how we felt; we just hoped that she would be able to come home with us and stay with us.

Every day that she has been with us, we get to see all of the new or funny things that she learns how to do. As I type this, Zoe is tryng to sit up on my lap. She is so determined. Yes, she's not even 3 months old, and she's trying to sit up! She's been doing that since the beginning of the month. It's so exciting to see all of her little firsts. And she's so funny. She'll stick her tongue out at us and wait for us to do it back to her. And sometimes she makes this little noise to get our attention; like "hey, you need to look at me." It's very cute, Yes, we are very proud parents, that's for sure.

I think Zoe has the best of both worlds. She has 2 families - her birth family and her adoptive family - who love her so much.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Brr!!!! It's getting cold here!

As of yesterday, it really feels like winter here. I know it's December, and we've been really fortunate to have the warmer weather up until now. But I was really enjoying the warmer temps. Oh well.

Things have been pretty busy. We had Thanksgiving not too long ago. We spent the afternoon and evening at my cousin's house and had a good time. My pictures from that day are still on my camera...I'll try to post one when I can. That Sunday my family threw us a baby shower. It was really nice - so many people were able to come and meet Zoe. My mom and my sisters put framed pictures of her on the tables as centerpieces and attached balloons. They gave out little favors of silver heart Christmas ornaments. We had a really fun (and sometimes emotional) afternoon with everyone and it meant a lot to me. Everyone there knew that it had been quite a long journey for us to start our family.

I talked to Z, Zoe's birthmother, that night. I had called her and left a message right before Thanksgiving. She wanted to call us back and say hello. She sounds like she's doing well. It was good to hear her voice and talk to her. I told her I'm getting some pictures together to send to her soon.

During the week we went on Zoe's first field trip! Well, we sort of tagged along on a field trip that students at my school were taking. They were going to Toys R Us to buy a toy for students in another class. They had to read the list, pick out the gift, and purchase it on their own. It was fun to see them so excited. We followed them over to the mall afterwards and watched as they found their way around the mall and talked with Santa to tell him what they hoped to get for Christmas. The whole trip was about life skills - what to do in a store, how to find things, how to order things (like lunch), and how to pay for things in a store. Zoe did great! (We saw Santa but she didn't actually sit on his lap. I'm a little paranoid about H1N1, so we decided to skip Santa for this year. Maybe I'm overreacting, but I figure she can go when she's older and understands more.)

To round out the busy last couple of weeks we went and got a Christmas tree today. It looks really nice. It's a bit bigger than we had planned, but that's okay. Steve put the lights on it and now it's waiting for decorations (that's my job.) I'll probably start it tonight.

Zoe has been pretty busy herself...
She had been sleeping 5 hours a night, which the doctor said is considered "sleeping through the night" for a 2 month old. She actually slept 7 hours after our field trip on Thursday and 6 hours last night! We were pretty excited. I had forgotten what it felt like to feel somewhat rested!

She also started trying to sit up when we hold her. She can arch her back and start to push herself up into a sitting position. She doesn't stay up without our help, but it's pretty impressive, either way!

And today we heard her laugh for the first time! She gets excited all the time but when I tickled her today, we heard a tiny giggle. Then when I sneezed a little while later, she giggled again. Too cute!

Well, I guess that's pretty much everything. Tomorrow I'm going to a pottery show with my mom and my sisters. I'm pretty excited - it's one of favorite places to go every December. Then my sisters are going to babysit while Steve and I have a date night (or maybe a date afternoon!) It will be nice to hang out with him. I think it's the first time that we'll have gone out just the two of since Zoe came home in September.

Hope everyone is having a good (and warm) weekend!