Friday, April 1, 2011

The Bed

We've been in our new place for several months now and we've had plans for our second bedroom here for much longer. I was so anxious to move here. I didn't sleep for days. I knew that the moment we moved we would make the call and start things rolling. I had the names and numbers for everyone we needed to talk to, I had websites marked, and I had furniture lined up. We moved on Thanksgiving weekend. The weekend came and went, then Christmas. I thought maybe once the holidays were over I would call. Then I thought maybe once spring arrives I will call, then summer. It didn't feel right though. Friends asked us constantly how things were going, did we need any help, did we have an eta? I had to be honest and tell them I wasn't ready yet. It had nothing to do with money or Hubby or technical hiccups. It was me. I felt so sill. After all of the years, I had finally gotten what I wanted. I've wanted to adopt since I was a little girl. Lots of my friends growing up were foster children, so I had a very compassionate soft spot for adoption early on. Yet, here I was, our dreams sitting just outside the front door after so many years of disappointment. Our lives had been on hold for this very moment for years and I was the one that wasn't ready. Something strange had happened to me in all of those years though. I realized that not only did I have a dream of motherhood, but I had other dreams too. The knowledge that at any moment I could put into motion our plans to have a child, plans that would no doubt be successful this time since my body had nothing to do with the equation, was so empowering. Knowing that the dream would come true whenever I wanted it to allowed me to consider other dreams too. I want my children to know they can reach for their dreams. Our children will most likely come from a long life of disappointments and I need to show them that even adults have dreams and that it's okay to go out and get them. I wouldn't feel like an honest mother if I didn't reach for my own dreams. The ghosts of "what if" wait patiently on the sidelines. The room is an office for now. The decorations are tucked carefully into the closet in that room. We had a bed picked out. It was a white brass day bed that my sister and I had as children. We had that bed picked out long before we signed the lease here. It was a perfect little girl's bed. It would be a great reading spot for me as it had been for so many years until we were ready to put a little person in it. This weekend at a benefit for Baby Noah, I found a bed. I wasn't even looking for one. We had one. This one is a maple colored wooden day bed. It is incredibly well built and heavy. It is very simple and it needs a good sanding or a coat of paint, but it's beautiful. It was unsold so technically we could have it for free, but we paid the $25 price tag happily. It even comes with a mattress. When I saw it, I just knew we were supposed to have it. I argued for a long while in my head. We already had a bed. It needed some love too, a coat of paint, and a few extra nuts and bolts, but nothing that wasn't easily found and fixed. I mention this because I couldn't shake the pull this bed had on me. The feeling truly caught me off guard. I felt perfectly fine putting this bed into our room long before a child would sleep on it. Still, there was no doubt a child would someday be there. More than anything it shocked me that even when our plan was one of the lower things on our list of priorities, things could still fall in place to remind me that the dream would come true someday. It was as if God had sent me a gentle reminder that He had not forgotten us. That He remembered all of our plans, even the far off plans. He was telling me that He was there with us, and that His timing is perfect. Even though I had put those dreams away for a while, God still remembered that they were some of my deepest desires and He would help me reach my dreams someday. *** I have done everything I can over several days to get this post to leave spaces and paragraphs in it, but apparently it just isn't gonna work. My apologies.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Darndest Things

This year I'm working with the first grade. The kids do a center time where they rotate around the class at various activities each morning and I help one of my classes with center time. This week at one of our centers the vocabulary words were one, two, three, four, and five. Recently we have encouraged the kids to try to fit all of the words into a story, combining more than one word into a sentence.

Today one of the boys, one that struggles more than others and has a hard time catching on to things usually, set up shop at this center. Just a few minutes later he raises his hand and loudly shouts "Mrs. Arian! I'm finished!" The kids can't leave the center until I have checked their work, so I walked over to inspect his writing. Normally it takes him the entire center time to do this center so I was already suspicious. I couldn't hide my laughter when I read what he wrote though....

"I can count numbers like one two three four and five."

I almost gave him a check for ingenuity!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

New Direction

For eight long and very painful years I have allowed infertility to dictate so many things in my - our lives. Hubby and I have planned our dreams and our future around the possibility of me getting pregnant. We have put things off for years knowing that time was of the essence. We both agreed that we could settle for simpler things. We decided against several trips, even some overseas on the hopes that I would be pregnant and unable to go. We saved our money for medications and treatments rather than enjoying the things other young married couples enjoyed, like cruises and vacations.

Now I want it understood. We don't regret these decisions. The hope of possibility kept us afloat during these times and we learned a lot about each other. We found courage, strength, and a true love for each other. It was hard to stomach the heartbreaks, but we did it willingly, seeing the disappointments as a sort of toll on our journey.


After eight years we have also learned that God is in control and we can't plan our lives for Him. We can't stop living our lives, living our purpose here on earth while we wait for one paragraph to surface. If God intends for us to have a child, He will give us a child in His own time. When he does this He will make sure that we can handle things no matter the circumstances.

Before we moved back here I was in college for nursing. I was accepted into an accelerated program that paid my way and promised a healthy income. When we moved back here, the local college had a nursing program with a waiting list of more than five years. Nursing wasn't as needed here, so a job wasn't a guarantee either. I cut my losses and went back to what I know. My mom has been a teacher all my life and teaching has always come naturally to me. The program was local, cheap, quick, and promised possibilities.

I started working at a local school in the mean time, building my resume and earning experience. The first couple of years it was okay. I even enjoyed it. Then I got moved around a bit and I realized that once I got my degree, it would be difficult to do the things I really enjoyed. There were so many factors involved though. We needed the insurance. I needed the experience. I needed keep my foot in the door to make sure I had a job later. But I kept having to shove down this feeling of unease and frustration that I was stuck.

I am graduating in May, moving on to the last two years and my future. I began getting information from colleges all over asking me to come to their particular college. One caught my eye and a whole new world opened up to me. That college turned out to be too far from home for me and I was severely disappointed, but thankfully I am no stranger to disappointment. I was able to recognize the passion and desire that my disappointment originated from. I knew I needed to take action and I started to try on a different hat. Instead of finding a different path, I started to look for ways around the obstacles on the path I wanted to take. I was surprised to find that suddenly those enormous obstacles were mere bumps and hiccups that I had solutions to. I decided to seize my opportunity and take a chance.

I don't want my future children to see me live a life that I settled for. I want them to know they should do everything in their power to see their dreams come true. Hubby and I have done that when it comes to having children, but we sacrificed so many other unnecessary dreams in the meantime. The decision is a tough one. It will mean making a lot of changes in our lives and will definitely not be the easy way out, but once the decision was made, a huge weight lifted off my shoulders and I am so excited about the future.

I think sometimes that I get so used to the disappointment and failure and I forget to hope. I don't want life to slip away from me. I have hope in this new plan. I pray that things work out, but I know that if they don't I will never regret not trying!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Poor Penny

I feel terrible. I know we did the right thing but I still feel just awful.

Before we adopted Penny, we called and asked about her. We had three conversations with the people at Animal Control about her and every time they were adamant that she was spayed and had her shots. When I got to Animal Control, her paperwork had "spayed" written three times very clearly. When they tried to find her vaccination records, they couldn't find anything on her. They assumed her paperwork had gotten mixed up and gave us the number to the clinic they use.

Fast forward two weeks to her appointment. After a scheduling mix up (It's only Tuesday people. The week shouldn't feel this long!) we finally made it to the clinic. I sniffled and blinked away some serious moisture as we walked out without her. The clinic is an hour away, so by the time we made it back home they had already left us a message to call them.

I called them and found out they were going to use some of their sponsor money to pay for her spay due to the mix up. Yay! I asked about her while I was on the phone. Poor thing. They managed to put her to sleep for the surgery, and they shaved her belly. That's when they saw a very clear scar from a recent spay.

We were able to pick her up early, but we have to keep her crated all night. The medicine is hard on cats and makes them a bit nuts. Poor baby is meowing constantly right now and clawing drunkenly at the walls of her crate. I feel so bad for her. Her luck seems to be a lot like mine lately. I hope she doesn't hate us when she finally comes to her senses! I wonder, do they offer therapy for catkids?

Monday, March 14, 2011

More Capers from Penny

I am firmly convinced that Penny was intended to be a part of our lives. I truly feel that God sent her to us to prepare us in a way for our future journey. It's just so easy to compare some of her behaviors to that of an adopted child. The process is taking longer than I expected for a pet, but I know with a child that process will take years, so I am actually kind of glad that we are learning. I realize that an adopted pet is a far stretch from an adopted child, but I also feel that everything happens for a reason and that all experiences are learning experiences.

A couple of nights ago we survived our first failure with Penny. We are working hard to try and show her that she doesn't have to stay huddled in one part of the house all day. I know it has a lot to do with the fact that she was kept in a tiny cage for a very long time and she hides to feel safe. I've even tried to help her find a safe place (successfully) by putting a blanket in the corner of one of the closet shelves where she likes to hide. It is now her "bedroom".

We work every day to pull her out of her hiding spot and bring her into whatever room we are in for a while, showing her that we prefer to all hang out together. She no longer hisses and runs from the dogs. In fact she sat right beside Parker today and watched him eat accepting a very slobbery doggie kiss even. At night we are trying to get her to come back into the bedroom with us to sleep. Since we found her hiding spot in there she won't come back in there with us.

Hubby picked her up a couple of nights ago to bring her in with us for a while and she panicked. She leapt full force from his arms. Hubby tried to prevent her from crashing into the wall in her panic, but only managed to change her trajectory - straight into a metal bifold closet door. Fur went flying everywhere and Penny disappeared. She refused to come out and would not even let us pet her. Hubby was devastated. He and this kitty have gotten very close.

We let her be the next day (thankfully a weekend day) and when she left her hiding spot to eat or go to the bathroom, we showered her with love. That night as we crawled into bed, four sock feet hopped onto the bed. She did not stay, choosing to return to her "room", but she loves us again. We were both afraid that we had scarred her for life, but apparently kitties can forgive.

She has a funny quirk I am certain originates from shelter life. Every single time Hubby or I walk into the laundry room where her food, water, and litter box are kept, she come running in there and hops up on the table where we keep her food bowl out of reach of the pups. It doesn't matter if there is food there or not, she has to be up there. She sits looking expectantly from us to her bowl. I didn't understand at first. I changed her water, put less food out, put more food out, petted her, all to no avail. That's when I started thinking about her living in the shelter for so long. The only interraction she had with people was when they came near her cage to change her food, litter and water out. I think it's just a compulsion to get any love she can. We've since tried to ignore her when we go in to do the laundry and instead leave the room, wait a few minutes and then go back to love her. We also work really hard to remember to go over to her hiding spot and give her attention every single time we go into the hallway. I want her to know she can get love now whenever she wants.

So far there is some progress, although not exactly what I was hoping for. She comes running every single morning as I make my ritual sprint to the bathroom for a desperate morning tinkle. She's decided that the bathroom is a great stopping point for Penny love. I hope she can finally figure out that there aren't special occasions that warrant love. Our house have more than enough love and we prefer to let it flow freely at all times!

Friday, March 4, 2011



You fought so hard for so long. I know your mom and your family are so proud of you for how long you held on. My heart breaks for the pain your family is feeling right now. There aren't any words for how hard this must be for them.

Your light, while seemingly small and brief, touched so many hearts. Your short time here on earth will always remind me that miracles really can and do happen right before our eyes.

I never met you, but I loved you. I prayed and hoped so hard that things would turn out ok. He apparently has bigger plans for you. Good-bye sweet Noah. It was an honor to have even the tiniest part in your life.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Hide and Seek

I hope you all are prepared for the now occasional gushing of pride and delight over our newest family member. She's absolutely hilarious! I love watching her personality slowly slip out as she realizes that the shoe isn't dropping any time soon and that this is home.

I watch her do things and wonder if this is how adopted children will react and grow into our family too. It is a wonderful and fascinating experience.

Penny is coming out of her shell a bit. Last night my sister visited. Until now, Penny would not put her feet down on the carpet unless she was in a dead run to hide. Yesterday, that all changed.... My sister got up to go to the restroom and I heard her yelp, "Um... did you realize there is a cat draped over the back of your toilet? Just thought you would like to know!"

A while later I heard a noise in the kitchen. I looked up and there sat Penny on the counter, her head deep in a large bowl in the sink where Hubby had just polished off a bowl of ceral. She apparently has a thing for milk. She also stuck her head in his salad later that night to try and lick up the ranch dressing! Personality I tell ya....

She is exactly what I always hoped for in a kitty too. I have missed my reading partner for five years now. It was wonderful last night to curl up in bed with a long book and a purring kitty to close out the night. There's just something about cats and books that go hand in hand. We are going to have to work a bit on her part in all of this reading stuff. She loves books, preferably laying over the top of them belly up so that her new human can pet her. She also loves rubbing up against each page that I turn. My borrowed book has a fine layer of black kitty hair along the edges now.

The real kicker though............

This morning we lost her. She was no where to be found. We searched all of her hiding spots and then some we suspect she will eventually discover. Neither of us worried. The door was closed and there was no way she could have gotten out, so she was around somewhere. When I came home, Hubby triumphantly announced that he had found Penny. I asked where she had been. He said "Oh she's still there, follow me."

This is what I found!

Saturday, February 26, 2011


Our family forming decisions have been made. Until I am finished with college, it just isn't a good idea to add such a high level of stress and commitment to our plates. I want to enjoy our children when we finally get them. Having a workable plan in place with a solution that doesn't rely on my broken body, gives me great peace. It doesn't cure the ache, but it does ease it.
Until then, our home is quiet and a bit lonely. For a long time we have relied on our pups to fill the empty spaces in our lives. People laugh and we joke with them about the way we refer to our babies. They are for now, our children and they get treated that way. If one of the pups is sick, one of us takes a day off to care for them. If we go on vacation, they come with us. They are our family.

When we first moved back here, I had a cat. I loved that cat. I rescued him from the cardboard compactor where I worked. He had some issues, and he and Hubby did not get along at all. When someone shot him, I was resigned to never owning another kitty. Hubby didn't particularly like them and I didn't want to bring one into a place that couldn't give him or her unconditional love from both parents.

A couple of weeks ago, we went to this big pet store to get some things for my aquarium. It was a Saturday, adoption day, and there were doggies everywhere. Beside the aquarium supplies, there was a spot where they house kitties that are available for adoption. We played with them through the window, laughed, and went on. I had almost forgotten about it until last week when Hubby brought up a bribe. If I went with him to dinner, he would get me the kitty we looked at. I of course went to dinner with him, but refused the idea of getting a kitty.

During supper, Hubby continued to convince me that we needed a kitty. I thought he was nuts. He really wanted one. We weren't sure we could even have another pet in our apartment. We agreed to look into it and left it at that.

Wednesday night all night I dreamed over and over about asking the manager of our complex about a kitty. On the way home from work I decided that if she said yes, it was meant to be, if she said no, it wasn't. I had reservations about adding another member to our family and another level of responsibility. While Hubby really wanted one and I knew I should take advantage of this, I didn't know if I wanted one right now. The manager would make the decision for me. I nervously walked into her office and waited for her no. I reminded her that we had two puppies, not one, but she still said it would be perfectly fine. I asked her how much the deposit would be, expecting that to be the negative factor. Hubby would never want to pay another $150 deposit. She continued to surprise me by waiving the fee.

I raced up the stairs to tell Hubby. Without hesitation he told me to grab my laptop, we had a kitty to find. We did a Pet.finder search and found a shelter nearby. Hubby had decided he wanted a long haired kitty this time around. This shelter had two long haired kitties. A kitten and an adult. We didn't want a kitten and neither of us were really that in love with the adult at first sight, so I figured we would just keep looking. I looked at the shelter's site and realized they had a large number of kitties at the moment and they were waiving the adoption fee for their fixed kitties.

We took another look at their available kitties and Hubby took a second look at the adult long haired they had available. She was the one he wanted. I thought she looked a bit funny in her pictures, but I thought if he wanted this one, I needed to go with it. We threw shoes on and raced to the shelter but it closed early on Wednesdays, so on Thursday I took a half day off work and went to get the newest member of our family.

The place was tiny and they had lots of cats and dogs. I didn't even look at any of the other kitties there. I asked about the one, they opened her cage, and I just knew. She was beautiful. For whatever reason, she was supposed to be ours. It's hard to explain that to a lot of people, but I just knew. I brought her home and although there are still issues with the puppies, and she exhibits classic signs of a shelter or rescue kitty, she is settling in and quickly adjusting. She is getting very used to an endless supply of love and petting. She has even begun to explore and establish her own places in the house. I am head over heels in love and more importantly, so is Hubby!

This is how I view adoption, be it animals or children. I think God already knows how our family will work out. He knows who will be here and when. Our child or children, when they finally come, no matter how they come, were always meant to be here. I love that.

Penny was an unexpected surprise, but she is definitely where she is supposed to be. It is amazing to me how she just fits here. She is just one puzzle piece that has found its place.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Interesting Results

I had bloodwork done a couple of weeks ago. I always get nervous with PCOS about my sugar readings although I never have had any issues with that.

I had a really rough day yesterday, so I decided to take today off and move my follow up appointment up a couple of days. It gave me a chance to unwind, catch up on some homework, and breathe. I wasn't prepared for the lab results I got back though.

My sugar was great. Perfectly normal, on the low side of normal actually.

On the other hand, my vitamin D was almost non existent. The doc was very concerned about it. He immediately put me on a double dose of supplements and told me to seek out sunshine. (HA!)

It made sense to me that I struggle so much with seasonal depression, but I was surprised that the levels were so low.

I'm really glad he ordered those labs. I now have ample medical reasoning to back up my plan to move to Bermuda!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

We Got the White Stuff

Just for the record, I am sick to death of the white stuff.

We have had more snow than I can ever remember in my whole life. In fact, we had the largest accumulation ever seen in my lifetime this year. It was really exciting.... for the first two days.

First there was the white Christmas, then the really huge snow that kept us out of school for an entire week. After that, three more snow days thanks to the cold white slippery stuff. Now, I know what you are thinking. If I work in an elementary school, shouldn't I be loving the whole snow day thing? I mean, I get out of school for the day, to curl up with cocoa and my algebra homework while Hubby toils away down the hall in his office. What could be better right?

Initially, this was true. I've had a really rough school year. I haven't enjoyed my job very much this year which is very disturbing for me. I'm working my buns off for a degree doing something I truly love. To loathe going to work each day is a serious challenge right now, however I know that it is merely the circumstance I am in right now and not my passion for what I do. Unfortunately, this makes going to work even harder.

Truth be told, since Christmas, I have cried at least once a week before going to work in the mornings (ok so two or three times a week).

Are you seeing where this is going? It took me weeks...

Not only did work cause problems, but the mere thought of delving head first into another brain-cramming semester made my heart race. I was a horrible person to be around the week before Christmas break ended. I was a miserable, anxious, weepy mess. One year earlier I was cherishing precious, but fearful final moments with my granfather amidst two jobs, and a full time college semester. That anxiety came back with every fluttering flake of snow.

School started, then college, then the snow. The more time off I had, the more I dreaded a day away from home. Honestly, I wanted nothing more than to curl up under the covers in my warm cozy bed and never leave home. I couldn't sleep, but I was exhausted all the time. My cycle even got out of whack.

A couple of weeks ago, with more snow in the forecast, my anxiety hit an all time high. Hubby was so sweet. He stayed up until nearly two in the morning because I was simply terrified. Of everything! I worried that I might crash into someone on the half mile drive to work. I worried that Hubby would die in the middle of the night and leave me alone. I worried that my math homework submission didn't go through. I worried that someone would come over before I had a chance to do the dishes. It was a nightmare... without the sleep.

That night, I finally drummed up the courage and announced to Hubby that I was taking a sick day and I was going to the doctor. He reluctantly agreed. I've managed to be off medication for 8 years.

I can't lie. The feeling of defeat was immense. I really struggled, and I still do, with the fact that I couldn't find a way to make it on my own. I feel like I let Hubby and my family down. I've always been the one everyone relied on and now I'm broken. What would they do? I also feel like I let our future children down. There's no way we can take on the stress of adoption right now, and what if they don't let us adopt because I can't handle life? It's frustrating to say the least and only adds to the anxiety I am working so hard to get rid of.

I'm almost two weeks into the medicine. I'm on a really low dose for now. I can feel it starting to help, which is a huge relief. I can finally breathe sometimes without an elephant sitting on my chest. I still have bad days. In fact right now I count life in moments and I have frequent bad moments, but things are getting better. Despite all of the feelings of defeat and failure, I wish I had done this months ago. I should have asked for help when I first realized things were going to be bad.

I'm biding my time right now. I savor every moment of sunshine. I work hard to make myself find a positive note for each day. I'm trudging one slow step at a time through the thick mud of winter. I'm working hard to wish away the white stuff and bring on the green stuff. Spring, you couldn't come any sooner!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Pray for Noah

I know I haven't posted in months. School is unbelievably hard right now and a few things have taken priority unfortunately with any additional spare time. I miss you all. Hopefully, I can squeeze in my posting time from now on....

I need your help!

I don't remember if I wrote about this or not, but the girl that I run the nursery with at church was pregnant. A couple of months before her due date the doctors found an upper hernia in the baby. I don't know the technical or medical terms, but basically his organs had slipped up through a hole in his abdominal cavity and were crowding out his lungs and his heart. They gave him 0% survival chance.

Of course this would be devastating for any one, but she has already had a similar experience. She has a teenage daughter and a few years ago she ended up pregnant. Six weeks before the baby was due it died and they had her carry it until she went into labor.

I watched her work hard not to bond with this baby throughout her pregnancy. Just as her guard started to fall and she started to openly talk about the baby and even name him, she found out he was sick. When this happened you could see her resolve harden. Then she saw another specialist.

The specialist told her it was a grave situation but that he thought they had a 50/50 shot. They would do everything humanly possible for this little fella. We've been praying endlessly since.

He was born just before Thanksgiving. Things seemed okay at first. They did surgery though and were unable to separate his one good lung from his liver. It keeps him from being able to breathe on his own. He's been on a ventilator so he can grow and get stronger since then.

Not once has his mother come home. She's been by his side every step of the way. I can't imagine.

This week Noah took a turn for the worse. He has developed a lung infection from what I understand and they moved him to an oscillator hoping that would help. They had to sedate him because just touching him would send his numbers pin balling. This afternoon they updated us to say he is now on an ECMO (a lung, heart bypass machine). I'm not sure what their plans are, but they could use every prayer possible!

I can't bear the thought of her losing another baby. It is terrible to think that she has had this long to fall in love with this baby, aching for the moment she could hold him and take him home, only to lose him. If ever there was a group of women to understand where she is right now it's all of you!

I've not gotten a chance to see this little guy in person, but I have visited several times. She brings me out pictures on her cell phone every time so we can see how much he's grown. I just love him. He is such a beautiful baby. I pray that he can overcome this stumbling block and come home soon!