Friday, May 16, 2014

Finally a Mother???

Since Mother’s day has just passed and I’ve been thinking of writing a post regarding Mother’s Day for a couple years now, I figured I could combine two topics into one. My thoughts on Mother’s Day then and now as well as how we came to have a sweet little boy in our home. This blog post is probably going to be a lot longer than initially intended, but it tells the whole story.
I have never really enjoyed Mother’s Day celebrations, other than to celebrate the wonderful Mother that I have who still is and always will be the best Mother in the world and my best friend (I’m sure all of my siblings would agree with this statement). You see ever since I was 18 and first asked to stand after church to receive a flower, for being a woman over 18, I’ve not felt like a mother. It is hard to explain to anyone who hasn’t gone through something similar with an ache in their heart for the one thing they have always wanted, children. 
To me, I wasn’t a Mother because I didn’t have children. From the time that I was 18 until I was 26 I was single and avoided getting or tried to avoid receiving the Mother’s Day gift at church because I was not married and had no prospects and I didn’t feel like a Mother. Then after finally convincing someone I was worth having, and going from 26 to 40 as a married woman without having children, I still didn’t feel like a Mother. (I wonder even know if I can feel like a Mother or ever will).
When my husband and I first got married, well actually before, we discussed having children and if we would wait a bit (you know to get established, have the money , house etc.) and decided we would let nature takes its course and be accepting of any children we were blessed with. Skip past the 14yrs of trying - one miscarriage, three rounds of IVF with two miscarriages and two years of waiting/hoping to be selected for adoption – and we finally have a child in our home. The worst part of this whole experience was when people would ask if we had kids and when the response was no (or that they all had four legs – pets), the follow-up always seemed to be “is it by choice”; that in and of itself is a very hard question to answer because it would always bring tears and a very sad no (note the above reasons). I mean, if it was my choice we would have at least five, if not six children by now, but it wasn’t my/our choice, it was how things just happened to be for us.
So, now you are wondering how did we come to have a child in our home? We received an e-mail just after Christmas 2013 from our adoption profile on simply asking would we be interested in adopting their 5yr old with cerebral palsy. I read the e-mail at least four times before saying something to my husband and then discussing it with my parents (we were visiting them when we got it). I didn’t respond for a day or two because I was researching online and contemplating what to say in return. I simply stated that we were interested in knowing more and whatever the family was willing to share with us and if they had any questions of us.
This was the response:
What a joy it was to receive a response from you two! To be honest, it felt like a Christmas gift to us. Logan just turned 5 in November and he the most amazing person! We like to call him “the ladies man”! Since he is non-verbal, he smiles a lot and works his dimples to get his way haha! He understands most everything we say and does a bit of signing. Logan has a light in him that is full of life.  We always joke around that we should have named him “Giggles” since he is always laughing! He has a belly laugh that will make you instantly fall in love with him. He is a sweet, gentle boy who loves being the middle of attention, loves tickle wars, absolutely LOVES Elmo and he also loves being snuggled. He loves walking in his walker as quickly as he can and chase the dogs lol! His favorite thing is shaking his head "no" and laughing when he wants to be a stinker haha!

He was born via emergency c section (lack of fetal movement) at 39 weeks and was in the NICU for ten days. He was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy. Despite the diagnosis, he was thriving and meeting his milestones. At three months of age, we were hit head on by a drunk driver at 70-75mph. It’s a miracle that we walked away. After the accident, Logan’s pediatrician noted that Logan was regressing and suspected Logan had a traumatic brain injury.

5 years later, Logan proved his neurologist wrong. He is walking short distances with a walker (has a seat sling), understands what we say, has the most amazing smile and isn’t a “lump” like his neuro said he would be. He can crawl (which is huge!!!), pull to a stand against furniture and is starting to cruise a bit as well. He has come so very far and we are so very proud of him!

After the wreck, I had two reconstructive surgeries on my right collar bone. I am struggling with Logan’s weight since I have a 20# weight limit on my bad shoulder. My family lives out of state (we are in Texas) and my husband’s family is broken and not supportive. I am a stay at home mom to our two boys and my husband is a safety guy in the oil field. My husband is often gone on long business trips, leaving me to run the house myself. I heavily rely on my husband to help me with wheelchair transfers to his car seat, bathing and tucking him into bed since his room is upstairs. Logan is on the smaller side at 35(ish) pounds. My doctor has stressed to me that if I continue lifting Logan with my bad shoulder, that I will rip my rotator cuff.

It breaks our hearts, but we want the best for Logan. We want him to be surrounded by family that will love and support him. That’s something that my parents being so far away and my husband’s family can’t give.  We want fresh enthusiasm and love that is endless. We want him to be loved as much as we love him. This is a decision out of love, and we want to know he is with the right family that is ready to take on where we left off. We want the very best for our baby. We have and continue to pray deeply for his future. We are devout in our faith in God and we know He is in control.

Dave and I discussed it some more and then decided to fast and pray about it. We asked our family to keep us in their thoughts and prayers during the next fast Sunday so we could make the right decision. After completing our fast we felt like it was what we should do, so I simply sent an e-mail to the family stating “Yes, we are interested in pursuing the adoption of Logan.” It was determined that we would need to go out and visit (late February 2014) to make sure we were still comfortable with our decision as well as the compatibility of the two families, as it would be an open adoption and Logan has a Texas family (as well as all our family in Texas, Utah, Arizona, Idaho and North Carolina). 
The visit went well and we were able to become friends and family while discussing all of the ins and outs of having a child with cerebral palsy. We didn’t change our minds after meeting Logan and working with him, it just confirmed our feelings of needing to bring him into our home.
I should probably back track just a little here. Dave and I had already started the adoption paperwork (almost two years before this), just to be approved, have the home study done and be viable candidates for adoption. When we initially started the process it took us almost six months to get all the paperwork together, background checks done, reference letters sent and anything else that Virginia decided to throw at us. After our approval, the laws changed and we had to do more paperwork and training and after that we found out that our initial social worker wouldn’t be able to do our home study anymore and that it was going to lapse with their licenses so we had to find another social worker to help us renew our home study (this was about the same time we decided to adopt Logan).
We had to once again go through the whole process of collecting paperwork and getting background checks and references (yes, people had to vouch for us to say we would be good parents and we are not some crazy people {ok, we are crazy, but still}). It took another month or so to gather all the old papers and update what needed to be updated, have a home visit/inspection done and then a visit to finalize the papers. Once this was done it was all sent to the lawyers in TX, who had already begun the paperwork on their end.
Finally in April 2014, we received word we could travel to Texas to pick-up Logan. We coordinated being gone from work for two to three weeks in order to pick-up Logan and then visit family in Utah. We knew we needed a different vehicle so we purchased a 2004 Ford Excursion (we call it the beast). With the purchase of this vehicle we decided to sell Dave’s truck. I told my Mom we were going to sell the truck and she asked for how much, next thing we know my uncle buys it and we had to get the truck to NC. We decided to take it down on our way to TX. So, Sunday, 13 April, after church I headed to my parents, with the beast loaded for our trip and full of some stuff for my parents. Dave left VA right after working a twelve hour night shift on Monday morning and drove to my parents in the truck. 
After Dave arrived at my parents, we ensured my uncle had all he needed for his new vehicle, our truck and then headed down to TX. We had to make an overnight stop, but made it to TX on Tuesday afternoon, 15 April. We were pretty excited to see Logan and his TX family again. We did have to spend a couple days in TX, awaiting the ICPC (interstate adoption compact thingy) approval to take Logan out of the state of TX. We did finally received approval at 1:30PM on Thursday 17 April and were able to get back on the road again late that evening. It took another couple days to get to Utah, but it was worth the trip. Logan was able to meet almost all of his cousins and aunts and uncles as well as a grandma while we were there. After a few days visiting with family we headed back home and stopped in again at my parents so they could meet Logan. We spent a couple days there to rest before we made the last leg home.

Just the three of us...
So, that is how we came to be parents of a wonderful 5 yr old boy. This past Mother’s Day was my first “official” Mother’s Day and Dave’s first “official” Father’s Day is just around the corner. Realizing Logan is a blessing to both of us, Mother’s Day is still a holiday that brings back feelings that I’m sure will never go away, part of me would like them to and the other part would rather keep them as they remind me of the blessings I do have and they might allow me to sympathize with others in the same situation or who may still be struggling with not having children in their home. Don’t judge those of us who have a hard time with Mother’s Day, with or without children, by choice or not, as you may not know what we’ve had to go through in order to have a child or children in our home or what we are still going through to try and enjoy the day or celebrate the day as a Mother or for our own Mother’s.


  1. Thank you for sharing! I agree that sometimes we go through things perhaps to help others own the road. Also, I think you will absolutely feel 100% like a mother by next Mother's Day! Or maybe by tomorrow, haha! A lot of people told me that our son was "so lucky to have you" when we adopted, but I always replied that WE were the lucky ones. So I'm gonna go ahead and say: you are so lucky to have Logan. He sounds like a sweet spirit. I am sooo happy for you!

  2. Yes, we believe Logan is a blessing and we are so happy to have him in our family.

  3. I can totally relate Dianne. Mother's Day was also so hard and I swear I had sister's in law who it seemed like sneezed and got pregnant. I have 1 brother with 9kids and 2 others with 5 and going to baby showers were so hard. My nieces and nephews became my life but it was also so hard when the went home and I was alone again. I had a miscarriage and went to fertility doctors with no luck but Iost my job and couldn't afford the doc. I pretty much gave up all hope and decided to choose a different career path and 2 months after getting a job, I found out I was pregnant so I had a child at almost 37. She is almost 4 now and we have not been able to give her a sibling but she is my greatest miracle and joy so I am so happy for you and wish you the best.
    Amber Blair Stahr