Sunday, November 3, 2013

Forever Home

Sometimes life hands you difficult situations and you can either pout and do nothing or you can break down the walls and power through it. I have never felt so proud of the commitment my husband and I have had to powering through these challenges. He has been my rock in so many hard spots and while some days are hard and I'm sure many others will as well. I know now that there is a plan for us and that plan is to help out children in need first. Over the last 12 weeks we have absorbed so much information I feel like my head might explode, but now we are just so anxious to be a forever home to children in need.

I can't express enough how much we appreciate everyone's love and support through this all. It has been a very overwhelming process. We are now just getting to the point where we are thinking man we might be mom and dad in a few months for all we know. Everyone has helped us out in so many ways and it seems like Thank You is just not enough. I don't know how I will repay you all for the  help and support through this but just know the Heidemann family loves you all so much.

I just wanted to put some funny things out there that I never would have thought I would have encountered in this process. I always see the articles out there about things not to ask adoptive parents and just laugh at some of the things people are asked. I never thought I would ever be asked any of these at least not in this stage, but oh was I wrong. I thought I would just list a few to give everyone a small laugh for this Sunday Funday.

1. Will you get to pick your child out of a catalog?
- Say what? This one I had to stop and think for a minute on how to respond. While I understand not many are educated in the process of adoption but please don't ask adoptive parents this.

2. So adopting is like buying a house, you have a realtor and they just send you a bunch of matches that they think you'll like?
- another one I couldn't stop laughing at...not because of the intent of the question but just how funny it sounded to have someone compare adoption to a house.

3. Why do adoptive parents need 6-8 weeks off of work?
- while we do not birth the child and yes that time for some is recover from child birth a lot of that time is for bonding and adjustment. I feel any person bringing a new child into the home birth or adoption deserves this time.

4. They wont be "yours".
- Like hell they wont. Once a child is legally adopted they are issued a new birth it will be certain the child or children will be Heidemann's.

5. Adopting is always a persons second choice and typically only if they can't have their own.
- while my struggles with getting pregnant led us to this journey first it has always been something I have wanted to do whether I birthed a child first or not. There are many people who adopt not just because of issues getting pregnant.

Those are just the ones I have encountered to know, but I'm sure there will be more. While I try not to take these offensively sometimes they do come off rude. I do understand though that many people are just not educated on how the process works and I will always be an advocate to adoption and foster care and I am always open to answering any questions people have whether they want to adopt or foster at all. Just know that there are so many children out there waiting for a forever home and while for some this is just not possibly for some it just hasn't been explored. It is National Adoption Month so I encourage everyone to think about and pray for all those kids out there and hope they do get that forever home.

Lots of Love

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Deepest, darkest time of my life and the road taken to get to acceptance and understanding.

In life there are two kinds of people those who put their needs before anyone else and those who abuse that flaw in others. I sit and remember back to a very dark time in my life and I'm not happy for all the things I did, but at that time they were things I did for me and no one else.

I have always been there for my friends and my family for whatever they needed. Much of my 4 years in High School I felt like a physiologist with as much listening I did for others. Even in college I was there to listen to others. While in college the people around me became people who would take the time to listen to me. I was still not to the point in my life when I would need people the most. It was about 2 1/2 years to 1 1/2 ago that I really needed people to switch that role and put my needs before their own some time...which I had always done for them in the past. When you are struggling with getting pregnant the last person you can go to is your husband, at least for me I couldn't. He knew he wasn't going to tell me to give up and he wasn't going to be mad at me for what was going on, but he was involved more and was hard for him to pull away and be rational with me in my darkest time. I needed my friends who I had been there for so many times before that. Instead I was ostracized from their life because at that time they were all having babies and being there for them was what I was suppose to do. I admit that part of the ostracizing was my own doing because being around baby planning was very painful at that time, but I wish people would have understand that even through the pain I was still happy for them, but it was pain and that can over shadow a lot in times.

As I came to acceptance/ understanding of what was going on and my husband and I starting researching adoption and foster care the pain became less, but unfortunately those friendships were no longer there anymore.  They can blame it all on me, but its not all on me. I guess that through this grieving process I wish I would have just had those people that I put my feelings aside for, for so many years put aside their ego, gloating, and expectations and understood that even while I was happy the pain was to deep and wouldn't allow my happiness to break through for a very long time.

Its hard to look back on one of the most depressing times of your life, but looking back what I see now is the people who were there for me....the unexpected people who I only knew for a few short years or even less, some whom were going through their own pregnancies but never made me feel less of a person for having my issues and understood how hard it was for me and who tried to help me with other possible solutions to our issue. These people I will always cherish in my life. I remember times of sadness with these people as they announced their pregnancies and all I wished for was the same feeling they had, but in the midst of all the excitement...they understood my sadness and grief and never made me feel that how I was feeling was wrong. I didn't jump for joy for them, I didn't cry with tears of happiness, I didn't scream with excitement....I was just happy for them, but at the same time part of me was dying inside with sadness and wanting for that same experience.

Now those feelings of pain are tamed ...I have a lot of ladies in my neighborhood pregnant or having kids and I can feel open to enjoying the happiness of children/ babies again because I know that when God shuts ones door he opens another. Some people never experience true depression and those people are very lucky. I just ask that if you have some around you going through depression in anyway try not to be selfish and try to understand what is going on before you blacklist them for not being the person they once were before because depression will change them into something they are not. I would delete people off my social media who were having babies or hide some of them because while I was happy for them the pain of ultrasound pictures and the baby countdowns and all that stuff was painful. It was something I had to do to make my life easier at the time. I don't regret doing those things....the things that helped me keep sane during the depression. I just hope that someday those people who stopped being my friend during that dark time can see and hopefully understand what I was going through and know that all I needed was for someone to listen to me and actually care. As much as people may not want to believe when you are struggling to get pregnant and reach the acceptance stage you have completed a full cycle of the grieving process. I completed mine and I'm very happy to be moving on. I just wish I had some of those friends that I had before the process began.

Lots of Love,

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Live, Laugh, Love

This week we completed week 3 of our adoption/foster care class. It was a much different feeling than week 2 where I was very overwhelmed. This week I anticipated would be difficult for me being about gains and losses. I thought they were going to focus mostly on infertility loss, boy was I wrong. The losses they showed us were losses that we all experience, these losses are called maturational losses. Examples are birth we lose the womb, but we gain life, or when we potty training we lost privacy, comfort (in diapers) but we gained some independence and dignity in being able to use the bathroom. These maturational losses and gains happen from birth till death, its the situational ones that are harder on us, like the loss of a job, or family member or in our case being put in foster care or being adopted means you have lost your parents. Now in most cases they didn't die but you lost what is normal to you and it wasn't planned that this would happen. In this class we became loss experts and we had to learn to identify what losses children had experienced and how to help them grieve. This also helped us identify what types of losses we could handle, if you have just lost a parent and haven't grieved yourself probably wouldn't be a good choice to take a child going through the same process, but if you have completed the process you could be a great choice to help this child through that tough time. We have to learn to live with what has happened and we learned that while children in foster care or who are adopted should never be forced or asked to accept what has happened to them, but to continue to live they need to understand what has happened to them and why.

One thing I love about our class is our classmates. All are there for many different reason and have a lot of experience. We can laugh about funny experience and learn from them. I was very overwhelmed last week and voiced that to my leaders and one of my classmates explained that its all about patience and love. I was told that with my experience in child care and seeing different levels of behavior I will be fine. All my experience in the past has given me a lot more hope that when we get our child (ren) we will be fine.  Our classes are not all serious we can laugh about funny things that are said or done and hearing how others have made mistakes that seem so silly now, but that you just have to be ok with apologizing for that mistake and hopefully you don't make it again.

We have our first home study visit next week and while I was very worried about that our class ensured us that we don't need to dust and go all crazy on cleaning, but there are things that are needed. Things even people who birth their own child should have. 1) fire extinguisher 2) carbon monoxide detector and 3) meds locked in a lock box. We learned that you should be no more than 40 feet from a extinguisher...that seems pretty excessive but they really aren't that expensive, ours was 18.99 at home depot. Carbon Monoxide is a big issue and everyone should have one in there house, just need 1 per floor. The one that most don't think about is meds. I have a lot of meds from my recent stint in the hospital for a blood clot and we were told everything down to Tylenol and sports rubs needs to be locked up. Again seems excessive but kids can get into this stuff at any age. We think of it mostly for babies or young kids but if you have a child who is going through depression in adolescents, pills could be a way for them hurt themselves, but if they are locked it reduces that risk. I would never tell anyone they have to do this, but we first thought this was going to be a pain in the butt, but it really has shown us how safe it will be. We are very excited for our home study because we will learn more about what types of children we want to take and ages and needs. I know that we are going to try to adopt a sibling group. I know many probably are thinking wow from no kids to two kids will be a huge change, but what many don't know is that sibling groups are really hard to place because people don't want to take that many children on. I would love to reassure a child that they will never be split from their siblings. The only thing I'm thinking about now as we go into the 4 class and our home study is only 6 more weeks and we can't wait to hopefully get 2 kiddos here to our family so we can just start loving those kiddos with all our heart.

Hope you all have a great weekend.
Lots of Love C&C

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Paper Pregnant

Last night I was doing my nighttime ritual where I get into bed and check email, Facebook, and Pinterest before I go to sleep. I ran across this neat blog that was talking about the similarities of the waiting process of pregnancy and adoption. This lady dubbed herself paper pregnant...I Love it.

While the typical waiting period can be drastically different for both you still have to wait and the same emotions come out during that time. From nesting to worrying about having everything right. I'm sadly going through this all now and it's crazy.

I can't dub ourselves as paper pregnant yet but in a few months we should be able to. 7 more classes left! Happy Hump Day!

Lots of Love C&C

Friday, August 30, 2013

Overwhelmed at Week 2

My husband and I have completed week 2 of our 10 week adoption/foster care class. While the information is abundant I found myself very overwhelmed this week. This week was talking about identifying the needs of the children, which you would think would be easy, but its not. To think about how you would deal with a child who is emotionally attached to you, or who is hurting themselves, or who was neglected by their parents is hard enough as it is. You think well I just need to be there for them and show them we care and that will do it, but it isn't enough. I worry that Chris and I may not have the experience to take care of these children. I'm worried we will miss a need and not help the child. While I know every case is different it scares me. To think of children being raped or beaten or not having clothes is so hard. We are taught to not think down about the bio parents but it seems really hard not to resent them for what they have done to these children. I know it will get better, but the amount of information coming in is filling my head so full that it feels like its going to explode. Not only do you have to take care of these children you have to be a detective and pick apart their behavior, their emotions and everything else to make sure you are doing what you can for them.  I know once we get a child or children here it will all fall into place but its a reality check  for you. Next weeks class is going to be very hard for me personally. Its all about loss. We learn to be loss experts we focus on things the children have lost whether its a family member, house, brothers and sister, etc. This class will also focus on infertility, while I still don't think I'm infertile they still consider our situation as a loss. Reading through the packet I know this will be a tough class for me. We have some really great people leading this class, I just hope that they will guide us and help us on areas that we don't have a lot of experience in such as discipline. I know that mothers who are pregnant probably go through some sort of period like this where the tiniest thought of parenting while exciting is very overwhelming.  I hope that all my mommy friends out there can be a guide for me while we go through this. If anyone has any advice feel free to leave it. All comments are welcome. Have a great weekend. Happy football season!.

Lots of Love C & C

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Perceptions of Adoption

Everyones opinion about adoption is different and their own. Over the last few weeks I have been noticing alot more previlance of adoption in the news, on TV and just in conversation. While along time ago adoption was more of a taboo and wasn't widley accepted, its alot more common now. We see celebraties like Brad and Angelina, Jillian Michaels, and Katherine Heigl sharing their adoption stories. While that is just a few of the celebraties out there that have adopted there are thousands of people who adopt and for many different reasons every year.  Their celebratie status help show that acceptance of adoption.

ABC Family television station has launched a new tv show called the Fosters that is a drama seires based on a same sex couple who have adopted, foster, and have a biological son. It shows the ins and outs of situations families who adopt and foster can deal with, such as birth parents, bio children getting along with adopted siblings, foster children wondering how long they will be with this home and just how they manage their lives with all these different issues. All of this is done but still portray a  loving and happy family.

You see many movies out there now that give a portrail of adoption such as Annie, Stuart Little, Meet the Robinsons, Lilo nd Stitch, Blind Side, Juno, Matilda, and Superman, are just a few. In a way these all have given our generation a different understand of Adoption and Foster Care. I feel lts looked less at as a way for a infertil woman to have a child and more about a family who wants to help a child.

I know in our experirence we have really encountered many people who would love to adopt some day or who feel its important that these kids find a family that will love them and take care of them. While Chris and I understand that most people do "prefer" there own children we know so many people who would be amazing adoptive or foster parents as well.

All in all I feel fortunate to be going through this process with people surrounding Chris and I who have a open mind, open heart, and are just truely happy for us. Again, if you are intersted in adoption or foster care or just want to educate yourself more. Please check out. Adoptuskids, Iowa Kids Net, or Creating a Family. All of these sites can give you so much information. I know they have helped us out a ton. Have a great day everyone.

Lots of Love C&C

Friday, July 19, 2013

Nesting...and not pregnant?????

I thought this was a interesting topic. As everyone knows most pregnant women go through a period where they are cleaning and organizing everything in the house, awaiting arrival of baby. While I'm not sure if this is an emotional thing that comes along with pregnancy or if its just the sudden maternal instict to make sure everything unsafe is gone or put away, but I have been on a cleaning and organzing kick over the last 3 weeks. I know I'm not pregnant, but can those same emotions be felt through adoption? Maybe its just a feeling of OMG I need to get rid of stuff cause I know what kids accumulate. Maybe its my anxiety over our homestudy and to make sure the house is well organized so the social worker can see we are a good home for any child. I'm not sure, but one thing is certain my husband LOVES this.

Over the last 3 weeks I have cleaned and organized our closed, master bedroom, guest room and now working on our office, garage and basement. You can ask my parents I'm not a cleaning type of person and so I'm interested to know if its possible to have that nesting instict when your going through other alternative ways of starting your family...aka adoption. We are still months away from actually adopting, but maybe its just the fact I know it will be here before we know it and I want it to be clean or maybe I'm just going crazy. What are all your thoughts on this? Id love to hear.

Happy Friday!!!

Lots of Love C&C