Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Meet Vanessa - Adoption Blogger Interview Project 2013

Adoption Blogger Interview Project 2013

To wrap up National Adoption Month, I'm participating in the 2013 adoption blogger interview project from Open Adoption Bloggers!  I learned about OAB last year, right after the interview project had taken place.  I'm so excited to participate this year!

I was paired with Vanessa, a beautiful adoptive mama who blogs at Unexpected Dreams.  She is committed to writing about whatever is happening in her life, moment to moment.  I enjoyed getting to know Vanessa through this project, and look forward to keeping in touch with her now that the project is wrapping up.  Make sure to visit Vanessa's blog to show her some love, and to check out her interview with me!

Please check out the other interviews in our group, as well as the first and second interview groups for this year's project.

And now for my interview with Vanessa:

You talk about seasons in your life a lot.  Can you tell us about the season you're in now?

I do talk about seasons a lot. I find that it is easier to describe what may be going on in my life at the time. I would describe this season as a season of waiting and a season of in between. We are waiting to hopefully welcome a new little one into our home through adoption. We are waiting to see how our family will grow. With that I feel like we are in between of being a family that is complete. There is so much that is happening in this season of life. I am not good at waiting or being in a place that is not quite defined. It has been hard and drives me insane many days but is also been a time of growth as a family too. And I wouldn’t change that for anything.

How did your year of contentment go for 2013? 

Contentment has been something that I have thought so much about over the last year. It was something that I felt that we needed to focus on this year and it is a word that continues to breathe life into our family regularly.

What I have found is that contentment is going to be an on-going theme in our home. We live in a world that really does not promote contentment well. We are told to strive for bigger, better, and more. We are told that we can have it all and we should work hard to achieve it all. And while I do agree with some of those things, I would also argue that living in the present and seeing what it is that you do have, is equally important. I do work hard, my husband works hard but yet we are finding that the stuff is not what we want. We want more time with each other creating memories for our family.

I have learned that more is not better; it is not always what we need or what we even really want. I have tried spending more time focusing on relationships instead of stuff. Investing more in my marriage, in my family, with friendships etc. I have started to look beyond the stuff and look into what was important to me. It continues to be a work in progress!

What are you most looking forward to in 2014?

I am looking forward to growing our family in 2014. At least, I am hopeful that we are going to grow our family in 2014. I am trying hard to not put a time frame on this adoption. You never know what will happen!

I am also looking forward to seeing Little Miss continue to grow and develop. She is in a very fun and challenging age and we are enjoying her so much! I love doing life with her and the hubby!

Can you share Little Miss' adoption story, for those of us who are new to your blog?

I don’t share a ton of details about Little Miss’s adoption because it is not all my story to share with the public. It is her story and I feel that my responsibility is to protect that for her for as long as I can. However, I can give you a snapshot of what we happened during that time.

In a nutshell, we started the adoption process again in 2010 after our first adoption did not finalize in 2007. We were in the beginning stages of researching agencies and saving money when we found out that Little Miss’s birth mom was expecting. We were officially waiting adoptive parents soon after meeting her and Little Miss’s biological father.

We spent the next several months preparing for a baby and going through the emotions that adoption brings. We were able to attend doctors appointment with our birth mom which was amazing gift for us. Our relationship with her birth parents started to grow during these appointments, which was amazing!

Little Miss made her entrance into the world 7 weeks early! Yep…she decided that she was coming early and did not really wait for any of us to be ready for this. We spent a week in the NICU and the rest of her story is a whirlwind.

We finalized our adoption when Little Miss was 5 month old, on my father’s birthday which is only fitting because she was born on my grandfather’s (his fathers) birthday.

We continue to have an open relationship with her birth parents. It is a different relationship than I had hoped for but it is growing and for that I am thankful.

I’m sorry that you experienced such loss before the joy of Little Miss, but I think you would agree that God had a plan the whole time, and has a plan for all of us. What advice would you give to others going through infertility and/or a failed adoption match?

This is a hard question for me to answer because I think that we all deal with grief in loss in different ways. I can tell you that for me, I was angry for a while. Not at the fact that a mother decided to parent her child, but at the fact that my heart still ached to be a mother and my infertility was preventing that. At least that is how I thought about it at the time.

I would say that if you believe in God then know that He is bigger than this and that He will see you through it even if you are not sure how. I knew that there had to be a reason for the pain that we were going through and believed that this was just a piece of our story as a family. I held on to the fact that the God I believe in is a God of love and redemption and restoration. He is a God that has a plan for us and it doesn’t always line up the way we want or hope for but He has a plan.

Please hear me when I say that this doesn’t mean that you don’t hurt or struggle with what is going on, because you may and should if that is where you are. There were many days I struggled to be thankful for what I had and where I was and I lived in anger and heart break. I have often said that infertility sucks! And it does, but you will also hear me say that without that pain and grief, I would have the most beautiful, sweet, smart and healthy little girl.

Even though the pain maybe really fresh and raw right now, know that it will change and be different at some point. It wont stay raw forever. Know that it is ok to be angry about it, to hate it and to be angry with God. It is ok to grieve the loss that you face with infertility and with a failed adoption.

I don’t know how much this will help. I just know what helped me at the time. Looking back I wish I didn’t feel so much shame about our situation but I did. It was through all that pain and loss that I ended up learning the most about myself…so be open to what God may be doing in the midst of being in the valley.

What advice would you give to first time parents to be?

First time parents will get lots and lots of advice. I don’t really want to add to the “you should do this and that” list. But what I will say is, enjoy it! Parenting is hard, and tiring and heart breaking and you will often feel like you are losing you mind, but it is also fun and amazing and a gift so delight in all of it!!

And keep your marriage healthy if you are married and parenting children. I am convinced parenting is one of the major reasons why people divorce. It brings out so much in you and your spouse that it can be hard. So nurture your relationship for the sake of your family!

Is there anything else you would like your readers to know?

I am sure there is more to share but for everyone’s reading eyes I will stop here. Thank you for allowing me to share a bit about our story! And thank you for asking some really great questions!

A big thank you to Vanessa for sharing her story!  And thanks to Heather at Open Adoption Bloggers for organizing the interview project year after year.  I can't wait to participate again next year!

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