Monday, June 28, 2010

Wednesday Visit With Sopharina

video

Here's a video for y'all to see:) I went to visit Sophie and the rest of the fam on Wednesday. While there, Troy decided Sophie should start practicing her drill team skills. She'll be a fabulous dancer for sure thanks to her pappi;) And that's the picture Rebecca took while I sat and enjoyed the smell of baby barf. Gotta love it!:)

oh p.s. in the video I say, "look how red her hair is" and it doesn't even look red. It is though, I promise. The lighting didn't show it off apparently cause it looked red in person. And my video camera is bad quality. bummer.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Silver Lining

It's an up day everyone:) Well, the past two days have been great actually. Yesterday I got to spend time at the Matheson abode and enjoy time with them and little Soph:) It was tons o' fun; filled with excitement and two little boys running on tanks of energy. They never fail to crack me up. And might I say how much Sophie has grown in just the past week! Not weight wise...heck she's still as tiny and petite as can be. But her hair has grown a ton (and it's coming in even more red!:)) and she is much more alert and attentive. I love to see her smile because of her cute little dimples, they're the best! Oh, and probably one of my favorite parts of the visit was seeing her interaction with her daddy. Oh my goodness...does she love him. I saw him pick her up, say a few words, and immediately she was whipping her head around to locate his face. Once she had, she gave him the biggest grin. It was so cute to watch!:) And of course her mommy has "the mother's touch" and is able to settle Sophie down within minutes. That was amazing to see as well. Sophie recognized my voice, but I have a harder time getting her to calm down. Obviously...she's not used to me. But that's ok!:) I got to try shooshing her and eventually she stopped crying one of the times. I still feel like I'm going to break her whenever I hold her, so I catch myself being kind of clumsy and careful. She does a lot of head whipping, which scared me because I forgot to watch out for that. She just doesn't have that muscle control yet which is totally normal for her age. Oh! And Sophie totally vomited ALL over my hair when I was burping her...it was so lovely. I wore it with pride haha totally joking...but Rebecca did make me sit there while she took a picture. It smelt awful!

Anyway....Sophie is beautiful as ever, and doing great. Her mom has had pnemonia the past week so daddy's been stepping in to help out. I have been sick as well but am feeling much better. I had college orientation today, I am all prepped and ready to go for the fall semester at UVU as a pre-med major. I'm so excited!:) Tomorrow I'm heading up to Idaho to spend the weekend with my friend and her room mates so that will be fun too. Well, that's the jist on things right now. Till next time!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

AGH!

Alright, we all have our ways of coping right? Well, one of my favorites and most effective is blogging. I guess you don't have to read my blog if you don't want to, if you find it disturbing haha. It is my on line journal however, so logically I'd fill it with my thoughts and feelings, good and bad. I do apologize in advance however, because this is one of those "bad" times.

It has been 3 weeks since I had Sophie, two and half since placing her. She has already grown up so much, it is amazing how much progress baby's make just within the first month! I feel like I'm missing out, and in all reality, I am. It's coming to terms with that that I'm struggling with. She's so much more alert now compared to the last time I saw her! The Mathesons do the best they can to keep me updated and informed, so why is it that I still feel left in the dark? No one knows...and I am so sick of it. I can't eat. I can't sleep. Crying is apparently my new favorite past time. I want this to stop. And from what I've learned through other birth moms, it will. I just need to give it time and have patience. Heck, it's only been 2 1/2 weeks! Seems like a life time though...I am so frustrated. I am doing all the right things: going to church, going to institute, praying, reading my scriptures, building my testimony, DOING MY PART. So why is it that I am still unhappy? I pray for happiness every night. I guess I haven't earned it yet? Because I can think of no other explanation.

Ugh, I could blab forever. And I apologize for puting a damper on the mood, but I needed to vent, and vent honestly. I am very obviously going through a difficult, bitter stage. I just pray it doesn't last much longer.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Oh...Being a Birth Mom

Well, I've had several people ask me if I'd please write an update since I don't answer phone calls yet...sorry everyone. It's a hard time and I just wouldn't quite know what to say yet. I do however, REALLY appreciate everyone's love, concern, and prayers. It means the world to have such a huge support system. Thank you.

Ok, well, as you can imagine, adjusting to this new life style is extremely difficult. I often find myself at a loss with myself. All you mothers out there can understand when I say, that having a child brings with it natural, motherly instincts. I have motivation for one thing, and that one thing is impossible for me to do. The only motivation I have left in me is to be caring for something...for someone. But I can't do that, and that's something that with time, I'm going to learn to accept. Everything inside of me is telling me I should be exhausted due to late nights with a baby, not because I spent the whole night crying. The fact is, what I'm going through just isn't "natural". It's not natural to be torn from your other half. I willingly placed Sophie for adoption, so it makes my adjustment even more difficult. How do I mean? I mean, that placing Sophie was a type of loss. When someone you love dies, that's a loss. But death happens whether we WILL it or not. This adoption happened because I willed it and now I'm having to learn to accept my decision and move on. Basically what I'm trying to say, is I'm experiencing a loss that took place because of my own decisions, so I have to accept that. In order to do that I constantly remind myself of why I did it, and why it's right.

Grieving takes time and as well all know there are certain stages. Anger, denial, acceptance, etc. I find myself reaching every stage throughout each day. Some times I'm mad because I'm hurting, sometimes I'm just plain depressed, and some times I'm at total peace. It changes, and that's normal. I don't want anyone to think that I regret placing Sophie for adoption. I would NEVER take it back. She has everything I've ever dreamed for her and I am being taken care of as well. Adoption is just hard. Simple as that. And I have every right to grieve in the ways that will make it possible for me to heal.

I've had people ask me what the hardest thing about adoption is. I tell them two things. First, the fact that my relationship with my daughter is in someone else's hands. And second, the fact that I can never REALLY tell my adoptive couple how I feel. BUT THAT'S OK. Why? Because in adoptions, the adoptive couple has every right to feel joy, love, excitement, happiness, etc. And how can they possibly do that if they're constantly reminded of how they're joy is coming at someone else's expense? I put myself in their shoes and know what I would and wouldn't want to hear from my birth mom, and that's how I govern myself with the Mathesons.

Anyway, that's the jist of it. I'm doing as well as can be expected. I've seen Sophie three times since placement, and I get to see her tomorrow. yay!:) Some days are harder than others. But if I could name one thing that gets me through those harder days, it's Heavenly Father. It's prayer. Well, and my amazing parents...and sometimes a big bowl of ice cream;)

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

A Testimony of Birth Mothers

This is a blog entry that I copied and pasted from another blog. I hope the author doesn't mind, I'm just trying to spread her word because I think what she says here is AMAZING. I have visited her blog, and you can find her adoption (Family Journey into Eternity- Hoping to Adopt and Complete or Family) blog here. And her open adoption (Matters of the Heart) blog here.
MY TESTIMONY OF BIRTH MOTHERS
My name is Karine and I made this blog because I wanted to share the many things I have learned so far in my adoption journey. (just for the record, I am a hopeful adoptive parent, have not yet been chosen or blessed by a birth mothers love) At first I didn't understand the selfless love these woman were capable of. The strength they had to do the right thing for their child. I didn't understand who these woman were, how they came to these choices and why it is important to have an open adoption. I was uneducated and my fears were that "OPEN" meant the birth parents could come in and take my child from me or that they would want to be the parent and over step their boundaries. NONE OF THIS IS TRUE!!!!!! It is really important that people know this!!!!!! That they realize adoption is about the CHILD. The LOVE for the child. These woman are amazing women!!!!! Sadly many of these woman are not appreciated enough, respected enough or loved enough for their selfless act of love for the child they brought into this world. I took some educational classes on open adoption and about birth mothers through my adoptionagency, LDS Family Services. There was a wonderful birth mother panel one night. I think those are the most effective classes ever! There sat before me were 7 amazing women who chose to place their child with families. ONLY 2 out of the 7 had a wonderful experience with their adoptive couples they chose. Only 2 had an open adoption after papers were signed and the child was placed.ONLY 2 actually received what they were told they would in the relationship with the adoptive family. The rest thought they were going to be able to have an open adoption, but shortly after papers were signed, things were closed off for them. IT BROKE MY HEART to see these woman so badly treated, mislead and lied to. Their heart ache was felt by all those in that room that night. My husband and I sat there with streams of tears flowing down our cheeks. These woman I have come to LOVE AND RESPECT! They are AMAZING to me! I am BLESSED for knowing them! The more I learned the more I realized that these woman don't want to come and take the child back. They just want to be apart of watching the child grow up. They don't want to play MOMMY either.They want to be recognized for who they are, the BIRTH MOTHERS!The wonderful woman who brought these children into the world. They have the RIGHT to LOVE this child as any adoptive parent through out the child's life! The child deserves to have BOTH his Mother's Love, to know where he/she came from.
I know that our birth mother will be able to give our child something I may not be able to give that child, a sense of where they came from.To have an open adoption to me, means making my birth mother family. She will be my friend/sister.We will communicate a lot... our feeligns and thoughts. She will know how I feel and if i am uncomfortable with anything and I will know what her needs are. If she needs more pictures, more communication, even visits or if she needs space. To me, open adoption is about love and the child. Giving that child the best of both worlds. More people to love him/her and to be apart of his/her life. More understanding of how special they are and how Heavenly Father has a plan and purpose for all of us and some of them come through the gift of a birth mothers love.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

See Ya Later


So today was my first time seeing Sophie since placement. I know it was only last Friday, but it feels like years ago that I placed her in Rebecca's arms. It's amazing how much she's grown in only a week! She's s till super thin, though she appears to be chubbing up in the face a bit. Her arms and legs are so long and petite we just love it! She's absolutely beautiful. Anyway, Rebecca came by with Sophie around 12:30 today to visit before we headed off with Troy to a fancy photo shoot. The pictures taken at the photo shoot were highly professional and totally catalogue worthy. I will be posting some of them when we get them, no worries. I was so excited to see Sophie again, along with the rest of my family. It was like Christmas! I got to love on her, kiss her, and feed her over the span of a few hours and it was just wonderful. I'm so grateful for Troy and Rebecca and the open relationship we have. I know that each time I'm with Sophie, it's never a good bye, it's a "See ya later". And that's what keeps me going.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Picture Perfect










Troy and Rebecca gave me several wonderful gifts at placement. The one shown in the picture to the right is a beautiful photo frame with a picture of me and Sophie and that quote. It now sits on my night stand and I absolutely love it. The next photo is of a necklace Rebecca had made for me that I received at placement. She wears a similar charm around her wrist on a bracelet and Sophie has one that matches too. I'll post a picture of that as well. The rest of the pictures are ones of Sophie and the first few days of her life. I could go on and on about how it makes me feel to watch her grow in the arms of another family, but I won't. The only thing people need to know is that, right along with me, you can watch her learn and grow through this blog. I will be posting new updates and photos consistently so be sure to check in every now and then!:)

Sophie ShaNae Matheson

On June 1st, 2010, the most beautiful baby girl entered this world. She weighed 6 lbs 11 oz and was 19 1/2 inches long. She has strawberry blond hair and adorable dimples when she smiles. This precious little girl is my daughter, Sophie. After a long 9 months of anxiously waiting, she arrived right on her due date. Which just goes to show that she's very special, seeing as only 2% of babies come on their due date;). Before I get into the emotional aspect of things I'll give a time line of how things went that day. I went in for an OBGYN appointment at 9:00 that morning. At approximately 11:30, my doctor came in and stripped my membranes. He said that I would feel some pain the rest of the day and then sent me off with a paper telling me to come in Thursday at 7:30 to be induced. Well, I instantly felt crampy and nasty and by noon I was experiencing my first major contractions. I got home by 12:15 and decided to stay home for a couple hours just to make sure I wasn't having false labor. By 2:30 we were out the door, on our way back to the hospital. By 4:30 they had my epidural in place and were wheeling me into a delivery room. Sophie was ready to come by 7:00 p.m. but they waited as long as they could so that her head was really low. She was delivered at 9:08 p.m.

The whole process went so unbelievably well and smoothly. I know it's a miracle and I have the prayers of many to thank for the safe arrival of my little girl. She came by the use of forceps and they hardly left a mark on her tiny little head. It was by far the most amazing, spiritual experience I've ever had. My mom and Rebecca were in the delivery room with me. Rebecca cut Sophie's umbilical cord and even kept the bloody shears! haha I told her she should frame them. Sophie cried when she came out, like babies should, but immediately calmed down once placed on top of my chest.

Ok, now for the hard part. I was in the hospital for three days. By noon on Friday, I was released. Once home, I was able to spend a few hours with Sophie before heading to the adoption placement. We took a nap, curled up on my parents bed, and then woke to bathe and get dressed. 5:00 p.m. was our scheduled time to meet at LDS Family Services and do placement. We arrived on time and while I was signing paper work, Sophie's birth father was in another room with Sophie and the Mathesons, saying his goodbyes. Once that was over, my parents, Sophie, and I met with the Mathesons in what they call the "group room". We exchanged gifts and spent some time together talking, exchanging memories. Then, I asked to have some alone time with Sophie. Everyone (meaning Troy, Rebecca, my mom and dad, and our case workers) left the room while I shared some final moments with Sophie. I talked to her, I prayed for strength, and I fed her a bottle. After about 20 minutes I was ready to go. I felt like I was dragging out the pain. So I called them back in and I handed Sophie to Rebecca, exchanged tight hugs, and left. And that was it. Sophie was gone.

I had spent the past 9 months preparing for that final moment. The moment when I'd literally have to say goodbye and relinquish my parental rights. Well, I can tell you that no amount of counseling could have prepared me for the real thing. It was the most heart breaking moment of my life. Living through that first night without Sophie was the hardest thing I've ever had to do. My arms literally ached to hold her in my arms. The memories of her sweet little face and her big beautiful eyes looking up at me caused me so much emotional pain that it actually became physical. I couldn't breathe and I couldn't function. I barely made it through that first night. I was screaming out prayers to just make it through with out going insane. It's only been two days now, and it's still extremely hard, but I can already feel Heavenly Father easing my pain. I know that the pain will never fully leave me, but I do know that it will fade to a point where I can start to live again. I'm sorry, I'm not censoring any of this because I'm trying to express how it REALLY felt/feels. I want my friends and family to know as much as they can, what I've experienced. This whole thing has been really hard for not only me, but my family as well. It's been an amazing, hard journey for all of us.

I want everyone to know how much the Mathesons mean to me. The adoption itself was/is extremely agonizing and painful, but the Mathesons have made it 100 times easier. They have opened their hearts and arms to me and my family. They text me pictures of Sophie every few hours just to reassure me that she's alive and safe. They allow me any kind of contact I need to fully heal from this experience, and not just me, but my family as well. They have become another branch to our family and because of that, I know that anyone who wants to, can meet little Sophie. She is a part of the Shumway/McCleskey family. The adoption doesn't change that. She's my little angel, my most precious gift. I have entrusted her to a family that can offer her more than I ever could. I've heard several other birth moms say that their adoptions were made easier because they felt like they were carrying some one else's baby. Well, I never felt like that. I have always felt like Sophie was my daughter, fully and completely, and that I was her mother. And THAT is why I had to make the choice. The choice that no one else could that would determine the quality of her future. As her mother, I had to choose what was best, since she lacked the ability to choose for herself. I know that I love Sophie with all my heart. I have never experienced this kind of love before now. It is incredible. And it is because I love her that I was able to let her go. I put her needs before my own, and though extremely painful and heart breaking, it was right. And I know I'll be blessed for it. I can't wait to create more and more memories with her throughout her life. I am so blessed to even have that choice. Thank you Troy and Rebecca. Thank you for taking such good care of her, and me.

After placement, my parents drove me straight to the pet store where I picked out a little female kitten to take home with me. Her purpose is to help fill the void Sophie left and to distract me from time to time when the pain is too much. I'll post pictures of her and Sophie. Oh, and the kitten's name is Hannah, after the woman in the bible who adopted her son out to the Lord.