Friday, July 27, 2012

Thanks Mom and Dad

Surprise Everyone! This post is on Adoption:) I figured it was about time and I have something really important I want to write about.  So, here goes nothin’!

Last night, my sister and I were up talking about my past.  She said, “ShaNae, it’s weird for me to even think about how you were once pregnant, it’s as if it never happened.” And I said, “But it did, and SO much good change has come because of it.” To that she replied, “Oh I know, that’s what I mean! You’ve come so far, you’re not even that person anymore.” I couldn’t help but think for a second and realize that she was right.  I HAVE come so far and it’s all thanks to one HUGE mistake.  MY MISTAKE.  And that’s what I want to talk about.  

First off, Sophie is not a mistake, Sophie is the best thing that has ever happened to me.  The indiscretion I was a part of to get pregnant was the mistake.  And believe me, I have never felt the consequences of any decision so strongly as I did that one.  And I wasn’t the only one.  It affected my entire family and many others.  In more ways than one. 

When I got pregnant, my boyfriend (we'll call him Stephen) was living with us.  He had some severe circumstances at home and quite frankly had very few places to go.  My parents opened up their home to him for a time, with the agreement that he’d work to find a place of his own.  He was supposed to stay only a month, but ended up staying for five.   My parents weren’t dumb.  They knew having my boyfriend in the home was a bad idea.  They weren’t naïve.  They knew Stephen and I were messing around.  But I convinced them time and time again to keep him around because I was what people call a ‘saver’.  I wanted to save Stephen, change him, mold him.  What I was too young and inexperienced to realize is that you CAN’T change anyone, and quite frankly, it’s you that ends up changed and often pulled under with them.  So, five months after Stephen moved in, I ended up pregnant.  Having him around 24/7 forced us to become codependent and our relationship went too far.  We’d sneak out of the house and go somewhere to do exactly what we shouldn’t… It was the saddest ending to what I thought would be my Happily Ever After.     
As soon as we told my parents we were pregnant, of course they kicked Stephen out.  That’s a given.  My dad gave him 48 hours to get out, find someplace else to live.  We understood of course.  And let me say this.  I have NEVER in my entire life, felt so much guilt and remorse.  I had betrayed my parents trust in the worst way possible.  I had embarrassed them to the fullest extent.  I HATED MYSELF FOR THAT. So much so, it ate at me day in and day out.  I couldn’t look at them in the eye, I could barely even talk to them.

I was pregnant, I knew people were going to talk.  People always do.  But I was never one to care what people thought or said about me.  I did care however, what they were saying about those I loved most.  I hated that everyone in our neighborhood now thought one thing or another about my parents and their decision to let Stephen into our home.  My parents always had good intentions with Stephen, they were trying to help him, expose him to the gospel and a healthy home.  They didn’t think we’d go as far as to get pregnant.  But lots of people said things like, “Well duh, what’d you expect” or “We saw that one coming”. I know I hurt and embarassed my parents, but we got past that. They knew people were talking, but stood above that.  Our situation became complicated and all that mattered at that point was dealing with it the best way we could.  They let me know they were there as my support.  They helped me feel the love and hope that I needed to make a critical decision concerning my child’s future.  Basically, my parents were Rock Stars.  And it didn’t hit me until last night that I’ve never put that in writing.  There were times when some harsh judgments were thrown at my parents, judgments they didn’t deserve.  I made the mistake to get pregnant, not them.  They trusted me.  I betrayed that trust and have worked LONG and HARD to get it back.  I love my parents for what they did for me those long nine months.  And they taught me so much about faith and forgiveness.  I can’t thank them enough for supporting me to this day with my decision to place Sophie for adoption. 

So, I guess you could say I felt the need to tell the world how awesome my parents are;)   ha And I hope this post did the job.  I couldn’t have done it without them.  Thanks for all you do and all you put up with mom and dad.  I love you!!!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

What the?!

My last blog post had nothing to do with adoption.  This one will be the same.

Like I’ve said before, my blog is the best and easiest way for me to spread word to family and friends about certain aspects of my life.  And as many of you already know, my life has taken some crazy, unexpected turns lately.  I have heard some interesting rumors about myself through the grapevine and have finally decided to write yet another post so many may know exactly what’s going on and no longer have to perform any guess work. 

So, I’ll start by saying that yes, I am home from Africa.  Shouldn’t be (in my opinion) but I am. God has a plan for me as cliché as that sounds, and it apparently wasn’t in line with mine.  I was engaged before I left, to be married in September.  And I planned on living in Tanzania until August 23rd.  None of that is happening now.  I’m no longer engaged, and I only spent four weeks in Africa.  Because of my last post, most people already know what took place for me to have to come home.  I had two heart attack type episodes where I passed out completely, all within 48 hours and was medically evacuated back to the states.  A lot of people ask me, “Did you see it coming?” and my answer is NO.  No one did.  Even my cardiologist here in Utah who has been over my care since I was diagnosed with heart disease at the age of 11 doesn’t understand how any of it happened.  The circumstances were not ones under which I would normally give out.  I was slightly dehydrated but that’s about all we can come up with.  Lab results also showed I was depleted of Potassium, but that doesn’t make sense either considering I inhaled approximately 10 bananas a day and was fed lots of green veggies for dinner…  And the fact that it happened two days in a row and I felt perfectly fine both times makes no sense to anyone.  Basically, it was a perfect storm.  There were things at work beyond my understanding or knowledge and I’m still trying to grasp it all.

As for the engagement…

This is part of the story I have yet to detail publicly, until now.  Before I left to Africa I was head over hills in love.  In fact, thanks to my journal, I know how hard it was to get on that plane and know I wouldn’t see Spenser again for four months.  It was miserable, but I did it.  And once I got to Tanzania, and fell in love with its people, culture, and my team, I didn’t want to leave.  It quickly became home for me and I was extremely happy there.  That doesn’t mean I didn’t miss home and I didn’t miss Spenser, because believe me, I did.  But I knew I’d see them again so I put all my focus into what I was working on there.  I was just starting to delve into some really important projects when everything happened and I was sent home.  So you can imagine my disappointment when I heard I’d never complete what I started.  Now, in case I didn’t mention in my last post, when I passed out the first time I hit my head REALLY hard.  I woke up in the hospital with my first concussion , and it hurt like the dickens.  All I remember from that day is throwing up due to the head trauma.  The second time I passed out I didn’t hit my head but my doctors here think I had seizure like activity that resulted in amnesia.  Yup, amnesia.  I’ve grown to hate that word haha it’s caused a lot of confusion over the past 6 weeks.  Here’s the deal.  When I think back to those days in the Arusha and Nairobi hospitals, it’s a total blur.  I remember I was there over the span of three days, and I remember who I was with, but the exact details and events of each day are a complete blur.  What I wrote down in my last post is mostly what I know from the people who were with me when it all took place.  As for my own memories, they are very limited.  And not just from that weekend, but from what we’ve been able to calculate, the five months prior to my departure.  When I woke up in Nairobi I felt sick about coming home to America, to a fiancé.  What I didn’t necessarily realize at the time was WHY I felt that way. It took me a while to see that I was missing lots of memory and that even my day to day short term was botched.  I had to REALLY try each morning to think about what took place the day before.  That problem lasted about three weeks.  What was most frustrating for me was not being able to make sense of my own thoughts and feelings.  I felt like my brain was completely out of sorts and I was not only thinking differently, I was saying weird things, acting strange, and feeling off.  My neurologist said those are all normal symptoms for a brain recovery, so at least I was ‘normal’ to some extent.  However, to this day, I still have missing memories.  Lots of them have come back as my brain has healed, especially if someone shows me pictures or tells me of a particular event.  Then the memory usually floods in, but with very little detail.   

Ever seen the new movie The Vow? Well, story of my life.  I called off the engagement because I don’t remember falling that deeply in love, receiving my ring, or planning a wedding.  I know who Spenser is because I knew him much more than five months prior to my trip.  But those five months were vital to our relationship, that’s when things really took a turn and started moving forward. THAT’S WHEN WE MADE THE DECISION TO GET MARRIED. And I don’t even remember it…So, you could say we’re starting from square one, but things are going great and moving forward at a startling pace.  I’ve gone back to my Africa journal, and the emails I sent him while I was gone, and it’s obvious I had strong feelings for the man.  And the more time I spend with him now that I’m home it’s obvious why I felt that way.  We’re not engaged yet…again.  But I wouldn’t be surprised if it happens soon.  We are taking our time, neither of us feel marriage is something to rush, especially after all that has taken place. 

So,  it’s been exactly a month now since I got home and I’m really waiting on one big, important thing.  Surgery!  Until I know when I'm getting the heart surgery I can't plan a wedding, I can't get a real job, and I can't move forward with school (because all of the above are going to be affected by a four month recovery)...ya, it's super frustrating.  I'm kinda just floating right now and I pray it doesn't last much longer.  I'm ready to be back on my feet, planning my next trip to Africa. So, if I have any say in it things will start looking up and making sense here real quick.  But until then!  I'm just grateful to be alive, with plenty of time to take naps, watch movies, and blog:)