Friday, February 25, 2011

Finally Talk of Moving Forward...

Well, we have finally had "the discussion". The one about what our next move is going to be. We have known all along that we still want to adopt no matter what. We just needed that time to take in, digest, and be at peace with the fact that Martin was not meant to be our least not one that lives in this house with our family. To me, he will always be our son. I think that we can safely say that we have done all that we can and stay inside the boundaries of legal adoption process. That basically means, don't ask too many questions or we will be put on a list. Now, what I want to do and what we are going to do are 2 DIFFERENT things. I sent out one final email to our adoption coordinator in Russia asking her if there is any way that should could pass on our contact information to the Adoption Department so that maybe...just maybe...if they should ever want it Martin's family would have it. So, last night after I went to bed, I prayed. This time I didn't pray for Martin to find his way to our home. Instead, I prayed that he is LOVED and taken care of the way that Charlie and I would take care of him. I prayed that he will get the medical attention that he needs if and when he needs it and I prayed that he can get some type of therapy needed to make him just that much more successful in his life.

Like everyone has been telling me, I have handed it over to God. This has been almost as hard as letting Martin go. I have what some say...a little control problem. I hate not having 100% of it. Who doesn't?! So, there it is. God, you can have it now. It's all yours like it has been all along. I just didn't realize it until now.

That brings me to our next decision. Where to adopt from, who to adopt, what age to adopt??? Thankfully many of our questions have already been answered for us. Now, I would never want to make this about money, but for those of you that are in the middle of international adoption or have gone through one before, money sort of has to be an issue. So, if we stay within the same age range and region then we won't have to redo any paperwork. That is a huge relief to us. Not only are we about wiped out when it comes to money, but wiped out when it comes to paperwork. Obviously we would and will do whatever we have to, but no more paperwork is a great, great thing! As far as who to adopt, I just told our agency, whoever they thought needed us the most is who we want. So, out of our hands and in to someone else's. I just need a little more time to say go ahead. I will always have the feeling like I left him behind and moved on without him. I just need time to figure out how to deal with that in a healthy way.

This week and last has been such an emotional roller coaster! I think that I started to lose sight of my family here that I do have. I never want to do that again. The adoption has taken over our lives and maybe this is another one of God's ways to say...hey...take a step back for a minute and remember you have very important people right here with you that love you and need your love. A friend had to remind me to not let this thing make me go kookoo. Thank you Bethany, because I was!!!

So now...I feel a great sense of relief. No, I have not given up on Martin and most likely never will. He will always be in my thoughts. I will always wonder where he is and how he's doing, but I know that there is another little boy out there that needs our family. So we are off to finish this crazy, insane journey and bring home our son, whoever he may be.

To Martin,

Baby doll! Please don't ever think that I gave up on you. I know that He is taking care of you no matter where you are. He loves you more than I love you and He knows what is best. Please know that I will continue to look for your picture in the database as well as continue to call about you in case there is anything new. I love you baby and I always will.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

I would give anything....

It's funny how something bad in our life happens and we think that this is the worst thing that can happen to us. We wonder how are we going to recover from this and move on. Then 2 days later something so terrible happens. Something so heartbreaking that it blows that other thing out of the water making it seem so insignificant you wondered how it was even an issue in the first place. My last post was about church and how they didn't feel comfortable with Haiden being in the regular classroom. Now I read my post from a couple days ago and would give ANYTHING to go back there to that pace when that was the biggest problem in our lives...anything...ANYTHING.

Tuesday afternoon February 15th 2011 will forever be the worst day of my life. That was the day that our adoption agency Hand in Hand told us that Martin was no longer available for us to adopt. Wow, I finally got it out there. Now, it is real. This is really happening to us. Here is how it all unraveled. This is how our lives fell apart with one phone call. A phone call that could have been the happiest of all time, turned out to be the worst.

I guess the one whole day of warmer weather the day prior got me in the mood for a little Spring cleaning. I was cutting my extremely small pantry and cabinet space, throwing everything away that I hadn't seen since we moved in last June and making more room for junk I wouldn't see again until next Spring. I was just about finished when the phone rang. I almost let it ring because I new that once I answered it, my cleaning mood would be broken and the junk on the counter would stay there the rest of the evening. But I jumped down off the dining room chair I dragged into the kitchen, and the only way I could reach the shelves, to answer my phone. It was our adoption agency! We weren't expecting a phone call until Feb. 28th so I was super excited. We maybe got our travel date early and would be on our way to pick our our son in a few weeks! But the tone of her voice announcing she had news, not good news, just news and the fact that she said she didn't know how to tell me this over email so she called instead still didn't prepare me. What an idiot! I thought to myself...crap...we have to fill out more paperwork, or we filled out something incorrectly. But her words were I'm so sorry Melissa, Martin is no longer available for you and Charlie to adopt. His biological parents came and picked him up. I dropped the phone and here is what followed.

Now I liked to think of myself as somewhat level headed and collected when it came to my emotions. But what happened next proved to my, my husband, my 2 poor babies in the next room, and most likely my neighbors on both sides, proved me to be wrong. This is not a proud moment, and I would usually never describe such a scene for everyone to read but I want and need to convey to everyone just how heart breaking this was. I dropped down on my knees and started to scream. In my mind, if I screamed loud enough and long enough that everything would go back to the way it was a few moments earlier. All I remember is rocking back and forth asking WHY, WHY, WHY and saying NO, NO, NO. I cried so hard I made my little Haiden cry. I cried so hard my eyes would honestly not open. I crawled up my stairs and crawled into my bed just laying there not ever wanting to get up.

Once the boys were in bed Charlie and I just laid on the couch and cried together. This is the second time that he and I cried together over the loss of a dream that we had for our family. The first time had been 3 years and 3 months earlier when we received Haiden's diagnosis of Down syndrome. I haven't cried this much since then. But look what we got out of that deal. We now have the most amazing, inspiring, frustrating little man ever, who ultimately lead us to Martin. If it weren't for him, we never would have considered adopting Martin in the first place. But apparently Martin was never ours to adopt. I'm pretty sure that he was gone before we even saw his picture on Reece's Rainbow. Though I'm not actually sure of anything these days. That may be the worst party...the not knowing. I don't know anything other than what they told me. That is biological parents came to get him. I don't even know if that is true but for the most part I am a trusting human being and could only pray that I'm not being lied to. I will live the rest of my life not knowing what happened to our little boy. Is he happy, is he healthy, is he loved and being treated the way Charlie and I would have??? I can hardly stand the not knowing. Being left in the dark only leads my brain into thinking the worst and that is what I have to live with forever.

Of course over the span of these 2 days Charlie and I have come up with "what happened". Everything from good to bad. For some reason, I'm convinced that his parents were notified that he was going to be transferred to an institution so they picked him up. I hope they couldn't bring themselves to allow that to happen to their baby. Although where in the hell were they 5 years ago when they left that hospital leaving him to be thrown to the wolves. He didn't even go home with them. The other scenario is that they were contacted because he had parents...real parents..that wanted to adopt him and take him back to the United States. They either thought "that is too far" or "why should he get to go and we have to stay here". I really think I could go on and on. My worst fear is of course if they only picked him up because it was that or the institution then they don't truly want him and then he won't be truly taken care of. At least not the way he deserves and the way Charlie and I could.

I think we have said this a billion times since we got that phone call 2 days ago. Why, how did this happen to us, what does He want from us, what was this for???? I refuse to believe it's over. I just can't imagine going on without looking forward to bringing our son home with us. Every day since we first saw his little picture and his sweet little face we have gone with this. No questions asked. I thought, God called, we listened, end of story. I was so happy that I blindly obeyed Him, being called to do this, and getting a son out of it. Martin wasn't lucky, I was!

I truly do not understand this. Never once did I question if this was the right thing for any of us involved. I never questioned where the money would come from or how we would provide for all 3 of our boys at home along with our other 2 that live with Charlie's ex-wife in Springfield VA. Not once! Everything went smooth right from the beginning. We were helped out by everyone we asked, on top of many, many others offering. There were no glitches...not even once. If you have been following this blog, you know that. That is what many of our posts were about.

But of course, I am in the shock and denial stage of the 7 stages right now. I am told and I have read before that I will react to learning of the loss with numbed disbelief. I may deny the reality of the loss in order to avoid the pain. I am a pro at that, just ask Charlie. I can avoid like a champ which I know in the end prolongs this whole thing and once I let down that wall the pain charges at me like a tsunami. But this shock and then denial provides emotional protection from being overwhelmed all at once. Such a strong part of me is telling me to hold on with all that I have. This is a test. I don't want to fail and I can't imagine a life anymore where Martin is not part of it. I can't imagine moving on and leaving him behind. I have to hold on to the thought that his parents are going to bring him back because they realized they were in over their heads. Now before you all go off and think what a terrible person I am to wish that on a little boy, know that first and foremost I hope that he is happy where he is. Happy and loved is the only thing I wish for. But this is my grieving process and this is the only way that I can still breathe and still get out of bed in the morning. I know that I am in denial right now. The terrible thing is, I know this, yet still live it out in my head over and over.

A couple weeks back I had a dream about my little love. I remember it like a distant memory because this dream was so very real. You all have had those. You wake up and feel so sad because it was such a great dream and then you realize it was just that. This one happened as if we were visiting him for the first time in Russia. I walked into the room where he sleeps and he was sitting up in his bed looking out the window. I walked over and sat on the bed with him and gave him a hug and kisses on his fat cheeks. I could hear his voice. It reminded me of Haiden's He talked like Haiden which was more of babbles and sounds but he and I knew what he was saying. I played with his hair which was opposite of Haiden's. Martin's was thin and soft. I can still smell his skin from when I kissed his cheek. This is all that I have. I hold on to it like a fake memory. I pretend like it really happened so I have something from him. The scary thing is, like I mentioned above, it is like a distant memory and everyone knows as time goes on memories fade. Then I'll be left with a picture from a website.

As I'm sitting here trying to think of anything else I should add, I look at the name of our blog Finding Martin. This is now killing me because we have lost him. He is just gone and there is nothing that we can do to fix it. Nobody we can sweet talk into undoing what had been done. All I can think about is changing the name from Finding Martin, to Losing Martin. Those two words are the most painful words to say even to myself. I find myself putting so much of this burden on Charlie. He is the "fixer" in the family. He fixes everything. He finds answers to everything...always. I keep asking him what to do and how are we gonna fix this truly believing that he will come up with something. I look at him so deep in thought just knowing that he has an idea that could just possibly be the answer to reversing this situationt that we are finding ourselves in. For that I feel horrible. I think this is also the reason I am avoiding my mom's texts and phone calls. I always have looked to her for help and answers and guidance. She's my mom and I have done this all of my life even as an adult. I know that no matter what she says or does that it's not going to help me and I don't want to resent her for that. My expectations are way to high for the people in my life that I love. I'm completely lost right now. I think that I have run out of thoughts and feelings for right now and I'm resorting back into my numb shell where everything feels better.

So...I guess I leave you all with these questions knowing full well that none of you can answer. What does He want from us? What is it that we were supposed to do? What was it all for? I'm not one of those people who think that is was better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all. I'm sorry for those of you who disagree, but I think that is crap. Especially the way I feel right now. I know that we will be going through all the stages of grief and yadda yadda yadda, and maybe that is part of it, but right now, I can't be convinced otherwise.....

Scattered words and empty thoughts
seem to pour from my heart
I've never felt so torn before
seems I don't know where to start
but it's now that I feel Your grace falls like rain
from every fingertip, washing away my pain

I still believe in Your faithfulness
I still believe in Your truth
I still believe in Your holy word
even when I don't see, I still believe

Though the questions still fog up my mind
with promises I still seem to bear
even when answers slowly unwind
it's my heart I see You prepare
but its now that I feel Your grace fall like rain
from every finger tip, washing away my pain

The only place I can go is into your arms
where I throw to you my feeble prayers
in brokeness I can see that this was your will for me
Help me to know You are near

Monday, February 14, 2011

Didn't See That Coming!

Well everyone, if you didn't see my post and all the conversation it started on Facebook, here is goes. It actually happened, I witnessed discrimination. I've never seen in with my own eyes, just heard about it or have seen it on TV! Unless you actually go through this, you might think to yourself, what's the big deal, it's not that bad, or get over it. This, I won't get over and it is a huge deal. In fact, I woke up this morning more disturbed than when it happened yesterday. We woke up yesterday as we usually do on Sundays, late and running around like crazy trying to get out the door for church on time. For some reason, it never happens. We were really excited because 2 weeks ago we tried yet another church that would be the best fit for our family. We loved this one. It was relaxed, the people were welcoming, the music was good, and they were going to be building and adding on which we were really excited about. I have been so hard to please when it comes to churches. We had the perfect church when we lived in Newport News VA and nothing had ever come close since. I started to lower my expectations a little in order to find something that would make me happy on Sundays. We have been to 6 or 7 churches since we moved last year and finally thought that we found one that would work if I wasn't going to be able to commute back and forth to our old church! They had opened up with about 30 minutes on adoption and how important it was and how they supported it so much. There were quite a few families that were adopting that attended church there and we were so excited to meet them over time. What sold us...they had an adoption ministry for families that had adopted or where in the middle of adopting. We couldn't wait for this week to get more information on that! I had expressed to everyone that asked how excited we were to try this church for second time just to make sure it was the one that we wanted to pursue. Back to running behind! We get out the door about 10 or 15 minutes later then what I wanted but we still made it one time. We walked in and the place seemed empty, so I quickly figured out that we were actually early. Thirty minutes early to be exact. We got the service times messed up. So, we went to sit at the coffee bar and hang out until we could drop the kiddos off. Of course Haiden was having none of the sitting around and wanted to walk so off him and Charlie went. It was just me and Noah! A really nice woman walked up to me and asked "you're the House family, right"? It was really weird since we hadn't met anyone yet. It turns out that she was in charge of the kid's programs at the church and she wanted to show us their "Access Ministry" or their program for kids with special needs. Still trying to figure out what piece of paper I filled out or who Charlie talked to since this lady new we were the House family and we had a child with special needs I agreed to check out the program. Charlie and I gathered everything and followed her. Let me just stress that she didn't head in the direction of the other classrooms with the REST of the children. We literally went in the opposite direction and up one floor. Once we got out of the elevators, we continued to wind back to the room where she wanted Haiden to feel more comfortable. She explained to us that Haiden would be in there with a few others also with special needs and would get the one on one he would need. After asking her how many other kids where in there she informed us 3 including Haiden. The age range is also birth to third grade. Now why in the world would I want him in there with a third grader or a newborn for that matter?! We did tell her thank you for her time and that we were going to talk it over but for now we were going to put him down in the class he was already in. We said our goodbyes and went our own way. I got down to check the boys in and for some reason only Noah popped up in the computer system. All of a sudden I was being "helped" out by women who already knew what was going on. We were informed that Haiden was not in the system on the first floor because he was supposed to be upstairs in the special program. After explaining to her that we wanted him with his peers the lady excused herself to "get help" because we were causing so much trouble. I was watching the exchange of conversation between the two women and overheard the "boss" say "I'll take care of it". She continued where the other left off telling us that it would be better for Haiden if he was up where he could get one on one and sometimes two on one. I tried telling her that he doesn't need anymore attention than any other kid that age. "Well...didn't you tell the volunteer that he chokes sometimes? The volunteers aren't comfortable and they don't have the training they need to deal with something like that". This was her reply! Uhmmm I'm sorry, you don't require your volunteers to be trained in first aid and CPR and you let them be around children? My final question to her was "so you're telling me that he is not allowed in that classroom, is that what you are telling me"? I'm not exactly sure what happened after that because I felt like I was in a dream. I felt like this was not really happening and they were going to let Haiden into the classroom! Needless to say, we left because unlike Charlie I was not willing to give them a chance after that.

Now call me selfish, but I am tired of always being the ones educating and explaining. I'm tired of trying to fix the ignorance in the world one uneducated person at a time. Most of the time, I understand, or try and most of the time I am completely supportive of Charlie when he is traveling, gone for days, at meetings, on boards, in classes, and speaking in front of whoever will listen. But not that day, not on Sunday! I just wanted to go to church. I wanted to be accepted and to just go and listen to church service like everyone else. Instead we were pre-identified as being the family with a child that has special needs. Then, our choice, our decision was taken away from us and someone decided what was best for our child and our family.

Now, I'm not in denial. I know perfectly well that as Haiden gets older the learning gap between him and his peers is going to grow. He will need more help and more support and more one on one as he gets older. I know this. I then will make the decision, Charlie and I, and we will decide together. Not a stranger! Anyway, that is about all I have to report. Nothing about the adoption. We are still waiting to hear back from Russia. The word is still the end of Feb. So everyone keep us in your prayers and thoughts and I'll keep you posted as soon as we hear anything new!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Treading Water

So our first fundraiser for Martin was an absolute success! So much stress and worry for no reason. At best Charlie and I were prayerfully hoping for $2000 tops. We God is great and after getting home to count the money, we discovered everyone had donated a total of $3000! Just more proof that God has his wonderful hands in everything we are doing. Just another example of how when He calls and you faithfully and blindly listen, He will provide! So far we are just under $13,000 for Martin's fund. I am waiting until I have exact numbers before I update our thermometer on our blog. I want to be accurate.

As far as the adoption and where we are...waiting. We sent our registration packet to our adoption agency last week. It takes about a week to get to Russia so I'm praying that it's there now. For those of you who aren't familiar, the process goes like this. First the endless amount of documents have to be translated, then notarized. After that, they will be submitted to "the committee" so they can review and approve or deny us for Martin's new family. This takes about 10 days. When we are approved we will be contacted for a travel date. We are keeping our fingers crossed and saying many prayers that we hear something around Feb. 28th. Unfortunately only 4 registration packets can be submitted a month. The first and last week of a month are the only times the committee will accept them. We got ours in a little to late for the first week. So we expect to travel around mid March. So right now all we can do is wait for news. I feel like I should be doing something but all we can do is tread water.

So, if all of you can please pray to your respective Gods and keep us in your thoughts for a travel date we would appreciate it! Thanks to all of you who have shown your great support. Whether that support be monetary, or saying a prayer, thank you.