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Birthmothers and Open Adoptions

What do you think about when I say Birthmother?  Come on, be honest!

Since we began our adoption journey I have heard so many negative things about birthmothers.  It usually has something to do with she doesn't want the baby, doesn't care about the baby,  just does not want to settle down and handle the responsibility of having a child.  I have heard it all!  And of course, always from people that know nothing about adoption and have no experience with it at all.

What do you think about when I say open adoption?

Most of the time it is "I could never do that", "I would not want anything to do with her".  And again, almost always negative and I have heard it all!

No one will ever understand how much I love Sara!  Most people think it is crazy but until you have been in my shoes don't judge.  Sara was part of God's plan for our lives.   She gave me the one thing I wanted most in life and could not have.  I firmly believe God worked in Sara's life and put her in our paths because He knew I was going to be Jake's momma.   Yes, she was in a bad place in her life and could not provide for a child.  But instead of aborting Jake she loved him enough to place him for adoption.  To give him a life she couldn't.  She loved him!  Have you ever thought about how much love it takes to place a child for adoption.  It is easy to say "I want to keep my baby" even though you can't provide.  In some situations, that is selfish.  Sara loved Jake more than that!  She loved him enough to give him a better life. Two parents who wanted a child more than anything, were in a stable place, and could provide.  Was it easy for her?  NO  But it was the best choice for her and for Jake.

We have had good times and bad times since Jake was born.  We have worked into a great relationship.  We are blessed to be able to talk to Sara and communicate openly and freely.  It has truly been a blessing for me!  I do not allow anyone to say anything negative about adoption or about Sara.  There is nothing negative to say!  She gave birth to Jake and I will always love her and always be grateful to her!
Me and Sara - I had been crying happy tears.

Emma (Sara's sister), Jake, and Sara

What a beautiful bride!

In my opinion, the most handsome man at the wedding.  Sorry Eric!

Eric and Sara

Jake and Emma

Sara, Emma, Jake, Lisa (Sara's Mom), and Kara (Sara's sister)

Sara got married a couple of weeks ago and we were invited to the wedding.  I am so thankful we went!  It was great to go back to the place Jake was born.  We enjoyed seeing her family we already knew and were so glad to meet so many more.  Everyone was so nice and welcoming.  I was a little nervous about how we would be received but for the most part it was awesome.  I was so happy to see Sara in a good place!  She is so happy!   It was an awesome trip!  I hope we don't have to wait as long to see them again.

Jake, me and Mackenzie (Kara's daughter)

me and Jeff with Sara's family at the rehearsal 
So the next time you hear about a birthmother or open adoption, don't automatically think negative thoughts.  Think happy, heat warming thoughts!  Adoption is a positive thing!


Living Life, One lesson at a time.

Well the Snow house has been in full swing the last couple of weeks.  There has been so much action that I haven't had time to blog.  In the last 3 weeks, I have seen a health scare, unemployment, new hair style, Jake start "big boy school, and Jeff start a new job just to name a few.  It has been interesting to say the least.

So let me catch you up!

About 3 weeks ago I started having a burning feeling under my arm.  Then is spread to my breast and down my arm a little ways.  I called the doctor and went in to check it out.  She found an abnormal lymph node and sent me to a breast surgeon.  Scared me to death!  I just knew I had breast cancer and did my best to prepare for the diagnosis I just knew I was facing.  A couple of days later, a rash broke out on my back and shoulder.  It was VERY painful but I thought it was some side effect from the cancer I knew I had in my body (now I just knew it was all over).  It was really bad!!! The pain was terrible and I could not imagine how bad the diagnosis was going to be.  My appointment with the breast surgeon finally came around and I went, nervous as I could be, but prepared.  It was the shingles! Praise the Lord!  When I went to my doctor the first time, the rash had not broken out and she had no way to know it was the shingles.  The abnormal lymph node was swollen because of the shingles but turned out fine on ultrasound and mammogram.

My thyroid is doing it own thang lately and my hair was in a terrible mess.  It looked like it had been singed about 3 inches from the root all the way down the hair.  It was a hot mess.  The only way to make it look any better was to cut it all off.  So now I am sporting a short spunky hair cut that is so not in my comfort zone but I do like it.  Jeff and Jake are not fans but at least I don't look sick.  I feel better about myself because my hair isn't in terrible shape anymore.  Here is hoping the thyroid problem will react to medicine and as my hair grows out it will look normal, or at least normal for me.

My job was eliminated and I am currently unemployed.  First time in my life!  It is a BIG change for me and again, I am NOT in my comfort zone at all.  This is the first time in my life, or since I was 16 that I haven't been working, making my own money and supporting myself and helping support my family.    I took the job I was working as a leap of faith and I do not regret it at all.  I was working for a very dear friend and his company and being healthcare, there had to be some restructure.  There are no hard feelings toward him at all and I hope to have the opportunity to work for him again.  The hardest thing has been, I found my passion while working the last month or so for him in a totally different place than I had ever looked - in long term care.  I was working in the corporate office and the company owned long term care facilities.  When the restructure was approaching, I didn't want to just sit around, so I went to the facility and started working with the admission team there.  It was an amazing job!  For the first time in my life, I looked forward to Monday and going to work to encounter new people, help new families out, and help residents transition to the facility.  I simply loved it!  I hope I can find a job doing something similar and fell like the work I do helps people.

Jeff took a new job with the same employer.  After 20+ years, he is working inside, out of the weather.  He is working 4 -10 hour shifts and is home 3 days a week.  He will be able to help with school pickup and drop duties.  Jake likes us all being here in the morning while he is getting ready for school.

And Jake started "big boy school"!  My baby is in Pre-K3.  I cant believe it.   He loves it and he has already learned so much.  In just two weeks, I am amazed at how much he has changed.  He thinks eating lunch from the cafeteria is awesome.  Of course, he still has to take his own snacks and juice.   He has fallen in love with the sand box on the playground.  I am sure they will have to add more sand in just a couple of weeks because he brings at least a bag home in his shoe each day.   He has new friends that he loves playing with.  But he does miss his friends.  He asks about his "Mrs. Candace" friends a lot.  We even had to go to the football game at school Friday night.  He was so excited!  He is just not a baby anymore and it makes my heart sad.

So through all of these events, I have learned a lot of "life lessons".  Or at least, been reminded of some!

1.  Always stop and give God control.
2.  Never doubt what was done in good faith.
3.  True friends will be there in good times and bad.
4.  Life is to short to live with regret.

I already knew these thing, but sometime you have to stop, regroup, and refocus.  I know that I am right were God wants me to be.  I just have to be patient and let God work.

Here is a picture of Jake on his first day of school.  Isn't he just a doll!  I can't imagine not being "Jake's Momma".  I am beyond blessed!

Now here is a picture of how the board was supposed to look.  He erased it just before we were ready to take the picture so I had to draw it again that afternoon and retake the picture.


My little Noonday get together

If you haven't heard me say or seen my post on Facebook, my friend McCall and her husband Lee are adopting a little girl from the Democratic Republic of Congo.  She is also a Noonday Collection Ambassador and is using Noonday to help fund their adoption.  So she asked me to have a show in July and I agreed "only if it helps in your adoption".  I used to LOVE to have home shows and party's but I have gotten to the point that I really don't like them. I just get all stressed out, is my house clean enough, are the snacks right, is anybody coming, oh no! I am running late and it is almost time to start, the stress just goes on and on.  But, when she said yes Noonday was helping fund the adoption, of course I said yes!  And I had until July!

I have known McCall for a long time.  We are friends by chance, but not really because God has a hand in everything that happens.  About 9 years ago (give or take a few) McCall was a first year teacher and had agreed to help with the junior high pom/dance team.  My cousin was on the team.  We got to know each other that year through camp, uniforms, fundraisers, etc.  That was the year she met Lee, if I remember correctly!  We have never been "close friends".  Don't talk on the phone, don't keep in touch other than Facebook and blogs.  But McCall has always been someone that inspires me!  She is a mover and a shaker!  When she sets her mind to it you better watch out because it is coming at ya!  She is crafty, smart, funny, creative, energetic! So many things I could say!  McCall's blog has been my favorite for ever!  I love it and I get to keep up with her and her sweet family.  It makes a difference when you actually know the person writing the blog.

So I had to help her out with her #bringemilyhome efforts.  Anyone that knows me knows if you mention adoption I will do what I can to help out!  So I had a Noonday Collection Show.  Yes all the normal stressors were the first guest to arrive!  But you know what, it was a great time!  I had friends and family that came and we had a great visit.  We got a little closer to getting Emily home!  And I had a chance to catch up with McCall after way to long!    I can't wait for you to hear more about their adoption and adoptions from the Congo in general.  It really spoke to my heart!  At this point, I do not think God has adopting again in store for me and Jeff but I can tell you my heart has been stirring thinking of ways I can help McCall and others even if it is just by wearing my Noonday Collection and spreading the word.    There are all different ways to help, some are called to adopt, some are called to help in other ways.  I am asking God to show me how to help make a difference, even if it is in just one life!  Go to McCall's blog and read about their story, pray for Emily, the Aldridge's and see how you can help!

Me and McCall at my Noonday Collection.
Look at our super cute jewelry!  You need to check it out!