Wednesday, February 27, 2008
I know all of you with children are probably laughing at the triviality of my paranoia, but please tell me that some level of a meltdown is normal. Perhaps mine is worse than most because we've waited so long for children and are older than most first time parents. But still, is this normal. or am I just losing my mind?
Sunday, February 24, 2008
You all know of course that Cody placed 2nd at Districts and went to State Championships this weekend as the 6th seed in his weight class. He's a great wrestler and even though he was seeded 6th, the truth is, he's as good as any kid in the state. So hopes and expectations were extremely high.
On Thursday he got sick. Not from nerves, but the flu. Still, shaking with a fever and chills and a queasy stomach, he went out and scored a victory in his first match. (Then he went back to the hotel and crashed for a couple of hours.) Since he won, he didn't have to wrestle again until Friday morning which gave him time to rest up and feel better.
We knew his first match Friday would be a tough match for him. It was against the only kid in the district he'd never beat. But Cody went out and wrestled a spectacular match. In the waning seconds of the last period, the other kid had a one point lead, and then Cody got a take down. But the referree didn't award the points before the time expired, so Cody lost. Coach argued it and half the fans were booing but it didn't matter. The Referree's call (or lack of in this case) stood. Cody amazed us all by coming off the mat with a grin, "It's okay, I'll still take 3rd place" were the first words out of his mouth. Still it was difficult for the rest of us to know that he went out and got the job done, but had it taken away from him. It made it worse that for the rest of the weekend we were approached by fans, coaches and wrestlers from other teams who all said basically the same thing "You were robbed." (In all fairness, most of the refereeing was great this weekend, but there were a few terrible calls, and Cody was not the only one who got ripped off in a match.)
His next match he won. Which meant that he had to win only one more on Friday night to be locked into the top six. (In wrestling, the top six places medal and stand on the podium.) That match was against Josh Jeffries of Highland. A good wrestler and a good kid. We've gotten to know the Jeffries family somewhat through the season and we really like them and their son. In both head to head meetings this season Cody won by very slim margins. And he was the first to say they were the toughest matches he's wrestled this year. In fact, after his over time victory over Josh at Districts Cody came off the mat exhausted and said, "That's the hardest match I've ever wrestled." Josh is a senior, Cody is a junior.
And on Friday night, Josh just wanted it more. Late in the final period, Josh was up five points and the coaches and ref's were in conference at the table about the score or something. Cody and Josh were kneeling on the mat, both exhausted and taking advantage of the unexpected breather. From my perch way up in the stands I could see they were talking. And then they reached across the mat and shook hands. The match wasn't over yet. No one had won or lost. But here were these two kids demonstrating what sportsmanship really is. Moments later when the match officially ended, they shook hands again and embraced for just a second and spoke. Cody's season had ended, while Josh moved on to the rounds Saturday which would determine where on the podium he would stand. I don't know the exact conversation that took place at the time, but I know now that the match was bittersweet for both of them. On Cody's part he was sad to have lost, but I know that he was truly happy that Josh would end up with a state medal from his final season. And Josh was thrilled to have won, but sad that he had to put Cody out of the tournament in order to advance. Because Josh reiterated the sentiment we hadn't stopped hearing all day, "You weren't supposed to have been in this match."
I found myself moved to tears by Cody's maturity and grace. He walked off the mat accepting the defeat like a man. He didn't get mad and stomp off, refusing to shake hands. He didn't throw his head gear or curse out loud or sit down and cry. He simply walked off. (And then he smiled a big smile at Josh and said, "Hey you may have won, but I think I get the prize. I don't have to make weight again. I'm going to get an ice cream." And within minutes he'd downed an ice cream cone and two chocolate milks.)
I don't know how he did it with a smile on his face Saturday. Cheering on Josh and the others as they climbed on the podium. All the while knowing he was supposed to have been down there. Knowing that he deserved to be down there and did his part to get there. I know that he's sad. It hurts to have everything you've dreamed about and worked so hard for taken away from you. And yet he's not bitter or angry at the ref, or the other wrestler. (He even chastised my parents and I for shouting at a ref during a bad call in another match on Saturday.) He laughed and joked an cheered for everyone else on Saturday. He never made a negative comment about the referee or the wrestler who stole his dream. Only when we were in the car on the long drive back did any of the weariness begin to show. And even then he only sighed and said, "It's time to go home. I'm tired."
Last minute strategizing
Hillary, Dad & Cody, Saturday morning watching the finals
Oh yeah I almost forgot! Cody's ear got tweaked really bad on Friday and filled up with blood (commonly known as "Cauliflower Ear.") So a doctor had to drain the blood and fluid out of it twice on Saturday then wrapped him up like a war veteran. And he has to wear the wrap for a week. (The doctor told him, "It's sympathy points with the ladies.") I'm just wondering how that's going to look with his suit at church in the morning.
I got cold so I borrowed Cody's jacket. I can still pass for a high school kid, right? (Just Kidding! Please don't answer that question it was rhetorical!)
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
Speaking of my son (wow, that sounds weird, I'm still not used to it), I got to see B last night. Most of you know I volunteer at LDSFS. Anyway, we had a training meeting for all birth parent volunteers yesterday. At the end of it, the caseworker who is over the birth parent volunteers (who also happens to be B's caseworker) popped her head in and said, "Hey Cali, B is here for group. Do you want to say Hi?" So I got to sneak into group and give her a big hug. And then B introduced me as her adoptive mom to the whole group. So that was kind of a neat experience. She's such a doll! I feel so blessed to know her. Indeed I feel blessed beyond what I deserve.
Friday, February 15, 2008
I woke up yesterday morning and the first thing I noticed was that the sun was shining more brightly than it had in months. In fact, yesterday turned out to be one of the brightest most beautiful days in a long time. A cloudless, stunning blue sky didn't warm it up very much, but it made me smile. My daddy called at 7:00am and the first words out his mouth were, "Are you excited?" I could tell he was excited. I have to admit that although I was still quite nervous, I felt good. Not because I knew what would happen, but because I finally had reached peace somewhere in the sleepless night when I truly felt for the first time that we'd be able to handle the answer whatever it was.
Somehow I stumbled through work, although in retrospect everything yesterday morning seems like a blur. I called our caseworker, Dan (unlike Leisha we have been blessed with a caseworker who is an absolute saint) just to make sure that he had the letter. His conversation made me more nervous than I already was. He said, "Yes, it's here. And when you read it will you please call me. I'm interested to see where she's coming from and I want to know what she's feeling." Instantly my mind went to the negative. "Oh no!" I thought all the way to the agency. "She's not choosing us!"
When I got there, the lady at the desk called Dan to tell her I was there. Her one comment on the phone was, "Oh. That one." She got up and returned accompied by Dan and carrying the largest stuffed dog I've ever seen.
I should back up here and tell you that last Wednesday night when we met this lovely birth mom (who will be referred to hereafter as B) she asked us about pets. We talked about our cat and Travis told her that we've been wanting a puppy and have been keeping our eyes open for the right one. So when I saw this giant dog with a letter tied around it's neck I almost panicked. My first thought was "YAY! A Valentine!" But then I went straight to "Oh no! She's not choosing us and she's trying to soften the blow with this giant dog!" Dan was smiling, but somehow that didn't comfort me. I still had a two hour drive ahead of me to obsess about it. He asked if I was nervous, I responded by telling him that I hadn't eaten or slept in the last 10 days. He laughed a little and said that was normal. He once again asked me to call him once we'd read the letter.
So then I was on my way. I honestly don't remember the drive to Soda Springs. I only know that I got there faster than I'd ever made that drive before. The entire drive my conundrum over the dog and what it could mean occupied my thoughts. I flucuated between elation and devastation more times than I can count. And when I'd peek in the mirror and see it taking up the whole back seat, my heart would stop as I'd remember that my future was tied so innocently around it's neck. In an envelope covered in stickers of cats, dogs and little hearts.
Once I arrived at the home of Trav's aunt and uncle, the wait for him to get home was agonizing. Miraculously, he got out of work early and was home by 4:15. (Good thing too, I don't think I could have taken it much longer.) Travis handed me the envelope to open, but then I started to cry and my fingers were shaking too much, so he took it from me. His face was straight as he read it silently to himself first (despite my loud protestations that he needed to read it outloud.) I only knew the answer when he said, "So I guess this means I don't get my new truck." I think I screamed and practially tore the note from his fingers.
I won't relate the whole letter, because it's personal. But basically she said that she felt we were an amazing couple and that she got a very special feeling about us in the face-to-face meeting. She told us that this was an extremely difficult decision, but she finally feels like she's found the right family for her baby boy.
I've carried that note around with me everywhere since. I slept with it on the nightstand next to me, it's been in my purse or pocket ever since. I think I've got it memorized now, but I still can't seem to stop myself from opening it back up every few minutes and just staring at it. And yes, I cry every time.
Thank you all so much for everything this last week and a half. You probably don't care, but I don't mind telling you that I actually really slept last night. I also realized for the first time in a long time that I was starving, so Trav and I went out to eat and we both ate like we hadn't seen food in a month.
One note of caution, with adoption there's still a long road ahead. So please don't stop praying for B that she'll have the strength to continue to make the best decision for both she and the baby. This is far from a sure thing. So don't give up on us yet.
So now, because you've all been so good, and I know that most of you are dying to know what his name will be, perhaps I'll reward you by telling you. Well, the dog I'm calling Val. Short of course for Valentine because this was the greatest Valentine's Day gift ever. But the baby will be Gideon Daniel. (There's a story behind his middle name too, but I'll save that for another day.) Much Love to all!
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
Hillary modeling Cody's headgear. (I hope it wasn't sweaty!)
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
I learned something today that I'm sure most of you have known for years. Apparently I'm just a little slow. Matthew 11:28-30 is a passage of scripture that I'm sure most of us are very familiar with. And today I have a much greater appreciation for it than I ever thought I would. It reads:
Monday, February 11, 2008
Saturday, February 9, 2008
We took advantage of the fact that Cami was in town and threw her a surprise baby shower today. And yes, she was very surprised. Even as she and Jesse pulled into the driveway full of strange cars she still didn't figure out what was going on. It was great, many of her friends showed up and we had a lot of fun.
The cake was darling, the little sweet pea in the flower was made from gum paste and even had tiny fingers and toes!
Grandma Peggy is AMAZING! At 82 she still cross stitches. She's made a cross-stitched quilts for all of her great grandkids so far and one surrogate great grandchild. (You know who you are Charlotte Kay.)
Did I mention how amazing Grandma Peggy is? At the end of the shower she presented me with a cross stitched quilt for my baby. What's cool is that at the time she flew out here on Wednesday she had no idea we might even be close to getting a baby.
So after the shower guests had gone home and the family had spent some quality time visiting, my uncle David decided he wanted to get his back waxed. And with two licensed beauticians in the house, it seemed a good opportunity. So the kitchen became a make shift salon. Yes, I know it's a gross picture, but come on, back waxing in the kitchen? That's funny stuff.
Friday, February 8, 2008
At any rate it was a fabulous wedding and he and Kristen are very happy and so cute together. We're extremely happy for them. And we had the added bonus of getting to have some other family members in town for the occasion. (Including Julie and Amy, Scott's sisters I haven't seen since 4th of July weekend 1994.) Enjoy the photos.
With my sister Cami. I turned her sideways so that you could see "Little Mac" (what we're affectionately calling the bump since the child was conceived in Hawaii. It's short for Little Macadamia Nut.) Sadly though, even at 22 weeks, she still doesn't look very pregnant.
Mr. & Mrs. Scott Cunningham
Okay this is Grandma Peggy with all of the grandkids that were in attendance. The only spouse included in this photo was Kristen because, well, she's the bride and the bride gets to be in any and all photos that she wants. From left that's Jesse, Amy, Hillary, Scott, Kristen, me, Julie, Cami & Cody. And I hope I don't need to tell you that's Grandma Peggy in the front. (Yes, for those who are wondering, this is the grandma of "the dog's in the freezer" fame.)
Grandma Peggy with all three of her sons. From left Bill (Scott, Julie & Amy's dad), Darryl, (my dad) and David (who's kids couldn't come.) My aunt Cindy was the only one of her kids not able to make it to the wedding.
Wednesday, February 6, 2008
First of all let me just say, she is just the cutest thing! In order to respect her privacy, I'm not going to use her name. It was quite nervewracking at first, but the longer we sat and visited with her, the more comfortable the atmosphere became. She was very reserved and would really only speak when we asked her direct questions. But she willingly answered. And she had quite a few questions for us. The caseworkers really directed the conversation at first, but the longer it went on, the less they had to guide us and all of us were able to speak more easily and freely.
I could gush about her for a long while, but again, at this point I think it's more important to respect her privacy. So I'll just give you the outcome. She hasn't officially chosen us yet. But by the end of the conversation we were discussing what type of adoption we'd all be comfortable with and what level of contact we'd like to maintain. (It was actually awesome because her ideas of what she wanted and our ideas of what we'd be willing to agree to were exactly in sync.) She reiterated several times that she appreciated us being willing to meet with her. And she asked if we'd be willing to do another meeting with her parents if she were to choose us. (Naturally we're okay with that.) She said she would have an answer for us very soon because she didn't us to feel like she was stringing us along. So we're hoping to know something within the next week. Either way, she is definitely planning on making a decision soon, because let's face it, pregnancy has a time limit. And this time limit will expire quite soon because she's due March 21st. (YIKES That's sooooo soon!)
So anyway, I'll pass along more information as soon as I get it. Until then, the title of this blog says it all.
PS - She's having a boy!
I wasn't going to share this information because there are still a lot of unknowns, but word has already seemed to spread, so I'd better make an announcement and set the record straight. We recieved a phone call from our caseworker on Monday that there was a birth mom who is "very seriously" considering us and wanted to meet with us on Wednesday evening. He explained that she hasn't officially chosen us yet, but that she's not considering any other couples at this point and would like to meet with us to help her make her final decision.
As you can imagine, this has thrown my world into a tailspin. I'm so grateful that we're getting close. So excited that this might be the one. And sooooooooooooo nervous that she might change her mind, or we might scare her off.
I know many of you have been praying for us, and I just want to say thank you. I don't think you can realize how much that truly means to us. In the meantime, please don't stop praying. Even if this girl does choose us as the adoptive couple for the child, there's still a lot that can happen. Adoption isn't final until you go before the judge and that won't take place until at least 6 months after the child is born. In the meantime there are still many things that could change or different choices that could be made. I try not to ask for too much, but if it's not too much of an imposition, please remember this young birth mom in your prayers as well. I just want her to make the best decision regarding her unborn child. Whether that means choosing us as the parents, or not.
I'll update after the visit because I know you'll all be waiting with baited breath.
In the meantime, thank you. Much Love.
Tuesday, February 5, 2008
Friday, February 1, 2008
What is his name? Travis W. (No middle name, just an initial.)
How long have you been together? Married for nearly 6 years
How long did you date? Pre-mission, 3 months, post-mission 17 months.
How old is he? 36
Who eats more? Sadly, me.
Who said I love you first? He did, actually
Who is taller? Trav, by far
Who can sing better? Please, do you people know nothing about my family? Me.
Who is smarter? Depends on the subject·
Who does the laundry? That would be me·
Who pays the bills? Again, me, although we both make the money.
Who sleeps on the right side? The cat.
Who mows the lawn? Travis·
Who cooks dinner? Pope, when she's in town. Otherwise, the chinese take-out place, the pizza guy or Trav's mom·
Who drives? When we go places together? Travis
Who is more stubborn? That's a toss up, though he would probably say me.
Who kissed who first? Travis actually kissed me first, but only after I got tired of waiting and asked him if he was ever going to kiss me.
Who asked who out first? We were set up on a date by mutual friends.
Who proposed? Officially? Travis, but we'd been talking marriage for months, so it was kind of a mutual decision.
Who has more friends? Probably Travis. All of my friends live far away.
Who is more sensitive? He'll kill me for saying this, but it depends on the situation.
Who has more siblings? Again, please. Trav has one brother. I have six siblings. (I even beat him when you count his half brother and two half sisters.)
Who wears the pants? According to us, Travis does. But interestingly the rest of the world mistakenly tends to think that I do.
Okay I'm tagging Curly, Shiloh, John, Will, BJ and anyone else who wants to share.
Amazingly, I didn't gain any weight during her stay (although that could be because I actually lost weight the previous week from being so sick.) And we did manage to find a few things to keep us occupied, even though I was still recovering from the flu. Pope's desire to do something "touristy" led us to embark on a somewhat hazardous road trip to Soda Springs yesterday. It's not really a tourist town, but it does have an old hotel, a museum and a geyser. We even managed to find the "Brigham Young Lodge Memorial" although we drove past it at least twice because the site sits on what is now occupied by a trailer park. (I'm not kidding.)