Thursday, June 23, 2011

Sad day...(UPDATED)

If you didn't guess by the title, today is a sad day. (Audience says "Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww") <insert overexagerrated sad face>

My brother is moving. He has been living with us since October of '10. He has been invaluable to our family and he is just freaking awesome to be around. He isn't just my brother, he is my best friend. I know he has to "do his own thing" and I find comfort in knowing that he will be successful but I'm sad he is leaving. We've had to say "bye" too many times in our lives. With an 8 year age difference so many of our pivitol moments weren't at the same times. He was only 12 when I went to college. I hated leaving him then. I would have taken him with me if I could. He's 22 (in a few days) now and I'm 30 and it sure doesn't hurt any less.

I take solace in knowing that he will be back soon to visit, but there's nothing like having your best friend/brother around 24/7.

I'm so proud of you! Love you! Have fun!


Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Dear Birthmother

This has been the most difficult letter I have ever had to write. I wanted to be able to introduce US without being too self-righteous. I want her to know about the kids. I wanted her to know how much we love each other and how much love we have for this child who isn't even here yet. I wanted her to know about my disability but I didn't want her to think that it would inhibite me from being a mother. I hope I was able to convey all these things. Please, Please, Please give me your feedback. My feelings will not be hurt, this is the most important thing I've ever written and I feel like I can't get all my feeling across.
Tell me what you think...

Dear Birthmother-

Hi! We are Mr. M and S. We have been together for over 9 years and have built our relationship on love, laughter, trust and understanding. We have always been firm believers that “everything happens for a reason”. There were several events, paths and decisions that brought us all to this moment. We thank you for taking the time to get to know us. We are thrilled at the possibility of expanding our family through adoption. It is our hope that throughout the following pages you will get a sense of who we are as a couple, individuals and parents.

Like many other couples going through the adoption process, we have dealt with infertility. We have tried for several years to have a baby together. In time we realized that sustaining a pregnancy wouldn’t be a reality for us. Here we are, hoping to grow our family through you. We truly feel that every single child deserves love, security, self-worth and the skills to succeed. We also feel that knowing who you are and where you came from helps to grow an independent, loving and empathetic adult. This is why we feel strongly about an open-adoption plan. We want your child to always know who you are and the selfless act you made for them. Your child will grow up loved, encouraged, and passionate about life. He/she will grow up in a home that teaches and practices tolerance, accountability and understanding. There will always be dogs and cats to play with. Two parents who love and respect each other madly, an older brother and sister, a great big extended family, memories filled with family gatherings, vacations, holidays, hugs and kisses.

In many ways we are the average blended family. Mr. M brought from a previous relationship two wonderful children. "Q" is 16 and "S" is 12. I (S) could never imagine in my wildest dreams that I would have two respectful, loving and compassionate step-children. I am privileged to have such close relationships with both of them. "Q" lives with us full time visiting his bio-mother during the summers and "S" spends every summer and Christmas at our home.

In other ways we aren’t average. I (S) am a wheelchair user. I have been using a wheelchair for the past 14 years. When I was 12 I was diagnosed with Muscular Dystrophy. If you’re not familiar with it, don’t worry, we hope to answer many of your questions throughout the following pages. Our goal is not to deter you from seeing the wheelchair, but to encourage you to understand that being in a wheelchair in no way diminishes the ability to parent your child.


Mr. M & S

How I met your Father Part #1

I remember the day I knew I was going to be with Mr. M for the rest of my life. I was 21 and had met him for the first time. I wasn’t looking for love or a relationship. It wasn’t love at first sight, actually I wasn’t even interested. A friend had brought me over for a BBQ and I was just the “buffer friend”. You know the one you take with you who fills the awkward silences, makes the jokes and will fake a seizure to get you out of a bad date (well maybe not the last one, but you get it), that was me. I sat in the living room while everyone was being introduced and our host, Mr. M went to get the food. I will never forget this moment; he was walking from his kitchen to the dining room with a plate of BBQ chicken. I looked up at him and my immediate thought was, “I’m going to marry him”.  It all happened so quick I didn’t even realize I thought it. I shook it out of my head trying to rationalize with myself that I 1. didn’t even know this man, 2. He wasn’t my “type” and 3. Umm, did I mention I didn’t even know him? The evening went along pleasant enough with me preforming my “buffer friend” duties. Mr. M isn’t subtle so I knew he had an interest in me but like I said I was too busy convincing myself I wasn’t interested.  But no matter how hard I tried to convince myself (and I’m pretty stubborn) that I wasn’t interested it didn’t last long. After a few into-the-night phone conversations I had to admit to myself that I might be falling in love…

To be continued…

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Quote of the Day

When the world says, "Give up,"
Hope whispers, "Try it one more time."

~Author Unknown

Home Visit #1/Encouragement...


Today we are scheduled for our first Home Assessment visit. I'm full of a million emotions but I feel better about this appointment than the last one; hopefully no "break-downs" after this one. Also, we will be talking about my favoritest topic in the whole world....ME, US!!!! Easy Peasy!

AL sent me and Mr. M the assessment questions last week. I wanted to try and get it all filled out before today, but I wasn't successful.  One would think that answering questions about yourself, your family, upbringing, everything you have ever thought, said, felt.

I suggest that everyone have to fill out these type of questionnaires. Not to qualify for anything, but they spark some interesting discussion points between you and your partner. Sometimes looking at the cold, hard facts of your life can make you seem like someone you aren’t.

 For instance, when we were filling out Joe’s marital history. Most of you know, he has been married before…twice. I KNOW the situation, but on paper, especially the dates, don’t look good.

My amazing step-son came into our lives when he was 9. Again, you might know the story (sorry if you don’t but that’s a bit much to share online), on paper, don’t look good.

My disability, I get it, I know what I can and cannot do, on paper, you get the drill. I just hope that when we meet with AL today we are able to convey WHO we really are… in life, real life, not just on paper.

Anywho… I wanted to share a post that I made last month on the Adoptive Families website. I posted it, got some nice responses and forgot about it. Today, I was checking out the site and remembered my post. There was a new comment that made me feel so much better about this adoption and my disability.
Thank you Andrea25 for encouraging me with your success story.

Read on my little chickaroos…

My post:
After 10 years of infertility we had truly given up. I thought I could be ok raising my DH’s daughter (during summers and vacations) and his son (15) full time. Don’t get me wrong, I adore them, and they return the love tenfold. But something is still missing. I want to be someone’s Mom.
I have Muscular Dystrophy and use a power wheelchair. It’s a part of who I am. I’m still 100% woman/human, so I was always surprised when I expressed my deep desire to have children that people would look at me like I have 9 heads.
“Why would you want a baby? It would be too hard for you? If you get pregnant the baby could be like YOU” (that particular nasty one was from a fertility Dr. who refused to help us)
But I’ve never been one to fit into stereotypes. Like all of the other successes in my life, having a child will be a reality. So when my DH and I finally made the decision to adopt, I was over the moon when I explained my disability to the worker at the agency she replied, “Being in a wheelchair doesn’t mean you can’t be a Mom.”  Wow! Without even knowing it this woman only reaffirmed my thoughts exactly. For once, it clicks. This is what I want.
We are at the beginning of the beginning, just turned in our application and fee. Finishing up the packet and need to schedule a Home Assessment.  So, I’m here, I’m nervous, excited and every other emotion in the world.


Hi Sunniemom!!
I read your post and felt that I needed to respond.  My husband is quadriplegic and wheelchair bound.  In our late 20’s we decided we wanted to start a family, so we joined the fertility roller coaster.  After several rounds of IVF, we decided to adopt.
Our family and friends were very supportive, but we knew what everyone was thinking - how are they going to do this? 
My husband and I know that everything in our life is harder, more expensive and more challenging.  Adoption was just another challenge.  When we sought out an open adoption agency (we talked to many), but they said we would have a longer wait because he was in a wheelchair.  Obviously we found an agency that was supportive.
Long story short, we went through the paperwork, doctor appts, home studies, etc etc.  From the time our letters went into circulation to the time our little man was placed in our arms, 16 months!  Now our little one is 15 months and just the joy of our lives.
He LOVES riding around on his DaDa’s lap and has learned to stand on the foot pedals and go for a ride.
Since you have a strong desire to be a mom, please stick with it!!  Yes, it can be overwhelming and trying, but when you look at your child’s face, nothing else in the world matters.
Many prayers to you!!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Step-kids Pt.1

I don't have time to blog but I just have to say this:

I have the BEST step-kids in the entire world!!!!! I am so lucky! I love them more than I could ever have imagined and they love and respect me in return.

BTW-Mr.M isn't so bad himself. ;) He is an amazing father, amazing husband and the hottest thing since wheelchair brakes (imagine where I'd be if those weren't invented hahha)

How the heck did I get so freakin lucky!?!?!?!??!

We are ready for you 'Baby', we ALL can't wait to meet you and share all this LOVE.

Till next time...

Thursday, June 9, 2011


2 posts in 1 day? I'm feeling a little chatty today. Don't get used to it. ;)

Our first visit for the Home Assessment is scheduled for this coming Wednesday, June 15th. I’m excited to get this show on the road but I’m also terribly nervous. When Mr. M and I first met our Adoption counselor (we’ll call her Adoption Lady-AL for short) on Tuesday I was super stressing. I kept thinking that everything we said, well I’m a little judgmental, everything Mr. M said, was going to ruin our chances. Like if AL had a buzzer and when we said something “wrong” she’d BUZZ us and the floor would go out beneath us and we’d end up in the abyss of childless couples.

“BUZZ! WRONG!! No baby for you!!!!!!!”

Not to mention that the guy who will be working on our roof showed up at the same time and Mr. M had to keep getting up to show him something. All in all, we were 100% ourselves. We said weird things; we were funny, asked questions and that sort of things. The kids (step-kids, S and Q) were playing video games and my brother was hanging out with them. They chimed in every once and a while and I think AL got a good idea of what kind of family we are. So tell me why as soon as she walked out the door and Mr. M turned to me and said, “I think that went pretty good” I started

 What? It went well. I know, it was probably all the stress but if I start balling after just meeting with AL how am I going to get through the rest of this??

Will I be able to get past the wait, the disappointment, the rejection, the longing???

Stay tuned…

Sassy hair

In celebration of my recent minimal weight loss (hey, every success should be celebrated) I went and got myself a sassy new do. J Ok, so it was just another excuse to go to the salon, but yea. It’s straight right now and goes a little below my shoulders which is short for me since my hair was almost down to my bootay when straight. I’m sure it will shrink up to a curly fro after I wash it but that’s ok, I was in the market for a new look anyway.

During different phases in my life I’ve taken on different looks. I’ve always loved doing different styles with my hair and makeup and for some reason a new ‘do seems to do something for the ‘tude.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011


So after realizing that I'm the last person on the planet not to have a blog, I've decided that I want to be a follower. :) Really though, my mom has always given me the best advice. She told me whenever I'm going through a difficult time or have tons of things on my mind, write. Write, write, write. Write lists ( I have tons of those), write my feelings, write notes, write letters,write. So here I go.

I'm not sure where to begin so I'll now. If you don't know me and you get a little lost, be patient, I'm so random and non-linear so I'll probably fill in the gaps along the way.

After being diagnosed with Limb-girdle Muscular Dystrophy 18 years ago having babies wasn't on my list of to-dos. Well, I was 12 so picking out cribs wasn't as important as just trying to be a normal teen. Yea, not such luck there, but I digress. So, when I starting doing the do, of course I used birth control. Before Mr. M and I decided to be serious we used protection. Is this relevant to the story Shanell? Yes, I'm getting there. Two years into our relationship I stopped taking the pill. We weren't planning to have a baby but we knew this was 'forever' so if it happened it happened.

Years went by and nothing.
Whew...ok, it wasn't meant to be.
Maybe another time, maybe later.
Ok, maybe after we got married.
After the move.
After school is over, after, after, after.
No, it never happened. It hasn't happened, it won't happen.
We have to accept that. I have to accept that.

I want to be pregnant more than I want air. (Althought the two wouldn't work together) Sometimes I feel like I can't go on. I feel like everyone is pregnant and I'm not. Like it's some mean joke. Yet another club I haven't been accepted in.

Being in a wheelchair I feel like people look at me as asexual. "Oh why would she want a baby? She can't even walk." They look at me like some faceless person on wheels. But then if I DO have feelings, if they get hurt, if I am sensitive than "oh she's just an angry women in a wheelchair!" Why can't I just be a woman who wants a family? Why isn't it ok for me to want to have a little girl with my freckles and Mr. M's blue eyes? Why can't I ache to hear "I love you Mommy"?

Oh, is it ok to be tired of hearing "it's just not your time" "it'll happen, you just have to relax" "stop trying and it'll happen"

Ok, time is NOW, because I want it. Relax? Hmmmmmm...yea not thinking that just relaxing will do it. And, my favorite... if I stop trying...(stop having sex, cause that's the 'trying') I'm no doctor but it WON'T happen.

Speaking of doctors, we did go to a fertility doctor. He refused to help us. He said, "If you just get pregnant, then we will help you but I won't help you get pregnant. What if the baby turns out like you (with muscular dystrophy)? Ouch!

Ha! Well at least my kid would be cute!

Anywhoo...see don't I digress? LOL I told you I'd be all over the place. The POINT, Mr.M and I are going through the adoption process. We are having a baby! Well ok, not having a baby but you know. We have signed with an agency, met with our worker and will have the 1st of our 4 home visits for our Home Assessment next Wednesday. This is going to quite the journey. Like so many other memorable moments in my life I want to be able to look back on this one. I want to be able to look back and laugh at the funny stuff and cry at the sad stuff. You are welcome to join me. Follow us on yet another "adventure".

P.S-While you read, know that I am not checking spelling or grammer. I won't be re-reading after I write. I do that all day at work. These are my honest and true thoughts, no edits!! Ohhhhh, I'm so crazy! What a nerd.

Until next time...