Only Good is Happening Here

I’ve written this, what feels like a million times in my head.

We.Have.A.New.Baby.In.The.House

***

Crazy how my last post was so long ago and all about Chris and I can no longer have anymore biological children. Well– since that last post, a lot has changed.

We have a sweet new babe in the house.

We are temporarily caring for this sweet babe.

Foster care, or in my case “kinship fostering,” is not something I could have imagined we would take on. Without giving too much detail (because I can’t), we have taken the responsibility of her primary caregivers for an unknown amount of time. She came to us at 2 weeks old and since then it has been a whirlwind.

I remember when B was little– my first few months with her were sweet, tender, and basically a cycle of naps, diapers, bottles, and cuddling. My life with this sweet babe, whom we will call “Little B,” is nothing different in that aspect– except this time around I did not get nine months to prepare for her arrival, I am going to school, I am learning a trade to create a business of my own, homeschooling B, and raising B. This time around it is a lot different for me. With so many obligations and me pursuing my dreams and goals– I have to take a pause. A pause to focus on raising this sweet precious babe that has been entrusted to us. I have to take a pause from all the things that will be there for me later– to just love her. To give her the same amount of love and attention that I give B. To pour into her all the love we have.

Biologically Little B is not mine– but she doesn’t know that. She doesn’t know that my life was filled with busyness and tons of obligations. She doesn’t know that I am not an early riser and a night owl. She doesn’t know Chris and I like to go out and try new restaurants around town (more than we should). She doesn’t know that I spend all my time with my B and that we like to go shopping and hang out for hours on end. She doesn’t know that I am pursuing my education and trying to own my my own business. Nope– she doesn’t know any of these things.

I will tell you what she does know…

She knows that she was taken from her mother. She knows that she no longer hears her heartbeat. She knows that she needs love. She knows that she needs cuddles. She knows that she needs constant comfort. She knows that she needs reassurance that she is being cared for and wanted. She knows that she needs to look over from her bassinet and see someone there. She needs to know that all her needs are being met and then some.

And I know that want to take care of her. I know that I want to comfort her… love her… care for her.

I don’t know what her future holds. If you know me, I don’t do well with unknowns and variables. I like my life to be in constant control. I want my life to be exactly how I plan and anticipate.

But God has other plans.

I do not know what the future holds. I do know that she was entrusted to us to love.

Love big. Love grand. Love with everything we have.

***

I will love her and care for her like she is my own– even with the possibility she might not always be ours. That is okay. I will not hold back my love and affection out of fear of us getting hurt. I will not close off my heart to protect me. We have been called to LOVE. I will do this without reservation. I want B to grow up seeing what selflessness really is. I want B to know first hand that she can make a big impact in this world. I want B to feel so deeply for another person’s need that it calls her to action.

B sure loves her “Little B.” She knows that one of these days she might not be with us– and my big-hearted beautiful babe always reassures me that “As long as we love her, that is all that matters.”

It isn’t easy. Having to do this all over again, is by no means easy. But we’ve been blessed with “easy” long enough and it’s okay to be stretched. And boy, am I being stretched. She is a high needs baby– when B was the easiest kid ever. She doesn’t like to be put down while B was better at being in the swing or on a play mat. You have to do everything exactly how she wants it while B was a little more chill. So… this is work. A lot of work but a labor or love. I love that sweet baby that should be waking up at any moment. I love her smiles and her coos. I love when she sees me in the morning and gets happy and starts kicking her legs and flinging her arms around. I love when I smell her in the morning and she still smells fresh from her bath that night before. I love how cute she looks with a pacifier in her mouth. I love how she stares at me when I feed her. I love how when she sees me enter a room she arches her back and complains until I pick her up. I love when I wear her and I can kiss the top of her head a million times.

I love how she lights up when she sees B and tries to full on belly laugh when she talks to her and dances for her. I love that B is always wanting to help me with her. I love that she is always wanting to hold her and entertain her. I love laying her in B’s bed right before bed time and we all sit and laugh-talk-and pray.I love when Chris has her and baby talks her. I love when my mom cuddles her. I love when my family gets so excited to see her. I love that doing this all over again is reminding me of moments with B when she was baby that were lost in my sea of memories. I love when, late at night, I look at pictures of her and think that all the work and putting my life on pause is so worth it. I am doing something good. Only good is happening here. This is about pouring love into a little person– being stretched into a better person– denying my selfishness– and doing good.

Only good is happening here.

My Miracle

I haven’t been able to blog for a while.

I don’t have writer’s block– it’s more like writer’s dam.

I have a barrier in my brain from thinking about writing anything other than this one thing.

You ready for it?:

After having Brooklyn, we have found out that we cannot have any more children. 

***

This isn’t to say that with the help of medical intervention that we cannot possibly achieve the goal of another bundle of joy. We possibly can. We just don’t want to go that route because the risks far out way the benefits.

Why do I feel the need to even write this?

Because well-intentional people via social media or in my life always ask me when we are going to have another kid or why we don’t have one yet. The inquiring doesn’t bother me in any way but I am sick of avoiding it. Avoiding it, for me… makes me feel shameful. Like I am ashamed that my body cannot do what God made women to do. But that isn’t at all true. I am not ashamed. Nor should any woman that cannot conceive feel ashamed.

Am I sad?

Yes. Well, at first I was. Now there are just very few moments of sadness. I have come to terms with it. I am blessed beyond belief because I realize that to even have B is a miracle in itself. I am blessed that I was able to carry her and give birth to her.

Am I mad?

No. Not at all. I guess I can see why people would assume I would be. “God, how could this happen?… What did I do wrong?” I am not mad at God at all. I know very well His answer is “no,” and I am okay with that. I do not need to know His reasoning but only that I am happy where I am, blessed with what I have, and cannot drive myself crazy with the what-ifs and whys. I realize I gave birth to an amazing little girl and I am grateful for her. She is a miracle.

Am I hopeful?

Of course. I haven’t lost hope but only gained contentment. I am so content with just having B. More than content, really. Satisfied, happy, joyful. Yeah, that is it… I am so joyful. 

***

My purpose is to be transparent and encouraging. I want to be transparent because I want to be encouraging. I want to let those know who might be struggling with infertility that each journey is our own. One is not like the other. I only hope that those of you on your journey do not feel ashamed. You will have your moments of sadness, anger, and hopelessness. Then you might even have your moments of happiness and acceptance.

When we found out I wasn’t able to conceive without fertility drugs– I was in denial. I didn’t really take it seriously. I just conveniently told myself, “God will heal me.” It wasn’t until a few months later with no results that I thought back to that day. I started researching about the drugs I would need to take, my condition, and the condition of my health when I delivered B. Chris and I talked about it and we decided on not using medical intervention. It was not a risk we personally wanted to take. We kept living life and every now and again I would convince myself by some miracle I was pregnant and buy pregnancy tests. They were always negative.

A little over a year ago I had a serious run in with anemia. It changed my whole life– not because of the condition itself, but because it forced me to really deal with the fact that I will not be having anymore children. That I couldn’t bear a son to carry on my husband’s family name, that I couldn’t bear a sister for B to be as close to as I am to all of mine, or even for myself– one more chance to snuggle a baby that was all mine.

I felt the Holy Spirit comfort me. I felt a undeniable force of peace. I felt something telling me “no” when I wanted the answer to be “yes.” That was the catalyst that helped me freely cry, feel sadness, acceptance, and then lastly comfort in talking about it.

I have the most amazing family. My husband is amazing. He is so encouraging. He reassures me anytime that I need it that he doesn’t need another baby to feel complete. That he is far beyond blessed and happy with our family of three. We joke that we could never love another like B anyways. He offers me comfort with his humor. Comfort through his silence when I need to talk about it and he just listens. Comfort through his big big hugs and kisses on the forehead.

B is so comforting as well. She tells me she wouldn’t want me to put chemicals in my body to have another baby. She tells me that she is so happy with being the only child (no surprise there). She says that she is happy to just be us three.

I realize I am blessed to even have B. I realize that there are many many women who will not get the opportunity that I have been given so I do not and will not ever take it for granted. Here are a few things that I remind myself of on days that I need it the most:

Not being able to get pregnant does NOT make me less of a woman.

Not being able to get pregnant does NOT make me less desirable to my husband.

Not being able to get pregnant does NOT indicate I have done something wrong.

Not being able to get pregnant IS a hard thing to accept.

Accepting not being able to get pregnant does NOT mean you have given up hope.

***

Every journey is different. One is not like the other. This is not an outline of how anyone should or will feel. This is my journey. I am not ashamed. I am complete. I am happy. I am blessed.

Here is my miracle on the day she was born:

My Miracle

Thank you for reading!

Oceans of love to you and yours.

xo

When Does She Have Time To Play?

… Someone asked me that via Facebook the other day when I over shared our activities for that day.

Tennis at 7:00 AM

Swim at 10:30 AM

School for B at 11:30 AM

Volunteering (just me this time so she could rest) at 2:00 pm

Dance at 4:30 PM

A Show as a Family at 7:30 PM

***

Granted, that Tuesday was exceptionally busy, so no.. there wasn’t a whole lot of playing going on for her that day. But in general– this kid plays A LOT.

Even though I know she does play a lot, I couldn’t help but question myself…

::: Is she too busy?:::

It prompted me to ask her if she feels too busy at times…

“No Mommy. It’s fun. I like to work hard.”

Can a six year old have a good work ethic? Is it possible that she thrives off the hours of hard work she puts in in a day? I think that she does. It makes me proud that no only does she willingly do all her activities and schoolwork without a fuss but that she is so dedicated to it and actually enjoys it. She makes me proud constantly. And if I am being honest here, she would make me proud no matter what she does/did. Even if she wanted to not do anything and chill at home all the time I would be like, “Wow- you chilled so good today! You’re the best chiller in the whole world!” Haha.

***

That’s nice Aushrielle, but does she have time to play?

Yes.

This kid has an incredible imagination.

This gigantic empty box stayed in the living room for a week. It was a spaceship, a car, a camper, and a house. With her play kitchen and kid table she serves up a mean four-course meal complete with handmade menus. With her dollhouse she runs a rug store, a daycare, and a restaurant. If she helps me cook– she turns whatever we are doing into a cooking show… making me talk to the fake audience in front of me. Because she isn’t very maternal, her babies and dolls are used as fashion models– complete with individual makeovers and hair-dos (all her hair accessories and accessories end up on her dolls). With my blow dryer, towels, brushes, and combs she turns my living room into a full-service hair salon for her Daddy. She has way too many toys and enjoys playing with every single thing she has. She loves to play alone, with friends, and with us.

Yes.

She plays.

I just happen to have a kid that enjoys being busy too. She sets out her clothes for tennis and swim the night before. She makes sure I have all her needed items like her racket, towel, and goggles. She will run over to check my planner to see what is going on for that day and even take a peek in hers if she put any of her schedule down. This kid thrives off of the stimulation of “hard work” and play.

Her dedication brings me joy.

Her work ethic brings me joy.

Her incredible imagination brings me joy.

Heck, even the Whole Food paper bags filled with all her “groceries” after her character “Samantha” went shopping that I have to put away brings me joy.

***

The question I was asked on Facebook did not offend me at all. I will use it as a healthy reminder. A reminder for balance. A reminder to relish the days we stay home and play or do nothing at all and to be grateful for the days that we get to run around to all these activities.

Oceans of Love.

XO

Thank you for reading!

10 Reasons Why I Homeschool

I feel like there are really countless reasons why I feel homeschooling B is the best option for her and our family but let me preface this post my saying that I do not know what is best for your child– and public school might be the best option for you and your child. I do not have anything against the public school system. I actually really enjoyed my time in public school and wouldn’t have changed a thing.

***

ONE:

Let me get the really obvious reason out of the way:

I don’t have to get B up super early.

I love this! My kid is  a sleeper and will sleep in pretty late if I let her. I’ve experienced a handful of times having to get her up super early and it was okay… I mean she wasn’t “herself” in the morning– it took sometime for her to wake up so to speak. And a bonus reason: Cuddles! I love those morning cuddles. She wakes up. Finds me. Cuddles in my arms. No rush. This is my favorite part of everyday.

TWO:

Flexible schedule.

My husband is self-employed and I am a SAHM. Therefore we have a lot of flexibility of when and where we can get away. Disneyland in early February and early December are the best; short lines and great weather! Little mini getaways are also the best… we get to just relax and be together as a family. B’s summer break is only six weeks versus traditional school, which has a longer break, so we shuffle the additional time outside of her summer break for our vacations and mini getaways throughout the year.

THREE:

A lot of time for extra-curricular activities.

B is in tennis, swim, ballet, dance group, and gymnastics. It is a lot. It is nice not having to run her here and there after a long day at school and then have to come home later that night and do homework. There are plenty of kids that do this, I realize this, and they might thrive on it– but for my extremely chill kid… her not rushing here and there suits her well. Although, she doesn’t mind working hard and being busy… I would never want to over-work her on the daily.

FOUR:

Lunch dates with Daddy.

This is one of my favorites. We generally start school at 9:00-9:30 every morning (this is dependent on how long it takes her to eat breakfast). We are done with school by 1:00-1:30 pm every day. That happens to be the time B eats lunch. (Her belly is like clockwork by the way. I have always had her on a schedule so her body has certainly adapted to being fed no later than 1:30.) So, being that it is generally lunch time when she is done with school… Chris occasionally takes her, and sometimes me, to lunch with him! We love when Daddy takes us out! We love Thai and Mediterranean food so it’s a nice break from the pretty normal lunch menu we have like sandwiches and mac n’ cheese.

FIVE:

Volunteering.

While I think a good solid curriculum is good for B’s mind; volunteering and helping others is just as important. The flexibility from doing school at home allows for B to on some days start later or finish up earlier to accommodate our volunteer work. Currently, we assist with an amazing woman whom is visually impaired. She is so full of love and life and we enjoy spending time with her. B opens her mail, I help her pay her bills, B will read her the advertisements, and we both just offer her our company. B shines so bright in this environment. She knows that (we will call her “Ms. Sunshine”) cannot see so B is excellent at being very descriptive in how she speaks to Ms. Sunshine. Social and emotional skills are imperative and B is gaining these skills by leaps and bounds and all by simply helping in the way that she can and just simply “being” there for Ms. Sunshine. She has so much love and grace for those in need– she teaches me daily how to be better. On the days I question myself about whether or not homeschooling is still the best option, she reminds me that it is the best thing for her simply by being her.

SIX:

One on one learning.

B has my undivided attention in class which she loves. She likes that I pull up a chair next to  hers and we work on school together. I love that when she is interested in something we can take a few minutes from the current task and dive into what she interested in. For example: she was reading a reading comprehension passage that was discussing different types of fish. Two of the fishies discussed were the angler and lantern fish. She had never seen them before so it resulted in us watching YouTube videos of the angler and lantern fishes. Not only did the lesson reinforce comprehension but doubled as a little science based on the time we spent watching how amazing these creatures are in the deep deep sea.

SEVEN:

Tailored Curriculum.

I love love love that I get to chose her curriculum based on how she learns. I love love love that I get to change the curriculum if it isn’t working for us. Granted, it can get pricey so I make sure to do my research ahead of time, but at least the option is there to change it if I need to. There are so many different learning styles and different approaches to teaching. For example: B is a visual hands on learner when it comes to science so we do a lot of reinforced experiments along with a Charlotte Mason approach. She is not visual when it comes to math (believe it or not) so I do not need to use many manipulatives for her– she can understand the concepts simply by reviewing the material in the textbook and completing a few exercises. I can also add Bible to lesson plans in the week. This I love love love because she is able to learn about the beliefs we have and learn for herself what her Daddy and I believe in and hopefully what she will believe in also and take with her into her adult life.

EIGHT:

Light bulb moments.

You know the times when you are trying to remember something or think of the name of that one actor in that one movie and all of the sudden you remember and you get that look on your face? That look is what I call the light bulb moment. Like, “Ding! I know the answer!” or “Ding! I get it now!” Well, I love those moments. When B and I are working on a new concept and she makes the connection and she gets that look on her face…. Man– I love that look. I thrive off of it. I would be terribly sad if I missed that look.

NINE:

I am stingy.

It is no secret that the amount of stinginess I have for this kid is insane. Haha. My mom always reminds me that I am stingy with my kid. It is true. So so true. She isn’t too attached to me or anything… Like to the point where she hides behind me in public or can’t carry a conversation with an adult but she doesn’t care to be away from me for too long either. I guess you can say we are attached to each other… but in a healthy non-Norman Bates kind of way. She’s my little sidekick and I am super blessed she’s so smart and funny– because she is excellent company!

TEN:

The smart cookie factor.

Don’t get me wrong– there are brilliant minds who have and are currently going to public school. Again, I don’t have anything against public school. I loved it. BUT– B is very intelligent and I feel that she is really able to blossom academically because we homeschool. For example: she started showing early signs of reading when she was four. Based on her age she would have started Kindergarten at five and a few months. I just didn’t want to wait that long so after hours, days, weeks, and months of research– Chris and I decided on homeschooling her. So, basically she started Kinder a year early. I wouldn’t have been able to do that here in the public school system. We continued onto First grade and this is when “stuff” got real. She just blossomed! (Mommy brag alert!) This kid just turned six and is reading at a Fifth grade level. I mean– she is killing chapter books. She is reading everything and anything (not always a good thing LOL). She is doing math in her head. She is doing multiplication… and not like the times tables we grew up committing to memory– she actually understands the concept and can answer multiplication questions in word problem format! She can tell you the type of atmosphere Venus has, where Mt. Rushmore is, correct my grammar like a boss… and I could go on and on. I won’t. I will spare you. Haha. Homeschooling B has been a big, tremendous, monumental blessing for all three of us!

This isn’t a good choice for some but for us this is the best possible choice! I hope to share with you more explicitly what we do in class, schedules, curriculum choices… etc. Online resources and homeschooling communities have been tremendously helpful and if I can help another family out just a tad, I want to!

Thanks for reading and oceans of love and blessing to you and yours!

xo

My Tia Rosanna

 So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, for we walk by faith, not by sight. Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord.

2 Corinthians 5:6-8

***

May 19th my Tia Rosanna passed from this Earth to enjoy Heaven until we get there.

I am no stranger to loss. I am no stranger to this pain. I am no stranger to the frustration that comes with wanting to say “I love you” just one more time. I am no stranger to the lack of sleep and distraction that comes with constantly thinking of your loved one. I am also no stranger to the love that pours from family when you need it the most. I am also no stranger to what a difference just being there with family makes.

This is difficult for everyone in my family but I am so encouraged by everyone’s love for one another. No one has to say, “Come over, be with me, sit with me, hug me.” We all just by nature migrate to my mom’s house and are just there for one another. We all offer a hug and encouraging word when someone is having a difficult moment. Of course I would rather this not be something that we have to endure but being that these are the circumstances, I realize I wouldn’t want anyone else in my corner other than these people. We love hard, fiercely, and without reservation. I am so blessed that these are my “people.” Yes– everyone is imperfect… we all have our moments but the imperfections doesn’t have any bearing on the amount of love we all have for one another. I feel so encouraged… we have one another. My Tia is not in pain. Her body has been restored. I know she is looking down on us and happy to see we have one another. I know we are making her proud by being there for one another.

 ***

The night before she passed– I had a lot of alone time with her. I rubbed her arms, held her hands, and lightly tickled (a light scratch which we call cariños) her beautiful hair that was growing back into this insanely perfect pixie. I admired her beautiful glow, her soft skin, that Miami tan, and her perfect face. I started thinking of all the things she has shared with me– all the courage she displayed constantly. I started to feel inspired…

I leaned in and made her promises:

I promised her I would be braver.

I promised her I would take more chances.

I promised her that I would make her proud.

These are things I have been working on but she ignited the desire in me. She was the fiercest woman in the smallest package. She traveled, she didn’t need a man in order to do anything, she made her own way in this life, she was such a daredevil. She didn’t allow cancer to be her excuse for anything. During her fight, she wouldn’t sulk… she wouldn’t complain even though she had every reason in the world to. She went to every family gathering, she shopped (for hours!), she went to restaurants, she stayed around the dinner table and laughed with us for hours, she danced, heck– she even got on roller coasters.

This woman is tenacious.

This woman is brave.

This woman is strong.

This woman is brilliant.

This woman is resting in heaven.

(She probably isn’t resting– probably swimming and enjoying all the organic sourced food she could eat.)

I use the tense is and not was because to say was is to say her life is over. That she is gone forever. She isn’t. Yes, she is gone from this earth but she IS in heaven and living therefore she IS tenacious, brave, strong, and brilliant. God gave her those amazing qualities and He gets to enjoy them in Heaven with her while we wait to be reunited for a bit.

***

I miss you Tia. I know this hurt is temporary and will be worth the wait until we see you again.

I honor you. I love you.

Thanks for reading and “Oceans of Love and Time” to you and yours.

xo

Cancer Does Not Care

Cancer.

It doesn’t care about your future goals.

It doesn’t care that you someday want to see your child get married.

It doesn’t care about your family.

It doesn’t care about your mind, body, or soul.


My (newly six year old) daughter said it the best the other night as she cried herself to sleep:

“Cancer is a monster. A monster that doesn’t care about anything.”

***

Cancer has hit too close to home for B and I. Someone beautiful, strong, and brave is, according to the doctors, “losing her battle with cancer.” We will call her “Our Mermaid” to maintain her privacy. We will call her Our Mermaid because I have never met someone who loves the ocean as much as she does. Almost every time we spoke she talked about the ocean and the beautiful beaches she has visited. I often got a sense that she felt free on a boat our with her toes in the sand. Our Mermaid is brilliant, strong, and strong-willed. She is fighting… fighting harder than I have ever seen someone fight for something.

She has, for most of my life, lived in a different state so we aren’t extremely close but since her battle with cancer began in October of 2014, she moved with my parents so they and her sister here can support her through her battle and we have gotten closer. I treasure this because I have gotten to know her a little better. (And as I write this– I see the word “battle.” I don’t even think that word expresses what cancer does to someone. WAR. War expresses it better. Someone who has cancer is in a full-out WAR with the monster that is cancer.) Not only did I get to be closer to her, but B did as well. Our Mermaid’s face lights up when she sees B. She actually calls her B and rarely by her full name. They like to talk fashion, shopping, and eating non-GMO (yes, my kid is all about that non-gmo or organic label). Our Mermaid is often cold because of her war so you can usually find her snuggled up with a big comfy blanket on the couch. This is like an open invitation to B because there are few things she likes more than a big snuggly blanket to share with someone so they like to sit on the couch together snuggled in a big blanket. Another thing they share together is their love of music. We once broke out into a full out dance party on Thanksgiving and I remember looking over at Our Mermaid, so thin and frail yet strong as all heck, got up and danced when Sam Smith’s “Latch:” came on. In her soft sweet voice she said, “I love this song,” and she closed her eyes and danced.

***

It was just a few weeks ago that the doctors told us there is nothing more that they could do for her. It was a few weeks ago everything changed. Family members are constantly visiting, everyone is coming and going, and everyone is there for one another. We all rally around her… hold her hand, kiss her, talk to her, tell her she is beautiful…

Everyone has come together as a family to get through this.

B’s heart is so big. She feels so deeply that she cries often. The other night she cried for an hour and a half. She cried so hard that her eyes were puffy the next morning. Through her sobbing I heard things like, “It is just too hard to let go… It is too hard to say good-bye… I just can’t let go… I feel so bad for everyone… She has too much things to do still… “

Add to the list: Cancer doesn’t care about little girls who love big.

When I let her Tia know that night what B was going through, she called her right away and prayed over her and helped comfort her. After that phone call, B fell asleep cuddled up next to me and quickly fell asleep. The next morning, she was feeling better and I was feeling worse. My heart was heavy… B noticed this and said, “Mommy, let’s think of happy things about Our Mermaid.” I did. It helped.

It is in times like these that you need your family. You must come together to support one another. I am so so grateful that we do this. I am so glad that we care deeply for one another. It makes me so proud to be apart of this family. This family is a big mix of people that is not made up of just genetics but of people choosing to be family despite the lack of DNA similarities. My Dad chose to be my Dad twenty four years ago and with that I have been apart of this beautiful family that has come together to be there for one another.

I have not given up hope. I believe in miracles but if God decides he wants Our Mermaid home– It will hurt. Bad. But I am grateful we have each other to hold until we reunite again.

Our Mermaid always signed off with “Oceans of Love.”

So I wish to you, oceans of love and happiness to you and yours and thanks for reading!

xo

It Is My Decision

B has always been really inquisitive. She says things that are immensely profound for a five (soon to be six) year old.

She doesn’t notice race, clothes size, or never uses words like “ugly” or “fat.” She truly believes every single person is beautiful and celebrates peoples differences. She makes me really proud.

And in my hardest of moments, she shines bright for me– to help me through

***

I made a very important decision for myself recently.

I have decided that it is best for me and my mental health and heart to not allow my biological dad to be apart of my life.

(To set the scene to what happens next: I do not cry often or get overly emotional in front of B because she does have such a tender heart and feels so deeply, I would never want to worry her or put too much on her so she could only sense that I was hurting)

I explained to her that I had to make a choice for me and her and being that my biological Dad was very inconsistent, that it wasn’t healthy for him to be in our lives.

She crawled into my lap and said this…

“I do not think that Grandpa was prepared to be a Daddy to you when you were little. I do not think that he was prepared to be a Daddy to you now and I do not think that he was prepared to be a Grandpa to me now. I know that he loves you and me but he just makes bad choices.”

Yes, she said that. Just.like.that.

I always kiss her ouchies, reassure her when she is doubting herself, encourage her, praise her, and make her feel brave. I am her mother. That is what I do.

Today she did that very thing for me.

Those eyes of hers reassured me that it is “okay.”

That my decision was the right one and that it is “okay”

I won’t ever be happy with not having my dad in my life but “okay” isn’t bad either. I cannot control him. I can only control my actions, my reactions, and make my own decisions based on what is best for me.

It is my decision to maintain my healthy state of mind.

It is my decision to set the example for my daughter that not all relationships add value and to the ones that don’t, no matter how hard it may be, do not have a place in your life.

I do not know what the future holds for my dad and I but I know that he made his decision and I made mine and I will be…

better than okay because I have a wonderful life full of love that I am so grateful for.

It Is His Decision.

To grow up without your biological father is a profound thing…a life altering thing.

I cannot begin to wrap my head around why someone would not want to be apart of their child’s life.

Dealing without my biological father and with him has been interesting to say the least. My memories of him are vague and come in fragments. My experiences with him in these last two years are happy, sad, hopeful, and empty.

***

He left when I was five. The few memories I have him are actually good ones. I remember him playing baseball with us. I remember him being really funny and a jokester. I remember him trying to do my long hair on the days that he would have us at his house. I remember him always being on the floor and playing with my brother and I.

***

From ages five to twelve– we had zero communication. I did not know him. I thought of him very little. It wasn’t until my brother’s funeral that I saw him. I was kind. I was open. I wanted to be apart of his life. He never called. He never wrote.

***

From ages twelve to sixteen– we had zero communication. I did not know him. I thought of him very little. It wasn’t until I ran away from home in one of my stupid teenage angst episodes that I tracked him down through a relative of his so I can really “get back” at my parents. He flew down the next day. I was so hopeful. We spent three days together. He was so easy to talk to. He was fun. He was really cool. He was raising another family that was not biologically his and  coincidentally were around my age. I tried really hard to be okay with it but it quite literally broke my heart. He went back to his home state. We communicated for a few months. The letters stopped. The calls stopped.

***

From ages sixteen to twenty seven– we had zero communication. I did not know him. I thought of him more often than ever before. Two years ago, I talked to Chris about finding him. We had a daughter, I had a whole family I knew nothing about, and I was getting older. My heart wanted to find out who that other part of me was.

Chris tracked him down and asked him if he was capable of being apart of my life before I spoke with him because he didn’t want to see me hurt. He explained my pain and my bio Dad reassured Chris that he wanted to be apart of me again.

Our first conversation was painful. He cried most of the time. I was brave. I was strong. I appeared to be at least… Inside I was wanting it to be really really easy for him to stick around this time because I felt some where that I had made it too difficult in the past and that is why he never stayed. The internal people-pleaser wanted him to be proud of me, I wanted him to see my life and want to be apart of it, and I wanted him to be my “dad.”

A few months after our first conversation, he hopped on a plane and visited us three. It was an awesome visit. I was very open and forgiving. We welcomed him in our home with open arms. It was wonderful. B loved him. Chris and him got along. There were talks of him “starting over with us” and moving down. I was so happy. My hopes were so high for our future. I had my biological Dad in my life finally and it felt marvelous.

He went home. The honeymoon phase ended.

The sorrow that I had buried for years started to resurface. I was hurting… bad. How could he have done this to me? He didn’t deserve my family to be in his life so easily. How could he have not even looked for me all these years? How could he have raised children that were not his shortly after deciding to not be apart of my life? What did I do to deserve this?

I sought help through a wonderful man at our church. He counseled me with such love and grace. For him, I am forever grateful. He helped me get healthy. He helped me see God’s love for me. I felt valued. I felt strong. I felt worthy.

I shared with my dad how I felt. I shared with him what I needed to maintain my mental health. He seemed on board.

But…

The calls got sporadic. The visits, fewer and far between. It was hard for him to hear how he made me feel. I get it. He deals with his own guilt and sadness. I get it.

But I am parent and these are my truths:

Nothing will ever keep me from my daughter.

I will quite literally lay down my life for her.

Her happiness is very important for me.

I will remind her she is worthy, strong, brave, and brilliant.

I will deny myself 99.9% for her. (The .01% is reserved for my “mommy breaks” LOL)

I have one chance at this. I will forever want to be better and do better for her.

***

So you can see why it is hard for me to comprehend why this man… whose blood runs through my veins would rather make me feel worthless to spare himself a “hard” conversation with me or to even deal with the awkwardness.

I want you to know: he is a good person. He helps people. He is kind. He is generous. He is funny. He is gentle. I am actually really proud of who he is. There is just something that prevents him from totally present with me.

Maybe it’s because we didn’t forge a close natural bond when I was a kid?

Maybe it is because he cannot handle the guilt and shame that I represent for him?

Maybe it is because he is just too busy for me?

Maybe it is because he just really doesn’t want to be apart of my life?

I don’t know the answer to those possibilities. I don’t know why he never kept his promise of moving here. I don’t know why his calls have gotten to about one or two every two months.

I just don’t know.

What I do know is that all of his decisions are his own.

 But for me– I have learned FORGIVENESS.

Forgiveness for me is not “Okay-I forgive you. I will never feel sad or hurt again.” Forgiveness of this nature is active work. I have to ask God often to help me love him and forgive him. I refuse to allow anyone to have power over my life in the way that unforgiving causes. He is not capable of being the father that I have always dreamed of. This is my reality and it is okay. I will be okay. I am still blessed beyond measure.

Do not ever allow anyone to make you feel unworthy, unloved, or disregarded.

Thanks for reading xo

THE REVAMPED KIDS UNIFORM | Brooklyn

Thanks to The LBBrand for sending B such a comfy sweet tee for her to style. She is ecstatic to share with everyone the looks that she put together xo

THE LB BRAND

rku1

Name: Brooklyn

Location: Arizona

Styling: LB’s Beautiful Heart Tee

I don’t know many five year olds that love fashion or posing in front of a camera as much as Brooklyn does! If I had to put a label on her personal style I would say it’s a little bohemian chic, a little glam, and a little retro. She expresses herself through her fashion choices and we encourage her to do so. She decided to pair her soft and comfy “Beautiful Heart” tee with her favorite new NicoNico mustard colored skirt. She is all about comfort and flow, even when it comes to her hair. She doesn’t care for her hair to be too polished or tight. She especially loves her clothes to be soft to the touch and very free flowing so she extra loves this outfit. She wanted to accessorize and change up her look a few times which…

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