Thursday, January 31, 2008


Random Things Gabe's Mom is Thinking About

  • This Cinnamon Toast Crunch is really good right now
  • I need to catch up on some blog reading
  • I like that I have only a handful of really good friends I can be myself with
  • I need to dye my hair
  • I wonder if work will be closed tomorrow
  • I wonder if my mom will like Alanis Morrisette in concert
  • I'm so glad I told Greg's mom to pick me up some pop
  • My car is really dirty (This is an inside joke)

Gabe had a great day today. He played with Grandma & Grandpa (my mom & dad). Mom said that he really took an interest in watching my brother play the piano. She said he was just so intrigued by it. He was dancing too! This kid loves to dance! I like that he enjoys music... this is one of the things his birth mom and I had in common and one of the reasons she chose our profile in wanting to meet us.

Well, better get to my blog reading... My apologies for a lame post tonight!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Once Upon A Time...

"There was a little boy named, Gabe. He had so many people in his life that loved him and cared about him..."

Last night, my little toddler did something he doesn't do very much any more... he cuddled with me. It was right before bedtime and he'd just finished his "ba" and we were sitting on the couch. I thought it was the perfect time to lightly rub his cheek and tell him his adoption story. The beginning of this blog is how it started out. I told him that we loved him so much and that we care so much for his birth family. I named so many people that love him and care about him from both families as well as all of our dear friends.

Gabe just laid there looking up at me so intently. I stopped rubbing his cheek and he did the sweetest thing... He took ahold of my hand and put it back on his cheek and not near as smoothly started rubbing his cheek. Oh, I love this little boy. It makes me tear up right now just thinking about it. It makes me forget that he woke up at 4:30 this morning and fell back to sleep 5 minutes before my alarm went off. It makes me forget that he kicks his feet when we change his diaper. It makes me forget waking up at 2:00 a.m. to get a bottle.

It reminds me, however, that I am this little, wonderful boy's Mommy. The kisser of owies, the calmer of cries, the one he reaches for when I drop him off at the sitters, the one who loves him so much it hurts, the one who teaches him how to say his prayers. What a wonderful gift to have moments like this that remind us of how incredibly amazing being a mommy is. Sure, there are hard, back-breaking moments, but oh those little ones that touch our hearts have such a stronger impact. I love being a mommy. I am so thankful that God fulfilled the desire of my heart - it was worth every minute of the wait.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

What about Bob?

This. Picture. Cracks. Me. Up. No doubt about it. I was laughing so hard when we took it. Gabe always like to take my glasses off and put them on. (no these aren't my glasses). So, today when Gabe did that with my glasses, Gabe's Dad said, "Hang on, I've got just the thing..." And he ran downstairs and grabbed these beauties. We were all laughing. It was just so funny.

Gabe thought Dad was funny too! Speaking of Dad, you're probably wondering why is this post titled "What about Bob?" Well, Gabe calls his dad not dada, not daddy, not dad, but Bob. Yep, Bob. I have no idea where he got that! He will walk around calling for Dad saying, "Bob! Bob!" I think that is just too cute. Just another "Gabe Thing". Only Gabe. Man, I swear this kid gets cuter and cuter every day - and way more fun.

Friday, January 25, 2008

New Blogger

Ok, I apologize to any regular visitors... I am constantly changing the header to my blog. I can't help it! I am just really enjoying learning new things about photoshop and Blogger. It's too fun. Not much news with Gabe & Gabe's Parents. Gabe & I are still sick. He's getting over it, but I'm dragging. Thank God for my dear hubby... he has really been helping a lot. I've been SO tired. He took Gabe to his 1 year doctor's appointment today. I guess he probably sees now what I go through when taking him by myself! It's tough... There isn't a good way to pay your co-pay because you've got a baby on your hip, a diaper bag on your shoulder, and the slip they leave for you to take to the front desk. (I personally think THEY should carry their paperwork to the front desk - I've always got too much I'm trying to juggle!) Oh, and the baby has just had his shots, so he's very clingy and needs his bottle. Oh, well. You make it through it!
Hopefully there's plenty of rest and relaxation in store for Gabe's Mom & Dad this weekend! And a couple of pics:

Here is Gabe "fixing" our new computer desk - too cute! Aunt Ne got him these tools for this birthday.

Love this picture! Quality isn't the greatest on these photos, but dang is he cute!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Baby's First Birthday

Gabe's first birthday was so wonderful. So many people came to help us celebrate this day. Gabe had a great time. He wasn't feeling the best, but he actually had fun and behaved very well. He got a lot of nice gifts and completely demolished his cake!

Here's the little man walking around greeting his guests! He was asleep when the first guests arrived!

Here is our house... It was crowded to say the least. I guess I underestimated seating arrangements. I felt bad that everyone was so crammed, but what do you do?

I love this photo. Look how excited he is to dig into that cake! (Note: Cake was made by Aunt Missy and all of these photos - as well as those from the previous post - were taken by Kimberly Knight)

The cake (or what was left of it).

Love this photo. This is what the guys did half of the time. The other half of the time, they were using my son's toys (and anything else they could find) to hit eachother in the balls. Yes, I was proud of my hubby's behavior that day. Whatever gets you through it!

And, finally, the very happy family. What a wonderful day. Thank you to all of our family and friends for making our special day such a great one. We had a wonderful time and appreciate your gifts, love, and company.
Monday night, we had a visit with Gabe's birth family. We asked our parents to stop by so they would have a chance to visit with them as well. I really wanted them to at least talk with Gabe's birth family one time (other than the hospital room). It went so well. Both sets of parents said they weren't uncomfortable at all. It felt like they'd known them for a long time. That made Greg and I feel great. Gabe's birth family seemed very at ease too. I had asked his birth mom if it was ok if they stopped in and she was thrilled about it. Gabe's birth family also brought him some really awesome gifts! He loves each of them - some mega blocks, a rocking horse, a Tonka crane, a farm set, and a walker/car. It was like each of those gifts was perfect for him! Gabe made them laugh and he did a lot of his "tricks"!
I think of his birth mom every single day. That is no exaggeration. I hope she is handling all of this ok. I hope she knows that not a day goes by that we aren't thankful, so extremely thankful, that she chose us to be his parents. I hope she doesn't resent me or think I think I'm better than she is. Because I don't. I care very much for her and I hope she knows that too.
I had mentioned in a previous post a woman that was very angry about adoption coercing. I've thought a lot about this woman. I feel awful for her. I want to tell her so badly that adoptive parents are not free from hurt in the adoption process. We hurt thinking of our child's birth mom. Of course, we will never feel the amount of pain Gabe's birthmom felt. The day we brought him home was bittersweet for us. His birthday was not all joy - there was pain there too. I thought a lot about Gabe's birthmom that day. We are not cold, selfish people who only want to satisfy this need to be a parent. We are loving, caring people who realize what we've gained someone else has lost. But, I won't be telling this woman this, for fear that I'll be called every name under the sun. I can only hope and pray that some day she finds peace.
Well, that's all for today (finally!)

Monday, January 21, 2008

The Birthday Boy

Did somebody say "Cake"??

Mmmm... So Good!

Cleaning up after the cake

Just a couple of pics... I'm too tired to blog tonight! I'll provide more detail of the par-tay later. Gabe's mom is tired!

Sunday, January 20, 2008


Gabe's Mom went (along with Gabe's Dad, Aunt Ne, Aunt Keeker & Matt, & Uncle Dan) to see Juno. It was excellent! SO many favorite lines:

"That ain't no etch-a-sketch. This is one doodle that can't be un-did, homeskillet"


"This is your third test today, Mama Bear. Your eggo is preggo, no doubt about it."


"And Blair Witch Project was about to come on Starz, and you were like, "I haven't seen this in forever" and you wanted to watch it, but then you were like "Oh no, we should just make out instead. La la la."

I found myself able to relate to a lot of the things the adoptive parents did to prepare... I remember straightening the flowers/magazines before Gabe's birth family came over to visit (although this was after Gabe's birth). I also remember asking the adoption case worker, "Are you sure she still wants to go through with this? How sure is she? ..." I could see myself in the adoptive mom for sure. I also thought there was some things that weren't portrayed accurately, but it's a movie. I did say on the way home in the car last night that I bet the adoption blogs will be going on and on about this movie (just like I'm doing now!)

Yes, Gabe's mom did cry. There was one part I about couldn't take, but I won't spoil the movie for you! Go see it. It's fantastic.
I'll post some pics soon of Gabe's birthday... We had a photographer come over to catch some candids... As soon as they're ready, this is where they'll be. We had a great time at his party. I'll include more details later!

Here's a new pic of the 1 year old:

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Time with Dad

This weekend, my two guys put together a new computer desk for the playroom. Oh, I love it! They did such a great job! I no longer have to reach for this or that or shove stuff into tiny drawers! I am so excited! (PS: Notice Gabe's red hammer in the above pic!)

I just love these two pictures of the guys. Gabe just loved hanging around his Daddy this weekend. Greg showed him how the drill worked - at first Gabe was scared of it, but as you can see in the above picture, he quickly got used to it and wanted to help his Daddy! I have the above picture on my desktop at work... I just love it. I love that Gabe's little hand is on Greg's. How precious.
I love these two guys so much.
Tonight was the first night of American Idol! Woo Hoo! We went to Lyonses to watch it with Harlands too. It was a lot of fun. Gabe stayed with a babysitter, which was nice for us to have a break. But, guess what I did most of the time I was there?? Played with Baby Caleb! I just can't stay away from those babies I guess!

Monday, January 14, 2008

Happy Birthday, Gabey Baby...

Happy Birthday, TO YOU!!!!

That's right. It's my little guy's 1st birthday. Unbelievable. I can't even begin to say how fast the time has flown. I don't want to get too mushy - or the floodgates will open - but, I do have to say what a day...

I thought so much about Gabe's birth family today. I know they must be having an emotional day. I know it's probably very hard on them. Gabe's birth mom called today and it was wonderful to talk to her. We're connected forever - this day brings back so many memories for us both. It was weird, the weather was even identical today to the day he was born. It's amazing how that brought the memories back as well. We'll be getting together with Gabe's birth family next week. I'm really looking forward to seeing them and I can't wait for them to see Gabe. He's walking and playing and I'm sure he'll be a lot of fun for them. Hopefully he'll do some of his tricks!

So, we started the day out with a birthday breakfast. Gabe thought he would just put the candle out with his fingers. Greg and I were freaking, but his fingers must have been wet because he was fine!

"Gabe, how old are you gonna be?" That's what we used to say and he'd hold up one finger - yes, it was the appropriate one!

I took off work early today so I could spend the afternoon with Gabe. We went to a tractor supply type store to find some plastic barnyard animals for Gabe to play with. Gabe's Dad is making him a barn (a replica of my parents') to hold his toy tractors. So, we thought we'd get him the animals to go with it.

After that, we met the Grandmas & the Grandpas as well as Aunt Keeker and Uncle Dan for supper. They surprised Gabe with balloons, big guy/little guy matching shirts for Gabe and Gabe's Dad, and a Lightning McQueen car. They came over for cake and then:

Gabe's Mom gave him his ba-ba. He was pooped and ready for bed. I love you so much, Gabey.

Happy Birthday, my little one.

Friday, January 11, 2008

How can it be wrong?

In trying to learn more about birth moms and adoption, I went searching for blogs on the subject. Any adoptive moms out there - I HIGHLY discourage this! You will run into some crazy people. I went searching so I could see how birth moms felt later in life. Were there many successful open adoptions out there? Are there things I shouldn't say to Gabe's birth mom so I don't ever say something insensitive or hurtful unintentionally? Wrong thing to do.

I ended up finding this woman's blog who had "lost a child to adoption" 15 years ago. She was so full of anger and hatred towards the entire idea of adoption. To her, using the term birth mom was calling a "1st mom" a "breeder". She was just SO far on the opposite end of the spectrum as me. When I tried commenting on her blog to let her know that adoption CAN be a good thing, and that any pregnant woman makes the CHOICE to place her child, she proceeded to call me terrible, vulgar names. She accused me of being naive, a bigot, and self righteous. She said some terrible things to me. Things I'll never forget. She made me question whether or not we "took" Gabe from his "breeder".

I felt so uneasy about all of this. How can his adoption be wrong? It isn't. It's good. It's loving. I never, nor did our agency, try to persuade his birth mom in any way. Our agency worker spoke with her several times, always asking if she was comfortable with the choice she made. There was no telling this woman this. I finally just gave up. I felt defeated. There are some people that are just so full of hate. I'd never met one, before her.

She also stated she was coerced into this adoption. My entire point was - I would move hell or high water before I would ever let someone take my child. If I did not want someone else to adopt my child, they wouldn't. I would CHOOSE to keep my child. My entire point was she had a choice - hard as it may be, you always do. Do I believe adoption coercion exists? I believe there can be pressure on birth moms. But they still have a choice! No one can MAKE you reliquish your child. I know in our case, Gabe's birth mom had 3 days after his delivery to change her mind regarding the adoption. (The time frame varies from state to state). Granted 15 years ago, those mandates may not have been in place. I don't know. I guess if someone was trying to force me to give up my child, as his mother, I would not let it happen. They'd have to destroy me first. I know things would be hard. I know some women don't have families or birth fathers in the picture. But still, nothing, ABSOLUTELY NOTHING, of my own free will would separate me from my child. I would find a way.

Any time I posted a comment on this woman's blog, she deleted it, but would leave her return comments about my post on her blog. They were full of insults, full of inaccuracies as far as referring to my posts, and extremely hurtful. I feel better now that I've been able to express my feelings on Gabe's Mom.

I know in my heart we didn't do anything wrong in adopting Gabe. It was wonderful - our dreams came true. It was sorrowful - we watched a birth mom reliquish her child. It IS such a blessing now. We have an excellent relationship with his birth mom and she is anything but "just a breeder".

Thank you for listening to me rant - I needed to get my feelings out there. I feel sorry for this woman. I can only hope someday she can find some peace.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Waitin' on Momma

Tonight was kind of a scary night. We had thunderstorms and a couple of funnel clouds were spotted in areas near us. And just where was Gabe's Mom??? Um, maybe she was at Hobby Lobby, oblivious to the outside weather conditions. What can I say? All of the Christmas stuff was 80% off and I had to stop and buy a Disney Cars cake pan so Aunt Missy could make Gabe's birthday cake. Here I was taking my time, totally not knowing that Gabe and Dad were worried about me.
I actually took this picture yesterday, but I think it fits today's blog. My family, sitting at home waiting for me. What a picture to come home to! When I opened the door, Gabe started crawling immediately for me. He was laughing and you could just tell he was really excited to see me. It was a wonderful feeling. Gabe's Dad on the other hand, gave me the "Where WERE you???" lecture. "We were worried about you!".
I'm so thankful to be here in my cozy home, safe and sound with my family. God answered my prayers tonight - I'm here, right where I want to be.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Counting Down

Tomorrow marks one week until Gabe's first birthday. I put together a couple of photos to show just how much he's grown in a year:

The adorable little newborn outfit you see here was what he wore the day he came home from the hospital, to the adoption agency, and then to our house. That outfit swam on him. He looked so tiny:

He was just so tiny! It's amazing how much he's grown. Here is a picture of his shoes then and now:

How precious... his tiny little feet! Look at the clompers to the right! These pictures are making me tear up. I just can't believe my little baby is now a toddler. He is walking so much right now. I went through a lot of his baby clothes and keepsakes trying to get more organized today. So many memories came back. I remember when we brought him home, Greg and I didn't talk much in the car. We were just blown away by all of the events that day - the anxiety of waiting while Gabe's birthmom took him home for a few hours, the empty stomachs and full plates of food in front of us at Logans, Grant taking Greg (& me along) to buy cigars, the raw emotion experienced in the adoption agency office, the painful goodbyes, the wonderful joy of holding our son, and the immediate love for this child who was placed in our care.

The little t-shirt he wore while in the hospital was among the keepsakes. I carefully unfolded it, looked at it, and smelled it, and I didn't smell baby. As I folded it back up and carefully placed it back in with his keepsakes from that day, it reminded me that the baby is gone and a child is now here. A toddler is here. My little guy is here. He's ours for good and I'm so happy.
Gabe, Mommy & Daddy can't wait to celebrate your 1st birthday with you. Speaking of Daddy, we're so glad he's back!

Thursday, January 3, 2008

For Gabe's Dad

Ok, I realize now, this should've said WE love you, but you get the idea! I went out in the snow and did this today... I hope no one was driving by...

We miss you, Gabe's Dad, and we look forward to seeing you tomorrow!

Gabe had a great day today. He spent the day with my Mom & Dad and they said he was wonderful. He behaved very well. He went out to the garage with Papa this afternoon and they looked at the dump truck. Dad said tonight, "You know, next time I have Gabe, I think we'll go up to the restaurant, have some breakfast, and then maybe head down to the mall. We can look at caps and stuff." It was just so cute to hear Dad planning out a day for the two of them. Gabe watched him as if he were thinking, "Yeah, Papa, that sounds like a great day for us!"

I just get so much enjoyment watching our parents with Gabe. There is nothing like the bond between a child and their grandparents, that's for sure. There's also nothing like watching your parents let your child get away with the stuff you couldn't get away with! As my mom always says, "Tell her, Gabe... There's no rules at Grandma's house!"

I photoshopped this photo today too:

I'm having so much fun in photoshop - and with my NEW 50 mm lens!! I LOVE IT!!

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

For Grant...

Here you go, Uncle Grant. Gabe's Mom is updating...

Daddy let Gabe try some of his delicious apple... Gabe was hooked! He got ticked when Greg took it away!

Daddy and Gabe are reading a book here. I love this picture of my two boys. Gabe just loves his Daddy.
Daddy, we miss you and hope you have a safe trip! Uncle Grant, are you happy now?? :)

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

It was a Very Good Year

2007. It was a fantastic year.
Here are some of the highlights:
  • Gabey Baby was born and adopted into our family
  • The Gabe's Mom blog began
  • Greg & I went on a cruise (while on the cruise we found out we'd be parents!)
  • Greg got a promotion
  • Gabe's Mom has developed a passion for photography
  • Gabe's first friend Caleb was born
  • The Lord answered many prayers for us - healthy family, friends, food on the table, a roof over our heads, and far too many more to list
  • We had a wonderful year with our families and friends
  • We had 3 great visits with Gabe's birth mom
  • We bought a new home

I could go on and on about the wonderful things that happened this year. I can only pray that 2008 is just as wonderful and that our lives are just as blessed. Greg and I were talking today and we said we just couldn't believe how great things were going for us here lately. We have a lovely home, a healthy, happy child, and wonderful friends and family. I know I go on and on about our blessings, but I really feel we need to celebrate them everyday. We need to cherish them every moment.

Before becoming parents, Greg and I went through many times of pain and suffering. We endured seeing the result of a house fire at our family's farm, we waited with worry throughout my brother and sister's healing after the accident, we experienced the loss of family members and friends, we went through years of infertility; we've had a long, painful road. But finally, we feel like we're enjoying life. We're experiencing huge blessings. I know, through all of that pain there were daily blessings too. None of them outweighed the pain though. Now, we are a family. We are whole and complete. We really feel joy. Joy. What a wonderful feeling. So, I guess that's why I'm not afraid to remind myself (and others!) of it every day. I know bad times will come again some day, but right now, I'm enjoying joy.

Here are some joyFULL moments from New Years:

Gabe and his friend, Caleb - trying to wear the hats from Tami

Gabe "helping" Caleb take his hat off

I'm finally able to use my collection of Winterberry dishes... we had a wonderful New Year's Eve with friends, food, & games.

Happy New Year with the Harlands

Happy New Year from Gabe's Mom! We hope this year brings you many blessings!