And the journey begins…

Follow Rob and Carrie on their adoption journey!

Dreaming… December 15, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — carriebedwell @ 11:52 pm

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Pinecrest Tree Farm in Galien, Michigan.

I have to admit that this time of year leaves me a bit envious of people who have been blessed with children.  Besides having the opportunity to pass on family traditions, like cookie baking, gingerbread house decorating, snowman building, watching Christmas movies, spending time with family, and attending church services, I feel a twinge of jealously when I see friends post pictures on Facebook of all of the fun antics their Elf on a Shelf has been getting into, their childrens’ Christmas programs, of their family sledding adventures together, and all the other super cool activities they have concocted to make their childrens’ holiday experience nothing short of magical.

As I sit back and wait until my day arrives, I plot and ponder how Rob and I might make our child’s or childrens’ holiday special by melding our traditions with our birth parent’s traditions while borrowing some of the awesome ideas shared by our friends and family.  Our holiday traditions begin the Friday after Thanksgiving when we venture to Pinecrest Tree Farm in Galien, Michigan to pick out our tree.  The farm is enchanting with its acres of trees that are reached via horse-drawn wagons, Christmas shop, resident dogs that greet visitors, and hot cocoa and warm cider.  The tree is decorated and garland and stockings are hung throughout the weekend. 

Throughout the weeks leading up to the holiday, we bake cookies, view breathtaking Christmas light displays, attend the local Holly Days celebration that includes a live manger, ice sculptors, Santa Express train rides, carolers, food vendors, and lots of lights; watch holiday movies like the animated Rudolph’s Shiny New Year and Santa Claus is Coming to Town and the classic White Christmas and Holiday Inn, host our annual Bedwell Bash, attend church services, and spend time with family.  This year we have also been invited by family members to decorate gingerbread houses and make holiday wreaths. Can’t wait!  When I was Key Club advisor for 12 years, my students and I also enjoyed helping out at homeless shelters, soup kitchens, caroling at the local hospital, playing bingo with the elderly, and purchasing gifts for those who might benefit from a helping hand.  Acts of service are a constant part of our lives, and would continue to be a focus during the holidays.

Recently in a post on Facebook I asked friends about some of their holiday traditions.  All I can say is that I am surrounded by some pretty creative and amazing people!  One great idea comes from my friend Jen Leek who created a super cool advent calendar in the form of garland she crafted out of card stock and hung on her fireplace.  Each piece of the garland is numbered and the her kids, Lexie and Zac, remove the piece that corresponds with each day of advent.  Some of the fun activities include pizza and movies with Grandma and Grandpa (her parents are pretty darn awesome!), having a picnic under the tree, purchasing food for the local food pantry, and making s’mores.  A former classmate, Michael Cochran, posts, “We take our girls around to view neighborhood light displays and vote on which one we feel is the best.  The winner receives a box of candy”.  Other suggestions I enjoyed were receiving new pajamas on Christmas eve, celebrating other’s beliefs by receiving small gifts the week of Chanukah, and celebrating Baby Jesus’ birthday.

So many wonderful ideas to make our child’s or childrens’ holiday magical.  Until we meet you, little miracle, we shall dream… 

 

 

Almost there… November 3, 2013

Filed under: adoption,open adoption — carriebedwell @ 12:53 am

A year ago this week we were meeting a young couple from Plainfield, Indiana, a few hours south of us, to become a possible match.  After searching through almost sixteen pages of prospective parent profiles, they found us! 

The call came from Kim at our IAC branch in Indianapolis, asking if we would would give D and P a call.  We were ecstatic.  I have to admit, I was a bit nervous making the call.  I should mention, that, at this point, we had been active for 10 months, and this was the first time we would be speaking live with a pregnant woman considering adoption.

I dialed D and P’s number and a male voice answered.  I asked to speak to D, and after an awkward moment or two, we began talking like old friends.  By the end of the conversation, we decided that we should meet.

Our meeting, at a Mexican restaurant near their home, went exceptionally well. We asked each other a plethora of questions and had a really great time.   We all agreed that we had great chemistry and that we wanted to match.

Our match meeting was held at the IAC office in Indianapolis a couple of weeks later.  We got to know one another better and fleshed out the expectations of how we all hoped our adoption would look.  We agreed on most everything that we talked about in our “Match Meeting” that lasted five hours.

We continued to talk on the phone and via email.  Our relationship was progressing well.  One Sunday we went to visit with them, have lunch, and do some shopping for the baby together.  Something seemed off, but I couldn’t place it just yet.  We were excited that she would be having an ultrasound that Wednesday and would be finding out the sex of the baby.  The plan was that D’s mom would text us a picture of the ultrasound so that we could share in the excitement.

The time passed when we should have received the text, and we had not heard anything.  I emailed D and my husband called the doctor’s office to see if they had arrived for the appointment.  I finally heard from D a few hours later, and P had decided that since it was a boy, that they should parent.  He didn’t want his son to have anyone else’s last name and he felt that his deceased grandfather would be very upset with him if his son wasn’t carryng on the family name. 

We were bummed.  Our dreams were to become a reality in less than a month. But in times like these we always focus on the positive.  We had had so many adoption experiences because of D and P that we had never experienced before.  We were certainly glad they changed their minds before delivery.  And, they had every right to decide to parent.  One certainity with adoption is that NOTHING is ever certain until it is certain.

D was so apologetic saying she had never felt so horrible in her entire life. She offered to send  me copies of the ultrasound and asked if we still would like to be a part of the child’s life.  We declined and wished them well.

In the year since, God has presented so many examples of why that match would not have worked for us.  This we know for sure: Good things come to those who wait and what is meant to be shall be. 

As we all know, God always has a plan.  And even though we were almost there, he knows best.  And, I know that best is going to be more awesome than we have ever dreamed and well worth the wait.

 

Ready for Takeoff! June 19, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — carriebedwell @ 11:36 pm

Periodically during this process I feel like I am at a continuous self-help meeting. 

“Hi, I’m Carrie…and I can’t wait to be a mom.”  (Sidenote: #understatement)

For someone who has known pretty much her entire life that she wanted to be a mommy, this waiting game can sometimes be rough.  As the eldest grandchild on both my paternal and maternal sides of the family and as a big sister to Scott , I always relished helping care for my younger cousins and brother.  I knew that one day I would have a brood of my own.  (Echo: One day, one day….).

And then I met Rob and knew that we would have little ginger-headed children of our own with heads the size of melons that would inevitable block the view of anyone sitting behind them at the movies and pretty blue eyes.  We couldn’t wait…but nothing happened and, inevitably, we ended up with a pack of pups whose names all begin with the letter H. So we spoiled them with birthday parties (Hampton, our first born, now an angel, had the most elaborate parties that always included cat pinatas and treat bags for both human and canine guests), toys, Christmas presents, Easter baskets, and took them everywhere with us.  They even have their own bag, almost like a diaper bag, dog-themed, that travels with us on our adventures that includes bottled water, treats, leashes and toys, in order for all of their needs to be met.  Hayley, as a puppy, even helped grade presentations in one of my adult education classes.  Hayley, Huck. Henley, and I can often be found on Thursday nights in the fall sitting in my SUV in the parking lot near the end zone at Demaree stadium, watching their Daddy coach his football games.  If we can’t take them with us, we entrust their care to former students who double as family, most likely the aspiring vet student, Nolan, who watches them in the comfort of our home.  That way their daily schedule, which includes sleeping on a couch or chair, eating, barking, doing their business, and more sleeping and barking, is not disrupted.  They are our family.  Precious cargo.

I have to admit though,  it breaks my heart as I watch Huck sit in the grass next to the fence watching the kids next door play on their playset, Hayley snuggling up to a child, or Henley kissing a small child’s hand.  They want what we want…more noise in the house.  A crying baby who needs his or her diaper changed or a little laugh, as sweet as my nephew Grayson’s, would compliment all the woofs well.

I stay positive as I know that when it is meant to happen… it will. What is meant to be always finds its way.  Sounds good, right?  So I continue to keep busy with work, pursuing a second degree, chairing or participating in a charity events, spending time with family and friends, and marketing Rob and myself as parents. 

But, alas, it isn’t always that easy.  I am goal-driven and pride myself on accomplishing tasks. I achieve whatever I set my mind to do. When you work hard and dream big, anything is possible, right?  Afterall, we are taught that we are charged with our own destiny.  Unfortunately, becoming a mommy hasn’t proved as easy as achieving a goal, earning a degree, or raising funds for a charity. 

Yet here I wait, patiently, ready and waiting, until the day I look into those beautiful eyes that will look much more like the angel who bestowed this gift upon us than my own, whose hair may or may not be ginger colored, and whose head, praise God, will most likely not obstruct the view of the person sitting behind them at the movies.

“Do you hear me Universe?  God?  Buddha? Cosmos? Dreams? Wishes? Hopes?  I am ready!!!! Bring it on!”

I imagine all of them together conspiring; a plan is hatched.  And they answer, “Yes, my child, you must be patient.  What is meant to be always finds its way.”

 

In Port April 23, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — carriebedwell @ 5:03 am

We’ve just celebrated our 6th month anniversary of being active with our agency.  The average wait is 18 to 24 months. Though the wait has gone fairly quickly thus far, I can’t stress enough how READY we are to be parents!!!  We know that it has been predetermined as to the child or children we are meant to raise, and hope beyond hope that our birthparents will find us soon. 

Our journey has been such a blessing, allowing us to meet people we would not have otherwise met and leading us to pages and blogs where birth parents and adoptive parents share their perspectives that we have found to be both educational and enlightening.  We were even honored by the support of “The Guncles”, Tori Spelling ‘s best friends Scout Masterson and Bill Horn, who shared our information on their Facebook page.  We are truly grateful for all of the support we have received on our journey to meeting our family: our birthparents, their families, and the child or children they will allow us to raise and love.

Enough time has elapsed into the process that we have also encountered people whose only experience with adoption must be Lifetime movies.  Needless to say, we’ve happily dispelled the misconceptions.

1)  There is probably absolutely no chance that I will become pregnant after we adopt.  Seriously, I know it happens and I’ve known people that it has happened to, but some people like to repeat that statement over and over again.  I got it the first time…thanks.  It hasn’t happened in nearly 11 years of marriage, but, I say the more the merrier.  Ideally we would like to have two or three children, and whether they come from my belly, one birthmom’s belly, or multiple birthmom’s bellies is of little concern to us.  We already have a big family who eagerly await the addition of new members: child, their birthparents, and extended family.  We are ready to love them all!

2) Not all birth moms and dads come back to kidnap the baby, as always seems to be the plot in every adoption-related movie shown on the Lifetime channel.  Though I’m sure it has happened..it is not a regular occurrence in the adoption world.  In open adoption, the birthparents are more than welcome to visit with us and the child whenever they would like.  We will happily share our love for our child with any family member who acts as a positive role model for our child. 

3) If the birthparents are a part of our lives, won’t the child be confused?  Nope.  As one birthmom pointed out, the child knows who feeds them, puts them to bed each night, and calms  them when they are scared…their mom and dad.  I’m not sure if you know, but children who have been adopted are uber blessed:  they get to know the love of two or more families.  Seriously, who can’t use more love in their life?  We firmly believe that since a parent has the capability to love more than one child, that a child can certainly love more than one set of parents.

4)  Don’t be afraid to tell us that you are expecting a child.  We will be happy for you…promise!  You see, each of us is destined to be the parent of a particular child or children should they choose to parent.  The only difference between us is that you will carry the child in your belly and our child will be carried in the belly of an angel that will bestow the great honor of being called “Mommy” and “Daddy” upon us when she places her child into our loving arms.  Really, it is that simple.  What is meant to be will always find its way.

5) Birthparents are heartless people who “give their children up”.  Seriously?  These ladies and gentlemen experience a great deal of angst as they try to decide what is best for their child.  Trust me, if they had the resources they would choose to raise the child themselves.  Unfortunately, not all people have  the resources needed to be an effective parent and often want the very best for their child.  Sometimes that best means placing them in the arms of another couple in order for that child to experience the life they dream for them. Through open adoption, birthparents don’t have to say goodbye.  Open adoption allows for birthparents to be as involved in their child’s life as  they feel comfortable.

6) There is absolutely no need to be afraid to ask us about our journey.  Our life is an open book.  If you are afraid to ask because it makes you feel uncomfortable, most likely your question can be answered by viewing our webpage, Facebook page, video, or blog.  From Day 1 of this journey we decided to share the good, the bad, and the ugly to better educate those following our journey on the truths of adoption.

7) Adoption agencies do not sell babies!  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen this accusation mentioned on adoption pages and blogs.  Truth, yes it does cost quite a bit to adopt a child through an agency or lawyer.  In our case, we searched for 8 months before we found the Independent Adoption Center.  Why did we choose them?  Besides being open to adopting to people based on their parenting skills and not on their age, marital status, religious views, or sexual orientation, they offer LIFETIME counseling for all parties involved in the adoption triad.  We view the agency fees as an investment in the health of our future family.

Well, that is enough for tonight.  I hope that I have been able to shed some light on the truths of open adoption.  If you have any further questions…please ask!

Thank you for following our journey!

 

Check in April 4, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — carriebedwell @ 2:53 pm

Hi!  I hope this post finds you well.  I am on spring break next week and will catch up with you then!

 

Preparing February 15, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — carriebedwell @ 6:14 pm

I’m just checking in to say hello. I hope that this post finds you well!

Currently we are preparing for the arrival of our child by taking clasases on infant care and and infant CPR and reading the book, 20 Things Adoptive Parents Need to Know to Be Successful by Sherrie Eldridge, an adoptee. Her book is very enlightening! We thank her for sending us a copy of the book. We are truly appreciative of her generosity!

We have also been spending a lot of time with all of the little babies in our family, which we feel is the best training of all.

Talk to you soon!

 

Moving and Grooving January 29, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — carriebedwell @ 2:37 am

What a fun year 2012 has been thus far! As we patiently wait for our little angel or angels to arrive, I’ve been keeping busy by trying many new activities and Rob and I  have  been working on eating better and exercising.  Yes, you’ve got to eat your vegetables!

I’ve fallen in love with one of my new activities: painting. I find it so theraputic and relaxing. This is definitely an activity I will share with the kids and even hope to create some pieces to hang on the walls in the nursery. I’m very much into abstract art, the stuff that really makes you you go Hmmm?, and think the baby will find it stimulating as well.

And, have you been to Pinterest?  I’m obsessed!  Look for me there. I’ve been compiling all kinds of nursery ideas, fun projects and lots of yummy recipies for family time.

I just wanted to check in and say hello. To follow my new adventures, check out my other blog: livingoutloudwithcarriebedwell at wordpress.com.

 

 
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