Thursday, July 11, 2013

One Year Older and Wiser too

Well guys- I survived my first year of being a birth mom. I'm here with all limbs and sanity still accounted for. I lost a few friends along the way, but I survived! It's so bitter sweet to think this time last year I was getting back on my feet after placing Kinley. It was the beginning of this journey and I didn't know what I was headed for. Like I said in my last blog- I'm sure glad I was chosen to be the one to take this journey because of all the lessons I've learned! I've come so far in this short year and when I compare myself to last year, I can't help but cry happy tears at how far I've come and all that I have over come.

Grant and I were able to travel down to see Kinley! It was such a great weekend! We never really get to spend a lot of time together, just us, because of work and other things life needs us for, so it was fun to spend 5 days interrupted together. We got to Utah a few days before our visit, so we got to do some hiking, swimming, and just relaxing. On the 4th, I ran a 5k race I have been training for, and it was so much fun! It felt good to accomplish this goal I set!


Kinley's party was the day before her actual birthday. It was at her grandparent's home. I am so grateful, they opened up their home to us to celebrate with them. Im not really sure if I have mentioned this before, but my favorite animal is an elephant. I usually make it a point to send Kinley any and all elephant things I find! I have an eye for elephants and I can spot elephants at almost any store. Anyways- Nicole knows this and she was so thoughtful to incorporate elephants as the theme of her party. The invitations had a big elephant on them, Kinley's cake was an elephant, there were elephant cookies, etc. I was in heaven! It also made me feel so good that Nicole thought of me when doing it all.




When we got to their house, Kinley was still sleeping so Nicole went up to wake her. I was soooo excited to see her! I woke up at like 6:30 am because I couldn't sleep!! When she brought her down- My heart melted! I hadn't seen her in so long- except in pictures- and she had grown so much! I almost didn't recognize her. I gave her the biggest hug and kiss. At first, she wasn't sure about me. It was like she knew I was a good person, but she wasn't sure why she liked me. after about 10 or so minutes, she warmed up and was fine. Grant says she knew who I was. I bought her an outfit and Nicole let it be her party dress. I know it's a small gesture, but it meant so much to me. She was kind of confused that I dressed her and was like "wait- why is this girl dressing me? I thought only mommy and daddy dressed me".






everyone got there, we ate and Nicole let me feed Kinley. It was so fun and she thought it was hilarious when I made airplane noises as I spooned her bananas.




She opened presents and Nicole invited me to sit up with them and help her open them. Again- something so small, but it meant a lot to me. It was fun to see her amazed at all the tissue paper and bows. And she got so excited over the toys and fun things she got.




Then she ate her cake. When we sang to her, she was a little confused why everyone was looking at her and singing, but when we sang "happy birthday, dear Kinley" she got a big smile on her face and giggled because we said her name. It was so cute. Nicole put her big cake in front of her and she didn't hesitate to dig right in. It was so funny that she was just going to town on it. She didn't want to eat it, she just wanted to throw it round and make a big mess! It got all in her hair and her bow and she even managed to fling it on some people who were standing close.







































We went swimming after and I got to play with Kinley in the pool and watch her play and have fun. It was so fun to watch her interact with her cousins, aunts, uncles, and grandparents. She is such a loved little girl and her family is so wonderful.


The best part of her party was when I sat her up on my lap and I said "Kinley, say La La" she looked at my mouth and studied it really hard and then said "La La" it was so cool!! She giggled like "yep- I'm awesome" My heart was so full and happy. I'm sure she had no idea she made my day- but she did.
















It was so fun to see Kinley's personality. She is such a happy baby. She never really cried unless she was tired or she got hurt! The last time I saw her, she was just barely army crawling, and now she is walking EVERYWHERE! she is also saying words! She says mommy, daddy, Taylee, Papa, uh oh, baby (which is her favorite word), and now La La. Everything is a baby. She points at animals and says "baby", she points to her doll and says "baby", and she points to pictures of her and says "baby" it's so cute! She kept taking my phone and pointing to the picture of her and saying "baby". It's so crazy how big and smart my pretty girl has gotten!

The next day- the 7th- was her actual birthday. We went to church with them and then went over to their house again and just hung out and visited. My mom, sister Charnae, her daughter Camille, and my other sister, Audrey drove down that morning and met up with us to see Kinley. I was so excited because Charnae hand't seen Kinley since she was born- and Camille was still in her tummy when Kinley was born- so they got to meet (and of course Kinley was calling Camille baby).
At her party, I gave Kinley fun little presents like toys and clothes, but on her actual birthday, I gave her some more sentimental gifts. I put together a photo album of pictures of me from the time I was born, until the time I gave birth (I looked through it with her, and- you guessed it- she said "baby" at every picture), I had my friends, who came and visited us in the hospital, write little letters to Kinley about what they remember about her, I got her the matching bracelet to my necklace- it says "forever in my heart" and has a charm that says "Laura", and then I got her a recordable book called "Wherever you are my love will follow", I also got her a blanket and my mom embroidered her name on it- I got her one when she was born also- so now she has a new one.

she's checkin out her bracelet
The rest of the time we just visited and played! My sister has a little squeaky giraffe toy for Camille and Kinley thought it was so funny! She played with it almost the whole time and just walked around laughing and had the biggest grin!


snuggles
I love her smile!
my mom and Kinley 




Audrey feeding her her water


playing with her


playing with her car with one finger

















Well I'm done with the picture over load! When we left, my mom taught Kinley how to blow a kiss. I have a video of it- but it wont upload- so maybe later I will figure it out. She gave me a kiss goodbye and waved! I had such an awesome visit with her! I am so blessed to have such a great open adoption. I couldn't have asked for better parents for my baby girl. They love her as their own- and I can tell they are raising her to be the best little girl. It was so fun to see her personality and to interact with her. She is such a sweet girl and I think deep down- she knows what all is going on and feels the love from both her adoptive family and her birth family. I don't want to sound arrogant when I say this, but I truly feel that Kinley feels the bond that we have. Even though she is still so young- I feel like she knows who I am and she can feel my love. It's so heart-warming to see that all I have done to make sure she knows I lover her show! She is so loved and she has the life I always imagined my children to have- maybe not the same circumstances- but she has all the love and all the things she needs.

I was worried I would feel sad on her birthday- because it also marks when I kissed her goodbye- but instead I was overwhelmed with love and amazement at the person I created! I did, however, have a hard time on the 9th. That was her placement day. All the emotions were so real. I felt like I was back in the hospital with a broken heart. I had so much support from my family and friends though. I was able to bounce back and my day was better. It's amazing how fast I am able to bounce back after having my "moments". I have finally gotten the hang of knowing what to do to cope.

I wrote this on my Facebook page and I wanted to share it on here:

"Today marks strength and weakness. Today marks true love. 
Today marks heart break and healing. Today marks new beginnings and fresh starts. 
Today marks trust and hope. Today marks the day I gave my pretty girl a whole family, the best life, and the resources to grow. 
Today marks the hardest day of my life- and the hardest journey that has shaped who I am entirely. 
I wouldn't wish this upon anyone- but I am truly thankful Heavenly Father chose me. 
Today is hard- but we can do hard things."

So here is to another year of being a birth mom! I have gone through all my "firsts" so I'm ready to see what is in store for the 2nd year! until next time!