Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Happy Birthday Abby!

Today is our little girl's first birthday! It just does not seem right saying, "I have a one year old." From now on, I won't be able to say, "she's about to turn one...or she's almost one..." She is officially one...woh!

I am so grateful for God blessing our lives with Abby...I can not describe in words how much she has my heart and how much I truly love her. Today however, my mind is on another person...Abby's birth mom.

Abby's birth-mother made one of the most difficult decisions (if not the most difficult) that a woman could ever make...she for various reasons wanted to place Abby for adoption so that she could have some great opportunities in this life...I have to admit, I can think of no greater sacrifice a person can make!

When we entered the adoption process, we knew someone would have to face loss/grief from the get-go in order for us to be parents. This is humbling...on one side, Jamee and I will always have this "loss" to deal with in that we are unable to have children, and we knew whoever placed their child for adoption one day, would face "loss" for the rest of their days. Yet amidst all of the grief/loss involved in this process, we are over and abundantly blessed!!! We are blessed because of one woman's decision to place her child for adoption, instead of having an abortion, or instead of trying to take care of her and being unable to do so...

I know I may ruffle some feathers by bringing up "abortion," but I am beyond thankful that this woman made this decision...had she not, we would not be as blessed as we are...without someone making this gut-wrenching decision, we would NEVER be parents.

So to Abby's birth-mother...thank you for the ultimate sacrifice and sign of love. Our thoughts and prayers are with you today, and we pray that God will bless you and remind you He truly loves you and is with you...

Monday, April 26, 2010

Curls, Curls, and more Curls!

If you haven't noticed from recent pictures, Abby now had a head full of curls!  So we have begun to research different hair products for her since obviously her hair is quite different than ours!  After getting different recommendations, I decided to check out curls.biz as the whole line of hair products is designed for multi-ethnic women, girls, and babies!  Here is a link to all of their baby products (which I have placed an order for and will post a review after using them!)

They also have other great resources such as this article on Caring for Your Child's Biracial Curly Hair:

Caring For Your Child's Biracial Curly Hair

Article by: Mahisha Dellinger

Caring for your angel’s biracial curly hair can be a daunting experience, but it doesn’t have to be.  Armed with the proper education, the right technique, and, most importantly, the right products – you can master the art of caring for her curly hair.  

For as long as I can remember, I have been fascinated with hair.   Because my hair was easy to manage, I began styling my own hair at an early age.  Using my long locks, I taught myself how to french braid and soon became a hair styling expert (or so I thought).  As I matured, my interest in healthy curly hair peaked.   I learned which hair care ingredients were good for my hair type and which ingredients were not, what products were best for my hair, and what products were not.   I learned how to shampoo, condition, and properly handle my hair.   Most importantly, I learned to love my hair.   With the proper care, your child will love his/her hair too!
Over the years I’ve read, seen, and experienced unbelievable acts of ignorance regarding ethnic hair care.  It is my attempt to provide a few basic tips and tricks so you will avoid common pitfalls
A Few Things You Should Know…
  • Naturally curly hair is extremely fragile.   A gentle touch is required to avoid unnecessary breakage and hair loss.  Therefore, always use a wide tooth comb or pick when combing the hair.  Avoid fine tooth combs as they snag and pull out curly/kinky hair.   Invest in a quality brush; natural boar brushes are the best for the hair. 
  • Curly hair needs moisture, moisture, and more moisture!  Consider this when purchasing hair care products.  Avoid drying products such as hair spray, mousse, holding gels, etc.   Opt for moisturizers, leave in conditioners, and styling lotions. 
  • All products are not created equal.  Just because a product claims to be created for “curly hair” doesn’t guarantee that it will be suitable for ethnic curly hair.   Products created for Nicole Kidman’s curly hair may not work for Angela Bassett’s.  Caucasian hair tends to produce more sebum (oily secretion created by the sebaceous gland) than Black textured hair; therefore, curly hair requires more oil.  Read, no, scrutinize the ingredient list.  Look for natural oils and quality ingredients.  Remember, the ingredients are listed in order of volume. 

This week is National Infertility Awareness Week!

Check out resolve.org for ways to get involved!  Obviously this is an issue really close to our hearts!  I took the liberty of adding in some of my own thoughts in the parenthesis

Infertility 101: Get the facts

Myth: Infertility is a women's problem.

Fact: This is untrue. It surprises most people to learn that infertility is a female problem in 35% of the cases, a male problem in 35% of the cases, a combined problem of the couple in 20% of cases, and unexplained in 10% of cases. It is essential that both the man and the woman be evaluated during an infertility work-up.

Myth: Everyone seems to get pregnant at the drop of a hat.

Fact: More than 7.3 million people of childbearing age in the United States experience infertility. When you seek support, you will find that you are not alone. Join RESOLVE, a support group, or talk with others who are struggling to build a family, so that you won't feel isolated.

Myth: It's all in your head! Why don't you relax or take a vacation. Then you'll get pregnant!  (if only....)

Fact: Infertility is a disease or condition of the reproductive system. While relaxing may help you with your overall quality of life, the stress and deep emotions you feel are the result of infertility, not the cause of it. Improved medical techniques have made it easier to diagnose infertility problems.

Myth: Don't worry so much -- it just takes time. You'll get pregnant if you're just patient.  (This is right up there with the "just relax" statement)

Fact: Infertility is a medical problem that may be treated. At least 50% of those who complete an infertility evaluation will respond to treatment with a successful pregnancy. Some infertility problems respond with higher or lower success rates. Those who do not seek help have a "spontaneous cure rate" of about 5% after a year of infertility.

Myth: If you adopt a baby you'll get pregnant! (hahahaha...yeah right)

Fact: This is one of the most painful myths for couples to hear. First it suggests that adoption is only a means to an end, not an happy and successful end in itself. Second, it is simply not true. Studies reveal that the rate for achieving pregnancy after adopting is the same as for those who do not adopt.

Myth: Why don't you just forget it and adopt? After all, there are so many babies out there who need homes! (this is always said by someone who knows NOTHING about the adoption process.  Of course we were blessed through the miracle of adoption but holy cow, its not an easy decision to make and not an easy process!)

Fact: For many, adoption is a happy resolution to infertility. But choosing how to build your family is a very personal decision. Learning about all the ways to build a family can open your eyes to options you may not have thought of as a possibility.  Education is key to finding resolution.  

Myth: Maybe you two are doing something wrong! (what is suppose to go where?  huh? maybe that was our issue...LOL)

Fact: Infertility is a medical condition, not a sexual disorder.

Myth: My partner might leave me because of our infertility.

Fact: The majority of couples do survive the infertility crisis, learning in the process new ways of relating to each other, which deepens their relationship in years to follow.

Myth: Perhaps this is God's way of telling you that you two aren't meant to be parents! (Please don't ever say this!  You may get hit - maybe by me!)

Fact: It is particularly difficult to hear this when you are struggling with infertility. You know what loving parents you would be, and it is painful to have to explain to others that you have a medical problem.

Myth: Infertility is nature's way of controlling population.

Fact: Zero population growth is a goal pursued in a time of world overpopulation, but it still allows for couples to replace themselves with two children. Individuals or couples can certainly elect the option to be childfree or to raise a single child. Infertility, for those who desire children, denies them the opportunity to choose.

Myth: I shouldn't take a month off from infertility treatment for any reason... I just know that this next month will be THE one!

Fact: It is important periodically to reassess your treatment and your parenting goal. Continuity in treatment is important, but sometimes a break can provide needed rest and renewal for the next steps.

Myth: I'll be labeled a 'trouble maker' if I ask too many questions.

Fact: The physician/patient team is important. You need to be informed about what treatments are available. What is right for one couple may not be right for another, either physically, financially, or emotionally. Don't be afraid to ask questions of your doctor.

A second opinion can be helpful. If needed, discuss this option with your physician.

Myth: I know I'll never be able to stop treatment until I have a pregnancy.

Fact: Pregnancy is not the only pathway to parenthood. You may begin to think more about parenthood than about pregnancy. You may long for your life to get back to normal. You may consider childfree living or begin to think of other ways to build a family.

Myth: I've lost interest in my job, hobbies, and my friends because of infertility. No one understands! My life will never be the same!

Fact: Infertility is a life crisis -- it has a rippling effect on all areas of your life. It is normal to feel a sense of failure that can affect your self-esteem and self-image. You will move through this crisis. It is a process, and it may mean letting go of initial dreams. Throughout this process, stay informed about the wide range of options and connect with others facing similar experiences.

Saturday, April 3, 2010