Tuesday, October 7, 2008

...we needed a little miracle.

So, let me give you a little background into what has been going on with my Dad's side of the family for the past 8 months or so...
It all started when my cousin Heather (aka the most amazing, wonderful, intelligent, loving, spiritual, sweet little mother ever) went with her husband and three darling children to have her 20 week ultra-sound. They wanted to find out the sex of the baby all together as a family. Instead, they found out that there was no heartbeat. They had lost a sweet little boy. They were devastated. Our entire family was devastated. We hated to see their sweet family go through what they did in the weeks and months that followed. then my cute cousin Christopher and his new wife (the cutest, most in-love newly-weds on the face of the earth)announced they were pregnant. Well, she spent Mother's Day misscarrying in a hospital in Nevada. then Christopher, who was so stressed and heartbroken that he couldn't sleep, took the wrong mix of prescription anxiety meds and never woke up. I am still unsure as to how my family got through that one...and I'm actually not all that certain that we really did "get through it" or even that we'll ever "get over it" either. I don't really think it's something you get over-- "Make peace with" ...maybe. then, my cousin Jen (yes, my cousin, but also one of my best friends ever) finally announced that she was pregnant! We had prayed, and struggled, and hoped together for so long, and I was so grateful that she was finally going to have a baby. Well, her ten week appointment came, and - no heartbeat. Not only was there no heartbeat, but there were spiked levels of hormones that gave her a dangerous form of cancer and nearly killed her. The weeks that followed included Chemo, blood tests, and even a mini stroke to add some extra fun and excitement. At this point I just threw up my hands and shouted "I give up!" to the Universe (okay, and God, though I'm not proud of it). then, my big brother and his wife announced that they were pregnant! (yaaaay!) Then they lost their little baby. (are you kidding me?) then Jen's little brother Ben and his wife announced that they were pregnant. Then they lost their baby... are you starting to see where I'm going with this? Can you sense the utter despair and intense levels of fed-up-ness in my voice? Just checking.
then, another completely amazing cousin (who has tried to conceive for the past four years) was chosen by a birth mom to adopt a baby girl scheduled to be born this fall. Yaaay! After all these years of waiting, they were finally going to be parents! They drove to the hospital to pick her up, and discovered that the birth father (who's mother wanted to keep and raise the baby) had put a last minute injunction on the placement. They drove home (for like, FOUR HOURS) empty-handed. When my mom called me with the news, I was in total shock. I couldn't imagine how they must be feeling (and I still can't) it was so horrible. Later that night, I snuggled into bed with Kyle and started venting my frustrations about the Blackwell familly baby luck over the past year, and before I knew it, I was sobbing hysterically! It had all just become too much! It actually got pretty hilarious. Just when I thought I had cried it all out and was done with it, a whole new surge that I didn't even think could exist rose up and I started all over again. (I guess I'd been holding it all in for a while now eh?) Kyle was baffled (and cute, supportive, funny, perfect, and exactly what I needed - as he always is- without fail).
2 long weeks passed, and the birth mom fought for the right to place her baby. I won't go into all the details, but they finally found a way to do it without the birth father's consent (meaning he can still lawyer up and fight like hell, but it's unlikely that he will...). So, they were supposed to meet the birth mom at the temple to get their baby, but hours went by and the birth mom hadn't come. Finally the mother of the birth mom came and placed their new baby girl in their arms. She said that her daughter couldn't come because she was in "pretty bad shape."
I can imagine.
Tell me this.
What kind of person can give birth
to a beautiful, perfect little girl
bathe her
feed her
change her
hold her
watch her sleep
and fall in love with her
more and more every day
for two weeks...
then hand her over to the people that she has chosen to raise her?
I still can't think about it without crying.
Not because it is awful,
but because it is the most beautiful
love story
I have ever heard.
I know our society tends to think of young girls who get pregnant in high school as misguided, promiscuous, flawed, or bad in some way, but I have to say, this little mother is my greatest inspiration. An example of pure, unselfish love. She was willing to have her heart shattered and her world torn down around her so she could give her newborn daughter the best life possible. She, and all birthmothers, will forever be my heroes. My mom's friend placed a child for adoption when she was a young, unwed mother. Her birth son tracked her down years and years later. He had served a mission, and recently married his sweetheart in the temple. He told her he'd always wanted to meet her and thank her for doing what she did. He loved his parents and he was grateful for the sacrifice that she'd made so many years ago that had enabled him to lead such a blessed life. I honestly think that a baby is the greatest and most miraculous gift that can be given in this life. I still can't wrap my head around all of the many complexities surrounding it, but I'm grateful that it happens.
My cousin said something very poignant about it all. She said that adoption was like a heart transplant. You are so grateful, and excited, and relieved to have it, but someone else has to die in order for you to get it. I know that after my Grandpa Headlee had his heart transplant, there was never a day that went by where he didn't thank his Heavenly Father for the life of his donor, and I know that there isn't a day that goes by where these adoptive mom's don't thank their Heavenly Father for incredible, strong, and selfless birth mothers. They willingly let their dreams die so that the lifelong dream of one of their sisters can live. It is the most Christ-like sacrifice we will ever find on this earth. And though it must be HARD (understatement of the century) for these little mothers, I know that God has a plan for them. He will endow them with strength that they didn't know they had. He will heal them. He will bless them. Not only in this life, but even more so in the life to come. When Nancy went through her adoptions, I often found myself feeling that Nancy and the birthmom that had chosen her must have been the best of friends in the pre-existence. That Nancy agreed to come here with a body that wouldn't be able to bring children into the world, but that she was surrounded by a circle of righteous women and dear friends who promised they would help. I don't think it is any accident that a birth mom feels so strongly about the woman she chooses to raise her child. I think it is simply a matter of deep recognition. They've found their sister again.
Here are some pictures from a week ago when Grammy and I went to visit our family's little miracle.
In a word, perfect.
In a few words: perfect, miraculous, heaven sent, answer to prayer, godsend, gorgeous, sweet, wise, tiny giant.
We are all just in awe.

Life is filled with: the bad, the good, the miraculous, and the ugly, with joy, pain, suffering, anger, fear, hope, evil, DISAPPOINTMENT, malice, LOVE, and every other emotion I am too tired to give mention to here, thrown into the mix. All I can say is, I am grateful for miracles like this one. We've had our share of disappointment in the Blackwell family over the past year, but I know that we are going to emerge from these fires of affliction more pure and polished than we were going into them. I don't have all the answers, and there are always gonna be those days when I think I can't take anymore (I too would give anything to be able to have more children)But I also know I wouldn't be able to recognize joy if I didn't intimately know pain. One thing I know for certain, is that when my day comes, whether in this life or the next, my joy will be indescribably full.
Congratulations new little family!
It was so cute, when we stopped in to see her new baby, my cousin exclaimed
"I'm in the mom club! I'm finally in the mom club!"
Yes you are baby! And you're a welcome addition.
P.S. I've been bawling all day, but thought I should cry a little more, so I clicked on this link that was on my sis-in-law's blog and had another sniff-fest. This vid is beautiful and very inspirational, but maybe that's just because I relate to it so deeply. So, let the cry-fest continue...love you all.


Kristina P. said...

She's beautiful! I was actually reading two blogs, one by the adoptive parents, and one by the teenage birth mom. It was a completely open adoption, kind of like Juno. The amazing selflessness of both parents made me cry.

I'm so sorry to hear about the other tragedies in your famliy.

birdonthelawn said...

i for one needed a slap in the face today.
i am so blessed. thank you for the reminder.
i am so happy for your family and that sweet little girl....

Nikki said...

what a touching story. I had no idea that was all going on with your family. I am so sorry you have had to go throuh so much! That little girl is such a BLESSING to your family. Thank goodness for that sweet unselfish birth mom.

Ashley Koz said...

excuse me while I go remove the lump from my throat and mop up my keyboard, seriously though I'm so happy for your cousin, it makes me so so grateful for little guy

Heather Ryan said...

Cry, cry, cry, I'm getting very good at it! We are so happy and excited for this sweet family! Let me tell you, I go to an awesome dr. (who is also a bishop) and he gave me some great advice: you can ask for a priesthood blessing, everyday, if you need it! It's the only way to go and is so healing. Spread the word- ask for blessings as much as you need them! You wrote this so beautifully, I'm going to make sure everyone in the family reads it!!

Michele said...

Hey Laura,
I am so sorry to hear about all of the tragedy that has hit you and your family recently.
I'm sure you are not aware of the situation I am going through right now, but your post has left me in tears. For the past 2 months, my 16 year old cousin from California has been living with me. She is 5 months pregnant and we find out what the gender of the baby is next week. It has been an extremely difficult situation on her and her family, and that is why she has come to stay with us. She has commented to me several times that she would have to be the most uncaring, unloving person if she were to give up her baby. I have never had the right words to say to her, but after reading your post, I will show her exactly what she needs to hear. Thank you for writing the right words for ME and my cousin

Ashley said...

Wow. I can't even imagine. I'm sorry for everything that your family has gone through. Really makes me realize how ungrateful I must sound when I whine and complain about being pregnant. What a miracle and such a blessing. I'm so happy for the precious little addition to your family! =) Can't wait to welcome our new little addition any day now...

Dugovic Domain said...

Thanks so much you guys. I've had all this gratitude and utter AWE lingering with me for over a week now, and I am glad that you can celebrate with me! We all really are so blessed. Sometimes we just forget for awhile. Even if I never have or adopt another child, I should always remember to be grateful for an incredible husband, a beautiful, funny little boy, for great dogs, and a sassy cat, and a house, and an AMAZING extended family, and the best friends that any girl could ever hope for.

soules said...

I am so glad there was a happy ending with the baby...I was getting so sad thinking when does it end? I cant imagine going through all that. It helps alot that all your family members are all there for one another. I actually went to the doctor yesterday for the first time cause I am pregnant...they could not find a heartbeat at that time so I go back in tomorrow to find out if I am earlier than they thought...and just whats going on. Part of me is not excited to go tomorrow and the other part of me is...anyway I will keep you posted...ps..we are moving to Cali maybe as soon as next week...yikes

Chris, Carly & Coen!! said...

Man I'm a cry baby... Having grown up with your family in my life, a lot of this hits home... The loss of Chris was a kick in the pants for me... a kick in the pants for a lot of people... losing someone who had made something great of his life, and had over come so many negative things... so sad... i had no idea of all the troubles that were coming over your cousin's adoption... i had heard that she was adopting, but i hadn't heard that it was such a mess... i'm so very happy for her and her little family... and you're right... no one can appreciate what they have if everything they want is just easily handed to them... the harder we work for something makes it all the better once it's finally attained...

Moleff Family! said...

WoW! WoW!~ Wow! Talk about alot for a family to go through, what strenght you are to many! You are loved and I am so clad for happy ending for your cous!

Aubry and Brian Macbean Family said...

Hey I don't know if you remember that my sister in law Deana and jeff lost a baby girl one week before she was due four years ago, well in about two weeks she is due with another little girl. We are all hoping and praying that this little girl will make it here. So grateful for my sweet little girl. I balled trough that video. Maybe your family's luck will change with the new addition to your family.

Shantelle said...

Thanks for the long needed cry. i love you! I am so excited to follow your blog. Yay for cyber friends through the web...and an occasional luncheon here and there. i am at: www.tyshanfamily.blogspot.com

Natasha Ireland said...

I joined the cry fest before I even hit the pictures. Thanks for sharing this trial and triumph story. Congrats! She really in so sweet. Miss you Laura.

Jen Nelson said...

Oh Laura! That was beautifully written! It has been a rough year. The miracle of that baby girl has given me SO much hope! I know we wouldn't be faced with these things if we couldn't handle them! I love you so much and am so grateful for you. There are healthy babies in our future! Saturday is my 'due date' for that pregnancy. Reading this has made it a little easier to face.

OK, I have to go fix my make up. I heart crying at work!


Tbone said...

It is hard to fathom what your family has gone through. I am still shaking my head in utter disbelief. How lucky you are to have Kortland. I'm going to go check on my Rayley right now.

Dugovic Domain said...

Aubry- I'm so happy to hear that they are pregnant again. That must have been such a nightmare for all of you. They will be in our prayers.

Natasha - I miss you too!!! Hope to see you Saturday!

Jen - I CANNOT believe that this Saturday would have marked the due date! That makes me a little sick, but I guess time flies when you're having fun with chemo! I am so excited for you though, because I agree that those babies are definitely, almost, maaaaybe, just about done laughing at us from heaven. stinkers.

Trevor- I'm glad you checked in with us! Come back again, I'm usually really happy, I promise! I talk about funny Kortlandisms, creepy photo-shopping, and crayon-filled dog poop. It's normally QUITE exhilerating! You won't be disappointed. Congrats on having the stinking cutest child on the planet. Rayley is GORGEOUS. I wish you and Ellen lived closer so we could see all of you more!

Everyone- I love you all so much. Our family really has grown closer and stronger during these times of trial. We definitely aren't feeling sorry for ourselves, and we know (very very well) that there are many people struggling with way harder trials than ours. I just wanted to clearly show why this beautiful little girl, and the AMAZING mom who placed her are such a beacon of hope for our family at this time. I am so happy and comforted and inspired and grateful. Wish you all the best!

Celeste said...

grrrr. someday I'll (hopefully) understand why we go through these things, because looking at them now, all I can say is that they are TOOO hard. I read this on just the right day, just found out I'm not pregnant and was feeling all poor me pitty pitty, you know. Every month you feel like a failure, anyway, you (beautifully) wrote just what I needed to hear. Give all your family a big hug from me. And I'll take the liberty of giving my Sawyer a big hug from you. Aren't we so blessed amongst our hard times? Love you