I wrote this post a few months back while we were in Florida for a small get away while JJ was at a conference. Jackson still talks about this trip and his friend Mr. Marty. Which, Mr. Marty would be JJ’s principal, and thank goodness is a very kind person because on one of the trips Jackson just had to sit by Mr. Marty and put his stinky feet on him! Oh, Jackson you do not embarrass me at all!! I found this fitting to share now as we are discussing where to go on vacation with my parents this year. Who knows where we will end up, Colorado, Alabama, Michigan, or some place in between!!! Read More
Today’s post is written by none other than my amazing husband and Jackson’s incredible daddy!!!
History was made on February 16, 2018. SpaceX and its founder Elon Musk launched a partially reusable heavy-lift launch vehicle, called Falcon Heavy, into space. The Falcon Heavy is the world’s fourth highest capacity rocket ever built and the most powerful rocket in operation as of today. Read More
We have been struck down by sickness the last week and a half. Jackson had strep throat and a double ear infection and wouldn’t you know it I got influenza.(Which if you haven’t had it, it is the worst thing EVER). If you didn’t already know this, having a sick child is one of the hardest things on the planet. Until, of course you are so sick you can’t get out of bed and then that said child climbs up on bed with you. It is heartbreaking. He came running into our bedroom after daycare the other day and crawled in bed with me for a good hour. (This is very unlike him to sit for that length of time) And at one point he grabbed my face in his little hands and said “look at me” as he pulled my face towards him and said “I will always be here.” Dang kid. You don’t need to make your mom cry while she is sick. But what a sweet little boy he is. He has done a very good job taking care of me. It is actually quite funny, we take our medicine together and neither one of us likes the medicine (mine tastes TERRIBLE) but we always “cheers” each other and down our medicine together. I am so looking forward to feeling better. Hopefully I will be back at it soon.
Y’all, I can’t even tell you how much I appreciate and love this blog and this is one of the main reasons why. Heather may be younger than me but I can’t tell you how much I appreciate her going before me and having the opportunity to have this open dialog with her and learn from her. She is such a great mom. While reading her message to us, all I could picture was Jackson and how similar to Marvell he is. I am not saying I don’t want your advice or her advice. I just don’t want you to approach it as you know better than we do!!! So, thank you Heather for your amazing input and advice. We love hearing from you and I am so happy that you were willing and able to help with the blog. Read More
Recently I had a friend reach out to me for some advice on an issue she was having with her kiddos. I don’t want to get into too much detail about what the issue was but I loved the fact that she thought I somehow had it together enough to ask me for parenting advice! I will take that for a win. Because then just one day, the very next day, I experienced the complete opposite. Read More
I know I have mentioned it before but we have always talked about Jackson being adopted. It is not a secret. It is not something he will find out when he is 18, it is just part of who he is. Lately he has been talking a lot about babies growing in bellies. This is partly because there are a lot of pregnant people around us. One, being his dental hygienist, who when Jackson found out she had a baby in her belly said “can I see her?” Oh, man he is just the sweetest little kid. He loves babies!!! Read More
Again, this post has nothing to do with open adoption but everything to do with the marriage that is behind that open adoption. We were at a bible study when it was brought to my very clear attention (which I wish I would have learned a long time ago) that I was created by God and put in JJ’s life simply to show him Christ’s love through me. MIND.BLOWN. I walked away from that bible study thinking what a privilege I have. Me, simple Jessica, was created to show the love of Christ to JJ. Wow. How do I do that? Read More
Again, this post is written by my editor-in-chief– my amazing husband. (As as side note, if you feel compelled to want to write a guest post- contact me!) This post is written on one of the hardest days of my life, the anniversary of our friend Andy’s death. For those who know me, you know the story, for those of you that don’t, I am thinking I will write a full post about it later as it changed my life, it changed our lives. But as I remember this day eight years ago, I also remember in two short days it will also be the anniversary of my husband losing his dad just four days before his 10th birthday. If you didn’t need a Kleenex in my last post, you will probably need one in this post as it is about as raw and emotional as I have seen my husband get. Read More
Y’all this poem has been going through my head so much lately and this mama’s heart is just a breaking. I love nothing more than watching Jackson learn something new or do something all by himself. But at the very same time a little piece of my heart breaks. The moment he was born, he changed me. I learned a new kind of love. A love I didn’t expect. A love I couldn’t (and still can’t) explain.
If you have never read this poem before and you have children, be prepared to go through a box of kleenex!!! Read More
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A few weeks ago I started to write some articles that were all on the topic of infertility. A topic I know all too well. It is sort of refreshing (I know that sounds crazy) to write about the topic now. Now that we have the baby we never thought we were going to have. But it got me thinking again. It got me remembering those hard days. Read More
Note: This post contains affiliate links.
One thing I really like about adoption is there is a whole community out there of people who have been in your same shoes. It might not be exactly the same story, but they can relate way more than those who have not adopted. In fact, some of our closest friends have adopted children!
I know I have mentioned before that I have been writing articles for other blogs, websites, etc. and have been continuing to grow my “network” of adopted/adoptees/etc. And it has been great! Can’t wait to share those with you when they become public! I’m writing 2-3 posts every week. It’s a lot of work, but it’s been a great experience!
About a year ago, I saw a kickstarter campaign for a book called “Some Babies are Adopted.” The book and the idea behind the book really peaked my interest. Now, we already have several books that are related to parenting and adoption; partially because I have absolutely no idea how to parent to begin with and more importantly I know I will have no idea how to bring up all of these questions and conversations as Jackson grows up, so I can use all the resources I can find. But, after reading this campaign, I just knew I wanted to help them get this book off the ground.
If you are part of the adoption family in any way, check out the book here. I highly recommend buying this book and if you do, turn to the very end of the book and you will find Jackson (he is in orange playing in the sand!) How cool is that? Not only will this book help explain adoption, but he is in it!!! We got two signed copies of the book for supporting the kickstarter campaign and I am sending a copy to Heather this week. I think it is such a cool part of Jackson’s story that we can share with him and Heather can share with her kids too. How cool is that?
In my next post I will be sharing another book that JJ and I read while we were yearning and wanting to become parents, Dear God, Why Can’t I Have a Baby. Until next time, don’t forget to check out this book here.
Are you all familiar with that trend that started a few years back, by giving yourself a word to live by for the following year? So instead of making a new year’s resolution (which you can still do too, if you make them) you give yourself a word to live by for that year. Well I am going to do that this year. One, I am not a fan of new year’s resolutions and two, I need to change some things up in my life and this year seems like the perfect time to do it.
So, my 2018 word is BALANCE. I feel I have been on a teeter totter for some time now. Always pushing my luck. Double booking myself. Driving too fast from here to there just to get there on time (and most of the time I was late!). It has taken its toll on this old soul.
I need to balance being a follower of Christ. And I am ashamed I even had to write those words. This isn’t something that should come and go. This isn’t something that should need balance, it is something that should come first, naturally. And for some reason or another it hasn’t been first on my list. In fact, I am not even sure it has made a list of priorities lately if I am being completely honest with you all. So I need to go back to my roots. I need to go back to having alone time with God. I need to go back to seeking Him first. I need to go back to going to church REGULARLY.
I need to balance being a wife. Being a mom is something I wanted so badly for so long that I didn’t even think about what it would do to my marriage. I love my husband with all of my heart. In fact, I have loved him from the beginning. But day in and day out we work our jobs, we take care of Jackson and whatever we have left at the end of the day, is usually for each other. But it is minimal. In fact, we have had several conversations with other couples lately about how to keep your marriage alive so when the kids are gone and out of the house you don’t look at each other and say “who are you?” We have been doing much better at this. We have been scheduling more and more dates. Hiring babysitters (or getting the ones that are free– thank you FAMILY!!!). But it takes an effort. Whoever said marriage was easy, we lying to you! So, here is to a better wife.
I need to balance being a mom. I love Jackson with every ounce of my heart too. It is just a different love than the love I have for my husband. I always pictured I would be a certain way as a mom. I don’t think I have quite measured up to what I thought I would be. I lose my patience. I lose my cool. I don’t always react the way I thought I would have in my head. But I need to be a better mom. I need to take a breath before I speak. I need to look at the bigger picture. I need to be present more. I need to put my phone away. I need to be more intentional. I need to be in the moment, not always thinking about the endless to do list I have going on in my head.
I need to balance running. I want to run my first marathon this year but I don’t want it to consume me. I love running. It saved me in ways I never thought it would. It is my stress reliever. It is my alone time. It started out as my time to talk with the Lord. And if you read my paragraph above you will know, I haven’t used it that way but I would like to again. But I need balance in my life. There are only so many hours in a day and days in a week. I don’t want it to become a hindrance instead of a help. So, we will see what the year brings.
I need to balance work/home life. I never wanted a career. In fact, I would have told you years ago I would have been content getting someone their coffee everyday and taking their personal phone calls. But here I am managing a small law firm. Never in my life did I picture myself here, actually being needed to make this firm run. If I am going to be honest, he would be darn lost without me! And well the feeling to be needed is a good feeling it is also very foreign to me. I don’t know how to really handle all of that. But now that I found myself here I have to figure out how to balance it all. And lucky for me, I have an amazing boss who completely understands work/life balance.
I need to balance our time with Heather. None of us know how to handle this open adoption. There is no manual on open adoption. There is no special equation. There is no set boundaries. We are all making this up as we go along. But she and her family are a priority to us and we need to figure out how to balance spending time with her and her family and also our family. We recently spent time with a family of ours that has three adopted children, two of them are a sibling group. But each one of them has a different response to being adopted and having a relationship with their birth family. The kids are 16, 18, and 21. The older two are the sibling group and one of them doesn’t want anything to do with their birth parents and the other is looking for something she isn’t ever going to get. And the 16 year old just saw his birthmom (and her 4 year old daughter) and birth grandma just last year. It is amazing how they all have one thing in common, they are adopted. But they are still very much their own person and will respond in their very own way. So, we have chosen to have a very open adoption with Heather. I have no idea if it is the right thing or not but for now it is. If there is a point in our relationship when I don’t think it is the best thing for Jackson, we will address it then. But until and if that happens, we will continue to do what we are doing. In fact, we are picking dates for our annual camping trip just today!!!
And last but not least. I just need to focus on me. I will not be a good mom, wife, daughter, friend, co-worker or person if I don’t find time for myself and focus on being the best version of me.
So, here is 2018 and rocking the heck out of it!!!