Category Archives: Adoption

The process of adoption

Hello, Old Friend…

Wow! I use blogging/sharing as therapy. Since I haven’t done it since January, that might explain my need for, well, therapy! In the online sense (and real life, too), my absence means that I’m caught dead square in the middle of a massive shit storm and am living in survival mode. There is a popular saying…what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger. Well, I can honestly say that I’m already fairly strong so the universe can stop trying to kill me now. No matter how many times I feel like the universe is giving me a big “*$%^ YOU,” I have to keep marching. I guess when things are out of your hands, you have no option other than to put on your big girl panties and keep moving forward.

The past six months or so have been a huge struggle for Shane and our family. Just when we feel like he’s making huge strides in many areas, there are others that creep up and send him tumbling backwards. As a mom, nothing breaks your heart more than seeing your kid be unsuccessful in simple things most parents take for granted like playing with the neighbor’s kids, going to the mall, going to Times Square specifically to go to Toys R Us and not being able to go to the third floor where all the super heroes are because he’s deathly afraid of glass floors, high ceilings, stairs and escalators. Talk about feeling totally defeated for a little boy to talk about something so much and be so excited then not be able to do it. I would probably throw myself on the floor and kick and scream, too.

We’re in the process of building a stronger support team than we’ve had in the past to help Shane navigate the world. We’ve added a developmental pediatrician (priceless), a developmental neurologist (pure craziness…think Dr. House with a great bedside manner), a pediatric psychiatrist and a vision therapist (new and yet to be determined). We have a referral to a new pediatric neurologist and an appointment with a geneticist in November…all in an effort to do everything we can. With a well-integrated, invested team in place, I feel more hopeful about the future than ever and am excited to hear their recommendations and plans moving forward. I don’t know how to express my gratitude to each and every one of them for taking the time to get to know and love Shane and being able to see him for the loving, sweet, thoughtful, funny little man he is. The staff at Cyzner has be invaluable and I am so thankful for their guidance, patience and dedication to Shane and our family.

One thing I’ve learned in the last seven years is that sometimes you blame yourself for everything. At least, I do. What could I have done differently? Did I do something wrong? I’ve cried a lot and taken a lot of time to reflect on life…what could’ve been, what is. There is something I know and I’m taking the risk of ticking off a lot of people, but I’m going to say it, anyway. I have friends who have children with special needs of varying degrees and we’ve discussed it so I’m not alone when I say this. When navigating the slippery slope we’re climbing, we often encounter people who might offer “help.” There are two things that, as a mom of a child with special needs, I do not want to hear. Please do not say that God gives “special children to special people.” I am no more “special” than my neighbor, friends or family. What kind of god would create “special” children who have to struggle daily with any disability? Or anyone else who suffers with pain or illness? Not a very nice one. I understand that there are many religious philosophies and I get that some people have to believe that there’s more to life than this, that there’s a better life beyond this one and will believe regardless of anyone says. They have to believe for various reasons…afraid of death, fear of having no purpose, not believing in yourself and your own strength. Do what you need to do to feel better, but please don’t tell me you’ll pray for me. Because you know what? It’s easy to go to bed at night, clasp your hands, say a prayer (for those in need and your favorite football team), then get a peaceful night’s sleep. But, one pair of working hands does more good than a million clasped in prayer.

I was raised in the south in a Baptist church. I was baptized and wholeheartedly believed what I was taught. With exposure to different people and cultures, I realized that the world was not full of God-fearing Christians and that there were so many different philosophies. I always considered myself to be spiritual but in recent years, I’ve called myself an atheist. But now I know that I’m not an atheist. I’m a humanist. There, I said it…MY NAME IS JANET AND I’M NOT A REPUBLICAN, LIBERAL (that’s pushing it), DEMOCRAT (although I do think donkeys are cute), A CHRISTIAN OR AN ATHEIST. I AM A HUMANIST.

hu·man·ist

/ˈhyumənɪst or  [hyoo-muh-nist or, often, yoo-]/noun

1. a person having a strong interest in or concern for human welfare, values, and dignity.

Stay calm, carry on and listen to this song.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5TQAjXSD1PY

A New Day Has Come

There’s a song by Celine Deon, “A New Day Has Come” that was written about her struggle with infertility and the birth of her son. I listen to it often. I’m not sure why except maybe to remind me of how the stars aligned to give me a chance to experience the love of a second child. The song has been playing over and over in my mind while thinking of all the twists and turns I’ve experienced in my life. But, the song has brought new meaning to me today.

“I was waiting for so long
For a miracle to come
Everyone told me to be strong
Hold on and don’t shed a tear”

I’ve shared part of our story before about dealing with infertility. But, unless you’ve been through it, you have no idea what it means or how it feels. The hurt cannot be put into words. How your heart melts when you see someone who’s glowing because they’re pregnant. Or, how jealousy rears its ugly head when you see  or hear a baby cry. And, how you’re sure you’d be a better parent than a teenager with an unplanned pregnancy. They made pregnancy look so easy. I already had a daughter. I knew how amazing it felt to bring a life into this world. She is beautiful and I wanted to feel that again. Then, came the gift of adoption and showed me that there truly is no difference between being the mother of a biological child and an adopted child.

“Through the darkness and good times
I knew I’d make it through
And the world thought I had it all
But I was waiting for you”

I recently had the distinction of being the featured runner for Team Up! Autism Speaks for Run Disney’s Twilight Zone Tower of Terror. Doing the run this past weekend gave me plenty of time of solitude (2 hours and 20 minutes) to think about why I was running and our life with Shane. That was the first question I was asked during the interview for Run Disney. Why? I said that I was running to raise money and awareness for autism and that Shane wanted the medal (and my shiny skirt at the finish line, it turns out). I also shared that he was adopted because I’m proud to be an adoptive parent and to have the privilege of being his mom. Those are a couple of reasons but there are many others. I truly do want to help those who are affected much more than we are. I want to make a difference and be a part of something much bigger than me. I want people to keep their snide comments and looks to themselves when Shane has a meltdown in the lines at Disney or on the overcrowded bus or when he wants his Sprite in a wine glass. I want the strength to keep it together when he’s hurting so much. I no longer want to feel helpless. I want people to see Shane the way we see him…a beautiful brown-eyed boy with the power to make those around him laugh and smile.

“I can’t believe I’ve been
touched by an angel with love”

I’ve cried a lot of tears during the past week. I always cry when I finish long runs. I’m not sure why. Maybe it’s a sense of pride because I pushed myself to do something I never thought I could do (and I’m particularly fond of the running part). But, I also cried because for the first time I realized that Shane’s autism is much worse than I thought. I’ve always been really good at making excuses to explain his behavior thinking that part of it was a conscious decision by him to be a jerk. But, when he took a ride to the hospital last week because he severed his thumb after slamming the door on it, he was crying and hitting the top of his head with his other hand. I’ve seen other kids with autism do similar things but never Shane. I thought it was a fluke. But, he did it again when we were at The Haunted Mansion at Disney. He was scared to the point of shaking and pleading to leave. No matter how we tried to tell him it wasn’t real and it’s like a movie, he trembled, his heart raced and he cried hysterically. There were other different behaviors…hitting his injured thumb when he was upset, saying he couldn’t breathe on a crowded bus and trying to push everyone away, becoming so anxious and crying because he didn’t want the plane to leave without us. I could tell that he was trying so hard to be brave. Words cannot describe the pain of watching your child react like that and not be able to do a damn thing about it. I feel guilty for putting him in situations that I could’ve controlled or should’ve known better than to put him there to begin with.

I’m not a religious person. In fact, I’m an atheist. But, if I was religious now would be the time that I would pray for courage and determination to take away the hurt and pain that Shane and others like him face daily. I would pray for the strength to be the mom my beautiful daughter deserves and not be so stressed out all the time. And, to be the woman my husband sees when he looks at me and not feel or look exhausted. Let today be the day that those things come to me. A great honor has been bestowed upon me…their care has been placed in my hands. All I have now to offer is love. That’ll do for now. The rest will come.

“Let the rain come down
and wash away my tears
Let it fill my soul and drown my fears
Let it shatter the walls for a new, new sun
A new day has come”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NaGLVS5b_ZY

Part of That World

In 1998 when my daughter was gearing up for kindergarten, I set out on a mission to find a good private school for her. The local public school system did not have a stellar record. I quickly realized finding the right school was going to be a task more daunting than I had imagined. There was a waitlist for most kindergarten classes. But, I met a lady in a store one day whose daughter was wearing a shirt from one of the schools I had visited. I asked her how she liked it and she said loved it. I told her about the waitlist. She said, “Don’t worry about it. Put on every piece of jewelry you own and wear your best outfit. Money talks.” So, that’s what I did. Within a week of the meeting with administration, a space magically became available.

When Jess started there, I threw myself in to every fundraiser that the school had. Somehow, I felt like it was my duty. I took on the challenge of chairing their largest fundraiser, a silent auction, for two years running. Each year, we raised anywhere from $25,000-$30,000 with just that one event. They also had a campaign of selling wrapping paper. All of the money was to buy new computers or playground equipment. Being so involved with the school allowed me to meet most of the parents. 99% of them were people I told myself I would never become, but who I was faintly beginning to see in the mirror daily. They seemed to be self-centered parents who thought they were better than everyone else, who only cared about what people saw. And, their kids were unappreciative spoiled brats who had no concept of reality. They wouldn’t be caught dead in something from Old Navy (or God forbid, WALMART) as they might burst into flames. If they didn’t get to play soccer with the big league or lacrosse, they might faint. It seemed that money (or fake money) was no object to them, image was. Those who didn’t bother volunteering were the first to complain and throw rocks at those who were volunteering. The school had about 100 kids enrolled at the time with tuition averaging $15,000. In other words, the school had a truckload of money for that time. Bottom line is that those kids were going to be okay and were going to have a successful school career without a handful of parents busting their ass to bring in more money to buy computers or a new slide. In hindsight, the school could’ve dropped some of their $1.5M to buy a few computers. We eventually left the school after 4 years when I realized that my child needed to be exposed to more diversity and that I no longer wanted to hang with the Biff’s and Buffy’s of the world. It was a world I thought I wanted to be a part of then realized I didn’t fit in, nor would I ever, nor did I even want to.

Fast forward 12 years…Shane’s been at his new school since December. For those who don’t know, it’s a school for children on the spectrum, ADHD and other issues. It’s a full day of ABA therapy, music therapy, art, etc. Because it’s a small school with less than 25 kids, the parents are not that active. They do meet monthly, but it’s more of a meeting to share information and resources. Recently, they put together the spring yard sale so I jumped at the opportunity to volunteer. The money  raised is generally used for computers and other necessities for the kids. I thought it would be a great way to meet the parents and get to know the administrative staff better.

For this story, it’s important to note that the tuition at Cyzner is approximately $27,000 per school year for a full-time student. Throw in another $5,000 for summer camps. In order for a family to afford the tuition, they have to make a considerable amount of money, make huge financial sacrifices or have great insurance benefits (like us). So, I guess for the sake of comparing them to the families at Jessica’s school, they would be the same economically or better. There’s a vast difference between them, though.

Although I had a preconceived notion of what the parents would be like, I discovered that the moms I met working with the yard sale at Cyzner do not give a rat’s ass about their appearance to the outside world. I saw the staff bending over backwards to help and lead. The parents will do anything to get their kids the help they need to navigate in a world of neuro-typical kids. If that means wearing clothes from Old Navy, so be it. If it means driving an older car, so be it. Skip the baseball, soccer, dance and other afterschool activities. If their kids have major meltdowns in a restaurant, or wear their clothes inside-out (a travesty!), rubber boots with dresses or shorts, they are not embarrassed. They’re just trying to survive.

After thinking about my experiences with the two schools, I’ve come to a couple of conclusions…the private school Jess went to was a world I thought I wanted to be a part of, but never would be accepted no matter what effort I put forth. While I realize that we are very fortunate to have nice things, get to travel to beautiful places and have many priviledges I never dreamed I would have, I hope that we are not viewed as hypocritical. But, I hope that our character, generosity, desire to “pay it forward” speak for us and do not put us in the category of the Biff’s and Buffy’s in the eyes of friends.

The world at Cyzner is one I never wanted to be a part of, but I am. They’ve shown me what’s important in life. It’s not what you have, what it looks like from the outside, how much money’s in the bank, the car you drive, the house, the clothes you wear or who your lunch date at the country club is. It took a hard knock, but now I know. It’s love, kindness, generosity, tolerance. It’s the world I want to be part of. It’s the world I’m in. It’s where I fit. I have been humbled.

Courtesy of: Enlightenment Ain't for Sissies

Tell Me Again…

If you’re an adoptive parent, you’ve probably read the book, “Tell Me Again About the Night I Was Born” by Jamie Lee Curtis. If you haven’t, it’s a must-read. Even if you haven’t adopted, it’s a pretty cool book.

Tell me again about the night I was born.

Tell me again how you would adopt me and be my parents.

Tell me again about the first time you held me in your arms.

It’s a wonderful tale about the journey of adoption all wrapped up in a fifteen minute bedtime story. With candor and wit, it reflects feelings difficult to put into words. Each time we read it, Shane puts himself into the story and pretends the book was written specifically about him and that we’re the crazy parents running through the airport. It helps him know what questions to ask about the beginning of his life.

His favorite part is “Tell me again about my first diaper change and how I didn’t like it at all.” The picture in the book is of a baby getting his diaper changed with one eye closed, mouth wide open. He loves it because of the story we told him about the first time we changed his diaper at the hotel. We were a little rusty (and had a daughter). We forgot that you need a peepee teepee when changing little boys. The minute we took his diaper off, he peed and it went right into his eye. Pretty good shot! He laughs every time we get to that page.

This is the part that he’s been really curious about lately…”Tell me again how you couldn’t grow a baby in your tummy, so another woman who was too young to take care of me was growing me.” We’ve always used the term “adopted” since the day he was born. I didn’t want him to grow up and suddenly hear on the playground that he was adopted. That would turn a beautiful thing into something with negative connotations. I don’t think he’s exactly grasped the concept, but has listened to the words in the story and is starting to put pieces together. At six years old, he’s on a mission. He reminds me of the little bird in the Dr. Seuss story, “Are You My Mother?” asking random people along the way. Not long ago, my husband introduced him to the Human Resource contact at Microsoft who helped us with the adoption benefits (which are wonderful). She said, “It’s so nice to meet you! I’ve known you since you were a little bitty baby!” His response, “Are you my birth mother?” We were talking to a random lady at Target. He said, “You have a big tummy. Are you my birth mother?” Awkward (because she didn’t look pregnant).

The fact of the matter is that I thought I was prepared for the questions. But, every time he asks, I get a huge lump in my throat, can barely swallow and answer with just enough information to satisfy his curiosity. I don’t know why I can’t find the words to elaborate. We’ve always told him that I couldn’t grow a baby in my tummy and that his birth mom was too young to take care of him (just like in the book), that he grew in our hearts rather than in my tummy, “that we couldn’t believe how something so small could make us smile so big.” That seems to pacify him until the next time a thought pops into his little mind. Each time, his questions and ponderings are more in-depth.  As the days go by, I hope the lump in my throat gets a little smaller every time we delve deeper into the story. It might take a bottle of wine…or even two.

“He’s Just a Two Year Old Boy.”

Shane was a delightful baby, full of laughter, smiles, love. Starting at around two years of age, we began to see signs that something wasn’t quite right. There were incidents of aggression, severe meltdowns with no obvious cause, hitting, throwing chairs, etc. I had to go the emergency room twice from injuries resulting from physical aggression, once for getting hit in the ear with a rock and again for a scratched cornea. He even broke his time-out chair! Open-mouthed smile  He seemed so happy but switched moods in an instant…like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

In an effort to put him in situations where he would get more socialization, we enrolled him into the half-day program at the YMCA. After many phone calls from the school to report incidents of hitting, biting, throwing chairs and fits of rage, he was deemed “not a good fit” for their program. Even when we went to the gym to work out and put him in the childcare for less than an hour, we were called for the same reasons.

Bound to get him into some sort of a program, we found another preschool where the teacher seemed to be the right fit for Shane. She was patient, persistent, kind and he adored her. He still continued to have outbursts, but she used tactics that seemed to help him calm down. I still received phone calls and had to pick him up several times. But, the school made a huge effort to help develop a plan that would work for him and help him cope with a stressful/different environment.

A couple of months after he started his new preschool, his teacher called and said, “I think Shane just had a seizure.” Her brother was an epileptic so she was familiar with signs to look for. We had seen instances of him staring for what seemed like a really long time. It was usually after an outburst and we assumed he had just worn himself out (I would been exhausted if I threw fits like that! Open-mouthed smile). The next time we saw it happen, we called his name and he didn’t answer nor did he blink or respond in any way. Although it seemed like forever before he responded, the spells really only lasted 5-7 seconds.

We took him to the pediatrician thinking the switching of moods so quickly might have something to do with diet, seizures or something else not obvious to us. We just knew that whatever was going on was not “normal.” Our pediatrician dismissed our claims by saying, “He’s just a two year old boy.” She obviously wasn’t listening when we described the extent of his daily behavior. She suggested that we make sure he had something to eat every couple of hours (yeah, that’s it…we were starving him :S) to see if spikes or drops in sugar levels could be affecting his behavior. No tests were conducted. We left feeling totally defeated but knew that we were strong parents and would figure out methods that would work.

The disruptive behavior continued to escalate. We finally made our way to a pediatric neurologist. It was discovered that he had an arachnoid cyst on his brain in an area that could cause seizures. We were sent to a neurosurgeon who advised us that it was the type of cyst that is slow growing and not likely to ever cause a problem. We were told to get new MRIs every two years to make sure it isn’t growing. Based on history of staring spells, he was placed on medication for seizures. Since starting the medication two years or so ago, we have only seen a few other incidents of the staring, but the aggression, outbursts, etc. continued.

During all this time, he was never able to have “real” play-dates because he had major social issues with other children. We felt really sad and sorry for him and hoped for the best every time other children were around. He became easily overwhelmed, frustrated, hit other kids (not with ill intent), had major meltdowns, then withdrew. He preferred going to a corner and playing alone. He had invisible friends that he preferred to interact with and whispered to them while everyone else went about their business. Any new situations and changes in routine were too much for him to handle. He covered his ears when the vacuum came on, ran out of the bathroom when the toilet was flushed and screamed in public restrooms when the hand dryers came on. Certain stores and restaurants instantly caused meltdowns for no obvious reasons. We got the “looks” from other shoppers whose children must be perfect (screw them, by the way). That made it worse and made us feel even more like total failures as parents.

In August 2010, he started kindergarten at a public school. Given our history, we crossed our fingers and hoped for the best. Needless to say, it didn’t go very well and we removed him resigning ourselves to the fact that he would have to be in another learning environment. We just didn’t know what.

We desperately searched for answers and after a series of evaluations with a child psychologist, he was diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD); specifically Pervasive Developmental Disorder-Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS) and Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Although it was a swift kick in the stomach to hear the word “Autism,” it explained a lot and gave us many answers. But, more importantly it opened doors to resources we did not have before. Microsoft has benefits unlike any other and has allowed him to get into a program to address his specific needs with intensive Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) therapy.

Even with the challenges, we’ve experienced more joy in our lives because of Shane. We are thankful everyday for the alignment of the stars that brought him into our lives. He makes us laugh daily. He is a sweet, gentle soul. His innocence amazes me. He has the longest eyelashes most girls would kill for and beautiful brown eyes to match. He has a fabulous imagination, tells the best stories (he won the “Best Storyteller Award” at school), offers enlightening insight and views on life, runs outside in his underwear to greet the pizza delivery person, embraces things he’s afraid of (like zombie babies), gives the best hugs (even to strangers) and is beautiful inside and out.

I’m done writing about the history and events that got us here today. It’s boring for readers, but doing so has been therapeutic for me and  I hope helps create more awareness of ASD/PPD-NOS/ADHD. It is estimated that 1 in 100 children have ASD. On average, it is 4 to 5 times more likely to occur in boys than in girls. It’s an epidemic, people!

http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/autism/data.html

Now, on to the fun stuff which is sharing stories about his little quirks, creativity and other things that keep us laughing. Get ready to meet the REAL Shaney P Robinson in all his glory!

Speaking of Shaney in all his glory: Meet the nekkid cowboy!

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Smile

A Special Christmas Gift

Christmas 2005 was a busy one for us. We were doing the usual Christmas thing and were getting ready to drive to Florida for Shane’s birth on December 26. The delivery was scheduled for December 28.

We weren’t allowed to go into the operating room. After Shane was all clean and shiny, the nurse came to get us. We went to the nursery and could only look through the window. We were not allowed to hold him. We immediately knew which baby was ours. At 10 lbs., 2 ozs., and 22 inches long, he towered over all the other newborns. He was so fat we could see rolls on his back as the nurse was dressing him. The wristband he was wearing said “SNAP” which means Special Needs Adoption Process. He was the only SNAP baby there and the nurses were particularly protective of him. We couldn’t wait to snuggle this sweet little bundle seven years in the making.

Amidst all the tears of joy, I’ve never felt something so deep and profound as the feelings I had the day Shane’s birth mom left the hospital. Gratefulness, elation and sadness were among them. Shane had to stay in the hospital for a couple of extra days so she left before we did. She held Shane one last time and handed him to me in tears. We walked downstairs with her, had one final hug and she got into the car. As I watched her drive away, I felt like I was taking something from her that wasn’t mine and that I didn’t deserve. She had made the most courageous decision that could ever be made. I never could have done it. I would’ve been too selfish. She summoned the strength from someplace I’ve never been nor would ever be. I felt like she needed to be “mothered.” I can’t even begin to think of how she must have felt driving away from the hospital for the second time in her life without a baby. Making a decision that would give the babies a good shot at life is one of the most heroic decisions any woman could ever make. I often wonder what she thinks when she sees the beautiful statue of the elephant (she loves them) we gave to her at the hospital.

We agreed to keep in touch, send pictures, notes, etc. I send photos to the adoption agency to be kept on file in case she ever wants to open that chapter of her life and see the beautiful child she gave birth to…the one from her body and from my heart.

There are no words to describe the love and admiration I have for her. It is my hope that she has passed on her strength and courage to our baby boy. And judging by the type of little man he’s growing into, I think she did.

So, What Do You Think About Adoption?

My BFF, Michelle and her husband adopted a baby from Florida in November 2003. The baby’s birth mother was a kind, loving, beautiful, gentle soul who was truly a victim of circumstance. At 21, Tripp was the third child she had given birth to. She married young and had two children before Tripp was born. The stage was set for a life of struggle and poverty for her and her family.

In October 2005, Michelle received a phone call from Tripp’s birth mother.  She was pregnant and adding one more child to an already struggling family was more than they were prepared to deal with. Seven months into her pregnancy, she called Michelle to ask if she would be willing to adopt the baby (Tripp’s full sibling). Then, came the phone call to me from Michelle. When I answered the phone, Michelle was crying and asked if I was sitting down. Amidst the tears and sniffles from both of us, she shared the entire story. Then came the question, “What do you think about adoption?”

Because of the heartbreak involved with infertility, Scott and I tried to accept the fact that we would be a family of three. But, I still had not fully grasped the concept of not having more children and was having an extremely difficult time facing the truth. The birth mother wanted an answer from Michelle quickly before she decided to contact an adoption agency the next day. I had one small problem in discussing the whole ordeal with Scott…he was in Las Vegas.

Scott’s phone rang when he was standing in the casino of the Venetian. Over the sounds of slot machines, he could barely hear me. He knew the sobbing on the other end was either really bad or really good. What he heard on the other end stunned him. I ran through the whole story with as many details as I could remember. As you can imagine, the conversation didn’t go very smoothly. I could already envision myself being a mom again and Scott had made greater strides in moving forward than I had. So, over the phone from the lobby of a casino, we decided to take a gamble and made a decision that would change our lives in ways we never could have imagined. Jackpot!

In the Beginning…

On the first day of 2012, I find myself reflecting on 2011 like most of you probably are. I’m mostly thinking about all the love, strength, courage, perseverance that Scott, Jessie, Shane and I have shared with each other and that of friends and family. I’ve always considered our little family to be a strong one and the challenges we faced in 2011 put that to the test. Not only did we prevail, but a stronger unit has emerged. Personally, it brought a lot of tears…mostly happy ones but no shortage of sad ones, either.

In 2011, Jess entered her senior year of high school, got her first “real” boyfriend, was accepted to Western Carolina University where she will major in Pre-Med or Nursing and minor in Journalism this fall…all very difficult things to grasp considering she’s still the mischevious five year old punkin in my eyes. She is as beautiful a person you will ever meet inside and out. Her smile is adorable with the cutest pouty lips I’ve ever seen (which has served her well in her childhood). She amazes me everyday and I could not be more proud of her and all that she’s accomplished so far.

Most of those reading this blog are also friends on Facebook and have read posts and seen pictures about the shenanigans and adventures of our lives with Shane. Many have said that the posts and pictures on FB keep them laughing and said I should write a book (for their entertainment and ammunition for embarrassment in later years). Instead of a book, I’m taking the cheap and easy way out by starting a blog. I think I’ll call it “The Wild and Wonderful World of Our Boy, Shane.”

The blog calls for a bit of history before moving on to the adventures. The history of Shane and how he came into our lives is, in itself, extraordinary. I suppose it offered a slight glimpse of how life would be with him.

After ten years and as many failed attempts at conceiving, we threw in the towel and decided to move on with our little family of Jessie, Scott and I. Although we had made that final decision, I still felt like something was missing and knew it was not going to be an easy hurdle for me to clear. That was July 2005. Fast-forward to October 2005 when I received a phone call from my BFF, Michelle. Things were about to change.