Monday, March 19, 2012

Grandparents and Adoption

If I had to name one person who was impacted as heavily as I was by placing my daughter, Chloe, for adoption, it would have to be my mother.  Now, I don't mean to understate how significantly my father or my siblings or others were impacted.  This decision of mine had a stone thrown into a still lake effect.  The little waves reached far and wide.

But my mother felt it as I did.  I watched her walk through the pregnancy, labor, delivery, and placement for adoption, as she watched me walk through the same.  We shared tears on many occasions.  I knew she was sad for me to lose out on the mothering experience with Chloe.  She was also sad with me because she was losing out on the grandmothering experience with Chloe.  And from what I hear, grandparenting is WAY better than parenting.

When I finally chose an adoptive family, some of my mother's pain was eased.  Chloe would be local.  Accessible.  With a family that went to our church.  With a family that was extremely open to continuing relationships with my family.  I was so glad for my mom.  She would still get to have a relationship with her granddaughter.  In fact, she gained a grandson as well, since Chloe's forever family had a son, too.

My mom has babysat on numerous occasions for Chloe and her brother, Shiloh.  They call her Meemaw, just like my nieces do, although the significance of that won't sink in until they're older, probably.  (side note, I have no idea how to spell "Meemaw"....memaw? mimaw? meeeeemaw??)

I love that Chloe has so many grandparents to love her.  I hope she grows up loving that too.

Momma Acuff with Chloe,  ~ 3 weeks old

Pa Acuff with Chloe, ~ 18 months old

**I'm linking up with Open Adoption Roundtable.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Let's Be Honest

As the last part of my getting-ready-for-bed-ritual, I always peek in on James in his crib.  I'm guessing this is a fairly normal routine for moms.  I'm just not sure that the reason I do it is the same reason as other moms.

1)  I just want to see that he's really asleep.

Fairly normal.

2)  I love this little guy more than words can describe.  Seeing him one more time before I go to sleep is simply a way to end my night on a great note.

Fairly normal.

3)  To make sure he's breathing.

Fairly normal.

4)  In the horrid event that in the morning he WASN'T breathing, or was STOLEN, I would want to be able to tell the police/medics/ambulancy-people what time I last saw him.  

Not so normal.

I don't know if other people think about this.  I've read way to many news stories about abducted kids.  In the article somewhere it always says the parents last saw the child at 8pm, or something like that, when the child went to bed.  In this situation, time is of the essence.  The smaller the window of time, the better.  This translates to me that I need to see him at the last possible moment (before I go to bed) and check on him again first thing in the morning when I wake up.  If I happen to make a night-time potty sleep break, I'll check on him then, too.  

Am I crazy?  

Thursday, March 8, 2012


I've had a hard time this year coming up with goals.  Usually I'm all about goal writing at the beginning of a year.  I love lists and crossing things off and feeling accomplished.  This year, however, I felt hesitant.  I was more nervous about putting stuff down on paper than I was eager to achieve.  I didn't want to feel...

dunt dunt duuuhhh

...disappointment.  So I oh-so-wisely decided I wouldn't make any goals this year, and thereby avoid disappointing myself.

Problem is:  I underestimated how wandering aimlessly, free falling with no direction would feel.  As it is now March of 2012, I've decided that aimless/goal-less feels worse than disappointed feels.  So today I made a goal.  A huge, colossal, monumental goal:

From March until December, I'm going to write one snail mail letter per month.

I know...I hope I haven't bitten off more than I can chew here.  Phew!  Back story:  I love getting personalized (not junk) snail mail.  I even love sending snail mail.  Mostly because it often results in RECEIVING snail mail.  Well, at least it used to.  Economically, environmentally, socially, it is a thing of the past.  It's hardly even necessary in the electronic age in which we now live.  The fact remains, though, I love getting personal mail.

So, to start my goal off right, today I wrote two letters.  Check your mailboxes soon!  You may be one of the lucky ones!

I hardly think this one little goal will solve my directionless/aimless problem, but it's at least a step in the right direction...  Who knows, it may inspire me to come up with MORE goals!

ps.--If you would desperately like to receive a snail mail letter from me, email me your address:

Monday, March 5, 2012

Who does that?

Recently I was reminded of a story of a job interview I went to in December of 2004.  It's a brief tale:

The company:  Biogen Idec (pharmaceutical company)

The location: RTP, NC

The job:  Customer Service Representative (translation:  answer patient questions over the phone re: medications)

I heard about the job from two different sources.  I started talking to a total stranger in a early voting line in late October.  At some point in our conversation, she gave me her card, asked me to send her my resume,  and suggested I check out her company, Biogen Idec, for future employment.  Nice!  That was absolutely worth standing in line for two hours to vote early.  (Funny thought---I'm pretty sure I was voting early to avoid waiting in long lines on election day.  I don't think I was all that successful, but whatever.)  Fast forward a couple of months.  A weekly dinner group of friends acquired a new member.  She was telling us about her job interview that week at Biogen Idec.  This got my attention for sure.  I'd never heard of this company before, and now here's a second random mentioning of it!  New-dinner-group-member encouraged me to apply for the same customer service job she was applying for since they were hiring several people for the same position.  I applied and had an interview with a couple of weeks.

At the time, I lived at home with my parents.  My dad was ridiculously sweet and would often start my car for me in the morning to warm it up.  (December....brrrr....)  Our usual routine was to lock the keys in the car as it was left running.  I would use a second set of keys to unlock the car.

Interview morning:
This particular morning, of course, I did not leave myself enough time to get ready and fret over interview outfits.  Who am I kidding?  At this point in my life, I rarely left myself enough time to get anywhere on time, much less a job interview.  As I was barreling out of the front door to rush to my 8am interview, I quickly realized I had a serious problem.  Father Dearest had started my car about fifteen minutes earlier, before he left for work.  Ordinarily this would be no problem.  However, he happened to have the second (and only backup set) of keys with him.  His work was at least 15-20 minutes away.  Now I was panicking.  I had a fully functional, running vehicle in my driveway and no way to get in!  I called my Dad as soon as I realized the no-backup-key situation.  He said he would hurry as fast as he could to get back home.  I was so mad "How could he do this to me on a JOB INTERVIEW morning??!" and so humbled at the same time "How many people have kind, caring fathers to START THEIR CARS on cold mornings??"  I was sure this was going to cost me the potential job.  What potential employer, when lining up applicants, doesn't automatically disqualify the person LATE to the interview??  Who has the nerve to show up LATE to an interview anyway?  Who does that??

Dad showed up within 15-20 minutes, tossed me the keys, and I scurried on my way.  He felt so bad.  I felt so bad for feeling mad.  The whole way there, I tried calling any and all of the phone numbers I had for the interview people to let them know I'd be late.  I even called early-voting-line-lady to see if she could get in touch with the right people.  All I reached was voicemails.  I left the most ridiculous messages explaining why I was late.  For sure this was one of their regularly heard excuses, "Locked keys in car."  I almost talked myself out of going to the interview at all, to save myself the embarrassment.  The only thing that kept me focused was that I REALLY wanted this job.  A LOT.  I convinced myself that my chances of getting the job were way less if I didn't show up to the interview than they were if I showed up late.  How logical of me.

I finally arrived at Biogen, about 20 minutes late, jittery and way more nervous than I already anticipated being.  I joined the group of people being interviewed.  I could see the judgment in their eyes.  After all, I'd think the same thing in their shoes, "Who shows up late to an interview and actually hopes to get the job? Who does that??"  

After a couple of more follow up phone interrogations calls, they offered me the job.  I was in complete shock and disbelief.  Thankful, ecstatic, but shocked.  Within my first two weeks of employment, I spoke with the interviewers and HR people I met on interview day and thanked them for giving me a chance, despite my tardiness.

Have you ever flubbed up an interview?