the first step is admitting…

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In 2013, I was formally diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome. 

Just months before my diagnosis, I applied for several jobs – all at once.

For about a day and a half, I had three jobs. THREE jobs. (I was hired at three different places, but didn’t work all three jobs in that day and half.) I was pretty excited!

Before I was able to work as much as I was hoping I would get to, I had to quit two of the jobs. 

I felt like I had the whole world on my shoulders, having been hired at so many different places.

I was newly pregnant with my son Isaac. ( I’m going to stop calling my babies by their blog nicknames. I just don’t think it matters anymore. :-p )

The job that I chose to try to keep was at a Subway. If offered the same job today, I would quickly run away.

Subway requires a massive amount of multi-tasking and an ability to process information at quick speeds. Neither of which am I capable of doing.

Any way, yada yada… in 2014, while pregnant with my daughter, Juliet, I had a data entry job at an insurance agency. Contracted position.

If I could give 2014-Stephanie some advice, I’d tell her… “don’t talk to your co-workers.” … “sit at lunch, alone.” … “just do your d-mn work.”… and … “emotionally prepare for Chloe’s adoption anniversary in October.”

So, it’s 2016… and I can very readily admit which jobs (and housing situations) I can handle and which ones I should run away from – faster than …whatever’s really-really fast.

I’d describe my current situation as OK. It’s not a long-term solution for homelessness and unemployment, but I’m OK. 

I think it’s been a little over a month since I’ve seen Daphne. I think my friends would agree that I’ve done the best I can do to be apart of her life. And that’s all I can really say, right now.

Put the Past in the Past

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I’ve had a bad few days, for various reasons. Today’s my first day back, after taking a break. Sometimes, I need a break from (even) most online socialization. Why? Because I have ultra-sensitive days. Things that someone says or doesn’t say can make me really depressed or really angry.

One of the things I was dealing with was missing Lady Bug a lot. I go back and forth from really missing Lady Bug to knowing that Lady Bug and Sweet Sesame are where they should be. They’re home, with their parents.

When I’m in the mindset of knowing that Lady Bug and Sweet Sesame are where they should be, I also realize that I need to move on, in a sense. Move on from being their birth mother??? Never!

What I mean by “move on” is that I need to put the past in the past, remind myself that I’ve made the right choices for Lady Bug and Sweet Sesame, and continue on with my life – while allowing myself to mourn, in emotionally healthy ways. Image

To say that I’ve completely moved on… that will always be a lie. But I will try.

“Do you get to see your babies?”

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This is another question that I’m asked a lot.

“Do you get to see your children?”

or 

“Do you ever get to see your babies?”

My answer:

“It’s not a matter of ‘get to.'”

Elaboration:

I want to see my babies! Oh, so very much do I want to see them!

I want hold my Lady Bug and kiss her cheeks. I want to play with Legos with her! I want to join her in her favorite activities!

I want to watch my Precious Picklette walk across a room. I want to listen to her assert herself and tell everyone exactly what’s going down! (I wonder who she gets that from…? haha)

I want hold my Sweet Sesame, feed him, and try to make him laugh.

…so, I do want to see my babies, but do I get to? Legally speaking, I can see and be with Precious Picklette. She has not been adopted. She is with her biological father and her stepmother. We all love Precious Picklette. I want her to attach to them as best as possible, before I enter the picture – besides that I do not feel “emotionally” ready to be any type of mother figure to her, right now. Does that sound selfish? I promise you, it isn’t. I will explain all of it to her, someday.

Now, Lady Bug and Sweet Sesame have been legally adopted. Do I get to see them? That’s a confusing question, for me.

I want to see Lady Bug, I do… but I also don’t. I want my Lady Bug to attach to her adoptive parents – which she already has, actually. But I’m scared that she may recognize me and think, “What the crap? Where did you go, these (almost) 2 years?? Where have you been? You’re the one who changed most of my diapers! You’re the one who helped me learn to walk! You’re the one…” etc, etc. …or maybe she would just think, “Hmm, I feel like I know you from somewhere….”

Now, Sweet Sesame… I don’t think seeing him would cause any Earth-shattering hysteria, but I do want him to attach to his parents. I’m  one of his biological parents, but they are his (their) real parents, in my book. I love him and can’t wait to watch him grow up in pictures and videos (both of them), but our time to meet will come.

So, do I get to see my kids? No. Not right now. But it’s not truly a matter of “get to,” because I’ve chosen not to – even if offered the chance.

FYI, don’t offer me a chance. I’d have a meltdown.

Zumba

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The Zumba family is adjusting to their new life. I have chosen to talk to them less, at least for now. But that’s one reason I have this blog. I can express my emotions, show them pictures that I think they’d like, etc.

Here’s one of those pictures…

Lady Bug & Sesame

Question & Answer Session –

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Bona Fide Birth Mother’s Question & Answer Session. . .

I love you, Lady-Bug,

Precious-Picklette,

and Sweet-Sesame! ❤

Presently, what percentage would you put yourself for the adoption?

90%, – leaving 10% for parenting.

We all know that you changed your mind (on October 15th) and announced your choice to personally raise your son. What factors have you since considered that cause you to turn back to the adoption plan?

First of all, I moved out of the Steyer (friends of Mr and Mrs Zumba) household, desiring to be on neutral ground. Hurting the Steyers, in any way, was not my intention. I did know that my decision would cause a rift in the friendship(s), but I knew that I needed to be on (completely) neutral ground – in order to know (for a fact) that I was making the best decision for my son.

I’ll explain.

– – – – -The Steyers did their absolute best to remain objective and supportive. I appreciate them more than they may realize. This is the best way that I can explain why living in their house (while making this decision) was not a good idea (even while my stay there is and was very much appreciated):

Picture yourself needing to make a decision between two different colors. Your choices are brown or red. You’re sitting in a tan building, which has interior walls painted a beautiful mahogany (a shade of brown) color of paint. The tables are beige, as well as the chairs. The front door, though, is auburn (a reddish-brown) in color.

You can see that this building isn’t entirely influencing your decision between brown and red. You appreciate the front door’s color of paint. You sit in the shade-of-brown chairs, for months. You stare at the walls’ color, ruminating your (life-altering) decision between brown and red.

Then, there comes a day that you realize that the colors you’re surrounded by are probably (unintentionally) creating a comfort in your mind – for that one color. You’ve been talking to a few people (outside of that tan building) about your decision between brown and red. One of these people tries to explain that being in a shade-of-brown building, while making this decision, is not the best option available. This person realizes what a blessing this tan building has been to you, but wants you to consider the subconscious influence that the tan building and its shade-of-brown components may be having on this ever-important decision.

You discover that there’s a white building that has an available room. You need that available room for the next 1 to 2 months. You’re appreciative of the tan building, but you know that the tan building’s construction workers and interior design team may feel hurt that you’ve decided to drive to the white building, after all they’ve done to make your tan-building stay as comfortable and stress-free as possible. You’re unsure of how to express what you’re feeling about the tan building, so you pack your decision-making supplies and leave… hoping everyone working on the tan building will eventually understand, as well as believe that you’re appreciative of the tan building’s friendly atmosphere and months of freely-given resources. – – – – –

After arriving at “the white building,” I felt a new comfort that allowed me easy access to my desire for “red” (parenting my son). The one hindrance to my choosing-to-parent-my-son was that I had nothing for him. No car seat, no clothing, no diapers, no baby seats (bouncer / baby-swing), nothing at all. I didn’t want to make this decision (of adoption) based on the feeling of having no other choice. There are plenty of resources for single mothers, if you look for them. I looked. And looked. I was given a lot of clothing. I was given free diapers. I was given hand-me-downs. I was given a free car seat (after attending a 1-hour car seat safety class.) Google car seat safety class, car seat distribution, and your state of residency. I had (and still have) everything that my son would need – if I chose to “keep” / raise & parent my son.

After approximately a week of being adamant that I am capable of raising my son (which, I am), I began returning to thoughts of the adoption plan. A friend suggested that I compile a Pros & Cons list for Parenting and for Adoption. Those lists truly opened my eyes. Then, on an online Asperger’s Syndrome group, a woman (another “Aspie”) said that I should ask myself these questions: Why do you want to keep him? And why do you think he should be adopted? (similar to the pros and cons lists, but the change of wording helped me continue in a serious inspection of my reasons, motives, and desires.)

I will post another blog post, sometime soon. My back hurts and I need a break. 37.2 weeks pregnant… I’m sure you understand.

Grin & Bear it – No More.

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When I’m around you, I’m sure you think I’m okay.

I’ve learned how to hide the sadness, loneliness, and confusion.

I smile, even though my more-natural inclination is to sigh deeply, look around, and ask all of the questions that circle around in my mind.

In two days, I will be one month away from my due date with my son.

The people that surround me make it seem that this decision is simple and easy for me.

I feel alone, very much longing for an understanding friend to sit beside me and voice their agreement that none of this is easy.

One thing that confuses me about the people who don’t seem to understand how difficult all of this is… how is anyone surprised in hearing me say that I want to have my own special time with my son – to say goodbye?

Don’t people say goodbye to their pets? Don’t people say goodbye to a distant relative? Don’t people say goodbye to a car that’s been faithful and reliable for many years?

So, why is it surprising that I would want to say goodbye to my own son? My flesh and blood. My one and only boy. I’ve dreamed of having a son for so long. Here he is and my saying goodbye to him should remain under a few minutes? No.

I try so hard to hide my pain. Every day. But I know that that’s not healthy. I don’t want to bury my pain only to have it hit me so much harder – all in one moment.

I don’t want to hide my pain anymore.

Paper Ducks

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Tomorrow, I’ll be at 34 weeks pregnant with Sweet-Sesame.

Mr and Mrs Zumba (-what I’ve decided to call the Z’s for this blog site) have already begun “nesting.” I suppose I’ve begun my version of nesting, as well. I’ve begun to think a lot about my after-Sweet-Sesame’s-born future.

Mrs Zumba created a string of paper ducks for Lady-Bug. Each paper duck represents one day of Sweet-Sesame’s remaining pregnancy days. Lady-Bug was curious as to when her “baby brudda” will be arriving. The paper ducks have helped Lady-Bug understand how much longer there is to wait.

…when I started writing this post, I knew I didn’t have much to say. I think I have so much that I’m thinking about that it’s become difficult to sort through it all.

I guess there’s only 43 paper ducks remaining on Lady-Bug’s string now. In 43 days, Sweet-Sesame is due.

 

Evaluations / Children’s Nicknames

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Ow, ow, ow! …to these Braxton Hicks contractions I’ve been having. I’ve actually been experiencing fewer of them, since increasing my water intake… but still, ow! – when they do happen.

Any way, let me tell you what I’m so excited to blog about! In 9 days, I will have my “neuropsychological evaluation!”

I also have a vocational evaluation in a little over 2 weeks. They’ll be testing my abilities, interests, and personality – discovering what type of job best suits me.

If I felt like making noise, I’d probably do my happy scream right now …but I’m kind of sleepy today.

Yesterday, I hit the 33-week mark of my pregnancy.

Somehow, that reminded me that I want to go through all of my blog’s posts and edit my children’s names. I’ve been reading other blogs and realized that moms seem to make up nicknames for their kids – just for their blogs. Good idea, peoples!

My 3 year old daughter’s nickname will be… Lady-Bug

My 1 year old daughter’s nickname will be… Precious-Picklette

My son’s nickname will be… Sweet-Sesame

( ( ( ( Nicknames are subject to change, in the event(s) of specific personality traits being revealed. ) ) ) ) – but I’ll keep the nickname changing to a minimum. I promise.

Disclaimer: (some) people, like me, who have Asperger’s syndrome rarely use pet names, so – honestly – coming up with my kids’ permanent (blog) nicknames will be a matter of observation… of what my kids’ loved ones say about them.

My Favorite Adoption Songs

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First, my two absolute favorites:

1) See You Again; sung by Carrie Underwood

* Lyrics that mean the most to me: *

“…you are the stars to me,
You are the light I follow.”

“You are my tomorrow.”

“Sometimes I feel my heart is breaking
But I stay strong and I hold on cause I know
I will see you again, oh
This is not where it ends
I will carry you with me.”

– – – – – – – – * – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – * – – – – – – – 

– – – – – – – – * – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – * – – – – – – – 

2) Everything To Me; sung by Mark Shultz

* Lyrics that mean the most to me: *

“…you had dreams for me
And wanted the best for me
And you made the only choice you could that night

And you gave life to me
A brand new world to see
Like playing baseball in the yard with dad at night
Mom reading Goodnight Moon
And praying in my room
So if you worry if your choice was right
When you gave me up
Oh you gave everything to me.

“…you gave life to me
A chance to find my dreams
And the chance to fall in love.”

– – – – – – – – * – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – * – – – – – – – 

– – – – – – – – * – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – * – – – – – – – 

3) You’ll Be In My Heart; sung by Phil Collins

* Lyrics that mean the most to me: *

“I will protect you
from all around you
I will be here.

Don’t you cry
For one so small,
you seem so strong.

“This bond between us
Can’t be broken.”

“From this day on,
Now and forever more
Oh, you’ll be in my heart.

– – – – – – – – * – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – * – – – – – – – 

– – – – – – – – * – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – * – – – – – – – 

4) I Loved Her First; sung by Heartland

* Lyrics that mean the most to me: *

“…she still means the world to me
Just so you know
So be careful when you hold my girl.”

“But I loved her first and I held her first
And a place in my heart will always be hers
From the first breath she breathed
When she first smiled at me.”

“…it’s still hard to give her away.

“And I knew the first time I saw you with her
It was only a matter of time.

– – – – – – – – * – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – * – – – – – – – 

– – – – – – – – * – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – * – – – – – – – 

THIS IS THE SONG THAT I SANG TO / FOR LADY-BUG (my eldest daughter), WHILE I WAS PREGNANT WITH HER:

5) You’re Gonna Be; sung by Reba McEntire

* Lyrics that mean the most to me: *

“Life has no guarantees, but always loved by me
You’re gonna be.

We just have to believe things work out like they should.

– – – – – – – – * – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – * – – – – – – – 

– – – – – – – – * – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – * – – – – – – – 

 THIS IS A SONG I SUNG TO LADY-BUG (my eldest daughter), AFTER SHE WAS BORN:

6) Best Of Intentions; sung by Travis Tritt

* Lyrics that mean the most to me: *

“Never could build you a castle
Even though you’re the queen of my heart
But I’ve had the best of intentions from the start.

Please tell me you will remember
No matter how much I do wrong
That I had the best of intentions all along.

“…I promised you things
I always thought we’d do
But my best-laid plans
Slipped right through my hands
To show my love for you.

“So here I am asking forgiveness
And praying that you’ll understand.

Though you deserve so much better
You won’t find devotion more true.

– – – – – – – – * – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – * – – – – – – – 

– – – – – – – – * – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – * – – – – – – – 

THIS IS A SONG THAT I SUNG, AFTER THE ADOPTION – – – AFTER A LONG TIME OF TRYING TO DENY HOW MUCH I WAS HURTING:

7) Anymore; sung by Travis Tritt

* Lyrics that mean the most to me: *

I can’t hold the hurt inside, keep the pain out of my eyes anymore
My tears no longer waiting, my resistance ain’t that strong
My mind keeps recreating a life with you alone.”

“‘Cause there’s no one else I swear that holds a candle anywhere next to you.