Wednesday, November 18, 2009

A Time to Give Thanks

As the holiday season is fast approaching, we have already begun to celebrate. Last night we had our first Thanksgiving of the season. We gathered at my Nana's house where the air filled me with memories of my childhood, and the laughter abounding reminded me of all that I was truly thankful for this year.

First and foremost I am thankful to be a child of God. His light has guided our way and He is truly faithful in His word.

I am also thankful this year to be surrounded by such wonderful family and friends. They may not be the most conventional bunch, but we are constantly surrounded by love and support.

I am thankful for a mother who has become my best friend. In all my life I have never given her the gratitude she truly deserves, but being a mom myself this year has given me a new outlook on just how wonderful the love of a mother truly is.

I am thankful for a husband who is my best friend and constant support. I am blessed with the ability to fall in love over and over again. He has also been a great husband, but this year I have watched as he has dove right in to being a loving daddy as well.

I am thankful for Miss A and Mr J. They continuously bring us joy and laughter. We are enjoying watching them develop and blossom right before our eyes.

I am so unbelievably thankful for this little man who has entered our lives this year. His first Thanksgiving will be filled with many kisses and hugs. He is the light of our lives, and each and every day I am truly reminded of how lucky a mommy I am.

As we continue to gather around the tables this holiday season, we will be filled with love and peace knowing that we do have so much to be thankful.

I hope that your season of thanks is as abundant as ours!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Tiny Fingers Touching My Heart

Deep brown eyes. Long dark hair. A smile that lights up the room. These are the things that take up my day. From morning to night I am enthralled with this little person who already has me and his daddy wrapped around his tiny finger.






I thought I would take a moment though and tell you all a little more about our little man. Matthew is special. He is special because he is our baby, but he is also special because God created him to be unique. Matthew has Agenesis of the Corpus Callosum, Septo Optic Displaysia, and Seizure disorder. He is missing two parts of his brain, his corpus callosum and his septum pellucidum. However, this does not define him. This is a challenge that our sweet boy will learn to accept and overcome. He is visually impaired and we are unsure how much sight he will have. Last night as my husband was rocking him, I asked if he thought Matthew knew I was his mother and if he knew what I looked like. Out of nowhere, this tiny hand went to my cheek and Matthew began to stroke the side of my face and coo. How amazing that was. The entire world is literally at his fingertips. He is already showing signs of being a music lover which thrills my husband and my own heart. Our sweet boy is already doing things we were sure what take more time for him to accomplish. He is raising his head up more and more, and he is gathering more control of his neck muscles. He is becoming so much more alert and spends his days enjoying his toys. He is even starting to hold them! He also wakes up with a huge smile on his little face, which we are absolutely in love with.




Matthew also already has an entrouage. He is seen by a slue of doctors. He has a pediatrciain, an ENT, an opthamologis, a neurologist, a genetist, and an endocronologist. He is also visited by many different therapists.


We are trying to persuade him to enjoy some tummy time. He attempted his best today and we lasted 30 minutes!! I was very excited




Recently our little Matthew received a doc-band to help shape out his head. The doctors were unsure on whether this would work for him because of his diagnoses. However, after a week we went back to the doctor and his head, in fact, is making progress! We are so excited. We were a little worried about how Matthew would react to his new accessory. Our little trooper is doing great. He doesn't seem to mind his making a fashion statement, and he certianly is the talk of the town!






Matthew has been home almost a month. We have never felt more complete than we do when we hold our prince in our arms. He is truly amazing. I cannot wait to see what he will teach us about life.









Friday, September 18, 2009

Our Fairytale



Once upon a time in a land not so far away there lived a queen and a king. King Fought and his queen longed for a child of their own. The castle was big and empty and quiet. So many years passed and the king and queen continued to pray for their unborn child.




This is our story. It is a story about loss, patience, prayer, and faith. Last week we were still just Brandon and Brandi Fought. We loved our job as foster parents, but continued to pray that one day our dream of having a child to call our own would come true. Just a week ago, through a number of channels, we were introduced to a wonderful woman who has become a part of our family. Together we discussed a little boy whom we hoped would be our prince. After much prayer and a whole lot of faith we knew in our hearts this was our son. I still cannot believe just how fast everything happened!




After tons of paperwork, many phone calls, tons of questions, and more anxiety than I have ever known, our day finally came. As we approached the office where we would first be introduced to our son, I was sick!! Calm and poised, with vomit in my throat, we approached the office. We were greeted by a wonderful woman who led us into a quiet vacant area. I waited as patiently as I think anyone can. Just minutes had passed and the door opened. An angel, we will call Jan, walked in holding the most beautiful creation I have ever laid eyes on. As she placed this miracle into my arms, my heart became full. I have never understood why parents just stare at their children as if they are waiting for the answers to all of life's questions to appear. For the next two hours I watched as my son held those answers in his big brown eyes. He nuzzled to my heart and cooed as I talked to him. My husband cried tears of joy as he held his son for the first time. The rest of the day was lots of crying, paperwork, and joy. I think all the people we encountered probably assumed we were crazy!!!




But tonight as I tell our story I am listening to my sweet husband tell our son "I am your daddy and I love you so much!" All the time, pain, and heartbreak we have endured mean nothing as I look into the eyes of my future. I feel like my heart grew much bigger than I even knew possible. He is amazing. He is perfect. He is ours!




So please allow me to introduce our prince, Joshua Matthew Lee Fought!!!





Saturday, August 22, 2009

Confessions of a Potty-training Super Hero


I think parents should receive an award for potty training. It need not be large or expensive, just a small token of appreciation from the universe that we have accomplished this wild ride, that we have in fact arrived!


After the news that Mr J and Miss A would be staying with us a while longer, we decided Mr J was ready. He already knew he was ready. One of his few words includes "i peeeee" and " me pop." We, however, did not want to start this adventure until we knew he would be here long enough to become a toilet trained toddler!! So I donned my super hero cape and gathered my special powers up and we set off on what would soon become blog-worthy adventures from the potty!


Fist we bought the undies, lots and lots of undies! Then we faced the toilet. Mr J this is the toilet. Toilet, this is Mr J. Mr J I must admit is doing much better with this than I am. His eyes get big and his toothy grin shows through because he knows at the end of every potty time there is a sticker in his future. We have started slow. Every little bit we will take a trip into the potty where Mr J climbs up there all by himself, does his business, and (his favorite part) flushes.


However, if that was all this blog was about it would not be so interesting. Mr J showed real promise and after a few days I decided we should skip a few steps and wear our big boy undies all day long.


As I was cooking lunch I heard an unfamiliar sound from the babies' room. I prepared myself for possibility of a mess. I convinced myself that this was a normal part of potty training. We were on the right track. Whats a few messes when your toddler is toilet trained. Well.......


The scene was something from a horror movie. Mr J had decided that the potty was too far away and his toy box was a more appropriate solution to his problem. Needless to say...


This was a poop-trosity!!! And I will be expecting my award!!!!


Thursday, August 20, 2009

Snow in August??


The other day started like any normal day. I had no idea that the afternoon held snow angels in my future. I stepped out of the house for a moment to take the trash to the curb, a much hated chore! As I came back in Jubba (one of my favorite little girls) was frantacilly telling me that Mr J had dumped baby sugar all over the place. Baby sugar?? This was new...



So I approached my kitchen calmy, anticipating a large mess. The mess was in fact large to say the least. Mr J had dumped an entire box of baby cereal all over the floor. The amount of sweeping in my future was scary. In the midst of my dismay Mr J layed in the middle of the kitchen floor and began to make snow angels...all the while yelling "snooow snooowwww!"



This will forever be the time that it snowed in August!!!!

Blessed


This morning came very early. After a not-so-great sleep I was up and awake long before I wanted to be. Today was court! As a beginner in this crazy game of foster parenting, we had no idea what to expect from today. So I woke early, cooked a wonderful breakfast (however the anxiety burned my biscuits) and prayed for God's will. My husband is not like me. He was actually attending the court hearing and woke up only a few minutes prior to having to be out the door. When he walked out of our room I politely (I think) asked him to go and change. "But no one is going to pay attention to what I am wearing." was his response. "I will!" was my reply. Lets just say he did change before leaving.




So my front door closes with my sweet husband and mother getting in the car and driving to our court hearing. The minutes could not have gone by any slower. Court was scheduled to start at 9:00 am. By 9:40 my husband was calling me to inform me on what happened. We are proceeding with the case plan. The parents are attempting to work their plan. That is all!




As a foster parent you know that your goal is reunification with the family. That is what we are taught. That is our calling. We love the babies as if they will stay forever, and plan as if they will go home tomorrow. This is such an easier concept when you do not have a placement. I know that God is in control of our situation. I beleive that the outcome of the placement will be God's will. I have faith that we are doing what we are supposed to be doing. I still feel like the air is being taken out of me when I think of the babies going home. Our faith is the only way we get through this. Saying goodbye to a child who has previously been removed for whatever reason is hard, but the uncertainty of their little lives is the hardest. You pray the parents grow and learn and become the kind of parent we all stride to be. As we all know, there are No guarantees.




As of now Mr J and Miss A will be with us a while longer. We are beyond blessed! Before long Miss A will be walking everywhere and Mr J is starting a very scary road of potty training!!! (Please pray for me) We are overcome with joy knowing that there are no goodbyes directly in front of us. As of today we are still a mommy and a daddy. I am blessed with every single day I have to be here for the children. I thank God that my dear husband has the opportunity to feel a small tug on his finger and an even bigger tug on his heart.




So today is a good day!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

The Small Moments

As I sit here trying to blog, I am watching as my sweet husband is doing his very best to persuade a 1 yr old to go to "nitenites." He is losing! It is the small moments like this that remind me of how truly blessed I am.
Miss A turned a whopping 1 yr old last week. We celebrated with two small parties. She had so much fun and after the first party she completely understood the cake-smashing portion of the party! Shortly there after Miss A was in her room playing with Mr J. It had become too quiet which always scares me a little, so I snuck in to take a peek. What do I see? Miss A is standing perfectly still in the center of her room. Without any hesitation her little foot leaves the floor and she takes a perfect 1 step! In my amazement of her becoming so big in such a few short weeks I quickly run for my camera as to not miss the next show~well I am still waiting!!!
Mr J is doing very well. He has become much more loveable and trusting of us. When Brandon comes home from work, Mr J will hear the sound of the truck, jump up and down, and wait by the door. Then he immediately grabs a leg and starts jabbering about all of the details of his day! Way too cute!!!
We are slowly getting ready for Clayton to head into his junior year in high school. We find this very exciting, however, Clayton does not seem to share in this excitement.
As I am trying to update everyone, Miss A is officially winning this "nitenites" battle and I feel as if I need to come to my husband's rescue! More to come...

Monday, July 6, 2009

Being a Foster Mommy

We finally got the call!!!!! Very bright and early on Saturday June 13th we had two little angels placed in our arms. Mr J is all boy at 2 yrs old and Miss A is so sweet and turning one in early August. They are precious and loving. We are beyond blessed to have them with us however long or short that may be.

As of now we are experiencing some aggressive behavior with Mr J. He is not just throwing tantrums but biting and choking. We are seeking counseling and praying this will be solved with some time and lots of love.

Miss A is starting to try to walk. Its amazing to watch a child grow and learn. The other day as I was cleaning Miss A was following me around. Apparently I was not paying as much attention to her as I should because from this voice I hear "mamamama." My heart leaped and was saddened at the same time. It is a hard emotion to convey.

Nonetheless we are blessed daily with the new little additions. We know they are here until the end of August or beginning of September. Then BM is reevaluated and the judge will make a decision. We are praying for the best no matter what that is. If it is God's will for these angels to stay with us a while we will gladly open our hearts and home. If not, we will await another new arrival.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Bambi's Day


Today is Bambi's Day! To most of you it is just another Monday, the beginning of the week, or the day after Mother's Day. To me it is my day!!

Normally Mother's Day is hard. With everything we have been through, you feel like a mother but you don't feel able to celebrate this beautiful day. That is how I have always felt. Last year, one of my best friends decided that even though we do not have children, I should still get to celebrate a day! Madison calls me Bambi instead of Brandi and Bambi's Day was created :)

Now, this is not just some little day. Our entire little group knows of Bambi's Day! Julie created the day in honor of those women that either struggle with infertility or failed adoptions , etc.

I am so beyond blessed that there are people in our lives that remeber us on what is normally a hard weekend!!!!

Here is my Bambi's Day!!!


Flowers from Julie, Corey, Maddie, Miley, and #3







My hand-made card from Julie, Corey, Maddie, Miley, and #3




Chocolates from Clayton :)




And a beautiful necklace from Clayton that he picked out himself!
I am so beyond blessed! Thank you guys for yet another unforgettable Bambi's Day!!!








Thursday, April 30, 2009

Let God

It is never easy to let go and lose control of a situation. It is never easy to accept defeat. It is never easy to acknowledge that your plan has gone askew. It is never easy to hurry up and wait. This is the new motto in our house: hurry up and wait. So as we wait we ponder the numbers:



2372 days of wanting to be parents

78 months of trying to get pregnant

78 negative pregnancy tests

5 different doctors

3 rounds of Clomid

4 failed adoption

14 homestudies sent in to CPS-not one picked us

and countless heartache


Even though these numbers seem oddly disheartening we never give up. We keep going and even though our hearts hurt and ache and our minds tell us to quit and move on we know that one day we will look down at the amazing bundle in our arms and this journey will seem so short and absolutely worth it.


I trust in God for our future. He knows the plans He has for us. I can make my plans. I can even chart our course, but my God is in complete control.


At times I have a pity party. There are no invitations, no balloons, no streamers. There is only me and my pity. It is a very sad party and that is why I do not invite anyone. Some things are better done in private.


Losing Adrian was one of the hardest things we have ever done. And now such a short time later (15 days) we are 95% positive we have lost another. Its not fair. But when I am sad and alone I fall into the arms of my Lord and I cry on His huge shoulder. He comforts me.


I do not write these posts for those out there to feel sorry for us. We do not feel sorry for ourselves. Every loss is a lesson learned. Every day that passes is one less day we face without our baby(s). We vent to get it out and to work through our feelings.


The lessons we have learned from our journey thus far:


Your faith keeps you going through all of life's heartahce.

Your spouse is the shoulder you cry on at 3 am for no reason whatsoever.

The people you call friends lift you up in ways you did not know they would.






You grow as a person and a mommy.

You don't have to have a child to be a mommy/daddy.

You never take for granted the small treasures hidden in every single day.

Prayer is a powerful thing.
Every morning I wake up with my aching heart and empty arms. Every night I dream of the first time we will lay our eyes upon our child. And every minute passed is one more minute closer to our baby.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Miracles

Let me start at the beginning of this crazy adventure. We found out on April 15th that the precious baby boy we thought would be joining our family would indeed not be ours. As devastating as this news was to us, we had the unbelievable opportunity to speak with the family that will soon call him their son and fell in love with their heart! It is truly amazing the way God works!! We greived our loss but had faith that God's timing is perfect. So we again began to wait.
The wait is never easy. It seems the days get longer and longer, and the phone always rings but it is never who you wanted to be calling. Our coordinator, Jamie, has been absoultely unbelievable. She is an amazing woman with an amazing heart. She notified us on Monday about a possible situation. The baby was not born yet, but was expected any day and the adoptive parents felt this was not for them at the last minute. We listened and prayed, and sadly declined due to financial reasons. In all the time we have tried to be parents, I never thought I could decline a situation! There is this precious baby and we have to say no. It didn't seem fair, so again I grieved! I prayed for guidance and peace.
As I am in Walmart on Wednesday afternoon our DFPS caseworker calls and says that our homestudy had been sent out four months ago regarding two precious girls. The caseworker had been going through all of the profiles she recieved and had chosen our home! I cried as I paid the poor woman at the register who I am sure thought I was crazy. I drove to Brandon's work to inform him......and once again we waited. We never heard anything else about it. So we let go and let God!
And then there was today. Jamie called this afternoon and asked how we were doing. She then proceeded to tell me about yet another situation! A birthmom one week past her due date....and we were the only family! Now granted this little guy is already a miracle. He has been exposed to drugs and alcohol but medicals say he is doing far better than to be expected. Moms addicted to meth normally give birth very early and she is 10 days past. So we held our breath, and began to pray. As of this moment (11:24 pm) we are the prospective adoptive family! If this baby decides he is coming this weekend then there will be a lot of paperwork and we will then travel the 20 hrs to meet him! If he holds on until Monday, then we will do paperwork then and hopefully know when we will travel~but being 10 days past due we are anticipating any time now.
Now, I know that God has a plan. Sometimes that plan is neither what we anticipated or desired, but He knows what is best for our lives. So we are praying for this young woman as well as our possible little prince to be healthy and safe. We are making lists in our heads as well as getting things in order for a possible road trip. We are excited and worried.....humbled and grateful....hopeful and terrified!
We have tried to be parents for six years (exactly six years this past week) and now in a course of ten days we have grieved a loss, declined a situation, been confused regarding two little girls, and now are hopefully waiting on our little guy to make his entrace into this world! How is this even possible? Our God is good!! He is mighty and just!!!
Please keep us in your prayers as we have no idea what will happen next....I am thinking of making our lives into a daytime soap opera....so in that case please stay tuned:)

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Adrian Parker Fought

On Tuesday March 10th we received an email from a woman who works with Hands to Hold. She informed us of a little boy who was diagnosed with mild Down Syndrome. He is available for adoption and Jamie with Hands to Hold wanted to know if we were interested in putting our profile in. We ofcourse said yes, and our profile was submitted to birthmom on Friday March 13th. On Monday the 15th Jamie called and said that birthmom had chosen us!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! After six long years with infertility we were chosen!!! So now our wait begins. We are waiting for medical information and pictures and then we will be heading to Oklahoma City to sign papers and bring home our son! He turned 5 months old this past Wednesday. He is doing remarkably well and is very healthy. His birthname is Adrian and after much debate between Brandon and I we have decided to keep his birthname Adrian and we are adding Parker. So Adrian Parker Fought should be coming home the first few weeks in April. Our baby Parker is already loved and spoiled :) We will update as often as we can! God is truly working through our lives right now. We would not be getting ready to bring our son home without God! He has been so gracious to us and we are so thankful for all that we have been given. Please keep us in your prayers while we contine to wait on slow paperwork and then our long ride to bring our son home!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Bad Baby Day

I will never understand. Never! It will never get easier. I envy people that can smile through pain and see their cup as half full....my cup is almost empty. Its stupid but today was what I call a "bad baby day." Nothing happened to upset me, but sometimes it is the tiniest thing that gets your heart. I saw a picture-a picture of a family's most amazing moments and it got me. The picture was of a woman seeing her child for the very first time....and though that is a picture many people have and cherish I can't help but be sad for the moment we may never know. It tears me up knowing that we may or may not ever have that moment in the hospital where we hold our child for the very first time. My heart aches when I think about how Brandon may never hear a child say "dada" to him and feel his heart grow leaps and bounds with a love we never knew we would feel. I love my life. I am blessed and thank God everyday for what He has given me and am truly so lucky to share my love with a man who is constantly supportive of me and all of my hormonal craziness. But, the days keep going and my heart just breaks. When the phone doesn't ring or the stick have two lines, I feel like a failure- a failure to my family, to my husband, and as a woman. So many people take for granted one of the most amazing things you could ever receive-a child. There are constantly stories on the news of children being hurt or abandoned...we watch the se devastating stories on t.v. and our heart breaks for them....and yet here we are in our humble home with our open hands and empty hearts. When life hands you something you weren't expecting you get proactive...you do something about it. Just do it! But what do you do when the only option is to wait....We love our babies....wherever they are. We wait for them and pray for them daily. Just had to vent.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

I Miss My Toliet!

My sweet husband and I decided to remodel our bathroom. In my head I pictured a little project that would be done quickly and efficently. To my amazement, this "little" project is driving me nuts!! This project started last night. When I woke up this morning I had no walls in my bathroom! And now, some many hours later I have a few walls but no water! My husband decides to fill me in on a little information this morning. Here is our conversation:

Me: "Hi baby. So how is it going?"

Mr. Fix It " Uh....did I mention I don't know how to hang sheet rock?"

Me: " Oh no......."

And that is where I checked out of questioning the progress.

Next time I decide to remodel anything in my house I will call a professional!!!