Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Life Changing (Part One)

Now that the busyness of celebrating a 3rd birthday with a very happy girl has passed (although, the balloons and streamers are still up so she still thinks it's her birthday), we've had some time to reflect and bring up some "remember when....." moments.

When Keziah was born, it was life altering, bringing a whole new dimension to our lives. She was not only born with this birthmark, a congenital meloncytic nevus we had never seen or heard before, we were also riding the adoption roller coaster. There were moments in those first few days that felt so surreal. The amount of emotions that were inside (and sometimes out) was extensive and manifold. When we think of those first days, tears spring quickly to my eyes as the fears, the unknowns, the love, the heart-pain, the questions, the anxiety, the worries, the trepidations, and the awe all come back forcfully, like it was just yesterday. And know that these feelings weren't only being felt by us, but by all those involved, especially Keziah's birth family.

Allow me to take you through some of those early days, as well as the days and months to follow as we adjusted not only to a new baby after 11 years of just the two of us, but also to a baby with a physical difference, an outward "flaw", as some have stated. And you guessed it, I'll use pictures to help the story along (yes, I had my camera with me all the time back then, too. Some people can't leave their homes without their cell phone. I, on the other hand, have no idea where my phone is and don't really care, but my camera??! Now that's another story :o):

These two pictures above are officially the last ones of us as a family of two. Now that we have kids, I can't remember the last time we've had a picture of just the two of us!! Oh well, just one of the many, many adjustments made after having kids.

We were chosen a number of months before Keziah was born. We did keep it a secret for awhile, as we knew there was so much time yet for her birth family to change their minds, but once the due date got closer, we did share our wonderful news, which was met with disbelief and surprise. You see, we were on the waiting list for all of 6 weeks before we chosen. Yes, you read that right! 6 weeks!!  The one thing we did keep a secret was the gender of the baby.
The week Keziah was due, we went camping. We knew her birth mother was going to be induced but we needed to keep busy to pass the time away. We managed to get 4 camping days in and then she was born. Don't ask me a thing of what we did while camping. I don't remember. The only thing I do remember is that the day her birth mother was induced, we checked our cell phone 379 times. Is she born yet???

We received a call just after 5: she is born!!!!!!! We were ecstatic!! Her birth mother called to share the news with us. She did right away tell us that Keziah was born with a birth mark on her forehead. I right away assumed it was a strawberry, thinking "what's the big deal? Lots of kids have those.". When I asked if it was red, there was a long quiet pause on the other end. The pause ended with the words "ummm, no. It's black.". Oh, okay, we thought. Still no big deal, right? I brushed it off, focusing on the fact that she was born healthy, strong and everything looks good, including the fact that the birth family was still going to go through with the initial plan of adoption.

We hung up the phone, threw packed our camping gear in the car, shared our exciting news with very close friends of ours who were camping with us and flew drove carefully home. We were up in Huntsville and Keziah was 7 hours away!!! It was too far to go that night, so we made it home, "slept" in our bed and then packed up a few clothes and made the 3.5 hour trek down to where Keziah was.

The whole time "she has a black birth mark" was playing in our heads. What does that mean? How big is it? Black?? Where exactly is it? What does this mean for us?

By the time we arrived at the hospital, the social worker involved with the adoption was waiting for us. She did not want us to go up and see Keziah until we had time to think about what was all going on, meaning, what was all involved if we were to continue to adopt Keziah. I touched upon this on the very first post here.

Once we made it clear to her that we will continue the adoption of Keziah, we went up to meet her. Talk about nerves!!!!

We walked into the room and I hear behind me "OH!!!! She is so CUTE!". This, my friends, was the first thing my husband said when he laid eyes on his soon to be daughter. What's surprising about that statement is not WHAT he said, but that HE said it. This is coming from the guy that thinks all newborns look alike!! :o) And so began the "I've got my daddy around my pinkie!". It sure didn't take long, eh?!

Here we are, meeting her for the first time:

I will be honest, he was smitten before I was. Don't get me wrong here. I loved her right away. But it did take me a bit to see past her birth mark. I feel ashamed now as I write this, that I struggled with it. But I told you before I didn't want my blog to be false. And so I need to tell the truth: it was hard. Very hard. I wish now it wasn't, that I could have just embraced it all without a question, doubt or fear of how I, as her mother, was going to handle all this. But it was all there.

Keziah must have sensed my fears and worries because I will never forget the moment when I was holding her and she took hold of my thumb, as if to say "Don't worry, mom. Remember your wedding text? Remember Who is in control? Everything will work out and we will do this together with Him as our Guide."

I'll leave it at that for now. At this point of the story, no one in our families know where we are, that Keziah was born, what's all going on. The only ones that know are our friends that were camping with us. But more of the story later. Time to wake up some kids so that they'll go back to bed on time tonight. If they do, then I shall continue. If not, you might have to wait a day or two......


  1. Michelle, I am grateful and humbled that you share your very naked feelings with us. You see, it really isn't about us. Even in this fact, God is glorified because that initial fear was taken care of! And there is NO DOUBT that he removed those feelings! Aunt C.

  2. I have shivers going down my back, looking at those first pictures of the three of you. Despite all of your fears, concerns and maybe even misgivings, you and Nathan have made it very clear that the Lord has and continues to be your Guide and that to Him be all glory. Thank you for sharing and for being a witness to many of us

  3. In the adoption world and maybe in the biological children world, I get this sense that we all should fall immediately in love with our children and that the first look should be love at first sight.
    To be honest my second (foster) boy, I was really taken aback, I was expecting a little ex preemie boy and I got a child with a huge head and huge features. But overtime it is who he is and I wouldnt trade him for the world. I also know that the love I have for Ry is growing every day and I didnt love him with all heartfeltness I have today. But I dont feel guilty because I think that will affect my relationship with him. I think its great that your hubby felt that instant love, but my guess is that you love your little Kez with all your heart. At the end of the day, that to me seems the most important.