#MothersDay2018

Where do babies come from?

They come from mothers. And love. They come from passion. And sometimes by accident. Or surprise.

They come after lengthy planning. And tears shed. They come unexpected. On their own time. And God’s.

They come welcomed by two smiling parents. Or held by lonesome, crying women. 

Though some do… not all babies come wrapped up nicely in blankets and bows. Or applauded when they arrive.

Sometimes, they come by storks with CPS badges and business cards. Or by minivans, held in the cradle of an ill-fitted car seat. With a square of paper holding a medicaid number, a name, and a birthday that was months, or even years ago.

That’s how we found you. The stork brought you up our driveway in her arms as we watched anxiously through the window. And suddenly, you were here. Sitting on our couch with a blank look on your face, and ours.

I suppose that’s how most babies happen. No matter what… one second they aren’t here in our world and the next… they are. Maybe crying, or staring, content, or angry. They sort of just appear. And suddenly, you’re a parent. Suddenly there is a little being who needs you.

And that’s how I became a mom for the first time, too.

Maybe our baby came with half a pack of diapers and a small bag of too-big clothes. But one second before our doorbell rang, we weren’t parents. Then we were. 

We had so many questions and no idea where to begin. Though, perhaps most parents feel the same at some point. Perhaps most parents experience the same uncertainty, the same suddenness. 

It took surprisingly little time for me to feel like a mom. The second time I ever buckled you into your car seat, I closed the door and looked at Jen and knew I was forever going to be different. That we were parents now. That we could never go back to how we were before, even if you didn’t stay with us forever. 

It took slightly longer for me to feel like your mom. And still… I don’t know if I should. But you look at me, and call me “mama” and so that’s who I am now. 

I don’t know what it’s like for traditional mothers. I don’t know when they stop being their old selves and begin to embody a mom. But I also struggle… knowing sometimes the title means very little compared to the actions. And what makes a mother a “mom,” anyhow?

So I think about my own mom. The love, the caring, the way she looks at me, hugs me, listens to me. And I try to be like her. And I try to be like me, too. The me who has been trusted to care for you, provide for you, love you.

Not everyday as a parent is easy. And “Mother’s Day” this year is a strange concept for me. Because I was never a mother before and now I am. Even if you came into my life untraditionally. Even if we don’t share DNA, a last name, or even the promise of ‘forever.’ And even if we don’t always know each other, you will forever be my first kid. The one who made me a mom for the first time on this first Mother’s Day. And nothing that happens will ever change that. 

And in case I never get to say it again… I love it. I love being your mom. Thank you for your hugs, and sweetness. For all the laughs, and smiles. For running to me to make things better. For trusting me to care for you in the ways you need to be cared for. For teaching me the innocent love from a child. And for giving me a new name to answer to.

*****

Wishing you a very happy and loving Mother’s Day. Whatever kind of mom you are, however your children came to be yours. For those longing to be mothers, for those who are mothers without children, and for those who are mother-figures. It all matters.
Much love to all of you. ❤

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Searching

#thisisfostercare

I’m looking for the word that comes in-between “temporary” and “permanent.”

And is there an adjective for the feeling of this-could-be-either-one? It’s temporary, and it’s permanent. But also… it’s neither one of those things by itself.

And how long is “permanent” anyhow? I know it’s not always synonymous with ‘forever.’ Because sometimes I’m asked for my “permanent” address but, what they really want to know is, where can they find me right now and for the foreseeable future — and not implying that I will forever live in this one spot.

Also, I wonder… how much time has to pass before something turns from one to the other?

Most of all, though… I need to figure out how to live in these spaces. These would-be timelines, and possible-futures, and not-so-descript feelings.

It’s easy to talk about things like “the now” and “the present” when you have an idea of how life will basically go (or… when you have an idealistic view of how life will basically go). I’ve never been great at living in either one of those things, but I have been decent at idealising futures. Or… stressing about them before they’re here.

Life is a question mark.

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Here, There is Love. Here, There Will Always Be.

To my little one–

In three short months, this is what you’ve taught me about love (so far):

Love isn’t hard.

It’s natural, and simple, and somehow ingrained in us if we’re soft hearted and open minded.

Still, there are things about the act of loving that are hard: understanding the need and how it’s expressed; giving it without expecting it in return; realizing that sometimes it’s exhausting and testing to love unconditionally, and then feeling guilty for thinking so after all you’ve already been through.

Love is only moments long.

We just don’t know how many days we have left to love someone while they’re with us. We never do for anyone. But especially for you. It’s a heartbreaking and beautiful reminder for how we should always love others: like there’s no tomorrow; like you have to squeeze a lifetime of it into time that’s too-short, just in case.

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So You Want to be a Parent?

But… Where to Begin?

I struggle sometimes to find the words to describe the simultaneous feelings I have about this subject. Those being: wanting to be a parent, yet not wanting to physically birth children, and the fact that I’m quite happily a married woman in a same-sex relationship.

I’ve known all three of these things for a long time. From an early age, I knew I wanted to have kids and a family. I was probably around 13 or so when I began to realize there was something just “different” about me in the way I thought about boys, girls, and relationships. And I was sitting in 9th grade health class when I realized childbirth? Was maybe–most likely–not for me.

So, yeah.

I want to be a parent. I feel like I have a lot of love to give to a child and the desire to help bring up a little good in the world. But these things conflict from time-to-time, don’t they? Not to mention my latest fears of not being “parenty” enough to be a parent… Or (for that matter) adult enough to be an adult. But here we are… Adulting (somehow). And maybe just figuring it out as we go. And maybe parenting is a bit the same way.

As my sister told me recently: “[Being a parent] is kind of like being a professional person. Sometimes at work I’m like I cried yesterday because I ran out of cake but let me help you with your problems!”

Maybe there’s some truth to that. It made sense to me. Because, let’s be real, how are we supposed to be a parents when our own lives have the potential to cause these mini-breakdowns every so often?? It’s the same story as being a real-life adult. Sometimes you just do it, and sometimes you cry because you ran out of cake, or because tomorrow’s Monday and you just don’t wanna. But somehow it all works out. Mostly.

Fears Aside…

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This One’s for the Birds

Just kidding — it’s for Patrick.
Just kidding — it’s for EVERYONE!
Alright, kidding aside (for now). You might be wondering:

What Have the Veigas Been Up To?

How’s the new house? How’s the new job (Jen)? What ARE the cats doing!?

So please sit back, get comfortable and consider this your catch-up episode of “Keeping up with the KarVeigaians” or… something like that!

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This Week in Allergy-Free Eats

Yes, we are allergy-free! Thanks for asking. 🙂

Approximately 10 months ago, Jen was diagnosed with a chronic, immune system disease called Eosinophilic Esophagitis.

What is Eosinophilic Esophagitis?

Also called EoE, it is basically that in reaction to certain foods or other allergens, the immune system attacks the esophagus and builds up a type of white blood cells (called eosinophils) in the lining there.

The eosinophils produce a protein that causes inflammation. This can lead to scarring, along with a narrowing and a formation of excessive fibrous tissue in the lining of your esophagus. All this can make it difficult to swallow or cause food to get stuck. No good!

There isn’t a cure for this–but through eliminating certain foods from your diet, and endoscopy testing with biopsies… you can eventually find out what you’re actually allergic to–and then avoid that.

It’s more commonly diagnosed in children than in adults, but it’s slowly becoming more recognizable in adults who were previously diagnosed with some other upper Gastrointestinal disorder.

Here’s more information from The Mayo Clinic on EoE:
Diseases and Conditions: Eosinophilic Esophagitis

So after 27 years of having no idea she had food allergies… Surprise!

Where We’re At:

As a family, we have eliminated certain foods from our diet at home and don’t eat out hardly as much as we used to (which, I think has actually been a positive side-effect for our personal nutrition).

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So what’s the deal?

Hello! And welcome to our blog.

I will say that this is not the first blog I’ve ever started, but perhaps it will be one of the last… since in the creation of this one, I hope to use this little corner of the world for

discussing / writing / reflecting / teaching / learning / capturing

whatever life brings from here forward, and starting new chapters as we go along.

In the past, I’ve found post-writing to be an interesting space to attempt to connect with others, and to reflect on life-happenings. Even when there’s only a few other people reading, it’s still made me consider more carefully what to share and how to present it, since it is–after all–a public thing.

It’s also been kind of neat to read back on old posts and think about what was happening in life at that point in time, to self-reflect again, and to see what is different (or not so different) between that time and present life.

Although, this space will be for myself (and maybe Jen if I can convince her to write a post here and there) to chronicle select pieces of our life, ideally… I also really hope to connect with others. Whether you’re…

  • A family member
  • A friend
  • An acquaintance
  • Another blogger who can share in experiences and/or challenge me to see things from a different perspective
  • or simply a random someone who stumbled here and found something worth reading

… I want to hear from you! I encourage you to interact–write to us in comments, contact us via our contact page, share your stories, link me to your blog, etc., etc..

So what exactly might I read about in this blog, anyway? You ask.

Well… in general, I’m hoping to capture life from nothing to everything, and whatever happens in between. Maybe:

  • random adventures
  • thoughts
  • how-to’s
  • projects
  • allergy-friendly recipes
  • life happenings
  • whatever weird thing our cat just did
  • current events

… the possibilities are endless, and I really can’t say exactly what this blog will entail! But maybe you’ll stick around and find out?

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