Life as a single Mother-Empty nest, Dating, Ex-husband, Best Friends, Full-time Employment, Unemployment, night school...How do these all relate to one another? Come with me:

Friday, April 30, 2010

Hoorah!!! Good news is abundant!

Not only has my son been home for a week and will be another week.

But I gt some more good news this week:

Remember this story? Remember when I felt violated, and scared and exposed?

THIS IS NOT ME! (Please say you don't think we look alike)

Well there is good news! The first of the good news was in February of this year when they arrested the suspect who was using my identity on a separate charge, she was booked into the county jail and made bail almost immediately. I didn't understand the system ( and still do not) but although they found three large Manila envelopes filled with victims Identification, canceled checks and bank statements, they could not file the charges against her. At least I had my ID back and she could not hurt me anymore.

The next bit of great news came last week with this news story: The feds had enough evidence to arrest her and bring Federal charges. This was great news. You will notice that in this particular 'mug shot' she has the same bad hair coloring I had the time my drivers license picture was taken. She was a chameleon she was trying to be me. And getting away with it.

And now? Yesterday morning she was arrested. She had dyed her hair a gawd-awful blond, and was hiding out in a hotel room. I think she was a little scared. Not that you can tell from the sicknick smirk on her face in the Mug shot #2.

I really hope she does some hard time. You just never know with the system and the overcrowded prisons. But maybe there will be some justice. I am not 100% sure that it is my case, my evidence that they have on her, I have kept meticulous records and have contacted the D.A.'s office in order to bring the charges of my case into the file if they are not already.

I don't wish this heartburn on anyone else.

Even more scary? We share the same last name. ( well, her and my ex may be related....haha)

Friday, April 23, 2010

Once again taken away from this blog

Things are just crazy here. Spring cleaning, garden prep and now the best thing

My oldest, and only son was sent to the other side of the world just after my 40th and his 20th birthday last summer. To fight a battle no mother should have to send her young son to fight.

But this week he is home. I picked him up today. So this blog will have to take a back seat.

Please don't stop reading. I will be back very soon. Just really need to make the most of this time. I only get him for two weeks.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Wordless Wednesday-

The recent storm activity has created some awesome sights to behold... Thought I would share...

Sunday, April 11, 2010

We acquire the strength we have overcome. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

If you have not read my story part 1, part 2 and part 3 you may want to read it before this post.

There is so much more to this story than this small segment from my teen years. And I may share more of that story here. For now, just this.

The year following the birth of my baby, T and I continued to date. That following May I graduated from high school. We spent our summer apart. He at basic training at Ft Leonard wood and I  worked the summer at the wonderful grand canyon. The time apart was hard and it was probably good for us too. 

We married the next June and within four years we had three more children together. We were a family, a happy family. It is funny how your mind works. Like a keyword into a computer search, a particular word or event would bring something to mind. When I was pregnant with my son, Jeremy women would often tell me what to expect with the pregnancy. It was so hard not to say 'I know'. I was honest with my doctor, he knew about the previous birth. He had to. But it was a strange feeling to have 'been here before'.

Many times through life, I would wonder where he was, and was he happy. Would I someday discover him on a news story or in a store? Evey time I heard the name Caleb, I would take a second closer look. I wondered would I recognize him if I did. 

After nine years of marriage, we were divorced. That is a story in itself. It was a bit bitter at times, his second wife could be really mean with me, with my children. T and I had always said we would, when we felt the time was right, sit our own children down and tell them about the past, about their brother. But when is the right time?

I didn't have to answer that. While visiting their father one weekend when my oldest was just in the sixth grade, my ex felt it his place to make that decision. When my children returned to me that Sunday I was stunned to hear them ask. 

"Do we have a big brother?"

I sat my children down and we talked. I explained to them that yes, they had a brother. That there was a chance they may meet him again some day. But that it was up to him and we must respect that. I explained how some families cannot have children and that what their father and I had endured although not easy, was a miracle for another couple. They had a lot of questions but in their young minds, made some sense of it. 

In the years since that conversation, he has come up a few times. My children ask me if I would like to find him. They would tell me that they would like to find him. I explained that it was a closed adoption and that it was up to him, when he turned eighteen, he would be able to get information to find us if he chose. If he chose not to dredge up his past that too was his choice. 

October 2004 Caleb turned eighteen and he was once again on my mind. I knew the files were legally locked but hoped that someone, somewhere had information. This is the time of the internet,I just wondered where he was, what he looked like and how he was doing. I didn't want to interrupt his life if he was happy. I had given up the right to be his mother. 
But I did search. There were sights with men named Caleb. I would peruse photos of these men, looking for traces of our family lineage... But always came up short and really with little information to go on, it is like finding a needle in a haystack. 
I remember finding a site it was a virtual version of a bulletin board. You could read through the heartbreaking stories of people searching for adopted family members. Some were taken from drug abusing parents and siblings were searching for them. Some were born in the fifties and sixties and were taken from their young parents because of what was seen as guilt or family disgrace.
Reading those stories I was grateful that I had the choice to make. It was a huge site with pages and pages of posts. So many lost souls. 
I searched the site the best I could for a Caleb in California. And although California is a large state and Caleb is a pretty uncommon name, I came up short. If he had been awaiting his eighteenth birthday to find his past, if he was out there looking for me. ( and I had no reason to think he was) he had not been to this site. 

And life went on. 

Until July 21st of last year. 
I received a message on my facebook account. An account I had opened to get back in touch with many old classmates following our 20 year class reunion. Facebook shows that you have a message similar to email and there is a small thumbnail of that users profile picture. I clicked on the message and before I had a chance to read the message, that tiny little picture took my breath away.
It was as if my ex husband was staring out at me from the screen, but not quite. Then I read these words:

I'm sorry if you can't help me, but I've been looking around for a person that may or may not be yourself.

I was born in Provo Utah on October 2, 1986. I was adopted and moved. After various searches online your name came up with a variant spelling of my own. Yours as the birth mother and mine as the adoptee. Should I know you better than I do? 

Yes! Yes it was him.My son had found me and there was no mistaking. I cannot tell you the strange feeling to be looking at your son, a son you have not seen since he was born, since he was 8 lbs. And here was a man staring back at you and you know he is your son. There was no mistaking.

We have chatted many times online. He is a happy, healthy 23 year old living in an adjoining state. We have made plans to meet, the kids, I and Him. He calls me mom. We are all excited to meet. He has asked a few questions but he understands. He has told me that in that situation he feels he may have done the same thing. He is not hurt, he has had a wonderful life and he is grateful.
This summer the kids and I hope to drive to see him. He is full-blood sibling to my children. They all have the same genes. I suppose there may be more to this story after the meeting.  Things have a way of working out.

I know God will not give me anything I can't handle.  I just wish that He didn't trust me so much. - Mother Teresa

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

I have seen other blogs with a wordless Wednesday- here is mine- The past weeks cloud changes.
(ok so I am NEVER at a loss for words. Bear with me.)

And although you cannot see them very well. One of the first signs of spring here is the hang gliders and the para-sailers on this mountain.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

My baby and me

Because my son is still in Iraq- But coming home the end of this month for fifteen days R&R. And because my older daughter went camping with a guy friend and their family for the weekend.

Easter weekend was spent with just my youngest and I. I was not feeling really well Friday and part of Saturday so we stayed in and watched some movies from netflix.

After preparing the ham with mustard, cloves (which I will be leaving off next year) pineapple and some orange juice to set overnight, we were feeling stir crazy on Saturday afternoon and headed out for a really great dinner and then a movie.

How to train your dragon was great. I would see that one again.

The main character sounded just like my nephew and I could listen to Craig Ferguson all night. It was a late movie and we hit the sheets when we got home.

Sunday morning I placed out the baskets for the girls.. yes I still get them baskets.
My daughter came in as I was having my morning cup a joe and watching my Sunday morning start-my-day program CBS Sunday Morning.

She wanted to color some eggs and did it while I made the red potato salad and started heating the ham.

She decided she wanted to go for a drive. The state is so beautiful this time of year and we often take road trips when we get stir crazy and want some fresh air. This month started out with some beautiful warm weather. But today we had snow. We jumped in the car and headed out. Where we were not sure of.

I still don't have my truck back from the shop and we were in my older daughters car so when we hit this road I was a little nervous.

Then we saw this...

After a long afternoon drive, mom and daughter, talking, singing, we headed home.

This is our beacon, our lighthouse. When I see this mountain, from the road or the air I know I am home. This is home.

Even better was the fact that minus the 10 minutes it took to roast the asparagus stems, dinner was ready when we arrived. I think the ham could have been on a little lower temperature and I didnt like the flavor of the cloves but yum to the rest.
And now we, the three of us are settled in to watch the Amazing Race. Go Cowboys!

Happy Easter everyone!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Wishing everyone a safe, and Happy Easter weekend

Hate to give M&Ms a plug but this is some of their best stuff.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Part three of my story- Then a break.

Going back to school following the birth was not as hard as I had imagined. Even the girls who just didn’t understand my choices were very supportive. It was not difficult to see the babies in the nursery or in their mother’s arms in class. I was ok with this. I had done it.

T and I continued to date. We discussed how different we felt. How immature people our own age seemed to us now. We had experienced something that many adults had not. We survived it. Life went on. 

The teachers at my school created a panel of young mothers. The panel was to speak at some other local schools. Students in the local junior high schools ranging in ages between 12 and 15 would be able to attend a Q&A session with the young mother group. Because my situation was different and uncommon I was asked to be a part of the panel. The teachers approached me a bit apprehensively as they knew my emotions were still near the surface. They knew that it might be hard for me to discuss in front of a group of kids.

However, I was ecstatic. I had made my decision for adoption not for myself but for my child. Some say it was the most unselfish decision. But when asked to speak on the panel all that I could think of was, if I could help just one girl. I would face any ridicule, any embarrassment, and any emotions to do so.
The day of the panel I will admit, I was a bit uneasy. These kids were young, but could be cruel or possibly judgmental I knew. But there could also be a young person in the room, who may be placed in a similar situation and we could be of some help.

Although the other mothers on the panel were all keeping and raising their children, there was a good mix of personal situations. One girl, the youngest in our group was married but had just given birth to her second child. Another was still pregnant but alone, and no longer with the father. Another woman was in her thirties and was returning to school as a mother not necessarily a young one.  We all had something to bring to the group.

The meeting began pretty slowly. After we were each introduced and our individual situations explained, it was open-forum for questions. The kids were shy to ask questions, the panel was mothers quiet waiting for the questions. And then the questions started. Things like:

Why didn’t you use protection?
Where is the father of the baby?
How old are you?
Is child birth painful?
Is it hard to raise a baby?

I didn’t get a question for a while. I think they were afraid to ask. But once the first child asked me if I missed my baby, the questions began to roll. I took up the rest of the hour (unintentionally) answering questions about adoption.

One thing I remember was how mature the questions seemed. Some asked if abortion had crossed our minds. Honest truth is, I think it crosses your mind no matter where you stand on Roe v. Wade. Many things cross your mind when you are in that situation. It is a scary thing. You are thinking of any way out. It would be so easy to ‘make it go away’. Or maybe not. But it sure crosses your mind.

All-in-all I feel that the panel was very rewarding. For the students who learned the hardships that a quick decision can cost you. And also for the young mothers (not much older than the class) to feel a little less judged by their peers. I do not know if they had to have a parents’ permission to attend the panel meeting, but I hoped not. Or that if they did require it, that the parents saw the benefits and allowed their child to attend. I wish we could have met with every girl- and boy in the state.

I have children of my own now. I am very open with them regarding sex. I certainly hope they do not choose to have sex at such a young age as I did. I sat them all three down when my son was about 12, my daughters were 10 and 9 respectively. I told them everything. I explained what they may be seeing on TV. I explained feelings they may feel in their bodies. I also explained how and when it might be appropriate to act on those feelings. We speak openly still. A parent never knows for sure but I certainly hope that I have made it easier for them to come to me if they feel they are going to engage in sex.I may not be able to stop them. My parents couldn't have stopped me. But I can sure help them make better choices.

I feel very strongly about sex education. Whether they learn it in the schools or at home, and even better if they are getting it in both places. I have posted about it before. I have strong feelings because I have been that teen.

I hope that any parent who is reading this can at the very least see sex education from a different viewpoint. Open your mind some to the possibility of your child being the one who makes a mistake, a poor decision. How will you help them? How can you? Education is the key. Support goes with it.

I am not trying to say my parents were not supportive, nor were they ignorant. But open communication, as hard as it is is very important. I can tell you this with a 99% assurance, If your child tells them that they are sexually active, do not tell them that they need to stop. They won't.