Monday, February 24, 2014

Blog Hop with Author Deanna Kahler

We're all familiar with the term "bar hopping," but now there's a new trend: blog hopping! Much like bar hopping, blog hopping involves visiting lots of places. But instead of going to bars, you go to blogs. Each blog you visit will have links to other blogs … and the hopping continues! It's a easy and fun way to meet lots of people and learn all about their work. Today it's my turn to host, so I will be answering questions and sharing information with you. Just sit back and enjoy -- no drinking required!

Thanks for the invite!
First, I would like to send a big thank you to Jody Cantrell Dyer, author of The Eye of Adoption. Jody and I "met" online after both publishing books about adoption. You can read Jody's humorous, down-to-earth blog at Please also visit her author web site at

About Me

What am I working on?
I recently published my second book, Echoes of Paradise, a paranormal love story about the afterlife. I've been doing interviews and working to promote my new book. In addition, I'm finishing up a children's book called A Rare Gem that will be out later this year. For more information about my projects, please visit

How does my work differ from others of its genre?
My first book, From Pain to Parenthood, differs from other adoption memoirs because it is also a self-help book. Along with sharing my personal story, I provide tips and resources for others who may be going through similar situations. There's an adoption Q & A in the back of the book, as well as information on dealing with grief, depression and anxiety. Readers will also find a list of support groups and other organizations.

My second book, Echoes of Paradise, is different from the typical paranormal romance because it combines forbidden romance with spiritual and metaphysical concepts. Readers have compared to Twilight and The Celestine Prophecy for its unique mix of the paranormal and spiritual enlightenment. 

Why do I write what I do?
I write to inspire others, so all of my work -- whether fiction or non-fiction -- offers messages of hope and encouragement. I use my own experiences as the foundation for my work and always write from the heart.

How does my writing process work?
I do a lot of writing in my head before I sit down at the computer. Ideas come to me while lying in bed, taking a shower or driving. 

Check out more great authors!

Next week the blog hop will visit the web site of Dr. Sabrina D. Black. Stop by and check out her work. Here is some info about Sabrina. 

Dr. Sabrina D. Black, L.L.P.C., C.A.C.-1., is the CEO and Clinical Direction of Abundant Life Counseling Center, which emphasizes spiritual values. She is passionate about glorifying God, amplifying His Word, and edifying His people. Among her credentials, Sabrina Black is a Limited Licensed Professional Counselor, Certified Addictions Counselor and Certified Biblical Counselor with 18 years of experience in individual, family and group counseling.

You can find out more about Sabrina at

Also check out the blogs/web sites of these great authors:

Debbie Barrow Michael
Tim Elder
Kristen Nicole

Tuesday, February 04, 2014

Where You'll Find Me

Hello! If you've stumbled upon this page, welcome! For those of you who were following my adoption journey, I'm glad you stopped by.

I am no longer updating this blog, but that doesn't mean I have given up writing. I still actively blog and write for various web sites. I'm still very passionate about adoption and am working to help others who are dealing with miscarriage and infertility and are considering adoption.

Since adopting my daughter eight years ago, I've felt inspired to write a book about my experiences. I'm happy to say that in May 2013, I published From Pain to Parenthood: A Journey Through Miscarriage to Adoption. Along with sharing my difficult journey to motherhood, I also feature tips and resources for others who may be facing similar circumstances. You can find the book in both paperback and Kindle versions on and in paperback at I hope to help inspire and encourage as many people as possible by sharing my story!

But I wasn't content to stop there. I also became editor of BellaOnline's adoption web site, where I write and edit weekly articles about adoption. And, I recently published my second book, Echoes of Paradise, a fiction paranormal love story about the afterlife.

So, as you can see, I've been a very busy girl. If you're interested in following my work, you find me in many places throughout the Internet. A list is below. Please stop by and check out my latest projects and articles. Feel free to send me a note or make a comment. I would love to hear from you! I wish you all the very best of luck in pursuing your dreams!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Time Flies

I can't believe it has been nearly two years since my last post! Time sure does fly.

Our daughter is now 3 years old. A few things haven't changed. K is still feisty and spirited. She is still very independent and wants to do everything herself. She is still healthy and beautiful. What has changed is how much she has learned and grown.

Our little girl is now 41 1/4 inches tall at last check. She is taller than most children her age and is often as tall as many 4-year-olds. And she knows a lot of the same things a typical 4-year-old would know. She recognizes many colors, shapes and numbers. She can count to 20 in English and 10 in Spanish. She has known all of her letters for quite some time and knows the sounds that the letters make. She knows what vowels are. She can even spell her name and a few simple words! She is very observant, has an awesome memory and asks a lot of questions. K has been taking a dance class since the fall and is doing fantastic. She is a fast learner and loves to try new things. She amazes us on a daily basis.

We are getting ready to enroll her in nursery school for next fall. I think she will do well and improve her listening skills and social skills. I am thrilled with the wonderful little girl she has become and feel so blessed to have her in my life.

Hopefully, it won't be another two years before I update this blog. By then I will be getting ready to sign her up for Kindergarten! I'm not ready for that yet. I think I will enjoy having a preschooler for now. :)

Thursday, June 07, 2007

They Grow So Fast

I used to always hear people say that their children were growing up so fast. I didn't fully understand just how fast it feels until we had a child of our own.

"Yesterday" we brought a tiny little newborn baby girl home from the hospital. She cried a lot, needed to be held often and was pretty much helpless. She was completely dependent on us to meet her needs and keep her safe.

Today our baby is no longer a baby. She doesn't want to be held much unless she is upset or really tired. She would much rather be running around the house (and I do mean RUNNING), eager to explore everything and learn as much as she can. In fact, she is becoming more and more independent each day. She can feed herself small pieces of food, has been drinking from a cup for quite some time and can even climb up and down stairs. And she is far from tiny! Our little baby has magically transformed into a 35-inch toddler, which is more than a foot taller than she was at birth.

She also now has a mind of her own. For example, there are many days when she won't lay still for a diaper change because she would much rather play. And she recently became a picky eater -- shoving some foods away and insisting only on others. She also understands the word "no," but often doesn't listen or obey.

How did this happen? Where did the time go? I honesty don't know. What I do know is that I treasure every precious moment with her and enjoy the times when she needs me. Like when she wants to be rocked to sleep. Or when she wraps her arms around my legs and insists that I pick her up. And I especially love when she gives me kisses.

I know that one day she will grow into an independent young women. I just hope that when that day comes, we will still be close. Because along with learning how fast they grow, I also made another life-changing discovery: There is nothing more rewarding that the special bond between and mother and a daughter.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Putting Things in Perspective

Yesterday I was feeling depressed for no good reason. I am simply exhausted all the time and rarely am able to rest or relax. Part of it is because I am a busy mom. The other part is because I am a worrier, an overprotective parent and a perfectionist. So, after a fun but draining weekend up north, I found myself in a pretty down mood. My mom pointed out that no one is sick or dying, so I have no reason to be depressed. Not exactly what I wanted to hear, but she was right.

Last night, my daughter woke up crying only 45 minutes after I put her to bed. After snuggling and rocking her for a few minutes, she was back to sleep. About 1 hour after that, she woke up crying again. This pattern continued throughout the entire night. My daughter woke up crying about every hour, a total of 9 times between bedtime and morning. Her longest stretch of sleep was 1 1/2 hours at around 4 a.m. At first I thought maybe she was teething again. But after about 4 rounds of calming her down, I realized she must be sick. Sure enough, during the night, she became congested, started coughing and developed a running nose.

Each time I would return to her room to comfort her, I didn't feel depressed or frustrated. Instead all I could think of was how I wanted so much to make her feel better. As I rocked her, I looked at her precious little face and thought of how lucky I am to have such a wonderful and amazing daughter. I enjoyed those cozy late-night moments we shared. And as I held her close, I thought how silly I was to be depressed earlier when I am so blessed.

Today I am obviously majorly sleep deprived. Those moments of rest and relaxation are few and far between. I have spent my day wiping a constantly running nose, monitoring my daughter's temperature (which was around 101.5 this afternoon) and comforting an uncomfortable and whiny child. But I am no longer feeling down. Instead I am solely focused on helping my daughter get well. I am being a mom in the biggest sense of the word.

And I couldn't ask for anything more.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Where Am I?

I haven't blogged much in a while because I have been busy being a mom. My days are packed with the challenges of caring for a curious and energetic toddler. And when I do have some free time, I often spend it trying to catch up on things around the house. All is going well. However, lately I have been realizing that I have forgotten about myself. I am so busy giving all I have to give to my family that there isn't much "me" left anymore. And I am starting to feel the effects of neglecting myself -- exhaustion and frustration. So, I am going to make an effort to focus on me just a little bit each day. I really need some time to unwind and clear my head. One way I will do this is by blogging. This blog is a great way to gather my thoughts, share my experiences with others and get feedback. Please feel free to send me your opinions, comments and questions.

For those of you who have never been to my blog before, you can catch up on my story by visiting these blog entries:

My First Post
The Day Our Daughter Was Born

Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, March 03, 2007

The Birth Parent Connection

It's amazing how you can feel so much for someone you know so little about.

Since the day our daughter was born, I have often thought about her birth parents. Although we only met them briefly at the hospital and do not currently have any direct contact with them, we share a very important and powerful connection -- our daughter. I am so thankful to them for entrusting us with a very precious and special little girl who is the light of our lives. So it only makes sense that I care about their well-being. But my feelings for them go much deeper than just gratitude.

I often think about how they are feeling. I wonder if they have any regrets. I imagine what it must have been like to let go of their child, although I cannot even fathom the depth of their loss and pain. I always hope that they are doing o.k. and that they feel secure knowing that their baby is with a family who loves her very much and will always take excellent care of her.

Recently, I started thinking about our daughter's birth parent's relationship. Right before our daughter was born, her birth parents were hoping to get married in a couple of years and planned to have children one day when they were financially secure and emotionally ready. I wondered how placing a child for adoption would affect their relationship. I mean, relationships are hard enough without the added strain of pain and loss. They are both so young and haven't even been out on their own yet. How could their love and relationship endure so much? How would they deal with their grief? The more I thought about it, the more I started to fear that maybe they had broken up.

Come to find out, they had. Our daughter's birth parents are doing fine, but are no longer together. After hearing this, I cried. I felt sad for them. I hardly know them, but I know they have both been through so much. Of course, I wondered if their adoption choice played a role in their decision to end their relationship. But then I realized that even if it did, there was likely much more to the story that I am unaware of. Getting a tiny glimspe at a couple and the life they share in no way tells me what their relationship was like. There could have been issues between them before our daughter was even born. And maybe their decision to choose adoption was based in part on their uncertainty about their future together.

Whatever the reasons for their choices, I feel that our daughter was meant to be a part of our lives. It is as if she was chosen to be our child long before her birth parents even knew what they were going to do.

I guess some connections are just too powerful to question.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Thoughts from an "Older Parent"

We've all heard the saying: "Wisdom comes with age." But what we haven't heard is that becoming a parent later in life isn't necessarily better. Sure, it's true that older parents are more settled and secure with their lives -- both emotionally and financially. They have often thought long and hard about becoming a parent and feel confident in their decision. What they may not have is the energy they need to be a parent, keep up with the housework and still feel good. I find myself in this category a lot more than I would like.

As an older parent, I feel I keep up with my one-year-old daughter pretty well. I chase her around the house all day and only use her pack and play when it is necessary, such as when I need to do laundry, write a few bills, etc. I do my best to play with her as much as possible and teach her new things every day.
I try to save my bigger household tasks for when she is napping (which isn't much) or when my husband is home. I feel it is important that she have a loving, fun, attentive mom as well as good teacher.

However, there are times when I just feel too exhausted to participate. I find myself watching instead of doing. I am still close by, usually sitting right on the floor with my daughter. However, I may not be teaching or explaining something to her. I may not be silly or fun or entertaining. Or I may still be doing those things, but with a lot less enthusiasm. Sometimes I feel bad for not being more interactive or energetic. I want so much to fill my daughter's days with fun activities to help her learn and grow. But I am human. I am 38, not 24. I just don't have the energy and drive I once did.

Do I wish I had children younger? Of course, I do! But then I wouldn't have the wonderful child I have today. So, despite my lack of energy, I wouldn't change the way things turned out. What I would like to change, however, it how I take care of myself. I believe that with age comes less energy, but I also know that my age is not the only source of my tiredness. When I became a mom I forgot about myself. I do this all the time. I don't eat well. I don't drink enough water. I rarely relax or rest or give myself time just for me. How can I expect to feel energetic when I never regroup and recoup?

Yes, it may be true that I lack the energy of a 20-something. But I am wise enough to know I can reclaim a little of my youth by doing what I did when I was younger -- taking care of me. Then maybe I can do more than just keep up with my daughter. Maybe I can actually feel good while I'm doing it.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Is One Enough?

Many of us have pictured our families before they even existed. We have imagined the number of children we will have, whether they will be girls, boys or both, how far apart in age they will be and how old we will be when we have them. But reality is often much different than we expect.

I had always thought I would have two children some day and planned to have them both by the time I was 30. However, we welcomed our daughter -- our first and only child -- into our lives just a short time before my 37th birthday. Now, nearly a year later, we are wrestling with the decision of whether or not to have a second child. Although I had once wanted two kids, I am perfectly happy with the one child I have. I couldn't imagine a more wonderful daughter. And I don't really feel like I need to have more kids. Our family is perfect just the way it is.

Of course, I have my concerns over what having an only child entails. Although research shows there is no difference in the social, emotional and educational development of only children when compared to children with siblings, I still question how being raised alone will affect my daughter. Will she be lonely? Will she become selfish or spoiled? Will she be angry at me for not giving her a sister or brother?

I also feel like my daughter may need someone to grow up with. She loves kids and has a great time when she is with her cousins. But it is not the same as having a little brother or sister to play with, dream with and share your worries. My sister is one of the best friends I have ever had, and I couldn't imagine life without her. I certainly don't want my daughter to miss out of that kind of relationship and closeness.

But having two children is not a decision to take lightly. My husband and I are already exhausted raising one child. We are getting older and have just a couple of years left before we turn the big 4-0. Because the domestic adoption process is often long and unpredictable, we could very well find ourselves in our 40s by the time we bring home another newborn. I certainly had never wanted or planned to have a baby in my 40s. The whole thing leaves me wondering: Would I have the energy to handle two children? Would my relationship with my daughter suffer because I no longer have as much time to devote to her?

There are definitely pros and cons to having a single child and to having more than one. It is such a big and important decision that I'm not convinced I'm ready to make. I don't feel a burning desire to have another child right now, but I know that I'm running out of time to decide.

So, here I sit in limbo. One child is definitely great, and I am thankful to be my daughter's mom. But is one enough?

What do you think?

Monday, February 06, 2006

The Day She Was Born

We awoke to a fresh blanket of snow, which gently covered the grass and trees. My husband grabbed his camera to capture the beautiful and peaceful scene that greeted us the day baby K was due to be born. We thought this first photo would be a special thing to share with K someday.

We continued to enjoy the scenery through our doorwall while eating breakfast. We chatted about the day ahead and remarked at how we couldn't believe we had gotten to this point. We would actually be heading to the hospital later in the day for the birth of a precious baby girl. We were both nervous and excited, happy and sad. We knew that it would be an emotional day for both us and the birth family. And we had no idea how they would react or what to expect.

A million thoughts ran through my mind that morning. I hope the birth mom, D, is doing well and has an easy labor. I hope all goes well at the hospital when we meet the birth parents for the first time. Of course, I couldn't help but wonder, what if they don't like us? What if they change their minds? I prayed several times that morning for the birth family, for the baby and for us. Every time the phone rang -- which was many times -- I jumped. Is this it?

The actual call to head to the hospital came just after lunch.

At the hosptial, we met the birth parents' families for the first time in the waiting room. They were all very nice and friendly. They asked us a few questions and seemed to warm up to us right away. The birth dad's sister remarked how I looked as nervous as the birth mom, and we all had a good laugh. D's parents told us how they truly believed their daughter was making the right decision, but that they were emotionally torn. Although they never actually cried in front of us, their eyes filled with tears several times. My did also. They seemed very glad to meet us and said their daughter would be reassured once she got to meet us also.

About an hour later, the birth dad's mom told us that D & D were ready to meet us. We entered the room to find a young, attractive couple who obviously cared deeply about each other. They briefly explained their reasons for adoption: they were enable to care for a baby at this point in their lives or provide her with the life they wanted her to have. There was so much sadness on their faces, and it was clear they loved the baby and wanted the very best for her. We told them how grateful we were to them for giving us this wonderful opportunity. We talked for a few minutes and then returned to the waiting room.

We spent the next couple of hours in the waiting room with the birth parents' families. Once the baby was born, D's parents told us to come to her room with them. I told them that they should go first because I thought it was important that they have a little time alone. I asked them to just come back to get us when they were ready.

About 20 minutes later (the longest 20 minutes of my life), D's parents returned. The first thing they said to us was: "Are you ready to meet your baby?" We nodded and headed with them to the room.

Meeting baby K was bittersweet. She was so beautiful and precious. We couldn't believe she was finally here. We were thrilled to meet her. On the other hand, we were so sad for the birth parents. There was so much powerful emotion in the room -- both joy and sorrow. D was holding the baby when we entered and shortly after handed her to me. We all got pictures of the birth parents and the baby. The birth parents' families also got pictures of us with baby K. Then we all hugged and the nurses took the baby to the nursery.

And from that moment on, we have been her parents.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Life With a New Baby

I've always heard that becoming a parent changes you. I just never understood exactly what that meant until now.

Since bringing home baby K nearly 2 weeks ago, I've become a different person. My life has new meaning and purpose. Every day I make choices and plans that affect the life of this special little person. I am always thinking of what it best for her and my goal is to ensure she is happy, healthy, secure and loved.

Of course, as any new parent knows, this can be a challenge at times. It isn't always easy to know she wants. And it can be very draining trying to calm a crying baby at 2 a.m. But it the most wonderful thing I have ever experienced. I no longer feel like something is missing from my life. Each day brings a joy I had never before experienced.

I marvel in the little things she does -- the way she looks at me so intently when I sing or talk to her, the way her tiny hand firmly grips my finger, that little smile that creeps across her face every now and then. (I know many believe it is only "gas" at this point, but her smile still melts my heart.) I also find it interesting to watch her observe her environment. At only 2 weeks old, it just amazes me how alert and curious she is. She is always looking around checking things out. She will even turn her head to look at me when she hears my voice -- even when I am in a different area of the room.

I can't say that every moment with her has been easy or carefree. But I can say that we are adjusting quite well to being parents. We are enjoying each day and look forward to watching her learn and grow. We are so grateful to be blessed with this amazing, healthy and beautiful child. She is truly our daughter in every way that matters, and we couldn't love her or cherish her any more than we do.

In other words, life with a new baby is good!

Stay tuned for the story of the day K was born and our experience at the hospital with her birth family.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Home At Last

Last night the most amazing thing happened -- we brought our precious baby girl K home from the hospital with us. We had a very emotional but good experience with her birth family and are glad we had the chance to meet and spend some time with them.

After the birth, we spent several hours at the hospital on Wednesday, as well as the whole day yesterday, in the nursery getting to know our new daughter. We are so glad she is finally home now!

Of course, we have a few adoption process details and paperwork to finish up before things are official, but so far all is going well. I am very, very sleep deprived (only slept about 1 hour last night and 20 minutes this afternoon), so I will write more another day.

Thank you all for your good wishes!

Monday, January 16, 2006

She's Being Induced!

We're in the home stretch! The expectant mom we're matched with is being induced this Wednesday. If all goes well, we could be bringing home a baby by the end of the week! I can't believe this is happening. We are so close, but it just doesn't seem real yet.

After hearing the news, my husband and I went out for a nice, quiet dinner alone -- possibly our last one before becoming parents. We are both amazingly calm. We have no major concerns and feel good about everything.

Hopefully, my next post will be about our experience at the hospital. I guess this is it -- please wish us luck!

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Almost There

The expectant mom is doing well and is now dilated to 3 cm. She could go into labor any day. We are now just waiting for the call to head to the hospital. We have never been this close to becoming parents before and are hoping that all goes well. Please keep us, the potential birth mom and the baby in your thoughts and prayers!

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Could We Be Expecting?

As we enter the final weeks of waiting for the call that the expectant mom is in labor, I find myself filled with a variety of emotions.

First, there is the eager anticipation that goes along with waiting for any important event. I can't wait until all of this waiting is over and look forward to the day when it will all come to a conclusion.

Then, there is the excitement. (Yes, my efforts to guard my heart and protect myself from being hurt again by not getting too excited have failed.) As the due date gets closer, I find myself more and more excited. I just can't help it. I have waited to be a mom for so long that I cannot just ignore the fact that it very well could happen this time. And, as my wise husband said the other day, the outcome will be the same whether you get excited or not, so you may as well be excited!

I also find myself feeling nervous. What if the potential birth mom changes her mind? Am I really ready for this? How will we adjust to having a new baby? Will I be overwhelmed? The funny thing is that throughout our entire adoption journey I have always been afraid of things not working out. I have feared that we will never be parents. Now, I am afraid that it will happen. I know that sounds funny, but as much as I want children and feel that we are really ready, I still have the normal fear that every expectant parent experiences -- the fear of the unknown. How can you not be a little scared of such a big, life-changing event?

So, I guess you could say we're expecting. And as each day goes by, we feel more and more like soon-to-be parents.