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My sweet baby –

It’s been far too long since I’ve written to you, my love. I think our last letter was at five months old.

You are eighteen and a half wonderful, adorable, frustrating, temperamental months old. I think you’ve hit the terrible two’s a little early, in fact.

We’ve been home in the Midwest now for over five months, and you have adjusted beautifully. You’ve met some of my friends and family, you’ve fallen in love with my best girl friend – who we affectionally call Aunt Wibby. You run, dance, wiggle, and make me laugh every single day.

Your vocabulary has exploded since your first birthday. Your words now include:

  • Mommy/Mama
  • NO!
  • PuhPEE!
  • Larky (Larkin is your Nana and Gampy’s dog, who you found irresistible this summer)
  • Ball
  • Ba-ba (bottle)
  • Kitty
  • Beebee (Baby)
  • Tank ee (Thank you)
  • Bah (Bath)

A swears that he heard you say his kids’ names once, the shortened version (omitted in this public letter!) but I haven’t heard you say it since. You’ve also used several words only once that you haven’t repeated yet, so I haven’t included them here.

You have twelve teeth: all four front on top and bottom, and 4 molars, evenly spaced. It’s been a while since you’ve broken through a new tooth, so I’m awaiting that misery for you!

You still refuse to let me clip your fingernails and toenails, so that is a difficult fight. At least your fingernails are tiny enough that your daily activities keep them worn down. You love to “brush” your teeth with your little yellow Elmo toothbrush, however. I love watching you imitate those kinds of things that you see me do!

You love brushing your hair, and now that I use detangler on that crazy amount of hair you have, you like to run away from the spray and steal the brush away from me!

We have a routine down right now, since I’m home with you during the day. You wake up between 8 and 9 most days, and you come out to the  living room with me, curl up in the big chair with one of your two favorite blankies, and chow down on a bottle or sippy cup of milk with some favorite cartoons. I make you breakfast, then after you’ve eaten, you like to follow me around the house while I take care of whatever little things I can do while you’re awake. You go down for a nap around noon or 1pm, then sleep 2 hours – sometimes 3 on a good day. 😉 After naptime is a late lunch or snack, depending on whether you’ve wanted to eat before your nap. You play so well on your own and love to make lots of little messes in every room of the house. There is a “Caia trail” at the end of every afternoon!

I run the vacuum in the early evenings, and you always grab your blankie and climb up into the big chair to watch. You won’t usually stay on the floor, you dislike loud noises. You like to play hide and seek when I run my hairdryer, and I love to watch you giggle if I blow your hair for you.

If I’m folding laundry, you always want to climb up on my bed and either “help” by throwing everything onto the floor or trying it on yourself, or you climb up on the pillows and try to finagle the blinds to see outside. You love to take off your own pants or shorts, and usually run around in just a diaper and t-shirt. You’d take your shirt off, too, if it’s one that easily slips over your head! (Also, a few days ago, you figured out how to undo your diaper and ran around with absolutely not a stitch on. I really should have taken pictures!)

Two of your favorite pastimes are stealing Mommy’s keys and trying to “use” them on the filing cabinet, and trying on everyone’s shoes. You always get frustrated with this and end up throwing a tantrum, but the other day you figured out how to put on one of your own sandals! (It was on the wrong foot, but regardless. Heehee.)

You love to swing at the park, and go down the bottom part of the slide. Going from the top seems too scary for you, but you like to climb up part of it at the bottom and slide down.

Playing in the refrigerator is hilarious to you, and you always go for the pickle jar! If you aren’t playing in the fridge, you’re sitting in the dishwasher after pulling the door down.

Your diet is still a little difficult, so we supplement with Pediasure Nutrapals daily. Your favorites are string cheese, baby goldfish, Trix cereal, Poptarts, pickles, Capri Suns, bananas, grapes, and blueberries. I’m hoping to expand your dietary horizons very soon, especially since you don’t eat much protein!

You are just a ball of fun and energy, and the frequent temper tantrums are getting easier to understand and deal with. I used to get frustrated with you, but nowadays I usually just laugh and pick you up to distract you with something else. Sleeping through the night is still occasionally an issue – you just need to snuggle with Mommy for a little while at 2 am, 4 am, or 5 am.

I love you more than life itself, and every day you make me so glad you were given to me. I am so proud to be your mother.

I love you sugarbean-peanut-honeybunches,

Mommy

I never had much of a relationship with my father growing up. He was sort of just this figurehead in my life, that occasionally I would be sent to visit between the ages of seven and thirteen or so. I don’t remember him before that age, and he wasn’t around much after. He didn’t want a relationship with me, and my mother certainly never hid this fact, so I didn’t want much of one with him either.

He and my mother had me at a very young age. My mother graduated high school a year early, and had just completed her first and only semester of college (she returned when I was a young teen) when she found out she was pregnant. I was born nine days before her 18th birthday. She and my father weren’t together anymore at my birth, and she was seriously (so I’d assume) dating a man with the initials JF.

I went to go pick up my birth certificate yesterday in the awful, dirty little town I was born in. Just driving through that city makes me cringe. I moved out of there when I was five, and have scarcely found reasons to return since I turned 18. It’s just a dark, depressing place. I think the only way I could find beauty there is through the lens of my camera.

I arrived at the health department, expecting to grab and dash essentially. I filled out the little card with my mother and father’s names, my birth date, all the essentials. The lady started looking through the files – and here’s where I started becoming fascinated – my records weren’t computerized. They are WRITTEN IN A BOOK. With WHITEOUTS and HANDWRITTEN RECORDS. Omg, apparently I’m old. Or just from a little podunk town. -ahem-

She proceeds to ask me if I’ve been adopted. Um, what? She then says that the father’s name on my birth certificate is…different. Not the biological father I grew up half-knowing. I start wracking my brain; I know of JF and parts of his history with my mother but I cannot for the life of me recall his name. I remember that the card in my baby book, that was taped to my incubator at birth (I was over two months premature) bore his last name instead of my own.

She took his name off my birth certificate, at my request because I know that he’s not my father, and gives me the certificate. She recommended I head over to the clerk’s office to find out just what on God’s green earth is going on.

The clerks office is full of kind-hearted ladies who are more than happy to assist me. They find the court documents of my mother and JF’s history, and I sit down at the little worn table to thumb through the worn, faded documents. I was born in the summer of 1984. Approximately six weeks or so after my birth, there is a court request to change my last name from my mother’s maiden name to JF’s name, and for my birth certificate to be changed. Seven months or so later, there is a request from JF to remove it and remove him from parental responsibility. He states in his request that he was “deceived and given false information”, I’m assuming, my mother told him he was my biological father even though she damn well knew the truth. My head is spinning at this point.

Fourteen months after my birth, my name is changed back to my mother’s maiden name, my maiden name, and he is ordered to be removed from my birth certificate. Apparently, it was my mother’s responsibility to have the Health Department change this information, and she didn’t do so.

How IN THE WORLD did this happen my entire life? She had to have my birth certificate to enroll me in kindergarten, in my new school every time we moved. For health insurance, for all sorts of things. She saw this information day in and day out, and I could have sworn that I have seen my certificate beforehand – didn’t I have to have it for my marriage license? I can’t remember. It’s insane, this entire situation.

My biological father was ordered to pay child support when I was growing up, so I know there had to have been a DNA test to confirm he was the father. But why didn’t he ever see my birth certificate? How did he not know? Apparently if he did, he didn’t care.

My head is just SPINNING.

There is so much more that happened yesterday, but it will have to wait until later. This is all I can manage to sort through at the moment. I’m going back through the court papers today, and will likely make a trip to the county where my biological father’s court documents are held and get copies of those.

I just wanted my birth certificate. Turns out, I had a mystery to solve instead.

Moving On

He makes me smile.

He does little things, like bring me flowers for no reason. Leaves sweet cards in my car. He sends me long, rambling text messages that make me swoon. He made me one heck of a dinner tonight.

I’m scared.

I know better than to hope, to tie a string around this happiness and let it float me away. I have to keep my feet on the ground; lest I lose all sense of reality and think that “maybe, just maybe, I can be happy this time. Maybe this time will actually be the one that works.” Maybe I’m not dreaming.

I know how I feel, beyond a shadow of a doubt. I know I love this man more than I could put into words. I know he never fails to show me how much he loves me in return. He’s been trying for months; finally, I’m starting to believe it. It’s scary as hell, and fills me with a childlike giddiness at the same time.

We’ve gone through a tremendous amount of stress together thus far, particularly in the last two months. Outside stressors as well as inside. I’ve even gone so far as to try and end things at least once; for his sake. I’ve asked him on many occasions if he’s “sure”, and I always get the same answer in return.

He is kind, compassionate, creative, wickedly intelligent, has a great sense of humor, and has endless amounts of patience for all my crazy. Which is a lot, sad to say. -grin-

I’m working through my feelings from my divorce, and will be entering counseling shortly. I don’t want any baggage coming between us, and as there are kids in the picture (I have one, he has two) I want to be the healthiest person I can be, for myself, for him, and for our children. I want this to work; I want us to be as ridiculously happy as possible. I want a new start.

He makes me smile.

There are things in this life that are vital and unnecessary, a strange duality, a dance of love and living. When you tell me that you love me, it is vital that I hear it to rejuvenate my soul, yet unnecessary because every part of me feels it. I know you love me, I feel it in your voice, I hear it in your words.

I know you love me because I strive to give you the love that I feel back, to no avail. I know that you love me because I have strength when I’m weak, calm when I’m upset, and warmth when I’m cold. When life is going at a hectically rapid pace to oblivion, I feel your arms around me, pulling me back bringing me to a place where I just want time to stand still. It’s vital for me to press forward to be the best man I can be. It is unnecessary to say that I am humbled to be in your presence. It’s unnecessary to say that I love you, it’s
vital to have you feel it.

I find myself intimidated by life and what it brings, yet knowing you are the light that guides my way makes me brave and valiant. It’s vital to have your touch, to feel your soft lips upon mine, and it’s unnecessary to speak in those moments, for all is felt stronger than gravity on the ocean’s tides. It is unnecessary for you to love me, yet it is vital to my existence, for without it I’d be lost. It’s vital that I express my love for you as often I can, yet unnecessary for you to do the same.

I have never known love in the scope that I know it now. I can feel your love guiding me every step of the way through this uncertain life. That is vital, I love you.

Via weheartit.

I’ve been inspired by blogger doobleh-vay, and I’d like to adopt one of her ideas. Love Letter Friday. Each Friday, I’d like to post a love letter. They could be ones given to me more recently, in the past, ones I’ve written, or ones I’ve found, but in some way, they’ve touched me and I’d like you to be inspired too.

I’d like the first letter I post to be from my “someone”. With his permission, I’m sharing it with you.

“The beginning of most relationships is a nod, a wink, a smile. The beginning of our relationship was a life changing event. I knew from the first moment that I saw you that you were perfect for me. I have never loved anyone like I love you, it’s a phenomenon that is nothing short of divine.

I knew that you and I were connected at the soul from the very first moment I saw you and when you came to me and said hello, you had my heart and I knew then that I could never give it to anyone else. All the years of bad days and sleepless nights later, I know that you are the only one that can ever make me truly happy. Life has taken some twist and turns for us both, but no matter what has happened in our lives the truth is that we came back to each other and reclaimed what is ours, our soulmate.

I don’t want you in my life, I need you. Now that I know what I do,  life as I knew it has ended. The life that I was intended to have has been put back on track. You and I fit together like fine watch pieces. I have taken an approach with you that I never have before, truth. I now know who I am, I know that I’m very gentle and soft at heart. I love that I am 100% myself, and comfortable to be when I’m with you. I have dreamed of that all of my life.

It took you to open the doors and free me from me. Thank you so much for being you, and letting me love you and for loving me in return.”