Monday, August 8, 2016

8 years. Come and gone.

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This year for Josie's birthday, I wanted to look back on my favorite pictures of the adoption journey thus far. I am so thankful for these memories captured on film and for the ones in my brain. :)

I know it seems weird to share a picture of the birth father on here, when many of you know our relationship is/has been...whats the word... tumultous. BUT! he is important to her story. and I like to keep in mind at one time we were blissfully in  love   lust  there was a time we liked each other.

He gave her those beautiful dimples, her perfect hair, and her gorgeous smile. I am thankful for him because of her.

I found out I was pregnant just a few days before going to college. Truthfully, these are 2/3 pictures I have of my pregnancy. I had incredible humans who surrounded me with love during my pregnancy. 

This picture is special to me. Eric was there for me through my pregnancy. He came to doctor's appointments (and embarrassed the crud out of me). He hung at the hospital with me while I got my appendix out. He was there for me when everyone would make rash judgments about my pregnancy. He is still here. The other day he sat and talked to me on a mountain while I bawled my eyes out about adoption. (Don't worry ladies, he is single...I can totes hook you up)

This picture is so tender to me. For a number of reasons. I just remember wanting to memorize everything about the moments I shared with this beautiful girl. I wanted her to remember my face. I wanted her to feel my love. To know that I loved her endlessly. To know that I wanted her. she was wanted. She is wanted. 

Lord knows there are never enough things I can say about Aly. This girl went through and is going through my journey with me start to finish. She has my back. This particular picture.. I make Aly do this pose all the time in pictures because it was one of the very first pictures I have of us...so now it's a Jessa enforced (or forced) tradition. This was me, trying so hard to not fall down and break. This one was me holding back the tears because I felt I had to be strong for everyone else in the room. This was me, being bolstered up by my best friend in the world. 

Right after I had Josie, I was in a state of desperate grieving. I did not know hot handle the feelings I was experiencing. Alyson decided to call our friend Ariel over and we had ourselves a little dance party. But we don't do anything half assed. We dressed up, then of course recorded the little number. If you are interested to see it, it's on my Facebook videos. But i remember in this moment, I was having fun with my friends. I was not sad for a while. I was me. Goofy, carefree, loving me.

After Josie I needed to do something. I joined a flag football team. I love sports, I love being competitive, and I of course like knocking people over in good fun. We went all the way to the championships that semester. I had so much fun. I am thankful for the opportunity I had to feel like me right after my placement. I just needed that experience. 

I didn't see Josie again until she was three months old. This was my first time seeing her since placing her in the arms of her beautiful parents. I cried a lot that visit. I smiled a lot that visit. This was the first time I remember feeling EXTREMELY connected to her mom since choosing them. She was so big, I couldn't believe it. I just remember loving on her. She was/is perfect.

The next time I saw Josie after her sealing was when she 1 year old. My mom came with me to a park and we saw her. It was my mom's first time seeing her since the hospital. This is one of 2 pictures I have of my mom and Josie. and Even though I know this was a forced smile, and my mom didn't want to be holding her, I know she was there supporting me. I know she was pushing through her own pain to be there for me, because she knew it was important to me. 

These are all visits. Just the fact her mom and dad always makes it a priority to see me. To spend time with me. They know that I love the family so much. They have fostered the relationship. 

Which leads me to this picture. I love that Becky loves me. She loves my children. She has always been my champion. There is no fear. Just love. I love that she loves Josie. Io love that she is such an amazing mom. I will forever be thankful for God and Aly leading me to her family. I just could never express the love I have for this woman. 

Through all the memories, this is my all time favorite pictures in 8 years. I love that they were at my wedding. I love that I am so obviously happy, that Josie is smiling like the ham she is in this photo. I love Wes looking at her lovingly. He loves Josie, he supports me in my journey. He has been my constant in this. Josie was so important to me on my wedding day. She was my daughter, Of course I wanted her to be there.  I didn't cry after the ceremony until I hugged Josie's parents. I am so thankful for where this journey has brought us. I can't wait for moment when I see her again this weekend. I cant wait to see the next 8 year roll by. I love this girl. 

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