Friday, May 04, 2007

And Baby Makes Five

It has been brought to my attention that I’ve dropped the ball with regard to the story of how our family became complete. To be honest, after the drama and excitement of our Infertility!!And Contested Adoption!! the rest of the story is a little boring and anticlimactic.

When I left off with the story previously, we were living (unhappily) in Los Angeles, and we had just returned to OKC to (finally) finalize Brayden’s adoption. She was fifteen months old, and Kellen was two months old. We returned to LA after the finalization, intent on making the best of things in southern California. We were two years into our three year assignment there, and having the stress of the contested adoption finally over did make our miserable existence in that city a little less miserable. Have I mentioned that we are just not big-city people? Especially big cities crowded with graffiti, crime, a drug-rehab next door, traffic out the wazoo, and bazillions of non-English speaking people? (I know, that makes me sound incredibly prejudiced, but I like for the people around me; for the people who serve my food, and work in the dry cleaners and the grocery stores and the retail shops, to actually be able to speak the same language as their customers. Sue me for saying it out loud.) I wasn’t happy about living another year in Los Angeles (it is NOTHING like you see on Baywatch, let me just tell you that) but with my two beautiful babies at home, was ready to face that third and final year with a much better attitude, and much less self-pity.

Naturally, a week after we returned, we got orders to move.

So, two months later found us on the highway, driving to our new home in Dayton, Ohio. Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, to be exact.

We had decided, right after Kellen was born, to begin trying for another baby. I had heard that the first year after you deliver a baby can be a fertile time for women, so we figured if the first pregnancy was a fluke, so be it, but if there was a window of opportunity for another pregnancy, we didn’t want to blow it by waiting around until we were “ready to try again”.

Two months went by, three months, four. I wasn’t really surprised. It had never worked all those other months (years!) we were trying, I didn’t expect it to now, either.

Five months went by, six. Still nothing.

It was ok, though. I had a beautiful daughter, and a beautiful, er, handsome son, so the fertility quest was no longer an obsession for me. If it had worked, it would have been great, but if it didn’t, I certainly wasn’t going to complain that the two gifts I’d been given weren’t enough.

Seven months went by, eight. And we went home for Thanksgiving, to visit family and celebrate my nephew’s second birthday. My sister and her husband rented one of those big bouncy moonwalk things, and for kicks the grown-ups got in it after the kids got out and started bouncing around. I even did a few flips and somersaults, I’m such a natural athlete. {said with tongue, firmly planted in cheek} For *real* kicks, they found a neighborhood teenager and his girlfriend in it much later that night … ahem … but that’s another story.

And can you believe that a few weeks later, I found out I was pregnant? I’m pretty sure it was flipping around in that bounce house that did it. I just bounced that embryo against my uterus and it finally STUCK there!

So we returned to Ohio, and despite the fact we already had two children, and it was now eight YEARS after we first started trying, began the first pregnancy that was actually planned.


Stacie W from MN said...

Yeah!! It is always amazing how God makes things work, isn't it??
To add to your comment on non-English speaking people in the neighborhood - I couldn't agree more! My daughter is acutally 1/2 Mexican/hispanic & so there is a very good chance that in time, I will learn some Spanish for HER so when she decides she wants to learn more about her ethnic heritage we can learn with her. But I will NOT learn Spanish for the hundreds of thousands of legal & illegal immigrants to this country. If you want to live & work in this country & receive benefits in this country, you should at least learn enough English to communicate during a normal day. Nothing irritates me more than when someone walks into a store & says "speak Spanish" like we should have to learn their language becuase they want to live here. Nor should I have to "push 1" for English when I call some 800 number. Just to clarify, I have no problem with people coming to this country to make a better life and become PRODUCTIVE citizens, but I would like them to make some effort while their here to learn the language. When I was in France, they expected me to speak French, why shouldn't we expect the same with people come to our country.
Okay, now I suppose it is time to get off my soapbox.
I can't wait to hear more about your surrogacy journey & your retirement plans!

Anonymous said...

yay!!! you're back to the story! Not that I haven't enjoyed the blogs that have come in between, but I was dying to read more of the "book"! lol! can't wait for the next installment!
Leesburg, VA

Anonymous said...

Thank you! I felt like I had been left hanging by the season finale of one of my favorite shows. Why they have to take a 3-4 month hiatus is beyond me! It's not like they work their butts off w/little pay. Sheesh!

patti b. said...

I am excited to be back in the Escoe baby-loop! (With many good times/blogs in between! ... well MOSTLY good times/blogs ... well you know what I mean! :)

Lene said...

What a beautiful story! It is amazing how things work out!

D said...

LOL Kristie- I'll have to try the spacewalk thing. This month, I started to take OPK's to detect ovulation- a whopping 40 ovulation tests because, I am becoming pretty obsessive about having a sibling for my daughter. I'm not quite sure why I'm telling you this...................... but, hey, it sure is nice to be able to tell someone who can even somewhat identify with my often maniacal quest to have a child!

BTW- My husband is from Guatemala and my dad is from Chile, and both came to the US in their 20's. I completely agree that it is much nicer when those people who come to live in the US from other are able to speak the language. Of course, I probably would never publicly say this. But, that's what I love about your blog. So often, you say the things we want to, but in many cases, like my own, are too chicken to publicly admit it.

laughing mommy said...

Yay! I'm so glad to hear more of the story.

I wanted to ask about it again but thought it might be pushy. I hope you write more. You do have an interesting story to tell.

Anonymous said...

Wright Patt Air Force Base huh? I am glad to hear how Kendrie joined the family. Thanks for finishing the baby story....on to surrogacy please!

Brookville, Ohio
30 minutes from Wright Patt Air Force Base!

Anonymous said...

Too funny, after almost a yr of trying to conceive and one miscarriage, I too think a bounce house helped me. I have always claimed it did anyway. We rented one for my son's birthday and a week and 1/2 later, I was preggo!!! Maybe there is something to it after all! LOL!!

amy said...

We have about 2 years until we get our baby from china, so we are still working on 'things"

Where did you get the bouncy thing? hahah just kidding

Lisa said...

Okay, so I have to know...which was worse, Dayton or LA? I have never lived in either, but have visited extensively in both...well more or less...Kettering and near LA...and it would have to be a toss up for the visiting. Also, you are better than sweeps week and leaving someone with a cliffhanger!

kim said...

YAY FOR KENDRIE! Plus, I just have to put my Minnesota two cents' worth in on the English-speaking issue. Ditto what stacie w from mn said. Lately, I've been feeling a little resentful over this whole political correctness thing; it's troubling to me that here in the USA, land of my birth, I am the one who can't voice my opinion because it may offend someone who may or may not be here legally? Who thought up political correctness and why did we buy into it? I am all for people--any people--wanting to LEGALLY create a better life for themselves and their family. The way to do that, however, is not to come here and try to turn it into the place you've just escaped. Speak the language and assimilate. The schools here are going broke trying to deal with those who don't. WHEW!!! I said it, and I'm glad. Thanks for bringing it up.

Okay, off the soapbox. And back to YAY FOR KENDRIE! Yet another special child right from the beginning, even before taking into consideration all she would have to go through and battle! Like everyone else, I can't wait for the surrogacy if you didn't already ROCK enough, that seals the deal, in my humble opinion!

Tracy said...

I would love to know about the surrogacy also.

I love your comment about english speaking. If you are in America the least you can do is speak the language. I should not feel uncomfortable trying to understand someone while trying to do my daily errands.

Anonymous said...


Thanks for sharing the Kendrie part of the story!

Tamara said...

Thanks for keeping it!

Tamara said...

Oops, that should say thanks for keeping the story GOING! Apparently, my brain and fingertips are not communicating

Anonymous said...

Kristie -- So our daughters were born on the same day, "my" St. Anthony found your notebook and now Wright Pat...I grew up in Dayton, Ohio. (Singing:) Doo doo doo doo...

Amy from Indiana

Angie said...

Okay, I have a question. Kristie, you mentioned before that you welcome respectful dialogue and disagreement, and I know sometimes it's hard to decipher someone's tone by reading their words. So I will preface this by saying that you should all "hear" me speaking openly, evenly, calmly with a tone of respectful curiosity.

Why does it bother you to deal with people who struggle with English? Is it simply the inconvenience?

I hear Stacie and a few other commenters say, in so many words, that they welcome people who come to America to try to achieve the, er, American dream. How do you know how long that the person who is struggling to speak to you in English has been in this country? Today I met a woman who spent an entire month WALKING, more or less, from Guatemala. She arrived on Saturday. It's Thursday. My God, the blisters on HER feet brought tears to MY eyes. How long does she have to learn English before native speakers dismiss her with impatience and irritation? Six weeks? Six months? How long does she have from last Saturday to "speak the language and assimilate"?

What is a "normal day," exactly? (remember what I said about tone now, please hear this in the calm, respectful way I'm typing it) I grew up in a small town in PA where high school football is king. Everyone knows everyone. We have a community pool, and a firemen's carnival (yes, fireMEN, we don't have women firefighters, politically correct, what now? :), and marching bands. Every church has a Christmas bazaar and a vacation Bible school. I learned Spanish in high school, starting with the basics. My love for language propelled to continue studies in college, and I'm bilingual.

I lived in Miami for a year, where I spoke Spanish more than I spoke English. I know the commenters here will think that the fact that I really HAD to use Spanish as a necessity in Miami proves their point. Like it or lump it, it's a fact of life that Miami is a tri-lingual city: English, Spanish and Haitian French creole.

I confess that I felt uncomfortable using Spanish when it came to car troubles and banking. I can't IMAGINE having to go to an emergency room, in pain, sick and afraid, and try to communicate in a second language while panicking.

Sure, I liked speaking Spanish on a NORMAL day. I LIKED explaining "trick or treating" in Spanish to my neighbors from Argentina because their bilingual children Miguel and Alejandra asked me to help their parents understand the completely foreign concept of dressing up like a ninja and a Disney princess and running around the apartment complex asking people for candy.

You know what I like best about being bilingual? When I realize that the person who serves my food, and works in the dry cleaners and the grocery stores and the retail shops is struggling with English, I reach out to them and I say, "Senora, prefiere Usted espanol? (That is, "Ma'am, do you prefer Spanish?")

Their eyes light up. We TALK. I usually need a few minutes to make the changeover to Spanish in my mind. I thank the person I'm speaking to for their patience, and you know what usually happens? They often try to switch to English. They tell me about the other mothers from their child's class at school who are trying to learn, about the "all English" playdates they have to practice with each other, the nun at the church that offers a Spanish mass who runs a workshop at 10 p.m. at night, when they finally leave their second job. They ask me how they sound, am I saying this right? We communicate, and it's wonderful.

I guess my question is this... How do you know that the people who wait on you as you run errands aren't spending their evenings in church basements with workbooks and language tapes, TRYING to learn, and the disdainful reactions they get from native speakers when they struggle only make them that much more afraid to try to speak English "during a normal day?"

And you know what? You're right. Some people don't try. Some people are too tired, too scared, too preoccupied with trying to give their children a better life, too homesick for everything they knew , too much in need of education to reach outside their own cultural comfort zone. But isn't that true of everyone at times? Don't we all have things, struggles, ISSUES where we need to be met where we are?

How can we love America, the country of my birthright, and Kim's and Jessie's, and not LOVE the process of the melting pot? Sure, some of us have been "stewing" in the melting pot longer than others, but if everyone who ever immigrated to America assimilated and learned the native language... Well, then... Shouldn't we all be speaking Wampanoag, the language spoken by Squanto and the Patuxet band of indigenous people who greeted the Pilgrims at Plymouth Rock?

English has the largest vocabulary of any other language in the world, in part because every wave of immigrants has brought words from their native language that have been incorporated DIRECTLY into English. Words like democracy, metropolis, monsoon, iguana, bagel, opera, tobacco, pashmina, sushi and nugget; never mind "venti cappuccino."

One last thought while I'm up here on my soapbox. I agree that the concept of "political correctness" is a bad thing. When everyone tip toes around one other, they can't have a true dialogue. Being Pollitically Correct gives truly racist people a cloak of bland language and a handy glossary of "non offensive" terms to hide behind, and true racism goes unchecked. Everyone soothes themselves by surrounding themselves with people who agree with they already think, and no one learns from people who think differently.

Anyway. I don't know if anyone is even checking this thread anymore, and I don't want to start a flame war. If anyone wants to continue this conversation, or answer the question I posed before- Why does it bother you to deal with people who struggle with English? Is it simply the inconvenience?- feel free to email me at Thanks for listening!