Friday, January 28, 2011

Katie's Story So Far

My life has been nothing short of a very extreme, loopy, up and down roller coaster ride. Over the past six years I have battled with substance abuse, an abusive husband, divorce, single parenting my wonderful 3 year old son Kade Barclay Koutz, the adoption of my beautiful little girl Azlyn Kate McEnaney (born 1/16/09), and also the adoption of my baby boy Liam James McEnaney (born 10/19/10).

My son Kade was born 3/29/07, he was 2 months early and weighed 4lbs 13oz. All anyone talked to me about was adoption. To tell you the truth I did not want to hear anything about it. When I held Kade for the first time, I promised him that no mater what I would do whatever it took to take the best care of him that I could, and be the best Mommy to him as possible. I went through my first pregnancy completely alone. Not even my husband at my side. I delivered him completely alone with only my friend Tawna to offer me support. My family did not support my choice in keeping him, so they were not around. My family eventually came around, but did not drop the possibility of placing him until the age of 3.5. (don't think my family is awful. They are wonderful, they just knew what was better for me than I did at the time.)

My husband was finally back in the picture. He seemed to be a better person then before, so we tried being "us" again. I got pregnant with our daughter quickly. I began pre-term labor at 24 weeks and had do be hospitalised and put on magnesium to stop Azlyn from coming. Then I was sent home with lots of labor stopping medications and on strict bed rest, with 3 Doctors appointments a week. My Mom, had to move in with me to help take care of Kade and myself until I delivered her.

At 6 months, Charlie flipped a switch inside of himself and became abusive once again. This time while I was pregnant with his daughter. The next day I filed for divorce, and a few days after that had this overwhelming feeling that I should place Azlyn for adoption. (Not one person had mentioned adoption my entire pregnancy.) It was around midnight when I reached the decision
to place her. I called my sister Merri right away, and asked her to contact her friend Dara who used to work with her here in AZ in Labor and Delivery. (Merri mentioned Dara to me often when I was pregnant with Kade, telling me I should consider them to adopt him.)

I knew that if I called my entire family in my moment of clarity, than I would actually go through with it. My sister contacted Dara a few days later to ask her if they were interested in adoption, since they had been trying for years to have a baby with no success. They were not certified to adopt, but hurried to start and complete the process. It was so ironic... They already had airplane tickets to fly from Utah to Arizona a few days later, to visit their family that lives here. We got to meet, and I knew instantly that they were meant to be her parents. I fought it, and did not like the answers I kept receiving, but I followed through with them. It honestly was so comfortable with them, like I have always known them.

In one month exactly from the day they got the call from my sister, they were certified to adopt. and boy was it a good thing. It was January 15th, the day they certified, my Husbands birthday, and 4 weeks until my due date. Wouldn't you know I go into labor. I refused to push and have her on his birthday. I was so relieved when I had her January 16th. It went beautifully. Dara and Jim arrived shortly after she was born, and we spent most of the time in the hospital together.

It was time to leave the hospital, and I completely fell apart. (FYI any mom's about to place... I did not sleep for 7 days strait after delivering her.) I was completely out of it. We did not leave the hospital together, but we were in close contact, and I got to see them a few times before they headed back home.

Well time went by, and I really never recovered from the pain of my divorce, nor the placement of Azlyn. I just felt empty. I thought I could do all of this myself, no counseling, and no talking about it. I pulled away from everyone. 13 months after Azlyn was born I found myself pregnant again, this time with a little boy. I was lonely, did not have the spirit with me and really wanted to Keep him. At 20 weeks, I was restless and stressed. I had told my entire family about the pregnancy, however I had not told Dara and Jim (my adoptive couple). I still did not know if I was going to parent or place. I was more nervous to tell Dara about this pregnancy than anyone in the world. I did not want to hurt her, or disappoint her. I finally got the nerve up to call her, with ALL of my sisters cheering me on in the background (at Amazing Jake's of all places, a kids play world). They all reassure me that Dara would not hate me. So I did it, I called her and burst into tears. I told her I just wanted her to know the circumstances... That I was not sure about placement yet, but I asked her to pray about like I was, and discuss it with Jim to see if it was even a possibility. She told me how much she loved me, and that no matter what I chose she would not be disappointed or hate me. Whew... I had done the hardest part so far!

Wouldn't ya know it. Dara and Azlyn had plans to come to Arizona again, before I had even told them. So they immediately were down here again just like when I met them for the first time to discuss them adopting Azlyn. I had no clue if her and Jim were even considering adopting again, or if they were even willing to adopt this baby from me. We just sat and talked for hours, and visited just like we always did. We never really even talked about me being pregnant. Then at the very end I quietly asked her if they even wanted a second child, and so soon. She responded that they had discussed it, and if I wanted to place him, they would love to be his parents. I had no intentions of giving her an answer during this visit, because I had not thought about placing him or keeping him much at all. I burst into tears, and said he is meant to be with you, Jim, and Azlyn. If I don't ask you now to adopt him, I know I never will. I was sobbing, and Dara and my sister Merri both just held me. We talked for hours after that too, while I cried almost the entire time. (I also had no idea her family was waiting out in the driveway for the 2 or 3 hours we were talking about this part.) I asked Dara if they had thought of any names, and she told me they had picked Liam James, which made my heart start doing flips.... A few days before, I had named him, and he was going to be Linken John. He is still an LJ. I love it!!!

I began pre-term labor with Liam at 23 weeks, but only had to be on modified bed rest. With numerous trips to triage to get shots of terb. to slow my contractions. Dara came down a few weeks early this time to be here for the delivery (with my track record we had no idea when to expect Liam's arrival). Three weeks before my due date of November 5th he was born. Oct. 19,2010 weighing 6lbs 14oz. He was perfect! Dara was not only in the delivery room, but my doctor allowed her to deliver Liam herself. It was amazing having Dara lay Liam on my chest!

This time when leaving the hospital we kept it low key. Dara, Liam, and I all left together and went to my sisters house and spent the entire day together (visiting, talking, playing with all of our kids, and eating Thai food). We had numerous slumber parties where Dara allowed me to have Liam with me all night each time. It was so nice, and I would not change the way we did any of it. My son Kade knows Azlyn and Liam as his brother and sister, and they all love being around each other. We talk on the phone often, have visits often, and Skype also. They also send me monthly updates of the kids with tons of pictures. They have become a part of my family.

Dara and I have never been threatened by each other because we both know our rolls with these beautiful angel babies. We have mutual love for each other and these children, which is all a part of why we can be so close. It's all about communication and respect! There is a quote I love: "He is mine in a way that he will never be hers, yet he is hers in a way that he will never be mine, and so together, we are motherhood." ~desha wood
My life is finally on the right track. I am going through the temple for my first time March 26,2011 and this time will also get to be inside the temple with Dara, Jim, Azlyn, and Liam watching him get sealed to his family for time and all eternity. Just one of the many reasons I placed Azlyn and Liam in the first place.

I have never regretted my decision to place Azlyn and Liam. It was not always easy, but it has always been worth it. Now I am also able to keep that promise I made to Kade the first time I held him, that I would always do my best to take care of him the way he deserves. Azlyn and Liam have the most wonderful parents I have ever met, and I am proud that I have lived in such a way that I got them to where they belong. I am sure we all knew up in heaven what the plans were going to be, and I know I agreed to get them to their family. They made it! I have faith that one day Kade and I will have that too.

Kanceled Meetings, 16 in. Snow, & Distant Memories

This week my Dad went to New Jersey on business (mainly for an important meeting). A huge snow storm hit leaving 16 in. of snow on the ground, thus causing the meeting to be canceled. My Dad had to dig his car out of the snow to get into it. He decided to drive to Cherry Hill which was near where he was, and is where we lived when I was little. He snapped a picture to send all of us. It is so neat seeing places from my childhood. At least something good came from my Dad flying to New Jersey.

My parents just informed me that this is the house that I got my head stuck in the banister=) I have always been mischievous LOL!

Also this is where I sprayed Natalie with the hose when she was doing her cute little poses outside, and she had a meltdown. (It's on our family video)

Katie & Chelsey's Break-In Adventure

While I was in Colorado for a week with my Sister Tiffany, she got me very motivated to work out. We did Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred, and also went to the gym and did a Zumba class. I was the funnest workout I have ever done. Anyways, she set a great example for me, and i'm continuing to work out back here in Arizona.
Last night I went over to Chelsey's apartments to hang out with her, work out in the apartments gym, and then sit in the hot tub. We had it all planned, got dressed, and went down to the gym that was supposed to be open 24-7. We get to the gym and it's locked, so Chelsey pulls a bobby-pin out of her hair and picked the lock. It seriously took her seconds. It was hilarious... I swore she was gonna open the door and sirens were going to go off, but we were all good=)
Here is Chelsey picking the lock
Me doing the elliptical machine
Chelsey strutting her stuff
I swear I worked out more than this
Not a flattering picture at all, I only put it up to do my part in updating my weight loss. Another weigh in and update is coming soon.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Kute Flowers & Killer Massages: Birth Mother's Pamper Night

Tonight was my first Pamper Night at my Birth Mother's Group since being involved with Adoption and LDS Family Services for over two years. (Right before Azlyn was born) It was amazing to see so many "Big Tough Girls", and I was delighted to see how many adorable mother's were there with the beautiful babies they adopted from numerous girls in our group. I love the way adoption is now. I wouldn't have it any other way!

There were numerous things to do at pamper night (manicures, facials, massages, and hair bow making), and many wonderful woman volunteered to render their service free of charge. The ones I interacted with were all amazing, and helped make it a successful and perfect night.

I mingled with all the girls, and then sat down to make my beautiful flower. Megan Hilton set it all up and brought tons of material and clips etc... for us to make whatever kind of flower we wanted. She was so sweet and awfully generous to do all of this with us girls. I love my flower. Thanks Megan you are so sweet and talented!

This is the flower I made. Not bad for my first one.
This one Megan made=) I can't get over how cute they are!

After I made my flower I got called to go back and get my massage. I have never had a real massage before this. We had 2 professional Massage Therapists come volunteer to give us real deal massages, Jenny Gibbons who I have always just loved, and also Christy who I met at the FSA Conference. Christy is who massaged me, and I just fell in love with her. (Not just because she gives killer massages), but she was so exuberant, kind, and easy to get along with. I hope she does not mind me sharing a little! She told me that her and her husband had just gotten certified to adopt 2 weeks prior, and they were looking so forward to all the wonderful things that were coming their way. She was so positive and upbeat. We exchanged blogs (, and I hope we stay in touch.

I love advocating for some of the couples that really touch me. Christy and Jenny are two that I really just love. Every time I ever heard of a great lead I would call or e-mail Jenny, and now I will have them both in my mind and prayers.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Killing This Weight Thing!

At the beginning of the year I made a new years resolution. Never before have I followed through with one. I said I would loose weight (in a healthy way) and track my weight and progress on here. It helps motivate me as well as disgust me at far I had let myself go.
I started the HCG diet, and am loving it. I really am eating healthy and feeling great. My beginning weight was a whopping 192.5! I had no idea I weighed that much and was severely disturbed. So I started my diet and now on day 12 I weigh 179. I have lost a total amount of 13.5 lbs. in 12 days!!! Last night I even worked out for the 2nd time since having Liam. Tiffany and I did the 30 day shred by Jillian Michael's. It kicked my trash, but I loved every second of it, and thanks to Tiffany and Merri's awesome Christmas gift I looked stylish in my awesome new work out clothes. And when I go back to the Valley from Colorado I have my own Jillian Michael's work out DVD, and the weights to go with it.
I know I have a long way to go, but I am proud of my hard work. Eating healthy and watching your portions really pays off.
Oh yeah, and I still have not had a drop of soda since last year=) I am killing this weight thing!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Kade's Ear Mystery

Kade woke up in the morning (on Jan. 26,2011) and was bleeding out of his ear. Not only was the entire right side of his covered in blood, but his right ear had a solid plug of blood in it. I took him to his Doctor and they said we have to get to an ENT today because he may have a tumor. They need better instruments to see better, but they saw something growing in his ear that shouldn't be. They were going to get us in the same day if possible with an ENT. She called immediately as I was checking out. I later received a phone call from her with the earliest appointment being first thing in the morning. (It was the longest night of my life, wondering if my baby had a tumor.) We woke up and went directly to Dr. Gonzalez, who was amazing! He looked in Kade's ear... Great news. NO TUMOR! He said there was lots of granulated tissue & blood. He gave us drops to clear out his ear & in 2 weeks we go back to see his ear drum, & see if he needs tubes again, or another kind of surgery. When he heard our Doctor even mentioned a tumor he was annoyed. 24 hours of severe anxiety for little reason. I will take tubes or some other ear surgery over tumors any day!
Here are some pictures below, the first is a normal ear, and the rest are like Kade's.
Above: Normally the ear tube sits in the eardrum, held in place with an inner and outer phalange.

Above 2 Pictures:The inner layer of the eardrum heals behind the ear tube and begins to push it out. This causes the tube to plug while it is still in the eardrum.

Above: In cases of "granuloma" formation the inner layer of the eardrum will sometimes grow out through the tube's lumen and a mass of blood vessel forms over the tube. This mass of blood vessels forms a ball which can fill the ear canal. It often bleeds and drains pus.

Above: In other cases of "granuloma" or granulation tissue formation, the granuloma may form next to the ear tube.

Above: Treatment: Treatment consists of steroid containing antibiotic ear drops and removal of the granuloma. Using ear drops alone will often melt the granuloma away over two to three weeks. However, the most effective way to resolve the infection is to remove the granuloma. Because there are no nerve endings in the granuloma it can almost always be removed in the office. It is only attached to the tube by a thin stock and often it can be removed by applying a small amount of suction. Bleeding is brisk but will stop after a cotton ball is placed in the ear canal.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Kutest Little Girl I Know Turns 2

Two years ago today at this exact time (2:47 P.M.), I delivered a beautiful baby girl. Azlyn Kate, weighing 7lbs 3oz. She was perfect. And it was an amazing experience. I knew that I was going to get to be her mother for only a short little time, and I did not want to miss a thing. Not a yawn, a cry, or even a hiccup. I stayed awake for 7 days straight, unable to even sleep for a minute. These few days in the hospital when she was mine was my time to bond with her, to hold her and explain the reasons I am sure she already knew about why I decided to place her with Dara and Jim.
Azlyn was mine for 13 days until January 28th when I signed the adoption paperwork to relinquish my rights and place her in the arms of her new loving family.

She was loved and always wanted, by my family and her own. She brought two families together by agreeing to come here to earth. She had faith enough in me while in heaven to get her here and find her parents. Azlyn knew as did I how difficult this would all be, but she trusted I would do the right thing. She knew that her parents and I would cross paths on earth because of her, and become friends and basically family like we were in heaven. What a brave little girl to have all that faith.

Here we all are at the Relinquishment Party.

I love getting to watch this little miracle grow. I love our visits, the pictures I receive, and adore her parents. Azlyn has the sweetest most happy disposition. She loves life, and is happy in the life she was meant to be a part of. She has a Wonderful older brother Kade, and the cutest little brother Liam.

Azlyn is growing big so fast. Here she is when she was born...

Her First Birthday...

And now her 2nd birthday.

Azlyn I know will grow up healthy, happy, and secure. You are surrounded by love. Adoption just means you have twice the people to love you.

I am eternally grateful to her parents, for allowing me to be in all of their lives. I have no regrets about my choice in placing her. The hole in my heart that was left causing me so much pain was filled each time I saw the twinkle in her eyes while with her parents. Also by bettering myself, and instead of wallowing is self pity, allowing myself to progress and move forward.

You have changed my life Azlyn. You taught me so much about love and sacrifice, and I would not be who I am today if you were not still a part of life. I love you so much, and pray for you and your family daily. As does your big brother Kade. I know you made it to where you belong, and am grateful I still have the great opportunity to love you and watch you grow.

Have a wonderful Birthday Azlyn. I can't wait to see the amazing thing you will do in your life, but for now... Enjoy being 2!

Happy Birthday

Friday, January 14, 2011

Konfident That I Have Been Forgiven

I have found that when repenting for past wrong doings, the most difficult part is forgiving myself and moving forward. I can forgive others when they do hurtful or unkind things, but in the past never did so to myself. I love being in the place that I am now. I finally love being me, and have completely let go of my past. I feel such relief! My hard work and new found self confidence has lead me to one of my ultimate goals.
On Tuesday January 11,2010 I took my last Temple prep class at the Straders home. I have loved taking these 6 fascinating classes with them teaching me. I have learned so many things, and the spirit was so strong. I then drove across the street to my ward building (Cooley Station) and met with the bishop. My main intentions for our meeting was to discuss with him my desire to stay in our ward through February. I recently moved out of Tamy's home and moved into my sister Natalie and her husband Justin's home, until I move to Sierra Vista in March. Bishop Porter agreed saying that he would love Kade and I to remain in the ward. I was ecstatic. He then pulled out his binder, and proceeded to talk to me about my desire to take my Temple prep classes and then go to the Temple. We then went through the list of questions designed to make sure the person is truly prepared and worthy to enter the Temple. Tears began flowing out of my eyes when he filled out my recommend and told me that he felt now seemed like the perfect time for me to go.
Had anyone asked me earlier in my life when I was struggling I would have said that the life style was just not for me, and I would never go to the Temple. I am amazed at how different my life is now. I have such wonderful goals, and so much more drive to better myself and stay on the right path.
I can not wait to go through the Temple and take out my Endowments. What a life changing event. My testimony is the strongest it has ever been, and continuing to grow each day. I will be with the most amazing people in my life the day I go through the temple.
Dara informed me that she and the 2 kids would be coming down for a visit on Feb. 24th, and that she would love to be here the first time I go through. I can't think of a more amazing story to tell Azlyn and Liam once they are older, that their Mom witnessed their Birthmother go through the Temple for the very first time. Then in May the McEnaney's will come back down here again to have Liam sealed to them for time and all eternity. I will be there this time and get to witness this miracle. I will see Azlyn and Liam both dressed in white and inside the walls of the Temple, with their parents. I am so grateful that I was in tune with the spirit enough to make that difficult yet wonderful decision to place both Azlyn and Liam with Dara and Jim. We all were meant to cross paths here on earth. These two precious babies that I gave life, are in the arms of their parents who now will give them an eternal family, and everything else they deserve to have. They will grow up strong and confident and loved. I am so glad that I held up my end of the bargain that I know I made while in Heaven. I know that I knew Dara and Jim, and I know that we were close there. I know that I promised them and the Lord that I would bring these two special little spirits into this world, and go through unimaginable pain while searching for their parents until I located them.
Azlyn and Liam made it! And that is exactly what I cried out in the Bishops office when I was handed my recommend. "I made it!"
Tonight I was reading the children (Ryan, Kade, & Rylee) Scriptures before I put them to bed. I read out of the New Testament that has pictures and appropriate lessons for young children made for them to understand.
Chapter 26
In this scripture,
A Pharisee asked the Savior to come and eat with him at his house. A woman who had many sins knew Jesus was eating at the Pharisee's, and she wanted to do something special for him. She knelt and washed the Savior's feet with her tears. She dried His feet with her hair and kissed them. She put sweet-smelling oil on them too. The Pharisee knew of her many wrong doings, and thought that Jesus should not have let her touch Him. The Savior knew the Pharisee's thoughts, and told him that the woman had done more to care for Him than the Pharisee had. For he had not given Jesus water to wash His feet or oil for His head, as was often done for guests. Jesus told him that the woman's sis were forgiven because she loved the Savior and had faith in Him. Jesus told the woman to go in peace.
While reading to the children, tears began welling up in my eye's and flowing down my cheeks. I am konfident that the Lord has forgiven me, and is rejoicing that I have made it too. This scripture reminds me of the importance of making things right with the Lord, having faith, and and serving Him. This woman was doing all of these things. She showed great love and amazing faith. I am so grateful for the Atonement, and all of the wonderful and great things it has done for me. I am glad I have made it back onto the straight and narrow path. I am such a better Mother, friend, daughter, and Person for fighting til the end.
My family will have no empty chairs!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Kloseness: Kade & Momma

I just have to blog about this because it is so sweet, and so Kade!
Kade and I do just about everything together. We have since he was born, we are best of buds! If I walk away from him and leave him to watch t.v., within minutes I hear him get up and shout "momma, where are you?", until he finds me. I love it most of the time, but it sometimes can make getting anything done difficult.
Today, I laid him down for his nap just as I always do. I had every intention of going in and taking a nap myself, but ended up getting preoccupied on Facebook. I got up to go check on Kade, and this is what I found...
He was fast asleep in my parent's room on the floor next to their bed. (This is not the first time he has done this, just to be near me. Last time however it was on a tile floor in our hallway of our old house in Mesa.) I just love this little guy. I guess he just wanted to be near me for his nap while I was on the computer. He was as quiet as a mouse, I never heard him or saw him. What a sneaky little monkey! Love you Kade, and I can't imagine my world without you.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Konfused & Frustrated

I have grown leaps and bounds over the past 8 months-year. However I still find myself frustrated when I get sad and worked up over missing Azlyn and Liam. I was just organizing pictures into shutterfly, and as I wait for them to download I have been updating my blog. I came across my pictures of the last time I got to spend with Liam before he headed to his new home in Utah. Without me, and once again I am feeling that ache in my chest.
Let me clarify two things for you... I love and miss Azlyn, but time has helped heal the constant pain I felt each day not getting to hold her in my arms. With Liam it is still so fresh. It still hurts! I still get that ache in my heart for him. Also let me add that I am not at all sad for what is, but for what will never be... at least not with Azlyn and Liam that is. I never have regretted placing them with Dara and Jim, but I often think of what could have been.
It feels like just the other day I was holding him, and playing with Azlyn. Now looking at the pictures, it feels like ages ago. I just want to hold him, kiss his perfect little face, and tell him how much I love him. How much I always have and always will. I hate feeling this way! DARN YOU HAPPY HORRIBLE FEELINGS! I will continue to feel, and by doing so, I will continue to progress. I want Liam, Azlyn, and Kade to all be so proud of their Birthmother, and Mother!

Hurry up 6 month mark and get here, so that I can hold you once again, and this won't be the last picture I have of us together.

Kommited To 2011

New Year Resolutions for 2011

Okay, so I googled "what is a New Years Resolution", and this is what I got:

A New Year resolution is a commitment that an individual makes to a personal goal, project, or the reforming of a habit. This lifestyle change is generally interpreted as advantageous. A New Years Resolution is generally a goal someone sets out to accomplish in the coming year. Some examples include resolutions to donate to the poor more often, to become more assertive, or to become more environmentally responsible.

There are religious parallels to this secular tradition. During Judaism's New Year, Rosh Hashanah, through the High Holidays and culminating in Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement), one is to reflect upon one's wrongdoings over the year and both seek and offer forgiveness. People may act similarly during the Christian fasting period of Lent, though the motive behind this holiday is more of sacrifice than of responsibility. The concept, regardless of creed, is to reflect upon self-improvement annually.

Success rate: Recent research shows that while 52% of participants in a resolution study were confident of success with their goals, only 12% actually achieved their goals. Men achieved their goal 22% more often when they engaged in goal setting, (a system where small measurable goals are being set; such as, a pound a week, instead of saying "lose weight"), while women succeeded 10% more when they made their goals public and got support from their friends.

I always set resolutions... Each year in fact, and not once have I ever stuck to one. Research shows that only 12% actually achieve them anyways. That is sick to me. People have no self discipline these days. Me included. This year however is going to be so different from any other for me. I am going to set ATTAINABLE goals, and reach every one of them. I will not "try", because to try leaves room for failure.

IN 2011 I WILL:

  1. I will not drink ANY soda in the year 2011
  2. I will work out on a regular basis (once my tailbone heals)
  3. I will lose a considerable amount of weight by diet and exercise (I am hoping for 50-65 lbs) (I am even going to blog about my progress on weight loss, and yes you will even be in the loop of current weight, and weight loss. SCARY)
  4. I will remain sober=)
  5. I will go through the temple

People rarely commit to something and stick with it. Well this time I am!!! I figure if I can overcome addiction, and place two babies for adoption, I can do anything! And I am going to prove it to myself!

My goal in one year (maybe a little longer is to get back to this, this time in a healthy way.)