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Quote of the month...

"Standing tall is a very admirable thing. There are very few stories in history of heroes who slouched to the rescue. Likewise, most individuals don't look up to people who are drooped over."
from Leven Thumps and the Wrath of Ezra by Obert Skye

my family

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Happy Birthday Robby!

This is a story about choices, I thought a lot about how to present this birthday tribute since all the parties have access to this blog and I don't want any offense or misunderstandings....

Eight years ago I was awakened by the phone to tell me that at 6:27 AM in California my nephew, Brandon James, had been born. He weighed in at 5 lbs 11 ozs and was 19 1/2 inches long. He was about a month early.
Here he is with his birth mom, Traci. Traci is my sister-in-law. Through a series of choices, she had to come back to Vegas to take care of some business. He was about a week old for this trip.
I was able to babysit him while she did what was needed. He was the smallest baby I had ever held. I took these pictures of him with the kids and did a baby doll comparison. He was so tiny, that he was lost in my sling when we went for a walk. I laid him on my arm and he was just a bit longer than finger-tip to elbow!Little did we know, that soon he would come to be more a part of our lives.... Traci made a few more unwise choices and BJ {as we called him at the time} was removed from her care and placed in Child Haven at 1 month old. I was added to the list of those able to visit him. I went everyday Mon-Fri to visit for the lunch hour. In order to do this, I had to get a babysitter for my three children. {Thank-goodness for Relief Society and visiting teachers! It was actually one of the ladies that I visited who volunteered to watch them. She had gone through a similar experience.} Traci came when she could. He spent 2 months at Child Haven. Eventually we were given temporary custody of BJ and he came home with us. She had visiting rights and came over when she could. By summer it was decided that the best thing for everybody would be for her to relinquish her parental rights. We also decided that if we were going to be his parents, we wanted him to have a fresh start and a new name, we stared calling him Robby and planned to give him Grandpa's name when the adoption was finished. When Robby was 1, we moved to another state and she went back to CA. We had to start all over again in the adoption process... In Dec 2003, the adoption was finalized and on his birthday in 2004 we had him sealed in the Temple. Shortly after this, Savanna and Robby were fighting and she said, "I wish you weren't my brother!" Robby replied, "Well, I'm a Keiser forever now!"

Now four years later, he is preparing to be baptised. Pictures of that event will be posted as soon as it happens.

Happy 8th Robby! His cake didn't turn out quite how I had planned. The pink was supposed to be red! and I was going to write on the top, but it didn't work, so all he got was an 'R' that ran down the sideHe has some contact with his birth mother since she is a part of the family. Some days are hard. I imagine that she also has hard days. She does have 2 more boys that she is busy with.

Following is a song by Michael McLean on adoption.

From God's Arms, To My Arms, To Yours

So many wrong decisions in my past, I'm not quite sure If I can ever hope to trust my judgement anymore. But lately I've been thinking, Cause it's all I've had to do. And in my heart I feel that I Should give this child to you. And maybe, you could tell your baby, When you love him so, that he's been loved before, By someone, who delivered your son, From God's arms, to my arms, to yours.

If you choose to tell him, If he wants to know, How the one who gave him life Could bear to let him go. Just tell him there were sleepless nights, I prayed and paced the floors, And knew the only peace I'd find, Was if this child was yours. And maybe, you could tell your baby, When you love him so, that he's been loved before,By someone, who delivered your son, From God's arms, to my arms, to yours.

This may not be the answer, For another girl like me. But I'm not on a soapbox, Saying how we all should be. I'm just trusting in my feelings, And I'm trusting God above, And I'm trusting you can give this baby Both his mothers' love. And maybe, you could tell your baby, When you love him so, that he's been loved before, By someone, who delivered your son, From God's arms, to my arms, to yours.

(This poem was based on the writings of a young birth mother, whom she shared with songwriter Michael McClean. It has been set to music and comes with a 100% guarantee that no one who has been involved with adoption in any way will make it all the way through with dry eyes! )
© Michael McLean

A short story I wrote:

The Adopted
by Carrie Keiser

Two men sat side by side on a park bench discussing life while they waited for the afternoon bus. One thing led to another and the subject of childhood was brought up. Each was from an adoptive family, but had very different feelings on the subject. The man on the right was Pason, a tall, dark-haired, dark-eyed strong young man of 25. The man on the left, who goes by the name of Simeon, (but who's given name is Jake) is a short, stocky, sandy-haired, blue-eyed young man of 27.
Pason shared his tale first:
"I grew up in a loving home surrounded by parents and siblings who gave all the love and material possessions I was in need of. My birth mother, cousin to my mother, loved me and though she was unable to care for me as was needed, she knew the best gift she could give me would be to allow me these luxuries: two parents with a stable job and home life. Her heart was torn but the pains were eased as she was allowed small glimpses into my life as I grew. When the time came to reunite with the woman who gave me the gift of life and the gift of a loving family, the reunion was sweet. She shared with me the life I knew not and her struggles to find her place. In time, she was able to find a decent man and they had children, all of which were told about the brother they had and were also shown the glimpses she had been given. They are wonderful people and I enjoy my new-found relationship with them as a brother and son ." Bursting with joy, Pason turned to Simeon and asked, "How does my story compare with yours?"
Simeon felt a bit of jealously toward Pason, as his story was somewhat different. He drew in a long breath and then related his tale:
"I was removed from my birth mother's care as she was having some troubles in her life at that time. I spent some time in a home and later was given to family members who were more than willing to care for me. The family had already four children and I made five. They all loved me without question and were SO happy to have me in their midst. They desired to make me a permanent legal part of their family. Even calling me Simeon, after a great-grandfather, as they had wanted to change my name when I was fully adopted. But, alas, my birth mother was prideful and spiteful towards them saying she had never had a chance and that they never once cared to help her ... it was hard on all the family ... from both sides ... she seemed unaware of the great blessing they were giving her by keeping me within the family and therefore I was not lost in the world to her or them. My birth mother moved around a bit and had a few relationships which resulted in a broken heart and a few half-siblings . Finally, she was able to find herself and a man who she could stick to ..... they are quite happy. She made some difficult decisions and has had to live with those choices. My family (for they are my family, though not in name) and her have never quite recovered from some of those choices. They spent many years and quite a bit of money on their quest to get me adopted. My birth mother made promises of letting them adopt, but once she was given what she sought (to be a small part of my life), she failed to fulfill her part. My parents were happy to share my life with her, as they were ever grateful of the gift she gave to them (me), but she would never release her hold over the fact that she gave birth to me and thus I was hers. It is SO sad that she felt the need to hold back the blessings of a full-fledged family from me. I feel as though there are two parts of me: the Simeon side that had a great family, but yet was not quite a real part of it and the Jake side of me that has a mother, half-siblings and step-father but even less a part of them. Oh, I wonder if I shall ever fit in?" his voice trailed off as Simeon stared down at his hands.
After the tale was over, the two men sat on the bench lost in thought. Pason never realized what a blessing it had been to be an adopted child in a family completely. He never understood that one could be part of a family but not truly a part of it. He felt sorrow for the man sitting next to him, his new-found friend. While Pason had these feelings, Simeon was thinking about the man sitting next to him, too. He felt glad that Pason had had the kind of life he always wanted, but still sad that he had been denied it. "Such is life," he mused. "Each is given their own set of problems, and I must learn to grow from mine."
The two men, staring at nothing, sat quiet and lost in their own thoughts never again speaking. As the bus pulled up to take them to their different worlds, they exchanged a look of understanding and parted ways each with a little different outlook on life.


Holly said...

Beautiful post Carrie. I'm touched beyond words. Happy Birthday Robby!

carrie & troy keiser said...

Holly- Thanks. I was re-reading it for mistakes and it brought tears to my own eyes! {sniff, sniff, sheesh!}

crystal said...

What a wonderful story! I had always wondered about Robbie's story--never had any idea it was such a sweet one. You are an amazing family, Carrie. :)

carrie & troy keiser said...

Crystal- Thanks, there are plenty of days that I feel more like an insane family... I needed that! :)

Andrea said...

Robby is definitely blessed to have you for a mom, just as you are blessed to have him for a son. :) Happy Birthday, Robby!

And thank you so much for sharing this tale.

Are You Serious! said...

It always amazes me the way things fall into place the way the Lord had you living in the same place that she would end up and then you ultimately being able to provide a family for Robby!

I love that song by Michael McLean... He such a talented writer!

Dancin Queen said...

I admit I was curious, I figured there was some story there somewhere. What a cute and lucky kid to have you as a mom.

Tear-jerking post. =)

carrie & troy keiser said...

Andrea- You're welcome. Thanks we are all blessed.
Serious- We could see the hand of the Lord in this placement and how everything fell inot place. Right place at the right time! We saw Michael McLean and Kenneth Cope at Time Out For Women this past April. MM played that song.
DQ- Thanks, I almost can't read the post myself!

Debra said...

What an amazing story... a true Miracle that by following the Lord he was brought into your life.

I love that song by Michael McLean.

happy Birthday Robby!

Debra said...

I tagged you AGAIN!!!! This evenings post. have FUN!

carrie & troy keiser said...

Debra- yup, and I really didn't want to move back to Vegas, but we did and then we got Robby. Will check out the tag, thanks.

angie said...

What a wonderful post about Robbie........can't wait to see his baptism pictures. My daughter is getting baptized soon here, too.

carrie & troy keiser said...

Angie- Thanks he's a great kid and stubborn as all get-out too! :) will be looking for your daughter's big day shots! :)

Cara said...

What a wonderful post. Both my girls are adopted and Cassidy was little like Robby when she was born. It was so fun because she stayed "a baby" for a long time since she was so small. He's lucky to have you as his family!

carrie & troy keiser said...

Cara- Thanks, somedays I'm not sure he thinks he lucky!

Cecily R said...

Oh, I'm so glad you posted Robby's story!! I know he was meant to be a part of your family...what a lucky kid he is!

Happiest Birthday Robby!!

KATE said...

Happy Birthday Robby!!!

Carrie, I have such a tender spot in my heart for adoptive parents! What a sweet sweet story! I'm so glad Robby is a "Keiser Forever" too!
What a sweet family you have!

onehm said...

What a great story!
I know that Robby is so lucky to have you as his mother, and I know from experience that you feel blessed to have him as your son! Thanks for sharing your story!!

carrie & troy keiser said...

Onehm- you're welcome, thanks for stopping by and checking it out.

Shellie said...

I just love a great adoption!I'm glad you have each other!!!

SuperCoolMom said...

We're stuck with a little Simeon. Dad left him with us and left the state. We haven't had any contact for 6 years, but don't have the money to get a lawyer and file for abandonment and get him officially adopted. (Yet.) It is kind of sad for him, but better to be with us than the alternative.

latree said...

very touching. he's blessed to find you