accidental existence

Life, one sentence at a time

“…so maybe I try too hard, but it’s all because of this desire…” May 23, 2018

Filed under: Uncategorized — emletterman @ 3:55 pm

I was recently reminded everyone looks at the world differently.
Then I felt the full weight of it.

It came from the most unlikely of places.
Are you team Yanny or team Laurel?

FTR, I’m a Yanny.

The debate circled me all day on social.
But it was an All Things Considered story that made me think.
The guest explained the science — high pitch vs. low pitch.
It was fascinating.
Two people can hear the same clip and yet interpret it completely differently.
Two people can look at the same dress and see something different.
Two people should sense the same thing.
But they don’t.

“That’s why eyewitnesses are so unreliable. People see things differently,” Adam said.

It’s true.
I know it’s true.
It’s in the back of my mind somewhere.
But who really stops to think about that?

How can you see differently?
What else am I hearing differently?
What am I seeing that you’re not?

The debate coincided with more baby mama drama.
No, she didn’t got to the doctor yet.
Despite having an appointment Monday.
And yes, she wants more money for everything.

I still want to scream.
It feels like we are being punished for someone else’s bad life decisions.

What if she is team Laurel?
She didn’t make poor life decisions.
She entered into a contract with a couple for a service.
She has rights to make demands on that contact.

Yanny wants to say get a job.
Buy your own food.
Hell, sign up for some government assistance.
But things look different when you’re Laurel.

It’s not even two sides to the same coin.
Or walking a mile in someone’s shoes.
It’s two wildly different world views through the same set of eyes.

I’m fixated on one thing.
So is she.
It’s the same thing.
But not.
It’s a baby.
It’s a paycheck.

Maybe I’m just blind.

That damn dress is white and gold.

My filter is me.
I don’t understand her filter.
But I’m working on it.

134 days and counting.


Is this a pug or a duck?



“…and there are times, I lose my worried mind…” May 18, 2018

Filed under: Uncategorized — emletterman @ 9:21 am

Today is a weird day.
It’s been a weird week.

Today, a co-worker and friend announced her pregnancy.
I’m beyond excited for her.
She is going to be a wonderful mom.
Baby is due in October.
Just after #letterbaby.
We’ll be moms together.

We hugged, we laughed, we shared stories so far.
She looks adorable with her little bump.

Then I went back to my desk.
And there is a pit in my stomach I can’t explain.

It’s not jealousy.
But it is.
It’s not sadness.
But it is.
It’s not anything.
But it is.

I came to terms with the facts a long time ago.
It took me months.
But I did.
And I was happy.
I am happy.

I think it’s the sudden shock of it all.
Someone getting everything I ever wanted in the blink of an eye.
The blink of my eye.

It’s not fair to compare.
Everybody becomes a parent in a different way.
Some conceive naturally.
Some use donor sperm.
Or surrogates.
Or adopt.
Or become a step-mother.

Each one is perfect.
Each one is beautiful in it’s own way.
And the outcome is the same.
A child receives love.

When I logic it out, there is no reason for this pit.
But there it is in my stomach just the same.

It’s been a week of challenges.
#letterbaby’s birthmom isn’t going to the doctor.
She last went at 12 weeks.
That was 8 weeks ago.
I want her to go.
I need her to go.
But I can’t force her.
I want to force her.
But I can’t force her.

This is the biggest thing that has ever happened to me.
That will ever happen to me.
I want to know everything.
I want to triple check everything.
But I can’t.
It’s beyond frustrating.

I make lists.
I plan.
I like to be in control of every situation.
I have no control.
At all.
I want to force her.

Every time she asks for more money I want to scream.
I want to scream.
I want to force her.

Then Adam talks me off the ledge.
Like the rock he is.
He calms me in a way nobody else can.

So today has been a weird day.
And this has been a weird week.
And so it will go on until October.
When I hold that little baby.
Cry all the tears.
And know it has all been worth it.

Until then.


We wait.


“…love turns the whole thing around…” May 4, 2018

Filed under: Uncategorized — emletterman @ 1:47 pm

These last two weeks.

After all of our hoping.
All of our dreaming.
The long tearful nights.
Stressful doctor’s appointments.

We’re finally matched with a birth mom.

I just typed that.
For real.
It’s surreal.

We can’t stop smiling.

It’s been seven days since we found out we were matched.
I can think of nothing else.
We were sitting at a Sam’s Club gas station in Evansville, Indiana, on the way to Lincoln’s Boyhood Home when we got the news.
I’ll never forget it.

It’s been two weeks since we learned of the possibility.
I was in the hospital cafeteria with my boss, grabbing a bite between meetings.
My phone buzzed.
It was the agency.
I picked up and asked if I could call her back in 5 minutes as I returned to my office.
Sitting here in my fifth-floor office I had my first glimmer of hope.
I birth mom fit our criteria, were we interested?

We’d made it this far in the process before.
We’ve been shown to multiple birth moms.
But nobody ever picked us.

This one felt different.
I don’t know what it was, but from the moment I hung up that phone I knew.
This was it.
Letterbaby had found us.

We waited anxiously for over a week.
She’s just taking her time, we said.
This is a big decision, we said.
Let’s go on vacation and try not to worry about it, we said.

Then in an instant your life changes.
Her life changes.
A baby’s life changes.

As we drove through Indiana we barely spoke.
Shock, mostly.

I was incredibly overcome with happiness and sadness in that moment.
This unbeilable joy for me is a great sadness for another.

There’s also the practical side nobody talks about.
Like how you have to wire funds within 72 hours of a match.
A downpayment on a baby.
Or how wire transfers can only be done in person.
There are no Great Southern Banks in Cincinnati.
So we cut our trip short and landed at the first branch we could in STL.

Since going social yesterday, I’ve been amazed by you.
Your outpouring of love and support has meant so much on this journey.
You squealed with joy at our news.
You hugged.
You congratulated.
And you cried.

So many of you cried.

It made me cry all over again.

For five years, our friends and family have been by our side.
You’re invested in this.
And it means the world.

Many have asked for details.
And I don’t blame you, I would be curious, too.
We’ve been extremely open throughout this process.
Infertility is nothing to be ashamed of.
It happens to 1 in 8 families.
And adoption should be celebrated.
However, the law is the law and there are many details we just can’t share right now.

For those wondering, no we do not know the gender yet.
Our birth mom is only 12 weeks along.
Yes, we do have a sonogram picture.
We already treasure it.
Birth parents live in Kansas, so we won’t have too far to travel.
Everyone is healthy and well.

Adam has already had a conversation with the kids about their new human sibling.
Eddie seems excited.
Chuck was indifferent.

I’ve already begun work on the nursery.

We continue to fundraise. 
Adam continues to work his second job.
I’m still baking.
Don’t forget July 14 at 1984. 
Get your game on.

Our second homestudy visit is this week.
The paperwork never ends.

But, for the first time, there is light at the end of the tunnel.
And that makes all the difference.


a lifetime of feelings


“…and that’s the way the wheel keeps working now…” April 17, 2018

Filed under: Uncategorized — emletterman @ 10:01 am

I’m addicted to “Call the Midwife.”

It’s April 17.
It’s 4-17 day in 417 land.
Somebody should really organize a festival.
Or at the very least, we should get discount food somewhere.

Starbucks and Philly.
Makes me feel guilty for being white.
Privilege, if you don’t get the fuss, you probably have it.

“One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship.”
Make America Great Again.
“Power is in tearing human minds to pieces and putting them together again in new shapes of your own choosing.”
“It’s a beautiful thing, the destruction of words.”
I have the best words.
“Doublethink means the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them.”
Nineteen female accusers. Pillar of Christian values.

Adam has to work every night this week.
I love him for it.
Imma eat salad and clean out the nursery.
I’m addicted to this lemon poppyseed chop salad.
Kale, broccoli, cranberry, dried couscous.

I think I finally decided on an accent wall design.
I was over Pintersted.

DSW isn’t as great as everybody said it would be.

I did a thing Sunday.
I bought a crib.
It’s beautiful.
Trying to contain my excitement.

Before you ask, no, there is no news.

I ate at Chipotle a couple weeks ago.
I ordered guac.
It was extra.
My scoop of “guac” was literally a whole avocado half.
I tweeted a picture.
Chipotle sent me a free burrito coupon.
Behold the power of social media.

I like Dunkin’ black over Starbucks black.

I bought some work pants recently.
They are a size smaller.
That’s four sizes smaller than 2.5 years ago.

I penned a blog during a Weight Watchers meeting last week.
I was so angry, so frustrated, so jealous, so sad.
In that minute, I had to write.
I never posted it.
A friend of a friend knows a girl.
She’s 14.
She had a baby in February.
It was addicted to heroin.
So is she.
She’s also pregnant again.

I’m drinking Dunkin’ right now.

“Gilmore Guys” is my new jam.
By jam I mean spoken-work podcast.

Baby shower timing: How does it work when adopting?

We learned a new law this week.
Baby must remain in the same state as birthmom until paperwork clears the court.
That’s an average seven to 10-day process.
That’s the first seven to 10 days of life with #Letterbaby in a hotel room.
No comfort. No routine. All the others guests hate you.
Helluva thing.

I never thought I’d be the type of person who wore beige flats.
I thought wrong.

MIL spent a week in Kentucky visiting family.
Long story short, we have a lot of bourbon.

I wish I was better at sewing.
I’ve been thinking of taking a class.

Anybody need baked goods?
At the ready.


Me enjoying today’s forecast. #doublechinsforlife





“…sitting in the slow-mo and listening to the daylight…” March 15, 2018

Filed under: Uncategorized — emletterman @ 4:15 pm

It’s been a day.
I dropped some F-bombs.
By some, I mean a lot.
My boss is cool.

A walk through the hospital always helps.
Get some steps.
Take a brain break.

Do your kids play summer baseball through the Park Board?
Be on the lookout for Adam.
He the newest part-time scorekeeper at Killian.
All funds go toward Letterbaby.

ME: Are you sure you can handle a part-time job? You’re so tired already.
HIM: I always said I would do anything I had to do to take care of my family. This is what I need to do.
ME: *swoon*

God, I love this man.

I’ve put feelers out with a lot of local bake shop for part-time work, but no luck.
If Adam’s going to be gone, I may as well work, too.
Double the fun.

It’s 73 degrees outside right now.
I’m sitting at my desk.
Jelly now, happy when its 97 degrees outside this summer.

Worked a volunteer shift at the Plaid Door last weekend.
I got a spring dress for $3.
It’s the little things in life.

The president was in our fair state yesterday.
Online posts were divisive.
As always.
One read: Politics aside, it’s always an honor to meeting a sitting president.
It’s not an honor to meet a man who puts his own opinion of himself above all else.
A man who’s making a mockery of an honorable position.
Another read: Respect the position even if you don’t respect the man.
Respect isn’t demanded, it’s earned.
When he shows that position the respect it deserves, I’ll reciprocate.

I’m not holding my breath.

Another hot barre class tonight.
I think I’m becoming addicted.
It’s a good sweat.

My last blog was very sad.
So sad, many friends reached out with words of support.
It’s appreciated.
I’m fine.
I have my moments.
Writing always helps.

I’ve recently started drinking diet Dr. Pepper.
My whole life, I’ve hated diet pop.
Can’t stand the fake sugar aftertaste.
I dunno what happened.
With diet Dr. Pepper, it’s not so bad anymore.
Plus, they have it on fountain in the cafeteria.

It’s St. Pats weekend.
Work potluck tomorrow.
I’m making orange-currant Irish soda bread tonight.

I bought a new yoga mat.
½ inch thick
Those mats measured in millimeters were killing my knee.
I have a bad knee.
Fell on a concrete floor as a cub reporter.
Yes, Adam, I know I should have told HR.
My new mat is bulky.
It’s like I’m a kindergartener going to nap time.
The other ladies are gonna look at me funny.

We’re having grilled cheese and soup for dinner.
I’m thrilled about it.
I have special soup and sandwhich plates.
They are adorable.
I don’t use them enough.

I’ve recently started listening to podcasts.
I can edit while other people talk, but it’s hard to write.
Today was an episode of My Favorite Murderer, Gilmore Guys and two Modern Loves.
I like it.
Then back to Pandora.

Tomorrow is Friday.

Irish pug is Irish.





“…half of my heart takes time…” February 28, 2018

Filed under: Uncategorized — emletterman @ 5:07 pm

“I know the wait is hard.”

That’s how every email ends.
Every rejection.
Every time we’re passed by.

It’s the understatement of a lifetime.

The adoption agency sends a report each month.
“We’ve matched one family this month and are working with another birthmother.”
They keep it vague.
But it still hurts.

Why did the birthmother select that family?
What did they say that we didn’t?
What’s wrong with us?

Today wasn’t a good day.
Because last night, we received and email about a birthmother right here in Springfield(!!).
She fit our criteria and we fit hers.
She was set to view family profiles at 9 a.m. today.
I couldn’t sleep.
I couldn’t think about anything else during my morning meeting onslaught.
I called Adam at lunch and he talked me off the ledge.
At 2:30, we got the email.
She picked someone else.

“She knew immediately when she saw their profile.”

It was a knife to the heart.

I had let myself hope.
And it was once again dashed.

Why them?

It’s a simple question prospective adoptive parents struggle with.
All the counseling and all the social workers will tell you: You be you.
That’s all you can do.
When it’s right, it’s right.

It’s hard to remember that when you’re waiting.

It’s hard when I walk by the empty nursery.
It’s hard when I see my friend’s babies.
It’s hard when I think about upcoming holidays.

It’s just hard.

Every adoptive parent I know says the wait is dark.
Somedays, it’s so dark you can’t see.
But holdout for the light they say, it’s worth it.

As I sit here, the pitch black has a hold on me.
The only speck of light left the room the moment I read that email.
I am a void.

It’s not the wait that will kill you, it’s the hope.




“…here I stand 6 feet small, romanticizing years ago… December 31, 2017

Filed under: Uncategorized — emletterman @ 7:13 pm

It’s been a helluva a year for my little family.
The highest of highs and the lowest of lows.

A flip of the calendar.
A chance for something new.
Is 11:59 p.m. Dec. 31 that much different than midnight Jan. 1?

And no.
It’s fresh.

Will forever be the year we lost a daughter, a sister and a mother.
It was unexpected.
It hurt like hell.
You never forget making that decision.
Knowing it was for the best.
Knowing she was already gone.
Knowing in your heart, but feeling that heart break at the same time.

My identity changed forever.
I was a journalist for more than a decade.
I am no longer.
It was literally the hardest decision I’ve ever made.
I loved being a journalist.
It was all I ever wanted to be.
It was who I was.
Who I am.
But I wasn’t happy.
I hadn’t been for a long time.
No matter who I told, nobody seemed to care.
That hurt the most.

So I left.
And damn am I glad I did.

The year of #Letterbaby.
We began the journey this spring.
So much paperwork.
And hope.
We’re still on the waitlist.
There is still hope.

I baked more things than I ever knew were possible.
The generosity of our friends and family has been overwhelming.
I continue to be amazed everyday at what people are willing to do for us.
My heart is full.

I made new friends.
Reconnected with old ones.
And lost a long-time friend I never thought possible.
We welcomed two new little guys to the fold.
Memories were made.
Love was shared.

It will be a year I never forget.
A lot can happy in 365 days.
Lives can change forever.
For the good.
For the bad.
For the unexpected.
For the moments in between.

Hello, 2018.
I may be asking too much of you, but dreams never did know boundaries.
I’ll hope for the good.
Dream of the best.
And brace myself for the unexpected bumps.

Please, 2018
Be nice to us.