Friday, August 30, 2013

Wait... he turned ONE??

I know, I've been horrible at keeping up with the blog.    I had no idea that I would never have time to sit down at the computer!  I can keep up with Facebook and Instagram just fine, because I have my smart phone.  Updating a blog is a whole different story!
Somehow, time has flown by.   My teeny, tiny, sweet little baby boy turned ONE YEAR OLD on July 25th.
The weeks leading up to that day were very emotional for me.  It was saying goodbye to my life as a mommy to  a BABY.  Never again will I have that experience.  From the moment he first held my hand to the moment he put his birthday cake in my mouth.... I have discovered an amazing, true, love that can only be felt when you become a mommy.



We were lucky enough to be surrounded by friends and family at his birthday party, which my mom helped me throw.   It was a Little Man theme with mustaches and ties!  He won't remember, but this momma sure will.  He was spoiled of course and received so many lovely gifts.



12 Month Stats:
20 pounds, 8 oz
31 inches tall
5 teeth
Taking a few steps (probably up to 10 on his own)

Shortly after his birthday, we got his hair cut!!  I cried when they removed all of that hair!  We did bring him to a barber shop that is predominately African American men and they decided taking most of his hair off with the clippers was the best thing to do. They told me it will grow back in with his natural curl pattern.  It still broke my heart a little! 

Now at 13 months, the kid is walking like it's his job. He is also CLIMBING a lot!  I find him standing on chairs, trying to go up the stairs by himself, standing on boxes, etc.  He even started trying to climb INTO his crib.   He definitely has a mind of his own and is trying to figure out how he can get what he wants.  He screams, he throws fits, and tests the limits.  He also giggles like crazy, has the best smile, and gives lots of snuggles and hugs.  And his hair is growing back and is actually pretty cute now :-)
Mommy and T (with oldest Brother in the corner) while camping in August

Friday, May 17, 2013

Mother's Day 2013

In the past, Mother's Day was filled with so much heartache. I yearned to have the thing that everyone else was celebrating and I cried because of the pain.

This year on Mother's Day, I woke up to my husband saying "Tell Mommy, Happy Mother's Day!"

I still have a little bit of tightness in my chest... I am a mother because of someone else's brave, yet difficult decision.   I am also still a stepmom, which brings it's own challenges.  To love a child and have them call someone else mom is pretty tough too.

But in the end - I was shown a lot of love on Mother's Day.  I received two new coffee cups - one for cold drinks and one for hot.  Apparently T and Brandon had an "argument" over which one to get (apparently Brandon says I am one hot mama so I needed the hot mug, but T said that I'm the coolest mom around, so i needed the cold cup).  In the end - I got both :-) I also got a super loving card from Brandon and TWO cards from T.

We went to the zoo and even R, now the middle child, came with us.  He actually CHOSE to spend the day with us and it made me super happy.  It was T's first time to the zoo and the first time Brandon and I have gone there together.  We looked at lots of animals and got some ice cream.    It was an added plus that I got in free, since it was Mother's Day and this year I could actually say "yep, I'm a mom".

Mommy and T

R (not so little anymore), T, and Mommy checking out the animals

Daddy and T

He loved the big aquariums!

T seems to be saying "um... mom, you're weird"

This... I love. Thank you R for capturing it!   
I get to be this little boys Mommy!  It's the best thing!



I even received my first ever daycare Mother's Day gift from Tristan.  These little items are so special!


Monday, May 6, 2013

Honesty... Being a Mom of a 9 Month Old

Honestly, I knew my life would change when I became a mom, but I don't think it really hit home until recently.

In the beginning, T went everywhere we did. We'd just keep him in his infant car seat if he needed to sleep. He would let just about anyone hold him and wasn't too fussy. We took him to friends houses, restaurants, shopping, etc.   It seemed pretty easy really.

Fast forward to recent times. T is now 9 months old and is very mobile. He uses a car seat that stays in the car, he is on a better sleep schedule, he eats finger foods as well as bottles, he asserts his independence... and did I mention - he is MOBILE and VERY BUSY.

We chase after him constantly now. He loves exploring and getting into things. He grabs dog toys, dumps over the recycling bin, and throws his food on the floor. Sometimes the only thing he wants is for me to hold him. He's been known to scream and cry and reach for me, even when Daddy is holding him.

He laughs and plays hard. He fights sleep and cries when he is tired.   Honestly, sometimes I cry with him.  



There have been times where Brandon and I have had to fight to bring some focus back to our marriage so that we didn't forget about each other.  There have been days where we are so tired that we barely make it to bed before closing our eyes.  

There have been times when friends and family have gotten upset that we don't have as much time to give to them. 

 I have cried with fear that I am not doing enough and cannot be enough.

I will be honest and say I miss being able to just pick up and do what I want.  We miss our friends. We miss our alone time.   We have only a couple of evenings per month where we are "kid free" now and we try to make so many different people happy.. including ourselves. We pack as much into those moments as we can and sometimes we are more tired afterwards!

In the end though, he is SO worth it.  He is worth every minute of lost sleep and every change in my life.  I pray that my family and friends know I still love them and know that this isn't forever.
I will keep trying to do everything and be everything, because that's what so many moms do.


 

Saturday, February 23, 2013

I can't keep up!

It's been a long time, yet again, since I have written.  The fact is, I had no idea how busy I would be once baby came into our lives!   Apparently I was clueless about how active babies are, because wow - T is a little bit crazy!   He keeps us on our toes and there is not much time to just sit.

A lot has gone on!

He has started eating solid food!   I was going to try Baby Led Weaning, but he just didn't seem interested in picking up food himself.  He was very interested in bowls and spoons though, so we started him on baby purees and spoon feeding.  
So far he has eaten carrots, peas, squash, sweet potatoes, bananas, prunes, peaches, and pears.  He also tried some avocado.   His favorite, by far, has been pears. He LOVED them immediately!   Many of the veggies take a bit of getting used to. 





The biggest news by far is that T's adoption was FINALIZED on February 1!
We had a fantastic day.  We took the older brothers out of school and had lots of other family and friends meet us at the court house.   The judge was fantastic and made a point to read a portion of our final recommendation from our home agency.  It said, "We enthusiastically recommend Beth and Brandon for this adoption".   I teared up and looked over at my amazing little boy.    When he signed it and said that the adoption was approved it was surreal!   After everything we went through, it was essentially over!  We went out to eat afterwards to celebrate.   





We have since gotten his updated birth certificate that shows his new legal name and our names as Mother and Father.  


I can't really believe that it has been just about 7 months since we welcomed him into the world. I barely recognize the teeny newborn I see in photos, because now we have an active, vocal, amazing little boy.  He is still very tall (28 inches at his 6 month appointment) and still pretty skinny (only 16.5 pounds at the appointment) and I am pretty sure his hair is about 5 inches long when you pull the curls straight.





He did have his follow-up echocardiagram and he still has the little hole in his heart (a VSD - Ventricular Septal Defect).  Luckily, it is so small that we don't need to worry at all and no further follow-up is necessary.

Being a mother isn't easy though. There are days when I am so exhausted that I cry right along with him.  He has become pretty dependent on me and sometimes pretty needy.   It is an adoptive mother's dream to be this bonded to her child, but at 2am when he is screaming and reaching for you, it's hard.
Sleep has been the biggest struggle, but I'm hoping that someday we will get there.   Everyone has opinions on what we need to do, but  I think we have to figure out what works for us and for T.
Staying connected to my spouse is much harder now. We don't have much time to talk like we used to, but he is an amazing father.  I couldn't be more lucky in that department.

Another little new tidbit - I am working toward going part-time at my day job. It seems right for our family at this point in time.  I want to be with T as much as I can so that I can be the one to teach him things and watch him grow.   We are lucky that we can make this possible.
I've also started my own business as an Independent Designer for Origami Owl.  My experience with the company started with the birth of T (as a gift to his birthmother), so it's a wonderful thing to now be a part of it.

http://bethbcharmed.origamiowl.com


Monday, December 31, 2012

Baby's First Christmas

Although T may not have realized what was happening with Christmas, this mama certainly did.     I felt at peace with my little man in my arms - I was finally a mother of a child on Christmas. It's amazing what that feels like. 

Of course, his favorite part was probably the paper eating....  because everything goes in the mouth these days.




Wednesday, November 21, 2012

I am thankful....

As we approach Thanksgiving... I remember what I am thankful for....  

  1. I am thankful for the beautiful, brave woman who gave birth to our son. Her choice made us parents and made my dream of being a mother come true.
  2. I am thankful for a supportive husband. Our journey to this point was not easy and I was not always an easy person to deal with, but he supported me every step of the way.  He continues to amaze me.
  3. I am thankful for our friends and family.  The amount of support we received for our adoption and the continued support boggles my mind. We are so blessed! 
  4. I am thankful for some great co-workers.  Coming back to work was difficult, but many of them bring me joy and encourage me to do what is right for my family.
  5. I am thankful for great step-kids.  They make me laugh almost daily and they make me a better parent.
  6. I am thankful for finally feeling like I am more of who I should be.  It's a daily process, but I'm getting to where I want to be.
  7. I am thankful that we have a roof over our heads, food in our stomachs, and clothes on our backs.  Not everyone is so lucky.

Friday, November 2, 2012

National Adoption Month... 2012






Picture

November marks National Adoption Month.
Last year at this time we were a waiting family, trying to find ways to adopt more quickly and bring our child home.   This year, we have a 3 month old!   We are blessed to be his parents and are so thankful to the woman who chose us for him.  She was brave and full of love for T.

We have finished 2 out of 3 post-placement visits and have scheduled our last one for the last week in December.  Finalization should occur the second week of February!  I am so excited to have T be officially our child forever.   I look at him and only see my child. There is no question that he was meant to be in our family.    The heartache that I felt in the past year and a half has almost become a distant memory, because now I know what this kind of love is.

Adoption has brought me a little boy who smiles when I walk into the room, a silly baby who laughs and talks and yells, a little brother for the other boys in the house, and joy to more people than we can count.
I'm still amazed that I am washing cloth diapers, mixing formula, getting peed on, and wiping a tiny nose.
3 Month Photos - the littlest love of my life

The smile that melts my heart and brightens every day