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


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

Friday, September 28, 2012

Our Baby Boy

Today we had T's 2 month doctor appointment.  He's actually a little over 9 weeks old at this point, but it works.
My little boy is skinny and tall!

He is 24 3/4 inches tall and 12 pounds.   This means that he is in the 95th percentile for height and only 35th percentile for weight.   

I was almost positive that he would be MUCH heavier than 12 pounds, so I was just shocked at that.

He is doing great and I love seeing how he changes each day.
Right now he tells lots of stories in his fun baby language and smiles a TON.  I love coming home to big smiles when he sees me.    He loves to sit up with our help and thinks is very cool when we stand him up to put weight on his legs.   I have a feeling he will be quite the mover, because when he lays down he waves his arms and legs like crazy!  He is drooling a lot and blowing bubbles.

The doctor couldn't hear the heart murmur that T was born with and said that at about 4-6 months we'll probably do another echo-cardiogram, but that he thinks the little hole has probably closed up.  That is great news!!   However, even if it was still there, it probably wouldn't be a big deal.

I am still amazed sometimes that I am finally a mother.   I look at him and there is no doubt in my mind, that he was meant to be my son, yet it still feels a little surreal.    Perhaps that's true happiness.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Where We're At Now... a real update

I've been playing catch up and I'm still not up to "real time", but perhaps I should just jump ahead.
I mean, T is now almost 9 weeks old!! I don't know where time has disappeared to.   It feels like just yesterday I was looking at this teeny tiny little newborn and now I am looking at this little boy!  

Shortly after we arrived home, I had a baby shower with friends and family where T was loved on by everyone and received a ton of gifts.   Then we had a shower at my office where he was completely SPOILED.   We are so blessed to have so many people who loved T before he was even born.   His Dad and I weren't the only ones waiting for him...

I went back to work far too soon. It started as two days/week and now I am back to 4 days/week. 
This must be the hardest part of my life right now.  Leaving him makes me feel guilty and I miss him like crazy.  We are also struggling to get set up with a daycare.  My mom has been with him on the days that neither Brandon or I are around, but she needs to get back to working full time.   Let me tell you though, she loves having Grandma time! 
I knew that being a working mom would be tough, but I had no idea that my feelings would be so intense.
I'm still trying to figure all of that out.

Our contact with T's birthmom has been much more limited than I expected based on some of the conversations that were happening while in the hospital and at our final goodbye with her.
There has been 1 phone call and a few emails.  
I feel ok with where things are at right now as far as openness. I think that it will develop over time though as she heals and as we get more comfortable.

Life has changed dramatically to say the least.   I'm hoping that I can post more regularly and add in some fun stuff!   

Does anyone have any questions I can answer?

Friday, September 7, 2012

Going HOME

After T was released to us, we still had to wait in Arizona for a while.   There is something called the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children or ICPC, which controls the "movement" of children from one state to another for adoption.   There is an ICPC office in each of the 50 states and when an adoption happens out of state, both the "sending" state and the "receiving" state have to give the OK for the child to move across state lines.    The case worker in AZ had a meeting with the ICPC office right away on Monday, so we were told we may get to go home as early as the end of the week.  Unfortunately, AZ wanted another state to look at our paperwork (the state that BM was moving to) before sending the info to our home state..  This caused a bit of a delay and we ended up being in AZ for a little while longer.

Although it was HOT and I was really missing home, the time that we spent just the three of us was great for bonding.  We did see our friends that lived in AZ too, but a lot of time was spent in our hotels or running errands just the three of us.  
Finally, on Tuesday, August 7th we got the "all clear" to return to our home state.    It was a good thing, because we already had booked flights for Wednesday the 8th!
We spent Tuesday evening with our dear friends who I stayed with in AZ J, A, and E.    I almost cried as I said goodbye to them since they had really become my family while I was away.
But we had to get home.
It was a little surreal as we got ready to leave AZ.  I had been away from home for 4 weeks, Brandon had been away for about 2 1/2 weeks.   And we had a baby with us....

Wednesday morning we got up very early and headed to the airport.  We had to request to sit next together since originally, our seats were very far apart on the plane.  But with a newborn... I really wanted to sit next to my husband!   
At the Gate...getting ready to fly HOME!
Up until this point, I was thrilled to have T, of course.  But he didn't feel like he was MINE.   There is something about being in a hotel, away from home that makes it all seem like you're babysitting.
Then, we were in the air.   I started to cry as I looked down at this beautiful baby.  We were taking our child HOME.  No longer would I be away from family and friends, away from my bed, away from my dog.  I would be HOME and I would have the baby that I had dreamed of for so long.  

T was an amazing baby on the flight.  He slept the entire time and didn't cry at all!  The flight attendants loved him and he got his wings for his first flight.   We couldn't have asked for an easier flight home really.

My parents were picking us up at the airport and it was such a fantastic feeling to walk towards them.  They had helped us get to this point and they looked SO happy to see us.

With Grandma for the First Time

I can't even explain how we felt at this point.   We packed up our minivan (which I hadn't seen in a month) and we headed home.  We drove through familiar cities and saw the GREEN land of the Midwest.   And we had a baby with us.  Not just a baby, but our baby.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

5 weeks ago

That's right, it's been 5 weeks since the little man was born.  Where has the time gone and where have my updates gone?   I left you all hanging, didn't I?

Well, the truth is, it's a hard story to tell.

Let's do this part in bullets, shall we?
  • There was no room at the Inn.   A TON of babies were being born so there was no extra room for us to stay in as adoptive parents.  We spent the first night in B's room.  Because of her C-Section, she could not be left alone with the baby in the room.  So we cared for him as she recovered.
  • Baby T was diagnosed with a little hole in the septum between the two ventricles of his heart.  Luckily, he is ok and it may kind of disappear on it's own.  He also had to have his blood tested A LOT because he was at risk for jaundice. 
  • On Thursday, we gave B's gift to her.  A locket from Origami Owl that had T's birthstone, her 2 year old's birthstone, an angel wing, and blue baby footprints.  She said she would never take it off.
  • On Friday, it was B's birthday.  We gave her a flower and some chapstick she had been wanting. An agency rep brought another birth mom to visit and brought cupcakes.   Our lovely friend Jenn brought her balloons and a cake.  
  • On Saturday at 5am, we left the hospital so that B could spend time with Baby T.   Technically, she could sign consent on Saturday night, however, her social worker was not available so the hospital was letting B and T stay until Sunday.        As a prospective adoptive parent, this was HARD.   At this point, T was her baby and not ours, however, we had bonded.  Leaving him was difficult to put it lightly.   
  • We went and took a nap and spent Saturday together and with our friends.
  • Sunday morning, July 29th- we knew that the social worker was going to the hospital at 9 am.   We were a ball of nerves.      We tried to keep ourselves busy, so we went to Cabelas and walked around.  At around 1pm we started to get very worried since we had not heard anything. 
  • At approximately 1:30pm Arizona time, we received a call from the director of the agency saying that B had signed the consent for adoption.  We could head to the hospital to pick up Baby T.

Let me just tell you, this day is the hardest day for a birth mother.  It is also one of the most joyous days for an adoptive family.    We knew that B was saying goodbye as we headed over the hospital, just as we were excited to say Hello.

It took a while.  A long while for things to really happen.  We waited out in the car for the social worker to come and get the car seat.  Then, we waited for them to come back down.  Finally, at about 3pm a nurse and the social worker walked T out to us.

This was the beginning!!!

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

A Star Is Born...

Around 5:20 pm, the nurse opened the door to the operating room and told me to put up my mask and come on in.   I sat right next to B's head while they got ready to deliver the baby.  She had tears in her eyes, but all I could say was that she was doing a great job while they tugged and pushed around.    Finally, the anesthesiologist told me to get my camera ready and he said "stand up, stand up!"    I stood up and got my camera up to my eye just as they pulled the head out. 

A moment later, at 5:32 pm, he was completely out into the world and screaming at the top of his lungs!     They held him up high so we could all see, then the nurse told me I could go over to the warming station with them.    They weighed him and cleaned him up as best they could.  She asked me if I wanted to trim his umbilical chord and surprisingly, I said yes.   After that, they swaddled him and brought him to see B.   I had tears in my eyes the moment I witnessed such an amazing thing, but when the nurse handed him to me to be the first to hold him, all I could do was stare at him.   

I was able to go with him, into the nursery while they did everything they needed to do.   I called Brandon over so he could see through the window as they did his foot prints and measured him.    What an amazing little boy....

Baby T, 7 pounds 13 oz, 21 1/4 inches long
He has long fingers and big feet with long toes.  He has a ton of dark hair and at least one adorable little dimple. 

I was amazed that my fear of passing out during the C-Section turned into me witnessing him being brought into the world, cutting the chord, and later drawing blood for initial testing.   Apparently, all of those fears and worries go out the window when you are bringing a new life into the world.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Almost here....

After being super emotional because I was away from home, Brandon flew in to see me and to come with us to B's appointment on Monday morning.  We were all set to walk in and beg for someone to schedule her C-Section.    Her normal doctor was on vacation, so we saw a young, female doctor.  Right away, she said "so, we're getting things scheduled for Wednesday."    We like to think that they finally gave in since 4 people were walking into the appointment.  B thought maybe it was just Brandon's male presence.  Either way, Brandon wouldn't be heading home and instead we'd be getting ready for baby to arrive!

Monday evening, Brandon and I were gifted a hotel stay from a co-worker of mine. We had a great night out on the town in Scottsdale and enjoying each other's company as a married couple.

Tuesday night we took B out for a good meal since she wouldn't be able to eat pretty much all day Wednesday.  She was in good spirits, we talked a lot, and had a good evening.

Wednesday morning dragged on, but I tried to do some work while we waiting for the hours to pass.
Finally, it was time to go get B and head to the hospital.
We were her only support, because her case worker was actually out of town. I walked with her to register, we sat with her in the room while she waited to get prepped for surgery, and then - I suited up in scrubs....

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The Ups and Downs

I often wonder just how honest I should be on this blog.  It is public, so anyone can read it.   I want to describe the process accurately, but I also don't feel like I should put ALL of my feelings out here.

I will say that the last couple of days have been emotional and trying.   Brandon had planned to come out here on Monday night.  I was so excited to see him and have him here.  We were planning to stay at my friend's house on Monday night, but get the hotel on Tuesday and start our time together getting ready for baby.  
But then, at B's appointment on Monday morning, things changed.  The date of the C-Section is no longer this week, unless medically necessary.  At this point, we aren't exactly sure when it will happen.  B was frustrated and concerned for her other child.  I was pretty emotional after I left. There are just so many unknowns.
And Brandon cancelled his flight, which added a lot more emotions. 
At this point, we are going to see what happens on Thursday at B's next appointment. They are going to monitor the baby and B, then they will check to see if she is dilated anymore.   We are both hoping for good news.  

Late this afternoon I took B to walk around one of the malls, then we picked up our pottery. I painted the owl for the nursery and B painted the puppy for him as well.  I think they turned out great!

When i dropped her off, I asked if she wanted to take the puppy for now and she said no, that I could keep it and put it in his room.   
I think he will love both of them and I can't wait to tell him that his birth mom painted that puppy while we waited for him together.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

My adventures

I worked Friday and just hung around. Nothing too exciting there, except for buying wine at Target for the first time. 

Yesterday I told B that I would pick her up and bring her to the post office so she could mail something to her 2 year old.  After that, we decided to go to this place where you paint pottery.  I've always wanted to do that, but never really had an excuse.   This was a great one!  We were able to sit and paint while we talked.  I picked a small owl and a picture frame for the nursery and she picked a small puppy to put in the baby room and an airplane for her 2 year old.  I thought it was very sweet that she wanted to paint something for the nursery.   I'm sure the little owl and the puppy will sit next to each other on a shelf in his room and it will be a great reminder of the time we spent together while we waited for this baby's arrival.
We talked about a lot of things such as music, what her son was like when he was little, and her friends. 

Finally, I asked her about the name.   I don't think I wrote about that here....   
See, I have been thinking about names for months.  Brandon and I narrowed down our favorites and found one we really loved a couple of weeks ago.    A few hours after we made the decision on our favorite name, we got an email from B with a list of names that she liked.  She asked if we liked any of them.
I was in a bit of shock, because I had no idea that she would want to name the baby.  
Her case worker told her that really, even though she will fill out the birth certificate, we could change his name at the time of finalization.    B understood, but said she really wanted us to all come up with something together.
So, we wrote her back with our favorite name as well as two others.
She didn't happen to like our favorite name, so I've had to go through a bit of grieving. 
At first, the thought of never being able to name a child tore me to pieces.   In the end though, I have to remember what kind of a blessing this could be to our son. Someday he will know that we all chose it together and that his birth mom wanted to be a part of it.
So it has been down to one of the names on our list and one of the names on her list.
Finally, yesterday, I asked her what she was thinking.  She said she was going to go with the name on our list. She said she liked it better and thinks it's a good name.  She said it's cute and it will look good on a job resume someday.
Sorry - I'm not going to tell all of you yet!   If you are reading this, and you know it - don't post here.  I will do an announcement once he's arrived with his full name.

Anyways, after we got done painting our pottery, we went next door to a frozen yogurt place.  At first, she was pretty unsure about it, because she said she doesn't like yogurt that you get at the grocery store.  She sampled a few things and finally decided on some Mango Sorbet and Raspberry Sorbet.  She LOVED it. 
She kept saying, "wow, two new experiences today!"

Then, on my way back to my friend's house, I got a flat tire in the rental car.   Right on the highway while I was talking to Brandon on the phone.  I have never gotten a flat tire while driving and I was not happy.  
While I was waiting for the roadside assistance to come, a highway patrol officer pulled up behind me and asked me what was going on.  She said it was not safe for me to stay there and we proceeded to go VERY slowly in the car to the next exit.   Then, she decided to start changing the tire for me.   It started to rain right as she was finishing and right as the roadside assistance showed up.   They finished things off and I was on my way to the rental car place.  This time, the closest one was not where I had picked up the car, but it was at the airport.   Let's just say, I cried in front of the rental car agents.... and eventually they helped me get things straightened out and I have a different car now.

Today I'm going to spend some time with my friend I am staying with as well as another adoptive mommy friend.   It will be nice to have some girl time and do something fun.   It is lonely being away from home, but things like this really do help keep my spirits up.   I am so thankful for everyone who is helping us.      I'm going to have to buy stock in Thank You Cards after all of this!!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Arriving in Arizona

I did make it through the airport by myself... getting a 44 pound bag checked, lugging an empty carseat to the gate and rolling along a stuffed laptop bag.   The flight was PACKED and I was thankful that I had a seat assignment before arriving.  It was a window seat and the guy next to me was a little weird, but overall the flight was uneventful.  

My friend Jenn picked me up at the airport and got me settled into her house.  I got to meet her beautiful daughter, her very understanding husband, and a pretty cute dog.
Although it was hard to fall asleep without Brandon, I got more than I usually do when I travel alone.

This morning we got up early so that I could pick up my rental car.   Once again, I've never gotten a rental car for myself and I didn't know what to say to all of those extra offerings.  I said no, hoping I was doing the right thing.   Of course, once I start driving I realize that this car has something going on... probably a tire or something since there is some shaking when I break.  I thought about turning around, but didn't want the hassle at the moment, because I was on my way to the doctor's appointment with "B".

I ended up getting there much earlier than I anticipated, so I found myself a Target.  Let me tell you, the feeling of finding Target in an unknown place is AWESOME.  I got a few essentials along with a cheese stick and a caffeinated soda to hold me over.   Once I got back into the car, I opened my soda and it exploded all over the car and me.   Just my luck really.  I'm on my way to meet this very important person and I get soda all over my denim capris, the car, my hands... it was just lovely.   I went to a gas station and tried to clean up the car.   In the end, I stopped at  a Walgreen's and got some baby wipes to wipe up the steering wheel and my hands.      Luckily, by the time I got back to the clinic, my pants didn't look wet anymore.

I got to the clinic before B and her case worker, so I was super nervous sitting there.  Eventually they came in and I was relieved when B hugged me.   We talked for 45 minutes before they were ready for her.   
When we got back to the room, B had to go to the ladies room and I introduced myself to the nurse.  I told her I was the prospective adoptive mom and she said "oh! I thought you were just with the agency.   Did you want to see the baby on an ultrasound?"   I said "oh wow, that would be amazing!  But I know that you did one a couple of appointments ago."   She said we could still do a quick one.   
So when the doctor came in, he asked B some questions then he said something to me and B said "oh, this is the adoptive mom".   For her to say that was... wow.  

Then, he did the ultrasound.... 
I can honestly say, I never thought I would witness one.  Especially one showing what hopefully will be MY child.   I was in awe. The doctor pointed out his head, an ear, a nose.... it was hard to see a lot because baby is down pretty low and he was holding his arm in front of his face.    I started to tear up and I smiled a lot.  The nurse saw me and gave me a smile too. 

B wasn't ready to deliver today, but she has some blood pressure stuff going on, so they did some blood work and we will get an update tomorrow.  Really, it could be tomorrow or it could be Monday... or Friday.   It's just so hard to tell right now.  We need to make sure B is ok and healthy as well as baby.

I took B out to lunch after the appointment and it was nice to get to sit and talk for a while.  She is a sweet girl and has been through a lot, but she laughs and smiles a lot, which is really good :-)
And she made me feel so much better too. Probably without even realizing it.   It sounds like this is for real.

I dropped her off and she hugged me again.
We'll see what tomorrow holds.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Send me your good vibes!!

I have made the decision to travel to Arizona this week. 
There is a possibility that "B" (yes, another B) will be admitted on Thursday after her doctor appointment and I want to be there in case that happens.  Last minute flights are hard to get and expensive.  So this way, i will be there.   If she does get admitted on Thursday, Brandon will join me in Arizona on Saturday. 

I have an amazing boss with a good employer who offers me the flexibility to work remotely.  So if the baby is not born, I will keep working down there. 

I have an amazing adoptive mommy friend who is letting me crash at her place and letting me use her Internet.

But, I am scared.  Scared out of my mind really.   Or is it just nerves? I can't really tell right now.   This is REAL, I am flying to an unknown place and meeting the woman who chose us to parent her baby.
I will be away from my husband; my rock, the person who keeps me level.     But I can do this.      I'll be praying I can anyways :-)

While I'm gone, Brandon and family/friends will be holding a fundraising garage sale.   Let's hope we make some good money!!     And we continue to leave our fund raising site up... we've already been so blessed.  Everything will come together, because it has to.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Quick Travel? Maybe!

First things first: Let's just say, between both sides of our families, we may be building some sort of football team.
That's right, this baby is another boy! 

Luckily, we have lots of friends and family who have boys, so we get lots of boys clothes without doing any shopping.   Of course, I did have to shop a little.

We talked with the expectant mom on the phone and she is very sweet and very laid back.  She indicated that she might want one of us in the delivery room with her, which is such an amazing blessing.  Of course, that could change and she has every right to change her mind when the time arrives.  I really view the hospital as her time, so every question she had about how WE wanted things to work left me dumbfounded.

After her initial appointment last week, they moved the due date up to August 1, with the idea of having a c-section about a week or so before that.   Well, things might be working a little quicker than we had anticipated....  we might need to fly down to Arizona much quicker than we had anticipated.   I won't know for sure until next Thursday. I'm freaking out a little.   I'm a planner by nature and this baby is showing us that you can't plan for him completely!  We don't have flights, we don't have a place to stay yet... any of that!   But I have to believe it will all work out.

I have had so many emotions these last couple weeks.   We are so excited and so happy. It seemed as though we would never get to this point and here we are.   Of course, I'm feeling a little stressed (ok, maybe a lot) with everything that needs to get done over the next couple of weeks.   I'm feeling a LOT emotional about my journey towards motherhood. There are a lot of fears that a prospective adoptive family has that parents through birth don't.  There are also a lot of added "steps" to the process of course. We've had to do more paperwork, have more discussions, and think about every item that goes along with traveling on perhaps short notice.

But another amazing emotion has also come through this journey - GRATITUDE.    I am so grateful for the support of our family and friends. Even the support from people that barely know us.
I am also so grateful for the expectant mother who has allowed us to talk with her and be a part of this process.  I'm sure that someday, we'll say we love her and she will be a part of our family.   That is one amazing piece of adoption.
I am also so thrilled because I have met some amazing adoptive moms through an online community and I will even get to meet a couple of them when we are traveling!  I have a feeling that life long friendships can come from journeys like this.

Thank you to everyone who have donated money to our travel fund or donated items to our fundraiser garage sale.    Tears come to my eyes when I think about it how all of you have a hand in bringing our baby home.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Hope brings.....

I don't think I ever posted about my newest tattoo here.   In January I made the decision that I needed a new tattoo.  Something that was meaningful to this journey and something to keep my heart at peace during the tough times of waiting.

The owl has become a symbol for us and Future Baby.  That, along with the word hope on my forearm is something that I can look at each and every day to remind me that all of my hopes and dreams will come true, when the time is right.

After signing up with Christian Adoption Consultants we started sending out our information to a couple of agencies they are connected with.  We asked to be presented to an expectant mother with one agency after seeing a situation on their website.   Then, we got notification of a baby that was already born and a lawyer was working to find adoptive parents for her.  It seemed like there was so much going on.   I was overwhelmed with sending out information, making decisions on what felt right, etc.
After some consideration, on June 4th we were getting our information together for the baby that was already born.  I wrote out the check for the application fee and looked at my phone for some reason.
There was a new email on our family email account, which we use for a lot of adoption related emails.

I opened the new email and the words, "you were her first choice" and "congratulations!" jumped out at me.

I couldn't believe my eyes... I walked towards our stairs and called for Brandon with a very shaky voice...  while I stood on the stairs and he stood at the top I told him "she picked us" and I started to cry.
He got me upstairs and started asking me more, but I couldn't even read the email fully, so I handed him the phone.   My step-son R was in the room and gave me  a hug.   I called my mom freaking out.

At that point, all I knew was that this expectant mom, that we asked to be presented to through one of the agencies, had picked us.

We made a phone call to our consultant and of course emailed the agency back. It was quite a whirlwind!
That night, I talked to the agency director for a short time and got a little bit more information sent to me via email.

A lot of things happened over the next couple of days... our emotions were on overdrive and we had a ton of fears.    After all was said and done, we decided to take a leap of faith and officially be matched.

I will say to all of you that with adoption, nothing is ever for sure until it is.   This amazing young woman chose us based on our profile and we will move forward with even more hope that this baby belongs in our family.  Things could still change, but believe me, I am hoping that this summer (early August), I'll be a mommy to this amazing baby.

Look for updates next week on confirmation of gender, due date, etc!  We are thrilled!

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Paint goes up!

We finally painted the someday nursery!   Covering the dark green walls was a bit of a challenge, but we used some great paint and did two coats.   The walls are now a nice grey color.  

I don't try to look pretty while I paint, obviously....

yes, he painted shirtless.   Letting it all hang out on the blog :-)
 We also made a last minute decision to leave the closet doors off of the closet (they haven't been on in that room since the house was bought) and paint the inside of the closet a fun color.   Here it is!  With the tape still up...

I can't wait to get everything in and set up.   That way, hopefully it will scream - Baby, we are ready!

We did send a HUGE pack of required info and profiles to another agency yesterday.    Let's hope that we get a call very soon!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Another Year

It's hard to believe it's only been two years since we stood in my parents backyard, in front of our closest family and friends, and said our vows to each other. 

I feel like I've known Brandon forever - he was meant to be part of my life and I was meant to be in his.
There's no one else I'd rather be with... no one else I'd rather go through this journey with.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Changing our approach

I've been feeling a little lost.  Oh wait? Is that something new?

This road of adoption is unlike any other that I've taken.  When I tried to have a baby the "old fashioned way", I still felt like I had control.  I could take the right vitamins, I could time things correctly, I could take my temperature.    With adoption, what control do we have?   With the homestudy, we were DOING something.  When I created our profile, I had some control.  But during the waiting process, it feels a little like you just need to leave things to chance.  Not a good feeling for someone like me...

And for some reason, at this point of time, I feel a sense of urgency.  It's like - ok, universe, we should have had our match by now.  We're ready!!   Maybe it's the fact that Mother's Day is this weekend and there is this hole in my heart.  Being a step-mother on this day is difficult, being a waiting adoptive mom this weekend is difficult, and I just want God and the Universe to hear me.

So, I've done more research and had more talks with friends who have gone through the process of adopting an infant.   I have talked with a couple of professionals in the adoption industry and at this moment in time, it looks like we are going to move forward with a consultant.   They will hold our hand through the rest of the process and will connect us with multiple agencies to send our information to.   The hope is that we will match quickly and our baby will be with us soon.

It's scary to take another step, to pay more money, and to keep hoping.  But what other choice is there?   I know in my heart that I'm meant to be a mother and that our baby is out there.  We just have to find him or her.

And thank you to my dear friend, who I haven't met in person, but who knows this road (stepmom and adoption).   
She wrote to me:
Please hear me when I say this: YOU ARE A MOTHER IN EVERY WAY THAT COUNTS. I mean it. You may not get recognition from many people for it, but you love your stepsons and you mother them daily. That counts.
It does.

So to all my friends who may not be mothers biologically, whether they mother their spouse's children or they mother foster children, or they are mothers through the miracle of adoption: Happy Mother's Day.
And for all of us that are still waiting to become mothers - let's believe that this is our last Mother's Day with that hole in our heart.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Some more "hurry up and wait...."

This waiting period is an interesting thing.   We heard about a last minute situation and scrambled to get things together to mail to a lawyer.   We were not chosen.   We heard about another situation and took a week to really gather things and feel good about what we sent.  This time, the baby was lost.
I have cried each time.
Each time, I hope and hope that we will receive the call that says "you're going to be a mom".  

I have begged and pleaded with the universe; telling anyone that will listen that I'm ready.  
I have asked "where is our baby?"

I still have no answers.

We stay really busy with lots of things.
Last weekend we volunteered twice in one day. 
We spent the morning with Brandon's companies huge efforts across the country.    We are window washing pros after 3 years of it!

We spent the afternoon with RESOLVE at their Midwest Family Building Conference.   We learned so much while we were there last year that we decided to give back.   We filled in where they needed extra volunteers and we even saw a couple that we recommended the conference to.

We are planning a garage sale to do some adoption fundraising.  If we can raise enough for potential travel costs or part of our finalization costs when the time comes, I will be so happy.
We have already seen such amazing generosity by friends and by strangers.   The sale is turning into something huge and we are blessed to have so many people who care enough about us to help.

This week is also National Infertility Awareness Week.    Although adoption is the right path for us, I will probably never forget the pain of knowing that I can't get pregnant.   I'm thinking of all my friends who struggle with infertility and wish them peace.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Touching words to remember

Once there were two women who never knew each other
One you do not remember, the other you call Mother

Two different lives shaped to make you one
One became your guiding star, the other became your sun

The first one gave you life, and the second taught you to live it
The first gave you a need for love, the second was there to give it

One gave you a nationality, the other gave you a name
One gave you a talent, the other gave you aim

One gave you emotions, the other calmed your fears
One saw your first sweet smile, the other dried you tears

One made an adoption plan, that was all that she could do
The other prayed for a child, and God led her straight to you.

Now, which of these two women, Are you the product of?
Both, my darling, Both, Just two different types of love.
---- Unknown

The Gift of Life

I didn't give you the gift of life,
But in my heart I know.
The love I feel is deep and real,
As if it had been so.
For us to have each other
Is like a dream come true!
No, I didn't give you
The gift of life,
Life gave me the gift of you.
--- Unknown

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Choosing to Cloth Diaper

Did you know that Disposable diapers take at least 500 years to break down?  What about the fact that 18 billion disposable diapers are sent to American landfills every  year?   My first thought is "Ewwww".  
These were a couple of the facts shared by  Whole Living Magazine's April issue.

Luckily, I had already made the decision to try cloth diapering before reading this.
I will admit that I'm not perfectly "green", but I do try to make a few differences in my life.  I will joyfully admit that I use reusable menstrual products.  I know it freaks people out a little, but after doing some research and talking to people, I learned that it's so much better for me, our city sewers, and the Earth in general.  Since I already do that, it isn't a huge leap for me to use cloth diapers.

I'm still in the midst of doing a ton of research on which diapers to use, which detergent to use, the best way to store dirty diapers, and many other details.   We did stop into a local natural baby store to look and ask a few questions. We walked out with a dozen prefolds and 3 diaper covers - just in case we need them in the near future or for an unexpected quick match.  I must say, I'm excited about the covers because they are pretty darn cute.

My favorite one we bought has little owls on it.   Some of you know that I have a new obsession with owls, since we will be decorating the nursery with them.

If any of you have favorite brands, tips, etc to share - feel free to leave them in the comments!  I'm pretty excited about our choice to cloth diaper and look forward to growing my stash! 
Now I just need the cute baby butt to put in them.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Rough waiting week

This week has been hard for me.
The urge to be a mother and the yearning that is inside of me just won't go away.

We received an email about another situation in Texas, but once again we had to say no. I won't give many details, but I will say that the fees were much, much too high for us.      To say no to a child because of money is heartbreaking and it makes me feel like the universe is telling us NO.  

Brandon tries his best to reassure me. He tells me that our time is coming and that we haven't been waiting that long.    In my mind, I know that 6 months of waiting is just the tip of the ice burg for many adoptive families, but that doesn't make it hurt any less.

Luckily, I belong to an online community of women who have adopted or are waiting to adopt. They understand all of the feelings that I have and can say "yes, this hurts like hell, but I promise, there is an end."   They say that when the time is right - when it is OUR baby out there, either the money will come or it will fit our adoption budget.   I have to believe that they are right.

I needed a day to cry about the hurt, but then I got back on my feet.  I started a twitter account to network, have asked friends to help in making some flyers (after I double check the legalities in our state), and have gotten back on the bandwagon for preparing for our future child.

Then this morning, after waking up and laying in bed, I started to cry.  All of a sudden I was very sad.  I had a feeling of loss that I couldn't explain.
Then I remembered my dream.    I dreamt last night that I had a baby. Not only did I have a baby, but I was trying to breastfeed.      

I'm ready to start a new week of waiting and have it be a better one.  There is one good part of waiting - there is always hope that today could be the day that we get "the call".   

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Nursery Project!

As some of you know, what will become the nursery is currently my older step-sons bedroom.
We decided that when the boys are here, they will share the larger bedroom in our upstairs.    The nursery will be the small bedroom.     Obviously, because this will be my first baby, I am VERY excited about decorating the nursery.  I have been thinking of ideas for months, but before we could get going on many projects, we had to do something horrible.
We had to remove wallpaper.
Now, I've done this chore before and knew that it would be difficult.   Luckily though, only one of the walls in the room had wallpaper on it - in the form of a jungle themed mural.

On a whim, Brandon and I started to rip down what we could on Sunday.    It was slow going and I was getting annoyed.   On Monday, we decided that we needed to use some hot water.   This did the trick!  It didn't take much once we sponged hot water on, then scraped it off.

Here are just a couple of photos of me working on the last little section.

And no, I will not be keeping those dark green walls... or the very dark green carpet!!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Nothing new on the adoption front

I cannot believe it is March already.   Soon we'll be hitting the one year mark since we started researching agencies, going to informational meetings, and starting the process of the training and home study requirements.
We have been officially home study ready for over 5 months now and we haven't heard anything lately.

Working with two agencies, one local and one in a different state, I thought we would start hearing more.   We haven't.  Not since I last wrote about the couple possibilities that didn't work out.
Between telling everyone we know, posting our video, continuing to update our Facebook page and hand out business cards, I don't know what else to do.   I just hope to get "the call" someday soon.

Meanwhile, I find myself still pushing to get the house ready.  We are getting closer to the point of being able to ready the nursery and I have taken on the additional project of redecorating our bedroom.

My older step-son was in a "Readers Theater" play and did a wonderful job.  Now, we're going to surprise the kids with tickets to a local dinner theater in about two weeks to see Hairspray.  Hopefully it will be a fun night for the four of us.

I'm going to try and update the blog with some pictures in the near future too. The boys are turning into young men now and are so tall and grown up.  I'm pretty sure both of them have a slight mustache now....

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day

I have seen a lot of people posting online about Valentine's Day being a holiday that was made up by the card industry and I won't deny that it seems a little silly to only celebrate love one day a year.  Why not celebrate it all year long?     However, what's wrong with a day dedicated to love?

So today, I dedicate this post to my husband.  The amazing, loving, caring man that I get to share my life with.   Sometimes I look at him and am just amazed that he is sitting next to me...
the hottest picture ever from our wedding day
We aren't opposites, yet we compliment each other.  My weaknesses are his strengths.  He is calm, he is always hopeful, and he doesn't give up.  He has such a positive attitude in what I see are the darkest times.   He is a wonderful dad to his two sons and I know that he will be an even more amazing father to our child.

So Happy Valentine's Day to my best friend, my partner, and my soul mate. 

Thursday, February 2, 2012

In this Together

There are moments, sometimes even days, where I feel so alone in the journey to becoming a parent. I feel surrounded by those who have experienced the joy and don't understand the pain that I feel as I wait. However, the truth is very different. I am not alone and when I look closely, I am honestly surrounded by people who deeply care. Some hurt right along with me and some just hurt because I hurt.

There are my friends who have been trying to get pregnant, but have not been successful. They know my pain of wanting a child.

There are my friends and members of communities that are waiting for their forever child through the gift of adoption. They understand how hard this wait is.

My mother who cries for me and dreams of the day I will become a parent and make her a grandma again. She also remembers how she yearned for 2 years to finally become pregnant with me.

My husband, who although knows the joy of fatherhood, hates seeing my pain. Although he seems calm, cool, and collected, he gets emotional when he thinks of how wonderful it will be to parent along side me.

And my friends who know how much this means to me. They may not hurt, but they want this very badly for me. They may not cry, but they will hug me when I do.

New Place for Our Slideshow

We were having a little bit of trouble with the other site for our slideshow, so here it is in a new home :-) Feel free to keep sharing it!

Beth and Brandon Adopt from Beth&Brandon on Vimeo.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Not it... again.

We received an email from our social worker that it was not good news; we were not chosen by the birth parents this time.  

Luckily, I wasn't heart broken like the last time.  I was sad, but I am trying to believe that our child is still out there.  We are one step closer to the baby that is meant for us.

Plus, I can imagine this little spirit saying, "hello... you don't even have the car seat yet.   You aren't ready for me."     Ok, that's true.  We ordered the car seat and it will arrive on Tuesday.   I am very excited about it actually and will most likely post pictures.   We are going to take this time to get more things ready and hopefully, our baby will find us and when he or she does, it will just fall into place.  

To boost my spirits a little, we actually went and registered at a store last night.   I felt a little strange when the girl was telling me about breast-feeding supplies and finally, Brandon said "well, we're adopting, so we won't be needing those."      I mean, I COULD try to breast feed, but it's most likely not in the plans for us, which I am ok with.       Walking around the store talking about products, using that fun little scanner, and deciding what we liked best was a fun Friday night for me.  More importantly, it made it feel real.   We are going to have a baby and we do need things! 

So, little baby B... we are getting ready for you!! 

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Another Year...

I haven't posted in quite a while. I was waiting I suppose to have some inspiration.
2011 is in our rear view mirror now and now, I feel like I can write a little.

Right before Christmas we thought we had a chance, but the birth mother was matched quickly.
Last week was the first time our profile was shown to a birth parent.   We were asked if we wanted to be presented to a birth mother down in Texas who was due in a matter of days and we said yes.    I went into a little panic because we didn't feel ready. I spent the night after the call washing tiny baby clothes and buying a diaper bag.  I imagined that we would be getting a call the next day and our baby would be waiting for us.    
However, the next day was spent worrying... no calls, no updates.   I started to realize that we must not be the ones, because otherwise, we should be on a plane.   At 5:30, while out shopping, I received a call from our social worker saying that we were not chosen.

Once I got to my car, I broke down.  I spent the car ride home crying so hard I could barely see. I was overwhelmed with a feeling of disappointment that I did not expect.   I wasn't ready to go in the house when I got home, to put on a smile for my step-son, so I waited till Brandon got home.  I wasn't ready to put away the baby clothes that I washed, so I didn't.  They sat in the dryer actually.   

Brandon said, "this wasn't the baby for us. Our baby is out there."    But it didn't make the hurt go away.
Now, with some perpective and time, I know some other family was made VERY happy that day, because they became parents to a beautiful baby boy.  He was their baby.     Ours is out there.

And now, I type this with a little caution.  We received another call and our profile is being shown again today.
This time though, I am not preparing or running around waiting anxiously.   I will just wait to hear... that's all.
If it's meant to be, it will be.   I'm trying to act more like my husband. 

The only thing I'm worried about is money and travel expenses, but if we are meant to be parents this time, it will work out.    If anyone wants to donate.... well, you have no idea how it would make us feel.    

Wishing you all a blessed year to come.