Friday, December 28, 2007

It's Been a Year

It's been a year since we made the decision to seriously pursue adoption. Last year I spent the week between Christmas and New Years searching the Internet and calling different agencies. Over the next few weeks packets of information started showing up in our mailbox. We had reached the point where we knew we didn't want to spend another holiday feeling the way that we did the last two years. Was this year any better...yes and no. I know I wasn't nearly as sad as I was for Christmas in 2005 and 2006, but there still is that feeling of something missing. The fact that there are only 3 socks on the mantle and only putting out presents from Santa for one knowing that next year he may not even believe in Santa anymore. I also realize how blessed we are to be able to have one to do that for. There are many people struggling with Primary Infertility and Christmas is a really hard time of year for them. In some ways it's hard to believe it's already been a year, in other ways it feels like it's been about 10 years. I had always thought I'd be pregnant at Christmas 2005, that came and went but I knew that we'd still have a baby by Christmas 2006. Christmas 2006 also came and went with no changes, except knowing we were running out of options if we decided to continue along the treatment route. After 2006 I quit hoping we'd have a baby by 2007, I knew the chances were very unlikely. So now that we've passed 2007 I can't help but wonder about 2008. I'm trying really hard not to, but there is still that little part of me that hopes 2008 will be the year that's different for us.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Merry Christmas

Hope Everyone had a great Christmas. We had a lot of fun this year. Here are a few pictures from C's school party, Silver Dollar City, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Wrong Toy

C got the wrong toy from yesterday's Happy Meal. He showed me his toy when I got home last night. I made a big deal over it, telling him how cool it looked. He gave me one of his looks where he thinks I'm the dumbest thing on the planet and informed me that he had gotten one of the bad guys. Luckily I had to go unload my car so I was able to make a quick exit before he had a chance to tell me anything else. This morning he said that he really wanted to get another black one. I have a feeling J & C are going to be eating a lot of Happy Meals over Christmas break.

More evidence that C is becoming like me - Tuesday night during the toy fiasco he said that next year for Christmas he was going to ask Santa for Bionicle toys. We told him to slow down, we haven't even gotten through this Christmas yet. Isn't that just like me - it's never to early to plan ahead!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Our Anniversary

December 18, 1999 - The day of the wedding was relatively calm for me (I'm sure mom and dad think differently). After a beautiful candlelit ceremony we drove to KC. The next day we flew to San Antonio for a week long honeymoon. It was a nice, relaxing time.....

Fast forward 8 years later and we and C's groupies (his grandparents) are sitting in the school gym for C's first school program. This program did answer some questions I had been pondering since becoming a mother - Will the bleachers be any more comfortable if I'm watching my child perform? The answer was NO. It seemed to be a really long program, but it was cute watching C. The two kids beside him were acting terrible, but he stood there just perfectly. We were really proud of him. After the program C, us and his groupies went out to eat. We had a nice time. On the way home we were telling C about our wedding day. It was a nice family moment, the evening had gone smoothly...almost too smoothly.

We pulled in the garage and I got out and opened C's door. He wouldn't get out of the car. He was looking for the hand to a stupid toy he'd gotten out of a Happy Meal that day. It was a black Bionicle toy. I'm not even sure what it was supposed to be, but C was thrilled with it. We were tired and cold so we went in the house and thought C would come in on his own shortly. I piddled around for awhile and then I walked back into the kitchen and saw that the door to the garage was open. I went to close it and saw that C was still in the car. I shut the door and told J. We each tried to get the other one to go out and get him, I finally ended up braving it. He was in the back seat of the car just distraught because he couldn't find a piece to this toy that's probably worth about 50 cents. I helped him look and it was no where to be found. I went back in the house to send J out. Eight years ago I saw J wearing a tux standing at the end of the aisle. Last night I saw him wearing a t-shirt, boxer briefs, white socks and his Razorback slippers while he was trying to drag his boy out of the car. There was all kinds of crying and carrying on last night about this toy. C wanted to drive back to the restaurant last night to find the missing part. I told him that J would take him to McDonalds this afternoon and get another toy. That's how we finally got him in the house, but that created a whole other problem. Then he was worried about which one he would get today. While we were reading to him he kept going on and on about which one he would get today. He was definitely showing symptoms of OCD about this toy. J and I were laughing so hard on the inside about this because he was so distraught.

This morning I thought that maybe he would've have forgotten about it....Not a chance. I opened up the shower to help him out and he said "I think it would be best if I got another black one". He went on and on the rest of the morning about which one he wanted (at this point I "reminded" J this was his fault - when I told him to give C a snack yesterday I didn't mean take him to McDonalds) Then while I had started typing out this post he dug the Happy Meal box out of the trash and shoved it in my face to show me which one he didn't want. Eight years ago at this moment I was on a plane flying to San Antonio - today I've got a Happy Meal box with a partially eaten hamburger stuck in my face.....but I wouldn't trade today for anything in the world.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Christmas Program at Church

I've been a little slow about updating the blog lately. We had our Christmas Program at church Sunday evening. I was the "organizer" of the little kids part of the program. That actually means I was the one in charge of "wrapping" their costumes. Thanks to Jay for helping wrap them and for Cheryl and Travis locating the boxes. The kids sang "I'm Gonna Wrap Up Myself for Christmas" It was about giving themselves to Jesus because it's the present he'd like best. They also sang "Go Tell it on the Mountain" and "O Come All Ye Faithful". C had the wrapping song down and the chorus and part of the versus to GTIOTM, but OCAYF was a struggle for him. He told me Sunday morning he didn't want to singe the sa dor e song. It took me a minute to figure out what he meant - let us adore him. The picture of the kids didn't come out very clear, but you'll get the idea behind our theme.

Tonight is his first school Christmas program. I think they're singing about penguins. That should be entertaining.

By the way - for those of you who were "lucky" enough to wear one of the 8 red dresses in our wedding, you wore them 8 years ago today. Hard to believe that it's our 8th Anniversary. Hopefully the damage I might have done to you because of the bright red dress has been forgotten! But I'm sure you were able to wear it again....ha ha ha

Thursday, December 13, 2007


Mrs L told J that C suffers from "test anxiety" Does anyone find that surprising. J told Mrs L that he comes by it naturally so I'm guessing there was all kinds of laughing at my expense this morning. I did inform J that the anxiety comes from me, but the test anxiety is more like Charity. Mrs L wants to have C tested for the gifted program and then maybe the gifted teacher could help him with the anxiety. My question is - if he doesn't test well how will he test into the gifted program. Seems like a vicious cycle to me. All I know is that I've got a 5 year old who appears to be a bundle of nerves. If Kindergarten is this stressful how will we ever make it through college? I'm afraid we're going to need nerve pills by 1st grade. Hopefully C will develop my sense of humor so someday we can look back and laugh at this phase of his life. I just pray he grows out of it.....QUICKLY!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007


We put our blog address on our Christmas Cards this year so I want to Welcome anyone that is checking in here for the first time. I was first introduced into the world of blogging almost 2 years ago. I was spending a lot of time on the Internet researching infertility and adoption. I loved reading other blogs so much that I wanted to start one for our family. The problem was I didn't have anything to write about. How much can one person read of "not pregnant, I cried again". When we started the adoption I thought "now there is finally something I can write about". I've tried to mix in feelings and education about adoption and infertility along with just happenings from our life in general. Some posts you may find totally boring, but hopefully some you'll learn from - like the posts about adoption. I hope that you will continue to keep up with what's going on here and if you or your family have a blog let me know. I'd love to read it!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Compliment from Santa

We took C to see Santa Saturday afternoon. We had to wait in line for over an hour to talk to him. C and I left J standing in line and we went to pick out a gift for C to give J. C had an idea of getting his dad Razorback socks, but we couldn't find any. Since we couldn't find those he then wanted to get J a toy race car. I was able to talk him out of that and we finally settled on something that I think J will like. It's interesting taking a 5 year old boy shopping for a Christmas present. Somehow C doesn't quite understand that not everyone has toys on their Christmas List. When we made it back to the Santa line I waited for awhile to give J a break. He needed it because we were in line in front of the most annoying couple in the world. That is always our luck. I know that sounds mean, but if you all could've seen this couple you'd understand. Especially considering we spent over an hour beside them.

When we finally got up to see Santa C stood beside him and they talked for a little while before C got on his lap. I couldn't hear everything they were talking about so who knows what C told him. Then C got on his lap and got their picture then C told him he wanted a Pirate Ship. Santa said "Thank goodness, that's something I can build, I was afraid you wanted a Wii or something." They talked for a little longer and then Santa asked C if he could have a hug. As Santa was hugging him he told C that he was very impressed with him. I realize that Santa's not real, but I have to admit it was nice to have Santa compliment our boy. We've tried to raise him the best way that we know how and I'm never sure how he comes across to others. I know he has his moments, like every child, but for the most part I do think he's pretty good. I'm glad Santa was impressed because I feel that if anyone is qualified to be an expert on child behavior it's a mall Santa.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Ok, I'm going to bore you all with pictures of our Christmas decorations. This year I am really excited about my trees. Some years they just seem prettier than others. I was trying shots with with different things on my camera so some of these pictures aren't the best. There were a lot of things about my camera I didn't know about until Wednesday night. I still can't figure out how to get a picture of the tree looking the way I want it to, but this will give you an idea of how some of the house is decorated. I do decorate the entire house, even the bathrooms. In case you're wondering - it is tasteful (at least I think so) I don't have a toilet seat cover that looks like Santa or anything like that! J loves it because he gets to carry in tub after tub of decorations!

C in front of the Christmas Tree in our family room

Trying to get a picture of the tree showing the lights, but it didn't work so well

I've always put a 2nd tree in the Green Room, but I've never been happy with it. In general I'm pretty much unhappy with that room - I just can't get it decorated to suit me. I think that mostly has to do with the fact I'm trying to turn a bedroom into another family room. I'm not using the room for what I really want to be using it for. This year we decided to try something new - we got a real tree. I finally like the tree in that room. I wanted it to look old fashioned so we strung popcorn and I made Gingerbread Men for the tree. I've been so happy with how that tree turned out this year

You can see the tree topper a little better in this picture. There is a store in town that I love. I guess you would call the style "Colonial" It's more early American than primitive. I went in the store one day last week at lunch and found the perfect topper for the tree. I decided to think about it because it was a little more than I had planned to pay. Mom called me that afternoon and told me to go buy the store and pick it up. She had bought it for me as an early gift. Thanks Mom, it goes perfectly on the tree!

Close Up of the Gingerbread Man that I made for the tree in the Green Room

And last but not least.....

My favorite part of my decorations - The Nativity Scene. I splurged in 2004 and bought this Demdaco set. I had wanted it for a long time and I thought 2004 would be my last year of having extra money because in 2005 I would be pregnant. God must've laughed the day I bought it because of what I was thinking. I don't mind, I laugh at myself everytime I put it up. Little did I know I could've bought one every year since then. I guess I might as well go ahead and buy the Wise Men!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007


6For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6

Of all the "Christmas" verses that one is my favorite. This is the one that Ralph read at the cemetery at Granddad's funeral. It's hard to believe that it will be 3 years ago tomorrow that Granddad passed away. Ralph used Granddad's Bible at the funeral and read verses that Granddad had marked. Since his funeral was on December 10 Ralph read this verse because it was marked (I think it was written in the back of his Bible, but I can't remember for sure) and since it was Christmas time it was perfect. Every time I hear this verse I always think about Granddad. I am so thankful that I grew up with four Grandparents and two Parents who made God a priority in their lives. I am thankful that they raised me to love Christmas and everything that it means, but to always remember the real reason why we celebrate. I love that at this time of year when I hear this verse I know that it had special meaning to Granddad. I love knowing that God fulfilled the promise that he gave to Isaiah by sending a tiny baby to a stable in Bethlehem. I can't imagine celebrating Christmas and not knowing why. It really makes me sad for those who don't know. Christmas just wouldn't be Christmas without celebrating the birth of Christ.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Christmas Comic Relief

I laughed and laughed the day I made this. It was a day at work that I was by myself so I was able to laugh out loud. J's is the one that gets me everytime. Just click on the link. It takes a little bit for it to open, but it should be worth it.

Merry Christmas from Our Family!!!

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Happy Birthday

Today is Sharon's Birthday. This is the picture that we used of her and C in our profile. I think it's a sweet picture of C. Memo was reading him the Christmas Story on Christmas Eve 2004. He was not quite 3 yet which is hard to believe because it doesn't seem like it was that long ago. Happy Birthday Memo, thanks for all that you do for us.

Today would also have been Grammy's birthday. I didn't have a picture of just her so I'll use this one. It's one of my favorite pictures we have because it's got all of C Grandparents and Great Grandparents in it. This was taken at C's 2nd birthday party. Happy Birthday Grammy, we miss you. Ok, guess I didn't get that picture downloaded yesterday. I'll have to add it later!

Friday, November 30, 2007

New Installment from the Kindergarten Diaries

C's done a few funny things this past week, here are a few on them.

Tuesday was a rough morning at our house. J had to pick c out of bed while he was crying and put him in the shower. The whole time he was in the shower he cried and cried because he didn't want to go to school. He was in our bathroom which is so small and his wailing was so loud. He was saying over and over how boring school is and that the problems are too hard. J kept having to step out of the bathroom and laugh. Once he got dressed it was like someone flipped a switch and he was fine with going to school. Sometimes I wonder if he isn't fully awake yet when he cries about not wanting to go to school.

Yesterday J saw DeeAnn, one of the helpers in C's class who he lets baby him. DeeAnn told J that they were getting ready to do circle time yesterday and she was sitting down on the floor. Another little boy was sitting beside her. C walked up to him and said "You know you're not supposed to sit there, I get to sit by Miss DeeAnn". What's bad is that C did end up sitting by her. DeeAnn told Jay that Mrs L just diverted everyone's attention from the situation so C didn't get in any trouble. I'm afraid because J is a teacher(and C can be pretty funny) he may get away with a little too much. Then DeeAnn said that the kids were working on writing something when she got to the room yesterday. C was having a little trouble so she went to help him and he said "I just knew that you'd come over and help me, I just knew it" Do you think he's a little spoiled?

This morning he told me he is the only kid in his class who can't tie his own shoes (how embarrassing for us, his dad is a teacher for goodness sakes) Out of all the kids in his class he's the only one who is an only child. You would think that we would have more time to spend with him than the other parents so he should know how to do that. I think him being the only one is the problem. We haven't needed to make him dress himself or tie his own shoes because we only have to worry about getting him ready. This morning J left early so I took him to school. I undressed him, put him in the shower, washed him, took him out of the shower, put lotion on him, completely dressed him from his underwear to buttoning his jeans, put his shoes on him, tied them, put his coat on him, gave him his backpack, and fastened his seatbelt. Sometimes I think I'll still be doing this the day he graduates from High School. I called J and told him that we really need to work on the shoe tying - his reaction was the same as mine...I DON'T WANNA!!!! We want someone else to do it. Are the any volunteers out there who would teach C to tie his own shoes?

Thursday, November 29, 2007

To Ask or Not To Ask

I can contact our Social Worker at anytime to see if our profile has been shown. I've toyed with sending Ivy and e-mail for the last week. It's hard to decide. On one hand I can live in my little bubble and not know for sure if we aren't been looked at. On the other hand it would be nice to know if we are being shown. I finally broke down today and e-mailed her. It sometimes takes her a couple of days to get back with me, so I thought I might hear something on Monday. Ivy e-mailed me right back and said we've been shown twice this month but in both instances the mother decided to parent. Am I glad that I asked?.....I still haven't decided yet. I'll probably have to think about it for a few days before I know how I feel. It can be so don't want to "steal" anyones baby who can clearly parent but at the same time you hope they made the best decision for themselves and their child. Why does this have to be so difficult and cause so many conflicting emotions?

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Optimus Prime

Here are some pictures from Saturday when LeeAnn and her family gave C his Christmas gift.

I've had my suspicions that C is a lot like his Pampa George - a little germaphobic, but after Saturday I know he is. After he got his new toy all the other "kids" wanted to try it on. First Terry had it, then J and then LeeAnn's daughter Lauren tried it on. Kimmy, LeeAnn's other daughter, got it after Lauren. While Lauren was handing it to Kimmy I heard C tell them he wanted it back so he could wipe it out. The girls didn't hear him and Kimmy went ahead and put it on. As soon as C got it back he started wiping it out because "everyone had their breath on it". C is named after his Pampa George so I guess he's carrying on the E---- tradition!!!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Thanksgiving Pictures

C kept asking us when everyone was going to get there so we had to let him play his Cars computer game

My garbage disposal that's been broken for almost a year finally got fixed on Thursday - right in the middle of trying to clean up the dinner dishes

From left to right - J with an enormous yawn, Sharon, Mattyle, Jim, Justin and Charity

C showing off his latest creation on his Magna Doodle

J and Corey

We forgot to take pictures of C and CJ until right before they left Saturday morning. That's why C is wearing a worn out pair of jammies that are two sizes too small, which he wore almost every night last week. He does have jammies that fit, I just kept doing laundry last week and putting the same pair back in his drawer and he kept putting them on again.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Thanksgiving Update

It's been awhile since I had time to post. I've been on Vacation since the Tuesday before Thanksgiving so it was a little hard coming back to work today. We had a good Thanksgiving. Jay's Cousin Corey and his 18 month old son CJ came to visit last Tuesday and we all had a great time. CJ is one of the best little boys I've ever been around. He slept good and didn't get into many things, which is amazing since he was in a strange environment. C would've terrorized everything and Avery got into more on Thanksgiving day than CJ did the whole time he was there. On Thanksgiving Day we had 16 people at our house, from both sides of our family. It was a busy day for me, but it was all worth it. I hit the big sales on Friday, not that I needed anything, but I had a good time. I couldn't sleep Thursday night so I ended up leaving our house at 4:00 a.m. Friday morning. I was back home by 10:30 and had to take a nap. I think I needed a day of "retail therapy" so it worked out pretty well. Friday afternoon our house became the spot to watch the Razorback/LSU game, which had to be the longest game in the history of Football. At least it seemed that way to someone who finds watching paint dry about as exciting as football. For those of you wondering Arkansas did beat LSU in overtime. On Saturday we went to Fayetteville to see J's grandparents and his Aunt's family from Chicago. LeeAnn always gives C good presents and this year she didn't let him down. We now are the proud owners of an Optimus Prime TransFormer helmet. It changes C's voice into Optimus' voice. Thanks LeeAnn, we love it! On Sunday we were pretty much worn out so we rested most of the day. I did get all of my Christmas decorating done. I've got a few pictures from Thanksgiving day and of CJ and C together that I'll post tomorrow.

By the you remember the Turkey Talk post from earlier in the month? It was about my turkey...I mean our Turkey that C decorated for school. C was sick Tuesday and Wednesday so J stopped by to get his work. Mrs L sent the Turkey home and said it "was the best Turkey" Oh the satisfaction of a 30 year old being able to decorate a turkey better than 14 five year olds. Now we have a tree to get decorated by Dec 3, I'm already forming a plan!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Don't You Need a License to Drive a Motorized Cart?

if not, you should!

Things have been a little slow in our lives for things to blog about since we are waiting. Here is some filler from my Wednesday....

I had a meeting yesterday in the large town to our East. We had a plumber come yesterday morning for our leaky toilet in C's bathroom so I took C to school. He wanted me to walk him in and sit and watch him eat breakfast and then walk him back to his room. By the time I did all that it wouldn't have been worthwhile to go back home so I headed to town. My meeting didn't start until 10:00 so I had some time to kill. I had several errands to run after the meeting so I thought maybe I could get a head start. I decided to go to Kohl's. Just FYI for those of you starting your holiday shopping, Wednesday's are Senior Citizens days at Kohl's. I thought surely at 9:00 a.m. I would be able to shop without too much of a crowd, that didn't happen. Everywhere I turned there was, as J says it, bluehairs in my way. It got worse when I went to check out. The lines were full of Senior Citizens checking out, wanting to get their discount. I got in line behind one and she said she had picked the wrong line. I told her I usually did also, but I didn't take it as my clue to get in another line. The lady running the cash register was the slowest checker I have ever seen. Do you ever want to run up and help them? I had that urge yesterday. I finally decided to try a different line after the checker had to call customer service and another one raced me to it. She actually won, but I begged her to let me go first because I had a meeting. My quick trip to Kohl's ended up almost making me late to my meeting.

After my meeting I went to Hobby Lobby and spent quite a bit of time there. I am making a new Christmas Wreath for our church so I had to pick out all of the things to put on it. One thing I bought was a bunch of flower picks that were little gold balls. I didn't know how many I needed so I picked up 10. Those carts are so tiny that by the time I got the wreath in it, it was full. I laid my bunch of gold balls on top of that and continued shopping. I don't understand how Hobby Lobby can always be so busy. It was a Wednesday afternoon about 2:30 and the place was full. When I went to check out all of the lines were packed. I picked the one that looked the best and got in line. I looked at the gold balls and realized I only had 9 so I turned around and saw one had fallen out of the cart in the aisle right behind me. Before I could get to it a lady on a bright red motorized cart ran right over my gold balls. She completely demolished them, I could hear the balls smashing underneath her tires. If she knew what she had done she didn't show any remorse. Her husband followed along behind her and just kicked the mangled mess out of the way. I don't know if anyone but me saw the incident, it was all I could do to keep from laughing. Then she did a U turn and went flying down the aisle right beside me. I was standing at the side of my cart and I had to quickly get out of her way. I'm thankful I didn't have a small child with me yesterday. It might have been more than the gold balls getting smashed because this lady obviously had no intention of using her brakes.

Since I've already told you about my highlights yesterday day, I'll tell you about the incident at Wood You. It's not a big deal, but it did irritate me. J is trying to refinish our antique oak kitchen table along with the 4 chairs we bought at Grammy and Granddad's sale. The problem is that we don't have anything to take to the store to match the stain. We want it the same color as the table already is, but we can't tote the whole table to Wood You. The leaf for it is darker than the table so that won't work. The chairs aren't the same shade as the table so those won't work either. The table sits on a large base so that also won't work. I went in to Wood You yesterday to see if they have stain samples that they can check out. I was looking at the stain choices and I had two in mind that would probably work when the Wood Guy came up to me. Here's how our conversation went....
Me: Do you have samples you can check out?
Wood Guy: No, your best option is to bring something in and match it (really, I hadn't thought of that)
Me: That's the problem, I don't have anything to match, it's our table (at this point I was still thinking about buying the stain and trying it)
Wood Guy: How about the leaf
Me: No, it doesn't match (he's answered my initial question so I want him to leave me alone so I can concentrate on the stain)
Wood Guy: How about a chair
Me: No (does he not realize I've already thought of everything?)
Wood Guy: What about a table leg
Me: No (starting to get irritated)
Wood Guy: Well I don't know what to tell you then (very snotty)
Me: Goodbye
I didn't buy any stain. We will probably go back and buy it, but the Wood Guy got on my nerves yesterday. I didn't need him to solve my matching problem for me yesterday...I only wanted to know if they had samples to take home.

After a couple of other stops and a huge trip to Wal Mart I finally made it home, totally exhausted. Did I mention this was all done in a pair of uncomfortable dress shoes?

As for the leaky toilet that started our whole day it has been repaired. It had a slow leak so the linoleum is now discolored around the toilet. I was afraid it was mold but the plumber said it was where the water had separated the glue from the linoleum. We have a guy coming tomorrow to measure our bathrooms for tile. Thanks to a leaky toilet our 8th Anniversary present will be new tile in the bathrooms. I actually am getting a little excited!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Fall Fun

J and C had some fun this weekend in the leaves. Notice how we have several trees that make a ton of leaves, but of course none of them are the pretty kind. Our leaves are so thick that you have to wade through them to get to the front door. Time for J to get out the leaf blower so you won't have to swim to the front door on Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 9, 2007

Happy Birthday Grandmother

Today is Mattyle's 88th Birthday (I'm pretty sure it's 88 because I think she turned 80 the year we got married)

Happy Birthday Grandmother, even though she probably won't ever see this. It's probably just as well she won't see it and that Mamma won't either. It's not a very good picture of either of them, but it was all I had access to here at work. It was taken last year on Thanksgiving. It's nice that both of our families get along so well and that we are able to get together. My Grammy Fowler used to love to see Mattyle and she would always say she loved hearing her talk with her accent.
I'm thankful that we have so many pictures of C taken with all of his grandparents and great-grandparents.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Small Adoption Update

There really isn't much to report on our adoption, but I did get a small bit of information from Ivy earlier in the week. J and I didn't know if the agency would contact us each time they showed our profile so I e-mailed Ivy. I was relieved to know that they won't call us each time they show it as long as the prospective birthmother fits in our list of what we are willing to accept. If they are outside our list they will notify us to see if we want our profile shown. If we are chosen then they will notify us. I was afraid that they would call us before it's shown and since our phone hasn't been ringing I was getting a little discouraged. Our short profile has been shown once. Ivy is pretty sure this mother will decide to parent, which is great. I was just glad to know we had been shown at least once. She did only look at our short profile which is just a one page thing with the same three pictures that are on the website. I don't believe that our big profile has been seen at all.

There really isn't much going on, but at least you know where we are at as of right now.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Abraham Lincoln and al-Qaida

C is starting to get his History Channel stories confused. Saturday night I was wanting him to tell his Papa Kerry what he knew about Abraham Lincoln. I decided it was time for him to add some more facts to his story so I asked him what the name of the theatre was, which he surprised me because he already knew that. Then he added a new part on his own - about how they moved Lincoln from Ford's Theatre to a house where he later died. I had forgotten that part of the story so I learned something from C that night. Then Dad asked him who shot Lincoln. I thought that was a great idea for him to learn so I asked C if he knew who shot Lincoln. He said "Yeah, it was al-Qaida". We laughed and then Dad told him it was John Wilkes Booth. On Monday he was telling Grandma Robyn that Papa Kerry told him some other guy shot Lincoln, but he still thinks it was al-Qaida.

I know some will probably be horrified that our almost 6 year old even knows anything about al-Qaida and think that we let him watch way too much stuff that is too old for him. I know kids are growing up way too fast, partly due to what the see and hear from TV. At first I didn't know what to think about it. I honestly wondered where he had learned about al-Qaida, but it is really impossible to have not at least heard the word used. Everytime you turn on the TV or radio there is usually something on the news about it.I started wondering if I've done damage to my child that will cause him to grow up to be violent or just be a worrier. Then it occurred to me that his knowing the word al-Qaida isn't that different than those growing up at anytime since America was settled. There have always been the "bad guys" in our world and I'm sure countless children have grown up hearing and using those names. During World War II every child alive would've known about Germans and Japanese, in the 50's it was North Korea, 60's it was Cuba, Castro and the spread of Communism. I even remember growing up knowing about the Soviet Union. I don't think I'm too badly damaged and I don't think those who grew up in generations prior to mine are doing too badly either. We all survived and so have countless others knowing the names of the "bad guys".

I doubt that C even exactly understands what the word al-Qaida means. I'm guessing he thinks Lincoln was shot by a man named Al, but I could be wrong.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Some Things on My Mind

There have been a couple of issues on my mind the last few days. Please think about adding these to your own prayer lists.

1. There is a 9 year old girl who is missing from this area. Her step-father put her to bed around 11:00 p.m. Friday night and then left the house for a few hours. When he got home he didn't check on her and they realized around 9:00 Sat morning that she was missing. They thought she was at a friends house so they didn't report her missing until Saturday evening. I've been thinking a lot about this little girl and I saw her mom on the news last night. I just can not imagine what this family is going through.

2. On the news yesterday morning there was a story about some families who were planning on adopting from Guatemala. Due to some legal things that I don't fully understand those adoptions aren't looking good. Guatemala will be stopping all adoptions so they can reform their adoption system. Right now the families that are waiting will hopefully be grandfathered in. Most of these families have already been matched, some have already met their children. I feel for them because they already have a face and a name for their children and now it is uncertain if/when they will be able to bring them home.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Infertility, Holidays, Sundays and Trust

Clarification before you read this post:There is a difference between infertility and adoption. We are going to grow our family through adoption, but the fact that we are infertile will always be with us. I really have to no desire to be pregnant again, but being infertile means I can't expand my family at will. When I talk about infertility I'm talking about the frustration that comes with the lack of control I have over the size of my family. I am not saying in any way that I'm upset because we are adopting rather than having a biological child.

Infertility, Holidays and Sundays - each one of these things are hard to take for a person going though infertility. When you combine them all into one, it can make a day almost impossible to get through. When you add in other issues that a person could also be going though it can make those days a nightmare. Yesterday was one of those days for me. The infertility/failure feelings surfaced full force yesterday. They had been simmering all last week so I guess it was time. Hopefully I can take my ramblings and tie them into a coherent post by the end.

My feelings of infertility and failure are always worse on Sundays. Most would think that going to church and being close to God would make those days better, but it doesn't. I'm more aware of my infertility at church than anywhere else. The feelings actually start when I have to start getting ready. I usually try to delay that for as long as possible, until I absolutely have to get ready to make it to church on time. Some mornings aren't bad, other mornings are horrible. Most days since we started the adoption process have been better, but now that we're back to waiting it's gotten worse again. I start thinking about the fact that we can't expand our family at will. Everything has to be a struggle. Then it snowballs from there into being a failure because I can't seem to do anything - have a baby, loose those 20 pounds (heck, even 5 pounds would be great), keep our checkbook in order, etc. Then yesterday added to it because we are going into our third holiday season with a loss...05 was Granddad, 06 was Grammy, 07 is Mamma and the third holiday season that we still don't have a baby. The other problem is that one year ago yesterday we had our 2nd IUI. That was the IUI that resulted in a pregnancy, but the early miscarriage started on Thanksgiving Day. We should have a baby at our Thanksgiving table this year, instead it will be the one year anniversary of our loss. Then I started thinking about how hard it is for me to expand my family and how far I'm willing to go to expand it and hold it together while in another situation I know about they seem to want to throw all that away. Church can also be an issue in itself without all of the other self-pity that was going on yesterday. This is one of the drawbacks of going to such a small church. I love our church and I have no intentions of leaving, but it is extremely obvious there that we are probably the only ones who've experienced infertility. I'm pretty sure that the words Clomid and IUI aren't a part of most of the members vocabulary.

So all of this was swirling around in my head on the way to church and even during Sunday School. I just don't understand why it seems like things haven't gone right for us in awhile. I know that I've been blessed in many ways so before you all try to point that out to me, just remember that we all have bad days. Sometimes we need these days of self-pity to see our blessings and see exactly what God has done for us. 6 days out of the week I can remember this, Sundays are just a little harder. I also think another reason why Sundays are hard are because they are the first day of the week. It represents another week where nothing has changed, we're still infertile, mine, J & C's arms still feel empty, things still aren't right with my family,etc. Those weeks have turned into months, the months have turned into seasons and those seasons have now turned into years. Years and years of waiting and not understanding.

Yesterday our Sunday School lesson was about Abram and Sarai leaving Ur without a plan and just following God without question. To wrap up the lesson the book had written: Abram put action into his worship by trusting and obeying the Lord. God seldom shows us His way all at once. As we obey God one step at a time, our trust grows and we are able to take another step (Grow Through the Bible, Standard Publishing) I was reading that to my two girls (3rd & 4th grade)thinking that I'm supposed to be teaching this and am I really living it? Then I was thinking about Sarai, she had to be full of questions...didn't she? Here God was telling her to pick up and move to parts unknown, leave her comfy lifestyle in Ur and Haran and live in the wilderness. And in the middle of that she had to have been dealing with infertility because Genesis 11:30 says Now Sarai was barren; she had no children. It was roughly another 25 years before Sarai (then known as Sarah) gave birth to Isaac. Obviously Sarah did loose her trust in God because she took matters into her own hands and made herself miserable before Isaac's birth.

I was thinking about the story of Abram and Sarai as we started the church service and all of a sudden something popped in my head - trust in the Lord and Lean not unto your own understanding. I knew it was at least part of a verse, but I didn't know where it was at. While everyone else was singing I was digging through my condensed Concordance. I finally found it: Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. When we take matters into our own hands based on only what we understand we are going to make ourselves miserable (like my self-pity yesterday morning). We may think we understand a lot, but we don't know anything compared to what God understands. I have got to stop leaning so much on what I understand (or don't understand) and lean more on God. He's willing to take all of those burdens from us, if we are only willing to trust Him enough to turn them over to Him. Sitting here on a Monday morning it's easy to say this, but will I be able to trust enough to remember this and believe it next Sunday morning? I am certainly going to try.

Do you have burdens that you don't understand? Will you turn them over to Him and trust in Him not yourself this next week?

Saturday, November 3, 2007

This Weekend

We went to Dad's this weekend. Mom had the extra carseat for Avery so I got it from her Friday at work. When I picked C up he asked about the car seat. I think he had his hopes up for a moment that it was for a brother or sister. He was still happy when I told him it was for Avery, but he told me he really wanted to get a baby soon. I told him I do I.

I'll be honest.....I really wanted to see Avery this weekend and as my usual luck she was in a foul mood. On Saturday morning she didn't want anything to do with anybody but her mommy. We had a few good moments during the day, but for the most part she only wanted Charity. I guess Avery really didn't care that I packed for 2 people and drove for an hour to see her....the selfish life of a 16 month old!!!

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

He really does lover her....even if you can't tell by the picture
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Friday, November 2, 2007

Turkey Talk

Halloween is the day that, in my mind, starts the holiday rush. It's hard to believe that Thanksgiving is just a few days away. It will be here before we know it. At Parent/Teacher Conferences we were given family"homework" to do with C. We were given a naked turkey and we had to decorate him. Mrs L told us to bring them back the first week of November. C started getting nervous about it Tuesday morning, he wanted his turkey. We finally finished it up Wednesday night and he took it to school yesterday. As I was thinking about how to decorate my....I mean our turkey my ideas kept getting more and more elaborate. I thought about dressing him in our school colors, I thought about getting a leaf punch and making leaves to put on the bottom of the page, etc. Finally I talked myself out of some of the bigger (and harder) ideas that I had and settled for dressing him like a Pilgrim. I looked at the turkey and realized it looked like an adult had done it so I did let C color some of him. But I made him sit on my lap so I could make sure he didn't start coloring the turkey pink or something. I also let C put some stickers on the paper around the turkey, but I was pretty firm on not letting him put any on the turkey. This turkey project reminded me of the school projects we would have to do. It seems to be one of those traits in my family that we like to do elaborate things. In Kindergarten we would never just take store bought cookies for snacks. We had Pac-Man cookies that I can still remember mom and dad cutting the triangles for the mouth and sticking M&M's in for eyes. I also remember the Valentines boxes that mom would end up doing most of the work, but we usually always won the box contest. I know there were several other projects that ended up big while Charity and I were growing up - decorating the stage for Harvest Dinner, my Homecoming Crown Bearer dress, the year I ran for StuCo President and made a hundred buttons. The other thing to remember is that most of the projects were completed late at night or really early in the morning. I guess I'm continuing the line now that C is in school. Wednesday night J was yelling at him to get in bed and I was yelling at him to come in the kitchen to work on the turkey (just so it would look like he had done something on it). I'm sure he was competely confused by us that night. C was also a little ticked at me because I wouldn't let him put the stickers on the turkey or use macaroni or popcorn anywhere on the project. I have a feeling this turkey is just the beginning of a long line of projects to be completed by me late at night. Like Hank Williams Jr says....It's a Family Tradition

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Also, I've tried to do some holiday decorating on my blog so that's why it looks different.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Happy Halloween

Yesterday C had his first school party. I wasn't able to go, but J went for a little bit. He said it was pretty wild. I was a little disappointed because the kids don't get to dress up at our school. Once they got home J got him dressed and they went to our neighbors. We had only planned on going into town to the Baptist Church's Trunk or Treat party, but it didn't start until 6:30. C was getting restless so we went to Memo and Papa Jim's. They surprised C by dressing up like Pirates. I didn't have my camera with me or they would have some pictures on the blog. After we left there we went to the church and played games and ate hot dogs and chili. We had a pretty good time...until this morning. C had asked me last night what was after Halloween. I thought he just meant the next holiday so I told him Thanksgiving. Then he wanted to know what was after Thanksgiving so I told him Christmas. That wasn't what he meant because this morning he hopped out of bed and said Yeah, It's Thanksgiving!. There were a lot of tears shed this morning when he realized tomorrow is not Christmas. He must not be paying attention during calendar time at school!

Charity e-mailed me some pictures of Avery from last night so I had to include those in the Halloween slide show.

I just looked at the slide show, the first one of Avery didn't turn out very good. It makes her look like a headless giant. Sorry...but you can see her face in the next one!

Monday, October 29, 2007

More from the Kindergarten Diaries

C has really been coming up with some funny things lately. One particular story isn't probably appropriate to post, but it is one of the first times he truly embarrassed me by something he said. If you want to know e-mail me or call me and I'll be happy to share, I just probably won't do it on the blog.

J called this afternoon and told me something that C had said this morning. Our school has an afterschool program. When they first started it we decided not to put C in it. A couple of weeks ago C started talking about it and wanted to be in it because all of his buddies were in and and they were doing Karate. We talked about it and finally decided we'd see about getting him signed up. On the way to school today J told him what we were doing. C told J that he really didn't want to do the after school program. J said that we were just going to check on it. C said "Dad, I really don't think that's going to work" I guess there isn't room in his afternoon schedule of computer games at the high school for the after school program. Luckily for him the program is full and not taking any more kids.

Another funny thing he's said is what he told Sharon on Friday when they were driving to eat lunch. She was asking him some questions and finally he told her she just needed to concentrate on driving him to lunch. He also told me the other day I needed to concentrate on my driving, but we were headed to a bathroom rather than to lunch.

I can tell he's really started changing since he started school. He says some really funny things, but it also is a little sad. He just keeps getting more and more mature. He also keeps growing - he's grown 1/2 inch since school started. He's not our little baby anymore.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

We are on the Website!!!!

If you go to look to the right of the page you'll see a button that says Family Profiles. Click on it and then go to our state. You can see our Dear Birthmother letter and see our pictures. Yeah!!!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Parent/Teacher Conference

Last night was our very first Parent/Teacher Conference. It was nice going and knowing we didn't have any problems. We just got to hear how good of a student C is. His report card looked very good. In Kindergarten they get graded on more personal skills than anything. They get a + if they've mastered it and a / if they are working on it. Mrs L said she's not very giving on + for the personal skills in the first quarter because that is what Kindergarten is all about. They were graded on 9 skills and she gave C a plus on 6 of them. The three that he's still working on are Taking Care of Personal Belongings, Completes Work on Time & Works Independently. We're still working on taking care of personal belongings at home, so that wasn't surprising. He has a hard time completing his work on time because he's a perfectionist. He tries so hard to make everything perfect that he doesn't always get it done on time. Mrs L said C is harder on himself which slows him down. That also isn't surprising. He's just learning Time Management, which is a trait most of us are still working on. The third thing he needs to work on is actually pretty funny - Working Independently. J knew what Mrs L was going to say before she even said it. He is the pet of the teacher's aide that spends a few hours a day in the classroom. He asks for her help because he likes her and she likes him. He doesn't really need the help, he just likes her. Mrs L laughed when she was telling us about it last night. J's had the teachers aide's kids in school so he knows them really well. I guess she had been telling J about helping in the classroom. C is used to getting someones full attention so if they're willing to give it to him of course he's going to take it.

He did very well on his Reading Readiness skills, he has mastered everything and he can recognize all the upper case letters and most of the lower case. He's still having problems with d's and q's, which is common. He is still working on his Motor Skills which includes Writing Neatly and Plainly, Colors Neatly, Cuts Neatly with Scissors and Glues Projects Together Neatly - once again we weren't surprised. The other things he's still working on is Knowing Right from Left, Art and P.E. Knowing how I was in school those also aren't surprising.

C started out looking so much like J that I always just assumed he would have his personality. In the last 6 months or so he's becoming more and more like me. Sitting there last night I realized how much he is starting to develop more and more of my personality quirks (good and bad). She was telling us a lot of stuff last night, but we both thought she said C was at the top of the class in reading. Who does that sound like?

The highlight of the night for me was getting his school pictures. For the last few weeks I've asked J every afternoon if his pictures were in. I know I shouldn't say this about a boy, but I thought they were really cute. We need to Ooh and Ahhh over these because if my school pictures are any indication, they're all downhill from here!
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

and by the way - school photos are a lot fancier then they were when I was in school. We got to select the background color and pick a border for the picture. There was a lot of thought put into ordering these pictures.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Friday Night Lights.....With Smoke in the Air

Friday night was the last Varsity home game. Of course J and his teaching partner, Lyle, were in the concession stand. Jania, Lyle's wife) and I were sitting on the opposite end of the field from the stand. There was some excitement in during the game. Since I don't pay attention to the game, I'm not sure what happened. All we knew was that Harv, the coach, was out on the field yelling so we stood up to get a better view. At that same time a huge (and I mean huge) cloud of smoke wafted over the field. Jania asked if the guys had caught something on fire. I told her who knows with the two of them. A little later Lyle came and told us the story...
They have a designated kid called the "Fry Daddy" who is in charge of the fries. They use the big pots that you can fry a turkey in and there were two pots going Friday night. The normal Fry Daddy wasn't there, so they had a substitute. One of the pots caught on fire. That's when J and Lyle realized there wasn't a fire extinguisher in the concession stand. Lyle grabbed a plastic trash can and tried to smother the fire, but the trash can melted. So J and Lyle jumped in Lyle's truck and drove across the street to the school. They left the kids at the football field with the fire, by themselves. J and Lyle ran into the school and one went to the shop and the other went to the kitchen to get fire extinguishers. Then (this is my favorite part) they had left Lyle's truck running while they went into the school. Instead of getting back in the truck they just ran back to the field. By the time they got back they were both sucking wind, but they got the fire out. After it was out Lyle realized his truck was still running over at the high school. It is a wonder the concession stand didn't catch on fire. I just keep imagining the people doing the announcing having to jump out of the top of the stand. I think J's going to mount an extinguisher to the side of the smoker. I wish I had been over there when it happened. I would've loved to have seen the two of them running from the high school. What's really funny is that the concession stand hides the smoker and friers from the field. No one else probably even realizes what happened that night. They think us getting beat by the other team was the worst thing that happened that night...little does "Santa Claus" (as J called him) know how bad it could've been!

Friday, October 19, 2007

More evidence supporting the post from earlier...

Yesterday while C was home sick we watched Pearl Harbor and

Gone With the Wind

He was a little upset because the Blue Coats didn't have a larger role in the movie. I tried explaining it was a movie about the South, but he didn't seem to really like my answer. He was also a little disappointed because there weren't quite enough battle scenes to suit him. I asked if he wanted me to turn it off but he didn't. He watched it almost to the end and then he fell asleep. I don't think J's even watched the entire movie.

It's Official...

We have a history nerd in our family!

On Tuesday C came home with a picture of a penny that they had colored, cut out, glued together and put on a string to wear around their necks. He told J that he had told Mrs L that Abraham Lincoln was alive during the Civil War. When I got home I asked him about it and that was about all he would tell me about what he told his teacher. I reminded him that Abraham Lincoln was President during the war. He looked at me like I was stupid and said "I know that Mom".

We kept him home today to make sure he's over the flu, so Sharon is watching him. J talked to Mrs L today so we could make sure we haven't missed any important notes or anything. She told J more about what happened the day the kids made their pennies.

She started talking about the penny and C told her he knew all about Abraham Lincoln. She invited him to stand up and share what he knew. He told the class that one night Abraham Lincoln went to a theatre (pronounced thayter) and there was a bad guy in there that went BANG (I'm sure he acted that part out) and killed Abraham Lincoln. Abraham Lincoln was our 16th President and he was the President during the Civil War.

No wonder he looked at me like I was stupid the other night, he knew he was the 16th President. I wasn't even sure what number he was. We did see Ford's Theatre while we were in DC. If only C would've developed this obsession a month earlier he really would've enjoyed seeing that and Gettysburg while we were on vacation.

Mrs. L told J this story in front of Miss B the other K teacher, who happened to be C's summer school teacher. Miss B said C is always telling her some history fact. Mrs L agreed and said he's always telling her something and then she'll Google it to make sure he's correct, which he is. A couple of weeks ago C met a substitute teacher at the high school and they talked for a long time about the Sultana explosion. It was a steamboat that was overloaded after the Civil War that exploded. I watched that on the History Channel with C one day and he's never forgot it. I on the other hand just had to Google Steamboat Explosions to remember the name of the boat.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Changing Our Adoption Language

I'm home today because C has the stomach flu. J got it Monday night, C got it Wednesday night, things aren't looking good for me tomorrow night. I am so tired of someone in our house being sick. I think someone (mostly me and J) has been sick every week since the end of August. It hasn't been this bad since C was a baby the fall of 2002. I'm wondering if C is carrying a bunch of new germs home and infecting us? I hope things turn around here quickly.

The family that we heard on Saturday had a letter included in our notebooks that the agency gave us. It had some good ideas on how to handle questions from others about adoption. She also shows how to change our language to make adoption positive and not something that sounds negative. None of us are familiar with this process so we need to be educating ourselves as much as possible. We have an opportunity to become advocates for adoption and adoption educators every time we discuss this situation with someone else. Most people have good intentions, they just don't realize how some of their questions/comments come across. This is our (when I say our I mean our entire family Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles, friends, etc)chance to educate them on what a miracle adoption is.

My and J's goal is to have our children (including C) grow up knowing how much of a blessing they are and how blessed we are to experience the best of both worlds. I think the hard part for me will be wanting to tell everyone my child is adopted just because of how great it is, but yet not making adoption be the first thing someone thinks of when my child is mentioned. It's going to take some work to figure out the balance.

Ways to turn negative into positive or just to avoid uncomfortable situations:
The baby is given up or put up for adoption.....Say the baby is placed for adoption or the birthparents made an adoption plan
What about her Real Mother/Father.....Say, you mean Birthparent
Birthparent kept the baby.....Birthparent chose to parent the baby
Natural Parent....Biological parent
Where did all that red (black, brown, etc) hair come from.....Say it runs in the family
Do they have real siblings....Say you mean Biological siblings. C will be their brother, any biological siblings will be referred to as biological.

This next one is a big one for those adopted and adoptive parents. People are just curious by nature. A common question is what is the baby's story. People will want details on how the child came to be placed for adoption. This is something that is very private and not everyone needs to know the full story. We will even have to sign an agreement with our agency saying we will keep this information private. Once we know the whole story J and I will choose what others need to know. The rest will wait until our child is old enough to understand then it will be their decision to share their story with who they want. It is important when you are asked by others to explain that every baby has a story and once ours is old enough they will share it with who they want.

On Saturday the 16 year old girl was asked how she felt about adoption and she summed it up this way. If her earthly family loves and accepts her this much even if she isn't their biological child - she knows how much greater her heavenly father loves and accepts her.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

The Adoption Triad

In adoption circles you hear/read alot about the Adoption Triad. This is a triangle used to describe the role that birth parents and adoptive parents have in the life of the child. The triangle is labeled with the child at the top and the two sets of parents at each end on the bottom. Putting the parents an the equal plane at the bottom represents that they are both equally important in the child's life. One is not higher than the other, they are both equal.

Birth mothers are more than just a 9 month incubator. They are not to be regarded as someone who found having a baby to be a disruption and therefore "gave it away". They should be looked at as someone who loved their child so much and wanted more than they could provide for their baby so they decided to make an adoption plan. They have chosen to make one of the hardest decisions in their life for what they feel is in the best interest of their child. The father of the family we heard on Saturday had a good analogy to use when he was asked how could someone do that. His response is, how could God send his only son to be raised by someone else and then crucified to save a world who doesn't always appreciate the sacrifice? He did it because his love for us is so much more then we can even begin to comprehend.

J and I have a little different opinions on how to approach our adoption. We are both in agreement that we would like it to be semi-open, but we have been differing on what exactly that means to both of us. We are both completely open to sharing pictures and letters for the entire life of the child. We are also open to exchanging gifts on holidays and birthdays. I'm also open to having agency facilitated meetings with the birth mother, depending on the situation. J is not quite as sure about that. We compromised and said we would agree on those terms on a case by case basis. It also would depend on how the child would react at those meetings. If it is stressful for them, we obviously would have to look at doing things differently. The family from Saturday has never met their birth families. The parents would love to meet them, but so far the birth families haven't wanted to. The mom and dad said they would love to meet the families so they can tell them thank you. You could tell by listening to the family how much love and respect they had for the birth parents.

When we've mentioned semi-open adoption we've had some people inform us that we'd have to meet the birth parents. We've done our research and we know what it means. The birth parents are not someone who should be feared in an adoption. Sometimes they get stereotyped as a big monster just waiting to swoop in and take the babies back, which isn't usually the case. I know there are TV specials that say differently, but remember those are a small part of the total number of adoptions that take place. The birth parents are someone who will always be shown respect in our family. When our other family members speak about them, they need to be referred to with respect. If it weren't for the birth parents we would not be able to be a part of this wonderful experience.

Another thing we all need to remember is that an adoption is one of those happy/sad times. We are happy because we are getting another member in our family. The birth family is experiencing one of the saddest times of their lives. They are placing their child with someone else to raise. This will create a huge hole in their lives that will never totally heal. For being willing to do this, they deserve our admiration and respect.

The family from Saturday also told us how their daughter handled the traditional family tree project at school, which really sums up the Birth Family/Adoptive Family roles. The adoptive family is the branches of the tree and the roots of the tree are the birth family. The tree couldn't survive without it's roots and it can become strong and beautiful with the support of both the roots and the branches.

Monday, October 15, 2007

More Adoption Thoughts

I think sometimes when people hear about families who have gone through infertility and then adopted their first instinct is to feel sorry for them. I can say I'm 100% sure that those families don't want you to feel sorry for them. They want you to know what a blessing those children are and how blessed they feel to be their parents. I don't want anyone to feel sorry for us or feel like we "deserved" to have another biological baby. We are way past the stage of grieving the loss of "what might have been" and are looking forward to the day we get the call from our agency. I've always said that I wouldn't wish the feelings of infertility on anyone, but now I wish everyone could feel how we feel now. We feel that God has blessed us by letting us experience two of the greatest miracles a person can have. The first one is C - I'm so lucky to have been able to experience a pregnancy and the miracle of his birth. The second one is the miracle of adoption. I am so thankful that God is allowing us to experience the best of both worlds.

Adoption is something that most don't think about until they become directly involved in it. J and I talked this weekend about if we had ever in our lives thought about adoption before this point. J had never thought about it at all. I on the other hand had given it some thought when I was younger. From a young age I always wondered if I would be able to have children, I'm not sure why, just a feeling that I had that it may not be so easy for me. I remember thinking that when I turned 30 (because at 14 that seemed so old) if I wasn't married or didn't have any children I would adopt. I also remember in High School seeing a 20/20 special on orphanages in Romania and I wanted to get on the next plane and bringing all of those babies back. I think God placed those early feelings for adoption on my heart at a young age for a reason.

Lack of education is a large problem when it comes to adoption. I think that is in someways why a persons first reaction may be to feel sorry for those who couldn't have biological children. I know lack of education is what held me back from domestic adoption in the beginning. I was scared of birthparents being able to come back at any time to take the baby. I learned after our initial meeting at Bethany that was false. There are a lot of adoption myths floating around that keep people from knowing what a great God thing adoption is. The myths then tend to cause fear in those who don't understand it. I know that our families are hesitant about our adoption because they don't want to see us get hurt when an adoption falls through. Notice I say when and not if. We are prepared to have at least one adoption where the mother decides to parent, it is normal for every family to experience at least one loss during the adoption process. We are prepared for that loss because we will know that was not the child God had in mind for us. I'm not saying we won't be upset and that there won't be any tears shed, but we will remember that God does have a plan. We've seen his plan unfolding up to this point and we know he won't let us down.

I'll finish this post with a neat story from the family at the training on Saturday. When they were waiting for their second child they had an adoption loss. They actually had two birthmothers decide to parent within a month, but this story is about the second one. They were supposed to be picking up the baby that day when they got the call that the birthmother had decided to parent. They had everything ready and had even named him Matthew James. Of course the family was devastated. The mother spent some time deeply upset and just mad about it. One day her mother-in-law (the grandma at the meeting) told her that she prayed for Matthew James every day. It hit the mother then that her mother-in-law may have been the only one praying for Matthew James. The mother wasn't praying for him, she had been upset and only thinking about her loss. She realized that God gave them that loss so that little boy would have someone to pray for him. They knew the situation he was in wasn't a good one and if they hadn't had that loss Matthew more than likely wouldn't have had anyone praying for him. Within a few months the family was able to adopt their second child, which was the child God had in mind for them.

Thoughts on Adoption

At our training this past Saturday we heard from another couple who adopted two children. The children are now 16 and 12 and they seemed to be great kids. This family was the best part of both of the sessions that we've been to. J and I could've listened to them for the entire 5 hours we were there on Saturday. They also brought along one of the grandma's so we got to also hear some comments from her which was great. I wish everyone in our family could talk to them because it just reinforced our decision to adopt. J and I feel so strongly about what we are doing and even though our families are both supportive we wish you could hear this family. It's hard for me to describe everything that we feel about this experience and this family managed to put it all into words. Adoption is a calling from God. It is nothing short of amazing to be in a room with 15 other Christian couples all in different stages of the adoption process. Some are adopting Internationally, some are adopting Domestically, but all of us know in our heart that God has a special child in mind for us. We're just waiting for His perfect timing to be matched with him or her.

I want to devote some posts to adoption and try to explain some of the feelings that led us to this decision. I was going through some of the information that our agency sent us when we first contacted them. One of the things was a checklist to see if you were ready to adopt. Here are some of the things we considered in the very beginning:
1. Are you losing energy to pursue further fertility treatments - YES
2. In many ways would it be a relief to stop trying to conceive - YES
3. Have you tried every medical option with which you feel comfortable, yet experienced no success - YES
4. Are you willing to make yourself vulnerable to someone else's judgement - YES, this one took some time to get used to
5. Have you grieved the loss of the child you had hoped to conceive (vitally important question)- YES, we spent two years doing this
6. Do you find yourself spending more and more time thinking about and talking about adoption - YES
7. Do you and your spouse both feel adoption is a positive option - YES
8. Can you look over the following list of wrong reasons to adopt and conclude these are not the reasons you want to adopt - YES
We will be doing the poor child a favor, Other children will have a playmate, We have been through a difficult infertility experience and we deserve a baby, Raising a baby will help our marriage, Having a baby to love will make me feel completed and loved

All of the answers to these questions were YES for us. I was thinking yesterday that I don't really think of us as being infertile anymore. There was a time where it consumed almost every thought that I had, but there are days that go by now and I don't even think about it. I've said in previous posts that I don't want to forget about it (which I won't), but it's nice not to think about it quite as much.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

....and the wait begins...

Today we had our last training meeting with our agency. We received a certificate saying we had completed 10 hours of training which certifies us to be our baby's foster parents. It also completes the requirements of our agency to be able to adopt. We took our profiles with us and delivered them to the agency. That means we are officially waiting. There is nothing else for us to do except read a few required books and figure out how we will pay for it. We found out today there will be some extra expenses involved that we hadn't counted on. You might add that to your prayer list, I had the actual adoption fees figured out, but this extra is throwing me. Especially since there is no way of knowing an exact amount until it's time to pay them. It just includes legal fees and other expenses like if the baby stays in another foster care home before we bring it home. Things that are necessary, but I just hadn't thought about them.

So I guess our official wait time begins today. It's kind of hard for me to determine an actual wait time, because we really have been waiting for a long time already. Of course you can find anything on the web, so I found a ticker to commerate our waiting time - I just don't know which one to use. The first one is our wait time since we've turned in the profile.
Lilypie Waiting to adopt Ticker

This ticker is counting the days since we found out we could start the adoption process.
Lilypie Waiting to adopt Ticker

This ticker is how long it's been since we attended our first adoption meeting with our agency.
LilypieWaiting to adopt Ticker

This ticker may explain why I almost crawled over the counter at Kinkos. This is how long this whole process of adding another child to our family has taken. I look at this and remember the times I thought the pain was never going to end, but in a way it's hard to believe it's been 2+ years. In another way it's hard to believe that it's only been 2+ years. I think I've forgotten what life was like before we decided we wanted another baby.
LilypieWaiting to adopt Ticker

Parts of this whole journey have drug by and other parts have flown by. If I'd have known back in June of 2005 what was ahead I don't know that I would've been able to go through it. There were times in the middle that I didn't think I'd make it, but somehow I did. That was such a painful time, but now I wouldn't change anything about our wait. We still have plenty of waiting ahead of us, but for me it's a different kind of wait. There are times that it is probably going to seem pretty long, but I know someday soon I'll look into my baby's eyes and all of this won't matter. I'll know I waited x number of years for that baby. I won't ever forget the wait, and I don't want to , because it was all part of this wonderful journey that God allowed my family to be a part of.