Friday, December 29, 2006

6 months

Well, he hit the 6 month mark being contracted out. It's been an interesting six months so far...

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Our second round of profiles are done

Well, we finished the second round of profiles. So, they will be shipped to the facilitator tomorrow, to get there sometime in the new year. We really do like them, and sure hope they grab attention and make us get noticed.

We used bright colors, and set it up like a scrapbook. It's easy to read, and we tossed in some great pictures.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

In honor

A year ago, we lost a very special person. Grandmommy passed away Dec 26, 2005. We miss her a lot. We are very sad that she never got to meet our children, she loved the little ones. She always wanted her great grand kids to have wooden high chairs, and that was what she always bought them. So, when we contracted out with our facilitator, we went and bought a wooden high chair in her honor. It wouldn't have been right as a gift from anyone else. We've been thinking a lot about her today, and how much we miss her, but know that she is with grandaddy now, and is smiling down on us.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas

Mike and I would like to take this time to say Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all who are following along our journey.

We hope everyone has a wonderful holiday season.

Friday, December 22, 2006

catching up

Well, we've been MIA because we've been sick this week. Our little niece celebrated her first birthday by giving us a stomach virus ;) Both of us were still a little weak from being sick earlier this month, so it hit us bad. We are finally starting to feel better :)

We also finished our profile. We went to proof it today, and it should be ready for us on Tuesday. It looks good, and we are going to look for some ribbon for it tomorrow. We'll pick it up on Tuesday, assemble it, and hopefully get it mailed out.

The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption's Home for the Holidays show was on tonight. It was very good, and very inspiring.

Friday, December 15, 2006


Well, we fully plan to be home for the holidays, but we are prepared to go if we need to. We typically spend Christmas Eve with Mike's family, then go home and spend the night at our house. Christmas morning is our time, a tradition we hope to continue where Santa gets to come to our house on Christmas morning. It's our family time. Then, Christmas Day we will spend with Elizabeth's family. We are looking forward to it.

Of course, everything could change, and we could be spending Christmas at a hotel room who knows where :)

You never know :)

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Positive Adoption Language

This is taken from our Lifetime family notebook:

The way we talk- and the words we choose - say a lot about what we think and value. When we use positive adoption language, we say that adoption is a way to build a family just as birth is. Both are important, but one is not more important than the other. Choose the following postive language instead of negative language that perpetuates the myth that adoption is second best. By using positive adoption language, you'll reflect the true nature of adoption, free of innuendo.

Positive Language - Negative Language
Birthparent - Real Parent, Natural Parent
Biological parent - Natural Parent
Biological father - Begetter
Parent - Adoptive parent
Birthchild - Own child
My child -My adopted child, my own child
Child with special needs - Hard to place child, handicapped
Child from abroad - Foreign child
Was adopted - Is adopted
Make an adoption plan, choose adoption - Give up, give away, surrender, relinquish, place the child
Child entrusted to adoptive parents - Child placed for adoption, unwanted child
To parent - To keep
Born to unmarried parents - Illegitimate
Waiting child - Adoptable child, free child, available child
International adoption - Foreign adoption
Adoption triad - Adoption triangle
Permission to sign a release - Disclosure
Search,locate - Track down parents
Making contact with - Reunion
Terminate parental rights - Give up

Friday, December 08, 2006

profile revisions so far

Well, we sent in our profile revisions, and already got back a response. We'll have more of a response later, but it's a start.

Hi Elizabeth,

Thank you for submitting your profile changes. Please allow me a chance to compare them to your current version. I also wonder if you are interested in considering a new cover photo. Some families find that it can be helpful to try a new look when they haven’t seen the response they were hoping for on their first profile look. It’s a fine line because making revisions to your profile doesn’t mean that your first version was wrong, bad, or not working. In fact I’ve worked with several families who had good profiles and just wanted to try something new and to keep their profile updated. Many families feel that making updates and changes to their profile can help them feel proactive in their adoption plan.

I know you understand what an important tool your profile is; your profile is also one of the few things you can actually control with your adoption. When I look through our file with your original cover photos I notice a lot of similar photos and poses. It might be a great opportunity to take some new professional outdoor photos for your revision. I understand this time of year can be hectic but it is well worth the time to try something new.

One thing I recommend for your professional photo is wearing some color; the colors worn in your current cover photo are very similar to your skin tones and I want your faces come across as bright and warm as they really are in your photo. Also I recommend wearing fabrics that have a little more structure to them, such as a button up collared shirt for Mike and a blouse or shirt and jacket for you. You don’t have to look formal, just a little different than your everyday wear. Seeing the eyes of the adoptive couples is very important to birth mothers; wearing colors that show off your sparkling eyes can help. Consider darker colors in reds, blues, deep burgundy, or warm chocolate colors.

I look forward to working with you on any revisions to your profile. Please feel free to let me know if you have any questions.

So, it sounds like we need to do some more cover photos.... and we look forward to seeing what other suggestions are given to us.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

new profile

We worked really hard, delayed some other stuff, but finished the profile revisions today. They got sent in to the new profile coordinator, and hopefully she will be able to check them out and give us some feedback. If they work out well, we will hopefully be able to print them and have them sent in soon. We'd like to have them in by Christmas (if not earlier) if possible....

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

starting late for Christmas

We've both been sick with colds. First Mike had it, then Elizabeth. So much fun. So we are a bit delayed in getting our act together for Christmas. Good thing we have the extra week!

When Mike was sick, I put the lights outside. We are not hanging any from the house this year, but we did hang some from the two trees in our front yard. We also put up cute ones that stay on the ground- they are around our flower bed. I hung snowflake lights in the office window- they blink :)

Today, Mike put up the Christmas tree. I was test driving cookies for our cookie party this weekend. It's going to be a lot of fun, but I have a TON of cookies to bake. It's a lot of fun to have everyone come and decorate, and a lot of fun to see all the kids!

I need to get cracking on our Christmas cards too. And I plan on decorating the tree as I am making the cookies for the cookie party later this week. Lots going on! I love this time of year!

Saturday, December 02, 2006

a holiday blurb

On the last conference call we were asked to write a little blurb about the holidays as well as another about just general family life.

This is what we sent in, a blurb from Mike about the holiday season:

One thing I love about Christmas season is our cookie decorating party. Elizabeth makes hundreds of sugar cookies, and we invite the neighbors, all our friends, and all the kids to come to our house and decorate them. It's lots of fun to visit with everyone, and we all look forward to it every year. We can't wait to have our children participate too.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Nov 30: Celebrate Adoption Today


Celebrate Adoption Today

Day #30 Submit a story connected with your adoption experience to local, state, or national publications... and complete your collage.

Well, I have to admit, I'm so behind, I'm still working on my collage ;)

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

5 months

Today we hit the 5 month mark from when we contracted with Lifetime. So much has happened since then. We've learned a lot. Some friends from our Lifetime yahoo group have been matched, and have a son. We learned we need to rework our profile. We've set up a nursery. We've had a home study. So many exciting events....

Nov 29: Celebrate Adoption Today


Celebrate Adoption Today

Day #29 Give your child/children, adopted and not, an extra hug today.

Well, we will give Precious extra special attention today ;)

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Our friends from our facilitaton center have a boy!

Some friends from my Lifetime yahoo group are new parents! Their soon to be son was born today :) They are currently with the birthmother and the baby, and hopefully will be able to take the little one home next week.

I really am excited that someone in our little "group" got matched up and the baby was born. I remember when she joined our group, and then when she got the call, chatting with the birthmom. And now, so exciting!

Nov 28: Celebrate Adoption Today


Celebrate Adoption Today

Day #28 Share your adoption story with members of your faith.

Faith- it has a whole lot of meanings. I am wearing a bracelet my sister gave me, It says faith on it. It reminds me to keep faith that things will happen when they are supposed to happen. I wear it just about every day....

Monday, November 27, 2006

Nov 27: Celebrate Adoption Today


Celebrate Adoption Today

Day #27 During the Thanksgiving Day meal ask each person to share that for which he/she is most thankful.

This one is a little off, as Thanksgiving was last week ;) But anyway, we are very thankful for our friends and family, and each other....

We hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Nov 26: Celebrate Adoption Today


Celebrate Adoption Today

Day #26 Encourage a family you know to consider adopting.

While we don't specifically target anyone, we are more than happy to share our experiences with those who ask. And, the more you talk about it, the more you find out about people who are considering adoption.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Nov 25: Celebrate Adoption Today


Celebrate Adoption Today

Day #25 Volunteer to be a support to another adoptive or birth family.

I've mentioned this before, we are on an adoption support yahoo group for others who are adopting from our adoption facilitator. It's a great group, with lots of support. One of the families was recently matched up, and their baby is due any minute now :)

Nov 24: Celebrate Adoption Today


Celebrate Adoption Today

Day #24 Subscribe to an adoption magazine.

Actually, that's on our Christmas list - a subscription to Adoptive Families Magazine and Adoption Today magazine.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving

We hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving. We have a lot to be thankful for, our friends, our family, and each other.

Have a great holiday everyone.

Nov 23: Celebrate Adoption Today


Celebrate Adoption Today

Day #23 Send a note of thanks to someone who helped make your adoption or search dreams a reality.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Nov 22: Celebrate Adoption Today


Celebrate Adoption Today Day #22

Attend a support group meeting.

We are looking for adoption groups in our area, but haven't found any yet. We are on an online group for Lifetime families, and it's great.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Nov 21: Celebrate Adoption Today


Celebrate Adoption Today

Day #21 Share a birth family tradition or recipe for your Thanksgiving meal coming up.

We are looking forward to Thanksgiving. We are going to the house on the Guadalupe River with my sisters and their families, my parents, and my brother.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Nov 20: Celebrate Adoption Today


Celebrate Adoption Today

Day #20 Ask your child to write a letter to a celebrity about their adoption experience.

Again, not one we can participate in. But someday :)

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Nov 19: Celebrate Adoption Today


Celebrate Adoption Today

Day #19 Cook a meal that reflects your family heritage.

We had chicken strips for lunch and hamburgers for dinner :)

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Nov 18: Celebrate Adoption Today


Celebrate Adoption Today

Day #18 Get together with other adoptive or birth family members for dinner.

Actually, we are going to a birthday dinner in honor of Mrs D. It's her 100th birthday dinner party, and we are excited that we were invited to share in her special celebration.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Time to rework the profile

The owner and founder of our facilitation center called us today. She had some great pointers and tips on things we ought to do to change up our profile a bit. So we are going to do that. Our current ones are ok, she said, but there are a lot of clues and things in there that are most likely getting us passed over. So, she helped us figure out which pictures to use/not use and how to change up the wording a bit. We are looking forward to changing things up, and hope to have them completed pretty soon.

Nov 17: Celebrate Adoption Today


Celebrate Adoption Today

Day #17 Take a family photo.

Well, we can't do that today, as Mike is in New Hampshire for a work road trip. But we do need to do it again, as we need to rework our profile a bit.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Nov 16: Celebrate Adoption Today


Celebrate Adoption Today

Day #16 Ask your local library to display adoption-related books.

You know, one thing we have realized is that it's hard to find age appropriate adoption related books. You can go online and find them, but to actually see them in person is difficult. Barnes and Noble and Borders carry a few in the actual store, and quite a few online. Even Target carries quite a selection online. But you can't find any in a Target store. Nor can you add them to a registry. You can add them to a wish list, but not a baby registry.... Babies R Us has one adoption book in the store, and not all stores have it. They also have one book available online (not the same as the one in the store).

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Nov 15: Celebrate Adoption Today


Celebrate Adoption Today

Day #15 Share with someone close to you how adoption has affected your life.

We do this every day... this blog is an example ;) Because, adoption has affected our life, and we are quite excited about it.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Nov 14: Celebrate Adoption Today


Celebrate Adoption Today

Day #14 Talk about the birth family of your child(ren) in a positive way.

Can't do that yet, but we look forward to doing it some day.....

Monday, November 13, 2006

Another teleconference call

We were asked to participate in a teleconference call tonight. It was very interesting.

It was titled: How to Survive the Holidays While Waiting. Mardie Caldwell, founder and CEO of Lifetime Adoption, addressed the concerns of families who are waiting to adopt and now face the coming holidays, the prospect of seeing extended family, and all the emotions that go along with this season.

This teleconference also included insight and encouragement for some common areas:

How to answer questions from your relatives.
How to stay positive.
How to turn lemons into lemonade.
Remembering to take time to reflect.

We really enjoyed it, and got a lot out of it. It helped us to reflect, and gave us some good pointers. We were really excited about the information we received, and plan on using some of the tips and hints we were given.

Nov 13: Celebrate Adoption Today


Celebrate Adoption Today

Day #13 Learn more about positive adoption language.

This is a great activity day, and the links shown in positive adoption language have some great hints and tips to use. We've posted about this before, and strongly believe that using postive adoption language is important. It's great to share with family and friends, and eventually teachers and others who come into contact with the family and the future child.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Nov 12: Celebrate Adoption Today


Celebrate Adoption Today

Day #12 Play in the leaves with your family and discuss how each family tree is unique.

Well, we are not going to do this, but we are going to take our 4 year old nephew and almost 11 month old niece to The Children's Festival :) Mike and I are looking forward to spending the afternoon by ourselves with the little ones.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Nov 11: Celebrate Adoption Today


Celebrate Adoption Today
Day #11
Call your local or state elected officials to find out where they stand on adoption issues.

We don't know about the elected officials in our local area, League City, but we do know about some folks in our parent's area. Congressman Kevin Brady, 8th District of Texas, is himself an adoptive father of two, and has done quite a few things to help pass adoption laws. He has worked to help pass laws that benefit both the children, and also to help increase the tax adoption credit for adoptive parents.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Nov 10: Celebrate Adoption Today


Celebrate Adoption Today

Day #10 Take a family walk.

We did this. It wasn't as long as our usual walk, but we did get a short one in. One thing Mike and I enjoy doing is spending time together, taking a walk. We often do it after Mike gets home from work. We are looking forward to pushing a little one in a stroller soon....

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Nov 9: Celebrate Adoption Today


Celebrate Adoption Today

Day #9
Make a Christmas/Kwanzaa/Chanukah ornament or gift which reflects the ethnic heritage of your family members.

Well, again, another that doesn't really match to us yet. Rather than going ethnic heritage, we go with interest. So, we have sailboat and racecar ornaments.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Putting It All Together

We have several different websites, one for our blog, one for our profile, etc. So, we put it all together. It'll be easier to remember one website address, and you can gain access to everything there. The site is . We also typed up an "about us" section, pretty similar to our profile, it tells a little bit about us ;)

Nov 8: Celebrate Adoption Today


Celebrate Adoption Today

Day #8 Suggest forming a group at school to address the positive aspects of adoption.

Well, we really aren't to that level yet, as we have no kids in school. But I am spreading the word on message boards and other groups I am in.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Nov 7: Celebrate Adoption Today


Celebrate Adoption Today

Day #7 Write to elected officials in support of ballot measures that help children and families.

Well, I guess we'll see who gets elected and decide if we ought to write letters or not. We are not typically ones to write letters to elected officials.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Another conference call

We were on another Lifetime conference call tonight. It was interesting. It was for contracted folks, folks in application, and folks who are interesting in adoption. It was geared more toward the whole adoption processes versus just one aspect, but was a great informational tool.

Nov 6: Celebrate Adoption Today


Celebrate Adoption Today

Day #6 Light candles during dinner to remember children who are waiting for permanent families.

Well, that's not unusal for us to light a candle during dinner or anytime for that matter. I lit one after dinner (we were on a chat during dinner) to remember...

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Nov 5: Celebrate Adoption Today


Celebrate Adoption Today

Day #5 Work on a life book for your child or your own journal.

We are doing a few things for this. First, we have the book Our Chosen Child that we are going to use as our baby book. It's perfect for our situation.

Second, I purchased a scrapbook. I actually found it at the Dollar Tree store, and the funny thing is, the brand is called Miss Elizabeth's. It basically is just the cover, but you buy inserts to make the scrapbook. It's expandable, held together with a ribbon, which is fantastic and unique. My plan is to scrap the journey of adoption, to show all that we are going through as we build our family.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Nov 4: Celebrate Adoption Today


Celebrate Adoption Today

Day #4 Write a letter to the editor about a positive adoption story.

I don't really have any editors to write to, so not sure what I'll do with this one...

Friday, November 03, 2006

Nov 3: Celebrate Adoption Today


Celebrate Adoption Today

Day #3 Read an adoption story as a family.

We have several interesting adoption books for both children and adults. We are always on the lookout for ones to share with our future children, and have found a few so far. One thing we have noticed though is that most have to be bought online. Babies R Us carries one book in store (and not all carry it), Target rarely has any, and both Barnes and Noble and Borders don't have but a few titles at any given time. We had wanted to register for some, but found that even though Target has quite a few online, they can't be added to a baby registry, only a wishlist. Quite disappointing.

These are the books we have so far:

for kids:

Tell Me Again About the Night I Was Born, by Jamie Lee Curtis

How I Was Adopted, by Joanna Cole

Happy Adoption Day, by John McCutcheon

for adults:

The Complete Adoption Book, by Beauvais-Godwin and Godwin, Esq, by Mardie Caldwell

Adoption for Dummies, by Barr and Carlisle

as a baby book:

Our Chosen Child, by Levy and Pelikan

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Nov 2: Celebrate Adoption Today

Day #2 Rent a video that shows adoption in a positive way. I plan on watching the free streaming video one (Out of the Fog) and choosing a few of the others to put in my netflix queue.

A few that are recommended:


Blossoms in the Dust (1941)
Greer Garson stars as Edna Gladney, a pioneer in the world of adoption agencies. While instrumental in having the word "illegitimate" removed from Texas adoption files, she remained a staunch supporter of sealed records. Drama. Not rated.

Curly Top (1935)
Bachelor millionaire, orphaned youngsters, love, romance and lots of song and dance. Happily ever after with Shirley Temple in her prime. Musical. Rated G.

Inn of the Sixth Happiness (1958)
The story of Gladys Aylward, adoptive parent and missionary in China, starring Ingrid Bergman. Not rated.

Men of Boys Town (1941)
Spencer Tracy as Father Flanigan is back in Boys Town, this time for three stories geared to touch the heartstrings. Drama. Not rated

The Lady is Willing (1942)
You just can't miss Marlene Dietrich as a woman whose maternal instincts get fired up when she finds an abandoned baby. Comedy. Not rated.


Big Daddy (1999)
Adam Sandler stars in this story of a man who adopts to impress his girlfriend. Oh well. Foolishness for the family. Comedy. Rated PG-13.

Flirting With Disaster (1996)
Jealous adoptive parents, hippie birth parents, and an over-sexed adoption consultant are only a few of the hurdles Mel Coplin (Ben Stiller) faces on his way through a farce of search and reunion. Comedy. Rated R.

Immediate Family (1989)
Couple seeking to adopt meets teenage expectant couple. Excellent cast includes Glenn Close, James Woods, Mary Stuart Masterson and Kevin Dillon. Drama. Rated PG-13.

Losing Isaiah (1995)
A strong story of conflict and resolution very much in tune with today's issues of addicted babies, transracial adoption, and birthmother rights. Jessica Lange, Halle Berry, Samuel L. Jackson. Rated R.

Mommie Dearest (1981)
As an adoptive mother, Joan Crawford was very different from the picture she presented to the world, according to this film based on the story by her daughter Christina. Drama.

Second Best (1995)
Single parent adoption is the backdrop for this exploration of a man's and a boy's dreams and disillusionment. Drama. Rated PG-13.

Secrets & Lies (1996)
The phrase "secrets and lies" is commonly used in the adoption community to mean sealed records, shame, guilt, or fear. But the secrets and lies of this remarkable film go far beyond and take us into the very real - and very human - failure to communicate that marks so many family relationships, adoptive and not. Rated R.

The Lost Child (2000)
A Hallmark Hall of Fame original film (2000), this true story of a Jewish adoptee's discovery of her Navajo heritage is a powerful work that explores adoption and interpersonal issues, as well as these two strong cultures.

Stuart Little
The movie isn't like the book. No movie ever is, but the story line has been altered - making Stuart an adoptee rather than biological child - and, of course, there's the usual book-to-movie change from imagination (book) to visual certainty (movie).


Bonding Through Touch: Infant Massage for Adoptive Families
This video, produced by Three Hearts, LLC, teaches parents how to massage their infants and children with a loving touch. Massage promotes attachment and bonding by reinforcing gentle, close, loving contact between parents, siblings, and the new child.

In The Sun: A Complete Guide to Adoption
A "how to adopt" video. It includes information about the various types of adoption, children (ages, domestic, international), legal and financial considerations, presented in a series of conversations with couples and comments by adoption professionals.

Precious Cargo
Originally aired on November 11, 2001 (PBS), this remarkable film is being made available on video. The story follows a group of young Vietnamese adoptees on a homeland visit, and includes information on Operation Babylift. The film is both political and intensely personal.

Out of the Fog: Mothers' Voices
This educational video featuring birthmothers is being made available free on the Web. Addressing issues such as open records, language, choice, and adoption practice, the video is the creation of independent filmmaker Suzie Kidnap.... It can be found here.

Seven Core Issues of Adoption
Sharon Kaplan and Deborah Silverstein discuss the issues of loss, rejection, guilt and shame, grief, identity, intimacy, and mastery/control with an audience of triad members. Excellent choice for support groups and adoption educators.

Unlocking the Heart of Adoption
This documentary, filmed by Sheila Ganz over the course of several years with input from families around the entire spectrum of adoption, is intended to educate, encourage dialog, and raise awareness. An excellent choice for educators and adoption professionals, as well as our families.

Was I In Your Tummy, Mommy?
This 90-minute video was created by Spence-Chapin's Adoption Resources Center and presents teaching sessions with parents addressing the "tummy" question, as well as questions about children who don't ask questions, and dealing with questions and comments from others.

So apparently my sister's name.... Molly not Holly. Well, according to the home study that the case worker we contracted out wrote. And my dad earned a Masters in Civil Engineering and Behavior at Rice University. She got Mike's mom's school completely wrong, misspelled my other sister's last name, and lots of other stuff.

These are just a few of the many multiple mistakes the home study lady did. You can tell she did it in a hurry...

I've emailed our coordinator to see what she has to say about it.

Apparently, according to our lawyer, we might have to do it all over again anyway... so I'll see if we pursue it further with her or not. The possible home study we might need isn't done until we are placed with a child. This home study is basically for the facilitator and to show the ICPC (Interstate Child Placement Compact) that we are fit to parent. And, the chances (especially finalizing the adoption in Galveston County) of us needing a new one to go with the adoption records are pretty high.

It's a shame this happened, and so wrong!

Geez, talk about a royal pain. She took over 2 months to do it, cashed our check, and then did it wrong!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

November is Adoption Awareness Month

November is Adoption Awareness Month. I have found an Adoption Month Calendar- an activity every day. They all pertain to the family and to adoption. So, I'm going to do it. I'll post each day what the activity is, and what we did (or are going to do) that day.

NOVEMBER 1 :Celebrate Adoption Today

Day #1 Get thirty sheets of paper in multiple colors. Daily write something about your adoption journey. On Nov. 30th, assemble into a collage.

I am not going to do a collage, but rather a scrapbook. I was at the dollar store today and found the cutest scrapbook and scrapbook paper. So, I am going to do it this month and chronicle our adoption journey thus far.

Halloween was fun

We had a blast last night passing out candy to kids. Mike is going to be such a great dad! He was so excited everytime the bell rang, and loved looking at the kid's halloween costumes. We had 55 trick or treaters.

Mike had bought lots of halloween candy, and I went and bought fruit snacks for the toddlers/babies and picked up some crayons too. Stuff A Friend is having a coloring contest, so I printed off the coloring sheets, and made a booklet of them. The sheets had one of our website addresses on them ( that tells about our adoption. I put Stuff A Friend stickers on the crayons with my Stuff A Friend website: .

So when the doorbell rang, Mike passed out the candy and I passed out the crayons and coloring sheets. The kids were really excited about it, we heard one little boy go screaming down the driveway to his mother "MOM! Crayons and Candy! This is the BEST house ever!"

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Happy Halloween!

We are staying home and passing out candy this year. It's Mike's first year to get to do it, as he is usually on call. He's excited.

He went yesterday to buy the candy to pass out. He got tons of stuff! He wants to pass out good stuff, and be very generous to the kids who come by.

I know he's going to be a great dad :)

Sunday, October 29, 2006

4 months

It's been 4 months since we contracted out with our facilitator. Four months since we began this exciting journey. A lot has happened in those 4 months. We've prepared a nursery, made a profile, had a home study, found a lawyer. Time sure has flown by!

Friday, October 27, 2006

Monthly Check In with Coordinator

I sent in an email today for our monthly check in. We asked if profiles were ok, and what was listed as our preferences. The check in was brief, and I guess she's considering it for the month of November too....

Hi Elizabeth and Mike,

Thanks for checking in (let’s say for the month of November :) ); we are good with your profile count—no additional ones are needed at this time. Listed below is your preference range that we have you listed as:

Age Range, Twins, Sibling Group, Race, Gender, Contact with Birthmom, Substance Usage, Birthmother Expenses.

Let me know if you have any changes. Have a great weekend.

For the most part it was right, we are interested in up to age two, would love to be considered for twins and sibling groups, etc. But the birthmothers expenses we had written negotiable (we are not limited to what was listed), and the substance usage (the hard stuff) we want to take on a case by case basis. So I emailed her back to ask a few questions.

I guess we don't get to talk to her until December now. It sure can be discouraging sometimes.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Revising profiles

We are going to revise our profiles a bit. There have been lots of changes in our lives recently, and we thought, why not? Also, I want to make it a little easier (and hopefully cost less) to print. The last ones we loved, but it's so expensive to print them on 11x17 paper and then cut them down. So, that's the next big project.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

new pictures

We sent in some pictures from our road trip, more "action shots". We also sent in pictures of the nursery, they say that some birthmoms like to see the nursery and where the little one will end up. Lifetime added one of the nursery pictures to our profile. It can be found here: Lifetime Profile .

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Kisses in the Wind, a poem

I found this poem, it's sweet... our future child may or may not be born yet, but it's nice to know that at some point there will be a child for us... This is a great poem for all who are adopting, be it domestic, international, a baby or an older child...


I hold you in my heart and touch you in my dreams.
You are here each day with me, at least that's how it seems.

I know you wonder where we are... what's taking us so long.
But remember child, I love you so and God will keep you strong.

Now go outside and feel the breeze and let it touch your skin...
Because tonight, just as always, I blow you kisses in the wind.

May God hold you in His hand until I can be with you.
I promise you, my darling, I'm doing all that I can do.

Very soon, you'll have a family for real, not just pretend.
But for tonight, just as always, I blow you kisses in the wind.

May God wrap you in His arms and hold you very tight.
And let the angels bring the kisses that I send to you each night.

--- Unknown

Monday, October 23, 2006

two years

Two years ago we married our best friends, each other. We took vows to love, honor, cherish each other, and when the timing was right, to start a family. We had no clue of the journey we'd be on to build our family, but we eagerly looked forward to it. It's been an interesting ride, but one we'd gladly do all over again. As each day goes by, our love, our friendship, our committment grows stronger. And we look forward to being awesome role models for our little ones.....

Sunday, October 22, 2006


Mike is great at making lists. Especially for travel. The one he (and I) are working on now is a list for what we will need when we get the call. It's a very good idea. Especially since we will need to travel possibly at a moment's notice.

So, lists he makes. There are two of them. One is for us, things we will need. And one is for what we will need for baby. It's great to be prepared. He's looking for a guideline, and found one through one of our adoption books. Now, he'll get it together for us.

My job will be getting the stuff together from his lists. We make a great team :)

Waiting... Waiting... Waiting

This is the worst part. Nothing new to report, it's like we are at a stand still. Our profiles are out, it's just time to wait. Someday (not soon enough for us) we will get that call.

Yesterday, we went to a gala with my sister and brother in law. The (at least 16 year old) babysitter was referencing her "old" dad, and we found out he is 37! Just a year older than us, and here we are, waiting for our first.....

Some folks say, "don't think about it" and "when you are not thinking about it the call will come". That's pretty similar to telling someone who is trying to concieve to "relax, it'll happen". Very frustrating, because you don't know how or when it will happen, and you can't not help but think about it. Your hands are tied, you want something so bad, yet can't get it, don't know when you will get it, when the call will come....

Friday, October 20, 2006

We have a new niece

Our newest neice, Kathleen Elaine, was born on Wednesday morning. She is such a sweet baby. Her older brother Ryan (2) isn't quite sure what to think of her yet, but her cousin Blake (4) was excited to meet her. Her cousin Ella (10 months) didn't understand much either when she met her, but Ella smiled big at Kathleen.

We can't wait until we are able to add to the cousins! Hopefully the call will come someday soon....

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

We are back

Well, we made it through our trip, and no phone calls.... We had the home phone forwarded to my cell, just in case, but didn't get any phone calls from Lifetime. It's ok. We had a great time, and didn't have to stress about having to find an airport, getting stuff together, etc.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Always be prepared

So, we are about to embark on a ten day road trip. My cousin is getting married in San Diego on the 14th. So, we decided since Mike has two weeks of vacation left that we'd take off and wander around on our way. (And hopefully knock off a few more states of my list). We don't have but a few set in stone plans, so it's going to work out well for us.

We emailed the adoption coordinator to tell her of our road trip, and when we'd be back. We forwarded our home phone to the cell phone. And we are always going to be within a decent drive of an airport. So, if the call comes, we can go park our car at the airport, and go wherever we need to go. We'll stay as long as we need to, then fly back to get our car. Then drive home (with baby) from there.

You never know, so it's best to always be prepared!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Action Shots

So, one thing they recommended on the conference call was to have more actions shots. Showing your life as you go day to day. Have the camera ready all the time, just take pictures of yourself in your every day life. We had a friend over for dinner tonight, and had her take a picture of us at the dining room table. We made sure to include the high chair in there, as they also recommend showing stuff like that you already have around the house. They say that pictures of nurseries, baby stuff around the house, etc all help show the birthparents that you are ready and able to take a baby at any time....

Monday, October 02, 2006


So, we have our first teleconference with our adoption facilitator tonight. The founder of Lifetime will be leading it. We are looking forward to it. It's a "New Family Orientation" teleconference and will cover topics such as:
* The importance of being available to be presented to every birthmother that matches your preference.
* How you can ensure you will not miss out on a situation.
* The 3 things you MUST have to be successful with Lifetime.
* How to be sure you are ready to adopt.

It's supposed to help us understand Lifetime, adoption, and what to expect. It should also have some great tips for us.

Sunday, October 01, 2006


Natural Child: Any child who is not artificial.
Real Parent: Any parent who is not imaginary.
Your Own Child: Any child who is not someone else's child.
Adopted Child: A natural child, with a real parent, who is all my own.

--- Rita Laws, PhD

I came across this quote as I was looking for some other quotes to share with a friend. How true it is.

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Three Months

Well, it's been three months since we became waiting parents. Three months since we were contracted out with our facilitator. Wow, these three months have flown by....

We have accomplished quite a few things during that time. It's also been a time of happiness, tears, frustration, and even exhaustion.. But everything is in, we are set, our paperwork is complete.

Hopefully we are well over half way through our wait, but there is not telling. All we do now is see what happens....

Friday, September 29, 2006

phone calls

Every time the phone rings, we wonder, "Could this be the call?"

Especially when the phone rings during non-traditional business hours. See, we are basically on call 24/7 and never know when the phone will ring to say "A birth mother chose you -oh, she's in labor, you will be parents really soon". Or, "A birth mother (due in x months) chose you". The latter is more likely to come during business hours, but the former could come at any time. They typically like the adoptive parents to be there (or as soon as they can- if last minute) when the baby is born. And of course, you never know when a baby might decide to make it's appearance.

So, every single time the phone rings, we wonder "could this be the call?" then chek caller ID....

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Just recieved the best picture in an email

It's my friend Karen, her husband, her mother, a boy, a girl and a judge.

It's their first official picture taken as a family, their adoption of the kids was finalized today.

I am so excited for them!

Congrats to the Reed family!

Monday, September 25, 2006

monthly check in

We emailed our coordinator last week to make sure all paperwork is in, and they have everything they need. Here is her reply:

It looks like we have all items needed; we will continue to present you to birth mothers matching your preferences, and visa versa. Let’s check in with each other during the last week of October!

So, we are now in the monthly check in phase. That just means we email or call her once a month to check in. She asks if anything has changed, and tells us if she needs us to put together and send in more profiles. Lots of waiting, waiting, waiting.....

Sunday, September 24, 2006

A Few Adoption Thoughts

We witness a miracle every time a child enters into life. But those who make their journey home across time & miles, growing within the hearts of those who wait to love them, are carried on the wings of destiny and placed among us by God's very own hands.
--- Kristi Larson

And a friend sent me this quote today:

However motherhood comes to you, it's a miracle.

Valerie Harper
Adoptive parent

We can't wait until we get the call, and our lives change forever....

Friday, September 22, 2006


So, I'm going to be a first time Mom at 36 (most likely). When I was growing up, that was not what I expected, but now, I eagerly anticipate it. When Mike and I got married, we purposely planned our wedding for 2004 so that we could have our first child in 2005. Well, obviously those plans were not meant to be. The best laid plans don't always work out, but you know, that's what makes life so interesting. We are fortunate enough to be healthy, happy and secure, and will be able to enjoy our children, keep up with them, and watch them flourish. I don't feel 36, I feel like I am younger. And that's what keeps us going, looking forward to the future.

36 is not too old to become a first time parent, and is not totally unusual anymore. Though it's hard not to think about it when a 35 year old friend of mine became a grandmother yesterday. Or the fact that when my mom was 36 she had a 16 year old (me!). But in today's society, it's ok to be a bit older, and still have kids. Thank goodness we are where we are today, as Mike and I were meant to be parents.

We look forward to it this year and welcome the challenge.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Convertible Car Seats

Convertible car seats are wonderful. We've been testing ours out with the little ones in our lives. Once a week, we have niece(or nephew)/aunt and uncle day. It's been a lot of fun so far! The nice thing is, the car seat we have can be used by all but the oldest nephew (he's in a booster now), even though our niece needs hers backwards and one nephew needs his facing forward. They are easy to put in (LATCH system is great!) and wonderful to use. The kids love being in the carseats.

My parents have the same car seat we do, and I showed my Dad how easy it is to reverse it depending on which child he (or my mom) have in the car.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Interesting reading

So, this weekend was a nice and slow one. We had plenty of time to relax, do a few things around the house, and otherwise just enjoy ourselves.

We also got to get caught up on some reading. We have found some very interesting and very helpful books throughout the adoption process.

One book is The Complete Adoption Book by Beauvais-Godwin and Godwin, Esq. We have found it to be extremely helpful both in the very beginning and as we proceed further. It's got state by state listings of helpful agencies and such. That was a big help when we were first starting out. Now, we turn to it to check out the state by state laws. Each state requires a little bit different things in regards to adoption, so it's very helpful to read.

The second book that I re-read some sections on was It's by Mardie Caldwell, and is informative and a quick read. It also gives life experiences and testimonials. Mardie Caldwell is actually the founder of Lifetime, which is a nice surprise. We didn't realize that at first.

The last book is Adoption For Dummies. Like all the Dummies books, it's got its good points, and has been useful as well.

So anyway, that's all to report today :)

Saturday, September 16, 2006


I am a frequent poster on a tight knit community of newly (and not so newly) weds. One section is devoted to babies. Recently, someone posted this quote: "Adoption is not without its risks because you don't know the pedigree of that child."

While I know her intentions were well meaning, her delivery really upset a lot of people. She is a medical field, and apparently uses words like "pedigree" quite often in relations to humans. However, most people, when they think of "pedigree" think of a dog or animal. Not a baby. The medical history (much preferred over the term 'pedigree') needs to be disclosed, that is important. And most agencies, facilitators, and lawyers make sure that adoptive parents are able to receive that information from the birthparents.

It's important to think about how we speak about adoption, and use postive adoption language. Adoption is a way to build a family, just as birth is. Both are important, but one is not more important than the other.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Everytime the phone rings

Everytime the phone rings, we look at caller ID to see who it is. We hope that caller id says "call intercept". When Lifetime calls, it goes through call intercept. We rush to answer, and hope we hear that it's Veronica calling. It's so frustrating when it's just an ad or solicitor (gotta love the do not call list- they call anyway!) or a wrong number. We carry our cell phones with us- if they can't reach us on our home phone they call our cell next. Hoping, waiting, and knowing someday the call will come....

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

The homestudy is IN!

What a relief. A huge stress has been lifted for us. We knew everything was ok with the home study, it just needed to be done and turned in. It was out of our hands, nothing we could control, yet a major stressor in our lives. Well, we got the confirmation email:


I just received the Fed Ex envelope that had your home study in it! Hope to call you soon with good news.


Yay! So, folks are asking the next step. Well, just wait to be matched :) Hopefully it will come soon! A "cyber" friend of mine in our Lifetime Yahoo group got the call earlier this week. I am so excited for them! Their little one is to be born in November.

Monday, September 11, 2006

it's in the mail

Well, our home study lady says that the home study is on the way to our facilitator. They should hopefully have it soon. We also asked for a copy to be sent to us. I'm glad that part is over- it's a major step.... and has been a major source of stress lately...

Sunday, September 10, 2006

ah, a weekend away... and a steal of a deal

We had a great time on our weekend away. We needed to get away from all things adoption related, and everything that has been stressing this past week. We did a little shopping at the San Marcos outlet mall though, we couldn't resist.

These diaper bags were a fantastic deal. One was 70% off, the other 50% off. So, now our diaper bag collection is complete, and Elizabeth doesn't have to "borrow" Mike's black one when she wants a nice small bag or a black one to use. Mike can keep his in the back of his car, and Elizabeth can choose which she wants to use from her collection of three :)

The diaper bags are an early 2nd anniversary present from Mike to Elizabeth :)

Friday, September 08, 2006

cute sailboats for the wall and an escape...

Elizabeth's mom painted these cute pictures. They match the baby bedding perfectly, and will hang over the crib. We are going to hang them up early next week, we want to make sure they are in the perfect spot!

We are headed to Windy Hill (the family house on the Guadalupe) for a little weekend escape. It's been a very stressful and emotional adoption related week, so a little escape will do us well....

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

The outlet store find

Well, this past weekend I was up at the family river house on the Guadalupe River. My sisters, the kids and I went to the outlet mall in San Marcos. I knew we needed a piece of furniture to hold diapers/wipes and a lamp, so I figured I'd stop in the Pottery Barn Outlet. And, I found the perfect thing- plus, it's the exact matching color of our other furniture in the nursery. Things are coming together nicely.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

A good reminder as to why to keep copies of everything....

Well, as we said from the get-go, adopting is full of ups and downs....

We had our home study on June 29th, and had not heard back yet from the social worker. She had said it would probably be a month. Well, a month and a week or two went by, never heard anything. A couple promises of "it'll be done soon, wrapping up a few loose ends". A few returned emails and phone calls. Then, no replies at all.

Come to find out, our paperwork has been lost. Packed in a suitcase on a plane. The luggage was lost. All our paperwork, our homestudy, all copies of our personal info, out in limbo somewhere.

And when do we find this out? When Elizabeth is in the Hill Country and Mike is on call on a holiday weekend.

We have to resubmit EVERYTHING so the whole process can be started again. Meanwhile, there is a good chance we are being passed over for a few insta-family matches since this home study is not turned in. Something we can't control, it's entirely out of our hands. Our profile is still being passed out, but sometimes a few instances come up for an immediate match. They prefer to select folks whose homestudies are complete and turned in.

Luckily, everything was scanned and saved on the computer. So, everything was able to be emailed in, and the process begins again. Hopefully it will be completed in a timely manner.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

it's amazing...

I am learning how much folks really don't know about adoption. Yet people love to give their opinions.

I am on a message board (non adoption related), and one section tends to be a bit baby related. A friend of mine had just discovered that she was not pregnant, and had made "post from a non-pregnant lady who wants to be". It was a great post, very heartfelt. Well, one girl posted this to her: "Seriously adopting is always a good miss out on the crap and you still get a cute child to raise. "

Wow, there is so much wrong with that statement. Obviously that person has no clue what it is like to go through the adoption process, or even what it is like to consider adoption. It's not "oh, I want to adopt. Ok, here is a baby to raise". Adoption in itself is a roller coaster ride of emotions. A lot of hurry up and wait. Get the nursery ready - you might get a baby tonight- or in two years.

And, all of this is typically after going through infertility treatments and determining that conceiving is not an option.

Now, not all folks who adopt were trying to conceive, there are various reasons for why folks choose to adopt. But let me tell you, it certainly is not all fun and games...

Plus, you have to do stuff backwards or slightly different too. Yes, our nursery is in place, we have bought several of the major purchases. But that is because we HAVE to. We could get a call tonight that a child is coming, we need to be prepared.

People give you a hard time sometimes for preparing the nursery, or buying clothes, or basically preparing yourself for your child. But you know what, you have to. We may be "paper pregnant" and not know when we are "due", but I promise, we will be ready when our little one comes.

And, we are not the only ones doing this. We are on a message board with other waiting families, and they are all going through the same thing.

It's not easy, it can be depressing sometimes, with lots of questions such as "why have they not picked us yet".

Heck, putting together a six page profile to explain your life to a potential birthmother, to encourage them to pick you to raise their child. Tell me THAT's not stressful....

Or having to go through a home study (where they come in, have a fifty page list of questions to ask you about your life, your relationship, your house, your finances, family, etc), and find a lawyer to represent us when the adoption is taking place. Oh, and don't forget the criminal and other back ground checks!

But it also has many highs. Getting the room together, being prepared for when your child comes. And knowing that when we get our kids, they will have more than been worth the wait.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

A quote

"Adopting one child won't change the world, but for that child, the world will change." Anonymous

I came across this quote on a message board I am on. It really can relate to any age child that is adopted.

My friend's children are experiencing that. She foster to adopted, and finalizes the adoption of her daughter and son next month. I know she and her husband really changed the world for their kids.

We look to do the same for our little one when it joins us. We are excited to be offering the world to our future children.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

found a lawyer

So, we were on the search for an family attorney to be our lawyer for the adoption. We met with one today, and think he is going to be perfect for our situation. We chatted with him for about an hour, and really like him. One more major thing checked off our list. Hopefully we get to call him soon!

gender neutral is the key

So, we are stocking up on a few clothing items. Not a lot, we will wait until the little one comes for that.... But, when you see a good deal you have to go for it. I was in the local Toys R Us, and they had denim shorts for $3. Cute shorts, either a boy or girl can wear them. So, they (along with a few other gender neutral things) had to come home with me. I ended up with about 15 things for $55, and one of those was a pack of hangers, another a 3 piece outfit. Not too shabby.

We need to get the basics, so we are prepared for when we get the call.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Another productive Sunday

Well, it was another productive Sunday. My Tastefully Simple party I was supposed to work was cancelled, so I took a quick trip to Kohls and Babies R Us. My cousin and his wife had a baby boy yesterday, so I picked a little something up for them. While I was gone, Mike started putting together the dresser/changing table. It looks great!

Last night we scored an awesome deal. I saw on a message board that I frequent that Kohls was having a sale, and the shipping was only $5. Mike and I picked out some cute outfits (many gender neutral, some not) for as little as $3 and $4 an outfit. So, we are quite pleased.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Furniture & pictures of the bedding

So, we set up the bedding. It's cute. The dresser arrived today, so we will put it together tomorrow. Also, we are on the hunt for a denim chair and a half. We don't really want to do a glider in the nursery, but a chair and a half would be perfect. Here are some pics of the bedding and the curtain.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Our bedding arrived!

Our bedding arrived today, and it looks awesome :) Today we got the 4 piece set that included: comforter, 4-sided pillow-style bumper, dust ruffle, and fitted sheet.

We also got the decorator boat pillow:

and the window valance:

We put the valance up, the bedding on the crib, and it really is so cute. We will post a picture tomorrow, after we take one in the daylight :)

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Loose ends

We found a family law lawyer, and have an appointment on Tuesday. We want to meet with him now, so we can make sure we are doing everything right and things will go along smoothly when we get the call. It's important for them to be familiar with ICPC (Interstate Child Placement Compact) processes so that we can minimize the amount of time we will spend out of state if need be (different states require different things).

I found out that our home study case worker has not sent in the paperwork yet. So, I sent her an email today, and will call her tomorrow. There is no real reason for the hold up, so we don't understand why it's taking so long. I guess they just got swamped. She told us it would be a month or so, and it's been almost 2 months :( We have some time to get it done, but want to have it finished so we don't have to worry about it.

Our adoption coordinator said we are set (short of getting the home study turned in), and that all we have to do now is check in with her once a month to make sure things are going smoothly. She (and the office) spend time building relationships with birthmoms to determine who they will match up with adoptive parents.

Well, that's about all going on right now....

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

waiting... waiting... waiting

So, sometimes the reality that it's a waiting game kicks in. And yeah, it can be kind of depressing. But in the end, we know our little one was worth the wait.

They are not kidding when they say that adoption is a roller coaster of emotions. Even when nothing is going on, their is always the wondering.... Could we get the call tomorrow? Will our lives change forever next week? Is a birth mother looking at our profile right now and thinking "that's the family I want to include in my adoption plan"?

So, we take it day by day. We've done what they said, and we can handle a last minute, middle of the night call that might make us an insta-family. We are prepared with the basic necessities (and a little more), and can handle anything that comes our way.

The crib is up, the room is shaping up...., and as Mike likes to often say "bring on the kiddo"...

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

A few pics

As promised, here are a few pictures of the nursery as a work in progress. We still have quite a bit to do, but it's a start! I think it's pretty evident what the theme is going to be of the nursery =)

Monday, August 21, 2006

Very productive Sunday

Well, it was a very productive Sunday for us, that is for sure.

We went with #2 (the guest room) for the nursery. It was our guest room, so we cleared everything out of there. We set up the crib, put all the baby stuff in there, hung stuff in the closets. I am going to go to BRU in the next day or so to get some closet organizer stuff.

Then, we cleared out the junk room so we could put the bed, desk, and sewing machine table (formerly in the nursery) into the new guest room. We put away all the Christmas stuff into the walk in closet- great for easy access! I still have about 15 totes or so of stuff to go through, but it's a huge improvement from the way it used to be. All my Stuff A Friend stuff is in there for the time being. However, the guest room is totally functional now.

I put together another filing cabinet for my office, and will do the 2nd bookshelf sometime this week. We moved the big TV from the former guest room into my office, and moved the small tv from my office to the nursery. The guest room doesnt' have a tv right now, but it does have an iMac that can play movies/dvds. I need to empty out the office closet (that's my next huge project, probably over labor day) so that I can put the Stuff A Friend stuff in there.

We also hung our diplomas and our Benjamin Knox prints in the hallway. We put up Aggie Rings Bonded, The Century Tree, (where Mike proposed), and a really old one that is out of print (I've been a fan of his since he was in college at A&M the same time I was). We also put up the pictures my friend Kasey (of Monkey Tree Photography ) took of Kemah. She was my secret santa at Christmas, and took some awesome pics for our bathroom (it's sailboat/lighthouse themed).

We also did some research, and found a deal on our bedding set. We got a deal on the main set consisting of the bumpers, blanket, crib ruffle and sheet. We also bought a throw pillow and the window valence.

We will take pictures, and post them tomorrow if the room so far....

Sunday, August 20, 2006

scrapbooking and baby books

So, I've started scrapbooking this year. I'm pretty new to it, but am enjoying it. I figure it's a great way to remember stuff, and a great thing to do with all my excess pictures and stuff.

It's been fun so far, I've made a few small ones of Blake, Ella and Ryan. I figure, start with the little ones :) They had professional pictures taken by Monkey Tree Photography last year, and I used those pics to make small scrapbooks. It's a great learning/training experience for me.

I am also collecting papers, and have noticed that adoption paper is hard to come by. I think I am going to have to go online to look for it, as I've only found a few sheets at one of the five scrapbook stores I frequent.

I have found that most baby books are for pregnancies only. It's hard to find one that doesn't talk about the pregnancy. There are some called "lifebooks" or something like that, but they tend to cater more toward adopting internationally. Again, something not suitable for us.

So, I am going to scrapbook one book on the adoption process, then make a baby book from the point we bring our first baby home.

I'll repeat the process for our second child, with an adoption scrapbook then a baby book.

I figure it's a good compromise.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

shopping today

So, we went to Blake's birthday party today. It was a lot of fun. He is such a big boy at 4! It was a Scooby Doo & Stuff A Friend party. He was dressed as Shaggy, and he had a great time.

The party was in the morning, so we stopped off at Babies R Us to do a little shopping this afternoon. We found a dresser that will look nice with the crib. Our main criteria: tall enough to double as a changing table. We found one online, did the measurements, and saw that it would be perfect.

Well, apparently it's a Babies R Us online only item. So, we did a little research and saw where else it was carried. Target also carries it, and said it was available both in store and online. So, on the way to dinner we stopped off at Target. Of course, it's not available in all stores, and of course not in ours.

We ended up purchasing it online from Babies R Us. I found a coupon code to save 20% off, so that covered the cost of shipping. It'll be sent out in the next week or so. No worries, it's perfect for us. It's in cognac like our crib.

We also did a little diaper shopping. We had some coupons that expire in the next few days, and CVS had diapers on sale. So, we stocked up on a few packages. We know that is something we will need, so we figured why not? Plus, CVS had a special- recieve a free umbrella stroller when you purchase $20 worth of select baby products. The diapers we bought just happened to fall in that category. We don't really need the stroller, but figured we'd donate it to someone who could use it.

While at Target, we used a few more diaper coupons. We gave a fellow customer a $2 off coupon for the pull up diapers she was purchasing. I know they can get expensive! She was really appreciative that we gave her the coupon, and we were more than happy to pass it on to someone who could use it!

Friday, August 18, 2006

Which room to be the nursery?

So, we need to decide which room we want to be the nursery. We are debating between room #2 and #3. Room #4 is my office, and that won't change. Both have pros and cons, and are about the same size. Whichever room we don't use as a nursery, we will use as a guest room.

Closet space is about the same in both of them. #2 has two shallower closets, easier to reach in and grab stuff. (it's actually one big one with two doors). You can still fit a dresser in there, it's pretty big.

#3 has a walk in closet.

A bathroom is between the two.

#2 is next to the washer and dryer, which can be both a good and a bad thing. I don't think the noise would be all that bad.

The air conditioning unit outside is between both of them, it's behind the bathroom, so both will here the noise.

Both are about the same distance from the master bedroom, you have to go through the kitchen and the entry way to get to the bedrooms on that part of the house.

So, we are going to take a look and decide this weekend. We want to go ahead and get it started.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

family building

"Just like a woman who gives birth forgets the pain due to the overwhelming joy when she holds the baby, an adoptive mom also experiences that same joy when she holds her child for the first time."

I found this quote from a member of a forum I read for folks interested in adoption (both adoptive parents and birth parents).

And how true it is. I was talking with a friend last night, and the topic came up about families. Later that night, Mike and I continued on with a similar conversation. Regardless of how you grow your family, there is a bit of uncomfortableness to get there. There is no easy way to do it. Those that get pregnant go through the ups and downs of physical pain through their pregnancy. Those that adopt face a roller coaster of emotions as they follow the hurry up and wait of adoptions. And those that become step parents go through the emotional ups and downs of becoming accepted, trusted, and part of the family.

The end result is the same. You become a family. That's the goal we all strive for, and in the end it's the best thing ever. Regardless of how you got there, you did, and that's the most important thing.

I can't wait until we are able to hold our little one for the first time, and experience that joy of holding our little one....

Wednesday, August 16, 2006


A friend shared these poems with me:

Dear God,
Please bring my beautiful baby home to me soon,
I need to rock her 'neath the light of the moon,
I need to kiss her warm soft, sweet face,
I want to teach her of your love and grace.
She needs to know I'm her parent for keeps,
She needs to know I'll watch while she sleeps.
I know you've a plan, you're much wiser than I,
But I fear you've forgotten, as time passes by.
I'll watch for a sign and I'll know that you're there,
I'll pray for some news and remember you care.
-A Waiting Parent

Dear Waiting Parent,
You think that the process moves slowly, not surely,
I promise it's both, but change mustn't come early.
Your faith must be strong, open and steady,
Your baby will be here, but not till I'm ready.
I'll never forget you; I do have a plan,
Not easily understood by mere man.
While you are here waiting for news you can share,
A foster family waits for pain they must bear.
To your wonderful child, they must say good-bye,
You know, to them, time really does fly!
Think of them as you wait and prepare,
Pray for their strength; be grateful they're there.
I'm with them too, just as I am with you.
I know how it is to be far from your child,
I want to hold YOU and make all your fears mild.
Believe, little one, that the sun is my kiss,
Believe that you'll share so much more than you'll miss!
Your baby is coming home to you soon!
Hold her, kiss her, 'neath the light of My moon.

Jodi S. Crubaugh

In all the hurry up and wait, it's smart to remember that everything is going to happen in due time. There is not really much we can do about this part, just have faith that things will happen when they are supposed to.

This poem can apply to us quite a bit, though most likely our little one won't have a foster family. Our adoption facilitator mostly ends up with newborns, so chances are good we will end up with a newborn. Though we said we'd be more than happy to consider up to age two!

The latest numbers I have are that Lifetime placed 12 babies in the month of June. That is fantastic! You can read more about newly created Lifetime forever families here.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

we are online!

Ok, so lots has been going on. We are now on the Lifetime website!

Our hard copy profile: Profile (this is the one that is given out to potential birthparents)

Our online profile: Lifetime Adoption Online Profile

don't forget to click on the Click Here to learn more about us at the bottom of the profile. Also, if you go through the main site and click on the midwest, we are listed first right now.

Anyway, we wanted to pass it along. Feel free to share it with others :)

We are excited, and finally feel like things are moving along nicely.

We got a mattress for the crib yesterday, and some sheets too. Our nephew is coming over tomorrow, and we are looking forward to test driving the high chair, mattress, and car seat :)

Monday, August 14, 2006

Adoption Language

I came across the following excerpt that explains appropriate adoption language. I have found this to be helpful in educating ourselves and others.

Using accurate adoption language when speaking about adoption is extremely important. Even well-meaning family members and friends can inadvertently convey the misconception that adoptive families are less real or permanent, and that a child who was adopted remains somehow different. This can be hurtful and hard to forget by the adoptee or adoptive parents.

Here are some points to remember:

*As with race or gender, the fact that a person was adopted should be mentioned only if it's essential to the story. If it's used, relevance should be made clear. A daughter, niece, granddaughter, or cousin who joined the family through adoption is -- and should be described as -- simply a daughter, niece, granddaughter, or cousin, not as an "adopted daughter", etc. Once an adoption is final, a child is simply a regular member of the family.

*If it is relevant to mention adoption, past tense phrasing is appropriate, such as "Elia was adopted in August 2006" rather than "She is adopted". Adoption is just one of many events in Elia's life, not an immutable personal trait. Elia's family should be referred to simply as father, mother, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. The man and woman who shared in Elia's conception can be referred to as the birthparents (NOT "real" or "natural" parents).

*The reasons that people adopt are rarely relevant. To suggest or say that someone "couldn't have a baby of their own" is inaccurate. Adoption is a choice, and is not second best. Children who join families through adoption are their parents "own" by law and by love. Families are formed by love, not biology.

Words not only convey facts, they also evoke feelings. The way we talk, and the words we choose, say a lot about what we think and value. When we use positive adoption language, we say that adoption is a way to build a family just as birth is. Both are important, but one is not more important than the other.

Please choose positive adoption language instead of the negative talk that helps perpupate the myth that adoption is second best. People who use incorrect terminology should be politely corrected. When we use positive adoption language, we educate others about adoption.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Building the nursery

So, they told us to go ahead and get our nursery in order. Since we could get the call at any moment, we need to be prepared. We went and made a registry at Babies R Us and Target, to help us keep track of what we had already and what we will need to purchase in the future.

Little by little we have been adding to the room, and finding good deals. We are both a bit particular, so we have been doing lots of research.

Our first thing we bought was the high chair. My Grandmother always bought the high chair for the first great grand kid in each family. She always said it needed to be a wooden one, as she didn't feel the plastic ones were sturdy enough for her great grand kids She passed away in December of 2005. It wouldn't have felt right if anyone else bought the high chair, so we went and got it ourselves.

We already had a pack and play, for when our nephews and niece come to play. It's a pretty sage green color, and is great for either a girl or a boy.

Diaper bag shopping can be interesting. Not wanting typical ones, we've been doing research to see what we can find. Thought about having one made, but found a really cute floral one on clearance at Target. Then, found another in solid black at Babies and Kids 1st Furniture. It's perfect to keep permanently in Mike's car.

We ran into a fantastic deal on Britax Marathon car seats, and ended up with one for both of our cars. We were quite pleased with the find. Mike's parents bought one of them for us, that was a very nice gift from them.

Stroller shopping was fun. One major criteria was that it needed to be reversible. That is, the child can either face you or face away from you. We found the Peg Perego Venezia style and loved it. We lucked into an older model (well, last year) that was at a great price at eBay. So, we got it.

Crib shopping came next. Mike had a lot of thought about this, and we ended up with a Pali. We chose it in Cognac, not the lighter color pictured (more like the color in the high chair). It is beautiful. We saw it at a store, and found it online for even cheaper. It arrived last week. Elizabeth's parents were very generous and gave us some money to go toward the crib.

Today we are going to go get a mattress for it, as well as a crib sheet or two. Our nephew is coming to stay overnight on Tuesday, and he sleeps in a toddler bed. So, we will put the crib mattress on the floor, and he can sleep there. He also gets to try out our car seat for us

We are slowly gathering other things, such as toys (we always had toys for the nephews and niece), bath things, diapers, etc.

It's lots of fun!

Saturday, August 12, 2006

How we got here

We were married on Oct 23 in 2004. Our plan was to start building our family in 2005. We always new that we most likely would adopt our second child. However, infertility led us to start a little earlier than planned. After lots of trying, medicine, shots and some surgeries, we decided to pursue adoption of our first.

We knew we what we wanted, what our specifications were, and started researching agencies in Texas. We applied to a couple, were accepted into the International Program of one, but were not really satisfied with any of them.

One of my friends who is also adopting told us about the adoption facilitator she was using. We did research, and really liked them. So, we applied online. We got the call pretty quickly, and had an interview with them. They are selective, and limit the amount of families they accept each month. They also only accept families they believe they can help within two years. They liked us, and placed us on a wait list, as they were already full. They said it could be an undetermined amount of time, but that eventually we would be contracted with them. Well, surprise- we were accepted about a week later! They said that was a record for them, as it usually takes longer when you are on a wait list. We were contracted out that next week, and started the process.

While on the wait list, they suggested we go ahead and start our home study. So, we already had it scheduled. It ended up being the day after we got the call that we were fully in the program. The home study was to be finished this week, so we are just waiting for the email that it's in and complete. We made our profiles, they were approved ( you can view it at, and they were sent to the adoption coordinator so they can be passed out. It was a lot of fun putting them together. We should be up on the website soon (they are working on our web page) and should be in the next magazine that goes out. We are very happy with them, and glad they do so much marketing. We can't wait to start our family.