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.