Monday, January 9, 2012

Truly blessed

Miles passed out at his baptism!

We are rolling along as a happy little family of four. It is a lot more work, but worth every ounce of energy we expend. It feels like we are constantly moving to keep the household and family running, but we usually get an hour or two of peace late in the evening (if we can stay awake for it).

Our family of four seems so natural, like we have always existed. I can't imagine it any other way now. The kids are getting along great. Even though Miles is only 5 months old, he laughs hysterically at his sister. It is so sweet to see the love between them.

Look how big this sweet boy has become!

We are so blessed, and do our best to do right by these kids.

The family at a Halloween Party!

Next month we will go to California to visit Maggie's birth mother before we go on a Disney Cruise for Maggie's birthday. Right before the cruise we will be finalizing Miles adoption here in Georgia (that has seemed like a forever process!).

Yes, we are truly blessed. Thank you, God.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

A Long Overdue Update!

First of all, we have adopted!

Our lives have been crazy for a few months, so we haven't had time to update our blog followers. We are so sorry for that!

So, here is what happened in a nutshell:

In early July, we received a call from our adoption agency for a last minute adoption situation in Iowa. We spoke with the expectant mom, and she was a wonderful young woman. As a result of our call, we matched with each other and jumped on a last minute flight to Iowa and traveled the dark roads in the middle of the night (much of Iowa was flooded at that time) to get to the hospital in time for the birth. We arrived an hour late, and it was the middle of the night.

The expectant mom asked to see the baby when he was ready to come out of the nursery. We asked if we could meet the mom. We ended up spending a lot of time with her and it turned out she was an amazing young woman. We expected the baby to be born with a cleft lip, but instead he was born with a cleft palate, which is more serious. We were not concerned about it because we knew that surgery could correct the problems. The hospital gave us our own suite, and we ended up taking care of the baby his first 24 hours.

We were frustrated because the hospital was not giving us any medical information about the baby. We knew he had an ultrasound of his heart done, and that was not a normal test for a healthy baby, but still, we could get no information and were put off until the doctor arrived.

Finally the doctor and a neonatologist arrived to speak to the mom, her family, and us. It is a meeting we will never forget. The doctors informed us that the baby was indeed very sick, and that he had a serious heart defect, a chromosomal abnormality, and they suspected they would find his brain and other organs abnormally developed. Even though we had been feeding him for the past 24 hours, they expected he would stop eating and have to go on a feeding tube. We couldn't believe we had been taking care of this little baby for 24 hours and not a single member of the nursing staff gave us any indication anything was wrong.

I could write pages and pages about our Iowa experience, but I won't do that now. To make a long story shorter, we did not end up adopting the baby. He was too sick, and we had talked about what we would do if that situation ever arose. We knew we could not adopt this baby, and it was very difficult for us to tell the mom. We did, and she said she understood. Our agency had called her and told her they have families who are waiting to adopt special needs babies, and that when she was ready, they could introduce her to the families. She did not take our agency up on that, and we believe she decided to parent the baby. She had the support of her parents and older siblings, so we felt good about that.

It was yet another very difficult adoption experience, but we had not bonded with the baby, so it was much easier to heal from. We were able to talk with our adoption agency and they all felt so bad for us. Apparently, we were become quite a pitiful family with terrible bad luck. I had told the director that I thought maybe the baby gods weren't smiling on us. He let off a nervous laugh.

Within one week of that experience, we received a call from our agency with another last minute adoption situation. This call was important because I believed we were going to adopt this week. I could just feel it in my core. We spoke with the expectant mom Wednesday evening and flew out to Cleveland, Ohio Thursday evening. The baby was due to be born Friday morning, so we were excited to be there in time for his birth.

The expectant mom said she chose us because we looked like we were a fun family. After meeting her, we hit it off and felt very close to her. We were the only ones there for her the day of her c-section. The c-section was scheduled for the morning, but it kept getting pushed later and later due to other emergencies. Finally, that evening, we accompanied her in for the c-section, and an hour later, Miles was born! He was a healthy baby boy weighing almost 8 pounds.

Miles was born 7/15/11
Maggie was present for the long day at the hospital, and she was able to hold her new baby brother that evening. We were overjoyed with this beautiful baby boy, and somehow, we just knew it felt right.

Brother and sister's first meeting


We spent a few more days at the hospital, and the biological mom decided to go forward with the adoption and she signed the paperwork to do so. We spent another 10 or so days waiting for approval to leave Ohio, and had the opportunity to visit with Lisa's sister and Maggie's cousins who lived in nearby Pennsylvania. After a while, we were getting stir crazy living in the hotel with a newborn, and we were finally given the go-ahead to go home.

We quickly raced to the airport to go home, and we were so excited to bring Miles to our home, and to see our dogs, cat and beds again. Now, the journey of parenting Miles has begun.

We are over-the-moon with happiness for our new son. Maggie is doing great with him and has been a terrific big sister.

We will write more about our journey, but I wanted to take a minute to catch you up. Thank you to everyone who has been following us and sending us well wishes. You all definitely made a difference in helping us stay strong in our journey to add another Angel to our family.

Our Newest Angel!

Kathy, Lisa, Maggie and Miles

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Waiting Patiently

Maggie's Amazing Teacher for the Last 4 Years

It has been a while since I put out an update. I decided I needed a break from thinking about it all, so I mostly unplugged from all the adoption stuff. Now I am back, but am so busy this Summer I don't have time to obsess about it, which is a good thing. I am growing a lot through this experience, and I can't help but think that this is part of God's plan for me.

We are doing our best to be patient while waiting to adopt. In our hearts, we know that the right little angel will find us, and it is not going to be on our timetable. But still, it is hard. The months go by quickly now. We had 13 expectant moms look at our profile last month through our agency, and we didn't make it onto anyone's list of possibilities. It is hard not to question ourselves, or our profile. Everyone says it is fine, but I always think the pictures and text could be a little better. I am resisting my temptation to get some more photos of us made, and trying to just trust the process.

Maggie just completed Vacation Bible School camp, and is now started at her next camp. She loves the fun of the camps, but is already starting to miss her classmates and the consistency of her school days. Her school is like one big extended family, so I can see why she misses it. It is not like the school experience Lisa and I had. Maggie actually likes going to school. I think she would do better if we just had 2 week breaks throughout the year instead of the long Summer.

She had her first episode of strep throat last week, which we believe she got at VBS since a couple of other kids from there had it. We are so thankful she made it all the way until 6 before getting it, and very happy the antibiotics cleared it up quickly. Also, really hoping we don't get it :-)

Lisa's new job is going great. She is super happy working the new job, and they are very supportive of us adopting. Don't think we could have asked for a better situation.

We have our house listed for sale to see if anyone will buy it in this market. We are not seeing a lot of activity, so not sure we are going to sell it unless we just leave it on the market for a good while. Not sure that is going to work for us because it is an extra whole lot of work having the house on the market with 3 dogs.

Lisa loves keeping the house spotless every day! It's funny, we removed all our clutter, and I can't find anything now! If we do sell our house, we are hoping to move in the same area to something a little bigger to have more room for our families to visit after the new baby arrives. If we don't sell, we are super happy in this house anyway. It is perfect in so many ways, and would be great for the new baby. Only problem, Maggie now has it in her head that she wants to get a new house, preferably one with stairs. I remember growing up in South Florida where there were very few 2 story houses, and how I longed for a second floor. I thought only the richest of the rich had a second floor. She will be disappointed if we don't move, but she is also very patient. It will all work out like it is supposed to.

Thank you to everyone who is taking the time to read our blog. If you want to keep up with us on Facebook, you can "like" our page by clicking here to get daily updates.

Talk to you soon!


Sunday, May 15, 2011

Distraction is the name of the game

So, I have regained some of my sanity over the last few days because I have kept myself busy with distractions on some major house projects and have limited the amount of time I allow myself to fool with adoption stuff. Don't get me wrong, I am still doing some stuff, but I reduced it by about 70% which has been much better for my mental health.

We have had a couple of e-mails this week about adoption. Nothing that sounds real legitimate. Mostly woman living in other countries offering to place their babies with us. I have heard that this is always a scam of some sort, so I have been polite in responding but have kept it simple. One response from a woman turned out to be one where she somehow thought we might be interested in a threesome. Clearly, she doesn't know that we are way too conservative for that kind of stuff, so I told her to not write about again (in the nicest way possible to do such a thing).

I have been posting regularly on our Facebook page to keep people up-to-date on some daily family stuff. If you are not a follower, you should click on it and like it. You will find out all sorts of random stuff about us, and get an idea of what our lives are like. Click here to "like" out Facebook page!

I better get off to bed so I can get up for church in the morning.

Love to all our followers!
Kathy, Lisa, and Maggie

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Some days

Some days I could just lose my mind. The adoption wait---the uncertainty of everything, can drive me mad! Today is one of those days. I don't know why it seems worse these days, but something has me preoccupied with it all.

Not being able to control all the adoption stuff is perhaps the worst. I don't know if the agency is showing our profile or not, or whether there is a birth mother considering us today and we don't even know it. I'll never get over how our agency knew about our last match for 3 weeks before they told us about it.

A friend of mine was telling me how two weeks ago she was crying about the whole adoption wait, thinking that it would never happen for her, and today she is in a hotel room with her new baby girl. She had no idea it was coming, and then her miracle appeared.

I am trying to stay distracted, but my mind wanders back. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!

I just had to say that to get it out of my system.

Nothing ever comes easy to us. It's true. Not one damn thing has come to us easy in our lives. Yes, we are extremely blessed, but we have worked our asses off to get to where we are. I have accepted that Lisa and I just don't have the easy route (or an easy button for that matter). Once, when we were telling a therapist this in casual conversation (she was a good ten years younger than us), she suggested we might want to get therapy about that type of thinking one day. I had to laugh. Lisa and I have been around a long time, dealt with some major shit in our lives, and have accepted that things don't come easy to us, and that's okay. Sometimes it is best just to accept how things work in your life than to keep trying to change it.

God has given us the path we are on. We don't understand the why or the what, and at times we get angry about the things that happen in our lives. Our sanity rests with the acceptance that yes, nothing seems to come easy to us, but in the end, we know we have a lot of blessings.

Our adoption experience is a testament to our thinking. Maggie's adoption took us 18 painful months before we were blessed with her in our lives. I think we lost our minds many times during that process, but we now realize we would not have wanted it to happen any other way. We think God played a role in how it all played out (that's another story).

For our second adoption, we knew it was too good to be true when we matched with a birth mother in 7 weeks, and held a baby at 4 months. We honestly thought God might be making up all the difficult times we had experienced in our past because we were just so not used to experiencing such good fortune. It was the only way we could explain it to ourselves because amazing luck like that never happens to us. And, of course, it was too good to be true. After 4 difficult months, our adoption fell apart when an unknown birth father showed up to the baby's birth, and he wanted to parent the baby.

Somehow, I want God, or the universe, or our adoption agency, to make up for that dreadful experience by bringing our little angel into our lives NOW. Is that too much to ask? I guess so.

I guess I just have to stay the course as my adoption agency told us. It is hard. If you haven't been on this side of the fence, you have no idea.

I count my blessings everyday--especially the little angel we have already been blessed with. But, I am ready to begin a new chapter with a new angel. And my little girl so wants to be a big sister. It is hard not to be able to just make it happen.

I know it will happen when the universe is ready. I just wanted to make sure the universe knows that we are ready (in case it wasn't paying attention).

We are ready and waiting, so the phone can ring any time now :-)

Peace, friends!

And don't forget to "like" our Facebook page if you haven't already (this gives me sanity because at least something is happening that I know about). Click here to like our Facebook adoption page!

A Day In the Life of a Mom Waiting to Adopt

While we are waiting to adopt, will you "like" our Facebook page?

There is so much I could say about this topic, so let's see where my tired mind takes me.

Today, one of the highlights I experienced was to have our minister write on our Facebook page saying something to the affect that we would be great parents and have lots of love to offer. We go to a big church, and she helped us get through our failed adoption in February, so it meant a lot that she took the time to reach out to us and for us. Never estimate how something small can have a big impact on a person--thank your Reverend Beth!

Waiting to adopt can feel so helpless. What many of us do is occasionally look down at our phones to make sure they are turned on in the event it is our time for "the call." It's always turned on, but it is a compulsion that is necessary each day. You know, the day I don't pay attention to it we will get a call. That happened while we were at Disney World--not only did we have crappy cell service, but we were caught up in enjoying the moment. Sure enough, the adoption agency called with a potential situation, and it took me a full 24 hours to realize it!

It is so hard not knowing when the phone will ring. Do you plan your life as if nothing is going to happen? Or, make everything tentative? I fall somewhere in between. In reality, you have to go on as if no call is coming, or I believe one would go further into madness.

Our nursery is ready, and friends have been generous enough to give us lots of clothes to get us started. Although, the clothing donations are mostly stopping after our failed adoption. I guess people don't want to acknowledge it or something, which is too bad because we are okay talking about it and are ready to move on. I'll admit, I sometimes go back and look at his pictures--sometimes just to make sure it really happened to us. It did. And he was beautiful, but meant for someone else.

There are lots of ways to spend money to make you feel like you are doing something to help the adoption process. Occasionally, I do spend a little bit of money to network amongst people who might know a potential birth mother. Our adoption agency has smartly asked us not to spend money on a bunch of marketing, and instead have it ready for a last minute call. They want to make sure we can afford whatever situation comes our way. We passed on a birth mother situation last month because it was going to mean $25,000 on top of the fees we had already paid, plus a lot of risk with the situation they presented. There was no way we could go that route, so we passed it on to the next family (and pray it all works out for them).

I am on lots of adoption bulletin boards, and it has been interesting to see how many people struggled with mother's day. I guess we can count our blessings that we have a beautiful child who made our mother's day amazing. Even so, I found myself at times longing for our future baby.

I know so many people who have adopted babies in the last few weeks. They are all the most amazing babies you have ever seen. The kind you just want to scoop up and kiss all over. I am so VERY happy for all the new adoptive parents, but wonder when it will be our turn. Tomorrow? Next month? Two months from now? Who knows.

I am distracting myself with work and contemplating some home renovations to keep myself busy--that is when I am not running Maggie around town.

I also feel like if I could get lots of people to sign up on our Adoption Facebook page, we would increase our chances of someone who knows someone who knows someone wanting to place for adoption. Figuring out how to get people to "like" your page has proved more difficult.

I am so incredibly gracious to our friends who have taken the time to go to our Adoption Facebook page and click the "like" button at top. It is one of those Facebook features that many people get confused about how to actually "like" a page. Most people click like for the post, but you actually have to go to the page and click the "like" button up top.  Those of you who have done this have a special place in our hearts. We know a village can help us achieve our goals.

This waiting to adopt is hard. So much uncertainty. Maggie so wants to be a big sister. Yet, we can't really control how quickly we adopt, and our child doesn't understand this. For her sake alone, I hope God answers our prayers for a new angel in our family sometime soon.

Thanks for listening. I would love to talk more about this when I am not brain dead.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Mothers Day

We've had a very good Mother's Day. Maggie has been super sweet all weekend, and has told us how much she loves us hundreds of times throughout the weekend. She has even gone on record several times saying we are the best mommas in the entire world! We can't ask for anything more than that!

This year she really stayed on top of the whole Mother's Day thing. Each day she would check in to make sure she understood when Mother's Day is, so as to not miss it I suppose. At school, she made a present for us, so she wanted to make sure she delivered it on the right day. Usually, she can't stand the waiting, and she wants us to go ahead and open up the present. This year, she was able to hold off until the actual day.

She and Lisa got up first and made cinnamon rolls for everyone. Then she delivered our homemade cards and present. It was a plastic coffee mug that she colored a picture on the inside (totally not dishwasher safe, but will be a nice display piece for our favorite Maggie things). The cards were the best part because this is an area where Maggie is starting to be able to do on her own, so whatever she writes is from her heart. She drew pictures and told us each that she loved us. Very special!

For Mother's Day to each other, Lisa and I took turns sleeping in while the other played with Maggie. This was great because Maggie has been in the best mood all weekend. Very lovey-dovey and cooperative. We did arts and crafts, played games, read stories, watched a Barbie movie together, and just generally had a nice time together. Not once this weekend did she say she wanted to have a play date with one of her friends. She was satisfied with just us :-)

We lunched at home and treated ourselves to a meal at Longhorns. Maggie even appreciated the steak and chicken. We ate so much we had to walk the dogs when we got home.

Overall, I have to say it was a great weekend. I had a moment or two of longing for the baby that we hope is making its way to our family. I am very excited for my friends who have recently adopted, especially to know they got to celebrate their first Mother's Day today. I just have to remind myself to stay focused on the very blessed life we have, and not get bogged down about the baby who isn't here yet. Soon. I hope and pray.

Tomorrow, Lisa starts her first day at her new job, and Maggie gets to visit her new classroom and teacher that she will have for next year at school. Both of them are very excited. I am excited for them.

Happy Mothers Day to all the mothers, birth mothers, and future mothers.

And, if you haven't "liked" us on Facebook yet, go ahead and click here to see the page and then click "like" at the top. This is a great way to keep up with the little things going on in our life and in the adoption process.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Money Changes Everything

Unlike Angelina Jolie and Sandra Bullock, we, like most adoptive parents, do not have unlimited financial resources to throw at our adoption effort. If we did, I am quite sure we would have adopted by now. Sure, we could probably come up with more money, but then what kind of life would we be providing our children if we are broke?

If you are at all familiar with the adoption process of domestic newborns, you would know that even us middle class folks end up spending a small fortune on our adoption process. Agency fees, legal fees, travel costs, profile advertising, home studies, and birth mother expenses are only some of the expenses that can be quite costly.

Generally, the more resources you spend (if you spend wisely), the less wait time you should have. Why? Let's assume you are not a celebrity, so you don't have that added benefit on your side. The reality is that there are way more people wanting to adopt than there are birth mothers placing for adoption. This has only become worse as fewer people are adopting internationally, and domestic adoption has become a more common way to build your family.

I believe most of the families wanting to adopt are probably great people who will make outstanding parents. They wouldn't be jumping through the hoops of adoption if they didn't really want to be parents. So, there are endless numbers of prospective adoptive people available to adopt any given birth mother's baby. Ideally, if you have the resources, you want every birth mother to at least glance at your profile, even if she doesn't end up picking you. At least you were in front of her, and you never know what will appeal to a birth mother.

If you get in front of more birth mothers, it increases your chances of getting picked, especially if you have a great profile book. Unfortunately, getting in front of more birth mothers requires more money spent by the prospective adoptive person. There are a couple of ways to get in front of more birth mothers. One would be to sign up with more than one agency or facilitator. This is quite costly because typically the upfront fee might be $10,000 or more whether they deliver a "match" to you or not. Those with more resources choose this route.

A less expensive way to get in front of more birth mothers would be to do your own advertising. You can advertise on the internet on what is called parent profile sites (and unfortunately, some of the best sites discriminate against same-sex couples and won't let them advertise on their site) or through Google Adwords (no discrimination here). Both of these methods can end up becoming quite costly, but it will increase your chances for finding a birth mother. Note, my adoption agency doesn't agree with me on this point, but my personal experience and research says personal advertising does work. People also advertise in newspapers--Craigslist, college newspapers, and the like. I have never done it, but apparently it can become quite expensive. In some states it is illegal, and Georgia is one that does not allow it.

Some of the free methods of getting more exposure to birth mothers or adoption situations is through blogging or the use of Facebook. I know these sites have worked for folks, but I am not really sure how helpful they are in the adoption process. I am doing both of these options since they are free, and it gives me something to do while I am waiting for the phone to ring. The one benefit is that it makes people aware that you want to adopt. This is helpful because you never know who might stumble upon a situation where someone is considering placing a baby for adoption. I know some friends who found their birth mother through this informal type of networking.

So, there can be a little unfairness inherent in the open adoption system. Birth mothers may be more likely to see more profiles of people who are more affluent and not a same-sex couple. To be clear, I am not whining here. Just merely pointing out another adoption truth.

If I had tons more money, I would be doing so much more to find our birth mother. I would sign up with 3-4 agencies if I needed to. I would be able to respond to the occasional adoption situation that seems perfect (these are when facilitators list an adoption situation available, typically at a very high cost).

Since we don't have the unlimited funds, it is frustrating. I feel powerless just sitting here waiting for the phone to ring. I will continue on with my free efforts at finding a birth mother situation, and hope that my high cost agency comes through for us. I am sure they will if I can just find the patience to wait. Lisa has the nice distraction of starting her new job. I am getting a little bit of baby fever as I have witnessed several births lately.

Come find us, little angel! Your room is ready, and our hearts are ready to welcome you!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

An Adoption Truth

Maggie at birth

Something has been percolating in me lately, and it has to do with birth mothers.

As an adoptive parent of an amazing six year old daughter through domestic open adoption, I would love to shout from the rooftops that adoption is beautiful. But, that is not the entire story. And I am not talking about adoption scams, failed adoptions, the cost, or any other roller coaster issue that often comes with open adoption.

The adoption of my daughter in 2005 is the MOST wonderful thing that has ever happened to me, and I am forever grateful to her birth mother for choosing us. Maggie is such a blessing in our lives, and I can't imagine life without her.

I am writing today about how difficult it must be for most birth mothers to place their children for adoption. I know there are probably some that don't struggle with it at all. But, I imagine that many, many birth mothers have an incredibly hard time placing their child for adoption. Even when every ounce of their being may believe it is the best thing for the child, I can't help but think how hard it must be to let go of something you love and is biologically a part of you.

My daughter's birth mother struggles with her adoption decision. At the time of my daughter's birth, I did not know how much she was struggling because she kept that private until years later when she revealed that she had asked the nursing staff to bring the baby into her room every time we left the hospital. We had always thought the nursing staff was pushing the baby on her because one nurse in particular did not believe in adoption. We were also so overwhelmed with new baby excitement that we might not have noticed the subtle messages she might have been sending. We certainly didn't pressure her, but I imagine there were many things in life that were pressuring her to place the baby for adoption (her age, lack of income, resources, and life experience to name a few).

Since our adoption, our birth mother has had two other children whom she is parenting with the help of her boyfriend. I can't help but think that she feels sad that she is not raising the child she placed with us for adoption.

As adoptive parents, we should dance in the streets with excitement when a baby is placed with us. But, we should also be aware that our blessing may mean our birth mother is experiencing incredible heart ache over her decision.

If we do the math, adoptive parent's blessing = birth mother's loss. 

I am not saying that adoption is bad or anything even remotely close. Even though our adoption in Louisiana failed, it was clear to our birth mother in that situation that she could not take care of the new baby, and she wanted a better life for him. She remained committed to the adoption plan until the end, and though she was committed to this plan, it was still clearly very painful for her. The baby's birth father stepped in and changed everything, so now she has a baby that she didn't think she could raise. I pray that somehow they make it.

Birth mothers have given so many of us the greatest blessings in our lives. It is not something that can be re-paid in anyway other than to do our best to raise the baby and to honor any promises made to a birth mother. Recently, I have read many birth mothers and adoptive parents speak about the adoptive parents cutting off contact or not honoring the adoption plan that was made. I imagine there are extreme circumstance where this might be warranted, but in the other 99% of the cases, adoptive parents should honor the adoption plan (maybe this is easy for me to say because we have a great birth mother).

Birth mothers deserve to be treated with respect and for us to honor our promises made to them. Most birth mothers pick us because they believe we are decent people who will do a great job raising their baby. That doesn't mean we should only act like decent people until we finalize our adoption. Not honoring the adoption plan is not right to do to the birth mother, and it is definitely not the right thing to do to your child.

One day our children will be old enough to really understand the circumstances of their adoptions. Let's hope we have not behaved badly in a way that our children will rightfully resent or hate us for betraying their birth mother.

I have the utmost respect for birth mothers. I can only imagine the amazing courage it must take to do what you think is best for your baby despite the heart ache you might experience.

Without my daughter's birth mother, my life would be so empty and incomplete. I am so grateful that she trusted us enough to raise her daughter and to maintain contact with her.

I look forward to the day when another woman will trust us enough to raise her baby, and will know she can trust us to do the right thing in our relationship with her, and her relationship with the child.

But, I don't ever want to pretend that it is easy for a birth mother. With our joy comes a birth mother's pain. And that's an adoption truth.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

We have a new Facebook page!

Maggie had a much better day today. Starting the day out by suggesting we have a good day seems to help. She was a little disappointed about her consequences today for yesterday's behavior, but she didn't complain too much since she had said yesterday that she didn't care about them. I pray she actually does care about them more in the future :-)

Our big struggle with Maggie these days is that she won't go to sleep at a reasonable time, and then she can't get up in the morning for school. I end up dragging her out of bed at the last moment in the morning, and then we both start the day off stressed. I don't think she can help it. I think she is like me, a night owl. She would probably do best if she had a school that started at 9:30 or 10 (which is about right for me, also). But, she doesn't, so we struggle every night trying to get her to sleep at a reasonable time. It's not like she isn't tired, but apparently she needs to be so tired she almost passes out. We have tried starting at 7pm, but then we still get the same result of her going to sleep around 9-9:30. I am beginning to think we should just stop the stress and not even try to get her to bed until around 8:55. I'll try something new tomorrow, though we have big storms coming, which will probably land her in our bed in the middle of the night. Sigh.

Yesterday, I read an article about adoption marketing, and it suggested we have a Facebook page. I have been purposely not doing that because I didn't want it to suck away more of my time. But, alas, I was fooling around yesterday and made one. I am not sure if it would be at all helpful, but I think it is an interesting experiment at this point. One thing that is interesting is that I have managed to get many people whom I don't know to "like" the page. So, in some regards the networking is working.

I also posted a poll on there about whether people thought we could find a baby to adopt through Facebook, and the interesting thing is that the people I know all said yes, and the people I don't know all said I was wasting my time. So, are the people who know me just trying to be supportive, or are these people who don't know me just being unsupportive? Maybe it is somewhere in between.

If you want to see our Facebook page, and get daily updates, then go here and "like" it:

We had a great call with our adoption agency today. We had one last night, too. Between the two calls, Lisa and I both feel optimistic. The head of our agency doesn't think we need to do any extra advertising on our own because he says his program will work for us and that we just need to give it time. So, I will try to relax some and just play a little with the online resources we do have. It is bringing us some contacts--some are clearly scams, but some appear legitimate. I am not going to pretend like I know how this is all going to unfold for us.

I have never been good with sitting around and waiting, so it is hard for me to do that with this adoption stuff. Don't get me wrong, I definitely have more than enough stuff to do in any given day to keep me occupied outside of the adoption world. It had just become a nagging uncertainty.

Well, I am off to read a little in a novel I bought a couple of weeks ago called "Sing You Home." Not far enough into to know if I really like it, but it did get very good reviews. I thought it might take my mind off my own "stuff" for a while.


Monday, April 25, 2011

6 year old independence

Parenting a six year old is not always so much fun. I was warned about this by other parents who had six year olds before me. I was sure my sweet Maggie would not fall victim to these wicked ways. Of course, I was wrong. My little innocent child has now begun to choose when she will or won't listen to us, and now when she gets a consequence, she says good, I didn't want that anyway. Nice....

How did this happen!!! Our perfect little angel has decided she has a mind of her own. It's not like it is every day, but sheesh, we have some moments every once in a while.

I really thought this would come in the teenage years, but I suppose this is the 6 year old version of the same game.

Well, game on little girl! I still love ya no matter what!

Yes, there can be too many Easter egg hunts

The Family on Easter

What a weekend. I am exhausted. Hopefully, no more Lisa's birthday and Easter falling on the same weekend. We had a great time, but we will all sleep well tonight.

Maggie enjoying another Easter egg hunt!
I wouldn't have thought this before having a child, but I am now going on record as saying, yes, you can have too many Easter egg hunts on an Easter weekend.

The family is exhausted, and the counters are covered with candy! Too bad those eggs didn't come with something a little more useful. We'll never be able to go through all that candy, and if we did, somebody should intervene.

Thanks to our good friends the Brooks-Alts for hosting us for Easter lunch and lots of Easter fun. I think Maggie's hands may be purple for the week from all the Easter egg dye.

Going into the week feeling good and optimistic! Let's hope Monday doesn't change my mind!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Easter Weekend

Maggie with the Easter Bunny!

The weekend is off to a busy start! We got up early to be at our church Easter egg hunt. It was misting rain, cool, and foggy when we began, but eventually the sun came out to make it a beautiful day.

After our St. Mark UMC Easter egg hunt, we headed to the mall so Lisa could pick out a new watch for her birthday (she has a thing for watches). Lisa was excited to get her new watch, and is now ready for her birthday nap.

While at the mall, Maggie got to do bungee-jumping for kids, so she was happy.

Next, we are off Maggie's soccer game. She is already saying her feet hurt (I think she has outgrown the shoes she was wearing), so we'll see how the game goes.

Looking forward to a nice dinner of crab legs for Lisa's birthday dinner!

Enjoy the day, folks!

Friday, April 22, 2011

So frustrated!

Ahhhhhh! For some reason today has just been a total adoption frustration day. Maybe it is because there are so many birthdays today--lots of baby ones. I don't know, just feeling frustrated.

I wrote the adoption agency this morning, and finally received a reply at the close of business. They realize how hard it is, but don't have any recommendations for us at this time. We just need to wait. Well, that's a lot easier said than done. I don't know that I expected them to say anything different, but maybe I was secretly hoping they would say, oh, we see how hard it is for you, so let us find a match for you this weekend. That would have been nice, but I also know there are a lot of families who are walking around wounded right now who could use a match to help their sanity.

The important thing for me to remember is that it is not about the match,  but about the right baby and birth parents finding us. We know this is true, but we try to rush it anyway. But, Lisa and I have big hearts, so we are ready to love on a new little baby, along with our big girl baby.

We had friends over with their adorable baby Adam who is adopted through open adoption. Maggie was so in to playing with him. I wish I could make her a big sister now because it seems so natural and important to her. I am glad she really values family (we've done at least something right).

This weekend I feel like I want to decide if I should go even further into the marketing our family to prospective birth parents, or not. It is more money. More time. But, more birth parents will see our profile. Maybe that is a better way to go, but jeez, we paid that fancy agency all that money thinking they would help us find a birth family that was right for us. I guess they almost did, or maybe we overlooked too many things and it wasn't really such a good match after all. It is always easy to Monday morning quarterback.

I think the people at our agency are good people. I am sure our caseworker would love to find us a match if she could. And, I am sure she is used to listening to whiny adoptive parents. It is hard not to whine from time-to-time in this process. I tend to think if you never whine or get mad during this process, you are probably not doing something right or are in denial. Denial is not a bad place to be :-)

Every weekend brings new surprises for the families at our agency. I hope lots of new surprises come to all the great waiting families (I am pretty convinced the majority of them are probably great families).

Tomorrow is Lisa's birthday, an Easter egg hunt with our church, a soccer game, a birthday dinner at Joe's Crab Shack (that's what she wants), and a big fancy cake at home afterward. It is going to be a long day.

Peace, friends!

Worry-free parenting? Ha!

I don't know what it is about becoming a parent that has caused my predominant feeling to be worry. I don't mean to say I worry all the time, or that I am losing my mind worrying, but I don't remember worrying as much as I worry now.

Of course, I worry about Maggie a lot. I started to name some of my worries about her, then I realized I would look like I worry too much because my list would probably be endless :-)

I mean, don't all good parents worry about their kids a lot? There is so much in this world to worry about. And of course, I don't want her to experience the shit I have in life, so how can I try to guide her to miss some of the negative stuff in this world?

It raises my anxiety knowing that I probably can't protect her from as much as I would like to think I can. Oh, why can't life just be better for everyone?

Tonight, I worry about Maggie's birthmom. I don't usually worry about her, but tonight I feel like a worried momma about her. I pray she is okay.

I also worry about some friends who are supposed to be adopting a baby about now. They have fallen off the radar screen, so I pray that they are just busy with the new baby or something good like that.

My baby dog, Tucker, who is not really a baby, but he is my baby, is blind and getting more confused. Tonight, I wasn't paying attention while I was talking to Lisa, and I suddenly realized that he had been walking all around the house (his nails on the hardwoods make a distinct noise) looking for me for a long time. I hate that he is blind and confused.

My baby kitty, Kenny, is still hanging on to life. He is not eating as much, but he seems to be doing okay. At least he hasn't been wobbly on his feet lately. I have learned that his situation can change in a heartbeat, so I am very grateful of his return to better health since our last scare. He is so skinny. He is some kind of miracle kitty to have lived so long. He is so sweet. Every time I get in bed he cuddles up with me--which makes me think something is going on with him because he never used to be so cuddly for longer than a minute.

With all the worry, I am well aware of the many, many blessings we have. Life is a mixed bag. Yep, I get it.

Tomorrow begins with a bunch of car repair expenses. After that, Maggie and I will have to ready ourselves for Lisa's birthday on Saturday. She wants a low-key birthday, so low-key it will be. Last year she wanted low-key and I surprised her with a big party. I only did so because she always loved big birthday parties, but this year, she says she means it.