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.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Sometimes a little rain can be a blessing

Today, we jumped out of bed to head to Piedmont Park for a play date with all the families in the organization I run. What I didn't realize when I first scheduled the date 3 months ago was that it would be coinciding with the Dogwood Festival. Would it be major chaos, or a nice combination?

Maggie on the rock climbing wall at Piedmont Park

Piedmont Park is a beautiful park in Midtown Atlanta. Not quite the same as Central Park in NY, but it is our own Southern version. Unfortunately, when a festival is going on, parking can be a problem. Atlanta is not built well enough for everyone to use public transportation (that's another story), so we mostly all use our cars. Since we needed to be at the park first, we were able to find free parking (my favorite) without any problem. The families that came after us mostly ended up having to pay. Some people never even made it to the play date because parking was so problematic.

The original plan was for all 3 of us to go and then leave a little early for Maggie's soccer game. Due to last night's rain, they actually cancelled the soccer game for today due to the muddy fields even though today was gorgeous outside. That was such a blessing because we found ourselves in an amazing park, during the Dogwood Festival, and with nowhere is particular we had to be.

They actually had an amazing looking Ferris Wheel, and a bunch of other jumpy things for the kids to play on. Maggie loved it because it was an unexpected trip to the "carnival" as she called it. We were able to sit on a grassy hill and watch a frisbee dog show (very cool).  It was nice to relax and just play on such a gorgeous day for the park. Usually, we seem so scheduled, that we don't just do "whatever" in a day. But, today we did :-)

Dear Adoption Agency

Ready to Adopt!

Dear Adoption Agency,

I see on your website you have another adoptive parent information session coming up. If you wouldn't mind, please do not sign up anymore new adoptive families until after we have adopted.

Thanks so much!


If only it worked that way! I am not a math genius, but I am fairly certain all the great families with our agency would adopt sooner if they wouldn't add any new families for a while. Each month they average 11-12 adoptions. This is why we signed on with them. It seemed like they did a fairly good number of adoptions in a given year with a reasonable number of prospective adoptive parents.

If you look at some adoption agencies, they have an extremely high number of clients at any given moment, and most do the same number of placements as our agency. We thought since we had done our research, paid our on-the-high-side adoption fees, that somehow our adoption process would be easier. In fairness, I guess it would have had our first match worked out in a successful adoption.

This week in our adoption world, we actually had a little activity. Nothing that has led to us adopting a baby, but still, in the open adoption process, we know having some activity is definitely better than no activity because you never know when it is going to happen.

We had our first call from a birthmother due to our own networking efforts. She was young, and only 4 months pregnant, so she likely has a ways to go before she chooses an adoptive family. She seemed very nice, and was very nervous about talking since she had never done this before. She is lucky in that her mom is helping her through this process.  I have to assume it would be helpful to have a supportive mom help you sort through families and to figure our the right questions to ask. I don't know if we will ever hear back from her, but it was nice to know she was considering us an adoptive family for her baby.

Today, I heard from a good friend of mine who is an adoptive parent of four. She was telling me about a baby born at the local children's hospital that is being placed for adoption. Apparently the baby was born with some health complications, but is now fine. When she heard about the baby she immediately thought about us and our desire to adopt. I think the baby may already be linked with a local adoption agency that probably has its own list of waiting parents, but she was going to try to get me some more information to see if we could be a possibility. It is a long shot, but definitely great that our friend came across this situation and called us. That is how this adoption networking is supposed to happen!

Maggie, our first adopted angel

We don't know how "our journey to another angel" will unfold. We have learned from our past experience that you just never know what the day may bring you. The last time we adopted, we had been waiting 18 months before we had our successful adoption. We had literally gone to see the movie "Million Dollar Baby," and came home after crying about that story (it's about a woman boxer who is such a fighter in her own life). For some reason, this brought out feelings in both of us about the adoption process even though it had nothing to do with adoption. Lisa and I both looked at each other that evening and said it is okay if the adoption-thing doesn't work out for us. It was as if we released it out into the universe and the phone rang at our house within the hour with Maggie's birthmother and her two moms. Within 3 hours of us telling the universe it was okay if we didn't adopt, we knew in our hearts that suddenly we were going to become parents within a very short period of time! Weeks later, we were holding our amazing daughter, and she was named after the main character in "Million Dollar Baby" because we were so moved by that moment, and the character in the movie was someone any parent would be proud to have as a daughter.

Long story to say I am always amazed by what can unexpectedly unfold in any given day, both good and bad.

In other news, we are very excited that Lisa received a job offer this week from a new employer. She has been wanting to work in a new industry for a long time, especially since the radio industry is a dying business. Finally, somebody is going to give her a chance to learn a new industry. The reality is that anyone would be lucky to have her as an employee because she is a workhorse and can easily learn a new industry. So, we are excited that this new job opportunity has presented itself, and in many ways looks like it will be a better opportunity for our family. The new job even offers adoption benefits, which means the company is supportive of its employees adopting, and helps them pay for a small portion of the adoption. It will be nice to work for a pro-adoption company again like the one Lisa was working for when we adopted Maggie. Every little bit helps!

I am all scrunched in bed between Maggie and my cat, with a dog at my feet. It reminds me of the book Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (one of my favorites) and how all of his grandparents slept in one bed. Not that we don't have other beds, but because there was a thunderstorm here tonight, everyone is huddled in our bed, and somehow I always getting the bad end of the deal with the least amount of room. And I am probably the most claustrophobic, but this is my lot in life :-)

Signing off for tonight! Good night, everyone!


Monday, April 11, 2011

Not the super rich, but we are still a super great family!

Maggie and the dolphin trainers at Sea World! It was an awesome show!

Maggie had her first day back to school today. She was so happy to share with her classmates about her lost tooth over Spring Break. It was like Christmas at school for her! She even drew a picture of the tooth fairy coming and placing a bracelet and some money under her pillow. The picture is for the tooth fairy, but I didn't ask how she planned on getting it to her.

Our new website it up and running. It is our effort to hopefully increase the number of contacts we are having with birth parents. I am a little ambivalent traveling down this road because one of the reasons we hired the particular agency we are using is because we wouldn't have to do the outreach ourselves. It is not that we are lazy or anything like that, it is just that we are opening ourselves up to what could be a more stressful ride. On the other hand, doing our own outreach is exactly how we found Maggie's wonderful birth mom, so maybe we will be so lucky again?

I know if we would just be patient our agency will eventually call us with the "right" situation for us. Patience in the adoption area is not my strong suit. The first couple of months we were waiting I fought off my urge to do something to feel like I had some control over the process. And then we were matched so quickly, just like the adoption agency advertised was possible. Of course, that turned out to be a long, painful ride. And now we are here, much farther down the road of waiting. And I feel like I need to do something!

Let the Memories Begin!

So, I turn to the internet, like thousands of other people who want to become adoptive parents. It is much different than it was 6 years ago when we adopted Maggie. Now, in addition to our websites, we have blogs and You Tube videos to help show what a wonderful family we are to birth parents. Some people have really great websites, blogs and videos. I saw this one couple who had a video professionally made with them talking throughout it. Of course, it showed they were from Hollywood and very rich. They've since adopted.

Check our our You Tube Video!

We can't compete with the super rich. At our agency, there are many wealthy families who are competing with us in the pool of prospective adoptive parents. I know I shouldn't use the word "competing," but I will for tonight since I don't have the brain power to come up with something more politically correct.  Though I do sometimes look at the other parent profiles and get down because there are some seriously rich people in our adoption pool, I try to reason that there are birth parents who will choose us for different reasons. I don't blame birth parents for wanting the super rich---to each his own. But, what we can offer the children in our home doesn't cost money: love, stability, consistency, hugs and kisses.

No, reader, we are not the super rich, but I think we do a super good job at providing lots of love and the best opportunities for our daughter, and we will certainly do the same for our next child. If you want the super rich, you should probably keep looking. But if you want a family that can offer lots of love, who is financially stable, and can provide a great environment for your baby, then we just might be the right fit. I hope you keep exploring :-)

Maggie using her Princess Wishing Star to wish for a baby brother or sister!

One thing people reading may not know about me is that I stay up way too late just about every night. I am a night owl, and hate to get up in the morning. But, when you have kids, you have to get up and get them to school. So, I have decided to make a much more serious effort to go to bed at a decent time so that I can have more productive days where I am not dragging.

So, if you haven't already, please post our new website on your Facebook, My Space, or any other place you can think of. We could really use the help in spreading the word, and we would love to hear your feedback!


Have a great night, and wish me well with my endeavor to go to sleep at a reasonable hour tonight (and all future nights).



Home Again

Our last day at Disney World!

Yay! Spring Break was a lot of fun, but it sure is good to be home again. The drive home was extra tough with the Spring Break traffic. What should have been a 7 hour drive took about 11 hours. I am so happy to see all my furry children, and especially my ailing kitty who is still hanging on to life.

My house seems so peaceful after sharing a house with two other families. It is so much quieter when you only have the routines of your own family going on  :-) And sleeping in my own bed is heaven compared to the springs popping through the mattress I slept on all week. Ah, home...

Today, the family headed out to church and then a great lunch at Farm Burger (supposedly the food comes from a local farm, so it is fresh and extra yummy). The church sermon was a lot about death, and I think it was meant to be uplifting because of the afterlife. I can't exactly remember all of what it was about because talking about death for so long brought up feelings I had about our failed adoption of our baby boy. I was sad for a few minutes in church, but it was good to stop and think about him for a moment. I looked at his pictures on my phone, and smiled remembering him.

The rest of the day I was very fortunate because Lisa took Maggie and our neighbor Jeremy to the Atlanta Thrasher's hockey game. I got to stay home and do nothing, and nothing is what I did. I slept for 3 hours!

Tomorrow, it is back to reality! School, work, and extra-curricular activities, oh my!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Fool me twice, I don't think so

We started the morning with Maggie running into my room saying her first loose tooth came out in the middle of the night. It was nowhere to be found, and I was grateful she didn't bleed all over the rental house bed she was in. It just disappeared. Fortunately, I had read the evening before that kids can swallow their loose teeth while sleeping, and there is no need to worry. Anyway, Maggie was so excited and rushed down to tell everyone in the house. The two other kids her age were not so pleased because they haven't lost any teeth yet, but the adults made a big deal about it.

Riding the ferry to the Magic Kingdom

We had a great day at Disney World. It took us a while to get there, but when we finally made it, we had a good time. It was the first year Maggie was so into the rides, and she wanted to ride and ride. She has also developed fear of certain rides that she has been going on for years. I always worried when she was 2 that she had no sense of fear, but now I see it coming in :-)

Maggie loves riding the cars now!

At Disney World, Maggie spent the first half of the day telling anyone who would listen that she lost her tooth. She enjoyed sporting her new toothless look.

My cell phone hasn't been working well since we arrived down in the Orlando area. The reception has been terrible. While at the park, I rebooted it for some reason, and up came a message from the day before from our adoption agency. At first I was panicked thinking they might have called us for a last minute hospital match and we missed the window of opportunity because of our crappy cell reception. Then I was frustrated that when I called the agency the call kept dropping. Finally, I used a friend's phone and was able to learn more about the situation they were calling about (they never call us just to say hello, so when they call it is usually good news when you are in the pre-match phase).

They presented us with a situation that sounded pretty good. They sent us a file that evening so I could read more about the situation while not in the middle of Disney World. According to the information we received, the birthmother was due May 4th with a baby girl. Supposedly she has had good prenatal care and everyone was healthy. And she is only 26 years old.

The more I learned about the situation, the more I became suspicious. Heck yeah, we are trying to be extra careful after our last situation. We both slept on it, and in the morning we compiled a list of questions to follow up with the adoption agency about. Thank God we are experienced enough to know what questions to ask--otherwise, I think we would have signed up for what I predict will be a very expensive and possibly huge mess of an adoption experience. Red flags everywhere. All sorts of adoption costs required to meet Colorado law's requirements. The birthfather story was inconsistent, and we weren't falling for the that again. And finally, apparently, where she lives in Colorado, she has 30 days to change her mind about the adoption. No way are we entering into an adoption for 30 days and have the baby taken back from us. I have read about people who have experienced this long of a failed adoption, and there is no way I can mentally afford it. 5 days almost wrecked me. I can't imagine risking 30 days. God bless the families that can handle that kind of risk.

I am a little peeved at the caseworker who presented this case to us. I wouldn't exactly say she was honest with us. She took the approach to only answer the questions we asked, and to not warn us about the possible trouble spots. I think they are having a hard time placing this birthmother because of all the issues we are concerned about, and possibly more, so it felt a little like a used car salesperson selling us the situation. I know that is wrong on so many levels to compare the two, but that is what is felt like. If we were not experienced with open adoption, we would have blindly walked into this mind field. I hope whoever does take it on that it works out for them. I would hate for them to experience what we experienced with our failed adoption. The tempting part is that it so close to being born that it got me excited.

I don't know if the agency thinks the Kelly's just have unlimited funds and room in our hearts to handle this adoption, but I find it really odd they presented it to us, and in such a non-straightforward way. I guess I will have a little chat with them this week about it all. Though we live comfortably, we are not made of money and are not going to get consumed by emotions and make bad decisions.

I know they should present all situations to us when a birth mother has chosen us even if it doesn't meet our filters. But, for goodness sakes, be honest about the details of the situation.

Well, we are off to our final day of the Magic Kingdom tomorrow, so I should get to bed. We will likely be at the park all day and pray that it is not as crowded as it was on Wednesday. We are ending the day with a princess dinner in Cinderella's castle. Maggie will love all the princess stuff going on, so it should be delightful. It may just be the last year of Princesses because many of my friends have told me that their kids grow out of it at 6-7 years old. I wouldn't mind it a bit. I have enjoyed the years of Princess mania, but I am okay with letting it go now.

God bless to everyone out there reading along with our journey. We especially appreciate those of you sending it along to friends through Facebook, etc.

I am trying to make an effort to be much more practical about this next adoption (I know, scary thought since I am already so practical), because when emotions get involved, it is hard to walk away from something you know you should walk away from. That is why I told Lisa that I thought we should make up our minds before talking to the birthmother this time. We both have big hearts and want to think the best of people, so I didn't want that to sway us at all.

We needed to be practical, practical, practical. In the end, it was an easy decision because we could not do it for 3 reasons, and we just matter-of-fact made those decisions. It felt good to be in control for a minute. Then it felt not so good when I e-mailed the case worker telling her we were going to pass. That means we have nothing else in the fire that we know of....

I still believe God will help us find the right birthparents and baby. Being at Disney World is certainly a good distraction from it all.

Buzz Lightyear's Nemesis

And please, don't worry about us. If anything, it was nice to have a moment where we felt some control over our adoption experience. We are fine and have lots of good distractions going on right now.


Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The Gift That Keeps On Giving Gives Again....

Maggie at Sea World
A rainy day on our Spring Break vacation today. Not much done. We went to see the movie "Hop," which I actually thought was cute. Then later went to an all-you-can-eat lobster and crab place for a birthday dinner for one of the mommies in the group.

Yesterday, we went to Sea World. It was a great day. Perfect weather, and a fun time. We especially enjoyed the Dolphin Show that we have somehow managed to miss over all these past years down here. The park wasn't crowded, so the lines were very do-able for the rides. I did myself in trying to follow Maggie twice on the ropes course there. If you've been to Sea World, and are over 30, you know what I mean when I say that course is not meant for adults. Holy Crap! My legs were like spaghetti by the time I climbed back down. Maggie loved playing in the water for a couple of hours while some of her friends road the more intense rides. Last year she liked them, but this year she is not into the roller coasters and other super-intense rides, which is fine by me.

Water Play at Sea World

I noticed yesterday Maggie was rather quiet, and acting a little withdrawn. If you know Maggie, she is very consistently super happy and outgoing. Yesterday, she didn't seem like herself. Today, even more so. I kept trying to figure out what was wrong. Could it really be the loose tooth that hasn't come out yet? The cold? The Spring Break exhaustion? The trying to navigate the dynamics of having three little girls all around the same age? Nope, none of those guesses. Unfortunately, it can take days (and possibly never) to figure out what is going on with a 6 year old. She just can't articulate it yet. Or, at least when I probe for answers from every angle I can think of.

The last two night she has seemed a little uneasy at bedtime, which is another unusual for Maggie, especially with friends around. Tonight, she asked me to lay with her in bed to cuddle before she went to sleep. While we were cuddling, from her silence, she suddenly began talking about the baby from our failed adoption and his biological father. She was wondering how the baby was doing, and said she thought he was having fun with the biological father. She seemed bothered when I said I hope so. She quickly wanted to know why I thought that was a good thing. I explained to her that since we love the little baby, we want him to be happy and have fun. That seemed to make sense to her. She went on to talk about what a beautiful baby he was, and how she missed him. She started crying and hugging my neck. It caught me a little off guard, and pissed me off that my little girl is still grieving the loss of this little baby. Damn it. She is at the happiest place on earth, and she has fallen back into thinking about our sadness.

I have an idea that since there are two young baby boys staying with us that it has triggered these feelings for her. The Maggie I am used to would be so happy to be here with friends that she wouldn't even have time to have these feelings. My little girl is growing up, and is more aware than I realize.

I talked to her about how God has a special little brother or sister in mind for us, and that this baby will come into our lives when God has found the right one for our family. I believe this, so I hope my little girl believes it. I think she does, but I also can feel her frustration in waiting and wondering. Sometimes I think she thinks there is something wrong with us because the adoption fell apart. She is not old enough to understand what really happened, so we just do the best we can to explain it to her again.

I promised her one day soon she will be a big sister. She really needs this for whatever reason--it is just who she is. And she is going to be a great big sister.

She looked wiped out after she talked to me, and then was finally able to fall asleep as she clutched my hand in hers. I had a few tears stream down my cheek to think that my daughter is struggling with this again. In the past, I might have cried over the failed adoption, but now my tears are about my baby girl and her struggle.

Even as I move on, I have to remember we all grieve at different paces.

So, as we are visiting the happiest place on earth, we finish this day with some sadness, but hope for a happier day tomorrow.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Spring Break Update

Maggie and Alex enjoying an ice cream sundae by the pool today

Well, we made it down to sunny Orlando (the weather is beautiful). The trip down was fairly uneventful except if you count Maggie telling me her stomach hurt because she was so hungry, and they proceeded to projectile vomit gallons in the car just as we pulled into the restaurant. I am fairly certain it was bad milk from a Wendy's restaurant we got the day before, and not her being sick because she has been fine ever since.

Orlando is the crazy place that made me break down and get a GPS, but I am convinced my GPS took us an hour and a half out of the way to get to our rental house. We had some free time before check in, so we stopped by my parents' house to visit (they live close off the highway to Disney). It was a surprise visit, so that was extra nice.  Plus I was able to wash all the clothes Maggie soiled from our little accident.

My parents were just finishing a yard sale in which they sold a bunch of their art work I would have liked--one piece in particular. Oh well, no sense in holding onto things. I did end up bringing boxes of stuff that was left over from their sale. They were giving away stuff that has been in our family for 30 years. I think I was having a more difficult time than they were.

There are 3 girls and two baby boys on the trip with us. The 3 girls have been running themselves into the ground with exhaustion. They were super thrilled to have a dance party and then to have our dad of the house play Barbies with them. Maggie was quite surprised and then thrilled with his ability to actually play a good game of Barbies. At first they questioned his drag voice, but then when they heard his guy voice they decided he needed to go back to the drag voice. We don't have any Ken dolls with us, so daddy Ian had to be a Barbie.

By 5pm, the 3 girls seemed a little catatonic and whiny. Maggie got up at 6am this morning! Oye. She has gone from getting 12 hours of sleep these last two nights to getting only 8. Tonight, I actually made her go to bed by 7:30, and she didn't even fight me on it. They swam just about all day today.

We are going to Sea World tomorrow, so I am glad they are all getting some good rest. We are getting a good deal on tickets from one of the ticket sales places in the gas stations along International Boulevard, but we have to be there by 8:30am. I have no doubt that will be a struggle to get this entire household there on time.

Maggie still has her loose tooth, and I can't believe it hasn't come out. She still wiggles it all day, but fortunately has her friends to distract her a little bit from it.

Maggie and Samantha

I am enjoying spending time with Godson Nicholas and his pal Matthew. Nick-Nick is having a wonderful time, and is such a happy baby. It is so amazing to me how difficult he was in the beginning of his life. I think Matthew is going to be a good friend by the end of this week, too.

Until the next time....

Friday, April 1, 2011

We have an adoption video!

Yeah, today is April 1st! The Kelly Family is looking forward to a much better month than the previous two! Tomorrow, we are set to go on our annual trip to Disney World with some good friends. I haven't even begun to pack or get things ready--though I did just get an oil change and promptly left my credit card at the service station :-)

Above is an adoption profile video I did for fun. I am not sure how useful it will be, but you never know how you might find someone, so I took a few minutes to throw one together to help show a little about our family.

I hope you will share it on your Facebook wall.

We are still waiting to get our adoption website done, but there is some content there if you want to take a look. It looks sort of like our profile book that goes out to birthmothers from our agency.

Thanks for all the well wishes for Lisa. She is doing much better, though a little edgy hyped up on the steroids. Only one more day of steroids--yay for all of us!

My baby Kenny is still wobbly, but he seems to be stable at the moment. Though the Vet said we are looking at the end, Kenny is such a fighter that I don't know how long that will be. We were told two years ago that he was at the end, so who knows.

Yesterday, Maggie got her green belt in karate! We are so proud of her! This was such a big accomplishment, and it was so nice to see how proud she was of herself. What seemed impossible became possible. It will be nice going into our Spring Break vacation starting with that big accomplishment. A 22 move kata is hard for an adult, let alone a 6 year old!

I better get packing. I hope to check in again soon!