Sunday, December 30, 2012

Adoption Post

How I wish the title could be written backwards: Post-Adoption.  Won’t that be a great day?!

I can’t believe we’ve been a “Waiting Family” for 25 days.  Twenty-five looooooong days.  I’d be lying if I said that waiting for that phone call doesn’t’ cross my mind a good 25 times an hour.  It does.  It TOTALLY does.  I try to pray about it anytime I think about it, asking God for patience, but also letting him know that we’re ready, too!  Ha!

I always wonder how I will receive that magical call.  Unless you’ve been through the adoption wait, you probably can’t relate to this level of crazy, but I constantly come up with all the different scenarios and how it might play out.

Maybe I’ll be at school and miss the call.  Our social worker will call B, who will then call school and have me paged over the intercom.  I’ll be all caught off guard and break into tears in the middle of the office when B gets to share the good news with me. 

Maybe it will be a day that the house is a disaster and I haven’t left my pajamas.  And there’s a foot and half of snow outside, making it almost impossible to leave the house, let alone go pick up diapers for a baby that’s waiting for us at the hospital.

Or maybe it will happen over the summer, while I’m out of town and unable to get home quickly.  We’ll have to pack quickly and get home from vacation to pick up one of the greatest gifts we could ever imagine. 

Or maybe the call will come on an ordinary, boring day, where we’re just going through the motions and receiving our “matched” call is the furthest thing from my mind. 

The truth is that in the back of my mind – and sometimes in the forefront – is the thought that every passing day was supposed to be the day.  But then it wasn’t and I’m back to wondering whether the next day will be the day.  Sigh.  I wonder if it ever gets easier?

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I’ve really appreciated reading all of your comments – the well wishes, sharing in our excitement, or telling your own adoption story.  I love reading them and feeling the hope that others have been there or are right there with us or are just praying for our family. 

And, for those who’ve asked, we’re doing a domestic infant adoption.  Our agency says that placements usually occur anywhere from 6 months to 2 years after the completion of the home study (which we’ve completed), but, of course, it could happen at any time.  I’m faithful that God knows the best time for it to happen for us, but I’m only human and can’t help but wonder when that time will be!

If you or someone you know are considering adoption, you can check out our agency, our profile or the profiles of other amazing waiting families by clicking the picture below.  Our agency is also doing great work in Guatemala at the Hope for Tomorrow Children’s Home and assists many other families with domestic and international adoption. 

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Have a great Sunday, friends! 

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Christmastime

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In some ways, I’ve looked forward to a December like this December for a few years.  I wanted to enjoy the holiday to the fullest extent, starting from the day that the local station started playing Christmas music.  In October.  Christmas day is great, but nothing beats the build-up.  The months-long preparation, the decorations in Target, the random acts of kindness, the holiday cheer, family time, carols, ugly Christmas sweaters, parties.  Really, I could go on and on.  I just love it!

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Oh, and did I mention that I turned the big 3-0?  As in THIRTY? As in I am no longer a 20-something?

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It’s true.  And I’m so okay with it!  Twenty-nine ended up being a pretty crazy-amazing year, and I believe that God has a few things up his sleeve for 2013, too.  I can’t imagine what, but I’m going to keep the faith.

Until next time, here’s a few pics of my boy over the past two days.  And, no, he hasn’t been out of his jammies since Christmas Eve at 8:30pm. 

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Merry Christmas 26th!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

What he’s up to.

The boy child of ours is the best.  He’s full of personality and we laugh at him and with him all day long.  He is usually disguised as a super hero or ninja or firefighter on most days.  He went to the gym with me in Spiderman jammies last night.  Some battles just aren’t worth fighting.

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He has a crazy-good imagination and tells stories so elaborate and detailed, you’re pretty convinced that preciptinator is a word and that it is used to blast bad guys out of this universe.  I believe him.

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He can write is name and loves numbers and letters.  He tells us he loves us fifty-five-forty-nine-eight-one pounds on the regular.  I don’t know how much that is, but it must be a lot.

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He also looooooooves our dog.  Leland.  And, yes, she’s painted like a tiger.  Did I mention B went to dog grooming school?  Different story for a different day :)  But, yes, Becks and Leland are BFF.

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His Christmas program was yesterday and he had a speaking part.  So proud. 

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I’ve gone back to work part-time and am getting to spend lots of lovely time with him.  So blessed.

Happy Tuesday :)

Monday, December 17, 2012

Need to know basis.

So, I probably am driving our social worker (who I love) completely bananas.  Because I have a lot of questions that I think of during the day that I need know.  Remember, I have a high need for control, adoption is completely out of my control, and therefore, I rely on every little gem of wisdom that she can tell me as my very minute way to maintain some control over a situation that I really should just let go of.  Plus, despite being annoying, I want to stay in the forefront of her mind as a WAITING FAMILY.  Hey, it’s Abby!  I’ve only emailed you seven times today!  Did you remember that we’re WAITING?  For a BABY?!  Don’t forget about us! 

I’m only kidding about that last part.  A little.

So, here’s what I need to know today…

-  What does the process of choosing adoption look like for a potential birth mother?

-  How long does she spend looking at our profile? {Our profile is a hard-bound Shutterfly book that details our life in pictures and words.}

-  Will I be kept up to date throughout the next year as potential birth mothers consider adoption?

-  Can I have your home phone number so I can call you all hours of the night with my inane question?

Sigh.  Believe me, I’m praying hard for patience.  HARD.  I feel like every minute is the equivalent of daaaaaaays.  I’m trying to stay busy and occupied, which should be easy during the holidays, but babies and pregnancy are EVERYWHERE.  Which remind me that I’m “paper pregnant,” and I’m once again obsessively refreshing my gmail account, waiting for a response email.  I’m telling you, pray for patience for this girl!!!!

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In other news, the weekend was so great.  So great.  We were busy and lazy and holiday cheery. 

My sister stopped by with her new puppy, Bogey, and I built a tent in Becks’ bedroom for him and my niece to play in. 

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The kiddos watched Disney’s A Christmas Carol, and I just about died of sweetness.

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The boys had a wrestling match on Sunday morning.  Standard.  

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B and I also went on our annual Christmas date. 

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So, that’s life.  Off to the gym so I can spend some time not tied to my phone. 

Peace, love, and patience.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

God.

I feel a little guilty, posting about my happy weekend, when the weekend began with one of the most tragic events to occur during my lifetime.  I can’t fathom the loss and the despair that is being felt by the community in Newton, CT tonight.  Or how dozens of parents will have to spend this Christmas, and many more, without their precious babies.  Really, I can’t imagine. 

Social media, which should be riddled with pictures of Christmas festivities and holiday cheer, are now consumed with thoughts, prayers, politics, gun control, and religion.  Everyone has questions.  Everyone wants answers.  Everyone wants to know how God could let this happen. 

I don’t get it either.  But I know God was – and is – there.  He loves us and is grieving this awful event, too.  He wants us to draw near to Him during this time.  To take solace in His grace and take comfort in the fact that it is He who reigns.  No matter what horrific thing may happen, the battle against evil is already won.  It was won two thousand years ago when a little baby, born in a manger, came to Earth for a short time and later died upon a wooden cross, taking away our sins so that we could live in Heaven with him some day.  A perfect place.

I feel like this is all very easy for me to say, as a mother whose son is snuggled up next to her.  In his Spiderman pajamas.  Full of life.  Energetic and spirited.  Who I will kiss and tuck into bed tonight. 

And, I’m at an absolute loss for how to conclude this post.  I don’t think any words could adequately wrap up my writing with a neat little bow and let that be the end of it. 

So, I’ll end with His words instead…

Psalm 34:18 The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.

Psalm 18:2 The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.

John 14:18 No, I will not abandon you or leave you as orphans in the storm-I will come to you.

Hug your favorites a little closer tonight. 

Sunday, December 9, 2012

It’s all in the details.

It’s raining tonight.  I can’t help but wish it were snow, since a) it’s December and b) I’m a teacher.  Mostly because I’m a teacher though, and we work hard for our Snow Days. 

A pot of water is boiling on the stove for homemade macaroni and cheese.   I use the term homemade loosely, since I’m following the recipe on the back of the Velveeta cheese box,  and I’m pretty sure Velveeta is the furthest thing from homemade possible.  Also, Becks is running around in his underwear, chasing the dog with some laser gun.  The dog is wearing a bandana around her neck, and the whole scene is hilarious. 

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I also built a rather intricate dragon from Legos tonight, which took no less than an hour.  Do kids actually build these things?

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Oh, and there’s Christmas music playing in the background.  And a scented candle lit. 

B busy is folding laundry.  God bless him. 

These are the details from my life in the past hour.  Because, guess why?

Because we’re a waiting family.  And I’m going to have to keep awful busy while we’re waiting. 

We’ve only been waiting since Wednesday, but that doesn’t mean that it already doesn’t seem like eternity.  Especially when we’ve technically been a waiting family for a year and half.  However, I can’t help but think that after months and months and months of negative tests, that that test is now {metaphorically}  positive.  It brings me hope.

So, we wait.  Some of us will chase dogs in our underwear  (not me).  Some of us will do laundry (definitely not me).  And, some of us will write and make processed foods.

Happy Sunday.

PS. The mac-n-cheese was super yummy. Fake cheese or not :)

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Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Playing with a deck, half-stacked.

I’m feeling pulled to write again.  It’s cathartic.  Healing.  And, allows me to say what goes through my mind that I’d probably verbalize to a stranger in line at the grocery store, because that’s how I roll, but there’s something even more freeing in documenting it.  

So, let’s talk about it.  Rip the old Band-Aid off.  Get it out in the open. 

B and I have been trying to get pregnant for a year and a half.  Obviously, unsuccessfully.  It’s still just us, and that spirited little guy named Beckham, who we love and adore with all our hearts.  But, MY plan was to add onto our family well before I turned 30.  Which happens in less than a month (gah!).  So, yeah, that’s not happening. 

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In the past year and half, it seems that practically everyone I know – who’s wanted to become pregnant – has.  And, literally, everyone I know who had a baby around the same time I had Beckham has added a second or third child to their families.  Dagger. To. My. Heart.

So…

In January, which seems eons ago at this point, I visited my OBGYN who said the standard, Well, just keep on trying.  You have a kid, so we know the parts are there.  Come back in six months.

I might’ve fibbed a little when May rolled around, we still weren’t pregnant, and I told the lady that picked up the phone that Dr. C told us to book an appointment if we’d made it to that iconic year mark.  It wasn’t a year.  That was the fib.  It was only 11 months.  But I couldn’t wait a month longer. 

Dr. C advised an HSG test, which runs dye through the ol’ fallopian tubes and uterus.  Then, they take an x-ray of your insides.  Hmmmmm, you’re playing with a deck half-stacked.  That’s what he said as I lay there feeling all No freaking way.  I cried.  B was there and gave me hand-squeezes and hugs.  {Playing with a deck half-stacked, for those of you unfamiliar with this medical terminology, means blockages.  No explanation.  Just blocked.}

New plan = Clomid.  I’m thrilled for this stride.  My inner dialogue goes something like this, Now we’re going to get pregnant.  Maybe even twins!  This will be easy!  I’ll get pregnant by July, have a baby in April, and have an extended maternity leave before starting the 2013-2014 school year.  Clomid, clomid, clomid!  I LOVE CLOMID.

Four rounds of Comid later, I was over it.  HOLY HOTFLASHES, I HATE CLOMID. You would’ve thought I was fifty and menopausal the way I flung those sheets off and on throughout the night.   More importantly, we still weren’t pregnant.  

New plan = Fertility specialist with an exciting, expensive plan, known to commonfolk as turkey bastin’ or, when I’m trying to sound smart, Intra-uterine Insemination (IUI).  This meant 5 days of a stronger fertility drug, Femara, followed by a shot of Ovidril.  My new inner dialogue goes something like this, THE ANSWER TO OUR PRAYERS.  This will work!  How can it not?!  We are timing everything, taking drugs, and seeing a FERTILITY SPECIALIST.  This is soooooooo going to work!!!!! 

Except it didn’t. 

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{B and I at our pre-IUI breakfasts.  Not as lucky as I would’ve liked, but dang those pancakes were good!}

The doctor said it usually takes 3-5 times for success.  A friend tried NINE times with no success.  We tried it twice.  And, both times, I morphed into some combination of a lunatic and a peeonastickaholic.  The hormones were maddening and I’d take anywhere from 3-10 tests each round, despite the fact they were all negative.  I’m telling you, I was Miss Crazy Pants. 

So, last month, we decided we were done.  Done with the drugs.  Done with the planning and scheduling.  Done with the doctor’s appointments.  Done with the negative tests.  Done with the two-week-wait.  DUN-ZO. 

It was all very matter-of-fact.  We quit trying to get pregnant

I felt a peace about it all.  Glad to part with all the uncertainty that comes with trying to conceive. 

And, God.  There’s Him.  Who reveals His plan in His time.  And, we’re going to travel that path now. 

I’m going to give up control.  Which is difficult for me.  I like to know what’s going to happen to me, to feel that I had a big part in its making.  But, the bottom line, is that I’ve never had a part in that plan.  I think it’s a good thing, though :)

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Monday, November 26, 2012

Undeservedly blessed.

 

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I love the holidays.  The rush, the pick-up in everyone’s step.  Like there’s places to be and people to see.  Even on a  Monday night.  Maybe it’s because I love the hustle so much that I impose the excitement on everyone else.  I just imagine everyone to be out Christmas shopping, off to visit with family and friends, or grabbing an Egg Nog Latte from Starbucks.  Not returning from work in rush hour traffic, which is the more logical conclusion on the last Monday in November.

There’s something about that hustle motivates me.  I want to light holiday-scented candles, put up our tree, cut out felt banners that spell Merry Christmas and string them up across a wall.  I want to bake cookies and have friends over and sit by a fire.  I want to write.  An odd feeling after a six month hiatus. 

The hustle makes me want to slow down, too.  To take time and make it stretch over more days than it’s supposed to.  To have extended breaks with nothing scheduled but family time.  To relish in the now and cherish the precious moments I have with my boys.  

Introspectively, the value of the holidays has increased substantially in the past few years for me. There was a time, about two years ago, that I prayed for the peace I feel about life right now.  That this is where I’m supposed to be.  Here, in this moment, loving every second of my life and praising God for it. 

Undeservedly blessed

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Wordless Wednesday

Knuckleheads 1, 2, & 3.  Respectively.

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Monday, June 11, 2012

For Only Pennies...

 

Did I mention I love summer?  I do.

I love it so much that I caved to Becks’ request to have a chocolate chip cookie for breakfast.  I mean, why not? 

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And it’s only the 11th.  The 11th!  I still have lots more summer living in me.  Including, but certainly not limited to, vacations.  We leave for Hilton Head, SC on Saturday morning.  I went once before.  I was 17.  We travelled all night and I mostly remember waking up at 2am to my friend’s aunt loudly belting out Carly Simon.  Her aunt was supercool, so I then became smitten with Carly.  Still am.  You walked in to the party, like you were walking onto a yacht…  Note to self: add some Carly to the iPod.  Also, The Hunger Games because I am absolutely making B listen to it while we drive. 

So, Hilton Head.  What to wear, what to wear.  Oh, I know what NOT to wear: anything from Forever21.  That store freaks me out.  I know it’s full of trendy bargains, but I feel like I need a stylist when I walk in there.  I’m not kidding you.  I was obsessed with it during college, and now it’s entirely too overwhelming for me.  Kind of like Abercrombie & Fitch.  Used to drop 120 bucks on a pair of holey jeans from there, and now I can’t get past the cologne stench or blaring music fast enough.  It’s official: I’m old. 

Not too old for Penny’s, though.  As in JCPenny’s.  I feel very mom-ish even calling it Penny’s, but it is what it is.  And, apparently it’s a pretty stylin’ store these days because OMIWORD I was 12 kinds of *in love* with many of their lines today. 

I mean you know I’d rather be running around in leggings or a unitard, but I figure that vacation warrants a change in the norm.

Me, per usual, in leggings.  Looking very, very awkward taking a self portrait.  Dang I need a highlight and cut.

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But, onto the steals at Penny’s! 

Jorts and cute yellow top with an even cuter back.

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This coral and navy stripy top.

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Something old, something new…something coral.  Again.

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An 80s print with linen shorts.

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Maxin’ out in this maxi skirt. 

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A little one-shouldered number.

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And an itsy bitsy teeny weeny blue polka dot bikini.

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I’ll be honest.  I went a little overboard.  I’m not keeping it all.  The one-shouldered dress and the maxi are definitely going back.  I’m just not in love with them.  But I still wanted to show you because wow! Penny’s has got it going on! 

So, happy Monday to you and go get your shop on at a good ol’ fashioned department store :)

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

High on Summertime

I don’t think I can even express how much I love summer.  Early morning alone time – just me and my coffee.  Well, and Matt Lauer, of course.  I’m usually just finishing my first cup when Becks wakes up.  Same thing everyday – Avengers and a breakfast bar.  By the time he remembers to ask for milk, I’m already in the kitchen working on that second cup of coffee, with the milk at the ready.

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Then, we’re free.  The whole day.  We spend our time casually and I love it. 

We’ve spent a lot of time with family.  My mom’s birthday was this past weekend, and having us all together is just so dang fulfilling.

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Matt and Chels are due any day with my niece, Sullee Hope.  We’re all so excited to have a baby around again.  Especially a little girl.  I think Becks and Sutton have fulfilled our boy quota indefinitely.  And, don’t let Matt fool you…he’s not really thinking that hard ;)

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My baby sister starts her MBA program at UK next week.  Good golly, where has the time gone?   

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Ahhhhh, summmer.  How I’ve missed you.

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I think summer suits all of us.  Quite nicely.