What a Wonderful World

Good morning friends!

I said I wouldn’t write another post until we had adopted. 

It was just too hard on my heart. 

But today, I’m bursting at the seams with joy, love, and gratitude as I share with you that The Hubs and I (and big brother E!) welcomed our sweet baby boy, our second son, into our lives, our hearts, and our family two days ago! His adoption was a “stork drop” and we met our son only four hours after hearing of his existence…such a magical, whirlwind experience. More details to follow very soon, including his remarkable story and his journey to our arms. We are richly blessed, indeed.  

About five minutes after the tearfest of first meeting our son. After drying our eyes, we began to realize it was for real! We haven’t stopped smiling yet. 😊

In Which I Say Goodbye

Hello my friends!  Many of you are wondering where our adoption journey has led us and what’s in the mix. I’m sorry I left everyone hanging, but I needed to distance myself from the topic for a bit to gain some perspective and to just plain be okay. 

Our journey has been hard. They all are; infertility, adoption, it’s all an intense emotional struggle. I think ours has been a bit a touch on the extra brutal side.  We faced not only crushing disappointment more than twice, but also didn’t have the relationship we desired with the people we hired at huge expense to help us. Personality conflicts, they happen. I just wish it hadn’t happened to us. 

The time has come for me to wrap up my time here, at least for now. There are two reasons for this…Reason #1: My goal all along was to write an account of our journey in a very transparent way, leaving a blueprint for others who may follow and find it helpful and encouraging. BUT…about a month ago I received an email from a woman who is with the same agency as us and adopted almost immediately. She stated, pretty bluntly, that I wasn’t doing myself any favors by writing about the good, the bad, and the ugly. She thought that if birth mothers considering us found us online (soooooooo easy, that’s true) they would be turned off by my blog. At first, I was pretty pissed off she had the stones to lay that out there. I mean, it’s easy to judge when you adopted before the ink on your homestudy was even dry, right? But before long I realized she was right. And that very day I went and made all my “controversial” posts private so only I can see them and they can’t haunt us.  When I did that, I removed the integrity from my original purpose of transparency. And I can’t continue if I have to make sure every blasted post is positive and chipper, because that’s some serious bullshit. That’s not life. That’s not anything except saccharin-coated nonsense and that is not now, nor has it ever been, how I roll. 

It doesn’t help matters that I’m a humorist in my writing, and the adoption process has been anything but funny. My desire to write is so strong, and I may start another blog where I can still write for people who like my quirky take on things. We will see. 

Reason #2: Regarding where we are now in the adoption process: ah, let’s see how to accurately describe…oh yeah…we are nowhere. If our journey was a location, it would be Area 51. I literally have not a thing to report because absolutely nothing is happening. All of the people in our class have adopted. All of the people in the classes after us have adopted. We remain, and remain, our smiling faces moving lower and lower on the list of online profiles. It has been 7 weeks since we were presented with a situation. Our coordinator says, “I just don’t understand. Families like yours usually get picked right away! I thought you’d be gone in 2-3 months!” 

Whatever. What. Ev. Er. 

The hubs and I are doing well. I have started forcing myself to accept the possibility we may simply have one child. I grieve for E, who asks about “his baby” all the time; I grieve for the hubs, who is such a badass father and has so much awesomeness to impart onto another kid; I grieve for myself because when I became a mother I realized it was what I was born to do, strange as that may sound. I just always thought I would have more than one kid to annoy with my mothering. 😊 But the truth is if we are only supposed to have one, we will make it and be okay. We have E, and if we were only meant to have one miracle granted in our lives, I’m so insanely grateful he was just that. 

Thank you friends for following along and supporting me the whole way. If I write here again, it will be because we have adopted, somehow. 

But if you happen to be acquainted with a baby that needs a family, you know where to find us. 😉 

Love, light, and blessings to all. 

Perhaps I Didn’t Make This Clear: My Family is Awesome

Nine years ago today I made the single best choice of my life and married The Hubs. We had an amazing anniversary and just marveled at everything we have been through, good and bad. Nine years seems like forever, but we both remembered our wedding like it was yesterday. As we walked along the river after brunch today, I started having some Very Deep Thoughts. We were discussing our sweet little E, each other, funny memories, and of course, adoption. Talking or thinking about adoption is a pleasant thing, lately. For a while it wasn’t. But there is one adoption aspect that is bothering me. 

Everyone from our adoption education class (cohort) and the two classes after us have adopted already. In fact, so many people have adopted that there are only 8 home-study ready families, including us, even left remaining in the waiting pool! I’m not wallowing in self-pity, but it does make me feel a bit sad. Also, I stumbled upon another surprising emotion while reflecting on why this bothered me: indignation. 

Here’s why. Getting passed over and being second choice again and again makes me feel very defensive of my family. It isn’t only because we haven’t adopted yet, but because not being picked feels a lot like being the last kid standing alone after all the cooler students have been chosen for teams in gym class. It feels worse than that, because this is my family. I’m not saying I’m anything special; however, I’m sure married to someone who deserves that title. And I will take credit for birthing the other member of this family who is absolutely something wonderful. Not just because he’s my son. Because he’s good, and kind, and generous, and loving. 

  And while initially it irritates me that my amazing husband and kind little boy (and myself) aren’t being chosen to adopt, my emotions after irritation are quite different. I feel very sorry for those who have reviewed/will review our profile but moved on. They missed out on the best father any kid could ever have. I can state without hyperbole that I don’t think I could find one fault with the Hubs and his role as Dada. He’s just a great guy who fulfills every aspect (playing, learning, nurturing discipline) of fatherhood effortlessly. It just comes naturally. And E has all the makings of a great big brother. He’s sensitive, empathetic, and loving. He loves being a helper. E will be one of those older siblings who looks out for his little brother/sister. He asked for a long time when his baby was coming; he would ask God every night during bedtime prayers. He hasn’t done that in a while, and I feel scared that maybe he “gave up.”  I hate the idea of my little boy losing faith in his prayer. After all, he’s 3; he’s not sure how the whole faith thing works just yet!

I ache for any expectant mother (or father) who is on the heartbreaking, emotional journey of placing their baby for adoption. I have read that many birthmothers say a great deal of stress was lifted after they found the “perfect family.”  I’m not even going to entertain the idea that we are perfect. That’s pure silliness. But we are most assuredly a family that could put some of an expectant mother’s stress at ease if she met us and saw what we are: a genuinely joyful, imperfect, adoring couple who choose to lead very kid-centered lives devoted to parenting, with a bottomless-soda glass amount of love to shower upon a new member of the family. The thing I wonder is, why isn’t it enough? 

I just had an interesting thought: I think if I was an expectant mother and I was interested in choosing an adoptive couple that had a child already, I would want to meet the kid. You could tell a lot about the hopeful adoptive parents just from sizing up their child, I bet. You could also see the parents interacting with their son or daughter and decide if that’s how you would want your baby to be treated (or not). It’s a good idea, right? 

Just to drive this point home once more, I don’t dwell on the above very often. Usually only after I hear someone else has just adopted, or after we hear we were second choice again. I’m doing a great job of enjoying the blessings in front of me and not obsessing about the ones we hopefully we have one day. But as anyone who has adopted would certainly agree, there are inevitably going to be moments where you question yourself as well as the process. Mostly the process. 

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Being, Just to Be

You know what’s underrated? Carefree abandon. I hope all of you had at least one moment of carefree abandon today. I am becoming a big fan of moments infused with it. For me, that means making choices when my analyzer is switched off. Enjoying the moment, the activity, the decision; sometimes it’s very freeing to just be or just do and not always consider how it will impact anything else in my life. 

The latest in carefree abandon: Dance-offs with my frequently naked 3 1/2 year old. Normally I would insist on a pull-up since he isn’t exactly house-broke, but lately he has decided being naked is what it’s all about, so we’re rolling with it. Mostly because its unfathomably adorable. Maybe it will give him a little incentive to realize how nice it can feel not to have a pull-up on all the time? Maybe? Yeah I know, probably not. 

We enjoyed a great weekend filled with family goodness, now that we are both much less committed to work at this very second: Visiting the zoo, finally setting up the pool, blowing hundreds of bubbles in the backyard to make “a magic giant bubble.” A family could spend a lot of time blowing a lot of bubbles with the goal of a bubble that is both giant and magical. 😊 

The bubble is not in the picture, but I assure you, it was awesome.


 

E posed next to this gigantic sleeping/dead crocodile. I am confident that this experience will only take up very little of the therapy time he will now likely need as an adult.

 
 Another reason this weekend rocked was we finally said goodbye to the hellacious heatwave that singed all my flowers, killed my grass, and kept me a prisoner in my own home. My own non-air conditioned home. Well, except one room I held up in during the siege. Some people flit about fresh as flowershop daisies on the ninth consecutive day of 100 degree temperatures. I’m not one of those people. I’m more like the actual daisies in the backyard listing dangerously to the side or collapsing in upon themselves, because they have already wisely given up. The first three or four days of blazing heat they stood strong, believing help was coming. By the sixth day, they accepted their fate and fell over. That’s me. I don’t need to be a hero when it’s 100 degrees. Whatever needs to be done can wait until we are back in the 80 degree range, am I right?

Consequently, this will be the last year we make excuses about the “necessity” of air conditioning. Every single year the hubs and I discuss getting it, then justify our way back out by reasoning that there really are only 3-4 days a summer we really need it and it just isn’t worth the expense. Bollocks. We need it bad, and it is for sure worth the expense. Coming to our home Fall 2015: Air conditioning. Sweet, sweet air conditioning. 

No adoption updates in quite some time now, but life is good and our faith is intact. 😇 We are considering redoing our online and book portfolios, something I dread since the first one took almost 60 hours to make. But, you do whatcha gotta do, right? 

Stop in and follow the journey from the beginning! 

www.borrowedgenes.com

 

Some Nights You Gotta Dance

Mr. E has always had a very reliable bedtime routine, since about six months old, and for this I am grateful. He embraces the routine and expects it, so putting him to bed is almost never a challenge. I’ve encountered one obstacle throughout the years regarding bedtime, and he goes by the name of Dada, aka, the Hubs. 

The Hubs plays with his little boy like many dads, all rough and tumble and funny faces and slapstick comedy. It’s adorable. He’s the best dad in the world. But a half hour before bedtime, I’ve told him he needs to begin easing into a more soothing pattern of play. Calming voices. Reduced sensory stimulation.  Setting the tone for a cooperative transition. This has earned me the loving nickname “Major Buzzkill” at least once a week since E was born. 

Our current routine goes like this: we help E pick out his jammies and get them on as well as his pull-up. He’s getting close to doing this without us, but just not quite yet. Then the hubs reads 5-6 books that E picks out and they brush his teeth during reading time. After that’s done, E gets one last hurrah where he comes racing at top speed out of his bedroom to “find me” and shouts, “It’s time to cuddle, Mama! You come cuddle now!” (He’s going through a bit of a demanding phase.). Then we turn on his moon and stars projector in his room and his “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” music, set for one hour, and I climb into his train bed with him for cuddle time. Cuddle time is a lot like how it sounds, but we also sing songs and say our prayers. Sometimes if something is on his mind E will tell me about it after a few minutes. It’s a very special time that I cherish because I know it won’t last forever. 

About three nights ago, I discovered a new dimension has been added to our bedtime routine. After the books have been read, the hubs and E have a dance party. I realized this because I was waiting to be summoned for cuddle time when suddenly I heard the melodic strains of “Shake Your Booty” by KC and the Sunshine Band. It was reverberating through the door where my son was supposed to be reading soothing books with his Dada and preparing for night-night. 

So I go in there and sure enough, there’s my husband and my kid dancing all over the room. Realizing I was outnumbered, I settled in to watch the cuteness. E has a few special dances, one he calls his “one foot dance” and another is his “two feet dance.” I would describe his style as a combination of “The Charleston” meets Flashdance

As the last song was wrapping up, (“Don’t Stop Till You Get Enough”) by Michael Jackson, E just kept on dancing even though the music ended. He just kept going! Finally we asked him what he was dancing to, and he looked up at his Dada and said, “It feels like the perfect song, and it makes me think of you.” 

It’s true! My kid just busted that line out of nowhere!  Honestly, it was out of the clear blue sky. We monitor everything he hears, sees, or reads, and I don’t know where this one came from. My little boy is definitely a wordsmith!  I’m a little fearful of the pick-up lines he might devise when he’s older and the object of his affection isn’t his dada!

Okay yeah, I’m a little jealous the hubs got that line and I didn’t. But it’s cool. He got the first “I lub you!” too, and it was no biggie. I started hearing it as well, shortly after the first one. 

So the dance party seems to have officially become part of the bedtime routine, because I’m definitely not going to eliminate the part where my son does the “one foot dance” and spews poetry off the top of his head. It makes settling down for cuddle time quite a challenge, but I’d call it a fair trade off. 

  
Here is a short video of my littlest sweetheart showing off his skills. This is when we were playing in the backyard last night. I think he has more creative moves when he’s in his room since it is a smaller area, but I takes what I can gets when he decides he’s willing to cooperate with the camera! (Please don’t judge me on my dry, ugly grass. The sprinklers couldn’t keep up with the heatwave. Mostly because I didn’t want to also go in the blazing heat to turn them on. Meh.) 

Hey, Hey! It’s a Good Day! 

Things are looking up around these parts. I’ve been waiting for this glorious day, after a rather unfun winter and spring. Of course, it isn’t that the entirety of those seasons were a bummer, but you know what I mean. When I think back later, on the winter and spring of 2015, they will likely not receive any honorable mentions as particularly outstanding times in my life. And that’s okay, because life isn’t supposed to be a nonstop feel good session, and the cruddy times are undeniably essential to truly appreciating the good times. 

It’s just the little things. Work is about to finally let up for the hubs, as he emerges from his busiest, craziest time of year. I’m almost done with an editing project I’ve been doing from home for several months. While we are both certainly grateful for his job and my contract work, it is going to be AH-MAY-ZING to be finished right around the same time. Then…downtime. 

Our plans so far include spending time together as a family, and just being. We set up a play set in the backyard this year now that E is old enough to enjoy it, and well as a “construction site.”  The construction site was crucial because he kept going into the dog yard with his dump trucks and hauling out gravel to spread hither and yon. This included gravel in the grass and gravel in the flower beds and gravel sliding under my feet on the patio. It was only a matter of time before wayward gravel injured someone, probably me. 

Behold, the mighty construction site. To me it’s a pile of rocks, to E it’s a magical wonderland. Oh to live life through the eyes of a three-year old!

 E has provided us with his requests for summer activities:

  • find some tadpoles in the mountains
  • find a starfish at the beach, in a “water house” (tide pool) 
  • visit an elephant

My kid is easy to please. I fear for the day he starts hounding us for expensive toys and nonstop trips to cool places and the latest in footwear. I assume that’s all coming. But for now, I’m pretty psyched that his list is easy-peasy. Luckily, from where we live you could be in the mountains and at the beach, on the very same day, if you so desired. And elephants aren’t too hard to find when you have an excellent zoo 45 minutes away!  It isn’t as if we have to go on safari to find one. 

I know I’ve turned a corner because although there are no new adoption prospects in sight, I find that no longer fills me with sorrow or fear. Those feelings have been replaced with patience (gulp) and a kind of underlying excitement that it will happen eventually. I’ve gotta give all the props to God on this one, because I asked him to take this burden from me and allow me to just live life focusing on the things I can do something about. And He did!  You can’t beat the feeling of having your prayer answered before you’ve even said Amen!

Here’s to all of us hanging on through the tough stuff and choosing to revel in the beauty all around us, especially if you happen to find gravel beautiful. 😉 

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