Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The Best Worst Day

This is the day that tried to break me down. It all started at the brink of a new day...12am. I was sitting on the couch catching up with a friend whose ailing father is in ICU when I hear little squeaks of cry come across the baby monitor. I run into the bedroom and scoop my little bundle up out of the pack and play and crawl into bed with him as I do every night. However, Ian had a different plan for the night. He was awake...wide a-freakin-wake! So until nearly 2 am I rocked and cajoled my little pumpkin trying to use my special mommy powers to persuade him into sleep. Nothing doing. After two hours of playful slaps, not so soft kisses, and swift kicks to the head (all inflicted upon the poor, unsuspecting parents!)...he slept. My alarm started shrieking at 6:20am and I jumped out of bed and hopped in the shower. I am always late meeting my sister to drop Ian off but I was determined to be on time despite my 4 hours of sleep. Then the phone rings and it goes something like this...

Brother-in-law: Linds

ME: Jamie has a stomach virus (I knew this because she has three kids, 2 of whom had a stomach virus last week)

Brother-in-law: Yep

ME: Gulp..

Why did I gulp you may be asking? Because I knew that no one else was going to be available to watch Ian today and I was pretty sure that I couldn't call in sick because without a pharmacist the pharmacy would be closed for the day. So I call my boss and explain that I need to use one of my 16 personal days because of this situation. He politely tells me that we don't have anyone to come in and help me, so...I am just out of luck. Then I do what any daycare fearing mother does...take Ian to work! For 9 hours, until Cortney got off work, Ian worked with mommy at the drug store counseling patients and eating popsicles! I was sooo nervous about how he would do since he is the squirreliest of one year olds! He greeted customers, made their wait times a little more interesting, engaged in several games of catch with the balls he got off the shelves, and amused the heck out of our staff! At the end of the day I was thankful to know that he isn't quite as rotten as I thought and wow is he fun to be around!

You would think that it is over, right?

When Cortney got home I called and asked him to check my email even though I really wasn't expecting anything only to find...a letter from M*!! Natalie said that before she could even send our letter and picture that Ryan (Gladney in-country representative) had sent her a letter that M* had written. M* didn't know the specifics about us but she did know that she has been matched with a family. The letter was incredible. I needed to hear each word that she wrote. She put many of my fears of her not wanting or accepting the situation, to rest. I was very worried that she would be angry about getting a new family or that she would not want a new family. I understand that at some point she will probably have me eating my words, but she seemed really excited about everything! I have read the letter many times already and looked at every detail. I am thankful for this gift that we have been so blessed to receive. Somewhere this little girl is thinking about her family in America and all of the greatness that she associates with this ideal. Knowing that she knows makes this all seem very real. It also makes the wait just a little more miserable.

Get the bowl off my head!

Our family photos...the last piece of the dossier! See ya dossier!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Can I Get a WOOT WOOT??

IT'S HERE!!!! We have I-171H approval to adopt one beautiful little darling girl! I quickly copied it, notarized it, certified it at the county level and shipped it off to the KY Secretary of State for certification today! One last document and we say adios to our SECOND dossier!!! Last night I spent over 2 hours scanning our certified documents to burn to a CD for Gladney. NEVER AGAIN! I was once again kicking myself for not using Kate Sproat (KBS Dossiers) for the dossier. I don't think that I really understood the amount of stress she took off of us until this time.
We are so excited that now we may get to have some kind of correspondence with our lovely little sweetie. They told us that they will be showing her pictures of us and reading her a letter written by us, introducing ourselves. I wrote the letter over a month ago but each time I read it I change something. How does one write such a letter??? A letter saying, hello, my name is...., and if everything goes well we will be the closest of family??? She is a little person with an opinion on what she wants and doesn't want. Do we make reference to being "mommy" and "daddy"? Should that wait? Is she ready to hear those things from us? We have spent months falling in love with pictures and notions of how she is and who she is. And she...hasn't had a clue that 9000 miles away two people were pining over her picture and praying intensely that she would soon join their family. As with many adoptive parents (not all so I hear) it is love/bonding at first sight. I know that legally she isn't our daughter yet but the bonding has already started. If for some reason, God doesn't have it in his plan for us to adopt this little girl (which I don't believe is so) I would want her to know that she was loved by us in the "mommy"/"daddy" way. I would want her to know that two people cared so much about her that we did everything we could with the tools God gave us to bring her into our family. So, that is the long way of saying that I want so badly to refer to myself as her mommy and Cortney her daddy. Still praying about all that.

Last weekend Ian went on his first boating trip. We had a great time with my sister, her husband and all of our kidos! Life is good. We are happy...a little happier today=) I am working hard to not rush things and to enjoy each and every day of Ian. These are the days I have waited all my life for and I want to remember each smile, word, and action forever!

SUPER EXCITED FAMILY!! It was a love/hate relationship with the tube!


Sometimes you just have to have a pink fly swat with a big pink flower on it from the Dollar Tree.

And sometimes you have to carry that pink fly swat around all night until bedtime and mommy has to sneak it away as you go to sleep!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Some days are just better than others

Today I hit the big 2-6. Twenty-six years of this wonderful life that I call my own. Twenty six years of freedom, food, shelter, and very minimal worries. All things that the starving orphans in countries all around the world will never have. The guilt I have over my many blessings continues to burden me. How could this life be so luxurious for me and so difficult for God's other children? I continue to seek answers.

I wish I could have my daughter home. I wish that she was in her bed, snug as a bug in a rug, getting up at 2am for drinks of water, and waking me up to make breakfast at sunrise! These are familiar feelings that I had this time last year as we waited for our I-171H to arrive. For my birthday present last year Cortney took me to Babies-R-Us and we bought all of the nursery essentials. This year, all of those beautiful things are in the pristine nursery while the true essentials are in my bedroom along with my sleeping one year old! Life is good. I smile more now than I ever have and I find myself being more thankful for the little things. I am in love with a little boy that has taken over my world and given me more purpose than I have ever known.

So, happy birthday to me and here's to many more!

Future baseball star!

Lounging with mommy in the pool! you know how much I want to kiss this little face off???

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Not just kinda walking...really walking!!!

This weekend was great! We went to two ballet recitals and the Adoption Assistance picnic. The recitals were wonderful. My nieces were stunning and I am amazed at their growth as dancers each year. I get a little more sappy every year as Ema grows older and closer to those tween years. Cortney and I started dating soon after Ema was born over 9 years ago. He came to see my sister and Ema in the hospital one day while I was in school and we were all sold on him from then! It turns out that he just wanted to hold the baby without sharing her with everyone. We have been privileged to hone our parenting skills on these precious children and I am so thankful to have been in their lives!
The Adoption Assistance picnic was great! We got to meet so many adoptive families and share stories about the journey of adoption and parenthood. We met a great couple interested in adopting from Ethiopia and I could kick myself for not exchanging email addresses with them. We were able to give Gladney two thumbs up for Ethiopian adoptions! It felt good to recommend them to people and know for certain that even if the process gets bumpy, Gladney knows confidently how to navigate the bumps. I don't know where all our adoption journey will take us, but we will always be grateful to Gladney for getting us through at least our first adoption unscathed! I joked that we will never again be in a place where so many people know the meaning and pains of a foreign adoption dossier. It was a great time and we enjoyed it so much! I love to take every opportunity to celebrate Ian and his entrance into our family. We are one, one family, growing, learning and loving each day.

We ended up staying the night in Lexington so Ian could go swimming. This was our first night staying away with Ian since we moved into our new house. It was strange to break his routine and he definitely wasn't a fan. He appears to be a creature of habit just like me! It took some convincing for him to go to sleep at nearly 11 even though he had played outside all day and gone swimming! He wanted to go to sleep but missed the familiarity of home. I think I did too a little. We have moved a ton, traveled a little, but nothing replaces the coziness of your own bed!

We are slowly phasing out the bottle. We stopped giving formula last week, now it is milk only. We are down to 1-2 bottles per day, so this week will will transition to the cup. I am so sad to see the bottle go. Anyone who knows me, knows that I took my bottle until the ripe old age of SIX. Six years old and I would come home from school and suck my bottle of chocolate milk! I would throw it behind the couch if anyone from the neighborhood came in and caught me drinking it!! Very silly, but I was my mother's baby and at this point I can see what she was trying to preserve...babydom. However, for the health of my child's psyche, I will take the bottle at a less embarrassing age.

Finally I have added a video of my 12 month old walking all over, bending for a toy, and continuing to walk, following after his daddy. Last week he went from a shaky, tumbling, 4-5 steps, to walking across the yard! He has come such a long way in the past 6 months! When he came home he wouldn't even bear any weight on his legs (zero/none/nada) and now he is walking all over the place....amazing.

Cortney and Ian at the picnic

Ian watching intently at Chelsea's ballet recital

His brand new sandbox!
Ian getting a diaper change while we waited in the car for the rain to quit!

Me trying to keep Ian on the train with my foot to get a pic!