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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Happy Finalization!

Finalization was great! Friends and family were there to share to the joy of the day. Here's a quick picture of Sammy at our after finalization lunch.



There will be many more photos to come!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas 2010 - Sammy's First Christmas

Despite the fact that Chris & I are both sick, because of Sammy :), we had the best Christmas ever! Sammy's 1st Christmas started on Christmas Eve when the grandparents, Carol & Angelo, came to the house to bring presents for the baby. I have great pictures I can't wait to post. Anyway, we put Sammy into his highchair and grand pop handed him gifts which he promptly put into his mouth. Once the paper was wet I took the package so that he didn't choke on the wrapping paper. Sammy had great fun slobbering all over his christmas gifts. Grand mom Carol & grand pop Angelo were very generous - Sammy received lots of books and a few toys. After that we went to dinner with them and their friends Lily & Ming and their children David & Elise, who are like their grandchildren. We went to their favorite diner and a good time was had by all. Sammy survived the whole night without any major meltdowns or extra wet diapers. You know, the kind of diaper that is so soaked you have to change the outfit. Yay Sammy! On the oh Sammy! side, there was a pooping situation after dinner but before dessert and we had to change him right there on the booth seat because the diner doesn't have a changing station in its bathroom. Chris did the changing and I provided cover for Sammy and diaper disposal.

Christmas part 2 was at my mom's (aka mom-mom) house on Christmas day. We all had a great time! It was just us, the fam, this time with no "extra" folks so that made it more special. The only regret I have is that my Aunt Marion (aka Mert), who passed away in 2005, wasn't there. She would have loved Sammy so much and been so happy that we adopted him. Dinner was delish as usual. The family had a great time, I think, buying Christmas gifts for a baby. The last baby in my family was my niece Courtney who is 19 yrs old. Sammy received pajamas (much needed) and a couple of outfits. In fact, he is going to wear one of his new outfits to his finalization. It's a cute three-piece pants, shirt, and sweater vest outfit from his aunt Jackie. Totally adorable. Pictures will be posted once we get back from court on Tuesday. Like I said, Sammy had a great time and the aunts, cousins, and mom-mom are totally in love with him. He did really well with all of the excitement of the day and the Christmas tree lights. Chris was worried that he might have a meltdown because the last few times we've been there he's been overstimulated, couldn't get to sleep at nap time, and then cried and needed momma and/or poppa soothing. I think today showed that he's getting more used to my family, whom he doesn't see as often as the other grandparents, and he's dealing better with the stimulation level. We tend to be a loud talking and laughing bunch when we're together and there's always a tv or radio on for added background noise. Sammy is a trouper and is fitting right in!

Christmas Eve 2010

I was thinking about Monique, sammy's first mom, and wondering how she is doing this holiday. i think about her often, but more so since thanksgiving. i imagine the holidays are especially bittersweet for her - a painful reminder that she's missing out on sammy's first thanksgiving and christmas but keeping a happy face for her other two children. i hope her family is there for her, supporting her through this difficult time.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Best Christmas Gift of All!

Yesterday our attorney emailed and told us that we have a finalization date before the end of the year! Next Tuesday (12/28) at 11:30a, Sammy becomes our legal son. We can hardly believe it. We're so excited! Expect a flood of pictures later that evening. So far, Chris' folks will be there and I'm hoping my mother and sisters can make it as well.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Seasons Greetings (and free cards) from Shutterfly!


 I’m so excited for this holiday season because I get to share it with Chris and our sweet baby boy Sammy! In the past, I’ve purchased holiday cards that were nice but not necessarily personal. I always envied my friends that sent photo Christmas cards with pictures of them and/or their children. Well, this year I get to send a photo holiday card too! Shutterfly had a sweet promotion for bloggers to earn 50 free holiday cards just for checking out and writing about their 2010 collection. So, out of 300+ flat and folded holiday cards, here are the ones that I liked the best:

Retro Love
Coco Snow Flurries

Flourish Elegance

Scrapbook Style

I wanted a card that was a little less traditional looking in either color or style, which is why I choose the above four cards. I really loved the colors and imagery of them all, but we decided to go with the Snow Flurries Coco Christmas card. This is the perfect card for us because we’ve taken so many pictures of Sammy that we want to share with family and friends who haven’t seen him since he was three or four months old and now he’s a big boy at seven months. We will probably include a family picture of us and two of Sammy. Unfortunately, this promotion is now closed. But don't despair, they have tons of other great products which I'm eager to use in the coming year. I'm particularly interested in getting birthday calendars made from his first year in photos, for the grandparents, aunts, and uncles. I’ve photographed him each month with his favorite toy to show how much he’s grown and it will be pretty cool to put them all together in either a desk or wall calendar. And speaking of Sammy’s birthday, I suspect there will be much celebrating and I can hardly wait to pick out invitations. I mean really, how cute is this?

12 Months

Happy Holidays everyone!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

I'm Back!

Hey gang! I'm back on the scene. Where have I been you're wondering (or not LOL)? I've been doing my mommy thing and enjoying the summer with my sweet baby boy. I've also been reading your blogs and occasionally commenting. Basically I've been too tired to write in my own blog. But I want to get back in the habit because there is so much going on that I want to capture as much of it as I can.

I guess you've noticed the blog name change. I decided to change the name to better describe me and what's happening in my life. Not to mention that C (Chris) was not a contributing blogger so it's ok to make it all about me :) More than a notion is something my mom says all the time about things that are hard, complicated, or involved - such as marriage, adoption and parenthood. Meaning, these subjects are not to be taken lightly or entered into without great thought and/or care.

I'm still unemployed but so grateful for this time that I have with Sammy. I'm looking and applying for positions and will actually be happy to get back to work so that I have a paycheck again. I'm not knocking unemployment but it's been a little tough financially. While a paycheck is good, the thought of daycare makes me sad. Sammy will survive and probably thrive in daycare because he likes other little kids and he's also a social butterfly. I, on the other hand, will probably be a wreck for the first week or two. At this point we have only identified two places we want to see. We're hoping to get the child care issue settled so that it's ready in the event I get a job quickly.

So, that's it for now. I just wanted to check-in and say hey I'm still here. Expect a few more posts this week.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Comfort Nursing - Anyone?

All my life, when thinking of having babies, my thoughts turned to breastfeeding. I knew that's what I would do for my child(ren) and was undaunted by tales of latching problems, sore nipples, and pumping at work. I was ready to take it on! Well, infertility changed all of that. Just like I had to get over the realization that I would mostly likely never be pregnant, I also had to give up on my plans for breastfeeding. Or so I thought. Once we decided on adoption I was obsessed with adoptive breastfeeding. Most of the information I found said that women could induce lactation or use supplemental feeders. The supplemental nursing systems seemed a little complicated. For every feeding, a small plastic pouch needed to be filled with formula which is worn around the neck and then hooked up to a tube that is taped on the breast near the nipple. When the baby latches on it's able to get formula and help stimulate lactation for the mother. The other option involves taking birth control pills and some other drug (illegal in the U.S.) to simulate pregnancy hormones in addition to using a breast pump (every 2-3 hrs) to physically stimulate the breasts. I considered both options and decided against both. It was kind of depressing to think infertility had cost me another life experience. That is, until I learned of comfort nursing during one of our agency's mandatory workshops. I asked the nurse, who was moderating the workshop, what she thought about both options and she didn't care for either. She said that I could have the breastfeeding experience with comfort nursing. She put it in perspective when she said that babies don't expect milk from a pacifier so you can put a baby to the breast without it expecting milk. Talk about a revelation!

Once we were matched and Sammy was born, I probably waited about two weeks before I tried to comfort nurse him. I was a little apprehensive and didn't want to try it in front of Chris. I didn't want him to see me fail if I couldn't do it. My first chance came after I'd fed Sammy and he seemed to want to continue sucking. Instead of giving him the pacifier, I put him to my breast. Luckily he was small enough to maneuver and I was able to get him into position pretty easily. I had only read about getting a baby to latch on so I tried to remember what I'd read. It wasn't perfect but he was able to latch on and nursed for about five minutes. After that experience, I searched YouTube for breastfeeding videos and found lots of really helpful videos - specifically on positioning and latching on. I started comfort nursing Sammy instead of giving him a pacifier whenever he would get fussy or wanted to fall asleep. As he got bigger, it was harder to position him correctly so that he could latch on correctly but the videos helped me out. It's been about 1.5 months into our comfort nursing and we're really doing well. When he wants to nurse he sort of smacks his lips, opening and closing his mouth which is totally different from eating his fists when he's hungry. It's been a wonderful bonding experience and I can hardly believe that he's so attached to comfort nursing that if I'm holding him, he starts crying and rubbing on my shirt to nurse when he's sleepy. It's really the sweetest thing and makes me feel like I'm not missing out on the nursing experience.

Are any of you comfort nursing, considering it, or done it in the past? 

Thursday, July 8, 2010

8 Weeks Old Today!

Sammy is 8 weeks old today and will be 2 months next Monday! I can't believe so much time has passed. Time sure flies when you're busy feeding, burping, diapering, and changing a baby 'round the clock. This afternoon Sammy peed through his diaper while he was on my lap, after having a stellar poop, and then he vomited on himself and down my shirt. All I could do was laugh. I know it sounds crazy, but what could I do but laugh, kiss his chubby cheeks, and go upstairs to change both of us. He's starting to coo and smile when he sees me or I talk to him. It's the most wonderful feeling in the world. I love him so much! He's a dream come true! Of all of the "dreams" I've had - traveling to Europe, running my own company, becoming a mom - the only dream I couldn't let pass me by was becoming a mother. I'm sure I'll get to Europe and I may even start my own business someday, but I wanted to be a mother now. I feel like I'd waited long enough; I married young, divorced young, had life adventures, found new love, and remarried. Now was the time and then I didn't get pregnant as planned. Hello adoption! Adoption was always an option for creating a family but I didn't think it would be my only choice. I'm so glad we found our agency and the process worked out pretty smoothly. All of this is to say that Sammy is the perfect baby for us because we were chosen by his first mother. We never got a definitive answer regarding why she chose our profile but I'm glad she did! Without her I couldn't have had the best 8 weeks of my life. And with that I'm sure that Sam's first mom has had the most difficult 8 weeks of her life. 

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

One Month Update (better late than never)

Sammy is 8 weeks old today and will be 2 months on Mon 7/12 so I know this update is more than a little late. I'll try to do better with the two month update.


One Month Update

Sammy is thriving! He's gained almost 3 lbs since his two week visit. That means he now weighs 12 lbs! We could hardly believe it. He is consistently drinking 2 oz and has recently started moving towards 4 oz. At night he's only sleeping in 1.5-2 hrs segments so I'm usually pretty beat. I haven't yet mastered the "sleep when the baby sleeps" thing yet. I'm up too late writing this post but I didn't want to forget anything. We're getting smiles and lots of drooling. He has a little reflux (spitting up) so we changed his formula to Enfamil AR which has added rice starch to ever so slightly thicken the formula. The thickened formula is supposed to help with the spitting up and so far he's having less vomiting. For the most part the vomit comes out during burps, hiccups, and sometimes on its own in the form of major dribble. I give him tummy time on his boppy and playmat. I think he tolerates tummy time for 5-7 minutes at a time and then he starts fussing.   


 At one month old he's been to several restaurants and has managed to sleep through most of the meals. He is just now starting to have a little more awake time so he is either awake when we arrive or wakes up soon after. We also spend as much time as possible outside - mainly Rittenhouse Square and Girard Park. Stroller time is a sure way to get him to fall asleep.

All in all, Sammy is a happy, healthy baby! We love him to pieces!

Stats: 12 lbs, 22 in, 15 1/4 head circumference 

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Quick Hello!

Hey Everyone!

I know it's been two weeks and I'm way behind on my posts but I promise to post about Sam soon. The last two weeks have been the most exhausting and wonderful of my life! Sammy is doing really well and has gained 1 lb 3 oz in the last two weeks, bringing him to 8 lbs 15 oz total! We're all bonding and attaching very well. It's hard to remember/imagine life before him. Our first post placement visit is tomorrow at 10 a.m. 

I'll catch up more soon.

Monday, May 17, 2010

what a difference a day makes!

hi all!

who knew that the very next day (see may 11th post) that my whole world would turn upside down?

eMom gave birth to a healthy 7 lb 12 oz baby boy on wednesday, may 12th @ 10:37a! we met our sweet baby, named samuel (sam), thursday and brought him home friday afternoon. we've been busy ever since :)

at this point, his first/birth mom has 30 days from his birth date to change her mind about the placement. we don't think she will but you never know. until then, we're going to enjoy parenting this sweet little baby!

what about pictures? unfortunately, we're not allowed to post or transmit pictures electronically until the adoption is final, six to ten months from now :(

i'll write either a longer post or two shorter ones with more info soon.

thank you all for your support and well wishes during these last few weeks! i couldn't have made it through without you :)

j

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Itty Bitty Pity Party

Wow! I just checked out our agency's parent profiles and four couples have recently adopted. I'm happy for all of them but really thought we would be one of those couples, given eMom's original due date. It makes me feel a little sad for myself to realize that some of the women were able to celebrate Mother's Day as a new mom. This is something I had hoped to experience this year too. I know I shouldn't feel this way because we were chosen by our eMom and her baby could be born any day now. It's just tough. For those of you still waiting, you know what I mean. I try to get out of the house a few times a week to keep myself occupied. However, my favorite place to hang is Rittenhouse Square, a large park in Center City Phila, which is always full of babies, children, and pregnant women. There's no getting away from them :)

So here I am with two weeks more of waiting and crossing my fingers that eMom delivers early. Part of the reason I'm so anxious for the baby to arrive is that I've been unemployed since Sept 2009 and my unemployment is exhausted in August. I'm hoping that I'll get an extension and will have a few more weeks/months of being a stay-at-home mom (sahm). I've been looking for work and applying here and there but I will definitely need to get to work if my unemployment is discontinued. All I can say is yikes!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Due Date Update

You won't believe this! While we were out at dinner I checked my home phone's voice mail and eMom's social worker left us a message. eMom had a doctor's appointment today and found out that the doc made a mistake on her chart. She's due May 24th not May 4th! Can you believe this? I know things like this happen but it's a whole different ballgame when you're on the adoptive end of things.

Of course this means that she can still go at any time between now and then, but at least she's not overdue. And this gives us a little more breathing room and relieves a little bit of the stress.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Monday, May 3, 2010

D-day!

Tomorrow, or more accurately, 21 minutes from now (11:39p EST) is eMom's due date! I can hardly believe the day is almost here. I'm sure eMom can hardly wait for the delivery to happen. The last report we had from E was that eMom was really tired and really uncomfortable. Throw in a few days of 80+ degree weather, plus two little ones and you're looking at a potential meltdown - no pun intended.

Parenthood is so close, I can almost taste it. Of course I'm still aware that this isn't our baby until eMom says so, but I'm trying to remain focused on a positive outcome. Since I didn't get any cleaning done this past weekend, tomorrow is the perfect day to take care of things. I know I'll need a lot of activities to keep me distracted. Who knows, maybe I'll go out to lunch with a friend. In the meantime, I should probably try and get a little shut eye so that I can be prepared for whatever happens tomorrow!

I'm keeping my fingers crossed for a timely, speedy, and healthy delivery!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

All about me

It's three days until the big event, that is, unless eMom delivers tonight. I think the waiting is wearing me out, making me very lethargic. There are household chores to do but all i want to do is take a nap. Maybe it's the heat. The temp is 89 degrees here in Philly. I haven't felt this anxious about anything in a very, very long time. I don't know what's worse: waiting for eMom to deliver the baby or thinking about her not going forward with the plan. I'm trying to be upbeat, positive, and realistic about the possibility of a disruption. But every time the phone rings my heart starts being fast and I'm hoping to see E's cell phone number in the caller ID. I also just read the Sandra Bullock article in People magazine and felt so happy for her regarding her recent adoption. It reaffirmed, as do the blogs I read, that adoption plans really do work and couples become families. I can't wait to meet eMom's baby, our baby. I daydream about holding and smelling that newborn baby smell. You know what I mean :)

I need a snack to distract myself. Maybe chocolate will help. As always, I'll keep you posted the minute we have news.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

6 Days & Counting!

Just a quick post. eMom is due in six, count em, six days! So basically, any minute, any day now :) She was doing well and just waiting for things to start moving, per our last report from E our social worker. Unfortunately, we haven't had any direct contact with her. I really feel that, should she go through with the adoption plan, we (us & the baby) won't have any future contact with her. I hope this is not the case. We're flexible with whatever amount of contact she chooses.

Waiting for the baby is really hard, of course not as hard as it is for eMom. We're keeping busy with work (Chris), job hunting (me), movies, and hanging out with the family. As a matter of fact, we're having dinner with my in-laws tonight. Having said that, I'm going to say so long, so that I can get ready :)

I'll keep you posted as soon as we get any news!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Medical Update

No baby yet, just a quick update :) We just found out that eMom did have a doctor's appointment last Sunday - yay! She's still 3cm dilated and not in active labor, so her doctor wants her to start walking to get things moving! Who knows, there could be a baby this weekend!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Follow Up/Update

So, we met with E our social worker for a follow-up meeting. She reinforced that we'd done a good job at the first meeting but there were a few things we said that were inappropriate - talking about the hospital plan and asking to take a picture afterward. The hospital plan info should have come from K, eMom's social worker, at a later date. As for the picture, that's a bit of a no-no at a first meeting, but given the possibility that we may not have much, if any contact after the placement, we're happy to have the photo. E also talked with us a little about what we should/should not do in the hospital. Things like deferring to eMom if hospital personnel have questions about the baby and not picking the baby up without asking eMom first, if the baby is in her room. Pretty basic stuff and things we wouldn't do anyway :)

At this point we're just anxious. eMom is due two weeks from today (4/20)! According to E, she's stopped working so she's able to rest up and spend time with her little ones. There is one thing troubling us; eMom was supposed to have a doctors appointment last Friday at the hospital clinic. We found out today that she didn't make the appointment and had no plans for further check-ups or hospital visits until she's in labor. Hmmm! WTH! At this point in her pregnancy she should see the doctor every week to check on dilation, blood pressure, and urine. She could have preeclampsia (hypertension in pregnancy), which is dangerous for her and the baby, and be totally unaware. As far as we know, she hasn't suffered from this in the past but every pregnancy is different. Of course, since she's had two previous healthy pregnancies she may not be concerned. We, on the other hand, don't know what to make of this. All we can do at this point, is carry on with our daily routines, keep our phones charged and near us and hope that she moves forward with the adoption plan.

j.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

First Emom Meeting

First, I want to say thank you to Debbie who sent her good vibes and asked others to send theirs! Next, I want to apologize for taking so many days to post about our meeting. I honestly thought I'd be able to get this out much quicker, but after our meeting I've been deep in thought about it all.

The day started off well. We were to meet with E, our social worker, 30 minutes before the scheduled meet time to do a little prep. Our plan was to leave at 12:15 to give ourselves time to calm down and have a few sips of water to keep our throats from being dry :) E called at 11:45 or so to let us know that the meeting would be postponed because K, eMom's social worker, couldn't get in touch with her. K and/or E had promised to call and let us know if the meeting was going to happen but we weren't really expecting it wouldn't happen. Any way, we were understandably bummed and decided to go out any way and get some errands done. While we were in the store, E called and said K was able to reach eMom and asked if we could we still meet. Of course! We completed our purchases and boogied out of there to get to the restaurant.

K and eMom were at the restaurant when we arrived, E arrived about 15 minutes later because of traffic. eMom (M) was cute, nice, bubbly, and very friendly. We had a great conversation talking about ourselves, her children (2), and how she came to decide on adoption. She showed us photos of her kids and they are adorable. She was very happy talking about them. The conversation went really well and I don't think any of us felt too nervous but it was still pretty darn surreal to think that this little pregnant girl was going to make us parents - fingers crossed. I can't even imagine what it was like for her to think these two strangers were going to be parents to her baby. M has a good head on her shoulders and seemed to have given a lot of thought to her adoption plan. I could see the sadness in her eyes when she talked about being strong and holding on to her emotions once she's given birth. It choked me up; I just wanted to give her a hug. Before we knew it, our time was up. We all walked out together and Chris and I took a picture with M. I've been looking at it since last Friday trying to memorize M's face and smile because I don't know when we're going to see her again. Sorry to sound so mysterious. We found out that M wants less contact than we were anticipating, which makes us sad for the baby. I'll talk about that in a later post. After the photo and K and M left, we had a quick debrief with E. E let us know that we did a great job even without the prep. We're meeting with her today (5p) as a follow-up to Friday's meeting.

M is due in 19 days but could really go at any time. She has/had a doctor's appointment this week - I think, so hopefully we'll find out how she's doing. She was already 3 cm dilated on her last visit which was a few weeks ago. I haven't packed our diaper bag yet but I feel like I need to get it done ASAP! At this point, Chris and I are pretty much on edge, expecting a call saying that M is in the hospital. I've had trouble sleeping and weird dreams. I guess this is all par for the course.

How did you guys handle the anticipation?

Thursday, April 8, 2010

We got THE CALL!

OMG! We're so excited! We got the call Mon night (4/5, 6:30p) while I was finishing cooking dinner. For some reason, I wasn't thinking that it could be THE CALL. Chris answered the phone and by his casual tone, I assumed it was one of my girlfriends calling for me, but it was E our social worker. What we know is, an expectant mom (emom) reviewed our profile and picked us! Emom is already parenting two young children and she and the edad have decided that an adoption plan is the best option for baby number three. She is drug and smoke free and has had prenatal care, although her social worker is not sure when the prenatal care began. She's due May 4th, the day after my mom's birthday, but she has gone into early labor with her previous children so that may happen this time around too. We're having our first meeting with emom and the social workers tomorrow (4/9).

Oddly enough, the day of the call I was doing a little nesting - early morning cleaning and laundry of the baby items I'd gotten with my mother in-law last Sat. We've already put together the stroller and practiced opening & closing and inserting the car seat. The play yard still needs to go up but that should be pretty easy - fingers crossed. I have several baby registries and only one of them has an option for adoption instead of a due date. For the registries that required a due date, I put May 2010, as I'd created the registries in Nov/Dec 2009. How weird is that? I've always had a feeling that we would be parents by the time summer rolled around. I hope all goes well and it really happens.

I'll keep you posted on the outcome of our meeting tomorrow. Wish us luck!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Getting Ready

Last Friday Chris and I interviewed a pediatrician. It was fun. It was weird. The office is easy to get to, the staff were friendly, and the doc we spoke with was great. She gave us great info about the practice and answered all of our questions. We felt really comfortable with her and will use her group when the time comes. After our early morning appointment we grabbed breakfast at iHop and then headed to Target for some baby shopping. Talk about a surreal experience! We're walking along with our cart, picking out a few necessities: onsies, towels, wash cloths, blankets, jammies and a few bottles. It was the strangest experience. Anytime I've ever purchased baby items, it was always for someone's shower. I couldn't believe I was actually discussing bottle choices with my husband, for our baby! It was almost an out of body experience to launder, dry, and put away such tiny, precious clothes. I just smiled and chuckled to myself as I folded the items. 

It's hard to believe that we're actually going to be parents in the near future. Our social worker emailed the other day and asked us to give her a call. She wanted to confirm some info and to let us know that the agency has had a lot of activity. She said that several women are "close". We took that as they are either close to seeing profiles and/or close to delivery. We didn't clarify. I think we were still on edge that our SW wanted to talk to us. We got all excited and hoped this would be the call :) Fingers crossed we'll hear something in the next few weeks. And because the whole adoption thing is really getting real, I ordered and received a play yard, stroller, and car seat. The boxes are sitting in the living room. I just can't believe this is all happening. If I'm feeling this way over a stroller, what's going to happen when we actually have the baby? How long did it take you to feel like you were a mom?

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Officially Waiting!

As of March 16th, Chris & I were officially approved to adopt! We're so excited! Check out our profile on our agency's website.

Friday, we're interviewing a pediatrician. Next, we need to start searching for child care.

Friday, March 12, 2010

We're Approved (conditionally)!

So we're approved, but conditionally. This is because I'm unemployed and receiving unemployment compensation. It makes the whole situation a little bittersweet. Yay, we're home study approved; bummer we had to sign a document that says I'm looking for employment in the event my unemployment isn't extended and that we're not going to incur anymore debt. And, we may also have to submit an updated financial report before a baby is placed with us. On a positive note, I'm already looking for work and Chris has reduced the interest rate on his credit cards so that's a good thing. Intellectually I understand that it's incumbent upon the agency to make sure that we can provide for a new baby. Emotionally it makes me angry. Angry because if I were some 20 year old college student who had gotten drunk at a party, hooked up with some guy and found myself pregnant, no one would be questioning my employment opportunities. I'll get over it. It will take a minute or two, but it will happen.

On a happier note, I've ordered and received my gDiapers! They're adorable. I can't believe we're going to have a baby small enough to fit them :) I've also ordered a Moby wrap so that we can wear the baby and facilitate attachment and bonding. So far we have a diaper bag, diapers, and soon, the Moby wrap. We still need a stroller, car seat, play yard, and some clothes for bringing home baby. A friend is donating a crib so we're all set there.

We're almost officially waiting!

Monday, March 8, 2010

I Heart Open Arms Adoption Network!

A week ago Sunday, Chris and I attended a day long open adoption seminar. It was fantastic! In addition to meeting with other couples in the process, we were also treated to first person stories from birth and adoptive parents. The day ran from 10:00-4:30 including breakfast and lunch. It was really nice meeting and speaking with couples we haven't previously met in our adoption workshops. It really made me feel connected to others in the struggle for parenthood. One of the things that I love about our agency is the diversity of the staff and clients. The other thing I love is that it is a small agency so I feel like a person and not a number.

About the seminar - the birth parents discussed how they felt when they discovered they were pregnant, their difficulties in deciding whether to parent, terminate, or choose adoption, and how they chose parents for their babies. The stories were heartbreaking, hopeful, and joyful all at the same time. Each of the birth parents have very good relationships with the parents of their children and let us know that their relationships work because they work at good communication, which for them includes letters, pictures, emails, and visits.

The adoptive parents that spoke, all brought their children with them. It was so much fun to ooh and ahh over the babies and see how happy the older kids were in their families. Each family had a different birth story. Some were chosen with time to get to know the birth mothers and others were chosen after the baby was born. The latter situation seemed to be the most difficult because at this point, the birth mothers want limited or closed communication with the adoptive parents. This was hard for the adoptive parents because it meant their children will probably miss out on connections with their biological families.

All-in-all it was a nice day. The weather was good, the speakers great, and the interaction was fun.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Final Home Study Wrap-up

Our final home study went well! Chris was sick with a cold but held it together :) E (our SW) arrived on time and we got down to business. I think the entire process lasted just over an hour. First we spoke as a couple and then Chris went upstairs to the bedroom to rest while E finished my one-on-one interview. After that, I gave her a tour of the house and then we spoke again as a couple. She had positive things to say and reiterated that she would definitely let us know if there was any chance we wouldn't be home study approved. The only possible glitch is our debt to equity ratio which my be a little debt heavy. She'll discuss with the agency's director and let us know if we need to pay down a little more debt before we're approved. I think it will all work out.

I wasn't nervous about meeting with E. My biggest concern was making sure the house looked "good". We're not dirty folks but we have a lot of stuff and clutter that we'd been working on getting rid of pre-adoption. It's great that the house part of the home study is done. I feel like I can finally breath a sigh of relief! And, it's nice to have free time that isn't interrupted by thoughts of what I should be doing to get ready. There are plenty of boxes in our closets that still need going through but at least now we can pull one out, deal with it, and keep moving forward.

Another great thing that happened was I had a draft of our profile book printed. We used the reprographics company used by Chris' university. They have a good reputation, do quick work, and are pretty affordable. We'll send the draft to the agency and await their feedback. Once that is received, we then have to make 25 copies of the book along with 25 additional copies of our dear expectant parent letter. All copies of the letter have to be hand signed and then delivered to the agency along with the profile books. We're looking at a cost of $500+ dollars! Somehow that was an expense we hadn't budgeted for, but what are you gonna do? How many copies of your profile book did you need to provide to your agency?

All that's left to do is to start working on the nursery. There are still a few boxes and items that need clearing before the room can be painted. I hate painting but it will be far cheaper if we do it ourselves. Luckily the room is not that big :) I think it's safe now to start getting a few supplies since we expect to have our profile active in the next few weeks. I'm thinking a few diapers, onsies, and pajamas. I definitely want to get a travel system (car seat & stroller) and a bassinet or cradle for our room sooner rather than later. This is the cradle I like.  It's only $69 and recyclable. Oh yeah, we still need to find a pediatrician and check out daycare options. What was I saying about free time?

J.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Countdown to Final Home study

Hi All!

Our final home study is tomorrow! Yikes is all I can say. We've been painting (fire place), cleaning, spraying, and decluttering like mad :) We're both pretty pooped but there's still a little left to do. It's just vacuuming, dish washing, and dusting. I'm also going to bake pumpkin muffins for tomorrow. E, our SW, is arriving at 11:00 so I thought I should have a snack ready just in case. I should have purchased a baked good to save myself a little time, but the day got away from me. It's an easy muffin recipe and shouldn't take long to whip up and bake. I just realized I've been so preoccupied with getting the house in shape that I haven't thought of what to wear. Yikes again. I'm trying to get done by 9:00 so that I can take a break and watch American Idol. LOL

Is it me or does everyone go through this cleaning, decorating, making it just so craziness for the in-home study? I'll keep you all posted on how it went.

J.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Home Study Prep

Hey All! Our Thu home study has been rescheduled due to the 3rd blizzard of the winter. We're tentatively rescheduled for this Fri, but given Philly is shut down tomorrow (Thu) it's not looking good for Fri either. If we have to move our meeting to next week, that will be good for us. We can use the extra prep time. We were already in the process of de-cluttering the house but the adoption process has given us more incentive to get it done quicker. Doesn't it just blow that potential adoptive parents have to make sure their how is "presentable" when others can get knocked up and not give the cleanliness of their home another thought? It sucks but I'm happy to do it if means I can finally become a mom.

Anyhoo, one of our projects was painting the fireplace and a section of adjoining wall. Mind you, we started our painting project two years ago when we bought the house. Somehow the fireplace, wall, and baseboard trim failed to be painted :) I know the reason we didn't work on the fireplace was because of all of the time it took to prime and paint - 3 hrs, but worth it in the end.




BEFORE







AFTER - the wall is a mustard yellow and the brick is a terra cotta color.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Hi! A little background.

Hi there! I'm Joyce from Philly (Philadelphia) and this is my blog about my open adoption adventure. My husband Chris and I have been married for three years; our fourth anniversary is in August. We started trying to conceive a year after marriage and didn't have any luck on our own. We saw an infertility specialist who was really great. Dr. H pulled no punches and let us know that getting pregnant at my age (44 at the time) would not be easy. We tried Clomid to improve my ovulation and had four rounds of intrauterine insemination - two with my husband's sperm and two with donor sperm. We were disappointed each time we didn't conceive :( After that, Dr. H said we should consider donor embryos as our next step. We thought about it and researched the process. It didn't take long for us to decide against that option. If we were going to adopt embryos and go through the adoption process without a guarantee for a baby, why not adopt instead? And that's how we came to adoption.

We've done all of the paper work, fingerprinting, and clearances. We're two/three home studies down. Our third and final home study is scheduled for this Thu but given the upcoming blizzard beginning Tue evening, I think we're going to be rescheduled.

So that's it for now. I just wanted to say hello and tell a little bit about myself.