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He’s here!

November 2, 2011
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He decided to pick his own birthday, thank you!  We got a call as we were driving down that bellymama had gone into labor last Wednesday morning and had been taken to the hospital by ambulance.  Alexander James was born at 2:46 pm, and we got to the hospital at 4.   It’s been a whirlwind few days!

We didn’t have internet at the hospital except in the lobby.  And we didn’t want to leave our boy!  Plus, the internet was broken at the hotel our first night, so we couldn’t do any announcements until Thursday.

We’ve checked off a few things that need to happen before we can officially call Alex “ours”.  Born, check.  Released from hospital, check. Birthmother reliquishment paperwork signed, check.  Temporary custody hearing, check.  Next items: ICPC clearance so we can go home, hearing for permanent custody after 31 days, and then finalization at home.

But for now, we’ve got our sweet, sweet boy.

Soon

October 21, 2011
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So soon.  So, so, so soon.

This has not been an easy pregnancy for A.  She has been admitted twice in the last month for complications.  The first time, about a month ago, was for pre-term contractions.  The doctor was able to get the contractions under control.  The second time was this past weekend.  Poor A has a kidney stone in her urethra, one about the size of a pea.  They were not able to remove it, and won’t until she has the baby.  So she’s been in pain for a while.

Her OB has adjusted her due date, and as of today, she is 38 weeks.  Due to Medicaid regulations, her OB cannot schedule an induction until 39 weeks.  At today’s OB appointment, he has scheduled her induction for next Thursday.

We are so READY to go.  The van is packed, and we’re just twiddling our thumbs until we leave.  The plan right now is for us to leave after T gets off work on Tuesday, drive 5 hours before stopping for the night, and then drive the remaining 8 hours on Wednesday.

I can’t believe that we’re actually talking days now, instead of weeks or months.  We’re ready to meet our boy!

Cautiously optimistic

September 19, 2011
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There’s some news we’ve been sitting on for a while.  We’re excited, thrilled, and cautious.

We’ve been matched with a birthmother.

Not just any birthmother, but T’s niece.  Not one of the umpteen bio nieces, but her real niece.  The one she watched grow up, the daughter of her deceased brother.  She has four children, aged 4 to 15, and a fifth child would cause a large burden on her and her family.  We went and visited her over the holiday weekend, and she is certain of this decision.  She waited until she was nearly 7 months pregnant before she asked us.

We’re worried about being hurt again, but we’re very excited.  This is a huge gift, and we are looking forward to this fall!

T thinks that maybe we went through January in order to keep us on the path of adoption, so that we could get to this point.  I’m not so certain, but it’s a good thought.

So…the family tradition continues.  Here’s to a third generation adoption!

Questions that have been in my head

August 26, 2011
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Last month, we attended our nephew’s baptism (they called it a dedication, but you get the idea).  Towards the end of the service, the pastors asked all parents to stand up.  My wife and I remained seated, and it hurt more than you could imagine.  I was in tears, and it got me to thinking:

At what moment in time do we become parents?  Is it when we decide to have children?  Or is it when a child is placed in your arms?  Is it when you start taking foster parenting classes or agree to have strangers pour over your financial history and check your fingerprints to see if you’ve committed a crime?

For most parents, the moment you become a mother or father is when you have a child.

And here is why I was crying.  I have had a child.  Not from my own body, but from my heart.  He was the child we thought we were waiting for, the child that would be the fulfillment of our dreams.  But he isn’t our child anymore.  And really, he never was.  And this happened twice.  At two different times, we thought our dreams and prayers had been answered, only to have to hand him back when someone else changed their mind.

So here’s what I wonder:  Are we parents?

When people ask that question and receive a “yes”, the follow up question is always “How many children do you have?”

How should we answer?  We are parents without children?  Do we give them the whole spiel?  Or do we just look down after the first question and answer “No, not yet”?

Are we parents?  How many children do we have?

Something in the water

July 20, 2011
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I think there must be something in the water supply somewhere that is causing some strange behavior in T’s nieces.  It seems to be making them say some stupid, bass-akward things.

Exhibit A, Niece-currently-pregnant: She’s hosting her own baby shower.  No, that is not earth shattering.  Women host their own baby showers all the time, no problem.  She’s including “the guys”, no problem there either.  To make it “fun”, she’s using the theme “Babies & Beer”.  You see, that’s where her idea went off the rails.  Oh, and she invited the two of us to attend.  Classy.

Exhibit B, Niece-formerly-pregnant:  Guess who contacted T after over a year of silence?  I will spare you some of the awful 19-year-old text-speak and provide the general message.  “Hey, how y’all doin? Haven’t talked to you in a while, but I don’t want what happened to affect our relationship.  I hope you’re not mad, and I really want you to come down for my daughter’s first birthday.  Well, bye.”  My thought: she’s after something.  Either she thinks we have money and will bring a fancy, expensive gift, or she thinks we’re incredibly stupid.  T did provide a very measured response, telling her it is “insensitive as hell” to expect us to be at this party.

Could someone tell me exactly how we won the lottery with these nieces?

Hop in and hang on

June 23, 2011
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Losing my job wasn’t an entirely bad thing.  As I’d mentioned before, it’s something that’s been hanging over us for a long time.  And my workplace had become a toxic environment lately.  When your president is proud of how he’s been able to “meet headcount reduction numbers”, that’s not good.  When it happens the same week that he loses his own long-term assistant, that’s cruel.

However, losing my job also means I lose a very generous adoption reimbursement.  To qualify for it, you cannot apply until after the adoption is finalized (which is 6 months after placement).  If we’d still had the baby from January, we still wouldn’t have qualified for the reimbursement.  Are you getting an idea of how GREAT my job had become?

But, we’re still working towards adoption.  I’m putting the finishing touches on our updated profile book, and I’m going to set up a profile website in the next couple weeks.  I refuse to allow this change in our lives derail our goal.

Thanks to all of you for your support.  Since you’ve read this far, here’s a contest you might be interested in.

What’s new?

June 15, 2011
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Yes, yes, I know it’s been a loooong while since I’ve posted.  And really, lots has happened in the last few months.  So for the 2 or 3 of you who are still reading, here’s what’s up:

1.  I lost my job.  In April, I received notice that my job would be ending in 30 days.  I was given the option to take another position within the company or take my severance settlement and leave.  After nearly 13 years, I felt that it was time to go.  This threat of downsizing has been hanging over me for a very long time, and part of me is relieved.  To give you an idea of how bad things have gotten:  a few years ago, my group in town had 70 people.  After my departure, there are 9 people left.  It’s something that would have happened sooner or later, and I’m just glad to be done with the worry.  The settlement was generous: in addition to my severance, my former employer is covering all of the medical, dental & vision insurance for both T and myself.  Although I’m actively searching for a new job, I do feel a bit more secure knowing that we will be fine financially.

2.  We turned down a placement.  The weekend after I was notified of my job, we were offered a placement for an infant boy.  Because of money issues right then, it just wasn’t feasible for us to accept the placement.  There were other reasons, but I don’t know if I’m ready to go into them right now.  It just wasn’t the right fit.

3.  We were turned down for a placement.  Long-time readers will likely remember that T has 30+ nieces & nephews.  Last year, one of T’s biological nieces asked us to adopt her baby.  And, well, we know how that turned out.  Ready for the 2011 version?  Another biological niece, older & hopefully wiser, called us this spring saying that she was pregnant and didn’t want to be a mother.  We were cautious, told her we’d be willing to adopt, and didn’t get our hopes up.  Good thing, too, because she backed out faster than we could say “boo”.  I just LOVE how T’s biological family seems to flaunt their fertility to anyone and everyone.  T is the only daughter who has not given birth at least 3 times.  Out of 7 daughters, that must be some kind of record.

4.  T started a new job.  Hey, how about some good news?  T had been incredibly unhappy at her job for a long while.  While she enjoyed her coworkers, the work she was doing wasn’t exactly fulfilling in any manner.  During my 30-day notification period, T applied for a job with a local company.  Out of 300 applicants and 4 interviewed candidates, she got the job!  It’s a complete change from what she’d been doing, and she’s loving it.  The new company is one of the fastest growing companies in our area, and they are growing all the time.  One of the best things is that instead of her previous 30-mile commute, she now has to drive less than 3 miles to get to work.

5.  We took a vacation.  To celebrate T’s new job and to take advantage of a break in work, we decided to drive east and see some friends.  Unfortunately, the only sight-seeing we did was to view the service departments of many car dealerships across the country.  Oh my, that is a post for another time!  We did get to spend some time with friends, and we enjoyed spending time with each other.

I think that’s all…in a nutshell at least.  I really need to be blogging more often, especially since I have more “free” time these days.

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