The Adoption Option

My spot for thoughts, feelings, rambles, and updates as we journey through the adoption process. Highlights: Dossier arrived in Thailand ~ Sept 26, 2005; Approved ~ October, 2005; Matched ~ August, 2006; Referral received ~ January 2007; Traveled & Home ~ June, 2007; Finalized!! ~ December, 2007

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Nervous ramblings

Well, last night was our last support group meeting in the pre-adoption group. It was very weird to say good-bye, not only have I been leading the group for nearly 2 years (1 year as co-leader) but we've never had an active member complete an international adoption - this month there are two!!!! Our friends who just returned from Korea and us. Our friends traveled mid-month and did not know they'd be going at the time of our last meeting, so there was no real farewell but last night I actually said good-bye, gave hugs......its was weird. We also came to the realization that a week from yesterday we will meet our son!!!!! I hadn't thought out it in those terms before - it was always how long until we left, not until we met Jesse. That was a happy moment. The weirdest part was coming home without my binder. The binder held all my notes, pictures of the children who've been adopted by group members, and other updates...that was weird.

Other ramblings - I slept pretty well last night, no pre-sleep anxiety but I had a dream where all the flights to Bangkok were cancelled for like 24 hours. It looked like a bad scene from the Amazing Race - where the one team gets bumped from the plane and you just know there is no catching up because they can't get a flight to the next destination. I hope I don't have to deal with this for the next 4 days.

New things added to my to-do list: add more music to my mp3 player, wash new clothes for Jesse, fold all our clean clothes, pack clothes suitcase (toy suitcase is already packed), buy TSA locks for our suitcases, clean spare bedroom (yes still need to do this)......I think that's all I can think of now but I'm sure more will pop into my head later.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Countdown: 1 week to go

Well, we leave in a week and it's still very surreal. A couple we know just arrived home from Korea with their son, which makes things seem a little more real. Seeing them in the pictures with their little boy - knowing they went over there as two and returned as three puts things into a new perspective for me. I've been having a hard time visualizing life in a months time. A hard time imagining what it will be like to have two sons running around this house - and what it will be like to adjust (for all of us).

Poor Ian is starting feel my anxiety, I fear. He's getting more whiny, more clingy, and more mopey than he's ever been in his life. Although burst of excitement and big brother pride come through every so often, I can already see a change in him. I think the transition will be harder than we anticipated.

Our shopping is completed (I think) and now we have the house to concentrate on. We cleaned Ian's room today, in prep for the new dressers and crib. Have a plan for the old dressers (so they have some place to go), and get get things going in there probably tomorrow night. The back room is a challenge. We use it as a catch-all type room because now that Ian is older he sleeps at my mom's instead of her sleeping here. And as a guest room - it really doesn't get much use. So there are piles of purchases on the bed, books on the floor, an exercise machine against the wall....and overall clutter. We will be tackling that little by little. Then comes packing! I just know we'll forget something - but hopefully it won't be anything that can't be replaced easily.

I feel like I still have a million things going through my head - and the idea of actually boarding a plane makes my heart race. Just that fact that's actually going to happen....

But - most importantly Sam is a new man! :) Here a picture to prove he's ready to face Thailand with total respect. You'll notice a little stubble in the picture - it's taken him about 6 days to get that back from the initial shave - he'll be packing a razor and will be baby-butt smooth for the meeting. :)

He even bought a new shirt and tie for the board meeting. I will be posting while we are gone, so there will hopefully a picture of us all dolled up for the meeting. :)

Friday, May 25, 2007

Counting down and getting ready

We are down to about a week and a half before we leave. I've done a ton of clothes shopping (for me and Sam) and will do more for me today. I still have a zillion things left to buy and about a million things left on a to-do list, including buy new dressers and build the crib.

Last weekend we had a planning meeting - friends and family gathered to help plan Ian's schedule while we are gone. It went well and I know things will be fine but after the meeting I found myself having some anxiety about leaving him. I know everyone loves him but it's not the same as me watching him or him being with me. I've only left him for about 3 days (and that's when we was about 18 months old). Sam and I went to a wedding and left him with my sister in Ohio. My mom was there too. I'm just not used to him driving in a bunch of different cars, for one, and just the idea of leaving him for 2 weeks......but what's done is done and we leave and Ian will have 2 weeks of full filled adventures.

This Saturday marks the haircut appointment. Sam has already shaved (which I'm still getting used to.) He looks like our prom picture (which of course is not digital so I can't post) - which is very weird to me. I have no idea how I'm going to react to the haircut..should be interesting.

I'm also posting a picture of my nearly 50% completed cross-stitch project (it's the Royal Palace in Bangkok). I haven't talked about this in a while, but I'm currently finishing up the 10th square (which means only 10 more to go), when looking at it imagine another row on the bottom and there is folded material on the top where another row will go. My goal is to finish my current square before leaving - the rest I'll finish it some day :)

Monday, May 21, 2007


My previous post was not suppose to imply I would stop blogging. I just started thinking that my support circle had formed based on our struggles through the adoption process. Once we bring Jesse home....I just wasn't sure how that would change things.

I was also just making a statement about how much I enjoy being a part of the blogging family I've discovered (or actually who have discovered me) :)

I will continue to blog about life post-travel. I'm sure there will still be many a struggle I'll need to vent and get feed back on.

thanks for reading (and wanting to read more).

Friday, May 18, 2007

My blogging circle

I've come to realize I'm a bit crazy when it comes to checking the blogs. I have found a wonderful circle of blogging friends who I regularly check their blogs to see how they are doing, if there are updates, or what crazy story they have to tell. I check them all at least once a day - but due to the time difference with some of the bloggers' locations - I admit to checking multiple times :) As we end this phase of our adoption journey I'm finding myself a little sad and scared. While going through infertility treatments, although I was in a support group, I found myself very alone. People weren't honestly rooting for others success because it only reminded themselves of their "failure" - I'm totally guilty of it. The fake smile, the cold hug of congrats as a pregnancy was announced......but this was different. Once we started the adoption journey I found another support group. The atmosphere was amazingly different and everyone seemed really happy for everyone else. Everyone else's progress, matches, referrals....everything. Evidence shown on this very blog - where those who didn't receive their good news still showed us support and encouragement when we got ours. It's truly overwhelming.

The same goes for the support group I attend (which I've been leading for over a year). The friends I have made and the many adoptions I've seen happen - it fills me with joy. But that will be ending soon. May 30th is my last official meeting - I will no longer be part of the pre-adoption world and will graduate from the support group. I'm scared. I've come to rely on those meetings, that support, the people to help me get through this whole thing. What will happen next?

I found a writing on my computer - it must have been from when I was going through treatments and the last sentence prompted this post: "We are the many who suffer alone because to suffer together is too sad." I'm glad I've had to opportunity to prove myself wrong. I don't ever want to go through anything "alone" again (Sam doesn't count, he's always there to support me 100%).

Without being too sappy - thanks to everyone who's been walking me through this.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Meet Buddy

This is the friend Ian made for Jesse (explained in previous post).

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Getting it all figured out

I've been very calm the past week - quietly making lists in my head, organizing what we need to pack, thinking about presents to bring. Yesterday we took Ian to Build-A-Bear to make a present for Jesse. He picked out a turtle - very cute and soft. We dressed him in a shirt I purchased forever ago that says "Someone in Thailand loves me" and Ian will give him this at their first meeting (at the airport when we return home).

I thought I had a good handle on things until we found a minor piece of information....Sam needs to be clean shaven and have short hair (in order to be most respectful and make the best impression on the board). It came as a bit of a shock because, after all, we are Americans.....and I understand how things are in their culture but we are basically tourists - and I don't think tourist generally change their appearance when on vacation. Sam is so easy going - he's like whatever, but I'm a little thrown. More because that's now what Sam looks like. My Sam has a scruffy goatee and long, soft, silky hair. And those are the images Jesse has seen (not sure it'll make a huge difference in the mental processes of a 1 year old - but it will to my 31 year old brain). I told Sam he'd have to do it soon, so Ian and I can get used to it before we leave. Poor Ian - I know he'll notice.

I haven't seen Sam's chin in 13 years! I also have to rethink my wardrobe. I have a great outfit picked out for the board meeting - but now it seems that I need to wear sleeves on most days (rather than sleeveless). I already have 3-4 outfits picked out and ready to go - even nicer sleeveless tops won't cut it if I want to show the utmost respect (which I do). So shopping it is for me and Sam for more respectable clothes :) This also means, I'll be packing more skirts than I had planned - I own them, so that's good - just didn't plan on bringing them. 100 degree weather and fat thighs don't often mix well in skirts :) I'll deal.

This weekend we are having family and friend over for a Q&A session, along with a calendar planning for Ian's schedule. Making sure my mom has plenty of support and playdates set up before we leave - giving her a break from 24/7 Ian watch.

I still can't believe it's real. We have plane tickets...we have a hotel reservation....still can't really believe it's real. Although - deep down I can feel a difference in my soul - the world is looking a bit brighter than it has in a long time.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Best posting to date

I can't believe the time has finally arrived when I can post about ---- GOING TO THAILAND! Yes, we actually received our travel call this morning. The phone call was so surreal, I was so calm and probably made Andrea a little nervous. I just had to sit down and process it - but then I called Sam. When I actually repeated the information to him, told him the good news, it hit me. I cried and smiled and it actually hit me - our baby's coming home.

I also found out today that my charm bracelet was ready for pick up at the jewelry store. I had just ordered the new charm for Jesse (engraved with name and birthday) - the timing was amazing. I couldn't pick it up fast enough and I'm sure I will not take it off until at least after Mother's Day.

I'm more calm than I thought I would be and I think it's because I got a handle of my emotions last week. Just when I thought I was at the end of my rope, I find my inner strength and realize I can survive....just to find out I'm nearly done waiting!!!!

Oh gosh, I haven't even mentioned any of the details :) We'll be in Thailand for the June 13 meeting. Timing is perfect in terms of Ian. School will be done and my mom won't be working, plus all Ian's commitments will be over - leaving a carefree schedule. I won't be worrying if he's made it to school or soccer.

I called my family members earlier today and tonight when my sister called me to talk some more the first things she said was "It's nice to hear you answer the phone and be happy." I want to cry just thinking about it. I am happy - I'm really happy and I'm so grateful for all the support I've gotten when I wasn't. That's what means the most to me, what brought me out of the darkness, and what will carry me through my life.

Friday, May 04, 2007

I see the light

I've put off posting for a few days because I didn't want to regret what I wrote (seeing how my friend is scrapbooking this diary for all eternity). I also needed some time to sort through the darkness - and believe me the last few days have been very dark. But in the infinite wisdom of the guilty pleasure "7th Heaven" I can choose my emotions and decide how I want to feel. And I've decided I no longer want to feel dark, damaged, or hopeless. This however does not immediately equal feeling light, perfect, and hopeful - it does mean though that I certainly see the light. I'm taking back control of my life and I will not allow myself to let days or weeks pass by without me acknowledging them.

I think I was putting too much stock in someone else's faith. I wanted to believe in what I was being told and what she believed - but I need to find my happy medium. Unfortunately this means making myself emotionally done with this process. I can no longer afford to put my heart into this final wait 100%. It's not fair to my son or my husband - or my mom who spends a lot of time with my grumpy ass. I will listen to what I'm being told - then move on. I hate that I have to choose between my life and the adoption - but I can't live for the adoption anymore.

It also makes my heart heavy that I'm feeling not only disconnected but also.....leery. I can't imagine ever encouraging someone to follow in my footsteps. Maybe when Jesse is home and I can look back and say "yup, that sucked but it was all worth it now" - but I'm not there yet.

We have taken one step toward the future - buying a bigger family car. We are now the proud owners of a Mazda5. I will take a picture and post it later. Zoom Zoom!