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, December 27, 2007

For the first time

It's a weird thing I'm about to write about - one I'm not sure many people can relate to (although many people in my circle probably can....). I realized the other night, that for the first time in about 7 years I am no longer actively building my family. I am not thinking about a child I do not have, I am not trying to find a way to bring home a child I do not have, I am not taking shots, filling out paperwork, or dreaming about a child I do not have. I can now spend all my time focusing on the children I do have. It's a strange realization - a strange truth to wrap my head around. I no longer have to think about building my family because we are built. So much of my life has revolved around my dreams of motherhood - so much of my daily efforts over the past 7 years has been to get me to this very point, and now......I am not sure how to handle it.

It's a strange sensation to have your dreams become reality. I'm so glad Jesse's adoption has been finalized because now I can go into 2008 fresh, done, complete. It's a new beginning for a new life I'm really looking forward to living.

Parenting 202

So, all the rules I finally had a grip on after 4 years of Ian (aka: Parenting 101) have gone completely out the window - apparently that's the lesson plan for Parenting 202 (aka: Jesse).

Things I never thought I would do:
1) Allow my 22 month old to have a lollipop
2) Allow my 22 month old to play with Hot Wheels cars
3) Allow my 22 month old to drink soda (nearly every time I have some he drinks some)
4) Allow my 22 month old to eat in the car (raisins as a snack on the way to the doctor's office)
5) Allow my 4 years old to "watch" my 22 months old, while I'm in the shower

1) Ian didn't have lollipops until he was 3 years old
2) Ian didn't play with Hot Wheels until he was 3 years old
3) Ian hardly ever drank from my soda and only recently (after his 4th birthday) has be been allowed to order Sprite, Fruit Punch, or Orange on any sort of regular basis
4) Ian NEVER eats in the car - except during our most recent car trip
5) Ian stayed in his crib while I showered until he was 2.5 years old

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Oh happy day!

Well, 6 months ago today we stepped of an airplane to start our new lives. It seems like forever ago and just like yesterday all at the same time. But today we mark a new milestone - Jesse's adoption was finalized yesterday! He's official, honestly, truly, and forever ours!!!!!!!!!! I've known he's been ours since the beginning but there is always something in the back of your head - waiting for those papers to go through and everything to be official. Now, it's official. He's a US Citizen - his name has been legally changed - and we are forever more a family of four!

It's hard to explain - it feels like nothing has really changed, yet my whole world is now different. Today's a great day - and this makes the holiday season even sweeter.

2007 shaped up to be a really awesome year!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Happy Holidays!

Friday, December 14, 2007

Get ready for picture overload :)

Here are some photo I've been meaning to post.

This is the first bite Jesse took of his first Thanksgiving dinner. You can see by the twinkle in his eye he was really excited about the plate of food in front of him.

Here is the snow fall that was worth anything. The boys bundled up and went to play. Jesse loved it and Ian showed him how to make Snow Angels.

Here are some shots from the end of Hanukkah. They had a great time all week but really the last night makes the most impressive picture. Jesse loved the candles and it didn't take him long to realize that lighting the candles meant opening presents. Remembering back to how different things were last year, made this a very special and great holiday for all of us. I broke Hanukkah down to the basics - it's about celebrating miracles and I definitely have 2 precious miracles to celebrate every day.

Friday, December 07, 2007

The interesting world of International Adoption

Well, it's been nearly 6 months since we've been home and I must say life has been interesting. After waiting over 2 years for Jesse, I tried pretty hard to mentally prepare myself for life after he arrived home. Not just the issue of mothering 2 boys, or how Ian would react (which I ended up being totally wrong about) but for all the things an international adoption meant for our future. I've discovered that no matter how prepared you think you are - the reality is you've probably thought of all the wrong things. In the prep classes we were required to go to, we heard all the stories of rude strangers, constant questions, and loss of privacy - I mean everyone was going to look at us and see we adopted Jesse. I've written before about how I'd been getting ready to face the world and spread the gospel of adoption to the masses.....well, I haven't had to do that. Even when the four of us are together we hardly get a double take - and the boys are always referred to as brothers. Maybe as he gets older things will change - he'll go to school with people who didn't follow along with his journey - maybe his skin will darken and his ethnicity will be more obvious....maybe then we'll start with all the questions. But for now it's heartwarming and wonderful knowing we might not have to live our lives in a fish bowl - maybe the world has caught up to the internationally built family.

But I wasn't prepared for the way I'd have to consciously remember to talk about adoption. The way it melts into the background of our lives and we could go days without mentioning it, without talking about Thailand. I know eventually this will be normal but while Jesse is growing and learning I feel it should be a constant. I can SO understand how easily it must have been for those parents in the 50's and 60's (and even later) to simply not inform their domestically adopted children of their past. It's just not important now that he's home - he's mine and it feels like he always has been. I couldn't put two and two together before about how things happened back then, but now I completely understand. For Jesse, it's important and I will educate him the best I can - but it has turned out a little different than I expected.

On the other hand, which sort of contradicts my previous statements, it's hard to explain and teach the kids about history and religion at this point. We started celebrating Hanukkah and I've been reading the stories and history to the's hard to wrap my head around saying "our people" because I'm not sure that's right. I mean Jesse will be raised Jewish - it will be a history we'll learn and hopefully embrace - but will they ever be his people? We also celebrated the King of Thailand's birthday this week. Knowing it's important to hold onto Jesse's culture, but how much of that will Ian be able to embrace? Maybe I'm going about parenting this all wrong - maybe I don't have the right grasp on everything yet. But I just wasn't prepared for these seconds guesses and's like I spent 2 years studying for the wrong test.

I don't even know if these ramblings make sense outside my head....but I felt the need to post about it. :)

Sunday, December 02, 2007

First snow

Well - it finally happened, yesterday we received our first bit of snow. Ian was jumping out of his skin and before we say anything has pulled on his new snow pants, boots, hat, mittens, jacket.....the whole nine yards. So we figured it would be a great time to introduce our tropical baby to his first snow (while there was only about a half inch on the ground) :). So, Jesse, too was bundled up to his eyeballs and get out into the great white snow.....and surprisingly he loved it!!!!! We thought for sure he would hate it, but Ian was having so much fun - and as usually Jesse will follow his cue. It was super adorable and another great first to remember. This weekend has not turned out to be very productive but it has been a lot of fun :) A fair trade off, I would say. I'll post pictures when they are downloaded.