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

Friday, May 30, 2008

The last of the "last year"s

Sometimes I can't help but look back on my life in yearly increments. During my freshman year in college, I spent a lot of timing thinking back to my final year in high school - what I was doing and with whom, as I watched my world change around me. The year after Sam came home from New Zealand, I just remembered all the times I was apart from him and how great it was to have him in the here and now. The year we were married, the times I was trying to get pregnant....when I was pregnant, the first year Ian was around. Thinking back to what I had been like that previous year.

Now we are approaching the days when I will no longer look back to last year and not have Jesse in my life. This past Thanksgiving, I remember to the previous year - seeing his picture for the first time. At his birthday party, I remembered our small little dinner for 3 and how I bought a cake at the grocery store. This past Mother's Day, it was hard not to remember how last year we had just gotten our travel call - making the whole day that much brighter. Now I will never be able to look back to the previous year and not have Jesse in my world. We left for Bangkok on June 4, 2007 and met him on June 6, 2007. He came home with us on the 8th and forever more has been mine.

I know it's a weird little mind game, but I've always done it. But it allows me to reflect on how far I've come. I look into his precious little face and feel like he's been mine forever - but at the same time I can't believe it's been a year already (I remember the trip so vividly, like it was yesterday). Some blogger buddies of ours are actually in flight to Thailand now - it's been making me think a lot about my journey and all the babies who have come home since Jesse. I don't know where I"m going with I'll just post acute picture from Mother's Day.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Phase One - Confessions from a clutter-bug

Well, to those who have met me, lived with me, traveled with me, or spent any time around me - it's no secret I like stuff. I collect a billion things (which actually makes me the easiest person in the world to shop for) including pens, books, writing tablets, and trinkets - to name a few. I like souvenirs, magazines, catalogs, boxes, and a number of other material goods. Problem is - I don't have a large house and I don't have a lot of storage options. Therefore, my house always looks like a mess and cluttered. Every so many months I get frustrated, throw a hissy fit (yes, like a 2 year old) and vow to change my life......but then I pick up another pen, buy another stuffed animal, or another pair of shoes.

My New Year's resolution was to get organized, get clean, and purge unnecessary clutter from my life - imaging how much happier I would be, how much bigger my house will appear, and the total harmony the four of us would live in.......and I did mean it....but.....I didn't get very far. I promised myself to donate every time someone called for a pick-up, which we have done about 70% of the time. And I did do the research on storage units, layout options, and all things IKEA. (Which was really fun).....but.....I didn't get very far. Then in April we spent several days at my friend's house in Pittsburgh. She's my clutter-free hero! I left feeling jealous and full of anxiety about returning home.

Since April, we have been on a here-and-there cleaning spree. When we found the time we cleaned out the cupboards, donated unused toys, and old clothing. But it was slow going - until this past weekend!!!!!!! We have completed Phase One of our new lifestyle! Okay - this post will probably get long.... so I'm warning you, but I'll try to be concise.

First - the living room is now toy free. The back room (which used to be a spare room) is now the playroom. Here are the basics: Sam got rid of his old dresser and moved the 2 from the back room into our room. We got rid of the crib and moved the spare bed into the boys' room for Jesse's big boy bed! YES - JESSE'S IN A BIG BOY BED NOW!!!!!!! Then we moved all the toys from the living room into the back room. Now there are still random things hanging out here and there - and we might have to have a Phase One.Five this week, but mostly our huge first undertaking is done! I'm feeling very proud.

Ian is having his preschool graduation this Saturday and we are having a little lunch party here to celebrate - so more cleaning will done by this weekend. It's always good to have a deadline. And along with this physical change, I'm also undertaking some mental changes as well. I'm trying to control my need for stuff. I've decided that if we have too many toys then most people have too many toys and from now on I'm going to purchase fun gift cards for presents (like for ice cream, bowling, McDonald's, etc) and I'm hoping to pass the message along by Christmas/Hanukkah, so we will not be receiving "stuff" for the holidays. I've also decided that in order for the boys to have new toys - they will have to trade in their old ones. That way that things won't get out of control again.

I know most of you reading this (if you've made it this far) don't really care but I think I felt the need to write it down - a way to insure that I continue to follow-through with my plans and don't bail when things get hard. Thanks for "listening" :)

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day

I'm not a huge fan of mother's day. It's not a fun holiday is you don't physically have a child in your life - and I don't believe in celebrating people just one day a year. I do however, possibly contradicting myself, believe that the first mother's day with your child is very special and should be celebrated. This was the first mother's day I held Jesse in my arms, received morning kisses, and showed him off to the world as mine. All in all it was a calm but nice day. I really do feel like my family is complete.

Today, Jesse and I also spent some time talking about his birth mother. I celebrate her every time I look at him, but felt the need to vocalize it with him today. We looked at her picture, talked about how he grew in her tummy, and what a wonderful person she is. I hope, if they celebrate Mother's Day in Thailand that she had a wonderful day with her son (and had happy thoughts of the son we share). Here is a picture of Jesse kissing his birth mother's picture.

I would like to wish every woman out there who loves a child a Happy Mother's Day. There are so many ways to mother, be it parenting, expecting, waiting, co-parenting, wanting, or simply loving children in your life and helping them grow. I hope next Mother's Day is the one when you can celebrate having your child in your arms, if that's what your heart is aching for.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Jesse's a-okay

Well, it's been over a week since Jesse's surgery. He's bounced back incredibly well and I think seems to be healing nicely. Yesterday he negotiated with Sam about the antibiotic ointment (boo-boo cream) we're supposed to put on with each diaper change. He's been pretty bad about his diaper changes even though his personality is back to normal. Yesterday, Sam went to change him and Jesse said "No boo-boo cream, Daddy. Ittle boy part good. No boo-boo cream" It was like, okay I'll let you change my diaper but no more of that cream - I don't need it! :) Needless to say, we still need to use it. But he keeps letting us know he's feeling better and he's good now. I hope this entire experience will start to fade from his memory. We only have one follow-up appointment at the end of this month and after that...hopefully there will be no more matters to take care of in that region.