Tuesday, December 21, 2010

relinquishment

We are still waiting for our birth parents to sign relinquishment papers. These are the papers that say they can no longer change their mind about the adoption, where their parental rights are terminated. It's been 6 1/2 weeks since our baby was born, so this is a little longer than it normally takes to sign the papers. Our adoption agency told us it's usually 2-4 weeks.

We aren't worried they will change their minds, I think it's more about logistics than anything else, but I can say it will be nice to have it done.  It's looking like it will be after the holidays at this point since our adoption agency is closing for christmas and the birth mother is going out of town.

I did learn if relinquishment papers aren't signed and there hasn't been any significant contact after 6 months we can file what is called abandonment proceedings. Hopefully we won't have to do this since it's more legal fees for us. But really as long as their not asking for the baby back, and we can continue to have a positive relationship with them I don't really care how it all goes down.

I hope everyone out there has a wonderful holiday! And that all your wishes come true this new year.
xoxo

Monday, December 6, 2010

Adoption Details

I of course am overjoyed about the arrival of our son, but I feel like that's not really what this blog is about. I still want to post about adoption and the process of adopting and so although I will from time to time post about our little man here, I'm going to try to keep my posts focused more on the adoption process.

We are doing our adoption through an agency and because of that we have met several other people who are adopting. We have support group meetings every month and at the beginning of each meeting everyone goes around the room and shares their story, where they are in the process and any details they want to include. It runs the spectrum from people who have just signed up with the agency and aren't even in circulation yet to people who have recently brought a baby home. With our agency once the baby is placed with you, you go into what is called fost adopt status. In most open adoption situations the adoptive parents bring the baby home from the hospital. When this happens the birth parent(s) sign papers allowing you to remove the baby from the hospital, but this does not give you legal custody of the child, nor does it terminate the birth parents rights. For us, along with the papers to allow us to take the baby home from the hospital, there were also papers that placed the baby in the legal custody of the adoption agency. Then we went into "fost adopt" status meaning we are fostering this child with the intention of adopting him. Usually within 2-6 weeks of placement the birth parent(s) sign relinquishment papers. This is what terminates their rights and when as adopting parents you are in the clear of anyone changing their mind.

We are still waiting for relinquishment papers to be signed. It's a strange feeling. For us we are not worried about them changing their minds. We have been in touch and they have reassured us they are confident they made the right choice. But at our support group meetings we hear so many stories. There are as many potential variables as you can imagine with adoption. I feel like we got very lucky. The situation I would have considered ideal if you had asked me when we first signed up is pretty much the situation we ended up with, but I know for many the road is much less certain.

The counselors at our adoption agency told me that when you talk to the "right" birth mother you'll just know, it will feel right. For us that was absolutely true. Something clicked and at the risk of sounding hokey it felt meant to be. I think even with the people who share their stories of much more crazy situations there is always something about that match that felt right to them. Maybe it was just about the baby and had nothing to do with the birth family at all. I believe certain energies are drawn together and to me that's what explains the way you can meet someone and feel like you have always known them. I think often with adoption that's exactly how it is.

For years while we were trying to get pregnant I felt like there were times I could feel an energy around me, a baby waiting/trying to come through. My hubby and I called called it our spirit baby. It was like that little energy was already with us and when our son was born we both knew this was our spirit baby. He was the one I was waiting for all this time. 

Have questions about the adoption process? Leave a question in the comments section and I'll do my best to answer based on my experience. I know when your first starting out or even during the wait it can feel lonely and daunting. I'm happy to share what I've learned to help along to way :) Fire away!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Having a newborn is like Groundhog day

My hubby went back to work this week after three weeks home. It was a true blessing for us all to have so much time together, I know many people don't get that. I loved seeing him with the baby and how much of a natural dad he is...I knew he would be.

Now that it's just me and the little man day in and day out, I really feel like having a newborn is like that movie groundhog day. It's basically three - three and a half hour cycles of feeding, changing diapers, playing and sleeping. then do it all over again - non-stop. I'm loving it, but I can see how it could drive some people crazy. I have always enjoyed repetitive things and this comes with the glorious added benefit of a baby, what could be better? Of course in between the cycles there are also lots of dishes (especially bottles to be washed - eating every three hours means lots of bottles) and there is TONS of laundry. I was warned about the amount of laundry, but I truly had no idea.

Luckily my little buddy likes to help :)

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Meet the Little Man

Here's a picture of our little guy, isn't he the cutest?! I'm completely smitten.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

For all you soon to be moms out there...

So for all you ladies out there who are waiting to become moms, here's a quick list of things I recommend having ready for when your baby arrives. These are things no one really told me about and I think as adoptive moms we have a slightly different perspective on preparation...

jumpers - the ones that snap or zip so you don't have to put clothes over the baby's head. The kimono style ones are great, but the straight up sleepers with feet are good too (depending on the time of year your baby comes). I love the snaps because our little guy doesn't like being cold and with the snapped jumpers I can just pull the bottom of his body out and change the diaper leaving the upper part of the jumper on, so he doesn't get as cold. I heard gowns are good too, but we tried those and didn't like having to put it over his head, plus the elastic at the bottom can be a little cumbersome to me.

Formula & Bottles - If you think you will be at the hospital when the baby is born, pick out a formula ahead of time (if you want to use anything different than what is at the hospital, if you are cool with whatever they have, then don't worry about it). You can bring it with you and they will start the baby on it from the beginning. Also choose bottles and bring those with you too. We just went with what the hospital had, which was fine, but when we got home the bottles we had were completely different than the nipple the baby had gotten used to in the hospital so I made a midnight run to the drug store to buy every kind of bottle they had with a similar nipple. We ended up using Dr. Brown's bottles and we like them, he doesn't have a lot of gas and they say their bottles are good for that...

Bottle cleaning supplies - bottle drying rack and brushes for cleaning bottles

swaddles - the blanket swaddle is great but sometimes baby will bust his or her little hands out and wake himself up. If you have a fussy baby having one of those swaddles that velcros shut can work like a charm. Our little guy is pretty chill, but we did have one night where he just wouldn't settle. I remembered the velcro swaddle and tried it out - it worked great and we all got some rest.

burp cloths - I recommend old school diapers. They are absorbent and soft and a good size. Get the pre-fold kind, the non pre-folds are giant.

ribbed hats - the one they give you in the hospital is great, the ones you buy at stores are usually made out of jersey fabric or something and are not very stretchy - they don't stay on - at least if you have a smaller baby they don't - our baby weighed in just under 7 lbs and any hats other than the hospital ones just float right off his head, especially if he's laying down. I am currently knitting one so we have something in addition to the two hospital ones we have. Ribbed people I'm telling you, ribbed is the secret to a hat staying on.

Lots of receiving blankets - you can use them for all kinds of things and they get dirty fast, we probably use at least three a day, they either get peed on, spit up on or just get dirty somehow.

I also love the aiden and anais blankets, they are made out of gauze and are nice and big. Our baby is small so they aren't the best for swaddling yet - he ends up drowning in them - but they are great for an additional blanket on his feet when in the stroller or as a cover up over his car seat so he doesn't get blasted by the sun. They breathe so he doesn't get too hot which is nice.

***edited***Desitin - you want to have the heavy duty diaper cream on hand if diaper rash strikes.
**I have recently also tried A&D Ointment and I like it better than the Desitin, it smells better and doesn't leave the white residue on the buns :) **

Diapers - I have to start by saying I did a ton of research on diapers before our little man was born and decided to use gDiapers. As of today we have only used 1 gDiaper. I'm not ready to give up on them, but I recommend just sticking with what's easy at first and gDiapers are kind of bulky. They rubbed him and made his little legs and tummy red. For now we are using the all natural huggies for newborns with the cut out for the umbilcal cord and when he gets a little bigger we will try the gDiapers again. I have faith they may still be a great option, but like I said when you first get home, you need easy and known and sticking with what they used at the hospital (or something similar) just made sense for us.

Bassinet - we have one that rolls around and it's great. We have it next to the bed at night and move it out into the living area during the day. I like having our little guy close so I'm not ready to put him in his crib. Having a bassinet has made keeping him close really easy and comfortable for all of us.

Car Seat - this is obvious, but we got the call to go to the hospital a little earlier than expected and were out in our car at midnight reading manuals and figuring out how to install it properly...even if you don't leave it in, I recommend doing a trial run so you feel prepared when the moment arrives.

Head stabilizer for the car seat - you know those little rolly things that your baby's head rests in so it doesn't bob around in the car seat, it kind of looks like a travel pillow but it wraps around the top of their head instead of their neck. They are a must especially if you have a smaller baby.

Pack a bag ahead of time, don't forget chap stick, lotion, water, snacks and anything else you like to have handy once you are there with your baby you won't want to leave for anything. We were able to room in and if that's the case for you, I recommend lots of comfy clothes, you pretty much just sit around all day holding the baby, you want to be comfortable.

Ok, that's all I can think of for now. If anyone has questions, fire away! I'm hoping it happens for all you waiting ladies soon. It really is just as amazing as you think it will be - and remember it's just a matter of time.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Never been better

Our baby was born on Saturday. He is amazing. We were so fortunate to be at the hospital, in the room when he was born into this world and then were able to stay at the hospital and start caring for him immediately. The past few days have been unbelievable. I am so in love my heart might burst. I've never experienced anything like this. Today I was standing in the kitchen with hubby and just got teary eyed. I am finally a mom. This has been such a long time coming.  Our little man is pure magic.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Trusting

I feel very lucky about our current situation. The birth parents are great and we get along really well with them. I'm happy to say I have no reservations about including them into our extended family, which I wasn't sure would be the case considering all the potential variables/possibilities with adoption.

This experience is causing me to really let go on levels I wouldn't have expected and trust in ways I could have never anticipated. In my heart I feel like this is it. My husband and I have often referred to our baby as "the spirit baby", thinking there is a little spirit out there trying to make it's way to us. When we entered into adoption, that same idea held true. We heard so many stories of people who had starts and stops, one set of friends had a reclaim, which means they had the baby with them for three days and the birth mother changed her mind. Talk about heart breaking. But through all the stories everyone has had the same sentiment in the end...the baby that was meant to be theirs was the one they ended up with. I think in this process you just have to believe that.

That said, through all the trusting and faith there is still this in between time. The time when you are matched, but the baby hasn't been born. It's a special time of soaking in the idea of actually becoming a parent, but it is also a trepidacious time. I am confronted again and again by how little control I actually have in this life and this experience is no exception. Do I feel in my heart this is our baby? yes. Do I think this is going to happen? yes. Do I worry it won't work out? yes.

This experience is teaching me to trust in a whole new way. Trust my instincts, trust that even if my insticts are wrong and it doesn't happen, we will be ok. Trust that we have the space to hold whatever emotions come up throughout this process for ourselves, the birth family and the baby. Trust that our baby is on it's way to us and trust that when it happens, it is going to be just as amazing as I imagine.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Lasts


We seem to give so much attention to firsts...first kiss, first love, first baby. It's all very exciting and fun, but I'd like to take a minute to address some lasts.

My birthday is in a few weeks and this will be the last time I wonder "This time next year will I be a mom?"
This year will hold the last mother's day and father's day without a child in our life.
These next few weeks will be the last weeks of uniterrupted sleeping in, whimsical trips to the store and last minute date nights.
This Thanksgiving will be the last time we give thanks for all our blessings but still wish for a baby.
This is the last "fall back" time change where I am not a mom.
This is my last job where I will wonder "Will I become a mom while I work here?"
I'm coming up on the last time I will get my period and wonder if I will ever become a mom. (granted the period will still come, but the question of mommyhood, not anymore!)
And on a smaller scale as we get closer to the baby's due date, I will have many small lasts like, the last time I eat ice cream without a baby, the last time I take the dogs for a walk without a baby on tow, the last time I will watch the stars at night or sit on our front porch, without a baby in my arms.

Let's celebrate the lasts, because this time around the lasts are something to celebrate!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Quandry

I'm having this internal debate regarding privacy and sharing and openess on this inter web we are all a part of. First I'll start by saying I love reading blogs, other people's blogs help me to feel less alone when I read a story of someone that connects to my own experience I think there is something truly amazing about that. The internet is such a magical tool for all of us to create a more global and expansive community. That's why I started a blog of my own.

Lately I've been feeling at a loss. I am so excited about what is happening for us with our match and the adoption, but am having a hard time figuring out what to share on this very open public forum. I go back and forth between thinking...it's no big deal I mean who is going to know who we are anyway and even it they did why would that matter? to feeling like I have an obligation to protect the virtual identity of our future child. It leaves me in a quandry.

The whole adoption experience is a unique one for sure. Not only are we becoming parents and navigating everything that comes with that but we are welcoming a whole set of people into our extended family. We need to consider the baby, but also the birth parents and their experience. It's complicated.

I'm curious how the rest of you have navigated this in your adoption? Did you ask your birth parents about it or just figure out what you thought was the right thing to do?

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Thank you :)

I just wanted to take a quick minute to say thank you to all the wonderful people who read my blog. I truly appreciate the encouraging and supportive comments and feel really lucky to be part of this community we have all created.

((hugs))

Monday, October 11, 2010

Jumping into the great wide open

Right after our match became official I spent several days in what I would call good news shock. I was trying to comprehend the amazing good news that I was experiencing along with making peace with the inherant fears related to that very experience. If I'm honest I'm still processing it. Just last night it kind of hit me, wow, my life is about to seriously change. I've been conceptualizing the idea of becoming a parent for so long. Every job I've had over the past several years I start thinking, I wonder if this is where I will work when we have a baby? Or when we go camping I think, I wonder how it will be to bring our baby camping? Or how will it be to see my hubby as a daddy or my dad as a grandpa? It's been something I've thought about for years in all kinds of different situations. It's kind of strange to start thinking about what it is actually going to be like. I know my life is about the take a dramatic turn. There is about to be a little person in my life unlike any other person who has come before, I know I am about to be changed in ways I can't even imagine and I can't wait! Adoption is such a special and unique experience because as an adoptive parent it is sort of like the first trimester and the last two months of pregancy all rolled into one.

I have felt that fierce urge to protect the information of our experience, similar to how I imagine the first trimester of pregnancy would be where you are super excited but also know a miscarriage is possible. I have also felt the extreme excitement of being just afew months from our due date and in the thick of baby preparation. Throw into the mix the experience of getting to know the birth mother and it's a wild ride to say the least.

After lots of emotional stops and starts while making my way out of the baby shock haze, I decided to just jump in. Do I understand this might not work out? Yes, but I am chosing to trust the process, the birthmom and the little spirit baby who has found us. We will be devastated whether we allow ourselves the excitement or not so why not enjoy this time? We are having a baby people! WooHoo! Let's party!!!

Our match meeting is coming up in the next couple weeks, which is where we will meet with our adoption counselor and the birth parents to talk through all the details of our ongoing contact as well as what will happen at the hospital. I was feeling a little nervous about it, but am feeling more confident. I know it will be intense, and I also know we have the space in our hearts to hold whatever needs holding throughout the conversation. During my life and all the crazy ups and downs I feel like things often come full circle and what I know for sure and am reminded of again and again is that Love is the most important thing.

Love for ourselves, love for each other and the general spirit of love, there can't be too much of it. And when you focus on love, good things happen and you can make it through anything.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Eenie, Meenie, Mynie...MATCH!


We got the call and the birth mother wants to match with us! We are beyond excited. It's pretty surreal actually. I looked at our profile on our adoption agency's website yesterday and you can no longer click through to our profile...it just says MATCHED! It's pretty exciting.

The next step is what they call a match meeting, where we will talk about all the details of the adoption agreement, including ongoing contact as well as the specifics of what will happen at the hospital when the baby is born. I'm told it will take 2 - 4 hours, whew! I have a feeling it's going to be a doozy.

Luckily we have already been quite open with our birthmother and she with us, so I don't anticipate much coming up that is unexpected. Although I'm sure it will be an emotional meeting.

The date for the match meeting is still TBD but we are hoping it will happen in the next couple weeks. For now we are just soaking it all in and getting excited about the new little person who is making their way into our lives.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Craftastic!

I'm not going to lie my heart quickened when I saw this amazing craft storage solution. For any of you fellow crafters out there, you know how crazy it can be to try and find the right way to store all your goodies and still keep everything looking nice and organized. So you can understand why the sudden change in heart rate when I came across this. Oh be still my heart, I may have to start saving my pennies for one of my very own.

Found here on Oh Happy Day!
For purchase or more info here

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Holy Contact Batman!!!

So it's been a couple weeks since my last post and ALOT has happened.

11 days ago we got an email, it went something like this:
we were sitting in the airport waiting for our flight to go visit hubby's parents for a few days when I checked my email...hmm, there's an email to our adoption account, probably spam, but I'll check it...wait?! it's a real email!

We spent the next few hours spinning from the fact that we had received a "real" email from a real birth mom interested in talking with us. How exciting!

Once we arrived to our destination we carefully crafted a reply and spent the entire next day obsessing about what we had written - did we say something dumb, did we scare her away - and checking email non-stop. (Ah the beauty of smart phones). Finally right before bed we got a reply. She wanted to meet us!

We spent the next few days emailing back and forth about details and it was decided, we would meet.
Needless the say the days leading up to the meeting were a bit nerve racking. But the meeting was yesterday and it went great. I really don't think it could have gone better. We all got along great and it seems at this point we are headed toward a match!

I'm going to leave it at that for now. As we all know in this crazy world of adoption there is always a chance things could change or someone could change their mind. But for now we are allowing ourselves to get excited about the idea that it seems we are truly on our way to becoming parents...probably before the end of this year!!!

Stay tuned peeps this is exciting and for those of you still waiting for your own email, just remember it really can happen at anytime. One day eating dinner at the airport, next day setting up a meeting with a birthmother...who knew?!

Friday, September 17, 2010

The stories

Something I've learned so far is the minute you tell someone you're adopting, they have a story to share. And boy have I heard some crazy ones!

A neighbor recently told me about a friend of hers who got a knock on their door. It was a woman from down the road who they had seen but never really interacted with who proceeded to tell them she was pregnant, was unable to parent and wanted them to adopt her baby! Can you believe that?! Come to find out yesterday that same couple got pregant unexpectadly right before the baby was due and decided not to go ahead with the adoption. My neighbor put in a plug for us, but I guess it was too late, the birth mother had already chosen another family.

I guess you never really know how you'll react to any given situation, but I can say with pretty good certanty that if we did (by some miracle) get pregnant, we would still move forward with adoption.

This is just one of many stories that have been shared with us. Some are inspiring and some a little annoying honestly. How many times have you been told..."now that you're adopting you'll get pregnant"? If you did get pregnant would you still adopt?

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Preparing for Baby Hiatus

So, as goes the tide with adoption and waiting for a baby to arrive, I am taking a break from "prepare mode". I'm still excited and will buy little things here and there I'm sure, but for right now I need a little break. We've been talking about moving to a different city, near by where we live now, just closer to family...we keep going back and forth, it's something we think would make sense, especially once our baby arrives, but there are things about where we live now that we absolutely love. So I'm feeling a bit like a ping pong ball with the whole topic. Then on Saturday I had a minor control freak moment.

I was feeling like I just wanted to decide, pick a lane and move ahead, but after talking it through a little more I realized it really didn't have anything to do with moving, it had everything to do with "waiting". Sometimes I feel so out of control. I wish I could just want it into being, I mean if that was the case we'd have 12 kids by now!

It's been 9 months since we got into circulation - appropriate I guess, maybe that means we'll get contacted soon...I hope so, as of now it's looking like our baby is a little over due :)

Friday, September 3, 2010

Newborn Care

We took a newborn care class last night. It was great. The woman who ran the class was so enthusiastic about babies and helping new parents, she made me giggle a couple times with the amount of enthusiasm she had for the subject.

We learned how to bathe a baby, how to change a diaper, how to spot signs of possible illness, how to take their temperature and what's normal in newborns. It was really interesting and both my husband and I left feeling more prepared for when our little one arrives.

They had little dolls we were able to practice on. We diapered them and then swaddled them in a blanket. It was fun watching my hubby put the little diaper on and watching him laugh when the teacher talked about diaper blow outs and how to avoid them. I had no idea how to care for the umbilical cord - you actually don't do much of anything, just treat it kind of like a scab and don't get it wet. She went through step by step how to give the baby a bath - both sponge bath (before the cord falls off) and regular "immersion" bath (once the cord falls off). She also gave us information on when to call or bring the baby in and when something might seem strange but is normal.

It was a fun night envisioning ourselves as parents, we're both so excited. We can't wait!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

A quick break from our regularly scheduled programming

I still have more to post about preparing for baby but I need to take a little detour for a moment...

I went to the ObGyn earlier this week for a non-fertility related appointment. It was a doctor I hadn't seen before so she asked if I was using contraception and if I had a regular partner, etc. all the usual questions when you're seeing a new doc. I proceeded to tell her, my usual schpeal...yes, I'm married, my husband and I have been trying to conceieve for over 4 years and have decided to pursue adoption. She asked me what we tried in terms of getting pregnant so I shared the details and told her we got to the point of IVF and felt like we were at a cross roads. We knew we didn't have the money or emotional resources for both IVF and adoption and adoption felt right. So we decided not to pursue any more fertility treatments and move forward with adoption.

She was great, excited we were becoming parents through adoption and seemed genuinely happy for us. Then she proceeded to tell me, if I decided I wanted to have IVF at some point, maybe after we adopt I could do that and that I'm "still young" (about the turn 37 in a couple months) but once I hit 40 many doctors would recommend I use donor eggs. I said ok, thanks for letting me know and we moved on. But after I left my appointment something was bothering me and after thinking about it I realized the uneasiness I was feeling was related to that conversation.

Let me clarify. It's not that it bothers me hearing about fertility treatments, this is not my first time at the rodeo so to speak, and I know alot about them already, but whenever a doctor gives me the "you still have time" litany I start to have this feeling like I better do something quick "or else". As a woman who has been trying to get pregnant for a very long time I am keenly aware of my age and how that relates to my fertility. So being confronted with that yet again makes me feel antsy. Plus my focused has shifted, I'm AM having a baby, just not giving birth.

I realized it would have been so much more helpful for me if the doctor had instead asked me about bringing home a baby and whether I might have questions about that. Given me advice on choosing a pediatrician or asked me about taking a newborn care class...the kinds of things she might address if I was pregnant. Meeting me where I am...not pursuing fertility treatments, and on my way to bringing a baby home.

I also realized this experience with my doctor is just one example, it seems many people don't know how to respond to the announcement we're adopting without making sense of why we wouldn't be having a biological child. Often people are upset by the idea that we wouldn't do everything medically possible to conceive before adopting. I get ongoing advice about something so and so did and did we try that? By the time most couples come to the decision of adopting and announce it to the world, most have more information about potential ways to get pregnant than you can imagine. Honestly, if we got pregnant (by some miracle) we would be thrilled, and we would still pursue adoption. This is a very special road to parenthood, and we are excited about our journey. Even though we came to it through infertility, it has become very important to both of us.

My hope is whoever we share our story with can celebrate with us and embrace this beautiful life we're living. It may not be the most conventional road to parenting, but it's no less valid than "the old fashioned way". It's about reinventing your dreams and celebrating what is. We're having a baby people! That's exciting!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Preparing for Baby - Part 2

Now that we have our list of essentials, I've started doing some research and making some choices...there are SO many choices! It's a little crazy.

First on the list was diapers. My husband and I are both pretty earth conscious. I'm definitely not outrageous about my efforts or opinions, but I like to do my part to preserve and protect the planet as much as I am able. That said, I have always been curious about cloth diapers, but whenever I've asked friends they either tell me "good luck' and leave it at that or say they tried but just couldn't make it work. I completely understand the convenience of disposable diapers and I'm definitely of the mind set that everyone has to find what works for them and do it. It's all a process and I know there will most likely be times when we slap on a disposable because it's the best option at the time. However, it concerns me to think about my baby's most delicate parts being in touch with all those chemicals everyday for 2-3 years! With all that in mind, I started my research to see if cloth diapers might work for our family.

Here's what I learned:
There are lots of people using cloth diapers who love them and with the internet there are many places to get great tips on using them effectively. There are a variety of cloth diaper choices out there, not to mention the more environmentally friendly disposable choices too. Over 18 billion diapers go into the landfill every year, just in the U.S. and each diaper takes more than 500 years to decompose - yikes!

Here's what I realized:
For our family, I think cloth diapers would work best when we're close to home, but for camping or vacation or other overnight outtings disposable probably makes more sense. What I really need is a hybrid of some kind...enter gDiapers.

To me, these little bundles of cuteness seem like the best of both worlds. They consist of an outter cloth cover, a waterproof liner and a cloth or biodegradable (compostable if it's just pee) insert. So we will be able to use cloth when it makes sense, but have the convenience (and guilt free use) of the disposable/compostable insert when we're out and about. You can learn more about gDiapers here.

I just ordered the new baby bundle and the tiny g's are SO cute I can barely stand it! It's hard to believe we're going to have a tiny little person in our house soon who will actually fit into those itty bitty diapers. For us gDiapers just seem like the best option. They aren't necessarily the least expensive (another great reason to use cloth diapers), but I think overall they make the most sense. Stay tuned once we have our baby and I will let you know if they are as great in the real world as I'm hoping...

Here are a couple resources I came across during my research that I found to be helpful:
"The Diaper Dilemma" in the May/June 2010 issue. Unfortunately they don't have a link to the article on their website, but they do have this section with video resources related to cloth diapering. here

This site has a bunch of great information on using cloth diapers.

I would love to hear about your thoughts/research on diaper choices along with any good links you come across!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Preparing for Baby - Part 1

One of the funny things about adoption is until you get matched with a birthmother, you don't have a due date. It's a little weird. You know a baby is coming, but it could be in a day, a week, or even a year. I had a minor freak out the other day when realizing several of the couples we have met through our adoption agency have gotten babies rather quickly. One was over night! One day business as usual, the next day, good morning mommy and daddy!

Because most everything we need for baby we are getting from friends and family I haven't felt a need to really gather everything, I just thought when the time comes I'll put the word out and work with the people who are giving us things to collect them. But we decided over the weekend, that when it all comes together the last thing we're going to want to be thinking about is "wait, where is that car seat and how are we going to get it?" So we agreed, let's pull together the essentials so we have them at the ready. We live in a very small house so setting up a baby room for us isn't a functional choice - we'll be able to make room when the time comes for the baby to have his or her own room (if we still live in this house) but for now it just doesn't make sense to clear out all that precious space and not be using it. Plus, I'm not really drawn to doing that anyway. I've learned in our 8 months of waiting I go through phases of wanting to nest and wanting to take a break from thinking about all things baby related. It ebbs and flows. So we have our little area where the collected baby things will live until we're ready to bust them out for real.

Our list of essentials is as follows:

  • Car Seat
  • Clothes
  • Blankets
  • Bassinet
  • Stroller
  • Changing Station (including diapers and other supplies)
  • Feeding Supplies (including bottles and any cleaning supplies - formula will wait until we know what they are started on at the hospital since we've heard it can be explosive to change it up too quickly)
  • Swing (although this isn't essential)
  • Bouncy Seat (also not really essential, but will be nice to have from what I hear)
What is on your list?
Stay tuned for more on this topic. Next up diapers...who knew there were so many choices?

Monday, August 23, 2010

New Button

You might notice I have a new button on my side bar! It's a link to an e-book that I truly recommend if you are trying to start up a creative business of any kind. Kelly Rae Roberts' story is super inspiring, you can find out more about her here. I took her e-course earlier this year because I am interested in jump starting my own creative business...details still in the works...and now she is offering an e-book with everything she learned along the way to getting her ver successful business up and running. I can honestly say the wealth of information included in this book is amazing. It covers everything that was in the class I took and I left feeling saturated with ideas and empowered to actually take a step into my creative dreams.

Plus if you click through from my link and decide to purchase the e-book, I will get credit as an affiliate which is great too! Just an small example of how wonderful Kelly Rae is and her willingness to share her success.

From time to time I may share links to other artists and opportunities, but please rest assured it will only be to people I whole heartedly support and feel their services/products would be exciting and helpful to anyone visiting here.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Adoption Videos?

I've been wanting to do a video of us for our adoption website. I think being able to see someone moving around makes you feel like you are getting to know them more personally than just photos. I've been thinking about it a lot though because I've seen some adoption videos that are so serious, almost like the couple is being interviewed on their couch and I really didn't want to do that. In all my thinking and planning, I realized we are going to need to take more videos because seriously all we ever photograph or video is our dogs, it's kind of ridiculous. So, as practice I made a video of them. It was fun and I learned a lot. We really do love them like crazy. They are such good girls - even if they are barking at the mailman right now.

video
Song: Buy a Dog by Luce (www.luceband.com)

What do you think about making an adoption video?

Friday, August 6, 2010

I love this place



We went camping last weekend up in Fort Bragg, about 2 1/2 hours north of where we live and we stopped at this beach. It's called glass beach, you can see why. There was no sand, just beach glass. We even dug down to see if we could get to sand, nope, just glass and some rocks with a few pieces of seaweed thrown in. It is seriously the coolest place I've ever been. I've never seen anything like it. It was wonderful. I can't wait to go back.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

The waiting itch

When we started this process I decided I was just going to put it in my head that it would be at least a year. Our agency told us the "average" wait time is 6-18 months, so I knew 1 year was a good marker. We haven't hit a year yet (we are right around 8 months), but I'm starting to get the wait itch (as I like to call it). It's this strange feeling of hope, excitement and worry. Worry that no one will ever pick us and a year from now - or even longer - we'll still be waiting. There's also some fear mixed in of getting getting "the call" and how that will unfold. It's a strange mix of emotions. I think some of this was prompted by our first contact which fell through. The flurry of that experience and the idea of actually becoming parents just brought it all to the forefront. Don't get me wrong. I love my life. I have an amazing husband, a job I love, great friends and family, two awesome dogs. I'm healthy and those I love are healthy. It's a great life. I'm just ready to be a mom. I can feel myself trying to fight off the impatience that's creeping in, but I think I just have to ride the waves as they come. I feel like a little kid in the back of the car..."are we there yet?" (cue foot tapping)

Friday, July 30, 2010

Interesting Article about Birthmoms

I came across this article yesterday and really wanted to share it with you. One of the things that has stood out to me so far in our pocess to adopt is just what this article addresses. People seem to look down on birthmothers for their choice to place their baby for adoption. It's always bothered me and always will I'm sure, probably even more once I have a birthmother in my life who I love and have a relationship with.

So I wanted to share this article and add my part by saying I agree, birthmothers deserve our respect. They are making a very altruistic decision in choosing adoption and they should be honored for their strength to do what's right for their child.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Sneak peak

 
















I'm almost done with the quilt. I was planning to finish it this weekend, but I had a minor set back...I had some ribbon I was going to use on the edge and I pinned it all the way around and it was 3/4" short! Shoot! So I'm stalled until I can get to the store to get some more ribbon, but for now, here's a small sneak peak at what's in store.
Can you stand it?! Hedgehogs might be the best thing ever! 

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Acceptance

What does this mean acceptance? I've been thinking a lot about that the past day or so and am trying to find the answer for myself. I've realized this is what I need in relation to infertility. But how to find it? I'm still hashing that out.

I mean it's not just accepting that I haven't been able to get pregnant or may never get pregnant, but also accepting all the things that come along with that. The sad feelings that come up out of no where or the internal questioning I do about all the things that happen with my body. The over analyzing that became a pattern from trying so hard for so long and the thought process of feeling like there must be something wrong with me. Acceptance. I have a feeling on this one it's going to be hard earned. My accupuncturist said something to me last night that I keep mulling over...all the things that happen in my body, what makes up my body and in turn all the things that may be related to my infertility are just like my eye color or hair color. It's nothing I did, it's just the make up of MY particular body. Who knows why infertility is on the rise are there environmental factors is it some kind of evolution? Who knows.

What I do know is just likes the waves of the ocean, my feelings and life experience will bring with it strong tides and wild waves as well as smooth and calm seas. My goal is finding my center to be able to bouy myself amidst the storms.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Letting go of stereotypes

I came across this post on another blog and found it really interesting. It's about a study on adopted vs. non-adopted kids and whether adopted kids have more "issues".

here

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Infertility Sucks

I'm not exactly sure how to express how I'm feeling but let me just start by saying infertility sucks.

I have a friend who is trying to eat gluten free and when people ask her about it she says "it's a journey" I think the same holds true for infertility. I don't know for sure because I've never been pregnant but I imagine even if we have a child biologically I will still always be affected by this experience. Sure I could write about all the positive ways it has changed my life, like when we do finally have a child in our lives I will be more grateful and more aware of the experience than perhaps someone who never had to consider how much they wanted children. But let's just set those happy thoughts aside for the moment and talk about the other side.

My work has this awesome plan where I can go to acupuncture for almost nothing and so I recently decided to start seeing someone. My aim was to help balance my body and feel good. The interesting thing is she is always asking me about my cycle. Of course my cycyle is tied to my health as a woman but this whole process has brought up a lot of emotion for me. I so closely coorelate that part of my life/body with trying to get pregnant that I find myself confronted. Just by going to acupuncture I'm confronted with my infertility yet again.

Lucky for me, the woman I'm seeing is really great and is willing to hold space for me to talk about my feelings, even though she's really only getting paid to poke me with some needles (ouch! - just kidding you don't even feel it much at all). She has worked with other patients who have struggled with infertility so she has a keen sense of the emotions it brings up. Anyway, on the way to my appointment this week I started thinking, she's going to ask me X, Y & Z...and I found myself getting really angry and frustrated. not because she's going to ask me the questions, but because in just asking the questions I begin to feel less than.

It boils down to: I feel like there is something wrong with me. I am afterall a woman, isn't it my birthright to get pregnant? I always thought so. Sadly this thought process has permeated into various other areas of my life. I am less likely to take risks because I see the possibility of failure, I mean I couldn't get pregnant, even though I tried super hard and wanted it more than anything, so why should this (whatever the venture may be) work out? It's like I've lost that faith in myself of thinking I can do anything if I just set my mind to it. Not only have I lost the faith but I also don't try as hard because I start out feeling like it won't work out anyway and if I don't try super hard than at least I won't be as disappointed. So dumb. And honestly I'm pissed about it.

When I got home from my appointment my hubby and I spent some time talking. I was considering quitting acupuncture just because I don't really want to be confronted with my infertility anymore. I mean I get it, can't have babies, moving on to adoption...but the reality is I need to deal with it and I think the reason this woman came into my life (the acupuncturist) is to help me do just that.

Can I change the past? No. But can I find a way to heal myself and reclaim a sense of faith in myself? I hope so.  Like I said, "it's a journey".

Monday, July 19, 2010

Fabric Galore



As the title of my blog suggests, I'm crafty. I kind of always have something in the works. Well, more accurately I always have multiple projects on the works. As you know I'm working on a quilt, and I finally sewed all the little squares together this weekend into strips. It is going to be SO cute and I'm thinking the perfect size to be a stroller blanket (about 29" x 36"). I actually sewed the strips together into the full rectangle this weekend too, but I'm saving that for the final reveal when the blanket is complete :) 

In other news, I stopped by the fabric store on my way home today to get more of the fabric hubby and I chose for the backside of the quilt...let me just say it's SUPER cute and goes along with our theme for the baby's room (see below) and while at the fabric store I found this awesome mushroom fabric.


I am in love. Ever since we chose the theme for the baby's room I've been on the hunt for fabric. What's the theme you ask?...enchanted forest! 

Not the fairy godmother kind, but the mushrooms and gnomes kind. Cute right?! I'm SO excited about it. I think it has lots of possibilities and will be good for a boy or girl. So I've been slowly collecting cool, appropriately themed fabrics when I see them. It's not as easy as you might think and when I stumbled across these mushrooms, well let's just say I got a little starry eyed. I immediately bought all they had. It's still TBD what I'll be making with it, but it's going to be cute, cute, cute. And go perfectly with this other fabric I found.

Aren't they adorable? I recently got a small swatch of this out of print fabric by Heather Ross...I'm seeing some gnome and mushroom goodness coming on. Ooh! Can't wait for inspiration to strike! Maybe a full size quilt for the baby's bed? We'll just have to wait and see. For now I'll just bask in my giddyness of the fabric find of the century! Yay!

What kinds of things inspire you to be crafty?

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Good Practice



















I work for a local animal shelter and it is kitten season! So I am fostering my second pair of neo natal kittens. They are three weeks old and need to be bottle fed every four hours. They even have to be burped! I figure it's good practice for when a baby enters our life.

We named them Frank and Murphy which just cracks me up. I think it's funny for such itty bitty kittens to have old man names.

Our dogs love them too and try to lick them all over, it's pretty funny.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Tie Dye Cuteness

I've been working on some tie dye layettes that I'm planning to sell on etsy and decided to put some of my trial runs up for sale this week. They are turning out really cute. I'm narrowing down the color combinations I want to offer and what the sets will include but the final sets will all come in a reusable tie dyed drawstring gift bag which I'm really excited about. I really enjoy doing these, it's always a surprise when you unwrap them after dying to see what they turned out like. I've been doing it enough lately that now I have a system which makes it easier.

You can check out my etsy shop here There are only a couple sets up now but there are more to come over the next day or so. Let me know what you think!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Contact follow up...

We got an email last night from the birth grandmother who had contacted us a few weeks back and as suspected the birth mother has decided to parent. We are both a little sad, but also have faith that our baby will come to us through this process, we just have to be patient.

In other news, our good friends who we met through the adoption agency just got matched! We are super excited for them, since they have already been through a "reclaim" which means they had a baby for 3 days and the birth mother changed her mind. Ugh! So this is especially exciting to see them realizing their dreams of becoming parents. The wife of the couple said she's keeping the mindset of it ain't over 'til it's over, but I have a good feeling they'll be coming home with a baby in the next few weeks! YAY!

It's just a matter of time for all of us.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Doing my part to save second base




















I did the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer this weekend in SF. It was so inspiring and this motto (in the title of this post) was one of my favorites. It was amazing to see so many people come out to do something good and help find a cure. It was also heartbreaking at times hearing people's stories. I got teary eyed several times throughout the weekend.
I feel so grateful to be healthy and able to contribute. I know my feet may disagree with this at the moment, after two days of walking, but I feel like I got much more than I gave. Over 3,000 people walked and together we raised over $5.5 million dollars! How awesome is it?!

If you want to join the cause and be IN IT TO END IT go here and learn more.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

String Quilt Continued




















I finally finished sewing together the squares for the string quilt. The next step...sew them into strips!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Want to re-cover your baby's car seat?

I came across this blog through a friend (thanks Kristen!) she makes all kinds of creative projects, mostly kid related. This one is super cute, it may be out of my league in terms of time commitment and patience, but thought I would post it for you other craftys out there in case you're feeling ambitious.

you can make it!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Spiritual Craft



We just got back from an amazing vacation to Hawaii and while we were there I discovered another kind of craft that I really connected with. There are several sacred spaces near the river where we were and these spaces were once used by ancient Hawaiians as ritual grounds. It could have been for birth or ceremony, even for sacrifice. These special places were fascinating to me. I felt such a strong connection with my spirit when I was visiting them and touched and curious about the people to whom these spaces were so sacred.

At one of these sacred places I took this photo. I think it's one of the most beautiful things I've ever seen and filled me with a feeling of delight. It's some kind of offering to the spirits who rest there or are connected to that place. I love how it looks like a little present, but completely made from nature. It made me realize my true spiritual connection to myself and the world lies in creativity and nature. I'm still sorting out how this will play a role in my life going forward, but I just love this little sacred package.

Where do you feel most connected with your spirit? Are there things you will teach your children about how to connect with theirs?

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Contact!

We were contacted this weekend by a birth grandmother! It's been a very exciting couple days...the baby was born three weeks ago and the mother is not able to care for her so they are exploring adoption. There are four grandparents in the picture who are all helping to care for the baby. We were going to meet the grandparents tonight, but I spoke with the grandmother last night and the birth mom is wavering on her decision to place the baby for adoption. We're going to check in with them again in a few weeks after the birth mom has had more of a chance to process through her decision of either parenting or adoption so who knows what might happen!

It's been a wild couple days to say the least! Not only did it come out of the blue (which I guess is just the way it goes with adoption...) but the baby is already here which is also completely different than what we had been thinking about. I never spoke with the birth mother but the grandmother was great and it was a good experience.

Who knows what might come of this, but I can tell you this:
It's been fun and exciting! It feels good that someone chose us out of all the people who are listed through our agency, it was also a great reminder that we ARE indeed ready and excited to be parents. And most importantly it showed me how important it is to just be yourself. You make true connections with people when you come from the heart.

Stay tuned for an update in a couple weeks!

Friday, June 18, 2010

On the look out

I just love this picture of my dog Marley she looks so sweet the way her head is tilted just a little showing her curiosity. I feel like even though you can't see her face it somehow captures her essence. I love this girl, we were meant to be together in this life for sure.  sweet doggie

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Us girls gotta stick together

I think this is a great post about women. I don't necessarily agree with everything she says, I am certainly not as religious as she is, but this post just speaks to me. Us girls we gotta stick together.

Monday, June 14, 2010

More of my story

My hubby and I have tried in total for over four years to get pregnant. Man, that's a long time. We've tried all sorts of things including 7 IUIs and 3 months of clomid. I know compared to many this is not much but for us it was enough. We knew we wouldn't be able to handle the potential disappointment that could come with IVF, not to mention the potential cost. When I went to the meeting about the infertility treatments offered by our health providers, they basically told us it was only a 20% chance of success for someone my age (35 at the time). That just didn't seem like very good odds to us, considering it would cost somewhere in the ball park of $10,000.

I'm not saying adoption is cheap, it certainly isn't (I'll leave that for another post), but at least with adoption your odds are much better...80% better to be precise. We know we will become parents through adoption, where the path of infertility treatments couldn't give us that kind of assurance.

We spent a lot of time talking about which road we wanted to take and every time we talked about IVF we both had the same feeling, it was like we were rabbits and someone was dangling a carrot out in front of us, we wanted to just hop on up and grab the carrot, but instinctively knew the minute we did, the carrot would be yanked away. When we talked about adoption we felt a variety of things; fear, excitement, and possibility. I like to describe it this way, infertility treatments felt like we would be trying to shove a round peg into a square hole and adoption felt like we were opening ourselves up to something bigger, giving more of ourselves and expanding. Plus 100% is a much better number.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Hedgehog!!!!

Isn't this the cutest thing you've ever seen? I made it! And you can too!!! Check out this book I added her little bow, but otherwise pretty much followed the pattern.

This is a great book filled with the cutest stuffed animals. I've always had a love of stuffed animals. I don't know if it was because I spent most of my childhood alone (my older brother died when I was very young) or if I just have a soft spot (no pun intended) for them. All I know is they make me smile. My dad used to hold my little bear named Pudgie and tell me stories at bedtime. Wiggling Pudge's head back and forth like it was actually him who was talking. These are some of my very best memories from when I was little. I also had an aunt who would make me handmade toys for holidays. I still remember the life sized doll she made me that looked just like me, or the little stuffed house with a tiny family of stuffed bears inside. My aunt's creativity infused itself into me through those amazing gifts she made me and now that I am older I understand what true treasures they were and how much love went into to creating them. My stuffed animals were like my little companions, my best friends I could tell anything to, the ones who listened and were there for me when I was lonely. I still have them (although no longer displayed out on my bed), I know I was freaking you out for a minute there. But they are still very special to me. So once we decided to have a baby I knew stuffed animals would be one of the things I would want to craft for our little one. This little hedgehog is my first go at a stuffed toy and it was really easy! I gave her to my 1 year old niece who loves her. I'm looking forward to making some of the other little buddies in this book. Who knows, by the time baby arrives maybe we'll have an entire zoo!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Felt inspiration

Another one of the fun things I learned to do while at that art retreat was needle felting. It was so much easier than I imagined it would be and I still love making cute little characters from time to time. Here's a little gnome with some mushrooms, which may actually end up being the inspiration for our baby's room!

If you want to check out some cool books on needle felting look here , here or here

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Sweet Doggies

As you will come to know if you continue to visit me here, I am in love with my dogs. They are my sweet girls who bring so much joy and love into my life. I never had dogs until just a few years ago and boy did I not know what I was missing! How in the world did I live so long without this wonderful magic?

I went to an art retreat last summer and while I was there, I made these cool sewn pieces of tribute to "my girls" aren't they the cutest?




If you want to learn more about the art retreat I went to, it's sadly no longer happening...artfibertfest, but the people who put them on have several other cool retreats (I haven't been to any others, but the artfiberfest was fun!) You can learn more about their retreats here

Or f you'd like to learn about the woman who taught this specific class, check out her blog here

Friday, June 4, 2010

Some history

So, there is always a back story of what lead some one to where they are now and I thought I'd share a bit of mine.

In 2004 I went through a horrible divorce. I had married my highschool sweet heart, and thought I had it made. Come to find out, even though we grew up together, we had somehow ended up with completely different values. Different values = impass. I had always been the person who swore she would never get divorced, being a child of divorce I know how hard it can be, it's crazy how people who have been together for years, loved each other and shared more with each other than they have with any other human being can within a matter of days begin to dislike each other so strongly, do things that are so inconsiderate, be so downright mean to each other. But here I was at the mother of all impasses knowing there was no way I could stay in that relationship and still feel good about myself. I decided with everything I had sacrificed to make it that far, I wasn't willing to sacrifice that. And so I entered the world of "divorced". It was hard for me, I was part of a club I didn't want to be a part of. I was redefining myself and learning who I truly was all the while struggling with this new label I found myself marked with. I'll admit until going through the experience myself I had always been judgemental of people who were divorced. I chalked them up as quitters or just not as committed as I was...little did I know then. Let's just say I'm much less judgemental now. Funny how difficult times can bring humility in a way that other experiences can't.

So, there I was, divorced, dreams shattered and a new life in front of me. I had no idea what was to come...

I won't lie, it was horrendous at times. I remember waking up thinking how can this be my life? I would open my eyes in the morning and then remember what was happening and just want to close my eyes again and pretend like it was all just a bad dream. I had days where I was astounded that I wasn't dead from the horrible pain of my broken heart. But through those days I also gained clarity of self in a way I never had before. It was just me for the first time in my life and even though it was scary as hell and at times I felt like I was floundering, I was also liberated. I was coming back to myself and it felt good.

It was during this time that I became really clear on what I wanted for my life. I knew I wanted to be in a relationship and have a family. Even though my marriage had failed, I believed in making a lifetime commitment and still feel it is such a powerful way to connect with another person. There is true magic in having a "one and only", someone who holds your heart gently and who encourages you to fly. I also knew now that that kind of relationship didn't come easy and every true partnership takes a variety of ingredients, some can be learned and cultivated and some just have to come with the territory. Meaning if you weren't on the same page on that most fundamental of levels, you never would be. Some things can't change. I spent a lot of time journaling and crying and talking to friends...without my friends and family I would have never survived that time in my life. I am blessed to be so loved and slowly I started to bloom.

Enter, my husband. I remember being so afraid but also knowing there was something undeniable happening between us and even though my heart was still healing I made a conscious decision to not block out the good things (this new relationship) because bad things (my divorce) had happened. It was a turning point for me. 

In 2005 we were married, almost one year to the day we first met. I know some people thought we were crazy, but we both just knew. It's almost five years later and even through the difficult times (and trust me we've had some tough ones) we are still happy, still in love and even still like each other :) I've realized how important that common ground of values is and how easy a relationship actually can be when you start from the same fundamental place.

What I've also discovered is that life is just life. You don't get rewarded for being "good" or punished for being "bad" all you can do is be true to yourself and reach out when you need to and your journey will unfold before you allowing you to take the path that feels right.

Friday, May 28, 2010

The web we weave


I was reading one of my favorite blogs today
design mom where she has these amazing birth story posts that she was featuring on her blog throughout her pregnancy. birth stories

And I came across this quote:
“The marvelous richness of human experience would lose something of rewarding joy if there were no limitations to overcome. The hilltop hour would not be half so wonderful if there were no dark valleys to traverse.” - helen keller

I felt like it tied in so beautifully with my last post, I wanted to share.

I also really enjoyed this post by a birth mom...lovely

Which reminded me of this one a beautiful story of compassion by a birth mother from another blog

I love the internet and how so often just the right story or quote comes along at the perfect moment. What a web we weave indeed.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

making connections and questions

I found out the other day someone I work with is also adopting. It has been fun to connect and share the process with someone in my everyday life. There are so many wonderful people wanting to become parents. I am inspired by people's stories and the journey that brought them to this path. It seems to be something different for everyone. Although many have endured the difficult battle of infertility and are left with the scars to prove it.

I know I have a few scars, some rest in the deep recesses of my self-esteem, others show up in the way I interact with people who have children and then there are the ones that are almost like little badges of honor. Knowing I have walked a difficult road and come out the other side with my sanity (mostly) intact. It's not a small feat and I sometimes wonder if the ones who had children come into their lives so easily will ever see the gift they have been given in the same way I will given the fight I fought to have it? I believe things hard earned do tend to hold more meaning. I of course in no way want to diminish the love any parent has for their child, I don't think it's a better or worse thing, just a different perspective. Adopting is such an intentional path to becoming a parent, you are faced with thinking things through on a level you would never have to consider if you became a parent through your own pregnancy. For instance some of the things we've had to consider/discuss include, would we be open to raising a child of a race other than our own? What is our comfort level with the birthmother's drug use, medical history and mental health history? Is your child ever really yours (biological or adopted) or are you just the steward of their lives? A mentor of sorts guiding them down the road to adulthood? Are there less expectations when you have an adopted child of them living up to certain family traits or being like mom or dad? Is that a benefit or a detriment? How much do we project onto our children because they are biologically linked to us? How much of me will I see in my adopted child? Does that matter? How much does biology play a role on who someone becomes?

Of course I've only had my own experience so I can't say what it's like to have a biological child, but I don't imagine these are questions I would be asking myself if that were my path.

What questions do you ask yourself about parenting an adopted child?

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

What If? Video

I keep coming across this video and think it is great. Hopefully this will help people who haven't struggled to get pregnant have a better understanding of the difficulty in the journey for those who do. It can be all encompassing at times and permeate into so many areas of your life. I'm all for raising awareness about infertility and helping to share stories like Keikos. A little tip, the video is easier to watch if you click on the little icon that looks like four teardrops it will expand the video to a larger screen, making it easier to read.

What IF? A Portrait of Infertility from Keiko Zoll on Vimeo.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Bittersweet


I have learned to take things day by day, knowing no matter how much you plan or look ahead you really never know what awaits. Today I am feeling a variety of things; hopeful, excited and a little sad. Sometimes it surprises me how I can be super excited about the adoption and at the same time still sad about not being able to get preggers. It strikes me how even though I am becoming a mom (and I know I will love every minute of the special experience adopting will be), I still carry grief with me about not being able to have the experience of growing a little baby in my body and sharing the journey of pregnancy and birth with my hubby. It's an ongoing process, one that includes letting go and surrendering to what is. I tell myself pregnancy and birth are like the wedding and mothering is like the marriage, but even with this perspective I still feel sad I won't get to have the wedding, it is fun afterall to eat cake and dance :) Life sure isn't as cut and dry as I thought it was when I was younger. More often than not it is bittersweet. I will get to be a mom, that is certain, just not in the way I originally envisioned. My guess is, that's why i have such a sweet tooth...to sweeten up the bitter bits as much as I can :)

How about you? How has adopting affected your feelings about infertility?

Sunday, May 16, 2010

String Quilt

I've been wanting to make one of these for awhile and just recently I started collecting fabric I liked with the intention of making something baby related. I'm really excited about how it's coming together. I don't really know how big it will be in the end...good thing it's for a little one



I found the tutorial on how to do it here


Don't you love how it's coming together? I think it'll be lovely.


I'll keep posting as the process continues. All those strips on the right are more squares to come!















And so it begins

It's my first time posting today. This blog has been on my mind for quite some time and today I am finally beginning it. I find so much comfort and support in reading other people's (mostly women's) blogs and my hope is that this blog will help someone else out there.

My husband and I started trying to conceive over 4 years ago and our path has finally brought us to domestic open adoption. We are super excited to be heading toward becoming parents and this blog is my chronicle of that journey. We are working with an adoption agency and got into circulation in December...we are what some people call paper pregnant :) We haven't had any contacts yet so at this point we are just waiting. Different from trying to get pregnant, one of the things I am really enjoying about adoption is we KNOW we WILL be parents, it's just a matter of time. I won't go into all the details of what brought us to adoption or getting into circulation in this post, but promise to share more as time goes on. I know when we were first starting out I was hungry for any information I could come by that would help me understand the road ahead.

I also started this blog so I could craft my way to motherhood. I love making things and while we were trying to conceive I always felt a strong desire to protect myself from the disappointment that came along with hoping. One of the ways I did that was by not allowing myself to do any nesting related to a baby coming. Since deciding to adopt I am embracing my desire to make things for our baby, knowing that he or she IS on their way to us. So this blog will also be a place for me to share my crafty projects. I love crafting, I always have. I majored in art in college and have had creative jobs since graduating, but through it all I am always working on some project, usually something crafty just for fun. So this blog is a place to share some of my creative projects along the way. Right now I am working on a baby blanket/quilt that I am really excited about and other fun things to come include tie died layettes and stuffed animals! Feel free to leave comments or just follow along. I look forward to the community this blog may open up for me and to connecting with anyone out there who may be reading.