Saturday, July 31, 2010

The thoughts that keep running through my head when I can't sleep

I can't sleep and so I finally got up. We have been working on our adoption paperwork alot this weekend and so I think I have this stuff on the brain. I've been laying in bed and the thoughts that keep running through my head are:

We are going to need to get kid size toothbrushes. Oh, I need to make sure I don't forget that. I probably need to bring them with us when we go pick them up.

I should bring those little individually packaged wet wipes when we travel. How many do you think I might need? The ones I saw today came in boxes of 10...

Those mini etcha sketches that I was in the check out line today would be great if our kids are old enough for them.

What other little toys could I bring for them to have for the trip home? It is going to be one seriously long flight home.

What will our kids like to eat? What will they consider 'comfort food'?

No we do not know who are kids are yet and no we are not travelling to get them any time soon. I think I have just lost my mind. :) I love planning. I can't wait till we know who are kids are so I can start getting ready for them. Oh that part is going to be fun!

Okay, back to bed to try sleeping again. Hopefully this time is more successful.

Friday, July 30, 2010

So much to do, so little time

This is a crazy time for me. I have 2 weeks left of this quarter. Before I can be done I have 4 classes to attend (3-4hrs per class!), 3 case studies, 1 country risk analysis, 1 youtube video (yes... youtube for school), and an international finance final exam to complete. I have a massage scheduled after work on Monday and hopefully a yoga class the next 2 Tuesday nights. This weekend we have 2 trips to the local amusement/water park planned and hopefully meeting up with friends one of those evenings. Then next weekend we leave first thing Friday morning (I have class Thursday night so that isn't an option) for the 4.5hour drive to our first adoption class which starts at 11am, then to a baseball game with friends, then to my parents hours, Saturday morning it is back for a 2nd adoption class (all-day this time), then to a baseball game with my parents, then some sleep, and on Sunday is my Grandma's 90th birthday party!

Weww, I'm tired just listing that all out. And that is all in the next 13 days! Oh, did I mention that we still need to finish filling out our adoption paperwork to turn in when we get to the adoption class?

I will admit that I am feeling overwhelmed. I know, I did it to myself, but it still feels crazy. I guess I should remember that it only feels crazy because I have so many great things going on at the same time.

If you think to pray for me you can pray for sanity, for energy, and that I can focus on enjoying all of these things rather than letting any of it go to waste by getting overwhelmed.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Let me explain...

Let me explain what I meant by the fact that I foresee myself being an overprotective mom. I'm not sure that I mean "overprotective" in the way that most people use the words. I expect that I will do some things that seem excessive, over the top, and overprotective. One of the recommendations I have been reading about is that for the first 6 weeks home, no one but mom and dad (us) pick-up/hold our kids. I suspect that many people will think I am over doing it by wanted to be so protective. And perhaps some will even be offended by us asking that they not pick up our kids, hold them, or let them sit on their lap. But the idea is that your kids need to learn that you are not just another adult, not a caretaker like the adults at the orphanage, but mom and dad. Pregnant moms do most of this bonding naturally through special moments like nursing/feeding. We will have to be very deliberate about the bonding process.

I hope to share with you bits of the reading that I find as the process goes along. The article below feels rather intense but it is meant to put the child's experience into a scenario that an adult can relate to. I found it very heart breaking. I think we have to understand what a drastic experience this will be for our kids in order to know how to help them through it.

Article from

A Different Perspective
Immense Loss; Walk a Mile in Baby’s Booties

Imagine for a moment…

You have met the person you've dreamed about all your life. He has every quality that you desire in a spouse. You plan for the wedding, enjoying every free moment with your fiancée. You love his touch, his smell, the way he looks into your eyes. For the first time in your life, you understand what is meant by "soul mate," for this person understands you in a way that no one else does. Your heart beats in rhythm with his. Your emotions are intimately tied to his every joy, his every sorrow.

The wedding comes. It is a happy celebration, but the best part is that you are finally the wife of this wonderful man. You fall asleep that night, exhausted from the day's events, but relaxed and joyful in the knowledge that you are next to the person who loves you more than anyone in the world…the person who will be with you for the rest of your life.

The next morning you wake up, nestled in your partner's arms. You open your eyes and immediately look for his face.

But IT'S NOT HIM! You are in the arms of another man. You recoil in horror. Who is this man? Where is your beloved?

You ask questions of the new man, but it quickly becomes apparent that he doesn't understand you. You search every room in the house, calling and calling for your husband. The new guy follows you around, trying to hug you, pat you on the back,...even trying to stroke your arm, acting like everything is okay.

But you know that nothing is okay. Your beloved is gone. Where is he? Will he return? When? What has happened to him?

Weeks pass. You cry and cry over the loss of your beloved. Sometimes you ache silently, in shock over what has happened. The new guy tries to comfort you. You appreciate his attempts, but he doesn't speak your language-either verbally or emotionally. He doesn't seem to realize the terrible thing that has happened...that your sweetheart is gone.

You find it difficult to sleep. The new guy tries to comfort you at bedtime with soft words and gentle touches, but you avoid him, preferring to sleep alone, away from him and any intimate words or contact.

Months later, you still ache for your beloved, but gradually you are learning to trust this new guy. He's finally learned that you like your coffee black, not doctored up with cream and sugar. Although you still don't understand his bedtime songs, you like the lilt of his voice and take some comfort in it.

More time passes. One morning, you wake up to find a full suitcase sitting next to the front door. You try to ask him about it, but he just takes you by the hand and leads you to the car. You drive and drive and drive. Nothing is familiar. Where are you? Where is he taking you?

You pull up to a large building. He leads you to an elevator and up to a room filled with people. Many are crying. Some are ecstatic with joy. You are confused. And worried.

The man leads you over to the corner. Another man opens his arms and sweeps you up in an embrace. He rubs your back and kisses your cheeks, obviously thrilled to see you.

You are anything but thrilled to see him. Who in the world is he? Where is your beloved? You reach for the man who brought you, but he just smiles (although he seems to be tearing up, which concerns you), pats you on the back, and puts your hand in the hands of the new guy. The new guy picks up your suitcase and leads you to the door. The familiar face starts openly crying, waving and waving as the elevator doors close on you and the new guy.

The new guy drives you to an airport and you follow him, not knowing what else to do. Sometimes you cry, but then the new guy tries to make you smile, so you grin back, wanting to "get along." You board a plane. The flight is long. You sleep a lot, wanting to mentally escape from the situation.

Hours later, the plane touches down. The new guy is very excited and leads you into the airport where dozens of people are there to greet you. Light bulbs flash as your photo is taken again and again. The new guy takes you to another guy who hugs you. Who is this one? You smile at him. Then you are taken to another man who pats your back and kisses your cheek. Then yet another fellow gives you a big hug and messes your hair.

Finally, someone (which guy is this?) pulls you into his arms with the biggest hug you've ever had. He kisses you all over your cheeks and croons to you in some language you've never heard before.

He leads you to a car and drives you to another location. Everything here looks different. The climate is not what you're used to. The smells are strange. Nothing tastes familiar, except for the black coffee. You wonder if someone told him that you like your coffee black.

You find it nearly impossible to sleep. Sometimes you lie in bed for hours, staring into the blackness, furious with your husband for leaving you, yet aching from the loss. The new guy checks on you. He seems concerned and tries to comfort you with soft words and a mug of warm milk. You turn away, pretending to go to sleep.

People come to the house. You can feel the anxiety start to bubble over as you look into the faces of all the new people. You tightly grasp the new guy's hand. He pulls you closer. People smile and nudge one other, marveling at how quickly you've fallen in love. Strangers reach for you, wanting to be a part of the happiness.

Each time a man hugs you, you wonder if he will be the one to take you away. Just in case, you keep your suitcase packed and ready. Although the man at this house is nice and you're hanging on for dear life, you've learned from experience that men come and go, so you just wait in expectation for the next one to come along.

Each morning, the new guy hands you a cup of coffee and looks at you expectantly. A couple of times the pain and anger for your husband is so great that you lash out, sending hot coffee across the room, causing the new guy to yelp in pain. He just looks at you, bewildered. But most of the time you calmly take the cup. You give him a smile. And wait. And wait. And wait.

--Written by Cynthia Hockman-Chupp, analogy courtesy of Dr. Kali Miller

Friday, July 16, 2010

Adoption Terms vs Bio-Baby Terms

Adoption Terms vs Bio-Baby Terms

"We are doing paperwork" vs "We are trying to get pregnant"
The adoption term sounds much less personal.

"We are still waiting for a referral" vs "Not pregnant yet"
I imagine this part is hard either way.

"We have a name and picture (We got a referral)" vs "We are pregnant"
I can't decide which one is more exciting, more emotional. Both are great.

"We have a name and picture" vs "We had an ultrasound"
If you are adopting you kind of get a two for one on the "we have a name and picture". You get to find out your baby is coming and see your baby all at one time. I think adopting has the extra points on this one.

"We're waiting" vs "I'm due in 3 months"
I think adoption is more difficult on this one because you don't have an exact date and because when you are pregnant you get to have your baby their near by. When you are adopting you can't eat right, exercises, take vitamins, and do all the other things that you do to keep your baby safe. All you can do is pray with all your might. I can't say that I am the best prayer. I have a feeling that our waiting time will be a good learning time for me.

"We painted his room" vs "We painted his room"
I imagine that the preparation part will be so much fun!

"I bought her the cutest outfit" vs "I bought her the cutest outfit"
It's probably a good thing that I can't start in on these things just yet. Oh how I look forward to these things!

"Our flight is tomorrow" vs "I think my water just broke"
Ok, our approach is going to be much less painful!

"We are home" vs "We are home"

Fair warning

So here is your fair warning: I suspect I am going to be an overprotective mom. And I am good with that. First time moms often are. But I am going to have more reason than most.

I have been doing a little reading about what children experience as they go through the adoption process. Can you imagine being taken away from your home and being put in an orphanage, only you don't understand what an orphanage is? And then just as you are getting used to being on your own and taking care of yourself, someone comes and takes you away to a new place and leaves you alone with two strangers?

In the past we did not spend enough time with our nieces and nephew. When we did see them they would act funny around us, shy, timid, awkward. It's natural, they didn't know us very well. (I am thankful that we have been able to spend a little more time with them lately.) Now multiply that by 100. Can you imagine having two strangers take you away from your mom and dad when you were little? How scary that would be? And no idea of what to do? Thankfully there is alot written about this subject.

There are 4 weeks left in the quarter. Soon after summer quarter ends we have our homestudy (meeting with the social worker) and we need to have our paperwork done before then. So my plan (I told you, I always have a plan) is to do lots of reading at that point. What reading I have done says that it is okay to be overprotective, that your kids need protecting. Not just physically but emotionally, mentally, and developmentally.

So you've been warned.

I hope that in the future as I find interesting articles, that I can post little bits of them here and there. I would really like our family and friends to have some idea of what to expect. It's really not the same as normal parenting at first. Actually it's alot like normal parenting, only you are trying to make up for lost time as much as possible. I would like you to know that we are not crazy. Ok, you can think I am crazy, just as long as you don't get in the way of me protecting my kids. :)

We are progressing nicely on our paperwork. And time is ticking away quickly. Soon we will have this part done and on to the exciting stuff!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

At a loss for words

We have all received gifts at times. Birthday presents. Christmas presents. A toy. A new shirt. A piece of jewelry. We all appreciate gifts. But some gifts we remember for a lifetime. It's not often, but sometimes we receive a gift that makes you stop in your tracks, mouth drop open, and there seems to be no words to say, thanks doesn't seems to be enough.

Today we were given a gift that completely stunned me. I didn't know what to say. It was so generous. A friend gave us a gift to help us with our adoption. (Now the point of this is not to solicite additional gifts. Please do not be distracted by even a thought of that because if you do you will miss what I am trying so hard to tell you about.) Their gift was from their hearts and was a huge financial sacrifice. It is not the amount itself that stunned me; It was the extreme generousity.

Gifts are not just about the money, not just about the object. And some, like this one, are about involving yourself. I believe that God is ultimately the one that makes things happen but he gives us the blessing of allowing us to be a part of his work. They will forever be a part of our adoption. Years from now they will look at a picture of our family and they will know that they were a part of making it happen.

To all of you - Thank you to all of you who have supported us. Thank you for your being interested in our story and reading along as it develops. We have recieved so much support in our adoption process. We have received so many kind works, so much encouragement, and most of all so much prayer. These things are so important to us and I want you to know how much we we appreciate you.

To our friends who left me at a loss for words today (and I am not without words very often!) - Thank you. We are stunned by your generousity and will never forget the part you have played in our adoption.

We appreciate all of this so much that I feel the need to tell the world about it. We are so blessed.

Thursday, July 8, 2010


They say that women "nest" whether pregnant or adopting. Its the process of preparing. When you are pregnant you have a fairly good idea of what size your baby will be, 8lbs give or take a little. But given that we are not planning for infants I have no idea what size our kids will be... so that rules our the buying cute clothes. I can't get an ultrasound... so I don't know if pink or blue is in order. Do we need a changing table? A toddler bed? A regular bed? It makes decorating pretty difficult...

But I still want to be ready, to do what I can to be ready. I am a planner. I normally have a plan for when to make a plan, the plan itself, a plan for when to reassess the plan, and a back up plan... or 2. But like I said, there is not much planning I can do at this point.

So we finally got AC units installed in our 2 extra bedrooms. (We don't have forced air so I had to opt for installing the units in the wall as an alternative to the only other 2 options which were a $5k heat pump or the window thingy.) I'm not entirely happy about the process or the final look but I am so happy to have it done. Now our kids rooms will not roast in the summer time. This project felt like a nagging weight on me before. I really did not feel prepared without it. How could we be ready if we didn't even have AC?

Now I have told you before that grad school will teach you the fine art of procrastination. I'm telling you, there are times when cleaning the toilet is more appealing than my homework or textbook! During my break between Spring and Summer quarter my house was a mess. Now that I am back to school in addition to full time work my house looks so much cleaner! Go figure!

So between nesting and procrastinating I'm getting alot done!