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Showing posts from 2013

Ain't Too Proud To Beg

We are only 10 days from baby girl's due date.  With that in mind, I am posting a link to our fundraising account for the adoption.  If you are able, we'd love any donations to our fund.  If not, consider sharing our link on some form of social media.  And if you can't or don't want to do either of these things, keep coming back - I promise not to ask for any more money!!

http://link.email.dynect.net/link.php?H=fRSspyRTfXPA1bNH7n3imfNhY%2BFqBjEB2MPk23vf3X6mrFEAMGhBnlit3mD1tg5fOFJB2DRHWf/fAXItnaxjSh35envyHOMPuEb0ebpDB14%3D&G=21&R=http://www.gofundme.com/4vvpq4&I=%3c20131109052305.570E39F90040%40mail6-01-pao%3e&X=MHw3NzY2NjI6VEVNUElEXzU2Ow%3D%3D

This Christmas

I drive through the city streets and search for the house numbers, seeking my way to the our biggest blessing this year.  I take in the boarded up windows, broken down cars and barred windows in the neighborhood.  I find the numbers I seek and climb out of my car, opening the chain link gate that guards the front yard.

I take in these surroundings without judgement, but not without pain.  As I stand on the crumbling porch waiting for the mother our child to answer the door, my heart pinches with the familiar pain of wishing I could do more, BE more for her.

She answers the door with a big smile.  The duplex is old, yes, but it is warm.  There are ceiling tiles missing, yes, but there is a Christmas tree set up in the corner and there are wrapped gifts waiting for her two year old to enjoy.  I have come bearing some of the few things I am allowed to give at this point - hugs and food.   Orange juice per her request (she had texted me that she's been craving it) and home made candy …

Say What?

Time again to look at the cute stuff my kids says lately:

1. I picked her up at school the other day and she told me that one of her friends was going to be gone for a few days.  "He's going with his family on the a-cation."  So cute.

2. The Nugget was talking to her dad the other day and she became frustrated about something.  She said, "what the heck?" But then immediately caught herself and switched to, "what the hell?"  That's our girl!

3. If she sees a dress or outfit that she thinks is cool, she will say, "that's so fashion!"

4. I was talking to her the other day about what she might like to do when she grows up.  She said, "Mom, I think I want to work with you when I grow up."  My heart grew three sizes.

5.  She was in tears after a day out to celebrate Christmas with close friends because she didn't want to leave.  At the height of her angst she declared, "this is ruining my life forever!"

6. She misun…

On Love

Last week on Tuesday, I went to work.  The day was normal, some parts good, some parts harder.  It might have been rainy or sunny, warm or cold.  A regular day.  Until...

We got, as they say in the adoption world, THE CALL.  A mother read our profile and wanted to meet us the next day.  I frantically scribbled down details about the birth mother, her situation, where we would meet.  I texted The Mister and told him we had a meeting the next day.  I went back to work.

Just like that, after 10 months of silence, we had a meeting.  As it turns out, she cancelled that first meeting.  It didn't worry me; I could only image being in her shoes and trying to work up the courage for this meeting.  Hell, it was hard for US to work up the courage.  But we rescheduled for just a couple of days later.

And then, there she was.  The woman who will change our lives forever.  She came to the table with a plate spilling over with burdens.  She smiled sweetly and shared openly and captured our heart…

The Runaway Mommy

Once there was a mommy who wanted to have a comfortable night's sleep.  So she trained her child to sleep in her own bed - from birth - and went to sleep in her own big, comfy bed.
"If you go to sleep in your own bed," said her daughter, "I will climb in with you in the middle of the night, for you are my warm, snuggly mother."

"If you climb in with me," said the mother, "I push you toward the center of the bed so we will both have room to sleep."
"If you push me toward the center, I will become a yo-yo and bounce immediately back to crowd you to the edge of the bed," said the child.

"If you become a yo-yo," said the mother, "I will push and shove until I have at least a few inches clearance on the side of the bed."
"If you push and shove, I will employ the cat and the dog to come entangle themselves with us and bind your feet so that you cannot move any further," said the child.

"If you employ th…

Walking, riding, wishing

Tonight was lovely, cool and sunny.  The Mister, The Nugget and I went to the neighborhood park, she on her bike, pedaling away, him walking the dog and me watching, breathing it all in, marveling at how it all goes by so fast.

At the park, The Nugget wanted to swing really high.  It's her new thing; she's just coming out of a timid stage, ready to feel again the thrill of flying high, of riding the hip jumping horses on the carousel, of taking deep, thirsty gulps of life.  Laughing, I tell her maybe she can touch the plane flying overhead because she is swinging so high.  My heart catches in my throat when she proves to me that her bravery really knows no bounds and she lets go with one hand to reach for the plane.  "You can touch the plane with your toes!"  I call.

On the way home, my mother's mind was hurried.  We are racing bed time and I am thinking of all of the tasks that still need to complete to be ready for the day ahead, for work and school and home sh…

Shhh...It's Saturday.

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Mixed Bag

Today has been a parenting challenge.  The Nugget is evidently going through one of those nightmarish growth spurts where she is not coping well with, well, anything.  Which means none of us is coping well with anything because, dear heavens, we all must pay for her suffering.  I can't complain most of the time about my child - she does not generally challenge authority, she is not a big tantrum thrower, she doesn't hit people.  She loves school, reading, and hugs.  But when it's bad, and it has been today, it's oh so bad.  Some highs and lows from today:

Low:  Nugget awakens at 6:00AM and cannot be convinced to fall back to sleep.

High: Nugget allows me to go back to sleep on the couch while she watches PBS.

High: We enjoy a lovely breakfast partially including delicious homemade zucchini bread.

Low:  Nugget becomes frustrated with The Mister because he is wearing her pretend doctor stethoscope to her picnic and rips it from his ears.  I ask her to apologize which she…

Shhhh...It's Saturday.

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Attention new parents: give up on these things now

I remember being a new mom - all doe eyed and in love with my absolutely perfect little one.  Seeing bigger kids and thinking how my kid will never do that.  My house will never look like that.  I was so adorable.  In memory of that innocent woman who had no real idea what she was in for, a few bits of advice on things not to sweat over that I would have given her - that she wouldn't have believed or taken - back then.

1.  The lovely crayon box.  You will get a million crayons.  Your child will write too hard and break some.  She or he will step on others.  The box will be torn in a power struggle during a play date.  Just get a bucket or a bag now and dump the crayons all in there and never think of them again unless they need replenishing.

2.  Tantrums.  Your kids will have them.  For a while, it's one of the only ways they know to express their frustrations.  It will incite yours.  Remain calm through it; this, too, shall pass.  I have a clear memory of myself locked in my …

Silent Saturday

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Remember this?  Yeah, me either, but a gentle reader recently suggested that I bring them back.  As always, I promise absolutely nothing in the way of consistency, but here's one now!


Just Like Tom Petty Says...

The waiting is the hardest part.

*sigh*

I wish I could say that I wasn't agonizing every day over where my next child is, but that would be a lie.  Most days I can repress it pretty well, push it down below the joy of this time in which I am home with my family so much that I can't even believe my good fortune.  Cleaning, cooking meals, trips to the pool and the library and the zoo and the museum - these all feel so free and easy when I don't have to balance them with full time work.  Part time work, which is what I've been doing, feels like such a breeze.

There are days, though, when I am driven to my knees with the desire to hold my baby.  Times when I can do nothing but watch the gap between children growing wider while knowing there is nothing I can do to stop it.  Moments when The Mister and I both look at each other and ask ourselves, "What's wrong with us?  Why doesn't someone choose us?"

Of course the adoption agency was honest with us and gav…

Twelve Years

Today I celebrate 12 years of being married to my amazing husband.  So, here are 12 reasons I love him more now than I did on our wedding day:

1.  He has learned to never, ever comment on a new hair cut until I have expressed my own feelings about it.  This may seem nuts (because it is), but I tend to change hair styles frequently and I am not always happy with how things turn out.  Early on, The Mister used to tell me how great my hair looked the moment I returned from the salon.  After several years of tears, anger and generally poor reactions, he learned to leave it alone.  Thank you, dear.

2.  On my dark days, he reminds me that he married all of me, not just the fun and happy parts.

3.  He appreciates the need for us to have both shared and separate interests.  I don't plan to attend any NASCAR races anytime soon, but I'm thrilled that he wants to go.  He doesn't want to scour Target on a weekly basis, but he doesn't mind a bit that I do.

4.  He deals with all thi…

Four

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My baby girl turned four today.  It still blows me away.  I know it's a total cliche to wonder over how time flies when you have little ones, but it does and I do.  Still, there is no slowing it down, and so to my big, beautiful four year old girl I say this:

You are such an absolute delight.  Such a very independent girl who loves to do what she can for herself but still happy to let us know when she needs a little reassurance from mom and dad in the form of cuddles.  You do not like it when we use a cross tone with you, though you have been experimenting some with expressing your anger lately.  A couple of times you have told me, "I don't love you!"  I know you are just struggling to find your way and always reassure you that I will always love you.  More often you will spontaneously proclaim your love for me or daddy.

You say so many funny things that leave your daddy and I exchanging bemused glances.  A new one lately has been: "I'm freaking out."  …

Before the Funeral

Almost twenty years have passed since I got the call.  If I close my eyes, I can still feel the grating of the ringing phone jolting me awake as I slept alone in my dorm room.  It was my aunt, my mother's sister.  I can't recall the specifics of the conversation, only that at some point my aunt interrupted me saying, "You can't what?"

What was she talking about?  Only then did I become aware that I had been chanting the words, "I can't, I can't, I can't."  It came out unconsciously, but the sentiment encompassed exactly what I needed to convey.  I can't cope with this news.  I can't understand what is happening.  I can't lose my mother.  I can't.

Days and calls and car rides went by in a blur.  Those times are just flashes for me, my memory allowing me a glimpse here and there but not a full review of the time.  Perhaps this is the protective nature of my memory; more likely the result of the shock.

As with all deaths, especi…

On your mark, get set, wait.

We became active with our adoption agency a little over a week ago.  I didn't post about it because it is a strange and exciting thing, something of a non-event.  On one hand, it signifies that we ate that elephant and finished the mountains of tasks necessary to get this point.  On the other, it marks the beginning of a strange and ill defined waiting period.

I'll be the first to admit that I have very little patience for waiting.  Even during my regular pregnancies I nearly drove myself mad with the desire for the baby to hurry up and get here already!  This is another animal entirely.  Not knowing how long the wait will be - a baby could come tomorrow or 10 months from now - is a bit anxiety producing.  Each time the phone rings I can feel the panic/excitement/thrill building inside of me that this could be THE CALL.  Family and friends have already been warned that I will be clicking over, running for the phone or otherwise using what I might consider to be rude behavior u…

Dear Birth Mother

How can I wrap up all of my hopes and dreams, all of my worries and fears, all of the roads that have led our family to yours, in a single note?  The short answer is, I can't.  I can't do it any more than you can readily know that you are making the right choice in our family by reading the little bit of information on the pages you're provided by the agency.

I can try to tell you that there is more than just a baby in this adoption for us.  There is an opportunity that I didn't know existed before we began this process.  Each day I think of you, wondering what your struggles are, wondering if you are okay.  I hold your heart, this woman I don't yet know, close to my own.  I send up my prayers for your well-being, for your health, for your peace.  And know this: I do these things not only because I think I will get the child that you carry, but because you deserve it.

I can share with you that I know, as a mother, that the decision you are making is not your first…

Counting My Blessings

I've had a few difficult days recently.  I think I've spent a lot of time since the miscarriage keeping myself very busy - Christmas, adoption, overall catch up - and now that I have a moment to think, well, it seems like I've noticed a lot of sadness that I haven't dealt with yet.  In one way I'm relieved because I need to deal with it, but in another way, it's just...sad.

So I decided to take a moment to notice some of the ways I've been blessed lately.

I've been preparing the nursery this past week or so.  The agency suggests that if you feel the need to nest you should do it now as it helps lessen the potential pain of a fall through if you decorate for a specific child.  I feel the need to nest so that's what I've been doing.  The blessings are many, but the one that overwhelmed me the other day was just how incredibly generous our friends have been to us.    We didn't keep much after The Nugget grew out of babyhood, largely because we …

Our Crowded Bed

As I lay between my very wiggly daughter and very loudly snoring husband this morning, wondering if I would ever get back to sleep, I reached my hand out to rub The Mister's back and perhaps stir him enough to stop his snores.  Feeling the short distance between us, a smile crept across my face in the dark.

There is plenty of room for one more.

Australia

We attended a day long class for our adoption last week, the first step in completing our home study.  It was a day full of lots of information and lots of emotion, tears, laughter, joy and fear.  We met adoptive parents and a birth mother, all of whom had so much to share.  The Executive Director of our agency shared a lovely poem with us.  I thought I would share it with you all:
.......... Adoption is a Long Journey Different Trips to the Same Place
By Diane Annitage
Deciding to have a baby is like planning a trip to Australia.  You've heard it's a wonderful place, you've read many guidebooks and feel certain you're ready to go.  Everyone you know has traveled there by plane.  They say it can be a turbulent flight with occasional rough landings, but you can look forward to being pampered on the trip.
So you go to the airport and ask the ticket agent for a ticket to Australia.  All around you, excited people are boarding planes for Australia.  It seems there is not sea…

Musical Beds

Last night was a typical night in the LTP house:

7:30pm: The Nugget goes to bed first.  The Mister lays with her a few minutes until she nods off.

9:20pm: I go to bed a couple of hours later (on this night narrowly escaping the fate of falling asleep on the couch).  The small dog, Frolic, comes to bed with me, but is restless and heads back downstairs.  The cats are very excited and lots of meowing and purring and petting ensue before we can settle down to sleep.

11:20pm: The Nugget exits her room with a slam of the door and climbs into bed with mom.

11:40pm: The Mister comes to bed.  Frolic stands around on the floor whining until a veritable written invitation is given for her to join us on the bed because she is insane and neurotic and impossible.  The giant dog, Dandy, flops down on the floor with a thud.

12:20am: Dandy is panting loudly and pacing the room as a small storm is passing through because he is insane and neurotic and impossible.  I get up and head downstairs with him …

What's Mine is...Yours

In the early years of our marriage, when it was just he and I, The Mister and I would sometimes have hor's devours night.  This consisted of buying several frozen snacks and baking them in rounds in the oven while we enjoyed a favorite movie or program on television.  I would bake things in shifts so that we had warm treats throughout the evening.

One fateful night, I handed The Mister my plate so that I could go answer the oven timer and pull out our next round of snacks.  After doing so, I returned to the living room to find The Mister holding my empty plate.  Thus was born one of our long-standing inside jokes in which I looked at him, stunned, and uttered: " You ATE my dinner?"  I will never forget his sheepish response:  "I thought you were giving it to me..."

Since that time, The Mister has been cautious to double check any time he is handed a meal or partial meal of mine to ensure we don't have a repeat of that event.  And we never have.  Until...

Ju…

How Do You Eat an Elephant?

One bite at a time.  Of course, anyone who actually knows me knows that I would never so much as harm a hair on the head of an elephant, let alone eat one, but it's a metaphor.  In this case, a metaphor for completing the mountain of paperwork and tasks associated with adoption.

Yes, we have decided to proceed with adopting our next child.  After all of our pregnancy struggles, we just don't feel it is an option to try that route again.  Honestly, the only thing that has stopped us from adopting in the past has been the financial aspect; it is not a highly affordable undertaking.  But here we are in this phase of life where we are just taking all kinds of leaps of faith, and trusting that we can come up with the money is one of them.

Having addressed that hurdle(ish), we are left to address taking the steps to activate ourselves with our adoption agency.  I was so excited waiting for the packet to come so I could get started that I obsessively checked the mail for days.  When …

A Rose By Any Other Name

Might punch you in the proverbial eye for calling her by any other name.

The Nugget has been very focused on pretend play lately.  At any given point, she can be found running around our house with her "hooves" pawing at the air while she tries to earn her cutie marks as a My Little Pony.  That is unless she is letting down her hair and descending a tower as Rapunzel.  Or maybe she'll be preparing to go ice skating with Frosty because she is his best friend, Karen.  Best of all, she recently decided to be "Olive" from the Rudolph movie.  I kept trying to figure out who she thought the character Olive was until a friend pointed out that she had no doubt been listening to the Rudolph song and deduced that the line "all of the other reindeer used to laugh and call him names" was referring to one particular reindeer by name, "Allof".  Which explains why she kept correcting me about how I was pronouncing the name.

Anyway, I think it's great t…