Saturday, July 31, 2010

We Have Vegetables!!

Our monster cucumber plant has grown even larger.

The leaves on this tomato plant have never looked good, but look at those tomatoes!


Sugar snack tomatoes. We've been eating them right off the plant. So yummy.

These are the tomatoes that grow in the shape of strawberries.

This picture was actually taken a week ago and since then this watermelon plant has grown huge.

I was so excited when I saw this tiny start of a cucumber.

Then I found this one!!

Then I started moving leaves and finding more!!!

We have actually picked and eaten this one since this picture was taken.

More tomatoes.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The Baby Shower Invitation

I got an invitation to a baby shower in the mail. As soon as I pulled the invitation out of the envelope enough to see what it was, my gut reaction was: Wow. Bold Move. I can't wait to see who sent ME a baby shower invitation. I don't know anyone who is pregnant right now who would send me one. I opened it up and was shocked to see it was from one of the parents of the kids I work with. Well, used to work with. Her daughter came here for three years but recently had her last day here.

During her entire pregnancy, I felt like she threw her pregnancy in my face an unnecessary amount. My tolerance for that kind of stuff is high. I've been on my own journey to motherhood for over 7 years. I've been to my fair share of showers that I cried before and after. I have had to hold back tears through countless pregnancy and birth announcements. It honestly takes a lot for me to feel like someone is being insensitive to my situation. But, seriously, she talked about her pregnancy with me a comical amount. It felt like every sentence out of her mouth either started or ended with "because I am pregnant."

The next time I saw her after telling her on the phone that I needed to have a hysterectomy, she told me in detail about the cute way she planned on telling her family that she is pregnant. She also went on about morning sickness. I barely held it together and burst into tears in the bathroom right after she left.

But even putting all that aside, we're not friends. She has never invited me to do anything with her as a friend. It makes no sense to invite me to the baby shower unless she is inviting every person she has ever met.

In the three years her daughter came here for daycare, she never even gave me as much as a Christmas card. (She is actually the only parent to never give me anything.) But, I am supposed to go to her baby shower and buy her a gift?

I wouldn't even know anyone there. Could you imagine if I went? I just picture myself in the bathroom crying.

Some people just really have no clue what other people are going through.

Monday, July 26, 2010

2 Years

Today makes exactly two years that we have been homestudy ready and waiting.

Last year when we renewed our homestudy there were some paperwork mix ups and delays so our homestudy doesn't expire this time until August 12. So, over the weekend we were working on our paperwork. As we were doing it, it hit me that if someone told me two years ago that we would be doing homestudy paperwork now, I would have assumed it was for baby number 2.

I can't believe how much time has gone by.

I remember when our social worker came last year she asked if we were upset we were still waiting and had to renew again. I said no (although I was), but that I would be upset if we we had to renew for a second time. Then we all laughed about how silly that thought is. Of course we wouldn't have to renew again. Well, here we are.

It's so frustrating that some people only have to wait a few months and others have to wait two years.

When we were trying to get pregnant, every step of the way, our situation hit the small odds of being the worst case scenerio. Every single time. If there was a 2% chance of having an allergic reaction to a fertility med, it would happen. Small chance of that allergic reaction turning into a systemic blood infection? Of course it did. Small chance of it then resulting in almost dying from blood loss? Of course it happened. My doctors regularly made jokes about how they should write a case study about me. I don't know why I ever thought the adoption process would be any different. Of course we would hit the small odds of waiting over two years, despite being told when we started that it would probably only be a few months. Most of the time I am numb to it, but when you hit milestones like today, you are forced to really think about it.

My heart hurts.

Why does my journey to motherhood have to be so hard when being a mom is the only thing I have ever really wanted my whole life?

Thursday, July 22, 2010

My Own Blog Is Taunting Me

The ticker on my blog is taunting me.

Look up at it. The little elephant is all the way over on the house now. Doesn't that mean I should have my baby?

How depressing will it be when it goes back to the beginning? It's at 1 year, 11 months, 3 weeks, and 5 days. I assume in just 3 days the little elephant goes back to the beginning again.

Stupid ticker.

Maybe I should call the agency and let them know the elephant is at the house. Maybe they just didn't know. I'll let them know it's obviously time for my baby to come home.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

ICLW and Homestudy Renewal Update

Welcome to my blog! My internet was not working this morning so I am posting this a little late. Pretty much everything you need to know about me is on the right hand side on my blog.

My husband and I are in the process of renewing our homestudy for the second time. I was in denial for a long time but finally broke down and mailed the check in. The paperwork came in the mail this week. Even though I was expecting it to come, it felt like a punch in the stomach to actually get the big envelope.

We're going to do whatever we have to do to keep moving forward. We are making changes to our profile in hopes that it will make a difference and something will happen for us soon. We are also having a big garage sale/bake sale fundraiser the weekend of August 7th and 8th to help with all the adoption costs. The price of everything has gone up since we started the process so we need all the help we can get. When we took out a loan two years ago, we never factored in all the extra costs that come with having a long wait.

This journey has not been easy, and I am feeling down that we have to renew again, but I keep telling myself it could be anyday now that all our dreams come true. We just have to keep moving forward and never give up.

Thank you so much for stopping by.

Happy ICLW!!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Adoption Fundraiser Sign Making Party

I am so thankful for all the generous donations that have been made for our adoption fundraiser. It's been a huge reminder of how lucky we really are.

Last night @melachrino, @creepygroovy, @kfelluca, and my Mom came over our house to work on signs. We had a great time doing it and I am excited about all the awesome signs that were made. I did some photoshop scribbling over the address so I could share pictures of some of the signs that were made.

We have had some incredible donations of things to raffle off. More information on that to come!

No, Lilly is not for sale, although after her big escape the other night, Adam would like to consider it.

HUGE thank you to @melachrino, @creepygroovy, @kfelluca, and my Mom for all their hard work last night. A special thank you to @melachrino for her donation of all the sign making supplies!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Sometimes People Surprise You

About a week ago, I posted a video on Facebook about transracial adoption in America.

It takes about an hour to watch the full video so I didn't expect anyone other than maybe my mom and sister to really watch it.

Then at the family reunion my cousin told me she watched it. I didn't get to talk to her much because she has two school-aged children that she was busy with all day, but she said she watched it and is very excited about our adoption. She talked about how common transracial adoption is where she lives in Tennessee.

I was blown away that she actually took time to watch the entire video and was so supportive about it.

In general, the day really wasn't so bad. It was very hot and I was uncomfortable in the beginning, but then I decided to get changed and go in the lake to cool down. I ended up swimming for two hours. It felt so peaceful to swim and swim and look out and only be able to see water in front of you. My sister and one of my cousins were in kayaks and I swam along side them for a long time. It made for a long swim back, but it was nice. I made it back and changed just in time for dinner. After dinner there were some group games that had everyone laughing, then dessert, a group photo, then talking on the deck as the sun went down. All in all, it was a nice day.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Family Reunion

Well, today is the day.

I woke up this morning wondering what the hell I was thinking saying yes to going to this thing.

I guess it's too late now since I spent all last night baking cupcakes. Chocolate, yellow cake, marble, banana, and pumpkin cupcakes. Clearly since I can't bring our baby, I am attempting to distract everyone with cupcakes. Hey, look over here at these cupcakes....don't look at me who is fat, childless, and has no uterus.

If I could be invisible today, I would.

I've been getting more and more nervous because as the week has gone on, I have heard about more people coming. As a complete and total surprise my uncle and cousin drove up from VA. I haven't seen them in years.

I have to get going on cupcake decorating now. (Maybe if they look really nice everyone will like me.)

Think of me today and know whatever you are doing, you are having a better time.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Help!! Please :)

I am feeling very overwhelmed this week. On top of working eleven hours a day, we are trying to put together an adoption fundraiser, make changes to our profile, take out another adoption loan from our bank, and this weekend is my family reunion so I am going to be baking/decorating a lot of cupcakes.

We also have an appointment this week to look at a house. As if I didn't have enough stress, Adam thinks we should put an offer in on a new house. He's been obsessed with this house for months and the price just went down. I agreed to go look at it. I honestly have no intention of moving from this house for a long time.

Tillie from A Nuttier Life is helping us change our profile and is doing an amazing job. I am very excited about the changes. I don't know what I would do without her help.

I am now looking for some help from all of you. Please :)

We are looking for a quote to go on our cover under our names. I am thinking maybe something about family?

If you know of any good quotes (or maybe even a short poem) that would make sense for the cover of an adoption profile, please leave them in the comment section.


Monday, July 12, 2010

Sending The Check

I put it off as long as I could. I am out of time.

I am now mailing the check for our homestudy renewal to our adoption agency.

Writing the check was even more painful than I expected.

I can't believe we have to renew again.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Why Waiting is Hard

If they would have told us two years ago that we had to wait two years and then we would get a baby, I honestly would have been okay with it.

I would have settled in for a long wait and kept busy.

It's not really the waiting that is hard. It's all the emotions and feelings that come with it.

It's knowing that you could get THE call anyday. It's always being on edge waiting for it.

It's also the ups and downs. The calls about being profiled and then the rejection phone call that devestates you. Or even when you go months without hearing anything. That's just as hard. You keep wondering if they forgot about you.

I think the hardest part is always wondering if you are doing something wrong. Like maybe you should have went with a different agency. Or done private advertising. Or did a better job making your profile.

My profile has been a source of major anxiety. When I first made it, I felt like it was great and expectant mothers would love it. I now feel like it's awful and I should be embarrassed of it. I've made changes over time, but we are still not being chosen. We're in the process of a big profile make-over with the help of a friend. Our agency has called to say we need to send more profiles soon. (Didn't we just make new copies?!?!)

We've basically spent the last two years feeling judged all the time. Judged by the social worker who does our home visits, our case worker at the agency, our agency in general, expectant mothers, other waiting adoptive couples, and even our own friends and family. The longer we wait, the more we feel like people are looking at us and wondering what is wrong with us.

Our family reunion is next weekend. Talk about feeling judged!

I am hoping the profile changes will make us feel better about it all and give us some renewed hope.

I just can't believe two years have gone by. That's a major portion of our lives spent on hold. And we are still waiting and wondering when it will happen for us.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Lilly's Big Adventure

As I was getting ready for bed last night I realized I had not seen Lilly (our cat) all night. It wasn't that unusual. She will often disappear for hours and then we will find her sleeping upstairs on the changing table. What was very unusual was that she never showed up at dinnertime when I made tuna noodle. I called her a number of times and she never came to drink the tuna water from the can. Brinkley had it all by himself. The more I thought about it, the more worried I got. I went upstairs and she wasn't sleeping on the changing table. I checked the entire nursery and she wasn't anywhere in there.

Lilly thinks the nursery is hers. If anybody walks in there, she is there immediately. She needs to know what someone is doing in her room. So, I started to freak out when I was searching the nursery and she never showed up to check on what I was doing.

Adam was searching the rest of the house, but I knew she wasn't there.

I put a robe on, grabbed a flashlight and a package of treats, and went out to look for her.

She got out once before and was gone for two days. I kept telling myself she would come home on her own when she was hungry, but she never did. It was raining and I was walking around calling her and shaking treats at 3 AM.  Turns out she was with a new family. They took her in and fed her that night. I only got her back because I went to the neighborhood behind us to ask if anyone had seen her and ran into a group of kids. One of them told me they just got a cat and "his" name was Casper. I asked if I could see him. As we were walking to the house, the kid tells me they found him in a tree. I knew it was going to be her. We got there, and sure enough, there was Lilly hiding under the front porch all scared. They actually had to take a panel of wood off in order for me to reach in and grab her. I took her home, she ate, took a drink of water, then fell asleep on the couch for the rest of the day.

I did not want a repeat of last time. I was determined to find her.

It only took a short time because when I called her name, she meowed. She was nextdoor under our neighbor's van.

I shook the food and called her, but she would not come out. That's Lilly. She is very stubborn. She doesn't come when you call her and she doesn't really care about food or treats. If it were Brinkley, he would have come running when he heard me. And he would walk through fire for treats.

I had my cell phone in my pocket so I called Adam for help. He was still looking for her in the house. He came out, but we could not get her. She kept moving to a different part of the van whenever we got close. Or running under the other car and then back under the van again. She was so quick. It was very hot and humid out and I was getting eaten alive by mosquitos. Oh, yeah, and I was in my robe.

So at this point we were crawling around our neighbors yard on our hands and knees with flashlights. Then I see our neighbor look out his bedroom window. I said, "Great, now we are going to get arrested."

Luckily instead of calling the cops, or coming out with a gun, he came out with a flashlight to see what was going on. He thought it was teenagers messing with his car. Honestly if it were us, we would have just called the cops. We apologized over and over again. He was awesome about it and actually helped us get her.

It took three people and a broom but we finally got her out.

I carried her home and could smell she got into something gross while she was out. I thought it was skunk, but Adam thought it was stuff leaking from the van. Either way, she was gross.

So at midnight last night I was giving Lilly a bath in the kitchen sink. She still smells bad today.

I have no idea how or when she got out. It must have been when one of the kids were coming or leaving. Or when I got the mail. This weekend she is getting another bath and a new collar with a bell on it. No more sneaking out a door when nobody is looking.

I made zucchini bread today and will be bringing it over to our neighbor when he gets home from work.

For now I am looking at cute pictures of Lilly and remembering how much I love her, even though I am very mad at her right now!

Kitten Lilly next to her big sister Layla.


Bath time.

Cuddly Brinkley and Lilly.

House meeting for all three cats.

Lilly in her nursery.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Vegetable Garden

Our vegetable garden is already looking a lot better than last year. All we got last year was a  handful of tomatoes. Everything else either died or was eaten by chipmunks. (I am using chipmunk repelent this year.) I put a lot of work into the garden so I really hope we get vegetables this year.

I had a pretty good adoption/gardening analogy in my head, but then I spent two hours outside with the kids and it's 92 degrees my brain isn't working. All I can think about is how I would do anything for a nap right now.

Here are the pictures of our garden:

This cucumber plant is getting very long!


Green Bell Pepper


Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Never Giving Up

I have not written in a week. That's a long time for me. I think one of the reasons is that I had a conversation with our case worker at our adoption agency and I felt bad afterwords, but didn't really have a way of putting into words why I felt that way.

She suggested I try doing private advertising and maybe contact an adoption lawyer. The conversation left me feeling like they were giving up on me. Like I am a lost cause. Luckily I came right out and asked if they were giving up on me, and she was quick to say no. She said she just wanted to offer other options. Things to do in addition to waiting with them.

She told me we were profiled for another baby and not chosen. She said she didn't call us because she is very worried about how hard this has been on us. Although she did say it's probably for the best because it's a risky situation that may not end in placement.

She then went and got a copy of our profile and we went over some ways we might want to change it. She had a couple good ideas.

I took a vacation from my problems for the long 4th of July weekend. I have 483 mosquito bites and a little sunburn. A sure sign of a good weekend! It was the first time in a long time that I spent a holiday weekend having fun and not being sad about being childless. We had plans everyday with people we really enjoy and it took my mind off of everything.

Now I am back to reality. I had trouble falling asleep because I was thinking about everything. We need to organize a fundraiser so we can renew our homestudy so I was making all sorts of crazy lists in my head. My brain didn't stop going a mile a minute until almost 2 AM.

Then this morning I found out someone using our agency lapped us. They adopted their first baby when we were starting our wait. They had only waited a very short time. When I heard they were starting the process again, I immediately thought about how devestated I would be if they adopted their second baby while we were still waiting. Sure enough, they did, and it really hurts.

Although I do feel absolutely beaten down by this process, I will never give up. This just gives me more motivation to make our profile better. I am excited about the changes we are making. More to come about that later!