How am I not myself?

This blog serves as personal therapy, stress relief, information sharing, and the occasional sanity check. Enjoy!

6 weeks old today! August 30, 2009

Filed under: Adoption — My Dysfunctional Life @ 12:39 pm

Motherhood has been so wonderful that I have been soaking every minute I can!

Our little peanut is six weeks old today…I can’t believe how fast the time has gone. He has grown so much! He is now 9.5 pounds, and about 22 inches. He is holding his head up for long periods of time, and smiling at us. I love that! He is also laughing in his sleep, but I don’t think it’s deliberate…not yet. He has outgrown the cradle, and is now in the crib. He slept in that for the first time last night and did so well!He is also up to 4 ounces at each feeding, eating six times a day.

Ahhh…where does the time go? I’ll post some pics soon!

 

The Match August 13, 2009

Filed under: Adoption — My Dysfunctional Life @ 7:50 am

Many people have asked me over the last year what it means to work with an agency that advocates for “Open Adoption”. What does it mean? How does it work?

David and I made a profile book for birthmothers once we were home study ready. It’s basically a scrapbook of our lives, and it includes a letter to the birthmother explaining our ideals, values, wishes for our family, what we like to do, our jobs, etc. This book is shown to birthmothers when we are profiled by the agency. The birthmom then chooses a family to adopt her baby based upon these profiles.

Once the match is made, the birthmother often starts a relationship with the adoptive family…letters, phone calls, visits, etc. Sometimes the match is long, or sometimes very short (like ours…one day). Once the adoption has taken place, the adoptive family keeps in touch with the birthmom through letters and pictures, and sometimes visits, keeping her updated on the baby’s progress and milestones. It’s healthier for the birthmom, AND for the child. The child will always know about his/her birthmom and will be able to have his questions answered about adoption, and it often helps with closure for the birthmom.

That said, I want to share a little bit about our match with Nicholas’ birthmom. She pulled our profile out of the batch because of our cats…it seems that one of the cats looks like one she has growing up. 🙂 That wasn’t the only deciding factor, however. That just made her remember ours and pull it out of the pile. You never know what is going to trigger the match! She then had our advocate call us and ask if we would incorporate one of the names she chose for him into our name for him. Of course we would! We told our advocate what we wished to name him and she told the borthmom. This was the clincher…she has a 16 year old son with the same name we chose, and she told the advocate that it “was meant to be”. YAY! You just never know what is going to trigger that “Ah-ha!” moment.

The birthmom (BM) wants to keep in touch through letters and photos. Maybe someday she’ll want to meet us…maybe not. We’ll see. We have exchanged letters already and it has been such a wonderful experience! She is a wonderful woman and I look forward to many years of communication with her. she has given us the greatest gift we could have ever been given, and we will be forever grateful for our son, and for her.

 

I’m his mama… August 5, 2009

Filed under: Adoption — My Dysfunctional Life @ 4:02 pm

I was running arrands with Nicholas this morning, and we stopped at Starbucks on our way back home. There was lots of chatter in the place, but he slept through it all. One woman started talking to me about how beautiful he was, how much hair, etc. and I responded to her. When I started talking, Nicholas opened his eyes…then closed them again when she spoke…then opened them again when I spoke. She said to me, “Look! He knows his Mama’s voice!” I almost started bawling right there.

If only she knew how much that meant to me…how very, very much.

 

Our Adoption Story

Filed under: Adoption — My Dysfunctional Life @ 3:57 pm

Two weeks ago, we brought home our son!  We had been waiting for 13 months, and this was the 13th time we had been profiled by a birthmother. 13 is my new lucky number. :-D- Here’s the full story of how Nicholas Richard Hunter came to be our son.

In a previous post, I wrote about how we were celebrating David’s father’s and Grandmother’s birthdays the weekend of July 18-19. Most of our family was in town for the occasion, so we decided to take off Monday the 20th and spend the day with David’s sister and her hubby.

We got a call about a profiling opportunity Monday around 9am. There had been a baby boy born Sunday to a local birthmother…would we want to be profiled? Of course! So we treated it as we had other recent profilings and kept our cool. You can only get excited so many times before you realize that you need to remain calm, since the let down is too difficult when you don’t get chosen.

When my sister-in-law came over that morning, she asked about any recent happenings on the adoption front. I told her about this case and she asked why I wasn’t excited about it. I explained to her that I was, but after being profiled 12 times already, I couldn’t take the heartbreak every time we didn’t get chosen, so I was taking the “don’t get excited, since it may not happen” approach. She then proceeds to tell me that she wished I hadn’t told her since it just made her mad that we had been waiting so long, and had endured such an emotional roller-coaster each time. I explained that it’s easier that way, to stay detached, and left the room so she could change.

I was in the kitchen (as usual) at about noon when Adoption STAR called again. Our family advocate asked if David was home as well, and my stomach did a flip-flop! She then told us that we had been chosen by the birthmom (BM). Here was my reaction: OHMYGOD, OHMYGOD, OHMYGOD, OHMYGOD, OHMYGOD, OHMYGOD, OHMYGOD! I started crying and David and his sister ran to me and started crying as well. They knew what was happening! We all hugged, said I love you about 100 times, and then I told our family advocate that I loved her, too! A few more crying jags, and I was ready to get the information. The BM was to sign the surrender that night and we could pick up our son tomorrow (Tuesday)!

David just sat in shock for about an hour, while his sister and I brought out the changing table, basinette, and other baby items I had packed away a few months before. We proceeded to make phone calls to family and friends, but saved telling David’s parents until we saw them that night; they were coming over for pizza and wings. We wanted to surprise them, so we just put the car seat on the kitchen table so they could figure it out for themselves. When they came over, we just kept smiling and didn’t say a word.

Mom looked at us and said, “What? Why are you looking at me like that?”

We both looked at the car seat, and click! She got it. She then collapsed on the floor and started crying, then laughing, etc. Then hugs and I love you’s all around.

We ordered pizza and wings for dinner, then played some Rock Band to burn off some nervous energy! Needless to say, we didn’t get much sleep that night.

The next day, our advocate said to plan on coming to the agency to pick up our son that morning, and that she would call with any changes in schedule. We got a call at 10 saying that he hadn’t been circumcised yet, and that we would have to wait until that was done so he could be released to the agency. We waited. We got another call around noon with the same news. We waited more. This was, by far, the LONGEST day of the entire adoption process! We got another call around 2, and told ou advocate that we were just going to start heading out, since we had to go to the bank, etc. We had to get out of the house…we were going crazy with anticipation!

We made it to the agency around 3:30 had had about an hour’s worth of paperwork. Our son had finally arrived at the agency, so they set us up in the nursery for the big reveal! We finally got to meet our beautiful, 6 1/2 pound baby boy! It was the most wonderful moment of our lives! We were so, so happy and full of love…I can’t even describe what I was feeling. We teared up, but were just so happy that there wasn’t any crying. Our smiles were so huge! Once I held little Nicholas in my arms, I knew my life was complete. The look on David’s face said that he felt the same. Oh happy day!!

We came home to a host of family and friends, and a house decorated with blue “It’s a Boy” ribbons, banners, and balloons. It meant so much to us to be able to share this wonderful day with our family.

After the family got a chance to meet him, David and I sat together and held him, just staring, at our beautiful baby. I didn’t think I could be more in love with anyone that I am with my husband, but I was wrong…

Thanks to all of you for your support, love, and friendship over the last two years through our adoption journey. One journey ends, and another begins…Motherhood! YAY!!

 

Welcome, Nicholas! August 3, 2009

Filed under: Adoption — My Dysfunctional Life @ 6:33 pm

Nick-announcement