Sunday, November 30, 2008

It's been a long time Baby :)

Our lives have been so busy! Tyler is getting bigger everyday, and I'm happy to report we finalized Tyler's adoption on National Adoption Day, November 15th in St. Louis. We can breathe a sigh of relief now. His adoption is all set, and we can claim our tax credit when we file our 2008 taxes, which is HUGE.

We've also made the huge decision that I would only work through the end of the year. Tyler is so important to us...we love his daycare provider, but we want him at home with me. We felt like we were missing so much. I did find a job working about 15 hours a week that he will come with me to, so he'll always be with me, but I'll still make some money. I'm looking forward to it a lot. It will take some work on our budget, but it's important to us, so we'll make it happen!

We are working on stocking our freezer for winter. We are doing really well. We just bought 20 pounds of chicken breast on sale, and vacuum sealed it. We paid my brother in laws father for a deer (well for the butchering) so we have ~60 pounds of venison and it only cost us $40. We have a whole bunch of pork that has been on sale the last few weeks. We are going to buy hamburg that is on sale tomorrow after work. I think we'll do 20 pounds of that as well. All the protein combined with all the veggies we put up this summer, and some frozen veggies we bought also on sale and our second freezer is packed! We still have jarred tomato sauce, and jarred apple sauce...and we bought two 20 (or more?) pound bags of rice a month or so ago, so we're working through those. We could go for months only buying Milk and eggs :) We're still getting fresh fruit and veggies weekly from the CSA, so we have leeks, lettuce, turnips, bok choy, squashes, apples, califlower and broccoli hearts, collards, kale and scallions! Thats this week only :) The fall CSA should continue till close to Christmas, and then we will be waiting it out till Spring when the new share starts. We LOVE the CSA! So does Tyler :) He ate a whole bunch of bok choy tonight as part of his dinner...

Other than adoption and food...there isn't much going on! The dogs are all doing well, and are completely in love with Tyler. He feeds them parts of his dinner every night. He waves and says, "Hi" when they come in a room. He also waves and says, "Hi" to himself in the mirror now too :) Tyler has 2 teeth now, and even puts two words together. He will say, Hi Dadda, and Hi Doggies (no Hi Momma yet...I'm lucky though, he does SAY Momma sometimes!)

Hopefully I'll have more to post soon!

Monday, October 6, 2008


Did I do this to Tyler?

I sit at the Hospital waiting at the Lab for a blood draw. It's close to 5:00 and decently busy. There might be about 10 other people in the waiting room. I sit for about 15 minutes and the Lab tech comes to the door, and says, "Amy?"

So I stand, and head toward her, I can tell by her face something is wrong. I look behind me and TWO other people are standing also. She looks at the chart, points to a young girl and her Mom and says, "That Amy, you are 14?" The girl nods Yes. Me, and other Amy sit back down.

Later, again. Amy? (Like she didn't get it the first time) and she looks at the chart again, and point to the other lady, who is clearly older than me. Great...not me again.

Finally, Amy? I stand and walk up to her, and she smiles..."The last Amy!" Great, I'm now the last Amy...

Is Tyler as common as Amy? Mike and I have as common of cames as they come. With a VERY common last name to boot (Thanks a lot hubby!)...I guess we'll have to see if there are 10 other Tyler's in his class :)

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Runny Noses and Veggies

Ty and I are both sick. I'm not sure if it's the same thing, but I highly suspect he brought me home a gift from the daycare kids. He is happy as a clam, runny nose, coughing and all. Is immune suppressed Mommy, is absolutely miserable. I even slept upstairs last night. Partly so I wouldn't wake the two of them up, and partly cause I knew I needed some sleep. I slept like a rock, but woke up feeling worse than ever. My head may explode and I'm more than half way through a large box of tissues I only opened last night right before bed. Me neck is all swelled up and my throat is really sore, and I took Sudafed, so now I'm tired again.

Ty is napping. When he wakes up I am going to drag myself over to the farm to help with harvesting the winter squash. Mike and Ty are going to pick more green/yellow and Roman beans for freezing. We're also going to stock up on swiss chard, spicy greens, and Mike's getting hot pepper to make a sodium free pepper sauce. I don't know how long I'll hold up...I guess we'll see.

Tonight we need to finish the apples, blanch and freeze the beans, blanch and freeze some corn on the cob (we've only frozen corn cut off the cob so far) and cook up some batches of the card to freeze. I am not sure what to do with spicy greens, but I found a recipe online for a mustard green soup, and it sounds pretty yummy, so we might try making that with the spicy greens, and then freezing it. I'm trying to fill up our freezer because it takes less energy to keep the freezer cold when everything inside it is frozen. Need to put more meat away too though...wish we could afford that 1/2 cow or 1/2 pig now...maybe in the spring...

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Thirty-five pounds of Apples, three dogs, and a rainy day

Today was a really busy day. I made a trip up to Biddeford, ME (about an hour away) with Tyler. While I did that Mike went to Home Depot, and bought grout sealer for the laundry room, then to our local orchard and picked up the two bushels of apples we reserved, and came home. He sealed the floor and finished up just about as I got back home. We started working on one bushel of apples. 35+ pounds of apple per bushel. We currently have a turkey fryer sized pot on the stove full of apples cooking down into applesauce. We also have another 35+ pounds worth of apples sitting in our living room and I have no idea what to do next. I'm thinking spiced apple rings, or wedges, or maybe some cranberry apple relish.

Chopping, and coring 35 pounds of apples is not easy, or fast...especially when you are trying to do it while dodging three dogs that have glued themselves to your feet trying to catch every crumb that hits the floor. After almost tripping over them twice, I put a chair, and the trash can, blocking them out of the part of the kitchen I was in. Dewey...the little brat that he is, realized he could fit under the chair. So after he did that a couple times, I blocked off that\ bottom part of the chair with a laundry basket turned on it it's side. Mike and I were able to work in relative peace for about 20 minutes. Then all the sudden there was a huge commotion and the laundry basket was hopping across the kitchen floor with a panicked Dewey trapped under it. Mike and I were laugh so hard, we never even managed to make it over there to help him get out...he just kept jumping trying to run away from the laundry basket and it kept following him of course, but eventually it fell off. So funny. At that point he was so embarrassed that he didn't come back over near us for a while.

I have to say, I'm pretty impressed with us. We even broke out the juicer and juiced the cores and it was enough apple juice for us each to have a glass (so yummy) and to put some juice in with the apples so they wouldn't burn. then I took all the juice gunk and put that in a pot with some water and I'm cooking it down. I think I'm going to strain it with cheese cloth, and see if I can use one of my pectin packets and add some sugar to make apple jelly out of it. If I can reduce the amount of waste on 35 pounds of apples to the size of grapefruit, I'll be happy :)

I'm going to re-can the peaches from two years ago too. I'm thinking about making a peach chutney with it and canning that. We just haven't eaten up those peach halves like I thought we would. They are still yummy, but I want to put them in something we'll use more.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

"Putting up" for Winter

Mike and I have been hard at work most weekends, trying to do at least one day a week picking at "the Farm" and putting up food for winter. We've canned about 12 Quarts of Sauce, and 12 pints of sauce, we've frozen some meat sauce. Today we went to pick about 30 ears of corn (which VERY hard work...not the walk through the corn field everyone pictures!) to add to the 12 ears we got in our farm share yesterday. We'll blanch that, cut if off the cob and freeze it. We also picked yellow beans. I thought about 10 pounds, but Mike says closer to 15 or 20...we're in the process of cutting the ends so they can also be blanched and frozen. The farm was closing but we did a couple trips up and down the tomato rows and managed to grab about 10-15 pounds of tomatoes. I think we'll freeze's just easier :)

This CSA thing has been so awesome...we really have a good stock of food going into winter. If prices go up, even a small amount, it won't effect our budget. Now I just need to find the $ to buy half an cow and half a pig and we'll be good for winter :) That's gonna run us over 2K though, so it might be something we need to save for and do in the Spring.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Adoptive Families BBQ

Today Mike and I went to a BBQ that was all adoptive families. We had the greatest time. There was a circle of families, all with babies about Ty's age...many of them also black, and it was so nice, to sit among other "non matching" families and feel like we were the norm. We accepted when we adopted Ty that we were also accepting the additional attention, but sometimes, it's nice to be the same as everyone else. We met a single Mom there that has a black baby boy that is one month older and 10 pounds heavier than Ty. They are truly on opposite sides of the growth charts :) However if we both stay in Amesbury, they would be in the same class through school. How cool is that! She wants us to get together every other month or so and talk about the things we each do to that help us raise a child successfully in a transracial adoption. I think that would really be a great support for us!

We also met a wonderful little girl, Tess who was adopted from Ethiopia. I am really hoping that in 2010, I'll be making a trip to Ethiopia, but we're going to see where our journey takes us. We know that Ty will have siblings (I'm hoping for many) but it remains to be seen how they will find us. We had faith that the "right" child would find us, and be our first child, so we'll keep the faith that all our children will find us when the time is right...

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Seven Months Ago Today

We met Ty for the first time. At this time (10:30 EST) it was 9:30 there and were just wrapping up our time at cradle care, and heading out to find somewhere to sleep that night (our hotel plans got all screwed up)...I had given him a bottle, and we had changed a diaper (maybe two)...we were both in awe, and in love. We had a son...

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Sometimes...I ignore my dogs...

Now wait a minute! Before everyone that knows us starts nodding their head knowingly, just wait. I'm sure many think, sure she doesn't care one bit about those poor dogs since she got Ty. We'll that's just NOT the case at all! I do ignore them, but, I HAVE to! Really, I ignore them like 3 two year olds having a full blown tantrum. See when we first get home and let them out of their kennels, they are EXCITED. They want to run and jump and play and bark and growl. I want them to do all that too! OUTSIDE!!!! But they want to do it right next to me, nearly on me and taking me out at the knees. I've trained Dudley (the smartest as far as I'm concerned) that when I say, "Outside!" he best head for the dog door. About 50% of the time, Daisy will follow her...if the little dog will let got of her ears she will anyway. That leaves...You guessed it...D-E-W-E-Y. Crazy insane, little "big" dog. He thinks since the other dogs are outside, *I* must want to play, so he proceeds to run around me in circles barking and barking and barking. I've finally realized in order to get them all outside at once (as to avoid some dogs running out the door while other run in...chaos) I issue the "Outside" command, and them must fold my arms (so they can't lick my fingers) and turn and put myself in the corner. Usually I'm laughing and have to make sure the little dog doesn't see. I put myself in the corner and feel absolutely ridiculous that I treat my dogs like children...even more ridiculous is how much $$ we've paid to "train" these dogs and how we can just never back it up. I'm getting softer by the minute. Today, Ty cried when he was supposed to take a nap, and I GOT HIM OUT OF BED. He smiled. It's all down hill from here...

Friday, July 25, 2008

Ty's 6 month Dr's Appointment

Ty went to the Dr's tonight for his 6 month appointment (well we saw a nurse practitioner, which is our preference) and she said he is just as healthy as can be. He is still very strong for his age, and she said his gross motor skills were ahead of where he should be which is great to hear, because he is still smaller than some kids. He weighed in at 15 pounds 8 ounces (Mommy was exactly right) and 25.5 inches long. His percents were 16 and 20 respectively (his head was She said we could really start hitting the solids, and as soon as he was passing hand to hand, we could start finger foods. We told her he had been passing hand to hand for about a month and half, maybe more...She said Congratulations! You can start finger foods. And then I cried, cause lets be real...finger foods are the beginning of the end. He is very rapidly crossing from baby to toddler and it seems like no amount of motherly hissy fits will slow the process even a little. She also said that give his gross motor skill we should start baby proofing because she thought he would be crawling in no time, and cruising before we know it.


Thursday, July 24, 2008

Almost 6 months!

On Saturday, my little tiny, scrunched up, curled up baby boy, turns into a huge, strong, loud, smiling, laughing, rambunctious 6 months old. doesn't magically happen on Saturday, it's sort of slowly been happening all along. On Saturday however, I do have to finally admit, Ty is rapidly moving toward toddler hood. In fact, with his brand spanking new HAIRCUT that he got last Friday, he looks so big and mature, 2 people have already said he looks like a toddler. The hair cut makes his eyes look so big though :) He's such a beautiful baby! I mean almost toddler!

I think we're going to try and get his 6 month pictures taken in the next week or so. He's changed so much just since his 3 month pictures, I can't wait ;)

We have one more week till vacation, then we'll be away for one whole blissful week as a family. My mom and step dad are coming up (to see their grand children, I have no illusions) so they will stay at my Uncle's cottage on Newfound Lake. We rented a huge house (at least it looks huge) that is about 4 miles away, and we're sharing it with my sister and her family. In that one house there will be 4 adults, a 3 year old, a 15 month old, a 6 month old and FOUR dogs. It BETTER be huge...

We've been watching this series on CNN, and I've enjoyed it for the most part. Very interesting. Upsetting how alive and well racism still is in this nation. Not surprising, since I'm aware of it, and work against it actively every day...but upsetting. The education of black children vs the education of white children is astounding.

Moving along to after education, educated black men in the work place have the same chance of getting a call back on a job interview as a white man with a criminal conviction. Being a black man is the same as being a criminal in this country...STILL! WHY have we not made more progress than this?

One thing we've realized is how important appearances are for black Americans over and above how important it is to other races. In many large places of employment there are many people that may not speak English fluently. They might be speaking English as a second language even. However when a black person comes to apply for a position, if they speak with any type of AA dialect, it is often seen as a sign indicating lack of education. It's preferable to hire someone who speaks English as a second language over a black American who might speak with a racial dialect. Even black Americans with college education are often passed over for interviews because they use language common in black communities.

Do some black people "make it" sure...they make it into largely white communities where their children are harassed and placed under suspicion by the police for no reason. Somethings gotta change...

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Post Placement

We have our final post placement visit on Sunday...WooHoo. I know he's "ours" and he's here, but I can't wait for that silly piece of paper to tell us what we already know...We have a SON!

Our social worker comes to the house this time around, but thankfully we're in pretty good shaper cleaning wise. Have to stay on top of that stuff more than we used to now that Ty's around. Don't get me wrong...we still have plenty of hair, just fewer tumbleweeds :)

Once our final visit is complete, we can submit our paperwork to the courts on July 31st (6 months from the termination in MO) and then we sit and wait for a court date. Could take anywhere from 2 weeks to 4 months we hear. I am pretty sure there will be some tears on THAT day :)

Thursday, July 10, 2008


Okay, not really. I guess technically we're farming supporters. We finally found a farm to buy a CSA share in (Community Supported Agriculture)...we go each week and pick up our part of the crop for that week. Course we missed all the weeks in June, but what really is harvested in June anyway?? Radishes? So I go today, and being the cheap-o, penny pinching Mom that I am, I ask if they are pro-rating , since we've missed 4 weeks. The farm manager says, "No we don't pro rate till August" I look all sad, and it doesn't seem to get me anywhere. The longer I stay though, the more I like this farm, and I'm loving the answers to all his other questions. I am worried about getting enough tomatoes to can (the 24 plants in the front yard still leave me uneasy somehow...I must have big plans) so he tell me when tomatoes are in full tilt, I'll get my share, and then if I want to go pick more, go for it! Same with Corn. SWEET! So I sign on the dotted line, warm up the CC and fill out my paperwork. As I'm filling out the paperwork, I ask if they grow beets. Mikey and I are loving beets lately. He says, you like beets, I'll give you some beets! I hear give, and that means free, so I say SURE! So he grabs a bag, even asks paper or plastic (which reminds me...I need to bring my cloth bags to the pick-up day) and I say either! He smiles and says,"I'm going to hook you up!" I say great, and we head down the isle and chat about veggies, and animals and stuff, and he fills the plastic bag with 4 big bunches of beets, and I'm THRILLED, almost jumping up and down and telling him about roasting them and how awesome they are. So he looks around and goes and grabs another bag and says, "How about some lettuce? It's a little wilted, but it should come back if it goes in the fridge? Look through and find a couple heads and grab them" I find that under the top layer of lettuce, the bottom heads are still beautiful. He says take what you want, at the end of the day, that all goes to the pigs. So I grab 4 heads of beautiful lettuce, 2 red, 2 green. AWESOME! Then I look around and ask if the swiss chard has come in yet, and he says, "YEAH! You like swiss chard?" I'm more than happy to tell this man how much we love swiss chard while he loads up a bag of peas for us, and adds some broccoli to the top of the lettuce bag. He whirls around, grabs a paper bag and says, "Again, some of this has wilted, it was picked on Tuesday, so it will go to the pigs tonight too." (Whoa, it's TWO whole days old??) I laugh and say, well I don't want to take all their dinner! So I only pull out two bunches, and he says, "NAH, some of this is still good!" and hands me FOUR more bunches. Holy Swiss Chard. Then he asks if we've ever had their meat before? I saw, no, I had no idea you were even here! You're a hidden gem back here. So he says, "Can you hold on a second, I'll go grab you a package of our frozen burgers to try." He runs off and I see their burgers are $6.50 a pound, so I doubt we'll be buying many of them, but I'm willing to try them for FREE!

In the end, he had to help me get it all to the car, and he says, "We'll see you tomorrow for your weekly share ok? Oh and come as close to 7 as you can, then I can load you up with all the extras." Ummm.....DEAL.

I just spent an hour prepping all the swiss chard. It came right back, more beautiful than anything we've ever bought in the grocery store. I'm off to shell peas, and prep lettuce.

I love farming....

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Could all racists, not smile at my baby? Thanks :)

So we're at a cookout today, and EVERYONE loves Ty, like usual. Ty is often the center of attention, and we get stopped a lot when we are out. In general, I'm ok with that. I know that a lot of it is because Ty is black, and that's compounded by how gosh darn cute he is. Sometimes the extra attention gets old. Sometimes I just want to sit, or eat, or grocery shop or whatever, not have to have my guard up because we're a family built through adoption. So today, everything is fine, and although I don't know everyone at the cookout, I make the assumption that they are family and friends of people I do know. I make the assumption that they all realize a key fact. Ty is black. I'm not asking for rocket science, just realization that. So I'm eating and Ty is with someone, Mike I think, and I walk by two older men talking politics. One of them says to the other..."I'll tell you my motto about this election. My motto is, Vote white or don't vote! That's my motto!" and he laughs. Seriously what would my jail time have been for punching him out? Okay, clearly I can now choose to never have my son around that man. I'm okay with making that choice, and it does soothe me. Upsetting me still though? My nieces...cousins to my black son, are frequently around this man, as are MANY other children. This was not adult to adult conversation, this was conversation with many children around. I'm ashamed to say, I froze and said nothing. So now I'm stuck with a million responses and ways I could have and should have butt into that conversation. I was just so crushed. It was not expected from this man, who smiles and coos and talks to my Tyler. I realize Ty gets somewhat of a free pass, because we are white, but the reality is, that will only protect him for so long.

Then later in the nights, sitting around a fire pit roasting marshmallows, a young boy, maybe 8 or 9 is beside me keeps glancing over toward Ty, and then up at me. I know it's coming, and he is a child, so I welcome it with a smile, and he steps closer and peers in at Ty all wrapped and cozy in his blankets, and looks up at me, and then gently touches Ty's blanket near his hand. "Is he your baby?" he asks, with his eyebrows all scrunched together, trying to figure it out. "He sure is. This is Tyler." He nods like this is the response he's expecting, but I let him work through it for a few seconds and I smile at him again as he continues his looks from Tyler to me and occasionally to Mike who is sitting next to me. "So why is his skin black?" he asks. This tells me a couple things in just those few words. It tells me that in addition to differences in color, he's aware of race, since children only aware of difference in color typically reference the skin color as brown, and children aware of race, reference black skin (though Ty is pretty dark). "Well Tyler is adopted." I tell him and try to read if that answers his question. Clearly it doesn't so I make the mistake of asking a question that I don't have an answer to..."Do you know what that means?" Of course he shakes his head no. Shoot! "Well that means Tyler was born to another Mother before he came to live with me and be my son." Very super over simplified, but the best I could do, thinking on my feet. Of course the boys parents were no where to be found, or I could have looked to them for some help...hopefully I didn't start a really interesting conversation that they weren't ready to have with him yet. I was a little surprised that he didn't know what adoption was by his age though. Usually the your skin doesn't match his questions come from 3-5 year olds. He nodded his head and it seemed to work for him so I guess I did okay. I guess I need to add that to the list of questions I need the "answer at the ready" for.

Twice in 2 days we've been asked where Tyler is from. I LOVE telling people "Missouri" and watching how long it takes them to realize I mean the US. :)

Over all, still a great 4th. Better to really know the people around you than to just believe they all love and respect Ty as much as we do.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Has it really been so long?

Blogging is like exercise...when you get in a good rhythm it's easy, when you fall out of habits, it's so hard to get back. You have all this shame for not posting and guilt. It's awful. I'm sucking it up and I'm back with LOTS of updates.

First and most important...Mr. Bear. I have come to the realization hat I'm not longer my own person, or really very important in this's all about Ty. My grandmother calls me to ask if "we" are going to a graduation party for my cousin. Well we weren't planning on going till I get "the sigh" and hear about how long it's been since she's seen him. Ok Nana, see you there at 1:00. The upside? Our parties are SO well attended now. They don't come to see us, but they COME! Anyway, Ty is doing well. We know in our hearts he's the smartest, most beautiful baby ever, and when everyone around us affirms that it almost makes my heart explode. He's the light of our lives, even on his fussiest of days. He's just over 5 months now, and weighing in at a small, but healthy 14.5 pounds. He's a sturdy little boy, and his Dr. tells us every time we see her that his muscle tone is amazing. He stands with only balance support, and even goes from squatting to standing with no help pulling him up. He grabs things, and throws them...that was a surprise the first time it happened :) He's also rolling from front to back pretty regular, but NOT on camera of course. He's still the raspberry master in the household too. He'll get going for 30 minutes or more till we finally have to distract him. I guess the biggest news is the teething. It's in full force with all the normal symptoms. Drool and what not. I was sure he was getting the two on the bottom, since that's the ones that typically come in 1st, but then I noticed today that the top is all swollen too....cutting all 4 at once maybe? Poor guy.

On the adoption front, I've spoke with Ty's birthmom on a fairly regular basis. She is back in school, and may get a laptop soon. It would be wonderful to communicate with her more regularly by e-mail. I am so bad with regular communication by letter or mail. I am BAD at mailing things. The father's day package for my step father sitting on the stairs is a testament to that. I think I inherited the gene from my Mom. She laughs and tells me that she still has my Mother's Day present. It really is an illness in our family. Anyway, I have sent her some pictures, and it seems that her and the rest of his birth family are doing well.

On my personal front! I am changing jobs. I'm undecided on two jobs right now. I would really like to work where Mike works. We could commute together and that would save a lot of $ with the high gas prices. The perfect position opened up for me there, but the competition has been pretty intense. I should hear on Monday if I got that position. If not, I was offered a great position at another company, but the commute would be similar to what I'm doing now, so no gas savings there! I'm excited for either job though, and just want to get started!

Mike is doing pretty well. He's had a few follow-ups with his various Dr's and they all say he is doing great. He even had his first home down load from his defibrillator. They link up to that while he's at home! So cool :) He is LOVING being a Daddy. He did get to spend a day home with Ty on Monday. Mike was sick and Ty was miserable, so Mike kept him home with him. It sounds like they had a pretty miserable day together though. :)

The dogs are all still here. I can't recall if I posted about Dudley going for a couple overnights to the vet or not. Eating things he shouldn't. Right now the computer room is covered in a roll of paper towels that they all ripped up yesterday. Sometimes it seems like I can't get ahead in this house :) After cleaning and vacuuming and doing laundry all day yesterday, seeing that almost pushed me over the edge. Mike said he would clean it up, so it's sitting there waiting for him. I bet he eat it all before it gets cleaned up. They have also taken to finding stuff in the house, and dragging it out the doggie door to chew up in the yard. Sometimes it's our mail, or a bootie of Tylers...our back yard is now a mud bowl, littered with stuff from the dogs. How very white trash of us. They are doing great though, and they love Tyler to pieces.

Well time to go grocery shopping for the long weekend. Have a great 4th everyone!

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

My sense of obligation...

How appropriately titled my last post was! It's been about 3 weeks since I even thought of posting. Not that we haven't be busy...but who isn't? Everyone is busy.

Well Ty Bear is doing a little better. We had a rough few weeks where he was throwing up all the time. When I brought him to the Doctor to be checked, he had only put on the minimum amount of weight that they like to see. 1 pound exactly. They said if he didn't do better between 3-4 months then we would talk at his 4 months. I was pretty worried. This mothering thing is hard. So a few days after that (and a few sleepless nights of me laying awake worrying) he decided to show me his "stuff"...he rolled over! Big Tough Guy! It did help me realize that even if he is on the small side, he's thriving. Now the last week or so he's been waking up again at night to pound a bubba. He's been eating really well, and keeping almost everything down. Growing himself a little belly even! I think we'll be fine at the 4 month appointment so I'm not worrying anymore (about that anyway!)

Did I mention how hard this mothering thing is??? The worst part...the freaking daycare. You would think given my background I could have a healthy respect for Ty bonding to his daycare worker. I don't. I hate her. I work a long 8 hour day, and drag my butt over there and inside and all I want is a smile. It will make my day worth it, and the drive home (sitting in traffic) so much easier. Just a little smile Ty's my drug that helps me make it home at night. This baby will NOT look at me when I get there. It makes me cry...every. day. I don't know if he's punishing me, he's tired (he always sleeps on the way home) or what, but he won't look at me, make eye contact or smile for me. Yesterday he went one step further by not only ignoring me, but hamming it up for the daycare lady, who is damn lucky I left her alive when we went home. I don't want or need to see my kid smile at you lady. I know I miss the smiles and giggles and coos all day. I get that...when I get here, don't remind me that I pay you to enjoy my kid all day. Let me pack up and get out of here without the show of how much he loves you. Wicked healthy right? I'm a moron. I know he needs to attach to her, but it is SO hard. It sucks. Once we get home, and he's napped on the way home, he's much better. Right back to his old self and smiling and laughing at me, and we play the up down game and sing songs, but I'm starting to dread going to get him at night. I told Mike we need to get a daycare in Amesbury so he can do some of the drop-offs and pick-ups too. We should suffer equally.

This past weekend we had my 30th birthday party. I was telling everyone it took me a month to get used to the idea...really we just waited for nicer weather. The weather was a little chilly, but nice. It was a fun day for the most part. Lot of work though.

Mike and I have developed the BEST game we play with Tyler. We do it so much he's ready for it now and starts to laugh. Mike put Ty in front of him and then makes Ty's legs kick me. I say, OH OH...if you kick me I'm gonna get you!" and I start at his toes and walk my fingers up till they are right at his neck and give him a little tickle. We do this over and over and as soon as I put my finger on his toes he starts cracking's hysterical. Unfortunately, Tyler is camera shy. We bought a video camera and he just refuses to perform for it. Mike says he's not camera "shy" he's camera "curious" because all he can do is stare at it with big huge eyes. Hopefully we'll have a movie of the giggling soon though.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Sometimes there is just too much to do...

This past weekend we finally got around to putting up the wall to divide that long funky back room into two separate rooms. Our brother in law came over, and since my sister had one kid at gymnastics, the other kid was here with us. More correctly here with me, since all the guys were working. When Erina called after gymnastics were over to see how little Brielle (11 months old) was doing I said OK. See Brielle is 11 months, she wants to move and crawl and get into everything. If she can reach it, she wants to eat it. WE however have a TWO month old. That means that we aren't crawl proof. Not even a little bit. So I spent the majority of the time juggling Ty and Brielle. She would only watch TV for so long and then she wanted to get down, or be held. Held she was. When Erina called to say she was on her way, I had just about had enough. I told Erina I was thinking about putting her in one of the large dog kennels with a bunch of toys so she could play. I rationalized it was just like a play pen, about the same size, and it had a roof...even safer! Erina's amazingly cool, "I'm a mom of 2" response? "Wouldn't there still be a lot of dog hair in there?" Honestly....*I* was joking, but if that's all she cares about, next time I am happy to sweep the dog cage out, THEN load it with toys and her daughter and shut the door. Apparently that is an acceptable form of child care once you have more than one child. Mike and I are SO all set. We have two cages that large, and even a small one for a real little baby! Bring on more kids :)

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Ramblings of a 30 year old

That's right, you all read it, I'm 30. Thirty years ago today, I blessed my parents with another baby girl. I know that they not so secretly wanted a boy, but I believe that they were still over joyed with me, even given my squashed face and funky hair do. Whether Erina was over joyed with me, and over joyed at being a big sister is a point that continues to be debated. I'd like to think at this point in our lives, despite how many times she made statements to the contrary, she is happy she wasn't an only child. Honestly, she would have been really bored. She knows it's true.

So as I look back on 30 years (well, more like maybe 22-24 that I can remember), I do get sort of nostalgic. Thinking back over all the paths I've taken, and where each little road led me. I think of all the things that have happened. Some I wonder, "WHAT was I thinking?" Others I simply laugh. Mostly I am just so very thankful for everything that has happened to me. Everything? you might ask....Everything. I can't think of anything in my life that happened that I regret. I can think of times when I wish I had acted differently, or been more responsible. I can think of times when I wish I had been less responsible too. Over all though, it's all led me right here. Right here to this little white house, with my amazing husband, and wonderful son. A house that sometimes upsets me, but keeps us cozy and dry. A husband who might not be the best communicator ever born, but is the sweetest, most wonderful husband a women could ask for or dream of. And a son...a son who is just beginning this amazing journey. A son who's eyes teach me to enjoy all the simple things in life all over again. A beautiful son, who reminds me that a smile that comes from the heart is more powerful than any words or material possession.

So I'm thirty...big deal. Right now, in this time and place, I have it all.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Spit-up, Throw-up and Poop

So Ty stopped pooping. He was constipated. He was so far beyond constipated, it was silly. He just didn't poop. Clearly the Soy was not the cure all we had hoped for. Since he was schedule for a 2 month appointment next week, I just called and asked them to switch it to this week, and we went in yesterday. All his physcial reports were great! He was 10 lbs, 12 ozs, and 22 1/4 inches long. She said he had amazing muscle tone for an almost 8 week old, and his head control was really great for his age. Then the nutritional discussion... Based on his skin, lack of poop, throw up and acid reflux, she said he has clearly developed a milk/protien allergy, so he started Zantac (not covered by insurance) and Similac Alimentum ($$, and most likely, not covered by insurance either). So far today, he seems a little better, but still hasn't really pooped much, but has seemed a little happier, so that's good I guess. Right now, he's very tired, but not wanting to go to sleep. Too bad kiddo, it's bedtime!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Not a lot going on...

Ty is getting bigger everyday. He's push himself up off our chest when he lays on our stomachs, and he's babbling and cooing up a storm. We ended up switching him to Soy, and it has helped a LOT. Hopefully we'll be able to switch him back to regualr formula in a few months, but for right now, he was just so gassy, and backed up he was getting pretty unhappy. Switching to Soy seems like a small price to pay when it keeps him so much more comfortable :)

I have two weeks of maternity leave left. I can't believe that the time has godne by so quickly. Of course we were just a little bit busy! I'll go back part time for a couple weeks, and then move to full-time in mid-April. I'm not real happy about it, but what can ya do?

Lady bugs are still in full swing here in the Callahan house. No idea what if anything we can do about that. A few people have told us they are attracted to white houses.

Well I have tons of stuff to do before I can head out and go shopping so I better get to it!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Invasion 2008

we're being invaded. Not by diapers or binki's or onsies. Okay, all those things ARE invading our home, but that isn't what this *this* blog is about. We are being invaded by LADY BUGS. It's like revenge of the lady bugs here. I'm not sure if they have just realized that since we got a boy, and not girl, they will not be featured in the new nursery, or if they just love our house. Seriously...there are hundreds of them. There are so many of them that today when we left the house to go to Babies R Us, we wandered around and around the store, and we bought some stuff, and then we went out for dinner, and we ate and we got ready to leave that there, walking up the side of Ty's bucket carrier was a freaking lady bug. Four hours after we had left the house! The first few lady bugs I saw were so sweet and cute, and now I stomp on the little f-ers even if I think they are already dead. I can't look out a window with out seeing one climb up it. I can't sit on my couch without finding one dead, stuck to my blanket! Where are they all coming from?? I have ONE crocus in the yard! Spring is not here yet! I agree it's coming, but these little creatures are out sunning themselves like it's May and we should be breaking out the bathings suits.

Okay, I'm going to bed. If you can't find us tomorrow, we've been carried of the the secret lady bug hideout that is somewhere in this house...

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Tyler's Birth Family

We heard from Ty's Birth mom tonight. She got the letter and pictures I sent on Monday, and was just thrilled with them. She can't believe how big he is getting (that makes two of us!), and how alert he is. If there is 1 comment we ALWAYS get about him it's is, "Wow, he's so alert!" Actually first they say how cute he is, and then how alert his is for his age. They have been saying that since he was 5 days old...I told her all about how well he was eating, and sleeping, and how much he loved the dogs and how much Dewey loves him. She did tell her family about Ty and the adoption, and they were all very supportive and happy to see the pictures of him. I'm so glad she finally got that out in the open and she has the support she needs from her family now. I guess Ty's birth sister who is 6 asked if she could write to us, and I told her that was fine. That should be interesting, I'm not sure what 6 year olds write about!

Ty was Mr. Smiles today. He watches us more and more and does the big open mouth smiles, and smirks when we act silly to him. It makes my heart melt....

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Something very sad (at least for me)...

So I'm up pretty early today...not the usual for me. Ty woke up for his 5:30 AM feeding and Mike did the whole thing. I should be sleeping in right? Except just as we were heading back to sleep we hear a loud bang from the basement. I asked Mike what that was and he said, "I don't know!?" Husbands should know what all bumps in the night (or in this case very early morning) are! Regardless he got up and went to check it out. He came back a very gleeful man. "We FINALLY got him!" HIM...our resident RAT. We have been fighting this mother F-er for over 7 months. Terminex (don't bother!), $100's of $ in traps and poison...have a heart traps...everything. In the end it was a stick balanced on a barrel that caught the not so little sucker. After discussion it was decided I would head out to buy antifreeze, while Mike added water to the barrel, so we could drown him, but quickly. At first I was happy...nothing like ridding your home of rodents to start your morning. Then, regular Amy kicked in. I asked if maybe we could just bring him far away and let him go. No. So I went to buy the antifreeze. I bought two gallons. Came home and wanting to be the good wife, offered to stay and help Mike with adding it to the bucket that he had added water too. I guess antifreeze makes the water thicker so they can't swim, and they just drown, rather than swimming till they are exhausted, which can be days. It was one of the hardest things I've ever done. I know if Mike could have handled it all alone, he would have. I was crying hysterically, and praying while I did it. He's done so much damage to our house and possessions, but it was still really hard. Poor Mike. Thankfully the rat passed quickly, but it doesn't make me any happier. So I guess if everyone can say a little prayer for our rat? I don't know...I know that's a lot to ask of you all...

Just to end on something not so depressing...last night I was holding Ty and he was being a little fussy. It was right before bed and his bottle was taking more than 5 seconds to make. So I'm sitting there and I call him (or at least I mean to call him) Fussy-McFusser. Cause he's fussy. It sounded right in my head anyway...except instead of Fussy-McFusser, it comes out Fussy-McF***er. Opps. He's only 5 weeks and I've already called my beautiful baby a F***er? I need more sleep!

Sunday, March 2, 2008

We three....

So now that we're a family, we clearly needed new vehicles...two of them? I don't Mike got a new Honda Element (I'm so jealous, it's wicked cool) and I got the "Mom" car. A new Honda Pilot...not shabby to say the least, but at the same time, not quite as cool as Mike's, but WAY cooler than the minivan.

Tyler and Mike are both doing great. Mike is getting stronger everyday, but he still naps sometimes. Both boys are napping now actually. Ty is getting so much bigger. I know how fast the time will fly, so I'm not at all anxious for each milestone. I'll be happy when they get here, but they can wait a month or so. We have heard from Ty's birth mom a few times since we've been home. It sounds like they are getting the counseling they need, and that with the help of the social worker will tell the older children about Tyler. They had no idea that their mom was pregnant or anything. I do not know when they plan to tell the rest of their family, but my guess is that once a 5 and 6 year old know something, it's really not a secret anymore. She did ask me to send her a picture of Mike, Ty and I together so she would have something to show them visually. We made sure to include that in the photos we just mailed along with a letter about what Ty has been up to, and how much he weighs etc. It's hard writing a letter to your child's birth parents. What do you say? How can I explain how amazing having Ty in our lives is and how much we cherish each smile and squeak without sounding like a jerk? I believe she does want to hear all about him, so I tell her. I know reading it may make it more difficult for her, but it will also give her some peace.

Everyone expected us to have a hard time since we were adopting transracially. To be honest, I'm sure at SOME point that will be tough. We've gotten looks already. What is the hardest is the terminology and casual conversation with people I care about. Terminology is so hard. To hear my own parents or friends refer to Ty's "parents" and what they do for work, and what their situation is in life. WE are Ty's parents. Do I correct EVERYONE? Do I just hope the discussion regarding birth parents will die down and I won't have to hear about and answer questions about Ty's "mother"? I'm Ty's mother...right? How can people not see that and understand? Typically I do try to answer back and use the term birth mom, and some people pick that up and grasp it. I know they mean no harm, I know they just want to support us. Hopefully with time, and education, people will get it more.

Saturday, February 23, 2008


First of all...I'm sorry that I haven't blogged in a while. I'm sure most people are either thinking I'm wrapped up with a newborn, or you are close enough to me to know what really happened. Less than 48 hours after returning to Massachusetts with our beautiful baby, Tyler, my husband Mike complained of shortness of breath. He is not a sickly person, always healthy as a horse, and doesn't love the doctors. When he said we should go to the ER, I KNEW it was serious. Less than 12 hours later they were rushing him from our local hospital into Boston to Brigham and Women's. When he arrived at B & W he was about 5 seconds from coding because his blood pressure dipped so low. They called in their entire emergency cardiac response team in and with in a couple hours they had put a central line in his Jugular Artery, a catheter from his femoral artery up to his heart with a balloon pump to assist his heart in pumping his blood, and had used his other femoral artery for an angioplasty to check his arteries. He slowly recovered and over the next few days was able to be weaned back off the assistance. It was a close call and a HUGE wake up call. We are home now, but Mike is still pretty weak. He does what he can and rests when he needs too. It's likely he'll be out of work till at least early March when he goes to see his cardiologist again.

Just wanted to up date you all. We're ALL home now. All 3 of us. I'll try to be back on soon.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

We're in Missouri!

So we're in Missouri! I'm sure most of you have heard that we got OUR call. On Sunday January 27th, around 2:30, we got a call about an already born baby boy in Missouri. We agreed to be submitted to this birthmom and from the first second it was totally different. We were nervous like we hadn't been in any of the other situations... Less than an hour later we got the call. Get on a plane to St. Louis! So we did. By Monday January 28th, at 1:15 we were on the ground in St. Louis, on our way to the hospital to meet a baby who we hoped would be our future son. I can't even being to describe the emotions of that day, and the following days. We met a baby boy, whose birthmom had waited for US to name. We named him Tyler David and were in love in minutes. He is just the most beautiful baby I've ever seen. Based on Missouri law he had to go into cradle care till the birth parents terminated their rights and we went before the judge for the transfer of custody. Tyler's birth parents chose to attend court even though they had terminated their rights two days before. They are amazing, and strong and love him so much. We'll stay in touch with them always, and hope to see them again before we leave St. Louis.

So for now we are camped out at a Residence Inn in St. Louis. Just watched the Pats lose the super bowl, which stinks! I would have liked for Ty's first super bowl to be a winning one, but maybe next year I guess. We hope to be back home in Massachusetts mid to late next week. The sooner the better since there are lots of family and friends back home that can't wait to hold this baby!

Talk to everyone soon!
Amy, Mike and Tyler

Monday, January 21, 2008

New Week!

It's 12:00AM....the Pats won the AFC tonight and it was a great game. Tomorrow I'm going to e-mail for updates on our situations. I don't really expect good news because if it was good....right. They would have called. Anyway, I'm not working tomorrow and I'm hoping I can make it over to a friends to learn more about cloth diapering. I'm actually excited :)

Mike's work party was pretty fun. We stayed till almost the very end, and it took the whole next day to recover. I'm not sure if it was the rich food or the late night...maybe we are just getting old! Mike had like 1.5 beers and I didn't drink at all and was in bed till about 1. Then we went over to Rob and Rachel's and got burritos. Their son Simon LOVES Mike. Mike likes to tell me that he loves us both, but I'm pretty realistic about the whole thing. He's a smart boy and he knows I wear the pants. If he's not nice to me, and doesn't hug and snuggle me I could cut of his connection to Mike, and he just doesn't want that. After dinner (which he didn't eat) we were eating our dessert (which he wanted), so his Mom was trying to get him to eat some apple sauce and yogurt (which he didn't want)...Four adults ended up sitting there watching him eat. If he said no to the bite, we would say...Boooooo, and when he ate it, we would say YEAH...and all clap. It was quite a show and he enjoyed himself a lot. We were all just glad he ate something. He hadn't eaten anything since breakfast...poor little guy is teething and may have a bug.

Well thanks to another blog I read, I'm on a vegetarian kick. EBSCO style. EBSCO is where Mike works and they advertised for the holiday dinner in December a vegetarian option of poached salmon. I figure if they counted that as vegetarian, I will too! I'm on veggies, fish and shell fish, with dairy. Basically I'm not eating beef, pork or chicken. I'm starting out including the fish and stuff but I'll try to limit it as much as I can based on my protein intake from other sources. Anyway, it's time to kick some weight.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

You didn't think I would leave you all hanging did you???

We got the call today that we weren't chosen for the baby born yesterday...the 10 pound little guy will go home with some other family, whom I'm sure is flipping out as I write this. We will wait and hope that one of our other situations is the baby for us! I may ask for updates tomorrow, but most likely it will be Monday.

Thanks to everyone who was pulling for us! This call, as our 2nd chance at an immediate placement just goes to show, we don't know when it will be. We could get a call at anytime.

We have Mike's Party for work tomorrow, and since I have the day off I'm going to get my stupid tooth fixed (I've been sporting that stupid chip for several weeks!) and I'm going to get my hair done for the party. I thought about getting my nails done, but I think I'll just paint them myself. Save $$.....

Have a great weekend everyone!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008


I think I speak Adoption language in my sleep. Birth mother, revocation, living's our whole freaking life. At least I thought so? For some reason whenever there is an immediate decision to make, Mike is missing. Today I get another call (YIKES! A CALL!) from our agency out in Utah. This is an agency that I almost called to have a temper tantrum at last night. Thankfully (maybe) I didn't...that's a long story filled with nights were Mike and I are up till 4, getting up at 7 and over-nighting packages (at $30 each). It was a crazy time, and I'm intensely grateful that for right now, it's behind us, so I'll not comment on what I was going to tantrum about to them last night. Anyway, today...they call. They call my WORK. They call my work without even trying my cell phone. That shows intense urgency. So I listen...urgently...if that's possible. She says...We have a birth mom. In. Labor. Now. (!these are killer stress right?!) Would you like to hear about it? SURE! Never mind your typing up the main line at work, and my boss is shooting daggers at my head with his eyes. I want to hear now. So I get all the details and it all sounds good. Everything sounds good! So she asks if I want to talk it over with Mike and call her back. Call her back about the expectant mother that's "in a good labor pattern now, and I'm on my way over in 5 minutes to give her the profiles" . She thinks I'm going to risk calling her back when never in the time I've known her, have I ever called her cell phone and had her actually answer? Last night her cell phone actually wouldn't even accept anymore messages! I'm not letting her off the phone. BUT, Mike is not on-line for immediate comment so I joke with her that he doesn't really need to comment, and I tell her to go ahead. All the while the little voice in the back of my head is saying...but...but...THIS is the agency that is 2X as much as the others...but...but...this is the agency you don't really the state with laws you don't really agree with....this is THAT agency Amy. I tell the little voice to shut the F up. This mom is in labor!
Details anyone?
Full African American Baby BOY! expected to be around 10 pounds (what could we ever bring her to thank her for going through THAT??) This is her 5th baby, all with the same man, who is also at the hospital and willing to sign the adoption papers. (that doesn't happen often)
She wants a semi open adoption with pictures and letters after the adoption. She is from FL, and is freezing her butt of at the agency which is located in state that is colder than the North Pole right now apparently.
Here's why I'm *trying* not to get my hopes up:
1) This expectant mom is petite (about 5'4) and slender (when she's not carrying a 10pound baby I guess) so I tend to think that she won't really be draw to us "huskier" folks. Then again, she's carrying a freaking 10 POUND baby...I guess there is a chance that the expectant father isn't as petite.
2) She is freezing her butt she really going to be inclined to place her baby in MA, where the baby can freeze IT'S butt off 5 months of every year? I had always hoped that people that lived in warm climates might be drawn to us because we have snow and maybe they idealized snow. Clearly this woman is not idealizing anything about the cold right now.
3) We are...WHITE...she and the expectant father aren't. If there are any African American or even Bi-Racial Couple also being submitted, there is a good chance she will choose them. It's just the way it works. We did demonstrate our diversity in our families in our profile, so hopefully she will see that.
4) Our house looks pretty ghetto on the outside. I don't think anyone looks at the picture of our house and thinks how cute it is really. Plus she lives in FL...cost of living is so much lower down there that she has no idea what a house like we have actually cost us. I bet she looks at our house and wants to keep her baby.
I haven't spent all day thinking about this...really! I haven't. I didn't get the call till lunch-time.
If this is our baby, he will find us. If it isn't...we are submitted on 4 other situations right now too. Hopefully one of those will work out. Pray for our sanity...mine anyway....

Saturday, January 12, 2008

It was an exciting day!

I started off the morning with Mike coming in to wake me up with a ringing cell phone. It was one of our agencies, and she first needed to know our "county" which I had read as "country" when I filled out our application. Opps! So I'm figuring that's it, and read to roll over and hang up on her. Then she says, I was also wondering if you'd like to be submitted to another birth mom we have? All agencies call the expectant mother's birth mom's. Technically they are NOT birth mom's till they relinquish their rights, but agencies always say they are birth's all part of the psychology of adoption I think. Anyway, then she says...the birth mother went into labor this morning. I say, SURE! We would love to be submitted! And she says...Do you want to know about the situation? He he....So I hear about the situation, which sounds great and she says she'll tell the social worker to show our book. We did end up hearing a couple hours ago that we weren't choosen, but I'm trying to remain up beat! Our profile is out there, and it's being shown. We are still in on 3 other situations that are due in the month of Feb. It was also a big reality check that we need to stay caught up on house work and laundry if there is a chance that we could have to leave so short notice like that!

Today Mike also learned that he is not allowed to "stalk" Dewey like Dewey stalks Daisy when they are playing. Dewey was laying on the bed with me, almost asleep and Mike stalked around the corner, and scared him. Dewey ran to the end of the bed, peeing the whole way. I was so happy. So on top of our other laundry, we got to strip the bed and wash the comforter and duvet cover too. Wicked fun. Dewey talks a good game, like he's a tough guy, but he's a wimp. He was deathly afraid of Mike's backpack for the longest weird.

We have Brielle overnight tonight. She is the biggest sweetheart. She loves to play and look at all her toys. She loves to pull Uncle Mikey's hair. She loves to hold her bubba all by herself. I love it when she drinks her bubba, and looks up at you and smiles, and milk drools out the corner of her's great. Uncle Mikey is holding strong on not changing the diapers though. Though he did pick up all her toys and fold up the blanket we were all playing....he stacked them all on her high chair and he said he would put her in the high chair and she could play with her toys and watch him cook breakfast. That sentance leaves me to think two things.
1) Maybe he's getting up with her in the morning? AND
2) Maybe I'm getting blueberry pancakes for breakfast?

I hope....

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Wing Night!

We went to wing night tonight. Marc's on a Diet again, though he did seem to enjoy his $12.00 Old Grandad and Diet Coke. Our waitress, who we see almost every week, suggested that we now call him Old Grandad. I guess it take guts to choose a Whiskey randomly off the bottom shelf at a bar right?

Anyway, I also finished my last loading dose for the Orencia tonight. These infusions are not the miracles the Remicade was, but they are slowly helping over time. I wish the insurance would stop denying the claim though. It took me 6 months of nearly OD'ing on pain killer while they "preapproved" this treatment, and now they are telling me it's not covered. $2400 a treatment. I've had 3. I am NOT paying that. They preapproved it, they need to pay it.

No new news on the adoption. I'm sure a lot of you think you can guess how hard it is not to e-mail about the situations we've submitted on. It is SO hard. It's harder than waiting 6 months for the medication I need :)

Anyway, I think if we didn't get choosen for any of these situations, we might be out of the running till fall. We'll have to just wait and see I guess!

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Never underestimate the comma....

Weekends suck! I know! I'm crazy right? See at one point, I did like weekends. That one far away point in my life, when my WHOLE life was not consumed by adoption. Now, on the weekends, everything slams to a stop. No posts with new situations on any boards. No e-mails from the referral agencies, cause THEY aren't getting any e-mails from any agencies, cause they are all closed. Don't get me wrong...I still check the forums everyday anyway. One never knows when there will be a baby "born" situation where an adoption worker was forced to come in on her day off an deal with it. Rare, but it could happen. So that's the story. Weekends are boring.

Then today, we get a CALL. I know I've said before how calls are good....mostly cause calls are rare. More exactingly (my blog, my made up words), Mike gets a call. I don't even really realize, he's on the phone. He pokes his sweet little face around the bedroom door and says to me. It's So and So agency, they called to say they got the profiles and wanted to touch base with us. It's all one sentance right? See the little bitty comma in there? Right between agency and they? That comma, as we all know, indicates a SLIGHT pause in his speech. During that slight pause, here is what happened to me...

My heart fell out of my chest. I wondered why they called Mike's phone and not mine? I concluded it might have just been that Mike's was listed first on the paperwork. I wondered if she was in a hurry so she called the first number on our paperwork. I wondered if there was an emergency match! I pondered what we had in our checking account for immediate tickets to Ohio. How long would it take to drive to Ohio? Should we rent a car? I can't believe she's calling on a SATURDAY? What? Hun? Oh...she's just calling to touch base...."Okay give me the phone." Really...all that in the space of a comma. Comma's a big thing....

Anyway, she was very nice, and she said our profile were great, and she was sending it right over to the social worker that was working with the expectant mother we wanted to submit to.

It was still a pretty big deal for us. We really feel great about this agency. They are excellent fee wise, they CALLED us just to tell us they GOT our profiles, and they made that call ON A WEEKEND! I will now forever hold hope that we'll get weekend calls from this agency. Weekends are a little better now.

Still no word on our bricks. I'm starting to think the guy was a brick tease. :)

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Family Updates.

Most of our family and friends will have read this update already, since I e-mailed it to them...course, even since I e-mailed it, things have changed, so read the new info at the bottom!!

Hello Family and Friends!
I know people are starting to feel weird about always asking how things are going...honestly, we don't mind answering, but I thought I would send out a quick update to let you all know where we are at. Some of you we just don't see as often as we would like to, so we figured you might like an idea on what's up too :) Anyway, we got all our approvals, and home study in hand in mid December. It wasn't without it's trials. Our social worker lost her mother right before Christmas, so our thoughts were with her during that time, and not very focused on our own progress. She's just about ready to get back to work now, and we've gotten excellent support while we've needed it from the main office.

We're currently listed with several agencies, though we aren't thrilled with all of them. One is out in Utah, and although it's renowned for it's fast placements, they do everything via telephone. It makes it hard to keep in touch, and they never seem to return calls in a timely manner. They were pretty expensive anyway, so we're pretty comfortable writing them off :) Our other agencies are located in Ohio, and Georgia. We found them both through an amazing, wonderful, fantastic (yeah, we like her) referral service out of Ohio. She's an advocate for trans-racial adoptions, and adoptions with reasonable fees (gotta love that). With her guidance we've found a couple agencies that are not only with in, but well below our budget. We are comfortable that our baby can find us through these agencies.

Current situations that we are submitted on...sometimes it's hard to recall exactly who has our profile where, since we basically get e-mails or phone calls, and give a yes or no based on preliminary information. As far as I know, we are only in one, with one on the back burner right now. Most agencies were closed during Christmas and New Years and they are all still playing catch up. They all "expect" there to be an influx of expectant mothers in the next couple of weeks.

We got word today that the last of the 5 situations in Georgia did choose a family..obviously it wasn't us :) They do expect updates this week and next from the intake coordinators in Georgia. This agency seems to work in "batches" where each coordinator will take on a certain number, work with them, and then pass on the ones ready to match. They match at a main meeting once a week or every other week. They have our info, so we should be hearing if they have any situations that might be a good match for us.

We just got a call today (calls are good, that's means it's a more pressing event) asking if we would like to submit on an expectant mother due Feb 14th. I guess the mother "thinks" she will deliver earlier...I think a lot of expectant women think that, but we'll wait and see :) It's a great situation, and we gave them the go ahead to show our profile. This is an agency that is traditionally very low in numbers for their pool of families accepting infants that are not full Caucasian. They did 5 non Caucasian placements the week before Christmas, so their pool is even lower now. This particular mother is young, very healthy, and has stated she is drug and alcohol free. I can imagine that there will be some competition!

We are also being considered, though conditionally, on a situation in Pennsylvania. The expectant mother is due in early February but is already having contractions. She wants to match now, although all the numbers aren't in yet. We agreed to be submitted with the understanding we are working on a budget, so if she didn't fit that, in the end we wouldn't accept a match. Pennsylvania is also a 30 day revocation state. 30 days is longer than we would have hoped for but not unheard of. The fact we could drive there and save on airfare would be a bonus. We'll wait for the numbers to come in on this one before we get too excited.

As always, I'll keep everyone up to date as things change, without flooding your inbox of course.

Happy and Healthy 2008 to everyone :)

Amy and Mike

***In the 6 hours since I sent that e-mail we've also submitted on additional situations so the excel sheet I'm now keeping has the following potential situations

Submitted: Ohio, baby girl due 2/15; Ohio, baby boy due 2/15; Tennessee, unknown gender due 2/12;

Monitoring: more info required: PA baby girl, due 1/23

I'm sure you can all see why I don't e-mail an update every time the situations change :)

Hopefully I'll atleast stay organized!

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Happy New Year!

Life cruises on...
We heard about another potential situation. Expectant Mother due Jan 23, but already having contractions. Our only sticking point is she is in PA. I personally don't have anything against PA, but their adoption laws are right on the edge of being "ok" with us. Actually they are way beyond what we initally considered, but the more I learn about adoption, the farther I lean. In PA, the mother gets 30 days after signing TPR (termination of parental rights) to change her mind. THIRTY FREAKING DAYS. Georgia is 10 days. We're with an agency in Georgia and we decided 10 days we could handle. Actually, I liked 10 days. I honestly believe that we need to find the right baby to find us, not just any baby. I want to add a baby to this family that comes from a birth mother who is confident in her choice. I don't want to attempt to have an open adoption with a birth mother who regrets her choice only days after signing consents. Thirty days though...that's a long time to wait to be sure. That's 30 days of bonding, and 30 nights of feedings. That's 30 days out of work, with no pay. That's 30 days, where on day 29 she can decided to come get the baby from us. That is really, really scarey. We decided we would agree to be considered on a few conditions. We want to know everything we possible can about this expectant mother, her family, her living situation, and the birth father. We need to know what happens if she does disrupt 15, or 20 or 29 days in. It's scarey, and we'll just have to see....

No new news on our bricks. Mike did take the brick hearth out of the long back room know the room that is shaped like a bowling alley? We're finally going to split that in half, and make the laundry room. I NEED a laundry room if we are going to have an infant. The room is about 8X25, so we'll end up with about and 8X10 laundry room, and then an 8X15 "Den", bascially a dog room/office. We'll keep our computers in there, and the dog kennels. I just can not wait for my laundry room. We have the washer and dryer....I just can't wait to have them next to each other....a novel idea, I know.

Speaking of the dogs, they are all doing pretty well. Dudley is still really slowing down. He's got arthritis like his Mum :) I try to help him out as much as I can. I have so much empathy for him as he walks all stiff legged around the house, or when it take 3 tries for him to stand up from a sit. We have him on Condroitin/MSM stuff, and it has helped, it's just the weather partly I think. He's feeling it, just like I am...

Last night (New Year's) we had planned for a really quiet night in alone. Then my sister got sick and my brother-in-law (Brad) wanted something to do with the 2 girls so he came over. It was great to see them. Bridget and I watched Dora for a while, and then Brielle and I spent some quality time blowing raspberries. She loves it when I blow raspberried right inside her open mouth. It's like a messy little baby know how they always kiss with their mouths open first :) She's such a cute, happy little girl. Well not so much when she's in her carrier, she doesn't really love that, but otherwise, she's very happy :) Since we were having people over, we called to invite Rob, Rachel and their son Simon. Brad and the girls went out the door just as Rob and Rachel came in. The stayed for a while and then Mike and I watched 8 Crazy Nights (Adam Sandler). We paused it when the ball dropped and open a bottle of Champagne. Since we realized we weren't going to drink it all we walked next door in our slippers to share with the neighbors. Stayed over their and chatted for about an hour. It's always nice to catch up with your neighbors at midnight while we're all in our PJ's....that's just how we roll though!

Mike is making chili's smells so great. I think we're going to have a roast for dinner, if I ever get out of bed. More snow today, so I'm pretty sore. So far the Orencia infusions are helping, but it's not the immediate wonder drug that the TNF Alpha Blockers were. This seems to take a lot longer to build up and give me relief.