About Me

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I'm a 30-something wife and mom. My boys are my pride and joy. Together, we are navigating being a forever family post international adoption.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Our Adoption Story, a Quick Look

Hubby and I went through a blind adoption process. We had no idea of the age, gender, or number of children we would adopt, or even if we would be successful after everything was said and done. We were approved to adopt 1 to 2 healthy children, anywhere from the ages of 0 to 10. I had an image in my head of our family complete with a 9 year old girl and a 6 year old boy, for whatever reason.

Once we traveled and met with our in-country facilitators and had our first appointment it became clear that our criteria was a bit narrow. Not impossible, but we hadn't gone through the whole process to gamble while in the home stretch. So we underwent the difficult task of having our criteria changed while out of our home country. We figured it was more important to become parents to a real kid than stay stuck to an imaginary picture.

Thank goodness for our wonderful agency, social worker, an in-country facilitators. They basically busted their butts to get everything done for us as quickly as possible. While we waited, we decided to look at our time as an international getaway and did lots of sight seeing, food sampling, and culture immersing. We actually had a blast!

The night before our second appointment we learned that our facilitator had pretty much forced our newly amended, translated and approved dossier into the hands of the woman we would be meeting with the next morning. Our new criteria was for 1 to 3 children with up to moderate health conditions between the ages of 0 to 13. We said a prayer and went to bed hoping for the best.

The second time we met with the government adoption agency was nerve wracking. We were stressed out and nervous to say the least. Would the woman accept the new dossier or would she insist on using the old one? Would our changes be enough or would it all be for naught? How long would we have to wait for another appointment if we weren't successful this time?

And then we were handed a 1.5 page write-up and picture of a beautiful little boy. A single boy. A healthy boy. A boy who was under 11 (remember our initial criteria...). It was Buddy.

Then we were told that day was the first day he was available to be adopted internationally. If we hadn't waited for new documents to have our second appointment we wouldn't have seen Buddy's file.

How amazing is that?

We later found out that Buddy had started down the road to adoption at the exact same time we did, all the way on the other side of the world. It was the missing piece of why we felt such a strong desire to adopt.

I don't believe that God plans for children to be orphaned. The best place for every child is in a loving home with their first family. But I do believe that when this was no longer an option for Buddy, God helped bring us together to make the next best thing. Every road block, delay, snafu, happened so that we would all be at the same place at the same time.

As silly as it may sound to some, everything happened for a reason.
Our first family picture
To read more about our road to adoption check out
- Why Did We Adopt Part 1 - Why did we adopt?
- Why Did We Adopt Part 2 - Why did we adopt an older child?
- Why Did We Adopt Part 3 - Why did we adopt internationally?

Friday, November 28, 2014

Who's Your Mama?

This morning I was in the kitchen making myself a much needed cup of coffee, when I heard from the dinning room "Mom... Mom.... Mom, Mom, Mom... Mooooom, can you come heeeeere?""

When we met Buddy, we were lucky enough to meet some of his birth family, including his first Mom. I remember listening to him trying to get her attention "Mom... Mom.... Mom, Mom, Mom..." I wanted so badly to hear him say those words to me.

From the beginning, we offered Buddy the choice of calling us whatever he felt comfortable with. He preferred not to address us by any name at all. He would wave his arms, raise his hand or, if he was in another room, knock on the wall to get our attention.

After a couple of months, I got a card from Buddy addressed to "Super Mom". I cried. But he was still waving and knocking to get our attention. A bit later, I heard Buddy ask Hubby "where is Mom?" and I teared up that time, too. But the waving and knocking continued.

One night before bedtime, I laid down with Buddy in his bed. I figured if this was the time he liked to speak his heart than it was a good time for me to speak mine. I told him that he could call me whatever he wanted, but if he wanted to call me Mom I would really like it. He replied very honestly, that he wanted to but it felt weird. That was a totally reasonable thing for him to feel and I am so glad he was able to tell me.

We talked about how if he called me Mom, it wouldn't mean his first Mom didn't exist. He has two Mom's, one who gave birth to him and one who adopted him, and we both love him very much. And he is a wonderful boy who has room for both Moms in his heart. I told him if he wanted to give it a try he could and if it still felt weird he could stop. That whatever he decided was OK with me.

And he did try. When I checked in with him he said it didn't feel so weird after all, it felt good. Now, even before my morning coffee, I remember the longing I had to be called "Mom... Mom... Mom, Mom, Mom!" and I am thankful.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Court

I am generally a pretty calm person, but the tension of adoption court got me sweating. Thank goodness for clinical strength deodorant. And waterproof mascara, because of course I cried.

In a country where everyone is notoriously late, this day was no exception. Since the courthouse was locked, we sat outside on a park bench to wait. Buddy, escorted by his orphanage's lawyer, arrived shortly after in the new suit we had bought just for the occasion. He looked nervous and very, very cute.

Finally, the doors were opened and we entered the building. We filed into a court room with pew-style benches and a small prison cell. We took our seat in the front row with our translator behind us, as we had the first appointment. The government prosecutor, orphanage lawyer and Buddy's social worker were seated along the side of the room to our right. There were 3 large, raised chairs at the front of the room for the judge and his two assistants.

They appeared and we all rose.

Our translator did her best to fill us in on what was going on, but my head was spinning. Hubby was asked to rise and give our personal details, such as our names, ages and employment. He also gave a statement on our ability to care for Buddy. Then I stood and explained how, even though we hadn't known Buddy for very long, we loved him. I asked the judge to please allow us to become his parents. During this short speech I began to cry, which was a bit problematic as I had no Kleenex so I was left sniffling and slightly embarrassed

Buddy looked so confused, he didn't understand why I was crying. He has since learned that this Mama Bear will break down into tears at the drop of a hat when it comes to her Sweet Boy.

The social worker, who had known Buddy since he was a toddler, and orphanage lawyer both gave statements recommending Buddy's adoption into our family. The prosecutor wanted Hubby to answer a few more questions. As he went along, it became clear that there was an error in our documents. I began to panic. Thank God Hubby is a brilliant man and was able to point out the error, apologize for the confusion, and answer the overall questions perfectly. I think the prosecutor was impressed with his composure and had no further concerns.

With that, the judge approved the adoption and Buddy was officially a member of our family. We exited the room in a bit of a haze, had our first family hug and looked at our watches. Eight minutes. Eight minutes and our lives were completely changed.

Monday, November 24, 2014

DIY Advent Calendar

Advent calendars are a fun way to get kids excited about the first season of the church year. I was given the cardboard box kind with a piece of chocolate behind each numbered window until I moved out after high school. Even then, my Mom would send me a care package with one inside every November.

Last year we bought Buddy a Lego Advent calendar, but I thought I could make something better and more special for less money.

The first thing I did was find a matchbox template online so I could make 24 little boxes. There are lots of different ones, but I chose this one. I used paper that could be folded neatly but would keep its shape. I even found some shiny sheets that worked out really well.

The next step was to cut, fold and glue 24 boxes and box covers. This was tedious but not difficult. I found a bit of time here and there and listened to a pod cast, watched some TV or just zoned out while working.

I didn't like the plain white box exterior, so I chose to cover mine in some old wrapping paper. I used number stickers to mark the boxes from 1 to 24 and added some snowflake decals because I can't say no to sparkly things. All the stickers came from the dollar store.

I picked up some split back grip pins from a crafting store and used them as handles for the drawers. I thought this would work better than gluing on buttons because the split back inside the drawer would anchor them.

Add a red bow on top and voila my DIY Advent calendar was finished.

The last step was assembling the boxes into a calendar. I saw a really cool looking one online in the shape of a Christmas tree, but it didn't look very sturdy. I decided to go with a simple stacked shape that could hopefully withstand anything short of an earthquake. I used paper craft glue to secure everything.

The fun part was going to dollar store and picking out gifts to place inside the drawers. I chose candies and gum, rubber bugs and frogs, fake teeth, stick on mustaches, small puzzles, and stationary items. These are all things I know Buddy will like and most of them came in packages that I split and used for two different days or as stocking stuffers.

I placed the items in the drawers and gave everything a shake-test to make sure it could withstand Buddy and probably a curious Grem as well. It seems like it should make it through this year and the next several, which will save me time and a bit of money in the future.

I am not a crafty person by nature, so I am pretty impressed with myself for being able to pull this off. All together it cost me about $30, which is much less than what we paid last year. I know that Buddy is going to love opening the drawers and counting the days of this special season.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

We Pray for the Children

In honor of today being National Adoption Day, I wanted to post a prayer for the children in and from hard places. 

We Pray for the Children
by Ina J Hughes
We pray for children 
who sneak popsicles before supper,
who erase holes in math workbooks,
who throw tantrums in the grocery store and pick at their food,
who like ghost stories 
and can never find their shoes.

And we pray for those
who stare at photographers behind barbed wire,
who can't bound down the street in a pair of new sneakers,
who are born in places we wouldn't be caught dead,
who never go to the circus,
who live in an X-rated world.

We pray for children
who sleep with the dog and bury the goldfish,
who bring us sticky kisses and fistfuls of dandelions,
who get visits from the tooth fairy,
who hug us in a hurry and forget their lunch money.

And we pray for those 
who never get dessert,
who have no safe blanket to drag behind them,
who watch their parents watch them die,
who can't find any bread to steal,
who don't have any rooms to clean up,
whose pictures aren't on anybody's dresser,
whose monsters are real.

We pray for children 
who spend all their allowance before Tuesday,
who shove dirty clothes under the bed,
and never rinse out the tub,
who don't like to be kissed in front of the carpool,
who squirm in church or temple and scream in the phone,
whose tears we sometimes laugh at
and whose smiles can make us cry.

And we pray for those
whose nightmares come in the daytime,
who will eat anything,
who have never seen a dentist,
who aren't spoiled by anybody,
who go to bed hungry and cry themselves to sleep,
who live and move, but have no being.

We pray for children who want to be carried,
and for those who must,
for those we never give up on 
and for those who don't get a second chance.
For those we smother...
and for those who will grab the hand of anybody kind enough to offer it.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Waiting Work


This article was written for and first published by Canada Adopts! on October 16/14

1 year, 3 months, 11 days

468 days

11 236 hours

That is the time it took to go from our first adoption agency meeting to tucking our son into bed the first night we were a family. That is the time it took to go from the picture in my mind to a better reality.

The hardest part of those 468 days was definitely the waiting. Some people call it the waiting game, but I think waiting work is much more appropriate. Games are fun, enjoyable and a great way to pass the time. The waiting you do in the early stages of adoption is none of that. It's frustrating, unpleasant and down-right painful at times.

I bet there are some people who sail through their pre-adoption stage, but I've never met them. Every adoptive parent I have ever talked to has encountered at least one road block at some point. Usually they have had several. This is a time of delays, snags and mix-ups. It's horrible. But at the same time it's important.

It is the time I began to understand the importance of patience, not sweating the small stuff and expecting the unexpected. These skills have been essential to me now that I am a Mom. It's also when I first started fighting for my son. There was no obstacle too large, no task too daunting. My husband and I were willing to jump through any hoop we had to for a child we didn't even know. It was the beginning of our unconditional love.

We slugged along at what felt like a snail's pace. For every three steps we completed, one had to be redone. It actually took four tries and almost six months for me to get a one page medical form completed correctly. Finally, we finished and submitted our international adoption dossier and were invited to travel to our son's birth country. End of the waiting and start of the real stuff, we though.

And we were wrong.

I remember walking back to our rented apartment after a disastrously unsuccessful meeting where we were told we would probably never find our child. I don't remember what my husband and I talked about, or even if we talked. I just remember the walk and the sinking feeling in my chest. We actually ended up having to spend 3 weeks in-country at a stand-still waiting for things to be worked out. We had no control over the situation.

After the initial feeling of hopelessness, we decided all we could do was trust that things would work out. And so we spent those 3 weeks exploring our son's birth country and taking what ended up being our last kid-free vacation for a long time.

After all the waiting, the day we were handed our son's file was the first day he was available to be adopted. If we didn't have to wait, we wouldn't have our son. I wouldn't change anything about the wait given the wonderful boy that was at the end of it.

But waiting still sucks while you're going through it. There are some things I tried to keep in mind to helped me cope with the wait. I'm definitely not an expert, but maybe they will help you, too:

- Live in the present: Your adoption is not a check list. Your time-line will probably change. Take it one day at a time.

- Don't forget the people in your life now: This is the time to make sure your foundation is good. Enjoy your partner, strengthen your relationships, build your support base.

- Hope for the best but plan for the worst: It is going to take more of everything than you think, especially emotional strength. Be prepared mentally, physically and spiritually, as much as you can.

- Be flexible: You wont do yourself any favors trying to be in charge of the process, because it's just not possible. Don't be a push over, but know when to pick your battles.

- Enjoy your life: Don't put your hobbies, passions and enjoyments on the back burner. What is going to make you a great parent is YOU, so don't lose who you are.

- Research: Read books, watch videos, follow blogs (that's why you're here, right?). Ask all the questions you have, even the ones you're embarrassed of. Just don't research too much or you'll drive yourself crazy!

Hubby, Buddy and I wish you all the best during your waiting work.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

5 Product Face

How about another beauty post?

I recently watched a YouTube video where a girl, who normally used 5 products just to do her eyes, attempted to do a full face of makeup with only 5 products. Now, I don't use that many products on a daily basis, but I thought it would be fun to pick 5 items of make up that could do it all.

My 5, plus a few runners up
#1: Concealer: I have been wearing concealer since high school because of my inherited dark under-eye circles. NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer is also great for blemishes (aka pimples).

#2: Powder Foundation: I have used power foundation since junior high when ever girl carried a Cover Girl compact in her back pocket and powdered between classes, even though we didn't need to. Now one of my favorites is Clinique's Superpowder Double Face Makeup.

#3: Bronzer: I don't always wear bronzer, but since I only get 5 items I can use this on my cheeks, eyes and even to fill in my brows. I am loving the Honey Bronzer from the Body Shop right now.

#4: Mascara: I think mascara is one of the best products to give a big impact to your look. I always go back to the Cover Girl Clump Crusher waterproof one.

#5: This one is tough, because I could pretty much stop at 4. Should I add a liquid eyeliner like Kat Von D Tattoo Liner, a brow gel like one by Anastasia Beverley Hills or maybe a blush like one by Tarte in the Amazonian Clay line? Ok, I think I am going to go with the Milani Brow & Eye Highlighter which I could use on my brow bone, eyes, inner corners and even as a cheek highlight.

There we go, a full face in 5 products. What products would you pick?

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Why Movies have Parental Guidelines

Buddy has no problem with Hubby having sex, he would just prefer I wasn't involved. Buddy "found out" we have sex because he asked us directly and we responded honestly. But the knowledge blew his mind and he was not happy about it.

As I have mentioned before, Buddy has seen a lot of movies. Some were perfectly appropriate, lots were not. A few were pornography. As Buddy became more and more comfortable talking about everything (not just sex), we learned that he has seen some very graphic, degrading stuff. I'm going to spare you the details, but I was traumatized just hearing about it. I can only imagine what it did to Buddy's view of sex, especially when it comes to women.

Parental guidelines aren't much good when there are no parents around to enforce them.

I remember walking through a home improvement store with my boys not too long after getting home. I was holding Buddy's hand and he looked up at me and said "when I met you, I thought you never have sex. You look nice and smart, not like a girl who has sex."

We talk about sex quite a bit in our house. We figure so much damage has already been done and ignoring it wont make it go away. I do not want my little boy to grow up and think that a woman can't enjoy sex unless she is bad or dirty. I don't want him to think that there are girls you marry and girls you have sex with, but you can't have both in one partner.

A few nights ago I was tucking Buddy in and I went to kiss him goodnight. He turned away from me and said "You're disgusting." I felt very confused and hurt. But when we talked about why he said that, he looked me in the eye and said "You know, from before." And I did know, he is still upset that I have sex. How can I be good if I have sex?

So we talked about about it, again. I'm happy for the chance to talk about his confusion about sex and morality. It allow us the chance to work it out his misconceptions together as a family.


Friday, November 14, 2014

Why Did We Adopt Part 3 - Why did we adopt internationally?

For Part 1, see here...

For Part 2, see here...

Once Hubby and I decided to look into adoption I turned to Google, like any millennial would. I learned that most private domestic adoptions are of infants. Many older children in need a family in our region are in the foster care system* and not available to be adopted. So domestic adoption wasn't in the cards.

After talking, Hubby and I decided to investigate international adoption. My search lead me from a federal site to a regional site to a list of approved adoption agencies. I decided to check out the websites of those that were located in our area.

I came across an agency in our city that had been operating successfully in multiple countries for about a decade. Hubby and I both have familial ties to one of these countries. There are also local schools, clubs, and shops run by descendants and immigrants of the culture.

I think a big part of adopt internationally is honoring the country from which you are hoping to adopt. Having resources in out community made it so much easier to choose the country we did.

This particular adoption agency was offering a one-day class for prospective adoptive parents in a few weeks, so Hubby and I signed up. It was very informative and also gave us a chance to feel out the agency and ask lots of questions.

The idea of an older child was solidified as we learned that international adoption is not the road to take if you are hoping for a young, healthy child. Many countries have moved away from allowing such kids to be adopted internationally as there are local people willing to adopt, foster or otherwise care for them in their birth countries. Most children available for international adoption are older, have serious health conditions, or both.

By the end of the weekend, we were comfortable and confident in making a decision on how to go about growing our family. There was no more research needed, we had found what we had been looking for.

So, that is how we decided to adopt internationally, picked our country and found our agency. Next came the beginning of the story before the beginning of the real story.

*It isn't impossible to adopt from foster care, there are children in need of a forever family. Also, I have so much respect and admiration for friends and acquaintances who are foster parents. I don't want to shed a negative light on fostering in any way. We just didn't feel it was right for our family at the time. 

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

At the End of the Rainbow

I am a very analytical and practical person. I don't go through life looking for signs. In fact, when describing something "perfect" (or more often saying how something is not perfect) I compare it to "kittens and rainbows," usually sarcastically.

Since we met Buddy, I have noticed rainbows. Or rather, Buddy has made me notice them. We agreed to adopt Buddy the day we met him. He agreed the next day. On the third day, we went to the nearest western-accredited doctor to get Buddy a check-up. On the way, the road was bumpy, the car was crowded and the weather was grey and rainy. All of a sudden, Buddy went from silent to animated. He was gesturing out the window and saying "photo, photo."

The clouds had parted slightly, and a bright rainbow was shining through. I smiled and nodded that I saw, but he kept pointing and insisting "photo," so I got our camera out and passed it to Buddy. He happily snapped away at the rainbow until the sky clouded over and it was gone.

Buddy is a rough-and-tumble boy but when it comes to rainbows he always pauses and comments. If there is a phone or camera handy, he wants a picture as well. I'm not sure what it is with Buddy and rainbows. Maybe it is the wonder of their formation, maybe it is their vibrant beauty, maybe it is the legend of the pot of gold at the end,

Buddy asked me once if I believe there is a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow. I told him no, but in truth I thought something slightly different to myself. On that third day of knowing him, I saw a rainbow. And I followed it. And what I have found at the end is much more precious to me than gold.

So I believe.

Our first rainbow together
Buddy posing with a rainbow


Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Lest We Forget

In Flanders Fields
by John McCrae, May 1915
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Monday, November 10, 2014

When a Step Back is a Step Forward

Hubby and I have done our best to create a safe and open environment where every member of our family is permitted to speak their heart. That even includes Swar, who is always voicing his displeasure over the lack of cookies he receives.
Swar has no problem showing his feelings; hunger, fatigue or ANGER 
Buddy has never been very interested in talking about his feelings, especially grief and anger. Lately it seems like his walls are beginning to crack. An example is what happened to us on Sunday night.

Buddy and I were in a heated debate over which Skylanders characters he should put on his Christmas list. It was a pretty ridiculous argument, but Buddy and I are both stubborn as dogs. Each one was trying to convince the other that s/he was right. We both ended up frustrated, and Buddy stomped off to his bedroom.

We know that when Buddy physically withdraws he often needs us the most. I knocked on his door and asked to come in and he responded by shrugging his shoulders. So I did, apologized and gave him a hug. He laid down on his bed with his back to me in the fetal position. I shouldn't have been surprised, but I was. We had been doing so well lately, but two steps forward, one step back.

I tried my usual repertoire of back rubs, hugs, soft words and even resorted to tickles which usually works to stop the dominoes in his head. We were going down the road to self hurt and I was getting worried. So, I tried something which had never worked in the past.

"Buddy, if you're mad, you should punch the pillow."

And he did. And again. And again, and again, and again. For 20 minutes straight. The bed was creaking, the walls were vibrating and Buddy was almost in a trance. The only time he paused was when, with his face buried in the pillow, he said to himself; "Why am I so mad?"

When he finally ran out of steam I laid down next to him and we had a big hug. I talked about how it's OK to feel sad and mad, and it's OK to let me and Hubby see those feelings. Then he had a drink of water and went to sleep.

My Sweet Boy hasn't completely bought into the fact that we will still love him even if he isn't always happy. I am so glad that, for those 20 minutes, he allowed himself feel his hard feelings.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Why Did We Adopt Part 2 - Why did we adopt an older child?

For Part 1, see here...

Once we decided to consider adoption as a way of growing our family, we sat down and talked about what we could best bring to the table as adoptive parents. We decided that if we were to adopt, it would not be an infant. We felt that if we were meant to have baby, we should feel a desire to try to conceive. Since we didn't, we thought it would be a good idea to explore older child adoption.

When I say older child, I mean a child who is not a babe-in-arms. We were picturing a 2 or 3 year old. Maybe a 4 year old at the most. A child that we could "pass off" as a biological child, a child we could help mould and form. We were picturing a baby, just not a newborn.

If you have read any of my previous posts, you know we did not adopt a baby. Well, he is MY baby, but that is my definition as a mother. In truth, we adopted a tween.

How did we get there? Our adoption road was one that stretched our comfort zone. Hubby and I grew by leaps and bounds in the year-plus pre-adoption stage, with a lot of help from our social worker and adoption agency. What started of as an idea of adopting a toddler stretched to a preschooler and then to a school age child.

We came to know that in our hearts it didn't matter how old our child was, just like their eye color and gender weren't important to us.

It just mattered that they were ours.

Stay tuned to Part 3 - Why we adopted internationally

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Bio-Mama Drama

My son has a birth mother.

There, I said it. It's out in the open.

But wait a minute, of course he has a birth mother. Everyone does.

In Buddy's Lifebook, on one of the first pages we have written:

"It takes two people, a man and a woman, to make a baby.
The man fertilizes the woman’s special egg and a baby is made.
Everyone in the world starts with a birthmother and birthfather.
You, too.
Your birthmother and birthfather gave you the gift of life. 
They also gave you part of your looks and natural talents."

I used to be jealous of Buddy's birth mother. She got to carry him inside her for 9 months. She named him. She was the first person who's love he knew. It is hard for me not to be jealous, even now. The story of how Buddy ended up available to be adopted is long and hard, and not my story to tell. But he has been through a lot of crappy stuff, which didn't help how I felt about his birth mother.

The more I talk to Buddy, the more he opens up and shares. Despite all the bad stuff, there was also some really good stuff. The more I listen, the more I understand that he wants to be my son but also wants to hold on to the happy memories from his past. He's telling me, in his own way, what I think a lot of adopted children feel.

Buddy's birth mother isn't just the first person who's love he knew, she is the first person he learned to love. And it is because he learned to love her that he can love me, too.

So I had to get over my jealousy. It was holding me back from a better, closer relationship with my son. I have come to a place where I actually have fond feelings towards her. It didn't happen overnight, and it took a lot of work on my part.

Buddy's birth mother is a part of Buddy, and I love all his parts, even the ones I don't understand.

We are lucky to have baby pictures of Buddy, here he is with his first Mom


Tuesday, November 4, 2014

A Room of His Own

When we first decided to pursue adoption, one of the things we needed to do was prepare a room for our future child(ren). Since there are only two bedrooms on the main floor of our home, Hubby had to move his office into the basement.

The old office was truely hideous. I'm not sure, but I think our homes previous owners may have been color blind because nothing else could explain their paint choices. Our home used to be a mish-mash of pink, green, mauve, mustard yellow and teal. And the office was a drab, dark, diarrhea green. With horrible brass wall sconces. Hubby "improved" things by adding his dark wood office furniture and brown curtains. I shake my head just thinking of it.

We didn't know what number, age or gender of child(ren) we would be adopting, so we decided to keep the room neutral when we updated it. We painted it yellow (so cliche, I know) and bought a white dresser, trundle bed and shelving unit from Ikea. Add some new curtains and bedding and that was that. A perfectly fine, perfectly generic child's bedroom.

On Sunday, Hubby took Buddy grocery shopping and I decided to hang a poster that Buddy had recently picked out. As I placed the image of a Minecraft creeper on the wall, I looked around and realized how much the room has changed. It is still yellow, and we still have the same white furniture. But on every surface and in every corner there is something that reflects Buddy's personality.

I am so happy that my Sweet Boy finally has a room of his own.
The old paint and dark furniture, plus Grem and Swar
Picture we submitted with our dossier

          
The Buddy-fied room. So much better! (I may have tidied up before snapping the pics :) )

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Why Did We Adopt Part 1 - Why did we adopt?

When someone (especially someone I don't know very well) asks me why we decided to adopt, I simply reply if they need to ask then adoption is probably not for them. How many biological parents are questioned about when they decide to have a baby? The inappropriate and very personal questions about our adoption never cease to amaze me.

But of course, we did have our reasons.

Hubby and I met, dated, got engaged and married in our twenties. When our other married friends began having children, Hubby went back to school and I became the sole bread-winner of the family. We got a dog, then another dog. Hubby started his new career. I had some health issues that required a couple of pretty intense surgeries. My Dad was diagnosed with cancer and passed away, followed by my Grandpa. My Mom needed to have her hips replaced. My Grandma was diagnosed with Alzheimer's. We had a lot of life going on and kids just didn't fit into our picture.

Once we reached our thirties, we began to feel the itch to grow our family. But after my health problems, we didn't want to think about getting pregnant until I checked with my (many) doctors. I was referred to a OB/GYN who specializes in high risk pregnancies and she green-lighted the idea of us trying at the first appointment.  She did caution that there are never any fertility guarantees but that there was nothing in my medical history to indicate I would have an issue.

So, Hubby and I sat down and had a serious conversation about what we felt the right move was. And after a lot of thought and deliberation both individually and as a couple we decided that we didn't feel that having a baby was the road we were meant to take. My past health issues were a factor, but not the whole story. There was something more that we couldn't quite put our finger on. We wouldn't figure out what that was until much later.

We had discussed adoption, but never in much depth. We decided to give that option some serious thought.

Stay tuned for Part 2 - Why did we adopt an older child...

Saturday, November 1, 2014

November is National Adoption Awareness Month!


In honor of National Adoption Month, I am going to be sharing a bit of our adoption story over the course of the month.

Hope you enjoy!

Check out the following links for more information of National Adoption Month:
http://adoption.about.com/od/adopting/a/historyofnam.htm
https://www.facebook.com/NationalAdoptionAwareness/timeline?ref=page_internal
https://www.childwelfare.gov/adoption/nam/#twtr=pro