Sunday, December 14, 2008

From Ashes to Africa

Check out this book that a couple wrote about adoption in Ethiopia - it is not available yet but I wanted to share it with you if you are interested.


Tuesday, December 9, 2008

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Our Anniversary!

This Thursday is our four year anniversary! We decided when we got married we would follow the traditional anniversary gifts. At first the gifts were really easy - we even got creative. The first year was paper, Garrett made me stationary and I made Garrett (and when I say "I" I mean my mom and I) a collage. Second year was cotton - another easy year - and Garrett got me a new pillow and I made him a quilt. Third year started to get a little tricky, leather. We're not big chaps folks so we had to think of something else. I got Garrett a leather satchel and he got me Ugg Slippers (no complaint there). Now this year is silk and we where stumped. We were pretty sure if we got silk sheets I would end up slipping out of bed and we were not in the mood for silk Jammie's. We decided to cheat this year and get watches instead - we figured the watches were shiny and you know what else is shiny - that's right watches. I'm wondering now that we've cheated this early in the gift giving process if we will have a hard time getting back on track. There are some very odd presents coming up and I don't know if we're up to the challenge. Next year is wood, and get ready for this, the next year is candy and iron. I think we'll be OK until the 14th anniversary where we'll not only have to get creative but wrestle with some pretty hefty moral issues - it's ivory. 

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Are you there baby?!

I have been substitute teaching this semester and I find myself fascinated by the students. My first experience was at a middle school and I came home that day inspired. I come from a long line of educators and my parents are natural teachers but I guess I forgot how much I like to teach. I gave guitar lessons for a couple years and I loved seeing my students learn something new. My first day I was surprised to find that the students thought I was funny - I guess my brand of humor really reaches teenagers (who knew). Since my first day I found lots of surprises. I was also surprised that there were things I did not know about popular culture. I, for example, was not sure what "brushing your shoulder off" meant, though I had heard it before. I had a student tell me she was brushing my shoulder off. When I went home that afternoon to look it up on the Urban Dictionary

My biggest surprise, however has been that I look at the students and think - could my child look like you, smile like you, treat others like you? I want so much for my future child and children but right now I would settle for just meeting him or her. When I am sub'ing at the schools I find so many wonderful kids that I just hope have a great family at home. Some of the students are so obviously loved and are secure with themselves. Others are detached and visibly lonely. If you seek those children out I promise they are happy to share with you and are desperately needing that attention.

Garrett and I are so eager to become parents. We have such a great time with our nephew and when he spends the night it is hard to give him back the next day (I'm sure Jarred and Michelle would let us keep him a bit longer - especially when he's teething). Recently we have set a date when we are going to being the international adoption. We are thinking March of next year. We have not given up on a domestic adoption but we want to have options as well. 

Well - that's it for now - hope everything is going well with everyone!!

We are off to Texas in a few days!!! My very first trip there and I am so super excited. 

Monday, August 18, 2008

Adoption Portfolio!!

Hi! We are excited to share our adoption portfolio with you. It was truly a labor of love for Garrett. I am so pleased with the outcome. I think you can really see how much love we have in our life.

Thanks!! Just click the link below. 

Monday, August 4, 2008

Is there something wrong with me?!

Recently my beautiful sister-in-law and my endearing brother told me that they are expecting, again!!! They have the most adorable little boy, Wyatt, who is 11 months. My first reaction was to giggle - both my sis-in-law and brother are hilarious and I can admit that sometimes I'm a little late to the party, but I thought they were joking. Jarred, my brother, quickly gave me a look that said - yep, we're knocked up. Now that the shock has worn off our family is SOOO excited and we are ready to welcome Bundle #2 to the family. 

The day they told us we were at the Zoo and I had this odd feeling that I later shared with Gar. I felt this overwhelming relief that I was not going through a pregnancy right now. My exact thoughts were, better her than me. I told Gar that I feel guilty about not wanting to be pregnant. Learning about the problems we had getting pregnant helped me come up with a plan to get healthy but that plan does not necessary include another pregnancy. 

I keep wondering if there is something wrong with me not wanting to get pregnant. I have so much more peace now knowing that we are going to adopt. When we were trying to get pregnant I don't think I really enjoyed life. Gar and I have been so happy this summer - vacationing, finishing our adoption portfolio, and spending time with our friends. 

I have, just today actually, found a blogger that chose to adopt rather than get pregnant. As unconventional as that choice seems to some, it feels very right to us. I feel so proud of Gar and I for choosing this for ourselves. Perhaps in a few years we may revisit the pregnancy option but right now we are just enjoying the time we have now, together. 

Gar has been reading a great book about adoption and he asked if he could post some of his thoughts about what he's been reading. I am excited that we will both be contributing - so I hope we will hear from him soon.

In case you are interesting in this amazing blog I found here is the link:

thanks for reading!!!!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

A Very Bad Blogger, Indeed!

What can I say, I haven't been very good about keeping up with my blog. But it all stops here and now (until the next time). We've been out of town and busy with family. Our nephew is getting so big and is more fun to be with every day. 

Nothing too new on the adoption front. We are finishing up our adoption book and will be uploading it soon so that everyone can see it. I am so thrilled with G's work!!! He has perfectly captured our life together and the result is amazing! I hope that our prospective birthmother can see the love coming from our book. We are now working on our birthmother letter and our bio statements. 

We have both been struggling with what to put in our letter and statements. I want to be accessible and show my personality but it's difficult when the stakes are high. It's hard to convey both a sense of humor and the thoughtfulness that should be included when someone is considering giving you their child. 

We are getting very close to sending in our book and then it will be just waiting and hoping. I've been thinking about what I should write about during this time. I hope it's okay if I branch out of the adoption field a little. I don't want to be breaking any blog etiquette rules. The way I see it, our life is going to go on while we wait and I want to share what we are doing during that time. Don't worry though - I won't go on and on about my obsession and very real love of Robert Redford - some of you know about it anyway - it's deep and it's real. 

Well - here's hoping you hear from me soon!!! If anyone has any ideas about things we should include in our letter and statements - please let us know!!!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Deep Breaths and Patience

Garrett is working tirelessly on our adoption portfolio last week and this week amid work projects and home projects. We started by choosing photos that we thought best represented our lives together. We chose pictures of us when we first started dating, pictures of our vacations, our family, friends, and of course our puppies. While going through the pictures I had this strange feeling like "wow, we really do have a great life." 

I think its important for us to remember that we started this family and our relationship is the foundation of the family that we are hopefully adding to. The adoption process is long and stressful and I am not one to be patient - I have a hard time waiting for the next issue of Martha Stewart's magazine. It is so hard waiting for our baby but I have to remember that we are going to have the baby we are meant to have. 

One thing that is helping me to pass the time is preparing our baby's room. While we, of course, don't know whether we will have a boy or girl we can do a lot ahead of time. I have chosen a gorgeous yellow (appropriately named "Cuddle" yellow) and have been getting the room ready to paint.

This is my first home project that I am attempting to do by myself and I am having to learn quite a bit. First of all - no project can get done in a day. I completely envisioned the whole room painted by the end of the first day. Garrett came home that evening to a very fussy and exhausted wife. All I had completed was washing the walls, sanding the woodwork, and fixing some trouble spots. The second thing I learned, and I think the most important, home projects should not be done in flip-flops. Some of you who know me well know that I love me some flip-flops. I have worn them in rain, snow, sleet and shine. This time the results could have been deadly. I decided to cut the carpet out (we're getting new carpet in a few weeks) so I could sand the baseboards and sliced into my toe with the carpet cutter. Blood was everywhere and I was none too pleased. 

Ultimately, lack of patience got me again. I wanted to get the room done and did not want to wait for Garrett to help me and all I ended up with was an unfinished room and a bandaged toe. This week I am trying to take deep breaths and remember - nobody got anything done being impatient and cutting off their toes to spite their face ???? 

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Home Study - Accomplished

We are happy to say that our home study went amazingly well! We were super nervous but our Social Worker was very good at putting us at ease. Our shy dog - Luka was a little standoffish but she still thought we had great dogs. 

For those of you who are curious about the home study process I would be glad to share with you our experience. First of all I should say that we way over did the cleaning. You may be surprised to find out that she didn't look in our cabinets or drawers. If you're laughing right now - I totally deserve it. I cleaned everything. Though I may have done too much I was comfortable knowing that my house was in fact clean. 

We first sat down with the social worker for about an hour as she asked us a variety of questions. We were asked about our childhood, family, reasons for adopting, and our interests and personality. As long as you are honest, I think the questions are pretty easy to answer. You are talking about things that you know - yourself and your family - so there's really no trick questions. 

After the questions she wanted a tour of our house. We showed her the backyard, the family room, and where the baby's room will be. One thing I read that was helpful is to start baby proofing your house. Social workers like to see that it's something you are thinking about and its also just a good idea. We have some pretty silly dogs and I wouldn't put it past them to go around licking light sockets. 

The whole process took about two hours and we felt really good about it afterwards. I have to say that I slept so well that night knowing that the home study was done and that we are definitely on the road to adopting. 


Wednesday, April 9, 2008

"She goes around in circles 'till she very, very dizzy..." - Cinderella

This week we are preparing for our home study. A social worker will come to our house and look around to see if it is conducive for a loving and healthy environment for a child. We've been cleaning like crazy - all the nooks and crannies. Even the dogs have been cleaned - and they better keep it that way (now if we can only get Garrett to clean up - just kidding). There is a lot of pressure put on the home study and I have been trying to relax but it's very stressful. I try to remember that of course our house is kid-friendly my nephew comes over, our friends' kids come over, and I even let my 23 year-old brother come over. I guess this is just the first official step we are taking towards the adoption - the no-turning-back step - and there's a certain amount of stress to that. 

Part of the stress of the home study is - how far is too far? Vacuuming, dusting, mopping all seem reasonable. Scrubbing the baseboards, washing the walls, using a toothbrush - maybe that was my step too far. I actually told my mom that last week was the deep clean week and that this week was for regular cleaning. Only a truly odd person has different definitions of clean. Those of you who know me well know my sick relationship with cleaning. I asked Garrett if we could make coffee for our home study - he said that was fine. The muffins and fresh cut flowers he thought might be too far. I have to remember - this isn't a brunch get-together with friends (so I guess having music in the back ground is too much?).

So, here's hoping I don't hand wash the covers of our books and Windex each of our CD cases. I just really hope every thing goes smoothly and that we get a good report.

Wish us luck,

Monday, March 31, 2008

Let's start at the very beginning.

So - I should probably explain the reasons why we have decided to adopt. I have always thought that I would eventually adopt but I wasn't sure when.  After going through a really awful miscarriage I had this overwhelming feeling that now is the time for us to adopt. My doctor's are optimistic that I can become pregnant again but Garrett and I have decided that it would be better for me to focus on my health. So while I am getting ultra healthy with low-carb diet, almost no-sugar (listen, everybody needs a cookie now and than), and working out on a semi-regular basis, I have had a lot of time to think about what life has planned for Garrett and me. 
Last post I briefly talked about the peace I have found from this decision. Ever since we have made this decision I have felt so calm and for the first time in my life I have faith. Faith that everything is going to happen exactly how it is supposed to happen. 

Our desire to adopt comes from our love of children and our ability to give a child a loving environment that they might not have a chance of getting. We also feel that we have the time and the energy to give the process of adoption the attention it deserves. Spending time with our adorable nephew has also shown us how ready we are to have a child in our life. While our pregnancy was unsuccessful, it did prepare our hearts for a child and we both feel like that our child is waiting for us, waiting for us to find him or her. 

We have been doing a great deal of research and have read some really informative books. Ultimately we would like to adopt an infant. In our research we have narrowed our choices to three options. First, we are pursuing private adoption domestically with a lawyer that shows our portfolio to birth mothers. Second, we are looking into an international adoption in Ethiopia. Finally, we are considering foster-adoption where we would adopt a child that is currently in foster-care.

Well - that pretty much covers the why's and how's. We are so excited and really feel like everything is falling into place. 

Thanks for all the support and love,

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Welcome me to the blogosphere!!!

Hello Hello! I have decided that it is time for me to have a voice. Although my friends and family will tell you that I have never seemed to have a problem with voice, I feel now that I need others to hear me as well. My husband and I are officially announcing that we are actively pursuing adoption. This blog will help me chronicle our journey for our family/friends and for 
those who are just curious. 

I'll get into the specifics later but for now I will just say that some things in life come with a peace that is profound and should not be ignored. Our choice to adopt has given me this peace and I would love to think that I could share that with others.