February 26, 2012

Labor for the International Adoptive/Bio Mom

I was surprised and elated to see the following quote from Nancy (she has a fun blog at: http://nancyvnjourney.blogspot.com/), an adoptive parent who also has biological children.  She gave me permission to post this rather eloquent quote about international adoption:

"This is the labor of adoption.
Worry, fear, confusion, stress, and pain.  Coupled with joy, anticipation, longing, and love.
No different from a biological labor in hind-sight? 
I've experienced 4 biological labors, 1 with an epidural, 2 without, (one of those resulted in a 10 lb baby) and 1 with an epidural on only the left side, which let me tell you sista' does not actually constitute an epidural at all in my opinion!  If I'm being honest, biological labor was easier.  Yes, there was more physical pain in child birth, but in international adoption the emotional upheaval lasts longer and can be far more destructive than the pain of child birth. 
Top adoption off with some jet lag, a foreign language, 8,000+ miles, some heavy lifting, and a little traveler's bug and voilĂ !  You have all the makings of an expectant mama whose emotions are swinging faster than 14-year-old teenage girl."

I was surprised to read this from a mother with bio kids because I've heard a few times that adoption is "taking the easy way out."  I assumed because, typically, there's no physical pain for the mom in adoption that what I was feeling couldn't even compare.  The thought of pushing a giant baby out of a tiny hole in your body sounds like a picnic I don't wanna be at, and if I'm really honest, terrifies me.  So, it was pretty validating to read that a lot of the "pain" I've been through in my "labor" of adoption was just that - pain.  Definitely a blessing, but definitely not easy. When I emailed her she mentioned adding on: special needs, your child initially doesn't like you, cultural differences, and the pressures of having a mixed-race family.  So true, so true.  Thanks Nancy. Print Friendly and PDF

"Recycled" Shower

Yesterday, my friends Anne, Elaine, Amy, Kathy, Melissa (my sister and friend), Val, Greta, Marion...I'm probably missing someone who contributed significantly to pull this thing off...threw me a "Recycled" Shower.  Everyone was invited to bring used, recycled, or eco-friendly items for Autumn, including, clothes, toys, books, or anything else Autumn might need.  We went from having 3 outfits to having a full line of clothes for her to wear the next 3-5 years - including beautiful velvet Christmas dresses and cute Halloween costumes.  She got a tea set, play picnic box, dress-up clothes in a dress-up trunk, "girl books," and the list goes on.  It was a beautiful party and so awesome to see so many of my friends in one place.  Great day!  Thank you all very much!

These "fortune cookies" were made out of caramel!  They each had a little "fortune" in them that read, "Autumn Grace Hall will be here soon!"

Kathy's recycled brown-paper bag wrapping...

Heidi's Recycled Art - Beautiful!!!

At first, I thought this was a hair decoration, then learned it was a tutu.  I played it off like I knew that.  Clearly I have two boys at home.

Hopefully we'll find out tonight or tomorrow morning exactly what date we travel.
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February 21, 2012

Wanna hear something gross?

So, Saturday night we decided to watch a few episodes of The Muppet Show.  I started the stove to make some popcorn in one of those handle-spinning popcorn makers.  Within a few minutes our CO detector started screaming at us.  We double-checked it with a 2nd CO detector and it started screaming too.  I turned off the stove and we told the boys we needed to get out of the house.  I quickly gathered the essentials for an evening out away from home (purse, water bottle, snacks, gloves, long underwear, book, book light, notebook, bite guard).  

We called 911 because nobody answered the non-emergency fire department number.  We weren't sure if this really was an emergency, but apparently it was good enough.  They came in 10 minutes later.  I sat in the car with the boys while Steve talked to the firemen with the doors and windows of the house open.  They determined it was the stove.  They said don't use it, which equals eat out.  Score one for me!

The repairman came yesterday to look at it and found an "extreme case" in our stove where mice had built a rather large nest under the power burner eye of the stove.  SIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIICK!  How long have I been cooking on a mouse-infested stove?!  I think the repairman was holding back about how grossed out he was.  He couldn't make eye contact with me.  He was very matter-of-fact and kept stressing the word "extreme."  Apparently, the nest was made from insulation in the stove and food scraps from the kitchen.  Barf.  Barf.  Barf!

We've had mice since we moved in two years ago (Steve is going to kill me for admitting this).  I'm cheap and kind of a procrastinator (Steve's a little better than me).  I really have to have a fire lit under my rear in order for me to move.  I figured we have (past-tense) a cat and we'll throw down a few glue traps.  Umm...not enough, apparently.  The cat just played with them, harming them only enough to allow them to crawl back into our walls where they are probably laying with their intestines exposed being fawned over by Florence Nightingmouse.  

We finally brought in a pest guy in December (post-Fuzzy Kitty disappearance).  He sealed all the cracks around the outside of the house and set some "real" and "humane" traps.  He found a crack in our foundation where the mice were getting in and crawling through the walls to our stove.  So now that crack needs to be fixed.  Translation:  something else for me to procrastinate on and find 10 cheap alternatives for, until finally the house falls down.

So, I think I learned my lesson.  But I doubt it.  Frugality and procrastination are just too ingrained in me.  They're my BFFs.  Why do I have to learn every lesson the hard way?

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February 15, 2012

Scatter-Brained Mommies Club

Before I had kids, I used to judge moms. I was particularly judgmental of moms that were scatter-brained. I used to volunteer in our church library, and a woman would come in every Sunday with her four young kids. She had more late fees than anyone in the church and I thought – doesn't this bother her? Why can't she just get her act together and find the books on Saturday night? Can't she hang a book bag on the front door where library books are supposed to go when the kids are done with them?

Not to worry, I was quickly initiated into the Scatter-Brained Mommies Club when we adopted our first son. I'm convinced that when you become a mother, part of your brain is sloughed off and comes out of your pores when you sweat. I would have said “comes out your uterus along with your baby,” but like I said, my son was adopted, so I can't use that excuse.

Sometimes I'll need to correct my children or answer their questions quickly and I stutter out words that don't make sense to anyone.  “I said...don't...I don't...don't question me...because I said so!”  I fear that my kids will eventually believe me to be an idiot and rise up and mutiny against me one day while my husband's at work.

As a member of the Scatter-Brained Mommies Club I forget most everything and require some form of memory-aid. My mother-in-law suggested I write out a to do list. Brilliant idea! Except that as I'm writing my to do list my younger son screams. I run up the stairs to investigate the scene. I take care of the “boo-boo” with feigned consoling and Chewbacca band-aids and head back to my to do list only to find it's not where I left it. 


I set out on a quest to find the missing to do list. As I'm searching, I'm distracted by my older son wanting me to uncoil his slinky. Sometimes I think these are my sole purposes in life – to kiss boo-boos and uncoil slinkys. While I'm uncoiling the slinky, I notice that the carpet is dirty and I need to vacuum it. I go to get the vacuum and pull it out from behind the office door. I notice that I left my coffee sitting, half drunk, on the desk. I pick it up, excited that there is still caffeine in my possession, and head to the microwave to nuke it. I start the microwave and wonder what I was doing. I go to look at my to do list and remember that I lost it, so I begin my quest again. 

I walk up the stairs and notice the bathroom light is on. I reach in to turn it off and notice my to do list on the side of the sink – wet. At least I found it - even though most of the words are now illegible. As I take it back down to the kitchen to re-scribble the words before they are completely gone, I see the vacuum and remember the floor. I lug the vacuum down to the kitchen, even though I'm cleaning the carpet upstairs. This will be an obvious reminder to me to vacuum. 

I recopy my to do list on fresh, dry paper and put it on the refrigerator where I will never lose it. I lug the vacuum back upstairs, and as I'm vacuuming I decide to vacuum the entire house, including under the couch cushions. Hey! That's where that library book went. But crap - now I have to crawl back to the librarian on my hands and knees telling her that I did indeed have the book even though I was very adamant that the book was NOT in my house. Or I could just keep it. Or donate it to Goodwill so I don't feel so guilty about the little white lie. Eventually, I decide I'll swallow my pride and take the stupid book back. Tomorrow. Maybe I'll just slide it in the overnight drawer.

I put the vacuum back and realize I need to start dinner. First, I check on the kids because they've been awfully quiet for such an extended period of time. To my surprise they're both alive and not drinking poison or playing with matches. I smile. I go to the kitchen and get chicken out of the freezer. I forgot to thaw it. It wasn't on my list! I open the microwave to defrost it, only to find my half-drunk cup of coffee. I take the mug in my hand, walk over to my to do list (still on the fridge) and under “buy wart remover” I write “drink coffee,” and then cross it off as I take a cold sip.

someecards.com - Sometimes I write

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February 09, 2012

Article 5 Picked up!

Our Article 5 was picked up yesterday and was sent to CCCWA who will approve our travel (travel approval = TA).  The wait for TA is about 8-30 days, averaging 3 weeks.  So, we're about 5 weeks from leaving for China.  Wow!  We're not even talking months anymore.

We got some "updated measurements" for Autumn, but I think they're for the wrong child.  If last year's measurements are correct and these new measurements are correct then she would have grown 10 pounds and 5 inches in 10 months.  Don't think so.  So, we still don't know how big she is.  Anywhere from 18 months to 3T, depending on our source.  Lame. Print Friendly and PDF

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