Updates

Nov. 21st, 2010 10:03 am
sal_amanda: (Default)
Haven't posted in a while.  Oops.  

Nora is doing much better now.  She still gets frustrated when she wants us NOW and we're busy with Henry, etc., but daycare is fine and she's still very happy about Henry's presence in our lives.

Henry will be one month tomorrow.  I'll try to remember to post about measurements after we take them, but last week when I weighed him, he was just under 10 lbs.  

He's starting to smile already, which is super cute.  And yesterday morning I even got a little bit of a laugh out of him while doing pat-a-cake.  He loves pat-a-cake.  

One frustration I have is time.  I'm still teaching classes twice a week so there's planning for that and going in for that and juggling both kids and whatnot.  I'm not as tired as I was with Nora, but with Nora, all I had to deal with was her.  Granted, that was a lot to deal with, but that was the only thing.  I will say that I'm feeling much more comfortable with my knowledge and instincts.  Still, this is the last time I want to do the newborn thing, for sure.  He's a much easier baby, but this will be enough.

We had a social worker visit yesterday and will have four more before we can finalize.  Our 30 day waiting period will be up on Thanksgiving and I will be holding my breath until then.  I'm not overly worried, but I take nothing for granted.  I dropped off a letter and pictures for the birth mom to the local office on Thursday and then got an e-mail that night from the social worker at the Ohio office letting me know that Henry's birth mom was wondering if there were any pictures yet.  I'm really pleased that she's interested in knowing how he's doing.  I hope to hear from her sometime so I can have more information to share with Henry.

Anyway.  My other time strain?  Preparing for the holidays.  I'm not in the mood.  I just want to chill at home.  And what in the world do you get a two month old for Christmas?  I mean, he doesn't really need much of anything because we have all of Nora's old stuff still.  I'm stumped.
sal_amanda: (Default)
The driveway finally has asphalt, but we can't drive on it yet.

The swaddling mostly works still, but Henry is starting to get very strong and Incredible Hulks his way out when he's really pissed.  Also when he's really pissed, and he's crying really hard (like when I'm making him a bottle or something and he isn't interested in being patient), he works up this major sweat on his face.  All over his nose and forehead.  It's actually kind of funny.  My co-worker says her daughter does the same thing.  I'm glad it's not just Henry.  As funny as it is, I've never seen anything like it before.  

And let me tell you how glad I am to not be breastfeeding this kid.  He started off eating twice as much as the other babies in the hospital nursery.  At discharge, he was taking about four ounces every four hours.  He has now increased the amount to about 5-6 ounces, but has actually DEcreased the time between feedings to 3-3/12 hours during the day.  And Level 1 nipples were too weak for him.  Remember that he'll only be 3 weeks old tomorrow.  I should weigh him on my garage sale baby scale later.  Since we don't know what his due date actually was, I wonder if he was very late and that's why he's so ahead of the game on eating.
sal_amanda: (Default)
Oh, and my fricking driveway is still not done.  They came and dug it up before we got home.  Then they did the sidewalk and the apron of the driveway.  Then it rained late last week.  Figured they'd come yesterday when it was sunny and pleasant, but no.  I still have a gaping hole in my driveway, making it a giant pain in the ass to leave the house with the amount of things I need to take anytime I go anywhere now since I have to carry it all out to my car that is parked on the street.  Grumble, grumble.
sal_amanda: (Default)
Swaddling is my night time friend.  No joke.  Apparently unless John does it and then it just makes him mad.  ;)

Did I mention this kid can eat?  I'll have to weigh and measure him later, but I'm sure he's growing like crazy.  

Poor Nora is having adjustment troubles.  She's been crying about going to "school" every morning.  I tried to point out that I am actually still going to work (for a few hours a week anyway) and that when I am home, I'm not having any fun and she'll definitely be having much more fun at daycare.  Tried to point out what a good time she'll have with her friends and that she'll learn lots of new stuff.  Tried to point out that when she was a baby, I stayed home with her for a long time.  Tried to point out that Henry will be going to daycare soon, too, but I don't think she'll care about that fact until it actually happens mid-January.  

So I haven't stumbled on just the right thing to say.  She wasn't kicking or screaming or protesting that she had to put her shoes and coat on or anything, but she was in tears when she and John left this morning and I haven't heard yet how drop off went, but it hasn't been good lately.  

Angry jealousy is easier to work with than this, I think.
sal_amanda: (Default)
Rockinlibrarian reminded me that I haven't posted yet that we're home.  So, we're home.  Got the call Tuesday around 3:30ish and left around 5:30ish, getting home around 1ish.  In the a.m.  We're not those people that can drive at night, so that wasn't fun.

Home is good, but I've been busy nonstop with laundry, unpacking, etc.  Today we went to the doctor's.  Henry was 7 lbs 11 oz at birth.  Not sure what he was at discharge.  But today he was 8 lbs 8 oz.  This kid can eat.  

Now we just need to keep working on that whole night/day thing.  He's there some nights, but not consistently.  Fingers crossed for tonight since I'm going to work for a bit tomorrow.  I'm going to be trying to go in about 10 hours a week until the semester ends and then I'll take a real full month off before going back mid-January.  Henry will be chilling with Grandma on these days I go in.  

Anyhoo.  Should go to bed now since I have no idea how long this lull will last...
sal_amanda: (Default)
Still in Ohio.  Just waiting.  Getting antsy about it.  Tomorrow we start driving towards Cleveland in the hopes that we get a call along the way and don't have to get a hotel room.  

As for the driveway, my neighbor tells us that they started digging it up today, but it's not filled yet.  I called to check since I had voicemail from the contractors today telling us we can't drive on it for seven days.

Seven days?  Um, my car is still in the garage and I kinda will need to drive it if we ever get home to get this kid to the pediatrician and go teach my class Friday afternoon.  So we let the neighbor know where the spare car key is and he's going to attempt to drive on the dry lawn.  Of course, it's November now and we're technically not supposed to park on the street from November until April.  

Let's hope they're not ticketing or they'll see our dug up driveway and understand why we're parked there...
sal_amanda: (Default)
Paperwork has cleared Ohio and is heading for New York approval.  Of course, that means nothing since it's now the weekend.  

On the plus side, I think we'll have a new driveway when we get home.  We had a call from the contractors who are fixing the driveway after that massive water break in September.  They'll be working on it Monday if the weather holds.  
sal_amanda: (Default)

So the person in Ohio who would be handling the paperwork that would let us leave the state was out today.  She'll be working on it tomorrow, but then it still needs to go to New York.  Guess we'll be here for Halloween.  My friends bought us pumpkins so Nora and John carved a couple today. 

We've been trying to keep Nora busy.  John took her to a little interactive science museum in Dayton today.  I'm taking her to the Cincinnati zoo tomorrow. 

She's doing fairly well, but has had some moments.  Notably yesterday when we went to Target.  We put Henry's carrier in the basket of a cart and Nora insisted that she wanted to sit there.  It was an all out tantrum that required me to remove her from the store for a few minutes.  Yay.

Our friends have been absolutely fabulous and we're seriously so much more comfortable than we'd ever be cramped into a hotel.  I can't thank them enough. 

Henry is a serious eater.  They told us at the hospital that he ate twice as much as the other babies.  And he is producing some major waste, as a result, that has rendered newborn sized diapers useless.  Not absorbant enough.  So despite having a ton of them, we've had to move on to size 1 because the massive outfit and sheet changes has been making us all crazy.  TMI?  Baby poop is cute, though.

I will say this.  Whether it's experience or a difference in baby personality or, more likely, not needing to deal with my own physical recovery and hormones, this seems a bit easier this time around.  *knock on wood*
 


At last!

Oct. 26th, 2010 11:03 pm
sal_amanda: (Default)

I'll try to do the short version.  Got a call as I was leaving work Friday from Adoption STAR about a situation in Ohio for a baby boy born that day.  I was assuming it was a profiling opportunity, but then she told me we were already picked. 

What?!?!?!?!

So there was scrambling to get ourselves prepared for a trip this weekend.  We left yesterday and then got stuck in construction that lasted through three states.  And no, that's not an exaggeration.  It sucked. 

But we finally got to Cincinnati and, after checking into the hotel we were staying in last night, we went directly to the hospital.

And that is when we first met our son, Henry Xavier.  We got to hang out with him for a little while, and then came back this morning to do all the paperwork and whatnot.  We met the birth mom very briefly and we exchanged thank yous.  I'm hoping we'll have some more contact in the future, even if it's just letters, but I'm not sure. 

Nora is handling it all reasonably well.  When we got there this morning, we got out the stroller that she herself has not ridden in for a very long time, but she insisted on riding in it.  She was really distraught over it, so I let her ride in it when we went in and made a big deal out of her passing it on to Henry.  We had a discussion today about things that big girls can do that babies can't.  And she has defintely taken her role as diaper changing helper very seriously.  She really likes to open the tabs on the diapers. I'd like to keep things as normal for her as we can.

Not helping the normalcy factor right now is our inability to leave Ohio yet.  We have to wait for the courts to grant us permission to cross state lines with Henry.  So thankfully, we have friends who are very generously letting us stay with them.  Seriously, that's unbelievably awesome.

And Henry is also awesome.  He's a good baby, very sweet, very adorable. 

I should honestly be going to sleep right now...
 


sal_amanda: (Default)
For those of you who have seen pictures of Nora, that's the hair I grew up with.  As I got older, it got darker and wavier.  But it's always been super thick.  I always wanted curls and tried numerous perms in junior high/early high school.  I think I had only one that ever lasted more than a few weeks, and even that wasn't the spirally look I wanted.  My hair has just always been too heavy to hold curls.  Even for fancy updos and such, it would take a serious amount of hairspray to keep in a curl that was ironed in, and even that would fade out by the end of the night.  

Well, if I couldn't have curls, then I wished for stick straight hair so I could pull off certain looks when it was shorter, but that wasn't meant to be, either.  Too thick and too wavy.  It always just waved upward instead of under, even if blow drying strategically with a round brush.  

I've had hair of just about every length.  I'd have a vision in my head of what I wanted it to look like and go get a cut, but it never turned out quite like that in reality.  Who's known me long enough to remember when I went "Halle Barry short" one summer?  That was a pain in the ass to grow out.  And also, I do not have Halle's texture so that definitely didn't turn out the way I envisioned.  

During that growing out process, I used a lot of hair product to keep it under control.  Horrible for my skin, so that made me go styling product free.  Have been ever since.

And let's talk color.  I dyed it in 12th grade a magnificent shade of red (actually Julie dyed it, but you know what I mean).  Red Penny.  And that began my love affair with red hair.  I did a lot of red.  Once in a fit of post-break up craziness, I went black.  Then I did a lot more red.  Then I moved on to red highlights because I didn't need to worry about roots as much.  Eventually, before I was planning on getting pregnant, I had the salon figure out what color my roots actually were and dye it back to that.  It had been so long, and in that time, it had gotten a lot darker.  So I was rather surprised to discover what color my hair now naturally was.  

Then I got pregnant and enjoyed my hair for many months.  Then I wasn't pregnant anymore and it was even wavier than it had been before.  Then I got an IUD and my hair got even coarser and wavier than it had been before that.  Thanks hormones.

And all the while, I kept going to get haircuts with lovely visions in my head of what I wanted it to look like, but it never turned out that way.

Enter the adoption process.  Most of you know that we're open to race, and in all likelihood, we'll probably adopt a baby that is not white.  So I've been exploring and researching how to take care of natural black hair.  Because I would want to keep my child's hair natural.  I quit hair styling products years ago and I've never worn much makeup (except that blue eyeliner phase in 7th grade, which was also a bad time for hairspray), so I'm pretty natural myself.  I don't even like to blow dry it, but I really need to in the winter.  Even then, I will only buy blow dryers that have a warm setting so I don't have to use it on hot.  

I have found some fantastic resources online.  The Natural Haven, Black Girl with Long Hair, Nubian Tresses, Happy Girl Hair (which is written by an adoptive mom with two twins from Ethiopia who have completely different hair texture).  I've gotten some fabulous hair style ideas, some of which you've seen demonstrated on Nora, and I've gotten a really good dose of discussion about loving what nature gave you.  

And I really took that discussion to heart, except I seemed to forget to apply it to myself.  

I got my hair cut Sunday and I had this vision of what I wanted it to look like.  Except that the bottom layer will never be all one length for me because my wavy hair shrinks up in the front when it dries.  I made a remark about how hairdressers should account for that shrinkage and grumped that it wasn't what I was thinking of.  

And then I looked at it and decided I liked what it was doing anyway.  Because this is what my hair does.  This is me in my natural state.  And if I learn to work with what I have instead of trying to fight it all the time, I'll be much happier.  Isn't that what all my favorite hair blogs have been telling me all this time?  Oh sure, there are certain styles that will never work on my head.  But so what?  I can do certain things that others can't do and vice versa.  And if I believe that this is good, I can instill that in my children to be happy with what they have, which is something I've been hoping to do anyway by reading and researching.  Now it's more likely to happen just because of the example I set.

x-posted to Facebook
sal_amanda: (Default)
In our adoption group, there have been three placements so far, two pregnancies after they'd decided to go with this process post-fertility treatments, and one match coming up for a baby due in March.  

Here's our latest.  Sometime this summer, someone on the Adoption STAR yahoo group had posted that a lawyer she was working with was looking for someone interested in a placement with an African American birth mom.  Clearly this woman wasn't interested in that case, but was willing to pass the info on.  This lawyer lives in our town so I called her up and dropped off a profile.  That was the last I heard.

Wednesday night this lawyer called us to see if we'd be interested in a completely different case.  This was a couple in college together who had made private plans with some people, but they backed out because they still hadn't properly dealt with their fertility issues.  The lawyer said she was due in 3-4 weeks and everything looked good, so we said yes.  She still had our profile since the birth mom from the previous case had never been back in touch.

Friday she called again to say the baby had been born that day, but the profiles hadn't gotten to them yet.  The original plans had been for the profiles to get there this weekend anyway, but of course they'd have to make a quick decision since I presume the baby would need to be discharged today.  

This lawyer isn't exactly touchy feely like the agency so I figured we'd only hear back from her if she had something positive to say.  And at this point, I think we can safely we're not hearing anything.  
 
sal_amanda: (Default)
Just had an e-mail from a couple in our adoption group.  They e-mailed us and one other couple separately to let us know that they were picked for that whirlwind case on Thursday, but they had found out we and the other couple included in the e-mail had also been profiled for it, and they wanted to let us know before publicly announcing it to everyone.  Which was a very sweet thing to do.  I've always assumed that certain people we know were being profiled for the same cases and figured it was only a matter of time before something like this occurred.  

In any case, this couple is absolutely our favorites from the group, so if it couldn't be us, we're very happy that it was them.  

But I'd still like it to be our turn soon.
sal_amanda: (Default)
Well, this was an interesting day.  I got a call earlier today from the adoption agency.  They had a profiling opportunity that was going to be a quick turnaround.  The birth mom didn't realize she was pregnant (which I always find mystifying when I hear stories like that) and wound up giving birth at home two days ago.  She then took the baby to the hospital (the one where Nora was born - it was a local case) and they said he was perfectly healthy.  But he was going to be discharged today and they needed a home for him ASAP.  So for a few hours I sat with the possibility that I would have a baby this afternoon.  But we were one of six profiles being sent and we didn't get picked.  

On the plus side, at least it was a fast decision so we didn't have to be in limbo for days.  

Also, I feel bad for these agency workers.  I always feel they're bracing themselves to deliver bad news and are generally surprised when I just accept it as a matter of fact. 

I wonder what it means about us that the birth moms who are most interested in us are the ones that aren't really ready to go through with the process.

*sigh*

Sep. 27th, 2010 07:39 pm
sal_amanda: (Default)
Finally got a call right at the end of the business day today from our adoption worker.  The birth mom is opting not to go with us.  She gave a flimsy reason.  Something about her concerns that John's family lives so far away.  But then my family lives here and it's a weird reason anyway.  Our worker is of the mind that she's still not totally invested and she's making up excuses.

So back on the saddle...
sal_amanda: (Default)
We met the birth mom on Thursday.  We talked to her for a while about this and that, with our worker facilitating.  We haven't gotten feedback yet on if she liked us, but I'm leaning more towards believing she'll go through with it if she does like us.  The worker this woman has a connection with was out of town on another case so as soon as they connect, we should have an idea of where things go from here.  

Side note on this case, though.  I have next to nothing for a boy in his size.  I bought smaller diapers.  All our gender neutral stuff is much smaller.  And Nora mostly wore girly hand-me-downs at that age.  Yet I don't want to get too much if it doesn't work out.  What a quandary.

And also, I love the word quandary.
sal_amanda: (Default)
I should go back into my archives and see if I can figure out when the last of our water main breaks was.  Because we had a good one today, let me tell you.  

I didn't get in the shower until 11:30 this morning and towards the end of it, the water pressure got really low really quick.  The last time this happened it was because they were turning the water off right then and I got stuck having only one leg shaved.  So I hurriedly got rinsed, got out, and threw on my bathrobe to see if I could see where the break was.  And it wasn't too difficult to find since it was in our front yard.

Yelled for John and then went to find a water bill to get the phone number to call.  I tried to tell the man that answered that this was a major one.  He replied that they always are in this area.  No really.  This is a major one, even by our usual standards.  

The force of the water pushed up the sidewalk, pushed up the end of our driveway, and pushed out all the stones underneath both the sidewalk and driveway.  We all went out in our rain boots to check it out and set up a picnic lunch for Nora and the girl next door.  The water authority guy showed up an hour after I called, though he said he was coming in from a town at the southern end of our rather large county (Eden for you locals) and we're at the northern most corner of the county.   He got there just before the guy who lives in the same town as us.  Go figure.  

Apparently there were other breaks elsewhere as well, so we're waiting for them to show up for some digging, but the water is off now.  This was huge, though, and even the guys that showed up were pretty amazed.  We're going to be needing an entirely new driveway.  And it's likely not safe to drive on it at the moment so we're sort of trapped until they dig and then refill it with dirt and rocks, unless we want to drive on the grass, but that's worse case scenario.  

Nora was amused at first, but then started to understand the inconvenience factor since we can't flush and I have to Purell her hands since we can't wash them.  This last bit was mostly a pain because when I put her down for nap, she couldn't suck her thumb because the Purell made it taste gross.  

We were supposed to have had the driveway sealed Thursday, but it was raining so the guy didn't show.  Good thing or we'd have wasted $45.  Now the town gets to pay for a new driveway, though the problem with that is that they take forever to get that done, as we've experienced before.  I may have to be an angry taxpayer if we get into snow season because snow blowing dirt and rocks will be impossible.
sal_amanda: (Default)
We told our worker that we'll move ahead with this.  Before we officially move ahead, though, they want to arrange a visit so the birth mom can meet us.  Waiting to hear when that is...
sal_amanda: (Default)
I got some much needed clarification from our worker today.  What the judge would actually do is appoint a guardian ad litem, which is representation for the child, to be sure it's a good placement before finalization could occur.  NOT before placement would occur.  Even with a newborn, it takes months for finalization to occur.  And even with a newborn, this particular judge often appoints a guardian ad litem because she doesn't like open adoptions.  So this isn't actually something that would slow up the process like I was thinking before and is something we could potentially experience even with a newborn adoption.

So if we say yes, this would go to court in just a few short weeks.  And if she shows up to court and signs the papers, we bring a baby home.  And if she doesn't, we move on, and we're in no different a position than we are right now.  

As for the age, we've both thought about it, and we're okay with it.  I've done the newborn thing with Nora and I'm not someone that absolutely needs to have that again.  There are certain things I won't object to missing, honestly, and it's not like he's been abused or anything.  When our friends met him a few months ago, he was a very healthy baby who had no problems taking to them, they said.  And one of those guys is a pediatrician at the hospital where Nora was born (and is also gracing local PSAs about immunizations that I see on TV everyday).  If we ever had a third child, I was planning on adopting older anyway, possibly international.  I think we're well prepared for the challenges involved with that, and if we're not, we're okay with seeking help.  

I told our worker I'd give her an answer tomorrow.  I think you can see where our thoughts are going...
sal_amanda: (Default)
Talked to our friends who were previously matched with this baby when he was about 5 months.  They had good things to say about the well-being of this child and loveliness of the birth mother's vibe.  There's just that indeciveness thing going on.  But they gave me other food for thought.  He's 9 1/2 months now.  The judge had wanted to go through a long process to be sure the birth mom was really cool with it and the guys we know were really appropriate, etc.  So it could be months before this child is even placed with us.  

I need to call my worker tomorrow and get an idea of a timeline.  Not sure we can keep ourselves in limbo so long on such a risky case.

Whoa

Sep. 13th, 2010 12:17 pm
sal_amanda: (Default)
Had a call from our adoption worker last week, but it was the end of the day Friday so she said to just call her back today.  So I did figuring she just wanted to check in with us or whatever.  But she actually had a situation for us.  But it's a complicated situation.

This birth mom had an adoption plan when she was pregnant, but then bailed.  The baby was born January 1st.  She came back in over the summer to create a new adoption plan.  We were profiled then, but not picked.  However, a couple from our group got picked.  Birth mom didn't show up to court and that was that.  

So now she's back.  She came in last month and got some profiles.  The agency didn't even bother telling anyone they were being profiled because of her history.  Well, she came back in and is interested in us.  The baby is now 9 months old and he could be 10 months old by the time anything would be done.  He's healthy.  Birth mom's mom seems to be on board this time, so the birth parent worker thinks she'll follow through.  Our worker is on the fence about that.  

Now, the legal stuff is what it is.  They would do this directly through the courts so there is no waiting period once the papers are signed.  So if she shows up to court and signs the papers, that's it.   

What I need to think about for a few days, though, is his age.  I need to really reflect on just what it is that I wanted from this process.  Would I be really bummed to not have a newborn?  In some ways, yes, and in some ways, no.  There could be issues of attachment at this point, too.  So I need to spend some time wrapping my head around this, and they gave me the week to do so.  

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