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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Shocker: I’m stressed. This whole last-four-weeks ‘til adoption due date thing is a little more stressful than exciting. Don’t get me wrong, I’m VERY excited and EAGER for this all to happen, but it’s SO out of my hands (which, yes, so is pregnancy)…and I’m dealing with the stress by eating for two! This is not good. I don’t actually HAVE two to eat for. And I have a prom dress to fit into this weekend (for Halloween). I repeat: this is not good.

Last week, I found out some news that really bummed me out. Maybe I’m just way too optimistic about how this whole thing will go down, but I really thought that it would play like this: Mia would text us (or tell her counselor who would tell Joy who would tell us) that she’d gone into labor. We’d maybe even do the whole middle-of-the-night thing and call a neighbor to stay at the house until my parents could come. Mike and I would rush off to the hospital and pace in the waiting room eagerly anticipating the moment when a nurse comes out and says, “Come meet your daughter!” And then we’d even get to stay in a room with Baby Girl because everyone knows that those first few hours are extra delightful for bonding. That’s how it went down in my head.

Like most thoughts in my brain, that’s not reality as it turns out. Originally, Mia’s birth plan was that she wouldn’t hold the baby at all (knowing that that would make things harder), well, that’s changed and I really can’t blame her. Now, we won’t get to go to the hospital until a good while AFTER baby is born and Mia has had a chance to have some one-on-one time with the baby. I TOTALLY understand this, it just, ya know, will make the wait a little longer which, ya know, is a little – a lot – hard. So, we’ll get a call that Mia is in labor and then probably have to wait a full 24 hours until we get the call saying, “OK, she’s here! NOW, you can come to the hospital and meet your daughter now.” That’ll be a LONG 24 hours. (But obviously a lot longer for Mia, I’m sure).

This is such a balance – it’s a balance between getting too excited but also keeping a guarded heart. It’s a balance between thinking that I AM important in this equation and knowing that, right now, it is – and should be – primarily about the birth mother. It’s a balance between being excited that I’m not the one to go through labor and nursing and yet aching with the lack of physical connection that I will have with this newborn and wishing that I could be the one to do those things. It’s a balance and balance has always been a challenge for me.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Zachary is a little sponge. Half the time he says something I’m flabbergasted with his vocabulary…or his sense of humor and skill for irony.

Two days ago in the car he randomly stated, “Here is my hypothesis: It will rain soon and there might be thunder.” When I asked him where he learned about what a hypothesis is, he reported that he received that knowledge from the PBS show “Dinosaur Train” – which he hadn’t actually watched in several days. He was just held on to that big word and waited for the best opportunity to use it.

Yesterday’s commentary was a bit more random (again in the car), “Mom, did you know that there’s only one pencil in Pennsylvania?....And it’s a MAGIC pencil!” Um, ok.

And Matthew did a funny one the other day. We were outside doing sidewalk chalk in the driveway and on the street when a woman walked by with a little dog – it was cute, probably part Pug, part Shih Tzu. A Pugzu? A Shug? Anyway, the woman had stopped so that Zach and said-dog could inspect each other when Matthew says, “Your dog has a gorilla face!”

I was a bit mortified as I figured that this little creature was the woman’s furry baby, but she just laughed. When I lightly scolded Matthew, he quickly saved himself by saying, “No! Gorillas have cute faces!!”

Sunday, October 17, 2010

It’s post-National EE Convention, pre-baby, but I swear I’m not just sitting around eating bon-bons. I’ve demolished our master bathroom which has snowballed into a reorganization of every drawer and closet in the upstairs. Our bedroom currently looks like it was dumped upon by the random-innards-of-bathroom-drawers monster. There is stuff everywhere. Baby Girl’s bedroom floor is currently mountained (well, that SHOULD be a verb ‘cuz you know exactly what I mean) with all-things baby that I’m slowly starting to retrieve from boxes tucked away. Zachary thinks that putting little teeny-tiny baby socks on his fingers is pretty much the funniest thing ever. He has LOVED seeing some of the little outfits that he and Matthew wore as newborns. The clothes look SO tiny and yet are ginormous when I lay them out next to the preemie outfits that Zach once sported which ba-lows the mind.

Anyway, my master bathroom is soon to become my personal spa and sanctuary. Our master bathroom has a tiny little shower stall, so tiny in fact that we’ve only used it twice in the eight years that we’ve lived here, opting instead to just use the shower-tub in the main bathroom off the hallway. (The master shower water literally hits Mike in the bellybutton because the shower head is so low and I’m fairly certain that he can hardly turn around in there). So, I’m repainting the whole thing (walls, cupboard, vanity), getting a new light fixture, a shower head extension and new head, installing a shelf above the shower (so there’s actually a place to hold shampoos etc.), and I’m moving all of my bathroom necessities into the drawers and cupboard – I’m marking my territory with shampoos, lotions, perfume and make-up and making the place my own. (Mike will still be ‘allowed’ to shave, take in and out his contacts and brush his teeth in this bathroom, but the real sanctuary-ness of it will be solely mine).

This is called nesting. This is called needing a project to keep my mind off the fact that in 5 ½ weeks (or less-ish or more-ish) we will hopefully be having a baby girl. This is called Jenny-is-internally-freaking-out-and-needs-some-serious-distraction.

Good news from Joy (social worker): because of Baby’s Native American heritage, they had to send letters to 27 local tribes. See, the tribes, COULD get involved if they decided that they didn’t want a Native American baby raised by white folk like us. Thankfully, 26 of the 27 tribes have already responded saying that Baby Girl is unenrollable (because she’s such a small percent Native American and her roots are tricky to trace anyway). This process could have really slowed down the legal steps of moving towards finalizing the adoption, but it looks like it won’t be a problem.

I’ve actually just recently emailed with Birth Mom Mia, and I have to say that – while trying not to be ignorant and TOO clad in rose-colored glasses – I stinkin’ adore this girl. We really could not have been blessed with a more wonderful pregnant lady. And she seems pretty darn pro-us too. I can only imagine how she is feeling as these last weeks of pregnancy wrap up. She only has a few more weeks of being the sole ‘parent’ to this little child and then she will hand her over to practically-strangers, but strangers that she picked for this purpose. I can only imagine. Please keep Mia in your thoughts and prayers as we inch towards our due date.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Annnnnnd, we’re back! Thank you for holding. The 2010 National Engaged Encounter Convention was a HUGE success (as I – one of the co-chairs – so very humbly say). We lived at the hotel for a week, we scrambled at the last moment to get a last minute fill-in presenter, we hosted a party for 450 people (and didn’t get in trouble with the hotel!), we ignored our children for the last couple of weeks – OK, or years – and we successfully “Rebooted” (the theme was “Reboot your Relationship”) all attendees. It was such a party that I even got a babysitter for the boys so that my parents could have a night off and join us (I know – aren’t I kind?). They were having such a good time I had to call the sitter to see if I could extend their curfew (now, that’s a role reversal)! The whole thing was awesome. Wonderful. And now it’s done – thank God!

The boys had a great time hanging out with my parents while they’re parents partied – er, worked – at the hotel. Zach spent one afternoon at my friend Andrea’s house where he (don’t pass this around too much) secretly, thoroughly enjoyed playing with Shay’s and Brooke’s Barbies. He loved it but was quite distraught and frustrated at one point. He’d been playing quietly with the dolls – er, action figures – in Brooke’s room while Andrea and Brian – who works from home – were on computers in their family room. All of a sudden, Zach – having stealthily tip-toed down the hall – jumps into the room and shouts, “BOOO!!! Did I scare ya?!” He then went on to ask Andrea for assistance.

“I’ve tried every single one of these hairbrushes and I CANNOT get the tangles out of this Barbie’s hair!” Andrea reported later that she and Brian had a hard time showing sharing Zach’s s amount of concern as they were so distracted by his cuteness and focus on the problem. It’s true – his cuteness can be quite distracting.

Anyway, we’re settling back into ‘normal, quiet’ life – the kind of ‘normal’ where we scramble to wrap up Nat’l Convention loose-ends so we can hand it over to the next suckers – I mean, Convention Coordinators (Boston, 2012). Our ‘normal’ life is surprising with the occasional kid falling in the closet laundry basket and the backyard being visited by three deer!! We also have quite a few big house projects we’d like to do. Then there are the doctor and dentist appointments that we’ve been putting off and then there’s this whole baby thing that’s happening in about a month and a half!!! Right! That’s our normal quiet life, alright!