Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Day 155

So...you know you're freakish about organization and color coordination when you're shopping at Target (I do often on my lunch hour)....and you see this:

And your next thought is, "I have to have that. It will coordinate perfectly with the baby's stroller."
That's right. Baby's stroller. I made a cursory scan of the department, before stuffing the vest into my cart, in case anyone happened into my inward conversation. As a matter of defense...what you can't see, are small, lime green pinstripes on the outer vest, as well as a lime green lining inside the hood that perfectly match the lime green accents on the travel system. Call me crazy (Ben does), but do I really want to walk through parenting mismatched and frumpy? I think not. Baby is already not going to look like me....the least we can do is coordinate.

There. I've admitted it. I bought a puffy vest to match my stroller.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Day 153

Thank you for all the encouragement. I feel better, today. Although two families at our agency that were approved after us, have been linked with b.moms....It's enough to drive me crazy if I think about why we weren't chosen. I'm trying not to!

I've made a mental list of all the things I've wanted to do in life and never took the time. I figure, now is the best time to explore those avenues! At the top of the list, is photography. I've always loved taking pictures and tend to have a creative eye...but lacked the equipment and knowledge to really take my pics to the next level. My sweet Ben bought me a N.ikon D.60 for my birthday and paid for photography classes at a local college.

This morning, Meeghan and I had our first class fieldtrip (she's taking the classes with me!)

We went to an old mill and got lots of practice in! Here's the best of my 166 shots!

I'm really excited to use my new found techniques on baby...but until then, I'll perfect pictures of nature...and Ben! It's proving to be a perfect way to pass the time...

Friday, September 26, 2008

Day 151

Okay, my adoption friends. Why doesn't this process ever get easier? Why am I busy as a bee, enjoying life, working hard, and studying away...yet there's always one constant thought in my head. When will I finally get to be a mom? Don't get me wrong the constant distraction is good, it's helping me survive. But when the day's done and everyone goes home to their families, it's just Ben and me, eating dinner alone, staring at an empty nursery, picking out names...for a baby that doesn't exist.

One of my longest friends, Andrew, and his beautiful wife Jen just had a baby boy. I am seriously THRILLED for them, but watching the touching video Andrew put together for the baby, left me in tears, tonight. Then I read Mel's wonderful news. She's having a girl! A beautiful, healthy baby girl. She knows the date, knows the sex, and has an ever present reminder living inside. The "why" bird circled my thoughts as I thought about all the experiences I'm missing out on. I love the path we're on and if I had to choose, I think I would even pick it again...I know that the minute I hold our long-awaited sweetness of a baby it will all be worth it...but knowing that now, doesn't make today any easier.

My heart is not dark or heavy. It does not write from an unhealthy, all-consuming place. It's just sad...very very sad.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Day 146

How Sweet the Words
We're officially official! I mean we've been "official" since August 27th, but today I was able to officially read [with my own eyes] our home study! First of all, I can't believe how thorough it is. Holy cow! It goes way beyond social security numbers and blood types. If ever there was a legal document for my life, this is it! Sorry, friends, but no one will ever read this study...It pushes way beyond my level of public sharing [I know, hard to believe].

Anyway, how sweet the words, "Based on the facts presented in this home study it has been assessed that Benjamin and Rebekah are suitable and eligible for a domestic adoption They are a wonderful couple with a strong and stable marriage. They are assessed to have the makings of excellent parents..."

I didn't know how good it would feel to read those words until I read them. They assure me and excite me at the same time! I know it's just a document, but it confirms my heart and gives credence to my cry. It was really fun to read through other people's perception of us (case worker, references, doctors, employers, etc) but it was a little strange when I cam across this line--"There are no known conditions that would negatively affect Benjamin or Rebekah's ability to parent a child. Benjamin and Kimberly report no history of substance abuse..." ...uh...who's Kimberly?

Yup, that's right. CW swapped in Kimberly for Rebekah. And three people signed off on it. You'd think SOMEONE would have actually read through the entire report despite it's length and dryness. I'm not overly upset about it, because I know it's not going to affect the timing of a baby, but it is annoying that I have to call and ask for a new report. I've been checking the mail for it every day because I couldn't apply for adoption grants without it. Consequently, I'm back to waiting for a corrected report so I can proceed with my money-finding efforts!

In less annoying news....My sister had the most adorable invitations made for my shower. And I do mean ADORABLE! A family friend [Kristy] works in design and is starting to go public with her skills! First check out the invite (take notice of the sweet adoption poem in the corner):

[SIDE NOTE: Kristy came to my blog, saw our nursery theme and brought it to print. How cool is that? Her company is Posh Pixels Graphic Design. I think she's still in the process of getting a website together, but until then you can leave her some love in blog world.]

I am forever indebted to my beautiful friends for planning me a shower. It has been the perfect "in wait" remedy. From registering to calls of congratulation, I finally feel the realness of expecting.

I am going to bed tonight on a rush of adrenaline. I don't care how long it takes--as long as it's before Christmas [smile]--I know our baby is coming. The room is ready, the shower is planned, our hearts expanded. I feel like I'm walking an all time high, with the world's best secret...

I'm going to be a mom.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Day 140

Ben and I had a really fun time registering at Babies 'R Us, this weekend. It was completely different than my first experience (alone). I am so glad I let everyone talk me into having a pre-baby shower. Getting the guest list together, researching baby products, and registering has been a fun way to monopolize our time over the last few weeks. It also makes me feel more like an expecting mom. We stood in front of the nipple section of the first aisle for what I thought was an awkward amount of time (we had no idea what we were doing!), until I looked over and saw a very prego friend doing the same. She looked at me and said, "I have no idea which to pick and I'm not sure what we're having." Without hesitation, I said, "We don't know what we're having either and I've never had to pick out nipples before." At that moment, I felt just like every other first mom awaiting her due date, stuck in a nipple aisle wondering how in the world we're going to raise a baby. Not only were the choices overwhelming, we couldn't even say the word nipple without bursting into smile.

The experience left me full. I'm certainly not "ready" for a baby, but who is? Moms are always talking about milestones the first year: smiling, cooing, rolling, sitting, etc. Registering is definitely a benchmark to first time parenting. It finally feels real. WE ARE ACTUALLY GOING TO HAVE A BABY. Nothing could feel more wonderful.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Day 136

Nothing new to report. We're still waiting... Ben thinks "waiting" has been way easier than our "waiting to wait" time. I agree.

We do have a shower on the books (yah!!!!!), Ben's going to register with me tomorrow, and we've almost made it through the entire baby name book (with 50,000 names!). I have to say, I'm SUPER excited about our names. I never thought we'd come to an agreement. I like really different names (I can't imagine having an AA child named "bob"), but Ben leans more to the conservative side. It's a miracle that we were able to find names that we both like, but we managed! We have three picked out for a little girl and two for a little boy (so far! We're only on the G's!) Unfortunately, I can't share them with you [gasp!] because Ben wants them vaulted, until it's time. They'll be worth the wait!

It's amazing the progression your heart can make in such a short amount of time. God is really exploding his grace in my heart and I can hardly contain myself. It seems like all the puzzle pieces are falling into place. My heart soared, today, when I read a heart-cry email from my husband.

His words inspire and encourage me. We're in this together. We're going all the way.

[Taken from an email he sent to another adopting friend, today]
It's my opinion that God doesn't spite us intentionally into these situations, but rather I see it as he gives us the abilities to redeem them. I don't view it as God has closed my wife's womb, but rather he's given us this incredible ability to love an unloved one and make him/her our own. He's taken the sh1tty circumstances that a fallen world...or physics...or whatever has given us and given us the abilities to overcome. Maybe he foresaw our challenges and gave us each the special traits we need to make it work. Someone might say, "Why are you adopting?" and lately I've almost wanted to just say, "Because we can. Because we are up to the challenge. Because we were prepared for such a time as this." Could he just come in and supernaturally conceive for us? Sure, and I bet he does for many people. But maybe this time, for us, he's chosen a different way. Because we are able. Because we can do more than we ever thought possible. Because he sees someone for us and is preparing the way even now. I don't know. It's glass half-full mentality for sure, but it's also the only way I can reconcile this (and other) situations with God.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Day 130

I lost my wisdom, today. So if my posts lack their usual luster, you'll know why! I actually feel surprisingly good. I can't feel my face but I'd take that over nausea any day! My Ben has been taking good care of me, as I lay low.

Here's me in bed, smiling the best to my ability. I know, lame, right?

Turns out all four came out without a hitch (roots and all) so I should have minimal pain in the days to come. For some reason the Doc felt the need to give me my teeth, which is slightly disgusting. I took a picture and promptly pitched them. Who wants bloody, decaying teeth lying around?

By the time Ben came to the recovery room to see me I was pretty strung out and heavily medicated. He was allegedly asking me questions about the procedure, etc, [allegedly, because I have no recollection]. He's telling me about all the funny things I said and signed (yeah, as in sign language). I know, right? My best friend, Meeghan had her wisdom teeth out, yesterday, and was signing the word "drugs" to her husband. I must have sub-consciously remembered the story! Although I was signing "sleepy." Meeg might just have a closet drug problem...Chris, if you're reading this, you might want to look into that.

So, then Ben gets to this story...Now I forewarn you, this is not politically correct and Ben would have my head if he knew I was repeating it...but I can't help it, it's what came out! Okay, so I ask Ben, "Am I swollen? Am I turning black from the brusises?" Ben responds with, "No, not yet." I return, "Too bad...if I did, then I would match our son." [insert cracking up....I said that????]

Okay, psycho-analysts, what does that mean? In my sedated state, not only did I reference our black baby (and wanting to look the same), I mentioned "our son." As you can imagine, Ben had a field day with this and now claims we're having a boy!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Day 128

How in the world am I going to survive this wait? It has been exactly one week and I can't stop thinking about our baby. It's not that I don't have things to keep me busy (I have enough to keep 4 waiting moms busy) or that I'm not enjoying my time with Ben. I am. It's just that my heart can't rest. I wake up every morning thinking, "Maybe this will be the day," and daydream about what it will feel like to have a little person to call my own. There's no two ways about it, waiting is cruel. Haven't we waited enough?

I'm getting my wisdom teeth out on Friday morning. Maybe they can pump me with some extra sedative and wake me when it's baby time!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Day 126

I've been a busy girl! I finished the baby's quilt, this weekend, and found the most adorable polka dot sheets for the crib!

I decided to go with a down comforter, because I already had a twin one that I was able to cut to crib size. It's hard to tell in the picture, but the thick black stripe is actually a lux faux fur and the thinner black stripes are a black sequin material--very rockstar! I'm not going to do bumper pads (after much discussion with friends over the hassle of making the bed!), so all I have left to do is the bed skirt. I would like to find a horizontal black and white striped material, so that they match the walls! I am loving the black and white theme and have had fun picking out accessories. I'll give updated room pictures soon, when I get it all put together!

Total Bedding Cost: Crib Sheet $19.99 (splurge), down-comforter $0, Material $8-9, Add $6 for the bed skirt + 3 hours of time. Not a bad deal! Sure beats the $200+ crib sets at Babies 'R Us!!! I'm secretly hoping the baby is a girl because I think hot pink accents would be adorable! We'll see...

I also went and registered!

I admit, it felt awkward; unnatural. I was one of four "expecting" moms that began their registry that day. I was one of one that was missing the bulging belly and swollen ankles. I felt like a phony. My fears were somewhat put to rest when several spaces down the registration form I was asked to check the box "adopting" or "expecting." At least I was thought of. Ben wasn't with me and I felt out of my element, so I left after registering for several packs of hangers and an organic changing table pad. I know, pretty exciting, right? I feel more comfortable perusing online in the comfort of my own surroundings. No big bellies, No funny stares, no explaining. I don't think I'll brave the store again without Ben. At least, then, someone in the world will understand, and hold my hand through it.