Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Missing cords

Sounds profound, eh? Well, the truth is, my mom (aka "Grandma") stole the cord that transmits pictures from my camera to the computer. She says I will get it back when I bring her newest grandson to visit her - I'll believe it when I see it.

The other day I was happily typing away on my computer when I realized that the power cord was not working. So I fiddled with it a little bit and it began to spark and smell like electrical fire! I put it on the front patio for my husband to find when he came home.

So, no new pictures because I can't transfer them, and no old pictures because this is not my computer and there are no pictures on this dinosaur!

Oh, and by the way...

Blah blah blah blah blah blah blog. (RK told me to write that.)

Saturday, December 16, 2006

He was adopted

When do I get to the point that I don't feel like I need to tell everyone who comments on how cute Baby is that he was adopted? Maybe it's no one's business but ours and his birthparents'. I guess I feel like I'm playing a role when people say, "Oh, he's so cute," and if I say "Thanks," I am taking credit for it. Or in the back of my mind I'm just waiting on the question about labor where I'll have to say, "Well, I didn't give birth to him." I was there, so I can comment on the labor, I suppose.

Maybe part of this is that I want to give his birthparents credit for creating him, carrying him, and giving birth to him. I feel like I'm doing them a disservice by not acknowledging that some very special people gave us this precious gift of parenthood.

Things are going great with the birthparents. They are each bright and pleasant to be around. I find myself having to hold back from being in too frequent contact with K in order to continue to give her time to grieve and us time to bond with him. It's fun to share about his milestones and development with her.

We're doing well. Baby is sleeping pretty well at night, is fairly active during the day, and is getting cuter by the millisecond. I love getting my development updates each Thursday. This week Baby will have his 2-month pediatrician's visit (I keep saying "Vet," though), and will get his shots - I've got the earplugs ready.

Happy Christmas!

Monday, December 11, 2006


I know I haven't posted many ideas and feelings here lately! Someone asked me last week what I did during the day and I pointed right at the baby. Change the diaper, feed the baby, burp him, talk to him, feed him some more, change him again, read books to him, sing to him, play with his hands and feet, put him back to bed. Change the diaper, feed the baby, burp him, sing to him, play piano with him in my lap, watch him under his baby gym, put the baby to get the picture.

Right now Baby Guy is sleeping. Do NOT tell his dad, but I got to sleep for 8 hours straight last night! Well, I woke up when Baby did at 2:00, but it was not my shift. He then slept until 7:am! I'm surprised he did go back down after his "breakfast." Now I am looking forward to him waking up again. He's fun and I've had an hour to myself this morning.

Here is a picture of us playing the piano - he really likes it! He's got these long fingers, too, so maybe he'll be a pianist. Wouldn't that be cool?

By the way, God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son, so that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have everlasting life. (John 3:16) Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

First Christmas outfit!

Thanks, Aunt Susan, Uncle Brian, Sarah, and BJ!

Merry Christmas!

Bah, Humbug!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Friday, November 24, 2006

No words.

I promise some more words soon. Until then, here is a little story:

The day before Thanksgiving we travelled to Dallas to meet our son's birthmom for the first time since placement. After a nice visit, I was finishing up his feeding and we were reflecting on our time together. The next thing you know:

Baby said, "Watch this, Miss Kelly - watch me puke all over my mom!" I was cracking up. Not that Kelly wanted to throw up on me, or wanted him to, but it just struck me as being very funny that this was the first time this has ever happened with him and his birthmom got to see him slime me! We had a great visit, and we look forward to seeing her again tres soon.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Matt, this one's for you!

This shirt says, "Little Longhorn," if you can't read it - I can't!

Sunday, November 12, 2006

New blog format

I guess this is a new, updated blogger format, but I don't see a difference. Oh, well.

Here is a cute picture of our son in his crib!

Yes, I know he is not to sleep among items like blankets, crib bumber, etc., but he is not sleeping here yet.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Big boy

I am getting so big, I must weigh over 6 lbs.!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

You are so beautiful.

A year ago I bought a lullaby CD for our future baby. I did not know who he or she would be, but I was looking forward to being a lullaby mama.

Yesterday I listened to this CD for the first time. Not for the first time with baby, although yes it was, but the first time I ever listened to it.

I will tell you what it is when I have more time, but I just wanted to share how overwhelmed with joy and love I am when I listen to that CD with my new son. One of the songs on there, and it is all piano music, is You Are So Beautiful by Lionel Richie.

You are so beautiful to me.
You're everything I hoped for,
You're everything I need.
You are so beautiful to me.

We hoped and prayed for this baby for a long time, and he is finally here. I will never forget the first time I listened to that CD with my sweet baby. We got some video of us listening to it yesterday, and I think if you were to see it you would likely expire.

When my friend Lara first held her baby in her arms, the look on her face was brighter than a thousand stars. I could not look at it without crying. It's my turn now to carry that look. I am amazed and how much we love this guy, who is not our flesh and blood, but who is a part of our hearts.

We love because He first loved us.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Newborn babies don't do much, do they?

At least that we can see with our eyes. I'm sure tons and tons and piles and oodles of things are happening inside!

In looking for another picture to post, I notice that all our pictures are either baby eating, sleeping, or looking hungry or sleepy. Baby guy did lose his umbilical cord stump (what a disturbing word), so that was a thrill. I cried - our baby boy is growing up!

It's so tempting to try to hurry him along in my mind, fantasizing about what it will be like when he is a little older and more alert, but then I remind myself that I will look back from those days thinking, "Oh, remember when he was a newborn and so sweet?"

Live for the present - God's got the future covered!

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Aw, man! Nice timing.

We were taking some video yesterday of our little guy, and I was commenting about how my back hurt a little and I needed to be careful. After all, I didn't want my back to go out like Uncle Jose's. Cut to 5 minutes later and I'm lying on the floor crying in pain because that is exactly what happened.

I had to have my bob (i.e. husband) carry me to the bed, with me whimpering, crying and trying not to panic and make it worse.

The end result was me lying in bed all afternoon and evening and Bob taking care of the baby all night long. I can walk today and sit up to feed him, but I'm afraid to bend over to change a diaper or to carry him too much until my back is better.

Here is a picture of me trying to continue the bonding process with Baby Guy, and him loving it!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

We did it!

Baby's first bath at home! He certainly did not love the sponge bath, but he didn't wail the whole time either. It felt like quite an accomplishment. We made a pact before we started that we would laugh instead of stress if it was a disaster. We knew we'd look back and laugh anyway. Now if I could finally get the picture to upload! Blogger has been kicking my butt today.

I have a homemade calzone baking in the oven right now. Thanks, Jeanne!

Come on, picture...

Monday, October 30, 2006


I saw baby's first bath in the newborn nursery, and he did NOT like it. Now we have to give him one! I don't want to - he'll be sad. My mom says that babies need to cry in order to exercise their lungs - talk about a cardio workout! I'm not sure we'll try to capture this first sponge bath in person, but here are some more pictures to tide you over until we do.

We chickened out! Bath tomorrow.

Say, if I sound together, I'm not. Just ask Stacey or Karen, both of who I talked to on the phone tonight amidst tears of sleep deprivation and "What if I can't do this?"

Sunday, October 29, 2006


Baby S!

I told you we'd have a baby before Christmas! I'm such a tease, I know.

Look at this guy - we could not be more thrilled! He is a great eater, burps with no trouble, and is a typical baby - up all night. Yikes!

Our sweet baby's birthmom was amazing. She invited me into the delivery room, and I actually got to see Baby S being born. We got to spend a lot of time with her in the hospital and she just loved the baby to pieces while he was in her care. We had an entrustment ceremony yesterday where she lovingly placed him into our arms. We will see her in a few weeks so she can see how much her baby has grown.

So, here are a few pics highlighting the first few days of his life! He was born early in the morning on Thursday and came home to our house and our wigged-out kitties on Saturday. I can hear him squeaking right now, so I'd better hurry off.

We love him so much already. This happened so fast and we can't believe he's ours - mine, DHs, birthmoms, birthdads, and our families'.


Sunday, October 22, 2006

I'm spilling the beans...

We got The Call.

I was in the bathroom when it came in! I did not answer the phone, and the caller didn't leave a message. I looked at my cell phone for some reason, and noticed a phone number that looked suspiciously close to our caseworker's cell phone number. I remembered the cw's # because I had just that afternoon pulled out the slip of paper on which I wrote her number when J was supposed to call us.

The next thing I knew the phone was ringing again, and it was my bob (i.e. husband) on the phone confirming our dinner reservation time for that day. (Our anniversary, as you might remember.) I thought the timing of his call was a little suspicious and my heart began to pound a little. He asked me, "So, what's going on?"

"Nothing," I replied nonchalantly.

"I just wanted to make sure that 7:00 would work for you for dinner."

My heart dropping, I replied, "Yes, that's fine. Well, here is what is really going on...[explain phone numbers]."

"Well," he said slowly,"I was going to wait until I got home to tell you this, but...."

[Insert one of the most interesting phone conversation of our lives here.]

Aren't you curious about the details? How mean am I that I am not going to give them to you right now. Suffice it to say, if the parents do choose adoption after the baby is born, we will be parents by Chrismas! In fact, significantly sooner than that.

Stay tuned!

Monday, October 16, 2006

Pumpkin seeds!

I'm not a huge fan of Halloween. It's OK. I don't currently have any religious objections to it as long as the costumes are not evil or satanic (this coming from a gal who just saw The Texas Chainsaw Massacre). One year I was an M&M (see, my heart has always been with chocolate).

But, I do love pumpkin seeds! I made a batch last night and carved a pumpykin with triangle eyes, a triangle nose, and a smiling mouth with two teeth. (Uh, if I just took a picture I could show you, right? I wish I had gotten a picture when Chez stuck her head inside the pumpkin.)

I roasted the pumpkin seeds with canola oil, salt, and a dash of cayenne pepper. I made my husband eat some as I raved on about how good pumpkin seeds were. He said, "Do you have an emotional attachment to pumpkin seeds from your childhood?" Translation: "These taste like nothing. What's the big whoop?" I guess I must have some childhood memories surrounding pumpkin seeds. I really do like to eat them.

So, that was Halloween at our house. Our cats are orange and black, so we'll be festive for the rest of the month. The pumpkin seeds are almost all gone.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Anniversary and the Texas Chainsaw Massacre

No, we didn't go to see "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning" on our anniversary. But it was recently our anniversary, and we did see the Massacre. I highly don't recommended it unless you would like to feel sick for several hours afterward.

Thursday we celebrated our 4th wedding anniversary! I was super excited, because I've never been married for four years before. (Insert drum track - ba dum bum.) Wonderful things can happen on one's anniversary. We went to dinner at The Four Seasons Restaurant on Town Lake. It was SO yummy. For dessert we had a banana split "split." It was like a banana split ala carte. There were carmelized and plain bananas, whipped cream, chocolate ice cream, vanilla gelato and strawberry sorbet, peach, chocolate and a caramal sauces, and you mixed your own split. It was really fun and interesting.

I told you that yesterday we were going to the movies. Well, there are no good movies out right now. The two dumb ones we were wanting to see were man of the Year and School for Scoundrels. Both got terrible reviews on, and both were sold out. SO, we saw the TCM:TB. lol. That cracks me up.

My mom put together a calendar last year and the October picture is my brother with a chainsaw. Hey, I have a pic. Here he is!

Be afraid - be very afraid.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Thanks, Kim!

I had an assistant music therapist today - a high school student who is interested in music therapy. It was great to have another voice and another pair of hands. My first group really put us to the test today! I think we were all tired because of the weather change here in Tejas, so we spent one song taking a "nap." I was praying, actually, but pretending to take a nap. That must have done the trick because we all perked right up after that.

What a cool job. I haven't even minded working Saturdays. It's kind of nice to drive downtown without any traffic, and feel like I've earned my lunch after 3 hours of musical fun. Today we sang, "The Cat Came Back," which is one of my all-time faves.

One of these days our lives are going to change big time, but for today we're living happily as two - off to the movies tonight. Alamo Drafthouse, here we come!

Saturday, October 07, 2006


Right now Punky is cleaning Chez's fur. I just clipped 12 of Chez's claws and I guess now she needs some love.

This morning one of my music students climbed into my lap while I was singing a book. It was awesome - sweet kid. The book is Twinkle Twinkle Little Star but it has about 8 verses, in the form a story. Instead of reading it, I sing it in the TTLS tune. The illustrations are really good, too, although one of my guys wanted to know where the monster was.

Well, now Punky is biting her, but hey, they shared a moment. Cats.

Upon closer inspection, I think Chez only has two claws on her front left paw. Is that weird?

What makes me think I am not going to get any responses on this post?

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Groundhog Day

Allright, where is our baby?

A few days after hearing that J's baby would be adopted by another couple, we received word of another situation. After a week of waiting to hear, we discovered that that baby, too, would be adopted by another couple. As far as we know, this is the third time a mom looking at our profile has chosen someone else.

It's amazing how much we've learned over the past few months. Every "no" is closer to a "yes," obviously, and each situation teaches us new things about ourselves, our possible future family, and our faith.

So now we've learned all about talking to a birthmom and having the match not happen, and about knowing that our profile is being viewed (at least 2 other times) and having the match not happen. I figure all we have left to learn is being chosen and then having the birthparents decide to parent. After that it should all work out, don't you think?

But, we know that God has built a hedge of protection around our profile until His choice is looking at it. That seems like a safe bet to me.

By the way, I think having a match and then having the mom decide to parent would be SO hard. However, listen close, ultimately we would be so happy that she decided to parent. As much as we would love a baby in our home, I do think that parenting is an excellent, excellent choice. I would never begrudge the mom if that situation were to happen, as painful as it would be. It is her baby.

With that, I'm back to work. Party on, Waynes.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Adoption loss

I hurt, too.

I understand that adoption is built on loss. People don't want to hear it sometimes, but it is. There are a lot of blogs out there from different perspectives - adoptive parents, adoptees, and birthparents - sometimes I think we don't hear each other very well.

In trying to understand everyone, I sometimes minimize my own pain. I even fought with myself over the order of the above list, not wanting to hurt anyone by putting adoptive parents first, or birthparents last or adoptees in the middle.

I think people forget that other people have struggles, too. Mine is infertility, yours is missing your first parents, hers is aching for her child placed for adoption. No matter what my brand of pain is, it hurts when it's mine!

Right now we have a lot of joy about hopefully being parents soon. We look forward to having a baby in our home, picking out outfits, feeding bottles, and even changing diapers. We have names picked out and fantasies about what it might be like to have a child call us Mom and Dad. We look forward to meeting that baby's birthparents and having them be a part of our lives. It won't always be rosy and gay, but it will always be real and we feel that God's hand will be on the situation.

But, we have not always been so optimistic. There have been a lot of tears, heartbreak and even anger. It's hard for me to express that now, because the sharpness of those feelings have dulled somewhat. Not that they don't spike here and there, but I think over the years that I have incorporated our infertility into my identity and it has gotten easier. So, does that mean that I should just suck it up and accept childlessness because that's the way it is? Isn't that the same as if I were to say to a birthparent who is missing their child, "Suck it up - that's the way it is?"

I'm sorry if you are a birthparent and someone told you that. I won't say the same. Maybe some adoptive parents would say or think that way, but that person is not me, nor is it most of the adoptive parents I know. I need to let up on myself, though, and realize that there isn't much I can do to help make your pain more bearable, though I want to.

Don't get mad at me for being a fixer - it's what I do. I wish we could share a coffee and listen to each other.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Weekend update

I am feeling somewhat refreshed, and a little bit ready to hit another week running.

Yesterday I started my groups for children and teens with Down Syndrome. We were supposed to start yesterday, then it looked like we would have to wait a week, but we ended up meeting after all. It was really fun. The kids were sweet, musical, and adorable. This is a great opportunity for me for several reasons, one of which is that the groups operate out of this amazing therapeutic space near downtown. I would usually have to rent space myself, but since this program is sponsored by the Down Syndrome Association I am provided a location to run the groups. Thanks, Down Syndrome Association of Central Texas!

After working we went to UT/Iowa State game and wore our UT-shirts. It was oppressingly hot, but we managed until the second half when it started to cool down. There was a big storm approaching. She arrived at 5:15 and they actually stopped the game at the end of the 3rd quarter. They restarted the game over an hour later, but by that time our bellies were full of our favorite Thai food (Madam Mam's) and we headed home. Poor Iowa State. Today I wore my ISU polo to try to even things out.

That's all folks! Weekend over. Next weekend we may go fishing - won't that be a kick? I've been, like, 3 times in my life.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Poor babies

Both of my furry babies had surgeries today! Ack!

Chez was spayed and Punky had two teeth pulled! My parents have had a lot of pets, and I don't remember any of them going to the dentist. However, it has been recommended for Punky several times, so we went for it.

Punky had to have two teeth pulled and had a growth removed from the front of his mouth. They both have shaved spots on their leg from the IV. Punky has a shaved spot on his face too, and of course Chez's chubby belly is now furless, too. Poor things. I cried when they came home. I love them.

Thanks for listening. I have to go pet the baby Chez now.

Kenny Loggins

I'm alright.

I have exhaustion! I have had such a physically and emotionally busy week and I am SO excited just to chill out later! Please don't let it rain for the big Iowa State/UT game tomorrow! Please can it with the exclamation point, self.

I am a music therapist. Does anybody know what that is? I know that someone does, and if she ever gets back in blogosphere and figures out who I am, she will share that fountain of knowledge with you, too.

(When I see paragraphs that all start with "I," I panic. But I am a music therapist, not an English teacher. Resisting the exclamation point there.)

My life is pretty snazzy professionally. I am doing some really fun things right now. I am consulting with a software company and adapting music materials for use in the special education classroom. I have a lovely private MT client and several darling music students. Next Saturday I start a 7-week music group for children and teenagers who have Down Syndrome, and am also doing some music therapy assessments and services for a school district.

I also go to Bible Study Fellowship on Monday nights, play the piano for the 1st grade choir at our church, and sing in the grown-up choir. I also go to a cool mom's group one day a week. I'm a mom, I just don't have any children in my house today. Maybe tomorrow.

So, I'm off to write up some music therapy reports.

Music therapy is the planned use of music and music interventions to bring about functional changes in human behavior, emotions or physical functioning.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

A little down

By yesterday evening I was feeling pretty good. Tonight I feel a little down. I should never go by how I feel in the evening, though, because I am always more stressed then. I have a lot of work to do these days. It's just a matter of sitting down to do things, but tomorrow is a busy day, starting with a music class observation at 8:10.

I think I'll have an ice cream cone.

When we do have an expectant mom choose our profile, I'll have to find out if she likes ice cream as much as we do. I think that could really be a bonding moment for us.

Moolenium Crunch, here I come. Care to join me?

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Baybe next time

OK, blog fanatics, this is what's really going down.

I thought last week was an emotional roller coaster, and it was. But this was nothing compared to what awaited us after returning from our adoption agency support group meeting.

One of the birthmother counselors at the agency let us know that an expectant mom had liked our profile and would be calling us the next day. We also knew that she would be talking to at least another couple as well, but of course we had hopes that we would like eachother and that she would choose us to parent her baby. To make a long story short, she decided on another family.

This is what all the concerns about confidentiality came from the other day.

The extended version of this story is that we did have a good conversation and we really like this young woman. (And I'm not just saying that because she could google us and end up here.) She reminded me a lot of myself, actually. When I pictured her she looked like me. Isn't that funny? The interesting thing is, in my mind's eye the picture I had of her was not pregnant. It really felt like a conversation about her and us and not a conversation about a baby. I think that's good.

We are disappointed, obviously, but I just know she made the right decision for herself. This was not our baby. That much is so clear.

It does feel a little like all of those negative pregnancy tests I had when we did treatments. I pictured Bob once again saying, "It's negative," like he and the nurse told me at least 10 times. I don't really remember what he said to me, but somehow I just knew from the way he sat that he had heard and that the news was not what we had hoped. I am ready for the other kind of news next time.

Right before I found out, I was coming home from BSF and the song "Broken Road" came on the radio. I know to some it seems like a cheese-head song, but it is one of my favorites. (Go see for the lyrics.) I drove an extra time around the block to hear it. Part of me thought, "This is it. I am going to go home to the best news of my life," and part of me thought, "God blesses the broken road that leads me straight to Him. It's OK if this is not it." Door #2 anyone?

Sigh. It has been one of the most emotional weeks of my whole life. I am glad to be hard at work this week and next. Things will slow down for me a little bit in October, but for now I'll take the high octane version to keep myself busy.

Like Barb, I'm tired of my drawing board. It looks different from hers, but I'm sick of drawing on it.


Monday, September 18, 2006

Enquiring minds

They want to know, yo?

Word to Thelma.

Life is exploding around us and we're just trying to keep it together!

Our wonderful agency, Buckner Adoption and Maternity Services, is changing and evolving. Last week we received word that the agency would be restructuring, combining the international and domestic adoption programs. While that change sounds fairly innocuous, for a group of people who have been trying and waiting for years and years to start a family it was earthshattering news.

I didn't want to say anything specific until it was official, but now it is all officializated and all. The hardest thing about this experience has been that our warm, wonderful, passionate, and experienced caseworker and agency director is no longer our caseworker or agency director. (Shout out to Carol who we love and adore, too! And Debbie who has stepped into something amazing and difficult.) This was the loss I expressed last week.

Since all this has happened I am suddenly concerned with confidentiality. Not that I wasn't before, but this is serious stuff here. When our profile is selected by an expectant mother and we are matched to receive an adoptive placement, I am not sure what to do about my wee bloggie (word to Thelma again). I started this blog to keep friends and family abreast of what is going on. It has turned into more than that, though! (I'd like to point out my use of the word abreast - love it or leave it?)

Do I discontinue the blog when there are other people's lives involved and intermeshed with ours?

Do I keep this blog all vague and philosophical and share specific future news with family and close friends only?

A new day has dawned on Expecting #1 Through Open Adoption. Bear with me here as I am praying about what to do about these sensitive issues.

My official answer to adopting.mama is that we've been waiting for 3 months, and no, we have not had a match meeting with an expectant mother.

Blogging Birthmothers, feel free to chime in here and let me know what you think about my questions. Thanks!

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Bad Kitty

We love Chez Zee. She is SO cute, and SO fun, and SO interesting. However, the midnight crazies are about to drive us insane! Just when you think it's safe and she's settled down, she FREAKS OUT! This girl runs around all over the bed in the middle of the night and chases her tail, your feet, and sometimes my hair. She's nuts, I tell you.

I had a friend who wrote a song about the 6:am Cat Crazies or something similar. I had older cats at the time and didn't totally relate, but I think about this friend Carol now all the time! I haven't seen her in 6 years either.

Last night at about 1:am I finally had to put her in her room. I then ate a cracker and got back in bed without brushing my teeth again. Sorry, dear.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Hello, sports fans!

My dear husband and I are going to see UT football play Iowa State next week! What to wear?

I feel sick because I am so excited for the football game.

This oughta be good.

Friday, September 15, 2006

All better


We have experienced a loss of someone dear to us in our adoption process. This person has been with us for a year, and we so care for her. Change is so hard, especially when the journey to parenthood has been so difficult and variable already. We know that adoption is built on loss, but this is one we did not expect.

Friend, I miss you. I am sad that you won't be with us on adoption day. I am praying for you and miss you already. It won't be the same without you, and yet I know it would be disappointing for you if we fell apart now after having come all this way. Just know that you are in our hearts and prayers and will always be an Auntie! Love you.

Oh, brother. I am in mascara again - hellooooo??

Thursday, September 14, 2006


Why do I even bother to wear mascara?

I'm not sure.

The past two days have been hard - really hard. Yesterday we had some disappointing news. Fortunately for me, I had not put on any makeup, because by the end of the day I had produced a lot of tears and other facial fluids. I produced some at the library as I read an outflowing of prayers on Hannah's Prayer (, some at home while watching Oprah, and later, even though I had prepared by sticking two Kleenex in my purse, shed some more at choir practice. (How did I think I was going to get through choir with two measley tissues?)

So today I felt better. I put on some mascara, because surely I was through with the waterworks, and then when to my Mom to Mom Bible study group. I knew I was in trouble as soon as my friend C came up to lead a brief worship. Why hadn't I continued the no-makeup tradition? Why had I not thought to put a couple of tissues in my purse? At least I had my sleeve in lieu of tissues. The song we sang, or I sang about 9 words of, was I Love You, Lord.

Now, probably any other music would have also sent me reeling, but this was just the end. I Love You, Lord was the song that I sang to myself every morning and night as I struggled to get out of bed when I was going through a divorce 6 years ago.

I certainly wasn't grieving over divorce this morning. I don't think I was even really grieving at all. In fact, my tears this morning were those of relief. Relief that no matter what earthly things we go through, God loves me and comforts me. Relief that I know that whatever happens, God is there for me, knows me, and heals my heart when it breaks.

Don't be worried, guys, all is well. Hang in there with me on the ride. We will really go places!

Can anyone recommend me a good waterproof mascara?

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Review of Open Adoption

I thought I'd repost my book review on Children of Open Adoption. (See part I post for reference.)

We are 100% committed to open adoption. In the event that the expectant mother who chooses us does not want an open adoption, and I hope she does, we would love for her to read some books about it and make sure that she knows about open adoption and what it might look like. The age of secrecy should be over by now.

I am reading an article from People Magazine about what adoption and maternity homes looked like in our recent past, and I don't like it. I will write more about that article later, but right now I have to go to the store so I can feed my family of two.

Stay tuned!

Children of Open Adoption - book review part I

Silber, K. & Dorner, P.M. (1990). Children of Open Adoption. San Antonio, Texas: Corona. ISBN 0-931722-78-0.

This book is dedicated to the authors' parents, children, and their childrens' birthmothers - a touching start to a very open book.

This one was a doozy! Very informative and comprehensive. This book has nine chapters, including:

-Open Adoption: Definition, Evolution, Benefits
-five chapters on open adoption through the child's life span from infancy to teenage years
-Long-Term Benefits for Everybody (includes parents, adoptees, birthparents, extended families, adoption professionals).

The goal of the book is to discuss issues regarding open adoption with children at various ages. It contains many letters from birthparents to children, adoptive parents to birthparents, and children to birthparents. The letters interspersed throughout the book keep the reader engaged and touched. Have tissures nearby.

Here is Silber and Dorner's definition of open adoption: "Open adoption includes the birthparents and adoptive parents meetring one another, sharing full identifying information, and having access to ongoing contact over the years. All three components must occur to fit this definition" p. 9. They go on to say, "Our new definition recognizes the birthparents as relatives of the child.... Acceptance of this reality is an important prerequisite to open adoption and an ongoing family relationship" p. 10.

Essential ingredients in open adoption include understanding that there are grief issues for each member of the adoption triad: baby, birthparents, and adoptive parents. People believe that the adoption experience is all joy and excitement for adoptive parents, but adoptive parents also deal with their own grief over the loss of their fertility. They quote, "Infertility is a loss - it is a loss of the imaginary or fantasy child. They will go through all of the normal stages of grieving for this loss, just as if they had lost a child through death. However, society does not relate to or understand the loss in infertility..." p. 23. It is especially important to process this loss in open adoption, because there is no pretending that the adopted child was born to the adoptive parents. Counseling is important in the open adoption experience so that each member of the triad can process their own feelings and grief.

Here are some highlights from the life stages:

Infancy - open adoption leads to feelings of bonding and entitlement because the birthparent has specifically chosen the adoptive couple to parent, so the adoptive parents feel entitled to raise the child.

Preschool age - talk about the birthparents often so that it becomes a normal part of your child's life and not a taboo, bizarre thing to them, don't leave out the part of your child's having come from their birthmothers womb, so they won't feel like they came from the agency and everyone else came from mommy's tummy

School-age child - children need to know that they are loved by their birthparents, and ongoing contact will assure them of this. This becomes especially important if the child gets teased about how his "real parents" didn't love him. He will know that is not true. Silber and Dorner state, " What we have seen in open adoption is a greater degree of comfort and peace with one's reality when contact is part of hte adoption experience" p. 73. This chapter also discusses the appropriate times to share information with your child regarding their birthparents life experiences and other children, visitiation, etc.

Stay tuned for part II!

Children of Open Adoption, part II

Book review - Children of Open Adoption

When we last left off, before Christmas, I had reviewed this book through "The School-age child -- I."

Part two of "The school-age child" includes information on relationships with extended family, when birthparents have inconsistent contact, and how the child will learn about and interact with siblings through birth or adoption. In summary, the authors state, "The greater the degree of openness, the less fantasizing that takes place and the more the issues are worked on" (p. 131).

Ah, the marvelous, dreaded teenage years. At this age the child of open adoption really gets to exercise her communication skills and process her experience. It is especially important during these years that the teenager has access to information about her heritage and birth family. "Our sense of self is defined not only by our present but also by our past. Through closed adoption our past becomes inaccessible" (p. 135).

A social worker of one teenager whose adoption transformed from a closed to an open one states, "She said it made her feel normal and like everybody else....I observed an immediate attitude change....The discovery seemed to have cemented the bonding between Sarah and her birth parents" (p. 151). Oh, yeah.

The last chapter is "Long-term benefits for everybody," including all members of the adoption triad (child, birthparents, adoptive parents), and also extended family and adoption professionals! Long term benefits include, feelings of control that the adoption is in the hands of the family and not the adoption professional, the adoptive parents feel entitled to raise their child since the birthparents chose that couple, everyone is permitted to grieve their losses and communicate those losses with each other, and the children grow up knowing/hearing that they are loved by all parties, thus leading to a higher self-awareness and self-esteem throughout their lives.

Read this book. Seriously. The authors know what they are talking about first hand, there are many applicable and interesting quotes, letters, and experiences. You will not be bored.

Monday, September 11, 2006

What is Sufism?

We go to a monthly support group called Adoption Knowledge Affiliates. This month the speaker is a teacher at the University for Spiritual Healing and Sufism, and will be speaking about experiencing adoption from the heart and not from the head.

Now, obviously my Christian faith is important to me. I mean, duh. But, because AKA is not affliliated with a religion, at least I didn't think so, I can accept that we don't talk about God and Jesus and religion. Although it feels artificial not to discuss matters of faith and adoption, because for us the two are inextricably linked, we participate like good little members.

Now this? We are going to have a lecture called "How to Experience Deeper Relationships in Adoption: Think From Your Heart, Not Your Head," from the perspective of a Master Teacher Muqadam in the Sufi tradition (I have no idea what this means). So, why are we not incorporating our faith in conversation? Maybe we will.

I'm not going. I'm not going because I have another commitment - a Christian one, in fact. So, I won't be able to give my opinions on this talk, or even see first-hand if this religion will be promoted at the meeting. Part of me is glad that I can't go. Part of me wants to attend.

So, before I open this up for discussion, I want to ask that we calmly and humanly express our knowledge and opinions on either Sufism, the place of religion in non-religious situations, or related topics. Only when we are able to talk about such loaded issues without disrespecting others' differing opinions can we learn anything about cultures outside our own.

So, what is Sufism?

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Who goes where?


My nephew was baptized this morning. (No, that's not my revelation, stay with me, here.) Obviously, baptism is a time of introspection and reflection as we promise to pray for a child to be raised in a Christian home. It is also a time of family celebration and connectedness.

Sitting there in the congregation, I suddenly felt this moment of loss when I realized that my husband and I may never stand in front of our family with a baby that God created out of all of our DNA. We may never be looked upon by our congregation and hear them say, "They are such a cute combination of both of you!"

The weird thing about IF grief is that it can hit you out of nowhere right when you are feeling at peace with it. The weekend was a whirlwind of baby smells, a soccer game, family fun, laughter, and curiously, a sombrero. It was an easygoing, peaceful time of family. (I just need to clarify that I didn't spend the weekend in a cloud of sadness but rather a sun-shower of wholeness, connectedness, and joy. Sometimes grief is just a "twang" in my heart.)

The next thing that happened in the service was the Children's Story. Children of all ages, sizes, and coloring came forward and sat on the stage with the youth minister. "Those three obviously go together," I thought, "...and those two...and those...." Then, just as suddenly and clearly as I felt a sense of loss earlier, I felt an overwhelming sense of clarity.

I just had this revelation that families built through adoption are just as miraculous as those formed by birth. My nephews look like my brother and his wife - it's gorgeous, glorious, God-ordained. It's absolutely special. And yet, just one example of how a family is formed. In our case, we may not look alike (or we may, we just don't know), but we will be just as loving, just as connected, just as much family as one formed by birth. Our family will also be formed by God for His glory.

Randy and I formed a family when we married. We are not biologically related, but we are a family. My family also includes people who I am only distantly related to - my sister-in-law's parents and her sister, for example. (Hi, guys!) Randy's parents, brothers, and their wives and children, for another example. We are so blessed with loving families who have led by beautiful example. It's a good thing.

Now we're home and back to the wait. After a time surrounded by family, though, it suddenly doesn't seem like such a formidable task. Our lives aren't on hold for our first child. We still have friends and family, all struggling with one thing or another at times. Another beautiful thing about family is that it grows and changes with time. We share triumphs and tragedies, hard times and happy times, for better or for worse. I thank God for my family.

Now, the cat in the crib I am not so jazzed about...


A harbinger of power struggles to come, I'm sure.

Thursday, September 07, 2006


I am still having a hard time waiting. But, this is an rolling the eyes, fast-toe-tapping, looking at the watch impatience this time.

This is the longest 2WW ever! D'ya know what the 2WW is? It's the time every woman with IF who is TTC looks forward to for 2 weeks and then hates by the time it is one week over. One fun thing about adoption is that The Call could come any day. I don't have to wait for two weeks for another chance. One not-so-fun thing about it is that the wait could be a year or more! Now I don't know which one I like better - having to wait 2 weeks or possibly waiting for 2 years.

I need constant reminders that this is all in God's plan and timing. Every day we aren't "chosen" is another day closer to when that plan will be revealed. (The Big Reveal, you know.) Seriously though, how much longer are we going to have to wait?

I am hardly twiddling my thumbs here. I have 3 jobs, 2 Bible studies, 2 cats at home, trips planned, chocolate to eat, trips planned (wait, I said that already).

Speaking of things to do, I'd better get a'cookin'.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Sad day.

You've gotta admit, this guy had charisma. I feel so sad for his wife and children.

I don't know what to say about this, only that I am sorry that this happened. I am glad at least he died doing what he loved.

Goodbye, Mr. Crocodile Hunter.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Beautiful, beautiful, brown eyes...

They're almost amber, those eyes. Punky's are more green. Isn't she gorgeous? She is getting more and more brown on her. (You can't tell from this picture.) She has black fur with brown highlights. People pay good money for hair like that!

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Brought to you by the letter P

(Kinda stole that from Thelma - thanks, babe.)

Two of the things I love: the Pool and the Piano. See, the letter P.

I have had a good day. A really good day.

It started out with a surprise visit from a great friend! She drove by right as I was out getting the mail. She drove to Temple and back in time to pick up her kids at school. OK, the synogogue, that is, not Temple, Texas. Silly Amamy. I held up baby kitty in the window so she could see. She was suitably impressed.

That occurrance brings me to my first P. There are just some things that you do that feel so right, so very You. It may be caring for a baby, curling up in your favorite chair reading, or bringing meals to the elderly. When you are doing that Thing, you are practically invisible to yourself. My thing 1 is the swimming pool. I learned to swim when I was teeny, and almost drowned once. I swam in my first community swim meet at 7 years old in Lake Sherwood, California, and my dad took me to my first official meet in Ojai, CA the next year. I won my race. I grew up with access to a pool, joined the swim team as a kiddo and never stopped until I graduated from college. When I am in the pool, at the pool, or looking at the pool, I am Home.

I swim laps during the summer for exercise. My last lap of the day is scouring the bottom of the pool for my shadow. There I transcend space and time, and I am happier than a fish in the sea. I love to look at my shadow in the pool. My features have changed over the years, of course, but my silhouette is the same as it ever was. I'm bald in the pool, but I can see tendrils that have escaped my glamorous rubber cap as they shimmer under the water. This is my handstand lap, too. When I'm in there, I am ageless. I'm just Me.

My next P is the piano. This week I have been practicing a lot because Randy and I are playing piano/guitar in a wedding. So, instead of me spending endless hours on the internet, I am spending them at the piano. Again, it's so totally Me. I started piano when I was 6'ish. At my first lesson I thought I was so grown up, and I sat at the piano bench in my teacher's apartment (I hadn't ever remembered being in an aprtment before that) and crossed my legs like I had seen grown-ups do. My teacher said, "You need to have both feet on the floor," and I felt like I had gotten in trouble. So sensitive (some things never change).

When I was in high school I was miserable. I think I was clinically depressed for awhile, although I was never diagnosed. There were only two things I wanted to do. Run (???????) and play the piano. I wrote my college entrance essay on my most prized possession. You guessed it, my piano. Some day, some how, I am going to have myself a grand piano. A grand day it will be indeed.

The internet is a wonderful thing. So much information is at the tip of our fingers, 24 hours a day, no matter what continent we are on! I have made some great friends over the internet, Hannah's Prayer, and blogger friends, kept in touch with high school and college friends at the touch of the button, and have learned a lot of stuff about a lot of things. However, never have I gotten off the internet and said to myself, "I feel so very Me," like I have felt all day today.

I try to be genuine. I post about sadness and anger sometimes because I feel those things just like everyone does. The kind of person who pretends that things are peachy all the time is the kind of person I can't easily relate to. This is one of the reasons why I love Thelma, Christine, Mac, and Allison (blogging friends who tell it like it is. Shout outs to ya'll!)

If you ever want to catch me 100% Amy, find me at the pool or the piano. You'll get to know me as fast as lightening (or a sprinter - something I never have been!).

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

And I'm worth it

That's all I have to say about that!

Life is good. I already knew this in my conscious mind, but sometimes my subconscious doesn't listen to me. Bad subconscious.

I am sleepy today. This might have something to do with being up until 12:30 playing backgammon last night. I won, too.

OK, then. Goodnight.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Don't cry for me, Argentina

I'm fine. I am playing the piano for a wedding this weekend and have been spending time on practicing rather than on excessive internet useage. As wonderful as the internet is, I think it is stealing some of my joy. There are so many more productive and interesting things to do than visit three times a day.

So, with that, I bid you adieu. To yieu and yieu and yieu. (Excessive reference to musicals, perhaps?) How DO you solve a problem like Maria? ;o)


Saturday, August 26, 2006

Hello, rollercoaster.

I'm on it. How can I possibly feel blue with a baby kitty in the house? I don't know, but I do. Cognitively, I can't reason through it. I have so many things going on that are good and wonderful. But, I feel like crap.

CRAP, I tell you.

I'm not mad, I'm not even sad. I just feel nothing. I know this is probably the adoption rollercoaster - the part where I'm just standing in line.

"Aren't you just so excited?"

"Nope. Bored. Totally bored." (Yawn.)

Lunch is ready.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006


Just as I was chronicling to Thelma about how well Punky and Chez were getting along, she goes and does a thing like this! Chez grabbed Punky's tail three times, and Punky finally hissed an took a swipe at her. Actually, he hissed three times and then growled and took an angry swipe at her.

More chronicles

This thing doesn't look so weird up close, I guess.

Yep, yep, pretty normal...

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Introducing, Miss Kitty!

We have a new baby. Her name is Chez Zee. (The name of the restaurant where she was found.) We love her.

I would post pictures is blogger would let me, but it won't. What's up with that? Don't worry, I'm not going to get ANGRY (wink, wink) and throw something at the blogger guys and gals. What purpose would that serve?

So, the saga of Miss Kitty will have to be continued tomorrow. It's late and I have to go before my internet browser shuts down on me again!

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Check me out.

Here are all the things my body can do:

chew food
digest food
eliminate food
swim a mile without dying
do handstands in the pool
play the guitar
play the piano
play the drum
play the clarinet
play the recorder
read music
teach music
bring music to others
this weird thing with my lips
make fish-faces
tolerate spicy hot foods
watch tv (too much)
comb my hair
grow hair
pop knuckles
pet my cat
help others
act like a dork
ride a bike
whine (OK, I admit it)

Rude Awakening

I'm not healed, dog gonnit (is that blasphemy? sorry).

I am angry that my body is broken. I hate not being able to do something I want to do! I don't even really think this is about not achieving/sustaining pregnancy, but about feeling like I am not good enough to do something I want to do. This does not happen to me very often, and it is kicking my butt!

So, I am ANGRY today!

If you think I'm whining, then TOO BAD. Get over it. Go somewhere else.

(An uncharacteristic rant from my camp.)

I'm angry, God! Lord, turn this anger into something beautiful. You've done it before, Lord. I promise I'll thank you later, but right now I pray that you just know my heart.


Sunday, August 13, 2006

We are fam-ily

I got all my nephews and me!

Ev'ryone can see we're together
As we walk on by.
And we fly just like birds of a feather -
I won't tell no lie.
All of the people around us they say,
"Can they be that close?"
Just let me state for the record -
We're giving love in a family dose.

We are fam-ily