Sunday, January 28, 2007

3 month update

It's amazing how every day results in new skills. I see him looking at something a certain way, or grabbing and shaking his plastic keys, and I think, "Wait, he can't do that!"

Baby Guy turned 3 months this week. I forgot until very late in the day that I should take pictures, so we ended up with p.j.s only, but he's still adorable.

Last Thursday and today we took Baby to the church nursery for his first times. He did great! The workers, one of whom adopted two boys from Buckner 30-some-odd years ago, were surprised that he did so well on his first time. It seems to throw him off a little for the rest of the day, but while he is in the nursery he is, as usual, a dream.

Last week I spent some time grieving over some adoption losses: the loss of having carried our precious son in my womb, the loss of a nursing relationship, and to some extent the loss of "normal." Some would argue that these aren't losses because they weren't something I had in the first place. I disagree. When you've made some assumptions for many years, like the assumptions that all of those things would have happened for me, it is a loss when you start to embrace the fact that it isn't happening. For various reasons these losses hit me last week and I'm glad I finally more fully processed them.

I think I've been very clear on all we've gained through adoption. I know Baby's birthparents have experienced even greater losses than I have - not negating that. Losses can't really be compared person to person, and I don't think they should be. Just trying to keep it real, here. If you'd rather not hear about it, maybe you'd best just look at the pictures - they're cute, huh?

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Chicken - bock bock

Tonight I cooked my very first whole chicken. Why this thrills me, I'm not sure, but I'm quite impressed with myself. Not interesting, you say? Right. You're definitely right.

This picture was taken after I read Baby a book called, "A blessing from above." It is about a kangaroo with an empty pouch who "adopts" a baby bird. It's a sweet book. In a larger image you can see a sweet drop of drool on his bottom lip. Is that not the sweetest sleepy face?

I love these duck towels. Again I ask you, is that not the cutest bath towel face?

This was the church outfit from today. We had the best morning! We were late for church because of a 10:00 feeding, but Baby Guy slept through the service. He woke up just as we were leaving and it was about time to eat again. Lately he has been needing a bottle 1/2 way through the service, so after service we've been going out to eat as he does his post-bottle sleep. I try to feed him at home because it's more comfortable for both of us. Today we braved the restaurant feeding in order to enjoy the first sunshine we've seen in at least a week.

We were on our way to Chili's, for lack of a better idea, when I remembered a burger place adjoined to our favorite ice cream store - Amy's. I signalled to Randy (we were in two cars) to follow me and we changed our course. We had great burgers, each which came with a mixed order of fries and sweet potato fries (um, yum!). We sat in an open-aired seating area and the baby was a doll. Yes, he looked so cute, but also he is such a dream - bright eyed, looking around, smiling, and looking at his daddy as he talked. He's such a miracle.

The left part of this building must have once been a garage and the front door rolls back. Now there is a burger place built on to the left of this old garage and there is outdoor seating, too. It's very cool.

It's 10:pm and I would be wise to go to bed right this minute. I have been going to bed way too late and feeling groggy in the morning.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Normal goings on

Obviously, we are thrilled with this happy baby! Upon looking at a friend's blog I realized we needed to get ahold of one of these Bumbo seats. I was happy with the color - how shallow is that?

We finally took the baby to church last weekend! We didn't put him in the nursery because we weren't quite comfortable with that, yet, so he sat with us in the back of the church. He needed a bottle 1/2 way through, but we are glad we finally ventured back. I don't remember much about the sermon, but it was nice to be with our church family again.

Iowa, Iowa, State, State! Yes, we are still UT fans, Matt, but we do have split loyalties once in awhile.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

What open adoption is...

...and what it ain't.

by Amy

Disclaimer: All open adoptions look different. This is how ours looks.

Open adoption is not scary. Weird? You know, I guess it kind of is. It is weird in the respect that those of us who know very little about adoption, and I used to be "us," probably rarely stop to consider how a woman who "gave up her child for adoption" might feel for the rest of her life. Now you're actually going to be friends with her? Yep. Weird. Cool.

I put "gave up" in quotes because it sounds so passive, and choosing a family to parent your beloved child is an active decision and not a passive one.

All right, enough philosophy. Here's what it looks like:

We will go to visit K at least four times a year, and we want to. This woman entrusted her child to us to raise, and we love to see her face as she watches him grow. Do we "owe" it to her? No, I don't think so. We want her to see him. It makes sense to us. It makes sense for the baby as he grows to know his biological heritage and the woman and man who gave him life.

We like her, her boyfriend, and her mom. We had dinner the night before the baby was born. We went to the Olive Garden - a totally normal thing to do. After dinner K took us to a photo shoot with a photographer friend of hers so that we could have some professional pictures taken together. They were the most precious photographs the baby will ever have, I think. They are pictures of his loving mothers together, and his adoptive father - Daddy.

K and I talk on the phone every few weeks. We called her on Christmas day and she was thrilled to hear all about what the baby was doing. Obviously she thinks of him more than every few weeks, but she will never have to wonder for long what he is doing. She has a myspace account, and I opened one for her to look at where I update pictures and occasionally a blog entry. She and her boyfriend are both on my friends list.

We had lunch with the baby's birthdad early last month. We had a pleasant meal including some techie talk between bdad and my husband. It will be important for the baby to know his birthdad, too, and we are very happy that he is in the picture. We don't know him as well as we know K, and we likely never will know him on the same level as we know her. She and I can talk girl-talk and talk about feelings and how sometimes our cats like to drink the toilet water. I doubt I'll ever be talking about those things with P.

I want to buy K a charm bracelet after our 6-month finalization period and include a charm that we will share - maybe a bust of a boy's head or an initial or something. I want her to feel like a mother, because she is one. She is not parenting her child, that's where DH and I come in. We don't see any reason why she shouldn't be able to see him and know him, and him her.

I mentioned how I would share the baby. Here are some things that open adoption is not. It is not co-parenting. I don't share any of the parenting duties with K. K treats us like the baby's parents, because we are. We tell her how cute he is (like she doesn't already know that) and tell her what a good job she did. We hope he has red hair like hers, and green eyes, too. We'll be able to ask her about things the baby likes to do that do not come from us. For example, if he is good with plants, that will very obviously not be our doing!

People who don't feel comfortable with open adoption wonder if they would really feel like the baby's parents if they had contact with his birthparents. In my humble opinion (at least I try to be humble), it makes us feel more like parents. We feel entitled because his birthmother herself entitles us. When she hands him back to me for a diaper change or because he gets to feeling heavy, I feel like a parent. When he gets a fever and I know what to do, and now how to take a rectal temperature, I am the parent. She got to know us and still chose us to parent her child. We are chosen - entitled.

I know I haven't talked much about the baby's birthfather, but as I said I will likely never have the relationship with him as I do with her. We will keep in touch with him and visit with him, though. I always hoped that our child would have a birthfather who wanted to be a part of his life. I think this will be important.

This all makes sense to me. Does it to you? Think about it. Pray about it. Read about it. Might you agree that fear often stems from lack of information?

When I look at our son, 9 times out of 10 I just see a sweet baby. Sometimes I see K, or P, and wonder what they are up to. I don't have to wonder for long though, because I can just ask them. I don't worry about his birthmother showing up on our doorstep, because know she is at work. If she did show up, she would have been invited, so that would by OK, too. This is freeing. I will always honor them as my sweet baby's heritage. They have given us the most amazing gift. I want to remember that.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

I should be sleeping

It's 1:15 in the morning and I just got finished feeding the baby. I couldn't go back to sleep without recounting how wonderful he is and what a joy midnight feedings are!

Baby is a good eater. Today he ate 5 oz. bottles all day long. It usually takes about 30-40 minutes during the day for him to eat, which does get to seem long. At night, however, he finishes in about 20 minutes. He usually does not drink but 3 oz. before falling back asleep and it's the sweetest thing. He cries like the dickins when he wakes up, and continues until you put the bottle in his mouth. Then it's pure bliss.

He gets drowsy at about 1.5 oz. and then sleepeats the rest. He snuggles close to me when I put him on my shoulder to burp, and I can hear him breathing heavily on my shoulder. He pursed his lips when I tried to give him more bottle after an unsuccessful burping, and kept it in his mouth while pooching out his lower lip around the bottle. He smiled and I realized he was done. I wrapped him back up in his swaddler by Kiddopotomus, put him down as he looked sleepily at me, and then he closed his eyes and went to sleep.

I love that little man. He is my sweet son.

My son has two mothers. One nurtured him in her womb for 39 weeks and sounds so happy when I tell her about what he is doing. She is a proud mom. I can share him - I get to experience the sleepy feedings, the first smiles, and have the privilege of being called mommy. I am a proud mom. We love her and she loves us. She has given us the most wonderful gift, and she gave him the gift of life and the gift of staying in his life to tell him in person why she placed him in our care. She is my sweet friend.

Now it is 1:22 and I really do need to go back to sleep. Sleep tight, faithful blog readers. I think I might need another ryekrisp cracker for my midnight feeding.

My first overalls.

My mommy made me try on overalls before, (she thinks I am a doll) but this is the first time I wore them out. OK, so we just went for a walk, but I had fun in my big boy overalls!


I recently answered the following questions on an online community I'm a part of, but it seems to have crashed. So, to save I thought I'd just post it here!

Baby's age? 11 weeks in 2 days!! How is that possible? Am I wrong? Nope - 11 weeks on the 11th!
Diaper size? Size 1 fits great, needing to get through 3 more packs!
Clothes size? 0-3 before they are washed, some 3-6 (like onesies)
Current weight, etc.? Uh... 11 pounds? He was 10 lb. 1 oz at 8 weeks
Percentile? 50% on all accounts - not too shabby for being a little guy at birth
Birth weight, etc.? 5 lbs. 6.6 oz., 18 inches!
Gestational age at birth? 39 weeks
Can you tell eye color yet? No, hopefully green, maybe hazel, maybe brown - can't tell.
Who does s/he look like? I think he looks like bmom Kelly. Actually, I think he looks like the cutest baby boy in the whole wide world!!!

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Typical bathtime

We were very hesitant about giving Baby baths. The sponge baths he took before the umbie came flying off were not thrilling for him, and his first few tub baths were nervewracking. But then I talked to my friend Mell-an-eye and she mentioned that her baby boy began nightly baths at 2-months old. I like to do everything she does, so we decided to try to bathe the babe every night. We've rarely missed!

He gets plastic-tub baths in the kitchen sink at home, had a sink bath with a foam fish pad at Granny's, and a real tub bath at Grandma's in Colorado - baths of all sizes and colors! Here is a cute bath picture.

HOWEVER, getting out of the bath is another story. Look at this pout! This is not a learned behavior, this pout, he came with this. Isn't it the cutest? When he does it it just makes me laugh, as evidenced by the picture. We just love this guy to pieces!

The last spectacular thing about bath time, besides the occasional fountain, is that since we've been performing this night-time ritual, BG has begun sleeping like a champ! Many nights he goes to bed at 8pm, wakes up at 2am for a feeding and then sleeps until 7 or 8! Once in awhile he still needs to eat at 1am and 4am, but we'll take all the almost-full-nights-sleep we can get.

I know I already said this, but I want to reiterate that we are thrilled with our sweet son and can't get enough of him. He's 10 weeks old now and beginning to use his hands, smile often, and even sounds like he almost laughs sometimes. He likes mornings and is usually quite smiley when we go in to get him in the morning. He's awesome (birthmom K's favorite word to describe him).

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

More boys!

Only moms and grandmas allowed in this club! We had a wonderful time in Colorado for the holidays. K6, our oldest nephew on this side of the family asked, "Is he going to be your baby forever?"

Cousins forever!!