Monday, March 28, 2011

weekend at the beach

we are so grateful for a relaxing weekend at the beach. 

we just got home a little bit ago from spending time with some friends at their beach house on bald head island, nc.  we made our way to and from the island reading one of our adoption books on the kindle.  we are so thankful for the time we had together to discuss all of the topics that were raised that we had not yet thought of, and the ones we wanted to further delve into.  we stayed up late on friday night just talking about how we will handle things when (and if) they arise.  saturday morning we had a long walk together on the beach, just cherishing our alone time together, and then saturday afternoon and evening we enjoyed everyone else's laughter and the fun on the beach.  the time to rest and relax before the big seminar in asheville this friday is just what we needed!

the morning walk on saturday was so amazing, since the weatherman had been calling for rain for the entire weekend.

since we're saving all of our pennies for our adoption, we've not planned any vacation time this year, so this trip meant a lot to us.  we love the beach, and do plan to make some day trips this summer, but nothing is like a morning walk or a sunset evening on the beach!  we're so thankful we had this time!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

paperwork - the final chapter

with the paperwork finally done, i've just got to unload this.

every time someone asked us how the paperwork was going we gave them a bit of a sigh and explained how lengthy the paperwork was, how open ended the questions were, and how much thinking was required before you could just jot something down.  because of our relaying the magnitude of pressure we were feeling in sort of griping about the quantity of work we had in front of us, i think we negatively impacted people's thoughts and judgements about the paperwork requirements.

we're sorry if we've done this.

let us go on record as saying this - we are blessed to have been given the opportunity to have had the experience of answering all of the questions we had to answer on the paperwork.  husband and i feel like we grew so much, just by getting to share our answers with each other when we were done, and that even though it was long, it was difficult, and it was time consuming - that we are in a better place now for having thought about these questions and really found out where our hearts are.

it was sometimes hysterically amusing to listen to each other's answers when our own sides of the paperwork were done.  some of our answers were so similar i am afraid they will think we copied each other, and then some answers are on the same path - but they got there in such a different manner that it's hard to see how we've ended up in the same place on the map.

completing this paperwork, and adoption in general is something that we are honored and blessed to be a part of.  please do not ever look upon us with pity because we "have to do all of this paperwork, jump through all of these hoops, read all of these books, or go to all of these classes".  we are more prepared to be parents now than we've ever been in our lives, and if it was not for this exact path, we would not be so ready as we are right now.

Sunday, March 20, 2011


we worked diligently and finally got all of the family pre-assessment paperwork completed and into the mail at the fed ex office.  we'd decided that we'd head to our favorite mexican restaurant to celebrate, but when we got there we found it was closed on sundays.  a look up of our favorite sushi restaurant nearby told us that they did not open for another hour and a half.  drat!  with limited options available at 4pm on a sunday we elected to head to the cheesecake factory for some sure fire delicious celebratory drinks and good food.  nothing was going to ruin this moment!


Friday, March 18, 2011

smart momma class

somehow i was the expectant parent with the most diaper knowledge at last night's cloth diapering seminar. it felt good to know that all of the reading, questioning, and chatting with folks had paid off. the seminar was informative and the owner of the store went through every brand of cloth diaper that she sold. i learned some things i had not previously heard of and also confirmed that i'd like to add some fuzzibunz to the stash.  fuzzibunz seem like they will work well for nighttime use because of the super absorbent polar fleece - which makes them super fuzzy inside - and the adjustable elastic legs!

here are the tidbits i picked up last night:
-  we will need a pail (with lid) and two washable liners to store diapers waiting for laundry
-  for first time washing you must wash and dry the diapers for the number of cycles listed - just washing 5 times, does not complete the purpose of the cycles.  the drying after each wash must be a part of it.
-  you should not use chemical creams such as "desetin" on babies using cloth diapers as they will create build up in the diaper.  a natural product should be used instead.
-  cloth wipe solution can be purchased or homemade.  here are some recipes:
cloth wipe solutions
-  may seem obvious, but not all "baby" safe detergents are good for cloth diapers.  likewise, not all "cloth diaper" safe detergents are good for all high efficiency washing machines.  however, rockin' green seems to fit both criteria.  i purchased a bag to get started on the laundering of the diapers we have thus far.  our washer is finiky (ge was just here last week for too many bubbles) so we will see how it works out.

i also purchased one more bum genius 4.0 snap diaper because they were on sale.  after the demo i know that those and the fuzzibunz are the ones i want to start out with, and then we can build/evolve as needed.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

all you have to do is ask

this week is pretty much the bomb diggity.

had a follow up doctor's appointment today to discuss a medicine i was put on 6 weeks ago and the dr. was like - "oh, no you don't need to come in and have a physical, (for the adoption paperwork) i can just get this information for this general wellness off of your charts." this is excellent because the earliest appointment i could get for us to have physicals was not until april 20th and april 27th. small victory!
then, you know how my diaper confusion and diaper obsession have been going...

well, first off i got an awesome email from a sweet friend k who told me everything i could ever want to know about cloth diapers. i asked if i could send her a list of questions and she said i could. i fired off my list and here is what we get:

• What's your favorite brand?

I personally like Bum Genius and Fuzzi Bunz. I started out with a program through that allowed me to "try" 8 different brands for 30 days and send back what I didn't like. I will list some thoughts on the ones I got.

• Grovia - Good but took forever to dry and the insert was like a pad (didn't cover well)

• Fuzzi bunz - Great

• Kissa luvs - Interesting...the entire inner diaper was fleece. Not sure how I felt about them. Bulky.

• Thirsties - I tried the duo wrap and the regular wrap- didn't love either one. Wraps are bulky for B (her sweet baby) (because he is already so big) and they just didn't fit B the right way.

• BumGenius insert and AIO (all in one) - I love both of these. I prefer the AIO but got the one size fits all to make a more convincing "sale" to my husband.

• Smartipants - I like these as well.

• Is there one that you think works best for nighttime vs. daytime use?

I use Bum Genius, Smartipants, and Fuzzibunz. I have only used Bum Genius stuffed with two inserts for nighttime and have only had it leak once. I think it was my fault actually because it seemed loose the next morning.

• Do you use the same liners in multiple brands, or if you have various brands how do you keep them straight in the laundry?

I keep the liners separate per diaper except I double stuff with Bum Genius liners for all. You get used to telling them apart. BG have a tag, Fuzzibunz has an all white no tag liner, Smartipants has a green thread along the sides. It is NOT a big deal if they get mixed up. Only don't want to wash natural fibers (hemp, bamboo,etc) with cotton ones. I think it is easier to stick to one fiber of liner....cotton. That way you don't have to worry about it.

• What do you think is the best detergent you've tried?

I have tried Ecos (great) & Biokleen (good). It really depends on your water and your washing machine.

• Do you prefer the diapers with snaps or with velcro?

I prefer velcro because I feel like I get a better fit but now B has been trying to take off the velcro. Honestly if I were starting out I would do snaps. You won't know the difference and they will last longer.

• Do you use disposables or disposable liners or just always the cloth?

I use regular cloth and sometimes a disposable liner. I saw that you have the sprayer. I don't have a sprayer but since you have that you will be fine. Dipping the diaper in the toilet seems to work fine for me but the sprayer will get off everything you want it too.

• Do you have a wet bag, and if so where did you get it?

I have a large wet bag that I have hanging in B's bathroom. I dump the diapers and liners in there and then wash all including the bag. My sister bought it for me from

• Do you use prepackaged wipes, or do you just use some solution with cloth wipes?

I use both. I really like the washable wipes. I have some meltable chips that make the solution but I know there are many homemade cheap recipes online.

• How many diapers and liners do you have?

I think I have 10-12 diapers (will usually last me 2 days) For a newborn I would start with 20-25. I changed B about 12 times in 12 hours in the beginning with disposables. Funny thing about cloth is that they absorb more and you don't smell poop (good and bad!) You can always buy more!

• Do you do laundry every day?

I do laundry every other day. I have never had stains and during warmer weather you can air dry in the sun. Typically I rinse cold, wash warm with extra rinse and then another warm rinse. I then dry on delicate the wet bag and liners. I hang the covers to dry.

cannot thank k enough for all of her great words of experience! i am already feeling less anxious about cloth diapering!

then, just when i thought i was floating - today i got an email from smart momma here in town and was told the following:

"Cloth Diapering Seminar

Cloth Diapering Seminar - New to cloth diapering? Not sure where to begin? This cloth diapering seminar will set you on the path to picking the perfect diapers for your little one and properly using them. It will cover the different brands, hook and loop vs. snap, organic vs. non-organic, and much more! You will leave with a better understanding of the different cloth diapers, how to use them, and the available accessories."

so now i am registered for the diaper class tomorrow!

God is moving mountains!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

confirmed - "you can type your answers"

we got such great news today!

the adoption profile paperwork can all be printed out from the computer! 

i know, this is not what you all were thinking would be such great and wonderful news - but to the light at the end of the tunnel - this was a critical piece of news.  i am now officially done with my personal paperwork and just have to fill out one last joint form while husband finishes his personal profile data.

i am not quite sure how people say they've finished all of this in a weekend.  we've agonized over these questions to the point of possibly overthinking them.  i just feel such responsibility to properly communicate the history of my life, the gifts of my parents, the love and strength of my husband, and the hopes for our child that i feel like i have to analzye every word.  hopefully all of the thinking, even if it was excessive, will help our social worker get to know us better.

husband is fastidiously working on his questions and i think he's in the home stretch!  i cannot wait until we get this packet in the mail.  the countdown to the post office is on!

Monday, March 14, 2011

ode to computers

this is a happy husband working on paperwork.  (he does not know how many hours of transcribing are in his future!) 

there are about 100 open ended questions in this final set of paperwork in the profile.  the information gathered here goes into your personal profile and is used by the social worker to prepare for your interview.   i typed up all of the questions from the printed forms we were given so that we could each work on answering our questions and be able to run spell check etc.  mine are done (in word), but i've been working for 11 hours total to get them from typed text into hand written format, and i am only 1/3 of the way through.  you never really realize how much we rely on computers and word processing programs to communicate until you have to hand write something of this magnitude!  (i will not whine about it too much longer, but man oh man, my hand is aching!)

c'est la vie!  pressing on!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

cloth diapers

cloth diaper obsessed?

i hope not, but it could be a possible diagnosis.  ever since we decided to cloth diaper i've been overcome with the need to fill the drawers with them.  however, stocking up can be expensive when you're trying to save every penny for the adoption.  i've been monitoring for sales and finally found one that got me 5 cloth diapers (including free shipping) for a little over $15 each.  i ordered them a week ago and had been patiently awaiting their arrival.

last night they were hand delivered from the mail box by the hubs who was not as overjoyed as i was to finally have some more diapers in our supply.  (although he probably is happy to have me not be so worried about our tiny supply.)  our good friends d and cathy had given us about 7 starter diapers to help build our stock, but i was still having nightmares of being ill prepared.  i had a dream about a month ago that a baby was placed with us and we brought him (yes, in the dream it was a boy) home but we had no diapers, no bottles, no formula.  we no longer have this situation in our house - we now have some bottles, diapers, and one container of formula.  shew!

clearly we are still only about a third of the way to having enough cloth diapers to really be moving and grooving, but at least we could make it through a day of diapering with what we have now.  i need to get all of these laundered and ready to go, but i think we've got some time for that.

there's a lot to know about cloth diapering and it can seem a little overwhelming.  i feel like i have a complete grasp on why i want to do it, but do not fully understand the "how" it all works despite reading other's stories and talking to others who cloth diaper.  does anyone have any advice on an article, book, or some pointers they can offer?

Friday, March 11, 2011

baby in da house!

it was great to finally see a baby in this house!  it was the first time we've ever seen what a little one would look like in our home, when our friends cathy and steve came over last weekend with their son gus.  when we purchased our home over three years ago we bought it with kids in mind.  we'd pictured children crawling around the wood floors, running around the kitchen island in circles, doing home work at the kitchen table, reading books in the keeping room, and playing in the back yard.  it had been a long time coming to have a little one explore and take the run of the house.

gus amazed us all by strolling around the main floor with anything he could get his hands on to help him push the laps.  they brought his activity table and he used that as well as books to speed around the living room, pass by the kitchen, into the keeping room, back through the kitchen, into the dining room, and then all the way back to the living room.  he was going at a good clip!  it was so great to see him enjoying the space, and to confirm that it was going to be lived (one day) like we'd intended.

gus is a happy baby.  he's content with the toys he has and is always smiling.  he only fussed once he'd gotten too tired to put up with our nonsense any longer.  he appeased our fussing over him, talking in baby babble, being amazed at his walking skills, and just being so happy to be around him.  cathy and steve are great parents to this little fella and its evident in his happiness.

hopefully we'll be taking some pages out of their parenting books and will end up with a little girl or gal running spiritedly around the house soon!  we are so thankful to have found some adoptive parents to learn from, share with, and be inspired by.  we hope our little one and gus will become fast friends one day!

(p.s. - his eyes really are this amazing!)

(p.p.s. - cathy has mad singing skills and totally entertained gus with songs on her iphone.  i am going to have to get one of those, and learn how to carry a tune!)

Monday, March 7, 2011

baby care gurus

tonight was our required infant care class.  so we're gurus on baby care now - right?  we learned how to swaddle, how to comfort a baby when crying, how to burp a baby, change a diaper, how and when to feed a baby, what to feed a baby, how much to feed a baby, what to do when a baby gets sick, how to suction out yuckies, how to take a baby's temperature, what to expect with the umbilical cord, the heat lamps at the hospital, jaundice, circumcision, information on newborn's skin, the difference between choking and just gurgling, and saw some slides of "normal" things you don't have to panic about.

entering the building i was excited that we were there, but nervous about the reactions we'd get when we entered the room visibly not pregnant.  the presenter was boisterous and called across the room to ask us our names, when our baby was due, and what hospital we'd be delivering at.  we called back with our names and the fact that we were adopting so we just did not know the rest of the answers.  we were smiling when we said it.  she came over and told us how great she thought that was and that she knew someone who adopted, but their kids were in their twenties now.  funny how people try to connect.

she admitted early on that she was a lactation consultant and that she could get off on a breast feeding tangent, and she was not kidding.  we learned way more than we need to know about breast feeding - but we do feel like we learned lots of other things that will be helpful.  while we're definitely not experts on baby care at this point, we do feel like we're less anxious now about some general baby care and are eager to read the suggested reading materials to learn even more.

this is the hundred year old building where the class was held.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

bronze bird

this baby bird sculpture is one of my favorite possessions.  i purchased him after much deliberation on my birthday in soho in 2008.  he sits on our coffee table in the living room, and i look at him and smile every single day.  i love birds in general, and mostly treasure them for their ability to fly and their chirping.  this little guy reminds me of vulnerability - vulnerability which all of us have, some just more than others.  he seems so helpless as he lays on his back and he often makes me think of how he needs his mama. 

as we prepare for the adoption, and really get into the nuts and bolts of the readings, the answering of questions, and the classes that we need to attend, it reminds me how vulnerable we used to feel about being infertile.  it's not that we never feel sad or never miss that we won't give birth to a baby that will share our dna, but we just don't feel as vulnerable about it anymore.  we feel so comfortable with God's plan to build our family through adoption that we are just no longer fearing the emotions that used to rise up and take over when someone else announced their pregnancy, asked if you had any kids, or wanted to tell you how they thought you could get pregnant.  we're so comfortable in this skin.

i've completed my first run through of the seemingly complex questions of what makes "adri".  now it's off to type up and contemplate the questions regarding transracial adoption that include all of the "what if" questions.  once i have been through everything once, i will run back through it all to make sure it reads like i intended and get it all written onto the original copies.  i asked hubs if he thought he would have his portion of the paperwork done in a matter of hours because he is so amazing at communicating on paper, and he smiled and assured me he would.  there is no way he will have to ponder over this as long as i have - but at least we will both feel good about what we've got when we're done.