Saturday, December 31, 2011

open adoption - full hearts

a blog prompt from "production, not reproduction" suggested bloggers to consider "what did you learn about open adoption in 2011?"  (production, not reproduction)  we learned a hell of a lot!  we started this adoption process being terrified of open adoption.  in 2009 we did not even want to consider working with agencies that were only filling open adoption plans.  in 2010 we filled out our paperwork knowing that we "needed" to do an open adoption, but not fully believing we'd be able to do it with our full hearts. 

through a series of people we met, seminars we attended, the agency we selected, the social worker we were blessed in working with, and the longing of my adopted sister to know her birth parents - we knew we needed to be part of an open adoption.  but, while we needed to do it - we still did not fully want to.

if you read back through this blog from its inception you'd see how unbelievably scared we were regarding open adoption.  we were scared because we were threatened.  threatened that the child we adopted would never fully be our own.  threatened that this child that we adopted would never be able to call me "mommy".  threatened that the child we adopted would never love us as much as they'd love their biological parents.  we were threatened because we were uneducated.

when we talk to others who have not experienced an open adoption they're where we were last year.  it's just a place of not knowing.  it's just a place of being unable to imagine.  it's just a place of fear.  it's just a place of not being able to understand how it could work.  we still cannot believe we came from this dark cold place.

you see, now - we're in a place of warmth and light.  a place where our baby lives knowing the love of our family and his birth family.  it's an amazing place where the things we have in common are a love and longing for daxton to grow up, be happy, be healthy, and be loved. 

daxton's birth mother is a part of our life.  we email back and forth with her at least 3 times a week.  we've met her for a visit in her home, a visit to see santa, and dinner.  we were never threatened by her in these meetings.  she's able to see him, hold him, hug him, and love him.  we were actually nervous that we'd let her down.  we were nervous that she'd be less than impressed with our parenting skills - something we did or said.  we were nervous that she'd regret picking us to be dax's parents.  however, she never said anything of the sorts.  she's sweet.  she's kind.  she's loving.  she is not a threat to us.  she wants the best for us.  she wants daxton to be happy with us.

we're so glad we did not let fear overcome our adoption plans and ruin our chances at being the parents of this wonderful little boy.  if we were not willing to open our lives up to a birth family we would have turned our backs on raising this amazingly beautiful child.  if we were not willing to risk being nervous and being threatened we never would have met this sweet boy we call our son.  his birth mother wanted an open adoption and she only looked at profile books from families who were willing to share their lives with her.

open adoption is the way we can show daxton that his birth mother loves him.  he'll see her four times a year.  he'll send her notes, cards, and pictures.  he'll be able to talk to her if he needs to.  he'll really know why she chose to place him with us.  closed adoption leaves questions unanswered.  closed adoption leaves doors closed and leaves adopted children full of wondering why.  we've learned that opening ourselves up to the open adoption is something that our hearts just needed time to work through.  we learned that doing this for daxton really helped us become more secure, more assured, and less nervous in the process.  we learned how helpful it is for daxton's birth mother to heal by seeing him, visiting with him, and hearing how he is progressing. 

it's all worth it, and we're so thankful we are where we are with our full hearts.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

merry christmas

luke 2:11
"For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord."

we wish you and your family a merry christmas and a happy new year!

God is amazing

God is amazing.  there is nothing more i can say.

Blessing from God.

Monday, December 19, 2011

smiles and giggles

dax has had a good couple of weeks.  he's progressing quickly and it's hard to believe he's almost 6 weeks old!  he is starting to spend a lot more time investigating his surroundings, reacting to our silliness, and making cute noises.  (we still laugh every time he tooties!)  in the past week he has started smiling a lot more and we'll get smiles and even a giggle out of him when he thinks we are being funny or when we tickle on his belly.   he's very active and loves to wave his arms, kick his legs, and press on things with his feet.  he loves to pet on the back of his head, rubbing his hair, when his head is turned to the side.  he also likes to put his thumb between his pointer and middle finger when he really gets going on his bottle.  he's only fussy when he makes his poopies, he's gone too long without his lunch, or he's gassy.  the opthamologist is going to wait and watch his left eye and says that since he is using it (even though it is not opening all of the way) he could wait and see him again at 6 months.  he had his circumcision last week and his follow up for that tomorrow.  he'll be happy there will be no more doctor visits until january!

saturday we had the blessing of spending the evening with dax's birth mother and brother.  we met them at a local mall and waited in line to visit santa.  the line was long and they plunked down the "santa's going to feed the reindeer" sign about 4 families in front of us.  dax's brother was patient as a little boy could be, but the wait was long, and even i got antsy!  dax was busy sleeping and his birth mom held him and eyed his growth and progress since she'd seen him last month.  she could not believe how big he'd gotten and how much heavier he was to hold!  we finally made it to the front of the line and got a picture of the two boys with santa.  dax's brother was so excited to tell santa exactly what he wanted this year!

after a visit with santa we decided to head to cpk to get some pizza.  we all shared dinner together and were impressed with dax's brother's dinner time grace!  he is such a smart and sweet boy!  dax kept sleeping through dinner and we tried to get him to wake up so he could visit.  he finally gave his birth mom and brother his best one eyed exam, but he did not give them the giggly dax we've met this week.  hopefully he'll be less of a sleepy head next time we meet up!  after dinner we drove them home and gave them the presents dax had picked out for them for Christmas.  we gave hugs and said our "see you laters" until we can meet up again this spring.

dax's birth mom seems to be doing a lot better and we're so glad we were able to spend so much time with them.  she was wearing a necklace we gave her in the hospital and it always melts my heart when i see it on her neck.  i don't know if she wears it all of the time, but just the fact that she wears it when she sees us is good enough for me.  she sent us a wonderful email that night before we could make it home, and we're just so thankful that she found us and picked us to be dax's parents! 

dax's birth father signed all of his paperwork this past week and we got everything in the mail on saturday.  we were excited to learn more about his birth father and to know that he also wanted dax to be with us.  it felt good to have this one last piece of the puzzle!  he noted in the paper work that he would like a relationship with dax, and that made us feel good!  it's going to be the best Christmas ever!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

one month

it's been one month since daxton was born.
it's been one month since this sweet boy found his way into our lives.
it's been one month since our hearts grew exponentially with a love we never knew.
it's been one month of adjusting to new sleep patterns, living with another person, and new routines in our lives.
it's been one month and he's learned to giggle, smile, and raise his head up and turn it from side to side.
it's been one month of feedings and he's up to 8.5lbs.
it's been one month of growing and he's now 21 inches long.
it's been one month of 277 diaper changes.
it's been one month of 300 bottles.
it's been one month of wearing newborn clothes.
it's been one month of firsts.
it's been one month of visitors.
it's been one month of getting our days and nights worked out.
it's been one month of cuddling, rocking, and loving on our boy.
it's been one month of the purest joy you'd ever know.

it's hard to believe one month in the life of daxton has passed and we cannot wait to see what month number two has in store!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011



where do you get enough of it?  how does it go so quickly when you don't want it too, but pass so slowly when you wish it would be over?  how do you use your time wisely?  how do you make the most of it?

a lot of people want to know what we've been up to lately. 

we've been pretty busy just being a family.  on thanksgiving we made a feast to feed the entire "who forest", but there were only two of us here to eat it.  we dirtied every pot, pan, and cooking utensil in the property and then had to run four loads of dishes to wash it all!  we got all dressed up to take a thanksgiving picture and then put back on our pajamas to eat our meal by the candlelight.  hey - nobody else was looking!

we've been battling baby acne, cradle cap, dry skin, a baby with a gassy tummy, and now a gunky eye.  we've gone to the pediatrician once for the acne and put a call in this morning about the eye.  since we have an appointment for his one month visit on thursday they told us he'd be okay until we came in for that.  until then we're just applying hot compresses and massaging the tear ducts in case they're blocked.

we've been on the search for diapers.  we'd decided before dax was born we were using earth's best diapers.  before he got here i found a jackpot of a clearance sale at our harris teeter store and stocked up on 12 packs of the size 1 diapers.  that was all well and good, but he still wears newborn!  we had diapers brought to us from ohio (thanks kathy) and have now switched to seventh generation.  they used to sell those at the grocery store, but alas when will went out at 8am on saturday morning, no newborn size!  we finally tracked down the last two packs that whole foods has.  i am praying that he will be moving on to size one when these two packs run out!

that weekend after thanksgiving was our last weekend at home with no work on the agenda.  the following monday it was back to work for me.  i work upstairs so i did not have far to go.  will was under strict orders to only help me in case of an emergency.  it was my opportunity to see if i was going to be able to pull this off.  there were lots of diapers, bottles, one handed typing, wishing i had voice recognition software and a baby bjorn, but somehow we made it through.  then on wednesday will went back to work.  the thing i had not accounted for was the 2 hour lag time from the time i sign off until the time he actually gets home.  those two hours were hard.  dax was fussy and mommy was tired.  however, we've learned some tricks and this week is going more smoothly.

this past weekend started off with our first time alone away from dax.  our good friend kathy came over so we could go out for a little bit.  originally we were going to the third day concert, but it was postponed until spring.  at the last minute we decided we'd go get massages and tacos!  everyone said it was a weird combination, but that's what we like!  we talked and talked until our mouths were dry.  it was good to reconnect, relax, and have some down time.  kathy and dax fared well and we only texted to check in twice while we were out!

saturday we put up our christmas tree.  dax was excited to pick one out, but he just could not stay awake.  he slept the entire time we were on the hunt, loaded it on to the car, drove home, put it inside, cleaned up, and put on half of the decorations.  we were exhausted by the time we were done.  i don't think we'd done so much physical labor on such restricted sleep thus far!  however, when we finally put it up dax seemed to like the lights and the shiny ornaments.  after we got it all up and into place i think i have decided i must be allergic to it.  i cannot go near it, cannot water it, and cannot plug in the lights without having my rosacea break out and getting massively itchy forearms.  next year we're moving to artificial.

before you knew it sunday had come and we had some friends coming over from church.  our friends brought us some casseroles, fruit, desserts, and company.  we were thankful for the visitors since our most frequent trips out lately are to target.  it was good to spend some time with people and have dax introduced to part of our church family.  they'd helped us pray for him and his birth mother for so long, i was glad to see it all come full circle.

sunday came and went and then so did monday too.  the weekend, just like the night time, goes so quickly!  its hard to get enough family time, resting time, and chores done.  did i say the laundry was piling up?  we've been really good about dishes so we could keep all of our bottles clean, but we need to get a kick in the pants about the laundry pile!  i also need to work on thank you notes, the baby book, his baby hand print, and ordering photos!  i just need more time!