Bedtime Shenanigans

My kid doesn’t like to sleep. I think she thinks she’s missing out on something really fun and exciting at bedtime. Once she’s out, she’s out; I can vacuum her room, turn the light on and put laundry away, or do any number of things near her room (with the door open) and she sleeps through it. But getting her to actually go to sleep is a major challenge, especially lately. Here’s what happened last night.

8pm: jammies on, books read, hugs and kisses given, toddler tucked in.
8:02pm to about 9:30pm: “MOMMY! Tuck in!” “MOMMY! I want water.” “MOMMY! I need a hug.” “MOMMY! MOMMY? DADDY!” Over and over and over.

We tried to ignore her but she kept getting louder and more obnoxious. Every time I would ask her why she was still awake she would reply, “I don’t know!” Then I told her she needed to sleep and she said “No, I’m awake!” No shit you’re awake. GO TO SLEEP.

9:40pm(ish): She’s been quiet for 10 minutes. I think maybe she fell asleep. Wrong. I hear, “MOMMY! I took it all off!” Uhhhhh….I better go check on this.

I went in her room and sure enough, she had taken off her pajamas and her diaper and thrown everything on the floor. She was in her bed stark naked and giggling. Ok then. I hope this isn’t a glimpse into her future teenage years!

I put a clean diaper on her, put her pajamas back on, and tucked her in – again. We then went through another hour or so of her yelling, screaming “MOMMY!” and trying to get me to come back in her room.

Around 10:45 I was about to lose my temper big time from the frustration, so I stomped into her room and yelled at her to go to bed. She looked at me and said “together? you sleep here?” I gave in (because who doesn’t love toddler snuggles?) and climbed into her little bed with her.

She snuggled in close facing me with her stuffed giraffe under one arm, and then took her other hand, placed it gently on my cheek and said, “Mommy? Build a snowman?” It was so unbelievably sweet and hilarious that I almost busted out laughing. Instead, I smiled and told her to close her eyes and dream about building a snowman. She gave me a sweet kiss and said “okay mommy, good night.”

11pm(ish): A few minutes later I left and went back to my own bed. She was still awake, but quiet, so I thought she was finally falling asleep. Wrong again. All of a sudden she was belting out “Let It Go” at full volume. Thankfully, she quickly tired of the singing and zonked out. FINALLY.

It’s always an adventure with this kid, that’s for sure.

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Waiting

We are officially a waiting family! Our adoption profile went live at our agency on Friday (the online version).  Any expecting parent who clicks the “waiting families” link on the agency website will now see our profile listed along with about 45 other families.

The online profiles are all the same. It includes a letter, 6 photos, and a list of our favorites (foods, movies, music, etc.). We were given specific parameters for the letter (length and content) and a templated form to fill out for our favorites. It’s hard to convey your personalities and family dynamic in this somewhat restricted format, but we hope it appeals to expectant parents looking online and they will ask to learn more about us.

Our physical family profile photo book should be arriving tomorrow. Once I get it, I’ll send it to our agency and they will keep it in their office for expectant mothers to review. The printed book features many pictures, more details about our family, and the full-length letters from Maya’s birth mom and birth grandma. I had free creative reign over the printed book and wasn’t stuck using a template like the online version. I hope it will resonate with expecting parents and they get a good idea of what kind of life their child will have with us.

Our Blog

Our agency encourages hopeful adoptive parents to get out and market themselves. Last time, we created a blog, pass-along cards, and tear-off flyers. I sent letters to every crisis pregnancy center and church in the area asking them to share our cards and I left flyers and cards everywhere I could. We also had a dedicated pay-as-you-go cell phone and promoted that phone number on our marketing materials.

This time, I’ve updated our blog from before with new photos and details about our family; I’m going to try getting the word out via social media instead of investing a lot of money in a cell phone and printing/mailing cards and letters.

If you are so inclined, please share our blog (www.markanderinadopt.com). You never know who may know someone considering adoption. Feel free to share it via email, Twitter, Facebook, your blog or any other method you can think of.

If we meet someone serious about adoption through our own efforts we will ask them to work through our adoption agency (at no cost to them). We want to make sure they receive the full benefit of working with an agency, including counseling, understanding their rights and making sure they are making an informed and educated decision.

Thanks for your love and support as we embark on this next phase of growing our family!

 

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Sunday Morning

Some days I want to use a magic eraser and start over – to make everything the way it’s supposed to be (you know, in my head) instead of how it really is (you know, real life).

Sunday morning, however, was (almost) perfect. Well, if you don’t count waking up at 4:30am from a horrible nightmare. But other than that minor terrifying detail, it was a damn good morning.

Miss M woke up calling for me (it’s always me). I went in to her her room and she gave me a huge smile and said “hi mommy! good morning!” before running over to hug me. That kid gives the best hugs. She snuggled in, nuzzling my shoulder, and asked to watch the frozen princess.

I was tired from running away from the man who was trying to kill me in my dream, so I brought her back to our bed and put on her second favorite movie (you know, the one with the charming snowman). She cozied up next to me, sharing my pillow and hugging her beloved giraffe with one arm and resting her other hand on my arm.

I’ve watched this particular princess movie a bazillion times with her, but this time was my favorite.

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Blog Hop

My blogging friend Becky from Weinrich Family Adoption invited me to participate in a blog hop about writing. I have to answer four questions and then introduce three other blogging friends. The people I introduce will answer the same questions on their blogs and then introduce three of their blogging friends. Got it?
I was supposed to have my post up this week, but time got away from me and then I got a sinus infection/nasty cold thing and have had ZERO energy for the past few days. I’m finally getting around to answering the questions, but unfortunately will have to introduce my blogger friends at a later date as I haven’t received info from the ones I asked.
So, let’s get started.

What am I writing or working on?

Ha! Well, these days I’m not writing much of anything. I’m trying to blog more often, but I am burned out by the end of the day and just don’t have the time or energy for writing (or anything else) lately. Usually by the time my energetic 2-year old is asleep I’m ready to go to bed, too, but instead I take care of things around the house or throw in a load of laundry and try to spend time with my husband.
What I’d like to be writing about is our experiences adopting again. We’re still in the home study phase and already this has been a much different experience than before. If I can get my act together (and stay awake past 9pm) I will blog more in the near future.

How does my work differ from others of its genre?

I’m not sure it does. I write about being a mom. I write about our experiences with adoption. I know lots of other bloggers who write about the same/similar topics. But, we all have different perspectives and different experiences to share and that’s what makes the blog world so wonderful.

Why do I write what I write?

My original blog started as a coping mechanism. It was a place to vent my feelings and to express myself without feeling judged. We were going through a lot of emotional experiences and I felt like no one understood how I felt. I had all these words and feelings just tumbling around in my head and they needed to get out. Eventually, we brought our daughter home and that blog ran its course.
After a while I started to miss blogging. I started this blog as a way to capture my experiences not just as a mom, but as a mom navigating the realm of open adoption. Again, I am writing for me, mostly as a coping mechanism. It’s also a way for me to capture my life as a mom and to vent the frustrations and share the joy and love I feel.

How does my writing process work?

I love technology, but I have always been a pen and paper kind of girl. I love the physical art of writing. My thoughts feel clearer, more real, when I write with a pen. I swear the words just flow better for me. But, blogging is faster and easier and shareable (or not), so I blog instead of journal. My process usually involves a million thoughts running through my head, usually for weeks. Sometimes I jot down an idea or a word or a phrase to try to jog my memory later when I have time to write. Then, on nights when I can’t sleep, I sneak down to the basement (trying not to alert my dogs that I’ve gotten out of bed, otherwise they will alert the entire neighborhood) and just start typing. I try to remember what I’ve been thinking about for the past few weeks. I don’t spend a lot of time editing or rewriting – I just go with it.
So there you go. Check back in the future to meet some of my blogging friends and see their responses.

 

 

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It’s a lot like dating

Meeting other moms and their kids and getting together for play dates is a lot like dating. Who makes the first move and invites the other out? What if the kids don’t get along? What if the moms don’t hit it off? What will we talk about?

Last week during dance class I spent 45 minutes talking to another mom who is new to the class. We both work full-time and both had this week off. We were talking about what we were going to do with the kids all week and I mentioned we were hoping to go to the zoo. She suggested we could go together; it sounded like a great idea so I agreed. We exchanged phone numbers at the end of class and said we’d be in touch.

The timing didn’t work out for the zoo, but we did get together yesterday for a play date at the park. I’d never been to this park and didn’t realize it was a splash park, not a playground park. I was completely unprepared. I didn’t have M’s swimsuit, towel or extra clothes. I did, however, have a swim diaper and sunscreen in her diaper bag. I decided to let her play and get soaked in her clothes because I didn’t want to back out of our play date right when we got there.

The other mom was great – she had a spare pair of pants in her diaper bag so she let M wear them in the splash park that way I could save her shorts and have something dry to put in her in for the ride home. So while all the other kids were playing in their swimsuits, mine was running around in a pants and a t-shirt. Oh well.

The girls had a great time playing together – they are 8 months apart but act very much the same. While they played, I spent the hour and a half sitting on a park bench and talking with the other mom (with the occasional interruption while I jumped up to grab M as she ran toward the beach). At first we talked about the kids, because that’s the easiest way to break the ice and start talking to another parent. But then we started getting into our families, jobs, etc. It seriously felt like a first date.

I always feel nervous around other parents for some reason, but this other mom is very relaxed and easy to talk to. We had an enjoyable time chatting and the kids had fun. All in all, I’d say it was a successful first play date. I’m hoping for a second date sometime soon. :)

 

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Progress

We had our home visit today with the social worker from our adoption agency. I remember four years ago when we had our first home visit I was a complete wreck. I didn’t know what to expect and I was nervous about someone coming to my house and judging me. Would my house be clean enough? Would they find it an appropriate place to raise a child? What if they thought the bedrooms were too small? What kinds of questions would they ask us? After all that worrying, it really was no big deal.

You’d think I’d be more relaxed the second time around, right? Only slightly. We still spent hours tearing the house apart cleaning everything (even things I knew she wouldn’t even look at, but just in case). I mean, I know we have a 2-year old and there will always be toys everywhere, but I still wanted her to think we have our shit together.

My house is now spotless!  We spent hours cleaning and organizing, and she spent all of 5 minutes walking around. Ha! I mean, she’s been here before. She knows us. We basically had to show her smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors and where we keep medicines and cleaning supplies. Then she wanted to see my craft room just out of interest, not as part of her job as a social worker. :)

We spent the rest of the time chatting with her about M and our relationship with the birth families, going over our finances and signing other forms about our water heater temperature, fire evacuation plans, guardianship plans in case we bite it while M is still a minor, etc. (Yes, they really make you talk about this stuff.)

Overall, it was easy. It was done in 90 minutes and it was not stressful at all. She gave me a copy of our previous home study report and said she’s just going to update it since very little has changed, which means it should be done much sooner than we expected.

Now, I need to make our family album to be shown to prospective birth families and start working on my marketing campaign. I’m hoping we’re officially waiting to be picked within the next few weeks. We’re getting closer!

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This time it’s different

I still have my crazy checklist of adoption-related tasks. I still get butterflies when I think about getting that phone call and meeting baby number two. I still feel stressed when I think about the expenses related to having two kids. Yet, somehow I feel more relaxed this time around.

I’m going into this adoption process with an open heart and a calmer mind. I’m trusting the right child will find its way to us when it’s the right time. I am focusing on my current family while still dreaming about my future family. And I’m loving it.

I’m not sure if it’s different this time because I’m already a mom and not spending my time wishing for a child to grow our family. Or maybe it’s because after all the shit we went through last time I’m confident cautiously optimistic this time will be smoother. It could be that I’m just too damn exhausted from chasing around my 2-year old that I don’t have any energy left for worrying. Whatever the reason(s), it’s definitely a different experience already and I’m trying to enjoy each step along the way with the best possible attitude and outlook.

 

 

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