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. :)

 

Posted in Parenting | Leave a comment

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!

Posted in Adoption process | 1 Comment

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.

 

 

Posted in Adoption process | Leave a comment

Dancing Queen

IMG_7343I learned something about myself this weekend – I make a terrible dance mom. I will be a much better sports mom since I know what to expect for those types of events.

M participated in her very first dance recital this weekend. We had to arrive at noon for a 12:30 show. I thought the recital was 30 minutes and we’d be out by 1pm, home by 1:15 and she’d be napping by 1:30. This delusional thinking was rookie mistake #1. In reality, the show lasted an hour (of which she was on stage maybe 3 minutes, 5 if you count the final bow). We got home at 2pm and she refused to nap because “baseball” watch baseball!” Of course.

Arriving at noon for a 12:30 show where her class didn’t actually get on stage until about 1pm meant almost an HOUR for all these kids to sit around and wait. Have you ever tried to tell a toddler to be patient? During nap time? Enter rookie mistake #2 – I didn’t bring any toys, books, sippy cups or snacks. Every other mom (well, it seemed like it) had a bag full of stuff (you know, books, snacks, extra hair ties, makeup, shoes, more snacks, sippy cups). Thankfully, we were waiting in a preschool room and another mom found some toys for the girls to play with so it distracted them long enough to make the sitting around and waiting tolerable, but I felt like a schmuck.

When it was time for the girls to dance, all of us moms had to rush over to the side of the stage and literally place our kids on stage and then dash off to the side. It was a fucking circus. I cannot even imagine what M was thinking. I’m assuming it was something like “WTF did my mom just do? Who are all these people staring at me? Why the hell is it so dark in here? What am I supposed to do NOW?”And then her little toddler brain told her to run around the stage and explore! Yep, my kid was the one looking around at everything, standing in the middle of the stage by herself as the other girls ran as a group to the end of the stage and stood around in a cluster. My girl was in her own little world, taking it all in. :) And I was so consumed with trying to get her to follow directions and DANCE, that I didn’t take a single picture or video anything. Rookie mistake #3. At least I got a few cute pictures before the recital (you know, during meltdown-sit-around-and-wait-time when she wouldn’t smile).

After her 3 minutes of fame, we were told we had to go back and wait another 30 minutes for the rest of the show to finish. At this point, we had to get the kids lined up to go on stage one more time as a group to take a bow. And of course the littlest kids were the last to go on stage for this, so you know, more waiting.

And then, when it was time for her to get back on stage, she went rogue.

Instead of walking in a line with her class to the front of the stage, she found some older girl (maybe 12 YO?) sitting with her class in the middle of the stage. She must’ve looked friendly because M left her classmates, ran over to this girl she’s never seen before, gave her a huge hug and sat on her lap. HA! And then one of M’s little friends from class followed her, so this (good sport) older girl had two toddlers to wrangle.

Here is what I learned at my first ever recital:

  • These things take FOREVER
  • The kids look so adorable you kind of get over the fact that it takes FOREVER
  • Grandparents and aunts and uncles are saints for attending
  • You must bring snacks
  • There are other first time parents who probably feel as stupid as you do – it’s okay
  • Make sure you have plenty of wine at home for “celebrating” when it’s over

 

 

 

Posted in Celebrations and milestones, Growing Up, Parenting | Leave a comment

Deleted

Have you ever tried to make a relationship work but realized it just wasn’t worth it? I don’t give up easily, especially on friendships, but sometimes the effort and energy spent trying to be friends with someone is just wasted.

I’ve been hanging on to a relationship for several years now that is just not worth it. I kept trying to make it work and be a good friend, but I wasn’t getting anything in return except negativity. It was all very lopsided. In the past, I would’ve considered her as a potential adoption reference; instead, I made the decision to cut my ties and let it go. I deleted her from my contacts. I thought I’d feel sad or guilty, but instead I just felt relief.

I’m the first to admit that I’m not always the best friend. I sometimes lose touch with people I love and care about and I’m not always the best at reaching out. I am trying to be better – even if it’s just to send a quick text or email so people know I’m thinking about them. I know life gets crazy and things happen and it’s tough to stay connected, but I appreciate it when people at least make an effort.

As we were going through DCFS licensing paperwork we had to choose personal, family and business references for our adoption agency to contact. The people we listed had to be able to answer a lot of personal questions about us, our relationship, our family, our parenting style, our work ethic and our hopes for the future. Having to choose people to ask to be references really forces you to examine your friendships and relationships much more closely.

We made our choices together and asked people who know us as a couple as well as those who have made the effort to stay in touch and spend time with us as a family. It was an interesting exercise, but one thing it reminded me is that relationships evolve and change and require work from both people to thrive.

 

 

Posted in Adoption process, Communication, Parenting | 1 Comment

It’s beautiful!

IMG_1626M’s new phrase lately is “it’s beautiful!” when she sees something that she likes. It’s hysterical – she says it at completely random times, like when she saw my necklaces hanging in my jewelry box or when she saw the stack of books in her room. Today, we heard it over and over at the Botanic Gardens.

She loved the flowers and kept running to them and wanting to smell and touch each one (and there a lot of flowers in bloom right now so we got great exercise chasing her). But even more than the flowers, she was enthralled by all the water. She loved the huge fountain by the entrance the most and screamed “water! it’s beautiful” at every fountain, pond or water feature we passed. She even tried to squeeze through the slats of the railing over the lake (and nearly gave me a heart attack). I hope she never loses that sense of wonder and joy at seeing something that makes her so happy.

 

Posted in Growing Up, Just for fun, Parenting | Leave a comment

One word

Do you ever take those stupid FB quizzes? You know the ones I’m talking about – the ones that claim to tell you your secret spirit animal or what job you should be doing or what movie character you are? Yeah. Well, the other day I was having a rough morning and decided to take a break and do something mindless. Enter stupid FB quiz “What One Word Describes You?”

After just five short questions, FB informed me that I am Impulsive. Ha! It made me laugh a little because I’m decisive, not impulsive. :) But lately, I think my one word would be impatient. I have a stack of adoption paperwork sitting on my kitchen table and a to-do list that is spreadsheet worthy (really – I hate Excel but created a spreadsheet to track all the steps and tasks). I want it done NOW. This first stack of paperwork has to be completed and mailed in to start the DCFS foster care licensing process before we can start on the second stack of papers or schedule our home visit.

I know these things take time, but I can get 99% of the forms done in one day. The other 1% requires a little leg work. One form has to be notarized, which requires us to find a notary and then actually schedule a visit to get the forms notarized. The other hiccup is that DCFS requires physicals and TB tests so we have to schedule doctor appointments (and then go back 3 days later to get the TB test read). I made my appointment already and took the earliest appointment I could get (in 2 weeks). My husband kept delaying and didn’t make the phone call until today. And then, he scheduled his appointment for mid June! He obviously didn’t get the memo to get this done ASAP so we can mail in the damn forms. I know he’s busy at work, but come on – mid June?!

I know, I know, what’s an extra two weeks? In the grand scheme of things, it’s not a big deal. But I’m excited and anxious and wanting to get this done. I take great satisfaction in checking things off my to-do list.

Yes, I’m impatient, not impulsive.

 

Posted in Adoption process | Leave a comment