Wednesday, March 22, 2017

3 month update

It's been a while since I posted anything! In some ways so much has happened and in other ways everything is the same. So, just an update on our adoption - Adrian is 3 months old, we have had 1/3 post placement visits, with 1 tonight (In Virginia, you are required to have 3 post placement visits with your social worker before the baby is 6 months old, and THEN at 6 months old you can apply for the adoption to be finalized). So, we are still a bit away from finalization. We have a court date next month to work through the other legal stuff that came up with this adoption, after that we will be in the clear to adopt Adrian and apply for finalization in 3 months.

Adrian is the best. He loves to laugh and smile. He loves to eat and rock in his chair or his rock n' play. He likes the car and going for walks. He does not love tummy time or being in his car seat if he is not moving.

We are coming up on a big change for us, Adrian is going to day care part time next week, and then full time the week after as I am going back to work. I am ready to go back to work and I'm not. I'm ready for the routine, I miss my students, my friends and my job. I'm excited for Adrian to go to daycare, to learn to meet other babies, and to learn to be independent from us some, so he can grow up to be independent. I know, without a doubt, that working is what is best for me and my family. But it will definitely be an adjustment. I'm going back to work for the last 6ish weeks of school - so a new teacher, new students, and the last 6 weeks of school where the kids are already checked out - it will be challenging!

As a mom, I have learned that I do not have as much patience as I wish I had - especially at 3 am. I know right, I waited 2 years for this baby and still haven't perfected patience. I have learned that sleep is not as necessary as I thought/wish it was. I have learned that I need to lean on Jesus more than ever. I have to make a thousand decisions a day and I have no idea if I'm making the right ones. I have to make sure I get things done, even with a screaming, crying, or cuddly baby. I'm convinced that Matthew 11:28 was written for moms ( Come to me all who are weary and heavy burdened, and I will give you rest). I have learned that I have to parent in a way that works for me and not for anyone else, despite other people's opinions.

Being a mom is the hardest, but most rewarding adventure I've been on. I am so blessed to be able to call Adrian my son. So far, there are only a couple of differences about being an "adoptive" mom (that's in quotes because I believe all moms are just moms, no matter how it came to them). We have a lot more legal blah to deal with. I have to make sure I keep up our blog for Adrian's birth mother, and send her updates regularly - not that this is hard, I just have to make sure I remember. I wonder a lot about how we will answer his questions and deal with his emotions about being adopted, while trying to make sure he knows we love him and that he is part of our family, and part of his biological family. But, really, I'm just a mom - I feed Adrian, love him, cuddle him, change his diapers, play with him - just like any other mom.

So, I know this post is kind of scattered - blame it on the baby brain, I promise one day I will post more pointed posts again, but for now this is an update and this is what is going on.

Thanks for reading!
 With love,
Kristen

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Parenthood So Far

Wow, it's been a long time since I've updated. Needless to say, we've been busy! Just a quick update here.

We have been dealing with some weird legal stuff with Adrian's adoption. I don't want to get into it as it is his story to tell, but long story short our agency has retained a lawyer to help limit our risk and has a plan in place. It has been SUPER stressful, because there was/is a risk of us losing him, but the risk now is less than it was before and I think we are in a good spot. Please continue to pray for us and the process.

I have enjoyed staying home with him so far, Adam was home with us the first 2 weeks. I go back to work the first week of April. We went and visited his day care yesterday to get some paper work and meet his teachers and as much as I wish I could stay home with him, I'm excited for him to start daycare and meet some baby friends and learn a lot! He loves to eat, cuddle, watch fans, play in his swing, and play on his play mat. He is SUCH a good baby and almost never fusses.

I will say, finding out that we could lose Adrian took a toll on our bonding. You all know, in adoption attachment is so important, but it is hard to attach when you feel like you need to guard part of your heart just in case. I think we worked through it well, but man it was hard. I definitely relied a lot on scripture, prayer, and friends.

Next week we have our first post-placement visit with our social worker - in Virginia you have to have 3 visits between bringing home your baby and his 6th month birthday in order to apply for finalization. Once his adoption is finalized we can apply for a birth certificate, SSN, etc. It just means he is legally ours (currently he is legally the agency's).

For his birth mother we have a private blog that she can access with a password. We post pictures and updates every couple weeks for her. I love that she gets to see him often and keep up to date with what he is doing. We talk about her often and can't wait until she is ready to do a visit, we have so much respect for her and love her so much.

I know this is a weird update that jumps around, but my brain is full of baby. When there is more to update, or when I have something to share I will, I promise! Don't forget to follow me on instagram as that is much more of a mini-blog with our updates.

With SO much love,
Kristen

Thursday, January 5, 2017

December 30, 2016



WOW - so most of you know that we now have a baby! I know some of you only follow on here so SURPRISE! I thought I would go ahead and share the story about what happened.

For Christmas we went to visit Adam's family for a couple days. The day after Christmas we drove to South Carolina to visit my grandparents and aunt and uncle and cousins. We had a great visit and were sad to leave. We left on Wednesday, the 28th in the afternoon to head to Williamsburg, we were going to Christmastown the next day. Around 7 we were still driving, maybe 2 hours out, and we got a call from our social worker. A birthmom viewed our profile and wanted to meet and move forward with us AND her baby was already born! It was a boy, and she wanted to name him Adrian Lee.She gave us some more information, told us he was born on December 20 and that if we wanted to move forward we would meet with her on Friday and probably meet the baby on Tuesday. We said yes right away! We were excited, nervous, and in shock. We got to the hotel, talked all about it, and I know I didn't sleep at all that night.

The next day our social worker called to give us the details about our meeting, talk us through some paper, and answer any questions. She also told us that after talking to the pregnancy counselor they decided that placement should happen Friday after the meeting if all goes well. WHAT - we were going to have a baby in like 24 hours?!?

SO we packed up, went to Target to get some last minute baby stuff and then went to get his birthmother a gift for when we would meet her. After that we still went to Christmastown and had a great time. It was a nice distraction and a great last date as a family of 2. We drove home and set up his pack and play, got his diaper bag together and did what we could before we brought him home. The next day we got up, drove to our agency's office and waited to meet the birthmother. We met her pregnancy counselor- who was awesome- and the office social worker (ours was on vacation). She showed up and we talked to her for a couple hours. It was great, she is so sweet, and smart. She was easy to talk to, and our conversation flowed from easy topics to more important ones. When our conversation dwindled down the pregnancy counselor went to talk to her in another room to see if she still wanted to move forward with us. We went to lunch.

We came back about 30 minutes later and the pregnancy counselor and Adrian's first mom came in and she told us that she wanted Adrian to be a part of her family. We thanked her, told her we were lucky, and continued to just chat. Between Adrian being born and this day (December 30), he was in interim care, so we waited for him to show up. When he arrived his birth mom spent about 30 minutes with him (we were so glad to give her that time), and she brought him in and handed him to us. It was a beautiful moment, where she placed him in our arms. And we were so honored that she wanted to do that. She hung around for a while longer and we continued to talk, and promised we would see each other again. We are SO thankful she wants an open adoption, and hope and pray she will always be part of his life.

Then we met with his interim mom, talked about him, cuddled and stared at him, and then the pregnancy counselor came in with our papers to sign. Currently we have a "legal risk placement." Which means we brought him home knowing there is still some risk. Our agency files every birth of a baby with the putative father registry, so we need to wait for the results of that to come back (hopefully next weekish) and then we get "secure placement." In Virginia you legally have to have 3 post placement visits between bringing him home and 6 months before you can apply for finalization. After those 3 meetings our social worker will say that she suggests moving guardianship from the agency to us, and then we will get an attorney to help make it legal. Then, 2-4 months later we will be finalized and Adrian will legally be our son. He will get a birth certificate with our last name (his original one will be sealed in the state until he is 18 and we will then pursue getting him a copy). We signed our papers, got him all settled in his carseat, said goodbye to the ladies at the agency, and went home.We went from getting a call about him to bringing him home in less than 48 hours. Needless to say it was a whirlwind.
We are so thrilled to be new parents, we LOVE Adrian, and think he is the CUTEST baby in the world (we legally can't post pictures until placement, and aren't planning to even after that to protect his identity and his story). Everyday I think about how lucky we are. And I always think of his birthmom. Our greatest gain is her greatest loss. Adrian is not lucky, we are, if he were lucky, his birthmom would be in a position to parent. He is only 14 days old and has already experienced trauma and loss. Our job now is to love him, teach him about his adoption and birth family, teach him he can love both us and his first family, and grieve with him when he grieves, and grieve with his birthmother. There is no denying that adoption is born from loss. In a perfect world adoption would not exist. But we do not live in a perfect world, and we will forever be grateful to his first mother for her decision and for her. She is now family and we will always honor her, love her, and talk about her. We hope to have visits with her, and will update her regularly. The best way to honor adoption, and someone who was adopted is to honor both sides of their story, the celebration and the trauma, the first family and adoptive family, the joy and the grief, those are all equally a part of Adrian and we will honor all of them, even when it is hard for us to hear.

We will continue to update you on how our adoption is going and how life as new parents is going. Pray for us to balance our emotions, to be good parents (we have no idea what we are doing), and for his birth mom - pray for peace for her, for her to know we love her and will always honor her and take care of her son.

Thank you for all of your support through this whole process! We would never be here without you. Please continue to support us as we parent, and as we finish the adoption legal stuff.

As always, ask if you have questions,
With Love,
Kristen