Two and a half hours ago we sat down with Genny, our adoption caseworker, and signed our adoption agreement. We had to read and initial a 16 page background summary, just in case knowing Sarah’s family background would change our minds. Are they kidding? 🙂 Seriously, though, it was so sad. We knew the basics, but these were the specifics. Things like the fact that Sarah’s birth mom was most likely drug exposed in utero herself. Things like the fact that she was in and out of foster care from the time she was a small child until she was emancipated as a rebellious teenager. Things like the fact that her mother had her shoplift for her and sold herself for money. Are we surprised that she had 3 children, and no longer has any of them in her custody? Where was DSS? Where were Christian neighbors? She claims that she attends/attended a Baptist church- where were her brothers and sisters in Christ. How could we possibly be angry at a mother who was only doing what she had learned? How could we be upset with a woman who gave birth to this incredible little girl that we call our daughter? These questions and more will never be answered. However, we have been blessed to be given this precious gift to love and nurture and train up in the Lord. Why would God choose us for this incredible task? We are so unworthy- truly. Despite the fact that their are other very sad/anxious/stressful things going on in the life of our family and our extended family right now, I don’t know that you could find a happier, more thankful set of parents tonight. And to top it off, I read a friend for college’s blog tonight and he and his wife announced that they are adopting from Ethiopia in the months to come. Oh that God would call others to take care of the orphans in distress! To reiterate his comments, if you have an extra bed, then why not? Just something to think about… 🙂 I’ll let you all know when we have a court date!
Protected: Pain… August 25, 2009
I never expected THIS! August 24, 2009
Okay, so I’m going to type fast and may make mistakes b/c the kids are happy and you never know how long that’s gonna last! Anyhow, our Early Interventionist, Amanda, who comes weekly to work with Gabi and Evan, told me about one of her other “mothers.” Apparently this mother, Jamie, has 4 children and is in training to become a doula. I spoke with James this weekend and told him that I felt like we should meet her and just talk with her. I’m thinking that, if I get a chance to pursue a natural childbirth, it would be very helpful to have someone in the room who has actually done it- 4 times. Almost more importantly, I think it’s important that we have an advocate so that when the doctor (possibly) starts pushing a repeat cesarian, we can at least fight it. (Not to the extent that we would endanger Matthew or myself, but just as much as possible because we know a vaginal birth, in most cases, is so much healthier for us both.) I know, I know… I’m flying through this. Anyhow, I called Jamie today to talk to her and see about meeting her. After talking about the possibility of preeclampsia (and her being very supportive) she mentioned breastfeeding. I said, “Well, not that I’m not a difficult enough case, but I have something called Tubular Breast Syndrome, that is probably going to complicate things… have you ever heard of that?” You know what she said????? SHE HAS TUBULAR BREASTS!!!! Crazy, I know… I can hardly believe it myself! She chose to let her children just nurse for comfort instead of feeding, but she has used the SNS some and is totally supportive if that’s what I choose to do. And she can help me learn to use it! Wow- if this wasn’t God-ordained, then I don’t know what is. I wish I could expound on this- I really wanted to call my sister (Hi Whitney) but Gabi has been in a “messing” mood all day after being up from 12:45 to 4:30 am, so I have to get back in there before the house is on fire. (And that’s only sort of a joke!) So here it is, for y’all to enjoy with me. “My God is so great, so strong, and so mighty, there’s nothing my God cannot do!” 🙂
Pulling the Plug August 21, 2009
So, my friend Rebecca wrote a post asking for help with her 4-year old son because he wants to watch tv a lot and would rather do that than play. How many of us have the same problem? Well, I had written a long time ago that we had gotten rid of tv in our home. It was so nice- I was happier, the kids were happier, and our home was just a more pleasant place to be because I wasn’t trying to get them in bed by a certain time so I could watch a certain show and they weren’t constantly asking me to turn on the tv. However, when we added number 5 and 6 to our family, everything changed. I was so tired, overwhelmed, and desperate. I couldn’t keep the dishes washed, the laundry done, or the house clean. So, unfortunately, I reverted to the good ol’ tube to help. Unfortunately, it hurt more than it helped. Everybody was whiney again (including myself) and all I wanted to do after the kids went to bed was pop in a movie and “go numb.” (We still didn’t have cable, but did have a DVD player- just as bad for us.) So, after suggesting to Rebecca that that might be helpful, I decided that we needed to do that again, too. So this morning before Gabi woke up, James unplugged the tv. We told her it wasn’t working when she asked to watch Bambi. She wanted me to lift her up so that she could fix it, which I did. Of course, she couldn’t. And then she just accepted it. Lollie and Roo came for breakfast and she told them that our tv is broken, just matter-of-factly. It’s already been a much better morning. I know that when Matthew comes I may reinstate a movie or two a day to help while I learn to nurse (hopefully), but I’m going to try without it first and see how it goes. We aren’t super-parents and I’m not a total earth-mother. It just so happens that this is something that makes our family better, so we’re willing to do it. Funny how we call it a “sacrifice” in the beginning, but then we realize that it’s really a blessing :). If only I had the strength to unplug the computer… 🙂
Preschool, tomatoes, adoption, and childbirth August 20, 2009
Random list, huh? But this has been a crazy, busy, wonderful week so I have to write about it before I forget.
Preschool: On Monday, we started our homeschool preschool. We’re working on the letter Aa, among other concepts. (counting, shapes (review for Gabi, newish for Sarah), color review, etc.) We loosely used some lesson plans my mom came up with and they’ve been great for a pretty simplistic first week. Since we’ve already worked on Aa, it’s familiar and it’s just been an enjoyable week.
Tomatoes: I love tomatoes! Used to absolutely hate them, but lived in Romania for a summer and fell in love with the “real thing.” This pregnancy, I have been craving them so badly. One day, I ate a tomato sandwich on a bagel for breakfast, a turkey and tomato sandwich for lunch, and a bacon, egg, and tomato sandwich for dinner. I couldn’t help it… .soooooo yummy!
Adoption: We found out last night that a week from today we’ll be signing Sarah’s adoption agreement with DSS. After that, we take a bunch of paperwork to our lawyer and she basically files it and gets a court date. We’re so excited about getting our Sarah “finalized.” It would be great if it could happen before Matthew comes :).
Childbirth: I’ve been really stressed lately, not knowing what’s going to happen with Matthew. I mean, it was awful being unprepared with Evan, but this time, I know all the things that could happen, might happen, etc. I could be delivered early be c-section. I could be induced at 38 weeks. I could go naturally (although the doctors seem to think there’s not much of a chance of that.) I could have a baby in the NICU for a short time, a long time, or not at all. I have no time (or babysitters) for a childbirth class so, although I want desperately to have a natural birth to help with nursing afterwords, I’m scared. (I keep telling myself that women didn’t use to have classes, but they also didn’t have doctors waving medicine in front of them, you know?)
Anyhow, lots of stuff on my mind. Just rambling about it there with never a dull moment. I know I have no choice but to trust God and wait, but I’m a “doer” and a “fixer” so that’s tough for me. Oh well… guess I’ll have to live with it.
Protected: Finally… Pictures!!! August 14, 2009
I’ve had so much fun the past week getting ready for Matthew Scott’s arrival. I don’t want to “jinx” myself by getting ready too early (not that I really believe it that,) but we were so unprepared when Evan came early that I’m determined to be ready, just in case. So this week, while my 12-year old brother, Christopher has been staying with us, I’ve taken the opportunity to work on preparations. We have an extra crib that has been in our bedroom since we moved because Naaman was in it up until a little over a week ago. Praise the Lord, he’s been sleeping through the night and in his room with Evan for 8 days now. (We already had his crib set up in Evan’s room so it would be ready for him.) We have a moses basket that we got with Naaman because we lived in a pretty tiny duplex. He ended up sleeping in that basket on the kitchen table for the first few months of his life. I love how cozy it is, so I’ve set it inside the crib for the first few months of Matthew’s life just so he can feel snuggly. (I have to admit, though, that all of our babies have slept in bed with us for some or all of their first days and weeks. We’re very careful and it just is something that we enjoy. He may be in the moses basket in the middle of our bed now since we have a king-sized and it should fit, but that depends on if we can keep Gabi out of our bed! :)) So, anyhow, his basket is clean and ready and in the crib and beside it is a stack of washed, sweet-smelling, fluffy blankets. Beside that is a stack of diapers, though we do most diaper changing in the living room. It’s nice to be able to fit all of that in the crib and kind of keep it to one area. I also washed all of our newborn up to 3 months clothes (in case he’s full term and a big baby- which is so hard for me to picture!) and hung them up on his baby-blue hangers so they’re ready for him. I’ve made lists for the hospital. One list for if I have a “normal” delivery and am only there for a couple of days and another list to add to it if I have to be there awhile on bedrest. (If I’m there awhile I want things like a CD player and my Seeds Family Worship cds to listen to because tv just doesn’t interest me much anymore.) Other things I am doing are just kind of random organizing/cleaning of things that I don’t get to often. I cleaned the girls’ room (though I have a bit to finish) and began cleaning the boys’ room. I’m hoping James can help this weekend. Other than that, I’m just trying to stay ahead of laundry and dishes and such so that they aren’t piled up if we have to make a quick move to the hospital. (With Evan, I just went for a routine visit, and ended up not coming home until a week and a half later when I was discharged after my c-section. Thankfully, a friend of mine brought her team of children over and cleaned our home for us so that I didn’t have to walk into a wreck- especially since James had been barely living there while I was in the hospital.) I’m looking around at the office as I sit here and it needs a really good organizing, but I’ll settle for things being stacked in neat piles if I have to. 🙂 I’m sure that I’ll have to redo a lot of this cleaning if Matthew doesn’t come early, but at least I feel better about being as ready as I can. Christopher has been such a huge help this week; he’s homeschooled, so I asked my mom if he could come help after Matthew comes home when James has to go back to work. He could continue some of his school, but I think it’s good overall for him to be here with us since he doesn’t really, truly have siblings to play with and learn from. He’s really learning how to be patient with the girls and give up what he wants to do for what’s best for everyone. And, as I said, he’s a huge help! I’m trying to rest as much as possible, to stress as little as possible, and just to pray as hard and often as I can so that my body will relax and not decide that preeclampsia sounds fun :). Lord willing, we’ll have an almost full-term baby somewhere around November 2nd. (They will induce me at 38 weeks if he has not come by then.)