Sunday, November 29, 2009

Sneaky Seventh Month

With so much going on around here lately, Charlie's seventh month sneaked right up on us!

Our boy is becoming quite a little communicator lately. He's definitely beginning to piece a few things together. He's clearly saying "Hi" when he sees us or other people he knows, and he also says "Da Da," although that one's not always in context. I can also tell he's working really hard to find the word for doggy, and to articulate both of their names. He stares at them intently a lot right now. I'm still waiting for the ubiquitous attempt at "Mama," but still nothing on that front. He also gets really mad now when he wants something he can't have. I wouldn't exactly say he's throwing temper tantrums, but he's not far off. We're going to have lots of fun as this little man becomes more and more autonomous. :)

We still have no teeth, which really surprises me. I've pretty much given up on saying he's teething because clearly I have no clue when those little buggers are going to make an appearance! The world of homemade baby food continues to be lots of fun for me. He likes almost everything we've tried so far, with the exception of green beans. I'm still offering him those off and on in hopes that he will acquire the taste, but we'll see. We tried turkey on Saturday, during my family's big Thanksgiving dinner.

He was pretty unsure about that, but the texture was pretty gritty so I don't blame him. I think next time we try turkey I'll mix it with something that has a better texture and see if that helps.

Our baby boy has quite a charming little personality emerging, which has been a lot of fun to watch. Every so often something will strike his funny bone and he will laugh so hard he almost sounds like he's crying. Last week it was my mom spinning the sun catcher on our deck for him, and the other day it was me pointing to the little red bird on his wall mural and saying, "Bird." I have no idea why those things were so funny, but I still delighted in hearing his laughter.

He's completely in love with bath time right now too, which is making me wish I gave him baths a little more often. I don't want to unnecessarily dry out his skin, but I do so love to see him splash and squeal the way he does. His daddy bought him a rubber duck that has a flashing light sequence and he loves that thing! He lunges for it in the bath without a care in the world.

The past month has been great, and extremely momentous! I'm very much looking forward to our first Christmas with this little man, and all the other great things his seventh month will bring!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

A Day I'll Never Forget

Kisses for Charlie!

Our first official day as a family was everything I had imagined it would be and then some. Even though our precious boy has been every bit our son in our minds and our hearts since we first laid eyes on him this spring, it feels good to know he is officially ours in the eyes of the legal system now too. Our day in court yesterday was amazing!

We were lucky to be able to finalize Charlie's adoption on National Adoption Day, which meant we were part of the celebration the court house held in honor of the 14 adoptions that took place in our county yesterday. There were balloons, refreshments, adoption-related information and keepsakes, guest speakers, and news media there to commemorate the occasion. We were interviewed by the reporter who was there, and he took several photos of the three of us together. I wonder if we'll be in the paper? They had four court rooms open, and we were among the first group of families to be called.

We were also fortunate because the judge who presided over our case is also the adoptive mommy of a five-year-old African-American boy. She showed us pictures of her son, and she even asked me if I'd like to get our boys together sometime, which of course I would! During the hearing, she had some insightful and poignant things to say about both the rewards, and the hardships of adoptive parenting, and particularly about what it's like to be a transracial family in today's world. Listening to her, both during the hearing and afterwords, I felt wholly understood and celebrated. I feel excited about the prospect of getting to know her better, and having our sons meet one another.

Our hearing was extremely touching, and emotionally overwhelming. Listening to our case worker talk about our story, and how we waited such a long time for "the right baby" was quite a moment. When she said she would like to recommend us for permanent placement and care of Charlie she said, "They clearly love him to death!" The judge had also read through our entire (40+ page) home study, and she remembered several things that she mentioned during the hearing, including our love story, and our two dogs, which made everyone chuckle.

here we are, taking our solemn vow to accept both the blessing, as well as the burden of parenting.

finally, our long-awaited moment with the judge!

here we are with my mom and dad, Charlie's Ema and Epa...they look so proud!

Once we were done with the legal aspects of our day, we had family and friends back to our house for fun, games, and food! Here's our precious boy, enjoying the homemade letter C ginger bread cookie his daddy made for him.

Seriously...he is too cute for words!

We really had a fantastic day! All day long I felt really special, and really celebrated. We played games, chatted, and everyone seemed to have a genuinely good time. So many people stopped by, it was amazing. At one point there were four little ones under the age of four in our tiny little living room. It was so nice to know that our son was amongst the group of babies. I felt so proud as I watched them play...their laughter was music to my ears! Towards the end of the evening, we commemorated our first-ever Gotcha Day by taking a mold of baby boy's hand and foot.

Once they dry completely, we'll display them in a frame, along with a photo from today, and the signatures of all the guests who stopped by. I'm so happy to have this keepsake, as well as so many great memories from our special family day with our son. It's challenging to get my words to do justice to the overflowing joy, love, and pride I felt yesterday, and still feel today when I think about our beautiful family. We are truly blessed beyond measure, and I am left with an overwhelming feeling of happiness and gratitude when I think about our story and how far we've come in {really} such a short time!

I'd do it all again in an instant!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Two Days to Go

Charlie's adoption day is coming up on Tuesday! We have been shopping, cleaning and cooking like crazy today! The court house is having an "adoption appreciation" celebration on Tuesday to go along with all the adoptions that will be finalized in our county that day. Press will be there, and it will be a big shindig. I am jittery, but in a good way.

Honestly I can't believe we are here already! I can't believe we've come from where we were this time last year to where we are's amazing! Every day I seem to fall more and more in love with our son. I keep thinking that at some point my love for him will reach capacity, but maybe it just keeps on growing, who knows?

There has been a lot of negativity going around here lately, and to be honest it's been getting me down (see previous post.) But there has also been some good news over which I've been doing a little happy dance! :)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Whole Privacy Thing...

Recently a lot of the bloggers on my blogroll have decided to go private. While I completely understand and respect that decision, it is kind of leaving me with an unsettled feeling.

I don't really feel the urge to go private, don't really want to go private, but maybe I should want to? Maybe I'm weird because I don't really hold back much? The pictures are probably the only thing I really worry about. Mostly since that ridiculous news story a while back about the picture that was stolen from a family blog...

But - especially now that we have Charlie, the whole point of this blog is for me to share. Share our experiences, share our lives, and share the joy we have in our son. I feel like going private would somehow change blogging for me in a bad way.

Then there is the anti-adoption hate garbage that's been happening around here lately. Honestly, this just makes me sick! I do not, and will never understand how there are people out there who feel vindicated by attacking others. Especially others like some of you. Sweet and caring people who are trying to do their best given the circumstances they face. I just don't get it, and this whole thing makes me really, really mad. I want to fight back, but instead I am watching as one by one, many of my favorite blogs are forced to go underground. It's ridiculous, and I wish they--those anonymous idiots--didn't have that much power over us.

Whatever. It is what it is. I can completely understand why those of you who are now private have done what you've done. You have made me think about it myself, and to be honest...I'm still thinking on this one. I guess the bottom line is that I just wish I...we...could feel safe. Safe to be ourselves and share our experiences without all the worry and fear.

Monday, November 9, 2009


This morning we were all in the bathroom getting ready for the day. Little Charlie was sitting on the floor. The following is the beautiful conversation we had that made me remember how awed I am by the blessing of our son:

Me: While looking at the November, 2007 copy of "Adoption Today" sitting on the counter. "Oh cool, this talks about November being Adoption Awareness Month, and it's November now.

Michael: "Wow, that was a long time ago."

Me: "Yep, that's when we started our adoption process, the spring of 2007. So it took us almost exactly two years to go from paperwork to person."

Michael: "Yep, but I'm glad it took as long as it did, because if we had been quicker, we wouldn't have Charlie."

Charlie: Looks up at us with a delightful grin as we both gaze at him in wonder.

Me: "Yep, I'm even thankful for all the other stuff too, the infertility. Because if we had been able to conceive biologically, we also wouldn't have Charlie. I can't even imagine that."

Neither of us can even begin to fathom any baby other than Charlie at the center of our lives. He is so completely our baby that thinking of any baby other than him just seems all wrong. To consider how different our paths could have been, and to even think about our lives not having been touched by Charlie's...I honestly can't even go there. What a blessing and true miracle this little boy is for us!

Friday, November 6, 2009


Or maybe this post should be titled "Absence of Anonymity." Of course I knew, when we welcomed Charlie into our lives, that from that point forward we would be a family who doesn't look like all the others, and who consequently gets noticed more in public. I knew it intellectually, but not realistically if that makes any sense.

The other night we were at dinner, and as we were leaving the restaurant, a woman held the door for us. When I told her thank you she said,

"Oh you're welcome. I've seen you guys around. Yeah, I think over at that other place as she pointed to another diner across the parking lot. The baby's getting big."

I made some common response about how fast they grow, but as I did so, I was actually thinking that it is really strange to be known by people who I had never even noticed before. And I think I'm generally fairly observant when we're out and about.

Then not too long ago, we had a woman at the store tell us she remembered us, and that it didn't look like the baby had grown at all since the last time she saw us. Now call me crazy, but even if that thought crossed my mind, I would never speak it out loud to a baby's mother! Not that I care, because my main thought after this comment was that she must be clueless to not have noticed how big Charlie had gotten...but whatever.

Another instance happened at Applebees when a waitress I could have sworn we've never seen before said she remembered us from the last time we were there. I realize this post makes it sound as though we go out to eat every night, but actually these encounters are generally months apart. Apparently we make a lasting impression on people no matter where we go, which I guess can be both good and bad.

Being known in the places we frequent is interesting. To be honest, I'm still trying to figure out how I feel about this new aspect of our lives. Right now I'm not bothered by it as much as I think I will be when I have to try to find a way to explain to little Charlie why people notice us the way they do. It's not as though this is a small town. We live in a good size community where it's generally pretty easy to remain unknown if that's your desire.

After we left the other night, I jokingly said to Michael, "Now what are we going to do when our son's all grown up and is no longer around all the time to make us famous?" I'll be honest in saying there is a part of me that enjoys the attention of being noticed. Primarily because I'm so very proud of our family, and I love to talk about adoption any time I have a chance...but also because there is something nice about not being just another face amongst a sea of faces.

I know this post is slightly jumbled, and not entirely making sense, but these experiences have been happening more and more often. I want to capture all the nuances of my feelings before too much time goes by...

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Baby's First Halloween

Halloween has been one of my favorite parts of the holiday/fall season for a long time, but this year was even better with the little one here for the festivities. We went the inexpensive homemade route for his costume, what do you think:

Can you guess what he's dressed up as?




Give up yet?

It's called, "Daddy Dressed Me!"

Well we thought it was funny! As it turned out, Charlie only made it to about three houses before he fell fast asleep on Daddy's shoulder.

That's just as well since we certainly didn't need the extra candy sitting around the house! All in all, the boy's first Halloween was lots of fun. We had my parents, as well as my younger sister and her husband over for chili while we passed out candy to the smattering of neighborhood kids who came down our street. The night was low key, but enjoyable. Hope all of you had a Happy Halloween too!