Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas!

Wishing you a Joyful Christmas!  Marlon and I usually do a fun Christmas card to mail out each year. This year we just couldn't get a photo done in time. Maybe next year we'll send out our first family card. Until then, here is a montage of holiday cards of past.

Merry Christmas!

Love, Jenn and Marlon

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Thank You For Your Generosity

Throughout the year we've done some fun fundraising for our adoption and we want to thank you for your generosity.  We also want to thank those who have given their time to give us a helping hand.   I am continually amazed at how supportive and excited everyone is to welcome our child into your lives.  So, thank you.

Marlon and I have a pretty solid budget and savings plan that we stick to, but these fundraisers really do help a lot. If you are interested in our fundraising efforts, please click on the "Fundraising" tab at the top of the page.  We've added some new and exciting ways to raise funds for our adoption like becoming an Associate and a Etsy shop! All the money that we raise through the blog and fundraisers goes into a separate account not to be touched until we get "the call." We are hoping and praying we get that call soon. This little one has no idea how much they are already loved.

Monday, December 10, 2012

5 Tips To Start Your Adoption Journey

Someone emailed me recently and asked, "During your process, what do you wish you would have known then what you know now?"  I thought this was a great question and wanted to share my answer. I am constantly learning new things about adoption and my point of view is ever expanding.  Things that worried me in the beginning are long gone and have been replaced with new worries like, picking a daycare, what crib mattress to buy, how will we adjust to our new lifestyle and so on.

Here are some things I have learned from our adoption process so far, maybe they will help as you begin your adoption journey:

1.  The home study isn't that bad. Yes, it's a lot of paper work, a lot of questions and a dreaded home visit, but if you stay organized the home study is no sweat. Answer the questions they ask honestly. If the social worker has questions about your answers, you'll be given a chance to provide further details.The home visit is the state making sure you have a safe environment for a child. They are not judging on your homemaking.  I admit it, I lost my mind temporary preparing for the visit. You can read all about it here. Make sure you have smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors and a fire extinguisher and you're good.

2.  If you are adopting through an agency and they offer educational meetings, attend all of them. Even if you have met your education requirement or have been to a similar class before. We learn something new every time and we feel like we stay fresh in our social worker's mind.

3.  Don't get freaked out about an open or semi-open adoption.  I feel like you should accept the birth mother's role in your child's life. She gave birth to your baby and you have to honor that and not pretend she doesn't exist.  I went in being afraid of the birth mom and the relationship she would have with us and our child. If you do a domestic adoption, most of the time you are going to have some contact with her and maybe the birth dad too.  In the end, I think it's healthy for everyone. The birth mom isn't worrying if she did the right thing and your child isn't wondering about why they were placed for adoption.

4.  With your profile, focus on who you are as a couple and why you would be good parents.  Check out our profile here.  If infertility is the reason that you are adopting, be positive and don't dwell on the subject.  Give a single statement about what led you to adoption and move on.  In my opinion, an expectant mom doesn't want to feel like adoption is your second choice.  You've both may have had a difficult road that led you to adoption, but something brought you both to choose this path.

5.  Lastly, embrace the wait. You could be placed quickly or wait a long time.  Enjoy your time as a couple. This is the last time it will be just the two of you.  A lot of people who choose adoption want a baby yesterday. Do things to occupy your time. I started this blog and it's helped tremendously with the wait. Maybe take a baby care class or an infant CPR class. Browse the aisles at Babies 'R Us and make a wish list, just don't make yourself crazy waiting. I know it is easier said than done, but it will save your sanity. We've been waiting 16 months, I know my baby will come and so will yours.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Baby Dry Run

We got a little taste of what it will be like to have a baby in our apartment.  Our nephew came for his first visit to New York, of course, along with my sister and brother-in-law.  Marlon and I did some baby proofing and cleaned the hardwood floors really well.  We had a nice talk with our cats about babies, ok not really. But we did clip their nails, just in case.

The cats were very curious about Landon, but they didn't hiss or swipe at him.  By the end of the weekend, Edie let him pet her. Twiggy, as usual, hid most of the time.  So, I think they'll be ok with a baby.  Jealous, but ok.

I learned that I am going to have to build up some serious muscle carrying a baby, a stroller and all their stuff up and down three flights of stairs everyday. I am seriously thinking about going minimalist with the baby gear.  And don't even get me started about getting around on the subway.  People, if you see a mom or dad with a baby on the subway, give them a hand if they need it.  Getting up and down those stairs or stepping on or off a crowded train is challenging.

Speaking of the subway, Landon's first subway ride was very authenic.  There was a drunk passed out to his left and very fancy and very dirty homeless man sitting across from him.  Landon was just looking around at everything.

My sister gave me some good tips like getting out everything for a diaper changing first before taking off the dirty diaper.  Also, when you're going to get picture with Santa, bring a hair brush so you can fix hat hair in line.

The most important thing that I learned is that I am going to need to slow way down and relax about things.  I am practicing deep breaths now.