Monday, August 24, 2015

Adoption Update | Summer



Two Thousand Fifteen.

That's what is emblazoned in white letters on the front of my bright pink monthly planner. (I totally scored it in the $1 section at Target!)

At the beginning of each month, I open up this calendar and jot down my blog post goals. On the left page, I write down the number of blog posts I want to write for The Life and Times of Jennie Rose (my original blog). On the right page, I note how many posts I want to write for jennie’s journey (my new Wordpress blog). Then, I jot down post title ideas and/or topic ideas. 

In May, I wrote four suggestions on the left hand page:

  1. Currently
  2. Adoption Update | Spring
  3. Documenting Your Every Day 
  4. Motherly Love

May came and went and I had written numbers 3 & 4 only.

There was no adoption update that month.

Or the next month.

Or the month thereafter.

Why?

Well, the truth is, I kept crossing it out, and moving it to the next month because I didn’t know quite what to say. I was procrastinating big time because I didn’t have anything really exciting to share. No "We've matched with a birth mother!" or "Our baby girl is due in _______!"
  
But there has been a little bit of activity behind-the-scenes, if you will...

At one point, we were one of three families being considered by a birth mother. (We were originally one of five, so when we learned that there were only three families left, we were ecstatic!) But then the birth mother suddenly stopped coming to her appointments at the agency, and ultimately never chose a family.

And then there was a call from our attorney about a birth mother on the East Coast, and we said we were interested, but the birth mother decided she wanted an adoptive family from the state in which she lives. 

We also have two birth mothers following us on Adoptimist, but neither one has reached out to us via phone or email. 

In the past few weeks, it became clear that I couldn't continue to put off the adoption update. (My last adoption update was published in March.) Numerous people kept asking me the same question over and over: Any news yet?  You know, on the adoption?

And each time I would tell them no, I'd see a look of disappointment and sadness on their faces.

And believe me, I feel the same way…times about five or six. 

As hard as it is to field the same question over and over again, I know in my heart that you -- our family and friends and neighbors -- are asking because you genuinely care.

I know these inquiries are made with love and concern.

You’re clearly rooting for us. (And that is just so darn cool.) You want to see us achieve our dream. You want to witness us love a little girl like we love and cherish our not-so-little-anymore boy. 

And for that, I’m so grateful. So thankful.

I’m also thankful that you’re still sending up prayers for us. Thankful that you’re thinking good thoughts. Thankful that you’re continuing to spread the word about our adoption dream by sharing our video with friends and family, giving our pass along cards to nurses or doctors you know, and tacking up cards on community bulletin boards. (By the way, if you know of any college students who would be willing to post a few of our pass along cards on campus bulletin boards, please email me at brianandjennieadopt@gmail.com.)

As for me, I, too, will keep praying and waiting and remaining hopeful.

I'll keep cherishing the time I have with our 3 1/2-year-old son who loves to wear boots every single day of the year -- regardless of the weather -- and play at a local indoor playground where socks are required, but shoes must go into the cubbies. 

Speaking of shoes, I’ll keep buying adorable baby shoes (I swear this little girl is going to have more shoes than I do!) and decorating the nursery little by little.

And I'll keep visualizing myself holding our baby girl for the first time. Fighting back the tears like I did when Noah was first placed in my arms.

For I truly believe these words written by William Arthur Ward, "If you can imagine it, you can achieve it. If you dream it, you can become it." 


 

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

For Mommy


With a single click, the lamp on Noah’s bedside table is extinguished, and the darkness envelops us.

Noah and I are lying on our backs, side-by-side in his twin bed. He's under the covers, clutching his two nigh-nighs and his puppy dog. We just finished reading two stories—Lady and the Tramp and The Berenstein Bears and the Missing Dinosaur Bone--and now it’s time to pray.

I begin as I always do with…
In the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit -- making the sign of the cross as I utter these words.

Dear God,
Thank you for a wonderful day. (Noah chimes in as I say "for a wonderful day” because that's how we start every evening prayer.) 

Thank you for the chance to swim in Lake of the Pines. 

Thank you for the chance to spend time with friends and play with a boogie board and soak up the sunshine. (Noah: Boogie boards are fuuuun!)

Thank you for sunscreen and a life jacket and cold water and yummy, nutritious food to eat.
Lord, please be with those who are hungry and thirsty tonight.
Please watch over Daddy at the fire station. Keep him safe and bring him home to us the day after tomorrow.

Noah, is there anything that you want to thank God for?

Then, I give him some wait time—a technique I learned in my teacher training and find particularly helpful as an introvert.

Sometimes Noah simply says, “No,” and that's okay with me.  

Other times, he says "for my puppy" or "for my new boats” or “for the splash pad.”

But on this night, his prayer of gratitude took me by complete surprise.

"For mommy," Noah said.

This two-word utterance sent my lips smiling, my heart swelling. I could feel the warmth, the love, the gratitude. 

You see, it hadn’t been the easiest of days.
I was awakened by Mr. Rooster’s crowing at 6—freakin’—15. (Mr. Rooster and I need to have a talk.)

A few hours later, I discovered that one of our hens had flown the coop, and I had to chase her back inside the fenced enclosure with a broom.
The chickens weren’t the only animals driving me bananas. The dogs were driving me batty, too—going in and out, in and out. All I could think was: Could you please make up your minds, pups? It’s currently 100 degrees outside and 82 degrees inside. Isn’t this a no-brainer?!

It was the kind of day when I just wanted to put a bag over my head. Literally. So I didn’t have to see the acne on my face.

And our satellite internet was moving sooooooo slowly that I seriously thought I’d time traveled back to the late 1990s.

My mind had been swirling with these annoyances for hours.  

But Noah's prayerful words brought all those negative thoughts to a complete. and. utter. halt.

That sweet prayer from the mouth of my 3 1/2-year-old son was a gift.

A present with impeccable timing. So needed, so appreciated. 

Balm for my mama soul.



Thursday, July 30, 2015

Around Here | July 2015


















Wow, it's almost August. Say what?!

July has been a really full month for us. Nearly-every-square-filled-on-the-calendar-kind-of-month. 

It's been a month of playing and eating and camping and celebrating and watching movies and hiking and buying a few baby girl goodies and spending time with family and friends. 
We started the month off celebrating Fourth of July with old friends. It was HOT--totally to be expected in Sacramento in the summer--and Noah loved playing in the pool and eating ice cream. Later on in the evening, he waved sparklers around, and watched fireworks from his godfather Scot's lap. Brian and I had fun catching up with church friends whom we don't see much anymore now that we live in the foothills. 

Noah took swim lessons and gymnastics classes this month. He loved swimming, but wasn't quite sure about gymnastics. (He just wanted to jump in the ball pit, over and over again!)

I attended yoga three times in all--and twice by the river, which was such a treat. (Having a yoga buddy--my sister-in-law, Lori--the second time was great!)

Brian attended a Giants v. Mets game with some firefighter friends. (He was quite happy that night because the Mets won!)

Noah and I spent several mornings with friends at two local splash pads.

Brian and I took Noah to the movie theater for the first time, and he (well, we) loved it. Six thumbs up for Inside Out!

The three of us also tent camped for the first time this month, and we had a great time. Noah rode his Strider bike around the campground and campsite, and along the paved trail that wraps around the perimeter of Sugar Pine Reservoir. Brian and I both agreed that 3 1/2 years old is an absolutely perfect age to tent camp.

We tended to our growing vegetable plants, watering them each day and applying Miracle Gro once a week. Just this week, we harvested our first handful of cherry tomatoes and two yellow zucchinis, with -- fingers crossed -- lots more to come. Liquid fence for the win!

We celebrated Brian's cousin's nuptials in Old Sacramento. (A big thanks to Brian for keeping a close eye on Noah, so I could take photos during the ceremony and reception.)

We attended the Fast Fridays Speedway races in Auburn twice, and Noah loved it. As a kid, Brian attended the races on Friday nights with his family, and so it was really special for him to take Noah out there. (Just keeping it real: Speedway races are not my cup of tea, but it sure makes my boys happy.)

In our front yard last week, I spied a mama deer and her two babies. It's rare that we see twin fawns--and of course, with their white spots and wobbly legs--they are just the cutest!

We attended Brian's mom's family reunion last weekend in the San Joaquin Valley. There, we ate and swam and chatted and posed for photos and played a little basketball. Noah and his cousin, Sammy, loved eating at their very own kids' table! 

And as much as I enjoyed myself this month, there was a part of me, especially this past weekend, that longed for a slower pace...with more down time at home. Some time to just be in and around our home, puttering around in the yard or reading a book in the hammock or drawing hopscotch boxes on the driveway.  

Luckily, a new month starts soon, and August doesn't look to be nearly as busy as July has been. Phew!

Your turn: What are some of your memorable July moments?


Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Around Here | June 2015


Around here...
  • Noah is officially addressing Brian and me as dad and mom. No more daddy and mommy.
  • I'm overcooking pork again. Don't you hate it when you buy a huge chunk of meat from Costco and then cook it just a wee bit too long? Ugh. Wouldn't you know that during that same meal, I fried our instant read thermometer, too. I seriously think our kitchen gadgets get very, very scared when they see me enter the kitchen. I imagine they're thinking -- that is, if they weren't inanimate objects -- Oh no, she's back! Which one of us is she going to break this time? Ha!  

  • Noah still loves to help with the dishes. 
  • Noah wants to know if there's a surprise for him every time a package is delivered to our home. Oftentimes, the answer is no, but last week, Noah got SO excited when a new ukuele arrived just for him. 
  • Noah and I are listening to a Spanish CD in the car, and learning lots of new Spanish vocabulary as we cruise around town. (And I love that it's from the library!)
  • Noah completed four private swim lessons (and loved everything about it -- especially teacher Natalie), and then proceeded to get his very first ear infection. Connection?  I think so.
  • Brian completed the chicken's fenced yard, giving them 700+ square feet to run around and eat bugs and fly up into trees. (By the way, we discovered that we have 11 hens and one rooster. A rooster who loves to cock-a-doodle-doo at 6 o'clock every morning. Anyone want a free rooster?!)
  • Noah is saying all kinds of cute and funny and silly things lately, so I've been busily jotting them down in his green quote journal. He's also asking, Why? A LOT, and Where does ______ come from? Insert: babies or cereal or paper or dogs or ...
  • I'm so very, very excited that my youngest sister is going to be a mom at the end of November. (Congrats, Kate + Preston!)
  • Brian and Noah fished at a kids derby and have been out on Brian's fishing boat twice now. (No fish yet, but lots of fun memories!)
  • Noah is enjoying driving his John Deere motorized tractor around our front yard -- especially now that he's in the faster 2nd gear!
  • Noah is dressing up as Jake and Santa and Buzz Lightyear and a monkey and a pilot. Our dog, Rudy, is not so sure about dress up. Ha!
  • We're planting veggies in our side yard, and dreaming of ripe zucchini, tomatoes, and bell peppers fresh from our garden later this summer. (We're trying out liquid fence this year to keep the deer away; I'll let you know how it goes.) 
  • We're reading stories and poems in High Five magazine over and over again. It's a seriously great magazine for toddlers. We keep a bucket of issues on the dining room table, so they are easily accessible before and after mealtimes. 
  • Brian and I are preparing to sell our rental home. Roof repairs are happening this week and we hope to list it this weekend.
  • Reading All the Light We Cannot See (thanks for the recommendation, Gina!), and loving that I've already come across two BIG words that I had to look up in a dictionary. I'm such a logophile!

 

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Friday, June 19, 2015

Summer List 2015



Over the past few weeks, I've seen a number of summer manifestos online and in magazines. I liked this creative one by blogger Elise Blaha Cripe and this simple one from Ali Edwards. I always enjoy seeing other people's lists as well as creating my own summer list.

In fact, it's becoming a tradition of sorts; this is my fourth year making a list and posting it here on my blog. Here's a look at my previous summer lists: 2012, 2013, 2014.

Just like last year, I've written activities on our list that I think I'd like, Noah would like, and perhaps, Brian would like.

However, there's nothing that says all of us have to do every. single. activity. together.

And even though Noah is nearly a 3-1/2-year-old, (what?) there are a few "firsts" on the list -- like seeing a movie in the theater and taking private swim lessons.

This was the first year that Noah had a suggestion for our summer list. Here's the back story: A few weeks ago, he and I watched as a group of kids tossed water balloons back and forth at the park. He turned to me and said he really wanted to try it. I promised him we'd do it this summer, and as you'll see below, I added it to our summer list.  

In the past, I often felt like if I placed an item on the list, I HAD to check it off by Labor Day. That's not the case anymore. I just brainstorm a bunch of ideas, narrow the list down to 15 or less, and then go with it. If we don't get to one or two of the activities this summer, we can always do it in the fall, winter or even next summer.

Here's a look at our 2015 summer list:

Visit our local splash pad ✅ 
Take private swim lessons ✅
See a movie in the theater
Attend storytime at the library ✅ 
Participate in the library's summer reading program
Work on potty training
Attend Brian's cousin's wedding
Spend time with Noah's cousins
Go tent camping for the first time as a family
Play catch with water balloons
Attend a 4-week gymnastics class
Sell our rental home
Attend our county fair
Listen to some live music 
Finish decorating the nursery 

Your turn: What's on your summer list?





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