Moms… who ride in limos.

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This last weekend we celebrated a good friend’s 30th birthday. Bonus was that our other good friend was able to come as well. We are all great friends who have known eachother for close to a decade. Our husbands are each friends from either elementary school or college. And, we are each moms, with two kiddos apiece. Safe to say we’ve been through a lot together.

Our friend’s husband went above the call of duty and actually rented a 25-person, white, stretch Escalade limo. It’s the largest limo in the state.

Needless to say, we were tickled.

The night was so much fun (restaurant hopping, against the backdrop of PG-rated 90s rap music), but probably the most fun is that us moms got to peel out of our sweats, throw on some makeup, and actually curl our hair. We were determined to not let anyone think we had lost our mojo simply because we were now moms. So, to that end, our dresses may have been a tad shorter, and the lips a shade redder, than normal. But, I’m proud to say that we mingled with the best of them.

And, the only evidence of our mom status was the fact that we quietly slinked out, and were in our beds, before midnight.

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SOMETIMES YOU CAN’T HELP BUT LAUGH

Sometimes you encounter situations with your kids that you really don’t want to laugh at and have to cough one back because you don’t want to encourage certain behavior.

Over the weekend, I went into Grant and Maria’s room to get them out of bed and was accosted by the overwhelming smell of vapor rub. When I looked at Grant I discovered that he used tools (likely stuff animals and his detached sheet) to reach the container that was on his dresser. His face and hair was greasy and his bed was covered in a nice layer of vapor rub. He looked at me and his face turned sad as he saw my displeasure. He quickly declared “I didn’t mean to hurt your feelings.” Maria followed up with “I didn’t do it. G did it.” As irritated as I was, I wanted to laugh at both of their statements and Grant’s greasy little face. He was very distraught for the next hour while his bear and blanket were being laundered. That was punishment enough.

Later on the kids were playing in the sprinkler when Maria figured out how to turn the faucet on and off. While Grant wasn’t paying attention she turned the water off. Grant curiously went to the sprinkler and I looked at Maria. She gave me a devilish smile as she turned the water on as Grant leaned over the sprinkler. I couldn’t help it this time. I cracked up.

Homestudy: Part I

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Right before we left on vacation, we had our first homestudy visit. Let me start off by saying that domestic infant adoption and embryo adoption homestudy visits do not hold a candle to homestudy visits conducted by the state. The former, while perhaps an inconvenient glance into your personal life, are nothing compared to the pants-down invasions of a homestudy conducted by a state social worker.

Our caseworker is a Canadian-born, propoer woman in her mid-50s. She is well-dressed, slender, and very poised. If I wasn’t nervous before the visit, I sure was when she rebuffed my offer to sit in the living room and insisted that we sit at the kitchen table. She pulled out her white spiral notebook, black ink pen, and turned to the first page. She didn’t put that pen down for the next two hours.

She started off with all the expected questions: Why are you doing this? Why through the state? Tell me about your first two adoptions. We answered her thoroughly, honestly, and taking turns between Tygh and I. We answered candidly and without hesitation. And yet, we were careful in our phraseology. After going through two of these already, we know how stray remarks can be captured, and misconstrued.

At the end of the examination, we gave her a brief tour of the house. She reminded us that a more thorough home imspection would be coming. She told us we were a “good” family who would be “competitive.” The people pleaser in me smiled at that. There would be at least three more visits, she told us. The next two will be one-on-one with each me and Tgh, and an observation of the kids.

She expected to be able to complete her 25-page report by the end of summer, which means we could then receive a “password” to log in and begin looking at available children. The cynic in me felt a little like we were shopping for a child. It felt uncomfortable.

In domestic infant adoption, the birthmom chooses the adoptive family. Brae’s birthmom chose us. Sure, we probably would never have met apart from each of our separate crises, but it was in crisis that we were united forever. We have a great relationship with the birthfamily.

In embryo adoption, the genetic family (or agency) chooses the adoptive/biological family. Sienna’s genetic donors chose us. Again, we probably would have never met apart from each of our separate crises, but it was also in crisis that we were united forever. We have a great relationship with the donors.

Here, none of that applies. Yes, there is a crisis invovled, but the birthfamily is certainly not choosing us. Their parental rights were terminated by the state. The state and a panel of “experts” will then choose us from a group of two other families, “competing” for one child. It’s hard to picture how this great relationship with the birthfamily is going to form, when they likely feel that their rights were yanked from them.

But, here we are. On this path. Making our way through, trusting and believing that God has it all planned out for good.

BUTTERFLY FOOTPRINTS AND OTHER TIDBITS

This was the conversation the kids had with me Saturday morning:
Grant: I paint butterfly with my foot!
Maria: You have to wait until Mother’s Day.
Grant: It’s a surprise!
They crack me up…they had been leaking the surprise since I got home from work on Thursday. Jeremy’s mom stays with them for part of the day on Thursdays and likes to do crafty projects with them. I received butterfly footprints from both of them on Mother’s day. They are perfect!

We took them to the pediatrician for their three year well check and they came in at the following:
Grant is 33 lbs and 37 inches tall. 50th percentile…he’s come a long way from not even being on the chart when we started with this doctor when they were four months old.
Maria is 28.5 lbs and 35 ¾ inches tall. 10th percentile on height about 20th percentile on weight. She might be small, but her spirit is huge.

We are working on getting them interested in the potty. Grant will go on the potty, but only when he feels like it. I tried putting him in a pull up and reminding him often, but he didn’t take to that. Maria, who often declares that she’s a big girl and can do something, conveniently says that not big yet when discussing using the potty. I’m wondering if it would work if we just put them in underwear for a day or two and let them experience what it really feels like to be wet and dirty.

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Ready, set, shoot!

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A couple weeks ago, I received an email from my mother-in-law. A co-worker of hers is friends with a talent scout. They were looking for a 3-5 year old boy who is articulate for a commercial shoot. My mother-in-law showed her co-worker a picture of Brae and raved about his “Brae-isms.”

A few hours later, I received a call from our local NBC affiliate. They wanted Brae in the shoot. As my head was spinning, I recall she said something about it being a commercial by a national preschool/early learning corporation that wanted to promote reading in its schools. Apparently, the fact that Brae neither attends these learning centers, and cannot read, is of no consequence.

Two days later, Brae and I drove to the shoot at a nearby park. On our way, Brae said, rather solemnly, “Mom, now that I’m going to be on TV, does that mean that I’m never going to see Daddy or Sienna again?” I smiled. “No, son. Just because you’re going to be on TV doesn’t mean you’re going to live in the TV. You’ll see Daddy and Sienna tonight.” He sighed.

The shoot itself was amazing. Ten production crew and one little boy. The two scenes they were trying to capture with Brae had to do with Brae holding a ladybug and looking through a magnifying glass, and then a separate shot of Brae and me walking down a path, holding a book. It took 90 minutes to get those two scenes.

Brae was such a trooper. He had complained when he’d woken up that morning that his tummy hurt. I thought it was just nerves, and shrugged it off. At the shoot, he was a little shy at first, and then let his personality shine. When he did, he had the crew in stitches. On our way to his school after the shoot, Brae again complained his tummy hurt. I thought, again, it was just part of the adrenaline. I dropped him off at school. Sure enough, a few hours later, the teacher called saying he was in the bathroom, puking. Poor lil guy. I told him it was all part of living the famous actor lifestyle. ; )

The talent scout said the commercial would air in Oregon and SW Washington. She said she’d send me the file when it is produced. Of course, I’ll post it here. ; )

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