Bah-Humbug

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If your Christmas was melancholy, without children in your folly,

Bah-humbug, bah-humbug

If wrapping presents just for two, left you feeling sorta blue,

Bah-humbug, bah-humbug

Pregnant women everywhere, with other children in their care,

Bah-humbug, bah-humbug

Pregnant sisters, pregnant cousins, pregnant wives of “pregnant” brothers,

Bah-humbug, bah-humbug

If you’re feeling sorta blue, and want to puke on someone too,

Bah-humbug, bah-humbug

If the in-laws make you cringe, and drive you to sip eggnog and binge,

Bah-humbug, bah-humbug

If you’re feeling kinda slighted, cause infertility has you blighted,

Bah-humbug, bah-humbug

If grandma ask you one more time, when are YOU gonna be with child?

Bah-humbug, bah-humbug

If hearing the patter of little feet, is something you dream of in your sleep,

Bah-humbug, bah-humbug

If your siblings and their kids, left you feeling less than bliss,

Bah-Humbug, bah-humbug

If Santa at the mall, with the children all enthralled, made you want to squall!!

Bah-humbug, bah-humbug

If you feel like Santa’s sleigh, will never come your way,

Bah-humbug, bah-humbug

If you dream of the Christmas stork, to someday appear on your door,

Always believe in the magic of Christmas.

I had many bah-humbug Christmases before John Luke came into our life just before Christmas 2012.  When I was going through infertility, I was always excited about starting a New Year.  I always felt THIS will be the year I get pregnant.

I hope your 2014 brings new hopes and possibilities, and of dreams coming true.

MEETING SANTA

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We took John look to the mall to meet Santa for the first time this week.  We were fully expecting an all-out melt down, but surprisingly, John Luke was more curious about Santa.  I placed John Luke on Santa’s lap, thinking he was going to give me the “death grip,” which he usually does when strangers try to hold him.

He looked up at Santa, then back at Josh and me for reassurance, that we hadn’t totally abandoned him, with this white bearded “crazy looking creature.”  The photographer missed a couple of opportunities to snap John Luke smiling and looking at Santa.  He was more focused on John Luke looking at the camera, but we got a really cute picture of Santa holding his hands, which was very sweet.

At church, I had asked a little boy, if he was looking forward to Santa coming.  He replied, “Ehh, I guess.”  I think he probably doesn’t believe in Santa anymore, but didn’t want to say in front of his little brother.

John Luke won’t always believe in Santa, but I’m glad their budding friendship has only begun.

john luke and santa

Family Photos and a Visit with Santa

We had our family photos taken a couple of weeks ago.  I was thrilled with how they came out.  Kids were in good spirits and the weather allowed us not to freeze during our outdoor photo shoot.  What’s really awesome is that the picture of Grant kissing Maria was not staged.  They really do love each other and tell me often that they are each other’s best friend.

We also went to see Santa who made at stop at my college alma mater.  On the way there Maria assured me that she was not going to be scared of Santa this year.  However, as we waited in line, the closer we got, the more she grew hesitant and Grant followed her lead.  Neither would sit on his lap, but both managed to squeak out what they wanted…a big horsey for Maria and a rock truck for Grant.  On our way home I asked what their favorite part about the evening was and they both declared Santa.  They make me laugh.

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SANTA STORIES

Grant and Maria are pumped up about Christmas.  After managing to tell him what they wanted a couple of weeks ago, they have been very excited.  We have our advent calendar that we open up windows on every day and read the corresponding Bible verse and we count the remaining windows until Christmas.  We are doing our best to reinforce that Christmas is about Jesus, and that they will get three gifts because Jesus got three gifts, but are also enjoying the excitement that comes along with the Santa story.  They both have lots of questions and comments, especially Grant, and especially at bedtime. I believe he has asked approximately 587,000 questions thus far.  They include:

How does Santa work?

Where does he live?

How does he fly?

How many reindeer?

How many bags does Santa have?

How many sleighs?

How many seats on the sled? (this was particularly impressive to me)

How does his sleigh work?

How do the reindeer fly?

There’s sumptin wrong with Santa?  Followed by a question from me and the follow up question from Grant:  How does Santa eat with his beard?

Can his beard walk?

How many carrots do we leave for the reindeer?

Does Santa wrap presents?  For the record our Santa wraps.  In fact, because inadvertently let them see the Christmas wrapping paper for their stuff, our Santa wraps with the paper that Mommy and Daddy leave out for him.

Every night Grant asks me to sit on his bed and tell him all about Santa. He looks at me with twinkling eyes and says “what’s next?”  I love his inquisitive spirit…I just hope I have enough answers!

 

Brae-isms

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Sadly, I feel that Brae’s great legacy of Brae-isms may be slowly coming to an end.  His inquiries now are much less funny, and more stumping. I find myself scrambling for possible explanations.  Indeed, his questions are ones I often ask myself.  My boy is growing up.

With that in mind, here’s a few snippets I’ve gathered from his last few months that still warm my heart:

1) The other day, Brae looked up at me from his breakfast and asked, “Mom, why did God not make me a dog?”  Great question, son.  Great. Question.

2) One Saturday morning, while watching Game Day with Dad, he turns to Tygh and states: “Dad! Those announcers keep interrupting each other.  They need to learn to share!”

3) As I was driving the kids around on one particularly sunny day, Sienna started shrieking.  The sun was directly in her eyes, blinding her.  Seeing this, Brae moved into action.  He leaned over the seat toward Sienna, and put out his hand to shield her eyes from the sun.  I smiled.  Then, he spit in her hair.

TWELVE MONTH CHECK UP

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John Luke had his 12 month well-baby visit and vaccinations, along with the flu shot.  His weight is 26 lbs and height is 32 1/2 inches long.  He has consistently remained in the 75th percentile of weight, and 80th percentile of height.  He is mostly in 18 month clothes, and is fitting into some 24 month outfits that run small.

I asked the pediatrician if use of a pacifier delayed speech.  He said possibly, if use was prolonged.  He recommended only offering a paci at nap or bedtime.  The pediatrician also suggested reading more often to encourage speech.  The only time John Luke will sit still long enough for reading is at bedtime.  John Luke is very vocal, but the only recognizable words, are da da and ba ba.  Occasionally, I will get the sweetest sounding ma ma.

We are trying to introduce more solids, but John Luke is finicky about textures when it comes to his food.  He will spit it out, or turn his head in protest, when he doesn’t like something.  I believe it’s more the texture of real food, than the taste.  He will sometimes turn away home cooked green beans, but will eat them pureed, or eat the baby food variety of the same vegetable.

He still has only two teeth bottom teeth, but should be cutting his top teeth any day now.  He is constantly rubbing the top of his gums with his fingers.

John Luke is walking more everyday, taking around 13 to 20 steps at a time, before falling down, or grabbing on to furniture.  I think he will be walking independently by Christmas.  It’s hard to believe this will be his second Christmas already.

What to do while you wait for adoption!

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Whether it be traditional domestic adoption, international adoption or embryo adoption, it is very hard to wait as you move through the process.

Once you have made the decision to proceed with  adoption, your life becomes focused on selecting an organization, exploring the expectations that the agency has for their adoptive families and plodding through all the paperwork that is required.  While these requirements keep you busy, you may continue to be anxious as the goal of having a child still looms in your future.

It is important to remember that it is a process that takes time over which you have little control.  It may be helpful to look back to remember what you have learned as you moved through the process and note how far that you, as a couple, have come.  By this time, you have learned so much more than you knew when you were just new to adoption.

Family and friends may inquire about the steps taken and things that need to be addressed.  Hopefully, you can share your progress positively so that others can be an encouragement to you.

Many couples that I have worked with have found that being part of a group with other families who are currently experiencing the adoption process is very helpful.  As you build a community of other families involved in adoption (and it really doesn’t matter if it is domestic, international or embryo adoption) you may begin to feel “a new normal” as you encounter others who are also experiencing the same emotions and anxieties that you feel.

Taking time to be thankful for the helpful and supportive people who have been placed in your path on this journey may also give you peace.   Knowing that others are encouraging you and excited for you to complete the adoption process will certainly bring joy to your heart.

The hardest part may be when you have completed all the paperwork, attended all the classes, completed all the medical steps and now you are just waiting.

We hope that you have encouraging and supportive family and friends around you to support you and encourage you as you have moments of anxiety.  It is hard, but hopefully there will be a day very soon when you can share with joy the news that you are indeed pregnant and carrying your long-awaited adopted child.