Monday, April 25, 2011

Blessings from Strangers

For those who don't know, I am a chiropractor.  In my profession, I come into contact with so many different people and I am continually blessed (and sometimes when I least expect it).  Last week, I had a new patient who is only in town for a few months.  A first impression would tell you that he is a "rough" man who has seen some tough times.  He was coming in for some back pain, and he was ready to do what it takes to truly heal his body.  As I was looking over his paperwork, his family history section was crossed out and the word "Adopted" was written across all of the lines.

As I took his history, we came to the family history, and I said, "I see that you were adopted."

He replied (in his thick Southern accent), "Yep, no family history for you."

For whatever reason, I decided to share with this man whom I just met five minutes before, "My husband and I are actually in the process of adopting a baby."

All at once, the tone of his voice changed and he said, "God could not have found better parents for me and I know it will be the same for any baby that enters your family.  You will be a blessing in any child's life."

I seriously almost cried.  God has granted us so many blessings and sometimes they come from the most unexpected places.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Friday is Active Day!

Our profile was complete on Monday. However, we need to sign our activation paperwork in front of a notary (together) and Matt can't take off work this week. So, Friday afternoon (Matt is always off on Friday) we are going to the bank to sign the papers and then we are hand-delivering them to the agency. This actually works out great because we can then pick up the video camera and instructions to work on our video profile. I believe our profile will go active on Friday when we drop off the signed papers (and the $2000 activation fee).

We weren't planning to do the video profile, but they are encouraging all of their new prospective adoptive parents to make them now. So, we are doing it. It will actually be a great weekend to video some family activities. We have Lexi's soccer game, the Easter carnival at church, Easter egg dying with family, and Easter celebration itself. So, hopefully we can get lots of great footage this weekend.

Monday, April 18, 2011


Here is a slideshow of the pictures we submitted for our profile. They won't all be used in the profile, but I wanted to give you all a peak at our lives.

Friday, April 15, 2011

The Profile Proof. . .

. . . came today. We e-mailed back a few changes that we would like made. More progress. . .

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Conversation with Lexi

As we were pulling out of the driveway today, Lexi said, "I wish I could drive my own car."

I said, "Well, you have to be a little older to drive your own car."
She excitedly replies, "Oh! When I'm a big sister I will get to drive my own car."
"Well honey, you have to be 16 to drive your own car."

She thought about that for a few seconds and replies, "So, you're sixteen mommy?"
Everything is so literal to a four-year-old.

"No Lex. I'm not sixteen. You have to be sixteen or older to drive your own car."
"Oo-oh. So, you have to be at least sixteen."
"Well, I'm only four."
Sure enough.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


Let me start by saying, "I am NOT feeling non-committal about the adoption."  We are fully committed to growing our family through adoption.  It is just everything else is hard to commit to when you never know what might happen with the adoption process.  We could get a call about a baby already born the day we become active.  We could wait months.  It could be anywhere in between those two things.  Only God knows for sure.

So, we know now that it may be up to 14 business days before our profile is done and active.  We've got two weeks here where we know we won't have a baby.  What can I commit to in two weeks?  I can help with Easter services at church.  I can bring snacks to Lexi's soccer game.  I can take long showers.  I can plant a garden and take long walks with Lexi and Matt.  I can learn to relax and sleep in a little on Saturdays. 

Now after those two weeks, it is so hard to say what I can do.  There are lots of things I want to do, but I want a baby so much more.  I want to be available for whatever timing God has in store for us.  I hear waiting potential adoptive parents (PAPs) say that you can't put your life on hold and I absolutely respect that idea.  However, I feel like every time I try to commit to something I have to have this long disclaimer.

"Would you mind hosting a get together for a bunch of friends sometime this summer Amanda?"
"I would love to (Really!), but you must know that I may have to leave on short notice and stay out of the state for two weeks or more and then be back home with a newborn and . . . "

"Would you be willing to teach Vacation Bible School in June?"
"I would love to (again Really!), but I may have to be out of state on short notice for 2+ weeks.  Aaaa-nd, I'm not sure if I can take more time off of work when I already will be taking a lot of time when the baby comes, but we don't know when that is."

"Let's plan a canoe trip and go camping!"
"OK, I seriously would love to, bu-ut. . . "

You get the idea.  I also have this ever-looming guilt about actually leaving my practice for 2+ weeks, which I have never done.  The fact that we may have to leave on short notice with no ability to actually plan that out. . . well. . . it's . . . mind-boggling actually.   Even just working 1-2 days a week seems so do-able to me, but 2+ weeks with no contact with my patients is a little overwhelming.  I love taking care of these people!

My loving husband is much calmer about the whole thing.  I love him for it.  He says if we can't go camping and canoeing, we'll just pitch a tent in the backyard and roast marshmallows over our little pit fire. I told him that when he figures out a way to simulate the canoe trip in the backyard, I'm all ears.   He also said that God might have really great timing and I'll already be off work with the baby during VBS time, so then I'll only have the excuse of having a newborn to keep me from working with a bunch of elementary children.  God has a sense of humor.

Our pastor actually shared with the whole congregation on Sunday that he and his family are also in the adoption process.  He didn't share a lot of details, but he did share that it is hard to fully trust God during the process.  I wholeheartedly agree, yet deep down inside I do trust Him.  I know that all of these seemingly important concerns (in my mind anyway) are just a speck of sand to an all-knowing God.  To that belief. . . I am committed. 

Final Homestudy Approved!

We received an e-mail today telling us that the homestudy was approved by our agency.  Our social worker's estimate of a month for approval was right on target.  We should get the final copy in the mail in the next couple days.

We also had an e-mail yesterday saying that all of our profile information was approved.  It could take up to 14 business days for our profile to be completed.   We have been really at peace with the timing of the process thus far, and we still feel pretty good about it.  Ideally, in those two weeks, we will have our tax return in our bank account.  That will help the adoption budget.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Inducing Lactation

I understand that breastfeeding adopted babies is somewhat controversial.  I breastfed Lexi until she self-weaned.  I am a big believer in the importance of breastmilk.  So, when we thought about adopting, I couldn't imagine NOT trying to induce lactation.  I've read things all over the web and in books about inducing lactation and I've come up with a plan.

This is the protocol I am going to use to induce lactation. 

Weeks 1-2
-30mg of Domperidone 3x a day
-I work full time right now, but I have a long lunch break.
-My plan is to pump about 6-7 times a day.

Week 3:
-Continue domperidone & pumping.
-3 Blessed Thistle (390 mg per capsule) 3x a day
-3 Fenugreek seed (610 mg per capsule) 3x a day with meals.
-Eat lots of oatmeal

I'm hoping for the best because when I breastfed Lexi we never had any problems. I know every child is different, but I pumped for her and I always responded well to the pump. I would get 8-10 ounces in about 10 minutes. I realize my supply may not be that great right off the bat, but I have every reason to believe I can do this. I'm not going to do birth control (which is a suggested method of relactation) because I don't think I really have the time for that protocol, and (tmi) birth control made me cuh-razy when I was on it in the past.  I also don't believe that the hormones are safe in general.

I have a Medela Pump in Style that I used when Lexi was little.   I estimate that I have about 60 hours of pumping time on that pump.  I'm hoping that my pump still has enough life in it so that I don't have to rent a hospital grade pump.

I figured I'm sharing everything else that I'm doing to get ready for the baby, so I might as well share this too.

Profile Revisions

We got an e-mail back from the agency about our profile submissions.  Apparently they want even more photos of just Matt and me alone.  Any parent knows that the focus of pictures quickly becomes your child, so we already had to make a concerted effort to take some of just the two of us.  Apparently we need more.

We were also told that our wording was too strong in one section.  I guess it may feel overwhelming to some expectant mothers for adoptive parents to want a fully open relationship?  They suggested that we change the wording to basically say that we are open to whatever type of relationship they want. 

Honestly, that makes me a little sad.  I really do hope to have an open relationship with the birthfamily, but I guess it is best that I come to the realization now that this may not be was a birthfamily wants.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

In the Mean Time

While we wait for the agency approval of the homestudy and the completion of our profile, I've been trying to prepare for a little one in the house.

So, I put the gender-neutral cover on the boppy.
 I've never quite figured out why green is gender-neutral, but I go with the flow.

I also stripped all of the cloth diapers and got them ready.  These are the smalls that I bought from a friend.
 These are the Bumgenius one-size that we used with Lexi.  They look so tiny sized down for new baby.
 I have the clothes sorted by girly, gender-neutral, and boy-ish.
 I used the same sorting method for the sleepers.
 We also planted our garden and a new hybrid apple tree today.  We're checking things off the to-do list.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Submitted the Profile

I had it all typed out on the website for over a week now, but I kept going back and second-guessing my writing skills.  I used to be a great writer in college.  I could whip up a paper in a couple hours, while my classmates would spend days pining over every little word.  I tutored grammar for a few years even though I was a biology major.  My professor told me that I was a natural writer and I should pursue it.  Obviously that didn't happen.  Instead I buried my nose in biology and chemistry, then eventually more anatomy and physiology, radiology, diagnostics, etc. etc.

So, now my writing is shared in little tidbits on a blog and I'm fairly certain I've lost my talent for writing.  As I wrote little articles about ourselves, I found that writing things "from us" was rather difficult.   So, I pined over my words for a week (or two) and I finally just said, "FORGET IT!"  I clicked the submit button. 

I sent our CD of pictures on Monday and received an e-mail telling me they were only waiting on our profile to be submitted.  So, it's done.  Now they can put it all together for us and I'll put a link here when we are active so you can all see my attempt at writing. 

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

A little more waiting before activation. . .

We exchanged e-mails with our social worker yesterday so that we could get all of the corrections made to the homestudy write-up.  She sent it off to the agency.  So, now we are waiting for the agency to approve the homestudy.  Then, we can go active.  I have to send all of our pictures to the agency as well.  I have them all picked out.  I just need to burn them to a disc and get them to the agency.  So, that is our current status.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Homestudy Write-Up

We received the write-up from the social worker last night.  We have to review it and send it back to her.  Then she will send it to the agency.  Matt read it last night, but I'll read through it today and e-mail the revisions back to the social worker.  Things are moving along!