Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Thank you...

...For all the kind comments, texts, facebook "shares," and prayers concerning our continued hopes to adopt.  We appreciate you so much!  It always helps to feel like we're doing something every once in awhile to the move the process along.

Buddy told my mom that he decided he doesn't want another baby after all because... "Who would play with Sambo?  I'll be so busy playing with the new baby, and no one will play with him.  Maybe we should get two babies.  One for me and one for Sambo.  Then he would have someone to play with still."

And in un-related news, Sambo and I were reviewing letters and sounds tonight.  I told him "P" is for "pig" but he corrected me. "P" is for "pullup" and "H" is not for hippo, it's for "hothead."

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Updated Adoption Profile

video
I think talking openly about adoption benefits not only our little family, but society as a whole.  For so many years adoptions were closed and those involved were cloaked in shame, either for being adopted or placing a baby for adoption. I am so thankful that my boys are not growing up in that era.  Fortunately, adoption culture has changed and more and more people have experienced the miracles and blessings of adoption and are willing to share those stories.  My boys know it's cool to be adopted.  I hope they never feel ashamed of that part of their history.

We gave our online adoption profile a serious overhaul a few weeks ago.  You can see that here.  Today I made a video to continue to share our hope to adopt.  We started the process to adopt this third baby three years ago.  While we knew it would take a long time now that are no longer "young," we also knew we would need to do our best to advocate for ourselves and to enlist the help of our friends.  We are eager and ready to find our next baby.  Please help us by praying and spreading the word.  Thanks!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

A Love Story


I was going to post something controversial today.  I typed it all up but since I'm not that type of Blogger or person, I'll sit on it and probably never publish it.

Instead I'm going to tell you a love story.  G and I have several single friends, or friends with hard marriages.  Before a year ago, we didn't have any single friends so this has been a really eye-opening year.  As a result, we've done a lot of talking and reading and thinking about love and what makes a marriage work.  Through all the work we've done, we've grown more together than I ever thought possible. Previously, I honestly thought people who were madly in love were either a little delusional, too old to remember the hard times, or lying.  I am realizing that people who are madly in love have overcome hard times.

I have a friend, Scott, who's wife died this summer of ALS.  Before her death he cared for her and their two young daughters as her health deteriorated.  ALS is a brutal disease and this experience was devastating to his family.  Before her diagnosis, his house burned down.  Before the house burned down his daughter was diagnosed with inoperable cancer.  That daughter also has cerebral palsy.  Thankfully, his daughter is alive and still fighting.  Scott's life has been one series of heartbreaks right after another.

I know Scott because he is one of the most well-known and well-loved adoption attorneys in Oregon.  I organize several adoption trainings a year and frequently use him as a speaker.  I was initially impressed by Scott because of his love for his family -- his wife and two daughters -- and for adoption. Adoption law is the only type of law he does.  But the more I get to know him, I became especially impressed by his faith in God.  It's his relationship with God that makes him so devoted to his own family and to working so hard at a career creating families.

Despite all his sorrows, his life has taken another unexpected turn.  This time he has good news!  Scott found love again and was married to a beautiful woman on Saturday.  I was terribly disappointed because our Wicked tickets were at the exact same time as his wedding.  Talk about bad luck!  So I've been reading all the accounts I can of the wedding on blogs and on facebook trying to feel like I was there.

Listen to this!  His new wife has two daughters and Scott has two daughters and they had planned to join the families not only through marriage but through adoption.  Because Scott is awesome and has connections, an adoption judge came to the wedding and as part of the marriage ceremony finalized their children's adoptions.  Reading this brought tears to my eyes.  I have never heard of such an incredible adoption story. 

Marriage is good.  Adoption is good.  Families are good.

Another friend of Scott's (another adoptive parent) wrote a poem about their wedding.  It is very inspirational.  You should read it.  Go here.  And hopefully I don't need to remind you, but you should also be reading this blog daily.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Lucky

Click to enlarge

A pesky little leprechaun named Pat O'Brien visited our home this weekend.  He caused all sorts of havoc including turning the milk green, switching the boys' pillows and stuffed animals in their sleep, replacing their bedding with green blankets, scattering the contents of their underwear drawer, and scattering peanuts on the floor in the kitchen (a family joke).  He also left footprints and peed and pooped in two different toilets.  (Yes, he reads Pinterest.)  Perhaps the best, though, was he drew mustaches on the kids while they slept.
While Pat was up to all sorts of pranks, G and I were laughing ourselves silly.  I'm so glad I chose a spouse that is good at thinking up "Irish" names and doing pranks on the kids in the middle of the night.  I think G and I fell even deeper in love bonding over each others hilarity.
While the boys thought this as exciting as Christmas, Pat's shenanigans have backfired -- slightly.  Now anytime Sambo makes a mess or loses something he vehemently blames it on "the leprechaun."
 
As for G and I... we celebrated St. Patrick's day enjoying the green land of Oz.  We had never seen Wicked before and it definitely lived up to the hype.  We both loved it!  Can't wait to see it again. 
Here we are in the theater.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Daylight Savings

(Disclaimer:  I mean no disrespect for the sad and legitimate reasons for flying a flag at half-staff.)

Today when I was driving away from the school after picking Buddy up, I asked him why the flag at the school was at half-staff yesterday.

"I'm not sure.  It was probably because yesterday was the day when people wake up and they think it's too early and are really tired."

This kid is a genius, I tell you.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Quirky

G and I have finally admitted what a lot of people have been telling us.  That our littlest son is "quirky."

Sambo was the world's calmest baby.  Although he was sick a lot and had some eating problems, he was never fussy.  As a toddler he never got into anything.  He made/makes messes and writes on walls and surfaces, but that's been the extent of him causing any trouble.  He's always been a great sleeper, he grew out of his eating problems, and since day one has always been great to go with the flow.  I can run errands with him and can get housework done with him around -- no problem.  Although he had a pretty significant speech delay, he has never gotten frustrated by it and rarely throws tantrums.  He's happy and pleasant and always been an absolute joy to be around. 

Apparently he's one of those "late bloomer" types because he is no longer that calm baby.  In the last year he's been slowly developing his personality and getting an opinion on things.  He has always been very independent, but it's never been a real problem because while he always wants to do things HIMSELF or HIS WAY, he is really compliant and usually HIS WAY is my way too.

A few months before he turned four he started to talk a lot better and I realized he did have a mind of his own after all.  He started saying some seriously funny things.  He was talking like a 2-year old, but had the intellect of a 4-year old (going on 8-year old since he has been very well tutored by his older brother who is very clever).  That combination made for a lot of laughs.

Around that time, people starting remarking about what a "handful" he was.  I never saw it, though.  He was always so easy for me, especially when I was giving him my full attention, which was always, in all reality.  But if I'd leave him with a babysitter, they'd say he was a problem.  He acted up for his primary teachers and in preschool.  I was so confused because I never really saw the wild side.

But let's talk about things currently.  Since he turned 4 a few months ago, everywhere I go people call him "quirky" or "wild" or "busy" or "a handful."  G and I would actually say, "Do you think he's that kid that drives everyone crazy but we think he's perfect because we have our heads buried in the sand?"  Then as quickly as we'd say that we'd followup with a quick, "Nah, if he's driving anyone crazy, it's their problem.  He's a delight!"

Oh Buddy.  G and I are getting it now.  He is really busy.  But more than that (because he isn't even half as wild as his brother was/is)... he is really quirky.

Here are some things that he does that add up to the crazy-artist personality he's developing:

  • He's super high on life.  He walks with a spring in his step at all times.
  • He has mastered whistling.  (Which drives me crazy, to be honest.)  Have you ever seen a 4-year old whistle while they play?  Me either.
  • He loves pink, purple and anything sparkly.  He wishes he was a princess and loves to dress up in his "princess dress" which is a tutu we bought on clearance at Halloween time.  He does NOT act like a princess in it, so it is torn to shreds.  I finally realized he likes pink and purple best because he loves beauty and nobody ever says blue or green (for example) are pretty.
  • If he isn't focused on anything else, you will find him standing on his head or doing his "special tricks" which is a fancy forward roll where he lands on his feet rather than his back.  He does these moves constantly and usually at really inappropriate times (preschool, church).  This all started after he watched an old-school Ninja Turtle movie.
  • While playing with bubbles in primary today, he got all the kids to crawl around acting like animals.  He was a cheetah (or cheater, as he called himself) and he started eating the bubbles.  He was sad when we finished because he was still "hungry."
  • He loves to cook and I expect within the year he'll know how to make something legitimate.  He knows how to run the kitchenaid and knows the proper consistency for bread dough. 
  • I've written before about his hair.  It's gotten worse.
  • He told my cousin she was weird tonight.  Talk about the pot calling the kettle black.
  • He is a bona fide hypochondriac.  He begs to go to the doctor, he loves getting shots, and he hides bandaids under his bed so he can put one on whenever the mood strikes.
  • He's hands down the most outgoing and bossy kid in our primary class.  Which is saying something considering we have eleven 4-year old boys in our class.  (Not a single girl!)  Such a far cry from the boy that never spoke 18 months ago.
  • He cries during certain movies or primary stories involving people or animals who get lost, chased, or have no friends.  He can watch Pirates of the Caribbean or Tron Legacy but he can't handle Finding Nemo,  Spirit (the horse movie), or Angelina Ballerina. And thank goodness we are his primary teachers because he's cried the past two weeks during stories from the primary manual.
  • I've had to hide all diapers or pullups we have left stuffed in closets or drawers because I've randomly found him wearing pullups or a diaper on under his underwear.  He doesn't pee in them, but he thinks it's fun.  And I've also found him wearing several pairs of underwear at a time. 
  • And this isn't quirky per se, but the relationship he has with his brother.  He ADORES and IDOLIZES Buddy.  And Buddy just cannot say no to him.  I'm sure being spoiled by Buddy probably contributes to him being a "handful" because anytime we try to discipline him or he loses a privilege, Buddy undermines us.
Interestingly enough, it's his big personality and crazy interests that endear him more to us.  We totally adore him.  I can't imagine a child has ever been so loved... 

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Swap (By G)

I debated what to title this.  My other options "Persistence" or "I Finally Wore Her Down."  Three and a half years ago I bought at Acura TL-S.  I loved this car.  It was a lot of fun to drive and was really fast (3 traffic tickets fast).  However, ever since I sold my Jeep, I have been longing for another SUV.  We have our Subaru Outback, which has been a great car, but it's a pain to switch car seats whenever I needed all-wheel drive and M didn't really like driving my car.  After a long time of me constantly bringing it up, M finally gave in and I replaced the TL-S with an Acura MDX.  I love it.  M has used it a few times and while it's not really convenient to get kids in an out of the third row, it can seat 7 people.  I will miss the TL-S, but I'm really happy with the MDX.  At least for now . . . . .