Sunday, January 31, 2010

Ben's Stuff

These ADORABLE outfits were given to Ben by some of my work friends.

He might be too small to use this right away, but I had to buy it from a friend whose son is outgrowing this cute table and chair set.

He's also already got a car seat, so he can go places.

And Ben will be carried in style - I was able to hunt down "my" Beco with the owls and my sweet husband ordered it for Ben me.

Yesterday in the snowstorm we ventured outside and purchased some things we will be sending to Ben in his care packet. Now all that is left to do is write the letter to the foster family and then the package can be on its way to South Korea.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Someone pinch me!

It's been over a week since our referral. It's hard to believe this is actually happening!
While waiting, I wondered every day what it would be like to know who our child is. I saw others get their referrals and I dreamed about getting our own. Then it happened to us, and it feels surreal.

After getting our referral on Wednesday we went to dinner at a steak restaurant and started our list of names. The list was very short. There are millions of names in the world and between the two of us we could think of about 6.

We also had HoYoung's file reviewed by an international adoption pediatrician, who emailed the results to us by Thursday night. It's amazing how he is growing!

Friday we made a trip to Babies'R'Us, and Saturday we made the treck to Maryland to the US' largest babystore (which was awesome!). We bought a small baby photo album to send to him, which was promptly destroyed by Casper.

I ordered a car seat and we bought some shirts for our son. It's hard to guess what size he will be wearing when he comes home.

We spent much of the weekend filling out our acceptance paperwork. Thanks to my inability to follow instructions, some of the forms had to be redone 4 times. Oops!

Somewhere along the way the name Ben grew on us. Actually what happened was that I kept on referring to our child as Ben HoYoung and it stuck.

I've plastered my cube with his pictures and glance at them throughout the day. It's almost too much to  take to really look at them.

Everyone has been absolutely amazing. I'm blown away with how many people are stopping by my desk to congratulate me and asking if there's anything I need. The ladies who work for one of our vendors bought the most adorable outfits for little Ben. My friends at work spend hours looking at babystuff online and email me links to cute outfits. They've been showing Ben's picture to their friends and families. Friends are offering to send their baby stuff. Even my parents are excited and are shopping for their grandson. I love that everyone accepts that this is our son, no questions asked.

There are moments when this is absolutely real, and it's overwhelming. It's hard to put into words. I'm awed that this perfect human being is ours to take of and raise. Sometimes I look at his picture and am completely overtaken by the most powerful feeling and I am almost left breathless. This is the most humbling experience I've ever had and while it's not possible for me to do this physically, in my mind I am on my knees thanking God for this miracle every second of the day.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

The rest of the story

I still owe you the rest of what happened on Wednesday.
After the frantic phone call to my husband, my co-workers took me out for coffee. I also had to call my friend right away to let her know she will be an aunt!
When I got back to my desk, my co-workers had bought me some beautiful flowers.
The husband called me not much after I got back to my desk to say that he was getting close. I started walking (running) towards the agency, which is down the street from where I work. I got there just as he pulled into the parking lot. I think I cried again.
We went inside and had to wait a minute for our program coordinator. We went into the couch room and I was pacing. Finally she came in with a small stack of papers and some tissues. I wonder how many tissues adoption agencies go through.
She handed us each a copy of the papers and said that she would leave the room.
We decided to look at the pictures first.

And that was the moment we first saw our son's face. We both gasped and I ... cried.

We had a good amount of pictures of him sitting, standing, and crawling.
At that time, we had no idea if it was a boy or a girl, so we started looking at the paperwork and started reading all about our little man.
After we were done, the program coordinator came back in to give us instructions on the next steps and we were free to go.

I went back to work where everyone was waiting to find out whether it's a boy or girl and to see his picture. The rest of the day I was in a complete daze. Actually, it is only starting to wear off.

I will post pictures on Monday, after we turn in our acceptance.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

So this is what happened ............... Part One.

This entire day is a little blurry, but I will try to remember as much as I can.

It's around 9:20 or 9:30 in the morning. I am trying to motivate myself to get some work done. The phone rings. I look at the caller ID. It's my agency's name. I think "should I take a picture of the phone?". Then I think "don't be silly. It cannot possibly be the referral". I answer and try to be perky and sound unsuspecting. I hear "This is S. We have good news. We have your referral".
I immediatly go completly numb and start sobbing. I think I said "Oh okay. OMG. Okay.". Then I scream at the top of my lungs "I'm going to be a mom". Someone appears at my desk and says "are you okay". I sob. They say "is this the call?". I sob. I hear hysterical shrieking from different corners of the office. Magically about 7 of my co-workers appear at my desk, saying "Oh my God, oh my God". The poor lady at the agency is still on the phone. I can't stop crying. Between tears I ask her when we can come and she said any time. I tell her I am calling my husband. I hang up. I cry - again. Everyone hugs me and starts asking questions. About 5 minutes later I realize that I have to call my husband. I go to someone's office and call him. He doesn't answer. I call his other number and he answers the phone. I sob into the phone. He asks if I'm okay. I ask if he can come to B* (town where I work and where our agency is). He's quiet. I sob. Then he asks "Did we get it?". I sob.

To Be Continued........................

We have a son!

We received our referral today. It is surreal. My mind is not functioning. I am in utter and complete shock.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Are Pets like Children?

My answer to this used to be: no.
Pets are part of a family, but I used to cringe when people said "My pets are my children."
In so many ways, pets are nothing like a kid. Not that I have experience with kids.
Pets stay cute and cuddly forever. Kids turn into teenagers. Pets depend on you until they move to a farm. Kids actually move out. Pets can spend alone time even when they're young. Apparently many children can't. Pets don't need diapers or diaper changes. Pets can't talk. Or talk back.

Lately, since the arrival of cat #2, I have come to revise my stance on this matter.

These are a few recent events at our house:

I come home from work to find that most kitchen cabinets and drawers have been opened and the contents have been distributed all over the floor. There are distinctive chewmarks on bowls and silverware.

I accidentally close the bathroom door when trying to get ready for work. A pair of white paws appears underneath the door, followed by a pair of gray paws. Then there is scratching and wailing. I open the door. Casper, the friendly ghost, rushes in the bathroom and hops in the running shower. He has no intention of leaving until he sees Freddy on the bathroom counter. He gets out of the shower to join him, I get in. 2 seconds later I get out again, because Casper is emptying our medicine cabinet.

I do not remember the last time I got a good nights sleep. We co-sleep with the cats (not a good habit to get into - and all the husband's fault). Freddy and I share a pillow. My share is very small. I am grateful that I get to sleep on the pillow at all, I used to have to sleep at the foot of the bed. Casper does not need much sleep and amuses himself by opening and closing drawers, getting into the blinds, and talking.

Sometimes one of the cats has little accidents in the litterbox and certain things that should be in the box are left on their behinds. Okay, really this is only one cat it happens to, but I don't want to embarrass him on the internet.

If this is not good prep for having a child at home, I don't know what is!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Really, you can believe me. And yes, I am ranting again.

I realize that for the rest of my life people will see that I am an adoptive mom and come to their own conclusions as to how and why I went that path, and I also realize that I will have to live with the fact that everyone from close friends to strangers on the street will believe their own truth about me more than what is actually true. But there are a few things I need to put in writing, because some of these assumptions are VERY annoying already.

So, here are some things you should know:

1. I do not want to be pregnant. Really, I don't.
There is not an ounce of me that feels like I am missing out because I am not carrying our baby. It doesn't bother me when I am around pregnant people, and it doesn't bother me when people talk about their pregnancies, other than the fact that I cannot relate. I would say that I am about as curious about pregnancies as most pregnant people are about adoption. It's interesting to hear about to some extent, but I have no desire to experience it myself. I honestly have no idea if I could become pregnant if I just tried long enough/medicated enough, so if I really cared about pregnancy, I would have tried much, much harder to go that path.

And along the same lines:

2. We did not choose adoption because we weren't able to have bio kids. Again, had we cared enough, we would have went much farther in our attempts to have a bio child. Really, trying to conceive for a year about 5 years ago was not that much effort, and while very frustrating at the time, I am over it. Yes, really.

3. I am not sad that my child will not be an infant when he/she comes home.
While I may change my mind about this at a later point, I don't feel like I am missing out by not experiencing a newborn. I am sad that I won't get to witness our child's life from the beginning, but I don't have a burning desire to have an infant at home. I don't know what to do with tiny babies, and quite honestly find them a little boring.

4. I don't need my child to look like me.
I am fully aware that my child will look nothing like me. And I am okay with that. It's not supposed to look like me! I am aware that our family will stand out in public. And that people's reactions will annoy me. But I am proud of the kind of family we will be. I don't want to pretend that we are anything but an adoptive family, because that is just what we are.

4 Months since HSTK

It's been 4 months since our home study was sent to Korea. Wow. Hopefully we're at least halfway through the wait for our referral. I give myself 2 more months of waiting until I go bonkers.

Sometimes during this wait and time of preparation for our addition, I feel like I suffer from a split personality (no need for concern and please don't call my social worker).
I have days/weeks where I intensly read any and all adoption literature available and ponder over things such as ethics in adoption, attachment struggles, and how our child will process their story. I read blogs by birthmothers and cry my eyes out. I worry and have sleepless nights.
At other times, I want to be just like most expectant mothers and look at cute baby things and think about all the fun things we'll get to do with the little one. I want to pick furniture for the nursery and buy books to read at bedtime.

I wonder what kind of new world of emotions will present itself once we find out who our child is.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Waiting just got a whole lot harder

The first nine months of our wait were a nightmare for me. First we had to wait on clearances, then on the social worker to write the home study, and then on USCIS to do their part. I thought about the wait constantly and would stalk my inbox and mailbox for any kind of news. The (almost) four months since our paperwork went to Korea were a breeze. Until today.
My friend and waiting buddy got her referral this morning! I am ecstatic for her and her family. Her little guy is one of the cutest kids I have ever seen. I hope their wait to bring him home is a quick one.

But this also means that there is a possibility that we could get THE CALL any day. In my head I know that this is very unlikely and that we will have to wait another couple of months, but my heart wants that day to be tomorrow. I know that from today on, every time I hear the phone ring my heart will skip a beat.

Friday, January 1, 2010

It's 2010 or...

... as the husband calls it "The Year of the Baby".
Let's hope he's right.