Top 10 Reasons Open Adoption Rocks
In response to a Today Show "expert" panel suggesting that closed adoption was better, I generated my own Top 10 Reasons Why Open Adoption is Better.
Open Adoption Roundtable #37
Special topics in open adoption. Come read my perspective, and then add yours!
Thursday, April 28, 2011
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
About a year and a half ago, Lorelai got the H1N1 flu (or at least that's what we think it was). And somehow the flu flipped a switch in her. She wouldn't touch vegetables the moment she got sick and hasn't touched many of them since. (I'm convinced that she thinks veggies gave her that terrible illness!)
I've tried everything: smothering them in cheese, hiding them inside things, pureeing them and mixing them into things, bribing her with candy, demanding that she try them, demonstrating how wonderful they are by eating them myself, using reverse psychology and telling her she couldn't eat them... nothing has worked. On a few occasions I've had success with pureeing veggies and sneaking them into things, but that hasn't worked very often. It's like she knows.
On a few occasions I've been able to get her to eat tater tots - a "vegetable" that we never even had in this house until I was grasping at straws trying to get a veggie in her tummy. But tonight, we had a victory. A BIG VICTORY!!!
I was making dinner as usual and had decided to make corn on the cob - something I don't usually make because I hate the way it gets stuck in my teeth and is messy to eat in general. I brought out the plates to the table and Lorelai saw the corn on our plates. I had not even thought to put corn on her plate. I knew the instant reaction would be "NO!!!" So I didn't even try. But tonight, she looked at the plates and shouted "Yay! Corn!"
I almost fell over.
So I got back up off the floor, returned to the kitchen, and brought Lorelai her very own ear of corn. She happily ate three bites of it (which are tiny little nibbles when they are that small... about 7 or 8 kernels total!). She proclaimed that it was delicious and that she was full.
Sure, she only ate a couple nibbles, but I don't care.
I'm basking in the sweet smell of success. And I wasn't even trying. Now that's a good day!
Monday, April 25, 2011
Lorelai has begun telling knock-knock jokes. They are a riot. Her personal favorite right now...
Lorelai: Knock! Knock!
Me: Who's there?
Me: Lorelai who?
Lorelai: It's me!
There are a number of variations on this one. Sometimes she gives us her first and last name. Other times when I ask "Lorelai who?" she just giggles. She is so much fun.
Sunday, April 24, 2011
I know I've missed a few days of posting. Funny how life can get so busy sometimes.
Today we're having some of our family over for Easter. We've got a fun day planned: brunch, egg hunts, smiling girls... it's gonna be a blast. Pics are sure to follow.
Hope you all enjoy your holiday, and I'll be back at the posting this week. :)
Thursday, April 21, 2011
I knew I could not be the only one thinking these sorts of things! For some time now it has bothered me that some of these clothing items exist for little girls, and even more so that there are people who would dress their children in such clothing. I had always thought, "Where do people find this stuff?" and as Lorelai transitioned from baby clothes into toddler apparel, I found my answer. It's everywhere. In fact, as I've been out shopping recently trying to find her new clothes for this spring/summer, I've been inundated by it. Try finding a pair of shorts for your toddler right now that are not obscenely short. It's not that easy. Or read the messages written on a number of the t-shirts out there. I, for one, would prefer that my toddler is not referred to as a "cupcake". Women fought for many years to see to it that people stopped calling us names like that! I'm not about to emblazon my toddler's chest with the sentiment. Sure, I may be getting a little bit over sensitive there, but some of the other things I've seen are just plain wrong: leather mini shirts, tube tops, triangle top bikinis, high heels... seriously, I've seen all of this just recently in Lorelai's size... a 3 toddler!
So I make this post as a cry of help and cautioning... please quit making this type of clothing for children. We're setting them up for a lot of trouble. And second, quit buying this garbage and putting your precious little girls in it. Let them be little girls. They'll have to worry about looking "sexy" way too soon anyway.
Tuesday, April 19, 2011
Monday, April 18, 2011
I honestly love what I do for work. It's a lot of fun - I get to see cool places, meet a lot of people, and learn a lot. It's always changing too. No boring trips for me. But boy do I miss those kids. It's amazing how much it makes my day to get a hug from them or listen to them talk. Sure there are perks.. a good night's sleep... I get to eat dinner without jumping up 20 times... it's really quiet... in fact, too quiet....
I think I'm going to have to fire up the iChat tonight so I can catch up with them. :)
Sunday, April 17, 2011
Lorelai was lying on the floor the other day flipping though my marketing textbook. She kept coming to diagrams of flow charts and such and would point out the different shapes and colors and tell me what they were. Logan was rolling around near by and reached over to grab at the book. Lorelai quickly pulled the book away from her and said, "No Baby Logan! You're too little to read!"
Glad to know that Lorelai is such a big girl. My baby can read! Lol. Of course, Baby Logan is just too darn little.
Saturday, April 16, 2011
I went into the kitchen and had begun making a grocery list when Lorelai came into the room.
Lorelai: What you doing Mommy?
Me: Making a list. I'm going to go to the grocery.
Lorelai: Can I help?
Me: Sure! Is there something you'd like me to get at the grocery store?
Lorelai: (Tilts her head to the side, scrunches her face, and appears to think.) Hmmm.... bananas, grapes, pineapples, big oranges and little oranges, some lemons... And I need some milk! Purple milk!
Me: Anything else?
Lorelai: Oh! And jelly beans!
Too darn cute. And a moment of clarification for those of you who don't speak Lorelai - big oranges are naval oranges. Little oranges are clementines. And purple milk... that's skim milk - it has purple writing on the carton.
So I added a few more things and went to the grocery. If you're curious, I got almost everything she asked for. The clementines weren't good, so I skipped those. Lemons... well we all know she wasn't going to be eating those.
And yes, I did get her jelly beans. :)
Friday, April 15, 2011
I really can't decide how I feel about this sort of thing. Part of me thinks, they don't need to know if my kids were adopted or not. It's none of their business. On the other hand I worry that if I just agree, Lorelai or Logan will feel like we're ashamed of the way they joined our family. We mentioned this one time at an adoption support group meeting, and someone offered the suggestion that we say, "She gets her red hair from both sides of the family," or something similar. I thought that was a creative and awesome answer.
I was really thinking about this over the week. Not only did we have this encounter at the playgroup, but we had visits from Logan's birth family this week. I find myself throughout the whole visit staring at C* and S*'s faces trying to place Logan's features. I want to be able to say things to her like, "You've got S*'s smile," or "You've got C*'s hair." Things I think most kids hear while they are growing up. The funny thing is that sometimes I think she looks more like S* and other times I think she looks more like C*. I think we may have to wait for her to quit changing so quickly before I can really decide.
Lorelai looks so much like her birth mother it's almost scary. Looking at baby pictures of L*, we could be looking at pictures of Lorelai. The only difference is their hair color.
I somehow think this makes me love the kids' birth parents more. Every time I notice a similarity between the kids and their birth parents I feel an extra twinge of love towards the birth families. They gave us Lorelai with her red hair, her blue eyes, her big smile, and her button nose. They gave us Logan with her ever changing hair color, her blue eyes, her little smirk, and her teensy nose. I love all those little features and to see them in someone else makes me smile.
And it makes me smile when people say they look like us too. Even if it's only by coincidence.
Thursday, April 14, 2011
I had been all excited about Lorelai announcing she'd prefer to be cute instead of smart. I'd practically reserved her a seat on the supreme court. And then a connection was made. (Light bulb flickering on).
For Lorelai, cute is associated with being little. Tiny. Like her baby sister who is frequently called cute. However, smart is associated with being big. Grown-up. Like when she completes a puzzle or figures something out. Something in which we praise her for being a big girl, and not something which she associates with little, cute babies.
Well, I may not have had the break through parenting experience that I'd hoped for, but I guess the best take away I can muster is that at some point, she'll probably want to be cute. And I hope, she'll always continue to want to be smart. Either way, I'm proud of my big girl.
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
1) Plan to get moving at least once with week with the whole family (fitness).
2) Up the daily number of servings of fruits and veggies you get by two (nutrition).
3) Find one way to save on healthcare expenses (health).
4) Do a family mood check.
Well let's see... # 1 we can totally do. We've been taking walks as a family (when it's not raining or freezing outside). And there's always the impromptu game of "Ring Around the Rosie" that keeps us moving. We'll make this one happen for sure.
#2 is something I've been working hard to do over the past couple of weeks. I've actually started a new health plan that suggests I eat a piece of fruit every 4 hours. This certainly helps boost those fruits and veggies by two.
#3 will be the one that requires a little research. We don't really have many healthcare expenses, so we'll have to see how this works out...
#4 is easy too. No signs of depression around here (thankfully). Every body is happy and healthy and smiling!
Here's to week 3!
Tuesday, April 12, 2011
Five minutes of physical activity each day? No problem. In fact, the weather has been so nice here that we've gotten out multiple days and gone for hour long walks. Other days we've run laps around the inside of the house or danced or done a workout video. We've mastered this one!
Pick one meal of the day to make more nutritious. Done. We've been working on breakfast. Each day we made sure that we were all eating a balanced meal. And perhaps more importantly, making sure we were all eating breakfast!
Learn everyone's BMI. While I ranted about this one earlier, I decided to go ahead and inflict some self-loathing and check out my BMI. In case you were wondering, I'm overweight. Big surprise there. So I did it. And now I'm moving on. I couldn't bring myself to check the BMI of my 2 year old. That seemed silly. She's perfect. Same with the baby. I don't even want them to know what a BMI is. And as for the hubby? He's in the same camp with me.
And finally, set a strict bedtime. We did pretty good with this one. I made sure that my husband and I made it to bed by 11 most nights. Amazing how much easier it was for us to get up in the morning! And, of course, the kids have had a bed time for a long time. No changes needed there.
All in all I think it was a pretty successful week. Let's see how the next one goes!
Monday, April 11, 2011
So off to McDonald's we went. Lorelai played for a while and then decided she was ready for her ice cream. I sent my husband and Lorelai to retrieve our cones while I stayed with Logan at our table. I expected Jon to get Lorelai one of the kiddie cones, but when they came back Lorelai was carrying one of the largest ice cream cones I'd ever seen. And she proceeded to eat the entire thing!
About a week later we went for a drive. We told Lorelai that we'd get her an ice cream cone when we were done. When we went through the McDonald's, this time I made sure to get her the kiddie cone. I handed it to her and she looked at me like I'd just kicked her and said, "It's SO small!!!"
We may have created a monster...
Sunday, April 10, 2011
We had just been to the grocery and had bought plums since they were on sale. I decided then that plums would be my first effort at baby food for the little one. All you have to do is peel the plums, cut out the pit, and then steam them for a few minutes with a tiny bit of water.
Then you puree the plums in the food processor (adding the leftover cooking water to help thin them out as needed).
I also had a bag of baby carrots that had not been put to use yet. So I steamed those as well and then pureed those with a little bit of water. (Same process as the plums).
I had been keeping baby food jars from the baby food I had already purchased, so I just filled the jars with the plums and carrots and put them in the refrigerator. Now we have some homemade baby food ready for the week.
An added bonus: I took the opportunity to sneak a few extra veggies into my toddler today too! I took some of the pureed carrots and mixed them with spaghetti sauce and cottage cheese. I opened up a can of crescent rolls, put a dollop up the carrot mixture in the middle, rolled them up and baked them according to the crescent roll directions. Tastes like a combo between lasagna and pizza - and Lorelai had no idea she was eating carrots!
Saturday, April 9, 2011
1) Baby burritos (or straight-jackets): We bought 4 or 5 of these and they were worth every penny. You wrap up your little one for bedtime in one of these and they feel safe and snug all night. We fully believe that the reason both of our kids slept through the night (I'm talking 10+ hours) from 2 months on is due to these.
2) What to Expect the First Year: Without this book we may not have made it. This taught us pretty much everything we needed to know about how to take care of our little ones. Every time one of them coughed, sniffled, moved, looked at us funny, etc. we ran to the book to see if it was normal. (Exhale, it always was!). I don't think we would have made it through Lorelai's first year without it.
3) The Moby Wrap: I wasted a lot of money trying different baby carriers. The sling ones didn't feel secure enough to me. The front carriers were awkward and hard to get the baby in and out of. And then in a last ditch effort, I tried the Moby Wrap. What a life safer! It is snug. It's versatile. It allows me to carry the baby and still get things done! I love it and so does little Logan!
4) A baby wipe warmer: I don't know what it is about warming up baby wipes, but it makes them better. Seriously. When you've got a messy baby butt to clean up, you'll thank me for the wipes warmer. It really makes a difference. Plus, who wants a cold baby wipe on their behind?
5) Sophie the Giraffe: This one is a mystery to me. It reminds me of a dog toy, rubbery and squeaky. But let me tell you it is a hit with the kids. The first day we gave Sophie to Logan she chewed on it for hours! And then Lorelai ran around the house giggling and squeaking it. We thought we were going to have to go get a second one for her! All I can say is that they love it. And if it keeps a teething baby happy, then I'm all for it.
So there it is - my top 5 baby items. I hope I've saved a new mommy a lot of time, effort, and sleep by narrowing these down for her. Good luck!
Friday, April 8, 2011
We just received a call from our attorney telling us that they have scheduled Logan's adoption finalization hearing. We've already called all of our family and made sure that they are taking the day off work to attend. I'm bursting at the seams with excitement. I know it's not really that big of a deal. Logan has been a part of our family for six months now. A piece of paper doesn't change any of that. But it feels so great to know that it's official.
Amidst all of this excitement it also makes me think of Lorelai and Logan's birth parents. I can start crying in seconds thinking of them and how different our lives would be without them. I wanted children so badly. I physically ached to have a child. I thought I was going to go crazy waiting. And then L* made our long awaited dreams come true when she placed Lorelai with us. And then C* and S* honored us with Logan. And now, I'm a mommy twice over.
So when we head to our court hearing later this month, we'll be celebrating the addition of Logan to our family, but also honoring those amazing birth parents who allowed us to become parents. Thank you L*, C*, and S*. I know I've said it before. And I'll say it another million times because it still won't be enough.
Thursday, April 7, 2011
Did you know that a toddler will do just about anything for a jelly bean? It's true.
Need to change their diaper? Toddler is screaming "No!" No problem. Let's change your diaper and then you can have a jelly bean! Instant cooperation.
Let's get your toys picked up and then you can have a jelly bean. Done.
I have no idea how long jelly beans will hold their currency. (They have already gone down in worth - a certain toddler now demands multiple jelly beans, five in fact. However, she does count them each time, so I consider it a math lesson!) All I can say is that right now, I love you Jelly Belly.
Wednesday, April 6, 2011
1) Commit to five minutes of physical activity every day. (Fitness)
2) Pick one meal of the day to make more nutritious. (Nutrition)
3) Learn everyone's BMI. (Health)
4) Set a strict bedtime - for you and the kids. (Happiness)
Goal 1 is gonna happen. I'm all over this one. Kind of hard not to be physically active with a toddler and a baby. But, I'm going to try to actually engage in real exercise for those 5 minutes - alone. Walking on the treadmill, lifting some hand weights, stretching... I'll do something. I promise.
And Goal 2 is something we've already been working on as a family. We've started a big push here not to eat out as much and to make home cooked meals more frequently. And of those home cooked meals, the plan is to make them healthy. So we're on track already here. We'll keep it up this week.
Goal 3... can kiss my butt. I've never had a healthy BMI. NEVER! When I was a cheerleader in high school I was still 10 lbs overweight. And when combatting the weight struggles that come with my infertility issues... well, goal 3 can kiss my butt. I'm not going to get hung up on this one and beat myself up over my weight. I'm done with that. I'm worrying about being active and eating right, not how many pounds show up on the scale.
Goal 4, funny enough, is something that we started this week (just days before) too. The kids have always had a strict bedtime. 9pm and Lorelai is in bed. We have never had one ourselves. And with having adopted two children in the past 2.5 years, both as infants, I'd like to chuckle a bit at the prospect of us having had a bedtime. We slept whenever we possibly could! But now, we're getting to the point where everyone sleeps through the night and is usually asleep by 10:30pm. So 11:00pm is our new bedtime. We've made this happen for two days... let's see what happens.
So that's it. Those are our goals for this week. I think we can make it happen. I'll let you know at the end of the week. For those of you who want to get your family in gear, sign up for this free challenge at www.parents.com.
Tuesday, April 5, 2011
As a reminder we had four goals for this week:
1) Get outside to exercise at least 3 days a week. (Fitness)
2) Put away the salt shaker. (Nutrition)
3) Teach your kids the facts they need in an emergency. (Health)
4) Limit everyone's screen time. (Happiness)
The first goal was the one we had the most difficulty with. It was cold enough this week that I didn't feel like we could take the kids outside much. They're just too little to be braving temps that cold for any extended period of time. So we only managed to make it outdoors to play twice. We did however manage to work in a little extra activity - running around the house, jumping on the bed, and playing hide and seek. The kids are so little that they generate a good deal of exercise on their own - Lorelai runs around the house like a cyclone most days and Logan has been spending most of her days trying to crawl.
The second goal was no problem at all.
The third goal was a lot of fun for us. We taught Lorelai to say her full name and tell us how old she was. It was incredibly entertaining to watch the light bulb come on in her little head when she realized that we all had the same last name. She had been announcing all of our names including our last name... and then Bam! We all have the same one! We must be a team or something! Hilarious. And one of those moments where I teared up a little bit, because it once again cemented with me that yes, we are a family.
And the fourth goal... well we definitely didn't hit that whole 2 hours of TV per day for all of us, but we did make a concerted effort to shut the TV off everyday in the afternoon for a few hours. And we had a few evenings where we didn't watch much either. So we certainly made some progress, which is really the whole idea.
Do we feel healthier? Hmmm... Can't say that I see much of a difference yet, but let's see what the next week brings.
Monday, April 4, 2011
At our most recent adoption playgroup, I was talking to another adoptive mom about whether we thought this movie was okay for our children to watch. At the moment, her two and a half year old was over the moon for the movie. We talked about the plot line... basically a not-so-great guy adopts three kids from an orphanage. Then he takes them back. Then he becomes a good guy (as a result of the kids) and goes back and gets them. The fear... do we let our kids watch this a worry that they will be scared that their position in our family is not secure? Will they be afraid that we'll change our minds and give them back?
At the end of our discussion we had both basically agreed that while we weren't thrilled with the storyline, what the movie did was offer us an opportunity to have a dialogue with our kids about adoption. I'm a strong believer that kids should be allowed to watch television. I think it's a little silly to put so many rules and restrictions around it. However, I think kids should not watch a ton of television alone. They should have an adult around to keep an eye on what the kid is watching. I say this not because I'm a crazy mom who thinks they should never see violence or stupid humor, but because I think you need to be there to talk about those issues. Wiley Coyote is just pretend. If Wiley had really shot Road Runner with a sling shot that would have really hurt him. We don't hurt people because it is not a nice thing to do. Or in the case of the latest movie of concern... This movie is pretty silly. Adoption doesn't work like this in real life. You came to live with Mommy and Daddy because we love you so much, and you'll always live here with us no matter what. We will always love you and you'll always be our daughter.
Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe my kids will grow up to be anvil dropping monsters, but I highly doubt it. I think they'll grow up to be kids who know they were loved more than anything else in the world... and who have a healthy appreciation for popular culture. :)
Sunday, April 3, 2011
Grandma: Lorelai you are so cute!
Lorelai: No! I don't want to be cute!
Grandma: What? You don't want to be cute? What do you want to be?
That's right. My little girl doesn't care about being cute. She wants to be smart. I'm over the moon. (Excuse me while I do a happy dance.) Could it be that I've already succeeded in convincing my two year old that brains are more valuable than looks? And how long can I keep this going?
Don't get me wrong, I think my daughters are both beautiful. And I like to think they will both be complete packages: beauty and brains. But I hope that they will find that their education and their intelligence are much more important, desirable, and long lasting. And I'll be combating every fashion magazine, advertisement, and television show for years to come. Not to mention all of the other people in the world that they will come in contact with who are just dying to crush their self-esteem. (I'm dreading the tween/teen years... I remember them all too well.) I've got a lot to accomplish!
Maybe they'll grow up to be doctors, attorneys, congress women, scientists, teachers, CEOs, or architects. Maybe they'll be the ones to finally cure cancer or solve the global warming problem. Maybe they'll be moms. Who knows what the future will hold.
Really, I just want them to grow up to be strong, confident, happy women. And I hope they strive to help make the world a little better along the way. I can't wait to see the amazing women that they become.
I think I'm going to go put a little extra in their college funds on Monday. :)
Saturday, April 2, 2011
With Logan I feel a bit more relaxed - like I already have a handle on caring for her, so I can be a little more easy going and have a little more fun. At the same time, I'm also chasing a toddler this time around which makes taking care of the littlest one a bit hectic! The differences mean that there are things I did with Lorelai that I'm not doing with Logan (panicking as often!) and things that we are doing with Logan that we didn't do with Lorelai (now that we're baby veterans!).
One of the things that I did not do with Lorelai was to make her own baby food. I bought her jarred baby food at the grocery - although I insisted on buying her organic. Recently I've been toying with the idea of making Logan's baby food. This seems like it may be the more economical way to go, and I kind of enjoy doing these sorts of things.
So I've been browsing the internet looking for input on how to go about doing this. Here are a few websites that offered some great guidance.
Now let's see if I can find the time to make this happen!
Friday, April 1, 2011
Happy birthday Momma! I love you!