Monday, January 30, 2006

2 more months

I wish I had a dollar for each time I've told Kevin that "if this was their adoption they'd care." I have had many a moment of frustration since this adoption process began when I didn't feel like my calls were being returned fast enough, or my concerns were being addressed well enough, or someone just didn't care enough. Some of them valid; some of them unfound. The most frustrating part was that we didn't get our homestudy, which was supposed to be complete before Thanksgiving, until the end of January; and I had to call to get it then. The truth is that it's all very scary. One of my friends asked me how we knew what to do to adopt. I told her, "Trust me, people will tell you." See, the problem is everyone has their own agenda. I felt like no one could see the big picture. Most of the people you have to deal with to complete an adoption have never adopted. They mean well and want to help, but they don't understand.

Well today someone heard all those complaints...I received calls from my adoption advertising network, attorney, agency, social worker, and ICPC representative all within about 2 hours of each other. Whew!

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Well, apparently, our birthmother had really strong Braxton Hicks for several hours last night. They were bad enough that she finally had to spend the night in the hospital being monitored. She was given something to rest and sent home around lunch today. They sounded pretty bad. I called right in the middle of them. She sounded like she was in labor. I talked to her twice today. She is back home and in bed resting with a heating pad. I can't tell you how difficult it was for me to be in Alabama. It's too early for her to have the baby, but I think she's ok. They told her the contractions would come frequently and worsen from now until the time she delivers. Poor thing! I feel terrible for her. You know, I really can't begin to describe our relationship. It's unlike I've ever experienced. I care about her like a sister, but she's not my sister. I don't even know her like a friend. She will always be important to Kevin and me.

On a lighter note...Amanda's baby has dropped. She's due March 9th, but the doctor says that if Amanda can make it 3 more weeks and has begun to dilate, he'll induce the last week of February. Wouldn't you know it? That's when Kevin and I will be in Vancouver. I'm so excited for her. I hope it happens before we're gone.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Mallory in 4-D

Here's Mallory! Tony's sister, Christy, gave Amanda and Tony the gift of a 4-D ultrasound. Before I saw the pictures I thought it was kind of scary. Now it's pretty amazing. No lie...Mallory already looks like Amanda did in the face as an infant. Same nose, cheeks, and mouth. She's got long legs like her mommy and short toes like her daddy. It was very comforting to Tony and Amanda to see how healthy she is. Right now, Mallory weighs about 4 pounds. She's giving her daddy high fives all the time.

Hurry up, Mallory!

Amanda & Mallory with Nana and Granny

Opening gifts for Little Mallory

After all of the negative stress of the last two weeks, this weekend I enjoyed hosting a baby shower for Amanda and Mallory. BJ and Beth helped. We had a good turnout, and it was a lot of fun. Amanda was glowing. She is really enjoying this part of her pregnancy. We played a couple of cute games. Keri and Connie tied with an exact match of how many tissue squares equal the circumference of Amanda's perfectly round belly. Trina really knows her chocolate! She scored a perfect 8 in guessing which candy bar poo was in which diaper. Of course, she had some help from Karen...I really think it was a group effort. Our little niece Katelyn did a marvelous job of answering the door for our guests. Poor Tony...Amanda kept him up until midnight looking at all of their new stuff. Can't wait to meet you Mallory!

Friday, January 13, 2006


Do you ever just feel like your life is spinning out of control? Well, that's exactly how I've felt for the last two weeks...

It all began last Tuesday when my mom's oldest sister, Aunt Ann, died. She has been suffering with Alzheimer's for probably the last ten years or so. She has slowly slipped away. When it became impossible for the family to take care of her safely at home, the only option left was to move her into a nursing home. It really wasn't any better, though; because we always worried about whether or not she was really being taken care of when we couldn't be there around the clock. When her physical health deteriorated to the necessity of having Hospice come in around the clock about a month or so ago, we knew the end was near. It was difficult for everyone, but especially her children and my mother. Aunt Ann pretty much raised my mother because their mom died when my mother was only five. So this was like losing your mother twice in one lifetime...can you imagine?

Kevin and I were there with Mom when Aunt Ann passed away Tuesday. Mom was holding her hand. It was the most difficult thing for me to witness. I still cry when I think of my mom being there with Aunt Ann during the last moments of her life. We were all comforted by the reality of her no longer having to suffer, there is such an emptiness left behind. I'm glad Mom will soon have new grandbabies to fill the afternoons and weekends she was spending taking care of Aunt Ann.

Wednesday, I fielded all the calls that would usually go to my mother concerning funeral arrangements and whatnot. After an exhausting day of trying to reschedule calls for Thursday and Friday for the funeral, I decided to go to the grocery store for fresh air. While there, I got a call that Dad had almost cut his finger off while renovating the outside of his garage. My brain was so fried by then that I remember standing in front of an entire food display staring at it, not really even considering what I would get off the shelf. Dad is ok, they filled his finger with silicone to heal from the inside out. His left hand looks like he is shooting a big white bird. He was really very calm about the whole thing.

Thursday, Amanda's blood pressure jumped up as a result of a combination of things...she had a sinus infection and had been sick for over a week, her husband was at home sick, stress from Aunt Ann and school... She had to go to the hospital for a few hours to monitor the baby and be tested for toxemia. What do you think that did to her blood pressure? Kevin and I loaded up and went to be with her until Tony could be located. She's ok and back into a routine, but when it happened, we decided not to tell Mom, for fear that it might be the last straw for her in a very emotional week. In fact, I was in the hospital lobby conducting an hour-long phone conference with 12 of my Demonstration Teachers, our very first one. I was nervous enough about the whole thing without having orderlies rushing about in the background.

Friday was the funeral. I was fine at the visitation, keeping everyone introduced, doing what Dad usually does in those situations while he took care of Mom. As expected, I had a difficult time at the funeral. For one thing, Aunt Ann was a different faith from what her husband was until she was too far gone to care. When she was healthy, she was deadset against his church (which I will not mention for fear of offending those who practice this faith). We had a graveside service. My uncle had the service his way. No one argued, but we were all displeased, especially when the preacher tried to convert all of us. It was the coldest day of the year so far. I was wearing lined boots with a London Fog, wishing I had not forgotten my gloves. The reverend did not even open his Bible. He couldn't remember the scripture he was quoting except to say that it was in there somewhere. Aunt Ann chose her final resting place almost 20 years ago, when she was still healthy. That was comforting. I like it as much as one can. It's not lonely.

I cannot begin to express how absolutely draining, physically and emotionally this whole experience has been for me. I am trying very hard not to worry, but it's so natural for me to want to take care of things and make everything ok. Kevin has been my oak, so strong. Always at my side taking care of me, even when I don't realize that I need it. He reminds me constantly of how blessed we really are in our life together. I thank God everyday for bringing him into my life.