Apparently I’m doing it wrong…

2018-11-13-WorldKindnessDayStory time: last Thursday (10/31) Hunter had preschool and at school they were having a Halloween parade – he was totally stoked about it and about being a hot dog again, I was equally excited. I never did anything for Halloween growing up, so I was exited for him to have his first school party and it being Halloween made it a little extra special for me. Because of his parade I took the morning off so I could go and see him. I’ve never done drop off for school because I work. Yup, I’m a full time working mom who is sometimes at the office before the house is even awake. I don’t get to do things like drop off, room volunteer or other things like that with his class. I’m OK with this and I try not to dwell on it to much or else I’m sure it would make me sad that I can’t do it all and be everywhere.

Back to the story: Wyatt and I were sitting in the lobby waiting for the kids to line up and walk past. Another mom from Hunter’s class comes over and we start chatting – here’s where I find out that I’m doing this whole mom/working mom thing wrong…

  • Mom: Who is your child?working-mom
  • Me: Hunter, he’s a hot dog today (I’m very proud of this btw). Which one is your child? Do you know if they play together? Hunter can’t remember names, but he can tell you the color of his friends shirts.
  • Mom: Oh, you’re his mom… I’ve never seen you here before. I think I know his dad and have seen the person who picks him up every day, grandma? My child is XXXXXX and he talks about Hunter at home, even wanted to know if he was going to dress up too. (This makes me feel good – hooray for friends)
  • Me: Yes, this is my first time dropping him off this year. Usually I’m already at work and my husband, Ryan, does drop off. The woman who picks him up is his grandma, she just lives down the road.
  • Mom: (just looking at me like I’m a crazy person, or so it felt like) Oh, you work – that’s why I haven’t met you before.
  • Me: Yes, I work full time and I pick up the boys after the day is done. (Now I’m feeling like a bad mom because I work and I’m not part of the fun stay-at-home-mom club)
  • Mom: Huh, well it was nice to meet you.

End conversation…

After this very short chat with her, once she found out that I worked and this is my first time at school for Hunter, she turns back to the other group of moms and schedules a play date with them while the kids are in class but also talks loud enough to let every one near by know what their plans are. It seems like I can’t be part of that group because I work.

At times I think that being part of play dates and daytime outings would be a lot of fun, and lets face it – I would LOVE to have a group of moms from Hunter’s class to get to know and do things with and form some sort of relationship. But the look I got for letting her know that I work full time and this was my first time at school makes me not want to be part of that group. Sometimes I feel like I’m stuck between a rock and a hard place. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Oh and according to social media I’m the worst: I had a c-section so I took the ‘easy‘ way out of having a baby – both my kids were/are FORMULA babies (gasp!!) – we have infertility issues and went through a sperm donor, so there is another mark against us 🙂 Everything we’re doing seems to go against the grain of others opinions – personally I’m 100% ok with this. But I know that these things can really bring others down – I don’t want to be that type of person. I know I’m not perfect but I hope that I’ve never made anyone feel this way.


With how much we already beat ourselves up for not being able to do everything for our families we do not need others making comments on the same topics. I’ll be the first to tell you that I’d LOVE to be able to be at EVERY doctors appointment, school event, play date – I really would, but that is just not how our life/family works. Please, don’t try and make me feel guilty because I’m not a stay at home mom or that I have a full time job or that I’ve missed doctors appointments – I already feel bad enough for all those things.

DSC_5195So from one full time working mom to ALL moms out there (stay at home mom, working mom, dog mom, cat mom…..any other moms I missed) – Keep it up, you’re doing amazing. I see you, I know you’re tired and the days/nights get long but you’re killing it! Don’t beat yourself up if you forgot an apple on apple day at school (I did this already) or forgetting it’s Orange Day, don’t beat yourself up for missing a school event, don’t beat yourself up for having a career, don’t beat yourself up for being a stay at home mom and miss working outside the home. We all have our own adventures in life, we all have different paths – seriously, lift each other up. Look at her and say “you’re doing great” “keep it up”.

1 Thessalonians 5:11 “Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.”

 

Hello world…Did ya miss us?

Ok so I know it’s been a LLOONNGG time since I’ve taken the time to do a little writing and updating. I have a pretty good excuse though…I’m officially a mom of two working full time and the ‘household manager’.  Wyatt is almost 10 months old now and is truly an amazing addition to our family. Looking back on my last post (May) we were just getting ready for our finalization to happen with the courts. Here’s a break down of what has happened since then…

May:

  • Mother’s Day: Our whole family gathered at church to witness our dedication of Mr. Wyatt, also our amazing birth mom came to celebrate with us. It was an amazing day, lots of pictures, laughter and I’m so unbelievably thankful for everyone who came. Another really special thing that happened for Mother’s Day and dedication is that we are able to pick a verse that is read to the congregation that we ‘give’ to our child. Wyatt has two, one from his birth mom and one from us.
    • Jeremiah 29:11 – “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
    • Hebrews 13: 20,21 – Now may the God of peace… (21) equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

Mothers Day

  • May 31: Officially a Paddock!! We had both of our parents, one of our best friends and our Social Worker at the court house to witness this amazing event! The crazy thing is….it took all of 5 minutes!?!? Can you believe that! The judge asked us our names and if everything was correct on our paperwork – and that was that, he was officially a Paddock within 5 minutes. Then we all went to the river and took family pictures!

June/July: First family road trip!!! Where did we go….NEBRASKA! Yes, you read that correctly. We all hopped in the new minivan (again…yes, you read that correctly – I now have a minivan) and drove the 6 hours to Omaha. Side note: we took on this adventure while also in the middle of potty training Hunter – we are the proud owners of a travel potty. Since we (my brothers and I) were born there and I lived there until I was 12 we wanted to bring all of our kiddos down and see the Henry Doorly Zoo and celebrate July 4th together. Also, it’s not a true road trip to Omaha if you don’t stop in Story City, Iowa – it’s a must. It was a very successful FIRST family vacation!

At the end of July, Mr. Wyatt became a proud owner of a little helmet. We noticed his head looking a little flat at his 6 month appointment, we tried physical therapy to help loosen up his neck muscles – but that didn’t work the way we were hoping so he has a helmet. He looks pretty cute in it and really doesn’t mind it at all. He first started wearing it for an hour to two hours, and now he’s in it for 23-24 hours/day (we take it off to clean it and bath time). We go to the specialist every three weeks for measurements, and we’re hopeful that he will be out of it by Christmas. If you have a little one who needs a helmet we ordered all of our stickers from Bling Your Band ! They have a TON of options on their site and if you want to paint your helmet they have the paint and steps to follow so that it doesn’t peal or fade. I didn’t want to paint his helmet because I needed to keep my sticker options open, I wasn’t willing to get locked into one design 🙂

August: First Flight for Wyatt – Hello hot and steamy Florida! My grandparents are in FL and do not travel anymore so we hopped on a plane and headed down for a visit! Let me tell ya….I have the BEST kids when it comes to traveling. They were awesome on the plane. Funny story: the guy we were sitting next to on the flight was not too happy that he was going to be sitting next to two kids. After the flight attendants closed the main door he asked if there were any open seats so he could move…there was one a few rows ahead of us – turns out it was right next to the kid who cried/screamed the ENTIRE flight. My boys…quietly playing with toys, cars and watching a movie – not a peep! 🙂 Made my flight – I had an extra seat for Wyatt to sit and my kids were awesome. We had a wonderful visit with my grandparents, my aunt and uncle even came down from Alabama to see us. It was a very fast trip but worth it. There were a lot of firsts on this trip for Wyatt: first flight, first time in the ocean, first time meeting Ggmama & Ggpapa and other family.

September: Second Family Vacation – Oregon!! Last year Ryan fell in love with Oregon, so now it’s a yearly family vacation – which you won’t find me complaining about at all. I LOVE Oregon. This year we stayed in the mountains – the foothills of Mt. Hood to be exact. Again, both boys did awesome on the flight out and back and even the 1.5 hour car ride from Portland out to Rhododendron where we were staying. We rented a house/cabin for the week. Travel Advice: always rent a house/condo when traveling with tiny humans, it makes the trip SOOOO much better to have a ‘home base’ and a room of their own. We were there for a week, it rained EVERY DAY – but hey, it’s Oregon and the rain didn’t stop us from going out hiking daily. Another side note: We love our toddler hiking packs – I swear by these things. Once the kids were loaded up it only took Wyatt about 10 minutes of sitting in his to pass out – he took amazing naps in that thing. Hunter did really good too, after a while we’d let him do his own hiking too but he was fine being put back in it – he never slept but I think that he enjoyed the ability to just look around and take it all in. It was a very very busy week – only day we took off from hiking was to drive out to Eugene to see my grandma and family.

Adventures included:

  • Trillium Lake – this hike started out absolutely beautiful and we ended the hike running to the car in a downpour
  • Horsetail Falls & Multnomah Falls – one of the most photographed waterfalls / bridges in Oregon. Trail head said it’s a mile to the top of the fall…yeah it ended up being over 2 miles with 11 switchbacks, no rails and a VERY steep drop if something were to happen…BUT we did it! I had Wyatt on my back, Hunter and Ryan walked the whole way up. The view from the top is amazing – worth the climb!
  • Drive out to Eugene, Oregon! Took a day to drive out to see my grandma, aunt/uncle and cousin. It was a scary drive back to the cabin though, a few times hydroplaning and LOTS of rain. But everyone was able to meet Wyatt and play with Hunter. Memories are worth the ‘white knuckle’ drive
  • Mt Hood Adventure – Timberline Lodge – if the outside of the lodge looks familiar to you….it was used in The Shining (Jack Nicholson) and in the movie Wild (Reese Witherspoon). When we arrived at Timberline we could see a very TINY sliver of Mt. Hood and that was it, the rest of the time we were walking in the clouds and never saw the mountain. Never the less it was still a lot of fun to see the different trails, do more hiking and scope out the lodge. I’d love to stay there one day and really explore the different hikes around the mountain.

I’m ready to start planning out our next family vacation and see what adventures we can go on. It’s been a great year so far and the boys. Wyatt is on the move which means Hunter needs to include him when he is playing or Hunter goes to his room and shuts the door to play with his toys. He isn’t used to sharing and now that Wyatt can get around her’s learning really quick that little brothers can be a lot of fun or super annoying 🙂 ah the joys of having siblings. Hunter is still asking for a sister and wants another little baby in the house – I told him I’d love another little baby in the house (boy or girl) but right now we need to enjoy the little baby that we have and we will see what the future holds for our family. My gut is telling me that our family isn’t done growing just yet but again, we will wait and see what God has planned for our future.

Other Highlights:

  • Hunter started Preschool this year and Cubbies! He loves both!
  • Hunter started Ninja School (and yes, it is exactly what is sounds like) Saturday mornings start out with Ninja School. It’s awesome to watch him too, he’s the smallest one in his class but I feel like he’s the strongest one
  • Wyatt is crawling, pulling himself up on things and climbing up stairs. He thinks Hunter is the best thing in the world and anything Hunter does Wyatt laughs at (these two will be trouble as they get older)
  • Our agency reached out today to see if we would be willing to share our adoption story for National Adoption Month – which is November. I said absolutely we would love to share our story with others. We still have a strong relationship with our birth mom as well as our social worker, they are both amazing and part of our family. 

Until next time!

Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it. Proverbs 22:6

Family

 

It’s Happening – AMAZING Update!!

You may be asking…what’s happening?

Answer: Adoption Finalization!!!!

Yes, that is correct, our baby boy will be an official Paddock on May 31! Can you believe it?! We can’t – it’s crazy how fast this part of adoption as gone, we’re still spinning from it all! My last post was talking about filing our first set of paperwork with the court…we did that on April 25! Got a letter on Tuesday, April 30 our social worker got the call from the family court letting her know that everything looked awesome and to go ahead a file the second set of paperwork. She mailed that in on  May 1 – I received a call on May 7th from the court admin wanting to know when we would like to come in to finalize our adoption with the judge! He gave me five options and the first one was May 31 – so of course I chose that one!

Ok…let’s back up for one second and look at this: Usually (from what the lady at the court house told us) once we file our first set of paperwork they have 30 days to review the documents and let us/our social worker know if we are missing anything. If not, we file the second set of documents and from there they have another 60 days to review those documents and let us know if there are any issues or if we are missing anything. After all of that they will give us a call and see when we can get on the judges schedule…so it could have been another three or more months before anything was finalized. We were all prepared that this would happen end of summer!

We filed on April 25 – got the OK from the courts FOUR days (not counting weekends) after we dropped off the first set… then another FOUR days (not counting weekends) we received a call asking us when we want to come in and meet the judge! And now 24 days later he will be a Paddock! 

It’s all crazy:

  • Birth date: December 26, 2018
  • Placement: January 24, 2019
  • 1st Social Worker Visit: February 6, 2019
  • 2nd Social Worker Visit: March 6, 2019
  • Final Social Worker Visit: April 2, 2019
  • 1st set of paperwork filed: April 25, 2019
  • 2nd set of paperwork filed: May 1, 2019
  • Call to schedule finalization: May 7, 2019
  • Finalization: Friday May 31, 2019

Total time in our family from placement to finalization: 127 days!!!

We’ve invited just the grandparents to be witnesses for this event and will plan a big celebration to happen a little later. This is absolutely amazing and I am still in complete awe of our Lord and how unbelievably faithful He is and also how if we just stop, lay it all at his feet and fully trust him wonderful things happen.

Wyatt was always ours, we just didn’t know when we would be meeting him or how or that we would meet an amazingly strong woman who would give him to us. Seriously, if anyone is doubting or is scared for the relationship with a birth family – reach out, ask me anything – I was you a few months ago and I can’t put into words how much God has done in my heart and the love that I feel for her. She is a blessing beyond blessings.

Ok – I’ve rambled on and on and on, time to go Mother’s Day shopping!! Hope you have a blessed day!!

“Not flesh of my flesh – Nor bone of my bone – But still miraculously my own – Never forget for a single minute – You didn’t grow under my heart – But in it.”

Wow…it’s been a while!

Hello Everyone – how the heck are ya?!?! So I know it’s been a LLLOOONNNGGGGG time since I’ve been on here to give an update of our crazy, busy, wonderful life!

So here it goes….starting with the house…

Basement: In the family room we have flooring, window coverings (which nerd alert…are AMAZING – you can have them open, closed or sheer – OH and ZERO cords. Told ya…kinda nerdy but I lobe them we ordered them from Budget Blinds), we have a huge couch (perfect for Hunter and his ninja moves), kiddo toys have been moved back to the basement and the bar is coming along! Ryan did an absolutely beautiful job on the bar top. He saw online someplace how to burn wood and use epoxy for the top – seriously, it’s really beautiful and fits perfectly in with the basement. We still need to finish laying flooring in the hall, back bedroom, stairs and landing but at least the family room is done and we have a big tv and couch perfect for movies. Here’s the To Do List for the basement:

  • Install the cupboards at the back of the bar
  • Install the little bar sink
  • Find and install countertops
  • Stain and hang upper cupboards, stain the wood on the edges of the bar
  • Make shelving for under bar for storage

My very talented husband made this bar 🙂 it’s awesome and I love the top!!

I LOVE these blinds/shades – whatever you want to call them! Also, don’t mind the ceiling tiles….they are getting replaced as well. As always, never ending projects.

Basement Bathroom: All the tile is done – I will NEVER use slate tiles again. You have to seal them two to three times before you install them and after need to seal them two more times. It’s a pain in the butt, if you want the color and look of slate find a different tile that looks like it. With that, I am VERY happy with the way the shower has turned out. Grout is Delorean Gray (sand free) looks perfect with the slate and the glass tiles. We also have the same caulking color to match everything – because in my world things need to match.  Vanity and sink are all set up and ready to go, I did notice that the light isn’t centered with the sink and that is going to really bother my OCD brain – but it will be ok, I will survive 🙂  Here’s the newest To Do list:

  • Now need to hang the mirror
  • Install the shower door
  • Install the shower heads and other fixtures
  • Make a cupboard door for the access area to the sump pump
  • Add shelving to the cubby for towels and other items

Back Bedroom/Dog Room: We haven’t done anything in this room except add outlets to the new walls we had to rebuild from the mold. I still need to seal the drywall, paint the whole room, install the flooring, put the moldings back on, and put the closets back together. This room is not high on the list to get things done, but eventually it will get there 🙂

OK So here’s the BEST update EVER….Adoption!

My beautiful boys – heart exploding

Tomorrow our Social Worker will file our first set of paperwork for our Petition of Adoption with Anoka County!!! AHHHHHHH —- Freak out with me! It’s soooooo amazingly exciting I can hardly contain myself!! I know that I haven’t given much of an update on any of the adoption news since January and that’s because we aren’t supposed to right now. I will give a FULL Story once we have our court date. Just know that Mr. Jonah Wyatt is absolutely perfect! I mean look at these Easter pictures – Hunter is an AMAZING big brother and always wanting to help out, I’m so in love with their relationship and it’s just a blessing to see him want to take care of his baby brother. I will say…I’m a little jealous of my three year old…he gets the BIGGEST smiles from Wyatt – I try and try and try but Wyatt just loves watching Hunter and is starting to giggle a little now. It’s magical!

God has truly blessed us with an amazing birth mom and an amazing son. As I’ve said in the past, this entire adoption adventure has been put together by Him and only Him. He had these two picked out for us from the beginning, he was just waiting on us to take that leap of faith and figure out what He was telling us — Adoption is for you — once we started listening things started happening and they happened VERY QUICKLY!

The power prayer is something that we will never be able to comprehend and it’s something that I will never question. When you put it out in the world that you are asking for prayers, small groups, Prayer Works (KTIS), family and friends never fail. Our adoption story is proof of that.

Wyatt will be dedicated on Mother’s Day and these are the two verses that we will present him with:

From his birth mom: Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

From us, his parents: Hebrews 13:20, 21 “Now may the God of peace, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.”

Stay tuned for the Full Story!!

Updates: Basement & Adoption

Hello faithful readers, I hope and trust that you had a wonderful Christmas!

Basement:

We’ve finished tiling the bathroom, now all I have to do is clean up the grout lines, add grout, seal the stone and grout, add the shower fixtures, toilet, vanity, lights and doors. Ryan’s dad will help with finishing the electrical that needs to be done (switches, outlets, lights). I love having talented parents who are able to help near by 🙂 Still feels like we are far away from the finish line with all the little things left – Oh and we need to actually buy a door, but it’s looking awesome and I am very happy with how it’s all coming together.

Family room flooring…my knees and back hurt but it’s coming along! We were able to get two days in with finishing the tiling and starting the flooring. We are using a vinyl plank floating floor for the entire basement (family room, bathroom, hallway, 4th bedroom, stairs and entry landing), right now we are almost done with the family room. We need to add treated 2x4s to where we will put the bar and also put in the cabinets and sink before we can finish laying the flooring. Menards and Home Depot are our best friends lately. I will say I’m LOVING the look of the new floor and I can’t wait to have all the trim and doors done. Hunter already loves being able to run around down there and he’s been very ‘helpful‘ during the floor install. We will need to stain the bathroom door, molding, bar and cabinets to match the existing woodwork because I’m not redoing all of that, so still lots to do, but we are getting closer.

I have to say I have some pretty amazing parents! While dad and I were finishing up in the bathroom for tile, mom was cleaning up the family room and starting to paint! And then once dad and I were done with the bathroom mom was pretty much done painting the family room 🙂 Like I said….I have pretty amazing parents and I am SOOOOOO thankful that they’ve been able to come over and help get things finished. Yesterday while dad and I were working on the floor mom was upstairs getting the nursery ready….

Adoption:

So yes, you read that last sentence correctly. BUT please don’t get overly excited just yet. I know you are asking why? Why can’t I jump up and down and get crazy excited…well, lets go back a week or so and give an update on how things have been going 🙂

OK so on December 20th we had the chance to meet an amazing birth mom through our agency. She is wonderful and she is someone I connected with back in October after reading about her in our adoption month end newsletter. At that time she hadn’t decided if she was going to parent of create an adoption plan. On Wednesday, December 19 she was looking through a lot of different family profile books, and she wanted to meet two families. We were one of them (read my last post, more details). We met with her on the 20th and I feel like we all connected right away, our social worker said that she’s never laughed so much in a first meeting — which we took as a good sign.

After our meeting we weren’t sure what to expect or how soon she might be making a decision. A week went by and during that time baby was born, December 26!! Baby is doing wonderfully and is happy and healthy. We found out on Thursday (12/27) that she picked us! How amazingly wonderful is that!!!!!!! We are beyond excited but still guarded — why you may be asking…well we still aren’t sure who the father is, and until then we won’t know if we are able to bring this beautiful child into our home and love them unconditionally as our baby.

Right now we continue to wait, continue to search for bottles, diapers and other essentials that are packed away. (I want to do a little clothes shopping but I’m not going to – as hard as it is.) We hope and pray that the DNA tests comes back quickly but we aren’t sure how long it will take because of the new year holiday coming up. So for right now baby is in a Gentle Transition Home.

We met with the birth mom today, we also met her mom and her two boys. They were able to meet Hunter today as well and we let the boys play and wear each other out — went to the indoor playground in Maple Grove. FYI that place is AWESOME, I see future birthday parties there.  It was a really great meeting and again Ryan and I felt a calmness around us and we didn’t feel stressed out about meeting everyone or seeing the birth mom again. Honestly it’s all about making sure that the baby is taken care of, and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for us all. It’s really hard not to get excited and start planning things, but then we also don’t want to get too excited because we still aren’t sure how this will all end up.

Continued prayers for our birth mom as this is not an easy decision for her, continued prayers for baby and continued prayers for Ryan and I. God already has this little person’s life planned out, we jut don’t know if it is with us or not.

Do not be afraid, for I am with you; I will bring your children from the east and gather you from the west.

Isaiah 43:5

We need your help

poster-waiting-for-you-800x628Hello everyone out there searching the inter-webs of the cyber world! I am looking for some help, ideas and advice. After our last training meeting two weeks ago for our adoption journey, we learned that we need to find a way to ‘market’ ourselves to possible birth families out there. We were told that the agency will do 50% marketing and we should do the other 50% marketing.

So, I am wondering if you’ve gone through the adoption process in the past or if you know someone who has that would be willing to give advice I am all ears! We have a website (through our agency – the also have 2 profile books we printed and delivered for profile viewings), I try and keep this blog going and we have told anyone and everyone who we talk to about our adoption adventure. We have also reached out to our church and they know we are an official waiting family, we also let our adoption support group at church know as well.

Some of the suggestions from our training:

  • Add a little business card to our holiday cards for friends and family to pass along to those at their church, or if they know of a potential birth family
  • Make flyers and hang up around town (coffee shops, churches, clinics, work…) this one makes me a little more nervous
  • Create an email for all potential birth families vs using our personal email addresses
  • Create multiple profiles for different adoption sites so we are now more visible (there is a cost involved with this option, more than the other options)

One of the families that the agency has worked with created a Craigs List ‘ad’ and actually ended up finding their birth family that way! They did say that they needed to do a LOT of screening and that their social worker talked with multiple people to figure out if they were real interests and not scams. Also right now agencies are noticing that there aren’t a lot of birth families creating adoption plans, this makes me a little nervous as well, I know our child is out there just really unsure of when we will meet them.

With all that said, we need your help! Please feel free to share our story, website, or contact information with anyone and everyone you know 🙂

Website: Ryan and Marianne

Email: ryanandmarianneadopting@gmail.com

Until next time!!

 

 

Holy Cow — We’re OFFICIALLY on the waiting family list!!!

adoption_roadmap_04_find_birthmothers-791x1024Yup that’s right! We are officially a waiting family!!!! I can’t believe it and we are SOOO excited! I know, I know, I know…it can take YEARS to be picked by a birth family BUT this means that we CAN be picked and all the stress of filling out piles of paperwork and getting our finger prints and health physicals and interviews with social workers and everything else has been signed off on and we are OFFICIALLY APPROVED!

So now what…well we wait and continue to pray for our birth family and baby (or babies) to find us. We continue on house projects, adding to the nursery, finishing the basement, fencing in the backyard – there is always going to be an endless ‘to do list’ and I feel more comfortable waiting for our baby now. It was always a “hurry up and wait” feeling but I’m ok with it and I have a peace about it. We know that God always has our little one (ones) picked out for us and he is working in our hearts as well as the birth families heart – we will connect and click and it’s going to be an amazingly awesome adventure.

Speaking of the nursery and house projects…HUGE thank you to my older brother Nick for his help with creating my accent wall 🙂 I absolutely love the way it turned out! Dark walls with white furniture and a whitewashed wood plank wall, and as a fan of Harry Potter – a quote from Albus Dumbledore to add to the room. Right now it is being used at Hunter’s toy room while we finish the basement (it’s been a REALLY slow process waiting for people to come in and do their part). Hunter doesn’t call it his toy room he calls it the baby’s room. “Hold on mom, I need to go to the baby’s room” or “can I go play in the baby’s room” — I love it, he’s ready for a sibling – and if you ask him if he’d like to have a brother or sister, he’ll say sister.

Ryan and I are already going through names and talking about what their personality will be like. How Hunter will react and how awesome it’s going to be. The journey of infertility is not an easy road and for a lot of people it can really break up a marriage or it can bring you closer. I’ve said it before, for Ryan and I, it has only brought us closer. Now going through adoption and having social workers in our home and really deep diving into our financials, pasts and family dynamics it can be stressful and take it’s toll as well. But again, it’s only brought us closer together and both of us feel like this is where we are supposed do be and this is how our family is created. Not how we ever thought our family would be formed but it’s exciting and it’s been an adventure to get here and it will only continue to get better.

Pics of the nursery progress 🙂

If you are just starting out on the adoption adventure of if you have been waiting for a while, I really recommend reading Tandem: A Devotional for Adopting with God at the Lead. It is an amazing devotional and the way that Alison writes, I think she I could be great friends. PLUS she has a Facebook support group you can join and the families on there are truly, truly amazing. The stories that are shared and the different situations others have been in, it’s just really nice to know that you aren’t alone in this and that there are others in the same spot that you can lean on.

So if anyone has any other great options for devotionals to get through a waiting period in your life, I’m welcome to ALL suggestions! Or, if you have any tips on helping to not dwell on waiting let me know! I’ve started a Mary Kay business to help with financials as well as keep myself busy, plus I love meeting new people and sharing our story. There are so many out there who are on the same journey.

Until next time!

Adoption Profile Book & a Little Family Adventure

ProfileHave you ever put one of these together? It’s stressful! How much information do you need, what if you have too much information, what if you don’t have enough, what if the birth families don’t like the pictures that I put in there, what if they think my family is a little too crazy (because lets face it, we are a little), what if they think I have too many pictures of Hunter and not enough or our house or where their baby would be sleeping….the stress and list and worry just goes on and on and on. Last night I went to bed at 1:45 trying to get picture placements just right and put our story in the book but still leave room for more pictures than words. Seems like birth families want to see more pictures than read a story, and I get that too I just want to make sure our story come across through the picture.

I’ve read a lot of blogs on what people look for and it’s ALL OVER THE PLACE!! One birth mom connected with a family because they both liked the same candy, one connected because of the big yard and play set that their child could grow up playing on and one because they looked like a really nice couple and had a big family. So from that, do I put our favorite foods, our favorite snacks or favorite travel spots? What if they think traveling is dangerous (we travel a fair amount), what if they think pizza and tacos aren’t what they want their child eating? Do I sound a little crazy?!? Yes, I think I do.

Any way, I’m happy with how the book is turning out. I still feel like there is a lot more that needs to be in it to try and give a full picture of our family but again, not sure how much is too much. It’s been fun to look through past pictures of friends and family and see how far we’ve come on the family building adventure.

Some page examples….still in the works with the wording but it’s a start 🙂

Now, if you haven’t had the chance or taken the chance to visit the Pacific Northwest YOU NEED TO! We just got back from a MUCH needed family vacation where we started in Medford, Oregon and drove up the coast to Astoria, Oregon to say our final goodbye to my Grandpa Mike. We were able to take our time and not stick to any one agenda, we saw what we wanted to and forgot about the house issues, work stress and adoption for 10 days. It was magical – take the time to go on a trip. Take the time to spend with family and friends. Take the time to unplug and let things go.

A few pictures of our trip – again you gotta see this place!

Well, it’s time to get back to working on our book! If all goes well and or social worker is able to have our report done by the end of this month and I can get our book done by the end of this month……we might be able to be on the waiting family list by August!! AHHHH how amazing would that be?!?!

Life is ALWAYS an adventure…

So as our site says Paddock Family Adventures, we are currently on one of those adventures. Yesterday we headed out from Minnesota and arrived in Oregon for a MUCH needed family vacation. With the stress of all the house issues and the stress of the adoption process we were looking forward to getting a way for a while.

Trip started out normal, left with enough time to check our giant bag as well as the bag that had our car seat and the toddler hiking pack in it. I refused to bring a stroller because I have ‘stroller rage’ with slow people 🙂 First flight was uneventful and long, second flight we had about an hour connection and that flight was only about 45 minutes. Finlly, arrived in Medford (little airport, but very nice).

Here’s where things go a little south, got off the plane made our way to the baggage claim. Our giant bag arrived no issue, BUT the bag with our car seat and hiking pack didn’t make it. In my mind I could care less about the giant bag with our clothes in it, we kinda sorta need the car seat…

I went over to the office for missing luggage, feeling pissed that our things are missing. When I got into the office there was another lady chatting with the guy at the desk. She was on the same flight as us [Sun Country –> Portland –> Alaska Air –>Medford]. Apparently there was an issue in Minneapolis, Sun Country with getting bags on the flights — Awesome! All I can think is that, we still have  2.5 hour drive to our hotel for the night in Crescent City – we NEEDED a car seat.

My turn to talk to the guy at the counter. First I want to say that his name is Chase, red hair and glasses and is completely AMAZING!!!!!! We will be letting Alaska Airlines know how amazingly awesome he is. Anyways, I told him that our car seat didn’t make it and what do we do now? I’ve never had my luggage not arrive at our final destination so this was all new to me. He called Sun Country and the Portland airport to see if they could locate the bag. No luck, no one knew where it was because it wasn’t at any of the airports and it wasn’t on any of the planes.

Chase set us up with a car seat – brand new – and took all of our information. He also went to the Alaska counter and picked us food vouchers for the restaurant in the airport so we could go grab some dinner while he continued to work on finding our bag. Again, he is awesome. Still no luck with the bag but he let us know that anything we go and purchase we can be reimbursed for the expenses. We needed to get a hiking pack for this trip, lucky for us there was an REI about a mile from the airport. We went over to the Enterprise rental counter to pick up the car, I was talking to the lady there and she asked how we were doing – I gave her a little over view of the day and she said “let me see what I can do”, she upgraded our rental to a nicer/larger car with all sorts of bells and whistles!

Made our way to REI found a hiking pack and headed back to the airport to see Chase again. We arrived from Portland at 2:30 pm it is now 7:30 pm and we still haven’t left for the hotel. Met up with Chase, filled out some paperwork for the reimbursement check, got back in the car and started our adventure to the coast!

We go to the hotel around 10:30 pm – which for us is 12:30 pm. I went to go check in, it’s a little hotel with two levels, doors outside. I asked the lady at the desk if we were on the main level because Ryan’s back is not doing great and was using his cane more and more throughout the day. She said that we were set up on the second floor but she gave us a complementary upgrade to a first floor suite. One king size bed for three 🙂

Today we head to the redwoods with our new hiking pack, fully rested and ready for the next adventure!

To be continued….