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….