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

 

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

Can you be nervous and calm at the same time…

63ec46600385c0c55005e44720cfaeb7-open-adoption-birth-mother-300x300Oh boy….so tomorrow is a BIG day for us! Tomorrow afternoon we meet the birth mom who really liked our profile book. I think we are a mixed bag of emotions but every time I think about it I feel calmer than I think that I should. I feel like I’m supposed to be all mixed up and freaking out, but I’m not.

I’ve been drawn to this birth mom since October and I’ve only known here form a paragraph in an email update from the agency but when I think about her I pray for her and I feel God around me keeping me calm. I have no idea what will happen tomorrow or how we will feel or how she is feeling but I’m praying that she feels the same calmness that I do and I hope she can feel the prayers we are all saying for her and the decision she will be making.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m nervous — kinda like a blind date sort of nervous — she only knows us from a book and tomorrow we will get to ask each other questions about our families, what we see for this child, how we would raise them. I’m nervous that I won’t answer a question ‘right’, I’m nervous that I will forget to ask something and then think of it tomorrow night as I’m trying to go to bed. Nervous if we look better in the book vs in person 🙂 You know, all the crazy thoughts that run through my mind.

I am really looking forward to meeting her and seeing what she looks like. From what the Expectant Parent Advocate (EPA) has said she is a wonderful person, easy to talk to, easy to like, very open about everything and won’t shy away from questions. We have some questions from the EPA that she may ask us and we will be getting our list together tonight.

Thank you all for the continued prayers as we navigate this adventure! We know that God has a path already set for this little child and for the birth mom — she is an AMAZINGLY STRONG woman and I wish she knew how much we already love her and support her and pray for her.

Tomorrow at 3:15 we will be meeting her!! I can’t wait to update you on how everything went.

Matt.18.5

We have a meeting with a birth mom this week!!

adoption_roadmap_04_find_birthmothers-791x1024I’d like to start out by saying THANK YOU to everyone who has been praying for us this week. We have some BIG news (if you didn’t get it from the title)….the birth mom we told you about in the last post looked at 19 different profiles on Wednesday and we are one of her TOP TWO choices!!!

It’s been an exciting and stressful week, we found this out we were one of her choices on Thursday afternoon and on Friday morning we met with our social worker to go over what happens next. It was a really good meeting, we learned a little more of what to expect when we meet with the birth mom next week. One thing she said is that our first meeting with her is kinda like a blind date…

She said that it feels really awkward at first but once conversation starts flowing it’s less awkward. We were told that it may feel like an interview with the typical questions: what do you do for a living, what are some of your favorite things to do as a family, do you have family nearby…and then it will shift to the more serious questions: what level of openness are you open to, how do you want to be involved with this child, do you have a named you’d like the baby to have, are there traditions you’d like us to keep….

There are so many different variables playing into this process that it’s really hard to know where to start and it’s really hard to keep a level head about everything. Ryan and I have said a few times that it feels like we’ve been here so many times (not the adoption side of things but infertility), we’ve been on the edge of waiting that I feel like we should be awarded somehow 🙂 It was, are we pregnant, do we have fertility issues, will this baby stick, how many eggs did we retrieve, how many embryos made it, will we lose another baby….I feel like a lot of the same emotions are tied up to this process as well.

And a LOT of unanswered questions for us: will she like us in person vs our book and letter, will we click right away, is she the birth mom that God has chosen for us – if so will we become fast friends and comfortable with each other right away? There is also the fear that it’s Dad A — when baby is born there will need to be a DNA test no matter what and that will really decide which way the adoption will go. Could be with the family that she picks (of course, hoping its us) or will Dad A decided to parent? Again, so many unknowns and I feel like the things that is making us not FULLY freak out is that God already knows. He already knows where this baby is going to, he already knows and has put on the heart of the birth mom, and we have to continue to trust in him and give it to him to take care of for us.

We are working on our ‘interview’ questions and will send them to our social worker for her to review and give us feedback – if anyone has done this before PLEASE share what you asked, we are at a loss and Google isn’t that helpful right now. Again, thank you for the continued prayers we need them, the birth mom needs them and crazy things happen when people pray.

Outline for next week:

  • Wednesday: (no time scheduled yet)
    • Meeting with Social Worker, Expectant Parent Advocate
  • Thursday: 3:15 pm
    • Meeting with Social Worker, Expectant Parent Advocate, Birth Mom
  • We wait to hear if she chose us as her resource family
    • We continue to be diligent in prayer and keep busy trying not to think about it while all we do is think about it 🙂

“Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!” Psalm 27:14

 

 

 

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!!