Monday, December 31, 2012

Goodbye 2012 and Word of 2013


I can't believe that it is really the end of 2012!
What a year!
Last year at this time I never would have thought I would be where I am today. 
That sweet baby Nora would be part of my life.
But now, I can't imagine my life without her.
She brings me so much joy.  More than I can even explain.


I'm looking forward to 2013.
So fun to have a whole new year ahead of us and to wonder where we will be at this time next year! 

Having super specific goals to try to accomplish over the entire year is pretty overwhelming to me so every year I like to make specific monthly goals.
I like to have a 30 day time period where I try to improve/finish/accomplish specific things.
I do, however, make broad goals for the whole year.
This year I have decided to pick a word.
One word that will be kind of a theme for my year.  One general thing that I want to really work on.

The word this year is going to be: 

FOCUS
.

I want to focus on what is really important to me and really enhance those areas of my life.
I want to focus on improving my health and fitness, I want to focus on enhancing/improving my relationships with others, and I want to focus on my faith.
I feel like over the last few months I have let myself get wrapped up in things that don't really matter, things that I could definitely do without.
So, this year, I am going to FOCUS.

My more specific January goals
  • 30 minutes/day building myself spiritually (prayer, scripture study, uplifting talks, ...) 
  • Run 105 miles by the end of the month 
  • No sweet treats One of my sisters and I are doing a bet to see who can do it for the whole month. Heaven help me.. I like my treats.  We do this every once in a while and usually someone caves.  But when I do actually make it to the end, my body always feels so much better. 
  • At least one hour of one-on-one time with each member of my little family every week ...via mama-son dates, play time one-on-one, cooking one-on-one, etc.  My children are always together and I am excited to focus more on having time with each of them on their own.  My boys are getting old enough now that I can really see how important this time alone is for them.. and for me.

Happy 2013!!!


Here are some random pictures from 2012.


Zip-lining in Costa Rica with my sweetie while on an amazing humanitarian trip with some of Davey's work associates.

Riding on a train with my boys.

Announcing our up-coming adoption. After Nora's birth mother told us she was placing her sweet baby with our family.

FSA adoption event.

4th of July balloons bright and early in the morning.

Meeting sweet Nora for the first time.

Leaving the hospital with our Nora. Telling my mom the news.


1 week old.

 In the mountains.

Halloween 2012.

So smiley.


Loves her brothers.

My boys.

My Family 2012.



Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Happy Holidays



I hope you all are thoroughly enjoying the holidays.
Our Christmas was fabulous, I'll be posting pictures later.
We're loving this season with our 3 littles.  How lucky we are to have a new baby in our family this Christmas. 




Friday, December 7, 2012

Happy December! ...and potty training


I love December
But... I don't like the stress that the often comes with the season, so, this year I made a goal....
That I would be all done buying and making gifts before December started.
And I did it!
Presents are wrapped under our tree, packages are ready to be taken to the post office and sent to family far away and Christmas cards were all mailed.
Now, we're focusing on family.
And the more pressing matters at hand....


Jimmy is our stubborn one and hasn't had any interest so we've waited to potty train him.
And he was born super early so he has an excuse.
But, that excuse no longer stands when his baby sister starts wearing the same size diapers as him, that's where I draw the line.
Potty training time it is.
Have any tips for us?





Thursday, November 29, 2012

An Adoption Video


Totally cried.
Adoption is beautiful. 


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

I Wish I Were a Neat Freak


I am in major need of help.
Anyone know of some sort of class/website/person who can teach me how to consistently be organzied?
I have a problem.
I am overwhelmed and feeling a little bit like I want to lay down and watch all of Grey's Anatomy instead of getting a start on my house of total disarray.
I know I have some bloggy friends out there who are tidy and extremely organized.
Can you help me?
My husband will thank you.
What sort of tips can you share with someone as non-neat-and-organized as me?
What helps you to get organized and stay that way?

I would share a picture with this post but the pictures on the subject (my house) would be much too embarrassing.

Instead.... I'll share this video.
What a fun way to look at the world this Thanksgiving.




I hope you have a happy Thanksgiving!!



Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Three



This Thanksgiving I am thankful that Davey and I have THREE littles to experience the Holidays with.




Linked up: Anderson Crew

Monday, November 19, 2012

Las Vegas Ragnar!


 
About a week ago I ran the Las Vegas Ragnar.
I didn't bring my camera (big mistake) so I stole some pictures from my team mates so I could document the trip.
I've done the Wasatch Back before but never the Vegas one so I was excited to try something new.
And it turned out to be super fun!
Mostly because I got to run it with some really great people, including my sister and her family.
I don't see my cute sister nearly enough.

Me with my sister Jo.

We had a "Super Hero" theme, obviously....
We had a super fun team, some of them I had never met before. 
I love meeting new people and this experience didn't disappoint.


Me and Wonder Woman.


My cute niece.  She is in high school and she ran the Ragnar. Awesome girl.




Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Voting Day



It's not too late to go vote if you haven't already!




Happy Voting Day!

Friday, November 2, 2012

One Proud Mama


You know those days where you feel like you're not doing enough?
Like you could be a better wife/parent/friend?

Well, I have plenty of days like those but today is NOT one them!
My goodness, I've done it.
I am one proud mama today.
Let me start from the top...

Like many other people out there, I hate spiders.
So much.
They give me the heeby jeebies... in an extreme way.
So, obviously, Davey is spider squisher at our house.
When there is a spider, I scream and he squishes. It's worked quite well over the years.

Except....
For when Davey isn't home.

I have to either squish the spider myself (shudder) or run away from it and try to pretend I never saw it... Which then results in me feeling like it's crawling on me for the rest of the day.
Either option isn't really acceptable.

Which brings me to why I am so proud today.
Mason has started squishing spiders for me.
Weird thing is... I think he kinda loves it.
He came running into the room today with my shoe and a smashed spider on the bottom of it.
He was so proud.

And so was I.

 


Victory face. Telling the spider who's boss.



Sorry for the blurry cell phone pics.  I had to document this moment quickly as Mason wanted to immediately flush the spider down the toilet.

Have a fabulous weekend!


Thursday, November 1, 2012

Our Adoption Journey - Part 2 - A Little Bit Broken


I decided it fitting to post Part 2 of our adoption journey today as it's the first day of November, National Adoption Awareness Month.
To read Part 1 of our Adoption journey, click HERE.
This section (part 2) was hard for me to write but I feel it is necessary.
It's part of our story and maybe we can encourage or help those who may go through failed adoptions or adoption scams.
Yes, I said adoption scams.
They do happen.  We learned that the hard way.

...

Summer 2009
After receiving that awful news, the idea of adoption gave me comfort.
But, with a little one in the hospital and another at home, we knew it would be a little while before we got the process started.
After four and a half months we were able to bring Jimmy home from the hospital and begin a somewhat normal lifestyle.  As normal as it could be when your baby, who is already hooked up to oxygen, also has to be fed through a tube.


But, he was a trooper.
He thrived.

Watch his first year video HERE.

About a year and a half later we started talking about adoption again.
I knew the process could take a long time (and I am always baby hungry) so I thought that maybe we should get started.
Dave, on the other hand, was a little more sane.
He thought that we should take our time.
So, we slowly started gathering information, we attended some adoption information meetings and we started raising funds for our adoption (via adoption yard sales, adoption fundraising programs, etc).

Late summer of 2011 - we really started filling out paperwork through LDS family Services.
We heard that adoptions could take years so, at this point, we both agreed to get our papers in quickly.

By November of 2011 we had all of our papers in, homestudy done, and we were just waiting to be approved.

December 2011 - We were approved and up online for expectant parents considering adoption to see.

getting the word out on our blog

I remember feeling so antsy as soon as our profile went up.
Are expectant mothers viewing our profile? Do they like us? What if they don't like us?  Are our pictures ok?  Do we look normal?  Do we look too young?  Do we seem friendly enough?  Are we going to be contacted soon or will we be waiting forever?

getting the word out on Facebook


Then it happened.

A few days after our profile went up (in December 2011) we were contacted.
She contacted us via Facebook.  We'll call her "S" here.
I immediately recognized her. We had gone to high school together.
S was very sweet and explained her situation...
(this is the condensed version)
She didn't live far from us and she was due May 2012.
She already had 3 children and was expecting her 4th but she and her husband were going though a divorce and they could not afford to have another baby so they had decided to place this baby for adoption.

We chatted back a forth fo a while on Facebook.
She was so nice.
I felt so sad for her, for her situation. She was so sweet and I felt that she didn't deserve everything she was going through.  My heart ached for her.
She told me how much pain she had been feeling... until she saw our profile.
She said she felt so good about us as the family for her baby and she wanted to meet us in person.
My heart was racing.  Was this really happening?  Was this woman carrying the baby that would soon join our family?

She said she hadn't yet met with a caseworker, but she had an appointment scheduled with an LDS Family Services caseworker the next week.
We messaged and texted back and forth a lot in the meantime.
She told us how much she liked us, how excited she was to get together and go over the details of the adoption in person, etc.
She told us about her ultrasound appointment and excitedly told us SHE WAS HAVING A GIRL!
I was ecstatic!
Meanwhile, Dave is always a little more practical than I am...
He said we needed to be careful.
That this might not work out.
That we should try not to get our hopes up.

The day of S' appointment with her caseworker came and I anxiously awaited her call.
She texted and told us that she had to cancel because of a family emergency but would reschedule as soon as she could.
Later she let us know that she met with a caseworker who suggested she look through more profiles, just to be sure that we were the family she wanted to place with.
She said she looked through TONS and she was sure we were the family.
Meanwhile, my caseworker asked us for S' name so she could search for her in the LDSFS system.
We gave her S' name and didn't expect what came next...

There was nobody with that name in the LDS Family Services system in Utah.
Nor was there anyone with that name working with LDSFS anywhere in the United States.

Our caseworker told us to keep in contact with her, just in case there was a mix-up in the system and she really is a legitimate expectant mother considering placing her baby, but to be careful, as this is looking a lot like a scam.
She then told us to ask S for her caseworker's name so she could contact her/him (if they exist).

We texted S and asked her if she could give us her caseworker's name
And we never heard back.

About a month went by and in January 2012 I decided to write S a message on Facebook.
At this point we were almost positive that she was scamming us but I really wanted to give her the benefit of the doubt.
She wrote back saying that she had been having a hard time with everything but she still wanted to place with us....

"We would still like to meet up and talk with you and still place our baby with you. We have continued to look at profiles and still nothing has caught our eye. I'm sorry you havent heard back from me. and my lds counselor said herself or you conusleor could meet with us if that would make you guys more comfortable smile"

Because of the sketchiness of the situation our caseworker told us that she wanted to be there for the first meeting.  We wrote S back and let her know that we would still LOVE to meet with her and our casework would love to be there too, if that was alright.

We didn't hear back for several months.

Meanwhile we talked with a couple other birthmothers who were looking into our family.
One of them stopped contact with us after a few weeks.
The other had a baby boy that was several months old that she looking to place with a loving family.
She was sure about our family and we were thrilled to start the process with her and her son.
We got emotionally involved and were thrilled to add another baby boy to our family.
Then, before we could start the process with her, it ended abruptly.
In short, we were devastated and extremely discouraged.

Another "expectant" young lady contacted us later via Facebook.
We'll call her "W" here.
We got to know W (or who we thought was her). 
We really liked her. And apparently, she really liked us.
She said she wanted to place her baby girl with us.
She shared ultrasound pictures and details about her life.
She said she didn't want to go through an agency.
We were excited but a little nervous because of everything we had already been through.
We kept writing back and forth.
She lived in another state so we asked if we could video chat with her.  She said she didn't have a computer so that wouldn't be possible... so we kept writing via Facebook.
W started complaining about her living situation and how she had to live in a hotel because she didn't have any money.
She asked how we were going to pay her hospital bills and we told her that, especially if we weren't going through an agency, we would be working very closely with an adoption lawyer and we would work out the payments that way.
She seemed to understand.
Our communication continued.  W was a sweet girl who seemed sure she wanted to place with us.
We were a little excited but still apprehensive.
Then she got "sick".
The placement ended up not working out and she ended up losing the baby.
We felt so sad.  Not just for us, but for her. If all of this was legitimate, she was going through a lot, that poor girl.
Later on I decided to do some searching.  All of this just seemed a little bit crazy.
I ended up finding a Facebook page that was created to help raise awareness about adoption scams.
I found 2 other families who were in contact with the same girl.
I guess she also told them that she would place with them.
Then, according to them, she got sick and lost the baby. Same story.


Months after we had heard from her last, S sent me an urgent message.  I needed to contact her immediately.
She was in the hospital.
They were trying to stop her contractions because her baby wasn't supposed to come for several more weeks.
She said she talked to a social worker at the hospital and told her that she was placing her baby for adoption and we were the family she was going to.
She said to be ready... because the baby might be coming soon.

We were so confused.  We had been so sure that she was scamming us.
We let our caseworker know and she immediately did some digging for us.
She told us to ask for the social worker's name that S was talking to at the hospital.
S gave us the name and our caseworker called the hospital and asked for that social worker.
They said there wasn't a social worker with that name at that hospital.... or in the state of Utah.
To make a long story short...
Our caseworker called S and set up a meeting.
She had been lying all along an had never met with our agency, which is why we could never get her caseworker's name.
She never showed up to the meeting.
She was scamming us all along.
We messaged her and told her that we needed to move on. We wished her luck with everything.  And stopped all communication with her.

That was that.

2 real birth mothers.
2 fake ones.
And a whole lotta heart ache.

I still have an extremely hard time understanding why someone would do this to people.
Adoptive couples put themselves in a very vulnerable place and they take advantage of that.
So sad.

I felt a little bit broken.
I wasn't sure I could handle this kind of pain any longer.

We went on a little trip with Davey's work to Costa Rica.
It couldn't have come at a better time.
It was wonderful to get away from all of this.
It was the trip of our lives, we had an amazing time.


On our last day there I checked my e-mail.
My heart stopped.
There was an e-mail from an expectant mother.
She was interested in getting to know us.

I read the e-mail out loud to Davey.
He seemed really optimistic about this one, which was saying something.

My eyes welled up with tears, I looked at my sweetie and said,

"Are we ready for this?"

....

Stay tuned for Part 3 - Meeting our birthmother!



Linked up - The Anderson Crew

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween!


Happy Halloween!
My boys are so excited to go trick-or-treating tonight they can hardly stand it.


You'd think they hadn't already gone trick-or-treating twice at parties within the last few days.


They wanted to dress as ghosts this year so we headed to a local thrift store, bought two pillowcases for $1 each, sewed the corners in at the top and cut holes for the face and arms and voila!... two ghost costumes! 


They may not look professional but they sure made my boys happy.


On Saturday morning a friend and her family hosted a 5k to help raise money for their adoption so we threw on our costumes and joined in! 
Nora's birth mother came with us and we had fun!
Here are some phone pictures.
I'll be leaving out the pictures with her in them to protect her privacy.


He was miserable during the run...

 Then cheered up afterward when they got candy.



Hope you all have a happy Halloween!




Monday, October 29, 2012

Sleeping Baby



There's something so magical about a sleeping baby.
They fight it and fight it.
And fight it.
But once they fall asleep, my heavens, they look so peaceful.
We have an angel baby who really isn't hard when she is awake.
She is so smiley and really just cries when she is hungry or overly tired.
Our last baby (Jimmy) was so so hard, we were ready for anything when little Nora arrived but, luckily, she is a super easy going baby.
Phew.

Up until now Nora has kinda just slept whenever but we're trying to establish some order around here so we're attempting kind of a sleep schedule.
Which is where you come in.
I need some tips from you mothers out there.
How many naps did your babes have?  What was their sleep/awake schedule like during the day?
Do you ave any advise you could give me?
Please... share your wisdom.