In the wee hours…

It’s very early here. I’m up…and the only one at the moment. Pumpkin will be waking any minute for his next feed. But, I thought I’d write a quick update. This list is not in order of importance…rather what comes to mind over the 2 hours it took to write this.

  • Today will be Cadet’s last session of ABA therapy…forever. His therapists have re-administered a few assessment tests, and he’s solidly in the “normal for age-range” categories in everything. Seeing the leaps he’s made in the last year is just tremendous. It’s like he’s a whole different kid…talking up a storm, playing, making observations, and asking a few questions. Sure, he’s still dealing with sensory issues, but we’re working through them.
  • Pumpkin is doing well. Thriving, actually. We switched formulas and bottle types, and both have helped quite a bit. He still refuses to sleep anywhere but in our arms (or, if transferred carefully, the swing). He’s up every 3 hours for a feed, and seems to be doing just fine. We’re all exhausted, but that’s to be expected.
  • We took Pumpkin in to be evaluated for a tongue tie. He has one, but the ENT doctor said he was reluctant to take care of it. Despite the tongue tie, Pumpkin has a very strong mouth and his suck/latch is good. The tongue tie is no longer just a web of membranes…it’s got substance to it. The doctor was concerned that there would be lots of bleeding and it may not heal quickly. Since it’s not really interfering with his food intake (Pumpkin is a good eater), the doctor suggested waiting until we know the tongue tie will cause issues with speech. I’m getting a second opinion after the holidays. Not that I don’t trust the ENT, but this is something that I really want to be looked at and evaluated.
  • I had a brief conversation with MsJ earlier this week. She’s back at work, but things are still financially hard for her. She said she’s doing well, and that she loves the pictures I’ve been texting her. MsJ always wanted Cadet to have a sibling. She wanted to hear all about Cadet’s successes and our plans for the holiday.
  • I’ve been in daily contact with MsV. She continues to have medical problems, which seem to stem from a previously undiagnosed disorder (bleeding/clotting related) and high blood pressure. She has been on bed rest for most of the last 5 weeks, which has been really rough on her. For Christmas, McRuger and I decided to send her a few little things…along with some art supplies for her kids. Hopefully that will cheer her up a little. We’ve had a few good conversations about adoption in general and how she’s feeling about everything. She’s honest about how incredibly hard this is, but she still maintains that this was what was best for her and Pumpkin.
  • After an exhaustive search of local tree lots, I finally brought home a Christmas tree (McRuger watched the boys). It’s currently undecorated…but it’s a tree and it’s up!
  • The last week has brought a ton of rain to our area, and it’s been wonderful! After a year of a bad drought, every drop helps. Plus, Cadet has been enjoying stomping in puddles.
  • My mom is flying into town in a few hours. She’ll be here until my father drives down for Christmas, then they will drive back together. It will be really nice to have a bit of extra help. I’m looking forward to (perhaps) getting more than 5 hours of sleep at a time…or at least taking a nap.
  • Today I interviewed a potential new babysitter. I can’t tell you what a rough road finding a new sitter has been. Today’s sitter interviewee at least showed up (45 minutes late, but she was here). I’ve had several candidates just NOT show up. Today’s interview went well. The young woman is nice, but young (21) and I’m not sure about her maturity level. We have “trial run” set up for the week after Christmas. But, the search continues….
  • After weeks of dealing with a dishwasher that only worked every few days (i.e. randomly), our landlord finally got someone out to inspect it. Turns out, it is actually in need of repairs, but we’re unsure when those will happen…but I’m hopeful that it will be before Christmas.
  • Christmas shopping is done, which is a relief. Instead of wrapping paper this year, we’re “wrapping” everything in reusable bags (made from up-cycled Christmas tablecloths and dish towels). I’ve always hated all that waste on Christmas morning, so this solves that issue. McRuger and I aren’t technically exchanging gifts. Basically, I got him several things that he wanted…and vice versa…and so we’ll just put them under the tree. He got some new headphones, some shoes (already wearing them), a few books, and a new computer bag. I’m getting some new shoes (already wearing them), a piece of artwork I’ve been lusting after, some linen towels, and a new purse. Cadet and Pumpkin each have two nice presents (Cadet’s getting a whale-shaped rocking chair!!!), a clothing item, and a few books. Their “experience” this year will be a trip to the mountains (snow) later this winter.
  • After a HUGE debacle (for the second year in a row with the same company) with our Christmas cards, they finally arrived. I, in my sleep-deprived haze, ordered too few of them and didn’t realize my mistake until halfway through addressing them…so only 35 cards are going out this year (last year it was 50). I got all of the family done, some friends, and a few professional contacts. But, I’m sad that I’ll be skipping some people.
  • McRuger and I have been making plans for the years ahead. Nothing huge on the horizon, but we’ve been saving to buy a house. And while, it’s probably another year off or so, we’re starting to seriously talk about what we’re looking for and what we need to do. As I’ve mentioned before, housing prices are insane here and bidding wars are very common, so it’s going to take a while to find the right place. But, we’re solidly working toward that goal. We, most likely, won’t be able to afford to stay in our neighborhood. One of the houses (similar to ours) down the street just sold for 850K (that’s a 11oo square food house with one bathroom, folks…nothing special). A house which McRuger and I both love recently went up for sale at 995K…which is a crazy amount of money…and sold within two weeks. So, we’re looking into different cities/neighborhoods which might be more “budget friendly”, however, the entire area is similarly insane.
  • It’s been amazing to watch Pumpkin’s personality emerge. Cadet was always a very serious and contemplative baby. He didn’t make much noise, and did a lot of looking around (often with a scowl). Pumpkin is much more noisy. He grunts, squeaks, coos, hums, and (of course) cries. Unless he’s asleep, Pumpkin is making noise. Pumpkin is also a much more smiley baby. We’ve already gotten a some social smiles, a few giggles, and lots of cooing. And wow, Pumpkin is very excited by Cadet. Every time Cadet is around Pumpkin, Pumpkin is staring him down….following him with his eyes. The brothers are bonding already.
  • We had read about it…knew it was coming…and weren’t entirely prepared: Cadet trying to “regress” back to being a baby. That’s right…my 40 lb 3 year old wants to be rocked, burped, and fed like a baby. And, while, it’s lovely to have the snuggles…it’s not always fun. Because, Cadet also cries when he doesn’t get what he wants. And, when I’m home alone, two boys who are crying is a lot. We’ve been doing our best to give Cadet concentrated “mama/papa time”. Snuggles in bed in the morning, extra walks with papa, more story time with mama, getting to go on errands to the store (and getting a little treat here and there), and lots of extra hugs and snuggles. We’ll see how things progress.
  • Last week, one of my local-ish bloggy friends, noemi, sent me a box of some toys that her children were no longer using. The toys are beautiful wood (and a few plush) toys. I must say, it made my entire week (and Cadet’s too). That box arriving felt like a lifeline on that particular day, and made me feel just a bit more connected to the outside world. And, seeing the smile on Cadet’s face when he got to play with some new toys was so wonderful! Thank you so much noemi!!
  • Another local bloggy friend (you know who you are) stopped by and held Pumpkin for 90 minutes so I could focus on Cadet. It was wonderful to have that time with her…and with Cadet. Thank you!!
  • Someone asked me for the link to the crochet stars I’ve been making. HERE is the link I used (scroll for very helpful videos).  They crochet up quick once you get the pattern down. I’ve been experimenting with different yarn weights and needle sizes. No matter what combination I’ve used, all the stars have been lovely. However, a warning, the stars have a tendency to curl up at the tips. So, if you want it to be flat, soaking it an a diluted glue solution and letting it dry is useful!! I will also mention that I looked at several different star patterns, and this one was the easiest. The points are all made generally the same way, but the inner circle methods vary wildly. This is the only one which didn’t require too much chaining/counting.

Since starting this post (almost two hours ago at 3am): Pumpkin has had a feed and a diaper/clothing change, Cadet has had a crying fit because I wouldn’t let him have gummy bears or carrots (he’s now back asleep), and I’ve tussled with the heater to get it turned on. Oh, plus a rather long Facebook convo with a new friend I’ve made…she was up feeding her son as well (two weeks older than Pumpkin…and has the same name). Now I’m going to try to catch a few minutes of shut-eye before I have to go pick my mom up from the airport (in 2 hours). Sigh.

Hope you all are doing well. I’m reading everything…but rarely have time/thoughts to comment. Thank you all for keeping me sane!

Categories: Adoption, Celebrations, developmental delay, Family, health, McRuger, Pumpkin | 7 Comments

Oh for the love of…..

  • Our garage has flooded for the 3rd time in as many weeks. Seriously. I can’t make this stuff up. It’s all tied into how the new water heater was installed. I think we’ve finally fixed the problem permanently, but we won’t know until I run the next load of wash. At least, at this point, the stuff we store in the garage is all in plastic or stored off the ground.
  • Pumpkin has a tongue tie…hence the trouble eating. I diagnosed it after doing a little reading. It was confirmed at his one month check up. He goes in this week to get it fixed, apparently a very easy and simple procedure. However, until then, our feeding challenges continue. We’ve also moved him to a “gentle” formula, which has helped a little.
  • We are all exhausted. Seriously. Since Cadet isn’t napping (oh why?!?!?), getting a break to nap is pretty impossible for me. And since Pumpkin refuses to sleep in anything but someone’s arms or the swing (a distant second), just getting a moment to relax is a challenge. McRuger helps when he can, but he’s also still working.
  • Speaking of working….just before Pumpkin was born, McRuger’s boss handed McRuger a whole new level of responsibility. Basically shoved a ton of new technology at him, which McRuger is now responsible for. Paternity leave? HA! McRuger will be taking a little of his paternity leave after the new year and a few days here and there…but that’s it. No six weeks off. I’m pretty bummed by it. Yes, it’s our choice not to take the time off, but it still is rough.
  • We’re still in daily contact with MsV. She has good days and bad days, but she says that seeing pictures of Pumpkin make it so much better. I try to send at least one picture a day. I’m hopeful that I can put together some sort of picture book for her before Christmas.
  • Christmas still feels like some distant thing. We have no decorations up, other than our advent candles and a few postcards. I finally got around to ordering our Christmas cards, and that should help the Christmas mood a little. My shopping is generally done, and we’re keeping things pretty simple again this year. Cadet is getting a kid-sized rocking chair, a few books, and a few little cars. Pumpkin is getting some new clothes, a woolen hat, and a soft book.
  • After almost a month of being home with Pumpkin, we are finally completely unpacked. Laundry is still a mess, but we’re working on it. I did a complete purge of Cadet’s toys, and managed to pack away or donate at least half of them. Toys seem to breed over night. Mostly he has been given lots of “big brother” gifts and that had spiraled out of control. He’s back down to two baskets of toys…yay.
  • Last week, I had a conversation with Cadet’s case manager. It was a conversation about the future. Basically, she wanted to know how I saw the next six months with Cadet. We both agreed that Cadet continuing his ABA therapy for autism is a joke. Every time they come up with a new program for him, he blows through it in a few hours…and is bored with it by the end of the week. And since we all know now that he’s not autistic, continuing with therapy seems strange. We agreed that until the end of the year, sessions will be normal (mostly to give him a little extra attention). After that, we’ll taper down to two hours a week (currently at 8) over the course of a month or so. His speech and OT therapies are already at “maintenance levels”, and my goal is that by February/March, he has only one or two sessions a month. And that by summer, he’s only in OT as needed. Sadly, our favorite therapist is leaving at the end of the year, so I’m not sure how much that will change Cadet’s schedule.
  • I found that I was sorely missing “me” time…even just a few minutes and I missed crafting even more. So, I’ve started crocheting Christmas stars. It was a new challenge for me, and it works wonderfully well. It’s a quick craft (taking about 5 minutes per star) and so I have time to make several during the day. I use the opportunity to center myself and take a breath.
  • McRuger and I are managing to find time for each other, but it’s much more challenging. Sometimes “us time” is 20 minutes at the end of the day or maybe during Cadet’s “quiet time”. But we’re managing to sneak it in here and there. It’s not the kind of quality time we’re used to, but it’s getting us through.
  • Cadet’s speech therapist has recommended a few iPhone apps for Cadet to help his speech. While we don’t do much screen time here, I’ve made a small exception for these two apps. One for numbers and one for letters, and I have noticed that they really have helped in his pronunciation. He’s only allowed to use his “therapy phone” for 20 minutes during Pumpkin’s afternoon nap (this gives me time to wash bottles and start dinner prep).
  • We haven’t heard much from MsJ. I’ve texted and called a few times, but nothing. I think she’s back to work after her maternity leave. I continue to send her pictures and updates on Cadet.
  • That’s pretty much it. I want to thank all of you who reached out (via e-mail, Facebook, or IRL) after my last post. It made me feel much more connected…and I appreciate it SOOOO much.

Want to know more about MicroBlog Monday? Click HERE!

Categories: Adoption, autism, Cadet, Celebrations, Friends, Household, Marriage, McRuger, Motherhood, Pumpkin | 6 Comments

Microblog Monday

It’s cold. It’s early. I’m exhausted beyond words. Cadet is eating a bowl of cereal with a hat on as the heater slowly warms up the house. Pumpkin is sleeping. McRuger is sleeping. The house is beyond chaotic, it looks like five babies live here…instead of one baby and one little kid. Getting into a rhythm has been a challenge…especially when only the kids are sleeping for decent amounts of time.

Only a handful of friends have checked in to see how things are going. One local friend brought by dinner which was delightful and a treat. So, I feel insanely isolated right now. Even family has remained distant, only one cousin offering to visit soon. I’m not sure why that is, but I’m hoping that it’s just because every one is busy, and not something personal.

Thankfully, it’s Thanksgiving week. McRuger gets this whole week off. We are having our own personal “Thanksgiving” on Tuesday so we can make sure to have time to visit with family later in the week.

Pumpkin had his 3 week checkup on Friday. He’s growing like a weed (already up to 8 pounds). Dr. Smiles was thrilled to get to know Pumpkin (he’s technically not taking any new patients). The only concern is Pumpkin’s eating and how well he’s tolerating his formula. While Pumpkin is eating just fine, he seems to be in a bit of pain afterwards and having lots of gas. We’re going to try a different formulation of his current formula, and if that doesn’t work…then something new. Pumpkin is also not a fan of sleeping on his back. AT. ALL. So, McRuger and I end up wearing him quite a bit in order to get anything done.

How’s Cadet? Wow. Thrilled with him and his reaction to Pumpkin. Seriously folks, it’s love. Cadet wants to hold, sing, kiss, and “play” with Pumpkin. Seriously cute stuff. Cadet has also recently been singing A LOT of songs. Cadet is always singing in the car. He sings songs he makes up, Christmas carols that I’ve been teaching him, and family songs. Cadet’s language continues to grow and improve. He’s pretty quick in picking up new words/phrases. He is understanding more and more concepts these days…basically blowing our expectations out of the water.

How’s having two children? Hard. Really hard. Not going to lie. We’re making it work right now, but it is challenging. McRuger takes Cadet. I take Pumpkin. And McRuger and I barely have any time to see each other. So much of the challenge right now is just feeling awake enough to be present for both (or even one) child.

We’ve been texting with MsV every day. She’s still on maternity leave from work, and says she’s enjoying the break. She says that the holidays will be hard on her emotionally, but that she’s got a lot of family surrounding her with love. Plus, she’s availing herself of the counseling that we offered, which is great. Our attorney has also spoken to her on several occasions since we left the state, offering her additional support and love.

This last weekend, we had our family pictures taken for our Christmas card. It felt so good to get that done, and to feel like the holidays are really approaching. Our photographer, the same one who has been with us since Cadet’s birth, really enjoyed taking pictures of Cadet…trying to capture his energy and joy on film. I can’t wait to get the prints back.

Trust me, I’ve been reading everything you’ve been writing. Mostly in bed, at night, waiting for Pumpkin to drift off…so I can drift off. Thank you!!!

Want to know more about Microblog Mondays…go here.



Categories: Adoption, Cadet, Family, Household, McRuger, Pumpkin, speech | 13 Comments

It’s not perfect, but it’s home…

On Thursday we flew home. It was a LONG trip, and I am eternally grateful to MIL for insisting that she accompany me back to California. You see, I was quite confident that I could handle the 4.5 hour flight home…HAHAHAHAHA.

In the end, it wasn’t my kiddos who were the problem…it was other people. We had purchased 3 seats: Cadet, MIL, and then one for me (wearing Pumpkin). Cadet got the window seat, because…well…that’s the most exciting seat on a plane for a toddler and it kept him busy for much of the trip. Yet, like the young man with SPD that he is, Cadet moved around quite a bit. Not kicking or jumping around…just moving and shifting…and occasionally bumping into the seat in front of him. And that’s where the problem started…

The 20-something woman in front of Cadet was VERY ANGRY when Cadet bumped against her seat. He did it maybe 5 times the first hour…nothing strong or serious…just bumps as he moved around. The woman reacted VIOLENTLY to every bump…by slamming her body back against the seat and (essentially) causing the seat to hit Cadet (if he was standing up) and scaring him. Within an hour of taking off, she suggested (more than once) that perhaps Cadet should be moved to another seat on the plane. The plane was full…no empty seats…except the one next to her. Eventually, Cadet moved to the middle seat to nap…but the woman still found things to complain about. The woman complained to the flight attendants, who saw Cadet doing NOTHING exceptional and told the woman to relax. The woman spent the rest of the flight huffing and cursing every time Cadet spoke or moved.

However, HuffyWoman wasn’t the only issue on the flight. There were the other children (5 or 6 from one family)…all of whom under 10, but over 5…who spent the entire flight throwing horrendous tantrums. I mean screaming, throwing themselves in the aisle, and pounding the floor. While their parents drank lots of wine and/or gin…and made no attempt to shush them or corral them. I don’t mean to judge, perhaps there were other issues going on…but it did make the trip more stressful.

My boys were good…golden even. A few poopy diapers from Pumpkin, a bit of boredom from Cadet…naps for them both…and no screaming.

During one of Pumpkin’s diaper changes, his umbilical stump fell off. When I got back to my seat, I heard the captain announce that we were exactly half way through the flight. How symbolic!!

Coming home was amazing. It borders the same feeling I got when I graduated from high school or finished my senior thesis in college…I couldn’t stop exhaling. I. Am. Home.

Settling in has been insanely chaotic. I arrived home to find that our hot water heater had sprung a leak and partially flooded our garage floor. McRuger’s car had a dead battery (and was parked behind mine, so I couldn’t get my car out). Our thermostat had lost power at some point and stopped working. And…hahaha…our new dishwasher refused to turn on. So, much of Thursday evening and Friday were spent not settling into a routine, but fixing the broken stuff. MIL helped me with a lot of it, while my mom (who had arrived at the house the night before) watched the kids. If you’re keeping score: the water heater has been replaced, the thermostat has power…but our dishwasher and McRuger’s car refuse to fall into line.

MIL flew home on Saturday morning. She cried so hard to leave Cadet and Pumpkin. She really loved spending time with them.

I’ve been texting with MsV every day. She says that seeing the pictures of Cadet and Pumpkin helps her feel more peaceful with everything. She’s texted me several pictures of her and the kids, and given me updates on their school. I’ve also been texting with MsJ…she’s over-the-moon that Cadet is a big brother.

Today, McRuger finally made it home from Asia (his plane was delayed by 6 hours!!). He brought me home a beautiful cashmere scarf, Cadet got a new toy car, and Pumpkin got a shirt. It’s so good to have him home! Amazingly wonderful to be in his arms again. It just doesn’t feel like family when he’s gone.

We’re all getting used to having a baby in the house again. Even though I had everything I thought I needed for a newborn…I really didn’t have the house set up for one. Mom and I have spent the last few days getting the living room set up for Pumpkin. He’ll sleep in the living room for the first few weeks, and then move into our bedroom once we’ve settled into a more predictable schedule.

Pumpkin is (so far) a pretty easy baby. Diaper changes are traumatic because of his yeast infection (which is better, but not gone). He’s still figuring out the whole “digestion” thing…often having several poopy diapers in the space of an hour…then going for several hours without one. He loves to sleep (duh, hello newborn world) and eat. He gets very serious when he gets hungry. It’s like he knows that eating is important business! We will see Dr. Smiles later next week, since there’s no real rush to see him sooner. Pumpkin is gaining weight, happy, and no issues.

Cadet has been wonderful. Truly wonderful. Cadet loves to watch Pumpkin, help find Pumpkin’s pacifier, or gently rub Pumpkin’s back when I’m holding them both. There have been a few close calls when Cadet hasn’t been paying attention to his body, but nothing serious at all. If you’re friends with me on, you can see the loving pictures of the brothers. Those aren’t staged…it’s how Cadet feels about Pumpkin and it warms my heart. I’m sure the newness will wear off, but I’m enjoying the love for the moment.

This next week will be one of adjustment. My mom will be here for a while, and McRuger has to go to work for a few days to get things settled. Then, it looks as if MIL/FIL will be returning for Thanksgiving…and then the slow build-up to Christmas (which my parents are coming here for….). Busy, busy, busy.

Categories: Adoption, Pumpkin | 8 Comments

The kick is good!!!

On the first flight home on Thursday. All of us. There are still a few legal issues to sort through, but none of them too serious. Thank you all for your love and best wishes!!

Categories: Other Stuff | 14 Comments

It’s not all perfect…

I’d love to tell you that we’re home. But, we’re not. To say it’s been a frustrating few days would be an enormous understatement. Legally, I can’t go into much of the details. But, I’ll give you a sketch of what has happened instead.

One of the lawyers involved with this adoption did something pretty stupid. In an attempt to make the process “move faster”, the lawyer attempted to circumnavigate a little part of the adoption law. The attorney did this without permission…ours or MsV’s. This attorney swears up and down that it was legal, and everything should have been approved by the ICPC offices of both states. Instead, one state took a pretty big exception to the “work-around”, and has denied our permission to leave. The other state is holding up our permission to leave until everything is fixed.

Sadly, this “work-around” also may jeopardize the adoption if things go really bad. I don’t have a feeling that everything will go sideways, but it is a possibility that I have to keep in my mind.

So, we’re stuck in State X until this mistake can be fixed. MIL arrived on Wednesday, and McRuger left on Saturday for China. Cadet is seriously dysregulated…and everyone is deprived of sleep…except Pumpkin. My MIL is driving me up the wall with the small things she forgets to do….like feeding checking Cadet’s diaper before he goes to bed or writing down how much Pumpkin ate while I’m out with Cadet. But, I’m grateful for her help…even if it’s limited.

How’s Pumpkin? He’s doing well. He’s gained back all of his birth weight and is now past 7 pounds…he looks more like a baby! Currently he does have a bit of a yeast infection around his groin, which the doctor said is pretty normal for babies in this climate at this time of year. So, he’s on a prescription cream to clear that up, but even in the last 24 hours it looks better.

We’ve been using this time in State X to spend a ton of time with MsV. We’ve been out to dinner, local parks, the zoo, and several other activities. Cadet and MsV’s children get along very well…which has been nice.

Between the outings with MsV, baby care, Cadet care, laundry, food/bottle prep, and sleep…days seem busy and very long. I’m longing for home!

Tomorrow (Wednesday), we’ll know more. The attorney in question is going to attempt to “clear up” the misunderstanding and get us out of here asap. I have very little faith in how quickly this attorney says things can be fixed….but I’m crossing my fingers that we’re out of here before the end of the week.

Thank you to all of you who have emailed, commented, and messaged me to see how things are. It feels so wonderful to be connected when everything seems to be going pear-shaped.

Categories: Adoption, Anxiety/Worry, Choices, Other Stuff | 13 Comments

Baby Boy Arrived

Baby Boy, to be known as “Pumpkin” on this blog, arrived around 1pm on the 31st. Halloween Baby = Pumpkin! Both he and MsV are doing very well.

So much has happened in the last few days. Much of it I probably won’t share out of respect to MsV and her family. But, it’s been a good visit here so far.

The hospital experience has been emotionally draining, awe-inspiring, and crushing all at the same time.

Pumpkin’s birth, according to the nurses, was “easy”…although they weren’t the ones laboring. MsV labored hard for 5 hours…only to be at 1 centimeter. When they checked her at 11: 30 she was at 1. At 12:00, she was at 3 or 4…depending on the nurse. They were having a hard time finding Pumpkin’s heart beat (and his head…but that was just because of his position).

At 12, I was asked to leave the room, so they could give her an epidural. I was told it would take about 20 minutes. After 45 minutes of conversation with MsV’s sister and mother, the nurse rushed out to the waiting room. She told me that I was needed by MsV. MsV had gone from a 3 to a 10 in the time it took them to try to get her epidural going.

Pumpkin was born at 1pm, no epidural. And I was able to watch the entire thing. It was heart-wrenching and beautiful.

Despite every nurse and sonogram telling MsV that Pumpkin was a “big baby”…he’s not. He’s on the smaller side….6lbs, 7oz. He was born with a full head of hair…and a beautiful nose that looks just like MsV’s youngest daughter.

Since his birth, I’ve been splitting my time between him, MsV, and the occasional trip out of the hospital for food/change of clothes. Oh, and meeting the “requirements of the hospital”. Yes, today I had to watch 3 videos on: SIDS, shaken baby syndrome, and infant CPR. The last one was a good refresher…the first two were just boring and redundant.

At the time I write this, we have 91 hours until MsV can sign her consents. Do I think she will? I don’t know. She says that she’s “feeling good” about the adoption. Her family supports her choice. So, who knows. I’ve told her several times that she needs to do what she feels is best for her. And she tells me that she thinks it’s adoption. Maybe this will happen?!?!?! I’m just trying to make sure that nothing I do could be construed as pressure. I’m doing my best to just support MsV…and get to know Pumpkin.

Anyway, both MsV and Pumpkin will be released tomorrow. MsV in the morning, and Pumpkin after his last blood draw at 1pm. He will be discharged to MsV’s attorney, who will then sign him over to me. And then, it’s just about waiting until the consents can be signed (currently scheduled for Wednesday). McRuger and Cadet fly in tomorrow, and MIL will be here later in the week.

Please continue to send your good wishes to MsV and Pumpkin.

Categories: Other Stuff | 14 Comments

Tomorrow, tomorrow, tomorrow

I’m in State X with MsV. I’ve been here since Tuesday. After a false labor alarm earlier this week, I flew out early… just in case. But, baby boy hasn’t made his appearance yet. MsV is scheduled to be induced tomorrow (Halloween).

I’m glad I flew out early. I’ve been able to spend some time with MsV, and we’re starting to get to know each other better. It’s such a delicate dance, building a relationship that is inherently built on loss for her.

Yesterday, we had a very long and very honest conversation about adoption and how it will feel to her. She says she knows it will be very painful and she knows she’s going to not want to do it. However, MsV is insistent that it’s the right choice for her and baby boy. She’s spoken to other local birth moms, women who decided not to relinquish, and even a few adult adoptees. She’s done her research. And she still feels this is the best option.

Unlike MissS, who was barely a teenager, MsV is an adult. She knows the world and how harsh it can be. She understands her own mind. She’s honest about why she’s doing this, sometimes brutally so.

MsV is quite a bit like MsJ. Both strong black women who have seen quite a bit in their lives. Both are honest and speak their minds, which I love. I have told her, a few times, that she could parent this child. That I and her attorney and her family could find her resources and more support. But, she still talks about the adoption as the right choice.

Will she place? I don’t know. I’m sticking at 50/50 odds. I won’t know until this time next week (she must wait several days after the birth before she can sign the papers).

Until then, I continue to be as supportive as I can of her, not the adoption. Because, ultimately, this isn’t about the adoption for me. It’s about being a good person who was there for another in their time of need…offering an option…but not pressuring in any way.

So, as usual, I ask for your thoughts and prayers for MsV and baby boy. Don’t pray about the adoption or that it happens/doesn’t happen. Send your energy to her and baby boy…just support for whatever she feels is right.

And, for me that I remain open to whatever happens…

Categories: Other Stuff | 9 Comments

What’s the latest?

Make sure you read all the way to the bottom…gender reveal is there! Please skip if you’re not in a good place to read that sort of thing.

So…plans have changed a bit. We’re scrambling.

  • MsV decided that she wants to induce labor next Friday…as in 7 days…as in 3-5 days before her original induction dates.
  • The current plan has me flying out the day before the induction, and McRuger and Cadet following a few days after (once the baby is released from the hospital). It’s a little unclear what (if any) role I’ll have the day of the birth. I am generally against adoptive parents being at the hospital, but I will do whatever MsV asks of me. MsV’s attorney will be clarifying that this week.
  • We’ve decided on a name….whew. It took several very long discussions…and lots of internet/book/family history look-up work. At one point we had iPads, iPhones, a laptop, and several books all out with different pages open. It’s a name we’re both happy with. It’s a wonderful name that ties in with MsV’s family/history and our family. MsV will get final say, if she doesn’t like it…we are happy to change it.
  • McRuger and I have so much to get done before I fly out. The lists are accumulating like crazy. And the numbers of orders we’ve placed on Amazon is kinda astounding…
  • We’ve spoken to MIL, and she’s ready to fly down to State X and stay with me, Cadet, and baby while McRuger is in Asia. Yes, he’s still going. Yes, we know it’s crazy. But, it’s really important for him to make this trip. The earlier induction date does mean he’ll be able to spend time with MsV and the baby before he leaves.
  • MsV and I spoke briefly this morning and have been texting on and off for the past week. Overall, she says she’s still very positive about everything…just ready for the pregnancy part to be over.
  • I’d still say there’s a 50-50 chance that she will end up parenting. In the event that that happens, we have a list of things to do/see while there to make up for it. The most important being, seeing MsJ. The date of the induction rules out a visit to MsJ before the birth (her limitations, not ours). So, if this all falls through, we get to have a lovely vacation with her!
  • We’re slowly introducing the idea of a sibling to Cadet. Not sure how much he really understands, but we’ve been talking about babies and how we are gentle with them. Thankfully, he’s been around a few babies recently, so we’ve had some learning opportunities. Today, in fact, we were visiting with some new friends and they just had a baby…Cadet was totally cool about the whole thing. He was far more interested in their cat than the baby.
  • Pretty much only the people who read this blog, our parents, McRuger’s boss/department, and a few other people know about this adoption. In fact, Bro and Jewel don’t know…just because they haven’t called me back. I’ll be missing Bug’s 5th birthday party because I’ll be in State X, and I’m sad about that.
  • Be thinking good thoughts people. For everyone involved. But, mostly, please be hoping and praying that MsV makes the choice that’s best for her.


Drum Roll Please…… Baby is a…..





Categories: Adoption, Anxiety/Worry, Cadet, Family | 10 Comments

Microblog Mondays…



I’ve purchased baby items. And not just small stuff….the BIG items that we need. Did I jinx everything? I have this sense of dread every time I open my orders on Ama.zon. Will I have to return everything? Stupid…yes…but still something I worry about.

We’re in the process of choosing a name. MsV has given us “permission” to name the baby, but we really want her input. The middle name has already been decided. There was one name we had already decided on, however, looking into the history of the name took it off the list. So, we’ve narrowed it down to about 5 first names. At the moment, McRuger and I are deadlocked. MsV will have the final say in the name.

Yesterday, McRuger and I discussed things we want to do before baby arrives. One thing that we both felt was important was visiting with MsJ. MsV and MsJ don’t live in the same state, or even neighboring states…but it’s close enough. The current plan is for Cadet and I to fly out for a visit with MsJ a few days before we’re supposed to be in State X with MsV. This will give Cadet a chance to spend time with MsJ, and for them to bond.

The next few weeks are going to be simply insane. INSANE. McRuger is prepping for his trip to Asia…plus he’s moving offices….and that’s on top of his normal work-load. I have about a zillion things I need to do before traveling. Oh, did I mention that I might be getting a cold and I have a tooth that’s bothering me?

However, before I address the zillion things…I need to re-do Cadet’s room. He learned this weekend how to climb up his clothes drawers and chill on the window sill. So, that’s got to stop!


Not sure what MicroBlog Mondays are all about….Click Here…

Categories: Adoption, Anxiety/Worry, Choices | 9 Comments

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