What a month it has been

Andy and I have been extra busy lately. Most of it has actually been fun activities with family and friends. After getting back from Houston at the beginning of the month I went to the Yellow Daisy festival with my mom, Aunts Pam and Katie, and cousins Brandice and Nicole. I bought some cute things (see pics below) and saw many more I plan on buying later too! Then we had my dad’s birthday party where he loved the planter box we bought him for outside of his warehouse. My mom gave him the flowers to go in it and he loves it!

The following weekend we got to celebrate 5 years of marriage together. It was nice to go out to eat and have some hibachi (which we both love!) and then do a little shopping for nothing in particular. It is hard to believe that 5 years have gone by already.

On Saturday we had a couple friends over and their kids. It was a full house which I of course loved every minute of! In total including us it was 6 adults and 4 kids. We watched some football, showed off our nursery so far, ate some good food, and just hung out. Can’t wait to do it again and we all agreed a Vegas trip should be in our futures…

This last week was the busiest yet for the month. We went to the gun range (for a very belated birthday event of Andy’s) on Thursday, the Braves game Friday night, dinner Saturday night with friends, and visited another set of friends on Sunday evening for dinner.

Andy of course loved the gun range and he is trying to convince me to let him get one still. Afterwards, I surprised him with dinner at Hungry Howies (a pizza place he grew up with that has come down to Atlanta).

Although the Braves lost on Friday we had a lot of fun tailgating with friends and playing with their girls (pics below). We even stayed afterwards to watch the fireworks from the stadium. Pretty awesome display since they put them on after Friday night games all the time. The only downside was traffic was horrible getting home since there was a big music festival happening all weekend long.

Dinner on Saturday we got to finally hang out with our friends who are renting a condo from us. She just moved down from Ohio a month ago and since he moved into the condo two months ago we haven’t seen much of him. We took them to one of our favorite Mexican restaurants by their place and hung out for a little while.

Sunday night we went over to our friend’s house to have dinner and hang out for a little while. Their daughter is just too cute and you can tell she is getting close to walking on her own now! The dinner they made was fabulous and after eating we stayed to watch the rest of the Denver vs. Seahawks game.

As far as work for both of us we are really busy. Andy’s schedule of photography has started to get in full swing. So far this month he has gone to a football game (high school) and 9 lacrosse games (boys 9 and under, boys 10-11, and girls 10-11). He still has another 5 lacrosse games and 4 little league baseball games to shoot this week! I have started at a new client for work in Atlanta. While it is nice to not be traveling with busy personal schedules this client is downtown Atlanta so I have been experiencing Atlanta traffic again. For those that live in the area you understand my pain!

We are definitely deserving our vacation coming up next month!

Andy and Kailyn

Andy and Kailyn

Cookie cutters from Yellow Daisy

Cookie cutters from Yellow Daisy

Garden Oarnament

Garden Oarnament

Andy and Caitlyn

Andy and Caitlyn

Let's play ball!

Let’s play ball!

Fireworks

Fireworks!

Stephanie and Madison

Stephanie and Madison

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September Group Session

So last Tuesday was our monthly group session at the agency. We love going to them not only for the topics but also the bonding with others in the same place as us mentally. This month’s group was bound to be a big one (not only attendance but also material/topic). The session was led by a local doctor on women smoking, drinking alcohol, or doing drugs during pregnancy. With adoption we cannot control what our child will be exposed to before placement. Although, we will hopefully know from the birth mother information on if she used any substances we might not. The main goal of this session in my mind was to find out what medical/mental issues we could potentially be faced with if the baby has been exposed before birth.

She talked primarily about the effects of alcohol and opiates in our session. These are the most common things they are seeing at the clinic in Georgia. Although there was no talk about specific issues and how to handle them discussed, it gave us some good resources to use should we need them. It also gave us an idea of whether we think we could handle that emotionally.

Another thing that was great to hear was how there are more studies being conducted lately on the difference the environment has on the child as they grow up. For instance, was the alcohol in utero a bigger factor vs. having an unstable home environment afterwards? A majority of studies typically follow children that not only were exposed to some form of substance in utero but the parents were also addicted to one or more substance which made the home life more unstable. These forms of studies don’t necessarily give us a good picture of what to expect since not all birth mothers that have used a substance during pregnancy did so chronically or to the severity that people in the studies have.

We are open to potential birth mothers that have used substances while pregnant and hope that if we need it our research will help us through any medical issues that might come up. I have included below a couple places to find/request more information if you are curious. There are also a lot of studies out there that you could google and read.

ENEC – Emory Neurodevelopmental Exposure Clinic fasclinic@emory.edu

Center for Maternal Substance Abuse and Child Development – http://www.emory.edu/msacd/

National Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (NOFAS) http://www.nofas.org

Feelings About the Wait at 17 Months

Lately Andy and I have both been feeling anxious about the wait. We are officially past the average wait time now and as we get closer to needing to renew our home study again it is heartbreaking for sure. A home study is only good for 1 year and although some of the paperwork is good until we adopt there are other pieces that we need to keep updated every year. The big ones for that will be expiring in the next couple months and so we will need to start submitting paperwork soon so that we can have the results/responses back before the current ones expire.

While we know an average wait doesn’t mean anything other than half of people are faster and the other half are slower, it doesn’t help with feeling like something is wrong. Everyone going through adoption has the feeling that there is a reason why they wouldn’t be allowed to adopt a child. Whether it is thinking you are too old, too young, not “normal”, single parent, same sex couple, and etc. there is something unique about us all that can be seen as a reason for not being chosen. You think that once you are approved by an agency and your home study is approved you will stop having those doubts but they don’t go away. At times it can be all you think about. Those unique things though, are also some of the reasons why birth moms say that they chose one family over another family to be the parents to her child. As we all say to ourselves at some point it is about finding the “right” birth mom for us.

Andy and I have been discussing the topic of redoing our letter lately. The letter is frequently the first thing an expectant mom will see about us. If there is something that we want to change or add to it we have to do a full revision with our agency which can take time. We will probably need to send in more letters to our agency soon though so now would be the perfect time to redo it. I dreaded doing it the first time we did it and am not looking forward to doing it again even though I know there are several things that have changed since we last wrote it.

I’ve also been doing some looking into other sites we could setup profiles on or network through. Currently our networking includes:

  • Our blog
  • Personal website
  • Twitter account
  • Facebook page
  • Pinterest account
  • Iheartit account
  • Adoptimist profile
  • IHeartAdoption profile (IAC)
  • Our letters

–          Word of mouth of friends and family

It can be a lot to keep up with especially when we are so busy trying to work and visit with friends and family.

The keeping busy though is a big thing that helps us through the wait, which is why we are so booked for the next month already. We are also already working on booking activities for the rest of the year so we have things to look forward to. As long as it can be canceled at last minute if we were to adopt I have been setting up schedules. If any of our local friends/family want to do something with us just let us know and unless we are already busy we will be there ;)! Staying busy now is also good for us to do since some of the things we might not get to enjoy as often once we do adopt.

Here’s to hoping that we find our potential birth mother out there soon, we can’t wait to start our lives as a family!

Girls Night Painting

I was so happy to hang out with some friends we have met through the adoption process this week. It was a great time to be able to hang out with other people that know what we are going through because they are going through it too or they have gone through it. Even though we didn’t talk about adoption specifically over the course of the night it is nice to know they understand what we are going through and feeling.

We went to a place called Sips and Strokes to paint and snack together. It was a lot of fun and we really enjoyed the time. I was the only one that had painted before so everyone wasn’t sure how their painting would turn out. We all ended up having a great painting to take home though!

painting2

 

Labor Day Weekend!

This past weekend Andy and I went to Houston to visit my sister’s family. It was a low key but fun weekend visiting them. A majority of the weekend was spent playing with my nephews. We got to enjoy their pool a couple of the days, play football, pick our fantasy football teams (that we all play in together), run races, play board games, and watch some good movies.

Living so far away from them can be frustrating since we would love to spend more time with them each year. We are very lucky that we get to see them 2-3 times a year though and soak up as much time as we can. I’ve added a couple pictures from the weekend below.

On the plane and excited to go to Houston!

On the plane and excited to go to Houston!

Andy and Jacob running races

Andy and Jacob running races

Playing football

Playing football

Playing football

Playing football

After the end of the game Fibber (Matt won!)

After the end of the game Fibber (Matt won!)

Jacob jumping (belly flop) into the pool

Jacob jumping into the pool

Matt jumping (belly flop) into the pool

Matt jumping (belly flop) into the pool

Matt and Stephanie underwater

Matt and Stephanie underwater

Jacob and Stephanie underwater

Jacob and Stephanie underwater