Thursday, April 28, 2011

Packing and Moving

Let me just say this: I HATE MOVING. I don't kind of dislike it. I don't think it kind of stinks. I hate it. It's a rung in hell in Dante's Inferno; I'm sure the translators just missed it.

We are close the end, and the proverbial light at the end of that blasted tunnel is starting to show itself. We'll be out of our house by tonight, and then, we'll have glorious bliss for 15 days until we close on the new house May 13, in which the whole cleaning, painting, moving cycle will begin again, but add to it the mounted pressure of putting in new floors, new bathrooms, a new kitchen, and dealing with what feels like miles of awful wood paneling (not a pessimist... just a realist).

Only to compound issues is the fact that the kids are sick and are expected to hang out in an empty house and watch me clean and pack for what amounts to hours a day. No furniture. No TV. Too rainy to go outside. Today I caught them playing--in an empty closet--with hangers and different parts of the vacuum. A kid has got to do what a kid has got to do.

Here are a few recent pics...

Coloring Easter Eggs

Swim lessons

Grace dressed for Easter Sunday. Grant and I stayed home to tend to Grant's fever.

Breakfast when you've packed all the bowls.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Baby #3: The Q&A edition

These are some of the questions we have received via the blog, email or calling.

Q: What nationality will the baby be?
A: I don't think most mothers of bio kids have to answer this one, but when you have an AA son and a Chinese daughter, this question makes a whole lot of sense. Well, the birthmom is biracial: a mix of black, hispanic and white. The birthdad (I think??) is full AA, so we should have one little miss cute stuff on our hands!

Q: Are you sticking with G names?
A: It was never our intention. We always knew Grace's name would be Grace, and when we adopted Grant, we had a short list of names we liked, and when we saw him, we were pretty convinced Grant was his name. Plus, it was the name his birthmom liked best (of the options we told her), so there it was. So, with baby #3, the doors are open, but we tend to lean now toward really traditional names. I can guarantee there will be no yuppie in our choice. Do you have any names you think we should consider?

Q: Is there an issue with the baby being born in Massachusetts versus Indiana?

A: We might be under MA law; we might not. In talking with our lawyer, it will really come down to if she has claimed to be a resident of MA or not. It'd be helpful to be under IN law, as we wouldn't have to worry about the hoop-work involved in inter-state adoptions, but when you've adopted from a foreign country, a little inter-state paperwork does not seem that bad! So, in the end, we'll have to wait for our lawyer to come up with those answers.

Q: Are you ready to deal with a little black girl's hair?

A: Oh, the drama associated with black hair! If you haven't rented Chris Rock's Good Hair, you should check it out. Thankfully, we have lots of people to help us navigate the road when the time comes, especially the baby's birthmom. Until then, I'm going with bell hooks.

Q: Will you be in the new house by then?
A: Let's hope so! We take possession May 13, and we hope to have the kids' rooms painted and floors cleaned up within the week, so it's looking good that baby girl will get to come home to her very own nursery.

Q: Aren't you freaked out to bring a newborn, just a few days old, home with you on an airplane?
A: This might freak out most moms. But, a few hours on a plane with a kid does not scare mothers who have adopted internationally. Seventeen hours home with Grace... I think I can take a few hours.

Okay, are there more?

Baby #3

In the world of adoption, very little is certain. A birthmom could change her mind. A birthfather could enter the picture. But, the one thing that is absolutely certain is how excited we are to have another baby.

So, it's with equal measure hope and caution that we enter into adoption #3. Last night, we received a call from the agency saying that we had been selected by a birthmom. There were tears (of joy), head scratching (at the timing!!--we are in the middle of a move, after all), and lots of talk from the kids about what we should name the new baby.

It has been about a month since we were "active," about the same time it took in Grant's adoption. The baby is due June 2, and if all works out, we will be traveling to Massachusetts to bring the baby home (the birthmom lives in Fort Wayne, Indiana, but she's going to have the baby out east--long story). I got the opportunity to talk to the birthmom's mom (grandma to baby) last night, and we talked for hours. The conversation came so easily, was so full of love and laughter and hope. It simply couldn't have gone better.

We have yet to talk to the birthmom, and the first time we meet her will be in the hospital, most likely after birth. That's not the easiest of transitions for her, I'm sure, but we are confidant that God's hand is orchestrating these events, and therefore, can attend to her heart even now.

So, yeah, it's pretty exciting. Grant and Grace are very excited, talking INCESSANTLY about feeding and changing and being big siblings. It's very cute. It's hard to imagine that come summer we might very well be a family of five!

Oh, and it's a girl. Small detail.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Potential Baby #3 News...

Stay tuned...


Renters found. Movers come in a week.


Monday, April 11, 2011

Such nice people come to visit...

Last night, Erin leaned over and said "You know, I sure hope neither of us gets dementia or Alzheimer's as we get older."

All obvious reasoning aside, I asked "Why?"

And she replied, "Because we're going to be so confused about the black guy and the Chinese lady that keep coming around."

So true...

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Swim Lessons

Last year at this time, we started Grant in swim lessons. The one session we signed him up for lasted eight days. He cried for seven of the eight days (in his defense, the water was freezing!).

Then, in the fall, we did another eight day session. He cried the first day.

So, with the gradual commencement of spring, we opted to sign both kids up for swim lessons, but seeing how the two week sessions didn't provide much gain in Grant's swimming skill, we decided to sign them up for six consecutive weeks of lessons (oh, Mommy... what were you thinkin'?).

Grace loves the water, and so I was excited to see how she would do, and I was not surprised. She was moved up to Grant's class, and it's so cute to see her floating on her back and diving for pennies (but she's in a four-year-old class, so her feet don't even touch the water when she sits on the edge and is told to kick!). On the first day of class, I was reminded how far our little girl has come. She walked up to the person checking them in, and said, "My name is Grace, and this is my brother." She walked away from me without even looking back...

And then, in the water, she waves at me and loves being near Grant (they really are the best of friends; I am so thankful they are so close in age), but she's so confidant, so completely comfortable and secure. She still likes to be independent, but she never freaks out anymore when I tell her "no" or or when she doesn't get to do something on her 0wn. She's so sweet, so funny, so smart.

The attachment road was harder than I had expected, but almost two years into having Grace home, and it is all a distant, distant memory.

As I watched them clutching the wall the other day, neither crying, I was amazed. My two beautiful kids are growing up so quickly, and I'm so thankful that I get to watch every single step.

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

No Buttons

I finally caved.

After becoming the last holdout that I know (with the exception of my wife), I finally broke down and bought a "smart phone." It's only $25/month, so I convinced myself that I would be OK spending that for the convenience of staying in touch with work while traveling.

So I called "Bob" (who sounded vaguely like his name should have an "oo" appended to the end of it) to get the phone authorized the other night, and he told me that I needed to "dial ##8822#" to get activated. I looked down at the flat lump of plastic in my hand and calmly replied, "How do I do that? There are no buttons. Or numbers."

The rep acted a little stunned and walked me through how to get to a keypad on my new touchscreen phone. I have never felt so out of touch. I suddenly flashed back to images of my grandfather, madly mashing the buttons on his TV remote as though pressing them harder would make the TV work more to his liking.

In the end, I'm OK with it though. I don't mind that I'm a little bit out of sync. I never want my kids to remember staring at the top of my head while I played with my phone, so if that means that I'm always a couple of generations behind in gadget world, so be it.