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Sunday, January 24, 2010

Finally.. some good news...

For the first time in 22 months I got an unsolicited email from my agency. I have had plenty of correspondence with them over the wait... but this was the first that showed up unexpectedly in my inbox...

Here it is word for word...

"OK guys... #1 on the list's birthmother is due Feb 23. #2 on the list is on their way to the hospital because we think we have a placement for them. Soooooo assuming all goes well, ya'll should be #1 by the end of Feb. Keep praying."

Please keep praying!!! We may be getting very close! Please pray specifically that the right birth family for us will find their way to our agency and that as we move "up the list" the perfect situation for all families involved will present itself clearly to all of us.

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Sunday, January 17, 2010

Sex Talk...

This weekend we attended an adoption seminar that was really wonderful! The workshop was about talking to your children about sex... and although we are several years away I jumped at the opportunity to see the speaker and take notes for when the time comes.

The workshop is called Sooner Than You Think and the speaker was Mary Flo Ridley. She has been talking to parents about having "the talk" with kids for years and has a dvd series called Simple Truths. But this was her first time to speak to an audience of adoptive / foster parents and though the message was much the same there were some really helpful things to think about sex from a perspective of adoption.

Some of differences between talking to bio kids and adopted kids that we discussed were things like the following...

1. It is suggested that you must start talking with children with to two things... a clear message about your family's values about sex and a basic biology of how this all works. For little children one of the first things you teach is that babies grow in Mommy's tummy... right? But then explaining that not all mommys are able to grow babies in their tummy (helllloooo infertility...) brings in the opportunity to not only talk about reproductions but about the idea that families are created in many different ways... and that can tie in with learning more about birthparents.
2. In the middle years the talk about sex for families of adoption can include talks about infertility... because kids will have questions... they may understand the mechanics the way they are designed to work... but what happens when you want to be a parent but the body doesn't work? Not every seed in the package sprouts into a flower... so although infertility may not be something discussed in most homes with the sex talks... with adopted kids it may come into the conversation.
3. Just pre-puberty we may continue to discuss our values in relationship to sex... this is the whole "don't you even think of doing it" part. However... in an adoption situation you may have to be careful in the way you word things... Telling a child it is morally wrong to have sex before marriage can, in the child's eyes, become a slam on birth parents who didn't wait... A discussion on the importance of using birth control if you do have sex may become, in a child's mind, a hard thing to hear because they are perhaps alive and well because someone didn't use birth control... So as you can see she brought up some very interesting points that I had not ever though of... and I am glad to start thinking about them now... way before I have to answer the questions.
4. In the teen years you may have to have a conversation about un-consensual sex... especially if you are trying to remain "transparent" about your child's conception and that is a part of their adoption story.

Remember this is only bullet points of the adoption/ foster portion of the workshop... there was so much more! I am so glad to have gone. And although her dvd series is not adoption based you may want to look into it... and who knows maybe this workshop will develop into a book about specifically talking to adopted kids about sex.

Oh yes... and when she was asked "at what age do you need to talk to you kids about sex" this is what she said.. " Take the youngest age you might think you should start talking... subtract 3 years.. and you will be about a year late!"

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Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Weekend wrap-up

I had a really wonderful weekend. On Saturday I met up for a mini-reunion with some girls I used to work with when I worked as a singer/dancer in an amusement park after high school and throughout college. It was the perfect job for a young theatre major and I spent so much time on stage and in dressing rooms with these girls! So anyway... it was sort of like getting together with you old sorority sisters and talking about the inside jokes and crazy things you did... only we did it all in front of audiences! We had a wonderful lunch at a tea room and sat for hours catching up.

Saturday night I decided to back my nephew, X-Man, a birthday cake from scratch for his 5th birthday. I decided that learning to bake a 3 layer chocolate cake from scratch was going to be on my "to learn to do" for the new year... so this was a perfect way to practice my baking. This was my first cake from scratch and it took 3 hours! But it was wonderful and everyone was impressed. It was a 2 layer strawberry cake with cream cheese frosting... I even pureed the strawberries and strained the seeds (which is pretty time consuming) all by myself! Mr. D. even had two slices when we ate it at X-man's makeshift b-day party at my house the next evening! X-man took one look at it and declared that he doesn't like strawberry cake anymore (lol!) even though he requested it just the night before! Oh well... my brother and my SIL also liked it... and X-man totally enjoyed the ice cream with rainbow sprinkles that were next to the cake!

Sunday we slept in a little then headed out to Big D for some shopping and lunch at our favorite Mediterranean place. Then we decided to check out the Holocaust Museum because I am currently directing a play about a concentration camp during this time. This was my favorite thing we did all weekend... Mainly because I had the opportunity to meet Mike the founder of the museum and a survivor. Mike showed me around part of the museum and we chatted for quiet a while. He told me part of his story and showed me the numbers tattooed on his arm... I purchased the book he wrote about his 4 years in the camps and autographed it for me. I was so honored to stand and talk with Mike.... and to hear him tell his story and it reminded me of the power of the human spirit. It reassured me that no matter what hardships you face in life that you can overcome even the most devastating tragedies. I have already finished Mike's book... I read it cover to cover in less than 24 hours... I just feel so heavy with the responsibility of portraying the play I am directing accurately and truthfully and I really feel passionately about this new project. I can't wait to take the entire cast back to the city to meet Mike and have them hear his story too. I just can not say enough about the spirit of this amazing man.

Sunday night after the little b-day party I fell asleep in our big recliner at about 7:30 pm... The next thing I knew Mr. D. was telling me that he had run me a bath for me. I went into our bathroom and he had filled the room with lit candles (Sunday night Finn ritual!). I had a wonderful bubble bath waiting for me... with towels layed out, my new robe hanging by the tub, my latest O magazine on the chair, a big glass of water (and a shot of Gentleman Jack!) on the edge of the tub, and he even had my favorite Sunday night guilty pleasure on the TV (Desperate Housewives... ugghh... I know...)! I felt so pampered and loved! He is always doing things like that for me.. I just can't tell you what a great man he is... I don't know what I ever did to deserve such an incredible husband... and as I slipped into the bubbles I told him... "I am so blogging about this..."

It was just such a great (and busy) weekend. It was really nice to have such great moments with my friends and husband. And since a lot of this blog is dedicated to me sorting out my problems and whining about my everyday pains and issues, I also wanted you to know that we do have very happy times and appreciate all that we have been blessed with in this life.

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Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Playing Dress up in my Mind

I have to show this dream outfit... Here is my fantasy outfit: She is 4 or 5 on a sunny day in April at the church Easter Egg Hunt...
I can't wait to shop for Finley... and with Finley! I mean most of you know that I am already shopping for her like crazy...but I am actually trying to show restraint... I mean... When you are 22 months into the "paper pregnancy" sometimes the shopping and dreaming about your little bundle really gets you through the hard times.

A dear friend introduced me to the Chasing Fireflies catalogue and at that moment I knew I was in deep deep trouble. I loooove these clothes... I imagine Finn in them! And... of course... I can't afford them!!! I mean it is like couture for little girls... but I loooove looking at the catalogue and pretending I have money to blow on $37 sock and $170+ play outfits... then I go to Target...

But I really think I might swoon if I ever see my little Finn came running through the green grass in this outfit... and I can't wait to stand over the kitchen sink scrubbing the strawberry ice cream stains out of it!

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Sunday, January 03, 2010

Sunday Night Ritual

Do you realize all this drama has lasted 3 weeks plus? Who would have guessed that my "Still #3" post to vent about my frustration during this process would lead to people all over yelling at me and each other. I realize now that I have so very loyal friends out there who really care about my story and that has been the best thing to come out of all of this messy "conversation". Thank you to those of you who have added constructively and respectfully to the dialogue... I have really taken all of your comments, thoughts, and stories to heart.

And to those of you who have been reading for a long time thank you for posting... I really had no clue that more than 5 or 6 people were out there following. It feels good to know that there is a collective energy out there that is hoping, wishing, and praying for our daughter to find her way to us... and I just wanted to tel you how much I appreciate knowing that you are out there sending that positive energy our way.

Every Sunday night for the past several weeks Mr. D. and I light a candle for Finley Elisse and pray that angels will light her way into our arms. We started doing it when we got the bad news from our agency that we were "still #3" and that our wait would be longer than we ever expected. I would like to invite any of you out there who would like to join us to light a candle, where ever you are in the world, as a collective prayer for our daughter Finley Elisse and her birthparents and ask that God will bring them into our lives soon.


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