Friday, November 6, 2015

Happy Adoption Day!

Today, November 6, 2015 marks the one year anniversary of the finalization of Rose's adoption.  I have been an emotional mess all day long!  Last night I made a poster of a couple photos from Rose's adoption day for her to take in to school.

I spent this morning baking cupcakes and listening to John McCuthcheon's Happy Adoption Day song.  Rose was quite confused as we listened to the song this morning over breakfast and the tears were streaming down my face.

Mike came home from work and Rose, Mike, and I had a cupcake party followed by some time in my music studio dancing to music.

Words don't give the significance of this anniversary its due importance.  Rose made us a family the day she was born, but the legal finalization of her adoption allowed me to breathe an enormous sigh of relief that it was all for real.  Her birth made us a family, but her adoption day made us a forever family.

Happy Adoption Day, my sweet Rosebud!  Love, Mama

Friday, March 27, 2015

Happy Second Birthday, Russell!

Today, March 27, 2015, marks the second birthday of Russell Alan, the child we lost to a failed adoption.  This is a day of remembrance, grief, and celebration.  Russell was born at home on March 27, 2013, and ambulanced to the hospital.  We had checked into our time share condo for a couple days away for Mike's spring break when we got the call that we had been chosen to be parents.  After almost three weeks, the birth father had been contacted, and chose to parent the baby.  We suffered the loss similar to the death of a child.

The following are newborn photos of us with Russell.  Photos by Olivia Navarro Photography.

As mentioned before, I will probably always be processing the fact that if we hadn't experienced the loss of Russell, we would not have our beautiful and amazing daughter, Rose!  Rose turned one year old on March 6th, and is the light of our life!  I can't imagine life without her.  She is our beautiful, smart, sweet, happy, strong, and determined little girl!  Words can not express the gratitude, love, and appreciation for her birth mother for giving us the greatest gift in the world, that of parenthood.

Rose on March 26, 2015 on the swing in our back yard

After an overwhelming day yesterday of grocery shopping, food prep, cleaning up the kitchen, and teaching a piano lesson, Mike suggested I get a morning off today.  Mike's on spring break.  I've given him some opportunities to sleep in, and he offered me a rare opportunity for me to do the same.  This morning I slept in until 7:30 a.m.!  Yay!  I then went on a run by myself.  It felt AMAZING, both physically and emotionally.  The tears of grief streamed down my face along the home stretch of my run.

 Here is a photo taken during a walking bread on this morning's run.

I had been meaning to take a trip to a used clothing store to get some clothes for Rose.  It was the plan that the three of us would go together today, but Mike suggested I could do the shopping trip solo.  The store is just far enough away that it's not at all easy for me to make trips there.  In this year since Rose was born, this would be only my second trip to the store. 

I got a GREAT deal!  I got some clothes for $1, and some things were buy 2 get 1 free.  I bought some 18 month clothes, 24 month clothes, and 2T clothes, all for a total of $153!  Tomorrow Mike has offered to help me do some clothes and closet organization.

18 month clothes

24 month clothes

2T clothes

I then came home after Mike had fed Rose lunch.  I put her down for a nap, ate lunch myself, and started a load of laundry.  As I stayed home with napping Rose, Mike went off to our taxes appointment and then off to a night of Magic the Gathering.

I started dinner of spaghetti squash and homemade marinara sauce in the crock pot.  I got the idea from a post on the blog of another adoptive mama.  The link to her blog and the recipe can be found here:    I am NOT a fan of jarred pasta sauces.  Most of them have too much sugar.  Instead, I used just chopped Roma tomatoes, a little olive oil, garlic, fresh basil, fresh oregano, salt, pepper, and garlic powder.

As I write, Rose is still asleep with a LONG afternoon nap.  Tonight as Mike is at Magic I plan to work on my furniture repurposing project.  Stay tuned for a blog post about the project with before and after photos.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Let it Go!

 Ok, I know that "Let it Go!" has been heard a lot lately with the popularity of Disney's Frozen.  When I say it, I am not referring to the movie.  This saying does not directly relate to our adoption journey, but it does relate to how I want to live my life and be remembered by my daughter.

I have always been one who is very neat and ordered.  When growing up, I had a Fischer Price castle, hospital, and Sesame Street house, complete with nurses, Big Bird, etc.  I was insanely disturbed when these toys were passed down to my younger sister and she would place Big Bird in the hospital, or the princess from the castle appeared in the Sesame Street house.

My dad has always been impressed that I have had the ability to make wherever I was seem so homey and cute.  From my first dorm room in Santa Cruz, to a small studio apartment in Baltimore, to my first small starter home.  I've never felt like my home was set up until photos and art work were hung on the walls.  I remember when I bought and moved into my first home on a Sunday, I stayed up Tuesday night until 3 a.m. Wednesday morning to set up my kitchen.  Boy, was I a teacher short on patience the next day.  Sorry, kiddos.

When Mike and I were first married, I was teaching full time, doing all the cleaning, laundry, grocery shopping, cooking, and the majority of the yard work.  I admit that early on in my marriage I did not know how to ask my hubby for help.  I would wait until I would get so overwhelmed and frustrated that I would lash out at the poor guy.  Who wants to help when his wife goes all psycho on him?!  Mike, poor guy, was a graduate student who had been renting a room within a house before we were married.  He didn't use the kitchen, and ate fast food for every meal.  He just did not seem to notice housework that needed to be done, and I foolishly expected him to read my mind.  I also have a much lower dirt threshold than he does.  He has always been willing to pick something up or clean it when it bothers him, but I can't stand to let it get to that point.

Now almost nine and a half years into our marriage, I have gotten a lot better about when and how I ask Mike for help with something around the house.  I have had to realize that if I ask him to do something, it has to be done on his time table, and not mine.  That means that it will be done a lot later than I would like, and that has to be ok.  If there is a deadline for something, I have figured out to give him plenty of notice, so he knows the deadline, but can do the task whenever it works for his schedule.  We've also gotten so much better about checking in with each other about needs and wishes for the evenings and weekends, so we're more aware of what needs to be done.

I still have to admit a HUGE personality flaw on my part.  I can't stand things not being ordered or clean.  This was so difficult when we moved into our current house shortly before working on my final project for my Masters of Music.  Getting everything unpacked and put in order was such a deep need of mine that I had trouble focusing on my final project.

This has always been a frustration for me.  I can rationalize the fact that I need to let cleaning and housework go, especially with a baby.  There are so many other things that are important than having a perfectly clean kitchen floor!  Yet, I have always been one who does not allow myself to sit and practice the piano or violin, crochet, read, watch a movie, or other things I wish to do, when I know for example there is a collection of clean and dry laundry on the clothesline in our laundry closet, dishes in the dishwasher need to be unloaded.

I admit that in between diaper changes, feedings, and nap schedules, it has been difficult to get out of the house with a young infant.  My daughter almost 11 months old now, I am finding myself coming out of the bubble that is being a mama to a young baby.  I do not want Rose to think that you can't go to the park because there are dishes in the sink. 

I am not saying that I have to keep a dirty and disordered house.  I would NEVER allow that to happen!  What I am trying to make a conscious effort to do, is to relax and let it go.  These things need to be done, and they will get done.  I need to allow myself to tackle the tasks within a timeframe that is humanly possible, and not attempt to do five things in the amount of time I should expect myself to conquer one task.  Mike has long joked that my to-do list for one day would be his to-do list for two months.  He says that the second I find my To Do list is low, instead of enjoying that freedom and taking the time to relax, I pile more things on my plate.  I try to do way too much each and every day!  At the age of 40, I have been frustrated by this for atleast 20 years.  When will I ever learn?!

I have always been someone who worries that it is thought that I don't work hard enough.  This was especially apparent when I stopped working full time in order to focus on my music career, my Masters of Music, and the process of adoption.  I was so worried that it would be thought that I was a lazy bon bon eating housewife and loaf of a musician and housewife.  NEVER have I felt pressure from Mike to have the house in perfect order.  He would be totally understanding if I was too busy composing one day to make dinner, or I hadn't done that load of dark laundry that could be done.  I PUT THE PRESSURE ON MYSELF.  I need to LET IT GO!