Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Tupelo Tree or Poop-elo Tree?

Still no news on our application from the agency. I even emailed our contact this week (to see if they got everything), but didn't get any clear answer of when we might hear something about setting up our interviews. So, I've been trying to keep myself preoccupied with other things.

I finally managed to clean out the room that we are going to make into the nursery. Up until now, it has served as our guest bedroom (which the office will now double as), and also held a bunch of junk in the closet. When we first bought our house, I painted it a wonderful green. Tupelo Tree to be exact. Now, if you know me at all, you know that my decorating style is pretty modern, and I LOVE color. Green is my favorite. I am not afraid of paint because my theory is, if you hate it, paint over it. When I bought the paint, my parents were up helping us with our move-in remodel. The look on my mother's face was priceless when she started slapping Tupelo Tree on the walls. "What did you call this again, Angela? Because it looks like Poopelo Tree". Of course, it is no surprise that my mother's taste and mine are a bit different, but baby poop?! I was offended, and when I told her it would eventually become the nursery, her reply was even more appalling..."no grandchild of mine will have to endure this color!"

As a girl who loves art and who worked 5 years for a degree in Interior Design, I must say that planning a nursery was definitely one of the most exciting parts of imagining our life with kids. I have decided to go completely retro-mod, and sorry Mom...Tupelo Tree is staying! I will continue to update with what's new in the room, but thought you should see the blank slate...or shall I say, green slate, and judge for yourself.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Father's Day

Among all this recent planning for kids, I can't help but think about my own Dad on Father's Day. A big part of who I am (more than just my looks) is a reflection of him, and because of the adoption process, I've been thinking a lot about what really makes someone a mother or a father. Anyone who knows my Dad is quick to tell you he is a special man, but this is why I think he is a special FATHER...

My Dad is really really Funny. Sometimes intentionally, but most of the time it just happens. Not many people know that my Dad woke me most mornings until I graduated high school and moved away, with his best "Elmo" voice. I still have no idea why he chose this character because we didn't have a TV to watch Sesame Street growing up, and I'm pretty sure I never owned one single stuffed Elmo. Of course, my brothers and I will never let him live down the story of him singing his version of Aerosmith's Dude Looks Like a Lady, which he was absolutely sure was "Do the Funky Lady". Or the time he tried to give my poor Aunt Polly the Heimlich maneuver when she really wasn't choking (just too tickled at him to breathe!) Whether telling a story (missing a few details), making embarassing jokes about his bald head(if you've heard it you know why I'm embarrassed), or just being his goofy self, my Dad never fails to leave the people around him in a laughing heap.

My Dad is completely Authentic. Never did the phrase "what you see is what you get" apply to someone so perfectly. He is honest (sometimes to a fault) about almost everything. I have never had to wonder what my Dad thought about any guy I brought home, how I looked going out, and most importantly if he loved me. He has been sure to tell me exactly how he feels. My Dad has a genuine love for God, his family, and the people around him, and his life reflects that. His priorities are set in stone, and his stubbornness sometimes works to his advantage(sorry mom)! He lives out what he believes and leaves no room for doubt in the minds of those around him. Just ask him his opinion or advice about anything (I mean anything) and he's sure to give you something to think about. He's also not afraid to cry. He's shown me that it's OK to be vulnerable and show your emotions...and then laugh really hard!

My Dad was made to be a Teacher. Unfortunately, I was not around yet when my Dad was a "certified" teacher, but I have seen him in a mentoring role all of my life. He has a natural knack for leadership and he has always enjoyed spending time with other people, whether his peers or those younger, sharing the most important part of his life-his relationship with God. I can't tell you how many members of our family, different friends, and complete strangers down and out have worked with him on his small construction crew over the years. Not really because they had a skill set that he needed, but because he enjoyed investing time with them and giving them a job that offered more than just a paycheck. Don't let his tough exterior fool you, he has a big heart full of mercy ready to give. He has taught me so many things...from driving a car(well actually his old 55 model dump truck) to loving people even when they make it really hard.

My Dad is Hard working. So yea, not only did my Dad build our house with his two hands...he built it twice! After the home that we lived in for 10 years, he and my Mom worked so hard to design and build, paid off just the month before, burned; my Dad picked up the pieces and built it again! He told us all that this time it would be better (my Mom told him it was already perfect), and his morale kept us going. We like to joke that my Dad can fall asleep anywhere. (When I was little I would climb on the back of the sofa where he sat slumbering, and tie his thinning short hair into tiny pigtails before he woke up!) Now I know he works so hard, the minute he stops his body crashes. If he's not at work doing construction, he's working on the car, fixing something for the grand kids, working on one of his kids houses, or tilling in the garden. He has always been a provider for our family and taught his kids the importance of a good work ethic.

My Dad is a great Example. I knew that when I found a man who loved me the way my Dad loved my Mom, I had met my husband. Every morning he starts his day at 5am...bringing my Mother coffee in bed. He still likes to surprise her, even though he's probably not as good at it now as he used to be. He is appreciative of what she does for our family. He helps her around the house...not afraid to do "women's work" as Jordan likes to joke (he's also quite good at this). He kisses her in public (ewww), and because he put their relationship first, our family has stuck together though hard times.

My dad is my Rolemodel. I have a lot of people that I look up to, but only a few that I hold so close to my heart. I still trust his advice, love his company, and fear the day that he's not a phone call away. So this Father's day, I am truly grateful for the man I call Dad. I love you Daddy, and I can't wait to make you a "grand"dad again!


Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Application has been received...

We got the email that our application is received and that a social worker is being assigned to us. We should get an email sometime soon to set up office interviews and our home study. I think I've checked my mailbox at least a hundred times in the last week!

Welcome to my blog!

So after swearing that I would never have the time or desire to keep a blog...here I am. By now, if we hadn't told you already, you've probably figured out that we're adopting!

My intention for this site is to provide a way for friends and family to keep up with us during our process, to keep me occupied while we're waiting, and to have some real, "in-the-moment" commentary that I can look back on.

So here are a few FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS that we've already answered a couple hundred times (I'm not tired yet!)....

Domestic or International?

Domestic-most likely from Texas

Private or Agency?

After looking at many, many agencies(and their many different policies, fees, and procedures) and talking to friends, acquaintances, praying and stressing, we are happy to be using Buckner Adoption & Maternity services here in Dallas

Gender, Race?

again, after a lot of prayer we have chosen not to specify either of these. We felt like gender wasn't a big deal at all, and after all, if we were having the baby...we wouldn't get to pick! When deciding on what race and ethnicity we were open to, it was a little more complicated. However, we decided that every child deserves a loving home, and we knew that our families could provide that and more. We really feel like our hearts are open to whomever God brings to us.

Age of child?

newborn-most of the children that Buckner places in their Domestic Infant adoption program are matched before birth and the adoptive parents take the baby home from the hospital

Open or closed?

one of the reasons we chose our agency was because of their belief in open adoptions. This was especially important to me, and Jordan has since come fully on board. Jim Gritter, In The Spirit of Open Adoption defines "True Open Adoption" as:

1. Birth family selects the adoptive family

2. The families meet each other face to face

3. They exchange full identifying information

4. They establish a significant ongoing relationship

To a lot of people, open adoption is a scary thing. Most of what we hear in the media are the rare horror stories. Often, a lack of knowledge leads to assuming the worst. The more research I did on the topic, the less anxious I was, and the more positive feedback I found. Our agency has been doing adoptions longer than any agency in Texas, and have seen the effects of open and closed adoptions...and feel so strongly about it, they only offer open. I could go on and on about this one, but maybe I'll save that for another post!

and the big one....


our agency has a 6-12 mth average wait after all paperwork, interviews, and home studies are complete.

So hopefully this answers a few of your basic questions. We are an open book so we'd love answer anymore that you might have.

More than anything, we are so excited about this new chapter of our lives. We know that this experience will be unique, and we can't wait to see what tomorrow looks like. (Don't worry...we're not naming the baby Tomorrow)