Saturday, April 30, 2011

Classes 3 & 4 Down and A Much Needed Visit

Wow, these last two weeks have been crazy busy!  Sam has been such a good sport about Tuesdays and Thursdays even though he could easily complain about them.  Here is his schedule on those days:
6:30am - leave for work
7:00am - first meeting of the day
5:10pm - leave work to come home (he never leaves right at 5)
5:40 - arrive at home, quickly change clothes
5:45 - get in car, I drive us to class while Sam eats a sandwich and Baked Lays
6:00 - class starts
9:00 - class is over
The good news is that we are almost half way through with classes (technically 4/9).  Thursday we talked about loss and grief.  My friend Denise, who teaches the class, texted my that morning to warn me, so I told Sam as we were driving there.  His response was, "Did you tell Denise that we've got this one?"  As class was beginning he leaned over and whispered, "I suggest you don't talk tonight because you will cry."  When I laughed at his suggestion he got straight faced and said, "I'm serious."  All in all, the class wasn't bad (it was definitely better than Tuesday's class that dealt with abuse).

On a slightly different note, I took another step in my healing process this week.  I went to the hospital and visited my friend Krystal and her new baby Laken.  I hadn't been to the hospital since last May.  Krystal is a girl (well, she's my age, what do we call people our age, lady, young lady, I don't know) I work with at my current job who has been so sweet and understanding to me.  Although I had already given Krystal a baby gift, I made a hospital gift for Laken for three reasons; (1) I needed a reason that I HAD to go by the hospital so I wouldn't talk myself out of it, (2) a friend made one of these so I was itching to try it, and (3) Krystal and her husband love playing Mario Kart and you just can't find any cute Mario baby clothes.

This thing is seriously cute, right!?  I cut a couple of T-shirts apart to make this newborn gown.  Although it isn't my best craftsmanship, I like the look of it.  

After a couple of deep breaths I was able to enter the hospital and go up to the labor and delivery ward.  When I got there I ran into one of the nurses I had while I was in the hospital to deliver Aubrey, I had prepared myself that this might happen so I was able to talk with her without losing it.  She didn't know who I was at first, but kept looking at me like she recognized me.  When I told her that I was there to deliver my daughter last May she started nodding her head and came over and gave me a hug.  We talked for a few minutes then she randomly made a comment about the gift card that we gave her to Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory and how awesome it was (see Sam, I told you that was a good choice for women).  I finally made it to Krystal's room and talked with them for a little bit before gathering up the courage to hold sweet little, less than a day old, Laken.  My heart was beating heavy before and for the first few minutes I was holding him, but quickly calmed down.  After I held him for a little while, I gave him back to his daddy and left.  This is the part I didn't prepare myself for.  I pushed the elevator button and the emotions began, it just felt like I was leaving the hospital empty handed again.  I went to my car and sat and cried and called Sam who talked me through it and suggested I go home and take a nap (which I did).  Do I regret going to the hospital?  Not at all.  I needed to take this step and feel that Krystal and her family were very kind in taking that step with me (or rather allowing me to take that step with them).  

Friday, April 22, 2011

Two Classes Down and Home Study Progress

Last night was our second Resource Family Class (also referred to as parenting class).  In our class their are about 25 people.  Two other couples are there to adopt (one of which had foster children in the past and now wants to adopt four kids under the age of eight... and people think we're crazy :(), their are also a few couples who are just there to be foster parents, the rest are kinship of some sort meaning they had a relationship with children that went into DHS care (they can be family, teachers, go to the same church, their are many options for kinship) so they already have children in their homes.  The class is a little interesting because it is aimed at kinship and foster parents.  The ultimate goal of a Bridge Resource Family (people taking this class) is to reunite the children with their parents.  If reunification is not possible for whatever reason, that's when couples like us are allowed to adopt the children.  Two classes down, seven more to go.

I have to tell you a sweet story that goes with our Resource Family Class.  The first night, we wrote our name and reason for being in class on the front of our "name tent."  We were then asked to draw a picture of what we are most proud of on the back.  I asked Sam what he was going to draw and he said, "I'm just going to draw an arrow pointing to you."  Sweet, right!  Well, I told him that he's a dork and he needed to actually draw something.  Here's what he came up with:
Yes, Sam is making and "O", I'm making a "S", and Bella is saying "U".  Notice little miss Aubrey up on the right with her halo and wings.  I love it!!!

The first visit with our home study contractor went well.  In fact, we will be finished with the home study in the minimum number of visits since our house already passed due to all the safety features we implemented.  All we lack in relation to the home study is information regarding us, how we were raised, our families, and how we will raise children (we will finish these through e-mail), as well as our physicals and finger prints (which we have scheduled for May 3) and our life book.  Here is the emergency information we posted on the refrigerator:
I might have been a little anal about including any information they might possible need including how to give directions to our house, but I didn't want to leave anything off.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

5k (success), Aubrey's Easter Flowers, and Class Starts Tonight

A 5k race is an interesting thing.  In fact, about 1/2 mile in I was convinced that I never wanted to run another one.  It's not the running (to be truthful my pace is more of a jog) that bothers me, it was all the people.  My sweet husband (who ran at my pace even though longer strides are much easier for him) suggested we start towards the back of the group so we could pass people instead of getting passed (you know, to help our mental game).  Well, that's all fine and dandy until you end up behind about 600 people who are going slower than you while they take up the entire road, it's just hard to set your pace when your are in a group of people that tight.  After the first mile or so, people started to spread out making it a much more enjoyable experience.  In the end, I was able to complete the race accomplishing both of my goals, the one I verbalized (to run the entire race) and the one I hoped for (to finish in less than 30 minutes).  Overall it was a great experience and I've already decided to look for another 5k to participate in in a few months.

After the run, Sam and I planted some tulips at Aubrey's grave.  I've been wanting to plant something out there for a while, but couldn't decide what I wanted.  Earlier in the week, when I went shopping, I saw pots of tulips at the store.  I told Sam about them and that I was thinking about getting some for the house, he suggested that we get some to plant for Aubrey instead.  We went back to the store together and he picked out some purple tulips for our little angel which surprised me because he normally picks pink stuff for her.  I love how they look behind her headstone, hopefully they will survive out there.

Tonight and Thursday we have our first and second parenting classes for DHS and tomorrow we have the first visit of our actual home study (with the contracted person, not our caseworker... I know, this whole process confuses me too)!  I'll let you know how it all goes.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Adoption Update, 5k (fingers crossed), and a Clean Garage

We just scheduled the first visit of our home study for next Wednesday, April 20th!!!   I guess that means I need to gather the rest of the documents they requested and complete the papers they left before then.:)  When I called Sam to tell him he said, "Wow, we're getting closer."

 On a different note, I might be crazy but I'm running in my first 5k this weekend! It's funny when you tell people that you are "training" to run a 5k because you always get one of two responses;  there are the runners who are like, "No big deal, that's my warm-up" and the non-runners who are like, "What?  That's a long way to run."  I've been wanting to run a 5k for a while, but haven't been able to because either a.) we were doing fertility treatments, b.) I was pregnant, or c.) we were doing fertility treatments (between the pre-Aubrey and post-Aubrey treatments it feels like we were doing them forever, it's kind of nice to not be worried about that anymore.)  I was letting the dogs run with me until I reached the two mile mark, at that point Sam told me that I needed to quit taking them with me because he didn't want Bella's joints to start hurting her.  As much of a pain as it was sometimes, I miss this view:
Notice how hard Rufus is pulling on his leash... and this was after our two mile jog.  What can I say, that boy has energy!

Last weekend, in keeping with our spring cleaning and organizing (and purging), we cleaned out our garage.  I don't have any before pictures because, frankly, it was embarrassing (let's just say we couldn't fit a vehicle in there).  The shed Sam built me has helped greatly as we moved all of the lawn and garden stuff out there.  We still have to organize the back counter and cabinets, but I'm stoked about how the rest of it looks.  I think the part I like best, other than being able to park my car in there, is that our bikes actually have a home on the wall now.