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Monday, June 15, 2015

Progress

We've made some progress since our "big announcement" in late May.

  • We applied to, and were accepted by, an adoption consulting agency to facilitate our match. Their average timeline to be matched is 7-9 months, so things could move pretty quickly!
  • Our home study has been completed and submitted. 
  • We received our first donations for anticipated adoption costs. Thank you for your generosity!
  • We made our first (of many) fee payments. 
  • We had a garage sale this weekend and made some money towards the adoption costs!  Thank you to our friends and family that donated stuff to sell as well as our family and friends that came to help.  We had A TON of stuff - check out the photo evidence below. Rain and flash flooding on Friday disrupted our sale, but Saturday was glorious.  Even with a successful sale, we received so much stuff to sell that we're going to have a second sale next weekend!


During the garage sale, one of the shoppers was asking Jenny about our adoptions (since we had advertised the garage sale as an adoption fundraiser) and decided to ask her if we'd "ever thought of having kids of our own." Don't get me wrong, we're not surprised by questions like this. In fact, we expect them. Jenny does a great job of using these interactions as a way to gently and respectfully educate those that ask the questions.  In this instance, Jenny responded by saying that Bailey is our own, which prompted the lady to uncomfortably try and clarify what she meant, only to land on "well, it's a lot of work anyways. I gained 75 pounds when I was pregnant." Asking us why we don't have biological children would be like us asking how many times they had to try before they successfully conceived.  Do you want to be asked that question by a stranger?? I didn't think so.

What's perhaps most interesting to us is the phenomenon that around adoption, strangers feel free to ask us the most invasive, inappropriate questions. Social norms seem to be thrown out the window.  It reminded me of this video that made its way around social media last year:



We don't get offended or hurt by the questions. After all, we've made a pretty conscious decision to be very open about our story.  Not just the good and flowery stuff, but the hard and sometimes painful realities as well. We know that people are curious and often times just don't know how to communicate their curiosity.  It can be difficult to always respond in an understanding and loving way.  But, ultimately we hope that we help people understand our hearts behind our adoption journey, understand a little more about adoption and perhaps contribute to others deciding to adopt. I'm sure every adoptive family has experienced these awkward moments. Perhaps our response will be different when Bailey's old enough to understand the conversation and hears a stranger referring to her as "not our own."

For those of you that are curious about adoption or an adoptive family's story, just be thoughtful and respectful about what you ask.  Admit your naiveté and your desire to learn and understand.  Or don't say anything at all ;)

Now, onto something a little lighter...

We've been trying to explain to Bailey that we're adopting again. It's fun helping her process that she'll soon have a baby sister or brother, and I think it gives her some context as she begins to process the reality of adoption in her own story. She's changing the words to songs to be about her baby brother/sister. We've got to get it on video...

I went in to wake Bailey up from her nap the other day. After briefly looking at me, her response was:


After a few minutes, she finally rolled over, only to hit me with this look:


Her snoozing habits are starting to really resemble her mama's. :-)

A couple weeks ago, Bailey was "clogged up"...needless to say, none of us was excited about the suggestion from the pediatrician.  I think the only thing worse than administering it is being the recipient.  Needless to say, Bailey wasn't even a little cooperative. After trying to bribe her with watching Frozen, eating a lollipop, and basically doing whatever she wanted, she still wouldn't go for willingly having a squirter shoved up her backside - could I blame her?!?  Before we knew it, Jenny's got Bailey over her legs and I was left with the unpleasant role of "administrator".  Well, it all happened so fast, but Bailey resisted with the full force of her little 33-lb body. "Enema juice" was flying all over the place.  I don't know how she deflected it, but she did. Somehow, the attempt ended as quickly as it began, and I was left with spray all over my glasses and in my mouth. Yay me. Jenny couldn't look at me without laughing and decided to refrain from kissing me until I had thoroughly cleansed my face and mouth.  It was gross. Thankfully, the following morning Bailey did her business and all was right in our world. 

I'm looking forward to the days that I don't have so many poop stories... You're welcome. :)

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

#2

Let's cut to the chase...

We're adopting...AGAIN!!!

After months of praying, thinking, waiting for DRC to reopen, more praying and thinking, we've decided to adopt domestically for #2. We're working with an agency that will network on our behalf  to maximize our chances of being matched with a birth mom. We could be matched in just 7 months or so!

For close to 18 months we waited, hoping that DRC would lift their suspension on exit letters and resume "normal" adoption processes. We researched and considered other international programs but never felt the nudge to move on any of them. As we prayed and considered domestic adoption, we both felt that it was the way to go.  This was clearly God working on our hearts as we were dead set on international adoption since we started the process the first time.  We still hope to adopt from DRC in the future...maybe for #3! :-)

We had a visit from our social worker last week for a home study update and expect our home study  to be finalized in the next week or so.  We're submitting our application to the agency we're working with this week. Assuming that it is accepted, we'll be off and running through the steps to be ready for a match with a birth mom.

We'll be documenting the process and the progress we make towards being matched. As was the case for Bailey's adoption, we need your support! It takes a village and we're so immensely thankful to have you all as part of ours! Here are a few ways you can help us, if you're interested:

  • Prayer - Please pray - pray for God to go before us in all of the details and to be preparing us and our birth mom for our match. Pray that it happens in His timing.  Pray for our relationship with the agency and for us to respond with grace when things don't go our way (which will happen). Pray for us as we explain to and prepare Bailey for life as a big sister! Most importantly, pray for our little one who may be growing in a birth mom's belly right now.  
  • Finances - While this adoption may be faster, it's not any cheaper! Domestic adoption is marginally less expensive than international adoption. We're trusting the Lord to provide the funding needed (expected to be ~$35,000) to bring our baby home. 
    • If you're interested in contributing financially, please use the "Donate" button in the right sidebar to donate through PayPal. We were going to setup a GoFundMe page but their fees are a bit too steep for our liking. 
    • If you'd prefer to send a check please email us at travisandjennyadopt@gmail.com for mailing details. 
    • We're doing a garage sale on Friday and Saturday, June 12th and 13th so let us know if you have any junk unwanted stuff we can take off your hands to sell!  
    • We'll also be selling shirts, applying for grants, and whatever other creative fundraisers we can do. Stay tuned for more details!
  • Spread the word - Once we have these fundraisers going, please consider sharing on your favorite social media platform(s)! 
More information coming soon.  For now, enjoy these pictures!


Pi Day!


 Happy St. Patrick's Day!



Easter Fun!






Adoption #2 "Photoshoot"







Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Broken

Oh look at that, it's been 5 months since our last post. The new year has come and gone, Bailey's THREE, and spring is right around the corner. 

A few days after Bailey's birthday, I broke my ankle playing rec-league soccer...the same day I decided to brag to Jenny that we had made it through January without meeting our health insurance deductible. The break required surgery and I've been on one leg for the last month. I'm now second-guessing why I decided to take up a new sport at 33, one as grueling as soccer. But I loved it! Up until my legs got swept out from under me, flipping me into the air, landing on my foot bent the wrong way. And so my soccer career ends as quickly as it began...

This is my first major foot or leg injury and honestly, it's made me feel old. I've gone from running around with reckless abandon to counting down the days until I can just walk again. The damage could take the better part of the year to heal, so I don't know when I'll be able to resume playing sports. 

This injury has had its way with me. After the surgery, pain meds were my new companion. Those thinks are blessing and a curse. Numb my pain, sure.  Screw with my psyche, you bet. I'm so thankful to have Jenny pushing me to recovery, to take care of me, but to also not feel sorry for myself. When you go from being really active to not being able to walk, it's easy to wallow in self-pity or slip into some level of depression. I'm lucky to have the family and friends around me to support and encourage me. I'm praying for patience as I take baby steps toward recovery. 





One of the most difficult aspects to my current reality is how it has changed how I can (or can't) interact with Bailey. I can't pick her up, I can't dance with her, even sitting on the ground takes work. I can't run to her when she gets hurt. I hate telling her I can't do something and that is now my answer more often then it ever should be. I can't wait until this reality is behind us. 

What's been precious has been Bailey's concern for me and her desire to help make me all better. She helps my put my walking boot on and take it off. One day with my foot elevated, she came up and gently kissed it.  It was so precious. 



Last weekend, I had Bailey to myself for the weekend while Jenny was away at an adoptive mom's retreat. I wasn't sure how well it would go, me being one-legged and all. Bailey was so good for me and we were able to have a lot of fun together! That kind of prolonged time together, while exhausting, was a nice change of pace from the brief time I usually get after work each day. We had so much fun laughing, playing, singing, reading, cooking, cleaning, eating, and so on.  Not to brag too much, but our little girl is so smart, so funny, and generally so well-behaved. I love her little personality and her little spirit. 




We'll be posting again soon with an update on our plans for adoption #2! Until then, enjoy these pictures!


Happy Halloween from the Wiggles!

1st Starbucks (hot chocolate!) while driving to see Christmas lights

Fun at the North Pole!



Merry Christmas!



So cute in her little workout suits. Future mall walker in 60-some years??
1st time ice skating!


Baking with Mama!
Celebrating No More Waiting Day 2015!
Not sure why Penny isn't smiling too...

Fun in the snow!


Saturday, October 25, 2014

Goodbye, Abby


Two weeks ago, we celebrated our family dog, Abby, turning Sweet 16. Today, we had to say goodbye. Two weeks ago, we thought she might just live for 16 more, but in two short weeks, she lost 20% of her weight, stopped eating, and blood work confirmed that her organs were shutting down.


So we said goodbye today to our sweet Abby. Goodbye to a furry friend that has been a part of Jenny's life for 16 years. To a frenemy of mine for 11 years, the duration of my relationship with Jenny.

I call her my frenemy not from my perspective but from hers.  I disrupted the happy little dynamic duo that those two had 11 years ago, and she's been stuck with me ever since. I kicked her off the bed, I made her the 3rd wheel. It was always clear where her allegiances were.

But Abby and I had a special relationship too. Working from home, we were forced into coexistence for 8+ hours per day, and I was her source of food, water, and doing her business. We formed a nice little bond during the work days, though I knew she would fight me to be the first in line at the door when Jenny got home each night.

We shared a love for food. I loved double-doubles from In-N-Out, and so did Abby. She had no qualms about helping herself to a burger or two that weren't being attended to. Bagels, Funfetti cake, Krispy Kremes. It really is a bit of a miracle she made it to 16!

And yes, she wore diapers. Diapers that have saved us thousands of dollars in carpet cleaning and replacement.  

I loved Abby. Saying goodbye to her has been difficult for me. She brought smiles to our faces so often, and was a quiet comfort when we needed it. When we couldn't conceive and struggled through infertility test after infertility test, she was the deserving recipient of that extra helping of love that we so desperately wanted to give a child.  When the wait for Bailey rolled on and on (and on and on), Abby provided a little bit of solace in those times of pain, frustration, anger. She was a source of laughter and happiness. When we started to take life a little too seriously or got a little too stressed out, there was our little diaper-clad Bichon, armed with a smile and a rapidly wagging tail, ready to soak up any affection we wanted to send her way.

Any time Jenny would get sick, Abby would jump on the bed and curl up right next to Jenny, loving on her as she was in pain. To me, it was just a beautiful image of their relationship.

This is the Abby I'll ever forget:



Perhaps the most beautiful part of saying goodbye to Abby was Bailey's response. Jenny told her (because I was a blubbering mess and probably would've said something not-so-age-appropriate) that Abby was very sick and that she was going up to Heaven to be with Jesus. Her initial response was "She gets to go to Heaven and play with Jesus? COOL!" What a refreshing reminder of the perspective we should all have of our own lives.



After a few hugs with her "little puppy" as she calls her, she said goodbye and went off to her nap, giving me a few quiet moments with Abby. There's nothing fun about loss, even if it is "just" a family pet. Abby was just that, a member of our family. She will be deeply missed, but so joyfully remembered.