2014
10/30

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Uncategorized

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Adoption Questions People Ask…Why Are We Deterring this?

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Lately I have come across so many articles of questions you shouldn’t ask people who adopt. I get that people can be insensitive but seeing these articles all the time bugs me. I started the blog for numerous reasons but a big one was to put information out there. To let my friends and family know about the process, the ups and downs, and even the financial aspect. I have wanted to adopt since I was about 8 years old (give or take), am a licensed social worker, researched like crazy, and I still had so many questions when we started the process. In fact I didn’t even know what a truly open adoption could look like.

It’s not that I feel like every adoptive parent has to tell all of their business, but I do want to be an advocate for adoption and adoption education. As we ask questions we just need to be thoughtful of what we are asking. Other than that, if phrased nicely, I would be happy to answer your questions. Questioning is how we learn and grow. Here is the thing, we are the faces of adoption so if we respond to an offensive comment with a rude reply or an abrupt end to the conversation then we have done one of two things;

1) Shut the conversation down for good with that person and/or

2) Allowed them to continue asking the same offensive question to another family.

During our adoption seminar the social worker had us write down the offensive questions family and friends had asked us since opening up about our adoption plan. Quite frankly at the time I could only think of one. We had so much support and positivity from the moment we told everyone that I was actually pretty surprised by the one offensive question. Needless to say, it took a lot of will power to answer with respect but I think I did a decent job for the first awkward question. I also hope that I used language that they used/remembered from that point on. I will say I was pretty astounded by some of the questions others in our seminar had been asked. Our job of advocators for adoption will not be an easy one if we have to respectfully respond to some of those questions, but I beg anyone in the adoption community to try.

With all this said, there is one thing that I will not answer. My daughter’s story of what happened prior to being adopted is her story, not mine and I suspect that most other parents will protect their children’s stories too.

We all have our things that we are knowledgeable in whether it’s politics, religion, math, social work, or where to get the best hamburgers. Unfortunately we need to remember that we also ALL have things that we are NOT familiar with.

And maybe, just maybe if we do a good job of answering those questions, then there will be a couple of other families with a little more insight into adoption.

2014
10/30

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Uncategorized

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Baeya’s First Birthday

Baeya came into our lives with a force. We were a family of 3 one day and the next a family of four. She has filled our lives with love from the moment we laid eyes on her. She loves to be held, loves to give hugs, and loves to climb anything available. I cannot believe that she is one. We had such a good time celebrating with family and friends. I made it a goal to have everything ready when everyone got there so thanks to our awesome family Nate and I were able to spend the majority of time celebrating with Baeya and Owen. (Normally I feel like I am in the kitchen most of Owen’s past birthdays.) My mom also took some awesome pics for us!

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2014
10/28

Category:
Family
Our Adoption

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Fritzel Number 4 Updated

When I originally wrote our adoption story of Baeya I was so filled with excitement and joy that my post didn’t exactly come out the way I intended. So in honor of Baeya’s birthday and the weekend that made our lives SO MUCH MORE I thought I would do a better job of capturing the weekend Baeya was born, brought into our lives, and became part of us.

Nate, Owen, and I went to the OU/Texas Tech game on Saturday for our annual family rivalry game and had a great time minus a little rain, well… I had a great time;)
I left a little earlier than Nate to get Owen back to my brothers and in bed. While we were winding down, hanging out with my nephew, mom, and sister-in-law I got a call from our social worker that they were showing our adoptive parent scrapbook page to a couple who had already had their baby. She was born the night before at 10:54 pm. I figured I would wait to tell Nate when he got back. This was the second time that we had received one of these phone calls. Obviously we were not chosen the first time so I didn’t feel in too big of a rush to share the anxiety-inducing news with Nate. About exactly one hour later at 8:20 we got another call from the social worker, and my heart about leapt out of my chest. When you don’t get picked you definitely don’t get a callback an hour later telling you the bad news. I ran into the other room to speak with her in private. Meanwhile my sister-in-law and mother had caught on pretty quickly that something big was happening. I was then told that the birthmother and birthfather had chosen us. Our social worker was telling me about the risk involved which can include things like if the baby has Native American blood and of course the potential of the birthparents changing their minds etc.  I was just sitting on the bed with my mouth open trying so hard to hear what she was saying, except all I could think was, I may have a daughter out there right now. Nate luckily walked in about 1 minute after I got off the phone. Telling Nate that we were selected to adopt a baby girl was pretty overwhelming. I could barely get it out without bursting into tears. There were a few more conversations with the social worker over the phone, once Nate was in the know, and an email sent with some more information about the birth family. By the time we had read and discussed everything it was 10 pm. We then had to decide when we were leaving for Beaumont.
Owen had still yet to go to sleep due to the craziness and we contemplated just putting him in the car but decided against it. And thank goodness we did because when we “woke” at 6:20 Owen was coughing the bark cough. Like the kind that tells you, this baby is SICK. By the way I put “woke” in quotes because I am sure you can imagine how much we slept knowing that we were about to be united with our soon to be second child. So we put Owen in the car and headed home making lots of phones calls and “googling” the whole way. Thank
goodness for smart phones! We learned that Beaumont is a 6 hr drive from home. I made Owen an appt on Sunday morning in Keller at an urgent care for kids, and spoke with Nate’s mom about potentially keeping him for us. We ran home pulled out every attic box in order to find newborn clothes, bottles, burp cloths, blankets, car seat, and anything else we could think of and were able to get a load of baby laundry done.

We ended up leaving Owen in Ft. Worth because the doctor thought it was best. Paula (Nate’s mom) came to get Owen and we packed up the car and headed to the airport. When we landed there were a several  issues that we encountered. The first obstacle was getting a rental car. Not one place in Beaumont rented cars on Sunday. We had setup a rental car for the airport we were flying into but mid flight we realized there was a much closer airport and we flew into that one. (BTW-Nate’s dad has his private pilots license and has a plane for his company. We wanted to get down there as quickly as possible so he graciously flew us and stayed with us there throughout the adoption process.) So when we got to the new airport we realized that they did not have rental cars available. We ended up taking a cab to the hotel, but on the way to the hotel realized that Nate had booked the wrong hotel on accident. Which meant that we weren’t within walking distance to the hospital like originally hoped. By this time it was a Sunday at about 3 o’clock and baby girl was born Friday night. I was pretty much frantic to get to the baby, but we then found out that the hospital would not allow us to hold or see the baby unless the birthmother was present. The problem was the birthmother had checked out of the hospital the day before and lived in another town about 30 mins away. So our social worker had called and asked the birthmother to meet us at the hospital and came and picked us up from our farther away hotel. (Thank goodness for those Social Workers;) She took us to the hospital where we were able to meet birthmom and birth gma. We were then able to hold the baby for 2 hours while we got to know the birth family. They are wonderful people and we instantly liked them.

After having to say goodbye that night we were to meet up at Buckner’s office the following day at 11 to sign the paperwork and take sweet baby home. We walked to a rental car place the next morning and were able to go to Walmart and buy some formula and a couple of clothing items before heading to the adoption agency. Unfortunately due to problems with the hospital, the social worker wasn’t able to check baby out without the birthmother which didn’t get done until 3:30pm. We had waited all day to see her and were overjoyed when they finally walked her through the doors. We also had a few other hurdles with photo id’s and notary publics so the paperwork finally was signed at about 6:30 pm. We weren’t too upset waiting at this point due to the adorable baby girl we got to hold the whole time. After the paperwork was signed we did the entrustment ceremony and shed many tears together. Baby Girl’s birthparents were there and able to say goodbye (for now). They had named sweet baby girl Hope which seemed very fitting to all of us. Nate had come up with the top three baby names with Baeya being the favored. After speaking with the birthparents and seeing their reaction to the name Baeya, it was a done deal. We had to spend another night due to the craziness of last night, so we are on the plane headed home now. Can’t wait to introduce little Baeya to her big brother Owen. I should also say that I am forever greatful to my wonderful father-in-law who flew us down there and experienced all the ups and downs with us along with my mother-in-law, mother, and sister who took good care of big brother Owen anxiously waiting on news the whole time.

So welcome home Fritzel number 4, we have been faithfully awaiting your arrival;) God is so Good!

Hope: the feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best.

Nate's Iphone 877 Nate's Iphone 895 Nate's Iphone 906 Nate's Iphone 908 Nate's Iphone 909

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2014
09/19

Category:
Family

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Florida getaway

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Nate and I hadn’t taken a trip with Nate’s family in several years. In fact, the last vacation we took was probably before Owen was born. We do go to Illinois to visit Nate’s extended family usually once a year but as far as vacations it just hadn’t happened in a while, until this year. I also am not counting wedding weekends because those are VERY frequent in Nate’s extended family. He has a lot of cousins!
Nate and I had taken Owen to Destin last year and fell in love so when his mother asked us if we would like to take a trip we immediately said Destin. His parents rented a beautiful 4 bedroom house in Sandestin that my vacation-planning husband found. It had two golf carts so you could pretty much go anywhere in them which is nice not having to deal with car seats. (Don’t judge, yes Baeya rode in a golf cart in a golf cart community). We had so much fun and are pretty sure we haven’t been on an actual 7 day vacation since our Jamaican honeymoon eight years ago. We had many days of pool, beach, guys golfing, shopping, movies, restaurant eating, and two boat rides. Unfortunately Nate’s brother and fiancé didn’t get to join us but the kids got their papa and grandma to themselves for a week and their own rooms. (Which was nice for mom and dad considering the little one still doesn’t exactly sleep through the night). Of course the dolphin cruise and the pirate cruise were Owen’s two favorites. Since we have been home both kids have been sick with ear infections but that hasn’t stopped Owen from reciting his new mantra, “We are the crew from the bucc-a-neer, yo ho ho and a bottle of root beer” incessantly. I believe that Captain Hook is definitely the top contender for Halloween this year. Thanks Mike and Paula for a great trip!

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2nd Annual Cornholers for Adoption

If you have been friends/acquaintances with Nate and I for the past 15 months, you know that

A) We adopted our smart, independent daughter, Baeya Hope, last year

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and B) one way we were able to do that is through a fundraiser that we had in June of 2013 that we loving call Cornholers for Adoption.
Obviously adoption is close to our hearts and when we came up with the fundraiser idea we wanted it to not only benefit our situation at the time but to hopefully benefit other families in the future.
Our very good friends, Rob and Caroline Carmack, have decided to adopt also through Buckner and are allowing us the opportunity to host a 2nd Annual Cornholers for Adoption fundraiser for their sweet growing family. If you don’t already know them here is a link to their Go Fund Me page. You can also learn more about them on Rob’s blog. Sweet Caroline Boutique is Caroline’s adorable etsy shop to help raise money for the adoption as well.

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We learned a lot from last years fundraiser number one being, June may be a little hot to have a cornhole tournament in a airplane hangar without air conditioning. So the tournament will be Saturday, October 4. This is a family friendly event where we hope to have amateur cornholers up to the league attending diehard cornholers, such as my husband. Please do not feel intimidated, there will be different brackets for different levels of players to win, yes there is prize money:) We will be raffling off lots of goodies and will have some kid friendly activities. We will also have plenty of opportunity to buy food throughout the day (another thing we learned the hard way). If you have never played cornhole or unsure of the rules please watch this you tube video.

So please mark your calendars and find a partner (or we can find you one)! You will not want to miss out, here are some pics from last year.
If you have any potential raffle items to donate or a spare bounce house we could use please let Caroline or myself know. Hope to see you there!