Saturday, February 26, 2011

Day 57

Okay so I totally forgot to take a picture of dinner from tonight, but it was soooooo delicious! Talk about an easy recipe too! You just add a pork roast, 18 oz bottle of your favorite BBQ sauce and 12 oz of Dr. Pepper and then add it all to the crock pot and cook on low for 8 hours or so. I also made roasted red potatoes and sauteed asparagus.

Today my party pack for my Philly Cream Cheese Dinnertime Dilema Cooking Creame party came! There are wooden spoons for everyone as well as coupons and a magnet and note pad. I got an oven mitt and skillet for hosting, as well as coupons for free stuff so I can make items for everyone to try at the party. I can't wait!

Today we went shopping for some clothes for Gus and I had wanted to get some things for 12-18 months, but since it's the winter clearance, I got things for next winter, so I got 18-24 month clothing. So strange to buy things in that age-range but I know it'll be here before I know it! Now I just need some stuff for the spring/summer that's 12-18 months. I'm such a cheap-o... I found a TON of really cute stuff at Old Navy, but it wasn't on sale and I know how fast Gus grows out of things. I just can't bring myself to pay more than $3 for something. I think maybe this next week or two I'll head back to Once Upon A Child or Kid-to-Kid and see if I can get some spring/summer clothes for Gus without spending an arm and a leg.

This morning Steve made his hashbrown casserole (yummm) and we had that for breakfast while we watched GAC (Ghost Adventures on the Travel Channel). Steve's dad and Sue Ann had never watched a full episode... I was worried that they'd hate it, but it was a good episode and I think they liked it. While we were watching, Steve had Gus in his lap and they were playing with one of the apps that Steve has for Gus on his iPad.
Before our trip out for some shopping and lunch, Steve's dad and Sue Ann took Gus and the dogs for a walk around the neighborhood. Again, Gus was in his wagon and was beyond thrilled to be going again!!

When they got back from their walk, we headed to Old Navy and then to Red Robin for lunch. I swear today something was wrong with my brain connection and my speech. I SWORE I ordered one thing, and instead something different came out. When I asked if I ordered it, everyone said I did. I was certain that I said one thing, but said something else. I hate when that happens!
We hit up the Teeter for some asparagus and then I had an e-Vic coupon for two 2-Liters of Coke for $0.70 each and I used it on Diet Coke for Sue Ann. She got some fruit and veggies for their drive home tomorrow.

While we were out shopping today, I got a call from my friend Lisa. She's one of the Scholastic Teacher Advisors that I met last year and LOVED. She and I spent all our time together along with Kristen and Jon. The four of us did what we called the "Food Network Tour" and went to a few places in NYC that have been featured on various shows on the Food Network. She called me to tell me that they were out enjoying part II of the tour and they were thinking about me. :)  It made me really happy to know that they were thinking about me and missing me. They all said that the trip is okay, but not the same without me. It was awesome to hear about the fun that they're having and what things Scholastic has instore for them. I hope I get the same goodies that they got... we'll see if they actually send me the stuff like I was promised.

Anyway... we came home and then I made dinner. We had a nice dinner, Steve took an awesome video of Gus being himself at dinner. He and his grandma spent some time together while we cleaned up the kitchen.

We gave Gus a bath and took him to bed, and then the four of us watched Kitchen Nightmares and Modern Family from our GIGANTIC list of DVR'd shows that we need to get caught up on! It's now time for bed. Steve and Sue Ann are leaving around 5am tomorrow... it was a great visit with them and we're looking forward to seeing them in May. They bought Gus some nice clothes today and one of the things they bought was a cute pair of swimtrunks and a cute top. They want to go to the beach when they come back in the summer and Gus will be sportin' his cute clothes that they got him today!

See you tomorrow!

Gus Talking at Dinner

Friday, February 25, 2011

Day 56

Gus in his new wagon with his bear

We got up this morning around nine and I was so thankful that Gus got his full twelve hours last night. He woke at midnight and then again at six, and then thankfully went three more wonderful hours. He had another late night tonight, but at least got two solid naps during the day today.

Steve and Sue Ann went to Wal-Mart around noon and came back with Subway for lunch and they also bought Gus his very first wagon. This thing is the absolute best gift that Gus has received so far. He LOVES it! Steve and I are going to use it instead of the stroller when we go to the Planet Earth Festival in April.

Anyway, Steve's dad was so excited to take Gus for a trip around the block in it. At first Gus wasn't sure how he felt about it, but he really enjoyed it, and I don't know who enjoyed themselves more, Gus or his Grandpa Walker.  :)

While Grandpa was taking Gus up and down the street, I decided to take some pictures of things around the house. I am quite pleased with my pictures!

After playing outside for a bit, Wendy came home with Ryan and the girls. They had gone to pick up Kaitlyn from school. I took a few pictures of the girls and think they turned out really cute! Gus absolutely adores Wendy. :)   It was nice for Steve's dad to meet her as well, since I talk about her non-stop.
The classic picture of the little sister chasing after the big sister...  <3

My amazing best friend  :D

I absolutely LOVE this picture of K! You can't see her face, but it's such a pretty picture!!
Wendy and K

The child refuses to let me take her picture!!!!

After a little bit outside with Wendy and the girls and Ryan, we headed inside and Gus took another nap. When he got up, Steve and Sue Ann wanted to take him on a walk with the dogs. They were gone for about 30-45 minutes and Steve came home while they were out. When they came back, I headed back outside to take more pictures of Gus with his hoodie and sunglasses. He's truly too school for cool.  ;)

It was about time to head out for dinner, so I took a few more pictures of Gus with his grandparents, with Steve and I FINALLY got a picture of the three of us. :)

We went to Mamma Mia's for dinner and of course had an excellent meal. I just love that place and haven't had anything yet that I don't love. We stayed for a really long time just talking and enjoying the company of Steve's dad and Sue Ann. After a nice dinner we came home and now it's bedtime!

There's talk of Steve and Sue Ann taking Gus to the beach tomorrow. Not sure if it's going to happen... Sue Ann REALLY wants to put her toes in some sand and see the ocean, but not sure if they'll go. If they do, and they take Gus... it'll be the first time EVER that Steve and I will be alone in the house without Gus. We'll see...

I'm making this new recipe tomorrow. It's Dr. Pepper BBQ pork and I'm eager to see how it is!! I'll take pictures and post them tomorrow with news on how it went. We're having Steve's delicious hash brown casserole for breakfast tomorrow and I can't wait!!


2-25-11 Horsey.MOV

2-25-11 New Wagon.MOV

Open Adoption Feelings

Gus and his birth father's entire family

Gus and his birth mother's entire family (and two friends)

Okay... Gus is down for his morning/afternoon nap and I have a few minutes to actually collect my thoughts and write about my experience this last week.

As most of you know, we went back home to MI for the week last Wednesday to see my side of our family. While home, I thought it'd be a great chance for Gus's birth family to see him. When he was born, his birth mom and her mom were the only two who were at the hospital for her. Her dad and two brothers did not come, so we didn't meet them. His birth father came to the hospital to meet him, but we didn't get to see him there. We ended up meeting Gus's birth father and his mother, father, and grandma at a diner one day when Gus was about two days old. 

When we got Gus baptized, (May 22nd), his birth mom came with her mom, and then his birth father came with his mom and middle sister. That's all that we got to meet, and the drama at the baptism was too much for me to deal with and we didn't even talk to anyone after the sacrament. They left and there was some drama with his birth father's side, and it got ugly.

Anyway... I sent his birth father's mother (L) and birth mother's mother (P) messages on Facebook to let them know that we were going to be coming to MI and to let them know that we'd be able to visit with them if they wanted to see Gus. I wasn't sure if they were ready to see him yet, as they weren't expecting a visit until May/June.

Both were super excited about the opportunity to see him and we made the arrangements to meet. L decided to do Thursday at 5:30 and then got a little upset that they'd only have an hour with him. I got frustrated because I didn't want to revert back to drama with her. After talking to my cousin, I was able to calm down and Steve and I decided that the next visit will be 100% on our terms.

Anyway, we met them at Jungle Java and I was so nervous. I wasn't as nervous as the day we arrived at the hospital and I stepped out of the Edge, but I was feeling ill and thought I was going to be sick. I had to keep reminding myself that if things didn't go well, we don't owe them anything and can walk away at any time.

Fortunately, that wasn't an issue at all. L came up to me and gave me a big hug and was really excited to see us and Gus. He was in a great mood (he had napped on the way over and felt rested), and he was very happy to be held and meet his two aunts for the first time.

My mom and dad came with us and I'm so glad they were there to experience the moment with us. There's something to be said about open adoption and when it works, it's amazing. Prior to the visit, my mom had said, "You don't have to see them every time you come to MI... it'll confuse him as to who his family is." After the visit, I think she got it.

And I got it. There were times when Gus was crawling around and while he was happy to meet his birth father's family, he came to me and Steve and knew who his parents were. He's nine-months and wasn't confused. I think as long as we keep an open dialog with him he'll always be able to talk to his birth family and to us and ask anything that he's wondering. I want him to know how much everyone loves him.

So we left the visit with the birth father's family on a high. The one visit I was most apprehensious of, turned out to be amazing. His aunts were so in love with him, and L was over the moon smitten with him. They loved on him and were able to satisfy the need/desire to see him. It was incredible.

Then on Saturday we had lunch with Gus's birth mom's aunt (Sharon) and her kids and my cousin. They're the reason we have Gus and it was great to see them. They're such great people and have welcomed us into their lives and treat us like we're an extension of their family. Sharon and Mike offered to host Gus's birthday celebration at their cottage in May and I think that's what we're going to do. It'll be so wonderful.

Then Sunday we met with Gus's birth mom and her family. I don't know why I was nervous about it, but I was. Maybe because I am female and know if I had birthed a baby and placed it for adoption, when the time came to see him/her again, it'd be so difficult. However, his birth mom C didn't seem to be upset or anything. 

It almost felt like she was just another teenager with no connection to him, there to play with him. I didn't see any maternal hold on him (which was good for me), and she just seemed to enjoy being in his presence. Again, while playing, he would come to me or Steve to be held, and it was so great and reassuring to know that he loves us.

Unless you've been through an open adoption you probably can't understand what it felt like to watch him with his birth mom and her family. It was almost fake to me. Does that make sense? I know I didn't birth him, but that TINY detail is insignificant day-to-day and he IS my son. So, meeting the woman who did birth him, was like she was just another person. And at the same time, she is the most incredible, amazing person too. She gave life to this beautiful little man, and I am indebted to her forever because of that.

That night, I told Steve that I don't know if I can/want to adopt again. The raw emotion of the ordeal came through and I just felt like I don't want to share my child with another woman. I don't want to have to share his love, or share him and always have to deal with the fact that for the rest of his life... he's adopted. 

Of course, it was a fleeting moment and I'm back on track with wanting another child and if adoption is how it happens, then we will do that. But, it's so hard to be in the infertile boat. 

So maybe we can't get pregnant because we are among the few who actually can handle adoption. Maybe we are able to come to terms with things and be willing to extend our family a little farther by including a birth mom and her family and a birth father and his family. They certainly have extended their arms and have embraced us, and for that I am so very grateful.

So it's a work in progress. I don't think it's perfect, but it was wonderful to get the first meeting out of the way and let the doors stay open for follow-up and future visits. I don't think Gus will ever be confused about who his parents are, and will view his birth family as most view their own extended family members. They're related, but not people that he sees daily. They're important, and he'll care about them and they care about him, but his family consists of me and Steve, our parents, and our siblings and their families.

In May/June when we go back north, we'll experience the joy of meeting his birth mom's extended family including her aunts, uncles, cousins, and her grandmother. We'll also meet his birth father's extended family. This time it'll be one gathering and they'll all have to share their time with him. Steve and I will sit back and relax while both sides of Gus's birth family celebrate the first year of his life.
H and Gus on May 11th, 2010
H and Gus on February 17th, 2011

C and Gus on May 11th, 2010

C and Gus on February 20th, 2011

I can't wait.


Thursday, February 24, 2011

Day 55

We had a great day today! We got up and headed to Knightdale with Wendy and the girls. It was so nice to FINALLY see her after going more than a week without her! She got her new glasses and looked incredible. :)

We decided to get some Mexican for lunch and headed to the place in HS. While we had lunch, Gus took a nap and I snapped a few pictures of him.

When we finished lunch, Wendy took Gus and the girls to The Dollar Store and I headed to Fantastic Sam's and got my hair cut. I don't know how it actually looks yet because I pulled it back right away, and she didn't wash it (annoying). I just wanted something simple and cheap, and that's what I got. I figure my, "It's hair... it'll grow back" attitude is a good one to have when going to a place like FS for a trim.

I headed back to the Dollar Store and found a cute frog smock for Gus (he's too little now, but it was $1 and he'll eventually need one). Then I said bye to Wendy and headed to Wal-Mart to do our grocery shopping for the week. I'm pretty impressed with myself. Not only did I do the shopping by myself, but I also put everything away AND cleaned up the kitchen so that it was presentable for Steve's dad and Sue Ann.

While I was cleaning and preparing dinner (Crack Casserole and Caesar salad), Gus decided to crawl into the tiny space for his toys. He squeezed himself into the area and was so delighted to be in there with all his toys.
Steve got home and we had dinner, and then watched some of Idol from last night. Then his dad and Sue Ann arrived around 7:15ish and we visited with them while they had dinner. Gus ended up staying up until 8:45... and we'll see how that goes over tonight. I'm praying that he sleeps until 8:45 tomorrow morning.
On another note... today is the day that all my Scholastic Teacher Advisor friends are arriving in NYC for the weekend with Scholastic. It makes me sad that I was excluded this year, but there's nothing I can do about it. Some of my good friends from last year have sent me messages and texts today saying that they're thinking about me, and it made me feel a little better. :(

I still want to blog about my feelings on meeting the birth families, but I am too tired to do that now. I'll get to it this weekend.

See you tomorrow... It's supposed to be in the 70s and I can't wait!!!