Saturday, November 12, 2011

Day 316

November 12th, 2010

November 12th, 2011
Today was a really long day. I'm not sure what time Steve and Gus got up, but I was woken up at 8:00 by Gus at the top of the stairs. He must have decided to come up and see me while he and Steve were downstairs. He's a quick little guy! 

This morning we just hung out in our pjs and watched television. After Gus's morning nap, we headed to Aldi in FV for grocery shopping. I don't "hate" Aldi, but it's not my favorite place to shop.

I guess it comes from having to shop there when I was with my ex. We didn't have money and Aldi was the cheapest place to shop. I should like it, since it's saving money, but I can't really get over my own issues with a bad time in my life and not having any other choice but to shop there. I guess I look at it like, now that I'm not forced to shop there, I won't.

We did get some good deals though, and decided that if the cat litter is any good, we'll be buying it from there for $3.99 for a BIG container, versus the same thing at Wal-Mart for $9.00. We got our veggies and produce from there today and hopefully they'll taste good. We'll see. They don't have a lot of stuff to choose from, so some things we'll need to get elsewhere... but maybe I'll make the weekly trip once we move. I checked and there's one within five miles of the new house.

After Aldi, we headed to Wal-Mart to get other items. We came home and basically just hung out all afternoon. We didn't go anywhere else and didn't do anything else.

Notice his feet dangling??? He's totally balancing himself on this!!

Tomorrow is full of football and cleaning out our closets. We're trying to get rid of some things before we move. 

I can't believe that we've got less than a month here. It's going to fly by. This next week, we've got Little Gym on Tuesday, Steve heads back to Atlanta on Wednesday and returns home Thursday night. Thursday morning, we go for Gus's 18 month appointment. I think we're going to go this next weekend and get Gus's picture taken with Santa at Crabtree.

Then the following week... we have Little Gym on Tuesday, Suzanne comes to clean our house for the last time on Tuesday, I have a nail appointment on Wednesday and Thursday is Thanksgiving.

The next week on the 28th (Monday), Steve heads back to Atlanta for the week. That Tuesday is our last class at The Little Gym and then Steve comes home on Friday, December 2nd.

Then that following Thursday, (December 8) the movers come to pack up the house, and we close on the house. Friday they load their trucks, and Saturday we drive to the house and wait for the movers to arrive. They'll start unloading and should have it all unloaded by Sunday, December 11th. Then I'll start the process of unpacking and getting things settled.

I've got Christmas presents to wrap and send, we've got the tree and decorations to put up, and should be able to have a nice first Christmas in our new house. I just can't believe that it's all coming at us, warp-speed ahead!!! I knew it'd be like this though.

See ya tomorrow.

Open Adoption Roundtable #31

Write About Open Adoption and Being Scared

Gus and our two angels

I think being scared is something that happens throughout life as a family touched by adoption. From the moment we got the call that matched us with Gus's birth family, we became scared of many different things. We were scared that our dream of becoming parents and a family would crumble before our eyes and not happen. We were scared that our son's birth mother would not like us once she met us in person. We were scared that she would not be able to let go and decide to parent.
Gus and his birth father

Gus and his birth mother

Once we left the hospital and had him in our custody, we were scared that once we had him, what on Earth were we going to do with him?? Parenthood is scary!! We didn't know if we'd be able to handle it being away from home and living in a hotel. We were scared that we'd mess up and do something that would hurt Gus.

I look back at things I did during those first few hours with him and I shake my head. "WHAT WAS I THINKING?!?!?!?!" I ask myself!! You live and you learn I suppose.

Once we were FINALLY able to leave MI and head home to NC with Gus, I became scared that I was a bad mom. Was I giving him everything he needed? I questioned everything I did and was so uncertain. It's the one job that no one gives you feedback and you can't see results until your child is grown. 

Then it was time to head back to MI, and we were going to be meeting up with both sides of Gus's birth family while there. Trying to coordinate times and places and make sure that everyone was happy was a nightmare. I was beyond stressed and oh so very nervous and scared about seeing his side of our family. Would they try to take him back (crazy thoughts)? Would they judge me and think I was a terrible mother and he'd be better off with them? Would his birth parents regret their decision to place him with us?
Gus and his aunts (birth father's sisters)

Gus's paternal side of our family

Gus and his Grampy (birth mom's father)

Playing with his birth mom

The maternal side of Gus's birth family

Gus with his Grampy and Grammy

The trip north couldn't have gone any better and our fears and doubts were quickly diminished. It was during this visit that I had my first moment of selfishness. I admitted to Steve that I HATED having to share Gus with other people. While there's a HUGE side of me (90%) that absolutely LOVES our open adoption, there's a part of me that's still grieving the loss of being able to get pregnant and have a child with my DNA and one that I don't have to share. For the rest of our lives as a family, adoption is something that will always be in our family... it's usually not something I think about, but when I do, it's that 10% that pops up and gets upset and bitter, and a bit selfish.

We got the call that we were ready to finalize in April, so we headed back to MI for our unexpected trip. We thought we could finalize through the mail and didn't have to appear in court, but we were misinformed. So, we drove up on a Thursday night and left on Sunday morning. It was a quick trip, but so worth the 24 hour round-trip in the car.

We finalized on April 15 and asked Gus's birth mom and her mom if they'd like to join us. To our amazement, they came and made our day so very special. After court, we went to lunch as a family and got to meet Gus's Great-Grandma! She lives in the Upper Peninsula of MI and was down for a visit... the timing was perfect because she got to meet her first Great Grandchild.
Gus's Adoption Day with his birth mom and Grammy

All of us together for the support of Gus

It's official!!

Gus with his Great-Grandma, Grammy, and birth mom

We were hoping to go to MI for Gus's first birthday (May 11th, 2011), but with the unexpected trip in April, we decided to push the trip back to July. That ended up getting pushed back to the end of August. We were able to have both sides of Gus's family come together for a day to celebrate Gus's birthday and to hang out. Gus's Great-Aunt Sharon offered her island cottage for the location and we had a wonderful day together.
Swinging with his birth parents

Grandpa, Gus, and his birth father

While at the cottage, we got to meet Gus's Great Grandma on his dad's side. This is Gus, his birth father, his Grandma, and his Great-Grandma!

Birth father, Gus, Grandma holding him, and birth mom

We celebrated Gus's first birthday together and Gus sat in his birth mom's lap while we sang to him and watched him blow out his candle

Chillin' with his birth mom

Now that we've had a lot of time with his birth family, they're like just another extension of our family. We genuinely care about them and stay in frequent contact with them. I send pictures and videos via text quite often, and they always reply back with thank yous and cute comments.

I guess what I'm scared of now is how to tell Gus about his adoption. I want it to be something that he just always knows about. It's not something that I want to force down his throat, but I also want him to continue to know how much his entire birth family loves him. 

I think I'll continue to keep open lines of communication with his birth family and just keep them as part of our daily conversations and pictures. It's as important that he know who they are, as it is for him to know my side of our family and my husband's side of our family. Together we all complete him and make him the Gus that he is.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Day 315

November 11th, 2010

November 11th, 2011

Happy 1/2 Birthday to Gus today!!! So hard to believe that he's a year and a half!! A year ago today Gus weighed 17.5 pounds, was 27.25 inches tall, and his head was 17.25 inches around. During the month of November, Gus was able to roll over both directions and started to crawl at the end of the month. Crazy to think of what he can do a year later!!

This morning I went and got my nails done-- I had the gel removed (partially) and have the shallack on them. It's the same price and lasts a week longer, plus I can do colors and french, where with the gel, I could only do french. I like them and my nails feel good.
Picture of Gus that Steve texted to me this morning

Enjoying his train table

I came home and soon after, Kristen came over with Grace. She asked if I'd watch Grace while she headed to the hospital to bring Thom home. She headed out around 12:30 and Gus and I had a good time with Grace. 

The two of them played and laughed for a while and then it was time for naps. I put them both in Gus's room... it was kinda funny because for like an hour, they were in there laughing and being silly and NOT napping.
Grace and Gus chatting instead of napping

They finally went to sleep and then took about a two hour nap. While they slept, the shirt that I had a lady in my MOMS Club make was delivered (she brought it over). It's so cute!

Today at 11:11 am I made a wish...
11/11/11 at 11:11 am

After the kids got up they played for a while in Gus's room and the playroom:
Gus showing Grace his tent

Playing with the plastic food

Playing together at the table

Each on their thrones...

I love this picture!

"Gus... sit down!!!" LOL

Gus was reading Pat the Bunny

Then we went down and the kids had a snack. Kristen texted at 6:20 so say they were FINALLY on their way home... what a long day for them waiting for the doctor to come and give Thom the all-clear!!

I took Gus's 18 month pictures while we waited for Kristen to arrive:

Signing "thank you"

Gus and his very best friend Grace

Kristen arrived and took Grace home, and then Steve came home with our dinner (we had wanted to go to Mexican, but since we didn't know what time Grace would be picked up, we opted for Taco Bell- cheaper and faster than Mexican carry-out).

We had dinner and then it was time for bed. I did Gus's 18 month blog (be sure to check it out) and now I'm ready for bed!!

Here are some pictures of Gus from a year ago... he's just the cutest little thing.

Still has his hand in his mouth... those darn teeth!!

Toebe was there to support Gus's attempts to crawl!