Saturday, February 11, 2012

A Year of Gratitude #42

A Year of Gratitude #42: New Friends

This morning Gus didn't wake up until after 8:30. It was incredible. I love the little things... and sleeping until after 8am on a Saturday is one of the things I miss most from my pre-Gus days.

So he got up and we spent the morning taking pictures of him for being 21 months today. You can see the pictures that I took on the Walker Family Prattle and on Gus's Blog.

When Gus went down for his nap, Steve headed out for a haircut and some other errands. Gus woke up at 2:30 and we had to leave the house by 3:15 for his very first birthday party.

I can't even begin to tell you how excited I was for this birthday party. Not only because it was the first one ever that Gus has attended for a friend... but... the fact that he has friends here!!

I am so thankful to have made some new friends and for Gus to have some new friends as well. Christy invited us to her son Ryan's second birthday party today at Gymboree. It was literally just down the road from us, and we arrived right on time. 

I'm also thankful that Steve came with us. I had asked Christy if it was a mom's only deal or if dad's were invited too and she said for me to bring Steve... mainly so her husband wouldn't be the only guy there. Steve didn't really want to go, but he came and I'm so glad he did. Not just to meet the new friends that I've made, but for him to see Gus interacting with his new friends as well.

The party was a blast. Gus loved playing at Gymboree and the girl that ran the party did a great job. I think the cutest was when the kids all went to the party room and had pizza and cake. To see Gus sitting among twelve other kiddos for a birthday party was so sweet. 

I'm so thankful that we've been welcomed into a group of friends. Christy didn't have to invite us to her son's birthday party. She just met me two/three weeks ago. But the fact that she did, makes me so thankful.

Maybe when Gus turns two (in three months-- CRAZY) we will have a party at a place like Gymboree. It's nice to know that there are friends here in GA that we could invite for Gus's big day. Not that I think about this stuff all the time, BUT... when we moved here, it was one of my fears-- not meeting any friends and having Gus's 2nd birthday and not having any friends (for him) to celebrate with. I'm glad that this isn't going to be the case.

Here are some of my favorite pictures from today:
Going through the tunnel

Gus LOVED this!!

Help from Daddy

He can actually shoot baskets!!


Riggs (yellow), Ryan (birthday boy), Gus, and Logan

Rolling down the mat

Five Little Monkeys

They "fall" off the bed... so cute

Gus and his Daddy

Ryan and Christy
The birthday boy

Gus and Daddy

Helping to put the maracas away

Pizza (and his first ever Capri Sun... which he LOVED)

How cute is this???


Gus next to Miss Kimberly and her baby John

We left the party and came home for a bit to relax and then Steve went to Applebee's and got us some dinner. I had the Oriental Grilled Chicken Salad and it was soooooo good!

Anyway- thankful for the new friends in our lives. It's so much better moving somewhere where you can make friends to take away the pain of not being near those you left behind.

Friday, February 10, 2012

A Year of Gratitude #41

A Year of Gratitude #41: Open Adoption

I've written many posts about my thoughts, feelings, and experiences with open adoption. I think it's one of the most amazing things that I am honored to play a part in my life.

I'm so thankful for the relationship that we have with Gus's side of our family. I know I've said it before, but we really are so very fortunate to have them in our lives. 

This afternoon, a package came to our family. The outside of the box said, "Walker Family." I knew it was from Gus's side of our family because his Grammy told me to expect something yesterday or today.

I never, ever, would have predicted what was inside the box. There were multiple FRAGILE stickers all over the box and it peaked my curiosity for sure.

Immediately I saw a plastic bag with a card addressed to our family. It was a Valentine's Day card from C. There were also two stuffed frogs for Valentine's Day. One even plays music when you touch it.
Gus hugging his new loveys

Checking out the music on the one

There were packing peanuts everywhere and then as I dug around, I pulled out a rather heavy box that was taped to another box. When I untaped it, I was stunned at what I saw.
C had one of her friends (he's in art school) draw a picture of our family and then she put it in a frame for us. It's incredible. It's the picture that Adri took of us while we were at the pumpkin patch... and had been my profile picture for a really long time. It's one of my favorite family pictures.

I can't even put words to how incredibly thoughtful this gift is. C didn't have to send us anything, and to think of the thought and effort put into getting this gift to us, it's just amazing.

We are so very blessed and lucky to have the relationship that we have. C is an incredible woman and I enjoy getting to know her more and more as time goes on. Gus is so lucky to have her in his life, and to know that she cares so much about him (and us) makes me so grateful.

I don't know too many families involved with open adoption, that can say they have received something so special from their child's side of their family. I don't want to just label C as Gus's birth mother because she's so much more than that. The fact that she thought so much of us, to send us this gift is so special and meaningful.

My heart is so full and I feel so loved and thankful for all the amazing people that I have in my life.

Our Trip to SC

G2 Reunited

Yesterday, Gus and I headed to South Carolina to meet up with Kristen and Grace. It was a two hour trip and we arrived at Kristen's parents' house at 10:30.

I wasn't sure what the reunion between the two besties would be, but I never imagined it'd be like it was.

Gus got out of the car and fell... which was a bad way to start the morning, but he completely lost his mind. He didn't seem to care that he was seeing Grace after two long months apart, he was having a complete and total melt-down.

I tried to comfort him, but he was inconsolable for a good twenty minutes. His crying went on and on and he refused to try to play with Grace. It was a side of Gus that I've NEVER seen- it was like a different child altogether.

Kristen and I headed down into the basement and think that maybe he was so upset because the last time he saw her, we left him with her for the day while the movers packed us up. Maybe he associated seeing her with being left again? Coupled with going to the daycare on Wednesday morning for the time while I was in the WBF... maybe it was just all too much? I don't know what it was... but it was bad.

Finally, I asked Kristen if she had some Tylenol... maybe his mouth hurt, or he gave himself a headache from the hysterics. The minute had had the medicine, he stopped crying and was happy. It was like a switch went off... it was odd.

Anyway, he was instantly happy Gus and back to his usual outgoing self. He and Grace played together and he started to have fun. After a bit inside, we headed outside for the two to play in the yard.

The kids had lunch and then we headed back down to attempt to put them down for naps. It didn't happen... Gus climbed right out of the pack-n-play. 

I changed Gus into his Batman pjs (thinking he'd be more comfortable for the drive home) and then said our goodbyes. Grace gave Gus a kiss... and it was his "first kiss." So cute... we headed out and within twenty minutes Gus was asleep.
Going in for the kiss

Grace saying goodbye to Gus

Batman sleeping in the car (he slept for more than an hour)

We got home at 5:30 and I made dinner while Steve and Gus spent some time together. 

It was so great to see Kristen and Grace and to meet Kristen's parents. We're eager for the next visit (maybe April) and hope that they'll drive down to see us for the day!!