Returning to Normal

The last few weeks have been a whirlwind of emotion to say the least.

In fact this post was started over a week ago but has just sat here.

It started over two weeks ago with a phone call that led to a match that culminated with what we had worried about     . . . a failed match.

I would be remiss if I did not say I was sad because I was sad.  I would be remiss if I did not say I am disappointed because I feel that way sometimes.  I would be remiss if I did not say I am a little frustrated because at times I feel that way too.

Adoption is tricky when you really come down to it.  It takes many people involved in order for it to happen.  It involves at times short notice or even with notice you end still end up waiting.  Waiting for a final result or decision that ultimately will end in sadness for one side (if not both sides) involved.

It is all complicated.

By Wednesday evening nearly 2 weeks ago and a late evening call our worries were becoming a little more real and by that Thursday afternoon we had our answer.  Our birthmother chose to parent; While I may be sad and disappointed I wish them nothing but the best.

That Thursday afternoon we insisted that we be put back into the “presentation pile” to be shown to possible birthparents.  I won’t lie – the thought of going through another failed match is scary.  I am putting faith in that it just won’t happen again.

So after a few days of hanging out with family and a stop to see friends in North Texas we have come to home to “normal” – after all our life is the same as before.

We have returned to work and thus returned to normal life.  Today we went to a birthday party, I have worked on laundry, put up some fall decorations (I am so ready for that cool fall weather), we grilled out on the back porch and now are watching a movie.  Our normal weekend stuff (until hockey starts anyway).

I am grateful for the “normalcy” of our life but I would be lying if I didn’t say I am disappointed at what could have been.  So for now I am just antsy, anxious and (at times) incredibly impatient; I know it is going to work out.  We will have children of our own in our home.  I just hope sooner rather than later.

Thank you again for your love and support.  Our child will be extremely loved (and spoiled) when we get to meet them.

Moving Along . . . One Step a Time

We are the point now where we are waiting. No – we aren’t waiting to match yet (that is a whole other type of waiting – at least to me) but we are waiting to be approved. Our background checks came in a week and a half ago (over a month earlier than estimated!) and we sent in the copies of our “book” and our birth mother letter. Now we are waiting for our home study to be approved, send the next set of fees and THEN we will be on the website and be able to be shown to mother(s)/families. Then we get to be waiting some more.

Summer is coming to a close for me and I am not sure how I feel about it. I love my job and in some ways I didn’t really stay off work (I usually went to work once a week to mess with some stuff) but I don’t know if I am really ready to go back to work. This summer has been really busy and I don’t know if I really took a break (I know shame on me). I think because of that I have been blessed with a massive sinus infection coupled with fevers and ear pain (in addition to muscle spasms that apparently I already had). The past 2 days have left me wanting to do very little and yesterday I ended up staying in bed most of the day with (what felt like) a continuous low grade fever. I am seriously hoping that the medicine will kick in (I felt decent this yesterday morning) or if it is a virus that it does what needs to happen so I actually feel good. The positivist outlook I am going with is that if I am sick now then I should be good to go when I am back at work next week. Apparently I have run myself ragged. I think I will have to be more mindful in the future.

But back to why people visit this blog . . .

So in terms of the adoption, I have had several people ask how/offer to help and I really didn’t know what to say. I have been thinking and here is what I have come up with:

1. Prayers – We need these more than anything! Prayers that a match will come soon. Prayers that we will be able to continue to pay all the fees. Prayers that when we have a child that we can all transition smoothly to our new life.

2. Fundraising – I am not a huge fan of fundraising to be honest HOWEVER domestic infant adoptions are expensive. After all – you are essentially paying to help a mother/family who decides to parent and a mother/family who choses to place their child for adoption. This is a mission work to say the least. The cost of adoption also pays for the salaries of the kind people who work for our agency. Thus bringing me to the topic of fundraising. As soon as we have our approval letter we can begin to apply for scholarships and grants, however, on many applications they want to know what fundraisers you are doing in addition to applying for grants/scholarships. We already know we don’t want to have a ton (and bombard people because that isn’t cool) but what do you think would be a beneficial fundraiser?  Or rather what do you think would work?  Not only to fundraise but to further getting out information about adoption (because that is part of our agency requirement – what are you doing to share information about adoption).  So what I really saying is I would like some suggestions.  Josh has come up with a few ideas and he will be sharing that on our facebook page soon (a youcaring page and some other things) but any ideas would be great!

So we are paused in our journey before the “big wait”.  Thank you all so much for support and love.  We couldn’t do it with you!

Dresser Redesign

Get ready you are going to get a story AND a tutorial! (I know, I know – two for the price of one!)

Two weeks I finally attempted and completed my DIY dream (or plan rather) of redoing a dresser! I know, I know – not that big of a deal but for me it is HUGE! Growing up (and still if I am being honest) I really disliked the look of painted wood. I can remember hanging out at my sorority house in college and grimacing over the white painted trim thinking to myself “I really don’t care for (re)painted wood…” I honestly cannot tell you why but for the longest time using paint (and not stain) over already stained wood just pained me in great detail, I just could not do it. And while I have slowly moved forward with the times and realizing that there is a lot of merit and artistic quality that can come from painting wood I can still tell you there are certain pieces of furniture that I have no intention of ever painting, maybe staining but not painting. I guess there is something almost final to me about painting furniture/wood. (I know it is silly, because I have completed my research I know a lot about painting and staining furniture/wood.)

Years ago I made up my mind that I really never wanted a changing table for our child’s room.  For me personally, while it served it’s purpose while the child was little, I wasn’t quite sure what I would do with it afterward when the child was older.  I made up my mind that I wanted a dresser.  A dresser is something most people use to hold clothes or make into a buffet.  In my pragmatic mind this was the best of all worlds.  A dresser as a dresser/changing table. While we were going through the process of what we now know as infertility I could never bring myself to go and by a dresser.  They were so expensive and it was so hard to see “the light at the end of the tunnel so to speak” – so I never bought one. A few weeks ago it became quite apparent to me that this whole process and journey of adoption was going to happen.  That at some point in the future we would have a child.  I was determined at that point to find a dresser!  I decided I didn’t want something new, something small or something cheap.  So we set out to search for an older dresser already painted or one I could paint.  I searched for nearly a month only to find dressers that would work that were over $200 (and not exactly what I wanted anyway) or were not what I wanted at all. I joined facebook groups, went to Antique and Thrift Stores and nothing within my budget or what I wanted. Needless to say I was disappointed.

Then one random Saturday I happened to get on Craig’s List and there listed were two dressers each for $100.  The listing said they were wood and they looked big.  $100 was at the top of my budget but both dressers looked pretty close to what I had in my head.  I text the guy and he graciously measured the length and height of both dressers (one is going in our room).  After conferring with Josh I called my dad and he met us to get the dressers. (Oddly enough the dressers were located less than a mile from our house – small world.) Sideways picture of the dresser (sorry our garage had not been organized and this dresser was much too heavy to move by myself!)

photo So a few days later I got started (because while it wasn’t necessary I wanted this dresser finished before our home visit!) I decided to use a chalk paint but in all honesty I am way too cheap to pay for it so I did my own version.  Now with chalk paint there is the notion that you don’t have to use primer and while that may be true the way I ended up mixing up my chalk paint there was no way I was going to paint this without primer. Some before pictures:

photo 1

photo 2

I used zinser primer (the 3,2,1 Bullseye kind I think).  To make my chalk paint I used a tutorial by LiveLoveDiy.  The color we chose is a neutral cream color by Valspar from Lowe’s.  (And as much as it pains me it was the color Josh picked.)  Keep in mind when making your own chalk paint that you may not always get the clumps out of the paint after you mix in your plaster of paris.  In most cases the clumps won’t show up but just be prepared.  Also it is much easier to use a small roller (like ones for cabinets) and a brush to paint this on furniture. Primer! photo 3   Two coats of primer and two coats of homemade chalk paint later! photo 4   I was wanting to the distressed look and to be honest I was not confident in my skills to attempt to make something look “distressed”.  Normally you would sand and let the original wood stain show through but that was not my plan for this dresser and honestly I really didn’t want any original wood to show up so my goal was to cover it!  So distressing with paint was the answer! photo 5I tried to use milk paint and make it look “distressed” but I got frustrated so I decided to cover it.  As you can tell that really didn’t work because we didn’t want a brown dresser.  So  . . . . . . . back to the drawing board. photo 6Finally decided that I needed to try dry brushing again.  This time I got another color of latex paint (the color we are going to use on our other dresser), mixed it with glaze and added water.  I then took a ton of time to dry brush all over, each drawer and section at a time.  I am quite pleased with the look. Once the paint was dry I then began the process to use polycrylic to seal the dresser.  I chose polycrylic because the smell isn’t as strong, several blogs have used it and recommended it and the upkeep would much better in comparison to wax. 3 coats of polycrylic, carrying it across the house and you have . . . . photo 7A new dresser and eventual changing table! photo 8   Since I quickly painted the inside of the drawers I decided that they needed a liner.  I found two rolls of aqua (not quite the color of the room but adorable anyway) shelf liner on Amazon for around $10.  The price was great and 5 drawers took a roll and 1 drawer was used by the second roll (there is still a lot left on that roll). While this room is slowly being transformed into a room for a child, it still holds my desk and is therefor my “office” (though I don’t always call it that anymore).  This dresser is being used as a dresser to store various things and until our child comes that is what it is – a dresser.  Then it will be their dresser and changing table.  Either way I am loving the piece and this room gives me such peace.  So I will take it!

Coming up soon – I have more things in the works for the room (now if the heat and humidity would cooperate so I could paint!)

Homestudy

Well today was our homestudy.  Given to my true moments of OCD I cleaned like a crazy person and have been working for well over a week to make the house look “wonderful” in my eyes.  I steam cleaned carpets, dusted (noticed places I missed later of course), I took care of laundry, vacuumed and washed rugs (later realizing I forgot to look over the couches and the dogs managed to drag grass in), painted the kitchen (that was three months in the making) – in other words I took the opportunity to get some projects I had wanted to do accomplished.

The home visit in itself was easy.  The questions were a continuation of what we had already answered on our paperwork and this time they did not take nearly as long.  Our social worker toured our house, saw the backyard, and met the dogs.  The visit lasted maybe 2 and half to nearly 3 hours which was the time our social worker planned.

To be honest I wasn’t that nervous. (I was more anxious about sweeping the floor before she got here.)  As soon as she got here I immediately relaxed and we just chatted as if no time had past.  All the hard work (and obsession) to make the house perfect was not necessary (I/We honestly probably could have done less) because the tour probably lasted less than 10 minutes including hanging out in the backyard.  While it probably wasn’t necessary to be so detailed and insistent on being so cleaned/organized it really made me feel better.  I love it when I have the time to really deep clean and organize.  Now I can tell you at least 5 other things that need to be cleaned/fixed in the house but between the two of us we managed to tackle some “big” things (like attempting to reorganize the garage and bless my bestie for helping me paint the kitchen) I feel so much better.  I might even be able to relax before going back to work!

So where does that leave us at this point?

Well, our social worker told us that she has already started the file on our homestudy and it should be finished within a few days.  Our birthmother letter is nearly finished and will be sent in soon and I think I am nearly finished with our photo book.  (If I will just make up my mind on pictures!  LOL)

I would like to say that is our only hold up but it isn’t.  We turned in our fingerprints for our federal and state background checks at the beginning of June.  I would have thought that it would be relatively simple but apparently not.  At this point those checks are taking 10-12 weeks.  (ACK!!!!!!)  I had contacted DHS to find out the status of our paperwork and the lady called me back and left me a message.  When I heard the return time is 10-12 weeks I nearly cried.  That puts our approval at the end of August quite possibly the beginning of September.  (I was so frustrated I text a friend who is a police officer asking why on earth it would take so long and he thinks it due to the fact so many new teachers need those background checks and there are lots of conceal/carry background checks going through.I will go with reasoning at the moment.) While I knew that we would obviously have to wait to be matched I really didn’t think that this would be a hold up to be approved (and this is our last piece)!!!

I am trying to look on the bright side.  Sure it will give us a little more time to continue to save money and as my dear friend pointed out that it will give me more time to work on my office/one day baby room but I would be lying if I didn’t say I disappointed in having to wait essentially another month when we are ready to move forward in the process.

But it is what is so here we are  . . . waiting.

I wanted to to thank everyone for the prayers and kind words, it really means at lot to me!  And please feel free to share our facebook page to people you think that might be interested in our journey/experience.