Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Halloween 2011

Happy Halloween! From the Viking Princess (Helga? Gretchen? One of the "How To Train Your Dragon" characters? I don't know... ha ha...) and Mr. T ("I pity da fool!").

What we used for Kal's toddler Mr. T Halloween costume:

* feather clip-on earring
* rapper "gold chains"
* sleeveless black onesie
* camouflage pants
* jean jacket

We attempted a fake beard/facial hair, but it just got weird with the make-up and we gave up, lol.

He looked so 90's! Ha ha. He was immediately recognized by everybody! (Probably because The A Team movie was fairly recent.) We went trick-or-treating at the mall. So fun. :)

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Adoption Finalized... Time to Reminisce!

This whole adoption experience has been so exciting and so amazing and so full of emotion. We just can't believe we get to raise this little boy and help him grow into a man. Hopefully we can guide him towards a life dedicated to a love for God and service to others and ambition to fulfill his dreams, whatever they may be. I am confidant he will make us all proud. :)

K, pregnant with Kal. So beautiful!

I loved my baby shower! This Superman cake was amazing! It said, "It's a bird! It's a plane! It's a boy!"

I love presents! The bigger the better!

The Superman baby shower theme was such a good idea. Check out this quilt! Comic book covers! Sweeeeeet. My friends love me!

Kal-El Rashad, born March 12th, 2011

My first time holding my boy! I was in shock! He was so beautiful!

Zay finally became a daddy! Dream come true.

Placement Day. We got to leave the hospital with him. I was so nervous! I said, "Wait... we can just leave?!" I felt like we needed more training on how to be parents!

One of the last times K got to hold him before we returned home to Utah. I'm so excited to see her this Christmas so we can all spend some quality time.

The "before" picture from his first hair cut... he sure needed it!

A post-haircut picture! Good thing his Daddy's a barber... :)

Slobber boy.

Adoption Finalization Day! Kal was so good for the judge. :D

Sealing Day at the Mt. Timpanogos Temple, an LDS ceremony to "seal" a family together... something done at marriage or after the adoption of a child.

Happy family!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Should I Take Fertility Meds?: Ummmm, Nevermind

 Kal at 7 months old!!! (my little gangster!)

Seriously,. I'm in no state of mind to be making life-changing decisions when my hormones are out of whack. Ha ha. Remember when I was saying that having a lot of kids was crazy? And then all of a sudden I wanted to start back on my fertility meds? Ugh. I don't get it. I don't get myself sometimes.

I started taking my Metformin to get it in my system and then yesterday I thought all day about whether I should start my Clomid... but I didn't... and then I stopped the Metformin when it was making me super nauseous. The nausea itself made me rethink the whole thing. Lol. I'm a mess.

The plan is to wait until Kal is a year old and then decide between fertility meds and a second adoption. I'm thinking we're going to adopt again. I can feel it. It's the only thing that really makes sense, despite how confused I've been lately. Plus, it will be so exciting to adopt again! It was intense and scary, but so very exciting... and by Kal's first birthday I know we'll be ready to get the process going.

What's gonna be cool is that we've been through this whole adoption thing once before, so now we have a reference point to compare things to. We'll have a general idea of how things will go down (although there will definitely be some unique twists and turns with each adoption). I think that'll help us feel calmer and more reassured that things will just happen however they were supposed to happen and that there will be a reason for everything... we don't have to get all anxious about every little thing! The worst that could happen is that we come back home "empty-handed" and we still have our amazing, precious little Kal to love on. That's definitely not a consolation prize right there! So I know we'll be a lot more relaxed. It's gonna be awesome. :)

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Should I Take Fertility Meds?: Cycle Day 1

I haven't been focused enough lately to blog. My journal's been taking a beating, though. Scattered thoughts as I try to figure out who I am and who I want to be and where I've been vs. where I'm going. I'm trying to understand choices... and free will... and sin... and if humans can really be anything divine when we're so inclined to do evil... and love (what does that really mean?)... and change/forgiveness/repentance... and what it means to be Christ-like, etc. etc. etc.

It's messy inside this brain of mine.

But I'm happy. Through it all, I still can't believe I'm a mom. It happened so fast. Kal is so perfect. Sometimes I feel like I don't deserve it. That I'll never be good enough to be his mom.... But here I am. God orchestrated Kal's adoption for a reason... for lots of reasons, I'm sure... reasons I'll never fully understand. But I'm grateful. I'm happy. Nothing makes sense, but at the same time everything makes sense... I guess that's what confuses me.

Kal has the most hilarious personality. He squeals louder than I do! And that's hard to do. Ha ha. He's super silly and playful. Giggles at everything... especially when I exercise. I'll be trying to work out, doing some jumping jacks or something, and he will just be cracking up. I'm like, "KAL! Quit laughing at me while I'm exercising! You're making me self conscious!" Ha ha ha ha. He grins at me every single time... all mischievous. I love it.

I'm at a point where I feel antsy again. Like there's something I need to be doing... or getting ready to do. I get like that sometimes... like it's time for a change. That kind of feeling scares me, because I'm really not ready for any more changes. I dyed my hair... hoping that would get rid of the feeling. Lol. But that only satisfied me for a couple of weeks. Last time I got this feeling, we moved to a bigger place. Before that, we got a new cat. Before that, we adopted a baby. Lol. So who knows where this feeling could take me...

One thought I'm having right now is about whether or not I should finish up my fertility meds that are just sitting in a drawer, taunting me each time I open it in the morning to get my contacts. I've got choices... I can throw them away to get rid of the temptation? I can hold onto them a little longer (since they were so dang expensive) and maybe use them next year? Or... since I started my cycle today, I could use them right now and see what happens...?

I totally asked a magic eight ball what I should do. I asked, "Should I use my fertility meds this cycle?" The first answer was "Maybe." I laughed at that, cuz that gives me nothing! Ha ha. So I said, "Okay, okay... two out of three." The second answer was "Definitely." I thought, "Whoa, whoa, whoa. That's scary. 'Maybe' jumps to 'Definitely'??? Okay, one more time." The third answer was "Outlook not so good." Ha ha ha. So, maybe I should definitely use them, but the outlook doesn't look promising? Eh, I could live with that. So... fertility meds it is?

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Looking Forward

I don't think Zay and I are done creating our family, but the number of children I want has dwindled considerably! I used to think I wanted at least 13 kids (I'm serious!)... but now I realize why most babies come one at a time. Because it's definitely a one at a time type of decision.

I'm satisfied with our family right now, but I know that the baby bug will hit me again. Sooner or later it will. So, looking forward I think we will just take it a day at a time. I won't do anything unless I am absolutely sure about it, so it may be awhile. Who knows...?

If we adopt again, there's no telling how long it will take or if we will face failed adoptions or whatever. I don't know what the chances are of us having a second adoption go as smoothly as our first one. There could be a lot of ups and downs to drag out the process. If we do decide on adoption for our next child, we will go through LDS Family Services again (Foster Care and international adoption are in the back of my mind, but it's not what we want to do yet) and they require Kal to be a year old before we can start the paperwork again to get approved.

If we try fertility treatments again, the possibility of me getting pregnant is still completely up in the air... so that could be a never-ending process. Every time I open a certain drawer in my bathroom and see those leftover fertility meds sitting there, I just think "Hmmmm...." and shut it quickly. I'm not ready.

One kid is a lot of responsibility. My whole heart is wrapped up in loving Kal and making sure he has what he needs. I know that having at least one sibling will be best for him, but the timing and the spacing between them doesn't feel as important to me as it once did. I get really hesitant when I think about expanding our family. It's not something I want to rush into at all.

I see these huge families around here (making babies is definitely the thing to do in Utah), and I just wonder how in the world can they handle that? emotionally? physically? financially? Craziness, I say. Craziness. We're gonna take this slow...

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Bonding with a Child who was Adopted

We didn't have any trouble bonding with Kal-El once he was placed with us. I actually think I have the opposite problem of bonding too quickly, which can be emotionally dangerous during the adoption process when things may or may not work out (I'm glad I didn't think that doing Foster Care was the right path for us when we wanted to adopt, because children can be in and out of your home and I could see myself being emotionally torn up about that). Zay was confident that he wouldn't have a problem bonding, and he never did. As soon as we saw Kal, we knew we were in love. It was a moment we had waited for for so long that it was impossible to feel indifferent or unattached. He was meant to be ours.

Things that have made bonding easier in our situation:

- being prepared (we read about bonding and I studied everything under the sun about adoption beforehand, this was something we had waited for for so long that our hearts were open and ready)

- he being our first child (we didn't have anything to compare it to - I've heard how having a biological child first and then adopting a child tends to make you want to compare and over worry about the bonding process)

- having a connection to the pregnancy as much as possible (meeting his birthmother when she was pregnant with him, hearing his heartbeat during a checkup, having a baby shower to celebrate getting chosen to be his parents, getting to attend the 40-week appointment)

- adopting him from birth and being given parental responsibilities right off the bat (sleeping at the hospital while K recovered from her c-section, taking care of him on our own during his brief stay in the NICU, leaving the hospital with him)

- no recovery time (not having to worry about post-partum depression or recovering from giving birth was helpful for me, no hormones or medications were clouding my mind, I could think straight and I could just love on Kal as much as I wanted)

- time off of work (thank goodness for my awesome job that allowed me to take off whatever time I needed, lots of bonding time and "finding a routine" time during those first few weeks)

- the distance between us and the birth family after placement (I can see now that we like having our space and it helped us feel like a family more quickly than if we lived too close... now that the bond is there and more than enough time has passed I'm excited about getting to go back to GA and see everyone for Christmas! - he'll be 9 months old then)

Our caseworker talked to us about bonding and she said that even having a biological child takes time for the bonding to happen, so to not worry about it and when it happened we would know. There were quiet moments when Kal was asleep on my chest and I just watched him sleep. Zay staying home with Kal has given him plenty of time to fall in love with him. His favorite thing to say lately is, "That's my boy. That's my boy." Kal fits in so well. We love his personality. He is definitely our son and the bond is there. It feels so easy, so natural to love him. :)

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