Our Adoption Journey!

A journal of our thoughts, feelings and steps in the process of adopting a child with significant special needs.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

All I want for Christmas....

Helen has a homework assignment every week to write a story containing her spelling words. This weeks words were all about family ie. brother, sister, uncle, grandma, etc. She wrote a sweet story about how she wanted Andre to be her brother and how she wished he could be here for Christmas. I know that is probably not possible, with the agencies office being remodeled, they have not even been able to set up the match meeting yet. I guess I am not the only one anxiously waiting. What a great Christmas wish even if it happens a little late!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Anxiously waiting....

Adoption seems to be a slow process with it's twists and turns. Waiting is never easy...and when the agencies office is under construction and that is the obsticle between you and the match meeting for the child you KNOW is meant to be yours time seems to pass even slower. This is the reason updates and blog posts have slowed because other than waiting, there is not much new. We are simply waiting for the agency, case workers, and others involved to have a time to get together and meet and deside if they feel we are the right family for this child and then make a plan of how things should move forwards. We have already made our decision, this is our child and we have made things ready for him as much as possible.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Chill Out

Ethan's new comfy chair arrived and the same day I finally got a hold of the social worker for a boy who I have been wanting more info on for a long time....a picture and story that I keep coming back to and is still there after litterally YEARS. I am keeping my fingers crossed that we hear something back soon, but I know they are not in a real hurry after all this time, it is really about finding the RIGHT home for him. I just can't help but feel good about the situation this time, everything just FEELS right, but it is hard to be patient! Well it really got me thinking about the bedroom situation because this boy is Ethan's age and I don't really want to put him in a bedroom on his own.....but the boys have a LOT of equipment, and their beds take up A LOT of space, and we have already been seriously discussing modifying the house even more and since our bathroom has already been done for Ethan, we thought we might put the boys in the master bedroom and move us into the smaller room until we can build a new master suite. Our current room has plenty of space for two wheelchairs, two special beds, in addition to Ethan's gait trainer, and even space for some therapie mats for in home PT. Maybe now would be a good time to get a hoist to help get Ethan...and maybe his new brother (?) in and out of the bath tube, if like Ethan the other little boy does not like showers. There is even plenty of room in there for Ethan's special toilet and I have to admit it would be nice to have it in a permanant location. I even find myself wanting to move the special needs car seat into the van until we can get a second wheelchair tie down installed in the van. Anyway, it is going to be a busy weekend getting things organized....it will help keep me distracted. I am just glad I am getting over the cold I had last weekend and earlier this week. I am wondering if we need to order another comfy Chill Out Chair....even though it was expensive, I am actually really excited about the prospect of needing another!

Friday, November 4, 2011


It is better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all....

We were not selected as the family to adopt the sweet 8 month old little boy :0( But I am very glad this little guy has a family. I hope that one day these children will know how very loved and wanted they were. I know Our child is still out there somewhere waiting us to find them. We wish all the best in this world for Darius as he goes to his new family!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Keep you fingers crossed!!!!!

Timing is not the best but we just got news that we are being considered for a little boy with the same diagnosis as Ethan. We are very excited, but need to move fast to get things in order if we want to move forward with this little guy!!!! I am trying not to get too excited because we are only one of the potential families, but I know in my heart we have what it takes to parent this child :0)

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Would you adopt an older child?

I would! Lately we have been looking at some great kids who need homes.....they have moderate to severe disabilities and have been in foster care for a long time! A couple kids in particular have touched my heart and I really hope they find the families that are meant for them. One little boy has a smile so like my Ethan's. He is eleven and has cerebral palsy, and I would be thrilled if I was chosen to be his mom. For us, adoption isn't neccessarily about wanting another baby in our family, it is more about wanting to share our home, our hearts, and all we have to give with a child who might not otherwise find a home because of their significant needs!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011


Saw this on another blog and thought it would be a great getting to know you idea!

A book I highly recommend is: I read constantly, and love Sci-fi/fantasy, but series I can read over and over are: Twilght Saga, The Belgariad, Lord of the Rings series

A movie I watch over and over is: Harry Potter with my kids

A T.V. show I watch regularly is: I actually don't care much for TV, but will watch House and Law and Order with my husband

I love to collect: Fabric and yarn

My favorite thing to buy is: new clothes and toys for my kids because I get to see how excited and happy they are, and plants for my garden

A smell that makes me pause is: the smell of a brand new baby

My favorite sport to watch is: hmmm, I really don't like to watch any

My favorite restaurant is: Maharajah Palace

A moment when I achieved absolute happiness was: When I was married to my wonderful husband and then again when I finally held our son for the first time.

The music I listen to most is: Classical and New Age

My earliest memory is: Getting stung by a bee at my dad's construction site

My favorite flower is: Thistle

A game I like to play is: Kinnect Wipe Out with the kids

My favorite hobby is: sewing and knitting for my kids

A singer or band I currently listen to the most is: Possibly Enya

My favorite quote is: “Be Who You Are and Say What You Feel Because Those Who Mind Don't Matter and Those Who Matter Don't Mind.”

I drive a: Diesel E350 Turbo equiped with a wheelchair lift most of the time, but sometimes our Infinity I30 and other times an RV

If my house was burning down and I could only rescue three things, they would be: My husband, children and animals.

The city I would most like to visit is: I prefer the country side in it's natural state to any city in the world. I would like to do some humanitarian aid in Africa.

My favorite meal is: Lamb du piaza

Someone or something that made me laugh this week was: My daughter Chloe, she is a crack up!

My first paying job was: Cashier at Marshals department store

The memory that still makes me laugh is: Mark being able to clear a room with his terrible gas at just a few weeks old!

My best birthday was: My tenth. I wanted a Cabbage Patch Doll for a very long time, but they were too expensive and hard to find, and on my 10th birthday my mom found a store that had some and took me to pick one out. His name was Jeffery Irv, he was bald with blue eyes and two dimples dressed in a blue sailor suit....then when I was in 8th grade I gave him to a little girl who was homeless for christmas.

A smell that reminds me of my childhood is: The smell of CK1 cologne, it reminds me of the smell of Chrismas when I was a little girl.

The story behind my name is: My name was suppose to be Matthew, as utrasound said I would be a boy. I guess it wasn't very reliable back then. I am not sure how they came up with Rebecca!

My favorite color to wear is: Earth tones

My strangest possession is: Maybe my industrial snap press?

My favorite dessert is: home made ice cream and brownies

When I exercise, I like to: swim or hike

My favorite thing to do on a date is: We have four kids, so any time we are out alone is a treat, but to be honest I would rather be with all of them than away from them!

The best vacation I ever had was: Ethan's Make A Wish Trip to Wizarding World of Harry Potter and spending the week with 11 great families including Kurt Warner's

The best thing about being married is: Having someone I am comfortable talking to a bout ANYTHING!

The thing I am most passionate about is: My family

Favorite Cereal: Old fashion crunchy granola

Favorite Hobby: Sewing and knitting and sculpting

Friday, September 30, 2011

Movie night....

Tonight is movie night. Projector is set up with the huge drop down screen on the wall. Kids are getting their sleeping bags and pillow set up so when it gets dark we can all watch movies until we fall asleep....wondering what we will be watching? Harry Potter? Narnia? Lord of the Rings? We tried to convice dad to let us have a twilight saga night, but her said he would put the projector away if we put that on.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Because I have been given much...

A few days ago I "met" a woman online who just lost her husband. She has three small children and is also expecting a baby girl and has nothing. I find myself in a possition where I can help her out, as we have plenty of baby girl items and knowing that it could be months, possibly even years before we are matched with a child, so I have desided to send some baby girl stuff to this woman. I don't know what I would do if I lost my husband, I know I would be devistated, but I also know that financially we would be taken care. I know many young families don't plan for this type of life event, because we just don't think it could happen to us. I am thankful for a husband who has always been concerned about "what if" to have insurance that would take care of our immediate needs. I am glad we have developed a plan and taked about what we would do if we suddenly found ourself on our own due to accident, illness, etc. No one knows what the future holds, or the time we will spend here with our loved ones, so we plan for the worst and enjoy every moment. And when we find ourselves in a possition to porvide comfort we need to be there, no matter if it is a friend or a stranger. We are the only ones that can make the world a better place, and change can only begin with us. I pray that this woman will find peace and that she will be provided for. What I can give is just a small gesture, but it is a symbol, of hope, that may be what she needs to get through this moment, to the next.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Sharing from another blog....

This quote says it all:

"By adopting a child and helping them reach their potential, they help us reach ours. An adopted child is not an unwanted child; to the contrary. They are a child who was searched for, prayed for, cried for, begged for; received by arms that ached, making empty hearts full. Love is meant to be shared"

Trafalgar Square

My newest knitted set I designed and finished to keep me busy while waiting to hear back on the babies I have inquired on....

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

All about Us....

We are hoping to add to our family through adoption, will you be the one to choose us? Our children are our greatest joy, and our most magnificent accomplishment. We can only imagine what a difficult time you are going through and the magnitude of the choices you are now faced with making. We admire you that you have chosen life and want a life full of love and opporunities for your child. It is doubly difficult because we know your child is very loved and very much wanted, but understand that circumstances maybe are not right for you to parent your child at this time, or maybe you are overwhelmed at the uncertainty of a dibilitating condition. Why are we wanting to adopt a child with special needs? Well, just over 10 years ago our life was blessed by a very special child. Our son Ethan suffered a significant brain injury during his birth. It was a wonderful and difficult time for us. Wonderful because we had this beautiful and precious child, we were now a family, but what life held for him was a very bleak picture at that point. We were told if our son lived, he would be in a vegitative state, but this did not change our hopes and dreams for him. We took him to many doctors/specialist, clinics, therapists. He smiled at us, interacted with us, showed us more love than we could have imagined possible. Doctors never stopped painting a grim picture for this little boy, but we didn't care, this child was amazing. We learned to see the world a different way. We had to learn to be mean and agressive to get the services and care our son needed, we learned incredible patience and tollerance. Special needs became our life, and we have been blessed because of it. We chose to adopt a child with special needs, because these kids are amazing. They have tremendous courage, and strength that typically abled children don't have. We feel that our experiences with our son gives us a unique advantage to give another special needs child the best opportunity to become all they can because we have been through the challenges before. We can be optimistic while still being realistic. I encourage you to find out more about our family by reading below as well as our other blog posts and see if we feel like the right choice for you!
We are currently a family of six, but we hope to soon be a family of seven (or even maybe eight if a set of twins or young siblings join us!) We are a family that loves nothing more than spending time together. Weither it is just watching a movie, swimming, cooking, hiking in the mountains or on a grand adventure it is always better when we do it together. We also have a large extended family which includes members from several races including Native American, East Indian and African American. We are multi-cultural with family all over the world from England to New Zealand! Our kids have been international travelers from a very young age and we still have many travel destination dreams, but much of our travel right now is weekend trips in our big family van so that our son Ethan can stay comfortable and mobile in he power wheelchair. Which means we get to go to vistit grandpa in New Mexico or drive to California for a day at the beach. We have a lot of traditions that we can't wait to share with our new family member....like Guy Faux (bonfire night, Nov. 5th) or just individual time with mom and dad (each of our kids rotate weekends where they get to stay up late and spend one on one time with us), or geo caching (treasure hunting) on our weekend road trips!
We live in a large 2200 square foot 4 bedroom home on 1/3 acre. Our boys share a room, and our girls share a room, and we have one open which we have set up as a nursery for when our new addition arrives. We have a large yard where the kids love to spend time in imaginative play, where I grow a vegetable garden and where our dog, 7 chickens and 3 rabbits live. We also have a seperate securely fenced pool! Our house is completely wheelchair accessable and set up for a child with many physical limitations. Our house is in a cul-de-sac in a very family oriented neighborhood with parks, schools and shopping within walking distance.

Terry is 44 years old. He is an amazing father, a loving husband, a devoted son, a brother, a wonderful friend, and an abundant provider. He loves to cook, go camping, play pool, watch movies, build and fix computers, play with our kids, go for long drives through the country side. He has four great kids who adore him, and he is a great dad. He is firm but very loving.

Terry works as an IT director for a local charter school, which means he gets to spend a lot of time with his family. He has been in this same job for over 6 years now, but has also enjoyed working as a contractor in the IT field, teaching at Northern Arizona University. He graduated from University with a degree in accounting, but computing has always been his passion.

Terry was born in the United Kingdom, and is the oldest of 5 children. He grew up in poverty and has always had a goal that he would do something with his life and he certainly has! He immigrated to the USA in 2000 when he met and married me ;0).

Terry is a very upbeat person, a bit of a character. When I met him he was always on the go, unstopable. He has settled down a bit since getting married and having children. He is very structured, consistant, motivated and resourceful. Adopting a child with special needs is only natural for him. His oldest son Ethan has special needs, and Terry himself has a visual impairment that has had tremendous impact on his life. Terry will provide our adopted child with the same love, devotion and continuity he provides our biological children.

My name is Becky. I am 36 years old. I am a mother, a wife, a sister, a daughter, a friend, a teacher, a student, an artist, a musician, a child of God. I love to read, garden, cook, sew, knit, sculpt, sing, go camping, take pictures, spend time with my family. I have four great kids, and would have had more, but labor/delivery was hard on both me and my babies; I only took one home with me from the hospital and it is ever so hard to leave the hospital with empty arms, so we have desided to grow our family through adoption. Our lives have been particularly touched by children with extraordinary needs, and because of this our hearts are drawn to those kids who need extra help and care. This journey began 5 years ago, but with four very young children we did not begin searching in earnest until a little boy named Theo, who has CP found his way into our hearts.

In the past I have worked as a nanny, in customer service, administration in the medical field, as an artist and now I am a stay at home mom. I aspire to be a "healer" not a doctor ;0) I learn everything I can about natural and alternative medicine; education and learning is very important to me. While I may never finish my degree, I encourage all my children to do there best in school with a goal to attend college. I am very proud to say that my children at the tender ages of 6, 7, 8 and ten have goals to be a physical therapist, a teacher, a nurse and a cheif.

I feel so very blessed to have a wonderful husband, who is an amazing hands on dad and works very hard so that I can stay home and raise our children. We work well together, strengthen each other. He is my solace and my strength. We often dream aloud together of our future and make goals and plans. We are all very lucky to have him working in the education field, so he is often able to spend school holidays and vaccation together as a family.

I am generally happy and cheerful. I have spent considerable time in charitable endevours that focus around preemies and infants and children in need and this has blessed my life, given me focus and help me develop my skills. I strive to be "green" with a goal of self sufficiency. I am patient. I am shy. I can be stubborn. I try to think and plan before I act. I try to consider others and look at things from many perspectives. I tend to think nothing is imposible. I am an optimist. I am a survivor. I admire courage, selflessness, resourcefulness. I aspire to be all that my Heavenly Father has meant for me to be.

If you have any further questions, please contact us at: becky@preemie-babies.com

Waiting to hear back

on two little boys and one little girl (Helen and Chloe would be so over the moon) out of the six we inquired on over the weekend. The three other little boys we were not selected for because they needed to be placed with in their current states. I am thinking I might finish up the "gender neutral" cover for the carseat today to keep me busy once I have finished a few chores so I am not waiting on pins and needles for news on the three little ones!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Letting go...

After much research and advice I am changing my tactics. Before I would only inquire on one available child and let other situations slip away while waiting weeks and even months to find out we were not what the birth family was looking for. So I am now keeping things open, and inquiring on multiple children at a time, knowing that it is not in my hands, but in our Father in Heaven's and he will make sure that the child that is meant for us comes to our family. I have faith that the child who needs us will find his or her way "home". I hope that this will make it easier even though I may have to be very patient for quite a long time. I have hopes that it will not take the 18 months that our certification is good for, and since we are very open, and specifically seeking special needs that it won't take more than 6-12 months to find "our child". I will continue to pray for guidance and situations to present themselves to us, and inspiration on where to search for a child who is just waiting for us.

Friday, September 2, 2011


It seems almost cruel going into most of these situations virtually blind, waiting so long with hopes building up only to discover that you have one to many children for birth parents to consider you for their child. I look back and think how many situations we were presented with in that time and how we held back to only one inquiry at a time until it was pretty clear we would not be chosen. It almost seems dishonest that an agency won't tell you up front that you don't meet a birth families requirements. I KNOW our child is out there somewhere waiting for us, waiting for his or her parents to be introduced to us (our profile), but searching and waiting and having your hopes dashed is very draining. Day after day looking into the eyes of a picture on the computer and thinking, "we COULD be what you need, what you have been hoping for." The child we were hoping for, though he has not found a home yet, we found out through another agency that his birth mom is looking for a family with less children than we already have. I understand. I look at it from her perspective, wanting a family that can offer him the maximum attention possible. I also see it from another perspective as a mom of four children, that this baby would be blessed to not only have a dad who works hard to provide, a mom that stays home with him to make sure he gets the care and nurturing he needs, but four siblings to dote on him, to encourage him, to play with him....four extra hearts to love him unconditionally. Birthmom, your child will be so very loved in our family. They will not be neglected or want for more attention. ALL of us will give your child boundless love and devotion. I wish you could see my girls at church, loving on the eleven month old little girl who's family always sits in front of us. I wish you could see Ethan's smile that says more than words could ever say when he sees a baby, love radiates from him. I wish you could see Mark's gentleness and compassion as he searches for ways to help. You can be sure that even though we have four children already, we won't spread ourselves thin. Love doesn't stretch, it grows!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

What is the value of "Experience" to a disabled child?

I have been thinking alot about this topic. It is not that I want to "re-live" or do over those early days, months, years with Ethan, but I do wonder what things would have been like if we would have gone into special needs parenting with the knowlege and experience we have now, because of what we have been through. I truly think Chloe's outcome is better than it would have been because of our experience with Ethan....infact I will give credit to the experience that she is even alive today! It was because of all we had been through with Ethan and our CPR and First Aid training that saved Chloe's life when she stopped breathing at two weeks old on the way home from the doctor with a diagnosis of RSV....CPR and mom's instinct that something was wrong and I needed to pull over. I found her, nose and lips starting to turn blue, and very limp and not making any attempt to breath. In a moment like that you are beyond panic and when you have already learned what to do you go into auto pilot. I wonder now how my head was so clear in that moment I should have been in complete panic. My head was so in the moment of what needed to be done that I was able to identify that I was only 2 blocks from the hospital, that I was able to get her breathing and get her to the ER. I think that it was the fact that I was not panicing that led the ER nurses to believe that the situation was not so critical that they had me go and sit in the waiting room, where I continued to keep my newborn preemie breathing while I patiently waited....infact it was another adult waiting to be seen in the ER that became alarmed and alerted the nurses that they needed to get out there and do something for this mom who is trying to keep her baby alive. Even when we got back in the room and a nurse was bagging my daughter I was asked to help by stimulating Chloe so she would not get too comfortable and try to go to sleep as we waited several hours for Air Evac to be available to come and intubate my baby and transport her to a hospital with ECMO in their pedeatric ICU. If I had not been through what I had already experienced with Ethan, Chloe may never have survived that day. Then when she struggled with torticollis and plageocephaly and I was trying to get her the therapy and treatment she needed to correct these issues it was what I already knew about navigating DDD and early intervention that got Chloe treated so quickly, and my knowlege and confidence in providing Chloe with a "home program" where I do PT with her daily because the therapist only comes once a week that also resulted in her recovery. I think that if I had not known what I did she would very likely still have a misshappen skull and a significant head tilt. If I had only known when Ethan was small that these agencies and programs have a responsibility and requirement to fulfil what is on your childs IEP/IFSP would Ethan's condition now be different because he would have not had to wait so long for certain services because I was patient with case workers and didn't know that they were required to fulfil these obligations and I could file a greivance and services would likely have begun many months before they did. They don't tell you these things when you are new to it....you learn them along the way and have access to wonderful and open therapists and service providers. They don't tell you because they want to get away with doing as little as possible for as long as possible, and you as a parent are the ONLY one with the best interest of your child at heart. It is because of this I KNOW the value experience holds for a disabled child, and it is because of this that any child we adopt would bennefit from this....I had to become that "pain in the butt" mom who doesn't stop calling until she gets what her child is entitled to and not next month, but NOW, the one that won't give up until they are doing their job. This quility is SO IMPORTANT to a child with medical needs that go beyond the average child. I think it is this experience that alway earns me the question with new medical/therapy providers, teachers ect. "are you in the medical field?"....the answer is always, "No, I am just the mom of a special needs child, who has been through quite a lot, so I have had to learn all the terms, procedures, etc." Experience to a child with special needs IS priceless.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Little bits of news and more waiting....

....I probably aught to resign myself to this waiting game. We did get some small tidbits of info, leading us to the resolution that we most likely will not be pursuing the older of the two little boys we inquired on, and that with the other little guy, it will likely be some weeks yet before we get any additional information or news. In the mean time I am resuming normal school year life and trying to get things back into order after a summer without a house keeper, and also looking for a replacement housekeeper to keep on top of things here. We have been doing a lot of swimming with Ethan in the evenings and his endurance is building up and he is doing well at staying in the water for up to an hour and a half and with the use of his swim collar is able to swim to destinations and is tolerating, and even enjoying water sprinkling on his face and head, something a year ago he would not have tolerated. We have spoken to all of the kids about the one little boy's challenges and kind of explained the complexity and vastness of issues he is facing and the likely hood of him needing even more care than Ethan. I think they understand some of it and how it will impact them and the time that will be involved in caring for him and they are still excited at the potential, though I have told them over and over that just because we are talking about it, doesn't mean we are going to be chosen as his family. I think that is important for them to understand even though I really don't think they will see anything as permanent until a child is actually in our home. The girls are still hopeful that we might be matched with a baby girl, but the adoption world seems to flourish with boys and girls are a rarity. Either way, once again, we are waiting, as patiently as possible ;0)

Monday, August 22, 2011

My heart is racing again....

We inquired on two little boys today, and my heart is racing as we wait to hear back on either of them. Both boys have serious medical issues that are going to require a lot of care, but I am confident in our abilities and experience that we can handle them and help either one of these sweet children grow and thrive. Once again I find myself trying very hard not to fall in love, and it is very difficult not to want to reach out and do everything in your power to help these children who have so many struggles and challenges. Above all, I hope and pray that these precious little ones find loving families quickly so they can develop the bonds necessary with forever families to help them live to their fullest potential.

Weekends are HARD now....

....because there are no updates on photo listings, from agencies, or state social services. We have inquired on two little boys and have not heard anything back yet, also submitted our profile to another agency and have no update on that yet because of the weekend. Today, I will be cleaning house and hoping to hear something on either of the little boys we are interested in. I know it could be a very long wait, but hopeful that we will find our special child quickly!!!! We are hoping to adopt and infant, boy or girl, who has special challenges ahead of them, who might not be so easy to find an adoptive family for. We are certified for ages 0-5 from healthy to severely physically or medically disabled.

Thursday, August 18, 2011


WE ARE NOW CERTIFIED!!!!!!!!! Searching for our special child!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, August 15, 2011

60 days

Today is the 60th day since our home study was sent to juvenile court for certification to adopt, so I am hoping that it will be back to us by the end of this week! It has been an anxious wait....one I will be glad when it is finished and we can be ready to act when a child becomes available for us :0)

Thursday, August 11, 2011

About us...

For Birth mom/family. I figured you might like to know a little about what we like to do as a family. We do a lot of things together. During the summer we love to go camping up in the mountain or up on our 5 acre parcel. YES we camp and even go hiking with the wheelchair....we actually have a stroller for Ethan that easily navigates mountain trails. We also love to go to the beach ( San Diego and Santa Monica ) and even though they provide beach wheelchairs in San Diego, we got Ethan a set for his own beach wheels for his wheelchair so he would be more comfortable since he requires a lot of support. We love to garden. We also love to swim. We cook as a family too....I can't wait to see what fabulous cooks our kids are going to be when they grow up because I never got this much experience at such a young age AND we make multicultural cuisine like Indian, Greek, British, Italian, Thai, Chinese, Mexican as well as American food....our kids even love Sushi!!!!! I love sewing for my kids and they love the clothes and Terry loves the money he saves not having to buy tons of new clothes all the time, LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!! We have a family movie night and a family game night, we do this instead of going out on dates so we are not leaving Ethan with a baby sitter, though we do have a sitter that is great with all the kids for the couple nights a year we do get out ;0) We also love to travel and see new places and experience different cultures and hope to get to do a lot more traveling when the kids are a little older. We have a tradition of sponsoring a child or children at Christmas, last year we were blessed to be able to actually meet the little boy in the orphanage we provided Christmas for and it was such a joy to be able to watch as he opened the gifts the kids all lovingly and thoughtfully chose for little Evan. Ethan so much wanted to bring him home as well as his brother and sister, but the time was not right for us. The kids also LOVE to make up skits and perform for us....they are often very silly. We really enjoy the time we get to spend together!

Back to School 2011

Chloe age 6

Mark age 7

Helen age 8

Ethan age 10

Waiting for the school bus!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Update on trasportation issue below

After many phone calls and emails to the directors of transportation and special education for the district, they have approved transportation of all of the kids!!!!! I still have to drive them tomorrow before a route is re-assigned (since we had to cancel when they told us NO RIDE-ALONG siblings) but they should be back on the bus on Thursday!!!!!

Having a child with special needs....

Is not an easy thing, in fact it is a constant battle. I always feel like I am fighting, fighting off people who want to spend my son's money without good reason, fighting to get him the services he needs, fighting insurance companies, doctors, schools etc. My current fight as of yesterday is incredibly frustrating to me. Ethan is starting his sixth year at the same elementary school. It is the school that the district placed him in because it is the school with the program to fit his needs. Unfortunately it is not the closest school, which has never been a problem because they provide transportation on the wheelchair bus. The problem I have now is the transportation office is saying that policy has changed, due to budget cuts, and they can take my son but not the other kids ( this is a BIG deal, as Ethan is traumatized when he has to ride the bus alone). I understand budget cuts, but find myself wondering just how they apply in this situation as Ethan has generally been the ONLY one on the bus and it requires no additional effort or funding to transport the other children to and from the same school to the same drop/pick up point. Even when there has been a second wheelchair or another special ed student on the bus there has always been space for a dozen other children. It makes it very hard on me because my options are now 1. transport all my kids to school and hope that the lift in the van does not need servicing or the van does not have to be in the shop at all during the school year or the kids won't be able to get to school. 2. Change the kids school to our neighborhood school so they can walk to school, but who does not have a program to support Ethan's needs. 3. split the kids up and make Ethan be traumatize two times a day/5 days a week which will probably significantly impact his education in an extreme way. 4. Fight to have policy changed or an exception made.....I am fighting, but so far not a budge. It is frustrating because Ethan is impacted negatively with all the other three options. I am waiting for a call back from the director over transportation....a call back I may never get. I may have to call every day, feel the stress of the situation every day, maybe even multiple times a day before there is any movement in the right direction. BUT, if in the end we get results, it will have been worth it. The sad thing about it is that with this new policy they are hurting kids and families like ours with no real benefit, they are not saving money, and by making us drive two vehicles to the same destination they are depleting finite resources and adding to pollution, and the parents and kids are stressed and not in the ideal frame of mind to be successful educated or productive in their jobs. I guess that is one reason why parenting a special needs child is not right for everyone, because it requires a level of commitment and passion that not all of us can continue with for eighteen years and beyond and still be sane, or functioning. For me, Ethan's smile is worth it all.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Summer Holiday...

...is coming to an end. Today is our last movie day, and less than a week before school starts. I have to admit the first few days of having some time all alone is very appealing, mostly because I am looking forward to some moments of absolute quiet and being able to catch up on some house work as our regular house keeper has left us almost a month ago now. I know that once I have caught up though, those hours during the day I will have to find things to fill them while the kids are gone until we are matched with a child. My girls are very hopeful that we will get a call on or find a little girl, but it seems that there are ten times more boys available than little girls. I am sure I will be thrilled with either a boy or a girl. Anyhow, we are still waiting on our certification, but according to the now 60 day timeline we are still about a week away and then I am not anticipating it actually being here in the mail until the following week, however, I must admit, the timing is better. I know that immediate placement is unlikely, but in the event that we were matched I will certainly enjoy the hours getting to know our new family member on my own while the kids are at school and getting settled into a routine that would have been very difficult to establish during the kids' summer holiday! Plus I am looking forward to the cooler weather in another two months so we might actually be able to go out for walks. I guess we will just have to wait and see how things work out, because I know it could be quite a while before we even find another child!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

I feel better....

now that I anticipate it being a couple more weeks I am not as anxious for the certification to be here. I guess I was more concerned that it was late or that something was wrong. I have been much more relaxed the last two days allowing my self to focus on the kids and the house and things that have to be done here on a daily basis, and getting ready for school to start in just over a week. I can tell they are ready as they are starting to get a bit board and asking to watch more TV or play video games, which we try not to do that much of.....but it is hard when it is so hot outside and they can't really go out for long to play, ride bikes or swim in the middle of the day. Today I am working on laundry and sorting through the kids clothes to see what we need to get them for school. Ethan is being a harsh supervisor and telling me to stop blogging and get back to work ;0)

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Of Tears

"There is a sacredness in tears. They are not the mark of weakness but of power. They are messengers of overwhelming grief and of unspeakable love." -Washington Irving

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

It would appear...

....that the courts are taking a full 60 days to certify home studies at the moment, so we now figure we have a couple more weeks to wait. We also have some mixed feelings about the new little boy we were inquiring on. Happy that he has found a home, but sad once again that we will not be the ones to bring Christopher into our home. I am debating wither or not I should inquire on another child before our certification is in hand.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


I have to say I have been avoiding a new post on the blog because our certification is still not here and I wanted to be able to post good news. Perhaps I set my expectations too high, but according to the time line we received from the agency who completed our home study, certification should have arrived almost 2 weeks ago. I suppose that I should be happy that we are no longer in such a hurry as Theo's parents have now chosen a family, so we know he will not be placed with us. While we are very happy for him, we are also a bit sad that we will not see him grow and develop and shower him with our love. On a good note, Terry and the kids have fallen for another little boy much closer to home and we really look forward to getting more information on him as soon as we have our certification, I think he is adorable and would fit nicely into our family, but am being much more guarded this time around. Ideally, it would be nice to get a CPS placement here in AZ with an infant, as I do have my heart set on a baby. Possibly a situation like Theo's where the parents just don't think they can cope with the child's brain injury for what ever reason, however, we are open to possibly taking an infant who has been substance exposed in utero, or even a healthy newborn who's mom has no choice but an adoption plan due to incarceration, etc, though our true hope is to help a child that might not otherwise find a home due to extreme physical limitations. That, after all, is what we are set up for at home, being wheelchair accessable and having aquired many thousands of dollars in special equipment and 10+ years of experience in that area. SO....hopefully this week the certification will get here and we can pick up our search for our special child.

Friday, July 22, 2011


Well we knew it would take a while and were told the Courts are really running slow but I really though our certification would be here by now. I really don't know what I will do this weekend if it does not come!!!!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Rave: Diapers.com

WOW! I wasn't sure if it was just a one time thing before, but after several orders I have to rave about diapers.com
My orders from them arrive literally over night! and they always seem to include a little something extra!!!!!
I was a little nervous about not having the right size gdiapers on hand for when we finally get matched, but not wanting to order a bunch of things we won't need just for the sake of being prepared. But now I am not worried at all because I can just order when we find out the details of the child we will welcome into our family and know they will be here, probably before the baby! But in case you want to check it out for yourself here is a coupon code for you to use: BECK9626 you will get $10.00 off your first order of $49.00 or more AND diapers.com will donate $10.00 to the American Red Cross!

Restless again!

I don't know what I will do if it takes another week or more for the certification to arrive! This morning I have already made 4 swaddling cocoons on the chance that we are matched with a newborn. Yesterday the girls got very excited about the possibility that we could get a girl and picked out a girly outfit. It is hard to hold back until we know exactly what we will be blessed with, but I figure anything that we don't use will make a very nice donation to a family in need!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Still waiting....

No news yet. The kids brought home strep throat form their stay at Auntie's so we have just nee hiding out at home trying not to spread it around. Hopefully next week we will have good news that our certification has been approved so that we can anxiously await being matched with a special child!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Holding my Breath....

....hoping that the certification comes back from the court this week. The weekend away did help some....but I had a stomach bug while we were there so it was not quite as relaxing as I would have liked. In the mean time I have been looking through profiles online of children waiting for families and it has made me a little sad that we can't do more, but we are not going to spread our selves thin, we want to make a difference in the life of the child we adopt. There are so many children with a vast array of medical conditions in foster and medical care facilities that could benefit exponentially from having a loving and devoted family. I want families to know, that these children, though a lot of work, bring so many blessings.....they change lives. They need and deserve a life time commitment as it is likely they will need care for as long as they live. I know how much it made an impression on a friend that was in our home one day with my husband talking about gardens. They were talking about what they will be doing with their yards in the future, in retirement, and Terry made the comment, "....one day, when it is just the three of us (speaking of him, me, and Ethan)..." it really made an impression on her that it was just understood that Ethan would be with us forever, and it is the same for a child we add to our home through adoption....it is a life long commitment, not just until legal adulthood....that is what families should be about after all. I certainly would never raise our "typically-abled" children to believe that parenting magically ends at age 18, I hope they know they can come to me at any time and I will be here for them. I find that my grand parents had a profound impact on me in this. You see, my grandfather was a carpenter and a man of great wisdom and vision. While growing his family of eight children he made a plan and built his dream....that dream consisted of a 2 acre parcel (I think that was the size of his lot) where he built his home, and then 13 little apartments 8 with 2 bedrooms (one for each of his children) and 5 with 1 bedroom each and he planted fruit and nut trees and gardens so that no matter what happened in life, his children would always have something to come back to, a place to live and fresh food to eat, and I know that several of them, in their adult lives had to take advantage of Grandpa's legacy. I was terribly upset when up on Grandma's passing that the kids sold it all....gave my grandfather's dream away for a small temporary financial boost. I keep that idea, that dream in my heart, and I don't know if I will ever be able to do as much as my grandpa, but early in our marriage we did buy a small piece of property, with a similar idea. A 5 acre property where we could eventually build a home, customized to Ethan's needs and build a house for each of our children so they would always have a place to come if the whole world went wrong on them. That piece of land has been my security, and through stressful times an escape and solace....a part of a dream in progress that I hope will transcend my own life in to the lives of not only my children and grandchildren but posterity of generations to come.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Looking forward to....

.... a short get-a-way this weekend at the Hyatt Regency....looking forward to my massage and a few hours of quiet time and a nice dinner with my husband. Some of my prize package as the June Qualifier for Woman of the Year. It has been a couple years since we have had an "overnight" trip away from the kids. The girls are going to Aunty's house and the boys are staying with grandma and grandpa. I am hoping I come back re-energized for what is coming up in the next several weeks with the adoption as the certification to adopt should be coming back from juvenile court in the next week or two!!!! And shortly after we will be meeting with a new attorney to discuss our options regarding how we move forward with Ethan's conservitorship/trust funds....things of this nature are always stressful as lawyers don't always consider the family as a whole and we are hoping that the new attorney is considerate of us unlike the current guardian ad litem and judge assigned to Ethan's case. In many ways, it is much easier to get services for disabled children when you don't have any financial means!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Being a MOM

While sitting in the movie theater today with my children I was reflecting on the value of being a stay at home mom. We go to a kid friendly movie every Thursday, one of the many things we do together that we would not be able to do if I had made the choice to go back to work following Ethan's birth. I don't regret the choice I made though it would have made put us in a six figure income bracket at this point, but I would have missed so much, had to accept that my children were being raised by someone who did not have a vested interest in them, and Ethan may never have gotten close to the developmental point he is at today. Because I have chosen to stay at home with my children they have had precious one on one time with me, every day. They have gotten necessary rehabilitative services, not just once a week when they visited the Physical, Occupational, or Speech therapist but every day with a home program. I have been able to teach them many important life lessons, lessons that might not have been valued by them had I not been there to re-enforce them every day, and I am proud of who my children have become, and know that my sacrifice has been worth it. I am happy I chose to be a stay at home mom because it has been my hand that has let go of that chubby pre-toddler hand and let them take their first steps. My ears that heard their first words. My arms that have comforted when they have fallen. My clapping hands that have applauded their accomplishments....my words that they value when they need advice. I don't regret not having the money of a second income because the things I experience as a mother are of infinite value, to my children, and to us as parents. I am grateful for a husband who has the skills and ambition to be able to support us financially and keep me home with our children. I wish that more moms could be blessed with this experience as I believe it blesses our society to have parents and not day care workers guiding our children into the people they are meant to become. I am blessed to be able to be a MOM.

Missing You

PLEASE! Someone come forward....

....and adopt this baby so it doesn't keep tearing my heart out every time I see him. It is agonizing to see this precious little boy still without a forever family. The video shows he is doing really very well, so much better than Ethan did at that age. His parents are searching for a family with excellent financial and medical resources to assure that Theo gets the care and support he needs.LinkTheo's information

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Asian inspired set

I love to make things, recycle and up-cycle. This set was made from my fabric stash and I just need to add a diaper cover which will most likely be made from an old t-shirt if I don't get a matching gDiaper. It is the first set I have made in size newborn for our adoption as now there is a possibility that we could get a baby that won't yet fit into all the 6 month and up clothing I have made and purchased. Helen helped me stencil this set with Chinese symbols that are suppose to mean "green" and I am working on a second similar style set with symbols that mean "chosen". I did not make the leg warmers but they matched and I think they are adorable with the set.

Sunday, July 3, 2011


Photo's taken at my youngest sister, Lori's wedding....



Nieces and Nephews

Molly, Victoria and Aurora all born in 2008 (I think!)



Friday, July 1, 2011

Children brighten your day.....

I have not had a particularly pleasant day and then the kids made lunch. Here is lunch as designed and prepared by Helen, Mark and Chloe, ages 8, 7 and 6. Helen got the idea from the Saltine Cracker Box, clever girl!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

With deep sadness....

It is with heavy hearts we let everyone know that our family has not been chosen as Theo's forever family. A family has not yet been chosen and my heart aches for this little boy, knowing how vital it is especially at this time in his life that he is developing bonds with the people who will be caring for him throughout his life, I pray that he will find his family soon and not be in alternative care for too much longer. We want him to be happy, to grow and develop to his potential and most of all to feel the love that he craves and deserves. We pray that the ones who are meant to be his family will come forward and that his birth parents will know in their hearts that they are the right family for him. We can't imagine how difficult this must be for them, to wait, to have to read through people's lives and decide if it is a match for their child, if they can entrust this precious child to their care. We will continue our search for the child that is meant to come to our home, but we will never forget Theo, as he was the catalyst that brought us to this point, he will forever be loved by us and in our hearts.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Beautiful People

This post is not about adoption per say, but perhaps it gives a little insight on my desire to adopt a special kind of child. Yesterday as we sat in the waiting room of the clinic that provides Ethan’s therapy I was privileged to see two of the most beautiful people I have had the pleasure of encountering. When I say beautiful this is not to say that they were physically attractive but that their presence was beautiful. These two young girls age eleven and twelve both receive therapy due to being born very premature and both have global delays and are clearly mentally challenged. They had not met before but were immediately drawn to each other and made their introductions and were fast friends. The thing that struck me most was how happy they were, the pure joy of simply being themselves. It is something that many children with cerebral palsy and many other conditions that cause a variety of “delays” share….they may be physically and mentally challenged, but they are spiritually gifted. When I look at these people, who in our world have more right or excuse to be depressed, angry, resentful or negative about the lot life has presented them with, and yet they aren’t, in fact they have more hope, more courage, more happiness than their peers who have more typical lives. There is a little boy, a few years older than Ethan, who sometimes shares a therapy room with us who also has CP, however, it is spastic quadriplegia and he has painful contractures, it is clear from his cries that therapy is agonizing, but when his session is done he always has a huge smile for his therapist. If only we could all be that forgiving, harbor no resentment to those who have wronged us. There are so many qualities that seem to be part of what makes up these special children that I admire and aspire to. They are genuine, they are loving, they are forgiving, they are patient, kind, and always willing to rise to a challenge. I see something amazing when my own son interacts with people, strangers. He is inviting and warm, his smile welcoming and contagious and it makes people pay attention to him, want to talk to him and be near him. It doesn’t matter that he can’t walk and that people can’t understand him when he talks, that he is different, he loves life and this is a quality that many of these children share and that is why they are so beautiful to me.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Prim Rose Bonnet

All of my Bonny Wee Bonnet sets start with and inspired hat. The Prim Rose set was originally designed for preemie size babies, but I have finally gotten a pattern written for the bonnet in size 3-6 months. If you use this pattern, please consider making a donation to our adoption fund at the top of our blog page in the right column. Please also follow our blog as we hope to eventually add all the patterns for each piece of this beautiful layette.

Prim Rose Bonnet

Needle size 4 mm

Small amount white and color of choice Bernat Baby Sport yarn

CO 60
Garter Stitch (knit every stitch) 3 rows
Next row purl (wrong side)
Stockinet stitch next 20 rows
Decrease as follows:
*k8, k2t* repeat to end
K across (wrong side)
*k7, k2t* repeat to end
K across
*k6, k2t* repeat to end
K across
*k5, k2t* repeat to end
K across
*k4, k2t* repeat to end
K across
*k3, k2t* repeat to end
K across
*k2, k2t* repeat to end
K across
*k1, k2t* repeat to end
K across, break off yarn, leaving a long tail, thread through remaining 12 stitches and pull tight and sew back seam along decrees edge.

Lace Trim

3.25 mm needles

Cast on 4 and knit one row
Row 1: K2, yo, k2 (wrong side)
Row 2 and every even row: Knit
Row 3: K3, yo, k2
Row 5: K2, yo, k2tog, yo, k2
Row 7: K3, yo, k2tog, yo, k2
Row 8: Bind off 4, k to end
repeat these 8 rows for the pattern until you have a long enough length for front of bonnet ( Mine took 14 triangle points to match the length of the front of the bonnet)
Sew lace trim to front of bonnet.

Neck edge and tie

PU 52 stitches along neck edge and then CO 18 stitches
K across
K to last 4 st k2t, yo, k2
K across
Weave in loose ends and securely affix button closure.
If desired embellish with knitted or crochet flowers and leaves or embroidered flowers.

Pattern by: Becky Bright of Bright Creations 2011 for the Bitterblue collection.

Friday, June 24, 2011

I hate not having any news to post about....

....and I haven't got anything new to post about right now. The agency facilitating Theo's adoption has received our home study a week ago. Hopefully it has given them a better idea of our family situation and given them something that they can present to Theo's family so they can decided if we are the right family for this little boy. We know we still have a few weeks before the courts certify us to adopt....I anticipate this around the second to third week of July. I am anxious waiting as life can not keep me busy enough to not think about this sweet little boy waiting for his forever family and just hoping and praying it will be someone who is ready for the challenge and will love him no matter what. I know the transition from his interim care to his forever family will probably be quite difficult and I have been preparing my self physically and mentally in the event that WE are the ones that get that phone call telling us we can come and get our baby and at the same time preparing myself emotionally as well as everyone else here in the event that we are not the ones chosen. In our home this week following Ethan's surgery we have still been working very hard on getting back to where we were before "recovery" which went smoother and faster than I anticipated for Ethan. He is already back to using the potty because transferring from the wheelchair to his special toilet chair isn't as difficult or painful as we thought it would be and the cloth inserts in the gdiaper help him remember that he needs to use the potty rather than a diaper for toileting. His teacher will be thrilled about this when he goes back to school in August because it has been one of his IEP goals this past school year and at times he was a little difficult about doing it because he didn't want to wait for an aid to be able to help him and it was easier to use the disposable diaper. Now in the gdiapers he is really proud when it is still dry every time, even over night, when he asks to use the bathroom. It is a VERY big accomplishment....for all of us.

Monday, June 20, 2011

So touched....

I guess it is because I don't see what I do day in day out as extraordinary or special I was shocked and humbled when I read my husband's nomination (of me) for KEZ Woman of the Year. This is just my life and I am the one who feels honored and blessed to be able to parent a child with exceptional needs because I get the privilege of witnessing miracles every day. I really think that if more people experienced what I have experienced in my son that there would not be so many special needs children in foster care or available for adoption. YES, it is hard, physically, emotionally and financially to raise children who need a lot of extra care, but it is incredibly fulfilling. You get back so much more than you give.
KEZ999 Woman of the Year
I guess I was probably even more emotional about it today than I would have been ordinarily because I got the call after I had just gotten home from Ethan having surgery today. Even though it was routine, it is still very hard to see him go through the pain of recovery. Thankfully my little man is now sleeping.....as comfortably as can be expected....after his orchiopexy (I hope that is spelled correctly), apparently it is very common for little boys with Cerebral Palsy to need this surgery.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Frog Set

I was working on some small size diaper covers and thought I would make a whole matching set. Helen and I tie-dyed them and then stenciled the little frogs on them.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Baby Registries

Just my list of mostly wants, but a few still needed items as we get ready. We have all the immediately necessary items. And of course I am still waiting for the news of if Theo will be our baby and then I will be asking specific details to make it as smooth a transition as possible, like what brand and style bottles/nipples he takes. We already know what formula he is on so are making sure we have at least one can of that type on hand, although with the last report I got on his feeding difficulties we may be talking to the doctor about the possibilities that Neocate might make feeding easier on his tummy. All of my kids experienced sensitivity to Similac formulas, so it could be as simple as changing over to enfamil but we are keeping an open mind that the Neocate may be the best option for possible food allergies.....maybe even go so far as to finding a breast milk donor if it means he will be more comfortable and be able to grow and enjoy life right now.

Babies"R"Us - Baby Registry

Target Baby Registry


ALL paperwork is now in.....home study has been written! It is being over-nighted to Juvenile Court TODAY!!!! What a relief to have this part done. Now? You guessed it....more waiting. Just waiting for the court to approve it and send the adoption certification. If everything goes smooth and to the timeline we were given.....it could be done in 3-4 weeks :0)

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Keeping busy....

For my birthday, I picked out this beautiful fabric and over the last few days I made a Mei Tai Carrier and a beautiful one of a kind diaper bag. This is the first time that I have made anything like a diaper bag and I am excited about how it turned out and it is very roomy and has pockets for all the baby necessities and room for my wallet too and lots of extra room too! I can't wait to get to use them! Plus I took the kids shopping yesterday and let them pick out some adorable little clothes. Don't know what I am going to do now as I am running out of things that we need right now!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

YEAH!!!!! Just got notice!

.....from Juvenile Court that our fingerprints have been filed! It was a long wait so WE ARE OVER THE MOON excited....that means that our home study should be filed this week!!!!!!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Giving Back....

I know this story is not related to our adoption, but it is so very important that I am posting it to all of my blogs. One of my longest friends growing up, Kym, is friends with a woman who's husband was killed recently in Afghanistan. She is the mother of an 18 month old little boy and is expecting their second child in just a few months. I can't even imagine what this mother is going through at the moment, losing a husband and provider and facing raising these two small children without a dad. I know if it was me, I would be pretty destroyed and lost at the moment and would be in need of a lot of community support. My friend came to me because of our own recent fundraising efforts and we talked about some ideas to help this woman and her babies. One of the ideas we came up with was to do a diaper drive. We did talk about cloth and alternatives, but neither of us are sure how easy this would be for this mom and we are trying to make her life a little easier. So I contacted major diaper manufacturers and sellers, well I got something promising back from diapers.com, offering to set up an account for the woman so that donations could be made to the account and she could purchase what she needed from the donations they received. I liked this idea because diapers.com sells a lot more than just disposable diapers like formula, clothes and other diapering options. I am sad to say that both Luvs and Pampers were very disappointing saying they only donate on the national level and found myself thinking that if it was not for women in her situation, who's husbands have fought for our country and way of life over the last couple hundred years, there wouldn't be a "national level". I was a little annoyed to say the least, BUT I know there are a lot of individuals out there with very giving hearts that would be more than happy to donate....I know that even small donations help because when a dozen or more small donations come in they really add up. I will post links to the diapers.com account as soon as it is set up. In the mean time, here is a link to Staff Sergent Apolinar's story, and as always, we appreciate all of your love and support. You have given so much to us, and it is time we all give back:

Friday, June 3, 2011

New set finished...

Another set finished for the new baby. I fell in love with the little crochet loafers I saw so I bought the pattern and adapted the little newsboy hat to go with it and made the little shorts and tie applique onsie with coordinating fabric from my stash.


Look how much Theo has grown! I got an update on him June 1st and I think he is doing quite well considering all he has been through. We also signed the release documents so that our home study agency can send all our information to the agency in NY. We have been talking to the kids A LOT about everything and all possibilities lately, preparing them for either outcome whether we are chosen as Theo's family or if another family is chosen. We talked about being happy for Theo that he has a family to love him and take care of him even if it is not us and reassuring them that even if we are not chosen to be Theo's family we will still be looking for a baby who needs a family like us. They are very excited about being big brothers and sisters and talk about Theo all the time. Another big surprise is the girls have started to get maternal and take care of dolls, which is something that they had little interested in before we started talking about adopting this little boy, and at the moment they are pushing the stroller around the front room. It is all very sweet and I know they will love the baby we get to adopt!