Thursday, May 31, 2012

A bit more (cross-stitch) progress

2012 is going by so quickly! It's hard to believe that the last day of May is already upon us. We hope May 2012 has been good to everyone.

It's been a few weeks since our last progress photo so we thought a few photos of the cross-stitch project would be a good end to the month. Enjoy and stay tuned for more photos!

The B is for Bear block is still in progress, but you can now see the bear :-)

Detail of the Number 1 Bunny block

The Bear in detail with quite a few stitches left to do.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Visions of little bear dancing in our heads?

Some of you may be wondering if we've gone a little nuts. No worries, we don't actually have visions of a little bear dancing in our heads, at least not most days. However, there's not a day that passes without us thinking about our plans for a child once he or she becomes part of our family.

Sometimes we wonder how deeply other parents-to-be envision their child's life before he or she arrives on the scene. We're sure this must vary. After all, every person is different and there's probably as many answers as there are parents to ask. Surely if we asked enough people we'd likely find some parents planning to experience life with their child in the moment as it unfolds, while others think in great detail about the life they will share together.

It seems the longer you wait, the more likely you'll be to fully imagine life with your child. This certainly seems to be the case as we wait to become adoptive parents. Adoption can be a very quick process, even quicker than 9 months of pregnancy. In many cases though, adoption tends to be a longer road to parenthood for many people like us. After all, if we had gotten pregnant when we first began our adoption journey, our child would be well over a year old by now. Our journey has become an extended period to think about many aspects of life with the son or daughter we we hope to adopt. It seems like we've been involved in a very detailed process of imagining our child's life ever since we began drafting our adoption letter back in November 2010.

Some of the many books we've pinned to "Kid's Books We Love" 

This developed vision is largely because when we considered the task of drafting an adoption letter, we decided we most wanted to show the type of life a child would have with us. We opted to talk in our letter about specific places and experiences we planned to share with our future child including a couple particular book titles, "Winnie the Pooh" and "The Velveteen Rabbit". Our vision has become even more detailed as we spread the word about our adoption plans through social media channels like Facebook and Pinterest. We've had a chance to show everyone books that catch our eye, our favorite animals, local places to go with kids, and many activities we think will be fun for us to do as a family.

Sometimes this process isn't easy and makes us sad about what we're missing since we're still not parents yet. For instance it can be hard to reflect on kid's books when we have no idea when we'll be reading them to our own child. However, the process of imagining life with our future child has been beneficial in so many ways.

  1. We hope our vision will help a potential birthmother to learn about us and the life we plan for her child if she chooses to place him or her for adoption with us. 
  2. Sharing our vision helps us to stay positive and keeps us focused on the future. 
  3. It's a great opportunity to recall and rediscover what we loved as kids. (And lots of fun too!) 
  4. Developing our vision is also a great learning experience. While the wait to adopt is longer than we hoped, we have learned so much about kids, parenthood, adoption, and much more. 

Susan loved the Little House books as a kid, but will our child? 

"The Wind in the Willows" was one of Mitch's childhood favorites (and still is).

It might seem like our vision is a required list of some sort - to read, to do, to make, or to buy. As we develop our vision, we're the first to recognize it is not set in stone. How could it be? There is one key person missing from the process and that is the child who will ultimately join our family. As we think, dream, post, tweet, and pin, we are keenly aware that we have no idea whether this child will be a boy or girl and no clue as to what his or her interests will be.

We love animals, but Mitch particularly likes the takins...

and Susan likes the red river hogs, but which animals will our child like best?

The real adventure will begin when we become parents and explore the world together. We'll find out which animals, books, toys, etc. are most interesting to our child. Discovering places and sharing new experiences together as a family is when the fun will begin and we understand (and hope) that our vision for the future will shift as we go. This will be the best part and the one we are looking forward to the most. There may be a few things we've pinned on Pinterest that we might miss sharing with our son or daughter, but we know there will be something even more meaningful for us to experience together instead.

Monday, May 14, 2012

April showers bring May flowers

Okay, it's a bit difficult for us to say too much about April showers in Southern California. It seemed like we got several this April, but in general they are pretty rare. April can look very bright and sometimes can be quite warm here. However, even here there's usually still a feeling of preparation and growth. This April was no exception as we updated our adoption home study, ordered more adoption letters, and discussed how to handle our wait now that we've reached the one year mark.

Right now the landscape on the road we are traveling to become parents through open adoption seems very much the same and even monotonous at times. It feels like the wait is getting harder now that we're solidly past the one year mark. Participating in some of the same things that we did last year when we were newly waiting, such as the Festival of Books and the MS Walk, seems to have been harder this year. Please don't get us wrong. We are glad to do the things we've always enjoyed doing. However, the reminder that we are still doing them childless is weighing heavily on both of us right now.

The good news is that we are ready for the next steps of our journey and we're making plans for the road ahead. We're more prepared than ever to bring a child home, even through a last minute placement. There are good wishes, prayers, and help from so many people in our lives. It's probably feeling like a long road to everyone who knows us too, and we appreciate everyone's continued support.

And of course the cross stitch continues too. While also probably not at the pace we hoped, there is some progress.

The bunny block is done and the outline is forming for the letter "B" in the next block.