Our first home study meeting is planned for this coming Tuesday, so we've been filling out mounds of paperwork and trying to keep cookie crumbs off all the official documents. The paperwork is the process for us to become foster parents, because the boys are in foster care in Arizona, and the easiest way to transfer them through the states is from one foster family to another. So, this meeting is really nothing. I mean, technically, we could fail the interviews or something, but I imagine that would be hard to do. This interview is just a step forward.
We feel mostly blind going into the first meeting, like we're stepping through the hoops they place in front of us until they either say, "The fathers got their sons." or "The foster family was a better resource." or "You're going to have 4 babies this year (Christian included)."
Pray that Matt and I will be sensitive to what the Lord has for our family. There are lots of children who need families, and we're certainly not called to give them all homes, but these boys were dropped in our laps, and Matt has been praying for years that God will give us the children that no one else wants.
Yellow couches are like kittens. If I see one, and it's homeless, I must give it a home. In an unlike kittens move, if the couch gets grimy and icky and smells like a dog, I must remove it from my home. So, we had one yellow, tufted couch, and then we got a second one. Now we're back to one, and it's the same one as the original one, so you know, you end where you begin. But, updated living room shot. The stuff on the walls between the windows is only place holder stuff. I'll tear it all off the walls this summer, guaranteed.
Twelve things on the shelves above the high chair are second-hand. I'm happy to find beautiful, used treasures. I go to the thrift store probably twice a month in search of one of these treasures. You know, something that's so cheap you know it's mislabeled and you would have paid way too much for it, on account of how beautiful it is.
This last time, we went to three thrift stores in a row. First, the Union Mission thrift store which had so many good books it was ridiculous, and Matt and I piled them on until we had 24 books, which we paid six worthwhile dollars for. Loading our car up with Homer Price, Caddie Woodlawn, My Side of the Mountain, Little House in the Big Woods, etc. etc. etc. felt like a steal already.
The second thrift store was a no go, which is the risk you run thrift store shopping. Sometimes there's nothing worth taking home.
The third thrift store was a Salvation Army, and Matt found the pair of shoes that had spurred this trip in the first place. I walked out to the car with nothing, my picky style and small budget limiting my success. That was when the magic happened. Across the parking lot, someone from my church saw my pregnant self making its way to the car. Her kindness propelled her over to us and she said, "We were just about to donate some baby stuff; A high chair, if you want to take a look."
I'm so picky.
I feel like since baby gets a fresh start on life, it might as well only have adorable things. Adorable things tend to be wooden, not plastic, have no batteries, and preferably be hand-made. I almost said, "Aw, no thanks." cause I'd hate to offend someone by not liking their stuff, but instead I said, "Is the high chair wooden?" I fully expected it not to be. Most high chairs aren't.
But that day, the high chair was wooden, in great shape, with fancy detachable parts, underseat storage, a name brand that's apparently impressive, and free. Doesn't it look at home in our kitchen? If only thrifting were always that agreeable.
The Norfolk Zoo was lively when my Vermont cousins were in town. It was their first trip to a zoo, and the animals were in rare form. They were animalistic in every sense of the word. The lion was roaring, the giraffes were humping, and the monkey peed on the glass while we looked on. It was also 98 degrees, so we were icky sweaty and way sleepy by the time we rolled back through the front gate. I kept the pictures PG. You're welcome.
When we entered the room for the ultrasound, the woman told me she would try an external ultrasound first, but that at eight weeks sometimes they'll have to do an internal ultrasound to really see the baby. As soon as she started, she changed her tune, "Oh. We're fine. You're fine. I'm going to measure this baby, but you're farther than eight weeks along."
But I couldn't be. I had had a period eight weeks before. After measuring the baby, she gave us the good news, "You're twelve weeks today! Due on Christmas Day."
If you handed me a calendar and said, "There are three hundred and sixty-five days this year, and one of them is the day your baby will be born. You can't choose which day it will be born, but go ahead and pick the one day you'd prefer your baby wasn't due on."
Easy peasy. No-brainer. Christmas Day is the most unideal day to be born.
BUT I'd rather all of my babies were born on Christmas than not born at all.
It turns out something internally is bleeding, which is what I mistook for a period eight weeks ago. The doctor said it's not something to worry about unless it gets bigger and I bleed again (which I haven't, so that's good).
A four week jump!! I couldn't ask for anything better! It makes everything make so much more sense. I've been so tired, smell sensitive, and having to use the bathroom ten times a day. Oh, there's a three inch child sitting in my body.
Due this year! Since I already gave birth once this year, we've met our deductible, and this baby will be free if it makes it out before January. Also, the technician said she was pretty sure we're having a boy, but it's too early to make the official announcement. So.... Jack? Gabriel? Charlotte?... Either way, we'll get to meet you this year!!
This week we're saying goodbye to our very dirty yellow tufted couch (which is really just a giant dog bed if we're honest) in exchange for a pair of chairs for all the space saving we can possibly muster. We've had this couch for a year now, and it arrived in a much brighter, cleaner state. Oh, Mr. Max. Why must you rub your body on all the things?
You can see both the new yellow couch and a much younger version of this pretty girl in this post. A year ago I mentioned that soon she'll be walking and talking, and now she does quite a bit of both. She was such a ham for the camera. Posing and then running over to see the picture I'd taken.
It's been a beautiful thing to have this baby to take care of while I wait for my own. This Friday we'll get to see littlest baby Nowak and, Lord willing, hear its heartbeat. The only new news on the adoption has been one e-mail and one phone call, both of which were to gather more/confirm information about our lives. It's a lot, or maybe nothing. How can we know?
I don't have any babies that actually live in my house. We have one in heaven, we're pregnant with one, we're possibly adopting two, and one plays at my house every weekday, but technically, we don't have any that live with us.
All of that said, we want to take all of the right steps to keep our babies and other people's babies safe. Some deaths can be prevented. A little girl that I knew, crawled out of bed one day when she was supposed to be sleeping, climbed her dresser, and died when the dresser fell on top of her. Now her parents take every opportunity possible to hand out furniture straps and tell Maddie's story. You can choose to strap your furniture to the wall, and it could save your baby's life.
It's not even a difficult task. Matt spent an hour or so the other afternoon and strapped all of the furniture in our nursery to the walls. A dresser, half bookshelf, super tall bookshelf, and crib all neatly attached to the wall.
That's not a picture of our nursery, but this is what it looks like. One piece screws into the wall. One piece screws into the furniture (or double for the bigger pieces), and then you zip tie them together. I know, holes in your walls, holes in your furniture, and time. It takes a tiny bit of time, but imagine if you knew this was how your baby was going to die. You'd do it in a heartbeat.
We've already strapped the living room furniture too. I just want to take the time to make you aware that this is a preventable death, and you have the opportunity to save your child's life.
Here's a link to a pack of eight. If you have small rooms like we do, that can strap a whole room full of furniture.