Sunday, July 25, 2010

What's new.....

....a bunch!

While I am still mourning the death of my Oma, we have had a WONDERFUL summer so far with Olivia.  Each morning, my husband and I still can't believe that we wake-up to a happy, smiling, little face.  She is such a joy.  We also count our blessings that we are both home with her all summer long.  She gets  us, all day....every day.

What is amazing to me is that I don't want her to get bigger, yet I enjoy each new phase even more than the previous.  I always think that she cannot possibly get any cuter....but she does.  Ohh.....what a little love.

Anyway, instead of writing, picture updates with captions it will be!

Mother's Day---Four Generations---Oliva, me, my mom, Oma
I look at it, and cannot believe how sick Oma looks.  I look at this picture, and I don't even recognize her.

My friend Marilyn's little girl, Ava, with Olivia. Isn't she a doll!

We got a gift from some friends to have Olivia's picture taken by Andrea Peardon. She came to our home back in May, and we went out in the backyard and she took some really beautiful pictures.
sweet baby girl......
check out more pics here.....

In the yard with Daddy and Winston (the pug is never far behind...)

Someone got their ears pierced!

Suttons Bay---First time in sand.
Suttons Bay with Daddy.
Suttons Bay with Mama.  Water was too cold for baby to go any further, otherwise this little fish would have been in.
 Uncle Beau is soooo good to me.

Playing with cousins Nolan and Quinn.
At one of the wineries!  I think we visited 4 this day.....
 Me with Aunt Kitty at Lynda's wedding.

Pretty Girl

Leland, aka "Fish Town"
Cherry Republic in Glen Arbor

Grandpa always tries to find a chair to sit and relax while we all scatter and shop.
On the way home from up north, we passed through the town where Olivia was born.  I had Bill find the hospital, and we drove around wondering, "what if........."

I looked out the kitchen window and saw this.
(Daddy was watering flowers nearby.......)

I ran outside, and this is how she now uses her bouncy chair....or at least how she did.  It has been retired.
She is a very determined little girl.
Loves to touch.
Sticking Tip of Tongue Out phase......
....which coincided with the Suck Bottom Lip phase.

Winston has quickly learned where to hang out when Olivia is eating.

She loves her doggies.
First time in high chair.....Look at that happy face!
Loves to chase the dogs in her walker.  Poor Gretel is blind and doesn't see her coming.  She has ended up on her stomach more than once.....
Who could not resist waking up to this every morning?!

full tummy.....

Ann Arbor Art Fair....I must try to touch everything!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Another post long overdue...

...I wonder if anyone is even reading anymore.

June was a busy month...a sad one as well.

My dear, sweet Oma passed away in June.  If you remember, my Ota died in January, and ever since then she lost her will to live.  In fact, we thought we were going to lose her a week after we lost my Ota.
Sadly, we did not see it coming....or at least we chose not to.  Medically, she was healthy.  She did have dementia, however, it was not yet advanced.  Emotionally, she was tired.  She missed my Ota...her husband...her companion for over 60 years....her one true love.

I am heartbroken.  Completely heartbroken.  I loved my grandmother so, so much.  I still cannot believe that she is no longer with us.  Each night, in the quiet peacefulness of the baby's room, I rock Olivia, I sing to her, and I cry. I remember my Oma, and what a strong, beautiful woman she was, and how much...oh, how I miss her.  How I wish she could see Olivia and how she has grown.

My faith tells me that she is with me still, and always will be.  However, I am selfish, and right now that is just not good enough.

I was, and am still not ready to let her go....

Saturday, May 22, 2010

A post overdue

Each day, I faithfully sit down at my computer and eagerly anticipate the updates on my favorite blogs.  By the time I am done reading, I need to throw the wash in the dryer, Olivia is crying, the phone is ringing, the dogs are barking....Something is always going on.  I just have not had the time to sit and write, even though I have been dying to do so.  It is much more fun for me to sit and read what is happening in the lives of all of you.  I really do look forward to reading each and every day.

I have really cherished the time at home with Olivia these past few months.  Next week will be my last week at home, as I return to work on June 1.  However, just a few short weeks later, both hubby and I will be off for the summer!  While it breaks my heart to have to leave her each morning, I know that it is only a matter of time before school will be out.  Speaking of which, we get out very late this year....June 17!

As of right now, I am planning on going back full-time in the fall.  We have reserved a spot for Olivia at a woman's house who watches a small group of teacher's children.  We have several friends who have used her for daycare, and highly recommended her to us.  When we met with her, we felt very confident that our little girl would be loved and taken care of.

That's another thing I am struggling with right now.  I can't even think of going back to a classroom full of kids, when the one little girl I want to be with is at daycare.  I know I am not the first person who has gone through this, and I did not expect myself to get worked-up over this.  It's just hard.  There is a small chance that a part-time position would open up at our building, but we will have to wait and see.  I work for a very large district, and I love the building I teach in.  I don't want to lose my spot there, as I have taught in a building before where days were very stressful.  We will see what happens.....

It is amazing how Olivia is growing.  She is not longer a newborn....She is all baby.  Oh, and she is just the sweetest thing.  Happy, content, determined, strong....and just perfect.  We still pinch ourselves.  We are so very blessed.

Here are a few updates:

  • She is smiling ALL OF THE TIME
  • Rolled over from back to front (to the right) for the first time Wednesday night
  • Lots of cooing and other assorted adorable noises
  • Her legs are very strong....Pulled out the Jumperoo and doorway jumper a few weeks ago, and she loves to use these!
  • Captivated by anything that lights up, in particular her Bab.y E.instein crib aquarium and F.isher P.rice soother that projects a scene on the ceiling and plays music
  • She loves to put things in her mouth, in particular both of her hands at the same time
  • Grasping at rattles, toys, hair, arms....everything (uses mostly right hand), and of course then pulls it all to her mouth
  • Sitting with support
  • Lying on tummy with head at 90 degree angle
  • Recognizes familiar faces
  • Loves to take a bath....Loves, loves, loves to kick her legs and splash
  • Quite a bit of baby hair has fallen out, and new growth is beginning
  • When she hear's my voice, or hubby's voice, turns head to find us
  • Loves to watch TV ( I am completely ashamed... we are not big TV watchers and I don't even have any special baby DVDs for her......this is not intentional, and I turn it off for most of the day, but if it is on and she is in her jumper, being burped, on the floor, or anywhere, her eyes are glued to it.....)
  • Cries only when hungry or a nap is needed within the next few minutes

We had our second meeting with our awesome social worker from our agency on Wednesday and
I am preparing the second letter and pictures to send to Olivia's BM and BF.  Our agency recommends 6-8 pictures, but I have been sending well over 20 each time.  I can't resist.

This post has gone on for too long.  If I updated more regularly, I wouldn't have these long posts!

Here are a few pictures. Oh, our sweet little girl.....

Sunday, April 11, 2010

update with pictures

          Bouncy chair----early Easter gift from Oma.

Love the new swing.  We wanted one that did not use batteries, and this one plugs into the wall.  

Sleeping with Daddy and Winston.

What a face......

First walk in the bassinet.  The weather has been beautiful!
(This stroller is from my mom, and it was a floor model.  We got it at an obscene discount....It was less than most every stroller of any brand at regular cost.  It is a U.ppa.bab.y, and it is an an awesome stroller.)

I had to include this....He is not supposed to be on this chair.

First trip to the zoo.

I LOVE to take a bath!

Friday, March 26, 2010

we've been busy!

I have not had time to blog lately.  Life has been a whirlwind of activity.  All good I might add!
Getting used to being a family of three, schedule changes, doctor appointments, photo shoots, registering for baby, visitors, phone calls, two baby showers.  It is amazing to us....the generosity of all our loved ones and friends has been overwhelming.

We have had two baby showers in the past week.  The first one was last Friday given to us by a group of friends.  I have to almost seemed unreal.  I don't recall how many times I sat at baby showers and dreamed of the day that I would be the "mother". I also don't recall how many times I sat at baby showers and wished that it would go by as quickly as possible.  Thinking who would be the next one to have a baby....knowing it wouldn't be me.  So, with that being said, it was just so overwhelming.  I tried to savor each moment.  And then this past week, we had another shower at the school where we work.  Again, the generosity was almost too much.  We have quite a bit of gear, clothing and other essentials, that I have to add items to the registry for our family baby shower.

Not only have we had two beautiful showers, but students past and present have been sending gifts.  Each day Bill comes home with at least two gift bags.  While the visitors have slowed down, we have gifts from them as well.  It is amazing.  And I was expecting to go out and buy most of what we needed!  We actually don't know what to do with all of it.  Our garage is filling up with strollers, walkers, the basement is filling up with toys, and the clothes.....

Another highlight of our week was a photo session with a co-worker.  She did an absolutely beautiful job as you can see from the picture in the header above!  Also...she did not charge us.  Not only did she give us a gift at our shower, she took beautiful pictures.  Today, Bill brought home a DVD with pictures set to music.  I sat on the computer and watched it at least 20 times....sobbing through each viewing.  Believe it or not, two other people who are photographers have offered their services....for free.  We are planning a 3 month picture, and then a 6 month.

On Wednesday we had our first post-placement visit.  This one was not required by the state, but by our agency.  We had to take Olivia to the office, and spent about half and hour with the social worker.  It went very well, and we will be seeing her in our home again in April.  On our way home, we stopped at one of our favorite Indian restaurants.  I was a little nervous taking Olivia with us, but as usual, she did great.  She slept, ate, and then entertained us with her cuteness.

Yesterday, Bill took the day off and we took Olivia to the pediatrician.  It was our first time taking her, and I was so excited to see how much she had grown.  When she was born she weighed 6 pounds 11 ounces, and was 18 inches long.  She is now 9 pounds 8.5 ounces, and 21 inches long!  I could tell she had grown quite a bit, as some of her clothes were getting a little snug.  It went very well, and she was the happiest little baby.  She was smiling during the weight and length measurements....What a sweet little girl.

This weekend we are gearing-up for some friends to visit, and then Olivia will get to meet her other great-grandmother.  Hopefully, we will be able to squeeze in a nap, too!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

one month

Our dear, sweet, girl is one month old today!  I wish I could slow down time.  She seems to be growing and changing each day.

Right now she is eating about 5 oz. every 4 hours.  She smiles at us, grabs onto our fingers, pacifier, and bottle.  She loves to take a bath, and is so happy and cheerful for about a half hour following one.  She also loves to be held, and will nuzzle her little face in our neck so that her cheek is touching our skin.  This is her favorite way to fall asleep.

Her neck is getting stronger, and she holds her head up for some time.  She just started taking her legs, push them, and bounce.

She also likes to "squawk".  Instead of crying when she is upset...she squawks.  This is followed by crying if her demands are not met!

I thank God each day for "B", my wonderful husband, and our precious baby Olivia.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


I am sitting here on pins and needles....waiting for the call to tell us that we can pick-up our daughter!
The effect of all this on my nerves is immense!

We did get Olivia's room painted this past weekend.  We chose a light, subtle lavender.  We plan to buy white furniture, and an area rug to cover the wood floor.  All in good time, though.  My wonderful sister-in-law gave us her bassinet, and we bought a car seat.  Olivia has plenty of clothes now thanks to all of our wonderful family and friends who have been showering us with gifts.  Everyone has been so generous.  So, she is set to come home.  I have also done some shopping basic necessities.  I can't believe it....I am still surprised this is all happening....

In case you are wondering, we have a semi-open adoption.  We will be mailing letters and pictures to "B" on a set schedule.  "B" has no identifying information on us...she does not know where we live, our last names, etc...  All correspondence will be through our agency.  She can request one visit per year, which would also be done at our agency.  We have the same agreement with the birth father if he so desires.

I know I wrote about this already, but we had a wonderful meeting with "B" last week.  I still cannot stop thinking of her, and our day together.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

11:00 am

I am still buzzing with all of the excitement of today.  It was everything I ever could have hoped for, and more.

All the paperwork has been signed.....ahhh......A huge sigh of relief.

As we were sitting in the office today going over our paperwork, I couldn't help but think what was going on over at the courthouse.  Would "B" change her mind at the last minute?  I am famous for waiting until the last possible second to make an important decision, or change my mind about something I had already accepted.  So, if I knew myself of being capable of last minute surprises, other people could do the same. Could she?  Would she?  I was a complete wreck. It was about 11:20 when there was a knock on the door to the conference room.  A woman popped her head in and told us that, "They just called from court, are finished, and on their way.  They will be here shortly."  And that was it.  I broke.  I could not help but cry.  Those were the words I had been waiting to hear.

 I regained my composure, and held back tears until we left the room and met "B" in another, more intimate, comfortable room.  Again, I broke.  I don't know how long I held her, as I cried again, but I didn't want to let go.  Here she was....a sweet kind, gentle person who wants nothing but love for her little girl.

We went out to lunch along with the social worker, and had a beautiful day together.  "B" is so much more than I thought she would be.  I love her.  Not the "thank you" type of love, but the love of a close family member.  She will always be a part of me, and a part of Olivia.

When we started this adoption process, I was scared.  My husband was scared.  But as we learned more about it, the more comfortable and excited we became.  Now, it has completely changed our lives.  Not because we have a little one, but it has change us...who we are.  We have a better understanding of life, what is important, our faith was strong before, but now it can move mountains.  Our adoption is a miracle, and everyone we have met along the way is an angel.  We are blessed....

Introducing our daughter, Olivia....

Thursday, March 4, 2010


Tomorrow morning at 11:00 we have a meeting at the agency to sign our adoption petition.  At the exact same time, "B" will be in court signing papers to terminate her parental rights....

I talked to the social worker this morning, and all is well.  We are going to meet her and "B" at the agency, and then go to lunch.  I also bought "B" a gift.  I bought myself and Olivia the same one, too.  It is a D.ogeared (brand) necklace.  This particular company makes jewelry, and most of it comes along with a beautiful and meaningful reasons to wear it.  Take a look below.  I chose Love because it was what N.ordstrom had available that I thought fit most appropriately.  Their website has many pretty options, and I really liked the Pearls of Love necklace, but it would not have made it to my house in time for tomorrow.  I hope "B" likes it.  I also bought a pretty photo album for her to keep the pictures of Olivia that we send to her.

                               love reminder necklace...

 I can't help but to think about "B" tonight.  What must be going through her mind?  I pray for her...

Monday, March 1, 2010

just a few more days

That's all we have.  In a few more days, we will be able to breathe that sigh of relief that all adoptive parents anticipate.

I talked with the BM's social worker today.  We gave her the name we chose, as she needs it to prepare the paperwork.  She also talked with "B" earlier today.  I couldn't help myself...I just had to ask if she knew if "B" was waivering at all in her adoption plan.  Apparently she is doing great. (insert sigh of relief here....but not a complete sigh...)  B is doing very well, both physically and emotionally, and is really looking forward to meeting us.  I don't know which of us is more excited.

In the meantime, I am preparing for my leave from work.  I have a substitute teacher lined-up, contacted HR, and have the necessary insurance paperwork for Olivia.  Just to be safe, we are not filling anything out until after Friday.  I have not even explained to by substitute why I need to take a family leave.  We learned our lesson last year with our Ukraine debacle.  We had to explain to everyone what had happened, and I just don't want to go through that again.

Tomorrow is Tuesday....a day that I can get through relatively easily.  I have a hair appointment, and LOST is on at night.  Oh, how I love that show.  I mean I really love that show. We don't watch much TV, but that show has me hooked. I cannot get enough of it...It saddens me that this is the last season.  I can't imagine not scheduling Tuesday evening around it.  I love to read the message boards, threads, theories, spoilers....anything I can get my hands on about that show that may lead to a clue and possibly figuring out just what in the world is going on!

On another positive note, Oma is doing very well.  She is no longer in Hospice, and is now living at an assisted living/memory care facility.  It is a beautiful place, and the caregivers are absolutely wonderful.  She has her own room, with her own bathroom.  She is also much more agile, and is able to feed herself, drink holding the glass on her own, use the toilet, and is walking with assistance.  I know my Ota heard my cries, because a few weeks ago, she was gone.  But she is back, and is doing much better than any of us thought was possible. Still acting goofy....telling us she is going to just go lay out in the snow, crying, but not shedding any tears....The typical.  Yesterday, she told me that she would love to babysit! (my other grandma, the one with Alzheimers, also offered her babysitting services recently!)  My mom and I just looked at each other......If you don't have a sense of humor, and see the innocence in loved ones with dementia, you could cry yourself silly.

Getting late....Staff meeting tomorrow at 8:00am, and dear hubby is complaining I spend too much time on this computer!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

in love with a girl

Today we met our little girl, Olivia Elisabeth.  We are head over heels in love with her.

Words cannot describe the feelings that we have in our heart.  We feel so, very blessed.  How did we get so lucky.....that "B" would choose us to be the parents of this beautiful girl?

I can't stop crying.  Every time I look at her picture, and think of her soft skin.  I ache to have her in my arms smell her soft hear her cooing...

The host family is absolutely wonderful.  This is their 257th baby that they have cared for!  You can tell that they love each and every one of the babies that they welcome into their home.  Olivia is completely spoiled by them.  (We asked them if they wouldn't mind adopting us!)

We did go out tonight and get a few basic necessities...bottles, Dreft, burping cloths, a Boppy, onesies, and socks.  Tomorrow we are going to pick out paint for her room, and work on painting throughout the week. Next weekend we will get our car seat, diapers, and a few other items that will get us started.  We also looked at some furniture, and will order that next weekend as well.  I would love to have the security of being able to go out and buy that stuff now, but we just want to make sure that those papers are signed.  Ugh....I just wish those papers were already signed...

Monday, February 22, 2010

linked continued....

I have been evasive with the details of our link with our birth mother.  Here is what happened last Friday...

As we were visiting with Oma, my cell phone rang, and the number came up as "restricted".  This was my first clue that something was different about the call.  When I answered the phone, and on the other end the person asked to talk with me....I knew.  It was our agency.  It was a social worker that I was unfamiliar with, and again...I knew.  She asked me if it was a good time to talk, and this is when it all becomes fuzzy. She said she had good news, and that we had been picked by a birth mother.  The only thing I remember is saying how happy I was!  Then she asked me if I was sitting down....I thought "Oh my God, if she tells me that the baby has been born I will fall off this chair.".......The baby had been born on Wednesday, and it was a little girl.  I remember walking in circles, and asking her if this was a joke.  I know....not what I thought I would say.....but I was in shock.  All the while my dear husband is standing in front of me asking me who I was talking to.  I eventually just broke down in tears and sobbed the news to him.  We spent the next 20 minutes walking in circles....literally.  In circles around my Oma's bedroom, and she is lying in bed also in tears.

Our birth mom, "B", was 100% sure of her adoption plan.  However, the birth father's "J", MOM was not in favor of the adoption.  This was causing J to waiver in his decision of agreeing to sign any paperwork. So, this is where we began to pray....We prayed all weekend, and asked our family and friends to do the same.  We did not want to get into a situation where the bf contests the adoption.

Prayer works.....

Today I got a call from the sw, and J and family have agreed to the adoption plan, and will sign all necessary papers.  We are over the moon!  On top of that, she called again this evening to tell us that the court date to tpr will be March Friday.

Tomorrow we go in for a meeting with our agency, and after that we are going to call the host family, and set up a visit.  It all seems so surreal....If all goes well, we will have baby home by March 12.  I simply can't believe it.  I always told myself that it would never happen....I truly thought it would never happen.  Now that it is here, It does not seem to be real....

We are completely unprepared.  That is how we planned things.  Right now the nursery is still the "dogs room".  At one point I was going to create a cozy little den and paint the walls chocolate brown.  Well, I only got as far as testing the paint.  It looks awful.

So, that is where we stand.  We are still cautious....this is adoption after all, and anything can happen.  We may paint the room, but nothing will be purchased until after the court date next Friday.  At that point, we will get just the a car seat!  I have already stopped by Buy, Buy, Baby and taken a look, as well as done a little research on the internet.  Oh, and my weakness is clothing.  I love to shop for clothes.  So, over the weekend I allowed myself to buy a few dresses at the Baby Gap outlet, and two cute outfits at the OshKosh outlet.  I just couldn't help it.  We also need to decide on a name by the weekend...

I really never believed that it would be my turn.

Friday, February 19, 2010


Yes....We are linked with a birth mother.

While visiting with my dear, sweet grandmother today, we got the phone call.  The most unexpected,  yet anticipated phone call.  We are in a daze...

We are elated, yet cautious.  Anything could still happen.  We are aware of the risks, and we may run into a few bumps along the road.  We were told this today.   Right now, I cannot stop thinking about the birth mother.  At one time, the word alone scared me.  However, I want to reach out to her... meet her, talk to her. I want to know this person who made this decision.  She is remarkable.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

I have not posted in a while because there simply has been no time.  I lost my dear, sweet, Ota a few weeks ago.  He had been in the hospital and rehab facilities since just after Thanksgiving.  What started it all.....a urinary tract infection.  At 89 years old, we knew that his tired body could no longer recover.  We were all there with him as he passed away.  It was a first for be there when a spirit left the body.  I was scared, very scared. I wanted to stay home.  I could not face the fact that we would be losing him.  But looking back, it was all so perfect.  His whole family was surrounding him, and he just slowly fell asleep.  We also had a priest present to give him the Annointing of the Sick..not called Last Rites anymore...We all prayed together and were able to say good-bye.  He knew we were fact he waited for my cousin to get there.  While I was completely devastated, and could not imagine him not being around, I am now at peace.  I know he is not longer confused, in pain, and has his dignity back.  However, I know he is waiting for my grandmother to join him....

My grandparents were married for 60 years.  They spent every day together.  They always told us that when one goes, the other would go shortly thereafter.  Well....My Oma has had dementia for a few years.  Nothing to serious, just some forgetfulness.  However, when Ota died, her dementia accelerated and got progressively worse.  In the span of two weeks, she could no longer walk, swallow, and became unresponsive.  While losing Ota was devastating, this was too much for me to handle.  My mom and I went to see her at the hospital Monday, and I didn't stop crying until Thursday.  I begged and pleaded with my Ota to let her stay a while longer.  I know they want to be together, but both leaving us just weeks apart?  Well...he must have heard my cries.  She has made a recovery, and is eating, talking, knows who we all are...Ota told her she needed to stay a while longer.  We were not ready to let her go.  Not just yet.  While she still has dementia, we know she will not get better.  But this gives us time to let her go.  She is in hospice right now, but the nurse told me yesterday that she may not need to stay there if she continues to do as well as she is doing.  So, for now, we are taking it day by day, and cherish each moment spent together.

Here is a picture of my grandparents at our wedding.  My other grandmother is also pictured.  She suffers from Alzheimer's.   From left to right, Oma, Ota & Oma, and Anna Tant, my great aunt.  She is 87, and very healthy!

Saturday, January 9, 2010


For some reason, I have been trying to avoid writing a new posting.

The holiday was much more difficult than I ever would have imagined.  I am not quite sure why, and I have never gotten upset about it in the past.  I know many other women who are in the adoption process find it difficult during the holiday season, but I had never felt any sadness....until this year.  I just could not wait for it all to be over with, and get back to work.  Not even a single Christmas card was mailed.

I had my moment of weakness....I emailed our social worker and asked her if our profile had been shown in the month of December.  We only hear from her every two months, but I could not take the unknown any longer.  She said that it had not....So then I started wondering...What could be wrong with our profile?  I picked the light green colored paper.  Maybe I should have gone with the light blue?  We put a black and white photo on the cover.  Should we have gone with color?  I added a little stamp at the bottom of the cover to make it "stand-out".  Did this make it look to formal instead?  I actually contemplated asking the agency if we could re-do them, and order the blue paper.  I am embarrassed to say that I still am thinking of how I would make the profile differently.  Ugh.....  Today I came home to an email from our social worker stating that our profile had been shown once in the beginning of January. I am happy, but now I am obsessed as to why we were not chosen.  What did the two birthmothers see in our profile that they did not like?

The holiday season was also not without it's stupid comments.  They were made by loved ones, and they probably meant no harm.  They were not even directed towards me, or about me...but I heard them and internalized them.

So, to make myself feel better, I shopped.  I sat at this computer and scoured my favorite websites for sales.  All the goods are starting to be delivered, and instead of looking forward to a voicemail message when I get home, I look for a package on the front porch. (I can't lie....I grab the phone and listen to voicemail before I can even get the dogs in the yard.)  I also indulged in a bottle of Chanel nail polish and lipstick.  What a new tube of lipstick can do!

But for now, the shopping has stopped, and life has returned back to normal (as well as some of the impulse purchases).  We are back at school, (I swear this was the longest week, and it felt as though the holiday break never even happened.) and life is finally moving on...