Thursday, September 30, 2010

the next phase...

Well here it is - new name and a big girl address! Welcome to Not a Visitor. If you follow me via blogger or Google id you should transition from A+A Adopt a Baby just fine. This is the same blog, just a new address and name. If you read here via a reader you might want to update your rss feed to http://www.notavisitor.com/. I've been thinking about what I wanted to have happen with this blog after our adoption was finalized for what seems like forever. Here are a few changes that I anticipate, other than the name:
  • I will still blog about adoption, but not just adoption. Adoption is a big part of our family and my life, but it's not the only thing or the biggest thing. And it's not all I have to write about.
  • I won't be speaking for "us" anymore. Reading through past entries I realized how much I have spoken for my husband and myself in the process of blogging here. I don't regret that, and Andrew is fine with it. In fact during our trips to Georgia last year, especially the first one, this blog was a great place from which to issue joint statements about how we were doing. Originally I started A+A Adopt with the admittedly faint hope that Andrew might occassionally blog here. But from here on out this is unabashedly my own space, and I will only be speaking for myself here.
  • I'm going to write about whatever I want, at least for a while. Blogging about and through our adoption process has been amazing for me. After a few stops and starts in other formats this has been where I have really found my public blogging voice. I may eventually end up with another focus, the way adoption was the focus for the past couple of years, but for now I'm going to post whatever strikes my fancy to write about and see what happens.
  • I'd love your ideas. Given that I am going to write about whatever I want, is there anything you'd really like to see here?

Are you wondering about the name? It is from a poem, by Mary Oliver. I'll reflect more later, perhaps, on just why this poem resonates especially with me at this particular phase of my life. But for now, I'll just offer it to you.

When Death Comes

When death comes
like the hungry bear in autumn;
when death comes and takes all the bright coins from his purse
to buy me, and snaps the purse shut;
when death comes
like the measles-pox;

when death comes
like an iceberg between the shoulder blades,

I want to step through the door full of curiosity, wondering:
what is it going to be like, that cottage of darkness?

And therefore I look upon everything
as a brotherhood and a sisterhood,
and I look upon time as no more than an idea,
and I consider eternity as another possibility,

and I think of each life as a flower, as common
as a field daisy, and as singular,

and each name a comfortable music in the mouth
tending as all music does, toward silence,

and each body a lion of courage, and something
precious to the earth.

When it's over, I want to say: all my life
I was a bride married to amazement.
I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.

When it is over, I don't want to wonder
if I have made of my life something particular, and real.
I don't want to find myself sighing and frightened,
or full of argument.

I don't want to end up simply having visited this world.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Our Adoption Timeline

Here it is, our now complete adoption timeline:

  • 9/7/10 - go to court and legally become a family! Adoption completed!
  • 2/13/10 - obtain an adoption lawyer,begin work on finalization.
  • 2/2/10 - second post-placement visit
  • 12/8/09 - first post-placement visit
  • 11/09 - accept our match with baby J and become parents!! ♥ ♥
  • 10/09 - match falls through, waiting again..
  • 9/09 - get the call! accept the match, and wait a little longer..
  • 2/09 - waiting for the call
  • 1/09 - Homestudy Approved, Profile complete
  • 12/08 - Homestudy visit
  • 12/08 - WACAP Weekend
  • 10/08 - Began work on Homestudy Documents
  • 09/08 - accepted into WACAP AAI grant program
  • 09/08 - application accepted
  • 08/08 - WACAP Informational Meeting

There will be lots of other important milestones along our road as an adoptive family. But this chapter is closed.

Some stats:

Time from initial application to finalization = 2 years, 1 month

Time from initial application to meeting baby J = 15 months

Time officially waiting = 9 months

Time from placement to finalization = 10 months, almost to the day

Monday, September 27, 2010

J and the Pacific









And with that we bid goodbye to J's first summer and look toward her second fall. It wasn't much, weather-wise, but I'll always love our memories of these past few "summer" months especially.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Eleven Months


It is hard to believe that in one month baby J will be a year old. Not to be cliche, but how did that happen? It all goes so fast!! Time flies when you're having fun! Other trite-but-true cliche sayings of the same nature@!

I am still working on putting the next phase of this blog into action, but I couldn't let this milestone go unmarked. J is fun and hilarious - she will dance to anything and if there isn't music playing she makes her own and dances to that. She even dances to the washing machine, which she loves to watch run - probably the only interest she holds in common with the cats at this point her life.

She is "crawling" or at least quite mobile if not traditionally so. She has this one legged hitching scoot that works quite nicely. I can hear the slap-drag noise it makes on the bamboo floors as she chases Sam and Penelope. Both are quite alarmed at this mobility direction the small human is taking. And we've babyproofed, which feels good to finally have done.

I could write for hours about what she does and how she does it, but we are prepping to leave town for a weekend on the seashore and there is much to be done before we put our little one in jammies and cross fingers that she sleeps for the drive.

Happy eleven months sweet girl!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

A+A Adopt(ed) a baby (J!)


Yesterday morning a little after 9 am we promised to care for our J until she reaches adulthood and, if necessary beyond. Our petition to adopt was granted and our family is now official in the eyes of the state! It was a pretty great day.

Being sworn in:

The judge was especially impressed with the number of our friends and family who came to witness our finalization. Thirteen of our adult family and friends showed up, with folks flying in from Minnesota and California, and four kiddos came along to boot. Here is J with her three cousins from both sides of our family.

J was stoked that her friend Phinney made it to her special day!

And our family portrait, on our finalization day.



I have to admit, it feels pretty good to be official. I really liked our judge, who deviated from the required script and asked me to introduce everyone in the room to him and gave us an opportunity to say some words of our own, on record, about our daughter and what she means to us. I don't remember what I said but I did appreciate the opportunity to say it!

And a special thanks to my dear friend Breanne who took all these pictures for us. Check out more of her work here.

So that is that, blogosphere! It looks like, at the very least, this blog needs a new name. I have some ideas about where I'll be taking it next that should become reality sometime in the next couple of weeks. September is busy - lots of catching up on work and consulting jobs before school starts again at the end of the month, not to mention Sunday School launching this weekend - but I'll do my best to be quick about it.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Golden Moments Abound


We had a great time on vacation. The train, the nature, the family time were all wonderful. Some pics:






Our time since getting home has been pretty wonderful, too. I'll tell you more about it very soon!