Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Good job, MTV!!

I just watched an episode of Teen Mom on MTV, followed by An Adoption Special, hosted by Dr. Drew. And while there are millions of people in the world who think the show is REALLY stupid and it totally glorifies teen pregnancy, I feel compelled to show my support for the segments they've produced on adoption. I fully admit there was not a single thing about 16 and Pregnant that interested me...especially during the 5 years we spent trying (and failing) to become pregnant. There was no effing way I was going to watch a show where teenagers complained about their "unfortunate situations" while I was enduring painful shots, tests, treatments and therapy to experience just one second of their success.  But a staff member at Adoption Network Law Center alerted me to a very special couple on that show who were placing their child for adoption and telling a beautiful, compelling, and positive adoption story. Caitlin and Tyler continue to be inspiring examples of how adoption changes lives for good.

So many moms on that show (and elsewhere in the world) express, "I could never do that. I could never give my child up for adoption." The special actually took a second to focus on positive adoption language and the impact it can have on a child. We all understand the statement, but the language is critical. I don't want Luke to ever feel like somebody "gave him up" or "gave him away". He wasn't a stinky pair of shoes that somebody donated to Goodwill. He was a perfect, long-awaited, cherished gift who deserved more than our birth mom could provide. So she made a plan. She made a choice. And she gave him a chance.

And I thank God every day that she did.

Every adoption story is different and I am grateful to Teen Mom for showing that adoption is not "giving up". It's actually one of the most loving, wonderful, maternal things a woman can do for her baby. While our birth mom was challenging and our adoption story was nothing short of a circus, she did an amazing thing for us. And I will continue to be an advocate for adoption and emphatically show my support for the women who make this incredible choice.

Hooray to Teen Mom. Hooray to MTV. And hooray to birth moms everywhere.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

stuff you're doing

Okay have been a very busy boy! You are now 10 months old, and instead of blogging about you, I have been taking pictures of you and posting them on facebook like the idiot I swore I'd never be. But you are SO STINKIN' CUTE! I can hardly stand it. Just in the last week, you have begun:

• making a "puh" sound with your mouth - you are possibly trying to say "pa-pa" or (more likely "ba-ba" for bottle.)
• jumping like a mad fool in your bouncer.
• standing for 10-11 seconds at a time (actually locking your knees, rather than folding in half like a theater seat).
• waving hello and good-bye. 
• crying when we leave the room (this makes me happy and breaks my heart at the same time).
• forming canine tooth buds (the scary, vampire ones).
• sitting up and catching yourself before you fall over.
• showing some interest in the food that mommy and daddy are eating (except avocados. You are not a fan.)
• reaching for us to pick you up.
• crossing your fingers. (not even sure what this is about, but are obsessed with your fingers and the amazing stuff they can do!)

You still:
• clap, clap, clap when mommy sings to you.
• blow raspberries when you're frustrated.
• only like veggies, not fruit.
• don't want to lay on your tummy.
• don't want to crawl.
• don't want to roll over.
• don't want to babble or sign yet.

You will always:  
• melt our hearts and make us so proud.

For 4th of July, we drove to Houston for our annual visit to Nana Bev and Grandpa Westhoff's house. They have a boat (and if you asked, they'd probably buy you one too.) They drove you all over town to show you off. They are so proud of you and could hardly wait to introduce you to their friends. They had a crib, a high chair, and a bin of toys waiting for you, and they cried and cried when you had to leave. It makes mommy cry too - seeing how much they love you. This year, the lake was too low to go out on the boat, but next year buddy.  We will make some FUN memories!!
We also went to IKEA while we were in Houston, and I was excited to shop for you and show you around my favorite store. It brought back memories from last year when we'd just received the phonecall from our adoption agency that we were matched up. A woman named "Kelly" in Georgia picked us to be your parents and you were due in 3 months!!  At the time, we didn't know if you would be a boy or a girl, so we walked around IKEA trying to imagine you  and what you might need. We picked out a white changing table, a night-light, and some organizers for your closet. This year, we let YOU pick out what you wanted. Daddy held out lots of little doggies and you tapped the heads of the ones you liked. Then we picked out a tiny table and chairs for your birthday, a tunnel (for when you're ready to crawl), tons of bowls and plates, stripey bedding, and a bookshelf with baskets to hold all of your new toys!
The ride home took two days (and the car was super packed after our successful shopping trip), so you got to stay in your first hotel! You were so excited to be out of the car that you kicked and giggled and stretched your legs until it was time to go to sleep. Seeing you on that giant bed, wearing your jammies and smiling from ear to ear continues to be one of my favorite memories from our trip. 

When we got home, we put your bookshelf together and filled it with all of your toys. Our living room now looks like a good combination of grown-up stuff and baby stuff, rather than a crazy pile of things we all carried in to the house and dropped at the door. 

Daddy also put your table and chairs together, but we're saving that for your 1st birthday party.  And speaking of your 1st have no idea what you're in for. It's not until September, but I've been planning it for months!!  It's going to be SO MUCH FUN!!!!   We're going to have a bouncy house in the back yard and all of your cousins will be there!  I'm going to make you a birthday cake and you will get to try FROSTING for the first time!!!  Michele is going to make you a fun little hat and a matching bib. Nana Bev and Grandpa Westhoff are going to be in town, and your uncle Chad is going to (no doubt) buy you something awesome with Star Wars, Superman, Batman or Spiderman on it. Mommy and Daddy have all kinds of surprises waiting for you!!  It doesn't matter that you won't remember any of it. We have been dreaming about throwing you a birthday party since before you were born. It was always our dream to have a big family and right now, you are our dream come true.

Here you are at the park with your cousin, Delaney. She loves you and you love her. She gives you kisses on the cheek and you smile and pat her arms. She tells you she loves you and you clap your little hands. She gives you hugs and you reach out for more. She's like a big sister and a mommy all at the same time. 

Everyone loves you, Luke. How could they not? You are so sweet and fun to be around. You smile, you clap, and you warm our hearts. You are what was missing from our family and we can't imagine a single day without you. 

Happy 10 month birthday!
Mommy & Daddy