Sunday, May 18, 2014

What To Expect When You Are Expecting: Adoption Edition

People have asked me if being pregnant 9 months/birthing a baby is easier or harder than the adoption process has been.

I don't know. 

Both have their benefits and drawbacks.

Call me vain, but I am thrilled that this is the first time we've added to our family with out me gaining thirty-something pounds.

Then there is missing out on a year and a half of life and milestones of a dear little one... hard.  Or not having to recover from birth and sleepless night... fabulous. 

And not having a baby box me from the inside has been nice, but I also miss having a baby box me from the inside, knowing that they are in there, in a safe spot, until I can hold them.

Even though I don't have the usual physical reminders that a baby is joining our family, (huge belly, baby hiccups, heartburn, Braxton Hicks, etc) I am lucky enough to have visual reminders.  I have pictures of Jordan all over the place... in my wallet, on my nightstand, on my fridge, in frames, on the computer desktop... scattered all over my actual desk top.  I get to see his face every day while I wait to touch it.

Another thing to consider is that while growing a baby is exhausting, it isn't time consuming.  Adoption paperwork is enough work to be considered a part time job.  A part time job that, instead of getting paid for, you get to drain your savings for.  And with so much time being spent "at work", it's hard to keep up on other things.  I think it will take me months for me to catch up on everything that I've let slide while working on adoption paperwork. 

The one thing birthing a baby definitely has over adoption is that I always knew that come 9 months, the wait would be over.  Waiting, with no predictable time frame, is one of the hardest things I've had to do.  We are currently on day 54 of waiting for our LOA... Letter Of Approval.  I've seen people get their LOA after only waiting 35 days, and I know of people who are still waiting for their LOA after waiting 100+ days.  There seems to be no rhyme or reason for issuing LOAs.  They aren't processed in any sort of order.  We just cross our fingers and hope we don't have to wait 3 months longer than everyone else.  This makes it really hard to plan out the next few months of our lives.  The not knowing is kind of killing me... and there is no epidural for that.

I really can't say that adopting is easier or harder than pregnancy, but I can tell you that I feel the same love and longing for Jordan as I did with all of our other children.  I already love him every bit as much as our other children and I can't wait to get to know him... hear his little voice, hold his little hand, and tickle his little tweaky toes.  We're praying that all of that will be sooner rather than later.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

The Jog for Jordan

Honestly, I was really worried that we would need to cancel the Jog for Jordan... we only had 2 racers signed up for a few weeks.  I guess we just know a lot of procrastinators because in the end, we had a fantastic turnout.  Among the participants were childhood friends, college friends, old roommates, friends and neighbors from both past and current neighborhoods, our kid's teachers, Ryan's co-workers and students, Aunts, Uncles, Cousins, parents, grandparents and even a fair amount of people who don't know us but came anyway.  It was amazing to see people from every area of our lives come together to support Jordan's adoption. We can't wait to tell him how many people cared about him before he even came home!

 Bib pick up station.

My cousin, sister, niece, and cousin's wife.

My amazing dad took care of Mason all morning and helped direct racers at an intersection.  

 1K start...

 1K boys winner.

1K Girls winner.

Our little Enoch finishing strong.

My great friends: The Breakfast Crew.  Heather, peeking in the back, planned/coordinated the entire breakfast.  It was such a relief to hand that responsibility over to someone.  The breakfast was really great thanks to her and her crew!

Ryan's Uncle, Grandpa, Grandma, Aunt, Cousin, and Ryan.

 My friend Cinda and her boys.  We actually met teaching English in China and were then roommates in college and lived down the street from each other when we were first married.  She drove about 55 miles to come to the event.

 I missed the official start to the 5K while running around moving cones to mark the course.  But here are the runners as they were about to leave the park.

The whole morning we only had one thing go wrong... one pretty big thing.  We lost about 10 racers on the 5K course.  We had maps and before the race explained that the course went out one way, and turned around to come back, but I guess the two fastest runners weren't paying attention and flew right past the turn around spot.  The woman at the water station/turnaround said they looked so confident, she second guessed that it was the turn around spot, and several racers followed them... even a few that said they were pretty sure they were supposed to turn around, but followed anyway.  Thank goodness a friend that knew they were supposed to turn around had a phone and called from the water station for clarity and made sure everyone else went the right way.  Amazingly, the first finisher was one of the boys that went the wrong way.  He added quite a bit of distance to the race, but still managed to beat everyone.  I was so relieved that everyone who went astray safely found their way back to the trail, but I still felt awful that it happened.  

1st Place man. 

1st place woman.

Here is Kaitlyn crossing the finish with one of my old friends and her cousin Lexi.  After the race my friend told me that Kaitlyn and her cousin had run pretty hard most of the way and started to slow down.  She heard Kaitlyn turn to Lexi and say, "Come on, we need to do this for Jordan" they picked up their pace and ran the rest of the 5K.

 My dear cousin Kirsten and her husband.  Kirsten and I went to China together to teach English. 
 Maddie's friend, teacher, and Maddie. 

 My friend Carrie, who has had considerable health challenges ran and finished the 5K.  I am so proud of her! 
We were blown away by the support we had from friends and family before, during and after the race.  We really do know the best people!

He's A Walker

 March 4th was our last update on Jordan.  It's the longest we've gone without an update and I was getting pretty hungry for any new info, so I requested an update...  Finally on May 8th we got 3 updated pictures of our handsome boy.

He is still rocking the purple vest he's had on in nearly every picture since moving to his new foster care facility.  And now it looks like he has some pretty pink shoes or slippers to finish off the outfit.  I love it!

 But what I love even more is his happy smile as he takes steps.  I'm not sure when he started walking, but he wasn't walking in March and he is now!  Ahhhh!  I just want run and scoop him up and hug him NOW!!