Fast and Slow

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As we get closer and more questions are asked about where we are in the process of our little one, I think of it going fast and slow.

Many parts of it are going by sooo fast. At one point the Lilliput Program Assistant (who has done our paperwork) asked about scheduling our home inspection in the next week. My first thought was, “We are NOT ready for that.” I was able to push it out a few weeks and we were actually more ready than I thought. Though, this feeling of not being ready and things going at lighting speed seem to be happen more and more. I realize I just need to breakdown the steps and make my handy dandy list to check off. Part of the process for little one is also planning to open a small childcare in our home. Oh man! More to do and the feeling of overwhelm set in again. I just take a breather and remember my list and that I am not alone. I can reach out to pretty much anyone in my life and they lead an ear, come over to help, or brainstorm tasks/resources for me.

So as many aspects of this process are most likely flying by like the Flash, some aspects feel like it is has been a lifetime in the works. As long as I can remember, I have wanted to be a mama. And for what feels like much longer Anthony and I have tried to naturally make our baby. As I watch many others have their babies or adopt, I think, “Isn’t it our turn yet?” “Aren’t we at that point?” “How much longer will it take?” The green monster of envy creeps up and I feel like I am moving at a snail’s pass. I must remember this is our journey and my time will come.

We will get there and the time will come for our little one. I am going to live in the moment. Breathe in the last moments of quick trips out of town, sleeping in on the weekends, special last minute husband and wife movie dates, and just our little family of Anthony, I, and our fur babies.

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Many thanks

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As many have asked, not much has been going on lately that is too terribly exciting in the world of fost/adopt. We have done our Livescans and filled out more paperwork. I’m currently working on our adoption book about our family and we have our first interview this week.

But boy am I full of thanks. Everyone is so curious and excited for us in this journey. It is so fun seeing everyone’s excitement as I tell them the baby’s room is pretty much all together and that we just are just figuring out where the baby’s food stuff goes in the kitchen. I am thankful for the continued support everyone shows and shares.

I have had these cards up for a couple weeks and it just makes my heart happy to visually see the reminder of all the love for us and Little One. So again, many thanks to you all.

Steps So Far (part one)

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This last weekend gave way to a fun-filled memory-making girls weekend in Grass Valley. We do it once and now twice a year with the girls in my family on my mom’s side and it’s absolutely a blast! During this time I got to redo a bit of my adoption shower. My mom had some of the gifts that we are not able to fit home into our car and brought them with her. It was nice to be able to go back through some of the gifts and really check them out. I was able to read the cards with all the heartfelt notes.

It was hard to know what to post about since it seems most of the stuff goes in spurts. It’s been a few weeks and not too much has happened. How’s it seems to always be there are some down times and some very very busy times. I’ve decided to go over a bit of what we’ve done so far. So here are the steps we have checked off.

The crib is up and the room is starting to come together. I have to say it was not as difficult as I thought it would be. Anthony and I got it up in a decent amount of time.

Not gonna lie, I shed a couple tears putting this together.

Reality. Sweet Gunner boy wanting the attention while I’m trying to take a selfie.

As far as the foster care or resource family process (new term for foster care), we’ve started filling out paperwork and prepping the house. We will have to become foster care certified before placement can happen for our prospective child. All the foster care certification stuff should take about three months and then we will be certified and ready for our social worker to look for a placement. While our child is in the process of adoption they will technically be in foster care placement with us.

As far as the adoption steps, we got to fill out something called a Comfort Sheet. This has several questions on it asking what we would be comfortable with for either our child’s background or their current needs. This has questions ranging from comfort level on our child experiencing domestic violence, neglect, or such. This also ranges from the child’s needs of being on the autism spectrum, having ADHD, having Cerebral Palsy, etc. Anthony and I took this time to truly think over what we are comfortable with. This is not an easy task. Something to think about is that if we have a wider range of what we are comfortable with then as we have potential placements options we can discuss with our social worker what we are truly capable of.

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Another more fun aspect of the adoption process is making a family book. We are asked to make a family book describing ourselves as individuals, as a couple, as a family, the things we enjoy doing together, and the people in our lives. It feels like we are selling ourselves, which is silly. We really just want to put out there who we are and all the support and love that we have for our child’s social worker to see.

Will try to keep you all up-to-date. We will be continuing to get the house together for little one, complete some more trainings, and get our interviews going with our social worker.

I feel like a fraud

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I am not a fraud. Though it took some in-length conversations with friends and family to remind me of this.

As I approached my adoption shower, I felt like a fraud. It was an odd feeling as I knew since I was having an adoption shower, I most obviously would not be pregnant like most women who have showers. It was also tough because we do not have a child or even thought of a placement yet. So many other attempts at pregnancy or baby were not successful, that I think it is hard for me to believe that this time we will have a little one at the end.

Wow! I have to remind myself that this time will be different. I feel like even when I am holding our little one that I still won’t believe it is ours. Though when I shared this with a friend (who has had three biological children), she shared she has felt the same way with her children in the beginning. So an odd feeling, but one that most parents feel. In a way, it is kind of nice to feel something that other parents who have had biological children feel also. I know the feelings of loss sometimes will creep up, but as I have done and always will, I will talk about it.

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My beautiful cousin Ashley and I

Now, time for beautiful happy wonderful shower time. My cousin threw me the most incredible shower. Every detail was perfect and so much love and thought went into it.  She and I have always been close and known each other much more than any others.  When people asked what I knew about the shower, I would say, “Nothing. I trust Ashley. She knows me well.” And boy does she. From every detail of rice krispies in the gift bag for the guest to a board about celebrities that were adopted.  She did so well and it was beyond even what I could have imagined!

I was so overcome by all the love that surrounded me and love that will be there for our little one.  Let’s say a lot of tears happened. It was incredibly hard to look at the caring details of the decor let alone open the incredibly thoughtful gifts. I persisted and decided to read the handwritten notes in the cards in my own time and comfort of my home. And as of course with all long awaited events, it blew by in a blink. I am thankful for the pictures others took and continue to be incredibly thankful for my cousin (also her mom and my other cousin) taking the time and care to throw a lovely shower. I am also over the moon for the love that will be in our child’s life.

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Post from my absolutely dearest cousin, whom I love soooo much! I had to save this because it make my heart so warm with love.

Adoptionmoon (part two)

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We did it! We had our England Adventure and it was quite the time!  We were fortunate enough to spend about two and a half days in London. One of the days being with our dear friend Inna, her daughter Alina, and a distant cousin of mine Yvette. During our days in London we did a ton! I will briefly share what we did through pictures!

Here it is:

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On our flight from Oakland to Gatwick England.

 

First Full Day in London:

Day Two In London:

Day Three of footballing with Norwich City FC:

Day Four at Inna’s baby shower and Day Five adventuring in Mildenhall:

Day Five Adventure in Cambridge:

Day Six of lots of snowing and not venturing very far (within the neighborhood):

Day Seven outing for Anthony’s Birthday at The King’s Arms:

Day Eight is the day of tea in Newmarket:

Last Day of adventures was in Ely at the Ely Cathedral:

It was beautiful, exciting and went by way too quick. Though we were happy to be back in our home and with our pups.  Let the baby adventures begin!

 

Adoptionmoon (part one)

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Is that a thing? Welp, it is now.  And that is what Anthony and I are counting down to.  We are going on an adoptionmoon/Peters Holiday in two days!! We will be traveling abroad to England and are fortunate enough that we have lovely friends that moved there and are opening their home to us for most of the trip.  For me, this has FOREVER been on my bucket list and not something I thought was going to happen any time soon. I don’t think I can truly believe it is happening until we are there in London surrounded by all the history. I am also incredibly lucky that I have family that stays connected to our roots there. I have been able to connect with a distant cousin to visit while on our holiday.  How cool!

When we first met with our fost/adopt social worker, she mentioned all that was needed for us to do to get certified.  Some of which includes a home study and interviews of Anthony and I together and separate.  We (Anthony, myself and the social worker) decided to get this going once we got back from England as we have three months exactly to get everything done. I have to admit it is quite scary to think someone will be looking at all parts of our home and life to put something together to represent us as a family and couple. So yes, waiting until we get back sounds glorious. Adoption reality will surely hit next month when I have my shower and we start the big parts of the process.  To an England adventure and then the adoption adventure. (Stay tuned for part two that is basically us bragging about what a great trip we had 😉

Making it work (from home)

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Well, at least that is the plan,  but as we know with any well-laid plan, parts or all of it seldom goes the way we hope.

For myself, after all the years I have hoped and prayed for this sweet one that is coming our way, I could not imagine going to work to leave him or her with someone else.  Not to say anything against working parents but for me I could not do it.  This is something Anthony and I have discussed at length and weighed the pros and cons.

As much as I will miss my beautiful caring co-workers, I have a much more precious and time-sensitive job needed to be done at home.  To those parents that work out of the home, you are so incredibly strong. To those parents staying home with their children as well, you are a treasure. Some very lucky few have family that their children can be with. To you, I am jealous 😉 Any of the many options is hard one way or another. You have to find what fits you and your family. Everyone is going to have opinions about what you should do, but you need to do what you need to do.

My hope and plan is to open a small childcare.  I got the idea from my mother who herself ran a childcare out of our home.  When I was younger, I got frustrated with other kids being in my home or not being able to cut school because the school would call and my mom would know 😉 But let me tell you, that was childish and naive. My siblings and I were incredibly lucky and blessed to have our mom there for many things that some of my other peers did not. There was always someone home when homework was forgotten or when I was sick and needed to stay home.  Thank you mom! Not only was our mom home for us, but the first few years of our mom staying home, she watched our cousins that were closest in age to us. That was so special and I am sure aided us in being so close with those cousins and building many memories of practicing performance for family events (that’s a story for another time).

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Mama and her lovely four children. She maintained a daycare and raising all four of us at the same time.

The thought is that with all the regulations and guidelines we will need to get foster care certified, it will go hand-in-hand with the ones needed for childcare as well. It also does not hurt that my degree is in child development and I have MANY years working in childcare centers, experiences in my mom (and Nana’s childcare), working with special-needs children and babysitting. So I know there will be some downsides to this (lacking adult conversation) and there will be great positives (being at home, being my own boss, watching my child grow).

With all that said; this is the plan and hope. An additional hope will be that one day I may be able to have a similar summer vacation to Anthony and specialize in providing childcare for teachers. Again, this is the hope. Who knows how long I will do this or how much I will or not miss working with people that have more than a 100-word vocabulary, but we are trying it.  Thanks to my partner (the one that balances me out), I have encouragement for this new venture and his spirit of going with the flow to help this work.

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Practice with the niece and nephew 😉

To shower or not to shower

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I am choosing to shower. (I’m practicing my mom jokes bahaha) But really, missing out on some things you would experience during pregnancy/becoming a mom that you don’t get to experience when you adopt can be a bummer.

I truly thought having a “baby” shower was out of the question for me, but during a lovely weekend in Lake Tahoe with my cousin’s bridal party to celebrate her upcoming wedding, I confessed this let down to my fabulous cousin and cousin-in-law to be.  I shared the sadness of not being able to celebrate my future child with all the lovely women in my life.  And by golly, those two beautiful women told me I could have an adoption shower if I wanted to.  They made me feel like I could have something I thought was lost.

Hmm an adoption shower.  Not only did they tell me I could and should have one, but they would work to throw me one. Enter Googling and Pinterest searches of “adoption shower.” Within these two searches I just needed to find something that fit me.

Now let me tell you, showers are not for everyone.  For me it meant celebrating with the women in my life who have encouraged me, loved me and cared for me.  Especially as I get closer to being a parent and the fear (please see previous post) sets in, I need to look forward to the exciting parts of being a parent. I want to hear the fun(ny) stories of parenting with these women and change the fear to pure excitement.

My shower invite came this weekend and woah, another one of those feelings deep inside told me, “It’s happening” and “You’re getting there.” Exciting butterfly feelings.

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The evening the supportive conversation about the adoption shower happened.

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Pinterest inspired Adoption Shower invite

In the previous post, I also spoke of the support team I have surrounding me.  Above is an example of my support in family.  And here is another.  When I mentioned the idea of an adoption shower I’d be having with my family, my strong passionate dear friend/first roommate in Chico instantly offered to also throw me a shower in Chico with my friends here. What!?! How did I seriously get this lucky?  Not only has this friend offered to throw me the shower, but consistently support me along the way.  My friends and co-workers in Chico have been so incredibly supportive through this all that the anticipation of celebrating with them as well gives me such joy.

Here I am a woman who thought she would have no (baby) shower, now has the opportunity for two! Sheesh! This journey has had it’s moments of sad/frustrated tears as well as ups and downs, but here I am finding hope and inspiration in the journey.

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Super Tiffany and I at my birthday a couple years ago.

Fear and Loss in Chico

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Seems like this will be a bit of a downer, right? But let’s be real, there is fear and there is loss. I’ve read many places that within every adoption there is loss.  In that equation it is only fair that I talk about my own loss in this because that is what I know.  As the reality of parenthood gets closer, the fear and loss can become overwhelming.  Luckily, I have a huge support system that brings me back up.

But back to the fun stuff: fear and loss. Sometimes they go hand-in-hand and sometimes not.

My biggest fear is becoming a parent. That is a lot of pressure. I am quite sure I have heard every person who is becoming a parent say they are afraid, it is natural and certain.  I think that the fear means you care, so the more afraid I am means the more I care.  Perfect!

I am afraid of losing the goodness of what Anthony and I have.  We have a pretty sweet deal now with the boys (pups Gunner and Apollo) going. We take weekend vacations up to Ashland, sleep in (well more of that is me), go out to dinner on the fly, and have lazy Saturdays binge watching one Marvel Netflix show or another. From what I hear that will definitely not be happening as much as it does now. Ugh 😉

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The fear of the loss.  Our child will have some form of loss and trauma at varying levels or another and that scares the crap out of me.  I have worked in a field with the experiences of others similar to this for almost 3 years and that was quite a crash course.  With that being said, I start to think of those that have been around me in this. Not only have they been there for me in the job support aspect, but have become a source of support and some of my best friends in the other aspects of life.  We call these people and the others that are non co-workers our Framily. They are friends that feel like family. Though are family is not close in proximity they are also incredibly supportive. How did we get so lucky? These people put me at ease in this area of fear. They have not only been my support, but Anthony’s too and I hope they will be our child’s. That is hope. Hope is a lifesaver in this aspect.

Loss is part of adoption. It is an essential part. Our child will have loss, but so will we.  Some women may not look forward to the lovely months of weight gain, nausea, pain (all over), and the pressure of growing a person, but I did. I think being pregnant is such a beautiful glorious part of womanhood. The miracle of growing a little person from cells! That is nuts and quite cool! I will not get to experience that.  Not only does a mama get to grow that little person, but they get to nourish them. I know nursing your child comes with many tough parts, but I just love the thought that you get that sweet bonding time and goodness from your body to theirs.  When we were in peak of trying to get pregnant, I wanted to make sure my mind was in sync with what I was trying to get my body to do, so I laid in bed and visualized myself pregnant. I would imagine myself rubbing my belly, Anthony weirded out by our baby moving around, but secretly hoping the strong kicks would mean we’d have an athlete. I saw Gunner laying his head on top of my round swollen belly and Apollo enjoying my pregnancy cravings just as much as me. Knowing that vision will remain just that hurts and I imagine for some time the pain will linger.

Now, I imagine the call we will get when our little one is matched with us.  The call to say they think they have found our one. The first walk through the park with the boys and our little one. Because yes as “they” say our little one may not have grown in my belly, but my goodness they have grown in our hearts.

Thank you family, friends, Framily, co-workers, acquaintances, strangers, and others for the hope and support to diminish the fears and lessen the losses! You are the rocks we need in those moments 🙂

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Currently, on the road

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Here we are almost 6 years to the anniversary of “I do” and there have been quite a few adventures along the road to now. On this road to happily ever after, we have added a sweet chocolate pup named Gunner, a job change for Tamara to Wrapround Facilitator at Youth for Change based out of Paradise, graduation of college with a bachelor’s in journalism for Anthony, a job as a reporter at Action News Now for Anthony, move to a new home in the northwest part of town, decision to go back to school for a social science credential for Anthony, many attempts at pregnancy, Endometriosis discovery for Tamara, graduating the credential program for Anthony, and the plan for fost/adopt to grow the Peters clan.

A lot, I know. The last little bit of the decision to venture into fost/adopt is the driving force to open this goodness of a blog back up. This whole journey has not quite been what we imagined, but it has grown the strength and bonds in our relationship as well as the support system we surround ourselves with.

In posting some thoughts and nuggets of goodness on Facebook through this newest part of the journey, it was suggested to me (Tamara) to start a blog to share our journey with others. Welp, here we go!

Adoption is something both Anthony and I have always thought we would do.  It’s been a large part of Anthony’s family from the beginning as his older sister was adopted out and his younger sister was adopted. Our relationship with both of his sisters and having seen their impact on his family has kept us open to these options. This experience, as well as getting to know friends who have been through similar journies in the last couple years we were able to find a starting point for fost/adopt.

Fost/adopt is when a child(ren) are adopted through Children Services as a foster placement while in the process of adoption.  Through our friends’ experiences and my own through my job, the idea was to go through the agency I work for, Youth for Change.

Our friends did their fost/adopt through Youth for Change, and with the great relationship I have with the social workers in the Foster Care Program, that felt most comfortable for us.  With the knowledge that we would like spend a lot of time and trust of our future-matched child with these people meant I wanted it to be with those I trusted. Unfortunately, it did not go the way I had envisioned. I was under the impression that the State (Adoption Social Workers) were still connected to the non-profit foster agencies like Youth for Change; however, that had changed and they no longer were.

Most agencies then only had access to children in their county. As Anthony and I were still unsure if we wanted to adopt in Butte County this was not the best option for us.  The next option for us was Lilliput. With this new option came special meaning as Anthony’s younger sister was adopted through Lilliput about 20 years ago. This option also meant social workers that I had a close relationship through my job, which supported the comfort needed in such a special journey. A special journey and one of our next adventures, so please join us if you’d like.

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