Monthly Archives: November 2012

Hawaii

Sorry this week’s post is a little late. But as the title says Hudson and I were on vacation in Hawaii. We were there visiting my older sister who was moved there for work. The plane ride went much better than expected. I prepped by taking lots of toys and snacks and a portable DVD player that had Hudson’s favorite show (Doc McStuffins) to watch. He enjoyed it. On the way there at our layover we met a nice family whose daughter loved playing with Hudson. We were even on the same flight back with them so the kids played at the Honolulu airport together as well. We enjoyed having dinner at the beach, going to the Sea Life Park (where Hudson really enjoyed feeding the giant sea turtles and playing in the touch pool). I enjoyed some alone time to enjoy Perl Harbor while Katie, Hudson, and Izzy went to the base to play at the park (since she has clearance there), walking Katie through the process of cooking her first Thanksgiving Turkey! My favorite, snorkeling at Hanauma Bay, listening to traditional Hawaiian music with Hula dancers (one of Hudson’s favorites), Luau (eating the pork was his favorite thing and the dancers) and just relaxing playing with Izzy and being at the beach. Some things I learned for the trip to Africa – snacks and drinks are a must, I will be taking Airborne, and I DO NOT want to do that trip alone! And with that, I will end with some photos.

sleeping on the plane

watching Doc McStuffins

looking at the sting ray with Aunt Katie

 

sitting with Izzy

on the plane

looking at the sharks

feeding the giant turtles

touching a baby turtle

checking out the plants

the turtle loved his snack!

starfish

playing with Izzy

sunset at the beach by my sister’s house

At Paradise Cove for a Luau

at the luau

laying on Izzy

sitting with Izzy

at the beach

getting his Polynesian tattoo

sleeping with Izzy

snorkeling – angel fish

checking out Hanauma Bay

snorkeling

more fish

Hudson and I at Hanauma Bay

Hudson floating at Hanauma Bay

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Hawaii Bound

That’s right. Hudson and I are leaving here at 4 am to head to the airport to visit my sister in Honolulu. While I am very excited, I am very nervous about Hudson and the plan at the same time. I am prepared, well, as much as you can be with an 18 month old active boy who will be woken up 4 hours earlier than usual and be trapped on my lap for 7+ hours. We have the ergo and a DVD player and the iphone and coloring stuff and duplos and snacks etc. But here’s hoping he does well and isn’t to cranky.

As I pack for this trip I have a list with two column to check off (once when the item is gathered and again when it actually goes in the suite case) A little overboard, YES, but I’d rather make sure I have everything then forget the all important “lovey” that he sleeps with! And while my sister has purchased half the clothes for him for the time we will be there I still don’t have room for everything in the suite case. WHY? you ask! Because of his diapers, life jacket, swim diapers, and HAIR STUFF! That’s right, I am packing more hair stuff for Hudson than I am for me. And this is just the bare essentials. The MUST HAVES on a daily basis for proper hair care and maintenance (and sand removal). I have plans for the beach, hiking, and hopefully Disney character breakfast at the resort, and of course he will be having dinner at The Hard Rock Cafe. it will be his third in less than two years! And his choice of music and how cute he looks in his mohawk hairstyle fits his collection of the punk bears from Hard Rock!. So as I return to packing, wish me luck and I will include a few pictures of our adventures on next weekends post! Hope everyone has a happy Thanksgiving!

 

Adoption Family Gathering

Today we met with 5 other families and their children. There was 7 other chocolate beauties who are adopted and 11 gorgeous vanilla kiddos there tonight. It was great to see Hudson have some boys to interact with (all of our friends have little girls) and Hudson, who is sweet and loving just loved having some boys to play with. He especially loved one little guy and kept giving him love. And on a side note, I am so proud at how loving and polite he is. He played with one of the other dads handing a block back and forth and kept telling him “thank you” when he got the block back. But this post I wanted to talk about how grateful I am to know these wonderful families and for Hudson to have to opportunity to go somewhere and have his family be “normal”. There are no strange looks, no inappropriate questions or comments. It is a place where Hudson can feel safe and see that he is not the only one adopted transracially. It is a wonderful feeling to know he can grow up with these kids and families and have other people who will know what his is going through at times and what he is feeling. I strongly urge anyone who adopts transracially to find a group so your child can feel at ease and relaxed and have people to connect with. And of course there is the benefit for me and Tony to have other parents know what we go through. To know the struggles and the emotional roller coaster of adoption. To know what it is like to have people speak without thinking first. And to go to for support, encouragement, and advice. I am truly thankful to know this group of families! And to think it happened because I decided to go back into the swimming pool a year ago after swim class and ask one of the moms for her contact info after a brief encounter in the parking lot.

WE ARE ADOPTING AGAIN!

I think the title says it all. November is National Adoption Month and today is Orphan Sunday so we thought today would be a perfect time to announce our family’s plans. We have decided we want to continue to grow our family. This time around we are going to do an international adoption through DR Congo, Africa. We have always felt led towards an international adoption even before we tried to start a family. Since the process for paperwork and fundraising will take us two years we decided to start the journey now. We have had our home study visit and are waiting for the social worker to finish typing it up. And everyone got in on the action to help prep the house.

After that we will apply to Immigration which can take 8 weeks for approval. We will then be officially paper ready. In the meantime we are starting the fundraising process. Check out our fundraising page for our first fundraiser that is set up and ready to go. We will use this blog to keep everyone updated on the progress of our journey and fundraisers as they come up.

I know there are probably TONS of questions so let me answer some that we have already been asked:

Are you going to adopt a boy or a girl: We aren’t doing a gender specific adoption. We are limiting the age to under 1 and are open to a boy or a girl.

Will you be traveling: Yes, I will be traveling to the Congo to bring our baby home. Tony will not be traveling because he doesn’t get enough time off from work for the time we will need to be there and we want one of Hudson’s parents to be with him while the other is gone. I hope to not travel alone and our cousin Breanah is willing to make the journey with me.

Is it safe: Yes, just like any international travel you have to be smart and careful, and we will be!

What agency are we using: We have decided to go the independent route for a variety of reasons and will not be using an agency. This means we will be doing more of the work, but we are up for the challenge! We have researched and talked with others and through what we have learned this seems to be the best option for our family.

Do we have names picked out: Not yet

Will we do “cocooning” like we did with Hudson: YES! this is very important for the attachment and emotional health of the child. We will actually probably do it more than what we did with Hudson. (I promise to write a post about what this is in more detail and what it will look like for our family later). In short, this is the time for the child to learn who their parents are and that their parents will meet their needs (again, that was a very BRIEF description). But for those that know about how we did this for Hudson it will be done again.

How much will it cost: Well that is more of a personal question, but what I will say it that we estimate we will need to fundraise about $15,000.

What can we do to help: Share this page and our fundraisers as they come up. Pray, send happy thoughts, whatever it is you do to help us through this journey and for the children in the Congo.

Any other questions feel free to ask. Thank you for your support on this journey!

I want to give a quick THANKS to those that helped us prepare for the home study in some way: Stephanie and Matt, Tricia and Nate, Jaylene and Jeff, April and Justin, Katie, Cynthia, and Breanah! Thank you all for your help!