A cautionary tale...learn as a couple of middle agers (HE with already grown kids) adopt a multi-ethnic handful of babies...if you're up to witnessing a thermo nuclear sized meltdown, this is the place to be!
Thursday, February 3, 2011
What can I say....life just keeps happening to me and around me. Back in the saddle again.
Well, after the police incident that began the year 2009 for our family, things kept hopping. The month of January alone contains birthdays for my mom, my dad, Adrian, me, my Aunt Nell and Casey (Andrew's birth mother). Everyone forgot mine that year, except my office mates, and that's probably just because our Outlook program sends out reminders of birthdays, anniversaries, etc.
February brought Austin's second birthday, which fell on a Friday and we celebrated a family party by going to Hungry Howie's pizza buffet for dinner. It went pretty well...considering that towards the end of our dinner, a local boys soccer team came in for dinner...about 9 or 10 boys in all...and our 3 little ones gave those 9 or 10 much older boys a real run for their money when it came to noise and mess. So much so that upon our leaving, one of the coaches commented to me that it looks and sounds like I have my own soccer team in the making!
And because just one celebration is not enough for my boys, we had a "party at the park" for Austin in March. We invited Austin's friends from school and Sunday School, as well as family and some friends. It was a great day...pizza, cake, and a SpongeBob cake and pinata. Austin so loved the cake, he didn't want to eat it...just kept playing with the SpongeBob and Squidward candleholders they had.
March 31st brought exciting news. Very exciting news. We received a call from the attorney's office where we had placed our latest homestudy and adoption profile back in October of 2008. They had a birth mother, expecting a baby girl, that they would like to present us to! They gave us more details and asked us if we were interested. Interested? Heck, yeah! Present away! On March 31st, we received the news: we had been chosen by this birth mother to adopt her baby girl, due later in the summer! Time to shop for pink, finally!
Tax time was fast approaching, and that meant pressure, pressure, pressure for me at work. Our first meeting with our birth mother didn't occur until after April 15. When we finally did get to meet her, we got to meet her mother, as well. I was surprised when I met her, as she was tiny, especially for someone 7 months pregnant. You really could not tell she was pregnant at all. She was short and stick thin. I felt like the world's biggest galoot next to her. I looked more pregnant than she did.
The meeting went well. At one point, she asked what we planned to name the baby. We told her Marley, and then told her the story behind the name (that we were huge Bob Marley fans. Also, how back in the 90s, when we were romantically looking ahead at our future life of marriage and kids, and we picked the name Marley while eating dinner at our favorite Chinese restaurant, our fortune cookie after the meal read "Your life will be made blessed by children"). How's that for a run-on sentence? That fortune, by the way, is now pasted in Marley's baby book. Our birth mother and her mother both teared up at that story. She then commented, "That's not a name". I, thinking she meant that she did not like the name Marley, replied, "Yes, it is...maybe not a common one, but it's a name." She replied back, "No, I just thought you'd pick a name beginning with "A", like all your boys". I, now feeling like not only a big galoot, but also a stupid one, realized that she had said "that's not an 'A' name", not "that's not a name". She kept tearing up...her mother, as well. My heart sunk. What if she thought I was hearing impaired, or stupid, or both?
An uncomfortable silence followed. I did not know what to say, because apparently, I was an idiot. She then looked up at me and told us her story. She said all her life, as a little girl and a young woman, she always thought that when she grew up and had a daughter, she would name her "Marlea" after her favorite aunt, Margaret, and her mother, Lea. So us having years ago chosen the name Marley, confirmed to her, in every possible way, that her baby girl was meant to be our daughter. At that point, all of us at the table were now crying. A lifelong bond was being formed. We all felt an indescribable blessing covering us. We couldn't wait for Miss Marley to join in.
Have and seat and take notes reading all about my thermo nuclear meltdown in raising a Handful. There's a Husband, too, which puts me in charge of a six-pack. Most days, our house looks like Bagdad, sounds like the Exorcist, and some days, even smells like a toxic waste site, but we still manage to have some fun!
The Triple A Threat: Alex (the one who NEVER stops talking EVER, Runs 24/7 a constant, verbal monologue, EVEN IN HIS SLEEP; a/k/a He Who Never Shuts Up), Austin (talks not so much and not very often, but rather, when he does talk, it is a deep, boom, barrelling baritone that shakes the foundation of the house), Andrew (the baby boy, who has high-pitched, piercing, shrieking squeal that will peel the wallpaper right down)
The Grandparents: My mom and dad (Howard and Jean) and my Aunt and Uncle (Al and Nell)
Uncle and Aunt from MY side: Aunt Chris (a/k/a Aunt Boo-Boo) and Uncle Mark (my brother)
Alex - Boomer (by us when he was a baby, coz he was so big); A-wex (by Austin and Andrew)
Austin - Peanut (by us when he was a newborn, coz he was so tiny); Bruiser (by us when he rapidly began putting on weight as an infant); and, at varying times by Alex, the following: Hop-A-Long (when Austin began crawling and following Alex); Rooti-Tooti (stuck for a long time); Atchoo (maybe because Austin sneezed?); Apple (your guess is as good as mine); and Water Hose (Don't Ask); Ottin (what Austin calls himself)
Marley - Ma-wee (by Austin and Andrew); Molly (by Alex); My Precious Princess (by Alex); Miss M
Andrew - Wizard (by us, because he had such a wise, knowing expression as a newborn) and Mody (by Alex....??????); Mop Top (when his hair turned to dreaklocks); An-woo (by Austin), Woo-woo; Little Woo
During Alex's marine-life naming phase: Daddy: dolphin; Mommy: whale (gee, thanks, Alex) ; Alex: fish; Austin: fish
To his grandpa when gramps took him to a HUGE toy store and Alex saw a truck loak of construction equipment toys: "Paw-paw, I'm in heaven!"
Austin my best pal!
Paw-paw my best buddy!
In attempting to train Alex to NOT interrupt when others are talking: when I am interrupted by Alex, I say, "Excuse me! I am talking!" To which Alex replies, "Mommy, go to work at talk to Annie Annie!"
Singing Ozzy Osbourne's "Crazy Train" at bedtime, along with his ABC's.
Everybody happy? Mommy, you happy? Daddy, you happy? Everybody happy? Everybody make a happy face and SMILE!
"Oh, no! Baby wake!"
"Dose" for fruit snacks...usually because Alex has some of "dose" in his hand
"Na-na" for open this?
"Da-my" (sounds like Tommy) when we wants Daddy and Mommy
"Ma-dy" (sounds like body) when we wants both Mommy and Daddy
Austin hugging everyone (and everyething) in sight, saying, "Mommy! Watch!"
Alex's First Parent-Teacher Conference: Alex is a great kid!
A decent night of sleep!
Alex telling everyone that his brother Austin is his best pal!
My new dining room outfit!
Alex's 4th birthday party: A Great Success!
Narcotic pain relievers for that nagging lower back pain
Our New Van....
Seeing Andrew's birth mother this weekend and her joining us at our adoption support group Christmas party, where Daddy played Santa again!
Teaching children (including my Alex) the meaning of advent in my church 3- and 4-year old Sunday School class. What delights!
Seeing my oldest son in his very first ever Christmas musical performance! He rocked!
Alex telling me "Mom, you da bomb!" just because I brought home cheese from Publix. (???)
Austin helping Mommy unload the dishwasher, bending down and taking every single item out, one single item at a time, then reaching up to hand it to me, while screaming in his own, unique, Austin pitch: "Mommy! He-yah! (here)".
Alex telling me that he forgives me and that "we're still best friends, Mommy" when I apologized for yelling at them earlier.
Getting to spend Thanksgiving with my family AND I DIDN'T HAVE TO COOK!
Austin...sleeping through the night
A bouquet of pink flowers from my guys....just because!
Plans to Shop, Shop, Shop after T-Day!
Andrew's surgery for yesterday was cancelled! His hand his healing, according to his doctor, "better than expected!"
Hearing Alex said that he is friends with his schoolmate Maggie, "even if she is a gu-wul"
Hearing Alex insist on, and then saying, the entire blessing of our meal, and including a blessing for his new nephew, Felix, who came for a visit
Momma to Alex: "Do you how much I love you?" Alex to Momma: " A bunch?" Momma to Alex: "Yes, but do you know how big of bunch I love you?" Alex to Momma: "A bunch of much-es?" Momma to Alex: "That's right!" Alex to Momma: "That how much-es I love you, too!"
Things That Make Momma Not Happy
A sick hubby!
Alex and Austin dumping my bed pillows in the bath tub!
All in one weekend, a broken glass, a broken picture frame and a broken perfume bottle!
3 nights of non-sleep!
Two sick babies at home!
Hubby completely burning and ruining (to the point of having to throw them out) two, not one but TWO, very nice baking pans in one week! Stay outta my kitchen!
Hubby breaking the glass shelves in my new china cabinet the first night!
When there is at least one child awake every hour from sundown to sunup. Every night!
This nagging lower back pain
Alex figuring it out that it was Daddy playing Santa at the Christmas party.
The price of a new van.....Santa, care to help us out?
Having to shop for a new van! The week before Christmas....with 3 squirmy kids....and company on the way....and a party to attend...and food to cook, gifts to wrap...you get the drift!
Finding dirty silverware and dirty glasses in the kitchen cupboards and drawers
Husbands that keep the volume on the television AS LOUD AS IT WILL GO!
Having to get up at 4:00 AM to bring in Christmas presents from the trunk of my car to hide them in the guest bath so the kids don't see them!
**cough, cough** Someone spending approximately 36 waking hours over the weekend watching football...and that someone was NOT Momma, coz she did 36 loads of laundry!
Realizing that I yelled at the kids - for no real good reason
Since I didn't cook for Thanksgiving, NO LEFTOVERS all weekend!
Another broken glass...that makes 5 this week!
Borrowing my car and leaving the radio turned up FULL BLAST, so that the next time I get in the car to go to work, my eardrums are removed without assistance of anesthesia!
Four, Count 'em: 4! Broken glasses in one day! Four!
Leaning in for a hug and kiss from Austin, Austin all puckered up and leaning towards me, and then, instead of a kiss, I get a scream, so loud and so highly pitched, that only dogs and the mentally insane can hear it! What does that make me?
Telling Mommy to "move, big butt"
Austin, S.C.R.E.A.M.I.N.G. every single, solitary minute from 2:10 AM on Saturday morning, until 10:50 AM on the same Saturday morning, even though it felt like a week!
Husbands that shuffle their feet when they walk down the hard-wood floor hallway