baby development

Tuesday, February 27, 2007


We have picked a date for Cookie's baby dedication at church - April 15th. Since we are members of a Methodist congregation, she'll be baptized by spinkling her head with water. It will be very special, and my folks are going to drive all the way up from Florida for the occasion. Afterwards, we'll have cake and punch and food in the church social hall so that friends can meet my folks and congratulate Mia who will be far more interested in the cake.

So, of course you want to see the dress, right? I hope the store doesn't mind my sharing their image, but I figure it's good publicity too - and they were extremely nice over the phone. Here's what she will be wearing:

It's from

As for what she will wear on Friday, I've got at least 20 dresses to choose from - all sent from the grandparents, of course. The choice will likely come down to what the weather is like, and if that dress stays free of crackers and juice long enough to not need to change into yet another dress (which we will bring, just in case).

Ah, Friday...why do you have to take so long to get here? These have been the longest days of my life!

I am so happy, yet nervous for some reason. I think it's like getting married was. Choosing a child to become yours forever must be in some way different from finding out you are pregnant and then bringing that child into the world. This volition, this agency and free will...somehow feels different (I assume). This has much more meaning than I ever imagined, and it is very different than I expected it to be - much deeper, much more...soulfull and intimate.

There's a comfort with she and us that is deeply satisfying. I see her asleep in our bed between us as we watch our evening news, and think about the ease of which we go through the nightly routine. As we enact family over and over as we have these past 14 plus months, I am reminded that the more we enact, the more we become. I've wondered if on some embodied level of knowing, that Cookie knows - that she knows we made a choice, and that she knows already that she is adopted. As she giggles and tries to climb our headboard, then sinks down into the pillows and covers at night, breathes deeply and sighs contentedly and falls asleep, I feel that she knows she belongs.

That moment of peace at the end of every day has been worth all of the struggles.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Those Teeth!

Lately, it's been funny trying to take a decent picture of Cookie. She's got these snarky little grins that she makes - and the teeth seem to have come in at random places - so she's got this Snaggle Tooth grin. Enjoy...

This is Cookie in the living room opening a box of clothes her Grammy sent...check out the hair on that kid!

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Job Ish

Oh dear.
Last night, Michael got an offer from Pretigious Near DC University.
10K more than he makes now - and they'd promote and tenure him no questions asked
They think they can work out promising opportunities for me to get a job there, too.
Thye want to see my vita.
Big obvious downside = it's right outside DC and cost of living is about 55% higher than it is here
For example - we paid less than 150K for our 3 br 2.5 ba 1830 sq ft quite decent house here
Equivalent house there would be about 500K, and maybe not as nice either
I did not type that incorrectly.
You did not read it incorrectly either.
And do I even need to mention traffic, or crime rates?

I'm scared to death, and need to put that somewhere so I can get rid of it and be supportive.
I've always loved moving, and never feared it at all.
But that was before marriage.
And before I had a child.
And before I owned a home.

Now it all seems like it has more weight, more risk, more danger lurking around unseen corners.
Now it seems real and grown-up and scary.

I've scuba dived.
I've camped out on the beach in a hammock in small villages in Mexico.
I've loved big-time.
I became a parent.
But I can't remember feeling this frightened before.

That's not a BAD thing, necessarily - the fear, that is.
It just means I'm processing a lot of things.

I feel no need to leave Lexington, but I feel a great need to support my husband's career.
I feel the need to do that no matter the sacrifice for me personally.

I wish the offer would have been enough so that it was a "no brainer" to say "yes" to it without hesitation.

There is no way to put a price on tenure.

I am a great big wreck today.
But more importantly, I am without words to tell you how proud I am of Michael.
He may turn down the offer, but they wanted him - and he was their top candidate.
He is amazing.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007


We got it! We got the March 2nd court date! So, at 3:45 on March 2nd, Cookie will become Mia Elizabeth.

Of all the blessings I've ever received, this has got to be close to the top.

Thank you for consistently praying for us, and for Cookie.

We are overjoyed.

Friday, February 16, 2007

WW Update

-16 pounds as of last night
I have this fantasy that I've lost 8 pounds from each boob.
That is not the case.
Still, I am in smaller jeans...
and my kid loves veggies.
Of course, she also eats crayons...
but that is another story altogether.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

URGENT - Prayers Needed for Dream Mommy

Dear Friends,

It is with a heavy heart that I tell you that Lisa (Dream Mommy over at You Could Always Adopt) and her husband had to say goodbye to their 4 month old foster daughter yesterday as she went on to Heaven. It was sudden and unexpected, and I cannot imagine their grief.

Princess will be missed and loved always. I am so grateful that this beautiful baby girl got to have a home and a family - and didn't have to spend her last days on earth in the hospital.

I rejoice in the knowledge that there are people like Lisa and her husband who are willing to risk their hearts and accept the children that God send their way - regardless of their medical fragility or special needs. I've watched as they've learned to tube-feed babies, make more trips to the hospital than I've made in my entire life, and love their kids through multiple surgeries.

I don't know what to say, and I've never fancied myself good to dealing with death. I do know that Princess was loved and cherished. I also know she will forever be their daughter - no matter what the paperwork might say.

I'm sorry, Lisa. I'm so sorry.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Tomorrow - 2:00

That's when the Guardian ad Litem is coming out to our house to do her visit and write her report to the court. From what I hear, that was a pretty fast reponse! On the phone, she seemed very nice and professional. I am looking forward to her visit - and that means I shall be cleaning house tonight until I crash!

Thanks for the prayers through the last steps of this process. I am still holding out hope for a March 2nd court date. If all goes as planned, there is still a chance.

Friday, February 09, 2007

A Morning Without Daddy

Well, I was only half an hour late for work this morning - not bad for not getting up any earlier than normal and getting myself and my child ready for the day. I might have been on time had it not been for poop that happened right before we were going to head out the door. Mercy. I'd rather have had them take care of that one at daycare - especially since it was so...colorful.

Cookie was great for me last night - crashed out on the sofa at 7:30, and went to sleep without a bath and slept until 5:30 this morning when she was thirsty and VERY wet. Then she slept until I got out of the tub this morning (too chicken to shower - was afraid she would wake up and be scared to find herself alone) and got dressed and woke her up getting her diaper changed and socks on.

She then sat straight up in the bed, looked over at Michael's empty side of the bed, and sadly cooed, "Daa-doo, da-doo!!" "Daaaaa-DOOOO!!" She then looked at me again waiting for a good explanation. "Da-doo's at work sweetie, he'll be back soon." (I figured "Washington, D.C." wouldn't sound right, and technically this is work, right?)

["Da-doo" is her latest name for Michael. She can't seem to pronounce Daddy, so it shifted from Da-Da to Da-doo recently, and it sounds mighty funny, and mighty sweet.]

I have a headache. I tried so hard last night to get everything set and perfect for this morning so we would not have a chaotic morning, and I think I tried too hard to do a ton of laundry and put everything away and get things laid out that I forgot to relax. Dang. I really appreciate all Michael does as a dad, and how much of the burden of he lifts from me. He's truly amazing. Cookie and I feel it when he's not here.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Unrelated Nervous Excitement

Tomorrow, Michael is flying out to interview for a faculty position at Prestigious Near-DC University. I won't reveal his personal information, but just wanted to request from my blogger-buddies that if you happen upon this post, please say a little prayer for his trip Thurs-Sat. I pray his interview goes well, that he is able to relax and enjoy the process, and that this trip leads to new opportunities one way or another. Finally, please pray I make it through the 2 days as a single mom with a toddler getting her first molars. Love to all...T.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

I Want To Be Adopted!

Cookie helping sign contracts this morning:

Where do I sign again??

Yup, this all looks good to me!

How do you spell Mia Elizabeth???

Hurray!! The contracts are all signed!!! I'm gonna be adopted soon!!

Monday, February 05, 2007


...we get to sign our contract with the state. This contract is back-dated to Feb. 1st and declares us the adoptive parents with the state. The contract also includes information about our reimbursement rate for daycare (only 80% because we make too much money - HA!), our keeping Cookie's medical card, and Cookie's adoption subsidy.

That will be another great moment. THIS time I will be sure to take pictures of Cookie as she will undoubtedly be trying to sign something.

After that, we will be waiting for the Guardian ad Litem to call us to schedule a time to come out to our house. The GAL is appointed to represent Cookie, and that person will write up a report and submit it to the court that says Cookie should be adopted by us - sound mind, good moral character, blah blah blah...

THEN we can hopefully get our court date. There is a bit of bad news associated with that. IF we do not get March 2nd, we will have to wait until May 4th because our adoption attorney is out of town the first week in April, and our judge only does adoptions on the first Friday of the month. If we don't get March 2nd, it will be a long wait for us. It will be okay, but it will be hard on us. We feel it is so close to the end, but little things can really hold up the process. We've done everything as fast as we could, but you can't always count on the judge's schedule (or the judge's secretary).

So, if you're someone who likes to pray for specifics - please pray the GAL calls us ASAP, and that we get on for March 2nd. We would so like for all of this to be behind us.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

WIll You Cry Too?

This morning, at 9:30 am, Michael and Cookie and I went to meet our attorney to review and sign the Petition for Adoption. It was one of those otherwise forgetable mornings...

It was cold and the snow was lightly falling.

All we did was sign our names to a document that our attorney will file with the court that will set everything into action. A guardian ad litem will be appointed and another report filed, and eventually a court date will be set. That's it. It seems so easy and simple now - almost elegant.

And in the Petition for Adoption, I read these words:

"Mia Elizabeth Ourlastname will henceforth be the legal child of Tamara Ourlastname and Michael Ourlastname as if she was born of their bodies."

I did not cry right then, but I did later...when I called my mom to tell her about the one of the most beautiful statements I have ever read...and she cried too.

Cookie sat at the huge wooden table with the glass top with a pen in her chubby little hand making "scribbling" motions on the tabletop as if she too were signing documents. I'm glad she was there with us. It was a very special family moment - even if it only took 15 minutes.