Friday, May 15, 2015

on a potty

sweet boy posing for pictures at Easter.
dax is growing up so quickly!  every day we look at him and just wonder where did our baby go?  he is such a handsome fellow!  

last week was our first major focus on potty training and we knew dax was ready.  we'd half heartedly tried before, but it just wasn't sinking in.  we'd previously gotten him to go pee pee in the potty, but it would take him a very long time to get the job done and he'd never alerted us to the fact he needed to go.  this time we let him pick out a toy and he selected "fred" from big hero 6.  we let him buy the toy and then we put it on our mantle so it could stand for some motivation.  we explained to him that if for the next week he tried his best to go pee pee in the potty all week long that one week later he could get "fred".  the very next morning was sunday.  he decided after breakfast that he'd like to wear big boy underpants to church.  will and i were slightly unsure, but we know that our boy has determination.  we reminded the sunday school teacher that this was his first outing in big boy undies and they noted they'd frequently remind him.  

it was a long two hours during church and sunday school.  i was just curious how our little one was doing and i was praying things were going well for him.  when ss was over i rushed through the halls and was excstatic to see him in the same shorts we dropped him off in!  after we picked him up will took him potty at church and then on then we headed out to the playground so he could burn off some energy.  after playing he told will he needed to go potty so we went back inside the church to let our big boy go once more.  he did so well on his first outing so we let him go to school on monday in big boy pants.
our handsome boy at Easter.
he had a couple of accidents after school early that week, but none at school.  thursday and friday he had zero accidents and now frequently asks to "go a potty"!  after he'd done so well all week long he asked for "fred" on friday night while we were working on the nursery together.  i told will i thought it was definately well deserved, even 12 hours early.  we let him get "fred" off the mantle and we ceremoniously unwrapped and presented him to dax.  he was giddy happy.  he calls "fred" his fire toy since he shoots fire from his belly.  since last friday time he's only had a handful of accidents and has done amazingly well at alerting us and holding it.  we could not be more proud of his accomplishments!

hooray!
for now we're still using diapers at night time when he goes to bed, but we'll be working on that next.  we're in the home stretch so we can save diapers for the baby that's working its way to our family!


Monday, May 11, 2015

where we're at in process

we had our homestudy visit mid-april and our social worker told us it would take about a month to get it written up.  she also needed to meet with a pastor from our church to include in the write up.  while we waited on that to be completed we worked to finalize most of the nursery so we could get a picture included in our profile book.  

this past saturday husband finished folding all of the origami doves to be included in the baby's mobile that hangs over her crib.  it was a labor of love and one that i have not patience for.  thankfully husband is great at origami and once again reignited the fuel that helps those fingertips fold, crease, fold and repeat.  after the doves were completed i threaded them with fishing line and then strung a series of gold or silver beads on each one before hanging them on a branch from the trimming of our crepe myrtle trees.

 we're really happy with how it came out and dax thinks its swell!  he tries to jump and reach the birds every day.  he told us he thinks the baby will like it.  so glad he approves.

we still have to find an old dresser to re-purpose into a changing table, but i'm kind of picky with what i am looking for - so it may be a while until we find just the right thing.  once that's in place we're going to hang about 20 paintings and pictures on that wall and then we'll get this wrapped up.

aside from that we've got some continuing education credits to complete as well as working on a profile slide show to go online.  once we're given the green light on our profile book we'll work on the slide show so as to not overlap the photos we select.  almost there!

Saturday, March 7, 2015

building a profile book and a nursery

things are moving in the phases of our next adoption, but they are moving slowly.  we're happy with where we're at right now, but it's definitely a slower pace than we experienced last time.  last time we spent every waking moment pushing things along, and this time we're just letting them happen as they do with no added pressure.  we submitted our last round of paperwork mid-november and got a letter last week confirming it was all processed and verifying that we accept the fee terms. 

while we wait for our homestudy appointments to be scheduled we're working on the nursery so that we can complete our profile book.  today we had the nursery painted cathedral gray (i love gray) and this weekend we'll be working on rebuilding the crib and setting it up.  we've still got to order curtains, but a crib bumper is on the way, and the crib skirt is already here.  i'll be painting a large painting for one wall and then will is going to create some origami doves to hang for a mobile.  i love decorating, so this is the fun part to me.  will is a good helper, but i am sure he'll be glad when this part is all over.

i love having our nursery prepared well before the baby comes home.  for starters i love being prepared and i think i'd go a little whack-a-doodle if i brought a baby home and they didn't have a room.  secondly i love to go into the nursery and just sit and and think about and pray for the baby that will one day call this their room.  however, most importantly i love to put pictures of the nursery into the profile book so that expectant parents who review our book can visualize what the baby might be coming home to.  i know i'd want to see it, so i think whomever chooses us would like to see it too.

the profile book is just about complete, save for the two pages dedicated to the nursery photos.  i love creating profile books, but i agonize over every picture, every word (and then will agonizes over every word too), every page layout, font, colors, etc.  it gets obsessive at times.  i complete a mock up and then i review it and edit it multiple times over a month or longer.  we want to be 100% happy with it before i share it with anyone and before we submit it to our agency for approval and ordering.  

we saved a copy of the profile book we created when searching for dax and now it rests in his closet with the rest of his other books.  we still love it.  we hope he'll save it as a memento of a chapter of our waiting process and search for him.  hopefully the next little one that finds their way to us will also treasure theirs too.

Friday, February 27, 2015

fundraiser thanks

we're fundraising to help cover the costs of all of the application and processing fees of our second adoption.  fundraising isn't easy and sometimes feels like a second job.  however, it's a necessary for us this time around since we didn't do it the first time and the tax refund laws have changed.  some of the things we've been doing are selling our "searching for bliss" t-shirts, selling my book "mommy's freckles", raising money through our amazon link, and selling other hand crafted items in the etsy store.  

recently a sweet online friend messaged me and offered to conduct a jamberry fundraiser for us.  we took her up on her gracious offer and she kicked off our fundraiser in the middle of the month.  the fundraiser raised $200 for our adoption fees!  we were very impressed!

we're just so thankful to everyone who purchased, prayed, and participated in these efforts.  we're so grateful to our sweet friend ashley for doing this for us.  what a sweet heart!  she and her beautiful family were also built by adoption and they're also in the waiting stage for their second adoption.  please help me to pray for this sweet family in hopes that they find their next sweet child soon!  also, if you need any jamberry nails, please be sure to check out ashley's page!  she has tons of great options and all of the new spring designs!  if you've never checked them out - you totally should!

we're done with all of our paperwork and medical forms and recently we've been working on our profile book.  so, coming up shortly we'll have the cost of ordering four copies of our book and our homestudy process that's soon to begin.  the homestudy payment is one of the largest fees until the final payment.  all of this fundraising is certainly help us stay on track in our Search for Bliss!

sincerest thanks!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

ear tubes part deux

this past friday we took dax in to have his second set of ear tubes put in.  since the first pair fell out around november he'd had basically constant ear infections since.  we had him on antibiotics the entire time, they just kept bumping up the prescriptions to be stronger, and stronger, and stronger.  all of this ear infection messola was causing him to slide backwards on his speech progress and we were just really confident that more tubes was the only way to go.  so, in the bitter cold we woke dax up and got him into the car and over to the surgery center.

he was a really good patient (once he woke up) and the nurses all thought he must have been given versed/midasolam.  we assured them that he was just his normal happy little self.  we were very glad there'd be no versed this time considering that his last two times with it didn't go so smoothly.  thankfully this procedure was so quick that it wasn't necessary.  

he quietly played with daddy while awaiting his turn.  he really enjoyed the medical equipment he had at his disposal.  the dr. joked that this was probably the most expensive toy he'd ever played with.  he made fast friends with all of the nurses and staff.  everyone was falling in love with sweet dax.  many people came by to tell him how handsome he was and ask him his name.  he was quite fond of all of the attention.  he only asked about food once and told us he "was reawey hungwee".  luckily we kept keeping him distracted with those pricey toys.  before we knew it they were coming to wheel him back into the operating room.  it wasn't until they came to take him away that we got the giant crocodile tears.  thankfully the nurse was very friendly and assured dax that he could take raffie with him into the operation room.  everyone was falling for those sweet tears and the quiver lip.  the dr. confirmed that dax could probably have gotten a pony with that show.

after he'd been taken back will and i headed out to the lobby to wait for the good word.  will found us some hot chocolate from a nespresso machine and before we could finish both cups the dr. was out to tell us that everything went well and that we could go back to recovery with him.  the dr. confirmed that one of dax's ears was still completely full of fluid, even though just one day prior he'd finished his last antibiotic.  good call.  we tossed out our cocoa and headed back to see sweet boy.  he was wrapped in a blanket and quietly sleeping.  the nurse stayed with us until we got him rousted and sampling some apple juice and crackers.  he was super drowsy, but sweet boy will pretty much do anything for crackers.  within half an hour he was ready to go and we loaded him up into the car.

when we asked dax what he wanted for breakfast he said he wanted a biscuit.  boy loves some carbs and you'd think he'd take the opportunity to get a doughnut or something, but no he insisted on a biscuit.  however, by the time we got to the restaurant he decided he was eating pancakes - and he was in luck since their pancakes were bigger than the plate!  dax did a pretty good job eating his breakfast and was happy and feeling good for the rest of the day.  while the antibiotic ear drops are not fun (i hate ear drops too, so i can sympathize), we explained to him they are important and he'll only have to do them for a little while.

we can already notice that he feels better, can hear better, and is back to his old normal self.  hoping these tubes will last as long as the last pair and hopefully be the last pair he needs!

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

winner!


drumroll please!  and, we have a winner!  the book goes to: 

plumrotn13

we'll be mailing your book this week!

sincerest thanks to all who participated!  we really appreciate your continued support as we're Searching for Bliss!

Sunday, February 1, 2015

mommy's freckles - give away!

***give away!***


last year i worked with a very talented illustrator to give life to a story i wrote about the relationship my son and i share.  we're a family built by transracial adoption and every day people clearly notice that this mommy and son just don't match on the outside.  however, it's not the skin tone that matters.  the love runs deep and we've got a lot in common.  we're a family built by God and we've shared our story about that connection in our book.

this little children's book was written to help us fundraise for our next transracial adoption.  our book is available for purchase on blurb.com at:  PURCHASE MOMMY'S FRECKLES

-OR-

simply enter to win your own copy now!

i know what you're thinking:

i never win anything.  

nothing's free.  

there's always a catch.

well, not this time.

that's right - we are doing a #GIVEAWAY for one signed copy of #mommysfreckles!  to enter here's all you have to do:

OPTION 1:

1.  follow @searchingforblissnow on instagram

OPTION 2:
 
2.  tag a friend who shares a heart for adoption or transracial families to make them aware of this awesome freebie by shouting out to them in a comment on our instagram post!

BONUS!

3.  bonus entry - go to our blog and leave a comment on the blog post - "mommy's freckles - give away!"  [www.willandadrifindbabies.blogspot.com]

we'll be sure to draw a winner on wednesday 2/4/15 at 9pm edt.

Monday, January 19, 2015

those ears

these sweet ears are so perfectly adorable, its hard to imagine how they can cause so much trouble.

these sweet ears are at it again.  last week, long about wednesday evening, dax started to show signs of feeling under the weather.  will thought he may have had a fever, but the thermometer said his temp was fine.  he seemed groggier than normal for that time of night (although every night with a three year old that doesn't nap is a little challenging), and we thought something was looming.  by thursday morning he woke up and told me his "ears" were "dirty" and so i offered him a little swipe of a q-tip and continued getting him ready for school.  since they were on an hour delay for ice, we had an extra hour to hang out before our departure.  it was during that time that he told me his "ears had a boo-boo" and i immediately called the pediatrician to get him checked out.  

once at the dr.'s office he told the dr. to check his "ears" and told him they had "boo-boos".  the doctor checked and confirmed that both ears were infected.  so, again we're back on amoxicillin.  the pediatrician suggested we reconnect with the ENT to determine if tubes were again warranted.  we let him know we'd already done that and the ENT pretty much told us that if he got another infection we'd probably want to go ahead and get them put back in.  (so far since the tubes fell out around thanksgiving, this will be our second infection.)

when daxton was two and a half he was diagnosed with some severe speech delays that were said to be due to his temporary hearing losses because of such frequent ear infections while his little ears should have been helping him learn words and hear the endings of words.  over the past six months he's made great strides with his speech improvements.  we'd hate to backslide now while he's gaining so much headway, and so we're looking for the most effective and immediate rectification of the issue.  his speech therapist agreed she thought tubes would keep him on track while he's gaining such rapid momentum.

so, we've put in a call to the ENT's office to see what the plan of action will be for this sweet fella and his precious ears.  prayers for quick healing and swift action to keep this boy free from further infections while a plan comes together.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

had ourselves a merry little Christmas

we went to will's parent's house for Christmas this year and had a good time hanging out with namaw, poppie, cousins meri and ethan, and aunt lynn and uncle mike.  dax enjoyed playing puzzles, memory games, race cars, and kitchen time with his cousins.  
sporting an outfit his namaw gave him for his birthday.
on Christmas eve we went to a candlelight service at namaw and poppie's church.  the singing was beautiful and singing silent night a cappella with our candles lit had me crying.  we're so blessed in this life to have a saviour, have our family, to be healthy, have a roof over our heads, and plenty to eat.  poor dax had fallen asleep on the way to church and didn't wake up until we were heading back out to the parking lot, but it did make for a peaceful time and gave him some much needed rest.  
dax ended up in our bed on Christmas eve and was with us on Christmas morning.  he was a little groggy so we gave him a Christmas cookie and his "home" stocking to open in bed.  that helped his spirits lift to get him ready for the main event in the living room when the cousins arrived.  
he enjoyed finding some clementines, bunny crackers, and several toys in his stocking.
my baby and his sweet feet.
eating his clementines.
overwhelmed by the site of the gifts under the tree!
the three cousins.
i got the tape!  (as he attempted to catch a balloon.)
poppie started a fire with "money" - rolls of "money!
loving his magnet board.
he did really well with opening things, waiting his turn, and being excited for everyone.  most of his presents were educational and or had some purpose (like a snow suit, thick coat, and snow boots) - but i think he would have been happy opening boxes of crackers.  (ahem, vicki.)  after everyone had opened their gifts we took him into his room and played several puzzles to attempt to reground him.  he was a little overwhelmed with the chaos, but he quickly got back into reality with this little detox.
 
cousin ethan resting on the slide.
the day after Christmas we took advantage of the nice weather and took the kids to the park.  they all enjoyed running around and even daddy took a slip down the slide...
dax and daddy came FLYING off the slide and poor daddy hit the ground and his back on the end of the slide!  we decided to pack it up after this.
hope you and your family also had a merry little christmas!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

joy to the world

ding dong ding dong - Christmas bells are ringing!  we slowly but surely decorated and got into the Christmas spirit.  dax was a huge help this season and really enjoyed decorating the tree, making ornaments at school to bring home, and reminding us to always check to make sure the lights are on every night (even though they are on a timer).
now that we've succumbed to the artificial tree we keep it stored in the attic.  dax wanted to use the long piece of "garland" that keeps the tree tightly wrapped as part of the decoration.  we let him hang that on the tree and then he went ahead and hung ornaments on that.

because dax's pre-school class is called "the owls" he's got quite a few owl ornaments this year.

 after tree decorating was finally done we found some other weekend down time to head to a live walk through nativity one night and then also to watch the local Christmas parade.  dax really got into all of the activities this year and especially loved the parade since it wasn't too cold outside and he got a lollipop.

dax and daddy watching for the first float.
we were all particularly fond of this high school marching band from southeast raleigh high.  this group of folks really got into it and stole the show!   

will held dax on his shoulders for the majority of the parade so he could see everything.  after a while he got a little fidgety, so i took over the holding process.  dax was liking this new perspective, and will was thankful for a break.

here we are seeing the big man in red.
this tuesday dax had his first pre-school on stage experience in their annual Christmas production.  dax missed several days being out last week for his ear infection, and so we were not quite sure how much he'd learned or how prepared he was for the big event.  he did surprisingly well standing on stage and even sang along to some of the songs at the critical moments.  earlier in the weekend he'd surprised me when i was singing "joy to the world" and he finished the rest of the song!  as verified they'd been working on it at school, so clearly he had picked up on some of it.  while he didn't sing every word, this boy sure does love a crescendo like his mama!

we're all excited to celebrate the season of Jesus' birth and cannot wait to spend time with family over the Christmas holiday break. 

Thursday, December 11, 2014

faith

we've had a busy but good past few weeks.  we're thankful that daxton's eye surgery went better than expected and that he was able to completely enjoy his time with family at thanksgiving.  if you hadn't known he recently had surgery you probably really wouldn't be able to tell he'd been under the knife.

just before thanksgiving we noticed that one of dax's ear tubes was lying in his ear canal.  i removed it and commented that it would likely just be a matter of time before poor fella had another ear infection.  fast forward two weeks and here we sit with diagnosis #1 of an ear infection.  the dr. confirmed that the other ear tube is also working it's way out and laying further back in the canal.  she recommended that we schedule an appointment with his ENT to decide on the next plan of action - which is likely tubes round #2.  we've got that coming up on december 22nd.


i had lots of ear problems and multiple sets of ear tubes growing up.   it's sometimes almost unbelievable how in such a divine way we were given the child that God wanted us to parent.  it may seem small or insignificant, but i cannot stop thinking about how right we are for dax and how right he is for us.  by just previously dealing with tons of ear infections up into my twenties i'm better equipped to be his caretaker during the times he's having similar troubles.  will read two articles recently that discussed this idea - what a blessing it is that God gives us the right children.  we've never doubted - since dax came into our family - that he was destined to be with us, but its honestly a very emotional thing to think that even though your child was not born of your flesh they are so clearly born of your heart and how we fit so perfectly together.

wherever this frequent ear infection saga leads we've got faith in the outcome, but we're also glad we're equipped to handle the journey.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

ptosis - levator resection surgery

we knew from the time daxton was a few days old that his sweet little eye lid on the left side just wasn't going to fully open without some coaxing.  when he was first born the doctors told us to apply warm compresses and see if that would help.  after that wasn't doing much they then suggested a blocked tear duct was causing some issues and then finally derived with the diagnosis of ptosis.  they weren't sure how severe it would be when he was just a little fella, so his opthomologist suggested waiting until he was three years old to do the re-evaluation and consideration of corrective surgery.

the doctor had assessed that he had 30% of the range of the right eye's lid use and he was a good candidate for the surgery.  it was hard to believe the time had come so quickly.  however there was no question of if we'd elect to do the surgery for him.  his primary doctor's office questioned us about it each time he came in and we reassured them we were going through with the levator resection surgery.  we knew just from watching him that he was compensating for not being able to see things by holding his head certain ways - tipping it back to see tall people or trying to open his eyes wider just to take it all in.  there were multiple occasions where kids made fun of him and we knew that it would only get worse as children get older and they tend to compare differences. 

three years came and went and we faced november 11th 2014 like champs.  (well, dax was a champ and will and i were sleepless babies.)  we had to be at the hospital at 6:15am which meant we needed to leave our house by 5:15am which meant we had to get up at around 4:30.  for me this meant no sleep.  i am a night owl and rarely fall asleep before 1am on a good night.  we had to get sweet sleepy dax from his slumber.  we'd told him several days ahead that we were going to the hospital and the dr. was going to do a surgery on his eye to help him see better but it still came as a shock when we woke him up from a dead sleep to put on his coat and hat.  we loaded him up into the car and began the nervous drive across town.  he was quickly checked in to registration and then the wait began to have him called back to the prep area.

dax had a blast playing in the waiting area and even thought it was fun to go back and play on the "pad-pad" while the nurses scurried around doing all of their pre-op work.  will and i sat nervously as we waited for his turn in the operating room.  the doctor went over the procedure again with us and then we met with the anesthesiologist who must have had to prepare us for the worst but it was just making my stomach churn in knots.  he gave us scenarios of daxton  throwing up and regressing with his speech and functions.  it was all just too much.  but, at this point what are your options?  so, before we knew it our sweet fella was being whisked away on a stretcher by two nurses who told him it was like "lightening mcqueen" and they raced him off to surgery.  we gathered up his things, not really looking at each other once he was gone and we've both since admitted to be crying.

we made it out to the waiting room for what we were told was going to be a one and a half hour procedure.  we waited.  and waited.  and waited.  they'd given us a tiny little status card with a number on it that you were supposed to use to watch your patient's status on the monitors with.  but, we kept watching and our sweet little's status was just not changing from OR to recovery.  so, after over two hours of nothing will had to go and ask what was going on.  the receptionist called back and got him an update that while things were taking longer than expected, they were going well and they were closing him back up at that time.  shew!  i was still on pins and needles until the doctor finally came out to give us the low down - but at least we could breathe!  

once the doctor came out and gave us the good news we were then taken back to the recovery area after about twenty more minutes wait.  when we rounded the corner we heard dax crying and both of our hearts went into a bit of a panic.  last november (when dax had his ear tubes/adenoid removal surgery) he did not do so well coming out of anesthesia and this is what we were fearing most from this procedure.  then, when we saw him he was being held by one nurse, connected to monitors, with his entire left side of his face patched over.  gulp.  it was a rough twenty or so minutes while we attempted to calm him.  (i applied do terra essential oils while nobody was looking and he did calm down a great deal.)  however, i figured out that they'd given him NO pain medication and i immediately demanded that they give him something.  it took quite a long time and i threatened to go to a pharmacy in the hospital and buy something to give him and they finally produced some tylenol with codeine.  after the dose of meds he was free to leave after thirty minutes.  he was doing well, so at that time we packed up our things and scooted back home.

the first night was a little rough, but we were sent home with ointment to place on his eyeball every hour and another ointment to go across the eyelid where the sutures were once daily.  every time you put on the ointment you also have to remove the guard and therefore remove the tape that holds the guard in place.  after removing this guard several times we noticed sweet boy's skin was becoming irritated.  it seemed the tape given to us in the hospital was some sort of industrial strength and it was literally pulling off his top layer of skin!  oyesa!  once we noticed all of this we attempted to get better tape, some duo derm, apply the tape in different areas each time, and remove with a warm wash rag held against the skin.  however, it was a little too late and sweet boy was already a little traumatized.  sigh.

the doctor told us that his eye would need to be covered by a clear plastic guard for two weeks, it may not ever fully close again, and it may take up to a year for it to come to its final resting state - which could be wider or lower than the other lid.  with all of the extreme information we didn't really know what to expect.  however, we have been pleasantly surprised in all of the following ways:
  • how he had very few side effects from the anestesia
  • how willing sweet boy is to work with us on keeping on the eye "bubble" (as he calls it)
  • how he keeps tiny fingers away from his eye
  • how he is recovering so quickly
  • how amazing his eye looks
  • how he can already blink his eye and force his faced into a squinched up position to close it if he wants
  • how adaptable sweet boy is
this is one snapshot of daxton watching about the fifty third showing of "the fox and the hound" which he absolutely fell in love with during this time.
tomorrow we go in for daxton's follow up appointment with his eye doctor and we're fully expecting to hear that the eye "bubble" can be removed just in time for a happy thanksgiving!  we're so thankful we did the surgery and daxton already tells us that his eye is "all better".   

(so, no regrets here except for telling the nurses prior to surgery that we wanted him to have pain medication as soon as they were able to give it to him.  no reason for unnecessary suffering.)