Wednesday, January 26, 2011

whine burp

we can hardly believe we've had our precious little girl for a month. a whole month! time has become a funny thing, actually. it's become increasingly relative....kinda like sleep. sometimes hours pass as slowly as molasses climbin uphill...extra slowly when she's screamin...sweetly so when she's sleepin w/her face snuggled against my neck. i keep thinkin it's later in the week than it is, and i smile every time i realize it's only wednesday :).

time's also a funny thing when tryin to tell someone how old riley is. technically, she was 4 wks old last saturday...but by the calendar date, she wasn't a month old until yesterday. what kind of confusion is that? weird.

i feel like i have a hundred things i could write about.... the silly messes around the house that seem to be growin in number. or riley's schedule...which is really a nonschedule at this point. the sweet or funny or amusing things she does...and how, at any given moment, i'm pretty sure there's no one else in all of history who has felt the way i feel when i hold her in my arms. i could write about the unforeseen but appreciated contact we're maintaining w/her birthmother. oh - or how there's yet more paperwork to be completed, questions to be answered such as "how has your adopted child changed your daily routine?" and my answer was "riley IS our routine."

but probably, this is how any new mama feels, right? a hundred things to say and yet...nothin to say at all...b/c there's just this sweet, quiet, contented peace to be at home w/a new baby.

some dear folks here in seymour threw us a baby a shower this last weekend. it was wonderful! my family came in, as well, and riley got to meet her aunt marsha, uncle curtis, cousin danielle, and great-gammy...and got to see her neecer and papa again. needless to say, there was a near-constant discussion as to who's turn it was to hold baby riley :)

alright. riley's asleep, so i better make wise use of this time.

Monday, January 17, 2011

oh the contrast

the social worker came and went today, and life continues. as he climbed into his car and drove away, i looked at josh and said, "well that was relatively painless." yep. painless.

in case you've forgotten or have been followin our story only for a few weeks, i think this is the link remindin all of us of the anxiety leadin up to our initial homestudy. today's experience was not nearly as anxiety-inducin. maybe that's b/c we have our long-sought-after baby in our arms, so the "this one man can alter the course of our entire parenthoodin plans" fear has left. or maybe it's b/c we're sleep deprived and mostly concerned about our precious little girl....rather than the amt of dust on the shelves or the folded laundry on the bed. regardless, we were a lot more relaxed today.

he was here for about an hour, hour and a half or so. he asked questions about the hospital experience, the birth parents, any expectations/agreements of contact w/them since comin home, and our adjustment as parents. he then talked to each of us individually...presumably askin us each the same questions: "what are your strengths as a parent?" "do you have any concerns?" "how has the baby affected your marriage?" then he had to lay his eyes on the place(s) riley generally sleeps. and that was it.

though we were more relaxed, that's not to say we weren't rushin around an hr before the social worker's arrival. oh no. josh was hurryin to install the smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors and safely store his firearms. i was clamorin to (gasp) un-do all of my organizational work and quickly combined piles of bills and congratulation cards and our two folders' worth of adoption/riley-related documents into one giant, messy pile that is currently settin rather precariously atop our printer. and about 45min before he arrived, i was finally takin a shower.

it's almost comical to consider the contrast b/w today's visit and the one in june. june - i cleaned and sorted for days. i labored in order that our home might look un-lived-in. to both the house and myself, i dusted, scrubbed, folded, stacked, organized, rearranged, polished. today? one corner of the livin room are a couple christmas presents still in their wrappin paper, b/c we haven't had christmas w/my side of the family yet. also in that corner are josh's camera, camera bag, and tripod w/attached flash. a car seat, swing, and boppy-thing hide another wall. my big cushy chair has tagged baby clothes and blankets on the arms. our few lunch dishes were dirty and sittin in the sink. the dinin room chairs were dusted only by the back sides of our pants as the three of us sat to talk this afternoon. and the entire guest bed is covered in clothes....they're clean and finally folded....but put away they are not.

and as i'm sure everyone will be shocked to know - the social worker didn't even seem to notice. of course.

finally....and perhaps the best of the social worker was leavin, he opened the screen door and said, "oh, you have wasps" as 3-4 of them buzzed near his face. perfect. come to find out, they're bees. not wasps. great.

if our camera was workin, i'd take a picture of our sweet girl this very moment - sound asleep in her fabulous homemade bassinet, flat on her back, tucked into the cutest little outfit that she's now too big for (it's so cute, though, i just had to get one more day's worth of wear!), both arms straight down her side, little legs bowed out (also probably b/c the outfit's too small)....just perfect :)

Sunday, January 16, 2011

a few logistics

in the midst of all the wonder and sweetness, sleepless nites and hours cryin, there are a few logistics of adoption that continue well past the day we left the hospital w/riley.

the state requires at least 2 post-placement home visits by the social w/in 30 days and one w/in 60 days of placement (placement = the day the baby is in our home). in some places, a third visit has to be completed w/in 90 days of placement. however, the agency we're using has a good reportoire w/the court in lubbock, so the judge there requires (what i understand to be the minimum of) only 2 visits. so the social worker who did our initial home study back in july will be here once this month and once next month. his job is to ensure the safety and well-being of the make sure that we, as the adoptive parents, as adjustin well and takin good care of the baby....that our house is still safe, etc.

after his 2 visits, then the final court date is set....for us, it'll be sometime in march. yes - what you're thinkin is probably pretty close to right. the adoption is not yet final. the verbage is a little confusing....but the bottom line is that the adoption and agency and the mccrarys are both legally responsible for riley right now. when we go to court in march, the adoption will be finalized. riley is not legally a mccrary yet - she retains her birthmother's last name until finalization. upon finalization, her name will be legally changed, a new birth certificate will be issued, and riley layne will be officially, legally, finally ours.

some of you may have heard that birthmothers have a certain period of time - after signin her papers - to change her mind. this is an exaggeration of a technicality. once the birthparents have signed their relinquishment of rights documents, they cannot wake up one day, arbitrarily change their minds, and show up and take our baby. during this 3-6 month period i've been describing above, they can fight it....but they would have to prove they were bribed or coerced or threatened, etc, in order to have a case. since we have not engaged in any of those behaviors, we aren't concerned at all. however, i think it's safe to say there will be a certain degree of relief and gratitude come march.

so.....all of that to lay the groundwork for future detail-type postings. our first post-placement home visit is tomorrow. the social worker - the same city guy from dallas - will be here shortly after lunch tomorrow. let it suffice to say that this house will not be nearly as clean as it was when he visited us a few months ago :)

alright. riley's asleep and josh is at i'm gonna grab a quick sandwich before i lose my chance!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

about 2 1/2 wks in

so many things we can't understand or appreciate until we live them. bein a first-time parent has erupted wave upon wave of newness... among the waves - new understanding and new appreciation.

for silly things.... like i never got why those first few numbers of a baby's life were so important. you know - date, time, wt, length. but now that a little person, whose initial existence outside the womb was somewhat defined by such numbers, is in our home, a few numeric digits are forever imprinted w/in me: 12/25/2010, 1:37pm, 8lb, 11oz, 20in - she's born. and a few more: 12/27/2010, 2:10pm, 8lb, 3oz, 20in - she's ours. and that's just the beginnin of a lifetime of countin....

or simple things....things we, as adults, usually ignore or pretend don't exist in fartin, burpin, poopin, or moltin. for some reason, when an 8lb little person's digestive tract functions properly, we educated and respectable adults grin from ear to ear. when adults have odd skin conditions that can't be hidden from the general public, no one knows quite what to say or not say....but when a newborn baby literally grows out of her pre-delivery skin, we don't bat an eye. adults are weird.

it's amazin how quickly so much of life can change....maybe all of life when the vehicle of change is in the form of a baby girl. i talked to grandma earlier. she asked what all was goin on. my response? well, i'm either feedin, burpin, changin, or holdin riley. if i'm not doin any of those things, i'm washin and boilin her bottles, mixin formula, or washin clothes. since comin home about 2 1/2 wks ago, i've cleaned the toilet once, swept the kitchen floor, and left the house 2, maybe 3 times. i've realized i don't have time to check and respond to email, check and post to facebook, read, write, and update the blog as i please. not to mention clean house, cook, pay bills, or call friends.

but if you have kids, you already know all of this :)

and you do ridiculous things when you become a parent. at least i have. i watched oprah yesterday. she interviewed ricky martin. i watched an 8 year old little boy breakdance on ellen's talk show. i've read multiple brochures about bathing. i'm now watchin the nightly news (grandma and mama will be proud! maybe this one isn't so ridiculous). i make up songs - sometimes to recognizable tunes, sometimes not.

if i've given the impression that i'm complainin, please forgive me. about 20 minutes ago, i was rockin riley....w/her little sweet face - my most favorite face - turned toward me, sound asleep. w/o thinkin about, i found myself whisperin "you're so beautiful.... for the rest of my life" and soft tears of unspeakable gratitude fell...

Sunday, January 2, 2011