Thursday, April 30, 2009

Waiting...It's What We Do


So let's see. We waited to get our letter approved. We waited to get the homestudy done. We waited to be approved by our agency. We waited to match, and then waited for Sabrina to be born. When that didn't work, we again waited for her to be born. (I almost said "to be born again"...over my dead body!) Now she's here, and to celebrate, we're--waiting to go home! ICPC is keeping us here in California. Our agency said the Arizona ICPC office got our paperwork today. All they need to do is review it and give a verbal OK to the agency, and we're out of here! How long will that take? A day I hope, but I have faith, and I bet they can drag this out for another week right? In the meantime, look at the above picture...I love that outfit!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Hangin' in Cali

So Cute!

Sorry I haven't posted in a while. I've been busy taking stock of all that's happened over the last nine days. I can't believe it's been that long already. We're still here in California waiting for the ICPC paperwork to clear. Sabrina is doing well, although she still gets hiccups and gas attacks. I'm pretty sure one is related to the other. Tomorrow morning we have a doctor's appointment so we'll see what she says about that. She's getting on a schedule now, and only wakes up two or three times in the night for a bottle. She'll do 9, midnight, 4, and then a morning bottle around 7 or so. Much better then the every two hours she wanted at the first part of the week.

We had contacted some guys that were listed on our agency's website shortly before leaving Arizona. They live here in Rancho Cucamonga (next town from Ontario, and where Gregg lived for 12 years before we met). We met them for lunch on Sunday and got to know them. They loved Sabrina, and invited us to come for dinner on Wednesday. Hopefully they won't have to wait long until matching and finding a child of their own.

Who Dat?

Friday, April 24, 2009

Random Picture Dump

First dress.

Loving her Daddy

Tired from her first shopping trip.


Dress shopping...they're really piling up!

Saving my favorite one for last.





Thursday, April 23, 2009

ICPC...Huh?

Well we're settling in to our digs here at the Marriott Residence Inn in Ontario California. Here's a tip for anyone waiting on your ICPC paperwork...play the adoption card when checking in. We checked in here the night before picking Sabrina up from the hospital and explained why we were here to the desk clerk. They ended up giving us their best room (the "penthouse") for the price of their cheapest room. We've got a living area, bedroom with French doors (ooh, fancy!) and full bath, a kitchen, and an upstairs loft bedroom with full bath. Not bad. Plus they have hot breakfast every morning and three nights a week free dinner. SOLD!

In a nutshell, here's what ICPC is:

If a child is born in one state, commonly known as the "sending state" and the adoptive family lives in another state, called the "receiving state", the adoption placement must be approved by the Interstate Compact for the Placement of Children. (ICPC). All states are members of the ICPC. For the purposes of an adoption, it is illegal to move a child across state lines without meeting the requirements of the ICPC.
The documentation submitted to the ICPC for approval includes the adoptive parents home study, the child's birth information and other health information, biological information on the birth parents, and relinquishment or termination documentation from the birth parents. Documentation for the child and the adopting parents will be forwarded to the ICPC office in the sending state, which will forward the documents to the ICPC office in the receiving state. The ICPC offices review the documentations to verify that their state laws have been complied with.


This entire process can take from a week to three weeks. In the meantime here we are. Being the cook that he is, Gregg determined in advance that he needed to bring his own special pots and pans as he was sure the ones here wouldn't be to his standards. I scoffed at this, but then again tonight I enjoyed delicious meatloaf and mashed potatoes with cheese. Worth it! Tomorrow we're going to take long lunches and walk around Ontario Mills Shopping Center with Sabrina while they clean our suite. Her first shopping trip. Better make sure she doesn't take after Papa...I can't afford that!

On a side note, you probably think Monday morning we jumped out of bed and rushed to the hospital to get Sabrina. Well no. We're gay. We went to Target first. Then the hospital. Tahr-zay, you know.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

What Happened to the Baby We Brought Home?

Burp!

Sleep now, wake later

So sweet and nice, quiet, a perfect angel...until it's time for those two daddies to go to sleep. OK I get it. Everyone says "Oh you don't get sleep with a baby around". I knew they were exaggerating. It can't be that bad. Well she woke up last night about every 45 minutes or so. It is that bad. We're taking turns on night duty, I went first. Gregg actually slept through half of the screaming! She's crying, and I can hear him snoring over it. Great.


Turns out the little one gets real gassy. After you feed her she'll give giant burps. But she also gets hiccups from gulping her food down. The baby book says infants who have hiccups probably started having bouts of them in the womb, and she'll just have to grow out of it. It doesn't say when; I'm hoping the answer is "by Thursday". But who cares. She's ours and she's adorable. My sister got her this little mini lounger chair and she does love that. Tonight's Gregg's turn. Let's see how much better she is with him!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Voila An American Dream...

Our First Family Photo

Wow. We did it. We actually did it. We have a baby girl. She's still in the hospital; we can take her home in the morning. Lucy went home this morning; she's doing well. Thank you everyone who was thinking of her. What a wonderful, special person. We are forever grateful.

I wanted to take a time out and roll back the clock to Sunday and catch you up on events. You know the saying, "Getting there is half the fun"? Um, not this time. This was without a doubt (excluding the time we moved from LA to Arizona) the longest drive to LA we've ever had. We've driven back and forth dozens of times, but this one, even minus the stress, was awful. First, 15 minutes after leaving the house, the freeway is closed for construction. Get off, take some side streets, get back on. Not too bad. Now past Phoenix and out into the desert, the following conversation takes place:

B: Well we'll have a lot of nice pictures anyway, and we can start using the new video camera.

G: Yeah that will be good. Which bag did you put the cameras in anyway?

B: Just the regular camera bag.

G: No I mean, which bag did you put that in?

B: No bag. I took it off the couch with the other suitcases and put it in the closet so The Boys wouldn't mess with it. Why?

G: You put it in the closet? Not in a suitcase? You idiot that means we left it home! We have no cameras to take any pictures of the baby AT ALL!

B: Pull over I think I'm going to be sick...

Nice huh? There was already a shot record mix up with The Boys at the Pet Hotel that put us back 15 minutes and had me calling the house in panic that we can't board them if we have the wrong records. Turns out the genius checking us in can't read, and everything was actually fine. Now this. I seriously wanted to vomit. Gregg, to his credit, managed to keep somewhat cool and not kill me. We decided we were already almost an hour from home, turning around was out of the question. I was not going to miss the pictures, so we decided to make a stop at Target along the way and I'd buy the first camera they had. I actually found a nice little Kodak for only $89 on sale so we got it. Of course no one that worked there could find a key to the cabinet, blah blah, subtract another 45 minutes. Now we hit Palm Springs, and a truck towing a camper has a wreck and closes three of four lanes and has us sitting there for over an hour moving no place. I was starting to think we'd never get there. A trip that should have taken just over 5 hours managed to stretch to almost 8. We wanted to scream. We already missed the birth, now this.

When we got to the hospital we went straight to Lucy's room. Because she really does mean so much to us, we wanted to meet her and talk with her before we even saw the baby. She asked the nurse to bring her in right away, and we met our baby girl. I played this over in my mind thousands of times, and it still wasn't what I thought. I was much calmer and collected then I thought I'd be. I think the stress of the day was responsible for that. It wasn't that awkward, as long as one of us was talking to Lucy. In times when we both were focused on the baby, I could see her sort of staring to space. Was she upset or just giving us room? I'm still not sure.

Lucy was discharged this morning. She seemed in a good mood and we watched some wacky comedy from the 30's while we waited for the social worker who was almost an hour late. She signed papers giving us the ability to leave the hospital with the baby and make medical decisions in a very no nonsense matter. Still, I think she's trying to be brave. We are going to call her tomorrow after we pick up Sabrina just to talk and make sure she's OK.

Tonight we went back and gave Sabrina a bottle, and got our family photo taken by the ladies in the nursery. We're sort of the stars of the show over there. I guess we're not the usual couple who--excuse me, I mean family who comes in every day. The ladies there are great. The exception was the woman working in the Birth Center, where you register the baby's name. Lucy left instructions that we were coming in to do that. As a matter of fact, she's been labeled "Baby Girl Smith", Lucy's (not real) last name. The woman there was not a happy person, and didn't seem pleased to see the two of us walk in. She handed the form to Gregg and said "Fill her name in here". He told me to do it because my handwriting is better (prettier?). OK I thought, good set up for a joke. "Yeah let me fill it out, if you do her name will just be Smudge". Man did I get a look of evil from that woman. Geez take a joke. Who cares, tomorrow we get our girl and I guess I change the description at the top of this blog!



Sunday, April 19, 2009

Introducing Sabrina Marie

Sabrina Meets Daddy

Sabrina Meets Papa

Sabrina Marie, born Saturday April 18, 2009 at 11:15 PM
7 pounds 9 ounces
19.5 inches long
Beautiful and Loved by Those Two Daddies
I'll post our nightmare trip details tomorrow...for now, enjoy!



She's Here, Add the Winner Is...

Well that was fast! Lucy headed to the hospital at 9 PM last night. This morning we woke up to this email:

Your new daughter was born 4/18 at 11:15 pm last night. I have finally been transferred down to my room after they had to monitor my blood pressure for last few hours. She is just a doll. Hope you get here safely and see you soon.

So, with the Price is Right rule of getting closest without going over, the winner of the "Guess the Birth" contest is...drum roll...

Jilliebean! Guessing April 18th, at 3:45 PM. Once things settle down I'll send you the Arizona Themed Prize I haven't thought of yet!

Now to get moving...
Things to do today:
  1. Have coffee
  2. Shower
  3. Take Boys to Pet Hotel
  4. Go get a baby

Saturday, April 18, 2009

The Hourglass Has No More Grains of Sand

The hourglass has no more grains of sand,
My watch is stopped no more turning hands.
The little hand shakes its fist,
The face is hanging out on a spring...
--Squeeze, The Hourglass

OK deep breath, Here We Go

It's time. "Lucy" is on her way to the hospital in L.A. We just got off the phone with her, and she sounds well, like a woman about to have a baby. She's OK though, and that is the main thing. Due to the late hour, we're gonna have to stick it out here until morning. The Pet Hotel is already closed for the night, and won't be ready to take The Boys until tomorrow at 8. That's way later then we wanted to leave, but you can't time these things can you? Now we're headed into The Longest Night. On the bright side, we'll be sure to have everything ready for departure. We did most of our prep work last night and today, so there's not much left to do. Lots of cuddling with The Boys, that's for sure. I'm going to miss them terribly. So we begin The Great Hollywood Adventure Episodes of Those Two Daddies.

Please send out all your good energy, and if you believe in that sort of thing I guess I'll allow a prayer or two, to our birth mother Lucy...right now, she's the one we need to be thinking of above all else.



Friday, April 17, 2009

T Minus 3 Update

We received this email tonight about 6:15 PM:

Well you could be right. I am already beginning to lose pieces of my mucus plug since yesterday. And the doctor says with me being 3-4cm and the contractions I should be headed to her either tonight or by Sunday. But as soon as I get in the car I will call you. Pray it happens tonight. I can barely get up as it is. I cant wait for a good nites sleep. Sorry you guys won't get any lol. See you soon and get here safely.

Gulp.

T Minus 3; Cupcakes & Pride

Three to go...I think I'll email Lucy today to see how she's feeling. I'll make another post later to give you an update. Excitement is building; family and friends are now calling or emailing daily looking for Finster. Like it might slip our minds to tell them.

I was reading Andrew's Daddies blog, and Paul is making cupcakes. I want to make treats like that for Finster! Paul's doing it all wrong though, so if you're reading, here is my recipe for making fabulous cupcakes:

1-Announce (loudly) to no one in particular, "I'm going to make cupcakes!"
2-Make a lot of noise in the kitchen, looking for cupcake making things.
3-Yell upstairs, "Hey I can't find the blender!".
4-After the response of "You don't use a blender to make cupcakes", wait a few seconds then respond "Oh".
5-Make some more noise, then yell "Which cups should I use?". There will be silence.
6-Over the sound of the blender, yell "How much glitter do you put in?"
7-Pretend to look shocked and hurt when your boyfriend the chef comes downstairs, glares at you, then begins making delicious cupcakes from scratch.
8-Wash away the hurt with a dirty Sapphire Gin Martini, two olives, while he bakes.
9-Enjoy a cupcake!

Duh.

This weekend also happens to be Phoenix Pride. We have an early one because it's either that or bake to death in the June sun. Gregg and I aren't really Pride fanatics, if you ask me they were more relevant in the 90's. For me the party factor has been amped up tremendously, and I bet more then half of the pretty young things trouncing around half naked have no idea what type of issues are being debated in state capitols around the country that will ultimately affect them and their relationships. We went last year, and since we had just begun Project Baby, stopped at the Lambda Legal both to find out what we should have in place locally to protect our family. I was in stunned shock when the two hot lawyers at the booth looked at us like we had three heads and acted like they didn't even know gay people knew kids existed. Zero help or knowledge. Now that's not an indictment of that group as a whole, but come on, it's not like gay adoption is a tiny issue. (Using "indictment" in a statement about lawyers is pretty clever huh?) I love a good party as much as anyone, but it just seems without the dreaded "homosexual agenda" of political speeches and rallies Pride just doesn't seem to matter as much anymore. I guess that's why we only go about every two or three years or so.

Or, maybe I'm just old. Ugh.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

T Minus 6 and Evil Newborns

Only six days to go! It's less then a week, and I think we're both back to jumpy nerves again. After going through this once before when we were looking at March 31st for delivery, I think I speak for both (OK all four) of us when I say we're at the "let's just get this over with" stage. We've been packed and ready for weeks, I keep telling The Boys it's almost hotel time, and I know Lucy feels like she's way overdue, even though she isn't. Before I move on with today's dramatic post, let's see where we stand in the betting pool. Sorry latecomers, but the guessing is officially closed now so you'll have to wait until next time or head to Michael's blog, they have a kid every year (*grin*). Anyway, a bunch of you have already dropped off, so let's see who's left:
  • Kathryn, April 14, 10 PM, current leader (Also roughly the same time in 1912 the Titanic struck an iceberg and started sinking...um, thanks for that Kathryn!)
  • Andrew's Daddies, April 15, 9:47 PM
  • April (Anonymous) April 15, 7:42 PM
  • Michael, April 17, 2:42 AM
  • Jilliebean, April 18, 3:45 PM
  • Kate, April 19, 8:10 AM
  • Carole, April 19, 11:45 PM
  • S, April 20, 10:23 AM
  • Michelle, April 20, 2:34 PM
  • Ann-Elise, April 21, 6:39 AM
  • Susan (Anonymous) April 21, 7 AM

A still to be thought of Arizona themed prize to the winner.

Anywho, last night as I was taking The Boys for our nightly walk, I was thinking about the baby being born and all that she'll do in her life and all that's in store for her. Sweet thoughts. But then it dawned on me...at the same time, somewhere out there, there is a newborn boy being born as well. The same one who's going to set his sites on our daughter 18 or so years from now with impure thoughts in his warped mind. Probably driving some souped up hoopdie, big fuzzy dice and vodka spiked Gatorade, thinking he's taking her behind the movie theatre or wherever youngin's go to get past third base. Sure he looks cute now, but you can be sure he's got pure evil on his mind when it comes to my little girl! So be warned infant little boy (or even gurl!) I know what you're up to, and I see through your veil of cuteness!

See what waiting does to you?

Monday, April 13, 2009

T Minus 7

One week to go. We're still looking at Monday, April 20th for the due date. I really don't have anything to report. We're waiting. Our bags are (still) packed from the March 31st due date fiasco. I wish that never happened; all the emotion of waiting was poured into it, then nothing. So in a way it feels like we're two weeks overdue and counting. It's hard to concentrate on anything. The worst is when you have nothing to do. We did our usual household cleanup on Saturday, and Sunday went to my parent's house for Easter brunch. We were back home before two o' clock, and I felt like I was sitting around just waiting. Then I remember about the people who have been waiting for years, or had birth mothers that changed their minds at birth after a long wait, or (worse) had the child for a day or two and then had it reclaimed, and all the other horrible adoption nightmares. I feel like it's wrong for me to be this wound up over an extra 20 day wait. Still when the call could come at any moment, and you're a state away, it's nerve wracking. I'm so glad I have Gregg, The Boys, and my friends and family to lean on. Oh and gin. I'm glad we have gin too. Hee hee.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Let's Put a Chick in the Nest

We found this cute rug at Target. I would have never thought that pink and greens go together so well. Lots of her outfits are pink and green, and it looks great.

The nursery theme is "butterflies". I found these at a site called butterfly grove, and they are gorgeous. Fabric wings on a wire frame. We hung some from the ceiling; others are mounted on the wall.

For this butterfly quilt, I painted some wooden clothespins pink and then glued these shapes I found at Michael's Crafts on top of them. I used double stick tape to hold the pins to the wall and then hung up the quilt.

I got the supplies for the name graphic at Michael's as well. After painting the letters, I used double stick tape to secure them to the wall. The ribbons give them a hanging look. I was thinking of attaching her new baby cards people send her from the ribbons.

This is a cute fan. It has pastel blades and little butterfly pulls. I hope she likes it!
T minus 9 and counting...



Friday, April 10, 2009

T Minus 10, Take 2

Well there are 10 days left to go. Today is Good Friday, the day when, after one last supper, Jesus was put on the cross because he had hidden everyone's eggs which really angered his Peeps (or at least that's my understanding of it).

Yesterday we received a nice email from "Lucy":

Hello Bobby and Greg, Well I had the final ultrasound today and the baby is looking good. Good spine, all fingers and toes in tact. I was even able to see her little face and chubby cheeks. Heart beat was good and she gave the techs a show. Well that's all for now till the 15th. Until then or baby comes talk to you later.

I still don't think this is going to go the distance. Maybe this weekend?

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Due Date Ping Pong

Here's the latest...after her doctor appointment on Monday, Lucy reports her due date has been adjusted to April 20th, so we're now in the two week window. I just have to say, what the hell is wrong with doctors in California? Come on how hard is it to figure this stuff out? I mean, I don't know nothin' 'bout birthin' no babies, but I've never heard of due dates being moved around so much so late in a pregnancy. She has one more appointment tomorrow for a final ultra sound, so we'll see if they change it again. At this point I'd guess if they do it can only move back earlier. But that could be our wishful thinking.

Wait--Is This REALLY Happening?

The news just came out...Vermont just became the fourth state to legalize Equal Marriage. (I refuse to call it Gay Marriage, because that implies it is somehow different, and it's not. We still can raise kids, pay a mortgage, and stop having sex just like straight married people.) This after Iowa last week. Hey California Supreme Court...you hearin' this??

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Chase's Big Chance--CANCELLED Due To Finster

Ripley Getting Serious Air Time at Cosmo Park

Poor Chase! His debut as a professional sports dog will have to be put on hold for now. If a certain baby girl had followed the original plan and appeared at the end of March, Chase was going to enter the Splashdogs competition at Scottsdale's Canine Thunder Event on April 25th. Splashdogs is a canine athletic organization that puts on competitions for dock diving. You may have seen it on TV. The dog runs down about a 25 foot dock and leaps off the end into a pool. Dog with the longest jump wins. The record is something like 27 feet. Loving the water, Labradors outnumber all other breeds at this sport. We go to Cosmo Park to play, and they have a cement dock that goes into a lake built for dogs. The Boys have a blast tearing down the dock and launching into the air chasing the toys we throw into the water. Chase likes it so much that if you throw the toy from the beach, he'll run over to the dock, jump off the end, then swim out to get the toy. Ripley entered a Splashdogs contest about a year and a half ago shortly after we adopted Chase, who still had too many "issues" to work out to allow him to join in as well. Problem is, he is so used to jumping into lakes that he's not too keen on pools, which have crystal clear water. I think that spooked him because in the last few feet of his run he'd put the breaks on as if to say, Whoa, are you sure there's any water in there? So a jump that could have easily been 15-20 feet ended up at 7. Well so what we can't all be Michael Phelps right? Unlike Chase, who has no fear of anything (well except garbage trucks) he won't even jump into my parents pool without lots of coaxing. So I want to try Chase next because after a few practice jumps I think he'd do great. Oh well, there's another event in October...

Friday, April 3, 2009

Those Three Daddies

This is what you look like when you spent all morning dock diving, swimming, playing ball and Frisbee, and "chasing tail" at Cosmo Park. It's five hours later and they've barely moved. Yay exercise!


We've talked a lot, and other open adoption blogs have talked a lot, about Birth Mothers. But what about da baby daddy? Birth Fathers are part of the story too. I'll talk about our daughter to be's Birth Father here a little bit. At the moment, he is out of the picture and Lucy does not know where he is. The IAC has investigated all of the addresses she has given them, but no luck. Therefore, he will not be able to sign relinquishment papers giving up his parental rights. Even if he did respond, (in California anyway) he'd still have to meet with the IAC to sign, which is unlikely to happen. Since the agency has worked with Lucy to do their due diligence on locating him and they cannot, his rights will be terminated in court as "failure to locate". Of course we have to hire a lawyer to do this, but it has to be done. I wish it didn't; I wish he could participate in the process like Lucy, and see what the future holds for his unborn daughter. But I guess if he doesn't care enough to stick around to help her mother give birth or be a supportive parent, well, that says a lot. My gut tells me he's aware of what's happening and just doesn't want to deal with it, so no response is his method of choice. Still, wouldn't it be nice to meet the people who are going to raise your daughter as their own?

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

OK Scratch Everything and Move It Back 3 Weeks!

Yes, it's April Fools Day. No I'm not making this post up, it's true.

After two weeks of alternating knots and butterflies in my stomach, we get to do it all over again. I emailed "Lucy" tonight to say how glad I was the baby was not born today and have her birthday on April Fools. This is the reply I got:

Thank you so much Bobby. I was actually thinking the same thing. I went to the doctor today and thought the info they gave me was a really cruel April fools joke. Well as it turns out my due date has been set back. According to the ultra sound tech dec 17th reading was wrong. I was not 5 1/2 months I was about 22-23 weeks meaning my new due date is April 22. That is the 40 week 9 month mark. But with all the pre contractions and pressure she may come a little bit early. I will continue to have weekly doctors appointments until delivery. My next appt is april 8th. I will advise you of status then but earlier if she decides to make a guest appearance. Talk to you soon. Have a good night.

Arrrrrgh! No no no no no! Just when the hourglass was finally running out, it's been turned over and started again. Ugh! We have been on edge...drama over leaving town for Mema's funeral...packing bags for the "come at any time now" call...preparations to send The Boys to the PetsHotel...jumping every time the phone rings...checking email every ten minutes...and now we get to start doing that all over again! What can I say? We'll wait some more. The contest is ruined. (No Michael, you don't win by default!) So all our emotion goes back in the bottle for a few more weeks, and I guess we start the baby pool contest all over. So same rules as before. Whoever comes closest without going over. All the hints you need are in Lucy's email. Place your bets...

T Plus 1

Well we're one day over the due date, which makes Kathryn and Michael happy, since they are now the only two left in the contest. I think Kathryn has the advantage because she won't drop off for another two days since the guesses look like this:
  • Kathryn, April 1, 12:03 AM
  • Michael, April 3, 2:42 AM

Maybe it's good Louie didn't win. Since it's an Arizona themed prize, and he lives in Phoenix, what could I send him that he doesn't already have? My water bill I guess. Oh well.

I'm kind of keeping my fingers crossed that she doesn't decide to appear today. I know I'd hate to go through life with an April Fool's Day birthday. "Happy birthday, April fool". Shut up moron. LOL.