Progress

In March Noah started therapy. He is seeing a speech therapist for his speech delay and an occupational therapist for his sensory and development delays. He really likes both of his therapists. They are both so sweet and work great with him. Of course I wish I could say that we had instant success and that he is rambling on in sentences but it doesn’t work that way. I remind myself of that daily but he is making progress. Each week I see them challenge him with new activities and he does a great job adapting to new things and tries to do what is asked of him.

As a parent I still have lots of moments of feeling overwhelmed and sad. I love to hear his little voice and we cheer every time he says anything. He still only has a few words. He doesn’t say mama or mommy yet and that along with I love you are the things I want to hear the most. Some days I blame myself for not doing enough and think what can I do differently to help him. I just wish I had answers and wish I could do something more.

We are moving in June for Les to start her third year of medical school and to start clinical rotations. We are planning on starting Noah in a mother’s day out twice a week in August and it makes me a nervous wreck. I know it is a silly thing to worry over because I’m sure he’ll do fine but because he can’t talk I worry that the teachers wont know what needs. I’ve become an expert at knowing his little quirks and knowing when he’s thirsty, hungry, tired, wants his monkey, etc. But its time for him to be around other kiddos. I know it will be great for him and I’ll look back and think how silly I was to worry.

I just love that little boy soooo much. He has me wrapped around his finger.

I’ll leave you with a few recent pictures of our little guy ☺️

   
                 

We’re Ready

We talked to our donor and he’s willing to do the same day insemination again. He said that it wasn’t an inconvenience and didn’t mind doing it like we did last time. We are super relieved and excited that he said yes so now I guess we’re ready to get started! The only thing I’m really worried about is the tight time window that we have to work with. We only have two months to try to conceive this time. I know that we may not be as lucky as we were last time with Noah. As of right now we are planning on trying in June and July. We will be living in Nashville for the summer so it will be easy to plan but if it doesn’t take either of those months then we will have to wait until Nov and Dec to try again. : (

I am doing my best to think positively but I find myself not wanting to get my hopes up either. I keep telling myself that everything happens for a reason and if we aren’t succesful this summer it will be okay.

Well I guess that’s the only update I have for now…

I’ve added some pictures from Easter Sunday. Our boys looked especially handsome and I am so happy with the pictures we got that day! : )

 

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Sixteen Months Old

Sixteen months old. Wow. Time just flies.

Noah is such a happy little guy. I love spending each day with him. He always makes me laugh.

Look at all he can do…

He can feed himself. He’s not the best eater but some of his favorites are raisins, blueberries, bananas, yogurt and pasta.

He can sign: Milk, All done, More and Eat.

He can do the motions to Itsy Bitsy Spider.

He loves to clap and say “Yay” when a song is over or if anyone else is clapping.

He loves to read books. He pulls all the books off of his shelf and brings them to me to read.

He really gets into his games on the iPad. If we ever need to distract him all you have to do is bring that out and its instant quite and calm.

He loves being outside. No need for toys though. He wants to pick up leaves and sticks while exploring. He experienced snow for the first time a few weeks ago but he loved it!

You’ll be able to tell from the pictures that I included that Noah loves loves loves bath time. As soon as I say the word bath he goes running to the bathroom. Some nights he refuses to get out and will sit in the tub with all the toys even though I’ve already drained the water out! Ha!

Hope you enjoy these photos of Noah from the past few weeks : )

 

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~M

Starting Down That Road Again

We’ve started talking about having another baby. Just typing the words out seem crazy considering Noah just turned one! But as many of you understand this is not a quick process and it takes lots of planning to even get to the point of actually trying. I started a To Do list of things that we need to get done to get the ball rolling. The earliest we would even try is late summer so we’re 6 to 7 months out but there is so much to do.

First on my list was to contact Noah’s donor to see if he would be willing to donate for us again. As some of you know, we used a known donor that we found through a website. The last time we spoke with him was when I was 9 months pregnant asking him to go to our attorney’s office to sign paperwork concerning  terminating his parental rights to Noah. So to say the least it had been a while and I was insanely nervous about contacting him.

A few weeks ago I sat down and wrote out an email to him. I spent hours typing, deleting, typing then deleting again. I thanked him for giving Les and I the chance to be parents together. I told him how much we loved and adored Noah. I told him how much he had changed our lives. You would have thought that I had written a novel considering how long it took me but nope just three paragraphs. Finally finished with my request and of course I was too afraid to hit the send button. I went back to it the next day and edited some more but still could not bring myself to hit send. I’m not scared of him but I was terrified that his answer would be no and I would be crushed. I know that he has a very busy schedule and donating takes time. I was worried that he just might be in a different place in his life and just not be willing to do it again. A week went by and I finally pulled the email back up read through it several times and forced myself to hit send.

I didn’t check my email for a few days not expecting a response. When I finally did there it was… my answer. I nervously read through the email. I read his words congratulating us on our healthy boy and our happiness. Then there it was it a perfect sentence. “I would be happy to donate again.” Tears began to flow without reserve. I am so thrilled about his response and actually feel silly now for worrying so much.

So the ball is rolling but there is still so much to do!

~M

Just a little Family Photo Shoot

I was so thrilled about doing Noah’s One year Photos and getting our family photos in too. It was a beautiful Fall day in Knoxville when we had these done and I can’t thank Sissy Sullivan enough for doing such a wonderful job.

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The Big Day

I’m a little late posting the update from our Adoption Day but wanted to share a few pictures from our special day!

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August 6th started with our whole family loading up and heading to downtown to the courthouse in Nashville. Noah was in a great mood and good thing because it was a long day.

Everyone in Davidson county doing an adoption for the month of August is told to be there that day. There were about 12 cases on the docket. Because adoptions aren’t public each family has to go in one at a time and they don’t post the order you will be going. So you really have no idea when you’ll be called. So we did our best to entertain Noah and keep him happy.

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We were lucky enough to have one amazing attorney! Her name was Erica Johnson and she happens to be one of our closest friends. We were her first official adoption case. So this was a BIG day for her too. We have been close friends with her and her partner Jen for years. It made it so special for us to be able to have her represent us during this process. She did an amazing job and we can’t say thank you enough!

After almost a 2 hour wait we were finally called! It was our turn. We all filed into the courtroom. We stood in front of the judge and Erica took turns asking Leslie and I a few questions. Then the judge said the words that we had been waiting to hear…”I find that it is in the best interest of this child, Noah Harrison, to be adopted by these two.” It was such an amazing feeling! Then he asked if we would like to take a few pictures! We all gathered around his desk for a little photo opp!

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He was such a nice guy. Even asked for us to send copies of the pictures we took to his office. Noah received his first sucker from the judge and was more fascinated with that than anything else.

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It was a long day and you could tell that Noah was exhausted when we were leaving but I was so proud of how he acted. No crying or screaming. It was a perfect day.  Oh and not to forget it was also Leslie’s birthday!

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We celebrated Leslie’s Birthday that night with a few of our closest friends. I successfully surprised her for the first time! Told her none of our friends were available to hang out. Told her I forgot to get a cake. And didn’t have time to get her a gift. But little did she know…I was able to get everyone together to surprise her and topped it off with a strawberry cake with buttercream icing for her. : ) I was so happy that she was surprised! Such a great day!

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Ten Months Old

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Well our little guy is 10 months old. He is such a ham! This was one of the poses I got for our monthly photo shoot. Can we say future model? Ha! He always make me laugh.

Tried several times to get him to sit and he wasn’t having any of that. We’ve discovered after comparing him to many other babies his age that Noah is a VERY active baby. He is always on the move and making noise the whole time. We are going to have are hands full when he starts walking!

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This month Noah weighed 20.8 lbs and he was 27 inches tall!

Noah Loves…

*Standing by himself. Oh he can stand like a champ but no walking yet.

*Eating yogurt melts and puffs. Before I feed him his lunch and dinner I put these on his tray and he has gotten so much better at feeding himself. Half of them still end up on the floor but he’s getting better all the time.

*Drinking from my sippy cup. He gets so excited when he sees his sippy cup but is by no means an expert yet.

*Opening cabinet doors. Luckily the only things in the lower cabinets are can foods, pots, pans and tupperware. But when he gets in the kitchen he loves to get them open and pull things out.

*Examining everyone’s mouth. We have a future dentist on our hands.

*Watching Baby Einstein. The one thing that will put him in a trance in seconds is Baby Einstein. No clue what it is about those strange videos but I promise they work!

I know I say it every month but I still can’t belive its been 10 months. It’s just going by so fast.

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~M

A is for Adoption Day!

Last week we finished up our Home Study and our attorney filed our petition for adoption with the courts. We were really hoping that it would be in time for us to get on the July 9th docket but unfortunately that didn’t happen. There is only one judge that does the adoptions in our county and he was out of the office so he did not get the documents signed in time for us to make it happen for the month of July. It was disappointing that we have to wait another month to finish the adoption but the upside is that our adoption is now scheduled to be finalized on August 6th, which just happens to be Leslie’s Birthday! What an amazing birthday present for her! I am so excited to have this complete! Such a huge weight lifted. Noah will finally have both Les and I legally recognized as his moms. It will be a great day for us as a family. I’m going to have to plan a huge celebration for Adoption Day to celebrate Les and the fact that this process is finally over!IMG_5367

7 Months Old

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Noah Seven Months Old and He is so much fun! He is such a sweet little guy and I just treasure each day with him. At 7 months he weighs 18.8 lbs. Still no teeth but not for the lack of trying! I just know that any day now he will have one pop into view.

So at 7 months he LOVES…

*Babbling and making noise. Noah has become very chatty. He says “babababa” and “dadadada”. Squealing about anything and everything has become the norm. He grunts and makes all kinds of crazy noises when he eats. It is too funny to listen too. We keep trying to get him to add a “mamama” in his line up but he hasn’t yet, maybe next month! : )

*Putting everything in my mouth. Oh boy! This couldn’t be more true. He has been teething like crazy and those little teeth are causing Noah quite a but of pain. He’s having trouble sleeping through the night because of the discomfort.

*Army Crawling everywhere. He is officially on the move! He can get from point A to B in no time on his belly just using his arms. He will get up on his knees and rock back and worth but has yet to truly crawl. He cracks us up when he going into a plank position or he other favorite looks like “downward dog”. (I’ll post some of the pictures we have of that later.)

*Playing with bath toys. We introduced bath toys now that he can sit up by himself in his tub! I didn’t think it was possible for him to love bath time anymore but I was wrong. His favorite are his foam bath letters. Of course they go straight to his mouth. There are so many of them that he doesn’t know which one to grab first. He’ll go from one letter to the next tasting them all! Ha!

*Nana’s dogs. My mom has two little dogs, Harley – the yorkie and Bentley – maltiepoo. Noah loves loves loves those two! He just watches them wherever they go. He will just laugh and laugh at them when they play or bark. He enjoys being in the floor with them and I’ve decided that it must be because they are just his size!

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Its been a wonderful month with Noah. He is quite the charmer. I’ve never seen Les so smitten. He just lights up the room and can’t help but be happy around him.

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5 Months Old

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Posting Noah’s 5 month update a little late but this has been a crazy couple of weeks. Noah is such a joy. He has some new loves now that he is 5 months old.

…eating fruit! Apples, Pears, Bananas, and Peaches are our current favs. I can’t seem to feed him fast enough. He gets really huffy and fusses when I don’t get the spoon back to his mouth…he can down a whole bowl of fruit with a little oatmeal in no time!

…his feet! If they aren’t covered you can bet he’s holding them. He’s even managed to get his toes in his mouth.

…rolling over! Noah is a rolling machine. Diaper changes are more difficult now and there is no more unattended naps on the couch or bed.

…being tickled! Oh boy! We have one ticklish little one on our hand. He laughs when you tickle his tummy, under his chin and his feet!

…strolling in the park! Now that spring and sprung we are out and strolling almost daily. If Noah is fussy or restless I can strap him in his stroller and before we’ve made it out of the driveway his content!

…babbling and squealing! Talk about cute! It is cutie overload when he starts babbling on and on. He gets excited and squeals so loud! He has us all laughing all the time now that he’s so vocal!

Four Months Old

Noah has had a great month. His little personality is really coming through and I can tell you that this little boy is such a sweetheart! He is a happy happy baby. My favorite thing is that he recognizes us now. There is nothing like seeing his face light up when I talk to him. He started really getting excited every time he would see me first and it made Les quite jealous. I kept telling her it was because I was at home with him all day every day and that he would soon react like that to her too. Well a couple of weeks later and she getting the same reaction that I do.

We finally took pictures with his board today.

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Bath time is still probably my favorite time of day because he loves it so much. He just splashes and splashes. He’s always so excited to just go in the bathroom he must think its time!

Watching Mickey Mouse! Oh my goodness does he ever love Mickey. He hears his voice on TV and will turn to find him. In the mornings he’ll watch a whole episode of Mickey Mouse Playhouse, which is just long enough for me to get some things done around the house.

Looking at himself in the mirror is the cutest thing to watch. He just smiles and squeals at himself. So funny and sweet!

He loves to stand up in your lap. He wants to stand all the time. His little legs are solid! We keep joking that he will skip the crawling and go straight to walking.

Eating oatmeal is one of our new favorite things! Took a few days to get the hang of it but we have one full and happy boy now!

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Throwing Stones at Our Own

I came across a post on the Curve Magazine Facebook page of a young couple holding a fundraiser to help them pay for their baby making process. This is a young couple that lives in Denver, CO and from what I gathered they are photographers. They are offering “perks” for donations and are trying to raise $6,500. I smiled when I saw this thinking to myself…”This is pretty clever. We should have thought of a fundraiser!” Then I started slowly scrolling through the comments and was shocked and saddened by what I read… “If they want a baby shouldn’t they be able to afford one on their own? Just my opinion”, “Wait till you have to pay childcare, ladies. If you can’t afford a baby now, the cost of raising one is really going to shock you.”, “If you can’t afford to make it you probably can’t afford to support it.”, “I find this to be an odd way to have a child….children are expensive if you can’t afford to produce one how can you afford to raise one?”, “even though I already commented I just had to come back to say that NO ONE should give money to this..stop the madness!!!”… Now, I remind you that these are all other lesbians. So just because this couple decided to seek help in raising the money for their attempts we should assume that they can’t afford to raise a child or deserve one?!? Wow! What is wrong with our community AND When did we become so hateful to each other? Is it just me or do you not feel that we as lesbians need to be supportive of each other in our efforts to start families. Now of course I don’t expect everyone to donate money to their cause but at least support the fact that a loving couple is excited to start their own family and wish them well. These people with the negative comments are acting like because they are holding this fundraiser that they are saying they can’t afford a child. They’re NOT asking for help in raising their child, they’re simply creating a fundraiser to help with their attempts to get pregnant. I’ve known more than one straight couple that has held a fundraiser to help with the expenses of adoption and no one throws stones at them. No one assumes that they don’t have the money to pay for the child once its theirs. Why are we throwing stones at our own?

Raising a baby is not ALL about money. Yes, children cost money (I know. I have two of them.) but they aren’t as crazy expensive as everyone’s comments are making them out to be. You can find ways to save money and afford the essentials. Most of all a baby needs love, attention, stability and I’m sure this couple can handle that.

We have a whole new generation of LGBT who see that we deserve to have families just like straight couples! Twenty years ago most gay and lesbian couples never even thought of trying to have children…now its 2013 and we live in a whole new world of access and availability to try to start families. Straight couples can get pregnant without a penny spent. They have an unlimited supply of sperm and can try whenever they want to. And I would dare say that many of them aren’t financially prepared. I would like to see how many capable straight couples would be getting pregnant if they had to come up with $1000 a month to try!

I am so disappointed in the reactions that these girls received. Most of you know how costly it is to make a baby in our world. Most of you saved up for months and maybe years to do so. I know Les and I had to stop trying at one point because we ran out of money. What is so wrong with this couple just asking for help?!? If a stranger wants and can afford to donate to their cause then good for them! Some may think it’s odd or weird but who cares! Don’t give if you don’t want to give. Scroll past if you don’t support them but why send out these nasty messages to them. What ever happened to…”If you can’t say something nice then don’t say anything at all.” ?

We live in a world with so much hate directed at the LGBT community. We are battling daily for equality. We long for the day that our marriages are recognized and we are seen as equal. We want to put a stop to the hate that we face but yet we are turning on our own people!

“You must BE the change that you want to see in the World!”- Gandhi

Here is a link to Jennie and Heather’s Fundraiser if you’d like to take a peek… http://igg.me/at/babycrate/x/2660086

Adopting Our Own Child

When we decided we wanted to have a baby we agreed that we both wanted to both be legally Noah’s parents. We live in a state where we can do a 2nd Parent Adoption. This will allow Les’s name to be put on Noah’s birth certificate and she would legally be just as much his mother as I am. So we met with our attorney a few weeks before Noah was born to talk about what we needed to do to get the ball rolling. We found that this process was not going to be as easy as we had hoped. This was going to be not only expensive but time-consuming. We are required to go through a home study just as if we were adopting a child from China. It feels weird going through the motions to essentially adopt your own child. The home study is costly and you are handed a stack of paper work that needs to be completed. We were told that were couldn’t even meet with the social worker until he was a few months old and that we can’t apply for the adoption until he is 6 months old. In the meeting with the social worker we were handed a list of things that had to be done. The list of things required is long…background checks, finger prints by the TBI, police background reports, letters from friends, family and our doctors, family medical history, proof of employment, all of our financial information, a lengthy self evaluation, two visits to our home, at least one individual interview with her and I’m sure more that has slipped my mind at the moment. We have so much on our plates right now but we don’t want this to be pushed onto a back burner. It is very important for us to do this to protect us and Noah.
One part of me wants to be angry with the process. One part of me wants to point out that there are hundreds of thousands of unfit parents in the world that do not have to jump through the hoops that we do. But the wiser part of me says NO…be thankful. Be thankful that we are able to have her adopt him. Just be thankful that we will be protected. Be thankful because we are blessed to be the mommies of one precious little boy. So I’m Thankful.

~M