My Boy is 10 Months!

Today my beloved boy is 10-months-old and I am terrified. He is still showing no desire to sit up. Every morning, I rush to his room hoping this is the day he will find his center and sit up. Every morning my hopes are dashed.

We’ve already had an evaluation with Early Intervention. He did not qualify for services based on the evaluation scores, but the therapists used their ‘clinical judgement’ to bypass that and sign us up. They, too, were shocked at not just his inability to sit up, but his resistance to it. He is a good boy. He loves to smile, hang out, army crawl, clap and he’s starting to figure out how to wave, yet this critical milestone remains elusive for him.

I just want him to be alright. I take him to story time and the other children can sit up and pull themselves at least to their knees. All my boy can do is roll and army crawl and he often gets frustrated. He tries to use his strength to pull the toy structures down to him, while the other kids are using it to balance. It’s very interesting to watch.

Still he is my joy. He is becoming more brave and adventurous. He’s going for electrical chords I thought he’d never see. He can army crawl into spaces I thought he’d never fit in. He loves food and wants to try EVERYTHING I eat. He has a gorgeous smile with 7 ragedy teeth at various stages of development. He thinks soft-scrambled eggs are moisturizers. How do I know? He rubs them all over his hands and then on his face. They must be the reason behind his youthful glow.

We spent nearly a week in Chicago to celebrate his grandmother’s birthday. We traveled sans the hubby and my baby did so well. He went to Lincoln Park Zoo, lunched with my college friend and strolled through downtown Chicago like a champ. He missed a few naps, but definitely not the experiences. He really made his grandmother’s birthday special.

Now we are gearing up for physical therapy and two more trips leading up to his first birthday. I hope and pray he is sitting up for his first birthday party. I’m just so nervous for him. I just want his life to be grand. I want to be good enough for him. He is such a blessing and I want to be worthy of him and the blessings he brings. I write this as he bangs his legs on the floor and makes himself go in a circle. LOL!

The Struggle is REAL

This parenting thing is testing me on every level. My son took two roundtrip flights over a three-week span. We survived the trips, but there were some MAJOR hiccups.

My son rolled off a make-shift changing table and it was my fault. He peed through his diaper during the night. I thought I could quickly grab a fresh pair of pajamas. Well, I was not fast enough. As I grabbed some pants, I heard the LOUDEST thump I’ve ever heard in my life. I turned around and my beloved boy was on the floor. I screamed and ran to his aid. As you can imagine, my reaction only made things worse. My poor boy launched into the most pitiful cry in the world. I was devastated that my carelessness led to this. Thankfully, he was not physically injured and after a  few rounds of my rendition of “Understanding” by Xscape (it’s seriously what I always sing to him for his morning nap), he was back to calm. It took a little bit more for me to calm down, in fact I still feel horribly guilty. It was a tough lesson. Now no matter what, I pick him up if there are no straps available.

Our next problem? The plane ride home from Wisconsin. During our layover my husband changed Evan’s diaper because the line for the women’s room was too long. I sent the boys in the bathroom with a changing pad, diaper and wipes. I kept everything else. Imagine my surprise when I walked out the bathroom and saw my husband holding my pants-less son. I squealed, “What happened?”

When The Husband got inside the bathroom, he realized our son had just peed through his clothes. He couldn’t change them because I had the diaper bag and stroller with me in the women’s room. He made the executive decision not to bring the boy out in just his diaper.

Upon seeing my pitiful duo, I went into panic mode. The women’s room was still very crowded and I didn’t’ want to waltz my behind inside the men’s room, so we found the emptiest gate we could find in the airport and stripped our son. He emerged from the situation in a red onesie that looked like shorts. We emerged breathless and hungry. LOL!

Little E sat in my lap for all of the flights. I was so thankful he didn’t pee on the plane because I would have gotten wet as well. I did not have a change of clothes for myself.

In fact, Little E urinated through his diaper at his Grandfather’s house. We were sitting on his non-leather chair. The pee bypassed Little E’s diaper, soaked through my shorts and underwear (tmi?), then settled on my Father-in-law’s chair. The horror! I changed myself and Evan, plus cleaned up that chair. Luckily, he is a very understanding man.

Needless to say, we have started buying Little E size 5 diapers. They look too big, but the 4’s were obviously too small.

My husband and I love being our little guy’s parents. My husband is just better at it apparently. THE STRUGGLE IS REAL!

My Child Is An Adult

I’m so pissed off at all the mothers I’ve met in the past. None of them told me how quickly your baby turns into a full-grown ADULT. My son is 9-months-old. He is crawling like a champ on his stomach; holding his bottle and mastering the magic trick of wasting formula; and making the decision to ignore all of my guidance. If he could sit up on his own, I think he’d crawl on out of the house and get a job. *gasp*

This month has been filled with so much joy that I don’t even have the words for it. My little guy traveled to Phoenix to accompany Hubby on a work trip. While The Husband went to classes and meetings, Mom and I took Little E to the aquarium and children’s museum.

We had SO. MUCH. FUN. Little E’s eyes turned into saucers as he watched colorful sea life swim, slither and stare in massive tanks inside the aquarium. He tired himself out with a strong army crawl in the children’s museum. By the way, that place should really just be called an indoor playground, but I digress. One of the best moments of the trip was sitting by the pool with Little E dressed in his very first swim suit.

That was just the start of his traveling. Little E also visited his grandpa in the great state of Wisconsin. He dipped his toes in a fresh-water lake; watched as The Husband brought back his catch and grandpa turned it into lunch; and he got to swing in a fabulous hammock.

All of this traveling made me realize that we needed a travel stroller. We got it just in time for the trip to Wisconsin. I can break that thing down with one hand and whip it onto the conveyor belt that leads to TSA screening. Now my wonderful husband is not struggling to lug our huge Uppa Baby Cruz through an airport, while helping me with all things baby. He was skeptical when I purchased the travel stroller, but after carrying it through the airport and storing it in the plane’s overhead bin, he totally supported my decision.

Later this month, Little E and I will be traveling without my husband, so we’ll see how I handle the travel stroller solo. Little E is 20+ pounds. I can’t physically carry him around airports anymore without hurting the ol’ back.

Puffs & Apples

My son is making big boy moves. After days of appearing to be on the fence about puffs, he very slowly, yet deliberately picked one up, put it in his mouth and “chewed” it. HOORAY! I was beyond happy with this development. My kid won’t sit up and won’t hold his bottle, but he will pick up bite sizes pieces of food and eat them.

THEN! Things got even better. For lunch, he tackled a slice of apple. While I would like to rejoice in this moment, I can’t. It’s because it was MY apple slice. He took his attention away from puffs, stared at my apple and did a grunt-shout. My FaceTiming mother demanded that I share. No one told me that mothering would mean sharing so early in the little guy’s life (I pray that at this point, you realize I am being facetious). That adorable, cherub looking baby didn’t stop at one apple slice, he wanted the next one on which I’d slathered peanut butter. My FaceTiming mother again forced me to hand it over. She has so much power.

We laughed and squealed so hard. Who knew something so simple as watching a kid begin the process of eating chewable foods would cause extreme joy. This boy is already teaching me so much. I have to learn to let go. Had it not been for my mother’s encouragement, I never would have given him a piece of the apple. I was too afraid of him choking. Well, I’m still afraid of him choking. However, I am learning that I cannot let my fears hold this child back. I should proceed with caution, but I should not block him from his next steps. He is on track to becoming a well-fed good citizen of the world.

Lord knows I am definitely not trying to block him from holding his bottle and sitting up. As luck would have it, he is showing absolutely no interest in either one.

Adoption

“I think his diaper is wet. You have to change him.”

With those two sentences, my husband and I became parents. We met our son’s other mother a little over a month before his birth. It all began with a phone call – a call I thought was a prank.

Our home study was almost done. Emphasis on ALMOST. I emailed the agency I wanted to work with to let the owner know that we were ALMOST DONE. My message was oozing with excitement, but her reply was short and terse in my opinion. It said, “Contact us when your home study is complete.” I was crestfallen. When a number with her area code popped up on my screen, I debated whether to answer, but something told me to hit accept.

She – let’s call her Mrs. S.- enthusiastically greeted me. I thought I was being tricked. I reminded her that she already replied to me via email. That’s when she told me that a case had arisen for which she thought my husband I would be perfect.

Say what?

An expectant mother wanted a family with at least one person of color to raise her son!!! Why the exclamation points you ask? Because that’s how excited I was.

It all seemed too good to be true. We sent our adoption book and got a call back days later, as my husband recovered from emergency surgery. The mother,who we will call EM, wanted to meet us in person. She was in the south. We were in the northeast.

As luck would have it, we were headed to the region for a wedding. We added an additional stop to our trip. We flew more than two hours and drove about two hours to meet EM.

When I saw her, my heart stopped. She looked like she could be my child. When she spoke, I could hear her already-growing unconditional love for her baby. I was off-kilter.

I feel like my husband answered most of the questions and I spent the time staring at EM, telling her how beautiful she was and that she did not have to do this. No one could make her do this.

Ten years after my husband and I married,

five years after we started actively fighting infertility,

five months after we began our home study

and five weeks after we met EM, she texted us to tell us she was in labor.

EM announced the baby’s birth and my husband booked our flight. As I showered, the phone rang. I could hear the tone and I knew…

Mrs. S said EM was changing her mind and we should stay home. My husband…I don’t have the words to describe my husband, but he was not ready to hear what Mrs. S was saying.

As I tried to get through to him, EM was trying to get through to us. She told us to come, but she wanted her two days with her son – our son- because we were all family now.

We met him on a Thursday. Just moments before my husband and I smiled for our first family picture with our son, we nervously changed our first diaper at EM’s request.

I was not prepared for the moment EM was released from the hospital. I wasn’t prepared for the way her tears and anguish shook my core. I wasn’t prepared for the insensitivity: the nurse ready to wheel her out before she could kiss her sweet child, whom she arrived with, but would leave without.

Here lies the conundrum of adoption: as my heart broke for her, it swelled for us.

We left the hospital as Mother, Father and Son. We hilariously struggled to get our son snapped into his car seat, clinched our teeth as we drove with him for the first time and marveled at his presence when we made it to our hotel room.

EM had five days to change her mind. She visited our hotel twice during that time, always saying she was sure and she was ok. I wasn’t ok. I worried about her. We worried about her. I’ll worry about her for the rest of my life.

Our adoption is open. We will see her once a year. I post pictures on social media for her daily – at first willingly, then reluctantly, then happily because being a new mom and digesting adoption is hard. Our goal – her’s, mine and my husband’s – is to raise a good citizen.