Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Q and A-Adoption Part 1


So I'm answering.  :)

From the moment I shared about the adoption journey we were about to embark on until now I've gotten questions about the process and much much more.  I always think if someone is asking that probably means others are wondering so then I opened it up for more questions and decided I'd cover them all.  I'm covering half the questions in this post and I have a part 2 coming soon.

I want to add that I am by no means an adoption expert.  I'm just sharing our experiences and my own thoughts and opinions.

*What scripture verses did you turn to during the wait for encouragement? 

These are a few of my favorites...
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your paths straight."-Proverbs 3:5-6

"Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer."-Romans 12:12

"But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength;  they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary;  they shall walk and not faint."  Isaiah 40:31

"For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all."  1 Corinthians 4:17


*How did you get through the hard part of waiting?

To be honest, we didn't wait long.  Tab and I began the paperwork process in January of 2016 and happened to be the slowest people on the planet to finish the oodles of paperwork.  It took us a sweet forever, but we never felt rushed about finishing.  We just finished when we had time.  We wrapped up at the end of October-beginning of November (I know.  I know.  We were slow.)  And we got a glimpse of Britt in December.  We knew nothing but got a few pictures so we weren't sure she was ours just yet.  But after staring at her picture from December to February, we were ecstatic about getting her official file on Valentine's Day.  All that to say, we didn't wait long and again I never felt rushed through the process.  We knew God had the perfect little girl for us in his perfect timing.


*Where do you even start the adoption process?

I would recommend you begin the process by interviewing some agencies.  Reach out to people you know and get their feedback as well.  I'd ask the agencies questions like...what is your wait time for (what age, gender, etc. you're interested in), how much of the process are you responsible for (one of my girlfriends had to do a lot of the paperwork/filing/etc. herself and our agency did it all for us-might make a difference when you're comparing agencies), ask about fees/costs, ask about the timelines, ask how many kiddos they placed last year, etc.  *These are questions I'd ask no matter if you're adopting domestically or internationally.


*How'd you choose your agency?

We chose our agency based on recommendations and then after talking/interviewing them as well.  We had four friends who used our agency so we felt very confident about their reliability.  It was a pretty easy decision when you know actual people and see children who've been placed using this particular agency. 


*How'd you tell your children you were adopting?

We took our kiddos to dinner back in March 2016 to tell them.  We wanted it to be special and a night they'd always remember.  The kiddos all had such different reactions-Bowen had no clue what we were talking about, Nixon was okay with it, and Ebby Lee cried and cried because she'd no longer be the only girl.  (Now, they're all smitten.)  We spent a good twenty minutes talking to Ebby Lee about the adoption during dinner and we listed all the positive reasons.  By dessert, she was on board.

We told ours when we did because we had meetings scheduled with our home study agency. 


*How'd you get your kids excited about adopting?

We talked about Britt for a over a year.  We prayed for her as a family.  She was constantly on our minds.  When we were matched and could put a face to a name, they were SO excited and ready to meet her.  And to be honest, I think through lots of prayer God prepared their little hearts.  My kids have been amazing with her.


*How'd you decide on China?

We knew we wanted to adopt internationally and while talking to our agency and giving some criteria for what we were looking for...girl, under Bowen's age, etc...they immediately told us China was our answer.  Other countries (at the time we began) were closed, taking longer than a few years to complete, etc.  China was the perfect fit.


*What adoption agency did you use?

I got this question a lot and here's the thing...choosing an agency is a big deal.  You work very closely with them and it's in the best interest of everyone involved for you guys to really mesh well.  On our trip, we encountered three different families who'd used our same agency...one family loved them, one was indifferent, and one wasn't happy.  I'm saying all this to say that I don't want to give the name knowing there's a possibility you might not be happy with them.  I'd hate to recommend them and you end up having a bad experience.  I hope you understand.


*Did you and Tab instantly agree on adoption?

No, Tab is a big, tough looking guy but is complete mush over some topics and adoption is one that can bring him to his knees.  Tab was on board long before I was about adopting.  I was the one slowing down the process, but after lots of prayer God worked it all out.  {I got this question a lot-I'd suggest LOTS of prayer if you and your spouse just don't see eye to eye on this subject.}


*How'd you decide on Britt's name?

Britt's full name is Britt Bradford Slaughter.  We agreed on her name pretty easily.  We both instantly loved Britt.  If you remember, when we were naming Bowen I was drawn to all kinds of one syllable names.  Britt was a quick favorite for us both.  And all of our other kiddos have a family name as their middle name so we knew we wanted a family name for her as well.  You guys know Marla, Tab's step-mom. She's so sweet to our family and treats us as her very own...our kiddos included, so we chose to name Britt after her.  Bradford is Marla's maiden name and we loved it paired with Britt.

I think I've mentioned this before but if God has placed adoption on your heart it's not an accident.  I pray that you'll listen, obey, and act.  I remember hearing an adopted dad talk about his process and he kept using the word, "wrecked".  Adoption "wrecked" him and I didn't fully understand what he meant.  Now I get it.  Knowing these babies are out there wrecks me too.  Babies just like Britt who don't even know what a mama is.  Babies who are waiting to love someone and be loved unconditionally. Babies waiting for a forever family.  Babies waiting for a mama bear to fight for them.  It wrecks me.  And I'm so glad we acted on this when God placed it on our hearts.  We could have missed this.  I'm praying you don't miss it either.

Like I said, I got so many questions I'll be covering the second half in the Q and A part two post coming soon.  If you have a question you'd love for me to answer, please e-mail it at alittlebitofeverything83@yahoo.com.  Thank you!

If you missed any of my China recaps, you can see them here...

I'll see you Friday with some FAVORITES.  :)

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Tuesday Talk-Big Brother

 Hey Everyone!

Today is one of my favorite days of the month in the blogging world.  It's the day where we chit chat about anything and everything.  Fancy Ashley and I invite you to join us the third Tuesday of every month to TALK on a TUESDAY!  ;)

This is what I want to talk about...
 You guys!  I LOVE this show.  #pleasetellmeimnotalone

I don't know what it is but I become completely giddy about Big Brother every single summer.  I love the competitions.  I love that it's a reality show.  I love that it comes on three nights a week.  The list goes on...

I know lots of you are BB fans as well, so I want us to talk about a few things.

First up, what are you thinking about the Den of Temptation?  Do you like that twist or not really?  Clearly, I'm thinking like most of America because last week I was FRANTICALLY voting for Christmas to win the temptation.  haha! #anditworked

I happened to think the Ve-Toad costume on Cody in particular was hilarious.  He doesn't seem like the type who's into jokes so it made it extra funny.  Right?

Let's also chat...
Christmas
*I was confused about why she cursed Jason?  Because he dropped her and she broke her foot?  Because they're on different "sides" of the house?  What do you think?
*Why did she NOT vote to send Cody out of the house?  Why would she believe his story?
*I really like her as a player, but do you think it's fair she got to leave and come back?  I know she was hurt but what are your thoughts?  (I'm asking because I think I remember years ago on Survivor if you had to leave for medical attention-you were out?)

Dominique
*Who was she trying to throw under the bus on Sunday night with Alex?  Elena?  I was confused by that.
*I LOVED her talk show last week.   SO fun to watch!

I heart Julie Chen.  :)

Jessica
*You're either for her or against her.  Am I right?  I would have had SO much respect for her if she'd ditched Cody and sided with the house when he put up Christmas.  But since she didn't, I'm not a fan.  What side are you on?

Alex
*I'm a big Alex fan.  I liked that she teamed up with Paul and she seems to be playing a smart game.

Kevin
He CRACKS me up!  I wasn't sure what to think of him when the show first began, but I'm Team Kevin all the way!

Paul
I know he's had his chance and with veteran status he definitely has an advantage, but I like Paul.  He's REALLY good at this game!

If I had to choose a winner right now at the moment...I'd want it to be Kevin, but I think it might be Alex. (I like her too, but Kevin is my fave at the moment.)

Those are my Big Brother thoughts so far now I wanna hear from YOU!  Big Brother fans...who are your favorites?  Are you for Jessica or against her?  Who would you predict as the Season 19 winner?  I want to hear what you're thinking about the season so far.  And please tell me you get as excited as I do three nights a week.  ;)

Have a great day!  And happy Big Brother watching tomorrow night!  XO


Monday, July 17, 2017

Britt Adoption Update-2 Months

Happy Happy Monday!

Can you believe we've had our girl for two months?!  I didn't do a post-adoption one month post because I was still in the middle of our China recaps so this is gonna be a big one.  A LOT has changed in the last two months.  We were given a quiet, reserved, not-gonna-show-them-my-cards eighteen month old and we now have a joyful, sweet, and absolutely precious twenty month old.


We've been soaking up all kinds of firsts with Miss Britt....

*She's attended birthday parties.
*She enjoyed a little weekend staycation in Dallas.
*She's watched her fair share of basketball and football games played by her older siblings.
*She celebrated her daddy on Father's Day.
*She's had lots of doctor's appointments.
*She's been to church every Sunday since we returned.
*She's seen not one but two firework shows and has celebrated both Independence Day and Memorial Day.
*She's met a ton of friends and family who loved her before they even met her.


 *Eating*
Eating is going pretty well.  She's not as adventurous with what she'll try as she was the first month or so.  She eats both baby food and table food.  I'm still giving her bottles...with whole milk and PediaSure.  This last month she's really started wanting what we have more and more...she'll drink my water, take some bites of whatever I'm eating, etc.  She has her big palate surgery scheduled for next month and her recovery includes a liquid diet for two-three weeks.  Knowing that, I'm trying not to transition her to table food until after all that.  And I know milk and PediaSure will be our BFF during those two-three weeks so I'm keeping that up until afterwards as well.

*Health*
She's doing great!  When we got her I just felt like we were so far behind in having things checked out and tested so the first couple weeks home we had a lot of doctors' appointments.  


*Milestones*
We're working on all the things but a few things I've gotten way too excited about lately...
*She can say, "Mama".  And I think at this moment she understands it.
*She's also learned how to say, "Uh-Oh".  Her voice is the cutest thing ever!
*She is doing so well walking while holding our hands.  She isn't there yet solo, but has made huge strides in the last several weeks.  We're also working on crawling....one slight problem when she's placed on her tummy she SCREAMS.  She absolutely hates it.  I took her to occupational therapy this week (it was AMAZING...like I cried when we walked out to the parking lot kind of AMAZING) and her therapist really wants us to continue trying this frequently throughout the day.  We're obeying but she hates it.  

*Her fine motor skills are great...she can pick up all the little things...even little pieces of something I didn't even realize were present!  ha!  Two months ago when you set food down in front of her she just stared at it.  Now she picks it up and stuffs it in her little mouth.  
*If you ask her how big she is, she'll hold both arms up and we'll say, "SO BIG!".
*When I hold her and am patting her back, she'll lay her head on my shoulder and pat my back too.

*She waves "hi" and "bye".
*If you wink at her, she blinks her eyes very slowly like she's winking.
*When Ebby Lee sings, Britt tries to join her.  For some reason she only does this for Ebby Lee but it is too funny.
*She can do all the right moves to "Patty-Cake"...she claps, rolls them up, and throws them out.
*She knows her name.
*She manages to let us all know what she wants with grunts and pointing.  hahaha!
*She shakes her head "no" and means it.  She's just starting to do "yes".

*Likes*
*She loves her family...she loves us all but I'm her favorite at the moment.
*She loves Puffs.
*Swimming is one of her very favorite things to do.
*She's got some rhythm.  This girl loves loves loves music.  If you play some music, she'll be sure to dance along.
*She also likes to read books.


*Attachment*
This is going so well.  I prayed and prayed about Britt attaching to us and this has definitely been an answered prayer.  For the first eight weeks, Tab and I were the only two who held her, fed her, or comforted her.  We wanted her to know by us alone meeting her needs that we were her parents.  I'm not gonna lie...it was a long eight weeks.  I'd been so used to having my independence whether it was a babysitter watching the kiddos when I had an appointment or simply just Tab and I having a few minutes alone to chat while the kiddos were in bed.  But...I'm SO glad we did that.  I feel like she has attached very well to us, she'd prefer one of us to be holding her, and she knows we're her family.  Like I mentioned last week, if at any moment we feel like she isn't acting attached anymore then we'd immediately go back to just us being the two holding her and such.

*Sleeping*
Sleeping is getting so much better.  This was a rocky subject six weeks ago.  :)  Britt usually sleeps through the night every other night.  On her "off" night, I get her up, offer up a bottle, and then put her back to bed.  Usually she goes right back to sleep.  

*Nap Time*
Britt usually takes a one and a half to two hour nap.  So much of this depends on when she goes to bed and when she wakes up.  This summer we've been going to bed way too late, sleeping in way too long, and taking way too short naps. ha!  I'm thinking when the school year starts and we're all on a good schedule then naps will be longer.


This sweet girl has turned me into the sappiest mom on the planet.  haha!  Did you read the part above where I cried walking into the parking lot because our first therapy session was SO good?!  I'm telling you I'm like putty in her little tiny hands.  The thought of this sweet girl living in an orphanage for eighteen months literally breaks my heart.  She needed us, but I had no clue how much we needed her.  I just asked Nixon (my crazy, wild ALL boy seven-year-old who is also happens to be putty in Britt's tiny little hands) yesterday how our lives would have been if we hadn't listened to God and adopted Britt.  His response, "TERRIBLE".  We could have missed this.  And just the thought breaks my heart.


Our baby girl nine weeks ago to this very day was so reserved, scared, and nervous (and who could blame her for that?) but let me add that she was oh, so brave.  


Now she's looking a lot more like this...is so full of life, such a carefree baby, and has a smile that's contagious.  We love this girl so very much and feel so blessed to call her ours.

If you're feeling led to adopt, I urge you to learn more.  Trust me...if God has this planned for your family, you don't wanna miss this.

Don't forget, I've been taking adoption questions and have a Q and A post coming soon.  If you have any question(s) you'd like me to address, please e-mail me at alittlebitofeverything83@yahoo.com.

Have a GREAT day!  XO