Saturday, March 31, 2012

More on Names

I love it when you make a request and the people comply! Thanks, everyone who've given me suggestions for names for my little B. They are still coming in as a matter of fact! Keep 'em coming!

Halle has now dropped down to third place. What a difference a week makes, right? Bringing up the rear in fourth place is Layla which means "dark beauty." In keeping with family names (since both of my other girls have them), my second choice is Laina Bernice (which is a form of Elaine, my mom's middle name). My absolute favorite choice is Evie (actually Evangeline... because my girls also have "biblical" names as well and though it's not an actual name from the bible, I still consider it biblical). Chuck likes Evie, too, though most of the time we still refer to her as "B." I've caught myself calling her Evie-B a time or two, but Jamie still calls her Bernice. I told her she could call her whatever she wanted to, and JR seemed okay with that for now.

I've been reading as many "adoption blogs" as I can trying to see what others have done about name changes. I read one this morning where a couple had adopted a toddler from Uganda and they changed his first name and kept his African name as his middle name. They also gave him a second middle name, so he actually has four names. Maybe I will send them a message and get their input on this name change dilemma. If any of you have comments or suggestions, please let me know.

A few people have wondered if Bernice has a traditional African name, and I don't know if she does or not. I'm not even sure if she has a middle name or what it is. I must write all this stuff down and try to remember to ask the next time I talk to Tammy Brooks from the Jesse Brooks Foundation. I haven't heard from Tammy in a while. I would like to know if she's heard anything regarding B's emergency medical visa. I may try to call her today and see what the status of all that is...

So that's the update on the name thang. :D I'll keep everyone posted as we narrow it down. I'm thinking Evie just feels right, though. Time will tell! Next in my order of business (besides working on our child abuse/neglect clearance and getting fingerprints made) is working on a timeline of sorts to document all this adoption business. I'll be sharing that with y'all soon. Stay tuned...

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Great Expectations

Being new to this adoption process, I'm constantly surprised at all the emotions that I've experienced over these past few weeks. I guess in the beginning I was in pure shock that we were even considering it. Fear crept in not too long after that (could we handle this physically, emotionally, and financially?). That soon gave way to excitement pretty quickly, and now I'm just anxious to have her here. It's funny. Working my way through the adoption process, I have experienced the same emotions that I had when I was expecting my two biological children!

Talking to my friend today, I realized just how much I actually feel like I'm expecting! And I know that technically we are, but I just never expected to feel the same way about it as I did with the other two. Well, not physically, of course. I never "did" pregnancy well... either time. If you had a terrific pregnancy experience, good for you. I'm actually jealous. Terribly so. That's why expecting this little one's arrival without morning sickness, swollen feet or hemorrhoids is all "win-win" in my book!

We are planning on making the office into the baby's room and are thrilled to be getting a day bed from my cousin for Lil' B to sleep in. Guess that means I've got a fantastic excuse to get my decorating on, right? We have enjoyed tossing around possible first names and planning where everyone will sit in the minivan once we go from "four" to "five." My sister assures me that she's got plenty of Peyton's clothes to share with me and I've caught myself looking in the stores at little 18 month sizes and wondering if she'll like pink as much as Jamie Ruth does. I seriously think about her constantly throughout the day and though my tummy is not growing by leaps and bounds, my heart sure is. This "expecting" thing is pretty cool. Maybe the third time really is the charm!

Many of you have asked where we are in the process. Well, we have begun to fill out the final adoption application and it's taking a while. Mostly because it's 25 plus pages and I get a little overwhelmed trying to schedule time to get fingerprinted, get a physical for the four of us, write my autobiography, get my vaccinations, contact references, watch 10 hours of adoption education, etc., etc., etc., all the while taking care of the day to day business of a family of four. My friend said this stage of the process is called being "paper pregnant." At first I thought the term was a little silly but now I'm beginning to think it's pretty appropriate. Many people enjoy pregnancy... I was not one of those people. Perhaps it's not big shocker that I'm not having a ball with my paper pregnancy, either. But it's a necessary means to an end, I guess. And like my other pregnancies, I'm just trying to take things one day at a time! More to come...

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Random Pre-Adoption Thoughts About a Name

So, like I don't have more important things to think about like "where in the world are we going to get $15,000 to adopt this baby?" or "shouldn't I be watching some of that 10 hours of required adoption education instead of blogging?" I think about random stuff like "should we keep Bernice's name or give her a new one that we gave her?"

I remember years ago when Angelina Jolie adopted her son Pax (you don't hear as much about ol' Pax, do ya, compared to the others) and I distinctly remember that I thought it was odd that she changed his name. The reason I found it odd, I guess, was because he was older and not a baby like her other children were when they were adopted. I tried to imagine what it would be like if all of a sudden one day, someone said that you were no longer "So-and so" and that you would from now on be known as "Such-and such." Weird. I imagined little Pax playing and Angie calling him for dinner and him not responding. "Oh wait! I'm Pax! She's calling for me! Coming Mom!!!" See. Random thoughts even way back then.

Chuck, JR and I have talked about it and I was outnumbered by their vote to keep Bernice's name what it is. JR doesn't like change, so it came as no big shock that she wanted to keep her name the same. Chuck explained that he actually liked the name Bernice (really? Because... really?). The man continues to amaze me. Perhaps stupify would be a better word. But getting back on track here... I've been thinking about her name and wondering if it's the best fit for her. Here's why:

I was told by the lady who runs the orphanage that Bernice's mother tried to kill her twice and eventually just neglected her because she thought that she was cursed (because of her cleft lip and palate). So if Bernice is the name given to her by the woman that tried three unsuccessful attempts to end her life, well... I'd rather her not have ANYTHING that ties her to that situation. On the other hand, if by the time she gets to us she is old enough to understand that she IS Bernice, would changing her name totally mess her up? I've contemplated a few names for her first name, while keeping Bernice as her middle name, but nothing has won me over.

Some friends of mine have suggested that we call her Niecee (like Niecee Nash) and I think that's cute. My aunt has called her Bernie... also cute. Chuck calls her Lil' B (and I do too, sometimes). And though it's catchy, somehow I can't wrap my brain around her filling out school work and putting her first name down as "B," the artist formerly known as "Bernice." Both of my older girls have family names, so should Bernice be given a family name too? I'm perplexed.

So what do YOU guys think? Leave me a comment or message me if you want if you have any ideas. Names that I like for little girls just don't seem to fit her and who she is. The only contender right now is "Halle Bernice," because Halle means "unexpected gift," and that"s exactly what she is to our family: a beautiful, unexpected, magnificent gift. :D

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Like He Needs ME Bragging On HIM

Friends, words are just not going to be able to do justice to all that has been going on here in the last three weeks. My life has been turned upside down, backwards and sideways and all in the very best way possible. I have been accused of losing my mind by some (leave it to family to tell you like it is!) and heralded as a "Mother Teresa" by others... neither of which is any where NEAR the case. :) When I talk to people these days, people just nod and shake their head in a blank, dear-in-the-headlights kind of way. I've tried to explain it to the people that know me best as the feeling of being body-snatched. I realize that I am still me, but I am not operating like me. Are you nodding at me all wide-eyed? Of course you are. That's okay. You are in good company. ;)

March the second was a typical Friday night for our family, with one exception: it was the day that God intervened in my life and planted a desire (with every single member of my household simultaneously on board) to adopt a special needs child from Africa. If you are friends with me on Facebook, this is old news. Bear with me. I'm planning on using this blog to document this new world of "adoption stuff" that has opened itself up to me. I will explain in detail later exactly how it came to be, but I figure I needed to have a jumping off point in preserving all of this for posterity and so that one day Lil' B (as she has been lovingly referred to lately) can read this amazing story of how she came to our family.

First and foremost, let me be the first to say that four weeks ago, adoption of ANY kind was not even on our family's radar. Chuck and I voluntarily removed ourselves from the gene pool years ago. One handicapped child and one feisty red-head was more than enough to keep him and I busy. Hey, we recognized our limitations. Any more than that and we would be outnumbered, right? Our plate was (and IS) full, as I'm sure many of yours is. Let me also say that I was perfectly content in my life and was going along, minding my own business, taking care of my own things on the home front when KA-BLAM! I was changed. Body-snatched. I look at nothing the way I did prior to March 2, 2012. I've been a somewhat religious/spiritual person all of my life, but have never had an experience with the Almighty like I've had in the past 18 days.

And to top it all off, when the Creator of the universe orchestrates something... stand back and be amazed at what starts happening around you. Seriously, I almost expect to walk out my front door some days and find that my hedges are on fire (remember the "burning bush" from Sunday School?) or have an angel of the Lord knock on my door with some specific instructions for me. You know, instead of the occasional Jehovah's Witness I usually get. No offense to any Witnesses reading, of course.

And you better believe that I'll be sharing all of this with you that care to read my lil' ol' blog, because honestly, I never want to forget a single thing. I'm in awe. You may be too. And I know God does not need ME bragging on HIM, but if the Alpha and Omega can reach me, use me, change ME, he can reach, use, and change you. More to come, I promise...

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Music Therapy Thursday: "Free" by Dara Maclean

This is my favorite song right now. Seriously, I listen to it over and over. And over. :) I love it when I feel like an artist has reached into my head and penned out a song that I'm just not talented enough to write myself. That's what Dara Maclean has done with this song.

This particular version is acoustic and I think it makes it all the more beautiful. And just LOOK at her. She is so incredibly beautiful and talented that I thought watching her perform would be more interesting that just looking at the lyrics. But if you want to listen to the radio version and read the lyrics, you can find it here. It's a little funkier with a an infectious beat, but I think you'll agree both songs are just awesome. Listen for yourself and enjoy today's music therapy!