november

I’m so sorry to have offered such HUGEHUGEHUGE news a couple of weeks back, and then written so little since then! Some of my radio silence has been in an effort to process this monumental shift in our family even enough to write about it, but lots of it has been plain old busy-ness. Still, it’s more important than ever to me that I document all of this: for all of the old reasons, and, now, for Sailor. I want him to one day know what this looked like for us, this process of making space for his miraculous self. Here, then, is a quick bulleted update: the best I can do for today. After this, I’ll try to return to regular conversation, and to start commenting on your blogs again, and to respond to your comments here. Please forgive how scattered this is, and how poorly edited. At this particular moment in our lives, it feels more important to write than to write carefully.

  • Sailor’s due date is January 11th [not January 3rd, as we were first told], so we’re almost exactly two months away. January 11th is my (adopted) father’s birthday, so this feels powerful. [Especially since he’s funding much of this adoption for us, for which we are grateful beyond any measure.] We met Sailor’s birth mom, L, and we all still feel right about this placement. I have a lot more to say about all of this, but I’m not sure how to handle L’s right to privacy in terms of the blog. I mean, obviously this is an anonymous blog, but we’re not so great at actually keeping it that way. And since our adoption is open, it feels all the more important to strive for as much privacy as possible for her. Does anyone have suggestions about how to do this without just staying silent altogether?
  • Bram was Nicholas from Ole Risom and Richard Scarry’s “I am a Bunny” for his first Halloween.  He went with his friend Thea, who was a watermelon, of course.
  • I LOVED all of your comments about the adoption, and I especially loved hearing from families with kids close together in age, and adults with Irish-twin siblings. The closeness you all describe is exactly what we’re looking for. I have this vision now that gets me through the scary/overwhelming moments wherein parenting two so young feels impossible. It’s about the time when, after co-sleeping with both of the boys for years, we move them into their own bed for the first time, and in another room, no less. I imagine moving them at, maybe, three and four into a full-sized bed that they’ll share until they don’t want to share anymore. I imagine coming in to peek at them and seeing them snugged up together, sweet, sleepy boy breath filling the room. I can imagine little more wonderful than this.
  • For now, though, sleep is probably the biggest thing I panic about in terms of bringing Sailor home. B still takes almost all of his naps on me, which won’t be sustainable when there’s a newborn here too. We’re implementing the changes J talked about in her last post, but it is tough and a little scary. I will say (though I’m terrified to even put this in writing) that Bram has slept amazingly well for the last five nights in a row! We’ll see if this lasts, but we’re hopeful.
  • I’ve applied to twenty-five colleges and universities in less than a month, which is basically a full-time job. And the pressure to be working on my dissertation is intense because I’m contractually obligated to go to committee by April (well, to graduate in June, so committee by April), and I have a lot of work to do in the meantime. I’m sending off my last application (for now; listings keep rolling in, though at this point I’m basically begging them not to) tomorrow, so I look forward to giving the dissertation my full professional attention from here on out. [You know, except for the part where I’m about to have a newborn.] ;)
  • If I have interviews, I’ll have to fly to Boston from January 3rd through the 6th. This terrifies me, as it means I’ll be away a mere week before Sailor’s due date. I know I will never fully forgive myself if I miss my little boy’s birth (L wants us in the delivery room, which means: seeing that first breath, hearing his first cries, holding his slippery body against ours, witnessing his arrival into life), but L has always gone a week over (this is her fifth pregnancy), which gives me hope. And this is really my ONE shot at a real job next year – my one shot at J having the chance to stay home with the boys for a full year while she slowly builds up her doula business – so I feel like I have to give it my all. My all involves this conference.
  • Though we have nearly everything we need, I really want Sailor to have at least some of his own things. I think this will be tough since he’ll always have a one-year-older brother, so (especially since we don’t like stuff) the tendency to just give him all of B’s things will be there. So far, I’ve made two important purchases for him. First, I bought him (and all of us) monogrammed Christmas stockings from Jenn at MyOlyGirl. Photos to come; they’re on their way to us now! To understand the second, you need to know that I think of the first woven wrap that I ever wrapped Bram in [a Storkenwiege Black and White Leo] as his legacy wrap, and I hope that if he chooses to have children someday, he’ll want to wear them in it. So I wanted Sailor to have his own legacy wrap: something that I wrapped his tiny body in on his first or second day of life, and that I’d never used to wrap another baby before him. I found a great sale on this: a Natibaby brown cashmere Japan. Since (this will be news to most readers!) Sailor is likely to be a red-head, I thought this would be a beautiful color for him. And what better to wrap up a tiny, new body than cotton and cashmere? These purchases were splurges since money is tighter than ever because of the adoption, but I thought a lot about them, and they felt like important splurges. And the stockings were my Christmas gift, and we’re selling an old tea cart that’s been in my family for awhile to fund the wrap, so I’m trying not to feel too guilty about the expense.
  • And speaking of babywearing: Bram has now been in the world for a bit longer than his was inside of his pomo! This means that I’ve been carrying him wrapped against my body for as long as J carried him snugged inside of hers. Thanks to Cricket’s mama for bringing my awareness to this delicious fact. It makes me feel like I’ve given my son something irreplaceably sweet.
  • And speaking of Bram: as I’ve heard from so many of you, nearly-ten-months is an explosion of awesomeness! This little boy is a life force of energy and wonder. His is, above all other things, these four adjectives: happy, sweet, adventurous, and weird. He makes the strangest noises (really: he sounds possessed), and then he’ll just smile up at you and laugh at himself alongside you. He LOVES TO EAT: broccoli and sweet potatoes and local (ethically-sourced) chicken are of constant delight to him. He is quick with a laugh or a smile almost all the time. He CAN. NOT. resist a cat: I think he must share some feline DNA. He now waves at everyone. He HATES diaper changes, and he’s too strong for that to be anything but mildly disastrous. He loves books, and he’ll usually sit on my lap for two or three in a row (which he won’t allow for any other endeavor). He is the happiest most lovely person I know, and I’m struck daily by the privilege of parenting him.
  • I HAVE to get back to work now, but I’ll leave you with one more thing, a teaser, if you will: together with his birth mom, we have chosen a name for Sailor. Though we never announced B’s name until his birth, we’re being more open this time because it feels like a way to help family and friends connect to a baby they don’t see growing inside one of us. I’ll tell you what it is next time. <3
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5 thoughts on “november

  1. First I want to say that Sailor is a very lucky little boy to get you two as his parents.

    In terms of privacy for L, I think the only thing you can do is consult her. If you envisage her being present at occasions like birthdays where she will interact with family and friends, then nothing you put on the blog about her will be anonymous. You may have to “blog” some things privately as a record for Sailor. Does WordPress allow you to have pages that are password protected?

    Good luck with the job search (which sounds rather terrifying), and your dissertation (ditto).

  2. All lovely news and I agree, having some special things just for Sailor will be important. I know how bummed I used to be when my older brother got new stuff and I got his hand me downs for much of our young childhood. I had a lot of brown corduroy going on lol. Your foresight with the wrap is good, as one of the main things I find is that it’s not the clothes etc that I now wish I had my own version of, but those special toys and baby blankets etc that my mum has kept for our own babies. As they were my brothers first it’s hard to feel that I have a right to them. This is doubly hard when I think of my bother and his wife taking them for their new daughter, whereas our child should have been born first and might have got a turn. However because I lost our baby then those special childhood ‘heirlooms’ go to them, and they’ll keep them for their future kids. A silly gripe, but it’s one of those little things that hurt in relation to losing your baby when your sibling has a new one. Having special baby items for each brother will avoid this kind of future scenario!
    And as a final note, I’m excited to hear Sailors official name, but also disappointed that it won’t be Sailor!

  3. I love your point about wearing B for longer than he gestated! And your image of the two boys snuggled together is truly beautiful! I think your purchases are totally perfect. I’m just so excited for your family! I can’t wait to hear Sailor’s name!

  4. Glad for the update and looking forward to more when things slow down a bit (though who knows when that will be!). Can’t wait to hear more on Sailor… having a name picked out is very exciting! Also, January 11th babies are awesome!

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