A Busy Spring

This spring has been a whirlwind and blogging has taken a back seat through this busy season–we are long overdue for an update. The most important thing is that we are still here, waiting, hoping, and praying for our next baby.

This spring Craig was a groomsman in two weddings, which meant two trips to California. California is where I was born and raised and where Craig and I met in college, so this was a wonderful!

We spent time with my family and got to explore beautiful Yosemite.

1932476_10100167505789420_1356448811_nTwo months later we were back in California, this time to Los Angeles. We took Wes to the beach for the first time …


We visited our alma mater…and Wes’ future college =)

10296602_10100194539793060_8670533833445702673_nWes was a ring bearer and he did did great walking down the aisle and partying all night long…he danced non-stop until 10:30pm! If he’s anything like his daddy, this will be his first of many wedding parties.

10403848_10100206103364570_6083434438216935580_oDon’t worry, no Wesley’s were harmed in the making of this photo!

1901386_10100194655586010_3339128586147832563_nAs soon as we got home from California, we got busy packing because 5 days later….

10322427_10100188264134530_4016934193145351543_nWe moved into a new house!10313688_10100188715649690_2619172349558975533_n (1)And then a week after that I finally graduated from grad school!


This has been one of the busiest, craziest seasons of our lives with all good things, which have kept us somewhat distracted from the months of waiting for baby #2. We finally made it into the profile book at our adoption agency, which means we are hopefully being shown to birth parents more frequently. We are trying to be patient, knowing that our next child will come at the right time, but hoping that time is sooner than later. It’s hard not to compare our experience with Wes’ adoption to this second time. His adoption really was fast at just 10 months from the time we started paperwork until his birth. This time around we are already 14 months in. We would appreciate your prayers for patience while we wait and for our future child and his or her birthparents, wherever they are!

Home Study Approved (Adoption #2)!

We are long over due for an update on Adoption #2. After months of paperwork and meetings, we were approved to adopt another child (or children in the case of twins) the end of January, almost two years to the day that we were approved for Wes’ adoption. Time has gone by so fast since then with watching Wes grow too fast and life feeling so busy. But a part of me feels like time goes too slow and that it will until all of my babies are home. I want to enjoy every minute of my life now, but I also wish that the waiting and wondering wasn’t so hard. I think part of my lack of updating this blog is that I feel guilty for feeling this way. I already have a child and I know that many families who started the adopted process with us the first time around are still waiting for their first child.  This second time waiting my arms aren’t empty. And my life is full….with a toddler who is currently dancing on the dining room table after somehow just turning on a Pearl Jam song no the iPad!?!? But needless to say, my heart is ready and wanting our next child so much. I can’t wait for he or she to become part of our family and I’m so excited for Wes to be a big brother.

Once we were approved end of January, we were added to the profile book waiting list at #18. So networking is likely our best shot at finding a match right now which means any help you can give us through word of mouth, liking us on Facebook, or sharing our story would be much appreciated! You may be the one to help us find our next child!

In unrelated news (because we needed some pictures in this post), Craig’s parent recently spoiled us by taking us to Disney World in honor of Craig’s mom’s birthday (even though we ended up being there over my birthday).

open adoption

We had such a great time defrosting from the polar vortex we’ve been living in for months….

Open Adoption

going on lots of fun rides and….open adoptionwatching Wes get his mack on with the ladies! =)

Fall Fun

It’s been a fun fall so far. Unfortunately, it’s almost winter (we’ve already had a few flurries), so we have tried to soak up as much outside time as we can before we’re stuck inside for six months. 

Wes went on his first pony ride!

2013-09-28 13.36.57

And his first hot air balloon ride!


If 20 feet in the air counts? It totally counts!IMG_6316

We went apple picking…


and throwing!IMG_6415

Picked out the best pumpkin.


Collected lots of sticks in the yard.


Ran with his favorite toy, the vacuum wand.


More sticks!


Sported his Jack-o-lantern shirt.


Moved up to a big boy car seat.


Was the cutest fox for Halloween.

photo 2

Laughed at his daddy.

photo 1

And in case you can’t figure out who Craig is supposed to be…

what up with that

Adoption #2 Update

It’s time for a little update on adoption #2! The easy part of is done! What do I mean by easy?

  • 15 Agency required forms with answers to more questions then I can count
  • 2 sets of finger prints/background checks (and 2 fun trips to county jail)
  • 2 physicals
  • 2 sets of pay stubs
  • 1 tax return
  • 1 copy of health insurance coverage
  • 3 reference letters (thank you to our amazing friends who wrote these!)
  • 1 family photo

*We got to skip a few steps since this is our second time applying to our agency.

We should be assigned a social worker soon to start our home study!

This is how babies are made in our family! It’s very romantic. Craig should have at least taken me out to dinner, right? But seriously, it is a relief to be done with this part. It really is the easy part because it’s the only part we can control. Getting our stuff together, getting it done. The hard part is ahead and it’s both exciting and scary because it’s not in our control and it’s all a complete unknown of what, when, how.

In the meantime, our boys only family, Wes and our nephews, are tearing apart our house entertaining us with…

2013-09-18 20.21.29-2

forts,2013-09-18 20.29.07

couch jumping, and

2013-09-18 20.32.23

general goofiness!

Big News: We’re Adopting Again!

Big Brother to be

We are so excited to share with you that Wes is going to be a big brother! We don’t know when (hence No Due Date Part 2), but we could not be more thrilled to be adopting again!


So here’s the scoop. Our plan (I hate saying that because we are well aware that our plans rarely work out on our desired schedule) had been to start the adoption process again when Wes turned one (our agency’s policy is that we must have one year of time in between major life events). Since we know that adoption can take years and it has always been our hope to have our children close in age if possible (my brother and I are 12 years apart and I hated being an only child for all those years), we thought we should get started again as soon as possible. But then, back in April we spoke at an event at our agency and found out that they now had a three to five month long wait list just to get an application. This was not the case when we started the adoption process last time. Finding this out meant that we either needed to make a decision to get going then, or potentially wait quite a while longer then we had planned. So the first week of May this year, we were back in line!


Four months later on September 3rd we were given our application. The application process is a little bit easier this time since we’ve done it before and there are couple of parts we can skip this time. But it’s still A LOT of paperwork. Lots of forms, lots of questions, and pretty much every piece of personal information that exists about us. We have had two fun trips to the county jail where no one wanted to do our fingerprints. It’s the only place in our county to get fingerprinted for adoption which seems kind of odd right? The second time I begged and turned on my sad face and they finally agreed to do it. This week we get our physicals. It’s kind of crazy what you have to do in order to adopt (considering what most people have to do to have a child…if you know what I mean!). But it is ALL worth it! Every second. Hopefully soon we will be in home study process. We cannot wait to have another child join our family. It’s exciting hoping that we will soon get to love another child with all our hearts. Now knowing what that love feels like makes us even more excited. But we’re also scared about all the unknowns of the journey ahead of us.


We have grown from being apprehensive about publicly sharing about our adoption journeys (seriously, I almost had a panic attack after one of our adoption outreach trainings), to having been so encouraged and blessed by all of you in doing so. From those who have reached out and shared their own adoption stories with us, to those who we have been able to encourage as they contemplate or start their own adoption journeys.


We need your help!

But, the biggest reason we are blogging about our adoption journey is because we need your help. Really and truly. So far this year at our agency, 56% of adoptions have been designated adoptions, which means that birthparents and adoptive parents were matched outside of the agency. They were matched through networking, word of mouth, people like you. That’s why we need your help. You might end up knowing someone or hearing about someone who is considering adoption and you could be the connection to help us be matched with our future child. Or you might share our blog with your friends and family who might know someone. Or you might like our Facebook page and share a post that finds it’s way to a match. We have no idea when or how we might come to know our next child, but YOU might just be part of our adoption story. How amazing would that be? Craig explained our reason for networking in this post. 


We also need prayers. We need them for patience and wisdom in this process. But more than we need them, our future child and his or her birth family needs them. I don’t have a clue who they are, where they are, or what they are going through, but whatever it is, it is probably a very difficult situation. And the more prayers we can surround them with, the better.


We can’t thank you all enough for your love and support through Wes’ adoption, and we hope that you will share in our journey to adopt our next child!Big Brother To Be

Craig’s Baby

Recently one of our friends who is in the midst of infertility shared with us that she isn’t ready to give up on having her husband’s baby. I totally understood. A part of me will always long to have Craig’s baby. It’s natural, normal, the way it’s supposed to be. I’ve kept thinking about what she said because I get it….but, and this is the biggest but of all….Wes is Craig’s baby 150%. If we hadn’t decided to move on from infertility, to move on to adoption, Craig wouldn’t have a baby at all.

View More: http://ginazeidler.pass.us/wesisone

Craig’s baby isn’t the one who looks like him (but as a multiracial child, Wes is not the spitting image of either of his birthparents; he has some similar features, yes, but he’s not a mini me either). Craig’s baby doesn’t share his blood. But Craig’s baby is the one that he woke up for in the middle of the night for months to watch The Wonder Years while he fed him a bottle.

View More: http://ginazeidler.pass.us/wesisone

Craig’s baby is the one that he asks if he can wake up in the morning before he leaves for work just so he can hug him for 30 seconds. Craig’s baby is the one to whom he said, and I quote “you’re my favorite thing in the whole wide world, except for you too (meaning me) =).” Craig’s baby is the one he chases, tickles, cuddles, and protectively runs after when he might fall and hurt himself. Craig’s baby is the one he asks me to text him pictures of when he’s out of town or coming home late because he misses him. Craig’s baby is the one that he looks at with immense pride every time he crosses a new milestone.

Craig’s baby did not grow in me and he didn’t need to. Craig’s baby grew in his heart. He could not love him more. He could not be more his son.

View More: http://ginazeidler.pass.us/wesisone

Gina Zeidler took these beautiful photos.

Loving Right Now

I am really loving this stage in Wes’ life. Not that the stages before weren’t great (because they were and I so often wish he could just stop growing for a bit so he could be my baby forever), but now is so much fun because he is turning into a little boy who wants to be so independent. And he’s hilarious. From his stink eye to his belly laugh.

First bandaid, loves his cousin.

But there’s another reason I am loving now. I don’t know for certain, but I think this time might be the easiest for Wes when it comes to adoption. He doesn’t know he’s adopted. All he knows is that we are his parents and we love him. His adoption is by no means a secret. We look different. His baby book and bedroom are filled with pictures of his birth family and he knows them now, even if he doesn’t yet understand how we are all connected. Right now all he knows is love. As his mom, I hope this is how he always feels.

Sleeping on plane (so thankful for a cuddly baby and an open row)

But I am nervous for the days when questions come, when he wonders why, how, what made him our son? How will he feel? From my point of view, he is the biggest blessing, dream come true, and miracle of my life. But my view isn’t the whole story. And I’m nervous for my little boy’s heart, because all I ever want him to know is that he is wanted and loved, despite the fact that his birthparents chose for us to parent him instead. 

So selfishly, I am soaking up this time when things are a little bit more simple. Or just a little less complicated for him. For me. Not that life is ever really that way. He just doesn’t realize it yet, and I wish it could stay that way.

Weekly Wesley

Since it is Wes’ birthday month, this mommy is feeling quite sentimental. It literally feels like yesterday when Craig and I took Wes on his first trip to Target to find the biggest bear we could. Every Monday (well for 32 weeks), I would get Wes dressed, set up Beary, take 500 50 pictures until I got the cutest shot, and send it to Craig at work.

1 week old Wesley

Around week 32 Wes started diving out of the chair…so our weekly pictures went on hiatus.

This week we decided to try again and this little baby boy sat still in the chair with Beary with his adorable smile. 

53 week old Wesley

Click here for a look back at Weeks 1-26.

Wes is One!

Somebody had a birthday! And cake for the first time! Which mostly ended up in his ears, hair, and on the ground. We celebrated with family while on vacation on his actual birthday. Then we came home and got ready for his party! The theme was airplanes and maps since he has been our little traveling companion this year.

Time flies when you’re having fun, Wesley Lawton is ONE! This could not be more true as the past year has been so much fun and has gone by way too fast.

Little airplanes marked all the states he visited in the past year (even though he didn’t actually fly to all of them).

I already had the maps (they were part of his Christmas present to hang in his big boy bedroom one day) and when I saw globes for sale at Costco I picked one up since it was a fun decoration and we can keep it for years to come.

Then I made some little signs and pictures to cut out in PowerPoint, printed them at Costco since it was much cheaper to print there then on my own printer and got to cutting.

We had chocolate cupcakes with nutella filling and cream cheese frosting (yum) and then not quite as yummy dairy free/gluten free yellow cupcakes with chocolate frosting.

Our “in-flight” meals consisted of PBJ’s for the kids and chicken salad sandwiches for the grown ups. Too bad these don’t really exist on flights anymore.

Jet fuel was essential for flying our airplanes.

The party started right after Wes woke up from his nap so this was his look for the first few minutes of the party (aka the stink eye).

After lunch it was present time which was probably more fun for me and the bigger kids than for Wes, although he is loving all of his new toys!

Time to play with all the new presents! The big kids did a nice job of showing him how things work.

After lunch and presents we headed back outside for cake! The hat stayed on about 5 seconds.  

The cake was a smashing success! 

Goody bags were picked up in “Baggage Claim.”

Wes’ great grandparents old suitcase was the perfect prop.

After the party was the after party (aka kids dancing/breakdancing). That is until Craig couldn’t just watch anymore and decided he needed to join in on the fun. Yes, Wes. This is your father. He is going to spend the rest of his life embarrassing you! Poor Wes actually started crying when Craig flopped on the floor (possibly from embarrassment or because he thought Daddy was hurt).
Our sweet little baby boy is one! Time flies when you’re having fun and this year has been the fastest year of our lives watching our little baby turn into a walking, talking, sweet little person! We love you Wes!
Thank you to Pinterest for giving me endless party ideas. And to the following places for inspiration!
Invitation: 505Design
If you didn’t know, the Dollar Tree has tons of party supplies for cheap (aka a dollar!).

Setting Expectations…

It’s been awhile! Mostly because we’ve been busy trying to keep up with a little boy who is into everything…like eating a worm he found crawling on the floor (gross!)! Anyway…on to what I wanted to write!

So I’ve blogged (infrequently) about how wonderful my child is. And in my heart of hearts (and Craig’s too), we think he is the most amazing, wonderful, smart, special child on the planet. Cause he is! But this parenting stuff is hard, even with such an awesome kid.

The other day I was chatting with my friend about how her newborn hates the carseat and how that makes going places just a bit difficult. I remembered this article I read a few months back written by a woman whose blog I’ve read the last few years. She has a lot of children, most of them adopted, so I have really enjoyed her posts about parenting and adoption. I emailed the article to my friend and then as a brush up for myself, I read it out loud to Wes while he was eating lunch. So what I’m about to say makes some more sense (or makes you laugh later), you should go read it.

So I read it out loud to him. You know, just letting him know that I’m the parent, he’s the child, I will let him know what I expect of him. Then I told him what we’d be doing the rest of the day and how I expected him to be a good boy while we were out running errands.

Then I put wrestled him into his carseat while he arched his back and flipped onto his stomach (this is a new development).

We got to Toy R Us where I put my easy going little shopping buddy in the cart, strapping him in and he proceeded to repeatedly shimmy himself out of the buckle and stand up in the cart. Don’t worry! I continued to set my expectations of him by saying “Wes, I expect you to stay seated in the cart.” I’m sure the other shoppers thought I was crazy (or straight up laughed at me). So I held him while he squired around in my arms while pushing a giant cart through the store.

We wrestled back into the carseat. I decided that we didn’t need groceries anymore and drove home.

Later that day I was feeding him dinner and since we’ve been working on sign language, I asked him if he wanted more food (he usually signs more if he wants more). I’m not even kidding, he said “Duh!” (I guess I can add this to his baby book as his fourth word after Dog, Dada, and Ma). So I guess I should start telling him how I expect him to be respectful of his mother.

At the end of the day, I pretty much felt like a fool for telling my friend to just tell her newborn that she expects him to sit in his carseat quietly. This parenting stuff is hard. And my opinionated, adorable, back talking child gave me the reminder that I needed!