he's home now

I'll write a longer post later I'm sure, but having our son home and in our arms is an incredible, indescribable feeling. As every parent knows, every minute is true magic.


Please welcome, Mason Blake Sanders to our lives!!

 He was born on December 17, 2009 at 10:27pm. Weighing all of 5 lbs and 1 oz and at 18 inches.  He is perfect and healthy so handsome! We love him so much. We are eternally grateful to our sweet birthmom.
He's coming home today!!!


why is Luke's last name Skywalker?

Glenn here.

I've seen the original Star Wars Trilogy like a billion times. And yet one morning this week as I was getting ready for work did a new thought about the films suddenly pop into my head. This very week. After 30+ years of exploring and obsessing over every tiny facet. The subject line says it all:

Why is Luke's last name Skywalker?

In broad strokes (and without getting into too much of the detail "revealed" in the prequel trilogy, which I don't really consider on the same level as the originals), Luke and Leia are twins whose father is Darth Vader. Yoda and Obi-Wan separate them and scatter them to the far edges of the galaxy to spare them the fate of being killed by, or worse, raised by, the evil Dark Lord. Leia is handed over to a prominent Galactic Senator, and her name is Princess Leia Organa. Luke is brought to Owen and Beru Lars, childless farmers on the desert planet of Tattooine. But no one calls him Luke Lars. His name is Luke Skywalker.

OK, so maybe it's a detail I did think of before (you would not believe the conversations I've had about the minutia of Star Wars over the years), but it never struck me with such resonance as it did today. Luke and Leia are adopted out to save them from the Dark Side of the Force. And yet, bizarrely, despite the fact that everyone in the galaxy knows that Anakin Skywalker turned into Darth Vader, and Yoda went into hiding in a remote swamp, and even Obi-Wan changed his name to disguise his presence, Luke remains openly a Skywalker. He calls his adoptive father, who's literally Darth Vader's brother, Uncle Owen. It shouldn't have taken the Empire more than a couple weeks to figure out that there's a Skywalker kid on Tattooine, the very planet that old Darthy himself was born on. That's like the worst witness protection program ever. Really, all they had to do is just change the baby's name and not ship it off to the most obvious place to look for a Skywalker.

By now I've probably lost anyone who's not as intimately familiar with these movies, so I'll bring it back to point. Which is that I've been noticing a lot more lately how the media treats adoption. The message time and again is that adoptive parents aren't the "real" parents, and only a reunion with the "real" (read: birth) parents will make the child complete. Star Wars is only an extreme example of that. But even in this age of open adoption, this belief persists with shows like "Find My Family" (as if to suggest that the adoptive family isn't "theirs" but just a proxy for the true family).

Now this is a complex topic, and can't be resolved by using more examples from sci-fi movies. But it seems to me that the continuation of this belief system tends to do more harm than good when it comes to people's beliefs about adoption. It appears to be a holdover from the days, not so long gone, when adoption was a hush-hush thing that you didn't reveal to your child until she was "old enough to understand" (as if there's ever a good moment to drop a sudden, often devastating bombshell like that). In a sense, we put adoption in the back of the attic with all the rest of the family secrets that we don't talk about in polite company.

Increasingly, that's changing, and the "professionals" are finding that integrating a child's adoption story into his life from an early age, as something that's just a fact of life - not to be hidden away - leads to a far more healthy child from a psychological standpoint. It takes the teeth out of adoption when it's treated as just another way to create a family, and not just a last resort for desperate parents.

For our part, we don't exactly how much, but our Birthmom will be a part of our, and our child's life, forever. That doesn't mean she'll help us raise Junior, but in a sense she will, because her presence - even as a photo in his room - will serve to normalize something that in our recent history was treated as shameful. I'm not suggesting the little guy won't have issues around his adoption, but we'll never have to hide it, or keep it secret, or pretend it didn't really happen, or strategize for the perfect moment when he's 8 or 10 or 20 to reveal that he was born from another mother. And really, because he's the child of a white woman and an African-American man, it's going to be pretty hard to keep something like that a secret past the day when he notices our skin color doesn't match up perfectly.

A friend and former boss of mine (if she's reading this now, she knows who she is) revealed shortly after we first started telling people we were going to adopt, that she was adopted. I was surprised, because I didn't know that I knew any adopted people. But also very heartened by it. As we've been on this journey, I've often sought out signs that adopted kids are just as happy and normal as biological kids (or just as unhappy in so-called normal ways, as we've all had our issues). Along with the research I've done, this friend completely assuaged all those fears just by being one of the most awesome people I know. She recently responded to someone posting about how much they loved the reunion scene at the end of "Find My Family" by writing (paraphrased): "Adoptive babies love their adoptive mommies and daddies, no reunion necessary."

I'm not suggesting it's all going to be a perfectly easy path we're taking - heck, our path has been anything but easy. But it's good to know that in the real world of adoption, not the fake Hollywood world, you don't have to spend your life hoping your kid never finds out the truth, because the truth is right out in the open.

And all that said, I don't think Star Wars would have been half as cool if the hero was named Luke Lars, Jedi Knight.


A new kind of waiting.

Our birthmom has been having contractions on and off for the last week. Though they are most likely Braxton Hicks which are not the real McCoy. Just getting her ready for the real deal. They do hurt and she has been having a hard time sleeping during the night and then sleeps during the day.  Oh boy! That means, that will be the little guy's schedule when he comes out!
It could be any day now!  Wow!
As we lite the candles on our Menorah for the first night of Hanukkah, I can't help to think about sharing the wonderful tradition with him and telling him the story of the Maccabee's and the miracle of the oil lasting the extra 7 days.  I love the holidays and look forward to them being even more magical with our son around to enjoy them.
I have my cell phone with me every where, even when I go to the bathroom!! Every time it rings, my heart leaps out of my chest. I have butterflies all the time!
We've been waiting a very long time for our baby and this last stretch of it is a whole new kind of feeling!  It's a good one!! Exciting times!!! Eager anticipation!
Happy Hanukkah!!


It could be anyday.

A perfect time for a miracle!!  Either during the 8 days during the Festival of lights and during Christmas time!! Wow!  Fingers & toes crossed. Excited and trying to trust that all is well and will be well for everyone.


it's the final countdown

Glenn here.

Remember that awesome 80's song "The Final Countdown" by Europe? No? Then here:

Now have that on in the background as you read this. It'll be stuck in your head all day regardless.

So as Angie wrote in her post, the sonogram from about 2 weeks ago showed a healthy baby boy with about 4-6 weeks left to cook. Yesterday, a follow-up sonogram showed significant growth, and an overall checkup of Birthmom left the OB/GYN telling Angie and Birthmom that she'd be very surprised if the kid stayed in the room til Christmas. She then specified that it could be within the next 2 weeks. 2 weeks! So yeah, it's definitely the final countdown.

We've got a few pieces of business to take care in the short meantime. I'm going to be installing the car seats (finally). We have to buy a bunch of little things, organize a bunch of little things, and throw out a bunch of little things. It's going to be a busy and exciting next couple weeks as we prepare. And, to quote the doc, "it could happen any day now." In fact, Friday night Angie took Birthmom to the ER with some intense Brazton Hicks, which I'm sure she'll write all about. Thankfully, all was well. We want our little guy safe, sound, and fully baked. Just hang in there a couple more weeks, young fellow.

Another thing I've suddenly discovered is a series of awesome albums that will help indoctrinate our child into our favorite music while still being baby friendly. I may post them as Amazon affiliate links when I get a chance, so I'll hold off on mentioning them now. So while we await our own special little package, I may also be sending another special little package. Of music. Man, that's a pained metaphor.

In the midst of all this, our dog Vivian caught a nasty stomach bug. After Angie got home from the ER at around 3am Saturday morning, Viv started puking and didn't stop til we got her to the vet a few hours later. An IV and some helpful drugs, and she seemed to be doing fine til Sunday night when she started up again. So I spent half my Monday in the vet, as he tried to figure out what's going on. We get blood test results this morning, so hopefully it's nothing more serious than just a really bad bug that'll quickly dry up. The worst part is we can't give her anything to eat or drink, and when you look in those big brown eyes you really want to at least let her get a sip of water. But doctor's orders. A little bit of discomfort now is better than a much worse situation in the long run. We've been stressed about Vivian (and our other dog Indiana is confused and stressed too), but we realized this is just another test to prepare us for parenthood.

Ultimately, I believe the dog's going to be fine, the baby's going to come when he's darn good and ready, and we'll have all the little things done that we need to get done.


It's a match!

It's been a whirlwind these last couple of weeks. The birthmom we met with, CHOSE US!! We have been matched, as they say in the adoption world.

She is local, so we've been able to spend time with her and get to know her. I'm so grateful for that, so we can tell our baby all about her. It will be an open adoption, with pictures, phone calls, letters and some visits too. We want whatever is best for the baby!

I was able to go with her and saw the ultrasound. She and the baby are healthy. It's a BOY!!! He was actually moving his little hands and playing peek-a-boo during the sonogram! So amazing! We also get to be there when she's delivers him. Wow! Can't wait!!

It's exciting but also a little scary. As you know, with adoption, it's not official until the papers are signed and the baby is in our home. But we feel really good about this and sense this is going to happen. He is due the end of the month or early January! So we have been very busy organizing and making more room for baby!

It's such an odd feeling, that there was this young woman who was a stranger and is now one of the most important people in our lives! We have a new found love and affection for her and want the best for her too. We are eternally grateful to her and have such respect for her strength for all she's been through and to come to this decision to choose adoption and extremely glad she chose us to parent her child.

We appreciate all the love and support we have received from everyone. It was a special Thanksgiving with much to give thanks for. How wonderful next holiday season we'll be enjoying them with our son! Our son!!?? Wow!! It's still so surreal and hard to believe. But I do believe. I believe!