Thursday, December 30, 2010

One Month Home

Merry post-Christmas and happy early New Years!  I can't believe that the year is already over.  I say this every year, but it is never insincere.  It always amazes me how fast an entire year can go, and how much can change within that year.  It's incredible to think that at this time last year Eric and I were debating whether or not to make the drive to Indianapolis to check out MLJ Adoptions.  And now our adoption journey is over, and parenthood has begun. 

Over the last month, we have had a lot of fun having the boys home (interlaced with some more challenging experiences).  The boys are doing better each day and I am getting to know their personalities better each day.  They are definitely very different, but we love them to pieces just the way they are.  Their personalities balance each other out really well.  And we have successfully developed a schedule.  It still requires a little more tweaking during the night, but overall it makes things 10x easier.  Having a schedule has been the most helpful with families and friends wanting to visit.  I am now able to inform visitors of when the boys will be awake.  At the beginning we had a lot of people stop by during nap time because we never knew when they would be awake or asleep.  Honestly, I would have to say that the scheduled makes things 100x easier.

Although things are getting easier, we are all still adjusting.  The new challenge is taking the boys with us.  Trying to pack for, get ready and load two infants is ridiculously hard, and the amount of stuff you need to bring is outrageous!  I was given a very large diaper bag and I fill it so full every time we leave, it almost bursts.  And each time we get in the car I have a mild panic attack trying to remember what we probably forgot.

But overall, everything has been going really well.  I truly believe that our lack of children prior to the boys has made it easier.  We do not have anything to compare this experience to, and don't know the difference between one child or two.  

No matter what, we love our little boys and can't imagine them not being here.  We are super excited to see what this coming year holds for us.  Either way, it's going to be the busiest year we have ever had, and we're looking forward to it's craziness :)

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

First Christmas as a Family of Four

Eric and I would both agree that this was the best Christmas ever.  Being able to celebrate it with the boys was an incredible gift.  We are so thankful that the boys came home when they did.  The timing allowed us to attend every family gathering without worrying if the boys were going to be too overwhelmed or if it would harm their acclamation.  And the best part is, their Aunts and Uncle who live in California were able to meet them.

Unfortunately I do not have pictures of Christmas yet.  Our camera was either forgotten or used for video purposes.  It's a lot harder to remember your camera when you are busy loading diaper bags, walkers, pack n' plays, and children.  So I will have to get some pictures from our family so I can post them.  The only picture we took on our camera was of our family of four at my parents house on Christmas day.

I hope you all had a fantastic Christmas holiday and have a very fun New Years!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

I really can't believe Christmas is just over a week away.  With all of the new adjustments, we haven't really done anything to celebrate.  We don't have a tree, didn't put up lights, or decorate the house.  In our defense, we do not have a place to put a tree.  So Christmas has really snuck up on us this year.  Hopefully I will be finishing up my Christmas shopping this evening.  Eric is going to come home a little early today so I can get that and grocery shopping done.  It's definitely a new step having to coordinate when one can leave, so the other is sure to be home.  Starting this weekend, we will be taking the boys on a lot more outings.  This weekend is two family Christmas parties, along with Christmas Eve and Christmas Day next week.  We have a pretty good routine for bedtime, but we're hoping that they are flexible enough to go with whatever we have to do.

Along with holiday festivities, this is the first week I am home alone with the boys.  Eric went back to work on Monday.  It hasn't been too difficult, it's really just more time consuming.  It takes a lot longer to feed and change the boys all by myself.  Other than that, they are sticking to their schedule pretty consistently.  We are all still going through adjustments, but it's starting to get easier as things fall into place.

Even Bella, our dog, is starting to get attached.  The other night when we put the boys asleep, she remained upstairs for half an hour after we came down.  She was sleeping at the top of the stairs.  It was so precious.

I hear crying babies.  I guess that means it's time for lunch.  Have a wonderful Wednesday!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Still Here

Today we ventured out into the cold so the boys could meet their great-grandma and grandpa Herrema.  It is great-grandma's birthday today, and what better gift from us than our two little boys.  We always enjoy visiting with them, and would have dinner at their house and play a mean game of dominoes.

This week has been good.  The boys are truly making progress in adjusting and developing a schedule.  During the day they take two naps, at the same time every day and generally wake up within 15-30 minutes of each other.  Nights were a little more difficult, although we now have them sleeping until 1am, eating and then sleeping until 6:30am-7:30am.  What a change a little sleep can make to a new parent!

Baxter has now moved on from rice cereal and is eating baby food (with the help of my wonderful friends, I made my own).  This week is sweet potatoes, which he loves!  He wasn't too keen on cereal, so it made me nervous about baby food, but he is loving it so far.  Next week we're moving on to apples.

Despite the fact that they are now home, there is still paperwork to be completed.  Just today, I picked up official translations of our adoption decrees and the boys' birth certificates.  I have to send in several documents to our local circuit court so that I can get U.S. birth certificates.  Once I have those, I petition for certificates of citizenship and then off to the social security office.  As soon as I have these three things, I am done filling out paperwork!  It will be a glorious end to all the madness of the last year.  From then on, all paperwork will be done by our social worker, who will come and do two post placement reports.  After the boys are here a year, all follow up correspondence can cease and I won't have to think about it again.

Anyway, I better get back to homework.  I only have a small amount left and nap time is only so long.  I will leave you with this cute photo I took the other day.  While in the Congo, the boys lived in separate foster homes, so they have to adjust to each other too.  But I think they are going to be good friends :)

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Day Six & Counting...

Today marks day six of the boys being home.  I have obviously been a little preoccupied, but wanted to take a moment during nap time to upload some photos.

Welcoming them home at the airport

(Grandma and Grandpa Bolek)

(Grandma and Grandpa Johnson)

Our first few days home

Well, that pretty much a summary of the last week.  Lots of firsts are taking place as we all try and adapt to each other.  But we love the boys SO much and are SUPER excited to have them home with us.  It's crazy how instantly we doubled our family size.  I will have to get used to acknowledging ourselves as a family of four.  Weird...but cool.