Saturday, August 16, 2008

Open Book Answers PART VI (by H)

When will your spring Caribbean getaway be to Haiti? And here is the probe: Which Haiti-scholar will you invite along to guide you around and show you the GREAT parts of Haiti, not just the crappy parts? ~Tricia V: Hi Girl! ASA is in San Fran next year, right?! If so, let’s plan to meet up then for sure! To answer your question… (nice leading question by the way!!!)… We will go to Haiti when we believe it is the right time for the boys. We don’t know when that will be. When they are old enough to ‘get it’; when they are starting to ask to go there; when they understand enough to want to know more. We assume that will be in a few years. We think we’ll know when the time comes. And yes, you never know, maybe we’ll invite you to be our guide?!!!!!
When you were adopting, did you ask for twins? If so, why?? Did you ask for boys? If so, why?? ~Terel: We did not ask for twins or for boys. Basically, we just said we were open to anything. We said we had no preference regarding gender. We said we’d take minor special needs (no life threatening illnesses). And we said we were open to multiples. Our only request was that we wanted to get a baby as young as possible (we really wanted to have a baby). We were told right away that it would be a boy. This is because of all the people adopting, so many (the vast, vast, vast majority) request girls. So, if you say ‘no preference’ you are virtually guaranteed to get a boy. We were happy to have a boy! So, we thought we were in the process of adopting a baby boy. We submitted everything, the dossier went to Haiti, and… in terms of how we got twins… the agency called us with our referral... and we were shocked when they said they had twin boys who were about 2 weeks old and “looked healthy.” They said that twins are hard to place and that they didn’t want to separate them. They asked us if we’d take them both. Without any hesitation or big discussion we immediately said that we would. That is the story! Everyone thought we were absolutely crazy for agreeing to take twins! We were scared at first (mostly at the prospect of adopting TWO babies instead of the ONE that we had been anticipating). But then we got used to the idea and we were psyched! All along I’ve been so glad to have twins because I have always thought that part of why K & O transitioned/adjusted so well during their adoptions was because they had the constant of each other. And boys… well, as wild and crazy as they are… I wouldn’t trade them for *anything*!!!!!
How much do the boys weigh these days? ~Randy & Kelly: The boys are 4 years and 3 months old. They each weigh 45 pounds. I find it bizarre that they continue to always weigh the same amount!!!!!!!!!!!! Braydon can still carry them both, but it is getting hard for me to even carry one!
I remember reading that you had strong beliefs that you should adopt first and then have a biological child, but I do not remember reading about those beliefs. Is there a certain time period in your blog that I could find this to read about how you two made your choice? If there is not would you consider sharing your beliefs on this issue? ~Beth: I’m sorry for your misconception. Somehow you picked this up along the way, but really we don’t have any kind of strong beliefs about adopting first. Now that we did it the way we did, we wouldn’t change a thing (we’ve loved our journey)—but we don’t have a philosophical opinion on the order of it one way or another. We do, however, have very strong beliefs about adoption. Basically, in a nutshell, we believe very strongly that if you can adopt you should… and that if you feel it in your heart to do it, then you should act on that in the world. The way we made our choice was really simple, actually-- we were just feeling very strongly that we should adopt. And we didn’t feel those same feelings about having a bio. child. Braydon actually finally just suggested to me that we go for it and start an adoption, since that is what we were feeling and believing we should do. We figured that down the road we might want to have a bio. child as well, but we were feeling very strongly at that point that adoption was the first priority in our hearts and our minds. It felt like a very strong pull for us – what many people would describe as a “calling.” So we just went ahead and started the process. As soon as we got started with the adoption we felt a huge sense of relief knowing that we had made the right decision for us. And from that point on we never looked back. I don’t know if we’ve blogged about that before. You can look through the posts labeled ‘adoption’ to try to find out – here is the link to those: http://johnson-mccormickfamily.blogspot.com/search/label/Adoption Let me know if you find any mention of it in any of our posts! (I honestly don’t remember if we’ve ever written about it here.)
My question is How much weight did you gain during your pregnancy? And how did you stay so fit? ~Tamara: Thank you for the compliment! I gained 28 pounds. My OB had told me that I should be shooting for 30-35 pounds. I felt good about the 28. I stayed very active throughout the entire pregnancy (even at the bitter end when I was 2 weeks past my due date). With only one major exceptions (no lifting anything over 30 pounds--- which meant that for 9 months I never picked up K or O), I did not limit my activities in any way. I was careful to not do things that might be dangerous (for example, I didn’t ski or snow tube when we were in NH for Christmas), but otherwise I did everything the same as before. Including lots of chasing after K & O, walking all over Lehigh’s very hilly campus (when I was at work), bending down all the time to pick up toys off the floor at home, etc. Since K & O came home, Braydon and I have not been doing any formal/official ‘exercise’ on a regular basis, but we are a *very* active family, always on the move, always up and out and doing something. I think that was the key for me—just keeping my usual pace and range of motion. We also eat pretty well/healthy on a regular basis. I didn’t change my diet at all during my pregnancy (other than that I cut down on my coffee and alcohol intake and I cut out diet soda completely). I ate more than usual but not a ton more. The big difference was that I started to want to eat sweet things (I had never had a sweet tooth before)… so I ate a lot more dessert than usual. But still I was careful to not go too crazy with it. At the end of my pregnancy everyone was commenting on how active I was for being so pregnant—but I just couldn’t imagine doing it any other way. So that was just how it was. Since having Meera I have lost all but about 5-7 pounds. Crazily, I have been eating more than ever (hungry all the time! Much more than while I was pregnant…) and have been more inactive than ever (sitting with the baby)… obviously this is the result of not having gained too much and also the nursing. Overall my experience with pregnancy and childbirth and postpartum has been much better than I would have expected for doing all this at age 35. Good luck to you! J
Our quesiton is What is the prayer that you say with the boys every night? ~Steve, Kimberly, and Mia: We started saying prayers with the boys every night when they were about 18 months old. They memorized it very quickly and were saying it out loud with us soon after. We have said that same prayer every night since. (The first few lines of this prayer is actually the exact same prayer that I said with my family every night before going to bed when I was a kid.) When K & O were 3.5 we added on so that at the end we each add our own personal prayer. The boys’ personal prayers are usually very basic—like, (and these are real, common, examples) “Dear God, thank you for the beautiful day and thank you that I got to play with my brother. Amen.” Or “Dear God, I really love my mommy and I really love my papi and I really love my brother and I really love my sister. Amen.” Sometimes their prayers deviate and are much more complex. Sometimes they are simple but profound. Sometimes they are totally ridiculous or pathetic. And sometimes so funny that it is very hard to not burst out laughing… like, the other night Owen said this prayer: “Dear God, I really love my mommy. And thank you dear God that I am so cute. Amen.” (!!!) Anyway, below I’m also jotting down the prayer we say for grace at every meal, as well as a meal-time grace that the boys sometimes say alone for us before a meal (it is their Waldorf School grace that they said at school every day last year before they ate their lunch). Mostly I’m putting these down so that someday we’ll remember them in case they change over the years. Thanks for the prompting!

Bedtime Prayer
Thank you for the flowers so sweet
Thank you for the food we eat
Thank you for the birds who sing
Thank you God for everything
God bless Mommy and Papi, Kyle, Owen, and Meera,
MorMor and MorFar and our whole family
God bless all of our friends,
The people of Haiti,
And even the people we don’t know.
Amen.

Mealtime Grace
God is great, God is good,
We give thanks for our food,
And help us to be ever mindful of others’ needs and wants.
Amen.

K & O’s Waldorf School Grace
Blessings on the blossom,
Blessings on the root,
Blessings on the leaf and stem,
Blessings on the fruit,
Blessings on our lunch,
And peace upon the earth.
Now we may eat.

5 comments:

Rebekah Hubley said...

the comment about being MUCH MORE hungry and not as active after your pregnancy... I totally get! I gained about the same as you with each pregnancy, but when I would nurse; which was just about 12 months with each of them, I consumed soooooo much food it was insane! I lost my initial weight with nursing, but then I always kept 10-15 lbs during nursing, and then when each baby was about 18 months old, I lost the rest without trying. It's funny how our bodies work like this! I love your blog, and it is a daily read for me. My aunt and uncle live in Emmaus, and my cousins live in Bethlehem and Harrisburg. Have you guys ever taken the boys to Ocean City, NJ? They would love it! We are already planning our trip there for next year. BTW, when is the annual Pennsylvania summer Haiti get together? Where do they normally meet? We will be in Penn. sometime in July or August and we have friends that are adopting from the same O that we did. It would be fun to meet up there with everybody. Sorry for the long "comment". Your family is beautiful!

Asiaha said...

My mealtime grace is almost the same as yours!:

God is great and God is good and we thank you for our food. Bow our heads lets all be fed give us Lord our daily bread. Amen

Cindy said...

Oh I am too late and missed all this fun. Guess you think you're all some kind of experts on *something* (what?) now, huh? La-de-da :0). Just kidding!

I am still kind of new here, but I notice you never talk about your boy's indenticalness as if you take it for granted (though I'm sure you don't and love it). Do you ever think about: What if they were fraternal and how different things might go?

One day I was suddenly struck with the thought: What if my Tsega (fraternal) had an identical brother? The thought nearly blew my mind (and I'm kind of glad he doesn't!). Then I thought: who came first before the fertilized egg split, Sira or Bereket??? Again my mind blew.

I got to admit, I feel pretty special to have the identical AND fraternal thing going on here in Tripletland. Not to mention that identical is much rarer than fraternal (not to mention triplets are much rarer than twins--adopted ones at that!). Guess I like the rare factors in life. :)


P.S. I just read your dressing twins post and loved it! I always thought I hated seeing twins dressed a like and now I love it (although for some reason I don't do it much). Soemtimes I do to tease others as I know they will have a headache trying to keep my matching pair straight. Hehe.

-Cindy

Heather said...

Hi Cindy,
Actually, we're pretty sure that K & O are fraternal. I wrote about that in the post Open Book Answers Part III.
:)
Heather

Cindy said...

Noooo waaaay! I don't believe you for one second! Now you're just playing with me! :)

Come on, I cannot even pretend to tell them apart! Argggh!