Monday, January 30, 2006

A Weekend of Birthday Celebrations!

Grayson had a very busy weekend! On Saturday we all went to Aunt Joy's surprise 70th birthday party. Although Aunt Joy was the guest of honor, Grayson certainly didn't go unnoticed. As soon as we walked into the church, he was swept away by a family member and visiting with everyone throughout the room. For a lot of people, this was the first time they had seen him since his baby shower when he was three weeks old. They couldn't believe how much he had grown!!

Sunday was Dominic's birthday and we spent the day in Baltimore. We first went to visit Dominic's Mom, where Grayson got to "play" with his cousin Paul. From there we headed to our old neighborhood and our favorite sushi restaurant, Matsuri. The sushi was wonderful and Grayson was very accomodating, allowing Mommy and Daddy to enjoy their sushi in peace!

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Grayson's Day in the Big City

Yesterday was a great day for both Grayson and me. I got to spend some time with adults and Grayson got tons of attention!! I went down to Baltimore to have lunch with a friend who works at my old company. Before lunch, I stopped in the HR Department to see all my co-workers. Grayson was handed off from one person to the next, and he slept the entire time. Actually, he was a perfect gentleman all day. He slept while we had lunch in the Inner Harbor. He slept in the car on the way to the mall. He slept while we walked around the mall until it was time to eat. And then he slept the entire drive back to the country. Amazing! I was a little worried he would be up all night, but he did great then as well. I was also a little worried because this was the first time he and I went out for a day all by ourselves and I think we handled it nicely. Now we're getting ready for a very busy weekend. Lots of partying and visiting ahead of us. That means more adult time for me! Yay!!

Monday, January 23, 2006

The Amazing Bumbo Seat

Grayson's Bumbo Seat arrived on Saturday and I couldn't wait to take it out of the box and use it. Unfortunately, it had been sitting outside all day, so by the time we got home that night the seat was a little cold and Grayson wasn't happy about sitting in it. Today, however, was a different story. The Bumbo Seat has already been a lifesaver. After his bath I was able to comb and style his hair (don't judge, he's got a lot of hair!) without his usual screaming because he was sitting comfortably in his Bumbo Seat. We then played a little with him sitting in it. It's much more fun to play with a baby when he's sitting up rather than standing over him.

I recommend anyone with a new baby to get a Bumbo. My friend recommended it to me and I am so glad she did.

Love My Bumbo!!

Thursday, January 19, 2006

His Two-Month Appointment

Grayson's two-month doctor's appointment was today and he did great! He now weighs 12 pounds, 14 ounces and he is 23 1/2 inches long. No wonder he's barely fitting into his 0 to 3 month clothes!! He's in the 75th percentile for both height and weight, so as the doctor put it, he's "well-proportioned." He received four injections and took them like a real trooper. The first one went in without any crying or screaming, and even though he started crying during the other three, he quickly recovered with a little comforting from me. He and I will be hanging out today on the couch since he's probably going to be a little grumpy.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Finding Grayson

Dominic and I had decided to adopt from Guatemala in April 2005. We began the process immediately, which included researching the country, gathering a ton of paperwork, completing our homestudy, etc. We had really never considered domestic adoption (adopting in the US) because we were uncomfortable with the process and didn't want to wait years for a baby. We had already been through almost four years of trying to conceive and were getting a bit impatient.

Our homestudy was finally completed in August and sent to the USCIS at the beginning of September. This is the US government agency that approves a person's ability to adopt from a foreign country and this approval was required before our agency would begin to look for a child, or referral, for us. We were starting to get concerned we wouldn't receive the referral of our child before the end of the year because the homestudy process had taken longer than we expected and we now had to wait for the CIS to approve us. At this same time, there was some concern Guatemala was going to change the way they process adoptions. A law was being considered that, if approved, may halt adoptions from that country. This added to our concern considering our goal had been to bring home a child quickly.

While we continued to worry about the Guatemala process, an on-line buddy of mine from IVF Connections mentioned she knew of a woman in the adoption community, Tammy, who helped to match potential birthparents with adoptive parents. She indicated Tammy knew of a number of Hispanic babies in the United States who would need homes, but she didn't have enough parents looking to adopt them. I immediately spoke with Dominic about this option and we decided we would look into it while we were waiting for our CIS approval. What did it hurt?

I contacted Tammy, who helped me pull together a quick profile to be presented to her potential situations. A profile talks about the adoptive parents and gives information to the potential birthparents to help them select parents for their children. It includes general information about the adoptive parents, their families, their jobs, parenting philosophies, etc. Ours was thrown together very quickly so Tammy could present us to her current situations. Dominic and I still had not given up on the Guatemala process at this point and were using domestic adoption as a back up.

During the month of September we had been presented to a few potential situations and hadn't been selected. I then went to my Great Nephew's first birthday party. His father had put together a slideshow of my Great Nephew's first year, including pictures of him as a newborn. I turned to Dominic and at that moment decided I wanted to adopt a newborn. Our decision had been made. Because it is impossible to adopt a newborn from Guatemala, we would fully switch to domestic.

I began to research the concept of open adoption, where the adoptive parents would maintain contact with the birthparents after the adoption is complete. I started to look into how to make a "true" profile to be presented to birthparents, not just one that had been thrown together, and by the end of October, we were ready to fully pursue domestic adoption. At the beginning of November, I contacted the adoption agency that had performed our homestudy and had it updated for domestic adoption.

In the next couple weeks, our profile was circulated quite a bit. Tammy would call me about potential situations throughout the United States and I would decide whether or not we would want to be presented. On Friday, November 18th, Tammy called me about a baby boy who had been born the night before in New Jersey. His birthmother wanted to view profiles so he could be adopted. If we were chosen, we would need to leave for New Jersey within a couple days and stay there with the baby while the paperwork was processed. I agreed to have us presented never really expecting to be chosen. Boy was I wrong!

That Saturday night Tammy called me with the news. We had been selected and we were to head to New Jersey as soon as possible. Dominic and I had absolutely NOTHING in the house to take care of a baby. Luckily, through friends and family, we were able to borrow some essentials like a carseat, clothing, a Pack N Play, etc. and then go shopping for things like diapers and bottles. Dominic was working that Saturday and then at a football game that Sunday, so I got everything ready on my own.

On Monday morning, November 21st, we were driving to New Jersey. I stopped by my job, transitioned all my work, and we headed up the road. We settled into our hotel room that night preparing to meet the birthmother at the hospital the next morning.

The representative from the birthmother's adoption agency met us at our hotel on Tuesday morning to help us prepare for the meeting. When we arrived at the hospital, Dominic and I waited in the lobby to meet our baby's birthmother. I have never been so nervous in my life! After we spoke, she went up to give her baby one last goodbye, and then she signed the paperwork. Dominic and I then went up to the NICU to meet Grayson for the first time.

He had been in the NICU since birth because he had some breathing difficulties. When he was first placed in our arms, he was attached to IV's and monitors, and still sleeping in an isolette. We went to visit him each day in the NICU and stayed with him as long as we could. On Thanksgiving Day, November 24th, the doctors scanned his lungs again. The problem that had existed had completely disappeared, they had no idea why. As a result, we were able to take Grayson from the hospital. We definitely had a lot to be thankful for!!

As a side note, remember the approval we needed from the USCIS for our adoption from Guatemala?? It wasn't received until December 23rd. Over a month after Grayson's adoption!

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

A Blog? Really??

As you probably know by now, Dominic and I adopted a son on November 22, 2005. Because so many of our friends now live around the country (and around the world) and because some of them have asked us if we have a website dedicated to him, I decided to start a blog. Hopefully I can keep the site updated with pictures and information "All About Grayson." This way you can check it out any time you like and you will no longer receive those annoying e-mail updates from me!!

Introducing Grayson Jordan Paul DiPietro, Born November 17, 2005!!