Monday, November 12, 2012

I know you are wondering, how is Fernando handling the stress?

While in St. Louis, we skyped with jeff's parents, Bob & Jan. Jan lifted our chihuahua mix, Fernando, onto her lap, so Olivia could say hello. Out came a scream that was akin to a freight train applying its brakes. Thank goodness the Schlichtings are animal lovers, so off to the vet he went. Three prescriptions later, one for pain, one muscle relaxer, and one anti-inflammatory, Fernando was one drugged up little dog. When we got to Ft. Collins, my little lap dog, momma's boy, former baby substitute of a dog wouldn't even let me touch him.

He went straight to Dr. Charlie when we got home. An x-ray and blood work was done to rule out the obvious (kind of like ms) and we were asked does he have any beagle in him? Beagle? Not that I know of. Terrier, maybe. Dachshund, definitely. But beagle? He was diagnosed with beagle pain disorder. Yes, that's a thing. Treatable with steroids. But he'd have to be on "kennel rest" until he was feeling better.

So that means no going up and down stairs. If you have ever been to our house, you know you can't even get in without going up a flight of stairs. So picture our sleep deprived heroine with a baby under one arm, a Chihuahua under the other, holding a toddler's hand every time she goes to the basement to attend to the mountains of dirty laundry created by her family.

Sunday, November 4, 2012


On Wednesday (Halloween), we went to court to make it official. The sweet old judge gave Olivia and Jack beanie babies. When he asked what the name of the baby would be changed to, I replied Jackson Gill Schlichting and broke into tears. My little man!

The other woman in the courtroom besides our attorney Debbie and the judge was, I guess, an attorney for the state. Anyway, she commented that she agreed the adoption should be granted because I had jumped on the first flight after getting the call about the birth. This is certainly not something I, or anyone else deserves a medal for. I'm only shy of two years into this whole parenting thing, but isn't this what moms do? Jump on planes when their babies need them? It's like, chapter two in my mom handbook.

After court we took the bm to lunch with her son. Wow. Is he a piece of work. OOC (for those of you who do not teach middle school, that means out of control). Watch him break crayons in half and throw them over his head! Grab the railing and try to walk up the wall! Take off his shoes and crawl around on the floor! Olivia didn't know what to think. Thankfully she didn't think his behavior was cool.

Then off to Washington Park to see the bm's family. If you have ever been to Washington Park, Illinois, you get it. If not, I will explain to you in person. The bgm had thrown out her back earlier in the day and had been to the hospital to get cortisone shots (been there, it sucks). So we were not invited in the house, but chatted with the bgf in the yard. He's a really great guy, he kept talking about how he was lost without his wife, and couldn't even do a load of laundry without her supervision.

Exhausted and emotional, we hit the road for St. Louis. We were invited to a trick-or-treating party at Bill's daughter's house, but we were worn out. Instead Olivia had a supper of mac n' cheese and hot dogs, and put on her dinosaur costume and ran around the house. Perfect.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Fussy Baby- Cause Undetermined.

Sitting in the er in Junction city ks. Our baby who never cries became hysterical about two hours ago and has barely stopped crying at all. He's burped many times- is it gas? Colic? Is there really such thing as colic?

Another nurse that looks like Katy Perry. (see post dated 1/28/11). When we finally see the doctor (whom I had to practically awaken from a catatonic state in front of his computer) he is really fat. And slow. There is something about a morbidly obese doctor that just makes him, well, untrustworthy.

By now jack has calmed considerably. Fat doctor gives him the once over and writes on his discharge papers "fussy baby- cause undetermined ". Thanks Fat Doc. Now it's official. We are those parents. You know, the ones who bring their babies to the er for gas. By the time we get back to the holiday inn, its 2 am and jack is sleeping peacefully.

But let's get back to the story, I'm sure it won't be Jack's last trip to the er.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Illinois- the adoption capital of the universe

On Monday, we got a call from our Illinois adoption attorney Debbie. She had spoken to the judge and he decided that we could skip the ICPC process that petitions to allow us to leave the state and transfers legal guardianship from the agency to us. And go straight to the final adoption hearing. You heard me right, sports fans. With Olivia we waited six months and went through two different home studies to become her legal parents. Jack was officially going to become our son in TWO DAYS. We just couldn't believe it. We were told it was because of our amazing reputation as parents through the Colorado agency and attorneys in Colorado and California.

Now a little about Debbie. She, an adoption attorney, her mother, a professor at Washington University in child & family studies, (the Harvard of the Midwest, I've been told) her father, a research scientist who developed the tb test still used on infants today. Her sister Susan is a social worker who used to work for a Lutheran adoption agency that would not work with same sex couples or Jewish couples who wanted to adopt. Being Jewish, this understandably bothered Susan, so with Debbie's help, they opened their own agency. Her mother, needing a retirement project, became executive director.

Amazing miracle workers if you ask me. This is all going down as Susan's 14 year old daughter is at children's hospital undergoing a barrage of tests to identify the cause of her seizure disorder.

Even now, driving down i70 towards home five days later, I can't believe it. Jack is our son!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Big sister Olivia and the most amazing grocery store EVER

After a pretty restful night at the drury inn in belleville, jack and I made a quick stop at the neighborhood babies r us, then off to st Louis to bill and phyllis's beautiful home to await the arrival of the minivan full of my loved ones.

Phone rings. It's the social worker with the agency. The bm AND bf have signed the relinquishment paperwork! Hooray! One step closer to becoming Baby Jack's parents.

Trying to kill time waiting for my family to arrive, I went to the closest grocery store to lay in some supplies for Olivia. How can I describe this horn o plenty? It's beautiful with an entire cheese department. And god love any state that allows the sale of wine in a grocery store. Dierburgs. Upon checkout the overtly friendly gentleman informed me that there was live music on the weekends. And you can enjoy a glass of wine as you shop. What what WHAT? You read correctly, folks. Drink wine while you shop. That's what that drink holder thingie was for on the cart, and here i thought it was for coffee. Hilary, you still with me? It's probably a good thing that I learned of this in my sleep deprived state as I was leaving the store. If I had had a glass of wine then I would have hit the deck and not gotten up. That's okay, I'll be back, dierburgs.

Finally the family arrived and we all got to ooh and aah and kiss on the baby. Olivia was amazed and very gentle. She has become very protective of the baby around bill and phyllis's dog, Dezi.

After some homemade chili and putting Olivia to bed, it was time for jeff, jack, and I to head back to the drury.

One more night in the hospital

Friday, and jeff and Olivia and mom have made plans to leave Colorado tomorrow. Jeff's dad will meet them on I-70 to get the dogs and they will be on the way! As alone as I have felt, I do feel like I have dodged a bullet in missing a two-day road trip with a 21-month old.

I envisioned our new minivan packed to the rafters with snacks and toys for Olivia, compliments of her mimi. My sweet husband is a saint. I'm sure he is looking forward to having another boy in the family.

I met jack's pediatrician and scheduled his circumcision with the ob-gyn. we would be able to leave at 11:00 the next day. Then off to our family friends beautiful home in St. Louis. I would be so relieved to see Phyllis & bill. Phyllis's daughter has also adopted, so this is not her first rodeo.

I was pretty cross-eyed by bedtime. Having nobody to share Jack's feedings
With, I hadn't gotten much sleep. The nurse offered to put jack in the nursery for a couple of hours so I could get some sleep. I awoke at 8:00 Saturday morning!

The birth parents could not sign paperwork to relinquish their rights until 72 hours after the birth. There was some concern as to whether the bf would sign. If he does not, there is a 30 day waiting period where if he does not contest, his rights are automatically terminated. Susan was going to the bm's house on Sunday for her to sign, and we didn't know if the bf would even be there. Was I worried? No. I knew the bm would sign, and even if the bf didn't, I knew he would never contest the adoption.

After visits from our attorney Debbie and the agency rep Susan (fascinating women, more about them later) we were able to leave about 4:00. One complication- I was going to have to sleep in a hotel.

I was not allowed to sleep outside of Illinois with jack until we had gotten permission from the ICPC (interstate compact.) I could take jack for visits to the show me state, just not spend the night.

Off to the drury inn.