The Big Long Wait – Kelley’s Adoption Journey
When did you start your blog, and what was your motivation behind starting your blog? What are some of the topics you like to post about? Tell us more about your other blog too—Kelley’s recipes. Also, what is it like to have your husband online and blogging as well?
I started this blog in June of 2011 after we had completed our homestudy and were ready to officially share the news of our adoption journey with family and friends. This blog originally started as a way to keep family and friends up to date on what was going on with our adoption, but has turned into more of an online journal for our family. Primarily, it’s Kate’s baby book! In the beginning, the idea was for both my husband (Kevin) and myself to post updates… but that never ended up happening! Around the time Kate was 5 months old, Kevin started wanting to post things of his own- mainly fitness or biblical posts. Since the blog had sort of become my own personal blog about Kate, I told him he needed to get his own blog. So, he did!
I also love to try new recipes that I find on Pinterest, so I started another blog (Kelley’s Recipes) as an online organizer for the recipes that I’ve tried and liked. Plus, who doesn’t like good food! It keeps me organized.
Can you tell us a little bit about Kate’s story?
Kate joined our family in August 2011. Besides the gift of salvation, she has been one of the biggest blessings of our lives. Kevin and I knew that we were unable to have biological children before we were even married, so we knew we would turn to adoption when we felt the desire to expand our family. We adopted through Bethany Christian Services and cannot say enough good things about this agency. We knew that adoption could be a long process, and were prepared for what we thought would be a BIG LONG WAIT (hence the name of the blog). Well it turns out God had other plans! We finished our homestudy and became “officially waiting” on April 4, 2011, were matched with a birth family on June 29, 2011 and Kate was born just five weeks later on August 10, 2011! We definitely realize that our adoption journey was much, much shorter than lots of families. I have nothing but respect and admiration for those families that wait much longer because let’s face it, the waiting is HARD. Especially when all you want to do is be a mommy. What I can say, is that I am 100% sure that each family is matched with THEIR child. I can’t imagine any other child being MY child but Kate and I have loved every second of being her mommy. Well… ALMOST every second!
What is your biggest challenge being a mom?
Scheduling! Wow- keeping up with a family of 3 is hard! How do you parents of multiple kids do it? Kate’s not even old enough to have soccer practice and dance lessons either, so I know I am in for a SHOCK in a few years. Right now though the biggest challenge is juggling everything- church, work, doctors appointments, shopping, meetings, sporting events, meals, etc! I think that I am definitely learning about time management and know I still have a LONG way to go!
What are some ways in which your family tries to save money?
Well, I have some major room for improvement in this category too. We do use coupons- especially for diapers, wipes and formula. We also have a Target just a few miles from our house and do about 90% of our shopping here. Because of that, we went ahead and got their Red Card, so we get a 5% discount everytime we shop there- on our entire purchase! You can get the Red Card as a debit card or a credit card. We chose debit- just personal preference. We also try to eat lots of meals at home. This is where we’re trying to improve. I’m a tax accountant so January-April 15th was pretty crazy. Crazy Schedule = Eating Out. We’re in the process of transitioning to more home cooked (cheaper) meals at home.
What are your top 5 tips for all moms?
- Don’t stress about all of the baby choices. I know- this is a dumb tip because we all stress but really, it’s not that big of a deal. Cloth diaper or disposable. Really. Who cares. That’s just a personal preference and my child is not going to be worse off just because I choose to use a disposable diaper. If you want to use a cloth diaper, go you! Premade baby food or make your own? Baby led weaning or not? Make your own parenting choices, be happy about it, and don’t stress!
- Take pictures. I LOVE pictures and I’m sure one day Kate will be saying “MOOOMMM! Please no more pictures.” For now I’m just loving the fact that when I say “Say Cheese!”, she smiles!
- Be flexible. Learn to just go with it. We did Babywise with Kate and it worked like a charm as far as sleeping goes. However, we weren’t super strict. It’s basically impossible to keep the same schedule for naps and feeding EVERY SINGLE DAY. So, we had to learn to be flexible and you know what? She’s a healthy happy 9 month old!
- Don’t give up on the YOU time. When we adopted Kate, we spent the first 2 weeks of her life in a hotel room in NC waiting on paperwork to go through to allow us to travel back to our home state. We spent the next week at home but then realized that we NEEDED a little break. So family watched Kate for about 2 hrs while Kevin and I went to the movies. We saw The Help and as guilty as I felt driving away from my 3 week old, after we got back I felt so much more refreshed after having a little adult time. No thinking about bottles, diapers, or naps.
- Enjoy it. I know everybody says “It goes by SO fast.” but I didn’t realize how true it was until Kate was born. She is already 9 months old and it feels like just yesterday that we were driving to the hospital to meet her for the first time. I spend lots of time taking pictures, blogging, and documenting her life so that I won’t forget anything. BUT, I make sure that I don’t get so caught up in DOCUMENTING her life, that I miss out on just enjoying it.