Friday, December 22, 2006

Interesting Christmas gift - a better future

Every holiday season I face the same daunting task: buying gifts for people who already have everything they want (or are just really picky - LOL). Normally John is one of the more difficult people to buy for, but he was very easy this year. He's been looking at a specific piece of Gucci luggage ( for about a month now - so this year he was the easiest to buy for. For some reason, this holiday season, I couldn't settle on the perfect gift for my stepmother, Susan. Just like the rest of our family, Susan is an amazing person. Intelligent, kind, caring, and thoughtful are just a few of the adjectives I would use to describe her. She reads quite a bit so I thought perhaps a good book would be the best choice, but that I realized that with the quantity of books she reads my chances of sending her a book she hasn't read are fairly low. In the past I've sent various gift baskets with various edible goodies, but for the last few years they have taken to going on a 20 plus day cruise in January... so I figured if I sent food there was a high risk that it would spoil while my parents were traveling. She speaks highly of the various spa treatments on the cruise line ( so I did entertain the idea of purchasing an on-board credit for them... but that became a little bit of a logistical nightmare, so that idea was cancelled as well.

Then, it finally came to me. I should point out that part of her amazing persona is her passion for politics and environmental causes. I to my favorite online search engine ( and typed in the simple phrase "save the rain forest." I was happy to find about seven sites that boasted the opportunity to "save the rain forest, by paying to preserve one acre at a time." I looked through the various sites, and then double checked a few other sites to ensure that I wasn't buying into a scam. I finally settled on purchasing an acre in Susan's honor from the STARO (Save The Amazon Rainforest Organization). I picked STARO ( because it appeared to me to be much more personal then the other organizations.

So, I purchased an acre of rain forest for her. I think she'll like it... and I feel like my gift is a little more special then the other things I might have given her. Whether you buy into the global warming issue or not - I've always believed that it just can't be a good thing to cut down all the trees! Plus, you get a neat full color certificate.

Thanks for reading!


Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Busy.. still here.. still searching... Happy Holidays!

Here it is a couple days before Christmas, and I haven't even written a blog about Thanksgiving yet!! So, I guess I should start this blog by appologizing to everyone who reads this. I will try my best not to let so much time pass between posts.

It's turned out that in addition to seeing lots of old friends and family that live a far, this is a great time to spread the word of our search for a birthmother. Over the last three weeks I've been to what seems like hundreds (although I'm sure it's probably more like five or six) holiday parties. It's been so great to see people who I haven't had the chance to see in such a long time - plus meet lots of new people who've come into our circle of friends and co-workers throughout the last year. I think over the last couple of weeks I have talked to about 50 new people about our want to adopt. I continue to be happily surprised with how much support people have in our adoption search. People always seem genuinely interested in the steps we've taken so far. Our website ( has had a lot of traffic lately - so I think the people we've been talking to recently have been taking the time to review our website. The more people that know the better. Adoption is a truly amazing thing - and the thought that one of the people we just met might being a person that ends up referring us to a possible birthmother is really exciting!

Anyway, I have to get out and do some last minute holiday shopping. I'll try and write more soon. In case we don't talk to you before - HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!!!


Saturday, November 11, 2006

A trip to New York city

As many of you know John and I LOVE New York city. So, when my company decided to have a departmental summit in Times Square John and I decided to extend my stay by a few days and get in some good shopping and some great dining. It's been a few months since either of us had been there so we were excited to see some of the new shops and restaurants we'd read about. My summit was a one a half day event. We arrived on Wednesday and the summit finished at about 5 pm. John wasn't due to arrive in the city until the next morning, so knowing that John doesn't love most Asian food, a couple of my friends and I arranged to go to Tao ( Tao was great, and in retrospect I think John would have really enjoyed it as well. The environment was almost surreal - very modern, great lighting, and a giant Buddha in the middle of the room with a water fountain at it's base. One of the center tables had a giant glass top which was held up with a tub full of water, rose petals, and floating candles. Needless to say it was extremely beautiful. The food was good too - we had a sampling of sushi and various other Asian dishes. The sushi was among the best I've ever had.

On Thursday John took a mid morning flight and spent most of the day shopping by himself. The summit wasn't due to end until 3:00 pm, and par the usual it ran a little over. By four o'clock I finally made it out of the summit and made my way to the W Hotel Union Square ( - where John and I were spending the rest of the weekend. I really enjoy most of the W Hotels. They have a very modern feel, nice bathrooms, and great service. Anyway, we checked in to our room and about two minutes later John's cousin's wife, Jessica called us. Jessica was in the city for an interview so we got to meet up with her. We didn't finalize our plans until about a week before the summit, so Jessica didn't have a chance to change her flight, but she did have just enough time to meet with us for about an hour. It was great to see her! She said that her interview had gone pretty well, and as it turns out the company made the right decision, because about three days later we got a call saying she'd got the job (congratulations!!!!). Naturally, a lot of our discussion involved our plans to adopt. Everyone, including Jessica, is curious as to how are search is going. We can't wait for the day that we can tell her (and everyone else) that we're matched and going to have a baby in the house soon!

Thursday night John and I went to Craft ( My friend John-Paul had read about it. It was decent, but not great. They had somehow misplaced our reservation, but since we were eating fairly early they we're able to fit us in. The food was pleasant, and the environment was nice - but I have to admit that we probably won't go there again. Not only was it over priced (which is to be expected of a lot of NYC restaurants) but the service really was lacking. If the food had been amazing it might have made up for it. Alas, the food was just good and didn't make up for there inability to provide friendly service. It was very close to our hotel... which was a definite plus.

John had managed to get to most of SOHO on Thursday so we spent much of Friday shopping on 5th Ave, or Madison Ave. It was great. Not only are the shops great, but it's amazing to see the thousands of people that are there. If you haven't been to NYC before then you might not really be aware of what the term "melting pot" means. You figure out what it means very quickly in NYC. The people on the streets of NYC are from everywhere. Every state, every city, every country.

At some point on Friday I started to realize that I was coming down with a cold. I should make a point of saying that I NEVER get sick. I really, don't. I mean, yes I get the occasional upset stomach from eating the wrong thing... but I really don't get colds, or the flu, or anything like that. In fact, I've never even had a headache... although I'm told that I'm not missing anything. Anyway, since I never get sick I'm acutely aware when my body isn't working the way it should. Being that it was cold, and I was in the middle of million people on the streets of New York, I should have told John that I wasn't feeling well, and gone back to the hotel to rest. Well, I didn't. I was having too much fun in the city, and decided that it was just the beginning of cold and I'd be fine.

Friday night we went to see a off Broadway musical called The Evil Dead ( For those of you that are 80's film buffs you've probably heard of this before. It was a not so great movie about a man and his friends who discover a book that releases deadly spirits into the world that they later decided to turn in to a musical comedy. It ended up being very funny. Before the show we ended up going to dinner at this great, little, hole in the wall, French restaurant called Chez Napoleon ( It had maybe eight tables. When we walked in most of the tables were empty, and the French bar tender asked if we had a reservation. We said "no", and he rolled his eyes. He asked us if we had a show to go to and after we said "yes" he rolled his eyes again and said he could probably fit us in. He showed us to a small table next to the door. John had decided that he wanted pasta, and this being a true French restaurant there wasn't a pasta dish to be found. He ended up ordering the Cornish hen, and I had duck l'orange. I loved it, and John found it acceptable. The entire staff was French, so that added to the authenticity.

When we woke up Saturday morning, I new I was very sick. Even though I had slept the entire night I felt exhausted - BUT being that we were in New York city I rallied and John and I went to breakfast at The Mercer Kitchen ( The Mercer Kitchen is the restaurant in the Mercer hotel. John went there once several years ago.... and we've made it a point to have breakfast there every time we've gone to NYC together. We essentially order everything on the menu - and leave completely stuffed. It's SO good! Unfortunately, by the end of breakfast I was exhausted... but again I managed to continue on with only a little complaining. We spent the rest of the day shopping in SOHO.

Saturday evening we flew back to Atlanta. My friend John-Paul from work was on the same flight, so it was fun to hear about his time in the city. He's spent a considerable amount of time in New York, so he has several friends who live there. It was great to hear his stories of the city - he always manages to have an exciting time. By this time my cold had taken over.. and I managed to spend the next several days in bed recovering. I guess, I've learned my lesson.

John and I have made many plans of trips with our future child. Although this trip was more of shopping and eating trip, there are so many great museums in the city. The last time we were in NYC we spent half the day in the Museum of Modern Art ( The city has so much to show children! I think there are literally 6 children's museums in Manhattan alone. It goes without saying that we won't be without fun, educational, places to take our child.


Saturday, October 21, 2006

John's best friend's wedding

On October 12th John and I flew to Omaha to attend Josh & Katie's wedding. John was the best man which proved to be lots of fun because we were invited to all the fun stuff that's only for the wedding party and close relatives (rehearsal dinner, breakfast, etc). The wedding was beautiful... and fun. So many great people. When I say "great" I mean "GREAT!" Ever single person I met was genuine, honest, and caring. I think it speaks volumes to the kind of people Josh and Katie are. Birds of a feather flock together - and clearly this wedding party was no exception.

Although I feel as though I've known Josh and Katie for years, it was actually the first time that I'd had the chance to meet them in person. I've heard so many "Josh" stories that at times I forget that he wasn't at my college. LOL The night we arrived was Katie's bachelorette party, so we invited Josh to have dinner with us and John's parents. It was a nice, little, Italian restaurant called Vivace ( Being that it was two days before his wedding, I assumed that he'd be a little nervous - but he was not the nervous groom. He was clearly completely confident in his decision to marry Katie.

I met Katie the next night at the wedding rehearsal. I had seen pictures of her from their college years, and John has always described her as beautiful, but she was truly stunning. Again, I guess I assumed that like most brides to be that I've known she'd be running around the church like a mad woman... clearly frazzled and and the verge of a nervous break down. Well, not Katie. She was dressed wonderfully, completely poised, and although she clearly had a check list of things she need to accomplish, she went from task to task with a smile on her face and appeared to do it all without the standard panicked sense of urgency you might expect. As you might imagine we didn't get a lot of time to talk until the rehearsal dinner. They had the reception dinner at another great Italian restaurant called Lo Sole Mio ( The food was very good. Although I can't remember what it was called, I had a chicken and pasta dish that was very good... and the portions we're huge. My plate alone could have served at least three people! Anyway, during the rehearsal dinner I had the chance to talk to Katie - as I expected she was an intelligent, thoughtful person.

It was abundantly clear that Josh and Katie were perfect together. Which is a good thing since they have been dating for something like 15 years. Essentially, every speech had some sort of crack at how they had been together for a "long, long, long" time. When you think about it, they have actually dated almost twice as long as the average marriage lasts these days. I think many people would be envious of a relationship that has so much love and passion that 15 years into it they still have the want to celebrate their love for eachother.

The wedding went off without a hitch (or at least if there were any issues I couldn't tell). John had been a little nervous about the speech he had to give, but he proved to be a great orator as his speech was received very well. He didn't trip over any of his words - and most importantly, people laughed when they were supposed to!

The rest of the weekend involved us meeting up with what ended up being essentially all of his Omaha family and friends. Among others we got the chance to see his cousin Matt run, and qualify for state. I was very impressed. On Sunday, before we returned to Atlanta his parents had his grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins and second cousins over. There must have been twenty people. I think everyone had a blast. Two of John's cousins Max & Scout had everyone playing this timed game where you have to try and put as many plastic shapes into their respective holes as possible before the time runs out. It was great to see almost everyone participating and competing. Scout (the youngest person playing the game) holds the record at 14 pieces placed within the given time. Yet another example of how age doesn't always hold an advantage!

As you might imagine, through out the weekend there was lots of discussion about our want to adopt and our respective search for a birthmother. John's parents are doing a good job networking. I think every member of the family asked us how our search is going and offered to continue to help. I was also surprised by how many of the people at the wedding asked us about adoption. Word really does spread quickly (plus, we always bring it up if people don't ask - LOL). It's great to know that we have so much support in John's home town. The number of babies and toddlers that were present at the wedding was really amazing. Of course, John and I had to make sure that we introduced ourselves to all of them!!! So much fun!


Friday, September 29, 2006

A BIG thank you

If you've read other posts in our blog, or visited our adoption website ( you may have noticed that the open adoption process involves a "search" for a birthmother. One of the most important ways that we are "searching" for our birthmother is through our friends and family. The IAC ( tells us that over 10% of birthmother matches come from knowing someone that knows someone who is considering placing their child. A story we hear over and over again is about a couple who had been waiting several years to match with a birthmother. They were just about to give up on the process when their hair dresser - who they had previously told they were looking to adopt - called them and said that "one of her clients daughters was considering adoption" and that she'd "like to give their names to her." Well, you guessed it - about two weeks later they matched with their hairdresser's client's daughter. At first I assumed this was a once in a life time event, but it turns out things like that happen quite often. Last month four perspective adoptive parents at our agency matched because of a "network referral" - aka an adoptive couple who knows someone, who knows someone who is considering placing their child.

So, at the suggestion of the IAC we A) told everyone - and I mean everyone - we know that we're trying to adopt, and b) we try to keep everyone up to date by sending emails (about once a month) reminding them that we are still trying to adopt and that if they hear anything to please let us know.

At this point you might be wondering why I titled this entry as "a BIG thank you." Well, I chose that title because in the months that we've been searching for a birthmother it's become even more clear that our friends and family are among the most caring, and amazing people on the planet. I had expected that our adoption plans would be accepted well with our family and friends. I had expected that they would keep their ears and eyes open for birthmothers. I never expected the extent that so many of them would go to help spread the word. From what I gather it looks like our original adoption announcement (that we sent out to about 50 people) has now been forwarded to over 1000 people. From talking to our mothers it sounds like they haven't had a conversation in the last four months that hasn't involved at least a small discussion about how their son and his partner are looking for a birthmother.

The list goes on and on - so many of our friends have done so many great things to help spread the word, and further our efforts to find the perfect birthmother. There is one friend who has truly gone above and beyond. Our friend Bridget, who I first met in high school, constantly amazes me with her willingness to do so many amazing things. Not only was she the first person to forward our email on to others, but later she amazed us by regularly sending out an announcement on her MySpace page to all of her 124 linked friends asking them to look for potential birthmothers. Recently she actually started a web group called "William and John should be daddies." If that wasn't enough, when we actually went to the web page to see what was going on with our newly inaugurated group we discovered that it already had 57 members!

The fact that everyone, and Bridget especially, has done so much to help us makes us so proud. It's amazing for us to get so much proof that our friends and family not only think we'll make great parents, but also care enough to help us in our search for a birthmother.

THANK YOU TO EVERYONE FOR HELPING US!!! We know that with your help we'll have the family we've dreamed of very soon!


Thursday, September 07, 2006


A recent conversation that I had lead me to think about some of the traditions that we'd like to have in our new family. Many of the traditions that come to mind involve some kind of holiday. Growing up Christmas had lots of traditions - and we hope to continue at least some of them with our future child.

The Christmas traditions started in the beginning of December. Every year my mom would purchase an advent calendar - one of those "count down to Christmas" calendars with little doors that open. Every night, after dinner, my mother would take the calendar off the wall and I would carefully open the door to see what was behind it. Most of the time the little door would reveal little pieces of chocolate shaped like Christmas trees, presents, etc. I loved it! Occasionally, I'd try and convince my mom to let me open up other days as well. I guess she new that opening up other days would ruin the fun because - as I recall - I can't remember her ever letting me open up an extra day.

One Christmas tradition I don't think we'll be able to continue (at least not in Atlanta) involved picking the Christmas tree. As I think I've mentioned before, I grew up in a rural part of Maine, and my back yard was literally acres, and acres of Christmas trees. Every year my parents and I would put on our snow suits and trek out into the woods to find the perfect tree. When I say perfect, I mean perfect. It usually took hours. I'm probably exaggerating, but as a child it sometimes felt like we walked miles. We'd spot a tree that looked good. Make a mental not of it, and then move on to see if we could find a better one. Then, when we'd seen so many trees we could hardly remember the first we'd decided - as a group - which tree was the best. We'd hike back to the chosen tree (through the snow) and my dad would cut down the tree. Then we would all work together to carry the tree back to the house. This was often a difficult task because not only we're we usually fairly far from the house, but we were also trekking through a foot of snow. After we got the tree into the house, and onto it's stand, we'd all sit down and have a nice, warm cup of hot chocolate. Unfortunately, I don't think we'll be able to recreate this tradition in Atlanta. First - no snow. Second - I doubt that the city of Atlanta would appreciate us cutting down trees in the park. hahaha

Perhaps one of our favorite traditions is the actual decoration of the Christmas tree. Later the same night that we cut down the tree we'd all work together to decorate the tree. All of our Christmas decorations were kept in an ancient, wooden box. Every year, my mom would un-pack the box one ornament at a time. A lot of the ornaments actually doubled as family heirlooms, and as such would have stories that went along with them. My mom would re-tell the story of how this ornament had been made by my great grandmother, and this ornament had been purchased for my first Christmas, etc, etc. John and I both look forward to decorating the tree with our future child... we can't wait!

There are lots of other traditions we're looking forward to continuing, many of which don't involve holidays - having pancake breakfasts as a family, etc - but the holiday season certainly brings back lots of memories... and lots of hope for the traditions we hope to start soon!!


Saturday, August 19, 2006

Cooking With William

One of the things I'm trying to do between now and the time the baby comes is get a slightly better hand on cooking. Now, that's not to suggest that I can't cook anything - but really I don't cook a lot. John and I have often discussed the importance of having home cooked meals, and sitting around the table eating as a family... so in order to keep up my end of the bargain I'd like have a fairly eclectic list of things I can cook. Hopefully, I'll be able to cook healthy, TASTY meals that will help persuade the family to want to sit around the table at dinner time.

My family has been very helpful. My stepmother sent her family recipe book to me, and I've tried a few of those items (some are really easy, and some are really hard - I've decided that part of my family must have a little master chef hidden in them). She also bought me a great book called "How To Cook Everything." Which is - I think - the best beginner cook book ever made. It's well written, very comprehensive, and is very easy to understand.

A new thing I'm doing is having friends over so that we can cook together. Last night, we had our friend Jennifer over. She thought it would be fun to make her famously delicious chicken Parmesan. She thought it would be yummy, and fairly easy to make it. Turns out she was right. I had a blast cooking with her - and besides spilling oil all over the kitchen - I think it went very well. It tasted very good, if I do say so myself. Hopefully, our future child (when it's old enough to eat that sort of food) will agree, because I plan on making it again in the future.


Friday, August 18, 2006

Cousin Katie's baby is here!!!

The newest addition to the family is here! My cousin Katie gave birth to a beautiful, healthy, baby girl. Cambell Jane Keber. She weighed in at 8 pounds 4 ounces and was 20.5 inches long. We can't wait to meet her!

Cambell Jane Keber

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Community Service Update

I'm happy to report that I have officially been accepted as a volunteer at the Northside Hospital program. As you might have read in the earlier post I had filled out an application to become a volunteer a couple of weeks ago. As per standard procedure, shortly after they received my application they called me to set up an appointment with the Director of Volunteer Services - Maryanne.

Going into the interview I wasn't really sure what to expect. A couple years back, part of my job was to do all the 2nd line interviewing for my department, so to say that I'm familiar with the interviewing process is a little bit of an understatement. My old department hired about 50 people a month, and turned down 3 people for every one we hired - if you do the math that's A LOT of interviews. But those were all interviews for specific jobs - I was interviewing to donate my time to the hospital, and I wasn't really sure what kind of questions they would ask, and even more importantly what they were trying to determine in the interview.

As it turned out the interview was much more of a meet and greet then anything else. Maryanne, the director, was a nice lady who is probably in her early to mid 50s. I'm not sure, but I think she was at one point a nurse... she's got that "I care about you, but I'm very busy so I'm going to get to the point" nurse attitude (that I personally love). Her main concern was that I understand that volunteering at Northside is NOT like volunteering for Habitat For Humanity, or the Salvation Army. The main difference is that unlike other programs where you volunteer occasionally and you aren't really committed to the program, the Northside program is a COMMITMENT. Much like a job. In the program you have to commit to a weekly four hour shift, and a minimum of 50 hours of service. So, essentially she wanted to make sure that I understood that if they accept me into the program I would be expected to work for a minimum of 3 months.

I explained to her that I had read all the hour commitment information before even applying, and that I wouldn't have wasted her time - or mine for that matter - if I didn't think I could make at least that kind of hours commitment. She appreciated that I had already taken the time to review the documentation, and the conversation quickly turned to what kind of volunteer position I'd like to fill.

I had written on my application that if at all possible I would like to work with babies. The only problem is that the baby rocking program is one of the most popular programs, so openings are slim. So, she put me on the waiting list. I'm currently second, but she said chances are good that I'll make it. Evidentially, by the time my orientation is completed (next month) a couple of the current participants are moving and she expects those slots to open soon. If spots don't open up, I told her I'd be more then willing to help in any other area until one does.

I can't wait!


Friday, August 04, 2006

Downtown Disney

During the past week I've been in Orlando for business meetings. It has been a very productive week, and I finally got to meet some of the great people who I've been on conference calls with during the last few months. Normally, when I travel for work I travel alone - well, what I mean is that I travel to the destination alone, and then end up working with what at times ends up being literally hundreds of people. This week I was actually traveling with some of my associates - one of whom is my boss, Mike.

Mike is a good guy - he's fair, and has been with the company for nearly twenty years, so he has a lot of great experiences and knowledge to share. He's also a father of five! He's got two boys, and three girls - the youngest of which is 6 years old. I wasn't surprised when he asked me if I'd like to join him on a shopping trip to Downtown Disney.

In case you're not familiar with the GIANT, magical, world of Walt Disney; Downtown Disney is essentially the out door shopping mall of Disney. Shopping mall isn't really the best description because it's really much more then just a shopping mall. First, there are kids everywhere. It's one of the few places in the world where kids are not just allowed - they are expected! And, even better then the huge population of kids...they are all happy! After being there for about an hour I realized that of the hundreds of kids running around, I didn't see one child that didn't have a smile on his or her face. On the road connecting the outdoor shops there are statues of every Disney character you can think of. There are clowns and people dressed up in Mickey mouse costumes everywhere you look. It's really amazing.

Mike had three things he HAD TO GET. He explained that if he returned home without the items he would lose his "best father" award, and even worse would have a house full of upset little girls. His two youngest girls wanted just two things: 1 - princess flip flops, and 2 - princess puzzles. Although it might be a little difficult to find princess things in the real world, in the world of Disney one thing you are never without is princess stuff. Disney has princess everything...and I mean EVERYTHING. Princess flip flops, princess dress shoes, princess shirts, princess wands, princess cups, princess dolls, princess glasses, princess pins, princess jewelry, princess bottled water... if you can think of it, it comes in princess form. So, it actually didn't take long for Mike to find such common place items as princess flip flops and puzzles.

After Mike found the flip flops, I heard a noise coming from across the square so I told him I'd meet him there after he'd finished buying the princess items. What I discovered across the square was one of the cutest things I've ever seen. It was - of course - the Downtown Disney hoola hoop contest. There was a DJ playing up beat dance music, and a referee who was "judging" the contestants. Any child who wanted to could take part in the contest. It was basically a last man standing event. The referee would count down from three, and then the music would start playing for one minute. If during that minute you dropped your hoola hoop, you're out. Then the remaining "contestants" reposition and the music starts all over again.

The best part was that there were no age constraints on the game... so there were twelve year olds, and there were two year olds. This proved to be a very fun, and even funny combination. Of course seeing the two year olds attempt using a hoola hoop is about the sweetest thing you will ever see... but seeing a two year old pick up his hoola hoop and bounce into every contestant so that they have to start over is very funny. This cute little boy, who I guess was probably close to three would quickly drop his hoola hoop, and then pick it back up and try to link it with the older boys and girls hoops. At first I thought that the older kids would get upset that the little boy was disturbing their hoola hooping, but - maybe because of the magic of Disney - they just smiled and let the little guy run a muck. He had a blast, and it was at least 15 minutes before his mom decided she'd take him to one of the other events. Again, you'd think that a three year old being taken away from his play pals might upset him... but he just smiled and walked on down the road with his mommy. He was so cute. I wish I had thought to take pictures - I didn't bring a camera, but I wish I would have thought to snap some quick photos with my camera phone.

After the shopping, we went to the Downtown Disney Wolfgang Puck dining room to meet up with another associate of ours who had flown in later that week. She's a mother of a 15 year old boy who was on his first official date with his first official girlfriend that night... so needless to say she was a little anxious to get back to her hotel to call her husband to find out how it went. She seemed to be a really attentive mom - so it was great to have her share some of her stories. Her son sounds like a pretty amazing person for someone his age.

Anyway, shopping and dinner turned out to be much more fun then I could have ever expected. Being around all those kids, and at the same time being part of a loving couple hoping to adopt a child was really a huge feeling. It brought great hope for the future, as well as great memories of my family and our vacations to Disney when I was just a kid.

As always - thanks for taking the time to read this post.


Sunday, July 30, 2006

Community Service At NorthSide Hospital

Today I called NorthSide hospital to see if I could join the community service program there. NorthSide is not only one of the best hospitals in the country it's also one of the busiest hospitals in the country for child births. One of the biggest needs they have is for people to help with, and hold, the new born babies. It turns out that to volunteer at NorthSide you have to complete an application, and if the application is approved you have to join the NorthSide auxiliary association. The auxiliary is the members only volunteer organization that does all of the volunteering at NorthSide. The one thing I found strange is that if you want to join the auxiliary (which is required to volunteer) you have to pay annual association dues. It's a minimal fee, and certainly well worth the opportunity to help with babies - but still I thought it a little odd that a hospital would require volunteers to pay for the opportunity. I guess NorthSide doesn't have a volunteer shortage.

Anyway, they have said they will send me an application. I can't wait to get started. I've been doing community service of one kind or another since I was in high school (actually I think I may have participated in various community service projects in elementary school as well), and I look forward to being able to work with babies as well. Like Kahlil Gibran (philosopher, poet, novelist) said "it is when you give of yourself that you truly give." It's a little corny, but I think it's true.

Thanks again for reading.


Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Baby sign language

As I mentioned in a previous blog John and I have been reading lots of books about raising children - more specifically we've been reading a lot of books on how to successfully manage raising a baby. Now, that's not to say we don't have practical experience - both of us have spent a decent amount of time around babies... but we figure things change - and clearly they do. In telling our parents what the various baby books say both of our mom's have been known to say "it's a miracle you survived..." A perfect example: when I was a baby all the doctors in the world agreed that you absolutely had to put a baby to sleep on it's stomach. Putting a baby to sleep on it's stomach helped to ensure that the baby wouldn't die of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome). Today, a mere 28 years later, all the doctors in the world agree that YOU MUST PUT THE BABY TO SLEEP ON ITS BACK. That's just one example of many of how things change.

One thing that hasn't changed is that long before babies learn to speak they learn to make certain movements in attempt to communicate what they want. From what I've read the idea of baby signing has been around for a very long time. In recent years baby signing has become extremely popular. Parents can now take baby signing classes, so that they can learn the movements are easiest for a baby to learn. It's also being reported that baby signing actually helps make children better communicators. This makes sense to me, because the way I see it a baby that starts communication several months earlier then others gets lots more practice. As my mom always used to say "practice makes perfect" and in this situation I guess it's true.

So, to make a long story short I recently added a baby signing book to our collection of child raising books. My hope, is that by the time the baby is old enough to start signing I will have figured out enough signs to be able to teach the little girl / guy how to tell me it's tired and hungry. I can just imagine John and I practicing the signs now. I wonder how one says "I'd like to order the Caesar salad" in baby sign language? (Laughing)

Monday, July 24, 2006

Learning to paint

I just had to post this hilarious picture that a friend of mine sent me at the office. You know these kids had lots of fun!!!

Saturday, July 22, 2006


Well, I really didn’t think anything could top the cardboard playhouse that I found…..BUT THIS IS THE COOLEST THING I HAVE SEEN YET!!!

Graham & Brown makes this wallpaper that is filled with different picture frames of all different sizes. Our future child can just start drawing and coloring right onto the wall into the frames. When I was kid, my parents really taught me to be creative, sitting and watching TV was not really an option with two teachers for parents. They really tried to get me to do more thought provoking things like drawing, painting, putting on plays or puppet shows. I even got to try my hand at cooking when I was seven. (That did not go well by the way. haha)

My father would have lost his mind if I started drawing on the walls, but I always wanted to. A big blank white wall in your bedroom when you are a young kid…seems to scream out for a little crayola!!! William tells me that when he was 4 or 5 he took a small paint brush and painted "duck feet" all over the wall and floor in his room. Needless to say, I gather his mom was not too impressed with that particular art project.

I already know what wall I want to put this on in our child’s room. Though, William is going to have to hide the crayons, as I know I will find myself drawing away as we wait for the baby!


Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Rocking babies

Is it a bad thing that I'm obsessed with babies in rockers? First, I'm amazed at how well they work. Again, this week I witnessed a crying baby be instantly soothed by being put into a baby rocker. Or maybe, they are better called baby soothers since so many of them don't really rock, but rather just vibrate or jiggle a little. The rocker I have posted here is actually a Kate Spade rocker ( John really likes it and it has a lot of functionality - it can both rock and vibrate to sooth a baby to sleep.

My mom tells me that when I was a baby the thing that got me to sleep the best was driving in the car. Evidentially, when I was really, really throwing a fit the easiest way to get me to sleep was to put me in my car seat and drive around town. I can just imagine my poor mother, tired at 2 am having had no sleep at all finally deciding to get up, get dressed and strap me into my car seat for a long drive through town. I guess that just goes to show that a little white noise and vibrations (from a car, or a rocker) does miracles for soothing a cranky baby.


Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Happy Birthday John!!!

It's that time of the year again - that's right, one of the happiest days of the year when people from all over the country gather to celebrate (laughing). Yup, you guessed it - this past weekend was John's 29th birthday. John's parents (Pat & Jeff) flew in from Nebraska bearing gifts for John, and as luck might have it a few family heirlooms for when we get a baby. They brought a couple of John's first outfits - appropriately in yellow and green so we can still use them regardless of whether the baby ends up being a girl, or a boy. They also brought one of John's first blankets. It's very nicely made, and my favorite part is that it has John's name and birthday stitched into the back. I can just imagine a baby all wrapped up in it, snuggling up in one of the very same blankets John snuggled up in when he was just a few months old. So it's great to have our first few pieces of clothing for the baby... although we have to be careful to make sure we don't end up jinxing ourselves. We'll have to make sure we let the family know that we're not accepting any more gifts until we're officially matched and the baby is on it's way.

Back to the party - John's aunt Sue was kind enough to offer to host the party for us. Her house is located just off Peachtree (the main street the runs through Atlanta) so it's fairly convenient for many of our friends who came from all over for the party. We ended up having between 35 and 40 people show up. It was great to see everyone. The crowd was fairly eclectic. It consisted of old friends and new, a few people who are clients of Johns, and a few of my friends from business development where I work. I was really impressed by how well everyone mingled. That's not to suggest that I wasn't expecting people to get along, but it seems like usually there's a couple of people who just don't feel comfortable talking to people they aren't that familiar with. By the end of the night it seemed as though everyone had had an opportunity to have a conversation with everyone else. I think people had a really good time, and some good conversation. Actually, a couple of John's friends who moved out of town several years ago managed to make it so it was particularly nice to see them.

The food was good... a little bit of everything. The standard cheese platters, along with some Sushi (John's parents had never had Sushi before, and actually I think they made it through the party without having any, but we finally convinced his mom to try some at dinner the following night), some great fruit salad, shrimp cocktail, basil chicken, sirloin, etc. It was very nice to have a good mix of food, there was definitely something for everyone. Of course, the birthday cake was one of the main attractions. My friend Brady (from high school) suggested that we get the cake from a local bakery ( that her aunt's business uses often. Her suggestion turned out great. Not only was the decoration nice, but it tasted amazing. When we picked it up earlier in the day John's mom opened the box in the back of the car to see what it looked like. I kid you not, when I say the smell of the cake was literally one of the best things I've ever smelled. My mouth is watering just thinking about it (I'd be lying if I said I didn't have a little bit of a sweet tooth - BUT I don't think I was the only one that was impressed).

Speaking of sweets, there was one more item on the menu that is included in basically every function that John attends. I don't think I've mentioned it before, but John has an infatuation with Krispy Kreme Doughnuts ( John has said many times that if you haven't had a Krispy Kreme doughnut you just haven't lived. I don't know if I'd go quite that far, but I do agree they do make some great doughnuts. Krispy Kreme is fairly famous - at least in most southern states - for serving their original glazed doughnuts HOT. They actually have a neon sign on the outside of the buildings that they light up when ever they have hot doughnuts available. Anyway, you should find some time to get one if you haven't had one before. Oh - when I said that Krispy Kreme doughnuts are basically at every function John goes to, I wasn't joking. If we're invited to a party - and it's even slightly appropriate - we'll end up bringing Krispy Kremes. I think John secretly has a rule that he can't have Krispy Kremes unless there's some kind of social gathering... so he finds a way to bring them with him. LOL

Our party favors ended up being fairly eclectic as well. A couple weeks before the party John put together a list of some of our favorite summer songs. My job was to physically create the mix CDs, so I went to work creating the playlist on iTunes, and burning the CDs. It turns out that iTunes will only let you burn 7 copies of a playlist. I'm not sure exactly why, I guess it's there to prevent music pirating. So, every 7 CDs I had to change the playlist slightly so that iTunes would let me burn the 30 plus CDs we needed. John also drew a really interesting CD cover - so the CDs ended up looking almost professional. John later ended up officially calling the CDs JMP's Summer Hot Mix. A name I soon hope to forget. (Laughing)

In addition to the CD, John's aunt has a friend who recently started a magazine called WorthWhile. The magazine is essentially focused on helping people find enjoyment from their work - aka, making work worth while. Anyway, knowing that there would be a fairly good number of young professionals at the party she gave everyone an issue. And, of course to top off the party favor pile we had everyone take a brochure for our adoption agency ( We figured that we had to have at least one plug for adoption at the party.

Thanks for reading our blog.


P.S. I forgot to mention earlier that John's birthday was the first time that I got to meet his friend, and client, Edie. She actually commented on one of our previous posts in this blog. She is everything John described and more... and definitely a very funny person. Hopefully, I will be able to convince her to spend lots more time with us in the near future. I don't know if she wants the position but in my eyes she's got "baby sitter" written all over her!!! (Laughing)

Sunday, June 18, 2006

A cardboard house.

Today, I found this amazing cardboard fort/house that you can build and then decorate. I discovered it on the new Design Within Reach website for kids - DWRjax ( Although, I know that there will be hard times and challenges while raising a child, I can’t wait to do creative stuff like this. I picture us together on a Saturday afternoon putting the cardboard house together. It’s a blank canvas just waiting for all of us too put our creative touches on it. I really look forward to doing art projects like this; to teach our child about art, famous artists, and amazing museums. I was thinking last night, that I want to teach our child about famous artists and their work. Like Michelangelo in the Sistine Chapel, I think it would be great to lie on our backs and paint. We would learn to paint pictures upside down to really feel and understand how Michelangelo painted his most famous work. Yes, that might be a few years away but I can't help but imagine some of the great, fun ways that we can teach our child about things as he grows older.


Tuesday, June 13, 2006

G-diapers, and other diaper thoughts.

So, in investigating all things baby I've discovered something that I think is great. It's called the g-diaper. It's essentially a cross between a disposable diaper and cloth diaper. Basically it's a diaper that has a cloth exterior (that comes in a few different, bright colors) and a disposable interior that does all the absorption work. An added feature is the disposable part inside is flushable. The website goes on and on about how it's better for the environment because it's much less waste as compared to throwing away an entire disposable diaper. I have to admit that although I like the fact that it's better for the environment, I'm much more impressed by the fact that I wont have to throw away diapers in my house. Yes, I know that Diaper Genie ( supposedly locks in all the "smells," but with my limited experience I've noticed that they don't really stop the smells. Yes, I know smells are par for the course as far as baby's are concerned, but if you can minimize the bad smells why not?? I figure just flush it and forget it. I sent the link to several mothers I know (mainly my mom, and a few of my friends) and they all said that they think it's a good idea. I haven't convinced anyone to try them yet... they use the excuse that it's not worth the effort to switch at this point, but I'm wearing them down. Maybe if I get them some g-diapers for a birthday or something they'll start using them??

On another note, John and I have been reading more and more about "diaperless babies." When John first told me he'd read an article about parents who don't put any kind of diaper on their baby, I thought it was a joke. Turns out it wasn't a joke - it's now some sort of movement.

Here's an overview of how it works -
Step 1: Stay-at-home parent (aka me) let's the baby run around naked all the time.
Step 2: Stay-at-home parent (aka me) watch baby like a hawk.
Step 3: Stay-at-home parent (aka me) learns the tell tale signs that baby is about to go to the bathroom (on the carpet, on the sofa, love seat, or any other place baby might be- LOL).
Step 4: When stay-at-home parent realizes baby is about to go the bathroom he picks baby up and runs to the bathroom where he holds the baby over the toilet while the baby "uses" the bathroom.

Supposedly, this process not only prevents the "un-needed waste of diapers" but also has the child potty trained "considerably earlier." Now, I think we all know that it doesn't work out that way. First of all, I imagine that regardless of the stay-at-home parents attentiveness there are a lot of what I'm now terming poop related incidents. I envision myself rushing to the bathroom with baby in my arms only to not quite make it and end up covered in what should have ended up in the toilet. Now don't get me wrong... the first time would be both funny, and extremely cute - but I imagine that it would, rather shortly, not be not so much fun. Second of all, the house would definitely be worse for the ware. I mean, certain stains just never come out of the carpet and upholstery. Thirdly, what about trips outside of the house? Am I supposed to bring my baby naked to the grocery store? For that matter, the supermarket is fairly big...could I even make it from the produce section to the public bathroom in time??? I don't think so. One article on "diaperless babies" even suggested bringing a "closeable bucket for baby to use" when going out in public. After reading that I decided that at least some of the pro-diaperless baby folks are crazy and that I'd stick to something a little more traditional. I think g-diapers are about as progressive as I'm going to get for right now.


Sunday, June 11, 2006

And Tango Makes Three.

Over the last few months John and I have been collecting various children's books. We've come to realize that even children's books have come a long way since we were children. Our childhood favorites (Where The Wild Things Are & The Giving Tree) just had a cover, and then pages with ink on them. I've become infatuated with the kind of children's book that have a "touch and feel" aspect. If you haven't seen them they are really quite interesting. They come in the standard baby book style - extra thick, card board pages with lots of colorful pictures with the added benefit of various pieces of cloth and other textured material that actually feel interesting. For instance, one of the books has a dog and most of it's body is made out of a fur like when you read a book to a child, beyond just seeing the picture of the dog the child can actually feel it, or even pet it. Anyway, I love them - so with any luck our child will end up being at least half as interested in the "touch and feel" books as I am.

We've also come to realize that books really do cover almost any topic these days. When we first started working with the IAC ( they gave us several brochures that featured children's book that had main characters that were adopted, were in a family that is adopting, had a friend that had been adopted, etc. Children's books now cover basically any social issue you can think of. We were also very happy to find out that there are books that feature characters that are from same sex families. I guess it speaks to the fact that having two dads (or two moms) isn't unheard of anymore.

We'd read about And Tango Makes Three about a year ago in the New York Times. It's a really interesting TRUE story of two male, chinstrap penguins in a New York zoo who are determined to raise a chick of their own. When the zookeeper discovers that the two male penguins have built a nest and are sitting on a rock that closely resembles an egg he decides replace the rock with an actual penguin egg. Well, as you might have guessed the egg hatches and wouldn't you know it you have a baby penguin being raised by two male penguins. The book does a really great job of demonstrating the message of how important it is to accept differences and at the same time showing the message in a very well written story. On a side note I was happy to find out that two male penguins bonding for life doesn't just occur in zoos. In point of fact, Natural Geographic assures me that it happens quite often with penguins in natural environment. We highly recommend this book to everyone as beyond having a great message it's really just a fun story to read.

If you haven't already guessed it John and I are fairly avid readers... well, actually I guess John is an avid reader, and I just enjoy reading. John, like my mother, almost seem to make a job out of reading. That's not to suggest they don't enjoy reading, or that they see it as a task, but rather that they are so passionate about reading that it's a consistent part of their daily lives. Sometimes John will read two or three books in a week. This would have shocked me, except that growing up my mother had a book with her at all times. I, on the other hand, don't read two or three books a week. I'll admit that many times I'll only read a few books a month. For me keeping up with the daily newspaper and reading the current "best seller" book keeps me happy as far as the reading department goes. I guess it goes with out saying that we're both really looking forward to reading to our child.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

A birthmom's words of encouragement

Today we received a very nice email of encouragement from a woman who placed her child up for adoption several years ago. Among other things, she said "I'm really impressed with your first post... it sounds like you really have a good understanding of adoption in all its forms, and that its not been a forbidden word in your lives." Those words mean so much to us. It's great to know that someone whose actually been a part in the adoption process appreciates us.

The way we see it, birthmothers are truly amazing individuals. Being in the banking industry I frequently have to present on corporate ethics. I occasionally find myself telling people that there may come a time in their career where they may need to make the harder, right decision. By that I mean that at some point in their lives they might be faced with a situation that has multiple solutions, and that the right thing to do is to take everything into consideration and then make the decision that provides the best possible outcome, even if that decision is is the harder decision to follow through with. When I imagine a birthmother I think of someone with amazing integrity. A person who clearly understands the true meaning of making the harder right decision. I mean, think of how much love a person must be capable of if - out of love - they pick another couple to parent their child. Birthmothers truly are admirable people. With that said, you can understand why we were so excited to get those words of encouragement. I know it's sort of a leap but, in the back of my head I'm thinking if she likes us then certainly it won't be long before a birthmother chooses us.

As an update - we're still waiting to hear from what will end up being the birthmother of our child. It's exciting, nerve racking, and at times agonizing being in this waiting period. Every day I wake up thinking today could be the day that we get our first contact with our future birthmother. It's a great feeling - but I'd give that feeling up in a heart beat to hear from a birthmother! :)

Thanks again for reading this!


We were given a Bugaboo stroller ( by my company as a "Good luck in your adoption" present. When I brought the box home, William's eyes became glazed over and a huge smile broke out on his face, he then immediately started tearing into the package. William's Bugaboo obsession seemed to have started the minute we decided we wanted a baby. I would overhear him saying what color and combinations he wanted for the stroller, what many things the stroller could actually do, though sadly making tea was not one of them, and where he would take our future baby in this contraption. By 10:30 pm we had a fully assembled stroller and he had watched the info DVD 4 times already. The best part of the night was as I was getting ready for bed, I walked out into the living room and caught William checking out his new proud toy in the mirror as he walked around the house pushing the stroller. Just another reason I know he is going to be a fantastic dad, as he is already playing the part. I managed to catch him off guard with this photo.

At this point neither of us knows exactly how to disassemble the stroller, and though we have watched the DVD many times and read the entire instruction manual, we look forward to figuring out how it will exactly fit in the station wagon or the SUV. For right now the Bugaboo, along with a few childrens books, sits in the baby's room waiting for our future baby.


Friday, June 09, 2006

What we've done so far...

I've been struggling on how to start this blog... should I start with our love at first site story that includes me getting lost on the way to our first date? Or would it be better to just jump forward to about a year ago when after years of discussion John and I decided to take the first true steps toward adopting a child? Well, since the title to this blog is "William & John's adoption story" for the sake of posterity I'm going to skip the most of the sappy love story and jump forward to when the thought of adoption became less of a thought... and more of a hope and dream of starting a family. Let's just say that our first date was on a Saturday night for a dinner at a nice restaurant ( By the end of dinner John had invited me to go to New York city for the weekend and I accepted. A month later, I moved in with him and here we are two months away from our five year anniversary. It's an amazing feeling when you know you've found the person your going to spend the rest of your life with.

John and I have always wanted to have kids. Both of us agree that even before we met each other we knew that one way, or another, we'd have children in our lives. The discussion about having children was, literally, one of the first discussions John and I had. So, it came to be that in July of last year John and I decided to start seriously exploring our options for having a child. Clearly, being two men, a strictly natural birth wasn't going to be an option. For what ended up being a few minutes, we discussed the idea of surrogate but quickly agreed that there were just too many issues involved with having a woman, whether a friend or not, give birth to our child. After that, I immediately suggested adoption. Thinking about it I realized that throughout my life I had been surrounded by people who had been adopted. Some of my best friends growing up were people who were adopted, and on top of that we know several people and even a few family members, who have adopted children both domestically and internationally. So...we agreed that I would do some research and determine if adoption was the best choice for us.

I'm lucky to work for a great company that really provides well for the people who work there. Among the many benefits that are offered they have a complete "Life Care" website that provides lots of unbiased, information about basically every life issue you could possibly think of. I went to the website and found that there was an online, interactive, adoption class that provided "everything you need to know when considering adoption." So, I took the class assuming it would be about 10 minutes of my time and give me a least a mediocre understanding of adoption. What it gave me was a complete understanding of the issues involved, and the evolution of, the multiple kinds of adoption that exists today. The key phrase being "multiple kinds of adoption." Perhaps it was my ignorance, but I had no idea that there was anything beyond domestic adoption, and international adoption. I had never heard of closed adoption and open adoption, or the various things we had to take into consideration because we are a same sex couple. The class ended up being an hour and a half, and by the time I was done I was absolutely sure that a) adoption was the avenue we'd use to grow our family, and b) that domestic Open Adoption was perfect for us. I'll spare you class summary, but in case you've never heard of open adoption it can be summed up as an adoption process in which the birth parents and the adoptive parents choose each other, and agree on varying levels of continued contact throughout the childs life.

After the class, I went to John and told him about what I'd learned. He agreed that open adoption seemed to fit us wonderfully, and we decided to go about selecting an agency. Again, I'll try and spare you the brutal details but by the time we finally found the right agency two months had passed, and I'd called and checked into at least 30 different agencies in the US. We ended up going with the Independent Adoption Center ( I was immediately impressed with the IAC - everyone I spoke to was (in contrast to so many other agencies I'd contacted) very polite, amazingly real and caring, honest, non-judgmental, and very knowledgeable. I later learned that the IAC is one of the oldest agency's that work soley with open adoption, and many of the IACs founders are essentially the founders of open adoption in the United States. Michelle - the IAC counselor I had been primarily corresponding with suggested that we come in for a weekend orientation class at the end of September to get to know the agency. Well, we did, and by the time the orientation was over John and I had decided to sign with the IAC.

After review and signing all the IAC paperwork our lives started to change. We had to attend another orientation, only this time the class was longer (two days) and much more "intensive." We had to make decisions about what kind of birthparents we were willing to work with, have interviews with Cheryl, are assigned counselor, and discuss all the details about how to create a Dear Birthmother Letter and corresponding website ( They explained that although they couldn't tell us exactly how long it would be before we got a baby, that it was now a matter of when... not if we got a baby. We learned that all the tasks ahead of us would lead to a day that we get "in the book" (meaning we're approved, and potential birthparents will start getting our information). We also got pages and pages of checklists. There were check lists for everything. Checklists for things we needed documented in our medical exams (the ones that prove we're healthy enough to raise a child), checklists for all the paper work we need to complete, checklists for all the things we should include in our letter, checklists for our website, checklists for our homestudy, checklists for.... well you get the idea - checklists for anything. We realized that we had at least a good two to three months ahead of us before we'd be in the book.

We finally did get in the book. It took almost six months. We agonized over everything... I mean, the things we were doing were to get us a child.... everything had to be done perfectly the first time. It would have only been 4 months, but we decided that a baby really deserved a bigger place to live... so we moved out of our one bedroom home and moved into a fairly large three bedroom home in a great, small community that's within walking distance of two of Atlanta's better schools. It also gives us something to focus on while we wait for a birthmother to contact us. John has a particular nack for decorating - or for that matter making anything look it's best - so this new home will provide us with plenty of things to do while we're waiting. The long period of time between the orientation and getting into the book also gave us time to read what seems like hundreds of what I call "baby raising books." Our favorite book so far is What To Expect - The First Year. It's a really thorough book and basically talks about everything you need to know in the first year. With every book I read, I want even more to be a father. I can't wait to become the worlds best stay at home dad... although from what I've read, if I really want that award I might just have to create it myself. LOL.

So, here we are: Amazing caring couple, check. Amazing agency, check. Amazing home, check. Now all we can do is wait for a courageous caring birthmother to choose us. That's a good place to start. There's definitely more to tell, so in the coming days I'll try and go into some more of the stories that got us to this point.

Thanks for reading.