Friday, December 31, 2010


I usually get all nostalgic about the next year of my life on the night before my birthday. Since that's four months away, and everyone else seems to making resolutions, here goes:

* least four times a week (I know once campus re-opens, it will be at least five, but since I haven't worked out since before Thanksgiving, before my work trip, before getting sick, I'll start slow)
* Lose the other half of the "baby" weight and then some
* Be more positive
* And for anyone who knows me, and knows what a picky eater I am, you'll appreciate this at least one veggie a day (I'll need to set good habits for my kid, right?)

Happy new year!

December winner

Ryan W. of Hastings NY, my sweet 6-year-old great-nephew, which really means my niece wins the blanket and I will get Ryan a Lego-something-or-other for him :)

Thanks to all who have purchased tickets so far. I'm really excited about the next six drawings.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Ghost of Christmas Past

Every once in a while something reminds me of the baby I lost. This time, it was Christmas Eve and I was at mass, walking up to communion. At the very moment that I remembered Christmas Eve mass two years ago with Lesley, asking the bishop to bless me because I might be pregnant (I was), I looked down and saw the sweet face of a red-headed baby.

I bit my lip, uttered out my "amen" as I received communion and tried like hell not to cry. Eyes welled, I looked up and blinked furiously. All around me were babies. And two years ago, there was a baby growing inside of me.

These holidays are not my favorite time of year anyway. The lead-up, the anticipation -- love it. Love to shop, love to decorate, love the music and the movies. The actual day, I could honestly sleep through.

If you're single and/or childless, and live in a family and/or society that expects you to get married, raise a family, and revel in all of that....then add in the holidays, when said family/society gathers to celebrate it all....well, you get my point.

I'm hoping that I'll have a referral by next Christmas -- it's a long shot, but something to hold out hope for -- and then maybe I'll finally be able to enjoy the holidays. And while I'll never forget the baby that grew inside of me, beginning the day before Christmas Eve two years ago, I'm hopeful that a new baby, my baby who may already exist on the other side of the world, will fill the hole in my heart and help me focus on Christmas Present.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas Eve

While I'm not overly fond of the holidays, I did enjoy driving around after church and dinner tonight to look at the Griswold-like houses near my brother's house.

Merry Christmas, whatever your house-decorating style is.

Friday, December 17, 2010


months on the waiting list. And my absolute favorite Sesame Street "commercial" from my childhood. (My second favorite? Watch this space next month at this time!)

And we have single digits....9 to 15 months to go!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Weekly Update

As I've mentioned before, I get a weekly update from the placement agency. Last week's was disappointing; this week's more than made up for that.

There were eight referrals for babies under 2 years old -- which puts me eight babies closer to my own. Estimated waiting times are still in the 16- to 22-month range (and that's what I need to still figure on). Actuals for 0-12 month olds are hovering at 20 to 21 months, but the actual wait times for this batch of 13-24 month olds being referred was 15-18 months.

Again, I know I really need to stay thinking about 16 to 22 months for my wait, but as we are a mere 16 days away from 2011, it makes me think that possibly, just possibly, at some point in 2011, I could find out I'm someone's momma.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

The two most important raffle tickets I've sold:

They are such good brothers to each other, I can't wait for my nephews to be cousins with my little one.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

It's the Little Things...

like a friend squeezing my arm as I walk by her in the hall, not saying anything,

or another sending an email on the 16th, congratulating me on my next month milestone that happens the next day,

or the high school friend who called me this morning for my Capital One account number so she could transfer 30,000 miles to my account,

or the colleague/friend who asked me if it made me sad when I found out other people were pregnant,

or the other high school friend who has so much conviction about what a great mom I'll be, she herself being a a child of color adopted by white parents,

These are the things that make up for those who maybe don't understand or know how to be happy about the biggest thing I am about to do in my life, these are the thing that will get me through the next year and a half.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Grant Update

I got my second grant denial yesterday. Two down, two to go, but I'm not feeling hopeful.

When I applied for all of them, I told myself if I didn't get them that it meant another family needed the money more than I did. It's hard to think that way when I received a form letter in my email:

Thank you for applying for a grant from XXXXX.

Unfortunately, we are not able to grant your request. We received an overwhelming response to our call for applications and had a limited amount of funds to disperse.

Though we understand that it is no consolation for the disappointment you much feel at receiving this news, please know that we are actively working to increase the amount of funds we can grant in the future. Our commitment to helping families grow through adoption only becomes stronger with each letter like this that we must send.

We sincerely wish you all the best as you continue your adoption journey.

Oh well....on to the next thing, I suppose. It did make me feel better to read on their website that they gave grants to a two single mothers as well as a same-sex couple. At least I know (like I suspect with the first grant I didn't get) that my singleness didn't play into it.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Merry Christmas Tree

I put my tree up tonight. My friend Jill came over -- we figured that this was probably our fourth year of celebrating her end-of-November birthday while putting up the tree.

Most years, my tree has mostly sports-themed ornaments on it, plus a few special homemade ones and Casey's ornaments (she gets one each year and I've marked the back with the year). Three years ago I added a silver "wish" ornament from Red Envelope -- you're supposed to write down your wish on a small slip of paper, put it in the ornament and not open it until the following year. Each year, Jill takes the paper out, throws it away and gives me a new slip. Each year, the wish hasn't come true. I think, I'm pushing it a little in writing my wish down for next year, but it's entirely possible that I could have a referral by the time we put the tree up next year. We'll see.

This year's tree (as it was last year) is mostly Yankees and baseball. There are a few exceptions. Casey's ornaments, one each year since I found her in 1998.... ornament for Johnny Unitas...

...but mostly Yankees, Babe...

...and lots of Derek.

It's a sickness, I know.

And Casey, enjoying her time on the tree skirt....and knocking over the wise men.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Kind of Maryland, Kind of New York

I am back from my work trip to Atlanta -- it was a great trip albeit very quick. I did the drawing after settling in and turning the heat up :) and my dear friend Sandy O. won the books!

Sandy currently lives in Maryland (so another win for Maryland), but Sandy and I met when we worked together at the Science Center in Rochester (so maybe a half a win for New York?).

In any event, I'm thrilled with the generosity of my friends, who continue to surprise and support this seemingly, never-ending wait of mine.

And speaking of generosity of friends, don't forget to check out the beautiful baby blanket that Claudia hand-knit for the December raffle.

December Raffle's December already. I will do the drawing for November later today when I get home (I'm in Atlanta right now).

The December raffle is a beautiful hand-knit baby blanket, made from Alpaca wool by my friend Claudia (the chicken mom).

The picture isn't doing it justice, but here it is.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Fran's Stools

And a crafty lesson for those of you so inclined...

My mom has been making stools for all the kids in our family and extended family for as long as I can remember. She's easily been making them for 40 years, since I was little. Last year, I realized she might not always be able to make them, so someone needed to learn.

I got my first lesson over the summer, and last week started two stools for Heather's daughters for Christmas. Yesterday, I almost finished them. I think I need a little Fran help for the finishing touches, but here are the steps.

1. Use seven "Hawaiian Punch" cans (or any 64-ounce can) -- make sure they are cleaned and dried on the inside and that they've been opened with a key can opener.

2. Cover each can with an old sock, to keep them from clanging against each other, and tie them like so...

3. Trace the stool shape on a piece of cardboard and cut it out. Secure it to the bottom of your stool with duct tape.

4. Trace the stool shape on a piece of thick foam (about two or three inches thick) and cut it out.

5. Cut a piece of thin foam (about an inch thick) to go around the side of the cans, and let it extend three or four inches above.

4. Cut a piece of muslin and pull it tight around the foam, securing with pins. Hand sew the muslin (yes, hand sew!) as tight as you can.

5. Cut muslin to cover the top. Pin it in place, alternating between 12:00, 3:00, 6:00 and 9:00 to keep it evenly distributed. Hand sew in place.

6. Do the same with a piece of muslin to cover the bottom.

7. Using the material for the outside cover of your stool, cut the material to go around the stool and have it extend about two inches above. Using a sewing machine, sew the two ends together to create the side of the covering.

I was a little cautious the first time I did this and made my side too big. I'd sew it another 1/4-inch tighter and put it around the stool. Too big. Back to the machine, sew it another 1/2-inch tighter and back to the stool. Eventually I got it.

8. Cut a circle about one inch bigger in diameter than your stool. Put the side sleeve on the stool inside out, and put the top of the stool on top, again inside out. Pin the top to the sides.

9. On the machine, sew the top to the sides, again use the 12:00, 3:00, 6:00, and 9:00 points -- a little at each, to keep it even.

This is as far as I gotten. My top is still a little loose -- my mom will need to help me with this part.

10. Use denim on the it by hand with hand applique stitches to keep them hidden -- again pulling it tight and going from the four corners to keep it even.

Saturday, November 27, 2010


I have lots to be thankful for....I have a mostly supportive family, I have great friends, a good job, a nice home.

And yet, it's so hard to not think about what I don't have. And even though I wrote last week that I was "not there" anymore, sometimes I still am. Sometimes I hear something, see something, read something...and it all comes back.

The sadness, the "why me," the "why not me."

OPP -- other people's pregnancies. I've gotten to a place where I'm happy for them, and I guess that's progress. But it's when I hear about a second baby (pregnancy) for someone. And that's when the green-eyed monster comes out.

And that's where I am today.

I'm going to try to move on with my day....wrap Christmas presents, maybe put the tree up (sans decorations -- that happens with Jill on Thursday), finish cleaning the house, and catch up on my DVR.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

A Reality Check

And I think I'm doing better than I might have thought.

It's Saturday night, and I got so much accomplished today -- too clothes to the used clothing store and walked out with $25, Walmart, haircut, polish change at the nail salon, Kohls, made cupcakes for work on Monday, worked on two Christmas presents (more on that later) -- that I'm kicking up my feet, Casey laying against my legs, and surfing blogs I haven't visited in a while.

I went to a few of the fertility blogs I used to read all the time. Tonight, after reading things like:

I wanted to answer the unasked questions I saw in their eyes. I felt like saying, "Thanks for the congratulations. I'm not as lucky as you think. I can't have children. If I could have children I probably wouldn't have even applied for this job. I would give up this promotion in a second if I could go back and have a successful IVF. Don't envy me."


I bristled inside. "When I get pregnant.... When I get pregnant... When I get pregnant..." The words rang in my ears all day. Part of me wanted to tell her, "Yeah right. It might not be that easy." But another part of me realized that for her it probably would be that easy. "When I get pregnant" is the world that most people live in.


And just as a parent will always be a parent. I will always be infertile.

After reading several posts like that, I realized that I'm not there anymore. Oh sure, I still have days when I feel like that, days when I have a pity party for myself when I hear someone is pregnant, days when I wish more people would talk to me about what I've been through, to have some sympathy for me...but what I realized tonight is that those days are becoming further and further apart.

I remember nights flipping through the channels and finding nothing but pregnancy-related story lines, even on the Food Network. And it would send me into slow, deep sobs. It's been a long time since I had a night where I cried myself to sleep.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


As in the number that represents the shortstop when keeping score. in the number of months on the waiting list.

A half a year of waiting, over just like that.

And possibly, just possibly, one-third of the way there.

Six months down, 10 to 16 months to go.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Taking Care of Me

As much as I focus on and think about the baby and the adoption, I am reminded that now is the time to also think about me. Because when the baby is here, there will be no time.

So this weekend, I am doing just that. I'm going to my favorite place in the world.

To shop here...

and to drink some of this.

To see this...

and this...

and most importantly this...

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Almost Done

My first craft project for the baby. I started a quilting class a month ago. Yesterday, I put all the pieces together, so it's ready to have the top, middle and bottom together and actually start quilting it.

Here's the progression:

Material all picked out... nine blocks with sashing.

Started on the border...

...and the other sides.

The finished top...

...and the back of the quilt.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

My New Favorite Book...

"Mama," said Barley. "Tell me again how I'm your wish come true."

The all-knowing Amazon suggested this book to me last week, right after the Halloween party at work. I ordered it and thought nothing more of it. Today it arrived, and it was like it was written for me, at the exactly right time.

"I had an empty place in my heart that I wanted to fill with love for a special child like you. Someone who would be my cuddly little one, and I would be his Mama."

Sunday, October 31, 2010

November Raffle - A Trio of Signed Books

I can't believe we're already up to the November raffle and that four raffles are already in the book. Thank you to everyone who has bought tickets. And congratulations to my co-worker Tina, for finally breaking Maryland's winning record and representing New York. Tina wins the beautiful fall necklace.

And on to the November raffle -- a set of three signed books. Any or all would make a great holiday gift!

The Babe Book by Ernestine Miller, foreward by Julia Ruth Stevens (Babe's daughter) and signed by both women (thank you to Johnny Z for getting Julia to sign it and to Ernestine for signing and mailing it so quickly)

All Things Being Equal: The Autobiography of Lennie Moore, signed by NFL Hall of Famer Lennie Moore

A Mother for All Seasons: A Memoir by Debbie Phelps (mother of Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps

Happy Halloween

Big pumpkin, little pumpkin. I thought I would get into the habit of buying more than one this year.

Happy Halloween!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Out of the Blue

Have you ever smelled a familiar scent and thought about something? Or heard a song? And suddenly you were overcome with emotion -- either good or bad -- and it took you by surprise?

That happened to me today. We had our annual Halloween parade/party at work today. The children of all of my building co-workers come in and parade around the building, and then we have a party in the conference room for them. I was helping Heather with her two kids, carrying Megan (5 months old).

As I was walking towards the conference room, I saw LiLi and Jordan and my heart broke. (LiLi and Jordan are in foster care, and have been for most of their lives. I had fought, begged and pleaded to be able to adopt them. And for many, many reasons, DSS wouldn't let me. Their mother deserved yet one more chance; they could not be separated from two of their siblings, even though they were separated from three others; and on and on. I wanted these girls so bad, I could actually visualize being their mother.)

Anyway, they were there with their foster mother (one of my co-workers) and I started to cry. I had Megan in my arms, so I couldn't run back to my office like I would have liked. I took a deep breath, and went back in the conference room. And couldn't take my eyes off of them. Until my sight was blurred by my tears.

Sometimes I think about the baby I carried and lost. And sometimes, I think about these two little girls and how I lost them, even though there was never a chance for them to be mine. Fortunately, I also think about the baby waiting for me -- maybe not even born yet -- who will fix my broken heart and make me a mom.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Hi, my name is Claudia, and I'm Laurie's friend, guardian to the chickens she has referenced, and first time blogger, guest or otherwise.

The chicks are almost adults (they will be 17 weeks old on Monday, and I guess 20 weeks is considered full-grown adulthood in chickendom). Last night we moved them to the big coop. It's insulated and as the nights have been getting colder, we needed to move them from their teenage pad. I was a nervous wreck, but everyone seems to be sorting themselves out. The big question...will we need to help them find the coop tonight?

We are now prepared to announce their names. The white chicken is Camilla, the other two buff/white chickens are Ruby and Dory, and the chipmunks (they looked like chipmunks when they were babies, and the name has stuck) are Mabel, Matilda, and Hilda. That's Hilda in the portrait. Thanks to everyone who submitted names…even if we didn't pick the name you shared, you might have inspired one we did pick, so thanks for playing! And all for a good cause, don't you think?

Friday, October 22, 2010

Progress for my Peeps

Since I started the mommyhood journey, I have had lots of people in my life (honestly, more than I care to count) have babies, either by getting pregnant or adopting. I heard all about the doctor appointments, the kicking, and cooed over the newly delivered. I learned words and phrases that seemed so foreign to me, or had no meaning, including dossier, referral, I600A, USCIS, and on and on.

But since I officially got on the waiting list on May 17, I think the first "new" babies came into my life today. My friend received her referral, and while we've only known each other over email, our blogs, and over the phone for a month or so, I feel like we've been in this journey on the same track.

And so, for the first time in a long time, there was no pang of jealousy mixed with overwhelming happiness for my friend. It was just happiness and excitement. She is a mom, to a nearly one-year-old and a four- or five-year-old. And I couldn't be happier to be on this journey with her, hearing all about the progress towards her court date and first trip, and every wonderful thing that comes after.

Thursday, October 21, 2010


I am in limbo. Realistically I still have a year-plus to wait. And while I continue to pick up little things here and there for the baby, including diapers whenever I have a good coupon, and have used my first foray in quilting/sewing class to make a quilt for the baby, but if I wonder if I shouldn't. If I am somehow jinxing myself.

I foolishly started a baby registry at Target the day after my first IUI procedure. I arrogantly thought that was no way I wouldn't get pregnant on the first try. I almost laugh remembering the nurse asking me if I wanted to skip that month because I had too many mature follicles and the likelihood of multiples was higher.

Now, logically I know that one thing had nothing to do with another. Registry or no registry, I wasn't going to get pregnant. But the baseball girl in me is very superstitious. I wear the same Yankees t-shirt I got for my 19th birthday (think about that, my 19th birthday was in 1989) for every Yankees play-off game, year after year.

There is a lot of time for something to go wrong. The country could close to singles, or close altogether. My wait could be extended -- my monthly countdown is just an estimate given by the agency after all and could be readjusted between now and then.

I guess I have to believe that this is going to happen. And as my friend Doreen reminded me today, I've got far too long to wait to start worrying about things out of my control. And so I'm not going to waste a good $2 diaper coupon. I'm not going to pass over the cute little onesies or books.

Here's hoping they don't become gifts.

Sunday, October 17, 2010


Hank Greenberg...

George Brett....

Jeff Bagwell....

Joe DiMaggio and

...Brooks Robinson (below with me and Babe Ruth's daughter, Julia Ruth Stevens in 2000)

Or should I have said, famous fives!

Five months down, 11 to 17 to go!

I can't wait until at least one of those numbers is in single digits.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

It's October

For some people that means changing leaves and sweaters and apple cider and pumpkins. For me, it means late nights. Specifically staying up to watch the Yankees in the play-offs (like I'm doing right now).

And so to get everyone excited about October baseball, here is just a sampling of the things I've picked up for the future baby (who really does need a nickname -- any suggestions? :)

And not everything I have is baseball-related. Honest.

This is the very first thing I bought.

Ten years ago, I was home from Baltimore for Christmas. And my niece Jenny and I were doing a late-night Wegmans run when we saw this in the clearance basket.

"You have to buy it, just for the principle of it," she told me. I was 30 years old and babies were the furthest thing from my mind, but I bought it.

Over the years, I've collected lots of baseball-related things.

Books and a Babe Ruth night light....

...a rattle and a bath mitt....

...onesies (and I love that this one says "mom" on it)...

...t-shirts and jerseys....

....and a Babe Ruth rubber duckie.

And for when we visit Aunt Lesley and Uncle Ziemann, and go to Camden Yards -- and the Orioles are not playing the Yankees...

Just Added!

It's for the November raffle, but it arrived in the mail yesterday so I thought I would announce it. In addition to the books signed by Lenny Moore and Debbie Phelps, I'm adding a book signed by my dear friend Julia Ruth Stevens, Babe Ruth's daughter.

I will scan the book and signature in tomorrow and post it.

Thanks to my friend John Ziemann, for getting the book last week when Julia was visiting the Museum.

Thursday, October 7, 2010


If your first name is common and your last name defines you, then what lies in the middle is the mystery of who you are, the secret of what lies within.

I've been thinking a lot about names, and what names to give my baby. I have a pretty good idea on first names -- one for either gender, both are named after authors for my love of books.

For the girl -- Harper (after Harper Lee). For the boy -- Cooper (after James Fenimore Cooper) And of course, Cooper has the added meaning for me and baseball.

The middle name(s) gets tricky.

I have two family names for each gender. And I would also like to incorporate the baby's Ethiopian name as one of the middle names. I guess I will just wait to see which family name works best with the African name.

For the girl -- either Laura (for the grandmother I was named for) or Amelia (my maternal grandmother's middle name)

For the boy -- Lincoln (again, my namesake grandmother, it was her maiden name) or Henry (my mother's uncle).

Of course, I have a very long time to wait. And in a year, I could hate all of those names. But right now, that's where my heart is with the future name of my baby.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

(Almost) All the Prizes

People have been asking to see what the future drawings are. There are a few that I don't have pictures of yet, but the ones in hand are featured below. And remember, you're entered in all of them.

October -- Hand-crafted Necklace(thanks Felicia)

November -- Books signed by Pro Football Hall of Famer Lennie Moore, and Debbie Phelps, mother of Olypmic Gold Medalist Michael Phelps (thanks to the Babe Ruth Museum)

January -- Photo signed by NFL MVP Peyton Manning (thanks to the Peyback Foundation)

March -- Photo signed by Baseball Hall of Famer Stan "the Man" Musial

May -- Photo signed by Baseball Hall of Famers Cal Ripken Jr. and Eddie Murray (thanks to Maroon PR)

June -- Photo signed by Yankees All-Star Derek Jeter (thanks to the Turn 2 Foundation)