Honoring Parents Category
You may have noticed that Kolcraft is “a twitter” over the Hike & Seek event that is coming up in October. As we have partnered with the National Wildlife Federation, we have gotten to know Meri-Margaret Deoudes, Senior Director of Corporate Relations & Special Events. She is passionate about being a mom and raising her son to love nature. We had to share her story with our Kolcraft fans.
Where did you receive your love for nature & being outdoors?
From my parents. Neither are traditional conservationists, but both encouraged us to go outside and play. My dad is a real beach person and taught me to appreciate the magic of the ocean. My mom is a master gardener and we had vegetable gardens (and sometimes fruit) everywhere we lived. I went to sleep away camp on Lake George in Upstate New York and we spent most of the days and nights outside. I have always found the water and nature to be relaxing and rejuvenating.
How did you become involved with NWF?
Like many pregnant moms, I began to look at the decisions I was making to welcome the new baby. Although I am a runner, I switched to walking during pregnancy and really enjoyed my time outdoors. Like many moms, once I had my son, John Robert, my priorities changed. About the same time, I started looking for my next professional challenge. NWF had a position open that combined many of my professional interests, but most importantly addressed my personal interests in conserving beautiful places and creatures for the next generation, including John Robert.
Would you say your mission at NWF inspires your parenting? How?
Yes, definitely. NWF’s mission is to protect wildlife for our children’s future. A large part of that work is our new Be Out There movement which aims to re-connect children and families to nature. Central to this program is 60 minutes of green time, or unstructured outdoor play, per day. Studies prove that this type of activity nurtures a child’s body, mind and spirit. As a parent of a young child and employee of NWF, I am conscious of these studies, but also see the positive impact on my own son.
What are the biggest challenges to getting our children back outside & in love with nature?
There are so many challenges these days. First there is the fun and allure of electronic entertainment – TV, DVDs, i-Phones, i-Pads, Wii, etc. Kids are actually spending close to 7 hours a day with electronic media and only 4-7 minutes outside in unstructured play. The hours they are inside is comparable to the endless hours we would spend outside when were kids riding our bikes, building forts, playing hide & seek/kick-the-can, etc. until dark.
As parents, we are busier than ever. Many more households have single parents or parents that both work outside the home. The demands on our time are enormous and sometimes it is easier for us to entertain our kids inside while we are busy with other tasks.
Finally, many parents worry that our neighborhoods aren’t safe and are worried that children may be at risk if they play outside. To help overcome these obstacles, we all need to take responsibility for playing outside with our children and/or creating neighborhood networks to create safe environments for outdoor play.
What would be your advice to parents who want their children outside more, but aren’t sure where to start?
Don’t make it too complicated and try to let go. Getting outside doesn’t have to be a planned weekend or even a weekend activity. It also doesn’t have to be an excursion. Just a few minutes at a time can make a big difference. Try to work it into your schedule, go for a walk or bike ride after dinner, stop at a park on the way home from Saturday morning errands, point out the birds and flowers in your yard.
It is difficult for me, too, but we need to let our kids be kids. If they want to dig in the dirt, chase fireflies, gather sticks and rocks, we need to let them explore and get dirty. In this day and age, there is a soap, a wipe, hand sanitizer and a laundry detergent that will ensure they are squeaky clean again.
NWF has some great events and resources to help parents get started. We are launching Hike & Seek, a cross between a hike and scavenger hunt in nature, starting October 2nd. As part of our Be Out There movement to re-connect families with the outdoors we have ideas for outdoor activities and our Nature Find program can help find nature in your neighborhood.
Now for a quick glance into Meri-Margaret’s life.
What’s the one thing that never gets checked off your “to do” list? Since I became a mom, there are a lot more things that don’t get checked-off, but I have learned it is a trade-off. If certain things (like filing) don’t get done, I have more time to spend with my family.
If you had a “free day” with no commitments or obligations, what would you do with it?
I would pack the car and my family for a ‘venture and probably end up at the beach or on the lake. During the winter, I love to hang out at home, cooking/entertaining and watching football.
What is your favorite time of day? Seeing my son first thing in the morning and after school/work.
What’s your favorite “no-fuss” meal that you fall back on when things are really hectic? That’s an easy one- PASTA. I am half Italian and pasta is simple, healthy and there are so many variations.
Life after “the altar” is sometimes when things get very real. We met the author of a blog named After the Alter & not only do we love the blog, we love Jennifer as well. She is honest, down-to-earth and wise beyond her years. We were able to catch up with this new mommy to be and are happy to introduce her to you.
We love the title of your blog. What inspired you to blog?
My husband always jokes that I have a lot of words that I need to get out in one day–basically saying I talk a lot. So when the idea of a blog came out I was excited. I knew I wasn’t an “expert” in anything, but I did have the desire to be as good as a wife that I could be, and I wanted to share my experience with others. The name “After The Alter” represents my life after being married (Altar) and all the changes that go with it (Alter). Over time the blog has gone from my life as a wife, to my life after a miscarriage, to my life trying to conceive and now my life as a pregnant woman. I truly enjoy sharing it all!
Sometimes after the wedding cake is eaten and the final song of the reception is played, it seems the “rest” will fall into place of starting a family. That wasn’t quite the journey you had. Can you tell us about it?
I think when we dream about what life will be like after being married you see it all as a bunch of steps..ok, so now I’m married. Then comes the house, then children and so forth. When my husband and I decided we were ready to have children we had no idea of the road we would eventually take. We got pregnant on our first try, only to find out a few weeks later that I had suffered a miscarriage. I am not sure one can describe the pain and sadness that comes with that. Not only are you left to deal with the physical aspects of it, you are left to deal with all the shattered dreams that you already had made for your future child. After that loss, our road didn’t get any easier. Trying to conceive became more of an effort than anything else and as time moved on I got more worried that my dreams of becoming a mother just may not come true. No one tells you that getting pregnant isn’t always an instant thing. Blogging helped me cope. I enjoyed sharing my story with others and I enjoyed having others reach out to me. After 7 months of actively trying we finally got our miracle. I was pregnant! I had so many mixed emotions…I was so excited but at the same time scared. I sometimes feel that the joy one is supposed to feel when they see that positive result on the pregnancy test was stolen from me due to my loss, but I guess it is what it is. Now, I am almost 7 months pregnant and truly enjoying every second of my pregnancy. We are truly blessed.
What got you through the grief of a miscarriage and what gave you hope as you started TTC again?
There is a lot of grief that comes with a miscarriage. Some will say “well at least it happened early”, but I don’t think it really matters. Once you find out your pregnant you begin to have dreams of the future…and then they are all taken away in an instant. My husband was amazing and sometimes I think that the tragedy brought us closer. We had just been married 1 year, and it was good to know that he really was there for me in good times and in bad. Other than my husband my best support was through an online chat forum which consisted of women who all had been through the same thing. They were amazing women. It was great being able to share with people who truly understood. It seems that other people either tried to offer advice or comfort that really wasn’t helpful. Words like “everything happens for a reason” and “It just wasn’t your time” are not words that I took comfort in at all. Blogging was also a huge help. It was like a personal journal I shared with others. I felt that if I could just help 1 person out there not feel alone, then I was happy. Because when it happened to me I felt somewhat alone. TTC was also hard and scary. It’s the hardest thing when you want something just so bad and you can’t achieve it. I tried to stay positive the best I could. Trust me, it wasn’t always easy. But what kept me going was the belief that I would get my chance to one day be a mom…
What are you looking forward to the most about being a mom?
I am looking forward to almost everything about being a mom. I really believe it’s my true calling in life. There is nothing I want more. I can’t wait to have my baby look up at me and smile. I can only imagine the feeling of seeing this little child staring at you thinking you are the only thing that matters in the world. I look forward to each milestone as they come. The smiles, the turning over, the laughing, the crawling….I can’t wait to look at the world through his eyes. I can only imagine that it is the most amazing thing in the world.
What scares you the most about parenting and what aspect would you like advice about?
Wow..I am terrified of a lot of things! This is the first child on both sides of the family, and I have ZERO experience with babies. I haven’t even changed a diaper since I was 14! I guess if I had to narrow it down the one thing that scares me the most is the sleepless nights, and how I will cope with that. Another thing I am scared of weeding through everyone’s advice. It seems that EVERYONE knows the best way to do things. Who knows best? Doctors? Parents? I am thinking the answer is that I need to figure out what’s best for me…but how?
Now for a quick glance into Jen’s life.
What is one thing always in your fridge? Before pregnancy the answer would be Wine! Lol Since then things have gotten a little more boring and I would say milk.
What color is your nursery? Baby Blue and beige!
Will you miss any aspect of being pregnant? Is it bad to say I love the attention? I really am enjoying this time and taking it for myself. I know once the baby is here I will be old news.
If someone was going to write a book on your life, what would they title it? Wow that’s a toughie! Life Is Too Short To Be Anything but Happy. It’s a long title but it’s something I truly believe in. I have led a very happy life, and it’s my goal always to find happiness in everything. There is no point dwelling on being miserable right?
Treat yourself to some peace and relaxation during the national spa week which is September 13- 19 for the West Coast and October 11-17 for the East Coast. Lots of spas are offering discounted services from facials to massages and more!
We know how hard it is to find the time to get away for some peace. If that isn’t an option, you can create your own spa experience at home once the kids are in bed.
Light some candles, turn on some relaxing music, make sure your significant other knows not to disturb you and try this relax at home facial scrub from the Great Jones Spa in NYC!
What you need:
- 1 tbsp. brown sugar
- 1 tsp. almond oil
- A few drops of lemon juice
- Combine all the ingredients
- Gently massage into face using a circular motion for one minute
- Rinse with warm water
If you plan on participating in spa week, you can find the deals on the spa week website.
You work hard as a parent, you deserve peace and relaxation!
As we continue to celebrate Grandparents in a special way this week, we wanted to give you a behind the scenes look at one of our very young at heart Kolcraft Grandparents–Russ Butson who is our Senior Product Safety Manager.
Russ, you have been at Kolcraft for 4 years but you have been working in the world of “safety” for quite some time. What made you choose this rather intense line of work?
My temperament is one that makes me look for a “mission” in life. I’ve worked in areas from jet engines to implantable medical devices to high-end bikes. But I’m proud that my wife calls me a baby whisperer. I found that sense of mission working in product safety for babies. They have no idea what to do and not to do with a product. Everything they can reach is fair game to be grabbed, mouthed, batted, sat on, crawled through, you name it. So everything has to be thought through ahead of time FOR them in order to protect them. It’s very much a sense of service to others that I’ve never found in other professional areas
Can you explain a little the world of safety regulations?
- Many of the voluntary product performance standards in the US are created through the American Society for Testing Materials (ASTM). The committees that create and update these standards consist of people in similar positions as mine throughout our industry, safety advocates, representatives from the Consumer Product Safety Commission and often other countries’ equivalents, laboratories that test products, other interested organizations and even individual consumers. I appreciate that my position allows me to work with people from differing perspectives to focus on creating performance standards which help keep babies safe.
- There are also safety requirements set by the federal government and now even some states. We often consider product safety standards from other countries as they sometimes have a different approach to a similar issue we’re working on.
- On top of all of these, we also have internal Kolcraft product requirements for critical safety areas that exceed both voluntary and mandatory safety standards. This is to ensure there is no question that our products can pass existing standards with significant margin, to address areas that other standards don’t and to keep babies safe even if the product is possibly being misused or abused.
- Finally we have our own internal safety and usability reviews throughout the development process which include the use of safety principles and measurement tools developed for infants and children. These involve a lot of “what if’s” as we consider how a child, a sibling or an adult user might use a product.
What is a typical day like for you?
Like many people I have my share of administrative tasks. But even these tasks help build safe products by capturing test data showing the materials we use are safe, meet state and federal requirements and assure our instruction manuals are accurate and as helpful as they can be. I also prepare products or materials to be sent to labs for testing, including preparing the test request and discussing any questions with the lab ahead of time.
Often there is work to be done on proposed product safety standards which may require testing in our lab and discussing design options with the development engineers. I work with the engineers and design teams to determine if a particular design feature would pass a particular safety standard. This is what interests me most, considering the shapes, gaps, softness or hardness, or other characteristics of a design and determine how a child may grab it, bite it, climb on it, bump into it, fall asleep in it, climb on it or any of a number of ways a child may interact with it. And sometimes it can be easier to figure out what a child would do with a product than what a caregiver may do with it.
You are a parent & recently a grandparent. How has being a dad/grandpa affected how you approach working in safety for a baby gear manufacturer?
I will confess, when our first child was born the first few nights I would put all his stuffed toys around the inside of the crib as if they were standing guard. My wife, then a newborn intensive care nurse, quickly set me straight that NOTHING goes in a crib with an infant other than what he must wear. And everyone’s first newborn is a HUGE learning experience. As an engineer, I began observing that this little person lived in a COMPLETELY different world than I did. When he started crawling, I would get down at his level on the floor to see what he saw and to find out what he could reach. It’s a whole other world down there and I’d recommend this exercise to every parent of a newborn. I found it fascinating to imagine living as he did, not knowing “why” about anything, and unable to communicate in a meaningful way. I loved those early years with both my kids and that’s where I really found an affection for babies in general.
Now, being a new grandfather, I want not only to be sure the products my grandson uses are safe, but are used safely too
Now that you are enjoying being a grandparent, what has been the biggest joy of your new role?
I can’t keep it to one thing! It’s the joy of seeing my child now with a child of his own and happily taking on that responsibility. It’s holding my grandson Lucas and getting cuddled up with him with his fuzzy little head next to my cheek and smelling that baby smell. ALL the tension in my body melts away. As we live 6 hours away, it’s getting new photos of him and showing them to everyone I can. It’s planning the things I want to do with him and places I want to take him to as he grows. I can’t wait to find out what it is that he’s going to be good at and where his interests will lie.
Russ at a glance
If you had a free day without commitments or obligations, how would you spend it? Studying the aircraft at the Oshkosh airshow, the Air Force museum in Dayton, Ohio, and in the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry (one of the reason I became an engineer) because of the art inherent in all those aircraft. I love them because of the functional artistry in each one.
What’s one thing that is always in your fridge? Ice cream. A friend once looked in our freezer and announced to everyone that we had the ice cream equivalent of a wet bar.
What is your favorite Kolcraft product? Jeep Strollers in general. I love the look the Jeep brand brings to the line, as well as the play between tender babies and tough Jeep! It’s saying, “I’m a baby, and I’m ready to travel. Anywhere!”
And since he now has “grandson on the brain” 24/7, a little fun mind game with Russ. We asked Russ what is the first word that comes to mind when we say:
Baby – Cuddling
Sleep – Finally!
Morning – Hungry. Hungry! HUNGRY!!! (It’s still only one word.)
Broccoli – Creamed?!?!?
Beverage – MOM!!!
Diapers – Realmenchangediaperseventhenastyones
Thank you Russ for giving us a little glimpse into the world of Kolcraft safety!
Since we celebrate Grandparent’s Day during September, we are dedicating Mom Monday to a go-getting Grandma better known as Simply Cathi. I had the privilege of meeting Cathi at BlogHer New York. Despite losing a child and experiencing a terrorist attack first hand, Cathi is full of smiles and joy. I had to share her story with our Kolcraft fans!
Cathi, you live in the beautiful land of Southern California (We may be heading your way when Chicago winters get too fierce!) and you love gardening, grandchildren and Goofy. What inspired you to share your loves and life adventure through a blog?
I originally started my blog as a journal and to keep in touch with family and friends. I lost my 17-year old daughter Britt to an automobile accident several years ago and found that recording my feelings in a journal brought comfort and understanding. As time went by and I adjusted to life without Britt, I stopped writing. In 2006 my husband was injured in a terrorist bombing while we were visiting Spain. My life was once again thrown into a tailspin. As we proceeded to overcome medical and employment obstacles (he was injured while on duty with a major airline) I found blogging to be very therapeutic while also keeping in touch with friends and family. The blog has grown over the years to include many other things, but the center is still our everyday life and of course our grandchildren.
How would you say parenting your grandchildren is different than parenting your children?
Grandchildren are an absolute joy! I am however much more protective and cautious with my grandchildren then I was with my kids. Partly because I have to answer to their parents! Bottom line…It’s Grandma’s house and quite often anything goes!
What life lessons have your grandchildren taught you?
My grandchildren have taught me to slow down and enjoy the simple things. It’s easy to get caught up in everyday life but with my grandchildren I want to enjoy the simple things every single day. I also don’t want to miss spending every minute with them when we’re together. It won’t be long before they’re all grown up.
What is your favorite part of being a Grandma and what is the most challenging?
My favorite part about being a Grandma is the unconditional love. It’s goes both ways! I know they love me and they know I am over the top in love with them. There is nothing in this world that compares to hearing little voices calling out “Grandma!” as they run and jump into my arms!
As for challenges…when we were tending our grandchildren everyday while their parents both worked, it was a challenge to do the parenting while keeping the “Grandma’s house” atmosphere. It was hard to set aside time for homework when all we wanted to do was go outside and play.
What advice do you have for parents and grandparents who want their children to be more involved with the grandparents?
The love and companionship between grandparents and grandchildren is magical. I can’t exactly say what the magic ingredient is but it is there. Perhaps it’s the unconditional love. Grandparents can share wisdom that only comes from a lifetime of experiences with their grandchildren and in turn…grandchildren help us stay young.
Now for a quick glance into Cathi’s life.
What’s the one thing that never gets checked off your “to do” list? Floors! It seems there’s always a room that needs to be vacuumed or mopped.
If you had a “free day” with no commitments or obligations, what would you do with it? A free day would definitely be spent at Disneyland with Grandpa and the grands!
What is your guilty pleasure? My guilty pleasure is the sinfully delicious lemon cookies my husband brings home from his flights to London. (Editor’s note – YUM!)
What’s your favorite “no-fuss” meal that you fall back on when things are really hectic? My “go to” meal has always been spaghetti. I always have ground sirloin, canned tomatoes and pasta on hand. I add a salad, and garlic bread and the whole family (Just us or the kids and grands too) is happy.
If someone were to write a book on your life, what would the title be? Simply Cathi
If you have any questions or comments for Cathi, please leave them in the comment section or head over to her blog.
Few things are more delightful than grandchildren fighting over your lap. -Doug Larson
This Sunday we celebrate Grandparents day. Grandparents are those wonderful people who help children learn and love in a very special way. If your child is lucky enough to have a grandparent, here are some ideas of how you can celebrate Grandparent’s Day!
- Have your child make a card for her grandparent and bring it over. If a card is too difficult for your little one to make, you can have her draw or color a picture.
- Bake a little treat with your child for his grandparents, bring it over to them and enjoy it together.
- Bring grandparents some flowers and a smile.
- Give grandparents a picture of their grandchild in a special frame. You can even make a frame out of foam (bought at your local craft store) that you & your child decorate.
- Call grandparents and sing them “Happy Grandparents Day” to the tune of Happy Birthday.
How will you be spending Grandparents Day?
Yesterday I met with a vendor who was telling me he would be out of the office today celebrating Rosh Hashanah. He explained that he appreciated how Rosh Hashanah is a new start, a time to start with a “clean slate.” He really got me thinking how much we need new starts and “clean slates” on a daily basis especially as parents.
No matter how organized we are, each day brings some challenge whether that is not getting errands done, dinner not turning out like we want it to, losing patience when we are being asked for the 100th time “why” by a toddler, struggling to get homework done and rush the kids to (name your sport) practice…the list goes on. Sometimes as parents we are extra hard on ourselves for what we don’t get done and overlook all that we do like the fact that the kids did get to school in clean clothes, like the fact that we were able to spend some cuddle time with our children, that we were able to squeeze in one more bedtime kiss…the list goes on.
So today may be a good opportunity to take a parenting “time out” and realize all the good things we do as parents, to forgive ourselves for not living up to our “perfect parent” standards and to start over with a clean slate.
From chasing elephants to manufacturing crib mattresses, this Kolcraft employee loves adventure. We couldn’t pass up an opportunity for you to have a behind the scenes look at Kolcraft and meet Sam Logan who is one of our project engineers.
Sam, you lived all over the world. You even had a stint in Africa. How did you decide to be an engineer and not lead a Safari somewhere?
I was born and grew up in Africa and absolutely loved it. I guess that wasn’t enough Africa for me, so a friend and I took an eight month motorcycle trip from Israel to South Africa visiting 15 countries. It would be hard to top that motorcycle safari as we chased animals on our motorcycles, ran from an elephant on foot, drove through thigh deep rivers, crossed over rivers on a 6 inch wide steel beam and other fun things like that. I always loved tinkering with mechanical things and so I chose to study Mechanical Engineering which lined up with what I liked doing.
What do you like most about being an engineer?
The best part of my job isn’t engineering related – I love being able to work with people and I’m fortunate to work with a great bunch of people at Kolcraft.
What is a typical day like for you?
Days can be very diverse from visiting our mattress factory and getting grease up to my elbows as I try to improve how a machine works, to witnessing mattresses burning so they can pass a flammability test, to trying out new ideas for how our mattresses will be designed or made, to working with others to develop new quality standards.
Where do you receive inspiration for your work?
I love putting effort into making Kolcraft a better place to work and seeing changes that take place as a result of my efforts.
You have been at Kolcraft for 7 years, how have you seen Kolcraft change?
When I started at Kolcraft we were in a tiny office and had very little space. Sometimes we would only have little pathways to our desks because of all the product around with no place to store it. We then moved to a new office and have so much space. When I started, there were only 2 other engineers, now there are 6 other engineers. We have dramatically changed the process of how we develop product since I first started and now have a much better way of taking a product from start to finish.
Obviously you are living & breathing baby products at work and you are also a dad of 4 beautiful children. How has being a dad impacted how you approach your job?
I see firsthand just how “creative” kids are in the way they use things. For instance, we have a swivel stool with wheels at home and one day I found our one year old standing on top of it. When we design products here at Kolcraft, we have to constantly think about what a child could do with our product and how we can design it differently so it will be as safe as possible.
What has been your greatest joy & greatest challenge to being a dad?
It is a real joy seeing them mature and grow. I was thrilled last night when our 9 year old spontaneously ran to open the restaurant door for someone. Or I love seeing one of them, without being asked, going to comfort their crying sibling with a glass of ice water.
To be honest the hardest thing about being a dad is shaping their character. When my wife Sarah and I see something negative in them, it is sometimes so hard to coach and mentor them through that negative trait.
Sam at a glance:
Funniest thing that one of your children has said? At supper one day, one of them said “Thank you mommy for making these nice waffles. Did they come down from heaven?”
Favorite daddy activity with your kids?
Each Saturday one of the kids gets to go on a date with me. They love being able to choose what to do: McDonalds, the ice-cream place, the park, playing a game at home, a bike ride, etc. It is a very special time for both of us.
Favorite Kolcraft product? Baby Sit and Step
And since you now have “baby on your brain” 24/7, a little fun mind game with Sam. We asked Sam what is the first word that comes to mind when we say:
Baby – Treasure
Sleep – Baby
Morning – Fresh
Broccoli – Puréed
Beverage – Milk
Lady GaGa – Rattle
Adoption means you grow inside your mommy’s heart instead of her tummy.–Anonymous
I’ve always loved this quote because it shows that there is so much more to motherhood than biology. Everyone’s parenting journey is different and filled with its own challenges and joys. During our Mom Mondays we try to highlight different parenting journeys so our Kolcraft fans can experience the depth and beauty of motherhood.
Today we were able to connect with a very special mom whose parenting journey took all sorts of twists and turns as an adoptive mom. Grab a cup of coffee or tea; you are in for a treat.
Tell us a little about your “mommy journey.” What were your hopes and dreams when you first started trying to conceive?
When we first started trying to conceive we never dreamed we would have had a problem trying to get pregnant. As weeks turned into months and no baby, we started to look into fertility options. I remember it seemed as if everyone around me was pregnant. I longed to actually “be” pregnant, carry my child inside me, and feel that closeness. Morning sickness, swollen ankles and stretch marks would have been a welcome gift. After testing, both my husband and I we found out we both had fertility problems. We were devastated. I knew I wanted to be a Mom and he wanted to be a Dad. Our dreams of having a family after we got married came crashing down.
When did you decide to look into adoption and how did you know it was the right thing for you?
While going through fertility treatment, each test coming back with disheartening news, we started talking about the possibility of adoption. We knew we wanted to be parents. Would we be able to accept and love a child not biologically ours? Would our family accept an adopted child? Where do we start? What country should we adopt from? Boy? Girl? We prayed each night and in our hearts we just knew it was right- we should adopt! A sense of peace settled in both of us.
How did people react to your decision to adopt?
I think our family was excited, but nervous like us. They didn’t want us to get hurt. People really didn’t talk about it. I think sometimes others are uncomfortable with the pain of watching a couple struggle with fertility and then the stress and the questions that accompany adoption. We decided to take a class about how to go about starting an adoption process. Once we got “the call” for each of my kids my whole family was so excited! We had a shower/ welcome home party. My son was 15 months old and my daughter was 2 when we adopted them. Our families are crazy about my kids.
Did you have any fears to adopting?
We had a lot of fears! Would the child love us? What if the birth mother or father took the child away? What if he or she wants to meet their biological parent? Would I know what my baby needed?
What was the biggest joy?
Meeting them for the first time for sure!!! I remember the moment I met my son. I swear something went right through my heart and I KNEW he was MY son. It was instantaneous. When I met my daughter the exact thing happened- the overwhelming love for them just shot right though me.
What was the most difficult challenge?
Definitely the waiting!! Waiting for the paperwork, and the court dates. Also the stress of the homestudy.
What has been your biggest surprise on your adoption journey?
I never expected that someday I would be grateful that I was infertile and “had” to adopt and that I could love someone as much as this.
Any advice for families dealing looking towards adoption?
Not only do you adopt your child- they adopt you. Just love them, love them, love them. You’re their Mom and Dad. Don’t let anyone make you feel like you are “less” of a Mom and Dad because you didn’t give birth to them.
Now for a quick glance into Patti’s life .
What is your favorite part to being a mom? I love snuggling my kids and being able to just be silly with them. I love knowing a part of my heart lives in each of my kids. Its funny how people people are so surprised that they are adopted because they say they are just like my husband and I.
What is your one guilty pleasure? Cotton candy
If you had a free day to yourself, how would you spend it? Oooo I like a good book, or playing my piano or cello.
If someone was going to write a book on your life, what would they title it? Grateful for Unanswered Prayers