Saturday, October 31, 2009

Friday, October 30, 2009

Trunk-or-Treat and Trike

This week my mom came up to spend some time with Gavin. Jake and I got a chance to run errands and eat out while Grandma babysat, which was really nice. Wednesday Grandma bought Gavin his first trike. He thinks it is a motorcycle and loves it. He likes to hold onto the handlebars and makes motorcycle noises. He can't reach the pedals yet, but pushes it around with his feet and is quickly learning to steer.

Wednesday night was trunk or treat at church. Gavin got dressed up like a lion but didn't want to leave his trike to go bye bye. He threw a big fit on his way out the door, but was ok once the car started moving.

Here he is with his best friends and their mommies at church - Carleigh was a cheerleader and Romana was a scarecrow.
At church Gavin played the beanbag toss and a fishing game inside before going outside to trunk or treat. I walked him around from car to car getting candy while my mom handed out candy from our trunk. He liked putting the candy in his pumpkin, but his favorite part was the beagle that was dressed up like Underdog that he got to pet.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Happy Birthday Jake!

Jake turned 32 on October 13. We went out to lunch to celebrate and then Gavin played outside for awhile. He likes to play with the broom, his bubble wands, and wave to passing cars and people.

Gotcha Day

Last year October 24 fell on a Friday. It was the day we became parents. It's Gavin's Gotcha Day, the term used to describe the day a child is placed with its adoptive family. It was a cold and drizzly day. We met up with Hannah at LDS Family Services at 1pm. We rode with her to a courthouse in Marietta, where we were to find out if we would be allowed to take custody of Gavin. We didn't know exactly where Gavin was at the time, if he would be there or if we would even get to see him any time soon. Gavin was lucky that his case was handled by a caring caseworker from the state who immediately saw that it was in Gavin's best interest to transfer custody ASAP. After a meeting with the state caseworker, Hannah, and the LDSFS lawyer Jake and I waited outside the courtroom for what seemed like a long time. Hannah hurried out and told us that the judge had allowed the change of custody and that we would be getting Gavin that day. His foster mom would be taking him to meet us at the local DFACS office. Hannah drove us over to the DFACS office where we waited a couple hours for Gavin. While we waited we read Gavin's medical info that Hannah had gotten in court. It was the first time we knew how big he was or what his whole name was. The weight was listed in kilograms so I had to call my mom to look up a conversion calculator online for us. Hannah kept going on an on about how lucky we were that things had gone so smoothly, that it never happens this way. The DFACS office was dreary, dirty, and depressing. We could hear children in the next room having supervised visits with their parents. I was so happy that we were going to be able to take Gavin out of the system. Suddenly a door opened and Gavin was kind of thrown into my arms. It happened very quickly. Gavin immediately put out his arms to go to Jake, but was ok with me holding him after Jake got a turn.
I hugged and thanked Gavin's foster mother, an older heavyset black woman. She said Gavin was a joy to have, that he was a good eater, and that he loved animals. That's still Gavin in a nutshell. The foster mom also said Gavin had been running a fever earlier. We walked outside in the drizzle and put Gavin in Hannah's car. By this time it was rush hour in Atlanta on a Friday, and Hannah had to drive from the north side of Atlanta to the southeast side back to the LDSFS office. It took awhile. Jake wanted to sit in the back with Gavin. I remember Hannah pulling over to the side of the road at one point so I could get our baby bag out of the trunk but I don't remember why. Gavin happily played with a toy we had brought for awhile but then started fussing. To keep him happy I gave him a tin of icebreaker mints to shake like a rattle. Hannah had one too so he played with both of them. By the time we got back to the office everyone had left. I changed Gavin. The foster mom must have really been worried about the cold because Gavin was wearing 3 layers of clothes, which were now soaked through. Luckily I had brought plenty of backup clothes with me, loaned to us by a friend from church. Jake learned to change a diaper there on the floor in the lobby at LDSFS. I fed Gavin some dinner and offered him a bottle, but he wasn't very hungry. We played with him while Hannah finished the paperwork. The cleaning crew came through while we were there and Hannah explained to them that we just got a baby and that was what they did in that office. Gavin was very fussy, and seemed to be teething so we gave him tylenol and ambesol provided by the foster mom. We were finally able to get the paperwork done and leave for the 2 hour drive home. Jake drove while I sat in the back with Gavin. He cried almost the entire way home. It was awful. We sang, I played with him, offered a bunch of toys, but nothing worked for long. I even had Jake stop at a WalMart to get frozen waffles for Gavin to gum, as I had read this was good for teething. It worked for a little while, but then more crying. Gavin fell asleep for a few minutes shortly before we arrived home. I called my mom and my friend Robyn on the way home so they could spread the news that we were able to get Gavin. I think we got home about 9:30 or so. As soon as I took Gavin into the livingroom and he saw Tyler everything was ok. He was home. He laughed and laughed as Tyler licked him and ran around. Gavin squeeled with delight as Jake played fetch with Tyler. Gavin crawled around on the floor exploring his surroundings as we called our parents. I remember both of us telling our parents about Gavin's amazing smile. I gave Gavin a bath, and with his hair off his face and showing a toothy grin I started appreciating how cute he was. Jake dressed him for bed. We gave him a bottle and put him down to sleep. His crib was in our room and Jake went to sleep too. We were exhausted, but I couldn't go to bed until I sent Gavin pictures to my mom. They seemed to take forever to upload and send, and my mom kept calling me asking when they were coming. I understood, and was happy to send them, but I was so tired. I don't remember if I talked to her after she got the pictures that night, I must have at least for a few minutes to make sure she got them. That was 1 year ago today.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The call

On this Tuesday last year we got "the call." The previous week our caseworker Brad had called us to ask if we wanted to be considered to adopt Gavin, but we hadn't heard anything else. It's common in the adoption process to be considered for several babies before you get chosen. On this day Jake called me at work about 2pm to tell me Brad had just called to tell us we had a court date on Friday and to bring a carseat. Brad didn't know any details, so when I got home from work I called Hannah, the birthmother's caseworker, for the specifics. She was very suprised by how fast things were moving with the court system, as similar cases had taken months to resolve. She said we should be prepared to take Gavin home Friday, but it could also be postponed for a lot of different reasons. This is the day we decided to name him Gavin Thomas. We called our family and some friends with the news, and I started making a list of all the stuff we needed. We both took the rest of the week off to prepare. We went to bed early that night because we knew we would be busy the next day.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Monkey man

This week Gavin has been consistantly drinking from a cup without much spillage. He has also started saying "hi" pretty regularly. He has said a few other words, but has said them just once or twice. They don't seem to stick. "Hi" is sticking. Gavin also does this funny little walk where he's bent over and squatting while walking. We weren't positive what it was until last week when Gavin pointed to a monkey in a book and then did his walk. It's his "monkey walk" and he now does it on command - its really cute!

Monday, October 12, 2009

The Fair

Friday we took Gavin to the Georgia National Fair. We saw a tiger show, racing pigs, the petting zoo, and lots of tractors. Gavin loved the petting zoo. He squeeled with delight getting up close with the animals. He wasn't scared of any of them. If not for the gnats he could have stayed there all day.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Conference weekend

Gavin did pretty well during General Conference this weekend. He loves hearing the choir sing, and danced to almost every hymn. I got out his duplo blocks to keep him occupied, and discovered he is now old enough to actually put them together and play with them, which kept him occupied through a lot of conference time. Gavin keeps making what we can only guess are guns out of the blocks. He puts them together and holds them like he's shooting a gun. He doesn't have any toy guns so we're not sure where he picked that up. He also made a brush out of the blocks and combed his and my hair with it. He thought that was pretty funny. Notice the tongue of concentration:
Gavin's biggest meal of the day is breakfast. A typical meal is 2 whole wheat eggos and a banana or 1 and 1/2 cups prepared oatmeal and some fruit or a whole wheat bagel and fruit. He gets very impatient for his breakfast and usually is screaming by the time he is strapped into his highchair. He is perfectly capable of feeding himself oatmeal with a spoon now, but I have to feed him the first few bites because he can't do it fast enough when he's hungry and gets mad. Sunday he ate 2 pumpkin pancakes in his playpen while I was cooking, and then 3 more once we all sat down at the table.
Gavin's favorite toys lately are cars and trucks. He spends a good bit of time crawling around pushing them everywhere. We've been told he also spends most of his time in nursery doing this.
Sadly, we think Gavin is done with his morning naps now. They were nice while they lasted. We're still figuring out the best time for his 1 nap a day. He seems to do all right taking it around 2. This still gives Jake a little time with Gavin before he goes to work.
We've been trying to get in the habit of doing our daily family scripture study and prayer with Gavin after lunch. We're reading out of Old Testament Stories. Most of the time Gavin just wanders around and plays while we read, but some times we can entice him to look at the pictures if there is an animal involved - and in case you haven't noticed there are a lot of animals in the Old Testament. We figured out the only way to do our family prayer so that Gavin doesn't fuss is to stand up and hold him. He readily folds his arms when we do this, because this is also how we have done his prayers every night since we got him, standing by his crib. Yesterday after lunch Gavin was playing in the living room and he actually folded his arms and walked over to me. When I asked if he wanted to read scriptures and say a prayer he got excited and ran over to the bookcase. Hopefully starting this habit early in life will pay off.