the homepage of gregory and ann kline

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

I Had a Moment

Today Cara and Amy came over with their little ones, Max and Heather. We were planning on getting together at 1:00 but it turned out that all our kids were running about 30 minutes late which was making all of us about 30 minutes late. Amy had just purchased a new stroller and had a few pieces she needed to assemble. Cara decided to scoop up Heather because she is just so darn cute. Unfortunately, Heather was also over-tired and rather grouchy. Cara was left to the task of soothing Heather. Then Max decided he needed to get fussy. I laid down on the floor with him and attempted to entertain him. Then Marcus came over. All of a sudden it hit me. It is going to be like that. I'll be on the floor jiggling one kid while another tries to crawl all over me! What am I getting myself into! Mostly I was smiling though because I was surrounded by cute babies. That is going to be wonderful.

The six humans along with the pooch then headed out like a train of strollers to the neighborhood park. Heather slept the whole time and Marcus and Max hit the swings. It was quite a lovely afternoon.

Max and Marcus enjoying the swings.
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Heather enjoying her stroller.
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Marcus showing off his fang.
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Tuesday, March 27, 2007

The People We Meet

Yesterday Marcus and I took our weekly trip to the grocery store. Marcus must have been as excited about the fabulous weather as the rest of the population because he was jumping for joy - literally. Marcus bounces. He loves to bounce. He has loved to bounce since the day I met him and he is showing no sign of letting up on this activity. I don't even quite know how he was doing it but as we went through the store selecting items on our list, he was bouncing up and down in the cart. He would only rest long enough to laugh with that goofy smile of his showing or to blow some raspberries in my face. (No one told me that motherhood involved the need to have my face covered with my child's saliva constantly.) Several people in the store stopped to say how cute he was or how happy it made them to see a child so happy. Some people just looked at him and smiled. When we finally made it to the register the cashier started small talk, asking about Marcus and telling me how cute he is. (People do this all the time, as if I didn't notice!) There was an older gentleman bagging my groceries. I have seen him several times, almost every time I go shopping there. He is a very sweet guy, at least from my limited knowledge of him. Yesterday was different though. Yesterday he told me that Marcus looked like his grandson. I asked him how old his grandson was (just turned 1 year old) as I thought to myself that there was no way that this pale-skinned, light-eyed man had a grandson that looked like Marcus. In between bagging up my canned goods and my cold items, this man pulled out his wallet and opened to a photo of his grandson. I could not believe what I was seeing! This little boy in the photo could have been Marcus's brother! They both had full heads of black hair, round faces, and those huge dark eyes that just suck you in. About the only difference I noticed was that their eye shape was slightly different. I wanted so much to ask some questions, to find out if this little boy was from Guatemala as well, but I just couldn't bring myself to say something that could be taken the wrong way. Also, I was too busy kicking myself for being so ignorant. You would think that I - having a transracial family and being well aware that families are made of people who love each other and not necessarily people who look like each other - wouldn't have been so quick to draw the conclusion that this man in the grocery store couldn't possibly have a grandson that looked like Marcus. I stand corrected! Lesson learned!


Monday, March 26, 2007

Updated Pictures!

Isn't Alejandro the cutest baby under 11 months and 25 days old?? You can check out all our newest pictures by clicking here. His latest medical report gives him a clean bill of health. He is growing and gaining weight but is still a little peanut compared to Marcus's size at his age. I think he should come home now!

Yesterday we had a fun day. Greg and I took Marcus out for a bike ride in the trailer that we have that attaches to the back of my bike. We biked down by one of the rivers and it was very pretty. Marcus did well, up until the last 10 minutes when he was probably just getting tired and the ride was too bumpy at that point for him to rest. Then Marcus got to have his first Rita's Italian Ice!


Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Alejadro Update

Just when I thought I was going to have to start throwing a fit to get an update, we finally got one yesterday. It wasn't totally what I was hoping to hear but since I was finally hearing something I was excited. Alejandro's birthmom needs to go to the attorney's office to sign one more document and then our case can be submitted to family court. (I was hoping we were already in family court.) I almost wish that the hold up was blatantly something that our attorney wasn't doing so I could direct my frustration at someone. There is no way that I can be frustrated or upset at the woman who gave birth to my son.

Hopefully soon we will be getting updated medical information and pictures as well. Alejandro is now 3 months and 2 days old, which means he is due for his monthly doctor's appointment. I am sure he is as perfect and adorable as ever.

Marcus got to play with his buddy Max today, Cara's son. It was the first time they really interacted with each other, that is if interacting is where Marcus tries to touch Max's face and Max gives Marcus a bizarre look. The weather was great today so we took a walk down to the neighborhood park where Marcus and Max enjoyed the swings. Unfortunately both Cara and I forgot our cameras.

Other than that, I have just been getting grumpy over the idea of returning back to work in May. I have dwelled on this way too much lately so I won't do it here.

Oh, and thank you thank you thank you to all of you that have sent me recipes so far. I haven't even begun to get through them and get them organized. This is going to be one great cookbook! Keep the yummy recipes coming my way by emailing them to me at anniemk6@hotmail.com. Thanks!


Monday, March 19, 2007


My nickname for Marcus is Scooter because he gets around by scooting. Quite the perfect nickname. The time has come that I might need to change it though. He still gets around by scooting, so that isn't the issue. The issue is his teeth. I think I mentioned before that they are all coming in out of order. Today two more finally surfaced, but still have yet to become prominent. Once they do become noticeable to people other than those like me who stick their fingers in his mouth and feel around all the time, the world will understand why Marcus will soon be known as Fang. He has now gotten four teeth in on the bottom, the front four. And now one of his top incisors, one of those pointy teeth, has started to poke through. Aww... the joys of parenthood - finding more things to tease your kids about when they get older!


Cookbook - Please Help Us Out!

I am putting together a cookbook as a way to raise some money for our adoption of Alejandro. I have no idea when it will all get put together and printed, but it is in the works. This is the part where I could really use your help. What is a cookbook without recipes?? If you could please help us out by sending along your favorite recipes your support will be greatly appreciated. Please pass this email on to people that we might not even know, your siblings and parents and friends. The more recipes, the better! As I said, this is still in the very early stages so I don't have a clue when our cookbook will be available or what the cost will be. We are going to offer a discount of some sort to everybody who submits a recipe.

If you don't have the time to type up all your favorite recipes, that isn't a problem either. Just make a photo copy and mail them to me! If you need our mailing address let me know.

You can either post your recipes here or email them to me at anniemwk6@hotmail.com

Thank you so much for your continued support!


Saturday, March 17, 2007

Passport and No More MoMo

We just got back from the post office, getting Marcus his passport so he can go meet his little brother. I didn't realize it was going to be such an ordeal. Both Greg and I had to be there so going Saturday was the only option. We got there right after a family of four who were also applying for passports. The waiting began. It is not necessarily a recommendation of mine to attempt to hang out in a small, crowded space with a baby right before said baby's nap time for an hour. Marcus did really well considering the circumstances. Everything is submitted and I am worried of course. We had to mail his Certificate of Citizenship and his original birth certificate, both of which will be a huge, never ending battle to get replaced if something were to happen to them. Plus, the woman at the post office wasn't completely sure if we had all the right documents. AND, no one really knows for sure what Marcus's name is at this point. (His social security card, birth certificate, and Certificate of Citizenship are all different.) Who knows if we will ever get his passport.

We are way overdue for an update on Alejandro and it is really getting to me. I emailed our case worker last Wednesday, asking where our update was. She said that there were a few families waiting for updates and ours should be there that day or shortly after. Then I got another email from her saying that she is going to be on vacation for a few days. Grr... I just want to know what is going on with our little boy and our case!

My friend Amanda sent me a link the other day to an article in the Post-Gazette about problems with adoptions in Guatemala right now. I read the first sentence of the article and realized that I know the family that is mentioned in the article. I met the woman and her son at the Baby Books program that I have gone to the last couple of weeks. I have been agonizing about how to approach her. He son looks very Guatemalan to me but I didn't want to just come out and say something just in case her son was biological and just took after her husband (who I have never seen). I am so excited after reading this article! Not only do we have so much in common right now (she is currently in the process of adopting a second child from Guatemala), but now I have finally found my way to approach her. There can't possibly be anything offensive about asking her if there happened to be an article in the paper that mentioned her family.

In other news, plans for Marcus's birthday are well under way. I am excited and sad all at the same time. Doesn't he know that he isn't allowed to grow up??

I mentioned in a previous post about MoMo, the group that I was intending to go with to the zoo. As of April 1, I will no longer be a member. Whoever runs the group has decided to have a $20 annual membership fee. That is just outrageous. I definitely don't get $20 worth of fun out of the group. Besides, there are plenty of mom groups in the area that are free.


Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Perfect Day

Yesterday was just such a perfect day. It started out when I checked the weather when I woke up in the morning: sunny and 72 degrees! It couldn't be better. Marcus and I had breakfast and then we headed up to meet my mom. (She rides with a friend of hers who also has a daughter in my area. Then I pick her up so we can hang out.) Mom, Marcus, and I all headed over to the library where we went last week for story time. We got to see Cara and Max again. Marcus was feeling much more brave this time and was being more social. (Last week he was hiding his face and wouldn't leave my lap for a second.) My mom enjoyed the story time too.

Then we rushed out of there and headed for the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium! Cara introduced me to a mom's group in Pittsburgh called Modern Moms of Pittsburgh (MoMo for short). They were having an event yesterday where the group got to meet and pet a penguin. I wasn't sure I really wanted to go to the zoo with a big group anyway, but with the perfect weather, there was no way I could pass up the chance to spend some time outside. Unfortunately, I couldn't remember where the group was supposed to meet. I took a guess and guessed wrong. So, we didn't get to pet the penguin, but we still had a fabulous day. My mom hadn't been the zoo for years and I just love the zoo! Some of the animals weren't out yet since it is still early in the season. I was a little bummed that we didn't get to see the giraffes but mostly wondered where they were. Where do they hide giraffes? Marcus mostly was content hanging out in his stroller. His favorite things about the zoo were the mini-homosapiens (i.e. kids) and the Dippin' Dots. We did run into a friend of mine Jen and her little boy. They were there with MoMo and had gotten to pet the penguin. Jen didn't act as though we really missed much. The only bummer about the day was that I forgot my camera. Marcus was able to stay awake through the whole trip but was asleep before we left the parking lot.

The only thing missing from yesterday was an update in Alejandro. I think we should be getting one soon though. Keep your fingers crossed that we get some good news!


Monday, March 12, 2007

Trouble Lurks

I was sitting innocently on the couch today and Marcus was nearby, sitting on the floor but holding onto the edge of the cushion. The next thing I knew, he was standing there. He had pulled up on the couch! He pulls up if someone puts their hands out, but this was the first time he has done it on the furniture. He did it a few more times after that. Looks like he is headed for a whole new world of things he can get into.

Marcus also has a runny nose today. It figures. He is due for his biweekly cold. It figures that just when the weather is getting nice, he has the sniffles again. Grr. Maybe this time, unlike the last two, I will be able to avoid getting the cold as well.


Saturday, March 10, 2007

Number Three, Finally

About 2 weeks ago now I was convinced that Marcus was finally getting another tooth, one of his front upper ones. He had all the signs. He had a runny nose and there was even a mark on his gum that I was certain was where this tooth would be coming through. Then mysteriously, it all disappeared. Today however, I am 99.99% certain that he is getting a new tooth. It is not the front upper which would be the "right" tooth to come in according to all the teething order charts I have ever seen. Instead he is getting in a lower tooth. He is definitely part of this family. We never do anything according to the book.

All that patience that I claimed I had in getting Alejandro home is gone. I want him home now! In some ways, the wait this time is easier because I know that he will be home and that when that happens, I will quickly forget all the hours I spent waiting for him to get here. Knowing all that doesn't make time move any faster though.

Yesterday Marcus and I headed out to Rainy Day Play Center for some good old fun. Last week it was like a switch was flipped and suddenly he has become very cautious and shy. When we were there last, I set him on the floor and he scooted off to find some toys. This time, there was no chance of getting him off my lap. It is so cute to suddenly have a little snuggler and I know it is just a normal phase, but I still worry how his urge to cling is going to effect things when he is headed off to day care here.

Today we are expecting some visitors. Although it is a little dreary out, the temperature is decent so maybe I can convince some of the visitors to go to the neighborhood park to take a ride on the swings.


Thursday, March 08, 2007

Updated Medical and Pictures!

Finally! The email we have been waiting for. Yes, the emails about where are case is probably are more important, but the ones that are about our little baby are absolutely the most fun. Alejandro is quite healthy, spending more time awake, and growing rapidly. He is up to almost 22 inches long and 11 lbs 14 oz. He is almost 2 lbs smaller than Marcus was at that age! And of course, he is tied for the cutest baby in the world. (Sharing the number one title with him is Marcus of course.) Greg and I agree that he doesn't look that much different than he did last month. His face may have thinned out a bit. It could be also that he is wearing the same outfit at this doctor's visit as he was wearing at last month's visit! (He gets his picture taken at the doctor.)

We got word today that our package that we sent to Alejandro has arrived. Included in our package was two outfits, a toy, a soft photo album, and two disposable cameras for the foster family to use and return to us.

If you want to check out all the newest photos of Alejandro, they can be found by clicking here.


Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Mini Update

Although we are still waiting on updated medical information and photos of Alejandro, we did get a mini update on Monday. Our POA is currently in Guatemala being registered and translated. That is it. That is the update. I was hoping for something more exciting than that, like maybe even family court already. I guess the important thing is that something is happening.

On the home front, Marcus and I have been exploring some new activities. Yesterday we met Cara and Max at the library near Cara's house for Baby Books, a program they have there for infants and toddlers. They have a similar one at the library in my neighborhood but normally it doesn't mesh well with our schedule. It was such a wonderful program, filled with songs and books. For the first time ever, I saw a different side of Marcus. Turns out my kid is shy! He hasn't spent too much time with that many kids before, and there were a lot of people all crammed into one room. I was feeling a little shy myself. It was quite a cute side of him, having him crawling into my lap and hiding his face in my chest.

There was a woman there with her son. I am pretty sure that her son was Guatemalan. I just couldn't figure out the right way to approach the subject though. I mean, what if I was wrong? There is always that slight chance this this fair skinned, light haired woman could have biologically produced a black hair, dark skinned child. The woman did speak to me, just asking how old Marcus was and such. It was almost as if she wanted to say something too but didn't know how to cross that line. I have plans to return to Baby Books quite frequently so hopefully I will see this woman again and somehow it will come up in conversation.

Today Marcus and I headed over to hang out with Amy and Heather. Heather has most definitely grown since I have seen her but she is still quite the peanut. Marcus checked her out for a minute and then he was ready to go exploring and attempt to get into trouble. It was a nice quiet afternoon, great to see Amy, and great to get out of the house as well.

Tomorrow we are off to meet another baby, and on Friday it is back to Rainy Day Play Center with several others.


Saturday, March 03, 2007

Alejandro in Action!

FedEx showed up at my door yesterday with a video of Alejandro! He was 1.5 months old in the video (he is now just over 2 months). It was so wonderful to see him in action. He was being held by his foster mother, who was a very pretty lady that appeared to be well off. Sitting next to them was the foster father. I noticed about halfway through the 10 minute video that the foster father was wearing a North Carolina hat, which I found slightly ironic since my brother lives down in that direction. A man that works for our agency translated what the foster mother was saying and told us about our beautiful baby. The translator's English is kinda broken so some of it was funny, like how if Alejandro gets fussy we can "tranquilize him" by giving him a bottle. Also, he kept saying over and over again that this little 10 lb baby eats 18 oz. of formula every 30 minutes! He told us that we were going to need a cow at our house. Then the strangest thing happened. At the end of the video the foster father, who hadn't said a word the whole time, looked at the camera and started speaking English, fantastic English with barely a hint of an accent! It is just amazing to know that when we get to meet our son for the first time, we will be able to talk directly to one of his care givers all about him, and also learn more about the care givers themselves.

The man from our agency that was taking the video and translating said that this family was one of the best foster families that works for our agency. I can't tell you how relieved I am to know that our little boy is being taken so good care of.

There was one thing that needed no translation. In the midst of all the Spanish words the foster mom was speaking that I didn't understand, she looked at our little boy and said, "Perfecto." To think, we have TWO perfect boys!!

You can watch this great video as well. We had to split it into two parts. For Part 1 click here and for Part 2 click here.


Friday, March 02, 2007

I've Created a (Super Adorable) Monster

Marcus loves to play by himself. He does it great. He constantly is checking in to make sure someone is still there and whoever is there will talk to him, make some comments about what he is up to, etc. Then he will go back to playing with his toys alone. There are times when Greg and I try to play with him and he would be happy about it for about five minutes and then he would scoot away and get involved in something alone. Don't get me wrong. We don't ignore him and we do play with him. I am just saying that a lot of the time he is quite content doing his own thing.

Ever since these temper tantrums started, I have made a really big effort to hold him more. Even if he is content playing with something, often times I have just been scooping him up, along with the toy, and letting him play with the toy on my lap. He still is throwing plenty of temper tantrums but not like it was. Besides, it is obvious that he loves all the opportunity to be close to us. He has never been much of a snuggler, but suddenly, he is crawling into my lap, giving me hugs, and just being really darn cute. Greg suggested changing his name from Greg to Jim, as in Jungle Jim (gym). We are now the most exciting thing to play with in the house. I would be lying if I said I didn't enjoy every minute of it.

We are still waiting to get an update about Alejandro. Our case worker said that it would be this week. I am being patient because I know that there are things much bigger than just my case going on right now. I have been avoiding posting because of it. Long story short, because of the illegal actions of one person in the Guatemalan adoption community, the fate of adoptions is at risk. As of right now, the US Government and the Guatemalan Government are just talking about ways to make the process more strict (as if some of the stipulations aren't crazy enough) to avoid any repeat offenders. Yesterday a protocolo was brought to the table in Guatemala proposing many things, including immediate shut down of adoptions. Thankfully, the result is a giant announcement that there will be no immediate shut down. This is not to say that there won't be major changes in the future, but for now we can all breathe a sigh of relief. I want Alejandro home. I said I wouldn't get impatient but this is different. Mostly I just hope that whatever the outcome of all this, those in charge remember to put all the children who need loving families first. There is no alternative system in place right now to take care of all these children if something would happen to the adoption community. (For more information on what is going on with adoptions right now, visit guatadopt.com)