Life as MommyMo

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

One Week

It was one week ago almost to the minute that I walked out of the front door to go meet Baby Max for the first time.

I just watched him drift off to sleep thinking that it's hard to believe that he's only been with us seven days. If I ever doubted that God gives us the children that are meant to be ours, I need only look at Sam and Max. I cannot imagine any other little people fitting in with our family more perfectly. Max has adjusted to life as a Becker almost effortlessly. It's amazing to comprehend that this baby was born on the other side of the world and loved by two other mothers before he made his way to our home. In just a few days, it really feels like he was here from the day he was born.

I'm not trying to sound like there haven't been any growing pains to work out. There have. Our whole schedule has changed with the addition of an infant to our lives and Sam is definitely struggling to find room in his little universe for an actual human that commands his parents' attention. But day by day -- almost hour by hour -- it gets easier for everyone.

For me, especially, the bonding with Max has been easier than it was with Sam. Sam took to Rob almost immediately and I cried many tears as I watched a very strong-willed and independent child openly express his desire to only be held by someone other than me. I was instantly in love with him, and well educated about the many facets of the attachment process, but nothing made it easier for me when I just wanted to hold my first baby and kiss him to pieces.

Of course, that's all changed now. Sam is firmly attached to both me and Rob and definitely knows how to play each of us to get what he wants! Max does not seem to have a strong preference to either one of us, but not being shrieked at as if I'm doing bodily harm to him makes it easier for me to enjoy the experience and continue to fall in love with him.

It's interesting to see, too, how well my instincts have served me with Max. Rob has remarked many times in the last week that I'm somehow able to interpret Max's signals easily. The best example is the process to get his sleep issues worked out. By Max's fourth night here, I somehow got him to take to his crib, and he stayed there for 10+ hours. Luckily, that trend has continued, which makes any other part of the adjustment process easier to manage. A well rested family is a happy family!

Our next hurdle was getting him to nap in his crib. He was only taking two or three 20-minute naps, and most of those were in our arms or in the stroller. I am a firm believer in sleep training. I never leave his side while he's falling asleep and am instantly at his side if he wakes up crying, but I also am committed to getting him to do his sleeping in his crib so that he gets the rest he needs and we can do other things that need to be done (like showering, for instance.) We spent a quiet day at home yesterday working on a schedule/routine for him. We managed to get one crib nap out of him, but he was not having it during the afternoon. We tried again today, and were thrilled that he took two naps that were each more than 90 min. long in his crib.

Rob just went to put him to sleep for the night for the first time, and I kept hearing him ask through the monitor if I was really sure Max was tired. I told him that he's a giggly, wiggly baby when going to sleep and not to worry. Rob finally called me upstairs to "take a look at this," as if I was going to be met with some strange behavior that would need diagnosis. He was convinced Max was getting a second wind and that "we missed the window. He's going to be up for hours." I told him he just has to be patient and lo and behold, he was out cold not five minutes later. There is something immensely satisfying to me to have been able to figure out some of his cues already.

Hopefully all of this will serve me well tomorrow, when Rob goes back to work and I temporarily enter the world of stay-at-home-mommyhood for the first time in my life (Sam came home during the summer when Rob was off, too.) I don't have lofty goals for the first few days. If I am showered and dressed and Max has napped by the time the other boys get home, I will consider the day a success!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

I love sleep

I especially love sleep when I get to do it myself for long stretches of time because everyone else in my house is sleeping, too. I think we may possibly have set a record for recovery from 16 hours of flight and nearly 24 hours of total travel time. Baby Max had one bad night's sleep, two pretty decent ones and last night was FANTASTIC.

Overall, his adjustment seems to be going really well. The grieving is still there from time to time, but we expect that and want him to feel like we're helping him overcome it. Part of that process is letting him determine how, when and where to sleep until he's got his bearings. For the first two nights with us, that meant sleeping plastered to our bodies in one way or another. For the third night, it meant sleeping in a swing with one of us within arm's reach.

Throughout all of this, we've tried introducing him to the crib, but not expecting him to stay in it alone. We learned that wouldn't work when I first laid him down and he reacted as though there were vipers laying there to greet him that I couldn't see. I scooped him up and have instead opted to sit him in the crib for short intervals with toys and his big brother so he could see that it's really a nice place to be.

Last night, after a fairly good day schedule-wise, I had Max up in the nursery to put pajamas on him. I needed to change myself, so I put him down in the crib with a couple of new toys and stood there to talk to him before disappearing and terrifying him. He played around with the toys and didn't seem to mind if I was there or not. We put Sam in with him to "teach" him how to use a crib properly. After Sam got out, I put Max on his back, just to get him used to the idea. I was ready to pull him out and take him downstairs once big brother was none the wiser.

Rather than grunt and cry as usual, Max reached up to play with the strings on my sweatshirt that were dangling down. He found this to be a fascinating activity for a full 15 minutes or so. At that point, I realized he was engaging in his I'm-serious-about-sleeping trick (I love that I have figured out one of his little quirks already!) otherwise known as sucking on his wrist/sleeve. Side note: I've heard of thumb sucking and pacifier dependence, but wrist sucking as a self-soothing behavior is new to me.

I just stood over the crib and let him suck his wrist and fidget for a while. He quickly realized that the fidgeting made the crib mattress bounce a tiny bit, which kept him happy for another 15 min. or so. And then, as if by magic, he just closed his eyes and went to sleep. I resisted the urge to squeal with glee and shut out the lights and proceeded to stand over him for another 15 min., in case he woke up scared. He didn't, so I left the room, totally unsure after only three days of what I was supposed to do when all the children in the house are sleeping without needing something from me.

I went to our room, read for a bit, then went to sleep. Of course, I woke up scared at 2 a.m. when I realized that I'd not heard a peep from Max in hours. I raced into his room, only to find him dozing in the very position in which I'd left him. I stumbled back to my own bed with a sleepy grin plastered to my face and went back to sleep. I checked him again at 5, to see the very same thing going on in there.

At 6:30ish, I heard a wail. I bolted out of bed, thrust open his door, leapt to the side of his crib, only to see him sleeping. I heard the wail again. It was at that moment that I realized: Wait. I have two kids. This one is sleeping peacefully. That obnoxious noise is coming from Sam's room!

I went in the other room to find Sam upright in bed, pretending to be a baby, knowing we'd race to his side as well. I got him up, let Daddy sleep, let Sam watch race car videos on You Tube and prepared to hear Max at any moment.

Much to my surprise, he remained asleep until 7:30... If you're counting, that's a full TEN HOURS of peaceful slumber. All accomplished within four days of arriving on the other side of the planet. I plan on melting down all of my jewelry today to make myself a medal. Honestly, though, I am not sure how much of this was our expert parenting (you can laugh here... ) or just that Max is an easygoing kid. I'm sure it's the latter, but I'll take credit for the former.

We're off this morning to walk the neighborhood's annual yard sale. Then a few visitors are stopping by to peek in on Max and Sam. Justin and Crystal have said they're coming over with lasagna for us. I'll play down the we're-sleeping-all-night detail until the pan is in my fridge so they don't leave with it. I've eaten some of Crystal's cooking before and don't want her to think we don't *need* what she's made for us!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Baby Max's arrival story

We are all still a bit weary from our big day yesterday, but I want to capture my memories of what happened before they start to fade...

I watched Max's flights all day long yesterday, and was incredibly pleased to see that he did not have a single flight delay... even out of of O'Hare for the last leg of his journey.

A couple of hours before we needed to go to the airport, a few of the people planning to go with us gathered at our house. I'm sure everyone else made small talk and discussed the anticipated arrival. I basically paced back and forth to the computer to witness the status change the very second Max's flight left Chicago.

The anticipation of meeting him kept my mind occupied through all of this and I was too excited to even eat for about a day and a half. I was worried about how the transition from Max's foster mom had gone, but once I knew that part was over, I seemed better able to think about what was to come.

We got to the airport about an hour before he was due to land. I was surprised to find out that the configuration of Terminal D has changed quite a bit since I was last there, and that we couldn't really go very far at all. Waiting outside security now basically consists of standing at the end of the hallway that leads to baggage claim. You can see nothing past a foyer that leads to the terminal and there is not an arrivals board nearby, so we had no way of knowing if he'd landed except to call the airport's arrivals line and accost passersby to see if they'd been on the same flight.

While we waited and the crowd gathered, we took lots of pictures, waved our pennants and generally attracted the attention of virtually everyone that left Terminal D. Our friend Justin, who was also taking lots of pictures for us, was the last one to call to check the flight status. He called out that the plane was in, so everyone ran over to the exit from security to wait. There was a long line of people from two flights that passed before Rob was able to see a man carrying a baby in a Holt carrier.

He shouted "There he is!" and everyone started to cheer and try to get a glimpse. Mr. Ahn walked right up to us and sort of stood still so we could pull Max out of his carrier. I remember everything happening all at once and sort of in slow motion... I pulled him out and held him while Rob held Sam right next to me so we could all meet at once.

Through my tears, I was able to ask Mr. Ahn how Max did on the flight. He didn't speak much English, but was able to say "Good baby. Lots sleep. Happy." Rob and I both thanked him, and I think we actually overwhelmed the poor guy. He seemed surprised that we gave him a gift. He asked Rob "What's this for?" Rob replied (in these words) "it's a gift because we're so grateful to you for escorting our child to this country." I'm no translator, but I'm pretty sure he didn't understand what Rob was saying. It was at that point that I, normally not a huggy person but thrilled with anyone who brings me my baby after months of waiting, tried to give him a big hug and say "Thank you." He very sweetly just sort of looked at me, smiled and bowed. He did recognize Sam was with us at that point and stopped what he was saying to lean down and hug him. It will always stand out as one of the sweetest points of the evening to me.

(***baby cried... needed Mommy... Mommy suspended writing... continued next morning without realizing time references would then be off... ;-) )

Once the initial commotion was over, the greeters went to take Mr. Ahn down to get a cab to his hotel. As he was leaving, he let me know that Max had a dirty diaper, so the mommy part commenced immediately!

During all of this, Max was a serene as any baby I've ever seen. I'm sure it was shock, but he did not cry at all. He just calmly stared up at us and craned his neck to see everything that was going on around him. He seemed particularly interested in the flashes from cameras all around him.

I took him to change his pants right away, which was when he finally began to cry. I can't really blame him. Who wants some strange woman taking their pants off in an unfamiliar place?! He was bundled up in several layers of clothing. While he's got the chubbiest thighs I've ever seen, he's actually smaller than he looked when we first saw him. He had a bit of a diaper rash, so started to really fuss and cry when I cleaned him up, but went right back to being calm and sweet when we were finished.

We spent probably another thirty minutes or so taking pictures and gathering up all of our things before heading home. Overall, I feel like this airport greeting went much more quickly than Sam's did. I did miss some of the build-up of being able to watch the plane arrive, but I also kept telling myself to just enjoy the experience for what it was. I was every bit as emotional as I was waiting for Sam and felt an immediate rush of relief when I finally had him in my arms.

The time since he arrived has been spent with Max velcroed to at least one of us at all times. He slept in the carseat on the way home after fussing a bit, but woke up as soon as we got in the house. It was when he looked around and realized that he was in yet another new location that he really started to cry. He began to quietly sob and call out what sounds like "Um-ma. Um-ma." repeatedly. We think he's calling for his foster mom and grieving when he does this.

We did try to put him to bed since he was tired, but he will have none of the crib. We ended up taking turns holding him and have not really been able to put him down since. His grieving was fairly obvious for the first day, but as I type (at just after 5 a.m. on Thursday morning) he's clearly starting to bond with us. He only slept for about 10 min. at a time overnight at first, waking up to look for his foster mom, but by night two, we were shocked that he slept nearly seven hours without budging. He was on Rob the whole time but happy to stay sleeping.

The fact that he is showing that he was clearly well cared for is actually a very good sign for attachment, even if that part is a bit more exhausting than it was with Sam. I think it's remarkable that he slept so well on the second night. It was like a switch flipped with his afternoon nap. Rob offered to take the first shift since I'd only had about an hour's sleep since he arrived. I figured I'd sleep maybe 2 hours before taking over. Imagine my surprise when I woke up almost six hours later! I walked downstairs to be greeted by a smiling, cooing baby and a Daddy who said they'd just woken up, too!

I know I'll need to add more details to this at some point, but (if you're still reading!) I really wanted to capture some of the little details that I'm sure to forget later. The emotional aspects will be remembered forever, but I wanted to capture the everyday part of Max's initial adjustment.

The last thing I should note is that we didn't have Facebook for Sam's arrival, and I have been totally overwhelmed to see the number of people who have left comments for us. It's been totally amazing.

There's more to share, but I'll save it for another post. For now, Max is smiling at me and wants to be held by his Mommy!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


As I predicted, I did not sleep until I was able to see that Max's flight had left Seoul. I was proud of myself for waiting a full half-hour after departure before I went to the computer upstairs to check the status. I don't know what it is about flights from Seoul, but they seem to leave early quite a bit!

Max's flight left at 1:04 a.m. Eastern Time and will arrive in San Francisco at 11:19 a.m. Eastern. That's 15 min. ahead of schedule! His next flight leaves for Chicago at 2:05 p.m. Eastern. I'll even have a few people gathered here at the house by the time his final flight takes off at 6:19 p.m. Eastern.

I'm going to try to get a few more hours of sleep before I go pick up Sam from preschool today. I suppose I need to be working on my stamina as I'm so NOT a night person, but am choosing the get-sleep-while-I-can method for today.

I watched these same flights yesterday to see if they were on time or not. The last flight from Chicago to Philly was more than three hours late. We did have crazy storms here, so I'm hoping the delay was weather-related and we won't face that tonight!

Monday, April 20, 2009

And So It Begins...

I've been staring the clock on and off for the last few hours with very mixed emotions. On one hand, I'm almost giddy with excitement that we should finally have Baby Max in our arms by this time tomorrow. On the other hand, I'm so very sad at what he's probably going through right now.

As I type, it's about 11 a.m. in Korea. Since his flight leaves around 2 p.m. local time, he's most likely just arriving at the airport. That means in the last hour, he's had to say goodbye to the only family he's ever known. I just can't imagine how hard that must have been for both him and his foster mother. I'm sure she's happy to know he's going home to a forever family, but I can't imagine she isn't sad each time a child she's loved moves on from her home. For him, he must be terrified. That's the hardest part for me to think about. At just 9 months old, this is his third major life transition. At that age, children should only have to learn to crawl or decide whether they like squash or not. Having no say in being removed from a home that you always thought would be there forever, then enduring a grueling 20 hours of travel if all goes well, only to be handed to people who are totally unfamiliar to you must be so confusing and upsetting.

I know the positives outweigh the negatives and I really am excited to finally meet him and start to make the hurt all better for him, but I know that to reach that point, he's going through an incredible amount of loss. I'm also sad to think about his birth mother today. She's probably sad to some degree every day, but she has no idea that today is the hardest of her baby's life. I know this day is what she'd hoped for, but it just seems so sad to me that she's not even able to sit watching a clock like I am...

All of the emotions of Sam's adoption are really coming back to me in the last few hours. I very clearly remember feeling this way before he came home, too. I know I was beside myself with joy when we finally saw his sweet face, but I really do recall feeling something bordering on guilt to be inflicting this on him. Luckily, this time I have the luxury of knowing how it all can turn out. And I know that it's without question the greatest blessing of my life.

Safe travels, Baby Max. You've got many people counting the hours till we meet you!

Maternity Leave

It's so weird to sit down on a Monday morning with my cup of coffee and realize that I have NO work email to check. I have a feeling these next two days are bound to be among the longest of the wait. Not only do I have the anticipation of Max coming home, but I don't have any kind of schedule to keep.

I'm taking Sam to school on the late side. So far, we've snuggled on the couch, had coffee together and now I'm letting him watch whatever cartoons he wants before school. We enjoy our mornings together, and this is the last one that it's just the two of us. He's going to go to school early tomorrow with Rob so that I can get some extra sleep before our long night. He's going in so that he has some sort of distraction during the day, but I'll pick him up right after lunch. I will let him play a bit at home before going down for a nap. I figure if he naps at home, we'll have better luck keeping him up and happy until way past his bedtime. I know he'll be up either way, but better for Aunt Bitty (who's volunteered for Sam duty at the airport) if he's well rested. I can hear the thoughts of those who would think I'm crazy for thinking Sam will actually nap, but if my kid is anything, he's a champion sleeper. Once he gets settled down, he should sleep like a brick for at least a couple of hours tomorrow.

I checked on the timeliness of the departure of the flight that Max will be on, and was able to clear up a bit of the mystery that had been plaguing me all weekend. My email from the agency said he was coming through Chicago to Philly. I assumed (as did the woman who called me) that he was going directly from Seoul to Chicago, which seemed an odd route to me. As it turns out, he's still going through San Francisco. They just gave me an updated schedule from his layover point. The Chicago flight is supposed to get him in earlier than the flight through Denver would have. Unfortunately, being a near-expert domestic traveler, I do not have high hopes for an on-time arrival from O'Hare. Oh, well. Maybe I'll be surprised!

So, first full day of maternity leave... Once Sam is at school, I'm going to finish up the felt pennants we'll have at the airport and then am going to lunch with Kim and Ethan. I'll probably go get Sam early so he can play with Ethan a bit. Then it's just the two of us again for dinner and bed. We didn't realize when we planned it that Rob's Relay fundraiser night at the Phillies game would fall on our last night together as a family of three. The forecast is calling for thunderstorms, so Rob's hoping the game is rained out so he can stay home. At some point during the day, I also plan to do some extra cleaning. If that has to wait till tomorrow, it's fine. It will distract me during the day.

Tomorrow our friends Gary and Natalie have graciously offered to cater dinner for the few people that will leave for the airport from our house. They did it last time, too, and it stands out as one of the highlights of the evening. It was so nice not to have to think about mundane things like cooking dinner! It was also nice to have a casual sort of party before we left. It kept me from freaking out completely.

I'm off for a bit more Sam time before school...

Friday, April 17, 2009


So, after blogging endlessly about how the phone wasn't ringing, once it did, it took me four days to update.

I will readily admit that it's not just because I've been busy getting ready to be on maternity leave (which I have been) but that I'd been wanting to scrap about the call right away and couldn't find time to do that immediately.

Anyway, now that my travel call confession is out of the way... I suppose the call wasn't as climactic as it could have been, given the fact that I'd been calling anyone I could at Holt for days, trying to figure out if we could speed things up. We'd gotten a heads up on Good Friday that flying to Korea wouldn't get him home any earlier than they could get him escorted, which was April 21.

The whole should-we-travel discussion was interesting. Our primary reason for not traveling before now was that Rob only gets five days off from work and we wanted to spend that time bonding, not in transit. I also have a mental block about being the person to physically remove my child from the only mother he's ever known. I've never wanted to be the person to inflict that trauma. I did find out during my investigation that there's actually something called a trauma bond. Apparently, the child actually quickly trusts the person they see another trusted person (the foster mom) trust enough to hand over the kid. That's a complicated sentence and concept, actually.

In the end, we settled for knowing our baby had an actual day to come home and waited for the *real* call. I was quite shocked that it didn't come on Monday, and became concerned all over again that they did not have an escort. I was particularly certain this was true because on Good Friday, they'd told us they could get him home April 21 or 22. That didn't sound very final to me. The story was that seats were hard to come by. If that was true, why did they still not have a final date??

Well, my phone finally did ring at 12:05 p.m. on Tuesday, April 21, and the mystery was quickly solved. The reason for the two dates was that there was an extra layover in the flight. Even though he would be leaving Seoul on April 21, he would have to travel from Seoul to San Francisco to Denver and then to Philadelphia. His final arrival time would have been 12:30 a.m. on April 22.

We scrambled once again to decide if we should go meet him in Denver. That seemed like a ton of travel for both Max and his poor escort. As it turns out, I could not locate two seats in the same cabin on a single nonstop flight. We settled in again for the middle of the night arrival and began to plan accordingly.

Much to my surprise, my phone rang again on Wednesday morning. It was the Holt branch director letting me know they'd found a better flight. The new route now has him going from Seoul to Chicago, and then on to Philly. He'll arrive home on Tuesday, April 21 at 9:19 p.m.

The last few days have been a whirlwind of final preparations, many of them getting me ready to be away from work for three months. I feel pretty settled now and hope these last few days don't drag.

We are going to tidy up the house this weekend, go to a Bark For Life (doggie Relay) event tomorrow and just generally get ourselves ready for the big day. Sam seems to not even notice all the commotion. I can't really blame him. Four months of waiting is a long time to a nearly five year old. I hope he's ready come Tuesday!

We did have a bit of sad news this morning. After four years of happily living in a bowl in our living room, our beta fish Roosevelt died this morning. We were surprisingly sad at this turn of events. Sam asked quite a few questions about it, the main one being when he can get a new fish. The poor kid has lost three pets in three years. I guess it's taught him that these things happen, so he doesn't seem to be too distraught. I just wish the bad news hadn't come during a week that was already stressful.

**Scrapper's note: The layout above was for the Sweet Shoppe Spin-A-Lift challenge. I was all to happy to lift my all-time favorite scrapper, Melissa Lewis.

Friday, April 10, 2009

More waiting

Well, the last two weeks have probably been the longest of my life. Considering this isn't my first rodeo, so to speak, that's saying something. I thought the time we spent waiting for Sam to arrive when we had no child at all would be the most difficult. As it turns out, knowing what you are missing makes the wait that much harder. Or at least that's been the case for me.

I would have bet my mortgage that Max would have been home by now when we received word that he had a visa back on March 30. I've spent literally every minute of every business day between then and now within a 10 foot radius of my home phone, to no avail. I finally started emailing Holt to either find out what his status was (assuming perhaps an escort could not be found) or to say that I would travel to him since the timing was working out to be right during Rob's spring break.

Many emails, many hours of staring at the phone and not just a few tears later, we have at least some information to keep us sane over the Easter weekend.

I asked that a message be sent to Seoul yesterday letting the agency know that we would travel to Korea next week if possible to get Max -- and if it would be faster than an escort. I saw two families with identical visa dates receive notice of travel yesterday, so I had high hopes for today. I got a call from Holt this morning and was immediately told the call was to "explain the situation to me." Well, the word "situation" is typically not used when good news is forthcoming.

As it turns out, a seat on an airplane is apparently not available for Max until April 21 or 22. We have asked them to look for an earlier flight to anyplace in the US any day next week... We can fly to pick him up any place that will get him home sooner!

I hope I'll know for sure, one way or the other, on Monday morning. I'm going to spend Easter weekend making Sam happy and enjoying the holiday. At least there's light at the end of the tunnel!

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Again with the cuteness

Sam's full of adorable conversation lately.

It's been a rather long week for everyone, yet our son still decided to rise with the chickens this morning. That meant that once lunch was over, it was time for both Daddy and Sam to try to take a nap.

Normally, Sam would nap in his own room, but since we don't have room darkening curtains in there yet, he and Rob have been laying down together in our room (since I'm a terrible napper anyway.) During these naps, Rob, recognizing that Sam is the only human on the planet allowed to touch my pillow, lays Sam down on my side of the bed.

Apparently Sam was feeling the need to shake things up a bit today, so asked Rob if they could switch sides. Rob replied that Mommy doesn't like Daddy to sleep on her side. Sam interpreted that to be an enormous slight, so came running down the stairs to rectify the situation.

He came up to me, put his hand on top of mine and said...

SAM: Mommy, I need to ask you something very important.

MOMMY: Ok. What is it?

SAM: Do you think Daddy could sleep on your side for naptime today?

MOMMY: (tried to reply)

SAM: (All in one breath) Because, Mommy. I never get to sleep on the other side. Daddy always sleeps over there. I really want him to switch places with me, but you won't let him. If you say yes, I will tell him that you said it was ok. And if you say it's ok, you'll make me happy. Oh, and saying yes also will make God happy. And the Earth, too.

So... letting Sam take a nap on the other side of the bed will please my son, my husband, the entire planet AND God? Hard to say no to that.

Thursday, April 02, 2009


Like most families with young kids, we have our nightly routine pretty well set. Sam gets his bath, we get him dressed in his pajamas, then Mommy reads books before Daddy comes back in to do "Special Day."

Lately, Special Day has entailed about 15 min. of extra cuddle time. I've asked for a turn only to be told that it's Daddy's job.

Well, tonight I was informed that it was a "Mommy Night." Only Mommy was allowed to read stories AND do Special Day. Daddy just did the tucking in.

As we were laying in the dark, admiring Sam's favorite glow-in-the-dark pjs, I touched him on the cheek and told him that I loved him.

It went like this...

Mommy: I love you, Sammy.

Sam: I know that Mom. You tell me that all the time.

Mommy: Do you like when I tell you that?

Sam: Yes. You can tell me that all the time if you want.

*Thinks for a few moments...*

Sam: Mommy, Do you know how much I love you?

Mommy: How much do you love me?

Sam: I love you as much as the telephone wires.

Mommy: Is that a lot?

Sam: Yes. It's a real lot. We're in New Jersey and the telephone wires go all the way to Texas.

Mommy: Oh, thank you, Sammy. That's so nice to hear. I love it when you say such sweet things. It makes Mommy very happy.

Sam: (putting his hand on my face again) Mommy. We're supposed to be going to sleep now. Why don't you close your eyes and see if you can get some rest. We'll talk tomorrow.

How much longer?

Okay, so I said before that I was being patient. I was. Then. Today, not so much.

I am calm enough about *why* Max isn't home yet, but am really getting anxious about this last phase. I just read another post on the Holt board about someone who's waited from visa even longer than we have for an escort. Rob has a theory about travel around Easter that I suppose could be true.

All I know is that I'm totally velcroed to my phone these days. Each day, I am more and more convinced that it just *has* to be today (or whatever day that happens to be) since the calls usually come much sooner than this. I'm obviously not expecting to have him home this weekend, but I think Easter must still be a good possibility. He has a cute outfit all ready. Maybe I need to make Holt aware of that.

Not being one to enjoy abrupt changes in his routine, Rob is positively serene about this last delay. It's not because he's not itching to have Max home, but because he'd done his best to plan two field trips with his students that wouldn't interfere and it was really looking like he'd have to resort to Plan B. Now that we clearly won't have Max home today or tomorrow, he can handle those trips for his school and not have anything else to fret about once the call comes. In a weird way, it would almost work in our favor for the call to come today. On most days, I wouldn't be able to immediately reach him with the news. Since he's just chaperoning in New York today, he'll be able to answer his cell all day. That part will be very nice. I don't know that I can handle any more delayed gratification!

I must say that my friends have been amazingly supportive about everything. I swear, the Facebook comments from people who let us know that they are wishing on our behalf and praying for a quick call keep me smiling when I might be crying otherwise. It's been really great to be able to share the experience so openly with people I know from all across the country. Max will certainly know he's loved when he hears those stories!

Okay. I'll try to stop the broken-record-whining for today. :-)