Tag Archives: fatherhood

How’s that?


While I sat eating breakfast this morning, Ava walked up to me and cheerfully asked, “What eating, Daddy?”. 

I looked at her sleepily and replied, “Toast”.

She glanced at her feet then back to me, eyes widening in fear.  In a barely whispered voice, she breathed, “Toes?”

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Using Your Noggin


Noggin.  My kids love it!  And I openly admit they learn gads of great things from their favorite shows.  But as for myself, I can only deal with it in small doses without looking around for a flat surface to bang my head on.

Luckily, I’ve learned to cope.  My favorite Noggin activity is to make up dirty lyrics to the songs, and singing them in my head, quietly chuckling to myself.  I feel so lucky I can be a responsible parent yet get in touch with my junior-high self.

Then and Now


It was a year ago our twins came home.  They seemed so tiny and fragile.  Meeting them for the first time, we stared awestruck at our daughter and son, one arm around each other, choking our hellos as we each grasped one of their tiny hands.  I’m laughing at myself for the tears rolling down my face as I write this.

The Family - April 2007

When we got The Call, we didn’t have so much as a bottle in the house.  Our “two week pregnancy” was surreal.  We shopped, redecorated the nursery, shopped some more, finished up projects at work to prepare for family leave, did some more shopping, spent countless hours on the phone with the adoption agency, our attorney, our pediatrician, signed, notarized, faxed and FedExed more documents than I’d seen at our mortgage closing.  Amazingly, by the time placement day arrived, we had everything in place. 

Everything happened so fast, we never had a moment to let it all soak in.  Suddenly it was here.  We were Daddies.  Right here, right now.  It was one of the most incredible days of my life.  It took a long time for me to stop waking up every day feeling completely shocked, saying, “Oh my god.  We’re fathers.  We have babies.  We have TWO babies. We have twins!  Oh my god!”  I still do that sometimes, but not as often.

Preston - March 2008

Our twins were born severely premature.  Other than being born at an extremely low birth weight, they’ve not experienced any complications or developmental delays outside their adjusted birth date.  We realize prematurity is a long road of watch and see, but we are thankful every day for their health.

Ava - March 2008

Now they’re both well over 20 pounds, growing out of all their clothes, laughing, loving, fighting like brother and sister and eating us out of house and home.  When Preston shrieks breathlessly from laughter, or Ava bolts across the room to throw her arms around my neck, it’s difficult to picture those tiny babies with Preemie diapers up to their armpits who ate two ounces of formula every 2 hours.

One Phone Call


It was a day like any other day.  I climbed out of bed, sleepily sipped my coffee while I watched the morning news.  I hopped in the shower and headed to work.  I greeted co-workers, checked my email, shared jokes with my team and went to meetings.  I went home.  It was a day like any other day.  I hadn’t the slightest inkling, in one moment, life as I knew it would change forever.

I looked at CallerID to see if I could should take it or ignore it.  It was our adoption agency.  My heart flip-flopped in my chest.  Be calm.  We’ve been through this before.

“Hello?”

“Hi, Bryan!  I have a case to chat with you about.  Are you sitting down?”

“I can be.  Should I be?”

“Well, this one’s a bit different.  It’s twins.  It’s a boy and a girl.”

Silence.  We’d always dreamed of two children.  And in our perfect little make-believe world, we would have a boy and a girl.  And in our grand, pipe-dream kingdom they would be twins, and they would grow up together, always having each other by their side.  But this just doesn’t happen.  The adoption agency even told us this when we said we would be open to accepting twins.  In the entire history of the agency’s existence, they had only ever placed three sets of twins.  But we all have fantasies, right?  Not to mention, we’d just finished our home study two months ago.

“Bryan?  Are you still there?”

I struggled to get my mind in check.  I scrambled to scrawl legible bullet points as our adoption counselor fired off details about these two tiny babies.  They were premature and still in the hospital, but doing great!  They were due to be released from the hospital at any time.  They were referred by another agency who, after reviewing the available profiles, were specifically interested in interviewing us.  Were we interested in pursuing a placement?

I fought to find my voice.  I managed to find the word “Yes” and hung up the phone.  I sat in stunned silence until Neal came home from work.

We’d had two other phone calls that hadn’t gone anywhere.  The first call had come in just two days after our home study was completed.  It was so unexpected, it took us off guard and we weren’t prepared for the emotional toll that the disappointment brought when it didn’t work out.  While not devastating, it put us on a rollercoaster of emotions for several days, and taught us to be more prepared next time.

We tried to be very guarded about this phone call and what it could mean.  At that moment, it was simply information and nothing more.  We were interested.  Period.  Nothing had happened.  But we both felt there was something very different about this phone call.  Was it just our imagination?  Did we simply want it to work out?  Minutes seemed like hours and we knew this was going to be a difficult time until it was resolved.

The following days blurred into a whirlwind of interviews, medical specialist and legal consults and various other phone calls.  At one point we had a lucid moment where we simply looked at each other and said, “OH, MY GOD!  This is really happening.  We’re going to be Daddies!” and went right back to work on what needed to be done next. 

Then, “Oh shit!  We’re having twins!  Do you understand the magnitude of this?  There are two of them!  Boy!  Girl!  TWO!  We’re having twins!  Get dressed!  We need to go shopping!  We don’t even have a bottle in this house!   We have crazy, crazy damage to do at the mall.”

Surreal as it could be.  And nothing, nothing, nothing would ever be the same again. 

Daddy and Ava take a nap 

Daddy and Preston - Yes I do cherish naps where I can get them.  And cuddles are the best!

That was a year ago today.  Fast forward to the present.  The house is a wreck.  I won’t let the closest of friends in the front door without wearing a blindfold.  There are dishes in the sink.  There are piles of laundry in the basement.  We need to hire a housekeeper.  I can’t remember the last time I dusted.  If I manage to get in the shower before Neal gets home from work, I’m going to call it a fantastic accomplishment.  Dinner will be delivered tonight because I just don’t have the time or energy to deal with it today.  And if we’re not the luckiest people on the face of the earth, I don’t know who is.  Life is grand.