#babyDixon Adoption Story: Part 4

We’re officially pregnant AND adopting, all in one! YES. It’s true. Ryan & i were in shock for about a month! Did that really just happen? REALLY?!!! Seriously?! God’s funny sometimes. After multiple positive pregnancy tests and when I started feeling nauseas and extremely tired…things really started to sink in. This was happening. We were going to have 4 kids.

Quickly after this shocking news, we received word from our agency that there was going to be a get-together dinner in March to get caught up and meet other adoptive families. We were excited about this! We were still fully committed to the adoption and hopeful for some good updates/clarity at the meeting. Prior to going, we had started to discuss the possibilities of looking into additional agencies as we started to wonder if we should be more proactive after all of the months and months of waiting, not any action, and limited communication. We had no clue if this was even possible, some of questions that Ryan & I discussed were…

Can we be with more than one agency at a time?
Is this agency the best fit for us after all?
Does it normally take this long?
What if we were with another agency or more than one agency, would that better our chances?
If we change agencies, are we trying to be in control and not let God be in control?
What will the agency think of us being pregnant?

So after praying about this before the meeting, we decided that we would base our decision to search for other agencies or not after hearing the “updates” given. So we went, dined, chatted with some other couples, received the updates and left with no doubt in our minds. It was time to do more and work harder to find our son. We learned during that meeting that we would not be able to get an updated & needed home study for the year, which is required, until after the birth of our biological baby. And also, that the agency wouldn’t show our profile to any birthmoms until 6 months after delivery. Honestly, this was eye-opening and discouraging all at the same time. Ryan & I felt in our hearts that the pregnancy should not put any kind of delay on our adoption process. So to us, this was a clear sign.

We began to pray that God would show us what to do next. Where do we go from here? A couple of months past. First trimester came and went and I was starting to feel better & more energetic. We had been invited to Lubbock to attend a 40th wedding anniversary for some of our dearest friends and mentors in May. A couple of weeks prior to that trip, I so happened to remember that I had a friend on Facebook that worked at an adoption agency based out of Lubbock! A girl that we used to go to church with when we lived there years ago. So I sent her a quick Facebook message that went something like this…”Hey girl, would it be possible to come by on Friday, May 22 for a quick meeting to learn more about your agency?” To which she quickly responded saying that we could and that the director of the agency was available that afternoon at just the perfect time when we would be pulling into town after our 8 hour drive. All set.

The day before our trip, we went to the doctor for the big gender reveal. We currently have two beautiful girls who fill our lives with much joy and a little drama. :) We’ve always known in our hearts, we were supposed to have a son and assumed it would be through adoption. With this pregnancy surprise, we thought it would be so cool if it were a boy so we could have 2 sons since we have 2 daughters. 4 kids! WOW. We never really expected to have that many! #thoseDixons were about to go from 4 to 6! As soon as they put the ultrasound instrument on my growing tummy, he revealed himself proudly! It’s a boy! Tears of joy filled our eyes as we watched them explore our precious son who we had already chosen a name for, Miles Clark. It was a special moment and we felt God’s presence surround us. Sharing this news with family and friends made for a fun day! We were excited to learn all of this before heading West to celebrate with our friends.

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So after arriving in Lubbock that Friday, the whole Dixon crew went to meet with the director of this potential new agency for about an hour and a half. It was everything we needed. She said things that spoke right to our heart about their mission and the way they approach this adoption process. They also said they left it up to God and the birth mom to decide if she would want to choose us knowing we were pregnant, so they continue to show profiles. We thoroughly enjoyed our visit with her and loved hearing her passion for what she does. We left with a fresh new stack of paperwork and list of to do’s to get the ball rolling yet again.

After a great time in West Texas, we headed back East to Tyler. On the long drive home, we started filing out the new forms, talking about baby names, and feeling overall more confident and excited about this new door of opportunity. We felt like this step was the right one and bringing us closer to our second son, who we even chose a name for on the drive home…Levi, which means “attached or united.” Perfect. The 2-3 weeks after that initial meeting we completed doctors visits, background checks, updated references, fire & safety updates, a home study visit and preparing a new profile book to be printed. We also had a 2 hour phone call with the agency discussing what circumstances, conditions, preferences, etc we would be willing to accept. This call was honestly very hard and exhausting. Questions like “Would you take a baby who’s birth mom smoked cigarettes? If yes, how many cigarettes per day is OK?” and “If your baby had XYZ, would you take him?” Heavy, heavy stuff to think through and answer. We worked fiercely to complete everything needed as we felt God saying, “move!” We had everything turned in to the agency including the freshly printed profile books by Friday, June 19th. Just under a month after our initial meeting. Whew, sweet relief!

3 DAYS LATER. June 22nd. My phone rings a little after 5 that evening. The call we had been waiting on for 2 1/2 years…

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Miss the first 3 parts of our adoption series? You can read there by clicking on the links below! Stay tuned for Part 5. 

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Mini Vacay, My Amazing Team, First Tooth & Teacher Appreciation Gift

Wow! I’m a blog slacker! Seriously. I apologize for my lack of attendance here in blogland. Heck, no one probably even looks at this thing anymore. Is anyone even out there? Hello? Can you hear me? Anyone? Bueller? Attention: I’m finally posting a blog!

Mini Vacay

This past weekend, we headed down to San Antonio with friends for some time away. We had a blast! San Antonio is a great place for family vacations. It’s just close enough where driving is not terrible. There are plenty of options of things to do for both children & adults. We did Sea World and Schlitterbahn. We headed to the Mercado & had delicious mexican cuisine & margaritas at Mi Tierra. We rode a “Cinderalla” carriage ride. We laughed. We got up hastily at 12:30 a.m. & carried our sleeping children down 6 flights of stairs when the fire alarm at the hotel was going off. OK, so that part wasn’t fun. At all. Nor was it very funny to find out that someone decided to pull it for a dirty joke. I was sort of impressed by the fact that I followed all the rules of a fire drill: touching the door before opening it, taking the stairs, putting on a hat to cover nasty bed head, etc. It was a great weekend with friends!

My Amazing Team

My It Works! team is blowing it up. I’m quickly figuring out that “ground level” is an understatement. Thankful I jumped on board with my friend Ashley called me in January! I have a great group of ladies & a few men that are seriously killing it. I love this company. I love helping people get healthy. I love making new friends. And I won’t lie, making extra money is a perk too! We paid off our last credit card this month…woohoo! If you haven’t checked out our great products, click here. Good stuff!

First Tooth

Is it weird to get teary eyed when your first born child loses her first tooth? I mean really, enough is enough. First we did this thing called Kindergarten and now this? I can’t take it! She’s growing up way too fast for my liking. She was such a big girl about the whole pulling of the tooth deal. It has been loose for a while, but when she came home from school yesterday after consuming an apple for snack, it was hanging by a thread. So big girl went and got some floss and yanked that thing out like it was nothing at all! She was so proud. We were so proud. Tooth fairy came and left four quarters. Addi was way pumped by that (which thankfully she wasn’t disappointed since she made mention of “maybe the toof fairy will leave like one hundred dollars or something” the night before).

Teacher Appreciation Gift

My friend Amy was kind enough to share this crafty idea with me. I am lacking in the area of crafty, I’m just saying. So glad I saw Amy while in San Antonio and she gifted me with some of her craftiness. We have truly been blessed this year with fabulous teachers! As you recall, I was pretty worried/upset/depressive/anxious about Addi starting Kindergarten. Ryan & I prayed for her teacher months and months in advance. And boom, God provided an amazing person to us for Addi’s first year. Seriously couldn’t have asked for a better lady to teach and lead my daughter each day. And Kamryn’s preschool teacher has been awesome as well. Both ladies are super caring and give 110% every day. We are so so thankful for both of them. With it being Teacher Appreciate Week, I wanted to give them a little something to shower them with appreciation. Cue Amy’s crafty idea. How cute is this poem? I loved it! And I hope Mrs. Jeanes & Mrs. Kelley know that we mean every word!

Green is for the inspiration you give me each day.

Blue is for your patience in showing me the way.

Orange is for your warmth and caring style.

Yellow is for the way you always make me smile.

Red is for my life that you have touched this year.

You’re a very special teacher just like this jar, that’s clear.

You place knowledge In children’s hands

and melt into their hearts and lives forever.

You’re a “Magnificent” & “Marvelous” teacher

Thank you for being my M&M.

Our TV Star.

Traci is our family photographer and has done a terrific job capturing priceless moments since the birth of our girls.

Last Monday, Addi’s first day of school, she snapped a few of her adorning her stylish new school clothes and genuine smile. Our local ABC TV affiliate, KLTV was asking for first day of school photos of local kiddos. Apparently they receive hundreds of pictures of tiny tots ready for their first day of school. Our tiny tot was featured on their news story. As a proud dad, I couldn’t agree more with our friend Joe. Addi definitely is “Golden”.

Blogroll Addition

I love finding new & fun blogs to keep up with. Here’s a great one to add to your blogroll!

Biblical Homemaking

Mandy (whom I’ve never met but feel like if I had, we’d definitely be friends!) offers great advice on parenting, frugal & very cute decorating ideas, trendy fashion tips, fitness & dieting info, etc. It’s a great & inspirational blog to keep up with!

Right now, she’s doing a giveaway. You can win a cute sash belt and a $10 Starbucks gift card. Super cute! I entered and you should too. Or then again, maybe you shouldn’t…that might decrease my odds of winning! :)

You can check out this giveaway here.

Enjoy friends!

Something’s Brewing.

04/08/11

Reading as a child or even throughout all my schooling was not a desire AT ALL! Actually in my english classes or really any class that required me to read a story or book, I didn’t. I did my best to make my grades balance towards the positive by doing really well on the other aspects of the class so that me totally bombing the reading assignment wouldn’t hurt too bad. HA! Today is a different story though. There is a lot on my brain these days as I have been reading more than I ever have imagined.

I have learned that if I am really interested in the subject, I can read it. If it’s just a fictional book or something random, I just can’t muster up enough attention to consume it. These days my eyes feed on as much of these two deeply intriguing topics as possible. Books about Missional Living for Christ and Homebrewing. Books about doing something. To read and not apply or really gain anything is just kind of foolish, a waste of time. So now I continue to ask, “What am I to do with this knowledge?” Proverbs 8 is all about how we should seek wisdom as it is of extreme value. Therfore I diligently seek wisdom.

05/05/10

Interestingly enough, I began this post less than one month ago not knowing wether to post it or not, it sat in my “draft” column. Since then some crazy opportunities have begun to develop. Some seriously awesome things and wonderfully orchestrated communication. Stay tuned!

Today Is The Day. VIDEO.

It’s been a while since we’ve posted a video, so here you go. This song has been inspired by Mr. Jon Jenz, our worship pastor at Grace. Have we ever mentioned that our girls love to sing?! Enjoy!

colored pages for sale.

Addi mentioned to us that she was coloring pages “to sell to people for money” so I decided to announce this to The World. She did mention that “Easton’s mom” was going to buy one. Please let Addi know if you’re interested. She’s selling these for “3 dollars to people”. Animals and aliens need not ask. I guess she’s trying to save up for her plot to take over the world or maybe invest in some new coloring books. Not sure really.

Thursday’s Awkward Swimming Experience.

In search for some cross-training to complement my running I decided to give swimming a shot.

Thursday morning I woke up, got suited and headed out the door to try my hand at swimming at the TJC  pool. I walked into the large indoor pool room and began to assess the situation. This pool is huge! Broken in half with 4 lanes on one side and open on the other with a diving board and shallow area.  The 4 lanes were occupied by swimmers that knew what they were doing with no one else in the pool. It almost felt comforting that this huge pool was so vacant.

I, like many others, am a bit intimidated by new adventures, especially if it means being half naked in front of strangers. It’s that “not really sure if I’m doing this right” feeling that I am uncomfortable with. Never-the-less I was set out to overcome and explore this activity. I love swimming so why not?

The water was warm enough to be a relief to the outside temps of about 40 degrees. Nice! I began to paddle around and get accustomed to those movements that I haven’t felt since last summer’s family vacation. Man this is cool I thought as I gently swam the distance to the deep end of the pool. Upon my return to the shallow end my attention was requested by the lifeguard.

“Sir,”she said “this side of the pool is for water aerobics. If you’re going to swim you need to get in a lane.”

Confused and bewildered I looked around to see no one besides myself in the “water aerobics” side of the pool and 4 people in the 4 lanes used for laps.

“Huh?” I thought out-loud.

“If you want to swim you’ll have to share a lane with someone.” The lifeguard continued.

I couldn’t help but add a smirk and chuckle to the conversation as I began to think of how to process this information. Already intimidated by the new adventure to get up and go swim, now I have been thrown into a new challenge of “sharing a lane with someone”. I don’t even know what this looks like. Do we take turns? Do I have to talk to this guy and plan out a strategy? “You’re it!” What? So with no confidence at all I swim under the lane dividing ropes and enter the “swimming zone”.

I know how to swim. I spent many summer hours in a pool since I was young but not olympic style stroke swimming like I’ve seen Michael Phelps doing on TV or the guy I’m now sharing a lane with is doing. You know, the kind of lap swimming that the swimmer has perfect hand over hand form. My new lane buddy doesn’t even seem to take breaths and effortlessly does that underwater-flip-and-push-off-thing at the ends of the pool to maintain his vigorous pace. Fantastic.

Psychologically defeated, I begin to do my varied form of a dog paddle to the end of the pool and back, mindful of my new lane partner. Most of the time I was concerned I’d bump into him and throw off his workout. That was the last thing I was wanting for sure! I continued this timid and graceless swimming style for about 30 minutes before I’d had enough of this claustrophobic embarrassment. Out of the water to my paper thin towel in attempt to sop up a bit of wetness, I look over to the “water aerobics” side of the massive pool (which I was violently expelled from) to see 1 person bobbing around in one of it’s corners. 1 person! Maybe next time, I’ll give water aerobics a try.

Wow. What an awkward experience. I couldn’t help but think of this skit from Saturday Night Live. An awkward experience indeed!

{click to view this skit}

National Delurking Day…what?

Ok, so apparently we missed it. Yesterday was dubbed National Delurking Day here in the blog world. What is Delurking Day you ask? I had no clue either, so no worries…

Do you ever read this blog or other blogs and never ever leave comments? I’ll admit, I do that often! Well, Delurking Day is the day that lurkers reveal themselves and are you ready…COMMENT! Let bloggers know that you read what they write, what you like (or dislike) about their blog, and what you’d like to hear more about. It’s not a competition to see who gets the most comments, it’s just to help bloggers get to know their readers.

So, having said all of that…we are proclaiming our own Delurking Week. Starting today, let us hear from you! If you read our blog & never or rarely comment, pretty please leave us a comment! We’d love to hear more about you, why you read, etc. Ryan & I really enjoy blogging and are interested in who takes the time to read all of our jibber jabber!

Legs Full Of Happiness.

I am fairly tall. 6 foot, 2 inches to be exact. Pretty darn lanky and awkward if you ask me or anyone who has seen me try to play basketball. Embarrassing in fact. It’s difficult to find pants that fit. The waste measurement is easy, not-so-much with the leg length. 31/32 waist by 34 leg length pants or jeans are kind of rare. My long legs give me quite a bit of trouble in the common-people-section on air planes, back seats of compact cars and Chinese movie theaters (especially the ones on Chow Avenue). However; the many uncomfortable, bumped-knee troubles are easily over looked by the biggest positive of them all. I have room on these mamma-jammas for 2 sweet giggle inducing sweetie-pies! Bonus!

New BLOG Home!

Well we figured we’d combine our efforts and have 1 home for all things Dixon. You may want to update any bookmarks you have for Traci’s [tracidixon.com] or [tracidixon.wordpress.com] or my [ryanmarcdixon.com] to this one.

http://thedixonblog.com.

“Me and you, Ryan Dixon, Traci Clark. Better together than ever apart.”

Enjoy!

The scary horse puppet.

Last night at bedtime, we had our first experience with one of our kids being scared to tears and not wanting to go to bed. We’ve been asked about monsters before, but usually they take our word for it that monsters don’t exist, so its a quick conversation and no tears are involved. Well, last night was a different story.

Addi tells us that she doesn’t want to go to bed because of the horse that comes in her room. What? She went on to explain that the night before last, a horse came in her room and gave her a kiss. A kiss? Not a kiss! And she did NOT want the horse to come in again. Of course we tried to tell her that horses don’t come in houses, our doors our locked, he’s not real but if he were Daddy wouldn’t let him in, maybe she dreamed it, etc. She was highly upset and it delayed her bedtime about fifteen minutes. Might have been part of the plan? But regardless, I felt bad for her…my poor baby was scared!

We asked Kamryn, “Did you see a horsey?” hoping she would say no, to ease her sister’s mind. Well, her response was, “Yes! And a bear came too and said ‘ROAR’ to me and I hit him.” Oh my, what imaginations! Kamryn did try to comfort Addi by saying things like, “I like horses and sheep too.” and “If a horse comes in the door, Daddy will spank it.”

Finally after asking a series of questions to get to the root of her fear, we found out that there is a scene in one of our Baby Einstein videos (which they really don’t ever watch anymore, since they are older), where a puppet horse scares his friends by peeking his head through a door. A boo! She doesn’t like that part, says its not nice and apparently has made her scared to go to bed. In case you haven’t seen this horse, here he is. Pretty scary looking huh?

He better leave my baby alone & stop trying to give her smooches at night! Or else, Daddy will spank him.


Buffalo River National Park.

Ross and I are already planning another camping trip. The one we have our eye on now is Buffalo River National Park in the Ozark Mountains of Arkansas. This one will be less luxirious than our recent jaunt to Beaver’s Bend in Broken Bow Oklahoma. It will be more of a take only what you need adventure. Backpack thru the mountains, along the river, stab a squirrel for dinner, sleep in a backpacking tent, wake up, boil some river water for coffee, continue on the trail for 3-4 days kind of trip. I am excited about this thought and it’s been a consuming thoughts for about a week now.

We are shooting for around May/June 2011. Anyone been there? Any suggestions? Must have gear recommendations?

Precious Punk'n.

I am so thankful for my girls. ALL OF THEM (including Bailey our tiny-toy poodle). Traci and I often call Addi and Kam “our precious punk’ns”. Our friend Adriane snapped this one of Addi yesterday on her first official field trip. Below I included another punk’n pic of her that makes me smile too. Happy October!

Weak?

The moment I saw this statue at the Museum of Biblical Art in Dallas, I hated it. Do you really think this depicts Christ? I figured I’d share my disgust with you. Thoughts?

My inevitable tattoo.

Yes it is Jake from the Life Is Good brand but so much more than that. Motivation in so many ways. 2nd Timothy 4:7 says, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have remained faithful.” This is definitely a phrase and lifestyle that I want to be evident in my “run” throughout this short journey. Equally deep for me right now, every time I see this I reflect on the great influence of my recently departed father in law. I miss him dearly and he’d get one with me.

Next questions: where and when?

You Eat What You Pay For.

I watched the documentary FOOD INC. the other day and it really stirred some concern. Its a great, informative video and back-stage view of the food industry and its control. I actually spent about an hour after it was over in a daze. Big business endorsed by our ever protective government [cough] has really changed today’s food from what it was when we were growing up.

The thing that saddened me the most about it was the way it seems as though the “all about the dollar” mentality ends up hurting fellow human beings, real people. From the mass of farmers that struggle over the decision to make a paycheck or putting their ethics aside and give in, to the immigrant workers that are involved in most of our food preparation and packaging getting penalized and tossed to the side as disposable, to the health consequences for you and me consuming products that are  genetically modified, fed weird diets, or tainted due to the lack sanitization laws and animal civility for the sake of more, faster, cheaper, we only ending up hurting ourselves in the end.

One story that really caught my attention was about a lower income family who could easily convince themselves that it was far more tasty and economical to support the Dollar Menus than buy fresh and healthy produce from a supermarket. Wow isn’t this so true. They also said that it was cheaper for them to buy this cheaper, less healthy fast food AND the medications (that were now required probably due to long term eating of these foods) than to buy healthy foods. How sad is that? I was telling Traci that it’s as if the food industry was owned and operated by the pharmaceutical giants to produce this weird imbalance backing people into this same spin and therefore inducing type 2 diabetes, obesity, clogged arteries, etc. just to make a profit off of medications, off of fellow humans, you and me. All for the dollar.

In lieu of this, we are seriously considering some big changes in what we eat. As runners we typically eat very healthy. Lots of grilled foods, brown rice, juices, and vegetables are a norm for the Dixon’s. Rarely do we eat out and even rarer is it for us to eat fried-anything. We have been discussing portion size a lot and have been doing a good job at limiting awesome things like ice cream, to just enough to get a good flavor fix from it instead of filling up on these super tasty yet less-than-ideal calories.

The next step is coming. We love farmers markets and will increase our shopping there this month. Not for sure how extreme we are going with it but we will definitely be doing the organic thing ASAP. Many say organic is too expensive and as I do agree (as it is a fact) that legit organic food is more expensive (really due to lack of demand) to buy in the store over non-organic. However, if you team up portion control with organic foods it can really offset the cost. Actually I do believe that it will end up being cheaper in the long run. Especially if you can avoid those prescriptions and hospital stays. We are definitely going to start spending our dollar even wiser than before as you really do eat what you pay for.

Any thoughts out there on this? Any suggestions or research you can share? Anyone make the change and can tell a difference? Any cool stories? Please share.

–These comments posted via FaceBook–

Imitations are a Waste.

Cinnamon Toast Crunch is a Dixon favorite. I have loved this cereal since I was a kid and still enjoy it to this day. Recently on a trip to Wal-mart, I decided to give their Great Value brand a try. I am usually a stickler to the name brand as I know that they use the better quality ingredients and therefor produce the best end product.

Yesterday I opened the box, poured my bowl and took a bite. Processed the flavor, texture, similarities and contrasts to the real version and then proceeded to dump my bowl in the trash. Nasty!

This morning Kamryn wanted cereal. I poured her a bowl and she took a bite. Processed the flavor, texture, similarities and contrasts to the real version and then proceeded to dump her bowl in the trash. Nasty! She knew, just as I did that something wasn’t right. It just was not what we knew. The 90% full-box was quick to make the trash can too.

Sometimes we fall into the lure of the imitations, the cheaper brand, the seemingly better deal. However; when you find the best most fulfilling things in life, there is no substitute to the Real Deal. Funny how this seems to be an ongoing life lesson for us (and the rest of humanity since the beginning of time). Not funny is the truth that most people tend to waste their life, time, focuses and hope on the imitations.

FREE Studio Time!

Yes. I feel led to give 4 hours (3 hours of recording and 1 hour of edit and mix) of studio time for a Tyler area musician or small band. This is typically enough time to record 1 to 2 well rehearsed songs for a solo artist or acoustic duo/trio. The only stipulation is no grandma of a cousin of a guy who plays in a band kind of thing; actual musician or group please. Leave a comment explaining why you want to record and I’ll be in touch. Please post here at ryanmarcdixon.com. All submissions must be received by Friday 16th. The time will be awarded to 1 participant determined by my lovely assistant. No strings attached. Peace.

My hero.