the mother of invention...

I shared with you all a while back that my husband and I are in the process of trying to adopt. We have finished all our paperwork, and are currently waiting on the approval of our home study. (To read more about why we are choosing to adopt, click here.)

I have really been enjoying the process of preparing for a baby. Just thinking about one and being able to say realistically (and Lord willing) we should have one by the end of next year makes my heart skip a beat with joy. But while I've been excited about the process, I've also had my share of worries about the sheer physicality of taking care of a child. I was a full time nanny for many years, for babies as young as 3 months old to teenagers. I've had so much practice, I can't delude myself for a moment to think that it will be easy. And with my new spine, I am sure there will be many challenges added to an already challenging situation.

One of the things that has concerned me the most has actually been how in the world I will get a baby in and out of a crib, before they can stand on their own. I have talked with mothers on the forum who have mentioned that it is very difficult. I wasn't sure what to do about it, and I was worried about the strain it would put on my L5 and S1, to bend over that far and pull someone weighing 20 lbs or more up and out over that bar. I had been looking at the few cribs that still have a movable front panel, but I really didn't like the reviews or the way they didn't seem sturdy. But a crib that doesn't have a movable front panel means I would have a very difficult time getting a larger baby in and out, once we start lowering the mattress.

So I have been worrying, up until this past Monday. That was the day my husband and I went to a furniture store recommended to me by one of my best friends here in Orlando. I had been looking for a mid-priced furniture set (somewhere between the cheap pressed-particle board sold at Wal-Mart and the overpriced particle board sold in most furniture stores), when I noticed how nice her set was. She told me where she bought it and after seeing how well it had held up after 2 children, I knew I had to go check out the store. When we got there we met the owner of the store and he proceeded to sell us on the reason he's managed to stay in business since 1990. He sells good quality furniture, at a reasonable price...with his secret weapon...the gate.

What is the gate you ask? Well, for someone with a spinal fusion, it is a dream invention. Without compromising the safety of the baby inside, the patented gate quietly folds down and snaps back into place, allowing the parent to reach down into the bed without straining their backs. It even has a safety feature that prevents little fingers from being pinched!

I had to restrain myself from hugging the man. I didn't even know this existed until Monday, and now I know I can't live without it! I may have a lot of other challenges ahead of me when I am blessed to be a mom. But finding something like this, that I can afford, here in my own city, well... it gives me hope and encouragement. I tested out the product, bending to reach the baby doll they had with the mattress at its lowest setting. I could do it! It will probably still be harder for me than most people, but I can do it, and I don't have to worry about that part of it anymore.

When I'm a mom, I think I will have to find some creative ways to do a lot of things...and I will probably have to be more careful than a lot of moms about a lot of things they probably never even think about. Like getting a baby in and out of a car seat or washing them in the tub. I will definitely need to adapt.

But as far as the crib situation is concerned...I can be just like everyone else. Now...if I can just find the baby to go IN the crib...I'll be all set.

P.S. If you live in or near Orlando or Tampa Florida, and you're in the market for baby furniture...check out their 2 locations. You won't be disappointed!

Happy Update!
We found out late yesterday afternoon that we are officially Home Study approved in the state of Florida! That means we are ready to adopt...if you want more information, you can visit our online adoption profile here. It would be a great help if you could pass that little profile along to as many people you think would be interested to know about and pray for us. The more people who know we hope to adopt, the better. Please keep us in your prayers! Thanks!

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