Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Krafty Korner: Bibs and Burps

Here is another little project for ambitious parents to be.

We purchased a bib and burp cloth set from a local monogram shop and had sticker shock from the price. We decided to try our hands at this sewing endeavor and saved some dough. We made patterns from paper bags using the originally purchased bib and burp cloths. Then we whipped out the Singer and made multiple sets from discounted fabric. Now when baby spits up... we don't have to worry about stains on the ridiculously expensive nappies. Keep in mind they are attractive and disposable. You can use scrap material or match the sets to outfits. Look above at some of the fruits of our labor.

Project Tips
#1 : Patterns need to be bigger than purchased sets (allow 1/2 inch seam allowance)
#2 : Use ribbon that will not unravel (simple cotton works best)
#3: Buy "small" cloth diapers with padded middle for burp cloths
#4: Allow for shrinkage - Wash and dry diapers and fabric before cutting

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Getting to Know us... Profile Excerpts - More thoughts about adoption

Oh, I found my Birth Father too!

Marion (Brandon's Paternal Biological Grandmother)
Phillip (Brandon's Birth Father)

Monday, December 29, 2008

Getting to know us... Profile Excerpts - Brandon's thoughts about adoption

Brandon and Cassandra (Brandon's Birth Mother)

Dear Readers,

This excerpt was taken directly from our profile that is shared with potential Birth Mothers. I hope you enjoy my story.

Brandon's thoughts...

I am a direct product of Adoption. At birth I was relinquished and adopted by a loving family. As a child I never questioned my existence or felt different from my adopted parents or siblings. My adopted family supported and cared for me. I was a child who was loved and doted upon by everyone.

It was not until I was around the age of 27 that I decided to search for my Birth Mother. The process was a long journey that tapped into many untouched feelings. It also opened my eyes to the emotions a Birth Mother faces and the complicated lifelong decision she makes when placing her child for adoption.

I am fortunate to have known my Birth Mother. Unfortunately, she died in 2001. She lived with Jose and me during the last year of her life as she battled cancer. It was a tragic ending but an experience that was life changing.

My reunion led me to help other adopted adults. In total I assisted with twelve successful searches. They were all joyful but different in many ways. The one common thread among the Birth Mothers I found was their longing to know if their child had been well cared for and loved.

The process of finding my Birth Mother brought me many joys. I learned about her past and mine. I also learned that a part of my Birth Mother lives within me. She was my creator and gave me the things that nurturing alone can not provide. The reunion process also provided me with the knowledge that I could not have become the person I am today without the love and mentoring my adoptive parents provided.

Being adopted gives me an unusual perspective as I proceed through the process of being matched with a Birth Mother and her child. I know that a Birth Mother is an integral part of the adoption process and will remain part of the process for our child's entire life.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Thank You... Alphabet Soup

Today's segment is being brought to you by the letter K

That's Karla with a K!

Karla is truly one of our best friends. She is crazy, funny and has a heart as big as TEXAS! She is like Auntie Mame, Miss Texas and the naughty little girl next door all mixed together. She is also the first person on the scene when any of her friends or family needs support. I should say when anyone needs support as her generosity has extended to complete strangers. We have seen each other through the joys of life and held hands through the ugly rough bits.

She stood by my side when I (Brandon) searched and found my Birth Mother many years ago. Yes, I am adopted but that's another story for later. She has also made it possible for us to forge ahead with our own adoptions plans.

On or around my 40th birthday we had a long talk about unfulfilled dreams. All in all, these aspirations had long passed both of us by. Adopting a child was one of my dreams that remained unfulfilled. You see, Jose' and I considered adoption over nine years ago but it was so complicate, for domestic partners, we gave up. She gave me the confidence, resources and contacts to make our dream became a reality. We do not have a baby yet but we would not have gotten this far without Karla's love and support. We can not wait for the day when we can introduce our baby to the person that helped us along our adoption journey. Karla, thanks for the laughs through the years and thanks for always believing in us.

Much Love,
Brandon (and Jose')

Saturday, December 27, 2008

The Sisters!!

Hey what's all this talk about a baby? I'm Precious the beautiful blonde and Bijoux is my black haired sister. I'm twelve and she's two and we both have slim figures of less than five lbs. We are beginning to warm up to the idea of having another sibling around. Especially since we see all the fun toys that are being put in (his or her) room. We can't wait to play with all the toys... I mean play with the baby. Anyway, look for our future comments in our segment titled The Sisters.

Getting to know us... Profile Excerts - Travel

Everybody has the family photos where you are surrounded by famous landmarks near and far. The only problem with our photos are... we are the only two people in them. We have racked up many frequent flyer miles along the way and hope to someday use the points on future vacations with our little one. Look below at another brief Profiles Excerpt that is shared with potential birth mothers. Happy reading.


A large part of our life together has involved travel. We have been privileged to see many countries and cultures on our vacations together. We would love to give a child the lasting life experience of seeing the world and all the possibilities that surround it. We hope to achieve this with our newly created family.

Krafty Korner: Murals

Murals are an easy and cheap way to personalize a room. All you need to accomplish this project is a pencil, some paint and a little imagination. We use all different kinds of paints in tubes and cans. We always try to use the left overs of previous projects. The one thing to remember is never use oil based paints as they take a long time to dry. My project tip is to put a clear coat of gel medium over the finished piece of art. This glaze gives a little luster and protects the precious work of art. If you use gel medium, covering the entire wall to give a consistent look. Over the years our homes have been filled with birds in dining rooms and landscapes in entries. Murals are fun and if you tire of the scene all you need to do is paint over your last creation. Have fun with the space you create. Attached are our
nursery creations thus far. Enjoy!!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Krafty Korner: Kids Clothes

I just wanted to share an outfit Jose' recently made. He is perfecting his skills at making baby attire. It seems to be pretty complicated due to putting snaps in the crotch for easy diaper changing access. My suggestion to all viewers is... buy on SALE and save your energy for when the baby arrives. It's a lot of work!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Getting to Know us... Profile Excerpts - Religion

The last two days have been full of family, friends and food. What else would you expect at Christmas! The high light of our day was attending Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve. Pine swags and advent wreaths were placed on the sanctuary and throughout the church. The smell of fresh pine was wonderful mixed with incense. The two hour and twenty minute concert and Mass contained a complete orchestra, organist, hand bell choir and parish choir. The entire event was magnificent! The processional presented Joseph, Mary and the Christ Child at the alter. It was very magical for us in many ways and made us contemplate about when we would be given the opportunity to become parents.

When we began our adoption journey we searched our own beliefs long and hard. We thought about how the church would view and support our non-traditional family. We explored our past experiences and biases. We did our research and met with a priest. We ultimately came to one conclusion... IT'S NOT ABOUT US! It's about a child or should I say... our potential child. We got over our issues and I (Brandon) converted to Catholicism. One might think converting was easy but with the Catholic Church rituals are ever present. We must also give great thanks to our parish priest. The adoption journey would be much more difficult without his guidance and support.

As for life... it has already changed. We no longer sleep in and leisurely read our Sunday papers and journals. Those days have already passed us by. We take great pride in attending Sunday Family Mass as we prepare to expand our own family.

This was just one "more" thing we had to complete before proceeding with our adoption. What a journey this has already been and we can't wait for the rest to start. With all this being said, we thought it would be appropriate to share another Profile Excerpt. A note for first time readers, our Profile Excerpts make up a book that potential birth mothers review when choosing a family for their baby.

For those readers who pray, please keep us in your prayers. For those still waiting for a child, we will keep you in our prays to Saint Gerard (Patron Saint of Unborn Children).


We are Romans Catholics and take an active role within our parish. It is our strong belief that a child should be part of a community outside their own immediate family. A child needs to have a belief system based on values and morals for guidance. Religion gives a child a sense of belonging and history.

Our nieces and nephews have been baptized and will hopefully choose to be confirmed in the Catholic faith. We would like to give our child commonalities with family members and the community around them.

We are currently working within our parish to ready ourselves for the joys of parenthood. We have begun conversations with our parish priest and will attend Baptismal classes.

Living in today's world is complicated . We want to give a child every opportunity to succeed in life. We also feel it is necessary to expose a child to other religions, when appropriate. This will give the child a better understanding and appreciation for the differences that exist around them. We hope to instill a true sense of respect for all beliefs systems.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Nursery Time

Nursery Friends
We have started to assemble small groups of "friends" for our little bundle of joy. They are scattered around the nursery that is every evolving. As for the nursery theme, well... we are not theme people. We feel a little bad because everyone we know has a "Theme". So we have come up with a compromise. We have decided to develop a traditional "English" nursery. This is not really a theme but more of a desired look. We have also included a picture of the unfinished room. Keep in mind it is still a work in progress and we have not finished making the crib bedding or completed the mural. Actually, we are still missing the crib. Hope you enjoyed the pics and thanks for looking.

What's a Home Study?

It was a process in which our Social Worker educated and prepared us for our adoption journey. Information was gathered that will assist in matching us with our birth mother and child. We were evaluated and criminal background checks were preformed. Jose and I spent many hours filling out autobiographical information. The paperwork covered questions ranging from “If we were spanked as children” to “How do we divide household duties.” Birth Certificates, Driver licenses, Social Security Cards and physician references were submitted. Reference letters were written by loving friends and forwarded. Thanks again to everyone that participated! The Social Worker visited our home for a lengthy interview and she looked around for general safety concerns. All in all, it was very painless but we are lucky to have a found a fantastic Social Work.

Oh, and by the way… We passed with flying colors!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Getting to know us... Profile Excerpts - Birth Mother Letter

What's a profile? It's a book full of information about our family, our home, our faith, our commitment, our values and our intentions as potential adoptive parents. A profile is a calling card of sorts. It's a book or website that adoption agencies use to introduce birth parents to potential adoptive parents. Profiles assist birth parents in choosing the right home and family for their child. All profiles are different and the information inside reflects the adoptive families entire outlook on life. An essential pieces of a profile is a letter to potential birth mothers. This letter is usually agonized over and rewritten multiple times in hopes of connecting with a birth mother. When you check in at Daddy Times Two you will occasionally see excerpts from our personal profile. Look for these tidbits under Getting to know us... Profile Excerpts. Keep in mind the profiles are important but many people would agree fate plays a big hand in matching birth parents and children with adoptive parents.

Since I have a captive audience, I want to share our personal birth mother letter. Actually, our profile contains two letters. The first being a letter of introduction and the second letter contains our intentions and thanks. Tonight I am sharing the latter. Before I close, let me thank you for reading and coming along for the ride. Look below to get a peak at our letter.

Dear Birth Mother,

Thank you for viewing this small snapshot of our life. During our seventeen years together we have forged longstanding relationships with friends, family and our community. We have exhibited social and financial responsibility. Most importantly we have cared and loved for each other through life's ups and downs.

We may not be a traditional nuclear family but we have many gifts to offer a child. We have time to give and love to share. We can walk beside a child and encourage as life's joys unfold. We can comfort and support a child through the hardships that are dealt.

Being a parent is one of the hardest jobs anyone can undertake. Sleepless nights and endless worry are all part of the position. In spite of these struggles it can be one of the most rewarding life experience. We very much want to partake in the joys and heartaches parenthood has to offer. We encourage you to consider us as potential adoptive parents and hope you will give us the opportunity to share our life and unconditional love with your child.

Brandon and Jose'

Krafty Korner: Birds of a Feather

This was a fun project we completed together. We picked up the idea from the Internet as we looked to buy an "unusual" nursery mobile. It was an easy and inexpensive way to personalize our baby's nursery. We have added links and patterns below if you want to try and create your own.

Bird Mobile Pattern

Krafty Korner

We have always had a project. We have baked wedding cakes, built ginger bread houses, canned jellies, pickled okra, grown roses, picked persimmons, upholstered chairs, refinished furniture, rewired garages, sanded floors, grown eggplant, planted hedges, hung chandeliers, installed doors, torn out walls, hung draperies and the list goes on. What would you expect… we are two gay men! Many houses and remodels ago we learned to be self sufficient. The only thing we will not attempt is plumbing because it always cost us more in the end.

As we wait for our little bundle of joy we find ourselves immersed with a complete new set of tasks. We bide some of our time with baby projects. We have decided to share some of our ideas and finished projects in a reoccurring blog segments appropriately named “Krafty Korner”. Look for upcoming segments in future postings. Thanks again for coming along for the ride!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

The year in review...

2008 was Fast & Furious
  1. We have decided to adopt a baby. Yes, I mean a baby not a puppy. A real live baby! NO, I did not say a BABY ALIVE!! That's a doll for gosh sakes.
  2. We pondered about open adoptions, closed adoptions and surrogacy.
  3. We found an adoption agency and a wonderful social worker.
  4. We sold our condo that was high in the sky.
  5. Actually, we sold our condo to 3 different people 3 different times. Many showings and contracts later we unloaded that "little piece of heaven."
  6. We purchased a home in a urban family friendly setting.
  7. It seems we have taken on a whole new life very different from our fancy parties and travels far away.
  8. Many decorating choices and paint samples later... we are settled in our new home.
  9. We filled out stacks and stacks of adoption paperwork. I thought it would never end!
  10. We completed our home study (I'll explain more about that later).
  11. We completed our life book "profile" and birth mother letter. This took forever!
  12. After all was said and done... our profile was officially ready to present to potential Birth Mothers on October 14, 2008. We're going to have a baby!!!
  13. Oh, I (Brandon) Turned 40!!! Remember when you thought 40 was old? SHUT UP!!
  14. Somehow we acquired another chihuahua puppy. That's another long story, but we now have a pair!
  15. By the way... I (Brandon) officially became a Catholic. There is a lot to consider before having a kid!
  16. In between all the chaos we laughed, cried and thanked god for the 17 years we have spent together as a couple.
  17. We continue to work on the baby's nursery and complete various projects. The project list grows daily... sewing projects, felt mobiles, non-traditional baby books, birth mother mementos, blogs and the list goes on and on.
  18. We also read and suck up as much knowledge as we can about babies. What will life be like after our baby arrives?
  19. And finally... we wait! Each day we learn more about patience and wait and wait some more. We wait to be chosen and we wait for fate to shine upon us.
  20. Oh, did I tell you... WE'RE GOING TO HAVE A BABY!!

Friday, December 19, 2008


We are glad you could join us at Daddy Times Two! We are Brandon and Jose and this is our story. Our blog chronicles our journey as we attempt to expand our non-traditional family through adoption. We are creating a journal to keep everyone near and dear informed of our milestones and progress as we navigate the world of domestic adoption and family bliss. Thanks for coming along for the ride.