That time we registered for baby swag


Armed with a scanner gun and surrounded by Hooter Hiders, breast pumps, and enough stressful stroller options to make me want to just carry my children everywhere in a kangaroo pouch, Aaron and I ventured out on Saturday to register for baby swag at The Baby Swag Chain Store.

My last post filled you in on our latest adoption update. You can go read that or I could just tell you right here that there are twins that are already born and we are waiting to hear if the birth parents pick us. And they have less than two weeks to decide. We have more information on the situation that I’m not going to go into on the internets at this point, but just be praying for those birth parents. And the babies. And us too. Just for peace in everything.

In preparation for the “GO” button to be pressed should the birth parents deem us the privilege of parenting their children, Aaron and I were proactive and registered. After all, if they pick us, we’ll have babies in our home within days.

And telling you this now makes me feel a bit like the girl who is booking her wedding venue but doesn’t even have a boyfriend yet.

A little crazy, but that boyfriend will get there eventually, right? RIGHT?!

My Sass was on standby should we have walked in to find Employee look us up and down as we filled out the baby register form and marked “ADOPTING” across the top. “This is for pregnant people only” I imagined her saying. I then imagined authoring a quick post on Reddit followed by a boycot and The Baby Swag Chain Store going out of business for such intolerance. I didn’t really imagine this…only a tiny bit but not enough to stamp “crazy” across my file. After all, I’ve never done this adoption thing before so I didn’t know what to expect.

We filled out the form: When will the baby arrive? Oh, yesterday? The shower date? Oh, tomorrow? Are you adopting? THANK YOU BABY SWAG CHAIN STORE FOR ASKING ME THIS QUESTION!!!!

And then I cried. Because they asked the question that meant so much. Thank you for not assuming that every parent that comes in here is carrying a child in their womb, Baby Swag Chain Store.

There was no need for Sass to come out, for everyone we talked to was understanding. Curious, but understanding.

Employee: So when is the birth mom due?
Me: The babies are already born.
Employee: How long before you get them?
Me: Could be tomorrow, could be two weeks.
Employee: How does that work?
Me: It’s a long story.
Employee: What stuff do you need?
Me: We already have a crib and a changing table soooo…everything?

To which Employee’s eyes would get abnormally large and we both took deep breaths to prepare for such a scanning adventure.

My biggest stress was the stroller. Now, I consider myself a professional Ikea furniture assembler. That Ikea cartoon guy and I? We understand each other and I can breeze through the toughest Ikea furniture with ease.

Strollers? It’s like I’m assembling a 747 from scratch.

My internal stroller dialogue: Start with the car seat. It needs to be a carseat that we can buy separate bases for to put them in Aaron’s car too. But we need a carseat that will fit onto a stroller. And it has to be a double stroller. But we want the stroller to last us more than a year so it needs to have the toddler stuff to it too. But what are these things even called?

Luckily, Stroller Employee was there and was able to make out my chicken scratch description to lead us to what we want. She was very helpful. Then, Other Employee led us around and all but made us register for certain things. “Do you get commission for the amount of items we register for?” I thought. “Get a pink one for the girl and a blue one for the boy.” she constantly suggested. “NOOOOOooo! I must defy that mold!” my internal thoughts exclaimed. So I politely turned down her constant “girls must be pink and boys must be blue” suggestions and aimed my gun at the yellows, greens, and quirky things.

Said Employee also constantly forgot that I was not pregnant. She led us to the breast pump aisle and it took her about two seconds into her spiel to realize “oh you don’t need that.” But she kept saying “you’re going to need this, and this, and this, and this and this and this and this…” There were a lot of “this’s.”

Sidenote: Do babies really need aaaaallllll that stuff? I’m only half joking. I know they need a lot but when someone told me that I needed 4 different kinds of booger suckers (that’s what I call ‘em), I was like, “HOW AM I EVEN ALIVE?” Because my mom used the same, singular booger sucker for mine and my sisters’ entire childhood. And we’re all fully-functioning adults now. I may be a first-time parent, but I think one (maybe 2 for twins) booger sucker will do, thankyouverymuch.

I intended to take a photo of Aaron and myself with the scanner gun to commemorate the occasion and to plaster in a memory book some where. But between the booger sucker diabolical and commiserating on which baby gate will be the best to keep our children from plummeting down the stairs, there were so. many. dang. decisions to be made. Forget getting a sappy picture to commemorate the moment; The only reason I had my phone in my hand was in case I needed to dial 911 from passing out in anxiousness.

Most people have nine months to prepare for a baby. We haven’t had that luxury. It’s been, oh, a week?

I’m by no means complaining! What an adventure this is! And I’m loving that this adventure was designed just for Aaron and I! And I LOVED that I got to share adoption with total strangers! The first of thousands of conversations I hope to have over my lifetime.

So yes, registering for baby items was stressful because it’s under a time crunch and I’m not a baby swag professional. And hopefully you understand my sense of humor in this post as I’ve been writing. But my heart is truly grateful and excited and I’m just praying the best for these twins and peace for the birth parents as well because I can’t even imagine being in their position right now.

I’m also doing our best to not stress about baby items because so many people have already stepped up to help that I know our kids will never go without. It’s incredible to see and watch so much kindness people give. If I ever get sad about all the sadness in the world, I only need to open my Facebook messages, emails, and blog comments. You all remind me of the goodness in the world. And I’m showing ourselves grace for our shortcomings in order to fully appreciate those gifts and this special time in our lives.

Grace. We’ve been waiting for her, and she may be home soon. Along with her brother.



  • Heidi Joe - Registering… the good the bad and the ugly! You're going to get a lot of unsolicited advice. Here's mine. (wink!) Don't get caught up in all the "stuff"… you're right, babies don't need ten snot suckers. And if your babies do, buy them as you need them. Meaning, don't get caught up in the anticipation of what you might need. You'll just spend a bunch of money/gift cards and it will sit in your closet waiting. Get the basics and you'll be fine. You'll gravitate to your own brand loyalty, but for our baby, Britax was one of the only options. They are one of the few car seats that accomodate small babies in the correct proportion. (Smaller babies don't measure the straps and harnesses of other brand car seats.) We have the baby seat/stroller combo and love it… the stroller folds up so easily. We are also crazy about anything Aden and Anais… the blankies are great for so many uses (nurse covers, changing pads, something to lay down on the icky public changing table.) They are also such good swaddles…tight, warm and yet still breathable. Their burpy bibs are also a favorite.ReplyCancel

  • Heidi Joe - Also! Our favorite bottles are the Joovy B**B. Yes, they are called B**B. Theyre rad. Also, we have an expensive swing and an expensive pack n play bassinet (both were gifts) and our baby sleeps the best in the cheapo Fisher Price Rock n Play Sleeper that was loaned to us from a friend. Most importantly, no matter what, trust your gut instinct. We were the last of our friends and family to have a baby, so we got to see what works for some and not others, and were offered tons of advice. Take the good with the bad, but do what works for you and Aaron and those babies and don't get caught up in comparison. Make this parenting thing your own!ReplyCancel

  • Vanessa C - Ok I am going to second Heidi on the swaddler blankets.. Babies R us has an identical knock off that are 10 bux cheaper! Load up! Also agree with her on the rock and play! It is so nice the baby sleeps in such a great position in there! Now I’m the crazy person tho has tried every snot sucker in the world… When your kids are congested you get desperate, you need a nose frida and as many of those blue ones from the hospital as they will let you smuggle out ! You also have to have a good old fashioned rectal thermometer, I thought I could avoid the butt , but alas it’s the most accurate, save your money on the ear or forehead swipe until much later… I also am going to recommend my pediatrician. Dr Arnold Kagan and his son Ryan Kagan… They have talked me thru craziness on more than one occasion at 3 am you can’t buy peace if mind like them … Love you girl can’t wait!!ReplyCancel

  • Elizabeth - I agree with the first poster. Register for whatever I guess, but only BUY what you will definitely need. You need WAY less than you think you do (although it IS still a lot I suppose). And seriously, used and donated items are the BEST!!
    To us (and we had a crazy fast match too), necessities were… a place to sleep (crib, bassinet, whatever), diapers, burp cloths, a thermometer, diapers, wipes, swaddles, formula, a swing (the only thing that calmed him down at times the first 3-6 months or so), a sound machine (because our house is not that big and we didn't want to wake him) and a few onesies (or footed sleepers if it's cold enough for that), car seat and a stroller. Sure, there are other things you could get, but that was all we really NEEDED for awhile. And you know, people gave us almost everything we ended up needing/wanting (toys, clothes, etc), except a few things here and there that we bought. We had SO MANY people give us old clothes, toys, blankets and such, that even at 19 months we have hardly had to buy a thing for the little buddy. People that know what you've been through and that you've had a quick match will LOVE to help out!

    …And about snot suckers, the only one you need is the NoseFrida. 🙂 It's amazing and WAY better than any other snot sucker. MAYBE you need 2, but I can't imagine why you couldn't just wash it in between twins. 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Thoroughly Modern Mommy - I love this! I registered right after we sent in the last of our information, fingerprints, etc. And I was right there with you, thinking I was going to be banished from the store. After struggling with starting a family for so long, parenthood felt like and exclusive club, and I just couldn't get in. I was certain this would be one more situation where I was left out or judged or pitied. And then- are you adopting? YES! Yes I am!!! We got Lily in May after registering in October. And of course we adjusted our lists and added another store and people brought us their used items… But it was nice to have that list in place. We had so little notice (ten days from match to baby in our arms) that we learned how little you "need." Formula. Diapers. More burp cloths than you could possibly imagine. Blankets. Clothes are nice but optional 😉 Honestly, babies need food and love and warmth and to be clean. That's about it 😉 The other thing we didn't need? Books. I LOVE to read and research everything. But it turns out when you don't have time to do that, you figure it out and rely on your instincts.

    The Smiths will be praying for the Bunkers while you wait to hear about your match!ReplyCancel

  • Andrea - I'm a new follower and am amazed at how eloquently you can describe the process of registering for a baby. It's chaos, even with 5 months to prepare. God must have given you and Aaron extra doses of grace to get through every step of this process! I am waiting for news on pins and needles, and of course, praying for all of you. Whether the twins make their way into your lives or your home is filled with the laughter, cries and footsteps of another baby, I am so glad I can follow along.ReplyCancel

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