February 19, 2012

I love....

...that we were showered with love the minute we got home.
Our fridge was stocked and our front room was covered in diapers and clothes.

Miles was given the warmest welcome at his baby shower.

I love that my mom came to help us get situated.

I love that Miles responds to my little kisses.

I love that Magnus is doing such a good job adjusting to our new life.
Just yesterday Magnus heard Miles crying and he ran to his cradle and ran to me and back up to the cradle.
He was letting me know that baby needed me.
It was pretty sweet.

I love all the little ones who are so captivated by a new baby.

I love his eyes.
They aren't open very long but when they are...look out,
it's heart melting.

I love that Miles' first bath was a family affair.

I love that Miles raises one arm like he has a question all the time.

I L O V E that Romney has been off work for a month.
It has been so nice to get this time together and figure out how to be parents together.

...and last...
I love the sleeping smiles!

Words cannot describe our gratitude.
We have felt so much love and support from all our family and friends.
We have appreciate all the phone calls, texts, emails, meals and such generous gifts.
We have been touched by the amount of people who have been praying for us to have a baby.
We are grateful.

Miles is 4 weeks old tomorrow.
I can not believe how fast time has gone.
He is a sweet baby!
We are in love.

February 10, 2012

Adoption Story part III

(Our first diaper change with Miles in the hospital)

Friday January 27, 2012

10:00 am:
We walked through the doors of the hospital ready to sign papers and start the next phase in life.
We followed the pink and blue footprint stickers on the floor up to the labor and delivery wing.
We were welcomed by our couples' caseworker and our advocate for the day, who were waiting in the waiting room.
We were told that our couple wanted 1o minutes alone with baby boy before they signed.
After 15 minutes or so the birth father walked out of the doors with sadness in his eyes and told us...
"I don't think she's going to do it."
My heart sank.
This was not happening.
The two caseworkers went through those doors to talk to her and see what was going on.
We sat in the waiting room with the birth father and visited.
He apologized and was ready to sign those documents.
After 45 minutes of talking with him and wondering what was going on, a man and girl walked swiftly through the waiting room and whisked behind those steel doors.
It was the birth moms dad and sister.
Minutes later her mom joined them.

Our advocate came out and said,
"it's not lookin good guys."

Everyone was instructed to leave her alone for 30 minutes.
No family, no caseworkers, no birth father...no one.
Just her with her thoughts for 30 minutes.
We went downstairs to the cafeteria with the two caseworkers and the birth father.
We listened to them talk about getting a car seat and where the baby would go.
We talked about putting our profile back online.
It was not fun!
When we headed back up stairs I whispered in the caseworkers ear that we wanted to go home.
I said we already know her answer and we don't want to do this anymore.
She whispered back "but, you don't know what she is going to do."

The caseworkers and birth father went back in to see what was the latest,
and the birth mothers mom came out to the waiting room crying.
So...I took a deep breath and
walked over to her.
I introduced myself to her, hugged her and began to cry with her.
We wiped our faces and sat down in the waiting room and talked for 30-45 minutes.
Then the birth mothers dad came out and we introduced ourselves to him.
We did more talking.
Lots and lots of talking.

The caseworkers come out explaining that she is considering placing baby boy for adoption again.
This time her family took the long trip down to the cafeteria and we waited upstairs.
We were starved and started munching on goldfish that I had in my bag.
Even our advocate was putting her hands in the bag for a snack.
Our advocate was great.
Every time those big hospital metal doors flung open she would stand up, and look down the hall for any sign.
Sometimes she would see the birth father sitting outside the birth mothers door, sometimes she would see the other caseworker standing outside too and sometimes she saw nothing.

The parents come back up from the cafeteria and we visited some more.
We sat there vulnerable, and of course I got emotional.
We all shared how grateful we were that we got to meet each other.
Her mom stood up and said,
"This is enough, she needs to make a decision."
She went in that room and didn't come back out.

We all found out that she was looking over documents and things were looking like they might be moving forward in our favor.
I looked at her dad and through my tears told him that
we had been trying for a a family for years.
That we have fasted and prayed for this,
and that we would love this baby.
In a very loving voice he said,
"I have no doubt."

Birth moms entire family showed up to the hospital.
We all just sat and waited together and watched paint dry.
Wondering what was going to happen.
Romney and I watched her whole family interact, we watched her adorable niece jump into grandpa arms.
We had bonded in a waiting room for hours.
We all were anxiously waiting.
All of us having our own hopes for the final decision.

finally at 6:00pm
Those steel doors opened, and the birth mothers mom came out sobbing.
"It's done, she signed."
We stood up and saw a family come together in tears and sadness.
Her dad hugged us and congratulated us.
He did not have to do that, but we were so appreciative of that seemingly small thing.
But it wasn't small, it was huge.
He hugged us.
Our advocate removed us from the situation quickly and we followed her into a back room
where I started to cry.
It had been a very long day and I just witnessed a family ache on our behalf.

We started signing papers and initialing here, here and here.

We were sitting alone- just the two of us in a tiny corner room in a hospital, waiting to go see our new baby in the nursery.
The birth father came in with tears and asked us to please take care of baby boy.
We hugged him and thanked him and gave him gifts.
One for him and one for her.
Originally, the birth mother didn't want to see us, but to our surprise, after she signed the papers she had a change of heart.

Our birth mother walked in the door.
She looked beautiful.
She looked sweet.
She was holding the cutest baby I had ever seen.
It was silent while we exchanged a hug full of gratitude.
She sat next to me for a minute and gave some specific instructions and she handed me the baby.
My hands were shaking as she placed this baby boy in my arms.
And before I turned around, she was already gone.

We sat in that corner room with a new baby in my lap, with nurses telling us how to parent, feed and change diapers.

We walked out of the room with a baby in a car seat.
All the nurses were gathered together at the nurses station with smiles and saw us off.
We got in the car and could finally breathe.
We talked about our day.

And this is our outlook:

It had to happen this way!
Papers had to be signed Friday.
There was no other way it could have worked.
We had to meet her parents and they had to meet us.
We know that Heavenly Father had a hand in this whole process.
We know angels were in that room to help her sign.
We are sure that was the hardest time she will ever have signing her own name.
It didn't matter that it took 4 days.
This was how is was supposed to be.
We are so amazed that our birth mother and birth father had the strength and love
to bless us with this opportunity.
We love them and will be forever grateful for their selflessness.

February 5, 2012

Adoption Story part II

We were in Saint George Utah for Thanksgiving this year with my entire family. It was so fun to be with my all my siblings and all my little nieces and nephews at once. Because we were in Utah and because we were with family we didn't even think about our profile or thought to check our adoption email account.

One evening I accidentally touched the email app on my phone. But to my surprise there were 2 new emails. Both from our caseworker. I read the emails and rushed to read it aloud to my family. It said that our little couple was re visiting thee idea of adoption. It was very clear that they were NOT totally sure but just thinking about it again.

When I talked to our caseworker I expressed concern of what we would be going through again. But, some how, some way, she calmed my nerves once more....she is so good at that.

Over the course of weeks our little couple had attended a birth mother panel to hear from others who have placed and started working with their caseworker more.

With each update our couples consideration to place was increasing. Not by much but, it was increasing.

As I put away my fall decorations and pulled out Christmas decorations I knew that this birthmom only had about 7 weeks left. I thought about her all the time. I wondered what she was thinking and how she was feeling.
I cried for her and prayed for her.

It was between Christmas and New Years we got a phone call telling us that our couple was ready to do this again. We went back and forth with what to name the baby, what the birth plan was going to be, and what contact there would be etc... We knew her due date was January 30th, so we had been telling ourselves to not expect him until early February. Well to our surprise, she was having a c-section in 3.5 weeks. WHAT??? 3.5 weeks? Panic set in. I started cleaning the cupboards, organizing closets and scrubbing the house. Romney worked on some projects and built a darling closet for the nursery.

3 weeks til the c-section we got word our couple didn't show up to their appointment with the caseworker and history was starting to repeats itself. The caseworker was still confident that the placement was going to happen. Calls were made and text messages were sent but they didn't respond to anything. In an instant the walls went up protecting my heart and hesitantly I wondered what was going to happen.

2 weeks til the c-section there was still no word from anyone. Organizing my home and freezer meals came to a screeching hault. A new kind of panic came over me. My mind was occupied every second of the day just wanting to know what they were thinking. I went on several walks with Magnus talking to Heavenly Father trying to stay calm. We opened this situation up to our families and asked for their sincere prayers for this little couple.

1 week til the c-section the birth father called the caseworker. They were still on for the adoption! In this last week of waiting it consisted of me praying! I found myself on my knees crying in my closet while putting laundry away, I would be in the guest bedroom changing sheets sitting on the corner of the bed petting Magnus, crying and praying. Vacuuming under my bed resulted in tears and more prayers. I had to laugh because each random place I fell to my knees, Magnus would just come lay by me wondering what the heck was wrong.

1 day before the c-section the birth father called and said everything was still "a go". Though no one except the birth father had heard from the birth mother in 3 weeks we headed to Utah in faith that it really was "a go".

We left California with a dog and a car seat in the back. The weather was ugly. The fog was thick and the wind was strong. The rain was loud as it hit the windshield. But something great was on the other side of the pass. There was no rain. It had cleared and there was a rainbow. We had made it through the storm. I thought to myself about our situation and prayed that this was a sign of what was to come. I prayed that our storm would be followed by a rainbow soon.

We drove to St. George and dropped Magnus off and continued north where we would stay with some friends. Friends who lived 3 tiny miles away from the hospital.

The c-section was scheduled on January 24th at 2:00pm. We anxiously waited for the "ok" to go to the hospital. We finally got the call that evening that baby boy was born at 2:51pm weighing in at 7lbs and 7oz. and 19.5" long.
We were also told we couldn't go to the hospital to see him as originally planned.

We were told to be at the hospital the next day to sign the paper work at 3:00pm.
Wednesday morning we received a phone call explaining that the birth mother was in a lot of pain. She didn't want to sign the papers and didn't want us at the hospital yet either.
We rescheduled the paper signing and placement for Thursday 2:00pm.

Thursday morning we got a phone call stating things were looking good and she hadn't taken any pain meds since 2am. If she could hold off from taking any narcotics a couple more hours she could legally sign those papers. An hour and a half before signing, her body was in pain and she could not last any longer, so she took her pain meds.
Which resulted in not being able to sign.
She wanted to try for placement again that night at 7pm. I called at 5pm to get a report but she had just taken her next dose. Legally she can not sign documents until the meds have been out of her system so many hours.
But she just had a c section, when was she ever going to be pain med free?

I asked the caseworker...."is this really going to happen?" she answered "I am planning on it."
That wasn't a very confident answer.
Our birth mother was being discharged the next day so we knew a decision was going to be made.
We had waited this long, what was one more day...

February 1, 2012

Adoption Story part I

(miles' little hand on day 4)

A little insight and background:

When we started this process we were warned that as a new adoptive couple online we would get lots of "hits" on our profile, and receive some emails. We were also warned that it is common that we will probably get emails from birth mothers and never hear from them again.

And so the story begins:

Back in July we received our first email from a birth mother who was 13-14 weeks along in her pregnancy. Her email was short and nothing promising. Just a question or two. But, it literally took us all day to answer that email. Romney and I sat in our office trying to answer everything perfectly. We sent off our email knowing there was a birth mother interested enough in us to email. We checked our email everyday excited to hear the response but....NOTHING. We decided that we weren't going to get our hopes up and to let it go. A week and a half later we got another email from her. She asked a few questions more. Again we took a whole day answering it. Two weeks went by.... and nothing. We decided to let it go once more. But lo and behold after 3 weeks, we got another email!

After the third email, I called my caseworker to see if we could get a little more detail on who this girl was. When I called our caseworker, she actually had just got off the phone with the the birth mothers caseworker. We were told she was really interested in us and another couple.

It worked out with Romneys work schedule that we could meet this little couple the following week. So we drove 10 hours to meet the girl who could be potential carrying our baby.

We finally made it to our destination with goodies to give and a whole bunch of butterflies swimming in our stomach.

I was so nervous. All who know me, know I have the gift of gab. But not this time. I sat awkward and quiet. Romney did so good doing the talking. I was just so nervous. I just wanted this couple to like me. The face to face meeting lasted a couple of hours and the caseworker chimed in stating it was time to wrap it up and that we could continue to build a relationship through email if that was wanted.

We came home surprisingly feeling calm. A week after our face to face we received another email. They told us that they liked meeting us and felt comfortable talking with us. We started writing emails more frequently, and learned more about each other. On September 27th, we found out that this couple officially had chosen us to adopt their baby. We also found out baby was a boy!

We were so humbled and excited. We wrote back with humility and gratitude accepting their proposal. Daily we checked our inbox awaiting their response. Weeks went by and we hadn't heard anything. I called our caseworker concerned that we hadn't heard from our birth mother in a while, but she calmed all my nerves and had an excuse for everything.

A few days before October 16th, I had a very strong feeling that our birth mother was going to change her mind and our adoption profile would be back online. And on October 16th, we got the phone call from our caseworker telling us that our birth mother had changed her mind. She decided she wanted to parent. The tender mercy was that my mind was ready, and my heart had been prepared.

On the 17th of October our profile was back up online and we had experienced our first failed adoption.