Monday, January 31, 2011

Poor little buddy

Well our little guy had to have a circumcision today! He's done so well and he's slept most of the afternoon. I'm glad we were able to go ahead and get that over with.

Things are going so well here. We are head over heels in love with this little boy. He has captured our hearts for sure. It all feels so much more real now! Our church had a luncheon/shower for us yesterday and it was a lot of fun. Tommy was able to be involved and we had a great time. I'll have to post some pictures later. We have a family/friends shower on Saturday and then one at my school next week. It's funny with how little you can "get by" with. The only thing we really needed/wanted was a little bouncy seat for him. My mom picked that up this weekend for us so we can both eat dinner together and not have to take turns holding him :) He's been spoiled by lots of visits!

Tomorrow we have our first post placement visit. Our social worker is really eager to meet him. We also had some pictures taken of him this weekend. I'll have to do a picture post tomorrow! They turned out so cute, and of course we ended up with what seems like a million pictures :)

The kids at school now know why I've been out and it's been funny hearing some of the comments. From, "I didn't know she was pregnant" to "Is she coming back Monday" it's been really funny to hear them. The best so far though, is an email I received today from 2 boys in my 6th period class. I'm posting the email here but I've changed the names.

At the bottom they attached a picture of themselves. Too, too funny. Made my day!

Friday, January 28, 2011

God is good!

We are so blessed! We have officially made it past the 7 day waiting period! I know all you want is some pictures :)
Loves that pacifier

Getting ready for the car ride home

Our first picture of the 3 of us

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

1 week

I can't believe little Garrett is already one week old. It doesn't feel like it. He's continuing to do well and he's been a pretty good eater and sleeper. He has a little fussy period but other than that, he seems to be doing really well. He went to his first doctor's appointment on Monday and she was impressed with how much he's eating (3-4 ounces) and said he looks great. He weighed the exact same as when he was born and she said that was great since they loose 8-10 percent of their body weight after birth. We decided on just letting him sleep and not waking him up to feed. He's pretty consistent and wakes every 3-4 hours. The doctor said that was great. The only problem we've had is with diapers. He was wearing pampers and huggies pure and natural but he was having major leakage issues. We've switched to little snugglers and so far they seem to be working better.

We got an email today from our social worker and she said that his birthmom is doing well and is very happy and at peace with her decision. She wanted to know how we all were doing and can't wait to see his first pictures. Everything becomes official at midnight tomorrow night (Thursday). I've done really well with this wait but I'll be glad when it's over. We registered at Target and babies r us and everyone is excited about giving us showers :) Our church is giving us a luncheon on Sunday so that should be fun. Tommy went back to work today and so far, I think I've managed pretty well :)

Thanks again for all of your support and prayers! It has meant so much to us!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Home sweet home

Thank you all for your sweet comments. We are adjusting pretty well to this new role into parenthood. I know you all want to see him but I want to wait until we get past this waiting period. I honestly think we are all set but I just want to make sure. But to hold you over, I will share his name with you :)

His name is pretty special. The birthmother wanted us to use Jeremiah (now what's funny about this part is that our friends in FL, their birthmother wanted them to use the same name-so they have the same middle name). When we met her she told us we could name him whatever we like but we told her we would be honored to use that as his middle name since it meant so much to her. His first name comes from my maiden name--Garrett. So there you have it, Garrett Jeremiah. He's such a sweet boy. We've been a bit nervous just wanting to make sure we're doing everything right. We have him on a 3 hour feeding schedule and we were waking him. We're kind of in the middle with what to do. My mom says to never wake a sleeping baby and we just want to make sure he knows his days from his nights :) I'd like to hear what some of you all did as far as this is concerned. What sort of schedule/routine did you set up? Did you wake them if they were sleeping, whether it be day or night?

He's only been getting up twice during the night and as soon as you feed him, he's ready for bed. He seems to be an easy going baby. He doesn't cry a lot except when you change him :)

Thursday went really well with signing everything. We were able to talk with the birthmom and all of us with the social worker had a little time of devotion afterwards. It was really sweet and something we'll never forget. The birthmom told us that she thinks God is mad at her and sometimes doesn't love her. Tommy and I both were able to share with her that God does love her and all of us, no matter what we've done or how we act. It's just satan's way of trying to deceive us.

The one thing I am thankful for (and this is something for all of you in this process to think about or try to get), we were given pretty extensive medical reports from both the birthmother and birthfather and I'm glad we'll have this for Garrett as he gets older.

He's already had lots of visitors. Mainly all family. And a huge explosion of presents :) Our niece and nephew brought him a huge teddy bear. I think he has enough clothes to be able to change 5-6 times a day :) I'm so glad everyone already loves him so much.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

We are on the way home! Everything went great today and we are beyond excited.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

He's here!

He's finally here! I know you all are probably dying for details, as our family was too, so I'll share that first and then the story. That way I won't forget :) He's so cute. I just can't believe how cute he is. He was born at 3:37 pm, weighs 7 pounds 10 ounces and is 21 inches long. He has a head full of dark hair and long fingers and toes! I know you all want to see him but I really want to wait until this waiting period is over before I post pictures of him.

So here's the story. We drove a little over halfway last night and stayed with some friends. We woke up this morning, had breakfast with them and then hit the road. We made it here around 10:00 this morning. Our social worker called us at 9 to let us know that the birthmom's social worker was on the way to the hospital and that they had started the pitocin on her. Our social worker told me that if we didn't hear from the other worker by 11 to call her. We are in a very small town (small to us) and there's not much around here. We found a Belk's and did a little shopping and then Tommy went into a tractor store :) We even strolled around Walmart until we reached a part where our phones didn't have reception :) We actually waited until 11:45 and then called the other social worker. It went to her voice mail and we left a message.

We rode around, had lunch, and found a little shopping center (mind you it had no shops) and parked and just sat for a while. Tommy at this point was growing antsy. I have to say that both of us felt calm and at peace all morning and I know it's because everyone was praying. Around 2 he said let's just go ahead and get a room. So we went down the street, got a hotel room and they let us go ahead and check in. We got our stuff up to the room and then, of course, her social worker called us back. She told us there was still no baby but that she was in the waiting room and we could come up and sit with her.

We got our things together and went and sat with her and waited. The birthmother's husband (he's not the birthfather) came out and updated us and we were able to meet him. Then he came out and told us that he was here and healthy! She wanted her social worker and I to come back and meet the baby and so I could meet her.

Words cannot even describe how I feel about her. First, it was just like talking to an old friend. I hugged her and believe it or not I didn't even cry. I think it was the is this really happening, I'm in shock feeling. She told me to touch him (he was still on the warmer). His eyes were wide open and he just looked straight at me. He wrapped his little fingers around mine and my heart melted. She asked me if I would love him like she would and I of course told her yes, that honestly we already loved him. She really is a sweet woman. She is very thoughtful and when someone would come in and ask something, she would look at me and say, what do you think.

Tommy then got to come back and meet him. He was a little emotional and couldn't believe how cute he is. I got to feed him his first bottle and he just looked at me the whole time. So sweet! She really wanted us to be able to stay up at the hospital with him tonight but because she had pain medication, we had to wait 4 hours after the birth for her to sign the termination rights (the initial ones). The notary at the hospital leaves at 5, so she couldn't sign those and we couldn't sign the ones that we needed to. So when the social worker left, we had to leave. The birthmom felt bad but we told her not to and that it's not her fault. We're supposed to meet back there at 10 tomorrow morning to get those signed.

Please continue to pray for her, her husband, the baby, and us. We feel good about things but know that she has the right to change her mind. We're just praying that God will lead us and use us during this time.

Monday, January 17, 2011

11 months

Today marks our 11th month of "officially waiting." I never would have thought we would be waiting on a little miracle to be born right now :) We always thought we'd be closer to the 2 year mark. But here we sit today, anxiously awaiting the birth of this precious little boy.

First, we want to give all glory to God for our friends in FL, who are now "officially" (and legally) parents to 2 sweet little babies! It's amazing what God has done in that situation.

Now, for our news!!! We have a DATE! The birthmother will be induced on Wednesday, the 19th. We were thrilled to find out an actual date! We won't be allowed to go into the hospital (the birthing unit) until he's born. She's scheduled for early morning. Our plan is to go a good part of the way tomorrow after work and stay with friends. Then we'll get up on Wednesday and drive the rest of the way. She wants us there ASAP because she doesn't want to bond with the baby. That makes me sad but she's been through this before and knows how to best grieve. She said she feels very confident in her decision and my social worker told me this afternoon that they all will be shocked if this doesn't go through. So that's hopeful news for us. If she doesn't have to have pain medication, she'll be able to sign the initial paperwork on Wednesday and then we'll have to wait until the next Wednesday for the final termination.

We are truly humbled at all God has done for us and we give Him all the praise. He pulls us through even when we have doubts. This was on my devotional calendar this morning: "When you accept the fact that sometimes seasons are dry and times are hard and that God is in control of both, you will discover a sense of divine refuge, because the hope then is in God and not in yourself."

Please continue to pray for the birthmom, for the baby, and for us. We want nothing more but to glorify God in all things!

Sunday, January 16, 2011


Well still no news here! However, our friends, K and D, from Florida, welcomed a baby boy and a baby girl into the world yesterday! We are so excited for them and can't wait to meet these 2 precious babies. So far everything is going well; TPR happens at 48 hours after birth in Florida. Both babies are healthy and they should be released tomorrow!

I've had a rough morning with the waiting. I think it's because we don't know anything new. We never did find out what happened at Thursday's appointment and that's driving me crazy! I think either they were too busy with getting the birthfather's rights terminated or the doctor told them nothing new. So here we sit and wait :) When I woke up this morning I told Tommy, I hope she hasn't gone into labor and didn't call anyone. He told me he didn't think that was the case, I need to be calm, God's going to take care of us. I know he's right but it's still hard with not knowing. I know God is testing and stretching my faith. When we came home I had a nap and feel better now. I know all of the prayers going up for us are helping too!

Nehemiah 8:10 "The joy of the Lord is your strength." Please continue to pray for us as we wait this out!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Still waiting

Well we are still waiting! Last weekend I would have never thought that we'd still be waiting. We still don't know anything from Thursday's appointment. I think that's mainly because they were focusing on getting the birthfather's paperwork straightened out. He did sign the consent forms on Thursday! That is a huge blessing and relief! So we're ready for that call now! I told someone I feel like I have a constant state of butterflies in my stomach.

The birthfather was really happy with her decision in choosing us. The social worker took our profile book and showed him. He asked if we'd be willing to meet us at some point in the future (the birthmom does not want him at the hospital). We told her that we would be willing to meet with him later on. He also wanted us to use part of his name for the baby but they did tell him that we had already agreed on a name with the birthmom (she chose his middle name). I just hope something happens before I have to go back to work on Tuesday. I don't know how many more days I can make it :)

Some exciting news....our friends in FL, K and D, called this morning and their birthmother's water broke. They are at the hospital now waiting on these precious twins. I can't wait to hear the news!

Thanks for your continued prayers!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

News-no baby yet

Whew! It's been a whirlwind of a week :) But you know, there is so much comfort in the power of prayer! I am so thankful for everyone that has been praying for us this week. I know we couldn't have made it to this point without the prayers.

So the new news....they found the birthfather!!! And.....he's willing to consent to the adoption! That is a HUGE PRAISE and one that we give ultimate glory to God over. That not only saves us $4000 but also will save us the agony of having to dwell on that for 6 months. I am so thankful. He should be signing either today or tomorrow. The birthmother went to the doctor today; this was her rescheduled appointment from Monday. Her social worker was out of the office this afternoon so we don't know yet what happened. Our social worker said the birthmother still feels confident in her decision. So now we are still on wait mode for the labor call!

On other news, our friends in Florida who are matched with the twins (there are so many things that I could tell you that would blow your mind but I'll have to wait until all is said and done), just called and the birthmother is having contractions. They weren't sure what type but we've said since last week, wouldn't it be funny if they are all born on the same day?! Pray for them as they wait too.

I'm praying for all of my waiting friends and for those seeking guidance. God will answer!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Due date

Well today is the baby's due date. I'm not sure if he's planning on coming today or not :) Tommy hopes so because my birthday is February 12, and his is March 12. My mom's hoping he holds out until Friday because that's her birthday.

I'm going back to work today, after 2 snow days. I'm glad I'll have something to keep my mind occupied. We're on a 2 hour delay so I was able to sleep in a bit. Our social worker emailed yesterday afternoon and said everything is good. The birthmom is feeling well but she's getting impatient on waiting for the baby; she's ready to have him. She wasn't able to go to her appointment on Monday because her doctor's office was closed.

So for now, we're just in wait mode.....and praying, really hard!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Nursery Pictures

Here they are! The much anticipated nursery pictures! It's not exactly how I want it and there are a few other things we need to add but considering our time crunch, I think it's great for now.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Snow day!?!

I can't believe that it is snowing here again. It hardly ever snows here and just 2 weeks ago we saw snow. This time there's more. I think they said there's around 3.5 inches now. It makes me a bit nervous that someone is going to call and say, ok it's time, she's in labor. At which point I think I'll pass out :) We have a 5 hour drive ahead of us; we can split it and stay with friends so that's a plus but I'm praying this baby holds on a few more days for this to clear up. We didn't have school today which worked out nice as I needed a day to get things organized.

We had a busy weekend. Our friends will never know how much that meant to us in keeping us busy so our minds would be occupied. Friday night I had basketball games at school and didn't get home until almost 8. Saturday was spent wedding shopping with my mom and sister (she's getting married in May). Then my mom and I went to buy just a few outfits so we can keep this baby boy warm! I'm not going to tell you his name until we're sure that this is going to happen. I did really well, I didn't try to buy everything in sight :) I'm trying to remember that any of this can change at any point. That does make me nervous but I know God is working and He will provide, if not this time, there will be another. My mom also bought him a "fancy" outfit to come home from the hospital because she said he was not allowed to come home in a onesie :) (can you tell this is the first grandchild?)

Saturday night we played matchmaker for my best friend and one of Tommy's co-workers. We also had another couple over. She used to tell us that we were not allowed to match make anymore because of a "bad one" that we picked out :) This one turned out much differently and I think they had some interest in one another. We'll have to see how all of this plays out.

Yesterday we had church and everyone is very excited. There's another baby boy that will be due in April. I told them all that I was glad they all were so excited because we're trying to remain calm about everything (notice I said trying). Then Tommy's mom went with us and we bought a car seat/stroller combo. As we pulled up to the Toys r us here, there are fire trucks and all kids of chaos going on. I immediately think, oh great, I hope this isn't a bad sign! I guess the fire alarms went off and they were trying to find out what was happening. We ended up at Target and found the one that we wanted. We also bought a few blankets and a package of sleepers. I think we have everything we need for the next bit of time. We got the nursery organized and cleaned today and once the bedding is finished washing I'll post some pictures for you to see.

It still feels very odd and surreal. There are moments when I'm excited and then moments when my stomach is turning. I go from this is it to this may not happen at all. But for now, we're just praying and resting in the assurance that God is going to take care of us.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Things are still good

So far everything still looks good. We are not going to be meeting with the birthmother before the birth of the baby because of the time crunch. I kind of hate that we don't get to meet with her but I know it will all work out. I guess we may meet her in the hospital, I know that's going to be awkward but I think it would be any other way too. The birth parent counselor will call our social worker when she goes into labor and then we'll start the drive to go there. We'll have about a five hour trip. If nothing happens over the weekend, she has a doctor's appointment on Monday. Her actual due date is on Wednesday.

The one thing that's still up in the air is the birthfather. The birth parent counselor hasn't been able to get into contact with him for him to consent to the adoption or to contest it. Our social worker said that in most cases they don't come back but they really can't guarantee that. They didn't have an ongoing relationship so that's where that thought is coming from. If he doesn't come forward before the baby is born, she told us it would probably take at least 6 months to terminate his rights. That really scares me but again I honestly feel like God has us here for a reason. If he does come back and want the baby, we just will have to know that we were put in this situation to care for him during that time. You can't let fear take over or you'll have regrets.

My verse on my devotional calendar was this: "By faith Abraham...obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going." Hebrews 11:8

We appreciate all of your prayers!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

The day after the call

Thank you all for your sweet words and comments! I still think we're in shock and it all feels so surreal. It's so weird, I never thought it would feel like this. I think there are just so many things going on that it's hard for my mind to comprehend it all.

The big, "scary" point if you will in all of this is that the birthfather is not in the picture. The agency is trying to make contact with him to get him to consent to the adoption. If that doesn't happen then we'll have to follow the legal route to get his rights terminated. So basically we're looking at a "legal risk" of a few weeks to several months. Unless, he comes forward now and terminates his rights---that's what we're praying for. If not, we feel at this point, we just take the risk, fully believing that God has us here for a reason.

My social worker said today that things are still going well and that the family is all in agreement with the adoption plan. She said she was playing phone tag with the birthparent social worker and that she expected to talk with her tomorrow. Hopefully we'll have some more news by then.

So now the big questions have hit like, our insurance and finding a pediatrician. I honestly hadn't even thought about that stuff. Tommy's checking on the insurance side of things and should find out something tomorrow. I'm meeting with the lady who is in charge of payroll at my school and will find out tomorrow how we can work things out. Then we'll be calling to set up the pediatrician. We also have to buy a car seat but we're waiting until the weekend to see if it looks like things are still on go---I guess for so long it's been "no" or "negative" that we are just scared.

The one thing I am thankful for is one of the first meetings we had with our agency and they had a panel of adoptive parents and birthparents. I remember one lady who had a story similar to our's that said-treat all of this as if you were pregnant. You don't want to look back and regret that you didn't do something or weren't excited. She also said to set up the nursery so things would seem more real. At first we weren't going to set up the nursery but then decided to and I'm so glad that we have the big furniture in there now. I would be in a tizzy if I had to run around and do that now too.

I think that's it for now. I'm exhausted! I know I need to try to get some rest because this might be some of the last good rest I get for a while :) Thanks for praying for us and know that we are praying for all of you as well!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Is this really happening?

I have wanted to post this all day and went back and forth as to whether I should or not. But I decided to go with it since this is part of the process.

We got "the call" today. I can't even begin to put into words how I feel. Shocked, amazed, humbled, scared, what do we do next etc. There's a lot that I don't want to "put out there" just yet but I would truly appreciate your prayers as we wait.

The biggest shock, the birthmom is due next week!?! Oh and I almost forgot, it's a boy. We're just praying that God's will be done; we know He has us here for a reason, no matter what her decision is.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Back to reality

Yesterday was the first day back at work. Thankfully we had a teacher's workday to help ease the transition. I am so not ready to be back yet :) Tommy told me, well at least you had off 2 weeks, but I told him, it sure doesn't feel like it! I think this was the fastest vacation time ever. Report cards go out at the beginning of next week so I have to finish writing comments for my 85 students, yuck! The worst part about teaching :) The kids came back today and they were all excited to share about their Christmas vacations. Many of them gave me hugs and greeted me this morning so that helps with the transition back (see middle schoolers aren't so bad after all).

I went back to Zumba last night. I really like it. I'm going to try to go 2-3 times a week. I'm excited to see how all of this hard work is going to pay off :)

I know many of us that are waiting have that question of when things are going to happen for our families. The waiting is so hard, probably because we have no control. I think it's during these times that we learn to stretch our faith and rely solely on God and His provisions for us. There are so many times when I think, I wonder if this will be our last ___ as just the two of us. I think this time of year is that much harder because there aren't all sorts of things to look forward to like there are with the holidays. When we first started the adoption process, in June 2009, I had no idea what we were in for. Our social workers told us to expect a 2-3 year wait. We were officially approved on February 17th so we're almost at that 1 year mark. It's almost hard to believe that it's already been that long, but in other ways it feels like it's been forever. I was talking with my friend K in Florida who is also going through the adoption process (they are the ones that are currently matched with twins)! She told me, I know it's hard and it's sometimes hard to hear but God's timing is perfect. He lets us experience things that our minds can't even fully comprehend and yet He is there every step of the way to hold our hands or in some cases hold us together. They've been through 2 failed matches and I can't wait to see this situation unfold over the next few weeks (the babies should be here by the end of January if not before).

I want each of you to know that I'm praying my heart out for you, no matter what you're waiting for. I think God has awesome things in store for each of us. We just have to be ready to hold on for the ride!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Cool giveaway!

Here's a really cool giveaway you can join! Go over here (Joy for the Seasons blog) and you can sign up to win some of her handmade soaps. There are some great ones to choose from. What's really neat about these soaps is that all of the money she makes goes towards their adoption fund!

Good luck!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Goodbye 2010, welcome 2011

I can't believe we are already in a new year and the first day of January! I'm really excited about this year and what it has in store for us. Hopefully that will mean welcoming a baby home but if not, we know God has us exactly where He wants us!

The year end review-2010 version
  • January-We had our last homestudy meeting, the home inspection and learned it wasn't as bad as what we had thought!
  • February- Became officially approved and on the waiting list.
  • March-Went to Florida to visit our friends K and D after their failed match. Spent some time in Disney!
  • April-Tommy has a small surgery to get him back into normal rhythm. Decided to change churches; started attending a new plant church and helping out
  • May- Tommy's Dad has a stroke
  • June-School's out :) I take a "girl's trip" with Tommy's mom and Grandma to Biloxi, Mississippi before the oil strikes. After returning, Tommy, my mom and I do a "week long tour" of the Outer Banks.
  • July-Tommy and I spent a weekend away in Myrtle Beach, saw a show, and went shopping.
  • August-Our friends K and D from Florida come up for a visit. Lots of fun! School starts back
  • September-Tommy's Grandma loses her battle with cancer. We miss her so much!
  • October- We participate in the American Heart Association's heart walk and raise quite a bit of money to support ongoing research for heart defects. We have a family reunion and we go indoor sky diving for the first time.
  • November- We celebrated 11 years of marriage with a weekend to Savannah, GA.
  • December- We have a great time seeing family, friends, and enjoying the spirit of the season.

So here we are with a new year upon us. We don't make New Year's resolutions because they are quick to fade away. We want to continue to be good stewards of the things God has given us. We are so thankful that Tommy has had a good check-up for 9 months now! That's a pretty good stretch for him. We know the changes we've made in our diet have helped this (watch that sodium)! We want to continue to seek Him and follow what He would have us to do while we continue to wait.

Money--that seems to always come up at this time of year with resolutions. We want to continue to save and pay off our IF treatments. We've been following Dave Ramsey's Total Money Makeover (it's a great book if you haven't read it) and we use these budget forms every month to help us see where everything is going. I highly recommend them if you don't have one to use. If you're not creating a monthly budget, get on that now :)

I also started couponing in the spring and I'm really excited about continuing that this year. Tommy wants me to keep up with how much we save from the coupons this year. It was rare that we spent over $40 a week in groceries (including toiletries, laundry supplies etc). I hope we can continue that trend this year!

Happy New Year!