Thursday, May 1, 2014

He is Greater Than the Odds

Since infertility struck, I have become a very numbers centric girl. Statistics, cold hard facts, - a big dose of reality which often felt like a big slap in the face. I couldn't ignore the numbers, they taunted me. When we saw one of our first IVF doctors, we were told that we had a 10% chance of getting pregnant WITH treatments. It’s a pretty devastating number to hear, yet hope always prevails. But I think for self preservation purposes – I always quoted that statistic to myself and others, as a reminder to remain realistic, to keep my hopes under control. I didn't want to be disappointed if the treatments didn't work, I wanted to walk through the doors with a very cautiously optimistic attitude. That was always such a struggle for me, because I believe being hopeful and positive was equally important as being realistic. The odds simply were not in our favor. And the outcome aligned with that, after several failed treatments, we were not one of the lucky 10%.

Then the possibility of adoption came along, something we had considered but had to choose between the fertility treatments and adoption. And while the “success rates” were slightly better with adoption, they still weren't’ guaranteed let alone all that more impressive. So we took a gamble with the hopes that we would get multiple attempts with our one and only IVF cycle if we had frozen embryos.  Again, the odds were against us, but we took a gamble anyway, to no avail.

When I heard news of the adoption, it never occurred to me that we would once again be dealing with not so favorable stats.  After contacting our attorney, I was informed that there was a 70% chance that the adoption would not happen based on historical data. Statistics showed that 70% of first time teenage moms change their minds about adoption before the adoption is finalized.  So once again we were faced with a high risk factor, however this time our chances of success tripled to a mere a 30 % success rate.  As ridiculous as that sounds, I was still a bit hopeful that even with a mere 30%  chance of placing, we might finally become parents.

In hindsight the odds were against us at ever having a family. Of course people beat the odds everyday but when you’re dealing with your  health, your future, your dream (or shattered dreams) – the numbers just weren't looking good. Yet I now realize that our God, He is better than statistics or numbers. He knew it was our hearts desire to grow our family, and He made it happen, in spite of all the stupid statistics.

I know sometimes the numbers can be frightening. I realize between the statistics, the repeated failed cycles or placements, that the chances of growing your family seem to diminish by the day and look impossible. I want you to know that our God is greater than any odds out there. Keep your faith, keep praying, keep hope alive. I don’t care if you are 40 years old, if you have been trying for 10 years, if you are broke and don’t see how its financially possible. Just keep believing that if you have a dream in your heart, God will bring it to fruition. He will see you through it.

Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

I realize I have not posted in a very long long. So a quick sidebar…mommy hood is the most amazing thing that has ever happened to me, aside from marriage. Jacskon is a wonderful child with a very calm cool demeanor. He is a joy to be around! He is going to be  5 months old. He had both his lower two teeth come through last week, within days of each other. I am pretty certain his upper two will cut soon as well! He is a great sleeper, been sleeping through the night since 12 weeks old (we sleep trained) and he is a great eater too! He has been sick quite a bit since starting daycare, so I feel awful about that, but I suppose it’s to be expected.  I just don’t know where the days go. In the blink of an eye, he’s nearly half way to one year old. I definitely try to be in the moment and savor every second I get to be with him.   I promise my next post will be all about him! 

Friday, February 14, 2014

Freakishly Fantastic

When we first found out we were adopting, one of my biggest concerns and disappointments was that I was not going to be able to breastfeed Jackson. I consider myself to be a very healthy person, I won't consume dyes, GMO's and I eat mostly organic, usually grassfed. I despise prescription meds and use homeopathy whenever possible to stay healthy or heal my body. I understand and value the benefits of breast milk and was also aware of all of the crap they put in baby formula, including corn syrup (GMO), So if I wouldn't consume that myself, how would I have our child survive solely on formula the first 6 months of his life? I feverishly started researching donor milk banks and formulas, it was actually kind of depressing to say the least, almost all formulas contained things I wouldn't put in my own body, and the cost of (screened) donor milk was out of our budget.

One day while speaking with fairy godmother (Libby) - I told her how upset I was about not being able to breastfeed, it was nearly a deal breaker, I actually had considered not adopting because of it. She quickly let me know that I could breast feed. I was dumb founded, had no idea.....she said research it, so I did. And what a surprise! Women who have never had babies, or even those that had and dried up or gone through menopause, could bring in a milk supply through a process called induced lactation. You don't have to be fertile, of child bearing age or anything! Imagine the sheer shock and awe that struck over me! I thought to myself as freaking crazy as it sounds, it's absolutely fantastic!!!

After a bunch of research, I was again reconsidering whether I would go through the process of induced lactation. The long, intensive process called for hormones (birth control pills) and after everything that I had been through over the five years of infertility and trying to get my health back in check with my autoimmune disease(s), I decided I couldn't digress by manipulating my hormones (yet) again. The thought process was, I have to be in good health to care for my child, so if I put my body through the ringer to produce milk, but wasn't physically well, then I would be doing our son 

and family a disservice. So I was at an impass, torn between feeding him formula and jeopardizing my own well being to breastfeed. And while nutrition was a top priority, I was also most concerned with missing out on nurturing and bonding with our son. So I had many reasons to seriously consider finding a way to make breast feeding happen.

I continued to research and found out that while not as successful, I could still bring in a milk supply with out taking birth control pills. Once I discovered that option, the last hurdle was trying to determine how I would be able to breastfeed at the hospital. I didn't necessarily feel comfortable with sharing my plans with Halie, but there was no way to hide it either. The baby would be considered hers until she signed the papers and I wouldn't have a way to feed him privately anyway, so again I was concerned if it would be worth my months and months of countless hours of preparation if I wasn't going be able to attempt breast feeding in the hospital immediately after he was born, during 
the most critical time of establishing a bond and good latch. I also has to consider the fact that she 
could still change her mind about the adoption and there I would be grieving while lactating. Not an ideal situation.

As with every other aspect of this adoption however, the cards continued to fall perfectly into place and when the opportunity presented itself, the perfect ideal situation, I committed myself to making it happen. A couple months prior to Halie's due date, we were on our way to one of her appointments. During the drive she asked me if I knew I could breastfeed the baby. My jaw nearly hit the floor, as I was a) amazed she knew about this (her pregnancy counselor at school informed her and asked her if she thought I would be the type of person interested) and b) open to the idea of me doing so. We engaged in a bit of dialogue and after getting her approval - I quickly took the steps necessary to begin the process.

Step 1 - was to purchase or buy a hospital grade breast pump. I decided to rent one which 
approximately $150 for three months versus $1k to purchase, who knew those suckers were so expensive?! (No pun intended) I immediately began pumping very 2-3 hours every day.....and would continue to do so until baby arrived. In addition I purchased and started taking a bunch of supplements that help with milk production. I purchased most of them at whole foods or through my naturopath. Some of the supplements included mothers love, fennul Greek and moringa. The second day I pumped I had a clear liquid drop appear. Apparently our mammary glands store clear fluids to keep them primed and ready for a milk supply. So what I was seeing was not actually milk, but encouraging none the less. I saw a real slow natural progression. First I had a colostrum come in, (not the same as a pregnant women's, but a barren version. ) After that I started to see multiple drops of fluid that was not yet milk, but somewhere in between colostrum and milk. Because I was unable to pump at work, for a multitude of reasons, but primarily choice...I used hand expression during the work day and resumed to pumping in the evenings. I quickly learned that I actually produced more volume doing hand expression than I ever did with the hospital grade pump.

After over a month of the induction process, I was still only producing drops, not even enough to start saving and storing. It was encouraging that my body was doing something that it technically shouldn't be at the time, but it was also discouraging because I was nowhere close to a suitable supply to feed 
our son.

I was part of an online forum and quickly learned that there was a medication available that the side effects actually helped produced milk. The drug is domperidone and is actually sold over the counter in other countries  and used for digestive issues. The side effect increases prolactin levels which is ultimately responsible for milk production. After careful consideration, I decided that I would give it a try, as a last ditched and somewhat desperate measure. I ordered the meds online and they arrived within 2 weeks. Within a week or so of slowly increasing my dosage to get up to an effective level, I started to see a decent increase in supply. I was up to an ounce a day of creating and now storing milk. I couldn't believe that my body was cooperating for once, albeit through some minor manipulation.

I still wasn't producing enough to provide a full supply to Jackson, but also knew that some milk was 
better than none, and that when I began to bring him to the breast that my supply would eventually increase. Just like with any mother that has given birth, it's a supply and demand cycle, so the more I fed him, the more milk I would produce.

I did have to supplement after a week of exclusively breast feeding, and I chose to use the lact-aid supplemental nursing system (SNS) to do so. This system allowed me to feed him at the breast while simultaneously providing him formula through a small tube that was taped to my breast and he would get formula from while feeding from me. And if your interested, after tons of research, I decided to go with Baby's Only Organic Formula. While it's not perfect, or breast milk, it was the best formula on the market that I could find.

A week after coming home from the hospital all of us became ill. I was sick for over 2 weeks, and hubby and Jackson were sick for over 5 days. It presented challenges for us with feeding. Jackson and I both got frustrated so I resorted to expressing and adding it to his bottles. I began to feel awful about
 not bf'ing and remembered all the reasons why I chose to breastfeed, and it wasn't 100% for nutrition. So after I felt better and spoke with my doctor, I decided to go back to breast feeding, however I chose to breast feed for 15 minutes and then bottle feed afterward for 15 minutes. Fortunately Jackson didn't have issues with nipple confusion and I keep him on a slow flow nipple, so he doesn't get used to a faster flow and start rejecting the breast. This was the best case scenario for us. While the lactaid is a wonderful invention, it was simply too cumbersome and time consuming for me personally.

Most of my friends and family know that I went through this process and that Jackson is breastfeed. I have received a tremendous amount of support from everyone that I have shared with. I do know however that there are adoptive moms who have been criticized for wanting to and/or successfully breast feeding their adoptive child. I cannot possibly imagine why anyone would have any Issues With such a natural and beautiful exchange between a mother and child...not to mention all the benefits of breastfeeding.  Jackson's pediatrician was so super impressed by my attempt and success that I am actually the talk of his office (and proud).

I am sharing my story because I want to spread awareness about adoptive breastfeeding and how 
induced lactation is possible. It's been happening for many years (look up wet nurses) and I am proud and honored to say that I am still breastfeeding our 2 month old son. It's something  I never thought I would be able to do, especially with a child that is not biologically mine. If you know someone who is adopting please be sure to let them know this is an option. I am forever grateful that my dear friend Libby let me know that I could and encouraged me to do so.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me....I would be happy to share more details.
With all of that said, motherhood is amazing, I hope to get back to blogging more regularly now that I feel like I have this mommy hood thing down better.

Happy Valentines Day!!!

Monday, December 30, 2013

Dear Jackson,

Dear Jackson,

Twenty one days ago my life was altered in ways that have deeply penetrated the core of my existence. Daddy and I didn't just welcome home a happy, healthy baby boy... it wasn't neither that simple, nor as amazing as being blessed with my hearts desires. My dear son, it was so much more than that. It was beyond wanting you for 5 years, it much more than the medical tests and treatments, it was so profound it changed me from the inside out. Wanting you, longing for you, praying for you, it all changed me on so many levels. And when we finally, finally brought you home, when that day finally arrived, it was greater than anything that has or will ever happen to me again in my life.  Marrying your father, he was the first best thing. Bringing you home, that was the second best thing. You two together, you complete me.

I don't know if I will ever be able to put into words how my heart feels. Some things can only be felt. But I will always do my best to share with you how I feel, to communicate all the emotions that fill my heart and the words that occupy my mind.

I was really worried that by loving you, I would be taking away some of my love for daddy.....silly me. Little did I know my heart would swell, double it's size, to accommodate the love I have for both of you, I didn't have to take away from him to give to you...or vice versa.....I just allowed the love to flow and there is so much space for both of you, with extra to spare! There are no limitations on love, it is endless, it is boundless. You will one day know what I mean by this.

Since I have met you, my life is so different. You have become the center of our everything - our life as a family is so wonderful. We eat, sleep and breath differently because of you. Imagine our home filled with love by your daddy and me and the puppies, and then imagine taking that same 
beautiful home and adding more love to it. We smile bigger and brighter because of you. We gawk over you, we are smitten with you and we are so very proud of you. You truly are our pride and joy.

There are so many people who love you, your family, our friends, your birth mom and her family, you are surrounded by love. You fairy godmother comes to visit often, she was at the hospital when you were born and she will always be a part of your life. You are often wrapped in her baby blanky that her dear grandma Jiggs knitted for her. You are always surrounded by and wrapped in love.

Everyone warned me how fast the time would go, and I couldn't imagine it going by so fast with so little sleep and long endless days.....but it's true, the minutes and days fly by, and before I knew it, it has been three weeks. And soon it will be a month....I'm trying hard to stay in the moment because 
they escape me way to fast as it is, without jumping ahead on my own. The moment is where it is. It's where I get lost in your being, your smell, your cute little noises you make, you cooing while eating, squeezing my finger...our skin to skin time, bonding, every single moment your awake I just want to spend it loving on you.

You are such a great eater and sleeper. You eat every 3 hrs during the day and every 3-4 hrs at night. You pretty much sleep, eat and play for short amounts of time. Initially I was lucky to keep you up 2-5 minutes. Now you are alert for 30 minutes to an hour sometimes. You love to fall asleep on daddy's chest, he falls asleep too. Mommy likes to snap photos when this happens. I wish I could capture every single minute of your life on film, but that goes against me being in the moment, if I am always behind the camera, I am not always being in the moment. So while there are lots of pictures, I sometimes forget to take them, because I am enjoying just being with you.

We spent our first Christmas together as a family! Your grandma & grandpa Corica came to visit. 

Unfortunately you, daddy and I were all sick. We caught bad colds and gave them to each other, I was so heart broken and scared when you got sick.....but you healed really fast. That nosefrida and essential oils were life savers! Mommy is still recovering, I hope to be back to 100% soon so I can give nothing but my very best to caring for you. Regardless, you made this the best Christmas I have ever had.  You are living proof that what matters most is not what's under the Christmas tree.

Jackson, you have rocked our worlds. I look forward to every minute of every day. When I wake up and see you, it makes my heart smile. When I hold your small fragile body and realize you depend on me for so many of your basic needs, I feel so honored to be the person you chose to care for you. I love you ....and your daddy, well he loves you too. Together we share yet one other thing in common, our unconditional love for you.

In one breath I wish I could freeze time and keep you this little forever, yet in the next breath, I look forward to watching you grow, to sharing many more special moments with you. Little man, you didn't just fill a void in my heart or an empty room in the showed me that dreams do 
come true, that with faith and prayer, anything is possible. To never lose sight or hope - that God will always fill our hearts desires...He has given me a testimony that I will share and cherish forever, the testimony and gift of you, my son.

I love you always Jax, 


The gift of a son.....

God answered our prayers and sent Haile our way
To carry our child and take our heartache away
It was just when we had truly surrendered
That such an amazing gift was rendered...

Honored is just one of a million ways to describe how we feel
For receiving a blessing that still seems surreal
Our child is growing inside of her tummy
But one day soon he will call me mommy

Thanks be to God and all of you who prayed
Sometimes there's a reason the answers to our prayers are delayed.
He knew all along how our story would unfold...
And now that it has, I love hearing it told...

"Not flesh of my flesh"

Not flesh of my flesh
Nor bone of my bone,
But still miraculously my own.
Never forget for a single minute,
You didn't grow under my heart,
But in it.

 Author: Fleur Conkling Heyliger

Sent from my iPad
Friday, December 13, 2013

And Then There Was Three

 I have always dreamt of having a family. When that reality became less likely, I had to grieve the idea of ever having children… of having our very own family. I embraced living life as two, with my wonderful husband. The mere fact that he was my knight, made it easier to accept. We were living a good life. We had found true love and while it was a tough pill to swallow that we weren’t going to get to share that love with children of our own, it was ok. I have always trusted that God had a plan for us, I just had to learn to surrender to that plan. So after many years of trying to control the outcome, I finally folded. I embraced what was, and stopped trying to control what would be. I learned to love what we already had instead of trying to ask for more.

So as I sit here looking at our beautiful son Jackson, I just smile and often times cry tears of joy. I think I cry more often now out of happiness than I ever did out of sorrow. It doesn’t take much…a thought, a look, an idea…and I lose it. My heart was already full, now it spills over. That’s where the tears come from, I cannot contain the joy. There is still some sadness in my heart. I do acknowledge that our new found joy is another families loss. Not loss in the sense of ever knowing him, but loss in the sense of grieving what could have been if she was able to parent him. I sense and feel what that must be like for them... I know it cannot be easy and so my heart aches for them.

On Monday December 9th,  Halie was checked into the hospital to begin the induction process. Our son was scheduled to arrive on Tuesday December 10th. For those of you who know me, I am a numbers girl. The numbers 1201 have repeated themselves my entire life. While this is not an exact sequence match, I was thrilled to see he was being born on that day, 12.10.

Halie was zero percent dilated at her Dr appointment earlier that day, so she was admitted the evening  around 8:00 pm before induction to begin the dilation process. It took her until 4:00 am to become 3 centimeters. We figured it was going to be a while. Except when the nurse checked her at 7:00am, she was already 10 cm! Frank had spent the night at home with the pups, and planned on coming up to the hospital that morning of induction. I spent the night along with Halie and her mom and the biological father. The hospital staff was amazing, they were kind enough to provide Frank and I with our own room, which allowed for privacy on both ends. I wanted Halie to be able to rest before and after birth. I wanted to breastfeed and needed privacy for that (I can write another blog on this, but short story is I successfully induced lactation in the months leading up to his birth and am currently breast feeding him). Halie was in support of it and encouraged me to do so, so she understood that meant that I would have to keep him with me most of the time after his birth in order to feed every 2 hours. Thankfully we had the privacy to do so, and the support needed. The lactation and nursery nurses all helped tremendously. They treated me as the mother although I didn’t physically have the baby. Halie was also treated wonderfully, the staff attended to her needs equally as well.

Around 7:00 am I had to let Frank know he needed to step it into gear after I went to the delivery room and Halie’s Ob/Gyn asked how far away Frank was, as calmly as she could…. me knowing exactly what that meant, she was going to be having the baby very soon. Libby, our little fairy godmother,  had swung by that morning on her way to work,  just to say hello when she got caught up in the excitement and ended up staying until after he arrived. How fitting it was to have her there, when she was the one who informed me of this possible adoption to begin with. God used her as one of his angels and he continued to put her in the perfect place at the perfect time. She was meant to be part of this fairy tale happy ending story from day one.

I was in the delivery room for the birth, along with Halie’s mother. We coached her through the hard labor and I witnessed the miraculous birth of our son. I felt so honored that Halie allowed me to be there through this entire process from beginning to very end. It was one of my wishes and she made it come true. To think that I was able to go to every single Dr appointment and sonogram with her, what a blessing.  And the blessings just kept pouring down on us. Halie and I made a birth plan together and part of it included me cutting the umbilical cord and holding him first after he was delivered. Frank was not in the delivery room but came in as soon as she was cleaned up, he just made t there on time! He held him next. Then Halie and her mom both held him. That little boy was loved by so many already! Libby came to the room when Frank did and was allowed to hold him as well. This was the part of the story where all past disappointments and hurts were quickly erased by this little gift sitting before our eyes. It didn’t matter all the sudden that we had to wait 5 years to meet him.

Much of what happened from there forward felt like this crazy whirlwind. I lost all concept of time, my new reality was beginning yet my mind couldn’t even keep up with how quickly our lives had changed, one quick minute, @ 9:15 am and all the sudden, there was three . I sat there and cried in sheer joy, on so many occasions. As I was doing the push count for Halie, and I would look to see his head crowning, I would choke up and could barely count.  As I stared at him lying in his hospital bassinet, I cried. But when it really hit me, was when I drove home from the hospital with him in the backseat, realizing that he was really coming home, that this precious little boy was really going to be ours in a few short hours.

Halie’s ob/gyn and Jacksons pediatrician both agreed to release them after 24 hrs of birth, but the adoption paperwork couldn’t legally be signed until 48hrs after birth based on state laws, so while he was released to go home with us, we still had to wait another 16 hrs for it to be official.

Halie stuck to the birth plan 100%, I never really doubted her, but I also had to protect myself and remind myself that it was a possibility. So I was prepared to mentally face whatever the end result was going to be. And either way, our lives were going to drastically change, so you can truly never be prepared for what was about to happen.  You will always hear me brag about what a beautiful soul she has. She was so mature and consistent, not once changing her mind or steering away from the original plan. I am not sure I have ever met or will ever meet anyone quite like her.

At 9:30 am Thursday morning, I received a text from Halie’s mom, letting me know that the paperwork had been signed and the attorneys office was on their way to our house to have us finish signing. It was real, it was done, he was ours.

We had looked into adoption during our Infertility journey and had come to a decision point where we chose fertility treatments over adoption due to the high cost of both and only being able to choose one or the other. We took a gamble and while at the time, it appeared we had rolled the wrong dice, that simply wasn’t the case. I believe in my heart that the reason we didn’t get pregnant all this time was because Jackson was meant to be our son.

He is beautiful, he is perfect, he completes us, in every way. We were a lovely little family of two,  and after many years of yearning,  struggling, grieving and hurting, we are now a perfect family of three. 

Friday, November 22, 2013

Until Proven Otherwise

Last year at this time I was PUPO - it's an acronym in the infertility world for Pregnant Until Proven Otherwise. We had returned home from our two week IVF vacation to Barbados. We were eagerly waiting to take our pregnancy test and find out what the future had in store for us.

If you would have told me that the test would be negative, yet we would be only a couple weeks away from meeting our son, I would have never believed you. I wouldn't have seen how it was possible that we could have adopted so soon after a failed cycle when we had pretty much decided to live child free if the cycle indeed failed. We were tapped out, physically, emotionally and financially - but looking back, never spiritually. For some reason I knew in my heart, even in the midst of the disappointment and hurt that God had plans for us and that He wanted something even more amazing for us then we could even imagine in our own minds. And while knowing that and trusting in it are two completely different things, I was willing to take the gamble. Trusting in that brought me peace and comfort, where doubt and lack of faith only brought about fear, anxiety, heartache and sadness. So I put my heart in His hands. 

It's unusual being in a situation where you have been connected  with the birth mom since her news of finding out she was pregnant. It's like "we" are pregnant via her. I would imagine it feels to me what it feels like for dads when their wife or significant other is carrying their child. It's the next best thing to being physically pregnant..... lucky...... grateful.....some women only dream of being able to have this experience. I will be able to tell him I knew him and watched him grow in her belly. Does it really change anything in the grand scheme of things? Probably not. But it feels like a gift and privilege to be here today. To have been to every single appointment. To go to the hospital and anxiously await his arrival. To meet him for the very first time.

The time has flown by for us. Not for Halie, she is beyond ready. Her body aches, mostly her back and hips. She can't sleep anymore. She is just ready. I understand that. Halie is on the waiting list to be induced the week of December 9th. Our lives are getting ready to change drastically and I finally feel ready (as ready as I am going to be). Sleep will certainly be a thing of the past, so will many of our child-free lifestyle luxuries. However there will be no more wanting or wishing or wondering what life would have been like as a family, with a child. The past 5 years will have been worth every ounce of heartache and pain. There is no amount of sleep that could be better than holding your child, smelling his baby scent, and loving on him for the rest of his life.

Perhaps we were never pregnant, we were proven otherwise. But perhaps we were proven otherwise what being pregnant actually looked like. 

Thursday, October 31, 2013

An Unobstructed View

Halie and I completed our four week birthing classes last Thursday night. The classes were fun and I really enjoyed my time with her, although there were a few occasions that I felt bad for her. The class is couple centric and so there were some situations where we role played  the labor and all the hubby's were sway dancing with their pregnant wives and there stood Halie and I. I still did it for her, but it was definitely awkward. 

Halie has never once complained and has remained consistent through out this entire pregnancy. She has handled herself with grace and poise, I am really impressed with her maturity considering it all. I'm not sure how to feel about the fact that she has not changed her mind once throughout the entire process, I am inclined to feel thankful. Remember the lawyers office warned us upfront 70% of first time moms change their minds. By the grace of God, I still don't worry about this possibility. As I have said time and time again, if nothing more happened than we saved lamb chops life and got Halie through this pregnancy, then so be it, we have done what He has asked us to do.

On our last night of birthing class, our instructor Linda, who we hope is our nurse, stayed behind to help us go over the birth plan. She provided some guidance as neither Halie or I know what takes place in labor & delivery. We finished the birth plan and just need to meet with the L&D Director to wrap up some of the final details. 

Halie has a Dr appointment this Thursday and every week hereafter until lambchop arrives. She is due December 9th, but is going to ask to be induced sooner, I am not sure what the Dr's policy is on this, but from what I understand, they allow it up to a week early, without medical reason. If it gets approved, then he could be here by December 2nd. In all honesty, I hope they don't - but I understand why Halie wants a bit of more controlled situation, so I don't blame her for wanting to be induced. I have read the risks of doing so and there are risks for both mom and the baby, so it makes me a bit apprehensive. 

My nesting instincts (or panic) have kicked in. Less than five weeks is enough to make any expecting mom & dad squirm a little. I feel so unprepared, yet we have made much progress with our home study, setting up my registry and began arranging for a replacement at work while I am out. We also began cleaning out the nursery and I'm trying to finish reading some baby books that were loaned to me.

Right now, our top priorities are to finish some more paperwork before our homestudy next week. To purchase our pack & play and car seat to bring lambchop home in and have a place for him to sleep, and to purchase and pack our hospital (diaper) bag. I'm glad that I typed that out, because in my head it seems like so much more, but in reality we can get that all done next weekend. 

We have chosen his name, we just have to come up with a middle name. Hopefully
that is easier and less time than his first name took. As of now, we are not sharing his name. I like the surprise element! 

I was driving to work the other morning, looking across the field at the sunrise, it was unobstructed view. It reminded me of this adoption journey and how it appears to be so similar as the extended view across the fields....we have been privileged to the same unobstructed view of lamb chops journey into this world. Halie has allowed me to take her to every single Dr appointment, go through birthing classes together and spend time with her regularly, I cannot begin to express the thankfulness and gratitude in my heart as we begin the final month of waiting for our little one, as he grows inside his momma's belly and prepares to make his arrival into this world and our lives. 

Sent from my iPad
Saturday, October 5, 2013


It's pretty surreal to sit here on the patio watching the sunset on this beautiful early October evening and imagine that in fifty six days we could be meeting and bringing our son home, who, by the way, remains nameless right now.

Fifty six days!!!

I am growing more and more anxious as the days quickly pass by and the baby becomes the center of our daily lives and future plans. Appointments, researching car seats and feeding options, it's all I live and breathe these days. I feel like I should have it all figured out by now, yet I don't. I feel like we are taking so many steps to prepare, yet we are so unprepared. I feel like we have been waiting a lifetime to meet our son, yet we just celebrated our fifth wedding anniversary in August.

Halie and I began birthing classes last night and today we went to her thirty week appointment. Saturday we will get to see the little one on a screen in 4D imaging, a gift from Halies mom to us.  We are so excited to see him again, it's been some time since our last sonogram.

Halie has experienced a great pregnancy. No issues, no morning sickness....she does have back discomfort but for the most part that's it. I am happy for her that she didn't have to suffer through the pregnancy although I think she's ready for it to be over soon. She is very afraid of labor and the pains, I would be to, honestly. I wish she didn't have to go through that, but she will. And while I can't take away any of her physical and emotional pain she will experience...I will do my best to ease her mind and heart in any way I can before, during and after the adoption. I believe the best gift we can give her is the absolute certainty that she made the right decision when she chose us. I want her to feel confident in her heart and mind that her baby boy will be deeply loved and cared for.

We have a few things to wrap up in the upcoming weeks. We need to finalize our birthing plans and also discuss what the open adoption will look like. "Open adoption" is a loose term, it could mean sending pictures and updates, or it could mean actual visits in addition to the updates. Halie and I will try to figure out what ours will look like. She and her family will absolutely be seeing the that I have met and bonded with them, I simply cannot see my life without them, baby or not. I love Halie and her mom. I love lambchop. I love that she has chosen us to parent her son. I love how God has beautifully orchestrated every detail of this story. I love my husband for having the courage and love to walk this path with me.

Adoption is not for the faint at heart. I have never felt more vulnerable in my life, we take risks every day with our hearts, but for some reason this feels like the biggest leap of faith I have ever taken....I have never felt more vested, aside from marriage. Yet it's also the biggest test of faith there is, knowing that your heart can be crushed in ways it never has before, but also knowing that God will be there by your side no matter what. I visualize us standing on the edge of a cliff, God in the center, holding both our hands, and jumping with us. He has been with us every step of the way and will continue to be for the rest of our days.

“Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.”  ― Corrie ten Boom