Wednesday, July 21, 2010

2 Years Ago Today....

I've been thinking about how to continue this blog-and if I even would continue it after we met our beautiful little boy. It's purpose when I started was to get "down on paper" all that I was feeling when it came to our struggle to build our family. Now that our beautiful little boy is in our life-it seems as though the purpose is over....well maybe the original purpose. Now I think its going to take on a new roll of how we are doing as a a family of 3 (and 2 furry family members as well.)

Yesterday when I was talking on the phone to a sweet friend of mine who is pregnant with her first...we were talking about infertility a bit and how I tried my hardest to not let it take over my life. I tried to continue my life as normal-or as normal as it could be. To me infertility wasn't going to win. I would be a mom-I knew that was God's plan for me-just how was going to be a little bit different. While we were talking I was thinking back about the day Mike and I found out we would never have a biological child of our own. (Please note-as Oprah once said-"Biology is the least of which makes you a mother.") I was remembering that day and how it was filled with so much sadness-and then it popped into my head-it was 2 years ago-to the date that we had found out about our infertility. At that moment I looked down at my beautiful little boy who was sleeping in my arms and I told her-that none of what I went through mattered because of how blessed we are with Jeremiah. I would go through all of those feelings again in a heartbeat to get him. The hurt, the anger, frustration, confusion, emptiness-all of it-WORTH IT! He is by far the best thing that has ever happened to us.

2 years ago today-I thought our lives were over....but in reality that was God's way of closing a chapter in our lives and starting a new one. A new chapter on adoption-one that is going to be open for a long time-as we continue to build our family this way.

So-as I remember that day-I do feel a bit of sadness in my heart because I remember how much sadness we felt-but then I look at it and tell God thank you...without that day-we would never have been given the most amazing gift of all....our son.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Jeremiah Paul....Part III

I'm sorry-life is crazy busy right now...but here is the final excerpt to Jeremiah's "entrance" into our lives.

We were driving to Florida-it was about a 5 hour drive from where he had flown into. Traffic was horrible...and all I could think about was why weren't we called and is this a sign of what is to come-i.e BM will change her mind. Eventually around 9:00 after we had been in the car for a few hours and I realized that we weren't going to get to FL until about 1:00 am if not a little later-I called J. I asked her what we were supposed to do...go right to the hospital-or wait until morning. Of course I wanted to go-but we hadn't met "E" yet-and I didn't know if Jeremiah would be in the room with her or in the nursery or what. She said to wait until morning-that E's social worker would meet us there first thing. we drove...the LONGEST drive EVER. We got to our hotel in FL at about 1:30 in the morning...unpacked a bit....and crashed. I was surprised-I slept-but I did-hard. I was emotionally drained...but I woke up early the next morning-waited for E's social worker to call me.

She called and said she would meet us at the hospital at 10:00...perfect...Mike and I got to the hospital a bit before we had picked up a bouquet of flowers for E and we waited....and waited..and waited...and her social worker walked in at 10:45!!! 45 minutes late-and acted like it wasn't a big deal!!! UM-WE ARE MEETING OUR SON...COULD YOU AT LEAST TRY AND BE ON TIME!!! (I didn't say it-but wanted to). She gave me some crazy excuse and we got in the elevator. We got to the L&D suites. My heart was pounding. Jeremiah was in the room with "E". "L"-the social worker turned to us and said-as much as this is emotional-focus on "E" not you or the baby. Ok-don't misunderstand-I know this is about her...but I'm about to meet my son for the first time-and you are telling me to not focus on that...WHAT!?!!? UGH! So in we went....E was in bed watching TV and Jeremiah was sleeping in his bassinet.

We looked at "E" and my eyes started to fill with tears. I didn't know what to say-or how to act. We had talked on the phone many many times-but seeing her was different. "E" picked up Jeremiah-and held him for a few minutes....I didn't ask to hold him-I wanted her to give him to me when she was ready. She started talking to us...and after a few minutes-it was like we had known her forever. "L" was there for a bit-and "E" handed Jeremiah to "L" who then handed him to me....and I immediately started crying. I looked down at this beautiful baby boy and couldn't believe that he was finally here. I remember asking "E" if I could take his hat off...and she looked at me and said "hun-he's your can do whatever you want!" I took off his little hat-and there in front of me was thick black curly hair....LOTS OF HAIR!!! I couldn't believe it! I just stared at him....he eventually woke up a bit and just stared at me. After a bit I handed him to Mike-who of course started crying as well...he was holding his son....the one he had waited for for SO LONG.

After a bit-"E" went for a walk around the hospital and left us alone with Jeremiah...and then the tears started flowing. I cried and cried and just held that little boy in my arms and just told him how much I loved him. He looked at me with his big brown eyes and I said...."I'm your mommy." The amount of love I had for him was unbelievable. I didn't know it was possible to love someone SO MUCH SO FAST!! But I did.

We got to spend the entire day with "E" in the hospital. Talking with her-getting to know her better-taking lots and lots of pictures with her and Jeremiah together. It was so wonderful to spend that time with her. We talked about her other children and her family. She is so amazing! I love her so much!!!

After her social worker left...the entire story about her L&D came out. Here's a brief summary:

Friday night-her contractions started-about every 45 minutes apart. Nothing to be to excited about. She went to bed-woke up on Saturday-they were about every 20-30 minutes apart-again nothing to exciting. She had called her SW on Friday to let her know that she was having contractions because in case anything happened during the night-her SW had agreed to come and pick her up and drive her to the hospital. Sat. morning she called and told her SW that they were 20-30 minutes apart-and she would keep her posted-if they got any closer throughout the day. At 2:00 on the dot-they hit every 5 she knew it was time. She called her SW to ask her to come get her-and her SW told her to call her dr. "E" was pissed. She knew it was time to go-and her SW said she had stuff going on-so that she should call her dr. to make sure he wanted her to come in right away. ARE YOU SERIOUS!!!!!!!!! UGH!! I'm fuming as she's telling me this. (Mind you...we still haven't been called or told she is having contractions-even though-"E" wanted me there for L&D)

E gets ahold of her dr. her dr. says YES-COME IN-NOW! (Her previous labor was 5 he knew she didn't have much time.) By this time its shortly before 3:00. She calls her social worker 5 times....and SHE DOESN'T ANSWER!!! WHO DOES THAT?!?! So at 4:00 she calls a cab. "E" gets in the cab-gets to the hospital at 4:20 and Jeremiah was born at 4:32. Yes-he was a stoplight away from being born in a cab! "E" social worker didn't even get to the hospital unti 6:45 that night-Jeremiah was 2 hours old. So not only did she take a cab to the hospital...but she was lone during Delivery. BROKE MY HEART-and let me tell you-I WAS NOT HAPPY! "E" had called her oldest daughter to tell her that he had been born-around 5:30. Hence why when I called her house-we were told he had already been born. When we got the call from "J" that he had been born-that was because her social worker had just gotten to the hospital and confirmed that-yes indeed he was here. She told us all of that after her SW left. My mind was racing and I was so irritated. They made her feel like she was nothing and not important! I was NOT IMPRESSED AT ALL.
Fast forward...

After we were there most of the day-we told her we were going to let her get some rest and I wanted her to spend time with Jeremiah. I wanted her to take the time she needed with him. She had told me that hindsight-since I wasn't there for the delivery-it was kind of good for her because she was able to spend the night with him and tell him everything she needed to say. She said she knew he didn't understand-but it gave her peace. So for that-I'm grateful. God works in mysterious ways-and he knew what "E" needed-and so he provided her with that time. Am I said I missed the birth of my son-Absolutely-but am I grateful that she got that time with him-DEFINITELY. I wouldn't take that time away from her at all.

We left around 4:30-and we told her we would come back around 6:30 and bring her dinner. By this time our SW and the director of the agency had called and said they were going to be there at 8:00. (That was after they were supposed to be there at 2:00 and called at 4:15 and said they were coming at 8:00 instead.) So we left-went and did some shopping for food for the week and went back to the hotel...made a few phone calls. We went back to the hospital around 6:30-and "E" decided what she wanted for supper. Mike went to get it and "E" and I got some time together. It was really nice-we talked a lot-and she kept telling me how grateful she was for us. (SERIOUSLY!AMAZING!!) After a bit Mike came back and soon the Dir of the agency and our social worker came in. The dir. brought with her 13 year old son...WEIRD and he proceeded to eat most of "E" dinner...RUDE! Ugh-that was rude in and of itself...but whatever. After they left "E" said-was it weird to you-that he came with? Umm...yes-definitely.

We said our goodbyes shortly after-the dir. of the agency told us that papers would be signed at 10:00 am the next morning. So...we left after kissing our little one goodbye and hugging "E". We told her we would be back in the morning-and we could bring her breakfast-since she has stated hospital food-was terrible. We got to the hospital at 9:30..."E" had been moved. (Minor panic attack-when we get to her old room and its empty!) They directed us to her new room-we went down there and talked with her for a bit. We had about 20 minutes before they were supposed to be there to sign the papers. We talked with "E" for awhile-and told her how much we loved her and that Jeremiah was ALWAYS going to know about her and how much she loved him. We gave her the diamond necklace that we had bought her-and for the first time since we had met her-she started to cry a bit. Not much...but a little-very rarely did she show emotion-instead-she kept me strong...because she knew-my heart was breaking for her-while it was bursting for joy at the same time.

This is when the day goes down hill.....

Jeremiah hadn't been circumsized yet. The dr. had come up earlier in the morning...but couldn't do it because Mike and I weren't there to sign off on the procedure since our ins. would cover it etc. (legalities legalities.) So they told us that he would come back around noon to do it-sounds good. The nurse told "E" that even though papers were going to be signed-she could stay at the hospital until Jeremiah was discharged if she wanted...PERFECT!

10:00 rolls around...they aren't there yet....11:00...nothing....finally I call-they said they are running a little behind-but they will be there shortly. I said ok-well he is going to be circumsized shortly-and then he has to stay for 3 hours after. So "E" wants to leave the same time he does. So that would be around 3:30. Her social worker said-oh...let me call you back. Keep in mind-that knowing they were supposed to be there at 10:00 "E" couldn't have any pain killers for her pain. She calls back and tells me-that won't work-that those in the office have personal things going on-and if she wants a ride home from them-they have to come around noon and than do the papers. "E" is not happy-RIGHTFULLY SO!!! All she wanted was to leave the same time he does. She said "I came in with him-I want to leave with him." That was her one wish! So to make things easier-Mike and I decided we would just have him circumsized later in the week-at the clinic. Not ideal-but it was better for "E". (Although-I was SO PISSED AT THE AGENCY AT THIS POINT-I ALMOST LOST IT!) So we call the agency back and say-come at noon-we can do it then-and "E" is ok with that. So fine-it's settled-we'll be there at noon. "E" looks at me and says you know....this is the devil. This is supposed to be a good day for you-and a day for me that is hard-but good-because I know he is going to a good loving home. This is the devil trying to ruin our day. (AGAIN-AMAZING! She has so much love and trust for God!)

Noon comes and goes....
I call-no answer
4:15 here they come walking through the door! ARE YOU KIDDING ME!!!!! WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN?!?!! And they all walked in like there sh** didn't stink. They never apologized for making us wait....even though poor "E" hadn't had anything for pain since 4 am-because they were going to be there at NOON! Not to mention-we could have had Jeremiah circumsized there-but no-we rescheduled when in reality we didn't need to.

At 4:30 we were moved to separate rooms. My heart began to race. While at the time my gut was telling me she would sign....I was scared. What if she couldn't do it. What if she decided she was going to try to parent. I was shaking...sick to my stomach-ready to puke.

About 15 minutes later...Our social worker came in and said..."Congratulations." I cried...and I cried...and Cried in Mike's arms. A bit later-we signed our papers...and walked across the hall and gaver "E" a hug. Jermiah was sleeping in his bassinet peacefully. She was looking at him. I picked him up and told her that she should hold him for awhile. So she did. She held him and talked to him...I was standing next to her-and pretty soon she stood up from the bed and came over to me. She looked at him and said "You be a good boy. And always know how much I love you." heart broke. I just started crying and crying. I told her that he will always know how much he is loved by her and that he will ALWAYS know who you are. She hugged me and said thank you.

We packed up our things-strapped Jeremiah into his carseat..and started walking down the halls and out the door. They had "E" get into the car first...we got into our car shortly after. At about 5:30 we got back to the hotel...and I cried...I just looked at this beautiful baby boy and cried-I was a mommy. FINALLY. He was ours.

We spent the next 4 days wondering when ICPC would go through. On Friday afternoon we got the call at 4:30 that we could go home. PRAISE THE LORD!!!!! We were so excited to go home!!! Even though we had only been there a week-we were so excited. BUT...I wanted to see "E" one more time. I called her-to see how she was doing and asked if she wanted to meet for supper on Friday night-she said she really wanted to. And was glad I called. So we met for supper Friday night...took a lot more pictures...cried a bit more and we said our goodbyes.

Saturday morning we packed up the hotel and made our way out of state. Sunday we flew back and Jeremiah was greeted by a lot of family and friends. He was so loved by so many already...the little boy that we had been waiting for-was finally home.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Jeremiah Paul...Part 2

I've been told I've left you guys hanging! So here you go-part 2:

I sat in my sisters room sobbing. Uncontrollably crying-I was so sad. I had such a bad feeling overwhelm me. I took a few minutes to try and gather myself and then remembered that I had our social workers cell number. I knew she was out of town for thanksgiving-but there was no way I couldn't call her to find out why they hadn't called us to tell us what was going on. So at about 6:40 pm. I called "J."

"J": Hello....
Me: J it's Erin...I just called "E's" house and was told she had the baby!!! WHY DIDN'T YOU CALL ME?!!?! You were supposed to call as soon as she went into labor and I have to call her house to find out that she has already had the baby! J what is going on?!?! (Yes-I was borderline screaming)
"J" Wait? What? She already had the baby? I'm out of town-and No one has called me. Erin-take a breath-and try and relax-I'll call you right back after I make a few phone calls.
ME: OK-please hurry.

About 5 minutes later-she calls me back. Trust me that 5 minutes felt like an ETERNITY. She says "E" didn't have the baby-but she is in labor-get in your car and start driving. She said she would call me if she delivers before we get there. I knew we were about 5-6 hours away-I knew if she hadn't had the baby-I was going to miss the delivery. She said everything was ok-but that she is labor-so get there as soon as we can. So-we repack the car we had just unpacked a few hours to the nearest gas station.....fill up and hit the road.

At 7:14 pm We got the call I will never forget. "Erin this is "J" Congratulations You have a beautiful baby boy. Everyone is fine, baby is perfect and beautiful and "E" is doing great! I sobbed. Poor Mike was driving and didn't know right away what was going on. Eventually I managed to ask J a few other questions-and hung up. We were in the middle of crazy traffic and all I wanted was to hug Mike. But-we waited until we made a stop to get gas. :) In the back of my mind though I'm still wondering why weren't we called? What happened that there was confusion on her having delivered or not delivered? After all-wouldn't the person at her home know if she had had the baby???? One would think!

To Be Continued.....

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Jeremiah Paul.....Part 1

I want to start this post with an apology-I have not posted in quite sometime-as I have been extremely busy taking care of a beautiful baby boy. Yes-I am now a mommy. A mommy to the most amazingly beautiful little boy that I have ever seen. This is going to be a lengthy post-so I'm going to break it down into a few parts.

Here are the important facts:
Name: Jeremiah Paul
Born: November 28th
Time: 4:32 PM
Weight: 6 Pounds 15 ounces
Length: 20 inches

Part 1

Thanksgiving at our house was eventful....we were hosting thanksgiving dinner as well as packing up for our what could be 2+ weeks to meet and bring back our beautiful baby boy. So in between preparing a turkey and all the fixings, I was packing onsies, socks, sleepers, bottles and all that one would need to take care of a baby. We were leaving the next morning to drop off our pups...which let me tell you-was hard. I cried-won't even lie. We drove a few hours to an airport to save BIG $$$$ on airline tickets. So Friday afternoon we get to my parents house-hang out with them-attempt to get some sleep although I was VERY EXCITED for the next day. We flew into Atlanta where my wonderful sister lives-her and her husband let us borrow there car for the what was going to be a few weeks. We get to the airport-get through security with out to much trouble....board the plane and fly out. We get to my sisters at approximately 4:00 pm on the 28th. (If you were paying attention to the Time of Birth-you will see that Jeremiah would be making his appearance shortly there after.) "E" had asked me to be in the delivery room with her-and so the social workers had strict instructions to call us AS SOON as there were any signs of labor-or as soon as she called to say she was in labor.

We settle in for the night-throw a pizza in the oven at my sisters and start visiting. Mike and my brother in law take their dogs for a run and I told him-when you get back I'm going to call "E" and see how she is feeling. At this point-it's about 5:30. (We still have no word that "E" is in labor, or even close to going into labor.) Around 6:30 Mike gets back-I told him we should call "E." I go into the spare bedroom-call her house-and is told "E" is at the hospital. I say-Oh-is everything ok??? (Meanwhile-my heart is racing and yet sinking at the same time.) Is she in labor?" What I hear next completely stopped my heart I think: "No ma'am-she already had the baby-a few hours ago." I paused-and said ok-thank you-and hung up. I immediately went hysterical-called Mike into the room-and just cried. My mind was telling me-she had the baby and she had decided to keep it-and they hadn't called to tell us yet.

To be continued....

Thursday, November 26, 2009

A year to be thankful for...

It's been a month since my last post. Mainly because my life has turned upside trying to get prepared for baby. My photography business has taken off and I've been busy shooting weddings, and family shoots for the holidays. I'm very blessed God has given me the talent. I love doing it and eventually it will be my only job. So...all that is Thanksgiving day..and of all the days in the year-today is a day that I look back and reflect on what a year it has been. I have so many things to be thankful for this year. My list would be endless, but I will say that I am most grateful for: God, my husband, our birthmother, families, friends, and of course my little furry family. God has blessed us beyond words this year, and I have more to be grateful than I could ever imagine!

Mike and I are leaving in 2 days for a trip of a lifetime. A trip to meet our son. This journey has been nothing short of amazing. However, along with amazing it has been stressful, frustrating, exciting, sad, and scary.

When we started on this journey back in April when we turned in our initial application we went along with the theory they told us. The homestudy will take 8-12 weeks to completely finish (meaning written and approved by our social worker) and than we would begin our waiting period. Average waiting time with the agency is 6-9 months before there initial matach and than however long it is until the birthmom is due. (Typically birthmom's come in sometime towards the middle/end of 2nd trimester.) So-in all-she said plan on waiting about a year. PERFECT! That would be great for us because that would put us into march-through june of next year. Mike would be on summer vacation and work for me is pretty quiet. You know the saying..."If you want to make God laugh tell him your plans." God had an entirely different plan for us. On, Monday, August 3rd we got our homestudy in the mail-read it signed it and dropped it in the mail.

Monday afternoon our social workers calls us with a situation. We ultimately said no to this situation for many reasons. There were a lot of medical issues that we weren't comfortable with, and baby was due a week later. The hardest part of it was saying no-and wondering if anyone would say yes. I hope and pray that baby has found his forever home.

On Tuesday we got another phonecall from our social worker regarding another potential situation. We were asked if we wanted our profile shown, and we said we just need to think about it and pray about it. Ultimately we said yes-after thinking about it for about 12 hours....we both said if this is God's plan than it will be, but if not we are ok with that. On Thursday we got the call we had been matched. Waiting of just 3 days...AMAZING.

As I sit here this thanksgiving morning I think a lot about our birthmother. My heart truly breaks for her in so many ways. I hurt for her because as much as I already love this little boy she loves him so much-and yet she is giving him to me. And than again-as much as I love him, if she said she couldn't give him up, as sad as I would be, I don't know if I could be mad at her because that baby is hers first, and she loves him so much!

I talk with our Birthmom every few days. She's so wonderful. Always sweet and polite, always asking how we are doing. I can't wait to meet her in a few days and just give her a big hug and as much as I won't want to-I'll probably start crying right in front of her. There has been so many emotions running through me the past few days and weeks. I cry so easily and when I listen to the radio and hear certain songs I just cry. They are tears of joy and excitement and sadness for her. I was telling a friend of mine the other day-that as excited as I am for us, my heart just breaks, and its hard to have so many emotions and try and sort them all out-because I can't.

This holiday season is extra special for us. We have so much to be thankful for! I hope and pray that all of you have a happy and blessed thanksgiving as well. Give thanks for all of those you love, and for those of you who have adopted, don't forget to say an extra special prayer of thanks for our birth families.

So with all of that said keep watch for updates on Baby Ro....I've been told our lives are just beginning.....if thats the case-its going to be one heck of a ride!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Please tell me I'm normal.....Please....

2 posts in one day...I know you guys are about falling off your chairs...but I need to vent and get a few things out...and I just need to be reassured that I'm normal...and if I'm NOT NORMAL...than please just tell me so I can figure out-how to become "normal" (What is that really) in the next few weeks.

I'm going to be a just a few weeks-if all goes as planned...which my heart and mind believe it will-but let's be real-many things could change....regardless mommyhood is around the corner. I'm petrified. I was thinking early about when we leave the hospital....after baby is born...The vision...of "here you go!" here's your on your way came into my mind. And then...I thought "NOW WHAT?!!" Now what do we do? How do we know when he's hungry, hurting, happy, content, sick.....I'd like to think I have a ton of maternal instincts-but with my own child are they really going to come out? Am I going to have any clue how to take care of this child?

Than of course the emotional side of things comes out-and I think-can I emotionally handle this child?? I mean-I'm emotionally stable....but this is going to be a HUGE life change for us...a PERMANENT LIFE CHANGE!!! Are we ready?

Financially?!?! Can we afford this child? We're not destitute...don't get me wrong...but let's face it-kids cost money!!! And while I will give him everything in my power plus more....I'm worried...I would be lying if I said I wasn't.

So please tell me this fear is normal. I feel like the Devil is totally working on my heart to lack peace of mind...and I hate it....but I also want to know....are these fears/worries normal???

What is that you say...A Due Date?!?!?!

Holy Wow!!! A DUE DATE!!! FINALLY AN ACTUAL DUE DATE!!!! Now anyone who knows babies knows that baby is going to come when baby wants to come. However, up until this point we had no idea exactly how far along BMwas. When we had first been matched we were told she was about 27-28 weeks-which put an EDD date of Nov. 10th. When she had her Ultrasound-they said she was more like 24-25 weeks-and due Dec. 2nd. Now to the average person-3 weeks isn't a big deal...but when you are trying to plan the trip of a LIFETIME 3 weeks is a very big deal.

Last week "E" got word that all of her insurance stuff was taken care of and she was able to get back into her clinic of choice and see the doctor she wanted to see as well as deliver at the Hospital she wants...PRAISE GOD!! So she went back in yesterday-got another ultrasound...and the tech confirmed....DUE DATE DECEMBER 2ND!!!!!! PRAISE THE LORD!! Again-baby is going to come when baby wants to come....But-with "E's" other kids she has delivered with-in 2-3 days of her due date-plus or minus. So knowing this-helps a ton.

Today happens to be "E's" birthday. I'm going to talk to her this afternoon. I mailed a package for her last week-had a few things for her in there as well as her other kids. I also put a disposable camera in there. She said she would take all of the pictures and mail the camera that I could have those pictures to show Baby when he gets older. I want him to be able to see what his BM looks like, what she looked like while pregnant with him and what his siblings look like. She seemed very happy to take the pictures and she was thankful that we were going to show them to him.

So...this puts "E" at right around 35 weeks. As a girlfriend of mine said yesterday when I told her the due date...."MERRY CHRISTMAS TO YOU!!" She couldn't be more right. This will truly be the BEST CHRISTMAS EVER!!!