Sunday, February 26, 2012

The First Week

The first week of Christian's life was such a happy time for us. We stayed at the hospital until Wednesday. We had to get six clearances from the Indian Tribe. We got one on Friday, two on Monday, two on Tuesday and were waiting for one more on Wednesday. Thankfully we got the last clearance that morning so we could take the little man with us! Those days were so stressful! We were bonding with Christian but were terrified one of the six clearances would fall through.

On Wednesday, we had asked the nurses if we could stay until after 3:00pm since hotel check in was at that time. They told us that as long as we were out by midnight it would be fine. So... when the attorney came to talk with A and get her signature for us to be able to take Christian we were stunned when they made us leave. It was 2pm and we had not even begun to pack. We thought we would be staying another few hours! The attorney came in and said, "Let's go." John and I were so stunned! So we were rushed trying to throw everything together, Christian was crying because it was time for him to eat, and the nurses were trying their best to help us. I didn't even get to say goodbye to A. I had seen her earlier that day and had given her a letter to try to thank her for the wonderful gift she had given us. But I wanted to hug her one more time before we left! We couldn't believe the attorney made us leave in such a rush! He said he had to walk out with us and watch us drive away with him. Jeez! At least I did get to experience the mom-leaving-the-hospital moment. They got me to sit in the wheel chair and wheeled us through the hospital with all of the patrons ooohing and aaahing at our little man. We also had an entourage of nurses with us. They all loved little Christian! Unfortunately, we were so rushed that we didn't get a picture.

He cried the entire way to the hotel which made me cry the entire way to the hotel! We were staying in a tiny bedroom with one King bed. Thankfully we only had to stay there two days before our attorney hooked us up with the Ronald McDonald House in Monroe (about a two hour drive.) I would have driven 14 hours to get out of that hotel room! I almost lost my mind. I was so scared we were going to get kicked out every time he cried. I think I slept about 30-45 in those two days and cried more tears than I care to admit. Apparently stress coupled with lack of sleep make me weepy and nauseous. It was one of those days that my mom decided I needed some help so they told us they were going to drive down and meet us in Monroe on Saturday. I was so thankful! Here's a picture of how he slept... on a changing pad between us. Terrible!
It was finally Friday and we had an appt with the pediatrician. Once we left there we could head to Monroe. I cried pretty much through his entire appt because they had to prick his heel for a jaundice test. (Don't judge me! I was having a hard time!) Here's a picture of us leaving that wonderful hospital.I was shaking as we left and I told John that I needed to drive and he could sit in the back with Christian. I couldn't sit in the back with him crying for two hours! I just couldn't! Well wouldn't you know that he slept the whole way and didn't cry once! He's such a good boy.

The minute we walked into the Ronald McDonald House I felt like I could breathe again. They had us in a suite off to ourselves with a sitting area and TV room right outside of our room. My parents were coming down the next morning and RMH was gracious enough to let them stay there too! I really don't know what I would have done without their help! They had a fully stocked kitchen where we could make ourselves some pasta, cereal, sandwiches or whatever we needed without having to go out and get fast food. They also had juices, waters, coffee and sodas that were all donated. Two of the days that we were there some high school kids came over and baked cupcakes for us. It was truly an amazing experience to have that week of bonding with him in such a positive atmosphere. My parents were wonderful too and took the night shift two nights so John and I could sleep. We were so grateful to have them there!This is Lindsay. She's one of the workers at RMH. She was great and even cooked us dinner one night!

I am now glad to be home but I will always look back fondly at the time we spent becoming a family at the RMH. Even if I could go back and change it to where we could have gone home right away, I wouldn't.



His first soccer outfit

One of my favorite faces

Sleepy Dad, baby and doggie.

A smile for Granna

Meeting his Big Sister


Thursday, February 23, 2012

We're Home!

Yeah baby! We're home! We finally got clearance to come home on Tuesday!

We have been doing well. Christian had his first appointment with the pediatrician today. His stats are:

8 lbs 14 oz (60th percentile)
21 inches long (75th percentile)

The doctor said we could feed him more, which is a relief. We have been feeding him 2.5 oz every 2 1/2 - 3 hours but he would wake up after two hours sometimes starving! So the doc said we could start giving him 3 - 3.5 oz if he'll take it. Sweet! Our Louisiana doctor said we were feeding him too much so I'm glad this doctor is on board with a hungry baby!

Sorry for the lack of pictures. I'm working on a longer post with lots of pictures but it's slow going. This little man takes up A LOT of time. Especially when I'm sick. Sunday I had a migraine and yesterday I was really sick. Like.... really sick. At least it wasn't a contagious sickness so little Christian didn't get it. I had to call my mom to come help me because I didn't think I was going to make it. Thank goodness I have a wonderful mother who dropped everything to come help me out. I'm feeling much better today though after getting some fluids, eating and taking a two hour nap. I have to remember to take care of myself along with the little man.


Monday, February 20, 2012

2 Weeks Old

I can't believe Christian is two weeks old already! I'm working on a post for the days after he was born but it has gotten really long... I'll have to do some editing. Here are some pictures to tide you over until then:
Tummy Time

Roll Tide!


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The Day Christian Was Born

We barely slept Sunday night with so many emotions running through our minds. I got up at 5:15am to take a shower and make myself as presentable as possible to meet the woman who would grant my biggest wish. We packed up all of our belongings and left the hotel room at 6:00am. We were staying only 3 miles from Hospital so I thought that would give us plenty of time to get there by the 6:30 C-section appt. Of course it took much longer because we couldn't figure out where to go. I frantically RAN into the labor and delivery area at 6:25! The nurses pointed me to A's room. I took a deep breath and knocked. When I entered there were several nurses in there prepping her. She introduced me as "The Mom." That's when I lost it. I started sobbing and asked her if I could hug her. She grinned and let me. I thanked her with everything that I have. She is such a lovely young lady with a warm heart and great personality. A few minutes later the doctor came in to give her the epidural and I asked if I should leave. A told me that she wanted me to stay and experience it all. I feel so blessed to have had such a wonderful woman give birth to our son!

The nurses pulled me outside and said that they were going to give us our own room so we can bond with the baby. A had decided it would be too hard for her to see him. What a wonderful surprise! That's when we decided we would have to stay at least until they dismiss him from the hospital even if we didn't hear about the clearances. A little while later they came to get us and take us to the surgical room. They decked me out in scrubs, a hat and face mask. I took a quick picture of my last moments before I became a mommy.
They led me to a place standing beside A's head. I grabbed her hand and held my breath. She was still laughing and making jokes. After a few minutes the nurse turned to me and said, "Get the camera ready Mom!" I did everything I could not to lose it again. I stood and watched them pull my son from his home for the last 9 months. He cried and cried which they said was good. I let go of A's hand and followed him over to the area where they cleaned him up. He was perfect! They started to wheel him back to our room to finish cleaning him and get all of his measurements and stats. I walked back over to A and squeezed her hand. I thanked her one more time and told her I would come check on her later that day.

Here's a picture of us in the room with him right after his birth.

Poor little man! He was so upset! But John and I were overcome with love and joy! He's such a miracle!

There were a lot of firsts that happened throughout the day. I changed his first diaper and John did the second. I gave him his first bottle and John gave him the second. Haha! I was hogging him! He was a good little eater from the get go. He's still a little piggy.

The pediatrician came by at around 12pm and said that he was in excellent condition! He had very little jaundice and no deformities or obvious impairments. Praise the Lord! Right after he left Christian got his first bath... that made him REALLY mad. He still doesn't like a bath but I hope that changes as he gets older.

At around 2pm AdoptHelp called to say that they had received two more clearances! 3 out of 6! Yay! We were halfway there! I went to see A to let her know the news. When I walked in she said, "You got two more clearances!" She was so excited too! I had such mixed emotions for A. I was so dramatically happy for us yet so desperately sad for her. The best day of my life was probably the worst day of hers. I cried a lot that day. I cried for our happiness and I cried for her pain. I still get teary about her. I asked her if she wanted to meet John and she said yes. When I brought him back in there we told her the name we had chosen and why we chose it. She seemed touched but I could also see the tears starting to fill her eyes. I decided that was our cue to leave so she could mourn.

The nurses were absolutely fabulous! They never treated us like anything other than Christian's parents. That hospital stay was truly a blessing.

Later in the day we talked to our Louisiana attorney and our Birmingham attorney. There wasn't a whole lot they could do until we received all of the clearances. They were trying to get their plan though because things were going to move quickly once those last three were granted.
I felt like we had a small army working on our adoption which was pretty overwhelming... and also expensive. Adoption is not for the faint hearted, that is for sure!

At about midnight we decided to let Christian go to the baby lounge to get some sleep. We knew we wouldn't have any help once we got to the hotel so we had better take advantage of it. John was so upset to send him. He said, "But we just got him!" He's such a good dad!

So that takes you through the events of his birth day. It was an extremely emotional day with more tears than I've cried in a long time. I was so in love with Christian but they were still telling us to keep our distance. Yeah Right! That little boy had my entire heart and I was going to be crushed if the adoption fell through. Well, as you know, it did not. God had a plan and Christian was meant to be our son.


Monday, February 13, 2012

From the Beginning

It all began on Tuesday, January 31st at 6:00 pm. I had just sat down to eat some dinner and John was working late and not due to be home for a while. My phone rang and when I looked at the number it said, "Blocked." That's what it always says when AdoptHelp calls. I took a deep breath and answered. It was Kathryn calling to say that a lady had chosen us! She explained that the BM (henceforth known as "A") chose us and doesn't want to confirm with a phone call. She was 100% sure that we should be the parents. She then said that she's having a boy and it will be by cesarean on Monday! Monday... less than a week! But then she started filling me in on a few circumstances that made this adoption high risk. Of course... Another high risk adoption! She told us that the baby will be around 1/8 Native American and that the maternal grandmother is registered with a Native American tribe. This means we had to get clearances from the tribe to be able to adopt him. We also had zero information about the birth father. We had no family history, records or even his eye or hair color. Nothing! She made it seem like there was only a small chance that we would get approval from the tribe and so we needed to decide if we wanted to pursue this opportunity. She also advised us not to go to Louisiana for the birth so we wouldn't get attached. Just as I got off off the phone with Kathryn, the garage door opened. I only let him get one foot on the bottom stair when I opened the door and blurted out all of the details. I didn't even let him get in the house! Haha.

This call was different from the first call. I didn't cry or freak out. I calmly told him the details and tried to keep a level head. He was pretty concerned about not knowing anything about the birth father and I was pretty concerned about the clearances. We talked about it that night and then thought about it the next day. Finally, on Wednesday night, I told Kathryn that we were interested and we wanted to talk to the attorney. She still seemed pretty grim about the outcome. We made an appt to talk with Mark on Friday at 3:00pm. We decided going into the call that if he said it was greater than a 50% chance that the adoption will go through that we would go to Louisiana for the birth.

Mark was a lot more positive than Kathryn. In fact, he had already gotten one of the six clearances! He gave us a 70% success estimate so we told him that we wanted to be there for his birth. We got off the phone and immediately started packing two weeks worth of clothes and supplies so we could leave on Sunday. We weren't sure if we would be staying just the one day for the birth or if we would be in Louisiana for the long haul.

Saturday we got a call from Kathryn. She said that A was very excited that we were coming and she wanted me to be in the room for the delivery! So exciting! I was walking around on cloud 9 but still trying to distance my heart. It was very tiring and emotional.

We packed up our car and headed out at about 1:30 on Sunday. We barely talked on the way down. We were both so shocked and overwhelmed!

That leads you up to the day of his birth. I'll save that day for another post.


Saturday, February 11, 2012


John "Christian"
We have our very own little boy!! It has been a whirl wind of a week but I will post soon about the details. Here are couple of the stats though.

Born at 7:04am on 2/6/12
8 lbs 0 oz
20 inches

He's a healthy baby boy. We drove down on Sunday and the BM let me in the operating room for C-section! When they pulled him out they said, "take a picture Mommy" and they were talking to ME!! I'm a mommy! We found out today that the BM signed the papers and the adoption is now irrevocable.

We are in Louisiana and have to stay here until we get approval from both states that he can leave here and come in to our state. They think we will be able to come home Thursday or Friday.


Friday, February 3, 2012

Rough Week

Whew!!! I'm so glad this work week is over! It has been a rough one!

Last night Tristan come over for a little while. I went upstairs to wash some clothes (and give them a little privacy.) After about an hour I heard Tristan giggling uncontrollably. She belly laughed for no less than five minutes straight! I don't know what her Daddy was doing but I love seeing them so happy together. Especially at the age of 13 when her hormones can make her a bit moody. It warms my heart....

Cheers to Friday!


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