Monday, September 12, 2016

A Match!

On Saturday, August 27, I was 8 hours from home in an Old Navy in Indianapolis buying jeans and a shirt to wear to the Colts' game that night. I was there for work to record a TV spot the next day with a Colts' player  . . . I stay on the back side of the camera, ha. I had driven the last half of our trip that day, so I hadn't checked my phone in about 4 hours. I decided I should check my email while there in line. Since it was a Saturday I wasn't expecting much, but I had an email from our agency about an opportunity to be shown. This wasn't this first time to see one of these emails; some we said yes to but the birth family chose someone else, others we said no to because we weren't 100% certain with the situation presented. So I glanced through the email, forwarded to M, and sent him a text to check his email. Nothing out of the norm. Since it was time to pay, I decided I would look at it in a bit once my coworker and I got to dinner and a little more settled.

Easier said than done.

Throughout the mall I kept opening the email looking over the little bit of information I had. At some point in all of this I was texting M to see if there was anything about the opportunity that didn't sit well with him and I also noticed the birth mom's mom's name . . . it was also my mom's name. When I saw that, my heart skipped a bit. My mom's name isn't very common and I hadn't really seen it since she passed last year. I felt an immediate connection to this birth mom, not to mention her first name is also my middle name.

Still wanting to read through everything thoroughly, I waited until we got to dinner to discuss it with my co-worker. There were no red flags in this opportunity that we had seen in the others, the only concern being the revocation time period after BM signs. As we sat at that restaurant, my song for our adopted baby came on . . . "A Thousand Years" by Christina Perri. And at that point I realized we were sitting on Georgia Street; Georgia the name we have had picked out for 4 years. It all seemed like it was meant to be. But, I didn't want to jump to a decision in just a short amount of time, even though we only had 36 hours to let them know if we wanted to be shown.

After dinner we walked back to our hotel and then to the Colts game. While at the game I couldn't help but think about this opportunity in front of us. So, I asked M once more what his thoughts were, why was I letting the revocation period be the only thing to hold me back? And with that I emailed our agency back to tell them we would like to be shown. At this point I decided I wouldn't tell anyone that we had agreed to be shown except for the co-worker I was with. Instead, I did some praying.

Fast forward six days, I hadn't heard anything from our agency in terms of when profiles were being shown and when the birth parents planned to make a decision since the baby wasn't due for 3 more months. So I decided to send them an email. Since it was Labor Day weekend I didn't plan to get a response that day, and I didn't. Four days letter we got an email that said they really liked our profile, but our worker wasn't sure when they would make a decision but she would ask for  me.

Two hours later on September 6. we got THE call! This birth family picked us! I know my heart stopped when I saw the agency name on my phone. This was the first time they had called me in the almost two years since we have been waiting. But, here it was. We were matched. We had 48 hours to turn around our paperwork and our money if we were still in. Were we still in?? YES!! So I called M to tell him and he said multiple times, "Is this real?" We were both in shock!

Two days later on Thursday we got an email from the birth parent coordinator that said the birth mom wanted to have a call with us. What?! So soon, but yes let's talk. So on Friday we had about a 30 minute call with the birth mom that went so, so well. It was slow, easy conversation. She said she wants us in the room when she has the baby and is so thankful for us.

Are you kidding? We are so thankful for you. You are changing our lives in a way no one else can. How could we ever repay you? I don't think we can ever express our gratitude enough.

And so, here we are, Cautiously and excitedly expecting to bring home our long awaited baby in December of 2016!

Friday, March 11, 2016

Heartbreak on Repeat

Nine days after my last post, so much changed. We got a call from our attorney that we were matched. Finally!! After 14 months of waiting, this was it. We would become Mom & Dad to a baby BOY! He was due in just 11 days. We quickly sprang in to action purchasing everything we would need to bring him home. We, and our families, were thrilled. Our prayers were being answered. 

After days of prepping, we made travel arrangements. We found a hotel and planned to drive down the day before he was due. Then we got a call that baby was coming early (5 days early). We amped up our preparedness at work to be gone and adjusting travel. This was it!

We were still home when he was actually born. When the attorney called, she told us he had arrived but appeared to have medical issues with his kidneys and his size. He was looking at spending at least a month in NICU. But, this didn't matter to us. She told us to be on standby for more info on his health, but we were itching to leave. Unfortunately, his health wasn't the only concern. The birth mom was beginning to waiver in her decision. She was feeling guilty about his health, potentially brought on my her drug use. 

Hours that felt like days passed before we heard anything else. She couldn't go through with it. We were crushed, sad, and mad. Within a week's time, we had gone from our highest high of recent to super low. 

But, we trucked on, knowing that after the loss of Gentry and Savannah, and most recently my mom, that we would get through this too. We decided that we needed a mental break though, so we booked a vacation for our anniversary. 

We booked a condo on the beach, just what we needed. A week to relax by the ocean. We didn't even care that it was cool out, that just meant almost no one was around. We had a peaceful beach that we didn't have to share with anyone. We had a great time visiting restaurants we had gone to on our honeymoon and not having any cares. Unfortunately, that only lasted for two days. On our third morning there, our vet called telling us that our dog wasn't eating and she was concerned. She advised us to come home, so we did. 

Nine hours later, we picked up Bailey. I immediately knew it wasn't good. In the eleven years I had him, he had never looked like this. No looking up at me, no tail wagging, just a blank look in the distance. However, the vet said it was just a UTI and his diabetes. So we thought if we could get him to eat and get his insulin, he would be back to normal. It didn't go that way though. Two nights later, on our wedding anniversary, he passed away. Our sweet boy, our baby of eleven years was gone. 

Two heartbreaks within 3 weeks of each other. Devastated. But again, we trucked on. 

One month later, our attorney called again. Another match. Another baby boy. Born the day before. 

Away we went making very quick travel plans and squaring away things at work. The next we woke up at 4am and hit the road to go get OUR SON. On the way down, the attorney let us know the birth mom would be signing papers at 1pm the next day. She just wanted to see us with the baby first. The 13 hour drive felt like an eternity. We finally made it and made plans to meet birth mom and baby the next day. 

That's exactly what we did. We met the beautiful baby boy we intended to bring home. While tiny, just five pounds, he was perfect! However, his mom wanted to take another day before signing because he had come several weeks early, she wasn't ready. We respected her decision. 

Assuring us she would still sign, we sat with his mom and her friend for about two hours getting to know one another. We hit it off so well. She wanted to go home to rest, so she signed papers to allow us to sit with the baby in NICU without her. So we spent the rest of the day with him. It was surreal. 

The next day we checked in with our attorney and social worker, neither had heard from the birth mom to reschedule the consent signing. We didn't get too concerned because she reassured us the day before she would still be placing him with us. They finally got in touch with her, but she still wasn't ready. 

This pattern went on for 7 days. Seven days we spent in a hotel, wondering if we would be coming home with our son or an empty car seat. Seven days alone in a city we didn't know. Seven days on edge everytime the phone made a noise. Seven days of constant prayer. On the 7th day we met our attorney and social worker for lunch. They told us at this point we should just go home. Empty handed. 

Our third heartbreak in two months. But, we trucked on. 

Two weeks later was the anniversary of losing Gentry and Savannah. Our baby girls. Now gone for four years. How has it been that long? Four years of aching hearts. Four years of waiting for our rainbow. How long must we weather this storm?

The same day of S&G's angelversary, Marty was laid off. One more setback. One more obstacle to overcome. 

And here we are, just trucking on. 


Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Changes

I think all of my last blog posts have been so far apart, that it is safe to say I am the worst blogger ever.

So much, yet so little, has changed in my life this year. I have documented my mom's battle with dementia and Alzheimer's on here over the years, and I so sad to say that 3 months ago my mom passed away. Ultimately it was a blood clot that caused her death, but I don't think it would have been much longer without the clot. She had become so ill that she had lost control of her bladder and bowels, that I was often on call to go to their house and help clean her up. It was awful to see her in that shape and being unable to communicate. I truly have a peace knowing that is no longer suffering, but I am still sad for me.

This week is especially hard for me with Thanksgiving and my birthday.  Two big family centered events that I now have to face without my mom. Even though Mom hasn't been her self for years, the gaping hole in my heart and the empty chair at the table are things I just don't know how to cope with. No one can ever replace your mom. I am so thankful for our strong, tight relationship we had . . . even when times got tough and I wasn't sure what to do, I hope she knew how much I loved her. I will forever remember how her face would light up when she would see me, and though she couldn't speak, she would clap her hands together and have the biggest smile on her face.

Since she has passed I have some dreams about her that I want to remember, which is why I am sharing them here. My mom's favorite place to sit was in the backyard by the pool surrounded by her flowers. If I was in the pool, or even if no one was in it, she would open the door, smile and walk out to her swing. The night before her visitation I had a dream that I was sitting in her swing, and she opened the back door gave me her big smile and waved. Before I could tell her to join me, she turned her back and faded away. Seeing the joy on her face gave me the feeling that she was at peace, and I should be too.

The next dream I had was one where we were at a family function, and she was well. She was wearing one of her favorite dresses, that she wore to my cousin's wedding a few years ago. In this dream, she was completely able to communicate with me and we just stood in the middle of a room hugging and crying. She kept telling me she loved me and that things would be ok. It was completely random, yet comforting.

Most recently I had a dream, again she was well, that we were out shopping for baby items. We were at Target loading up on items to prepare for my journey to go get a baby. She was helping me pick out what we needed, what I could in the place we were traveling to, and just having a good time together. The night before I had the dream of my mom, I had a dream about our girls. I have NEVER had a dream about them. But in this one, they were dressed in white dresses with blue sashes wearing small flower crowns on their heads. One of the girls had curly, strawberry blonde hair and the other had straight light brown hair. I never could get a good look at their faces, but they would shyly look up towards me and giggle. In the almost four years since we lost Gentry and Savannah I have never dreamed of them, even though I have had friends dream of them. I pray they are with their Grandma, and the 3 of them are putting in a good word for us to get our Baby Sully.

On the adoption front, there have been some interesting things going on there - yet also nothing at all. In regards to our agency, as of 2 months ago our profile had been shown to almost 140 birth moms, but one has yet to select us the adoptive parents of their baby. Before my mom passed away, an acquaintance on facebook posted that an attorney was looking for adoptive families for a baby due in October. I decided to take a chance and contact the attorney. They called the day my mom passed away with an opportunity, which never panned out. I have had a few other calls from them as well, but again there, a birth mom has yet to select us.

So, we have been waiting with our agency for 14 months now. On average three-fourths of their placements happen with the first year. We are officially over the year mark, so we need to consider making profile changes and possibly opening up the drug use acceptable. I am torn on opening up the drug use; however, the longer we wait the more it becomes likely.

In other baby news, I was randomly messaged by a friend to see if we were still open to considering the use of a gestational surrogate because she knows of someone who wants to carry for us. WHAT?!?! This blew me away! Of course we would be open to that. The woman who has offered to carry just had a baby of her own and wouldn't be cleared to try until June, so I haven't made direct contact to her yet. However, we will be contacting her. We still have three frozen embryos we could try to use to have a baby. Could we possibly end up with 2 babies? A baby through adoption and a baby through surrogacy?! What a blessing it would be!

Please continue to pray for us as we wait on our precious gift, and pray for peace for my dad and me to get through the holidays without my mom.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Updates

It has been so long since my last post! Crazy how time flies by.

We have now been a waiting family for 7 months. Some days it feels like so much longer. At the 6 month mark we heard from our agency with an update on how many views our profile has had by birth mothers. We have been shown to 59 moms - almost 10 a month. My first thought was "great, so many opportunities." But the more I thought about it, I began to wonder why 59 moms didn't think we were worthy or a good fit for her baby. I know I am over thinking it, but waiting can make you do that. The good news is that the agency has a 75% placement rate between 3 and 12 months of activation. Only 20% take place between years 1 and 2. And the extremes are less than 3 months and more than 2 years. With those statistics it makes you think it could be soon.

We are continuing on with preparation for a baby. We now have a changing table, dresser, crib, crib mattress, mattress protector, bottles, diapers, diaper bag, hangers, and some clothes. I have picked out the carseat and stroller I want. Now we are working on nursery design and continuing research on everything else we need. What gives me anxiety is getting a call that could say "come tomorrow" - and I will be running around like a crazy person getting ready and crying happy tears.

My biggest battle has been guarding my heart. There is a fine line between preparing for the call and getting too excited. While I am hopeful and excited, I have to remind myself not get overly excited. If you go through the journey expecting the call and going overboard, the more you wait the more down you will become. I definitely have my down days where I wonder if a mom will ever select us and days where I miss S&G, but Marty and I are thankful to be surrounded by amazing friends, family, and co-workers who have been nothing but supportive on this journey.


Thursday, November 20, 2014

A Waiting Family

The last week of September we officially became a waiting family with our agency. This is such an exciting time for us! And an anxious one as well! The first few weeks of being active, every time my phone would ring or vibrate my heart would stop. That got old quickly, ha! It seriously had me that on edge. Now that we have had time to get used to the waiting, it has been less about waiting to get the call and more about preparing for a baby. A few weeks ago we had the realization that if we were to get one of those calls that says travel within 24 hours to  get your baby, we would be scrambling! We have a few things from when I was pregnant with the girls that we pulled out of the attic - swing, bouncy seat, etc. But, we have none of the true necessities. So what does that mean? It means I went in to full research mode!

Who knew there were SO many things to start considering?! Glass bottles vs plastic, cloth vs disposable diapers, wipes, formula, car seats, strollers, and the list goes on and on. I am really leaning towards glass bottles due to the plastic issues (I know all are BPA free, but still concerns there). In all of this I have come across so many sites that shame adoptive mothers for formula feeding, like we should all induce lactation or make home made formula. You can't win on the internet. "Oh good for you for adopting" . . . "oh, you are going to formula feed, shame on you.". Seriously?! Ok, I am rambling now, sorry. At least all of my research will have me semi-informed for when we get the call.
 
We have bought a crib and crib mattress. A local specialty baby store was having a closing/moving sale, so we got a great deal. We have yet to set it up. I have bedding and some art picked out, but waiting to purchase those while we are still raising money. I am going with a neutral design so that if a potential match were to fall through we wouldn't be stuck with a gender specific nursery, or a reminder of the baby we were planning to bring home. Once it is done, I will be sure to post photos. That has been one of my favorite parts of this process. There is so much HOPE that comes with planning for a baby. We have no idea how long we could be waiting, but just knowing that we WILL have a baby at some point is so exciting!

We continue to put our trust in His timing and plan while we wait. If you would like to see our profile video, click here: Video Profile

Sunday, August 24, 2014

It is really happening!

We are just one step away from being activated with the agency, and then we will start the waiting game!! The last step is making a video four profile. The agency shipped us the video equipment, and we should have it by Tuesday. We have to return it with footage within 14 days, and then they will put it together for us. After that our profile will begin being shown to birth parents! Wow!

I am at the point where I am really allowing myself to get excited on this journey, while still guarding my heart. There are times I can't believe this is really happening! My co-workers have been taking guesses on us receiving a boy or girl - most say girl. I have been looking at cribs and gender neutral nurseries. There are so many options I don't know how I will ever decide! It is surreal to allow myself to be so hopeful again. I know we still have a long road ahead, but I am trying not to think of what could go wrong. I feel like it is time for some good news for us, so hopefully we will get it sooner rather than later.

My co-workers have planned a fundraising party for us to take place in less than 2 weeks. We have been getting some really great items to raffle off, and there will also be a mystery beer bar. I just hope people show up! I really do feel that God will provide for us on this journey, one way or another. We have been so lucky to have raised over $4,000 so far. WOW! I never thought we would raise that much. We are so thankful to everyone who has so generously given. youcaring.com/babysully

I plan to post again once we activate, if not before. Please continue to keep us in your thoughts and prayers!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Adoption Pics

We took a break from all of our adoption paperwork, and that's A LOT of paperwork, to take some photos to announce we are adopting and also for our profile - to help make us look like fun parents to be. I LOVE how they turned out, so thought I would share a few here. We also went facebook public with the adoption. We received a ton of support and love. Plus, we were able to raise $510 within 24 hours on our site. It was amazing to see. We are blessed! youcaring.com/babysully



We kind of like each other . . .. and are excited to be on this adventure!



He makes my heart happy!

This was our facebook announcement photo.