Sunday, October 30, 2016

Gone

Well guys, 8 weeks we were matched this time. But now we are back to being a waiting family. I honestly don't know where to start with this one. The last few days have been a whirlwind.

On Tuesday (5 days ago) the birth mom texted that she was having contractions and going to the hospital. Being 28 weeks pregnant, I assumed it was Braxton Hicks. Not long after that text, less than hour, our agency called. I assumed they were just telling me the same news. Instead they were telling me they were going to send over the records from the birth mom's last two appointments, but also that there was a note on the records about there being a pregnancy complication related to the baby being at high risk for a lifelong disability/disabilities. The agency said to hold tight until she could get back to the doctor and go under more testing.

Less than hour after that called, the birth mom's mom called me and said they couldn't stop contractions and she was dilated 7cm. Baby was coming today at 28 weeks 5 days. I was trying to get in touch with our two contacts at the agency with no luck. And 30 minutes later, birth mom's mom called to say baby was here and sent me a picture! We were planning to start traveling to get our baby.

I finally got in touch with our agency, and they told us to stay put and not to travel until they could get a full medical report. This made sense with the concern of the disability, how early baby was born, and the drug exposure in utero. Unfortunately the social worker would not be able to go to the hospital until Wednesday. We spent that whole day on pins and needles, and finally late in the afternoon they said baby is showing the characteristics of the disability but they wanted to do some further testing to verify. My heart broke because we knew if baby did in fact have these disabilities, we are not equipped to take them on. I was texting birth mom and her mom trying to get information, but there's was conflicting. On Thursday morning the birth mom texted and said she found a different family that was on their way to the hospital now.

She didn't even give us the chance to get the full medical report before moving on to a new family who would take the baby regardless of the results. I understand her view, I do, but it was so hard to hear especially after we had formed such a great relationship over the last 8 weeks. She had skyped me in to one appointment to hear baby's heartbeat, she called me to tell me we were having a girl, she called and cried to me when she had personal issues, we texted daily getting to know each other, we stuck with her when it was revealed she was doing drugs we weren't previously made aware of, we were in this together. And then just like that, she was gone. Birth mom, baby, and our joy. Gone.

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.