Sunday, August 28, 2011

Kate's First Bath

Kate's umbilical cord finally fell out on Friday so we were able to give her her FIRST bath!  She was not a fan.  Hopefully she'll learn to love the water, but she definitely didn't enjoy the first one!  It made for some cute pictures though.

We started out by putting her in the infant sling part of the tub, with her backside resting in the warm water.  We covered her with the duck tummy-towel.  She didn't mind sitting in the water like this but once we started washing, THIS is the reaction that we got...

And then it was time for a bottle, and she was all good. :) Life as a baby is so simple- eat, sleep, cry and go to the bathroom.  That's about it.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Hospital Time- Part 2 (Baby Dedication & Discharge)

And here is the promised "Part 2" of our hospital time with Kate and her birth parents. And I know that I could go into a lot more detail about the dedication service and the discharge, but of course there are parts that we want to keep private, so that's why there may not be a whole lot of detail.  Just know that it was all very special, and we could definitely see how God brought together a lot of people in this adoption (even outside of us, Kate, and her birth parents).

Our first visit was around lunchtime and lasted for a few hours.  Then we left the hospital to go check into our hotel and get settled in (for one night) before heading back to the hospital at 7 pm for Kate's baby dedication service.

We got back to the hospital and there were a TON of people in our birth mom's room, even though the hospital security said only a few were allowed back there at a time.  Oh well! :) The birth father's family was there, and a lot of the birth mom's friends were there also.  After the dedication service, people in the room spent time talking about what our birth parents mean to them, shared special memories, and talked about how they came to the decision to choose Kevin and me.  We got to visit just a little bit longer, but visiting hours were finished at 8 so they kicked us out about 8:15.  We did stay a little longer talking with Kate's biological grandma, grandpa, step-grandma, and aunt.

We were supposed to be back at the hospital at 11:00 on Friday for Kate's discharge.  We got there about 11:00 and were able to spend about an hour and a half visiting before our birth mom and Kate's discharge was final.  We got a car seat installation instruction from a man Nazi-Nurse.  Seriously, he had to have been ex-military or ex-cop, and his name was Rosie.  He was very helpful though.

Before we knew it, it was discharge time.  I walked down with Kate and Kevin went to drive the car around.  Since both Kate and our birth mom were being discharged at the same time, we were all being taken to the front of the hospital together.  The "all of us" included me, Kate, her birth mom and dad, and both of their families. The plan was for Kevin and me to put Kate in our car and drive off first.  Of course we knew that this was going to be an emotional moment for everyone.  Our adoption worker told us that once Kate was in the car, that we should go ahead and drive off... instead of dragging out the moment.

We got to the front and Kevin pulled up in the truck.  Rosie helped us load Kate into the car as everyone watched from about 20 ft away.  Kate's birth mom was already crying. We went over to hug everyone quickly and before we knew it, everyone was crying.  This was one of the happiest days of my life, but at the same time Kevin and I were both incredibly sad for these two people.  They made one of the hardest decisions ever and were obviously hurting, but they knew that this was the best decision for their child.

A lot of people have a misunderstanding that someone who chooses adoption for their child doesn't actually love their child.  Quite the opposite is true, at least in our adoption.  These two people loved their child so much, that they realized they can't provide for her everything they want to so they chose to place her with Kevin and me.  They love her enough to want to stay involved in her life, and stay updated on how she is growing, what she is doing, etc.  I can't say enough how blessed we are to have been chosen by them, and can't wait to see what they do with their lives from this point forward. 

As we were driving away we realized that we now had a baby girl (and a 7 day revocation period wait ahead of us). How exciting!

And now for a few cute pictures of Kate just because what post is any fun without pictures?  And, because I have gotten the comment plenty of times... yes, I know I look tired.  I have a good reason... I am tired!


I know I'm slow, but eventually I'll get caught up on our two weeks in a hotel room with a newborn! :) We actually had quite a few adventures that are worth sharing! 

"Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think."   Ephesians 3:20

Friday Picture

Apparently Kate loves her crib. She is snoozing away!  I just hope she saves some of those zzzz's for tonight! :)

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

I Know, I Know...

I promised a post YESTERDAY, but with a newborn we've been pretty busy.  But the biggest news and reason I haven't had time to post is... we're HOME!!  How awesome is that?

Kevin and I had been talking about how we'd been praying that we could come home this week, but decided that we needed to pray specifically.  We were praying that God would work a miracle and that the ICPC paperwork would go through smoothly so that we'd be able to come home on Wednesday.  Well, Wednesday we had a pediatrician appointment in Cary, NC at 11:00.  So, we set our clocks for 9, which gave us plenty of time to shower, feed/change Kate, and get ready to head out the door.  Of course when the alarm clock went off we hit snooze a few times. :)  Well, before the alarm went off again my phone was ringing.  I answered and it was our adoption worker Erica* telling us that we'd been approved to go home! YES!  We are so thankful that this is one prayer that God answered YES to!  He is soooo good!

We jumped up, showered and packed our car faster than we'd ever had before.  And, we had a TON of stuff to pack.  Newborns really don't travel lightly.  We needed to check out before our Dr appointment because the Dr's office was on our way home.  It would save us basically an hour and a half to check out and then go to the appointment instead of going to the appointment and then coming back to our hotel to pack and check out.  We barely made it!  Got to the Dr's office at 11:15 for our 11:20 appointment and we didn't waste any time!

We made it home in about 5 hours and pulled in our driveway about 5:30.  Never been so happy to be home!

PS- Kate had a great appointment.  She is now 9 lbs 1/2 oz and 21 inches long.  She gained 13 oz in just 9 days... she loves to eat! :)  She's in the 75th percentile for height and weight.  She's doing so good!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Hospital Time Part 1- How It Came To Be

So, I'm ready to update on the time we were able to spend with little Kate and her birth parents in the hospital.  These posts are as much for ME so that I can remember exactly how things happened, as they are for any of you readers, but I'm happy to share with YOU too!  I'll probably repeat some of the stuff in this post and it will probably take a few separate posts so bear with me!

Originally, the birth parents wanted Kate to spend her first week of life (after discharge from the hospital) in interim care. This was because in NC the birth parents had 7 days to change their minds after they have signed papers to terminate their rights.  We were okay with interim care because this would sort of be a safety net for both sides- ours and theirs.  Think about it, how terrible/awful/hearbreaking would it be to have a baby with you for a week thinking that it was your child, only to be taken away from you? We'd heard of tons of stories and families where the birth mom HAD changed their mind, so we were okay with interim care so that we could avoid the pain and heartbreak of that happening to us.

A week or two before her due date, the birth parents decided that they did not want to use interim care.  They wanted Kate to be discharged from the hospital into our care.  We were excited, but nervous. Who wouldn't want that first week with their child?  But, at the same time we were worried that we might be that family who has to go through the heartbreak of having to give their child back after the first week. 

THEN, the birth parents decided they wanted us to be at the hospital.  What!?  We couldn't believe the turn of events!  First, we weren't supposed to even travel to NC to meet our daughter until after her first week of life, and now they wanted us to come TO THE HOSPITAL.  Again, we were excited but nervous.  Kevin and I were talking about what this might mean, and he said to me "You know, it makes me a little bit MORE confident about all of this because it seems like they would want to use interim care and not let us come to the hospital if they were unsure about their decision.  Since they want us to come to the hospital and take her home with us, it seems like they are very sure that adoption is the path they are wanting to take."  I hadn't really thought about it that way, so it gave me a little more peace of mind! Plus, now we were going to be able to meet our daughter at only 1 day old!

Originally we thought we were going to have 1 week of notice to travel to NC, but now we were only going to get a few hrs notice!  I was on pins and needles. Every time my cell phone rang I wondered "Is this it?".  On Wednesday August 10th we got the phone call that our birth mother was in labor and had been admitted to the hospital.  Kate was born at 12:15 that afternoon, and the birth mother, birth father, and their families were able to spend Wednedsay together.  On Thursday, we traveled to NC and got to the hospital around 1.  We were able to spend some time with our birth mom and birth dad, and were even able to meet and spend time with their families. We have tons of pictures with Kate's birth mom, birth dad, birth grandparents, and birth aunt.  We love the fact that Kate will be able to look back at these pictures and see how loved she is.  We know how incredibly blessed we are to have met all of these family members.  Here are a few pictures from our first visit at the hospital.  I got to hold her first, and we were so excited and pre-occupied that I didn't even pull out the camera until I'd handed her off to Kevin...

It's actually funny to look back on these pictures, taken only 13 days ago.  She doesn't look anything like this anymore!  Well, except for the hair.  It's all still there and hopefully will stay! 

Okay- I think that's a good stopping point for today.  Check back tomorrow for Part 2 of the hospital time (our baby dedication service and hospital discharge)!

Friday, August 19, 2011

I'm A Mommy!

I've been SO excited to write this post and now, I really don't know what to say!  We wanted to wait until things were final to post any information or pictures on our blog or on facebook, and so now I guess the best way to start this post is by saying that as of 12:00am this morning it's official!  Baby Kate is here, and she is ours.  Katherine Ava was born last Wednesday at 12:15.  She weighed 8 lbs 3 oz and was 19" long... she is perfect!

Kate's due date was last Monday (August 8th) and on Monday she still hadn't made her arrival.  So, our birth mom was scheduled to be induced Thursday (August 11th), which just happened to be mine and Kevin's 4 year anniversary.  We both assumed she would hold out until Thursday, but apparently she had other plans! 

At around 9:30 Wednesday morning at work, our adoption worker Erica* called to let us know that our birth mom had gone into labor around midnight that morning, and had been checked into the hospital around 3am.  Baby Kate was on her way!  She told us that our birth mom wanted us to come to the hospital the next day (Thursday) to spend some time with her, the birth dad, and to meet Kate.  We were so excited!  I was so excited, that I couldn't concentrate at work.  Even though we weren't leaving for NC until the following morning, I wrapped up everything that I needed to at work and headed home around lunchtime to finish packing and getting things ready.

I met Kevin at home and we decided to go eat BBQ for lunch first.  On our way, Erica called us back to let us know that Kate had been born at 12:15 and that she was 8lbs 3oz and perfectly healthy! :) YAY! We ate lunch and then made our way back home to get things ready for the following morning, and head to church for our last Wednesday night as a family of 2!

On Thursday we were able to make the long drive to Raleigh, NC and it seemed to take FOREVER.  We met Erica in the parking garage and walked up to the Labor & Delivery floor of the hospital to see our birth mom, birth dad, their families, and Kate.  We walked in the room and there were about 15 people in there!  Our birth mom was holding Kate and the first thing she said to me was "Do you want to hold her?".  Of course I did.  I know all parents say this, but she is beautiful and it's true! She also has a FULL head of hair.  Seriously, it's probably an inch and a half long. I see lots of bows in our future...

Kevin and I were both able to hold her for a little while, and we stayed to visit for about an hour. It was awesome, and so generous of the birth mom and dad to allow us this time.  Although we have an open adoption (meaning, we'll have ongoing contact through emails/pictures and a few visits each hear), this hospital time is really the birth family's time with the baby.  We have been so blessed to have been chosen by the birth mom and dad that we did and have been amazed (yes, I used that word) by their generosity in allowing us to be a part of the hospital time with Kate.

So, I'll share a few more pictures of Kate and will definitely post some more tomorrow about the rest of the hospital time, Kate's discharge, our first WEEK with her (we've had her with us since last Friday), meeting some of her family, and finding out that she is OURS.  We're so excited and can't thank God enough for the miracle of adoption that He has worked in our lives.  :)  

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Still Here...

I'm still here and still alive!  We've been super busy.  Check back on Friday for a post of what's been going on the past week and a half!  Until then....


Sunday, August 14, 2011

Catching Up- Hillsong Concert

On Tuesday, Kevin and I (and my sister & one of our youth) were able to see Hillsong United in concert.  I had to work until 5:30 and my sister had to work until 5 so we decided to meet at Mellow Mushroom downtown at 6.  The concert wasn't until 7:30 so we figured that would give us plenty of time.  Wrong.  Apparently everyone decided to eat at Mellow Mushroom before the concert.  We got to the restaurant and didn't have to wait at all- they seated us immediately.  We ordered 2 pizzas to share with the table, and about an hour later we were still waiting.  Not good.  I went and tracked down our waiter and asked him to bring us our food in to-go boxes and asked him to go ahead and bring us the check.  He appologized for the wait, and we got our food about 5 minutes later.  Hawaiian pizza and Kosmic Karma pizza (mozarella, sun dried tomatos, spinach, feta, roma tomatoes, and pesto).... yummm!

We ate as fast as we could because we didn't want to be late!  Hillsong United doesn't have any opening bands, so if we were late we were missing what we paid for!  We got a great parking spot and made it just in time to get to our seats by 7:30.  And, at 8:00 we were still waiting for the show to start.  Guess they weren't too concerned about it being a week night.  The concert finally started a little after 8:00 and I have to say, they were AWESOME!  It was probably the best concert I have EVER been to.  About 10:30 they were still going strong.  If they ever come our way again, we'll definitely have to see them again. 

And, the rest of our week was VERY eventful.  I'll update on that great news later, so be sure to check back! :)

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Two Showers and An Exciting Week Ahead

Well this has definitely been a fun week!  On Thursday, my work threw a shower for Kevin and me.  We love an excuse for a free lunch! :)  We both had a lot of fun, and left with TONS of great things for baby Kate.

Friday we went to my parent's lake house to visit with them and to take Max & Cooper to the lake.  The dogs LOVE the lake, and we're really not sure when the next time for us to take them there will be.  The weather was so great, and the water felt good.  It was a nice relief from the 100 degree heat.  It was  a quick trip, but a lot of fun.

Today (Sunday) we had another shower thrown by the ladies of our church.  We are so blessed to be a part of this church family and were overwhelmed by their generosity.  We came home this evening and unloaded our car and then we somewhat tried to organize all of the diapers, onesies, burp cloths, wipes, washclothes, towels, pacifiers, bouncer, swing, etc!  I must say, after the past few days we're definitely a little more ready for this little girl to join our family!

Sorry it's a little blurry.  It is the only one I have so far.
Kate's due date is TOMORROW and an induction is scheduled for Thursday morning if she does not come before then.  Please keep Kevin and me in your prayers over the next few weeks as we travel to NC to meet our little girl, and as we wait for the revocation period to pass.  Even after the 7 day revocation period HAS passed, we have to wait for another NC form to go through before we are allowed to leave the state and travel back to SC.  This will be a crazy and exciting week!  We are looking forward to all that is to come, BUT we know that the next week and a half will also probably be very stressful, so please continue to keep us in your prayers.  We'll keep you posted!  And now, time to get back to writing thank you notes.... :)

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Pinterest Challenge- Nursery

My latest interest is Pinterest.  If you haven't heard what that is, it's the greatest thing EVER!  Okay, maybe not ever, but it is pretty neat.  I'm not an especially crafty person, but occasionally I like to try to be.  That's basically what Pinterest is.  Crafty people linking to stuff that other crafty people have done.  People also "PIN" other things like recipes, clothing, etc.  Basically, you "PIN" anything that you like and want to share with other people.  You have to be invited to join though, so if you've never heard of this and want to join, let me know!  I'll send you an invitation.

Anyway, I saw this on Pinterest and thought "Hey, that's cute.  It looks sort of easy. Maybe I can do that."  So I did.  First, here is the inspiration...

And here is how mine turned out.  I had most of the frames already and picked up a few more at the dollar tree.  The main cost was a can of white spray paint for $4.  My first attempt with an old can of spray paint didn't turn out so great.  Apparently, old spray paint turns a yucky cream color after a while.  SO, I had to buy a new can and start over.  The only other expense was scrapbook paper that I picked up at Hobby Lobby on sale for about 10 cents per paper.  I think it turned out pretty well, and for the whole thing only costing about $8, I'm pretty happy with the results!

There's not much left to do to the room... just a few finishing touches.  Now we're just waiting our little girl to get here. :)


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