Thursday, October 16, 2014

Family of FOUR

I've had about a week to process everything that's happened, and it still seems like a bit of a blur when I look back on it.  Maybe it's the sleep deprivation.  Or maybe it's just all that has happened!  Like Kate's story, this is probably going to be long.  So, just hang with me if you can.  Let me start back with last Monday, October 6th...

Kevin had just left for an annual golf trip and I was at work, when I got a phone call from my mother-in-law, Diane.  Diane told me that she'd just picked Kate up from school and that Kate was pretty sick. She was coughing and just obviously didn't feel great.  I went ahead and cleared my schedule for Tuesday so I could stay home with her if she still felt bad.  When I got home from work that day, she seemed like she was coming down with an awful cold and she had a 100.5 degree fever, which is never good.

The next morning, she still had a fever and her breathing was getting worse.  With all of the scary Enterovirus D68 stuff in the news, and her history of asthma, I decided to take her on to the doctor and made an appointment for 11:30 that morning.  When we got to the appointment, we found out her normal doctor is changing offices within the group (tear- because we love him) but he was being shadowed by his replacement, a new doctor that had just moved to the area from Tennessee.  They listened to Kate's breathing and were both asking me questions when my phone rang.  I looked at the number and it just came up as "Columbia" so I hit ignore.  I don't answer the phone when it is a number that I don't know. Whoever it was left a message but then 2 seconds later Kevin sent me a text with that Columbia number and said "Call them".  Again, the two doctors were still in the room and asking me questions, so my priority at that moment was Kate, and I ignored Kevin's text.  About 1 minute later, Kevin called me.

Now you have to understand how we treat our phones.  We both agree that if we are in the middle of something, or more importantly, if we are in the process of talking in-person to someone, phones take the back seat.  So, we won't answer our phones if we're checking out at a grocery store because we want to be able to talk to the person checking us out.  We won't answer phones in a restaurant, because our attention is with whoever we are eating with.  Whoever it is can leave a message and we can always call them back.  However, we kind of have an unspoken rule that if one of us calls the other 2 times in a row, it is really important so we better answer it!  So when he called me after sending me the text, I knew I needed to answer.

I apologized to Kate's doctors and told them that it must be important and quickly answered Kevin's call.  After my hello, he basically said "What are you doing? That was Bethany.  That was THE CALL. A baby has already been born and they picked us. You need to call them back!"

Ah! That's about all I could think at that moment. :)

We hung up and I told the doctors what was going on.  They indicated that like I thought, Kate was wheezing a bit and they wanted to do a breathing treatment on her.  They were going to go get the supplies and I could make my call.  So I did.

Our actual adoption worker in our own town was actually away on a training trip in Michigan, so I called Bethany's main office in Columbia.  I talked to Janet* (names changed) who told me that a baby girl was born on Monday and she was ours if we said yes! She gave us more details to base our decision on, which I am not going to share, but obviously we said yes!!  I told her that I didn't see any reason that we would say no, but that I did want to talk to Kevin before I gave her a final confirmation. I let her know where I was, and that Kate was going to be getting a breathing treatment, so I wouldn't be able to call her back immediately.  She understood and said it was fine.

So, I sat down with Kate to start her breathing treatment since again, she was my priority at that moment.  She didn't really want to keep the mask on, so I tried to distract her with a few iPhone selfies.

See those sad eyes? She really did not feel good.  The doctors said they thought it was a virus, possibly the Enterovirus D68 but that there was no real way to confirm it.  Well, they COULD confirm it, but you basically have to send it off somewhere to get results, and it didn't even make sense to do that since treatment is the same if it was that strain of the virus or if it was just some other virus. Basically they sent us home to keep monitoring her, with instructions to come back to the office if she started wheezing again or to go straight to the ER if she started having trouble breathing. It was very comforting- not. We did get a steroid prescription that was supposed to help keep her asthma under control.

I called Kevin as I was pulling out of the doctors office to talk to him about my call with our adoption agency.  We discussed the situation and quickly decided that YES, this was our daughter.  The next phone call was to our agency and after we said YES, we got some more details and were told where our baby girl was and when we could get her. We were supposed to bring her home the next morning!! We also received a picture of her. :)

Ah, again!  Kevin was still out of town, a few hours away. We had NOTHING ready but thankfully, we already had one sweet girl that was only 3 years old, so we could re-use lots of her baby stuff.  I spent the evening pulling down stuff from our attic, running to Target, washing bottles, etc while Kevin drove home.

Around 10pm that night, we also got an email from our agency that said "When you decide on a name, please let us know as soon as possible so we can put it on all of the paperwork."

Oh yeah. We had to pick out a name! Though we had been talking about names off an on for a year, we had really only agreed on ONE name during that whole time.  When Kevin got home, we quickly agreed that the only name we'd agreed on would be her name. (See Kevin's Blog for more of a back story on her name.)

We sent Kate to stay with her Nana, who would get her lots of love and attention, and baby her while she didn't feel great.  I got no sleep that night.  Kevin never has a problem sleeping, but I had too many thoughts running through my head.

The following morning, after a conference call with our agency, we headed to the hospital to meet our sweet girl!  It was such a sweet time!

It took a while, but we were finally discharged and then had to drive to Bethany's office to sign LOTS of paperwork.

And just like that - we were a family of FOUR.

Welcome to the family Karsten Rose! We are so excited to have you, and Kate is LOVING being a big sister. (Because she was sick, she didn't get to meet Karsten for a few days. I'll share her part of the story, and the video of them meeting for the first time in a separate post soon, but here is a little teaser.)

Thank you all for the love and support, (and prayers!) over the past year. I know I've complained about how slowly this adoption was going, and how impatient I have been getting, and I take it all back!  I knew it would be the case, but the wait is ALWAYS worth it.  Just like with Kate's adoption, there are a few different ways that God really showed off.

For example, Kevin always posts scripture to his Facebook every morning.  He keeps a running list of scripture that he reads and particularly likes, and saves it as a Note on his phone.  He will then copy/paste the next scripture on the list into his status each day.  At 7am on the morning that we found out about Karsten, this is what he posted:

John 14:18 No, I will not abandon you as orphans - I will come to you.

Also - Kate was born the day before our wedding anniversary. Karsten was born on the anniversary of the day Kevin proposed. 

Just the week before, I was talking to someone at work and telling them how this would be the PERFECT time for us to get a baby.  Of all the times of the year, this is the slowest time for me and would be the easiest time for me to be able to spend some time at home. After we got Karsten, I looked at my PTO that had been accrued, along with the parental time that my work is giving me, and my time runs out on... December 31st.  How perfect is that? Then I get to jump right into busy season. That will be fun, right?? With a 3.5 year old and a 3 month old, I'll probably be asking for prayers then... and so will Kevin!

And lastly, we have gotten SO many comments about how Kate and Karsten look a like.  Although I definitely see their differences and sometimes they look NOTHING alike, sometimes they do look very similar! I thought it would be fun to show them at the same age, so here it is:

Even without all of those "wow" moments, we can see God's perfect timing all through this adoption. We are so happy and thankful.  Our hearts are full, and forever grateful for Karstens' birth mom, just as we are forever grateful to Kate's birth family.


  1. I have been borderline stalking your blog waiting for this post :) I am just thrilled for you guys!!!
    Also, it made me laugh, because we found out about Jillian the day before we picked her up also, and I lay awake ALL night going crazy while Jonathan slept like a do men do that?!

  2. I'm so excited for y'all!! She's one lucky girl, I can't wait to see more of her and Kate together

  3. Congratulations on your new arrival.

  4. Congratulations :) Such a happy ending :)

  5. Your blog has stood as a check-in of hope for me in my own adoption wait... we brought home our baby boy 4 weeks ago :) I have had very little time, with a newborn, to keep up with your blog... but seeing this post today made me sooo happy for you four as if I knew you personally!!! God Bless your little family!! -Alexis

  6. Yay!! Congratulations!! I bet it was super hard for Kate to wait to meet her.

  7. This is such good news. Congratulations. Somehow after reading your post I felt so much hope and peace within. Your family story shows the work of God and his ever lasting love.
    Keep well and enjoy every single moment with your little one.

  8. Wow congratulations! She is so beautiful. Good luck with her. I bet Kate is going to be a great big sister. God bless you all.

  9. I am crying at work as I read this! I am just so happy for your family. Can't wait to follow Karsten's story as well as Kate's!! I feel like I know your family just from your blog, ha! I will definitely be praying you through the busy season!!

  10. Oh my goodness, Congratulations!! I love hearing how God works in these stories! Kate will be such a good big sister! Welcome to the world, Karsten!

  11. I don't know you, but I have read your blog for a long time and never commented! I just want to say Congratulations!! I am so excited for your family!

  12. Congratulations!!!!! I hadn't stopped by in a while and took me a bit to understand that the new baby was HOME! Such a blessing. Enjoy your girls!

  13. Oh my gosh! Yes! This is so wild because I had this feeling you guys were going to be matched soon. I really wanted to say that, but thought it sounded strange so I just posted that I hoped you were matched soon on the adoption #2 pagen... And the day I posted that was the 6th! So happy for you guys.

  14. Oh my! You must have been through a roller coaster of emotions with everything that has happened. Your story, with all those tender and heartfelt moments, is a wonderful read. Thank you so much for sharing it, together with those pictures of your dearest girls. I'm wishing you and your whole family all the best!

    Carlos Strey @ The Bridge Across


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