Monthly Archives: June 2013

Adoption Day Official

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On June 13th, we drove to Houston (for hopefully) the last time for a while to make our adoption official in the eyes of the court. We knew this day would come and we felt it was official on December 12, 2012 when his birthparents signed the relinquishment papers, but we had six months to prove that we were capable of parenting and we finally did it! For the first time, we stayed the night instead of driving straight there and back. The main reason being that we had to put baby boy in a suit and we did not want to do that in the car. A friend from college allowed us to stay at her house and we had a blast playing family games with the kids. The next day we woke up early and drove to Richmond County to attend our court date.

The whole morning was event free until we got to the courthouse. Nathan could not tie his tie and as you can see in the pics, the matching ties was a big thing to the outfits being perfect. He got so frustrated! I tried to help, but know nothing about ties and then time just started ticking until we had to just go inside. When my beautiful husband gets mad, he tends to just withdrawal in his frustration, so here I am holding a baby, a purse, a baby bag and trying to get through court security while wearing an A-line skirt and heels. In addition, Houston heat is humid so I am sweating like a girl in a sauna and so is my baby in his suit. The love of my life is only holding his jacket and tie…the security and random strangers are all holding things for me and opening doors as they see me struggling. I don’t think the hubs was trying to be mean, but he was frustrated and panicked and not thinking. To be fair, I also have a “I can do it by myself” attitude, but I was sweating which was uncool. In all that madness, I left the court information in the car (not going back in that heat) so we had to read every screen to find our name until we found it at the last screen in the hall. Nathan ran to the bathroom to finally get his tie on correctly and while he was gone, they called our name. I stalled by not going in, texting his phone and praying that the judge was patient. When I finally saw him, I told him to run just as the lawyer came back out to call our name for the second time. Nathan acted like it was no big deal, but the good girl in me felt like we kept the court waiting.

Once inside, we had to raise our right hand and swear to be honest and then they asked us questions such as:

4. Has the child resided in your home for at least six (6) months?

5. Has the child fit in well in your home?

6. Have you developed an emotional attachment to the child?

7. Do you feel that it is in the best interest of the child for you and your husband to adopt the child?

8. Do you understand that you are to give this child the same love and affection of any other child in your household or to ever come into your household?

All of which I answered with an “absolutely”, “of course” and “most definitely”. On #6 I began to tear up because they have no idea and on #8 I just thought “Lord willing…” I think of all the details of this adoption from the God given timing to the setbacks and failures that came flooding into my mind. The key events that put me and his birthmother into perfect timing and the realization that this whole journey was God’s plan to meet our son. How God’s amazing grace had the best plan ever even though I felt He was failing me by not being pregnant. The truth is He never forgot about me, I was always with Him and He is faithful even though He knew what I needed more than I did. In spite of all my failures, He still loves me so much that He found our family and created this perfect kid for us to raise. I just sing in my heart Matt Redman’s song “Never Once” whenever I reflect on this journey.

The judge made the adoption official, gave him Adolphus the Adoption bear which he loves and then allowed us to take a pic in her courtroom. The whole thing took 5 minutes, but I tried to soak in every moment even though I am still sweating and carrying a 19 pound six month old (he is in the 80th percentile of weight but 44th percentile of heighth…short and chunky kid).

It all feels complete even though it is far from over. We still have this amazing task of raising a son, navigating the waters of adoption, growing as a married couple and whatever else we will experience God willing. I am most thankful to not be driving back to Houston next month and not filling out paperwork documenting our progress. Our son’s birthparents no longer live in Texas, so I am uncertain of our visits with them in person, but we are still in close contact online and through letters. They will always know of his progress guaranteed and they will always be family. Needless to say I am one blessed mom!

The good news is: I am unsure where this blog goes from here. Infertility still exists, but raising this boy has caused me to look passed it. Adoption is always interesting, but it feels mostly done except the random things that will pop up as we speak about adoption every day of his life…no secrets and no treating it like a bad thing. It is our normal and how this family was happily created. I am not a mommy blog kinda person except for just random updates of parenting and funny stuff. So who knows where this will go from here. What I do know is that I love looking back on this blog from the beginning a year ago and seeing it all unfold. Thankful that I started this after the Lupus diagnosis, but before the adoption so I could share all the moments of waiting for our child. Look forward to good things ahead as we deal with are we one and done or building for #2? Who knows!!!

The Power of a Pop

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This post is from the perspective of a teacher.  I will be starting my eleventh year of teaching this fall…I’m getting old I know, but one thing stays consistent and that is the power of a father in a child’s life.  I have taught both third and fifth so I can say that age does not matter, but relationships do.  Sadly, I have seen my fair share…in fact too large of a share of absent fathers.  Now, it might be the environment I work in (lower income), but absent fathers are becoming more of a norm instead of an exception and it radiates through every aspect of a child’s life. 

I want to thank those of you that are fathers taking your responsibility seriously.  Financial support is truly a small part of it…your influence runs so much deeper.  I love to see an involved dad or involved couple in the classroom.  It is also good to see these men modeling loving their child’s mother or at least respecting her if they are no longer together. 

Mothers are equally important, but thankfully I rarely see/read of absent moms.  I do read journal after journal about missing their dads, not knowing their dads, or hating their dads because they were never around.  To be fair, I also read many journals of the father being present, but inattentive, drunk, abusive or mean…I applaud the moms that were brave enough to get out instead of staying for the financial support-a lifetime of abuse is damaging as well and young girls especially need to see a model of a man treating a woman right.  I see way too many preteen girls looking for love in a boy that they are missing from a father.

I can’t judge as I too have been in relationships with guys that I just thank God that he never asked me to marry him because I would have probably said yes and ruined my life…they were not good men and would not have been good fathers.  So many boys are making babies and then abandoning their kids because they were never ready to parent…just watch 16 and Pregnant to see that in action. 

I thank God my husband is a good dad to my son. My husband not only was ready to be a dad, but he is a dad to our adopted son and you would never know it was not his sperm that created the baby…biology does not matter, but love does and he loves our son.  We pray to be a healthy influence to our son so that he supports his family, loves his wife and loves any child or children they produce together.  Satan knows how to distract a man and he loves to break up a home by attacking the father. 

I pray that in the future every kid comes into my room and whether the dad is in the home or not, at least they have a relationship. (Moms know best on this one and if the mother chooses to stop the relationship then it must be for a good reason.)  It does matter and will make a difference much more than you know.  For those where dads are not around either in death or other circumstances, then I hope they have an uncle or grandfather or coach or step dad that can fill that role and give the child some balance.  To all you men that are fulfilling this role well then I applaud you today as it is not easy and you are doing the right thing.

The good news is: if you did not have a dad around for whatever reason and are missing that love that only a father could give then know God can be that love.  He can fill that hole and he will never leave you.  You never have to want in His presence.   

To my Husband on Adoption Day

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Dear Husband,

Remember when we met and you said that adoption was not for you?  Remember when agreed to not start trying until we were thirty? Remember going on all those trips that were suppose to be the last trip before conceiving but we always went on another one?  Remember finding out I had Lupus? Remember sitting in the doctor’s office and looking at the ultrasound of an empty womb and thinking “the first ultra sound was not suppose to be like this?”  Remember hearing the words that I should not get pregnant and likely would not get pregnant?  Remember we took a day off from work to just soak those words in? Remember praying not to get pregnant but for God to make us a family and just submitting to His will and not our own?  Remember researching all those agencies and going back to one that we got randomly over a year ago?   Remember submitting our adoption paperwork in and then immediately driving to Houston to attend a seminar?  Remember holding me when I was crying that this was all too hard…remember you reminding me that God has a plan and it will all work out the way it was meant to be and trust Him?  Remember the first second and third time that I wanted to quit all this because it was so much work?  Remembering wondering boy or girl, blonde hair or brown, blue eyes or brown, light skin or tan and wondering when he/she would be born and all the many details like which hospital, which birth parent, which city, which day…how would it all happen?  Remember cleaning, refurnishing, repainting and updating our house for the home study…remember ALL that work?  Remember turning in our adoption book and waiting for the phone to ring and thinking we  could get a call any day and we would be parents?  Remember waiting and waiting for over two months?  Remember getting the email that said we had been chosen but she backed out and our book was now back on the table for other birthmoms look at?  Remember me wondering if the adoption book was not good enough even though I labored on it for months…day and night…I worked on making that book perfect?  Remember getting the call that we had been chosen…and it was a boy….and he would be born on December 17th.. and he was half hispanic and already big?  Remember meeting the birthmom and learning December 10th and he was REALLY big?  Remember telling all of our family and a few close friends and our jobs, but then keeping the rest a secret because we were so afraid that it would not work out? Remember driving to Houston knowing our son would be born today…and we stopped to take pictures in front of the hospital? Remember seeing him through the nursery for the first time….all nine pounds and fifteen ounces?  Remember feeding him for the first time and listening to his sounds and thinking I can’t  believe we are HIS parents? Remember going back to the hotel for the first night and downloading ALL the pictures and videos we took (we still take LOTS of pictures)counting the minutes until we could go back to see him and feed him and hold him? Remember waiting in the hospital lobby for his birthparents to sign the papers and feeling relief then joy when they did?  Remember driving home with him in the car seat…remembering trying to figure out the car seat?  Remember bringing him in our home to meet our parents and our dogs and our friends?  Remember taking a picture in front of the Christmas tree then making it Facebook official that he was ours forever?  The first time he spit up and the first time he peed on us both and that first day that you had him all by yourself?  Remember the first Christmas and the first New Year’s, his circumcision, meeting Santa, getting his shots and the first month being with him together and every month, week and day thereafter? 

My dear husband…we did the right thing.  All these memories led us to this adoption day when he will officially be ours forever and I could not be happier. Thank you for being there through it all…we did it!!!

Love, your wife

 

Adoption Day Thoughts

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Hard to believe that it has been six months since we brought baby boy home.  It has been an amazing journey and one chapter closes on Friday as we officially adopt our son.  It was already pretty much official when the parents signed over their rights on December 12, 2012, but our agency is required to follow up with us for six months before the state will declare the adoption complete.  The last six months have consisted of five more face to face meetings and random documentation showing a healthy baby and capable parenting.  Tonight, as I put him to bed I read my favorite adoption book “God Found Us You” and just cried joyful tears.  Tears that remember buying the book long before we knew what our son looked like.  A book bought before we knew if it was a boy or a girl…we planned knowing it would happen, but none of the God’s details had been revealed yet.  Now we know.

Now, we know that our son is big and strong (in the 75th percentile of weight and height and growing bigger everyday.  He is the chillest and best baby ever!  Goes to anyone easily, only cries when hungry, has yet to be sick besides a stuffy nose, doesn’t take a pacifier but soothes with his fist on occasion, loves to laugh and smile and is developing on pace or advanced.  Our friends love him because he’s just chill, relaxed and easy.  I can brag this much because all these traits have nothing to do with us…God gave us the baby that we could handle and I guess he knew that we could not handle much.  I remember the years of pregnancy tests and infertility drugs, opk’s and sperm friendly gels, laying down with my legs up to help the sperm and so much calendar counting that I gave up.  I remember the doctors, the appointments, the tears of hope and the tears of sadness.  I remember all the trips to Houston and back to Dallas with only staying in a hotel once…we have made that drive so much there and back in a day.  I remember meeting his birthmom then going to the hospital the day he was born.  Bringing him home with terror and fear because my grandmother was dying and I was also a new mom.  Watching him breathe through the monitor and googling everything because I had no idea what I was doing.  The first nights of sleeplessness followed by so much sleep that I thought something was wrong.  First baths, first sounds, first smiles and sharing him with all our friends that were so excited for us.

 I remember going back to work and rushing home to see him.  Hearing for the first time that I was his mother by the doctor’s office and celebrating Mother’s Day.  Keeping in touch with his birthparents and sending them pics for every holiday.  Making a brochure each month showing his growth and taking these month by month pics.  I am so blessed that God has created this child and then called us to parent him.  I feel like I was born to be his mom.  That every decision and diagnosis and test result and meeting lead us to him.  This is how it was suppose to be all along.  Every setback was really a step forward and in the silence God was moving…it felt slow, but it was right on time.  On Friday, we will hear a judge make this adoption official and the chapter of checking in and government documentation will be over.  The payments to an agency will be through and that drive will be over for a while or until we choose to go back.  Our son has always had the same name due to the greatness of the birthmom, but now we know it is a legal document signed by us.  It felt long at the time, but looking back it was so worth it.  I am so blessed to have been on this journey.  So blessed to share it all with you.  I go back and reread at the beginning when  I did not know the outcome and feel humbled.  Please pray for our safety as we make this long travel and please pray for the upcoming days of summer bliss as I am a stay at home mom until school starts again.  All glory goes to God who has called us to adopt.  To be honest, I always wondered would adoption be enough…well it is better because it helped us to grow in our faith as we learned to trust Jesus and not science.  It helped us to grow as a couple as we watched God change our hearts and it introduced us to new people that we would have never met. This day is a day of triumph as we obeyed our God and trusted Him that His plan was best even though it did not look like our plan.  

The good news is: God was always present.  His love never fails, it never gives up and never runs out on me.  <