I am 34 years old and have suffered through 2.5 years of infertility including 2 angel babies. My dream has always been to be a mom, and I never imagined that dream would be so difficult to attain. I am married to a wonderful man who is the best husband and daddy anyone could hope for. Our dreams came true when we adopted our son, Jackson, in August of 2010. Our lives became even more blessed and full when our daughter, Addison, was born in February 2011. Please join us on our journey - where surprises are just part of the fun!
Ok, as requested, here are some pictures of me and the baby and all three of us. I don't think we look all that great in the pics, but Jackson looks adorable as usual:). We are VERY busy with our trip in Michigan and our new role as parents, but we are enjoying every second we have with him. Hopefully once we get settled in back at home next week I can get a little more organized and write a little more:). Until then....enjoy!
Our son, Jackson Levi. I honestly can't believe I am writing this post. There were days when I wondered if this day would ever come. But, it is here. The relinquishment papers were signed today, the birthparents are of course sad, but tell us they are happy for us, and Jason is at home with his son right now. I of course am halfway across the country, but I will be holding my son in 26 hours or so...not that I'm counting:). I can breathe again! And, what you all have been waiting for....
Love at First Sight...
Jackson Levi E
Born 8-17-10 at 8:57pm
19 3/4 in.
I started this blog with a wish to someday post a picture of us holding our child. I cannot yet post one of me holding him, and for that my heart aches. I cried all afternoon. BUT, his daddy is holding him, feeding him, changing him, snuggling him and learning all about how to be Jackson's daddy. Honestly, I can't ask for more in this moment. All is right with the world. I will of course post again very soon with pictures of ME holding my son:).
I want to thank ALL of you for your thoughts, prayers, warm wishes, etc. They have meant so much to me. Now, we start a new journey....
For those of you still waiting, don't forget to Nurture Your Hopes...they truly are the seeds of good things to come.
I have done A LOT of waiting in my time of being infertile, pregnant, on the adoption waiting list, etc. But nothing compares to these few days, in which this little guy is our baby in our hearts, but we have no claim to him. This time in which family and friends are celebrating, not quite understanding that unless those papers are signed tomorrow, he is not ours. We have gotten word that the birthmother is struggling with her decision, but always settles on adoption being the best plan. But, the only thing that matters is that she is able to settle on that tomorrow, with the papers in front of her. We trust her to make the right decision for her baby, no matter what that is. But, I cannot sleep or smile or breathe or live until those papers are signed and we can *officially* call him our son. I know that T, the birthmom, is suffering. I know she is in pain, she is grieving, her empty arms are aching. My heart aches knowing I can't be there with her, talk to her, reassure her she will see him in just a few weeks (we have already done the paperwork to schedule the first visit with her with the baby). But, I know nothing I can say can relieve her pain, nothing I can do can make her situation so different that she could parent her son. So, I will take my suffering, because it is my labor. She has hers. This little boy is SO incredibly loved. When the papers are signed, I assure you I will post, and I will finally get to post the adorable pictures of our son:). Until then....let's hope I survive...
Well, first of all I should let you know that this is Faith's Sister, Angela. She is soo busy right now that she wanted me to give you the surprise update.....Drumroll please!!!!!!!!!!
IT'S A BOY!!!!!!!!!!!! Faith got a call from the Social Worker today. She called to update Faith and said the following: Faith- How is SHE? What does SHE look like? Social Worker- The Baby is wonderful, the Baby is beautiful, happy, and healthy, the Baby LOVES It's carseat...There's just one little thing.... IT'S A BOY!!!!!!!
Well needless to say, I as her Sister have racked up many a things, girlie I might add, and now poor little NEPHEW is going to have to suffer through PINK wrapping paper! Hopefully sometime before her Shower everyone will have time to do a quick switch of the gender specific items we all so hastily purchased!!!!!!!!!!LOL We are all so happy and proud of you, Faith!!! So without further ado....................... Congrats Faith and J on your Beautiful Baby Boy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I can't wait to have my Nephew in my arms, but more importantly, I can't wait to see YOUR Baby in your arms!(Tears) Love You! Angela
Ok, just a quick update. Addison Faith was born on 8-17-10. We have NO details until later today when the social worker picks her up from the hospital. We assume she is healthy and at least over 5lbs as she is being released in less than 48 hours. It is excruciating being up here in Michigan, so far from her. I am not sleeping, not resting. Just worrying and anticipating.
The consents will be signed on Sunday. So far, no signs of a change in plans. She is our daughter in our hearts. There is no question. But, she will be officially ours on Sunday. Then we can breathe. At that time, hubby (daddy) will be flying back to get her, bring her to her first pediatrician appointment on Monday morning, and then flying her back up here to Michigan to be with her mommy and all her extended family for a week. It is not the most peaceful way to bring a baby home, but we've never done things the easy way. We will be sure to protect her, spend quiet time with her, and shield her from the chaos. And our family will spoil her rotten:).
We are busy with family wedding stuff for the next couple of days, so I'll post on Sunday when the consents are signed. Until then, I won't be sleeping much!
Ok, so the lighting is not awesome due to the window, but you get the picture. The color is more accurate on the ones with the dresser in them. I love the lilac (Jason doesn't so much:)). We still have to get all our stuff on the walls, but we don't have time until after our vacation, so it'll have to wait. No biggie! I am just so dang excited it's painted. Oh, and there is no update yet on the baby. Guess she's hanging on for a little while longer! Will try to do a quick post when I know more. Enjoy....
We received a call from A (birth dad) today. We are SO thankful to him for keeping us in the loop, and for treating us as if we are already baby girl's parents. He obviously has no obligation to us, and yet he calls, every time. We love him. Anyway, T (bmom) had an ultrasound today and baby girl is very healthy, just very small. Her organs, heart, etc are all healthy as far as they can tell. So, we'll just have a very little peanut. A also informed me that the doctor told T that he believes she'll deliver any minute now. He said he'd be surprised if she made it to the end of the week! Unbelievable! I know, I know, doctors don't know everything and can't really predict when a baby will be born. But, it's more to go on than we had before A called!
We are anxious to know when she will be born due to our scheduled trip out of the state (we're supposed to leave on the 15th). She could rock our world and change our plans all in one day. Most of all, we just want to hold her. We want the papers to be signed. We want our hearts to be whole.
So, I just read a post by J about how her school is NOT giving her a maternity leave because she is adopting (instead of giving birth). It fired me up and reminded me of the LACK of resources I get at my agency because I'm adopting and not giving birth to my child. I feel the need to let the world know about this incredible injustice.
So, first of all, I went through infertility. I was BANNED from the world of getting pregnant easily, seeing the 2 lines, then going on to a have a cute, happy pregnancy, then having my beautiful child 9 months later. That was not happening for me. So, we moved on to adoption. And we couldn't be happier with that decision! Our baby girl is coming home to us soon, and we both know she is meant for our family...even though she is coming at the least convenient time ever:). We STILL know she is our daughter, and we love her already. We'll have to teach her about timing when she gets a little older...lol!
That said, I do NOT get two thirds of my pay for 6 weeks like EVERY other new (birth) mommy at my agency gets. How do they get away with that you ask? Well, my agency only *technically* offers unpaid maternity leave. However, they provide (and pay for) short term disability benefits, and every mom who gives birth qualifies. Therefore, they get two thirds of their pay for 6 weeks (maybe 12, I'm not sure?). When I brought this up to HR, stating that I could not access that benefit because I am not giving birth to my child, they didn't seem too concerned. They are *technically* providing the same benefit to all parents - we just can't ACCESS the benefits the same way.
So, I kindly suggested they consider offering adoption stipends, or something like that, for adopting families (MANY companies do this). HR then told me they don't offer stipends to help all the birthmoms with birth expenses, so why would they offer stipends to adoptive parents? My response to that was...you offer HEALTH BENEFITS that pay for birth expenses! So, I get a bill the size of a house (WELL worth it, mind you), and my agency can't seem to figure out why I might need extra support, too! I should mention I work for a non-profit agency that serves children and families....interesting, huh? I will say this once (for now): Adoptive families are unique. We face unique challenges, and unique gifts. Therefore, benefits and services should be considered that address our unique situation.
I can't go on and on about this because it gets me so worked up and I can't be worked up right now. Let me just say that it IS an injustice, it is unfair, and it should not be tolerated. But, hey, everything they are doing is *technically* legal...so what can I do?
If you are interested in learning about how to get adoption benefits through your company/agency, please go to: http://www.davethomasfoundation.org/Free-Adoption-Resources/Adoption-Benefits
There are great kits at that site. I sent it along to my HR rep. No, I'm not holding my breath.
Ok, the gist of this update is this: there really is no big update! But, people keep asking for updates, so I'll just say where we are for now. We're still waiting for baby girl to be born. We are nervous about timing as we will be traveling out of town during the time she is due. We are not sure how to plan around a not-so-sure date. So, we are just moving forward as we normally would, and will change plans if/when we need to.
T and I are continuing to keep in touch by letters. I can tell she is sad about the upcoming loss, but also happy that the baby is coming home with us. She is sincerely excited for us to finally get to be mom and dad. She is truly amazing. She asked for pictures of the nursery, and I happily obliged. I will post pictures here once it is painted - should be next week sometime.
We are somewhat concerned about baby girl's health. She is measuring very small, and the last two ultrasounds T was supposed to get were canceled. It is very frustrating to not know what is going on in there. We just hope she is healthy as can be, just a little small. I love little peanut babies, so I'm ok with small:). Just be healthy, little one!
Sorry I don't have anything exciting to say! The car seat is ready, the stroller is in the trunk, the bassinet is set up in our bedroom, the nursery is prepared, the swing is assembled and ready to go....now all we need is baby girl:). I'll let you know when I know something! Thank you for all your prayers, thoughts and well wishes. They mean so much to us.
We met with the birthparents on Friday and it was a long, but fulfilling, day. They are both really amazing. Jason and the birthdad (A) hit it off. They are SO much alike it isn't even funny. A rode with us to see the bmom (T), so he and Jason had plenty of time to hit it off. When we got there, drama ensued. Getting into the prison was not as simple as expected, and clearly T had also had a rough morning before our visit. It was clear through our conversation that she continues to struggle with the plan of adoption. She is committed, but she is sad. Of course. I can't even imagine.
We talked about the baby, the adoption plan, our families, etc. I can tell T is wanting more continued contact than A. We made it clear that we are very open, so they just have to tell us what they are comfortable with. We all talked about how amazed we are by the match, how perfect we all are for each other. None of us really could have imagined this situation, so we are all taking it step by step. Paperwork was reviewed, some if it signed. It was surreal. A was wanting to sign his relinquishment paperwork that day (which of course legally he can't). He is very committed to this plan. Both T and A asked that our FULL name chosen for this little girl, last name and all, be placed on the original birth certificate. They have clearly thought a lot about this plan.
So, now it gets complicated. We wait for baby girl to be born, then mom has to leave the hospital before the baby to get back to the prison. They do not notify anyone when she goes to the hospital (including dad!), so our social worker will have to arrange another visit to get into the prison to get the final paperwork signed. We are hoping this goes quickly, but we are slightly concerned. So, we just have to wait and see what happens.
For now, we have been frantically trying to get last minute baby items, get the nursery painted, get it organized, and try to figure out how bills will be paid when I'm off of work (no plan for that yet!). You'd think after trying for 3 years for a child, we'd be ready. But, people are right when they say you can never be ready. I am keenly aware that my life is about to change drastically, and yet I can't wrap my head around it. I can't plan for it, or assure myself that we'll be ok - emotionally or financially. I just have to wait for the change to come, and hope that the strength we have within us will get us through. Wow, this expectant parent thing is heavy stuff!
We are as ready as we can be for you, baby girl! We're dreaming of your arrival, so come on out when you are ready!