May 30, 2009

Another day of waiting.

Another day of family camping out at the house.

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And then, just when I could feel the weight of waiting was going to do me in I went and laid on my bed.

During those hours of waiting, there were many times when I would pray but the words just wouldn’t come. I didn’t know what to say. I knew family and friends were praying and I knew I just needed to rest in the Lord and let Him do His work.

But in those final moments of waiting, I was so incredibly weary. I did not know how I was going to wait anymore. The burden of everything was bringing me down.

So I went to my bed to pray. I was just pouring my heart out to the God I knew loved me and had a marvelous plan for my life because of His promise in Jeremiah 29:11.

And then I heard it.

My cell phone was ringing.

I catapulted myself off the bed and raced into the kitchen where my phone was sitting on the counter.

I quickly announced, “It’s Kim!” and then eagerly answered, “Hello!?!?”

And then I heard the words I had been longing to hear for 81 hours: “SHE IS YOURS!”

I screamed, “SHE IS OURS!” and like busy bees all the family members in the house swarmed to the living room from where they had been in the house.

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And that started a celebration that to this very day is going on yet.

A celebration of the miracle God performed in placing Little Bug in our family.

Two years ago, after that phone call came in at 5:49pm, Dave and I jumped in the car and raced (safely) to the hospital NICU to hold our baby girl.

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I had it in my mind that I was going to stay with Little Bug 24 hours around the clock until she was released from the NICU, but once I was able to think clearly, I realized that I needed to come home to sleep because it would do neither of us any good for me to become sleep deprived before bringing a newborn home!

That night Dave and I stayed until close to 11pm with Little Bug in the NICU.

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Our families finally were able to meet Little Bug! So that everyone could meet her together, one of the sweet nurses said she would unhook Little Bug from her monitors and bring her to the NICU front door so everyone could meet her. My parents, Dave’s parents and our siblings all gathered at the front door and got their first glimpse of Little Bug that night!

This began our 4-day stay in the NICU (Little Bug had been moved there the day before to go through her withdrawals). These four days are some of the most precious days as a new mother for me. At the time my mom was working, but after a day of trying to work knowing Little Bug and I were sitting in the NICU, she decided she was taking off to come be with us. Dave worked while Little Bug was in the NICU so he could take time off once she came home.

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During the day my mom and I kept vigil at Little Bug’s issolette. We did not want to leave her alone, so we would take turns leaving to go use the restroom or to eat lunch! Only parents were allowed to hold baby in the NICU, so my mom wasn’t allowed to hold her, but on the day that Little Bug was to come home from the hospital, a nurse let my mom hold Little Bug. That thrilled her heart!

A hospital volunteer told my mom to feed Little Bug (even though she had just eaten!). My mom mentioned that she wasn’t hungry, but the volunteer was insistent that my mom feed her, so she did. And then Little Bug threw up everywhere! Grandma already knew what Little Bug needed!

Those NICU days hold some very special memories for me of sitting there with my mom and Little Bug for hours on end taking care of Little Bug (which consisted mainly of diaper changes, feedings every 3-4 hours and swaddling her up to let her sleep in the issolete so she could get rid of the drugs in her tiny body). I know that our NICU stay could have been a lot longer, but Little Bug was only there 5 days.

June 3rd, Little Bug was released from the hospital and we brought her home!

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And the fun hasn’t stopped since!

May 29, 2009

I do not like May 29th, 2009.

Drama was at it’s peak and we spent the entire day just waiting.

We had no clue how things were going to pan out.

We had no idea if Little Bug would be our daughter or not.

I have never waited on something more nerve wracking in all my life.

Family and friends spent the entire day over at our house. Our front door was a revolving door as people were coming and going all day long. I didn’t want it to just be Dave and me sitting there waiting for a phone call by ourselves. Having family and friends waiting with us meant so much.

There was lots of scripture read and lots of prayers.

And there was peace in the midst of the storm.

But that day and the previous day and the day to come were the slowest days of my life.

Those days were literally lived minute to minute.

Life was on hold as we waited to see what God’s plan was.

May 28, 2009

We slept in this day because we were worn out from hardly any sleep. Tracy sent me a text in the morning apologizing for last night (sending me home via the lawyer). Dave and I went for a short visit at the hospital to see Tracy and Little Bug.

Just as we were pulling into the hospital parking lot, the drama started. The lawyer called and told me Tracy didn’t want to sign the papers tomorrow as planned. At the time we didn’t know if this meant she didn’t want to ever sign the papers or what.

Walking into the hospital with a smile on my face when I just wanted to run to a corner and ball my eyes out was so incredibly hard.

Tracy was acting peculiar and we didn’t know what to think.

Dave and I were alone with Little Bug in the hospital room for a little bit. Dave prayed as I held Little Bug and I couldn’t help but let a few tears fall.

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We didn’t know what the outcome of this was going to be. It was so unnerving. We were holding and loving a baby we didn’t know would be ours or not.

We didn’t stay long that day.

As we left the hospital room I had no idea of knowing that was the last time I would see Tracy until our reunion with her nearly 20 months later at the zoo.

We left the hospital, the moments ticking away like hours. Everything just felt like slow motion. It was incredibly hard not knowing what the outcome of this adoption was going to be.

That evening friends and family came to our home and we spent two hours praying and reading scripture together.

As stressed out as I was, there was inner peace, that could only come from the Lord. I had no other options but to just trust God. And trust God I did.

I didn’t know how I was going to sleep at all that night but I did sleep, although I woke up the next morning at 5:30am (which I never do).

This was just the beginning of waiting and another huge lesson from the Lord about giving up control and letting God take care of matters.

There was absolutely nothing I could do. All I could do was pray.

And pray I did. While I of course prayed that God would give us Little Bug to be our daughter, I ultimately prayed for God’s Will to be done because I knew that God’s Will was best and God’s Will would prevail.

May 27, 2009

Two years ago today, I watched my daughter enter this world.

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I was not the one laying in the bed giving birth, but through the graciousness of Tracy, I was there. I heard Little Bug’s first cry and, after she was held by her birth mother and birth grandmother, Little Bug was place in my arms.

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And I was instantly in love.

Although, it is funny to me to now think about the love I felt for Little Bug on the day of her birth.

It is funny to me, because now, 730 days later, my love for Little Bug has only grown deeper and stronger in ways that I never dreamed were possible as I stood in that delivery room holding her for the first time.

As I stood in that delivery room realizing my dream of motherhood was right within my reach.

I loved Little Bug on that day, but I was not naive to the events that had to still occur for me to officially become her mother.

If there is one thread of pregnancy and giving birth that I still hold on to, it would be the forty-eight hours after birth.

I do not know what it is like to give birth to a baby knowing they are wholly completely mine from the moment they draw their first breath. I do not know what it is like to lay in the hospital bed with my tiny newborn cradled in my arms knowing this tiny miracle is all mine.

Instead, for forty-eight hours (that eventually turned into eighty-one hours) I battled emotions in my head that are totally not natural. I loved Little Bug from the moment I first laid eyes on her, but it was a cautious love, a reserved love, because ultimately I knew in order for Little Bug to be my daughter, her birth mother had to make a sacrificial decision to sever her rights as Little Bug’s mother and pass those along to me.

Those 81 hours were the longest hours of my life thus far!

But…back to the delivery room and the events of May 27, 2009.

I held Little Bug and then passed her to Dave. He held her but I was itching to get her back in my arms so Dave gave her back to me. Dave was wanting to hold her too, so back to Dave she went until the hospital had to take her away to do all they do to newborns after birth.

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Little Bug was born at 7:11am and by 9am (I think) Dave and I were camped out at the nursery window, eyes glued on Little Bug. And this is where we stayed for HOURS until one of the nurses closed the blinds on the curtain window.

As I think back on it, we stood there for hours and they were probably concerned of a possible kidnapping in the works? Who knows. But they eventually closed the curtains and that was the end of watching Little Bug through the nursery window.

It wasn’t long and we were invited to Tracy’s hospital room where we spent the remainder of the day holding and caring for Little Bug.

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I’m not going to lie and say it wasn’t awkward, though. Here we were in Tracy’s room, holding this baby we so desired to become our daughter. I had changed a million diapers before changing my first diaper on Little Bug, but I was a ball of nerves having Tracy staring at me as I changed Little Bug!

Tracy was very gracious to allow us this time with Little Bug, but again I was reminded that it was not just me, my husband and our baby in that hospital room.

There was an element of oddness, and yet an element of miracle. An element of serenity and an element of nerves.

Tracy changed her mind about me spending that first night with her and Little Bug in the hospital room. I still chuckle at the way Tracy told me to leave. As interesting as my relationship is with Tracy, this is no exception. Tracy had the lawyer call me on my cell because she just didn’t have the heart to tell me to my face that she wanted me to leave.

I, of course, left in tears (as any adoptive mother would) with thoughts of Tracy changing her mind on the forefront of my mind.

Right before I left Little Bug, not knowing if I would ever see her again or really become her mother, I shot this video:

(video won’t upload, I will have to try again later)

And that was the end of Little Bug’s first day.

Even though I say how nice it would be to actually give birth to my children for the simple fact that I would avoid those first forty-eight hours of living in limbo, I would not choose pregnancy over adoption any day.

I set out four years ago to build my family the typical way. My journey has become anything but typical and I would not change it for anything.

This girl is not flesh of my flesh or bone of my bone, but she is my daughter.

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And although I never thought it possible, I love her more than I did on the day of her birth two years ago.

And I know, tomorrow I will love her just a little bit more than I do today.

5 Days of Utter Joy, Anxiety and Peace

May 26th: Bags were packed. Around 10pm that night we got a call from Tracy saying she thought she was in labor!

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May 27th: Little Bug entered this world at 7:11am weighing 5lbs. 12oz.

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May 28th: Walking the fine line of holding (and loving) a baby girl that we hoped would soon officially become our daughter.

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May 29th: The drama started. These cell phones started a massive prayer chain as we waiting to find out if Little Bug would be ours.

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May 30th: She is ours! We rushed to the hospital to hold our baby girl.

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June 3rd Little Bug was released from the hospital and we came home!

My life has never been the same!

May 29th

When planning Little Bug’s birthday party I would not plan her party for today, May 29th, because I do not like the date May 29th.

I know that may seem strange, so let me explain.

We had a waiting period of 81 hours from the time of Little Bug’s birth to getting the call from our lawyer saying Tracy had signed the consent and Little Bug was officially ours.

I know for some states, there can be a waiting period of 30 days for the birth mother to change her mind. To me, that is torture, for both adoptive parents and birth parents. In our state, Tracy could sign the consent after 48 hours of Little Bug’s birth.

Originally,we were set to do the signing at 9am on Friday, May 29th, just over 48 hours after Little Bug’s birth.

I will forever remember the drop in my heart as we pulled into the parking garage around 7pm on the night of May 28th for a visit with Tracy and Little Bug at the hospital.

My cell phone rang as we were getting out of the car. It was the lawyer and she told me words that ripped my heart right out of my chest.

She told me that Tracy didn’t want to sign the next day. My mind was literally swirling as I tried to comprehend whether she didn’t want to sign, period, or if this was just a delay.

I could barely keep myself together as I made my way up to the hospital room. I sat holding Little Bug completely torn whether I should allow myself to love her or if I would walk out of that hospital room and never see her sweet little face again.

It was agony.

In the back of my mind there was always the knowledge that I was holding a baby that was not yet officially mine.

As soon as the visit ended, I was back on the phone with the lawyers who tried, to the best of their knowledge, to fill me in on what was going on.

I can’t go into details (sorry), but I can say that I knew I was completely out of control of the situation and there was nothing I could do to sway the outcome of this situation – except wait.

And so began the LONGEST twenty-four hours of my life.

On the way home from the hospital on the night of the 28th, Dave and I stopped at the gas station just down the street from our subdivision. I was sitting there in the passenger seat staring off into space when my sister-in-law’s roommate (who happens to also be my friend) pulled up in her car beside me. She got out of her car and walked over to me.

“Congratulations!", she said. When she asked how I was doing I started to cry as I shared with her what was really going on. The compassion in her eyes was the genuine concern of a sister in Christ. I poured my heart out to her and together we got the idea to have a prayer meeting at my house that night.

I called some close family and friends who came over to our house that night to pray with us. There was a somber, yet hopeful mood in my home that evening.

Everyone took turns just pouring their hearts out to God on our behalf and pleaded with Him to please allow this precious baby girl to be our daughter. And yet, even though it was so hard to pray, everyone prayed God’s will be done – even if it meant Little Bug was not to be ours.

I cannot tell you just how uplifting it was to have family and friends surrounding me that night. Driving home from the hospital I didn’t know how I was going to survive those hours of waiting.

I needed the presence of my family and friends and they were there surrounding me in the darkest hour.

That prayer time lasted about 2 hours. I’d never been a part of something so amazing and haven’t since.

I didn’t know how I was going to get a wink of sleep that night, but I slept and I slept well. My hope was in the Lord and it was His strength that was holding me up as I waited.

I awoke very early on the morning of May 30th. I went into Little Bug’s nursery and continued the conversation with God that had been started the evening before.

Our parents came over to our house to wait with us that day. I didn’t want to be sitting in our house alone. I wanted people around.

We were in contact with the lawyers who told us we were to meet with the birth mom that afternoon to discuss some things.

This was my breaking point. I remember sitting in a chair in my living room completely feeling lifeless. I had not an ounce of strength in my body. I seriously did not know how I was going to get up and go fight the battle that I had to fight.

God’s presence was all over during those torturous hours of waiting. Suddenly a strength came over me like nothing I had ever experienced in my life.

I stood up.

I walked to my bathroom and began brushing my teeth, getting dressed and getting ready to go to battle for my child.

I felt an inner strength within me that I knew was God and God alone.

I wasn’t going to this meeting alone. God was going with me and He already knew the outcome and nothing I said, or didn’t say, would change that outcome.

I remember telling Dave, “Let’s go. I’m ready.” and avoiding my mother like the plague because I knew if I allowed myself to get a hug from her or allow her to say anything to me I would crumble right there and not have the strength to go on.

We pulled out of the driveway. Mama waved.

Later she told me she went into Little Bug’s nursery armed with her Bible and prayed and read Scripture until we came home.

Turns out Tracy decided the meeting with us was unnecessary. We met with the lawyers and a councelor who had talked to Tracy that morning.

We learned what was causing the delay. (I will just say it wasn’t Tracy second guessing her adoption plan. It was something totally unrelated to Little Bug and the adoption plan she had made for her.)

The signing of the consent was set for later that afternoon.

We went home for more agonizing waiting. Every minute seemed like an hour and every hour seemed an eternity. Time stood still.

Our parents were still at our house. We played games and ate dinner, all in the hopes that those activities would be great distracters from thinking about what was happening.

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I had felt a sense of calm but as 5:30 approached and we had not heard anything from the lawyers, I felt the anxiety creeping into the corners of my heart.

The waiting was literally about to make me go crazy. I didn’t know how much more I could take. I was getting to the point that I just wanted to know – I wanted to know if Little Bug was going to be our daughter or not. Just tell me!

I went and laid on my bed. I just laid there. I didn’t have any more words to pray.

In God’s great mercy, I had been laying there for probably 10 minutes or less when my cell phone rang.

I sprung off the bed and began running like a manic through the house to my cell phone. I urgently answered when I saw it was our lawyer.

She said, “She’s YOURS! Congratulations!”

I know I probably hurt her ear because I was still holding the phone when I screamed for the entire household (and probably a few neighbors) to hear, “SHE’S OURS!!!!!!”

It was a glorious moment. Tears streamed down my face and a prayer of thanksgiving filled my heart completely.

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It was over.

The years of waiting.

The pain and disappointment of the recent past was no more.

God had walked me through the fire and blessed me beyond measure. This was truly happening.

I was a mother to a precious baby girl.

Those moments after the phone call from the lawyer were surreal.

It wasn’t 10 minutes later and Dave and I were rushing to the hospital to see our baby girl.

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Yes, God is a God who turns mourning into dancing and weeping into laughter.

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On the Eve before Little Bug’s birth…

I don’t think I’ve ever really shared the story of something else amazing that happened on the Eve before Little Bug’s birth.

We arrived at the hospital after the birth mom called to tell us she was in labor.

After sitting with her in the hospital for a couple hours we left her hospital room and went to this waiting room so everyone could try and get some sleep. 

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When we walked in it was dark and a woman sat on a couch talking on her cell phone while her two children were sound asleep on another couch.

When we walked into the waiting room, I was so weary. Not just physically weary but emotionally and spiritually weary as well. While adoption is not stressful in the same ways infertility treatments are, adoption still brings it’s stresses along the way.

At this point in the journey to Little Bug, I was weary because I knew the best day of my life was approaching in that I was about to witness the birth of my daughter. And then at the same time, as always, in the back of my mind, I wondered if the birth mom would follow through with her adoption plan.

Dave and I went in the waiting room looking for physical rest. What awaited us was nothing short of another miracle only God could orchestrate.

It wasn’t long and the woman got off her cell phone. She turned to me and asked, “Are you waiting for someone to have a baby?”

“Well, we are actually adopting a baby and the birth mom is in labor right now.”

The woman got a HUGE smile on her face while she said, “My sister-in-law is adopting and her birth mom is in labor too!!!”

It is amazing how one spoken sentence can make an instant connection between two complete strangers.

Upon hearing Laura say that I could literally feel some of my stress melt away. It was just so relieving to know I sat in that waiting room with someone in the same boat as Dave and me.

We started sharing our stories. Turns out Laura had adopted the two adorable children sleeping on the couch. And now, after waiting 17 years to become a mother, her sister-in-law, Jean and her husband, Jim were about to become parents.

To add to the excitement, Jean and Jim did not know the sex of the baby they were to adopt!

At one point during our conversation Jean flew through the waiting room door. Laura introduced us to her and shared that we too were there waiting for the child we were to adopt to be born.

Jean and Laura soon left the waiting room and I sat in silence in awe of a God who takes the time to do something as amazing as that when He is already working the miracle of bringing Little Bug to us as our daughter.

God is a God of no limitations.

Dave and I attempted to get some rest (I failed miserably). Little Bug was born at 7:11am.

I kept wondering about Jean and her baby. My memory is foggy about when our paths crossed again with Jean’s.

Both babies ended up in the NICU. There I learned that Jean had a son who had been born just after midnight the day after Little Bug!

Later, my mother would show both Jean and me this incredible picture she took around the time of Little Bug and Ethan’s births:

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Do you see it?? Look closely and you will see a double rainbow!

God brought our families together and gave life to these two miracle babies on (almost) the same day and placed a double rainbow in the sky as if to give a concrete reminder of His faithfulness towards two women and their deep desire to become mothers!

Our God is an awesome God!

Little Bug and Ethan became NICU buddies. Their beds were close and Jean and I would sit by our babies and talk when we could. It certainly helped the hours spent in the NICU to pass a little more quickly at times!

Here we are holding up Little Bug and Ethan’s going home outfits.

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Ethan went home a day before Little Bug. We broke the NICU rules (opps!) for a picture of the babies in the NICU before Ethan left. (Ethan and Jean came over to Little Bug’s area so we could get a picture together in the NICU. Rules are you are to stay at your baby’s bed.)

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Ethan was almost twice Little Bug’s size!!

Jean and I have kept in touch through facebook and email over the past two months, but yesterday, she and Ethan came over for a visit!!

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Little Bug and Ethan in a conversation with each other!

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Holding hands!

Don’t think for one minute that God isn’t concerned with minute details in life. He didn’t have to bring our families together like this. But He did.

And it serves as a reminder to me that He has every piece of our lives planned out to the very detail.

Praise God from whom all blessings flow

 

Minutes after Little Bug’s birth on May 27th, 2009, at 7:11am

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Little Bug weighed 5lbs. 12 oz. at birth … she truly is a “Little Bug”!

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Meeting Daddy

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Meeting Mommy

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Looking at our 5lb 12 oz. miracle

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Little Bug opens her eyes! (Little Bug’s cute little face was bruised during birth because she flew through the birth canal at record speed.)

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All the cell phones that were used to get a massive prayer chain going.

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Minutes after the 5:49pm phone call from the lawyer saying she is ours!

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Officially “Daddy”

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“Officially Mommy”

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A Picture of God’s Faithfulness

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Little Bug meets her Lady Bug

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Little Bug goes Night Night with the world in her isolette

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Miracle Baby Girl … so worth it ALL!

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Little Bug still needs your prayers.

Birth mom was on a prescription drug during pregnancy.

Little Bug may have to go through withdrawels now.

However, we are now going to pray against even that!

Please pray God will remove this drug from Little Bug’s body and that she will not have to stay in NICU for long. The earliest day she could be released from the hospital is Wednesday … let’s pray God clears her system by then.

Keep up the prayers for Baby Ethan. He is starting to eat better!

What a journey this has been.

Praise be to God who is able to do far more than we can even imagine or dream of.

To God be the glory, great things HE has done!

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“Little Bug”

 

May 27, 2009

7:11am

5lbs. 12oz.

17½ inches

There are no other words to describe the events of yesterday other than miracle.

Thank you for praying. Please keep praying.

This is such an emotional process for everyone involved.

I stand strong in Christ, knowing He has His Hand in every single detail of this process.

My soul rests in the Lord and His promises.

To God be the glory, great things He has done!

Little Bug Arrives

This is Grandma Norma writing:

Elaine will post an update in a few days … as soon as she can get to a computer. But she wanted you to know that Little Bug is here and things are going well.

Please continue to pray that things go smoothly, especially Friday at 9 a.m. when the papers will be signed.

Let’s have some fun …

Guess how much Little Bug weighed at birth.