one year ago

One year ago today

I received a text from Jennifer

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about this baby girl

and our journey to #2 (officially) began

so thankful for God’s faithfulness through that journey

as I remember today what happened

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one year ago

but that is not all that happened

one year ago today

Luke & Rebecca

Rebecca and her husband Luke were told of the same situation

by Jennifer

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one year later

we have babies born 15 days apart

and a friendship that will last a lifetime

Reflections on a Year Ago

As December 13th approaches, this day reminds me that God is always at work in our lives, whether we realize it or not.

And what it seems like He is doing may not be exactly what He is up to.

But, whatever He is up to, you better believe it is awesome!

I had no idea what was going to happen on December 13th last year. As far as I was concerned, it was just a normal Monday of being at home with Little Bug while Dave was off at work.

And then, in the blink of an eye, I received a phone call that kinda sorta rocked our world.

At the time we thought God was building our family once again through the miracle of adoption and through the same woman who had given birth to our daughter just 18 months prior.

At that time a second child certainly was on our horizon – we knew we wanted our family to grow from three to four.

However, the plan we had tentatively laid out for ourselves (knowing full well God may have other plans!), certainly did not include another baby quite yet.

But there we were on the night of December 13th eating at one of our favorite little restaurants when I told Dave that the reason I was out running some errands was because I was trying to find Little Bug a “Big Sister” onesie.

That certainly caught Dave off guard and he quickly figured out Tracy was pregnant and it didn’t take either one of us more than a moment to know in our hearts that if Tracy wanted to place this baby with us, we certainly wanted to open our hearts and home to this baby who would be a biological sibling to our daughter.

And so began our journey to #2.

A journey we thought was going to lead us to another baby born in July from the same woman who had given birth to our Little Bug.

We were elated!

At that time God knew that our second daughter would not be born from Tracy’s womb.

Instead, there was another little baby girl, conceived the month before, in Melody’s womb.

In a way only God could have orchestrated, He lead us through the six weeks of Tracy’s “pregnancy”, two lawyers and then an official match with Melody on May 12th through our lawyer, Emily.

At the time of all of this, I wondered why we had to go through what we did with Tracy.

Now I know.

God did several pretty amazing things through that time.

One of which was something that, in the grand scheme of things, really had nothing to do with God’s master plan in growing our family of three to four, but it had everything to do with a dream I’ve carried around with me since I was a young girl.

I’d always wanted to announce on Christmas Morning that we were expecting a baby. Assuming infertility had taken that away from me as it had done so many of my other childhood dreams, I assumed I would never get to experience the joy of carrying around a little secret to be revealed on Christmas morning.

But when Emily called me twelve days before Christmas it didn’t take me long to start planning my surprise announcement! Our families had no idea this was coming. And the screams, tears and pure elation on that Christmas Morning will never be forgotten.

I can still to this day close my eyes and replay in my head the reaction of my parents, aunt, uncle and brother as they sat in my living room opening my carefully prepared surprise Christmas packages.

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Infertility stole so much from me, but God restored what mattered most to me and gave me that gift.

And then when we learned of Tracy’s fraud I felt like my Christmas announcement had been deceptive as well. But God knew, even then. He knew there was a tiny baby growing in the womb of Melody who would be placed in our family come summertime.

After I recovered from the deception of those six weeks we had with Tracy while she was “pregnant”, I began to see the gift that those weeks actually were.

During a trip to the zoo with Tracy I was able to take pictures of Little Bug with her birth mother — something I had wanted for Little Bug since I realized my mistake in not asking for at least one picture at the hospital. As Little Bug grew older and started learning about her adoption, I felt in my heart my daughter would need this tangible evidence of the way she came into this world and then was placed in our family.

I have many pictures to show Little Bug when the time is right. She has already asked me to see those pictures once because even at the age of 2 she knows that she “used to be in Tracy’s tummy”. That is as far as her understanding goes at this time, but eventually she will learn and understand more and I am so thankful I have these pictures to help me explain to her what role Tracy plays in her life.

As we moved on from thinking we would have another baby in the summer, and then as God opened the door to Sweet Pea before we even knew what exactly He was doing, God moved and worked in my life.

God literally showed me in as clear a way as He possibly could that He is in control of my life.

GOD’S GOT THIS became my motto as we navigated the waters of working with Susan only to find out the woman we were waiting to see if we would be matched with had stopped working with Susan and contacted our lawyer, Emily – all within a week’s time.

Before I even knew the woman had contacted Emily, I contacted Emily myself because it was May and May was the month we had decided to contact our adoption agency and get the ball rolling for an adoption that we hoped would take place closer to Little Bug’s 3rd birthday.

But then, only 10 days after we contacted Emily, we were matched with Melody, who we then realized had actually been the woman we were hoping to be matched with through Susan!

It was one crazy, wild, exciting ride – a ride I realized I had NO CONTROL over navigating which way to go. I knew the reigns were not in my hands. They were in God’s and the only thing I needed to do was say, “Your will be done, Father.”

December 13th, 2011, I am the mother of a 2.5 year old and a 4 month old. Amazing how much life changes in just the span of 365 days.

God knew every single thing that was going to happen between December 13th, 2010 and December 13th, 2011.

And once again, I am astounded at the faithfulness and goodness of my God. His mercy is new every morning. His ways are higher. His ways are perfect. He is God and I am not. He is in control and I am not.

And I praise Him for it!!!

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November

This year has flown by!

It seriously seems like Christmas was just last month.

We are coming up on the 1 year anniversary of the beginning of the wild ride that was started on December 13th when my lawyer called me to tell me that Tracy (Little Bug’s birth mother) was pregnant again.

That immediately threw us into our journey to #2, even though we had not planned to start that journey until Little Bug was at least two years old.

But, as usual, God knew what He was doing and as we begin the month of November, I am so incredibly thankful that God is in control of my life and I am not.

There is no way I could have orchestrated this on my own accord.

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One of the things I am most thankful for in my life is my infertility. Without it, I wouldn’t be who I am today and I wouldn’t be Little Bug and Sweet Pea’s mother.

There was a time I didn’t know how I would do life with infertility in it, but now, I can’t imagine life without it.

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I have no idea where this post is headed. It is just the contents of my head and heart on this September morning…

It’s official. I dislike the “newborn phase”. I don’t know if it has to do with the fact that my newborns have been challenging and anything but “normal”, but I much prefer babies once they reach the age of crawling and scooting around. That is when the fog started to lift when Little Bug was a baby and I can remember telling myself before Sweet Pea’s birth that things would get easier once Sweet Pea hits 6 months.

I forced myself to enjoy Little Bug as a teeny tiny newborn and I am doing the same for Sweet Pea.

The lack of sleep really gets to me. I am like a baby myself because I require an unusual amount of sleep. My mother tells me I would come home from Kindergarten and take a nap every day. Kindergarten!! Most kids have long ago given up naptime by the time they go off to school. Not Miss Needs to Sleep A lot.

When Little Bug was a baby, we would wake up at 7ish for her to eat and then we would sleep the morning away together in my bed until she needed to eat again. I learned very quickly you don’t have that luxury with the second child! And I thought I was "sleep deprived”. Ha! I am so funny.

It seems like since we started down this road of infertility four years ago (it is crazy to me that four years have passed since those days) that life has been nothing but challenges for me with some being bigger than others but challenges for me, nonetheless.

Infertility and the failed IUI and IVF cycles…then Tracy drama as we waited for Little Bug’s birth…then Little Bug’s withdrawals and first time mom challenges…then, just when life seemed to be settling, Tracy winds up pregnant again and there we went with 6 more weeks of Tracy drama…then we uncover Tracy’s deceit and go on our merry way thinking we will begin adoption #2 after Little Bug turns two…God had other plans and before Little Bug turned two we were matched again…and now we are dealing with the tummy saga.

It has been a very blessed road, but a challenging road all the same.

I am ready to enjoy life with no challenges, no situations in life where God is trying to grow me and teach me more about Him!

I know. Welcome to real life, where challenges are just a part of living.

I guess when we started to try and have a family that is when I lost my carefree, innocent existence and I started to learn about life in the big city where everything isn’t all peaches and cream and bad things happen to good people all the time.

Little did I know infertility was just the first of a string of challenges headed my way.

As I look back on the past four years, I see God’s hand on it all. Each challenge was placed in my life for a specific purpose. Each challenge has grown my faith and strengthened my trust in my Heavenly Father.

Trials and challenges in life are really a blessing.

I am one very blessed woman.

To think four years ago I had just gotten my very first negative pregnancy test on September 20, 2007. There was so much hope, even though even then I had my suspicions that it might take a while. I had just taken the first step of my journey through infertility, although, at the time, I did not realize where I was and where I was headed.

It didn’t take me long to figure things out. By Christmas I knew something was up and just after the new year we started seeking medical help.

And now, four years later, I am the mother to two little girls and infertility is a season passed.

I can remember thinking as I walked that road that I would never be freed from the pain and sorrow. I could not see an end.

There was definitely an end. I cannot pin point a certain day that I stepped off that road, but I have.

One of the greatest blessings of my life is that I grew up dreaming of pregnancy and I have never experienced any of that and yet I am totally okay. There is nothing in me that desires to seek a pregnancy.

I am a mother. All along, that was really the cry of my heart. I just wanted to be a mother.

I’m a mother alright! My two little girls keep me hopping all day long! They are, in fact, quite challenging right now, but we are making memories and I know, one day (probably sooner than I think) I will look back on these first few months as a mother of two and laugh at the craziness of it all.

I never would have chosen to have my children two years apart, but I have learned full well in the past four years that God’s plan is always perfect and always best.

He has things to teach me during this challenging time of caring for a baby dealing with drug withdrawals and her very active 2 year old sister!

I don’t want a peaches and cream life because 1) I hate fruit and 2) it is during the challenging times of life when God teaches us the most and grows and strengthens our faith in Him.

I want to keep learning.

Stay tuned for Q&A #3 coming later today.

My life is about to change.

My life is about to change.

I will be the mother to two little girls. Just allowing myself to type that is a step of faith because I keep myself so guarded during the adoption process, that I don’t really even allow myself to think about what will be. I live in the present, taking one day at a time.

But on this morning, God woke me up (on my sleep in morning when I should be sleeping until Dave and Little Bug come in here to wake me up!) so I figured He must have something to tell me. So I grabbed my journal and started writing and this is what God laid on my heart:

To think of where I was just three years ago…we were starting infertility treatments, had just done our first IUI and August 4th, 2008 was blood test day.

There was so much HOPE that finally my dream was going to come true.

Finally, I would see those TWO pink lines, and the pain of all the months that had passed with no pregnancy suddenly wouldn’t matter as I looked at that pregnancy test and realized I was finally pregnant.

But August 4th came and we went to the clinic for my blood draw, came back home and began the wait until my cell phone would ring giving us news that our dream had come true.

That day we had planned to work on a project outside. We replaced all the wood mulch with red lava rocks in the front flower bed. I knew I needed a distractor as we waited for the phone to ring.

We had finished the project and we were inside when the phone call finally came.

I answered immediately shaking and holding my breath to hear the words my nurse, Holly, had to tell me.

I’m sorry, you are not pregnant, is NOT what I wanted to hear that day, but those are the words that came out of her mouth.

As soon as I hung up, I started crying. It wasn’t the trickle-of-tears-running-slowly-down-my-face kind of crying. It was uncontrollable, gut-wrenching sobs. Screams of why? and a feeling as though the weight of the whole world was on my shoulders.

One of the lowest points of my journey through infertility, for sure.

But GOD had a plan! Even as I sobbed uncontrollably and screamed at God asking why He couldn’t have just let it work, God had a plan.

In a way only God would orchestrate, He picked up the pieces of my broken heart that day and became my Strength as I pressed on to what was next.

God used August 4th and all the months that were still ahead and full of more disappointments and heartbreak to grow my faith in Him and teach me about His Plan being absolutely perfect and bigger and better than my wildest dreams.

Almost three years to the day of August 4th, 2008, I stand in complete awe and amazement at what God has done in and through my life.

If my life doesn’t proclaim the truth of Jeremiah 29:11, I don’t know what does.

If my life doesn’t proclaim that GOD IS FAITHFUL THROUGH IT ALL, I don’t know what does.

And so in these final days/weeks of our journey to #2, I press on, walking in faith.

Reaching that point

Seeing those ultrasound pictures made it all seem more real to me.

I don’t have a huge belly or little feet jabbing me in the ribs so it is sometimes hard to really comprehend that all this is happening.
 
But with a purple "office" that is being converted into a new nursery for a new baby, baby showers on the calendar and seeing Sweet Pea’s adorable profile through an ultrasound picture, it seems a little more "real".
 
I am still very guarded and I will be until we hear that TPR has been signed.
 
While Little Bug and Sweet Pea’s adoptions have been vastly different in many ways, there is one similarity.
 
I can remember reaching a point in Little Bug’s adoption where my arms just literally ached to have Little Bug born and in my arms and officially ours.
 
I can feel myself getting to that place again.

It is not pleasant to be here, because there is nothing I can do to speed up time or to know the final outcome of this adoption.

I know what I need to do but it is a daily battle to choose to trust the Lord and surrender my desire to want to control things that I have absolutely NO control over!
 
I know God’s got this and I can rest in Him.

I just know I am going to need some extra prayers in this matter over the next few weeks.

This is by far the hardest part of adoption for me…the waiting to know if this is really going to happen, or not.
 
I know no matter what, God has a plan and He will work His plan out to completion for His ultimate glory. My role in this is really quite simple, but very hard at the same time.

I am to simply trust in the God who has taken me on this wild and crazy ride called adoption, give thanks for what He has already done and trust Him to bring His plan to completion.
 
It is such a fine line that I must walk during these last few weeks of waiting for the baby to be born and for TPR to be signed.

I am busy getting a nursery ready, having showers and truly relishing in the fact that in just a few short weeks another precious baby will join my family.

At the same time, I know the risks of adoption and I know we are vulnerable.

I live a "two-faced" life of being extremely excited about this but also extremely guarded.

Not fun, really.
 
But I know who is in control and I know that He’s Got This as He has so clearly demonstrated to me since all this began on March 8th, 2011.
 
So I will continue on this journey of faith, keeping my eyes on the One who IS in charge.

journey to #2–Part 3

Bet you didn’t see this coming! But, yes, there is a part 3.

March 8th, the day that my friend text me about the adoption situation with Susan, my friend also told another one of her friends, Rebecca, about the same situation.

We both decided we wanted to pursue this adoption and our mutual friend became the mediator between the two of us as we gathered more and more information about this situation from the lawyer.

Before this adoption situation was presented to us, we had never been one name “in the pot” that the potential birth mother would choose a family from!

With Little Bug’s adoption, we were it. We never were shown to a birth mother along with 2-3 other family profiles.

This was a new experience for me and, I must say, I was very curious who my “competition” was!

God used this to teach me that it didn’t matter who else was being shown to this birth mother. If God had this baby for our family, she would choose us. If my friend’s other friend was the family for this baby, the birth mother would choose her.

I started praying for Rebecca and her husband as they waited to hear if they were chosen and this “competition” just served to reiterate to me that God was in control and His Will would be done.

One day I opened Facebook and I found a message from Rebecca! I was so excited that she had reached out because I had wondered if I should reach out to her and make some kind of contact or if that would be too awkward.

It wasn’t long after that and Rebecca and I became friends on Facebook.

Both being on pins and needles about waiting to find out if we had been chosen to parent a child, we found comfort in talking to each other because we were in the same boat – literally!

We started taking turns contacting Susan for updates on the adoption case. I would call one week, Rebecca would call the next and we would always exchange notes.

Rebecca actually happened to talk to Susan on the very day that Susan was planning to take the profiles to the birth mother. Rebecca sent me a message and we both waited to know the outcome.

We both believed whoever was chosen (or if neither of us was chosen) that the family who was chosen was the family God intended to place this baby with.

When we found out the birth mom had decided not to place her baby through Susan, we both moved on from the situation, but our friendship continued to grow through emails and Facebook chats.

Then, on May 3rd, Dave and I had our conference call with our lawyer, Emily, and I became 99% certain that the birth mother Emily was telling us about for a potential match was the same woman Rebecca and I had been dealing with at Susan’s office.

After the initial shock of it all somewhat wore off for me, one of my first coherent thoughts was, Rebecca!! What is she going to think of this??

With some hesitancy I told her what was going on immediately.

As any true friend would be, she was absolutely elated for us and completely in awe of the work of God in all of this!

Just two days after we were officially matched with Melody, Rebecca and I were able to meet face to face!

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My family and I were on the way to the mountains for our annual family vacation and Rebecca drove about an hour and half and met us at a Panera for dinner.

As we were all sitting down at the table to eat, my brother asked, “So how did you two meet again?”

Rebecca and I looked at each other and then all of a sudden Rebecca blurted out, “We wanted the same baby!!”

Our friendship certainly grew out of the most unusual circumstances but my friendship with Rebecca is as special and genuine as the friendships I have had since childhood and high school!

Adoption has a way of binding hearts in ways you never thought possible and taking you places you never thought you would go.

When our name was “in the pot”, who knew that one of my dearest friends was in there too?

To read Rebecca’s side of the story, click here!!

34w1d update

Latest update from the doctor’s appointment is…

Melody is 2cm dilated.

I know women can walk around dilated for weeks.

Tracy did.

However, I will be really surprised if Sweet Pea is born in August!

We are definitely on the count down to welcoming Sweet Pea into this world.

I’m guarded, but I am excited, too.

Operation Sweet Pea

Due date is six weeks away and there is a good chance Sweet Pea might be a July baby, so yesterday was declared “Operation Sweet Pea” day.

My parents came over and we got to work. My dad worked on outside chores while my mom was on Little Bug duty all day long.

We pulled out the newborn and 0-3 month clothes that I had packed away neatly in bins should be we blessed with another baby girl down the road.

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It was Memory Lane going through those bins. I am holding Little Bug’s going home outfit in the picture above! The clothes were so incredibly tiny. You just forget how tiny newborns really are!

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Little Bug was a big helper! She threw the clothes in the washing machine! My mom folded all the clothes before she left. I know she enjoyed a trip down Memory Lane as well.

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We painted Sweet Pea’s nursery!

The color could not be more perfect thanks to Amanda who picked the color out. It is a pastel purple and I told Dave that I want to paint our bedroom this color because it is so pretty. (That did not go over well. I was only partially kidding.)

Here is the bedding I chose for Sweet Pea’s nursery:

CoCaLo Sugar Plum 6-Piece Crib Bedding Set - Cocalo  - Babies"R"Us

Today was very productive!

When Dave got home he got right to work on things around the house even though he had a headache from a very busy work week. He is pretty awesome, I must say!

A HUGE thank you to my parents, Amanda and Dave for all the help today.

Time is ticking!

The month of June has flown by. I know July is going to fly by.

Sweet Pea is going to be here before we know it.

Nesting has kicked into high-gear.

Yes, adoptive mamas nest too. Smile