I took the above photo on the plan ride home from Utah on our honeymoon almost 10 years ago. Little did we think that the next time we'd be returning would be for the birth of our son! Frankly, I can't wait to see these mountains again! Between packing and my crazy nesting instinct (yes, it feels just like it did when I was pregnant only I am far more mobile!), it has been a busy couple of weeks.
We are down to home stretch of meeting our boy and I think we grow more excited and nervous each day. Right now, we have plan tickets out on Saturday evening and will hopefully spend Sunday resting and getting to meet our birthmom's mother. On Monday morning, our birthmom will go in for an induction and our little guy will make his appearance sometime Monday/Tuesday depending on how fast things go. Our birthmom has expressed that she'd like to meet us, so we hope that we'll do that Sunday or while she is in the hospital. We also hope that we'll get to meet our SON! The timing depends on several factors, including if we get to meet her and the hospital protocol on these things. She should sign paper work within 24 hours and then we will become baby's legal guardians with full access to him at all time--essentially he's ours but the adoption isn't 100% final yet. We can't wait to be able to be with him!
Because of a prescription medication that our birthmom has taken her entire pregnancy, our little one will likely have some withdrawals from the medication. Thankfully, it isn't linked to any other long-term side effects. He will probably be in the NICU a bit for observation. We are praying this time is short and that he surprises everyone by doing great! We are so thankful that our birthmom chose life for him and that we get to parent him! We're also glad that the medication allowed her to be safe and healthier throughout her pregnancy than she would have been without it.
Several people have asked us when we plan to be home and the answer is....we don't know! :) Our social worker has told us to prepare for at least 2-3 weeks, though we hope that it might be a shorter time period! Thankfully, our parents are graciously helping take care of our girls for the first two weeks and then K will come home to stay with them if it seems as though we'll be there longer. We are so thankful for K's job and the fact that they have been wonderful about adoption and the fact that he can "work from home" anywhere we go!
We are also super-thankful that we will get to stay part, if not the whole, time we are out there with an adoptive family who hosts other families who are adopting in the area. What a blessing not to have a as much of a hotel bill or one at all! Between plane tickets, hotel bills, and a rental car--the bill gets steep pretty quickly. We are thankful for this gift!
What will it feel like to see him for the first time? What will he look like? Will we ever be able to put him down once we can hold him? Each morning I wake up and ponder these questions, imagine situations both pleasant and some terrifying. These times always end with the best and only thing I can possibly do--surrender these thoughts, concerns, and cares to the One who already knows the answers, to the one who knit this sweet baby together, the one who knows and loves him so much more than we ever could! We are not particularly brave or strong at all, but we know who is!
So, how are the girls? They are doing great. They are very excited about meeting their brother and understand the situation as best I think they can at their ages. H is looking forward to being able to spend time with grandparents and cousins, while M is more apprehensive about us leaving. These responses are totally typical of their personalities. I think my little mama heart just realized the reality of being gone so long when the social worker said be prepared for a longer stay. I knew it was a possibility, but I think the somber reality just settled when we packed those first bags. Oh how I love these girls! How they make me laugh and smile! How they try me and test me each day. How I will miss them! I know in the long run this is a very short time but it seems very long from this side.
Last week, we celebrated H's 7th birthday. I have a 7 year old?!? How did that happen? Just yesterday, she was an adorable baby asking to go to the "backieyard" and reading "Moo, Baa, La La La!" with much gusto. H is a fabulous girl and it is a pleasure to watch her grow. I love her quirky personality and her zest for life. She had a great "Minion" party at a local bouncy place and has been working on her new collection of legos since. Her grandma, cousin, and aunt also came down from STL last weekend to surprise her with a hotel stay about an hour from our house. She felt so special! I know she'll always remember that!
Below are some photos that I took for the girl's birthdays (I am running late on M's so I just did them both together). I think they turned out really well. How can these beautiful girls be mine? And how can they be so big?
M at 4
M (4) and H (7)
H opening the gift M got her!
H's Minion cake made by me!
H enjoying her party!
I will try to update this blog on Sunday after we arrive and I will certainly share photos of our little one as soon as we have permission! I also have an update to post about our Both Hands Fundraiser!
Please pray for safe travels, for our birthmom as she delivers and that she would have peace and comfort with her decision, for our little one's health, and for our girls as we are separated. We are praying for opportunities to share the gospel and to glorify Him through this incredible journey. We wouldn't not have been able to take one step on this journey without Him.