Saturday, January 30, 2010

Shower of Blessings

When we told our friends we had submitted paperwork and "officially" began the process to do Foster Care/Adoption, one of the first things they did was insist they give us a shower. So even back in November, Brooklyn, Courtney, and Kristine began planning. They wanted us to be prepared at a moment's notice to receive a child in our home. And boy, am I glad they insisted!! We did receive Little Bit in just a moment's notice!! :) These 3 wonderful ladies have been such dear precious friends of ours and supported us for several years on our journey to get our forever family. They have listened to me, prayed for us, and encouraged us numerous times. I am so grateful for their friendship and their love. Brooklyn, Courtney, & Kristine

It is still amazing just how specific God's timing is! Here is part of my personal journal entry from December 29th..."I feel I have to press forward knowing it will work out. But this may very well be the hardest wait yet. We have a baby shower on January 10th & I keep wondering what will people think of us since we do not have a placement yet. I just keep telling myself, God will make it all right. His thoughts, His opinions, pleasing Him should be my focus & it hasn't been the past month." I even received some emails from those invited congratulating us on a child and some folks at church thought we had indeed received a child. But we hadn't. I just felt so odd as the week progressed. Because of the delay in our home study, I never ever thought once we would have a child by the shower.

We met Little Bit on Friday, January 8th and the shower was Sunday, January 10th!! This was absolutely a sweet time for my friends and I. The excitement was wonderful!

Even if our Girl was at home, we would not have taken her to the shower, especially since she had spent the first 2 months of her life in the NICU. But thank goodness for 1 hour photo!! We printed some pictures off and the hostesses placed them on the tables at the shower. Courtney even made a plaque with Little Bit's name on it. I was amazed because she only had 1 day to get that done!
Bryan stayed with our daughter at the hospital. It was a little odd...I showered at home on Saturday, wore "lounge" wear to the hospital to spend the night in, and then dressed and straightened my hair at the hospital. I loved going to the baby shower, but it was strange to leave Bryan and our daughter.

Brooklyn made the cake. I thought is was just adorable. She did a fabulous job! I have to admit, it was special knowing the gender of the baby. It was neat to have a girlie touch to the shower.

We were truly showered with blessings upon blessings. But I felt all day it wasn't just a shower but a huge celebration party! It was so great to celebrate the answer to many prayers with people who are very special to us. There have been many godly ladies and families praying for us. Bryan's childhood babysitter who is in her 70s even drove up from Ada. That was a sweet surprise.It was such a joyful day! I didn't quite make it without any tears. But they were tears of joy! It was great to have tears of joy!!! They are so different than tears of sorrow! We have had joy upon joy over the past 3 weeks! It truly is like the hymn "joy unspeakable and full of glory full of glory oh the half has never yet been told!!"

Brooklyn's daughter, Ava, was also at the shower and was quick to tell me she was a helper and I think I remember her asking me what my job was at the shower because she had a job!! Actually, she had several jobs. She started out with Courtney and I as I opened gifts. She would hold up each gift for everyone to see. She was our little Vanna White!

About half way through, she asked if she could quit this job and go get some cake!!

Ava just melts my heart!! Our friend, Carla, thought she was such a great helper, she gave Ava $2.00!! You can see Ava holding the money, rather tightly, in the picture below!!

God's Word reads "a friend loves at all times." These 3 ladies have. They love me for who I am and they know so much about me! They continue to support us as parents. I am so grateful for their kind, generous, spirits. They have showed the love of Christ to me in so many ways! I have such a special place for them in my heart!

Thank you Vicki for taking the pictures for me!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

We have a Girl!!!!!

Friday, January 8th is the day God changed our lives forever! We received a call on my cell phone, while down in Ada for my Granny's hip surgery, from our case worker. She asked us how soon we felt we could receive a little baby girl!!!


I want so much to show you the many pictures we have took. But we need to protect her identity for a few more months, hopefully just a few. There are so many details of her story getting to us, but I have to keep those to share at a later time as well. But I will tell you, our little girl was born in November at 27 weeks gestation weighing under 3 pounds and has spent the entire time up to January 11th in the NICU. God protected her amazingly while she was in the womb. She was only on a ventilator for a little over a day. The nurses told us she practically took herself off the vent!! She is a fighter!! We are so grateful to God He made her so strong and determined! She remained in the NICU due to her weight and eating. However, she began eating more on her own and the feeding tube was removed the day we met her!!

Although we received the placement call around 7:40 a.m., we did not get to the hospital until approximately 3:00 p.m.!! Although I did not carry a child and go through the pains of labor, I can kind of relate to the anticipation a mother may have. Bryan and I thought the time to finally see her would never come. We had to explain the events to my Granny and tell her goodbye. Then we rushed home to pick up the car seat/carrier (Some of my mom-friends call it car seat. Some call it carrier. I'm still not sure what to call it!) and diaper bag. Then we drove to the Child Welfare office to sign our contract!

We made a mad dash over to Brooklyn's so she could show us and make sure we properly installed the car seat! She has 3 kids and another one on the way. We knew we were dealing with an expert! And finally...............we made it to the hospital!!

Seeing our little girl for the first time!

One of the first feedings we did:Bryan is an expert!! He is very protective of his little girl! Now, two weeks later, he has our precious one on some type of an eating competition. He keeps telling her she is about to break the previous day's record!

Shortly after we met our little one, she was moved into a transition room in the NICU. It was mostly for our benefit, I think. We learned to feed with her, change her diaper, all while she was still on monitors. It gave us a strong peace. The staff also wanted to make sure she adequately had her sucking, breathing, and swallowing coordination down. It was a room where one of us could spend the night. And Boom! In a split second, I began the night shift of feeding a baby! Something I have waited a long time for! I have loved it. I do have to admit, though, the 2 a.m. feeding is the hardest.

Since we met her, we spent 3 nights in the hospital and we brought her to our home on Monday, January 11, 2010!!

Bryan and His Girl before coming home

Our First Family Picture

We have spent the past two weeks bonding and cuddling with our little girl! We have had two eye appointments and two doctor appointments. She has had her two month immunization shots. That event required lots and lots and lots of additional love and holding! It was the most we had ever heard her cry. :(

We have been overwhelmed and extremely grateful for the love, prayers, and support shown by so many! We have had meals brought to us and so many have text us, emailed us, or called us! We have loved every minute. People have made us feel so special. We are so blessed to have such a great group of people around us. We have no words to express how our hearts have felt.

Bryan's mom took this picture I think on the Monday we came home. We spent a lot of time like this. I would text (I love holding baby girl on my chest!! She is a great cuddler!!) and Bryan removed some pictures from face book. Upon a suggestion, we deleted pictures of our girl until further into her process.

Please continue to pray for our family. One parental unit's rights were terminated and we are now waiting on the other's to be terminated. We hope to know a status on adoption in the Spring. I long for when I can tell you just how specifically God has been in so many aspects of this journey...many of which we discovered the first weekend we met our girl.

I wonder if we are a little abnormal....We love changing diapers! We love it that sweet baby has wet and dirty diapers! It tells us she is healthy and "everything" is working fine!! Immediately after Bryan changed his first dirty diaper, he saw the need to put the diaper geannie (sp?)together!!

Not long after being home, I discovered it was very hard to keep my hair out of the way during feedings and cuddling. I had an appointment already made and was able to get a "new mom" cut. Thanks Aunt Lissa!!

One of the delays in making this initial post is just how to come up with the right words, the adequate Praise to God. I want to share just the right scriptures, just the right descriptive words to communicate my thoughts and emotions. It has been very hard to articulate what I am feeling inside. It is indescribable. I feel very unworthy. I'm still in awe. Throughout our time in the NICU just holding and staring at our baby and over the past two weeks, I would just keep thinking of Christ Tomlin's "Indescribable." This part of our journey is so much more, so incredibly more than we ever could have imagined or wished for!

You or someone you know may still be in the waiting. Some are waiting for the baby still to come. Some are waiting for that Godly spouse. Some our waiting on a job and/or financial stability. Some are waiting for healing. Some are waiting for a house to sell. Waiting is hard, tiring, and painful. Sometimes in the midst of the waiting it is hard to see, understand, and believe the greatness that will come on the other side of the waiting journey. Sometimes when you are left in the waiting and others, like my family, are beginning to see the end to waiting, you get discouraged. I know, I've been there. It is a very human feeling. But believe me, GOD SHOWS HIMSELF SO MUCH MORE FAITHFUL THAN WE ARE! It is not just a cliche. Tell yourself over and over, God is real! God is real! He has called me to this journey, called me to this season of waiting. In our waiting, I have learned:

"For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven. He has made everything beautiful in its time."

Ecclesiastes 3:1, 11

Pray with FAITH. I would ask God to protect our child to come if he or she were still in the womb. At times, I prayed though wondering how in the world a child could be protected and free from alcohol/substance abuse while the mother kept making bad decisions after bad decisions. I neglected and forgot the POWER AND PROTECTION OF GOD! We have experienced it first hand in our daughter!!

Have HOPE. Have FAITH.

"Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces HOPE, and HOPE does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us." Romans 5:1-5

Stay in HIS WORD.

"This God--his way is perfect; the word of the Lord proves true; he is a shield for all those who take refuge in him." Psalm 18:30

"For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have HOPE."

Romans 15:4

"And I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughter to me, says the Lord Almighty."

2 Corinthians 6:18

If you have repented of your sins and asked Christ to be your Lord and Saviour, You too are adopted into His family and HE WILL TAKE CARE OF YOU!

"How much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!"
Matthew 7:11b

I got to go to church this morning while Bryan stayed home with Little Bit. Our pastor used 2 Chronicles 16:9 in his message. I think it may be applicable to many of us."For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to give strong support to those whose heart is blameless toward him."

Tomorrow Bryan goes back to work. It will be my first official day as a mom all by myself during the day!

God has bestowed His marvelous GRACE on our family!!