The Sunday call @ 10:20pm that changed our lives

I had just recently switched my Android phone to an Iphone and had unfortunately lost several contacts.  It was a Sunday evening and most nights at this hour look like this… me winding down on the couch (likely watching a Christmas movie as the Holidays approach) and Troy asleep since about 9pm on the couch next to me. I notice a missed call at 10:20 from a 920 area code and start thinking “hmm, that’s an Appleton area code, wonder why someone from there is calling so late?” I nudge Troy to wake up and help me remember how to check my voicemail on my new phone. He’s a tad resistant (and a bit irritated) that I’m disrupting him as he’s been sleeping for over an hour. I’m getting more persistent, “help me check my voicemail, I missed a call from a 920 number!

I carefully listen to my messages and hear Margo, Luella’s biological aunt, explain that they just found out that Luella needed to come out by C Section very soon and that they were in the emergency room due to her birthmom’s blood pressure being sky-high (she had preeclampsia). I immediately call Margo and while dialing I tell Troy to start packing our stuff! I clearly remember him looking at me, still in a semi-sleep mode, asking “why? where are we going?” Nervously I say, “honey she’s going to be born any minute, they’re in the ER, Kelli’s having an emergency C-Section, we’re going to have to get to Appleton asap!!” 

Margo and I talk, she explains that to keep both of them safe, they’re arranging surgery to begin at 11pm. Understandably, she had concern at this point and so did we! Not to mention, none of us knew how the “band” on Luellas back (detected during the ultrasounds) was going to complicate things…and no one expected  her to come 4.5wks early. 

I reassure Margo that we’ll get packed and leave right away. I stop for just a few split seconds to kneel down by Troy as tears fill my eyes. What a RUSH of emotions (excited, scared, anxious)! He comforts me, confidently, saying all will be OK. I said “but she’s only 4lbs,” and together say a brief prayer. 

Next, we both jump up, pack 3-4 days worth of clothes…I run upstairs to the nursery where we had accumulated just a handful of outfits and I stuff them in our empty diaper bag and run down to finish getting the pups ready. 

By 10:50 we’re in the car, ready to GO and our bloods pumping with a lot of adrenalan! We’re on our way to be with our daughter, who was being born AS WE DRIVE. SO surreal! 

The car ride was rather quiet. We both were praying, thinking, and sure…if I’m honest, worrying. Our first experience with ALL of this and there were so many questions at this point. I also recall texting our families asking people to pray for God to guide the C-Section and keep our precious daughter and her birth-mama safe.

At 12:30AM we arrive at the Theda Clark NICU and start to wait and wait and wait…And although we didn’t really wait ALL that long, when you’re waiting to meet your very first daughter, (who will arrive by an ambulance transfer from the Appleton Medical Center where she was born), the wait seemed like FOREVER. After an hour passes, suddenly two nurses transporting our baby step off the elevator pushing this precious girl in her Isolette and greet the two of us saying… “here is your daughter!” 

 
To our surprise her big eyes are wide open as she stares at us through the clear cover and we say “hi sweetie, we’re your mom and daddy…” WHAT A MOMENT, the love that was pouring out of both of us at that time was like nothing we’ve ever experienced. She was HERE, one month early, but she was here.  

AND although all legalities and complications of her adoption weren’t even close to being resolved at this point… We knew…she was already OURS.

 
 

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Our girl is 9 months already!

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(Written August 2015)

We’ve been eager to share pictures and posts of Luella on Facebook BUT prior to doing that we wanted to have more updates here on our ADOPTION BLOG so we could link our first FB Post to our blog. That way, more details of our journey to Luella will be available for those that want to read our story. Although we wanted to share the progress of her adoption as it unfolded (from her birth in Nov.2014 to the March Court Date all the way through to finalization court date in June) we felt we needed to wait until all obstacles were removed and she officially became OURS (June 4th, 2015).

Even without active posts here, many of you knew details of the process and were FULLY invested in praying alongside of us, checking in with us and speaking HOPE into our situation. We truly needed that along the way and really relied on the support that was given by MANY of you. What an amazing group of friends and family we have! So, when you have a few minutes, cozy up on your couch with a cup of coffee and check out a blog post or two 🙂 More entries will be added from the Nov-July time-frame as we revisit our journals as to what was happening at that given time. We hope that you too will see how God’s hand was at work through our journey…even BEFORE we stepped into adoption. And, HIS faithfulness to complete what he started in bringing Luella to our family.

Days & Weeks leading up to March 2015 Court Hearing

(Post written from March 2015)

After March Court

Today, Mar. 16th, was an extremely PIVOTAL day in the process to be able to legally adopt our sweet Luella Grace. Who just so happens to turn 4 MONTHS TODAY!! Several reasons to celebrate!

Although we’ve been with Luella since Nov. 16th(first 12 days of her life spent in the NICU), we’ve had her home with us since THANKSGIVING DAY. She has technically been with us as a “foster child,” until the official adoption processes. In WI this is called “Legal Risk.” A baby can be sent home with you from the hospital (if the birth parent chooses), but WI doesn’t require the parent to terminate their rights until at least 30days following the birth.

In our case, those 30 days turned into 120 days  :{But not for reasons that you may think. Luella’s birthmom always appeared to be very sure of her decision to place her baby for adoption.   Yet because her birth mom is nearly full Native American and Luella is nearly half, we muddled through about 5 months with several lawyers, communications with the Indian Tribe (who attempted to intervene in our adoption) and quite a bit of stress.

However, in the meantime we had our sweet, precious daughter home with us as the BEST POSSIBLE distraction we could have.  On a daily basis we had to chose to TRUST in what God’s plan was and try to reject the feelings of FEAR that would creep in very regularly.  At least it did for me.  For me, this process has taught me so much on SURRENDER.  What can you do when there isn’t much about the journey that’s in your control? Pray, surrender, ask others to pray with you, surrender again, and keep repeating. There were many unknowns throughtout her adoption and times where Troy and I waited days, weeks and sometimes several months for the answers and certainty that we had been looking for.

Before closing out this post, I have to mention one of thee BIGGEST factors that kept Troy and myself sane during this process…. which was the texts that came in from many of our dear friends saying “how’s it going,” “how are you?” “we’re praying for you guys and these next steps!” I can’t quite express how much those messages meant to me, they were SO encouraging and made Troy and I feel that we weren’t traveling this road of adoption ON OUR OWN. It felt as though others were carrying our concerns WITH US but more importantly PRAYING that it’d all come together… which is has. Thank you GOD, he’s designed this path for us from the beginning!

Progress Made… & “Word” of a BABY!!

Adop. Announc. Final Well here is my second entry on the blog, although I intended to write sooner! Lots of things (and new NEWS) have come about since our original post and we’ve been excited to update everyone on.

Let’s start with how our Adoption Celebration and Benefit Concert turned out!! It was a lot of fun and SUCH an encouraging night for Troy and I. The planning may have taken us a bit by surprise as we haven’t planned an event of this sort (or for this # of people) since our wedding~ but many people came alongside us to create packages for our Silent Auction, bake cookies, make chex mix and popcorn, donate wine, lend us tents, tables, offer up their talent, etc, etc!!  The volunteers that came early the night of to happily be PUT to work as we fumbled to execute our “plan,” of how everything should be arranged…. were SO needed and SO appreciated. Troy and I commented many times on how people just JUMPED at the opportunity to serve that evening which reassured us in the broader picture, in that,  we’re NOT in this journey alone. Not only were people willing, but they were JOYFUL in assisting wherever needed. We estimated that approximately 125 friends, family and neighbors came out to celebrate with us and show their support. We definitely felt the LOVE. I can’t help but think of the stories we’ll have to share one day w/ our daughter or son on just HOW much LOVE, EXCITEMENT and PARTNERSHIP went into the placement of him/her with our family. “It takes a village….” doesn’t simply mean ONCE the baby is here, for us in means BEFORE the baby comes AND…once they’re physically here.

The music by “The Holland’s” was enjoyed by everyone and the two nights we spent w/ them following the event not only blessed US but hugely impacted the neighbors who came by for a fire one night and further got to know the Holland family. Their faith is truly lived out in a way many of us haven’t ever seen as their lives look different than anyone we know and their TRUST in God is displayed so evidently in their everyday lives during their trek around the US of giving themselves AND their talent to both strangers and friends. So Thank you HOLLANDS….and please, can you pull your big rig back into our town soon?? (Our neighbors and friends have already been requesting!!)

In all, to sum up that week of our event and the days following, it was an all around HUGE success!! We’ve added to the funds for “Baby S,” and were completely overwhelmed by the amount of everyone’s generosity. We’d LOVE to plan another event like this for ANOTHER couple wishing to adopt, so please keep us in mind to help in that way for others who cross your path.

NOW, for time-sake (please keep w/ me for this part as it’s super EXCITING), lets fast forward to Sept. 7th. As Troy and I were eating dinner, my younger sister April called and then immediately tried texting to reach me. I had one of those ‘feelings,’ that it wasn’t just a ‘hey, how’s it going,’ call. She seemed persistent so I was anxious to call her back! But the conversation late that night entailed her sharing about an expectant mom that she’d just heard about through a good friend. I sat curiously listening to all of the details that she knew at that point, trying with everything in me NOT to get excited or get ahead of myself. But really…HOW can you not?!? (Even now, what I WANT to share and what I WILL share, will look very different.)

Since those 4 Sunday’s ago, we’ve learned a LOT more about this ‘situation.’ As you can see we added this to our blog time-line but not only did we learn about this baby in early September but our Family Adoption Profile also went through 12 family members hands (NOT typical) who are related to the expectant mom and we were received with so MUCH FAVOR. There wasn’t one person who didn’t think Troy & I would be a good match to be this babies parents.

To say I’m still in AWE of how this all has unfolded in the last 21 days is an understatement.
#1. The “typical” way to go about this process is ONCE you’re Home Study approved, you THEN begin presenting your profile to EM’s. We knew our HS Approval wouldn’t be finalized until late September.
#2. We NEVER figured we’d hear about a mom/baby through our family friends either! I always thought “that’s for the lucky people…” only “THEY” are matched that way.

But right now, even given the amazing progress that’s been made with this particular family, it isn’t yet an official match. Are we PRAYING and have our hopes that it will be?? Absolutely! At the same time, we know enough about the world of adoption that not much is in our control and surprises can come throughout the process.

The only other details we feel we can share at this point is the family intends to begin working with our Agency who provided our Home Study. Once that process begins and given other necessary ‘clearances’ are given, we could THEN begin a more official/legal “matching process.” We ASK for and humbly TAKE all your prayers surrounding this entire situation.

So although there are some initial hoops to be ‘jumped through’ before moving forward w/ certainty, we’re CONFIDENT if this baby is meant for us, he/she will be in our home before Christmas this year (by the way, we KNOW where the baby falls in the “ he & she” category already but we will keep that for a later reveal IF/WHEN this all comes together). We know your prayers will even keep our hearts at peace and protected as we move through the legalities involved. I continue saying we’re “cautiously excited,” (or at least TRYING to be)!

Bottom line is, we’ve learned that the plan for us is already known…it’s already laid out… Our responsibility in this is to simply TRUST in that plan. However, if I can just add one final (and additional) “bottom line,” there’s already a lengthy list of things that JUST FIT together w/ this particular family and ours. So, it’s hard for us NOT to believe that God’s hand is so entwined in this already.

I’ll end w/ some powerful words that spoke to me last week, particularly the bolded phrase. Hoping they’ll encourage you also (and your circumstances) if you can ‘soak’ in the verse for a minute:

“For the Lord your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With His love, He will calm all your fears (quiet you w/ His love). He will rejoice over you w/ joyful songs.” Zephaniah 3:17

Again we welcome your SUPPORT, PRAYERS, and words of encouragement as we continue moving forward! We SO appreciate and LOVE YOU!

First EVER Blog Post… “First things, first.”

Dr. Suess quote

 

Well, as a disclaimer we’re totally NEW to blogging, so please bear with us! We started this blog as a way for us to communicate with our family of supporters as we process each step/decision and sort out our feelings along the way!  So, thank you for being interested in our journey and for supporting us. We hope you enjoy our posts and updates!

First things first.

“What lead us to adoption?” 
Many friends and family know that we’ve tried getting pregnant now for several years. This has been a LONG  journey so far…not ‘long’ in the sense that we’ve tried many medical interventions, because we have not.  I say ‘long’, meaning it’s been emotional, frustrating and (for myself possibly more than Troy), it’s been heart-breaking.

With that said, we’ve stayed hopeful over the years as we knew our desire to be parents wouldn’t be SO deeply rooted in us unless it was a true desire planted by God… and one HE would see to fulfill. When we began this journey of trying to start our family, we didn’t know HOW it’d be designed. We figured it’d be the more typical route of getting pregnant…fast forward a year or two later… get pregnant again, and THEN determine if we were brave enough to try for #3 😉  

As you’ll see on our time-line page, there have been various alternative approaches I’ve sought out along the way and ones I’ve very much benefited from. Although a pregnancy hasn’t YET been the outcome, I’ve certainly recognized health improvements and am a true believer in the ways Eastern Medicine compliments Western Medicine! Often times these treatments provided my body with rebalancing, stress relief, and allowed me to naturally address hormone levels that were QUITE imbalanced. While we still believe that a natural pregnancy is in our future, we felt lead to begin a pursuit into adoption. This just began in June.

“Why Now?”

Some people may wonder why we’re doing this now. I’ve heard others comment that even after a year of ‘trying,’ they pursued adoption. Some might ask why we didn’t head down this path year three or even year four of “trying.” Simply put… we just never felt the GREEN light. We attended a couple different initial adoption meeting’s over a year ago and more recently even pursued (and were approved) to begin the foster-to-adopt program with SaintA’s through Milwaukee County. At each point though, it just didn’t seem like the “right” path for us (not now anyway). But earlier this year, I felt a strong inner prompting, nudging us to “act, walk into something, or move towards something.” I interpreted this to mean that it was time we stepped into what was waiting for us.  For me, I had a strong sense that this “route” would be adoption and in just a few short months of research, phone calls, and questions being raised and answered, with our hearts aligned, Troy and I were ready to get started.

So we MOVED (not out of our home, to be clear) and WOW its felt amazing!!  Over the years, Troys typically remained hopeful and optimistic…for me however, it’s been a tough struggle.  But, once we made a concrete decision to move forward, we chose to work with CAC (Christian Adoption Consultants) who are helping us navigate this world of adoption. Since then, hope has risen up in me again! We’ve been reassured that although there is a plan laid out for our lives, we’re also given freedom and discernment to step in the direction(s) we’re being lead to go.  

And that’s what we’ve done… and I haven’t felt this level of joy about the future of our family in a LONG time!  So, for today…I’ll end here. 

For I know the plans I have for you, they are plans for GOOD and not for disaster, to give you a future and a HOPE.” Jeremiah 29:11

A Quote-Edited

We encourage you to continue following us on this ‘journey’.  Please remember to view the other pages on this blog, as well, to keep you up to speed with us.  Much love!