Born July 26th @ 35 weeks, 5 days
Weight: 2lbs 9oz
First, here are some pictures of our sweet little guy :) ...
|Aurelia meeting him for the first time :)|
You can see more pictures HERE. Victoria does free pictures for people stuck in the NICU for a long time :) If you haven't seen these pictures yet you NEED to see them! :) They're really beautiful :)
Okay, how our little (still unnamed) guy came to our family :)
*His birth mom is okay with us using her name but we're still pretty protective of her so we aren't ready to put it out there :) Her name is BEAUTIFUL though.*
Back in July we were made aware of a little boy who was due anytime. The doctors were nearly positive he was going to have several genetic disorders and be a very special needs little guy. They were looking for interested couples so Daniel and I looked into each of the syndromes they believed this little one would have, felt that we could provide a great life for him and then called our caseworker, Kim, to have our profile considered. By the time we called Kim we found out his birth mom already had a few couples she "really, really liked"...so we told her not to bother passing our profile along.
Fast forward a bit...
On August 19th we got a call from Kim about a little boy who was already born. The doctors thought there would be several issues with him but all his tests were coming back clear..."WAIT A MINUTE! Is this the little boy we called you about last month?!" I asked her. It was :) Two families had been chosen and backed out for their own reasons. They were looking for solid couples who would absolutely commit to this little boy and wouldn't back out, afraid of all the unknowns.
My first reaction was "YES!!! US!!! WE WANT HIM!!!" but I needed to get all the information, talk about it again with Daniel, make sure we were both on the same page and then get back to Kim. Daniel had the same reaction I did (but less dramatic of course :) ) Of course we still wanted to be his parents. So Kim passed our profile along with all the others to be considered. We were then part of a large group of families being considered.
It was either Wednesday or Thursday the 21st or 22nd that Kim called us again. She said little boy's birth mom wanted to meet us. "WHAT?!" was all I could really get out at first. For some reason I had convinced myself she wasn't going to want to meet us, she wasn't going to pick us.
"Daniel! She wants to meet us!"
He had the same reaction :) I don't know why but we were legitimately surprised she wanted to seriously consider our family :)
She met with four couples, us and three others. We met her and her mom on Friday, August 23rd. When couples meet birth moms face to face for the first time usually they bring a little gift, preferably one that tells a little about their family. We grow sunflowers along our property line each summer and for some reason this year two of our sunflowers were VERY runty. Our biggest sunflower was about 9 feet tall but these two runts didn't even make 3 feet. I had the idea to bring our little ones in vases for his birth mom and her mom. It turns out sunflowers are her favorite flower :) We also brought some Muddy Buddies because we love making those as a family.
We met Kim at birth mom's agency and I literally felt sick to my stomach. I was sure there was a good chance that one wrong move would have me vomiting on someone's shoes. Kim asked why I was so nervous THIS time and I had no idea. Our last face to face I was pumped for, excited, not nervous at all. This time though I was on the edge of tears, nearly shaking, afraid and sickeningly nervous. Kim (I'm pretty sure this is what she was doing) tried to distract and relax me by talking about something else. It did help a lot. By "a lot" I mean I felt a little less like hiding in a corner and crying. The only reason I could think that I was so nervous was that this was it. THIS was the one that was supposed to happen and I didn't want to screw it up.
We met baby's birth mom and had a GREAT time :) We talked a little about adoption things but we also somehow ended up talking about spaying and neutering cats! I still giggle about that to myself :) It felt like talking to family at a holiday dinner or something - fun, comfortable and maybe a little weird :) They are from Hawaii, and we have two stray cats living in the field next to our property so the "managing the cat population" conversation really wasn't that odd :) We LOVED it :)
She told us the meaning of the Hawaiian name she had given him and explained that she always intended it to be a temporary name for him to have until he made it to his forever family. We thought the meaning and name were so beautiful that we wanted to keep it as a middle name. It's part of his heritage, his beginning and and a tribute to the hard fought battle to get him to our family. We left the meeting really hopeful that not only would he be our son but that we would get to see and spend time with our new friends again.
We left the meeting and then began the wait...
We found out birth mom's caseworker told Kim the face to face "went really, really well. She really liked them." :) Woo! Awesome :) This girl though was determined to find HIS family. We were sure she wouldn't be swayed simply by who SHE liked more. She was determined to find the family God intended him to be with. So, while we were encouraged by her liking us, we knew she was a level headed girl who was putting herself aside.
We waited some more...
August 26th Kim let us know that she had narrowed it down to us and another couple. More waiting :)
August 29th birth mom sent me a text asking if we'd like to meet the little guy, and asking if she could meet Aurelia :) Honestly we thought that meant she was choosing us. While I was at the gym though Kim called to say BOTH couples were meeting him. I instantly felt sick again. Both of us were meeting him. I was scared we were going to meet him, fall in love with him and then be told he wasn't our son. We also learned though that the last couple met him and then backed out. It made sense that she wanted us to meet him. She was being thorough. She was doing the absolute best thing for HIM.
Daniel had been telling me from the beginning that we should offer to let her meet Aurelia, saying he thought it was really important :) Turns out it was :)
On August 31st we met baby boy at the hospital :) He was so sweet :) He has these big, huge eyes and loves to look everyone right in the eye :) He loves to be talked to :) We brought a bedtime book of lullabies and nursery rhymes for him :)
After meeting him we had a picnic in a little park area across from the hospital :) Aurelia was her usually sweet, tender, gentle self :) She sat on the blanket with us eating her grapes and sandwich, just generally being adorable :) After eating her picnic food Aurelia kicked the soccer ball around with Daniel. It was a beautiful day and a great time. We assured her she was giving her son something great, something beautiful and that either family she chose was sure to be a good place. After spending about 3 hours together we parted ways and we again hoped we would get to see them more.
When we got home we felt such peace about the situation. We felt like everything would be okay either way. I felt peace that if he was supposed to be our son he would be. "He will be where he is supposed to be" I thought.
We waited some more...
We really loved and appreciated that she was being so thorough. She wasn't taking this lightly in any way, she was taking her time to be sure. Whenever I would start to freak out during the wait I would grab Daniel's hand and he would say "it's going to be okay" :)
On September 1st we found out the last girl considering us had recently had her baby and decided to parent. We were so thankful she hadn't chosen us. Had she chosen us we wouldn't have been available for our little guy's birth mom :)
By September 3rd I had this whole theory worked out in my mind based around if "this person calls at this time of day then these are our chances of good news vs. bad news". I'm not joking. I literally wrote it out. For some reason it helped me with the wait. Here it is for your entertainment and peek into my weird mind :)
If birth mom calls: 90/10 for good news (I didn't think she would give us bad news directly)
If Kim calls generally (evening, late morning): 50/50 (Kim gets the perks of giving good news as well as the suckiness of delivering bad news. It could go either way)
If Kim calls in the afternoon: 60/40 bad news (I know I would delay calling with bad news)
If Kim calls first thing in the morning: 80/20 bad news (I was thinking this would mean she got an email from the other caseworker and let us know as quickly as possible)
Yeah that's what I was thinking while waiting :) Ha. Anyway...
On September 4th I got a text from lovely birth mom saying she would like to meet us just one more time. We arranged to meet at the park near our house since we already had planned to head there when Daniel got off work. We still thought it could be going either way. She said she just wanted to "say hey" and drop something off. Was it the book we had given him? Ah!
They were running late so we told her she could just come to our house. When they pulled into our driveway I was peeking outside to see what was carried in. If she was holding the book then he wasn't ours, if it was something else then he was :)
Birth grandma was ready, out of the car and to our front door while birth mom was still getting something from the backseat. I couldn't see! :) So I brought birth grandma in the house and anxiously waited for birth mom to walk in.
She walked in with this and a little pink bag :)
I probably looked all wide-eyed like a deer in the headlights. My jaw dropped, my eyes were wide and I had no idea what to say. I opened the card and started reading quietly with Daniel...
He's a little bit of sunshine,
He's a smile to light your days,
He will steal your heart and keep it
With all his charming ways --
He's your precious baby boy,
(that is where I lost it and started crying :) )
He's a gift from above
Who will fill your years with laughter
And your lives with lots of love.
There was a sweet little message from birth mom at the end but we're keeping that one close to our hearts :) She had chosen us to be his parents :) In the bag were a few super cute outfits for baby boy. She gave the little pink bag to Aurelia :) Inside the pink bag was a little bunny in pink shirt and tutu. On the shirt it said "Sweet Big Sister" :) Isn't that so sweet and thoughtful?! :)
She assured us that this was a done deal for her, as good as if the papers had been signed, we were his parents. They stayed for about an hour and then we arranged to meet at the hospital the next day to put our names on the "permanent visitors" list :)
Thursday, September 5th we met at the hospital :) We got our first picture with him as his almost parents :) We could now see him as often as we wanted :)
We had the option to wait to sign adoption papers until after he was out of the hospital. This would keep him on Medicaid and make us off the hook for all his medical bills. We decided against waiting. We wanted to be his parents and take on everything that meant as soon as we could. We were set to hopefully sign papers sometime the following week. Birth grandma reassured us several times that they would understand if we wanted to back out given so many unknowns with his health. We assured her we weren't going anywhere. We were just as committed as if we had given birth to him. No matter what, we were his parents.
We started spending all the time we could with him while anxiously waiting to officially be his parents. :) Because of the one that fell through we couldn't be fully excited until papers were officially signed.
On Thursday, September 12th we and his birth mom officially signed adoption papers making him our son :) We thought it was going to be Friday but got a call Wednesday afternoon that it was going to be the next morning! :) We signed papers in the morning and arranged to meet later in the day to take care of all the hospital paperwork of us becoming his parents :)
We have been so busy spending every moment we can at the hospital with him :) So, here is the story of how he came to our family. I'll try to do smaller posts with other bits of random information and updates in the next week or so :) We are so excited, happy, exhausted, feeling blessed, relieved, and hopeful :) Aurelia is SO happy to have her baby brother and tells everyone "I have a baby brother. He's in the hospital with the doctors and he can come home when he's bigger and stronger" :) I'm not kidding, she recites that for everyone :)
While all of this happened over 2 months, really most of it happened in just under 3 weeks :) It was pretty crazy :) Here is the "at a glance" timeline of him coming to our family :)
We first called about our baby boy, before he was born
Our little guy was born
Kim calls about our little guy
Met our birth mom for the first time
Narrowed down to 2 families
We met our little guy for the first time and birth mom meets Aurelia
She chose us :)
Papers signed. We're officially a family :)
More posts to come :)