Saturday, May 29, 2010

Jori's Adoption Story

It is hard to believe that 2 months ago today we found out we would be the parents to this beautiful baby girl . . . here is her story . . .
Thursday, March 11, 2010 . . . I was at the gym taking a fitness class and saw a call come from Stephen.  My phone was always with in arms reach as it was our “lifeline” to adoption.  We knew from experience with Jadon (16 hours notice) we needed to always have our phones handy “just in case”.  Stephen said he had received an e-mail about an expectant mom whom had seen our profile online and was due at the end of April.  From the moment I heard about this e-mail something told me it was different . . . I stood outside of the class just shaking as the road so far to our second child had been quite bumpy.  We were in that place of “don’t get your hopes up . . . but we really hope this is it” phase in our 15 month journey.  After talking it over and praying over it we made the decision to show our profile.
Monday, March 22, 2010 . . . Our profile is shown . .. .
Wednesday, March 24, 2010 . . . we find out that we are one of two couples that the expectant mom would like to meet before making her decision.  The meeting is set up for Monday, March 29th at a church in the Dallas area.
Friday, March 26, 2010 . . . I get a phone call from our adoption agency that after going to a routine doctor appointment the expectant mom had been checked into the hospital as a precaution for the baby.  The Monday meeting was now moved to the hospital.  I KNEW in my heart something was going to happen that night . . . I don’t know what it was . . . . but I did not sleep at all the whole night . . . . I prayed long and hard for the expectant mom and her baby . . . . I prayed that she would be at peace and that her decision would not be too difficult . . . I prayed that they would be safe and protected . . . I prayed for a safe delivery of the baby whenever that may be and comfort for her birth mother.  I knew in my heart that the baby was coming that night.
Saturday, March 27, 2010 . . . We get up and started getting ready for the day.  We had a soccer game at 9:30am for Jadon.  However as I was getting ready . . . I just kept thinking “I know they are going to call . . . we are going to meet the expectant mom today”.  Around 8:30am our home phone rang . . . sure enough I saw “Generations” on the caller ID.  As soon as I saw that . . . . I looked at Stephen and said “I knew it!!!”  Sure enough the expectant mom had given birth Friday night to a healthy baby girl and they wanted to move the meeting to today at 1pm.
Driving to the hospital to meet this beautiful woman was scary, nerve wracking, and intimidating.  We knew she had seen our letter and pictures . . . but we still wondered . . . why did she like us?  Why did she want to meet us?  Would we make a good impression?  Would we stumble over our words out of nervousness?  We prayed for peace and clarity as we made our way into that hospital.  
Our hearts were also nervous for the birth mother as we knew what she had been through the last 16 hours . . . how do you go through a quick birth . . . a month early . . . and then have to go through meeting potential adoptive families for this precious child that you just gave birth to?  I can’t imagine the feelings that she had that day . . . confusion, exhaustion, love, fear . . . knowing you have to make this HUGE decision when clarity is so difficult!
The meeting went extremely well and the only thing we knew when we left was . . . we ABSOLUTELY loved this wonderful Christian family.  I loved that they asked us direct questions such as “Are you guys in love . . . are you best friends . . . etc.”  The questions were refreshing . . . I wanted their deepest questions answered.  We hoped we would be chosen but we knew God had his plan and we just felt so blessed to be able to meet them.  We also knew that at 3pm they would be meeting another family and we prayed for that family as well as they went through that meeting as we knew how difficult this was on everyone involved.
Of course this would be a night of little sleep as I just thought, prayed and sought what God was trying to do . . . would this be the family for us?  Or would this be another learning experience?  Whatever it would be . . . as hard as it was . . . I knew we were in his plan.
Sunday, March 28, 2010 . . . Stephen was on shift . . . I was a wreck . . . I sat through church and Sunday school and my phone never left my hand as we were hoping that we would hear of a decision.  We knew someone was taking a little baby girl home tomorrow . . . . we just did not know who.  At about 6pm I made the decision to go ahead and purchase a car seat . . . just in case . . . I could always take it back right?  Plus I knew that if we were chosen . . . I wouldn’t want to have to think about that last minute.  My mind was spinning and I needed to get out.  Thankfully a wonderful woman from my Sunday School class offered to come with me to keep me company.  It was nice to get out and just do something instead of just staring at the phone.  
While at the baby store the agency called and told me that the birth mom was having a really hard time making a decision and we would find something out in the morning. 
Wowsers . . . God had me on my knees . . . I knew of my anxiety . . . but I was having difficulty processing the struggles that the birth family was going through.  I prayed so hard for this birth mother and her family . . . that she would have peace, clarity and confidence in whatever decision she came to . . . whether it be parenting or placing her precious child with us or the other family for adoption.  I prayed for the other adoptive family as I knew they were feeling what I was feeling.
Monday, March 29, 2010 . . . 
9:00am . . . we decide that we are not going to sit around the house and we decided to take Jadon out for breakfast at IHOP.  At this point Jadon knew NOTHING of what was going on.  We forwarded the home phone to my cell so we would get whatever call would come.
10:30am . . . during our breakfast the phone rings . . . I looked at Stephen and was really scared to answer it as all I could hear in my head was “They chose the other family”.   I took a deep breath and answered . . . it of course was Laura from the agency.  She said that the family had come to a decision and that they had chosen us to be the parents of this precious little girl!  I immediately started bawling (right there in the middle of IHOP) and of course poor Jadon has no idea what is going on and he started to freak out and cry because he didn’t know what was wrong with me.  I nodded to Stephen so that he knew it was us and he proceeded to tell Jadon that I was crying happy tears as he was now a big brother and would be bringing home a baby sister later that day!  Jadon then screamed “YES” at the top of his lungs right there in the middle of IHOP (I keep remembering how crazy that must have looked to other IHOP patrons as I cried and Jadon cheered).  
Laura had told me that we needed to be at the hospital at 3pm so we had a few hours to get things prepared.  We finished up our breakfast, called family and then headed to Target.  Of course we had to have some girly clothes to take the little princess home!
3:00pm . . . We pulled up to the hospital full of anticipation and excitement!  Meeting Jori for the first time was simply amazing!  Jadon ran right up to her little bassinet and the first thing he said while looking over her was “I am going to protect you”.  I was so amazed and in love watching my little boy just love on his new little sister . . . immediately accepting her as a member of our family.  
Watching Stephen hold his little girl the first time was absolutely one of the most powerful moments . . . . seeing this little 5lb baby in his arms just melted my heart.  

The first time holding my little princess was simply amazing . . . it brought back the emotions I had the first time I held Jadon.  All of the heartache . . . longing . . . immediately we knew this was the child God had planned for us.  We were all so excited to meet our new little girl.
Baylor Irving was FANTASTIC!!  The nurses there were great and we left the hospital at around 7pm.  Needless to say . . . we realized on the way home that we had not eaten since IHOP earlier that morning.  We were all just in a daze on the way home . . . Jori sat between me and Jadon . . . Jadon just kept looking at her and kept saying how beautiful she was.  I totally agreed!  When we got home Jadon HAD to help carry her in . . . to make sure she was safe!  He is so protective of his little sister!

God truly walked with us along this journey.  That is not to say there was not times I wondered what in the world his plan was and why it had to at times hurt so much.  I knew he just had that perfect birth family and daughter for us.  Jeremiah 29:11 played a big role in my life during the 15 month wait for our dear daughter . . . 
For I know the plans I have for you, "declares the LORD," plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.  Jeremiah 29:11
God always knew his plan for us . . .  but he needed to take us through the ups and downs of our journey to bring us closer to him.  We know God has many more journeys for us in the future and we do our best to put all of our faith and trust in him.  We pray our children will cling to this verse as they grow . . . have questions . . . and just become independent individuals.  God’s plan may not always be the plan “we” have planned for ourselves but it is definitely the plan he knows is best for us.
We are also so incredibly blessed to have had so many people love on us, pray for us, and support us through this journey to our family.  I don’t think I could count up all of the people who one way or the other made an impact on us or did something that brought us peace.  Family, friends, and church family (many of whom we do not personally know) were there for us in thoughts, prayer, phone calls, chats, food, gifts, and love.  Without that . . . this journey would have been unbearable.  To all of you . . . Thank You!

May 29, 2010 . . . I can not think about all of the events of 2 months ago and not tear up.  So much has happened . . . we have fallen completely and totally in love with our little girl.  We have been so blessed to maintain an open relationship with her birth family and for that we are so grateful.  We feel so incredibly blessed that 2 beautiful children were entrusted to us . . . and we will always cherish them!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Jori - 2 Months Old!

Oh, my precious baby girl . . . you are 2 months old!  Some things we have learned about you . . .
- you are now 8 lbs 4 oz.  (still smaller than your brother was when he was born!)
- you are 21 1/2 inches long.
- you love to sleep on your belly (even though that is a big no no!!)
- you love to watch your brother be silly!
- you are starting to smile on your own when we play with you!  You have the greatest smile on earth!
- you are sleeping pretty good though the night . . . you only get up around 4am to eat now!
- you finally fit into newborn clothes!!  
- you really did not like your 2 month shots!
- you have eyes that melt your daddy and mommy's hearts!
- when you are done with your bottle . . . you will let us know by throwing out that bottom lip and pushing your lips together!
- you are beginning to really like your swing.
- you love to grab on to your mommy's necklace and not let go!
- you are just the most precious little girl on the planet!

Happy 2 months baby girl!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Jadon takes Jori to Sea World and San Antonio!

We were so fortunate to take a quick trip to San Antonio this past weekend.  Jadon could not wait to show Jori all the greatness that it holds.  Here are some quick pics of our trip and some firsts for Jori!

Jori's first visit with "Shamu"
Waiting for the Ski Show.
Jori loves daddy's arms!
Watching the Ski Show.
So excited for the Sea Lion Show!
Sea Lions!
Cuddles with mommy!  She LOVES grabbing onto my necklace!
Ready for the pirates 4D show . . . we got sprayed with lots of water in that theater!
Jadon's first big water ride (Jadon and Stephen are 2nd row from the back on the right side)
The only ride Jori really enjoyed :-)
Dolphin Show!
Checking on and protecting little sis!
Jadon had to take Jori on her first Trolley ride!
Of course the goofy pic!
Jori's first pic in front of the Alamo!
RIVERWALK!!!  Gotta love the look on Jori's face . . . she knows Jadon is a funny boy!
Jori loving her daddy and brother on the riverwalk!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Mr. Green Thumb?

Jadon and I took some time out to spend some time together by going to the nursery to pick out some plants to grow tomatoes and strawberries.  I  know myself well enough NOT to plant things in the ground because I do not have the time or patience to pull weeds.  We decided to try some Topsy Turvy planters to see how they would do.

Jadon had a blast at the nursery and I am so glad we had this quality time together!

Picking out the first plant!

Helping me decide which were the best Strawberry plants.  Jadon is VERY excited about the strawberries. . . . we really hope they work out!

Jadon LOVED dragging around the little trailer . . . it was a bit tricky though with the hills!

Jadon had to guard the plants while I paid . . .

2 weeks later . . . WE HAVE TOMATOES!!!  Still waiting on the strawberries!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Humbled . . .

The following was sent to me from Jori's birth grandmother for mothers day.  This is her e-mail to me:
Hello Maria,
I thought since you are my grandbaby's Mom this would lift your day. 
Thank you for being Jori's Angel.
With my Love to you.
Happy Mommy's Day.


A Newborn's Conversation with God

A baby asked God, "They tell me you are sending me to earth tomorrow,
but how am I going to live there being so small and helpless?"

God said, "Your angel will be waiting for you and will take care of you."

The child further inquired, "But tell me, here in heaven I don't have
to do anything but sing and smile to be happy."

God said, "Your angel will sing for you and will also smile for you.
And you will feel your angel's love and be very happy."

Again the small child asked, "And how am I going to be able to understand
when people talk to me if I don't know the language?"

God said, "Your angel will tell you the most beautiful and sweet words
you will ever hear, and with much patience and care, your angel will
teach you how to speak."

"And what am I going to do when I want to talk to you?"

God said, "Your angel will place your hands together and will teach
you how to pray."

"Who will protect me?"

God said, "Your angel will defend you even if it means risking its life."

"But I will always be sad because I will not see you anymore."

God said, "Your angel will always talk to you about Me and will teach
you the way to come back to Me, even though I will always be next to you."

At that moment there was much peace in Heaven, but voices from Earth
could be heard and the child hurriedly asked, "God, if I am to leave
now, please tell me my angel's name."

God said, You will simply call her, "Mom."  
We are so incredibly blessed to have such a loving birth family in our lives.  Children can not have too many people loving on them!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

BEST . . . MOTHERS . . . DAY . . . . EVER!!!!!

For so many years . . . mothers day was one of the hardest days of the year for me.  Today . . . it is the greatest . . . knowing our family is complete.  I feel so incredibly blessed to have had 2 wonderful selfless women choose to make me a mother.  God has blessed us immeasurably and for that I am so thankful.  

5 years ago on mothers day we took part in the baby dedication for Jadon . . . . and today we dedicated ourselves to bring Jori up to know our God.

Happy mothers day to all the mothers out there . . . and to all the waiting ones . . . I pray for peace during this time that you wait to meet your child.

Grammie, Jadon, and Jori

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Visit to Great Grannies!

We took Jori and Jadon to great grannies house over the weekend.  It was so great spending a few days with her.  My kiddos are so lucky to have such a wonderful wise woman in their lives!

I love these two photo's and will cherish them always . . . I love seeing great grannies hands hold my little Jori.

The blankets in the bottom photo are very special as well.  Great Grannie made the pink blanket for Jori . . . the multi colored blanket was made by Great Grannie's, grannie.  That would be Jori and Jadon's great, great, great grannie.