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I am so happy being married and living with my best friend. We adopted our first child, Ari, in 2011 through a domestic adoption and our second, Jude, in 2014.

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Thursday, August 25, 2011

Two Weeks Old

Confession: I used to be one of those people who never understood it when mom's would say stuff like, "I can't believe my baby's 6 months old!" I mean, you were there for the whole six months, right? It's not like you were away for half of it.

But here I am. As we drove to the doctors office on Monday for Little Pirate's checkup I was saying, "I can't believe my baby's two weeks old!!" So yes, I'm one of them now. But really, how did two weeks go by so fast??

In these wonderful two weeks we've had so much fun. Baths, outings, naps together, tummy time, rolling over. Yes, rolling over! My two week old can roll over from his tummy to his back. He's definitely going to keep us on our toes. And I know we'll love every second of it!

He LOVES being on his tummy! Passed out asleep.

2 week checkup

First trip to Target!

Wide eyed

We have happy moments and some very fussy moments. :)

He has little sideburns already! hehe!

Just saying a little prayer.

First time in a highchair at my parents house. He looks so teeny tiny in it!

First real bath. Yeah, he hated it. haha!

Our best friends son helping the hubs carry Little Pirate out of a restaurant. As we were walking by we heard someone say, "Aww, look at that big brother helping carry his little brother!" It's so true for them. They will be best buddies.

The boys just hanging out.

Enjoying a nap on his tummy on the Boppy pillow.

The rolling over wonder!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Scentsy Fundraiser

I don't know why I never put this on here, but hey, better late than never! We still have a week left on our Scentsy fundraiser and the product will be shipped straight to you. So get to shopping! ;)

We're having a Scentsy fundraiser during the entire month of August! We will get 20% of all sales and if the total goes over $2000, we will get 25%. All you have to do to contribute is go to the website and place a Scentsy order for yourself! On the left of the screen is a box that says Vanessa and Mike's Adoption. Click on "Buy from Party" next to that and start shopping! Thank you!


PS - I promise that I'll have a puzzle update soon. We've been a little (happily) preoccupied to devote much time to it, but we are catching up. Please continue to tell people you know about it. Thank you!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

A Little of This, A Little of That... (Part 2)

Sooo, where was I?? haha!

Our first night as a family of 3 was wonderful. We had very little sleep, but it was still wonderful. I couldn't believe we had a teeny tiny little baby waking us up.

And as a side note...I know they say sleep when the baby sleeps. But they don't warn you that you'll want to look at baby with every squeak, wiggle, or tiny sound he makes! But anyway, moving on... :)

The next day we met B, Little Pirate's birthmom. She came into our hospital room with two of her friends. Strangely enough, the first thing that happened when she walked in the room was she looked at me and said, "Huh. You look different than your pictures." (meaning the ones from our profile book). I had no idea what to say to that!! I'm sorry? Thank you? My bad?? Yeah, I was at a loss. So I just mustered out an "Oh." followed by an awkward laugh.

But things were fine beyond that. She only stayed in our room for about five minutes. She and each of her friends held him and took a few pictures. We felt very confident about the entire process, so we told her that if she wanted to spend some time with him in her room, we were fine with that. We told her to just let the nurses know and they would come get him from our room and bring him to hers. She seemed very appreciative of this and said that her grandparents would be there later that evening and would love to meet him and take pictures. We, again, told her that of course that was fine with us and to just let the nurses know.

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Later that evening a nurse did come in our room and very nervously said, "Umm...the birthmom said she was wanting to see the baby...?" We assured her that it was fine and she took Little Pirate to B's room.

About 20 minutes later there was another knock on our door. It was B's grandparents wanting to meet us. Definitely did not see that coming! That shocked us a little. But it was a wonderful experience. They simply wanted to meet us themselves and talk to us for a few minutes.

They told us about how they raised B and how they are pretty much also raising the two children she has. The grandpa got choked up several times talking to us about how difficult this is for them, but that they know this is best. He told us that he himself is adopted, so he knows the blessing this process can be.

He also told us that he never got to meet her third child, which was the first one she placed for adoption. He was in Brazil on a mission trip when it was born. He said that the family never sends pictures to them either, so they don't really know anything about the child. Besides raising Little Pirate in a strong Christian home, his only other request was that we send pictures. We guaranteed him that we would.

After talking for a little bit he asked if he could pray with us. Umm...wow! We definitely didn't see it coming that we would meet them, but then we really didn't see it coming that he would want to pray with us. It was just so cool. He teared up through most of it and had a hard time getting his words out, but what he did say was just wonderful. We were so happy that we got to meet them.

A few minutes later B brought Little Pirate back to our room with her two children in tow. She wanted us to meet them as well. I couldn't help but stare at them and think about how they were my son's siblings. What an interesting world adoption makes.

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On Wednesday afternoon B came into our room to say goodbye to us before she was discharged from the hospital. This was the first time I saw her show any emotion. She began to tear up a little. She gave us both hugs and asked that we please keep in touch. And then she walked out the door. She left the hospital with her son in our arms. Wow. What an overwhelming feeling.

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All in all, it was a wonderful experience. It was so nice to be able to be at the hospital and have our own room with Little Pirate. I apologize to anyone who wanted to come visit and wasn't able to. We had very few visitors since B was in and out of our room, sometimes without any notice. It was just a little bit of an awkward situation, so it was better to keep it as simple as possible.

But anyway...adoption is an incredible process. I feel so blessed to be a part of this.

And now for my favorite little tidbit from all of this...

We have had Little Pirate's real name picked out for at least a year. It's the only boy name the hubs and I have ever agreed on. Well, when we got to the hospital we found out B's first and last name for the first time. Turns out that the meaning of Little Pirate's name just so happens to be a form of B's last name (hope that makes sense).

I could not believe it when I saw her last name. What a way for God to show us that He absolutely handpicked this child and situation for us. And also, what a way for her to always be a part of Little Pirate. So happy that I serve this mighty and wonderful God.

Headed home as a family of three!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

A Little of This, A Little of That...

This may be an extremely random blogpost, but I just have so many things that I want to write down and remember from this week. So I'm just going to write them out as they come to me. It may not all be coherent and it's probably going to be very long, but it's things that are important to me. So here we go...

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First and foremost, here's the story of how all this came to be.

As most people know, on July 20th we were matched with a birthmom (whom I will refer to as B). She was due with a baby boy on August 7th. We were thrilled, of course, and worked very quickly to get a nursery completely put together.

However, a week and a half later, starting on August 1st, our agency lost contact with B. They called, texted, went by her apartment, etc, but never seemed to be able to get ahold of her. They remained positive until the morning of August 8th, the day after her due date.

I emailed our agency worker that morning pretty much asking her opinion on the situation. She sent this back to me: "I don't think we are going to hear from her right now. Always possible she could take baby home and try to parent and then call, but no way of knowing. We will start showing your book again this week. I'm sorry Vanessa."

I was devastated, naturally, and spent the day at work trying to deal with all the emotions of needing to move on. However, around 5:00 that evening, as I was headed home from work, I got a call from our agency worker. The first thing she said was, "Guess who I'm texting with right now?"

Yes, that's right, B had suddenly made contact again, after an entire week of silence. She had not had the baby yet and assured our agency worker that she still wanted to go through with the adoption plan. And her reason for the silence? Simply because she didn't have access to a phone over the last week.

Going from the information from the morning to the information in the evening was enough to make it a crazy and exciting day. But it was just the beginning! At 11:20pm I got an email from our agency worker that said, "B is going to the hospital. She is contracting. I will call you when I know more...just FYI!!" Then just 30 minutes later the agency worker was calling me. I answered the phone and she said, "We have a baby! Would you like to come meet me at the hospital??"

Talk about a whirlwind of emotions! So we scrambled to grab our hospital bags that had already been packed for a week and made the quick drive to the hospital. We sat in the waiting room for about half an hour while our agency worker took care of details with B. Then we were taken back for me to get a hospital bracelet that allowed me to take care of Little Pirate while we stayed there.

The first time we saw Little Pirate was when the nurses took us back to the nursery where he was getting cleaned up. Funny thing though...they showed us into the room where he was, along with three other babies. We didn't know which one he was at first! haha! But we quickly figured it out and got to watch him get his first bath, first shot, and just about everything else.

Once that was over we got to take him back to our hospital room where I fed him his first bottle. It was such a wonderful time!

But this is getting way too long now and I'm not even done. haha! So I'll have to break this up into two parts. I'll end with some pictures and continue the story later.

Hanging out in the waiting room.

Our first sight of him!

First feeding

First family photo around 2:00am.

Newborn Photo Shoot

Yesterday we had Little Pirate's first photo shoot with Jenny White Photography. Not only is she an amazing photographer, but she is also a great friend of ours. I've watched her take pictures of all of our friends kiddos for years and it was so much fun to have our turn!

Enjoy the photos and if you're in her area, check out her work. Like I said, she's great!!

(Oh, and for those curious that don't know us personally, you will see his name spelled out in blocks in a picture. I just won't ever type it out on the blog so that it doesn't show up on internet searches, or anything like that.)

Just a little explanation for this one... This is a necklace that the hubs bought me (from here) for my birthday this year. It was inspired by women dealing with infertility and based off of the verse Joshua 1:9 - "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go."

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

He's Here!

After a few crazy roller coaster ride days, we are a family of three! I promise I will post details of the story soon. But for now, I just had to brag about my baby boy. He's sweet, wonderful, precious, and we are totally in love! We are going to be discharged from the hospital in, hopefully, just a few hours and will then be taking our sweet baby boy home with this.

We won't be posting his actual name on this blog, just for privacy reasons with adoption. So he will be referred to as Little Pirate, to match his pirate themed nursery. :) Again, we are in love and so happy to have him in our lives!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Puzzle Update - Week 16

In Week 16 we sold 86 puzzle pieces! Such an awesome number. And 50 of those pieces came to us in a very special way.

On Tuesday afternoon the hubs went out to get our mail and noticed three large boxes on our front porch. They were two boxes of diapers and a box of wipes. There was an envelope taped to one of them that said "Vanessa & Mike". Inside of that was a piece of paper that just said, "You are going to do great!" Oh, and there was also $500 cash, a $200 gift card to Target, and a $200 gift card to Walmart.

To say that we were blown away by this is an understatement. Shock and utter disbelief is more like it. We have no idea who it came from. There was no name. But I know whoever decided to do this was most definitely lead by the Spirit. Therefore we like to call it our "Front Porch Jesus" experience.

This has been an exhausting week emotionally. Just waiting on pins and needles every day to hear something. It hasn't been fun. But then to remember what was left on our porch has been such an incredible encouragement. God knew this would be a hard week for us, so He lead someone to do that for us so we would have some direct encouragement and comfort from Him. It feels like God Himself left us a note to let us know that we're going to do great. We kept that piece of paper and plan on never letting it go.

To whoever was involved in our "Front Porch Jesus" experience...please know how much you blessed us. Thank you for being Spirit led. You were a direct messenger from God for us this past week. We will forever be grateful for that.

With that being said, we immediately knew that we wanted to apply the $500 to our puzzle fundraiser. But since we don't know who left it there, we couldn't write their specific names on the pieces. Instead we wrote 50 different names for God on the pieces (some pictures included below). It will probably be my favorite section of the puzzle now.

So we have now put together a total of 436 pieces. We're almost halfway done. Only 571 pieces left to go!