The birth story…

Sorry I haven’t posted in a while. Hands have been a little more full lately…and I love it!

We are adjusting as a family of four.  Five…if you count Sparky.  Which you must according to Wyatt.

Wanted to recap a little on Emmett’s birth story.  I was able to be in the room with E as she labored and had him.  What an honor and a humbling experience.  Having been in her shoes before I could empathize with her pain.  What I found really hard was watching her hurt and be in pain…for us.  Essentially, all the hard work, sweat, tears and pain would end and we would receive the gift of it all.  Wow.  That was hard for me.  No words can express that kind of thanks.  What a brave and strong woman she is.

During the final pushes, Emmett wasn’t coming out and his heart rate began to drop as he was in distress.  The doctor called for the vacuum.  As a nurse, every horror story I heard about or witnessed came flooding through my brain.  Thankfully, with the help of the vacuum and one final push, out he came.  But he didn’t come out screaming like you see on TV and he was rather blue.  They quickly took him over to the warming lights and began trying to stimulate him and was listening to his heart.  They needed to suction him but his heart rate was too low.  Sometimes when you suction someone (adult or baby) it causes them to “vagal down.” Because his heart rate was already low, they couldn’t risk suctioning him until his heart rate was higher.  Watching the nurse stare at the clock counting his heartbeats and then shaking her head no was hard.  I stayed by E’s side trying to comfort her while my heart was also aching for this precious baby I had just received my first glance of.  The nurse and doctor began to bag him.  Again, not a good sign.  I lost it at that moment and began crying.  All I knew to do was kiss E’s head and pray.  I actually remember thinking, “God please don’t have brought us this far to lose him this fast.”  I’m sure it was only a minute or so but it felt like at least an hour and you could’ve heard a pin drop in that room of 10 or so people.  Thankfully the supplemental oxygen helped raise his heart rate enough so they could suction him.  Once they did, he began to make a few squeaks.  Whew.  One big sigh.  I was then able to walk over and speak to him for the first time. Already giving me a big scare! Thankfully, he came around…just had a rough start. :)

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Slade finally got to come in!

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It was so neat to see the different people the Lord put in place at the hospital.  We were a little nervous about how the hospital staff might treat us, but more importantly E. We had been told stories of nurses who did not agree with adoption and made their opinions known.  We were met with just the opposite. The attending on call that night, encouraged E about her decision and told her he had a niece and nephew that were both adopted and how adoption played a big part in his life.  The nurses were so accommodating and sensitive to both E and us.  The doctor who came in for the delivery also encouraged E and told her that she had a 2 year old daughter whom she had adopted. So neat!  Those little graces were so timely.

My Dad and Brenda were so gracious to come down and be on standby with Wyatt.  They brought him up around lunch the morning that he was born to meet him.  We weren’t exactly sure how he would react.  Let’s just say it was love at first sight! He immediately wanted to hold him and then just looked at him and began patting his bottom just like he was an old pro at being a big brother.

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Headed home!

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We felt God’s presence and peace throughout the hospital stay.  Thank you again for your prayers.

Wanted to show you just a glimpse of our welcoming home.  Blessed by such a sweet body of Christ.

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Many of you have asked about E and how she is doing. Thank you.  Please continue to keep her in your prayers.  We have been talking with her and look forward to seeing her when we go to our next APO meeting.  As you know, she is a loving and caring mom, so pray for her and think of her often.  I can’t even imagine all that she is going through.  Praying for a joy, peace and strength that comes only from God.

We have very full hearts.  And as my friend Jenn said at our welcoming home, “It’s so sweet to see your arms full.”

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Headed home!

We had a sweet, and of course tiring and emotional, time at the hospital but are headed home with precious Emmett McCrae in tow :)

We have seen Gods hand move and felt His peace in amazing ways. We were also able to see the peace He gave to E as well.

The joy we feel for our new son simultaneously combined with a pain for E is an emotion you don’t feel very often, if any, in life.

So remember her as she heals physically and emotionally. We parted with hugs and smiles and “see you soons.”

Thank you again for walking this journey with us… And please continue to!

Welcome to the world…

At 3:02am baby boy Emmett McCrae entered the world.

Weighing in at 5 lbs 13.5 ounces and 19 inches long.

He is pretty precious and we are enjoying some snuggles. E was so amazing and is getting some rest finally.

Thank you thank you for your prayers. Please continue praying for all hearts involved. We are beyond excited and are continuing to moment by moment place our trust in Him.

Waiting…

All checked in. Seems like now we just wait. Pray that she can get some rest. Hard to get comfortable at this point.

Looking like not much will happen until sometime tomorrow. The nurses and staff have been very accommodating and sensitive. That is an answered prayer. Pray that shift change will bring more of the same.

Thanks for the prayers and please keep them coming. Thank you for your texts and Facebook messages. Sorry if we don’t reply to each of them. But know that we read them and they are very encouraging.

We feel your prayers and Gods hand each moment.

The Final Countdown…

Tomorrow we will head to the hospital to start the induction process.  The baby could come tomorrow night, but we’ve been told that it would more than likely be Monday sometime.

I wanted to share some pictures of the nursery. Really just one specific part that YOU are a part of.

We wanted whatever child God has planned for us to know just how much he is loved and has been prayed for.

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We placed pins in all the places where people bought shirts to support our adoption. We didn’t put a pin for each person because the ones in Texas would not have fit!

Thank you for following us on this journey.  We really, really appreciate all the prayers and support.

We are hanging in there. :) The mix of emotions can be overwhelming at times — excitement, anticipation, worry, fear…and that’s just to name a few.

We will do our best to keep you updated, but it more than likely won’t be a play by play. :) Please, please continue to pray for peace for all involved.  For ourselves, for E and her kids. Pray for wisdom and guidance for the APO staff. Pray for the nurses, doctors and staff we will come in contact with.  We pray they will be sensitive to the situation and ultimately that we can show them even just a glimpse of the greatness of our God.  Pray for a deep and unshakable trust in our God regardless of the final outcome.  To Him be the glory…

 

It is a Brave Love…

It’s crazy how God can bond two hearts together. Hearts of people who come from different cultures, upbringings, and geographical locations.  I never knew my heart would be bonded with a birthmother like it has been.  Going through the adoption waiting period, I skeptically wondered if that would ever happen.  Let me tell you…it has! And it’s not just because she is considering placing her child with us.  We love her.  We truly do.  We care about her and we see the beautiful and strong woman that she is.

I often say that I feel like most begin to paint a picture of our birthmother that is FAR from what she is.  So whatever thoughts you may have had about birthmothers who choose adoption, I hope this video gives you a better perception…

http://bravelove.org/stories/videos/interviews

Her due date yesterday and no baby yet. Another appointment this morning.  No change from last week.  We are set to begin the induction process on Sunday night if he doesn’t make his appearance before then. :)

Something’s are unknown, but One Thing is known…

Headed to another doctors appointment for E. She is 39 weeks and two days today. She was dilated to a one. Better than none but she sure hoped for more. Due date is January 12th. Regular appointment scheduled for next week. Induction scheduled for January 19th if she hasn’t gone into labor by then. So we are talking anywhere from a couple weeks to ANY DAY! Eek!

Today was also Wyatt’s first day back at CC. It was my first time to have to split time. I know it’s something way small but for 5 years I haven’t had to miss anything or make a choice. I realize if this all goes through it will be the first of many :) Thankfully, a dear friend and fellow CC mom took him and the CC community was so supportive to help and make sure I went today. What a blessing. And to be honest, he was much more excited once he realized he would get to be with his friend all day :)

Many have asked how Wyatt is doing. We think he’s reacting like a typical five-year-old boy–Says he’s excited when you ask him about it and then off to play Legos in no time. ;) He has helped us with a few baby projects and we know he’s going to make a big great big brother whenever the time comes.

How are we doing? We are good; we are just ready for the unknown to be known. We know the future holds lots of unknowns. We are just ready for this big unknown to be known. We are ready to either begin figuring out what life as a family of four looks like or to begin the grieving and healing process. By the way, you can’t really emotionally prepare for both of those at the same time. ;)

I had coffee with a friend the other day. As we shared our very different situations there was one common strand that rang true in both situations. Our satisfaction has to be found in Christ, not in the alleviation of our situation. If we are dependent on our situation changing (or receiving this child in our case) to produce happiness, we are setting ourselves up if it doesn’t go as we would like or have planned. It doesn’t mean that we won’t have pain, heartache and grief if things don’t turn out like we wanted. But we can have true JOY amidst the pain, heartache and grief.

Our circumstances may or may not change. Our emotions will be up and down. But He doesn’t change. He is constant. He is enough. Our satisfaction must be found in Him. He is the only thing that truly satisfies.

Psalm 16:8 I have set the LORD always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.
Psalm 16:11 You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

The Known versus the unknown.

The True Author

Just wanted to give you an update. Thanks for your continued prayers, texts, and sweet cards in the mail.

I have been able to go to the past 3 doctor appointments. Slade and Wyatt were even able to tag along today. So thankful. Heartbeat sounds great and she’s doing as well as you can when you are this late in the pregnancy :) Our time together is always so good and today we had a chance to let the kids play since school was out.

She is 37 weeks and one day today. She has had her others a week to a couple weeks early so we know it’s getting close.

I was able to meet the Nurse Practitioner today who gave her the APO pamphlet. E (the birthmom) told us she had all the paperwork filled out to go to an adoption agency in Utah to have the baby. So crazy!! Praise God! Clearly, He had other plans. She said her aunt had been praying about it a lot and didn’t think that was a good idea. It is so amazing to see more and more of the story God is writing. We feel humbled to be part of it.

Heartbeat

Yesterday I was able to go to the doctors appointment with E. I was able to hear that sweet baby’s strong heart beat. She even referred to me as the “adoptive mom.” We had lunch together and then went to APO to chat with our caseworkers.

She is a kind and strong woman. I love being around her, spending time with her and getting to know her. Praying she can see Christ’s love in us.

She shared her sonogram pictures with me. :) although I always have the hardest time reading them, they are still something I treasure.

I had my wisdom teeth out this morning so not sure if I will make it to next weeks appointment but she said she likes that I came.

Keep her in your prayers. It gives her such encouragement when I am able to tell her that you are praying for her.

As most of you know, I always like to have a house project going on. A month or so ago I pulled the carpet out in the spare bedroom (nursery). We only have Wyatt’s room left before all the carpet is up. Needless to say, I worked hard last week to get it to where Slade could stain the concrete and it is all back in working order. Whew!

At this point we aren’t setting up and stocking a nursery. We know where all the stuff is and will make sure it’s in working order. While we feel as confident as we can at this point that she will carrying through with her plan to place. The reality is that that can change. She still has to give birth to him, hold him and deal with all the emotions and hormones that come with all of that. Something I can only imagine takes great courage and trust.

We already feel such a connection with her and want to walk alongside her no matter what. If she chooses to keep him, our love for her and her children will not be in vain.

Hope that answers some questions. I will plan to attend as many appointments as I can and she wants until he is born. She is almost 36 weeks and starts going for weekly appointments.

Please continue prayers for her and her older children, this baby in her womb and us.

God has given us a peace. Regardless of the final outcome.

Full.

I couldn’t even come up with a good title for this post. Too many thoughts and emotions.

First, thank you all for your many prayers, texts and calls. As I’ve said before, I don’t think as a married couple there has ever been a time where we could feel the prayers, love and support that we had during this journey. Amazing and beautiful. Thank you for your reminders to be excited and to trust God and that He knew from before the foundation of the world exactly how this story will play out.

So while we had an amazing amount of support and we had a peace we knew was only from God…we are still human. If that trip to College Station became any longer, I was pretty sure I would either die from lack of being able to breathe or I was going to poop my self or throw up. Yes folks, you get the good bad and ugly. Thankfully, I didn’t do any of the aforementioned. I knew God had this. I knew once we got started I would be fine. I love meeting new people and getting to know them. I’m not one who shies away from a conversation. But this was a whole new deal. I was about to meet a woman who was considering placing her child in our family. Kind of a big deal. :-)

To back up, the caseworker (who works with the birthmoms, Ms. K) called at 6:45 on Monday morning. As I hear Slade talking I start to think, “Ok. The meeting has been cancelled. This is it. It’s over. It’s going to be ok, God. You knew this.” Then I heard Slade say, “Yes, Wyatt is coming.” I heard IS. Not WAS, but IS. One sigh of relief. They wanted to make sure that Wyatt was coming because he was a big part in her decision to meet us. They said when she said our LifeBook, there was “just something about Wyatt that drew her in” and she thought he would make a good big brother. Melt my heart. Thank you God for giving Wyatt such a neat part in this story. Jokingly on the way (Wyatt had headphones on watching a movie) I told Slade, if she doesn’t pick us…I’m blaming Wyatt. ;)

There are so many details to our day but the important thing is that we met her and as we knew He would, God really guided our conversation and comforted our hearts. She is a really neat lady with a great personality. She was funny and easy to talk to. She’s in a situation where she knows that she can’t take care of this baby like she would like to and as he needs. We talked through concerns and fears we both had. We were able to meet her other children and had the most precious conversation with her oldest daughter who was having a hard time with her mom’s decision to place the baby. We spent a beautiful afternoon at the park watching the kids playing together and feeding ducks. She is a brave woman who truly feels that placing this baby with us is the best decision. She told me, “I’m actually excited about the adoption. I know he is going to a great family.” Words I will treasure and cherish forever.

We thought going into Monday that we would leave feeling like it either went well or it didn’t. We thought that even if it went well we would leave just wondering how she really felt. We were blown away by her confidence to place this baby and to place him with us.

When we parted, the caseworkers told us to take at least 24 hours to talk about it, think about it and pray about it. Slade and I were ready to scream “YES!” right there. But APO is so good at what they do and realize that emotions are high and you need time to really think and process. We left feeling really good about it and feeling confident she would also say ‘yes.’

We were worn out after the day. Thankfully Slade and I each have cousins who live in CS. They both met up with us at Rosa’s, of course. What better way to end the day?!

It’s funny how quick Satan tries to get in your head. I knew he would but I didn’t realize how fast it would be. We had had an AMAZING day with so many reassurances from the mom. It’s a two hour trip home and already I began thinking, “I think it went well, but maybe we perceived it wrong. What if she was just being nice? What if she really didn’t like us?”

I slept a little more than I did Sunday night, but not much more.

So, Tuesday we were supposed to call our caseworker (Mr. D) and let him know how we felt about moving forward. Couldn’t exactly wait 24 hours so Slade texted Don and told him YES! and that he would call between meetings at work if need be. We were able to debrief with APO a bit after the meeting so they knew where we stood and our excitement.

I didn’t think I would be that worried if we didn’t hear from the birthmom right away because of how well the meeting went. But as the day drug on with no response I began again to worry and doubt. Ms. K was working with another birthmom out of town all day but said she would contact our birthmom if she hadn’t heard from her by the afternoon. At 5pm, I said, “Should I be worried?” :) Ms. K said I am texting her now. And at about 5:30pm I got a text that said, “She’s all in!!!!”

Now of course, nothing is a done deal until 48 hours after he is born. At any point between now and then she can change her mind–tomorrow, after he is born. So we still have a ways to go. We do feel really good about her going through with her decision to place.

She and I had a great moment alone where I was able to let her know that we were going to support her decision no matter what. If she woke up tomorrow and decided we weren’t the right family or after he was born she decided she couldn’t place him but needed to keep him, she has our support in her decision. She was grateful but again said, “I know this is what’s best. I know he is going to a great family.”

So, please keep praying with us. Pray for her and and her precious children. Pray for our hearts to trust in God’s will and to think on what we know is true and not let Satan get a foothold. I still don’t have much of an appetite and can’t seem to stop my mind from racing at night.

Many have asked about Wyatt. We didn’t even try to prep him as far as his behavior went on Monday. We didn’t want him to feel pressured…and we knew it wouldn’t work anyway. :) Prior to the meeting God was using him to keep us grounded. When asked about the meeting he would say, “We are going to meet a birth mom to see if this is the baby for us.” Hilarious, that “birth mom” is in our 5 year old’s vocabulary. If I asked him prior to the meeting if he was excited about getting a baby brother he would say, “IF mom, IF we I get a brother.” He was his normal silly self and took it all in stride. Said his hellos and then got to playing. My favorite was watching her oldest and Wyatt introduce themselves. She told him her name and he said, “Hi! I’m Wyatt. Wanna go play tag?” And off they ran. :) He was excited when we let him know yesterday that she really liked us and wanted to move forward. We know he is going to be a great big brother as well.

Oh and by the way, I haven’t even told you. He’s due January 12th and he’s going to add a little color to our lives. :) We are BEYOND excited and thrilled and FULL!

Keep coming back. I will keep you posted.