Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Unexpected Call

Abby brought us so much joy, we were enjoying every minute with her.  She was such a good baby.  Very happy and loved people!  We celebrated her first birthday big!  Lots of family and friends came to celebrate her big day!  We knew we wanted to adopt again, but knew we were going to wait a little longer to start the process again.  In September of 2007 we got a call from our good friend/relative Cathy saying that S's (Abby's birthmom) aunt had a niece on the other side of the family considering adoption for her unborn baby and wanted to know if we would be interested in talking to her!  Wow!  How lucky are we!  I got off the phone to tell AZ and he said OK!  Another bonus!  Then S's aunt called to explain the situation and I said we would LOVE to meet her.  Within a couple weeks we were on our way to KC again to meet A.  What another wonderful meeting we had with a strong, unselfish individual.  She told us she had heard from her aunt and uncle how good we had been for S and how our open adoption situation was going so well.  She wanted the same for her unborn baby.  Meeting her a little earlier in her pregnancy we were able to be at the ultrasound to find out the sex of the baby.  Another GIRL!  Yay!  Of course I was excited for Abby to grow up with a little sister!  We had a little more time to prepare for Shelby's birth in January.  We used our same attorney and only had to do an updated home study because it had been less than 2 years since our first was completed.  In January we were in KC for our nephews 1st birthday party and invited A to join us.  She was due any day and we were hoping she would go into labor when we were there!  No such luck.  We left on Sunday after the party and got home about 9pm.  At 5:30am the next morning my phone rang and I knew.  A was in labor.  So we loaded back up and back on the road we went.  We arrived in record time and A had a fairly easy labor.  Shelby arrived quickly and what another amazing experience to be able to witness her coming into the world.  Again we stayed the night in the hospital with her in a room down the hallway from A and A.  The next morning our attorney was there to get the papers signed so we could bring our new daughter home.  I have to admit that is probably the toughest part of the experience, waiting for those papers to be signed.  Although I was excited beyond belief, my heart also hurt for A.  Realizing she was making such an unselfish decision for her baby and ultimately helping complete our family.  She, like S is such a strong woman and I am forever grateful. 
This is a picture of all of us when we arrived at the hospital before Shelby was born.

Admiring my beautiful daughter.

Big sister rocking Shelby and singing a song.

Family picture at the adoption finalization. 

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Mom-Mommy-Mama (A name I wanted so bad)

We tried the fertility/IVF route for around 2 years and when we were done, we were done!  No more medication, no more bloating,  no more nausea, no more weight gain (well due to medication), no more heartache (related to pregnancy).  We started discussing adoption as a way to grow our family.  I of course was all for it.  AZ took a little talking to about it.  He had a hard time with feeling like someone else's child could be considered his.  We prayed and talked and talked and prayed.  We talked to other couples that had gone through the adoption process, we talked to family, we talked to friends.  Then we set up a meeting with the local Catholic Charities.  They signed us on and so began the process.  First we both had to get physicals, back ground checks, we had to prepare a birthmother(parent) letter, and schedule a homestudy.  The homestudy was not as bad as I had read about.  The social worker comes into your house and talks to each potential parent separate and then together, they do a tour of your house, get your  views on raising a child, your religion preference, how you will parent, will you work outside the home, etc.  They look at your financial status and review your physicals and background checks.  The social worker then goes and writes up a report of things discussed, what she saw, and information she gathered.  Some homestudies consist of more than 1 visit.  Because Catholic Charities told us in the beginning their placement time is longer than most would imagine, we began telling EVERYONE we knew that we were planning to adopt.  Between September 2006 and March 2007, we had visited with and been matched with 2 different prospective birthmothers.   In the end, they were not carrying the babies GOD intended for us to have and failed.  In March though we got a call from a wonderful distant relative and family friend who knew how bad we wanted to start our family.  She was working one day as a school nurse and overheard the secretary she worked with talking about her granddaughter being pregnant and considering adoption.  Cathy became an angel this day and told this secretary about us and within 2 days we were driving 4+ hours to meet S & N.  It is hard to describe what nervousness AZ and I both felt.  We actually said, if this doesn't work out we will leave the road to adoption.  We were meeting the birthparents at a school office.  When we walked in, we were greeted with a hug by the birthmothers Grandmother (relief).  As we walked into the office and saw this young couple sitting at the table, we both admit now that we both felt a peace come over us.  We found out she was due within a short couple of months with a baby girl.  We talked for a couple hours telling them how we met, what we have gone through to have a family, and what we want for the future.  After just those couple of hours, they both said they knew we were supposed to have that baby girl and they felt a relief after meeting us in person.  So began the craziness of finding an adoption attorney in order to fulfill this private adoption.  Our attorney was amazing and so helpful.  I really felt like she explained things and helped us accomplish what needed to be done before the baby arrived.  We visited the birthparents one more time before we got THE CALL! 
On May 15, 2007 I was at work in the Heart Cath Lab at the hospital in town.  AZ was working away too.  My mom called not too long after I got to work that day and said Cathy had called and S was in labor.  Of course all of my coworkers knew we were just waiting on the call, so when that call came they pushed me out the door.  I met AZ and my mom (of course) at home and off we drove 4 hours (made it in 3) to the hospital.  I had my camera, my video camera, and a nervous/excited feeling in tow!  We were able to see S before she became too uncomfortable, but we weren't there long when it was time for her to push. 

I was so honored that she asked me to be in the delivery and see this precious little girl come into the world.  The delivery was very fast and Abby was born!  What an amazing experience.  N cut the cord and she was taken to the warmer.  Out came my camera(s) along with the ohs and aws. 

We were able to stay in a room right next door for the night and we kept Abby in the room with us to soak it all up!  S couldn't sign the papers until at least 24 hours after she was born.  We made several trips back and forth to visit and share her with them.  The next day, our attorney came with the papers and they were signed.  This truly was the most unselfish thing I have ever witnessed.  S is the strongest woman I know and I will forever be grateful to her and to N.  We will love, cherish, and raise Abby knowing how much she is loved by so many people.  We couldn't finalize the adoption for 30 days after her birth, so when that time came we went to the county courthouse in the county that S lived and she was finally officially ours!  We made sure to stop by S and N house for a visit and introduce Abby to her birth brother and birth sister.  S had told us at one of her appointments, they were in the waiting room when a lady asked her son if he was getting a baby brother or baby sister.  He said to her its a sister, but we're giving her to someone else.  Such a cute story and to realize what a gift they were giving!

Monday, November 4, 2013

God's Timing

Well since I posted my first post I have decided to split this section from Abby's actual adoption story.  Maybe break it up a bit and shorten the posts some.  AZ and I were married in July, 2000.  I had always known I wanted to have kids.  Growing up I loved playing with my dolls like they were my own real live babies.  When we were dating we discussed kids and agreed it was something we both wanted.  I knew it may be difficult for me to get pregnant as I never really had a period on my own, therefore never ovulated.  I think we had been married 3-4 years when we decided we needed help with growing our family.  After visiting with my local gynecologist, he referred us to a specialist 2 hours away.  The first visit went good and we of course were very hopeful as they said, "we can help you get pregnant".  Our first attempts were just to try fertility medications on our own with multiple scans to tell us when my egg follicles were mature enough and to induce ovulation with medication.  Sounds easy enough!  The plan they had for me included injectable medications, progesterone suppositories, and more injectibles.  We made multiple trips to the office for scans, new orders, etc., but never felt like the doctor was on board as we only saw him the first visit.  I can't even begin to describe the effect the medications had on me, not just physically but emotionally also.  Once this round was complete and unsuccessful, AZ and I decided to look at other options.  Because I never really felt comfortable at the specialist we were referred to, we did some looking and found a Fertility clinic in Kansas City with a female doctor.

We went to our first visit with more hope that she could help us in growing our family.  She was very sincere and made me very comfortable from the start.  She had gone over my history and gave us two options to try: IUI or IVF.  She told us we could do the IUI and if it didn't work, go to IVF.  Because we had already tried a round of fertility medications, we were both on board to go straight to IVF.  IVF is a very expensive procedure that isn't normally covered by insurance.  We signed up for a program through the clinic that would give us 3 tries at IVF and if it didn't work, would refund a % of the fee.  We felt this was where God was leading us to go.  So began more fertility medications, injections, office visits, scans.  Then came the egg retrieval and fertilization.  What a remember most about this was coming out of anesthesia asking how many eggs they got.  I remember them telling me it was a good retrieval (I had 12 eggs).  Then they took those eggs and fertilized them in a petrie dish.  They watched them divide and graded them on the appearance under the microscope. It truly is an amazing science to have.  Once they had matured they scheduled my transfer and placed 2 fertilized embryos and placed 6 more that had matured in the freezer for future attempts.  5 days later I had my first blood draw to check my HCG level.  Those were the longest days of my life (to date)!!! The day I had my blood drawn, I got the call that I was pregnant!!!  My levels would need to be checked 2 days later to make sure they doubled.  2 days later I got the call that my levels had gone up, but not doubled.  I would need to have another draw the next day.  The next day I got the call that it was not going to result in a pregnancy.  Devastation!!! There were so many ups and downs that I was a mess!  Along with all my hormones out of wack, it's a miracle I made it through.  We tried one more round of IVF with the frozen embryos that stayed good after coming out of the freezer.  This time I didn't have a positive HCG and I was done.  I knew my body couldn't take anymore and we needed to look at other options for starting our family.  God had a plan, I just had to wait!