Life with sweet, amazing you!

For the first few months we had lots of long nights. When we picked you up you would hold your body up straight and arms out in a startled position and feet pointed straight down. You spent many, many hours in a baby wrap and we did lots of massage and stretching in the evenings before bed.
At your 2 week visit the Pediatrician and I talked about some digestive issues and he felt that breast-milk would be beneficial for you. He had me tested as a milk donor for you and approved. You had the most amazing God-sent Attorney Ad-Litem named Mrs.Comte. She saw the recommendation by the Pediatrician and offered to take it to Judge Clark and ask for permission for me to breastfeed you. At around 6 weeks, the Judge gained verbal

approval from your birth Mom and gave the order for us to being nursing. But the agency we were licensed with said “NO”. They felt that there was a legal risk that you birth Mom might sue the agency and us later on and they felt that it wasn’t right for a baby to be nursed by a foster parent. We really wanted the very best for you even if we didn’t get to be your parents forever and we knew how much nursing would benefit you. So they attorney got permission for us to breastfeed you as soon as we were no longer licensed by the foster agency we were with. We made lots of phone calls and found a wonderful agency (Bair) who could see the benefit for you and began working to get us licensed. Our agency told the Judge that it would take months to get our license transferred and that if we began nursing while still licensed by them they would close our home and have CPS remove you from our home.
Judge Clark replied that she would just place you with us as Fictive Kin until we could be re-licensed by Bair so that we could begin nursing right away. We were blown away by God’s goodness through this. Texas had never allowed a child in foster care to be breastfed before.

Although we were allowed to breast-feed, we didn’t have any say over all of the regular immunizations that you were required to have at the regular scheduled intervals. But you did surprise me when, at your 2 month visit you had gotten three shots and, as soon as they let me pick you up, you snuggled your arms, legs, and head up under my chin in a little baby bundle for the first time. It was such a sweet moment.

The therapist were all amazing at how quickly you began to loosen up and become more snuggly and flexible! At your 4 month visit the pediatrician admitted that he wasn’t even sure that you needed therapy. You amazed everyone by starting sitting and crawling early!

You need a diaper change so I’ll end this one here… just know that you are loved SO VERY much and we thank God for each and every day that He gives us with you!

For Jeremiah…

Wow… where to start, buddy?

I guess with the dream. We had always wanted to adopt and God told us that He had put that desire in our hearts, but we kept waiting. The timing was never right, and God’s response was always, “Wait on me.” So we did.

So, one night I had this really vivid dream that my friend JoAnne were in the foyer at church and she handed me a 18 month old, little African American girl. She said to take her home keep her safe and love her. So we ran to the van with her and did just that. She was a part of our family from then on.

When I woke up, I told Jon about it and we laughed about it and said, “One day…”

That same day four people told me about this big yard sale that I “had to go to”. Jon said, “Sure! Why not?” so I loaded up 5 kids on a Thursday morning and went. I ended up getting into a conversation with a random lady (who ended up being Katrina Carr) about adoption. I told her about my dream. She knew of a situation with a little girl who needed a family. So, that night Jon and I prayed about it and felt like God said to pursue it, so we did. We tried to jump through as many CPS hoops as possible, as quickly as we could. We had to have a health inspection, TB test, homestudy, FBI background check, fire inspection, and eventually become licensed by the state to foster. So we jumped on the “foster” wagon completely backwards by calling CPS and telling them the name of this little girl that we had never met but wanted to adopt. They were not thrilled, nor cooperative.

So, a month or so later we found ourselves in court with no means to even enter her picture. She was placed with a neighbor and we walked away asking “What on earth was that about, God?”

But He wasn’t done. He told us to keep pursuing our foster license. One day I realized that He had pulled a “bait and switch” and I was okay with it. 🙂
We were licensed by Arrow Ministries in November of 2012, after a dozen or more incidents of lost paperwork and forgotten steps (on Arrows part). I was so frustrated at how long it was taking but God kept reminding me that He had something special for us and I had to wait on His timing. After we were licensed, we received 4 or 5 potential placement request and said we “yes” to each one, wondering what He might have for us. But each child was placed somewhere else… so we waited. Then on Thursday, I was at the resale store buying an infant car seat (just in case) when I got a phone call from Jon telling me that my phone had been out of signal and I had missed multiple calls from Arrow asking if we would be willing to accept a 2 day old baby boy!

Of course, Jon had already told them “Absolutely”. We didn’t hear anything else all weekend. I prayed for you all weekend, praying that you had been placed somewhere else, because I couldn’t stand the thought of you laying in the NICU without a “Mommy and Daddy” to love on you.

On Monday morning, we were sure that you had been placed somewhere since we hadn’t heard anything, when Arrow called to ask us if we could be at TMFH’s NICU that afternoon for the training needed to bring you home! Even writing it makes me cry… happy tears!

We took the other kids to Jon’s parents and got to the NICU as quickly as possible. We scrubbed in and waited. It was so hard knowing that you were somewhere in that small room but not wanting to bother the nurses who were working so hard. Eventually a nurse figured out who we were and took us over to you. You were sitting happily in a swing behind a half wall. We loved you from that moment on, if not before. The nurse let me hold you and feed you while Jon signed papers. You were so alert and aware, right up until you fell asleep in my arms. The CPS worker came and we stayed till late that evening signing papers. I happened to have the carseat I had bought on Thursday still in the back of my car so they decided to let us take you home with us rather than delivering you.

The CPS and Arrow workers came out to our house and we sat and signed another big stack of papers until late that night. Jimmy and Mindy brought the kids home at some point and they all doted over you for the longest time, each wanting to hold you and asking if they could kiss you. You were the most amazing little, 6 1/2 pound bundle of sweetness that we had ever laid eyes on!

Here you are, all bundled up in the blanket that the hospital sent with you.

AMAZING. Simply perfectly AMAZING.

So that’s the story of how we got you… I’ll stop there for now because you are tired of playing with your jingly giraffe… 🙂  YOU. ARE. AMAZING.  And we hope to get to spend at least the next 20+ years telling you so.