Dec 27, 2011


Soooooo excited!!  But a little nervous and annoyed.  We just got a call from our adoption worker that our birthmom FINALLY has her court date.  It's set for January 20th at 2pm. I was hoping it would've been sooner, but I have faith that God will provide and everything will be okay.  I just read a blogger who wrote "Let your faith be bigger than your fear."  That will be my mantra for the next month or so!


Dec 26, 2011

November 21, 2011 Part 3

Sorry it has taken me so long to complete this story.  With the holidays and all the craziness of a newborn, life has been pretty hectic...but I'm NOT complaining!!!!!

So, we went home on Thanksgiving to have dinner with Jesse's family and for us to get some things done at home.  We knew that rounds were done at 9am each morning, but because they were so busy in the NICU, Jesse decided he'd go in to work and I would take the dogs for a walk and go to the gym while we waited.  I planned on calling the hospital around 11, just to give them time and to not be those parents!  But, as I was walking out the front door with the dogs, my cell phone rang.  It was a number with the Grand Rapids area code, so I answered.  It was the wonderful nurse, Ellen.  She had called to tell us that our dear, precious Emily was ready to go home.  I was beyond excited!  I told her we probably wouldn't be able to head up there until noon, so we wouldn't get there til probably 3 or so.

I walked out the door and nearly skipped the whole time walking the dogs.  (I did call Jesse before I left.)  Jesse came home around noon and we were off shortly after.  The drive there was agonizing.  I just couldn't wait to bring our baby girl home.

In a ride that seemed like forever, we FINALLY got there.  The adoption worker was there and we were allowed to change Emily into her outfit and feed her.  It took us some time, but after we did, we were allowed to leave.  My cousin and her family came to see Emily.  My little godson, Pete, was adorable.  He saw her and said, "hi, baby!"  When she didn't respond, he looked up at me with a look of disgust and said, "she doesn't talk?!"  We all laughed and explained to him that she would talk in time.

Ellen, by law, had to walk Emily out to the car and hand her to the adoption worker.  The adoption worker, then had to hand her to us!  We were beside ourselves with joy.  We took some pictures and took off on the longest journey yet...coming home!  I sat in the back seat to make sure our little peanut was okay.  Since it was nearly 6 pm by the time we left, it was dark, so every half hour or so, I'd ask Jesse to turn on the light so I could make sure that Emily was okay.

We had to stop at Target to pick up some more formula.  (We didn't realize the hospital gave us any, or we wouldn't have stopped on BLACK FRIDAY!)  It was pretty painless and we were back on the road.

We got home to Jesse's family waiting for us.  That night was amazing.  We didn't get much sleep and we set the alarm every 3 hours...DUMB!  But, we are first time parents, so we had to go through all the trials and errors on our own.

We were so happy to finally have our baby girl at home.  Where she belonged.  The dogs were instantly protective of her and wanted to be around her all the time.  It was a dream come true.

 This is Pete wearing his best!
 My cousin, Christina's family

 Getting ready for the ride home
 All safe and secure
 Emily and Grandma P
 Auntie Betty
 Auntie Mare Mare


Dec 8, 2011

November 21, 2011 Part 2

That night was insane.  Jesse was scrambling to get the car seat installed.  I began washing everything we had received already.  At around ten in the evening, my cousin texted me with go out on your porch.  I went out there to find a huge basket full of goodies.  My cousins who live an hour away rushed up to the store and bought us a ton of things for Emily.  I was so touched.  Another friend dropped off the bassinet for us to borrow.  It was such an amazing night.

Tuesday was rough.  I knew I had to go into work, but all I could think about was getting to Grand Rapids to see our daughter.  My sub came to school that day.  Bless her heart. It was such an insane day, she looked like a deer in headlights.  I had no time to prepare anything for her and I know I was so scattered.  I just kept saying, "Don't worry.  My teaching partner will help you!"

That day I had a publishing party with my students and parents.  I knew I had to share the news with them, but I was terrified.  I didn't know if they would be upset...I didn't care if they were, but I just didn't know what to expect.  So, I told them that we were chosen and that our baby was due December 8th, but we had no control over the due date and our daughter was born the night before.  When I said those words, the whole room gasped.  It was amazing.  I somehow held it together.  Parents were so supportive and caring.  A few parents rushed home to get me some essentials that I would need.  I have the best job ever!!

I called Dawn after the school day ended.  We weren't sure what the plan was.  Were we rushing up there that night?  Would we wait til Wednesday?  What?  What?  What?  Well, Dawn said the birth grandmother wanted to say good-bye to Emily and she was coming up after work on Tuesday and Theresa still hadn't been discharged.  We had set up a time to meet at the hospital on Wednesday at 1pm.

Tuesday night a couple really good friends, Adelaide and Stacie, came over to help get things organized.  They helped me finish get all the clothes ready, set up her room and just celebrate that our baby girl was born.  Another friend, who is a car seat engineer, Kimmy, came over to inspect the car seat and make sure we did it right.  I crashed on the couch as everyone was helping get things organized.

Wednesday morning was insane.  I got up and got ready.  Jess went out to run a few errands, so I passed the time cleaning the house.  Finally we left at about 9:30.  That drive was the LONGEST drive of my life.  I was on pins and needles.  I was so nervous.  I was afraid.  How would our daughter respond to us?  Would I be a terrible mother?  I had all these thoughts running through my brain, so I tried to silence them by reading, but nothing quite settled me.

We got there a little early and waited and waited and waited for Linda, the pregnancy counselor to arrive.  She, of course, was about 20 minutes late and when she walked in, she proceeded to tell us that never in her 23 years of doing this had she experienced this...the hospital was not going to release the baby to us because they had an adoption go bad recently and all the paperwork didn't have identifying information on it since it was a closed adoption.  The hospital worker had their lawyer in on it.  I was thinking, "YOU'VE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME?!"  But, she said sign these papers and hopefully it will all go through.

All I could think was, "Can anything run smoothly for us in this process????"

We finally got up to see our little girl and she was an angel.  I immediately bent down to kiss her and the nurse handed her to me.  I had a smile the size of Texas.  All my fears faded as I held her for the first time.  She was our baby girl.  I was mesmerized!  Watching Jesse hold her was very emotional.  He never held a baby and seeing him hold Emily made it more real...this was happening.

We spent the whole day sitting with her and kissing her and holding her and loving her.  We also had to do some training things before she was allowed to leave with us.  So, I was all about getting our list crossed off!  We sat there all day.  We didn't leave at all. But, by 8ish, we were getting hungry.  So, we kissed our baby and told the nurses we'd be back in the morning.

We went to grab something to eat and then crashed at my cousin's house.  (She lived 10 minutes from the hospital.)  I texted Dawn about what the deal was with Emily being allowed to leave with us.  She called me back at 10 to talk.  I was so impressed.  She told us that everything was all set and when Emily was ready to go home, she would be going home with us!!!

I didn't sleep well that night.  All I could think about was Emily at the hospital and us not being there.  Morning couldn't come fast enough.  And when it did, I couldn't get to the hospital fast enough!!  When we got there, the doctor asked us where we stayed for the night and if we had any questions.  We were both very impressed with how nice he was.  He said they were running behind with the rounds, but they'd begin soon.  We went in and loved on our girl for awhile.  We learned from the day before and went down to grab some turkey to eat before the docs did the rounds.

When we came back, they told us that Emily would not be going home that day.  Her umbilical cord was a little inflamed and they wanted to make sure it wasn't infected.  They wanted to watch her breathing a little more and make sure she was eating extremely well.  He said the earliest would be tomorrow, Saturday at the latest!  As the doctor walked away, the nurse said she would do everything in her power to get her home on Friday, the next day.

We stayed with Emily until 2ish and then decided to come home for Thanksgiving dinner, get some clothes and head back up.  It was hard leaving her, but I knew she was in good hands.


Dec 2, 2011

November 21, 2011 Part 1

November 21, 2011...The day our lives changed forever!  Let me do a little back story.  On Tuesday, November 15th, we received a call from our adoption worker that our birth mom was missing.  She had a history of drug abuse, however, cleaned up after learning she was pregnant.  We were told she relapsed.  No one knew where she was or when she'd return.  Oh, and Nov. 15th was one of my parent-teacher conference days.  I still don't know how I got through that?!

We heard nothing at all the rest of the week and, of course, nothing over the weekend.  We had no idea where she was or what to think.  I made the mistake of watching a horrible show called Cell Block 6- Female Ward that Saturday while I was at the gym.  HUGE mistake!  It put even more horrible thoughts in my head as to where and what our birth mother was up to!

Needless to say, by Monday, I was low.  Really low.  I came into work and told the girls I was so over the adoption process.  I mean, I felt so close, but so far.  How do you lose a birth mother?  A 9 month pregnant birth mother, no less?

So, I called our adoption worker in the morning telling her how discouraged and hopeless I was feeling.  She said she would call the Grand Rapids office and fill us in.  At lunchtime, she called to tell me that they had found the birth mother and she had been staying at a hotel and was safe.  We found out that the birth father we had thought all along was the birth father might not be the birth father.  She admitted and told her boyfriend (the man we thought was the birth father) that there was a possibility of another birth father and snapped because she couldn't handle the stress.  So that was a lot to handle, but I felt good that at least she was okay.

Our adoption worker asked if I would like to have a conference call with the pregnancy counselor in Grand Rapids.  The Grand Rapids lady would NOT call us directly.  She would call our adoption worker and she would have to get a hold of us.  I thought that was pretty dumb...Why couldn't she just contact us directly?  So, I talked to Jesse and we were going to set up a conference call for Wednesday.  Dawn, our adoption worker, said she'd call back after she talked to Linda, the Grand Rapids pregnancy counselor.

My phone went off at 3:05, just as the kids were doing their jobs, chaos was ensuing in my room, so I answered it expecting Dawn to tell me that we had a set conference call for Wednesday.  That is NOT what Dawn told me.  She said instead, "Hi, Michelle.  We just got a call from Linda. Mark (the boyfriend) called to tell us that Theresa (birth mom) was admitted to the hospital."  Oh, great, now what?  was my first thought!  "Theresa is in labor!"  What?  Did she just say what I think she said?  The next few minutes were a complete blur?!  Kids were running around the room.  I could barely listen to Dawn, my heart was pounding so hard!  Our baby was on the way!!

I somehow made it through the kids leaving.  Screamed the news to my friends and Jesse and then proceeded to figure things out with my principal about my sub and all the formalities of my leave.  Then I walked aimlessly around my classroom not sure what to do next.  After about an hour, I left and went to the chiropractor.  I definitely needed an adjustment after this!  I left my phone in the car to charge, since it was practically dead after all my phone calls.

When I was leaving I noticed I had missed a call from Dawn.  The message said something like this, "Hi, Michelle.  It's Dawn.  Theresa delivered the baby.  You have a daughter!"  I was driving down the freeway and tears were streaming down my face!!  I had a daughter!!!  Me, a mother!!  FINALLY!!  I called Jesse and said, "our baby was just born.  Come home!"  He said, "okay, I'm on the way." and hung up.  I laughed to myself as the phone started ringing immediately because I knew what he was going to ask, "what do we have?"  When I told him a girl.  I could hear the joy in his voice.

When Jesse came home, I hugged him and cried my eyes out.  FINALLY!!  Our baby was born!!!  We finished sorting things in the nursery and getting things ready around the house.  We weren't sure when we'd be able to go to the hospital.  Since it is a closed adoption, we would have to wait until Theresa was discharged to go there.  I asked Dawn if I should take Tuesday off and she said no, there wasn't anything we would be able to do, so she didn't want me to waste my day off.

I will continue the story later, but I will leave you with some pictures of our baby girl!