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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Coffee and the Baby

In the last 15 days, we've had no less than 35 visitors.  Usually 1 a day, some days up to 5 (yesterday).  Not sure if it's the amazing coffee we offer our guests, or the super adorable cuddly baby.  I'm going with the latter, but I know the former is a great hostessing benefit!!

We are so loved by our friend and family.  This is something I already knew, but to see this love and support in action is breathtaking.  The UPS man has become very familiar with our porch, our postal worker is getting annoyed with stuffing our mailbox with cards, and every night I run the dishwasher with a load of bottles and coffee mugs used by our guests.

Levi is adjusting really well.  It's been two weeks since we have brought him home, and he's starting to smile and make eye contact with us.  These are both things he should just be learning to do at this developmental age of his life, but they're also important signs of bonding with me and Herb.  At our post-placement home visit on Monday, Herb shared that he treasures interaction with Levi (stares, coos, smiles).  My favorite times with Levi are when he's dozing off and nuzzles his nose into my neck; it's so cute.

I just feel so fulfilled.  I'm more motivated to keep the house tidy because I have to look at it all the time; it is my office.  I feel priveledged to get to be with Levi 24/7, and am doing the very best job that I can to meet his needs and show him my love.  I'm honored and blessed that Herb sees it to be so important for me to stay at home with Levi during this time, and I want to make Herb grateful for the decision and make his life easier as a result of that whenever I can.

This is, hands down, the best time of my life. 

Oh, and we have the cutest baby.  Unfortunately, I can't show you any pictures because blogger is sucking right now.  Stay tuned!  Also, I'm working on an updated video...

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Funny Parent Story, Episode 1

I was feeding the baby in our bed, but having trouble staying awake.  I handed Levi over to Herb, who then laid the baby in between us on the bed.  Just as Herb put Levi down, he started saying in a panicked voice, "Where is he?  I just laid him here!!  I can't find him!!  Where's the baby?!" And he threw pillows and blankets all over the bed.

Completely alarmed and fully awake, I sat up straight and said, "I just handed him to you.  What did you do?"

I jumped up, grabbed my robe, and high-tailed it to the nursery.

Peacefully, Levi laid on his back with his hand thrown in the hair and his knees hugged to his chest.  He had been asleep, in his crib the whole time.


This my friends, is what happens to me and Herb.  We are so connected that we even have nightmares in sync.  Herb said when I was halfway down the hallway, he realized we had both been dreaming.

This happened two nights ago, and we're still laughing!  And to make it even funnier, the last night, Herb had the same nightmare/sleep talking 3 more times, complete with tossing pillows off the bed.  I think he's taking this "dad thing" pretty seriously.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Live A Life Worthy Of The Calling You Have Received

Today, I want to be the best mommy I can be.  This is my ministry; wife & mommy, to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. (Ephesians 4:1b)

 


The past week has been filled with visitors, congratulations, lots of bottles, cuddles, and a few tears (happy ones and baby ones). 

Highlights of the week:
- Watching Herb transform into a soft, cuddly, helpful, soothing, wise daddy.  Not sure what to do about this or that?  Herb is googling it (one time I picked up his computer and there were no less than 5 baby sites open).  Last night, Herb took baby duty (the whole two times - this kid sleeps amazingly), and let me sleep in till 8.  I will be sad when he goes back to work, but this has been a great bonding time for he and Levi, and he and I.

- Seeing our parents fall in love and become grandparents (some again, some for the first time).

- Discovering that Levi loves Target (okay, slightly selfish of me).

- Our professional photo session with Nik Cole Photography (pictures coming soon, or find me on facebook).

- Rocking Levi to sleep at 4 am while he scratches every little bump on my upper arm, the way Wendi did when we were kids.

- Celebrating God's answer to hundreds of prayers Sunday morning during church.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Homecoming

So you all know we brought Levi home on Tuesday, October 12, but now, here is a little back story.  It is a whirlwind, so hang on!!

Wednesday, October 8 I received this email from a co-worker:

Hi Michelle,

I just "needed" to let you know that I heard your song THREE times last night ...I stopped myself to listen to the words -- really listen. They're amazing, and perfect. Then on my way home I was switching stations and there it was again... I had to, again, listen to the lyrics. About 5 minutes later, it came on again.

I don't know why I'm "telling" you this, but if I've learned one thing about God's plan for us is that He TELLS us so many things when we're not really listening. I don't know if I'm SUPPOSED to share this with you, or if it's supposed to MEAN anything to YOU or ME, but I'm throwing it out there. I felt good listening to it. I felt HOPE.

So, for the first time since my heart was broken in August, I listened to the song again.  And the following words stood out so much to me that I just had to make it my facebook status:

I might have to wait, I'll never give up. I guess it's half timing, and the other half's luck. Wherever you are, whenever it's right, you'll come out of nowhere and into my life...And though I can't see every possibility, somehow I know it'll all work out.

I felt hope too. I just had to believe that God was going to carry me through this season of life.  I had to believe that it would all work out.
Sunday in Scranton, the day before the call.
And then, just a few short hours later, something came out of no where and into my life. We found out there was a possibility to adopt the baby we had grown to love and adore (that we hadn't ever met); my world turned upside down. 
From Wednesday to Sunday, everything was up in the air.  Would be become parents soon?  Was this just another false alarm? We went to Scranton for the weekend to celebrate the wedding of a college friend.  We had a wonderful time away, but by this point we were feeling less than hopeful about things on the adoption front because we hadn't heard anything since Thursday.

Finally on Monday afternoon the phone rang, with a number that made my heart leap.  Amy, our social worker, told us the baby would be ready for us to pick him up the next morning.  I think she was as thrilled as we were!  But then craziness kicked it - we had less than 24 to prepare for parenthood.

-I read 4 chapters of "What To Expect Your First Year." I felt like I was cramming for the biggest test of my life.
-I cleaned the entire house, justifying I might not ever have time to clean again (which may be true).
-Herb and I made a 1am trip to Wal-Mart to buy wipes, formula, bottles, and soda.  Amazingly, we had everything else we needed!
-I made lesson plans for a sub for the week.
-I realized my clearances were at school, so after going to bed at 3:30am, I got up again at 5:30am to run into school (which is an hour away), and get home again in time to go to the adoption agency (45 minutes in the opposite direction).

It's funny how you deal with pressure and find different things important.  As we were gathering our diaper bag and car seat to head out to pick up the baby, Herb and I painstakingly discussed for at least 5 minutes which cds we should take along.  "What music should the baby hear from us first?"  We ended up with Dashboard Confessional, Relient K, Switchfoot, Eric Hutchinson, and Wow Worship.  Ironically, we were so enamored on the drive home from the adoption agency that we never even listened to the music.

My mom was able to come along in the morning when we met the baby for the first time.  As we pulled into the adoption parking log, I started crying, and just knew that when I saw him for the first time I was going to lose it.  Surprisingly, I did not!!  I saw him sitting there, asleep, peaceful, and precious, and something in me clicked.  It was go time.

Midway through signing paperwork at the agency, the baby began to cry, and Amy said, "Well this seems like a job for the mommy!  Why don't you hold him."  And by the grace of God, our first interaction was seamless.  He cried, I comforted, he quieted, and Herb and I finished promising to care for him in the very best way we knew how.

Before we left the agency, we snapped our first family picture with our social worker.


 It is such a strange feeling to finally have something so precious that you've wanted so badly for so long.  And honestly, I don't think I have room to ever complain about anything ever again.

Life is full; thank you Jesus.

Stay tuned for the next post which may or may not address the cutest baby on the face of the earth, the most supportive family and friends ever had, and the most adoring, sweetest, caring, nurturing husband-turned-father ever created.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Tree of Life (or 10 Months Part 2)

Yesterday I promised to share something special today to celebrate 10 months on the waiting list.

This morning, at 11:15 am, we met our "tree of life."

"Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life." ~ Proverbs

Last week we were notified that our little Levi possibly adoptable again, and last night we found out about spontaneous parenthood, which began today!

I have a million pictures to share, and when the time is right I'll share some of the story.  I am still figuring out how much to keep private as part of Levi's life story.  I promise, I'm working on a way to relay our story (it's so wonderful, that ONLY God can take the credit).

Levi, born August 18, 2010, will be 8 weeks old tomorrow.   And cute?  That's an understatement.

Thank you x 1,000,000 for you prayers.  Seriously.

Monday, October 11, 2010

To Celebrate 10 Months Waiting, Part 1

10 months has (slowly) flown by. My friend Lauren shared this with me, and I found it to be exactly what I needed today.

To not be hopeful would be to miss out on part of the story.
To not be guarded and scared would be naive.
To not be wanting to get there now would be superhuman.
To not spend every moment at God's feet would be missing the point.


Stay tuned tomorrow for part 2.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

What Might Have Been

Some days I'm still overwhelmed at the thought of what might have been. 

The last several weekends have been filled with various events - birthday parties, picnics, band competitions, weddings.  Some of these things were planned in August when were were truly expectant parents for two weeks, and some have been on the calendar for months.  Either way, when I looked forward to our fall calendar, I would imagine going to these things with a baby in my arms. 

"Is it okay if I bring a baby to you wedding?  He'll only be 2 months old!"

"Let's make plans to hang out in September, I know you'll want to see the new baby anyway!"

"By the time your wedding rolls around, the baby will be 9 months old!  Maybe he could come down the aisle in a wagon."

"No, I can't come visit you in New York, that is really close to the baby's due date and I want to be here in case he comes early."

The events that lurked in the distance seem to keep creeping up, and each time I must face someone new that I haven't seen since (what I am referring to as) The Great Disruption.  Everyone is always so supportive; but sometimes I feel like I could cut through the pity in the air with a knife.  I know it's my pride that needs to take a back seat, and it's part of my growing.  It's part of our growing.

When I was a kid, this was one of my favorite songs.  Lyrically, it's not completely appropriate to my current situation, but parts of it fit.



Sure I think about you now and then
But it's been a long long time
I've got a good life now I've moved on
So when you cross my mind
I try not to think about
What might have been
'Cause that was then
And we have taken different roads
We can't go back again
There's no use giving in
And there's no way to know
What might have been