Tuesday, March 23, 2010

It's Really Happening

So this whole thing has sort of been a little surreal over the past few days. It's almost seemed too good to be true. The caseworker had told me on the phone the other day that he'd be sending us a packet of paperwork that needed updated and filled out and we'd go ahead and get started on it. I mean, sure we have six months, but why wait?

Today I went to the agency to drop off an Easter package for B. (I had been putting it together the night before we got the call. I mean seriously, how perfect is the timing here?) When I got there the caseworker was actually standing at the front desk and the receptionist was holding our paperwork in her hand to put in an envelope. Naturally since I was there they just gave it too me and saved themselves the postage.

The caseworker grinned at me and said, "Congratulations!" And for some reason in that moment it suddenly became real. Now I have paperwork to do and medical records to track down. And that makes it seem like it's really going to happen. I'm not just going to wake up one day and realize I'd dreamed the entire thing. Despite the work I now I have to do, I can't seem to wipe the grin off my face! It's really and truly happening!

Monday, March 22, 2010

And Our Journey Continues...

I've agonized all weekend long about whether or not to tell this story. In the end I guess I'm just a wuss. So even if other people don't care, I can't help myself, I have to share or I'm going to bust. A warning up front to those who are turned off by "a lot of words" this post will probably be long, so skip it if you wish, I won't be offended.

After two years I had honestly thought that Gideon's adoption journey was done. I won't rehash it because I know most people are familiar with the story. (For those who aren't, go back two years in the archives of this blog and you'll find everything you need to know.) It just seemed that as of 18 months ago everything was nicely tied up in a cute little package. And really we felt blessed, because things went so very smoothly for us. We've heard of so many people who had frustrating road blocks, and delays and heartbreaks in their process of adoption, and frankly, ours couldn't have been easier. The only rough patch was the first 10 days of his life when he wasn't with us, and although that was tough on us at the time, in retrospect, it really wasn't so bad. After he was placed with us things couldn't have gone better.

About a year ago I made a pitiful little plea on my blog about how I just wished that something or someone would miraculously fall into our laps because I didn't feel I had the strength to go through the whole process again. Since that time we've discussed over and over again submitting our papers, but it just never felt like the timing was right. Travis and I both kind of tiptoed around the subject, blaming his work travel and my being too busy with multiple jobs at church and a toddler. I can't speak for Travis, but deep down part of my trepidation was that I was afraid things wouldn't be as easy for us the second time around. Both with the process and the birth mother. I've said more than once that we really hit the birth mother lottery with B. and her family. They've been amazing. We've kept contact over the last two years, sending letters and pictures through the agency so that they could see how big he's getting and how much we love him. And on a few occasions we've been blessed to recieve a letter or card in return. We've really been so lucky that I for one, have been nervous about taking the chance that it wouldn't go so well a second time around.

But this last month as we've traveled, it has become evident to me that we need to start the process for another child. Gideon had so much fun playing with his cousins. And it was so good for him. Especially at Cami's house. It tugged at my heart how much he loved the baby and always wanted to be holding him or kissing him or checking on him. (We had to be careful because he frequently tried to pick him up on his own.) I told Travis the day we left that we needed to get our paperwork together as soon as he got home from Guam and get the process started again, because Gideon is ready for a sibling. Travis and I might have some hesitation and might not feel urgent about it, but Gideon is ready.

Imagine my shock when Travis called me the day after we got home (at what was 2:30am in Guam) to tell me that a case worker from LDS Family Services had just called him and would be calling me soon.

The short version is that B. is pregnant again and wanted to know if we were interested in adopting the child. (Please, please, please don't get all judgemental of her. I don't want to hear comments like "Didn't she learn the first time," or questions like "How did she let that happen again?" I don't know and I don't care. The truth is it doesn't matter. Clearly there were some issues that were never really dealt with after Gideon was born. I know precious little of the situation, but what I do know is that I love her more than I can explain to anyone and right now my heart is just so full for her.)

As you can probably imagine I spent the first day freaking out and trying to wrap my head around things. All weekend long I've been on an emotional roller coaster. I bounce between ecstatic and heartbroken.

On the one hand, I'm thrilled. This type of situation is something I could never have anticipated, but it just feels like everything is falling perfectly into place. We feel so honored and blessed that she obviously approves of the way we're raising Gideon, enough to ask us to take this second child, when she could easily have decided to choose another one of the amazing families out there still waiting for their miracle. It's just a bonus that this child will be biologically related to our son, and that we already have an established relationship with she and her family. Even better is that the process will be much more stream lined this time (at least according to the case worker) and there will be so much less stress on us going through it all again knowing that there's a child waiting on the other end.

On the other hand, I catch myself crying at different points in the day because I cannot even fathom what B. and her family must be going through. I've wept many times for the pain and anguish I saw her go through on that day when she placed that infant boy into my arms and walked away. I can't even imagine how she'll do it again. I already consider her our angel and I only wish there were something I could do both for B. and her family to take a little of their pain away or make it better. It's frustrating to know that I can't. She's so strong and so courageous, but please keep her in your prayers for the next six months (she's not due until September) because even though she's the most amazing girl on earth as far as I'm concerned, I'm sure she's going to need all the prayers and Divine help she can get to make it through this period.

On that note, it's only fair to remind everyone that with adoption it's not final until it's final, so anything can happen in the next six months. We definitely feel very good about this and very right, but that doesn't mean things always work out the way we feel they should. I'll post updates about the situation when I can, but six months is a long time. Just keep that in mind.

And until then, I'll end as I began, Gideon's story apparently isn't anywhere close to being done. Instead of having two separate adoption tales we get to have one big ongoing journey. How amazing is that?

Sunday, March 21, 2010

I Promised a "CARS" Birthday Party, didn't I?

We started the afternoon with lots of food including pizza, veggies, fruit, chips, punch & more.

Then Gideon FINALLY got to open the presents we'd been chasing him away from for the last two days. He got lots of "help" from Braxton who took it upon himself to take the ribbons off & start tearing the paper. Fortunately Gideon didn't seem to mind.

Running back over to the pile for another gift. No. He's not spoiled at all. Why do you ask?

"Okay, I opened all the presents. Now what?"

Now time for cake. Gideon got into the cake before we got a picture of it. Naturally he was after the car on top. Those who look closely will probably noticed that his name is misspelled. I didn't catch that until we got home. Good thing he's only 2 & can't read yet.

We had to turn the cake around so he'd be closer to the candles, but once we did that he got them out by himself!

And then he definitely went after that car!

This was one of his presents, I think it looks pretty cool.
Well good night for now, check back tomorrow for more adventures.
In honor of Gideon's birthday I went deep sea fishing for him. Guess what Jason is doing?
With the exception of one guy we all caught some fish.

And this time I didn't get sick. thank goodness for those little pills.
Happy b-day Gideon I enjoyed it too.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

The Rest of Today

So today was pretty exciting for more than just Gideon's birthday. I had the privilege of going to a baptism today for Randi Jo & Jessi. This is my sister Jesse's sister-in-law and her daughter. What was even more exciting is that they were able to be baptized by their grandfather. It was a really special service. I'm always thrilled and excited to see people accept the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Because of the baptism and a few other things I had to take care of today, we decided we're not really going to have Gideon's birthday party until after church tomorrow. But I brought home a bunch of balloons for him today and Nana and I each let him open one gift.

I just wrapped these up so he'd have something to open on his actual birthday. Whoppers are his favorite candy. Not that it matters to him, he's only 2 so he doesn't know any different, but it matters a little to me. He's my only baby (for now) so those kinds of things are still kind of important.

Stay tuned tomorrow for all the fun photos from our "Cars" birthday bash!

Two Already!!!!!

This amazing little guy was just 18 hours old, when we met him and held him in our arms for the very first time. It was love at first sight!

And today he's already 2! Where did the time go!

He's a running, jumping, climbing little monkey, who never slows down, rarely sits quietly, is obessessed with all things "Cars", gives hugs and sloppy kisses, and is so caring and compassionate I know he's going to be a great big brother.

Happy Birthday Gideon. We don't know what we ever did without you! Our lives are so blessed because you're in them!

Friday, March 19, 2010

My Little Lucky Charm

Thanks to Mimi's many talents, Gideon had a new shirt to wear for St. Patrick's Day.

What a charmer! Thanks Aunt Mimi, we love you!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Barbecue at the Beach

For our last night in Florida, we decided that it would be fun to do an F.B.E. (That's Family Beach Evening, for those who were wondering.) We packed up some food and headed toward the Atlantic.
Okay but first we tried to get a picture of the kids in their shirts from Disney World. This was as close as we got.

Jacob was our manly firestarter. Oh so my camera battery went dead while we were there, and I only managed to get pictures of the kids playing, nothing of our picnic or playing in the surf or anything. Sorry. But I think Cami got pictures of all that, so you'll have to check her blog. Needless to say it was a lot of fun!

Gideon is not going to know what to do when we have to go home and we don't have these great parks and mild weather to run and play in.

This morning we're getting packed and ready to head home. As you can tell I had lots of little helpers!
We're so sad to be leaving and so grateful to Cami & Jacob & Lily and Ransom for having us. We hope we can come back and visit again soon! Love you guys!