Tuesday, October 06, 2015

Fly Me 2 the Moon

This last weekend Miles turned two and we celebrated with a moon themed party for a little boy who loves the moon! 

We decorated with silver stars and moon cupcakes.
I love how the "constellation" turned out! It was just cardboard, paint and Christmas lights!
 Eating all of the food that we prepared (which was a collection of his favorites) was a highlight for Mymy :)
 I set up a photobooth hoping to sit back and let the guests take some pics. It was a lot of fun. 
 Miles didn't quite understand the idea. 
 We are reminded every day how lucky we are to have this awesome boy in our lives. He is hilarious, fun, STRONG (willed and physically), very loving and extremely smart. We all love our Mymy!! Happy 2nd Birthday, Rocket Man!

Tuesday, September 08, 2015

Cece and Etta

How we (finally) found our girls.

In the middle of August, a friend of mine posted about an adoption situation on Facebook. 

"Family needed to adopt twin girls in Ohio. Contact agency for more details." (post included the images below.)
I immediately sent in our paperwork and our family profile to the person handling the case (along with HUNDREDS of other families) and within a few hours received a reply. 

"Family already found for twin girls."

A couple of days later I was told that the birthmother was going back and forth about her decision and that she was interested in having a phone interview with us. We scheduled a call for Saturday at 1pm. At noon that day I got a call from the social worker that Birth mama wasn't ready to talk and that things were being put on hold. 

We went about our weekend like any other. 

Monday morning I woke up to a phone call. 

"Holly, are you ready to go pick up the twins? Birth Mama is now thinking your family is perfect for her daughters, and she would like to speak to you this afternoon."

We were so excited at the opportunity, but still kept ourselves guarded. That afternoon I spoke to "Rose" (I will call her) and we had an amazing conversation about the girls, about adoption and even our hopes for the future. It seemed like we were old friends and Rose and I had a wonderful time getting to know each other. She told me that her girls, Amiyah and Aniyah were born on June 23rd, 8 weeks early. They spent 4 and 5 weeks in the NICU (with a few premature issues) and she brought them home when they were healthy enough to be discharged. She hoped that she would have more support once she was home, but after a week realized that the best life for these girls would be with a family more prepared to raise two babies. Rose loved these little girls enough to give them a better life than she was able to give.  After our call ended the social worker called to let us know that we were the ones that Rose wanted to adopt her beautiful little girls. 

I flew out to Ohio the next morning. This was very risky as the girls would not be legally free until Friday. I was scared, anxious and fearful, but I was determined and so hopeful that these two were our daughters. 

The agency got me in touch with the foster family that was currently caring for the girls. The foster mother, Roxanne, started sending me updates and pictures of the twins that made the long drive from Chicago to Cincinnati (my flight was cancelled due to a storm) so much easier.  
Early Wednesday morning I arrived at Roxanne's home to meet the girls. It was emotional to say the least! I tried so hard to keep my head in charge of my heart since nothing was set in stone yet, but I couldn't help but fall in love. 

After visiting and getting to know Roxanne's beautiful family, who so graciously cared for these perfect babies, I drove off to my hotel room with TWO little girls. 

First thing we did was snuggle and take a nap. It was amazing to have this alone time with the girls I had traveled across the country for. BEST NAP EVER.

Rose was set to sign the cosent forms on Friday afternoon. On Friday morning I got a call that she was struggling with the decision and wasn't sure if she could do it. Already anxious and sleep deprived, all I could do was vomit into the bathroom sink. My heart hurt. I was so worried that I would be experiencing another loss, this time after spending 2 days with these girls. But I also knew how hard this must be for Rose, who had already become someone special to me. 

Rose and I texted back and forth all morning and I tried to stay positive while caring for the twins. 

At 12pm she texted me that she was on her way to sign. 

Not long after that text, the girls were legally ours. I called Matthew to let him know that he now had 2 daughters and both of us cried happy tears for once.  They were ours. OUR DAUGHTERS. Everything we had gone through, all of the losses, all of the lessons, lead us to these two perfect girls. 

Etta and Cecilia.  

 While we waited for clearance to leave Ohio, we got to know our precious little ones and took advantage of the time we had alone with them. Matthew arrived a week later and we kept having to remind ourselves that this was REAL. Although we were missing our boys, we had two little ladies to keep our attention. 

One week after we were given these amazing gifts, we flew home to our boys. Together at last! Sam and Miles love their little sisters and although we are working hard to get into a routine, we are doing great as a family of 6. 

We continue to have contact with Rose and are thankful for all of her love and support. We feel so blessed to not only have the twins, but to have an incredible example of love and selflessness in Rose. Adoption is truly amazing and humbling. What a journey we endured to complete our family. 

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Donation page

Friends and Family,

As you know, we are currently in Ohio bonding and loving on our beautiful new daughters, Etta Louise and Cecilia Pearl. Matthew and I were surprised to find out, once we had our babies in our arms, that the agency fees are higher than we anticipated.

If you would like to help make this process easier for our family, please donate to our PayPal account below. We are so ready to start our lives as a family of SIX (still crazy to hear that!) and any donation would make a huge difference.

Thank you all for your support, we look forward to you meeting our precious miracles!

Monday, July 27, 2015

Failed Adoption

Days have gone by since we have heard about the baby girl we held in our arms a week ago. We have grasped to as much hope as we could, but we feel now that it is time to move on. 

This is our third failed adoption just this year. You'd think by now we would be used to it, or just assume early on that this would be our ending. But we're not, and we don't. 

Each situation is so different, and each bring with it reasons to hope. When we were matched with our son Miles we didn't put our whole heart into his birth mother because we feared rejection. We feared hurt. We feared loss. So when she placed him in our family for forever, we regretted so many choices we had made about keeping our distance to someone so special to our family. 

I vowed to treat every situation differently after that. Although there is always fear, we have pushed ourselves to feel hope and love because there is nothing to regret if you move forward with a positive attitude. 

Failed adoption is HARD. There are so many emotions that go along with loss, and each is valid, although some are unexpected. This most recent loss brought along a lot of feelings of betrayal and anger because we had become so close and so trusting of the couple who we believed would be giving us a precious daughter. 

But I realized something last night. 

I was holding Miles as he slept in my arms. I looked down at him and immediately started to tear up at the thought of the baby girl I had met and how I was never going to get to hold her like this. Anger started to creep in and I said to myself, "How dare they take this from me!"

You guys, it's hard not to feel that way. After all we had been through with them. After they had allowed us so much access into the life of that baby girl. After they had brought in our son's to meet and hold her in the hospital. It's HARD not to be steaming mad. (And trust me, Mama Bear showed her nasty face many times this week! Grrrr.)

Just as I was about to break down and ugly cry in front of a ferry boat full of strangers, with a giant sleeping toddler in my arms, it hit me: This couple owed me NOTHING. I was not ever entitled to this baby that they not only grew, but loved too. She was always their's. We were asked to provide a stable, loving and opportunity-full home for her, should they feel that that was best. And we did. And they came to believe that the best place for her was with them. And you know what? That's great. She's loved and cared for (to the best of my knowledge) and she is where she is meant to be.

Are we hurt? Yes. 
Are we sad? Yes. 
Are we discouraged? SO MUCH YES. 
Are we angry? Yes. No. Kind of. 

There is still so much to learn and come to understand about this process. "Mourning" is hard to follow and predict. With so many thoughts and questions still running through our minds, we can only hope to find answers and peace in the end. 

But I have stopped feeling animosity. Which is a very dangerous emotion because it does NO GOOD in any situation. I have come to understand that they didn't cause us this pain. Loss did. And loss comes from hope. And hope is good. So, in so many words, this pain is good. Because it means we did exactly what we set out to do. Which was to LOVE BRAVELY. 

So do we have regrets? No. 

We will try again. We will move forward with hope because there is no other way to grow our family. Matthew and I have promised Sam, who aches for another baby just as we do,  that we will do what ever we can to bring home another perfect family member. 
Hurt is inevitable in adoption. No matter the outcome. But one thing is for certain. 

It is worth it. 

Miles continues to remind us of that and this is the fact that we will continue to lean on for the hope that we need to keep on this journey towards the family that we dream of. 

It will be worth it. 

Wednesday, July 08, 2015