We've been keeping a VERY big secret since July!
So here's the story of how Hugh Steven entered our family. Sit back and get comfy... It's a long story.
I'm on Baby Center quite often for their various groups. The two that I frequent the most are the Adoptive Families group and the May 2010 group (Gus's birth board).
Back at the end of June, I had posted on a comment in the AF group about adopting out of state. I said that when we adopted it was a much longer wait and it's something to keep in mind when considering adopting out of state.
Well, I received a PM (private message) through BC (Baby Center) from someone asking me to give more info about adopting out of state. When I replied, I did so assuming that she was someone looking to adopt. It wasn't until we exchanged another message that she told me that she was expecting and working with an agency for the placement of the baby. She wanted to know my thoughts on out of state adoption because she was thinking about considering adoptive parents from out of state.
Since this was June (almost July), and we weren't planning on starting the adoption process until October/November, I figured it couldn't hurt to ask her for some feedback on our blog.
I asked her if she'd be willing to look at our blog and give me some feedback. I told her that we weren't looking to adopt just yet, and I was thinking that since she was with an agency, there was no harm in asking for her help. Who better to give feedback than someone who doesn't know you, has no reason to sugar coat anything, and is in the situation where she can give first-hand advice.
So anyway, she thanked me for helping her, and I said I'd kick myself if I didn't ask her to look at our blog and just give me her thoughts. I suppose part of me was aware that she was an expectant mom, but my reasons for sharing our blog was for feedback.
She wrote back (through PM) and said that she loved our blog. Se said she didn't have anything negative and she would love someone like us to adopt her baby. I said that if she was serious, we could talk more through email and not through BC. I gave her my email and waited to hear back from her.
My mom and dad came down for the Fourth of July and I mentioned the situation to my mom and she said to keep her posted on things. I said I wasn't hopeful since I had not heard back from her.
Like a week or two later, on BC I got a message from her (B) saying that she hoped she had not scared me away and that she had sent me several emails and didn't hear back from me.
I immediately freaked out. I had been checking my email with the hopes of hearing from her, and was a bit disappointed that she had not emailed. So I went to Gmail and looked and sure enough, there were several emails from her!
We started off by getting to know each other and learn more about what kind of adoption she wanted. She we were not actively looking to adopt yet, we didn't have a completed home study, and weren't prepared at all.
I cautiously brought up the whole thing to Steve one night and he was very leery. I said that we didn't have to make up our minds yet, but to pray about it and give it some serious thought. He agreed that he would and I trusted him.
I don't remember exactly when we officially matched with B, but it was sometime in August. Wen we went home for Labor Day, we shared our possible adoption situation with our families. Both sides were very excited and eager to see how it would all unfold.
The major difference with this adoption and the adoption of Gus was with Gus, we had my cousin Jessica who knew Sharon and they could both vouch for both sides. We trusted that Jessica wouldn't steer us wrong. With this one, we knew no one who could vouch for B. It was scary.
We proceeded through each month getting closer and closer to B along the way. I found myself having so much in common with her and sharing similar beliefs. Never once did she make me feel like she was uncertain about placing her baby with us, and she viewed the adoption as if she were a surrogate.
In August we started the home study process. Not only did we sell our house in NC just after being contacted by B, but when e looked t prices for the home study, it all kept coming together with lower and lower costs because it was just an update and not a new home study.
We were reminded again of the PITA (pain in the ass) process of gathering millions of required documents. By mid-September we were ready to have the home study visit. Our visit happened in October and by November we had our report completed.
Finding an attorney in GA was simple and finding the attorney in NC was also easy. It was all coming together perfectly.
As each passing week and month happened, we started to grow more and more anxious. For so long, December 17th seemed like an eternity away, and before we knew it we were trying to figure out where we'd be staying in NC.
Here are some things that make me believe this was all meant to be:
- I never have personal email in my spam. Her emails were in my spam folder
- We got an offer on our NC house just after B contacted us
- Our home study was less than ever expected or anticipated
- When I asked if anyone had a condo that we could rent in Dec, my former parent, Judy, messaged me and said that her sister had a condo onetime beach and she'd be willing to let us use it for less than $50 a night. AND we could have it as long as we needed it... Because with ICPC you never know how long you'll have to stay in the state that you're adopting from.
B said she wanted us in the delivery room with her and wanted Steve to cut the cord. She never did any drugs and took care of herself while pregnant. She was "a dream" and the situation was too good to be true. Steve was waiting for something to happen and said that until the was a baby, he was not getting excited.
Each appointment got us more and more anxious and stressed. I had a melt-down due to me trying to control things out of my control and being stressed. I just asked God to take it all and do what He needed and to give me strength and patience.
Well, as we got closer and closer to December 17th, the anticipation grew and we were able to come to NC on the 15th (Saturday). We had time to relax and get some groceries and then we waited for the call.
One thing that I want to mention is Nikki. She appeared like an angel and offered to help me with anything while we were in NC. She went from being a Plan B for Gus, to becoming our Plan A. Again, it was constructed by God.
So on Tuesday, December 18th, B had an appointment and was hoping they'd admit her. She had been having mild contractions since Thursday the 13th and they were building and building but not constant. On Tuesday, she was 40 weeks and a day and was MORE than ready to be done.
At 8:00 pm, she called and said, "Are you ready to have a baby?" We immediately got in the car and headed to Nikki's. We called immediate family and told them that we were headed to the hospital and we'd keep them updated as things progressed.
Dropping off Gus was hard. I knew he was in safe hands, but the reality hit that we were on our a to FINALLY meet Bdub (a name for the baby that B coined... Stands for Baby Walker). We didn't know if the baby was a boy or a girl, but B was pretty sure it was a girl.
When we walked into the hospital room, we were super excited to finally meet B. After months and months of emailing and texting, I had or own really attached to her and felt like I had known her for years.
When we walked in, we immediately hugged and I felt so at home. It was surreal and I just felt so comfortable being there with her. I stayed up with her all night, and we spent hours taking and laughing. We laughed and laughed more than I can remember in a long time.
Around 11:30 on Wednesday morning, she started feeling more pressure and she thought her water broke. The nurse grabbed a doctor and she confirmed that yes, the water had broke and she was 100% and at a 9! She said, "Let's go deliver your baby!
We moved to the delivery room, they got us suited up and we eagerly waited to be allowed to head into the room with her.
While we waited in the little side room, I seriously thought I was going to pass out. I got overheated and was really hot. I had to put cold water on my forehead twice because I could feel myself getting close to passing out.
I think it was a combo of being exhausted from no sleep, being hungry, and being pumped full of adrenalin.
Around 12:15 they called us into the room and we awkwardly moved where they told us. We didn't know where to look and didn't want to see too much, lol.
We eventually were moved to the front of where she was (just behind her head) and stood there waiting for Bdub's arrival.
At 12:30 she started pushing and at 12:59pm on Wednesday, December 19th, the nurse said, "Do you see???" I peeked over B and saw a wee baby and... It was a BOY!!!
Steve got to cut the cord and we cried and cried tears of joy. It was the most incredible experience of my life. To be there for the birth of my son was truly awesome. When he started crying, I burst into tears and hugged Steve. We wanted a healthy baby and his first cry let us know that he was good.
We stayed in the delivery room while everyone came and checked his vitals and got his weight and measurements. I was the first to hold him and it was such an honor.
Hugh Steven was born at 12:59pm, weighed 8 pounds 10 ounces and was 21 inches long.
We headed back to the room with B and while she got her things and was transported to the recovery room, we followed the nurse to our room. We were right next to B.
The rest of the day was spent laughing, talking, and enjoying the moment. B napped for a bit and we headed out for dinner. We stopped and brought her back something to eat and she was so happy for some Taco Bell.
We spent the first night at the hospital with Hugh and it was so great. He's such a good little baby. He sleeps four hours at a time! He had a hard time sucking at first, but the night nurse came in and helped us.
We had hoped to be able to go home on Thursday, but the pediatrician said he had to stay the required 48 hours. B was released on Thursday afternoon, but she wanted to stay for dinner.
We were all three treated to a celebration dinner of ribeye steaks, steamed veggies, a salad, baked potato, roll, and a thick piece of cake.
We all toasted Hugh and enjoyed an incredible dinner together. It was a celebration indeed! I can't even describe how enjoyable our time with B was. Not only do we love her for choosing us to parent Hugh, but we love her for who she is and are so blessed to be part of her life forever.
When she was released, we were sad to see her go. She promised to come up on Friday to visit and we were eager for her to return!
We settled in and enjoyed our second night at the hospital. We missed Gustafer but knew he was being taken care of by Nikki and her husband Tom. She sent me pictures every few hours of what they were doing and it relieved my heart to know he was happy and safe.
Hugh and our favorite nurse. :-)
On Friday, Hugh was taken to get his circumcision and as soon as he returned, B arrived. She looked so good- happy and rested. :-) She had a gift for us, and Steve opened it and it was an ornament with all four of our names. So thoughtful of her and it is our first gift with Hugh's name on it.
She also gave us two outfits, and one was what he wore home. The other is an adorable Christmas outfit. :-)
We said goodbye and headed out of the hospital eager to go pick up Gus. He was super excited to see us and meet his baby brother.
We headed to the beach and had a wonderful first night as a family of four!!
Here are some additional pictures of Gus and Hugh:
And this is just the beginning! Be sure to follow my blog for more updates of our family!!
We are now waiting for ICPC clearance to return to GA. It most likely will be after Christmas but before New Years. Until then,me are enjoying our visit with Steve's dad and Sue Ann, and then my parents are coming down after Christmas. We will see B after Christmas too and can't wait to see her again!!
Happy Holidays, indeed!!
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