Thursday, January 27, 2011

Our Adoption Story

For those who have been around a while I apologize for the repeat. I am linking up with Kelly's Korner and this weeks "Show us your life" is Tell Us Your Adoption Story. So here is mine.

My story starts with my first pregnancy. My baby girl was born back in August 2006. Her name was Madelyn Rose and she was born full-term after a very long labor that resulted in a c-section. Everything went from happy to absolutely devastating the moment she was born. She had very serious birth defects which were the result of a genetic condition called Pfeiffer Syndrome Type II. She was whisked away to the NICU while I was being sewn up. About 3 hours after her birth and a very negative CAT scan of her brain (she had very little brain tissue), Patrick and I made the hardest decision of our lives and removed her from the ventilator. We took her back to our room and held her until she passed away the next morning.

It was a very hard recovery process both mentally and physically and a year later we found out that we were expecting another little one. Around 7 weeks I started spotting and went into my doctor's office "just to be safe". I had an ultrasound and they could see no baby, just a mass of cells. Again the wind was knocked out of me and time just blurred together as we started talking about mutant cells, cancer and a D&C. I had my D&C on Patrick's 29th birthday and waited anxiously for the results. They came back in a couple weeks as a Partial Molar Pregnancy which is where 2 sperm fertilized one egg at exactly the same time. It results in 3 sets of genetic material which is why the cells went crazy. I had to monitor my levels until they went to zero and then we had to wait 6 months from then to try to get pregnant again.

We started trying again for a few months but weren't able to get pregnant and it was starting to take it's toll on me. There wasn't anything wrong with either of us and we were still within the normal time frame for the "average" couple to get pregnant but it was so overwhelming. We started to feel God's call to adopt. We both always knew that we would adopt, we knew before we got married that adoption would be part of our family plan. What we didn't know was the timing of when we would adopt. We thought it would be after we had our biological children, but God had other plans.

So, in September 2009 we submitted our application to adopt a baby from South Korea. We were open to some minor medical conditions so only 6 months later we saw our handsome son's picture for the first time. B was perfectly healthy but had just recently healed from a broken arm so he was considered to have a special need. We just knew he was our son and, after waiting the obligatory 24 hours, we excitedly accepted the referral.

The next few months were filled with a lot of preparation and paperwork and by early July 2009 we knew we were getting close! Early July was also the time where I started to feel a little off. I wasn't sure what was going on so I took a few pregnancy tests and they came back negative. I was a little late but we were trying to NOT get pregnant per the adoption agencies guidelines. The morning of July 9th I awoke early and couldn't get back to sleep. I slipped quietly out of the bedroom and took another pregnancy test. I sort of knew something was going on but was COMPLETELY shocked to see a faint 2nd line. I wish I could say I was overjoyed but my first reaction was fear.

We weren't supposed to get pregnant while in process and our son wasn't home yet, I was worried they wouldn't let us adopt him. I ran downstairs and called my mom in tears. She was overjoyed and I remember telling her that I suspected we would get our long awaited travel call that day. I'm pretty sure I woke P up at that point and told him our news. He was still home at 9:30am when our phone rang and it was our social worker telling us our son, B, would be escorted home to us in 3 days!

Brandon came home on July 10th and our son, Ryan, was born March 8th. They are a little over 18 months apart but arrived into our family only 8 months apart. It has been a wonderfully busy time and I wouldn't trade it for the world. My two little boys are my world and I love them both so much. For those who may be curious, I feel exactly the same about both boys regardless of how they became mine!

What's next for our family? I am not exactly sure. I would love to get pregnant again but would also love to adopt. God hasn't revealed his plan for what's next just yet but I know that, whatever He wants for us, He will provide a way!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

I Heart Faces - Innocent Wonder

This is my first time entering a photo in the I Heart Faces challenge. When I saw the theme I immediately thought of this photo.

Click on their badge below to get more information!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Anatomy of a one-sided snowball fight

Take one adorably bundled up 2 year old

Add in a cute 10 month old brother on the inside of the window

A little scheming with Daddy

And a quick snow ball making lesson

Look out Ryan, here it comes!




Good thing there's glass between us!

The final results is one very pleased 2-year old!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Now for something completely different!

I thought I would lighten it up on my blog and just answer some fun questions! So here you go!

Are you a morning or night person?
I am naturally a night person. I would rather be going to bed than getting up at 4am. Since having kids I guess I have become a morning person (Ry likes to get up at 5am)! Can't wait until they are teenagers so we can all sleep in until noon.

Which do you prefer, sweet or salty foods?
I have an enormous sweet tooth! Although there is something to be said for the sweet salty foods like chocolate covered pretzels and the new M&M pretzel things!

Are you a collector of anything?
I'm not a huge collector...the only thing I would say I collect are the JCPenney snow globes they give out on black Friday every year. I have one for every year back to 2001

If you could have any superpower, what would it be?
I'm not sure if this counts as a superpower but I would love to be able to teleport so I could go home and see my family any time I wanted

What's your favorite color?
I love the color red but I LOVE to wear black

Do you believe in extraterrestrials or life on other planets?
I'm not sure but I am definitely scared if there is

Do you believe in ghosts?
Yes, although Patrick probably just cringed when I wrote that because he doesn't.

Ever been addicted to a video/computer game? Which one(s)?
Right now I love to play scrabble and angry birds. A few years ago I was obsessed with Dance Dance Revolution (and lost a lot of weight doing it) and then after that it was Lego Star Wars and Lego Indiana Jones

You're given 1 million dollars, what do you spend it on?
I would pay off my house, Patrick's car and student loans and buy myself a minivan. Put some money into the kid's college funds and then give some to my family to help them

List 1 thing you wish you could change about yourself
I wish I had more self-confidence and wasn't so hard on myself

Any tattoos or piercings?
Just pierced ears. Although I would love to get my tongue pierced and get a tattoo.

What's the first thing you notice in the opposite sex?
Their teeth

Are you mostly a clean or messy person?
I used to be a clean person but have learned to live in more of a mess since we have kids

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live?
Within 30 minutes of my parents

If you could visit anywhere in the world, where would you go?
Hawaii or Italy

List 5 goals on your life's to-do list
Graduate college (check)
Get married (check)
Have children (check)
Jump out of an airplane (check)
Run a marathon

Name 1 thing you miss about being a kid
Having no adult responsibilities

What's your favorite thing to do on a Sunday afternoon?
Take a nap

If you could have 3 wishes granted, what would they be?
1. To win a huge amount of $ in the lottery
2. That my kids will live a long healthy life and die of old age when they are 100
3. That my husband and I will live a long healthy life and die of old age when we are 100

If you are still with me, thanks! Have a great night!

Saturday, January 15, 2011


**If you are visiting here from Comforted by God, welcome! And a big thanks to Carrie for highlighting my blog on hers. If you haven't read her blog, check it out here. She is a beautiful child of God and an amazing writer. I wish I could write the way she does.**

For some reason Maddie has been on my mind so much lately. I thought I would re-tell her story through pictures, I hope you don't mind. If you want to read her whole story click here.

The beginning: 12/27/05 - We're going to have a baby!

Starting to show! (I have a ton of pregnant belly pics but I will hold back and just post 2)

Almost there (one week before she was born)

In labor - look how excited we were. I'll call this picture the "before"

This is in the NICU - my first time holding her. This is the "after"

Our little peanut on her vent

Daddy holding her for the first time. This one just breaks my heart.

Soon after this picture was taken we removed her from the ventilator and took her back to our room where she lived through the night, saw the dawn of a new day and passed away in my arms only 14 hours after she was born. Again if you want to read the whole story go here.

2 years after we lost Madelyn we began the adoption of our son, B. The story of his adoption starts here.

The day were got the long-awaited travel call that B was coming home we were surprised to find out that I was expecting. R's story starts here.

Thanks for visiting my blog!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Designer Blogs

A while ago I won a free blog make over by Designer Blogs (Check them out here). They were so great to work with and I love my blog design! They are having a huge giveaway in celebration of their 2nd anniversary. If you have a blog you should go check them out!

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

God Gave Us So Much by Lisa Tawn Bergren

I recently found out about this awesome program with WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group where, in exchange for an honest review, I get free copies of books! This is my first book review, so I hope I do it well!

The first book I chose is actually 3 books in great is that? God Gave Us So Much by Lisa Tawn Bergren is actually made up of 3 different books: God Gave Us the World, God Gave Us Love and God Gave Us Heaven. I really liked all 3 books, although I think my 2 year old is still a little young for the amount of words and details in each story. In each story a polar bear named Little Cub learns about God during conversations with her mother, grandpa, and father.

In God Gave Us the World, Little Cub learns that God created this great big world full of very different places, cultures, and people. She learns that God is able to do big things and that we should appreciate and take care of the world that God created.

In God Gave Us Love, Little Cub learns that God created us to love one another, even when we don't always want to. Her grandpa teaches her about the different kinds of love that God gives us (between a husband and wife, friends, etc), and that by loving one another we are actually showing just how much God loves us. One of the best parts of this story is the explanation of "faith" her grandpa gives when she questions how we know God loves us when we can't see God.

In God Gave Us Heaven, Little Cub learns from her father about how wonderful heaven will be. Her father uses a bridge (Jesus) metaphor to explain how we get from this world to heaven which is such a neat visual for little kids. This story handles what could be a very tender topic very well and thoughtfully.

In each of these stories, there is room for more details of God and the bible to be added. They are very "open," and do a great job talking about God's creativity and imagination. They don't just tell kids exactly how God is with no room for further discussion. Instead, they invite kids to think for themselves about what God is like. In my opinion that makes them a great starting point for me to talk to my children about God. I cannot wait until my son gets just a little older and can really start to understand this book (again, it is a bit above a 2 year old's comprehension level). This is definitely a book that will stay in our library for a very long time!