Tuesday, October 18, 2011

We've reached 38 weeks today!

All about baby
Only two more weeks (or plus two more, max) before your baby makes his or her appearance. And what an adorable appearance that will be! Your little one isn't so little anymore — weighing in at close to seven pounds and hitting the height charts at the 21-inch mark (or less).
As you prepare (best you can) for baby's ETA, he or she is also getting ready, big time. Vernix and lanugo continue to shed from your baby's body into the amniotic fluid. Your baby swallows that amniotic fluid (yum yum?) and some of it winds up in his or her intestines where it — along with other shed cells, bile, and other waste products (triple yum) — will turn into your baby's first bowel movement (meconium) and perhaps your first diaper change.
Your baby's lungs continue to mature as more and more surfactant is secreted (remember — it helps prevent the lungs from sticking to each other when your baby begins to breathe…definitely a good thing). At 38 weeks pregnant, all systems, almost go!

 Tip: Stocking Your Freezer


Have visions of yourself, newly delivered domestic goddess, whipping up gourmet meals in those postpartum weeks? Dream on. Cooking will be the last thing on your mind or your to-do list during those first few weeks (make that months) after delivery. Trust me, fitting in a three-minute shower will trump it for sure, as will using the bathroom when the urge strikes. To avoid serving Cheerios for dinner on a nightly basis (realistically, there will be nights when you will), plan ahead. Do some cooking and stock your freezer now with individually packaged, simple heat-and-serve options that you (or he!) can get on the table in a flash. Label carefully, so you won't be left with UFOs (unidentified frozen objects). Good candidates for the freezer include hearty soups, stews, and casseroles, as well as mini–meat loaves. Have the baking itch? Satisfy it, and stash away several trays of bran muffins (don't ask, you'll need them). Another plan-ahead tip? If you don't already have your favorite takeouts on speed dial, now's a good time to enter them.


Information provided by: http://www.whattoexpect.com/pregnancy/week-by-week/week-38.aspx

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Weekly update (late)

I haven’t written an update in a while. I’ve started to several time but I feel like there is so much going on right now that it seems so jumpy when I re-read it. But I know many people are following Olivia’s journey to home so I need to do my best at giving an update..even if it seems a little scrambled.


A lot of little milestones have occurred/will be occurring… And a few Big one’s.

We have our lawyer, we’ve paid her (WOOHOO! Thanks thanks thanks Olivia’s Angels!) and we have started paperwork. She has spoken to me and the birth-mom and gotten all the information she needs. The paperwork that will be used throughout the coming months is being drawn up and finalized for current information and piece by piece will be completed and submitted. What a fabulous feeling.

I have been working this week to take care of the medical side of this. I am working with my insurance company to not only add Olivia to our insurance but to reevaluate our policy to ensure we have the best coverage for a new tiny family member.
We have scheduled our home study. It is today (Wednesday, October 12, 2011). We received the mountain of paperwork in the mail last night. I did not get a chance to complete the paperwork but it is very interesting what all it entails: budget work-up, autobiography, pet information, background checks etc. It’s a lot to process through but I am happy to know they go through this before placing children in homes…
We have also been evaluating the safety of our home and our plan is something happens. (God forbid) We are replacing all the smoke detectors, making sure fire extinguishers are in date and that all appliances are functioning properly. We have also gone over our emergency evacuation plan and route. You can never be too careful.

This week I also finalized my plans for time off of work. Unfortnately adoptive parents just don’t get the same rights as biological parents and a little more finagling needed to be done to take care of it all. It appears I will use my PTO to take about a week off of work. Then return back to 40 hours, but on an altered schedule. One that allows me to be available more when she needs me. It’s is nice that I work for such and understanding place. My boss has been amazing about all of this.

Another ball I am trying to juggle is child care. Since I won’t get the typical 6 weeks at home, I am not comfortable with putting her in daycare…plus now a days for a good one you have to book when you first hit puberty so that once your name pops up on the waiting list, you have a child. Also, with her being born in cold and flu season I would ideally like her to be kept at my home. Plus that’s where all her stuff is, and I can go straight to work without waking her to be driven somewhere in the cold. Luckily, I have a sister-in-law that is amazing and has offered to keep her at my home for a VERY reasonable cost. I hope everything continues to work out here, it is an amazing feeling knowing she will be in my home, with someone I trust and loves children.
I am hoping to start her mural this week as well. I have almost everything I need for it. I just need to get the time to do it and I will be all set. After that, the nursery will be *almost complete*, minus a few minor details and we will be officially d-o-n-e, done with it! (and I will totally post pics!)
There is no update to the thermometer. Last weeks update on it still applies.

the biggest news is that on Friday (October 7) I got to go to the checkup with Olivia's birthmom. I have to say that I love our birthmom and our Rhonda (basically our new family). I hope to get there permission to do just a blog post on them....bc they rock. The baby  seems to be on target for weight. I got to hear her heartbeat (swoon!). Birthmom was 1 cm dialated, and all are healthy. I am so glad I got to be part of that. It made my heart so happy!!!

It’s funny all the things you do for such a little human. Wrapped already I guess…and I am not ashamed to admit it- she’s got me good…but you should see Brian!!! >{W.R.A.P.P.E.D}< like a pull of taffy. Guess I better get used to being the #2 lady in his life ;) I’m ok with that though!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

weekly update on Olivia

We continue to feel the blessings unfold around us.
I am so pleased to announce that another anonymous donation has been made for $1800.00.
I can't believe the generosity that has been shown to us.

This generosity allowed us the opportunity to get a lawyer this week. I met with her on Thursday and I love her. She explained everything so well and I feel she will be a blessing to work with.

We are well on our way to being ready for Miss Olivia....
On Friday my best friend came over and we got everything we needed to design the nursery. It was really fun to go over the layout, the paint colors and the mural. On Friday we also got a changing table to match the crib (given to us, yay!) as well as the travel system, thanks to my mom.
On Saturday we went yard sale shopping and got a dresser for Miss Olivia. After that we went to our nephew Kilex' 2nd birthday party. He's such a doll baby...I can't wait to see him love on Olivia. After that we came home to start painting her room, washing her little clothes and watched the Carolina game in between (let's not go there!)


Today my mom came down and helped us finish the nursery (3 coats of paint!), and we sanded and painted the crib and changing table. I feel so good getting all of that accomplished!


I have people still asking about how they can help, I can assure you we will appreciate and use any help we can get. We still have to get the room finished and a few miscellaneous items for her. A few people have still expressed interest in monetary donations, and I can assure you that any given will still go the adoption of Olivia. Since I am not her biological mother, any time off is not covered financially. Some of the extra funds donated will be used for that, and the rest will be used on any items needed for Olivia.


We have registered at Babies R Us (registry # 47475122) and it can be found here: http://www.toysrus.com/registry/search/index.jsp?_flowExecutionKey=_c8DA7A212-C6C7-C5E5-8AC3-B0CA06581BCB_kE63D9068-A4C7-2042-C681-2E7CBFA687D6&overrideStore=TRUS


Thanks from the bottom of our hearts for everything everyone has done. I can;t even stress how blessed we are- words cannot explain it. We love everyone and we think the world of you all!!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

General News and Updates

I am so glad that I get to announce so much good news in one day!

Well we have decided on what we will name our little miracle....
We hope to soon introduce to you all (in person)
OLIVIA HOPE
Brian and I battled with middle names for a bit, but ultimately felt Hope was perfect. Without Hope we wouldn't even be bringing Olivia home... how could it not be represented in her life forever? She alone has given us so much hope, and I haven't even met her. I think it's perfect. I can't wait to hold her in my arms. My baby girl. (I better stop. I am getting teary eyed)

Today decided upon a lawyer, we just need to meet with her to make it official. I feel God led her to us and that he will guide her into helping us the best way possible. That is one less worry off of my plate.

God has been good to us throughout this entire thing. Everyone knows that. He has just taken this situation and handled it. He has spoken to people to donate both money and baby items...we've had so many people rooting for us and praying for us. I am completely blessed by amazing people around me.... We received information recently that someonehas been called by God to donate a substantial amount to our legal needs, anonymously. In the tune of $2,000. I am awestruck. I know I shouldn't be, God said he would provide and well, he is! The person/people who did this have just touched mine and Brian's hearts so much. We will forever be grateful to everyone that has chipped in, no matter the amount. God is so great.

We still need about $1800 (LESS THAN HALF!!!) to officially be able to start the process of being Olivia's legal parents. $1800 is a drop int he bucket to the $4000 we need in total and I hope that folks can find it in their hearts to donate. Seriously a small amount means a lot. Each dollar gets us closer to being the mommy and daddy God has called us to be (and be it legally). My heart is pleading for you to answer if God is speaking to you. I don't mean to push anyone, i never would ...but anyone can look at their own children imagine the way my heart must feel. So close to having our baby, but just $1800 and some paperwork short. No amount will stop me from being Olivia's mom, just like any mom wouldn't be kept from their child. I know God is moving in people, and he will provide. I just need to wait, and listen.

Because the donation has come in a way other than paypal, I am posting a thermometer to show our progress, the chipin will be left so that people can donate, but weekly, I will add a thermometer to show the true progress (including cash).
(If you are on facebook, and could post a status with my blog link, it would mean the world to me)


(If you are on facebook, and could post a status with my blog link, it would mean the world to me)

I also want to take another opportunity to thank everyone in my life. I have been truly humbled by this experience. I am amazed at the things happeneing around me. God has put some truly amazing people in my life- nothing short of angels. Brian and I  (and Olivia) love you and thank you y'all. We will forever me indebted and grateful.

Devil, Get Back!

OF course I know it is normal for me to be a little stressed right now.  Pulling 50+ hours a week at work, getting ready for my love to be there in a few short weeks (mentally, emotionally and physically), creating a nursery, getting baby supplies, registering, finding a lawyer, working out my work schedule, finding a pediatrician, updating my insurance, getting physicals...the list goes on.
I know that I wouldn't be a normal person if my nerves weren't a little wonky. The jitters are a part of becoming a parent... but the devil has really been working on me overtime. Like, wake up in the AM feeling like vomiting, upset tummy all the time, zero sleep..that kind of overtime.
Am I still excited?, OMG debating the answer to this would be a waste of time. Am I going to let the devil get me down?...again no brainer. but he's been making me question things I know better than to question....

"what kind of mom am I going to be?"  Of course I know I will make some mistakes, but all in all we will do an amazing job. I've tried for this for four years and imagined it for many many more than that...but he keeps bringing me to question by abilities.

"will I have everything done in time?" Well no, most people have more than they need of some things and not enough of others- I also know this. Well, the practical side of me knows this... the side that the devil keeps trying to get is stressed that she won't have a nursery (who cares if she doesn't at first, she will be in the room with me... bassinet, helluuurrr)

"have I even thought of everything I have to do?" Probably not.. but again the real me knows that most parents don't. Most things can be worked out later, I just need to hit the important stuff... (pediatrician, place to sleep, food, diapers, LOVE)

There are a million more questions that race through my head all day, trying to freak me out. The devil has succeeded in some of these, but I am trying to keep things in perspective. I mean- look at how far God has come already! why do I doubt myself?!- I have God backing me! none of this would have been done without God speaking to all of the people he has spoken to thus far. No man alone could have made this happen, without God using them. God obviously feels it is my time and that I am ready to raise one of his tiny little miracles, he has entrusted me to do this. Wow. He knows I am capable and he will give me the answers and the ability to do what needs to be done. I feel so silly for worrying so much.

A great mental picture... (but before you laugh, understand how much it helped me. I instantly felt better)
I was straightening my hair this morning. Completely overwhelmed and starting to feel nauseated... the devil really had me good...lightheaded, dizzy, hot flashes, nausea... Then God spoke to me and quite honestly made me feel really stupid. He said to my heart "look what I have done. Do you think I spent the past four years of your struggle just sitting around watching you? No, I was planning your blessing, mapping out everything for you. Continue to give it all to me, tell the devil to get back and let me finish working" Hallaluyer! so...standing in my nickers with a flaming hot straightener in my hands I proceeded to (very audibly) tell the devil to step away, God had this and that I DO NOT appreciate him making me sick over this, I have a baby to prepare for and I don't have time for his games!  Then I prayed for God to give me peace and assurance that only he can provide. That he guide us to an honest lawyer, continue to speak to the birth mom that we are where he has led her to trust, and provide all the items we need.
I instantly felt better, no nausea no tummy aches...and I just feel so confident that he will provide and grant us our every need...he's already started to!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Four long years becomes one short month

I thought my first real post (after the “getting to know us” post) was going to be about the decision we had made to go through an adoption agency, and the stress of coming up with almost $20,000 to adopt.
I thought I was going to explain about the conversaion I had with the agency rep, how we were goingto have to continue to wait 10-12 months and go through so many legal and personal hurdles.
Never in a mllion years did I ever imagine my first post would be about the precious little girl we were chosen to adopt.
So many of you already know this and want the whole scoop…and as any doting mom to be would….I am willing to spill. (er dying to spill, actually).
I could tell this story a million times, I could scream every sentence from the top of a mountain until my voice was gone…and then I could write it 150 times on a chalkboard. Everytime I say the word’s that were asked of me when I got the phone call that change my life, I fall in love with my baby girl all over (and fight back tears).
I. AM. GOING. TO. BE. A. MOM. (by Christmas at that!!!) wow.

Ok let me get the to the meat:


For the past few weeks I have been what you may call nesting (I didn’t know it then but it’s funny that in reality I was!) I had this overwhelming sence that God was going to bless us with a child. Now, I have always known this, and never cared how- adopted or biological. But the past few weeks have been different. I have been working like crazy in my house….ask anyone. The “guest room” could have only been considered that if you call all my half finished crafts and homeless items (you know- the one’s you have no idea what to do with but you feel bad getting rid of it) guests. Over the past few weeks the room got cleaned out, we bought new furniture, I started painted, and (gasp) my house has stayed spotless AND organized. Who knew our house had three bedrooms? I always thought it was a one bedroom with 2 extremely large closets.

During these past few weeks Brian and I actually had a sense that God was going to bless us soon…and by soon we thought within the next year.
We had heard about some folks that went through Bethany Christian Service and thought that it would be a nice place to adopt. On Monday at lunch, I spoke to the office manager and….we’ll just say I was pretty overwhelmed. There was a list a mile long of things I had to do: credit reports, background checks, fingerprinted, home study, application of approval to apply, actual application (yeh, I know), physicals, vet records for the dogs, 4 scrap books for prospective birth moms, a letter to birth moms, I can keep going but I think I made the point clear. Then she dropped the whammy- $20,000.

What did I think? Can’t….breath…..

It was all so overwhelming. Of course, I was willing to give it a try (anything for my baby) but I was just so lost on where to start. I sat in my car for a few moments and prayed. It went something like “God, you know my desire; you know my need for a child. You have spoken to me that you are going to answer my prayers, I feel it….but I don’t know what you want me to do to be in your will so that this blessing will come. Please guide me. If you are answering this prayer then I know you will provide. Please take this situation and handle it, because it is above me. I know you will show me the way. It’s yours. Amen”
I felt better….still wasn’t sure how I would get $20,000 but it wasn’t my problem…God would provide it.

(This is when I posted in on FB that we thought God was leading us to BCS)

That evening on the way home I got a call and the dialogue was something like this (the best I can remember it, as I am pretty sure I was suffering a stroke during it)
Rhonda: “Cari, how are you”
Me: “Fine?” (thinking, “who dis be?”)
Rhonda: “Cari this is Rhonda… How would you like to be a mommy by Christmas?”
Me:…………
Rhonda: “Cari?”
ME:….. (Insert sobbing which sounded more like a whale dying)….. “What? Really?”
Rhonda: “Yes, honey. I know someone with a beautiful baby girl that is due November 1st and needs a wonderful mommy to adopt her”
ME: (more whales dying) Oh my God…
Rhonda: Are you interested?
Me: yes, I would love that.
We talked longer but I am not sure she could understand me and my blubbering. She did a good job acting like she did though ;)

A MOM BY CHRISTMAS?! What? The last thought I had was that maybe by NEXT Christmas I’d have a baby….but this Christmas? In 6 weeks tops? I seriously thought I was going to vomit. (In a good way…yes there is a good way to vomit…don’t believe me? Try for 4 years to be a mommy then find out it is going to happen in a month- thought so)

I mean really, can you believe that? How else could this have happened other than divine intervention?
I can’t explain our emotions right now.
Brian is already wrapped and I am a MESS. I honestly feel like a kid on Christmas. Scratch that- a kid on Christmas aspires to feel like ME. ;) (In fact I think the new saying with me “I feel like Cari in September”)

**************This is where the public service announcement starts****************

We wouldn’t trade our girl for anything in the world…even though we weren’t prepared to get her this quickly. I am so happy actually, that I get her soon. But this leaves us with nothing planned and no items for her ..and very little time to do it in.
Our biggest need is for legal funds… If you look to the left of the page I have set up a chip in. It is secure and through paypal. I am a paypal verified member as well. (which means I am legit). Please think about donating to helping us finally make this little one our very own. It would mean the world to us. Pray. and contribute as God deems fit.

As you can see, we are only 1% towards our goal with a long way to go in a few short weeks.

We are also in need of baby items… it is a girl, so girl items would be best. I am not opposed to hand-me downs and thrift store finds (I actually love bargain shopping, just prefer it be clean and safe)
Most of all- PRAY. Pray for us to get the money we need, the items we need and for a safe delivery for our baby girl and her birth mom. Also pray we will be the parents God wants us to be and that we raise our little girl for his glory.
We love you all. And we thank you- we truly have amazing people in our lives (even strangers that have contacted me) I can’t tell you how much we love you all!

Stay tuned for more postings from us about our progress and OUR BABY!!!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Background of Us: Cliff Notes version

I started this blog as a way to update family and friends on our story of trying to become parents. I also hope it serves as a blessing to people in the same situation we are in. I know many times it can feel as though you are alone. Trust me, I’ve been there. We all need support and someone who has been down the same path. I hope it inspires everyone who reads it. I plan to be honest and open about everything I go through. I will not necessarily “air my dirty laundry”, if you will…but I also will not sugar coat the situations we encounter. I want to be honest and open so that people struggling with having a child can relate and be blessed by it.

So… if you don’t know us you are probably asking exactly what is our story? …and I am happy to share.

I met Brian completely by mistake. See, I was on a blind date (a group one). I can’t even recall my blind date’s name. Eh, oh well…he doesn’t matter ;)
Anyhow, he asked Brian along so that he’d have a buddy for moral support since I had friends there. Yeh so what-his-name and I did not hit it off. But this charming baby blue eyed fella kept me laughing all night… I later learned his name was Brian.
It was January, people…and the four of us (me, my friend Caryn, Joe Schmo and Brian) sat outside the restaurant after everyone was through eating for hours freezing our rumps off and having a blast joking around (what’s his name was not so much).
Caryn and I got into the car to leave and I recall saying “The guy Joe Schmo brought is amazing!”
Apparently Brian was impressed as well, and did whatever it took to get my number. Within 24 hours, he asked me out…and I said yes. This was in January 2005…We dated for a while then in 2008 we said “I do” in the most adorable little ceremony.


We have now been married for almost four years and for almost 4 years, we have been struggling to be parents. We always accepted the idea of adoption…and even decided to even if I could birth a child. We always knew an adopted child would be loved just like a biological one- by not only us but every heart we know.
For four years I have tried, I have cried, I have suffered the loss of little one’s I hadn’t met yet (through adoption and miscarriage), I have prayed….I can’t tell you the nights I lie in bed sobbing and praying for God to bless us…and the days I even (shamefully) blamed God for our pain. Over the years I have had friends console me countless times, people afraid to tell me they had conceived because they knew my hurt, and prayers sent up on my behalf. I did struggle sometimes with the question of “why would God give me such a desire to be a parent, and then leave me to struggle like this?”

I don’t want you to think it is all bad though. Most of the time I knew God would not fail me and lived by his word “Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart”. This became the verse for our family. It is God’s promise to US.
 God has sent angels to lift me up and pray for me- mostly through the form of family and friends but sometimes even through strangers.

Just last weekend I had a kind soul ask to pray for me and Brian, which I met at a yard sale. What a God moment!
God sends us reminder everyday of his love for us, and that we shouldn’t give up trusting in him to provide. He knows we will have days where we will feel hurt, sad, and even angry but if we praise him in this storm- he will bless us when the rain stops.