Saturday, October 12, 2013

Update on Stephanie and Ben's Story~Welcome Leo!

Well it has been 5 months to the day that our little Leo was born.  We have our fighting little lion.  He came into the world happy and healthy; something that I was praying for the whole time I was pregnant.  God certainly granted those prayer requests because Leo’s favorite thing to do is smile.  I struggle with writing this entry more than any other.  I struggle because while we are blessed to have this little guy in our lives, I know so many of you have been waiting longer and have had much larger obstacles.  I don’t know why God has given us this child before so many other couples, and while we thank God for him every day, I struggle to understand why.  I guess that is not for me to know; God doesn’t have to explain himself me, we just have to be open to the gifts he gives us.  I feel it is my duty in this blog to share that there is hope. 

His birth didn’t go exactly like I had planned but rarely does anything.  In my last few weekly visits to my doctor I hadn’t progressed at all, so when I was a week over my due date we went ahead and scheduled an induction.  I went into the hospital the night before they were going to do the induction.  They wanted to give me some medicine to start the whole process.  After the third dose of the medicine, my contractions were a minute apart, but I still had not progressed at all.   I knew then that the birth was probably not going to go as I had planned.  Fortunately, I was not feeling the contractions but unfortunately I hadn’t progressed at all, and as the nurse put it to me, “no pain, no gain”.  As I laid awake that whole night I kept praying to God let me be strong enough to do this or give me a sign to go another way.  When my doctor came in the morning she gave me 3 options:  1. I could go home and wait another week (no way was I leaving that hospital without my baby) 2.  She could give me Pitocin and put me in labor for as long as I wanted but there was still an 80 percent chance I would have to have a c section or 3.  Have the c section within the next half hour.  After my husband and I discussed it we decide to just go ahead and do the c section right away.  We had waited long enough and an 80 percent chance that we would have to do it anyway we decided it was probably God’s birth plan.   
So 45 minutes later I was being wheeled into the OR, my parents and in laws making it just in time to wish me luck.  While lying on the table with my husband by my side I waited to hear the sound that I had longed to hear forever.  I could feel the doctors pulling and pushing on my stomach and could feel a release of pressure so I knew they had pulled him out.  Then out of the corner of my eye I could see a little purple body being handed over to a nurse but I still hadn’t heard him cry.  Those few seconds were the longest of my life.  When that little cry filled the room tears came rolling down my face.  He was finally here our wait was over.  Blessed be God!

People kept telling me your life is going to change forever with him.  I guess they were right!  It certainly has changed for the better.  He is such a good baby sometimes I feel a little guilty.  Of course he would wake up in the middle of the night when he was a newborn but he would eat and go right back to sleep.  He also started sleeping through the night at 1 ½ months.  My husband was out of work for a few months and why that seemed like it just another obstacle in our lives, it was really a blessing for us as a family to spend so much time together.  Since I am a preschool teacher I had the summer off so we were able to do a little traveling and Leo at the age of four months has already been to 9 states and a good majority of the counties in Nebraska.  

I was hoping to be a stay at home mom but with my husband out of work I had to return to school in the fall.  His dad was an excellent stay at home dad but has since returned to work.  He certainly misses being at home with Leo and so do I, but we are blessed to have his Amma (grandma) watch him during the day.  We are loving being parents and look forward to all the fun times ahead!

Friday, October 11, 2013

A Give~Away for Enkel Apparel

Please visit Enkel Apparel's Gofundme site, make a donation of $30, and not only will you receive one of their limited edition 
t-shirts, you will also be put into a drawing for a pair of earrings from Premier Jewelry just in time for the holidays!

Here's what you do:

*Visit this website and make a donation:

*Write on our Facebook wall or on this post that you made a donation and we will put your name in the drawing.

*Share this give away for another entry!  Winner will be announced Oct. 31st

By donating to Enkel Apparel, not only will you be getting an awesome shirt that fits like it was meant just for you, but you will also be helping set up a company who wants to put the one for one model in place by helping children in foster care.  Their hearts are geared towards providing children in foster care an opportunity to have quality clothing just for them!  

Whenever you shop with Enkel Apparel, your purchase will help fund their shopping experience.  So, donate today and join Waiting for Baby Stories as we help "Clothe the Foster."

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Friday, October 4, 2013

Follow-Up from Ashley's Story

John is sleeping in his crib now.  Thankfully.  He's been a snot nosed little boy these past few nights and hasn't been sleeping well because his adorable nose is stuffed up and breathing is hard.  I was so tired last night and not feeling well myself that I cried as I tried consoling him.  My husband heard my tears, swooped in, and comforted both me and our son.   And on that ever so realistic glimpse into real life...Hi...I'm Ashley O'Brien and my husband and I adopted John in an emergency placement domestic adoption.

 Just like those women who pop a kid or two out au'natural, in our home, we struggle, too.  John has the sniffles.  He tests his limits as he enters "toddlerdom", he walks and falls flat on his handsome face.  But, I will say this, on the flip side of the coin, if my husband and I were to make a baby, no doubt in my mind, it would not be as awesome as John, and no doubt in my mind, we would not be as close to God. As we waited for our son, which in the adoption world was in a blink of an eye, the entire process took six months, the actual wait for match which was about three weeks, was rough. I was up.  I was down.  I was happy.  I was sad.  I was so incredibly dependent on the Lord because I knew nothing else, nobody else, could sustain me like He could.  And as we ventured through some tough times over the past year, that same God that sustained me then has done just the same now.

 Our son has been amazing.  Pretty close to perfect.  Perfect caramel colored skin.  A huge award winning smile practically plastered on his face since he was two months old, easy going & resilient, a great head of hair and eager to give kisses.  See, perfect, right???  But let me tell you, friend, as the mama in this adoption, I've struggled.  I've felt guilty for taking another woman's child.  I mean, I know she chose to make an adoption plan for her son, but I think about John's birthmom quite often and feel guilty that I get to see all these amazing moments and she doesn't.  I've struggled with old-fashion family members who have disagreed and expressed worry over our decision to have an open adoption.  I struggled with people who judged my decision to adopt and I bawled as Johns birthmom asked to cut off contact because she just couldn't handle the pain.  See, she wants John, but she has said she is not ready to be a mama, and her family has been judging her everyday since for her adoption plan and telling her she is an awful mom.  We were able to text her that an awful mom would never ever give up so much for her son.  She is amazing and and beautiful and people who tell her otherwise are lying.  We never heard back from her.  But, I know that The Lord placed John in our home for a reason.

 The guilt is a "gift" from the enemy and I've learned to refuse it.  I knew that open adoption is what was best and I patiently would explain to my family just so, and that John's birthmom was and always will be a member of our family and I will protect her as fiercely as I protect my son.  I have learned to brush off naysayers who judge me for adopting a child of another race or who think I'm not doing well enough.  Words hurt, but they don't always matter and I've learned to walk away with my head held high.  And as for the sad day when Johns b-mom asked for her heart still hurts, but I turned back to The Lord for His strength and peace.  And I think it's good for me, too.  I need some space to be the only mama and reconcile this guilt and sadness I still feel every now & then.  Plus, I know...I just KNOW in the depths of my heart, we will hear from her again.

 So, now that you know that post adoption not everything is perfect & anybody who portrays otherwise is not telling the truth! But, there are days that are so close to perfect, there are moments that are so overwhelmingly precious and memories that make me wish that somebody would build me a time machine so I can go back and experience them again and again...I hope you know that the roller coaster of emotions doesn't end when you bring a little home...that's when the adventure truly begins!  Then you'll feel your heart stretch in ways you didn't know it could.  You'll feel SUCH joy and incredible surges of love you'll wonder how your heart hasn't burst from overload.  Being a mommy is amazing & you are in for the coolest ride of your life! So, if you're still reading this..and you're still waiting for your baby, please know that there is hope!  Your son or daughter will come...use this time to cry out to The Lord and grow ever closer to the King of Kings.  Know that when your precious baby arrives, via plane, train or stork, your mama instincts will kick in and trust your gut.  In all things, you will have struggles and you will have joy.  Just like every other mama out there.  So with that said, please stop over to my blog and say Hi, you can check out our entire adoption timeline, and you can be assaulted with way too many photos of my son.  You're welcome.  And for you sister, I pray often for you. I may not know your name but every now and then I remember that there are families waiting for their children to come home and I stop what I'm doing, and I pray.  The Lord hears my prayers on your behalf and He is good and will bring your babies home.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Family Circus~Adoption

A reader sent this to us as a cute reminder to educate our children about adoption. How do you explain adoption to your family?

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Always something...

As the days go by and our family doesn't grow, it is often hard to stay encouraged.  There are times when I want to curl up in my bed and cry away the pain, walk until I'm utterly exhausted and can think no more, or sit and wonder what the future holds. 
A couple days ago I ran across this picture and was reminded that, "There's always something to be thankful for."  While it's hard to believe that some days, there is so much life that happens within a day! So, let this be of encouragement to you, even if you have to dig down deep-there IS something to be thankful for!~Kassandra