Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Our Story - Part 6

Alright, alright, so we are wrapping this up pretty soon :) Now we are up to our 3rd wedding anniversary! We had big plans to rent a hotel room in Portland and explore our nearby big city a little for our anniversary, but as soon as we made the decision to adopt we decided that saving that money and putting it to getting our son or daughter home was MUCH more important.

Before we could start on the paper chasing, we had to get $10,000. We thought this was going to take a long time, but God clearly had other plans for us. On our 3rd wedding anniversary, in an amazing turn of events we got the last little bit of money we needed in order to start the adoption process. It was pretty darn amazing and so perfect and so God!

So in August, we started the newest journey of our married life! To bring our first child home from Africa! Even though we quickly came up with the funds to start the adoption process, we still had a lot more money to raise. The late summer and fall was spent busy with lots of fundraising and lots of paperwork. I was in a big hurry to get to my child and so I attacked the paperwork as quickly as I could!

In September, we had planned a trip to Disneyland with my family. It was fun to go and know that this was our last trip without a baby. We were sure to take advantage of the opportunity to be selfish and ride the rides we wouldn't be able to with a baby and go to all the nice restaurants. We also picked up a lot of Disney themed stuff for the baby! It was so fun to go but I was constantly thinking about how badly I wished our baby was with us!

The picture in the infamous proposal spot was under construction walls for this trip so we had to take it off to the side!

While in Disneyland I got a bit of disappointing news. My fingerprints had been rejected by the state (boo state of Oregon) and so I would have to wait until we got home to get them redone and sent off to again. You can imagine how much of a setback this felt to me who was doing everything in my power to get the paperwork sent off as fast as I could. This would mean a delay of at least 4 weeks for us. Now I am so thankful for this setback. It put us in the most perfect place on that wait list to get our most precious baby boy!

So anyway, back to Disneyland! We had a fabulous last sort of vacation before becoming parents!

One of the last childless pictures!
Time wore on, and I finally got my fingerprints back in mid-October. We were finally able to start the homestudy visits and our social worker was seriously the best in the business! We had our visits all in one weeks time and within 2 days of our final visit our homestudy was complete! The last week of October we were ready to turn in the mound of paperwork!

On October 30th we finally got the news that our documents were approved, no revisions needed and we were on the wait list! We were thrilled to finally be counting down to our baby. The list felt so long (#21 for a boy) but looking at the list NOW (90's starting out for a boy, 120's starting for a girl) I am so thankful we were #21 when we started!

The winter was spent preparing for our new arrival! We had a pretty good idea that we would be adding a little boy to our family, but there were no guarantees. We decorated the nursery and did everything we could to get ready. The estimated wait time for us was 1-4 months.

But things slowed down while we were waiting and we quickly passed the 4 month mark of waiting. I tried to keep my composure as best as I could, but it was so hard to wait. I have NEVER been good at waiting for anything and this was the hardest wait ever. It stunk to have waited a few years for Peter to finally be ready to have a baby, and then wait through the year where we couldn't get pregnant, only to have to wait through adoption. I thought I could handle it, but once we extended past the quote of 4 months, it became really hard.

Eventually we passed 5 months of waiting, then 6 and I seriously thought I was going to lose my mind. Soon after our 6 month waiting we got word that we were #1 on the wait list! I was so excited and nervous and had my phone on me at all times and checked it a million times a day to make sure that it was working! We spent 2 weeks at the #1 spot and I seriously thought I was going to die :) The night before we got our call I had reached the lowest of lows and seriously did not know how I could wait even one more day.

Fortunately, I didn't have to. At 11:10 AM on May 4th 2010 we received the most perfect of all perfect calls!!! We had a 2 week old son!!! That is a day I will never forget! The rush of emotions and excitement of hearing and seeing a picture of the child I had been waiting for - everything was perfect! Everything came together perfectly!

And our son was so beautiful and so amazing and I just wanted to be with him so bad!

We celebrated and quickly went in to preparation mode to get him home. We had even more paperwork to fill out and turn around as quickly as possible! Then we had another season of waiting. We got word of a court date and I turned in notice at my job. I had waited so long to finally have my dream come true of being a stay-at-home mom and it was finally time. All those years of getting Peter through school and working to pay off debt, came together and it was time for me to get what I always wanted! On June 10th I finished up at work and I couldn't have been happier to move on to motherhood!

But it didn't quite happen like we anticipated. Our first court date was scheduled for June 12th. Then it got pushed back and then we had several more court dates where documents weren't in order or the judge didn't go to work or power was out or they didn't have time to look at our case. It was awful. I just couldn't believe that we were having so much difficulty passing court!

It was so disheartening and I was feeling lower than I had ever felt before. I wanted nothing more than to have the child I stared at in pictures all the time, to be in my arms. It was excruciating not having with me and to keep thinking that for sure we will pass next time, only to find out we had to wait for another reason.

I kind of began to wonder if I was getting depressed. I had no motivation to do anything, I felt very emotional, and just wanted to sleep all the time. I was either depressed or something entirely different was going on. So on a TOTAL whim I took a test and was SHOCKED, completely and utterly SHOCKED to see this:

As scared to death as I was, I couldn't help but smile. God was blessing us with not just one, but two precious children!!! We seriously couldn't believe it, but the news did finally sink in and we were a little bit worried about how we were going to handle two children and how I was going to survive the trip to Ethiopia, but we knew we would get through it all no matter how difficult it might be.

Fortunately, even through all the court difficulties we were blessed to have all of our court dates in a very close timeframe! On July 8th, I finally got a phone call saying that we had passed court and that Segni was ours forever and ever!!! We were so thrilled.

Panic quickly began to set in with me. I realized I was going to have to get on an airplane and travel halfway around the world. If that wasn't terrifying enough for me, I had to do it in the first trimester of pregnancy and lets just say I was not feeling too hot around this time. I was very tired and very sick! I had no idea how I was going to get through the trip and take care of my son when he got home.

We got the news that we would be traveling to Ethiopia, leaving August 5th and holding our son on August 8th! Ready or not, it was time to prepare to travel!

Before we took off, I had a very important doctor's appointment coming up! On Peter's Birthday I went to the doctor to confirm that we were having a healthy and viable pregnancy. I was a little nervous as I knew many people who got not so great news at this first appointment and I knew the odds were very much in our favor if we saw a beating heart at this appointment. Even though this pregnancy was a total shock, I wanted nothing more than to have my two babies. I remember going in and the office workers kept congratulating me and I didn't want any congratulations until after the ultrasound showed me a healthy baby. Finally I had my ultrasound and was immediately shown the tiniest of little babies and the littlest flicker of a heart beating away. It was so amazing and so incredible! I was thrilled!!! God really was giving us two precious babies!

It was the perfect note to end our 3rd year of marriage! We were just a week away from going to get our son and were being given another perfect miracle - the icing on our amazing cake! This year of marriage will forever be known as the year of constant waiting and the year of blessings poured out on us. We were entering a year full of great anticipation! A year full of the greatest joys that I think I could ever have. I can't wait to take a look back at this past year! The year ALL of my dreams came true!!!