Monday, March 12, 2012

Our first week with Samuel

Our first week with Samuel was spent with him in the hospital.  It was a very busy week.  I had to work three days that week, and James had his usual Monday through Friday schedule.  We both tried to be at the hospital at least once a day to feed him.  Samuel was having a difficult time taking a bottle, and we wanted to be there as much as we could so the nurses could coach us through feeding times. If I had to work, James and I would leave for the hospital around 8 pm, and I'd stay there until midnight. James would feed Samuel at 8:30, and I would feed him at 11:30. It made for some late nights. I woudn't get home until 1 AM.  At this point, our families still didn't know about Samuel. After all the problems we had trying to adopt internationally, we wanted to wait until Samuel was home with us before we told our families.

We had several things had to get done that week:
  • get the nursery in workable order
  • choose a pediatrician
  • meet with our attourney
  • find a rocker for the nursery
  • get an infant car seat
I am really pleased with the rocker that we I found.  I had been looking at Pottery Barn's upholstered rockers, and was seeing $$$$.  I was determined to find something cheaper that was comfortable and durable.  A children's furniture ctore opened near us not too long ago, and I'd never been in there. I decided to check it out before shelling out way too much at Pottery Barn.  I told one of the sales ladies that I was looking for a rocker, and she told me that it took 4-6 weeks to get them in. That wouldn't work! Our son was already here.  I explained our situation, and she showed me three floor models that she could sell.  I bought one of them for $400 under the budget James had given me. James brought it home in his truck that afternoon, and one of our neighbors helped him get it set up in the nursery.

Some of our good friends gave us some necessary items, like clothes, diapers, and wipes to get us started. On Wednesday that week, we found out that Samuel was going to be discharged on Friday.  A couple of our neighbors jumped into to action and they left a big basket of clothes, bottles, formula, diapers, wipes, and toys on our doorstep.

 Our basket of goodies from our neighbors

 James sanitizing bottles

 We made plans for Samuel to be discharged after I got off work on Friday.  And no, I was not much use at work that day!  We began making phone calls to our families on the way home from the hospital.  Samuel is the first grandchild on both sides of our famillies, so needless to say everyone was very excited!
 Getting discharge instructions from Samuel's nurse practioner, who was also adopted.

 Sameul's first car ride. He is covered with a blanket that my mom - his Nana made.  She gave it to us some time ago.

Finally at home with Daddy, in our new rocker.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

It's a Boy!

I know many of you have been praying for us through all the drama we've experienced in our adoption process.  Those prayers have finally been answered! We switched to the domestic infant adoption program with our agency in December, and we have some wonderful news to share!

At 3:38 pm on Friday 2/3/12, James called me and asked if I had seen the message from our agency about a new cold call situation. I was at work, and I had not seen it. I was on my way to the hospital to deliver medications to a transplant patient. I asked him to read the post to me. It was about a newborn baby boy right here in the St. Louis area. (FYI - A "cold call" is when the birthmom has no contact with the adoption agency prior to the child's birth. She contacts the agency soon after the child is born.)

On my way to the hospital, I prayed and asked God to let my heart and James' heart be in agreement if this baby was to be part of our family. After I was finished at the hospital, we decided to ask for more information on the case. By the time my shift was over, we had received the second email. We talked things over that night after dinner, and we decided to proceed. I sent the social worker a text message at 9:42 pm saying that we wanted to be considered for that child.

Saturday morning (2/4/12), James and I were getting ready to go to the YMCA.   At 9:58 AM we got a call from our agency telling us that we had been chosen to parent this little boy! Three of the social workers that have been walking down this road with us, and praying for us were on the phone - they all wanted to be able to deliver this long awaited news! It just did not seem real.  After spending almost three years trying to adopt a child from Ethiopia, our son was born 30 minutes from our home. My head started swimming.  There was so much to be done before we brought this baby home. The nursery was a mess. The furniture was partially taken apart and none of it was in the right place. We didn't have an infant car seat. We didn't have diapers, wipes, or bottles. We needed a name! We didn't have a single boy name picked out.We made plans to meet our social worker and the hospital at 2 pm so we could meet our baby. I went on to the YMCA, hoping that getting some time in on the elliptical would help me think clearly.  (It helped, but not much. Ha!)

While we were getting ready to go to the hospital, we talked about a name.  We threw several options around, and we were able to make a tentative decision.  We left for the hospital and prayed on the way there.

We spent four hours at the hospital with our little man that day. We both fed him, and changed his diaper.  By the next day, we had decided on a name -

Samuel Stephen

Samuel is after James' maternal grandfather.  His name is Carl, but he is known as Sam to many. He was the youngest of five children, and his momma was out of baby names when he was born.  His still didn't have a name by his second day of life. His siblings started asking their mom what they were going to name the baby.  She said -"Anything but Sam."  Well, siblings being siblings, they started calling him Sam.  He is 85 years old, and he is still known as Sam.  Little Samuel, may you have the long life, devotion to God, and wisdom that your Great-Grandfather has had.

Stephen is after my dad and after Samuel's Godfather.  My dad has a kind heart, and he is ever ready to tell someone about Jesus.  I've heard him tell telemarketers that they need Jesus. Part of his speech that he gave at my rehearsal dinner was the Gospel.  He also enjoys entertaining the kids at church - Samuel, I bet the first time you met Santa it will be with your Grandpa dressed up playing the part. Early in our adoption process, we had to name a guardian for our future child. We prayed about it, and the same two people kept coming to our minds - James' youngest cousin Stephen and his wife Elizabeth.  They prayed about it too, and they agreed.  I was at a St. Louis Blues Hockey game when Stephen called me to tell that he and Elizabeth wanted to be our child's Godparents. Stephen has an adventurous spirit, a heart for the Gospel, and the willingness to serve God and follow him where He calls. He and Elizabeth went to Kenya on a dental mission trip this past summer.  Samuel, may you value obedience to Jesus above all, may your tongue be a quick to speak of Jesus as these two men, and may your feet be swift to follow the call of Jesus wherever He may take you.

Samuel, people all over the world have been praying for you. People all over the US, friends in Canada and Ethiopia.  When we started our adoption process, we thought we'd be adding a little brown-skinned girl from Ethiopia to our family.  After suffering through four failed referrals Ethiopia, we just didn't know why God did not see fit to add one of those little girls to our family.  He knew all along when you would be born and that you were meant to be our son.

"For this child I prayed, and the LORD has granted me my petition that I made to him."
1 Samuel 1:27 (ESV)

Thanks be to God from whom all blessings flow!