23 February 2011
Hooray and praise the LORD! BB is home! Actually, he has been home almost 2 weeks now, but if you've ever had a newborn, you know why it has taken me so long to get the blog updated! For one thing, I had to get to know him a little bit so I could give him a proper blog-name. I have decided on Pup. So, from now on BB (baby boy) will be known as Pup here (and occasionally in the real world).
So, a lot has happened since the last time I was here. On the Sunday after the last post, I made a fool of myself (privately, thankfully!) getting angry at Aa for not being a good spiritual leader. It was absolutely ridiculous and humiliating. But, talking about it together did help our relationship. I told him that the Sanctus Real song "Lead Me" always makes me cry because I live in a tension between realizing that my husband is a super-star in this area in comparison to what many women have versus wishing for more of it. I likened my feelings to the high ropes course I worked on in college. I knew my equipment was strong and safe. I took good care of it, and I examined it each time before I took a group up. But, there was a different level of knowing that came the first moment of each time I led a group when I jumped off the course to demonstrate how reliable my harness really was. I told Aa I felt like our relationship (or his spiritual leadership) hadn't been tested like that in awhile. So, while I knew our relationship was strong and that he is a good spiritual leader, I didn't know it, if you know what I mean.
We had some laughs and tears and it really was a galvanizing moment for us. Good thing, too, because the very next day, the agency called again with another delay! Aa swooped in and began to fight for us. Our case worker, poor dear, had all the responsibility of relaying messages from the agency to us and vice versa, but no real power to change anything. But, she went to bat for us with the higher-ups and explained our position. The paperwork was finally cleared (actually, Aa had to track that down too, but that wasn't our agency's fault), but there was still an element of risk coming from the birth father. It's complicated why the placement was still being delayed, but suffice it to say, Aa dove in there and got things moving. (As an aside, we love our agency. We love what they do and the way they do it. Because of that, we have written them a letter explaining how we feel they let us down a bit during this time. We still recommend our agency, but, unfortunately, with a slight reservation.)
After some back and forth, the agency finally agreed to do the placement on Feb 10th. Every time the phone rang between then and when we arrived at the placement ceremony, my heart stopped. We had been disappointed and delayed so many times, I had trouble believing it was real this time.
We went down the day before the ceremony and Cynthia bent over backwards to make arrangements for the rest of the family to meet Pup for the first time almost as soon as we arrived in town. What sweet, sweet moments those were. Here's our first family photo. And, yes, Punk is pulling his new brother's hair. Game on.After visiting for about an hour, we grabbed dinner and then back to the hotel for bedtime. Unfortunately, Pea had a cold and kept us all up all night between her hacking coughs and snoring. Nonetheless, we were bright-eyed and bushy-tailed when we arrived at the church for the ceremony at 11. While Aa and I signed sheaves of paperwork, AB (our birthmom) got to hang out with all three of our kids (and Cynthia, and the ICPs). Almost all Covenant Care's placements happen at their main office in Macon, but they made an exception for us and we met in Athens. This allowed a whole slew of people who usually don't get to see this part of the process to witness ours. So, we had our birthmom (unusual) and some representatives from the adoption support group from the church we were meeting in and a bunch of staff and a board member join us! The little church library was jam-packed, but there were really only two people (Pup and AB) that got any of my attention!
The ceremony was brief, but very meaningful. Afterward, AB gave me a small New Testament for Pup with a little inscription she had written in it. She told me she wanted her first gift to him to be a Bible. We also got some gifts from the ICPs, including a Georgia Bulldogs tee-shirt! The IC dad video-taped the whole thing and gave us a DVD of it on the spot! Pretty cool!
We got everyone bundled and all our things together and headed out. It was hard to grasp that we really had him! That he's ours (almost)! On the way home, I sat next to Pup and couldn't take my eyes off of him. I needed sleep so badly, but I couldn't close my eyes. I just wanted to watch his sweet face and drink him in. I had been carrying a weight of anxiety that was lifted, but it was replaced with a new, heavier weight. Like the radiation apron at the dentist's office, covering my heart. It was the weight of loving this little man. The weight of the gift we had been given by God and by AB.
It took us a very long time to get home. Who knew that it takes an hour to consume 4 oz of formula and get your diaper changed? When we finally got here, Dexter (our dog) went bananas. He was so happy to see us, he didn't even notice the covered car-seat carrier. But, when Pup began to squeak, boy, Dexter took on a whole new level of lunacy! For the first couple of days, any sound Pup made sent Dex into a frenzy. And, if we dared to let Pup cry for even an instant, Dexter seemed to beg us to do something for him. We began to think Dex thought Pup really was his puppy!Well, like I said, it's been the five of us for almost two weeks now. We're getting used to each other (Dexter included) and I've discovered I way overestimated myself! It's been six and a half years since we've had a newborn and I simply forgot how demanding he would be. But, precious, oh so precious. I can't get enough of him. Neither can Aa or the bigs. We're all in love, love, love.
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Round Two Timeline
- 9/24/08 Home study update home visit for Ghana adoption
- 10/15/08 Dossier sent to AOHG
- 10/15/08 I600A application sent to USCIS
- 10/30/08 First heard about possible domestic private adoption
- 11/18/08 Last spoke with contact about possible domestic adoption; expected to hear back about meeting with birthmother
- 12/3/08 Withdrew application from AOHG
- 1/6/09 Found out another family had been chosen for possible domestic adoption
- 1/21/09 USCIS fingerprinting appointment
- 1/8/09 Received USCIS fingerprinting appointment notice
- 4/11/09 Sent Pre-Application to Covenant Care Adoptions for Domestic Infant Adoption program
- 6/8/09 Social worker visit to update home study from International to Domestic
- 7/24/09 Received completed home study update
- 8/25/09 Went "on the list" for birthfamilies to choose from
- 4/28/10 Found out a birth mom had chosen us
- 5/8/10 Met the birth mom
- 5/11/10 Got the call that birth mom changed her mind
- 5/19/10 Birth mom's scheduled c-section
- 11/30/10 Visit from DSS sw about foster parenting
- 11/30/10 Got the call that another birth mom had chosen us
- 12/21/10 Met with the birth mom
- 1/15/11 @1:42 PM BB was born!
- 1/19/11 ICPC (interstate) paperwork sent to GA for approval
- 1/31/11 ICPC Clearance Approved
- 2/10/11 Placement Ceremony and Pup comes home!!!!
- 8/3/11 It's Official! Pup's Adoption Decree was issued