Our Family

Our Family

Saturday, May 14, 2016

A Year Later...

Tomorrow will mark the one year anniversary of the day we got the call that changed our lives.  Tuesday will make one year ago that Sarah came home.  In one way, it seems so fast while in another, it seems like she's been with us for years.

I've thought a lot this week about where we were a year ago.  At this time a year ago, we were still a family of three. We didn't know if or when we'd ever be a family of four. I imagine our plans for the upcoming weekend included celebrating Jon's 32nd birthday, attending a gospel singing on Friday night and who knows what else. We had no idea what was in store.

We went to the singing on Friday night not knowing that before we left, we would receive the call that would change our lives forever.  I still get teary eyed just thinking about how with that one phone call, three years of waiting, praying, hoping, crying, questioning, and wondering came to an end.   Well, let's me honest - the crying was far from over but now it's happy tears.

I remember standing in that church parking lot and listening to Susan tell us all about this little girl.  I remember feeling like it wasn't really happening.  I think sometimes when you've waited for something so long, it's hard to believe it when it finally does happen.

Sunday morning, May 17th, we were supposed to wait for a call to leave home but we couldn't wait and finally started out on faith.  We stopped at a tool shop somewhere on the way, but realized we didn't have cell phone service so left pretty quickly.  We finally stopped at a flea market and about as soon as we walked in the door, my phone rang.  It was Rick, our attorney, telling us that she was being released from the hospital and we could take her home.

After killing a little time at the flea market, we met Rick and Susan at the hospital. Before we were introduced to her, they dressed her with an outfit that said, "I was worth the wait." Oh how true that was.  We dressed in the all too familiar NICU attire and prepared to meet our daughter.  Susan took pictures for us as we met this precious little girl.  Those pictures are treasures to me.  I'm so thankful to be able to see our faces as we saw our daughter for the first time.

Those first few days felt so surreal. Now, a year later, my heart is still so happy. I'm finally content and feel complete.  I can't explain the feeling of having us all together.  Completeness is the closest I can come.

To those still waiting, please remember that you never know when your call will come.  There were times I was ready to give up.  I convinced myself that God wasn't going to give me the desire of my heart.  After 3 years, it felt almost too hard to keep going.

Have you seen the picture floating around Facebook of the men digging for treasure and the one guy gives up right before he gets to the treasure? If we would have given up, that would've been us.  We were so close - we just couldn't see it.

I think everyone who has adopted and had to wait a long time will tell you it was worth the wait.  That isn't downplaying the wait.  It's hard. I still say that was one of the hardest things in my life.  But on May 17, 2015, every single day became worth it. That's not an exaggeration or figure of speech.  It's the truth.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Letter to Me Four Years Ago

Four years ago today is when I consider we officially began our adoption journey.  We met with our agency for the first time and decided that was the path and agency we would follow.  In honor of that anniversary, I decided to write a letter to myself....here's what I would tell myself if I could send a note to me four years ago.

Dear Holly (Feb 2012):

Right now, you are excited.  You and Jon have just made the decision to grow your family by adoption.  You feel relief that you won't have to risk your life to grow your family.  You feel excitement.  You feel hopeful.  You feel motivated.  You are ready to tackle this home study full force and grow your family.

Let me warn you - you have no idea what you are about to begin.  While the home study seems daunting and never ending, it's the easy part.  In all honesty, that entire first year is the easy part.  They're going to tell you that the wait will be two to three years and you'll be hopeful that they are exaggerating to keep you from getting your hopes up.  You'll think surely it will happen sooner.  Trust me - it won't.

The next three years will be the hardest of your life.   Everything you've been through leading up to this point will seem like a breeze.  This will be the hardest trial of your life.  You will question everything.  You'll want to give up at times and will think its never going to happen.

There will come a point (because it's taken so long) that you will have to update your home study.  The home study that seems so doable and that you're so motivated to finish now will seem so much harder.  You'll think it's pointless and almost (just almost) decide not to do it.  Again, trust me.  Just do it.

Baby showers and pregnancy announcements will be the hardest.  You'll find it's often hard to be happy for others because you wonder why it couldn't be you.  You'll find that someone pregnant with their first doesn't seem to bother you as much as seconds, thirds, fourths, etc.  You'll have to learn to hold back emotions and do a lot of pretending.  I know you're not good at that, but you'll have to try.

You'll meet a birthmom that you think is your child's birthmom.  It won't go as planned and you'll be crushed.  Trust me.  That wasn't your baby.

A little over 3 years from now, you'll hit your lowest low.  You'll think its never going to happen.  You'll decide that God doesn't want you to have your heart's desire and you'll try to get willing for His will.  Hold on and don't give up just yet.

May 15, 2015, will be the day you have been waiting on every single day between now and then.  You'll get the call that you have a daughter.  May 17th, you will meet her.

Let me tell you, Holly.  Every single heartache, trial and worry will be completely worth it.  You'll realize that it was all leading you to the perfect child to complete your family.  She'll almost worship Dakota and he will her.  She'll be a Daddy's girl at times and Mommy's baby at times.  You'll watch her sleep and look back at the times you were so heartbroken and know every single day of waiting was worth it. 

Prepare yourself.  It will be a hard road and you'll be stronger on the other side.  You'll feel like giving up but don't.  Because the me that's writing to you now watching your daughter sleep while Jon and Dakota are talking in the next room knows her heart is full and it's all completely worth it.

Holly (Feb 2016)

PS. You'll decide that Emma (the name you've had picked out for a girl since before Dakota was born) is not her name.  Instead, you'll name her Sarah after Sarah in the Bible.