The Stacy Chronicles

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The Most Beautiful

Soul I know will be passing on to eternity in a few short hours or days.  Family has been called in across the states to be by this precious lady’s side.  I can’t imagine life on this earth without her.  She has been my rock, my comforter, my refuge for 27 years.  My whole body aches.  It’s pure selfishness, I know.  I’m scared of what the world will be without her.  My Maw-Maw.

I cannot think of one negative trait.  This Godly lady has been a shining example to her family and friends for her short 86 years.  I just got off the phone with her.  She cannot talk but she can listen.  She has always been an amazing listener.  Maw-Maw always had an ear to hear and a shoulder to cry on, especially for her grandbabies.  Oh! her grandbabies, and her great grandbabies!  If you knew my Maw-Maw you knew you weren’t getting off the phone with her until she told you about the latest addition to the family or the latest grand to visit her.  Speaking of great grandbabies, Maw-Maw had 6 new ones this year!  My cousin Molly adopted  3 year old and 6 year old siblings, my sister had a baby girl, my cousin had a baby boy just a few days ago, and then we got two precious boys!  I know she is so happy about all the babies in the family.  Her walls are plastered with pictures of all her babies, and she never takes any of them down!

Let me tell you a little about my Maw-Maw’s house.  Her house was the place to go if you wanted a nap.  Or good cooking.  Or your finger-nails did.  🙂  Maw-Maw cooked meals for her visitors up until a few weeks ago.  She was always trying to feed ya!  She loved to make people full and happy, so they could lay down and take a nap.  I practically grew up with my cousins running around in her yard, climbing her crepe myrtle tree.  We always went to church together on Sunday.  You better believe if she couldn’t hear you singing, you’d get pinched!  But Oh! was she always so warm.  My favorite spot to sit was right up next to her (even if it meant I might get pinched lol) because she was so cuddly and warm all the time.   I don’t know one person that could escape from falling in love with my Maw-Maw.  She even had the orderlies flirting with her when she stayed in the hospital the last two months!  She was so cute telling me how the guy helping her around was a Ray, so they decided they were related and he called her “Mama Ray.”

One of the greatest blessings was when we had the opportunity 3 weeks ago to go down to Florida to visit with her for a few hours.  She got to meet our boys!  I even convinced her to let us take a picture!  After she had mouth cancer she lost the ability to wear false teeth.  She hated having her picture taken, but never made much of a fuss.  I am SO proud to have a picture of our boys with their GREAT-grandmother.  Elijah still prays every night that she is not in any pain.  We will keep praying this prayer until the angels take her home.

Maw-maw, don’t kill me for posting these pictures.  We love you!

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Maw looking at Everett.

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The best place to take a nap, ask Elijah!Beach Vacation 2013 729 Beach Vacation 2013 730 Beach Vacation 2013 733

Sorry, baby Everett.cousins01

All the girl cousins on Maw-Maws couch.
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Josiah when he was a baby with MawMaw’s curlers!DSC_0125 DSC_0128 DSC_0150 family26 IMG_6307

When we were newly weds!IMG_6309 IMG_6310 Photo0078 Photo0079All dolled up for church with her red nails and jacket.  This was 2 years ago.

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Love Makes A Family

So, some of you aren’t on facebook, so I wanted to show you pictures from today’s events.  If you are on facebook, sorry for bombarding you.  I’d like to recount the day on here for our family records anyways.

ELIJAH is officially, 100% ours.  Yay!!!!!  No, we don’t feel any different.  He has been ours since day 1.  It is SUPER awesome to know that he will forever be apart of our family and no one can take him away from us.  That is always an adoptive parents worse fear.  Oh my, he is just the cutest.

I can’t believe it happened so fast.  Yes we have been trying to have a family for almost 6 years, but the whole adoption process happened extremely quick with him.  You can check out our adoption timeline here.  For fostercare this is really fast.  We completed our classes only last September.  God has definitely had his hand in all of this.

Today, I let him take it easy and play his leap pad thingy while I got everyone’s outfits out and ready.  I usually don’t let him play it but once a week.  The baby slept perfectly and I was able to get everything done.  They actually called us early and said they were ready for us if we could load up and come on down.

Our super awesome friends, but more like family, met us there for the momentous event!  They were actually able to come back into the judge’s office with us and take pictures.  It was super quick and we just swore to take care of this child.  Then we were done.  Elijah specifically requested PB&J, so we all went out to celebrate at McAlister’s afterwards.

So, a pretty awesome day.  We can’t wait to (hopefully) be doing this again in the near future with Everett!  By the way he smiles so much and he totally has a dimple on his left cheek!  And for those of you curious, yes, we want more children.  Maybe just one or two.  We will definitely be waiting until Everett is a little older.  It is very hard to do fostercare when there are other children in the household.  Sure, Jeff and I can handle the children coming in and out of our lives, but our 3 year old has a much harder time.  There’s no telling what the future holds.  I know it’s in His hands.

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Finalization of Elijah Embry’s Adoption

Whooohooo!  If you have been following along with our blog, you can read about the roller coaster we have been riding these last few months.  It seems as soon as there is good news we are slapped in the face with bad news.  I guess adoption is just like that.  You have to fight for what you really want, and as you all know we  have wanted a family for a really long time.  So we will never stop fighting for our babies.

Elijah.  What a joy.  He came into our home on a Wednesday night 3 months ago.  When I think about it, he has always been ours.  It feels like he’s been here his whole life.  By the way his birthday is April 14th, for those of you who have asked.  We got the call for Elijah, because DHR knew we wanted to adopt and he was a possible adoption placement.  The only red flag was that there was an appeal that we had to wait on.  It could be a year they told us.  Well, we haven’t had to wait a year!  Foster children have to be in your home for 90 days before they can be adopted.  His 90 days will be September 19th.  We are meeting with the lawyer and DHR tomorrow for another visit.  One more visit is scheduled for Tuesday and then Wednesday we go to court for the judge to pronounce him “OURS!”  Of course he has always been “ours.”  He even looks like us.

So, in celebration of this momentous event we are going to PARTY!!!  Elijah loves a good party. 🙂  The theme will be “All the Children of the World.”  Even though it is a celebration of him, it is also a celebration of adoption in general.  Without this avenue we couldn’t be parents.  The Lord has blessed us in so many ways.  Afterall, he adopted us!

Eph 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:
Eph 1:4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:
Eph 1:5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,
Eph 1:6 To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.
Eph 1:7 In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace

So Elijah has been CHOSEN, just as we have been CHOSEN and ADOPTED.  What a wonderful GIFT God has given us, to become HIS sons and daughters.  We are so blessed to be children of God.  And we feel so blessed to have Elijah as our son!

We hope you all can come.  We are so thankful for the words of encouragement and prayers offered on our son’s behalf.  We are grateful for all of you.  Please come wrap your arms around our child and let him know he is a part of the large, beautiful, family we have.  It would mean the world to us!

Jesus loves the little children

All the children of the world

Red and Yellow, Black and White

All are precious in His sight

Jesus loves the little children

of the world!

Adoption flyer


Baby E 7 Week Update

A lot has changed since I’ve last posted.  Lets start with the good.  We found an awesome doctor for Everett, that is much closer to our home.  He is incredible and the visit went awesome.  He took his time, listened to all my concerns, and genuinely seemed interested in our family.  It was probably my best experience at a doctor’s office.  This is all good seeing as we now have children and hope to be living here for a very long time.

Everett is 7 weeks old and weighs 10.6 lbs.  He is 22 3/4 inches long.  The doctor said he looks like he will be a big boy and is very healthy.

In other news….

We got an update about his case.  His birth mom has mentioned family that she wants him with.  Up until this point we have been told she has no family.  Now, apparently, there is family involved (I say involved, but right now they haven’t came forward to claim him… because the bio mom mentioned some names, DHR HAS to check into them to see if they are a valid placement.)  This news saddens us so much.  Obviously they have to want him and they have to check out with DHR standards.  We desperately need prayers again.  This is going to be a long 12 months (if no family checks out then they will terminate the birth mom’s rights at 12 months.)

I don’t mean to sound harsh or insensitive.  It’s always hard to think of a child being taken away from their birth mothers, but if the moms are unfit or unable to care for the children it IS best if they are taken.  They are given 12 months to get their lives in order or come up with family members that can care for the children.

We know we can provide Everett with a loving, stable, God-fearing home.  We know we are what is best for him.  Please pray with us!

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Fostercare Homestudy vs. Adoption Homestudy

I feel good.  I feel really good.  I feel good about Elijah and I feel good about Everett.  We had our adoption homestudy yesterday!  Whooohoooo!  I can’t believe we actually had a homestudy for ADOPTION!  I didn’t think this day would ever come.  We actually have a child we are able to adopt!  We started our adoption journey March 2012.  So, it’s been about a year and a half.  We actually didn’t start our foster/adoption classes until July 2012.  We NEVER thought it would be this quick.  I’m not trying to give anyone false hope.  We have been blessed so much, and I know there is no way anyone can guarantee you a time frame with adoption….especially with foster care.  Our situation is special.  Right place, right time kinda thing.  Elijah was our 3rd placement.

So yay!  The homestudy is over.  It was quick and painless.  I know adoption homestudies with agencies are much different than adoption homestudies through the state.  For one, we already have been fingerprinted, background checked, they know all our history, we’ve taken all the classes, and we’ve already had two homestudies to be foster parents.  So, if you want to read about our first foster care homestudy click here.  The second foster care homestudy was just our case worker coming back to make sure we had our fire extinguisher and fire alarm, etc.  Pretty much they have a check list and if you didn’t have everything checked off for the first study you have to have it by the second.  No biggie.

So, adoption homestudy.  We didn’t know what to expect, except we knew there would be an interview.  Interview is a scary word and brings back painful memories of sweaty palms and pantyhose.  Luckily none of that was involved and it was very informal.  We just sat in the living room and she asked us questions about Elijah’s health and well-being.  Is he adjusting well and do we have any future concerns for him?  Are we going to change his name, and maybe a few others.  They were super easy.  She said she didn’t have to interview him since he was so young.  Elijah was SO good while we were doing the interview.  The case worker was so impressed that he sat at his table and ate his whole meal and then asked if he could get up when he was finished.  He then played quietly in the next room, and later came in to read her his adoption book.  We were so proud of him, and so was she.  She said he was doing wonderfully and adjusting so well!  She was impressed that he could talk in full sentences and he listened and obeyed us.  We’ve been working really hard with him and he has grown so much over the past few months.

When you adopt a foster child they have to be in your home for 90 days before you can proceed with adoption.  Luckily they are counting his placement with us from day one, so we don’t have to wait another 90.  Now she has to write up her study and then we have to have an ISP.  You will learn about those if you go into fostering.  It’s just where everyone sits down and discusses the child’s future.  You have to meet at the Department of Human Resources and kinda make a plan and put everything in writing.  After the ISP I think there is more paperwork and then we get our court date.  Our caseworker acted like this shouldn’t take much time since we don’t have to wait the 90 days, and he should be officially ours before the end of the year!!!  *happy squeals*

The last thing she did during our homestudy is the safety check:  all medicines and cleaners locked up, evacuation plan posted, fire extinguisher in the right place, water temp below 120.

Some of you might wonder why I’m giving you all and the whole world such an in depth look into our lives.  I feel like by sharing our fostering/adoption stories and I can give you an insight to the unknown.  When we started we only knew of 2 foster families, one of them being my husband’s.

It is mostly for those of you considering adoption.  I want to show you how it will be if you adopt through your state.  I don’t like frills and ruffles.  I want to be as open an honest.  I want to show you all the good, bad, and ugly.  I think you deserve it.  I hope I’ve been mostly positive throughout this whole process.  Even though things move slow and we’ve sometimes been very frustrated with the “system,” I do highly recommend this type of adoption.  I can look back on how we felt about fostering a little over a year ago, and then I can look at how much it has blessed our lives, and these kid’s lives, and I know it was the right choice for our family.

Also, this blog is a timeline for us.  A newspaper, bulletin, journal, or chronicle, if you will, of our family.  Something we can look back on and share with our kids.  Something we can look back on and see how much we and our family have grown.

And lastly, we have friends and family far away that are just genuinely interested in how we are doing, coping, and just our day to day stuff.  It is for you too.

So, thank you all so much for tagging along as we share the wonderful whirlwind we call, Our Life.

Our latest photos:

Chalkboard and baby 003

Elijah is learning his letters and how to write his name (he had a little help.)


So You Think You are Ready

for your Newborn…  You’ve been around kids your whole life, huh?  You’re the oldest of four you say?  You’ve been a nanny for 7 seven years?  Impressive.  AHhaaaahhhaaaahhaaa *cue hysterical laughing…oh wait, I did.  🙂

That was me in a nutshell.  Bring on the babies I’d say!  But boy, I didn’t know anything.

“Sleep when the baby sleeps.”  I can’t tell you how many times I heard this from moms.  Oh okay, sure.  But I’m not tired at 8pm, I’m a night owl.  So, I would stay up to 11 or 12.  Guess what?  Baby has been asleep since 7pm, by 12am he is ready for his bottle.  He might doze off until 2am.  For the first 3 weeks my baby didn’t sleep from 2am to 7:30am, then Elijah was up at 8am and the baby was ready to sleep then.  I can honestly say there were 3 or so days that I was borderline insane….from lack of sleep.  I mean I didn’t sleep but 30 minutes or an hour.  Guess what?  I finally learned to go to sleep at 8 or 9.  🙂  Lack of Sleep = Crazy Lady…so just sleep when your baby sleeps for Pete’s sake!

I’m not sure if it’s a “normal” baby thing, but my baby would grunt and moan for hours every night.  He wasn’t making a bowel moment and he seemed in pain, though not actually crying.  I was so upset for him.  Luckily by 5 weeks he stopped that for the most part.  I think his little digestive system hadn’t fully developed yet.

There is an end to the lack of sleep, well at least for some moms and babies.  As your little one gets older he will start eating more, thus sleeping for longer stretches of time.  Everett finally starting getting more sleep when he was around 4 or 5 weeks, but he also would eat 3 or 4 oz of formula at a time instead of one or two.  He now sleeps for longer stretches, like 4 or 5 hours at a time.  So, I would say there is a speck of light at the end of the tunnel by 2 months, but all babies are different.

As far as feeding goes, I’ve never been one to actually wake a child up to feed.  Maybe if my kid slept for 12 hours at a time, I would get worried and do that.  Everett is awake most of the day, so that’s never been an issue.  I just feed him when he is hungry.  You want to look for hunger cues and feed them before they actually start screaming!  When they are itty bitty, you might not have a chance to look for “cues”.  Everett would scream as soon as he woke up with a small pang of hunger.  Now he has started moving his mouth and lips and nuzzling a little before he starts to cry.  I usually have plenty of time to make a bottle before the screaming starts.  But the first month was a different story.

Let’s talk spit-up since we are talking digestive issues.  Projectile vomiting is also normal.  My baby did this probably once a day until he was about 5 weeks.  Then he would immediately want to eat, which I thought was kinda gross.  If you think about it though, he just threw up his whole bottle, so he was hungry again!  White, chunky, spit-up…yup I found out that was normal too.  You might have to switch your baby’s formula.  We went from Gerber goodstart to Similac Sensitive.  I could immediately tell his stomach felt better, but the spit up still continued.  Now at 6 weeks, he barely spits up.  Again, I think his little system needed to develop more.  As long as your baby is steadily gaining weight, the doctors don’t seem to care…at least ours didn’t.  I pray you are blessed enough to be able to breast-feed, the perfect food for your little newborn.

On to poo.  Oh wow.  Everett passed meconium for probably 3 or 4 days.  Me being a girl, had no idea how to get that stuff off his “parts.”  I was so scared I would injure him.  That stuff is thick and sticky and almost impossible to get off.  It would take so long to change him.  If you’ve ever had a boy, you know how important it is to get the diaper changing thing over with quickly.  Everett would pee on me about 2 times per diaper change for the first 2 weeks.  Almost EVERY time.  Ain’t not joke.  He hasn’t done it since then.  Just make sure the  air is off in the room and there is no fan or breeze on when you change him.  Haha

After we got pass the meconium days, poo’ing got pretty crazy.  I mean 5 bowel movements a day, sometimes 3 in a row.  Our baby had a rough start so I don’t know if this is normal.  He would also scream when he went poo or if he had to pass gas.  The 5-a-days lasted a few weeks, now at 6 weeks old he goes once or twice and it’s much more pleasant for all of us.  Since I mentioned gas, lets cover that one real quick.  Gas is a beast.  I used the Little Remedies gripe water….I couldn’t really tell you if it worked though.  I ‘m not sure if it’s suppose to make them more gassy, so it gets it out of their tummy or make them less gassy.  Regardless, (sorry future, teenager, Everett) our boy has some gas.  At both ends.  And it is NOT fun for him.  It’s all day, everyday.  My friend told me an exercise you can do when they are cranky to get out the gas.  You just bend their knees into their chests for about 10 seconds and then straighten them, then repeat.  Thanks Kellie!  It usually rids him of some gas.  Don’t be surprised if  you baby turns beat red and is like, “What on earth is going on here?”

I hope I’ve covered everything.  These are all things I had no idea about,  going into being a mom of a newborn.  The first month is hard, real hard.  I’m not saying this to complain…not at all.  I would never intentionally complain about this precious gift God has given us.  I just thought maybe it would be helpful to someone else out there preggo with their first newborn or even a foster mom who might have or be getting a newborn.  It’s so scary being a parent.  The unknown is scary.  When your baby is hurting, it is scary.  Some days/nights I would just cry and cry with him, because I didn’t know how to help him.  I kept saying, he is fed, he is changed, he is warm…what is wrong???  Then he would burp and throw up and be all better.  You just never know, but as long as you are doing the best you can, you will be alright.  I don’t know if I’m qualified to answer questions on this topic, because I’m so new to this, but seriously, feel free to message me if you have any questions.  I promise it will get better.  The first month is very hard, but hey, it’s only a few short weeks.  Then your baby will be rolling around, smiling, and holding his head up.

Oh, one last thing.  I read that during the first month the only way a baby can communicate is cry.  By the second month he starts to coo and laugh, so hang in there, once you see that smile and hear that coo, you will forget about everything else!