The Stacy Chronicles

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Everett You are Adopted!!!

June 11, 2014

The day is finally here!  The day that we get to swear to love you and protect you forever.  You, Dada, and Mama already knew that day happened when you were placed in our arms, but we had to swear it before a judge so she would grant us legal custody of you.  Forever.  I mean, I know you will leave me one day for another woman, but I have 17 years before that happens buddy. 🙂  Seventeen years of all the kisses, hugs, and snuggles.  I can’t stop kissing you.  I know this will embarrass you if you read it in the future, but I can’t.  You have the squishiest little face, and the most beautiful lips.  Oh man, the best place is your neck and your little chin.  You die laughing when I kiss you there.  You are so fun to tickle and I always blow raspberries on your tummy during diaper changes.

Oh man, tearing up again.  It’s been an emotional week.  I absolutely cannot believe how big you have gotten, and how fast you have grown.  You will be ONE next month.  I wish I could stop it.  It’s really not fair or nice of you to grow so fast.  I wish I could pause time.  Tonight I was feeding you your bottle and snuggling with you, and realized that soon you won’t need me like that.  Soon, you will be “too big” or “too old” for your mama to hold you and feed you.

Let’s talk about your day!  We slept in a bit, got dressed and then I wanted to get a few pictures of us together.  Dada was at work so Elijah took some pictures with my phone.  He might make a good little photographer one day!  Dada came home from work and got ready then we headed to McAlister’s to eat lunch with your godparents.  Mr. Jim, Mrs. Jennifer, Julianna, and Cameron met us for lunch.  One day you will truly appreciate having good Christian people in your life.  These people stick around for the good and the bad.  They will laugh with you, but also cry with you when you need it.  The Murrells are that type of family and that is why we picked them to care for you and your brother if anything were to happen to mama or dada.  We had a wonderful visit and lunch.  You ate chicken from my salad.  You are such a good eater, but very impatient.  I guess it’s good that you love food as much as the rest of us!

After lunch we headed to the probate judge’s office.  We had to wait a while and then we were all allowed to come back to her office.  She and the lawyer read all the legal stuff and we swore to take great care of you.  Then you were pronounced a Stacy!  It was amazing!  We love you so much baby Everett!  You bring so much joy to everyone you meet.  I’m so proud to be called your Mama.  God picked us out the most perfect baby boy.

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Baby Everett You are 9 Months Old!

You know I love you, right?  BUT oh. my. stars!  You are a path of destruction!!!  I can barely keep up with you, even with Elijah telling on you nonstop.  Mama, never quite expected this!  Now I know why people are always saying kids keep you young.  If you are not wrapped on my back, we are all three running around the house trying to find you.

Here are some things you love to get into:

  • you love to crawl to the tub and push all the bottles off the side into the tub.
  • toilet paper.  need I say more.
  • anything on the ground you eat.  bugs, paper, food, dirt, hair…maybe I should sweep more.
  • anything in your brother’s room.  we clean.  you destroy.

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You popped out your second tooth about a week after your first, so last month.  It didn’t hurt you nearly as bad.

You don’t say any new words, but babble ALL the time!

You fall asleep in the car.  You love your new car seat.

You only say “mama” when you cry.

You still smile at EVERYONE.  They love to see your toothy grin.

I haven’t found a single food you don’t like to eat.  You seriously love ALL food, like your brother.

You are sleeping in your crib like a champ, and usually only wake up around 5:30am.

You currently, and have for about a month, walk all around the room holding on to furniture.

You can even stand up while holding on to smooth surfaces, like cabinets and walls.

You crawl properly now, with your tummy off the floor.

Daddy bought us a new wrap for my birthday.  It’s a rainbow wrap since you are my rainbow baby.  You love it, and often grab and chew on it.  I think you like all the colors.

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We had an amazing 1st Easter as a family.  I hope to come back and add the family pictures we took on here.  For now, here is one of all the kiddos at church:

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Update on your adoption.  The case worker just came by this week.  They are still waiting on some of your medical information from the hospital.  After all that comes in, they have to write up a report and get papers for us to sign, then we go to court.  So, just more waiting.  We are praying to be finished with it all in May, but it could take until June.

We love you so much BooBoos!  You are growing up to be an incredible young man.  You seem to have the best personality.  I can barely remember when they placed you in our arms at 4 days old.  You are such a big boy now, and we grow more and more in love with you every day.

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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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Daddy and Mommy and Baby #2

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Mommy.  The sweetest word I’ve ever heard…and I’ve heard it about 237 times in the last day.  I love it.  It is surreal.  Three years old is a lot different from a year and a half.  Not in a bad way or a good way…just different.  Our Little Man came to us Wednesday at 6pm.  Our first night was difficult because Jeff had a speaking engagement and we got Little Man an hour before services.  I decided to keep him with me and attend our usual congregation.  He had already been to a GI doctor almost 2 hours away.

He did really good.  I stayed with him in bible class…I didn’t want him to think I was going to leave him right after I got him.  He asked to go home.  And then asked to go home, pwease.  I knew he was so tired.  Daddy didn’t get home until after bedtime.  Bedtime was a little rough.  I went to check in on him and the light from the hall woke him up.  Then he started crying.  I curled my body up on the teeny toddler bed and he wrapped both arms around my neck so tight!  I couldn’t even lay my head down.  Major choke hold.  His little face was squished up on mine and he was sweating and breathing in my ear.  Choke hold or not, I was choking back tears.  He called me mommy twice on the first night.  He also kept asking about Daddy.  You see, he got to meet daddy for about 10 minutes before Jeff had to leave.  Little Man was enamored from the first moment he laid eyes on his Daddy.  He followed him around the room, put his hand on Jeff’s arm, and when Jeff went to leave Little Man said, “where you goin”?  Haha…can’t sneak away from this one!

Boy, does he talk.  It is totally incredible.  He’s super sweet.  I know the first two weeks are always the easiest.  I know he is trying to please us.  I really hope he stays this way because he is incredible!

He knows so much.  Things that I would never imagine a three year old could know!  And he remembers everything!  I’m astonished and it’s only the first day!  He has said so many cute things today and I wish I would have written them down…I’m so utterly exhausted I can’t think straight.

Everything they say is true.  Boys are so different from girls.  He’s 90 to nothing all day long.  I wish I could bottle up his energy and sell it.  I’d be a millionaire.  He understands everything.  It’s so different having a baby that you can communicate with.  He says “I gotta pee pee mommy” and off we go.  “I want my milk-cup mommy”, “this is good mommy”, “thank you mommy”.  He is so polite and respectful.  He knows please, thank you, you’re welcome, yes ma’am, yes sir, and so on.  Then there is some saying about a 3 year old being like a teenager or some sort of connection.  I agree with that one too.  Again, mind blown!

This age is so fun, but I feel like I can’t keep up.  I feel OLD.  I know we are pushing 30, but really…should my body feel this way?  Momma’s got a new bedtime and it starts with a 9. 🙂


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Foster/Adopt Timeline

Daniel and Laura 138

We have always leaned on one another for support, but now more than ever.  Here is a quick rundown of our story and where we are at right now in our lives.  Jeff and I have been married for 8 years, 1 month, and 11 days.  We are more in love today than we have ever been.  Though our family has faced many trials and pain we are glued together.  We have found that if you put God first in your marriage and your lives, you can overcome anything.

I’ve know of a lot of couples calling it quits after facing infertility.  They say that hardships can tear your marriage apart or make you stronger.  We’ve decided that we will let it make us stronger.

We started trying to conceive 5 years ago this coming April.  We have lost one child (I was about 8 weeks along. I might share this story one day with you).  We tried for a biological child for one year before I decided to go see my OB/GYN.  I had been charting my cycle for 6 months and he said it appeared I had been ovulating.  We were sent to Montgomery to a fertility specialist named Dr. Allemand.  He works with the ART program.  Jeff and I both underwent numerous tests and procedures, some very painful and expensive.  If you are in the same boat and are curious about our specific struggles please feel free to email me.  I’d love to help or just be there to listen.

We have done 3 IUI’s.  All three were medicated.  The last one I had injected a large amount of hormones into me.  I had grown around 10 – 15 fully matured eggs.  My ovaries were so fully I couldn’t get out of bed.  I was in so much pain, but I knew “this is gonna be it.”  “It’s going to work this time.”  Well, it didn’t.  I’m pretty sure there is a link between fertility drugs and getting cancer later in life.  Whatever the case, I know extended use with drugs of any kind have risks.  I didn’t feel like it was healthy anymore and neither did Jeff.  We were tired of putting our bodies and minds through so much.  Our hearts were aching.  The pain every single month of knowing you did every thing you could to conceive and you still fell short.  It was hurting us.

March 2012.  I met a friend at a lectureship in Memphis that had saw my facebook status.  “Moving on to adoption, please post any happy stories or experiences with us.” ((something to that effect))  She informs me of a program in China that she heard about that helps Christian families adopt for half the cost of a normal Chinese adoption.  When we get home they email us the contact information of the director.

April 2012.  Lots of emails and phone calls.  We set up a meeting for June 17th.  We can’t wait.

May 2012.  I’ve been in contact with a foster mom in China who has a little girl that needs to be adopted.  We tell Ron (the man helping us adopt from China) about her.  He says it might work, but will be hard since she is in a government ran orphanage not a Christian one.  Also, we complete our third IUI with no success.

June 2012.  The government orphanage wants “bribe” money for Eliana.  It’s going to be too expensive and we have no guarantee that they will let us adopt after they receive the money.  We meet with Ron and his wife and decide we won’t be able to pursue adoption of Eliana.  They say we are number 3 on the list to be able to adopt out of one of their 6 orphanages, but we will have to be willing to accept a special needs child.  Also, It is going to be very difficult to adopt from China because we are under 30.  The law says you have to be 30.  We are 26 and almost 28.

July 2012.  We decide it will be best to go ahead and have a homestudy, and for future adoptions we decide we will adopt through the state.  We started our 10 week program with our county.  The classes are every Monday night for 3 hours.

August 2012.  Grateful for the classes, they pass the time.  We are really getting to know one another well and figure out how we developed a lot of traits because of our upbringing.  During our 5th class we ask the social worker about adopting a baby or younger child.  She informs us it is practically unheard of.  The youngest child in the system available for adoption is 8.  She tells us our best chance is to foster first then we will have the first option to adopt after the family.  Of course we say no, we aren’t ready for that.  By the next class we knew we were going to be foster parents. *note

September 2012.  We are finger printed.  We have completed our First Aid and CPR classes.  We have all of our paperwork turned in and finish the classes September 10th.  First homestudy was scheduled for the beginning of September.  Our case worker called the day of to tell us she couldn’t come.  We tried to reschedule for the following week.  It never worked out.  She acted like it wasn’t a rush.  Since we had some remodeling work to do on our house she said we could wait until we get that finished.

October 2012.  Working on the house.

November 2012.  Working on the house.  Enjoying the holidays.

December 2012.  We are ready!  Things aren’t perfect, but at least we have the paint and chemicals locked up.  We were told through a friend we would have to have references.  I asked the social worker and she was like, oh yeah, hmmm….maybe they didn’t get them.  So she sends me the forms and informs me that to foster we have to have so many filled out before we are approve….well, thanks for telling us!  We get them sent out and our first homestudy is scheduled for the 11th.  She takes 5 minutes to run through the house.  Looks like we just need to put up our fire alarm and take down our gas heater.  You can read that post here.  The final homestudy was on the 19th and again took 5 minutes.  (I’ve heard there are tons more steps and time involved if you adopt through a private agency)  During the last homestudy we found out that if we wanted to foster a baby we would need a crib.  Here is the post about that.  We enjoyed Christmas, but were really wishing we had babies in our arms to enjoy it with us.

January 2013.  It’s a new year!  Ron informs us that we are #1 on the list to adopt from China.  Yippee!  He says they haven’t had babies in months, but they are doing everything they can to find us one.  I have emailed our social worker a few times.  She says she’s busy.  I wait a few weeks, email a couple more times, no response.

February 2013.  The month of love is here and we still have no babies to love on.  I decide to call the supervisor (the one who has to sign off on our paperwork).  She informs me that there is nothing left for us to do.  It’s in their hands.  They are swamped.  She can’t tell me if it will be weeks or months.  Nothing.  Still waiting

*note: Our goal is to ADOPT.  We totally understand that there is a huge chance we won’t get to adopt all or most of the kids we foster.  Fostercare is set up as a “temporary” home for the kids until they can go back home to their parents.  Jeff and I want the children to be reunited with their parents if their parents will love and take care of them.  The ideal situation would be for a child to be with their birth parents.  Sometimes it’s not possible.  We don’t want to sabotage any chance for the children to go home.  We do know there are children whose parents cannot or will not change and get their lives in order so they can get their kids back.  We want to adopt these kids.

While we will have some children we are blessed to be able to foster and only foster, we know that the short time we have them will be a blessing for them and us.  We can show them unconditional love, we can teach them about our Father in heaven, we can introduce them to new friends at church, we will meet all their physical and emotional needs, we will give them back to their birth parents.  That is the best we can do.  We know it will hurt.  We know deep down we will want to keep every. single. child.  We know we can’t.  We are okay with that.

We want to impact as many children as we can.  Hopefully one day, one or two or three of them will get to live with us. forever.