Monday, December 31, 2007
In 2007, I have experienced more events in one year than I probably have in the 9 years prior put together.
It all started in January when Jonathan's father went in for surgery. As he was being wheeled into recovery, his heart stopped for several minutes and although they were able to revive him, we spent the next 6 weeks at St. Thomas hospital. He is alive and doing so amazingly well today. We didn't plan for that to happen, but it did and although it was so scary and hard on the entire family, it changed me. For the first time in my adult life, I truly GOT IT that God was in control. I still remember sitting in the bathroom floor near the J-POD (intensive care) and that song "God is in control" was playing over and over in my mind. It was my prayer and I was grasping to it, because I didn't know if I could face watching my husband lose his father, watching my mother-in-law lose her soul-mate, watching my children lose their Papa Sam and me lose my King (that's what I call Papa Sam). God was in control and he allowed Sam to live.
In March, we went to Disney with some of Jonathan and I's best friends...Kim and Chris Thomas for her 30th birthday. It was there that I felt such a reconnect with my husband...getting to watch him be childlike at Disney was amazing (he had never been before) and what was even better was being able to experience it with some amazing friends that I know God put us with. We didn't plan at the beginning of the year to get to go on an amazing trip with them, but God knew we would go and he knew that it would be Jonathan and I's last trip as a couple before we started on yet another journey: the adoption of Mary Elizabeth.
We started that journey the day after we arrived home from Disney. You've read that journey here. We didn't plan to learn everything that we have, but God knew we would and that is why he allowed us to experience it. He knew that M.E. would need a home at just the right time and he put it on our hearts at just the right time so that we could be her family.
In July, wow, where do I start in July....God blessed us with Maggie! I didn't plan on loving my niece as much as I do, but wow, I can't wait for even more nieces and nephews (if they are this great...can you imagine how awesome grandkids are going to be one day!) God also spared Jonathan's life when some crazy woman ran him off the road and totaled the Yukon XL. He also led us to buy the house we are in. We didn't plan to do any of those things when we started 2007, but God knew we would and he prepared our hearts, minds, finances, etc. to be prepared for those changes that he knew would be coming.
On July 30th, my life as I know it changed in probably the most impactful night of my life. The night Josh died and God gave him back. I'm not sure I can put into words what it was like to see him there and to feel so incredibly helpless. What I can tell you is that while I was on the phone with 911, I remember saying to my sister, "Ali, God is in control" and the operator said, "Yes, HE is" To see a 25 year old man that is strong, healthy, etc. lay there with no life left in him is such a humbling experience and although I wish none of you to ever witness it, I hope my small description will allow you to "see" it enough to know how fragile our life truly is. Josh didn't plan for his heart to stop on July 30th, but God knew it would and he prepared each of us in his own way for that moment. He allowed Jonathan and I to be living there so that Alison wouldn't be alone, he allowed Maggie to be born so that Alison would be up to nurse her; therefore, noticing that Josh was having a seizure, I could go on and on. My point is...God was and is in control.
On October 13th, as we buckled Mary Elizabeth into her car seat and started the drive home from Jackson, TN I was again reminded that I didn't plan on having another child in 2007. Oh how I would have laughed out loud at the suggestion at the beginning of the year! And yet, the precious gift he gave us that day was the best unplanned gift I had ever been given!
I could go on with so many more examples....so many God things (many of which I have posted about here), losing friends to cancer, changing jobs, new friendships formed, etc. but I hope you get the point that I am typing all this because this is the time of year where we make resolutions. We lay out all these things we hope will happen. We will loose weight, start exercising, get organized, return phone calls faster (that's a jab at myself), go to church, etc. but how often do you really follow through? At the end of each year, as you start to pack up your tree, are you left with a feeling that it just flew by again and it's time to start another list that you probably won't keep up with 2 months later?
For the first time in my life, I can honestly say that this year, I allowed God to be in control in my life. It wasn't always easy and I screwed up a ton. BUT I never stopped trusting in him...I really didn't. Even as we drove to the hospital and I just knew Josh might be dead, I had peace that passed any understanding because I knew that my HEAVENLY FATHER was in control. Was I scared? YES! But did I trust in him? YES!
So this year, instead of making your lists of resolutions, how about planning on trusting God. Really digging in and letting go of your own devices and trusting your Daddy instead. If you don't know him in a real and personal way, I would love to sit down with you and share with you how to do that. It has changed my life and all he wants of us is to tell others about the change it has made in our lives.
Sorry this took so long, but I just felt I needed to say it. Before I leave you, I wanted to share this piece of scripture with you from the Old Testament. As I said in the beginning, I've been praying about this for a few days. There is a lady in our adoption group that had been waiting for over 2 years to adopt and got word a few days ago that they had been picked to parent a little boy. Her faithfulness has always impressed me because I don't know if I would be so steadfast if I had been waiting for over 2 years. Anyway, this was the verse she put in her post to let us know she was now a mommy...how funny that God had already laid this on my heart.
But these things I plan won't happen right away, slowly, steadily, surely, the time approaches when the vision will be fulfilled. If it seems slow, do not despair, for these things will surely come to pass. Just be patient! They will not be overdue a single day!
Happy New Year to all of you! Brea
Sunday, December 30, 2007
My mom came over to watch the kids and Jonathan and I showed up a few minutes before 6pm. I was just happy to see lights on at the office, as I was certain that they had been mistaken when they had called with the appointment time (keeping in mind, that I was knocked out so they had left the appt. time/day with Jonathan-I love you hun, but sometimes, well you know). I walked in, signed in like normal and thought, well, I guess this is 2007...I guess this is just what they do now-a-days.
The lady proceeds to call me back and does the normal small talk as we walk to the back. We keep walking and walking until she opens the rear door marked EXIT. We are now standing in the parking lot behind the office. I stop and look at her like "what are we doing lady?" and she says, "oh, the MRA is in here" and points to the tractor trailer parked in the back of this parking lot.
You have got to be kidding me.
Only Brea would have an MRA on a Sunday night at 6pm in a tractor trailer parked behind the doctor's office. Am I the only one that finds this weird?
It was fast and easy though so hopefully I will know the results soon and all will be well.
Saturday, December 29, 2007
I am drinking water like a mad woman trying to push the meds out of my system and trying not to think about what if it's not the meds. Oh well....
Demerol is definitely going on the list of "I'm never taking it again" meds.
If I haven't called you back yet, I promise I will...
Friday, December 28, 2007
Christmas was awesome! We had a very low key Christmas and I wouldn't change a thing. I promise to get pics posted soon.
Until Wednesday 12/26, I had a migraine for 6 days straight. FINALLY got in touch with my neurologist who wanted me to get knocked out ASAP so that I did at 1pm-ish on the 26th. I really woke up this morning although I still don't feel 100% with it. I am having an MRA Sunday at 6pm (yes, I know, weird time) so please say a prayer if you get a chance. I had an MRI several weeks ago that showed a decreased level of blood flow in some parts of my brain so this MRA will show them if there is a blockage and the condition of the actual arteries. There's a good chance that it will show everything is normal and that the last MRI was a fluke. There is also a chance that I have some blockage that could be causing these horrible migraines. At any rate, we probably won't know much until Wednesday as they are closed Monday and Tuesday for the holiday. The MRA is really no big deal and the good news is that the migraine is GONE for now! The bad thing is that I hate that I don't remember the last two days of my life (and that I missed some awesome shopping!)
I'll keep you posted and get this blog updated soon!
Saturday, December 22, 2007
Thursday, December 13, 2007
Sounds silly, but they are.
Today, December 13th, Mary Elizabeth has been home with us exactly 2 months. It seems like she has been with us forever. We went for her 4 month check-up last week and she was 7 lbs 6 ozs and 18.75 inches!
Eleven years ago today, Jonathan proposed to me. I had just had a horrible day at work and was driving home with my sister to help put up the Christmas tree at my parents house. On the way home, we saw a shooting star and I told my sister that hopefully that meant my night was going to be better than the day. I had no idea Jonathan was at my parent's house at that moment asking for my dad's permission. Now, I can't believe it has been 11 years! I love you honey!
Many of you will remember our friends Tom and Stephanie McMinn. Stephanie passed away in September after a LONG and HARD fight with breast cancer. Just a few short weeks later, Tom's brother was killed in a car wreck. My heart is burdened for him often. I can't explain it really. I think about Molly, their little girl. What it will be like for her to grow up without a great mom, and boy was she great. I think about Tom and how lonely he must be, especially this time of year.
Today, out of habit, I check Stephanie's old blog site and I found this. I just had to share it with you.
Sunday December 2, 2007
I was inspired to write something today. This came to me while sitting in the morning service at South Main. I sat behind a couple...my age. The wife had her arm around her husband and was stroking his hair. The reality of sitting without a spouse hits me. My thoughts hit memory lane. I start tearing up. After I process the thoughts, another thought is triggered. It's not about me. I fold my bulletin and begin writing on the back...
IT'S NOT ABOUT ME
Regardless of how well I handle or don't handle the loss of my lover and precious one...
IT'S NOT ABOUT ME
Regardless of how I handle the loss of my brother and spiritual life encourager...
IT'S NOT ABOUT ME
Regardless of the many tears I cry because of the pain I feel over these losses and the disruption to my life...
IT'S NOT ABOUT ME
Regardless of how crazy my life becomes financially or otherwise...
IT'S NOT ABOUT ME
Regardless of the struggle I'm facing to raise a daughter in a fallen world that offers nothing but despair...
IT'S NOT ABOUT ME
Regardless of my spiritual inadequacies, physical limitations, personality flaws...I do have a few...
IT'S NOT ABOUT ME
IT'S SIMPLY NOT ABOUT THOMAS CARL MCMINN.
I know God has a plan. And, I know this about His plan. His plan was never for me to suffer. It was never His plan for death to be a part of life. It was never His plan for any of us to want for anything. So...here is what it is about...
IT IS ABOUT HIS UNCONDITIONAL LOVE.
IT IS ABOUT CHANGE...TRANSFORMATION...RENEWAL.
IT IS ABOUT THE LIFE, DEATH AND RESURRECTION OF GOD'S ONLY BEGOTTEN SON.
IT IS ABOUT A HOLY GOD THAT WANTS A DIVINE RELATIONSHIP REVOLUTION LIKE OUR PLANET HAS NEVER SEEN.
Mmmm...God you know me....please don't let me get in the way...I want to be able to want what you want. Continue to work your will out in my life.
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
A few weeks ago, I realized that some of my dear friends/family have yet to come and see Mary Elizabeth. Honestly, we don't get out that much and usually when people have a baby, people flock. So the question is....is race the issue?
Monday, December 10, 2007
When I started the adoption journey, I never dreamed I would meet such incredible women in the process. Alison Bynum is one of my great friends that I have met and instantly bonded with and I am so glad that we get to raise our daughters together.
I met another girl in the adoption process, Kelly, and we actually got to meet in real life at the Bethany New Friends dinner November 13th. She and I have talked on the phone quite a bit through both of our waiting processes and she just got the call that she is going to be a mommy to a baby boy! He was born November 28th (my boys' birthday!) and I am just so excited that we all get to raise our children together!
Lord, you are so good. You know the sincere desires of our hearts and you bless us so much when we follow your will. THANK YOU for yet another precious gift! You are SO good!
Thursday, December 6, 2007
Jackson Hall Thomas
7 lbs, 20 inches
How sweet is McKinley as a big sister?
Tuesday, December 4, 2007
Memo: Sofa Express and More to begin closing stores
Clint Engel -- Furniture Today, 12/3/2007 1:28:00 PM
Store managers receive letter today
GROVEPORT, Ohio. — Sofa Express and More is telling its employees that it will begin closing stores Tuesday, according to a store manager who asked not to be identified.
The Top 100 company sent a letter to store managers today saying it knows the past few weeks have been stressful and asked that “you hold on for one more day.”
Attached was a notification letter to employees stating that “despite attempts to secure our financial future, Sofa Express has determined that it must close your facility due to its financial situation, resulting in the termination of your employment.”
The letter said that closings would begin Dec. 4, but that the date employees would lose their jobs hasn’t been determined.
The manager who confirmed the information believed that similar letters went to all Sofa Express and More managers. At this store, employment already has been cut by more than half, the manager said.
Sofa Express is owned by Klaussner, which has referred question to Sofa Express President and CEO Woolard Harris. Harris has not returned calls seeking comment.
The manager said the letters today have been the only substantial communication stores have received from Sofa Express corporate since Nov. 8, when they were told they could no longer do custom orders.
The company currently has 44 stores, primarily in Ohio, Tennessee, Florida and the Carolinas.
Monday, December 3, 2007
SOFA EXPRESS AND MORE
Yes, Genevieve from Trading Spaces, you are really cute on those commercials, and I'll give you credit, I love 99% of everything you have in your cute little salesroom. I even love the cute little lady that waited on us and was oh so helpful in helping us pick out our $5,000 in furniture that we paid CASH for. That's where the niceness stops. On August 31, 2007, I ordered the last of my $5,000 of furniture that I paid cash for (I'm not bitter) which was a $1,400 dining room table with TWO leaves and 6 chairs. At that point, I had not gotten my first order of furniture in otherwise this order would have never taken place. But, alas, it did.
A few weeks later I get a phone call while I am at the consignment sale asking me why I am not home since the delivery men are in my driveway with my dining room table, 2 leaves and 6 chairs. Why was I not there? Well, b/c you never called to tell me anyone was coming. Sorry, I forgot to check my crystal ball last night before going to bed. I had to get my mother-in-law to hurry to the house to let them in with the furniture. When I got home that night, I noticed that I only had 1 leaf (or is that leave?) and two of the chairs had scratches on them. So I called my cute little sales lady and told her and she said, "no problem, doll, I'll take care of it" and she did. They politely called me a couple of weeks later to tell me that they couldn't just bring me a new leaf/leave b/c the leaves are custom made to match each table so they would have to bring me a new table with 2 leaves. Ok, fine. So they are supposed to come between 12-4. At 7pm they show up (in the middle of a dinner party we are having) where the not so nice delivery man tells me that "that table never came with no two leaves" and turn arounds and leaves. I won't bore you with more details, but needless to say, 2 1/2 weeks ago was their 5th time to my house to replace the table in which they didn't even come but tried to say they did.
I finally called and told them just to come get the table, I wanted my money back. The manager, Zach at Bowling Green, since Rivergate doesn't have one tells me that they will get a check right out to me since they keep messing up. I had to ask him, "what about the table?" and he said, "oh someone will call to come get that." Then, I get the call the other day that they will be here to pick THEIR table up on December 7? Do I have a check? NO.
So, now...I am in a dilemma...do I let them have a table and wait weeks to get a refund check from corporate meanwhile spending the holidays with no dining room table? Do I keep the table and be ticked that I paid $1400 for something that is damaged and they still haven't made right?
MY POINT: NEVER BUY ANYTHING FROM SOFA EXPRESS AND MORE!!! Can't wait to hear your stories!
Sunday, December 2, 2007
From Jennifer Jones:
We are adopting a baby!!! WIN A 3 NIGHT STAY IN GATLINBURG, TN!! Purchase a $5 ticket for your chance to win a 3 night stay in a 1 bedroom cabin in Gatlinburg, TN for March 7,8 & 9, 2008. My husband and I manage a cabin rental company here in Gatlinburg and one of our cabin owners donated these three nights to us to help us with our adoption fund. See cabin here: http://www.americascabins.com/twilight/twilight.html
To purchase tickets or keep up with their progress, check out their website at www.JonesAdoption.net
Thursday, November 29, 2007
Monday, November 26, 2007
A few weeks ago, J and I decided it was time to up our life insurance. On 11/16, a nurse came to the house to draw blood and get a urine sample for my life insurance screening. Side note: I find it hilarious that the nurse smelled like a 6 pack of beer and Camel lights and she was here to check to make sure I was healthy. Anyway, in the mail today was my lab results. Oh joy!
As I was looking through everything, I was silently doing the "good job Brea" and "yeah, you still got it" b/c all my numbers were great. Then, I got to Cholesterol. Normal is 140-199. Mine was 209 and this was after fasting for 13 hours!!! Not only that, but my LDL (THE BAD CHOLESTEROL) was 129 and normal is 0-129. Yes, I am getting old. My cholesterol is high. What the crap!?!?! Not only that, but my cover letter tells me that because of my high cholesterol, I am putting myself at an increased risk of heart disease. Gee, thanks.
Friday, November 23, 2007
Thursday, November 22, 2007
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
Now, you are essentially an oddball if you don't have one (even if you hardly ever post to it) Yes, it is a great place to share family news, pics from a recent vacation, or a new pet...but, it can be so much more than that. It can be a place where people see Jesus in you through your writing.
I found yet another example of that today. Patti Keitzman is a consignor at my consignment sale. She actually was at the first one I did 3 years ago where I was practically begging people to bring their stuff (my how times have changed!). Her husband, Brad, taught with my sister Alison so she found out about the sale through her. My sister has said multiple times through through the years how much she admired Brad Keitzman as a teacher. On October 31, he was officially diagnosed with cancer and he died today. You know, I won't pretend that they were dear, close friends or that I even knew them that well. I also won't pretend to know how they feel. What I do know is that this family needs us to pray for them....they have two young daughters. Although their blog doesn't have too much detail, I just felt Jesus while reading it. Check it out if you get a chance...www.keitzman.blogspot.com
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
Tuesday, November 6, 2007
THANKS so much for the sweet emails I have gotten since my blog post on Sunday. I promise I'm not depressed and mom, I promise I will ask you for money if we really need it. I'm being silly, but seriously, I put that out there so that people would see that there are many different facets to the adoption process. It's hard when your heart tells you to do one thing but sometimes your checkbook holds you back.
I do FEEL better...sometimes just putting your feelings out there is enough and for me, that was certainly true. Just venting on the blog made me feel so much better and after spending some time in prayer, I realized that this is yet another way that the process of adopting our daughter has truly changed me (and in a good way). So what if I don't have a new pair of jeans in the next few months or if I don't eat out as much, I have a wonderful new daughter that the Lord has blessed us with and for that, I will always be greatful!
Sunday, November 4, 2007
Everyone keeps asking how are we doing? We are really doing great. Mary Elizabeth is such a blessing to us and if I didn't know it, I love her like I birthed her myself. I find myself thinking about her birthmother. How she is doing. What it feels like for her as she looks at her other three girls and realizes that one more is missing. If she feels guilty. If she's a monster. If she's a lot like me.
The kids are doing great with her. Anna loves her so much and seeing her with Mary Elizabeth is yet another example that we were totally following in God's will.
Sometimes I find that I want to pinch myself because it seems like yesterday we started this process and we already have our daughter home with us. It makes me sad for all the people who wish to adopt that have waited for years. Other times it feels like the journey to M.E. was the longest road I've ever walked. It changed me. It made me see the world in a whole new light. It made me want to be different and by my being different, to help change the world.
The hardest part of the journey beside the wait? The finances. I haven't talked about that much in this journey but it is a fact of the process. And it sucks. I hate feeling like we are broke. I knew that it would take a lot of money, but it makes me mad that we don't qualify for grants simply because we make too much money. They don't look at the years it took us to pay crap off (granted, that was our own mistakes, but hey...it's my blog...) and the fact that we aren't rolling in it even though we may have a decent income. They don't look at the fact that we were currently supporting 3 children and funding college funds and paying health insurance. I never felt comfortable asking for money to help fund this journey simply because I knew there were others who needed it worse than us, but I can't lie and say that it doesn't hurt to know that we probably won't be able to open our home more in the future simply because it costs so freaking much to do this. That makes me sad.
SO that's the mood I'm in today....I need to give it to God and move on.
Thursday, November 1, 2007
Monday, October 29, 2007
Saturday, October 27, 2007
So, they had a little going away party for the gal in their office and they called Walmart to order the cake. This is what they wanted on the cake:
"Best Wishes Suzanne" and underneath that write "We will miss you".
This is what they got:
Sunday, October 21, 2007
Tom's wife, Stephanie, passed away on September 1st after a LONG fight with breast cancer. She is so greatly missed by everyone that knew her, but mostly by her husband Tom and daughter Molly. I won't even to pretend to understand what the last 7 weeks have been like for them without Stephanie.
Today we found out that Tom's oldest brother was killed in a car accident yesterday in NC where they live. He is also Tom's pastor. I know the whole church and family is hurting so much and yet, I found it refreshing to read Tom's words on his blog tonight.
"My aim in life is not to live long enough to see all of my loved ones near and dear to me die. But at this rate, I feel like I'm being picked on. Well, take two seconds to pity me if necessary, I know that my options are just as they were when Stephanie passed seven weeks and one day ago. I will remain resolved in my faith and pray God will use me."
Sweet Tom, you are already being used so much. Your faith is amazing and should be an example to all of us who think we have it tough. Our prayers are with you tonight.
P.S. I will try to get this sucker updated tonight :)
Today is Emma Grace's birthday. Such a special day for me. It was 3 years ago on October 17 that we announced to our church family that we had decided to adopt from China. At that time, we had no information on her. Basically, all we knew was that we would be getting a daughter from China within the next year. We asked our church family to keep our journey in their prayers and to also keep Emma Grace in their prayers. We wanted her to be safe, healthy, be loved and very well taken care of by her caretakers.
Imagine our joy when we got our referral and saw her birth date...October 18!! One day after we announced it to the church. She had prayers going up for her before she was even born....actually with the time difference...when we announced it...it was actually 10:00 am on October 18 in China. Our paperwork shows that she was born around 10:30. Isn't is amazing how God works?? I love it!!
Anyway, fast forward 3 years and we have the most beautiful, loving, caring, intelligent child (of course...I am not biased).
She has filled our lives with so much joy, happiness and laughter. The love that she has brought to our home is overwhelming. I am amazed every day at the wonderful gift that God has granted to Jason and I.
Along with the joy that we have on this day...I can't help but have a little bit of sadness. I have so many thoughts of her birthmother today. Oh, what I would give to meet her, know her, hug her and thank her for the wonderful sacrifice she made. I know that somewhere in Jiangxi, China is a wonderful loving woman who is hurting today. I imagine she wonders about her little girl...where she is, how she is doing, what she looks like. I know she wonders these things b/c it wasn't so long ago that I would stand on my back porch at night, looking at the moon and wondering the same things. Knowing that somewhere on the other side of the world was a baby that I had not yet seen or held, but that I already loved so much with every fiber of my being.
Today, I hug my child and I lavish so much love and attention on her, but tonight when I lay down to rest from the activity of the day, I will think of her Mu-Qing (moo-ching)(birthmother). I will shed tears for her and pray for her, as I do daily. I pray that God will give her peace about her decision and that somehow she knows that Emma Grace is taken care of and very much loved and adored. I give thanks also to God for her....because without her, I would not be a mother to God's wonderful gift....my daughter, Emma Grace.
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
P.S. The beautiful quilt they are laying on was made by Mary Elizabeth's interim family. THANKS to Betty and her amazing family!
Anyway, the kids and I stayed home while Jonathan went to church. My parents were driving home from Florida and they were the first to arrive. They were so excited and I loved when I told them we were coming home on Saturday, my mom burst into tears in a department store in Florida and my dad said, "Now that I KNOW she is coming home, I can get excited and NOW I AM EXCITED!" Keep in mind that they drove home after being in Florida for 2 days!
When they walked in the door and saw her, they couldn't believe how tiny she was. They both couldn't wait to hold her.
Soon after mom and dad got here, Angie, Robert and Alexandra arrived to see her. Alexandra was fascinated and Angie was so excited to see her, especially in her new preemie outfit she had gotten her. THANKS ANG!
Because she was so premature, the doctors only want Mary Elizabeth being held for short periods of time right after she eats. They want her to spend most of her time sleeping so that she will continue to grow and not get over stimulated. Everyone left and we spent some time just being quiet.
Then, Aunt Janie and Uncle Dickie (my dad's brother) called and wanted to come by. We hadn't told hardly anyone that we were home so we just figured that my mom and dad had called them. When they came in, they were both shocked to see Mary Elizabeth! They had no idea she was home...they were just coming by to drop off a gift. Their reaction was priceless. Aunt Janie just kept saying "Oh! Oh!" with a shocked look on her face. She couldn't wait to hold her and again, they were shocked at how tiny she is. Then Uncle Dickie held her and did the most amazing thing...he started crying. Janie said she had never seen him react that way, but he said he was just so happy for her and so excited that she would be raised in a Christian home. Of course, it made me cry! It was just so sweet.
We were so anxious to see Alison, Josh and Maggie who were traveling home from Indiana. They arrived soon after Dickie and Janie arrived and again, it was awesome for them to meet Mary Elizabeth.
Grandmother, Isaac and Luke really enjoyed watching me feeding her a bottle and they loved her "drama queen" burps.
Papa Sam doesn't hold little babies....he's more comfortable with babies that are old enough to walk! Grandmother, on the other hand, couldn't wait to get her hands on little sprout. Papa Sam was pooped so they headed out. Mary Elizabeth had not had a real bath since Tuesday and was pretty stinky (trust me, her formula STINKS!) so it was time for her first bath at home. Let me preface this picture by saying that yes, it did take ALL OF US to get her bathed and yes, Anna was taking these pics because it took ALL OF US to get her bathed. 4 pound babies that are soaped up are hard to hold so I am sure we looked like a bunch of crazies trying to get her cleaned up.
She was SO sleepy after her bath...I just love these sleepy eyes!
Our first real shot of all of our children together!
Saturday morning we got up, met Grandmother (J's mom) to hand off the boys and headed towards Jackson. We were hoping to be there in time for the lunch time feeding. About an hour outside Jackson my cell phone rang and I about died when it was Ashley calling from the NICU. Evidently the doctor had called to the lab directly and found out that all of Mary Elizabeth's tests were normal and we could go home THAT DAY! We were shocked!! We immediately called both sets of parents, my sister and Angie....we just couldn't believe that we were actually coming home THAT DAY! We got to the hospital, did our discharge training, signed the adoption papers from Bethany in Memphis and we were ready to go home. This is our nurse Ashley who was WONDERFUL and so helpful in this process:
I just love this picture of Mary Elizabeth really checking her car seat out:
It was finally time to come home! She did great on her long ride home!
We started out by going to Green Hills mall and doing some shopping at Janie and Jack and Gymboree for Mary Elizabeth. The kids were GREAT...I couldn't believe they weren't wild, but they did exactly what I told them. Because they were so good, I promised them a nice lunch at one of my favorite Mexican restaurants La Paz.
Leave it to my kids to order corn dogs at a Mexican restaurant, but hey, they ate great so I shouldn't complain.
Then it was on to Dragon Park. I LOVE this park...we go there quite a bit simply because it has lots of different activities and areas to play in. They had a blast as you can tell:
It is GREAT having a newborn without having all the side effects of childbirth. I love that I don't have to fool with breastfeeding, etc. and yet trust me, we are still very sleep deprived already.
So, I'm sure you want pics so I will end the post so I can start editing the 200 pics on the digital camera and tell you everything that has happened since Thursday!
Thursday, October 11, 2007
Mary Elizabeth is doing great...eating great, etc. but they needed to run some more tests so they delayed coming home a few days. I got in earlier today but I had so much to get caught up here plus I am exhausted. Who knew just sitting at a hospital could be so wearing?
We have been told that she will be released Monday at the latest but we are hoping for Saturday. Everything is just up in the air but we are still doing great and trusting in HIM.
I promise to return all the phone calls!! I am so thankful for all the love and support and trust me, every time I check messages I end up in tears all over again because everyone is just so wonderful. We will probably head back to Jackson at some point tomorrow (I just can't stand being away from her and yet it is hard to juggle everything at home when I am gone) The boys are so anxious to meet their new sister and Anna can't wait to get her hands on her again.
AGAIN, thank you for you love, support and most importantly PRAYERS. We feel them and continue to need them. I will keep you all posted as I can...
Sunday, October 7, 2007
We found out today that she needs to stay until Wednesday or Thursday. An eye specialist will be coming to see her Wednesday and they want to go ahead and get her immunizations started while at the hospital as preemies often don't do as well as regular sized babies. They want to monitor her to make sure that everything goes ok. To be completely honest, I was completely ok with them keeping her. I don't want to travel home only to end up at Vanderbilt right away so I think this is the best decision.
After we sign our official paperwork we have to come home tomorrow. The kids are dying to see us (Anna went home this morning) and Jonathan has to go back to work. It is going to SUCK leaving without her and I am already trying to figure out how to come back ASAP. My plan at this point is to come home and get stuff at the house taken care of and come back on Tuesday morning. They want us to "room in" at the NICU the night before we leave so I hope to just hang out at the hospital with her until her release on Wednesday (hopefully)
She already looks like she has grown to me..maybe it's because I am getting more and more used to her, but I can tell she is starting to get used to us as well. When we feed her the bottle, she will barely open her eyes and look at us. I guess she thinks we don't notice that she is completely checking us out. As she eats, I tell her to give me a good burp and she can lay on my chest. This morning, she looked up at me with those big eyes after her burp and snuggled into my chest....oooh how I love this child. It seems as though she is thinking, "I don't know who you are, but you feed me and hold me so I like you."
I desperately miss Isaac and Luke and even though Anna hasn't been gone long, I miss her so. She is such a great helper and is such an amazing big sister. Yesterday at lunch, she was already talking about adopting again. We had to tell her to slow down sistah! Isaac and Luke are so sweet on the phone and I know they are so excited to meet Mary Elizabeth. I can't wait for you all to meet her.
Ok, I will quit blabbing...we are EXHAUSTED and turning in early, but I will post more pics of her tomorrow. We love you all and GOD IS IN CONTROL!
Saturday, October 6, 2007
Friday, October 5, 2007
Today I got to meet my baby sister. She's very tiny and she has lots of hair. I can't wait to take her home on Monday (hopefully). We found out we could come and meet her yesterday and mommy and daddy have named her Mary Elizabeth Freeman. She was born August 7th and was very early and tiny....she only weighed 1 pound 6 ounces, but now she weighs 4 pounds 3 ounces. Here I am when I got to see her for the first time:
Can you tell Anna is super excited! Mary Elizabeth is so cute but so tiny. We are just so overwhelmed and SO BLESSED. We can't wait for everyone to see our new little girl. We are exhausted and have a big day tomorrow so here are the close up pics and I promise to post more as we get a chance:
Tuesday, October 2, 2007
About 9pm on Sunday night (the 16th), Anna came in our room hysterical saying that her head hurt. Jonathan had literally just gotten in from the airport (he had been out of town since Friday). The only time she gets sick is usually with strep so I knew something was up, especially when she couldn't stop crying and whispered to me that she felt like she could pass out. After about 30 minutes, we decided to head to Vanderbilt Children's Hospital. We dropped the boys off at my sister's house (thanks Ali and Josh for watching them) and spent the next four hours receiving the most expensive dose of Motrin ever. I was very frustrated that they literally did nothing, but also glad that they didn't feel it was serious.
Yes, I had my camera in my purse from HSM so I had to snap this pic:
After two more days of horrible headaches and an MRI at Vanderbilt, they prescribed some meds and diagnosed her with migraines. Needless to say it was a fun week!
It was a great day and I loved having Anna all to myself!