Thursday, May 9, 2019

Eights Days for Baby Cane

For David and I, our adoption journey has been nothing left of a roller coaster. From trying to even become active to adopt thus having a specific request of trying to adopt twins or two babies back to back. We then had a failed match but then there was a light, we did match with our most handsome son who was a micro preemie; then quickly matching again with a Mama who not due until August. Our journey though had many twists and turns, we thought things were in straightaway anxiously awaiting the arrival of our baby boy. So we thought...a little more than two weeks ago I was standing in the exit line of the neurology office for three of our Little's when I thought I would check my messages…I started to scroll and found myself reading a message that broke my heart. The Mama that we had matched for adoption though not due for 16 weeks was in crisis. As one message read "her water broke". Standing there with our now 8 month old who is our micro preemie I could not stop crying thinking about the Mama and the baby...praying all would be okay. As the next few hours were merely a blur one thing that was not…was the need to get to the Mama to love and support her no matter what was to happen as the medical staff was doing everything they could do to not to have her deliver a premature baby.

Planning the trip was to ensure that I had time to spend with the Mama, to listen, to pray, to love and support her as I believe anyone who has been in the hospital knows the stay is never fun. As we were all told, she was going to be there for a while. Having everything handled on the home front I planned the weekend trip which to my surprise became more. Thinking I was going to spend time with Mama, nope I arrived to find that Mama started contracting and baby was soon on its way….16 weeks early. All I wanted was everyone to be okay, my prayers became repetitive as I felt so helpless. Sitting in the waiting area, I researched everything on premature deliveries that I could…somethings I had trouble reading while there were some amazing stories. Plus we have an amazing story with our own micro preemie. I continued to pray over and over that Mama and baby would be okay and if any storm would come that we would all make it through.

Little did I know at the time, the storm carrying a precious baby boy, who would be soon joining our family, was right in the tail spin of a hurricane. I had quickly became his anchor trying everything to find a way to get him out. Never in wildest dreams did I think when I planned my “quick trip” any of this was to come. I am a planner (most of time); however, having a large family things are not always easily done. Our schedule has something always from therapy, appointments, school, outings just something. I reluctantly flew home on a Sunday, vastly greeting home by pitter pat of feet and a thousand Mama’s, along with a whirlwind of emotions. My heart felt for the first mama that I have grown to love and our son who was laying in an isolete without any one there except medical staff. The hurricane was only getting stronger all the while all I could think was I was a failure, I was not there to protect him, I was not there stalking his isolete to let him know that he had a family waiting...this big crazy family who loves him.

Then it all started less than eight hours from being home, a call that I wish upon no one.
First of many of doctors expressing their concerns of overall prognosis or the possibility he just may not make it through the night. The more the doctor spoke the more I silently prayed while trying to listen to the umpteen medical terms. The conversation concluded as to what should and should not be done. All the while, I knew I needed to get back to the NICU. However the need was overwhelmed with a burning need knowing we needed to travel as a family. At the time I was not sure why but I so knew it needed to happen but I will soon realize the decision for all of us to go was one of the best decisions I made.

Sitting down with my husband, David, we figured out the best way to travel with all the Little's, some of our older kiddos and work around work, daily therapies and appointments that have been on the calendar for months. The trip was set but as each day came so did the daily calls from the doctors and the grime reality of he may not make it through the next hour. There came a point I did not want to answer the phone, I insistently prayed and asked for “prayer warriors” to cover our baby boy. Posted daily on social media asking for help in prayer to the specific needs as the doctors gave their updates. It seemed there was always a time in the day, we were told he just not might make the next hour. Thus prompting my husband to reached out to family that lived near the hospital; asking them to please go and be with our little guy as we did not want him to be alone if things were really going in a downward spiral. I cannot thank you them enough for dropping everything on a moments notice and getting the hospital until we could get there.

In the mean time, I changed our travel plans our already set plans to leave sooner, cancelled most everything on the calendar and loaded our car and set out for where our baby who was without his Mama and family. When we finally arrived, I settled all in the hotel with our older daughter, allowing me to arrive in the NICU in the wee hours of the morning. Greeted by his nurse, a respiratory therapist all I saw was the beautiful most amazing baby boy who was fighting to live. By this time, he did not look like the little boy who I left that previous Sunday. Only three days had went by and he was edemic where I wanted to take a pin to pop him, he was not moving, he was so small with so many tubes and wires encumbering his little body. I just wanted to trade places. I wanted him to beat the E coli infection that was ravaging his system.

As there was a part of our stay where we saw progress, really miracles though quickly followed by the same questions from different medical professionals…what was our wishes and how aggressive we wanted treatment? I felt like a broken record as I also felt like a silent voice. I stalked the NICU by telephone when I was not there physically. Calling for results, calling for updates, calling just because and trying to keep everything together in our makeshift home of a hotel room. As minutes, turned into hours then into the days, we really were able to witness several miracles. Things that we specifically prayed and requested from others, our little one would come through on one but take three steps back on others. As I stood at his isolete side, I would read the comments left by others as to the daily updates I was posting while reading scripture from the bible, he was listening and God was right there with him. However, we quickly found out that as one or two things would be successful while one or two things would not. Finally it all came to a head as we had another heart to heart talk with another doctor, I asked questions where I was not even sure I knew where they came from. We all agreed to an EEG to determine if our little boy was still the little boy had seen several days earlier.

His head was so small, I was not even sure if they would be able to fit all the EEG leads, he received his crown as we call it. I had to excuse myself while the technician finished placing all the leads as their was a part of me that did not want to know anything along with the other part of me wanting it to start in that very moment. I returned about an hour into the test, seeing the screen, lines going across…I just cried. I cried uncontrollably as our family has had their share of EEG’s and I have seen many results, I am not a doctor not even close but I knew even with the little hicup here and there the lines I was witnessing was not in his favor. I knew in my heart our precious baby boy did not have any brain activity and it was not long where the medical professionals where confirming my worst fear.

I think when the doctor actually was speaking to me and giving the results,
a part of me, felt gone. I know there is a reason for everything, I say this always but the question of why bring precious baby Cane into the world only to take him out 8 days later? I was sad, mad and most of all I felt as if I was letting his first Mama down. A feeling I wish upon no one! I requested that any wires and tubes that could be removed from him, be gone so I could finally hold him close to my heart. For several hours I was able to love him more, sleep with him and just have those moments, those moments to cherish.

As first light of the morning approached, I left the hospital to get the rest of the family from the hotel. Not really knowing how we were going to get through the day where our little boy would
receive his Angel Wings. I knew as family we could do anything though it may be hard we would get through it together. Our little boy was given so much love without being in an isolete or encumbered in tubes and wires. He was held, snuggled and read too from a big crazy family that found light and love from him. I will not lie, I questioned our decision many times over and was reassured that our little boy was so sick that if he had stayed in utero another week or even a few days longer, the likelihood he would have been stillborn.

All that replayed over and over in my mind as to were we making the right decision? My answer soon came as the time to know our decision was correct.

As early evening came our little boy I had hoped he felt so much love where even if he did not know it; he have given so much love to our family. I can say that eight days is never enough to have with anyone while in comparison to a lifetime to others but I know that we will cherish every moment that we were given. As his passing came and the doctor gave the official declaration, our little guy has his tiny footprints forever stamped on my heart. I was asked this past week how I could love someone so much that I did not give birth too and my answer was how could you not? He needed us and we needed him and for that is the definition of FAMILY!

Our family is truly grateful and blessed by all the love, prayers, thoughts and out pour of support
through this time. I am still in awe by everything and I continue to read the comments and posts as it helps in our journey. Our precious Cane made his way into the world for eight precious days and brought light not only to our life but to many others. God had his plan. Though I still do not  understand, I hope one day I will as I have faith our story is not over.

Until we meet again Little One....💙 God Bless!

For I am the LORD your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you...Isaiah 41:13

Our Crazy Big Family (minus a few)

Until Next Time...Make It A Great Day!

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Sunday, March 10, 2019

An Adoption Journey Together

It has been almost two weeks since the whirlwind trip of crazy travel and sitting in a hotel room basically going stir crazy. Thinking how quiet things were compared to our day to day activities that we call Home. I have to say, I am not use to quiet, one baby nor one child for that matter. Truly I think I am scared of the quiet, the real quiet. My mind tends to think something is wrong or out of order. Our home is filled with noise, love, laughter, cries, pitter patter of feet and little ones constantly calling Mama endless times throughout the day. However the time spent apart from the norm made way to something greater. Us navigating through our adoption journey where we we had been so steadfast in thinking one way though truly lead us in another. Little did we know our journey came full circle as our prayers were answered in more ways than one and are still being answered.

The fact is that we specifically started our adoption journey for two babies - twins (partly due to my uncanny desire of not wanting an odd number, does not work well in the universe and partly as I could see and feel the path so clearly) We knew that twins may not be an option therefore we also presented on single cases back to back, all the while we prayed that whatever the path that led us to adoption and to this journey, we would grow our family. This past October we were matched with a beautiful Mama with exactly what we had been praying about, boy/girl twins. In the few months that we had, we talked everyday and built a relationship needless to say we knew she could change her mind to parent at any time and she did.

It was hard and tough but it was her right, her choice. It was not our time but as we found out that she has lied, not making things easier and as there is more to the story but after all said and done, I came to figure that God was protecting all us. I needed to take a step back, be thankful and be patient as I was not the one writing our story. Just to be clear, patience is not my comfort zone!

So, here we were back to square one. We began presenting on several cases leading to several "no's"....I came to a point that maybe it was just not meant to be and almost threw in the towel as I stated, patience is not my friend. Nevertheless, thanks to our awesome social worker and our awesome consultant listening to me vent many times might I add; we continued. A couple weeks went by, more cases, more "no's" then one Monday night a case came over as I quickly skimmed the reference line stating 6 month baby boy.

If you ever have gotten the feeling in the pit of your stomach to do something now that is what I got. I happened to be leaving for the store and I felt as I could not get to a place fast enough to read the particulars. When I finally opened the email and began reading, it all made sense. Yes, he was 6 months old but not technically he had been born a micro-preemie. He was born at 25 weeks and at the time of that email had never seen the light of day except from the hospital room. Six months in the hospital he needed to go HOME! He was a survivor of the NICU and after reading the long list of what he had endure and the possible unknowns, my head was spinning though I still needed to discuss with my hubby but I knew there was no question that we would present to his case.

Early Tuesday morning I sent our yes email with our letter expressing our desire to adopt two babies and a snapshot of our craziness and by 9:00am we were receiving a call that we were matched and we we were growing our family with a Son! The craziness of this is that we did match with twins as our little is a twin but his twin unfortunately did not make it - blessing little one and fly with the Angels. What is even crazier is that he was born six months ago just about the same time we went "active" with our adoption consultant. Whether or not you believe in coincidence but I truly believe that everything happens for a reason.

We were also told that he was being discharged and we needed to get to him immediately. That day, I made ever possible plan necessary for everyone at home and got on the first flight available. Flying through the night; straight from the airport to the hospital to see him. At first sight, I cannot explain the emotion but as soon as I held him it just felt right. I was a ball of emotions plus the nurse kept saying how relaxed he looked, about an hour in all cuddled in my arms, he smiled and the entire room of nurses, social workers, doctors, went crazy as they said they never seen him smile. As much as that was a great moment, that broke my heart, six months to never see a smile. I know that being a micro-premie he is on an adjusted age scale but really not even a little smile even one to blame on gas. To me that small smile solidified he was home, he knew I was there to love him, keep him safe and advocate every possible thing to come. That is just what I did. After three more days, countless questioning of the hospital and procedures, a major team meeting was held and less than seven hours later we were being discharged. That day was six months to the day he was born, marking a new beginning, a new chapter, a new celebration, our day as Family!

His road will be bumpy as it is unforeseen. The question will be how bumpy? Since we have returned home, seen the doctor several times and one specialist so far, I know there is a lot in the unknown department all waiting on time but whatever comes his way will not be without me pushing back with questions and every resource that is available to him. I became his Voice! His will to fight is there which has been seen in his strength to overcome the adversity reflected in his time spent in the NICU. Even since being home from the hospital things have drastically improved, everyday there is something to note. I will say that having backers by the way of Mama who does not necessarily take no for an answer plus Daddy and all his siblings who love him so much whatever may come does not have a fighting chance. We are in this together as a family. Knowing that early intervention is key but also having unconditional love to see us all through for the good and not so good times is what continues to make us One Big Crazy Family!

With patience not really my friend, my true lesson which has been taught to me several times before is that our path in life is already set. "Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go. " – Joshua 1:9 The unveiling is what takes time (hence the patience part). We did match with twins though not how we thought nevertheless our little guy so needed us and we needed him. I am never ceased to by amazed how much I learn when I remember to open my eyes and really trust the fact that God has my life in his hands and my families. As for our adoption journey, if we are to match again to have "Irish Twins" that is already in our path, though it may or may not happened as truly the answer is out of our hands.


Until Next Time...Make It A Great Day!

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Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Expanding our Family By Two

This post was originally posted on September 27, 2018 -----

First of all I want to say thank you for each and everyone that takes the time to stop by my blog. I am not sure how in detailed anyone reads my lengthy journal posts but if anyone has been following my blog then you have caught on that I have given details here and there about our current adoption process. Though I have not given too many details, I have given some through journal posts as well as by way of social media. A few day earlier with a possible match and some research into our current home study, it rests heavy on my heart to share more in depth our journey.

So let me take you back to the beginning of our new hopeful journey through private domestic adoption. Last April 2017, my hubby and I discussed extensively adding to our family again, not by one but by two.
Thus because as I have said in prior posts, I do not love or think odd numbers are great nor do they work in the universe. Hence TWO!

So we discussed together, as a family, faithfully prayed then reached out to an adoption consultant that came by way of referral but also just happened to start popping up in my social media news feed (maybe it is true social media knows what we are No really, I truly do not think there are coincidences but subtle hints of things to come as there are reasons for everything in life. After many weeks of pondering, watching many posts, praying; I made contact. Lengthy one at that.
May 2017, I had our phone interview and spilled our life story. Not to forget the main reason, our reason of wanting to adopt TWO! Twins and how adamant I was that God had a plan for our family. Little did I know at the time, our journey was going to take us on a path that we would ever come to fathom. As we understood over the years adoption through the foster care system, we began to quickly learn the differences on the domestic side of things. Though we had an approved home study through our county, it was not the right home study. Therefore, we needed a new one, a correct one. As we searched via the internet a for an agency, a friend of mine, gave a referral to a local company. I made contact again. Thus, spilling our life story and our specific intentions of adopting two. Finally I felt we were on the right track, adoption consultant on board and new home study started and all going as planned. Well let me just say, after six months almost to the day from the day we made contact with the home study agency, we were informed that they could not finish due to an internal policy that nobody decided catch along with being told our social worker was inexperience though she had been in the field for fifteen plus years. Needless to say, they could not give anything in writing to support their decision. However they did provide a letter to refund our money but lets just say we are still waiting for our money.
So here the holidays are in full swing and we are back to the beginning in January 2018. Me being me, found a local company, again very upfront with our situation and here we go again, application for a new home started. All the while, props to our adoption consultant as their entire team stuck it out with us. Prayed for us, listened to me when I just needed to vent through whatever mounds of duplicate paperwork we needed to complete. Plus just their patience in the process that ended up being a little over fifteen months for us to become active with their consulting agency from the first day I made contact.
Now that we are in the active stage with a very specific home study but truly did not find out how specific until a few days ago when we had a possible match of “one”. We are hopeful to adopt two, we went into this hopeful to adopt Twins. Knowing that it is not always the plan; Twins not always easy to come by and if God had it in our path then it will be. However it was discussed that if Twins were not an option then it may be possible to do a back to back adoption as that may be a possibility. As we have been very open about wanting to adoption Twins, we would be just was open about the back-to-back adoption as well. We wrote a letter again; a synopsis of our life story and our intentions for adoption. Well as a possible match came, it made me question our home study thus we found that a back-to-back adoption is not as easy as we thought. Therefore, I came full forward again that EVERYTHING happens for a reason and we cannot force anything. We came into this process with a specific intention. TWINS! One that I saw clearly, I cannot change the rules as my husband says. We believe Twins will be a part of our family and our path of life. Since becoming active, we have been presented with thirty-four cases. Cases, expectant mothers, fathers and babies, that we prayed over everyone involved, some said yes to, some said no to but not one has been our Yes…our two yes’ are still out there!
“I prayed for this child/children” – Samuel 1:27
As much as I can say it has been an emotional roller coaster plus I am sure hardly nothing to what an expectant mother and/or father is and will be going through but I know all in all our little blessings (two) have not set forth on our path. Still firmly believing our Twins will make their way into our family. I fully understand that with adoption comes brokenness, sadness but also hopefulness, joy and a great love for one another. There is no easy answer in the adoption world, it is easy turn a blind eye to so many things but that is not a true picture of reality. Adoption is bittersweet and a true love all wrapped up in one.
“Adoption has the dimension of connection — not only to your own tribe, but beyond, widening the scope of what constitutes love, ties and family. It is a larger embrace. By adopting, we stretch past our immediate circles and, by reaching out, find an unexpected sense of belonging with others.” Isabella Rossellini
Until then our big crazy family will be waiting for the next TWO to make their arrival to further share and be a part of our love, laughter, adventures and day to day craziness.

Our New Season - HomeSchool

This post was originally posted on August 3, 2018 ------

I write today with a feeling that a weight has been lifted off my shoulders but I really know that somewhere in the upcoming months the weight of my decision for our Littles to home school this new school year has only just begun. Whether good or not so good, it will be a Life Adventure that we will be doing together, head on, as a family. Got to say..nothing is better than that!

Let me take you back a bit, our Littles had a really rough year last year with our school district. Things happened that no one should have experienced let alone anyone under the age of five thus causing a non-stop dealing with the school district, teachers and aides. Adding to our already crazy daily life of every thing under the sun. I have to Blog school busadmit, I was very proud of myself as I was able to graciously advocate for my children and finish their year in the positive. However, it left me with this never-ending pit in my stomach. A constant questioning of what if’s for this year to come.
As our Littles each have Individualized Educational Plans (IEP’s), I knew somewhat how the upcoming year would look like, what each class would likely be, for the most part who was in what program and who was going to have what teachers. Getting right down to it, we live in a great school district. We moved specifically to be in this district along with our housing track to be within the zones of certain schools. We already have had three children graduate through this district with one of them utilizing additional services. So, really what is boils down to is that I lost faith and trust of the overall school system over the issues that happened last year. Now, not sure how to get that back.
Our children could have the best teachers this upcoming year, the programs could be the best but when you have witnessed issues and/or have proof of the happenings there is an internal inside battle almost like a real-time movie constantly on replay.
I began to tell myself, my daily stomach ache, would just go Blog Crazinessaway. However now that the new school year is fast approaching my “so-called” stomach ache really is not and my anxiety is through the roof. I gave myself a date to make hard decision and I DID!
I know I cannot control everything but I know that I can take minute by minute, day by day. Whereas, if I did not try to do what I felt was BEST for our children and to further feed what I knew was in my heart…I failed as their mother, caregiver, protector. So, in short, Home School here we come!
Blog HomeschoolingWe already have a busy schedule but life sometimes throws us curve balls or there comes a time where there is a fork in the road where the paths that we see are not always smooth and straight. Remembering the road with the most bumps and less traveled, sometimes has the best surprises!
Plus, I am lucky to have many friends in our life who home school to ask questions, to learn from, to lean on and just listen to me ramble. As I said before, I believe everything happens for a reason and God has a timing for everything.
Life is not perfect but knowing our children will be safe and will not be in the mindset they were last year is worth every moment of chaos for the time being. Right now, I do not have the right answer, needless to say I do know I can say home schooling maybe just a season or maybe it is meant for their entire school career. Nonetheless, I do know for a fact it is a minute by minute, a day by day routine. Honestly, that is all I can ask for from each one of them and from myself.  GOD BLESS
“We gain strength, and courage, and confidence by each experience in which we really stop to look fear in the face…we must do that which we think we cannot.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
Until Next Time….Make it a Great Day!