Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The delivery of Asher James and Lucas John!

Both babies are sleeping so I figured it was time to finally update all of you on all of the amazing details from the arrival of our sweet boys! Their mommy-Kate (what we all their birthmother) was scheduled to be induced on April 13th, Saturday the 12th however, she contacted us and said that she felt like she might be in labor and would feel better if we were there just in case. We rushed around, packed up our last minute items, dropped off Scrumpy and hit the road! We arrived around 10:30 pm to her apartment, sat around a bit, talked and they gifted us with a double snap and go stroller! If you don't know what a snap and go is, it is amazing. It is just a frame that the car seats literally snap into and that's it! It also weighs practically nothing. So far we have used it for walking and doctors appointments and it will be accompanying us many more places!

Her contractions were somewhat steady throughout the day, but settled down once we got there and she could rest a bit more. Around midnight we headed to our hotel and literally 2 min from the hotel our car died. Yes, more car trouble! We all feel that this was the only way that Satan could attack us that would hurt the most so he has done it over and over again! We called AAA and waited for the tow truck. He dropped us off exhausted at the hotel around 2 AM. Katy let us use her car the rest of our time there, which was incredibly helpful (one of the perks of open adoption where you are friends with birth family ;)).

And Lucas is now waking up, so I will be back!

The next day, Sunday, Katy's amazing support person, her significant other who will be the twin's birth father, Bryan, came and picked us up at the hotel along with the twin's big sister, Breanna. They also have a big brother named Christian. We all went back to Katy's place until we headed to eat and meet Katy's mom and sister around 4 pm and to get ready for induction at 6 pm. We then checked into the hospital and were informed that the induction would be thrown off by 6 hours because no one told Katy not to eat 6 hours beforehand! The original plan was to start softening her cervix at 6 pm  and then start Pitocin the next morning if nothing was happening. However, before any of that, they were going to check her to see if she was already dilated and didn't need her cervix softened. Around 9 pm they checked and low and behold she was already 5 cm! Apparently she actually was in labor Saturday and her water broke for Asher that night she but wasn't actually sure that it broke. Around midnight they started the pitocin and Elias and I came into Katy's room to talk with both her and Bryan as we had never really heard Bryan's story. It was a beautiful time of tears, smiles and healing.

At 2:30 Elias and I returned to our hospital room to try and sleep. At 5:30 am Bryan called and said they were prepping Katy for the OR (due to her having twins, the hospital required delivery in the OR). We were originally told that only on person could be in there with her and they agreed to let two in there, but no more. When they brought our clothes for the OR, Katy said that we needed three sets, not two. The nurses and residents spoke with the high risk doctor that would be in the room and he agreed to let all three (Byran, Elias and myself) in the OR for the delivery! They wheeled her down, Elias and I waited by the door, they barely got her set and the doctor asked if she wanted to push. Katy asked if they wanted her to push and the doctor told her if she was ready to go for it. After that first push, one of the staff pulled me over to the table to see our little Asher's head and the next push he was out at 6:04 am! Katy asked me his name then I was asked to cut to the cord and followed him into the little side room where he would get cleaned and weighed. The nurse kept telling me to go out and that his brother was coming, but I knew Elias was there and I didn't want to leave our sweet baby! I did end up taking a few steps back that way to see better, but I could see most of what was going on from where I was. Lucas had decided the day before to flip, so with the help of the high risk doctor his was water broken he was born breech just 4 minutes later at 6:08 am! Elias cut the cord for Lucas. Bryan and Katy held the babies first and then Bryan handed each one of us one of our sons :). Both babies were 6.1 lbs, Lucas was 17 in and Asher was 18 long. We all went to recovery, both boys nursed, we took some pictures and then we gave Katy and Bryan some time with the boys before the rest of her family came over to see them while we went and ate breakfast.

Everything felt surreal and it didn't take long for exhaustion to begin setting in. After a short visit after delivery, Elias and I headed off to find out what was going on with our car and to try and sleep at Katy's place for a bit. We got to the shop and found out that our car was officially dead, which is not what you want to hear when you have to take two babies home and you are running on less than 2 hours of sleep. We cleared the car out, let my parents know and my dad came to the rescue and started looking for places that would buy our car for salvage. We took a quick nap and shower and headed back to the hospital to see how our babies and Katy were doing. Our parents arrived that evening to visit for a bit and enjoy their first grand babies for all of them! The next days went by quickly and were full of sweet time with our new extended family and the twins that will forever tie is all together. The hospital experience was more than we could have asked for. Wednesday was release day and after that we all headed to the chapel for the blessing ceremony that would wrap up the hospital time and be the ceremony to signify the beginning of something beautiful. The ceremony was beautiful beyond words and not really something I can describe, it was an amazing blessing for everyone involved and was full of more smiles, tears and sharing, After that, we said our goodbyes and we headed home with my parents. We only had to stop twice for feedings, take a detour home to avoid the flooding here and we were home in our own house with our new sons!

I could go on, but then this would be the worlds longest blog post so we will save the rest for another day! Thank you for all of your prayers, love, support, gifts, meals and everything else as we begin this new chapter of our lives! Please continue to keep everyone in your prayers as their birth family misses them terribly, but also feels peace that they are where God meant for them to be. Keep the boys in your prayers that they will stay healthy and grow. As of yesterday they both weighed 5.13 lbs and were 18.5 in long. They are so adorable and we are absolutely in love! Lastly keep us in your prayers as we learn how to best parent these sweet boys in the way that God has called us to and that Elias will be able to still focus in school for the next few weeks with very little sleep.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Some thoughts on Down syndrome

I have been very honest about the fact that one of our twins will have Down syndrome (DS). Some of you may wonder why I have been so open about this fact. It's not to evoke pity or convince more people to donate to our cause. In fact I have been pleasantly surprised by the reaction we usually get when we tell people we are adopting twins and that one of the boys will have DS. I honestly expected some looks or comments of pity and there have been a couple, but for the most part everyone has been so supportive and have told us how happy they are for us. We hear stories of the joy that a child with DS brings or we are just told stories that don't even bring in the fact that sweet Baby A will have DS, instead the boys are seen as equals. It has been truly amazing. So why talk about it and be open about it? Mainly because I know that we are going to face the question "did you know before you adopted them?", which I feel like implies "would you have still adopted them if you had known".  If I can reduce the number of times that we are asked this question, it will be better for all of us. We already love both of these babies and the more I learn about DS, the more excited I get for everything the future holds. I want everyone to know that we chose BOTH of these babies to be our sons regardless of the fact that one would have an extra chromosome. I would be lying if I said we didn't have to pray and even question our decision before being asked to be the boys' parents, but even before saying "yes", we knew that if we were chosen, that this was God's plan for us, them and their amazing expectant family. I also want everyone to understand that our expectant mother did not choose adoption because Baby A has DS. In fact, she was asked 5 times if she was going to selectively abort this sweet baby because 92% of children with a prenatal diagnosis of DS are aborted. She choice life for both of them and has now chosen to give them more and we couldn't be more grateful for that decision.

I have been reading a book called "Roadmap to Holland". The woman who wrote this book has twin boys where one has Down syndrome. She didn't know until 5 days after her sons were born that one had DS and she is very honest about her fears and grief as she learned about her son's diagnosis. We didn't grieve necessarily, but we struggled and wondered what this would mean for our future. We struggled with selfish thoughts and feelings and I avoided learning too much too soon out of fear. As I have continued to read this book I have watched her transform. I have watched her thoughts and feelings about DS change and her love for her son grow. The more time I spend learning about DS, the more excited I get and the less fear I feel. The more I learn about having twins, it becomes hard to imagine only having one. As I was reading the other day, I saw the softening that had happened in their family and the joy that both boys brought, where as before it seemed like the diagnosis of DS was like a dark cloud that hung over her family. As I read this, I felt like God was telling me that He was going to transform and soften our family. That He was going to bring us more joy than we could ever imagine through these sweet babies. We are getting so excited to meet these two sweeties and we continue to be blessed by our growing relationship with our expectant family. 

We continue to ask for prayers as the day draws closer for all parties involved. We also want to thank everyone who has supported us financially and continues to do so through our Lilla Rose fundraiser and Thirty One fundraiser, we truly could not have pursued this adoption this without your prayers or financial gifts. Both fundraisers are still open if you feel led to give or you can give a tax deductible donation through the Both Hands Foundation by clicking here

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Catching up

I know I have been MIA for a bit, things have just been super crazy! Since the first week of February we have been cleaning, painting, doing electrical work, replacing ceilings, refinishing floors and everything that goes into preparing a house, that needed some work, before we could move in. We were here every day working to get it ready before the babies came. This past weekend, we officially cleaned out our other house and fully moved into this house that we have been working so hard and so long on! We are now swimming in boxes, but we are moved in and getting settled. In addition to that, we have been working to make sure that we have everything we need for the immediate future. I think the twin's items are the only items that I actually know where everything is!

On March 21st, we were honored to be able to attend our expectant mother's (we will call her K) ultrasound for the twins! Of course, our car broke down 10 miles away and we had to be retrieved from the side of the road, by K's amazing boyfriend and support system, but the office waited for us and we made it! In addition to that, K was backed into outside of the doctor's office while waiting for parking! We all have to laugh because satan has fought this adoption the whole way, which confirms to all of us that we are truly walking in God's will and that He is going to do something amazing! It was awesome to see the babies and it began to really feel real verses just a concept. It was exciting to find out how much they weighed (baby A was 5 lbs 3 oz and baby B was 5 lbs) and to know that everything still looks good for both of them. We also went on the hospital tour and learned more about what to expect and how things will go at the hospital. It was nice to be there as a "team" with the expectant family and have the hospital see all of us together and our relationship with each other. It also helped us feel as though we have a better understanding for what to expect so that there won't be confusion at the time of delivery and postpartum. After all of that, we went back to K's apartment, had lunch, met her boyfriend's children, played a game of scrabble, had some good conversation as well as some mama (both her and I) bonding time and pictures together in the frigid wind.

As for now, we are closing in on about a week an half left before K will be induced if she hasn't gone naturally by that point. As long as everything goes according to plan we will be there for delivery and at least one of us will be able to be in the delivery room for the birth. It would be even better if both of us could be in the delivery room so we are asking for prayers for that. We would also like to ask you to keep praying for everyone involved. The expectant family is amazing and we couldn't be more blessed to have them becoming part of our extended family as well us becoming a part of their's. Please pray that they will continue to feel Jesus with them during this time and that He will grant them peace that can only come from Him! Also, please keep praying for us, that God would shape us into the parents that He has created us to be and called us to be, and that He will prepare us for all that lies ahead through the incredible joys and inevitable challenges of parenthood.

Lastly, I am way behind simply because I haven't had time to update and then we didn't have internet for close to a week, but we have a couple of fundraisers going on! The first is for Lilla Rose Hair Accessories. These are beautiful hair clips and a wonderful adoptive mama has offered to have an online party for us! There is only about a week left on this fundraiser so if you are interested please order soon! The link is here: https://www.lillarose.biz/parties/4082 You can also check out and "share" our Facebook event at this link here: https://www.facebook.com/events/740529069311164/ I made the link public so that hopefully anyone can view it. In addition we have also had another wonderful woman offer to throw an online Thirty-One Party for us which will be running the month of April! You can check out this fundraiser here: mythirtyone.com/288674 and click "my parties" and "shop now" when our names come up. I will be setting up a Facebook event for this party as well, I just haven't had a chance to do so yet.

I think that is all for now and I can't wait to let you all know when our little guys arrive!