Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Happenings at our house....

Let's see...what's going on in our house...right now Halle is sleeping...HOORAAYYY!  This afternoon we have our VERY LAST home visit with our social worker.  After May 21, 2009 Halle's adoption can be finalized....WAHOO!!  We need to meet with a lawyer for some paperwork and then have it finalized at the courthouse.  YIPPEEEEE!!  Can you tell we're a little excited?? here for our amazing Texas adoption journey with PICTURES!  That's'll get to see our beautiful little girl you've heard so much about.  Miss Halle is 7 months old and still a little peanut.  She weighs 14lbs 10oz and is 27 1/4" long.  Still long and lean.  She is crawling all over the place and starting to get into everything.  She has her two bottom teeth and is really working on the top ones.  We don't think it will be long now.  She LOVES solid food.  Forget that silly old bottle.  In fact, the Doctor told us today to feed her anything she wants, well, within reason, no honey, shellfish, Mom's know the drill.  She says "baabaabaabaa" all the time...Daddy's working with her to change it to "dadadadada" and "mamamama".  We'll see how that goes.  We are looking forward to a few things coming up:

-- Miss Ellie's birth, hopefully, for Dena's sake sooner rather than later.
-- Colby's graduation (we can not believe this kid is old enough to be graduating...sheesh)
-- Camping with the TenKley's & Miss Kristin
-- A visit from Grammies friend
-- The 4th of July (Halle has a really fun sundress to wear)
-- Auntie Heather & Uncles Shaun's wedding in Montana...hopefully, a visit with the Hochhalter's
-- Camping with Mor Mor, Bopa, the Dunn's and Dena's Nana & Papa 

I went through the summer...hopefully, the warmer weather will come soon...Halle has some fun stuff to wear and I'm getting really tired of this rain!!!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mother's Day 2009

WOW!!!  Today was my very first Mother's Day!  Do you know how long I have been looking forward to this very day??  Let's just say....YEARS!!  My day started a little rough...Halle has not been sleeping well, or feeling well for that matter.  SO...we got up at 6:30am...not so fun for this Mommy.  Halle did give Mommy a 1/2 hour massage with her very favorite massage therapist...HOORAAYYY!!  And...Daddy gave Mommy a new CD she had been wanting with a very sweet card that made me cry.  Which, can I tell you, that was the norm for the day.  I was so emotional...and since our Pastor's message was about our Heavenly Father being emotional...I just went with it...tears and all.  Halle wore her "I Love Mom" shirt proudly, well....with a bib...teething really does her in!  Grammie went to church with us and after we picked up Auntie Amber and headed out to lunch...BOOMERS!  I love, love, love this place...and it's a drive-in, diner place, complete with hard ice cream milkshakes, burgers with grilled onions and waffle fries!  YUM-O!!  Not your typical Mother's Day fare,'s one of my favorite places and I don't get to go there very often.  We had a fun, yummy lunch and headed out to see Great-Grammie and join her for her Ice cream social at the assisted living home she lives in.  All the Grammies loved Halle, she was quite the hit.  We topped off our day with visiting at my Mom's and a few gifts.  A new book for me I had been wanting and my sister got me a framed print with such a sweet adoption message.  It was perfect.  I would say the best part of all was the honor and privilege of standing up with all the Mom's at church.  For 3+ years that small task was met with tears and hiding my face in my hands...this year Aaron smiled at me as I stood with all the others.  What a joy and honor it was to be called MOMMY!!  

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Birthmother's Day

While reading our Adoptive Families magazine I came across a little article about the very special day in May.  It's Birth Mother's day.  In 1990 the Saturday before Mother's Day was designated "Birthmother's Day" by a group of birthmothers.  I this, that day I want to honor and recognize all those birthmothers that chose life for their children.  More specifically, I want to honor Halle's birthmother, Michelle.  What an amazing sacrifice she made, what love she showed and what an AMAZING, wonderful gift she gave us in our daughter, Halle Grace.  When Halle is old enough we will share with her about her story and her birthmother.  We already do talk about her and her family as well as her dear foster family, whom we are still in contact with.  We sent Halle's foster mommy, Mary Lynne, an e-mail wishing her a Happy Mother's Day with a sweet picture of our little girl.  They cared for her for her first 8 weeks and can I just say did a wonderful job!  Mary Lynne provided us with pages of handwritten information about Halle and sent along such sweet memories all with little handwritten notes, punched with little feet!  The outfit she wore home from the hospital (so sweet and so little, a preemie size that was still too big), her Halloween costume, a dress Mary Lynne had made...I will cherish that FOREVER!!  When we left Texas with our little girl we knew God's hand was all over this adoption.  We love Halle's birthmom and her foster mommy so much!  So...on this day we honor you two!  AND....I can not write this post without honoring my dear friend Dena.  My sweet Dena is a birthmom who chose to give life to her daughter Julia...what an AMAZING example of God's love...if you ever meet Dena...ask her about her testimony.  I'll be very blessed....

Friday, May 8, 2009

"Mother's Day Chocolate"

Aaron and I subscribe to Adoptive Families magazine.  Each time it comes I scour it thoroughly...I love the information it provides and love, love, love to look at all the pictures of the cutest little kids EVER!!  We can't wait to send a picture of Halle in to them in hopes of getting it printed! the June issue that we got in May there was this AMAZING story.  I looked for the link to it on their website, but...I could not find it.  I have posted it here in it's entirety.  Be blessed AND...get out your kleenex.  I read it to Aaron one Saturday morning and both of us were crying.  I just felt such a connection with this Mom....I had felt like her so many times on Mother's Day.  I have a few more posts as we lead up to Mother's Day, the day I have been looking forward to for many, many years!!!

On May 6, 2007, my husband, George, and I were leaving church when I said to him, " I don't want to go to church next Sunday."  It was selfish, but I couldn't help it.  Each year, on Mother's Day, the preacher asks all of the mothers to stand and be honored with a special token-usually a piece of chocolate.  The gift is trivial, of course, but it denotes something more, something I didn't have and wanted so much: a child to love.  For several years, my husband watched me quietly cry into my hands during the ritual.  He didn't protest when I told him I couldn't bear it again.  But that day, our lives changed suddenly and, it seemed, miraculously.
A friend called while George and I were at lunch.  She told us to call another friend of ours, who is an OB/GYN.  He'd delivered a baby the day before, and he wanted to talk with us, but didn't have our cell numbers.  We sped home in stunned silence as we realized what might be happening.  
George and I dialed our friend's number from the kitchen.  We stood at opposite sides of the counter, staring at each other with wide eyes, as our friend told us that a young woman had delivered a healthy baby girl at his hospital the day before.  During his follow-up rounds, she had asked him if he knew of a family that might adopt the baby. 
The baby girl had black hair and olive skin, similar to mine.  Our friend said she immediately reminded him of me.  He asked if we were still trying to conceive.  We told him about the emotional roller-coaster we'd been on, and about the most recent failed IVF.
We spoke about the baby's health and the birthmother's circumstances.  I'll never forget what came next.  George asked, "How long do we have to think about this?"  Our friend said, "The mother's leaving the hospital in 40 minutes."
George and I looked at each other, and each saw the answer on the other's face.  We didn't even hang up the phone to talk it over.
"Yes!" we both exclaimed.
During the seven-hour drive, George and I fell into periods of contemplative silence interspersed with manic discussion-what names did we like?  How would we manage our work schedules?  What did we need to do to our house?  How amazingly, unbelievably, wonderful was this?  
We held hands as we walked into the hospital.  It was late, and the halls were quiet.  George and I felt so very small as we were led to the nursery.  And from the moment we laid eyes on our little girl, we were in love.
The sweetest thing
We had to remain in our baby's birthplace for two-and-a-half weeks to complete paperwork.  The next Sunday, George and my mother (who'd also driven a long way to be with her new granddaughter) slept in.  I was feeding my daughter a bottle when my cellphone rang.  It was George's cousin, who lives in our town and goes to our church.  
"Shelley," she whispered.  "I'm in church.  They're saying the Mother's Day prayer."  She held the phone up, so I could hear our preacher's words.  
"He's asking all the adoptive mothers to stand up," she whispered.  Then losing control, she shouted into the phone, "Shelley, STAND UP!"
There I was standing in the living room of our rented home-away-from-home, laughing and crying.  George and my mom came in to see why I was making so much noise.  But this time, I was crying the happiest tears I'd ever known.  And in my arms, I held something sweeter than all the Mother's Day chocolate in the world.

I'm cried like I did...I cried again while typing this.  All those amazing, wonderful feelings of getting "the phone call" came back to me again.  The feelings I felt the first time I saw Halle and her birthmother placed her in my arms!!  WOW!!  God is so very good!!  I have been a mother since November 21, 2008.  This is the most challenging, yet rewarding, thing I have EVER done.  But...this weekend I have been thinking of those women out there who want nothing more in this world than to be a mother.  I'm praying for them....praying God will bless them with this joy.  Whether it be through adoption or giving birth themselves.  Please join me in praying for them.