Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Option A

I was driving in the car yesterday...thinking about Samuel, life, trials, etc.

It really hit me for the first time that I have experienced miscarriage, infertility and adoption. I know that I have experienced all of them separately, but I hadn't ever really thought about the fact that I have dealt with all three in my life. I am not sure why I didn't realize before yesterday that all three of those experiences are a major part of me and my life story.

I also realized that none of those experiences are Option A. None are the ideal. None are the first choice of parents-to-be. I want to acknowledge that there are parents who choose to forego having their own biological children and opt to adopt and that is their first choice. God bless them.

But, for the most part, adoption, miscarriage and infertility are not one's initial choice.

How then have I walked the road of all three?

The ideal is to try to concieve, take a pregnancy test, see a positive response and nine months later have a healthy baby.

As I was pondering this all yesterday I thought about the
J U B I L A T I O N I experienced when I got a positive result on my pregnancy test in August of this year. I was in shock and overwhelmed with joy and gratitude and sheer delight. I was ecstacic.

Then I thought about the feelings that overcame me when I was told on October 4 that the sweet bundle I was looking at with my eyes was being given to me. A priceless gift. Once again, I felt absolute
J U B I L A T I O N. I didn't have to wait 9 months. I walked into the nursery and held my miracle within minutes.

To be fair, both the pregnancy and the adoption held a significant number of unknowns: would the baby be healthy? Would we miscarry? Would the birthmom change her mind? Would the birthfather claim his parental rights?

We couldn't have known what either road held for us. We couldn't have known that our first choice for parenthood would not come to be.

Miscarriage. Infertility. Adoption. Not our first choice. Not Option A. But ultimately the best choice because we can't imagine not having Samuel in our lives.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Dad's favorite photos of Samuel Lee

Adoption

Adoption. When you hear that word what do you think of? What comes to mind? Stories of people you know who adopted? Money? Legal proceedings? Does the word have a negative or positive connotation to you?

We're three months in and it is still strange to me that we've adopted. I know in my head that Samuel is adopted, and we are crazy in love with that kid, but it is still hard for me to believe that I am an adoptive parent.

From those I've talked to, and from my own personal experience, hearts know no difference between biological and adopted children. Of that I am confident.

Before adopting I knew little about the process or how I personally felt (other than that Ryan and I had said we'd like to adopt some day).

I'd like to share some information taken from the book: So You Want to Adopt...now what?

I picked this book up because it was on sale a few weeks after Samuel came along and it has good Biblical information about adoption and presents both the side of adoptive parents and birthmothers. It's a good place to start for those considering adoption or just want to learn more.

Here are some key points and facts from the book:

If we have a relationship with the Lord we have been adopted into the family of God. Therefore we are all adopted and adoption is the heart of God.


Today approximately 125,000 children are adopted in the U.S. every year. It is estimated that for every child available, there are 3 to 4 families trying to adopt that child.

Adoption:
  • allows a child to live rather than be aborted
  • enables families to be formed
  • restores the dignity of the birthmother
If you are thinking about adoption, here are a few things to consider:
Why do you want to adopt?
Consider what you want and expect through the adoption process?

This is one of the best quotes from the book:
"As you begin this journey, please keep one thought in mind: If God intends for you to have a child, you will. If He is calling you to adopt and has prepared your heart for this, He has a child just for you. Don't run ahead of what you know to be God's plan. You will get lost. If you believe adoption is God's will for you, you need only be obedient to what you believe He is telling you. The outcome of your obedience is His responsibility."

This week I'll share more about adoption steps, costs, and our own personal adoption experience. If you have questions please let me know!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Perfection is God's work

When a couple is trying to conceive for months and months (or years and years) we can become consumed with planning the exact timing, on the exact day, with all pieces exactly aligned for conception to occur. We count days, take our temperature, take OPK test, check the calendar, refer to last month, etc, etc. We try to figure out the perfect day to, once again, try to conceive.

I was looking through some old e-mails this morning and came across this e-mail from a friend that she sent to me on November 20, 2007.

How perfect her words are and how incredible not only that they came true - but the extent to which her words came true is unbelievable.

Whatever journey you are on today. Whatever road blocks you are facing. Whatever obstacles seem to lie in your path. Whatever pieces you are trying to perfectly align in your life to reach a desired outcome: May these words of my very wise friend encourage you as they encouraged me a year ago.


I'm not sure if this is worth sharing, but on my way to work this morning, I was doing some thinking and praying. I was thinking about how last month you said everything was perfectly aligned, and for some reason, I get this thought: God is going to do something when it's not perfect, when it's not in our power, so that He can be the one who gets the glory. So we can see He is a miracle worker. So we can know that it is His perfect timing. Somehow that comforted me this morning to remember that it's not up to me, and that I pray to Him because He is the one with the power and the wisdom. He's the one we can trust.

It was definitely not perfect that Ryan and I miscarried again.

Nothing about Samuel's adoption was in our power or plans.

We can all see that God is a miracle worker in the way He brought Samuel to us.

It was His perfect timing - not ours.


Amen and God bless you my dear friend for sharing these words of truth.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

A Christmas Miracle

At Christmas each year, Ryan's family gives us pieces to the Willow Tree Nativity. My favorite piece of the set is Mary holding baby Jesus.

Her posture speaks volumes. Looking at her I imagine what the expression on her face must have been: one of complete awe and wonder.


This wooden figurine challenges me to take time to get on my knees and thank God for the precious gift of His son. It challenges me to have an attitude of awe about the miracle of Christmas.

Baby Jesus came so small. So helpless. So vulnerable. So dependent. So tiny.

We serve a God of miracles. And to me the greatest miracle ever was that He sent his Son to this earth through a teenage girl in an amazing, miraculous way.

May we each be filled with peace and awe and wonder as we ponder that miracle today. Christmas blessings to you all family and friends!



Monday, December 22, 2008

Dear Samuel

Dear Samuel,
In your 11 weeks of life I have noticed that you like light. You really like light. If we are in a room where there are bright lights your eyes are immediately drawn to them.

Today I was holding you when I went to get the mail. As we neared the door I stopped to let you look out the window in our front door.

I stood there for awhile because you were in awe. Your eyes seemed to soak in the brightness of the light and the reflection of the snow.

I whispered in your ear, "There's a whole world waiting out there for you my little man. You'll have years and years to explore it. But today, I'm keeping you inside with me."

The world is full of adventure Samuel. It is full of opportunities, dreams and goals. Someday I will encourage you to take your first steps and explore it all. And before I know it, you'll be heading out that front door every day to a world that will love you, hurt you, beckon you, reject you and ultimately you'll have to decide how much and how often you want to be a part of that world.

But not today. Today you are just my little man. And I'm keeping you home with me.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

I have not forgotten

There is a lot written about the happiness, joy and laughter that the holidays bring. Light-hearted articles that discuss particular baking methods for the perfect Christmas cookie. Radio stations playing non-stop Christmas music. Television commercials reminding us that happiness is just one gift away.

This Christmas is different for our family because of our blessed miracle. But I have not forgotten the pain of the past few Christmas seasons. Often times that pain would be multiplied at family gatherings when little ones would be in abundance or I would overhear someone else receiving the congratulations that I so desperately desired.

I recall sitting in our church auditorium last year, days before Christmas, with a good friend who had miscarried in December. What does one do with that pain during 'the most wonderful time of the year?'

Today I acknowledge my friends (both those I have met in person and those I have not) who are facing this Christmas with empty arms or an empty womb. Friends have recently miscarried and the healing has just begun. Others have only received less-than-stellar news from their doctor about their chances of having biological children. Others are just waiting to see what the Lord has in store for their future family.

While some might think it is depressing of me to blog about this topic or insensitive of me to acknowledge it so publicly, having walked the lonely road of infertility I know that you just want people to be aware of your pain.

I've been there: at the Christmas party, smile plastered on my face while inside I am dieing because the holidays mark another season, another milestone where my prayer had gone unanswered. People avoid the topic. They know you are childless (not by choice) and so they ask about your house, your work, your pets...anything but the topic of children.

Or people don't know and so they say, "Are you working on some grandkids (wink, wink)?"

This Christmas I am praying for those who will not have the gift their heart so desperately desires. I am pondering what it would have been like to feel a little life growing inside of me on Christmas morn - the day our Savior came to earth. I am asking God to be present and real in a powerful way and to give strength when the journey just seems so difficult.

Oh friends, please know that I understand. I care. And I have not forgotten.

Monday, December 15, 2008

A time to ponder

This morning I read the Christmas story to Samuel. My goal is to read it every day from now through December 25. I want to read it to Samuel each Christmas so he knows what we are really celebrating this season: the birth of Christ.

It also helps me keep a realistic perspective and combats all the busyness of buying, baking, parties, etc. If I am stressing out about shopping, Christmas cards, or decorating....I stop myself and go back to the words of Luke 2. These words remind me of the true purpose and reason for Christmas.

If you haven't read it yet this season, I encourage you to read it here.

A verse that I have loved the past few years and that is so intriguing to me is verse 19: But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.

Today as I was reading it, I wondered why this verse is included here. The story of Christmas talks about the birth of Jesus and then the story of the shepherds and angels. It seems that verse 19 is just tucked away, not really part of the events of what was happening.

A few years back I found this description about Luke 2:19 – “But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.” Not your typical Christmas verse on its own – but one that demonstrates that Mary, the mother of our Lord and Savior, quietly pondered His truth in her heart. She took time to think about spiritual things, just as we should do. Christmas is a very busy time, but our time is poorly spent if we allow the “busyness” of Christmas to keep us from reading the Christmas story again and again, thinking about it. Make this season truly “A Time to Ponder.”

Maybe verse 19 is there as a reminder to us all. This Christmas, my first one as a mother, gives me lots to ponder and treasure. I treasure the miracle I hold in my arms as I read. I ponder the loss of another little one just months ago. I treasure the glory Samuel's story gives to God. I ponder what it must have been like for young Mary to have a baby. I treasure the simplicity of the Christmas story....no baby showers, no baby registries, no nursery, nothing.

As I look at my baby boy this Christmas, and think about his incredible story and arrival into our lives, I can't help but ponder the miracle of Christmas. Because, after all, the miracle of Christmas is about the birth of another baby boy.

A baby whose story has changed my life even more than Samuel. Now that's something to ponder.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Just a typical Thursday afternoon...

One baby boy in a puppy dog hat and bear PJs.

One mom with a Canon.

30+ photos some day he'll want to destroy.















































Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Desperately seeking God's best

As a result of recent conversations with a few friends, I've realized God is still teaching me lessons from my years of waiting. Here is one of those lessons:

In life there are so many decisions that need to be made. When it comes to our families, it seems the decisions are endless.

One doesn't want to just make decisions quickly and without thought...but rather with wisdom, discernment, clarity and unity among the decision-makers.

During my journey through infertility and miscarriages Ryan and I needed to make a lot of decisions. Medical decisions, decisions about my health, decisions about what doctors to see and how often to see them, decisions about finances, decisions about medications and treatments.

Now that we have Samuel, we are finding ourselves in a place where we need to make decisions once again. Decisions about healthcare, decisions about pediatricians, decisions about schedules.

One day soon (too soon I am sure!) we will have to decide about disciplining and consequences and other things that won't be fun.

During my waiting years, I claimed these two verses when a decision needed to be made. In fact, just weeks before discovering I was preganant, I had journaled and prayed these verses endlessly:

James 1:5
If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault.

Isaiah 48:17
I am the Lord your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go.

In August I prayed God would direct and guide our steps. I prayed for wisdom about continuing to wait, whether to pursue medical treatment or continue some of the natural treatment I was doing to make my body healthy or begin the adoption process.

When we discovered we were pregnant I assumed that was God's answer to my prayer. However, today I don't believe that was God's best for us. His best was a little miracle growing in another woman's womb.

Had we pursued medical treatment in 2006, chances are Ryan and I wouldn't have the amazing miracle in our arms that we hold today. Things could have been good, or even great, but it wouldn't have been God's best for our family.


When a friend asked us after we took Samuel home, when the decision was made about whether or not we wanted to adopt him, we responded that we didn't need to discuss whether or not we were interested in this baby boy....we just knew we were.

Looking back, I think the decision was made months prior as a result of us praying for wisdom and asking God to direct us and teach us what was best.

"If Jesus gives us a task or assigns us to a difficult season, every ounce of our experience is meant for our instruction and completion if only we'll let Him finish the work. I fear, however, that we are so attention-deficit that we settle for bearable when beauty is just around the corner." - Beth Moore

God's best...God's beauty...is worth waiting for.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Begging God for a miracle

Some of you...but not all of you...know that I was pregnant in August of this year. For 27 blissful days my husband and I knew we had conceived and anticipated all that was in store for our growing family.

The use of the word blissful might be a little strong because I had many moments of wondering and questioning if my baby would be healthy and strong and growing.

Last week I looked through my journal and couldn't believe the words I had written and how God had answered this specific prayer. Take a look:


August 26, 3 days prior to our first ultrasound...
God I am looking through my notes, my binder, my Bible - things I know, things I believe, things I trust...such good reminders for me today. I want to fear, and doubt, but today I am choosing - choosing to believe, choosing to trust, choosing to walk in faith, choosing to take what I know about my God and let it reign in my mind. I'm begging God for a miracle. I'm believing Him for a miracle and my praise is not dependent on my circumstances so today I praise you Lord!

Did God answer my begging? Did he respond to my belief in Him? YES!


But it wasn't at all how I had planned. It wasn't without pain. It wasn't in my timing.

I've learned a lot about my God this year...

And I know that I know that I know we serve a God of miracles.

I begged God for a miracle.

I believed Him for a miracle.

And He gave us a sweet, precious miracle straight from heaven.

May I never forget what I know about my God.

I'm sorry....

I know I'm biased.

But he is soooo cute. Samuel was very serious in his two-month photo shoot last week, but he really is a smiley guy these days. In fact, we've named him Lil' flirt which makes his papa really proud!

Here are a couple pics of his lighter side:
























Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Two-month photo shoot

10 a.m. on his two-month birthday. Beautiful sunlight. A cold winter day. Our little miracle. Priceless. Perfect. An answer to prayer.




























































































Post-Placement Recap

Is parenthood what you expected?

What was the biggest surprise?

What is his personality like?

Does he have a fussy time?

What does he like to do?

Do you have a room ready for him?

What kind of contact do you have with the birth mom?

Do you have a pediatrician for Samuel?

Has he been healthy?

What is his height and weight?

How long does he sleep at night?

Will he be placed in childcare?

These were just a few of the questions asked during our 1 1/2 hour post-placement study yesterday.

Another step in the adoption process completed....one big final celebratory step left to go! Thanks to everyone who prayed.

Happy Two-Month Birthday!

What a whirlwind the last two months have been! It has been so awesome!!!

On the one hand I can't believe it has been two months already, but on the other hand it feels like it has been a lot longer than just two months.

In just that short window of time, it is clear that I have not had enough time to spend with you little man. But I am so glad that every time you see me you greet me with a smile. You mother and I are celebrating today even more than yesterday!!! We are so glad that you are a part of our family.

Happy two months buddy. I love you.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Post-placement study

Tomorrow we have our post placement study at 3 p.m. I am not sure what this involves...probably more questioning and observing Samuel with us.

The house is a mess.

Samuel has a cold.

We're all lacking sleep.

Please pray it goes well....(not even sure what well means but you can still pray!).

Based off this meeting, the agency will make a recommendation to the judge to allow us to adopt Samuel. We will not get to see this report, but we'll trust it is a positive one.

Assuming we get a great recommendation, the next step is a visit to the courtroom in February to finalize the adoption legally. Wahooo!

Friday, November 28, 2008

When does our story begin?

I was asked to share the story of Samuel next week at a mom's group at my church. I’ve pondered the year…the month…the season that our story begins.

Does our story begin with March 9, 2001 – our wedding day? When Ryan and I chose Ecclesiastes 3:11 as our wedding verse: He has made everything beautiful in its time. We chose that verse because from our first date – June 22, 1993 to our wedding day – was nearly an eight-year journey. We had a rough ride at times, but God took us apart so that we could find ourselves and Him, and then in His great wisdom and mercy, brought us back together.

Does our story begin with the fall of 2005 when we decided it was time to grow our family? Ten months later I had the great privilege of telling Ryan on June 4, 2006, that he would be a dad. Two weeks later on Father’s Day, we told both of our parents they would become grandparents for the first time. We all cried tears of joy. Then on July 10, 2006, I had the beginning signs of a miscarriage and our lives were changed forever. We never got to hold or meet our precious baby.

Does our story begin with July 2006 as we began a two-year season of waiting? We were tested and found to have ‘unexplained infertility.’ We chose not to pursue fertility treatment and instead waited on the Lord. What followed were months of difficult, impatient, confusing, misunderstood, and painful waiting.

Does our story begin with August 2008, when I discovered God had blessed us with a pregnancy for the second time? Tears of joy could not be contained. Praises could not be kept quiet. A 7-week ultrasound could not hide the precious beat of our baby’s heart. A 9-week ultrasound could not hide the heart-wrenching truth that once again, our baby had died.

Does our story begin with October 2008 when we got a call that a 19-year-old birth mom had just given birth to a baby boy and was looking for a family to adopt him? He was less than 24 hours old. Were we interested? Would she choose us? We knew very little about adoption. But we knew a God who was bigger than our heartache and better than our wildest dreams. From phone call to parenthood was less than five hours.

After wondering, questioning and pondering when our story begins, I realize this story really isn’t about me. Or Ryan. Or Samuel.

I am the storyteller, but this is a story about the Lord. And it’s a story of astonishing grace. Unending faithfulness. Incredible sovereignty. Unexpected blessings. An inconceivable plan. Perfect timing. And a magnificent miracle.

From everlasting to everlasting you are God. And our story will always begin and end with you.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

It wouldn't have mattered

Dear Samuel,

During the years that your dad and I waited for you, I was given a book of devotionals that became a life preserver for me. I underlined, marked, folded pages, tagged topics, and referred to it over and over again. It was as if I had penned many of the words myself. The author made me feel valued and understood. The book is titled Moments for Couples Who Long For Children by Ginger Garrett.

While many of the devotions spoke right to my heart throughout our journey of waiting, I never quite understood the last devotional of the book. I could not identify with the author on her unique perspective. That devotional starts with these words: After a long battle with infertility, I had a son in the fall of 1999. When the nurses bundled him up and laid him in my arms for the first time, I gazed on his face and out came words that revealed a surprising realization: “It wouldn’t have mattered.” I am sure the nurses didn’t understand my muttering, but I felt seized with love for this precious infant – not because he came from my womb, but because he came from God. “It wouldn’t have mattered” to me had he been adopted or come from my womb.

In the midst of my struggle with infertility, having rejoiced over and mourned the loss of two precious babies, I could not comprehend how “it wouldn’t have mattered” whether my babies were adopted or biological.

But today Samuel I have a new perspective. I see with different eyes. I feel with a different heart. I have experienced the unbelievable joy of holding you in my arms and watching you break into a smile that melts every inch of my heart.

So today I say to you Samuel: it doesn’t matter one bit. I am fiercely and madly in love with you my little miracle man. I could not love a biological child more than I love you…maybe that is because I know that you truly are a gift from our great God.

On the day before Thanksgiving 2008 I say to you Lord: Thank you for the gift of Samuel. I recognize that he comes straight from your arms to mine. Thank you for teaching me the lesson: “it wouldn’t have mattered.”

Monday, November 24, 2008

Waiting

When I began my journey of waiting in the fall of 2005, I didn't know I was 'beginning my journey of waiting.'

I didn't know the pain of waiting and longing.

I didn't know the confusion of unanswered prayer.

I didn't know the struggle of trusting and believing in a God who seemed silent.

But today I am so thankful for my waiting. I am thankful because of the people I met. The friendships I made. The relationships that were built during this time. I am thankful because it makes me so much more appreciative of Samuel and motherhood.

I am thankful for my waiting because it forever changed me.

Today I rejoice with my friend Jeri because she has walked this road of waiting alongside me and today her waiting comes to end. I look forward to celebrating with her tonight the miracles of new babies.

Today I mourn for friends who recently miscarried. My heart physically hurts for them because I have been where they are. The physical pain, the emotional pain, the questions of, "Why me? Why my baby?"

Today my heart is tender for those friends who are still waiting. They are becoming strong women whether they recognize it or not. God is using this waiting to mold and refine them. He is teaching them through this waiting season.

May we all be so blessed that we go through waiting seasons of our lives....

May we all trust in a God who is sovereign...

May we all get to experience the joy of a miracle when we wait on the Lord...

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Things I haven't gotten used to yet

There are new sounds at the May household...

There are new smells at the May household...

There are new sights at the May household...

Here are just a few:
















Wednesday, November 19, 2008

I'm overwhelmed

I am so overwhelmed that I cannot sleep. I just laid down for a nap...since last night was not a night of sweet sleep...and I cannot sleep because I am so overwhelmed.

I cannot shut off my brain long enough to sleep.

I'm overwhelmed that for the past 7 weeks God has poured out his goodness on us.

I'm overwhelmed that for 7 weeks I haven't had to cook...the meals just keep coming.

I'm overwhelmed that my parents and Ryan's parents call with donations and gifts from neighbors, friends and family.

I'm overwhelmed by the generosity of people who have dropped off boxes of boy clothing.

I'm overwhelmed by the cards and gifts we have received.

I'm overwhelmed that people we don't even know, have loaned us their pack-n-play, baby Bjorn, changing table, and bouncy seat.

I'm overwhelmed that people we don't even know, have GIVEN us their high chair, stroller and swing.

I'm overwhelmed by the people in my life who want to throw baby showers to celebrate our miracle.

I'm overwhelmed by the number of people who have told me that they have been encouraged by Samuel's story and how it has reminded them of God's faithfulness and His perfect timing in our lives.

I'm overwhelmed that for the rest of my life...I will get to tell people the miraculous story of how Samuel Lee May came to be with our family.

I'm overwhelmed and that's why I cannot sleep.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

C E L E B R A T E

The last time Ryan and I met with our adoption attorney she told us the waiting period for both birth parents was up, but not to celebrate yet because we had one final search that had to be performed with the birth father. We weren't concerned about the outcome of the search, but I've been keeping my eye on the mail these days....and I'm becoming quite appreciative of our mail man. He keeps delivering me very good mail.

Minutes ago I opened a letter from our attorney dated November 17:

"Enclosed is the Search Results statement I received from the Minnesota Father's Adoption Registry. This shows that no one came forward and filed with the Registry within the 30 days after birth required by law."

Here I am home alone. I can hardly keep from crying. My little man is sleeping in the other room and has no idea of the significance of this piece of paper I hold in my hand.

It means he is ours. The birth father did not come forward at any point to claim his rights.

Now it's time to C E L E B R A T E!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

So...

So happy...so kissable...so sweet...so adorable. We are so in love with you little man.





























Friday, November 14, 2008

I can't believe it!

"I can't believe it! I can't believe you're here. I can't believe you're in our house. I can't believe how much I love you."

Spoken at 7 a.m. this morning by a proud dad who was very much procrastinating going to work so he could see his little man before he left.

Yesterday my friend Jeri Anne and I said the same thing as we were driving in her car with our two car seats and two kiddos in the back. "We can't believe we're actually in the car with our two babies!"

I hope and pray the awe of our stories and the preciousness of new life doesn't wear off any time soon.

What a privilege to be living a miracle that's so hard to believe! God is good.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Comments

Some of you have told me that you wanted to leave a comment but couldn't figure out how...or that you needed a Google/Blogger ID. We changed the comments to allow anyone to post a comment (without having an ID). So feel free to leave a message just by clicking on Comment under each posting, click on anonymous for your identity, and leave Samuel a message!

Sample comments might include notes such as:

Dear Samuel,
You are so cute. In fact you are one of the cutest babies I have ever seen. You have great parents. I mean, really great parents. They must be taking such good care of you. Speaking of good, wow, you are one good-looking baby!

:)

A bundle of sweetness

Tomorrow Samuel will be 6 weeks old.

How is that possible?

To celebrate this milestone he slept 11-5:30 two nights ago and he slept 11-7 (8 hours!) last night for the first time. Of course, I didn't sleep 11-7 because I thought for certain there must be something wrong.

I truly love the late-night feedings...everything is so quiet and calm and it's just me and my boy sharing secrets late at night.

But I also love sleep so it's a beautiful thing to get 6+ hours in a row.

Now my second favorite time with Samuel is early in the morning after he wakes up and we have breakfast together in bed. He has 4 oz of formula and I have toast or cereal.

Then I read or write or sleep and he sleeps on the pillow next to me for a couple hours.

I know this could lead to some bad habits...but for now I'm not letting that stop me. Before long I'm sure he'll outgrow my pillow and we'll be on to something new.

For now, I love to look over at my bundle of sweetness....and this is what I see:

I scrapbooked this past weekend while Ryan and Samuel hung out together.

I played around with a new software by Creative Memories called StoryBook Creator Plus. It's basically digital scrapbooking. I call it Photoshop for dummies because it is very similar to Adobe's Photoshop program.

It's awesome and I had so much fun making pages for Samuel. I used one photo per page and typed up letters that I've written to Samuel for the journaling. Here's a few that I created for my little man....























Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Happy Birthday Samantha

Dear Samantha,

Happy Birthday! I believe you are turning 20 today.

I hope you are doing something fun and memorable to celebrate your special day.


I have been thinking about you today. I have been thanking God for you. I have been telling Samuel that his birth mom is a wonderful woman.

I have been pondering the gifts you are getting today and the incredible gift you gave to Ryan and I.

I am so thankful for you Samantha. I am thankful for the selfless gift you gave us and the way in which you did so.

We wish you a very happy birthday. Know we are thanking God for you today!

Love,
The Mays

Friday, November 7, 2008

Dear Samuel

Dear Samuel,
Oh little man...you are growing up too fast.


You had your one month appointment at the pediatrician this week. You weigh 9lbs, 6 oz. and you are 22 1/2 inches.

You gained 2 1/2 lbs and grew 2 1/2 inches.

I am going to quit feeding you. I don't want you to grow up. Not yet.

I can hardly believe you are here....and before I know it you'll be 16.

I don't want to sleep. I don't want to blink. I don't want to look away.

I'm afraid the next time I look at you or wake up, you'll be a toddler, then a child, then a teenager, then a man.

I know they say every stage is more fun than the last.

But this stage is so so sweet. And it goes by so fast. And I'll never get it back again.

So stay small my sweet baby boy...my little miracle man...for just a little while longer.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Miracle Man

mir⋅a⋅cle

[mir-uh-kuhl]
–noun
1. an effect or extraordinary event in the physical world that surpasses all known human or natural powers and is ascribed to a supernatural cause.
2. such an effect or event manifesting or considered as a work of God.
3. a wonder; marvel.
4. a wonderful or surpassing example of some quality: a miracle of modern acoustics.

Our miracle:

http://www.serendipityphoto.com/slideshows/

Password: samuel

Be sure to have your music turned on....


Photos and slideshow courtesy of Jen Turcotte with http://www.serendipityphoto.com/

Parking lot encounters

So last night I was on my way home around 8 p.m. and Samuel started crying in the back seat. When this starts I try to get his nuk back in...sometimes that helps, sometimes not.

Sometimes he falls asleep and sometimes he just gets louder.

And louder.

And more upset.

I try not to pull over unless the cries begin to become silent for a brief moment which means he is crying so hard that he is working his way into the next scream.

Last night the scream escalated so I got off 694 and pulled into a parking lot. I jumped in the back seat to see what the problem was.

I tried to calm him down but to no avail. So I made him a bottle and he ate a little and burped.

And then it hit me:

What am I doing?

I'm in the back of my car. In a parking lot. At 8:30 p.m. at night. Trying to soothe my crying baby boy.

Am I really here? In a parking lot, in the back seat of my car, with a BABY?

It's times like these that it hits me all over again...

How can I possibly have a baby? How can I be sitting in a parking lot trying to calm my screaming baby?

How did this happen?

Whose baby is this?

Am I dreaming?

Is it for real?

When will it end?

Since it takes most women nine months to prepare, I'm giving myself nine months to soak in the reality that Samuel is here. He is ours.

And most likely there will be a few more parking lot encounters in the weeks to come!

Monday, November 3, 2008

One month down....

...forever to go! One month ago today Samuel was born. He is doing great and we have our one-month appt at the pediatrician on Wednesday.

Ryan and I met with our adoption attorney this afternoon. They will do a search to make sure the birth father didn't register himself as Samuel's father in the last two weeks. Once that comes through clear, we are officially good to go!
For now we are moving ahead with the adoption process.

Our next step is the post-placement study. Typically the home study and post placement are not done within one month's time. Our home study counselor will pay us another visit, and then (hopefully!) make a recommendation to the court that Samuel should be placed with us.

Once this recommendation comes through, our attorney will set a court hearing date. It has to be at least three months past the date of the Pre-Adoption Custody Order which came through on October 30. So we think in February some time we'll go before a judge to receive final legal custody of Samuel.

We look forward to this date and plan to celebrate it with our families.

Samuel started smiling on Friday....we're loving it. Here's some photos I took tonight of our one-month little man:








Friday, October 31, 2008

A Precious Pumpkin

It's a 60-degree fall Friday in Minnestota...it's Halloween...Ryan just got home...life is good.












































Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Hi dad

Ryan is missing Samuel like crazy...so here are a few pictures for you hon! We miss you too!







































Monday, October 27, 2008

A daddy's love...via text messages

Ryan left for France on Saturday. From across the ocean he counted down the minutes until the consent to adopt was final today....these are the text messages I received:

oct 26 1:08 pm
approaching 24 hours

oct 27, 6:59 am
7 hours and counting

oct 27, 11:01 am
3 hours. any word?

oct 27, 11:58 am
two hours!

oct 27, 12:59 pm
Any word from Judy? 1 hour to go! Call when you can.

oct 27, 1:41 pm
19 mins

oct 27, 1:57 pm

3 mins. everyone i am with is waiting to hear.

oct 27, 2:01 pm

time up. what's the word?

Clearly, Ryan is quite ecstatic to be a dad. The word is that the consent to adopt from the birth mom was final at 2 p.m. today.

P r a i s e G o d.

24

24 hours in a day. 24 featuring Keifer Sutherland (aka Jack Bauer). 24 - the number worn by NBA superstar Kobe Bryant. 24 cans in a case of pop. 24 hour fitness. Its been 24 days today. 24 days since Samuel came into our life....and I'm forever changed.






















Photo courtesy of
Jen Turcotte with http://www.serendipityphoto.com/

Sunday, October 26, 2008

daddy's lil pumpkin

Ryan left for France Saturday for 7 days. Before he left we had a daddy's lil pumpkin photo shoot!