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!
















































Thursday, October 23, 2008

Adoption update

This week Ryan and I finished our paperwork (we think!).

We went to the adoption agency.

We went to the police station.

We went to city hall and got our criminal record (boy, that was a long list.....).

We went to the department of motor vehicles and got my birth certificate.

We went to the post office.

And now a number of local and state agencies will be mailing information about us to our adoption agency.

The hard part is over....and so we wait.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

'Lil Squirt

At 6:45 p.m. tonight Samuel's mom put on her PJs. She was looking forward to a quiet, relaxing night at home.

She enjoyed her comfy clothes for a few hours.

Then at 9:30 'lil squirt earned his name while his mom was changing his diaper. She had been very fortunate through many diaper changes to have never been sprayed by 'lil squirt.

A few minutes later Samuel's mom changed into a clean pair of PJs.

Just another night with our little man.

Monday, October 20, 2008

One more day

I got off the phone with the adoption agency this afternoon and burst into tears. I thought we were nearing the end of the adoption process, but in fact, we had a lot more to do.

Papers to notarize, birth certificates to copy, more background checks to send in.

I was overwhelmed.

And a little sleep deprived.

So I cried.

It was a necessary cry.

Tonight Ryan and I spent well over an hour filling out paperwork. A lot of paperwork. Tomorrow we'll go to the adoption agency to go through it all to make sure we have everything accounted for.

We are tired of paperwork, tired of signing our names over and over, tired of writing our address, our date of birth.....

Adoption is not an easy process. In fact, it is long and tiring. And emotionally draining.

Which is what led to the tears. And the arguments.

I can't imagine how much more difficult this would be if we didn't have a beautiful baby sleeping in the room next to us.

I can't fathom calling, faxing, signing, requesting, mailing, and copying if I didn't already know why I was doing each of those things.

But I know. And I am so very thankful.

And I'd sign papers every day for the rest of my life if it meant one more day with Samuel.

I was a little short my both of my boys today. I'm hoping they'll forgive a tired and overwhelmed wife and mom.

I love my boys!


Saturday, October 18, 2008

Little Boy Blue
















































Samuel just keeps getting bigger and cuter every day. Here he is in his 'I Love Hugs' outfit. It's a newborn size and I don't think it will fit him much longer. He is a big eater.

Last night Ryan took the night shift and the little guy slept midnight to 5 a.m. I think the boys planned that :)

Two weeks ago tonight we were at the hospital choosing a name for our new baby. Today we are madly in love with our little boy blue.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

We are home!































Samuel and I officially moved home today. Ryan finished painting this week and the house is looking great!


I have been spoiled the last two weeks as my mom cooked, did dishes, my laundry, Samuel's laundry, helped with feedings, gave him a bath, and even took the night shift one evening.

But it is good to be home. So good.

Last night Samuel slept for almost five hours - yeah! But each night is different so we'll see what tonight brings.

Ryan is happy to have us home with him. Jersey (our cat) could care less most of the time.

Our fridge is overflowing with food (thank you friends!), our nursery is overflowing with bags, bags and more bags of baby stuff (again, thank you!) and our hearts are overflowing with love for this sweet gift from above.

I feel like we're 'playing house.' Is this for real?

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Here is the problem

So you spend the majority of the first part of your life trying not to get your girlfriend or wife pregnant because you don't want it to interfere with life, but then when you decide that you are ready it doesn't happen. Weird.

I always knew that I wanted to adopt my first, but I forgot that it is a two-way street and that I had to convince my wife that adoption was a good option. Through the wait and struggle of getting pregnant we eventually agreed to pursue adoption. Before we could get beyond printing out initial papers we were on our way to the hospital to meet with the birth mother. What a miracle.

We understand that this doesn't happen and we appreciate how lucky we are. I am super excited to be a dad! I am ready.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Couldn't resist...



Baby Samuel



I am staying at my parents for a few more days while Ryan finishes the painting in our home.
The daycare kids at my parent's house already love "Baby Samuel" and can't wait to see him each day.
I have had a couple talks with them about adoption. I asked one sweet boy named Connor if he knew what it meant to be adopted. He didn't, so I told him, "It's when a baby grows in one mom's tummy and she gives him to another mommy to love."
He shook his head....he understood.
What a privilege that I get to love, care for and raise a baby that another woman gave life to. I am so in awe of this responsibility.

I can't wait to tell Samuel some day that his mommy loved him enough to give him to us.
Everyone is telling us that he is the lucky one. I disagree. We are blessed beyond measure.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Introducing ...

We would like to introduce our miracle from heaven: Samuel Lee.

Born Friday, October 3 at 2:10 p.m. at Waconia hospital in Minnesota. 6 lbs 12 oz, 20 inches

So in the course of time Hannah conceived and gave birth to a son. She named him Samuel, saying, "Because I asked the Lord for him." 1 Samuel 1:20

Thursday, October 9, 2008

October 3, 2008 -- PART 1

It was a fall day in our new neighborhood: Northeast Minneapolis. We were participating in a service project that involved picking up garbage along Central Avenue in cooperation with the Chamber of Commerce. At about 11 a.m. I (Ryan) head back to the service project headquarters, where lunch was being served. I was just about to enjoy part of my Subway sandwich when my wife burst through the door with tears streaming down her face.

She was talking on her cell phone and she yelled, "Ryan come outside right now. I need to talk with you...Ohh and it's a good thing." I was out the door before she said another word. She quickly filled me in on the details: she had received a phone call from our friends (TJ and Jeri Anne Lovett) who told her there was a 19-year-old mother in Waconia (a local suburb) who had just given birth to a baby boy and was looking for a family to adopt him.

TJ wanted to know if we would be interested in meeting the mom. We said absolutely! We were told the mother wanted to meet with us to see if we would be good candidates for her baby's parents. A meeting was scheduled for 1:30 p.m. that afternoon.

We quickly drove home, I packed for my flight to D.C. that evening and we were in the car on the way to the hospital. Arriving just in time to meet mother and grandmother in the hospital we were nervous and excited. We had a mixture of emotions - we were concerned for the mother, Samantha, but yet we were excited to see what was in store for us.

Stacy continues the story...

October 3, 2008 - Part 2

Before leaving for the hospital I called two friends and asked them, "What do I say to a birth mom? What should I wear? Should I bring anything with me?"

I was incredibly nervous and had no idea what to expect for our meeting.

We drove to the Waconia hospital, talked through a few things with TJ and then walked into the hospital room and introduced ourselves to the birth mom, Samantha Lee and her mother Jill (Samuel's birth grandma). We chatted for about 45 minutes.

We asked Samantha questions about her life, talked about the baby and adoption. We told her a little about ourselves and our story and how grateful we would be to love her baby as our own.

We then left the room and gave them some time to talk with one another.

We told them there was no pressure to decide now, and to take as much time (hours or days) as needed to make a decision.

TJ, Ryan and I were standing outside the nursery looking at Samuel when Samantha and Jill walked up. Samantha said, "We would like you to adopt him."

We couldn't stop the tears. All four of us (and possibly TJ) were crying like crazy.

What a precious gift we were given.

We talked with a social worker, and were immediately given bracelets to the nursery where only parents are allowed. This was just a little over 24 hours after Samuel was born.

We went into the nursery and got to hold and feed our precious baby boy for the first time.

He was on oxygen, hooked up to an IV with antibiotics and had numerous other cords and tubes attached to him. But he was so adorable.

We met again with Samantha, Jill, TJ and the social worker. Samantha decided she was going to go home that afternoon.

Within hours Ryan canceled his scheduled flight to Washington D.C. He was planning to be at the airport at 5:00 p.m. to go out of town for work until Thursday.

Before we knew it, we were the only two at the hospital holding, cuddling, and loving our little guy.

Throughout this time we were calling our parents, siblings and a couple friends asking for prayer and sharing what was taking place.

This might be a good time to mention the fact that we had NOT started the adoption process. We were NOT working with an adoption agency. We had NOT signed a single paper. We were NOT on a waiting list.

Can you imagine our parents reactions when we called and told them we were on the way to the hospital to meet a birth mom who was giving her baby up for adoption?

A friend asked us this week when the discussion took place about whether or not we wanted to adopt. About whether or not we were interested in this baby boy.

Our response? There was no discussion. There was no hesitation. Not for a single second did we consider not pursuing this incredible opportunity.

For three years we had waited on the Lord's timing for our family...and on October 3, 2008, his timing was perfect.

8 days later....

There is more to this story....we got to take him home Monday and have been loving every minute of parenthood since then.

We will fill you in with more details about what took place Sunday and Monday, but for now we just want to say thank you to each and every one of you who has given us your love, support, tears, congrats and rejoiced with us over our miracle.

He is doing great, gaining weight, eating like a champ, sleeping well and is the sweetest little boy.

This week we met with an adoption attorney, started our home study with the adoption agency, went to the pediatrician, and got fingerprinted for our background check.

It's a crazy whirlwind and we couldn't be happier.

Please pray for all the legal aspects of the adoption process and that things would come together quickly - just as they have the past 8 days.

Please pray for Samantha and her mother Jill. They have given us a priceless gift - a son and a grandson. Pray for physical and emotional healing and for peace that this was the right decision. Our hearts are filled with so much love and gratitude for them.

As I write this, 10+ people are at our home fixing, painting and preparing for us to bring Samuel home next week (we didn't exactly have a nursery ready!). We are staying at my parents in Eden Prairie this week. We are so blessed to be loved by so many.

Friends we don't know what the future holds. We are taking things one day at a time. But we are committed to loving this little guy for as many days as God gives us, trusting his future - and ours - to a great big God.

In the hospital...






Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Samuel Lee

"What are you going to name him?" the birth mom asked us Saturday...literally hours after meeting her.

Ryan and I looked at each other.

We had a few names in the back of our minds but we weren't sure. Twice we had dreamed of baby names and now we actually had the opportunity to name a baby - our baby!

I went to the nurses station and they gave me a couple baby books, one of which was titled "Baby Naming for Dummies" and one titled "100,000 baby names."

Are you kidding me? 100,000 baby names?

I was so overhwlemed by this task....not to mention I could hardly comprehend the events of the day were actually occurring.

Ryan and I made a list of names. I crossed lots of them out. We talked. Sounded them out. Wondered how they would work with our last name - May.

We wanted a name with meaning.

When we got home from the hospital Saturday night we looked up 1 Samuel in my bible. You can read the first chapter here.

The story of Hannah has been incredibly impactful in my life the past two years.

Saturday night the verse that jumped out to me was 1 Samuel 1:20: So in the course of time Hannah conceived and gave birth to a son. She named him Samuel, saying, "Because I asked the Lord for him."

There was no question what his name should be.

Ryan and I felt very strongly that his name should be Samuel Lee (Lee is his birth mom's middle name).

In Hebrew the meaning of the name Samuel is: asked of God; heard by God.

We prayed. We wept. We hurt. We questioned. We doubted.

Verse 27 says: "I prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted me what I asked of him."

We asked. God heard.