Archive for May, 2011

Juggling two and eating! (for Amy Rose) :)

I have a good friend from church, who also lives on our street, that has roped me into doing The Clean Program cleanse. You can learn more about it here: The Clean Program.

While I know that it will most definitely make me feel better, it is a HUGE struggle to try and do this cleanse while caring for a newborn and a toddler. It is currently 12:12PM and I have only eaten half of an apple and had half a bottle of water. I’ve fed Elijah breakfast, snacks, and lunch, all of which I’m not allowed to eat. Elijah threw up his lunch, which I was able to catch on an empty plate (it happens more often than we’d like, so I’ve gotten good at catching it).

I put Elijah down for a nap, and currently he’s up there singing…not napping.

Natalie’s got gas so bad that she only wants to lay on her stomach….on top of my chest. When she’s not in this position during the day, she’s typically upset.

I’ve got six dirty bottles in the sink (we only own seven). I did manage to get the plate full of throw up down the disposal, hoping our house doesn’t smell.

And what am I doing, blogging. After all there’s not much else to do when you have a newborn who likes to lay on your chest…all.the.time!

Would I trade it for the world, absolutely not, but juggling two and eating have proven to rock my world!

Nonetheless, I do have some pretty cute kiddos, so here’s a few pics to enjoy!

Natalie’s favorite position…which is how we’re sitting as I type!

Daddy knows how to get in a few zzzzzz’s.

When I can get Natalie to fall into a deep sleep, then I can usually transfer her to this position.

The zoo is not one of my favorite places. Something about animals being caged that I just don’t like. However, the National Zoo is just a mile from our house and it’s free, so off to the zoo we go! This is Natalie’s first trip to the zoo.

GQ posing at the park

He’s a natural!

One of Elijah’s favorite things to do at the park – Pull Ups.

Elijah loves to hold Natalie. He wants to hole her all.the.time!

Elijah showing how those pull ups are paying off.


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Easter Morning – Celebrate New Life


12AM-2AM – Aaron was recording and uploading a video to be shown to our church Easter morning.

7AM – Elijah woke up saying, “Natalie, Natalie, Natalie.” – at least he’s excited at this point!

8AM – We made a quick trip to Wal-mart for baby necessities before we met with Sharon, the social worker, at 9AM.

9AM- we meet with Sharon and sign lots of papers. Sharon also told us that Natalie’s birth mother, chose to also name her Natalie Rose. This is a beautiful thing because she could have chosen to name her something completely different.

10:00AM- we leave for Aiken Medical Center

10:15AM – we meet our baby girl, Natalie Rose Graham. We promptly took this picture and emailed it to those at church, so they could show it to our community

Our first family photo.

The day was filled with lots of memorable moments.

We had an Easter Egg hunt in the hospital room with Elijah (to keep him entertained) while we waited to meet with Natalie’s birth mother, who had been discharged the night before.

Natalie’s birth mother showed up and we spent about an hour getting to know one another. WE LOVE HER! She’s funny, smart, outgoing, and beautiful. I think we’ll have a great relationship with her over the years.

As we left the hospital, Elijah helped escort Natalie out of the hospital

LIke a good big brother, he carried her Minnie Mouse doll for her.

We said goodbye to Sharon and the birth mother. There were lots of tears shed.

There is always a mixture of emotions under these circumstances: Sadness, joy, pain, excitement, anxiety, and hope.

It is an experience unlike anything else.

We all pile in the car heading for Myrtle Beach, a three hour drive. Of course, we are all starving by now and need lunch.

Our Easter Lunch this year consisted of two Turkey sub sandwiches from a gas station Subway, now if that’s not classy! A far cry from the Easter dinner I was planning to cook.

We then took off for the beach! Couldn’t wait to get there!

We immediately got our things unloaded and took a walk on the beach. Elijah was in heaven!

The beach certainly exceeded his expectations! It was so much fun to see him light up.

When we entered SC we were a family of three….now we experience the beach as a family of four!

What a beautiful thing!

We stayed in SC for a total of five days.

We got the fourth and final call from Sharon on Friday morning saying: “You’re good to go, you are welcome to head home!”

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The third call


Saturday morning, we wake wondering if we will once again be parents, of a little girl this time, OR if we will have just experienced one of many roller coaster rides in this thing we call adoption.

I had planned to have Easter dinner on Sunday evening and was going to spend Saturday doing a lot of cooking. Well, that was all on hold.

I did not cook a thing

I did laundry and waited with a knot in my throat and anxiety in my chest.

Sharon called around 10:30AM to see if we were willing to do a conference call with the birth mother.

Of course, we said yes! Although, we knew it might be a little bit awkward.

We had a wonderful conversation with the birth mother. She asked us how open we wanted to be with the adoption and what she could expect.

We told her of our experience with Elijah’s birth mother, where we sent pictures and letters monthly, and then we even did an in-person visit after about a year. We told her we would be open to the same thing with her.

She then asked if we had thought about a name. We then asked her if she had a name in mind. She wouldn’t share, she just wanted to hear from us.

We told her our favorite girl name is NATALIE….and then I said that my middle name is Rose and I’ve always wanted my daughter to have my middle name. So, Natalie Rose.

She said, “She looks like a Natalie.”

Wow….this is becoming more and more real!

We ended our conversation with the birth mother and Sharon said she would call us in a little while.

We continue to wait….excruciating! 

Around 12:30PM, we get THE CALL –

Sharon says: “We’re good!”

Me: “We’re good?”

Sharon: “Yes!” Congratulations, it’s a girl! She’s yours!!”

Me: “Oh my goodness! That’s awesome!”

Sharon: “I found out that the hospital will be releasing the baby on Sunday morning, so you all need to get down here!”

Me: “Oh my!!! OK”

We frantically pack (for four) for the week, at the beach, in one hour. It was insane! Our house was a complete wreck!

Thankfully we had a friend come by and help get stuff in the car, and we were off!

Aiken, SC here we come…..

Elijah was great, except from 4-5PM when he had a little breakdown (but that’s pretty normal each day).

The whole way down we kept saying to Elijah, “Tomorrow morning we’re going to get Natalie and then we’re going to The beach.”

All the way down, we heard “The Beach, The Beach, The Beach” from the backseat.

Nine hours later, at 11PM, we pull into a Hampton Inn, exhausted and ready for bed.

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The second call


On Good Friday, we were preparing our house for a Good Friday service, for 30 people 50 people. We were planning to grill out and feed all these people as well…in the rain of course! Things were crazy, but not unusually crazy.

Around 4PM we received a second call from our social worker.

Sharon: “She’s here!”

Me: “What?” (I’m thinking, what is she talking about)

Sharon: “The baby girl was born last night! She’s here!”

Me: Oh my gosh! Oh my gosh!

Sharon went on to tell us that the birth mother went to the hospital, which is a 45 minute drive from her house, on Thursday for a check up. She thought she was having contractions while at the hospital, but all the staff and doctors said, “nope, nothing’s showing up on the monitor.”

The birth mother, who has had two other children, was pretty sure she was having contractions.

She left the hospital to make the drive back home, and stopped at Sonic (her favorite restaurant) for a bite to eat.

While at Sonic, she called the hospital again and said, “I’m pretty sure I’m having contractions!”

Hospital said, “Well, you were just here, we didn’t see anything. Probably just Braxton Hicks. Just go on home.”

The birth mother drove the 45 minute drive home, and almost pulled over on the side of the road because of the pain she was experiencing.

She made it home, where her mother helped her deliver (in her bathroom) a beautiful baby girl!!

After we heard the story we couldn’t believe it.

Sharon told us that we need to talk to our lawyer to understand the risks and new laws in SC. This is more procedural than anything, but it needed to happen ASAP!

So, while 50 people were chatting it up in our house, at 8:30PM that night, Aaron and I sat in our room on a conference call with Sharon, the social worker, and Jim, the lawyer. It was all crazy.

Sharon told us that it is possible that we would need to drive down to SC on Saturday, but she was going to see if the hospital would keep the baby until Monday morning so we could leave just after church Easter Sunday.

Sharon said that she would be at the hospital tomorrow (Saturday) to talk with the birth mother and see how things are going.

Again, nothing is a done deal until papers are signed, which should happen Saturday early afternoon.

Until then…..we wait (and freak out a little bit AND try to finalize our “girl name”). Oh my!

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The Call


On Maundy Thursday  this year at around 2:30PM, we received a call from the adoption agency in South Carolina that united us with Elijah.

Aaron answered the phone (I thought it was a work related call).

Then all of a sudden he runs up the stairs and I hear him say, “wait, I want to get Amy on the phone.”

He comes up beaming, with a grin from ear to ear and tells me it’s Sharon.

Sharon, the social worker, proceeds to share the news that Elijah’s birth mother has become a Christian. She sent Sharon a letter to forward on to us and Sharon was so excited to share the news.

While I thought this news was AWESOME, I was perplexed by Aaron’s jubilance. It just seemed a little over the top for some reason.

Then the reason for his over the top jubilance came….We had been matched! Suddenly I was starting to think this is one of the best calls we’ve ever received. We learn Elijah’s birth mother is now a Christian AND we have been chosen by another birth mother to parent her baby.

and…..It’s a GIRL!! – A little princess, as the birth mother described.

We learned more about the birth mother and her family. We learned the circumstances surrounding the pregnancy and the reasons her birth mother was choosing adoption.

Of course, as I have learned that nothing is a done deal, until the papers are signed (at least that means it’s a done deal in SC).

The due date: May 13th – Fantastic, we have about 3 weeks to prepare for her arrival.

Little did we know…..

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