Midnight (plane) to Georgia

On Wednesday, May 20th around 2:30 in the afternoon, I was feeding Samantha and the phone rang. It was the social worker from the adoption agency in Nevada and we were cleared to go home!! I called our social worker in Georgia just to double check and she said she was just about to call me – it was true! I finished feeding the baby while Chris and I jumped online to look at flights. We could leave at 10:40 that evening and get back to Georgia early Thursday morning, which gave us plenty of time to pack and get to the airport without having to rush. As soon as Sam finished her bottle, we packed, double- and triple- checked to make sure we weren’t leaving anything, showered and got dressed, dressed the baby and put her in the car seat. And she immediately projective spit all over her outfit and the seat LOL. So after a quick wardrobe change and seat-cleaning, we were ready to leave the condo before 6pm.

We got to the airport around 6:30, checked in and checked our bags – then Samantha and I sat at Starbucks while Chris went to return the rental car (we didn’t want to try to ride the shuttle from the rental car place with all our luggage and the baby LOL). When he got back, we grabbed a bite to eat around 7 and bought a little stuffed monkey that said Las Vegas (and a keychain and Christmas ornament) for the baby, and got to our gate around 8.

At almost boarding time, I put Samantha in her jammies and we got ready for the flight home. She slept the entire flight (I fed her while we were taking off and landing to keep her little ears from popping but she didn’t really wake up) – Chris and I did not sleep at all LOL. We landed a little after 5am (EST).

After a quick wardrobe change into her going home outfit, we were met by my parents with a sweet little sign, got our bags and headed home!! My cousin Jodi had put signs up, friend Kelly put a pink bow on the mailbox and our neighbor kids made welcome pictures 🙂

When we got home it was almost time for the house cleaner to get there so my mom stayed downstairs with the baby while Chris and I went upstairs (out of the cleaner’s way) and slept for a few hours while ganmommy and Samantha got to know one another. Later that afternoon my aunt, cousin, and cousin’s two kids came by shortly followed by Chris’s mom, aunt and uncle. Now we’ve been home a little over a week and have gotten into a nice routine of life with a new baby!

Home sweet temporary home

On May 14th, 2015 Samantha Jayne was discharged from the NICU and we got to bring her “home” to the condo that we are renting here in Nevada!!

No more tape!

Yesterday they took Samantha’s oxygen cannula out and today when I came in they had removed the tape! That means they don’t anticipate having to put her back on oxygen!

hen the day got even better! When the doctor came by, he said that as long as she gains weight overnight that she will get to go “home” tomorrow!! She still weighs 5 pounds 13 ounces so she’s not back up to her birth weight yet.

Since her pretty little face is finally fully visible I brought the good camera in and took a couple more pictures – she is so beautiful!!

We brought in her car seat so she could take the “car seat test” – babies in the NICU have to do this before they will let them go home. Basically they just strap them in the car seat for a set amount of time (an hour at this hospital, some hospitals apparently do it for however long the drive home is, some do 90 minutes) while they’re hooked up to all of the monitors to make sure their heart rate, respiratory rate and oxygen saturation stay up – that they can tolerate sitting in the upright-ish position and being strapped in, etc.

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Timeline – aka “buckle up and hold on tight! Things are about to get real!”

Around Christmastime in 2014 Chris and I decided to pursue adoption again. We didn’t want to go through one agency this time, so we looked into Adoption Information Services, a consulting company. We sent in the questionnaire/application on December 28th and registered for the seminar that they were having on Janary 24. Unfortunately I put the seminar time in my calendar for 11:00 – turns out it was at 10:00 (oops)! The morning of the 24th I was looking at their website for directions to the seminar – noticed my mistake and realized there was no way we could get there in time. January 27th I called, had them send us a DVD of the seminar and made an appointment with AIS. February 4th we sent in our fee agreement and deposit.

us, at our first meeting with Leigh at AIS

February 13th was our first meeting with AIS – after the meeting, we went home with our “homework” and started planning out a hopeful timeline. Our second meeting was scheduled for March 6th – I printed out calendars and marked them all up, thinking we could probably get our home study finished by the middle of April and start sending out profiles. The average wait time for AIS clients is 3-6 months so my best case scenario was that hopefully we’d get matched by mid July and have a baby around November. Well … God had a different plan!

before our photo shoot to get a few professional pics for the cover of our profile book

We finished our profile book the weekend after our first meeting with AIS, it was approved on the 20th and we ordered one copy to proof in real life before ordering 15 copies to send to agencies. On Feb 21st we mailed out home study application packet to Options 4 Adoption (since AIS is just a consulting company, not an agency, they don’t do home studies – O4A only does home studies). We started working on the paperwork that we knew would be required for the home study also (thankfully they had a checklist on their website).

February 24th we got an email from AIS about a birthmother opportunity in Kentucky. I assumed the email was sent to active (home study ready) AIS clients and our name got put on the list accidentally. I actually forwarded the email to Chris and said “Too bad we don’t have a profile book and home study yet!” because I didn’t think that we were allowed to act on the opportunity (the instructions were that if you were interested in being considered by the birthmother to send your profile and home study – we had neither). The next day, AIS sent a follow up email asking if we had decided whether or not to send our information to KY – and after a few emails and phone calls the lovely ladies at AIS had sent some information and a digital version of our profile to the agency. Our proof version of the profile book came in and I immediately FedExed it to the agency *just in case*.

the 20 copies of our profile book that arrived the day after we found out we’d been matched LOL

Two days later (February 26th), before they even received the hard copy of our profile book, the agency called and said we were one of two being considered to parent the baby due in Kentucky. A couple of hours later she called me back and said she had gotten our book and they were ready to consider us “officially matched”. Oh and by the way, the baby that was listed on all the information as due May 1st was actually scheduled to be delivered via C-section the week of April 21st.

And that’s how our dream of being parents maybe, hopefully, possibly by November became the reality of OHMYGOSH we’re gonna be parents in less than TWO MONTHS!! And thus began the frenzied nesting as well as the hurried attempts at getting all of my students’ IEP annual reviews done as well as substitute lesson plans written before my maternity leave. As far as my job goes, the timing couldn’t be more perfect – my last day would be April 10th because the 13th-18th was Spring Break, then the 21st we leave for Kentucky. And there are only 24 school days that I will be out before summer break! Which is nice because I’m a bit of a control freak at work too (yeah – I left 50 pages of “information” for the substitute in addition to the class schedule and lesson plans).

A mommy, at last!

Hello blogosphere, I am Nicole and I am a lot of things. I am a special education teacher, a photographer, a wife and daughter, an awesome aunt, a church Elder, a Sunday School teacher, a friend, a champion sleeper, a doctor (of philosophy, not a medical doctor) – but there is one thing I have always wanted to be that I am not. I was *that* girl – the one whose life ambition was to be a mommy. I subscribed to “Parents” magazine when I was twelve years old. I have always loved children and just assumed I’d have my own. When Chris and I became engaged (in 2002), I told my mom not to be upset if we ended up pregnant before the wedding. A few years later, since it hadn’t happened yet, we started trying harder – charting, timing, etc. Finally we realized it wasn’t meant to be so we began to look into adoption (around 2007). Our first agency experience wasn’t all that wonderful (nothing specifically negative, we just never had a great feeling and it seemed to be very, very slow going). I finished my PhD, life went on, and lo and behold I got pregnant in July of 2012 – only to miscarry about a week after I found out.

January of 2015 we (my husband Chris and I) decided to try a different adoption route. We set up an appointment with a consulting group (not an actual agency – Adoption Information Services. I’m sure I’ll post soon about the timeline from there, but let’s jump to now – April of 2015. We are matched with an expectant mother in Kentucky who is scheduled to give birth to a little girl next week – a little girl who, if the way be clear, will be changing our lives forever and making my dreams come true. If everything goes to plan, next week I will be a mommy, at last!