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Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Could this be the one?

It's been over a year since EM contacted us.  It's been almost 5 months since E was born.  The roller coaster of emotions that we have all been on can only be fully understood by those who have been a part of an adoption triad.  This is been the most trying, emotional, grateful, and incredible journey that we have been on and I know it's only the beginning.  I began this post almost a year ago to help me internalize and document a small piece of what our lives have been like.  When people hear about how long we had communicated with EM they are completely amazed.  What led her to us?  A series of interesting events that resulted in a free month of extreme exposure (a $500 package) for our adoption profile.  But I know our Heavenly Father had a hand in it all.  I truly believe we were matched for a reason.  So as I sat this morning with a fussy little girl I couldn't help but think about the last year and everything that has happened since, how different our lives are.  Did I get emotional?  Of course I did.  Because even through the really crummy times, I still can't believe how blessed we are to have this gorgeous little E in our lives.  And how blessed she is to have so much more family to love her.  

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September 27 

One month ago, on August 28th at 12:27pm we received an email that had the power to change our lives forever. 

I know I am not ready, or financially capable to have another child. I can tell you I love this baby enough to want the best for he or she. All I want is a loving couple who love each other to give their everything to this baby.

In just a few words, my heart melted. We have had so many bad contacts, but there was something different about her. Something real and precious. Something loving. One month ago has changed our lives. And while we do the best we possibly can to suppress the excitement we feel in our hearts, it still creeps in and we find ourselves making plans to bring this completely new person into our lives so she can bless us with a baby. 

We've discussed things I never thought I would say to another person. Things like birth plans and knowing about their culture and heritage. I never really thought we would get to this point and I find myself overly elated and equally frightened about what this woman could potentially do to our lives. We love her in a way most people would never understand. We cry and pray for her. We speak to her like she is a friend. We try to understand the pain that she is going through, one we will never know. And then she tells me things that makes me never want to let her go in my life. 

I want to share everything with you. Especially you Nubia. I read your blogs and I can't image what you have gone through. I want to help create all the memories and treasure this process as I did for my son. So I'll be sure to send ultrasound pictures. And update as much as possible. I want you to feel that you're carrying this baby and I'm just a friend who is there by your side. I'm hoping come April you can feel and talk with the baby in utero....I have never felt so confident in my decision. This baby is not mine, he or she is already yours. 

I can't imagine - can't even fathom - having the strength to tell another woman those words. I can't imagine the strength it takes to know that your child would have a better life with another family. She is amazing and a rockstar. She is our miracle. 

We have a long way to go. 7 months to be precise. And through that time, we will do what we can to keep our hopes up, but our hearts slightly guarded. Because we don't know what could happen. There are so many extenuating circumstances that change things at the drop of a hat. And that's the moment we're praying so hard never happens. 

November 2

Things have been progressing amazingly with EM {Expectant Mom}.  I feel like we have grown an amazing friendship that goes completely beyond the end result from when we started.  We chat every few days online about so many things.  More of what's going on in her life and how her son is doing.  What everyone did for Halloween.  So on.  It's been such an incredible experience as we let this woman into our lives and the love that we have for is 100% unconditional.   At this rate, my biggest fear is not her choosing to parent, but us potentially losing this woman in our lives that we've - I - have grown so close to.   It's a fear I have never felt before and there are times when it completely rocks me to my core.

Earlier in October we took the plunge and purchased tickets for EM to fly down over Thanksgiving.  It was single-handedly one of the scariest and most exciting things we've done.  She will fly in just before Thanksgiving, spend time with our families and us, and fly home the next week.  All in all, she will be here for a week.  I've talked to her about our excitement and equal parts fear, but they are all feelings that we are all feeling.  I know how we are feeling about all of this.  I can never fully understand what she is feeling and going through, but she's never once made us doubt this decision of hers.

It's a scary thing.  Opening up your life to this other person.  Opening up your soul to the heart ache that could potentially follow.  Or the never ending joy and love that we all hope will be at the end of this road.  We are doing what we can to keep busy and while it seems like we've been talking to EM for so long now, there are still six months between now and the day we meet our baby.  Our baby.  A moment I have been imagining for so long. 

November 29

 It's been three months since our journey began with EM. And she still continues to blow my mind with reassurance. We were pretty disappointed when we had to change her travel plans for this week. Her doctor wanted her to come in for blood tests and another ultrasound before her next official appointment. And they picked the week she was supposed to be here. So travel plans had to be cancelled. We of course were a little  disappointed that she couldn't come, but the health of her and the baby take precedent. We will plan another flight after the new year. 

We did receive amazing news on Friday. It's like all of our feelings and dreams are manifesting in this one woman. She will be having a girl. It's funny to me how I've been wanting boys for as long as I can remember and now we will have a girl. But it doesn't even matter. We are already in love with this little girl. Michael's little girl. 

Well congrats. 😊 I love her. I'll keep care of her. Till the time comes you guys take her home. 

I can't possibly put into words what her saying this means to us. It's possible that I was tearing up when reading it. We are incredibly blessed to be on this journey, to be able to get to know EM before everything gets crazy. She has no idea the impact she has already had in our lives. She has given us so much hope. 

January 3, 2016

It's strange to imagine a year ago and we had zero prospects of a child. Actually, that's not entirely true. A year ago we were meeting with my RE in talks of proceeding with IVF. That's when he told me he wanted me at a "healthier" weight. It was a blow that rocked my self-esteem for months before I realized I had every ability to succeed in my physical health. Of course, there was the thought in my mind that plenty of women much heavier than me were able to conceive naturally and carry healthy pregnancies. So why was I so different? I had constantly pushed myself to believe that just because my insides were broken didn't mean that I wasn't on the surface. But hearing that news broke me completely. 

One year ago. A few months after that we decided IVF wasn't really where we needed to concentrate. We needed to push forward with our adoption as we had intended. Honestly, most of the idea of IVF came from us being so baby-crazy. It was the holidays. Everyone was announcing pregnancies. We just wanted a baby and wanted to exhaust all of our options. 

Isn't it crazy how different your life can be in just one year? In only four months, we have accepted this woman into our life and she has the ability to completely change it, for the better. I have grown to love this woman. I enjoy our chats, even the ones that have no substantial conversation. Every little word I cling to. This is the woman that will bear our child. She is the woman that will make me a mother. The gravity of that sentence is not lost on me. 

January 31

Five months. It's been five months since she reached out to us. Five months since we started on this whirlwind relationship. And I wouldn't trade this for anything. The relationship that we have built with this woman will be with me forever. 

At the beginning of the month we secured a lawyer. While I was talking to her about all of it, I felt some apprehension to coming down to visit. Not that she didn't want to, but the anxiety of leaving her son more than once was clearly weighing on her. Before I realized it, I was asking What if I come up there? I know I surprised her as much as I did myself! But instantly - even through a computer screen - I could feel her anxiety decrease. So our plans were to be made. This Friday we fly up to meet her for the first time. On Saturday we have an ultrasound scheduled! It's a moment that I thought I'd never know. And here she is, wanting to share this with us. 

Anxious doesn't begin to cover the emotions I'm feeling. I'm excited, of course, but I'm also nervous. Nervous that we won't be what she's expecting. Nervous that we may disappoint her in some way. We know the risks and the gamble we're playing and we're okay with that. I just don't want to let her down. I'm trying to stay positive and I know we will be praying like crazy over the next week. I do feel like she's in our lives for some reason. And I can't wait to be able to actually hug her. 

March 13, 2016

We are quite literally in the homestretch now. Last month we had the privilege of meeting EM and it was an experience I will never forget. We also met her mom and sister. It felt like meeting family that we haven't seen in a long time. It just all felt right. Even Michael opened up to them faster than I've ever seen. It was just beautiful. And I believe it was the reassurance we all needed. 

Now we are so close! Baby girl is due in a little over a month, but her doctor believes she'll be a couple weeks early. We kind of hope she will be too. We can't wait to meet her. The anxiety of that day keeps building. EM flies down next weekend which is another anxious day to look forward to! Our time as a childless couple is quickly ending and although we've had several months to wrap our head around it, it's still really hard to completely adjust to. I'm guessing adjusting won't happen until after she's here. 

We've started "nesting". I really don't know why people call it that. We really didn't have plans to change anything around until after she was born, but the more I talk to EM, the more I want to just jump in and enjoy all of it. All the planning and insecurities and unexpected moments. It's giving me something to control right now...which is something I haven't been able to do in a long time. 

April 22, 2016

EM flew down a month ago. And she changed our lives forever. Who am I kidding, she changed it before now. But this time she changed my parents. They brought her in and treated her as another daughter. Was I jealous? Sure, a little. 😝 But it was just a glimpse to her of just how much they love their children and grandchildren. I can never fully repay them or thank them enough for integrating her into our family. 

Baby E was born on Monday, April 18 at 9:38pm. Her arrival was beautiful and miraculous. Being there with EM was an experience I have never dreamed of having. It made this experience so much more special, emotional, spiritual. Sharing just a little bit of what EM was experiencing. I have no actual words to explain my emotions. My gratitude. My everlasting love for this woman that gave us this life. She gave us a gift. She will always be in our lives. She will always be a part of us. She will always be E's tummy mommy. I couldn't imagine a more fierce and strong woman to be that. I am so confident Heavenly Father put her in our lives. He matched us. And it couldn't have been a more perfect match!

Now the fun begins! The crying and giggling and midnight feeding. And the love that will continue to stretch over borders. A love I feel for EM and EM feels for us constantly. I can't wait for this next adventure. And I can't wait to see what Heavenly Father has in store for us next!

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