We got a match for a baby boy who was due to be born on March 17th. While the Drs. and social workers thought that he would be up to two weeks early, they were wrong! And actually had to induce the birth mother in the morning of March 18th. Then at 12:44pm she gave birth to the most beautiful, perfect boy. He weighed in at 7lbs and 9oz and was 20" long. We saw a picture of him and named him Jackson Levi. We were advised not to make the journey down to GA until the waiting period (for the birth mother to change her mind) was over, so we waited.
At the time, those 13 days seemed like an eternity. Little J was in the hospital until the 20th and then went to live in a caring home (foster family). Thankfully, this foster family was experienced and just as sweet as could be! God totally knew who we needed to take care of Jackson in our absence and put my heart at ease that Friday night (3/20) when I called the foster mom to check in our sweet boy. She was friendly, upbeat and caring. I could just tell that she was a part of God's plan for our little one's life. :) We called the foster family every other day for those 10 days he was with them, and she posted pictures daily on a special facebook page for us. Jackson was growing and changing daily, but since we could at least see him and hear about him, it made our attachment strong from the beginning.
On March 30th, Jesse and I headed down to Georgia so we could have a little day date before our Gotcha Day on the 31st. We saw downtown Savannah and ate at Paula Deen's restaurant! (Amazing!) and saw some other sights in GA. Then at 9am on March 31st all those days of waiting didn't matter anymore. It was over. We held Jackson in our arms and he was ours. Perfect in every way. Beautiful. Strong. Tiny. Lovable. Cute. And the list goes on. We were in love. (still are!)
Here's a video of our Gotcha Day:
So, then while we waited for the okay to head back to NC, we were very fortunate to be able to stay with my Mom's cousin Don. He was so hospitable and just helpful for those 12 days we stayed with him. He provided much more than just shelter (and more than the huge savings from hotels for those 12 days). He helped us with meals, he gave us company, he shared his house, his kitchen, his life with us and during such a delicate and important time we are forever grateful What a blessing he is. Jesse finally got to meet him, and just like my Mom and I thought--they hit it off!
We were in GA so long that my parents, who already had a trip long planned to visit my sister in KY and us in NC in their RV for Early April, met up with us in GA for a few days. It was nice for them to visit with Don and for Jackson to have more family around. Then we got the okay to leave on a Friday afternoon, and we headed back up to NC on Saturday morning the 11th of April and my parents followed. While I thought my parents would stick with their original plan of leaving right around my birthday (4/15) they didn't. They actually extended their stay by us until the 19th! What another huge blessing that was, for them to help us settle back into our lives as a family of three at home. They helped us unpack, put things away, move the piano (yet again!) and rearrange our house. They also gave us some much needed rest as parents of a newborn. :)
Little J took all of his travels and everything in stride. He's a great traveler, and very laid back (most of the time!) He slept a lot during the day and just now is possibly getting his days and nights less confused. He truly is a joy and I can hardly remember our lives without him in them. We've prayed for this sweet boy for so long, and now that he's here it's great! Our little family is complete. For now at least! ;)
Big J went back to work on the Friday while my parents were still here to help ease into it. Then he worked half days on Monday and Tuesday of this week when I was by myself. Can I just say that I now realize that this whole parenting thing, or being a mom thing, or stay home with your child thing, is. not. for. the. faint. of. heart. Don't get me wrong, it's totally worth it, and I'm loving it. But it is not without its perils. Like J started this screaming thing this week, and after talking with my mom, sisters and the Dr. we're pretty sure it's gas and hopefully will get better this weekend with the remedies the Dr. gave me. Otherwise I will head back to the Dr. next week. Anyway, Mommas out there, or Dads too, I get it. I know I haven't done this as long as you, or have done half as much as you have, but I get it. It's hard. It's tough work. But we are the ones who have been bestowed this great honor of raising children! What a blessing. What a joy. Anyway, you're doing a great job.
What I didn't mention yet, is that when we drove up to our place when we got home we saw a decorated door and then lots of balloons inside welcoming little J home. Our sweet friends from Church did that all, and stocked our fridge with breakfast, lunch and dinner that were all ready to heat and eat! SOOO sweet. Then there's actually been a meal train from church going on, which can I say, is probably the most helpful one can do for a family welcoming a new little one into their life?!?! Not having to worry about dinner has been a welcome treat! Thank you, thank you.
J got us all tickets to the Durham Bulls Season Opener for my birthday. Unfortunately it was a rainy night and the game got postponed 2.5 hours...so we didn't end up staying for the whole thing, but we still had a great time! Part of the reason he got the tickets is because my parents had never been to one of their games, we love the Bulls and also because 4/15 is the day of the year that MLB and Milb celebrate Jackie Robinson by wearing his retired #42 jersey. And, for those of you who may not know, Jackie Robinson is part of J's namesake. I've always loved baseball, and have collected cards and been pretty obsessed with it since I was a little girl. I hope that little J knows that the sky is the limit as to his potential. :)
We of course want to raise him to love and serve God, and one day have a relationship with Christ who made the ultimate sacrifice on our behalf. Until then, we will do our best to raise him with the help of our family, friends and church family.
Closing remarks before pics below.... Thank you for every prayer, thought and word of encouragement over the past few days, weeks and months. We appreciate them all more than you know. I am a little behind in thank yous, and for that I apologize. Hopefully you'll have one coming your way soon, but if for some reason I miss one please know we are thankful. We thank God for each and every one of you. Prayer requests at the bottom.
Here's some pics:
Sign I just made yesterday for his room.
Got this chalkboard/chalk up last night...not sure how happy I am with what I drew...but I like it better than the naked pics I painted on the wall....and if you look closely, you'll see the quilt that my mom made for Jackson is laying on the crib (he's not sleeping in it yet!) and it matches those things on the wall. Love the quilt. It's amazing, just like my Mom! :)
Random pic of the clothesline for our cloth diapering. Enjoying it a TON so far! Less chemicals, happier skin and better for the environment? Yes please! (Also more work of course...:)
Weir angle of pic, but this is probably Jackson's favorite place to be. :) And that is a-okay with me, love him! Never knew I could love someone, so much!
Not sure why it's out of order....but this is Jackson at 14 days old.
One month! Big boy!
Quick usie at the Duke Gardens with my little fam and my parents before they left. It was so nice to spend time with them. So miss them. Wish we lived closer!
-For wisdom and patience raising this sweet gift we've been given.
-For rest, grace and patience towards each other.
-For the finalization of this adoption.
-For the remainder of the funds needed. We are still saving and probably going to try to raise the remaining funds needed to cover additional fees and attorney fees.
-For our tax refund to come back soon. (Been waiting over 2.5 months...praying there is no further complication.) or for another way to pay back the small loan we had to take out to cover the fees since our refund hadn't come back yet.