Friday, September 28, 2007

Bath Time

Amanda is such a good baby. The only time she fusses is when she's hungry or not being held. She never cries during her baths or diaper changes after feedings.

We started out bathing her in the sink, which was awkward at best. Still, she never complained. Recently, I just take her in the bath with me. She'll just float there happily resting on my legs. It's really a lovely way to bath a baby.

Once night, Mike brought her to me asleep. She had fallen asleep during her feeding. The funny thing was that she kept sleeping even after landing in the water. She looked so peaceful and comfortable. After a while she woke up and we finished the bath. Then Daddy came and got the baby and mama added more hot water and relaxed for a bit. It was a very pleasant way to end a long day!

Pictures From Placement

Mike and Katie meeting Amanda for the first time.
I still felt like Iwas just holding somebody elses nice baby. It didn't seem possible that they were just going to let us take her home.

Mike feeding Amanda. He enjoys being able to help with the feedings.
Once I held Amanda in my arms I hardly noticed the rest of the people in the room. I was trying to be sociable and attentive but I just wanted to stare at Amanda. Thank goodness we have pictures!

Baby Amanda

Amanda Marie was born in the beginning of August in Abilene, Tx. She was 6 lbs. 5 oz. and 18 1/2 inches long. She was very healthy and just perfect. She was in foster care for three weeks while the paperwork cleared before we were able to meet her. Her birthmother is Vietnamese and her birth father is African American. Her birthmom lives with her parents and they felt they couldn't care for this new baby.

We met Amanda's birthmom at the end of August at the adoption agency. She was very shy and sweet. We were told she chose us because we did a lot of activities with animals and because we had a son named Tony. Amanda's birthmom also has a brother named Tony. She had a photo album and gifts for the baby. We shared some family photos with her, too. I was really nervous. It's been along time since I had really felt those nervous butterflies in my stomach. Here I was, at the most important job interview of my life, and I hadn't slept well in three days!

After meeting the birthmom, we waited while she said goodbye to the baby. I was so nervous that I thought I would have to tell them we needed to do this another day because I was just too sick! Thankfully, I didn't and as soon as the foster mom brought Amanda into the room, I was completely distracted.

The foster family was so wonderful, they also had a book full of pictures from the days she was in their care and they had gifts for her as well. They helped us get to know Amanda and even helped us with the car seat in the car. They were so encouraging and supportive. It meant so much to me.

Then Mike, I and Amanda went back to the hotel, climbed into the big king-size bed and took a three hour nap together. That was the best sleep I had had in two weeks.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Our Adoption Journey

Our journey to adoption began over eight years ago when we felt called to add more children to our family. We had two boys aged four and two. We were told it was expensive and a long wait. So, we waited, prayed, and saved. Finally last fall we were ready to pursue adoption. We completed our home study by the end of December and we were placed in "The Book" in mid January. "The Book" is a binder full of potential adoptive families that birth mothers look through to make their choice.

We chose domestic infant adoption because we thought it would be less expensive and it wouldn't require much travel and time away from our boys. We wanted an infant because I really needed some baby-snuggling-bonding time. I also hoped to nurse our baby and knew a younger child would more likely to nurse.

Throughout the next eight months we had several potential situations. It was always a roller coaster of emotions and we were always disappointed when the opportunity passed. But had faith and could see God's hand at work. At the end of July when we were asked to send our profile to Texas we were hopeful, but guarded. We were concerned about the costs and we prayed earnestly for guidance. When we still hadn't heard anything after two or three weeks, we began to think this was another missed opportunity.

Then, on August 15th, we were told that we had been chosen for a baby in Texas. The baby was already born and it was a girl. However, the birth mom had not yet signed the papers and they would let us know by Thursday. I cleaned, cooked, packed and organized. I search flights, hotels and maps of Abilene. I hardly slept. Thursday and Friday came and went and we still had no idea what was going on. Finally, on Tuesday we learned that the papers had been signed and they would call us the following Monday with the baby's health and social history. We couldn't understand why we had to wait. On Tuesday, August 28, we had the long awaited conference call with the agency in Abilene. They said we could book our flight and meet our baby on Thursday, August 30th.

We began frantically organizing the details and we hardly slept. We were nervous and excited. We could hardly believe all of our waiting was about to come to an end. In a very short time we would be holding our new baby!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Something new...

Welcome to our new update sight! We're pinching pennies now, so we somebody suggested blogging for free instead of paying for our website. Plus I needed a better way to organize my previous posts. Amanda is nursing right now so I can't type much, so I'll write more of our back story later.

What new today? Amanda slept in her crib for the first time last night. She's been sleeping with us since Texas. We had king-size beds there, but things are a little crowded at home. We had a lot of day time training to do first because she was used to being held for her naps, too.

Last night went well. She went fours hours between feedings. I feel like I got less sleep because I used to just let her nurse for about a hour before I needed to get up and fill a bottle. However, I know we're on track to more restful nights.

Our church congregation noticed a change in Amanda. Last week she slept through most of the service and this week she was wide awake peeking at everybody over Daddy's shoulder. They said it was such a blessing to see her big bright eyes!