Sunday, July 24, 2011

Birthday Thoughts

Today is the forty-third anniversay of the day of my birth and the sixth day after the birth of my daughter Destiny. It has certainly been a unique birthday, one I will not soon forget (as in: never). It started early, as I was up with Destiny holding her while she slept from about 4:00 a.m. to 7:00 a.m. I decided today would be the first day we would try to keep to some kind of feeding schedule, starting with the first feeding at 7:00 a.m. This meant waking Destiny to feed her, which we have had to do each time today. Somewhat surprisingly, it has worked rather well. The day isn't over, and it is only one day, but if the trend continues, we should be able to follow the Babywise "parent directed feeding" plan pretty well.

For lunch we headed up to Dover, about twenty miles north of us here in Delaware. We found a Red Lobster and stopped. It wasn't overly busy, we were seated at a good sized table with room for the stroller to sit beside Susan, and the service was great. The Cheddar Bay biscuits were wonderful, and the entrees were quite tasty. It was a great birthday lunch. While we were there we fed Destiny (the first time we fed her out of the hotel room since she was discharged from the hospital), and changed her in the public bathroom (also a first). All went well, and Destiny got all kinds of praise for how cute she is. Truly she is cute. Here is a picture to prove it:

Once we got back to the hotel, we played some Phase 10 in the hotel lobby, which Susan won.

Overall, this feels like the most regulated day we've had in terms of being able to work "normal" activities into the routines of feeding/changing/napping that we have just let happen ad hoc until today. I am hopeful today is laying the foundation for the future.


Saturday, July 23, 2011

Baby steps with Destiny

Adoption is a process of steps, one small step at a time. This week we have made several steps, and we are in the middle of waiting for the next. I guess we have been in the middle of waiting for the next steps since we started the adoption journey about nine months ago (yes people have pointed out the similarity in timing between our adoption journey and a pregnancy).
Almost three weeks ago now we took the gigantic step of getting matched with a birthparent. I guess S (the birthmother) took that step for us, but we are all too happy to go with her. Then Monday we got word that the next step was happening: S was in labor and the baby was arriving. So we drove to Delaware, and we were at the hospital only a few hours after the baby was born. We got to see S and the baby in her room, and we stayed with her most of the day. S wanted us there Tuesday morning, so we went up and spent most of the morning with her and the baby.
Tuesday afternoon we took the next step, which was to finish our placement paperwork with the social worker her in Delaware. Wednesday afternoon was hard because S's emotions were more volitile, and as a result we started feeling like the certainty of the adoption was suddenly not so certain. We left the hospital after doing the paperwork with the goal of getting to the next step: discharge from the hospital for S and the baby. At that point we would have custody of Destiny and could really start being mommy and daddy to our little girl.

Wednesday we were at the hospital again early because S needed help managing the baby, especially because her six-year-old son had been brought to the hospital and was also in her room and had been there most of the previous night and morning. The experience probably solidified her decision to allow us to adopt Destiny, but it did cause some awkward moments while we were there on Wednesday. The nurses and hospital social worker came through to do the hospital paperwork for discharge, and we got some pointers on parenting a newborn. The discharge came, and it was as emotional as expected. But at the end of the day we had Destiny with us at the hotel, her sole guardians and -- for all practical purposes -- officially her parents.

So we have been here in the hotel since Monday and here with Destiny since Wednesday. We have at least two more days, and likely three or four, before the next step occurs. That step is getting permission from Delaware and Virginia to take Destiny across state lines and to our home. It cannot come soon enough. We miss our cats and the comforts of our home, but mostly we need the space to stretch out and we need the "village" of our friends and church.

Destiny is such a blessing to us! Step by baby step Destiny joins our family.


Thursday, July 14, 2011

A New Chapter Is about to Begin

It has been a long time since I posted anything to my blog here. Life has continued pretty much the same from week to week, with occasional events of interest along the way. I should have been posting at least about those events, but just haven't.

But now there is a major event looming. Susan and I are about to adopt a baby girl! She will be born on or before the 21st of July in Delaware. We will be traveling up on the 20th to be in the hospital on the 21st when the baby is born. Since we know the baby will be a girl, we've even decided on her name: Destiny Michelle Johnson. We've been getting ready to adopt for about a year, and now it's about to happen. We are just so excited to be on the cusp of a great new adventure of parenting. I'm sure there will be much more activity on this blog in the weeks and months and years to come.

Here is a picture of Destiny, courtesy her birth-mother, who told us that when she saw the picture of Susan in our adoption profile and then the sonogram pic below, she realized the baby had Susan's nose. And so she chose us.