Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The Adventures of Baby Ty

Ty had a very BIG day, today! He turned two weeks old, his cord fell off this morning (which by the way left a very nasty goo behind - gross!) and he got his first real bath...which he hated! He cried through most of it, but his mama was happy knowing that he was squeaky clean.

As if that wasn't enough excitement, Ty drug us through miles of mountains to tour a dinosaur museum...the views on the way were well worth the drive and my boys seemed to enjoy themselves amidst the dino bones!




On the way home from the museum, Ty begged to climb up the falls. We told him it wasn't the place for a newborn, but he insisted!

There were some crude stairs carved out of rock, but we were quite the spectacle...me in flip-flops - Ben in sandals - with a carseat in tow!! Not exactly the picture of professional hikers.

Ty enjoyed every minute of it and particularly enjoyed the sound of rushing water.
He later thanked us for bucking the system and showing him a good time!

We love our little family and are thoroughly enjoying our first family vacation. As fun as it has been...we are really (can I stress REALLY) ready to come home. You don't realize how much you love/miss/depend on your friends and family, until you're away from them for days on end.

Please Pray.

We are literally just waiting for a phone call from Michigan Interstate telling us that we can come home. If we don't receive the phone call by tomorrow night, Ben may have to leave me. He has to be back for work on Monday morning...and we have a 3 days journey ahead of us. Not only do I not want to be left alone, we don't want to have to pay for him to fly home and then back (when it's time for me and Ty to come home). Ben is going to call his boss tomorrow to see if he has any options on taking more time...unfortunately it would probably be unpaid...and that doesn't really work either.

We're trying not to stress about it and just enjoy the days we have here...but it's scary when more money is on the line....as if we haven't shelled out enough!

We'll let you know as soon as we hear anything. Hopefully, tomorrow will be the day!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

It all Comes Full Circle

We met up with Rebekah, this morning, to take Ty to his first church service. I was so excited to give Rebekah the gift that my BFF (Meeghan) made for her. It was a little quilt with all of Ty's birth stats on it. I knew it would be a very special keepsake for Rebekah. I also gave her the little outfit we brought Ty "home" in. I know I'm supposed to treasure it forever...but given the situation, I found Rebekah more deserving.

I'm not sure I can describe what my heart felt this morning, walking into church for the first time, as a family of three.We walked in a few minutes late, as we met family and friends in the foyer, and then had to wait for Ben to rush to the bathroom with Ty...an explosion ensued.

When we settled into our seats and my heart faced forward, I was consumed with emotion. How does a simple girl thank a big God for such a monumental blessing?

Rewind....A couple a months ago I sat in the same church next to the same amazing woman, watching the most incredible Easter production I'd ever seen. I remember stifling sobs as I watched the pinnacle of Christ reenact before me and thinking the woman next to me housed the miracle of my life. It was too much to take in.

Today, the scene played a little differently. I was still sitting next to the same amazing woman...but this time...she was holding my son. It's been two weeks and I've yet to process the magnitude of what has happened. This was my first encounter with God. Sure, I've thrown up hundreds of praises and thank yous, but it's different when you're standing in worship...face to face with the God of the universe. Worship drips intimacy and I wasn't fully prepared to go there, yet. Not for a lack of thankfulness...rather, it's the explosion of emotion that will occur when the Hearer of my cry, meets my emotional surrender.

Once again, I held back the tears that welled within the deepest parts of my soul. It was all I could do to stand...and not grovel at the throne of God, incessantly kissing it with worship. That time will come...but this wasn't the place. Instead, I opened a mere window of my heart, and stood in silence...thanking my Father for his abounding goodness.

Then I heard, "Savior...He can move the mountains...My God is mighty to save...He is mighty to save...." and the tears poured over my cheeks like hot oil. I held them at bay the best I could, but I had a full circle moment.

We sing the same song at our home church. Can I tell you how many times I sang that song with tears streaming down my face? Pleading...Begging God to move the monstrous mountain of infertility in my life? I would sing loud and clear, full of faith, commanding for that mountain to be removed...At times I would sob through the lyrics and remind God that he was supposed to remove such mountains...and other Sundays I would merely sit and let my heart weep in silence.

Today...OH, TODAY...I could barely form the words with my lips. MY GOD IS MIGHTY TO SAVE. He DID rescue me. He DID remove my mountain. He did it in his timing, in his way...BUT HE DID IT.

The monster of barrenness no longer overshadows the foothills in which I live. My Father has removed it from my view and not only does sunlight pour through every window...but the path to my future is clearer as I can see the expanse of his plan.

Not only can my Savior move the mountain, he did.


Saturday, June 27, 2009

Random Thoughts from a New Adoptive Mom

I don't know how all you moms get inventive newborn shots...Mine wasn't taken with my creativity...I did manage to get 1 semi-cute one:
I often heard birthing mothers say, "The moment you see that sweet face, you forget. You forget the pain and are consumed with overwhelming love..." It's absolutely true. When I look at Ty, every painful year and aching tear is erased...as if it never existed.

Motherhood is easier than I dreamed it to be. One day we weren't a family and the next day we were. It was normal and right...I can't explain it beyond that...

Contrary to all expectations, I am one laid back mom. It's been the biggest surprise of motherhood, so far, due to the freak that exists in most parts of my life -organizational, clean, perfection, etc. The paci falls in the dirt, I rub it off and shove it back in...I don't see the need for sterilization and I'm not particular on who holds him or touches his face. I maintain an "it's all good" attitude most of the time. Maybe it's because I've been a mama in my heart for so long...

The lack of sleep has definitely been the biggest adjustment. I'm fairing much better than my Ben. I don't like getting up every 4-5 hours (we take shifts), but once I'm up I love every moment. Ty's wild-haired head cradles into the nook of my neck and makes time stand still.

I once prided myself in personal grooming disciplines, which have now been all but obliterated. The pony is my new best friend and I can't live without anit-frizz oil...it's the perfect shower replacement.

Everything takes longer. Eating, getting ready, walking out the door, blogging...Inevitably taking care of Ty takes over!

It's as if no one has ever adopted before. Seriously. We've run into a lot of hassle from checking out of the hospital, blood work at the health department, insurance confusion, picking up a prescription, etc.

We have yet to receive any paperwork from the agency, proving our custodianship, making these issues worse.

There's only been one disappointment...it's really difficult to go through the most exciting, emotional time of your life not surrounded by friends and family.

Many have asked...we have to stay here until Michigan's interstate adoption council approves us to come home. It could be two days or two months...no way to know. The average wait time is one week from termination (which would be this coming, Tuesday). We're praying for the call early next week.

Baby Ty. Need I say more? We are living every moment...Here are some of my favorites:

Pediatrician said, "He's adopted? He looks just like you!"

Me to Ben: Honey, I'm holding a baby in my arms...our baby... [tears]

Ben to Ty: "Dude, we can get through this..." while getting him dressed (Ty's not a big fan)

I love family cuddle time - oh, let's say - around 6am every morning...I love the little hand that curls around my shoulder when it's burp time...I love feeling his heartbeat on my chest and the rythm of his breathing on my cheek...I love kissing his lips when he starts to wail...and touching his face as he sleeps...

My all time favorite [new] joy comes when I'm holding baby and I start talking...He immediately finds my eyes and holds the stare until he falls asleep. It's as if his little heart is saying...Thank you. Thank you for waiting...for enduring all the pain...all the heartache...all the drugs and shots...all the empty answers...all the barren years...for enduring the endless supply of surrounding pregos...for holding other babies, but praying for me...for pushing through the darkness...for opening your heart...for driving 23 hours (18 in one night) to come for me...for loving my first mom more than yourself...for never giving up.

Thank you for never giving up...

If you are a waiting, adopting mom...Never never never give up [W. Churchill]. One day, your newborn, too, will thank you with his eyes. And you will never be the same.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Our sweet cottage! It's basic, but perfect for our new family...especially at $35.00 per night!

We had another fun day. We walked around a small mountain town and looked in all the shops, had lunch, and soaked in the scenery. For having to be out-of-state for days on end, we sure got the best end of the deal. There is so much to do and the scenery is breathtaking...I've never been in a more beautiful place.I tried out my sling for the first time and LOVED it. It feels so good to have baby Ty close to my heart. He slept the whole time!

Baby Ty didn't know the adventure he signed up for, picking us as parents! We'll have you know we stopped short of climbing the cave walls and kept our feet on the ground...for the most part.We are seriously having so much fun!!

Tyrus is officially our son. Nothing has ever felt more wonderful. We've been trying to get together with Rebekah as much as possible, while we're here. I hope it's helping ease the pain. She sent me a sweet note on Father's Day that I've re-read at least 10 times. It speaks so much of her heart...I want to share a piece of it with you:

I had such a great time with you, today. I just love you both so much. I also wanted to tell you that I am so glad you are Ty's parents. You are wonderful with him. I love the way you look at him, and how you kiss him and how protective you both are over him. You really are naturals. Thank you for loving my boy. I love you for it.

God is so good. Never in my best dreams could I ever have put this all together. Tonight...my heart overflows with gratitude.

Monday, June 22, 2009

I've Been Everywhere, Man...I've Been Everywhere

Six days in, we're feeling pretty confident with our new little family. Yesterday, we walked downtown and visited quaint little shops along the way, had dinner, and then ended the night with some ice cream! Ty, of course, slept the whole time.

Today, we had lunch with Ty's birth dad and then headed out for some sites....breathtaking if I might add...

We are enjoying our little family so much! I am soaking in every second possible. Ty's fingers got chubbier, today...it's going so fast...I'm living every moment, kissing every wrinkle, and telling him of my love, with every breath.

Tomorrow, at 8:00am, he will officially be our son. I don't need the validation...but am looking forward to it all the same.

Please pray for Rebekah. I imagine tomorrow will be a difficult day.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Ben's First Father's Day

"Our baby boy is growing up..." a weepy me said to Ben, this morning.
"Honey...he's only 5 days old!"
I know there are a lot of baby boys out there...but he's seriously the cutest thing I've ever laid eyes on! Contrary to Ben's belief...Ty guy is definitely growing up. He changes everyday and nothing escapes me. His cheeks are a little fuller...His eyelashes are making their way in...His feet are less wrinkly...and he spends more time focusing on our faces when awake. My favorite new thing is this precious expression he's been making. He looks right into my eyes and makes this sweet "o" face with his lips. It's so darn cute, I give him at least 10 kisses every time he does it!
We had a really great day that started with presents for Ben...
I bought him a few "Daddy and Me" type children's books and then threw in all of his favorite childhood stories (some I had to search far and wide for!).

Ben's mom also sent me with a football and a card, for him to open, today.Man, I love that little boy...SO CUTE!
And there's no one...and I mean no one...that I love more than my Ben.

I'm not going to be able to do this without crying...

This man - my husband has walked me through the darkest days of my life. Days so dark, I thought for sure they'd suffocate me by their heaviness. This has been the largest life challenge that we've ever had to endure...Even my closest of friends will never know the pain that cloaked our hearts, as everyone was able to move on with life, around us.

Ben never left my side...never let go of my hand...He knew my heart before it spoke...His tears matched mine. We were always in this together.

My heart felt great joy when I held Ty for the very first time...but it paled in comparison to the leaping that occurred when Ben nestled his son close, soon after.

I always knew he'd be a great dad...because he's an amazing husband. I didn't know just how great he'd be. I thought I had seen all the depths of his heart...but new levels have surfaced this week. I love that it takes him 15 minutes to put Ty in his car seat, following the nurse's instructions exactly...I love that he gently changes diapers and makes sure Ty is fed/changed on schedule...I love how he cuddles and whispers words of love...how he never complains when he's up for hours at the crack of dawn...how he tells me what he thinks Ty needs...how he talks to him like a little friend...and is a makeshift human-swing, with ocean noises, as ours is back home.

He is nurturing...kind...softhearted...quiet...and so very tender.

There are many sides to Ben that I've been the only one to see...I love that I get to share the secrets of his heart with someone new.

Happy Father's Day, Ben...It's been a long time coming, I can't think of anyone more deserving.

We love you!

Friday, June 19, 2009

God is Good

We are starting to come out of the haze and are enjoying every second together as a family. Baby Ty had a big day, today, as he was reunited with sweet Rebekah. We got all dressed up for the occasion!

Ty will always know how incredibly selfless his first mother was and that the pain she endured was for his gain...
Our sweet bloggy friend, Kriss sent this adorable horse to Rebekah. Kriss is the largest piece of our puzzle as she referred Rebekah to my blog. Rebekah wanted Ty to have it so that he could remember all the amazing people involved in his story. It will be cherished always.

He makes my heart do flip-flops.

Life as a mom...
I'm pretty weepy. His little face has yet to escape the falling of my wet tears. I can't help it. I've never known such contentment. In a few minutes he'll officially be 3 days old. The fruit of your prayers are evident. He's such a good baby. Chugs the bottle when it's feeding time, burps on cue, falls asleep immediately, doesn't spit up, doesn't cry...loves to cuddle. We've switched formula, pacifiers, and bottles on him - complaints were never heard.

Because he's such a fast eater, we're able to change him, feed him, and burp him in 25 minutes, before heading back to bed. Sleep has hardly been an issue. Ben and I switch on and off, equalling big chunks of sleep for both of us!

I love every minute I have with him. Every diaper. Every feeding. It's a privilege to be called his protector.

Last night, I just couldn't give him up and spent hours sleeping with him in my arms or pressed up against my chest [no lectures]. It will never get old. He has these dark pools for eyes that pierce my heart and allow time to stand still. I incessantly kiss every area of exposed skin and tell him how my heart longed for his existence.

We've already been out for a walk, a pediatrician visit, grocery shopping, and dinner last night. The first time I heard the words, "How old is your son?" my heart soared to the highest height.

Everything is different, yet everything remains the same. It's as if he always was.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Our Day in Words...Kind of

I'm not going to be able to do this without sobbing...

I don't know where to start. How to start. My heart feels SO much, I don't think there's any possible way to put it all on paper. I'll do my best.

The last 48 hours have been a haze. I am numb from emotion and, surprisingly, am just now letting the unstoppable tears flow. I will tell you the whole story...but it's going to take time.

I've said this a hundred times before...THERE IS NO MANUAL for what we've just experienced. Don't get me wrong...Ty is the most beautiful piece of heaven I've ever seen...but his gift of life came at a very high price. My heart aches for Rebekah.

We talked this morning and, at times, could barely talk through our tears. Can you imagine her pain? Going into this she imagined that baby would look just like birth father and that she would be more than happy to hand him off...she didn't want remnants of bdad around. Today, she told me that the minute she saw his sweet face, her heart swelled with love and she didn't want to let go...Her pain eats at every inch of my heart.

He does not feel like my son.

I was completely taken off guard. He did not feel like my son when I saw him take his first breath...or when Ben cut the umbilical cord...or when he was placed in my arms for the first time. He felt like Rebekah's.

In the wee hours of the night, I held him to my chest...and thought of Rebekah. It's not hard to love him. He's perfect. It's hard to love him without hearing the pain in Rebekah's heart. Her cry has answered mine. But where does that leave her...?

Please remember the other Rebekah. And pray. [A few people have asked for her email/address. If you'd like to send her a card or gift please send it to me and I'll forward it on.]

The big day? It all seems like a fog. Starting out the day, after being up for 23 hours straight was a little rough. Rebekah checked in on June 16th, at 6:30am. We snuck a few hours of sleep in and met her their a little before 11am. They broke her water, induced her, and then we waited...and waited...and waited. We had an amazing day getting to know her family. She was progressing 1 cm every few hours - which equals a lot of hours! She was only at 4cm by late afternoon, so Ben and I decided to take a walk. We came back an hour later and all of the sudden we had action! Sadly, Rebekah's mom, who recently had back surgery, fell and was rushed to the emergency room. The stress caused baby's heart rate to drop really low. There was so much commotion, somewhere in that short time frame she jumped to 10cm and was ready to push! Man was it a whirlwind...

I had the privilege of helping her hold a leg up while she pushed. Ben stood up by her head, taking in the wonder of his first live birth! Rebekah pushed a few times and out came the start of my life. He was beautiful in every way...we, of course, all cried...and then he cried...which made us ooh and ahh. It was nothing short of a celebration. I reveled in the moments, willing all of them to slow, so that I'd remember them always. I loved watching her hold him...I felt no envy. Ben cut the cord and I looked on proudly... The next several hours were a blur. It was perfect and awesome and complete. We were all one big family, celebrating the birth of one sweet, sweet baby boy.

It did not bother me to see other people holding him and kissing his soft cheeks. It also didn't feel real.

The hospital gave us a room right next to Rebekah's and Rebekah requested that he be with us through the night. So surreal...

We let Rebekah have several hours of alone time with Ty the following morning. I felt conflicting emotions all day. Rebekah made sure everyone knew he was our son...yet he didn't feel like it. It wasn't until we sat down to sign the adoption paperwork that my emotions started flooding down. I choked back sobs as we aimlessly signed our names, page after page...Ben gave me a hand squeeze and I knew he was feeling the same...I remembered every tear, every closed door...every time we gave up. We never thought this would actually happen. Ben put Ty in the car and I slipped in next to him. The close of the door was a trigger to my heart. The tears fell and I didn't wipe them. After five long years of struggle, I was finally bringing home a baby. Unreal.

I've officially been a mother for 48 hours. The best part, hands down, of being a mom...is watching Ben be a dad.

Our Day in Pictures

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Baby Ty

Tyrus Lee Pinchback
born Tuesday, June 16th
6:24 pm
7lbs, 40z
19 3/4 inches long

What's in a name?
Baby's namesake is in honor of Ben's incredible grandfather who has a had a major influence on our life. You may remember me mentioning him here. It just so happens that his other grandfather is named Lee, while at the same time it's both Ben's and my middle name!

I promise to sit down later and write out his birth story and all the emotions that went along with. It all feels like a haze, right now with so many people around. We're trying to give Rebekah's family as much time with him as possible.

I will tell you...I've never known life to be so beautiful.