Saturday, January 18, 2014

The end stretch . . .and what to expect

Baby arrives in FIVE days.

Absolutely crazy, surreal, and amazing to write that.

A friend asked me the other day how I was feeling.

When I wrote last week, we were sitting in some hard spots and anxiety was definitely higher.

Don't get me wrong, the anxiety still rises up at times. But when my friend asked, I decided that overall, the main feeling I hold right now is relief.

I feel relief to know that in a week we will know; to no longer be walking this road of hoping and wondering and "what if?!"  To know if I can sit freely in soaking in that we have a son or if we are walking a different road of faith.  We ache to know and be able to say he is our son.  But we are taking each day as it comes and re surrendering how this all goes.

In the meantime we are in planning mode as we step forward in faith.  Who knew it would take the 4th child to make me finally have some nesting urges (not being pregnant myself may help that)?!?!

Bathrooms are scrubbed, some food prepared, house is slowly being cleaned and picked up, store room has been sorted through (because that is a necessity before baby - didn't you know?!), shopping trips for essentials and piles of things we might need are being put together in his bedroom to get ready to pack.

You forgot how many little things you need for a new baby around the house!!

Several different people have asked me what this next week is going to look like and while I have shared with them, I thought it might be helpful for me to come share what we know here . . .as it is comforting to know the many that are lifting us up and praying for our family in this journey.

Ryan and I plan to head out wednesday.  We are so thankful for grandparents who are watching our girls and are able to come to us so that amidst so much unknown and so many potential changes, the girls can stay in their own beds and continue their routine as close as possible.  They are excited for time with Gpa's and Gma's!!

We will get into Texas early evening - enough time I hope to be able to sit down for a dinner, make a target run for any last minute needed essentials as well as time to just pause before heading to bed for some sleep (we hope!).

Baby is scheduled to be born thursday morning by c-section - 8:30 for my friends who like to set alarms and pray. : )  I would say it is here that begins the timeframe we feel the most prayerful for and ask for your prayers as well.

Birth mom will have 48 hours before she signs papers that would make him our son.  During those 48 hours, we are essentially completely at her whim in terms of when we can see him, where and how much.  I have heard from other adoptive moms, and been prepared by our caseworker, to not be accommodated for or catered to.   Her, and her choice to choose, is the priority.  We don't hold an official role in his life as that point.

There won't be any caseworkers or anyone from our agency with us the 48 hours.  That morning he is to be born, we will be at the hospital in the waiting room.  The plan is that birth mom will contact us when she is able to have, and is ready, for visitors.  I don't know if that could be an hour or six.  That will be our first time not only to meet our son, we pray, but birth mom as well.

There aren't words to try and explain how we not only love her .. .but just pray God will use us to bless her and love her and show her His love.

We know we will also be able to meet some of our birth mom's family - also a big prayer request I would have; that God's hand will just be on all these meetings.  I want to be able to form relationships that can be long lasting but am working to just give those details over to God and trust that He is going to walk those conversations with us.

So those 48 hours will be come and go - probably influenced by how relationships mesh, how birth mom is feeling and how baby is doing.  Personally, I am just praying for the grace to be flexible and smiling . . .and to not take decisions weightier than they should be or even personally.  I can't begin to try and imagine all that this precious birth mom will experience or feel.  We want to honor her in how we walk those in between days as well.

Then, praying that at 48 hours, he truly is our son, someone from our agency will come and process all the necessary paperwork.  Assuming all goes well again and he is doing well, my understanding is that it is then he would be able to "come home" with us . . .as in the hotel.

And there begins the connecting, real life and getting to know each other and snuggling him to pieces like I have been waiting to do.

At the completion of paperwork after those first 48 hours, we will begin another waiting period of 7 - 14 days before we can come home.  This period is really just waiting for necessary paperwork to connect between the two states that acknowledge the adoption occurred and that we can bring him across state lines.  This would probably be another point of prayer we would ask you to cover.  We will quickly hit two different weekends right away.  This has potential to just stretch out long and we are praying we will be on the short end of that timeline.

We have prayed and discussed several different scenarios  - as that is a lot of days for Ryan to take off work (that we would love to be able to use some for when we are home and in transition there) and it is a long time for the girls waiting at home with us both gone. At one point we had talked about Ryan coming home for a while and then flying back to travel home with us.  That isn't looking like an option any longer - but we will be needing to decide if he stays that whole time with us or just comes home . . .and then myself and baby will travel home alone when we get the ok.  Many different factors will play into that so we just ask for prayers of wisdom and agreement and direction over those decisions.

It is when we finally get that last ok that we'll be able to book flights to come home!!!! I get teary just imagining it and getting to introduce our girls to their baby brother.  They are asking often now "so does our baby brother get to be ours now?!"  They are so excited - we all are - and I am just trusting their hearts to a God who I know loves them even more deeply than we do.  We talk honestly about it and I feel like He has been gracious in preparing them as well as I could have hoped or prayed.

Until then, I can't tell you how grateful we are for all the prayers we feel just surrounding us.  God just continues to speak reminders of His nearness to us through so many of you.  We are leaning on them in these coming days.

Baby boy - We are waiting for you!!  We are praying for you!!  We love you.


Twyla said...

thanks for sharing, you have been heavy on our hearts and in our prayers. God goes before you..we pray trusting!

Amy Cherise said...

AMEN AMEN AMEN God!!! Please bring home this sweet baby boy...bc Auntie Amy has some xoxoxo for him!!! We love you Amb & Ry!!!! Xoxo

J and A said...

Thanks for the update- we will definitely be praying for you guys this week and next! May God continue to fill your lives with His perfect peace.

ChriSTAINE! said...

Thanks for sharing, Amber! My family and I will be praying for you; especially that birth mother will feel your love and God's peace during those first 48 hours. Much much love! So excited for you and Ryan!

J Gutwein said...

In those 48 hrs it's like: shoulders back, deep breath, march.. God is with me :)..

mom Bahr said...

We will be praying for you trusting God to give you His peace, courage and hope during this time and for all the family involved. You & Ryan have handled this all with so much grace, inspite of the challenges and anxiety. We love you and this precious little angel baby!

Sarah said...

Amber! This sounds nerve wrecking! Thanks for sharing. So excited for you and will be prayerful!