Thursday, November 24, 2011

Beyond Thankfulness

Long time, no blog, I know!!! Being a mommy is hard work for sure!  Plus, when your little one is sick, it makes things even harder.  I do miss blogging, but caring for Kiley is my top priority and brings sheer joy to our lives!

I had wanted to post these 6 weeks pictures a couple weeks ago, but I was just going back to work and well... you know how that goes!  Getting ready in the mornings and everything for daycare prepared the night before is a whole new ballgame!  I wouldn't trade it for the world though.  I love it all, hard or not!!!

Cuteness times 10!!!!

I did manage to snap some 2 month old photos on Tuesday, despite her not feeling so well.  I was also happy to get some Turkey Day pictures of our sweet, sweet baby girl.  I am no photographer, but I did my best to capture her smiles and expressions.  Then, our excellent camera must've been sick too, and decided not to flash when it clearly should've!  Good gravy!  Nevertheless, here are some recent pictures for all of you who have been waiting since Halloween!

I got so excited she was smiling, I cut off the sign showing "2" months.  But it's still just as cute as can be in my  opinion. Plus, the fact she let me put on a headband was an extra bonus!!!!

Just to prove this is her 2 month photo, I included the "non" flash pictures too.  They would've been SO cute!  I love these three, because this one captures her look of, "Oh, here we go again Mom with the photoshoots?!!, Really, again?"
I love her laugh here!  It was hilarious!

This one was great because if you look closely, she's pointing to the sign, as if to say, "See, look!  I'm 2 months old, how 'bout that?!!!"

Today we are BEYOND THANKFUL for our miracle from God.  She is truly a blessing!!! Today, she was our "Smiley Kiley" self for a little while in between her coughs and sneezes.  Here are the Turkey Day pictures.

Kiley says, "I don't know about this one, you are posing me with a turkey?"

"I am getting sleepy just THINKING about turkey!  Bring me my bottle, that sounds so much better!"

This if my absolute FAVORITE one of the day!  She was loving  Daddy and smiling up a storm for him!

I still want to snap a quick photo of her backside because there is a cute turkey on the pants.  If I can get her to cooperate, maybe I'll be lucky to post before Christmas.  I am going to try not to go that long in between posts.  We have Santa pics on the way and some of our own "creative' pictures for the holiday as well.  Wishing all of our family and friend a Happy Thanksgiving, we are grateful for you all!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Kiley's 1st Halloween

Happy Halloween! Trick or Treat was yesterday in our allotment. Many neighbors came to the door to see our "little pumpkin" in addition to all the cute beggars wanting candy. We usually sit in lawn chairs off our driveway, just inside our garage, since we are on the corner. But this year, event though the weather was fairly nice for late October,(sunny and 53 degrees)we stayed inside with Kiley. She was dressed in her little bones sleeper one of my students got as a gift for her. I paired it with a cute little bow, just in case anyone thought she might be a boy. (but how could you not know this pretty little thing is a girl right?!) Trick or Treat was more fun this year I have to say! I loved seeing all our neighborhood kids in their costumes and some friends of ours. Next year will be even better when Kiley will get to walk around in her costume. Here is a little photo collage of Kiley wearing all her Halloween gear people got for her. These were taken over the last 3 or 4 days. I'd have to say my favorite is her smiling and her little jack-o-lantern footies! Too, too cute!

Click to play this Smilebox collage
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Thursday, October 20, 2011

4 weeks = 1 month

Our baby girl is growing, growing!  She is already 4 weeks old today!  UN.BE.LIEV.ABLE!  I had to look back on the calendar to double check, yep, 4 weeks!  Where has the time gone?  Oh, that's right, in the last 4 weeks, we have:

changed over 200 diapers, had 3 showers, did countless loads of laundry for all the adorable clothes everyone got for her, written a TON of thank you notes for not only gifts, but for all the help and efforts to get things ready for our little one, (we crammed nine months of preparing into a weekend), the list is endless, and for that we are SO, so grateful!

Okay, I will quit babbling and get on to why you came to the blog in the first place!  PICTURES!!! Many of you have been anxiously awaiting Kiley's 4 week photos.  Deciding upon what outfit to dress her in was a bit of a dilemma, until... my dear friend Beth got her the cute little Etsy Minnie Mouse outfit I had found a looooonnngg time ago.  She is our "mini" Minnie!  Ha ha!  After much squirming and putting on the left shoe 42 times, these are the pictures I was able to take.

I had to include this one!  It's like she said, "Enough Mom!  Stop already!  Stop this madness! "

This is the first of a couple more like this one.  She had had enough after the Minnie outfit.  One wardrobe change is about it!  More of these classic 1 month photos to follow!

Some interesting things we have learned about our little lady...

~She gets the hiccups a lot, but is a trooper waiting it out when her whole little body jerks so violently during the spell.

~She does not like to be swaddled with her arms inside, she is a little "Houdini" and manages to set them free every time!

~She is focusing in on Mommy and Daddy more and more, especially during feeding and changing.

~She takes 3.5 oz. every 3-4 hours.  

~She sleeps 3-4 hours during the night, but did pull an "all nighter" this week from 12:00-6:20.  Go Kiley!!

~She sleeps in her car seat due to a little minor reflux issue, but seems cozy and content.

~She still wears newborn clothes, the 0-3 mo. outfits are very loose yet., but some newborn onesies are snug and she has a little "Buddha Belly"!  (which we LOVE!)

~She loves her glowing, musical seahorse and the ocean sound on her little sound machine as she falls asleep.

So, there you have it!  One month in a nutshell!  

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

'I See The Light'

Have you ever seen the Disney movie, "Tangled"? Scott and I watched it just before Kiley was born and I have to say, I felt such a connection with the song, "I See the Light". I sobbed the first time I heard it. Now that Kiley is a part of our family, I read the lyrics and I cry even more so! I know, serious mushpot here! Well, listen to the song below and you might see why I feel this song is truly about her and how God placed her in our lives at just the right moment. It was His plan all along and as much as I didn't believe that during many difficult moments on our journey to parenthood, now "I See the Light".  Click HERE to listen and see the lyrics: 

All that time never even knowing  (during all the IUI and IVF Treatments)
Just how blind I've been
(how I didn’t listen to God or keep the faith)
Now I'm here, blinking in the starlight
(Now I am blinking in awe of our precious baby girl.)
Now I'm here, suddenly I see
(Now I get it, now I SEE!)
Standing here, it's all so clear 
(As I look at her and hold her, it’s all so clear.)
I'm where I am meant to be
(God had us right where He wanted us.)

And at last I see the light
And it's like the fog has lifted
(The fog of uncertainly and not knowing when)
And at last I see the light
And it's like the sky is new
(Every tear shed, every question raised, every disappointment, now makes sense, and it was all worth it!
And it's warm and real and bright
And the world has somehow shifted
(The world is definitely different now.)
All at once everything looks different
Now that I see you

All those days chasing down a daydream
(to become parents)
All those years living in a blur
(failed fertility treatments)
All that time never truly seeing
Things, the way they were
Now she's here shining in the starlight
(Now Kiley is here, in our arms.)
Now she's here, suddenly I know
If she's here it's crystal clear
I'm where I'm meant to go

And at last I see the light
And it's like the fog has lifted
And at last I see the light
And it's like the sky is new
And it's warm and real and bright
And the world has somehow shifted
All at once, everything is different
Now that I see you, now that I see you
(When I look at Kiley, everything is perfect now.)

Monday, October 17, 2011

Gifts from Grandma in Heaven

My mom passed away almost 2 years ago in November.  Most everyone knows she survived cancer a lot longer than her doctors ever thought!  Four years to be exact.  She was always thinking of the future and planning special things for her family and grandchild to be.  She made CD's of her reading some of the cutest stories so her future grandchild could listen to them.  She worked with my aunt to make a beautiful quilt that started out as an embroidery piece my grandmother did many years ago.  She even wrote a letter to us sharing her feelings with tips and advice for new baby.  Most recently, there were two wrapped gifts that my brother and sister in law found after we cleaned out her house.  They held on to those for a while and gave them to me back in May.  I have had them sitting on a table in the nursery and waiting for the right moment to open them. When we brought Kiley home, I didn't open them right away.  I just kept looking at them.  I think it was almost a week when I finally was ready to see what precious gifts from heaven grandma had gotten.  Scott and I sat down together and we read the card, which was dated March of 2009 with a simple, sweet message.  I love her handwriting.  It was comforting to see it again.   Then, we opened the first gift.  It was a book written by Billy Crystal called, "I Already Know I Love You".  So perfect!  She knew how much she would love our baby, whether it was biologically ours or adopted.  Kiley was also born in her heart.  The other gift was an Ultimate Baby Wrap, a carrier you can wrap around your body 5 different ways.  It looks complicated and even has a CD of instructions, but it looks like it will be pretty cool to use when our little girl is a little older.  We were so touched by her thoughtfulness, even from heaven!  My mom was an amazing woman, and she still "wows" me even 2 years after her passing.  I know she and my dad are definitely smiling from above and are grandparents in heaven for sure!

More pictures to come this week!  Shower pictures and Kiley's 1 month photo are on the list!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

For This Child I Prayed - 1 Samuel 1:27

It is with great joy to share with you, our precious gift from God, Kiley Morgan.  She is amazingly adorable and perfect in every way!  Every tear shed, every disappointment, and every question raised is now all worth it ,as we gaze into our sweet little girl's face.  Here is a simple little slideshow capturing some of the highlights of our adoption journey.  We hope you enjoy ! (Be sure to mute the song below at the bottom of the blog so you can hear the music to accompany the Smilebox slideshow.)  Thank you to ALL family and friends, and even those of you whom we've never met, for your unending prayers and support along the way!  We are eternally grateful.  I will post more pictures through the weeks ahead, promise!

Click to play this Smilebox scrapbook

Thanks be to God!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Placement Pending!!!!

We got THE call Thursday evening! Talked with our agency and were given details about a baby girl born Thursday morning.  If all goes well, we will bring her home Tuesday!!! We are beyond excited!  I am still in shock and disbelief!  We went to the hospital and got to meet this little one.  Oh my word, precious as could be!! We got to hold her, feed her, and change her diaper!  We have a GAZILLION things to get ready and do, so this post is super short and I know I'm leaving many of you hanging.  I promise to have more details soon, and pictures!! Please pray for us and our soon to be little girl!

Monday, September 12, 2011

How 'Bout Them Apples?

Cooler weather is on the way this week.  I know it will put me in the mood for fall, and all the things I love about the season: apples, pumpkin spice lattes, opening the windows and turning off the air conditioning, wearing hoodies, bonfires on our patio, pumpkin, mums, the list is endless!

I came across this little cutie patootie of a photo and thought how perfect it is for this time of year?!
I would love the precious, big apple in the middle!!!

Just a quick little update, nothing really. Our original agency called to give us an update that our profile is being shown tomorrow to a birthmom.  We are one of five couples, so I know this is in the very, early stages of the process.  I'm not even going to get excited about this.  It's just an update for the many family and friends we know who check our blog from time to time.  (or daily some of you! : - ) thx!)  If you could please pray for the birthmom as she begins this difficult process.  We pray for her and her unborn child who is due in December.

The other day, a friend of mine posted a devotional reading of the day and I made such a connection.

The Bible tells us that God inhabits the praises of His people. No matter how things may seem in the natural, you can rejoice today because God is working behind the scenes on your behalf. As you praise Him, He will fill you with His joy and pour out His abundant blessing in every area of your life. ~Joel Osteen

I can't help but think that God is working behind the scenes on our behalf, as we wait on this adoption journey.  I know He has a plan and things are in the works!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Friday, August 26, 2011

I'm still here!

I am not MIA!  It's just that time of year again, back to school!  Last night was Open House/Meet the Teacher Night.  It went really well!  Lots of nice parents and cute kids!  They were adorable!  One little girl kept giving me hug after hug!  She certainly wasn't shy. I love it!  In the spirit of going back to school, I found this picture that kind of ties in with my 2 favorite things: school and babies/kids.

I think this would be a precious picture to have taken with our little one using some children's books.  I always loved listening to my parents read me Dr. Seuss books when I was little!  Aaahh, the classics! There were many others too, of course!  What were your favorite books as a child?  What do/did you read to your children? Leave me a comment or send me some email!  I'd love to hear from you!  For those friends who have troubles leaving comments, I've now added a feature where you can follow me by email. (it's on the right side, not too far down) This way, whenever I post something new, you'll receive that in your email.  You can reply back that way if you wish.

We are still waiting with hope and faith in God!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Keep Calm and Carry On

This is not the post I wanted to make tonight, but we learned this evening that the birthmom has made her decision and we were not chosen.  As I mentioned last night, I can not imagine how difficult this must have been for her.  While we are disappointed, we know God has answered our prayer.  We prayed that God would find the perfect match for this little one, and this was His will.  We accept that, and move on with continued faith.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Still no news...

Nothing to post, but I know many of our friends and family are on pins and needles waiting to hear if WE have heard anything.  We have not heard back from the agency.  I am guessing the birthmom is still trying to narrow down her decision.  As difficult as it is for us to wait, I can only imagine how much more difficult it must be for her to choose 2-3 families or couples. 

I can honestly say, I feel a sense of peace in all of this.  I guess I have finally surrendered everything to God, knowing this is beyond my control.  I can not sit around or wear out the floors pacing, going nuts wondering if we will get the call.  We will, it's just a matter of when.  Getting ready for school and Open House next week is keeping me more than busy! Just as I cross off 5-6 things on my list, it grows by 10 more things again.  I am grateful for this time though.   I am cherishing the freedom we have right now.  We can go see a movie spur of the moment or take a bike ride together.  We can golf 9 holes, or simply sit back and soak up every last bit of summer as we watch the sunset.  This is what we've been doing lately.  The day will come, in His perfect timing. 

Thank you to all who continue to pray for us on this journey.  It means more than you know!  We feel extremely blessed by each and every one of you. 

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Cautiously Excited

Cautiously excited is an oxymoron for sure!  It is incredibly hard to be both, but I am.  I am human, what can I say?  I have kept myself pretty busy in my classroom all this week, trying desperately not to get my hopes up too high.  I am trying to prepare myself for disappointment as well.  I guess you could say, there is a whole "buffet" of emotions going on.  As long as I am busy with a task or project, my mind isn't going through all the "what ifs".
I dreamed about meeting the birthmom and her family Monday night. In the dream, we also got to see the little baby girl, but her face was blurred.  It was a pleasant dream.  One that made me stop and think when I woke up, was that for real, or did I just dream that?  In a weird way, I almost feel at peace in dealing with this.  Everyday I pray the "Prayer of Abandonment" which sits next to a framed picture of an adoption word collage I created a while back.  It is comforting to me.  The social worker told us that maybe by Friday they might have some news for us IF the birthmom  narrowed down her decision, but I'm really not looking to hear anything until next Monday or Tuesday at the earliest.  But we are doing o.k., we are just letting things happen or not happen because we know God has a plan for us.  This is the prayer that helps us get through each day :

"The Prayer Of Abandonment for Adoptive Parents"

Father, we abandon ourselves into your hands,
to send a child ... or not ... as you see fit.
You by whom the Word was made flesh,
send us a miracle, if this is what you desire.
Or lead us to her/him, if that be your will.
We do not ask for guarantees; no parent can.
Only light enough for the very next step.
We do not ask for a perfect child,
nor can we promise to be perfect parents.
Whatever you choose for us, whatever you desire
we abandon ourselves to your perfect will.
We are ready to offer our daily "yes,"
until that perfect will be revealed in us.
And until, at last perfected, we bear witness
to the work of redemption you began in Eden.
We love you, Lord, and offer ourselves to you,
wholly and without reservation.
We surrender ourselves, moment by moment,
knowing that this is only the first small step
Of a lifetime of surrender,
so that we may be made more perfect in love.
That we might imitate, on earth as in heaven,
the redemptive love
the adoptive love
the selfless love
with which you first loved us.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Match Opportunity #3!

Scott called me at school, on my cell phone, to see if I had checked our home email lately. He can only see the first few lines of a message, and who it is from.  His work email blocks the rest of it. There was a message from our newest adoption agency.  I didn't have access to my computer in my room, but the one in the library works.  So, I walked ran down the hall to log in and see what the message was about.  One of the social workers was going to meet with the birthmom this afternoon to share profiles and she needed to know if we were interested.  I opened the attachment with all the birthmother info and it had many of the qualities we were looking for.  This was a special case though.  It is not a newborn, but a 13 month old little girl.  Her mother is a baby herself, at age 13.  They are both in foster care with an aunt and uncle.  The birthmother has been thinking of adoption since February/March.  The good thing is the aunt and uncle are supportive in her decision.  After calling Scott back and discussing this case a little more, and calling the agency back 2-3 more times with questions, we decided that we wanted the social worker to share our profile.  Now, this is still very early in the process and I am not getting my hopes up.  Many adoptive couples who have gone through this, have told us to be kind of guarded, when a match opportunity comes up like this.  The birthmother holds all the cards and can change her mind in a heartbeat.  What will most likely happen after browsing 8-10 profiles, the birthmom will narrow it down to 2 or 3.  If we make the final cut, we will meet with her and her aunt and uncle because of her age.  Then, a second meeting would take place with the little girl along with the birthmom and her family.  At that time, the agency would present the birthmother with the legal form for her to sign the permanent surrender.  She would then only have 72 hours in which she can revoke that decision.  Once 72 hours pass, then she can not change her mind.  SOOOOOOOo..... lots of things are running through my mind of course! (baby gates, crib and nursery decor) I'm excited, but in a cautious way.  I always thought we'd be getting a newborn, but a 13 month old is really awesome as I think about it! Wow!  The baby is healthy and got a good report at her last doctor visit ,recently in July.  She is on target in all areas, cognitively and physically.  That is a huge plus!  She is starting to walk a little.  There are other little tidbits of information we have too, but since this is all so new, I'd rather just wait and see what happens next.  The bottom line is, if this is God's plan, then it will all work out.  I'm not going to worry or waste time thinking, this child is the one, until more pieces of the puzzle start coming together.  I am just thrilled this is our 3rd potential match within just a couple weeks with this new agency!  That to me, is the amazing part!  For now though, we just pray the birthmom chooses the adoptive couple, who she feels would be best for her little girl.  If it's meant to be, it's meant to be.  Good thing I started setting up my classroom because this could potentially all happen before school starts!  Oh my gosh!  I'm just going to stay busy and try not to think about it. (too much!)

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Back to the Grind

It's August!  That can only mean one thing... getting ready for back to school!  I have mixed feelings on this time of year.  I am excited to go back to my room and begin setting up, but I am also sad to see summer coming to an end.  I decided to log my hours this time and take pictures each day so people can see the progress and just how much time it REALLY takes to set up a classroom.  So, I have been super busy these couple days!  (Did I mention they do not turn on the air conditioning and it's sweltering hot? uuuggghhh!)  Aaahh yes, its' back to the grind!

Along the same topic... we had a 2nd match opportunity last Friday!  I know!  Two potential matches in one week with the new, second agency.  Totally unexpected!  Well, long story short, we had to pass on this one too.  In a nutshell, the birthmom wanted more of an open adoption.  She wanted 2 face to face visits per year.  Although, the grandmother wanted 4 visits per year. (I think NOT!)  Plus, PLUS, they wanted pictures taken with the 15 month old sibling with the new baby once a year.  We are just not comfortable with that.  I know many families who love their open adoption relationships and have had great success.  No disrespect to them, but we are a little guarded and would feel best with a semi open adoption.  We are willing to meet the birthmom before the baby is born in a neutral location, set up by one of our agencies.  We are willing really, really want to be at the hospital for the birth of the baby or immediately afterwards.  In addition, we are totally fine with sending photos & letters once a year or more, but through the agency, not directly.  God has sent us some pretty awesome signs lately, even though these two recent ones didn't work out.  I feel grateful for the opportunities.  Our faith is growing ever stronger as we take this journey.  Our prayers go out to those birthmoms and babies for the right couple to be matched with them.  Whoever our birthmom is, we are confident in God's perfect timing.  So, back to the grind (of waiting).  Waiting in hope, waiting with faith, we trust in Him. 

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Very Torn

We have researched and found out lots of details surrounding the potential match opportunity, from a few days ago, with our new 2nd agency.  The baby has a rare heart defect and there was much to learn and keep in mind.  We prayerfully considered this opportunity, but we feel it is not right for us.  We hope and pray for the birthmom in finding the perfect adoptive family, for her little guy to be born in Oct. We also pray for the baby and his well being.  We know he will have a long and difficult road ahead.  The good news is that this birthmother has three doctors who are closely monitoring the baby and she is getting the best care possible.  Although we've been so torn on this, it is somewhat comforting to know he'll be in good hands. 

The wait continues and we have more faith than ever now!

Monday, July 25, 2011

The Search is On!

It is official, we now have a 2nd adoption agency!  I met with the two directors this morning and shared our profiles.  They loved them and thought our information was presented well.  I was glad to hear that!
This new agency even presented a special match opportunity to me before I left.  I won't go into details now, but it is something Scott and I have to really think about.  Nevertheless, we feel good about our increased odds and the higher chance for being matched and a placement happening sooner. 

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord. Plans to prosper and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11

Friday, July 22, 2011

Now Things Are Moving...

What seemed like an eternity ago, is finally starting to come together.  I had contacted a 2nd agency back in June and they were willing to take us into their Search Program.  All we had to do was give them 5 of our profiles, sign release forms, have our other agency send our homestudy and other documents and we'd be all set.  Sounded easy and simple enough to get done in a week, week and a half tops, right? Oh, think again! I should know these things take time by now.  I never learn! Well, the good news is... we are almost there.  Our paperwork arrived at the new agency yesterday.  Scott was able to set an appointment for first thing Monday morning to drop off our profiles, and a big, fat check, and let the search begin!  So, I finally feel like the wheels are in motion to increase our chances of being matched with a birthmom.  A couple weeks ago, when I read Choosing to SEE by Mary Beth Chapman, (scroll down a few posts back) I honed in on a particlar phrase that was very meaningful to me.  I connected with her when she said she didn't know how she was possibly going to live with the loss of her little girl.  Mary Beth said she prayed to God to somehow show them the way to take small steps, or leave bread crumbs of hope that they would make it through each day.  Bread crumbs of hope. LOVE that!  I prayed for exactly that.  Once I saw how long this was going to take, I just said to God,
give us some signs, light the way, sprinkle some bread crumbs to let us know, this will all work out.  I try so desperately to have faith.  Most days I do, but I am human.  God has certainly been sprinkling several crumbs of hope our way!  I am so very thankful for those.  I can not wait to find the "whole loaf" soon!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

New Blog for my Teacher Peeps!

All my teacher friends (and everyone else) know what a big computer nerd I am!  The laptop is glued to my body pretty much everyday until Baby McBride comes.  I'm totally infatuated with all things blogs! Crazy I tell ya!  So, here is the link/button for my new blog. (click the square below)  It's appropriately named, "Starbucks, Standards, & Sharpies".  What I live, breath, and drink for 9 months of the year practically!  (not necessarily in that order)  And no, I'm not sniffin' the Sharpies! I just use them constantly! Enjoy all my teacher peeps! (and anyone else!)

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

"Honey, We're Going to Taco Bell for Dinner!"...

So, I'm folding laundry, listening to the news... and what do I hear?  A lady in Washington was trying to sell her 3 day old baby to customers.  Get this, the starting bid was $500!  Here is the link:

What a bargain compared to the money hungry agencies who wanted $10,000 just for marketing alone!  Holy Cow!  Talk about an opportunity I would have LOVED DIED to have taken advantage of!  Man, if only I could've been there when she asked that question!  Oh well, back to folding towels... "Honey, let's go to Taco Bell for dinner tonight!".