Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The baseball season that would never end....

Some of you may remember the Lupron induced breakdown I had last year when Cade's last year of Coach's Pitch ended.  I cried all weekend.  I've always enjoyed his baseball seasons and all in all they were a good time.  As it turns out I don't really think it's baseball that I was the funny things the kids did as they were standing the wrong way in the outfield, more worried about getting a ring pop than what was going on in the field, drinking tons of gatorade before the game would start and then they'd do the potty dance in the outfield.  Yeah, that's what I really enjoyed about coach's pitch.  Regular baseball....not so much.  It is an hour and thirty minutes of sweating buckets while you watch 9&10 year olds pitch to each other.  Oh, on occassion you have a really good hit or a really good strike, but it's mostly watching the ball go everywhere but into the catchers glove.  Some of the biggest excitment is when one goes over the backstop and everyone covers their smaller children with their bodies.  Good times.

I think the season this year has seemed extra long for us.  Seriously, I think it was 5 years ago we played our first game.  And as Jay recalled last night, we've even missed 4 games.  Four games....and it feels like an eternity.  We missed the 4 games due to Camryn, which is why missing them was acceptable.  Otherwise we don't skip games.  Its a rule in our house that once you start something you finish matter how much Jay and I are crying and begging to not have to go.  Monday night we played our first tournament game.  Of course the tournament is in Stockton which is the middle of nowhere for us down some curvy roads.  It is not a fun drive and it takes right at an hour to get there.  We missed Monday because we took Camryn to Jay's grandparents in Fayetteville.  They hadn't seen her yet and Jay's Aunt and Uncle from Chicago were there.  I know Jay and I were secretly thinking/hoping we were done with baseball.  When one of the parents texted us and said we were losing we were happy about it.  Until she texted us later and told us it was double elimination.  We had to go back to Stockton Tuesday night (insert big sigh here). 

Tuesday night we traveled back to Stockton for a 7:30 pm game.  At least the weather was wonderful.  That made it bearable.  We were so close to losing and then at the last moment we pulled ahead.  We go back to Stockton again tonight.  We play our first game at 6.  If we win we play again at 7:30.  It is so hot outside right now that I start sweating just thinking about sitting at this 6 o'clock game.   Then when you add in a summer baby it doesn't make things easier.  I know there are pros and cons to a baby born in any season, but a summer baby with a boy playing ball is definitely a con.  With Cade being born in March by the summer he could somewhat support himself.  You could put him our your lap and he didn't have to touch you and you weren't touching all of him.  Poor Camryn is a sticky mess by the end of these games.  Since she can't support herself we are just all over each other.  I take the stroller and she does good in it, but then she doesn't get as much air as she does when she's on your lap.  But when she's on your lap it's hard to keep the sun off of her.  We are just lucky she is such a good natured baby and takes everything she's exposed to in stride.  Otherwie there would probably be a lot of crying at these games....and Camryn wouldn't be very happy either. 

Wow, my life is 180 degrees different than it was a year ago. 

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Some Camryn Shots

This was Camryn's first morning at home.  I couldn't wait to dress her in this animal print onesie with a pink bow


This one was before her first wedding on June 18.  She was not pleased with me taking her picture that day.  The dress is another one of Avery's.  Thank goodness for fashionable cousins!


This was Fathers Day after church.  I love the flower!  Charity gave it to her.  I also love this dress....guess who is letting us borrow it.....

This was that same evening.  You will see a lot of my knees and feet in some of the pictures.  I sit in the chair just holding her a lot during the day.

This is a very large bow.  It shrinks her head.  People comment on the fact she seems so tiny, but she really isn't that small.  Jay thinks it's the size of most of her flowers and bows.  Compared to those she is tiny.

This was Monday night after our first day running errands in Springfield.  Don't we all feel this way after grocery shopping?

How sweet is this?  It was at Cade's Tuesday night ballgame.

I went for a bow on top of her head this day.  Cade liked it better than the big bows. 

Her onesie says I Love My Mom & Dad....she is thinking I'd love them more if they'd quit putting me in my car seat!

Just a sweet picture I took Friday morning.

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Some other adoption stuff....

I know there are/have been a lot of questions, which I expected. This is the first time in either of our immediate families that someone has adopted. I’ve always tried to be as honest as I can about our whole journey to this point because that’s the way I am. I will also continue to be as up front as I can about Camryn and her adoption and how it plays out in our family, but her birthfamily information is private and I won’t share that here – which is very, very, very common in adoption. We signed a confidentially agreement with our agency to not disclose this information. But I do welcome any questions that you may have about adoption and the process and how it has/is/will affect us and our family.

About the adoption – We do have a closed adoption. That was at the request of Camryn’s birthfamily. I always figured we would have at least a semi-open or even a fully open adoption because that is becoming more and more common. I’m having to readjust my thinking a little since we are in a closed adoption. There are pros and cons to either way so we will make the best of it. For me right now one of the biggest questions I have is how we will relay to her that she is adopted. If you have regular contact with the family I can see how that makes explaining it easier. I’ve got some ideas floating around so we’ll see how that works out. At least I’ve got some time! We do hope that at some point her birthfamily will contact us.

What we do know – We do have a pretty complete health history on both birthparents. I know that’s always a big question for most people. We are fortunate that both parents were involved in the adoption so we have that information for both of them. We also know some other personal information that we are going to save for Camryn. We will honor their wishes for the adoption to remain closed. If Camryn wants to contact them when she is older we will give her the information we have and then support her in every way we can.

About the blog – I had wondered what to do about the blog once we got Camryn. Should I make I private? Should I not show pictures of her out of respect for her birthfamily? I’ve seen it done a variety of ways over the years. I’ve decided to leave it the way it is. It’s as much about our family as it is adoption. Camryn is part of the family so I will include her. My other reasoning for this is I’m not sure how much the birthfamily knows about us. I don’t know if they know what we named her or what our names are. I guess I have hope that maybe they do know her name and if someday that decide they’d like to know how she is but don’t feel up to contacting the agency maybe they would stumble across this blog? I know that’ s a longshot, but who knows. We don’t fear them at all and I would love for them to know how wonderful she is.

About her name – We’ve also had some questions about her name. Yes, Camryn is probably a little more unusual than some names. Jay and I had never discussed girl names so we had to pick one in a very short amount of time. We went to the hospital with a list of a few that we were going to try out on her – Camryn was one of them. Charity actually came up with Cade’s name in the beginning of my pregnancy so I told Charity to submit some of her favorite girl C names. Camryn was also on her list so it seemed like it was meant to be. It took me awhile to actually give her that name. The nurses asked me several times what we were naming her and I would tell them we hadn’t decided. Finally on Sunday, before we could leave, we had to name her. It was very scary putting a name on a baby we weren’t sure was going to be ours. Her middle name is Lee, which was Jay’s grandmother’s maiden name. Both Cade and Camryn have middle names that come from their great-grandparents. Cade’s middle name is Ewing. Camryn’s birthmom’s name does start with a C so I may refer to her as C from time to time. Or maybe I should pick another letter? We’ve got a lot of C’s running around here!

How she is doing – She is such a wonderful baby. She is sleeping 4-6 hours at night and after she eats she goes back to sleep. She is so calm and doesn’t seem to get too upset about anything except bath time. Bath time makes her very mad. She has a cry that ends in a pig snort which is so cute I don’t mind when she gets mad. I’m sure that part of the reason Camryn is such an easy baby is that Jay and I are much more relaxed than we were 9 years ago. I look back at things I did to poor Cade and I feel really bad and think man, was I dumb! Also, being a mother at 34 vs 25 is a different experience. I’m just relaxing and trying to enjoy every moment with her because the 9 year old proof is right in front of me that it goes way too fast (Cade has grown almost 2 inches in 3 months).

How Cade is adjusting – So far he is still thrilled with his sister . We haven’t seen any jealously or anything along those lines from him. He will still crawl in my lap so sometimes I have both of them and it’s great! He spent the night with Jay’s parents this week and he told them he missed Camryn but he didn’t miss us!  Yesterday she did have a fussy period for about an hour and I think it was the first time she irritated him.  He told me he was tired of her crying!  I'm sure that was the first of many times she will manage to annoy him.  Another funny thing is this picture.  I wanted a picture to put in our company newsletter so I had Cade wear one that coordinated with Camryn's dress.  As soon as the picture was done Cade had to change.  We were going to the library and it was too embarassing to wear the same color clothes!  I guess the matching outfit boat sailed years ago! 

Friday, June 24, 2011

The Story Part 3

Here is the long delayed Part 3 of the story.....

Over the weekend we did a lot of cleaning and getting ready for the baby.  Camryn's room was pretty much my craft room...or as Jay likes to call it.... my crap room.  There was a lot of stuff in her closet that had to find another home.  Six years ago when we bought this house I couldn't imagine filling up all this space - now I've got a bunch of craft supplies hidden behind my bed because I don't know where else to store it!  Somehow by Sunday night our house was clean and we were almost ready to leave for St Louis.

But of course, because things tend to be out of control for us most of the time, we had to drive to Joplin first thing Monday morning so Jay could go to an ENT.  He's had an ear infection for over a month.  He made his 3rd trip to the doctor last Friday and he arranged to have an ENT work Jay in Monday because he thought he needed a tube.  Turns out he had some infection stuck on his ear drum so it had to be flushed out.  I'll spare you the picture here but if you want to see it just ask Jay.  I think he's as proud of that picture as he is Camryn.  He hadn't been able to hear for several weeks and he instantly felt about 80% better.  Now he doesn't have an excuse to ignore me :)  So when we started out on Monday we were really in Joplin.  It seemed like it took forever to get to St Louis.

That evening we were able to meet some other adoption friends- Rachel and Steve and their two precious girls.  It was a really fun evening and it was good for us.  Instead of staring at our hotel walls we got to talk to other adoptive parents.  Cade even got taken down by a 2 1/2 year old in a wrestling match!  It was a lot of fun.

Finally Tuesday morning got here.  I think it was about 2am Jay and I both woke up and thought for sure it was time to get up.  You can imagine how disappointed we were!  Court was at 9 but we left our hotel at 8.  After all these years we weren't about to be late!  I think it was about 9:30 before we got started and it was a very serious affair.  We were present to hear the case terminating Camryn's birthparents rights.  That was probably the most emotional part for me - just to hear that their rights were terminated made me sad. Such a hard and painful decision for them to make.  Then they presented the case to grant us custody of Camryn.  Jay went first so he had to answer most of the hard questions like when was he married and Camryn's birthdate!  I just had to say that I agreed with his answers.  Then all of a sudden it was done and we were free to leave and go get our baby girl.  I couldn't believe we were finally done after all these years.  Depending on how you look at it, here is our official wait time....
6 years since we decided we were ready for another baby
4 years 6 months since we first contacted Bethany and
3 years 8 months and 1 day since we became an official waiting family

But she is the sweetest thing and totally worth the wait! 

This is Debbie, Camryn's 2nd Interim Care mom.  She was wonderful.  She emailed me everyday and gave us a CD with pictures she had taken of Camryn so we wouldn't miss out on those days.

Jay and Cade are getting familiar with her again

Finally our official Family of 4 picture

Heading home with 2 kids in the backseat

We met Megan and Terry in Rolla so they could meet Camryn

Finally Camryn in home!  This is her first picture in our house...then we headed out to one of Cade's baseball games.

Too many trips to St Louis in one week can make a boy cranky. Then when his mom wants pictures taken it gets worse.....

Then when you tell him he needs to get ready for a ballgame it gets even worse....

But then Dad knew what to say to get him to smile again.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

The Story Part 2

Camryn was born at the hospital opposite of the one Cade was born at, so those of you who remember will know which one I'm talking about.  They were absolutely great with us.  I've heard horror stories of how some hospital staff treat adoptive families and birthfamilies, so we were very blessed.  Every nurse we had was great, every one seemed to know and understand kind of what the story was with our situation so we never had any issues.  The hospital gave me a hospitality room so I got to stay there with Camryn like I was the one who gave birth.  It was such a neat experience for me. 

Friday evening Jay left me at the hospital and he came home to get things ready for the fair.  He hated to leave us, but we also couldn't short change Cade either.  We also had to tell Cade about the baby since I wouldn't be at the fair and he was ok with it.  We did try to get him to keep Camryn's gender a secret because we wanted at least one surprise but he thought that would be too hard to do!  We quickly gave up that idea. 

Again, just another confirmation that God had his hand on this situation from the beginning, I slept really good Friday night in the hospital.  I didn't get to take her in the room with me the first night, but I got to spend as much time as I wanted with her in the nursery.  Normally when I'm in a strange place and a strange bed I don't sleep but I slept all night and even had a hard time waking up Saturday morning.  Saturday I spent all day with her in the nursery.  Finally late that evening they let me take her in my room.  She got to spend Saturday night with me.  She was such a good baby.  She had long stretches of sleeping and she was just fine sleeping in her little bed.  I love babies but I don't enjoy them sleeping in my bed so I was thankful for that.

Sunday morning Jay brought Cade to the hospital and he got to meet his sister for the first time.  We also got the hospital pictures taken and they are so much better than 9 yrs ago.  They are very fancy!  Around noon we got released from the hospital and we had to take her to St Louis.

This was the bad part of our day.  Due to different county adoption laws the best thing to do was put Camryn in interim care with our agency so we could use their attorney in St Louis.  It was so very hard to leave her on Sunday evening, but we knew it was for the best.  After metting Tim, our attorney, and seeing him in court Tuesday we definitely know that was the best decision.  When we first met him he told us all of his experience with adoption law and said the problem with most attorneys is they only know how to spell adoption and that's where it ends.  That was kind of what we ran into in our county so that's why we made that decision. 

We spent a couple of days hanging out in St Louis waiting to meet with our attorney.  We ended up going to the arch and the zoo.  We also met Shelley and her husband and daughter for lunch one day.  We met with Tim on Tuesday June 7 and then we headed home that evening.

On Thursday Jay and I had to do back to St Louis for a 15 minute meeting with Tim!  Of course we would've drove anywhere we needed but it was funny we drove roundtrip 8 hours for 15 minutes.

Tim hoped he would be able to call me Friday morning with our court date, but he said it might also be Monday before he knew.  I didn't hear anything that day so I was a little stressed by that evening.  Her hospital pictures came in the mail that day and I hid them in the house.  I didn't even tell Jay they were here because I was having a mini-meltdown that day.  I was so scared something was going to happen.  Then that night I had one of those straw that broke the camel's back moments.  At the time I was so mad at Jay but now I can laugh about it.  I was running late to Cade's game Friday night.  This year we all got team shirts and I was running around the house looking for mine.  I wasted 10 minutes looking for this shirt.  I decided to call Jay to make sure he hadn't taken it by accident.  I called him over and over 3 or 4 times before he answered the phone.  Finally he picked up and when I asked about the shirt he said "oh yeah, I brought it with me."  When questioned why he took the shirt he said he thought it would be easier on me that way.  I'm still not quite sure how taking my t-shirt to a game where the only place I could change would be a port a potty AND not telling me he took the shirt would make things easier for me? Things got a lot better though around 7:30 when I got an email saying that court was Tuesday at 9 am

After we dropped off Camryn wewent to the arch to give us something to do.  Seven years ago I got a picture of Cade and Jay in almost the same spot - except Cade was barely to the bottom of Jay's shorts.  A Lot has changed in 7 years!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The Story - Part 1

I can't beleive I'm sitting here typing this with my baby girl on my lap.  So hard to believe!  Here is our end of the story on how we were blessed to have Camryn join our family.  The other half of her story -the birthparent side of how she joined our family is her story so I won't share it here.  That's one big thing that you hear over and over in adoption so we will save that for Camryn to hear when she is older and if she chooses to share it at some point it will be her decision.  Not sure how long this will be so I may have to break it up in different posts. 

The afternoon of May 17 we got an email about an expectant family who wanted to look at profiles.  The due date on the email was around May 22 and the baby was a girl.  It didn't take Jay and I long to fire an email back to Yes, please show our profile.  For the next few days I was surprisingly calm.  For some reason I felt really good about this situation, the timing was absolutely perfect and not that it really mattered but the baby was a girl.  That was something completely different for us, all our other matches were boys.  Finally on Thursday, May 19 at 11:30 I saw Jamie pop up on my phone before it even rang.  I knew we were the ones!!!  I talked to Jamie for a little bit - not even sure what she said and then I left work to drive to Miller to tell Jay.  Of course we were excited, but after everything we've been through you learn to keep all of the emotions in check.  We decided not to tell anyone until things were more certain.  I did get Jay's permission to tell my friend Shelley since she's talked me through a lot of this adoption stuff the last 18 months.  On the way back to work I debated on even telling Shelley - I was so scared I would jinx this match.  But when I got back to work Shelley had already emailed me to see if I'd heard anything because she knew we were being shown.  I told her she knew the right questions to ask! 

For the next few days we really didn't do anything to get ready for a baby.  We were terrified to do anything that appeared we thought we'd actually bring this one home.  We hardly talked about it.  We just carried on my normal day to day life like nothing was happening.  On May 25 I got a phone call that C, Camryn's birthmom was having contractions.  They were strong enough that she thought she might go to the hospital that afternoon.  Then we heard nothing from her for the next week.  We did not know what to think at that point.  We ceased talking about the baby at all during those days.  I was really neutral about the whole thing - I didn't feel like it was completely over but I also wasn't confident it would happen.  By Memorial Day evening I was physically and emotionally exhausted.  Tuesday morning I worked in our Greenfield office so I didn't really have anything to do.  I spent a lot of time that morning reading my Bible and praying.  I felt like all of a sudden God told me that this break in communication wasn't about me or us, it was about Camryn's birthmom.  I did so much praying for Camryn's  birthfamily over those days - mostly to just continue to give them the peace that surpasses all understanding about whatever decision they made.  A few hours later I got a call from Jamie and everything was ok with C and the baby.  She understandably was experiencing some anxiety and hadn't felt like making contact for the last few days.  But we found out Camryn was scheduled to be born Friday, June 3.

At that point the only other ones who know about the match, besides Shelley, were Lyle and Jania.  When we first thought she was going to be born we asked Lyle and Jania to watch Cade for us.  We really wanted to surprise our families by showing up with a baby.  That plan didn't quite work out for us because Camryn's birthday was the Friday of our county fair.  Now both Cade and Camryn's birthdays will fall at the absolute busiest times for Jay.  We debated over the next few days how and when to tell our families.  We knew we had to tell them because it would be obvious when I wasn't at the fair and we were going to have to have some help getting Cade and the animals ready and to the fair.  But we were terrified of actually speaking to anyone about the baby.  Jay finally called his parents late Thursday evening.  I waited and texted my family Friday morning.  Jay said the texting was a little cold - but my family understood.  I just didn't have it in me to go over the story 3 times.  I was so scared.

I figured she wouldn't be born until later that evening so I piddled around the house.  I was very surprised when Jamie called me that morning about 11 and said baby girl was here, healthy and what time did we want to meet her.  We met Jamie at the hospital at 3:30 that afternoon and she introduced us to our baby girl for the first time.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The Post!!!

Finally I get to post "The Post" that Ives waited to do for years. We were places with our sweet baby girl today. Camryn Lee was born June 3, 2011. I'll update more aboutthe last month of our lives later, but it was an exciting time. We are so thankful that God answered our prayers and the many prayers of our friends and family. She is perfect. Now...I'm off to buy some hairbows :)

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Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Baseball has started.  So far this year it feels a little weird.  We had so many practices rained out and then we had one game last week cancelled due to weather that it hasn't really felt like baseball yet.  Last weeks missed game is being made up on Saturday and we will have to miss it and Friday nights game because of the county fair.  I feel like we are only half doing it this year - too many other things are going on right now. 

This is our first year to be in full fledged baseball.  The games are six innings or 1.5 hours long.  So far we've managed to play 4 innings in that time period.  I'll be honest - these games are long.  Very, very long.  Last night we sat by another family and we laughed at our boys.  Cade and Colby are definitely about the same in their sports abilities and desire.  We said we needed to start saving for college now, because neither of them would end up with sports scholarships.  Pretty sure the mother sitting beside us thought we were terrible.  She is one who has confidence that her child is really good and will be really good someday.  Jay and I are more realist....Cade could be decent if he worked at it, but he doesn't really want to work at it so we feel our job as parents then is to maybe steer him more in the direction of something that he might be more interested in.  Hence the county fair on Saturday.  There is a fine line you walk as a want to encourage your child to do all that they can, but also keep it real.  Hopefully we haven't damaged him too much.  But he does look stinkin' cute in his uniform.