Adoption journey

Over the past year, the Lord has been growing, teaching, and challenging our family in so many ways! We are responding to the Lord's leading and are expanding our family through the adoption of a precious baby!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Welcome to the family Timothy Neil!

We want to thank so many of you who have followed, prayed for and supported our adoption journey that began over 2 1/2 years ago. We began with the intention of adopting a baby from Ethiopia, made the switch to domestic adoption about 9 months ago, received a phone call telling us of our referral 1 month ago, and are happy to announce that we brought home our new baby boy one week ago!

The phone call
The way the process normally works, is a family receives an email with a very brief description of birth mother and due date, asking if we want her to look at her profile. Then you hear back in a couple weeks if your family is chosen. Well, we had not gotten an email, but received a phone call Tuesday afternoon (May 14) from a case worker I had never met from across the state. She told us about birth mother, due date and asked if we would be interested. Of course we excitedly said YES, to which she replies, "Good, because she's already seen your profile and chosen you. Baby boy is due in one month!" And so our crazy fast month began!!

Meeting birth mother
Three days after the phone call, we drove 5 hours across the state and met with our birth mother over lunch. Over a 1 1/2 hour lunch, we shared our stories, laughter and tears. In a meeting that can be awkward and difficult, we felt at ease and a strong connection from the beginning. We learned about her story, her history, her gifts, talents and dreams. We heard about her hopes for her son, and her reasoning behind choosing our family. She wanted a Christian family with experience raising boys, as well as big brothers for her son. We feel honored and privileged that she chose our family. After the lunch meeting, we continued to get to know one another via email and discussed our open adoption plans.

It's TIME!!
We knew that she was due on June 14, but you never really know when baby will arrive. We had a false alarm Monday night, June 10th. We had been keeping in touch with birth mother, and recieved a message that she was having contractions and on her way to the hospital! It turned our to be a false alarm. On Wednesday afternoon, June 12, we got a call from our case worker and birth mother telling us she would be induced Friday morning. We began frantically preparing, not only to welcome our new baby, but also lining up preparations for leaving our three sons for a few days as we traveled across the state to meet and bring home our new baby. So thankful for our family who put their lives on hold to come up and take care of our little guys!

We arose early Friday morning and began the drive across the state around 5am, arriving before lunchtime. We spent the afternoon with birth mother, listening, encouraging, and waiting with her. We feel so blessed to have had that time with her to get to know more about the little details of her life. Amid a life of trials and difficulties, she is such a strong and determined woman. We also talked about the details of the birth. I (Kelly, not Josh) was going to get to be in the delivery room with her when he was born. She even asked me if I wanted to cut his umbilical cord! I was floored!!! After, a day of her laboring, I stood next to her holding her hand as she pushed out our little 9lb, 10oz chunk... oh and it only took her 3 pushes and and about 5-10min!! I knew she was strong, but wow!! Over the next hour, she and I both held him, and I was blessed to see her great love and care for Timothy.

Timothy Neil was born on June 14, 2013 -- 9lbs, 10oz and 21.5inches long.
We spent Timothy's first 24 hour in the hospital, enjoying him and visiting with birth mother.  We traveled home with Timothy Saturday evening. Sunday morning (Father's Day) we awoke to three excited little boys--glad to have Mommy & Daddy home, as well as super excited to meet their new baby brother!!
1st snuggles from brothers:)
Timothy Neil --- his name
Since the beginning of our adoption journey, our 2 oldest boys have called our baby Timothy Thomas. Our oldest thought of the name all by himself. When we prayed and talked about baby, he was always called Timothy Thomas:) We wanted to keep Timothy as his first name, because we have prayed for Timothy for over 2 years. Neil is Josh's grandfather's name, and the name Josh always wanted to name his son. We gave him a family name to show he is fully ours and a full heir in our family.

We're a family of SIX!!!
I still have so much more I would like to share... more to come when we're not so sleep deprived;)

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Summer bucket list

We're looking forward to a fun filled, busy, adventurous, family filled, exciting summer! These are a few our our plans and adventures for the summer;)
1. Vacation Bible School
2. Day at the Paragould water park
3. Fun at the Georgia Aquarium
4. Day at the beach in Gulf Shores, AL 

5. Swimming at Granny & Grandpa's new pool!
6. Bring home our new baby:)
7. Family reunion
8. Camping in the backyard
9. Slumber party with cousins!
10. Evan's Star Wars 7th birthday celebration!
11. Family Vacation to Mountain Home, AR
12. Celebrate our 10th Wedding Anniversary:)
13. Sports & More Camp
14. Nerf gun war at church
15. Growing a large vegetable garden
16. Make lots of blueberry, strawberry, & muscadine jam
17. Crowley's Ridge Nature Center
18. Many trips to the library
19. Swimming and water games in the backyard
20. Get muddy!!!
21. Sidewalk painting!
22. Lots of fun activities with HDBC Children's Ministry!

What activities are you and your family planning to do this summer?

Baby on the way!!

We want to thank the many of you have followed and supported our adoption journey---the past two and a half years! I posted nine months ago about our switch from International to Domestic Adoption. We want to share our exciting news... we got the call we've been waiting for!!! Baby BOY is due this Friday---June 14!!! If all goes as planned, we will get to be there at the hospital for his arrival and bring him home in the next week or so! Life has been BUSY trying to prepare for baby's arrival... cleaning, organizing, freezer cooking, rearranging bedrooms, nesting;) We covet your prayers over the next couple of weeks!!

Please pray for:

  • Birth mother--for confidence and peace in her decision, for healthy delivery
  • Baby BOY -- his health, and for the 5 hour trip home
  • Big brothers (especially baby Samuel) - adjusting to life with baby brother, and for the few days apart from us while we're in hospital
  • For our hearts, as we prepare to bring another sweet child into our family. And that we would be able to minister to birth mother through this open adoption.
  • The details of paperwork and legal things that go along with adoption.
We'll keep you posted and can't wait to post pictures of our newest little guy!!!!