Melissa, Geoff and Mina

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

more cute pics

Elisa with Ethan and Mina

These next pictures capture Mina's smile, bummer they're blurry!

Gotta love the hair!


Cute baby Ethan.








Mina update

We all went to JC Penney for pictures on Saturday and I think they turned out cute. I was hoping to get a really good one of Mina smiling but is was not to be. She is really smiling and has started laughing now, too. It is so cute! She is also really alert and everyone comments on how unique this is for her age (she'll be 3 months tomorrow.)









So cute!




Thursday, November 12, 2009

National Adoption Month

Just by chance I spoke to two amazing women today. The first was a birth mother Geoff and I had met just prior to Maria. We had a good connection and really liked each other after we met. We found out on a Saturday, though, that she had picked another couple to adopt her child. She had met them and the spirit told her they were the couple for her child. I admit, it was hard on Geoff and I. But how could we deny the influence of God in this work?
It was actually only 5 days after that that we got the call about meeting with Maria, and two weeks after that we took Mina home.
This birth mother had just heard that Geoff and I had adopted and she called to congratulate us, apologizing that she hadn't chosen us, telling me she had been thinking about me a lot ever since she made her decision. What an amazing woman! She herself was going through a difficult time of decision making in her life and yet she was thinking about me, not wanting to hurt Geoff and I, and wishing that it could have been us, but knowing she couldn't deny the spirit. She has a great relationship with the adoptive parents of her daughter and sounded very happy on the phone, stating that the adoption process had turned out to be one of the best experiences of her life. It was great talking to her and being blessed by her amazing character.

Maria also called today and it was great talking to her. She is also an amazing woman, doing a great job raising her other children, maintaining her positive and happy nature. I feel so blessed that she picked us and that she has become such a good friend. I can see God's hand in this work more and more every day. God knew that Mina was meant to come to us and if the first birth mother had picked us we would not have been able to adopt Mina. Maria felt a connection with us just by looking at our picture and we all felt that connection when we met. It only took Maria two days to decide that she was serious about adoption and that we were the couple to adopt her child.

Geoff and I recently listened to a program on NPR about abortion and one of the Dr's on the show mentioned that women who choose abortion are actually unselfish because they realize they would be unable to care for a child. I couldn't believe what I was hearing, especially after being involved in the adoption process and having met birth mothers who had made the decision that really was unselfish. Birth mothers, too, realize that they would be unable to care for a child, but proceed with the pregnancy and give life to a child as a gift for someone else. Not much comes closer to the atonement of Christ, giving a life while putting their own life in danger, literally, to do so.

I found this poem about birth mothers and would like to share. Geoff and I are in awe of these amazing women.

Birthmother
by Leslie Gallimore of Charlotte Pregnancy Center *as published in the July 2004 BirthMom Buds Bulletin

B is for the bravery of putting your child first
I is for the interest you have in your child
R is for remaining true to what you believed is best
T is for the tears you shed
H is for the hours you spend pondering adoption
M is for the months you were pregnant
O is for the overwhelming and mixed emotions
T is for the terrific woman you are
H is for the honor you deserve
E is for the experience of labor
R is for the reward of choosing life

Geoff and I want to honor all birth mothers and encourage everyone to do the same, especially during this month celebrating adoption. Let's celebrate birth mothers and the miraculous decision they have made.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Mina's real photo session

This is Mina at 6 weeks old. Isn't she cute? This first picture is my favorite.














Sunday, October 18, 2009

Pics from the baby shower

Thanks to Heather, first of all, for taking these pictures! I think they turned out great.

It was great to see everyone at my shower. There were friends from college and my singles ward, like Jodi on the far left; my family, sister Elisa, nephew Charlie, sister Cynthia and mom from left to right; and members of my ward like Winnie on the right. I feel so blessed to have such great friends and family.

Friends from previous places I'd worked like Kimmee and Mary on the left and more good friends from the ward Claudia and Kathryn.


Here are my two great friends that threw the shower, Lindsay and Kathryn. Thank you both so much for a wonderful shower! I couldn't have asked for anything more.


Ahhh! Great food! Thanks to everyone who helped provide all the eats! They were wonderful!



Geoff brought Mina by at the end of the shower so everyone could see her. She's asleep in this picture but they got to hear her cry, too when she got hungry! She's my sweet girl and I love her so much.





Saturday, October 17, 2009

Mina with family

Gramps feeding Mina. We're grateful for all the help we've had from family.


Jacob loves to kiss her! He'll come up and say "kisses?,"kiss her on the head, then ask again. We have to remind him he has to wash his hands before he touches her, though, so now whenever he sees her he says, "wash hands?" and runs to the bathroom to wash his hands!


Sierra is such a good little helper! She fed Mina while I was eating dinner the other day and it worked out great!



videoMina with grandma

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Minas photo shoot

I've tried several times to get Mina dressed up and take pics and I did get some good ones. As you can tell by some of the photos further on, however, she wasn't really in the mood to get all dressed up for photos! This outfit is a preemie outfit, one of the few that fit her the first few weeks.

Elisa found this dress at a garage sale and thought it was a cute doll dress. Then she looked at the label, which said "preemie." It fits Mina just great, though she wasn't very happy when I was taking this picture!


We got this cute hair bow from our neighbor.



I got lucky and caught her smiling. A "gas" smile as Geoff likes to remind me, but a smile none the less!



Tuesday, September 29, 2009

More pics of Mina

So many people were asking for more pics I thought I'd oblige! Every day Mina's more alert. She has the most beautiful, thick black hair and eyes. Both her birth parents are hispanic.


Little Ethan, born 9 and 1/2 weeks ago isn't so little any more! He's smiling and cooing a lot now and it's so cute!

Sierra loves holding Mina. She'll just hold her and rock her for up to 15 minutes! It's very cute. When Geoff's mom came to visit and was holding Mina, Sierra told her, "You're holding her too long," because Sierra wanted a turn! We had to remind her that she'd get lots of time to hold Mina since we all live together.


Geoff has been using Elisa's "breast friend" (that's the real name by the way!) which snaps around your waist, because it really does give you support when holding a baby. Notice the remote control in the front pocket! He actually forgot he put it there and was looking all over for it until he remembered.



Sweet little Mina! She's so tiny that only a few of her clothes actually fit her! We went out and looked for a couple outfits yesterday and all the 0-3 month outfits were huge! We finally bought one newborn and one preemie outfit. Even the newborn diapers are a little big.





Mina's home coming

Mina had jaundice so she had to be under the lights for 38 hours. She had to wear the little "goggles" to protect her eyes, and as you can see she didn't like it! We could only take her out for about a half hour at a time and then she had to go back under the lights. There was also a light under her, the cover of which got all poopy as Geoff and I tried to clean her first muconium (sp?) diaper. She just kept pooping! As soon as I'd clean her up more would squirt out on the new diaper. We went through 4 diapers, got poop all over her, our hands, the light underneath her. Phew! She was breaking us in! Actually, none of her poops since then have been that bad, thank goodness! I'm sure you parents out there are saying, "just wait!"



They gave me a band so I could get the baby out of the nursery also, so here are the three girls with our arm bands.
Beautiful Maria. She dressed Mina, carried her down in the wheel chair and helped Geoff put her in her car seat. I sobbed again as I hugged her good-bye. She had just given birth but wasn't going home with the baby. She is an amazing woman. We all met the next day, Saturday, and she signed the papers that terminated her rights. We then went to her house and introduced Mina to her brothers and sisters. I know this has been hard for Maria, but that she knows she made the right decision. This is a completely open adoption and we'll be seeing a lot of her and her family which I know will make this easier on her.
Jacob giving Mina kisses. So cute! Both Sierra and Jake love her already, though Jake kept calling her Ethan at first. Aren't all babies Ethan? Speaking of Ethan, he's more than twice her size! He has grown so quickly and Mina is only 6 lbs 9 oz. Ethan was 9 pounds when he was born!
Mina has been sleeping in the clothes basket by our bed since we don't have a crib yet, and it has actually worked out pretty well. Yep, sleepless nights! though she is sleeping up to 3 hours at a time. Geoff has this week off work and has been helping a lot.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Mina is home!

This is going to be quick, so don't get your hopes up! I just wanted to thank everybody for their love and support. We took Mina home from the hospital yesterday. Another emotional day! We met Maria and our case worker today and she signed the papers relinquishing her rights. It will be about 6 months for the paper work to go through the courts for the adoption to be official.

I'll post pictures when I'm not so tired :)

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Pictures of Mina

Everyone keeps telling me I should sleep while I can. Well, it's 3:30 in the morning and I'm wide awake! I figured I might as well post some pics.Geoff got to feed her for the first time.

Our angel birth mother. I asked her if she minded if we posted pictures of her and she said go ahead. What an amazing woman! I cried as I helped her through the delivery. It was a natural birth and the baby's face was up so her shoulder was caught and it was very painful. Mina's face is bruised from coming out face up. They say that will clear up, though.



Just after delivery. She didn't cry at first and they were a little worried, but then she found her lungs. Her heart rate kept dropping every time Maria had a contraction leading up to the delivery and they were worried about that, too. Turns out there was a knot in her cord though it wasn't pulled tight. Everything is fine, though. She is a miracle! I'm still in shock and pray for Maria as we go through these next few days. I know this will be hard on her. The state of AZ requires that the birth mom wait 72 hours before signing the papers so we'll take the baby home when she's released from the hospital on a temporary foster license. Once the birth mother signs the papers the baby is ours. It takes about 6 months for the adoption to be finalized in the courts with the birth certificate stating that we are the parents. That's when we'll be able to bless her and seal her to us. You all will be invited to that blessed day.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The baby is coming!

I just got off the phone with our case worker who is with Maria in the hospital! She started having contractions last night and is dilated to 2-3 centimeters. The contractions have now stopped but the Dr. decided to admit her and give her patosin. Geoff and I are headed to the hospital as soon as he gets home! Thanks for all your prayers and support! I have such wonderful family and friends.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

We're adopting!

Yes, it's true! We were chosen by an angel birth mom to adopt her baby. We met with her a week and a half ago and three days later she called to tell us that she had decided to place with us. I couldn't believe it! I've been in shock for the last week. Maria is actually the 6th birth mom we have had some kind of contact with, so it has been hard for me to get my head and heart around the fact that it will actually happen this time. Maria is great and has been very patient with me! She is a wonderful friend and truly an answer to prayers. She invited us to go with her to her Dr. appointment last Saturday and we got to see the baby on the ultrasound, but it was not clear enough to tell if it's a boy or girl. Maria is due in a week so we'll see what we get when the baby decides to come!
Please keep us and Maria in your prayers. I'll try to keep the blog updated when we hear any news.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

final post of the night

Sierra started pre-school this year. The main difficulty is that it starts at 7:45 AM, and as you can see, Sierra is tired. She's used to sleeping in until 9:00 and does not appreciate being woken up in the morning! Elisa asked me to take her to school on Friday and I thought I got up sufficiently early to get her there and then get to work on time. However, by the time I was getting breakfast ready for her it was time to go. So I gave her a glass of my protein shake and a piece of toast and put her in her car seat. Well, the ride to pre-school wasn't very long and she was still tired, so she had only taken a few sips of the shake when it was time to get out of the car. So I brought the piece of toast with us while we were walking hurriedly to her classroom. Sierra was running along, taking bites of her toast with me encouraging her to keep chewing! We got to the classroom just in time and I took the toast from her and went to sign her in. As I was signing Sierra in she came right up to me. I thought she was going to hug me good bye, but she lifted up my hand and took one last bite of toast! Poor girl! Going to school tired and starving!
The electricians installed can lights throughout the house as well as our new bathroom lights. This is where the vanity will go. The vanity cabinetry actually arrived last week and was supposed to be installed, but there was a mis-communication between the contractor and the guy he sent to pick it up. The worker didn't realize he was supposed to install it so didn't bring the right tools. Well, apparently he has been busy on other jobs since then because I haven't seen him again! I'll need to call our contractor this week and see what's up. Maybe they were just waiting for the tile to get done.

Elisa came into the living room one day to find Gracie in Geoff's lap, snuggling. Aww! Can you believe how big Gracie is?! What happened to getting a medium sized dog? Oh well. She just got a haircut and is very fluffly and cute right now. We won't mention the fact that she has been eating and pooping out kid socks. Hmmm! Yup, they go all the way through! Elisa has to buy new socks for the kids almost every time she goes to the store!


more pics of Ethan and the fam

This is typical for Jake: mouth stuffed with food, playing with his car at the table. :)
Elisa and kids.

Ethan is so big now! He no longer fits in the 0-3 month outfits because he's too long. I can't believe how fast he is growing.







Ethan is really starting to recognize faces and smile now. It is so cute!



the lastest remodel pics

I got a page at work on Friday from Elisa stating that the plumbers were at the house ready to install the new toilet in our master bathroom. The problem was there wasn't a new toilet. I tried to reach our contractor to no avail, so we ended up moving the toilet from the front bathroom into the new bathroom so we would have a toilet while they tiled the front bathroom. I really don't mind because the toilet you see here fits me just right. :) I picked it out when we replaced the original and I've been very pleased with it. So the new toilet will go in the front bathroom for Elisa and the kids, whenever it arrives, and the plumbers return....
We got new tile! We decided to replace the tile in the front bathroom and kitchen as well as tiling the new laundry room and bathroom. I think it is beautiful! The tile guys did a wonderful job. The tub surround looks amazing! I can't wait 'til there's actually a tub in there!
The front bathroom.




Our new tub surround!

We finally got rid of that old linoleum in the kitchen. Yay!