Thursday, November 18, 2010

Five plus Five

A beautiful family of SEVEN from our church is adopting FIVE more children!!!  They are leaving in a couple of weeks to go pick up their new family members and they need prayer... that's it...simple prayer.  Please read their story here and say a sweet little prayer for the listed prayer requests on their latest blog post.  I can't wait to meet their new kids.  I am SO EXCITED for them!


Thursday, November 4, 2010

1 Month


You turned one month old last week and Monday you had your one month check up.  You weighed 10 pounds 7.5 ounces (70%) and were 22" long (40%).  (I don't know if I've posted this before, but at birth you weighed 7lbs 1 ounce and were 19 3/4" long.)  It's absolutely amazing how fast you are growing!  Everyone has been telling me that babies grow up so fast and I already believe them after just one month of having you.  I love you more than I ever thought possible and after a single month I can't imagine life without you.  Although you still don't interact much, I don't think it will be too long before you are laughing and smiling when we talk to you.  You love to keep eye contact with us when we are talking to you, but you also still go cross-eyed occasionally and we think it is really funny.  You seem to have a really strong neck, but the doctor said to put you on your tummy more to strengthen your back.  Within the last couple of weeks you have developed eczema, which breaks my heart because it looks like your skin is so irritated, but I think it hurts me more than it does you.  We have had to switch you to soy formula, we can only give you a bath (which you absolutely love) every other day, and we have to keep you lubed up with all sorts of Vaseline and lotions, but it all seems to be working!!  I always swore that my children would never sleep in the bed with me, but I have broken that several times.  I know, I know.... we are working on it.  Right now you are sound asleep. in. YOUR. crib!  Yay!  Here are some pictures from your first month of life:

Still at the Hospital 
Your First Couple Days Home

First Doctors Appointment and First Walk Around the Block
First Camo Hat!!!
First Bath

And... Your Very First Halloween (and you were a Tiger thanks to cousin Landen)

And, just because you appear calm and sleeping in this few captured moments, don't think for a second that you were always this peaceful, these are just the only times I could grab my camera :)  Just kidding, you are a pretty good baby!  We love you!  Can't wait to see what you can do by 2 months old.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Being a Mom... is Hard!!!

So, I officially have no idea how you moms out there in the blog world have time to blog.  I've been a mom for three weeks now and I've managed to write one post... and that's just with one baby.  Most of you guys have three or more kids... I don't know how you do it.

Here goes post number 2 after bringing Jayden home (which will mostly be pictures because it's late - or early... however you want to look at it - and I have to be at work at 8:30 in the morning).  Which also stinks!!!  I didn't know I would be going back to work so soon, but I started back this past Monday.  All I can say about working and having a newborn is that it is HARD!  I'm not a morning person anyways, and now mornings are AWFUL!  I'm tired from waking up throughout the night, I'm in an ill mood because the last thing in the entire world that I want to do is drop my baby off with someone else (even though I know he is very well taken care of... we love you A and thank you SO much for watching him), and well, I'm too tired to think of any more reasons why the mornings are awful, but I bet in about four hours I will be shouting lots more reasons while rushing to get out of the house :) 

I have so many posts to write from different things that happened during our adoption process, but I feel like if I wait until I have time to write them, then nothing will ever get posted, so I'm just going to post what we have been up to lately.  Then, when I do get time I will post about the last few weeks... including how we had a completed nursery before we even got back into town with our new little guy.

For now... here are a few pics:
Leaving the hospital with Jayden on Thursday night, September 30th!!!
 The first night after leaving the hospital we spent the night at my mom's house.  At three o'clock in the morning Jayden was screaming uncontrollably and I was just praying that if God blessed me with this beautiful baby that he would equip me with everything I needed to take care of him.  We remembered the nurse had told us to give him some infant Tylenol for his circumcision, and realized we forgot to pick some up... so me and my sister went to CVS.  There was absolutely NO ONE on the roads, except for a cop who happened to do a u-turn in the middle of the empty highway to get behind me and follow me to CVS.  Once I arrived at the store I turned in, and well, the cop followed... and turned his lights on.  He walked up to my window and I gave him my license and he asked if I knew why he had pulled me over.  I told him I had absolutely no idea, and that's when he shined is flashlight across the parking lot to a sign that said no left turn into the CVS.  So, apparently it is okay to do a u-turn in the middle of a 5 lane highway to get behind me to follow me until I do something wrong, then pull me over, and act like you don't believe me when I stumble to tell you (because I was a little nervous :)  that I was in Loganville, although I live in Macon (1 1/2 hours away) to buy infant Tylenol for a baby that I just found out the day before that I was adopting and he was at my mom's house with his daddy screaming because he just got circumcised... hmmm... I have no idea why that sounds so unbelievable at 3:00 in the morning.  However, thank you for doing your job Mr. policeman and I'm just going to assume that you were looking for drunks... so I really do appreciate you... just maybe not at that particular moment.  By the time I got in CVS I was fighting back tears.  Not only did I feel like the worst mom ever for not remembering the Tylenol in the first place, but the nervous emotions of being pulled over got to me.  Then, like a normal emotionally drained lady, I started laughing at the thought of the memories I would have of the first night I was at home with my first baby :)  

Here's a picture from the next day with two of Jayden's cousins:

Jayden's first picnic (even though he slept through the whole thing):

Our house, decorated the morning after our 10 day waiting period was up (thanks W & C!!!), and yes that is an awesome deer bib in case you can't see it in the picture :)  And thank you Elijah and Asa for sharing your toys with baby Jayden... I can't wait until he is old enough to play with you guys!
 Jayden's first pumpkin patch:

 Here he is with is first pumpkin... just the right size, thanks to the Strange's... but he was letting me know that he was done taking pictures and it was time to eat:
 More visits from cousins!

 How do you guys think I look with twins???  Hahaha... I'm just sayin... it would be fun :)
 And, last but not least, this is one of our best friends -
Her and her sister are both teachers and have a photography business on the side, Bloom Photography so last weekend her and her husband came down to visit for a couple days and she set up a mini studio in Jayden's nursery.  Below are a few pictures she took and I LOVE them! 

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

If You Want to Hear God Laugh… Tell Him Your Plans (Part I)

Sorry it has been so long since we have updated the blog. We’ve been extremely busy lately… with our new baby Jayden!!!! I can’t believe I’m typing this, and I sure can’t believe it’s been two weeks since he was born and I kept it quiet for this long. In Georgia the birth parents have ten days to change their mind about the adoption, so we tried to keep it as quiet as possible… until now… the ten days are up!!! Thank you God for our precious son!
Now that I got that out, I want to share our story in detail, but it is probably going to take a few posts, so here I go…

… two Wednesday mornings ago I was working in a board room at a bank in Atlanta, Georgia when I got a phone call from my friend Julie. I used to work for Julie at a wallpaper store when I was in high school. When I was 17 and she was in her mid twenty’s she was someone I really looked up to and respected. She taught me a lot about self respect and self confidence, she helped me mentally prepare for college, and she even used to send me packages in the mail my freshman year of college with all sorts of little goodies. We’ve kept in touch over the last few years with a few phone calls, lunches, and events. Julie and Joel’s first, biological daughter was born with cystic fibrosis (you can read Elena's blog here or Julie's blog here to learn more about their story), but as a result has adopted two children since. When Julie saw my blog and found out Jason and I were trying to adopt we began emailing and talking again; and again she acted as a mentor in giving me advice about her experience with adoption. Anyways, at 8:30 on Wednesday morning she called me and told me about a little boy who had been born the night before; she said the birth mom wanted to give him up for adoption and Julie was asking me if we would be interested. Just three days before Julie had found out she is pregnant which is why they couldn’t adopt him (God’s timing is so amazing… just three days before she would have adopted him). She said the birth mom just specified she wanted a young, educated, outdoorsy couple to adopt her baby. I immediately started shaking like a leaf and my heart was about to come out of my chest. All I could say was, “Can I call Jason and talk to him?” When I called Jason I was so nervous and excited all I told him was that there was a baby born and Julie wanted to know if we were interested in adopting it (he later messaged me asking if it was a boy or a girl… oops forgot to tell him it was a boy!) He wanted to call our pastor and then he said he would call me back. Our pastor didn’t answer, so Jason called me back and all I heard through his very “manly” tears was, “My gut’s just telling me we should do it.” I called Julie back and told her we were interested in adopting and she very excitedly gave me the number to the hospital. I talked to a nurse who just got my name, phone number, and a few facts about us and said she would call me back. In what seemed like a century, but was really only a few hours I got a call. I answered the phone thinking it was the nurse, but it was the birth mom’s dad. He just wanted to talk to me a little bit to find out some information about me and Jason and he told us a little about his daughter; they had adopted her as an infant from Columbia, which was why she was so comfortable with giving her baby up for adoption. After talking to him for a few minutes he said he had a few more families to talk to and that he would let me know something by early afternoon. So, I tried as hard as I could to start working again, but my mind was definitely not where it needed to be as far as work was concerned, but I knew I needed to keep working to help time go by faster (although it didn’t really help). I called Jason to fill him in about my conversation with the birth grandfather, and Jason had already left work, came home, packed, and was ready to head to the hospital if he needed to :) It was less than an hour later, the birth grandfather called us back and told us that his daughter wanted us to adopt the baby!!! I was completely in shock. The whole time I was waiting I was telling myself over and over again, “don’t get your hopes up, don’t get your hopes up.” And then, all of a sudden, I could let my emotions out… I could be excited… ecstatic… I felt like I was dreaming. When I called Jason to tell him he was already outside talking to the neighbor while he waited to jump in the car and head to the attorney’s office. His mom had contacted an attorney in the same city where the hospital is located. She is a real estate attorney who does adoptions on the side as a passion. She had a huge real estate closing planned for that afternoon, and a couple of hours before Jason’s mom had contacted her about our situation, she had been pulled from the closing. She said we made her day with our story because she had been so upset about loosing the closing. God has perfect timing!!! Her whole afternoon had freed up so that she could handle our adoption! And, her office was only a couple of miles from the hospital, so she could go talk to the birth mom and handle all of the paperwork right away.

In the mean time, I had to go get my car from the hotel (I happened to drive separately to Atlanta from my coworkers because I had planned to stay in Atlanta and meet Jason to eat Ethiopian food for dinner that Friday night). Once I got back to the hotel, packed, checked out, and got my car, I had to go back to the client’s office and wrap up a few things, and then I headed to the hospital to meet my baby boy for the first time!!! Here are a few pictures from that first special meeting!!! 

Now that our ten day wait is over, it is like a huge weight has been lifted; however, this also means that we have to call our Ethiopian agency and let them know what all has taken place, so please pray for us as we call them tomorrow.  We aren't real sure what this means for our Ethiopian adoption, or if we should even continue with that adoption process.  I feel like God put Ethiopia on my heart for some reason, even if it isn't meant for us to adopt from there right now, but PLEASE be praying that we make the right decision and that God's hand is in it 100%.  I would love to continue with our Ethiopian adoption, but I don't even know if the agency will allow it.  The wait is currently long enough that the age difference between Jayden and our Ethiopian baby wouldn't be an issue; however, we are pretty sure that it is not financially possible.  Now that we have baby Jayden, I cannot travel with work anymore, and therefore am only going to be working part time when needed.  As much as my heart hurts to think about not continuing with our Ethiopian adoption, I have a peace knowing that if it wasn't for us pursuing that adoption, I wouldn't have started blogging, and my friend Julie would have never called me about adopting Jayden.  So whatever your plans are for our family God, help me to trust you and know that you have it all planned out from start to finish, please help me to have faith in you and be confident that you will lead us.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Adoption Update... (By Jason)

I want to take a few minutes and catch everyone up on where we stand in the adoption process. I realized over the last few days as I have received more and more questions about the adoption that we have done a poor job of relaying information to family and friends as it has come along. While we have had plenty to write about, Britney and I simply haven’t really had time to slow down and get it all down on paper. So here we go.

The last several weeks, although productive, have been quite frustrating at times. The primary frustration relates to a miscommunication (for lack of better words) from our adoption agency. The long and short of it is that they (the agency) suggested we go ahead and start our home study process a couple months back, which we worked very hard on, only to find out that we have to re-do a good bit of the paperwork to comply with our adoption agency’s requirements, which they didn’t send us until later. That was really a bubble buster to say the least, to think you have completed a step and put a check in the box only to have a new box drawn right below it… Luckily, only a couple of the items directly impacted our home study agent’s report, so it only slightly set her back. She has been great in this process and has been a great motivator for Britney and I. She has helped us set deadlines to aid us in finishing this stage of the process so we can focus on the next. We had a follow up visit with her a week or so ago, which went extremely well (that was another sideline change – have to have four in home visits with her, not three as we had originally planned). I think it makes it a little more difficult that we are using a different agency from Georgia to do our home study, and Georgia’s requirements are slightly different than Oregon’s. We are not saying this to talk down about our agency at all because other than this one thing they have been WONDERFUL at communicating and answering ANY questions we have.

One big thing we are currently working on is a great deal of adoption parenting education, online courses and a GIANT booklet. Some of the education has been extremely helpful, while other parts…. not…so….helpful….. We feel like some of the exercises we are asked to complete are a little silly, but I’m sure they have their purpose. Most of it has been great, and will be beneficial down the road as it covers the full spectrum of ages and potential problems we will face. As a matter of fact, one of the online courses, related to adopting/fostering older children, was really useful, so if anyone is looking for a course on older children we can point you in the right direction.

All in all, we are probably hopefully a month away from having our dossier completed and getting onto the wait list!! We both have doctor’s visits and drug screens to complete, as well as finishing up the remaining education, both of which are holding up our home study report. So as we are able to finish these documents/visits up in the next couple of weeks we will be that much closer to bringing Baby Cannon home!! Pretty exciting times around the Cannon Household!!! Just for reference, the waiting list as of last week included 92 families waiting for referrals for a girl and 64 for a boy.  We are not specifying a gender, so we will probably be adopting a boy... but only God knows for sure).

A few prayer requests for the coming weeks:

1. For God’s continued blessings and support. That he would go before us and prepare the way.

2. For Patience with this process as well as with the people we encounter as we move forward.

3. Please be praying for our child and his/her birth mother, especially considering that the birth mother is probably somewhere in the time frame of mid pregnancy. Be praying that they would both be healthy and find the nourishment that they need and that the birth mother would simply make good, sound, wholesome decisions in the coming months.

4. That our home study and dossier progress would be swift and smooth and that everyone communicates exactly what is needed to eliminate duplication of work/effort.

5. Lastly, simply for rest and peace of mind as this process can and has been tiring/frustrating/and time consuming. Pray that we would find the time and energy to complete the tasks at hand.

Thank you all for you continued prayers and support!!

Patient endurance is what you need now, so that you will continue to do God’s will. Then you will receive all that he has promised. ~Hebrews 10:36~

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

I love SEEING adoption happen!!!

One of my best friends from college has had a very trying last couple of years with infertility. We have had lunch several times during this time to discuss everything that goes along with this struggle. Jason and I have prayed and prayed… AND prayed for her and her husband. Up until recently we prayed for God to allow a baby to grow in her womb, but he had very different plans. I don’t even think I have told her this, because I would imagine the last thing someone wants to hear while they are trying everything possible to get pregnant is, “why not adopt?”, but for the last few months our prayer changed to, “God, please change her heart to be open to adoption.” I can’t imagine what it is like to go through what Carlie and her husband have gone through, all I know is that my heart broke every time I heard about their struggles. The last time we ate lunch together I cried out in prayer after I got back to my office (in case you are wondering…my office at my old job was far away from everyone else) because I can’t imagine the pain of wanting a baby so bad and getting upset over and over again. I can’t imagine being as emotionally and as physically tired as Carlie seemed.

Well… guess what?!?!? Carlie and Lee are now the proud parents to little Brooklyn Grace!!! In the wonderful words of Carlie’s grandpa (while smiling ear to ear), “have you ever heard of a 30 minute pregnancy? That’s how long Carlie’s pregnancy lasted. Did you know the baby’s middle name is Grace? That fits her perfectly because it’s only by the grace of God that she is here today.” Boy did his comment make me grin from ear to ear right along with him. He was SO excited about his new great-grandbaby!

On a Friday night about a month ago Carlie received a call from her OBGYN saying that he had just delivered a baby girl and the mother didn’t want the child. He gave Carlie and Lee 10 minutes to make a decision and call him back. Very excitedly Carlie called her parents and Lee called his parents, and then they called the doctor back and said they wanted her. I don’t know all of the details of this first weekend with little Brooklyn, but I’m sure it was one of the most exciting weekends of their lives. GOD CHANGED HER HEART in such a BIG way!!!  We love you Lee, Carlie, and Brooklyn.  Congratulations!
The Williamson Family