Wednesday, December 19, 2012

One Crazy Pennsylvania Vacation...I mean Adoption! (Part 3)

If you haven't read Part 1 or Part 2, click on the links to direct you.

So after all of the craziness, we got to meet our son
Lex Allen Carson

I kept having to pinch myself I couldn't believe all of this happened so fast! I was so happy, and yet so in shock that this was reality. 

Now let me tell you, I had prayed very specifically starting in early November for God to bring us a baby suddenly with not much wait time, and that they would be out of state so we would just fly there and then be there for a few days so we could have some bonding time...and I would really appreciate this before Christmas. Oh, and I honestly prayed for a boy! We had a boy name picked out and I just knew I wanted another boy. I shared my prayer with a few friends and family and just got this "Oh no Shellie, please don't be disappointed if this doesn't happen" look from all of them. I don't know how to explain it, but I just felt so close to God during these prayers like He was nodding His head saying "Yes child, I hear you, just wait and watch what I'm going to do for you. It's going to blow your mind!" I can't explain it, but I just felt confident that all of this was going to happen and so when it did I couldn't help but praise Him for answering my prayer so specifically that I knew it could only come from Him!!! God is so incredibly GREAT and the testimony He gave me through all of this is something I will always hold dear!
So after we were at the hospital for a few hours, a very sweet nurse walked up to us and let us know that the social worker for the hospital had offered for us to stay at her house. At this time we didn't know anything about the longevity of our stay so we thanked them for the offer, and decided to not intrude.

Since Lex was born 6.5 weeks early, at that time the doctors were expecting us to be in the hospital for 2-3 weeks. It was at this time we realized we were going to be in Pennsylvania for the long haul and potentially there for Christmas! So we contacted the social worker, packed up our bags from the hotel and went to stay with them.

Can I pause for a moment and just let you know that we could feel God's mighty hand in our lives at every point of this journey. Not only was this an incredibly sweet family to open their home, but they were also believers, prayed for and with us for Lex, and the hospitality that they provided was unmatchable. They helped us get settled into their mother-in-law suite, and then we awoke to the sweetest little note, vitamins and breakfast laid out, along with some heavier coats for us to wear! Plus we didn't have to worry about dinner at night. Yes, we were spoiled by God's love through other believers. It reminded me of one of my favorite verses, Hebrews 13:2 "Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it." Except that they were our angels!

Over the next few days, we were waking up, taking a shower, heading to the hospital, feeding and loving on Lex, leaving for a quick lunch, going back to the hospital, feeding and loving on Lex, leaving to go back to our host home for dinner with their family, going back to the hospital to feed and love on Lex one last time, then head back to the house for some sleep. This was our lives for his 10 days of hospital stay and I honestly wouldn't have changed it. Through this time we got to know the amazing nursing staff at the hospital. We grew very close to them and even enjoyed dinner at one of their houses before Lex was discharged! We also grew extremely close to our host family, the Verretts! Chuck, Marianne, Zach, Emma, Sam, (and on our last day, Marty), along with their dog Simba, cat Shadow, aunt Susie, and their friends from school that hung out at the house. It was a house full of boisterous teenagers and we had so much fun! I helped cook dinners and desserts in the kitchen, Kelly helped clean and played racquetball with Chuck and we just enjoyed their company so much. We even were able to worship with them on our last Sunday morning there. It was amazing and they truly are and always will be family to us now! 

When they finally discharged Lex from the hospital, we had to wait another 5 days for the inter-state adoption paperwork to be completed. It was such a sweet time that we had as a family to bond and get to know our new son. It also made me long for home as I missed our 19 year old very much and wanted to get back to him as well!

In addition, we found out that Lex has a half sister in Pennsylvania and that will give us just one more reason to go back and visit. Pennsylvania truly became our home away from home and we will always cherish the time we had there. We cannot wait until he's a little older and we can take a family trip back to see everyone and let Lex see in person his "birth story".

Late on Friday, 12/14 we got word from our caseworker that the paperwork went through and we could now come back to Texas! Praise the Lord!!! So we spent one last night hanging out with our dear new friends, said our goodbyes, and left early Saturday morning. It was a bittersweet time.

Since rarely do things go according to plan, we shouldn't have been surprised by a long lay-over in Minnesota with our connecting flight, but we just sat back and snuggled with our little one (shielding him from all of the people that could be infected with germs of course)! We finally made it home late Saturday night and boy did it feel good to step outside into some warm Texas air!

I have learned so much from this process, and cannot explain the depth at which God has worked in and through me throughout this time. The closeness and intimacy I feel is indescribable! God is so GREAT, no words can express!

A dear friend called during our stay in PA and said she heard a song on the radio that she knew I was singing that sentiment in my heart. Little did she know that was the actual song that had been echoing in my head and heart throughout this entire time! The chorus says:
Joy, unspeakable joy!
And overflowing where no tongue can tell.
Joy, unspeakable joy!
Rises in my soul, never lets me go.

The joy that comes from our Lord really does rise in my soul and I know that it will never let me go! I am blessed, beyond measure. Thank you dear sweet friends for the prayers, words of encouragement, and many other blessings. I pray that you too will rejoice with us as your prayers have been answered as well.

God's love is amazing!

Here are a few of my favorite pictures from our trip to Pennsylvania and adoption of Lex.

Lex's sweet smile

One of my favorite pictures!

His response after taking his first bath...

What daddy's do to sons

What mommy's do to sons :)

His first feeding

Such sweet moments

Lex snorts a lot :)

One of our long hospital days...

 YAY! It was finally time to be discharged from the hospital!!!
The nurses got Lex a cute little Christmas outfit to wear home!
(Which was great since we were so excited about him being discharged that we forgot his going home outfit and diaper bag at the house! Yes, we are THOSE

The sweet time I had with Lex when we got back to the Verrett's house.

His first night home from the hospital, all snuggled up!

Enjoying my little Christmas present!

Lex's first doctor's appointment. He sure was happy to go! Hehe

Some of the views from our bedroom/living area in Pennsylvania...

  And we FINALLY got to come home to Texas...

 Lex's first night at home sweet home.

Saturday, December 08, 2012

Our Crazy Weekend (Part 2)

If you haven't read Part 1, you can read it HERE.


As soon as we got off the phone we ran into the game room to tell Kiir that he was about to have a little brother, but he couldn't tell anyone. I don't know if he was more excited about the little brother part (since he insisted that he did NOT want a sister) or about the part that he would have the house to himself for a week! Then we started packing, booked our flight, and tried to lay down to sleep. Well, Kelly shut his eyes and was out. Me on the other hand, well, I must have just been too excited. So after laying in bed, eyes wide open for 30 minutes, I got up and wrote Part 1 of the blog, then just read...the same page over and over again because it was too hard to concentrate! Plus I was getting phone calls from the birth mother's caseworker throughout the evening telling me how her labor was progressing.

At 3:30 our ride arrived and we were off to the airport! Our flight left at 5am and we landed in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania at 11am. As soon as we got into the rental car, the birth mother's caseworker called and let us know our son was born while we were in the air at 7:37am! Oh my gosh! He's here!!!!

So we made a quick pit stop by the hotel to drop our bags off, then headed to the hospital. When we got there we met the caseworker in person and she led us to the birth mother's room. We were able to sit down and meet this wonderful woman that picked us to be her son's parents! It was such a sweet time of learning about her life, her family, and other things we'll be able to share with our son as he grows up. She is such a sweet person and it was a time I will always cherish!

Come to find out after that time, our son was born 6.5 weeks premature! So after talking with the birth mom, we gave the doctors time to get him settled in the NICU before we got to meet him. Plus, I honestly had not eaten much since dinner the night before so I was feeling faint about then and needed something in my system.

After lunch we were told he was ready and we could go meet our son!

A flood of emotions rushed through my body as they put the hospital bracelet on me as his mom! Then we walked through and saw that little body in the incubator warming up. The tears I had been holding back came rushing through and he was the most beautiful baby I've ever seen!!!

We watched his chest rise up and down, his little feet raise in the air to stretch, and the nurses opened it up so we could put our hands in there and touch his crazy, handsome hair and hold his beautiful tiny fingers! He was ours and we were his!

Lex Allen Carson 
5lbs, 0ozs, 18.5" long

He is named after his great grandfather, and his grandfather.
Lex: defender of men
Allen: rock

Perfect in every way!

Stay tuned for Part 3 to be posted soon.....

Monday, December 03, 2012

One Crazy Day!

Thursday morning, I was sitting in a meeting, listening to introductions when all of the sudden I got a phone call from our case worker. She was calling to let us know that a birthmom had picked us and wanted to talk that night!


I was jumping up and down!
( a high school open area...where they were looking at me like I was crazy)
I couldn't wait to get off of the phone and call Kelly with all of the good news and details, including the fact that we would get to meet her via a phone call that night!

So I tried to focus by taking good notes throughout the day at my meeting, but it sure was hard to concentrate! So when I got home I was super anxious about the phone call. Waiting all of this time has been hard but waiting those few hours seemed even more intense! I was counting down until 6pm...hours...then minutes...

6pm came and went.
Okay, she's nervous so I'll give her more time.
6:30 came and went.
Still probably nervous...more time needed...
7pm came and went.....

Had she changed her mind? Why wasn't she calling?
So we texted our case worker to investigate with the birthmom's case worker.

We got a call at 7:30....
"Guess what guys.....she's in labor!"

She's not due for another almost 4 weeks?????!!!!!! 
You're kidding right?

Nope, she's really in labor!
Book your plane flight, a hotel and get there ASAP!

That's all you get for now...stay tuned for PART 2! :)