Thursday, December 30, 2010

the last bit from the hospital

wow....where to start....

right now, at about 2pm, is the first time riley layne has not been in our arms since we got home :). she's asleep in the other room...though we're checkin on her ever 2 minutes...

our lives will never be the same. in so many ways....

and like i said, i'm not sure where to start. i hope to have some time to unwind this crazy story of ours a little bit. those last couple hours at the hospital...the first few hours here at home...and what it's been like to have a baby :)

i can't go on, though, w/o tryin to express our deep and profound gratitude for yall's enduring prayers and presence w/us. whether you've been trekkin w/us for years or just a few months, this isn't a road we could have gone down alone....certainly not the last bend or two. from the farthest reaches of our hearts, thank you. our joy is greater b/c you've shared in the struggle.

the few hours following the last hospital post, life was a whirlwind of emotions. our families waited downstairs in the waitin room while josh and i paced back and forth in the hospital room. we could heard the door open and close next door...we'd look at the clock every couple minutes. we'd stop, try to talk a little...though our talkin was whispery and tearful. then we'd pace some more. the first knock on our door was a little bit before 2pm. the hospital's social worker came in and told us the birthmother had signed the papers givin us permission to have the baby on discharge. i really thought the social worker could hear my heart poundin in my chest :). she left, then we went back to pacin....barely breathin.

we looked out the window of that hospital room. it was one of those times that you think "i'll remember every single detail of this entire thing for the rest of my life - right down to the color of the house across the street." of course that isn't the case...but the hypervigilance in which we were existin made me think so. meanwhile, the door to the birthmother's room kept openin and closin...

then, at 2:10pm, the agency's social worker walked in and said, "congratulations! yall are parents." we paused, looked at each other, teared up a little, and breathed deeply. she explained how the next few minutes would play out - we'd sign our share of the paperwork, the birthgrandmother would bring riley to us, and we'd wait for the birthmother to leave the hospital first (per her request). as we moved to the other side of the room to work on the paperwork, we realized our families were downstairs...and we didn't want the birthmother to have to walk past them on our way out. turns out, the birthgrandmother had the same thought. so our families came up to the room. i was still feelin pretty fragile...and when they came into the room, the women teary-eyed and the men w/softened faces, my own tears began wellin up again.

we signed probably 1/2 dozen pieces of paper. then the social worker left, we gave our families hugs and cried... then the social worker came back in and said the birthmother wanted us to come into her room to get riley. we looked at each other, took a deep breath, and made the long, dazed walk next door.

when we walked in, the birthmother had riley in her arms, talkin to her and swayin back and forth. the birthgrandmother was warm and smiled gently when we walked in. we talked for a couple of minutes. the birthmother told us she had told riley to be a good girl for us. josh again assured her that we'd send pictures and letters as often as they wanted. i hugged the birthgrandmother and managed, through tears and breathlessness, a "thank you." then the birthmother looked at me and handed riley layne into my arms. the tears rolled down my face. we told the birthmother we hoped she rested...and told them to take care. we turned and walked out of the room. a few steps later, w/riley tucked snuggly against me, i buried my face in josh's chest and cried and cried....

we walked back into the room where our families were waitin...josh spoke for us since words were nowhere to be found by me, and announced that riley layne was ours....

Monday, December 27, 2010


we're home w/miss riley layne in our arms.

sorry it took so long to share the good news. i hope to give a fuller report soon.

for now....we're home...w/a baby. our baby. our first baby. she's absolutely perfect.

other than that, i'm really at a loss for words.

count down begins

so i just sat here for about 20min describin life the last hour or so....then the stupid hospital wifi knocked me off. i'm not gonna try to recreate what i was workin on, so forgive the brevity...

we had riley for about an hour. the birth-aunt and her husband came in and said goodbye. a while later, the birthgrandmother came back in cryin..."this is gettin harder." i teared up, too. not b/c i'm nervous or afraid, i don't think....i really don't think the birthmother will change her mind. this is just a scarey place to be.

like i was sayin earlier....all the necessary folks will gather about 1:30. the birthmother will start signin her papers about 1:45. every deal she signs has to be witnessed (by an uninvolved third party) and notarized. so it could take a while. after that, the nurse will come give us the discharge instructions, and we'll take riley layne home w/us.

so we're gettin close. we knew this part of it was comin. it had to come. the hardest part...or at least one of the top 3 hardest parts of this whole deal. so we're hunkerin down (as jim bob carver would say)....

monday mornin

well, we kinda slept last nite. josh slept better than i. i woke up about every hour...and when riley was cryin from about 3-4, i was wide awake...wonderin what was goin on. i drifted back to sleep when the cryin stopped...then went back to the wakin-up-every-hour routine. we were eatin breakfast w/the grandparents and aunt mendi a little while ago and tellin them about it. i said, "i just woke up every hour for no reason." kay smiled, and mama said, "no. not for no reason. that's the mama in you." :)

we haven't had her in our arms since last nite. honestly, i'm a little edgy. not worried or scared, i don't think....just really wantin her here w/us.

we had the oppportunity to meet the birthgrandfather. big, thick, rough-lookin farmer....but just as nice and friendly and encouraging as he could be. we talked to him and his wife (birthgrandmother) for probably 20 minutes....laughed and swapped stories...and we listened gratefully as they told us of their experiences w/babies.

josh as the car seat strapped in. formula's bought. we've called and scheduled the appt w/the pediatrician in the mornin. our stuff here in the room is packed.

oh - pediatrician. we got the meet the pediatrician here who's been seein riley. he was wonderful. smart, gentle, soft-spoken, funny in a quirky way, and honest. he said, "well, this baby's perfect. a little piglet, maybe, but perfect." so that was all reassuring.

so we're here at the hospital....just waitin. i texted w/the birthmother a little last nite. (yes, texted...even though there's nothin but a thin wall b/w us). haven't seen her this morning. the plan is for all the necessary folks (social workers, notaries, birthmother, witnesses) to be here about 1:40..

oh got to go! baby's comin in. more later

Sunday, December 26, 2010

not quite over...

i love that josh posted a slew of pictures and about 1/2 dozen words. in all my wordy posts, i haven't managed one picture :)

so it's a little after 11pm. josh is snorin...i'm tired but can't sleep. is this how this goes? tired and sleepy....but when she's w/us, i can't not look at her...when she's next door w/the birthmother, i can't not think about her, listenin for her cry.

i haven't been terribly wordy today - as i'm sure few of you believe based on the verbose nature of this blog :). it's been quite a trip the last couple days....i can at least report a few things.

today has gone really well. though we wanted to be here yesterday, i think given the birthmother some space did a world of good. we hadn't been here 1/2 an hr when there was a knock at the door and in came the birth-grandmother, aunt, and the baby. the birth-grandmother was very friendly and warm and inviting....and before i knew it, handed that beautiful girl over to me. pretty sure miss priss was the only one who wasn't cryin at that point. i held her while the 4 of us talked for a few minutes and then gave her back.

a little later, we had a face to face w/the birthmother. it went well, too. durin that visit, josh held the baby for the first time. i cried again. after a few minutes, we left.

about 1ish, the birthgrandmother rolled that sweet baby into our room, told us a few things, and said, "alright. birthmother's asleep. i'm leavin for a little bit. i'll be back in a while." and out she went. we were w/the baby alone for the first time. this bein our 3rd time to look at her sweet little face, we decided on the name - much to many folks' surprise, as we had decided a while back that her name would be lyla dae. only when we saw her, she didn't look like lyla - our parents and the birthmother and her family agreed. so riley layne it is :)

we had her for a good couple of hours....long enough for the grandparents and aunt mendi to meet her. then she went back next door for the rest of the afternoon and into the evenin. they let us have her again about 8, and we took her back about an hr ago. they'll keep her through the nite. gettin back to the title of this post :) .... although all has gone really well today, it's not quite over. since bein here, we've seen/heard/picked up on no signs of the birthmother changin her mind or wafflin. her mom's stayed w/her, which has helped, i think. tomorrow about 1:40-1:45 will be the earliest that she can legally relinquish her rights to riley and sign the papers. the social worker will be here....and the plan is for all of this to take place at that time.

so thank you - a hundred times over - to all who are prayin. we appreciate all of the concern and love.....and would be ever-so-grateful for just a little bit more over the next few hours.

alright. i really should try to sleep. might read a couple more chapters of "james and the giant peach" to wind down a little. of course, every time i close my eyes, all i can see is that sweet, precious face . . . and the head full of hair :)

A few pictures for everyone. I will let Lindsey write more later. Oh Yeah, her name is Riley Layne McCrary.

Saturday, December 25, 2010


she's here :)

she's a big girl...and according to the birthmother, she has big feet :). eight pounds, eleven ounces - twenty inches. we've seen on picture, and she's got a full head of brown hair :)

we're still in seymour. the plan is still for us to go down in the mornin.

since this mornin, quite a bit has happened. the social worker from the agency called and talked to the birthmother before the baby was born. she asked her pointblank, "are you still gonna place this baby for adoption?" the birthmother's response was, "yes. absolutely. i just need some time w/her." josh talked to monica (social worker) and felt a whole lot better. monica was very encouraging and yet realistic. she instructed us to stay home so that the birthmother doesn't feel crowded or pressured. she also said that, in her experience, a birthmother askin for time w/the baby prior to the adoptive family seeing her isn't as threatening or ominous as it seems. that often times, it's the birthmother's recognition of what's fixin to happen.

and actually, prior to josh's conversation w/monica, josh voiced a similar perspective. he said he was encouraged by the birthmother's continued dialogue about "these first 2 days." in all of her texts, she never once said anything about changin her mind about the adoption itself...just these first few hours. so the fact that she was (and is) talkin about the significance of these first few hours tells us she's lookin at that time in light of NOT havin the baby after 48hrs.

i don't know if that's clear at all. my mind's a little scrambled.

but we're okay tonite. we're a little encouraged. the birthmother is the one who texted us that the baby had been born. she's texted us a few times since then. just that she continues to initiate conversation w/us is good.

and we're also on edge. the house is just about clean :) i've hardly been able to sit still.

we just keep lookin at the sweetest picture of the sweetest little girl....a tiny picture on josh's phone.... how we're longin to hold her

the day has come

about 10 this mornin, our hearts stopped and stomachs fell. we got the text: "hey - i'm in the hospital."

a few days ago, the plan was for us to be there for the birth....according to the agency, "you'll have the baby as if you had given birth." a dream come true. all those things you hear and read about bonding and the importance of those first few minutes and hours...some of the things that seem too good to be true in adoption were actually gonna happen!

but last nite, the birthmother and i were textin back and forth, and she changed her mind - not about the whole thing, but about those first 48 hrs. (48 is the new magic number around here...she can't sign her relinquishment papers until at least 48hrs after the birth). she told me she wants to be alone with the baby those first 2 days.

yes - all those things you're we feel _______, or are we afraid of __________. yes. probably to anything you can fill into those blanks. i cried. we went to bed. while josh was snorin, i was readin "calvin and hobbs" so that i wouldn't sob myself to sleep.

the house somehow turned into a wreck the past few days, so i figured i'd busy myself w/pickin up and cleanin today. i was just gettin started when we heard the phone and read the text. but in light of last nite's texted conversation, we didn't know what to do. do we grab the bag and head to the hospital? do we wait for the birthmother to tell us what she wants? do we ask her? do we risk goin and makin the whole thing worse? do we stay here, riskin her interpreting our physical distance as emotional if we're not invested, concerned.... turned inside out?

josh called the agency. they told him no one from the agency would be at the hospital until the 48hrs arrived. very politely, josh responded, "i'm not goin down there and gettin in the middle of this by myself. it's yall's job to work this out." so they contacted the social worker who said she'd be at the hospital first thing tomorrow mornin.

so here we are....swingin from tears to disbelief....brushin past hope and trembling as we go.

the plan at the moment is to go to the hospital tomorrow.

oh - we just got another text. she's dilated to a 5

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

2 week window

2 weeks before....2 weeks after.... right? isn't that the rule? 2 weeks on either side of the due date is fair game. guess where we are? :)

for some reason, i'm super sleepy at 9:21pm...and i figure i better take full advantage of the few nights of "i get to choose when i go to sleep" that i have left...but i feel blog-back-logged, so i wanted to write a quick one. we'll keep it light :)

i've become one of of those who reason has always told me not to become. one who has taken off all clothes tags, washed all clothes, and already put them into drawers. yeah yeah yeah...she'll probably never wear some of what's been washed and put away. but i couldn't resist.

and since my dear friend shasta thought it was so funny, i thought i'd share my dietary habits w/yall. lately, i have no sugar filter. i generally drink maybe one coke a day. max. lately? well, let's just say that the 12 packs of coke i recently bought on sale, thinkin they'd last me till the end of january, are almost gone. gummy bears...cookies...chocolate.... now safely residin in my food pyramid. who needs greens and grains and dairy when high fructose corn syrup, carbonation, and caffeine are available? yep. pretty sure i'll be a diabetic by the time i'm 31.

healthy coping mechanisms are overrated.

as is acne-free skin.

ah, stress....what would i do w/you?

Sunday, December 5, 2010

breathe....just breathe...

our trip to the dr's office went well. the baby's doin great....birthmom's doin well. she's gettin pretty good and miserable at this point, as all of you who have been pregnant know happens at this stage in the game.

mama and i sat w/her and her mom in the waitin room about a good hr and a half...then she and i had about 4 1/2 min w/the dr. typical, i suppose. afterward, we all went and ate lunch together, along w/her older sister and my grandma. it was quite a mix of people. except for the birthmother and me, everyone else at the table was or had been a public school teacher, so they all had plenty to talk about. the birthmother ate a big, fat chicken fried steak, which we loved! hopefully this baby will have her appetite :) and then we all went to the boutique where the birthmom works. if you know me, you know i'm not a boutique kinda i was by far the most uncomfortable one. mama and grandma loved it, though, and the birthmother was totally in her element there. it was good to see her so relaxed and enjoyin herself. she introduced us to her boss, who seemed sweet. when went to shake hands w/her, she loudly proclaimed, "oh, no, honey. that won't do!" as she swarmed in for a hug. we looked around for a good while before sayin our goodbyes and thank yous and gettin back on the road.

it was a really good trip.

and it was a needed trip, i think. a couple weeks ago, the birthmother began talkin to us a little about the questions and looks she's gettin from other people - you know, the folks who don't agree w/her decision to place the baby for adoption. i told her there were very few people who understood her situation....and a whole lot of people who are just flat nosey! so in light of her strugglin some, we felt it was really important to go see her keep us and this situation real and personable.

she hasn't talked about changin her mind....but she's strugglin w/the weight of the decision. now...before you start to panic :), let me explain how we see all of this. of course it makes us nervous to know she's strugglin and has people (however peripheral) questionin her decisions...BUT we'd MUCH rather she think about these things and wrestle through some of these things NOW as opposed to 24hrs after the birth...when she's exhausted and hormonally spinnin. afterall, she SHOULD be feelin the weight of what's comin up. it's normal and healthy and necessary. so as best we can, we try to give her the space to talk about as much as she needs to....we don't overreact or freak out....we just give her room. each time i've found myself in this type of conversation w/her and given her the space to feel whatever she's feelin , we eventually end up talkin about the baby and the adoption and all the cute stuff fillin our house in anticipation of that sweet baby's arrival. so it's good....scary, but good. and in light of such conversations, goin to see her was important.

it's a crazy thing we're in here, ya know? even to sit and tell yall about what's been goin on gets my heart pumpin a little faster. there's this part of us that can't seem to not think about the inherent risk....the fact that the birthmother can change her mind. knowin that so much of what our life is becomin could absolutely fall apart.... so i find myself sayin, "well, we're tryin not to put all our eggs in one basket." but...and it's a big but.... we're too far in at this point. we can't not hope and plan and talk and dream and laugh. and it's not so much the diapers and the wipes and the clothes...any baby will need those things....but our hearts are set.

i've read lots of things - articles, stories from adoptive parents, advice from professional counselors, suggestions from the agency - that you can't completely emotionally invest before it's final. it's not wise or healthy or fair. after all, the baby's not yours, so you can't start plannin your life (emotionally or physically) as if she is. but i just don't know how not to do that. not really. not way down deep. i can say it in casual conversation....but when i'm sittin in this rockin chair next to a box of diapers and a coupon for boudreaux's butt paste, just almost able to feel that sweet baby's breath against my cheek....or when i find myself wantin to make our home as warm and quiet as possible, w/o intentionally choosin to think about such things....i just don't know how to turn it off.

when women are pregnant, there are abundant risks involved....but most, especially after those first few weeks, don't look back. family and friends and doctors and magazines don't tell pregnant women to reign in their mothering hearts in case somethin unforeseen happens. they don't tell them to keep livin as if their entire worlds aren't fixin to be rocked. they encourage and exhort them to prepare their hearts and homes and lives. that's b/c it's natural and necessary. but adoption is's a pretty unnatural situation that stirs up all sorts of natural longings. and the things necessary to know and get ready for when you're pregnant are the same things necessary to know and get ready for when you're adoptin. but the obvious differences don't come w/obvious answers. it's easy to say "don't become emotionally connected to the unborn baby you hope to adopt." it's seems reasonable and protective. but it's not a simple thing to do.

while in the boutique a few days ago, i whispered to mama, "i think i like that purse. but mama, i hate purses. what's happenin to me?" she smiled gently, knowingly and said, "you're becomin a mom."

purse or no purse (hopin for the latter!)...somethin's been growin and changin in me for years...and it's surfaced more since heart's transformin to love a child...i don't think that's somethin i can put the brakes on.