Monday, May 26, 2014

Happy Memorial Day

Memorial Day always marks the beginning of summer - pools open, long weekend, typically warm weather, picnics, grilling out, extra family a great weekend!

This year is certainly no different.  But each year on Memorial Day I genuinely try to stop and think about the real reason for this holiday.  I am so thankful for the men and women who defend our country and the freedoms we enjoy.  :)

And Kamdyn is celebrating too :)

6 Weeks

She's patriotic today because it's Memorial Day :)

5 Weeks

{a week late - sorry!}

Monday, May 12, 2014

4 Weeks

This week she has started really focusing her eyes, smiling more, and making noises as she is beginning to discover her voice.  In addition, she's really getting good at sticking her tongue out {as evidenced by this picture}  :)

I also thought it would be fun to share some random pics {since I have approximately 4,873 pictures each week}

Sooooo, here's a little photo dump -

Nap time with daddy is awesome!
chatting with sissy
On Mother's Day after she asked Kim to be her God Mother
Working so hard to use her hands!
Soooooo sleepy.  :)
That's it for this week!  Have a fabulous week, friends!

Saturday, May 10, 2014

'Twas the Night before Mother's Day...

...and I cannot stop thinking about how overwhelmingly thankful I am to not be dreading tomorrow.  For the first time in 4 years, I am not wishing tomorrow would be over before it's even begun.

I would literally cry myself to sleep on the night before Mother's Day.  I would cry because I didn't want to go to church and see all the moms with their adorable children.  I would cry because when we went to lunch with my family I would need to smile an be happy to celebrate my incredible mom and sister for the wonderful mothers that they are...but I still felt left out.  I would cry because even though my sweet husband always did a little celebrating because I am Kaitlyn's step-mom, it didn't change the fact that I wasn't a "real" mom.  I would cry because every solitary place I went, there were mothers.  I would cry because quite frankly, it's not fair.

Tonight, as I'm sitting on my couch looking at the little miracle who has made me a mom - I cry for different reasons.  I am so, so thankful to be her mom.  And I have realized that while I think about Julie most every day anyway, Mother's Day will always be a day that she will be in the top of my mind.  While Kamdyn will grow up calling her Aunt JuJu - the reality is that Julie is her birthmother and Kamdyn wouldn't be here without her.  And I wouldn't be a mother without her.  So, not only will I be celebrating being a mom tomorrow, every year on Mother's Day, I will celebrate Julie...for giving me my reason to celebrate.

With all the thankfulness I have in my heart, there is still a little place of sadness for all the women who are sad tonight thinking about tomorrow.  I pray that I never forget what that feels like.  While that might sound strange to most of you, I actually think that pain makes me a better mom.  That pain reminds me how badly I wanted to be a mom.  That pain allows me to be compassionate and empathetic to all those women who are experiencing pain caused by infertility, loss, or loneliness.

I will spend my day tomorrow celebrating moms, being thankful that someone in this world finally calls me Mama, and praying for those who desperately wish they felt like they had a reason to celebrate tomorrow.  I hope you will join me.

Lots of Love -

Monday, May 5, 2014

3 Weeks

And a side-by-side from last week {which is deceiving because she's sitting up better this week.  Last week she was a little 'floppy' - but still, she looks so much bigger}!

She is such a good baby!  She is so calm and just goes with the flow...except when she's hungry - then she loses her mind.  That girl is serious about her food.  :)

That's all for this week -

Saturday, May 3, 2014

2 Weeks

1 Week

I have had so many people ask me to keep blogging - and quite honestly, I have really loved being able to look back thru this entire experience and see pictures and read my thoughts.  I plan to take a picture of her each week so you can all watch her grow...I'll take it each Monday, so it will probably be up on Monday night or Tuesday morning.  I haven't decided if I will type much or just put a picture up...we shall see.  :)

Anyway, here's Week 1 -

Friday, May 2, 2014

Kamdyn's Birth Story

As everyone is well aware, we had a scheduled induction for 39 weeks 1 day - which was 4/14/14.  Our amazing doctor allowed us to go into the hospital at midnight on 4/14, so we were able to begin the induction medication and then try to get some sleep.  Here is the last pregnant bump picture I snapped of Julie once we got to the hospital.

After they got the medication started, we tried to get some sleep.  When I woke up the next morning, the doctor came in to check Julie to see if they could break her water.  She hadn't progressed at all.  In fact, Kamdyn was higher than she had been during the office visit the week before.  Little stinker was just comfy in there.  Sooooo, sweet Julie walked laps.  And laps.  And laps.  They changed positions. Anything the sweet nurses could think of to get that baby out.  Julie passed some time reading magazines.

Dan was such a trooper.  It was cold in the room.  He had planned to head home once she got checked in, but we weren't sure how quickly labor would progress, so we made him stay.  He's such an amazing guy.

As they came back in to check her, she had made progress - so they were able to break her water.  At that point, labor intensified so she got her epidural.  After that, we continued to pass the time on our phones, reading magazines, and cracking ourselves up.

At about 7:00 PM, they came in to check her and determined we were ready to have a baby.  I just had no possible idea the profound ways my life was about to change.  But look at how adorable Julie is...seriously, who looks like this 5 minutes before giving birth?!

Kevin was able to help deliver Kamdyn {which is why he was wearing gloves} and I was prepared to kangaroo with Kamdyn (skin to skin contact) immediately after she was born {which is why I'm wearing a gown}.

I quite frankly don't have words for the next 20 minutes of my life, so I will just take you on a little picture timeline through the most defining moments of my life so far.  Simply incredible.

Every dream come true
The incredible Dr. Aronson
Love at first sight.
Meeting Sissy for the first time
"Thank you for my sister"
My soul sister.  We are so blessed that she chose us.
Our first picture as a family of 4
She was pissed.  Like "someone chopped my arm off" screams.
What a little peanut :)
{7 lbs 12 oz, 19 inches long}
Meeting her Kanga face to face.  The most important person in her life up until this point.  I pray that the bond they share will be a lifelong one.  I know the bond we share certainly is.  I just don't even have words for how thankful I am for her.

I so badly wish I had a picture of Dan holding her on the day she was born, but he was the photographer and I was not in my right mind.  :)  I'm working on a whole entire post just for Dan.  He is a remarkable man - he is for sure the wind beneath Julie's wings and equally responsible for the miracle of Kamdyn.
Peeking :)
After a bath and with a bow in her hair.  So sweet.
The love I felt for her in the moment she was handed to me is something I both feared I would never experience and was terrified I wouldn't feel even if I did get to experience it.  We are head over heals in love with her and feel so very blessed that God chose us to be her parents.

I'll be back soon with her first two week updates and some other pictures from her first few weeks of life.  Before I go, I want to genuinely thank every single person who has ever read and prayed for our family.  This little blog that started as a way for me to keep family near and far updated on our little journey to a baby has turned into a place where people I've never met pray for our family, check in weekly to see how things are going, and have taken a genuine interest in Kamdyn's story.  To all of you - thank you.  

We love you -