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The weekend we were on edge.  We scurried around to get all the details ready.  Re-washed some clothes.  Made up the crib.  Cleaned our room.  Packed the hospital bag.  Re-packed the hospital bag.  Made arrangements for our dog. Charged our camera batteries.  And jumped every time the phone rang.  We didn’t get a phone call.

On Monday morning, we knew she would be induced.  She had a doctor’s appointment first, but we headed to the hospital.  We received a text late morning from our agency saying she would be checking in at noon.  We ate some lunch and tried to relax and rest.

We met her as soon as she walked in.  I remember the confidence she had as she entered the hospital and her beautiful hair and smile.  She was by herself.  She got all checked in and helped us sign in correctly.  She was able to skip triage since she had been to the doctor’s first.  An hour or two later she was all settled into a room and trying to occupy her time.  Her previous birth had gone very quickly so we were all waiting for the first signs.  A social worker from our agency arrived at some point and we all just chatted, including about some names for him.  We had narrowed down to two first names when we had met her the previous week.  We let her know we had decided on a first name, but were still unsure of a middle.

HOURS went by with no progression.  She was growing anxious and hungry.  Her doctor had not arrived and she called the office to make sure he came to see her.  Hours went by.  Again.  She had received an epidural and I was able to stay in the room with her.  We gave her privacy when she wanted it and when she offered, we stayed.  She was a champ.

Once her doctor arrived, she still had not progressed much.  He broke her water and moved things along.  It wasn’t long after and she was pushing.  The hospital staff was awesome and Mike and I were both present, along with our social worker.  I stood by her side holding her leg, until I got lightheaded and needed to sit down.  Her doctor ordered me to a chair and I was overwhelmed by emotion.  I prayed.  I was encouraging her as much as I could and I watched.  I think everything had finally caught up to that moment.  Lack of sleep, little food, emotion, and anxiety.  Once he arrived my eyes filled with tears of thankfulness and joy.  The doctor laid him on her chest and called me over to cut the cord.  It was amazing!  The experience, not the cord.  The cord is weird.  It’s spongey yet hard.  I don’t even know how to explain that, but it’s not what I expected.

He quickly raised his head full of hair and I saw his big feet.  She was beautiful and glowing.  Exhausted, but joyful.  He was beautiful.  Content.  Perfect.

She offered him to me and I held him in awe.  The years of infertility and paperwork had all washed away for a brief moment.

Mike went to get her food and I stayed with the two of them.  We ate dinner when Mike returned and I headed home to get some rest while Mike stayed and helped get her settled in recovery.  We slept in our bed that night, knowing sleep was probably going to be rare the next few days/weeks, but also to give her as much or as little time as she wanted with him.  This is also pretty typical as paperwork and parental rights have to be signed.  It’s a little more comfortable to do without the adoptive parents present.  So we waited until our social worker gave us the green light to return the next day.

Baby boy was here.  His name was Joseph.

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We received a phone call a couple weeks before.  Three different employees from our agency called us on a conference call – they had a birth mother that chose us.  They congratulated us and gave us some basic information regarding the birth mother and child.  They asked us for our availability and wanted to try and schedule a meeting for all of us to get together.  At the time of the phone call, she was about 36 weeks along – but they noted that her last pregnancy she delivered early.

We started quickly doing inventory and making sure we had everything we needed for bringing a baby home.  We packed our own hospital bags and made arrangements for our dog while we were gone.  It looked like things were going to move fast, but it’s also never a guarantee that the birth mother will not change her mind.  So we prepared and prayed.

About two weeks later, on a Friday, we scheduled a time to get together.  A representative from our agency, us, and the birth mother met.  We took her flowers and a card.  She had just come from a doctor’s appointment.  She showed us ultrasounds pictures and let us know that she was 3cm dilated.  The doctor had said he would induce on Monday if he had not arrived before then.

The baby kicked all throughout our time together and she let us feel.  She was amazing and sweet and wanted to include us in any way possible.  We didn’t really know what to expect during that time, but we couldn’t have imagined anything better.  She was super sweet, beautiful, friendly, and a hero.

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One of the best parts about this journey, has been sharing it with so many others.  We were able to tell our first friends at Disney World about our decision to adopt.  Things quickly unfolded for us to share the news with others.  Our sweet friend, Sierra, rode around town with us as we spread the news over the next few days.  Check out the video below and all the love we feel.

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…and wait!

It’s really the ebb and flow of this whole process.  You find yourself working as fast as you can to fill out the paperwork.  Then you wait until the next training.  Then you’re quick to complete a profile book while you wait for the background check and fingerprints to clear.  Then you wait for the home study, celebrate, and then wait for the next.  And here we are again.  Waiting.  There is nothing else for US to be doing right now.  Everything is in the adoption agency’s hands.  We wait for their final report and board approval.  So we wait.  Some days seem like a normal day.  Others seem like groaning as we grow anxious and eagerly await for Teddy.

T-shirts should be headed out THIS week!  It’s way sooner than we expected and we are so excited to spread the love! Thank you soooooo much for all of those who donated!!!  Would you be so kind to help share?  You can use #BringingTeddyHome or send people to this site.

august-16After the t-shirts have been paid for, we are only about $4000 away from our goal for support!  We need your help.  We have a few fundraisers open, but our friends and family are growing sick of us.  Will you spread the word and invite others to participate?  We understand that not everyone can give.  We respect that and your budget with no questions asked.  But if you want to help and cannot give, there are some other ways that you can play a significant role.  The biggest way, spread the word.  Invite others.  Share our story.  Pray.  Pray.  Pray.

A few ways to be a part financially:

1)  Donate.  You (or anyone) can give and donate at any time through our PayPal link.  Any amount is greatly appreciated, but I am sharing the Teddy Chart again.  Each time a donation is made in a specific amount, we add a Teddy to that number.  Our goal is to fill the entire chart with Teddies.  Can you help?

2)  Sell!  If you are in the sales industry, would you consider having a party and donating a portion of the sales to our adoption?  Or if you are in the service industry, would you consider having a cut-a-thon, mini photo sessions, or anything else with Teddy in mind?

fundraiser3)  Host.  I am looking for 4-10 people to host a party and get some holiday shopping done early.  This is an awesome way for everyone to win!  You get to hang out with your friends.  You all get to shop.  You earn free stuff.  And…you are making a donation without spending any thing extra!  Please consider Pure Haven Essentials – quality products for the whole family without the toxic chemicals or Rodan + Fields – a premium skincare brand built on a legacy of innovative dermatology-based skincare products backed by clinically proven results.  If you would like a different product and need help finding a consultant, please let me know.

4) Buy.  As you are shopping and taking care of your own needs, please consider using one of these links.  Amazon.  Anytime you are shopping through Amazon, use this link and we get a very small percentage.    Pure Haven Essentials.  Shampoo, conditioner, makeup, cleaning supplies, baby products, etc.  No toxic chemicals and completely GLUTEN FREE!  I truly love this stuff!  At least 30% will be donated for your purchase, sometimes more when ordering through my link.                                                                                                                                       Rodan + Fields.  Skincare that truly has results and can change your life.  10-20% will go towards our adoption if you purchase through the above link.

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It’s been a busy month, but we have little to show. I also feel like a lot has changed over the last few weeks, mainly internally. I find myself in a weird place.

Our work is done – we think! This is really big news, but nothing official. We have completed ALL of the steps and home studies needed for the adoption-waiting game. But, we do not have our final report yet. What does this mean? In short – waiting. Adoption and waiting should just become synonyms. The report usually takes 4-6 weeks once they have all the necessary information. Then they write up a report summarizing everything we have discussed. The one nice thing about this waiting game, we have a time frame. So we are hoping to OFFICIALLY be waiting before Thanksgiving.

We celebrated our 10 year anniversary and went on our first cruise! Unfortunately, despite the amazing service we had, we didn’t enjoy it nearly as much as we had hoped. I was sea sick and my anxiety was stirring. It was a really hard trip for us. We had high hopes of a cruise life, but not sure if that is going to work to see the world. I had some temper tantrums and wrestled hard with the Lord. My desire to control things came rushing to the surface and the Lord met me there and through the darkness. Again, it was hard. Really hard. But good. Yes – hard, but good, as many things are.

Hurricane Matthew made his way through Florida. We had some small limbs and lost power for a few hours, but for the most part, everything was fine here. Everyone around town was prepared for much worse so it was a great reminder of God’s grace coming out the other side.

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We find ourselves counting our blessings and recognizing God’s grace once again. The last year has been very humbling in many ways. We are even more grateful for our community and the friends and family that surround us! Please know that we still need you. Would you pray for these next few weeks and a quick report, without any big hurdles? Would you also pray for Teddy and his/her birth family? We know that God has the perfect match for us and we are so excited to meet him/her!

One more thing, will you help us? You can join us on this journey and truly show your support. We have two fundraisers that are coming up (t-shirts and mini photo sessions). If you want to and can be a part financially, please do so. If not, would you consider being a part of this journey by spreading the word? We will need to pay the majority of the balance once our report is finalized. Any amount is greatly appreciated and every share and referral goes a LONG way.

Thanks again!

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