Apr 21, 2013

Lazy Family Sunday

Yes, we're still in Michigan (probably for another week)!  We're having a lazy Sunday today with our little family and it feels so good! I've been getting some much needed laundry done and I love seeing these little girl clothes in our laundry basket!

It's been a week and a few days here in Michigan as our little family of three and we are still in heaven!  We've spent much of our time on the phone/texting with family, snuggling, and a lot of fun in our quiet moments learning how to be mom and dad.  I wonder if I'll ever stop get all teary-eyed looking at our little girl -- especially in those peaceful moments when I glance over to see my pretty amazing husband holding our daughter!  Ours!
It's been nice having all of the extra cuddle time with our little princess!

Maya lost her umbilical cord yesterday (can't bring myself to throw it away just yet)  so she had her first "official" bath last night of actually getting her tiny little body in the water (rather than sponge baths) and she loved it!  She stayed wide-eyed, calm and quiet the whole time!  We caught this sweet pic right after the bath!

Brandon snuck this little pic of her the other night before bed ... I do believe it's perfect!

I caught this one today - she makes this face a lot when she is first waking up.

And ... I quite often can't stop singing the primary song:
I love daddy, he loves me,
We love Maya yes-sir-ee,
She loves us and so you see,
We are a happy family!

Yep!  Happy!  We hope you have yourself a happy Sunday!

Apr 14, 2013

Our Miracle: Maya's Adoption Story

As I hold my sleeping baby girl in this quiet moment I have some time to share our wonderful news!  We have a baby!  Here's her info:  her name is Maya Bessie (Maya: after Maya Angelou, Bessie: after Brandon's grandma), she was born on April 4th weighing in at 6lb 6.5oz and 19.5" long, placed in our arms April 12th, and BEAUTIFUL in every way!!!

Our story:
We were approved for adoption and our adoption profile went live in April of 2012, and here it was the beginning of April 2013.  The year had gone by so slowly (at times) when it came to the ‘waiting game’ of adoption.  We had a couple of failed opportunities within that year and despite that we were in a good place.  We met with our case worker to update our home study and discuss what else we could update on our profile.
Then, one week later, I was at work and I got a phone call from our case worker telling me that she was about to “rock our world”, that we had a big decision to make and we had to make it quickly.  She told us that there was a baby girl born April 4th in Michigan, her birth mother had chosen to place her baby girl with us and needed to place quickly.  So, if we interested we'd have to drop everything, and hop on a plane to Michigan to (hopefully) have this beautiful baby placed into our arms.  We were also informed that there was some risk involved and to take in to consideration this sweet baby could be placed with us, but there was also a possibility she may not be placed with us.  I called Brandon and could hardly finish telling him before he was saying, “Do you feel that, this is right - we have to go!” I was so nervous but a warm/peaceful feeling washed over me, confirmation it was right! So, with our bags backed and hearts full of faith we hopped on a plane the next morning with the one baby item we owned – my diaper bag, a gift from my husband for Christmas and filled that night before we left with baby essentials from my mom.  We flew to Michigan not knowing if we would come home with this baby -- no pictures, not a lot of other info, but we were on our way!  

We arrived in Michigan that night and we got a phone call asking if we would like to meet the baby girl we might get.  That quiet little meeting at 10:00pm in our hotel room lobby was precious!  We fell in love right away and (again) we felt comforted and warm.  We got to change her diaper, feed her, and try to memorize every part of that perfect little face, long fingers, darling ears, and silky black hair before they had to leave.

After the meeting, we ran to the store to buy a car seat hoping we could fill it with this beautiful baby girl soon!  There were no car seats with pink on them in sight!  I was in a panic, we needed PINK, and this beautiful baby girl needed PINK!  We searched every isle in the baby department and I was about to give in to a ‘un-girly’ car seat when my knight in shining armor found it – a perfectly pink polka dotted car seat! LOL!  Once we got back to our hotel room, we surprisingly slept well that night.

The next morning we went to the adoption agency and spent a few hours with our Michigan case worker discussing the situation and filling out paperwork.  While filling out the paperwork, we were told a little more about the birth mother.  We were told that she had narrowed her search to three couples and finally decided on one couple who lived closer than the other two of us because they had the least distance to travel (we had the most).  The case worker told her that any of the couples are willing to travel, and that it is her heart that needs to choose.  We were told that she then said that if it’s her heart that decides, she chooses us.  We are forever grateful to this amazing woman for letting her heart choose us and knowing without a doubt it was us - she will always and forever be held in the highest regard in our family!  She made the choice to have the adoption closed.  We respect her decision and are hopeful and prayerful that we can someday contact and meet this incredible woman.  We were given the opportunity to name this sweet babe, we named her Maya Bessie. Maya, after Maya Angelou and Bessie, after Brandon's grandma.

Then we were told that 'our' baby is on her way! Whoa!!!! We were DYING! It was a surreal experience waiting for her to arrive!!  When she was placed into our arms we were in heaven, literally in heaven – we felt angels round about us!  Heaven!!  Brandon got the PINK car seat and our case worker kindly showed us how to attach the base in our car, how to set it up, and how to put our sweet baby in the car seat.  Driving back to the hotel was unbelievable!  With every squeak or sound she made, Brandon and I would just look wide-eyed at each other smiling ... beaming

We spent a heavenly 2 ½ weeks in Michigan as our little family of three before we got the ok to come home! We spent much of our time on the phone, face-time, texting family, snuggling, and quiet moments learning how to be mom and dad.  

 We were blessed to finalize Maya’s adoption 6 months later.  You can see more about her finalization in THIS post.

You can follow Rachael on Instagram @thespaceofrach, and even see pictures of our adoption journey with Maya at #BrandonAndRachaelAdopt 

Apr 1, 2013

Happy Easter!

We hope everyone had a happy Easter!  We spent the our Easter Eve putting our mad-skills to work decorating eggs!

On Easter Sunday we went to Mom & Dad's and had a delicious Easter Dinner, celebrated my nieces birthday, made resurrection rolls, and my mom put on her annual awesome Easter hunt for the kids!
Our Easter Baskets filled with Easter treats - glad the Easter Bunny stopped by!
The kids ready to get the Easter Hunt started!
Our Resurrection Rolls - See the empty roll?  Our marshmallow Jesus is gone!
Great and yummy way to teach the kids about the meaning of the holiday.