Today was "Gotcha" Day!
Caden was born on May 17, 2012 and he weighed 5lbs. 1oz. He was 18" long. He dropped a few ounces before he left the hospital, but is up to 8 lbs. 6 oz. and 21" long as of his doctor's appt. this past Monday. He had a good check-up on Monday, and besides the fact that he is a little small for his age, the doctor said he is doing just fine.
He is a good eater, and is very wide-eyed. He looks around all the time while he is awake. Today, we put a mirror in the pack-n-play, and he gazed at his own reflection for quite some time. We also discovered he likes to play peek-a-boo. He was all smiles. He has blue-gray eyes and the little bit of hair he has is actually quite red.
We have some photos taken by his cradle care dad somtime between Saturday and today. (Cradle care is a temporary home for the baby once birth mom makes up her mind that she wants to place baby for adoption, but adoptive parents are either not yet identified, and/or during the "paperwork" period.)
Sorry we can't post any photos, but we had to sign an agreement today saying that we will not post any photos or identifying information to any internet sites, and we would not want to jeaporadize the process by violating our agreement. Also, we can use his first name only on these sites, but it may just be safe to say "baby boy" or Holli and Chris' son. This is only until the adoption is finalized, which will be in about 6 months. Until that time, we can email you with pictures and we will do our best to do this as frequently as we are able to find time. Just let us know what address - most of my (Holli's) contacts are saved on my work computer, and I am not planning to go there for at least a little while.
So, you probably want to know a little bit about how yesterday and today "went down"...
Well, at 8:25 AM yesterday (Wednesday, July 18, 2012) (I looked at my phone for the exact time) the phone number for American Adoptions came up - on the other end was Jessica, a social worker who works with birth parents telling me that she had a potential "match" for us and would like to tell me the details. I couldn't believe what I was hearing - does this really happen? In only 2 weeks and 1 day? I asked her if she could conference Chris in, because I knew he was at his desk - I had just called him to find out if he wanted me to pull something out of the freezer for dinner. Jessica conferenced Chris in and she told us about birth mom and baby.
So after, we hung up from talking with Jessica, Chris came home immediately, and on his way we talked on the phone about this possibility. I think we had already both made up our minds, but we wanted to say it to each other in person. When Chris got home, we made a list of just a couple more questions to ask Jessica, and we called her back at about 9:11 - we had to leave a message, but she called us right back at 9:15. (gotta love the cell phone) We asked our questions and then we accepted the match. We had officially started the process! What a whirlwind! We each called our moms - of course both grandmas were overjoyed! Then the craziness really began - we had emails to receive with paperwork to be signed and notarized, funds to get wired and a whole bunch of other stuff to get in order. The phone was in constant use as we started to let everyone know, including bosses and some co-workers. I think I said Oh My Gosh, Oh My Gosh, Oh My Gosh about 1,000 times throughout the day, and I know at one point I literally jumped up & down for joy!
We had been told that we would likely meet and pick up Caden on Thursday afternoon, but as we were running an errand for Holli's work (previously scheduled), we got a call from the placement agency here in Colorado stating that they wanted to meet with us today, as in now or as close to now as possible. (that would have been Wednesday) to do a "formal presentation" of the birth mom and baby. This was just going over the paperwork (which we had already seen from American Adoptions - it all gets a little crazy with so many agencies involved) and having us sign a few things. Quite honestly, I don't really remember what we signed yesterday. They also wanted us to go to the home of the cradle care providers to meet Caden - REALLY? Holy Cow! They suggested that we leave an item of ours with them so he could have it overnight to start to get used to our scent. We had nothing with us! So, we decided to give them the "shirts off our backs" (literally) and we headed to the nearest Target store to pick up new ones. Then we were on our way.
We arrived at the office to hear the presentation, then we headed not far away to meet Caden for the very first time. We just couldn't believe this was all happening. We got to spend about an hour and a half with him, just holding him and talking to him and beginning to fall in love. What a sweet baby he is. We are just so, so lucky and blessed. As reality set in of all the things we still had to accomplish, we decided we needed to leave and head home. We decided we would go out to dinner - probably the last time for a while - and then it really started to sink in - we had a lot left to do! We finished up, went to Walmart to gather a few supplies (can't imagine doing this if we didn't already have a nursery in place) and then headed home to pack & prepare. We finally hit the pillow around 11:00 PM - not too bad. Chris slept well (lucky him!) and thanks to some Tylenol PM, I got about 5 good hours.
Today, we got a pretty early start so we could be at the agency in Aurora by 9:00. We had one errand on the way and then we went to sign all the legal paperwork. After that was finished, we headed back over to the Cradle Care home to officially become parents. We held a short little ceremony where a candle was lit and some poems were read, and then we all shared wishes for Caden's life. It was sweet and emotional. Believe it or not, this was the first time I had cried in the whole process.
After picking Caden up, we had a little bit of time as our new family, so we picked up some lunch and went to find a nice, shady spot under a tree in a local park to just hang out together. Caden was sleeping at this time so we just got to enjoy watching him sleep. We had to be back to the agency offices by 12:30 to meet birth mom and birth dad. We fed Caden a little bit before we left the park, and then headed out. Shortly after we arrived at the agency offices, we were introduced to birth mom & birth dad. We had actually spoken to birth mom the night before for just a few minutes on the phone, but this was the first meeting in person. Of course, it was nerve-wracking and a bit awkward, but we were able to share some small token gifts with birth mom and birth dad and answer a few questions of one another. After about 30 or so minutes, we wrapped up the meeting and we were on our way shortly - but not until after a diaper change. Caden let us know he needed that! :-)
We were on our way home shortly and we got here around 2:30 and we've just been enjoying our new baby ever since. We just feel so lucky - he's sleeping soundly now (9:50 p.m. our time - I started this at about 5:00 and have had a few interruptions) and we are just preparing ourselves for the night ahead (getting formula measured into bottles and putting the cradle in our room, etc...) Chris is reading up in the "What to Expect" book, because much to his dismay, my maternal instincts and babysitter training ump-teen years ago did not include the encyclopedia / timeline of when a baby sits up, crawls, and starts to eat solid foods. Sorry honey!
Well, I hear someone stirring...
Love to all,
Holli & Chris