"So promise me you'll never forget...that you aren't an accident or an incident...you are a gift to the world, a divine work of art, signed by God. You were deliberately planned, specifically gifted, and lovingly positioned on this earth...Flooded by emotion, overcome by pride, the Starmaker turns to us, one by one, and says, 'You are my child. I love you dearly.'" Max Lucado, God Thinks You're Wonderful

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Reason to Sing

This song has been my story for the last 4 months...can you see it now?

Do you wonder why you have to
Feel the things that hurt you
If there's a God who loves you
Where is He now
Maybe there are things you can't see
And all those things are happening
To bring a better ending
Someday somehow you'll see you'll see
Would you dare would you dare to believe
That you still have a reason to sing
Cause the pain that you've been feeling
It can’t compare to the joy that’s coming
So hold on you gotta wait for the light
Press on and just fight the good fight
Cause the pain that you’ve been feeling
It’s just the dark before the morning... (Josh Wilson's Before the Morning)

Getting a double chin and caught a grin on camera!!!

One talented Gigi holding baby Emery and being a horsey for Sadie!!

Oh man...the adrenaline from Friday is starting to wear off and I can feel the lack of sleep catching up with me. But let me be clear...I LOVE it! I am just getting around a little slower than usual!
The emotions have also settled in and I can pretty much cry at the drop of a hat. I think for the first several days I was so shocked that I could hardly believe what God had done. Yesterday and today...it's been ever so real. We've buckled four pumpkins in their car seats and driven around and I can just feel my heart about to burst with thanksgiving. I am sure I have concerned a few people as they catch me bawling driving through town. What a nut!

Today, precious Mama O went to court to relinquish her rights. What a terribly hard day for her. She said she felt so much peace and that they judge was very kind to her! How awesome! On Friday when we met her at the hospital, and birth father signed his relinquishment forms, she asked me why she had to go to court and why she couldn't just do what he did. **SIGH** I told her that I agreed, but that I was working on getting that changed! Anyway, when the agency let me know she was finished with court, I just cried. I had to hide in Mardel and try to compose myself. What a wonderful day for our family to rest easy.

After she went to court, I took Emery to meet her for a visit. It was so good to get to talk with her again and get more pictures. There were so many things that I forgot to ask her in everything that happened on Friday...what a blessing to get to see her again so soon!

The kids are still obsessed with Emery. Sadie just now says "MINE" and plops herself down on the couch to hold her. You'd better pay close attention though because she gives you no warning before pushing Emme off her lap to go play with something else! Side note: We've decided not to put them in the room to sleep together quite yet! Sadie seems to have grown overnight when compared to tiny Emery. Crazy how that happens. She seems to have taken very well to her sister and I couldn't be more thrilled for these two to have each other as well as big brothers to protect them!

Owen and Cooper pretty much fight over who can feed her or sit closer to her or hold her first. They think everything about her is fabulously cute...even her poop. That's right. That's love people. The smiles that fill their faces when they see her is priceless. They both kiss her non-stop and simply can't get enough of her grunts and silly baby faces.
And for Emery...she is such an easy baby. She sleeps so well, even though she seems to have her days and nights confused. For such a bitty baby, she eats well too. She doesn't eat much, but when it comes to feeding time...she's serious about that one ounce...and then she is serious about not eating any more. She.won't.do.it. She'll just let it roll down her chin! She was back up to her birth weight at only 5 days. She cooed at me for the first time today. I have never had one do it that early, but I think the silence was killing her as her siblings were at school for the day!

OK, I need to sleep...now for the pictures!!!
More than we could have asked for...our dream come true.
I think they are going to be besties!!!

Makes my heart JUMP!!!

She LOVES being held by Owie. He is so good with her!

Noonie and Papa checking out granddaughter #5, grandkid #11 and last one accepted into Camp Noonie Papa 2014!
"Why in the world do you take so many pictures!" Notice the HUGE feet!!! Mama O wears size 10/11! Looks like we are going to be shorter than yet another child!

How cute is this? I was changing Emery's clothes and Sadie picked up her bottle and just started feeding her! Notice the milk on her cheek. I am sure she got jabbed a couple times before hitting the mark. Still sweet though!

Emme's first movie!!!

For real...how cute are they! We were in heaven! We saw Toy Story 3 for Father's Day with the best daddy ever!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Doll Baby

So I know you are dying for more pics. I am, and I get to stare at these kids all day. I just can't get enough of them.

Sister loves her! So stinking cute how Sadie is with her!

We can go!!! Just got finished with the carseat test and we can take our baby girl home!
Headed home! First ride in the carseat!
snuggling with Noonie...sorry Noonie that you got cropped out!
First bottle at home.

Cannot believe how tiny she is!
Emery is a doll. She eats well, but can only take 1-2 ounces at a time. She prefers to be snuggled up against your belly, so she is loving that her siblings fight over who can hold her. Even Sadie cakes wants to hold her all of the time.
The first time her brothers and sister saw her....they were in love!

Aunt Laura, cousin Luke and Papa Max came to meet Emery! She has already had lots of family come by...will post those pics too guys! Sorry!

These are just a few of the many I have of Emme with the kids...notice that Sadie has given Emery her blankie. That made me cry because sister is very possessive of her blankies and never shares them with anyone!Notice that smile on his face? Well, none of us can really wipe these goofy smiles off of our faces! Sadie pretty much tries to steal her from anyone that's holding her! It's so cute! When they got up from naps they all fought over who could hold her first!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

The Call

Well, it happened!
Yesterday at 11:15 am the kids and I had just doused ourselves in sunscreen for the day and jumped in the pool when my phone rang. It was Deaconess! It was our precious social worker, Sandy. Same social worker that called us with Owen.
She asked if it was a good time to talk. I knew this must me good. I said yes and listened as she told me we'd been picked by Mama O. Oh praise Jesus. Much like our Sadie-cakes, our newest bundle was already HERE and we were asked to be at the hospital at 12:15 to meet the birth family and baby.

I quickly negotiated with the kids to get everyone out of the pool quickly. I asked Owen if he wanted to spend the night with Gigi and Papa Joe. For almost 4 months now he has told me that when we have a baby, he can't wait to spend the night with them. He was so excited to go to their house, so I asked him if he knew what this meant. He wasn't really paying attention, he was distracted by all of the kids swimming...then that question made him perk up. He looked at me with such joy, "Does this mean we have a baby?" Yes, pumpkin...we do. I reminded him that we didn't get to bring KK home and we thought we would have her forever, so I asked him to just pray that this baby would come home with us.
{{{Let me stop here and note that this call came just 5 days shy of when we said we were going to have to pull our profile because of the move. Again, how great is our God? HOLY COW! I so didn't think this was going to happen!}}}
I called Blake knowing that he was in surgery. The nurse picked up his phone, "Dr. Shockley's phone." Oh Lord, how do I say this to let him know? "Hi, this is his wife. Could you tell him something for me? Tell him that we have #4 and I need him to meet me at OU @ 12:15." She held the phone down and relayed the message to which I heard an excited, "I am kind of tied up right now." Luckily my odd message stirred up some conversation in the OR and Blake had to spill the beans to everyone in there that this is how he finds out about his children and that we now have 4 kids! The attending was SHOCKED as he didn't know our story and quickly told Blake, "Well do you need to call your wife? My wife would be ticked if I didn't call her back!" The attending let Blake scrub out and call me for more details. The other residents covered for him so that he could meet me at the hospital! What a HUGE blessing!

I called our parents and both of our moms dropped everything they were doing (and both of them were busy!!!) so that they could come help with the kids! I met Gigi at quite possibly the busiest Sonic in the metro and plopped the kids in her car. Their clothes were packed in a grocery bag!!! It was hard to change clothes, shower, pack for them, me, and a baby in less than 20 min!
Blake and I met and quickly started discussing names! Mama O named HER Faith and not only did we want to keep it, but she asked us to keep it. So we named our sweet baby girl, Emery Faith. We actually just finally named her late last night! When we got to the hospital there were still a lot of details to work thru, and we really did not want to try and come up with a name in a hurry. We kept joking that we never thought we'd be ones without a name!!!
We got to spend about 5 hours with Mama O before she went home and for the first time, we got to meet a birth father. Emery is beyond blessed and will forever treasure the pictures that we got of all 4 of her parents together. We even got one of both of her birth parents together holding her. We are blessed yet again to have an open adoption and we are so thankful that all of our children will get to experience that incredible bond with their first family. Her birth father asked me how quickly I could get pictures of them to him and he wanted to make sure he could have visits. Of course! He loves her so much and knows this is what is best for Emery. I was in awe just being around the both of them.

SO, Emery was born sometime around 10pm on Wednesday, June 23rd weighing 5 lbs 2 oz and is 18.5 inches long. She is an incredible blend of several ethinicities, but mostly African American. Her hair is exactly like Sadie's very soft and straight, but just more of it than Sadie had. She dropped down to 5 lbs before we left last night, so she is just the teensiest little thing! Her preemie diapers just swallow her and her bottles look enormous in comparison.

We are SO stinking excited about all of the miracles that God has performed in the last 48 hours, so many of them we will forever keep protected for Emery to share one day. It was an incredible sight in the hospital watching all 4 of us parents stand united for one little peanut to come home with us. What a mighty God we serve. And may I just say...I love and adore our agency. It was incredible to watch them work their tails off to protect the birth family, the baby and us all at the same time! We will forever sing your praises Deaconess!

**more pics to come**

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Loving Summer

We have had so much fun over the last week.

I have been busy doing stuff around the house to get ready to sell. We had a garage sale, my first ever, and it was so great to get rid of stuff we weren't using and didn't want to have to move it!

So the sale of "extras" led to rearranging the furniture to open up the house...you know, that's what my realtor sister tells me helps sell homes. Please note the cute blue chair that I snagged and painted. When I say snag, I really do mean snag. It was on my neighbors lawn labeled "free stuff" and I seriously took it home and painted it blue. You know you've hit a new low when you take furniture off other's lawns that was to be trashed! You can't say I am not frugal.

Sister has been trying to climb out of her bed, not a ton...but we've never had one do this before, so we went ahead and got her a twin bed. I found a steal on craigslist and painted it pink! So fun! We love it! We tried it for the first time a few nights ago, and she did great! Only problem was this... Sadie showing us her bed...and below she fell asleep so peacefully.
When I checked on her the next morning, she was in her crib!!! I ran and asked Blake if he had moved her in the middle of the night. Nope. We never heard a peep on the monitor! Guess she got out and climbed in her crib sometime after we checked on her when we went to bed!!!!
Other than that, we've just spent a ton of time at the pool. Man are we blessed to have a pool!
This pic was taken by Cooper! I had to crop my booty out of it! It never is a good idea to give a little boy at booty level the camera! But he really wanted to take a picture of us!
On Tuesday night Sadie and I had an ice cream date with her birth mom. It was so fun and we feel so blessed to live so close to her so that we can do stuff like that!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Numero Tres

Sadie's turn...

I sat texting Mama G on Father's Day and just cried, cried, cried.
On occasions such as Father's Day, our children seem, once again, like absolute miracles and gifts in so many ways.
But on Father's Day it hits me that without Mama G and Mama Mandy, my incredible love would not be a daddy. Whoa. Big.fat.tears. Since we didn't go through the struggle with infertility or grieving miscarriages, I guess I just never thought about that....until we had kids. Man, I wish everyone could experience that feeling of knowing that someone has trusted you with something so huge and in that completely transformed your spouse. There is simply no way to describe my love for these women.

As I sat trying to thank Mama G, I couldn't put into words what Sadie Skielar has done for our world. Then I just lost it again. This little girl...look at who she has already become. She smiles constantly. And when she doesn't she usually gives you this awful look as she furrows her brow in disgust. She tips the scales at a whopping 23 lbs and is still as long as can be. I think it's kind of sad that I already envy her legs! She is talking more and more, and quite frankly it's the cutest darn thing we've ever heard. The boys just die when they hear her use words instead of grunts and screams. She says "sawy" (sorry), "tan too" (thank you), Owie, Pooper, and Sadie, ow-si (outside), "wuv oo" (I love you). She is finally to where she will repeat most anything you say.

The other day she wouldn't stop screaming so I told her she would have to go to her room if she couldn't use words (above picture). She looked at me, and walked straight to her room to scream. HA! She plays very well independently. She is seriously coordinated. She loves to dance, no one is a stranger, LOVES any and every dog no matter how huge! Recently she kissed (yes full on mouth kiss) a 90+ lbs St. Bernard of our neighbors then proceeded to feed him Doritos.

Can you tell she is strutting? Below, she is jumping to me into the pool. She LOVES water!
She is tough as nails and is getting pretty fast at running. As tough as she is, she is still incredibly prissy. You should see her run. Blake described it best as Phoebe on Friends running. Oh man. HILARIOUS! Her arms stay bent with elbows in and hands flapping up and down. I will have to get in on video. She kisses her own boo-boos and refuses band-aides. She still puts anything in her mouth, most recently a June bug she found in the back yard. Sweet. She is still messier than either of her brothers.

I LOVE doing her hair. It's something I have dreamed of for years. I take great pride in the kids' hair, but the boys like to do their own now. I have so much fun caring for Sadie's hair and I hope she loves it too. It's hard to get her to sit still, but we don't do anything fancy yet, so its not too bad. It's getting nice and thick and her curls are just so yummy. I found a new product for all of my friends out there. I got it at Crest, and it was super cheap. It was under $5 and it's called Care Free Curl. It actually works on all 3 of their heads (a miracle!) and has a real subtle clean smell. Its the perfect mix of moisture, but doesn't leave them looking greasy.
She is feisty and silly and suddenly loves to be the center of attention. She used to just sit on our lap and take everything in when we were in new places...not any more. She will just climb into the lap of the nearest person and make friends or dance in front of people until they "ooh and ahh" at her.

She would still rather eat crayons than color with them and play in her food rather than eat it, but I have finally figured out as a mom that it's better to just enjoy each stage while you're in it because in the blink of an eye you can't remember how they got so big...

Where did our baby girl go?

Love you Sadie Skielar...you make me a better mommy!