Monday, November 10, 2014

The Story of Cordelia

Maybe you guys should sit down.  I blogged.  It's a shock I know.

People have all sorts of questions about Cordie and how we got her so here is her story.

On October 13th, Josh and I got back from the beach and found a note from Bethany saying that we had been officially approved and were a waiting family.  That was a Monday.  On Friday morning, I was on the phone with Mom when I got a call from our social worker.  I saw the name on caller id and pretty much hung up on Mom to talk to her.  She said she had a "situation" she wanted to discuss with the two of us that afternoon.  I immediately started to cry!  I called Josh all sobby and excited and he was very nonchalant.  It was the longest afternoon in the world, or so I thought, I had longer afternoons in store.

We met with the social worker and heard a little about a baby girl who had already been born!  I was floored and excited and scared and so many emotions.  We took an evening to pray about it and told the social worker in Knoxville we would accept a meeting with the birth parents on Monday the 20th.

Monday was a much longer day than the previous Friday.  I paced around the house liked a caged tiger.  I tried to sew on the baby quilt, but my mind wouldn't focus, I'd look at baby stuff on Pinterest, but then I'd get worried the birth parents wouldn't select us.  Finally we headed down the road.  We were almost to the Bethany office when we got a phone call...the birth parents weren't coming.  We were crushed; Josh was mad.  I was so afraid that that meant they were backing out.  We had to turn around and come all the way back while we discussed what this meant.

On Wednesday the birth mother went to court and signed her surrender.  In the state of TN, birth mother's have 10 days to revoke a surrender.  Because the last day of a surrender can't end on a weekend, revocation would be complete on Nov. 3rd.  On Thursday we headed BACK down to Knoxville to try again to meet with the birth parents.  I was a basket case.  It's pretty much the biggest interview I've ever had.  It went well though.  The father liked cars so he and Josh were able to talk naturally.  Afterward Josh and I went to Firehouse Subs and dissected every sentence and nuance of the conversation.  I was on a roller coaster of emotions.

On Friday, I went to Wal-Mart to do some shopping.  In the middle of the store I get "The Call".  The call that said the birth parents had chosen us!!!  I wondered the store picking things up and putting them down and not settling on anything.  I also wondered through the baby clothes and petted all the small soft things.

We were then in a hurry up and wait stage.  We were nine days from having a newborn, but couldn't really prepare because it could fall through up to the very last moment.  We also couldn't tell anyone because it was confidential and unsure.  Each day I would report what the odds were that we would get the baby.  It was a complicated formula based on lots of unsure assumptions.  With each day I got more nervous and more excited.

On Monday the 3rd, we went to Knoxville to start signing paperwork.  Cordie had a doctor's appointment so we couldn't get her until 12:30.  We had about two hours to kill after signing documents with her new name.  We went to the mall and looked at all the stuff in the Disney store because we were about to get a princess!  When we got back they settled us on some seriously uncomfortable couches and brought in a tiny pink baby in a blanket.  I started crying as soon as she was brough in.  I hated to because I wanted to drink her in!  She was so perfect.  We fell in love immediately!

That's how we got our baby.  We currently hold the Northeast TN Bethany record for fastest placement haha.  When God decided to move, He moved quickly!

We do have an open adoption, so Cordie will get to have continued contact with her birth parents.
Her name isn't a family name.  I wanted something that was unusual, but instantly recognizable, nothing you would say "What is that?  I've never heard that."  I also wanted something with a lot of nicknames, but with a formal name for adulthood.  We call her Cordie, Eli calls her Chloe (bc he doesn't like Cordelia), and some people call her CC, so you can call her pretty much whatever.  In six months, we will have finalization.  Right now she is technically in Bethany's custody, but then she will be ours free and clear.

I think that pretty much sums it up.  If you made it through all that, I applaud your stamina!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014


I am taking my first ever Beth Moore Bible study.  I’m pretty sure that means I’m officially a Baptist woman.  I feel like there should be a ceremony of some sort to mark this officious occasion.  I told my friend this was my first study and she was amazed and somewhat impressed that this was my first time.  I believe there was a joke about virgins after that. 

Anyway, that wasn’t the point of this post.  The point is that I am taking this study called Secrets and it’s really good.  I’m learning quite a bit.  Last Sunday we were doing part three and, as so often happens seems to happen all the confounded time, part of the lesson focused on pregnancy and motherhood.  I didn’t realize until pregnancy became a touchy subject for me just HOW MANY times it comes up at church.  The scripture Beth (cause we’re tight now, so I can totally just use her first name) was using is familiar.  It’s from Psalm 139:
13 For you created my inmost being;
    you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    your works are wonderful,
    I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
    when I was made in the secret place
    when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
    all the days ordained for me were written in your book
    before one of them came to be.
(emphasis added)

One of the costs of infertility and of adoption is that you have very few secrets left.  My body has been exposed for numerous doctors and nurses to poke and speculate on.  My entire life has been laid bare for Bethany to inspect.  On top of that, I try to be very open to all of you guys about every step of this journey because I want it to have worth.  If someone else can feel camaraderie because of it, then I’ve achieved my goal.  So I’m thinking all of this while I’m listening to the lesson and I’m feeling a little sad and very exposed.  I’m feeling a little sad too because there is no secret life nestled in my womb and that sadness doesn’t just evaporate because we are filling out adoption stuff.

Then it hit me, and I have to say that it must have been God inspired, that God still sees my baby “in the secret place”.  And really that’s what matters.  Even with all of the openness that adoption requires, my baby is a secret being held by God.  Eventually, we’ll all get in on the secret, birthparents, adoption counselors, and Josh and me, but right now God is writing out the days of our child in His book.  How cool is that?!  And how comforting to realize that even when this whole process feels very out of my control, God’s like “I’ve got this.  I see into all the secret places in your heart and the secret place where your child is growing.  So lean in close, my precious daughter, and let Me tell you a secret.”

Thursday, February 27, 2014

The Golem and the Jinni

I just finished THE Most Amazing book!  It was written by a brand new author, Helene Wecker and is called The Golem and the Jinni.  I spotted it on the new shelf at the library and was intrigued by the title because those are two very uncommon mythological beings to write about.  I'm always a little leery of a new author because I don't know them.  I don't like to stop books in the middle so I plan on investing some time and effort in their work and I kind of want it to be worth it.  This time it so was!

The book is set in New York in the 1890s and deals with...everything.  It's about immigration, community, life, love, etc.  Now, normally that would be Way too much going on in one book, but this is so seamless.  And the background-oh!  It was described so beautifully and realistically, I could lose myself in the setting.

I want to read it again to really get all the subtlety and social and cultural minutiae cause I was so absorbed in the story that I know I didn't catch it all.  I can't decide who I should recommend the book to.  It's fantasy in some aspects, but not in a geeky way.  It's a love story, sort of, but not in a sappy way.  It's historical fiction, but golems and jinnis are kind of not real or historical.  It's different than most anything I've ever read.  So try it; if you like any of those you should read it.  So get on that.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Adoption Update-Feb. 5th

Hello my lovelies!  Did you think I had dropped off the face of the planet?  The really horrible thing is that stuff happened all last month, but by the time I got home for going and doing and dealing with whatever was going on I was too tired to write.

Since I last blogged, movement has been made on the adoption front.  After we got our preliminary acceptance, we arranged an intake interview for the 13th.  It’s called an “interview”, but really it was just talking to our adoption counselors.  We have two, sort of.  Our main guy is located in Knoxville so we also have a contact locally who will do our individual and couple interviews soon (hopefully!).  At the intake interview were given “The Paperwork”, the most massive stack of detailed and invasive questions ever.  Infertility treatments are invasive by nature, but adoption is equally invasive, but in a different way.  Either way you go, you no longer have a shred of privacy when all is said and done.

Besides being long the paperwork is confusing.  They can ask “What is your name?” but they ask it in such a way that I am no longer sure what my name is!  The worst part is that it is emotionally exhausting.  This has pretty much been me for the past three weeks:

I feel super excited that we are working and making progress.  I feel anxious about whether we will be chosen by anyone.  I feel angry that we are having to go through so many personal inquiries from every angle when “natural” parents don’t have to prove they are fit in any way before birthing a child.  I feel frustrated by the reading. Then I cycle back to excited.

Oh the reading!  Guys.  There are no words.  Really.  I just finished reading a fiction book with an adoption subplot (a happy coincidence as I didn't know that was in the story when I started the book).  In the book there were three adopted kids, the middle one ended up being a psychopath who killed the other two and it was STILL more positive than the assigned adoption books I've been reading.  I’m not even kidding.

However, we have ALMOST plowed through.  If we work really really hard we could be done with all the paperwork we have by the end of this week!

Monday, January 6, 2014

A First Small Step

On Saturday Josh and I sent off our application to Bethany.  Today, only two short days after sending the application, we got a call!  We have an adoption counselor! I'm super excited. He said that our application looked great and remembered meeting us at the informational meeting in September. We are going to try to meet with him next week for our intake meeting and to get the big application.

This is such a small step, a tiptoe at the base of a mountain path, but I can't help but be excited. It's a tiptoe step toward a baby. I wish each step would go as smoothly as first contact, though I don't expect it. Infertility can suck hope out of you and it's nice to see a glimmer of it in this adoption.

I'm on the path for a baby!