Welcome to our corner of the web! Here you will learn about our family and our journey of a family member adoption. In July of 2010, after 9 years of trying to add to our family and 5 years after we started our adoption journey, we welcomed baby Emily Rose. Emily's birth mom is Sharon's adopted sister. We look forward to someday adopting more children but for now, we are enjoying our time together as a family of 4!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Our Birth Story (Better late than never right?)

I know, I know! It has been 9 weeks since Miss Emily was born and I still haven't blogged our birth story or anything. I'm sorry! At first it was because I couldn't find the words to describe it. And then it was Emily being in the nicu. And then it was adjusting to life at home with a newborn. And then it was adjusting to life at home with a baby with severe reflux. And then, I just forgot. So now that I am out of excuses, and Emily is now over 2 months old, I figure I should go ahead and blog about it. Anyhow, here goes nothing!

It all started the week before Emily was born. Kristina was having contractions, an hour apart, but they were regular and consistent. We went to her 39 week appt. on Thursday and the doctor said that he thought the baby was over 9 lbs. and ordered an ultrasound,saying that if she was over 9 lbs. we would probably have to do a c-section. They couldn't get Kristina in until Monday morning so we waited. Saturday afternoon I get a text from Kristina telling me that the contractions had stopped (this was a surprise because the contractions were regular for several days and then nothing.) So we figured that we would find out news on Monday. Saturday we celebrated Pioneer Day (Utah state holiday) and went to bed fully expecting to go to church and have a normal Sunday.
Sunday morning I woke up at 5:30 and couldn't go back to sleep. I was just starting to get tired again and was considering whether I should get a short nap before church or just wait till after church for my nap when my phone rang. I went racing up the stairs as Jacob shot straight up in bed and fumbled for the phone (it was my cell which was on the charger in our bedroom). Jacob dropped the phone and we missed the call. I grabbed it from the floor and saw it was Kristina. A phone call, from our birth mom at 6:40 a.m.??? It could only mean one thing! So I called her back, apologized for missing the call, and she said "guess what?!" "what?!" was my response as my heart pounded faster and faster. I was NOT expecting what I heard next. "My water just broke!" WHAT!!!!! So we hung up the phone telling Kristina that we would be there as soon as we could. We hadn't packed anything. Strike that, I packed the things we would need for Emily, but nothing for the rest of us. I did make a list of what I needed to pack but hadn't packed. So I woke Tamara up, and we all packed in a hurry deciding that if we forgot it, we didn't need it. ;o)

By 7:30, after a quick call to each of our mom's as we hopped in the van (my mom was watching our animals for us), we were on the road. We called a few people from church to let them know we wouldn't be there. I asked my friend Beth to tell the bishop because we didn't have his number with us. We called our lawyer and let him know Kristina was in labor and we were on our way. We called to check on Kristina and my stepmom (Kristina's mom) answered and said that they were keeping Kristina at the hospital only because her water had broken, and that Kristina was only dialated to a 2. Kristina was in good spirits and excited to see and hold Emily after all these months. On our way into Logan, where the baby was being born, the song "tonight's gonna be a good night" by the Black Eyed Peas came on (I think that is who its' by). It seemed fitting for the occassion.

We got to the hospital and were suprised when Kristina was still at a 2. I asked if the nurses knew that we were supposed to have an ultrasound the next day and that the baby was possibly 9 lbs. or over. They said yes they knew, and we would just wait and see. Kristina's dr. was not on call or I'm sure they would have done an ultrasound and decided to do a c-section sooner. (She has an awesome dr.).
Hours passed and Kristina remained in good spirits. Emily responded better to the labor when Kristina wore the oxygen mask, so she spent a good chunk of the labor with that on. Labor progressed slowly, but yet Kristina kept a smile on her face. She kept saying, "Guess what?!" I would say what. And she would get a big smile on her face and say "Emily's coming!". More hours passed and still, not much progress. The dr. decided to start potocin that afternoon. Things speed up after that but not by much. As midnight approached we wondered if Emily would wait till the 26th to be born, or if she would decide to be born late on the 25th. Midnight came and went. That answered that. Kristina was at a 10 right around 1a.m. They decided to give her an hour to rest and then let her start pushing. At 2:30 Kristina started pushing and the warming bed and all the supplies were brought in for the delivery. This was it! When the pushing started almost everyone went into the hall. The only ones in the room were Kristina, myself, my stepmom Sally, and our cousin Shelley (and the nurse of course). Everyone else waited anxiously in the hall. After 2 and a half hours of pushing, Emily just wasn't coming out. After 22 hours of labor, Kristina just cried when she found out she would have to have a c-section. I cried too. I hated to think of all that she went through, and to have it end like that. I couldn't bare it. My heart broke for my little sister. And all she could say, was that she didn't try hard enough. Are you kidding me? She looked at me with tears in her eyes and said, "I'm so sorry. I didn't try hard enough. I should have tried harder." My heart broke even more. I tear up even now thinking of it. Kristina was amazing. She was more amazing then anyone ever could have been.

The nurse said that only one person could be in the OR with Kristina. My heart broke again. I looked at my stepmom, I looked at Kristina, and I knew that she needed her mom. As much as I wanted to be there. As much as I ached to hold Kristina's hand and see her through the rest of this. As much as I longed to hear my baby's first cries, I knew Kristina needed her mom, and I knew Sally needed to be there for Kristina. So I choked out that Sally needed to be the one to go. I could barely talk, and my voice broke more then once. Sally looked at me with tears of gratitude and asked are you sure. I wanted to say no that I wasn't sure. I wanted to say that I needed to be the one in there. But I looked at Kristina, and I looked at Sally and I just couldn't say that. I nodded yes, and said that I was going to go tell everyone what was going on. As I went into the hall to tell everyone that Emily would be coming via c-section, I fell into Jacob's arms and just sobbed. I sobbed harder then I had in a long time. The exhaustion from the day had caught up to me. I could barely stand. I was scared. Scared for Kristina, scared for Emily.

We waited in the waiting room outside of the nicu. They were going to take Emily there for quick observation after she was born and I was to join her when they brought her in. We waited for what seemed like another few hours, althought it was only 40 minutes or so. Then the blinds to the nursery window were raised and I saw her. Next to my Tamara, she was the most beautiful baby I had ever seen. The nurse waved me back, they put the bracelet on me that matched the ones on Emily and Kristina. I asked how Kristina was, the nurse said she didn't know, she had left with Emily, but she was sure Kristina was fine. Then I asked for the details. Emily had been born at 5:26 a.m. Almost 23 hours after Kristina's water had broken. She weighed 9 lbs. 5 oz. and was 21 inches. Even if Kristina had a short labor, Emily still would have had to be born via c-section. She was just too big. They checked her blood sugar levels. A common practice for babies so large the nurse assured me. The results came back at 38. They like them to be at above 50. The nurse said that they would probably go up after we fed her. My stepmom came out. Kristina was doing well and resting in recovery.
Kristina wanted to be the one to place Emily in my arms so I hadn't held her yet. It was time. So we rolled Emily back to the recovery room so we could see Kristina. Emily was placed in Kristina's arms, and then I held her. It was the most beautiful moment. Unlike I ever could have imagined. The nurse handed me a bottle and I fed Emily. Sally went to get Jacob and I got to introduce him to his daughter. Now that was the most beautiful moment. We introduced Emily to my dad, and then took her back to the nicu nursery so Kristina could rest. We gave Emily her first bath and they checked her blood sugar levels again. They had gone down to 34. Not good. So they started an IV, which Emily kicked out. The nurse started a new one, Emily kicked her hand and blew the vein. The nurse put it in the other hand and eventually realized how much Emily likes to kick and moved it to her head. We brought Tamara back to introduce her to her new baby sister. And then went to the hotel to get some much needed rest. Emily would be in the nicu for a day or so, and then would be able to go to the regular nursery we were told.......... Obviously, that didn't happen.

Next post will be about our week in the nicu and the faith and strength we had to rely on to get us through it.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Happy Sweet 16 to the most wonderful birthmom ever!

16 years ago I met a person who would forever change my life. Although I didn't know how at the time. 16 years ago, a little baby girl, was born to my aunt and uncle. Shortly after my dad and stepmom took custody of her in preparation to adopt her. 16 years ago, this little angel became my little sister.

(the little one here is my Tammy at 6 months old. The toddler is my little sister Kristina)

Many years passed and one Sunday afternoon in January of this year, I got a call from my dad asking if we were still looking to adopt. Yes was of course my answer. The conversation continued and it turns out there was a girl who was pregnant and considering placing her baby for adoption with Jacob and I. Something just told us that the expectant mom was Kristina, my sweet baby sister. 5 and a half weeks passed and the phone call came. Sure enough, our feelings were right. Kristina asked us to be the parents of the little baby girl she was carrying. We were honored. Months passed, doctor appointments came and went. Our relationship went from one of sibilings who didn't really know eachother that well (I was almost 16 when Kristina was born, so we didn't grow up together). And now our relationship is one of not only sister's, but friends, who have this common bond of love for a very special little girl named Emily.

Yes, Kristina forever changed our lives. 16 years ago I had no idea just how much my life would be changed. How complete my life would now be because of the love she has for the little one she carried.

To celebrate Kristina's birthday (which was actually yesterday, the 22nd, but I was busy with Emily so wasn't able to post till now) we had her come down on Saturday (along with our dad and my stepmom-Kristina's mom). We had a small BBQ, cake, ice cream and opened presents. It wasn't a big celebration, but we hope that it showed Kristina just a little of how much we love her.

Happy Birthday Little Sister! We love you!

(I know that I haven't shown Kristina's picture, or used her name on my blog until this post. Kristina said it was o.k. She is ready for the world to know her story, in hopes it will help others. She is going to do a guest post for my blog soon.)

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


It has been a whirlwind the past couple of months. First Baby Emily was born and we spent a week up in Logan with her in the NICU. Next it was getting ready for school and drill and trying to make sure the house was good before I left. This meant putting another sprinkler in the front for a area that we had put grass and three in the back where the deck had been. Then it was off to drill in Ft Irwin California for a week only to have the swamp cooler give out while I was gone and after our 1 year home warranty had expired. Got home and got the swamp cooler fixed with the help of some awesome ward members and also was given one that would help in the future. Finished up the next week with drill and then headed back to school after missing the first two weeks of classes and am trying to make that up. Along with all of this have been busy helping to take care of Emily who is a lovable little girl. I love my life though and wouldn't give any of it up. For those that are wondering this is Jacob posting on this blog for the first time.