Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Our First Post-Placement Visit

WOW - I can't believe it's Sept 22nd already! Lyla is already a month old - she's gaining weight and growing like crazy - she gained 1 lb 9 oz, putting her up to 9 lb 6 oz, and she grew an inch, so she's 20.5" already. INSANE!

Our NJ social worker came to the house today for our first post-placement follow up visit. I was a little nervous - with baby stuff everywhere, piles of pictures, receipts and adoption paperwork on the dining room table, I wasn't quite sure what I was being graded on. No need to worry though. It was just a nice visit with our social worker (she did our home study too, so we have gotten to know her pretty well). She was here for about 2 hours, but it was mostly conversational. Lyla slept through the whole visit of course...but she did peak out at the very end so the social worker could tell that her eyes are indeed brown.

We will have 3 more visits in the coming months, and soon we'll be scheduling our court date in Texas (some time at the end of February/early March) and then it will all be final. Such a process!

We used a different agency for the home study/follow ups that we used for the actual placement. I learned some interesting things about this agency though (American Adoptions). They have a high risk adoption plan, so if a case falls through (a disruption in your journey), you won't be out any money. I LOVE this. While hubby and I went through two disruptions, and lost some money (quite a bit, actually, but not as bad as it could've been), I wondered how couples who weren't in our situation might have been able to continue down this path. Since we've always known we would adopt, we had money set aside for it. But if life unexpectedly takes a couple/person into this journey, it's nice to know that there are agencies out there working to protect them. YEAH RIGHTS FOR ADOPTIVE PARENTS!!

1. Yesterday she started reaching for things, and accidentally grabbed the pacifier out of her mouth - then screamed because it was gone
2. They say it's just gas still, but I like to think those little smiles are meant for me
3. When she sees a bottle/pacifier coming towards her mouth, she gets so excited that she starts shaking her head, and I have to really aim to get it in her mouth.

She's adorable and one month after placement I am still on cloud 9!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Welcome Home Lyla Grace!!!!

Sorry for the belated blog post...it's been quite a few weeks! I'll start with the spoiler alert - This post is to introduce and welcome home our daughter Lyla Grace!

So we got the call that our birthmother had gone in to labor and we changed our flights to get there early. As we landed in El Paso, TX, we got word that it was a false alarm and they had released her. We then spent the week waiting and waiting for miss Lyla's arrival. We got to spend a lot of time with our birthmother and her sister's family.

Then the big day came - they started inducing her on Thursday August 20th. I stayed overnight in the hospital with our birthmother, and at 12:51 on Friday August 21st, I got to see our daughter be born. It was amazing to be there right from the beginning and I feel soooo lucky to have been a part of it.

I stayed overnight again with the birthmother and Lyla, and Saturday they released us all at the same time, so we took Lyla back to our hotel with us. Sunday afternoon our social worker came over to sign the paperwork, and an hour later she called with the amazing news that the birthmother had signed and it was a go - SHE WAS OUR DAUGHTER!

Frank had to fly home to go back to work, so my mom, the best grandma ever, hopped on a few planes and took his place to help me tag team my newborn. It was great to have her there with us, and she of course was thrilled to get some quality time with her newest grandaughter.

We flew home on Saturday - an all day ordeal - and Lyla did amazingly well on the planes. We were all exhausted and slept in Sunday morning. Then the revolving door started Sunday afternoon with brothers, sisters-in-law, grandmas, great grandma, aunts, uncles and cousins all coming by to meet our newest family member. It was so great to see everyone so excited and just gobbling her up.

So far so good, Lyla is a wonderful baby and mommy here is enjoying every single minute of it. I even love when she wakes up for a bottle at 3 am - special quality time for mommy and Lyla where I just get to soak it all in. I AM IN LOVE!

Thank you to everyone who has offered your prayers, crossed your fingers, kept us in your thoughts, and pulled for us. We are so lucky to have had such a wonderful adoption story, and to be surrounded by so much support - on and off line.

OK enough typing - I have a daughter to bond with!