Friday, June 15, 2012

JAYDEN IS HERE!!!!!

I really wanted to write this blog last night, but I just couldn't put two thoughts together by the time I got back to the hotel.  And I'm not sure I'll do much better tonight - but really wanted to get this post done before too much time passed.  :) 

We drove up Wednesday afternoon and checked into our hotel.  Once we got settled in, we found a local restaurant and had dinner, and then went to Publix to pick up a few things we needed (our hotel has a kitchen, so it enables us to cook some meals & save on eating out).  When we got back to the hotel, we gave Christopher his Big Brother gift from Jayden.  He was so excited!


Christopher got his very own camera so he could take his own pictures of Jayden.  Christopher loves taking pictures and video & we found out that his new camera lets him do both! 


That night, I got very little sleep...but not for a lack of trying!  I kept tossing and turning...and checking the clock!  I finally fell asleep sometime after 12:30am (once I finally realized how to turn off the sound notifications every time someone posted to my Facebook page)...but I was awake again by 2am.  I slept in little 30-45 minute segments until about 5:15am - so, I guess you could say I slept like a baby!  LOL!  ;)  I met the lady from the adoption agency in the front of the hospital and she and I walked to the Labor and Delivery area together.  When we got there, we found out that I was the only one allowed in - so we parted ways there at the nurse's station so I could go to where they were getting the birth mother checked in.  I was given a surgical gown and booties to put on and handed a mask that they said I should put on just before going into the OR.  After the nurse was done gathering all the birth mother's information, I asked the birth mom if I could pray with her and she said she would like that very much!

They took the birth mom in first to get her prepped for surgery while I waited in what would become the recovery room.  When they were ready to begin the c-section, they called me in and I was shown a stool to sit on.  As they began the surgery, the birth mom asked me to pray with her again, which I happily agreed!  Before long, we heard a strong cry coming from the other side of the curtain.  I stood up to see, but was quickly instructed to sit back down.  His official birth time is 9:31 a.m. 

Once he was out and the cord was cut, they brought him around to the warming table in the OR to clean him up.  I kept hearing the nurses comment on the fact that Jayden looked like he was 42 weeks...which confirms what I thought when I saw him on the ultrasound!  :)


Just like his big brother, Jayden has quite a good set of lungs on him!  He was quite vocal about his objections to pretty much everything they did to him on that warming table!  Just after the above picture was taken, they wrapped him up in a blanket and handed him to me.  After giving his birth mom a minute to look at him, I got to carry him into the recovery room, where they weighed him (7 lbs. 8 oz.), measured him (19 1/2 inches), and gave him his first bath.  The only time he wasn't screaming was when he was holding my finger.  I couldn't get over how much he looks like Christopher did when he was born!


After they were out of recovery, we ended up in a room in the pediatric unit because they didn't have any available beds in the post partum unit.  The nice thing about that is that every room in the pediatric unit is a private room.  :)  The birth mother's family came shortly after we were out of recovery and her mother gave me a hug and told me how thankful THEY were that WE were willing to adopt Christopher's brother!  Oh...if they only knew!


This whole experience has been so different from when Christopher was born!  We didn't get to spend much time with Christopher right after he was born...just about an hour or so in the nursery.  Then, we went back to the hotel until he was ready to go home the next day.  But with Jayden, I have been with him pretty much his whole life!  Not only did I get to be there when he was born, but I've also had the pleasure of staying in the room for most of the last two days!  The nice thing about being in the room with Jayden and his birth mom is that not only did I get to bond with my new baby, but I also got to know the birth mom of both my sons so much better!  I have always had such great respect for her for having the courage to do something I know I could never do - place a child she'd carried in her womb for 9 months up for adoption!  But, what's even more amazing is that from the very beginning, she's always referred to us as the parents! 

I remember right after Christopher was born and she held him first, after awhile she told him, "I think your Mommy wants to hold you now" and had the nurse hand him to me.  When we went for the ultrasound for Jayden, she always referred to David and I as the parents.  And even today, as the nurse presented her with a consent form, she asked my permission before she signed it!  There is no doubt in my mind that she loves these boys every bit as much as I do...and yet, she has done far more than I would ever be able to do - she's let them go because she knows that is what's best for them!  For that, I will be forever grateful!


Today, Christopher got to come up to the hospital to meet his brother for the first time.  The agency advised us against letting their birth mom meet Christopher before she signed the papers relinquishing her parental rights of Jayden, so it took a little bit of fanagaling to get it done.  But, with the help of a wonderful nurse, we pulled it off without a hitch!  When I told Nurse Millie what we wanted to do, she came up with the plan for me.  She told the birth mom she was going to take him to give him a shot and invited me to come along.  She took us into another room in the unit, where David and Christopher met us.  David told me that on the ride over, Christopher said, "I'm going to get to see my brother FOR REAL, not just pictures and video?!?"  ;)  When he came in the room, all Christopher could say was, "He's so cute!" - which he repeated over and over during his visit!  He also got a lot of use out of his new camera!  ;)


After we had our visit, the nurse gave Jayden his shot and took him back into the birth mother's room while David, Christopher, and I went to grab some lunch.  When I got back to the room, the birth mother's family was there and I got to visit with them as well.  I have learned so many wonderful things about them that I look forward to sharing with my boys as they grow and ask!  I'm so thankful for that time with them!

Tomorrow, we get to take Jayden home.  The way it works here is that the birth mother can sign the papers to relinquish her parental rights 48 hours after the birth or when she is released from the hospital, whichever comes first.  Because she had a c-section and had a hard time managing the pain afterwards, that time comes at 9:31 a.m. tomorrow.  The agency director will go up in the morning around that time with the paperwork and meet with the birth mother.  Once she has signed the papers and the baby is ready to go, I will dress him in the outfit I made for him and we will get to bring him home!  I can't wait!  :)

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

The Countdown is ON!!!




It is now 7:17pm on Tuesday, June 12, 2012.  In less than 36 hours from now, I will be getting to the hospital to prepare for Jayden's birth!  In 38 hours, our precious little guy should be here!!!  To say I'm excited is, well, quite an understatement!!!  And if you are friends with me on Facebook, you know just what an understatement that is!  I have been posting the daily countdown for over a week now...and I'm down to hours (and occasionally minutes).   ;)  I've had some fun with my countdown, though.  I found an app on my phone where I can send a fake text message...so I made it look like Jayden sent the text message below, then took a screen shot of my phone and pasted it on Facebook as one of the countdown days!  ;)


Today is Jayden's due date, according to the last ultrasound (the one we went to & found out Jayden's a boy!).  But, for some reason I may never know, the doctors scheduled the C-section for two days after the due date.  I guess they know better than me...so, we wait!  ;)  I have now packed and repacked Jayden's diaper bag half a dozen times (at least!) and think I've made my final pack...and to be quite honest, we actually have 3 bags packed for Jayden!  The diaper bag has diapers, formula, wipes, etc. needed for the trip home (including the cute teddy bear his big brother bought him).  The second bag has back-up formula and diapers in case we need them (this includes size 1 diapers in case Jayden happens to be more than 10 pounds)!  The third bag has extra clothes, burp cloths, etc. in case Jayden is a messy baby and/or if he is released from the hospital on Friday evening and gets to spend Friday night in the hotel room with us!  Yeah...I'm well prepared...at least as far as Jayden is concerned.  And to think...I was only a girl scout for one year (and I'm not even sure it was a whole year)!  ;)

Today was a GREAT day!  I took Christopher to Vacation Bible School at our church and then went to Calistoga to do some Homeschool Evaluations for a couple of families.  One of the requirements for homeschooling in our state is that the child must be evaluated by a certified teacher at the end of the year to be sure that the child is making progress.  Since I still have a current certification (and plan to keep it current), I'm able to do this for other homeschooling families and make a little pocket money!  After evaluating a 1st Grade girl, 2nd Grade girl, and Kindergarten boy, I was off to make some Avon deliveries.  My precious friend Sarah picked up Christopher from Vacation Bible School (along with her 3 precious children) so I could have time to finish my deliveries before lunch.  I met them at Jason's Deli and we had lunch (including ice cream for dessert) and then headed off to the local children's museum for the kiddos to play while the mommies chatted.  ;)


I happened to catch Christopher getting his friend ready her news cast in the Weather News Room at the children's museum.  I love seeing him help others!


Then Christopher got a chance to be the news caster!  ;)  Only problem is that his shirt is blue (same color as the screen behind him)...so it looked like he was a talking head!  LOL!  :)


Lunch and an afternoon at the children's museum was EXACTLY what I needed to get my mind off the fact that today is Jayden's due date and the countdown to his birth.  And yet...it takes me back to 8 years, 3 months ago when my cousin did something similar while I was waiting for Christopher to be born.  We didn't have a scheduled birth date for Christopher and I was teaching at the time...so when the birth mom started to dialate and things were looking like it might be close, my principal advised me to go ahead and start my maternity leave.  After 4 days of waiting at home with nothing happening, my cousin called me and asked me to spend the day with her.  She took me to breakfast and then we helped move her husband's office.  Afterwards, we went to McDonald's to pick up some Happy Meals for her youngest son's class...and it was there that I got the call that it looked like the birth mom might be in labor!  That was Christopher's actual due date.  It turned out, he was born the following afternoon.  ;)

I know I've said it before...but I'm so thankful for my sons' birth mom!  She is enduring so much so that I have the blessing and privilege to raise two precious children.  She may get to feel their kicks and movement in her womb...but I get to tuck them into bed every night, experience their milestones, and watch them grow!  So...if you think about it over the next few days, please say a prayer for her.  I'm thankful that she has never waivered in her decision to place these boys with us, and yet, I know how much she loves them and how hard this decision is for her.  Pray for her as she prepares to have surgery on Thursday morning.  Pray for her healing after Jayden is born.  Pray for her time of grieving.  Pray for strength for her as she faces the days ahead without the sons she gave birth to.  Pray that her walk with the Lord is strengthened and she draws ever closer to Him.  :)

This may be the last post to the blog that I make before Jayden is born.  So...if you are wondering exactly how long it is until his birth, just check the countdown clock at the top of this post!  ;)  Thank you all for being with me on this amazing journey!  It's not over yet...in fact, it's really just beginning!  But without your love, support, and prayers...I'm not sure we would be at this point!  So...THANK YOU!!!!  =)


Monday, June 4, 2012

Big Brother's Day Out

What's that?  Why yes, I am blogging twice in one day!  What do you know!  :)  But I just had to share!  This afternoon after Brady's mom picked him up, Christopher and I decided to go to the bowling alley and get some use out of those Kids-Bowl-Free coupons!  Just us.


Christopher had a blast!  We did use bumpers, but he didn't use the ramp thing.  We were neck-and-neck with our scores!  The boy is good!  And we had a lot of fun together during this mother-son outing!


Christopher kept a close watch on those scores, too!  He really enjoyed our special outing together.  Funny thing is, one of the workers (who was apparently board due to the lack of work to do since there was only one other bowler in the building) asked me if I was a pro bowler.  LOL!!!  I looked for any hint of kidding or sarcasm...but found none!  He was serious!  Oh my!  Either he didn't know much about the sport of bowling or he couldn't see the scores on the screen...because if he did, he would have KNOWN better!  


However, looking at the form of my bowling buddy, maybe, just maybe he saw some talent there that was yet to be discovered!  I'm not sure where he came up with this technique, but I've seen a few pro bowlers use it and, for the most part, the bumpers were unnecessary!  He really did great!  I think my favorite part was as we were leaving, he told me he really enjoyed it being just us!  :)


Several weeks ago, Christopher had received some money from Grandma Jansen and Uncle Chuck.  The money came without any strings attached, but Grandma did mention that he might want to buy his brother something with part of the money.  So...of to Wally World we went for him to pick out something for his brother!  We spent quite a lot of time in that baby toy aisle as he checked out each and every toy offered!


I was both humbled and amazed at the generosity of my precious son!  I honestly thought he might pick out one, maybe two small items and use the rest of the money on himself.  But, that was not to be the case!  When he threw the third item in the cart, he must have noticed the look of surprise on my face and said, "What?!?"  When I told him that might take most of his money, he just shrugged his shoulders and said, "Well, it IS for my BROTHER!!!"  I couldn't help but grin and be oh so proud!  We thought we were done when he saw a cute little teddy bear that said "My First Bear" on the tummy and was oh so snuggly!  Christopher fell in love with it and immediately wanted to get it for his brother.  But, when we added up the costs, it was more than he had the money for.  So, as he surveyed the items in the cart, he remembered that I had purchased a turtle similar to, but smaller than the one pictured above and asked if it was staying with us or going with Brady.  When I told him it was staying, he decided that his brother didn't really need two turtles and put this one back.  There was some serious thought that went into each and every gift he chose for Jayden!  You can tell he loves his little brother as much as we do!  :)



10 Days...and Counting!

It seems like just yesterday that we got the call about Jayden...and a million years away, too.  It's been quite a journey - one that's not quite over yet!  When I look back and remember the day we'd gotten the call, the days I didn't think it was going to happen, the phone call from a sweet friend telling me it would, the fundraisers, the unexpected financial blessings, the love and support from friends, family, and complete strangers...I am just amazed!  I am amazed at all God has done and all He continues to do!  If you have had any part in this journey, whether it be financial, hands-on service, and/or prayers...or even just listening to me and encouraging me, I am extremely thankful!  It is because of you that we are now just 10 days away from Jayden's birth (unless he decides to come earlier)!  You are all such a blessing to me!


I have a few minutes while Christopher is still asleep and the little "loaner child" (Brady) that we've been watching the last 3 months while his mother works takes a nap, so I wanted to take a moment and reflect on what I'm thinking today.  No real agenda or plan to this post...just an opportunity for you to get in my head and share in my thoughts of the day (scary, I know!).  :)


We have a stroller (one that can also be a double stroller so that when Brady comes back in the fall I only have to push one stroller) and an infant car seat.  The diaper bag has been packed...and re-packed, and re-packed again!  ;)  Last night, I sterilized all the bottles and pacifiers (and again re-packed the diaper bag).  And yes, I may indeed count down every single day until his birth on Facebook!  I'm just that excited!!!!  =)


This past weekend, a very dear friend of mine sent me a text message and asked if I wanted to go grab some Starbucks with her after church.  I agreed...I'm always up for some girl-time!  I met her after church and got in her car...as we are driving and chatting, I realize she's not going toward any Starbucks I know and I'm slightly confused, but enjoying the conversation so much that I don't think too much about it.  After awhile, my friend makes a confession.  "We're not going to Starbucks," she says.  "We're going to Target.  You're going to pick out your baby gift from me!"  WHAT?!?!?  ;)  At this point, we are both laughing hysterically...me, mostly from surprise, her from the sheer joy of pulling off the surprise!  ;)  I could not believe it!  But, I had so much fun walking through those aisles of precious little baby things with her...but even more fun was sharing in the conversations with her over those baby things!  It reminded me of when I was a little girl and my grandmother would take me shopping for my birthday gift.  She would take me to the store and hand me a buggy (a.k.a. shopping cart) and I could put whatever my little heart desired in that buggy!  Then, when I had exhausted the aisles of toys and books, she would send me to the car with my aunt (who is 10 years my senior) and she would dig through the buggy to find several things to wrap up and give me on my birthday.  My grandmother told me she did this so that she would know she was getting me something I liked, but it would also be a surprise!  Those are some very precious memories of my childhood...unknowingly brought back to life by my precious friend!  


Thursday will be my last day with Brady (a.k.a. our loaner child) until the fall.  His mom teaches at the school where I used to teach and I've been watching him since February.  It's been great "big brother training" for Christopher...and a big help in reminding me what it's like to have a baby around again...after all, it's been 8 years since I've done the baby thing on a regular basis!  I'm going to miss the little guy...he's become a part-time member of our family over the last three months.  I think Christopher will miss him, too...that was evident during spring break when we didn't have him for a whole week!  :)  But, he'll be back in mid-August.  We desperately need a new car.  David and I have each had our cars since before we got married (10 years in September).  Though David's car (a Toyota) is older than mine (a Suzuki), my car is in worse shape and is nearing the end of its life...giving great testimony to the value of a well-made car like Toyota!  :)  We haven't had a car payment in quite a few years...so, the money from watching Brady will come in handy!  We are hoping to find a mini-van or other car with 3 rows of seats so that I have enough room for 2 car seats and a booster seat!  Sad as it may sound, my dream car has always been a mini-van!  I never longed for sports cars or anything like that.  Because I have always wanted a large family, it's the mini-van that caught my car-envy eye!  Yeah, I know...I'm weird.   ;)


I had hoped that Jayden would be born on June 8th...that day seemed so perfect.  We would be done watching Brady the day before and we would be back home in time for Christopher to go to VBS (Vacation Bible School) at our church.  It's also my dad's (and Aunt Ann's) birthday...and I couldn't help but think how special it would be for Jayden to share a birthday with his Pop!  But, unless Jayden decides to come on his own, that's not to be.  The doctors have determined that he will be born by c-section on Thursday, June 14th.  Flag Day.  I'm not sure how I feel about that...but it's really not my choice.  I do not get to make decisions about Jayden until after he is released from the hospital.  Until then, it's up to his birth mom and her doctors.  


I think that's one of the hardest parts of this stage of the adoption...especially this time around.  We have known about Jayden almost as long as his birth mom has.  It's the closest I've ever been to carrying a child to full-term...and yet, just when most moms at this point are making birth plans (which my Baby Center app keeps reminding me I need to do), I'm just on standby.  I wish there was a way I could feel what she's feeling.  I want to feel Jayden move.  I want to feel his kicks and punches as he tries to stretch out in his cramped living quarters.  I would even welcome the heartburn, swollen feet, contractions, and any other uncomfortable parts of late pregnancy...just to be that much closer to my son.  But, instead, I wait for phone calls from the agency (I will not even pretend that there is an ounce of patience as I'm waiting, either!) to tell me about the latest doctor visit and/or update.  I do my best to make plans for his birth on our end...knowing every plan I make has to be flexible.  And I wait.  So, if you get tired of my daily countdown on Facebook, please forgive me.  I'm just an excited momma anxious to meet her newest little blessing!


For those of you who see me on a regular basis, you know I've been counting down for quite some time...first in months, then in weeks...now in days (and occasionally in hours)!  :)  But, someone actually caught me off guard without a ready countdown response!  Last week at church, someone asked me how far away we were...and I couldn't remember if it was 2 or 3 weeks!  I think it's because I got thrown off when they scheduled the c-section for 2 days AFTER the due date.  At least that's my story, and I'm sticking with it!  ;)  But now, I know.  And I can't wait!  A sweet friend reminded me today on Facebook that I'm now at the "only one more Sunday without him" part!  YAY!!!!!!


OK...I think that's enough for today.  I'd like to say that I'll do a daily blog until he comes...but I know that's somewhat unrealistic.  However, you just never know!  ;)  Thanks for indulging me in my ramblings of the day!  May God bless you greatly for your love, caring and friendship!  =)

Friday, June 1, 2012

Showers of Blessings


When Jayden makes his arrival, he is going to be one of the most loved babies on the planet!  I had the blessing of not one, but three gatherings to celebrate our newest son!  

Our BLG (stands for Bible and Life Group, a.k.a. Sunday School) at church does a Celebration of Life dinner for mommies who are expecting a child that is not their first.  The mommy-to-be gets to choose the location and all the ladies in the group go out to dinner...the ultimate Girls Night Out!  I, of course, picked Po Boys Shrimp Shack (owned by my friends Shawn & Josi Teeters)...and the evening couldn't have better!  Since we went on a Monday night in "off-season," we pretty much had the restaurant to ourselves...except for the one sweet couple who quietly sat behind us and came up to wish us well and take a picture of us before they left (I can't remember whose camera the lady used...but if it's you, can you please email that pic to me?)!  What a wonderful blessing it was to spend an evening with these precious ladies!  The cake above is from this dinner...I loved how they took the meaning of Jayden's name and used it this way!  We are indeed thankful!!!!


Then, quite unexpectedly, I walked into my Holding On To Hope meeting at church to discover that they were throwing a surprise shower for me and two other ladies in the group!  This is a group of women who have suffered infertility, miscarriage, and/or child loss and we get together every other week to discuss a book related to what we are going through and to share with each other in a way only those who have walked the road we're walking can understand.  God has done some pretty amazing things in this group...just about everyone who has stayed in the group has ended up with a child - either through adoption, birth, and/or fostering!  One of the ladies that shared the shower with me came to our group when she found out her son that she was pregnant with at the time would not live outside her womb.  We were able to support her through this and now she is pregnant with a precious little girl due in the fall.  Going in to the meeting, I knew there was going to be a shower...but I thought it was just for this lady!  I was very surprised to find out it was also for me!  The other shower honoree recently gave birth to a sweet little princess a couple of months ago  after dealing with secondary infertility.  I am just so amazed by this group of  amazing women that I now have the honor and privileged to call my friends!  We have become as close as family...and yet, except for this group and the common thorn that brought us to it, I might have missed out on getting to know many of them!  I am so thankful for each and every one of them!


A couple of weeks ago, my dear friends Rhonda and Jen threw a great baby shower for me!  Several of my friends from church and homeschool groups I'm involved in came out to celebrate Baby Jayden!  


I ALMOST wore my Choose Life adoption fundraiser shirt to the shower...but opted for a nice sweater instead (I must admit, it was a totally vain decision...I look better in a sweater than t-shirts and I knew photos would be taken of me!).  I kinda regretted my decision not to wear it when I saw the hosts of my shower sporting their own!!!  But, then I felt better when my friend Judy showed up in hers...and all three of the shirt colors were represented at the shower!  ;)


Not only was it a great shower...but it was a great afternoon of visiting with some very precious friends...some of whom I don't get to spend nearly as much time with as I would like!  :)


And, of course, there were some precious baby gifts to unwrap!  Lots cute little outfits and lots of the everyday stuff we will need when he gets here!  I can NOT wait to use each and every one of them with Jayden!  



I got a HUGE surprise when I opened the gifts in the next two pictures...they were secretly sent by my very dear friend Sherry in Alabama to my friend Lynda (who lives here) so that I could open them at the shower!  I could not believe it!  


 Another special gift came from my friend Angelica, who made the basket below!  If you need a gift basket of any kind for any reason, I highly recommend her!  


Another special part of the shower came as I read the precious note written by my friend Stacy's sweet daughter Zoe!  Stacy said she was getting ready for the shower and realized she needed a card for their gift, so she asked Zoe to put something together for her while she got ready.  To read what this sweet girl with special needs wrote was both humbling and some of the most precious words I've ever read!  That girl is a treasure indeed!  :)


I know you are dying to know what the note said...so here it is:

Congratulations!
This baby is going to love its new parents and
Entering your guy's life!
It's going to be so grateful to have
A great Mommy and Daddy and Big
Brother who will adore him when he's here
What a blessing to its life you guys will be.

Psalm 127:3
Children are a gift from the LORD; they are a reward from him.

Love, 
Stacy and kids


Above is a group picture of those precious ladies who took time out of their busy Sunday afternoon to spend a few hours with me in honor of one of the greatest blessings God has provided!  I am so thankful for each and every one of these women!  I would adopt them all as sisters if I could!  I am so blessed to have so many great friends!  :)

 Kirstin and Kasia are two of my fellow homeschool moms and we were all in the same Classical Conversations community last year.  Kasia's daughters also do gymnastics with Christopher on Monday afternoons.  I met Kirstin when her daughter Kyla was in Kindergarten with Christopher. Christopher loves playing with ALL her children...but has formed a special bond with her son (who is a year younger)...and Dominic is STILL praying that Christopher gets his sister...so maybe there's another Jansen child yet to come!  ;)

My friend Lynda (who secretly brought Sherry's gift to the shower...girl can keep a secret!  I had NO idea!!!), me, my friend Stacy (whose daughter wrote the sweet note), and my friend Judy!  Love these women!   =)

At the end of the shower, a few of us sat around and had some girl talk!  I enjoyed that precious time every bit as much as the shower!  I love having girl time!!!  Thanks to my friend Rhonda, who opened her home and was such a gracious host for my shower and the girl time that came afterwards!  :)

So...now that the showers are done, the car seat and stroller (thanks to Grandma Jansen for the gift card that made those possible!) are put together and ready to go (among other necessities), as well as the high chair that Uncle Bob & Aunt Betsy sent from Ohio...we are ready to go!!!  Provided the anonymous couple that pledged to give us $15,000 toward our adoption sends in their last $3,000, ALL of the funding is DONE!!!  PRAISE GOD!!!!!

Even though Jayden's due date is June 12th, the doctors have scheduled a C-section for June 14th (not sure why they are scheduling it AFTER the due date...but it is what it is!).  So, unless Jayden decides to start making his wishes to be born sooner known before then, that's when he will be born.    That's TWO WHOLE WEEKS AWAY!!!!...and even though the last several months since we found out about him have flown, the last two seem like an eternity away!  I am so VERY READY to hold that little boy in my arms, count his fingers and toes, give him some "neck sugar" (as my aunt calls it), and just love on him!  Please pray for us during this time as we make plans to travel up for the birth (most importantly, that if she does go into labor early, that we are able to make it there in time!).  The doctors told the birth mom she could only have ONE person in the delivery room for the birth...and out of all the people she COULD have picked, she picked ME!!!!   WOW!!!!!!  I had the blessing of being in the room when Christopher was born and I will also have that blessing when Jayden is born!  I can't wait!!!

Pray also for the birth mom during her last two weeks with Jayden.  Pray for peace, for health, and for comfort.  She's had some back problems, which is why they are doing the C-section.  Pray for healing for her back.  Pray for her to prepare for life without him and pray for blessings on her!  I am so blessed to know her!  This woman has more love and courage in her than I may ever know!  There is no doubt in my mind that she loves Christopher and Jayden with all her heart...and it is because of that love for them that she is making the hard choice to place them for adoption with us!  She has not made this choice lightly and she has not once wavered in her choice...and for that, I have the utmost respect for her!  Please, whatever you do, do not judge her for the choices she's made...because for whatever mistakes she may have made (and we have ALL made mistakes in our lives), two of the choices she has made have blessed me more than I could EVER describe with mere words!

I also ask you to pray for Christopher as he prepares to be a big brother and pray for us as we prepare to be the parents of TWO boys!  Pray for wisdom in some decisions we will make around the time of Jayden's birth.  Pray for blessings, wisdom, and mercy for all involved in this process.  But most importantly, pray that this will all bring glory to God!  Without Him, there would be no Jayden!  He has indeed moved a mighty big mountain to bring this little boy into our family!  Thanks to each and every one of you who have allowed Him to use you in blessing us throughout this process!!!  We are blessed indeed!!!  :)