Thursday, February 6, 2014

Charlotte is ONE!

Charlotte ~ Joy to the Lord

Always be joyful.  Always keep on praying.  No matter what happens, always be thankful.  For this is God's will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.   2 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Charlotte is a sweet, joyful little girl.  She wasn't always this way; having acid reflux as an infant she actually cried alot.  Now that she has outgrown her discomfort, we enjoy all her moments of joy.  If it were up to Charlotte, she would be permanently attached to my hip at all times of the day.  This girl loves to be close.   Even if I'm just sitting on the floor watching her play, she is content.  Some of my recent, most special moments with Charlotte have been in the evening when I'm putting her to bed.  We get her soft blanky, she lays on my chest and we rock.  Most times she doesn't even fall asleep.  She just lays there staring at me. And this will go on as long as I am willing to sit there with her.  Another favorite is going into her room in the morning.  She is always standing up waiting for the door to open.  And once it does, she smiles at me with pink rosy cheeks and paces back and forth laughing.  These are the moments I never want to forget.

Charlotte has taught me to slow down and enjoy little things.  Many times I get frustrated that she always wants to be held or interacted with, but I am repeatedly reminding myself that she will not always want me to hold her.  Her big grin and little squeal of a giggle make my day.  This past year has been filled with getting to know this sweet girl and her charming personality.  And she is most definitely a charmer!  I am beyond grateful for the blessing God has given us in Charlotte.  What a beautiful gift!

This beautiful video of Charlotte's first year was made with lots of love and many hours by Karl.  Enjoy!

Charlotte's first year standard size from Karl on Vimeo.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

"Why are we doing this?"

Today was a special day for our family and especially for Harmony.  For the past 18 months we have been trying to get together with her birth father, Tyler.  After a couple meetings falling through we began to wonder if it would ever actually happen.  Recently Tyler has made many positive changes in his life and has started reaching out to our family more.   Today that meeting with him finally happened!

We started convincing ourselves that maybe it didn't really matter if we/she ever had a relationship with him. But after meeting with him today we felt that God was renewing our original conviction of needing to be His light to Tyler.  God brought us an amazing gift in Harmony but we believe it is not only for our sake and hers that we are together, but also for the rest of the family involved.  Going into our meeting today, we were worried about it feeling awkward, intimidating and uncomfortable.  But it was incredibly special to see how much Tyler loves this little girl.  He held her, chased her, went down the slide and followed her everywhere with a grin from ear to ear.  Watching the tears roll down his face as he wept saying goodbye to her reminded us of not only how special this gift is but also how important an open adoption can be.  Not only for Harmony to know her birth father but for Tyler to be able to heal through seeing her and knowing she is loved.

Frequently we forget that Harmony is even adopted. She is an Anderson and part of us.  But that's not the whole story. She has other people in her life that care deeply for her and she should know that.  We had to ask ourselves today, "Why are we doing this?"  It's so Harmony can see the love her birth father has for her.  She was never abandoned or unwanted.  She was cherished and still is.  Even if today is the only time she has with him, we will be able to tell her about the new things we learned about her biological family and it will be very obvious through the photos taken, how much he loves her.

Little sis had fun too. :)

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Mother's Day Thoughts

On this beautiful Mother's Day, I find myself with a very full heart with so much to be grateful for!  Just a short time ago this was a painful day for me.  My heart still aches for those who are waiting to be mothers.  Just know you are very loved!

My sweet baby girls bring me so much joy.  These two have changed my life forever and I will never be the same.  Motherhood is a beautiful experience filled with yes, lots of hard work but also incredibly rewarding moments.  Harmony, with her mischievous grin and little chuckle.  Her little sense of humor brings frequent laughter to our home.  This little girl is a very independent baby but makes sure to give us cuddles and hugs to show she needs us.  Her love for music, dancing, animals and the outdoors is refreshing.  People say, "Oh, she is so lucky to have you as her mom."  But the truth is, I am the blessed one.  And Charlotte, sweet Charlotte.  Her giddy little smile, intense blue eyes and sweet charm are beautiful.  This baby is one little cuddle bug and I cherish her snuggles and giggles.  These girls are so very opposite from each other but so beautiful in who they each are as little people.  God has surely blessed our family!

 Today, I am also very thankful for my mom.  Even though we live states apart she has always made the effort to visit and be a part of our girl's lives.  Coming to town for baby showers, birthday parties and to lend a helping hand.  Thank you for raising me to be the woman I am today and thank you for loving me and my family.  I love you so much and wish you a very happy Mother's Day.

And on this day, there is one person who will forever be loved and celebrated.  Harmony's birth mother.  Her heartache and loss was my joy and gain.  Mother's Day brings very mixed emotions for me.  Of course I am thrilled to be a mom to my two beautiful girls, but at the same time I know this day brings pain and sadness to her.  She gave me the gift of motherhood and for that I will forever be grateful.  We love you Destiny and wish you a very special Mother's Day.

Destiny and Harmony

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Charlotte Noelle

Today little miss Charlotte is 4 weeks old and I can't believe how the time has flown!  It seems like just yesterday we were a family of 3 anxiously awaiting her arrival.  Now she's here, cuddled up close to me on my chest.  Charlotte is a cuddler, she is a sweet baby who loves to be held close, she is my beautiful daughter.  This is Charlotte's story...

December 29th started out as any normal day in our house does.  I had been having very irregular contractions during the night but by the time we woke up they had stopped.  We got Harmony up and ready for the day and enjoyed a nice Saturday morning breakfast together.  We were getting ready to go out and run some errands when the contractions started up again around 10:30.  This time they were hard from the start and consistently close together.  The doctors had told me the day before at my appointment that when labor did start, I should get to the hospital quickly as the baby was very low and I was already dilated to 4cm.  So off we went to the hospital, Harmony as well since we still needed to get somebody to take care of her on last minute notice.  

Once we got to the hospital everything moved so quickly for me.  Even though we had 9 months to prepare for this day, it still didn't seem real to me.  After progressing rapidly to 6cm., I was admitted at 2:00pm. and got settled into my labor and delivery room.  Karl thought we would have plenty of time waiting around so we decided it would be a good time for him to run to the cafeteria to get something to eat before it got crazy.  He had been gone no longer than 5 minutes when my doctor and nurses came running into the room in a panic.  Charlotte's heart rate had dropped significantly and no matter what they tried it wouldn't come back up.  The nurses frantically started trying to get a hold of Karl as they were talking about getting me in for an emergency C-Section.   But just as quickly as her heart rate dropped, it went right back up.  After checking my progress and seeing that I had gone from 6cm. to 9cm. in 30 minutes, they decided this is what had put the strain on poor Charlotte.  This was the scariest part of the whole experience for me.  Not knowing what was going on and being so afraid for my baby.  And this was the first time I felt such a strong sense of protection for this little girl. 

At 5:30 it was time to start pushing.  I pushed and pushed and pushed.  After feelings of nausea, exhaustion and extreme pain, Charlotte Noelle arrived in this world at 7:09pm.  Words cannot describe the feelings of joy I felt as she was laid on my chest.  This baby who was prayed for and so highly anticipated had finally arrived.  We both cried as our eyes met for the first time.  She was perfect.  Healthy and beautiful at 7lbs. 14oz. and 20 1/4 inches long and we were instantly in love.  The not so lovely details of the rest of the night and my recovery can be spared from this blog post. :) 

Karl and I feel so blessed to have two healthy and beautiful baby girls.  Both were prayed for for so long and now we feel like our blessing are overflowing.  God has been so good to our family.  Here are a few of my feelings about Charlotte and the things I am grateful for: I am so grateful that I got to experience pregnancy and yes, even childbirth.  Even though parts of it were unpleasant or painful it is an amazing experience that I will treasure forever.  I am so extremely grateful to have experienced the joy of an adopted and a biological child.  This is a unique situation that most people do not get to experience.  People frequently tell us, "people always get pregnant after they adopt."  The truth is, it doesn't.  And we are grateful we are one of the few who has gotten to experience both.  A hospital experience filled with pure joy at knowing this baby is forever ours from day one.  I am grateful for the opportunity to be able to nurse my baby.  It is something not everyone gets to experience and for me it has been such a special thing.  Not having to deal with bottles for baby #2!  My husband has been such an amazingly helpful and supportive man during the past month.  I could not have done it without him.  Grateful for our amazing families and friends who have come along side us and helped us through this crazy time in our life with two babies under 10 months. We are so blessed to have each and every one of you! 

God has been so good to us.  And even though I know there will be rough days when I can barely shower and feed myself, I am so grateful for the two beautiful children He has blessed us with.  They are so full of life and laughter and make our home so happy.  We are love with our girls and feeling overwhelmingly happy. :)

Sweet sisters


Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Forever an Anderson!

Harmony is always and forever an Anderson!  As of September 28th, she has officially joined our family as an Anderson.  Not that we ever considered her anything else but now it is legal.  What a special feeling it was to be in the courtroom, surrounded by the support of our family and friends.  We were asked the question, "Do you understand this is a permanent decision?"  And tears welled up in my eyes as I couldn't imagine Harmony being anywhere else but with Karl and I.  At the end of the series of questions, the judge officially declared her name changed to Harmony Miah Anderson!  Even though the entire court hearing only lasted about 5 minutes and may seem unimportant to some, I will never forget this day and the meaning it holds for our family.  Holding our sweet little baby girl in my arms and knowing she is ours forever.  Feeling blessed by the family and friends who were there to support us.  Grateful for the family God has created with Karl, myself, Harmony and our second baby girl.  And especially happy for the selfless choice made by her birthparents that makes us the family we are today.  God is so good and we have so much to be grateful for!

It's official!

Grateful for our family and friends.

We couldn't have asked for a better caseworker.  Thank you Rachel!

Thank you to all who were not only there this weekend to celebrate Harmony but who have walked this road with us.  While our journey to becoming Harmony's parents is complete, the real adventure is just beginning! 

Friday, August 24, 2012

It's a...

We were so excited to find out this week that Harmony is going to have a little sister!  We ultimately are just praying for a healthy baby and don't care at all what we are having but it being a girl will make things so much easier on us.  We already have everything!  It is going to be so much fun seeing these two little sisters and the special bond they will share being so close in age.  They will never know life without each other.  These little Irish twins are going to keep us on our toes but we can't wait! 

Sometimes I think I'm still in shock this is even happening.  I feel so blessed to be the mother of beautiful Harmony and this baby on the way.  God definitely has a special plan for our family and it is amazing to watch it unfold.  This past week I was remembering where we were one year ago.  We had recently found out that our last infertility treatment was unsuccessful and we were at the end of our rope with trying to get pregnant.  God had already been opening our hearts to adoption and within a few short weeks we felt so strongly convicted in this area we began the adoption process.  It was a time off sorrow as we were closing the chapter in our lives of trying to have biological children.  But at the same time it was such a joyful and refreshing time as we were finally pursuing a route that would eventually make us parents.  Now, a year later, I am in awe of how God has blessed us.  I never would have guessed that in August of 2012, we would already have a 5 month old daughter and another baby on the way.  God is so good!  And I am so grateful that we listened to God's prodding.  If we had not, the charming and lovable girl we call Harmony would not be a part of our family.  This makes me so thankful!  I'm officially halfway through this pregnancy and already getting anxious to meet our sweet baby girl. :)     


Couldn't be happier!

Sucking on her hand :)

Thursday, June 28, 2012

3 Months and Growing

I can hardly believe Harmony is 3 months old!  This past month she has starting trying new things more than ever.  At 2 1/2 months old she starting consistently rolling over from her tummy to her back.  Going the other direction will be any day now.  This little girl is one determined baby!  Harmony is almost always moving.  Kicking her legs, waving her arms and smiling tons!  She does still like to cuddle with us when she's tired and ready to fall asleep, which we just love.  :)

This month Harmony and I flew to San Diego on one of Karl's trips so we could spend Father's Day with him.  It was the first time I had ever been there and we had a great time walking around and enjoying the beautiful weather.  It is so obvious Harmony was meant to be in our family...she loves travelling!  Harmony has probably been on about 10 flights and she has slept through every single one of them!

Harmony already loves books and now enjoys sitting in her bumbo, playing under her toy jungle gym,  going for walks outside and loves to talk to us.  This month she gave us a real giggle for the first time when I was kissing her neck.  She now giggles when we kiss or tickle her.  :)  Here are some recent pictures from the last month. 

Loves to kick and pull on all her toys.

San Diego for Father's Day

Daddy and daughter :)

Love this little munchkin!