Saturday, March 31, 2012

Harmony Miah Anderson

"For this child I have prayed, and the Lord has granted me what I asked of Him."
1 Samuel 1:27

Harmony Miah Anderson ~ Arrived March 24th weighing 6lbs. 7oz. and 21in. tall.

March 24th, the day that changed our lives forever.

Karl told me he thought we would get the call about our baby's birth when we least expected it.  And I said, "That's impossible because I'm always expecting it!"  Well, our birthmother was 3 days overdue so you would think I would be expecting it, but I wasn't.  She had just been to the doctors and they told her there was no progression, so an appointment had been made for the 28th to induce her.  We were totally counting on our baby being born Wednesday.  

Karl's Aunt and Uncle were in town for a family wedding and we were planning on seeing them Sunday evening.  Saturday evening we had both gotten home from work and were just hanging around the house.  Karl got a call from his uncle to set up our plans for Sunday night.  While he was on the phone, my phone rang.  My heart about stopped when I saw it was our birthmom!  Her and I had been texting back and forth earlier in the week, but I knew her name on the caller ID meant only one thing...our baby was coming!  When I answered the call, the birthfather said, "Hi Amy, you're baby is coming!"  They had just gotten to the hospital, she was fully dilated and ready to start pushing.  We told them we were praying for them and to call us when the baby was born.  I ran down the stairs (Karl was still talking to his uncle) and yelled, "we can't get together tomorrow, our baby is coming Karl, our baby is coming!"  During the next minutes, we called all our family and friends to let them know our baby was on the way.  And 45 minutes later the birthfather called and said, "You have a new baby girl!"  We were so shocked at how fast everything was happening.  And Karl just looked at me and said, "See, I told you it would happen when we least expected it."  

Now that we knew it was a girl we could get a little bit of decorating done before heading to the hospital.  The birthmom wanted the first couple hours to themselves so we raced to Home Depot, got our paint and went right to work.  After getting about halfway through our painting project we ran out of time and needed to stop and get ready to leave.   On the drive up, these thoughts were running through our heads...what is she going to look like?  Is the hospital stay going to be really uncomfortable and awkward?  What is going to be expected of us?  What if she changes her mind now that the baby is here?  But mostly, we were just so excited to meet this new little girl!

We walked into the hospital room to see this tiny little bundle laying in her mother's arms.  She was wide awake and just looking around at everything.  This baby was seriously the most beautiful baby I had ever seen.  Ok, I might be a little partial. :)  I can't describe to you the feeling of when I first held her.  It was so incredibly special to hold my daughter for the first time.  There were also thoughts going through my head like, "Am I doing this right?  Am I showing the right emotions to the birthfamily?"  
Holding Harmony for the first time

Meeting daddy

Our birthparents are truly amazing people.  First and foremost, they chose life for this precious baby we now call ours.  How could we thank them enough for this incredible gift?  We spend the next two days spending time together in their hospital room.  Passing the baby around and taking turns feeding and changing.  We thought this part was going to be so uncomfortable but it really was neat to spend time with them and get to know them better.  It was very obvious they both love this little girl to pieces and just want what is best for her.

Leaving the hospital was such a bittersweet feeling.  On one hand we were so excited because we were leaving with our new child and starting our life together which was thrilling.  But on the other hand we were witnessing the extreme pain her birthparents were going through while saying goodbye to her.  It was hard for us to feel fully excited about our gain because we were also involved in their loss.
Going Home!
Onto happier things though...we got home with our sweet new bundle and walked into a fully decorated house!  Also, we were shocked when we walked into Harmony's room and saw the painting completed and everything put back in it's place.  Thank you Sara and Lindsay for painting and everybody else for making us feel so loved.  We have some amazing friends!

So here we sit, our baby Harmony is one week old today and as of yesterday she is officially a part of our family.  God is so awesome!  Even though this whole process to parenthood has been very long, the adoption part has been quick and fairly painless.  Only 7 weeks after going into the waiting pool, we were picked by birthmother.  The first birthmother our profile was shown to and she chose us. :)

We feel truly blessed to have Harmony as our baby...our prayers have been answered.

So in love :)
Daddy and daughter

Our happy family!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Bonding and Attachment

One of the topics covered in our adoption training was the bonding and attachment process that needs to take place with an adopted baby and the adoptive parents.  I never thought that a newborn would go through detachment grief, but they do.  If you think about it, it makes sense.  The heartbeat and voice they have been attached to for 9 months is quickly taken away from them.  Everything is new and unfamiliar and it takes time for them to develop a sense of attachment to the new voices and sounds. 

The attachment process with an adopted baby is very different from that of a biological baby.  Through the repetition of Karl and I taking care of the baby's needs, he/she will learn that we are are the ones looking out for it.  We have to develop a bond of trust; when the baby cries its needs will be met.  Through lots of reading and training we have been encouraged to stick to certain routines so this bonding and attachment process can take place. 

We know that everyone already loves this baby so much and we want our baby to know that love.  But we do ask that for the first couple weeks/months everyone keeps their holding and cuddling of the baby to short amounts.  It is best for Karl and I to be the main providers for the baby.  We should be the ones feeding, changing and comforting the baby.  Karl and I want you to be able to cuddle and love on our baby, as we know that it's also important for him/her to see the love of our family and friends.  There will be lots of time for everyone to love on this baby but these first couple months will be important in creating the bond between us and him/her.  It pains us to tell everyone they must limit the amount they hold our baby for the first months.  We know you want what is best for our baby, just as we do.  And through our research and training we believe this is the best course of action. This is not about Karl or I but about our sweet baby and what is best for them.  Thank you all so much for your understanding and support!    

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Exciting News!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The call from our agency came on Friday afternoon.  Of course I was working and wasn't able to get to my phone in time.  But when I saw the missed call and a voicemail, my heart skipped a beat!  I thought, could this be "the call"?  The message was from Sarah, a caseworker at our agency.  And she was indeed calling to tell us  they had shown our profile to a birthmother on Wednesday and she and the birthfather picked us!  Even though I have been dreaming of the day this call would come, it came as a shock.  For the first couple days I couldn't even believe it!

Yesterday we had what is called a "match meeting".  This is where the birthfamily and adoptive family meet with the caseworker, get to know each other and just see if it's going to be a good fit for everyone.  We were so nervous for the meeting. Hoping they would both like us and want us to parent this precious baby.  The meeting went great and they have officially decided they like us and want to move forward with the process!  We spent time over lunch talking about our families, hobbies, interests, baby names and plans for the future.  It was a little  nerve-racking but there was also lots of laughter.

Right now we are enjoying our last moments of time together as just us.  The birthmother is due in 2 weeks so I have officially entered the nesting phase and am working hard to get things in order.  We do not know the gender so all the blue and pink will have to come later!  We are ecstatic and couldn't be happier right now.  God has been so good to us and we are praising Him for His faithfulness.