Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Isabella's Adoption - Part 3

(This might be long, but I want to wrap this up today!) The next couple days were filled with lots of busyness as well as many answered prayers. Since Cathy was a facilitator, this still meant that we had to have an agency or attorney that could go out and get the relinquishments. Cathy recommended some people out in California and we were able to figure this out quickly so they could go by and get things signed. The only problem was that there might be a "situation" with the birthfather. E had contacted him and he never showed up at the hospital like he said he would and Cathy was afraid that he probably then not show up to sign the papers either. Although E told him to come by, she didn't think it was likely that he would. This would mean that it would drag things out longer, they would have to send someone out to try and contact him, and if they couldn't find him they would have to fill out for abandonment -- and of course all of this extra work would also cost more money, none of this sounded great to us. So Kenny told her that we were going to pray about it as soon as we got off the phone. That night around midnight Cathy called and said "I know its late, but I had to call you -- the birthfather showed up and he signed the papers - we are totally done with him! Tell Kenny it's a Godsend!!" I got of the phone and just cried when I told Kenny. God was so good to smooth everything out. The next day was filled with talking/emailing family, telling people at church, buying things for our new daughter, etc. From Monday night until Thursday morning- I don't think we actually slept much at all and everything we did was in high speed motion. On Thursday, my dad took us to the airport. When we finally got to California it was 9pm (later our time) and Kenny asked if I still wanted to go to the hospital or if I wanted to sleep and go in the morning. Well, OF COURSE I wanted to go see her. When we got to the hospital we were told to scrub in and then we were taken to the "Sandbox" NICU. When we walked in, we saw a nurse in the back right corner holding this tiny little baby with the most black hair we had ever seen on a baby. We knew that was our little girl!!!! I can't even express the emotions that flooded us. She was beautiful, she was tiny, she had gorgeous hair and big brown eyes and she was OURS! We were both in love already! After she was done eating, the nurse gave her to us to hold. I couldn't believe I was holding my little girl. She was so precious - at that time she was 4 pounds 6 ounces and looked SO much smaller in person than she did in the pictures. :) I don't think either of us imagined how much love we could have for a tiny little person that we just met. I'll probably never be able to fully describe to Isabella how we felt that night when we held her. Not only did we love her so much instantly, but here we were holding the answer to many years of prayer. Not only were we holding this perfect little baby, but were were holding God's perfect plan for us. Somehow our trial now seemed insignificant because God had given us a blessing beyond belief. As we left the hospital I was flooded with alot of emotions, one of which I didn't like - Worry! The nurse that night was nice, but I wonder if she was new because she made us feel like Isabella was a thin piece of glass that you could break at any second. Thankfully the next day the nurses were swaddling her up and passing her around like a loaf of bread and helped us see that she wasn't any more fragile than any other newborn. I am SOOO thankful for the nurses we had. For the next week, we would be at the hospital at 8 am for Isabella's feeding, would stay for her 11 feeding, then get some lunch, come back to feed her at 2 and 5. Then we would leave and get dinner, go shopping, call family because everyone had to leave the nursery until 7. Then we would go back for her 8 and 11 feedings and go back to the hotel. One day, Isabella started not eating well. The doctor came in and didn't like the result of a test so they said they were going to put her on antibiotics and IV fluids to feed her to fight a possible infection. To start this, they said they were going to have to "take all the food out of her stomach" that we had just fed her. I was so upset! We left for a little while so they could do things and Kenny took me to Target to register and take my mind off of things. I cried most of the way through registering and when we got home, I couldn't remember half of what we registered for. :) On Friday, Cathy came by and was so sweet to take pictures of us and Isabella and e-mailed them to our family! It was wonderful to know that our family was getting to be a part of this. The next week we got a call saying that they tried to get the divorce certificate for the birthmother and her "ex" husband, and they found out the divorce was never final. This threw another kink in the process. Now even though they weren't together, they legally had to treat the "ex" just like they did the birthfather. They were going to have to get him to sign some papers. The same problems could come from this, not finding him, taking more time, he might refuse to sign just to cause problems for E, etc. Once again, alot of praying to do. The next day they did find the "ex" husband, he was in prison not far from there and she was going to see him. She had to tell him about the situation and would then have to give him 24 hours and go get him to sign. Well, she went out and he said he would sign - no problems! But then she told us that he was supposed to be moved the next day - to a place that was alot farther away, which would mean she could go, but it would cost us alot more money for her to do that. We just prayed that God would keep him there one more day. Monday and Tuesday were the hardest days, finding out all of this, not knowing if he was going to be moved, Isabella was just slowly starting to eat again, and this was the only day we had a nurse that we didn't care for. But then God once again showed us how GOOD HE IS! They didn't move him and Jennifer was able to go and get him to sign the papers the next day and everything was done!! We also had a WONDERFUL nurse the next couple days . Another huge answer to prayer came on Wednesday. Our airline tickets were for us to leave on Thursday, but since Isabella was still in the hospital this wasn't going to happen. We knew it would cost alot of money to change the tickets and then if we changed them, when do we change them to? So Kenny called the airlines and asked the guy what we could do. He said there was nothing, so Kenny asked if there was possibly a supervisor or someone that he could talk to just to see. Kenny talked to a supervisor, explained the situation and she said "Ok, how about this -- we will waive the changing fee and you just call us and tell us when you want to leave and we'll get you on the next available flight" WHAT? Once again, above and beyond what we asked of GOD! The one nurse, Kasey, really helped us out - she told us things to ask the doctor, to see if instead of daily "upping" her feedings, maybe they could do this each feeding and see if she would continue to eat more and if her tests came out Ok that she could be discharged. He agreed! By Thursday, Isabella was eating good and her tests were fine. So miraculously, God worked it out and the doctors let us take her home on Thursday night!! Even the nurses said they were surprised that we were going home - they said the doctors don't normally do things this quickly. The funniest thing for me and Kenny was that even though I didn't give birth to Isabella they had to wheel me out to the car with Isabella. :) After the nurses gave us TONS of stuff to take with us, we were on our way to the hotel and we have the cutest picture of Isabella, asleep in her carseat with a big dimpled grin on her face. For the next couple days I didn't leave the room at all -- Kenny would just go get food and bring it back for us to eat. We had hoped to leave Saturday, but the Lord had other plans. They weren't able to get the info to our state in time to give us approval to leave. God had answered so many things, just like we had asked, but now He was showing us that He was answering things according to His plan and what was best for us. I really believe that He knew that we needed a few days with Isabella all by ourselves and especially daddy, would had to go back to work as soon as we got home, needed time with his little girl. I won't go through everything, but we did decided to get out and do some sightseeing -- we did the tourist thing and took pictures of us holding Isabella with the Hollywood sign behind us. :) Then that Sunday was SuperBowl and Kenny sat on the bed with Isabella on his chest watching the game. And as much as we tried to have her sleep in the little suitcase "bed", she didn't want to stay there too long and normally ended up sleeping on one of our chests. Already, wrapping us both around her little finger. On Monday, Kenny checked out of the hotel and said that hopefully our paperwork would be done and we could fly home. I was so READY to be home. We spent the day near the airport and called the agency to see about the paperwork, etc, etc. when we didn't hear anything for a while we thought for sure we would be checking into another hotel, but then we heard that the lady in our state said she would stay late that night and look at our info! We were so EXCITED!! A couple hours later we said we were free to go home. Then we called the airlines and at first they said that we would have to pay the difference in the ticket price. I said "Oh... Ok" They had already waived the changing fee so I was not going to say a thing because I was ready to be home. Then the lady put me on hold and came back and said she talked to someone and they weren't going to charge us anything extra. I was amazed!! We didn't want to pay extra, but I just wanted to be home, and God gave us another blessing! Another blessing when we got home was that the guy at the hotel took some money off the bill I guess because he knew we had been there for a while and Kenny would go and talk to him and (of course) had mentioned why we were there - such a proud daddy! So we left California, and early Tuesday morning we were home and my parents met us at the airport. We were finally able to share our little gift with everyone else! Isabella's name means Devoted to God and her middle name means Gift from God. We are amazed not only at the goodness of God, but also how perfect His way is - His will, His timing and His plan. Almost 3 years later, I am still in awe of how God gave us Isabella. I am thankful for all the many blessings along the way. I think of E alot, wonder where she is, wonder how much she thinks about Isabella, still hoping that some day maybe she would like some contact. I think about the other families whose babies were in the NICU at the same time. I can remember each of the babies and the families. I still talk to Cathy and she knows how much we appreciate her. We were actually able to see the nurses last year when we finalized Isabella's adoption in California and I will probably as long as they are there send them at least a Christmas card every year and let them know how much they meant to us. God led us each step along the way and when I think of Isabella's adoption the main verse that comes to mind is Psalm 18:30 "But as for God His way is PERFECT."


1girl2boys said...

Wow, what a beautiful story. You guys are truly blessed and Isabella is lucky to have such wonderful parents. I'm so glad it all worked out the way it did.

kelly said...

I don't know if you got the other comment that I left-- it had a typo that looked kinda like a naughty word so I deleted it.

Did you mean to say "Jennifer" ?

I thought maybe it was a slip and if so, you may want to know about/be able to fix it--

Feel free to delete this comment too- as it names names too (( not that I know who is who, but in the event that it is best all names be removed---


DeAnna said...

I had to think about it there -- actually Jennifer was just the lady that worked with the agency to get the relinquishments signed. I totally didn't explain that one!!

Gwen said...

Thank you for sharing your beautiful story!

Michelle said...

Ok I FIANLLY had a chance to just sit here and read through the three parts to the adoption story, I didn't want to be rushed when I read it! Can I just tell you that not only did I have tears in my eyes, but I got goosebumps everytime a prayer was answered! God really did answer so many prayers for you during that adoption process; how wonderful! I can't believe how quickly you were chosen for Isabella! And she definitely doesn't look like a 4 pounder in those pictures. You truly are blessed - thank you for sharing this story!

stephanie garcia said...

I loved reading your stories when you e-mailed them to me, and again this time around! God is so GOOD!