Tuesday, February 19, 2013


Most of my posts are about my experiences with my girls. I like that because they are the most wonderful thing to focus on and to be completely honest, if we are focusing on them then we are not focusing on me. As much as I hate it today's post has to be different.

I remember the first time I learned that a good amount of Biggest Losers gain a lot of their weight back.

"WHAT?? How can that be? How can anyone get fit like they've always wanted and then go back? And how dare they? Getting on the Biggest Loser is the chance of a lifetime and they are just slapping everyone in the face who doesn't get that chance but wants it. If I ever got the chance to go on that show and change my life I would NEVER gain one pound back!"

Little did I know. The Biggest Loser has been a huge blessing to me and I will forever be grateful for the experience but it didn't fix me. I still have a long way to go, as most of us do. Never again will I judge someone for succeeding and then falling down. How dare I???

September 4th, 2011 was my last day to exercise before I was put on total restriction for my first IVF procedure. When that failed we started again right away so I was still unable to exercise. When that failed I didn't WANT to exercise! It had been three months and it was hard to start again. But I knew I had to and finally went to a class, which felt amazing! I was ready to get back in the game only to find out I was pregnant shortly there after. I was considered to have a high risk pregnancy, which meant no exercise for the next nine months. Nine months later I had a c-section, and four months later I am finally sitting down to write out a plan. So what am I saying? I am saying that I, a Biggest Loser of all people, have not exercised in over a year and have gained 55 lbs. through it all. And now that I have given my very legitimate excuses for not exercising and for my weight gain let me be truthful with you and more importantly with myself. Being ban from exercise while I waited to see if the IVF would work didn't make me eat french fries and ice cream. Being pregnant didn't force me to eat too many cookies when I felt overwhelmed and terrified about being a new mom with another baby on the way. Just having a baby didn't cause me to double the batch of Christmas treats I baked for friends only to ensure I'd have enough eat myself numb during the hard transition of my new life. You see my circumstances didn't cause my actions, I did. I know my loved ones intentions were good as they excused my weight gain for me with a thoughtful, "don't worry, you are pregnant!" or, "stop it, you just had a baby!" or, "give yourself a break! You have your hands full with two infants!" but the truth is I allowed myself to use those excuses to eat all the wrong things and THAT is why I gained as much weight as I did, no matter how you slice it.

I am so sorry for letting down those who looked to me as an example and inspiration. That was a heavy responsibility and I didn't know how to handle it. I obviously didn't handle it well and I am ashamed. I know I have been blessed with great opportunities and with that comes the responsibility to help and inspire others. I haven't been perfect at this, in fact far from it, but I would like to ask for another chance.

It's hard enough to lose a huge amount of weight once and to do it twice feels insanely daunting. But I know where I want to be and I am not there. I came so close and I let it slip away because I was scared. There are so many underlying issues that have brought me to this point and I think it's time to face them for real this time. I don't know what's wrong with me and I believe a lot of us that struggle with weight feel the same. Maybe we can do this together? I am talking to you, the person reading this that knows exactly what I am saying. There needs to be accountability and for me it starts here, confessing that I screwed up and I need support as I try once again to take on the greatest demon in my life.

I am aware that all odds are against me. I have a muscle condition which causes me to have an extremely low muscle mass and in turn a slow engine. My body is resistant to muscle build and this will take a looooong time. I have two infants! They are on different schedules, I don't get much sleep, I'm exhausted, I have no idea when I will exercise, yaddiyaddiyadda!! Sure I have a laundry list of excuses but I have to remind myself that every excuse is a choice to fail.


Is this going to be hard? YES! Can I do it? YES! Can you do hard things? YES!!! The only thing stopping you is YOU!

Let's do this.

(And by 'this' I mean any goal you are ready to take on, weight related or not.)

Friday, February 1, 2013

I Had to Learn

Jade NEVER cried. Any mother who met Jade made it a point to tell me that she was not a typical child. She went down for every nap without a peep and woke up happy exactly an hour and a half later. So on this special day, day number one by myself, I expected everything to be the same. Why wouldn't it? I laid Jade down and went back downstairs to get Ruby, who had already started fussing at this point. She was hungry. I picked her up and headed upstairs to feed her but by the time I made it to the top of the stairs she was screaming! I mean like lip-quivering, out of breath, red-face, sounds like something is attacking her screaming! What the heck? I ran to the rocker in my room and tried to start feeding her but she was so worked up that she couldn't latch on. Then while she was crying so hard that she had no voice I heard another cry that was even worse than Ruby's. Was that Jade?? I threw (gently) Ruby on the bed and bolted over to Jade's room where I found her in her crib in hysterics! I scooped her up and frantically examined her to see what was going on. Nothing. She didn't calm down right away and I bounced up and down and shushed her for the first time in her little four month life. With Jade in my arms I hurried back to my room where Ruby continued to scream on the bed. Jade had slowed her crying by this point so I tried to lay her down so I could pick up Ruby but that caused her crying to escalate all over again. Who was this child? Were they playing a joke on me? Both of my girls were inconsolable and needed 100% of me at that moment. What was I to do? Couldn't they have tried this at any point over the past three weeks when I had constant help? I guess that wouldn't have been as fun. I grabbed a girl in each arm (that sounds WAY easier than it actually was) and went to the recliner, got us situated, and attempted to calm them both. I wish that you could see what the next half hour looked like.

Jade's behavior was so abnormal that I couldn't put her down and the only way to calm Ruby down was to feed her. So I supported Jade with my left arm and rhythmically bounced it causing her head to bob and her eyes to eventually grow drowsy. In the meantime I laid Ruby on my lap and contorted my body in such a way that she could eat without being held. Basically I hung the goods over her. Of course being large on top to begin with and then being filled with milk I could have suffocated the poor thing so I had to use my right hand to keep that from happening. So with my right arm stuck out like a chicken wing, my left constantly bouncing up and down, my torso twisted and bent over in the most awkward way, my whole body started to burn! In that moment I couldn't believe how much my life had changed. I looked at my situation and I laughed to stop myself from crying. I couldn't imagine how I looked in that moment, twisted and bouncing all over the place. The burning in my body was worsening by the second. But I realized that I was a lot quicker to tap out of a Last Chance Workout when my body burned like that and I had a trainer yelling down at me and cameras all around than I was when I was trying to console my daughters. That's when I knew I was really in love. (Wow, and I just said daughterS. I have DAUGHTERS. I have children. I am a mommy. Never gets old.)

Ruby was three weeks old, Jade was three months old and that was three months ago. The next two months forced me to grow more than I had ever anticipated. I felt anxiety every night to the point where my chest would tighten and I'd become short of breath knowing what the night held for me. Ruby was difficult. She didn't sleep like a typical newborn; she was awake most of the day and most of the night. She cried all the time and I had no idea how to help her. Jade went through a phase when Ruby was born where she started waking up in the night, causing me to bounce back and forth between babies and sleeping less than four, sometimes three hours a night. Jason was always willing to help but if he was out helping a baby I could still hear them cry and what mother can actually fall asleep when they can hear their baby crying? So waking him up to help just meant that we both weren't sleeping. This was frustrating but nothing was as bad as 7:30 am. I dreaded this time every morning and I found myself panicking the closer it got to kissing Jason goodbye and hearing the garage door close behind him. I would be alone again and have a whole day ahead of me of trying to care for the needs of both girls and hold myself together. I'm not going to lie, it was hard! I loved my girls more than anything and I was so happy to be a mom but learning how to juggle both babies was SO challenging! But that's just it, I had to learn. I learned that sometimes one baby is just going to have to cry until I am finished helping her sister. I learned that it is impossible for me to keep my house clean and care for my babies at the same time and I am learning to be okay with that. I learned that I have to wash my feet almost as much as I wash my hands because sometimes there is nothing else I can do but pick up a pacifier with my toes and stick it in a baby's mouth or wipe spit up off a face with my foot because my arms are totally unavailable. Don't judge me till you've been there! =) I learned that it is worth it to be late and calm down a crying baby before putting her in the car than to be on time and have her scream the whole way. I learned to let things go. I learned how to shower in three minutes flat. I mastered the messy bun. I now know how to work off of very little sleep.

I have only been a mom for seven months. I have so much more to learn and I can't wait!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

A Ruby is Born

I hardly slept. When counting sheep didn't work I tried other animals but eventually gave up and listened to the rain. I finally started to drift to sleep when Jason's alarm went off at 4:30 am. We looked at each other and smiled before jumping out of bed. He leaned over to kiss me and whispered, "here we go!" After getting dressed and gathering our things I snuck into Jade's room and said goodbye then got in the car. It was still raining and dark outside. We were both chatty on the way to the hospital and I appreciated Jason's humorous mood.

I had said the date October 11th so many times but it felt strange writing it as I filled out paperwork at the hospital. October 11th was in the future for so long and now it was here! After checking in we were sent to Labor and Delivery where we were greeted with, "Oh! You must be our c-section. Welcome!" That was nice to know that the hospital wasn't buzzing with a billion patients and the staff was aware of me. We were brought to a hospital room where I changed into a gown and climbed in the bed. Whoa, this was really happening. When they started an antibiotic through my IV I asked the nurse if it would make me sick and she promised I wouldn't feel a thing. I was throwing up thirty seconds later.

Before long I was in the bright, sterile room getting prepped for the spinal block. That was the part I feared more than anything and it really wasn't as bad as I had anticipated. But when they laid me down after the shot my body started to fall asleep and that was an uncomfortable feeling. I could no longer see what the staff were doing, only hear them chat with each other as they got things ready. The doctors came in, followed by Jason and I immediately felt comforted seeing his face appear on my side of the curtain. He held my hand and my nerves settled a bit. I couldn't feel a thing. I listened to the two doctors banter back and forth and take an occasional playful jab at the anesthesiologist or one of the nurses. They were all friends that seemed to work together often and the way they bickered about politics and the upcoming election, sports, and whatever else was on their mind made me think that they hadn't started yet. When I asked Jason if they had he responded, "oh yeah!" and a minute later they announced they were ready to pull her out. My head was fuzzy and I couldn't tell if it was the medication or the circumstance. The doctor asked the time and it was 7:59am. He said they would wait till 8am so she would be born on the dot and then almost in unison the room started chanting, "55, 56, 57, 58, 59..."

And then I heard her scream. My honest first thought was, "there really was a baby in there? She made it full-term? I grew a baby inside me??" You'd think I would have known! She didn't stop screaming and panic set in. My honest second thought, and please don't judge me (or you can but I'm just being honest) was, "put her back! I'm not ready to do this!"

A lot of people told me what I would feel when I saw my child for the first time. I was told that I would feel closer to heaven the moment I saw her than ever before, that it would be more spiritual and magical than anything I'd ever experienced. I am so happy for those that feel such things at first sight but having been prepped for that made me feel terribly guilty when I didn't. Trust me, I have had incredible experiences with my babies and felt more love than I had ever imagined possible since their birth but for me it didn't happen right away. Of course I immediately loved her, but the whole experience for me was strange and new. I felt nervous and a little uncomfortable and guilty that I was bawling my head off.

I could sort of see her from across the room as they wiped her down and weighed her. 7 lbs. 8.5 oz. Again, she really grew in me? And she's healthy? I still couldn't get my head around the fact that the little baby that I was looking at was the little moving thing we called Ruby in my belly. They wrapped her up and started taking her out when I asked if they would let me see her. They brought her over and held her close to my head. It was hard to see her and my mind was going a million miles a minute. She looked so unfamiliar. She was just a tiny little stranger that I was looking at yet I couldn't stop kissing her cheeks. She continued to scream and finally they took her out of the room. I laid there trying to process what just happened while they finished stitching me up.

When they brought me back to the room Ruby was already in there on a little heating table, still screaming. Jason and his mom were in the room near her but weren't allowed to pick her up. Nurses kept coming in asking each other if they had found it yet. Found what? And why was my baby just lying there screaming? Couldn't I just hold her now? Shouldn't I be trying to feed her? Finally a nurse came to tell me that they had lost my paperwork and they couldn't bathe her and give her shots without it. Her body temperature was also low and they needed to raise it, which is why she had to remain on the heating pad. TWO HOURS went by. My poor baby was starving and making sure we all knew it!  They never found my paperwork and eventually had me fill it out again. Then they took her temperature with a different thermometer and learned that her body temperature was fine the whole time but the batteries in the first thermometer were low. So my newborn baby was taken from her cozy little womb and left starving on a table for over two hours without being fed or held or snuggled for no better reason than their stupid thermometer was dying! I was so upset and sad for my little Ruby, who was finally bathed and brought over to me to really see for the first time. She latched on immediately and ate as I stared at her, trying to see at least one familiar feature on her face. To me, she looked nothing like either of us.

I believe the whole experienced traumatized her a bit and she had a hard time adjusting to the world for the first few weeks. She fought against me when I tried to feed her, fussed and cried incessantly, and hardly slept day and night. What was I doing wrong? Jade never cried, ate well, slept all the time and woke up happy so I had no idea what to do or how to help Ruby. Luckily I had help. Jason's mom came for the first week and a half and took great care of me while I healed and helped with Jade. My mom came for the second week and a half and took over and I am so thankful for moms!

Before I knew it my three weeks of help were up and it was time for me to do it on my own. All of a sudden the crazy story of adopting and then going to have another baby 3 1/2 months later became real. I had no idea how I was going to do it. I hadn't been left alone yet so my skills were still untested but ready or not, I was on my own. I said goodbye to my mom and Jason drove her to the airport and I was officially alone with my two girls. I laid Jade down for her last nap of the day and was getting ready to feed Ruby when madness erupted. I was alone with them not five minutes when my world flipped upside down. I could NOT believe what was happening!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Last Day

I painfully maneuvered myself out of bed for the fourth or fifth time this morning and shuffled to the bathroom. The clock had a 3, a 4, and a 9 on it but I can't remember the order. I rolled back in bed and felt shooting pains in about seven different areas of my body. One more night of this. That thought spun my head into a billion others and I lied there wide awake. It was dark out and the only sound was the soft buzz of our baby monitor. Ruby started to move and I relished in the feeling. Tomorrow I would no longer feel that and she will be in my arms. I can say that so easily but it is hard for me to wrap my head around. It is so strange to be having a baby when I already have a new baby in the next room, with whom I happened to be very much in love. How can I possibly love anything else as much as I love her? Does every mom feel this way before their second child comes? I know I will love her every bit as much, it's just difficult to comprehend until she arrives. Don't get my neurotic emotions wrong, I wouldn't change our situation for the anything.
I heard Jade take a deep breath through the monitor and let out a sweet sigh and I smiled thinking about her. The strangest emotion came over me and I had to hold her. I tried to fight the urge away knowing it was silly to risk waking her, but it grew stronger and stronger. This was my last day of just us and I wanted her in my arms in that moment more than anything in the world. I slid out of bed and clinched my teeth in response to the pain of being 9 months pregnant as I walked to her room. I scooped her up and waddled to the little, broken recliner occupying our loft where I watched her sleep for I don't know how long. She is perfect and she has changed me.

I held her until the sun came up and her eyes opened. She smiled at me so big until her toothless gums shined and I started to cry. I sobbed as I told her how much I love her and what a gift she is to us and I couldn't stop. I cried because of how much I fear I'll miss being so preoccupied with balancing two babies, because I'm scared and happy and excited and grateful. Wow, am I pregnant or what? Soon enough Jade was crying with me, but it wasn't as much an empathetic cry as it was a hungry cry. So I wiped my eyes and we started our day.

It's weird that this is our last day with just Jade. Tomorrow everything changes. This may be more for me than anyone else, but before I forget I wanted to record a few things about our first little miracle.

Jade came into this world with huge, inquisitive eyes that took in everything around her. That hasn't changed a bit. She is never in her own little world, she watches what everyone is doing and shows her curiosity through her eyebrows. People stop in restaurants and stores to comment on her expressive eyebrows and darling face. One person said it perfectly when she said that she looks like an emoticon because she is so expressive. She is the most easy going baby in the world and never gives us a hard time for no reason. She has responded super well to a schedule and started sleeping through the night at six weeks and has never woken up in the night since then. She held on to her smiles until she was sure of us then started handing them out openly around eight weeks. She laughed for the first time two weeks ago and I have never been so addicted to a sound. I will spend a half hour blowing on her tummy, making funny sounds, doing faces no one else should ever see, or dancing like a maniac just to get a two second giggle out of her. Waste of my time? Not a split second of it.

Now it's late Wednesday night and I am packed and ready for tomorrow. Whether I'm calm or I'm freaking out tomorrow is still going to happen so I've decided to choose calm. Pray that I sleep tonight. It's my last night being pregnant. Tomorrow Ruby is born.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Gets Me Every Time!

Before Jade was born my wonderful friends Kristin and Heather threw me the most AMAZING baby shower. I had never seen anything like it and you can see the post on it here from Heather, the lovely face behind the famous creative blog Whipperberry. Anyway, Kristin, who introduced us to Bailey in the first place, wrote this poem and attached it to the back of each invitation. I cried when I read it and I had to share it with all of you. We all remember The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, right? So this poem goes to the theme song of Fresh Prince and is written from our daughters' perspective. Enjoy!

Now this is the story all about how
Lives get flipped, turned upside down
We'd like to take a minute, just sit right there
So we can share a story 'bout how we became a pair

A wedding, some schooling, a popular show--
All were fulfilling, but without US, you know?
Plenty of tries and doctors who cared
Couldn't get us earthbound, but we were prepared

We put our heads together, came up with a plan
We said, "We'll get to our folks however we can!"
With loving sacrifice from a special young lady
One could go first, we decided on Jadie

Everything was set for an earthly debut
Little did they know that they would get two!
As sisters and best friends we just couldn't bare
To be separated for more than our share

Here's the best part, a bit a surprise
Mom turned up pregnant--aren't we just wise?
Three months apart we agreed was okay
Then we'd be reunited--Oh happy day!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012


How could we not be eligible? We submitted our background check information months ago and both of us are annoyingly, squeaky clean. How could there be a hold up? Bailey had to wait 72 hours after Jade's birth before she could sign the adoption papers and place Jade with an eligible couple. When that time came we were not an eligible couple so she couldn't sign the papers. I don't know how I fell in love with someone overnight but I did and the thought of us not having her tore me to pieces.

Luckily Bailey chose to have Jade still be with us instead of a foster-type half way house that she could have gone to until the papers were signed. We had no idea how long that would be and having our baby without papers signed is so unsettling. But when Bailey texted and asked if she could come see us and Jade because she was having a hard time and felt like it might help, we felt peaceful about the whole situation and invited her over for dinner. Sure, the papers weren't signed and the more she saw Jade the more she'd fall in love with her, but Bailey's strength and dedication to her decision from the beginning put us at ease and we were so happy to have her involved in Jade's life. Originally Bailey did not want any contact after Jade was born and we respected that but hoped she'd change her mind. She thought that it would hurt too much to see her and tried to guess and prepare for what she would feel, but what she felt when Jade was born was totally different than she had expected. She described it as a wonderful peace and knew that God was holding her through the entire experience. We weren't worried about Bailey coming to visit even though the papers weren't signed because we knew that Jade was our daughter and more importantly Bailey knew it.

Two weeks later our background checks came through and we met with our social worker, case worker, notary, witnesses and our dear Bailey and we signed the adoption papers. Jade's birth father had already relinquished his rights months ago so that was already taken care of. Some birth-moms view this day as one of the hardest but our experience with Bailey wasn't sad in the slightest. It was exciting to see each other again and we knew that this wasn't the last time.

Jade is still not legally ours. We have physical custody but the agency has legal custody for the first six months of her life. Our case worker comes and visits every month to see how things are going and to make sure we are not crazies. At the end of the six months (assuming they don't think we are crazies and we are seen fit) we will go through all the legal mumbo jumbo and she will legally become ours.
Today Jade is 11 weeks old. She will become a big sister in exactly one month from today and I am FREAKING out! We had to schedule a c-section because 5 years ago I broke my pelvis in four different places and I won't be able to deliver vaginally. At first I was bummed but I am okay with it now, just concerned about having a 3 1/2 month old, a newborn, and recovering from major abdominal surgery all at the same time. Luckily we've learned that we aren't given anything we can't handle and I know we'll find a way.

One thing I know for sure is these two girls are meant to be together. When I wrote about Jade being born in the last post I forgot to tell about an incredible thing that I got to experience as she came out. As soon as Bailey started to push and Jade's head was appearing, Ruby went NUTS inside of me. I had never before felt anything like that and it was amazing. She was doing flips inside my stomach like she was rejoicing as Jade entered the world. When I told my mom about this experience she reminded me of the story of Elisabeth in Luke 1:41 when she heard the greeting of Mary and her babe (John the Baptist) leaped in her womb. It was such a special experience because of my unique situation that I know not everyone gets to have, and I felt blessed to be able to physically feel the love and connection between my two daughters. I may have to remind them of that when they are older and pulling each other's hair out. The past 2 1/2 months has changed our life completely. One month from today it'll all change again. Am I ready??? Would you be?

My two girls!

Thursday, August 30, 2012


We have a tradition in my family to do breakfast in bed for birthdays. I carried that tradition with me into my marriage and I got up early to make Jason breakfast in bed. I set my alarm but there was certainly no need for that. I couldn't sleep. I watched the clock turn from 3 am to 4 am to 5 and so on until I finally just got myself out of bed around 6:30. As exciting as making a big breakfast may sound, that's not what was keeping me awake. I was supposed to become a mother today. A storm of emotions hit my insides the first time I got up to go to the bathroom a little before 3 am. This is what I had always dreamed of and of course I was beyond happy, but that was not my only emotion. I would feel a twist in my heart every time I thought of what Bailey would have to do today. Was the happiest day of our lives going to be her hardest? We have grown to love her more than I can express and it killed me to think about the emotions she was going to have to face. But she is stronger than I am and she saw the eternal picture better than any of us. I was talking to her on the phone a few nights before and she said something incredible. She was talking about how grateful she was for this whole experience and she said, "I love Jade so much for who she has helped me become. I mean, I am a whale with this giant belly, I have stretchmarks on my boobs and my butt, yet I have never felt more beautiful. She has helped me become someone that I want to be for the rest of my life." I was amazed as I listened to her perspective and the things she was taking from this experience. Bailey is 19 years old but her maturity and understanding blew me away. She is my hero.

Bailey was induced at 2pm on Sunday, June 24th. Since it was going to take awhile until she would actually be ready to deliver we were instructed to just wait at home and they would call when it was time for us to head over to the hospital. Just waiting at home is way harder than it sounds! What was Bailey feeling now that it was finally here? Was she having second thoughts? Were we really about to become parents? Every few hours we would receive a text from Bailey or her mom, Michelle, with an update. Not much was happening and we continued to wait. We watched White Collar on Netflix to kill the time but hit our last episode by 8:00pm. Still nothing. Neither of us had seen Meet Joe Black and we decided to watch it, though it was a three hour movie and we didn't think we'd finish it. We finished it and still nothing. At 11:15pm I got a text from Michelle saying that Bailey was dilated to a 6 and the nurse would be back to check her again in an hour. Thirty minutes later she texted again saying Bailey was now at an 8 and to hurry to the hospital. We made it to the room around 12:20am. Bailey's dad, two younger sisters and younger brother came in a few minutes after us. She was progressing super fast at this point and the nurse started prepping Bailey to deliver.

I felt so different standing there. Although we had gotten to know and love everyone there, in that moment I felt like a stranger watching this family come together to witness their daughter and sister give life to a perfect little girl. I felt unworthy to be involved in such a sacred experience, yet this perfect little girl was going to be our daughter. Bailey had included us since she first met us five months before and I was so touched and grateful that she had invited us to watch the birth of our daughter. She knew that Jade was ours, that she was the vessel that got to bring her to us, and she knew how important it was for us to be there. She made sure that I could see everything and when it came time for her to push she asked me to be at one of her legs and her mom at the other. That made me feel so happy.

It was probably 1:05 in the morning when Bailey's doctor came in, snapped on some gloves, sat down and told her to push. The next three minutes were the most pure, hallowed, and life-changing three minutes of my life. First her head, then her tiny little body came into this world and the room broke out in emotion. They placed her onto Bailey and Bailey sobbed. That was when I lost all control of my polite, quiet, little tears and I bawled. Bailey's little sisters were also bawling and Michelle buried her head in her husband's chest and cried. My heart broke. What were we doing to this family? How could we take this baby away from such incredible people who obviously love her? Then as everyone passed her around and cried as they looked into her big, wide eyes I made my way back over to Bailey. "I feel so much peace!" she told me after we hugged. "I didn't know how I would feel but I really just feel peaceful. I just know this is so right." I cried again, of course, seeing her strength and hearing her conviction. I realized that  I was misinterpreting the emotions in the room. We weren't taking a baby from anyone. Bailey was placing her baby into our care and giving us a daughter because she knew it was right for her baby and loved her enough to put her first. Her family loved her and stood behind her in her decision, also knowing it was the best thing for Jade. We were going to be the recipients of the most selfless, charitable, and Christ-like gift ever given. I held Jade in my arms for the first time and tried to understand the sensation. I wish there were words, or at least that I was better with them, to explain what I felt. She was beautiful, but she was a little stranger to me and I couldn't believe that I was going to be her mom.

Jason and I left the hospital a couple hours later and walked to our car in silence. We were both terrified to become parents and if I am being honest we both felt a little worried because we didn't feel like parents right away. I realized later that it's because we weren't parents right away. Jade was Bailey's baby and that time she spent with her in the hospital was important and special for both of them. She became ours when we took her home from the hospital the following day after a tearful goodbye to our sweet Bailey. I felt it settle in as I sat in the back with Jade and held her little hand with my finger the whole drive home. It was amazing what happened to me in those thirty minutes. It honestly felt like a transformation from a disney movie, like stars and sparkles should have swirled around me as I turned into a mother on the drive to our house.

I didn't sleep much that night. I got up to feed her every few hours and when I was able to fall asleep I dreamt about feeding her. I didn't mind one bit. I already loved being a mom!

The next day we got a call from our caseworker. There was a snag in the paperwork and our background checks hadn't come through. I asked what that meant and almost dropped the phone when I heard her response.

"That means that right now you are ineligible to adopt this baby."