Bring Bennet Home

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Home Stretch

We are down to the last two weeks before Baby #3's due date. I'm not sure how that's possible. In many ways it has seemed like he will never get here and in other ways it feels like the time has passed in the blink of an eye. This is the longest we've ever waited to get a baby. We've known he was going to join our family since September 10th, almost five months of waiting to meet him. We are so anxious to meet him and love him! I can't help but moon over Tucker's baby pictures and hope he is as beautiful as his big brother was when he arrived!
I think the lesson God had me learn as we walked through Tucker's adoption was about his sovernighty. About His plans and not mine. About surrendering and trusting Him and how He wanted to build our family.
This time I think the lesson is more about His faithfulness and guidance. I group Bennett's and Casen's adoptions together because most of the journeys have been shared. We have seen Him provide and come through in so many ways! From a free crib to over 3,500 diapers given to us by our church family.
Financially is one of the most evident ways we've seen God's faithfulness. We started this adoption journey with about $12,000 in savings. This was huge for us. We worked hard to have that money to cover most of one adoption. But then we found out that we'd need to cover two. We had NO idea where that money would all come from. With a lot of sweat equity and the loving support and help of our friends and family we raised almost $7,000 by selling t-shirts, having garage sales, doing a lunch and from the sweet donations of friends who gave their commissions for parties. We also applied for every grant we could find. We got turned down from several, but four of them awarded us money that totaled $12,500! We are going to be so close to two totally paid for adoptions! The ONLY way that this happened is because of God's faithful provision! There is no reasonable explanation for how we have come up with over $30,000 in less then six months. No explanation. It's so humbling to look at the figures and see how things have come together. When I look at all of this I don't doubt that these two boys were meant to be ours.
Thank you to all who have prayed, encouraged, donated, helped and loved our family through these days of change.
Would you please pray extra for us in these last two weeks before Casen arrives? Here are some specific requests...
For K, Tucker & Casen's Birth Mom: Pray for peace, comfort and grace. Pray for her protection! She lives in a much different world then we do. Pray for people to love and encourage her in her decision to place. Pray for grace and comfort as she makes the hardest decision a mother can make. Pray for a healthy last two weeks of pregnancy and a smooth delivery.
For Casen: Pray for his health and well being. Pray he delivers easily and that our attachment to him is seamless and easy. Pray for protection over these last days he spends in K's womb.
For Chris & I: Pray for peace. No matter what. We've both worried a lot more with this placement then with the other two that something could fall through. The thought is heartbreaking, but the reality of adoption is the Birth Mom can change her mind and often does. Pray we are able to extend love and grace to K in a way that points her to Jesus regardless of her decision to add to our family or not.
For Tucker & Bennett: Pray for a smooth transition to the changes they won't really understand. Pray for patience and calmness for these two big brothers as we learn how to do life with three sons. Pray they fall in love with Casen easily and that we become a family of five as smoothly as we became a family of four.
Thank you friends for your love and encouragement! We can't imagine doing life without the amazing support system we have. We are blessed beyond measure!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Tiny Brothers

I was worried about how Tucker would handle the transition from only child to big brother. I fretted he would feel mistreated or overlooked. I worried that I'd created a high maintenance creature that I could no longer maintain. I think I was more concerned about how Tuck would handle Bennett then I was about any other part of our adoption, even the Birth Mom backing out. 
I don't know why I worried so much because he has been so good! Beyond any hope I had. His personality is pretty aggressive usually but from day one he has been very easy with Bennett. He is also very concerned with where Ben is and if anyone jokes about taking him with them he freaks out! 
I can't wait to watch these tiny brother become friends as they grow up. I hope they will always turn to each other and that they will have a close bond. Both Chris and I are very close to our siblings and I want that so badly for my babies. 
 Parenthood is my favorite show on television! I cry every week. Sometimes more than once. The friendship that the siblings on that show have is what I hope my kids look like someday. Witty banter. Dependability. Encouragement. Friendship. Support without question or expectation of pay back. Just pure love for each other.
 These sweet boys are so precious to my heart! I can't wait to add a third to the mix in a few more weeks! I can't believe it's already time for our family to grow from four to five. It's gonna be a lot of crazy and a lot of love around our house!

Although I never imagined myself as a momma of all boys now that I have them, I wouldn't want it any other way. I love that they will be adventurous and loud and rough and I also love that they will always love their Momma. I have gotten the privilege to be their favorite for at least a small portion of their lives and I'll treasure these days always. Sweet brothers. I'm a lucky girl!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Help Another Adopting Family!

Go to this blog for more information on how a little money will go a LONG way to help bring more babies into forever homes! This family needs funds quickly so they can travel to bring their son home for good. Please take a look! There are some great things that will be raffled next week and you are helping an awesome family and a spectacular cause. Thanks friends!

Bennett - Three Month Letter

My sweet Bennett boy,

You my precious boy are such a joy and added light to our family! You smile so easily and so sweetly. You love to watch your big brother and hold your Momma. You have become very chatty these last few weeks and make the sweetest noises. You, my dear, are just that... sweet.
We have been busy this month! You experienced your first Christmas with all our traditional stops. You were loved on and passed around and thrown off your schedule without complaint. You didn't know what was going on, but you were a trooper!
You continue to get stronger. Your head gets less wobbly everyday and you're beginning to prefer sitting up right as opposed to reclining in the arms of whomever is holding you. You are content in your bouncy seat, but love your swing less then you once did. You are beginning to grab things and hold tight to your finds, especially Momma's hair. You love bath time and are getting less and less fond of your car seat, but I think that has to do with how much time you had to spend in it over Christmas.
You graduated to size 2 diapers this last week and size 3-6 months clothes. Your 0-3's still have plenty of room width wise, but not length. You were sporting high water pants and 3/4 length sleeves until we washed you hand-me-downs.
You biggest accomplishment this month is you sleep almost all night every night! This is AMAZING!!! You go from 11-12 every night until 8 or so every morning. I don't know if this is due to our Babywise schedule or if you are just fantastic, but we'll take it either way! I really can't believe how good of a sleeper you are. If you do wake during the night, you eat and go right back to sleep.
You are eating 5 oz. of formula at a feeding and eating about 6 times during the day. We visited the doctor about halfway through this month and you weighed 13 pounds, 6 ounces and were 34 inches long. Right on target with where Tucker was at your age.
This next month will be a big one for our family. You will become an older brother! We are busy getting ready to add Casen to our brood and I hope you adjust to having an almost-twin without too much fuss. It's gonna get crazier then usual for a while! But you will always have a friend and playmate who will grow up right beside you.
Bennett we love you so fiercely and are so honored to be your family. You are precious in every way and are so easy to love. Thank you for the beautiful addition you are to our family and the way you smile! You are pure joy!
Love you more,

Maternal Instincts

Before Tucker was born I worried about an endless string of things. Some turned out not to matter, but others I was happy to have thought out. One of those things was maternal instincts. I wasn't sure how much of those instincts you always hear about came naturally to all females and how much of them were an emotional by-product of carrying a baby. Of creating a life. I worried I wouldn't get a full dose and in some way, beyond my control, I would fail my child just because I couldn't be the one to give him life. I had relinquished the fact I'd never know my babies from the inside of my womb or know what it felt like to breast feed them. I was ok with those things, but I wanted to do all I could in all other areas. I still do.
In the first hours of Tucker's life some of those concerns were quieted. He responded to me quickly. He attached to my heart just as I attached to his. I remember sitting in the hospital room alone with Chris and Tucker when Tuck started to fuss and I rearranged him to my shoulder and quieted him with pats and bounces. Chris asked me how I knew to do that and I realized it wasn't learned, it was instinct.
In the first weeks of Tucker's life I worked to adjust to having this other life in my charge and began noticing others noticing us. One of our first trips to Sam's an older gave us a dirty look and as we rounded to corner I was ready to go give her a piece of my mind! My defensive momma bear instinct reared its head for the first time.
Gratefully, I realize now that because I adopted I'm no less of a Momma then all of my friends who've carried their sweet little lives inside their bodies. It took a while for me to feel like I had officially joined that club. I remember reading other blogs of new mommas and still feeling on the outside of some secret club. I didn't feel justified in some ways. And just as any of them feel right before another life enters their family this week I've been emotional and extra clingy to my two little boys.
Things feel like they're starting to settle down and normalize after adding Bennett in October and the rush of the holidays. I feel normal. It's normal to have a baby again. Tucker's routine is back in it's normal swing. Chris and I are a little more coherent and a little less sleepy all the time. But just as things seem to be evening out... sometime in the next three weeks we will throw all of those comforts away to welcome our third son into his forever family. While I'm so excited to meet Casen and fall in love with him and start this whole baby process over, I'm also nervous. Much in the same way as I was three short months ago before I knew what life would look like with two children. The unknown is nerve wrecking.
A lot of this is probably self doubt. Can I really do it? Three under three. The two youngest just three months apart. How will I feed them both at the same time? How will I carry 50 pounds of car seat plus the babies in them all while hold the plump hand of my sweet toddler everywhere we go? Will I ever go anywhere again? Am I the right person to handle such a big undertaking?
But then I'm reminded of why we're here and who is holding MY hand. It's evident every where I look, especially with our finances. When I look at the figures of these adoptions and I'm blown away with the ways God has provided enough money to bring these boys of ours home. For almost double Chris's yearly salary to have been saved, scrimped, raised, donated or granted is still unbelievable to me. It is no small feet or accident that this is how our family is being built. I know that beyond a shadow of doubt. Tucker. Bennett. Casen. Were all chosen to be Gordon's long before Chris and I could've planned or hoped for it to happen.
I look at my babies and I'm in awe that out of all the babies in the world I got the very best ones. So I think I got all the instincts that matter. My boys are just that. They are MINE. And to me they are perfect and I love each of them with all my heart.
While the next stage of our adventure may be rocky and difficult at times I know that we are surrounded with love and support. Who knows what life will look like a month from now for our family, but I cling to the promises we've been given and firmly believe the truth that's found in my adoption verse, Ephesians 3:20-21. I will admit I didn't think the "exceedingly, abundantly" part would mean in number of babies! But I'm excited that it does and can't wait to wade through this next chapter as we meet the newest Gordon.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

The Best of 2012

2012 was a pretty great year for our family! We made some great memories and accomplished some big goals. We also found out some pretty wonderful news about how our family would be growing. So here are some highlights!
I got to take a once in a lifetime trip with four of my five roommates from college to New York City! We had a blast together and made so many new memories! I can't believe we all turned 30 in the year since we were there! Love these girls and all they mean and have added to my life while at OBU and since.

Tucker turned two years old! 

Our big brother moved back in for another summer as youth intern and Tucker's personal playmate. We're so thankful for JK and the extension of our family that he is. 

I got to watch these three beautiful girls graduate from high school! We've walked together since they're freshman year and I'm just so proud of who they became while I had audience to watch!

I cut nine inches off of my hair and had five others who joined in growing their hair out for a whole year and donating their length to Locks of Love! So proud of these kids!!!

We made some great memories at the pool!

I got the pleasure of spending the weekend before Falls Creek setting up our cabin with these babies of mine. What a wonderful weekend it was! It was a honor to pray over them as for them as they took the lead in our cabin. We are so blessed by great students who love each other, their peers, us and best of all our babies!

We spent many hot days on The Fiesta! My sister and her husband bought a snazzy boat and we took full advantage spending days together on the water. 

Our park in Elk City has a train that runs all summer long every evening. Tucker LOVES it! We took a ride nearly every time we were in Elk. 

In September we officially gained another brother in law. Jared put a ring on my baby sister's finger and we all got to be there to celebrate!!! 
Chris and I celebrated our 6th anniversary and I tried on my wedding dress. It's a little lumpier then it was six years ago, but it still zips! 

We got to take a ride on Thomas the Train with DiDi. Tucker LOVED it!
We found out on August 10th that Bennett Harris Gordon would be joining our family in October. On October 13th we finally got to meet this little blessing and fell immediately in love with him!

We also got to introduce our boys to each other. 

Family of FOUR! For a few months at least! We also found out on September 10th that Tucker's birth mom, who is pregnant, wanted us to parent her baby as well. We can't wait to meet Casen Cole Gordon sometime around
February 6th, 2013!

We made our way back to Elk City park in one of our many stop to look at Christmas lights. Tucker also enjoyed riding the carousel and train while we were there.

Becoming a Momma of two has proven to be just as big of a blessing it was to become a Momma of one. Motherhood is the greatest calling, challenge and blessing of my life. I'm so grateful this is my life and these are my boys! We truly believe love makes a family and ours is overflowing with it!