This past year was a whirlwind to say the least. After posting our announcement on Facebook and starting our blog, we began our fundraising efforts. The response was overwhelming to say the least. We had three very successful garage sales, created a balloon puzzle, had a raffle, saved every penny we could, and spent countless weekends at home to help us put away the funds needed to bring home our baby. We were encouraged, supported, and surrounded by friends, loved ones, and even strangers along the way- all showing us their love and offering an encouraging word on days that we were exhausted to days on which we got positive news.
Most couples wait months, sometimes years before getting a phone call telling them they are matched with a birth mom. After meeting with Ms. Lisa in January, she told us she hoped that we would be matched by Christmas. Little did any of us know that God had planned for us to have a 6 month old by Christmas. Chad and I received the phone call just two months later, in March, letting us know that we had been matched with a birthmom due in June with a baby girl!
The next few months flew by in a flurry of continuing our fundraising efforts, preparing for our house for a baby, doctor's appointments, text messages, visits with Leslie, and praying harder than we ever have before.
June came quickly and we got to meet OUR baby girl! God had prepared my heart to love THIS child for whom we had prayed for so long more than I ever thought possible. The first few weeks were a blur as we learned to care for a tiny little human that caused us so little sleep, so much worry, and so much joy all at the same time.
In July and August, I continued my maternity leave home with Lena. She began to laugh and coo. Our days were filled with tummy time, singing, naps and bottles. She began sleeping through the night much to the delight of mom and dad. We had many visitors and began to learn that life was not about Chad or me any more, it was all about the new baby. I also learned to live with little sleep, clothing with drool and spit up all over it, and that if the baby looks cute...it doesn't matter what mom looks like! :0)
I went back to work in September. Chad's mom watches Lena everyday while we work. We are forever thankful to know that she is in good hands while we are away, and I never have to think twice about whether she is being loved or taken care of at any moment. I began to realize that being a working mom is not for the faint of heart, but picking up that little girl at the end of the day makes it all worth while.
Lena got to experience her first Halloween in October, first Thanksgiving in November, and first Christmas in December. The holidays take on a whole new meaning with a baby, and family time becomes so much more special. We now see our parents, grandparents, siblings, and cousins on a more regular basis than we did before. Lena also began rolling everywhere, babbling more, sitting for brief periods by herself, and laughing at everything (especially if daddy does it). She is eating solids and has gained such a sassy, cute personality. She LOVES watching her "sisters" (our dogs) and enjoys letting them kiss her. Other things she likes include: music (especially Taylor Swift and for now Mom's singing), toys, bath time, her mobile, and her exersaucer.
So here we sit at the beginning of 2016. Exactly one year after we made our grand announcement, and I look back in awe at all God had in store for us in 2015. I realize that God's plan for us was so much better than our plans for ourselves. I have learned that sometimes we need to fall and trust that He will catch us. When Chad and I struggled to get pregnant and then devastatingly had our first miscarriage, I was angry. How could He do this to us? We had been so faithful in our trust for the Lord. We had prayed for our miracle child and waited for Him to grant us our wishes. What I didn't know was that the miracle child that God had in store for us, our angel baby, was not one that would grow in my tummy, but one that would grow in our hearts. We are so thankful to God for bringing us Lena. We are also so thankful for the struggles that helped us become her parents. Without them we would not have the appreciation we do today. May 2016 bring all of you your miracles, whatever they may be, and I am also hoping that despite your struggles, God reveals His wonderful plan for your lives, too.
Love you all,
Chad, Heather and Lena