Thursday, August 1, 2013


Many of Rae's major milestones have occurred at the lake place.  She rolled from back to tummy on Father's Day--at the lake.  She rolled tummy to back on Papa's birthday--at the lake.  And now we can add teeth!  On July 17th--while at the lake--I discovered Rae's first tooth.  It was so exciting and heartwarming.  She popped the other one just a day or two later.  Other than a little uncharacteristic diaper rash, we had no clues.  She had been her usual easy-going self.
July 17th, initial moments of discovery.

Just yesterday, attempting to catch a photo--not easy!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Fourth of July...

We spent the Fourth of July Weekend at the lake place and had such a good time!

Ross did some early morning fishing.  Rae and I went to check on him and discovered a painted turtle laying her eggs--amazing!  (Rae and I are still in our jammers.)

Rae's first dip in the water, just her toes.

Rae's first boat ride (just putzing on the pontoon).

Adoption Day: June 17th, 2013...

The hearing to finalize Rae's adoption was June 17th, 2013.  Technically, until that hearing, we were considered her legal guardians.  So, after some more paperwork, home visits, and fees, the day was finally here.  The last step in the process.  In some ways it felt like a formality.  After all, she was ours in our hearts before we even held her the first time.  But now she is ours in the eyes of the law.  Forever.  A formality, in some ways, yes, but immensely special.  We got all dressed up and headed to the Washington County Courthouse, accompanied by grandparents and other family.  The judge was wonderful.  He was very personable and shared with us that one of his children was adopted.  We took pictures with the judge and then all headed back to our house for a family celebration (with some drop-ins by some very special neighbors).  Rae's Adoption Day is something for her to be proud of and for us to honor.  We plan to recognize and celebrate this day every year. 
We love you, Sweet Baby Rae!   

Friday, June 7, 2013

Memorial Weekend...

We spent the holiday with my family down in Iowa.  We gather at this time every year to camp and canoe along the Boone River.  The weather was crummy this year, but we still enjoyed just being together.  Rae got some quality time with her cousins, including 8 month old Juliana.



Monday, May 20, 2013

An Essay...

A friend of mine, another adoptive mama, passed this on to me. It got to me, as some of the words spoke to past challenges and some of the words warned of the challenges we might someday face.  Adoption comes with unique challenges, that’s for sure.  But the true honor and blessings far outweigh. 

Saturday, May 18, 2013

A New Year: 2013...

I found this in my drafts, written early January.  I wrote quite a bit during that time, but never posted.  This is easier to share now, knowing that 2013 did turn out to be our year.  Goes to show God's timing...     

Over the years, I’ve had only one pregnancy.  They told me it probably wouldn’t last.  It didn’t.  But I was a mom for a few days.
I was a mom for a few days again in November, in Las Vegas.
"Infant in arms.  If you’re traveling with a small child, your boarding pass must indicate Infant in Arms."  During my work travels, I’ve heard that announcement so often.  Each time, I’d close my eyes and imagine the day they were talking to me, the flight when I’d have an infant in arms.
That November flight home from Vegas was maybe the worst of all of the terrible moments.  The flight I had imagined so many times.  But not like that.  Not with empty arms.  I cried the entire time.  It was dark, thankfully.
Since then there have been fewer tears.  They spring to the surface at random times.  But definitely fewer and farther between. 
And now it’s a new year. 
For me, since starting this journey, there’s something both sad and hopeful about a new year. 
Another birthday.  Another holiday season.  Without.     
Yet the feeling that this year will be our year.  We’ve said that so many times, always thinking, this has to be it. 
Our adoption status is “active” again.  Back to waiting.  Let’s see what 2013 brings.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Back to Work...

My 12 week leave ended and I returned to work on April, 22nd.  I did most of my crying during the first week of April, when the realization hit that my time was ending. 
I confronted my first overnight work travel last week.  I missed some of my favorite moments.  I love entering her room first thing in the morning, when she greets us with huge smiles from her crib.  And I love rocking her at night before putting her to bed. 
It's hard going from spending all day together, to spending just a fraction of that.  Such is life.  She and I are adjusting just fine.   
Taken just before church, the Sunday before returning to work.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Blogger Gone Astray...

So sorry to all of my followers!  I haven't had the time to blog.  I was hardly on my computer at all during my leave.  That's not because Rae has been difficult.  No, quite the opposite.  It's because she's been just wonderful.  I love spending every moment I can with her.  The last months have been filled with a whole lot of playing and a whole lot of this...
So, I should say I haven't taken the time, not I haven't had the time.  But I vow to get back to it.  Stay tuned for a barrage of posts!  I probably shouldn't make that promise, but maybe some accountability is what I need.  :)    

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Going Home!...

At 1:00 p.m. today I laid down for a nap.  I was feeling discouraged, thinking, it's already 2:00 p.m. in Minnesota and we haven't even heard from them on our ICPC paperwork.  I fell asleep praying.  A few hours later, Ross woke me up with a happy dance.  We FINALLY got word that we've been released to travel!  We just booked our flight HOME.  We land at 1:25 p.m. tomorrow, Rae's two week birthday.  We are so excited to see our family and friends, sleep in our own bed, snuggle with our pup, and show Rae her nursery!
Here are some sleeping pictures of Rae (just for fun).

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Utah (still)...

We are still in Utah.  Still waiting for ICPC paperwork to go through.  A formality, but must happen before we can leave the state and travel home.  We've had a wonderful time together--just the three of us--but now we want to go home.  We were pretty disappointed to learn we'd be staying through the weekend.  So, we decided to go on an adventure to lift our spirits. 
We spent Saturday afternoon in Park City, about a half hour from Salt Lake, where we're staying.  We fed Rae at 12:30p, strapped her in her car seat, and drove into the beautiful mountains.  The weather was mild and the air was clear in Park City, which was just what we needed.  We stopped for coffee, browsed some really cute shops, did some people watching, and enjoyed a late lunch.  Rae slept the whole time, snug as a bug in her sling.  She loved it and so did I!  [Lots of oohs and aahs over the tiny, cute baby. ;)]  We made it back to the car at 4:30p, and by that time she was starting to squirm.  We hung out in the parking lot while I changed and fed her in the back of our rental car.  Then returned her to the car seat for a sleepy ride back.  This little one goes with the flow!


Wednesday, January 30, 2013

One Week Old...

That's right!  Our little girl is one week old today.  And what a wonderful week it's been!
Her name is Rae Kathryn.  Born 1/23/13.  6 lb 4 oz, 19 in.
It all happened very fast.  We learned that we were to be her parents on the night before she was born.  After her birth, we waited the 24 hours for the papers to be signed, then flew out to get our girl.  We spent that night in the hospital with her, and every moment since then.  We are still in Utah, waiting for ICPC paperwork to process, so that we can leave the state.  The entire experience has been great.  The hospital doctors and nurses, the agency workers, and the hotel staff have all been so good to us.  Unfortunately, we did not meet Rae's birth mom, but she will always be in our prayers.   
Rae has been such a good girl.  She hardly ever fusses, sleeps great in her bassinet, and goes 3-4 hours between feedings.  This time with just the three of us has been very special.  We've had some amazing moments.  On the first night in our hotel, we were all laying together, Rae on my chest.  I said to Ross, "Do you think she knows I'm her mom?"  Right then, she lifted her head and looked right at me, eyes wide.  If Ross hadn't been my witness, I might not have believed it.  Ross has had his moments too.  He sings to her a lot and she just loves it, stares right at him and ultimately falls asleep.  While we are cherishing this time together, we are so excited to share her with family and friends.  We hope to be approved for travel by Friday.
It's been a challenging journey, but now it's time to rejoice!  God has truly blessed us.   

Ride from hospital

Wearing the hat that I made

What's better than a onesie

She positioned herself like this


Our first real outing