Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Somewhere in the Blue Ridge Mountains

I haven't been able to update the blog with photos of Lucia and friends today... It's been a busy day, and now Virgin Mobile's 3G network is down, so I can't post from my laptop... Only from my phone (without access to baby photos). As I type at 10:38 pm, we are headed to the north Georgia mountain town of Blue Ridge where we will stay in a rental mountain house for a few days while we wait for ICPC paperwork to clear. With any luck, I'll have photos tomorrow, including some great photos from dinner tonight at Mary Mac's Tea Room with our friends, the Lotts...

Monday, May 30, 2011

Too tired to Post Tonight

Wonderful day, Lucia is perfect, photo updates tomorrow. Too tired to keep my eyes open tonight.

Tomorrow we are bound for the Atlanta aquarium, after which we will head to a rental cabin in the north Georgia mountains where we will stay until the ICPC paperwork clears both Georgia and Wisconsin and we are given the green light to leave the state and head home.

I'll try to update the blog on the road to Atlanta tomorrow morning.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Lucia by the Numbers

  • Date of birth: May 27, 2011
  • Birth weight: 7 lb., 10 oz.
  • Birth length: 22 inches
  • Head circumference: 13.75
You should see how long her fingers and toes are! Joe says a musician or surgeon for sure.  ;)

Back in the Hotel Room

Back in the hotel room, getting to know Lucia this afternoon...

Anna Marie & Lucia 
Marguerite checks out her new little sister.
Three pretty girls.
Gentle, Marguerite, gentle.
Anna Marie & Lucia
Help! She's crying, Mom!
Ah, all better.
A kiss from big sister. 
Can I help feed her?

Family Photos After Mass

Our first family-of-nine photos, courtesy of Elizabeth Cavanaugh, after Mass, early this afternoon.

Back row, l. to r.: Anna Marie, Lucia, Elizabeth, Kathleen, Marguerite, Joe, William.
Front row, l to r.: Therese, Andrew
Left to right: Marguerite, Joe, Andrew, William, Kathleen, Anna Marie, Therese, Lucia, Elizabeth

Meeting Lucia

Joe, Therese, William & Marguerite admire Lucia.
Kathleen feeds Lucia
Therese, Marguerite & Lucia

Kathleen & Lucia
Therese & Lucia
Andrew gets a turn to feed Lucia!

Lucia Rose!

At long last, Lucia is with us. What a morning! After so many delays and snafus, it was looking like she might not be released to us until tomorrow morning. And then, after an hour and a half of waiting in the maternity ward waiting room, the doors opened, and Lucia was being wheeled toward us in her bassinet. I can't even begin to tell you how excited we were!

Check out the following photos... I will put up several posts in the next few minutes with various photos from our morning. Lucia is just as sweet as sweet can be!

Anna Marie waits, with camcorder, for Lucia to appear from  behind those doors.
"Where is my baby sister?" asks Therese.
Here comes Lucia!
The family is going wild...

She's with Us!

We have Lucia in our arms at long last. We just went to Mass, we're headed out for lunch with the Cavanaughs, and then back to the hotel to get to know Lucia. So happy... More photos within a few hours...

More Delays...

The paperwork submitted last night apparently never made it through the proper channels here at the hospital. We've been sitting here for an hour, waiting for them to decide if they can release Lucia to us today. Nursery blinds are closed, so we're still waiting to see her. The kids are here at the hospital with us in this waiting room, getting anxious right along with us. Still hoping to go to Mass with Lucia in an hour. We shall see...

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Paperwork Complete

Lucia is legally available now for placement to us. Whew!

Joe and I went over to the hospital tonight to fill out all the paperwork. The doctor wants to keep Lucia at the hospital one more night. If she gets a solid bill of health in the morning, she will be placed with us. We are aiming for 10:00 am, assuming the pediatrician agrees.

If the 10:00 am plan holds, we will dress the kids for Mass, pick up Miss Lucia, and then head over to St. Joseph's for noon Mass with our little one. We look forward to seeing the Cavanaughs there. It will be very reminiscent of Marguerite's adoption: She was placed in our arms, and we went directly to Mass with the Cavanaughs by way of their beautiful home.

Here are some photos from the last two days of our trip...

Loading the van in Wisconsin
Doing some geometry on the road, headed to Georgia. 
Excited and sleepy Georgia-bound kids.
Arriving at our Macon hotel at midnight Thursday, after almost seventeen hours on the road.
Doing Marguerite's hair at the hotel swimming pool on Friday. 
Kathleen and Therese at Macon's historic Riverside Cemetery.
Marguerite in Macon.
Marguerite Jane.
Miss Photogenic.
Therese and Andrew in Macon's historic Riverside Cemetery. 
A peek at Lucia, through the crack in the nursery blinds, last night.

Delays and Disappointments

Well, today was an interesting and somewhat disappointing day. Not in the grand scheme of things, but in the I-really-want-to-hold-my-baby-today scheme of things.

When Joe and I arrived at the hospital this afternoon at the designated time, we were greeted by Sandra, the case worker, in the parking lot. She informed us that the hospital was being difficult and was citing policies that prevent us from coming in and seeing Lucia at any point before surrenders are signed. We couldn't walk in the doors or even peek at Lucia. (This is very different from our experience last time when T delivered at a different hospital. We were told from the outset that this hospital is not an adoption-friendly hospital, but even Sandra, the case worker, has been surprised at the degree to which they are closing us out.)

We asked about seeing T... We had originally been told that T wanted to see us while we here in Georgia. However, Sandra, explained that T is trying to distance herself a bit and is not sure that she really wants to visit with us. While very disappointing to us, I understand. Placing Marguerite in our arms seventeen months ago was clearly excruciatingly difficult for T. She may rather do it this time without having to go through the emotions face-to-face. There are so many things we want to tell her. I wish it had worked out differently, but if it's what T wants, then it's clearly the right thing.

As for Lucia, she will spend another night in the hospital nursery [sigh]. I cannot help but worry about her there a little bit. The baby boy in the bassinet near her was crying for the twenty minutes or so we were there last night, and no one came into the room to check on him or comfort him. Ugh. I do wish she was with us. But, I'm not going to dwell on this too much, as there is nothing we can do to change the circumstances. We will be able to pick her up tomorrow, and I just pray all will be well and that someone will have been comforting her over these last two days. We can hardly wait to have her in our arms.

Tonight, Joe and I do have to return to the hospital about 9:30 pm to begin the surrenders paperwork. Everything will be in place then for placement tomorrow (Sunday) morning.

We were hoping to go to Mass at noon tomorrow and see our old friends, the Cavanaughs, who babysat our kids while we went to pick up Marguerite and meet T last time we were in Georgia. However, it's looking more likely now, given the change in placement plans, that we will be attending the 5:00 pm Mass tomorrow instead. I do hope we get to see the Cavanaughs on this trip, one way or another.

A little trivia:  Marguerite was born on a Friday and was placed with us on a Sunday. Lucia was born on a Friday, and it appears we will take placement on a Sunday.

As for right now, we're hitting the hotel swimming pool...  Hopefully, we'll have better baby photos tomorrow! I want to see if Lucia has a full head of hair under that little hat.

Morning Update

We all slept in this morning, Joe and I managed a quick workout in the hotel gym, and we tidied up our adjoining hotel rooms in preparation for baby's arrival. (I cannot say enough great things about Springhill Suites in North Macon. What a great place to stay!)

Now we are bound for the Macon Art & Science Museum with the kids, after which we will pay another visit to the hospital to see T. We hope also to be able to hold baby Lucia by then.

Later in the evening, close to 10:00 pm, we will make a second trip back to the hospital to do the paperwork and take placement of Sweet Lucia. If all goes as planned, she will spend her first night with us tonight, and we'll have many more photos to share!

Friday, May 27, 2011


What a night!

We just returned from the hospital where we were able to peek through a crack in the blinds in the nursery window and view our new daughter. She was facing away from us, but we got a glimpse of her, nonetheless. The policy of this particular hospital is that adoptive parents cannot officially view the baby (no raised blinds) until surrenders take place.

She looks big! We are still waiting to hear her birth weight. We'll learn that tomorrow. And she is squirmy!

She is still hanging out under the lights in the nursery to warm up. The pushing stage was very long, and she was born face-up, so she had 6/8 apgars. I'm going with the nice rebound on that "8" score and thinking she's doing great after a hard delivery.

T is doing well. She is just exhausted and hungry. Sandra just ran out to get food for her. We will not be able to see T until tomorrow afternoon when we pay both T and our wee one a visit. Then, tomorrow night at 9:57, twenty-four hours after her birth, we'll be able to take placement.

And, now, without further ado, Joe and I would like to introduce our beautiful baby girl...

Lucia Rose
(Italian pronunciation: "Loo-chee-a")

(Photos are courtesy of case worker Sandra who took them immediately after the birth.)

Isn't she pretty? We can't wait to hold her.
Meanwhile, T is in our hearts and prayers tonight in a very big way.

She's Here!

Wee One is here!  Yay!

Mother and baby are fine. Baby just arrived at about 9:57 pm.

We have no details, not even a weight, yet.

Since it's late, Sandra is checking with the hospital nursery to see if it's okay for us to come over and see her right now.

More info as we have it...

Water Broken

About an hour-and-a-half ago, we received the report that a doctor was coming from the hospital across the river to break T's water. She was exhausted and sleeping at the time of the report. Sandra said she expected the baby to come within the hour. So I guess it could be any time now.

While waiting, we took a driving tour of the historic district of Macon (beautiful homes!) and walked through historic Riverside Cemetery. It was great to get out of the hotel room for a while and see some sights. We have just returned back to the hotel and are waiting for that call...

Drop-off at the Hospital

I just ran down to the hospital (about ten minutes from our hotel) to drop off our camera with the case worker, so that she can take newborn photo as soon as little bambina arrives. The camera exchange was made at the hospital door, so I did not have a chance to see T. (They are allowing only one person present--the case worker--during labor and delivery.)

Sandra tells us that T has gotten an epidural. Apparently, the epidural was rough and has also caused some nausea and a blood pressure drop, but all still seems to be well in the big picture. I can't imagine going through all this and then placing your child in someone ele's arms to raise. What an amazing and selfless gift.

Sandra seems to think Joe and I will be paying another visit to the hospital tonight - to give our love T and meet Wee One. Meanwhile, we're thinking about turning off Toy Story 3 (the kids' current entertainment) and hopping in the van for a quick auto tour of Macon before the call comes to head back to the hospital.

The Pace is Picking Up

As of about an hour-and-a-half ago, T was at 5 cm — still without any pitocin. As I type this, it's 4:00 pm Georgia time, and the induction is supposed to start around now. So I have a feeling it will go fast. T's body seems ready!

Now, we're just waiting for Sandra, the case worker, to call with baby news.

We just got all the kids out of the hotel swimming pool, and they are gearing up to watch a video in the hotel room. I managed to get Marguerite's hair all re-cornrowed this afternoon. What a cutie! And we're just waiting... Joe is doing business on the road, and I'm managing kids and blogging... and waiting for a phone call...

4:00 pm Induction?

Some updated info...

The doctor who decided last night to hold off on the induction has surgeries scheduled for today until 4:00 pm. The plan is then to start the induction at approximately 4:00 pm. Poor T is discouraged with the delay. But we expect it may go fast... T was 2 cm two days ago, 3 cm last night, and 4 cm this morning - all on her own without pitocin.

We haven't been to the hospital or seen T yet. We're waiting for the green light from Sandra and T. Maybe tonight...

Stay tuned...

No Baby Yet

We got a great night's sleep last night at an extended stay hotel in Macon.

We thought we'd have baby news this morning, but it turns out that T is only just now (10:00 am Georgia time) being induced. Apparently there was some confusion or disagreement between her doctor and the attending doctor on the timing of the induction. So... We will grab some late breakfast, perhaps swim in the hotel pool and hope for an afternoon or evening call. T was three centimeters dilated last night so hopefully things will progress quickly.

T and baby are in our thoughts and prayers!

P.S. We have name.. :)

Thursday, May 26, 2011

We're in Georgia!

We're just south of Atlanta now, and only an hour-and-a-half from our destination.

We're working on baby girl names, even as I type. Any suggestions?

In about one hour T will be induced...

We are so anxious and excited.

We are also flooded with emotions, as we know how hard this will be for T. We've already seen her pain first-hand with Marguerite. God bless T and her baby tonight. We love you both.

No Change in Plans

I just spoke to T's case worker by telephone...

The plan has not changed: T will be induced tonight, beginning at midnight. The case worker plans to talk to T this evening and find out when she wants us to come over to the hospital... I'm not sure if we'll get a middle-of-the-night call or if we'll have to wait until morning to find out when we can see T and Baby.

Exciting times!


Stuck in Nashville rush hour traffic. Savvy travelers, are we not?

Our average speed for the trip thus far: 37 mpg.  (I kid you not.)

We're in Kentucky!

After huge delays in Chicago, we are now making great progress and are in western Kentucky, heading southeast toward central Tennessee.

We've had non-stop rain, but no severe weather thus far. And I am very pleased to see that that the severe weather map on our route does not look as bad as it did this morning. No tornado warnings between here and Macon. At least not presently. I am just f-i-i-i-ne with that.  It's only 62 degrees here in Kentucky, so the cool weather we've been experiencing in Wisconsin is extending pretty far south.

No news on the baby at this point. I am assuming that induction will take place tonight at midnight as planned. We kept wondering if T might go into labor on her own today, but I expect we would have heard if that was the case.

I talked with T's caseworker last night confirm that we are, indeed, permitted to see T and the baby tomorrow morning, even though legally we cannot take placement until T signs surrenders, twenty-four hours after birth. So we are very exited to make that trip to the hospital tomorrow. I wonder if I'll be able to sleep tonight?


I do NOT like the look of this map, given our travel route today...

On the Road...

We are on the road outside of Chicago, in huge traffic jam. Our rush hour timing was quite sophisticated. [Not.] Can't wait to be beyond the metro area and heading south at a better clip.

We are hoping to be in Macon before midnight tonight. However, a quick glance at weather.com indicates that Chattanooga and Atlanta (not sure about Macon) are expecting severe storms this evening. I'm hoping that forecast is wrong! I'd prefer not to be in a big ol' van with six kids in rough weather!

We are working on baby names as I type. I think we're narrowed down to a couple first names...

The induction is scheduled for midnight tonight. (I can't get over how weird that is. Midnight? Maybe it's a southern hospital thing? ;)

Praying that all goes smoothly for T and baby tonight...  We'll update later...

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Baby Coming!

Wonderful, exciting news...  Marguerite's birth mother will be induced tomorrow (Thursday) evening at a Macon hospital. We are quickly packing bags and checking of our to-do lists.

Oddly, the induction will begin at midnight. Since T has a history of fast deliveries, we anticipate she'll deliver sometime in the early hours of Friday morning.

Joe will complete his day at the office today, and we'll pack the van completely tonight. We'll leave very early tomorrow morning and do the 17-hour drive in one day. We'll arrive in Macon late tomorrow night and get some sleep before heading over to the hospital on Friday morning. If we can make it all work, we may be able to be present for the birth!

Although we'll meet the baby on Friday, we won't be able to take placement and T won't be able to sign surrenders until Saturday morning.

That's the very exciting scoop from here... Stay tuned to this blog for updates... 
We are giddy over here!

Where is Our Baby?

It is May 25th, and we have no word on the baby or any impending labor. I spoke with the case worker two days ago, and she assured me all was well, but she did bring up the issue of a possible mistake on the due date. Problem is, no one seems to be getting T to doctor appointments, so we're not getting a professional opinion on anything right now.

So here we sit in Wisconsin, just waiting for a call... I'm busy praying that T and the baby are okay. I don't like that fact that they are apparently not getting medical check-ups at this late stage of the game. And it's hard to know how much longer we'll wait when questions are arising about the supposed due date...

Meanwhile, we're living out of suitcases, because we want to be ready to rock and roll when we get the call...

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Nothing Yet...

No word from Georgia yet...

We've been assured that we'll get a call just as soon as Temple goes into labor. Yesterday was the due date, so she should be coming anytime, right? I should think so...

Am I being patient? Not so much. Come on, Bambina! Publish Post

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Paperwork Complete

As of yesterday, our paperwork for this adoption is complete. Very good news—and with little time to spare.

Because we got the call so far into the pregnancy, we had to take what is usually a six month or so process and compress it into less than two months. As of yesterday, An Open Door in Georgia is in receipt of the home study update that Lynn put together for us locally.

That makes our file complete, and no outstanding paperwork stands in the way of taking placement of the baby. Yay! If she would have been born early, it would have been more complicated. Thank you, Wee One, for staying in your cozy home long enough that we can placement without complications.

Still Waiting

T's due date is on Tuesday—just three days from now. Somehow, I didn't think we'd still be in Wisconsin this weekend, I guess just based on the early induction last time. But it's a good thing... Anna Marie and Kathleen have their School of Rock performance tomorrow. They are part of a band called "Black Ice," and the band needs them! And, of course, I have not packed—or even come close to packing—so I'm pleased we're not hitting the road quite yet, excited as I am. Without a baby in my own womb, making her presence known and giving me little indicators that it might be soon, it's hard to feel that push to pack. I just don't have any clue when we might get this call. Add to that the fact that T's first doctor appointment came at seven months, and I wonder also how accurate the ultrasound-determined due date is. So, I'm trying to get all my projects done—the things I don't want hanging over my head after the baby arrives—and then I'll pack like a whirlwind when we get the call. I do need to get out the baby clothes though this weekend...

We have learned that T will deliver in Macon this time, rather than in Warner Robins (where she delivered last time). The reason for that is that the Macon hospitals tend to be more adoption-friendly than the Warner Robins hospital. That means our trip to meet the baby will be a whole fifteen or twenty minutes shorter. ;)

We did also learn that T wants us to be there again as soon as possible after the baby's birth. So we will really hustle once we get that call. Although our bags are not packed, I have compiled an extensive packing list which will help us to load up quickly. And I've sorted through shorts and swimming suits and sandals to make sure the kids all have plenty of warm weather items to make the trip comfortable.

Having said all that, I'm getting the feeling we'll likely be here in Wisconsin through another weekend—a COLD weekend at that! We'll be ready for some Georgia sun when it's time to head south.

We are so excited to meet this new little one (name still undetermined) and to give T a big hug.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Just a Little More Info

We're getting some more info trickling in...

Latest report:  T is feeling a bit physically uncomfortable now. I wish I was there to give her a big hug. She remains very sure about her decision to place the baby for adoption and is not wavering.

We also just learned that T hopes to deliver in Macon at the Medical Center of Central Georgia (rather than in her hometown of Warner Robins).  The reason for this is that the Medical Center of Central Georgia is a much more adoption-friendly hospital than is Houston Medical Center of Warner Robins. I think the issue might be transportation for her to get up there, so I hope it all goes smoothly and she can find a ride once she goes into labor. It occurs to me seventeen months after the fact, that maybe that's why she was induced early with Marguerite. We never did hear any medical reason.

Sandra, T's current case worker, is laid up for another three weeks post-knee-surgery, so it looks likely that T will be assigned a new case worker. That means we'll likely be dealing with someone new also in these coming days. I hope the transition for T is smooth. I know she had quite a connection with Sandra. I hear nothing but great things, however, about the new case worker, Clarissa. Friends of ours worked with her in their adoption through Open Door a few years ago, and loved her, so that's all great news.

We are praying for T and the new baby. It won't be long now... Due date is only ten days away!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Awaiting News

Despite the great excitement surrounding the impending birth of another Georgia Peach, this blog has been very quiet. Simply, we are in a quiet period in this process, and there has been very little to tell.

However, yesterday, we received word that our home study update is complete and is being mailed from Wisconsin to An Open Door in Georgia today.

Furthermore, I spoke to the director of An Open Door's minority program today and let her know that we haven't heard any substantive information from T's Georgia case worker for many weeks, despite repeated emails on our part inquiring about birth location, birth plan, when T wants us to travel, whether T wants to see Marguerite, etc. Debbie, the director, assured me that she would get to the bottom of this and get our questions answered, and that we should be receiving regular updates from the case worker. I am hopeful now that we will soon get some answers to our questions and can start making some plans for heading south.

Meanwhile, I am trying to solidify our school plans and order books for the coming academic year, weed and prep our gardens (despite the cool weather), and get caught up on our family photo albums before we take off on our trip. Somewhere in there, I need to figure out our car seat situation, get out the warm-weather clothes, catch up on laundry, and pack for a family of nine! It's only twelve days until the due date! Calgon, take me away!