Ellison River Gray

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The moment has arrived…our second son Ellison River Gray is here. He was born at 1:05am after a long and emotional labor. Jason and I could not be happier. Harper loves having a baby brother and each second with Ellison is a new experience for him. Seeing my two boys together is amazing and beyond words. I cannot wait to watch them grow up together and form a bond stronger than any force.

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This adoption was vastly different than our first. One of the hardest parts was the waiting for Ellison to be born. Harper was already born when we met his birth mother. The wait included being in the dark most of the time regarding all details of the pregnancy. This lead to such an emotional roller coaster, which we knew was bound to end, but it was hard to see that end in sight. I have to say that these last four months have been some of the hardest of my life. But, look what I have now. An amazing son to complete my family of four! Another boy…can you believe it. I am so out-numbered! lol

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Other than Ellison himself, the best gift of this entire situation is that their birth mother and I had the chance to get to know one another on such a deep level and really had a chance to bond. She is immensely important to me and always will be. I could not be more grateful for the time I was able to spend with her. She is an amazing woman who has  made my family life complete. She has changed my life in the best of ways forever and I will always love her.

Now, we plan on getting an attorney, going through 6 months of supervision and hopefully finalizing the adoption shortly after the end of the 6 months of supervision. I will keep you posted as our finalization is nearer.

Thank you all for your continued love and support of our family and for taking this journey with us though this blog that we started before Harper was even in our lives.

If you feel so inclined, please visit our GoFundMe page. We have a long road ahead 🙂

https://www.gofundme.com/4rmsvmws

Inspiring Quotes and Harper’s 1st haircut!

November is National Adoption Awareness Month! As part of the celebration and education, Adoptive Families magazine/website published these great quotes…

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Harper had an exciting day today, getting his very 1st haircut. We took the recommendation of a friend and took him to Dimensions Salon in downtown STL. A very kind woman, Chandra gave Harper his haircut. We plan on visiting her again in the future. He looks too cute for words!

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Amazing article…

We recently became subscribers to Adoptive Families Magazine. It has been something we have looked at online for a while now, but decided to start receiving the magazine. It is a great publication, full of wonderful insights and thoughtful information for families formed through all types of adoption.

One article stood out among the rest recently. We wanted to share this article…

Dear Infertility Patient,

I sat in that seat you’re sitting in. Comfy, isn’t it? Nice, rich, dark leather? Ask the receptionist for some water. They put lemons in it, very refreshing. Oh, see that door behind the front desk? That is the door the celebrities use. That big movie star with the new twins, she snuck in through there. Before you get started I want to tell you a couple of things, a couple of things that I wish someone had told me many years ago.

Your doctor, the one whom you are about to meet, is really, really nice. Those pictures of bouncy, beautiful, babies on his bulletin board are his success stories. He is pretty successful. He has three homes, one with an ocean view, drives a Porsche and takes fantastic vacations. He likes football. He is going to make you feel more hopeful than you have felt in months. You may even have a slight spring in your step as you leave today, some of your grief temporarily lifted by a solid plan of action and a brand new prescription.

That woman there, she is your nurse. She is also really nice. She won’t get upset if you faint after your first injection. If you slump to the floor like I did, she will get you some juice and a cool cloth for your face. When you go for your blood draw in the next room, make sure to ask for the male phlebotomist from the Philippines. He is the gentlest and can find a vein on the first try. You will be giving a lot of blood and getting a lot of injections.

About those hormone injections, you know how you feel when you have PMS­—crabby, emotional and sort of angry? You are pretty much going to feel like that all the time. Those arguments that you have been having with your spouse about what to do next, and how you are going to pay for it, might become a little bit more volatile and upsetting. You will gain weight. You will have bruises on your arms, legs, hips and belly. People might mistake you for a junkie.

Did you cut out caffeine like they recommended? That part sucked for me. I fucking love coffee. Have you been taking folic acid and prenatals? Are you eating yams and warm foods? How do you like acupuncture? Some women swear that adding acupuncture to their infertility treatments is what finally did the trick for them.

Oh, is that your husband who just arrived? He looks sad, lots of lines around his eyes. Not a very fun way to spend a lunch break, I know.

Look, this is the thing. This might not work. It does for some, but not for everyone. Before you spend thousands of days, and tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars on something that is not a sure thing, please hear me out.

I think I know how you are feeling. Maybe you feel like you aren’t a real woman? Maybe you feel like the reason you can’t get pregnant is because somehow the universe, or God, or whatever, feels like you would totally suck as a mother? Maybe you think you will never ever recover from that last miscarriage you had? Maybe you feel like no one understands, and that everyone else and their sister are happily pregnant with their third child. Maybe you have withdrawn from all your friends. Maybe you have changed your diet, and done anything and everything anyone has ever recommended to help your fertility. Maybe you wish you could just crawl into bed and stay there forever.

And you, I want you to know that your wife still loves you very much. Part of the reason she wants this baby so much is that she can’t imagine anything more profound and meaningful than having a baby with you, her soul mate. Perhaps, lately, you feel like she is treating you like some sort of Superhero in boxers (briefs might inhibit reproduction), the Sperminator is here! Maybe you think she only desires you when she’s ovulating? Maybe sex is all about baby making now? Maybe it is timed and planned, and the opposite of romantic.

I have some good news for you. The test result you get today does not in any way determine your worth as a man or your potential as a father. You have done everything you can to support your wife and her feelings. That secret beer you had last month, although your doctor said cutting out alcohol might help, has nothing to do with why this isn’t working. Impregnating your wife doesn’t make you a good father.

You may find out how good of a father you are in the middle of the night when your baby’s fever won’t go down and you need to take him to the emergency room. You may find out you are a good father when you explain the solar system to your curious six year old. You may find out you are a good father when you know exactly the right moment to remove those training wheels from your son’s bike.

You may both find that being in a delivery room is not a prerequisite for starting a family. You may find that birthing a baby is not a requirement to be a mother. Amazing thought isn’t it? I couldn’t believe it either. Perhaps you’ll realize you are a mother when you let your four-year-old daughter sleep on top of you for three months because it makes her feel safe after all the loss she has endured. Maybe you’ll know when your infant son reaches his hand up to stroke your cheek.

You might get lucky like me and meet a child who makes you feel happier than you’ve ever felt before, a child so full of life that her eyes sparkle in a supernatural way. You might be fortunate enough to raise a son who is the epitome of boy, and who wakes up every morning shouting “MAMMA!”, like if he doesn’t see you immediately, he will not possibly be able to begin his day. Maybe there will be pancakes, and playdates, and purple and pink. Maybe, if you are lucky like me, the pain you are feeling now will almost completely disappear. Maybe you will find your way back to each other and the two of you will share something that is indeed the most profound expression of love between two soul mates, raising a family. Maybe you thought that sitting where you are now is your only way to get there. It is not. All you have to do is stand up and walk right out of that office. There is a great coffee shop across the street. I am happy to meet you anytime. They make an excellent cappuccino.

By Julie Corby

National Adoption Month

November is National Adoption Awareness Month! There are many ways to become involved and to celebrate. Here are just a few…

1. Save the Adoption Tax Credit! www.adoptiontaxcredit.org. As of January 1, 2013 we will no longer have an adoption tax credit unless we take a stand. This tax credit is extremely important to adoptive families.

2. Print the handout, “8 Myths About Adoption,” from www.adoptivefamilies.com/outreach. Distribute it in your community, school, or place of worship to create a factual dialog about adoption.

3. November 17th is National Adoption Day! Send good wishes to these forever families!

4. Print, “Accurate Adoption Language,” from www.adoptivefamilies.com/pdf/stylebook.pdf. Send this document to your local newspaper or share it with friends, family, and co-workers. It is so important to use accurate adoption language when speaking on the topic. Ex: Do not use the terms: real mother and real father. Instead use: birthmother and birthfather.

5. Shop with meaning this holiday season! Purchase gifts that donate proceeds to adoption or children’s chairities. Find gifts that give back at www.adoptivefamilies.com/givingback.