It’s been a busy 4.5 months…

If you’ve followed us on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter, you have been bombarded by photos of the most darling little girl named Audrey Rose. Though I have shared most of this on Facebook, I have not yet shared the story on our website. Since we hope to adopt more children in the future, I figured we should share what we can about our sweet little girl and how she joined our family.

On February 6, 2019, we received a call from our attorney asking us if we had seen a message on our profile. We had not, so we quickly went to that page and opened up a message from a woman whom I will call K. In the message, K shared that she was due in April, saw our profile and would like to talk about placing her baby with us. We reached out right away and played phone tag for about three weeks. Given our failed adoption in October, we were wary. We had not been able to talk with K because whenever we had a phone call set, something always came up. As a result, we protected our hearts and didn’t get too invested.

On Thursday, February 28, the night before my 42nd birthday, Dennis surprised me with my birthday gifts early! I loved my Lego Hogwarts Great Hall and my Harry Potter puzzle and our Lego Harry Potter Playstation game, and was so excited to spend the night of March 1, my actual birthday, sitting with Dennis enjoying these puzzles and games.

42: the answer to life, the universe, and everything. Fitting that our daughter came to us on my 42nd birthday. She is the answer to life, the universe, and everything! But I’m getting ahead of myself….

The morning of Friday, March 1, my sister Julie and I woke up early and went to do some work in the Gilbert Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I had some pretty sacred moments there that I won’t share here, but I left the temple feeling uplifted, grateful, valued, and supported in my trials. It had been a rough year. A roller coaster of hope and disappointment, delight and agony. The experience in the temple taught me that I am strong and able to bear the burdens placed on my shoulders.

A much needed time-out moment with my sis. I highly recommend temple attendance as part of a robust birthday celebration.

We left the temple and went to Joe’s Farm Grill for my free birthday breakfast. While Julie and I were wrapping up, I got a text from K, basically saying she had picked us out a while before she reached out to us, that she had asked God to send her parents for her baby and 3 different times with different situations, brought us up on her phone. She had checked out other couples and did not get the same feeling like she did with us. K said that she was in labor, so if we were serious I needed to call her ASAP.

I was still wary. Because that’s just me. Dennis had seen the text (it was on a shared Google Voice number), and texted to ask if I had seen it. I texted both Dennis and K and let them know I would call in a moment.

Julie and I got in the car and I called K. I went from wary to hopeful to totally freaking out in a matter of 20 minutes. K shared her circumstances and we talked about open adoption (a goal for both of us), and we knew… we KNEW it was the right fit.

K was heading to the hospital and we needed to leave ASAP. I texted Dennis at work and asked him to step out of class and call me now. Two minutes passed by and he hadn’t called. I texted, “We are going to Tucson to have a baby. Please call me now.” I wish I had been in the room to see his face!

He quickly found someone to cover his class and started home. Julie and I raced to my house to start packing. I called my family while my sister called my boss to tell him I wouldn’t be available for a scheduled phone call that afternoon. I called our social worker Calli Tidwell who sprang into action, got in touch with K, and worked everything out (more on that later). We drove the two hours to the hospital and arrived an hour after our little girl was born.

Audrey Rose, just a couple of hours old

She had trouble breathing so they put her on a CPAP that they removed later that night. She was hooked up to all sorts of monitors and machines, but we were smitten immediately.

Our first of many snuggles
Even Dad got in on the skin-to-skin

After some time with this precious little angel, we went back up to post-partum to see K. She was amazing through the whole thing. Her love for Audrey was clear and potent. Lots of tears were shed. She said she knew the baby girl belonged in our home. We felt overwhelming love for K and birth dad M.

K and M signed consent to adoption about 75 hours after Audrey was born. It was the longest 75 hours of our lives. Thankfully, our NICU nurse the day of the signing had adopted her two kids so she knew what we were feeling while we waited for the word from our social worker.

Audrey spent 19 days in the NICU learning how to eat. We are so grateful for the nurses that took extra special care of us and our baby. Audrey had so many great visitors. I wish we had a photo with each one. So many people prayed so long for her. She was instantly loved.

Audrey’s first visitors were our good friends Nick and Shelly Goodman. So grateful they made the drive at a moment’s notice. ♥️
Audrey’s most frequent visitor was her Aunt Julie. She was a life saver for us, giving us some time to get out of the hospital for a few hours every couple of days. Thanks, Jules!!!
Audrey had lots of visitors! Some we managed to get pictures with but others we missed 😫
Audrey’s eyes have been enormous from the get-go! We love her Disney princess eyes!
She’s got the best face.

NICU life wears you down. We loved being there with our baby girl, but we did enjoy getting out from time to time, thanks to Julie and our good friend Sue Cunningham and other awesome baby snugglers.

Livin’ la vida NICU
NICU life is rough. But our nurses made life “bearable”.
Audrey had a pretty intense tongue tie, so she needed a frenulectomy. Not Mom’s best moment 😰

Finally, on day 19, they gave us the all-clear to go home! We were overjoyed, overwhelmed, and super nervous driving away with our 6lb precious cargo.

Audrey’s first taste of daylight after getting sprung from the NICU!
First car ride! Dad sat in back because nerves. Lol!

We stopped at birth mom K’s house so that she could officially meet Audrey. K had not wanted to hold her in the hospital because she wanted Audrey to bond with us instead of her. We were and are so grateful that she put Audrey first, though we would have been totally happy to have K there sharing the snuggles. Audrey did bond to us quite well, and we are so grateful for K’s kindness. We were happy to visit K and her family as we left the hospital. No pics, to protect their privacy.

I should mention here that since we were two hours from home, we were able to stay at the Ronald McDonald House two miles away from the hospital. They were an absolute blessing to us.

Ronald McDonald House provides free lodging and meals and so much more for families with medical needs far from home. Please ask to “round up” and donate next time you’re at the drive thru!

More on the adoption part of things later. We are so blessed and happy with our Audrey Rose. 🌹

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