Thursday, May 3, 2012

Cuddles, charm and custody

Hi there!!!  Man, have we been busy!  Jones is growing so fast.  He is now 2 months old.  So far he loves people, being outside, eating, being held, lots of attention and being in busy, noisy places.  He is doing all things that babies do....eating, sleeping, pooping, spitting up, cooing/humming, smiling and once in awhile we hear a cry or two.  :)

We have been to Iowa twice, once for easter and a wedding and once for Drake Relays!  Jones is a good traveler.  We love showing Jones off to our family and friends.  He loves when there are a lot of people around, and he is quite the charmer!!  The ladies in Panora also threw us a baby shower!  What a wonderful support those ladies have been for Travis, Jones and I!  It was a beautiful shower with wonderful food and amazing company! 

In Perry, IA at Easter Brunch
At Nate and Andrea's wedding

Great grandma Doris, GiGi Lynda, me, Jones and Aunt Amy at the baby shower

I am sitting here trying to come up with the words to express how in love with Jones we are.  He has been so incredible and such a terrific addition to our family.  From the late night feedings to the crying for reasons we can't figure out to the falling asleep in our arms to the smiles he gives us when he wakes up...all of it is so wonderful!

I start back to work next Monday (May 7th).  I am really excited to head back to work and see all my co-workers and students!  I just wish I could hide Jones in my closet all day!  :)  Since that is not an option we have the next best thing....Chris (another Track coaches wife) has volunteered to watch Jones for the next 5 weeks while I am still at school.  It is so wonderful to not have to take him to day care yet.  Chris is outstanding and I feel so comfortable with Jones in her hands for the day!  My mom and Travis' mom are also coming down to help out on those days that Chris can't watch Jones.  Lora ( T&F administrative assisstant) has also volunteered to help!  In fact, she came to spend the night once when Travis was gone for a week and this momma need to catch up on my sleep!  We are SO, SO lucky to be surrounded with such amazing people! 

Jones had his 2 month check-up this week.  He was in the 25%tile for his height and weight, weighing in at 10.61 lbs.  He really impressed the doctor with how strong he was.  He even rolled over to his side when the doctor put him on his tummy!  That was a first!  Such a little show off!  :)  He also got his shots.  :(  He cried really hard, however rest of the day he was really good.  I was expecting him to be super fussy, but he wasn't.  He was really tired and cuddly. 
Jones at 2 months

Today, May 3, 2012, we had our court date to file our petition of custody.  All the paperwork was finally ready and was presented to the judge!  We met the judge and our lawyer at 8:30 this morning.  They asked us both a few questions about our background, home study, and our intentions (to adopt Jones).  Then the judge ruled the petition of custody be filed and told us congratulations!  YAY!!  Not going to lie...I got teary!  :)  So the next step is to get his birth certificate.  This will happen 6 months from today.  It's a process, but everything is headed in the right direction!!  :)

The Judge with Travis, Jones and me.

Happy family

Jones and me with our lawyer, Gene Kelley

Friday, March 16, 2012

It takes a village...

Well, we have been home one full week now! In a way I can't believe it has been a week already, however in some ways it feels like longer. ;)

We have accomplished a lot these last seven days! My mom and sister help me put away and organize the baby stuff I had bought/borrowed before we left. My friend Kim Summers let us borrow all her boy clothes, pack and play, monitor, swing, play mat, and so much more!!! It has been so awesome!!!

On Monday, teachers from school brought us supper!! They got to peek at Jones and they agreed with us...Jones is the cutest baby ever!

After supper on Monday my sister started her journey back north (tears). It's crazy that when she's not here we have the phone and FaceTime and that's satisfying, however when she's here and then she leaves, I just feel empty. I actually mope around like a lost puppy! It takes awhile to get back to being ok with just talking to her on the phone again.

On Tuesday, Jones had his first Arkansas doctor appointment. The doctor examined his bump on his head and agreed with the doctors from Virginia. He has a cephalhematoma, which is a hemorrhage of blood between the skull and the periosteum. The doctor told us the bump will gradually decrease and it could take up to 2 - 3 months to do so. It felt good to get a second opinion. Everything else was great. He is almost back to his birth weight, weighing in at 7 lbs 5 1/2 oz. His umbilical cord fell off at the doctor's, so now he has a cute little belly button. Our next appointment will be for his 2 month check up.

Tuesday night Travis' mom, Grandma Theresa, came from Iowa. She is here now and leaving tomorrow. It has been great to have both of our mom's here. I have been very spoiled. Usually one is cleaning and then the other is helping with the baby. It's been awesome...I just don't know what will happen when they both have to leave. We don't have to worry too much though, my mom is staying until the end of the month! ;). And I have a feeling Grandma Theresa will be back soon.

Wednesday we went for our first family walk! Uncle Tyler and Aunt Amy sent us a jogging stroller. It was a beautiful day and great to get outside for some fresh air!

Thursday was a busy day! We started it off with part of the Case clan coming over to see Jonesy! Then that afternoon the teachers from Happy Hollow came over and threw a baby shower for baby Jones! It was so wonderful. They came in and brought decorations, food and way too many gifts! They loved on Jones! He must have felt it too, because he slept good that night! ;). After the shower we headed over to Case's to watch some basketball! The rest of the family got to meet Jones. They just love him so much. It's awesome to have such good friends that feel like family when you don't live close to home.

Everyday this week we have received a package from our mail carrier or UPS man. I think we are on first name bases at this point!! We can not believe the gifts this little guy has received. We are humbled by the love and generosity of our family and friends!

So, to refer back to the title of this take a village. Between ourselves, our families, friends, co-workers, and birth mom's family this little baby will not lack in support or love!! We will make sure he knows that he is not only loved by us, but also the "village" that surrounds our family of three! I don't say this very often, but may God bless each of you and may you feel the love that we are feeling each and every day!!!!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Welcome home, Baby Jones

It is so wonderful to be home! We got home Friday at 5:00. It was a really long day of traveling, but worth it once we pulled into the driveway! Gary, Lynda and I introduced Jones to his home. We settled in quickly with a diaper change. :)

We were also surprised with a beautiful arrangement of diapers!!! Our friends collected over 2,000 diapers!!! We got diapers in all different sizes!! My friend, Lora, even made a diaper cake!! I will put a picture below.

Shortly after we got home, Grandma should I say Great-Grandma Doris came with her friend, Richard. Then my mom and sister pulled in the driveway!! It was quite the welcome home! Our friend Chris Case also came, along with her sister. She brought back our dog, Buddy. She took him to wear him out before we got home!! ;). It was so so great to have our family here to welcome Jones.

Jones has settled in nicely to our home. He is eating well and also sleeping pretty good!! Each day he gets cuter and cuter!! My mom and sister have been SO much help (cooking, washing bottles, changing diapers, making bottles, helping with laundry, etc...). ;) I have even gotten to take some naps while they spoil and love on the little man!

Travis just got home tonight from NCAA indoor nationals. (Razorbacks were 5 points away from first place!!!!). Yesterday my mom, Heather, Jones and I went shopping and out to lunch. Then Jones got a bath! ;) We also washed all his clothes and put away all his toys that he has already gotten from family and friends. We are humbled by the showering of gifts we have gotten from our long distance friends and family!! Today was rainy so we hung out at home. Tonight Grandma Doris, Rich, Gary, Lynda, mom, Heather, Travis, Jones and I all hung out at the house!

I just can't imagine how Travis and I would have gotten through these last three weeks without the support from our family. Many members have put work on hold to come help us. Others have been supportive from afar by calling, texting and following us feverishly on Facebook/blog. We have the best family ever. Jones is going to be so loved and spoiled....he's one lucky little boy!!!

Friday, March 9, 2012

We got the "all clear"

My phone rang around 4:00 pm yesterday and, after some previous calls back and forth from the lawyers, I was praying it was our lawyer, Gene, to give us the "all clear" to leave Virginia and head home. Gene said that he had good news and I knew just what he was going to say!! He said, "Go Razorbacks, come home!". I was thrilled! Gary, Lynda, Jones and I stayed the night in Bristol, VA and left this morning at 4:19 am!! :).

We have been gone for two weeks and are all excited to get home. I'm really excited to see my dog and cat...oh and my friends and family! ;). I'm also ready to unpack the suitcases and get Jones settled into our house.

We are going to try to get back to Fayetteville today! It will be a family affair tonight and next week when we get home. Not only have my in-laws been with us this whole time, but they will help us welcome Jones home. My sister and my mom are driving to Fayetteville today, too. So they will be there tonight! My sister is staying until Tuesday and my mom is stay for rest of the month! Travis' grandma Doris is also in Arkansas and she will give baby Jones lots of hugs and kisses. Then next week Travis' mom is coming down to visit for a few days!! (we are so spoiled!!!!)

Speaking of spoiled, I can't imagine how this trip would have been with my father in law, Gary and his wife, Lynda! They have been through a lot these last two weeks! Their patience, support and love is indescribable. With Travis having to leave on Wednesday, Jones and I would have had to travel back by ourselves. Yeah..that would have been a nightmare! So a big, huge THANKS goes to them!!! We love you, Gary and Lynda!

Also, a continual thank you goes out to all of you, our friends and family. You all are amazing! The love and support you have given made us smile!!!! It's been a journey and we never felt alone along the way! It has been much appreciated!

Ok...I've been way too quiet back here...time to talk Gary's ear off! He's got about 10 hours left to listen to me! Heehee!!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Good-byes are not easy

Today we are hitting the road. Our paperwork in still getting processed in Virginia. We are hoping they finish the paperwork today and send it to Arkansas. Basically Virginia says, "ok, you can take the baby out of our state.". Then Arkansas says, "ok, you are cleared to bring the baby to our state.". Apparently this process isn't as easy as that. ;). It's taking a little longer than I was hoping. We are SO ready to be back home.

Since we haven't been cleared to leave Virginia we are just driving to the Virginia/Tennessee border today. It feels good to get on the road and out of the four walls of the hotel room.

As for Katie, she had to say good-bye to the baby today. This has been something I have felt anxious about for a couple days. I knew it would be hard for Katie. I gave her some alone time with the baby. When I came back there were tears in Katie's eyes. I felt so helpless. I told her that I wished there was something I could say to make her feel better, but I knew there was nothing to say.

I took Katie to an Extended Stay place. She will stay there for a couple weeks. She and Travis went on a college visit yesterday. She filled out all the paperwork for admissions, housing, and financial aid. What a big step for her!!!

Travis flew out to Boise, Idaho this morning. What a busy time for him!! Won SEC conference, got a baby, and now he's off to coach at NCAA Indoor Nationals!! Wouldn't it be wonderful if they won Nationals!!! Wooo pig sooie!!

So good-byes are not easy. But I know that we will see Katie again soon. We will be sending here loads of pictures, Skype with her and text!

That kiss she left on her baby's head will not be the last kiss she gives him!!!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

2 + 1 = 3 (YAY)

It's Monday night....our birth mom, Katie's, timeline to change her mind has Jones is now a part of our family. We are still waiting for the paperwork to go through, so we can leave Virginia...but we have cleared the first hurdle!

We have spent some time with Katie today. First, we went to Jones' doctor appointment for his jaundice. We got good news that his level dropped from 14.1 to 9.7. The doc was happy about that. He has requested that we follow up on Jones' bump on his head when we get back to Arkansas. So we will keep an eye on that! After the doctor appointment, we went to Panera for lunch. Then when we got back to the hotel Travis talked to Katie about college. After that we went shopping. ;) Then tonight Katie's aunt and cousins came to visit the baby at the hotel. It was a very busy day!

Overall, we are feeling so blessed!! We love this sweet baby boy! Travis and I have had the most wonderful 9 1/2 years of marriage. I don't think I could say anything was ever missing....however now that we have Jones, our family is a new kind of "complete"! And as for Katie...she brings a new light into our lives as well. I truly believe that God designed this arrangement, prayer after prayer and tear after tear....I now see the method behind his madness. ;)

Ok, so now we are just waiting for "those papers" to go through and the "all clear" to head back to Arkansas!!

We are very excited to show Jones off to all our anxiously waiting family and friends. Thank you so much for the prayers and positive thoughts!! We could not only feel them, but we could see them at work!!

Lots of love...back at ya!!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Feeling the love!

Wow! Travis and I would like to express our sincerest thanks to all of you for your support, love and prayers. I am so happy to report that things have been going great! The birth mom was living with her boyfriend and his family. Her boyfriend and his family are not welcoming her back to the house without the baby. She did not have anywhere to go, so we got her a room at the hotel we are staying at. It is a very unusual arrangement, however it seems to be working out nicely. The baby is staying with us, however about twice a day we go to her room to visit. We have been able to discuss future plans. At one point we were talking about how we thought the baby was going to be a ladies man. She said, "He better be repectful and a gentleman to the girls." And I said, "yeah, or else he'll have some 'double mama trouble'" :) We both laughed about that for awhile! :)

We definitely are extremely grateful to Katie, the birth mother. She has put her baby's life before her own. To actually see this all happen has been something that will change our outlook on life forever. There is no greater sacrifice than that of a mother wanting to give her child a life that she, at this time, can not provide. She is an angel.

As for the little guy....we are in LOVE! He has us wrapped around his little teeny, tiny fingers. He is a good eater! He eats about every 3-4 hours and eats about 1 1/2 to 2 oz. He is a great sleeper....but is a little mixed up with his nights and days. He sleeps during the day and is wide awake at night. I'm not going to complain though...I kinda enjoy the alone time with him. Travis and I have been taking shifts at night. He will sleep while I entertain the babe and then when he wakes up, I give him the baby and go to bed. Sometimes this happens without any words exchanged. :) It has been great to see Travis doing "dad" things. I always knew he'd be an outstanding dad, but to see this actually happen has been amazing.

Yesterday, we had a doctor appointment. The baby has a pretty large bump on his head from the birth. The appointment went well, but the doctor wanted to get his jaundice level. We went to the hospital and that mean nurse in the lab took blood from his little foot. It might've been the meanest thing I've even seen anyone do to a poor little baby! :( We got the level back and his level was 14.1. We were told to come back to the doctor on Monday morning. We are hoping his number goes down.

So, overall things are looking good. We are still waiting for Monday to come. Katie has until the end of the day to change her mind about the adoption. Then after that we are waiting for the interstate adoption paperwork to clear between Virginia and Arkansas. We are hoping that by Wedensday we will hear the "all clear" to hit the road. We are still liking the name Jones Dean Geopfert for the little guy. The birth mom has named him Christopher Aiden. His name will offically change when all the paperwork is complete.

Thank you again for all your positive thoughts! Travis and I have been feeling overwhelmed with the love from facebook messages, emails, texts and phone calls. We have the best friends and family!

Here are some pictures!

1st Picture:  Chillin with dad!
2nd Picture: Future Razorback
3rd Picture: Birth mom , baby Jones and me