Hey there, folks!! Before you read this, you should know that this is a continued story about adopting our son Jude. If you haven’t read part one yet, please click HERE. If you have read it, feel free to read it again. I hope you guys enjoy part two.
Alright, where did I leave off?
I had finally decided that we were going take the plunge. We were about to grow our family through adoption. Like I have said before, I always knew I wanted to adopt, but I just didn’t know HOW that was going to go for us. I had an idea in my head that looked like something like what you would see in a movie. As it turns out, for me, our adoption story is better than the movies.
Never Underestimate Family & Friends
Now that we had decided to adopt, we had to start telling all of our family and friends. I felt like I already knew what they were going to say. “UUUHHHH, you have 3 kids in diapers, your youngest is only 7 months old, and you want to add a newborn to the mix?”; “How are you going to maintain your sanity with so many young kids?”; “Dude, your wife is nuts and you are even crazier for doing this with her.”; “Well, if you think that’s best…”
For the most part, I was wrong. My favorite part about telling our family was what God taught me about underestimating others. I had this crazy idea that some of our family members wouldn’t approve of our decision to adopt, so I was a little nervous about telling a few of them. As things usually go, I was completely wrong to think anyone in our family would object to Jude becoming part of our little clan.
I have a very close relationship with my grandfather. Ever since I could speak, I called him Pooh, a name he still loves. I was pretty worried about telling him about what we were doing. We had never discussed adoption, so I didn’t know how he felt about it. My mom called him and ended up letting it slip that we were about to adopt a baby boy. The next part of the story was actually a bit surprising for me. He was so proud of us and so happy about what we were doing, he had to get off the phone because he got a little emotional. So when I called him, he was ecstatic about our decision to adopt. He told me that he even considered adoption at one time. After having his two girls he wanted a boy, or just more kids in general. Adoption seemed like a “no brainer” to him, but his dad was against it. Pooh never ended up adopting, but he fully supported us doing it. I’ll never forget what he said. “How hard is it to love a baby? Once you wipe his butt, you’re pretty much family. After that, it’s all uphill?” Pooh continued to gush and ask questions about his new great-grandson. He couldn’t wait to meet him, and I learned a valuable lesson. I would never underestimate the love that my family possesses ever again.
Our friends and family were all happy for us. They all offered words of love and encouragement. It was good to know we were not alone. Everyone just wanted to know when they could meet him.
Time To Pick A Name & Upgrade Our Van
Now that we got the big news out of the way, it was time to prepare for his arrival. We were told he was due in April but would probably be coming early because of health risks to the birth mother. This whole journey started for us at the end of February, so we had a month or less to get ready. Talk about a time crunch. Nine months is for amateurs.
The first thing we needed to do was pick a name. Traditionally, the way we choose a name for our kids is to go with a saint name combined with a family name. We bounced a few family names around, but we kept coming back to Abby’s best friend Kris. She has been like family to us and she is also the one that connected us to the birth mother. Using her name seemed like a fantastic way to honor her, so we went with Christian for the middle name. For the saint name, we decided to go with Jude. We had a few other names we liked. (I think Titus was one of them.) We landed on Jude for 2 reasons. Jude is the Patron Saint of hopeless cases. Because of the circumstances, challenges and struggles of his birth mother, his situation seemed pretty hopeless at times. The other reason is because the birth mother’s other 3 children all had “J” names. We decided that would be a good way to keep him connected to them since it was to be an open adoption. The name fits him perfectly.
Now, the next thing we had to look at was our van. We had a mini van that had enough seats for everyone. It was a 7-seater, and we were about to be a family of 7. The only problem was 4 of us were in bulky car seats. We just weren’t going to fit. We needed to consider more space. We had been looking at larger vans anyway because we knew we wanted a large family. The next vehicle needed to be it for about 10 years. We ended up getting the Nissan NV.
I love that van so much, I took it over. It may look like a giant blue toaster, but is is the coolest blue toaster I have ever driven. Now my wife drives the pick-up truck and I drive the big ol’ van. Why? Because I am man enough to make it awesome. We have 12 seats now. That means we have 5 seats left to fill. (Any bets on how long that will take?)
He’s Coming Earlier Than Expected.
It got to a point where the birth mother’s preeclampsia had gotten bad enough that Jude’s due date needed to be pushed way up. Two and a half weeks after we found out about him, he was scheduled to be born in March on Friday the 13th, of all days. (We aren’t superstitious, but it still seemed funny.)
We wanted to be there the day he was born. I had been there for the birth of all of my children, and I didn’t want this to be any different. I wasn’t going to be in the room, but I still wanted to be present. We also decide it would be really special for our oldest, Grace to come with us. We wanted Grace to be a part of the whole experience and we wanted Jude’s birth mother to meet at least one of his new siblings.
After we made all our plans to be at the hospital for Jude’s birth, all the plans changed. The doctor decided they could not wait any longer for the sake of the mother. So Jude was coming on Thursday instead of Friday.
Abby was upset because she was stuck speaking on the west coast. She would have given anything to cancel and be there for Jude’s birth. Me? I was at home with the kids receiving texts about everything that was going on. It was hard to swallow that I could’t be there for the birth of my son. I’ll never forget the experience, though. I was sitting on my back porch with a beer in one hand and my phone in the other. The kids were playing in the back yard in the amazing Texas spring weather. Our friend Kris was sending us constant updates. Text after text, it was like getting the birthing play by play on my phone. She’s going back. She’s pushing. She’s still pushing… HE’S HERE!!!!!!
I burst into tears. Seriously, I couldn’t control myself. I think I cried harder for Jude than I did for any of my other kids. Maybe it was because I couldn’t be there. Maybe it was because this was an experience unlike any I had ever experienced. Either way, I was overcome with emotion. I texted my friends and family to let them know he is born and doing well. (I texted a couple other friends to let them know I was a blubbering mess. They texted me back to “get it together.”)
Next, Kris started sending pictures of the cord being cut and Jude being cleaned up and weighed. Now, let me tell you about the cord cutting part. I have cut the cord on all of my kids except for Jude. That would bum me out, except that I could not think of a better person to fill in for me, by proxy, than Kris. That was special for her, and it meant a lot to me that she was there. Thanks, Kris.
After I was able to pull myself together, I called Abby. We had our moment together over the phone. There was a feeling of excitement, but we were kinda sad because we couldn’t be there like we had planned. Abby told me she had moved her flight up to get there before us, but there were no earlier flights for Grace and I to take. I was happy for Abby. She was going to be able to hold Jude first. She would be able to meet Diana and thank her for her courage and her gift. Abby was about to have an experience that I could not describe.
With all the emotions and beautiful chaos, I couldn’t wait till the next day when Grace and I would be getting on a plane to go meet Jude…
Part 3 is coming soon.
Adopting Jude: A Hospital Stay