Adoption | Ashlyn | life

Ashlyn’s Birth Story

By on November 17, 2014

birth adoption story
It is National Adoption Month and I am finally sharing Ashlyn’s birth story.
I never shared it before because of many reasons. One it was a very emotional and intense time when she was born. We were in California away from our son and getting to know our brand new baby. Two I felt like it was such a different experience compared to my births that I didn’t know how to explain it without giving too little or too much information. That probably doesn’t make sense but there is another person involved who must be respected. Ashlyn’s biological Mother is incredible and I always felt it was somewhat her story to tell in one way but obviously our side is also important. So here it is, over a year later…
When we were asked to adopt Ashlyn I didn’t know then how different and similar it would be compared to being pregnant and giving birth to my two biological children. First of all when we were asked about adopting her (before we knew she was even a girl) and we were all in it felt very much like finding out you are pregnant. It’s like you have this overwhelming excitement and can not wait to find out what you are having and who this little person will be. You become overly protective of this baby and pray they come into this world safe and healthy. The obvious differences were physical, we didn’t create her nor did we get to lay in bed each night next to one another with her in my belly. It was very strange being pregnant with Everly and expecting Ashlyn in another state. 
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Ok so back to the birth story. This birth story starts a week before she was even born.
Branden and I got on a plane on October 11th, super early and headed to California. We got there around 9:30am I believe and headed over to meet with Ashlyn’s bio Mom. We will call her L. 
When we met up with L we immediately hugged and touched each others bellies and told each other how good the other one looked pregnant. It was so surreal to finally get to be there and see her. We had lunch and talked about Ashlyn and our other kids. After that we headed over to her place and hung out for awhile. Not too much else happened until the following Tuesday and L and I went to her doctor appointment and talked about inducing the following Monday. He didn’t think she’d make it passed her due date which was Friday but had it scheduled just in case. 
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The next day our other friend came into town and we all went to lunch. Poor Branden had to deal with us and our obnoxious friendship and inside jokes (they have wraps here?!) but thankfully he survived. They went back to L’s house and Bran and I went back to our hotel and basically finished up some things with our home study and all that fun stuff. 
Thursday we all met for lunch and then Branden and I went to the hospital to meet with a social worker and toured the hospital. We wouldn’t get a hospital room (some adoptive parents do at other hospitals) but they had a nursery we could be in if we needed to be with the baby alone (some bio Moms don’t want to stay in the rooms with the infants, not the case for us). 
Later that night I was feeling super emotional. I was missing Ace like crazy, he had been sick and I was pregnant and hormonal. It was probably one of the most difficult nights I have had since my parents passed away. It was like I was having an emotional breakdown. Branden took me to a pier and we walked it and then went and picked up food and headed back to our hotel. I could not sleep that night of course.
At around 5:45 am L called me and said her water had broken but not to rush because she was going to get ready and then head to the hospital. I tried not to freak out but of course that wasn’t happening. Branden and I got ready and when we got in the elevator all I remember was saying “We are going to have a baby girl today!!!” It was the most insane feeling. 
We got to the hospital and L’s OB came in and broke her water since it was just kind of trickling out or something and after a bit she got an epidural. 
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We all hung out and watched Vanderpump rules because that’s how we roll. After a couple of hours Branden and I decided to go to the cafeteria to eat. Right before we finished I got a text from our friend about L being fully dilated and not to rush because they had to prep the room for her to push. All I saw was she was fully dilated and I immediately rushed to the elevators and text them I was coming. I then reread the text and had to chill out in the waiting room, ha! 
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They told us to come in the room and I immediately started getting emotional and tearing up. The amount of emotion that took over me was crazy. It was such an unexplainable feeling. I was feeling excited to see our daughter, absolutely devastated for my friend who was about to experience probably one of the hardest moments in her life and back and forth between those feelings. I grabbed our camera and asked if she cared if I took pictures and she said she was ok with it. Branden, myself, L and our friend were all ready for this little girl. This little girl who would bond us for life, was about to be born! 
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Her doctor and nurse were super casual about her pushing. They were having a conversation and would tell her to push and at one point L and I both were kind of like um should she push? Ashlyn was sunny side up so the doctor had to turn her and finally L was able to push her head out, the doctor turned her again (I swear I thought he was going to break her neck) so we could see her chubby little face and that moment I will never forget. I remember crying saying she is so cute. Those cheeks still kill me! After that I got to cut her umbilical cord. It’s not as easy as it looks! 

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After Ashlyn was out they placed her on L and cleaned her off. Another moment I truly don’t have words for. Seeing L and Ashlyn together was so bitter sweet. I will love that moment forever. I have it on video and when I watch it I cry. You can see how much love L has for her. This must be what Dad’s feel like when they see their wives with their babies for the first time. 
You can not appreciate this person enough, you can’t love that person enough, you can’t cherish that moment enough. 

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After cleaning her off and giving L her time they finally took her over to get weighed and cleaned off. I remember looking at her and just thinking she has the most perfect newborn face! She looked like she had teeth already because she had these big gums and her little gap already. I mean the cuteness of her was unreal. L’s nurse, who was seriously an angel, took Ashlyn’s feet prints and put them on her paper that monitored her heart beat and then put her prints on her side where Ashlyn would always kick L. 
After she was cleaned up Branden and I got to have alone time with her. 

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We all spent the day together in the room with our beautiful baby girl. Night time came and she got to stay with L and our friend while Branden and I went back to the hotel. Talk about guilt in leaving your baby but also feeling completely ok with it because she was with her first Mommy. I almost felt bad that I was so ok with leaving her there. I knew they needed that time though. The next day we all spent the day together again. Hanging out watching trash TV, hating on L’s social worker who was awful and of course snuggling with our perfect angel. Night time came again and Ashlyn spent the night with L and our friend again. The next day we would be bringing Ashlyn back with us and I was so nervous, excited, and sad. 

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We got to the hospital that morning and I couldn’t even take her from L. I didn’t want to separate them on their last moments together that day. I said hi to her and gave her a kiss then we all left L and Ashlyn to be together till the time came for us to leave with her. I don’t think I have ever hurt for anyone more in those moments. Watching L looking at Ashlyn broke my heart. 
We went down to the cafeteria and a few hours later got a call that our attorney and L’s social worker were there. We went up to the room and got L and Ashlyn ready to go. We headed down to a waiting room on the main floor and all sat together at a table as L signed her rights away. We also had to sign papers as well. Ashlyn was so peaceful and sweet in her carseat. 
Once it was done we all took pictures together. Branden and our friend got our cars and L and I sat with Ashlyn. It was such a weird moment. I didn’t want to take Ashlyn from her but then I wanted to just have her in my arms. 
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After we got her in the car and left I still couldn’t believe she was ours. This perfect little person, this person who is loved by so many was our baby girl. 
Later that night we got to FaceTime with Ace and Branden’s Mom so they could see Ashlyn. Ace was so excited to see his baby sister. It was so sweet.
We headed home after a few more days and Ace got to meet his baby sister! 

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Adoption | Ashlyn | life

Ashlyn’s Adoption Finalization!

By on August 25, 2014

This past weekend we celebrated Ashlyn’s adoption finalization.
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We finalized her adoption on Wednesday and celebrated with family on Sunday.
It was so weird for it to finally be finalized. We have had to do so much to get to this point that it seemed so simple in that moment. 

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Everly’s Shirt / Ashlyn’s Shirt  / Headband

Our attorney called us on FaceTime and we were able to see the judge (we finalized in California but didn’t have to fly out for the hearing) and we had Ashlyn on our laps so she could be apart of it. 

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Headband / Chair

It took a total of 10 minutes and we were done. So simple.
It was 12 months and 12 days since we found out about our little princess and decided to adopt her. 
12 months and 12 days since we knew we would be a family of 5 and had no idea what all that would entail.
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I still think back on that day and how everything came together. We are so blessed to have her in our lives and getting to be her parents is the most incredible experience. She is the sweetest baby and we imagine our lives without her. 
She sure enjoyed her cake to celebrate officially becoming a Kania! 
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Ace | Adoption | Ashlyn | life

Christmas Show!

By on December 11, 2013
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Yesterday was Ace’s Christmas show at school. It was too cute. We got there and all the kids were sitting in their little chairs and as the parents went in some of the poor babies started losing it. I mean red faces, tears streaming, arms out stretched for their parents. It was the saddest but thankfully Ace didn’t do that. He wanted to come to me when he saw me but then his teacher had him sit down and he didn’t cry. I was so glad he didn’t get upset because I know it was heart breaking for the parents who had little ones crying.

After a bit they started their songs and jingle bells was so stinking cute. He had been singing it for weeks and kept telling us how he gets to hold a bell. He actually didn’t end up singing but did jingle the bell and at the end stood up and cheered. He was the only one so not sure if he was supposed to or not, ha!
After that the teacher had us come sit with them and they sang frosty and then got up and walked around the Christmas tree singing Rocking Around the Christmas Tree. After that they had snacks and got a present from their teacher.

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He did so well up until his one teacher was taking him outside then he freaked out. I mean hard core. I felt so horrible.

After we left we went to pick up Ashlyn from my sister in laws house and hung out there for a bit. The rest of the day wasn’t too exciting.

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Today we have a post placement meeting, we have to have them once a month till Ashlyn’s adoption is finalized. We love our social worker so its always fun to see her.

After that we are heading to the park to meet up with some of our favorite people! The rest of the week is getting busy too. I am wondering when things will finally slow down.

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Adoption | Ashlyn | life

Think before you comment!

By on October 25, 2013
I first want to thank everyone for the support on my post over at What to Expect. It has been incredible to see all the positive things people have to say about our experience. There was also some not so nice comments because our struggle to have a baby wasn’t as long as others and how dare I be upset over struggling with a fertility issue that did make it difficult for us to have our own biological children. I get those comments, I have been there and felt a similar pain. I hope those women can find some type of peace if it doesn’t ever happen for them but if it does I hope they can see where I am coming from in my post. If not then so be it but those weren’t the comments I found upsetting.
Anyway, the point of this post is not those comments because honestly, I get their pain and I get that bitter or jealous feeling of seeing people get pregnant with ease and then complain about being miserable during their pregnancy. That’s life, we all have feelings like that at some point over something in our lives. What I am upset about is this comment…
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I am so disgusted over talking about our daughter like she is a person up for grabs. 
First of all our situation is unique. We did not seek out a baby to adopt. 
We weren’t even in the process to adopt a child at all. 
We had someone we know become pregnant and we all agreed on Branden and I adopting Ashlyn. This was not a decision her biological mother just came up with easily, she struggled with it and couldn’t imagine her child with someone she didn’t know. 
So you want me to abandon my child to a stranger? You want myself and her biological mother to just give her up to someone who we have no idea about and say well, I am sure you deserve her more than me because you can’t have your own child? 
You are not only insulting me but you are insulting my daughter and her birth mother’s choice. That is who choses who her child goes to and that is a huge decision people need to respect.
She is not a baby doll you buy at a store. She is a human being, a person who came to us through love from someone we care deeply about. We went through the process of a Home Study which is in depth and personal to get her and to even make such a casual statement about a family like it was this walk in the park process is so disturbing to me. 
I can handle being called selfish because we have a biological son and expecting another child, whatever, your opinion, but I will not stand by and let someone talk about Ashlyn like she is this person no one wants and will so easily be given up. 
Branden, myself, her biological mother and Ashlyn are a family, a unique family that has a huge amount of love and respect for one another and no one made this decision without thinking things through and wanting what is best for Ashlyn. So the next time you talk about a child who has been adopted or is going to be adopted like they aren’t an actual person rethink what you are saying, imagine someone saying it about your own child and tell me if you would say it again. 

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Adoption | Ashlyn | life

Ashlyn is here!

By on October 23, 2013
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Our sweet little Ashlyn is here! She was born October 18th at 2:54PM. Weighing 7lbs 10ozs and 19.5inches long.
We are so in love with this little cutie and can not wait to get home so she can meet her big brother. We are still in California and hoping to be heading home Friday. We are cleared on the California end so hoping we get good news by Thursday on the Florida end. I will update more when we get home. 

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Adoption | life | pregnancy#2

A little update & a belly pic

By on October 9, 2013

Hey, girl, hey!

So first of all I want to apologize for our incredibly ridiculous my blog looks right now. Apparently I have had so many visitors this month and used up all the bandwidth I had with Photobucket and they turned my page into a hot mess. It will go back to normal on the 20th.

Anyway things around here are pretty uneventful now that we are done with our home study and just waiting on Ashlyn to be born. Bran and I fly out to California on Friday to wait for her arrival so lets hope she doesn’t take too long. I am slightly freaking out about leaving Ace for too long. I have never been away from him longer than 3 days and that was for the Bloggy Conference I went to last month. He was home with Branden so it wasn’t too bad for me to leave him.
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This time though, we won’t know how long we will be stuck in Cali. I am hoping the process is quick so we aren’t away from home with a newborn too. That is going to be difficult I think. Oh well, once we get back here I think everything will be pretty awesome. I can’t wait to see Ace with his baby sister.

As far as my pregnancy is going, it was a nightmare in the beginning but now things are good. I was so sick all day long. It was the complete opposite of Ace’s pregnancy. I also got a belly almost instantly. With Ace I barely was showing at 22 weeks and I am already bigger than I was then. Need proof? Here you go!

We went to the pumpkin patch again yesterday with Acey’s friends. We do that every year and this year was really funny because now that all the kids are 2 they really have a mind of their own when it comes to pictures. I will post pictures tomorrow since I am waiting to see if my friend got a good one of us with the kids. Check out my post from last year, HERE, to see the past two years of pictures. So crazy how much they have changed.

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About Me | Adoption | Ashlyn | life

Adoption Q&A

By on October 2, 2013

When we made our BIG announcement we had a lot of questions. Here are some answers to the questions we got.

1. What made you decide to adopt?

Ever since I was a little girl I have believed adoption is an amazing thing. I remember when I was in middle school seeing a 20/20 type show talking about all the children in Florida who were up for adoption. It shocked me. These kids were my age, some younger, some older but not one of them had parents. I begged my parents to adopt a child but at that point in there life they were done adding more children to the family. I don’t blame them. It is something as my friend Kelly put it so perfectly that is truly just put on your heart and not everyone has it in their heart and that is ok.

When Branden and I were dating and talked about children I told him I really wanted to adopt a child. He said he was definitely open to it. When getting pregnant didn’t come easily for us it was even more clear that it was something we wanted to do. We were open to adopt an older child but little Ashlyn came along and was meant to be ours!

2. Where are you adopting from?

Ashlyn will be born in California. We will be flying out there when she is born and will stay there till the paperwork between California and Florida is finalized and then we will bring her home. This can take an average of 10 days to two weeks.

3. Did you plan it this way so they would be so close in age?

No, we hadn’t started the adoption process yet since I had just found out I was pregnant. We then found out someone we know was expecting and it all fell into place.

4. Is it expensive to adopt?

I have gotten this question a lot. I have a few friends who are interested in adoption and this is a very important question when trying to decide if you can even afford an adoption. In short, yes adoption is expensive but thankfully because of our situation it won’t be as expensive as it would be for someone going through an agency. Here is a link with some information on the costs of adopting.

5. Are you going through an agency?

No, we are doing a private adoption and only need an agency for our Home Study, the ICPC (to make it legally ok for us to come back to Fl. with Ashlyn) and post adoption visits. We have an attorney who is handling everything else.

6. Did you know the birth Mom?

Yes, we do know her.

7. Will the adoption be open or closed?

We will be having an open adoption. We all think this is the best route to go.

These have been the most common questions I have gotten since our announcement. If you have anymore feel free to ask. 

Don’t forget to check out our GIVEAWAY we have going on to celebrate the new additions to our family! 

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