Steve and Jaylene

Welcome to our lives and times ....

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Mom is back at work

So, I was really dreading Tuesday, January 19, 2010 because that was the day that I had to send my precious little baby to the babysitter's and go back to a job that, to put it mildly, is not my favorite job I've ever had. I had a rough night's sleep the night before and pretty much cried all the way there and much of the day. It was tough. Really tough.
But, I've decided to look on the bright side of life, because I think that will really help me get through this next little period in my life the best. So, I've decided to count my blessings. I have so many, but I'm focusing on these ones for the next little bit:
1) A very supportive husband.
Steve is amazing! He gets up with Lydia in the night, changes poopy diapers without complaint, and has the ability to sense when I'm getting really frustrated, because he'll come and say - "Let me hold my daughter for a little bit while you go and do ______." I seriously won the husband lottery. I couldn't have done many things without him.
2) Health insurance and a paycheck.
While my job is really tough, I do get enough money from it that we are able to afford life, especially doctor visits with our new little girl, without going into more debt. If I had quit my job like I had wanted to (and Steve was really even pushing for this), we would have had to take out loans to make it through.
3) The most wonderful baby in the world.
Lydia is such a blessing. I love her so much! I look at her every day and fall a little more in love with her. She has reached the point where she has started to smile at me, and it melts my heart every time. She won't do it a lot, but when she does, it's worth all of the bad things I have going on in my life.
Lately, she's also taken to sleeping with a fist in the air. I don't know how she can do it, but she does and it's one of the most adorable things I've ever seen in my life. See the picture at the top!
It also helps that she's a pretty easy baby and our babysitters (2 really great friends) have not disowned me or refused to see my baby anymore!
God has given us the best gift in the world and I am grateful for her every day.
4) Wonderful friends and family.
We have such a great support system with all of your prayers and good wishes. Thank you so much for the love and support you have shown us, not only recently, but pretty much for always.
5) 86 more days.
Not that I'm counting or anything, but after 86 more work days, I can be done and become a stay-at-home mom! I know I can do this. It's one of the hardest things I've ever done - to work and be a mom - but it will so be worth it in June.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Baby Shower

We have such wonderful friends! With both of our families living so far away, it was up to our friends to pull off a baby shower for Lydia. And boy, did they do a great job! Jaylene and Lydia had a great time today at the baby shower. We received many fabulous presents - cute outfits, toys, books, a diaper cake, and even a couple of beautiful handmade blankets, but the gift that seemed the most common was .... SHOES! Lydia is such a girl already. She received 5 pairs of very, very cute shoes. And that's to go with some that she already got from Grandma and Aunt Evelyn! Her closet is filling already, even though her feet are only like 1 1/2 inches long.
We want to thank everybody who was there in person or in spirit! We feel such an outpouring of love and support from our friends. Thanks for everything!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Our Road to Adoption

Many of our friends have asked us about our adoption story. I think I am finally ready to tell it. Our path to adoption has been a long, hard road. We were married in March of 2004 and always knew that we wanted a family. For the first year or so of our marriage, we didn't really try or stress too much, because we were finishing school and getting to know each other. However, when I (Jaylene) graduated from college in 2005, we thought it would be a good time to start trying. We wanted several children, and we thought it would be best to have them while we were young-ish and had energy! So, we started trying.
A year and a half later, when nothing happened, we went to the fertility specialists. They tried many options with us, and we even started looking into invitro fertilization. However, after several long, stressful months, they came back and told us that there was no way that we could have biological children. Both of us are at fault. This news devastated us. It was a true low point in our lives. As I look back on it now, I'm not sure how we kept working and going, but I know that I have never prayed so hard in my life.
In 2007, we had the opportunity of caring for a foster daughter in our home. She was 4 weeks old when she came to us, and was almost 6 months when she left. At the time we were placed with this little girl, we had been thinking of pursuing adoption, but some doubts kept coming up. However, because of this baby girl, we really felt that adoption is something that we needed to do. We learned how to love like we'd never loved before. When our foster daughter left us, it was a very difficult time for us. We loved her like she was ours, and to have her leave created a large void in our lives. Just weeks after she left us, we moved to the Philippines - kind of as an escape to that pain, but also because Steve got a great job there.
We lived in the Philippines for 6 months, and met with lawyers and pursued other avenues towards adoption, but nothing seemed to be working out. We were getting frustrated and worried that nothing would ever happen. Finally, Steve's job went in a direction that we weren't comfortable with, so we left the Philippines and moved to Ohio so he could attend graduate school.
We were excited to move, to get a fresh start on life, and weeks after getting settled in Ohio, we met with our adoption agency and started the paperwork to get approved for adoption. It took us 10 months to complete our paperwork, including another move to a different apartment in Ohio, so we could prepare our lives for a baby. Finally, in November of 2008, we became officially approved for adoption. Then came the waiting game. We heard nothing for 2 months, and then all of a sudden, we received fantastic news - a birth mother in Ohio had picked us and was expecting a baby in February 2009! Everything seemed wonderful. We met with her, went shopping, figured out how to get maternity leave from my job, and went to the hospital on February 9 where a beautiful baby girl was born. We stayed with her in the hospital for 2 days, and then took this little girl home. We were so happy - we were finally parents! Or so we thought. The day after we took her home, we got a phone call from our adoption caseworker that the birth mother had changed her mind and would be at our home the next morning to take her back. That day was Friday the 13th. This was an all-time low for us. We couldn't understand why this was happening to us. We still don't understand.
Months went by, and we heard nothing. We got a couple of emails from potential birth mothers, but nothing happened. We were becoming increasingly discouraged and almost resigned to a childless life. On December 2, 2009, we were both at home working really hard on projects for school and work. It was a very busy time of year for both of us, and just trying to get everything done seemed difficult. But that evening, we received a phone call from our caseworker. He told us of a baby that had been born the day before that he was trying to find a home for. He told us that he was calling several couples to see if we'd be open to such a sudden placement and would make the final decision by the next day. As soon as we got this news, we knew that we wanted this baby! We felt something telling us that this would be right. The next morning, our caseworker called and said that he had picked us! We were going to get a baby! In a rush of getting things worked out with school and work, we weren't able to get to the hospital until about 10:00 pm that day, where we were told we were too late to see our baby. So, we had to go home and go through another day of school and work before we finally got to the hospital at about 3:00 in the afternoon. We saw our beautiful baby girl for the first time that day! We fell in love right away, but because of all that had happened to us in the past, we didn't tell many people until it became official on Saturday, December 5. Our daughter, Lydia Nicole, was born on December 1 at 10:49 pm. She weighed 5 pounds, 7 ounces and was 18 inches long. She is beautiful, and we are so grateful to have her in our home! All of the paperwork has been signed - but we do have to wait until June to have the adoption finalized. But, everything looks perfect, and it seems as though we have finally started our family!

Friday, January 1, 2010


I am quite a book nerd. I love to read! I have a giant stack of books on the nightstand next to my bed (seriously 20-30 books) that I hope to get through. I'm a member of and am always looking for things to read.
So, if anybody out there has any great recommendations, I'd love to hear them!