Tanner, Ty, and Tori are pleased to present their new little brother…
(Note:? Green highlight is bili blanket for jaundice)
Troy Everett was named after Troy H. Everett – my Poppy – an amazing man who I miss dearly.? He is grinning away from heaven – I just know it.
Troy’s Adoption Story
I think my heart knew Troy was coming.?? Last week when in Pine with Jodi I kept catching myself thinking “Where is the baby?? I need to go check on the baby.”? Then I would stop myself and wonder why I kept having the need to check on a baby I did not yet have.? It was the strangest thing.? I finally told Jodi on our drive home because the urge to go check on the baby just kept coming up over and over all day.? Jodi commented that maybe my baby was on the way and that my spirit knew it.? I wondered the same thing.? When this continued to occur, I had a mounting anticipation.
I’ll get right to the heart of it and then back up and give you all the amazing details.? I cannot wait to retell this story because it is just the DREAMIEST adoption tale EVER!!!!? I am super sleep deprived and emotionally exhausted (good stuff) so I imagine this will be quite lengthy and full of run on sentences.? Forgive it okay?? I gotta get it out so I can keep my promise to Jim and go catch up on some sleep so I can get back to the hospital.
Yep.? I said hospital.? This is the THIRD TIME IN A ROW that our child is premature.? What is up with that?? It isn’t like we are saying “Lord can we have several bonus weeks please”?? LOL!? Apparently Jim and I are just preemie magnets.? The good news is, this is no longer our first rodeo and at least we are quite comfortable parenting tiny babies.
Troy arrived at 33 weeks – yes – like Tori.? He is a bit smaller though.? He was 5 pounds at birth but as of today has dropped down to 4 pounds 12 ounces.? He has managed his early arrival wonderfully though.? None of this wimpy white boy stuff for Troy (preemie term – Caucasian males are notorious for doing poorly when born prematurely).
He arrived at 12:05 AM on Saturday morning.? He is still in the NICU and likely will be for at least another 48 hours at least.?? Since I have been going off 4 hours sleep per night since last Friday, Jim is taking a day and night shift for me at the hospital so I can announce his arrival and get some rest.?? (And if you need to talk to me, I would suggest a text message because I don’t have online access at the hospital).
(He sported a serious cone head – still not yet completely resolved.? We call him “Turk” .? Notice the red?? All bruising.? Poor baby. )
So that folks is the short version.?? If you want the full story (and you do – you really do)…read on (and on and on and on).
Imagine for a moment that you and I were sitting at Starbucks and I said to you “Wouldn’t it be so awesome if our fourth adoption goes just like this...” and then I explain this heaven sent dreamy tale full of ease and wonder.? Then we laugh and you say “Doni – AS IF!”
Low and behold that IS what happened!!!? This has been a DREAMY adoption!? To quote my sweet husband “This is more than the fingerprints of God – this is like God just punched me in the face”. (He meant that as a good thing LOL – referencing how clear the message was that THIS little boy is ours).? We simply cannot deny the amazing handiwork of our great creator in the beautiful and incredible story of our son’s birth.
Now that I have your attention (hee hee), I need to back this story up to last Thursday because from a spiritual perspective, the events of Thursday made Friday seem even more surreal.
On Thursday, Jim and I made the decision not to show our birth letter to a birthmom that our adoption agency had called about.? It was a difficult choice for us and one that required prayer and talk time.? The bottom line was that we didn’t feel a peace about the situation and we needed that to make such a huge life impacting decision for us and our children.? Close to midnight on Thursday, I sent a note to a couple of girlfriends and said the following:
“Please pray for this birthmom and baby.? I think if we were supposed to be this little one’s mommy and daddy though, we would have a growing peace and not a gnawing concern.? Pray for us too because this is such a tough tough place to be in.? We need to trust in the Lord and we need to be wise and sometimes it is very hard to decipher between those two.? As in saying we are trusting but really just being stupid versus saying we are being “wise” but really just being afraid and not trusting…I can honestly say that the line between those two things is very blurry tonight and I don’t know which is which.? In this moment, I fall in the arms of my Savior and bank on his mercy because it’s all I got right now.? I don’t know how to make these decisions.? I don’t want to be afraid.? I don’t want to make decisions that put my family through heartache being reckless either.?? Please ask God to make the way clear for us -?to speak to Jim and I and to teach us to listen and to trust Him.? I believe we did the right thing but it still hurts and I hate this grief.? I am so deeply saddened for this little baby.”
Friday morning I took the kids to see Cars.? After the movie, I decided to do a little shopping in the mall with the kids (likely the last time I will do THAT alone for awhile).?? Driving home I got a call from a client.? T is expecting her baby in August so I assumed she was calling about her shoot.? T is also the office manager for a local OBGYN that my family adores.? Dr. F has delivered (including Troy), 9 of our family’s babies as well as the babies of many friends.? Needless to say, we have met on many birth occasions and? Dr. F has a large fan club within our family.? He knew we were on an adoption waiting list because of his close ties to my siblings.
T. surprised me.? She was not calling about her baby but potentially MINE.??? T. had reminded Dr. F. about our current status when he called her about an ongoing situation at the hospital.? I was to call Dr. F right away to discuss.? At about 3:30 PM on Friday I excitedly placed that phone call and wondered if life was about to change – for the fourth time.
I hope to be careful to protect the privacy of Troy’s birthparents so I will limit some details but the essence is that the birthmother and birthfather decided together on an adoption course after walking into the ER with a back ache and being shocked to discover that K. was in labor.?? She did not know that she was pregnant.? You would be surprised at how often this happens (according to Dr. F.).
They explained their story to the Dr.s on staff (and later to Jim and I) and while I don’t want to go into the details here, I will say that they did have legitimate reasons for doubting a pregnancy.
Their joint decision to place Troy for adoption was not born out of the shock of a surprise baby.? In fact, due to extenuating circumstances, they had agreed early on in their relationship that should a pregnancy ever occur (the conception of Troy was a miracle all by itself), that their unique life circumstances would not allow them to raise a child the way that they believed a child deserved to be raised.? It wasn’t a “want not” but a “could not”.???? I would ask in advance that you reserve judgment on what I have shared with you.?? This couple has placed the greatest treasure in our arms and in understanding why they chose what they did, we love them deeply and respect so much the choice they made FOR TROY’S SAKE!
For years I have dreaded a “hospital” adoption experience.? That is very foreign to me even after the adoption of my first 3.? Tanner was adopted though I gave birth to him (embryo adoption), Ty was in a different hospital than Amanda due to his mere 25 week birth, Tori’s birthmom requested a completely closed adoption.? As a result, I have never had the “normal” hospital adoption experience occur.
What would it be like to meet the birth family during this life altering time?? I got to find out on Saturday at 10:00 AM.
For a brief moment I will back up and tell you that Dr. F.? had promised to call us on Friday as soon as Troy arrived.?? I paced my house from 3:30 PM Friday until 12:30 AM on Saturday morning when the long awaited phone call came.? Papa and Sweetie, Aunt Karen, Jamie, Michelle, Rob and Cat all came over Friday to assist with my labor.? They were great coaches even though I did find myself hyperventilating a time or two.? ?? Tanner was adorable.? He “thought” he heard the phone ring about 100 times.? He was still awake at 12:30 AM when the call came and was glued to my side listening to every detail with a huge grin on his face.? When I got off the phone with Dr. F, Tanner said smiling, “Are you happy mommy?”??? Happy indeed!
The birthfamily had asked if they could meet us so on that early AM call we arranged to meet with them at 10:00 AM on Saturday morning.?? Goodbye sleep.? I tried.? I really did.? How can one sleep through labor though?? Wondering if my baby was here deprived me of any ability to rest.
When I walked into the hospital room, I took one look at K’s sweet face and my tears started pouring.? Yes I know.? Shocking.? (LOL).? To look into the eyes of another woman who is considering placing her child in your arms and entrusting that little life to you…that is a powerful thing.
When she saw me, she pointed her finger at me and smiled (with likely the best dimples on the planet) and said “That is EXACTLY the expression I wanted to see on your face!” I have repeated this story several times over and this is the point that I always cry again.? A precious moment in my life that I will never forget.
We hugged and cried (well I cried – you know me) and laughed and talked for two hours and then K said “Would you mind if I hold him so that I can see what I made and the gift I am giving to you?”? (As of this point, neither S nor K had held the baby and he was 12 hours old at this time and in the NICU).
You well know what I said to that so all 4 of us then went to the NICU together to meet Troy.
When we saw our precious baby boy, we were absolutely overwhelmed and in love.? K and S held him first and I took some pictures of those incredible first moments.? Troy was then handed to me.? As you can see below, I was a basket case.? Crying all over my baby in sheer awe and amazement.
The rest of the day was a whirlwind of activity.?? We had such a sweet sweet time of bonding with K and S and they were open to meeting our family and invited the whole crew to come see the baby.? As you can expect, the nurses ultimately requested that we thin the herd as masses of family members arrived to peak through the NICU window.
K and S shared with us that they felt such a strong commitment to the adoption and were convinced that we were truly the ones that were supposed to adopt their baby.? They preciously affirmed us as the parents and told us not to be afraid that they would not sign consent.? They reminded us that because of their ages (thirties), they were not making this decision rashly and that they were determined in their course and sure of their choice in us (and also loved that we came quote “Dr. recommended” lol).
Jim and I could never adequately express our gratitude for the decision that K and S made.? It was utterly unselfish.? They loved our son enough to bare the burden of the sacrifice so that he would have the opportunity to be raised in a family that could care for all his needs.?? They wanted to know, above all else, that we would love him with all our hearts, minds, and souls and by the end of the day Saturday, were convinced that we did already.
As for Troy, he has truly done magnificently and amazed us all.? He never required any oxygen (which is very impressive for a 33 week caucasion male).? He (of course), required an NG tube (feeding tube down his nose) because he had to learn to suck, swallow, breathe before bottle feedings.? By his third day of life though, he had learned and was drinking 1 ounce (30 ccs) every 3 hours via bottle.? (He had to start with about 5 or 6 ccs which was about a teaspoon and he wasn’t a big fan of such a small snack).? Like Ty, I doubt Troy will be tiny for long.?? Even though his birth stats were more diminutive than Tori’s, he looks substantially healthier.? Tori was frail and haggard at her 5 pounds 8 ounces.? Troy has meat on his bones even at 4 pounds 12 ounces.? In fact, I thought he was a quite nice size until I checked out the other 8 pound babies (there were several) in the nursery and got a major reality check lol!
On a fun side note, Troy’s birthfather is Black Irish (that means his ancestors came from Northern Ireland and were black haired as opposed to red – they have a certain look to them – in my opinion -? thus “Black Irish”).? His birthmother is Black Irish as well but also Spanish.? Her grandfather came to the US from Spain and K. looks to have received a good portion of the Spanish genes.?? Therefore (if you haven’t put this together already), all of our boys are Irish and Troy shares Hispanic traits with his sister.? ?? I actually didn’t know that Ty has Irish genes as well until Cheri told me this week that Ty’s birth name (Ty Brennan) was originally O’Brennan.?
The kids are loving baby brother but Tori struggles to be a fan of mommy right now.? She has had trouble being away from me this week and when Sweetie brought her down to the hospital the other night, she refused to come to me.? Tanner, being sensitive and feeling bad for his mama, crawled into the bed and snuggled beside me.? Tori then looks at me and says in her dry little way “You have Tanner.”?? Oh my goodness.? She adjusted eventually and then cried her heart out that I wasn’t coming home.?? She was also upset that Troy was in the hospital and not at home with her.??? She cried when she saw him through the NICU window and heard someone say he couldn’t come home that evening.? Broke her heart.? She is also a tiny bit concerned about sharing her parents.? LOL.? When Jim was holding up the baby through the NICU window for her to see, she was sticking her tongue out at Daddy and told her Aunt Jodi to go get her Daddy out of there.? Apparently she feared she had already lost one parent and one brother to the mean hospital and had no intent of losing Daddy as well.? Poor baby.? She loves holding Troy on our laps though and is going to love on him like crazy once he is home.? All very normal adjustment stuff.? Tanner held his brother for the longest time and didn’t want to give him up.? Ty just wanted to know when he would be old enough to play games with him.? Hee hee.
Sometimes it really is about who you? know (LOL) because Dr. F. is the chief of staff at the hospital and our transition as parents was unusually seamless.? The nurses have been wonderful and they even gave us our own room so that I could feed the baby during the night.? Since yesterday afternoon, Troy has been rooming in (nesting) with me and is now bonding with Daddy as Daddy took a shift so that I could come make this announcement and get a nights rest.
Isn’t it wild that we had 24 hours notice with Tori but even less with Troy.? I didn’t know what would happen on Saturday when we went to meet K and S so didn’t anticipate that I would not come home.? As a result, nothing has been prepared for baby yet.? Of course, since baby is child number 4, we have all the necessary large items (though Jim did spent an hour and a half this week carefully deliberating through his choice of new car seat/stroller combo for his new son).?? Brooke and Daniel went shopping for us Sunday and brought needed clothing items and necessities.??? They helped us in our last minute preparations for Tori too so it was a fun second verse same song occurrence.?? Have I mentioned that they now live 4 minutes from our home?? All is right with my world now that they are back from North Carolina.? I think they moved close to me just to calm me down from my separation anxiety LOL.
There were a few other ironic similarities between Tori and Troy.?? We were waiting for both of them for exactly 2.5 months.? They were both 33 weeks.? They were both in the 5 pound and 18 inch range.?? Within hours of knowledge of them, we were their parents.?? Isn’t that kind of wild?? We did not anticipate a private adoption with Troy though and trust me, that has amazing perks of its own!!!!!? ($$$$$$$$$$$$$$)
K and S left the hospital late Saturday night and we had the opportunity to send them off with hugs and promises to see one another again.
On Tuesday, I found myself continually checking the clock.? Troy had hit the 72 hour mark and consent to terminate birthparent rights was now possible.? (In Arizona, birthmothers cannot concede to permanently terminate parental rights until child has reached 72 hours of age.? Once the termination papers have been signed though, it is irrevocable in our state).? I knew that K and S had an appointment pending with the lawyer but was uncertain as to when.? When S called me at noon I had a moment of panic.? What would he say and why was he calling instead of the lawyer?? Our conversation went something like this:
S:? Hi Doni!? How are you?
D:? Good.? How are you?? (I must have sounded quite apprehensive in that moment.)
S:? I wanted to be the one to call and make your day.? K and I have just spent two hours signing all the paperwork and we want you to know officially that Troy is all YOURS.
Folks.? It really stinks to have one of the GREATEST moments of your life and be standing in a hallway and have no one to celebrate it with.? I wanted to scream with excitement.? In fact, I did ask a nurse to hug me (one that was not assigned to me even) because I just had to bring someone into my circle of celebration – even if it was a stranger.? I give her credit.? She handled my random hugging well.? I must have a bit of Ty in me.? I would have made Ty proud.
We talked for a moment and love flooded me for K and S.? Not only were they true to their word but they wanted to share in our joy.? They knew we would be ecstatic and wanted to give that also as a gift.??? Isn’t that incredibly precious?? Go ahead and cry now.? I did.? A LOT!!!!!
So Tuesday was just one of the happiest days of my life.? The good news kept pouring in including the news that Troy would likely go home Wed.
My bubble burst a bit come Wed at 12:30 AM because while feeding Troy, he had a very serious choking incident.? As a parent, I have had my children choke on their formula, vomit all of it up through mouth AND nose, and scare me half to pieces.? That is somewhat normal and happens occasionally with babies.? Take that though, have it occur to a 33 weeker who already has poor coordination skills and immature lungs, and multiply it by 10.?? I didn’t panic at first because I was reminding myself that I had been through it with all my other kids too.? I did what I was supposed to and turned him over and tried to help him get it out.? It wasn’t working.? I tried.? He tried.? He choked on and on until I hit full blown panic mode.? I ran with him into the hallway and yelled for a nurse.? Two ran to me and were trying to help.?? They rushed me back to the nursery (close by) and two waiting neonatal nurses grabbed him from me.?? By this time, I was melting down pretty good.? It took WAY WAY longer than I think it should have to get him past it.? As soon as he had expelled it all though, his sats hit 100 immediately.? No harm done and he was good as gold.?? Mommy though?? Not so much.? I don’t need to remind you about all the trauma I went through with Ty’s early birth (15 weeks early).? At one point, all I could see was a deeply discolored baby and a code kit being opened up and sats at 12.? My mind went right back to my 2 pound baby fighting for his life and it was all I could see.?? Once again, I was reminded that I will never truly be passed the post traumatic stress from Ty’s prematurity and the near death experiences that we had to encounter with him.? I cried until 2 AM despite the nurses affirmations that my baby was just fine.? (And many apologies to J. who was in the nursery welcoming his first newborn daughter when I came running in crying with a choking baby.? Exactly what a new dad wants to see – NOT! )
Add that to my lack of sleep and elevated emotions over the last 4 days, and you can well imagine that I have all but lost my coping skills.? For this reason, Daddy took over for me today so that I could post this story and sleep in my own bed tonight.? Jim, being an experienced preemie parent, will handle any issue that should arrive with Troy like a pro.? Besides that, I know he is thoroughly delighting in bonding with his little boy today.
When I described last night’s episode with the neonatologist, we both agreed Troy needed another 48 hours in the hospital so that we both could be assured that was an isolated experience due to his prematurity.? He also agreed to consider sending me home with an apnea monitor.? An apnea monitor would not have stopped what happened but should a situation like this occur when I am dead asleep or not in the same room with Troy, I would be immediately alerted.? As you can well imagine, I will be terrified to sleep until I can be assured that Troy is passed this stage.???? The Dr. and nurses are not alarmed by this.? They see it all the time.? They handle it.? It isn’t the same for a mama though.? Especially a mama who has suffered through so many preemie moments like that over and over before and lived in fear of them.?? God spoke to my heart on this topic this morning though.? I am reading a devotional (that is awesome) called Jesus Calling by Sarah Young.? The devotion for today (June 29th) was exactly what I needed.? I would love to post it but I left it at the hospital with Jim.?? If anyone has the book nearby, would you mind typing today’s devotion in the comments?? It was just so perfect.
I think Troy’s order to go home would have been rescinded anyhow though because of his weight loss.? Nothing to worry about -pretty normal stuff – but still they want to see him in a gaining trend before they let him leave.? He did pass his car seat study with flying colors though.? (They put a sat monitor on preemies while in their car seats to make sure they won’t desat in that position so that they know baby will be safe to travel home.)? He really is SOOOO tiny.?? I put this tiny little preemie onsie on him today that we all feared would not fit because it just looked so ridiculously small but it fit him so nicely (thank you Brooke).
I know I didn’t post many pictures for you (well considering but I don’t have the time to process (or even take many) right now.? I’ll get more put up after baby is home.? Duh.? As if you didn’t already assume that you are about to be flooded with pictures of my baby boy.?? I am a bit concerned that I have written “Ty” or “Tori” when I intended to write “Troy” in this post.? Self correct it will ya??? This whole T thing is getting to me and it is going to take some sleep and time before I am calling anyone by their right name.? I must say, calling my baby “Troy Everett” moves my heart.? Every.? Single.? Time.?? My Poppy was an incredible loving servant of a man and we could not have given Troy a stronger title.
Last Thursday night I asked God to clear the way.?? I? asked for mercy, direction, and to teach me to not fear but to live in trust.? I was living loved in a mighty big way when He answered my prayer within hours beyond the WILDEST of my imaginations.?? How utterly humbled I feel right now.?? Every blessing He pours out I’ll turn back to praise.?? My heart, for the fourth time, is filled up and over flowing.? Can you blame me?
P.S.? I am the mother of FOUR kids.? FOUR.? FOUR kids.? I am the mother of FOUR!!!!
I won’t be online for a few days but tomorrow I will schedule a post listing the many small details that made this such a dreamy adoption.? I never want to forget.