Monday, September 22, 2014

Newborn Pictures!!

I am so excited we finally got Wren's newborn pictures back! Thanks so much to kdesign photography, they did an amazing job!! Enjoy...






Tuesday, September 9, 2014

One Month Update!

For the purpose of keeping birth family and our friends and family updated on our little blessing I plan on writing monthly updates on little Wren Danielle!

I can't believe one month with our precious baby is gone! It is crazy that is was one month ago that we were in the hospital in Florida witnessing her beautiful birth.  It seems like we have had Wren forever but also it is crazy that one month is already past and she is beginning to look a little bigger than "newborn"!!
Wren Danielle (One Month!)
Those little toes!
At her one month Doctor appointment Wren weighed 9lb 2oz!  I did not expect that and was kind of sad.  My little baby isn't so little.  I know a lot of people have 9lb babies but she was tiny and being with her each day I just don't realize how much she is changing!  She was 21inches long at her checkup so she is getting taller as well.  I could tell this because she no longer fits comfortably in her newborn sleepers and we have officially moved on to 0-3month sleepers.  As far as her regular clothes go though she is still wearing newborn but it probably won't be for long!  She checked out healthy at her one month appointment and we plan to go back for dreaded shots at two months.

Wren has been eating and sleeping very well.  She usually eats 3-4oz every 3 hours during the day and every 5-6 hours at night.  During the day she is usually very content and loves to look at lights and other bright objects or things with contrast.  We have had a few fussy days recently and they are wearing.  Not sure if it's gas or what but being used to a calm content baby and then having her turn fussy on me makes me practice my patience :)  She did sleep for 9 hours straight though after she had a rough fussy day so that was wonderful!  Overall she has been a very good baby and the fussy days just make me appreciate all the more when she is content!

She has been getting lots of attention from all her aunts, uncles, and grandparents as well as friends and church family! She is one loved little girl!
Uncles and daddy!
First time grandparents!
A little love from her friends!
A little love from her friends!
We were incredibly blesses by our church family at the baby shower they had for us.  So many gifts and so many people!! Wren has a pile of clothes for each month and lots of other toys and baby gear to get her through her baby years. We are so thankful for all that we have been given.  After the shower I brought all the gifts home, in two vehicles I might add, and I sat in the living room and opened all the gifts for Jesse and read him the cards.  The love and support from all our friends and family is overwhelming and we praise God for giving us such a wonderful support system!

Our living room full of gifts!
All the gifts sorted! Not including all the large things like
strollers, highchair, play matt, etc!
We have been crazy busy the last two weeks that we have been home from Florida and I don't see it slowing down anytime soon with harvest starting but we are trying to enjoy each moment with Wren! Babies become toddlers way to fast and I want to cherish these days that I get to spend with my snuggly little one! I am so thankful that I get the opportunity to stay at home and raise my little girl.

I decided I want to try to get a weekly picture of her next to her stuffed rabbit so there is something to compare her size.  It was going to be the flower until I got the rabbit at our shower and decided that would be more fun! So I missed the first two weeks when we were in Florida but I hope to get all the rest!

Monday, September 1, 2014

FL/IL Approval and Visitors!

So we made it back to the condo in Fort Myers on Monday evening! It felt so good to be out of the hospital and actually be able to have some space to relax and enjoy being parents! Monday night it was just the three of us, Jesse, wren, and I. Wren did sooo good during the night. It was actually kind of weird because it didn't feel like a big adjustment yet since she was being such a good baby.  She ate well and slept anywhere from 3-4 hours at a time sometimes more during the nights!

Daddy's Girl
Our little peanut!
Bath Time!!
We were waiting for approval at this point to be able to go home.  Both Florida and Illinois had to go over a big packet of all our information and home study etc and make sure everything checked out ok before we could leave one state and enter another with the baby. We were told to plan on an average of two weeks.  Sometimes it's faster and sometimes it's slower depending on the State.  Our paperwork was submitted to Florida on Monday night so now we were just waiting for their approval.  Once Florida approved, the information would be sent to Illinois and we would wait for their approval as well then we could head home!

On Tuesday afternoon my mom flew into Fort Myers airport! We were excited to show Wren off and just to have visitors to make our wait for approval go a little quicker!  Mom was so excited to be able to come to Florida and to get to meet Wren! She was staying for 3 days and then flying back home.  It was nice and relaxing during her stay and typically we would just sit around the condo and hold Wren and relax.  It was also really nice to have some time with Jesse around where we could get adjusted to life as parents before he returned to work! Mom watched Wren one day while Jesse and I went and registered at Target.  The first night mom stayed with us she was so worried throughout he night because she didn't hear one peep out of Wren.  She wondered if she should come make sure we fed her but figured she would just let us do the parenting :) and yes Wren was fed she was just a content little thing and didn't make much of a fuss! I think mom really enjoyed being able to just relax each day and hold a little baby!! She doesn't get much time alone to do absolutely nothing! Me and mom also did a little shopping while Jesse stayed with Wren, he didn't mind one bit :) Mom also came with us to two doctor appointments for Wren.  They checked her weights and jaundice etc. she checked out healthy and after loosing some weight she began to gain again!  On Friday afternoon mom had a flight out in the afternoon which just so happened to be the same flight that Jesse's mom and sister were flying in on! 
Grandma Steidinger 

Wren's Doctor Appointment
We dropped mom off at the airport and picked up Jesse's mom and sister who were staying for 4 days! We did have a slightly stressful event in between then I must admit! About the time we were getting ready to take mom to the airport for her flight we found out that Florida had approved us!! Yay!! And paperwork was getting ready to be sent to Illinois.  Illinois required a certain paper be looked over by us and signed and returned to our lawyer before Florida would send the paperwork on to Illinois.  If we got the paper signed and sent back by 2:00pm our packet would be mailed to Illinois that day, Friday, and they would get it Monday morning to begin looking through it.  If we didn't get he paper back to our lawyer by 2:00pm our packet would not be able to be mailed until Monday morning which would just prolong our wait that many more days! It was probably around 11:30, 12:00 noon at this point.  We got the email from our lawyer with the paper that needed signed and then we hit a snag! We had to have a way to print the paper and then fax it or something so our lawyer could get it ASAP! We didn't have a computer for the printer at the condo and the clubhouse for the condo didn't have a printer either. Also we needed to get mom to the airport so she wouldn't miss her flight! We headed to the airport hoping they would have some way we could print the paper there.  At the airport we dropped mom off and said goodbye.  It was a huge blessing to have her come spend a few days with us during this special time and I think she really enjoyed it as well!  Then we rushed off to find a place to print a paper! I asked the lady at the information desk and she said there was a place to print in the airport!! I was so relieved so we headed downstairs to another information desk that she said would let us do it.  Downstairs they told us they didn't have anything to print a paper at their desk but if we went up the escalators down the hall all the way at the end on the right there was a lounge place that we would be able to print! We rushed off to find it knowing time was ticking away and we really really wanted to have our paperwork sent Friday not Monday! When we finally got where we were told to go there was a copy machine!! A copy machine!! No printing capabilities! I was so frustrated.  How hard is it to find a place to print a document! I went back to a different information desk and the guy there told me they no longer have computers and printers in the airport for our use! Within probably 15 minutes Jesse's mom, Paulette, and his sister, Amanda, were supposed to be landing and we had to get this paper printed somehow.  We finally just decided they would have to wait for us and we left the airport to look for somewhere we could print.  In the meantime our lawyer told us we could get an app on the iPhone to take a picture of the document once we printed and signed it and it would turn it into a PDF and we could email it to her so we didn't have to find a way to fax which was a relief! I started looking for places to print papers or a library or something near us.  The two closest libraries just had a dial tone when I tried to call them.  Finally I just decided to call a library that was about 15 minutes away and they answered!! They said I could get a one day pass to use the computers and they have printing!! I was so relieved but we had to get there! On our way to the library there were two hotels so Jesse decided we should try them because they were right by the airport and it would save us the trip all the way to this library.  The first hotel said sure we could use their computer and printer but then I explained I wasn't a guest and needed a key to get in! She wondered why I needed to print and I explained our situation.   She hem hawed around and finally said she had to ask her manager so she didn't get in trouble.  Of course the manager said no and we left.  The next hotel had a guy that needed something and so I stood around waiting to be able to ask someone if I could use the computer and finally decided it was a waste of time because they probably had the same policy! So we let and just drove to the library. By this time Paulette and Amanda were at the airport waiting for us but time was ticking and we had to get that paper sent back! We followed the GPS to this library and it took us to a gated community with no way to get it.  I was feeling pretty defeated and was about to just give up and let the paperwork be sent on Monday!! And did I mention that our little sweetie was starting to get fussy because she wanted to eat!! I typed in a different address for the library that I found online and amazingly the library was just down the street from the gated community! I rushed inside to print the paper while Jesse fed our hungry little girl! She didn't care about printing a paper she just wanted food! :) inside the library I was given a pass and printed the paper just like that!  Then I came out and had to find an app I could send it on.  I found one and took the picture which turned out good but them I had trouble getting it to send in my email! Finally I got it and sent it and wow did that feel good!  I called the lawyer on our way back to the airport to pick up Paulette and Amanda and they had received the paper and were filing our papers at that moment to be sent to Illinois!!! We had made it with probably not even 20 minutes to spare! 

Sooo, then we headed back to the airport and picked up Paulette and Amanda! They were so excited to meet Wren and it was a fight all 4 days of who got to hold her :) Jesse was also involved in that fight, he might be a little bit of a jealous dad! It good he loves his little girl though! We didn't do too much with Paulette and Amanda either! Lots of hanging out and relaxing.  Jesse Amanda and I went to the condos pool one day while Paulette watched Wren.  We also went shopping at the outlet mall, walked on the beach one day, and went out to eat some nights! We took them to a little orange/citrus fruit place that packed their own fruit and they have smoothies, ice cream, fruit juice samples and a gift shop. It was fun to have people to spend the days with so it didn't get too boring! Paulette and Amanda were flying out on Tuesday.
Grandma Zimmerman
Lot's of love from these three...
Aunt Amanda!
Teaching Wren how to shop!!
"Hmmm... what do i think of all these visitors?"
Enjoying some orange ice cream!
On Monday afternoon my sister Leann and her husband Troy and their two kids Carter and Ellie made it to Florida to stay with us for a week! They drove down and had let Sunday night! Their plan was to stay until Friday sometime and if we were approved by then we could drive home together and if not they would still head out on Friday evening.  I was sooo hoping for approval by then but there was no guarantee.  Carter and Ellie were excited to meet their new cousin and they were both full of energy!! It was good to have some entertainment from them! We did a lot of the same things with them as we did with everyone else that came. Lots of shopping, swimming at the pool, went to the beach, and out to eat! We were so glad we had visitors and the time really seemed to be going quick.  On Wednesday I was getting to the point that I wanted to go home.  I decided to call our Illinois case worker and see if she knew an average wait time for Illinois approval and if she knew if they had received our packet.  She told me she assumed they had received it but they didn't always keep her in the loop.  She also said the average wait recently had been 7 days for Illinois approval not including weekends! Friday would only be 5 days so we were looking at Tuesday for approval.  I was so bummed because I was ready to get home and I knew once Troy and Leann left the weekend and Monday and Tuesday were really gonna drag.  On Wednesday night a friend from church, Dan Eisenmann, called us and said he was going to be staying in Fort Myers for two days.  He is a pilot for UPS and was flying at night and staying in Fort Myers during the day! He asked if we wanted to go out to eat with him!  It was nice to see another familiar face! We picked him up at his hotel and hung out at our condo awhile then he took all of us out to eat.  We really appreciated getting to spend the evening with him! 
Aunt Leann introducing Wren to her cousins!
Carter, Ellie, and Wren! So excited they get to grow up together!
A little love from her cousin
They are going to best friends!
Not sure what Wren thinks though :)
Chillin' at the beach under the tent
While at the restaurant Jesse got a call and the number was a Sarasota number.  He debated if he should answer and I told him he should, who knew who it was! He answered and after listening a little bit said "I think we are approved here you talk to her!" I took the phone and sure enough it was our lawyers assistant calling to tell us that Illinois had approved us and we were free to go home!! We were all in disbelief as I had just been told that day it would probably be Tuesday before we got the ok! Our day was made and we were so excited to get to home.  

The next day we relaxed, shopped, and then cleaned the condo so we could head out Friday morning.  We left Friday morning and went about half way with Troy and Leann.  It was safe to say we were all sick of driving especially Carter and Ellie! We stayed in a hotel in Chattanooga Tennessee.  The next day we got on the road by 8:30am which was 7:30am Illinois time.  Jesse and I were so excited to finally be going home.  It had been exactly three weeks we had been gone and we had never been gone for more than 7 days at a time! We finally made it home around 3:30-4:00pm and it felt wonderful! 

So we made it home in time to have visitors! Some excited aunts, uncles, and grandparents and a few friends. You can't really appreciate home until you can't be there for awhile and then you realize just how much it really is home sweet home!
Living the life!
So tiny...

We want to thank all our friends, family, and church family for the continual support and prayers throughout this adoption.  It means so much to us.  As our eyes have been opened to what others have been given we have a new appreciation for what we have been given.  We have more love and support than we even know what to do with and we praise God for that!  It has been an incredible journey and we give God all the glory for choosing us to adopt sweet little Wren! She has quickly become our world and we cant imagine never getting the opportunity to love her.  We ask that you continue to keep the birth family in your prayers.  They will forever be in our prayers and have greatly touched our lives.  We hope one day Wren can fully understand the love her birth family had for her as they placed her in our arms.  She is so loved by so many.