At this point, I was on my cell phone, Dan was on his cell and my mom was on the house phone. It was crazy. I sat down and asked my mom....now what do I do? Remember, when I went to work this morning, I was not a mom. I had 1 outfit. Nothing else. At this point in the evening, I had only slept for a few hours, had a super stressful morning and now I was a mom. I was working off of adrenaline. We were so happy.
This is our very first family picture. Taken in my mom's home that evening.
Eventually, we did leave my mom & dad's and went to our home (which, we lived next door). My sister showed up around 10 with her van and took my nieces and mom with her & went to Walmart. My brother in law brought over their pack n' play (That thankfully they had kept) and we had our first visitor from the church that evening. Trudy brought gifts and love. My sister, Alice, went crazy at the store, showing up at the house around 11:30ish with a van full of gifts. Then she started telling me I needed to boil the bottles, etc. I was glassed over. Eli & Dan were asleep at this moment, but I was beat. Alice, politely sent me to bed and told me she would wake me when Eli needed fed. Well, I awoke the next morning to her sleeping on my couch and Eli fast asleep. She stayed the whole night & took care of him.
Saturday started the revolving door in our home. The much welcomed revolving door. 1 of our rooms immediately turned into a crib. My brother-in-law brought over a crib from his parents home. This crib was a blessing. A friend from church brought over a changing table. Throughout the next week we had a hundred or more people in and out of our home bringing gifts and food and lots of love. We were so blessed. We honestly didn't buy diapers for a long time. It was amazing. We were so blessed.
Remember how Dan was to leave on Sunday for a week away at youth camp? Yeah, well, after much thought and prayers, we decided he would stay home and we were able to enjoy a week together as a family. Much bonding happened this week. Because of my new job, I only was able to have 2 weeks off initially and then I was able to take another week off a few weeks later. Dan, however, was blessed & he took paternity leave and stayed home with Eli for the first 6 weeks. We were blessed.
We continued the process of adoption. We visited with Monique several times and kept communication open. We had an attorney & since this was a private adoption, we also hired an attorney to specifically work with Monique. It was a long process. In the state of PA the birth mom has a certain length of time to change her mind once she signs paperwork. We also had to find and serve the birth father with papers. It took a while longer than we expected, we had lots of ups and downs. It was a ride. However, on March 25, 2008, we had our finalization hearing. It was a super exciting day for our family. We now celebrate that day as our "Gotcha Day!"
This journey was amazing for us. We are blessed to be Elijah's parents and we are thankful for the path.
My mom told me after the adoption....she had been praying for God to drop a baby in our lap. Well, that is exactly what happened. God took care of this entire process. He carried us all through.