Saturday, September 27, 2008

Finally Home!

Payton was so great on the flight home. He did not wake up at all! We were so excited to get on the plane and head HOME!When we arrived home, we were welcomed by a mmmmmdelish meal cooked by our neighbors! Our adorable nephew Bryden also made a special, after-bedtime visit to meet him youngest cousin. Bryden thought Payton was pretty cool and gave him lots of kisses. I can tell these boys are going to have a lot of adventures together. Our parents and my Godmother Susie were also there to greet us. Thanks to everyone for our warm welcome home!
I love this pic of Bryden's and Payton's hand on top of Wes' hand. Too cute!
Of course, the other part of coming home meant introducing our four legged children to the little two legged one. The girls (Carmen and Lily) really did not pay much attention to Payton at all, but our Little Jack was enthralled. He sat and stared at Payton for almost an hour. He also managed to sneak three poopy diapers in less than 18 hours of being home (I immediately went to Target and purchased a diaper pale). Jackson also loves it when the baby cries. He jumps down from the bed to go see him. I think Jack and Payton will be best buddies!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

One Week Already!

Payton first trip to the airport.
After signing papers at the agency.
Dining with Aunt Sue at Mayan Adventure in Salt Lake.
Little Cottonwood Canyon

As of today Payton has been a part of our family for one full week. I still find it all a little breathtaking. I am watching Wes feed Payton on the couch right now and it makes me smile. I honestly don't remember being this happy in a long time. God has blessed us.

We finally got clearance to leave Atlanta at 630 last nite so we immediately bought plane tickets and flew out of Atlanta to Salt Lake at 9pm. It was a late nite for our sweet pea, but he handled the plane ride like a champ. We certainly got a lot of attention and people were really sweet to us. We decided that everyone should travel with infants because the world might be a little bit of a better place.

This morning we went into the agency and met all of the people that were so instrumental in helping create our family. We have temporary custody of Payton until 6 months from now when we will finalize. Between now and then we have to send updates and pics every two months, have 3 visits with our social worker, and send in documentation of three doctors visits. Assuming we prove ourselves to be suitable parents,we have no reason to fret that Payton won't forever be a part of our family. The birth parents rights were terminated the day that we got him from the hospital. I am still so grateful for the gift that they gave us and hopeful that they will want to meet with us one day. I am also hoping that she will return correspondence at some point.

After visiting at the agency for a couple hours we went back to the airport to pick up Aunt Sue. She was so sweet to fly in for three hours to spend time with Payton. We went out for a lunch at the Mayan Adventure. They had really neat decor and a show with divers. It was pretty neat. Once again, Payton slept trough the strobe lights and fake thunderstorms, etc. What an amazing baby. After returning Aunt Sue to the airport, we took a trip to the largest Babies R Us I have ever seen to set up a registry for Payton. It is a little overwhelming to walk into one of those mega stores. After 45 minutes in Babies R Us we gave Payton a little dinner and took a family drive to Little Cottonwood Canyon in Wasatch National Forest. He rock faces were breathtaking. As we were driving back to the hotel, the sun was starting to set which made a beautiful backdrop to the jagged mountains.

We head home in the morning and are scheduled to arrive at the airport around 330pm. I CAN"T WAIT! I am read to make up for all the nesting that I could not do in the 10 hours I had to prepare for Payton's arrival. Come visit us soon.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Our Atlanta Adventure Continues

Payton first visit to the doctor! We took Payton back to the pediatrician that saw him at the hospital. We tried to get him in at an office closer to where we are staying, but the people we VERY rude to us, implying that we were irresponsible for not taking him sooner AND that we expected to get an appointment today. Wes "thanked" them for being so understanding of all the paperwork in adoption and promptly hung up the phone. (On a side note, we could not get to a doctor until we received a fax of his medical records from the hospital as the doc would have nothing to compare his stats to...). Wes worked for hours on the phone and faxing things back and forth to procure these documents yesterday. We had to get Payton to the doctor so that he or she could sign off that Payton was medically okay to fly this week (required for newborns by many airlines). Luckily, the doctor at the hospital was willing to see him immediately, but that meant a $72 cab fee to take us downtown, wait on us, and take us back to our hotel. But the goods news is that Payton is gaining weight and has grown two inches in length,. Awesome. We were relieved to hear that our little sweet pea is looking good. Unfortunately, Wes and I are not. We both have nasty colds and I think mine has morphed into a sinus infection. I called my doc at home and she was kind enough to call in some antibiotics for me to take. However, antibiotics never agree with my intestines, so now I am having all kinds of fun :(.
My boys crashed after the exciting visit to the pediatrician. They look quite comfy in their home away from home.

We hoped for ICPC clearance today (the state governments that will allow us to travel with the baby outside of the state of GA). Unfortunately, one of the documents was misplaced so our paperwork was resubmitted today. We are hoping for clearance in the am, but still no guarantees. I am having fun in Atalanta, but I do really want to get home to see my pups and also so that people can meet sweet Payton.

We continue to feel the love and support of our family and friends during this trying time in Atlanta! Thanks so much. Please continue to pray that Payton does not get sick! (I am so worried I will infect him with my plague) and that we receive ICPC clearance soon! Thanks!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Big Fish!

Today we took Payton to the Aquarium in Atlanta. It is a huge aquarium with some very big fish. This pic below is a silhouette of a whale shark that swam above us as we traveled through the tunnel. We also saw Beluga whales and really cool looking jellyfish. It all made me want to go on a dive soon, but with the arrival of Payton, I doubt we will travel to the Caribbean in the near future. But I am okay with that. Payton is worth it !!!!

They had a bubble cut out into the tank. We laid down and took some pics. It was really neat because some of the fish came up and were checking us out.

Payton got his second round of visitors today. After the Grandmas left, Frances (one of D's Young Life co-leaders in college) came to see our Sweet Pea. She drove all the way from Birmingham to see the little tyke. What a great friend! It meant a lot to us. Thanks Frances!!!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Meeting the Grandmas

Payton met his Grandmas today! We went to the airport to pick them up. The photo below is the moment they first saw him. I think they really love the little guy! On a side note, we saw Richard Dreyfess in the airport. Mom said hello and he peeked around the corner to wave back. It really made Wes' day (he is a die hard Jaws fan). A little cheesy, but still cool.

So we found this precious outfit at the mall yesterday and thought it would be a great "meet my grandmas" outfit. He sure did look cute, but it was a little too big. It kinda looks like he is wearing hammer pants. So funny. (This just shows how tiny he is...those are newborn clothes.)
After his little sponge bath... he is just so cute I had to take another picture.
We walked across the street from the hotel to eat dinner at a Mexican Restaurant for Judy's birthday. She looks so pretty holding her grandson. We gave both Grandmas little presents from Payton-- little diaper bags with Payton sized items. I know they will gladly use them some time. They, of course, brought Payton some cute little clothes, books, and toys. So much stuff for a little man.
Payton actually spent 10 minutes on his tummy today. He is not a huge fan of tummy time, but he is getting stronger so I really want him to practice using his muscles. He can lift his head a little already.
We are still waiting for ICPC clearance which means we are still camped out in Atlanta. We hope to fly to Utah on Monday or Tuesday, but we still are not sure. We found out that we will need a doctors note to fly with an infant, so we are currently working on figuring our how to do this.

Thanks, again, for all of the kind thoughts and your PRAYERS. We still feel so blessed and loved.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Beautiful Boy

Payton was so wonderful today. We toured some more shopping destinations in Atlanta and he was just as peaceful as could be. We are discovering more and more of what he likes and does not like. Our only real challenge has been diaper changes. Wes took him in a public restroom to change him and he managed to spray the wall!!! We have to be quick on the draw or we get soaked every time!

Such small hands next to Daddy's...
He is a nite time baby. His schedule matches ours just wonderfully. We like to sleep late and stay up late. Keep it up little man. We just put him down ten minutes ago and he is still awake, looking around, and as silent as can be. Such a sweet boy.
Can you tell how much I love him?
A nite time story...

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Our Georgia Peach

Payton is such great baby! He slept all thru the nite. We actually had to wake him for his bottle. I hope he keeps up these sleep habits. We gave him his first sponge bath this am and he screamed! He hates being cold. In fact, the ONLY time he cries is when he is cold. He only eats 1 once every 3-4 hours. We spent the day on the town at the mall near our hotel. Many people commented on how tiny he was and couldn't believe I was already out and about after 2 days. (Oh, the beauty of adoption;)!

Payton's first trip to Target. We set up a registry for the little guy.

Too small for Daddy's Bears hat. But I am sure he will learn about Da Bears quickly...and his namesake Walter Payton (who was also born in the south!).

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


A few people have asked for our address at the hotel. For those of you that have our email address, just email a request and I will send it to you. I just did not want to post it on the www for privacy purposes. Thanks for the kind thoughts!!!!!!! We feel so loved today!

Payton Kemper Kite

Born September 16

Forever in our arms on September 17

5lbs 13 oz

17 1/2 inches

We met Payton today at 3 pm after a long, anxious drive to Atlanta! We are so blessed to have him and he is so beautiful! He has silky, black hair and long finers and toes. We are in Atlanta for several days until we receive ICPC clearance. We will then travel to Utah to finish paper work with our agency.

News from Atlanta!

This is Meghan posting for Wes and D.

Everything is clear! The birth mom signed the papers, Wes and D signed papers. They still haven't seen the baby, they're waiting. But Payton is here, and he's theirs!

D will post pictures later this evening, so stay tuned!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Baby Boy...

Our baby boy, Payton, was born last nite at 1 am. We can't post much more until relinquishment at noon tomorrow! We are busily trying to get things squared away before we head to Georgia to meet the little guy. Keep sending prayers our way that the birth parents go thru with the adoption plan! We are so excited, and trust me, we will post pictures as soon as we are allowed to!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Pins and Needles...

This morning we called the agency and they said that it would be two weeks until we were cleared to be shown to potential birth parents. Then we got a phone call at 3 pm and we are being shown to a mom that is in LABOR RIGHT NOW! WHOA! SHe is still choosing an adoptive family, but we are one of two. We will shed many tearrs if this does not happen, but we feel a renewed sense of hope already. Please pray for this mom and baby (no...we do not know if it is a boy or a girl) that the delivery goes well and they are both happy and healthy. Please also pray for us. We need to get some sleep tonite if we are going to be parents...soon! We will be sure to update either way.

I leave with a quote Wes sent me today (before all of this started happening)!

"The process of adopting a child pushes your personal envelope as a woman, as a mother, and ultimately, as a human being. It takes more courage than you think you have, offers more self-knowledge than you think you want, and resembles your characteristics into someone familiar but changed."
~ Jana Wolff

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Adoption Highs and Lows

Adoption is truly a roller coaster. Some days it is so hard to think about other things besides the little one we are waiting on, and other days I hardly think of the adoption at all. This week was one where I thought about it a lot. On Tuesday we attended a family care class at our local hospital as required thru our new agency. The entire first hour was dedicated to discussing the mother's medical needs after giving birth. Wes and I really could have done without this and it definitely did not make child birth sound like anything I want to do...ick. But on the positive side, I was (for the first time in my life) the girl with the flattest tummy in the whole room. Awesome. The remaining class time was spent changing a plastic baby's diaper and giving it a bath. I had a really difficult time imagining the thing was real. I was to distracted by the nasty hospital clothes it was wearing and could not help but think of all the germs and bacteria swarming all over this little, plastic, alien-looking baby. Ewww, gross. I did come home wondering how long it would be until I actually will do these things for real. Will our baby ever come home?

I was so excited Wednesday nite because we had an intake phone interview with our new agency. The guy that does the phone calls is the same guy that matches families and we wanted to see how things were looking. However, when he called us it was very apparent that he had no idea who we were and that he had not seen our paper work at all. My excitement quickly faded. We were under the impression from conversations with other agency employees that our paper work was cleared and that we were ready to matched at any time. This was not the case. Unfortunately, it looks as though it could be up to another month before this guy sees our paper work and we are clear and ready to be matched with birth moms. We are SOOOO bummed! From a high to a low. Once again. Typical. So, it does not seem that a September baby is a possibility and most likely not a fall baby either. We will just keep sending prayers up a winter baby.

On the bright side of things, Lily is still doing well with her chemo. Her blood work came back GREAT today so she had chemo #3 and she will get the most potent drug in her therapy next Thursday. Also, I had a great time with my nephew Bryden at the meet on Wednesday nite. He ran up and down the big hill on our cc course twice so that I could cheer for my runners up on the top of the hill! I was hoping maybe he was sending us a preview of his potential as a runner. However, he just kept saying "Wes" and "Football" the entire time. I think his Uncle may have already brainwashed the little guy and turned him into a football junky. Only time will tell.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Good Reads...Pick One Up!

I read several books this past week that I thought I would suggest to others because I REALLY enjoyed them!

Firstly, I read The Shack by William Young. It is a NYT bestseller. Although it is fiction, it definitely makes one think and reflect on one's ideas and perceptions of God, esp. the Trinity. If you really want something to get your wheels turning, read it.

Secondly, I recommend Skinny *itch by Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin. After reading this book, I will never look at the food I eat the same way again. I think I will frequent the organic, tree-hugging, birks-wearing aisles at Martin's Grocery now. The few extra bucks are worth it. However, I don't think I will partake in their suggested water fasts of 2-10 days to cleanse my body. I did really enjoy it, but if you cannot stand foul language and crude, disgusting narratives, don't read it.

Thirdly, I had to read 300 pages of Raising Adopted Children in one night to complete the "homework" for agency 2. I think this is useful for adoptive parents as well as relatives of adoptive families to help give them a better idea of what adoptive parenting is like and how it is different (and similar to) parenting birth children. It also describes many comments that can harm adopted children understanding of themselves, their birth parents and their adoptive parents. A good read if you know someone adopting or are adopting yourself.

Finally, I recommend I'm Chocolate, You're Vanilla by Marguerite Wright. This book provides a synopsis of several studies conducted on children's perspectives of race from the toddler to teen years. I found this book insightful a possible parents to a non-Caucasian child, but also as a teacher. I often find myself in situations in the classroom where I witness students trying to understand race and understand themselves. Ultimately, we are all members of the human race. (Remember, genetically race does not truly exist, it is simply a social construct.) Pick it up and give it a whirl.

Please leave a comment and rate any of these books if you read them!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

A Glimmer of Hope...

Yesterday Wes spent HOURS in staples trying to get our fastracks printed for the out of state agency to show potential birth moms. Poor Wes. He said the place was swamped with back to school college kids and the copy lady said she could not make the copies because she had to many already. Wes explained the adoption and why we needed them. Turns out that there was a Divine plan for us to get these copies made. The copy lady had gone through the adoption process before and knew our hearts well. She made our copies and even threw in a few freebies. Wes rushed them to school for me to sign and I rushed back to UPS to overnight them to the agency.

I called the agency this afternoon (my daily ritual) and asked if they received the paper work. They had! And sweet Carlene informed me that we had been "sent to committee"! WooHoo! We are essentially pre-approved. The five person committee will review all of our paperwork to make sure it will go through court without hiccups (when the adoption happens), but in the mean time we are ready to be shown to potential birth moms! AWESOME. I hope this goes quickly. I pray this goes quickly. This baby needs to find his/her way home soon. I just thank God for all the people that have helped us get things into agency 2 so quickly...from family members to the copy lady. Thank you all, you are our glimmer of hope and you shine brightly for us.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Are you going to have your OWN?

"Are you expecting?" Ah, the question we always hear when we go to a baby store! Tonite this question was the first thing our infant CPR instructor asked as we walked into a room full of mommies with big, exploding bellies, and daddies that looked a little timid and scared. I confidently smiled and said "yes." "When are you due?" Now the fun part... I grin and reply, "Maybe tomorrow!" And then we get the puzzled-confuzzled I explained the adoption and our story. As we fulfilled one more element and checked off one more box to finish our paper pregnancy with agency number 2, I am starting to realize that many people don't mean to be critical of adoption, they are simply ignorant. As our instructor went on and on and on and on about the benefits of breastfeeding, I one again felt a little out of place. I know I am not the first adoptive mom to feel a little bit out of place in these classes, but sometimes I wish more people would think before they talk. One of the dads in the class said to us as we left, "well at least you guys will know when your baby is coming." Ummm, not so much. We don't even know if our baby is conceived! I am continuously learning that our choice to be adoptive parents means that we have embarked on a life long journey of teaching others about adoption and the unique experiences that surround our family. I need to embrace an attitude of humility, patience, and kindness to gently make others aware of adoption instead of approaching these comments with my usual harsh and blunt comments. However, if one more person asks me if "we are going to have our "own" kids one day," they better have a seat and get comfortable because they just might get a good long lecture. Our baby will be our own. We are his or her real parents.

Now, what fun questions and comments do I get to look forward to in next week's infant care class?