Saturday, January 28, 2012

Hello? Can I be there TOMORROW!?

Alright, alright...I know...I hear the squealing and excitement...


I want to make sure I get it all down before the specifics start to fade. Let me just say first off: GOD IS SO GOOD. Nothing about our adoption journey has even remotely been anything I've thought it'd be. I thought 'we'll have a birth mom that will pick us' and 'we'll be prepared' and 'God'll let me know when I need to (with an emphasis on the delusional idea that I'd have a little forewarning- HAHAHA!!!) Nonono...nothing in the last 3 ideas were even remotely true. I'm giggling now because I hear the Lord whispering how much His ideas are much better than mine and reminding me I ASKED for an GAVE ME ONE! 

As most of you know, we chose domestic adoption. I'm not sure how the Lord lead us to Florida...more specifically Gainesville, but nonetheless, there we were! Last April we were put on the list for Christian Family Services, in Gainesville, FL. They are a small, extremely personal agency that I can't say enough praises about. We hadn't met any of the staff face to face, but I talked with our case worker ALOT over the last when we walked up to our agency (in 83* with 90% humidity and I'm in jeans and boots...THINK SWEATING HOT) still not really believing we finally made it, seeing the faces to the voices I knew so well was literally surreal.  It was AWESOME.

So let me back up. Saturday the 7th was pretty normal...children running around in their jammies and me trying to get the house cleaned up. Rob was at work and I had been contemplating doing abit of school with the girls but hadn't gotten very far with that inclination. In fact, I was still in my pjs when THE PHONE CALL CAME IN. I had been talking with Rob's cousin and call-waiting alerted me to a Florida number. Now, I need to point out something here~ I knew that if I received a call from FL and it was Jerry (our director) that it was ALL GOOD THINGS. I don't do surprises, I never have so I immediately began to shake...OH MY GOSH...
"Robyn? Hi! Its Jerry Callens...with CFS..." Uhm, yes...I knew this much & I was just in shock like, HOLY CRAP~ IS THIS IT???  Breathe Robyn....
"Hi Jerry!"
"How are you doing?"
"I'm fine,...I could be getting a while lot better....Do you have something to tell me?"
"What? I can't just call and see how you are?"
"No, no you don't just call to see how I you have something to tell me???!!!!!"
"Well I'm just calling to see how you was your Christmas?"
"Jerry, ...Christmas is over and I have 365 more days to prepare for the next one, thank God...I don't want to talk about my Christmas! DO YOU HAVE SOMETHING TO TELL ME?!?!?"
"Now, why do you think I have something to tell you?"
Keep in mind that this is basically CRUEL and UNUSUAL P.U.N.I.S.H.M.E.N.T  and JERRY WAS ENJOYING IT COMPLETELY. (which he admits to!!!! LOL)
"Because I can hear you smiling! Now seriously! Do not make me pull you through the phone and punch you!!!! DO YOU HAVE SOMETHING TO TELL ME!?!?!?!?!"
"Well I can tell you that theres a little boy here that would love to meet his new mommy and daddy..."

Uhm after that all I remember is breaking down SCREAMING...(Hopefully Jerry put the phone down because I lost ALL composure...LOL) and crying. My children were extremely concerned as to why their mother was losing her ever-lovin mind and when I turned to them I just yelled, "Josh is born!!! Josh is born!!!" followed by LOTS of YAAAAAAAY'ing by my children. It was AWESOME. Oh my goodness, I couldn't have asked for anything was like announcing that we were going to Disneyland!!

At some point I finally was able to control myself and ask a few other questions but Jerry, knowing me OH SO WELL said to call him back once this information sunk in...and please get a plane ticket now...LOL. I immediately tried to call Rob, who of course was writing a ticket & would not answer his phone. (I know your job and not answer a call from your wife?! PRIORITIES MAN!? LOL) So naturally I did what any wife would do...I called his partner, Johnson. "Johnson! I need you to find Rob, its important!!! Have you seen him??"
"Is everything okay? Are you alright??" Apparently I had a high pitched voice that lead him to believe that someone was in the hospital and I heard him turn on his sirens and rev the car...thats my kind of man...he knew I meant business.
He hands the phone to Rob and I begin to tell Rob what happened..."Rob!!! He's born!!! He's born! We need to go!!!!"
"Sweetheart, you need to stop screaming, I can't understand what you are someone in the hospital? Are you alright?"
I don't understand, because to me, I couldn't have said it ANY CLEARER...."JOSH IS BORN!!!!"
"What? who's Josh??"
"Rob!!! Joshua! Our son!"
"Oh what?? Okay I'll call you back in a sec...wait, should I finish out the day, or should I come home?"

I then proceeded to take into account that it was already noon and I needed to do several loads of laundry because the children would need clothes in order to stay with their designated sitters. am I going to get this done??? My next call was to one of my friends...all I could do was...SCREAM...seriously, I'm not sure what it'd be like to win the lottery, but this is probably what I'd do...scream. hahahaha Fortunately she can understand scream-talk & just giggled while I 'spoke' loudly. Then I had to start thinking real thoughts...yikes.

One phone call was from our dear friend Hillery, who, with many others has been praying for us since the beginng. Having just been through an international adoption of her precious daughter, she had warned me about the day I got THE call. So when she called to hear my FL news she was beyond thrilled. We rang off and within 15minutes she was calling me back, "Are you alright? Can I do anything to help? Wait, what am I saying, I'll be there in 20minutes." And was. She cleaned my kitchen AND packed my children for me...I'm not sure I could have mentally did all of it on my own. HUGE BLESSING. I'm pretty sure that at one point I was rocking myself in a corner, sucking my thumb and humming...but when Rob got home at 4pm we were almost ready to leave.  It was literally something we had been planning for for the last year but holy crap, we were so NOT prepared?! I'm not sure how, but we were on the road by 530pm. Awesome...and if that weren't enough fun stress...SNOW! WOW...really? So we drop off the kids and beat it to Kansas as fast as we could in winter conditions. We only made it as far as Colby, KS the first night and checked into a hotel at midnight only to get up at 430am (KS time). The most expensive nap we've ever taken! We hit the road fast and furious and drove...and Macon, Georgia. 21 HOURS in the car....GOOD.LORD. Macon is just an hour outside of Atlanta. It was heart wrenching to actually have to stop. But we decided that we needed to sleep because we'd need every ounce of energy physically and mentally to tackle the blessed events about to take place on Monday.

So when we got up and set out Monday morning we only had 3.5 hours to go before we reached Gainesville, FL. Let me tell you, the whole thing was SURREAL. We pulled up to our agency's building and it was like, oh my gosh...we are really, we are about to meet our son...and WE ARE IN F.L.O.R.I.D.A. And good grief...ITS SO HOT HERE (and in my rush to get out of our house I didn't think about the difference in temperature and didn't bring any sandals. HELLO!?). We see our director Jerry waiting for us at the front door...HOLY COW...THIS IS HAPPENING!!!!!!! And Jerry didn't look anything like his voice! LOL But we knew it was him...and then we finally met the rest of the staff. It was AWESOME. It was like seeing family members that I already knew, but hadn't seen in a really really long time. So we had to do paperwork and prepare to meet our beloved boy. Oh my was AMAZING. As we drove over to the hospital we were again struck with the intense realization that this was finally happening. While our adoption wasn't a super long wait, a wait is a wait is a wait...and trust me, IT SUCKS. But as the Lord opened up the doors on the 9th of was like a sweet smelling rain falling gently on our heads, soaking us in joy and peace.
Holding Joshua for the first time

A lot of you have asked...what was it like? Did you know it was him? Did you feel differently than you felt with your biological children? Quite didn't feel any different. That rush of emotion when you hold your baby for the first time is exactly the same. We were lead to the nursery in the hospital and I'm not sure if there were other babies in there or not, but it was almost like my entire body sought him out. I KNEW it was my baby...It was fierce, like my spirit turned my whole body to where Josh was. I was so scared that I wouldn't feel bonded...that I wouldn't feel connected...all of that was wrong. Instantly I saw him and my mother's heart grabbed onto that precious baby and that was it. HE IS MINE. Peace consumed my heart and the Lord calmed all those doubts and fears. Oddly enough, I feel this same sort of fierce protectiveness with our birth mom. We do not have the privilege of knowing her at this time, but I love her in a way that I cannot explain. Its like she's my sister and I have this overwhelming need to protect and love her. I long for the day to wrap my arms around her and tell her how much we cherish her and treasure the baby she so selflessly loved THIS much. There are no words to express how full our hearts are for her. And our arms will ALWAYS remain open to her.

We spent precious moments in a private room with Josh, Jerry, and Debbie. At one point Jerry asked me what color of skin my child had. I didn't know at that point...because I didn't see my son's skin...I SAW MY SON. Just like I don't see my older childrens' skin color...I just see them. And now that I wake up seeing my son (sometimes in the wee hours of the morning which aren't nearly as fun) it is strange to think about when we didn't have him. Our family is complete at the moment. I was instantly at peace with the nurses that took care of our son while he waited for us to arrive. I knew that God was guarding him and sent the Callens' there to be with him. I heard Debbie quietly whisper to my son, "See? I told you they would come...and see? They are here..." Sweeter words were never spoken...THIS is why I LOVE Christian Family Services...THIS is why God lead us here. Its personal to them...its not just placing a baby and making money...ITS NOT A JOB. Its a ministry from the heart...and we trust them. And 2 years we'll be going back for another baby because this experience...well its been a BEAUTIFUL STRUGGLE.

So we left the hospital and drove to Ocala, where we were BLESSED to stay at a Mariott. OH my gosh...we had friends ask to take care of our room with their points. OVERWHELMED with kindness...God is so good! We checked in and went back to our was very interesting because we left Colorado in a snow storm, got to Florida in 83* weather, and now have a beautiful baby boy. PINCH ME!? Oh and as though it couldn't get better? Oh nay nay...there is a Cracker Barrel 100yards away and we can WALK to it. INSERT ANGEL CHORUS. Jesus most certainly loves me. LOL!!! It was amazing. What did we do the next day? Quite honestly I don't remember. All I know is that it was a whirlwind. I do remember that we went to Sea World on Friday and it was AWESOME...alot of walking that I had forgotten was so tiring while carrying a baby...even in a sling. Apparently my sling looks like a purse because while going through the lunch line a woman gasps LOUDLY behind me, "Oh my G-d, theres a full size baby in there!" opposed to a half sized one? Josh and I then became a bigger attraction than Shamu. Alittle overwhelming.

It was so much fun though and we had so many awesome opportunities to talk about adoption and show off our precious bundle. People's responses ranged...I had many people exclaim that we had our baby out way too soon...others stated how I was way too skinny for just having a baby (which I politely said Thank you!)...and then others it was a very confused look of wondering why our baby was so dark or if I had been a very naughty favorite was when they'd see me and then turn to see if Rob was dark. Why is adoption the last option people jump to? OH was very interesting and prepared me for the questions I know I'd face here. Adoption is definitely something I am passionate about and I was excited to open the way for people to ask the things that are always scary to ask. Its about erasing the prejudices that are born out of ignorance because the racial thing has been taboo for many folks to even broach. Well guess what, there are too many orphaned kids out there to be shy about prejudices that are flat out WRONG and just stupid. I love changing someones perspective...its inspiring and I truly believe that God allows us the privilege of correcting lies sown from fears and ignorance.

Now everyone has also asked why couldn't we leave right away or what is the paperwork like...we had to wait for our Interstate Compact...the paperwork that says that FL recognizes our adoption and approves it and then Colorado recognizes it and approves it and we can cross state lines without problems. It can take anywhere from 7-10 days.

Then the long treck home!!! Holy smokes...fortunately we were able to break our drive and spend some time with Rob's family in Kansas City, MO. It gets harder to leave there every time we stay! The generosity of his Uncle Mike astounds me every time. A fantastic man. And his Aunt Deb....seriously, she is like Christmas in a cup! Oh my gracious...and his cousins...all of them...such a blessing. I even got my first diaper cake!!!! Thank you Melissa and Amy!!!!

When we finally made it home our kids were ECSTATIC. I have to admit...I missed them by the weeks end. Its one thing to go on vacation and be thankful for time alone with your husband, but I was ready to have my WHOLE family with me. My older children meeting their little was absolutely God ordained. I SO loved having the time with Josh and Rob so we could bond...I'll never have that again...but to finally be a complete family was the treasure of my heart.

Now we are home...its been a really good thing. A large adjustment...but very very good. We continue to do it a day at a time and Rob's had the last few weeks off and will go back in February. I'm not nervous, just anxious for routine. Joshua is such a good baby...just working on getting our days and nights figured out! He is fawned over CONSTANTLY...his big sisters and big brother ADORE HIM. Thats all I've got right now. Its taken me about a week to write this, so it'll take me awhile to do more on here. I welcome your questions and I welcome your desire to know more about adoption. Please feel free to ask. If I can't answer or I'm not sure, I know a lot of fantastic families with amazing adoption journeys to recommend.

So will we do this again? Oh yes.


  1. Oh Robyn, Thanks for sharing, I LOVE hearing stories of sweet babies finding their forever families! What a precious thing for you all!! LOVE, love, love God's goodness and perfect plans!

  2. Hi Dear Friend. Loved, loved LOVED reading this. Made me misty-eyed! I can't think of a better mommy for an adopted baby than you. Thanks for sharing your story. We must get together someday soon.
    -Sarah L.

  3. Amazing! What an awesome way to start the year.

  4. Robyn,
    Debbie at CFS gave me your blog link and I'm SO excited to read it and "hear" more about your amazing family! My husband Trace and I just got on the waiting list with CFS last week (WOO HOO!) and I told Debbie I really want to connect with other CFS families. My story is a bit long for a blog comment, but if you are willing I'd love to connect and find out more about your adoption and such! We were planning to adopt from Ethiopia and after being in process over 2 yrs (on the waiting list for 18 mos) recently found out that it may not happen, so we are pursuing domestic adoption now. So, most of my "adoption friends" are international and I'm finding that domestic is so different that I want to expand my "world" =) My blog is set to private at the moment but my email address is