My heart as we move closer to meeting Mr. Dax

I try not to look at my countdown app every day. It just makes me spaz, so I try to space it out. I was caught off guard tonight when I logged in and saw that we have reached the 40’s as Dax’s due date is 49 days from today!!  Part of me panicked…we only have 49 days until we meet our son!  The other part of me felt like 49 days still seems so far away!

I have had the absolute pleasure of being able to check in with Dax’s birth mom on a regular basis. We chat some online every few days. It has been such a joy to get to know her some and share in some of the things she has experienced through her pregnancy. 

As I sit here and think about how excited I am I find myself wondering how she must be feeling.  Physically, I imagine she must be exhausted. I can’t imagine growing and carrying a baby is easy!  Emotionally, I can’t imagine how she must be feeling. I’m sure she has so many emotions racing through her mind and her heart.

When we entered into this journey I wondered if I would get along with our child’s birth mother. I wondered if we would get to know each other or if things would be less than ideal. Now that we are working with “S” I can’t imagine anyone more perfect to carry this baby and walk this journey together. 

Things can be awkward, because I’m awkward. Phone conversations are hard for me even with people I have known my whole life. But She is honestly great. She is funny and sweet and she has done such an incredibly selfless thing by choosing life and caring for this baby in such a big way.

While I am so incredibly excited to meet Dax and love on him, my heart is also aching for “S”. She has been on my mind and in my prayers a lot lately. It would mean a lot if you guys would also be praying for her over the next few weeks and months. 

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OH EM GEE! We made our final payment!

Today has been emotional and amazing.  To be honest, sometimes I worried that this day would never happen. I mean,  I have faith in God.  I have seen some pretty incredible things happen. I just wondered if they would happen to me.   Today,  we mailed in our final payment to our adoption agency.

I cried.

I mean,  it wasn’t an ugly cry until I got in the car and fully realized what had just happened.  God has provided what we thought was impossible at times.  (Lord, I am so sorry for every doubting you!)  We made our final payment 25 days before it was due.  I mean, how amazing is that?!   The sense of relief I felt was pretty instantaneous.  We have come such a long way and the end is in sight.

Tonight, we celebrated with ramen for dinner.  (LOL)  It seemed fitting!

So where does this leave us?  We have about $500 left in our Adoption account.   We are estimating that we will need about $4000 for travel and we may potentially owe another $1515 for additional expenses for our birth mom.  18 months ago those numbers would have felt impossible to me.   Now? It seems like pennies in a bucket!  Between the fundraisers we have left this month, we are hoping to have enough to cross both of these expenses off of our list.   That will hopefully leave us a few weeks to breathe before we get the call to head to Arkansas for his arrival!

Today, I ordered a few things for Dax’s nursery and Ryan started to pack away his man cave.   I asked him if he was sad about it, but he said he was excited.  I mean, let’s be honest- it will still be a man cave!  What man wouldn’t love a decked out Star Wars room with a super comfortable recliner?!   When I got home from work,  Ryan and Zoey surprised me and had the crib put together. (Zoey… is amazing!  We’d like to claim her as our first child.  She may be a teenager, but she has invaded a pretty large portion of our hearts!)   Guys, we have an actual, fully functional CRIB in our NURSERY waiting for our BABY!

 

Thank you for all of your love and support over the last 18 months.   We have been so blessed by those who have chosen to come alongside us on this journey.  We can’t wait to share the next few chapters of this journey with you!

Dax is due in 55 days!

Number Crunch- Fundraising Updates

Things have been crazy (in a good way) the last week or so.  We have been fundraising fools!  First we had our Gatti’s fundraiser.  This is one of our favorites because we get to meet so many people.  We always hear some amazing adoption stories that usually make this momma to be tear up.  This event was no different!   We were able to raise over $1500 at Gatti’s!   Thank you to everyone who donated baked goods, donated their time to come and help bus tables and to those who came to eat! We had a blast, I got in about 12,000 steps that day- it was a definite success!

This past Saturday we were extremely busy as well!  Ryan and I decided to host a yard sale at our house in order to clear out and make room for Dax and earn some extra money to put in the account.   We earned nearly $150 that morning and got rid of a TON of stuff.  It was a total win-win!  That evening we were invited to sell split the pot tickets at a local football game for the Portsmouth Warriors.  Ryan and I enjoy going to local games and we were thrilled to have this opportunity!  We were able to raise about $120 between split the pot and donations from the owner.   We are so incredibly thankful for their generosity! They have a big playoff game this weekend,  if you get a chance you should check it out!

We are starting to work in the nursery this week.  I’m so excited!    As I’m sure many of you have seen,  we are going with a Star Wars theme.   Had Dax been a girl, I wanted to do a Rosie the Riveter theme, but daddy won and I’m just excited to have Dax in my arms! I’ve found a ton of cute Star Wars things and we have some crafty friends and family who are helping us by making some really cool things for his room.  We’ll post pictures as it comes along, trust me!

We’ve had lots of questions regarding what we still owe by our September 5th deadline, and the truth of the matter is, we aren’t sure of the exact dollar amount at this point.  We have sworn to be completely transparent through this entire process. We would never want someone to question our integrity or wonder where their donation has gone.  So,  I thought it would be easier to explain and lay out where we are and why we aren’t exactly sure of what we still owe.

 

Agency and legal fees:                  $24,500
Home Study and legal fees:        $3,000
Home Study transfer fees:          $800
Various document charges:        $500
Birth Mom fees to date:               $6,060
Potential Additional birth
mom fees:                                          $1515
Travel expenses (estimate):       $4500
Estimated Grand Total:                 $40,875

I haven’t kept a running list of every fundraiser and total we have done to date, but I’m sure if we go back and look, we could certainly add it up.  I can’t even begin to tell you of the friends, family and complete strangers who have made personal financial sacrifices and given to us in order to help bring Dax home.  Honestly, it makes me cry and overwhelms me.  Ryan and I have scrimped and saved as much as we have been able to and put aside every last penny that we could. With all of that said,  I can tell you where we are right now.  Thanks to a loan from a family member we will be able to finish paying off the Agency and legal fees this week which is a H-U-G-E relief.    The total on that loan is $5,000.  It is interest free, and we hope to have it paid back very quickly.  Having it gives us such peace of mind because it crosses off one of our last big hurdles.   Home study and legal fees are covered.  The birth mom fees to date are covered.  Essentially, that leaves us with covering the potential Additional birth mom fees- we won’t know for sure until Dax is born what portion of that we will owe, or if it will be more than the estimate.   That is a bit of a waiting game.

That also leaves us with covering travel expenses which we have estimated to be around $4500.  When Dax is born we will need to stay in Arkansas for approximately 2-3 weeks until the adoption is final.  We have been looking for the best possible bargain for a place to stay, and we’ve reached out to a few local churches in the area to see if they had suggestions or leads on a place to stay.  So far, we’ve come up empty handed. Furnished apartments for such a short span are near impossible to find.  Basically, that leaves us in a hotel room for 3 weeks or a vacation rental.  Those are approximately the same price in a safe, clean area. It will cost about $1200 a week to rent a place to stay.  We plan to purchase groceries and live as normally as possible to develop a routine with Dax early on, so we will save money by not eating out constantly.   (Plus, I’m not brave enough to take a newborn out in public so quickly… #firsttimemom) It seems like a pretty large sum, but we’ve chipped it down as much as possible.

Ryan and I are doing what we can to save and contribute, but we are also trying to put some money back for when I am home with Dax the first 8 weeks.  Unfortunately I haven’t been working for my current employer long enough to have paid time available.  So, we are personally budgeting for that too. This is NOT in any way included in our donation total or estimate.  It’s our responsibility and we knew this was likely when we made the decision for me to switch jobs back in January.  It was a sacrifice that we decided would be worth it in the end.

Basically, this leaves us at around $6,000 that we still need to raise to be sure we have enough to cover even the unexpected expenses or potential expenses that may arise.  What happens if we miraculously raise more than this?  Well, we’ll pay off our loan and any additional monies will go towards another family that we know who are in the process of adding to their family through adoption.  It would be silly of us to not pay it forward when others have been so generous to us.

It’s REALLY weird being so open and candid about money.  Nobody likes to talk about it.  I certainly don’t like to share our financial shortfalls. But as I said before, we have promised to be transparent from the beginning, even if it meant things got uncomfortable for us.

Be watching our facebook page for fundraiser updates!   We are planning several over the next few weeks and we’re hoping to meet our goal by September 5th so we can use the last few weeks before his arrival to breathe a little, pack our bags and maybe catch up on a little sleep before we never sleep again!

 

But he’s worth it.  He’s worth every tear, every fear, every freak out and every uncomfortable moment.  We love him more than he will ever know.  He is our precious baby boy. ❤13600226_10154451556763949_2465139192215531215_n