The trip

Today, our sweet baby boy is 1 month old.  I can’t believe that it has already been a month since he was born. Oh, how our lives have changed in such a short amount of time! I apologize for the lack of updates here but Ryan and I are running on fumes.   We are both blissfully sleep deprived!  This afternoon we were able to take a family nap together which was GLORIOUS!  Dax is now sleeping again and while I should be doing the dishes or catching up on laundry I wanted to write.  I don’t want to forget the details of this journey.

Let’s back up to the middle of September, shall we?  Ryan and I had gone back and forth for nearly 2 weeks about when we should leave.  We had been in regular communication with Dax’s birth mother as well as our adoption agency and we knew he would be coming soon, but we just didn’t know when.  All I knew is that I didn’t want to miss it.  Dax’s birth mom, “S” had told me that I could be in the room when he was born and it was a privilege I didn’t want to miss.  We knew the drive would take about 13 hours and it was likely that if we wanted for her to go into labor we’d miss it.

After consulting with friends and family ( who all had a different opinion! LOL!)  we bit the bullet and decided to leave the morning of Sunday September 25th.  His due date was in the coming week and there was an OB appointment the next day.  We felt like it was a safe bet.  We decided to only tell a hand full of people that we were leaving.  We knew not everyone agreed with our decision to leave when we did,  and we wanted to enjoy a little bit of peace together before the excitement of becoming parents hit us like a full speed train!

That first day we drove to Memphis.  The trip was pretty surreal.  Our car was packed full of clothes and baby supplies.   In the back seat was his car seat, which was the very real reminder that our son would be here soon.  We talked and laughed and dreamed and feared for what was to come.   Then, the coughing came. Ryan was sick. Fear set in and we wondered what would happen if Ryan was still sick when Dax was born.  Would he be able to see him? Hold him?  We started filling him full of vitamins, weird natural concoctions and Mucinex.  I started taking immune support and washing my hands like a mad woman.  I refused to get sick!


The second day we woke up and decided to drive around Memphis a bit before making the final leg of our journey.   Ryan wanted to drive by the famous sun studios and was not disappointed!  We considered the tour, but decided a drive-by would suffice.  It was important to us to be extremely wise with our money since we didn’t know how long we would be gone and we wanted every cent to go towards Dax.  We got into town that afternoon, found a hotel close to the hospital and checked in.  Then, we waited.

My mom and step-dad left Monday morning. They (MOM) couldn’t wait either. They got into town Monday evening.  We decided to share a hotel room to save on money and so our “roomie” adventure began!  Tuesday came and went and then Wednesday. That evening I started to feel a little silly for leaving so early.   I started to worry that we’d wasted precious time and money by just waiting.  Thursday morning came and we slept in.  I had talked with “S” (Dax’s birth mom)  a few times through the week.  There had been a few changes, but nothing truly significant. By early Thursday afternoon mom and I had decided getting ready.  We weren’t sure what we were getting ready for, but we knew we couldn’t spend another beautiful day sitting inside of a hotel room.  Around 2pm the phone rang.  “S” had been admitted to the hospital and was in labor.


FREAK OUT!!!!!!!

Kandi,  the wonderful woman who has worked with us through Abba Adoption let us know that she was about 3 hours away.  We could go ahead and go to the hospital if we wanted, or we could wait for her.  I knew I couldn’t wait three hours.  We finished getting ready,  grabbed and early dinner and headed to the hospital.


The drive to the hospital was surreal. Did I mention that I had caught Ryan’s cold earlier that week?  I had mostly recovered except for a GIGANTIC fever blister covering 2/3 of my top lip.  I had been (unsuccessfully) treating it,  so we made a run to a pharmacy near the hospital.  We parked.  Carried in our bags and made our way up to the maternity floor.



I grabbed Ryan’s hand.

We walked into the room….




A “Family Chat” with those who love us

As we get closer to meeting our son, there are some things that I wanted to share with those of you who have followed our story.  I supposed we will call this a bit of a “family chat” for lack of a better term.   In our house growing up, family meetings usually meant someone was in trouble or mom wasn’t happy because chores weren’t being completed, etc.   This is NOT that kind of family meeting.   It’s the best way we can think to share information with the people who love us and/or have followed our adoption story.   Take a deep breath, relax… it shouldn’t hurt too bad! 😉

Once we return home from Arkansas Ryanprayed, Dax and I will probably be hermits for an undetermined amount of time.  Unlike a typical child, Dax hasn’t had the 9 months of bonding with Ryan and I from the womb.  We will largely be strangers to him.  We will be selfish with him and provide endless hours of cuddles and bonding.  We want him to know without a shadow of doubt that we are mom and dad and we love him fiercely.  This means for a while, we will not be passing him around for others to love and snuggle.  We need time to bond with him first.  I don’t know how long this will last- it will depend on Dax’s needs.

 This doesn’t mean that we won’t be allowing anybody to hold him in the beginning.  We will be greatly limiting his time with others though. It means we probably won’t be bringing him to public places or church for a while because we know everyone is excited to see him and telling people “no” is hard!  We have been prepping our families for this for quite a while.  Grandparents are probably having the hardest time with it, but they understand and we hope you do too!  If you’d like to stop by our house and meet Dax, that would be great! We will let you know when we are home and just ask that you call or text before you stop by.   We know that everyone is excited to meet him and we love how much he is loved!  We hope that you understand why we are choosing to do this and know that we appreciate your love and concern so much!

The next order of business is social media.  This will probably be the hardest for his momma to get used to!  Ryan and I have agreed that we will be greatly limiting pictures of Dax on social media.  We will share a photo as soon as we are able to (and we aren’t sure when that will be…) but in order to protect his privacy and our family’s privacy, other pictures will be few and far between.  Those of you who know me know that I love social media.  I love seeing pictures of our friends and family and their kiddo’s every day.  However, the circumstances surrounding our little family are a bit different. We want to be respectful of Dax, his precious birth family and our new family.  On the occasion that we do share a picture of Dax on social media we ask that you not “share” it unless you ask us first.  We will definitely be texting pictures and updates to our friends and family- but social media photo posts will be rare.

You may not know it if you’ve only known us a short while, but Ryan and I are extremely private people.  We have chosen to step way outside of our comfort zone throughout our adoption journey and share openly with our friends, family and community our struggles with infertility and each step of this adoption journey.  It’s been hard for us to open up like this, but we both really felt led to be transparent and let the Lord use our story as He sees fit.  Now that Dax will be home soon, we plan to step back from the public eye a bit.  Not that we rank celebrity status or anything ( I just felt like a huge tool for saying “public eye”… ) but we have had complete strangers approach us and talk to us on multiple occasions about our story.  We plan to continue being open about adoption.  We hope that if others have questions about adoption that they will come to us and we will continue to be transparent and offer any advice we can.  We just won’t be so transparent about our personal lives or Dax’s life on such a public platform.

Over the next few weeks I foresee this blog becoming WAY more active.  I plan to write as much as I can once we get “THE CALL” to head to Arkansas to meet our son!  I want to write down my thoughts and feelings and continue sharing our ADOPTION journey through the end.We’ll blog about our trip to Arkansas, our court hearing, our first days as parents, living his first few weeks away from home and seeing our son for the first time.

We hope that you understand the purpose of this “Family chat” and know that it comes from a loving place. We have carefully considered and prayed about what’s best for Dax,  his birth family and for Ryan and I.  Thank you for following our story! Thank you for loving us and helping us along the way.  We will forever be indebted to those who have supported us and cheered for us along the way.


If you’d like to donate towards the cost of our 2 week trip to Arkansas and our last birth mom expense payment,  the link to our GoFundMe can be found below.


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. 

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

Dear Dax,

Dear Dax,

Last night I had a moment of weakness. { For a brief moment I wondered if I should just throw in the towel and admit defeat.} Finding our way to bring you home is hard. Much harder than I think we ever anticipated. However, I quickly tossed that thought as far away as I could because the thought of giving up on you is incomprehensible. Even though I haven’t felt you move inside of me, my heart tells me that you are mine.  It doesn’t matter that your soft skin won’t match mine or that I won’t officially meet you for another few months.  All that matters right now, in this moment, is that you are my son. You are our son.

I can’t explain how I know that you are my son other than there must be some magical seed that God has planted in my heart.  That seed has taken off and grown like a wildfire – it has consumed me.  I think about you and pray for you almost constantly.  I am willing to walk through hell and back if that’s what it means to make sure you are happy and healthy and in my arms.  I will put aside all of my own needs to make sure you have the things that you want.  I promise that I will always love you and I will never, ever give up.

I know there will come a day down the road when things get hard.  You might get mad at me for a decision I make.  I might get mad at you because of some crazy stunt you try to pull. (After all, you are a boy…and boys have no choice but to be mischievous!)  Please know that there will never be anything you could do or say that would cause me to love you any less.  There is nothing you could ever do or say that would ever make me push you away.  You may not be flesh of my flesh, but you are my heart.

Things might be hard right now for your dad and I, they may feel impossible but they aren’t.  I won’t give up.  Your dad won’t give up.  We need you- and you need us.  We won’t give up because we want you to learn from us, even now.  We want you to never give up on a goal or a dream that you have, even if it feels impossible.  We won’t give up because I want to be an example to you that there are times when there may be no clear answer, but we still have to trust in God and press on.  We won’t give up because we want to show you that even though the pathway may not be perfect we can still reach our goals if we refuse to give up.  We won’t give up because we’ve made a commitment to your first mom to love you and raise you as our son.  You’ll know about her and the strength, hope and love she has for you. We won’t give up because we want you to see that it was God who brought you into our family.  He had to make a way.  I don’t think Adoption is how God designed a family to be created; I think it is how He redeemed the brokenness of this world.  It’s how he’s redeeming the brokenness of my womb.

We will probably never be rich in earthly treasure. We won’t buy you a brand new car the moment you are able to drive. (Sorry kid, brace yourself!) We’ll have what we need and we’ll do our best to provide you with many of the things that you want.  But when it comes to love, oh sweet boy… you will be rich beyond measure.  Not only do you have the love of God- even as he stitches you together in your first mom’s womb, but you have the love of a mom and dad who will never, ever give up on you.  You will grow up in a home full of love and laughter, mistakes and forgiveness.

I love you sweet boy.  We won’t give up. We will trust in God to provide what’s necessary to bring you home. In choosing your name, we were purposeful. { Dax means: Warrior.  Elias means: Given by God. } We will keep pressing on to be an example for you, to help cultivate in you the heart of a warrior who was most definitely given to us by God.   We will overcome our moments of weakness.  You are worth every tear, every moment of worry and panic. You are worth the sleepless nights and the tears. You are worth every single step on this journey and so much more.  I can’t promise there won’t be more moments of worry and panic and stress in the coming weeks, but I can promise those moments won’t stop us.  We’re coming.  We will continue to work as hard as we can to bring you home. We’re clinging to the promise that we know God has spoken into our lives.  Dax Elias, you are our precious son. We love you more than you will ever know, and if you can imagine that depth of love…. Know that God loves you a million times more than that.  He has a plan.  We’re coming & I promise you we will always be there.


Lamentations 3:22-23 (The Message)
God’s loyal love couldn’t have run out,  His merciful love couldn’t have dried up.   They’re created new every morning.  How great your faithfulness!  I’m sticking with God (I say it over and over).  He’s all I’ve got left. 


Help us bring Dax home! Click boy

What if we fail?

I haven’t written much lately because I don’t really know what to say.  It’s not that I don’t have words swimming around in my head and in my heart, it’s actually the opposite.  My heart and my mind are so full of words and emotions that I’ve been scared to put them on paper.   I’ve been scared to let myself fully feel the weight of my emotion.  But, here I am after a heavy conversation with Ryan (and with his blessing)  feeling like I need to put my words down on paper.  (or whatever you want to call this.)

When Abba called a few weeks ago to tell us about Dax,  I instantaneously fell in love with him.  When she told us we were matched, I can’t imagine my feelings being any different then when a couple sees a positive pregnancy test and they immediately know that their lives will change forever.  I can’t describe that feeling.  It was incredible.  Since that day a few weeks ago, that feeling has only grown.  I love this sweet little boy more than I can put into words.   I have this indescribable peace in my heart that he is my son.

Tonight, Ryan and I finally talked about the “what if’s”.   We’ve been dancing around the conversation. It wasn’t fun.  This was a conversation that addressed the hard what-if’s.  The biggest scary what-if is “What if we don’t pull the money together?”  We haven’t really let ourselves talk about that.   The outcome is too devastating.  What happens then?  What happens if we can’t pull it together? What if his birth mom changes her mind?  I couldn’t blame her.  I know how much I love him and I haven’t felt him move inside of me. I haven’t heard his heartbeat. I haven’t seen him move on an ultrasound screen and I am already hopelessly in love with him.  I can’t even talk about it.  It hurts too much. It makes me cry. 

We have this room set aside to be Dax’s nursery, but it’s not changed much since we found out he was coming.  I’m too scared to clean it out and put together his crib.   I know that if something happens then we’ll just have this room to walk by and think of all of the what-if’s.  I have so many ideas on how I want it to look. I dream about rocking him in the chair I have picked out that will go right in front of the big window.  I can see the built in shelf full of the books we’ve already bought him that we’ll read every night before he goes to bed.   I catch myself singing the sonc4dab2a77eba3e45bf8204650a8fa5bdgs that I imagine singing him as I try to lull him to sleep.   It’s too hard to think about. 
So tonight we talked.  We put our fears out on the table.  We cried.  I cried a lot. We talked about how God has worked to provide through this entire process.   We also talked about how we have had moments of being financially irresponsible, and really blew some money when we could have saved it.  (ugh, sorry Lord…)  We talked about how we doubted that we would get that first big payment together, and it happened.  We talked about how we had no idea how we would pull together that second payment and the first part of the birth mom expenses that were due, but it happened.  We talked about how God has moved through this whole process, and things have happened.   Our stress was high in each of those situations, but God provided.  Our needs were met.   The stakes are so much higher now though.  Dax is coming.  He is due in 10 short weeks.  Trusting when the stakes are this high is so much harder.  My faith is being stretched and sometimes you stretch so far that it hurts.   I feel like that’s where I am.

My friend Lauren texted me right in the middle of typing this.   (Sorry, Lauren! Thank you for listening to me free out. Love you!)  It’s funny how God sends words of encouragement from friends right at the exact moment that you need it.   I have to trust in the promise that I felt God grow in my heart nearly 2 years ago.  I have to cling to my faith in God and faith in His plan.  We need about $9,000 to cover the remainder of our adoption and birth mother expenses.   We need travel money to stay in Arkansas for 2-3 weeks after Dax is born.  Plus, my time off work will be without pay.  Seeing this written down on paper causes me to freak out a little bit.  But I’ve dried my tears.   I’ll double up on my Lysine to get rid of this GIANT fever blister that has invaded my face.  We’ll buckle down and work as hard as we can and trust God to fill in the gaps. Pray for us?


Click here to help us bring Dax home.