Thursday, July 23, 2015

Welcome to the World

On July 10th around 3 o'clock, Clint and I got a call from birthmom, Katherine, saying that her water had broken. We dropped everything and headed on over to the hospital.

Parents to be!

Just a few hours later, we held onto Katherine as our baby made his grand appearance.
Lawson Cooper
7lbs 6oz, 20 1/2 inches long. Perfect!

Clint and I cut the cord together. Lawson was cleaned up and placed right in our arms.

We had planned on having our own room, but because the hospital was nearly full that night, we ended up rooming in with Katherine. This worked out great since she wanted to take care of the baby as much as she could before being discharged. For two days, all three of us took turns caring for him.
 The most blissful, exhausting, wonderful night of our lives.


Enjoying some midnight snuggles with our son.

The next day started off rough as the reality of the situation began to set in. Katherine's support team that was there the night before had all gone home and some weren't comfortable coming. To their defense, open adoption can be a confusing thing and they weren't sure what to expect. Although Katherine reassured us she stood by her parenting plan, we couldn't help but worry for her. I prayed that God would surround her with peace and certainty that only He can provide, and He answered big time! We had SO many visitors that day. Even some of Katherine's family who hadn't supported her decision before showed up with hugs, tears, and congratulations for us. The room was buzzing with JOY over this precious baby's life.

Our attorney was surprised when he entered the room to this. This is just a small fraction of the visitors we had. Open adoption is beautiful!

The signing of THE papers was not at all what we imagined. We thought we'd be in our own room counting down to 48 hours after birth, looking at this baby in our arms, and biting our nails until someone knocked on our door to deliver the news; The papers had/had not been signed.  Instead, our attorney flew in the very next morning. When he walked in the room, there were so many people there loving on Lawson that he had to ask, "Is there a Cori or a Clint here? Raise your hands." I bet that was a first for Mr. Kirsh! Aside from Katherine, Clint, Lawson, and I in the room, there were 2 social workers and about 10 visitors lined up on the couch listening to everything the attorney read off. Clint was actually sitting on the arm of the couch because our room was so packed with visitors during the signing. The baby was being passed around and we all laughed and commented as the attorney sorted through Katherine's paperwork and explained our rights.

Shortly after, we stepped outside to a social worker who asked us how we were feeling. Fine? Those were THE papers we had been waiting on, she explained. "Congratulations Mommy and Daddy!" We hugged and cried. Is this real life?!

As Lawson and Katherine's discharge came closer and closer, Clint and I tried taking short breaks out of the room to give her space with the baby. We knew what she was facing was so big, and our hearts hurt for her. She had been wonderful through the whole thing. She let us stay with her and the baby during the entire hospital stay and allowed any of our own visitors to come in, asking them right away, "Want to hold him?" {Katherine is incredible if you can't tell!} She had just given us the most amazing gift we could ever receive, and it was painful watching her hurt because of that gift. After some teary hugs, she helped us pack up our car, and Clint walked her to her vehicle. 

Unlike when we drove away from The Women's Hospital last July, our baby was in the backseat. Praise Him!

THANK YOU Katherine for making this birth plan, and thank you to Lawson's birthfather for allowing this plan to happen.

If our story doesn't show you how much better God's plan is than your own, I don't know what does. I'm not happy we had to go through all the pain and loss that we did to get here, but I'm sure glad we got here. We had to let go of what we thought our life should look like in order to experience the joy He had waiting for us. He is good!


Happy heavenly birthday Colt and Case!

One year ago, after 5 weeks of labor and many medical interventions, Colt and Case were born via C-section at 24 weeks gestation. They lived approximately one hour before passing to heaven.

With Lawson's due date being tomorrow, July 24th, one day after the twins' birthday, we can't help but feel his older brothers had a hand and bringing him to us.  To celebrate their first birthday in heaven and to recognize them too, we'd like to share some pictures of their lives.

We're expecting...


Early ultrasound said Boy/Girl. What a surprise 3 days later, it was Boy/Boy!


18 weeks. These little men grew fast! Being able to experience pregnancy
was a blessing, and I think it helped me relate to Katherine as she would talk about
all the sensations she was feeling.

Lots of appointments mean lots of pictures.





Their birth...


Case William Ray (Baby B) & Colt Waylon (Baby A)

 First heavenly birthday 7/23/15

Cousin Bennett sends birthday balloons to heaven!

A celebration in heaven and on earth!


Lawson is a lucky boy
to have to angel brothers watching over him.


Saturday, May 30, 2015

Happy and Hopeful

Okay, get it over with. Skip to the bottom and have a look, then, come back to read the juicy details. I would.

We thought adoption would look like this:
  • Submit profile book and application
  • Wait 2 years
  • Get THE phone call with a match from the agency
  • Have a 2-4 weeks. Completely surprise everyone with a photo of our brand new baby!
It was more like this:
  • Meet birthparents #1 (Yes, this came first. Three days into this journey, however, no match).
  • [THEN] Submit profile book and application
  • Fundraise
  • Potential birthmother # 2's mom contacts us (early loss).
  • Fundraise
  • Fundraise
  • Six weeks in, it's a match through personal connections! She's about 17 weeks. Boy or girl?
  • Fundraise, Fundraise
  • Fundraise..
  • Tell everyone because it's too exciting, and we've been texting, maternity clothes shopping, lunching, phoning, best friend and other children meeting, in hospital visiting, and lifelong relationship building with a sweet, sweet momma for FOUR months. (You are here).

It doesn't even seem right to call this a match, because this is so much more. We've truly built a relationship with this mother. With adoption being only potential until all documents are official, we know it sounds crazy, but we have trusted our hearts to this mother. There is so much to share, but if you've spent time with us recently, we've probably filled in some blanks as to how we got here. I'll be honest, it is scary to announce anything. I've been trying to post this for about four weeks and keep chickening out. We have to prepare our home again for a baby that may never come.. but what if baby does come? There is so much to do. Prepare the nursery, restock diapers, hire photographer, locate breast milk, speak to employers, install car seat, find out of state location to spend 1-6 weeks until paperwork goes through, sterilize bottles, etc. etc.. How can you do these things with a pessimistic heart? Doesn't every baby deserve the very best? Expectant parents who wait with happy, hopeful hearts for baby's arrival.

Please remember, nothing is official, but it is looking very promising.
We never expected to have such a great relationship with our future child's mother. We know we need to guard our hearts and did a pretty great job at that until we really started getting to know her. She is just amazing and truly wants what is best for baby. She works full time. She has a Bachelor's degree. She is kind and funny. She also feels she is just not in a good place to raise a new little son, but doesn't want to "give him up." She wants to give him more. She will be a part of this baby's life forever. This baby is to lucky have so many who love him with the heart of a parent.
We knew about open adoption, but never thought about the pregnancy being open, too. With her being so early when we first spoke, we had lots of time to get to know each other and just let the relationship grow at its own pace. He is due one day after Colt & Case's birthday. She noted this fact as a sign that this was meant to be, and we couldn't help but agree with her. When there is a mother out there referring to the baby inside of her as the name you and your husband have been dreaming out, saying, "When he comes home to you guys.." When you feel the baby kick your hand as soon as you put your hand on her belly. When you have the opportunity to shop with her for maternity clothes, meet your future son's half-siblings, visit her in the hospital (brief scare with preterm labor). When her doctors talk to you about your baby's health information, how do you turn that down to guard your heart just in case?  We feel honored and lucky to get all the information, experiences, relationships we can that could be OUR BABY's heritage and birth story. If this weren't an open adoption, we would miss all of that. Our son might say, "Who do I look and act like?" "Did I kick a lot when I was inside?" "Did I make the woman who carried me crave funny foods?" "What did I look like on ultrasound?" "Do I have biological siblings?" Well guess what, we have those answers to share and so does she. How many adoptive mothers and fathers can say that? How many get to feel their unborn baby's little kicks on their hands? Get months and months to really prepare their hearts for their specific child? Open adoption can be so beautiful!
We realize all of this could have a seriously painful ending. This can go really, really good or really, really bad. Mothers change their minds and placement plans all the time [As the hospital social worker ensured me with a 'you baby snatcher' tone when I called about a room during her preterm labor scare. OUCH]. We've been through loss and devastation before and are beginning to feel like the benefit outweighs the risk. This could be our baby's birth story in the making, and we want to be a part of it.
Please remember us in prayer during this exciting and nerve wracking time, but also cover baby's birthmother in prayer. This is likely to be painful for her even though it will be an open adoption. We realize that our miracle will cause her heartache, but hopefully, in the end, peace of mind, knowing baby is getting the very best and being loved and cared for and supported and uplifted by a great family and at least 7300 other people. ;)
With happy, hopeful hearts, say hello to
Lawson Cooper.

29 weeks

31 weeks-Chunky Monkey squished in there!

She let herself out of the house and got right in front of the photographer.
He's growing in her heart, too!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Thanks and Gratitude

Thirty-One Fundraiser
     Our latest fundraiser has come to a close. I delivered everyone's orders on Monday night, and MAN were there a lot of cute things! A special thanks to Danielle W. for so graciously pausing her Thirty-One business income to donate all proceeds to our cause and THANK YOU to everyone that helped us by placing an order. The proceeds will benefit our situation more than we can explain. If anyone notices any problems with their orders, please, don't hesitate to contact me or Danielle.
     I love so many of the items Thirty-One has to offer, but I especially love the message associated with it. Check out Proverbs 31 if you're curious and don't know.
Online Auction
     If you joined the Thirty-One fundraiser Facebook page, you also got to participate in an online auction. THANK YOU to everyone who placed bids. We are also SO grateful for all the items donated. Most were from locally owned, small businesses (which always have the best stuff, right?).

Christy Creamer (Scentsy)
Lacey Watson & Melanie Linson (Main Street Style)
Kristi Smock (Taco Tierra)
Brenda Johnson (Body & Sol massage)
Beth Garrett Ligon (Body & Sol tans, It Works body wrap)
Ken's Cookie Jar (cakes/cookies/cupcakes)
Shawna Sutton (Jamberry Nails)
Danielle Wright (Organizer, Wal-Mart giftcard, Autism wreath)
Meagan Steckler (Cabi)
Growing in our hearts
     About six months back, we entered Whitney Bri Photography's contest for snapshots only. We used a picture a recovery room nurse had taken and won! {Love those recovery room folks. Maybe I'm partial.} We actually had other contestants say if they had won, they would've given us the free mini session prize. How's that for heartwarming!?  After a few rain outs, we finally got to do our session. We decided an adoption themed session was only fitting, given the photo that won it for us. Let's not forget to thank all the voters and Whitney Bri Photography for having this give away, yet another fabulous small business.
Winning iPhone picture...

And a little peek at our free session...

On a side note: This is not an announcement of any kind!

I'll say it again.. I love our hometown! Our hearts are overflowing with gratitude for what people have and continue to do so unselfishly. Strangers have started coming up to us saying, "We know you. You're the two we've all been praying for. We can't wait to meet your little one." The fact that you all are helping us get the word out is big, but the covering in prayer is bigger. Please, keep it up. I know He hears us!

Friday, February 13, 2015

Careers and Other News

SO I've kind of been posting a lot, but every chance I get to update, I want to. The more this blog gets shared, the better the chances are we might find the little one meant to be in our arms sooner rather than later. Our attorney tells us most adoptions happen by someone knowing someone who knows someone, so, please, SHARE your little hearts out!

Clint got a new job as the production foreman for a local oil company. He still has weekends and holidays off and can be home for supper, which is important while we try to grow our family. His new boss seems to be on the same page with family coming first and has even adopted a child himself! Could this be anymore perfect?

As of March 2nd, I will no longer float from department to department at the hospital. I'll stay in the surgery department from now on and will have benefits, such as paid vacation, maternity leave, etc. I'll be working with two of my very good friends from nursing school and serving a community that I love, not to mention, it's only seven minutes from home. It's going to be such a great distraction from all this waiting. I'm ready to get started!

I want mention that we were recently contacted by a potential birth mother who hadn't yet gone to the doctor, but was pregnant and wanted to possibly place with us. I know this young mother's own mother, who is incredible! We would've been lucky to have an open adoption with this family, but we got word that she had lost the baby last week. Our hearts break for her in the most unselfish way, knowing how difficult losing a baby is, even in the earliest stage.

Six days ago, we met our attorney officially for the first time. She will be the one primarily working with us and sharing our books, so we feel like now we can say we're actually  "waiting to adopt." There are still a few steps that need to be done, but not necessarily before we find a match.

*REMINDER* Tomorrow is the last day to order fundraising t-shirts!

This truly is a journey with lots of ups and downs. If you see me out and I'm wearing mismatched shoes, running late, or maybe driving with my coffee cup on the hood, please forgive me. I'm just over here impatiently waiting for a life changing phone call.

Nurse Cori - Age 4
Find a job you love, and you'll never work a day in your life.
Cori loves taking care of others in our community. It feels great to see old patients around town doing well! We are lucky she has a job that supports our journey to parenthood and allows her to spend lots of time at home when baby gets here.

Clint's happy to be doing what he loves close to home. He's a hard worker and takes pride in being a family man. He never walks in the door without a smile or silly song for our dog.

Speaking of Sadie, here's our sweet puggle! Cori's been crocheting lots lately and no one's immune. She says, "Laugh it up, Dad. She's making your work shirts next!"

Monday, January 26, 2015


Note: I'm journaling in hindsight, because if we make a successful match, we won't share the story until everything is official. I still want to document along the way, but I will just post it when appropriate.

January 25, 2015
    If you've ever been actively trying to conceive, you've probably googled and found posts that seem to be in a whole different language. My DH has no clue what these blogs that I read after IVF or FET mean. He just knows we must BD if my OPK says so, then I'm PUPO until we take an HPT and get a BFP! If you've tried for a LO (little one) long enough, you know what I just said. If you've been lucky enough to go through IUI or IVF, you almost certainly have googled and you yourself have been "PUPO" or pregnant until proven otherwise. PUPO is this grey area between the time they do the procedure to make you pregnant to the time your body has enough pregnancy hormone coursing through it to actually show up on a test. You really could be pregnant, but can't prove it.
    Now that we are living the adoptive hopefuls life, the only abbreviations I've seen are BM and BP, and, working in health care, those do NOT mean birth mother and birthparents to me. One term used is "paper pregnant," and I understand this to be the time span  from when you are matched with a birth mom to her actually having the baby.

    Three days ago, Thursday, birthparents picked our profile from a pile of books along with another couple and wanted to meet us both. Our attorney accidently showed our book, not realizing we hadn't completed everything yet and aren't even a true clients of hers. We met this amazing couple yesterday at a little diner 2 hours from our home. We were nervous in a way neither one of us had ever felt before! I think Clint and I learned a little about each other that day, too, being in a totally new environment faced with feelings we couldn't even explain. These birthparents had great questions and genuine concern about the parents who would raise their child. I gave her a journal and we all four snapped a quick photo for my scrapbook before leaving.  We agreed that we probably made some rookie mistakes, but felt it went great overall [insert fist bump, with explosion]. They even told us they thought we'd make great parents for their baby, but that both couples they met were so wonderful birth dad needed a few extra days to decide. I SO respect these two. They are really taking time for this decision and truly love their baby. The attorney called us later that day and said that one felt connected to us and the other more to them. It's a 50/50 according to our attorney who is always up front and brutally honest. We are thankful just to have had the opportunity to meet some parents already and know anything that may sway them at this point is likely out of our control, like number of children, where we live, age, etc. If it doesn't work out, I guess this will be a learning experience, and we'll meet the next ones like true veterans. Oh my heart.
Our journey in a nutshell (2 months in on an average 2 year process):
December: start filling out forms
January weekend 1: class 1/2 done
January weekend 2:Turn in majority of forms
January weekend 3: class 2/2 done
January weekend 4: Meet first set of birthparents (outcome pending)

I've been PUPO twice now. Today, I'm almost PPUPO, paper pregnant until proven otherwise. This motherhood thing is beautiful. And complicated. Oh, and it's a girl!

January 26, 2015
    This morning, our attorney called to tell us the birth parents we met Saturday chose the other couple they met that day. I'm sure glad we convinced ourselves there was NO way this could really happen this early. We didn't get overly excited knowing we weren't the only couple in consideration. I guess I would compare it to.. doing everything perfectly to conceive, only to get a negative home pregnancy test.  We are disappointed, however it's not as if we were THE match, planned for 2 months, and then birth mom backed out. That would probably be equivalent to mourning a lost pregnancy. I don't know. We guarded our hearts and are glad we did.
    Our attorney explained to us that the birthparents had a hard time making a decision, because they loved us both. Dad could tell "by the look in Clint's eyes" that he had so much love for a child and liked his quiet demeanor. He thought Clint would parent in a way similar to how he would have liked to. Side note- Clint thought he messed up by being quiet out of nervousness. Mom felt a "bond" with me, but the other adoptive mom was adopted herself. She recently rekindled her relationship with own birth mother, and it was going well. This really struck mom, as her worst fear in all of this was that her child would grow to hate her. Nope, can't compete with that. We would be sure the child never grew up hating her; These 2 were awesome, but we can see her side, too.

So now we'll go back to playing the waiting game. We feel good that the reason we weren't picked was out of our control. Also, we pray it's a good sign that after only having our book in our attorney's hands for 5 days we were picked, when some books get shown to 30-40 moms without anything. That was enough to encourage us, so I feel more patient, but more excited, too, that we might be so close to being done with this long journey.

 January 24, 2015
Here's half of the picture we snapped. I cut out the couple to protect their identity, but will be saving the original for memory book purposes. Match or not, this was still part of our future child's birth story. I should mention, she was gorgeous!

Thursday, January 15, 2015


Since my first post announcing our planned adoption, I've had lots of good questions! I'm okay with that and will try my best to fill you in when it's appropriate. I completely understand the curiousity.
  1. Where are you at in the process?
    We've been working on the application for the agency for almost two months. There is still quite a bit to go. Can't wait to be done and..well.. WAIT! Application (Forms, histories, fingerprints, health physicals, floor plans, pet records, etc, etc.). Home studies. Profile book goes live.
  2. How do they find a baby?
    Birthmothers contact the group we're working with seeking to place their child with a family. She usually has a type of family she wants. A few profile books will be given to her to consider that match that criteria. If she doesn't like the books she's shown, she can look at more and more and more until she's found a family she's comfortable placing her baby with. Think about the decision she's about to make. Imagine if you had to find someone else to raise your child.. It's understandable it could take some time! We want to be considerate of that.
  3. Will you get a baby from another country?
    We are seeking domestic adoption.
  4. What age did you request for the child?
    That feels like a private question between us and the agency.
  5. What do you guys agree to for race and gender?
    That, too, feels like one of those private questions.
  6. How much does it cost?
    Although we are doing group funding, again, we're going to keep exact numbers to ourselves. UNLESS, you are seeking adoption, and are interested because of that. Happy to help where I can.
  7. What's the normal wait time to get a baby?
    Two years is the average wait we're told.
  8. What if your baby is born ill?
    Answer:What if your baby is born ill?
  9. How long does the mother have to change her mind?
    The entire pregnancy. Then, once baby is born, she can sign a consent that is permanent, but not before 72 hours after birth. This is one reason we are likely to keep it to ourselves when/if we get a match until it's final.
  10. Are you still going to try to conceive yourself?
    Yes, one day. Date undecided.
That's all I can think of for now. Ten is a good number to stop on, right? I love that everyone is so interested and supportive! We don't want to put everything out there, because it is still a very personal situation. Some of those questions really ask something a bit deeper than you might think at first glance. And, that's okay! I'll just answer what I feel is right. Some of these details will be our future child's very own story to tell one day, and I want him or her to have the option of sharing or not sharing all of the details. :)
Grow old with me. The best is yet to be.

Monday, January 12, 2015

In case you hadn't heard...

We're Adopting!

We battled infertility for 2 1/2 years before conceiving twin boys, Colt & Case, only to have our hearts broken when they were born 16 weeks too soon and passed away one hour after birth. Clint & I both agreed in our dating years that it would be "kinda cool" to adopt a baby in addition to our bio babies. Little did we know, we would face some seriously difficult times getting those bio babies. Doctors felt great about future singleton pregnancies, but not until later in 2015. We were disheartened.  We had recently raised money for the cost of a frozen embryo transfer, and now we were being told it would be a while before we could move forward with that. We were so ready to be parents and couldn't imagine staring at our empty nursery doing nothing to fill it. Adoption came back up, and we felt it was not if, but when, and what better time than right now. People were often suggesting, "You can always just adopt," "will you ever just adopt?" We did not want to go into adoption as a last resort with desperate and beaten down hearts and just adopt because there was no other hope. We wanted this to be something we were called to. One class in I am certain we are being called to this. I've been trying to complete our paperwork for two months, and, let me tell ya, you don't JUST adopt! Oh, and the average wait time, two YEARS.
We are completely blown away at the amount of people who opened their hearts and donated to our fund for trying to conceive with a frozen embryo. We had loved ones, old friends, and even strangers giving. Some people even hosted special parties and gave us the proceeds. My heart was so full, and I fell in love with our little town all over. It really does take a village to raise [and, sometimes, have] a child. I can't wait to create roots for a little one here and share the story of how loved and wanted they were by a very special village.
We will continue to fundraise toward this new goal, and please know that we do not expect people to give and give and give. If you'd like to and can participate, we thank you. If not, that's okay, too. We'd be just as happy if you'd send a few good words to the big guy upstairs for us.

A rough draft of our 20 page profile book is available to any birth mother that comes in to the agency that helped us get started as of Saturday 1/17/15. If we match her criteria, our book will be given to her to take home and consider. Our book isn't available to the attorney we'd like to work with until we do her portion of paperwork and retainers and such which will hopefully be done in a few weeks. We are still finishing classes (which are 2 hours from home), have 1-3 home studies, and need Clint's physical and our fingerprints to be done. Starting to see why this takes a while, right?  
We will try to keep everyone updated as we go along. Posts may be few and far between, because it is a lengthy process, but they will be shorter :)