Thursday, January 28, 2010

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Photos? Why I just happend to have some right here...

Some more pics!

Thanks for coming along...

Jon and Melanie

Introductions Are in Order...

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Allow me to introduce you to Jolie Cate:

The Vital Details:

6lbs 4 oz
Time of birth: 6:39 am

We have now been admitted into the Mother / Baby wing and are taking care of Jolie. She makes little whimpering sounds when she is sleeping- just like Brinkley. She has a round little face and is absolutely beautiful. She had just had some formula when they first brought her in and she promptly spit up for us right on cue. "Hi Mom and Dad... blllaaaaaaat".

We have been given a room where we can stay- as if we were the parents or something! Officially we are not yet, but there is nothing that is giving us any reason to worry.

We have had a visit from the baby's doctor and they rolled her over and poked and prodded and she was a trooper!! Hardly made a sound! Just a few of those cute whimpers.

Ok. We have hungry people in this room- and I am not talking about Jolie! Gotta go get some food!

Thanks for coming along...

Jon and Melanie

I Don't Twitter But...

We have a baby. We are at the hospital and have just learned, I mean 5 minutes ago, that Jolie Cate was born around 6:35 or 6:40 this morning. We have not seen her yet. The hospital and the agency have to get their ducks in a row and we have to sign some piece of paper before we can see her. We know she has a full head of dark hair. We do not know how much she weighs or how long she is or any of that. We talked to Alison's mom and she said that both Alison and Jolie are doing fine.

Pictures etc coming as soon as it is possible.

Thanks for coming along...

Jon and Melanie

And They're Off!!!!!

The call came this morning at 4:10. Alison's water broke around midnight and from what we can tell she headed to the hospital soon after. We got another call about 4:15 that said that they are indeed at the hospital and that things were progressing slowly. We are getting things together and getting ready to head there. We are taking the macbook and will be looking for opportunities to blog along the way- it all depends on arrangements, facilities, and the pace of the action. At any rate, we will pass along the developments as quickly as we can!

Thanks for coming along...

Jon and Melanie

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

A Different Kind of Waiting...

Now this is a different kind of waiting.

We have all been there- we have all waited for things. And when you have waited a lot- in different circumstances- you become aware of the different kinds of waiting.

We waited for a year and a half for someone to say, "I like this couple." Others have waited much longer, and there was nothing that made our waiting difficult or uncomfortable, (other than wanting a baby). We weren't in emotional or physical pain. We weren't poor or destitute. We were and we are blessed. We have good jobs in a good community and a good family and a wonderful church... the list goes on and on.

But now- this waiting is different. Not bad, just different

The other waiting was waiting for God's timing, not knowing when it would be. This is waiting for God's timing and knowing that it pretty much HAS to be any day. I mean, a baby can only stay in the oven for so long right? Well, we must be to the part where you sprinkle on some shredded cheese and put the dish back in for 5 more minutes to melt the cheese.

This waiting is full of the tension of knowing that the event is going to explode onto the scene and change things forever. And that it is only a matter of hours, maybe days.

This waiting is like a fire drill scheduled for 3rd hour. You know it is close, but you do not know the exact moment when the alarm will go off. You think you are ready but it still startles the begeebers out of you.

This waiting is like watching someone blow up a balloon and they keep blowing it bigger and bigger and bigger... and you know that the latex can only take so much and that the balloon is going to pop, and you try to get ready for it because you know that the next breath is going to be the one that sets off the explosion...and even though you knew it was coming it makes you jump when it pops.

This waiting is the kind of waiting where its not a matter of whether its going to happen, its a matter of when.

Although we do not know the details of how this will all play out we do know that very soon there will be an event that will change our lives. No matter what happens, it will change our lives.

Talk about a pregnant pause...

Thanks for coming along....

Jon and Melanie

Sunday, January 24, 2010

The Checklist is Complete...

No baby news yet.

But, this weekend was what is still my biggest photo shoot of the year- Upward Basketball at our church. Check

We had AFC Championship tickets. Check.

Jolie Cate, you are number one on the runway.

Your parents are waiting.

Will post when we hear!

Thanks for coming along...

Jon and Melanie

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Now That's Not Funny!!! (But I'm Gonna Live)

I had one of those "one second lasts for an eternity" moments this morning. Here is the scene...

I am up and dressed- out in the kitchen- making the morning coffee and bagel. You know that we are living life like firefighters right now- waiting for the call. Waiting for the phone to ring.

So there I am pouring the coffee at 5:45 am... and the phone rings.

And there it was- the eternity moment. I thought, "This is it. Alison is in labor. In another 24 hours we are going to have a baby girl." I wondered what she would look like. I wondered if she would like sports or drama or horses or dollhouses... I wondered if she would be a good driver and how she would look when she went to the 8th grade Christmas dance and the prom and on her wedding day. I wondered if she would want to be a doctor or a radio personality or social worker or a teacher, (nah- not a teacher). I wondered if she would be left handed and if she would like to sing. I wondered what adventures God would take her on. I wondered if she would travel and see the world. I wondered if she would be daring or reserved- outgoing or shy. I wondered who she would be.

So I answered the phone.

It was a recording.

It was from the Superintendent's Office.

We had a 2 hour delay at school.

The most anti-climactic 2 hour delay of my life.

Thanks for coming along...

Jon and Melanie

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Things Are Heatin' Up!!!


The Birth Counselor calls today and says that our birth mother went into false labor last night and saw her doctor. Her doctor says that the big event could be anytime in the next three days.



OK. I'm fine. Just had to get that out.

Now you never know about these things. This is the first baby for the mother, and that usually goes slow. But then not everybody plays by those rules, so it could go fast. So here is my thought- I will just go with the flow. We will go when we are called and meet our daughter. Our daughter, Jolie Cate.

Oh, did I let that slip out? Did I not tell you already? Yep- we have a name for this girl and she is:

Jolie Cate Arvin

Now, this Jolie Cate girl is going to come whenever she decides to come. I don't think that she is checking anyone's social calendar- she is just gonna show when she shows. But we do have tickets to the AFC Championship game on Sunday... I'm just saying- Monday would be OK.

But so would tomorrow.

Thanks for coming along.

Jon and Melanie

Thursday, January 14, 2010

The Tour is In the Books!

Well, on we go!

We see every day and every contact as another milestone- another day closer to what we hope and pray for. And today is another step in the right direction!

We met Alison- the birth mother- at a Starbucks to chat for a bit and then headed to the hospital for a tour of the labor and delivery / post-partum facilities. We will deal with these events in reverse order... kind of.

The tour was fine, but it was not really anything big or overly exciting. The hospital is brand new and the facilities are very nice. The whole thing took maybe 15 or 20 minutes. The nurse who gave the tour was very friendly and accommodating, but she did not know ahead of time that this was an adoption situation, and she did not know exactly how the hospital handles adoptions. But, she was warm and positive and encouraging, so I can't say that we were treated badly at all- which can happen.

By far the more important thing for us was the opportunity to spend some more time with Alison and to meet her mother who is serving as birth coach. That aspect of the morning was nothing but encouraging for us. We have felt comfortable with Alison both times we have been together and we felt the same with her mother. They are easy to talk to, and they are intelligent, friendly people. And, we get the sense that both of them are very pleased with us as adoptive parents.

In the course of our conversation at Starbucks, where all important conversations take place, Alison asked about our approach to discipline. We lied and said that we believe in an environment that is firm, fair, consistent and loving, without being overbearing. Of course I am kidding. Well- I am kidding about the "we lied" part- that really is what we believe in... honest! Alison seemed well satisfied with what we had to say. We really do seem to be on the same page about a lot of things. It seems that when Alison asks a question we are able to answer it and make her comfortable with her choice. Its almost like someone is in charge of this or something!

We don't know every detail of the hospital plan, but we do know that Alison does not want us to be in the room while she is going through labor and delivery, and that is fine with us. She has indicated that she wants to sign the adoption papers soon after the required 24 hour post-birth waiting period has expired, but that is the kind of thing that you have to "wait and see". We are going to receive a call when Alison goes into labor and we can head to the hospital. But, until the papers are signed we are really no one of consequence. There are tons of hotels around the hospital, so we can get a room if we need to, or it might be that the hospital will give us a place to stay and wait there. We are flexible with that- whatever works is fine with us.

After the events of the day, I just have to say that it looks more and more like God has chosen this child for us. I just do not get any sense of a change of mind from Alison. I do not sense anything uncomfortable between us and her. Every day continues to be a positive day. I know that adoption can turn out like the mother of all Survivor blind sides, but that is not how it feels right now.

We are content to take each day with the news that it brings. And today the news is good.

Glory to God in the highest.

Thanks for coming along...

Jon and Melanie

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

This Baby Stuff is Driving Me to the Bottle!!!

Oh, I see what you were thinking!! Come on now, that's not what I meant! I meant baby bottles!!

See, this is an important decision- what kind of bottle do you go with? There are so many choices!

Let's see, there is Born Free, and who wouldn't want to go with the bottle that is named after the 1966 movie about a Kenyan game warden who raises a lion cub and then sets it free! (And, we could sing the song all the time- "Born Free, as free as the grass grows.... uh-oh. I'm dating myself. Oh well. Get used to it.)

But then there are Playtex bottles and they get really good reviews, AND, they have been around FOREVER. I remember Playex bottles from the last time around and that would be one thing that would give me some semblance of familiarity.

Avent has worked really hard to make bottles that work well because they are shaped just like... umm... I don't want to get into that here.

And if you want to give your child confidence, who would not want to feed them from a Prince Lionheart bottle? Oh wait. We are having a girl. Is there like a Princess Jasmine bottle?

Gerber is a trusted name. Evenflo sounds like it would work well. Do we want plastic? Glass? Well I do know this - its got to be BPA free. (I am pretty sure that BPA stands for Bottle Pungent Aroma- you know, that smell you get when you leave a half finished bottle sitting aroung a little too long... I think that they have bottles that mask the smell- thus the "BPA Free")

Which one is easiest to clean? Which one holds up after repeated use? Which one will she like? What in the world should we do?

Wait! I found one! There is one called Dr. Brown's! And I am pretty sure that it must be named after Alton Brown on the Food Network- cause after all, who knows more about the science of food and food prep than Alton Brown??

I think we have a winner!

I vote Dr. Brown's!

(But I am not sure I have the swing vote here...)

Thanks for coming along...

More to come...

Jon & Mel

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

The Next Step...

Just a quick update to keep those who are checking up to date. Hence the name, "update".

We originally thought that our hospital tour with the birth mother would be this week, (either today - Wednesday- or Saturday). The dates didn't work out with the birth mother and her mother who is serving as birth coach. So... after trading some emails, the tour is now scheduled for January 14 at 10:00 am. That date works out well for us because Mel is off work and you don't have to twist my arm to take ANY day off from school.

So, there it is- that is the next step. That is really all we look at- the next step. We are very willing to go one step at a time. However, I will say that the baby's due date is 3 WEEKS FROM TOMORROW!!!!!!!

I'm calm...

More to come...

Jon and Melanie

Friday, January 1, 2010

After A Long Period of Quietness...

That sound you hear is the door creaking and the dust being blown off of the Arvin Adoption Chronicles. If memory serves the last entry came around August of 2008. That is quite a gap. The reason for the gap? There was not really anything to report. There was a lot of waiting. And while there is nothing really wrong with waiting, there is nothing really noteworthy about it either. At least not in the day-to-day accounting. Not for blogging.

During all of that time, Melanie and I held firm to one thing- when the right child was available at the right time, then God would make a way for things to proceed.

It appears that the time has come.

How to tell the story? Like a Star Trek "Captain's Log"? Naa. Christian will call me a nerd. Again.

Like a childrens' story? Hmm... Not sure I have that much creative juice right now.

I've got it!!!

Here we go...

It was a Friday. I was alone in the kitchen. Winter had arrived like Cousin Eddie in Christmas Vacation. Annoying. Unwanted. Harsh.

My partner and I had been walking the Adoption beat for over a year. To say things were slow would be an understatement. Aside from the occasional update and a phone call here and there, nobody was hiring. Yea. Things were slow. Government Health Care was changing faster.

Then it happened. I was slicing apples for a pie. My partner was getting things for the office Christmas Party. The phone rang. I answered. The voice on the other end asked for my partner. I said she wasn't around, who wanted to know? They said they would talk to me.

"Sure, go ahead" I said. The voice said, " We have a birth mother who has chosen you."

It took what seemed like an eternity for the words to sink in. My head began to swim with questions. Are they sure they have the right number? Are they sure they knew who they were talking to? Was this really serious? Did they really rebuild Hardees?

Ok. Enough of the film noir. Let me fill you in...

A birth mother here in Indiana chose us as her "first choice" about mid December. The birth mother counselor who made the initial call told me that she was pretty firm in her decision to move toward adoption, and she had looked at several profiles and kept coming back to ours. These are all encouraging things! Oh... and she is due on January 28! Yikes!

The birth mother wanted to meet and talk with us and so a meeting was arranged for December 18. To begin with I thought it was going to be the scariest meeting ever. It was the whole thought of saying the wrong thing without knowing it. I mean, you never know what someone might not like. But, as the day drew closer, we became more confident and calm. Hmm. Coincidence? I don't think so.

The meeting really could not have gone better. She seemed very at ease with us and we were comfortable talking with her as well. We talked about a lot of things and we were together for about an hour and a half.

On our way home my cell phone rang and it was the birth mother counselor. She was there with us at the meeting and was calling to say that she, (the birth mother), loved us and wondered if we would be willing to come and go on the hospital tour with her in January. Now I am about as sharp as a marble, but I think that is a good sign.

So here is where things are now. The hospital tour is set up for January 6 and all is progressing in a positive direction. We have begun to prepare- purchased nursery furniture, registered for an upcoming shower- but we are trying to be wise in the things we do. We have heard the stories and know that adoption can change directions suddenly and drastically. There is nothing we have encountered so far to make us think that it will, but we just want to be reasonably cautious with our emotions.

We are grateful for the prayers of faithful friends. We want to give a child a good home and we want to do it all in accordance with God's plan and timing.

More to come!

Jon and Melanie