Early Sept 2014: We knew the Lord was asking us to grow our family so we set aside 21 days to pray specifically over HOW we should do this – biologically or through adoption. When we do this, we do not talk AT ALL about the direction we feel the Lord is moving us – regardless of the topic.
September 25, 2014: 14 days into our 21 days of prayer. Kate couldn’t stand the fact that the Lord was telling her NOTHING and desperately needed to talk about it. (Yep…totally against the “rules.”) As it turns out, Brett was feeling the same way. After much deliberation, Brett said, “Maybe we’re struggling over this because we’re trying to choose ONE PATH, and that’s just not really the issue.” Essentially we were putting God in a box by not just being open to what he has for us. The weight of this decision completely lifted. (Um, hello? Foreshadowing much?)
October 2, 2014: The end of our 21 days and a date night to Edley’s BBQ + Frothy Monkey to talk about it all. We decided on this night to pursue adoption but not worry about the pregnancy part. Not a “yes.” Not a “no.” Just pursue adoption right now. (The funny thing about this is that we still didn’t think we would be pregnant. We just felt like the Lord wanted us to quit being so finicky with how detailed we “needed” him to be with this answer. Ha!)
December 31, 2014: Put paperwork in the mail to hire our consultant.
January 7, 2015: Contacted our home study agency and began collecting documents.
mid-February 2015: Home study interviews!
February 14, 2015: Told our families we would be adopting.
February 24, 2015: Woke up. Drank tons of caffeine. 2 hours lately, couldn’t function and had to nap. This was the first time I (Kate) thought, “Hmm…could I be pregnant?” But I was SURE that wasn’t true.
February 25, 2015: Felt GREAT! So much energy.
February 26, 2015: Exhausted + nauseous.
February 27, 2015: Exhausted + nauseous.
February 28, 2015: Exhausted + nauseous.
Our 6 year anniversary.
The morning we announced our adoption to the world.
The afternoon we found out we were expecting a baby biologically.
Exhausted + nauseous.
March 19, 2015: Home study COMPLETE! Officially a waiting family.
March 30, 2015: Presented profile to first birthmom. She had our profile for 7 weeks as we waited to see if we would have a baby due within a couple months. Ultimately, this mother chose a family member to parent.
April 18, 2015: Told our families and friends Kate was pregnant.
April 25, 2015: Announced to the world.
August 26, 2015: 32 weeks. Doctor felt the need to go ahead and check me for dilation yet was still shocked to find out I was already nearly 3cm. Sent straight to hospital where I was monitored + learned I was having contractions every 2-3 minutes. Within 2 days, they were able to stop contractions + I was put on bedrest. ADOPTION HALTED AS WE COULD NOT TRAVEL.
September 24, 2015: 35 weeks, 6 days – released from bedrest. Maternity pictures that evening followed by a date night.
September 28, 2015: Our surprise GIRL arrived 4 weeks early. Her birth video is HERE.
Early January 2016: Home study is updated to reflect our new babe and we began waiting again.
Mid January 2016: Matched with expectant Mama S with a baby due May 25, 2015.
February 17, 2016: While preparing to travel to Florida to meet Mama S the following week, we learned that this match had failed + we would not be adopting this baby.
Late Spring 2016: Applied with a new agency that our consultant had formed a relationship with.
June 5, 2016: Read a text message with 3 sentences about Mama C. We both said yes based on these sentences alone and knew this was it.
June 7, 2016: Still awaiting paperwork from agency when we get a text reading “You might wanna go ahead and pack your bags. Call you soon,” from our consultant. (Commence freakout.) It turned out Mama C was not quite in labor yet, but we did go ahead and start packing what we could and our match officially took place on this day!
June 10, 2016: Announced our match.
June 24, 2016: My 29th birthday. I was prepping freezer meals with raw meat all over my hands when I heard my phone ring at 11:30am. Seeing that it was our consultant, I got the raw meat off my hands as quickly as possible and answered to hear her calm voice just wondering what I was up to. (haha!) She then let me know Mama C was in labor, and we better get our rears to Texas. I called Brett with tears streaming down my face, and he raced home. Within 4.5 hours, we had booked flights, hotels, a rental car, packed and were on a plane with Finley + Brett’s mom.
8:30pm – Flight landed in Houston, Texas.
11:00pm – Birthmother advocate arrived in Houston + we met her at the hospital. We waited in the ER waiting room that night for what felt like HOURS on HOURS on HOURS. We had drank so much caffeine that day but couldn’t seem to stay awake as we watched infomercials on tv + stared at our phones.
June 25, 2016, 1:44am (or quickly thereafter) – We found out our baby had arrived!
5:30am – Met Mama C for the first time. She introduced us to the GIRL we would forever share. We cried with her and stared in our girl’s face for the first time.
June 27, 2016: A day I wanted to skip. Though this would be the day we would officially gain rights as Maren’s legal guardians, it was also the day Mama C relinquished hers. Our hearts hurt deeply for her.
On a positive note, we got to take Maren “home” (back to the hotel) that day and snuggle the mess out of her!
December 28, 2016: FINALIZATION DAY! Maren officially became a Whitmore.