It still hasn't sunk in. But boy do we love them. Our little boy and girl were born on 11/15/08, 15 weeks early at 25 weeks gestation. They are now 31 weeks gestation. Their birth mother named them Frank and Victoria and for now, that's what we call them. Victoria came first and she weighed 1lb. 6 oz. Frank was a bit behind her at 1 lb. 5 1/2 oz. They are both little fighters and we are proud of them. These pictures were taken by the hospital when they were first born. Victoria's the one with the bow. They look a lot different now. Their skin and eyes look a lot more normal and they are really, really cute. They are both off the ventilator too so you can see more of their faces. We are still trying to get our recent pics off the camera and onto a computer. Hopefully we'll figure that out this week. It's hard to comprehend their size even when you're looking right at them. My fist is bigger than their heads. Their little bodies are about as wide as Kelly's forearm.
We found out about our little duo on Saturday, 12/13. We got an email from a friend who's friend's sister works at the adoption agency that's handling their adoption. When I saw the email I ran to tell Kelly about it and he looked at me like I was crazy:) Later that day I talked to the agency and they said we would hear more on Monday. Monday we heard that they would be presenting our adoption profile to Mersadies, the birthmother, on Tuesday. Tuesday afternoon, the agency called me with Mersadies on speaker phone. She wanted to talk to me and find out more about us. We had a great conversation and clicked right away. After a few minutes we conferenced Kelly in and talked some more. Later that evening the agency called me and said that Mersadies really liked us. She was going to take our profile home and think about it that night. Thursday morning we got up early and talked and prayed and felt really good about things. Somehow, in the space of 5 days we had come to the decision that if Mersadies chose us, we would be ready to move 1/2 our family to Utah for a few months and adopt these little babies. I'm not sure how, but the craziness of the possibility was outweighed by the peace and rightness we felt. About an hour after our talk, the agency called to say Mersadies had chosen us to adopt her twins. We were ecstatic. Isabel ran around the house saying, "I can't believe she chose us! I can't believe she chose us! I'm so delighted!" Kelly said, "Watch out Utah, here comes the crazy train." Jen started calling car dealers about buying a minivan. Jen's super helpful and knowledgeable brother Erik, helped her research, negotiate, and buy a fabulous, 2006, Toyota Sienna on Thursday morning. The dealer really helped us out and even drove it down to us from Bellingham and drove our trade-in away for us. We never test drove it or saw it until it arrived Thursday afternoon. So here's a little plug for Julian at Wilson Motor's in Bellingham. He really was great.
Thursday afternoon we packed up most of our clothes, important documents and a few other things in our new minivan. Friday morning we took off and despite the tricky weather and frozen wind shield wiper fluid, we made it safely to Boise that night. Thank goodness for the DVD player. We don't recommend the A&W in middle of nowhere Oregon. Kelly spent most of Friday night/Saturday morning in our hotel trying to make himself throw-up. Food poisoning is not so fun. Isabel slept great though and Kelly felt fine in the morning. We left Boise that morning and arrived at Hotel Jarrett in South Weber, Utah Saturday evening. We are so grateful to Kelly's parents for inviting us to move in with them for a few months. They have made us really comfortable. Isabel even has her own room where she dances ballets at night when she should be sleeping. Mary is a wonderful cook and there should be sign over her kitchen that reads, "You better be hungry." We also have a constant stream of Isabel's Aunts, Uncle's and cousins to visit with and entertain us. They have also offered to help us by watching Isabel when we are at the hospital (there's no way she'll get in to the NICU during RSV season which lasts until April) and we really appreciate it.
The Tuesday after we got here we met Mersadies and then we got to meet our babies. It was amazing. We just couldn't believe it was real. We touched them in their isolette's and talked to them and met their nurses and doctor's. The next day we came back by ourselves and I got to Kangaroo Care them both. You can google Kangaroo Care if you want to no more but studies show when Mom or Dad hold their babies skin-to-skin on a regular basis it improves their health outcomes a lot. I've been able to hold them both this way several times now and it's wonderful.
We are hoping that Mersadie's will feel comfortable relinquishing soon but we understand how hard it must be to have spent a month with them and then to have to let go. She has assured us that she's solid on her decision and so happy that we are here. She is going to the hospital less and less and letting us take over on caring for the twins. We love our little babies and are so happy we get to see them every day. The hardest part is not having Isabel with us at the hospital. We miss her so much when we're away and we worry about how hard this is going to be for her. She's a trooper. She tells anyone she meets about her new brother and sister. She takes her duty as a big sister very seriously. She went with us to the hospital today and sat outside the NICU in a hallway with Grandma Mary. She got to meet our babies' nurse who was excited to meet "the big sister." Isabel sends video messages to her brother and sister with us and we play them for the twins. We think they like her voice. I sing and read to them and Kelly pats and talks to them. He always encourages them to keep fighting. It's fun to hear how differently he talks to his son. We have also enjoyed imagining the day when we get to dress them up. They won't fit into preemie clothes for at least a month or two. When we bring them home, they'll still be small for newborn clothes. They'll be small for awhile but I'm not complaining - I want to hold them for as long as I can and I'm going to have to share with Isabel and Kelly.
We continue to be grateful for all the love and prayers in our behalf. They have and continue to make a difference. Thank you also for being so patient with us as we limit our phone and email time so we can take care of our family. Jen hopes to visit with family in the Provo area soon. We are still figuring out our schedule and getting into a rythm. We feel happy and hopeful and we look forward to each new day.