Sunday, November 23, 2008


IT really, finally happened. In fact, tomorrow it will be 2 weeks to the day that Judge Kate Toomey pronounced us a family. THANK GOD!!!!
It has taken me this long to even process the day, the proceedings, the flat tire when we got back to the parking lot, the well wishers who stopped by for cold Chinese food that evening, the gifts, the love, the friends, the Little Black Dress outfit E looked so cute in, the photographer, the women in my life who drove in the nasty weather and paid the parking fee to witness the proceedings...and shared tears of joy with me, Cassie pulling her boys out of school early and getting them dressed in "court attire", the text msg from my sister, the voicemail from Annie, the matching outfits that Chloe & Rory wore, the big zit on my chin, the joke the attorney told in the elevator...twice, the way the judge looked at us, the comment Rory made as we left the courtroom (we really get to keep her mom?), the way my heart felt when I thought of her birth mom that day (and right now), the compound under construction, the social worker making her firm recommendation that E should be ours, the way the big girls looked sitting in the judge's chair for pictures (you girls have choices, options...take the world by storm!), the approving laughter by the judge when she walked into the courtroom and saw E on James' lap, the way James looked at me as I started to cry at the sheer surrealness of it all, the look on the attorney's face as I handed him a thank you note with E's pix in it to thank him for his part in our journey, snuggling on my couch with good friends at the end of the crazy day, and most of all the overwhelming feeling of gratitude. Grateful we made it through 6 months of what if's. Grateful that everyone that was meant to be there was and those that couldn't were here in spirit. Grateful for my husband. Grateful for my girls. Grateful that God picked me...picked have little E as part of our family....
I am going to upload all 91 pix on kodak gallery if interested, but want to say thanks for following along with me on this crazy road of adoption. Until the next dream....big hugs-S

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The Yellow Brick Road

As we journey to finalization, I have had several thoughts and feelings that have been so random, so scary random, so not from God that I have felt how Dorothy must have felt as she traveled the yellow brick road. I have several things going dream was planted and is coming to what? I know we raise E, loving her, giving her a life that I hope when she looks back is filled with giggles and tickles. That's what we all want, isnt it? Giggles and tickles, tickles and giggles. The anticipation of the tickle brings on the giggle which brings on the tickle....but then what. I don't know if or what, but I am being affected by something more and thanking God for the many blessings in our adoption process but am grateful that I am not feeling like this is the end. I don't want him to ever be done with me, my growth. I want to set the world on fire...thanks Britt Nicole, but one of my fears is I am going to lose that passion on November 10th, when the judge says do you take her forever and ever as your baby girl, we say I do, the gavel sounds and I wake up covered in sweat with an overwhelming feeling of abandonment. Wow-this post just got real. Abandoned...abandoned expectations, abandoned children, orphans, why does my heart and throat overfill when I type that word....orphans....abandoned. Whatever it does or doesn't mean, I know my truth. My truth is that everything that we see God's hand in is now referred to as an Esther thing. Read that again Esther. You are a God thing. Your mom and dad listened and obeyed and we received all good things in return, YOU. You were wanted by your birth mom enough to have her say I want you to have more than I can give. You are wanted by our great big Papa God enough that he prepared our hearts for a life with you. AND you are especially wanted, cried over, prayed for by your mom, dad, and sisters. You will officially take our last name soon, but name alone can not compare to the heart strings that were tied when you were 3 weeks and 3 days old and placed into our arms at the Marriott on a hot, steamy day in Texas. I cried harder in that moment, in front of complete strangers because you fit in my arms....really a way that only God's amazing love could mold. You will also have your yellow brick road and because we know that He has held you in His arms when others couldn't, that you will not be in pursuit of the man behind the curtain, but instead He will draw you to Him and His truth. Abandoned no more, we come and sit in His presence. Adoption....the original gift that keeps giving.

Sunday, October 12, 2008


Well, we are 6 months old today and with each month there seems to be a new milestone....this is sitting up....and falling down:( It's a soft carpeted landing with a thick pad so don't fret. She even sat in a high chair yesterday. Where does the time go? I-N-D-E-P-E-N-D-E-N-T do you know what that means? With every new thing she can do she needs us less. Yes, I know she's only 6 months, but we have the advantage of knowing what they look like at almost 9 and that perspective makes us definitely appreciate these milestones a little more. Happy 6 months E!

Thursday, October 9, 2008


When? Monday, November 10th 3:30pm
Where? SL County Courthouse
What? Esther Marley "officially" becomes a Nelson

More details to follow....most likely in an evite.

Does anyone else notice that we're scheduled at 3:30? 3rd girl...met at 3 weeks, 3 days....finalized at 3:30......James and I are 33....will it ever end?

Save the date:)

Thursday, September 25, 2008

2nd Post Placement Visit

Stomach flu....dizzy spells....broken vacuum belts. Preparing for the 2nd and final post placement visit.....priceless.

I know I was worried. I am not sure why now, but I was. The bare floor, the cracked tiles maybe? How does that reflect my love for our brown eyed girl any more or less. All the wonderfully gracious social worker saw was a house with lots of love and a happy baby. Thank you Jesus and thank you for all your thoughts and prayers! I can not say enough how awed I am at the big and little blessings I see in our E process. I shouldn't have worried....I know. So, long story short, it went great! We made a follow up call to the attorney to see how things look on their end and they said we should be getting a court date within the next couple weeks. A court date?!! Yes, a court date. Isn't God good? All the time (Lincoln Brewster fans)-:)!!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Monkey Jammies

If you are a mom I think you can relate to this. Every baby we've had, there's been one outfit or piece of clothing that looked so good on them, embraced their spirit, brought the wow factor to their eyes. For Chloe, it was the forest green Old Navy flannel pants, perfect for a December baby, worn every time they were clean to show off her bright blue eyes and cute little toes. For Rory it was this purple outfit, I can't remember where it was from (she is the 2nd child-poor girl), but it made her white fuzzy head and huge blue eyes pop like twinkling stars. Since they were pre-blog babies, I now have the opportunity to post what the outfit is for E. It's these silly little pink and brown monkey jammies from Gymboree. They have a matching blanket and they make me giggle when she's in them and she's giggling. As she was squirming out of them during a PJP just now, I thought wow, she's almost outgrown these things and I had to take a picture. So, here they are, kiddo number 3 and the outfit that captures her silly squeal-the monkey jammies!

5 Months Old!

So, we passed our 5 month mark and thankfully they have no shots scheduled for this milestone, so we are tear free on that (all of us:))! We are having our 2nd and final post placement visit next week though. If you think of us, it's Wednesday the 24th at 12:30pm mst, we'd appreciate prayer that it all goes well. I'm just going to list out what I'm thinking right now, some may be jagged, but it's authentic. Great title for another blog, Jagged, but Authentic...Authentically Jagged....Jagged Authentically.....Jaggedly Authentic......I totally digress.

So, here's the deal, if you are following Something Unexpected, you know we've bought a repo that needs work and I am VERY concerned we won't have it ready before our post placement visit. All the girls rooms are done, we did Esther's in a cute pink with one brown wall-it turned out great! BUT the flooded area(s) may not have the new flooring on them. I need to let that go and am trying to do so!

Another thing weighing heavily on my heart is Esther's birth mom was in the Houston area and as we've been watching the news, Ike did a dandy down there, so again, if you think of that, please pray for her and her safety/well being.

FINALIZATION......I can see it as a speck on a dirty window. It's coming...we hope. My hopes, my fears, my insecurities, are all being displayed like a fireworks show, and I am trying to hold true to what I know is true and not let satan destroy my spirit in the journey. I don't even want to type the fears that go along with this, but please pray that His will, not mine, not anyone else's, is carried out in the most joyous experience of love in the adoption of E.

Finally, the older girls. They have adjusted so easily, but they have been spectators of the fireworks show and oohed and aahed, but also been jarred a little by the boom. We have been hearing complaints that they feel left out with the move and the demands that a new baby brings. It's great to show them how much work a baby is and how it takes a FAMILY to raise an infant and they need to wait for that to have their own, so we are trying to take these moments and make them teachable ones that they will remember for a lifetime. It's also great to see them concerned for E's birthmom, her safety in the hurricane, and how to love someone we've never met and the act of love, charity, and God's amazing love and grace being displayed in this process. Please keep their little spirits in prayer that they feel loved beyond measure and a spirit of partnership is formed in the caring of baby E.

This is a picture of Esther during our BFFF (see Something Unexpected) and Chloe wanted to be sure her birth mom was a part of the foundation of this new home, this is what she wrote.

Thank you for continuing to be a part of our journey, your continued prayers, love, and support mean more than a blog post could ever say.

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