Griffin’s Calendar

I was a bit unsettled when Linds told me that she was pregnant. We weren’t trying, but we weren’t not trying either. But we got excited! It was our first year of marriage, and we had just moved to a new state for a new job, but whatever!!

And then we learned that it was going to be a miscarriage…

The day of the actual miscarriage was absolutely terrible. The physical pain she endured, the loss we were enduring, the whole thing sucked.

I was supposed to speak at a Winter Camp for a bunch of high school kids a couple days later. I told Linds I was going to cancel to be with her, but she told me that I should keep my commitment to them.

We had only been married a year, but I knew exactly what this little interaction was: this was a TEST! She was testing me to see if I was a moron that would go spend a few days in the woods while his new wife grieves alone. Yeah right!

“I’m not gonna go. I’ll cancel so I can be with you.” This was a test I was gonna pass.

But then she said, “No, you should go, I’ll be fine. I want you to go.” She meant it. It wasn’t a test, she really thought I should go speak.

I didn’t want to. I didn’t want to go talk about how great God was, or his plan for anyone’s life. His plan for my life had just been sucker-punched, so I wasn’t in the mood. But I went.

Four days in the woods with a bunch of high school kids… pretty uneventful. I was glad when it was over.

Then we got the bug… the baby bug.

We wanted to be parents now. So… we tried. And tried. And tried. And not to be awkward… but we kept trying. For a long time. Weeks went by… negative test after negative test… month after month, for what seemed like forever… and it just kept NOT happening.

In the meantime, everyone and their mother was becoming a new mother. Literally, moms of moms of moms were getting pregnant. Old women, young women… all of them were getting pregnant and having babies.

There were babies everywhere. Millions of them… everywhere I went we saw women holding babies, babies holding babies, babies… babies… babies.

But none of them were for us.

Our pregnancy must have been a fluke. Apparently we’re never gonna get pregnant.

Then we reminded each other that we had always wanted to adopt, even before our first pregnancy, we knew we wanted that to be a part of our story.

So… here we go!

We applied with an adoption agency, then we interviewed with them, and interviewed, and interviewed… and eventually got approved by them to become adoptive parents!

We had to take 3,947 classes to be “ready” to adopt, and we finally were, at least according to them. All we had to do was create a little profile that would go in a big book full of people that wanted to adopt a baby, and then hope that some girl picked us.

Our profile was dope. I mean… it was good. I was proud. We got all my students involved… professional graphics were created… it was money.

Then we had to wait.

At some point in that process I got a call from a buddy of mine who was a pastor. He was actually the pastor who asked me to come and speak at that Winter Camp months before.

He said, “I know you guys are looking to adopt, and that you’re working with an agency, but I wanted to tell you something. There’s a girl in our high school group that is pregnant, and she’s considering adoption. Do you want me to connect you with her?”

WHAT DO YOU MEAN “DO I WANT YOU TO CONNECT ME WITH HER OF COURSE I WANT YOU TO…” Sorry. I don’t mean to yell. But I remember thinking, “OF COURSE WE WANT TO TALK TO HER!”

And then he said, “Here’s the crazy part: she was at that camp you spoke at.”

She was there? At the camp I absolutely didn’t want to go to? She was in that crowd?

Her and the birth father were there. Two great kids sitting there, oblivious to everything I had been through that week, and also oblivious to plot twist coming in their own stories.

I asked my buddy if he would share her name with me, and he did, and we went full-on STALKER mode. Google, Facebook… blogs… we looked anywhere and everywhere for info on her. After a week or two or being super detectives, I felt like we knew her PRETTY well haha. Gosh, we’re kinda creepy! Oh well.

Then… after all of that.

I was sitting on a 55-passenger bus on the way to a Summer Camp with a bunch of my own students. We finally had everyone counted and loaded, and we were about to pull out of the parking lot when my phone dinged.

It was an email.

It went something like this…

“Hi, my name is Erin. You don’t know me, but…”

Let’s stop there for a moment, haha!

OH WE KNEW HER. We had been stalking that girl nonstop! Ok anyways…

She shared that she was pregnant… and that my buddy had given her my email… and she was wondering if we might be interested in having a conversation, because she was considering adoption.

“The baby is due November 20th.”

There’s a baby… in a belly… in her belly… SHE is talking to ME about a baby.

We want a baby so bad. And this incredible young woman is wanting to talk to us about MAYBE adopting her baby.

A baby.

Due November 20th.

That might be MY baby.

I might actually get to be a dad.

Linds might actually get to be a mom.

Because there’s a baby… a real one… with a due date.

I’m on a bus… and there is a BABY!

I’m in charge! I have hundreds of kids on a bunch of buses heading across state lines for a week and THERE IS A BABY IN A BELLY WITH A DUE DATE.

I don’t wanna be in charge right now. I want to be a dad!

I’m on a bus with a bunch of teenagers going to a place where there will be hundreds more teenagers, and crappy bunk beds… and all I can think about is this baby and that due date. It was torture.

We got off the bus like 8 hours later… got everyone in their rooms, and then I said, “Hey… does anyone want to go check out the craft shop?”

I know that sounds lame, but it was a pretty sweet craft shop.

About 10 students took me up on the offer, and we walked across the camp to this massive shop.

Kids were carving things, building things, and so on. A lot of kids were painting things that they purchased at the camp. We walked into the store area where you could purchase your art supplies… when it happened.

This next part has to be a miracle, or I don’t know what is.

We walked in, and there were hundreds of things you could buy, but an entire wall dedicated to one item.

On the wall were hundreds of identical wooden calendars. Each of them were factory wrapped in plastic, and each and every one of them were set to the exact same date.

“November 20”

Hundreds of them. No other dates. All of them wrapped tight.

There were 365 options… you would expect January 1, or December 25, or July 4… but every single one of them were set to the date that had already been etched in my soul.

So I bought one… and I thought to myself, “This is either a miracle, or this world is evil. If it’s a miracle… then that might mean that I’m gonna be a dad…. and that that baby is gonna be my baby!”

The rest is history. That little baby became our little boy, and this little calendar became a daily reminder that miracles are possible.

I know that not every story ends like this one… but this story does! I hope it encourages you as much as it encourages me every single day.

Griffin Calendar

Shout Out to the Moms

Mom had just walked in the door. The boys were apparently happy to see her!

My boys have been waking up at ungodly hours the past few weeks. Our 9-month-old Gavin woke up at 4am yesterday.

4am… If the Starbucks baristas are still sleeping, everyone else should be too. 

Our 2-year-old Griffin was up an hour later, and they were both ready to party.

Gavin is a mama’s boy as much as any boy has ever been one. He absolutely adores his mom. It’s so intense that I haven’t been able to feed him a bottle in 7 months because I’m not mom.

So… when he woke up 6 times the other night, so did mom.

When he refuses to go to sleep, it’s mom to the rescue.

When it’s 7pm and time to go to bed, it’s mommy-time.

When all the other women on the planet are out at fun restaurants or watching their favorite shows together or on dates with their men or are pinning something on Pinterest or working out or whatever else women like to do… the young moms of the planet are at home, covered in baby sauce, tucked away in some dark room singing songs to their babies.

Don’t get me wrong, the young moms would love to be doing all of those fun things! But babies change everything, mostly for moms.

So this is a shout out to all the moms out there, especially my Lindsay!

You inspire me! In fact, you inspire God!

Look, He even used you as an example:

“As a mother comforts her child, so I will comfort you.” – Isaiah 66:13

Keep doing what you’re doing!

Mommy is the Favorite

Lindsay just left the house for an hour. Griffin was napping and Gavin was sitting in his rocker.

10 minutes later Gavin was screaming.

I changed his diaper… still screaming.

I tried to feed him… still screaming.

I tried praying… still screaming.

I tried to sit him up on the couch and do a funny dance for him… still screaming.

I tried singing to him while walking with him in his favorite blanket… screamfest.

Right about that time Griffin woke up. Screaming.

I walked upstairs with screaming Gavin to get screaming Griffin.

At one point I may or may not have looked up at the heavens (or my ceiling) and screamed “COME ON MAN!”.

Sorry about that, God.

Lindsay came home after 49 minutes of screaming. I timed it.

The MOMENT I hand Gavin to her… silence.

Right as I’m nodding my head in disbelief at her baby-calming skills, I look down and see this.

Griffin on his hands and knees kissing her feet over and over.

Apparently Gavin wasn’t the only one happy that mom came home.

 

Gavin’s First Surgery

Gavin Guard

Gavin’s first surgery is tomorrow!

I wasn’t sure whether to end that sentence with an exclamation point or a period or an ellipsis. There are all sorts of emotions wrapped up in this big day. We’re excited, but the fact that my 3-month-old is getting plastic surgery tomorrow is a bit hard to wrap my mind around.

I’m not as nervous as I thought I’d be, maybe because we’ve already been through a surgery with Griffin. It helps that the surgery is cosmetic, all right there on his face.

We’re waking up at 4am tomorrow and heading to Phoenix Children’s Hospital. The surgery should take a few hours, and if he’s able to hold down milk afterward they should let us go home that night.

We’re super thankful for the advances in technology that make this surgery so effective.

It’s hard to believe that this is our last day seeing this fancy little face!

Can’t wait to see his new smile, but I’m gonna miss this one 🙂

 

Gavin is here!

Our baby boy is home!

Gavin has been home for two nights now. He’s eating and sleeping really well, although I can’t say the same for his mommy! She’s been really strong this week and I’m so proud of her.

Gavin’s cleft lip makes feeding him a little more challenging than a typical baby, but he’s really getting the hang of it. We were able to get a really good idea of what to expect with his cleft lip and pallet while Lindsay was pregnant, and so far things haven’t been too difficult. The most difficult things when it comes to feeding him is keeping him awake long enough to eat!

He will have plastic surgery in 3 months to repair his lip and nose, and then another surgery at 8 months to repair his pallet. Until then he’ll have what Lindsay calls a “fancy face”. I like that 🙂

We’ve seen some really great “before and after” photos of babies who have had the surgery. We’re super encouraged by the confidence of Gavin’s surgical team. He might have a minor scar on his lip when he grows up, but everyone knows that chicks dig scars.

He’s gangly like daddy and has adorable blonde hair like his mommy. He sleeps allllll day like his mommy and he gets grumps once in a while for no reason like his daddy.

Both of our boys have pretty remarkable stories already. We wouldn’t want it any other way!

Gavin is here!

Our baby boy is home!

Gavin has been home for two nights now. He’s eating and sleeping really well, although I can’t say the same for his mommy! She’s been really strong this week and I’m so proud of her.

Gavin’s cleft lip makes feeding him a little more challenging than a typical baby, but he’s really getting the hang of it. We were able to get a really good idea of what to expect with his cleft lip and pallet while Lindsay was pregnant, and so far things haven’t been too difficult. The most difficult things when it comes to feeding him is keeping him awake long enough to eat!

He will have plastic surgery in 3 months to repair his lip and nose, and then another surgery at 8 months to repair his pallet. Until then he’ll have what Lindsay calls a “fancy face”. I like that 🙂

We’ve seen some really great “before and after” photos of babies who have had the surgery. We’re super encouraged by the confidence of Gavin’s surgical team. He might have a minor scar on his lip when he grows up, but everyone knows that chicks dig scars.

He’s gangly like daddy and has adorable blonde hair like his mommy. He sleeps allllll day like his mommy and he gets grumps once in a while for no reason like his daddy.

Both of our boys have pretty remarkable stories already. We wouldn’t want it any other way!