We added a new family member to our family recently! Harper Rowe Bowers. We now have two adults, three kids, two dogs, three chickens, and a fish. Wow, that is a family! Well I know many people wondering about little Harper’s story and how she came to be part of our family. I am so glad I have a few minutes to share. Let’s go back to the beginning of the story.
August 5, 4:31pm Baby Girl was born.
August 6, around noon I get a call from Nathan’s cousin, Emily about a potential baby for their family. Emily and her husband, Shelby, are also adopting through Bethany Christian Services in Missouri. They are not finished with their home study though. Well Emily and I talked throughout the day about this baby. They have a doctor friend that just delivered Baby Girl the day before and the mom said she wanted to give the baby up for adoption. Doctor friend called Emily, that is how Emily heard about this baby. After all day trying to decide if they should accept this baby (there were more going into this decision than just “Yes! I want that baby!” Because they were not done with their home study). By the end of the day, the decision was made that Emily and Shelby were not going to get this Baby Girl. Emily suggested our family since we have completed the home study process and we are in Arkansas, where Baby Girl was born. Tuesday night around 8, I am trying to put the kids down, Nathan is riding his bike and thankfully I have a friend over that is playing with the kids while I am trying to talk on the phone, I get a phone call. It was from the social worker at Bethany, I had a really good idea what that call was. I told her I had to put my kids to bed and I would call her right back. Ten minutes later I called her back, Nathan is still not home and a friend is over there- we were suppose to be watching So You Think You Can Dance but instead she was listening to a one-sided life changing conversation. This birth mom had looked at our profile book and had fallen in love with our family! If we are willing to accept this baby then she is ours! Well, no need to wait until Nathan gets home, I told the social worker we would OF COURSE accept this baby girl! She gives me details, like she was born YESTERDAY and some more information.
I get off the phone and my friend was like “ummm….was that about the adoption?” And then I proceed to tell her the whole story about how we just got chosen to get a baby! I felt a little bad that I told her before Nathan BUT he was riding his bike, so oh well! He did come home shortly after though and I told him. Nathan was more in shock. We always imagined we would get a different race baby. We always heard that everyone wants a white baby girl so we never imagined we would get one but we did, and she is BEAUTIFUL. Nathan and I talk about it, tell our families, try to make plans to see Baby Girl on Wednesday.
August 7, Wednesday. Nathan takes off work and we spend the morning as a family, hanging out. That afternoon my mother in law comes over to watch Hadley and Noah and then Nathan and I head off to a different part of Arkansas to see our potential Baby Girl. Nathan and I were VERY nervous. We have been here before and it didn’t go well. Nathan and I could tell our hearts were more guarded. For us, that was a safe decision. I knew that I would have no problem loving any child that God puts in front of me, so I wasn’t worried about not loving her if I had a guarded heart at the beginning. When we arrived at the hospital that afternoon I teared up at the sight of this beautiful baby that was all alone. She was in a crib with only a nurse by her side. She had tubes connected to her due to some respiratory issues right after birth. She was beautiful people. And so alone. We got to hold her and only after did I learn how special that was. Baby Girl was not supposed to be held due to all her wires, IVs, and monitors but thankfully the nurse in the nursery that day did not care and let us hold her anyways. That was heart breaking hearing that no one is holding her. HEART BREAKING.
On the way to the hospital we decided on the name Harper Rowe. When you only have a couple of hours to pick a name it makes name picking a completely different game. Nathan and I had tried to pick names out before and it always ended up in a big disagreement. I told Nathan that I think almost any name right now I will love because it will be hers and I will love her. He liked the name Harper and I liked the name Amelia. We both like the other name but we liked the name we chose too. We ended up with Harper. We knew since last November we would choose Rowe for the middle name. We picked it out with Elliot and even though I loved the name Elliot, we couldn’t choose it again. We both felt like we could choose Rowe though, in memory of Elliot. So the middle name was the easy part.
August 8: Luckily on Thursday morning when the doctor called, he said that all of Harper’s tubes, IV’s, and monitors were coming off and we will see how she does on her own. That meant she could be held too! I was soo thankful because we were not planning on going back to see her on Thursday. Nathan had to work and as a way of us guarding our heart we decided not to go. Also, my mother in law was the one helping with the kids but my sister-in-law was 39 weeks pregnant. So she could go in to labor any minute. That made it hard to leave our kids with her because we were driving a couple of hours away and if my mother in law had to go then our kids would be out of luck!
August 9: I was going back to see her. I had to. If she was going to be ours I needed to see her. That was a hard balancing game. I was also hoping she was going to be released from the hospital that day too. I dropped the kids off at Nathan’s aunts house and she was willing to watch the kids all day. Talk about a HUGE BLESSING! She dropped her plans for the day and watched my kids all day. Amazing. My kids LOVED it too! I think everyone enjoyed their time with Aunt Cy. Well, I continued on to see Harper. I got to hold her, feed her, change her diaper and hear all about her from the nurses. She was going to be released on this day so we were excited and nervous. We knew when she came home to our house it would be harder to guard our heart. By Friday afternoon though we were back in Harrison showing her off to the kids, Cy, Papa and Papa Joe. Oh, also on Friday my sister-in-law had her baby girl, Nora. Girl cousins five days apart- if it worked out. How fun though. Friday we brought her home to Fayetteville and spent the night as a family of five.
Saturday we woke up and was unsure what to do, I didn’t want to show her off to everyone because she wasn’t officially ours but I didn’t want to stay in the house all day long either. We went out and a few friends came by to see her. It was a lot of fun but of course made me nervous too.
Now if you remember from before, there is a 10 or 5 day waiting period. There is a 10 day waiting period where the birth mom can change her mind but she can waive five of those days. Luckily this birth mom did waive those five days. Bad part is the fifth day fell over the weekend so we had to wait until Monday at 5pm until she officially became ours.
On Sunday my mom and Patti came up to see her. I am glad because it was somewhat of a distraction too. Monday was a rough day. I woke up counting down the hours. Five o clock feeding: 12 hours left. Woke back up at 7, 10 hours left. It went like that all day. By the afternoon I was a nervous wreck! I let the kids watch cartoons all afternoon because no one could really play with them because we were all nervous. Luckily the social worker had been texting us over the week telling us the birth mom was confident in her decision, that she was happy with Harper being with us, but still. She could still change her mind. Five o clock came and went though and Harper became ours officially!! We had a party! MaryJane, Leslie, Silas, Preston, and Nora came over at 5 and we took pictures, sent out many texts, e-mails, and pictures of Facebook. I was soo excited. It was unreal. It didn’t sink it then though. It took another couple of hours to really sink in.
How fantastic is this story though? Emily kept saying this whole situation was DIVINE and I would have to agree. If that doctor wasn’t there, he wouldn’t have called Emily who called Bethany Christian Services, who called me. This doctor just moved to this city and I think this was his delivery that was not his patient (or maybe his first delivery at this hospital? I forgot!) DIVINE is a perfect word to describe this situation. God was in control and had His hand in this situation guarding us, and protecting Harper. I am so lucky to love this little girl for the rest of my life. I am honored her mom chose us to take care of her daughter.
More to come soon about how everyone else is adjusting but this post was long enough for now.
Harper Rowe Bowers
Born: August 5, 2013 at 4:31pm
6lbs 6 ounces 18.5 inches long
Born at 38 weeks