Monday, November 30, 2009

Photography Session

OK, I have a lot of time here in the hotel. We had a little picture taking session this morning. Sarah wasn't a big fan of the whole process. I got a few cute ones. How do photographers do it? The baby was not interested in posing at all.

Sarah's First Outing

It was such a nice day that we decided to go on a drive. It's probably the last chance Sarah and I will have to get out as William leaves tomorrow and takes the car. We went to a place called Wall Doxey State Park. We were literally the only ones in the whole place. Everyone is Christmas shopping and watching football.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Sarah Elizabeth Edwards

Here she is, our beautiful new daughter and no, her name is not Thelmadeen (although we dearly love our mothers, we are just not going to name her after them :) She is named after my maternal grandmother whose name was Sarah Elizabeth Pearce.

Since I know this comes as a big surprise to many of you, I thought I would tell how she came to be in our family. This little girl has been wanted for a long time. Ben our youngest is seven. We'd always planned on having more children and when I had a couple of miscarriages, we started to look to adoption. Even that seemed to meet with obstacle after obstacle. Last year at this time, we flew out to Tennessee to meet a prospective mother who turned out to faking her pregnancy. We've been approved for adoption from China since November of 2006 but they drastically reduced the number of children they were letting out of the country about the time we were approved. We continued to try on our own but I recently had my sixth miscarriage since having Ben. We continued to feel strongly impressed that there were more children to be in our family but sometimes you wonder what the Lord has in mind when nothing seems to be working out.

Then out of the blue, Heart to Heart Adoption Agency in Salt Lake City (we've been working with them for a few years) called a week ago to tell us about a baby being born in Mississippi (which incidentally is where Daniel and Alex were born) this last Tuesday. The mom was having a C-Section and was very committed to giving her baby up for adoption. She has two other children but didn't feel she could take care of this one also. Her parents are not in very good health and are already taking care of the other two. We couldn't say yes fast enough and our life has been in a whirlwind since. We had to make arrangements for travel and our three boys (thank you to our sisters, Elizabeth and Carolyn) and here we are. We flew to Memphis Monday (the hospital is just across the state line in Mississippi) and had dinner with the birth mother (Sherry) and grandmother. We were both nervous but hit it off right away. They had some concerns about whether or not Mormons were Christians. The grandmother brought it up a few different times. We just tried to assure her that we love and read the bible and that we believe with all our hearts that Jesus Christ is our Savior.

Tuesday morning, we went to the hospital and Sarah was born at 8:16 am. She weighed 6 lbs 5 oz and was 19 inches long. From the first time I held her in the hall on the way to the nursery, she just felt like our own baby. I can't explain it, it just hasn't felt all that different than bonding with our other children.

We had no idea what Sherry was going to want after the baby was born. We were prepared to spend a lot of time in the 9 ft x 9 ft storage closet filled with extra IV poles, bassinets and two chairs crammed in one small space. I don't know that she knew what to expect either but we ended up spending most of the next three days with her. It felt very natural to be with her and the baby. We spent a lot of time talking, laughing and learning about each other. She has a funny, outgoing personality and says whatever comes to her mind. I loved getting to know the birth mother of our baby and I think she needed to get to know us also. She wrote us a four page letter and among other things said, "Although this has been the hardest thing I have yet to do in my life, I feel blessed more than you know by God choosing our lives to connect. I didn't think it was possible to connect with a family getting my baby without being envious but instead I feel blessed and as if I've known you both for years." She asked us to keep her in our prayers. She needs to turn her life around if not for herself, for her children. Her parents won't be around forever. She is very smart and capable but has just made some bad decisions in her personal life.

We came "home" to our hotel yesterday, got Thanksgiving dinner at Cracker Barrel (along with half of Mississippi) to eat in our room and are spending time getting to know our new daughter. We feel so blessed and full of gratitude to the Lord. Sarah is just perfect in every way and will be a beautiful addition to our family (and finally gives me someone to watch chick flicks with). The boys are so excited although Ben's only question was, "Are her eyes blue or brown?" Now, that's a matter of eternal significance.

Spending so much time with Sherry has made it difficult to stay as connected with y'all (the Mississippi accent is starting to come through). Here are a few more pictures. As you can see, I'm having fun with a little girl. William is going home Sunday and Sarah and I will follow as soon as we get approval to cross state lines with her. Hopefully some time next week although it may take as long as a week from Monday.


William, Cheryl and Sarah

Thursday, November 26, 2009