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Thursday, December 20, 2012


On Monday, December 17th, 2012 Kate's adoption was finalized.  While it was only a formality stating what we have known in our hearts all along, Katherine Leigh is now officially a Rambler.  Her last name has been changed, her birth certificate is being reissued with the name change and placing our names upon it, and she will soon be able to get a social security number.

It was so neat to see the other families there doing the same as us.  Since we were the second-to-last family to go before the judge, we offered to take photos of families as soon as they exited the courtroom.

One of the most special scenes I witnessed was of a family of SEVEN - Dad & Mom (both Caucasian), three Caucasian daughters, a young AA son and young AA daughter.  They were all dressed so wonderfully and had huge smiles on their faces as they emerged from the courtroom as an "official" family.  They all hugged and smiled at one another.  The Mom then stopped, closed her eyes, and began to weep tears of relief and joy.

Being an empathetic crier, I teared up with her before jumping from my seat to take a photo.  They were so appreciative and my heart warmed with the love they all had for one another.  Our family just beamed with them, knowing we were feeling the same way.  What a special moment for everyone that will always be in etched in my brain and heart.

We got a few photos taken before we were called.

Kate with two of her sets of grandparents - Papa & Gran (my dad & stepmom) and
Grandpa & Grandma Linny (Todd's dad & stepmom).

Daddy & his little girl.

Along for the ride, but not overly interested!

Our lil' family. I love Kate's WubbaNub paci hanging out of her mouth!

Our time finally came to enter the courtroom.  Kate had fallen asleep (not long after sharing her pterodactyl cries through the echoing hall outside the courtroom!), and I was carrying her.  Our attorney was inside and we were asked to approach the bench.  We asked if our family could join us, and everyone said yes with smiles on their faces.  The attorney began to petition the court for our adoption, we were sworn in by the judge, and the legal talk ensued.

Our attorney then asked Todd a series of questions related to our adoption, submitted documentation to the court (home study, criminal backgrounds, etc.), and then asked if I concurred with all of Todd's answers.  Whenever the judge responded, she did so with a sweet and happy voice.  We knew this must be the best part of job as a judge in the juvenile courts of a large urban county.

As the discussion got underway, so did my tears.  They were the silent and thankful type of tears, unlike the many loud and painful tears cried through the over five years of waiting for our baby.  When the judge declared this adoption official and binding, that this daughter will always be ours, she said it through a smile.  My smile returned hers, albeit a little stained with black mascara streaks.  (Why did I think I wouldn't cry that day??!!)  The sweet judge then gave Kate a little stuffed bunny as a gift and congratulated us and our family.  We took photos of OUR family now.

Yes, for the record, I photoshopped out most of my mascara streaks.
I was under oath, so I have to tell you.

Just a small section of Kate's family and a minute section
of the many who love her.

Our precious daughter was really and truly and finally ours.  In our hearts, on paper, legally, to the world - ours.  It's not that she wasn't before, but now we could breathe just a tiny bit easier knowing that no matter what, she would be with us forever.  Joyous relief filled my heart.  What a journey it has been to get here.  And what a journey it will be.

"For this child I have prayed . . . " 1 Samuel 1:27

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

THREE Months

I've heard other Moms say, "I can't believe my baby is already three months old."  My infertile eyes would roll to the point they were almost stuck back in my head.  But . . . it's true. Where has the time gone?  I still get giddy over her and earlier tonight had a little crying session in awe of this blessing of ours.  Poor, salty baby.

It seems like yesterday we got THE call; like yesterday we met J; like yesterday our baby was here; like yesterday we brought Kate home with us.  And it still seems so surreal.

Last night I changed my little tater tot from the pajamas and too small hat Daddy put on her (and took her out in public in it like that!) and tossed on a new sweatsuit that is 3-6 months.  I also put away the 0-3 month clothes since they don't fit and pulled out Kate's new "big girl" clothes.  Can't believe my little baby girl is growing so quickly!

Happy Three Months, my precious little baby girl.  You have such an amazing life ahead of you.  I love you more than my heart can handle.

Maybe by month four, Kate will smile for the camera rather than just be mesmerized by it!

Sleep Diapering?

Now that I'm back at work and Daddy Rambler is taking care of Miss Kate, he has night time diaper and bottle duty.  On weekends, I'll take one feeding and he'll take the other.  We'll have to figure out how to divide and conquer that when we both return to work in January.

So in the weeeee hours of this Tuesday morning, I woke up to shrieking sounds resonating from Kate's bedroom.  She shrieks more than she cries, so I wasn't alarmed.  Stopping by to use the bathroom first, I made my way to the precious little shrieker and changed her diaper.

Mr. Rambler comes stumbling in, and I told him to go back to bed.  He groggily said, "Are you sure?  I'll get her."  I confidently responded, "No, get some sleep while you can.  I'll feed her."  DH shrugged his shoulders and turned towards our bedroom replying, "If you insist."

I finished diapering the cutest little bottom in the world, got her bottle ready, and prepared to nourish my little Chunklet when it hit me . . .

It wasn't weekend.  It was a school night.

Continuing to practically sleep walk, I headed to our room and woke up an already snoozing Mr. Rambler.  "Honey . . . can you feed Kate?  I thought it was weekend.  Sorry."

Man, it's going to be a long week!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

12 Weeks

I have become a terrible blogger, but I can promise you that I'm a great Mommy!  :)  After going back to work last week (booooo), I'm trying to get it all done.  Bottom line is that Kate turned TWELVE weeks yesterday and she is absolutely amazing.  She is sweet, feisty, beautiful, smart, healthy, funny, strong, cute, and precious . . . all wrapped into one.  We are absolutely in love.

Many more stories about our awesome little daughter to come.  I'm at work and apparently they won't pay me if I don't do my job.  Whatever.

I ain't skeered of no tummy time!

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