Thursday, November 27

full of gratefulness*

Boho boy, K and T during labor, canon 50D

boho boy and K during contractions, canon 50D

Boho Boy and I are full of gratefulness for so many gifts in our life (family, friends, blessings...) but what comes from the tip of our hearts down to the deepest parts these days is how very grateful we are to K and T for the precious precious gift they have so unselfishly given to us and to Tammy, our adoption consultant and dear friend, for bringing us all together. Tammy had a feeling deep in her heart, even though she knew we were not quite ready and feeling tender from the previous fall through. Thank you, Tammy...for following your heart and helping to guide us towards our son, Cedar.

The relationship between K, T, Boho boy and I has been a rare and beautiful one. So much laughter and special memories has been had during our times spent together. So many hilarious and fun and endearing stories to share with our son about his birth parents. Not only how much they loved him and sacrificed their love to give him a life they wanted for him but also how much they loved and respected us as his adoptive parents and their friends.

I wasn't sure how the days in the hospital would unfold. I wasn't sure how I would feel during the birth. If I would feel threatened or saddened that I couldn't experience this part of it. If I would feel helpless and clueless on how to support K. How Boho Boy would respond and support (or faint or not).

All those fears fell away as we were all directed to the birth room. A spacious and beautiful birthing room with hardwood floors and wooden sliding doors. Large windows showed a view of trees and hills. All of us giddy with anticipation. Boho Boy and T cracking jokes to keep K and me at ease. K rubbing and drawing strength from the beautiful "Brave" pendant that one of my best friend's Stacy made for her (she made K and I matching ones).

Then when the contractions came on hard and she dilated from 5 to 8 in just a few minutes, the room fell serious and focused. The nurses had been trying to find a vein but couldn't, so she was unable to get an epidural. The warm towels wrapped around her arms were there to help bring her veins to the surface, but it didn't work in time. Not what she had planned since she has been laboring for weeks and needed relief when the contractions came on strong. Suddenly, as we all became aware that she would not receive relief, I felt a rush of adrenaline, as did Boho Boy. We knew it would be intense and every muscle in our body prepared to hold K through it. Then we saw something take K over like a huge tidal wave as she arched her body and screamed that she needed to push. Nurses and her doctor rushed in and said this "was it" and that she could push. Boho boy and I wrapped our arms around K's back, held her hands and pushed and breathed along with her. Believe it or not, Cedar's head was fully out in 9 minutes. His shoulders wedged him in there and all we saw was a purple face but we focused on getting K through the intense pain. He was stuck. I felt this Momma Bear inside of me and the voice that came out of my throat was not mine. "Yes you can do this K, you can, you are brave, you're doing so amazing...we're here with you...come on..." and two more pushes and with help from the doctor maneuvering his shoulders, he was out. K fell back in one smushy lump of exhaustion with a big sigh. Boho Boy cut then cord and then we stood there staring at one another while I stroked K's hair, half laughing, half crying while they whisked a quiet Cedar away. He had spit out a bunch of meconium on his way out and they were concerned about his lungs being full, as well as his purple face. K said to me..."you're a mommy...go to your son". I was torn whether to stay with K to comfort her or to go to him and she helped me with the answer.

Boho Boy and I surrounded the nurses in the next room hovering over our new son. My heart was racing faster than I thought possible. I was trying my ultimate best to not worry and to trust he was alright and safe in their arms and then I heard another cry and I heard giggles. A nurse turned to me..."are you the adoptive parents? do you want to see him? we need his father to cut his cord again...". Mmmmm..."his father...". Those words melted every worry away.

Then when they cleaned and wrapped him up and put him in my arms, my tears surfaced and I looked down at his face and felt as though I had found a long lost friend of mine. Then watching Boho boy hold him for the first time was overwhelmingly joyful. I wasn't sure how I would feel seeing Cedar for the first time. I know that with adoption, it can take time to bond and sometimes it doesn't. As soon as I held him, I was madly in love (and relieved).

We then took him into the birthing room and handed Cedar to T while K was getting cleaned up. These were special moments of laughing and cooing and taking photos of Cedar and T. I loved watching T gaze into Cedar's eyes...having their own little man to man conversation. It was tender and soft and I was thrilled to capture it with the lens.

I walked over to K and gave her a long hug. I told her she was my hero. She told me that we were her heroes. We placed him in her arms. She was glowing.

I felt proud and overwhelmed and grateful and happier than I had ever thought possible. I was surrounded by three people that loved this little being more than life itself. We were all in a love bubble of Cedar celebration.

The next few days we shared him back and forth in the hospital rooms next door to one another. We slept with him the first night, they had him the second night.

I was amazed at how hard it was to be away from him. I felt like a part of my soul had been taken from me. As painful as it was, it brought me comfort to know that I already loved him like a mother. That he already felt like mine. It also gave me comfort to know that K and T had this time to love on him, get to know him and share all of their reasons for giving him a life they dreamed for him.

24 hours later, when K and T's attorney came into our room to tell us that they had signed the rights over to us earlier than they had to (they had 48 hours) and congratulate us, we were breathless. When she left the room, Boho Boy crawled into the hospital bed with me and we cried together.

How can I say into words how thankful I am on this Thanksgiving day? I don't think there is a need. I think we all feel how precious and rare and beautiful and life altering this story is...and I cannot believe it is my story. Our story. Cedar's story...

We are full of gratefulness.

Today we are breaking bread with K and T in our humble little hotel room. It is unspoken how we all feel. As we try to stay light and fun, down deep inside we know that there are things we want to say but can't...but it is all understood and respected. As K aches down deep in her heart, I struggle with how joyful I feel and how much I care for her and don't want her to hurt. I am reminded that we too have given K and T a gift and so it all comes full circle. Nothing needs to be said. There just needs to be a lot of hugging one another, laughter, sharing food and gazing at the little schmook all night.

Happy Thanksgiving to all...and thank you for sharing this sacred journey with us.


Blogger Lisa Oceandreamer Swifka said...

I can barely read your posts -- and I say that only because there are always tears blurring my vision. Happy, joyful, wonderful tears. You share your story so beautifully and so full of heart and soul. I truly believe this wee boy was always meant for you...that his little soul was waiting in a little wooden boat to sail in to your lives at just the right time! The sails were raised and he followed the love right in to the waiting arms of both of you.......HIS safe harbor.
And now the rest of the journey begins......clear skies ahead!

November 27, 2008 at 11:35:00 AM PST  
Blogger The Curious Baker said...

What a beautiful week of posts. I don't know you personally, but I can't explain how incredibly happy I am for you and your family.

November 27, 2008 at 11:36:00 AM PST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Darling Denise and Carsten - I am overcome with thankfulness for you and for K and T and most of all for this precious little soul, Cedar. You've restored my own hope in the possibility of goodness in the midst of the hardest journeys. Love to you all. x

November 27, 2008 at 11:52:00 AM PST  
Blogger Lil said...

And I am grateful that you are willing to share Cedar's special birth and story too...thank you Denise!


November 27, 2008 at 1:03:00 PM PST  
Blogger sas said...

Happy Thanksgiving from New Zealand Bohos. What a wonderful journey you are on.


November 27, 2008 at 2:08:00 PM PST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

thank you so much for sharing your story. the courage and loveliness shown by all of you is heartwarming.

November 27, 2008 at 2:55:00 PM PST  
Blogger Vanessa said...

this story so full of magic could not have been better told... and the sentiments it carries will live on and travel far and spread great hope. that is such a wonderful thing. and you are such a wonderful family.

November 27, 2008 at 4:01:00 PM PST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We're so grateful that you and your boys are safe and happy tonite. You will never be the same, sweet Boho. Thanksgiving will always mean something so wonderful to you now. I am holding thoughts of pure joy for you and your sweet family! You have found each other!!!
Love, pix

November 27, 2008 at 4:43:00 PM PST  
Blogger Toni M Photography said...

Hi Beautiful,

Just e-mailing you now (Too much for a post on here)

Big hugs,
Love Toni

November 27, 2008 at 4:57:00 PM PST  
Blogger wabisabigirl said...

You are so sweet and I'm so happy for all of you. Happy, happy Thanksgiving to you guys!

November 27, 2008 at 4:59:00 PM PST  
Blogger Natalie said...

It took me three times to get through this without bawling my eyes out...

From one new(ish) Momma to another...welcome to your life..in extreme! You will feel the whole world through another person now. It's terrifying, exhilirating and most of all an incredible journey.

Someone once told me a great quote that sums it up perfectly: Motherhood is like discovering a window into your soul that you never knew existed.

November 27, 2008 at 5:03:00 PM PST  
Blogger Angela Marie said...


i ditto everything Lisa "Oceandreamer" said. she took the words right out of my mouth.

November 27, 2008 at 6:12:00 PM PST  
Blogger Fable Press said...

Sometimes words aren't enough...and saying nothing is more powerful. Oh, this is one lucky, lucky little Cedar.

November 27, 2008 at 6:22:00 PM PST  
Blogger Jessica S. said...

thank YOU for sharing this sacred journey with US, your readers...this is an amazing story, filled with the purest of love and respect...amazing...

November 27, 2008 at 6:28:00 PM PST  
Blogger Kim -today's creative blog said...

simply beautiful.......all of it.

November 27, 2008 at 7:22:00 PM PST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing, it is so lovely to hear of your dream realized.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Jennifer xoxo

November 27, 2008 at 8:39:00 PM PST  
Blogger Julia said...

If you ever have the time or desire to do so, you have to write a book about this. I very moved by it.

November 27, 2008 at 9:05:00 PM PST  
Blogger Lynn said...

much love to you and your family!

November 27, 2008 at 10:26:00 PM PST  
Blogger Claudia said...

Thankyou for sharing your "dream come true" so personally. It is truly a ray of sunshine in this often too cold world. I look forward to reading about the wonderful life Cedar has ahead of him with such loving parents(all 4 of them).

November 28, 2008 at 12:49:00 AM PST  
Blogger pERiWinKle said...

Grateful with you...xx

November 28, 2008 at 2:20:00 AM PST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

every time i read one of your posts i start crying. it's so real and so amazingly wonderful.

November 28, 2008 at 4:56:00 AM PST  
Blogger Unknown said...

This was incredibly beautiful. Congratulations (with tears on my cheeks)!

November 28, 2008 at 5:44:00 AM PST  
Blogger melissa said...

i am sitting here in tears reading this. i don't think i've ever been this happy for anyone. you and c are going to be the most amazing parents and cedar is the luckiest child ever! love to you all...xo

November 28, 2008 at 7:14:00 AM PST  
Blogger Terri said...

Beautiful , simply beautiful

November 28, 2008 at 7:49:00 AM PST  
Blogger Shana said...

With tears on my cheeks, I am compelled to write - what an amazing journey, full of all the most intense and meaningfull emotions, all of which led you to your beautiful son. A gift to you and from you - a son. A heartfelt congratulations to you, a mother, long before your son was born. Thanks for sharing your wonderous thanksgiving story.

November 28, 2008 at 8:13:00 AM PST  
Blogger Abigail said...

I love your story. As a woman still hoping for a dream or two to come true, I am heartened by your experience. Much love to your family.

November 28, 2008 at 8:18:00 AM PST  
Blogger Rowena said...

Your story is a lesson in grace.

Again I sit here with my eyes full of tears.

Happy the Rest of Your Life.

November 28, 2008 at 8:36:00 AM PST  
Blogger jenica said...

i am awestruck.
so beautiful.
the perfect fairytale.

and kisses for cedar.

November 28, 2008 at 9:01:00 AM PST  
Blogger Kathi said...

what a gorgeous, beautiful beginning to your journey with Cedar. congratulations and mahalo for sharing your story.

November 28, 2008 at 10:39:00 AM PST  
Blogger Laurie (Elle Jaye) Jacobsen said...

I don't know you, but recently saw the photos you did of Kelly Rae and fell in love with them...then today, this day after the day of giving thanks i read through blurry, tear-filled eyes about the birth of your baby boy and am so elated for you. your soul shows in your photos and i know you are going to be an amazing cedar mother! congratulations to you and boho boy!

November 28, 2008 at 12:33:00 PM PST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I absolutely LOVE the first pic here with Cedar's little hand resting on your breast. You both look so incredibly blissed out.

He is your very own little Thanksgiving Miracle!

((((hugs to your blessed boho family)))

November 28, 2008 at 1:17:00 PM PST  
Blogger pakosta said...

my heart both breaks and rejoices as i am sure yours is also. what a wonderful amazing journey. your son is so blessed....4 people who truly love him with all their hearts.
Happy Thanksgiving!

November 28, 2008 at 2:19:00 PM PST  
Blogger Courtney Walsh said...

there really are no words. Wow. What a beautiful experience you have had - I am new to your blog, but completely drawn in... what an amazing story. Wish you all God's richest blessings... you and your new little man. :)

It's the best.thing.ever!

November 28, 2008 at 2:30:00 PM PST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's just under 13 years since I became a mother through adoption, and I have to tell you, EACH age is the best and you are in for such joy. Wishing the three of you all the best and rejoicing for you in Oregon.
Such jubilation!!


November 28, 2008 at 3:11:00 PM PST  
Blogger Sandra said...

Congratulations! As a mom of an adopted daughter and a biological son I can say the love feels the same. People told me I would feel different about my son when I became pregnant. They said the love is different when it's "your own". To that I say, they must not have ever adopted a child. I love both of mine like crazy and did from the moment each of them came into my life. Here's to babies and love however we find them! :)

November 28, 2008 at 5:53:00 PM PST  
Blogger Swirly said...

I loved reading this...love all those beautiful, warm details. Love love love every single piece of this story.

November 28, 2008 at 6:16:00 PM PST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am still crying after reading these last 2 posts. They are so beautiful and so if your new family of 3. I have been trying to balance a fear that things would fall apart for you again with the strength and security you had in your posts, but was just so calmed to hear the papers are signed. Maybe that was not even a concern for you, but it was on my mind and I am so relieved to hear everything is going smoothly. I pray these early weeks would continue to find you centered, surrounded by love, and basking is motherly glow.
Love, Jess

November 28, 2008 at 7:26:00 PM PST  
Blogger meesh said...

just beautiful denise. love is all around you.




November 28, 2008 at 8:13:00 PM PST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

oh denise, more shivers and more tears, i cant imagine how i would deal with the unspoken words mixed in with the hurt and the joy, but you are so sensitive and so open that you did it seamlessly it seems.

now, get thee home so i can photograph your new family of THREE!

November 29, 2008 at 8:19:00 AM PST  
Blogger Acorn said...

I think this is my first comment on your blog....
I cryed and sniffled (and am still crying) threw out the last few post.
I am so happy for you. so happy. I am looking forward to the family posts to come.
so happy.
xo, acorn

November 29, 2008 at 4:18:00 PM PST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a blessing ~ a true angel. Everything happens for a reason .. everything worked out the way it was supposed to happen. You have found your angel on earth and he has found you. Our blessings to K and T .. forever. Words can not express how thrilled we are for your wonderful family. So very much to be thankful for ~ truly magical;)! With our love always,
n, r, l and d xoxo

November 29, 2008 at 5:49:00 PM PST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've followed your journey and I just want to say Congratulations and many blessings to you and your little bundle. I'm reminded of a song "Always" by Plumb

Out of nowhere
You came
From a little dust
And a little rain
And when I looked down at
Your face
It showed to me
The truth and grace

I will always try to keep you very safe

So open up your eyes
So they can look in mine
And see a small reflection
And when you close your eyes
I pray the thoughts inside
Are beautiful and true

I won't always
Be this strong
And I won't always
Be the one
To kiss the bruise
Or heal the scrapes
To wipe the tear drops
From your face

But I will always love you more each day

Welcome to Motherhood!

November 29, 2008 at 8:01:00 PM PST  
Blogger Leah said...

I have happy tears running down my face. I have been moving home all week and only just switched on the computer and your page was the first place I came to!
Congratulations on the birth of Cedar. He is so precious. And thankyou for sharing your journey, it's truly touched my soul.

November 29, 2008 at 9:06:00 PM PST  
Blogger Jessy, Greg, Grace, Jack, Nora, and Lexi said...

Congrats on your adoption. We adopted our baby girl last February. I was able to be there for her birth in January but the birthmom changed her mind. Then 3 weeks later we received an e-mail from her asking if we would adopt her baby. It has been an incredible journey. Just this past weekend DH, baby, and I went to WA to visit her birthmom, birthgrandma and birthgreatgrandma! :) What an emotional trip. As much as I thought I felt ok with everything it brought up a lot of strange feelings I didn't know were hiding inside of me! I am so happy though, to be involved in a very open adoption! Can't speak highly enough about it. Congrats again!

November 29, 2008 at 10:39:00 PM PST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a story of love and grace...so much beauty...thank you for sharing Cedar's birth story with us! It had to be a complicated emotional place but you all are being so open and loving through all of it. I love all the Cedar videos and just feel so excited for you...these sweet newborn days are fabulous (and yet so hard!) but it gets even better...

December 1, 2008 at 10:21:00 AM PST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear K & T,

You are WISE...You are BRAVE...You are full of LOVE... so many things I want to say to a couple who has given 2 gentle and loving souls the greatest gift anyone could receive. THANK YOU from someone who from the distance admires you for so many reasons... God bless you both.

xo glo

December 2, 2008 at 6:22:00 AM PST  
Blogger vgolden_etc said...

thank you for sharing your story. i needed to hear this.

February 21, 2009 at 7:49:00 AM PST  

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