Homecoming

On the way home from the hospital we stopped at the kids’ school and surprised them by picking them up at 9:30am to take them home. They were SO excited to finally meet their sister.

The next stop was at the middle school to get big brother…love at first site.

Then destination home, where Grandma and Kayla were cleaning away in anticipation of our arrival.

Form a line people, form a line! The policing of “who’s turn it is to hold the baby” begins.

What a loved and wanted baby this girl is. Praying she knows this the rest of her life.

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It’s official

Well, true to “hospital time”, the signing didn’t quite take place at 9:30am…but close :)Everything went without a hitch and we are now officially her parents (legal guardians until the finalization of the adoption in a few months). She’s a true Raichart now and we can’t wait to come home and introduce her to her siblings who are just dying to meet her!

Now we have to hang at the hospital until tomorrow morning for discharge of baby. She has to stay for 48 hours because she is considered high risk because of her delivery and the fact that birth mom didn’t get the group B srep antibiotic before delivery. Everything looks good though – just precautionary.

Thank you Jesus!

Josephine Joy’s Arrival!

Normal? You know us Raicharts don’t do normal very well 🙂 Little Josie’s arrival into this world was anything but normal!

Here’s her birth story:

At about 8pm last night her birth mom felt like she needed to head to the hospital, so she did. After walking the halls for a bit, getting monitored (on a machine that was “having a little trouble”) the Dr. sent her home against her will. She knew she needed to stay and they said, “We’re too full and you’re not far enough along.”

So, home she went. And just 3 hours after getting sent home, she went into full blown labor. She screamed to the neighbor for help but wasn’t heard, even though her window was open. She then crawled her way, across her bedroom, to the phone and dialed 911. They came quickly to help…well except for having to knock down her door because it was locked…but came too late.

She had delivered Josie on her bedroom floor already. The cord was wrapped around her neck, so she quickly unwrapped it and baby Josephine was perfectly healthy!

Both birth mom and baby were delivered safely to the hospital and at about 6am we got the call that we had a baby waiting for us and could we come as soon as possible!

It’s a pretty crazy way to wake up 🙂

I told the adoption worker that I had had a dream twice that we would miss the birth. She was more surprised than we were that we missed it. So, just as Tad is getting to work and getting all set up for the day, I call him and say, “Come home now! We gotta get a baby!”

(Josie with her adoption worker, Gayle)

Funny thing is, when he left at 5am he said, “This would be a really good time to call and say there was a baby”. I said, “Bye honey”, and went back to sleep 🙂

So, by 6:40 he was back home, our kids were all awake and grandma was at our house ready to take over!

We drove the long hour and a half….funny thing, I think it was supposed to take 2 hours! LOL….and we both were pretty much a ball of nerves.

Joyful? Yep, this was going to be OUR baby!!!

Scared? Yep, we’ve never done the adoption “thing”.

Sad? Yep, for birth mom.

Worried? Yep, there are still papers to sign.

It was a long drive.

We get to the hospital and of course have no idea where we’re going. So naturally, we walk up to the Cardiac Unit desk and ask directions. “Why do you want the labor and delivery floor?, she asks. “We’re the adoptive parents and our baby is waiting for us!”, we reply.

“What!? Oh I will just escort you there, it’s a long way and I don’t want you getting lost!” So, together with a very nice office assistant, we found our way to the 4th floor.

And ever so apprehensively we knock on the door….to find our beautiful baby girl waiting for us.

But before we pick her up, we first ask birth mom to share her story, to thank her for the amazing gift of life and share a small token of our thanks with her.

Talk about the full range of emotions! Whew! Praising God for a healthy, beautiful baby that He knew before the beginning of time would be a Raichart.

ps – the signing of legal papers happens tomorrow at 9:30am

 

Pins and Needles and Peace by the Lake

With only 11 days left till our birth mom is due we find ourselves either sitting on pins and needles….

OR feeling a lot like sitting at this lake, full of peace, knowing that the Lord is in control of this whole process (which takes a lot of weight off our shoulders)…

11 days! We did get a small update yesterday saying that the birth mom is doing well, baby has dropped and is moving lots and that she has a Dr. appointment this Friday. That’s it!! Women, if you’re reading this, you KNOW we need more details than this!

So.

I do laundry.

I clean my shower.

I wash baby clothes.

I pack baby’s hospital bag, as well as ours. (we will get our own hospital room when we got to be at the birth and for after baby is born. Most likely baby will stay in our room till we leave hospital.)

I make sure EVERY night that our ringer is not on silent when we go to bed.

And Tad and I tell the kids last night, “If we get a call during the night, you will wake up and grandma will be here with you.”

I give crazy-long explanations to coaches as to why we MIGHT be missing practice or a game; Tad sends emails to parents saying why he, as the coach, might not show up to a game.

Tad and I attempt to go to bed at 7pm (really this means 9pm) with the TOTALLY FAULTY belief that we can store up on sleep soon to be lost when baby girl comes.

You get the idea….pins and needles and peace by the lake. Flip-flop it all day long and that’s how we’re doing. Oh! And throw in some excitement, a little anxiety, a pinch of disbelief and incessantly answering questions from our kids like, “Mom? What day do you think she will deliver?”

Glad there are only 11 days left of this!!! Can’t wait to FLOOD this blog with baby pictures!

 

 

Gallon House Concert

It was just how I had imagined (while lying in bed wide awake at 3 am for the last few days before the concert making sure not to leave out one detail of the night) it would be….

{This is the THERE ARE A LOT OF PICTURES POST warning.}

The walkway was lined with lights (that I completely spaced taking pictures of) and beach cruisers filled with flowers to welcome the guests.

The cheesecakes were out-of-this-world! I can’t tell you how many people told me they couldn’t stop trying them all…pretty sure we all walked away a few pounds heavier that night. My incredible friends made HOMEmade cheesecakes. People. These were I N C R E D I B L E! Thank you Hannah, Bethany, Kinda, Michelle, Kim and Karen!! {Please forgive me if I have forgotten you!!!!!!! I’m sorry!}

And the wine? All donated and all fantabulous. Is that a word? Should be.

The MC’s of the night…Matt and Bethany Baker – dear friends who have adoption very near and dear to their hearts {have adopted 3 children and are in the process of adopting their 4th}. Thanks guys, you were great…except the ‘peeing in the woods’ comment Matt! Naughty.

Our friend Rudy Tinoco (and Pete Rusaw for this song) came and opened for us with his usual easy-going, fun-loving personality. Thanks Rudy!

Next up was Nicole Chan, accompanied by Chris Baltazar. Love your voice Nicole!! So glad you got to spend the night hanging out with us.

And the featured guest was Matthew Price, with Gallon House. If you haven’t heard of him before, look him up. For real. His music makes you smile and reminisce, start tapping your toes and has you wondering where his next will be. Bless you Matthew for coming and donating your time and talent for our little baby.

And the guests….ahhh. You know I love my friends and about 60 of them were able to make it. We are so grateful.

Dan and Tracy, so glad you guys could walk all the way down from your house and join us. We will miss you when you move!

And it’s not often you see the “Railton” sisters all together in the little o’l town of Gaston. So fun to see you guys and catch up. And the boots, loved them.

Old friends, new friends.

Church friends, friends’ friends!

And this. Well, this is how it went down. She says, “Gimme some of that already or I’ll fork you”, to which he wittingly replies, “How about I spoon you?”. Touche’ Andrew.

Need I say anything? Besides, “Listen folks, when you have 4 kids, you shop at Costco and you multi-task”.

Hannah, the beautiful cheesecake server.

One of my favorite parts of the evening was seeing everyone gather around one of the 4 glowing fire pits and chatting the night away.

We can’t say thank you enough to those of you who came and gave towards our adoption. Between the 50-60 of you, you gave just over $2300. Incredible and we give all the glory to God. We have just under $4000 left to raise before little baby girl is born in a few short weeks and we know it will all work out. {If you still want to help us and weren’t able to come, you can click on the DONATE button at the top, right of this blog.}

I CANNOT wait to be blogging about the end of fundraising and the beginning of this new little life in our family!

 

 

Fantastic First Days

This is a sign that the first day was a success.

Ruby LOVES her super nurturing teacher, Mitch is happy to have a teacher with clearly laid out laws rules and boundaries. This is because I’m sure someday he’s going to be a lawyer. And Max, well he loves recess and football.

God is so good and has given them each a special friend in their class already, which is what I’ve been praying for (along with a LOT of other things).

And I guess I’m now committed to writing little notes of love and encouragement EVERY day…in fact, Ruby is telling me the night before how many x’s and o’s she wants to see, Max was checking his lunch box last night to sneak a peak and Mitch smiles sheepishly – cuz he can’t possibly tell his mom he looks forward to his notes.

Grateful for fantastic first days! God is good and merciful.

It’s a New {school} Year

School. Today is the first day of school and this year Max, Mitch and Ruby will be attending Yamhill/Carlton. It’s a pretty big transition since we’ve home schooled for the last 4 years and especially for Mitch and Ruby, being it’s their first year ever at a public school. But, we know that wherever they are, God is with them and they each have a little reminder of that in their lunch boxes.

Why are we transitioning? Yes, I know I don’t really “owe” anyone an explanation…but I have nothing to hide 🙂 There are a few reasons that this was our year of changing things up in the school arena.

1. Last year sucked. Sorry, I REALLY hate that word, but it’s about the only thing that does justice to what we went through as a family losing Gage. For any of you out there that have lost loved ones, you know the roller coaster of emotions that you go through in the first year, the bouts of mild depression and the way you must go on with life even when you just want to sit and zone out. Now, add schooling your grieving children to that list and that just about pushes you over the top.

 

2. We are adopting. I know, not new news. This will be a year of new beginnings with this little one. New beginnings with our kids and school and new beginnings for us as a family.

{ok, seriously…I really do take good pics, but we were in a little hurry obviously…notice huge amount of BLUR LOL!}

3. Sometimes moms need a break. Again, I know this can be “sacrilegious” to say in the homeschooling world…but after last year, I need a break, the kids need a break, we all need a change. And until you actually walk in someone’s shoes and live their lives, you really don’t and can’t understand…but thankfully we have grace! (this is NOT to say I’ve felt judged in ANY way! Just felt I needed to put that out there) 🙂

So! Here’s to change and new beginnings!! Happy first day of school!

{Poor Mitch was highly embarrassed by his MOM taking pictures…thus we have the “avert the eyes at all cost and act like you don’t know her picture”.}

Max’s pic…uh…we get to blame daddy for that one.

p.s. ~ Kayla will still be home schooling this year, but through the YC Alliance Academy 🙂

{It’s a rough way to school, but someone’s gotta take the job.}

Friends

Friends are such a HUGE part of our lives. We LOVE our friends and we like to keep them forever. It’s not uncommon for us to have 1-2 families over every single week throughout the year…it’s a little harder in the winter because of inside space, but you’ll often find us and another family of 6-10 people crammed in our little house, sheet thrown out in the living room for the kids to eat on and the crock-pot heating up home made chili!! I LOVE that.

I digress…this last week we got to spend an evening with the Berges. Shannon and I used to work together in high school at Papa Murphy’s (called Papa Aldo’s back then) and have been friends ever since.

We had an impromptu photo shoot because we needed a family picture, and how appropriate being Shannon was the designer of my fabulous, shabby chic doors!!

Cutest little peas in a pod. {Ruby and Mia}

{Kayla, Makiya and Brookelynn}

Oh dear, these girls are beauties and the daddies will be getting their guns ready!! LOL

And our last (prayerfully) picture with the 6 of us. Hoping that our next one will be graced with a little bundle of JOY! And I already apologize in advance for the excess of pictures that will be coming on this blog of our new little girl.