Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Operation Tatertot(s)

It is such an honor to introduce this family to you.  Chris & Jordan are siblings of friends of ours from Charleston. Got that?  Their story will make you cry and smile and make you wish you could take them out for a cup of coffee.

Well, instead of coffee let's bless them in another way.  Chris & Jordan have until friday to raise a HUGE sum of money to finalize their adoption.  Please consider donating and sharing their story!  I know you will be as moved by it as I am.


We are Chris and Jordan and we have been together for seven years and married for four! We met at Clemson where we were assigned as next door neighbors in an apartment complex on campus. :) We were just friends at first, but fell in love a little over a year later, and we got married about a year and a half after we started dating! We have loved being married since our super fun wedding day! 

When we started dating, we both talked about adoption and how we both felt led to adopt one day, but we also both talked about how we wanted to have a combination of biological children and adopted children, hopefully many of each! We really were grateful that adoption was on both of our hearts because it was never a hard conversation to have with one another. It was never an "if" but always a "when." We settled into married life and our jobs and we looked forward to the day we would add to our family of two.

Almost a year and a half into marriage we found out we were pregnant! I was nervous, excited, and full of joy. I had dreamt of being a Mom for as long as I could remember, so I couldn't believe that in nine little months I would be holding our first baby. I didn't waste any time picking out nursery items and building my registry before I even knew baby's gender. 

At our 20 week ultrasound we were so anxious to find out if we were carrying a boy or a girl. We had had one other ultrasound when we first got pregnant at 8 weeks but hadn't had any others in between. We left the appointment so excited that we were having a girl! We picked her name and we told our families and we were half way done with this pregnancy. 

Our ultrasound scans were sent to our doctor that week and we received a call about a week after our appointment that changed our life forever. The doctor told us that something appeared to be wrong with our baby, maybe Down syndrome, maybe a heart defect, or maybe some brain abnormalities (or all of the above.)
I can't adequately explain what this felt like to hear. Our world came crashing down as we began searching for information on what could be wrong. An appointment was set up for us to see a specialist the next morning, and the news only got worse the more we learned. It appeared that our little girl had some sort of fatal condition, but it's cause and name would remain unknown. At first the doctors were unsure if she would live or die in the womb, but as she continued to grow (slowly) in the womb they mentioned that there may be a tiny chance she could live once delivered.

We held on to this small small chance as nobody could tell us why anything was wrong. She appeared to have issues with organ development, the biggest issue being in her brain. She had contractured joints at the wrists and ankles, and her stomach wasn't developing properly.

The rest of the pregnancy was traumatic and intense as we did testing and had multiple ultrasounds, only to find out that we may not have answers for what was happening. She lived to full term and was born alive, and a team of specialists waited there in the room to see if she might have a chance at life.

Our little girl, Ellie, lived for about twenty minutes, and I finally held her to my chest as she left the earth. 
To this day, the doctors are unsure of what happened. We both come from big, healthy families, and we have no history of genetic abnormalities.

The doctors took comfort in this information as well as in our test results which all came back clear and they told us that we should be good to go from this point on. These things can happen sometimes and it seems like it's just an anomaly. We ended up taking great comfort in this and as we healed and grieved we look forward to the day that we would try to get pregnant again. 

We began to heal, although we knew life would never be the same without her around. Life continued to move on and after nine months we decided to try to get pregnant again. We were so surprised and excited when we found out we were pregnant the first month of trying. I had a lot of fears during the first part of the pregnancy but I thought often of how the doctors were so confident that it wouldn't happen again. We finally got to our 20 week ultrasound and I was so excited to get it over with. I was tired of worrying and I was ready to spend the rest of my pregnancy relaxing and doing all of the fun things I didn't get to do with Ellie.

As we sat in the ultrasound room our worst fear became true as we found out that Our second daughter appeared to have the same thing that our first daughter did. We were shocked, heartbroken, and confused. The rest of the pregnancy was exhausting and very intense emotionally.

Elsie our second daughter was born at 40 weeks and three days and she was alive for a few moments before she passed away. We didn't have a team waiting this time because we knew that her condition was the same as Ellie's, and our plan was just to hold her as soon as she was delivered. 

We got to love on her and snuggle her and again our hearts were so broken. We left the hospital for a second time empty-handed. After struggling with these two losses back to back I knew that I was ready to jump into the world of adoption as quickly as Chris was ready. We actually ended having our homestudy done less than a month after Elsie passed away and we were put on the waiting families list.

We were presented for a few different babies but had not yet matched in the first few months. I stayed encouraged as I was prepared to wait many months to be matched. We were pleasantly surprised when we unexpectedly matched with a baby just four months after having our homestudy complete. What is even crazier is that this baby we were matched with was already born and ready to come home with us. We are currently preparing to travel to pick him up as he was born at the very end of April. We already feel bonded with him and as I prayed for our baby to arrive I knew that I would feel a connection as soon as it was right. When I saw his picture for the first time my heart was so happy and it was as if I already knew him.

Because of the urgency of our matching situation we still have a good ways to go in our fundraising campaign. We fully believe that God has called us to this adoption and that it will be fully funded. We can't wait to pick up our little man and we can't wait to share with him the story of how he was able to join our family and the story of his sisters.

Thank you so much for all of your support and for all of your love and we can't wait to share him with you. We hope our story will encourage you to never give up and to stay strong through the hardest times. Feel free to see more of our story (as it unfolds) at tatesatsea.blogspot.com

You can find the Tate's fundraising page here!


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