We know blogs are meant to keep people up to date on current events, but we have a whole back-log of events that we need to get caught up on. The most significant one, of course, is the adoption of our beautiful little daughter, Tateym. For those who haven’t heard the story, or for those who like to hear it again and again, we thought we’d post it so everyone can hear how this little miracle came about. Natalie already did an excellent job of telling the story, so I’m going to use her text. Before doing that, though, I should give a little background to set up the story.
Natalie and I met Brandi, Tateym’s birth mother, back in March. We hit it off right away, and immediately started to build a great relationship. It seemed so apparent that the Lord had directed us to each other, and that this was the baby meant to come to our family. Things continued to go well for a couple of months, then out of nowhere Brandi was served with a petition for custody from the birth father. We talked to a number of attorneys, all of which said the situation did not look good, and the adoption would most likely never be able to take place.
Needless to say, we were devastated. We just couldn’t understand how this could be happening when it had seemed so apparent that this was the baby meant for our family. And then another miracle happened: Brandi met Larry Jenkins. Larry is, in our opinion, probably the best adoption attorney in the state of Utah. I won’t get into all the details, but basically Larry pointed out that the law clearly states there are a number of requirements the birth father must meet which he had not, and until he did the adoption could still take place. So Brandi and Larry began to fight back, and as Brandi came closer to her due date, she stopped hearing anything from the birth father. It seemed like perhaps he had given up, but until the baby was born and placed there was no telling what could happen.
Now here’s where I’ll let Natalie take over:
The day before Tateym was born, Eric and I were on pins and needles wondering what was going to happen. Brandi invited me to go to her doctor’s appointment with her and while we were there she asked if the doctor could induce her the next day. Well apparently the schedule was booked until the following Monday, so they scheduled it for August 11th. After the appointment, Brandi made it very clear to me that she wanted to do whatever it took to have the baby in the next 24 hours. So we looked up a few home remedies on the internet and “Operation Baby Be Born” commenced. First we met Eric for lunch at a Thai restaurant in Provo where they had really spicy food. Eric got a phone call from our attorney telling him we needed to come down right away and fill out some paper work so they could file our petition for adoption. They told us we needed to have a name ready to put on the paper work. We were freaking out, because we had narrowed it down to five names but couldn’t make up our minds. The names we had in mind were: Lola, London, Jada, Victoria, and Tateym. So, for whatever reason we went with Tateym. Mostly because Eric really liked it and I thought it was sweet. Also I was excited there was a girl name that Eric really liked. For those of you who don’t know, we wanted Brandi to pick the middle name. So she picked the name Ruth which is Brandi’s middle name and the first name of her Great Grandmother. It also means “friend” and the name Tateym means “cheerful”, so her name means “cheerful friend”. Kind of cute, I think.
Anyway, so all three of us stopped at the attorney’s office and took care of the paperwork, then Eric went back to work and I took Brandi to Kiwanis park in Provo. We walked around it three times (for those who aren’t familiar with Kiwanis park, it’s a very large park). I was dying by the end. I swear I was about to go into labor myself after that walk. But of course Brandi wasn’t affected by it one bit. So next, I took her to the store where we bought fresh pineapple, raspberry leaf tablets, and castor oil, then went back to our house. She ate pineapple until she was full to the brim and took her raspberry leaf tablets, but still nothing. I know, I know, these things probably take a few hours to really start working. But just to make sure, Brandi wanted to take the castor oil. She was nervous about how gross it would taste, and asked me to take it with her. So, not thinking anything of it, I made two cocktails of 1/4 cup oil mixed with Sprite and orange juice. It wasn’t as bad as everyone says, at least that’s what I thought at first. But then the spicy explosive diarrhea hit (TMI). That’s when I started to have my regrets. Thankfully it didn’t hit Brandi until Eric drove her home.
Well, at three o’clock in the morning Brandi called with the news that she was in labor. I was half asleep when she told me this, so I told her to call us once she and her mom got to the hospital. Meanwhile, I woke Eric up and he got in the shower while I straightened the house, got dressed, and put my makeup on. Around 3:40 I got a call from Brandi’s mother. She told us we might want to hurry because Brandi’s contraction were really close together, so we jumped into the car and raced to the hospital. We were one light away from the hospital when we got pulled over by a cop. I know, I couldn’t believe we actually got pulled over. The officer came over to the driver’s seat and Eric handed him his license and registration. I then leaned over, turned on the water works, and said: “Officer, we are on our way to the hospital. Our birth mother is in labor and is about to have our baby.” After I said that, his eyes got really big, he handed Eric his paperwork back and told us to drive safely. I guess he’s never heard that one before.
We got there just in time. Brandi was able to have an epidural and twenty minutes later, Tateym was born. Eric stood by Brandi’s shoulder, but I was able to actually hold her leg and watch the whole delivery. I was even asked to cut the cord. The nurse there was really nice. She had adopted all 4 of her children, so she was really good at making us feel like parents right away, and making sure we felt involved. Brandi was so great, she and her mom talked while Eric and I got to watch they baby being poked and prodded and weighed. Tateym weighed 8 pounds 7 ounces and was 21 1/2 inches long. A healthy baby, I should say. I was the first to hold her and feed her, and I was so grateful for that opportunity. It just meant the world to me and the moment I held her I knew she was mine. She is the reason Eric and I have been through such tribulation, because she was meant to be with us, and no one else. It’s amazing to think about.
Well, at 10:00 in the morning, Eric and I decided we should let Brandi spend some time with Tateym because we needed to go shopping and tell our families the exciting news. We ran around town for seven hours like chickens with our heads cut off trying to find everything we needed for our new baby. We hadn’t gotten any baby supplies in advance because we just didn’t know if it was going to happen or not. Also I think I should mention that once we thought the adoption had fallen through, we didn’t mention to anyone that it might still happen. We just couldn’t handle getting everyone’s hopes up again, then have it fall through. Needless to say, there where screams and cries of disbelief when we told our families our baby had been born. That was pretty fun.
Brandi and Tateym spent a couple of days in the hospital, during which we balanced our time between getting things ready for the new baby and visiting the hospital. Then the day of placement finally came. We met Brandi at the hospital early, and the doctor and nurses gave us a crash course on taking care of a newborn. Then before checking out we gave Brandi a couple of gifts. The first was what I called the “happy basket”. It was a basket full of candy, gift certificates, movies, games, and a Calvin and Hobbes book. My hope was that this basket would help her get through the first 24 hours or so after placement. Next, we gave her a ring. It was white gold with small diamonds in the side and the August birthstone in the middle. She loved it and cried when she put it on, which made me happy.
Then from there off to the court house we went. I think it’s a pretty unusual thing when the adoptive couple carpools to the court house with the birth mother. I guess what you have to understand is how close we’ve become with Brandi because of this experience. Most people probably think it’s weird, but I’m very happy that Brandi likes Eric and I so much.
Eric and I waited with Tateym in the lobby of the courthouse while Brandi and Larry went before the judge and Brandi signed the relinquishment papers. When she came out, it was done. I ran up to her, gave her a big hug, and almost collapsed because I was so happy, relieved, and thankful for what she had done. We all just stood there for a few minutes hugging and crying in the lobby of the courthouse.
After that, we took Brandi back to her mom’s house. Eric asked her if she wanted a Priesthood blessing, she agreed and said she really wanted one. So Brandi, her mother, two of her sisters, Eric, and I went in a back room and Eric gave her the blessing. It was such a spiritual experience because Eric was able to tell her the things that the Lord wanted her to know. He told her how proud the Lord was of her and what a wonderful thing she had done for Tateym and for Eric and I. He told her that if she continued to make good choices that she would find a young man to marry in the temple and that they could one day have a family of their own.
After the blessing, we hugged and cried, and then we left. It couldn’t have happened more perfectly.
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