Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Tyler, our little miracle!

I don't know where to even begin with Tyler's adoption story and so I will just start at the very beginning... a very good place to start! :)

The beginning
As most of you know, Kyle and I had a pretty rough year in 2012. We had 3 failed adoptions (you can read a summed up version of our 2012 experiences in an article I shared with the Families Supporting Adoption website post by clicking HERE) and one failed foster to adopt situation. They all happened between the months of January through September. It felt like we were destined to fail and that adoption was not going to be for us. I was sad most days and I just wanted Hayden to have the chance to have another sibling. I did have to come to the realization that we might not be able to have any more children and I accepted that for myself. But I didn't want to give up because I felt that Hayden needed a little brother or little sister. He was the only reason I kept going through 2012. I knew that he was supposed to have a sibling and so we never gave up!

About two weeks after our foster to adopt situation didn't work out, we received an email from our birth mother, named Madison in California. It was September 9th and she was only 9 weeks into her pregnancy. She wasn't sure if she was going to place her child for adoption or keep him, but she was interested in getting to know us and the possibility of placing her child with us. Of course we were excited, but we were also super cautious because of the year we had just had with the other birth mothers.

So we told our case worker about the situation and she was excited, but told us to keep our hearts open and that we would probably hear from Madison on and off for a little while before she had made a more concrete decision on adoption. So we decided to keep corresponding back and forth with Madison for the next little while- about 4 months of communicating.  Some months we would hear from her and some months we wouldn't.

Not many people know this about us, but during that time we were talking on and off with Madison, we also decided to go ahead and try in vitro again. We were so ready to have our next little miracle in our family, we decided to do whatever it took to get him here. We had previously done three rounds of in vitro in 2006 with one round resulting in no pregnancy and two rounds resulting in pregnancies/miscarriages by the end of 2006. But we were blessed with Hayden joining our family through adoption in April of 2007 so we knew why we had to endure those failed pregnancies, but we never understood why my body couldn't carry those pregnancies. So 2012 being the year that it was for us, seemed like the year to start the in vitro process again... why not? What could we lose???

In Vitro 2012
Well, we did our cycle and if you know anything about in vitro, it is not fun. It is rough and it takes a serious toll on your body- with several daily shots, raging hormones and many, many questions about whether or not it's actually going to work for you. During this time we finally got a better answer as to why we had many difficulties staying pregnant in our past in vitro cycles. Apparently I have slowly been going into premature ovarian failure and my body is not producing as many eggs or quality eggs at all. So very many of our questions were finally answered because of this last and final in vitro cycle.

As you can see, unfortunately, we did not get pregnant. I went in for my egg retrieval surgery and my doctor was only able to retrieve 1 egg (in most in vitro egg retrievals you can expect to retrieve any where from around 8-20 eggs from healthy ovaries). So we knew that our chances of embryo fertilization were extremely slim. They tried for fertilization over night that night, but the egg just fell a part. We didn't even get the chance to use that 1 egg that I had worked so hard to produce. I guess we should have expected something like this to happen, but we all (including our doc) thought that we were going to get at least 3 eggs and that fertilization was definitely going to happen because we never had a problem with it in the past AND all of my tests/ultrasounds looked great!  I was not doing so well after our failed round of in vitro, but I knew that the Lord knew the desires of my heart and that he was preparing my child for me. I was definitely very depressed at times and angry during other times, but I had a very small (extremely small) inkling that our trials of finding our next child were soon to be over.

Back to Tyler... sorry for the detour!
Well, during our in vitro cycle we had continued talking back and forth with Madison. Right around Christmas time she had finally decided that she really did want to place her son for adoption and she really wanted to meet us in person. So, Kyle and I decided to fly out to California and meet her and her family to see if we were the right fit!

I'm not going to lie. It was really hard to have faith in the adoption process after the year we had just had. But the Lord really gave us the strength to get through the next couple of months. He literally carried us through the process!!

Our first face to face meeting with Madison was the weekend after New Years. We met her in the LDSFS agency, with her mom, stepdad and caseworker. We had a wonderful conversation and she told us that she had picked us and we were so excited... very cautiously excited!

We literally spent the rest of the day with them shopping, eating and laughing together! We fell in love with Madison and her family and we just knew that this could be a wonderful life long relationship with  them and hoped/prayed that everything would work out in the best way for every single person involved. We continued to get to know Madison and her family over the next four months by making another trip out to California so that she could meet Hayden and also through phone calls, texts and emails until the time had come for us to travel out there for the birth.

Tyler's birth story!
We received a phone call at 3:30 am on April 8th from our caseworker that Madison's water broke. We already had our car packed with everything because we had just arrived home that very night from our family trip to Saint George. We had expected a phone call very soon, so we had included all of the baby gear (clothes, diapers, pack n' play, car seat) in the car as well. So we hopped in the car a as soon as we were dressed and got to my parents house by 5:00 a.m. to pick up my dad who was accompanying us to babysit Hayden while we were spending time with Madison and Tyler in the hospital.

We drove through to California that day. We were all exhausted from our previous day of driving home from Saint George and then we all literally only got about 4 hours of sleep each before we got the call. So Kyle and I were up front keeping the other person awake (there was no way I could fall asleep, even if I tried- knowing that my baby was on his way)! Then in the back we had my dad and Hayden trying to sleep crammed in between all of our baby stuff and luggage.  Hayden being 5 years old was already hard, but being extremely tired and excited for a new brother just added to it. I'm so grateful that my dad was able to come because I don't know what we would have done if we were by ourselves with Hayden!  And of course the 13 hour car ride was NOT easy on Kyle or me. We had that every single minute ticking by, reminding us that we were not there yet... that Madison could possibly change her mind, like the other birth mother's before... that we might miss the birth completely, etc... It was not an easy car ride and we were all extremely stressed and exhausted.

We made it to the hospital at 5:00 pm. Madison was barely dilated to a 4 and so we knew we were in for a long night. Kyle decided to head to the hotel to check in, get Hayden settled and get some rest. I of course started getting a migraine in the hospital room. Sleep depravation does that to me. I didn't want to complain because Madison was over there in labor with my child and I would just have to suck it up. I truly believe that the Lord gave me the hour and a half time before Tyler was born to recover from my migraine. Madison fell asleep for 1 1/2 hours around 11:00 p.m. I was able to take my medication which always makes me feel way worse before it makes me feel better. I laid my head back during her nap and my headache mostly went away. Definitely a miracle because my migraines normally last for days... I didn't know what I was going to do if I had a migraine during her active labor??? Probably throw up, was the direction I was heading. I know that the Lord helped each of us through Tyler's birth.   Madison was my hero... she is such a strong and amazing person in so many ways!  Being there for Tyler's birth is one of the most precious experiences of my life. What a gift to be there for his first moments. It's a memory that I will always treasure!

We then spent the next two days going back and forth to the hospital to visit Tyler and Madison. Of course, during this time we were a little bit stressed out that she was going to change her mind and we would have been so devastated. The Lord definitely carried us through those two days and I have a feeling that he did the same thing for Madison as well. Believe me, the actual placement of Tyler from her arms to mine is not an easy thing to do. Everyone was crying and it's one of the most difficult things I have ever experienced... two times now, with Hayden's placement and now Tyler's. It's a beautiful and heart wrenching thing all at the same time. We are forever grateful that we have been given the gift of adopting both of our boys. We are grateful for both of them every single day of our lives!

What's in a name
Over the past year and a half we have been deciding on boy names because all of the previous birth mothers were pregnant with boys as well. We narrowed it down to Tyson or Tyler. What most people don't know is that we were really excited for Madison to give him his middle name. She had been calling him Cameron throughout her pregnancy and so we decided to name him Tyler Cameron Hansen. The really neat thing for our family is that Hayden and Tyler share extremely similar birth stories and they also share that their middle names are from their birth mother's. Hayden Joshua Hansen and Tyler Cameron Hansen were brothers in heaven and now they are finally reunited here on earth! We couldn't be happier to have them together again!

Pictures... of course!!

 Tyler was born at 1:26 a.m. on April 9. He weighed 7 pounds 7 ounces and was 20 inches long.
He's here!

Right after he was born!!

First time I held him!

First time daddy held him!

First time Hayden held him!

 First time Papa held him!

First feeding

So in love! 

First family portrait (at our hotel room), after the adoption papers were signed and we knew we could share the exciting news with everyone!

 First time back in Utah and with Nana! :)

First moments with Grandma and Grandpa!

We love you Tyler! (most family members visiting to celebrate Hayden's birthday and spend time with Tyler!)

(L-R Melissa (Madison's mom), Tyler, Madison, Hayden, me and Kyle... at our last visit in May)

Now, none of this could have happened without the courageous decision and actions of Madison and her amazing family. We love her with all of our hearts and will be eternally grateful to her for her choice to place Tyler with us and let us be his parents. Luckily we still get to see her every now and then and we can keep her up to date on how Tyler is doing. We love you Madison!

Our little miracle Tyler

We prayed for and dreamt of you for the past couple of years. I would go through all of those trials again and again for you!  You are such a blessing in all of our lives. You are our peacemaker and our family feels complete now that you have arrived.  We love you Tyler Cameron Hansen!



Sunday, May 19, 2013

Happy Mother's Day 2013!

I haven't had a chance to post in a while. Mostly due to the fact that I am busy doing something that I can't seem to/nor want to break away from- and that is taking care of our newest little miracle Tyler!

Ty was born on April 9th, 2013 at 1:26 a.m. He was 7 pounds 7 ounces and 20 inches long. His birthmother gave me the chance to be there for his birth and I will always be so grateful to her for that, but I will always be extremely grateful for the precious gift that she has given us when she placed Ty with us!  What a true blessing he is in all of our lives.

Now since I'm totally not willing to share any of my time away from Ty and Hayden right now, I will tell his birth story later. Plus it's getting late and I don't think that I will ever be able to catch up on my sleep again! ha ha

Meet our newest little miracle Tyler... we are so in love.

Moments after he was born!

We love our little man so much! First moment Kyle saw and held Tyler.

Hayden is such a proud and wonderful big brother! First time Hayden met Ty in the hospital.

We had to do a lot of traveling in the car since Ty was born in California. Look at this adorable 3 day old. Content as can be!

Ty always falls asleep smiling... always! Here he is at 8 days old drifting off to dream land!

Nothing better than brotherly love!  Finally home and all back together again after 1 1/2 weeks. We sent Hayden home with dad after being gone for a week, so that he could get back to school while I waited with Ty until California acknowledged the adoption and told us that it was okay to go home. 

First real smile and coo on Mother's Day morning... BEST. GIFT. EVER! 5 weeks old.

Happy Mother's Day to me! My cup runneth over!

 5 week old smiles are the best. We are over the moon about Ty. He has brought so much joy and peace into our family. We are so in love!

I promise to write down and post our adoption experience. It was extremely beautiful and such a miracle.



Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Spring Break Part 2

The rest of Spring Break was spent down in Saint George with the family!

Hiking the red rock and exploring caves with Nana and Papa!

Having a very uplifting conversation at dinner!! ha ha

Running around with Finn and Jude and some kid we didn't know! ;)

Puzzle time in the condo!

Lots of swimming!

Enjoying some relaxing moments on the deck!

Eating at the Painted Pony... YUM!

Running into and swimming with our buddy Zac!

Park time with Finn!

One more sleepover with Finn and more puzzles!

Meditating brothers, ha ha!

Playing tag in the condo!

Dumpster diving for Papa's lost keys... so sanitary!!

We got the exciting phone call at 3:30 in the morning (the night we drove home from Saint George, of course!!) that Tyler was coming into the world and so we hopped right into the car at 4:00 a.m. with Hayden and my dad in the other seat.  Needless to say, we were all super grumpy but excited for Tyler by the time we arrived in California for his delivery! 

This will always be a memorable Spring Break because it will always remind us of Tyler's birth. We are so, so blessed to have his sweet spirit in our family!!