Friday, January 25, 2013

Leaving the hospital...

On and off for the last 4 and 1/2 years, I have been working for Medical City Children's Hospital with the Pediatric Oncology kids. It has been one of the most rewarding and heart breaking things I have ever had the privilage of doing. I have cried many tears of sadness and joy over the years. 

It was an incredibly tough decision to leave. As of January, I had commuted from College Station to Dallas once a month for 4 days to work and had done that for a year. The time has come to be a full-time stay-at-home mom again and for that I am ecstatic. I leave for the most positive of reasons. Still, leaving breaks my heart. I love the people I work with. I love the patients I serve. I love all of it.

How grateful I am for the friends I have made and the things I have learned.

How grateful I am for a place that is so hard to say goodbye to.


Christmas was AMAZING this year. Rorey is at the age where she shows so much excitement when opening gifts. She tears through the paper and screams with joy at her treasure! This year she got a skateboard to match her daddy's and a bicycle!

Rorey sporting her new helmet! Safety first!

John and Rorey showing off their horses so they can ride off into the sunset together....well, bounce off into the sunset. 

Rorey and Andrew showing off their skateboards!! Andrew is so excited to have someone to ride around with.

Leigh riding Rorey's bike and sporting her favorite Christmas present...her Wonder Woman cape!

Thing 1...Thing 2...Thing 3?

I mentioned this on Facebook and then realized that not everyone I know is actually on here was our big news from the end of November. 

"Whelp, the call has been made and the ball is rolling. The adoption agency will be sending our starter packet within the next day or so. Let the games begin...again..."

Andrew and I decided that because we have no idea how long the adoption process will take, we would rather start sooner than later. John turned one November 16th. We contacted our adoption agency a week later and began the process. We have no idea what the future holds for us but we do know that our family needs another misfit to add to the mix.  

Family Pictures!

Ok, I the best blogger in the world? Not a chance. I have a million pictures and a million stories I want to write about, blog about, post about but....with two toddlers running around, the chances of that happening are slim to none. I will put it on my to-do list and pray that I get back around to chronicling our lives for the public to see.

In the meantime, we were able to have professional family pictures taken over the summer. (I realize it's January, but better late than never right?)

Here are a couple of our favorites!

The funny thing about this shot is that Andrew totally got the easy way out. Rorey weighs in at 22.8 lbs where as John has already passed her and is a dense bowling ball!

Our photographer did an amazing job keeping all of us entertained and smiling. I now understand why people end up spending so much money getting their pictures taken regularly because by the time we got the prints for these, the kids had grown so much. (Well, John had. Rorey doesn't want to grow to save her life)

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!! What a whirlwind these last two weeks have been. We are grateful for the comments, thoughts and prayers that have been offered on our behalf. Thanksgiving week was a joyous one spent with family and friends. Leigh worked on and off at the hospital throughout the week while Andrew enjoyed being able to play with the kids. (Strange to type that in the plural form...) We are doing our best to adjust to having a newborn and a very busy toddler.

This picture cracks us up. It's one of the few we have were Rorey is more than willing to smile at the camera and yet John is clearly not so visible. Oh well, hopefully we have many more years to attempt at pictures. 

Our growing family.

John went in for his 1 week check up and was back up to his birth weight, 6 lbs 8 oz. The doctor gave him a clean bill of health. Rorey and John will both be heading into the doctor next week for Rorey's 18 month check up and John's 2 week. Hopefully Rorey has managed to climb back onto the weight scale.

                                                             Eyes open!! Success.

Rorey loves taking walks. She enjoys picking up all the leaves she can and bringing them to whomever she is walking with. She also loves to be lifted up to touch the hanging branches. (Rock climbing here we come!) This past week, it got a little cooler in temperature. Andrew let Rorey pick out a hoodie to go on their walk. This is what she went with....

                                                        Love our little monster. So fitting.

We have received many inquiries into why Andrew has a black eye in some of our recent photos. No, Leigh did not punch him. Andrew had a diabetic reaction that caused him to meet the floor in our kitchen in a rather unpleasant manner. He is doing better and for the most part has stopped scaring little children when they see his face. Here is a picture when his eye was at one of its better moments:

What a tough guy!

Our homestudy will be on December 6th. This is where they come and inspect our home to make sure it is a fit environment to raise a child in. They also ask us a long list of personal questions to determine that we have some iota of what we are getting ourselves into. (Who really knows what they are getting into when it comes to parenting? Really.) We will keep you posted as to how that turns out as we continue to count down the days until John can become part of our eternal family.

Post sponge bath for John. Love the curls. 

We hope that each of you had an amazing Thanksgiving and were able to celebrate with loved ones. We continue to be humbled and awestruck at the generosity of those around us. Thank you. We might not always get a chance to say it, but we always feel the gratitude in our hearts for those that have made the last few weeks such a success. 

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Life as we know it...

It has been far too long and we concede that. Sorry. Here are a couple of major things that have taken place in our life in the last few months.

1) Andrew graduated in May from Appalachian State with his Masters in College Student Development

2) We moved to Dallas for the summer to hang out with family and allow Andrew time to apply for jobs all over the country

3) Leigh went back to work at Medical City Children's Hospital in July

4) Rorey, Leigh and Leigh's family went to the UK for 16 days in August (Andrew was in the throws of interviewing with various universities and needed to be in the US)

5) Andrew accepted a job at Texas A&M University working for the Memorial Student Center as a Program Advisor and started at the end of September

6) Rorey and Leigh continue to commute to and from Dallas until January 1st when Andrew's health insurance kicks in

7) We received the paperwork to start the adoption process over again on October 1st

8) October 5th we received a phone call about a potential birth mother

9) Rorey was a one-eyed monster for Halloween

10) November 15th, 2011- Rorey turned 18 months old

10) November 16th, 2011- our son John Richard Carruth was born at 2:45 pm. He weighed in at 6 lbs 8oz and is 18.5 inches long.

Side note- We are currently in the process of adopting John. We have reached the first of multiple milestones that must be met in order for him to become permanently a part of our family. Here is a list of those milestones:

48 Hours- Birth mom can sign a relinquishment of her rights
32 Days- Our attorney will file to terminate birth father rights
45 Days- Our attorney will go to court to verify that all parental rights have been terminated
90 Days- We go to court to finalize and make John 100% non-refundable

We will also be completing a homestudy within the next few weeks.

We are grateful for all of the love and support that we have received these last few months. We ask that prayers continue to be offered on our behalf. Thank you for coming on this journey with us. We also ask that no mention of John be done on any social media sites (ie Facebook, Twitter, etc) until we have finalized the adoption.

Thank you...for everything.

                                                                Our Growing Family

                                                      Our miracle worker: Dr Kim Vernon

                                              Rorey hanging out with her new little brother

                                                          Kisses!! What a good big sister!! 

Monday, October 4, 2010

Daddy Daughter Tribute

So as many of you are aware, the three of us are currently spread out all over the world. Leigh is in Egypt with her parents (she didn't get to go Israel in June, so they decided to take her to Egypt). Rorey is in Dallas with Annie and Marianne. I (Andrew... yes, I'm commandeering the blog!), am still in North Carolina preparing for my trip to the UK on Thursday (the one that was rescheduled from our original trip in April that was postponed by a volcano in Iceland, which led to Rorey's adoption, and so on...). We will not all be together again until October 20, when I return from the UK. So in her absence, I've decided to post a small tribute.

Rorey: Who would have thought that something this small and innocent could change your life so quickly. Every day I find myself looking forward to coming home and seeing her. There is something about holding her that makes everything else stand still, that whatever frustrating or stressful things are happening dissolve, and you begin to realize what really matters in life. In the past four months I have gone from husband, to dad and husband. It's been a huge journey, but I would not have traded it for anything. These past few days it is clear how much I miss that kid, her laughs, giggles, smiles, cries, toots, and just about anything she does. Here are some of my favorite pictures of her and I:
My welcome home, have a diaper change pep talk. 

Probably one of my favorite pictures and will be for a long time. Leigh put Rorey in bed with me one morning, and this I guess is how we were both asleep. 

Rorey's attempt to eat my nose... I was curious if she was just fussy or hungry, so needed to give her something to chew on to see. 

Leigh thought this was a good idea, not sure if Rorey agreed. Regardless... we hang out a lot. 

For the record, Rorey is yawning... not crying in this picture. 

My department at ASU got all the staff headbands this year... I thought mine went best on Rorey... she quickly became the unofficial poster child of the department. 

We tend to have a lot of conversations like this. I do most the talking, surprise surprise. 

My mom, Rorey, and I just chilling on the futon. We might or might not have been watching TV at the time haha. If you didn't know, Rorey is fascinated by the sound and colors from the TV.

Rorey's "Old man, I'm asleep" face. I think this was the first time she ever fell asleep on me. 

Most recent picture of us. Right now, all I have to do is hold her and things just settle. The stress, exhaustion, or frustrations in my life, just disappear when I hold her. She's a pretty cool kid... and she's mine!