Oh Joy, What a Family

IMG_1342We’ve recently started planning for Moose’s second birthday and Ike’s fourth (how time flies). These milestones have me reflecting on how our family came into existence.

It all started more than 13 years ago when Rahn and I met as volunteers at a charity 5k. We talked a bit that day, and Rahn made fun of me when I shared my theory that it is impossible to eat animal crackers without playing with them (I stand by that theory, by the way). We went our separate ways that day, and met again at a social event almost a year later. The rest, as they say is history.

When we decided to expand our family, about 9 years ago, we assumed we would follow the “traditional” path. However, after years of fertility treatments, we realized that was not going to be the case. At that point, we chose adoption.


Ike & His Happy Hair

The adoption process, including the home study, was a long and exhausting process. Finally, we were matched with our kids’ birth mother We opted for a semi-open adoption and built a relationship with her during the pregnancy. In May of 2009, I was awed to be in the delivery room when our twins were born.Yes, I said twins. Ike is actually our middle child – he was welcomed into the world just minutes after his twin sister, Ellie.

When they were just 2 days old, Ellie was rushed from the hospital where she was born to Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital where she was immediately admitted to the cardiac ICU. (I cannot speak highly enough of Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital… the medical care was superior… but on top of that, they cared about our entire family.)


Ellie Bean

Ellie was born with a chromosomal deletion that resulted in multiple medical conditions, including several heart defects and DiGeorge Syndrome. In the first three weeks of her life, she underwent two major surgeries, including open-heart surgery.

We were optimistic about her future, and brought her home to her brother as soon as she was well enough. Unfortunately, Ellie’s medical problems proved to be too much for her, and after a tough fight, she passed away on the day she turned 8 weeks old.

With Ike in our lives and Ellie in our hearts, we felt like our family was complete. Then, one day out of the blue, we received a surprise phone call. Ike had a biological half-brother on the way… and the boys’ birth mother wanted us to adopt him, too. We were shocked, honored, and excited all at the same time.



Twenty-three months after Ike and Ellie entered our lives, I was again awed to be in the delivery room for the birth of our second son. Moose has brought us more joy and wreaked more havoc in our lives than we could imagine.

Now, with Rahn, Ike, and Moose in my life and Ellie in my heart, I know that my family is complete… that is, until grandkids!!

Enhanced by Zemanta


  1. Felissa says

    So honored to share the journey with your family. We have come a long way since the first time we met at the seeds of hope meeting.

    • says

      It was only in reading your comment that I realize it has been around SIX years since we first met at that group. I am so thrilled that we met there and that we have continued our friendship all these years. I can’t believe your little man is turning 5 this year and Ike is turning 4. Time really does fly!!

  2. The Henderson Clan says

    I so agree with Felissa. Its the oddest thing, but it is routine to see Isaac and Max outside with Dad awing the patrol car, and/or ready for chatter with the girls (they dont care as much for us unless Terry is in uniform, haha) What a wonderful story, and thank you for including us in your lives we are so touched, honored and aprreciative.

  3. The Henderson Clan says

    PS they odd thing meaning if we do not see the boys, and just how far weve come along watching this journey………thank you, we truly mean that, THANK YOU

    • says

      One of the things I remember most about Ike and Ellie’s adoption is realizing what amazing neighbors we have in the Henderson Clan. We were hundreds of miles away from home and y’all were so helpful in making sure that things at the house were taken care of. You took a huge weight off of our shoulders and gave us more time to focus on Ellie. Considering how little time we had with her, that means more than you could ever know.

  4. Vicki Drake says

    Aunt Vicki requests that someone do something to slow down this “growing up” thing. This is just going way too fast for me.

  5. says

    New visitor from #SITSblogging Comment Love Tribe. One thing I really love about the blogosphere it the candor with which bloggers engage their readers, and you are no exception. I look forward to reading more of your adventures with your family, especially since I’m averaging about 5 “oy vey” moments each day!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge