Sunday, November 29, 2015

Baby Blessing

Yesterday morning we headed down to Spanish Fork to have Ruger's baby blessing as well as see Abbie baptized.  I am truly grateful that Abbie was willing to share her day with her cousin.  We expected to have Ruger's baby blessing after Abbie's baptism program but to our surprise, they added his blessing during the program.  He was given a name and a blessing that spoke of Ruger's patience and good nature.  He was told to focus on his talents as he is growing up.  For these talents are what will get him through the trials in his life.
The speakers did so well speaking to Abbie about the importance of baptism and the Holy Ghost.  I walked away remembering that the Holy Ghost is our friend.  He truly is.  He always wants what is best for us and guides us in that direction.  What a truly wonderful friend he is!
We went to Stephen and Holly's house afterwards to spend time together and eat lunch.  Though we didn't get to spend as much time together as I would have liked (it was important for me not to stay to long to take away from Stephen and Holly's time together.  Stephen is living in South Carolina right now for work and only gets to come home for a few days, once a month), David did receive a wonderful blessing from Heavenly Father through Stephen. 
I love Priesthood blessings.  With how much I love them, it says something that this one was quite special.  Stephen was the perfect vessel to be telling David what Heavenly Father wanted him to learn about change.  How change is a catalyst to us getting back to our Father in Heaven.  With what Stephen is going through right now with him being so far away from his family for such long periods of time as well as dealing with a stressful situation with his job, it couldn't have meant more.  I knew he knew what he was talking about.  He is personally dealing with it right now.  David has dealt with changes in jobs for years.  I have never known someone who has experienced as much change in jobs as David has.  This was never in his plans, yet it was always the Lords'.  Sometimes that is hard to remember.  Hard because who wants to go from job to job all the time?  Who wants job losses?  Who wants to be set back in your career every time you join a new company?  Who wants to look like, to the outside world, he can't keep committed to something as important as a career?  It is hard to remember that the Lord has His plans, that will be put into motion, when your plans are not aligned with His in your perfect world scenario.  Anyways, I'm getting off of the subject at hand; his blessing. 
He was also reminded of how special he is and was.  The importance of his decisions in the preexistence.  How important it was for David and I to adopt Ruger; for his path was now set in a very different direction had he been able to go home with his biological mother from the hospital.  He spoke of how difficult it would have been for Ruger to know the Lord had we not done what we did with Foster Care.  I very hesitantly put this in here.  The sealer in the temple spoke of this as well.  Twice he brought it up.  I didn't want to write it down for fear of bragging.  But after this blessing from Heavenly Father, I knew I had to record it.  All I can say it that David and I are just so grateful the Lord gave us the chance to even do it.  Going back to all of David's job changes and moves, it would have never allowed for it in the past.  Yet, we finally were able to stay somewhere long enough and be stable enough to actually do Foster Care.  These are my thoughts but what are the odds?  It is so rare to hear of people adopting so soon after just starting Foster Care.  Yet our first placement brought us this perfect little boy.
I will just end this entry with saying how grateful I am that this all occurred.  How it occurred.  When it occurred.  We love our son, Ruger. 

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Eternally Ours

 On November 17, 2015 Joseph David Ruger Adams became legally ours.  But on Saturday, November 21, he became eternally ours.
 It was such a beautiful experience.
 I will start with this picture.  One the left is Shannon Wilson.  He was one of our witnesses in the temple.  Ideally, we would have chosen our family as our witnesses and the endowed member to hold Ruger during the sealing.  However, family was not able to attend.  It was important to me, however, to get it as close to family as possible though.
We met Shannon while living in Oklahoma.  He and his family soon became very important in our lives.  He makes me think of Oklahoma and my family there.  In the middle, holding Ruger, is Peggy Stevenson.  I met her while we were living in Sunset, Utah.  She quickly became my closest friend in the ward (church) we were a part of.  She reminds me of my sisters.  Her way of expressing herself, through her hand gestures, reminds me of Amanda.  Her amazing ability to make me laugh in any situation, reminds me of April.  It was important for me to have her hold Ruger while we were being sealed in the temple.
On the right side is Karl Roberts.  He was the first person David thought of when we found out we needed to have 2 witnesses.  I love Karl and his wife (Sabrina) so I thought it was just fine.  But after a while I started thinking about how perfect Karl really was for this purpose.  With all our moving and being in many different wards, Karl and Sabrina, represent the amazing members of the church who have been our "family away from family" through each move.  The majority of our moves have made us physically far away from our family.  So we have always relied on our ward family.  Which leads to the next picture. 
 Other than Jen Thomson (second on the left), these lady's are/were from our current ward.  I wonder if they know just how much them being there really meant. 
Jen, we met through foster care.  She has been an amazing resource for me personally through this whole experience.  We were blessed with the most dedicated members in DCFS as well as our cluster support groups.  I know people have their "horror" stories of Foster Care but I can honestly say that we were very well taken care of. 

These pictures were taken by Tricia Wilson (Shannon's wife).  I am going to quote what she said about these pictures on Facebook:
“The Joy of a mother comes in quiet moments. It comes with heartache, selflessness, and hardship. But in the end... It's moments like this when it is all worth it. Today is a day to honor this friend. She has loved and nurtured this baby boy not knowing what the end might be. I can't imagine the emotional roller coaster that may have been. This boy is so happy and clapping his hands for his eternal family!!!”
That meant so much to me.  I won't go into detail about that but just know that I love her for saying that.  I truly do love Ruger so very much.  There were times it was an emotional roller coaster, not knowing the future.  It was scary not knowing.  But he was so very worth it.
 Peggy posted this picture on Facebook with the caption:
“Our amazing friends David Alisa Adams brought home a sweet baby boy last year and loved and cared for him while his mommy tried to pull herself together to give him the life he deserved. Sadly--but happily--she wasn't able to do it and they got to adopt him last week, making sure he will have a happy life and will never want for anything. Today I got to hold him in the House of the Lord where he became a part of their beautiful family for all eternity. To be such a cool part of this day with them was a blessing I will cherish forever. Love you guys!!”
There was so much truth spoke here.  It was happy, yet sad, at times during this whole process.  Sad, knowing that his biological mom couldn't get it together yet clearly still loving him.  Happy, because we got to add a precious boy into our family.  And Peggy being a part of this special occasion in the temple was such a blessing for both her and my other children.  For Peggy (as well as David and I and all those attending with children of their own) was a reminder of all the blessings that children born under the covenant receive.
This was a picture from Tricia.  I love how the white in our clothes just stand out so well in this picture.
I want to end this journal entry with 2 things that was said about the beautiful, wonderful things that were witnessed in the temple:
Tricia said,
"It was so neat watching your boys walk into the room.  They looked a little nervous.  When they saw me and I waved to them, they were all smiles and waved back.  They all hopped onto the couch and Brigs sat Indian style with his feet up on the couch as if he was at home.  I don't know why that tickled me so much?!  I guess because he looked so happy and content.  It was special to watch Ruger during the sealing as he would just look at David and then at you and then back up at David.  I wondered what he was seeing.  Then after the sealing as he was placed in the arms of his brothers and seeing the love they had for him was priceless.  They all three reached out to grab him but Levi won.  Levi was emotional and you could see that he knew what this meant.  When we hugged you, you gave me that little boy to hold, he kept grabbing for my earrings and then all of a sudden he stopped for quite some time and was looking up at the lights.  The chandelier over the alter.  I knew he was seeing others from the other side.  He seriously was too focused and still.  The sealer mentioned that his was the shortest sealing but the most important because it binds families together for eternity.  He said to your boys what a privilege it was for them to be a part of this because not all children get the opportunity before being sealed.  He encouraged them to remember this day."
Peggy said,
So the very first thing I noticed was that Brigham just made himself at home in the temple. He pulled his feet up and sat cross-legged on the couch. I thought, "Only Brigham!" It didn't seem at all inappropriate--just that he felt comfortable. So as the sealer spoke, I was watching the boys. I expected emotion either from Levi--because I know how much he loves Ruger, or from Hyrum because he's such a tender little love. But while both of them looked so happy, it was Brigham who you could tell was really touched. I can't pretend to know what he was thinking but it was clear he was feeling emotional. I almost think either it surprised him or maybe he didn't know exactly what it was that he was feeling? It was just very, very clear that he was moved and I'm tearing up just thinking about it.”

I appreciate both of these witnesses of the feeling inside the temple so much.  I guess because we all experienced our own things but yet there were similarities also.  And sometimes you can miss certain things because you are focused on others.  It is so important to me to get this journaled so that when time fades our memories of this glorious event, we can look back on this and be reminded.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Yes, and more pictures...

 I forgot to put this one on the last post of pictures.  It was St. Patrick's Day and Ruger we had to get Ruger in on the fun!
 It was Brigham's turn to have his alone time in Oklahoma this last summer.  But since babies can ride free and my side of the family hadn't met Ruger yet, Brigham said it was ok for him to go :)

 At this point, Ruger was our Foster Child and as you can see, my family didn't look at it that way.  They just saw another Grandchild/Nephew/Cousin.
 Ruger is about 7 months old here.
 We invited some friends and neighbors over for the 4th of July.  EVERYONE loves Ruger!
 Ruger, our future missionary!
 Meeting Uncle Aaron, Grandma Barbara, and Grandpa Adams for the first time!
 The Adams family came up to be at church with us when Daddy became a High Priest.  Afterwards, we ate dinner and celebrated Brigham's birthday.
 What's cuter than a baby in a Creeper box?!
Look at those eyelashes!  I had to put it in black and white because you can't really tell how long they are in color because they are so light colored naturally.  He is about 8 months old here.
This was the day Brigham meet his 6th grade teacher.  Each teacher represents a college.  We already knew she was an OU fan so we had Ruger wear here OU outfit that Poppy bought him while we were visiting in Oklahoma.
 We love to mess with Ruger's hair.  But I also wanted a picture of him in this outfit.  It says, "Result of an incredible merger."  Perfect, huh?!
Ruger's first hike.
 Eating mashed potatoes for the first time.  He is about 10 months old here.
 Ruger's first "riding" gift.  Thank you Uncle Chuck!
I love this picture because of 2 reasons.  One, because he looks so much like his biological mom here.  Two, because you can see his vampire tooth coming in.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

More Pictures

Of course, we know Levi loved to hold Ruger so much but I loved the lighting on this.  Ruger is about 2 months old here. 
 Ruger and I before church one Sunday.  He is about 3 months old here.
 Ruger squirmed enough that he got his arms out of the blanket.  It reminded me of a toga so I had to take a picture!
 Ruger's first Easter egg hunt.  The foster care cluster that we are a part of put it on for the families of Foster Care.  He won this Play-Doh.
 His first solids!  Well, if you call Rice Cereal a solid.  He definitely wasn't ready!  He was a few days shy of his 5 month mark here.
 Ruger got to meet his Nanny for the first time here!  She had a layover from her flight to stay with Hannah and Ronald in Oregon.  They had just had Eden and Mom was flying there to help.  Isn't that neat that Nanny can say that she got to meet 2 of her grandbabies, from 2 different families, in one day?
 For some reason, Ruger will not sleep with me.  He did when he was real little but after awhile, he would only do it with Daddy.
 This was taken right before Levi's graduation from elementary school.  Maddie is one of Levi's closest friends.  She comes over a lot to see Levi and Ruger.  She LOVES Ruger.  In fact, we've had her babysit a few times (with the help of her Mom).  We walked into the building and she immediately stormed towards us.  She was suppose to be in charge of directing people but she didn't care.  She just loves him so much!  Notice the kiss mark on his forehead?  Yeah, that would be from his girlfriend Maddie!
 Just a cute picture of Ruger with his brother and cousins.
 Ruger meeting Adalynn for the first time!  Once he found her hand, he would not let go!  Who needs a binkie when you can have flesh!
 The Adams' family
Just a cute comb-over picture!  He is about 6 months old here.


I couldn't journal pictures of Ruger because of the Foster Care rules of publicly displaying his face.  But since his adoption is less than a week away, I am getting ready here and just won't publish this until after.  So here we go!
 Ruger is 7 days old here.  This is me at the hospital with him right before I took him home. 
 When I brought him home, he was asleep and I didn't want to take him out of the car seat.  So we just let him sleep (it was killing the boys!).  At one point I found this Goldfish bag, that Hyrum had put together at school, next to Ruger's head.  Hyrum informed me that it was a gift for Ruger from him.  I really loved this because I was concerned how he would take having a possible brother in the house that was younger than him.  I even bought this cat outfit for Ruger to come home in specifically for Hyrum.  I told Hyrum that it was like a gift from him to Ruger (because Hyrum loves cats so much).  It worked and he loved Ruger!
 This is day 2 of Ruger being home with us.  I took this picture to try and get his scowl.  Ruger seriously was the perfect infant.  So mild and not fussy at all.  But he had this constant scowl on his face and it cracked us up because it didn't fit his personality at all.  We joked that he must have been doing this in the womb for quite some time because he had this permanent indention between his eyes and the ones you can see below his lips for months! 
 I think this was about day 3 of Ruger being home with us.  Everyday, Levi would come home from school and have to hold him right away.  My favorite memory of Levi with Ruger when we first got him was Levi coming home from school and telling me, "Mom, I had such a hard time concentrating in school.  I kept thinking of Ruger."  Levi has loved Ruger from the VERY beginning.  Seriously, out of all of us, he has amazed me the most.  It would be natural for me to love Ruger right away.  Mother's instincts.  But Levi from the second he saw him was obsessed with this sweet baby boy.  I caught him falling asleep with him on the couch many a times.  He would be so disappointed if Ruger wasn't awake yet and couldn't hold him before going to school.
 Ruger's first bath.
 Not long after Ruger was placed in our hearts, we noticed that at certain times, only half of his face would turn red.  Then we started noticing that the side that was red; that eye would not open all the way.  We undressed him and sure enough this straight line ran all the way down to his stomach.  It was the weirdest thing.  We soon found out he has Harlequin Syndrome.  It is an effect of damage to his nervous system.  But as I am writing this, he is almost a year old now and hasn't had an episode for months!
One of the rare pictures I have of Brigham with Ruger...and of course, he is just photo bombing!  It took months for Brigham to physically hold Ruger willingly.  It wasn't that he didn't like him.  He would smile at him all the time and comment how cute he was but he never wanted to hold him.  I don't know if it was just that he isn't a "baby person" or if he didn't want to get attached in case Ruger didn't stay with us or if he was afraid of breaking him.  I really don't know but I do know that everything changed after Brigham, Ruger, and I went to Oklahoma this last summer to visit my side of the family.  I think that him seeing how naturally my family accepted Ruger as one of their own made it real to him. 
 Ruger found his hand!
 This was the first time Ruger met Daddy's side of the family.  It was so incredibly sweet to get to witness, for the first time, a member of our extended family love on Ruger the way they did.  Holly and the girls, especially, just loved on him so much. 
At about 3 weeks old, Ruger was hospitalized for Pyloric Stenosis.  It is not fun seeing your baby poked and prodded like this as well as not being fed (in preparation for surgery) but the Primary Children's Hospital in Salt Lake City is such a great place.  They took amazing care of him.
His social worker, Necha, came up to check in on him.  Later we got another social worker, when she moved, and both are great but I sure did appreciate having Necha to work with.  She has such a sweet soul. 
Ruger's first Christmas with his presents.
 Mine and David's 13 wedding anniversary.  By this time, Daddy was hooked!  It took David longer for him to feel completely comfortable with Ruger.  I was always dead exhausted when the older boys would wake up in the middle of the night after having them.  But with Ruger, probably because my body didn't give birth to him and because I wasn't dealing with Post Partum Depression,  I would seriously here him waking up and I would jump out of bed with excitement.  No joke.  He truly made me so happy from the moment I saw him.  Men, naturally act differently.  I decided to substitute for a person at the toll booth during Christmas when David was off of work.  I think it was like 4 midnight shifts in a row that David was left with Ruger.  After those 4 nights, David has never been the same.  And NOW, he completely spoils him and thus Daddy is Ruger's favorite parent now.
 Ruger is about 1 month old in this picture.