Friday, August 29, 2008

Helping Nana with the dishes

Nana Sandy just sent me these pictures. She said - "Gabe decided to help me load the dishwasher today. Actually he had more fun unloading everything onto the floor!". I thought it was too cute not to share. He is such a good helper. Enjoy. xoxo.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Gabes adoption finalization, sealing and blessing

After what seemed like an eternity, Monday May 19th, 2008 finally came. The adoption was finalized in court and everything went smoothly. All that worrying for nothing! I'm such a worry wart though. It was fun to have Brads uncle Terry be our attorney as it made the whole experience feel alot more personal.

Once the adoption was finalized we could go to the temple and be sealed. We went to the temple the following Saturday on May 24th, 2008. What a day. No words can really describe it. Gabe looked like an angel all dressed in white and to be surrounded by so many special people who we love was a dream come true...again! After the sealing we went back to our house for a yummy dessert bar and enjoyed visiting with friends and family.

Then on June 1st Gabe was blessed in our home ward in Kaysville. Daddy did such a great job and it was a very special day. After church we all went back to our house and had tacos and sweet pork burritos. Yummy! Again it was so nice to be able to share the day with our friends and family.

First year continued...

Pics from the first year.

Our adoption story

I debated whether or not to write this post for a number of reasons. First of all it is difficult to put into words my thoughts and feelings about something that is so dear and sacred to me and secondly, it is hard to know just how much detail to go into. That being said, there may be some of you who are wondering just how this miracle came to be. So here goes...

It had always been a dream of mine, from a rather young age to one day adopt. I had an aunt who had adopted 3 children herself and I had always looked to her as an example. I had always thought that it was such a selfless thing to want to take in a child and love them as your own. To take one of our Heavenly Fathers sweet spirits who otherwise would have nowhere to go and raise them in a home filled with love. Of course when I was younger, I just always figured that I would have biological children of my own and that when the time was right my husband and I would look into adopting to complete our family. That being said, when Brad and I began dating, it was important for me to know that that adopting in the future was something we both felt good about. Thankfully Brad shared the same feelings that I had and once that had been established there was no turning back. =)

After years of trying unsuccessfully to get pregnant, surgery, fertility treatments, the disappointment etc we felt that we had come to a point where it was time to look more seriously at adopting. Unfortunately, with Brad still in school and funds not permitting that dream looked to be a little further down the line than we had hoped. Friday at 3:15pm (November 9th, 2007) completely out of the blue and with NO warning at all, an angel with whom I had an association approached me to tell me that there was a baby boy who needed a home and if we wanted him, he was ours! His birth mum was not in a position to look after him anymore and she was considering leaving him at the hospital anonymously. It is hard to describe the shock that went through my body and the feelings that leapt throughout me when she told me about this precious little 2 1/2 month old boy. Not wanting to get my hopes up, I had to desperately try not to get excited incase it fell through or for some reason didn't work out. Yet my heart ached to take this little boy home.

The information we had was so limited. We were scared, but strangely comforted at the same time. It just felt right. I was told that he was 2 1/2 months old and his birth mother was of African American heritage but we had no information on his biological father. That was pretty much the extent of it. Of course the next step was to call Brad and tell him. For those of you who know Brad, he is very cautious and not the type who makes rash decisions so I honestly thought that when I told him about this little boy, he would say "Nat we can't just take someone's baby." When I called Brad to tell him, his response shocked me and I’ll never forget what he said. His response was "Well of course we have to take him." I couldn't believe it. Was this real? Was our dream of becoming parents after all the hurt and heartache actually coming true? Once Brad and I had a minute to discuss it (over the phone) I contacted my angel and told her that we could take him. Then the next day (Saturday November 10th, 2007)at around 1:30pm we picked up our little Gabriel.

I'll never forget the day this angel put my sweet baby boy in my arms and said "Here is your baby." We had finally found each other. A fairytale?...Yes it was, but this time it was not too good to be true. We climbed into the car and I sat beside him. I was looking at my son. It was so uncanny. It was hard to believe that I could already love someone so much after such a minute amount of time. We were on our way to Nana Sandy's house, when Brad turned to me and said, "So what are you going to name him?" So many things were going through my mind that I hadn't even thought about that. What a thought. I'd never named anyone before. His birth mother had named him Gabriel. It was not a name that either Brad or I had ever considered but as I looked into his eyes and looked at his sweet little face it just seemed to fit. One of the reasons we both loved the name was because we couldn't help but be reminded of the angel Gabriel when we heard it. He was an angel...he was our angel. So Gabriel Thomas (after Brads Grandpa Welch) Bentley was to be his new name.

We arrived at Nana Sandy's house and introduced Gabe to some of his aunts and uncles, made a quick stop to see Grandpa Bentley at work and then it was off to Babies R Us to buy EVERYTHING a couple would usually have months to accumulate (now that’s what I call shopping!), then it was off to the doctors for a quick check up and home to have a bath.

The preceding days brought visitors galore and so many gifts. I was truly truly humbled by the love and support we received at such short notice. Needless to say I just sat and held my sweet boy and cried and cried for days. Finally...finally our baby was home. One of the neatest experiences I had was the next day after we picked him up (Sunday) when we took him to church. I was in young women's and we were having a testimony meeting and one of my girls stood up and cried as she said "Natalie I am so excited for you, we had been praying for so long that you would have a baby". Again I was so incredibly humbled and that day in church there wasn't a dry eye in the house.

The rest as they would blissful history!

Our big helper

It's no secret that Gabe just adores his daddy! Gabe loves to do anything with Brad. Just this past weekend Brad was holding Gabe while he was trying to shave and I managed to get some great pictures of Gabe helping. Ever since Gabe was old enough to understand, we have tried to encourage him to help us. Whether it is just holding something, helping open and close doors, switch lights on and off etc he has always seemed to like to help. One of Gabe's favorite things to do (aside from driving) is mow the lawn with daddy on Saturday mornings. The minute Brad gets up and gets dressed Gabe starts to get excited. It's as though he can sense that daddy is getting ready to go outside. Brad bought a fun backpack that Gabe can sit in while Brad does yard work and Gabe loves it. It has been so much fun for me to watch Brad and Gabe together. They are best mates!

Gabe's 1st Birthday

Just this past Monday August 25th our sweet baby boy turned one! We celebrated with a family birthday party on Saturday at our home. We had good food and great company and Gabe was spoiled rotten with lots of gifts. One of Gabe's first toys was a toy Giraffe and it seems that it was love at first sight. He now has an array of Giraffe toys which he LOVES. For his birthday party I thought it would be fun to have a safari theme so Uncle Josh and I did our best to turn our backyard into a safari. The highlight however, was the special Giraffe birthday cake I made.

Both Brad and I can't believe how the time has flown by. It seems like it was just yesterday that we picked up our precious little angel and brought him home. Gabe has blessed and enriched our lives in ways we never knew possible. Gabe has such a sweet and happy spririt and has been nothing but a joy to us both. We marvel everyday at just how lucky we are to have found each other. We feel truly truly blessed. We love you Gabe!

New to the blogging thing

So it seems that more and more of my friends are starting their own family blogs. With friends across the globe this seems to be a great way to keep in touch with loved ones who are so far away. I love to read about the fun things there are doing and especially love to see their pictures. Though I often feel like we don't have anything spectacular to share, we do have the cutest little boy in the universe and that alone is spectacular enough. So I guess you could say the reason for starting a blog of our own is so that I can have one more way to show off my gorgeous little boy.