A FATHER’S LOVE

PhotobucketI’ve had the joy and the blessing of not only watching my husband be a loving father to his three older children, but also to see him try to be better and better for them everyday. He’s reflective and goes to the Word. His heart is open to their feedback, and to mine. I’ve often said that if I had not seen Scott be such a thoughtful father I wouldn’t have had the courage to bring a child or children into this world… leaving Cambria and Julia unborn.

Our conversations and prayers lasted years as to whether we were supposed to have more children. Through those times I grew a great deal while also learning so much more about Scott. I faced my own fears and strengthened in my faith to trust someone other than myself. God used every one of those days to lead us to the beautiful family we have right now.

I couldn’t imagine three older children loving their baby sisters any more… even our son, who desperately wanted a brother!! I can only say they follow his example of the patience and kindness that Scott has displayed for them everyday. His older children know without a doubt that their dad’s love is unending… just like God’s. They have no fears that they have or will ever become anything less is his eyes because we have brought two more children into our family.

God gave us the perfect recipe for growing our family through embryo adoption, in that the older children have been able to be involved since the beginning and we all feel as if we’ve adopted together. It’s only strengthened our family rather than create divides. It’s a sentiment that Scott and I talked about quite a bit and made a conscious effort to translate to the big kids, but the inspiration came from God… we’re all brothers and sisters in God’s kingdom.

I love our family… we call it the Splendid Blended Family… and it all came to be from the courage and vision my husband has had as a father and to step out on faith, trusting that God would lead us through. Scott never expected to have five children, but he stepped with obedience onto the path God placed before us when He introduced us to embryo adoption. Already having three beautiful children, and quite frankly being personally fulfilled as a father, Scott opened his heart and completely embraced whatever God had prepared for us next… and I know without a doubt he wouldn’t change a thing… he loves our little miracles with all his heart. I thank God for him, as well as my precious little girls, everyday.

I love you sweetheart. Thank you for bringing our babies, two more of God’s precious children, into this world… He is very pleased. Happy Father’s Day.

1 Chronicles 29:17 I know, my God, that you test the heart and are pleased with integrity. All these things I have given willingly and with honest intent. And now I have seen with joy how willingly your people who are here have given to you.

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THE WHOLE IS GREATER THAN THE SUM OF ITS PARTS

PhotobucketAs Cambria and Julia continue to grow, it’s so exciting to watch their individual personalities begin to take shape. I find myself wondering what they are going to be like at different stages… what will they each enjoy doing, what foods will they each like, how will they each interact with people, what will they each excel at, how will they each deal with different circumstances. The list goes on.

What struck me the other day is I’ve never pondered these things with an overlay of ‘well, they are adopted so they are bound to be different from Scott and me, and our three other children.’ It’s the age-old nature vs. nurture.

People who have adopted, experiencing first-hand, have told me that there is a strong nature component to personalities… the whole family will enjoy something except for the adopted child. Maybe there is some truth to that, particularly depending on how old the child was when he or she joined their family… our girls were little droplets of water with a tiny number of cells. However, we see a combination of similarities but also differences among even our three older children.

They all love sports, but for very different reasons and it shows in the sports they have each chosen to play. Our oldest loves softball, it’s a perfect mix of team sport and plenty of time on the bench to socialize while her team is at bat. Our middle child loves soccer… not a lot of talking, just running, running, running with teamwork played out with the feet. And the youngest loves a mix of sports, just like his dad did. It’s all about mastering something new.

Maybe Cambria and Julia will select a similar or different sport, maybe they’ll choose music… that not a one of us has but would be lovely… maybe they’ll choose dance or debate.

I think what we’ve concluded is, when there are differences with our two youngest children we won’t immediately ascribe them to the manner in which they were brought into this world. We will let them know they can pursue anything they’d like and become anyone they want to be, and we will embrace them for that.

The family is already demonstrating that mindset… it’s often been chuckled in the living room or at the kitchen table regarding something the babies have done… “just like a LaSorsa!” or “they definitely have the LaSorsa genes!” Furthermore, we’re not only excited to teach them but also to learn from our little babies in return… just like Scott and I have learned so much from our first three children. The only thing I pray for is that they develop a heart for Christ, include their faith in everything they do, and develop fully all the gifts and talents God has given them so they may share them with others.

One thing’s for sure though, we definitely have two more LaSorsa fish in the family!!

1 Corinthians 12: 4-6 There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. 5 There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. 6 There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work.

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AN EXTRA SPECIAL MOTHERS DAY

PhotobucketAlthough tomorrow we will celebrate Mothers Day as my first, I’ve actually felt a special feeling on this day for quite some time. It’s been seven Mothers Days since my husband asked me to love and help him raise his three beautiful children. I have taken that responsibility to heart, and he has recognized me every year on this day. I gave my life not only to him when we married, but also to all that he had given his life to, and that most definitely was his children. Our marriage would not be if I had not realized that undeniable fact from the very beginning.

I became a mother then, not in the conventional way, not because Scott’s children didn’t have a mother, but because I made a commitment to put their needs above my own for the sake of the love I had for their father, my husband. The giving birth piece was never really relevant to me.

Now this year, even with a birth, I have become a mother in a unique way… and I love it all the same. What makes this year special is I have five children I have devoted my life to and love with all my heart… six with my niece, Kayla!!! I wouldn’t trade my station in life with anyone. I feel God has blessed me with a heart that is so open as to have only immense appreciation for all He has graced me with.

So on this day, I want to thank all the donor couples that have put the needs of their embryos above any fears they may have of another couple being mom and dad. This makes you awesome parents. And I want to thank my husband, who shared my faith, in that by following God’s path our family would become only more special. I love being mommy and daddy with you!! Proverbs 31:10, 25-30

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HE IS RISEN

PhotobucketToday is one of the most special days of the year for those who are Christians. Although in the last few days of His life, the apostles were beside themselves with trepidation at the thought of Christ leaving them, He consoled them that this is actually a time of great joy. In John 14, Christ promised that He was not leaving us as orphans but rather going on to be with our Father to prepare for us a place in heaven and that our Father would send us in His place a mighty Counselor who will be with us and in us always.

I love reading John 14 on Good Friday… especially today, with all that God has given to our family during the past year. The week before last Easter, Scott and I traveled with a small group from our church to Central Asia for a mission trip. During that time we had been praying that soon our adoption would be finalized and we would be pregnant… this trip would be the last opportunity for a long time. The week was glorious and when we returned home the night before Easter we felt as if we had only been away about five minutes… every moment of that week was a pure testimony to God.

Scott and I awoke early on Easter Sunday, attended sunrise service and spent the rest of the day with family. The next morning we received an unexpected phone call we’ll never forget. The NEDC had just received a cancellation and since Scott and I were local they were calling to ask if we could take the appointment for the next day to finalize our adoption and begin the transfer process. We told them we’d be there in 15 minutes if they needed us to be!!

The rest is wonderful history. That’s how we received Cambria Genevieve and Julia Grace, the exact two precious little girls our family was meant to have. What’s amazing about this Easter is it falls on April 24th, the first time in almost 200 years Easter has been so late in the year. It is also my sister, Julie’s, birthday… Julia’s namesake.

When Scott and I were in the operating room seven weeks ago and Julia was pulled from my womb second, after she gave her little yelp our doctor said “oh, look at that little birthmark on her back”. I couldn’t see it them, but right in the middle of her lower back is a reddish stork-bite type birthmark that looks like a symmetrical jig saw puzzle piece… or if you look closer, a little set of wings. We consider it even further proof that she is an angel sent to us by God… our second bonus baby girl, named after my sister in heaven and God’s immeasurable grace. Christ has not left us, nor has he left Cambria and Julia orphans… God brought us all together beautifully as only He can do.

As I sit here typing thankfully and listening to our girls gurgle and grunt in their sleep, I am filled with the joy that Christ promised us all. Happy Easter. John 14:28

CAMBRIA GENEVIEVE AND JULIA GRACE

PhotobucketOur precious daughters were born two weeks ago this morning. It’s amazing how our lives have changed and how all of our focus has been turned to our family. The big kids are home on Spring Break and we’ve all had the chance to bond, just like I prayed we would.

Two weeks ago yesterday at my OB appointment we decided to test the girls’ lungs to get a base line of how close the babies were to being ready to be born. My body was giving signs that we shouldn’t go much longer. One of our doctors did the amnio and I waited in the observation room on monitors to make sure the procedure didn’t trigger labor. About an hour later, two of our doctors came into the room in a rush with big smiles asking, “did you eat anything this morning?” I had. They were trying to determine if the girls could be born that afternoon, as I needed eight hours of fasting before the anesthesia for the c-section. The girls’ lung score needed to be 50 or greater to be born, we were hoping for a number in the 40s and to perhaps start steroids… but our little miracles scored a 63!!

Shortly after, our medical team decided to schedule the c-section for the next morning… Saturday, March 5th, 2011. Scott and I went home to a quiet evening. We were prepared. We left the house the next morning at 7:30 am.

The delivery was smooth and calm. There were over a dozen doctors and nurses in the operating room. The girls were born one minute apart, the name Cambria given to the oldest and Julia to her younger sister. One of our anesthesiologists volunteered for photo duty and did a beautiful job. Both girls cried immediately at birth, music to our ears. They passed all their tests and were brought to the post op recovery room with us.

Within an hour of the delivery, in post op, I had some serious bleeding complications. It seemed as if without a word, the entire team of doctors and nurses reconvened at my bedside, and again, calmly took care of me. I was pretty much oblivious to what was going on, fortunately my anesthetic was still in effect. Scott however, had to watch the steps that had to be taken to stop the bleeding. His face didn’t show it, but days later when I asked him to explain what happened to me, he did so with noticeable fear in his eyes. When the bleeding was finally under control, the doctors had told him I had lost 3 liters of blood… the adult human body carries about 5.6 liters… I had lost over half of my blood.

We spent four days in the hospital with the girls. There’s really no preparation for giving birth to two preemie babies, born small and then watching them lose weight, as all newborns do. It was difficult for me, in addition to my recovery. Scott was my rock, and we talked everything through. We decided to get night nurse help, so I could be assured of some solid sleep through my recovery and the babies would have around the clock attention. God blessed us again in that we found a lovely young lady who started the second night we were home. She’s a nursing student whose grandmother has been a caregiver to newborns for years and has taught her so much. She’s saving for a mission trip with her church to Africa this summer, and we are so pleased to help her make that dream come true.

Cambria has turned the corner the last few days, starting to wake up and eat well on her own hunger cues. Julia is still like a little bird who constantly wants to sleep and needs to be coddled to eat in small amounts. The pediatrician… and my husband with his wonderful parenting instincts, tell me she should turn the corner as well soon.

Our girls are here with us in this world. We praise God for His blessings on us and are completely in love.

Cambria Genevieve LaSorsa ~ March 5th, 2011 @ 10:10 am
5 lbs 11 oz & 18.5 inches

Julia Grace LaSorsa ~ March 5th, 2011 @ 10:11 am
5 lbs 3 oz & 18.5 inches

2 Corinthians 12:9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.

BUT FOR A SHORT WHILE LONGER

PhotobucketYesterday was an extraordinarily difficult day. We’re finishing week 35 today and guesstimating at least 11 lbs of baby rolling around in there. Just what we prayed for, plump babies that stay in as long as possible… so no complaints, but comfort has a very narrow window in all that.

What’s keeping me focused is God’s glorious grace. It could be a lot easier right now carrying just one baby, but that would mean the obvious… one of our daughters would not have developed to be brought into this world… and that would be devastating, everyday. Last evening I let that thought replace the physical pain, and knew in a heartbeat I would always choose the path we’re on now.

We’re not much of a TV household… too much activity usually, but last night Scott put on American Idol… something I could listen to with my eyes closed. One of the contestants sang “Hero” by Mariah Carey. Fourteen years ago that was the song my sister Jennifer and I used to finish a mix tape (remember those??) we made for our sister, Julie, when she started chemotherapy… a collection of songs to inspire her to push through, and to know that we were always thinking of her. I pulled from Julie’s example last night as she did from the example of Christ… in knowing that His glorious prize awaits just around the corner. Philippians 1:29

BREAKING THROUGH

PhotobucketMy niece, Kayla, and I were chatting today about a whole bunch of stuff. I told her I could see limbs just pressing out from the inside of my belly, like the babies were trying to kick their way out. If I pushed back on a knee or elbow it would just move around to another spot. Kayla said it reminded her of how chicks use their beaks to peck through the shell of their eggs. Now that would be a miraculous birth!! Thank goodness there’s not going to be three of them, I think two is about all I can handle!!

12 more days! Love you sweetheart!!!!