Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Collier's numbers are normal!

Collier's red blood cell count and bilirubin numbers are normal. We praise God for this! Thank you for your prayers!

Robbie and I had a conference call with our birth mom this afternoon. She is doing well. She has grown attached to Robbie and I and I could hear her tears as we hung up the phone. Continue to pray for her and her future.

Russ

Monday, May 28, 2007

More Pictures of Collier!

Sunday, May 27, 2007

We Are Home!!

We got home from the hospital yesterday at 7pm!! We are so happy to be home and we Praise God for this blessing.

As you know, Collier's red blood count has been high. He was on IV fluids and we were giving him lots of formula to get the count down. We thought we were headed down and the doctor let us begin the process of taking him off the IV on Friday. He was off the IV by Friday evening because he was eating so well. So Saturday morning, they did a blood test and his count was 3 points higher! :( The doctor told us that he may have to go back on IV fluids and that meant staying another 2 days. So he scheduled another blood test at noon on Saturday and that test would tell us if we were going home or staying.

The test was completed and his count went down 3 points. Hurray! The doctor was comfortable with allowing Collier to leave and so were we.

Within seconds of the doctor leaving our feeding room, I called the adoption agency to let them know we were being discharged and as I was on the phone, the nurse came in to tell us that our adoption agency had contacted her to ask that we get copies of certain documents before we left. I was still on the phone with the agency (the directory of Abba Adoption) and she was telling me that we would be leaving the hospital within the hour. It seems that the birth mom's aunt (who is a trouble-maker) was telling the birth mom that she was coming to get her out of the home she was staying in and they were also going up to the hospital to see the baby. The Directory of Abba wanted us to leave ASAP in case this drama played out. So within the hour, we were on our way home! :)

We later learned that the Aunt indeed had contacted our birth mom and the birth mom immediately called her coordinator at Abba to seek advice. Abba has assured us that our birth mom is still 100% on-board with this adoption and all is good! I don't believe this aunt will be any threat to this adoption!

We got home and there was our family and friends in the front yard with cameras and camcorders, waving, smiling, laughing and cheering! IT WAS JUST AWESOME! What an awesome scene to come home to. And we have this tall stork in our yard with Collier's birth info on it. It is just as cool as it can be!!

Robbie and I want to thank all of you for your prayers, gifts, love, emails, phone calls, and visits. We love all of you and we are soooooo blessed by your love! Come by and see Collier!

More pics coming soon...but now, it is feeding time agan! :)

Russ

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Day 2 of Life Outside the Womb

Today was very intensive! The first part of the day was filled with anxiety as we wanted to do all we could for the birth mom, yet we wanted to be with Collier. We spent 3/4 of the day with the birth mom; waiting on her discharge from the hospital and saying our final good-byes. It is very hard to describe in words, but needless to say, it was 4:30 pm before we could get back to Collier and this time, WE were the parents. The birth mom was discharged from the hospital and we were no longer having to walk a fine line between adoptive parents vs biological mother. It was awesome to feed, hold and love on Collier as his only parents! Love it!

Collier's red blood count is still a little too high. Therefore, we are not able to leave tomorrow as we had hoped. This is not a serious issue, but it will take a couple more days to get it down to acceptable levels. He is also a difficult eater; it takes some extra effort to get him to suck. But praise God, he took his 6 & 9 pm feedings from a bottle and not a feeding tube!

Even in my tired, blood-shot eye state, I am praising God for all His goodness!

I want to give out a special thanks to our family and "The Gang" for all they have done for us. We could not do this without you! You are the best and we are so humbled by your acts of love and kindness.

Thanks also to all of you who have posted comments. WE ARE READING ALL OF THEM EACH DAY! They are a source of laughter, joy, encouragement and love. We are so grateful to all of you!

Most of all, all thanks, honor and praise to our loving God...from whom ALL blessings flow! We are so undeserving of His love, yet He continues to pour it out on us and we are in awe of HIM.

At the end of the day, this pic says it all!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Day of Life Outside The Womb-1

Words cannot tell you the excitement and joy Robbie and I have in our hearts. Despite the fact that the adrenaline is wearing off and physical tiredness is setting in, we are still on cloud 100!

Because of privacy issues, we are unable to go into the details of Collier's birth...it is an interesting tale. Ask us about it and we will give you the details in person...but we can testify to the greatness and goodness of God!

Robbie and I are administrators. We plan things. And God in His great power decided our plans where worthless and He, of course, executed His own. I told Robbie on the way to Ft. Smith that God is so cool to make this so fun. Our plans would have been fun, but His plans were over the top with fun and excitement!

~God's timing is perfect!
~God's humor is fun and hilarious!
~God's plans are perfect and beyond anything we could ever dream up!
~God's grace is always more than sufficient!
~God's love is beyond any words I could use to describe it and so much more than I will ever deserve.

We are parents today because God chose to give us this special opportunity. Now we pray that we will demonstrate God's love through our obedience to Him and that Collier will realize his need for a savior early in his life!

We love all of you so much and are blessed by your encouragement and prayers. Please enjoy another set of pics below. We will see you soon!

Love--Russ & Robbie
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Collier IS HERE!!!

Collier was born this morning at 2:45 am. He is 5 lbs 15 oz and 19 inches long. He was born at St Edwards in Ft. Smith. He will be in the hospital until Friday. See the pictures below!

Russ
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Friday, May 18, 2007

Birth Mom's Latest OB-GYN Visit

We got a call from our adoption coordinator concerning the Birth Mom's doctor visit on Wednesday (May 16). Everything is great. No weight gain and baby Collier is doing just great! Our next appointment is next Wednesday. Robbie and I will travel to Ft. Smith to have lunch and attend the visit with our Birth Mom.

Thank you for your continued prayers!

Russ

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Baby Room Theme

Robbie and I have decided the theme of Collier's room will be biplanes. The center piece of this theme will be a 16x20 frame biplane print with Collier's full name and birth day. See the pic below!

biplan

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Amazing Week!

This past week just flew by and was amazing!
  • I taught my first cooking class at our local Williams Sonoma. It was a lot of fun and believe I wow'd the pants off the General Manager. I had 10 people attending my class and we just had a blast. I look forward to the monthly classes!
  • Mary Twedt from Arkansas Cooks came to our house and interviewed me for her radio program on NPR. It was a lot of fun and I look forward to the new business that will come from the exposure. My interview should be on 89.1 FM in 2 weeks, Saturday at noon.
  • Chefs USA called me and offered me a job doing monthly cooking demos at our new Fresh Market store in Little Rock. I agreed and look forward to using this to market my personal chef business.
  • Robbie's mom finished the curtains for the baby's room. Check out the pictures below.
  • We had the privilege of chatting over the phone with our birth mom today. She is doing well! She told us she has been experiencing some pain....I guess Collier is getting ready to appear. Her next doctor's appt is this coming Wednesday. We will get a new report then!
  • I had the privilege of being with my mom today, celebrating Mother's Day. I cooked lunch and gave her a webcam for her computer so she can see Collier anytime she wants!

Russ




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Sunday, May 06, 2007

We are registered!

Many of you have asked where we have registered. We spent this afternoon doing just that at Target.

Go to Target.com!

Russ

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Baby Room Painting Complete




Robbie and I have completed the painting of the baby room. We are especially proud of the checker-board behind the crib. It adds clean lines to the room and a little bit of flare! Collier will love the colors!! :)

Russ

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Wednesday, May 02, 2007

And the names are.....

Robbie and I made our final decisions on names today while traveling to Ft. Smith:

Boy: Collier Zachary Rhodes
Girl: Brooklyn Grace Rhodes

This is fun!

Russ

Working on the nursery!

I am sitting here in the nursery working on this blog post. We have completely painted the room and I just finished putting the crib together.

Robbie is taping off squares on one wall...we are going to paint a checker-board on that wall. The crib will be up against this wall. I will take pictures of it and post them when it is complete.

It is cool to sit here; looking around the room; thinking about all the time that will be spent here; sleeping, eating, pooping, peeing, dreaming, playing, hoping, a little boy asking Jesus to be his Savior!

Russ

Just an awesome day!!






We made a trip to Ft. Smith today to meet the birth mom. We were nervous; not wanting to say the wrong thing, yet hoping to ask the right questions and give the right amount of encouragement. So, we prayed! We asked God to give us the ability to honor and glorify Him with our words, deeds and actions. And guess what? In God-like fashion, He did just that. The meeting was a great success and we are so thankful we relied on the Holy Spirit to guide our speech and actions.

It was great to finally meet our birth mom. We had a great lunch. We talked; she asked questions and we asked questions. We laughed, we cried, we hit it off! She gave us 2 ultra-sound pictures of the baby and we gave her a monogrammed bath robe.




After lunch, we went to Old Navy where she bought some clothes. From Old Navy, we went to her doctor's appointment. All is good..her blood sugar is good, her blood pressure is good and she did not gain any weight since her last visit. She is working very hard to eat healthfully, drinking lots of water and walking every day for exercise.

From there, we went to where she is staying during her pregnancy. We got a tour and it was an awesome place.

We believe this was an awesome visit. We know we made a good impression as much as she made a good impression on us!

Praise, honor and glory to our God; from whom all blessing flow!

Russ