Saturday, November 24, 2012

my mom ... and edward (part 1)

My mom came out to see me sing in the temple dedication.  It was a once in a life time for me and since it isn't recorded I was so excited that she was able to swing time off work to come.  Once it was looking like we were probably going to have another baby while she was here I asked if she would stay to help me.  It was amazing to have her here and she actually ended up extending for an extra week, which was literally a godsend since I had a TON of appointments for Cameron in that week.  She gave me the extra set of hands I needed so I could do those weeks with very little stress.  She gave me the time to hold my baby.  

I adore my mom!  Our relationship hasn't always been perfect but I love where we are!  She is an incredible example of faith and loyalty in my life.  I really think I learned how to be my children's greatest advocate from the example of my mother.  We love her so much!  In fact ... Landon told me today at dinner that his girlfriend was Gwamma Weavitt!  I think he is a pretty lucky boy :-)  Thank you Mom!

While my mom was here we had a girls overnight (no kids aloud, although Cameron did attend) and watched all 4 Twilight movies back to back, with a hot tub intermission between New Moon and Eclipse.  We went to bed at 5AM and ate WAAAY too many calories but it was AWESOME!!! It was just what all of us Mama's needed!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

we were on the radio for halloween

A couple of days before Halloween we were interviewed by CBC radio as an awareness segment they would be broadcasting.  We discussed the difficulties of halloween with a child in a wheelchair.  We spoke of everything from creative costuming to not being able to get up the stairs to ring the doorbell.  They were lovely to talk to and it was nice that I could be in my "new mommy" wear and feed Cameron while we interviewed.  I think Evan did a wonderful job ... if I do say so myself!!!  At the end of the clip they talk about the fundraising we have done for Evan's new chair we are trying to get.  I was shocked because I didn't tell them about that.  I burst into tears when I heard it.

You can LISTEN to our short segment HERE to hear for yourself just how cute Evan is!  Make sure you skip to 8:08 (thats where we are featured)

We LOVE halloween!  I think it is so fun to dress up.  I think the one-ness of the communities is such a beautiful thing.  Unfortunately for us Calgary decided that it was going to get really, REALLY, REALLY cold that night.  It was in the low 20's F' and we had to bundle the kids pretty good.  Evan was not a fan of being a "fat" pirate, but once he spent some time outside he understood the wisdom in our method of putting his snow suit underneath his costume.  My mom went out with Justin and the boys to do some trick or treating with the cousins and from what I hear they had A LOT of fun.  Cameron and I stayed home to pass out the candy.

I would have to say that my favorite part of halloween is when my own kids trick or treat at our house.  I love not knowing when they are going to do it and I want to cry every time I see how excited they are to yell trick or treat at their own home.  There is definitely a part of me that is sad it is over, but the kids and I are already planning next years costumes!! So FUN!!!!

(I bet you're surprised they wanted to be pirates!!  NOT!!!!)

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Calgary Temple Dedication

Bringing Cameron home didn't slow down the festivities surrounding the dedication of our temple one bit.  In fact I would have to say that his homecoming made everything that weekend more real for me.  My miracles were so fresh.  I had just lived tangible truths of the gospel of Jesus Christ in my life, and I felt an overwhelming sense of grandeur and gratitude.

I am a professional oboist.  I have had some pretty amazing musical experiences in my life.  None of the experiences I have had have matched the venture I have had singing with the Calgary Temple Dedication Choir.  I don't know why I was given the opportunity as opposed to someone else.  I was humbled, honored, and excited when I got that amazing phone call after my audition in June.  We had a lot of rehearsals and I grew to LOVE each member of that choir and my director has become one of the most amazing people I know in my life.  Karen Baker has such a gift of bringing the spirit of the Holy Ghost to every rehearsal while teaching us how to sound our best.

Every time I sang I felt so close to my Heavenly Father.  As the date for the dedication got closer I began to experience miracles.  Almost every miracle or important experience that happened with Cameron happened the same day as a choir rehearsal.  I felt honored to be able to walk into that choir practice and sing my praises to my God, who I know loves me.

Then came the dedication weekend!

Our final rehearsals inside the temple were amazing!  I wish I had a larger vocabulary so that I could accurately write how it felt to rehearse in the celestial room with my friends.  I teared up every time!

Then it was the day the temple of God was to be dedicated.  I was so excited and scared all at the same time!!!  I was about to sing for the prophet of God, Thomas S. Monson.  I knew that where I would be standing I would be in his direct line of sight while I was singing.  I wanted to sing praises to my Heavenly Father and I wanted to sing well for my prophet.

The dedication began and there are no words to express how wonderful it was.  As I stood in that celestial room and sang I was overcome!  I have never sung so well in my life and I know that I was surrounded my angels lifting their voices with mine.  After the dedicatory prayer I sang the Hossanna Anthem and struggled to continue because of the love my Father in Heaven has for me and I for Him.  I was not the only one in our choir who struggled to keep my voice steady as my emotions completely took over my body.

I will be eternally grateful for the experiences I had while rehearsing for this special day.
I will be eternally grateful for the experience I had to be in that Celestial room and sing for my God.

I know that this church is true, with all my mind body, and soul.

The church News asked us for some of the choir members experiences being in the dedicatory choirs.  I wasn't able to meet the dead line (having a newborn sort affects things like that) but my director wrote in on my behalf and our sweet Cameron boy is briefly mentioned as one of the miracles.  


Sunday, November 4, 2012

Bringing home Cameron

Well I think it might be all down hill from here.  October 2012 has been the BEST time of my life!  There are so many things to write about but I'm going to stick to them in sequential order so I don't miss any.

We spent 2 straight weeks driving to and from the hospital so that we would spend a little bit of time with our tiny little man.  My heart goes out to all of the families that are doing that routine for months on end because it is definitely not an easy thing to do.  We were thrilled when on Oct. 26 we drove to the Peter Laugheed NICU for the final time and brought our baby home.  We relished the moments we had putting Cameron in his "going home" outfit, taking pictures, and watching the nurses fawn over him for the last time.  The nurses made me cry when they kissed him and said "Goodbye Cameron!  Have a beautiful life, you special boy!"  I could NOT stop crying!  I was completely overwhelmed with joy, gratitude, and humility.  2 weeks prior we had been not so patiently waiting on the adoption list wondering if there would be another baby for our family and now we were bringing him home to be with our family, where he belongs.

From the hospital we drove to the airport to pick up my mom.  It was a very special thing to have her there to share in the beautiful first moments the boys would experience with their baby brother.  Evan and Landon knew he was coming home that night and they were sooooooo excited.  When I walked in the door they could hardly stand it.  I put down the carrier, which had the snow cover on it, and Landon kept saying ... "open it, open it!!!"  It was pretty much like Christmas day for them.

They have been so proud.  They tell everyone about their new baby brother Cameron.  They teach people about his oxygen tubes.  They make sure that people know that he lives in our house and he is to stay at our house.  Landon is so funny when he is teaching people about Cameron's oxygen tubes.  He will say things like, "Those are for his breath."  or  "He needs that to help him breathe cause he doesn't breath good."  More often than not the boys are asking to hold their baby brother or feed him etc.  They are in love!

In fact we are all in love and have had the best week smothering this little one with our love!!!

 this is the "blanket" Cameron came home with from the NICU.  The funny thing is that it really was big enough to act as a blanket, eventhough it looks more like a knit handkerchief.  

 Cameron and his betrothed!  We took this picture to use in the wedding video!
(not joking either!)

We love you Cameron

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Cameron update

 We have a plan!!!!  Our little man does not want to get off of his supplemental oxygen yet and since he is doing so well on every other level the Doctors are going to send him home on oxygen.  We will get to bring Cameron home on Friday and we are so excited!  The ladies at church have been over the top incredible bringing dinners and coming over in the morning and evenings so we can get to the hospital to bond with our fuzz head but it will be so nice to have him where he belongs.

And if you think Justin and I are excited you should hear these two!!!  Everyday they ask when their baby brother is coming home.  They are stoked!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Oh my funny!!!!!

I love finding little gems like this on my phone!!!  I love that he recorded it in "shiny" mode too.  Perfection Evan ... Perfection!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Introducing ....

Cameron Justin Douglas

We are pleased to announce the arrival of our third boy!  Ever since we began the road of adoption 6.5 years ago we had heard the stories of a whirlwind adoption.  The adoptive parents get a call one day saying that the baby was born, go pick him up.  We knew the stories, but it seemed far fetched and we didn't think that it would ever happen to us.  We were wrong.  

Last week we got that phone call.  We had been chosen by a couple to be the parents for their child.  He had been born 3 days earlier, he was 5 weeks early, had a hole in his heart, and was born with Down Syndrome.  They knew about our situation with Evan and knew that we would need to take some time thinking about our potential life together.  This decision was not one that we took lightly, it was not a decision that came easily.  Justin and I needed to make sure we would be able to give all of our children (no matter who they are) what they need to thrive as individuals.  

We spent the next 5 days talking, crying, praying (repeat a thousand times) asking for Heaven's guidance in this big decision that we had to make.  We experienced miracles!!!  One of these miracles happened while we were working at the Calgary Temple open house.  While we were working our shifts at the temple open house God (unbeknownst to the rest of us) led Justin and I, our social worker, and the birth parents into the same place at the same time and we were able to have an impromptu private meeting together.  We had the opportunity to learn about each other, about the baby, and about his needs.  

Sunday we were blessed with even more divine guidance in the form of angel friends that have been placed in our life for more ways than one.  We felt good about our decision and we felt united.  The responses we have gotten are interesting.  We have experienced backlash, concern, excitement, love and several mixes of emotions in between.  We know that some people may not understand why we are taking on another child with special needs on purpose, but we feel it is the right thing.  We feel guided.  We feel like we will be able handle it.  

We are thoroughly in love with our little Cameron.  He is still in the NICU and we are just waiting for him to be able to breathe without supplemental oxygen.  We have been to the hospital every day since Monday and can't wait for our little (4lb 14oz) boy to come home.        

Monday, October 15, 2012

A Family Marathon

I am so proud and jealous of my baby!!!  Justin has spent the last 6 months living a healthier lifestyle.  He lost 20 lbs. and just completed a marathon!!!  This particular race was pretty special though because he was able to run with almost my entire family, some close friends, and a cousin.  The boys and I desperately wanted to be there to cheer on everyone, but I had a concert and wasn't able to go (BUMMER).  Everyone did such a great job and it rocked being able to keep track of them all during the day.  Justin completed his race in just under 4 hours and swears on his life he will never run another marathon.  I  couldn't be more proud of the hard work and discipline that Justin has.  We are proud of you Babe!!!
The Family
(Justin, Dave, Ben, Sam, Sarah, Dad, Alycia)