Introducing…

I’ve heard that elephants are pregnant for 22 months. WHAAA? Can you even imagine?

I feel like I’ve been pregnant as long as an elephant. With an adoption. Which means I have paper cuts instead of Braxton Hicks. And instead of rubbing a swollen belly and wondering how my skin can stretch grotesquely far, I pull up videos on my phone and let the tears fall as I watch my daughter laughing half a world away.

I’m sure people have put this kind of gestation into better-flowing prose than I will. But I’ve been struck repeatedly with how pregnancy-like our adoption is. We “tried” to adopt for several years before it stuck. We thought several times this could be it! Only to have the rug pulled out from under us.

We’re sorry, but she already has a family.

The committee will meet and decide which family is best. (Spoiler alert: It’s not you.)

The medical issues are more than outlined in your home study.

The grief that followed was deep, real, agonizing. It felt like it might never happen for us. It was devastating.

On December 18, 2014, it finally stuck. Thankfully this kind of “pregnancy” is a little more hygienic than the traditional kind, and we found out from an email that said, “She’s yours if you want to proceed!” and not a stick I had just urinated on that said PREGNANT.

Instead of a gender ultrasound, we took a trip to our daughter’s hometown to meet and spend time with her. Then we nonchalantly signed a form in front of a notary to make things more official. We laughed and teased just like I remember doing in those dark rooms where the wand slipped around the cool gel on my bulging midsection and we heard, “It’s a girl!” and then, “It’s a boy!” and once again, “It’s a boy!”

We went about our normal life as we waited for a court date, which we could liken to the beginnings of labor. The normal routines of life march onward as if new life isn’t being stirred up and families aren’t about to expand their girth. Life is funny (and kinda demanding) like that.

On October 27, 2015, we got news that a judge decided our case– Lovebug is now officially our daughter. And she was given a new name. Our name. This is it! Let the pushing begin!

If we were counting weeks here, I am approximately 10 weeks overdue. It’s not quite 22 months, but that explains the grouchiness, trouble sleeping, late night snacking, and random bouts of tears (every day). This is not my first rodeo, all of this feels very familiar.

Except not.

So, I’m over here pushing. And crying, And screaming. And making my husband bring me Starbucks red cups because #mamaneedscoffee. She’s not quite born into our world yet, but here’s a little sneak peek:

Please meet our new daughter, Lovebug. Finally. Our Sofia Yana Stover.

Sheila's iPhone spring 2015 062Sheila's iPhone spring 2015 059Sheila's iPhone spring 2015 045
Sheila's iPhone spring 2015 076Sheila's iPhone spring 2015 095Sheila's iPhone spring 2015 040

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