Adopting Rachel has been a very emotional experience, and it has caused me to think a lot about things. One thing that has come into my mind is how much more personal the Atonement of Jesus Christ is to me now.

As I watched Anna endure the physical pain that comes from childbirth, the emotional pain of not being able to raise her baby, and the joy she felt for Jeff and I that we are able to have a child, it made the sacrifice that Jesus Christ made for me much more personal. She did something for us that we could not do for ourselves, just as the Savior did. He endured great physical pain as He paid the price for my sins, and as He hung on the cross. He endured emotional pain as He felt alone in His suffering. I can’t really comprehend the Atonement completely, but I feel like my understanding has increased, at it has certainly become more personal to me.

As I was in the hospital with Anna, she cried with both sorrow and joy, and I cried too with both sorrow and joy. I only just met Anna, but I feel like she is my sister. It is hard to comprehend the selfless love she demonstrated, both for Rachel and for Jeff and I.

The Beginning

On Wednesday at a little before 5:00 I stopped at the drive-in at Dairy Queen to buy a blizzard. While I was getting my blizzard and paying for it my phone rang. It was David at LDS Family Services. He told me that our baby’s birth mother was going to have the baby either the very next day (Thursday) or Friday, and that she would be calling us later that night.

Jeff’s mom and I went to Wal-Mart that night to buy a few absolute essentials (like a car seat, bottles, onesies). We had the chance to talk to Anna (the birth mom) some that night, then we drove as far as Martinsville where we stayed at the home of my brother-in-law’s brother.

We drove the rest of the way to South Bend the next morning.

Rachel’s Journal

2007 Sep 20: My birth mommy came to the hospital today to have me be born. But she found out early in the morning that the hospital wasn’t expecting us. But then the hospital called back and said our doctor had expected her to be there. So she was told to arrive at 12:30 today. My other mommy and daddy were going to hang out at a friends house all that day but decided to head to South Bend to be there for my birth. When we go to the hospital my birth mommy found out that there was no room at the hospital for us. They told her she would need to come back tomorrow at 11:00.

She met my mommy and daddy for the first time and they all spent the day viewing the Notre Dame campus and chatting and getting to know each other. It was a good day. My birth mommy is feeling much better about the adoption and knows that I am going to a good mommy and daddy.

2007 Sep 21: Today we made it to the hospital. Since I am turned sideways the doctor is going to turn me. I hope it doesn’t hurt. My birth mommy is having to fill out all sorts of paperwork and answer a lot of questions. My mommy and daddy have also arrived with my grandma. I am so glad they are all here and are friendly with each other.

Well, the doctor turned me and it was very easy and fast. I think I am ready to enter into the world. My mommy and daddy got to see me on the ultrasound. They saw my heart beat, my head, body, and legs. Daddy thought that my heart was beating very fast, but the doctor says it is normal, about 130bpm. They’ve been listening to it all day.

It is now 10:00 PM and I have been enjoying my time in my birth mommy’s tummy. In fact, much to the frustration to everybody on the outside, I decided to turn back around put my head where I enjoy it most, in my mommy’s liver. The doctor got me back so that my head is down. But I have not been to quick to make my way out. Every so often, I’ll feel this pressure and I know I must come out soon. For the past 10-15 minutes, these spasms happen every couple of minutes. My birth mommy has received some medicines to help me come out. I wonder if I will be out by midnight.

2007 Sep 22: It is now about 2:00 AM. I’m still happily enjoying life in my birth mommy’s tummy and the doctor has just found I tried to turn yet again. My shoulder is now where my head should be. My birth mommy has just gotten some medicine to help her relax and not feel the pain. Oh! is this where they want my head?

It is now 6:30 AM and the doctor has come in. I have felt my birth mommy trying to roll back and forth to help ease my coming out. I’m not liking this at all! This is actually quite upsetting… I think I’m outta here!

6:35 AM and I have just entered the cold world, but I hear my two mommies and one grandma nearby, but I don’t hear my daddy or my other grandma. I hear a lot of other strange voices… I think I will try my own voice.

8:35 AM: I have been exercising my lungs and feet and all my loved ones are around. I have been poked and prodded and stuck with a needle. I have been weighed and measured and I am told I’m a big girl. I suppose so, 9 lbs 13 oz is pretty heavy and 22″ long is pretty tall. My head 14.25″ around. I wonder how I ever got my head into the world.

Rachel and her birth mom.

Rachel with her birth family.
Rachel with her grandma (Jeff’s mom)
We have no idea what we are getting into.Hitting the road.
So peaceful and sweet