Saturday, November 26, 2011

A.D.O.P.T.I.O.N.S. Part 2

I have taken some time between part 1 and 2 of the acrostic regarding adoptions. I didn't want the words to start sounding the same. It is easy to say the same thing over and over with a new letter. As the stories keep rolling through my brain I want them to be fresh and new for this second part so here we go...
T. Trust - Ultimately you have to trust that God has all things worked out to His satisfaction or you wouldn't ever begin the process of adoption. With so many unknowns in the process trust is key to survival and proper perspective. However, under the umbrella of trust of God for all the details you end up learning to trust other people as well. The trust between yourself and the birth family starts to build from the first moment that you meet them. This is the process that is filled with the most lack of trust in the entire adoption. Each party at the beginning will question the other party's motives, understandings, reasons, intentions and everything imaginable. It is beautiful to see these lack of trust items turn into trust items one by one. The process happened with both Patrick's and Eliana's birth families and I am sure that similar trust is built in most adoption situations. If you recognize that this is normal (and even healthy) then you will have an easier time navigating through the process as you experience it.
I. Intimacy - I have often said that to have a child only takes a male and female who have reached a certain biological age and 9 months of waiting and then "poof," welcome to the world, oh, little one. This process at the raw level doesn't take any thought, concern, or discussion. However, adoption is the ultimate bearing of your soul to others in order to become qualified to adopt.   If the enterprise of having natural children were this long and arduous, we would have a much smaller population. The questions are as follows but not limited to:, "Why do you want to adopt?", "What type of child will you accept?", "What race of child will you accept?", "What is your house like?", "What is the state of your finances or tax returns?", "How is your marriage?" Questions spoken and unspoken from the birth families include, "What makes you want to adopt my child?", "What do you think of me as a person since I am giving up my child to adoption?", "Will you love my child always?", and "Will you judge me?" This is not a complete list but often I found myself running away from the questions wondering how any couple could be required to be this transparent with their lives. It is, however, important to embrace the process, since it will make your adoption successful, beautiful and unique.
O. Overwhelming - The entire process is overwhelming. After we adopted Patrick we had the sense that the second adoption process would be easier, and it was with regard to the paperwork, etc. However, as a friend told me, "you are a rookie parent with each child". This statement holds true with each adoption. We are rookie adoptive parents with each adoption. As much as I wanted it to be the same, it was entirely different. With Eliana we expected that we would have time to prepare, time to enjoy setting up her room, time to get to know the birth family, etc.  In hindsight I wouldn't change anything about either adoption, but the reality of it was that they were both overwhelming! The first adoption is always overwhelming because it is a brand new realm. The second adoption for us had the new factor of 7 weeks in the NICU in a hospital 450 miles away. The emotions, the details, the insurance, the finances, the relationships, the unknowns, and more all add up to a process that can be overwhelming. It must be understood that God is in charge of this process. Otherwise, all you have is your raw emotions which cannot be trusted.
N - Not Understood - Just when you think you have entered into this wonderful plan to adopt a child either domestically or internationally, it is now time to share these plans with others. And, of course, everyone will understand your reasons, emotions, and all the details of adoption, right? WRONG.  You will find many people who have no clue about adoption except for what they have heard on the evening news or read about on the internet - these stories are often negative in tone.  In order to survive this crazy world of understanding or mis-understanding it is important to know who to communicate with. This was true in both of our situations. There were people that understood every detail of the story and were of great help throughout the process. There were those who really had no idea what was happening and therefore they got the very general version of "We are adopting a child". After that they were told only basic facts to keep them informed. If you are considering adoption please understand that people generally fall into these two categories (understanding and not understanding) and tailor your communication accordingly.  It will help you keep your sanity and survive the barrage of questions that are prevalent throughout the adoption process.

S - Sacrifice - The sacrifice of having a child (biologically) is one of putting yourself last and putting your child first. They eat before you; they bathe before you; they have their needs met before yours, etc. It is a natural outgrowth of parenthood and you can talk to any new Mom or Dad and get all of the details. This reality is equally true in the adoptive process. Everything in the process seems to happen on its own time schedule which can be inconvenient and frustrating at times. Nothing about the process of meeting the birth family will happen on your schedule. Nothing will prepare you for unexpected expenses (unless you happen to be independently wealthy!) When you keep the focus on knowing that sacrifice will is the norm then the process will be much easier to understand.

Not one of the letters that were described in these 2 articles "A.D.O.P.T.I.O.N.S." describes the process, emotions, or ups and downs completely. You must take all of the discussions in the articles and keep reminding yourself that it is not about you, it is about the child. More importantly it is not about your plan, it is about God's plan for you. This will keep your adoption in the proper focus and give you the strength to make it through. The joy at the end of the process is indescribable. Thanks for reading. I pray that these 2 articles have encouraged other couples in their process of adoption. J.V.P.E

Friday, November 25, 2011

Musical Duet

There is something fun about playing music with your 3 year old. I sense some talent here although we will have to wait and see. It is fun to see the wheels turning in his little head Enjoy the improvisation

Saturday, November 5, 2011

A.D.O.P.T.I.O.N.S. (Part 1)

Now that we have 2 beautiful kids through the wonderful world of adoption, I find that reflection on the past and a look toward the future is a very beneficial exercise for us. There are many more layers to adoption than I thought when we started this process 4 years ago. I decided to put an acrostic together in hopes that it would outline the important concepts of this multi-faceted process.

A -- Adjustment It might go without saying that having a new child in the family is an adjustment but more than that, the entire process of adoption is a life adjustment. At the beginning it is all about classes, books and money. Then there are the meetings with the social workers to determine the path of the adoption (domestic, international, ethnicity of the child, and other parameters.) Ultimately no matter what path you take to prepare for an adoption, the biggest adjustment is the match. It is without a doubt the largest adjustment that we have made in 19 years of marriage. With the paperwork process and the classes it is easy to be detached. But when you are introduced to a prospective birth mother, it is a beautiful adjustment that is almost difficult to put into words unless you have experienced it. And the adjustment was not any more or less significant with Eliana than with Patrick. Depending on how open the adoption is the adjustments will continue for a long time. Personally, I wouldn't want it any other way. I have come to realize that adoption is not "second best" in God's eyes. It is not something to do if and only if you can't have "your own" kids. It is near and dear to His heart and it is put in the same place as natural child birth. God gave us these children no matter the path, just as he has granted others with biological children. And, in the end, they are all God's kids.
D -- Dependence The more unknown a situation is the more dependent you are on someone or something else. With both adoptions our dependence had to be 100% on God. There really is no other way in my mind. Without dependence on God you have only yourself to depend on; so many times in this life we have proven that we are not dependable. The Friday before we were connected with Eliana's birth mother we received a call that another adoption situation we were pursuing had fallen through. It was one of the most bizarre situations I have been in. Apparently the birth mom was scamming adoption agencies and families for money and had now come to California to continue the process since the agencies in Las Vegas had figured out what was going on. So getting that phone call on Friday was a relief but we were naive in thinking that the process would be delayed. The first phone call for Eliana's situation came that next Monday and off we went down the path again. Then after we settled down into the possibility of a late August birth only to get a text after church on Sunday June 26,2011 that Eliana was going to be born that day. And presto, we were dealing with a tentative match and a 3lb 6oz child who spent the next 6 weeks in the NICU in Northern California. Then we faced the prospect of having Vivian spend an unknown amount of time in Northern California (5 weeks) while Patrick and I stayed here in Southern California. We were completely dependent on God for wisdom, direction, endurance, finances etc. since we obviously had no control of the situation.
O - Openness Scary, Fun, Exciting, Rewarding, Indescribable. Which word do you want to use to describe openness? It is a default response for people who don't know anything about adoption to assume that you won't have any contact with the birth family (or "hopefully" won't have any contact with them.) That has never been our approach to the situation. We have always worked to get to know our birth families and serve them in any way possible. We continue to be connected to both families in our situation through various electronic and non electronic means. Open adoption means that you are going to meet the family and get to know them during the process prior to the birth. Sometimes this is not the case when the adoption starts with a call from the hospital. In Patrick's case we had 4 months or so and with Eliana we had 3 months before the "official" adoption. To deny the openness of adoption is to put yourself in a situation where you deny the essence of what adoption is. And it will be important to explain in full the world of adoption to Eliana and Patrick so it is vital that we don't start off with omitting truths or altering the facts. I am assuming that the story will change as we add facts when it is age appropriate. Truth is never relative and adoptions are no different. This may be where the most emotional ups and downs occur, but the end result is worth every bit of the process.
P - Prayer, Patience, Perseverance -- choose one because I sure can't :) -- all three are integral to the adoption process. Prayer reminds you to be totally dependent on God, Patience is a virtue and highly important in the adoption process and perseverance is a result of that. Since nothing is really under your control until you bring the child home from the hospital, adoption requires a enormous amount of Patience. I remember with both Eliana and Patrick that feeling that nothing was in my control. I knew it was in God's hands but that didn't mean that I had any clue about the outcome. Eliana was the biggest surprise since she came 2 months early. Patrick, however, was also a surprise since we didn't know when the real due date was going to be. Our best guess was actually 3 weeks before the actual due date. As I reflect on these 4 letters (A,D,O,P) it occurs to me that they apply equally to the birth mother/birth father. Adoption that is only understood from one view point is not adoption at all. There is an amazing amount of love, stress, and many other emotions that go into the birth mother's choice of adoption that most of us will never know. As adoptive parents we get a small insight into the thoughts of the birth mother, but I often wonder how many emotions and thoughts we are not privy to. In this day and age where you can't even discuss how much your annual salary is to your friends it is amazing that we are told as much as we are about the birth families situation.
Thanks for reading

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Is Patrick 3 already?

Well not quite. Patrick will be three in 6 days from now but whose counting. It was just yesterday that we were driving home from the hospital in Lake Arrowhead with a new infant. And today we still have a new infant in Eliana and a three year old. How time flies and things change. So in order to keep it simple we decided that a day out at Disneyland with his best friend Justus would be better than a party. With no nap today and a full day at the park (9am - dinner at 4:30pm) Patrick is thoroughly exhausted but the day was a success. Now let's hope he recovers from the energy expended. Enjoy the musical slide show from the super amateur photographers (1 with a droid and 1 with an iphone) Thanks for reading

Disneyland Patrick's 3rd B-Day from Jim Turner on Vimeo.

Saturday, September 10, 2011


Part of having children is finding different ways to capture the activities, the expressions and the growth that our kids go through. Fortunately in this world of technology creating videos and taking pictures has become very easy and affordable. Anyone with a camera and an eye for the shot can create some good pictures. But there really is an art to being a professional photographer. The professional can capture images in a way and with an eye that the best amateur can't get close to capturing. They have the equipment, the expertise, the eye, and the experience that the rest of us don't have. I guess that is why they call them professionals and hence why we pay them money to use their skill for us. After 3 years of photo shoots I thought it would be good to say Thank you to the 2 professionals that have captured our family with amazing photos. They are both wonderful photographers, unique in their own way and fun to work with. Choosing a photographer is about a lot more than just getting some pictures and so I will leave out our decision making process and just let you enjoy some of the pictures that were taken by them.

Lauren DiMatteo - has been a family friend for years and is an amazing talent.
Rebecca Dawson Deaver - - we used her for a shoot when Lauren was unavailable and were very pleased with the results
May I suggest that if you are looking for a photographer these are 2 good ones to choose from Thanks for reading

Monday, September 5, 2011

The 2nd Child

Do you ever find it annoying when people tell you "Just wait until you have ..." or "When you have 2 things will be different...". Partly because it assumes they know something you don't which bugs all of us and partly because inside you know they are right. It gets to the heart of what we strive for as humans, control. We want to be in control of all situations and when we are not it makes us crazy. Different levels of craziness depending on the personality but crazy the same. The best antidote for this of course is to stay single and die young, then you have no worries and no problems with relationships. Of course, that whole death thing can bring problems of its own. Short of that you are going to have to realize that you are not in control of much of anything. This is why I prefer to understand that God is in control and not me. It allows me to step back and look at the beauty of a situation, no matter how crazy, and try to see it from His perspective. We are thoroughly enjoying having Eliana home and for the most part she is a perfect (as my mom likes to say) little girl. It is those situations when you are without sleep and she decides to be fussy for the first time in 3 days that really gets to you. But that is just being a parent of a newborn and as they say "These things will also pass".

Eliana is a cute, wonderful, beautiful and feisty little girl. Patrick is a wonderful, handsome and super energetic little boy. Together they are going to be a wonderful pair of siblings. Right now there are a lot of unknowns. You can see the look in Patrick's eyes. "When is she going to talk with me?", "When is she going to play with me", etc. There is in addition a look of love and acceptance of his new sister and we as parents know that he will grow into his role as big brother. Eliana will have to spend a litte more time awake for that to happen :)

So if you have 1 child and are going to have 2 let me tell you "It will get harder but it will be worth it" And for those who have twins or more than 2 let me encourage you as much as I can to see the beauty in the kids because I will never know what it is really like to have more than 2.

I knew it was time to write another blog entry but I was lacking in something coherent to say so hopefully the above makes sense and resonates with you.

Thanks for reading

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Let's Eat - no I think I will sleep

In the last blog I commented on how different Patrick and Eliana are. However, there are some similarities. Patrick would rather play than eat and Eliana would rather sleep than eat. For now that is all Eliana does these days, eat and sleep and eat and sleep and poop. In matters not, however, they are both wonderfully cute and fun to play with.

Life is moving into a sense of normalcy and for that we are thankful. Eliana is on a 4 hour eating schedule so that usually means a 3 hour nap for the girl. Her first appointment with the doctor since leaving the NICU will be on Tuesday and that will officially mark a new chapter in her life. I am interested in finding out how long the feedings must be every 4 hours. For premature kids the feedings can't be any further apart than 4 hours or you risk dehydration. Eventually that will move into the next phase of eating but until then we will stick to the schedule!

Just for the record, if you are local and you want to visit just call and come by. We are as normal and normal is going to get for the next 3 months.

Looking forward to the grandparents visiting in September along with my sister and cousin "A". Fun times await!!

Thanks for reading

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Week 1

I remember writing a bit about Week 1 in Patrick's life and it was so different. Patrick had a 2 hour drive down the mountain from Lake Arrowhead and Eliana had a 2 day drive down from Walnut Creek with a stop in San Luis Obispo. That was a long trip for even the adults!!! These 2 kids are in no way the same, but isn't that how it always happens? I can recall many parents who have said that the 2 kids were not the same. Whether it be in personality or in eating habits, sleeping habits etc. these kids really have only 1 thing in common. They are both super cute. Now, of course, that is a generalization and they obviously have some things in common but if you have kids you know what I mean.

I am overjoyed to have the girls in our home. It is sooo much easier to manage 2 kids with 2 adults as compared to 1 kid and 1 adult. It is an almost exponential difference. I am sure that authors have written books on the subject but having 6 weeks of experience as proved it to me beyond a shadow of a doubt.

If you are wondering how quickly bonding happens with kids that are adopted let me give you my opinion on that. It happens pretty immediately once you are at home. There is an amazing bond that builds between the family members living under the same roof. Before Patrick I wouldn't have believed that could be true but it is very true!! Combine that fact with God's role in adoption and you have a combination that can't be beat. The spiritual component of this cannot be underestimated in any respect.

I feel like my comments are mirroring life. Without regular sleep the thoughts come in random batches and you just have to deal with them as they come. Eventually Eliana will sleep through the night also, but until then it is a 24 hour day with a few naps of various sizes.

And all you guys and gals you have helped, prayed, supported, written, cleaned, shopped, called, etc...YOU ROCK! Thanks to everyone for all the support you have given our family.

That's all for now. Thanks for reading. The pics below are from the first park day with the whole family!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Destination Home!

Really, no really, the time has finally arrived. I will be given the pleasure of having my family back together again and all of them in the same house in Aliso Viejo!! What a journey it has been in so many different aspects. On Tuesday evening I will travel after work up to Fresno (had to pick somewhere to stay) and spend a few hours sleeping with Patrick. Then on Wednesday we will travel to Moraga and drop Patrick off at our wonderful host's house for a few hours while Vivian and I go to the hospital and pickup Eliana. Then, assuming all that goes well and no forms are missing etc (after all this is a hospital :)) we will pickup Patrick and begin the journey to San Luis Obispo where we will visit our friends and spend the night. On Thursday it is destination Aliso Viejo!!

This journey has been punctuated by some much incredible support from our friends and family that to say thank you almost seems a bit trite. But as much as I can in a blog let me say a very big "Thank You" to those who have supported, prayed, helped and been a part of this in any way. The blog will continue as her little life grows into a big girl but it is now time for Chapter 2 in the life of Eliana Grace!!

Thanks for reading

Here is some photos of Eliana along with some photos of Patrick when he was 2 months old also.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Decision Time

So the Brady events continue as the nervous system is developing. These events make us nervous (pardon the pun) but she comes out of them on her own as long as you stop feeding her for the moment and sit her up. She is now 6lbs 7oz. She lost 2 oz yesterday which was the first weight loss since being in the NICU. From my perspective that is remarkable as newborns typically loose weight in the first week of life outside the womb. Now the time has come....DECISION TIME!!

Even thought the Brady events have not stopped we can take her home if we feel comfortable. Since these events only happen when she eats and not when she sleeps they are willing and actually encouraging us to take her home. We have decided to wait until Monday and see how the weekend goes. A little more time in the NICU won't hurt anyone :) If nothing out of the ordinary happen it appears that Patrick and I will drive up sometime early next week. Maybe Tue evening. We will make firm plans on Monday.

So it is adventure part 2. She will be at home and we will be a family living in the same house again. Just for the record, 5 weeks apart from each other is difficult. I am not complaining in the least since this is God's plan for her and it was a very easy choice to make. It will be so nice to see her in the room that was prepared for her and see her grow up to be a little sister for Patrick. I guess the bottom line is that the adventure of kids never ends and the adventure of adoption adds another layer to that wonderful adventure.

Here are some recent pics of Eliana along with here room to be!!! The blog won't stop even after she is home so keep reading

Thanks for reading

Saturday, August 6, 2011


Some of the hardest times in the adoption process involve waiting for milestones. Each milestone is important and the next milestone is always contingent on the previous milestone. Combine the adoption process with the NICU and there are even more milestones to navigate through. Today we passed through another medical milestone. To state the plainly can't leave the NICU with a feeding tube stuck inside you. I have seen that tube in Eliana for so many days that it will be a little bit odd in a very good way to see it gone. Well that is exactly what happened tonight. Vivian sent me a text saying that the night nurse removed the tube and Eliana is using the bottle for every feeding during the day. This is super exciting!! The next milestone is ad lib feeding. This is when she wakes up hungry and cries for the bottle as opposed to eating on a prescribed schedule. Is it something that full term infants do naturally when they are born. Still no definite date on coming home but the more milestones that are achieved the closer we are. I will post pictures, sans tube, as soon as I have them

Thanks for reading

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Sleep or Eat?

What do you like more in life, sleeping or eating? I guess that depends on the meal being served. If you are tired enough it will take a serious meal fixed by some serious chefs to peak your interest. But what if the meal was the same each day, I would think that you would choose sleep. this is because, like groundhog day, the next meal will come and it will be exactly the same. I often wonder why we worry about feeding our kids the same meals more than twice in a week. When they were born they ate the same meal for the first 6+ months. That is a long time. I do know the importance of variety and a balanced diet but do you ever just stop and ponder...hmmm...?

Eliana is faced with the same question, to eat or to sleep. Newborns and especially premies do most if not all of their growing when they sleep. There is a reason behind the statement, "Don't wake a sleeping child" :). The problem arises when Eliana is trying to learn how to suck on the bottle nipple, breathe and swallow all at the same time. It is a lot for a little one to deal with. And on top of that if she has had an especially tough day, such as the testing days, remembering to do all of those things is difficult. This leads to what is called Bradycardia. It is a condition where they forget to breathe. With Eliana this can happen during feedings. The consequence is that the oxygen in the blood drops, the heart rate drops and she becomes lethargic. Eliana's heart rate can drop to below 70 and this is a big deal for a child that has a resting heart rate of 150+. This is an oversimplification of the condition so if you want to read more just google premature birth and Bradycardia.

She will come out of the "event" on her own and it is something that she will grow out of so we are not panicing. It does make us pause and remember who we put our trust in. We put our trust in God and we trust Him to develop Eliana in every way needed to come home from the NICU. We trust Him to lead the doctors and nurses in their decision making and we can't wait until we get to take her home. But each event signals the start of a minimum 5 day period that she has to go through without any events before she can go home.

So while you wait with us, here is brother ( 3yrs in Oct) and sister ( 6 lb. 3.1oz ), Orange County and Bay Area. Soon the girls and the boys will be together as a family. Until then, we wait, hope, pray and trust

Thanks for reading

Tuesday, August 2, 2011


Uncertainty is one of the pleasures in life that we all want to avoid. No one likes it and those that tell you they like it probably are just hoping it will go away. We don't like uncertainty with our health, our friends, our family, our lives, etc. Putting your complete trust in God doesn't take away the uncertainty, since we still don't always know the outcome, it gives you an amazing gift of knowing that the decision is out of your hands completely and in God's hands. That is the ultimate comfort that we rely on in our waiting and decision making.

Adoption has many layers of uncertainty. It has many times of waiting and wondering and many ups and downs along the way. As we go along the journey, one by one these layers are removed and the family starts to take shape. It is an awesome process to be a part of. The beauty of open adoption is that the bond with the birth family is forever. It is one layer that is constant. It may take different forms during the life of the child but it will never go away. Unlike closed adoption of past decades, open adoption allows for contact to continue as the parties decide. On Monday this week another layer was removed as the papers were signed as we became official foster parents of Eliana with the adoption agency as the legal guardian. This is a great support during the first year because the adoption agency is dedicated to making sure everything goes as smoothly as possible and is completely supportive in the process. In 1 year or so the last layer will change and the adoption agency will no longer have a role and we will be the legal parents in every way. Super exciting times abound!!! While on the outside everything seems the same it has changed substantially.

It is wonderful that another layer of uncertainty has been removed and we can start this new chapter in our family. Eliana is still growing in the NICU and is at 5lb 14.5 oz and cute as can be. She needs to be able to take food from a bottle for all the feedings and have her eyes develop before she gets to come home and there is not one doctor or nurse who will predict the date that will happen. But each day we get 1 day closer.

Here are some pictures from yesterday evening at 11pm

Thanks for reading.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Reality comes!

The truth about adoption is that it comes in stages. Often times slow stages and then all at once it will hit you. We found ourselves filling out paperwork and doing all of the required tasks earlier this year. At that point it was partially real. There was no child yet, except in God's predetermined choice which He hadn't shared yet. Then came the next phase where we met with a social worker in our house and it gets a little more real. There is after all someone in my house talking to us about the particulars of the process. The next step is even more real when we were chosen to be looked at by a birth mom. The reality becomes serious at this point since you are being considered by someone who loves their child enough to look at their current situation and say that adoption is the right choice. Eventually we were chosen by someone and is super real but still a bit far off, since there is no child yet. But then we got "the call" that says the baby is coming and at that point you feel more emotions in 1 day than you have in the last year or so it seems. This was magnified by the fact that Eliana was 2 months earlier than anticipated. For the most part the ultimate reality sinks in when you put the child in the car seat and take the journey home for the first time. With Patrick it was a 2 hr ride down the mountain from Lake Arrowhead at 9pm in the evening. With Eliana it will be a 2 day drive from Walnut Creek sometime in August. As adoptive parents the previous events are our pregnancy, our way of getting ready for the adventure. It gives us a bond with other adoptive parents that is special. It is in no way better or worse than the biological process, it is not to be thought of as a last resort, it is simply the most wonderful roller coaster you could ever ride with all the ups and downs you can imagine. I don't ever want to get off. Although just for the record 2 kids is enough for this family.

But what is a story about adoption without some pictures. So here are Eliana and Vivian as Eliana continues to grow and develop into a child that is ready to come home.

Thanks for reading

Monday, July 18, 2011

Give me that bottle!

it is that time...34 weeks. It is the appointed time by the doctors based on the collective experience of pre-term babies that the bottle feeding should begin. Another milestone in the little life of Eliana starts today. The perspective on how little she is changes depending on how you look at it. Either she is only 4lbs 8.5 oz as of today OR she is 1 lb 2.5 oz more than she was when she was born. I am amazed as to how alert and active she is and how much more she looks like a fully grown baby as compared to the first time I saw her on day 2. The target for the discharge from the hospital is still the 37th week and at this rate (1 oz/day) she will be close to 6 lbs by the time we take her home.

I have enjoyed the weekend up here in the Bay Area and it will be nice to have Vivian back at home for a few days before she comes back up for another week. Love the baby sitters but I wouldn't want to do this long term!! Patrick had a good time and as a bonus he got to see his cousins James and Luke who were out visiting their grandma in Mountain View. He had a small issue with something that kept him sick and unhappy from 4pm to 1am but after that he was ready to go. We convinced him to sleep some more until 5am but it was all full steam ahead at 5am. Now I am the one that needs some sleep. These are just a few of the ways that God prepares us for what is to come!!

Now onto the fun part. The pictures!! Enjoy

Saturday, July 9, 2011


It is July 9th and Eliana is now 13 days old. She started out in this world at 3 lb 6oz and is now at 3lb 12oz and growing. All signs look good. She is having normal developmental issues that children go through when they are still inside but we are seeing them in person. It is important to realize that they are a normal part of development and to enjoy learning about the amazing growing child that God created.

Vivian is up north going to the hospital everyday and holding Eliana before the feeding time and can hold her for a few hours each time. Patrick and I are hanging out down here until next weekend. We are very thankful for a wonderful friends and sitters that are helping watch Patrick while I work during the week. It sure makes me appreciate how fortunate we are to have Vivian at home instead of having both of us working.

I am learning a lot about how prevalent entropy is in our lives. One day this house is clean and then then next....well you know the rest! There is no stopping it!!!

Patrick and I are looking forward to flying up next weekend and Patrick will really enjoy riding the BART train to see Mommy.

It is really a waiting game. I remember this period of time with Patrick and the most important part is to enjoy the time and not rush it. God has us in this not just for a purpose but on purpose. As much as I want Eliana to be out of the NICU we don't want to miss a moment of this important part of her life. The doctors and nurses are wonderful and the time with the birth family is priceless.

That's all for now. Here are some recent pictures. Thanks for your prayers and support. The community of friends that experience this with us is indeed an important part of the process and we are very grateful for all of you.

Monday, July 4, 2011

The adventure - 1 week so far

We had a great weekend getting to know the birth family. It was a long weekend but details aside I know that everyone is more interested in pictures so without further adieu here is the first video picture collage. (the music is home grown if you know what I mean)

Eliana from Jim Turner on Vimeo.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The adventure Day 3!!

Eliana was born at 10:04 on Sunday June 26th, weighing 3lb 6oz and was 16 1/4 inches long. She is now in the NICU at Walnut Creek. As I heard the news it was time to start finding out the details.!!!

As I sit here at the Oakland Airport and reflect on the day it has been a whirlwind of an experience. I (Jim) arrive last night at the Hilton Concord, CA at 12am to get a little sleep before going to the hospital on Tuesday. It was an information gathering day. I talked to the birth mom (BM), her mom (GM for grandmother), the kids of the BM, the husband of the BM (HBM) the social worker of the hospital, the nurses, the doctor, the information desk, the insurance coverage people and others that I probably forgot. Adoptions are situations that be definition are not perfect, hence the fact that you won't meet the parents on the blog as it would be an invasion of privacy in a very important moment in their and our lives.

All of the family are wonderful people and we had a great time getting to know each other, discussing details of adoption, forms to fill out etc. I can't wait to go back and see them this weekend. God has really put this together in an amazing way and I hope to be able to articulate that over time.

Eliana is an energetic little 3lb 7oz baby. She moves and won't sit still. She will fit right in with Patrick. Because she is preterm there are a lot of hurdles to jump over but she is very healthy according to the doctors and should fare well. She is Jaundice right now but that happens to many full term babies so they have her under the blue light to help the situation. I took a picture and may share it but it doesn't look like much since her eyes are bandaged to protect them from the light. The light is not dangerous but annoying to little eyes. She has a loud cry, some big feat and hands and a head of black hair for now. They feed her 2ml of milk each 3 hours and the nurses take care of her in an amazing way. There is nothing more amazing to me right now than the NICU. A bunch of dedicated and very nice nurses in doctors looking after the ones that need their help the most.

We will see BM and the family this weekend and I think they will be involved in the process until Eliana is allowed to leave the hospital. They are very generous and I am sure Patrick will enjoy playing with their kids. It is odd how I can love a little girl so much already and I haven't even been able to hold her yet.

The estimate now is that Eliana will be in the hospital at least until July 30th and possible to the original due date which is August 29th. So if you don't find us in Southern California you can find us at Kaiser Walnut Creek.

The community of support is so important, through prayers, encouragement, help with other tasks etc. Vivian and I are thankful for you all. Whether on Facebook or on the blog take a moment and comment and share the experience with you.

Let the adventure continue


Saturday, June 18, 2011

Beach Time! (#2)

Thanks to Julie, Jeff, Paige and John for a ton of pictures!!! I just decided that some of them needed to be put to music. The song in Latin means "After the birds"
Go Full screen and turn up the volume!

Hope you enjoy the views from Edisto Beach

EdistoBeach 2 from Jim Turner on Vimeo.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Beach Time!!!

Not just any ordinary beach time, this was the 2011 edition of the extended family at Edisto Beach, SC. A lot of fun, food, fellowship, sun, ocean, sand and more was had by all. Here is the first video recap of the vacation. Enjoy

Warning. It is 10 minutes long so turn up the music and sit back and enjoy


EdistoBeach 1 from Jim Turner on Vimeo.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Piano Time 3

Nothing more fun than piano time at the improv in our own home. And mix in a little Duke Ellington and John Coltrane and you have an avant garde masterpiece.


Piano Time 3 from Jim Turner on Vimeo.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Beach Time!!!

Running is indeed fun. Running with Patrick is even more fun than normal. Today we went on a 9.3 mile training run to Salt Creek Beach. We can't wait to hang out with the cousins in South Carolina at the end of May but until then it is nice to have a beautiful location so close to home.

Check out the video from a beautiful Saturday morning.

Beach Time !!! from Jim Turner on Vimeo.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Water Table Fun

A Perfect Match, something we always search for and here it is. A Water Table for Patrick. Life couldn't be any better than the joy of playing with a Water Table. Well it can be better but that is a conversation for another day :)


Water Table from Jim Turner on Vimeo.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Trains part 2

Some blogs have a lot to say, but at this blog we are mostly about pictures and video. Occasionally there will be some important and useful information but for now we will stick with the video and pictures. Off we go to Trains part 2, a fun day on Amtrak and a beautiful couple of hours in Solana Beach.


Amtrak from Jim Turner on Vimeo.

Saturday, February 12, 2011


It must be the weekend with time to create and post videos. With the help of some new trains, a roundhouse and by moving the train table out so that Patrick can easily walk all around it we have achieved a new appreciation for playtime with trains. That combined with the iphone and imovie gives us the following.


Trains from Jim Turner on Vimeo.

Friday, February 11, 2011


Let's face it...iMovie is too easy and too fun and with the resources on the net you can come up with something enjoyable in a short amount of time. So that sounded like a good Friday night task since I had a few iphone videos to upload. It doesn't really matter to us which sport Patrick chooses as long as he is active and strives to glorify God in the process. But for now we are trying to help him enjoy basketball (from the short rim).

Hope you enjoy the short video

Basketball from Jim Turner on Vimeo.