*I started writing this back before Regan was born…but never got very far. Since then I have blamed lack of sleep for the reason I didn’t want to actually type the entire story out- but now that Regs is sleeping thru the nite, I figured I should celebrate…by finishing the precious story of his beginnings.*
**warning: very long**
That is one of the first times I’ve ever typed your name…regan ocean. I like it. I love it. Regan Ocean Farrell. Ohhhh you are promises fulfilled and dreams come true…if you had any idea how much you were and are wanted..you’d have more than enough love for the rest of your life I think. But thankfully we get you forever.
Your story actually begins back in March 2011 when we got a facebook message from your brother’s birthmom who told us Josiah was gonna be a big brother, that she was pregnant and through a series of messages we found out she wanted to do adoption again. I got super excited and your dad got nervous but after a week we knew that God was saying GO FOR IT…so we committed to taking you into our family as our second son and WE WERE THRILLED!!! We had already known we wanted to adopt again sometime that year, but it was crazy awesome how simple the process was AND that you and your brother would have the same birthmom, and be so close in age.
Your due date was set for August 24, 2011 and we went about preparing and getting ready for everything…all to be brought to the Tuesday morning of July 26…when I got a call at 10am from your birth mom saying that she was showing signs of labor (2 cm dilated) and thought you were coming soon!
First I called your dad who was out working in New Jersey- told him the news and he immediately started canceling all his apts and booking himself a flight. Then I called my dad and told him it was go time! They were planning on flying to kc to take care of Josi, while we spent the week in Florida with you…so they booked their flights and arrived the next day in KC.
Meanwhile, our close friends Shawn and Angel (who were here visiting) helped in millions of ways! Shawn booked my flight, Angel did everything else in between…I packed a bag for bart and I…your bag was full (I had a suitcase already packed for you thankfully) and organized everything for my parents coming and then showered…two hours later we were off to the airport.
The only time during all that blur of craziness that I ever got emotional was when I thought about leaving Josiah. I’ve never been away for even the night from him…not that I never would have- just the opportunity hasn’t come up yet. Of course, he was totally oblivious to everything, enjoying having people around, but I teared up every time I looked at him, especially on the drive to the airport.
Your daddy got a ticket and flew out of Philadelphia, to Jacksonville and arrived an hour before I did…due to a layover I had in Charlotte, NC. During my layover I finally ate a real meal- it was 6pm and all I had eaten the entire day was 6 almonds- adrenaline much? Didn’t hear about any progress on labor from birthmom, so we were both in a little turmoil about going down too soon…but just felt like God had said GO, and that He would take care of everything. We were trusting for HIS perfect timing!
We arrived at our hotel (the Marriott Residence Inn in Jacksonville) same place we stayed for Josiah, that night, and crashed pretty hard. Slept in, since we hadn’t heard any labor news…and then around 1pm went to starbucks and Kim, the lawyer’s, office to deliver some paperwork and a check. Then we looked at the beach, shopped a little and headed back to the hotel. It was then that I broke down and your dad and i prayed… I cried…just worried that we came all the way down here for nothing. My dad (your grandpa) was a comfort, basically telling me that it didn’t matter- God would provide and that you, Regan, would come when you were ready. We decided to go out and do baby shopping and prepare as if you were coming soon…so off to Target we went.
All in all, we spent 3 days in Florida that time. Our sweet birthmom had indeed had a false alarm, so after her apt on Friday afternoon when she called and said there had been no change- we hopped on a plane as fast as we could to go home. It ended up being a nice little vacation with my parents who stayed for another week with us.
One month later- August 24th, your due date, passed…and we were feeling so anxious to meet you, yet your dad was traveling for work so I kinda hoped you’d wait! The next day we got a call from your birth mom who thought you’d be on your way soon, so we both bought plane tickets from our respective locations but ten minutes later she called and said the dr. was sending her home. Thankfully airlines have a 24 hr. cancellation policy but I remember feeling so ready for your arrival by then. We were planning on bringing Josi with us this time, so the preparation only involved us this time around…a little less complicated.
A few days later, on August 27th I received a text from *Lyn at 5am telling us she was having contractions and headed to the hospital. I wanted to wait to wake up Bart, as we’d had the few false alarms; so I fell back to sleep miraculously and then texted her around 8am to find out what was going on. She got checked at 8:30am and was 6cm so it was definitely GO TIME! We got a flight out at 1pm with a layover in Houston and arrived in JAX at 7:30pm.
I remember getting texts in between flights from *Lyn. I couldn’t believe she was awesome enough to update us as she was in labor- she rocks! The moment we landed in Jacksonville, I remember pulling out my phone and powering it on…the anticipation of finding out whether you’d been born while we were in the air was so overpoweringly strong. My phone started binging with texts and there it was…our first picture of you! It was taken just moments after you’d been born but you’d already been cleaned up and wrapped in a blanket- so surreal. Your official stats: born at 4:25pm, weighing in at 7 lbs, 15oz. and 18 1/2 inches long.
We couldn’t get out of that airport fast enough!!! Visiting hours at the hospital ended at 9pm, so we rushed as much as we could to get there quickly. I remember very clearly being so annoyed at the Hertz rental car agent who asked a million questions about our adoptions…I had no patience by then- I just wanted to meet you. Josiah was with us this time; and did great. We arrived at your room at 8:40pm and got to see Lyn for the first time in over a year. You were still in the nursery so we were able to spend the next hour talking with your birth mom and letting Josiah get reaquainted. It was precious to watch Jos warm up quickly to her and we were so thankful for that time. I can’t imagine what it would have been like if Jos hadn’t wanted to sit in her lap…and was so grateful for his people-loving personality that made the whole meeting so smooth and special.
But then, there was a knock at the door and you were wheeled into the room. My heart beat faster and my smile widened. The nurse handed you to Lyn with some instructions on reflux and we all gazed at you in awe. Your precious birth mom changed you into a cute little outfit and then placed you into my arms…and I was in love from that very first moment. I remember it took a day or two for the reality to set in with Josiah, but with you, Regan…I was already hooked. Your hair was soft and patchy, your skin a beautiful chocolate color…you felt so tiny but so strong. Because we had stayed way past visiting hours, we ended up passing you between us for just a few minutes before heading to our hotel. I think I could have stayed there forever, but we wanted Lyn to have special time with you too and your big bro needed his sleep.
We waited until noon the next day to text Lyn and found out we could come back in the afternoon to see you. We jumped at the chance and headed to Shands. After cuddling you for a little while, we left and returned to the hotel. At that point it was up in the air when we’d actually be able to take you with us- and we still went through the nervousness of not knowing whether you’d actually end up ours. The waiting and anxiousness in that 48 hours was the worst.
On Monday, the next day, we headed to the lawyer’s office to finish up paperwork and while there were told that the hospital was releasing Lyn in a few hours- way earlier than we expected! Our excitement was tempered a little with sadness for your birth mom who was being needlessly rushed out but we headed to the hospital to wait. I think we spent over an hour in our car playing with Josiah and anxiously waiting for a call from our lawyer telling us that it was official.
When we got Josiah, we were required to stay in the hospital for several hours before they released us but with you, it was really fast. We had already arranged to meet Lyn a few days later at our lawyer’s office so her daughter could meet the boys which meant that our initial goodbye was quick and much less emotional. Within an hour we were released and strapping you into our SUV. Crazy!!! I remember looking into the backseat continually and marveling that we had two boys back there…so amazing!
The next ten days were filled with so many cuddles and sleepless nights. I remember for the first few days when I put you down to sleep, I’d constantly check your breathing to make sure you were still alive. You breathed so much quieter than your brother…and I couldn’t get over it. You were very content and slept so much in those first few days…the only time we ever heard your voice was diaper changing time. I remember our first night at the hotel with you very vividly because the hotel fire alarm went off at 1am. I hadn’t been able to sleep at all that night yet because of my excitement, but it woke up everyone else and in the end we were forced to leave the building. In our pjs, we sat with many other guests, at the pool, in the darkness…but you never made a peep. The rest of the time went smoothly except for your brother got sick and it made us a little nervous when your nose became stuffy…but in the end all was fine.
A few days after your release, we met with Lyn and her daughter at our lawyer’s office. It was a really sweet and special time that went way better than I could have dreamed. We all talked and snuggled you and watched the older siblings play together happily. Lots of pictures were taken and the hours flew by. I can’t begin to imagine what it was like for Lyn to have all three of her children in one room together…overwhelming sweetness mixed with sorrow maybe? I have no idea but we could tell it meant so much to her and to us.
The rest of our time in Florida was spent napping when we could…swimming in the pool with Jos (you were sitting in your carseat on the ledge)…going to the beach…starbucks (some mornings I would sneak out while everyone was asleep just to get a venti white mocha and come back)…watching lots of tv…and waking up every single morning with hopes of being able to leave. By day 10 we were super anxious to take you home. And on day 13 we finally got the call- at 11am…PAPERWORK IS DONE- YOU CAN GO HOME! I remember rushing around throwing things into suitcases while your daddy jumped on the phone to buy us plane tickets and less than three hours later we were literally sitting at the gate to board our airplane. Best feeling ever!!!! Last time we came home from Florida with a baby we had to drive a 20 hour trip to be home- gosh, flying is the way to go. Airplane traveling with a newborn was so easy- you slept so much and were so little, I never even bumped into anyone. 🙂
All in all, we were and are just so grateful for you, our son Regan Ocean and to your birth mom who gave us the greatest gift she ever could…twice. What a blessing to be able to say that God has now given us two amazingly smooth adoptions, provided all the funding and worked out every last detail…and now we have you both- forever.