Davis, Our 2nd Month Home | Texture Tuesday

Oh month number 2!! The month we turned a corner! This month is when we started to feel attachment coming.  He was learning to trust and love us, and we were learning his personality.  He was beginning to understand we weren’t going anywhere, becoming more and more comfortable with us, and we were starting to be able to communicate better.  I think one thing coming into adopting a toddler from another country that I wasn’t truly prepared for was the lack of being able to communicate.  I mean toddlers have limited ways to communicate, period.  Then add him not understanding anything we are saying to him, and him not being able to tell us anything either.  Frustrating to say the least!! Thankfully, with my education background, I was able to teach him some basic signs to help him tell us what his needs were.  Things like, all done, eat, milk, water, chicken (this boy loves chicken!). Once we had a few basics down, it got much easier.  I focused on just nouns and named things all the time.  Once he knew the words, I added in some verbs, and slowly built it into short phrases.  By the end of May, I was really seeing his receptive language improve and I wasn’t getting that blank stare and crazy look on his face when I was talking to him. He was actually understand more and more of what I was saying.

So with that progress of attachment and comfortableness, we also started to see some more typically toddler behaviors and boundary pushing. Our social worker assured me that this was a good thing! It just means that he was feeling safe with us, therefore showing us his frustrations. So while we saw a lot more, “Happy Davis,” we were also seeing lots of “Grumpy Davis.”  Things we learned about him that month: He loves to slide, loves music and dancing, big fan of chicken, noodles, and bacon, loves to snack on anything, not a fan of sweets, LOVES his daddy, especially when he comes home from work, learning and playing with his grandparents are pretty fun, sleeping in his crib isn’t so bad and bath time is finally fun, and we got our first ochie (and I cried more than he did after he face planted the driveway). Take a look at our 2nd month of fun!

Cousin fun and comparing thighs! Davis’ chicken legs to Will’s yummy thighs! Trying to get my Blair time in while they were visiting.  I really struggled with them being here for their first visit.  I was so used to being just Aunt B and giving Blair and Will my full attention.  I struggled with giving Davis what he needed when my heart felt like I was disappointing my girl.
Went to the zoo for the first time! 
We got to have our first holiday together as a family! Easter! Davis thought the whole idea of picking up eggs to be a bit silly… but we took it all in and enjoyed our family time! 
We had our first play date with the “other” Davis!!! We were in Korea at the same time for court and for custody. It is a bit confusing when I tell my Davis we are going to go play with Davis.  So now I just keep a picture of him and end up calling him the other Davis! The Other Davis’ mama and I have become good friends, and I have been so grateful to have her to go along this whole process with.  
Breakfast with Mrs. Chesley!! 

Overall, it was a good month two! We definitely had our highs and lows, with lots of Grace thrown in as we navigate this world of parenting. Even with the 10+ hours of education on adoption, lots of texts to my social worker, and countless blogs/books being read all on the topics of bringing home a toddler from another country, there was still such an adjustment period.  We are still adjusting.  Going from zero children to a very busy toddler has turned our world completely around, in the most amazing way, but there has been bumps too. More to come next week.  Month 3 & 4 have been the best! By far! So can’t wait to share more next week!!

Lebanon & Nashville, TN Newborn Lifestyle Photographer | Cooper

Meet Cooper!! I don’t think I could have loved this newborn session more for so many reasons! I love this family and this sweet baby! Cooper was a dream to work with and loved to snuggle.  My favorite part of photographing newborns is capturing those first few precious days with mama and daddy.  How tiny they look in dads’ arms, and how sweet mamas’ kisses are to her new baby. It is a pretty spectacular part of my job. Baby toes and skin folds, just makes me smile! Take a look at this sweet new family of three!

Davis, Our First Month | Texture Tuesday

This weeks Texture Tuesday, I wanted to go back and share how our little guy is doing! So much to tell! So I thought I would go back through our pictures of our first month with Davis.  From our “Gotcha Day” on March 5 through April 5.  Those first few moments when he was “officially” ours and in our arms to the first days in our apartment, to bringing him home, and what it was like going from zero to toddler! It has been such a whirlwind of an experience! I want to share it, and make sure it is all documented.

I remember that morning so perfectly.  We got into Seoul, South Korea on Monday night, March 3, had spent all day March 4 recovering from jet lag, shopping for supplies for the week, acclimating to our surroundings, and trying are hardest to wrap our hearts and brains around what was about to happen that next day.  After a night of jet lag and nerves, neither of us got much sleep, but we got up, got ready, ate *some* breakfast and took off to our agency.  The entire time we were just a mess of emotions. I was so thankful that Scott was level headed and could get us through the subway system and get us there.

Once we got to our agency, SWS, we walked up all the stairs (because who had time to wait on the elevator!), and then we waited.  Davis and his foster Omma were stuck in traffic and would be there soon… so about 30 minutes later, they walk in.  My heart was beating out of my chest.  What was he thinking? How was he going to react to this new transition? Were they REALLY going to let us keep him, like for forever? His sweet foster mama… my heart was breaking for so many reasons.  We sat for about 30-45 minutes in this little play room, letting our Davis play, see us, I just kept crying and holding his foster mama’s hand and telling her thank you, thank you for loving and caring for our baby when we couldn’t yet. Thank you for loving all the babies you have ever cared for, and promising we would send updates, and that we would love him forever.  I just couldn’t stop crying.  Then Scott, myself, Davis in my arms, our social worker, and Davis’ foster mama all walked to the elevator.  We said our final goodbyes, she gave Davis final kisses, and the doors opened, and we got on. And our foster mother stayed there. Then, if I didn’t think I could cry anymore, buckets came.  I am crying now, just remembering that moment. We then got into the taxi, went our way back to our apartment, our home away from home, with OUR baby, as a family of three. We couldn’t believe it.  Scott and I both said silent prayers for a smooth transition, for Davis’ heart to be prepared to move from his temporary family to his forever family. 

Finally, we made it to our hotel with no meltdowns, an occasional smile, and went up to our room.  For this sweet baby to fall asleep on my shoulder for his nap.  We had some hard moments once he woke up, we saw confusion, grief, fear, but we slowly got to see more and more of our boy.  Snacks, toys, and trying to get him to laugh helped so much (Our micorwave timer’s ding helped tremendously!) We made it through our first day fairly well. 

The next morning Davis woke up early and devoured some yogurt.  Pretty much our whole week there, he ate yogurt, strawberries, and these rice cake things his foster mama sent with him. We did more playing, more snuggling, more snacking (our little snack monster). We even ventured out of the apartment for a little bit! 

After that, we had an amazing first few days with our little man! Besides bath time and brushing his teeth, he did so amazing and adjusted to us amazingly well!! We were so thankful!!! We also got to meet some new friends who got their son (also Davis!) the day after we did! 

We had our first adventure of eating out with a toddler as parents:)As you can see, it wasn’t quite the same as it was pre-toddler!! Ha!
It was super cold the week we were in Seoul, so we really only got out a little at a time with Davis.  And the Ergo carrier was such an amazing essential on our trip!! 
We were just down the street from two amazing palaces so we made the trip out to see if one afternoon. Davis wasn’t too impressed and slept through the entire tour.  One day we will go back (hopefully more than once!) with him to show him his amazing homeland. 
But then he woke up, and we let him out to run around a bit.  OUR sweet, happy boy! 
VISA day!!!! Behind us was the US Embassy where Davis’ Visa was issued so we could leave Korea with him, and bring him into the US!!! This was a BIG deal day! It was pretty amazing to have the official paperwork in hand saying we could come HOME!  
We walked past this quote everyday as we left our apartment.  I just love it. We were definitely called to  be this boys parents.  And we never gave up.  What an amazing reminder of God’s plan for us! 
We had to go to N Seoul Tower with Davis to leave a lock, and of course, we chose Tennessee Orange! 
Final night in Seoul.  Talk about about emotional.  So ready to be home, so sad to leave this amazing city, scared to bring our baby home, excited to bring our baby home. I couldn’t stop the tears! 
But here we go.  On the plan for a long time, with a very busy 20 month old!!! 
He finally fell asleep after 8 hours on the flight….
Our newest US citizen!!! He wasn’t too impressed at first, but then decided chips were good, and he was finally FREE too move around in Detroit! 
Home:)More on the airport Home Coming HERE
Forever home, in our bed, with our son.  The moment was amazing. 
We re-adoped Davis in the state of TN! 
Davis got to meet his cousins for the first time and his Uncle Greg!

And there was our first month home!!!!! Crazy to look back on it.  Emotional to look back on it. But it is part of our story, and a big part of his! Over the next few weeks, I am going to recap our time home.  Now that I am learning and managing how to balance being a business owner, wife, friend, daughter, and now a MAMA, I will be blogging more and more!

Davis has really adjusted so well.  We slept with us in our bed for the first 2 weeks home, then we slowly transitioned him into his crib! His laugh is the best sounds in the world! We brought him home he weighed 22 pounds and was 33 inches tall.  None of the clothes that we had for him fit, all way too big. So of course, we had to do some shopping once we got home! Every day he was learning new things and it just blew our minds.  To watch our sweet boy grow and learn has been remarkable. We first started working on teaching him some basic signs to help with communication.  That was one of the toughest parts about bringing him home.  He didn’t understand what we were saying, and he couldn’t communicate with us.  I mean the basic information, eat, drink weren’t there.  Once he learned signs, things got so much better! Less meltdowns, less tears (from both of us).  Overall, most of it was a bit of a blur. It took us a couple of weeks to get Davis into our timezone, out of our bed, understanding some basic words, and get him to start trusting us that we will be there to meet his needs.  But we made it!

More about month two next week! The month we reached attachment, starting saying some words, and when we turned a corner!! Thanks for sticking with this super long post!  It has been quite the journey and we appreciate all the thoughts and prayers to get all three of us here!!!

July 22, 2014 - 10:34 am

Elizabeth Scruggs - Precious story, precious baby, precious family. :)
Beyond happy for y’all.
God is so good.
xo

July 22, 2014 - 11:07 am

Candice - The blank and white “snarl face/squish nose” selfie of you and Davis is adorable!!!

July 22, 2014 - 12:41 pm

Molly Wantland - So wonderful, Rebecca!!! I can’t tell you how happy I am for y’all and for Davis to be here :-)

July 22, 2014 - 6:23 pm

Nora Chambers - Love this, tears streaming as I read it, thanks for sharing with us!

July 23, 2014 - 9:31 am

Kim - Thank you for sharing all of this. I cried when I thought about that moment with his foster mama, too! What amazingly wonderful people there are on this planet!

Nashville, TN & Hilton Head Island, SC Destination Wedding Photographer | Ann & Brent {Wedding}

Oh how I have been dying to share the amazing wedding with y’all!!! When I met with Ann this winter, they were planning a big, Nashville wedding! However, as they started getting into the wedding planning, they decided a smaller, more intimate wedding was really what they were dreaming about for their wedding day. Ann sent me an email and asked if I would be willing to make the trip down Hilton Head Island to capture their wedding.  I couldn’t have said YES soon enough! Give me the ocean, and I am a happy girl! We planned the whole day and ceremony around the sunset, so we would have the perfect, romantic light that I just love.  Even through it *tried* to rain right before the ceremony, the storm blew right by us for the perfect setting.  I really couldn’t have been more of a perfect day! After the ceremony, I took Brent and Ann down to the beach for some pretty amazing sunset pictures! I love how they just LOVE so boldly and melt into each other.  Following our beach pictures we headed straight over to Steamers, where the owner transformed his restaurant into a pretty amazing reception.  Twinkle lights under the stars, guitar playing in the background, laughter and smiles everywhere you looked! Their wedding couldn’t have been a more perfect representation of their love for each other.  Take a look!

I had a very open love affair with Ann’s amazing custom dress from The White Room  by designer Stephen Yearick. So stunning on Ann!!

Vendors:

The Dress: The White Room, Lebanon

Ceremony:  Marriott Spa and Resort

Reception: Steamer Seafood

Our Adoption Homecoming Story | Bringing Home Our Davis {Texture Tuesday}

This post is long over due.  We now have been home as a family of 3 for four months now, and what an amazing journey it has been to get to this point! Scott and I have been so overwhelmed from all the prayers, love, grace, and excitement y’all have all shared with us on this incredible trip to bring our boy HOME! We have felt each and every one, and it has been so fun sharing Davis with our family and friends.  They finally get to know what we did the first time we saw him.  He was meant to be in our family. Meant to be in Tennessee in his forever home (even saying “Hi” with the most perfect southern draw!”.  And we can’t imagine our life without him.

For months now, I have wanted to share with you one of the longest, most emotional days of our lives.  The day we got on a plane for a 13 hour flight (with our 20 month old son, who knew us for 8 days), and brought him to his new home, with new smells, sights, sounds, and people.  We had about 30 hours of travel time to get home and Davis was such a champ! His little happy spirit is what helped make this day so much better.  Also, we knew the end result meant we would finally be HOME!

We tried to keep our homecoming a pretty small at the airport, mainly family and a few close friends, but of course my dear photographer friends were their to document each and every moment! So thankful that Chesley, Sara, and Wendy could all be there to make sure we never forget this amazing day! These pictures that I am sharing today are from Chesley! She also blogged our homecoming and y’all should definitely go check it out! Every time I look at these, I get so emotional!!!! The power of a photograph, y’all.  This day is forever documented. The emotions are forever frozen for us to relive, to enjoy, and to retell his story to Davis over and over.  So he knows that he was wanted, waited for, prayed for, and loved always! Come take a look at our journey home!

PS- Hoping to get back into the blogging grove and continuing Texture Tuesday! May not be every week, but hopefully more Tuesdays than not! Happy Tuesday y’all! Hope it is a great one:)

July 15, 2014 - 8:08 am

Kellie Carter - So beautiful and filled with emotion! My heart is still beaming with happiness for you and your sweet family!!!!! <3

July 15, 2014 - 12:52 pm

Ebba - I have missed these Texture Tuesdays!! These pictures make me so happy <3

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