Tuesday, July 31, 2012

another try at this...

After catching up with some friends that we haven't seen in quite some time today, I have been challenged to up date the blog.  I am a little overwhelmed with where to start considering some of these friends did not know we have another son (who is 5 months old) and that is not good.  I looked back the old bog and realize that I have not updated in over a year.  I LOVE READING BLOGS and feel like it connects me with so many and I just need to be better updating on a more regular basis.  SO, I WILL TRY!

As far as life for the Schultz family-- WE are GREAT!  Life is fun with two boys (17 months and 5 months).  Michael has a new job he started at the beginning of the year where is he is helping run a Camp here in Mobile.  He is really enjoying this and it has been a great deal of fun for our family to be a part of his job.  I am still at Young Life and I still LOVE MY JOB.  Our boys has the coolest middle and high school friends that love on them well.

Mills and Mack are active.  Mills started walking at 7 1/2 months and so life for us has been going at a whole new pace.  He loves any kind of sport there is out there.  He hits a ball of a tee and "runs the bases and slides" around our den, and shoots a basketball in the goal over and over and over again, and will kick a soccer ball across the yard, and JUMPS EVERYWHERE HE GOES.  The best description I can give of Mills is perpetual motion.  This is so much fun for us.    Mack is learning to sit up and is very close to crawling.  He watches Mills all day long and I think they already have a very neat relationship.

 Here are a ton of pics to catch you up...

Day one of Mack's life and first time Mills and Mack met.

first week of life

Spring 2012

Easter 2012

Always has a HUGE smile!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Our little man is changing so fast...

I honestly look at the pictures of Mills over the past two months and get a little sad.  I can not believe how much he has changed in such a short two months.  We are having the time of our lives as parents and are getting into a pretty good little routine.  Even though it has only been two months, I cant imagine life before him...it seems like he has been a part of our lives much longer.

Mills is two months and some of his favorite things:
*  loves the swing and would spend hours in it
*  to take a bath... he loves the water
*  started taking a new paci in the last week
*  to sit facing out so he can see the world

Mills was 11lbs 6oz and 22 3/4 inches long at his two month appointment.  We have a growing little boy.

and look at him change...
           2 weeks                                            2 months

Thursday, April 7, 2011

realizing I must live in the country...

oh what a day today has been......

After a jam packed day, I came home to do some "mental therapy" by playing in the yard with my flowers.  I love to spend time out in the yard watering and planting flowers.  Well tonight I was just watering the front flowers and after finishing I went to turn off the water and thought I must have stepped on the hose to make it move but as I looked closer my foot was about an inch (absolutely no more) away from a 4 foot snake.  The hose was not moving but instead it was a snake!!  I promise you I yelled so loud that neighbors came out to see what was wrong.  I do NOT do snakes.  I don't like looking at them or being anywhere near them.  (If you know my dad you will know why... he loves to pull pranks with snakes)  I went running inside to get Michael who heard me scream but thought I was playing and he came out to kill the snake.  He thought I was exaggerating when I said BIG but once he saw it, he knew why I was screaming....
only part of the snake...

this snake doesn't belong near my house

On to a little later and while walking out to our back shed... what now...we have a BAT.  What in the world!  I am only a little freaked out by these latest two developments.  I am not a fan of either of these two.  I shouted at the bat to leave me and my house and my yard!  I hope he listens. 

Then a few MINUTES later, we found not one but two ticks on our precious dog that is well taken care of, bathed often, and mostly lives inside.  WHAT IS THE DEAL... I don't do these things and I don't live in the woods.  I live in a neighborhood....
After a quick consult with a vet friend, we removed the tick and all was ok!  I think I was traumatized more that Drake but we gave him 10 treats anyway.  
My "mental therapy" became more of a "mental flood" but at least I got a good scream out!
our precious dog!

the sweetest puppy around!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

our adoption story...

Many people have asked us to share our story because they or someone they know might be interested in adoption.  So here is a very shortened story.....

After two miscarriages and multiple more attempts to get pregnant, Michael and I decided to truly pursue adoption.  We felt and even talked about adoption before we were married many times.  I have been going to Guatemala to work in an orphanage for years and felt like I would always adopt a child from Guatemala.  I love the country and the people.  Michael felt similar tugs at his heart to Ethiopia.  So the decision was really a dream of ours from before we were married.

So when we began to explore the adoption process we started initially speaking to some people about international adoption.  Late this past summer, I began spending hours online researching adoption agencies, policies, countries policies, and emailing and calling many random strangers about their story.  There is quite a community among adoptive parents and once we entered that community it was amazing how people from one side of the US to the other are connected.

After spending a month or so praying and exploring, Michael and I (about the same time) realized that domestic adoption might be the best route for our family at this point.  We knew for sure that the best chances of us adopting a newborn would be domestically but really knew nothing about domestic adoption or if it was even feasible for us (financially and with my cancer history).   But I began moving in this direction and in September really spent a lot of time researching what domestic adoption was about, US laws, the process, and educating us on everything we could possibly learn.  The more we researched, the more we prayed, the more we felt like this was the journey we should take at this time...we still feel like international might be in our future.

After talking to many strangers about their adoption journey, meeting with adoption attorneys here in Mobile, calling and speaking in depth with agencies, going through adoption preparation teleconferences, we decided to go with a consultant.  We were very close to signing up with two different agencies and I really feel like the Lord steered us away from this.  I believe now that it was exactly his plan and I feel like he protected us from months if not years of waiting, and too much financial risk and even fraudulent activity in the adoption world.  There are so many positive blessings with adoption, but unfortunately so many negative things that go on as well in the adoption world.

But, we were still excited and knew this is what the Lord had for us.  We officially began the process the first week in October and had our first homestudy visit October 6th.  We did fingerprints and background checks the next day.  We had our follow up homestudy November 3rd and were homestudy approved in mid November.  We actually had our first potential situation or as Michael and I referred to them as "potential opportunity" the very day we were homestudy approved and exactly a month into our process.  So many people ask about the paper work and we had heard so much about the mountain of requirements, but honestly it was not that bad.  We thoroughly enjoyed doing it together.  We gathered the entire paperwork requirements and composed all the documents we needed in about 4 days.

We had many different "opportunities" come our way and were matched for the first time in mid December with the baby due on December 24.  We were thrilled beyond words and began on a mad dash to prepare a room for a little boy.  We were about 9 days out from the due date when matched so it really was a race.  We painted and moved furniture out of the room.  We had nothing in our house except one Auburn onesie that was a size 12 month for a child.  But, with my moms help we were ready to go with newborn clothes within a few days (or maybe hours) and had the room at least painted.  We ordered furniture that would be in after the first of the year and got our travel system ready to go...
But, the whole time we were preparing we just did not have a good feeling about the people we were working with.  We could not get straight answers and were left waiting for days on answers to some very specific questions.  About 5 days before the due date, we were told the adoption would not be going through.  We were devastated.  Honestly, I believe it was just as hard but very different than having a miscarriage.  Michael and I cried hard and often for days.  Our hearts hurt in a deep way but we knew that we were still suppose to continue on this journey.  The Lord had the perfect child for us in mind.  About 4 days later we were called about another situation that dealt with a child that had been born that was medically fragile.  Our hearts were immediately pulled in another direction and once again felt that by walking through this process the Lord protected us.  We had a hard time getting exact details on this little baby's medical condition and were told a doctor was going to pursue adopting this baby as well.  This was good for us in because we felt like our hearts were still healing.

Over the next 3 weeks, we had another situation that we thought was perfect and were matched and once again things did not fall into place.  But through all of these situations, deep within us we did not have a complete peace that these were totally right.  But, on January 26th while waiting to hear on two other opportunities we got a phone call.  I was actually in the car with my boss on the way to lunch when the phone rang from an agency that we had loved talking with the past month.  They told us about a little boy that was due Feb 14 and would like to present our profile book to the mom (this is the process with a domestic adoption) but they felt we would be her top pick.  I got off the phone and immediately called Michael and told him and when I was getting off the phone I told him that this was it... I really think this is it.  Well two days later they called and said we were matched!  It was an amazing feeling because it just felt right.

After the phone call, we were told that there was lots more paperwork and they would email and call us on Monday.  We were so excited to be able to tell family our great news and had the weekend to share.  Michael painted the room again for the third time (light taupe to pink to khaki as the color changed with ever potential match we had) and we had the furniture in so we set it all up in the nursery.  We bought bedding and had the nursery together within the next week.  It was SO MUCH FUN.  Our birthmom went to the dr on the following Wednesday and we were told her due date was moved back to Feb 23.  This made us a little nervous as I was leading a trip to Guatemala on March 5th and wanted to be back in Mobile with my family after clearing ICPC. So the wait continued.  We got updates every Wednesday so the next Wednesday we were told she was 2cm dilated and 80% effaced.  We were excited and told to get ready however the birthmom hung out for 10 more days at this exact place.  We continued life as normal but keeping a close eye on plane tickets.  We could tell you every flight from Mobile, Gulfport, and New Orleans to Salt Lake City throughout the day.

On Feb 13, we slept in and decided at the last minute to go to church.  After church we were going to lunch with some friends to our usual Mexican restaurant and as we were walking in the door my phone rang.  As soon as I saw caller id, I knew what the call was.  Our social worker said the mom was in labor and she had progressed so quickly that they took her to a closer hospital.  We immediately left the restaurant and headed home to find a flight.  We knew the schedules and it was going to be hard to get there without driving to New Orleans.  Instead of trying to book online, Michael called Delta and there was a flight that did not show up on any of our searches that left in 3 hours.  As soon as we walked in the door to our house, we got the call that our son had been born.  He was 6lbs 2 oz and 18 in long and we were told he was absolutely beautiful.  We were thrilled but in a mad dash to book hotel rooms, rental cars, and flights and get there to get our arms around him.  It went so smoothly.  We packed and left for the airport with three very large bags, the stroller, and infant seat and base, a boppy seat, and some pillows.  We were a sight to be seen as we walked through the airport but we were on our way.  It was a very long 8 hours.  People on the planes were excited for us as they all asked about all the stuff we were taking.  All the way there people gave up their seats so we could sit next to each other.  Not much was said between us other than we are parents and how excited we were but the smiles could be seen all over us!

We landed in Salt Lake about 9:30pm and had to wait about 30 mins for a rental car and then we were off.  It was very dark and in a part of the country we had never been but we had a GPS.  After about an hour drive we arrived at the incredibly nice hospital around 11pm to meet our son.  The hospital and their staff could not have been nicer and made us feel so comfortable.

They wheeled in Mills and he was absolutely the prettiest baby I have ever seen.  It was an amazing precious moment that I will never forget.  I was sacred.

The social worker and agency in Utah were amazing.  Everything went as smooth as we could have ever dreamed.  Mills was released from the hospital and into our arms 24 hours after birth.

Many people ask how long our process lasted.. For us, from start to Mills being in our arms, was a little over 4 months.  Yes this was fast.  Unfortunately for some the wait is months to years.  I don't know why it was so quick.    I believe that the Lord had Mills in mind for us and we are grateful for the journey we traveled.  I would love to help talk to anyone about our story and share everything we know.  Adoption is a beautiful thing and we are blessed to be parents.


a little late but wanted to share a few one month pics of Mills...

LIfe as we know it has changed...

We are having a blast.  Our family has gone from 2 to 3 and many things have changed but I wouldn't go back.  We are loving our little man honestly more than I even thought possible.  It has been amazing to have the community of friends and family around us.  LIFE IS FULL AND FUN.

Mills has changed so much already.  He is just 7 weeks old but has grown over 5 inches and actually is growing out of clothes.  He has doubled his birth weight and looks totally different.  He is smiling (and pouting) and has started rolling over.  My mom calls him "perpetual motion" because he really never stops moving.  Michael has taught him all about basketball as we have watched a lot of the the tournament.  I really think his first word might be ball because he has heard it so much in the last few weeks.

Drake loves Mills and is getting really comfortable with him.

Mills killer smirk!

 His grin!

 The POUT!  He has gotten really good at poking out the bottom lip.

 All my boys watching the final NCAA Basketball game.

Mills sleeping in the Moses basket

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Miller Aubrey Schultz is here!

We are proud to introduce you to Miller Aubrey Schultz.  Mills was born Feb 13, 2011.  It has been an amazing journey and one that we will be forever be thankful for.  

On Wednesday, January 26, 2011 we got a phone call about a little boy that was due February 23.  We were told that we were a great fit for what this birth mom was wanting in his forever family.  We were presented that day and told she had picked us that Friday.  We were thrilled.  

The wait then moved from being matched to waiting on the birth mom to deliver.  We got the amazing call Sunday 2/13/11 as we were walking into our typical after church Mexican restaurant.  Michael and I left immediately and headed home to throw together all of our clothes and needed stuff and buy plane tickets.  God was good and we were able to get on the next flight out of Mobile.  These flights were not showing up on the websites at all and thought we might not be abel to get out until the next morning, but after Michael called the airlines they were able to get us on.  We flew and flew and flew or at least it felt that way.  The travel time was about 8 hours but seemed like 24 hours.  We arrived in Utah and had about an hour drive to meet our son.  The hospital nurses were AMAZING and  so excited for us.  We got there and had the amazing opportunity to just sit and hold and love on him all night.  He is beautiful.  
We were all released from the hospital the next day and he is now "home" with us in the hotel until we clear the ICPC process to bring him home to Alabama.  Hopefully this will go smoothly and we will be coming home next week.

We cant wait to share the whole story....