Zane took his first steps on his own today. Video coming soon. He should be walking all over the place any day now.
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Zane took his first steps on his own today. Video coming soon. He should be walking all over the place any day now.
So my boy can move. I know he’s not yet a month old, but he’s got a new dance. I call it the poopy squirm and I think it’s going to be sweeping the nation. You’ll see it in all the baby nightclubs within the year (since apparently that’s the time of day when babies are the most active). Granted, he’s moved more by what’s moving inside of him than by the beat of the music, but sometimes I just like to put on some techno music while he’s working it out and pretend that he’s got mad rhythm. Seriously, this kid wiggles so much when he’s working on a number two, he’s hard to hold on to. If I kicked my feet and flailed my body as much as him, I’d wiggle right off the toilet seat.
Yesterday, Rachel and I were having a conversation when the phone rang and interrupted us. After she hung up, I asked her to continue our conversation and she couldn’t remember what we were talking about . . . and I’m even worse than she is. I’ll just stop talking mid-sentence and have no idea what I was saying. Is this normal? I don’t remember this kind of lunatic behavior a month ago (then again, since the problem is forgetfullness, maybe I’ve always been this way and just don’t remember).
My parents used to say, “just wait ’til you have kids of your own and then you’ll understand”. I always thought that this was just a “parenty” thing that every kid’s mom and dad said. I never actually thought it was true. In fact, I used to make fun of my mother for calling me by 4 other names before she actually got to the right one. She’d call down to my room and it would usually go something like this, “Butch, Tim, I mean . . . Don, No . . . . . Buffy (that was the dog, by the way), TYSON, come up here now”. I thought she was crazy, and now I know our kids are going to think the same thing about us!!!
My sister, Brandy comes in tonight from New York City. To say that she is anxious to see Zane would be the understatement of the year. He’s been home with us for 2 weeks now and all she’s been able to see of him is what you’ve seen on the web site (pictures, video, etc.). Of everyone in our family, she has been the most excited to see the baby (along with Zane’s grandparents of course), but the poor girl has been stuck out in NYC.
Because she hasn’t seen him in person, she’s addicted to his pictures. In fact, she told us that on the days that I don’t post new pictures on the web site, she has no other way to cope except to go out and buy him stuff. Well, that’s not a very smart way to encourage me to post more pictures, is it? As soon as she said that, I was like, “Alright, no more pictures ’til after Aunt Brandy comes home.” She’s already sent us a pumpkin seat/stroller combo thing and she helped my mom order a Pack ‘n’ Play, so I’m really excited to see what else Zane gets from Brandy’s picture deprivation.
Anyway, Brandy’s flight gets in this evening at 9:30 PM. She is staying at my parents house in Perryville tonight, but has declared that she is coming down first thing Friday morning (I expect she’ll get up around 4:00 AM . . . which would be fine, because I’m sure that Zane will be up then too) and that no one else gets to hold the baby for the rest of the weekend. So if you’re planning on coming to one of the baby showers, good luck prying Zane from the clutches of his Aunt Brandy’s fingers.
Rachel and I have noticed some interesting numeric “coincidences” lately. For example Zane was born at 6:19 PM and he was 6.0 pounds and 19 inches long. Plus, he was born on the 19th day of the month (had it been in June (6/19) that really would have been wierd).
But perhaps it was fate that determined it should be January rather than June. Allow me to explain:
In my entry from 1/23/08, I mentioned that Rachel and I have life changing events in 5 year increments. We started dating when she was 15. We got married when she was 20; bought a house at 25 and brought Zane home at 30.
However, even more coincidental than all of that . . . we looked back at a ticket stub from our first date and you’ll never guess when it was – Jan. 23 1993 – exactly 15 years (to the day) that we brought Zane home from the hospital. Wierd, huh?
Also, do you know what landmark court case was decided 35 years ago that same week? Yep! Roe v. Wade was decided on Jan. 22, 1973 – just one day before we brought Zane home from the hospital – somewhat of a reminder that Zane’s birth mother could have made a very different decision.
Too Tired to Blog!
While trying to calm Zane down last night, I caught myself singing, “He’s got the whole world in His hands.”
He’s got the whole world in His hands . . .
He’s got the little bitty baby in his hands . . .
He’s got you and me brother in his hands . . .
He’s got you and me sister in His hands . . .
Such simple lyrics, right? But how many times had I sung the words to that song in Sunday school, and as a child, never realized the full impact of what they mean? Here I am, some twenty years later and now, as an adult, I finally get it.
Yesterday, we had a post-placement meeting with Zane’s birth mother. This isn’t necessarily a standard practice, but she was passing through on her way back to college and wanted to see him one more time. I think, if for no other reason, to set her mind at ease that he is in good hands. It was a really good meeting. She held him, fed him and changed his diaper. All the while, we talked about the last 5 days, had a few good laughs and spent several minutes just staring at Zane.
There were no tears shed this time (not in the meeting with her anyway), but when we left, we were filled with emotion as we read a letter that she had written to Zane explaining her feelings and why she gave him up for adoption. She asked us to share the information in this letter with Zane at age appropriate stages in his life. While reading her letter, so many of my thoughts about this adoption were re-inforced.. Many of them were thoughts that I mentioned in a tribute to birth parents back on Jan. 23 (click here to read that entry):
1. That this was a selfless decision made out of love.
2. That she had her baby’s best interests at heart.
3. That Zane was destined for our family.
4. That God’s hand was in it all along.
I’d like to share some of the things that she wrote to Zane:
I love you. More than words can describe. You are the best thing that has ever happened to me and I would not take back one moment of your existence. God’s plan for our lives, no matter how strange or unexpected, always leads to a positive result . . . The decision to give you to Rachel and Tyson was one of the hardest decisions I have ever had to make. To me, logically, it seemed like they could give you everything I wished I could give you – a loving family, with a mom and dad, stable finances, and a house with a yard and a dog. Before you were born, I chose them with God’s help . . . I met your parents, Rachel and Tyson for the first time on Friday, January 18th. [Of all the families I considered], your parents were willing to take one of the biggest risks ever. They were willing to take you home from the hospital before all the paper work was completed, knowing that if I changed my mind and decided to keep you, they would have to give you back. To me, being willing to risk all that heart ache just so you did not have to go home to some foster family, was amazing. So on Tuesday, January 15th, I chose to meet Rachel and Tyson and make sure that I felt comfortable with them. We met at 1 pm on Friday January 18th and talked for about an hour. The whole time you were still and peaceful, something that didn’t happen very often. After meeting with them, I felt a big relief because I knew I had just met the people to whom I would be entrusting the care of my first baby. When I got home, God and I had a talk and I told him that everything was taken care of and that whenever He was ready, I was ready to give birth to you. Oddly enough, you were born the next day. [I wished I could keep you] but that wasn’t God’s plan. God created you especially for Rachel and Tyson and He has chosen me to be the messenger . . . I stuck with my decision because I knew it was going to be the best for you. I pray for you many times a day . . . and I know that Rachel and Tyson will love you just as much as I do, and I know that they will take wonderful care of you and raise you to be a wonderful child of God. Please know that I love you so very much and that is why I made the decision to give you up for adoption.
I truly believe that God had this in His plan all along – that Zane was destined to be our little boy – and this letter from Zane’s birth mother reassured me of that. But the whole thing had to happen in God’s timing, not in ours. That’s easy to see now because hindsight is 20/20, but in the midst of the storm it is so hard sometimes to know that he is there watching over us and whispering, “Peace, be still”.
I’m a very impatient person so that is an especially difficult thing for me to accept. I usually pray my prayers as if I am the master of my own universe – as if I know what God should do for me and when He should do it. Through this journey, He has proven himself faithful. He has brought Rachel and I closer together, but at the same time, He has built our faith, taught us patience, shown us the importance of relying on Him, and proved that he really does have the whole world (and the little bitty baby and you and me) in His hands.
Ok. A little about the choice for Zane’s name. I have always been partial to the double ZZ initials. If we had a girl it was going to be Zoe Lynn Zahner but we hadn’t quite decided on a boy name. We had come up with several choices before deciding upon Zane. There was Zavier, Zander, Zach, & Zeb among others. I had suggested spelling Zavier with an X and naming him Xavier Yale Zahner so that his initials would be XYZ, but Rachel wasn’t too fond of that idea. Then again, I had suggested naming him Scout Zahner too (say it a couple of times quickly and you’ll figure out why Rachel issued the veto on that name also).
Anyway, I have always felt strongly that my boy needs to have a name with alliteration just in case he ever becomes a super hero. Bruce Banner was the Hulk, Peter Parker was Spiderman, Clark Kent was Superman. All of these super heroes have alliteration in their names. Now I don’t know if Zane will have super powers or not. That will likely become evident in the next few weeks, but just in case he does, I want him to have an appropriate name in place so he’s prepared.
Then again, I could be setting him up to be a cartoon character instead. I hadn’t really thought about that until today, but Daffy Duck, Mickey Mouse, Bugs Bunny, Porky Pig, Fred Flintstone – all with alliteration too (and none of them with super powers). I admit, cartoon character would not be quite as cool as a super hero.
Well either way, keep an eye out for Zane Zahner in either DC comics or Looney Toones. Wherever he ends up, we’ll be proud.
Disclaimer – I apologize for the ridiculousness of today’s thoughts, but I’ve made enough serious entries over the last week. I figured it was time for something a bit more light hearted.
Zane (Hebrew) – God’s gracious gift
Alexander (Greek) – Leader of Men
Zane Alexander Zahner is home!!! It has been a long emotional ride, but it has been worth every minute. We couldn’t be happier and I doubt that you’ll find two parents more proud than Rachel and I are right now. So I apologize ahead of time if I come off sounding boastful or like my kid is cuter than yours (but seriously, he is! . . . just look at his pictures).
Today was a perfect day. There aren’t many of those, but today was just that . . . Perfect! You see, Rachel and I seem to reach milestones in 5 year increments. We started dating when she was 15, we got married when she was 20. We bought a house at 25 and now we’re 30 and have our first child. So I assume the next one is coming in another 5 years.
Anyway, about today . . . We went out and had breakfast at Bob Evans’ in Festus. This may seem insignificant but we found it fitting because the last time we ate at that particular Bob Evans’ was on the night of our wedding when we stopped in Festus on the way to our Honeymoon. Anyway we had some extra time for breakfast because they pushed the meeting time with the birth mother back an hour from 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM. We got to the hospital at 11:00 and had what’s called an entrustment ceremony in the hospital room. It was Rachel and I, the birth mother and her mom and our two social workers. We said some prayers, exchanged some gifts, shed some tears and said our goodbyes. It was wonderful and difficult all at the same time.
Before we left the hospital, the nurse gave us some instructions on what to do when we got home with the baby. Then they brought a wheelchair to the room and rolled Rachel and the baby out of the hospital (they require that anyone who leaves the hospital with a newborn exit this way regardless of whether they actually gave birth to the baby). This was kind of strange considering that Rachel looks nothing like she’s just given birth. So there were a few confused onlookers as the nurse wheeled Rachel down the hallway. Anyway, that was an emotional moment – seeing the birth mothers eyes tear up as Rachel mouthed the words “Thank You” to her and she watched us leave her room with a life that she created just 5 days ago.
On a side note . . . to anyone that questions a mother’s decision to give her child up for adoption. Please know this – Adoption is an act of love (on both the birth mother’s part and the adoptive parents’ part); In fact, it is probably the most selfless act of love I have ever witnessed. Throughout this journey, I’ve heard people ask, “How could a mother give up her baby?” or “How could she be so cold?”. Trust me when I tell you that this 21 year old young lady is far from cold – she is one of the most loving, caring, thoughtful, selfless people I have ever met. Her decision was based on the needs of this new life . . . not on her own. She wanted things for him that she could not provide: a two parent home, financial and emotional stability, undivided love and attention, etc. And for that, she made an amazing sacrifice and gave us the ultimate gift. If you know a mother (or father for that matter – because we met both) who’s ever given a baby up for adoption, please don’t judge them. Support her and be thankful that she chose life! Honor the fact that she chose the needs of another over her own. Our lives have been forever changed because of two such people.
Ok, I’ll step down from my soap box now . . . We’re finally home. We made several stops on the way and I’m not sure who’s prouder, us or Zane’s grandparents. Thanks for all the prayers! Dreams do come true. Interesting side note: we got the key phone call last week during our church’s week of prayer and fasting. Coincidence? You be the judge.
I know this particular entry has been lengthy, but a lot has happened today. So if you’ve made it all the way here, thanks for reading. There are lots of new pictures. Check them out on our album page.
Check back frequently for more updates.
Today was a short but emotional visit. I think it was especially hard because today the baby felt more like he was ours. Yesterday it was like we were just visiting someone else’s baby in the hospital, but today there were some bonds that Rachel and I hadn’t felt before. It was harder to leave than it was yesterday, harder to put him down, harder to take our eyes off of him and harder to give him back to the birth mother. Plus, the birth mother shared with us the name that they put on the baby’s birth certificate. Coincidently, the first name that they gave was Rachel’s great grandmother’s last name. A name, in fact, that we had considered before deciding upon Zane (and not a very common name either). What are the odds? It was an interesting coincidence and Rachel’s eyes instantly filled up with tears. The birth mother asked if during the first year we would provide (not directly, but through the agency) pictures of his growth. Her eyes teared (as did Rachel’s) when we responded, “of course”. After that, she just wants an annual picture and letter of the year’s highlights. Anyway, we are getting more and more anxious, and the longer we wait, the harder this is getting for everyone involved. I’m glad that we are taking him home tomorrow. The thought of waiting any longer than that is almost unimagineable. We go to the hospital to pick him up at 10:00 tomorrow morning. Lots of pictures to come. We’ll keep you posted.