In the months leading up to our decision to adopt I did talk to a few friends about it as I needed to be able to vent my thoughts/feelings/ideas especially because I didn't want to unload all of that on Zach at that time (you can read more about our path to adoption here!) But when we made THE final decision to pursue adopting, the only person I told was Lindsay and that was because she was the person who helped push me to that "this is happening" decision ;)
I'm SO thankful for Lindsay and her support during those early weeks in the process. I was VERY overwhelmed and overloaded and she was truly a great friend to me and did a good job handling the pressure of being the only person who knew!
Soon after we made the decision to start the adoption process life went south for a good bit. May was an insanely rough month for our little family as well as our larger family. I'm a glass half full person typically but that month just straight SUCKED.
Zach was SUPER sweet and understanding with everything I went through that month as well as everything Casey was going through and, once he was able to lift the kids post-surgery, he planned a little getaway for Casey and I. Zach and I talked prior to that getaway and decided it was best for me to go ahead and tell Casey about the adoption. We didn't want her and Jordan to be caught off guard when we told the family and didn't want them to have to put on a happy face when they may be upset at the news with everything they were dealing with. We thought giving advance notice would give them a chance to digest it and prepare for it when we told everyone else. Casey and I had a bit of a crazy kick off to the trip and I ended up telling her at Taco Bell. ;) She was thrilled and truly happy and excited for us and it was good that we had that chunk of time together to talk about it and to work through some of her feelings about it all. I'm so thankful for her constant support and that we have each other through every phase of life: the good and the bad!
I was SO PUMPED to tell Kye about our adoption plans but knew we needed to wait until as close to telling the family as possible. He's a kid and we couldn't expect him to keep such a HUGE secret to himself for too long!
We told Kye the news on June 15th (it was the same day he got stitches so mega big boy status that day!). I wanted a cute way to tell him so we wrapped up a "Little Brother" onesie in a gift bag and let him open it. I LOVE the video of him finding out the news. I cry every time I watch it. You can just see the surprise and instant joy on his sweet face. You can watch it here :) He's THRILLED to have a little brother!
A couple days later (June 17th) we had pictures planned with Lindsay and decided to tell the girls RIGHT before we went for the pictures. I tried really hard to come up with some cute way to tell them but Britt can't read yet and, let's be real, Tess is pretty oblivious. I wanted to take a video of Tess saying "BIG SISTER" and then show it to Britt (similar to how I told Zach that I was pregnant with Tess, remember?) but anytime I tried to get Tess to say "BIG SISTER" she'd instead say "BIG PAPA" haha so I gave up on that idea! In the end we just let Kye tell them...here's the video! Britt is straight up shocked and I love Tess's little excited spin at the end :)
As soon as we got done telling the girls we went and met Lindsay at a local school nearby (shout out to Valwood, thank you for letting us use the field!) to take official announcement pics. As soon as we pulled up and got out of the car Kye told BOTH Lindsay and our friend Chad (who works there and let us onto the field) that we're adopting. Glad we didn't tell him too much earlier huh?!?!
I had seen some pregnancy announcements using baseball tee's and baseball fields and thought a long time ago that doing a football spin on that idea would be super cute as a way to announce baby #4. This was LONG before adoption was even on our radar and the idea was even more perfect with the decision to adopt since we know it's a boy!
I ordered personalized jerseys and got them a little big for the kids in hopes that they can wear them again to do pics with the baby in his jersey :) I was SUPER thankful they all fit okay as the sizing made me nervous, but I was disappointed when they arrived that the BLUE jerseys were more of a GRAY than BLUE. But we had to go with it and in the end it still turned out cute :)
It hardcore stormed leading up to the time of our pics but it cleared up and was actually cool and beautiful for our quick session. The field was PERFECT and I loved how the stands were very simple, screamed football, and had some blue details. It couldn't have all worked out any better...even the kids were super cute the whole time. Britt and Kye bickered over who got to hold the baby's jersey and bribing helped to get a few smiles from Tess which wasn't an easy task since it was her bedtime (when we left she said "NIGHT NIGHT!" haha).
HUGE thanks again to the AMAZINGLY talented Lindsay from Captured by Colson. I had a vision and she made it come to life!!!
We're evening out our teams!
We had a tough time deciding how to tell the family our news. We did NOT want anyone to think we are pregnant. I feel like with everything going on with Casey and Jordan that their first thought would be concern (and understandably so!) rather than excitement AND I was nervous that once they realized it was adoption and not pregnancy that they'd be disappointed. We want this baby to feel JUST as loved and wanted and cherished as our other three and it was very important to me that the news would be well received by everyone!
We decided to tell them on Father's Day since we were all getting together to celebrate. We thought about doing a gift somehow but it's hard to explain adoption in a present, right?!?! Even our photo announcement pics weren't adoption obvious (clearly b/c tons of people from our FB announcement thought I was pregnant haha). We decided that the best way to go about it was to let Kye and Britt tell everyone the news. We worked through different ideas and decided that we'd do it during prayer time. Anytime the whole family is together we gather around in a circle, hold hands and then pray. Kye and Britt practiced what they'd say and I made sure to make it clear that they had an announcement to make prior to them busting out with it. I asked Zach to record it and it was HILARIOUS because he made this big to-do about how he hates recording stuff b/c he hates feeling the pressure and worrying that he'll mess up. Then we go to watch the video and he'd recorded the whole thing upside down bahahaa. I did figure out how to turn it the correct way and you can watch it here!
Everyone responded really well. I was focusing on the kids in that moment (Tess was napping) so I didn't actually see their faces but their words were all really sweet. Little Mama was the most excited the quickest. She asked a lot of questions during our meal. It took Mrs. Charlotte a little longer (she has to digest stuff a bit and let it sink in) and later that day she sent me THE sweetest text:
That same afternoon I sent texts to Courtney (she and Brad were out of town) and to my dad. I wanted to take a video of the kids telling them...trying to get all three kids in a video was pretty hilarious. I had to try 3 times and just finally gave up and sent one hahaha.
I wasn't in a huge rush to announce on social media. I was VERY overwhelmed the first month of the adoption process (you can read about that here) and just didn't feel like I KNEW enough to really "tell the world." We ended up deciding to make it social media official while on the Parker family trip. I had a tough time emotionally on that trip last year and thought making our announcement would ensure a good mood for myself just in case. I'm telling y'all the devil was after us...I legit posted the announcement on social media and BAM woke up from a nap with my face swollen (you can read about "face gate" here).
If you missed the blog announcement you can see it here! I posted the same pic on all social media and was so, so happy with the positive responses! Thank you to everyone who has been lifting up our family in prayer! It's so awesome to be surrounded by people who are just as excited as we are!!!
It's super important to me that each of our children feels special from the moment we conceive them. For this baby our beginning may be different but the excitement is just the same and it was equally (if not more so) important to make each step of this journey special for him!
You can see how we told everyone about Kye's pregnancy here