Here you will find the chronicles of the crazy crook crew...enjoy!

Here you will find the chronicles of the crazy crook crew...enjoy!
I want to live in each season fully, celebrate the chapters as they end, and anticipate the next with only joy! God gets all the glory for the story He's written for our family! A family designed and defined by Him through foster care and adoption. If you've got some time, stay a while...and grab a kleenex;) Each chapter is beautiful and heart wrenching and breathtaking and God is ALWAYS good!

Monday, September 26, 2011

It's a boy!

On February 5th, I went to bed with two instinctual feelings...we were having a boy, and he would be here soon.  Around 7:00 the next morning, the phone rang.  I jumped out of bed and did my best to answer without a sleep voice.  It was 'A' (what I'm calling our birthmom), and she was in labor.  We had heavy snowfall on the 4th and 5th and she was snowed in.  She was home alone with her girls and her car doors were frozen shut.  Her voice was so desperate, she had no one else she could call...she needed us to come get her and take her to the hospital.  I was calm with her on the phone, but once I hung up, I went into panic mode.  We had a plan for this moment, but our plan didn't account for all the snow.  I needed to call our close friends (who live about a mile away) to come stay with the babies until my mom and sister could get here.  JT needed to shovel the driveway so we could get out of the garage.  I knew we wouldn't be able to drive the way we normally would and we'd have to take a much longer route by the interstate.  I set all plans in motion and called 'A' back.  I told her what was going on and she told me how close her contractions were.  I let her know that we were moving as fast as possible, but she may need to get an ambulance.  I packed some things and got myself ready while JT shoveled the drive.  Our friends got stuck on their drive over...there was literally feet of snow in the neighborhoods, and our departure was delayed.  Once they arrived, we left and had to drive down the interstate at about 10 to 20 miles an hour.  There were cars off the road as far as we could see.  We were anxious, nervous, excited, scared, and very frustrated with the weather created circumstances.  'A' called me during the drive, she was in an ambulance on her way to the hospital, and dialating quickly.  Her girls were riding to the hospital in a police car and she asked me if JT would mind sitting with them once we arrived.  Everything was happening so fast...I was a little heart broken.  She wanted me to be there with her, she had no one.  When I first met her, she told me that I was her baby's mother and she wanted me to be a part of the delivery.  She said that as his mom, I should share in the experience and she wanted me to cut the umbilical cord... how amazing is that?!  So, although I was beyond excited to meet our baby and find out if he was a boy or a girl, I was also sad that I was missing out on something so huge.  I wanted to be there for her and I felt like I was letting her down.
When we arrived, a nurse showed JT to the waiting room where the girls were playing.  Another nurse rushed me back to 'A's room and spoiled the surprise on the way:)  It's a boy!  I walked into the room, she had just delivered him minutes ago.  I'll never forget the first time my eyes saw my baby...I'm pretty sure I turned into a puddle of mommy mush right there on the floor.  Is this real life?  I made my way over to him and a nurse wrapped him up and put him in my arms.  It was like holding a piece of heaven...I had prayed for this baby for years, my heart beat for this moment, and it was finally here.  I was his mom and he would be ours forever.  I walked over to 'A' when the doctor was done with her and asked if she'd like to hold him.  She hesitated and then accepted my offer.  She filled me in on how fast it all happened...she was only at the hospital for 20 minutes before she delivered.  The baby was very bruised and swollen from his speedy descent down the birth canal.  He looked perfect to me:)
Once 'A's roommate arrived to pick up the girls, JT was free to meet his son.  The nurse gave us our own room and our little family spent the afternoon together.  This is the baby God meant for us...everything we went through on our journey to finding him was suddenly so much more than worth it.  He's here, he's healthy, he's ours, he's perfect.  We decided to spend the night with our son, the nurses settled us into a room with a lovely labor bed and we spent our first night with Rowan Thomas Crook.  He slept a whole lot better than we did:)  Although we do like to cuddle, a night in a labor bed with your spouse brings a whole new meaning to the word.  We spent more time in 'A's room than we did our own and we let her have as much time with Rowan as she wanted.  Our friendship continued to grow and strengthen and man, I love that woman.  Unless you've had this experience, it's impossible to understand how I feel about her.  She gave us a child, she chose us, she chose a life with us for her baby.  It's a gift like no other, a love that requires so much sacrifice.  Adoption. Is. Beautiful...the act itself, the picture it portrays of God's love for His children, how easy and perfect this amazing love is, it's all beautiful.  
'A' decided not to spend her entire 48 hours in the hospital recovering, she left on Sunday evening and  JT and I headed home with our beautiful baby boy.  We made it just in time to watch the Colts lose the Super Bowl.  We weren't the slightest bit disappointed, we were sitting in our living room holding OUR baby boy and our world was perfect.  My parents were keeping Bubby and Sissy until Monday night and we enjoyed our day at home as the parents of one.  The anticipation of parenting a 25 month old, 10 month old, and our newborn made our heads spin.  The above picture was snapped while we were getting our "pose" ready for a family photo.  I absolutely love it because this one is the REAL deal.  Yes, we have the pretty, perfect one hanging on our living room wall.  But we also have a 5x7 of this one on our end just makes me smile.  I mean really, it looks like Bubby is swinging circles around JT's neck, and Sissy is watching with sincere concern as I'm about to drop the baby.  Anyway, I'll fill you in on what that life was life next Monday.  I thought the arrival of the "bigs" was a shock to our system...throw a newborn in there and we were all of the sudden just keeping our heads above water.  We became the parents of three children under the age of three in about 6 months.  And although becoming a mother was my heart's desire...this wasn't quite the way my heart and I had imagined it:)  We had grown so much over the last 6 months, but we still had a long way to go.  I'll wrap this up with a poem today.  I wrote this about 2 months after Rowan's birth and I mailed it to 'A' to let her know what she means to me...she loved it:)

We think of you so often
One word always comes to mind
That word is amazing
You are strong, courageous, kind
The gift that you have given
We could never begin to repay
We cherish you and our beautiful baby
Every single day
Our hearts are overflowing
We’ve never known a love like this
One that intensifies every day
With every single kiss

I hope you know you’ve changed our lives

You have made our dreams come true
Through you our prayers were answered
That makes you our angel too
There are other choices
You could have made so easily
You chose to give your baby life
And give two strangers a family

Well at first we were strangers

Knowing only the minimum
Now we’ve become friends
And a forever bond has begun
We’ve been through many heartbreaks
One disappointment after another
Then along came you
And you let me become a mother

I wanted something I didn’t have

For quite a few years
I thought about it every day
And cried many tears

Now Rowan has arrived

Those years of hurt have been erased
All those painful feelings
Have now been replaced

With a love that you provided

A gift that you chose to give
And we’ll adore this child that binds us
As long as there’s life to live



  1. Mandy's Mom-LucindaSeptember 26, 2011 at 10:42 PM

    Beautiful story! I have enjoyed getting to know you through Mandy and this blog. God has given you the gift of writing. I look forward to reading your wonderful journey every Monday!

  2. Thank you SO much! I just love that little Laning family of yours...they're pretty near and dear to my heart:) Thanks for your kind words and thanks for reading!