Friday, October 18, 2013

Three years

Three years ago today was just an average day. Just a no-big-deal kind of day. It was a lunch-with-your-hubby-for-no-special-reason kinda day. So, who am I to argue? I went to Nemschoff and sat in the parking lot waiting for him to come out. He hopped in the car, and we had lunch together. He had about 5 minutes left of his lunch break when his phone rang. Caller ID so politely let him know that it was someone from the Cancer Center calling. Our hearts did a flip-flop, and he quickly answered.

On the other end of the phone call, it was Courtney. She doesn't work there anymore, but she was his first case worker. She was awesome! She said that she had gotten the results from his bone marrow biopsy and that she wanted to make sure we got called. She went over a whole bunch of numbers and levels. (Honestly, it was a lot of blaa blaa blaa.) Brent hung up the phone and told me what she had said.

She said these words, "There's no evidence of Leukemia in your blood."

Cool. Once before we were told that his results were clear. I took that to mean that he was in remission. In fact, I even celebrated the one year anniversary of those results. I even planned a surprise party. And then we found out that's not really considered remission.

So, when Brent told me what Courtney had said, I needed to do some investigating of my own.

Brent and I each went back to work. The first thing on my agenda... call Courtney back. And I did. I just explained that I didn't really understand the info that she had just told Brent. She went over it all again. Awesome. Finally, after all of that I asked her, "Courtney, does this mean what I think it means? Is Brent in remission?"


"Yes, Kelli... he's in remission."

I thought and thought... can I keep this info all bottled up until I get home? Brent had a chiropractor appt after work, so he would have to go to Rock Valley. He'd be home late. Surely I was going to have a heart attack (or pee in my pants) if I didn't call him right away. So... I waited as long as I could (no, it wasn't only 5 minutes)... and then I called him. By the time I called, he had left work, went to his chiropractor appt, and had decided to make a quick stop at a 2nd hand store to pick up some jeans for Karter. We were on the phone, me at my desk, and he in the middle of a store, when I got to tell him that he was officially in remission.

Praise Jesus!

We both cried.

Then we laughed, or maybe we were speechless... I don't know. But I remember the feeling so well. Honestly, I still feel it every time he has an appt and hears the words "all clear". Every time is just as exciting as that phone call that we got 3 years ago.

That day went from a no-big-deal kinda day to a really-big-deal kinda day.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Omaha Trip–Part 2

After supper at Swine Dining, we headed back to the hotel for some more supper. Seriously… how cute is she?


Then, it was bedtime…



We had a great time in Omaha. The weather was PERFECT! It wasn’t too hot to spend a day walking around a zoo with kids, but yet it was warm. The kids loved the zoo, the hotel and the restaurant. And the best part…

We get to go back at the beginning of October. Hooray!

Omaha Zoo - Hooyer Edition

Back towards the beginning of August, we went to Omaha with Brent's family. Our plan was to all meet at the zoo, spend the day there and then stay overnight at a hotel. We headed out early(ish) Saturday morning. We learned the hard way not to fully rely on the GPS. We punched in that we wanted to go to Henry Doorley Zoo. As we were driving, we talked about how it felt like we were completely driving around Omaha. Well, it turns out that we should have trusted our instincts. The GPS took us to some drive through safari place (I have since heard that it's a very cool place, just not the place we needed). It ends up that we were about 30 minutes from the zoo. Grrrrr..... Oh well, we made it there eventually.

After a full day at the zoo, we headed to our hotel. As you can imagine, the kids were SO excited to swim. They all jumped in for a little while before we headed to supper. After everyone was ready to go eat, we headed to a place called Swine Dining. It was a BBQ place just outside of Omaha, and it was awesome. Luckily, it was a beautiful day/evening out (weather-wise), so we all sat outside. Here's proof that everyone thoroughly enjoyed it...

Here's a picture of all the grandkids.

More to come...

Monday, August 26, 2013

The Switch to Private

I couldn't take it any longer. I wanted so badly to be be able to post pictures of Destiny, but the agency's rule is that we may only post pictures where we control who sees them. So, I finally couldn't take it anymore, and I made my blog private. Now people need to be given access to my blog, which means that I am controlling who sees it. YEAH!!! I CAN FINALLY POST PICTURES OF OUR BABY GIRL!

So... Here are my three beautiful kiddos...

Be warned... more cute pictures to follow!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

The First Few Days

Thursday night (technically Friday morning) went pretty well. Neither one of us could get enough snuggle time with Destiny, so we were completely fine getting up with her during the night. She woke up about every 2 hours for a quick drink, and then went right back to sleep.

Friday and Saturday were pretty much just spent in the hotel. We may have been a bit exhausted from the day of travel that was way too long! So, we just took the chance to relax with our new baby girl.

At some point on Friday we went to Target to stock up on things we’d need that we didn’t take along. We already had 3 BIG suitcases, a stroller and a car seat on the way to North Carolina. There just wasn’t room for things like soap and shampoo. :) Anyway, back to what I was saying. We went to Target. I LOVE Target. Forever and Ever. Amen. (Kristi, does that song remind you of anything? Still makes me giggle.)

Anyway, that’s not important now.

When we weren’t busy cuddling with our baby or napping (don’t judge me), we were going for car rides. As good as it felt to relax and get caught up on some sleep… we were getting pretty stir crazy in that hotel room. We rode around and figured out where things were in Matthews. We got some groceries, we skyped with our boys. And we may have gone back to Target. Oh, and I’m reading The Shack.

Lord, thank you! Thank you for good rest. Thank you for a husband that fights for the chance to bond with our baby girl, even if it means getting up in the middle of the night to sit with her. Thank you for technology so we can see and talk to our boys and our family back home. Thank you for this beautiful addition to our family and for allowing us to be her parents. Lord, please help us to raise her so that she may know that she is truly a Child of The King.

**Don’t worry. I realize that this isn’t really the kind of info that people want to know. I know that people just want to know how Destiny is doing. I get that. Trust me, that’s definitely more important to me than where we went. I just know that I’m never in a million years going to forget the process of bonding with her. I will, however, forget these little details about what we did while we were here. So, I want to quickly document them while I can. I’ll get to the more important stuff. Soon. I promise.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Thursday, March 7th–Gotcha Day (Part II)

We’re coming, baby girl! Mommy & Daddy are coming.

We raced through the Charlotte airport. I was impressed with how quickly our luggage (yes, all of it) made it to the baggage claim. We got our rental car, and we were off. We made it to Matthews (the town the agency is located in) in about 25 minutes. We made it to the parking lot, and then we had to call Doris and tell her we couldn’t find the right building. As we parked and got out of the car, my stomach was in my throat. We grabbed the car seat and the blanket that I had made, and we headed inside.

Doris and Jim welcomed us, and we sat and made small talk with them a little bit. Jim slipped back into his office to work on whatever project he was working on, and Doris started going over paperwork with us. She went over legal risks and medical history. She covered the fees, and we wrote out the check. As we finished that part of it, Doris got a text from Leah, the foster mom. She was in the parking lot.

I started to get giddy. Our baby girl was right outside that door. I didn’t really know how to act. Do I sit or stand? Brent had already told me that I could hold her first (have I mentioned how much I love him?), so we didn’t have to worry about that. Should I peek out there? Or should I try be patient for one more minute?

Doris and Leah walked in the door. Leah had this great smile and was full of life. Immediately I knew that I would love this woman. She was the one that took care of our daughter when we weren’t able to be there. She kept the car seat turned so we couldn’t see her. She wanted to fix her headband and get her all set. And then… she took her out of the car seat…


We sat for a time and talked with Leah. She told us about your schedule and about your family. She told us that you were calm and laid back. That you had been a true delight to have around. Leah and her husband John (and their two kids) have been doing foster care like this for two years. They let their kids take turns naming the babies that they care for, so they called her Baby Kate. We told her about Karter and Brody, and a little bit about ourselves.

And then… we had the OK to leave the agency WITH OUR BABY GIRL! It was just like when we left the hospital after having Karter and Brody. It was a proud walk to the car. We got the car seat all buckled in the back seat, and we were off.

We made it to the hotel as quickly as we could. It was about 10:30 in North Carolina, which meant that it was 9:30 for Karter and Brody. We had something very important to do. We got checked in, grabbed the baby and my computer and headed up to our room. My mom had taken the boys to Kristi’s house so that we could have a video chat. We had made the rule that no one could see a picture or know her name before the boys. And trust me… we were dying to get the word out.

We got all set up, and we could see the boys. Oh, I think they had grown already. They were so excited, too. So there, around that little screen we told them we had picked up their baby sister…


And then we showed them the little girl that they, too, had been praying for. And just like that… they were in love. We talked with them for a little bit, but it was past their bed time, so it was pretty short. We said our goodbyes, and we shut the computer.

Unfortunately, our night wasn’t over yet. We still had to find a Walmart. Apparently when you have a baby you need diapers and formula. Oops! It was about 2:00 before we had everyone tucked in for the night. And, after thanking the Lord for this life-changing day, we slept.

Baby girl, you have been in our prayers for so long. So long, baby girl. Your daddy and I started praying for you over two years ago. Long before we found out that you had been born, and then that we had the OK to come and get you, we were head over heels in love with you. And now, now we finally get to see you. AND TO HOLD YOU! And to take you with us when we leave this building? Destiny Deoni Hooyer, you are finally in our arms, and we couldn’t possibly love you more!

Love, Mommy

Monday, March 11, 2013

Thursday, March 7th–Gotcha Day (Part I)

I’m writing this as if it was really March 7th, k? Play along. I’ve been busy. We’ll get to that next…

So, last night Brent and I packed up a ton of stuff for the boys, put it in the van, and drove over to my mom’s house. We brought the boys and all of their belongings in the house, and then we had an awesome homemade supper (awesome because it was my mom’s mashed potatoes and meatloaf, and awesome because I didn’t have to make it). We hugged and kissed the boys over and over (and over and over). We talked about what the next couple weeks would look like. They were so excited to be staying at Grandma’s house, and they were so excited that we were leaving to go get our baby girl.

We cried as we left my mom’s yard, knowing that we wouldn’t see the boys for at least two weeks. That, without a doubt, is the hardest part about this all. We’re so thankful for family that will take care of our boys for us.

We got home from Mom’s house at about 10:00 that night. We finished packing our stuff, got the van ready to go, and then Brent headed to bed. I thought it was more important to finish making a red headband for our baby girl to wear with a special little outfit I had for her. By the time I climbed into bed it was about 11:30pm.

At 2:00 AM our alarms started going off. We hopped out of bed with smiles on our faces climbed out of bed trying not to be grouchy. At 3:00 AM we climbed in the van and backed out of the garage. We were officially on our way to get our baby girl.

We made it to Sioux Falls at about 4:30. We checked our bags, made it through security and sat down at Gate 7. We were scheduled to board the plane at 5:30 and take off at 6:00. We patiently waited, and then boarded when our group number was called. We got seated and situated. I opened my book and started reading. And then…

“Ladies and gentlemen, I’ve just been told that there is a mechanical issue with this airplane. There seems to be a leak in the break line. Please take any items that you carried on to the plane, and we will de-board the plane at this time. Thank you for your patience.”

Ugh! Exactly 8 hours later (give or take a few minutes) we re-boarded the same airplane. Yep, we spent an entire day in the upstairs of the Sioux Falls airport (we didn’t feel like going through security again). Some people were EXTREMELY cranky about the situation. Me personally, I’d rather ride on a airplane that will get me safely from Point A (Sioux Falls) to Point B (Chicago).

We arrived in Chicago and had 30 minutes to go across the airport. We pretty much ran the entire way, and we made it with 3 minutes to spare. We boarded the next plane and we were on our way to Charlotte. I couldn’t believe it. We were almost there.

Originally we were supposed to be in Charlotte, NC, by 1:45 PM. Then we were supposed to head directly to the agency for placement yet that afternoon. When we heard that we wouldn’t land in Charlotte until 7:30 PM, we assumed they would tell us to just check-in to the hotel, and we would have placement Friday AM. I called Doris, the head of the agency, at some point while in Sioux Falls. She said that she was actually flying out Friday morning, so we would need to do placement yet that night.

On the flight to Charlotte, emotions started hitting. As we started to descend, the tears started falling. With every mile that we got closer to Charlotte, we got closer to our baby girl.

And then… we touched ground.

We were in Charlotte… We’re coming, baby girl! Mommy and Daddy are coming!