How it all went down when Elliot was born! notes from May 10th, 2019

Sunday, January 17th, 2021

Today is Friday May 10. It is 6:11 in the morning. Strange morning for sure. Evan is at Connors house, Sophie is at Teo’s house, and Max is still sleeping upstairs. Jessie is sitting next to me and i am trying to get as much on paper as I can, before the day starts. Let’s go back a few days. or weeks, or months! Tuesday before Thanksgiving 2018. We were at dinner in SF with SF/SD family and I got a FB message from Angela. I didn’t actually see the message until we got back to the hotel room. Angela was pregnant again. We were in shock. We called her that night and let the kids say hi. We didn’t talk to much about the pregnancy because kids were in the room, but we promised to think about what this meant for all of us and talk again soon. The two of us talked about it over the next few days. Of course the initial reaction was shock, but also excitement about the possibility of another baby, and fear. We both had felt for years that our baby age was past and that 3 was the perfect number of kids for us. A few weeks past, and we told Angela that despite the fact that part of us loved the idea of a 4th child, we felt at this time it was not right for our family to take on another baby. At some point in January or February Angela told us that she had found a gay couple in Tucson and started an adoption plan with them. Jason and Joel turned out to be a great couple, and we started developing a relationship through text and calls with them. At some point in March, when tests confirmed that Isabelle was healthy and the adoption plan with Jason and Joel was in place, we went to lunch with the kids at Serrano and told them about their new baby sister, and that the plan was for her belong to Jason and Joel. All three kids were very excited. Sophie cried a little at first and immediately said “i have always been afraid this would happen”. (wow.. how insightful in retrospect). Over the next month we talked a lot about ‘Abigail’ (the name that Jason and Joel had chosen). Kids were excited and happy with the plan. Sophie got to talk to Jason on the phone once and declared that he sounded just like me (David). Over spring break.. the wheels started to fall off. We were on vacation and Jason and Joel called us to tell us that Angela had cancelled their adoption plan.  Fast forward a couple weeks, and on Monday, May 6,  I got a text from Gary that Angela had delivered the baby at Loma Linda Hospital. Healthy baby girl and mom were both doing fine.   I didn’t get a picture from Gary, but he said that Angela would be sending one later in the day. On Tuesday, I got a call and FB message from Angela saying that CPS was there talking to her. I didn’t get much info, but Angela said that they would be calling me later. This was the first sign that something might not be going quite as Angela had planned.  I spoke to Leah Zipperstein later that day. I confirmed what I knew of Angela’s plans, confirmed that we were not the plan that Angela (nor us) had in mind, and confirmed that we had the baby’s 3 siblings.   On Wednesday afternoon, i was in line at Rolling Hills School waiting to pick up Evan when I got a call back from Leah. Leah informed me that the baby had been removed from Angela’s custody earlier that day, and the baby would be going into the foster care system. I said, ” well, we don’t want the baby to go into foster care”.  Leah said ” are you saying that you want this baby?”   I said, ” well, yes, i think i am saying that, but i need to talk to Joseph about it.” Just like that Leah said right then “well if you are saying you want the baby, then i am placing her with you”.   Joseph and I talked about it, and decided that not only was this the best thing for the baby, but it was something we wanted to do for ourselves, the baby, and our family.  Leah called back around 7 PM while we were at the park, and we confirmed that we wanted to take the baby to foster until we could adopt her.    Things moved very quickly from there. Joseph booked a flight to SO Cal for thursday morning at 6 am, and I started to work with Leah to get someone from El Dorado County out to the house in the morning. CPS couldn’t place baby with us until someone had done a home visit and given us an emergency approval as a foster home. With the help of Missy Van de Vijver, Leah and I got phone numbers to people in EDC and by 7 AM the next morning had a visit to our house scheduled with a social worker (Ben) at 10 Am.  In the meantime, Leah ran our background checks, and every thing was ready when Joseph got to Leah’s office at 1 PM on Thursday.  After signing the paperwork, Joseph went the hospital to get our baby.  After some testing and lights because of possible jaundice, Joseph and baby left the hospital at 10 PM with baby to stay overnight at the residence Inn in San Bernadino.   They had an appointment with the doctor for a check up the next morning and then headed to the airport ticketless to try to get a flight home.   Turns out Southwest airlines requires infants to be 14 days old, so Leah helped us again by getting a dr’s note for baby to fly home.  Later that day, Joseph and baby had an easy flight home and arrived to our house just about 7:30 PM.  Daddya, Evan , Sophie and Max were all waiting outside when they drove up to the driveway.

notes from Ellie at 1 week old

Sunday, January 17th, 2021

Yesterday Ellie turned one week. She has been at home 3 full days now and is settling in so well. Last night she slept from 11:30 to 4:30. Ideal for daddies schedules. Daddyo fed at 11 and daddy fed at 4:45. Evan Sophie and Max are all doting siblings. Evan walked her to the park and showed her off to Donovan. Sophie read her Harry Potter for the second day in a row, and max laid on the bed with her and stroked her hair and stared at her for quite a while.

notes from May 19, 2019

Sunday, January 17th, 2021

Ellie is 13 days old now! The whole family is doing great. Ellie is a sweet baby, cries very little, and is a great eater! We are all bonding with her more every day, and she is becoming part of the family ..like we had always planned her. This time is definitely different than with E, S and M. Ellie is a foster child, and even the slightest fear that we may not be able to make her part of our family forever is something dads are aware of. We have made sure the kids are also aware of it. It’s also different for us because we are living with different rules when it comes to Angela. The state is involved, which means decisions are not all up to us. This has put a strain on relationships between us and Angela, but we are hopeful that in time this will get worked out.

notes from Aug 22, 2019

Sunday, January 17th, 2021

Ellie slept from 8:30 to 4:00AM last night. This is her longest stretch yet. She has rolled over twice. (see video). Evan, Sophie and Max went back to school August 8th. We are all just getting in the swing of things. Evan is playing volleyball and Daddyo is coaching. Sophie and Max are running CC.

notes from Aug 26, 2019 Rattle Success

Sunday, January 17th, 2021

Today Ellie made huge improvement today with her hands! Holding the rattle, and bringing it to her mouth! Both for the first time.

notes from November 30 2019

Sunday, January 17th, 2021

Thanksgiving on Thursday with Nana, Poppy, Lola and Lolo. Today is Saturday. Got our two Christmas trees.. one for kids in Foyer and one for dads in the living room. Ellie’s first tooth ( bottom right) broke through today too! Ellie is very close to crawling, kids are hoping she dies before Christmas.

Early February 2020 – Ellie at 9 months

Sunday, January 17th, 2021

Big changes over the last week! Right at nine months Ellie started to really crawl. In a matter of 3 days she went from almost crawling to crawling all over the place, and rather quickly too! She is also standing up all the time, and crusing around her play area, or ottoman. Also on February 10th her top two middle teeth finally popped out! We knew it was coming and we’re watching day by day. She is still the happiest little girl. She always has tons of smiles for all of us. LOVES to be tickled, and is talking up a storm. “Ne ne ne” , babbling and squeals of happiest are the most common. She has been sleeping through the night very consistently. 8 pm is bedtime after a bath, and wakes up between 5:30 and 5 AM.

notes from March 5

Sunday, January 17th, 2021

Elliott turns 10 months tomorrow! Best news today is that we got notified that her adoption will be finalized on April 7th. Our new (January) social worker, Paula Kang, came up last week for her visit and told us she could get a date soon! Faster than we thought, we are all very excited. Ellie is crawling all over, standing and cruising and wants to be everywhere! She has a great schedule now that she keeps to pretty well. Up at 5:30’or 6. Napa at 9:30 and 2:30 and to bed at 8! She loves her baths a ton! She has started to crawl around in the master bath, stand up, and start babbling. In the past few days though, She has really started to try to stand up in the Tub also… that’s taking some time to discourage.

Lock down – End of march sometime

Sunday, January 17th, 2021

Covid 19 life started for us on Friday March 13. After school got out we realized that it was time we sheltered in place. We new it was coming soon by order, but got a jump on things by shopping and eating lunch at C Knight one last time with Ellie while kids were in school. A whole new world for dads and kids. Home schooling began, and we settled into a new routine pretty quickly. Ellie lives it of course. Lots of people at home 24/7 for her to be entertained by. I think it helps all of us too, always something to do, a change of pace, and a reminder of how wonderful human life is. Thursday March 27 Ellie stood by herself for a few seconds. She has done that a couple of times since. No real steps though. On Sunday March 29 she climbed the stairs (crawling) with no assistance at all.. just Daddya following behind her. Ellie is sleeping so well. 8 to 6 at least every night. She is starting to love food too. Risotto with carrot definitely a favorite. Ministrone soup and banana also top choices for her.

“Say Please”!

Sunday, January 17th, 2021

Another post about Ellie. Yes, the other three kids exist, but as tweens and teens, their changes are harder to identify and track. Ellie is talking more and more every day. She will try to say most any word, sometimes it comes out sort of correct. She is also starting to put thoughts together. Like pointing and saying a word at the same time. Like pointing to a dad and saying “cockie” (meaning coffee) when we wake up in the morning. Today she also brought her sippy cup to me in the kitchen and said “please” while signing for milk. This was the first time I had heard her use the word please without being prompted.