Thursday, December 4, 2014

Ethan Timothy Ciccone

Monday, December 1, 2014 @ 12:51 AM Ethan Timothy Ciccone made his debut into this world.  He was welcomed by Mommy, Daddy, Big brothers, Caleb & Josiah & Big Sister, Samantha.  His weight was 8 lbs 7 oz & he measured 23" long.  It's no mystery why mommy's tummy was so large, carrying all 23" of this baby boy.

The Lord has answered our prayer as He kept this baby healthy, & strong & safe.  We pray that His hand will continue to be upon Ethan as he grows to know the love our Heavenly Father has for us all.

Smiling for the camera

Mommy time

Daddy, back to poopy diapers

Daddy time

All 23" of his height, sticking out of the baby blanket

It's not easy being tall!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Answered prayer

We had our final ultrasound yesterday afternoon to check the location of my placenta.  Back on week 20 of this pregnancy, we had been told that the placenta was too close to the 'baby chute' for baby to be born naturally and on the baby's schedule.  So, we've been watching it ever since via ultrasound to see if it had grown out of the way.

I was not thrilled with the thought of having to take this baby out via c section or before the baby was ready, but I also understood that if it meant a safe and healthy birth day for baby and I, then that was ok.

Leading up to yesterday's ultrasound, my prayer was for clarity and absolute decisiveness as the doctor looked at the ultrasound to determine if we could just 'wait' on baby or if we would need to schedule the birth day.  I wanted to see an astonished look of certainty as the doctor saw what he saw, either a placenta impeding birth or a placenta amazingly far away from that 'baby chute'.

The look on the doctors face when he saw the screen was awesome.  He says, "your placenta is so far away from the 'baby chute' (of course he used the medical terms) I can't even tell how far".  I looked at Tim, tears in my eyes and knew instantly that God had answered my prayer.  He knew what I needed to hear and see & He gave me a doctor who was real enough to show astonishment and that 'scratch your head' belief.

I asked questions about what we were looking at, where is baby, how big is baby, is baby in the birthing position, is that the head?  It was so fun!

So, we have a 6 lb 9 oz baby already & baby is in the correct position to be born, but not close to making it's way down that 'baby chute'.  Praise The Lord the 'chute' is clear.

Now it's the wait and see when baby decides to make the grand entry into the loving arms of all of us.  In the waiting time, I'll enjoy the kicks and elbows and pressure on my bladder.

Thank you Lord for answering my prayers and giving me the certainty and clarity through the doctors decisiveness and astonishment!  Now, please bring baby out soon!!!  👶. We're more ready than we've been for any other child you've given us.
Baby having morning coffee!

Friday, September 26, 2014

Twins update...

Finally got up the nerve to ask the caseworker for an update on the twins, Ke'Ron and Ke'Mari, who were our foster sons for 18 months when we were in KS.  They were just 27 months when we were able to transition them into their Grannies home, but have had no contact or update since then (March).
We talk about them often and miss their antics in our family, but have trusted and found peace in knowing they are with biological family and being loved.

We still miss them and will always hold a place in our hearts for them, it was reassuring to hear they are doing GREAT, thriving in the daycare and looking forward to being adopted by the Granny we moved them to.  I will count this a 'win' for them, and continue to pray for God to be present in their lives.  Selfishly, I would love to see them both in eternity with Jesus, and sadly, I believe that will be my next opportunity.

Fostering is tough work, but such a privilege and honor to be entrusted with our most valuable resource.

We will always love you, twins!

Monday, August 4, 2014

The joys keep coming

Just when I think God couldn't surprise me with anything else, something pops up.  The 1st few days of walking the boys to school, I noticed that 1/2 way there, we got to walk by some fabulously fragrant lilac bushes.  Those flowers bring memories of Tim and I's 1st date, walking around my childhood neighborhood.  I smile and just thank God for a small, but meaningful reminder to me that He cares about the little things.

The 1st week in our new home, our neighbor mowed our parkway grass for us & invited us to the monthly block party with the neighbors.  God knows I desire community and relationships with those around me, and he has put some great, divers people right around me.  What a great welcome and feeling.

I just love how God has used each place we've loved and person we've loved to prepare us for the 'task' at hand.  I am not sure yet what my 'task' for the Kingdom is here, in Chicago, but I am enjoying the process of learning and waiting on Him for His guidance.

Here's to enjoying the adventures and cherishing the chaos!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Already building a New Addition...

Just 6.5 months after moving to Chicago, we plan to have our new addition complete!  November 29, 2014 is the 'scheduled' completion date, but we all know how due dates go, especially with your 1st delivery!

 What?  Bambino #4?  How'd you manage that?  Adopting so soon, after moving across state lines?  Already jumped into Fostering in Illinois?  (Just one of many responses from family when we let them in on our surprise).

Our excited friend, Kellynne, someone who has known our family for 12 years
Well, actually, God's plan is always miraculous, exciting and often times surprising.

So, via FaceTime, early Thursday, April 10, 2014, I called Tim, already commuting to Chicago, to show him this.... 
I had to buy the one with words & highest accuracy %.

After arguing with me about having time to sit down to listen to me for a minute, Tim's response was Priceless.  'Who's is that?'  'What does that mean?'  'Awesome, what do we do now?'  'Really?'  'How did that happen?'  (Those were the questions that echoed in our minds for the next several weeks)
Maria @ 7 weeks...wondering why we've been given this opportunity & what God is up to??

Here is a little excerpt from the conversations between Maria and the Nurse Practitioner, Lab Technicians, Ultrasound Tech and finally the Doctor...
Nurse Practitioner:  You don't understand...My body doesn't do this...I mean, the doctors always told us there was nothing 'wrong', but come on, let's be realistic here, this HAS GOT TO BE Something Else!  

Lab Technicians:  Just so you know, I'm deathly afraid of needles, so don't get mad at me, but there will be deep breathing, but I won't pass out, don't worry - I'm just a baby.  See, I have a LIST of why I am very happy to never be pregnant, or give birth...

Ultrasound Tech:  Now, that white spot on the screen you're saying is a baby, could be something else, right?  Let's look at all the angles, I mean, what ELSE could it be?  There COULD BE another rationale for why I feel so wiped out, nauseous, FAT...

Doctor:  Are you sure that's a heartbeat?  I mean, maybe I ate something funny.  Could you explain that?  I have no idea what you're talking about.  I mean, I have 3 kids, but you don't understand...I've not dreamed of this, or prepared, or read ANYTHING.

I was really just trying to be sure everyone was thinking 'outside the box' regarding this whole pregnancy 'diagnosis'.  Let's be realistic here...We've been married for 17 years & have not prevented pregnancies.

The confirmation by medical professionals and continued symptoms of unexplained exhaustion, and inability to keep up my usual pace, forced Maria to SIT DOWN and allow others to be a much needed helping hand (although they had no idea why I needed more than usual help).

Samantha & Mommy trying to keep up our workout schedule, but finding it necessary for pre-workout snacks.

Ouch, just had a blood of the MANY pains I've NEVER looked forward to.
Jimmy John's to the rescue of the 'starving' pregnant Mom at Josiah's Field day in the park.

Mommy @ 21 Weeks

Our Responses:  Caleb - 'Awesome'; Josiah - 'Cool'; Maria - 'No clue'; Samantha - 'Baby'; Tim - 'What?, How?'

Even with Bambino #4 on the way, arriving around November 29, 2014, we will still have our much needed to space to host family and friends who dare to visit us.

So, book your Chicago stay, at Ciccone Bed & Breakfast.  Lots of excitement around here!!