2.02.2010

Two Weeks and a Special Gift

In two weeks from today, God willing, we will be flying to Ethiopia. I cannot believe we are so close! We are soooo excited!

So, to commemorate T - 2 weeks to take off, I thought I would share a story that is very special to me.

As some of you know, I am an avid breastfeeding advocate and was blessed to enjoy a successful breastfeeding relationship with both of my kids. So, when we started our adoption journey in March 2008, one of the first things I did was meet with a lactation consultant to discuss adoptive breastfeeding.

In October of 2008, I thought we were moving closer to referral and so I started trying to pump milk to stockpile it in our freezer for the baby. I was breastfeeding Indigo at the time, but was not making much milk. I worked with a lacation consultant, tried herbs to increase milk supply and rented a hospital grade pump, but I was simply unable to pump more than a few drops of milk.

I was expressing my frustrations to my friend, Emily, over the phone one afternoon. She was pregnant at the time. She told me, "Rachel, you've done enough. Let me do this for you." She told me that when her baby was born she would pump for our baby. I wasn't really expecting her to actually do it. I pumped for several months for the Austin Milk Bank and I know the commitment it involves.

Time passed and Emily had her baby. She started pumping milk for me just days after her son was born. She pumped the early milk, the colostrum, and froze it for my baby. She continued to pump every day.

When we received our referral, we learned that Evangeline was born on April 7, 2008. [They are unsure of her exact birthday.] Emily's son was born on April 5, 2008. She has been pumping for Evangeline since she was born!

Slowly, Emily's freezer became too full of milk to store so she started shipping it to me. Now our separate deep freeze is getting full of milk too. Before shipping it down to me, Emily got screened for all of the different viruses and diseases that they screen for at the milk banks. Her doctor was happy to do this for her, for us, and it was covered by insurance.

We feel so honored that Emily made the commitment to give this gift to Evangeline. I wanted to do something for her that would be meaningful, too. I wanted to give her something from the heart. I decided to make a quilt for her. It was the first "big" quilt I've ever made. It's definitely not perfect... I was learning along the way. But my heart was full of love and gratitude as I made it for her - a very small thank you for her incredibly generous gift to us.





Thank you, Emily, for this wonderful gift! We are humbled by the commitment you demonstrated in giving of yourself for Evangeline. We love you!

12 comments:

  1. I know how much you value the benefits of breast milk! And, I am so happy to hear that Emily has given you this gift in support of both you and Evie! What a truly touching gift! I can't believe you leave in two weeks! I remember those days well! All the anticipation and excitement! Enjoy it all!

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  2. What a wonderful gift your friend gave to you and your new baby. Your quilt is a beautiful gift to her.

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  3. This is so special!!! What a sweet friend you have. The babies' birthdates being so close gave me chills!! It's SO very possible they may have actually been born on the SAME DAY....wow....chills again. God's hand is definitely very apparent in this...what a blessing, and what a wonderful story to share with E when she grows up.

    I just love the 'little' gifts He sends us to remind us how this has all been orchestrated by Him I believe He provides these 'nuggets' so we and our children can come to know how He has provided for them....just how WANTED they are, and how very much they are LOVED.

    Enjoy these final 2 weeks:-).

    Hugs,
    Tami

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  4. Beautiful quilt. What a wonderful gifts to give each other!

    Praying for safe travels and that everything goes well while you are there!

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  5. Oh my gosh...what an incredible giving and amazing gift and friend.

    I had goosebumps reading the threads with both babies being born so close to one another and it would seem this was too was meant to be.....

    And your gift to her....incredible also. Beautiful...

    Thinking about you...knowing each day you are doing something to prepare for your little girls' blessed homecoming!

    Hugs!

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  6. Oh how special!! I have a tear in my eye-aren't people just amazing! And what a wonderful gift to give her-thanks for sharing the story Rachel.
    nicole k.

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  7. I am just in complete awe! I know how inconvenient and hard it can be to pump. It takes extra time, effort, clean up - so much especially when you already have other kids or another breastfeeding baby. This is just such a sacrificial gift. You are blessed! Evangeline is blessed! That is really neat that you made that quilt for her also. I have never heard a story quite like this before.

    2 WEEKS!! Woohoo!

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  8. WOW! That is an amazing gift. I too pumped (only off and on) during the time I was nursing my kids, and I DO understand the commitment and gift that that is! What a wonderful, wonderful blessing!

    The quilt is beautiful. Well done- a PERFECT gift!!

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  9. What a wonderful friend you have in Emily!! A very sweet and loving thing to do from one friend to another from one mom to another!!
    Evangeline is already very blessed.

    So excited for you journey and can't wait to see you holding your girl!!

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  10. That's an amazing story - and what an incredible selfless gift of love...both the milk and the quilt!

    I will have to look into Milk Banks...we are embarking on a domestic adoption -- and barring any possibility of bringing in my own milk (?is that ever possible?)...I hope to find some back ups...perhaps I'll find a nursing mother to befriend :)...(first we have to find our match!).

    God speed to Ethiopia!
    Margit

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