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Well, Tucker has arrived. He graced this world with his presence on September 12th. He was born at 9:59 am and weighed 8 lbs, 2 oz and was 20 3/4 inches long. He is just perfect! My pregnancy, labor and delivery with Tucker was much more pleasant than with Mary Lee. Induction was started around 7:00 am and he was here less than 3 hours later! My doctor said with that kind of labor and delivery, I should have lots of babies...not so sure about that! Tucker will be one month old tomorrow which is so hard to believe. I would be lying if I said the standard, "He is such a great baby." Come on, what newborn is honestly a "great baby." Now, don't get me wrong, he is worth every bit of fussiness, sleep deprivation, tummy and feeding issues we have experienced; however, I am ready for him to be a little happier and more content with life. Oh and it would also be great if he would sleep longer than 2-3 hour stretches at night. I know it will come. I think it happened with Mary Lee around the 2-3 month old mark, so we are hanging in there. We are adjusting to life with 2 kids. It is not easy, but we are so blessed and learning our new normal. I am so very thankful to be able to stay home now. I cannot imagine going back to work in just a few short weeks. Plus, how in the world would I ever get us all out of the door on time every day?! Griffin leaves in the wee hours of the morning for work, so I am it in the mornings. I can barely get us out the door on time to drop Mary Lee off at preschool by 9:30...and it is only 5 minutes from our house. Griffin has some of his hardest rotations coming up (NICU, PICU, Peds Heme Onc). That will make for one tired mommy from now until December, but I am up for the challenge! I am clinging to my Heavenly Father more now than ever as I don't "have it all together" like this OCD mommy normally does. It is a good place to be...a place I needed to be more...a place I am happy with and learning in. I hope to update again soon, but for now, here are a few pictures of Tucker's first days of life.
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I guess it would be time to officially announce on the blog that WE ARE EXPECTING! By now, I am sure you all know that, but I wanted to document it here too. I am due September 18th! As many of you know, we are in the process of domestically adopting a special little treasure. It is our agency's policy that the adoption be put on hold until the biological baby arrives. While I completely understand that policy and know that it is for the best, I would be lying if I said I wasn't disappointed. This pregnancy came as a bit of a surprise, but we of course, could not be more excited! Our social worker made a great point when I called to tell her of our news. She said, "There is a reason the baby you adpot will need this older sibling." That has stuck with me. Being completely honest, while the first few weeks finding out you are pregnant should be extrememly exciting, I was secretly quite down. I knew deep down that that meant that the adoption would be postponed. I waited weeks and weeks to make the call to let our social worker know about the pregnancy. I guess I just didn't want to hear her say that we would be put on hold. I did hear those words, and I was ok. Honestly, I think it was freeing to have it out in the open and focus on and enjoy the little peanut growing inside of me. We know without a shawdow of doubt that we are still called to adopt...the timing is just different than what WE thought. Isn't that something...He knows what is best, timing and all :-). I have to constantly be reminded of that.
Mary Lee is so excited to be a big sister! I think she is going to be a great one! Since I waited so long to announce that we are pregnant, you also get to know the gender now too! See below for pictures of the reveal!
Yes, we are having a BOY!! I thought for sure it was another girl. I have been very sick, just like with Mary Lee. For some reason, I just thought it was another girl. Boy, was I wrong! We could not be more thrilled to be expecting a sweet baby boy. He officially has a name too...Tucker Andrew Guice. Mary Lee already loves Tucker to pieces. She feeds him bottles and gives him pacis through my belly all of the time. She loves to hug him and give him sugars too. She is smitten...let's hope it lasts!
As many of you know, I don't have the best or easiest pregnancies. Please pray with us that Tucker and Mommy will stay healthy! We are so very blessed!
Oh, one more thing...If you haven't donated to our adoption fund and would like to, please see the previous post for instructions on how to donate. We are close to our goal of raising $3000! We still need about $500 to meet our goal to be matched. So many have already given, and we appreciate that so much! While we know the Lord will provide every bit of that money, it feels good to know that so many have contributed to the cause of the orphan and to know that we will have close to $6000 (with the match) to cover some of our adoption costs. Thank you for prayerfully and financially being a part!
We have great news! We were blessed to receive a $3000 matching grant for our adoption. What that means is if we raise $3000 (from friends and family...it cannot come from us), our church will match that amount, giving us $6000 to add to our adoption account. We sent the following letter out but also wanted to make it public on our blog. In this letter, you will hear our hearts for adoption and you will also be given ways to help us through prayer and finances. If you would like to donate to our adoption fund, you can send a check (directions in the letter below) or you can donate using the Donate button on the right side of the blog. If you use the donate button, the money will still go straight to Lifesong for Orphans in order to be matched. Paypal does take 2-3% as a service fee, but the donation is still tax deductible. Please take the time to read our letter, and thank you so much for your continued prayer and support on this journey.
Dear Friends and Family,
We hope you are doing well. As many of you may know, Chandler and I have felt the Lord leading us to adopt for some time now. Over the past few months, we have pursued this calling, and currently, we are working closely with a Christian adoption agency in Memphis, TN. Briefly, this organization typically reaches out to single, young mothers and encourages them to mother their children themselves or pursue adoption in lieu of considering an abortion. All of our paperwork has been finalized, and we are currently just “waiting for the call.” Many have asked us (or perhaps thought), why adopt? For one, James 1:27 says, “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”
Just as this verse says, we desire our faith to be seen as pure by Christ. As a family, we do not want our Christianity to be defined merely by abstaining from the wickedness this world has to offer, but by action…loving Christ and loving others. Second, we have been blessed to be a part of a church body that has taught us the beautiful analogy between adoption and what Christ has done for us. Our pastor often says, “We do not adopt to BE the rescuers; we adopt because we ARE the rescued.” Third, we have been blessed to have close friends that have both adopted and fostered children (that are now some of Mary Lee’s closest buddies). Their purity and faithfulness in pursuing God’s will for their family have been an inspiration to us. Finally, Revelation 7:9-10 says,
“After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!”
From this verse we know that every nation, every people group will be represented in Heaven. We also know the body of Christ at this very moment is made up of many different races, nations, and cultures. The body of Christ is a multicultural family. We want our family here in Birmingham, AL to be multicultural as well and be a reflection/reminder to Mary Lee, to ourselves, and to those around us of the body of Christ as a whole. All of us, regardless of race or nationality, were once sinners purchased by Jesus’ blood though we deserved much worse.
We ask that you join us in this journey. There are two main ways you can help:
1. Prayer – First and foremost, we ask for prayer. Please pray that God’s timing would be perfect in growing our family. Please pray that Chandler and I can display Christ to our children every day through our actions and words. Pray that Mary Lee’s heart will open to accept and love the newest member of our family. 2. Financially – Second, we ask you to consider supporting us financially in this adoption. We estimate our adoption fees will total about $15,000. We have been blessed to be able to pay every fee that has been due thus far. We still have about $8,000 left to pay. Our church partners with Lifesong for Orphans to offer financial assistance to families pursuing adoption. We have been approved for a “matching grant,” and they will match whatever amount we are able to raise up to $3,000. 100% of all funds received by Lifesong for Orphans go directly to cover adoption costs. Nothing is taken out for administrative costs. This is such a blessing and answered prayer for us! Although this is not the most stable financial situation of our lives with Griffin in residency and Chandler staying home with the kids next year, we know God is faithful and is leading us to trust Him.
Will you please consider making a tax-deductible donation to help us pay the remaining $8,000 in adoption expenses to bring our baby home? If you would like to be a part of God bringing this baby to Himself through our family, you can send your tax-deductible gift to the address below.
Please make checks payable to: Lifesong for Orphans. In the memo section of your check please write: preference Guice #2529 Adoption. (*Note: In following IRS guidelines, your donation is to the named non-profit organization. This organization retains full discretion over its use, but intends to honor the donor’s suggested use.)
Mail checks to:
Lifesong for Orphans Attn: Guice #2529 Adoption PO Box 40 / 202 N. Ford St Gridley, IL 61744
Thank you for investing in the Kingdom through prayer and finances – it will be an investment with an eternal return! You can follow our blog to receive updates on our family and our adoption process. The blog address is http://www.gabbinwiththeguices.blogspot.com/. Please pray that this entire process will glorify God!
One of Griffin's few weeks off this year was the New Year's week. Luckily, I am off then too! My parents recently got an awesome beach house so we headed there for our time off. We had so much fun! We ate a lot of good food, rested, swam, played, took naps, etc...most of which we do not do at home as often as we'd like! Most of all, we just spent time together, which is nice! Here are a few pictures from the beach...
One morning we ventured out to the beach, but it was very windy. Luckily, it got warmer (and less windy) as the week went on.
This day was fairly warm so Mary Lee went out in her swim suit and was able to swim in the heated pool.
Griffin and I celebrated our 5 year anniversary while at the beach. My parents and Kels kept Mary Lee while we went out...such a treat!
Pier Park had a great family style New Year's Eve celebration! We had a blast!
They had a great band playing in the background.
There were fun rides!
And at 8 pm, they dropped thousands of beachballs in the streets...so fun!
We had a great getaway! One of the best parts is that it's free...thanks mom and dad! It goes without saying, we will be back!
Griffin and I were married on December 30, 2006. We are high school sweethearts and are blessed to have found each other! I am a reading coach at an elementary school. Griffin is an adult
medicine/ pediatrics resident. God has blessed us with a precious baby girl named Mary Lee. She was born September 29, 2009! We are excited that we are in the process of bringing home another addition to our family through the blessing of adoption!