Friday, February 26, 2010

Friday (Feb 25)...Still here...(again, again)

"I can hold my own binky"

Deep Thoughts by Ben

Here's looking at you kid

Sleeping? Picking his nose? BOTH (that's my boy!)

Friday (Feb 25)...Still here...(again)

You know that you are ready to embrace a chaotic airplane ride; the first traveling with a baby (and all the stuff that comes with that) and the first for a baby (Oh, the firsts little Ben has seen this week...I just realized what a thoughtless comment that was. He is a 3 week old baby. For 3 weeks EVERYTHING has been a first. Please forgive me for my lapse of "baby awareness".) Anyway....on to the ridiculous video...the cruel things parents do at the expense of their young. (i.e. videotaping their shivering child, rather than covering them with clothing...all for the benefit of posting it online. Sorry Ben)

(please note Ben was immediately covered and cuddled to the appropriate warm/snuggly temperature that can only be found in daddy's arms. No need to send hate mail to me or announcements to child wellfare....He is fine....and still adorable.)

Friday (Feb 25)...Still here...

As we wait for Illinois to give us the "OK" to bring this adorably, edible little boy into the state we decided it best to have another "wild" outing. Mmmmmm

Waiting by the phone...

Dear Illinois Interstate Adoption Department...
My name is Ryan Cooper. Recently (Monday) my wife and I adopted a ridiculously adorable baby boy. He has a smile, while early in his life, that will melt a room and many a hearts. Additionally he is looking forward to meeting his older brother Melvin (4 yr. old. yellow lab). Keeping these boys apart for any longer would be a travesity. Please assist us and CALL US to give us the "OK" to allow these two little guys to get to know one another. He is ready to go home. Not to mention his "whiny" parents who are ready to get back to their house, their kitchen, their friends, and their bed.
A Desperate Dad

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Thursday (Feb 25)

Recap of the day...


1. exhausted, as by exertion; fatigued or sleepy: a tired runner.
2. weary or bored (usually fol. by of): tired of the same food every day.
3. hackneyed; stale, as a joke, phrase, or sermon.
4. Informal. impatient or disgusted: You make me tired.

The honeymoon is over. Well, not really but we are exhausted. Tomorrow is a new day.

Alas...he is just too cute to do anything but sigh and head to bed. I wonder if this is a good case for "leading by example"...Hopefully he will calm down soon.
Nighty night.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Ben's 1st bath

It started off so nice and calm...(that didn't last very long:) ).

(that was just the start...)
On the Positive...He smells amazing!

Wednesday (Feb 24) Pictures

Middle of the night. Ben=wide eyed. Dad=not-so-much.

Mid Morning pillow nap...tiny peanut

(sleeping during DATE NIGHT supper)

Angelic (almost)...1 minute later=spitting up :)

The Cooper Men in their matching white undershirts.

Wednesday (Feb 24) Outing Continued...DATE NIGHT

When you have a child DATE NIGHT takes on a whole new meaning. I hope that we will continue to make our date nights/communication dates a priority as we continue on our journey. (I can not imagine how difficult life would get without those.)
That said, we continued on our outing for the day...(still have not been back to the hotel...all are getting a bit crabby). We decided it would be a tragedy not to embrace the riches of Cajun cuisine while in the region. So for supper we embraced seafood, gumbo, bisque, and more fried fish than should be admitted.

On one hand it was a "cultural" experience. Isn't the saying...when in Rome? So we found our way to one of the local favorites, Floyd's.
While a quaint establishment...our current stomach conversations tell us, perhaps not the "best" meal. But date night, nonetheless. Ben had a good time too...He patiently slept until we were through. (We've trained him well...until he grows out of the sleeping 20 hours a day).

Wednesday (Feb 24) Outing!

We did it! Our first family outing. For those laughing at the must know I was you not too long ago. I was the one who said...oh its no big deal just bring the kids along. I always thought it would be rather easy to bring them. In fact, they are just like an accessory right?! "Father forgive me, I know not what I say." I now see the error of my ways! :)

Let us begin with getting the kid ready. Thankfully Ben has been pretty easy on us so far. But as soon as you are packed and ready, there is a diaper change needed. Once that is done, he is hungry again. Following that, you guessed it nap time...a perfect time to travel mind you.

Once at your destination (ours was the local mall), you find your arms filled with baby, diaper bag, coats, and it doesn't help that you haven't been the gym all that often.

Let me take a moment to give a shout out to the makers of the MOBY. I have to give you much respect and credit. You have managed to "create" a long piece of overpriced fabric and instill such a "basic need" upon struggling parents who have no other o
ption to survive than to purchase this from you (rather than go to the fabric store)...How could we have ever lived without one. Thank you...I think.

Our trip to the mall was successful. We have been trying to think of a way to create memories and images for Ben to look to as his "roots". Since we have no photos of his birth or any milestones in his short life we wanted to find ways to help build his story.
Enter Beaumont his Build-A-Bear puppy. We thought Beau would be a great way to give him something from his birth place and create a starting point in his life. As with any creation at build-a-bear Beau has a birth certificate. We put Beau's birthday as Feb. 22, 2010...the day we met and adopted Ben. As you can see, Beau is quite the companion. We pray he will be a source of comfort and love for many years...and assist in telling Ben's adoption story.

Following our adventure at the mall and Sunni's new found passion and excitement for the MOBY (if only they could create one with a built in air conditioner), we made our way to the car.

Our next adventure was to historic/downtown Beaumont. But first, as you guessed, changing the amazingly (should have received an award) full diaper in the back seat of the car on a windy day...(Sunni is w.o. question amazing...Sorry for the draft Ben).

Wednesday (Feb 24)

First Family Photo!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Tuesday (Feb 23) Here's Smilin at you kid.

Tuesday (Feb 23) PICTURES

(patiently waiting at Dr's)

(STILL patiently waiting at the Dr's)

First shopping trip as a Mom

(enough said)

Tuesday (Feb 23)

Spent a good chunk of Ben's waking hours at the Dr's office today. Based on our experience I have come to a several conclusions...
1) if you are working in a pediatricians office it helps to appear to have a fondness for the younger population in the world. (i.e. Crabby nurses are not a good fit in this environment).
2) if you make an appointment with a patient for a certain time it is good to be within that specific hour. (i.e. Ben's 10am appointment should NOT have implied leaving the waiting room to see the Dr at 12:10pm. Especially to have a 5 minute conversation with the Dr.)
3) if a glossy-eyed couple comes into your medical office with a very young child, one they say they adopted yesterday and have only been told to come to this follow up appointment, it is best NOT to asked them repeatedly for medical history, or really any details that happened before yesterday...They do not know! (i.e. since the Dr is the one who saw him at the hospital, he is much more knowledgeable then the deer-in-the-headlights couple...especially when they really just want, lunch, a nap and another full bottle for their hungry youngster--not in that order).
4) naps are a WONDERFUL thing (i.e. naps are a WONDERFUL thing)

I'm ready for my close-up.

"isn't it bed time?" says dad

"ahh cuddle time with momma"

(I'm pretty sure he is in there. Did we mention how tiny he is?!)

(absolutely amazing foster parents)

"so00...i guess we are your parents"

Benjamin Stephen Cooper

What's in a name?

Since the beginning of time names have meant something. They have stood for some cause, giving meaning or held special significance. Our little boy is no different.
We are very family oriented and so it made perfect sense to us to embrace our family names/values as we named this new little addition to our family.
Benjamin was the name of Sunni's grandfather, Ben Shader. An inventor and passionate man of God, Grandpa Ben was notorious for making willow whistles with the little ones in the church.
Stephen is a name that has been passed down in Ryan's family for several generations. This name is typically in the middle name of the son...thus
Benjamin Stephen Cooper.
Not to mention that he can be called so many different names from those...
Ben. Benj, Benji, Benny (not going to happen), Jam, Jamin, BS (said Grandma Patty...perhaps that shouldn't be broadcast).

But for now...we just hope he goes to sleep :)

Monday, February 22, 2010

"Happy" to meet you

Monday Feb 22 (Afternoon)


(Make sure your sound is on)

Big Yawn

More to come...

Monday Feb 22 (morning)

So...this is just a quick video of our little guy's nursery at home. As you can imagine, we are so thankful that we were able to put together the crib, glider and changing table a few weeks ago. Isnt it amazing how things change...A month ago there was a bed and dresser in the khaki colored room...And now, it is a nursery.
I know that this is not the video/pictures that many of you want to see right now. But I promise you, it is nothing compared to the calmness that is going on in our little hotel room right now (insert sarcasm). :) Oh the questions: What does he look like? What is his name? What type of formula does he "like"? What does he weigh? Diaper size? Clothing? How does one use this MOBY? Why does a Baby Bjorn remind me how overweight I am? How does one appropriately register? Is it tacky to register for caffeine supplements? Will he ever know how much we have longed for this day? for him? for the days, months and years to come?

We promise that we will post images and/or videos of him whenever we have them. For now, enjoy the tour de nursery.
Ryan/Sunni (9:16 am...the clock is ticking...I am not a patient person:). 11am will soon be here)

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Sunday Feb 21 (day in review)

Here is a quick run down of our adventures today.
[We began in Houston and ended up in a smaller town/city along the Gulf Coast; Beaumont. We spent the day enjoying the local community, and hit up Target, Babies R Us and Walmart to see all the "crap" that babies "need". We are just crawling into bed and cant believe that in 13 hours we will be holding our son.]
And on to the rambling commentary...

There is something about the Evangelical Covenant Church. Some enjoy playing the 6 degrees of separation with Kevin Bacon...but those who's church is a part of the ECC think we can make connections much quicker. One of the great advantages of the ECC is the ability to always feel at home. It does not seem to matter what town you are in, or what the personality of the church is, you will instantly find connections and feel at home.
CASE STUDY...The Coopers Adoption Trip.
When we woke up this morning I began looking for Covenant churches in the region. I thought it would be fun, being far from our home to go and experience/celebrate worship with other sisters and brothers in Christ. So I got onto the CovChurch.Org website and looked. Thankfully for us we found a new church plant in Beaumont, the town we were heading to. So we got in the car and made our way. When we arrived...we thought something was wrong because we drove by the location listed on the was a park. I called the number that was listed and Yes indeed the service was on. So Sunni and I drove up to a small pavilion in the park to meet 13 other folk. We introduced ourselves as Ryan and Sunni who were in town from Illinois. We didn't have to say anything more, we were embraced with loving arms. We shared our understanding of their situation. (Their normal rental facility was being used and so they needed to worship in the park. Being a part of Hope/SW Covenant Church...we knew and remembered the flexibility that comes with a church without walls). We shared our reason for being in the region and that we were a part of a ECC church back home. We worshiped a wonderful, authentic service. As seams to be the family embrace of the ECC, I was asked to assist in leading in the Communion service and offer a benediction. As if our time in the park was not enough we were invited to join the whole group for lunch at a local deli. An enjoyable time. As if that were not enough...I had the opportunity to sit next to a family who have adopted their 2 children (same agency as the one we will be at tomorrow:)) now in their late teens. We shared joys, fears and everything in between. What a wonderful experience to see the embrace of God's people sharing life and love together?! If you have not come in contact with the Evangelical Covenant should. Based on my experience, You will be the better for it.

Following lunch we took advantage of extra time and walked around the baby sections in Target, Babies R Us and Walmart. We have been asked several times "Where are you registered?" To which we had said...we aren't. So we began the joyful and exhausting process of making a list. Funny thing was...we are still in panic mode. We second guess ourselves whenever we look at an item. We talk ourselves out of purchases and registering for the basics thinking that this little boy already has experience with a foster family and we are coming in and moving him. We dont want to rock the boat anymore than what has been. But tomorrow is a new day.

Tomorrow...We plan to meet our son. We plan to talk with those who know him best and ask what type of bottles, nipples, diapers, formula...etc. he likes. And once we have most of those answers we will shop for the necessities. I imagine the sight of us walking the aisles of the local stores will easily compare to the first days we took our little puppy to the local pet store and walked up and down the aisles with a cart. The positive thing for us is that we know whatever we buy must also be transported back home...which is becoming a more daunting thought.

The time is ticking...My eyes are crossing...We are turning off the computer in hopes that the next time we chat with our blog friends we will be able to share pictures and tears about our little one. But for now, I have added a picture of me sitting on the bed in my PJs typing this...(I wouldnt really do that to you. :) )
See you tomorrow.
Ryan and Sunni (a.k.a Dad and Mom)


Saturday, February 20, 2010

The beginning of a NEW Chapter...

Since our last post was July 22 2009, I thought we would FAST FORWARD you through the not so great pages of the last 6 months and jump straight to yesterday (FEB 19, 2010). Remember this date...Because on this date our "story" just went chaotically fantastic with a twist of Oh MY?!
On Friday (yesterday) we received a phone call. A call that we have been waiting for for two years, and yet, still not ready for...
For those behind on the Cooper Times, we have been patiently (this is a lie) waiting for our family to grow through the gift of adoption. [For those who just want the details: We were placed with a little boy who was born Feb. 4th. We just received word of his existence and our match yesterday. So we quickly made phone calls, ordered tickets, rental car, hotels, and now are in Texas...only 24hours later]
And again, back to Yesterday.
Yesterday we were in our routine. Yesterday we had plans and schedules to follow. People to meet, and projects to work on. Yesterday we were busy. Yesterday we were in Illinois. But yesterday seems so far away...
Today on the contrary we find ourselves in Texas. Today began with packing up two large suitcases, cleaning a house, snuggling with a neurotic "Melvin" (dog), and making more phone calls than our cell provider would appreciate (thank you for unlimited weekend minutes). Today we boarded an airplane. Today we picked up our rental car. Today we are exhausted...and we are just starting this new chapter of our life. Today we find ourselves in Texas. I realize that I have said this before, but you must put yourself in our shoes...We had plans for today, tomorrow and the rest of this week...But Today, we are in Texas.
It really has not hit us yet what this week will do to our world. However, we will continue to move forward and follow the steps we are aware of. That said, please join us in prayers of thanksgiving that our prayers and petitions to the Almighty One have been answered. We are 36 hours from meeting our new, precious son. A Son?! What a concept?! What a gift?! What in the world have we got ourselves into?! Thank You Lord...(I think).
Tomorrow we are going to find some local church to worship in. Then travel to our new temporary home. We will get settled in and then prepare (how does one do that?!) to meet our little guy. Tomorrow...well that is a new page in the book of the Coopers. We'll fill in the pages as they are written.