Present Day 

Nine months have passed since our beautiful baby was born. What once resembled a tiny little Sasquatch is now a strikingly handsome blue-eyed butterball. We love him so! 

So much chubbaroo goodness.

CJ, or Cam, or Campbell, is the happiest of babies. People often ask us, “Doesn’t he ever cry? He’s just so joyful!” Well yes, the truth is he is one joyful little bugaboo. During the daytime he is all smiles and sunshine and truly a happy-go-lucky little dude. It’s the nighttime where he unleashes the full power of his lung capacity to make sure the hubs and I understand his great displeasure with bedtime. The kid hates to sleep. He’s a wee social butterfly who loves to interact and suffers from some serious FOMO (fear of missing out, in case you were wondering). But we think that’s pretty typical, and he gets a free pass for screaming at us every night since he’s practically perfect in every way all the rest of the time. 

Big brother Ezra loves being big brother Ezra. He adores CJ and he is never happier than when his silly antics cause CJ to go into a giggling fit. This usually involves a dance of some kind followed by calling CJ “poopy Campbell.” For some reason, being called poopy is CJ’s favorite thing and he can’t laugh hard enough when he hears it. Unfortunately, this has led the Eldest Son to believe that everyone he talks to must find poopy talk equally hysterical, and has taken to greeting everyone with poopy in front of their name. I fear this is my reality now. I am a mama of boys, and I expect I have many years of “poopy” talk and bathroom humor ahead of me. Lord, have mercy on my poor mama soul. 

This is just a quick update to share how we are today. We are a blessed family, poopy talk and all! We don’t take anything for granted when it comes to our boys. I have many tales and anecdotes I can’t wait to share with you, as well as a couple more chapters of our adoption story. Stay tuned!

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Our Adoption Story, Part Four: A Baby By Any Other Name

We faced one ginormous problem after meeting our son, and that was the fact he did not have a name. We had nothing picked out. I mean, obviously we had been desperately trying to adopt so you might think we would have something as basic as A NAME ready to go. Somehow, and for reasons I can still not explain, we did not. 

Well, we had our girl name ready I guess, but that was pretty useless to us in this situation. See, we had picked out a boy name for the adoption that fell through back in May 2015. And we didn’t want to recycle that name like a pop can because everyone deserves a name picked out just for them. Honestly, the story of how someone gets their name should not be because it was originally picked out for someone else and it didn’t work out, am I right? A name should be special. A lot of thought should go into the perfect name. So, the hubs and I got down to business and started brainstorming as soon as we got to the hospital room. We looked at our perfect Sasquatch baby and asked him what he thought sounded best. We made lengthy lists that included veto power from both of us. We looked up meaningful names on our phones, standing on the window ledge (inside, duh) and angling the phone north, the only way one could receive cell service. We categorized our findings into the following: strong possibility, worth revisiting, and vetoed. 

What we wished we were doing was gazing adoringly at our new baby without distraction, calling him by the name we already had chosen just for him. (Yeah well, if wishes were fishes we would all live in the sea.) We had given this baby our hearts, but we couldn’t give him a stinking name. The name card on his bassinet read “Baby Boy Doe” and mocked me whenever I caught a glimpse of that impersonal and generic moniker. 

The next day around noon, we had narrowed our list down to 4 names: Asher, Elliot, Campbell, and Evan. Owen was also a favorite but I decided it was just too popular. I didn’t want my kid growing up with an initial after his name like I did. We were under the gun on time because my parents were bringing Ezra (may as well just use his full name!) to the hospital to visit his baby brother that afternoon. Baby brother needed a name we felt, by the time Ezra arrived. We wanted their first meeting to be special and heartwarming.  This baby needed a name that Ezra could start to get used to…he already had to get used to the idea that he was no longer an only! 

Scant moments before their arrival, one of the nurses who helped deliver our boy stopped by. Seeing how he was still nameless, she asked if we would like to hear what name popped into her head when he was born. Of course we said yes, we were so curious. Imagine our surprise when she said, “Elliot.” That settled it! She hadn’t even known the names on our list! It was destiny! I loved the name Elliot…the Hubs waffled a bit on it because of the many ways it could be spelled and because he thought a nickname could be “Ellie.” However, after the nurse’s input, he said we should do it. 

So we did! We wrote “Elliot Jackson” on the hospital whiteboard and patted ourselves on the back for the momentous victory that was eventually naming our baby. Then fate entered in the form of a three year old. 

The night before: During a quick phone call to tell Ezra good night and to tell him some details about the new baby, he asked what baby’s name was. I told him we were considering a few and told him what they were. When I got to “Campbell” he perked up and said “Ooh, good one!” What I should have heard was, “Okay, that will be the baby’s name because it’s my favorite.”

The arrival: Ezra entered the room and the Hubs picked him up to show him his new baby brother. “Meet your little brother, Elliot!” I said enthusiastically, expecting Ezra to respond in kind. 

Ezra turned to me and gazed into my eyes in a way that seemed very familiar. “His name is Campbell, mama,” he declared definitively, sticking his little jaw out. He continued to stare, daring me to contradict him. I stared helplessly at John. John gaped back at me. 

“Well,” I thought aloud, “Campbell is a great name!” How had this tiny child retained that from our conversation? Did I even say Campbell on the phone? Was this real life? 

So maybe it sounds like we were bullied by our toddler, but I couldn’t think of a more beautiful way for these two boys to begin life together than to have our oldest name our youngest. I nodded at John, and he headed for the white board to erase Elliot and replace it with Campbell. Beautiful. 

If you Google the meaning of the name Campbell, you will find that it is Scottish in origin and means crooked mouth. Lame. If you were to ask me personally, I would tell you the meaning of the name Campbell is…named by my big brother. 


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Sharing Another’s Joy

It’s been an interesting week. I got to prove my mettle to myself the past few days and I’m pretty proud of that. 

A lovely friend of mine, also on a long adoption journey, learned she and her husband had been chosen by a birthmother and the baby was coming soon!  She hesitated to tell me, afraid that it might be painful to hear that she had just be given the very thing I’ve been waiting for. 

When I heard the news, I took a quick inventory of my feelings. I didn’t want to offer a phony congratulations or say something nice, but with a deeply envious dead-giveaway-tone to my voice. And after a couple of minutes of reflection, I realized something:  I was truly, genuinely happy for her. I didn’t have that sickly jealous feeling at all. I was, and am, so excited that her dreams are coming true. She too has experienced infertility. She has experienced disappointment in adoption. She’s been discouraged and frustrated. And now, she and her husband are finally going to be blessed with the baby they’ve been waiting for, for a very long time. That’s a miracle, and they deserve to be blessed by this gift. They will be wonderful parents to this sweet little baby. 

It says a lot that I could cry tears of joy for someone else’s adoption success, and not throw even a little pity party. Those of us who have battled infertility or the purgatory of indeterminate adoption waiting, know it is hard to see other people finally get their baby while you’re still struggling. I didn’t feel that way when my friend shared her news. I was able to truly join in her joy. 

It’s a big deal people!  Maybe I’ve been at this too long.  Or maybe I’ve been at it long enough to realize that every time a woman that is longing for a child becomes a mother, that is always a cause for celebration.