6: Meet Zeke's Dads-Two Dads Adopting Through Private Adoption & Their Cross-Country Journey To Meet Their Son

Heidi Campbell

This beautiful love story begins with Johnathon & Blair, a couple of 17 years, talking about their current process to adopt out of our foster care system. Rewind to their first private adoption and they walk us through the private adoption process from costs, to procedures, to the emotional roller coaster. These two dads hilariously recount the delivery of their son while balancing the deep connection they had to build on the spot with their son's birth mother. If you are considering a private adoption, this podcast episode is for YOU!

They got the call on June 26th that they were going to be Dads just a few short months after they started the adoption process from North Carolina. The birth mom lived in California and they take us on a journey. They arrived in time for the birth and share the deepest emotions of seeing their son be born and listening to the birth mom weep for her son. "We knew from the moment we opened it up (the sonsogram) that that was supposed to be our child." When they learned that they had been chosen, Johnathon fell to his knees. 

Get some tissues everyone.

Their 3 favorite baby products include the book The Happiest Baby On The Block. They also loved Dr. Brown’s bottles since they exclusively bottle fed their son. And finally, Phil&Ted’s Lobster High Chair.

If you are interested in listening to Blair’s State of Adoption Special, click HERE.






 6 Meet Zeke's Dads-Two Dads Adopting Through Private Adoption & Their Cross-Country Journey To Meet Their Son-Host MyDoulaHeidi - Birth Story -

[00:00:00] What does a contraction feel like how do I know if I'm in labor? And what does a day of Labor look like? Wait, is this normal? Hey, I'm Heidi Campbell a certified birth Doula host of this podcast birth story and owner of my Doula Heidi. I've supported hundreds of women through their labor and deliveries and I.

[00:00:29] Give that every one of them and you deserves a microphone and a stage. So here we are listen each week to get answers to these tough questions and more first story where we talk about pregnancy labor deliveries where we tell our stories share our feelings and of course chat about our favorite baby products and motherhood and because I'm passionate about birth outcomes.

[00:00:55] You will hear from some of the top experts in labor and delivery whether you. [00:01:00] Pregnant trying desperately to get pregnant. I hope you will stick around and be part of this tribe episode 6. I promised when I started this podcast that I was going to interview all the ways in which you could become parents.

[00:01:16] So today I have two dads Jonathan and Blair and their adoption journey, and it's so cool because they got to be in the delivery room when their son was born. So this is a big shout-out to everyone out there who has adoption in their heart or as part of their story. And I hope you enjoy.  Okay, so I'm just going to get us started.

[00:01:40] So Jonathan and Blair Thank you so much for letting me interview you guys today and as we were like getting ready for this, I got a text message from Jonathan. That was like hey, we were just leaving an adoption meeting and now we're headed to dinner and so can we can we start there because [00:02:00] I'm curious.

[00:02:01] So are you definitely yeah, like let's start with what's happening now because I just how tell everybody who you are. And what's happening now. Hey everybody. I'm Jonathan and I'm Blair. We've been married for see if I can get this right? Oh boy. We've been together for 16 years almost 17 almost 17 and we have we've adopted two kids and we're in the process of adopting third.

[00:02:31] From that's true. We are in the process of adopting a third crazy challenging a little different route or looking through we're going to home of Little Wonders here in New England, which they basically work with the Department of Social Services. So it will not be an infant which brings its own set of challenges, but we're really excited to take on that Adventure.

[00:02:54] The last two adoptions were private adoptions name. Our first adoption went [00:03:00] through an agency and it was we cut as much more of a process in that sense. And then our second adoption was mostly private in the sense that you know, wait a lawyer involved in that. But they're both open adoptions. So I don't people think they're private options and that they're closed go to we're all we're very open.

[00:03:23] And so now we're going through the process again like John was saying and we're much more. Look. It's almost a Foster to adopt situation, but these are kids who their goal is they want to be adopted. Like kids. I mean, I always joke with Blair if I could get him pregnant would have like 18. I love this.

[00:03:42] Okay, so I have so many questions. I'm so curious about adoption and that's why I'm talking to you guys today. But when you're going through like the system that you're going through do you get to say like I am only interested in and having a little boy or a little [00:04:00] girl or so funny that you ask that today.

[00:04:03] We went to a meeting what's called like a. It's kind of like your one sheet. If you will It's like because the Department of Social Services they have tons of kids, right and it's in you kind of feel bad saying like, oh, no, I don't want a child with that type of. Maybe condition or that type of challenges, but however, I think it's really important to know especially when already have kids in your home to know your limitations on what you can and cannot do right.

[00:04:27] We know our lifestyle. We know our work schedules which are both crazy me being a paramedic and Blair being a TV news. Anchor were all over the place. We kind of like it that way but. You know, I think it's important to know so we did go through that today. And you know, do you want a boy. Do you want a girl?

[00:04:43] We are open to both a boy and a girl and we're also really open to Sibling groups and I actually kind of hope that we don't want to go as far as the Brady Bunch, but pretty close we're getting there. I'm not driving so you may go from two kids to six [00:05:00] kids very quickly.

[00:05:05] No, I think like we said up to potentially three with a sibling group. So I think five would be o five kids. I don't know. I don't know what that maybe two or three. Yeah. I mean the social worker, you know said, what would you guys be able to Jonathan said initially because three three and she's she basically had to correct to say, you know, that's a lot more than what we probably can handle right away.

[00:05:29] And so. We accept that and that honesty and honest conversations. And because we oh, yeah, we'll see when you adopt a child from. The service is there's always some kind of trauma involved in with most kids with adoption. There's always going to be some type of trauma involved with there is and there so it's important to make sure that you can meet the needs of that child or children.

[00:05:54] So Kate Plus 8 Jonathan and Blair, but I'm going to have I mean this could I could be like the [00:06:00] very first interview you guys before you have your own TV show, you know about this whole thing. I love this. No, I really like love your hearts. And so. If you if they just called you like tomorrow more like we have three siblings.

[00:06:15] Do you have to buy a new house? No, no. Okay. I was thinking Hmm. Where would I put all of these children happened? I would be like you sleep on the floor. So when we lived in the city, we will last for like the peace and quiet of like Lake Norman and Cornelius and gotta be loved it there. I miss it all the time.

[00:06:38] But we wanted to challenge is what we normally like and. We moved to the middle of Boston and we downsize to a little over a thousand square feet and we just thought I just say I just thought all of our stuff could fit and after like climbing over chairs and. Bookshelves, just to get down the hallway.

[00:06:56] We didn't know what to do. So we just started sitting some stuff out on the curb and people [00:07:00] really like this because there is Supply and just grab kidding and I would sit up all night just watching the people grab it because I was like fascinated that'll also a whole nother TV show so another podcast but I'm really particular here in the city.

[00:07:14] I'm really pissed that we got rid of our white leather chair that I really like because now we have a house that we could fit that weight leather chair and have the perfect spot for but we don't have it. Yeah and new kids. So well, I am really just thinking about you guys. So I hope for I hope it goes quickly and I hope it's the right.

[00:07:33] You know, it will be the right perfect fit but credible. So we appreciate that and we said that today, you know, we said it's you know, what there is there is a plan for us and there's a plan for our child. Yeah, we very much believe I got that I got it figured out right like so like we don't really worried like if it happens today after happens next year like whatever it's fine like, you know, like.

[00:07:56] We don't believe it was by accident that were dads to Zeke and [00:08:00] cash. We believe that was well predetermined, you know those kids. It's weird kind of fit like a glove and our family are we fit into their family and I'm sure which one but uh, it's a it's perfect. Well that brings me to like that.

[00:08:16] Let's start with Zeke's adoption because. I feel like it that kind of went fast for you guys like a lot faster than you expected it to go. And so I'd before you dive into I just want to backup and will you just share? Like when did you decide like we're going to adopt and we want to we want to have a family like when did that moment happen for you guys?

[00:08:40] Well, I think it it kind of evolved for us. I mean Jonathan all along. No, he wanted kids and I always said I don't really know what that looks like for us and I was always the one holding us back in the sense of I don't know how. To man do this and do it successfully one [00:09:00] who's on television and I didn't know how to do that and I was very naive in my thinking and so Jonathan of was always nudging it lets, you know, we can do this we can do them like and yes we can and I don't think he ever, you know thought otherwise and so for me, it's pretty vivid and.

[00:09:19] You know, we had gotten to a point right before 2012 and we knew we wanted to and we were on a cruise with my family and we were walking to dinner and John says well we're going to we're going to tell your family tonight that we're going to adopt and I was nervous kind of, you know, say the words, you know publicly or just you know out out loud and we said in a dinner and we share with everybody and.

[00:09:47] That was Christmas time in December of 2011 and Zeke was born July 8th 2012. Well, I think we and a lot happened in that time. But that's how quick it happened as you know to [00:10:00] our community and Watershed. We had a lot of people like especially billion Tracy that we're so. So powerful and like directing us on like how to adopt and what to expect as we were, you know, like we didn't do the legal ramifications of it.

[00:10:11] Like I just don't take no for an answer. So I knew we were going to adopt a new we're going to get married and you were going to have a kids because that's what we want it and week absolutely can have that and so but I just didn't know what that looked like. Legally logistically kind of thing and they were very Paramount and you know, like helping goddess in that and connected us with a lady in Charlotte.

[00:10:31] That was great and we walked in and we sit her office and we're like, we're ready to sweet like 2 or 3 years and she kind of laughed and she's like based on your answers like all you guys have said is that you will take any. You will take any sex in any reversible medical conditions that we are aware.

[00:10:50] Of course with any child. You don't know what how they're going to be bored. But at the time we were open to any reversible medical conditions, [00:11:00] and now if a little knowledge we met would you know, we've kind of changed that a little bit too. But uh anyway, So she kind of laughed and she's like, oh we could have your baby in three months in a row like that.

[00:11:10] That's funny. We never believe that he's clearly still thing about now when you talk about I we kind of moved kind of slowly. I'm kind of the okay. Let's do this right now and blares like okay. This is how we're going to do this and he kind of does the heavy lifting. I'm the dreamer and you kind of figure it out.

[00:11:28] But uh, I mean we kind of started the process and had a few meetings in the first few cases that we got. We said no to it just didn't feel right Blair was covering the both the Republican and Democratic National Convention some of the biggest things in his career and I had got a job promotion in Charlotte as a education paramedic part of the Education team, and it just didn't feel.

[00:11:56] Right at the time they kept giving us cases, but it didn't feel [00:12:00] right. Although we had moved the dogs out of what was the nursery because their dogs have their own bedroom and we didn't paint the walls and some random neighbors gave us diapers that I put in the attic and that was that the other and they just kind of sit there and then all of a sudden June 26, we got a phone we had met with our adoption.

[00:12:23] Person that is our home study in Charlotte for like the second round and she's like everyone wants to move really quickly with you guys. It seems like you guys are kind of slowing us down a little bit and like yeah, you know like whenever and she's like what I have this case and I just feel like that you guys should look at it and our situation and we did I remember looking at it at work without you and I called you and said let's meet for lunch.

[00:12:52] And we met at the bagel place on Exit 23 in Huntersville, and we both were like looking through it and we both started. [00:13:00] To have this mixed up you do have it. So costly kind of roll with it, but we were happy. I love this because this is like pure Parenthood right here where you like can't remember which child like what day and what time yes, I love this.

[00:13:17] So just keep going is there that really gelled and where life moves so quickly and we decided this in three days and from start to finish and so it does kind of run together. We are actually at dinner that night. Jonathan had you had looked at the profile that day and he said you need to look at this profile.

[00:13:36] And I said yeah. Okay. Let's look at tonight. We met for dinner after work with a family that they had gone the route of surrogacy and some says same-sex couple had gone throughout the surgery, right? Yeah. And so we had dinner with all coming back to Jonathan now so it did it with them. And so we were actually considering the surrogacy at that four [00:14:00] maybe five seconds.

[00:14:01] And we had dinner with them. We left there. Like wow that was a lot and we got home that night and he said you look at this profile and I remember lying in bed and I was just reading through it and it was a sonogram picture in there of what was Zeke and I don't know if it was that or what but you know, it definitely spoke to me and I said Jonathan I said, there's really no reason why we should not pursue this we both start crying like looking at the profile and really.

[00:14:27] This is our child. You knew from the moment. We open that up at that was supposed to be our child. And so the next morning we let our agency know look we're really interested. But also the same time when you're going through private adoption route, you have to be prepared to have the money up front.

[00:14:42] It's very expensive you're talking tens of thousands of dollars, and we honestly were at that moment. We were not ready to pull the trigger and send Thirty forty fifty thousand dollars across the country. We just warm and. And so they said yeah, we were just concerned [00:15:00] about so that next more I'm going to pause you guys right there because myself included and I think some people that are listening that are interested in adoption.

[00:15:08] This might be surprising to some people that it private adoption. Is that expensive? So, can you just dig in a little bit on where that money goes?  well. I don't know. We're totally best suited dance that because it can go a lot of different ways, you know, because the legal fees Tangos the legal fees and your and we worked with three different agencies, I think in the process of do, you know where that we had our agency in Charlotte?

[00:15:35] The birth mother had an agency in California. I'm sorry in Seattle, Washington zika Agency that represented him in California. And then the overall adoption agency was also in California. So I should have four agencies. So legally there's a lot involved in there were some issues legally that we may have to address.

[00:15:57] So this was a little more of an expensive [00:16:00] adoption. Then what a normal adoption would a typical adoption is like 35,000 and someone looks at is how can we come that money? And you know, one of her friends said because we didn't have it all right away and one of her friends, like don't let finances be in the way of you becoming parents if you think this is right and he was exactly right like you're amazing that people that kind of come through like right away that are like we can help.

[00:16:22] What do you need, you know Blair went to. A local Bank in Cornelius and he kind of told him her story like will do whatever you need, you know to make this happen kind of thing. There are ways you can raise money, you know, if you need to we didn't have that kind of time. Um, or we didn't have time to move a lot of money around we needed that money in 24 hours.

[00:16:44] Yeah. So what I was going to pick up the story is that next morning we said, yes, we're interested and they said, okay. Well, we will put you in the mix for this birth mom to consider you all and we knew it was a between us and two other [00:17:00] couples are two other families and. But the caveat with that to be looked at you have to then wire the money within about 24 hours and we weren't there.

[00:17:09] And so we pulled together a couple different resources and you know, my family was pretty helpful. But you know, then we we pulled the trigger on that and we had everything sent and we then waited and we didn't know what was going to happen. And that story about you in the bank. Yeah, I'll never forget, you know sitting in the Wells Fargo branch and.

[00:17:32] North Carolina and sitting down telling them I needed to wire x amount of money, you know. We're talking tens of thousands of dollars 40,000. Yeah across the country and and I had we had no guarantees of where it's going and I remember sitting there talking to the banker and she goes what's this for and I told her what it was for and I just burst out [00:18:00] in tears and she said, oh it's going to be okay.

[00:18:02] So now I'm not. Worried about it's not the money. I'm worried about its this is knowing that you know, we're taking a step toward our dream and it's this is a reality whether it's this situation or not, and it was just a really emotional thing at that moment because I know we had spent the last 24 hours trying to figure out what are we going to do?

[00:18:19] How are you do this? And what do we do? I mean there were days that it seemed almost impossible to ever be parents or seem like it was such a far-fetched dream and now looking with two kids and potentially three, you know, like everyone goes through that and I think. People probably go through that if they struggle with pregnancy, but it's it's the same right you gotta persevere and you gotta believe in it.

[00:18:39] And you know, you want it bad enough it will happen. Well, and I remember driving from the bank of this is where Jonathan was talking about lunch. We had lunch that day. That's right and at the bagel shop and I driven from the bank to go meet him at this lunch place and I was. Praying like crazy on the ride there and and I saw him to start crying we both start crying [00:19:00] and I said if this is our situation if this is our son if this is meant to be there's no reason why it shouldn't be and we wanted it very clear right?

[00:19:09] Like we were in a weird way. We didn't want our adoption to fail. But if it was we were okay with that and here's why some people that well, what would you say that but we would always want to make sure that the birth. Parents, especially the birth mother was felt 100% comfortable in the decision.

[00:19:27] She made. And I was so nice. So as you guys are talking it's just my stomach is just like turning over because it the parallels between the clients that I work with that conceived naturally and then the couple's that I work with that adopt and then the couples that I work. That have done like IUI and IVF like that moment in the bank Blair like that is every [00:20:00] parent.

[00:20:01] That desires to have a childlike has that moment like even if it's hey I ovulated and we had sex tonight and like I hope that maybe this would result in a baby like that moment where you're like, oh we didn't use protection and I'm ovulating you know, or like that moment where you go in for IVF or IUI, and it's implantation day and you're just waiting then for a week two weeks like Emma.

[00:20:30] Am I pregnant you know and so I just wanted to like honor that for a minute because no matter what route we take to become parents. There are just so many parallels and that's a huge one like that waiting period when you're yearning for something and you've Makin made a decision to run towards it man it just it feels the same no matter what the story is.

[00:20:55] So that's really interesting because ever thought about that perspective, [00:21:00] you know. Yeah, and I know that I forget what day of the week that was but then we knew Zeke was born within 2 weeks. So we knew a decision would have made fairly quickly. And so I knew whatever we got to the weekend and probably three days had passed at this point where we had.

[00:21:21] You know, we've committed everything at this point. We're now we're just waiting for someone to start. Yeah anxious. We were barely talking to each other. Well Jonathan Jonathan gets a little uptight when he doesn't have the situation completely under control. So this was completely out of his control in my control, but we had got into the weekend and he really had talked himself into just not feeling.

[00:21:44] Well, I really believe and so. He decides I'm going to urgent care. I gotta go get you know some for whatever. This is. Clearly I'm dying right now because this is like every [00:22:00] dad ever is like right at the end of pregnancy, especially or like, you know, right before the baby comes like, you know, I'm sorry dad's kind of fall apart.

[00:22:13] So okay, you're at an Urgent Care like spring the locks on the doors and. I was I don't know why I did this. Remember I went and got a load of mulch because I thought it was going to be the last time we ever had a nice looking like flower bed and our yard and so I'm out there like getting mulch all day Saturday spring stuff on the doors and we're running around like crazy trying to get stuff done.

[00:22:39] And then all of a sudden like I'm sick. I know we haven't heard from her. That's it. I'm sick. I'm go I got to go to the doctor. So he goes to the doctor and he's gone for a while. This is probably the first time you know, we're kind of away from each other while we were just waiting to hear something and and so I'm by myself and the agency calls from [00:23:00] out in Seattle and it was at the agency was called a child's dream and day.

[00:23:06] We hit it off with some gray areas. They were going but this was like the first time we had we kept bugging them. They're like, we'll call you when we know something, you know, and I'm like gosh for we don't want to call too much and all this stuff. So anyway, so they call me very much like dating it very much.

[00:23:20] So I was like that you call me because you're just waiting for what the birth mom to make a decision. We knew the birth mom was looking at us and two other families and so we were like, oh man, we really want this and you know, we we were we were. 200% in and I think we would have been devastated if it didn't work out and and I think Jonathan honestly, it was starting to talk himself into the going down that dark Road of like this is going to work out.

[00:23:46] I was sick with Max. So anyway, he said urgent care and they call me. And they say well, where's Jonathan we want to bite you guys both on the phone? I might and I don't want to say he's sick or [00:24:00] what. I was like, he's out running some errands and they're like, well, we need to talk to both you. I'm like, what is it?

[00:24:06] What is it and they think oh, well, she's picked you and I'm like, I'm jumping up and down our living room by myself. I'm getting my throw all the Urgent Care and I said, so tell me it was negative.

[00:24:23] They said well, we like to you know set up a call with you and and the birth mom and we're like I'm like, okay. Okay. I need to get in touch with Jonathan and I'll call you back and so that I get a phone with them and I'm trying to get Jonathan. I can't get him. I just cannot get them. I cannot get them and this goes on and on.

[00:24:40] All right. Yeah, I think oh I did I called her to care and I said where is John they said wow, he just laughed. I can't get him. I can't get him a so I'm standing out in the garage. I had to stop by Steve. Some ginger ale and he pulls in and he gets out of the car. He's like so depressed. He's like, well, it's only I'm like, I don't care what you [00:25:00] have to say.

[00:25:01] She picked us and he just fell to his knees and we just cried and laughed and got so excited. I felt better instantly feel better instantly. So it's kind of symbolic because I always joke do when people are like going through like. Pregnancy there A lot of times the dads like, you know, they gained the pregnancy weight to and they suddenly have nausea and like, you know, so you only had a two week window and I just I just want to say you had to go through it.

[00:25:35] And so you're just you're right there. You know, I'm sure I think we did because now you know, I talked we talked to friends who are nine months pregnant. They get, you know, three types of Baby Wrap warmers or whatever. We didn't have a damn. Rib, when we'd gone out there and our best friend bought us a crib, you know, the church Community came on and drop bags of clothes off.

[00:25:56] We don't have anything, you know, and the one God Mom like got us a crib and [00:26:00] she like we didn't even know what kind she was picking hours. Like just do it. It just fine. Right? We like no time for a baby shower at all. I mean, this is like she's what 38 weeks pregnant when she chooses you she was 38 weeks.

[00:26:12] Yep. That's right. Wow. Okay, so what happens next because I remember getting on the phone with you. Is this is probably two weeks later. So just walk me through those last two weeks here. It's right you wet. I think I think we talked to her or in the airport on the way out to California. So the next two weeks were just like running around getting stuff done.

[00:26:36] Right? We now have a nursery instead of a dog's bedroom and we did paint it in your parents came up and really symbolic. They gave Blair the same. Bassinet kind of crib that he was raised in so that was really fun. We put that in her bedroom and then I'd it was really just kind of getting life in order and and we knew [00:27:00] that Zeke was born and California and so we were really trying to get things in order so we could pull the trigger when she caught because we knew that she wanted us to be there.

[00:27:10] She was great. She was updating us like how she was feeling every day. And you know, we wanted to make sure that she was comfortable and prepared to go to the hospital. So we sent some like a robe and a care package because. We knew that we wouldn't be there right and she wanted us to kind of be one in this which we're so grateful for but it was really better of just trying to get everything in order.

[00:27:33] So so we'd be able to book flights instantly. So we'd be able to have someone come take care of the dog someone come and do just the stuff that we didn't know how long we'd be gone, you know, once this happened, you know, and so it was trying to be prepared. So, you know just had about how about hotel lined up just in case.

[00:27:51] And I remember constantly checking flights like okay, what would be the best time of day for this to happen to fly out Ela if we need to book a flight in two hours, you know to me like it's [00:28:00] either going to be thousands of dollars. It's going to be four hundred dollars, you know, and so I knew and so we had a we had our bags packed and we had set them aside.

[00:28:09] And so we had a whole plan put together for when this happened and we knew exactly what was going to happen. We actually rehearsed it a little bit we had someone who was going to take us to the airport. We had it all planned out because we're ready to go and in we talked to her the day before in she said she's most likely she wouldn't be induced the following week.

[00:28:30] Um being her first pregnancy and you know, she had some back pain, but other than that, she was really doing great. And so we were confident that data like we went out on our boat with friends on Lake Norman, right? So we're out on the Wind until that part of the story and I'll pick up from so we're out on the boat and we're just like, okay.

[00:28:51] This is like our last time without parents like this is crazy. This is fun where we're having drinks and are enjoying a lunch and then all of a sudden my phone [00:29:00] rings. And it's Brienne Zeke's mom and she never really called us as we always kind of arranged them. We would call her right so we knew that.

[00:29:10] When she called us it was something and feel like your heart starts popping. She's like hi, and she just being amazing that she is. She's I'm in labor and I'm going to be hidden to the hospital soon and like I walked away from the table because we were with a group of friends and like I can't even get the words out when I'm back and I'm like we gotta go right now and that was the fastest boat ride back to her house that we probably ever had and so we got back to the house and we on the way back were like, okay you're going to go.

[00:29:39] Into the bedroom you can get stuff in order and I'm going to get on the computer and we're going to book these flights and get out there soon as we can and we're going to call our friend Robin who was going to pick us up and take us to the airport. And so we get back to the house. I'm sitting down, you know looking for the flights trying to book the next at the flight, really and I said, okay our flights in two [00:30:00] hours.

[00:30:00] To LAX and we got to be at the airport in an hour and in no time Robin and Mark show up. The person is taking care of her dog show up The Neighbor comes over to make sure what they need. Like everyone was falling into plays. Yeah, and then accept Jonathan if he wasn't falling into place the strep throat came back.

[00:30:20] He comes running around the corner he says, Are what are we gonna do we can well, how are we going to do is my hair's not ready. I'm gonna do this we're gonna do it. He's flipping out and isn't a tank top and like swim trunks and I was sweaty and nasty. We didn't I didn't even have time to shower and then all of a sudden I kept thinking is this is the first impression that she is basing us off looks alone.

[00:30:47] Oh my God. What am I going to wear? What am I going to put on? I'm gonna meet her at midnight after knowing. Eight hour flight to LA and I literally can remember just grabbing clothes off the hanger and shoving [00:31:00] them into my over already over 50 pounds suitcase. So was there anything for the baby in the suitcase or is it just closed?

[00:31:10] Oh no. Yeah. We had we go we did. Yeah, we did we had it. We had a separate suitcase for just the baby I had. I had my own suitcase. It was just a joke. I'm like just a jet. We don't joke about like it's okay. So you guys got a flight so fat. I mean, I'm just like, I mean, I guess Charlotte to La happens often but AirTrain it was whatever we could find it.

[00:31:39] We went from Charlotte to Atlanta. Yeah in Atlanta to LA. And so we got to La I don't know what we call Heidi when we were at the airport waiting for a flight because there was a layover in Atlanta and I don't know I remember the flight was going to take off at 10:39 and [00:32:00] I'm I was just like. Can you help prepare us for this?

[00:32:03] Right? Like what do we need to do and things like that and you were great. You talked a lot about coaching breathing like being supportive a lot of like emotional contact as well as like holding your hand if that's what she needs to see make sure she has like a cold rag if that's what she needs a lot of breathing techniques, you know, which was really helpful and it kind of put me at ease a little bit of like, okay, I think we can do this.

[00:32:27] To Dad doulas. I love it and I just want to interject right there because Jonathan you guys I think I talked to Jonathan on the phone, right? Yeah, so you may not even remember this but my take away from that conversation is I just remember thinking. Lord God please let her have a vaginal birth because the volunteer work that I had done with some of the crisis teen pregnancy centers here the number one goal for moms that were [00:33:00] choosing life and you know kind of being a vessel to Parenthood for the adopting parents is.

[00:33:09] To not have that scar forever and along in a long healing process. Yeah, so I just can't I remember thinking getting off the phone with you and I think I had said, you know tried to give you a couple things to try to help her avoid a C-section but but it is of the utmost importance to try to have a vaginal birth when you are if at all possible when a mom is.

[00:33:36] Passing their child, you know over to the parents. So it's a hard recovery for a C-section and then a lifetime scar. So I just remember saying a little prayer for Zeke's mom and and then you got on that plane from Italy and a debt to LA. And so then what happened when [00:34:00] he landed or actually no tell me about the airplane right?

[00:34:03] Well. I had been wanting to read a book best baby on the Block and I had my own freak out mom and I think once I got on the plane like he sped read the book after the plane. Yeah. I read the book on the plane ride because I was flipping out on how do you take care of a baby? I was taking pictures and trying to document it all in telling anyone that would listen about playing death that we were going to get her some.

[00:34:28] Yes. He was telling everyone we're gonna be dads. We're going to get a baby, you know what I mean? And. And I still had my swim trunks. Yeah, I'm reading this book about the 5S has of how you handle it and fan the shushing and the all that stuff. He literally have one point. He looks at me. He was Jonathan practice with me.

[00:34:50] What are the five s has its swaddling? It's swishing. It's soothing and I go Blair. Can you just stop? We're about to [00:35:00] be dads. No. Oh, I love I am I am a big supporter of that book and I believe it's you know, I tell anybody it's saved our just it was amazing for us as far as how to take care of a baby and we used it with both so you can cash and I tell everybody who listens the best book.

[00:35:20] Okay, awesome to say the name of it again, and I'll put it in the show notes best baby on the block. That's baby on the Block. Okay. Now we're going to take a short break to just share a few things with you and we'll be right back with our guest. I'm so excited to tell you about my first book that I wrote that is launching this summer.

[00:35:42] It's a 42 week guide to your pregnancy. It's a collection of birth stories. It has a ton of dual advice from all of the questions that my clients have asked me over the last 14 years. It has hysterical partner tips that you will want to read to your partner and it has journaling [00:36:00] prompts because nobody has time to write a 20 pages in there.

[00:36:03] And all about their pregnancy. So I've taken the Liberty to give you some prompts of things that I think you might want to remember back on after the baby's born. So again, you can go to burst or and pre-order a copy today and it would mean the world to me.  And so we get to LAX and we land and there's a voice mail and Jonathan's phone.

[00:36:29] And the voicemail says that she was sent home because she yes she was in labor, but she wasn't close to having the baby. So if you guys haven't got on the plane yet, you can stay home take your time and we'll be in touch in a few days. I'm like, oh well, we like la Santa Monica. This will be good and I was we're just so excited that I could sleep in that I didn't smell like Lake water and so.

[00:36:59] We got a rental [00:37:00] car and we googled how far in between LAX and Bakersfield. We're sitting at the edge sitting at LAX in the parking garage of the rental car and we're like John goes where we going to go tonight and we're trying to figure out where we can use some points for hotel because we're probably gonna be stuck in La for about three weeks wagon.

[00:37:16] I got excited about. I was like, do you want to go to Santa Monica? And he's like no, it's almost 1:00 a.m. Like we need to find a hotel. So we said okay, we're going to go stay at this whatever hotel that Marriott whatever and there's written to the great with I mean by on Six Flags, and and so we go there and it's Papa like three eight four am whatever and and so we just go get some sleep and about 7 a.m.

[00:37:43] We probably were sleeping two hours at 7:00 a.m. Our phone rings again. And it's her and she says that she's throwing labor and that if that continues to happen through the day, she would go to the hospital. However, she would really like to meet us and have dinner with us and kind of start our family [00:38:00] together, you know, because we've always we were very open and we always looked at it as one family versus adoptive in birth family like no, we're just family.

[00:38:10] Like can we just be family? Can we just be one and have Zeke or children's whether the cash or. Their best interest in mind so we said yeah, that'll be great. But we were kind of excited because once we heard from her again, we felt reassured everything was okay and we went back to sleep. And then I remember we had this amazing Hotel breakfast and we got ready and we were kind of heading there to have dinner with her and she called and said that her water had broke and she was headed to the hospital and so all the way from.

[00:38:43] That area to Bakersfield was probably about an hour to two hours Blair and I rehearse like we're literally going to meet her in her family and she's going to be in labor like. You know and Blair had never witnessed labor nor do I ever seen it and I was like she may be very vocal she you know, and she [00:39:00] may be frustrated.

[00:39:00] She may be happy. She may be sad. You don't know like what emotions that's going to bring in so but this is how we're going to respond and this is how we're going to be because she's really like meeting us right away. And so. We get there and we got there and she wasn't there yet. She actually beat her to the hospital beat her to the hospital high five.

[00:39:26] And so the really kind nurse said I'm going to be her nurse. We understand that she's coming and why don't you guys go get your car seat at Babies R Us. And so that we did we came back and. We definitely tell there's more activity in the triage area of labor and delivery and they go. Okay. We're just checking your now to make sure everything's good.

[00:39:51] And she's here in the nurse comes back and says we're having a baby today. So there's like well I got to get the camera. I got to get all the paperwork. I got to get the [00:40:00] diaper bag and so he goes up to the rental car and I'm like standing there and I can hear her in the lobby. Obviously. She's in pain and she's having contractions.

[00:40:12] In the doors open and they push her right by and I'm like, hey, hey, I'm Jonathan and then her mom like hugs me and she's like, oh my God, you're a family. It's Zeke sad and like there's some Grace and we're tearing up and but there's no Blair. He's in the car and so off we go and they get ready for the epidural and all I can think about is.

[00:40:37] This is great. But where is Blair there's nowhere to be found. He's gonna kill me. We practiced all this and of course like I couldn't just let her walk by like I basically want to jump on the stretcher with her and be like, hey, it's me. This is the person you picked the right now and she was dead.

[00:40:56] I mean her water was broken. She's you could hear her so she was deep in [00:41:00] labor like ready for the epidural. Ready for the epidural. Yep. That's right. Yeah. So, um, anyway, once you got the epidural she was very calm very mellow and just really wanted to hang out and watch TV and learn about us like she was more worried about what we need it and we're like, you know what it's like in that's her personality very loving very, you know, just that's her in general like very making sure everyone else is okay and.

[00:41:28] You know like we're like what do you need? And so at one point I have this weird thing where I love Hospital cafeteria food. And so I'm like, let's go get some food. I wasn't even hungry but I just like the thought of going to eat at a cafeteria Mouse and so I just wanted to give them some space to because her mom and her grandmother were there and you know there we just it was like we had known them forever.

[00:41:53] It was it was beautiful and so. We start walking towards the cafeteria and I'm getting [00:42:00] really excited about my tuna sandwich from the cafeteria and my phone rings and it's the room and I'm like, oh no she's changed her mind and you're like you better get back here because your baby is about to be born.

[00:42:13] And so I mean. - through the hallway and we're making me open the door and stuff is happening fast. Then the doctor walks in and he says get ready boys is going to be quick. And so we kind of had it planned out and she had a birth plan that we were respecting. We were going to stand and where it was going to happen and that all went out the window like that didn't really happen Blair helped hold up one of her legs and I was up at her head.

[00:42:45] And so I might remind her Jonathan is a paramedic and he is used to dealing with people and medical things. Can't handle a paper cut. So there we are so you should have been [00:43:00] totally flip flop positions. But this is awesome. All those plans go out the window regardless. So this is amazing. So they put the oxygen on her to help her breathe and I'm like, I'm kind of like rubbing your hair and it came to natural and she's holding my hand.

[00:43:15] She's holding her mom. My grandmother's hand and I can remember it like it happened five minutes ago and. She's it's just it's so beautiful and and you know, like you want to be respectful because you know, there is no modesty in labor. Right? But I want to be as respectful as we can but like we're in it right like were there and so and she's like kind of breathing and I'm kind of like take a deep breath you're doing great.

[00:43:42] You're doing great and she starts to Crown and. Blair is making more noise than she is at this point. And he's holding my hand it to the point where it's hurting. He's gripping it so bad and he goes, are you ready? He [00:44:00] whispers in the chaos. Are you ready for this? And I'm like. Well, now's probably not the time to tell me that you're not right like I mean Blair that's the that's the head like I don't get it and he's like, I think he's a midget I go what?

[00:44:18] And I go what are you talking about? Then? He goes its head. It's so small and about that time before I could even get it out. She pushed and Blair arched his back up against the wall as if he was the one pushing and all he kept saying was whoa. Whoa, whoa, his was just got louder until Zeke's had appeared and then quickly came out and.

[00:44:44] I had cut a few obilic Accords from I as a paramedic you've got to spend time and labor and delivery, but then you also have delivered some babies. And so I was so nervous that we were both. They gave us each scissors to cut. And we were shaking so much [00:45:00] we're couldn't wear cut his and I couldn't get cut mine.

[00:45:04] That is so precious Jonathan. Oh my goodness. It was important for us that they bond right away and as it was for her and so they did skin to skin and then he came over they checked him and then we instantly started doing skin-to-skin with him, huh, and he still has the same face when he cries some.

[00:45:26] You know, you don't know in every state is different. Like how adoption Works. They know adoption. Is that your child right away, right? The mother still has very much legal rights as she should and it can be some states. It can be seven days some it can be three minimum. I think the most minimal States three and then.

[00:45:50] California where we're at the mother can choose anywhere from three days to 365 days to make a final decision. And so that's that's [00:46:00] scary as a because you want to be a parent, but you want to make sure everything's done right for the child. And so. Everything we've read and maybe use suggest that this I honestly don't remember but we wanted to get her some food.

[00:46:13] Like she was ready to eat in the cafeteria was closed. And so she want to talk about also Blair and I went and he got bail and we get back in she in a very. Surreal, very memorable. Very special. She's like, I want to give you your son. But just promise me you always let him know. I love him so much to let him go.

[00:46:42] And you know, that's a powerful, you know, she's giving us a part of her.  and that was a I mean, it's I will never like that's real that's happening right man, and. You [00:47:00] know things were happening quick. She's moved to the main mother baby unit and it goes back to what you were saying about. She was she's always been very respectful of our role of what she perceives that role to be and it's always been it's always been so amazing and we've been so fortunate and that I think that's.

[00:47:26] That was a bit what you know, that's I think that's the thing like looking at looking even as I'm talking back. That is it that transition is fast right in. Lots of you may not have control over that but they were full the labor and delivery unit. And so it was moving fast. You were going to tell mother baby unit.

[00:47:42] When it all we wanted to do is sit in that moment. We don't want to leave the room. We didn't want to leave her. We didn't want to leave him. We didn't want to leave her family. We just wanted to be still and be there and that wasn't happening. It was moving fast. And so I can remember them putting him in the nursery cart [00:48:00] and they push us up to the same floor.

[00:48:03] And she said the the birth plan was that we would bond with him in a separate room, and she wanted that as well and I can remember that night. She wanted to get out of the hospital relatively soon in that night. I heard her crying. And I'm like, I'm not okay with this one of us. We set our get one of us are going to stay with the Zeke in one of us are going to go and be with her because it's not us and her it's not US versus her.

[00:48:36] It's just it's an us right where equal in this together. And if she has pain we want to feel pain or she has hurt. We want to know about that. We went open clear organic Communication in this because. All we care about is Zeke's best interest in part of his best interest is loving and being there for his mom who gave him life.

[00:48:54] And so I can remember just like holding her and hugging her and say we're going to get through this together [00:49:00] and and she didn't want us to know that she was upset, but we know she was upset and. And so the next morning she left and she came over to our room and write X She's Fit since I was it was very emotional.

[00:49:14] She was by herself as we were all crying and um, you know, here's we met someone on a gurney that's in labor. And now she's walking out of the hospital with the part that's not attached to her. Right and that's. Symbolic, that's powerful. That's and she's trusting us with a part of her to race and I think everyone gets into adoptions for different reasons when it's so important to know like, you know that it's it's so healthy to be one in the situation, you know, when the birth mother chooses adoption.

[00:49:54] She's already choosing to make the best decision, which he thinks is for the child, but probably the hardest decisions you'll ever make of her [00:50:00] life. And so she said she was discharged and said goodbye and I didn't really know much about what happened. After that. We were sleep deprived had been up all night and we were just really tired and I thought okay, he's we're going to go home the next day.

[00:50:25] We need to get some sleep. So in this Hospital chair and beds not really cutting it. Um and Blair will have a good story to tell you in just a second. So we asked if she could go to the nursery and they're like, oh, that's nice. Yeah, we don't do that anymore. We only have the NICU and so. Oh, oh, okay.

[00:50:46] So Jonathan proceeds to get comfy and the patient's bed. I was tired and under the blankets and asking for ginger ale and asking for ice chips. And well I run [00:51:00] the nurse call Bill because I was tired and I said hey, can I get some ginger on ice chips and she looked really confused because it wasn't the nurse that was taken care of us on the mother and baby unit is here two dads and a baby on a mother and baby unit.

[00:51:13] She just looked at us. Said okay shook her head and walked out of the room. She was really confused, you know, but it was I don't know you really thought that was funny that I was in was wearing clothes like you act like you gave birth. Yeah, right. So are you so she was allowed to leave the hospital but were you guys allowed to leave the hospital right away?

[00:51:34] No because he had to stay right a vaginal delivery there had to stay 48 Hours. Okay. So that was just a medical like just to get checking on the baby or whatever. Okay, so she came back the next day and met with us and met with him when it was great. And we knew we were kind of like leaving that day and you have to take a mandatory class and sometimes it's just like checking boxes about like [00:52:00] postpartum and making sure like the car seat was good that the car seat was a separate thing, but.

[00:52:06] Blair not being a medical person. We went into this really bizarre room kind of a conference room and they all had pads on the chairs because you know most moms that are sitting right beside us just gave birth and there's some things that are happening down there right and they might need those bad for their blaring they made you go through the postpartum glass.

[00:52:27] It is so convenient for okay and talk about breastfeeding and everything. Yeah, we need to watch the rest of your like right on here. We are. It's like we didn't really fit into the box. So I'm like but we're going to take one of these pads home for a souvenir and some health insurance somewhere paid for this too.

[00:52:48] Yeah. Oh my goodness, even better. I have a question for you guys. Did the cheeks birth? Mom ever. Did she want to nurse or did she nurse at all in those first [00:53:00] moments when you went to go get Taco Bell? No, she did not and most adoption agencies actually encouraged that not to happen. Medically.

[00:53:11] That's a good thing to happen bonding. That's a very tough thing. Yeah. So I'm curious so is circumcision right? So like you don't make that decision right away typically an adoption because some families may want it and some may not and if the birth family wants it but the adoptive family doesn't or vice versa.

[00:53:27] It can delay the process. Okay? Oh, yeah. I didn't even think about that. So that's one zika done if we wanted to go watch. Did you know I don't need to see that because we did the bell curve with Zeke. You don't mean to tell as well. I'm sure Zeke's gonna really enjoy this pod. So he's over sister.

[00:53:48] This happens in a relationship often or Blair looks at me and will probably happen one time this podcast. He just did the look at the Berkeley going to give you the look like Jonathan stop. This thinkin's weightless is great like [00:54:00] so we went out of her first dinner date in his foreskin fell off. So but Blair's mom thought I'd be okay to put in a Ziploc bag and put it in his baby book, which we feel away.

[00:54:13] I mean, that's awesome. But I'm like this like two days later Mike. What's this is what I thought you would want that big deal. I don't know anyone who has their foreskin in their baby book where he doesn't eat. Thank goodness. Oh my goodness Okay, so, When you got out of this nursing postpartum class, they actually let you just leave the hospital at that point.

[00:54:48] I'm not exactly we had to wait. We waited a little bit for. A social worker to come to say that all the paperwork had been signed because she had to sign paperwork, but she could not [00:55:00] legally sign until 72 hours. So and you cannot sign in the hospital in the state of California have to sign once you're discharged.

[00:55:09] And so that brings another thing up right for the delay if it is a C-section versus vaginal delivery. So in every state is different in every state has different laws, which is very confusing for adoptive families when you're looking at States adopt and what states. Pro adoption in which may have more difficult restrictions kind of things.

[00:55:29] So when the social worker came and said that I mean she was amazing right away. She wanted us to make sure he had our last name. His first name was a big deal to her and we wanted to make sure that we honor that and so Zeke is Zeke named by his mom and. So but she wanted to make sure that he had our last name and like anything like legal she would if they refer to her.

[00:55:56] She would just refer them to us which [00:56:00] talking to the adoption worker is that we said she's like literally this was like.  if there's a perfect case this was literally perfect like textbook of what you wanted to look you guys had an understanding but they were so much mutual respect and a lot of times there's not.

[00:56:17] And often Sally that comes from the adoptive families like they feel like once the baby is born they have full control and that's just not the case. And you know what? I think that it's important question to ask is like, why are you in this and that's important for the child. So anyway, I went and put a car seat in a rental car and probably sweat it out ten pounds why Blair packed everything up and.

[00:56:45] We left Bakersfield when we got in the car seat and she was at the hospital to meet us when we left that was important for us and for her and so we left the hospital. We made a few stops and [00:57:00] then we had her hotel right outside of LA because we wanted to be close to the airport because you have something called ICP laws which are.

[00:57:09] Was that my CPC ICPC at which is like travel laws with traveling with a newborn from state to state. And so basically we have to get approval from California to be able to travel and but we also needed to approve from North Carolina to travel so California had signed off on it, but we knew we needed to wait for North Carolina and so Z.

[00:57:30] I forget what day of the week he was born on Saturday. Okay, so we left the hospital around Monday Tuesday. And and so we were waiting. We're waiting for North Carolina to sign off on this every day. We were waiting and we are it could have been well, I mean we are Watershed community and Friends Dan.

[00:57:50] Moschella just adopted May took three weeks in Arizona. So we were we were prepared to stay for three weeks. I was really excited about our adventures in La. Yeah and [00:58:00] but keep in mind it's us who never been parents and we're sitting in a hotel. All you don't you know, I always joke because we didn't we were not able to sterilize, you know bottles and you know that we could that we could warm milk you we couldn't do anything that people do normally now we had that housekeeper help us change that there was a great he found the perfect hotel with the help of my sister perfectly located.

[00:58:27] In front of a Target behind a Walmart just in case one didn't have with the other we need it and so we're on the way to like LA with her newborn and I'm in the back seat and then all of a sudden I'm like, oh God Blair. I didn't Google like how long a child can stay in a car seat like a newborn? I don't know.

[00:58:46] But if we have to pull over pull over right now, we gotta get this kid out of here. Make sure he's okay and so that we did I think we the more time went on we started to doubt we weren't surrounded by. Our family or anybody. We also sleep-deprived. [00:59:00] Yeah, and it was it was it was getting hard because it was just questioning everything.

[00:59:05] Are we doing? This right is you know, we got nervous of you know, the smallest little sounds and we just you know, we were going nuts. I think what in being a paramedic. You never forget the kids that you have to do CPR on that unfortunately died from SIDS and I was so scared that was going to happen to us, you know, and I think it's every parent's nightmare that that could happen and it's a real fear but actually being involved in that and doing CPR on acids baby.

[00:59:34] It's the worst and so you want to do everything right and all of a sudden this doubt flooded or mine's like. Oh my God, can we take care of this kid? Hello. Most people keep their babies inside a house for weeks before they go out for the first time. We're out when he's two days old, you know, and we're going to Chinese restaurants or wherever it is because we have to do something and so it got to be [01:00:00] Friday and we finally meet back up.

[01:00:02] We got a little more comfortable through the weekend. I was like, oh this isn't so bad. We got this down the baby bajorans things fitting pretty good and on both of us and like all right, he's doing okay and we're doing good. We have enough diapers and all is good. We made it out to dinner one night and had food because the hotel when we got there had no food.

[01:00:25] So everything was good and. So we decided we're going to just go like take a nice little leisurely stroll through Santa Monica Pier because how memorable would that be with her first kid is what we didn't anticipate as the California wins in July and so we get out of the car and literally every woman doing her yoga class as they see Blair put an infant into his baby journal thing that is scaring know the rat you're doing the rap and very.

[01:00:59] [01:01:00] Yeah, one we call I came early. Are you? Okay? Do you need anything is everything? All right. We're like, yeah, it's fine. Why are you honest like this? And so but then as we started to walk the wind picked up and I don't know we got nervous when we got back in the car and said, oh my God, what were we doing?

[01:01:18] Um, and so we went back to the hotel and then. Dave the other the next day. We went and bought a stroller remember that well, we were in line. We were at Babies R Us. It was a Friday afternoon and it got to be about two o'clock California time and we knew okay. Well East Coast, you know, it's five o'clock in North Carolina.

[01:01:39] So they're not going to approve us to come back today. So we're stuck here for the weekend and we were staying near the Ronald Reagan Library. So we thought well go there for the weekend, but we need a stroller but my favorite picture from that space for us is probably. Of me standing in front of the lactation room because I went to change Zeke in the men's room and there's no [01:02:00] baby changing tables and then Echo you can go in the lactation room like sure so I just want it proudly went in there and smiled at the other mom that was in there and change his diaper and then what happened?

[01:02:12] So we're standing in line and we're like well just get the stroller because we're going to need for the weekend because we got to do something and. Our attorney calls and he says North Carolina's approved you so and we said so was I mean, he said you guys are clear to go home at any time. So we turn around and we took that that stroller we put it back on the shelf and got right out of there and went back to the hotel and got in our lobby and.

[01:02:38] Book flights booked a red-eye to come back to Charlotte because we just want to be back to family as quick as we could. We really can't remember all that. Really. Yeah, no kid. I remember vividly like are on the way to the hotel. I'm like, we're pull over really quick. We have to get a picture in front of the Hollywood the Beverly Hills Sign we did the Beverly Hills side.

[01:02:59] And [01:03:00] so we drove past there to get a quick picture with him by Beverly Hills because we you know, we didn't know what was going to what the future was gonna be like and yeah. And so we made it the airport and.  I drop Jonathan off with a bags and a baby and I go return the car and I said good luck and we you know it.

[01:03:21] In this day and age today. This is not a big deal and but back then I mean you're talking, you know, there's just six years ago so much is chains, right? Here's two men with a baby a lot of people look at you like what's going on and a baby that's only, you know, five days old, you know people look at you like what's going on, you know, why is that happen?

[01:03:42] Why are you getting on a red-eye really had a lady with a fanny pack on chase us into the family restroom and instead out and wait at make. Need anything is everything. Okay. Oh, yeah. Yes, it's fine. Yeah, like what did they I wonder what did what did they think was happening? Well, I [01:04:00] think most people curiosity they just yeah, they can't wrap their arms around two men taking care of a baby, you know, whether they're married or not.

[01:04:08] You know, it's. You know, it's a new Society tells them something else for whatever or did I don't think so much right but you but also even today you're not not often. Do you probably see a newborn right newborn in an airport? You know, so that is like, oh what's going on? Right? So we got a lot of questions and just people like Curious and we didn't know us we were like, oh, yeah, we dug.

[01:04:32] Here's the story Bubba Bubba and then, you know three hours later. They're like, oh thanks. I'm surprised Jonathan. Have like t-shirts made. Alright should write I kind of relate it to like I find it so weird when people go up and feel like they have the right to touch a pregnant ladies belly. Like when I say I've seen that happen once and I'm like you don't have that right that's their personal space and I felt like very much like that.

[01:04:58] Like people just felt they had the right to come [01:05:00] up and see what was going on. And you're like don't breathe. If I do board? Yeah, right. We very much like that. You know, we're flying back on a red-eye and. You know, we were so desperate to get back to Charlotte just to be around her friend and family just so he could you know, someone could tell us look you guys are doing okay, you know, I mean, it's important before you flies that you have to get medically cleared for the infant under the 14 days of age.

[01:05:25] And so that sounds really complicated. But all it is is that a physician is the lay eyes on that. It doesn't even have to be a pediatrician we went to an urgent care. In front of doctor to just listen to his lungs and say that he was healthy to fly and that he good observation saturation. So we had to keep that paperwork with us and we flew from we had no problems in California and we flew to Atlanta in Atlanta.

[01:05:52] The flight attendant just couldn't believe that we were flying with a five day old baby and told us we couldn't get on the flight and from [01:06:00] Atlanta to from Atlanta to Charlotte and we're like no no, no, you don't understand. We just got off a red-eye. We have a now six-day-old. We've had no sleep.

[01:06:07] We have our family waiting for us at the airport. We're going to get on that plane and she's like, well, I just don't feel comfortable and I'm like we want to talk to the pilot and he like. Understood and he was sympathized with us and we got on the plane. Oh my goodness. I'm so I was thinking well, you didn't get medically cleared from, Georgia.

[01:06:29] Wow, that is to make an added layer of complication. But well, that's what we said to them. We like well, we just flew for hours on your airline. So you guys have a problem. We're getting on this plane, you know, they've already set a precedent. So, okay, so I have like a very vivid memory of Facebook on the next moments.

[01:06:48] And so I just want to hear like and clearly it was just the beginning of your story but the end of Zeke's birth. With [01:07:00] arriving home in Charlotte.  Well when we landed and we got off the plane and came out of baggage claim and my parents were there and some friends from her family's answer their our church community and just people who some of our colleagues from work were there and just there to just leveling us.

[01:07:26] I just remember I've seen the video a couple times and just cried ugly tears, you know, are you talking about like we're both like Blair's getting choked up and I you know, it's so it's so special that we you know like it is. Yep, so beautiful to be part of that moment. Well, I have one last question for you guys.

[01:07:47] And that's what was or is your favorite baby product. So if there are new parents or especially like new adopting parents and they're listening [01:08:00] and what could you share with them about like what your favorite like go to baby product was I'm not going to be able to be any help on this because Jonathan.

[01:08:10] Ordered did everything you're really good? I don't know. I mean, I honestly my biggest advice to families is look you don't need all the fancy stuff. You just don't you just need a bunch of onesies and diapers, you know what I mean and a bottle of you know what I mean? There's so much a lot of patients just for your I've got all these like really nice like not I wouldn't say.

[01:08:36] Nice, but just like the cute like newborn clothes and let's be honest all we use was the little nightgowns that we did hold up. But I think my favorite is probably the doctor brown bottles. I loved them. They were great to clean great to use and that's probably. Yeah, but I don't think I'd probably say is I really got into making the [01:09:00] boys baby food and I still make their babies their applesauce.

[01:09:03] And you know, I try to make a lot of their food but you know, we got this was Jonathan's ideas. Like let's you know, let's let's make the baby feel that what's this is what happened? What are the Baby Bullet and then. I had a recipe book and a couple are every Sunday. We're going to do this. It's going to be bonding.

[01:09:20] It's going to be great. I'll help peel the apples. You can boil them and butternut squash. I was just I had all these recipes and so now like. I did that like maybe the first 15 minutes on the first Sunday and I was like, oh we can go to Whole Foods. Ya later Joe's it's okay. He's so this is too much work.

[01:09:38] And after the first week, I was like no the time I was really into it and I was like, I want to do this all the time and it branched out and I really believe it's led to our boys having healthy eating habits now, but. You know, I would say if you have an inclination to create your own baby food do it because it is it is so it's one of the best things you can give [01:10:00] your kids and and you learn so much about you know, what you're actually giving them in and I'm not I'm not a health nut, you know crazy, you know like.

[01:10:09] Big yo, you gotta do everything plant-based. I'm not but I really believe in that stuff now and I just it was so much easier and I get so much joy out of out of it and I'm so proud of our boys now and they asked for can you make the homemade applesauce or can we have the broccoli like this? And you know, I really like that and so if you have any kind of desire for that, you know run with it because it's it is rewarding.

[01:10:32] I hope that they give you four. Adam and mom, I'm sorry hear things like that. I made homemade applesauce one time and then Max made this face at me. That was like. Like it was just the most disgusting thing ever. And I remember being like angry at my like three month old. Like how dare you how dare you give me that face and I never made baby food again.

[01:11:00] [01:10:59] Well, you guys are incredible and I'm so thankful to have heard the very. Extended version of this beautiful story because I had only had Snippets of it over the years. And so I think there's a lot to learn from your story. And anyone that's listening I know is going to take away a lot and hopefully people had some tissues to sew and then like just it's like be flexible and then back to that.

[01:11:30] The one thing you said what my favorite probably baby product was it was more it was the fill and Ted's like clip one high chair that you could take that was portable because I never really liked using like high chairs everywhere else. Oh, yeah. That's a good one to guess my my favorite we use that because it works up to like 35 pounds.

[01:11:51] We use it forever. Let's play one of my favorite things awesome. So I'll put links to all those and the show notes if [01:12:00] anybody wants to take a look at any of those products. I'm a big fan of dr. Brown's to and though that bottle warmer. I think that was probably one of my favorite favorite ones to so well, I'm really excited to hear what happens on the next.

[01:12:14] You know phase of this journey and I would love to have you guys back on to talk about your adoption story with cash your other son, too. But before you guys go Blair, do you want to share do you want to should I link in the show notes about the state of adoption?  write well. Yeah, my profession as a TV news anchor I've been doing a lot of deep Dives on topics and I done a couple Primetime specials 30-minute an hour-long specials and these are specials that I anchor and produce and so I get really deep in them.

[01:12:56] And so the staff came to me and said why don't you do something on [01:13:00] adoption and I thought really huh? Okay, and and so we did this past November did 30 minutes on the state of. And what that looks like from a privacy standpoint, but also from a foster Kansas foster care standpoint and it also looks at you know, what's happening on a national level and what's happening in Washington to you know, make make the playing field a little more level for everyone, you know, so that cost isn't so far Out Of Reach and so the process isn't so overwhelming.

[01:13:32] So there's been a lot of support through the Dave Thomas foundation for adoption based at a Columbus, Ohio and some Advocates and Washington and some lawmakers. And so yeah, we did that program in November. It's still online at Boston state of adoption. Perfect. Okay, and I'll link to that in the show notes because I think I watched it and I think everyone should.

[01:13:56] Watch it that is interested in adoption. So [01:14:00] well, you guys are awesome. I love you. You're awesome prank extravagance.

[01:14:10] Thank you for listening to birth story. My goal is you'll walk away from each episode with a clearer picture of how labor and delivery might go and that you will feel empowered by the end of your pregnancy to speak up plan and prepare for the birth. You want no matter what that looks like. If you're enjoying this podcast, then I need your help to spread the word if you know anyone who is pregnant is trying to become pregnant or just loves a good birth story.

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