our NFL game date


This past weekend I attended my first NFL game! Patrick and I went on a date to dinner and attended the pre-season NFL game between the Vikings and Seahawks. It was such a good time and gave us a chance to spend some time together.  Here are a few snapshots we took at the game.

the spin chair


Sunday's have happily turned into family days lately--which usually involves going to the park.  Today we went to one in Tacoma.  This park is more modern and has a fun playground to play in.  In the video below, Jonah is spinning in a fun bucket. It brought me back to an experience Patrick underwent in Undergraduate Pilot Training.  The dreaded "spin chair" is a chair that is used to familiarize pilots with motion and give them a sense of what motion sickness they can handle. I dug this picture up this afternoon of Patrick sitting in the "spin chair" at UPT. Enjoy the video and our little man who is already taking necessary measures to learn what being a pilot is all about! :)

bedtime playfulness


Jonah has become very playful around bedtime--he enjoys time spent with daddy and his new game of 'chase'. I took a video of him just playing a bit before bedtime the other night.  I love how he keeps going back to find Patrick in the hallway, only to be chased quickly away.

Little moments like these allow me to look at the simple things in life and enjoy them.  It lets me see my child's innocence-and reminds me to not let the complexities and busyness of routines overwhelm me. I could be worrying about the laundry, dishes, or emails that need response, yet here a simple game makes my little man grin with happiness.

Enjoy watching his playfulness.

Jonah sliding


We took Jonah to the park today--his expression going down the slide was such a joy to watch...we caught a glimpse of it on video.

The video is quick, but I love his innocence and excitement of something new. :)

A reunion--in God's timing


So much has happened in the last week, that I feel I should document it.

Back in 2008, I started my search for my birth mother. I believe I had written an initial letter when I was 18, but nothing much came from it, so I like to say I began the search initially in 2008. I didn’t hear much of any response, so I went on as normal. It wasn’t pressing..I have a wonderful life, but I am not going to dismiss the fact that I always wondered. There were times when I wished I had known of my mother and the woman she is, only because I wanted to see where my traits stemmed from. In February of this year, I contacted the agency that has now taken over the reunion cases of those adopted from the Children’s Baptist Home in Tulsa, Oklahoma. I was sent a letter, requesting that I wrote a letter, myself, to my birth mom to initialize the search and also to face any emotions that came with this start and any grievance, or fear. It took me several days to even think of writing. I set the request on my counter top, amongst other bills and consciously forgot about it. Patrick asked me from time to time if I had written yet, kindly reminding me. I finally wrote it on my own timing--I cried, laughed, and experienced several emotions I didn’t even knew were within when writing it. It came from the heart. I sent it, not thinking much would come from it.

It was Wednesday morning, July  27th and I heard the phone ring, but couldn’t get to the phone in time. A gal named Debbie left a message from Deaconess Pregnancy and Adoption Services telling me she had an update on the relocation of my family. I called back, we played phone tag and finally got a hold of each other in 10 min time. She told me my case was a difficult one. She informed me there were days she honestly put my file away, as it was frustrating having no answers. She tried all paths-tried to contact relatives, and no one was aware of where she was. She prayed and finally took a leap of faith and went through her personal facebook page..and found my brother..then my mother. She said the moment she saw my brother’s photo, she knew it was him. His eyes, and his chin-“you look so much alike, Sarah”. I didn’t know what to think.

She told me she had sent a message to my birth mother, and we would wait for her response. I didn’t know what to say or feel, or even pray about. I went to the gym telling myself to go on normally.  I cried on the elyptical machine…just being hit with all this information was so scary. I came home, put Jonah down for a nap, took a shower, and then it all came out…I bawled. I was shaky. I didn’t know what to feel. I didn't know what to pray for. I never thought I’d get a phone call. Patrick was flying that day and I didn’t want to tell anyone else, so I called Debbie and left a message. I remember feeling helpless—I remember saying to myself, “you are almost 30 years old Sarah…and you cannot control these emotions?” She returned my call minutes later. She was so sweet, mentioned she was so glad I called and was there to listen to my emotions flow. Heavily.

That afternoon I wrote to Debbie via email, thanking her and also attached some current and past photos of myself in the instance that if my birth mother did respond with desire to read my letter, pictures would be available.

Friday morning, I received a call from Debbie around 7am. It was the call I was hoping for.  She told me that my birth mother had responded. Debbie informed me my birth mother was taking a leap of faith and wanted to read my letter. She sent the photos and letter via email, while still on the phone with me. I remember thinking, “she could be reading my letter right now. She could be looking at my photos.  This is a big day. A very good day.”

I went to the gym, and hoped for the best. I came home and received a message stating that Debbie and my mother, Julianne, had been in conversation all morning and wondered if it would be best to email to begin our reunion. I received an email from my birth mother that afternoon. I couldn’t believe it. This was happening. It was real. I saw photos of her, my brother, and twin sisters. All my life I have lived as me—not knowing where certain traits stem from.  I have only had Jonah to look at and see myself in.  Now, it was surreal looking at photos only to see myself in her and my family. 

Amongst the reality of such a huge event in my life, it’s the little things that have made me even more emotional these past few days. For instance- I love peanut butter, and my birth mother informed me she ate a lot of peanut butter while she was pregnant with me.  I share my eyes and love for music with my brother, Derrick. I have learned he has never had braces, nor have I—yet we still have managed to inherit that gene where our teeth are seamlessly straight. Along with my sisters, Stephane and Celia, we carry a similar profile, are crafty and equally share so many of life’s favorites-- it’s shocking. My mother loves the same restaurant I do, back East—Golden Corral (not too many understand our love for it). I’ve emailed, chatted and been corresponding with my family. I see resemblances in all of them and thank God continuously that He has given me this gift of a reunion.

my beautiful birth mother, Julianne
Julianne with my nephew, Trenton
my sister Stephane, brother Derrick, and sister Celia
twin sisters
brother Derrick with his son Trenton, and fiance Jessica

Jonah's birth story


I know this is out of order, but lately I have felt the need to document important events in our lives. Not only for me, but for my family. Jonah's birth story is no exception:)

On April 9th, 2011, my due date, I had my routine 40 week office visit.  My doctor was extremely surprised to see me in the office, as she was convinced that I would deliver him early.  I had been 2 cm dilated, and 80% effaced for three weeks now. I had endured some Braxton hicks and minor contractions, but not enough to be admitted. My doctor understood I was uncomfortable and let me decide what day to schedule my induction that next week.  She gave me the option of Monday or Thursday.  I knew the 12th was a good day, (you can read the reasoning behind this here and here) and I just wanted to see our son and not be pregnant anymore, so Monday it was.  I was to call on Monday morning to see what time the nurses could fit me in to start my induction.  I called bright and early around 6am and they said they would call me back. We received the call around 8am, asking if we could be there at 9am to start the induction.

We arrived at Good Samaritan Hospital  at 9am.  They checked my current dilation and started the Pitocin around 9:15am.  At 3cm, I already had a good start. A few hours later, my contractions were stronger and the pain worsened.  I called for medication, and the nurse injected Demerol into my IV. I was in heaven--well..quite the opposite, but the pain magically turned into a warm, fuzzy, sleepy sensation. I remember asking Patrick to please take my socks off.  He told me I didn't have any socks on. I just smiled, mentioned something about salty french fries and dozed off to sleep for a good 2 hours. When I woke up, the nurse checked me, and I was around 5 cm.  I decided to then call for my epidural. Being absolutely sickened at the thought of needles, I never saw the epidural needle, but Patrick did and said it was huge. Once I received it, I progressed quickly.  Within two hours I was at 8cm, and an hour and a half later, I was ready to push.

Within that time frame of quick progression, the contractions did get stronger and a little unbearable.  I remember my mom came in to see me, along with my brother.  I remember the muffled sounds of their voices, as I sat, concentrating, breathing in and out, trying to get through the strong and long contraction. It was then that I realized this was really happening.

Once it was time to push, the nurse instructed Patrick how to help and count when I had a contraction. I started pushing around 6:15pm. Around 6:45pm, the nurse wanted me to lay on my side to try and re-position him. Patrick was there to hold my hand and wait for about 30 minutes.  Around 7:15pm I started pushing again.  There was a moment where the nurse mentioned that he wasn't progressing down very fast and that she mentioned the possibility of 'help'; using forceps. She left the room for a good minute or two, while Patrick and I continued to push. I was determined.  I did not want any 'help'.  I remember looking at Patrick with determination and decided that this next set was going to be it--we wouldn't need any 'help'. We were going to do everything in our power, along with God's strength, to do this on our own. She came back in the room and Jonah had sensed that determination and turned nicely into place. She called and Dr. Wong came in about 15 minutes later to deliver Jonah.

Jonah Allan Hancock arrived at 8:44pm. He was 8.3 pounds, 21.5 inches long. I delivered him transverse. I always say  he wanted to come into this world with purpose-both shoulders forward and ready! Hearing his cry was amazing. A feeling I'll never forget. Once checked, the nurse placed him on me to hold.  When handing me Jonah, the nurse did mention to us at she thought he might have a club foot and wanted me to be aware. She wasn't too sure though and pointed out for us to see it ourselves. Now of course we wanted to know all the details of the nurse's findings when she checked him, making sure he had all 10 fingers and 10 toes, but the timing was unfortunate of when she informed us.  This was our moment...to see our son. Regardless, it was a moment of clarity--to see both Patrick and me in him.  He was perfect. Just looking at him, I was awestruck. So beautiful. I said hello and that I loved him, but I think he already knew that.

Amongst this moment, we were still worried. The nurse pointed out his right foot, as it was pointed outward. Now, being first time parents, of course that was very worry-some. I didn't know the first thing about a club foot, let a lone all that it entailed. She mentioned that it could also be due to being cramped up in the womb. He did have a habit of kicking me alot in the ribs, but I wanted a pediatrician's advice. Dr. Keirum, Jonah's pediatrician visited us the next morning and informed us that a club foot involves the foot pointing the opposite, inward. He was convinced it was due to being in the womb and just as he thought, Jonah's foot moved into position nicely over the next few days.

We learned it's tradition to play, "Twinkle, twinkle little star" when a new baby is born in the birthing ward at Good Samaritan.  My parents, sister and brother all heard the music and knew Jonah was here. 

He is the joy of our lives and we cannot imagine life without him.

Here is a video of his first moments:

PopPop's visit


This past week Jonah had a new best friend--PopPop. Momma and Dadda weren't 'cool' anymore.  :)
Allan, Patrick's father, came to visit from NC this past week.  Jonah recognized him and continued to follow Allan around all week. It was a layed back visit, but one to remember and cherish.  The men all spent some much needed time together. Here are a few snapshots of our time together on just --one-- of several trips we took to the park..

I love this picture...even if it's a little funny. Jonah clearly DID NOT want to leave the park...

The many faces of Jonah..

Jonah Allan-15.5 mo
Hmm...wonder where he got the idea to wear all his emotions on his face???