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Los Angeles, CA

The Fischer Family





The last 76 days

Melissa Fischer

We're back!!!!!!

I can’t believe that it’s been almost THREE months {76 days to be exact} since I posted on the blog sharing the arrival of our sweet Esme Yvette Elizabeth. It has been an exhausting, amazing, breath-taking blur. Where have those days gone? What have we been doing? Why has it been so long since I’ve been on this blog?

Well, to put it simply, we’ve just been surviving. Don’t get me wrong, there has been bliss + laughter + joy + amazement all magically interwoven into our days {and nights}, but to sum it up, we have been surviving.

Let me back it up a bit to mid December. I won’t go into details here about the whirlwind, beautiful, heart-breaking + amazing experience of our trip to Florida and adopting our girl. There’s way too much weight + emotion to process and share to just brush over it in this single post. I hope to share with you all about those life-changing days in a series of posts in the near future. Not only do I want to take the time to process and document it for myself to remember, but I long for all of you who have shared in this journey with us to get a glimpse of the focal point in our journey that you all helped us get to. So, please be patient but also be on the lookout for those posts soon.

Back to where we have been and what we have been doing the last 2.5 months…

Let me start by saying, our kids have been sick pretty much constantly since Thanksgiving. It started with colds for both. Then Raena got pink eye + a double ear infection two days before we left for Florida. Kingston followed with both infections shortly after we arrived in Florida. We spent much of our first 10 days in Florida trying to rest, treat their symptoms, and get everyone to full health before Esme was born. Unfortunately that did not happen. What did happen was Travis also got sick. He and the big kids were all sick the week Esme was born. As if this process wasn’t draining enough, this added much to our extreme exhaustion. BUT, we were VERY thankful and blessed to have the support + help of our Florida host family {Denny, Cindy, Peggy, + Grandmama} as well as Travis’s mom, Kaye. We could not have survived the experience nearly as gracefully without them.

The night before Esme was born. Notice Kingston + Raena's runny noses and chapped faces.

Anyway, after we were able to take our Esme home from the hospital we spent a week in Florida. Gosh that feels like a lifetime ago. It was a very sweet time bonding as a family of five {+ Nama} and getting to know our baby girl {+ being sick}. After a week, we got clearance to leave the state of Florida with Esme. From there we headed to Wisconsin to celebrate the holidays with our families.

Right before we headed to the airport in Florida

We arrived late the night of December 30th. We made it to WI just in time to attend the wedding of a dear friend on New Years Eve which was the cherry on top of it all. When we were first matched with our birth mom and learned of Esme’s due date, we had only dreamed to make it in time for that. We thought there was a very good chance we would not, so to get there about 14 hours before the event was {cutting it close but} such a gift. It was an amazing way to close out a beautiful year and ring in a new one.

I loved ringing in the new year with sweet friends and getting to introduce Esme to so many people so early in her life + I loved wearing this dress --->

We got to spend 12 amazing days in Wisconsin sharing our latest miracle with some of those we love most. I could not have planned the timing and experience better {though at times I thought I had better plans for timing than God did}. Those days will always hold some of the most precious memories.

We headed back to California on January 11th. It was very sad to say goodbye to family, but we were so excited to FINALLY be taking our Esme home. She was nearly a month old at that point and still had not been in our home.

Our kids handled the travel like pros {thank you Jesus} and we made it back with no major hiccups. I will never forget how amazing it felt to open our front door. It was this incredible mixture of bliss, relief, peace, joy + extreme thankfulness. We gave Es a tour of our home and ended up with all five of us snuggling in Kingston’s full sized bed. That moment is one of my most treasured experiences of this entire journey. It felt so right + complete + utterly beautiful. Our whole family home at last.

We thought we would have 11 days at home with just the five of us. However, Travis's sweet grandmother passed away on January 16th. We ended up making a 72- hour trip to Dallas to attend the funeral and celebrate Amaryllis's life. She left a beautiful and amazing legacy, and we were so grateful to get to spend that time with family remembering her.

My mom had planned to come out and stay with us for 10 days and because of the timing of the funeral, she actually ended up getting to our house about 14 hours before us. It was so sweet to have her welcome us home after an exhausting, whirlwind trip to Texas. I think I slept the whole first day she was here :) It was such a relief to have her extra help especially because, in the midst of this life transition + cold viruses, Esme got what we think was the flu and Travis started a NEW JOB! {We are crazy, we know}

We had 10 great days with my mom during which we got to celebrate our sweet Raena’s 2nd birthday. {Don’t get me started about how guilty I feel that she didn’t get a second birthday blog post :( ugh.} She did get a day at the zoo and an epic doll house for her birthday though. It was a very sweet, relaxing {as relaxing as life can be with three kids}, fun + refreshing time filled with many MANY episodes of Friends. I love time with my mom.

Raena on her 2nd birthday

Saying goodbye to my mom at the airport

After my mom left {+ I cried for awhile}, we had {maybe} a week where we thought we were “healthier.” Then we were hit with another virus. I think we went to the doctor's office five times within a couple of weeks. Esme got a double ear infection + all three kids ended up with RSV. We ended up having to do a week of nebulizer breathing treatments at home. THAT was exhausting. I spent two and a half hours everyday managing those treatments. But we are SO grateful that we did not end up needing to admit any of our children to the hospital. I know many people who have had to do that, and it sounds scary + horrid. During this time, I also came down with a virus. I am usually the one member who never gets sick, but I guess after fighting viruses for 2.5 months my body couldn’t fight anymore. Thankfully I made a full recovery in about a week.

Each treatment took at least 20 minutes. We had to get creative to get the kids to do their full nebulizer treatments. This included whoever was getting his/her treatment got use of the iPad and once they were done with their treatment they got a chocolate "treat" aka leftover Valentines Day chocolate. 

We are SO grateful that this week it appears everyone has turned a corner and is on the verge of “healthy” {I may never take the kids out of the house again for fear of catching something else}.

So, that brings us to now. These three months summed up basically just equal a wicked combination of sickness, exhaustion, more sickness, more sickness, + more exhaustion. BUT we could not be more grateful because amidst it all we get to snuggle the most beautiful baby girl in the world, we get to watch Kingston and Raena kiss her and show her all the things, we get to stare at her in complete awe of the miracle that is her life and her journey to our family, we get to think back over the the moments of the last 76 days and try to soak in every ounce of sweetness we have been blessed to experience knowing that none of it would have been even close to possible without the divine intervention of our Lord and the blessing of each and every one of you.

Esme 2 months old

Our hearts are STILL overflowing with the deepest gratitude we have ever experienced. THANK YOU! Thank you for EVERY SINGLE prayer. Thank you for every word of encouragement when it felt like we would never make it to “this side” of our process. Thank you for every donation that allowed us to financially complete this process. Thank you for every ounce of spiritual, emotional + physical investment you have made into our lives + the life of our precious Esme.

Our greatest hope for this blog is that, through sharing our journey, YOU will be blessed + encouraged. Our hearts literally ache for you all to truly grasp and understand even just a fraction of the beauty + redemption that can be found in saying YES to adoption. It is honestly the most profoundly beautiful experience of our lives and has given us a much deeper understanding of God’s love for us and our adoption into HIS family. We hope you can also grasp some of that as you follow our story.

We cannot wait to share more details of our month away, our daughter’s birth + how we chose her precious name. So much breathtaking beauty + gut-wrenching heartbreak amidst it all. We realize now that, even though we are on “this side” of our adoption process, even though we have our daughter in our arms, our "journey" does not end here. There is so much more to come + we are so honored to get to share it with you all. We love you all so so dearly.