We first learned of Alexis’ adoption story when she took over the Coveted Things instagram feed to tell her story. We were so moved by the family’s story that we just knew we had to share it with you all too. And on Project Nursery, we always think a good happily ever after story goes especially well with some pretty nursery pictures. Thank you, Alexis, for sharing the beautiful story of growing your family through adoption as well as giving us a peek into your adorable daughters’ nursery.
First of all, let us congratulate you on your new additions! Can you tell us a little bit about the amazing journey of welcoming your daughters into your family?
Thank you so much. It’s an honor to share our story with you. Our girls really are what miracles are made of. I will do my best to keep it short and sweet. To give you a little background, my younger sisters are twins and my mother’s younger brothers are twins, so everyone always thought my eventual second pregnancy would be a set of twins. My first pregnancy was very complicated, and I was on hospital bedrest for a little more than three months. The thought of getting pregnant again wasn’t easy; however we knew we wanted our son to have siblings, so three years later, we started the process to have more children.
The process took a dramatic turn on November 3rd, 2016 while I was with a group of mama friends for a much needed moms’ night out. My good friend Rose, a surrogacy attorney received a call from a 20-year-old college student, who at 27 weeks pregnant had just found out she was pregnant with twins. As Rose was sharing the story, I casually said, “Maybe these are meant to be my babies.” I texted my husband, half jokingly, to ask if he would like to adopt twins; his reply? “Sure!” When I arrived home that night, I fully expected my husband and our three-year-old son to be fast asleep, but instead I found my husband pacing the living room. When I asked why he was awake, he said, “I can’t stop thinking about the twins; I really think they are meant to be our babies.”
We went to sleep that night knowing this was quite possibly a pipe dream. The next morning, we woke up to a message from Rose that said, “I don’t know if you were serious last night, but I reached out to the birth mom and she wants to speak with you this morning.” So our pipe dream might actually be something more than a dream—WOW! We knew ZERO about adopting. As chance may have it, my best friend spent the better part of the last fourteen years working for an adoption agency. Understandably, she was my first call. She gave me one piece of advice, “When you meet the birth mom, ask yourself, would you be proud of this woman carrying your children?” The following Monday, we met the birth mom and her mother. After a 90 minute face-to-face with us and our three-year-old son, I could answer the question my friend proposed absolutely. Yes, I would be proud of this woman if she were carrying my children. Even though I knew I loved her already, she still had to choose us. Less than an hour after our meeting, I received a call from the agency letting me know that our birth mom had contacted them, and she chose us! Within a five day period, we went from knowing nothing about adoption to starting the adoption process and had two months to figure it all out and prepare for the arrival of our newest additions.
As you can imagine, it was a whirlwind, but with each passing week, every doctor visit and every open adoption meeting, we became more connected with the birth mom and her family. We were so lucky that the birth mom was local; in fact, our daughters were born in the same hospital as my husband!
Speaking of hospitals, the birth mom requested that her mother and I be present for the birth. On January 11th, 2017, the birth mom was scheduled to be induced, but her water broke at 8PM. The hospital, which is only twenty miles away, told us not to rush since “these things take time,” and they would call at 2AM. I set my alarm for 2AM and woke up to ten missed calls and text messages. My heart sank, by 2AM she was 9 cm and almost ready to push. In the pouring rain, we drove, hoping we wouldn’t miss the birth. We arrived just in time. I put on scrubs and walked alongside our birth mom as she was wheeled into the operating room. I held her head while she pushed three times with each girl. On January 12, 2017, Lennox Skye and Lincoln Rose were born, and I was given the honor to cut both umbilical cords. We spent the next thirty hours with the birth mom and her family getting to know our girls. It was a powerful and surreal time for us all. Interesting fact, because I did extended nursing with my son, I was able to nurse both girls, and I still continue to nurse them 2.5 months later.
After you first made the decision to adopt, how long did you have to pull a nursery together?
We made the decision to adopt in early November, which was followed by a move on December 1st in order to accommodate our growing family. We had a little more than a month to move into our new home and design the nursery. I had some reservations about putting the nursery together because a birth mom can change her mind at any time before termination papers are signed. Thankfully, I have an incredible support system who encouraged me to trust the process and design my dream nursery. So we moved forward and on January 4th, my sister (also a twin) and my dad came over, and we went to work.
Now that little Lincoln and Lennox are home and you are getting use to life with twins, can you share any tips on creating a successful nursery for twins? And what has worked best for your family?
The room we chose for the girls isn’t big, so my first priority was functionality followed by a calm energy and then PINK! My first born is a boy, so the thought of all things pink was super exciting to me. I started with the basics of what worked the with my first. His dresser/changing table was key. I organized the changing table in such a way that everything is within an arm’s reach, including diapers, wipes, rash cream, pacifiers, the Ubbi diaper pail and clothes hamper. From there it was all about drawer organization. I used drawer dividers so all clothes are rolled and placed according to use and size. I use the under crib storage for extra diapers, wipes and the BabyBjorn Bouncers when not in use. My biggest tip for twin parents designing a nursery is to think about tasks that happen multiple times a day like diaper changes and feedings. Organize your nursery around easy access to those items. I also would recommend a place in your nursery for the Twin Z nursing pillow. We use this for everything from bottle feeding, breastfeeding and story time. It’s also a great way to introduce an older sibling who may want to hold the new babies.
The framed swaddle blanket is such a special moment in the nursery. What else do you love about the space?
The chandelier is one of my favorite stories, and it’s also the inspiration for the overall design of the room. It was purchased last year during our visit to Paris. When it arrived here, two of the arms were broken. Since we couldn’t find someone to fix it at a reasonable price, I told my husband to toss it. Instead, he called one final repair shop that was able to fix it and install it. It was a huge surprise to me after I returned home from a doctor’s visit with our birth mom. Once I saw the chandelier installed, I knew I would design the room around it! The gold in the chandelier and the color rose seemed like a perfect marriage, so gold and rose are the nursery colors. Another special element of the room is how many pieces I was able to reuse from our son’s nursery. The rocking chair is the same chair I nursed my son in, and I am so moved each time I nurse the girls in the chair. The dresser belonged to our son as well. We just had the hardware sprayed gold to tie it into the chandelier. The bookshelf was also a piece from our son’s room. It’s a wonderful place to display meaningful pieces like the baccarat butterflies we received for our wedding in honor of my mom who died before we were married. The nursery is the most peaceful place in our home. Everyone loves to congregate in the girls’ room.
Photography by Alex Lane Photography