What’s in a Name

Andy and I have already picked out names that we like and want to use once we adopt. However, we also know that the name could slightly change depending on incorporating some of the birth families’ wishes into the name. The names we have picked out currently are Zoe Dawn for a girl and Ethan Andrew for a boy. Also, if we adopt a child that is closer to one we might not want to change a first name that they have become familiar with already so there are all kinds of pieces to think of when deciding on a name when adopting. Below are the names we have come up with so far though:


Hinze: Originated in the German state of Saxony and originated as a short form of the first name Heinrich. Heinrich comes from a meaning of “home rule”.

Zoe Dawn: Zoe means “life” in Greek and Dawn comes from the English word dawn which means “awakening”.

For fun I did an online meaning of your name and it came back with Honesty and Openness.

Ethan Andrew: Ethan means solid/enduring in Hebrew and Andrew comes from a Greek name derived from the term for “of a man”.

The same app gave the definition of Mystery and Wonder.

What the names mean to us:

Zoe Dawn: The middle name is Stephanie’s middle name and she has always loved the first name Zoe since she read it in a book when she was in elementary school.

Ethan Andrew: It took us a lot longer to come up with a boys’ name but we used Andy’s first name for the middle like his is his dad’s. Then we had to try to find a first name that no one in either of our extended families had and that we also liked with the last name Hinze.


Sixth Wedding Anniversary

Over the weekend was our 6th anniversary and we both just can’t believe it has already been that many years. We spent the day pretty low key. We had celebrated back in August with a dinner out to Melting Pot right before our failed placement since we assumed we would be busy with other things at this point in the year. No worries though it was still great. We went out to dinner at Red Robin (I know gourmet food for us) on Friday night after an evening at the gym. Andy loves Red Robin so to him it is a great anniversary dinner and I like it enough that I don’t mind it being our dinner out.

Then on our actual anniversary, Saturday, I went out to the Yellow Daisy Festival with my mom and started doing more Christmas shopping.  Followed that up with a baby shower party for a good friend that is due in a couple weeks and finally went home to check in on Andy’s day. He got to relax and watch some college football while he wasn’t working on a project of shooting some glass awards. All in all we both enjoyed the day even if most of it wasn’t together. We did get to spend the evening together though and were happy with how we spent our anniversary.

Finally, on Sunday we spent a great breakfast with some friends who were in from out of town for the weekend and got to catch up with them for a little while. We love their daughter and them. Can’t believe that it has only been like 2 years since we first met them online. We already have both traveled to visit each other a couple times and always look forward to the next trip. Hoping to see them again soon and spend some time hanging out again. After we saw them off on their drive home it was time to go to the late church service. We typically go to the 8 am service so the 11 am service was definitely different for us and there were a lot more people there at the later service.

All in all as you can see the weekend didn’t hold anything super special but it was how we love spending our weekends together so it was a great way to celebrate an anniversary. Plus with Andy’s photography schedule starting this coming weekend for Lacrosse it will be harder to have those weekends for a couple months.

Thanks to all those who wished us a happy anniversary and for all those who were able to celebrate with us 6 years ago when we officially became family!

What a month it has been

Andy and I have been extra busy lately. Most of it has actually been fun activities with family and friends. After getting back from Houston at the beginning of the month I went to the Yellow Daisy festival with my mom, Aunts Pam and Katie, and cousins Brandice and Nicole. I bought some cute things (see pics below) and saw many more I plan on buying later too! Then we had my dad’s birthday party where he loved the planter box we bought him for outside of his warehouse. My mom gave him the flowers to go in it and he loves it!

The following weekend we got to celebrate 5 years of marriage together. It was nice to go out to eat and have some hibachi (which we both love!) and then do a little shopping for nothing in particular. It is hard to believe that 5 years have gone by already.

On Saturday we had a couple friends over and their kids. It was a full house which I of course loved every minute of! In total including us it was 6 adults and 4 kids. We watched some football, showed off our nursery so far, ate some good food, and just hung out. Can’t wait to do it again and we all agreed a Vegas trip should be in our futures…

This last week was the busiest yet for the month. We went to the gun range (for a very belated birthday event of Andy’s) on Thursday, the Braves game Friday night, dinner Saturday night with friends, and visited another set of friends on Sunday evening for dinner.

Andy of course loved the gun range and he is trying to convince me to let him get one still. Afterwards, I surprised him with dinner at Hungry Howies (a pizza place he grew up with that has come down to Atlanta).

Although the Braves lost on Friday we had a lot of fun tailgating with friends and playing with their girls (pics below). We even stayed afterwards to watch the fireworks from the stadium. Pretty awesome display since they put them on after Friday night games all the time. The only downside was traffic was horrible getting home since there was a big music festival happening all weekend long.

Dinner on Saturday we got to finally hang out with our friends who are renting a condo from us. She just moved down from Ohio a month ago and since he moved into the condo two months ago we haven’t seen much of him. We took them to one of our favorite Mexican restaurants by their place and hung out for a little while.

Sunday night we went over to our friend’s house to have dinner and hang out for a little while. Their daughter is just too cute and you can tell she is getting close to walking on her own now! The dinner they made was fabulous and after eating we stayed to watch the rest of the Denver vs. Seahawks game.

As far as work for both of us we are really busy. Andy’s schedule of photography has started to get in full swing. So far this month he has gone to a football game (high school) and 9 lacrosse games (boys 9 and under, boys 10-11, and girls 10-11). He still has another 5 lacrosse games and 4 little league baseball games to shoot this week! I have started at a new client for work in Atlanta. While it is nice to not be traveling with busy personal schedules this client is downtown Atlanta so I have been experiencing Atlanta traffic again. For those that live in the area you understand my pain!

We are definitely deserving our vacation coming up next month!

Andy and Kailyn

Andy and Kailyn

Cookie cutters from Yellow Daisy

Cookie cutters from Yellow Daisy

Garden Oarnament

Garden Oarnament

Andy and Caitlyn

Andy and Caitlyn

Let's play ball!

Let’s play ball!



Stephanie and Madison

Stephanie and Madison

Last Minute Hospital List

Well we are officially on the last minute hospital list (LMHL) now after signing the paperwork earlier this morning!

For those that don’t know what that means it is a list our agency has that you can choose to be part of after waiting for at least a year for a placement. If a birth mother calls the agency during labor or after from the hospital then it becomes a last minute situation. The profiles that they show her then are only those from the last minute hospital list that live within four hours of driving. In our area that could mean greater odds of being chosen since there are fewer profiles to select from. It could also mean that we could get a call any day and be parents.

There are downsides to a match that is last minute as well since the birth mother has not had the same counseling that other birth mothers would have but it has the same chances of whether or not she will change her mind or not after relinquishment. If you have any questions about what this might mean please feel free to ask.  Here is to hoping that it won’t be much longer until we have a child to cuddle and love on!

Researching Birth Announcements

I am such a planner and really like to have things ready and done before they need to be, especially when it comes to things for the adoption it seems. I have been looking online and seeing all kinds of announcements for an adoption and I like so many of them that it is hard to decide what I will use when it comes time to make them.

I know a big part of it will be pictures of our little one and us but otherwise I am trying to think of sayings and what I want it to look like. Plus there is the ever important when should we send them out. We obviously will not send out birth announcements until at least after relinquishment but then there is also the option of waiting until after finalization to send out the announcement. Waiting for finalization might mean waiting a little longer but at that point the baby’s name on the birth certificate will be finished and we will legally be the parents finally. The only downside of waiting is that we would be waiting and neither Andy nor I are patient people, especially when we are excited about something.

Either way most people will definitely be seeing the first pictures of our family’s addition via Facebook since Andy and I will not be able to keep ourselves from sharing!

What are your preferences on when you want to see the announcement of our newest family member?

Here are some examples I have found on pinterest:

– Having an picture of us with him/her and the words It’s Official!

– He/She was already ours, we simply had to bring him/her home

– Born on XX/XX/XXXX, Matched on XX/XX/XXXX, Forever a Family XX/XX/XXXX with the dates all there

– So worth the wait!

Photo Shoot

While we are waiting we decided to take a couple pictures that we could hang. Andy and I went out and he took the photos himself (even the ones we are both in). I think they turned out great and now the task of choosing just one to hang on the wall in the baby room.

It ended up being harder than I think he was originally thinking to get the shots I wanted without someone taking the pictures of us. We went out a couple times to take the pictures and play with the shots that we wanted to get. Part of the problem being having a thought in our heads of what we wanted in the picture, they weren’t always the same, and then figuring out how to take that shot with a remote or timer on the camera instead of someone holding the camera and making adjustments.

For now the idea is to display one in the baby room we have been working on, have a couple to display in a frame down in the living room, and maybe use some of them for a baby book eventually. We would have loved to have gotten the dogs involved but that just wasn’t going to happen as Jasmine just wants to sleep and Etta can’t sit still for anything!

Here are our favorites and hope you all feel free to comment too!

AKH_9718 AKH_9728

Infant CPR Class

This past weekend Andy and I attended an Infant CPR class. It has been a really long time since I was certified in CPR and the rules and actions were not as clear as we would like if something were to ever happen so we decided it would be good to take a class so we know what to do first. It was really informative and while some of it was a review there was also some new information and rules on what you should be doing.

The class covered infant CPR, proper sleeping, and also choking. It was lead by a doctor who used to be an emergency pediatrician and even though there was a movie that we watched to give a lot of the information he also answered lots of questions and watched as we practiced to tell us if we were doing it right.

We are definitely glad that we were able to take this class and will probably look into some of the other infant care classes that are offered at Babies R Us (where we attended the class). With how much I enjoy being prepared and at times during the adoption process feeling like there is no control for us, it is another step that we have taken in the direction of having a child in our home to raise and care for.

New Orleans – Baby Moon

Since Andy and I are not quite sure when a little one will be joining our family we decided to take one last trip just the two of us. It wasn’t anything big like we have done in the past since both of our jobs are a little crazy right now and we couldn’t afford to take a lot of time off. Never the less, three days in New Orleans ended up being a great trip.

We arrived on Saturday mid day about and unlike in years past we did not get to research all of the activities that we wanted to do and where to go for different things too much. So, on Saturday we took the afternoon to just wander around the French Quarter looking for possible restaurants and places to visit or shop. The weather wasn’t the greatest but it was at least dry. After wandering around we did an early dinner that was delicious! Andy wanted to find out what the sauce was on his red fish and somehow get a bottle of it to take home, this never ended up happening. After 5 miles of walking, 6 hours of driving, and a huge dinner I was exhausted and it was only 7pm. I fell asleep sometime over the next hour while Andy was busy watching football.


Sunday started early as we wanted to get out before all the drunken crowds started coming out into the city. It ended up being a great idea since there were so few people walking around. Most of the day went by fast with Andy getting some great pictures of some of the things in the French Quarter, some delicious beignets at Café Du Monde (a must), wandering the market and picking up a couple ideas or things for Christmas presents, and eating more delicious food. Ironically we went to a little bar to watch some football and eat some lunch and managed to find a bar that was full of people from Illinois (including at least a few Illini that I could see). We seemed to walk all over on Sunday and by the end of the day realized we had walked 10 miles over the course of the day. Exhausting to say the least!



Our final day was not the greatest for weather and so several of our plans for the day ended up getting scrapped in lieu of being outside in the rain all afternoon. We did go to the World War II Museum though and Andy loved it. It had some great exhibits and a lot of videos or interactive displays which is great instead of just having a lot of information to read about. In the end not running around all day seeing everything that was planned was a great way to spend the last day of our vacation alone since we were heading to be with family the next morning for the holiday.

11215289646_33a9b51ba9_oThe weekend might not have included a lot of partying or drinking but it did involve a lot of sleeping and since we won’t be getting much of either when the bundle of joy graces us with their presence I for one was much happier getting the sleep!

Birth Mother Contact

Over the last couple of weeks we have been talking with a potential birth mother on the phone and online. Andy and I were really excited about it and thought that she was the perfect birth mother for us. We got news yesterday though that she had chosen another family that is local to where she lives to place with.

It was hard to get that news and hear that she didn’t choose us, but we are happy that she found a family that she has decided to match with. We also knew something had seemed off the last few days as we hadn’t heard from her in almost a week about how things were going for her and we were getting much more contact initially.

We are trying to keep positive that one day soon we will find the right birth mother and be chosen ourselves. After talking with her it is hard to imagine connecting like we did with her to another birth mother but we know that there are other potential birth mothers out there that we will talk to and connect with as well.

On another note though we found out that the agency is running low on our dear birth mother letters that they send out to potential people and we need to send them more. It is great knowing so many people have seen our profile and will possibly choose us out of the hundreds of waiting families with our agency!

Baby Shower Poll

As we are waiting for a birth mother to choose us we have been slowly buying all the things we will need to bring home a baby. At this point we already have all of our furniture, a large portion of the other necessities (bottles, wipes, car seat, etc.), and a few outfits in varying sizes.

Andy and I have talked about it before and were thinking that a welcome to the world shower after we bring home the baby makes the most sense to us. Part of this is because we don’t know when we will adopt and whether we will be adopting a boy or a girl so everything has to be gender neutral now. Also, we thought it would be a great way to have all our close friends and family to meet the newest addition to our family. The only downside at this point seems to be that we can’t stop buying things for the baby ourselves and we have gotten a lot of stuff from friends and family that they weren’t using any longer or that they bought for us just because.

I for one would be happy to just have a “shower” celebrating the creation of our family and not about getting the gifts or things we will need for the baby. However, I know there are some friends who are excited about our adoption too and would like to buy things for the baby as well. So I thought I would ask all of our followers out there what they think we should do? I am not saying we will definitely go with the poll results on our decision but it might help Andy and I decide what will work best for us 😉