James Wilder


His story is unlike most. It was the best surprise that we could have ever prayed for. For those of you who do not know we announced on Thanksgiving of 2018 that we just were starting the adoption process. We started the paperwork around Christmas and our home study was completed in March. Usually adoptions can take a long time, usually one to two years so we were prepping for waiting a while. However, James Wilder would come sooner than we ever dreamed.

I just got done shooting a wedding in Denver, Colorado on June 14th and then we had planned to stick around for two more days to travel to some national parks then the amazing zoo there. On June 15th we were in White River National Park and then got a little altitude sickness at 13,000 ft so we traveled back down the mountain for dinner. We ate sushi and pizza (guess who had what haha) and talked about how we would be a family of 3 someday. I bought James a little animal from a national park like I have collected for years for our kids and put it in my suitcase when we got settled into bed for the night. It was 9 pm and I was watching friends and about to go to bed soon since I was not feeling the best. Eli went out to get dessert while I was relaxing in bed. I lean over to turn my phone to check it one more time before bed and I get a call right at that moment from our attorneys office. First thing they said was how fast could we get to southern California since one amazing mama chose us.

My heart has never patted so fast. I hung up and immediately started looking at flights. I also called Eli and he came right back to help pack up and keep me calm. Sadly there were no more flights for the night so I called my dad, best friend Sarah and mother in law to tell them the news and to help us find flights. Thankfully Sarah found one delayed flight from South West that we jumped on. We literally packed within 5 minutes (I was shaking of excitement and nerves) cancelled our hotel room and car early and ran through the airport as fast as we could. It was literally like in the movies. We asked strangers for help to get there faster and to borrow things we needed. It was beautiful the way strangers all came together to help us out.

On the plane we found out his gender and then told everyone around us and they all clapped. I vividly remember Eli saying “It’s a boy” to everyone and seeing the joy on his face since we have both always wanted a boy. Little did we know he would be the cutest little boy in the world with one amazing first mama that I just adore!

We got to So. Cal at 2 am and then got a taxi to the hospital and got there at 3 am. We went to the wrong ER at first which gave us a scare since they said there was no baby there for us but thankfully they pointed us to the right one across the street. It was at 3:15 am that we saw James Wilder for the first time. Eli cried and I was still in shock but so filled with joy at the same time. We saw him first in the hospital carrier bed. Then the nurses carried him to our room and then gave us a one hour briefing on all parenting things. They knew how we became parents within a couple hours and came with nothing so they helped us out with so much. Seriously so thankful for them they spent so much time with us just helping us with the transition of it all. After two days there it felt like we were all family. Once we were discharged at 4 pm we drove 11 hours home and got home really early in the morning at 3 am. Little man did great on the I5 and loved seeing the sunset next to the truck station where we took our first family picture.

James Wilder is now almost a month old and we keep falling more and more in love. Danielle Navratil did our newborn pictures and we could not be more in love with them!!

  1. Becky Hanson

    July 23rd, 2019 at 3:48 pm

    Beautiful Baby! Beautiful Family, Beautiful Photos! So VERY happy for you!!!

  2. jcontreras

    July 23rd, 2019 at 10:21 pm

    Aww thank you Becky we are sure in love!

  3. Laura Nilsen

    August 11th, 2019 at 9:48 pm

    Jana, I’m so happy for you! He’s precious! I’m crying. 😂 Congratulations!! Say hello to the grandparents.👋🏼

  4. jcontreras

    August 12th, 2019 at 7:57 am

    Thanks Laura! Will do! Congrats to Morgan and your family!

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