Monday, May 24, 2010

the adoption, the exciting, and the totally random

Yes, it has been a while with no posts... Yes, I have been promising photos in several of the last posts and they are still on the camera. I do have good news about the photos. The card is now full which means we should be removing the photos from the camera in the near to nearish future!

The reason for the lack of updates is honestly lack of exciting news to post. Our agency had that great week of referrals FIVE weeks ago, and since then, it has pretty much been silence! I do go to bed most days truly wondering if I will really ever be a mom! I have to remind myself often that God will lead us to our children in His time! I am currently reading Job and finding great treasure in it!

We have friends going through a really challenging time in their journey to their sweet Baby-M. Please pray for him and them whenever you think of us! The situation is intense so we need to storm heaven like crazy for this little guy and his amazing family!

I was able to email back and forth with the woman who is in charge of special needs adoptions and was very encouraged by our interaction. She said there are frequently children who come into care that have specific needs that no one has listed on their dossier and then can possibly become available. I explained our situation and I am excited to see where that could possibly lead at some point.

Random or exciting things someone might be interested in:
~ I got out my dolls and Barbies recently and they all smell! Yuck! I am really glad I did this now so everything can get a bath. It would have been pretty sad to have some little girls over and offer them my stinky toys!
~We cleared away the brush from next to our garage and found a rotting pile of wood and a dead rabbit! FUN!! Luckily I was weeding in another part of the yard and got to hear about the rabbit after it was disposed of!
~Brandon's second wedding had two interesting events. The bestman passed out and the taper candles fell (while lit) and one landed inches from the brides dress. I was so nervous I closed my eyes! Helpful, I know!
~We had an all church spring cleaning/yard work day and it was SO encouraging, fun, and PRODUCTIVE! The church looks great inside and out!
~The smoked turkey sausage from Trader Joe's is super tasty! Yum, I could go for some right now!
~I made rhubarb bars that are Shelly friendly and they tasted great! Yes, the whole pan that I ate in 24 hours tasted great! It was a small pan,OK. Well, it wasn't that small, but it was essentially rhubarb and eggs so it was more of a meal than a dessert, right?
~I went on a walk this morning without cotton in my ears. I am wearing a long sleeve T-shirt and feel very comfortable! YAHOO! Summer is here!
~We are having family come this weekend! So excited for the special time together!
~3 of my 5 Bible Studies are ending this week, so I might actually get somewhere with the VHS tapes some day soon.
~I know I should write an adoption update letter to friends and family. It may happen soon, but I am not sure what to say because basically, we are still waiting and the end isn't in sight! Please pray! :)
~Typing the above comment on rhubarb bars reminds me that I still have rhubarb to use up... hmm maybe I should make another batch AFTER I go on another walk!
~I have started wearing my pedometer again and actually meeting my 10,000 step a day goal!
~Hopefully a photo post will be up shortly!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

When there is pain in the offering...

Blessed Be Your Name!
For the last several years this day (Mother's Day) has been very hard day for me. Honestly, the past few years have been so challenging that I didn't go to church, didn't read any of the days news, watch TV or check Facebook. I went to church this year to support my wonderful husband. It was hard, but because Brandon recognizes that this is a day of joy and a day of sorrow he did a super job of honoring moms, but keeping God the main thing! He also recognized through prayer, the hurt of many who have had miscarriages, infertility, loss of a child, loss of a mother, or a strained relationship with their mother.
I think many people assume that now that we are on the adoption journey things are easier for me again. This is so not the case! Now my heart just breaks deeper as I imagine our little ones around the world in wombs or in orphanages and I imagine each child's tummy mommy and the sacrifice she is making for the child we will love together! Oh the emotions!
Today, I think of those around me who are struggling with raw and fresh emotions over recent miscarriages and in the thick of the infertility roller-coaster! Friends, if you are reading this, please know that Jesus is so near to you in your sadness today and our prayers are with you!
I must end this post by saying that I am SO blessed with a wonderful mother who is a dear friend to me. I love you mom! I also have the added blessing of a second mom (Brandon's mom) who is GREAT! Brandon and I both still have the joy of having both of our grandma's with us, so we feel very blessed on this Mother's Day as we reflect on all of the special women who have given us love through the years!
Remember in all things dear friends... Blessed be the Name of the LORD!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Six months on the journey... what I've learned so far

We have been on our journey to baby for six months... officially... and my whole life unofficially! The adoption journey has taught me so many things, sadly I am learning and re-learning many each day, but I thought I would share a few of them with you today.
**Well, 30 minutes of typing and my list of a few has grown quite a bit! The amazing thing is most days I feel like I don't know much at all!

I Have Learned:
~that the paper chase was great because I felt like I was doing something each day.
~that in every stage of the adoption journey the grass is always greener.
~that Ethiopia has have 5 syllables and is almost impossible for little ones to say, but is adorably cute to hear them try.
~that I have all the cravings of a pregnant woman, but no baby in my tummy to account for the weight gain.
~that yahoo groups are the key to finding families in your shoes around the world.
~that yahoo groups can be amazing and cruel all in one day.
~the terms like DTE, and pap, etc etc are part of my new language.
~that the unofficial waiting lists are terribly inaccurate, but intensely addicting... therefore it is important to have one ready to look to for comfort at all times.
~that while being #16 on the unofficial waiting list is GREAT, knowing that this might only represent 1/4 of the families actually waiting doesn't make it so wonderful.
~that three months can go by with no referrals and then one week can have ten... there is no way to predict anything!
~that a referral (while good for PAP's) means a child has lost their first family. Our joy is mixed with their sorrow
~that all the jokes about paperwork are true... I have never signed so many things that are almost the same.
~that adoption allows you to get to know people in your community as you receive background checks, insurance statements, bank statements, physicals, visit notaries, the courthouse, the fingerprint place, and most importantly the Post Office!
~that checking the mail each day during the paper chase has the ability to make your day or bring you to tears.
~that "well meaning" people will give you "encouragement" that adoption will lead to tummy pregnancy frequently, and no matter how many times it is said it still feels like a slap in the face!
~that after the above I must say, "We are so blessed that God is building our family through adoption. We are beyond thrilled to welcome children into our family from around the world. Statistically, pregnancy after a half decade of infertility is just as likely for those who have adopted or not, but I am sure you know of a few families this has happened to. Adoption is our plan A and we are not praying for a pregnancy... simply that God would lead us to our children, and He is!"
~that even after my above response people will think that we are settling... and it will hurt... and we can't let it hurt! We can show them our authentic joy and pray that they will one day share in it!
~that seeing any child with chocolate skin causes my heart to beat more quickly and possibly causes tears to come to my eyes.
~that "Everlasting God" is my theme song most days.
~that social workers want success for your family and even when they tour your home they are not hoping you fail, but excited to partner with you.
~that no agency is perfect, but their goal at the end of the day is beautiful!!!
~that we have the opportunity to bless or annoy our agency by our responses to things we can't change and by our encouragement of them!
~that God hears every prayer we pray and He truly is the Father to the fatherless.
~that someone you meet through the blog world can feel like a very close friend simply because of adoption.
~that I can have multiple Facebook friends I have never met, but feel closer to me than many of the FB friends I went to school with.
~that God who is rich in mercy sent Jesus to live and die and bear the punishment for my sin so I would have the opportunity to be Adopted into the family of God! That is right... I have been adopted.
~that the cost of adoption is huge; emotionally, physically, relationally, and financially.
~that predicting financial costs is pretty impossible.
~that my first guess of $3,000.00 for plane flights and hotel is about TEN THOUSAND dollars off. Opps! To my defense I was thinking we would only be making one trip and now know we will most likely be making two.
~that the support of friends and family can warm my heart on the hardest day.
~that there are people who I don't know well who love our child enough to give time, prayer, and finance to bring our little one home.
~that regions of Ethiopia would sound as normal to me as Big Ten schools.
~that often times adoption books present the worst case scenario, and that is OK
~that Ethiopian names are so beautiful and it is OK to wait to think about names until after the referral.
~that being a procrastinator comes in handy for nursery prep. It won't happen for a LONG time and that is fine because I won't walk sadly past the room, and I work better under pressure.
~that I can still have SO much to learn!
~that waiting never gets easier.
~that I can love a child so deeply who I have never touched, held, kissed etc.
~that though all the joys and sorrows... it is ALL WORTH IT!!!
~that I must daily surrender the lives of my future children to the Lord! He alone is in control!