Tuesday, December 22, 2009
This time of year is harder for waiting parents, I think. We get those cute Christmas cards in the mail with family pictures, and while I enjoy seeing how everyone has grown, it just makes me want to have a cute family picture of my own to send out. It's not the most Christian thing to be jealous, but it's how I feel sometimes. It's just hard. I think I've said that before. And now I'm saying it over and over and over.
Yes, I'm whining. It'll be over soon.
Anyway, I plan on using my break to rest my brain. It's been overloaded as of late, and I just need to let some things go.
I'm sorry that I don't have much to update. There just isn't much to say, but I like to keep posting so everyone knows the progress. Or lack of progress.
Monday, December 7, 2009
So, I don't know anything about these moms though...like if they have already chosen adoptive families or if we meet their qualifications. All that unknown stuff weighs on my mind, and I wish my phone would ring to tell me we had been chosen again. That would be awesome.
But then the agency director told me that the situations two of the moms were in was so unstable that she wasn't sure they would be able to follow through with their decisions to place the babies. Evidently, the families are not supportive of their adoption plans and are really pressuring them to keep the babies. A hard place to be, I'm sure.
I don't know that I want to be matched with another mom who could back out. Once was enough heartbreak. Twice would just about do me in, I think.
So, prayers for the birthmoms, please. Prayers that they will have peace with their decisions and families that will be able to come to terms with what's best for the baby. Prayers all around, please.
I know that God has his hand in our situation, and that it will be our turn when it is our turn. I know I am impatient. I know I whine about waiting. I deal with it in my own small way, trying to handle it when it seems so many people around me are pregnant. I pray that God will mold my attitude into something that makes Him proud. So instead of praying for God to grant me grace, I am praying that He will touch these moms and families. It takes it outside of me...which I surely need. It's not about me, really. It's about the moms. Later it will be about me.
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
The other news was that they are working with two birthmothers, and possibly a third. That was great news for us. When last we talked to them, they were in a lull and hadn't had any calls. While they may not even meet our qualifications (like for race or religion or whatever) and they may not choose us, it is at least good news that they are getting some business. It improves the odds that we MIGHT get chosen, right?
So, keep praying for us. It would be wonderful if we could get chosen, but just keep praying that our agency continues to get calls and birthmothers.
Monday, November 23, 2009
Now it is cold and rainy and my thoughts feel like that too. Even though I had an awesome birthday weekend, the waiting weighs me down. It's always there, this constant wish that we'll get the call again soon. I check my phone, but there's nothing.
Then I think about how stressful it all was last time, during those weeks we were waiting for the baby to be born. How I didn't sleep and worried all the time, and maybe I'm not anxious to relive that. Those weeks were hard, and the outcome negative, and there's no promise that it won't happen again.
But, in the midst of all this rain, I know my Lord is there. It's hard to remember sometimes, but I see him in little ways. I keep giving my sorrows back to him, saying, take this hurt Lord and make it something you can use. Let me be a blessing to someone.
Friday, November 6, 2009
This morning started off with a question from a parent, "How is your adoption stuff going?" And I started laughing. It was the timing that made it perfect. But her question wasn't really about me, as much as it was about her wanting information. She and her husband are considering adopting, and she was wondering out loud. Her primary concern was that her husband, at 52, would be too old. And I knew it would be a factor for some international adoptions, but not all. After she left, I was curious, so I looked it up for her and found an agency with a chart that I printed out and gave to her later, showing the countries that allow adoptions up to age 55 or 60.
That was the beginning of the story. The end is where I sit at my desk and cry, because as much as I try to have a positive outlook on the waiting, and as much as I try to enjoy our couple time, the waiting can be unbearable sometimes. It's a weight that presses down on my joyful spirit. It's an unanswered question. I don't know when, I can't tell you when, I can't make any plans, all I can do is wait and wish. It isn't my favorite thing.
But I know my Lord is faithful, and I have to believe that my turn will come someday. The papers are filed, our profile is out there, and prayers are being said for us all around the state. It's just a lonely place to be, wanting it so much, and knowing I have absolutely, positively, NO control over when it happens. I want to plan, and I can't. I know it's about trust, this lesson I'm learning, but I seem to be slow in getting there.
The first part of adopting, the paperwork part, is the part you feel good about. You're getting things done, making copies, getting references, having a physical, checking it all off this big huge list. And then comes the homestudy and all those intrusive questions into your life and marriage, but it's another thing you can check off. Then you finish your pretty little profile book, and send it off. And then there isn't any more to do, except be matched.
Hurry up and wait.
This week has been hard, cause it is on my mind. It was about a year ago this time that we decided to try and find an agency and met with them on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. It's an anniversary of sorts, I guess. And it isn't that we thought we would have a baby by now, but when the first match happened so quickly, it just seemed like everything was going our way. It took five months the first time. Now it has been another five months and nothing. Just waiting. Just waiting.
And waiting. But waiting with His blessing.
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
There isn't anything going on right now with our agency. I did register with AdoptUsKids.org which is a registry of foster kids available for adoption all over the country, but I don't think this will feed us anything. Most of the foster kids in this country are school age children, and we are not certified to adopt a child over 1 year old. It's possible, I guess. I just wanted another way to connect with people out there.
I've read stories before about couples who advertised for their birthmothers. You can send letters to local Ob-gyns and let them know you are approved to adopt, if they ever come across a patient who wants to place a baby for adoption. You can advertise in the newspaper, I guess, like the couple in the movie, Juno. I have this blog, and we are on our agency's website. I don't know what to think, really, about sending letters to doctors, or advertising in the newspaper. I guess I could take out an ad on Craigslist, but that seems to be pushing it. I don't want to force it, but should I be doing my part? What more can I do?
What are your opinions? Do you think there is a way to advertise without being completely tasteless? What would you recommend if you were me? I do trust that people I know would tell someone about us if that subject ever came up. Or you could refer them to our agency, New Life Christian Adoptions. I hesitate to put this up on Facebook, cause someone could really take this the wrong way. Waiting is confusing. Yup.
I just wanted to check in with you all. Hope all is well with you and that whatever your situation, you are handling it with the grace of our Lord. He's there when things are dark, I can tell you that.
Thursday, October 8, 2009
It was indeed the agency, but not calling with any good news. They were returning my call from earlier in the week, and letting me know that they were experiencing a lull. Yup, a lull. They had a really busy spring and summer and now they didn't have many birthmoms to work with. She told me that all we needed to do was pray that they would start getting some calls.
I felt weird about this part, and had to think about it for a minute. I actually laughed when I realized why I thought her request was strange. I reacted to the fact that she wanted me to pray that they would get more calls from pregnant girls and it seemed to me like I was praying for a girl to get pregnant so I could have her baby! I really laughed. That isn't what she meant at all. She meant, not in so many words, that we should pray that pregnant women who don't want to parent, or can't parent her baby, will chose adoption over abortion, and would call them. That's the prayer. I don't want to cause additional people to accidentally get pregnant just so I can adopt a baby, but I would consider it a blessing for a woman to choose me to parent her child instead of visiting an abortion clinic. It tickled me, that's all.
I had been feeling all week that something was going to happen, and I don't know where the feeling came from, since now it seems so wrong. I was way off, thinking that we were going to be chosen, when they are in the middle of a lull in regards to birthmothers. And who really knows what will happen, but it seems that we will be waiting longer.
So, if you will, join us in prayer for birthmoms, that they can make good choices and give their unwanted babies homes in the arms of loving couples who long to be a family. Pray specifically for New Life Christian Adoptions if you would, and pray that Kelly and LeighAnn will be God's instruments of peace for these women.
Sunday, October 4, 2009
It's funny though...last time we found out we were matched, I got the news on a Friday. And now, EVERY Friday, I think it's going to happen again. Just because it happened on a Friday last time doesn't mean it will happen that way again. Weird how our mind makes us think about things that way.
Really. I really don't have much to talk about. Check in on Mommy and the Wombles (on my sidebar) and pray for them as they adjust to adopting a little girl from China.
Sunday, September 20, 2009
This morning was rough, though. All through church I kept thinking about the baby that was almost mine, and how I hoped she was doing okay. I pray that she is warm and safe and happy and loved. Charlie reminded me that our birthmother had been a great mom to her other two children and was most likely doing a great job with this baby, too. It is a small comfort. I walk past our nursery and I think about how I was supposed to sit in that rocker and rock her to sleep. I think about the clothes in the closet and the diaper bag, ready to go. It isn't easy.
I know that the reality is, when we are matched with a new birthmother and baby, all this will fade into the background. And while I may never completely let go of this little girl, I will be caught up in mothering the child in my arms. That makes perfect sense. But while I'm stuck here in this waiting place, I think about that baby and pray for her.
I have been keeping up with several other women who are in this waiting place and with others who have already adopted children. Mommy Womble is still in China, picking up her daughter, and those posts have made me cry, over and over. The Womble Times is on my sidebar, so check it out and cry along with me. You'll be ooohing and ahhhing and praying for the Wombles as they travel home.
Pray for us, please! We'll take what we can get.
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Let me just say, that I really like my doctor. She experienced some infertility herself and even began the adoption process before getting pregnant, so she knows how I feel. We had a really good talk about the failed placement in May, and how I felt about going back on birth control to help regulate my hormone levels. We cried and laughed and talked and I felt much better.
The point is to say that this year has been filled with many things. So many emotions are involved in trying to get pregnant, and others are involved in failing to get pregnant. Completely different emotions are wrapped up in doing the adoption paperwork and having the homestudy visit. Elation when you get the phone call that you've been chosen. Fear that it will all fall apart. Heartbreak that it does fall apart. It's a rollercoaster.
But I told her that it's easier for me to know which path I'm on. I don't want to wonder if I can get pregnant while waiting for another birthmother to choose us. For my piece of mind, I like knowing I'm waiting for an adoption. Not wondering about my body.
Waiting certainly isn't easy. I can admit that and I have on several occasions. But she reminded me that one day when I have my child, I will look back and know that he/she was the one meant for me. It's nice that she could believe with me.
Thursday, August 27, 2009
Kelly talked me through what I was feeling, letting me know that others are waiting, too. And when our day comes, it will be wonderful and worth waiting for. Right now all I can see is the season I'm sitting in, not what will come later.
It's hard to be patient. When we had all the paperwork to do, I felt like things were moving forward, step by step, but now there isn't anything to do but wait. I have nothing to accomplish, nothing to check off my list, nothing to do but wait.
SO many people are praying for us and I am so grateful. I need it. I want to be able to handle the waiting gracefully, and treasure the time that Charlie and I have together. Keep us in your prayers, please.
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Read all about us!
Sunday, July 19, 2009
This week I found out that two friends are pregnant, and I'm so excited for them. Jealous, but excited. I know how thrilled I was when we found out a birthmother had chosen us, and can only imagine how excited women are to see the stick turn pink. I jumped up and down with the ladies at my work and cried with Charlie on the phone (see, I told you I was a crybaby.)
All of this to say that today during worship I was thinking about our birthmother and how she might be doing now. She was placing the baby up for adoption due to monetary reasons, and I wonder if she and the baby are all right. I want her to be all right.
We were singing:
You're all I want
You're all I've ever needed
You're all I want
Help me know You are near.
The tears came. I think in the past months I have been ignoring God in small ways, blaming Him for the fact that the birthmother changed her mind. I think this baby has been all I have been focusing on, any baby, wanting to be a mother so bad, that I forgot that HE is what I want. I want to be in His will, following His plan.
It's so easy to get tunnelvision, to work towards one thing and ignore all others, and God doesn't want us to be like that. He wants us to be well-rounded while serving Him. There isn't much more to say than that. I know my eyes have been on this baby, and they should have been on Him.
I love worship.
Thursday, July 9, 2009
We had to cancel the shower we planned and I hated that. I really felt embarrassed that we planned that big party and then had to undo all those plans, although I had no reason to feel embarrassed. I did nothing wrong. I am allowed to celebrate and mourn.
For now everything is in a holding pattern. The carseat is ready. The stroller is ready. The room is ready and our house is baby proofed. We just need an actual baby, so keep praying. And just in case you might actually know someone who wants to place a baby for adoption, keep us in mind. I know that sounds like some weird networking system, but some couples really go all out to make others aware that they are adopting. We could even write letters and circulate them to OB-GYN offices if we were so inclined, but I find that a little, I don't know, odd. That isn't even a good word, and I don't know what the right word is. We just know we want a baby, and I just keep trusting the Lord that it will happen.
Keep us in your prayers, that we will be walking down the path God intends and that He will bring us the perfect baby for our family. I want to stand firmly in His will.
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
We also want to make sure that all you readers know that the shower we planned for the 27th has been postponed until we are matched again. Next time we are matched with a birthmother and child, we may wait until after the baby comes home to plan something. If you could spread the word to anyone else, that would help us out as well.
We ask that you continue praying for us and for our child who is out there somewhere, waiting for us. This journey has been an emotional rollercoaster, but we believe it will end happily someday, with a child in our arms.
Rest assured, for anyone who donated to our adoption, that we did not lose any of your money. It will be applied to our next match. Thank you to those of you who donated and yes, you can still donate at any time. We are continuing to save as well and hope to be ready when the next match comes along.
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
This picture was taken the night before we got the bad news, and I was so excited to show it then. These shoes were all given to us by a wonderful friend (hi, Cindy!) and I happily unpacked them and lined them up and matched them to the little clothes she gave us as well. I imagined all the times she would toddle down the hallway, little footsteps on the hardwood, wearing these shoes.
Now they are back in a box while we wait. We go back on the list for birthmothers to choose from if we match their requirements (for example, if they want a couple that already has kids, then our book won't be shown.) And, if we are ultimately matched with a birthmom having a boy, they will get passed on to someone else.
I have graduated from keeping the nursery door closed to now having it open partway. It doesn't hurt so much to look at all the things we planned for our daughter. Don't get me wrong, it still hurts a little bit, but it's getting better. We're moving on in small ways...our pictures will go up on the adoption website, and our book will go back in circulation for birthmoms. I can imagine getting another call telling us about a possible match. I dream about little babies.
In other news, we heard from the agency with brief news about Vanessa and the baby. She was born May 9 (several days before she called the agency) and weighed 7.5 pounds. Vanessa is already back at work and we sent her a couple of outfits that we bought with this baby in mind. The baby is named Olivia. I guess now we have some closure. Okay, okay, I did say SOME closure. It's not completely closed, but we're working on it.
For now, we wait. Sheesh.
Sunday, May 17, 2009
We are okay.
Okay means that I dream about babies and wake up knowing that my nursery is still empty.
It means that I worshipped this morning knowing that God has a plan, but failing to understand what that plan is.
Okay means that I wandered around the grocery store and cried when I passed the diaper aisle.
It means that Charlie has worked himself to exhaustion trying to stay busy.
It means that I have to return little girl things that I bought.
Okay means that I know there is another baby out there somewhere who needs a mom just like me.
Okay means I will get to someday use the crib I lovingly restored.
It means we have to cancel the shower that we planned.
Okay means that people hugged me today because they were sorry and some people hugged me because they were excitedly waiting for news of our baby...and I had to tell them she wasn't coming.
Okay means I bought Jalepeno flavored Cheetos and I just might eat the whole bag.
Okay is a place in the middle. I don't feel like I can't get out of bed and face the day...I don't really want to, but I can face it. But I am not jumping up and down that I am standing in the middle of God's will either. While I can be recognize that God may have been using me for some purpose that I don't understand, it doesn't mean I didn't get hurt in the process.
Okay means I will keep putting one foot in front of the other and getting through the next few days.
Okay means I love all of you and know you are praying for us.
Okay means I am going to go take a nap now.
Friday, May 15, 2009
the birthmother changed her mind and decided not to place the baby for adoption.
We don't know very many details. We aren't even sure when she was born, and all our agency got was a brief text message from Vanessa apologizing to us and telling us that she couldn't do it.
We are sad. I have been in tears throughout the day and am finally getting used to talking about it. Telling our parents was really hard.
I really felt like she was mine. I really believed my daughter was coming home to the nursery I decorated and the clothes I bought. I named my baby and called her mine.
But she wasn't.
We have to trust that God has a plan, for us, for this birthmother and for this baby. And for whatever baby He brings us. It isn't easy to believe right now, but I know that even in the rain, He is there. He gives and He takes away. He told us that right from the beginning.
Someday we will be parents. It just isn't this day.
So I am going to get off here and cry a little more and try to get some sleep tonight. Thank you for all your prayers for our family. Keep praying, not only for us, but for Vanessa and her baby. Keep praying for the baby that God has in mind for us.
Monday, May 11, 2009
They didn't know anything except she has an appointment tomorrow where they will talk about inducing. And I don't know how fast that happens...will they send her to the hospital right then, or schedule an appointment? I guess it could be both answers.
I spent some time yesterday thinking about Vanessa, on Mother's Day. It has to be a difficult time for her...knowing she is a mother, but not getting to mother this child. I can't imagine, but I pray for her strength. I pray that she will know peace and that we will love this baby. I already do and she isn't home yet.
That's all for today, folks. Not much to say.
Friday, May 8, 2009
Today my prayer is that Vanessa will have a smooth and un-complicated birth. While I want the baby here faster, I have to realize that an induction will be more painful for Vanessa. I don't want her in additional pain.
Pray for all involved. Thanks.
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
We found out last time that Vanessa likes the Beatles and so we sent over a CD from I Am Sam and she really liked it.
Not much else to report...when we have something, you'll know!
Monday, May 4, 2009
Vanessa's doctor told her that he thought she would give birth this week sometime, but if she didn't have the baby by Thursday that she would need to come in and talk about making a plan to induce. That means we may have a baby next week sometime!
On another note, we have received a couple donations from our church family. Thanks a bunch for all your support. If anyone else would like to help us with our adoption costs and legal fees (about $9,000) see the sidebar and follow the directions.
More will come as soon as we know anything!
Sunday, May 3, 2009
This scares me, of course.
While he hasn't shown any real interest before, his hesitation to sign off, which is perfectly normal, make my stomach upset.
Today our sermon was about God's provision and I realize that God may be using me to teach this man a lesson. Even though I may be asked to let her go, God might be teaching this man about what it means to be a father. I have to be willing to be used any way God wants, I have to submit to his will and trust that His plan for this situation may not involve me bringing her home.
Pray that His will is done here. Pray that this baby is placed in the home that is perfect for her. Pray that should I get the phone call telling me that this is the end won't completely break my heart.
If I can celebrate, I will do that, but if I cannot, let me handle it with grace and dignity.
Keep us in your prayers. We want to be covered in them.
Thursday, April 30, 2009
We have gone ahead and planned a "Welcome Home Baby" Shower for June 27th and we invited so many family and friends. Charlie did the invitations and they were really cute...lots of pink and green. I am nervous about that, of course, because I would hate to cancel.
For those who want to know, we are registered at Target and Babies R Us.
For others who might want to help out with our adoption costs (yes, we are still raising money) there are details on the sidebar. It's a tax free donation if you follow the directions.
I will post more later when I get some more information. Until then, keep up those prayers.
Saturday, April 25, 2009
Now, we wait.
And I know this won't be the hardest waiting we do. I am not looking forward to the legal-risk week that we have to wait out before we bring baby girl home. Not at all. That week between the birth of the baby and the placement day are going to be torturous and long. I know that each time the phone rings I will be expecting the worst.
I am not looking forward to it.
Why is it that waiting is always so hard? I thought that waiting to get pregnant was bad. I thought that filling out the forms and waiting to be chosen by a birthmom was bad, and we didn't even have to wait that long. Now I look back and think those seasons were easy compared to this. The room is ready, but I am not in control. I don't have my body cueing me on when the baby will be born. I have to settle for phone calls from the agency with tidbits of information and sweat out this time.
I know it will break my heart should this baby not come home to my house.
And I also would completely understand if she chose to keep her baby.
I see both sides. Adoption is a gift, pure and simple. A blessing. Without which I might never have children. But I would understand it if she looked at that baby in the hospital and said "she's part of me and I am taking her home."
This season is one of the major differences in domestic and international adoption. In international adoption, the majority of babies are orphans, abandoned to orphanages either by their parents or due to the loss of their parents. A baby is assigned to you and that is the baby you go get. I'm not saying that international adoptions don't fall through, because they do. Laws change and wait times change and the wait can be a lot longer. We did our research and have several friends that adopted internationally, but the birthmom is not usually a factor. And while it really is a benefit that we have met her and have information from her that we can share with our child, she is still a factor. It is up in the air until those seven days expire and there isn't anything I can do about it.
Well, I can trust that God has a plan for me.
Several friends have told me that they have perfect peace about our adoption. And I wish God had given that peace to me. I wish I could just lay it in His hands and let it go. I need to trust that He will pick me back up if this should fall apart.
I know I haven't really shared much info in the above paragraphs, but I am sharing what is on my heart. If baby girl is born on her due date, then there is a week and half left, then another week after that until she comes home. And that seems like such a long time. In reality, I know it will fly by, but, until we actually drive away from the agency with her in the carseat, I may not actually believe it.
Two and a half weeks. I can do it, right?
Saturday, April 18, 2009
We were nervous.
We were excited.
We had no idea what to say or what we should talk about. What do you say to a woman who will be giving you her baby? I mean, it's a huge gift, and it's impossible to convey every emotion I am feeling in one two hour lunch. We didn't want to overwhelm her or ask too many questions. We wanted her to feel free to ask what she needed to know about us.
We stopped and got her some flowers.
My heart about stopped when we pulled up in the parking lot of the restaurant. I felt so clammy and unsure, but Charlie grabbed my hand and we went in. We found the table easily and there was Kelly with the birthmom (and I don't really think I should share her name, but calling her birthmom seems so impersonal, so let's call her Vanessa.) Vanessa was shorter than us with wavy hair and a really pretty smile. She was dressed simply and given that she is 8 months pregnant, looked really great. I couldn't really tell from just sitting across the table from her that she was pregnant. She stood up later to go to the restroom, and then I actually saw her stomach!
Charlie asked if she liked sports. I was totally prepared for her to say, "um, not really," but she surprised me by saying she loved football. Well, that was the right thing to say to Charlie, since he is the Commish of his fantasy football league and they talked teams and players and hit it off. That really set the tone for the lunch and we were able to keep the conversation going from there. There were some serious moments and some funny moments, but all in all I think she got a really good feel for us and who we are.
We learned about her family and life and where she was from and what her parents did. She lost her dad when she was younger too, so I could relate to that. We talked about all sorts of things and when it was time to go, we posed for some pictures with her. Vanessa told us that she was glad she had chosen to meet with us because it helped her feel more comfortable.
We left that meeting feeling good. Adoption is a blessing, and we feel totally and completely in awe of what Vanessa is doing in helping us create a family. She will forever be part of our lives, even if we never actually see her again.
You know, adoption has really come a long way in the past 30 years. It used to be that adoptions were these hushed up things...families were embarrassed that they couldn't have kids and girls who got "in trouble" were shipped off to homes to have their babies in secret. But what people have learned over the years is that it is better for all parties if more information is shared, if the child knows where she comes from, if they can understand why the choices were made. I think this meeting will help us go a long way to answering those questions should our daughter ask one day.
There were tears, of course. Not too many, but a few. There were hugs at the end, and Vanessa waved as she drove away. We stayed for a few minutes and talked with Kelly and then we went on back our way home.
It was a good day.
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
We go tomorrow to meet the birthmother and I can tell you that I am nervous about that, but excited too. Prayers all around that it will go well and she will feel settled in us. I want her to leave feeling confident that we will love her baby.
Friday, April 10, 2009
Once I got her back on the phone, she started telling me that he called and wanted to sign a relinquishment form. Hallelujah and Amen. If he signs this form now, then there will be less required legally later. He told her that he would be in touch with her on Monday to see about coming in and signing. I think he had been on board in the beginning (to place the baby for adoption) but he and the birthmother had a fight and they haven't been speaking.
So, include us in your prayers this weekend that he will feel peace in signing this form. Let God touch him and show him that we already love this little girl and are making a place for her in our home. I know it's a holiday weekend, but if you all could just squeeze me in and offer up these prayers, I would be so thankful.
Hopefully, I will have good news to share early next week. We do go and meet the birthmom on Wednesday, so I am nervous about that, but I know that it is something that needs to be done. She needs to feel the love, too.
Share the love, folks, and Happy Easter!
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
I'm a little panicked. There is so much left to be done and a limited time to get it done. And that's if the baby doesn't come early. Oh dear, if the baby comes early, it's not going to be pretty.
And of course we're worried about the cost. Adoption is expensive and we knew what it would cost going in, but we weren't prepared for it to happen this soon. We have been saving and working hard to get it all together. We have had some donations made to our account, which has been such a blessing! Thank you, if you are one of those dear friends.
Right now all I'm asking for is your prayers. Lots and lots of prayers. Lots and lots of prayers to help us figure it out. WE are going to bring her home. I am going to trust God that He'll work it out. He's blessed us this far with a match sooner than we ever imagined, so I need to trust that it will be perfect, that I can get some rest and get ready for her.
Prayers. People please. Here me on this one and get on your knees. This economy is rough, and money isn't falling out of the thin air, but I have faith that He will come through. But a little added prayer wouldn't hurt.
Thanks a bunch.
Saturday, April 4, 2009
We were chosen.
That sounds so weird to me. We were chosen! But we were and have been matched with a birthmom and baby and I can't even wrap my mind around it. Oh my. Breathe.
Let me back up and tell the story correctly.
I took my lunch break around 12:45 and got back to my desk a little before 1:30. I checked my cell phone and I had a message from Kelly at our adoption agency saying "I have a few questions for you, give me a call if you can."
Kelly filled me in on a few things: someone had donated a check for us, they had received most of our paperwork, they were waiting for clearance from the child molester registry, oh and she met with a birthmother that morning and she had selected us for her baby!
Way to just slip that right in!
I think I said, "that's cool." My mind was blank. It was completely empty. I was frozen to my chair as I listened to her say that the baby would be born in May and it is a little girl.
In MAY. Did you hear that, people? In May! In like, four weeks from now, and that's if she doesn't go early. Wow. In May.
Now, there are a million things to do. We have to finish up some paperwork and get our ducks in a row. We need baby things. We need a name. We need prayer, cause, remember, this is an adoption and anything can happen.
Whoa, pinch me.
Let me just take a moment and thank my Savior, who has watched over this baby and is placing her in my hands. Let's take a moment and thank this birthmom, who could have made a very different choice. Let's thank our adoption agency for doing what they do everyday.
Now, proceed to do the happy dance.
Oh, and start sending me your hand-me-downs. I'm gonna need em!
Saturday, March 14, 2009
What happened next?
Um, complete panic set in.
I told her that it was almost finished (which was true-ish) and that I would see what I could do to get it to her.
I raced home and proceeded to work on it. For 5 hours. Emily tried to IM with me, but I was so focused, when the chime went off I didn't even know what it was. Sad. Let me explain something about the profile book...it isn't a paper scrapbook. It is a digital scrapbook. Yup, that's right, DIGITAL. Which means I learned how to use Adobe Photoshop CS3 in order to make this scrapbook.
There are pros and cons to this type of scrapbooking...
Pro: there isn't any mess to clean up.
Con: if you don't know what command puts text on the page, you might not get to write any words.
Pro: I can change the file as many times as I want.
Con: I can change the file as many times as I want. Oh, the perfectionism.
Pro: Sizes of things can easily be changed. I want this graphic bigger, I stretch it out. Can't do that with paper.
Con: I might have to cuss at the computer when I can get those graphics to stretch out the way I want them. No, I didn't cuss. But I clicked REALLY, REALLY hard. Yeah, that's tellin' the computer.
Do you get the idea. I slaved over this thing learning a new program and getting it right. I needed to include all sorts of things about us, our families and our house. I drove everyone crazy taking tons of pictures of them over the holidays.
Oh, back to Wednesday night....well, I worked on a couple of the pages, making sure they all had captions and such, then I prepared to upload them to a site that prints them and mails them to you. I can't print them out at home because it would take tons of ink and I can't print 12 x 12 pages in my printer. I thought Charlie might be able to print them at work, but he didn't think he could make it work either, but he had a printer friend in town that could do it for him rushed. So he ran around on Thursday getting it printed, then we laminated the pages, bound them and got it in the mail. It turned out really well. I was so proud of all my hard work.
And as soon as I can figure out how to shrink the file to post on the internet, I will show them off. I shared with several friends at work and they thought it was cute and showed who we are as a couple. I hope so.
As this week goes forward, please pray for the birthmoms coming in to the agency. These will be hard appointments for them...making a decision about the family that will take their babies home. Pray that I will sleep this week, and not lay awake thinking of baby names. Pray that I won't jump every time the phone rings.
Pray, and stay tuned.
Thursday, March 5, 2009
So we started over. Charlie blessedly transferred my answers to the new form and answered his portion, but there are some new questions we have to answer together. And the questions cover so much about our lives and views on parenting. I think I gave you a sampling of them before, but it covers EVERYTHING in our lives, childhoods, marriage, etc.
Now we will turn this in and a couple other forms, then we get to make an appointment with the social worker. That will be nerve racking, I'm sure. After that, we will be on the list.
And then we wait.
Saturday, February 7, 2009
Wednesday, February 4, 2009
Charlie went down to the Sheriff's Office on his day off, and the address the lady gave me was wrong. Someone directed him to the correct building and he got it all done. I followed his directions to the Law Enforcement Center, which is a dull gray stone building with no windows. I found the building with no problem, but there was no place to park. All the street spaces were taken and the lots were labeled for employees only. I drove around the block three times before I found a space.
When I went inside, I found the correct window easily and stood there. And stood there. And waited while the woman inside went on with her work. For several minutes. Oh, she could see me all right, but she kept on working. Finally, she turned to me and looked up with this irritated face. I told her I needed to get fingerprinted and she asked for my Driver's License. I handed it to her, along with a letter that the adoption agency had provided for the fingerprint agent to read, asking them to fill out several things. She took a cursory look at the letter and shoved it back at me saying, "that's for you to fill out." Now, I had looked at the letter in advance and it clearly said, in capital letters, that were underlined, ATTN: LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENT: PLEASE TYPE OR FILL IN THE FOLLOWING ITEMS. Then it listed all these things that they should verify and fill in. She was not having it.
I gave her my ten dollars (in cash and exact, because that's all they take) and then she motioned me through a set of double doors. The place I entered was so sad. Seriously, it was the most depressing office, with builder beige walls and no natural light. And, the woman was wearing a builder beige sweater and had builder beige hair. She put on some gloves and told me where to stand, and grabbed my hand. She jerked my fingers around and rolled them on the card, while telling me how stupid I was not to know which fingers she needed. She was laughing at me, and I hope my prints are ok, cause they looked a little smeared to me.
Now, I did tell her that I was applying for an adoption. I thought that might make her a little more friendly towards me...that I wasn't a pedophile or some criminal. She just acted like I was inconveniencing her. When she was finished with me, she handed me a baby wipe and reminded me to take my prints with me when I left, and she was gone back to her depressing little office.
Well, since she didn't fill out the things the form asked her to, I had to go home and fill in the information. Charlie came home and said that his fingerprinter told him to fill in a couple additional spaces that the agency hadn't mentioned, so we didn't know which way was correct. So we called the agency and they weren't even sure we were allowed to write on the card after the agent signed it. I didn't want to have to go back there to get fingerprinted AGAIN, so we called the State Bureau of Investigation (who we have to send the prints to) and asked what info they needed. They said we could write on it, so I filled in some info and we finally got it in the mail.
Now, this story is kinda funny, and it makes for a great post, but I just felt so bad that the woman just wasn't having a great day. And if I have to go back there cause my prints are messed up, I am so not going let her push me around. It did make me think about how sometimes we just don't enjoy doing our jobs. She probably sits in that window everyday, in the dingy flourescent lighting, fingerprinting scummy people and I bet most times it isn't fun. But I was nice to her, and she could have responded in kind.
(Oh, I hope you like the new background. I guess my other one wasn't loading right, and since I had light colored text on a dark background...and when the background wouldn't load, you couldn't read the text. Maybe that's too much info, but let me know what you think of this one.)
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Last week our social worker emailed me and let me know that she would be meeting with a birthmother this week, and even though Charlie and I hadn't finished all our paperwork, she wanted to show them some photos of us! Wow! I didn't know we could even be considered this soon, but she wanted us to send photos and a birthmother letter. She also warned us that the birthmom already had a couple in mind, but that she wanted to show her everyone.
Charlie and I worked on our birthmother letter, which is a really difficult letter to write. It's hard to express all your feelings about adoption, and the longing for a baby without convincing the birthmother that she should just raise the baby herself. There is a great temptation to be greedy and just say "gimme." But you can't. And even when I have been thinking about adoption since I was little, it's hard to anticipate how the birthmother will interpret your words. Trust me, it's difficult. I mean, I need a thesaurus to get more words about how difficult it is.
So we sent off pictures and the letter and we knew that Emily (social worker) was meeting with the birthmom today, and that she would let us know something either tomorrow or Friday. It was a hard couple of days, because we didn't want to get too excited, but at the same time we knew she was due in 8 weeks. If we were somehow chosen, we would need to expedite everything else and have all the money ready in that amount of time, too (that part scared my husband a tad.)
I spent the week praying for God's will. Everytime I prayed I asked God to help the birthmom make a decision that was right for her, and for the baby. I prayed that He would help me deal with whatever choice she made. I prayed that when the baby He intended for us came along, we would know it.
And He came through. We did not get chosen. But I am ok. I am a little sad, but I am not broken apart with grief. Obviously God intends this baby for that other couple, and He's the one who is in control. It's hard to give over that control and leave it up to someone else. It's stressful to think that we have to be chosen, but my Heavenly Father chose me, and He can choose a baby for us. He will.
So, now we will finish up our paperwork properly and continue saving those pennies and nickels. I get fingerprinted on Monday, and then the State Bureau of Investigation has to clear us. Fun times.
Just wanted to let you all know what was going on. I am sorry that I didn't share earlier, but I didn't want it to be real. I didn't want to start all the planning in my head, buying all the clothes, getting all the baby stuff. I couldn't do it. But I wanted you to know.
And now you do.
Thursday, January 22, 2009
- How were you disciplined as a child? Do you agree with this type of discipline?
- How did you meet your husband?
- Describe your first date.
- What do you think your wife likes most about you?
- Have you ever been under the care of a therapist or counselor?
- Did you have any pets growing up?
- Decsribe the layout of your house...where does each person sleep?
- What is in your backyard?
- How long have you had your job?
- Who will raise the kids in the event of your untimely death? How much money do they make?
- How do you resolve conflict in your marriage?
- Who pays the bills and makes financial decisions?
And this is just a sample, people. The social worker told us that it would be kind of fun to do because you will learn a lot about your spouse. Should be interesting just to get Charlie to sit down and answer his half.
But, YIPPEE, it means another step is behind us and we are continuing to move forward!
Oh, and where does each person in your house sleep? I'm dying to know...
Sunday, January 11, 2009
Let's Talk Adoption
This was a course that deals with how you talk to your adopted child about being adopted. Some of it was meant for parents adopting older kids and addressed issue like how to talk to them if their parents abused them or committed crimes. Mainly, it was about keeping the lines of communication open so that your child feels like they can ask questions about their birthparents and how they came to be with you. The trend in adoption is to talk to your child as early as possible, so that there aren't any secrets about where they came from. No one has to watch what they say or worry about whether they've exposed any hidden truths. Charlie and I both feel like adoption is a blessing to us and we will share it early and often.
This class was interesting and I think we both enjoyed it. The main theme was when you adopt a child that is a different race, it will be obvious to the world that the child is adopted, and there will be lots of questions about that fact. Some will be rude. Some will just be curious. And the course helps you work through how to answer those questions without being offended and to educate people at the same time.
For example "How much did you pay for that baby?"
Answer "We paid for the social work time and the legal fees, not for the baby itself."
It was a pretty good course and it made me think. I often ask questions of the women around me that have adopted and they are very forthcoming with the information. But I did have to ask one friend about the appropriate way to ask those questions. I mean, when you see a blond lady with an Asian daughter, it's pretty likely that she's adopted. I guess the woman could be married to an Asian man (that's possible...totally!) but usually adoption is the case. But how do I walk up and ask what adoption agency they used or what their experience was like without sounding completely uncouth? Yikes. My friend Sarah helped me realize some of the same things the course taught us, but in return. I will be the one answering the questions this time.
Lots more to learn. Lots more.
Wednesday, January 7, 2009
Pray with me while we wait.
Saturday, January 3, 2009
medical history form for each of us
progress report agreement
policies and procedures agreement
legal risk agreement
online parenting course form
couple participation statement for parenting courses
I already blogged about the CSC and how hard it was. The other forms weren't too bad, but some took a while to get through. The financial statement alone was 6 pages and asked about all our accounts and insurance policies and tax forms and credit cards. Both my husband and I had to work on that one, sort of tag teaming back and forth while one dug something out of the file cabinet or the other got online to check something out.
On the policy form we had to each initial in about 100 spots indicating that we understand all the specifics of the way their process works. It's a lot to read and comprehend, but I think the process is pretty straightforward. The agency just wants you to understand how they work and what you can expect as you move through the process.
We are getting ready to send it off this week and it should take about 2 weeks for them to look at all the forms. Once this round is approved, then we move on to the homestudy or PPA process, which is going to be even more complex. We will have to provide verification of all the things we just gave figures on and show them our birth certificates and marriage license.
One step at a time.