Monday, December 13, 2010

Back in the Saddle

After our mad dash to get everything in place for our adoption a couple months ago, and after things fell through with our first round, we decided to take a breather for a month or so. There was some paperwork that needed updating, so we took our time getting that done. I guess there was a part of me that was still hurting over the loss of our first attempt, and I wasn't ready to move on just yet. It is amazing how quickly you can love a little baby you have never even met yet! We bathed her in prayer, came up with names, started imagining what our life would be like with her in it, and then, just as quickly as she came into our life, she was gone. And even though I will probably never see her face, she will still have a piece of my heart! I praise the Lord for her brave mother who is working so hard to give her a good life, in spite of the circumstances!!

Last week we decided it was time to jump back into the mix... well, it was actually a combination of us finally being ready to put ourselves back out there, and the agency emailing us that they needed our generic letters to update our profile. Now that our updated letters are in, there is nothing left for us to do but wait! I sometimes forget that we are potential adoptive parents and that at any moment we could get a call about a baby. I am thankful for our Bug, who keeps me busy, and keeps my mind off of wondering/worrying!! People have asked if we will be more guarded this next go-around... and my answer is no. I don't want to go into a potential adoption half-hearted out of fear of a failed placement! Each baby and birthmother needs our prayers and love, regardless of whether they see the adoption through to the end or not. I also want my Godly family to know where we are in this journey! We would love for you to intercede on our behalf, to ask God for His guidance and wisdom! We are ready to climb back in saddle, and I hope you will join us!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Yesterday was Hard

We found out yesterday that our friend had her little girl Sunday night. She was 6lbs 3ozs. The cool thing is that her mom gave her the same middle name we were going to give her... "Grace". Yesterday was hard though... because, had everything gone the way we wanted, we would have been driving to pick her up from the hospital last night. We would have brought home our beautiful new daughter last night, and instead of sitting here at work today thinking about her and what her future holds, I would be holding her and kissing her sweet face. But, the key point in that thought, is that it is where we would be if things had gone OUR way instead of GOD's way. And the one thing we have heard over and over is that God has a plan in all of this, and His ways are not our ways. His plan is to prosper us, and not to harm us. His plan is to give us hope and a future. So today, I am clinging to that plan, His plan!! Praise you Lord for being in control!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

When God Closes a Door.......

Well, our biggest fear during this process was realized this week... The Agency we are working will attempted to contact the birthfather to talk with him about the birthmom's adoption plan. He didn't say much except that his lawyer would be contacting the Agency lawyer.... which she did 30 minutes later. Apparently he was already building a case to not only stop the adoption, but also to fight the birthmom for custody of the baby girl. I don't really know what this guy is thinking right now... He is a single guy, who lives several hours away from where the birthmom and baby will be, has been absent for most of this pregnancy, and has no means to raise a baby. My heart grieves for this poor baby girl!! She is going to grow up in a broken home, being carted back and forth between birthparents. I know God's plan is to prosper and not to harm.... but it is hard to see that in this situation.

At this point, the agency is no longer pursuing an adoption case. They don't want to do anything that could damage the birthmom in a custody battle. That in itself is frustrating as well!! This woman, after being abandoned by the man who got her pregnant (and who wanted her to have an abortion), put her baby first, and chose to place her in a loving home where she could be raised by a mom and dad. Now, 3 weeks before she is due, he shows up and tries to use that against her, saying she didn't want the baby so he should get her. What is this world coming to where a woman can be praised for having an abortion because she exercised her "right to choose", yet be burned at the stake for choosing LIFE for her baby, and wanting to put it up for adoption.

I am frustrated at the situation.... but, at the same time, my hope is in the LORD, and I know that there is a sweet little baby that He has in mind for us. Please join me in prayer for our sweet friend, a woman who is preparing to fight, once again, for her baby girl, and who only wants the best for her. Pray that God would give her strength and courage during the next few weeks as she prepares to deliver her baby, and fight the father for her at the same time!

Friday, October 15, 2010

The Waiting Game

Well, we have completed just about everything needed on our end to make this adoption possible. All the paperwork is filled out, the home study is done, the TB tests and blood work are complete..... now we wait.

If you know me very well, you know that waiting is not my thing. I like to take charge and get things done when and how I want them done. So sitting here, waiting for a phone call, wondering if this is really going to happen, hoping we have done everything right, is driving me crazy!!! I had three different people tell me the same thing last week... now is the time to "be still, and know that He is God". So, that is what I'm trying to do.

Our potential birthmom is scheduled for induction the first week of November, so we have three weeks at the longest to wait. The hardest part about waiting is the unknown. Is she going to change her mind, is the dad going to contest, is this really what God wants us to do?? All these questions run through my head. We are going to meet the birthmom on Tuesday, and I am super nervous! Will she call and cancel, will she like us, will I say the wrong thing to her? So many questions!!!! Please pray with us that God would calm my anxious heart, and give me a peace about his plan for us! Pray that God would make His path so clear to us, the birthmom, the birthfather, and the agency, that all would be of one mind and spirit!

I leave you with that for now... there is so much more I could tell right now, but just thinking about it scares me!

Friday, October 1, 2010

God Provides!!

It seems lately that God has been laying everything need for this adoption at our feet.... which I find ironic since we laid it at His feet first! Last Friday we travelled out of town for our first in-person interview with the adoption agency. We were about 30 minutes away from the agency when we got a call that the birthmom we had been somewhat working with was ready to talk with the agency more. Although she had contacted our agency once before, she was not ready to talk much about adoption. I think everything is very overwhelming to her right now... and I can't even begin to understand what that must be like for her. The agency had tried to touch base with her a few time the week before, but she wasn't answering or returning calls. Our friend wanted to make sure that when her friend called the agency on Friday that one of the directors would be available to talk with her since she was ready. I told her we knew for a fact that the director would be there at that time because we were scheduled to be interviewing with her then! Talk about God's timing! After our initial interview they sent us directly across the hall to start our 1st home study interview. They wanted to kill two birds with one stone since things seemed to be moving forward. When that interview was over, we were informed that they happened to have an open spot for 1 more couple at the adoption seminar they were hosting the next day (Saturday). We were so excited to be able to attend it since it is one of two mandatory seminars we have to attend. The seminar was amazing and offered incredible insight into what these birthmoms are going through. Our hearts broke as Tim and I thought of what it would have been like to hand our little Bug over for someone else to raise. These women who choose life for their babies are truly strong women! One the way home from the conference Saturday, our friend called again and said our birthmom was ready to see a picture of our family, so she forwarded her the pictures we had sent a while ago that they were holding on to until she was ready. I was so nervous!! What if she doesn't like us, what if she doesn't think its fair that we already have a biological child when there are thousands of couples struggling with infertility, ton of thoughts and fears were running through my head. Within 15 minutes she replied back with the sweetest message and a picture of herself.... talk about God easing my worries! On Sunday we got the call that she was going to overnight her intake packet to the agency the next day, and felt like God had led her to the family He had in mind for her baby!

This week we began all the paperwork required for adoption through this agency. We had to fill out the official application, schedule a fire inspection, environmental inspection, CPR class, physicals for all three of us (and Cooper too), make copies of tax returns, floor plans of our house, college transcripts, and a million other things. We scheduled Cooper's vet visit... but we were anxious about the cost. Vets aren't cheap these days, and when we are trying to scrape together every last penny to afford an adoption it was an expense we were not happy to incur. A couple days before Cooper's appointment, Tim was given a $100 Visa gift card as thanks for his contribution to a project he was on at work. That gift card covered the entire vet bill, with just enough left over for a Chick-fil-A ice cream cone! Then came the fire and environmental inspection... we were told to be prepared to pay several hundred dollars between the two for odds and ends that needed to be checked. This morning I called the inspector our agency recommended to see if he could recommend someone in our town (he was located a few hours away). He told me to pull up the Texas Real Estate Commission website and do a search for inspectors in my town. He also told me it might be really hard to find someone since most inspectors didn't do environmental inspections. When I pulled up the site, 1 name really stood out to me... it seemed really familiar. I googled the guy and found his picture which also looked really familiar. I called Tim into the room and he confirmed my suspicions.... this guy was in our Sunday School class and played on Tim's church league softball team!!! I gave him a quick call and he was at our house within 15 minutes. We passed the inspection, and when the time came to pay he told us we didn't owe him ANYTHING!!! He was adopted too and was just glad to help! PRAISE THE LORD! The fire inspector came out a couple hours later and we passed that too (and we only had to pay $45)!

We still have a lot to do, and as with any adoption things can always change last minute. But, if I have learned anything this past week, it is that the Lord takes care of His children, and He can move in a mighty way! TO GOD BE THE GLORY, GREAT THINGS HE HATH DONE!!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

It has begun!

About 5 months ago, Tim and I went out for a date night. Bug was staying with my parents so we actually had some time to relax and talk! Out of the blue, Tim tells me he is ready to start looking into adoption. This was HUGE! I decided half way through my pregnancy with Bug that I never wanted to be pregnant again. Tim didn't want me to go through the sickness again, but at the same time he still wanted another biological child. I told myself that I was not going to bring up adoption to him because I wanted it to be when he was ready. Choosing to not have more children biologically was tough! We were mourning the loss of the children we weren't going to have. A couple days after talking about starting the adoption process I was talking with a dear friend on the phone after a doctor appt. As soon as I told her we were looking to adopt she gasped! She had just received a call from a family friend asking if she knew of any Christian families looking to adopt. Their daughter was 2 months pregnant and was considering adoption. We told her we would pray about it and get back to her. We were amazed at the timing of everything, and felt like God really had a hand in this. After talking and praying, we told our friend we would love to adopt the baby. A month or so later we got a call that the mom was going to work things out with the biological father, and they would keep the baby. After that we slowed down with the adoption process. We had found the agency we wanted to use in the future and had filled out some preliminary paperwork. Fast-forward to 2 weeks ago... my friend calls me up to get the contact info for our agency. Apparently things weren't going well between the birthmother/father and adoption was back in the picture. Talk about a feeling of excitement and panic at the same time!! She is due the 1st week of November which is less than 8 weeks away! We sent along the information and got a call a few days later that she had contacted our agency.  Although she is still not sure if adoption is what she really wants, she is in contact with our agency and know that there is a Christian family who would love to adopt her precious baby. We have sent pictures and other information to her through our friend.

8 weeks does not give us much time to complete all the necessary requirements, so we have moved into overdrive! As of right now we are moving forward as though we are part of a designated adoption. A designated adoption is one where the biological parents have already selected a family they would like to have adopt their child prior to joining up with an agency (typically the birthmother chooses an agency and then is shown a number of potential families she can choose from). The agency is really more of a facilitator and counselor in these situations. If this adoption were to fall through, our profile would be placed in with those of other waiting families. We are trying to not get our hopes up... As a mommy myself, I can't even begin to imagine what it would be like to consider putting your baby up for adoption!! There is such a bond that forms between a mom and her baby during those 9 months leading up to birth. Even though I was so sick, I couldn't help but smile when Bug would dance in my belly to the music on Dancing with the Stars... I felt like I knew her well before she was born. I would have nothing but complete understanding if this mommy decides she wants to keep her baby, so I have to prepare myself for that possibility while frantically preparing for the possibility that she chooses us to raise and love her baby.   

Where are we today?? This past weekend Tim and I turned in our first round of adoption paperwork to the agency we chose. Since we are adopting through a Christian agency, we had to complete a "Christian Questionnaire", write our testimony, and fill out a couple basic info forms. This was just the initial screening packet the agency uses to determine if we meet their criteria for adoption. If we meet the criteria we will move on to the Pre-Adoption Conference, which is a mutual information sharing and interview between us and the agency. We are hoping to hear back from them by the end of this week, since we are on a tight schedule.  Please pray that God will open and close doors, that we would be able to bring Him glory no matter the outcome, and that we would continually place our hope in Him... because He is the only constant in this situation!!! We will update you as soon as we hear back from the agency and set up our Pre-Adoption Conference!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Background and such...

Welcome to our new family blog! Tim and I are in the process of adopting our second child, and we felt the need to get rid of our old blog since it had quite a bit of identifying information on it (last names, locations, etc). So here we are! Let’s start at the beginning, so you know how we ended up here today!

Before Tim and I got married, we talked about how many children we wanted.... to which we decided 2-3. We also talked about adoption. We decided we wanted to have 2 biological children, then possibly adopt our third. This was before we had any idea how badly my body handled pregnancy.

During my first pregnancy I was diagnosed with Hyperemesis Gravidarum, which is basically severe nausea and vomiting. By 10 weeks I had lost 10 lbs and had a home health care company come out and teach me how to use a Zofran pump. I wore the pump 24/7 and had to reposition the IV location every two days to prevent irritation. By 20 weeks I had lost 20 lbs and had no subcutaneous fat left to inject the Zofran. At 22 weeks my doctor decided to have a PICC line inserted in my arm for daily IV nutrition, for the sake of my life and the baby's. At that point I hit my emotional wall.... Tim and I somewhat abandoned our house and moved in with my parents. Tim was busy with work so my mom took a leave of absence to stay home and take care of me. I can't begin to describe the physical and mental anguish I was going through. After 7 weeks of the PICC line being in one arm, the line "clogged" at the end going into my heart requiring a trip to the ER and a 2am PICC line replacement procedure to move it to my other arm. FINALLY, at 36 weeks I was feeling well enough to come off the PICC line.... so that was 14 weeks of not being able to bathe myself, not being able to leave the house after 5pm without carrying my 2 liter bag of "food" and the infusion pump with me, and being miserable! Then came the big day, time for my baby girl to be born!! After 27 hours of labor, Bug (as she will be referred to in this blog) went into fetal distress. Emergency C-Section, here we come! Praise the Lord, Bug was born as healthy as can be!! I tell you this, not for sympathy, but rather as a background for why Tim and I felt adoption was the best option for us going forward. Was Bug worth every minute of sickness.... yes!! Do I want to be pregnant ever again.... no!! Unfortunately, there is no cure for Hyperemesis, and doctors can't guarantee that it won’t happen again.

So God had other plans for us! We will have 1 biological child and, Lord willing, at least 1 adopted child! This blog is to document this amazing journey of grafting a little one into our family tree, and to give glory to the Lord for His grace, and for grafting us into His family!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Just Keep Swimming!!

One thing I have really enjoyed this summer is swimming with Little Bug! She wasn't to fond of the swimming pool earlier in the season... the water was a little cool for her. But, once the outside temperature went up, so did the water temp. Bug loves to splash and play in the water!! This was the first pool we got for her, which she enjoyed until she figured out she could crawl right out of it!

My parents bought a really nice pool for her at their house from Academy, so I think we are going to find the same one for here. The sides are much taller and thicker, so she can cruise along the sides without pouring all the water out.

In May, our neighborhood hosted there annual Luau to celebrate the reopening of the pool for the summer season. Since we are on the Pool and Common Grounds committee in our HOA, Tim volunteered to work the Cotton Candy machine. Nonnie and Granddaddy came to visit so we all stopped by to visit Tim and play in the splash pad .

Walking in the water with Granddaddy.

Chillin' after a fun day at the pool. :)
For Memorial Day we went out of town to hang out with Tim's family. One of his parent's friends were out of town for the weekend and let us swim in their pool. Kailey LOVED swimming with her cousins and going down the water slide with Daddy!! I wish I had been able to catch a picture of her face when they went down the slide... it was priceless! It appears Kailey really does like the water!
Swimming with Daddy.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Little Bug - Birth to 9 Months!

Our Little Bug was born on 7/24/2009 at 7:43pm. She weighed 6lbs 5ozs and was 19.5 inches long! Here is what she has been up to the last 9 months...

First week home - chillin' on the couch!

1 Month - Inspecting Daddy

2 Months - Sporting her first pair of jeans

3 months - Pumpkin Patch

4 Months - First Thanksgiving hanging out with cousin Emily

5 Months - The best present EVER!

6 Months - Photo shoot

7 Months - Eating is tiring!

8 Months - Easter Eggs are YUMMY!

9 Months - I love unloading the dishwasher!

Little Bug is such a blessing, and we are loving every minute!!!