"Every good and perfect gift is from above" James 1:17

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Eve

It's so hard to believe it is Christmas Eve already. We have been so busy over the past month getting ready to celebrate this wonderful holiday. We both so hoped we would have our own Christmas miracle this year, but no news so far. We can only pray that by this time next year we will have a Precious Gift of our own to be preparing for. We have to just keep praying our family verse, Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. Hebrews 11:1 God has a plan for our family, and we are peaceful with the knowledge that he will provide the answers for us in His time.

Merry Christmas!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Here Comes Fall

Wow, it has been almost 2 months since I have updated our blog. We are staying super busy, which helps us not constantly think about our waiting. I have returned to a nursing position which I am really enjoying. It's a great way to keep my mind busy and will also help us grow our adoption fund that much faster. It is amazing how peaceful we feel at this time in Our Journey. Don't get me wrong, I pray for and think about our forever son or daughter every day, but the anxious feelings are fewer and far between. Before long we will be preparing for the holidays. We both have hoped and prayed that our little one would be with us this Christmas, but if not, we know it will be soon ~ In God's Time.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Painting the Nursery

Today we started painting the nursery ~ actually Bobby painted, and I just did some edging, dripped paint on the dropcloth, and took pictures. We chose Vast Sky, and it looks awesome with the white woodwork. After one coat, we already love it. It matches the color of the sky through the window today. It is amazing what a little paint can do for a room. Once the painting is finished, we will move in the daybed and bookcase. We are thinking we will wait on purchasing a crib and changing table until our placement, but we have already picked out a white set that we both love. This nursery is going to be awesome ~ now we need the awesome baby to go with it!!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

We have found our little boy bedding. We have decided on the Curious George theme from Pottery Barn Kids. It is so cute! Now that we have our girl and our boy themes chosen, we feel that we have our plan in place. Just in case we get a call with not much notice, we can spring into action and have our nursery ready very quickly. I don't know which would be better, to be chosen early in the pregnancy or to just get a call that our baby is here and will be home with us in a matter of a couple of weeks. Either way, we are ready!!!! Pictures of both themes are below.

Friday, July 23, 2010

We have made it through our first month of waiting. Now that I look back, it went by super fast. We have been advised to just take this journey a month at a time, and so far so good. We are both just so anxious to become parents, but we know that we need to enjoy our alone time, too. Someday soon alone time moments will be few and far between ~ but it will be so wonderful to have our sweet little one right in-between us!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Well, we have survived our first 3 weeks of waiting. We actually had a date night this past Friday, and after dinner we went to a local baby store just to look around. We were so excited to find the perfect bedding for a little girl's room. It is called "Cupcake". It has lots of pink, blue, and green with cupcakes, stripes, and some geometric designs. Since Bobby is a wonderful baker, we just fell in love with this theme. Now, we have to keep our eyes open for something for a little boy's room ~ although I have a feeling that it will turn into a UK themed room no matter what bedding I find! It truly does help to pass the time to be making plans. We also found a beautiful white baby bed that we both agree on. Although we aren't buying big items until we are all legal, it sure is fun to hope and plan for our future little darling!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Today we started painting the nursery. We are wavering on the wall color, so we started with the woodwork. We were also able to get one coat of white on a bookcase. You just can't beat fresh, white paint. The bookcase, from a friend, looks new and beautiful. Hopefully we will decide on our wall color soon. We thought we were all set for pale yellow, but now we are both thinking more of a robin's egg blue. It is so fun to be able to plan for our little one, even though we have no idea when he or she will join our family. We are 10 days into our wait; just trying to take it a day, a week, and a month at a time.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Officially "Waiting"!!!

We found out today from our caseworker that our homestudy has been finalized. We are officially "Waiting Parents"!!! When we began this Journey, this time seemed so far away. I would just encourage any family that is struggling with infertility to open their hearts to adoption. We really didn't know if we could trust an agency, and we truly do; we really didn't know if we could afford adoption, and we are; we really didn't know where to start, so we just jumped in, and now we have made it to this point. It feels amazing and exciting. We do not know how long it will be before we receive a phone call telling us that we have been chosen by a birthmother, but we hope to use this time to continue praying for our child and the parents that will bring him or her to our family. It seems like yesterday when we were so anxious about attending our orientation meeting, and now we are on the other side; excited to be closer to becoming Mommy and Daddy to our precious gift. We're here Little One, just waiting ...

Saturday, June 19, 2010

We are still waiting for the final approval on our homestudy. Hopefully we will find out within the next week, and then we will have our profile available for birthparents to view. We plan to start working on our nursery this month. We're going with a pretty pale yellow for the walls with white wordwork. We already have a white iron daybed for the room~so that Grandma will have a place to sleep when she stays over. We are going to have to wait on crib bedding and curtain, since we have no idea if we will be blessed with a baby boy or a girl. But we can start adding books, toys (we always buy a little something for the baby when we take a trip), and lots of prayers and love to this room. Maybe by this time next year, we will preparing for a very special Father's Day at our house.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Today we found out about a family in a nearby town that adopted with our agency with only a 3 month wait. We are so excited for this family, and this gives us such hope that miracles do happen. It is so true that God will lead us to our child when the time is just right. We wish this family and our other recent adoptive family friends many blessings.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Our final caseworker meeting for our homestudy was yesterday. It was a little bittersweet, as now we just wait. No more meetings, papers to fill out, appointments to make and keep, etc. I have longed for this to come, but now I am realizing how hard it is truly going to be to just be waiting for the phone to ring. Our caseworker will be checking in with us quarterly, and we can call her anytime. We should find out within the next 2 weeks that our homestudy is complete and our profiles are available for viewing. Who knows, we might get a call in 6 weeks, or it could be up to 2+ years ~ oh how I pray for less than 2 years. We know that our family will be blessed with a child according to God's plan, but we all know how hard it is to put our timelines aside and follow His.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Well, our home visit went really well. All of that worry and the visit lasted only an hour! Our caseworker toured our home and asked questions about our neighborhood and community. It was a really positive experience. We, of course, had to end the meeting with some of my husband's famous cheesecake ~ always good to leave a SweetFont size impression! After the visit, we went to our favorite mexican restaurant and had a late lunch and just talked about this journey. We will have our last office meeting tomorrow to finish up our homestudy. Tonight we are completing our profiles ~ our photo books/family stories for birthparents to review. We will take them with us tomorrow, and within a couple of weeks they will be ready to be viewed by birthparents.

Our journey has been long up to this point, but now the real waiting is about to begin. One thing that we will be doing during this time is preparing the nursery. Although we agree that we don't want to choose a crib, changing table, etc., before placement, at least we can start preparing the space. We have decided on a very light yellow for the walls and will be adding a fresh coat of white paint to the woodwork. We purchased a beautiful quilt with lots of yellow, blues, and greens while on a recent trip, and we plan to decorate around these colors. If we should be blessed with a baby boy, we will add a blue wall to make it more masculine. If we should be blessed with a baby girl, I must add a petite chandelier. My husband rolled his eyes at that one!

So, we continue this journey, and we continue to pray daily that God will lead us to our child. Please pray with us, as for our family to be blessed with a beautiful baby, someone else will have to be willing to give us that most precious gift.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Wow~Time has been just flying by these past few weeks. First of all, we did get to have our first Yard Sale Fundraiser, along with cold temps and strong winds. We did pretty good considering the weather. We added hot coffee to start the morning and switched to lemonade after the first couple of hours. My nieces were real troopers, all wrapped up in blankets and selling lemonade.

We have also had our first office meeting with our caseworker. We were rushing to get to our appointment on time and arrived a bit frazzled (me). We were able to just retell our story~how we met, what first attracted us to each other, our marriage, and our everyday life. We also discussed questions about the adoption process. The time flew by, and it was a very positive experience.

Today~We are awaiting our caseworker for our home visit!! We had no idea this day would come so soon. We thought it would a month or so before we were this far along, but after our first office visit, we were told it was 2 weeks away. Then, I received a call asking if we could go ahead and do it within a week. I don't know what I was thinking when I said yes, but now we are glad that the day is here and will be over within just a few hours. I think my kitchen floor is so clean we could actually eat off of it~that is a first!

We have many people praying for us today, and we are feeling peaceful and calm. Bobby has been calm all along, but I think it is different for women. I have another woman coming into my home in about an hour to look things over. It is a bit intimidating. But, we are ready and after today we have one more office visit. After that, our homestudy will be complete, and we will officially be "WAITING PARENTS"!!!!!

Friday, May 7, 2010

We have been working so hard to prepare for our first Yard Sale Fundraiser! We tried to have it last Saturday but had to reschedule due to tons of rain. Our nieces were disappointed. They can't wait to run their lemonade stand for their little cousin's fund. We have had so many family members and friends donate items for our sale. We are blessed to have such wonderful people in our lives. So, tomorrow we will be up bright and early to get everything out and ready to sell. I hope we have lots of buying customers!!

Also, we have scheduled our first meeting with our caseworker. This is just another step closer to becoming parents, and we are so ready to keep moving things along. I am actually thinking that I want to start preparing the nursery a little bit. I have thought during this process that we should wait until we know for sure our baby will be our forever child before preparing the room. Now I am thinking that if we go ahead and paint and start adding a few items here and there, we will have something fun and exciting to focus on during the wait.

Mother's Day is this weekend. That has been a particularly hard day for me for the past 2 years. This week I have felt the dread begin of having to face it again. But, I do know that we are moving in a positive direction, and we both feel that by this time next year maybe I'll finally be a Mom.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

We finally submitted all our of paperwork to our caseworker this week! We have also completed our Homestudy classes this month. Now we wait for our caseworker to review everything. Once our file is checked over to make sure all of our paperwork is in order, we will schedule our first in-office meeting with our caseworker. We are thrilled to be moving forward, but I can't help but feel that now we are being judged by virtual strangers who will decide if we can become parents. All I can do now is just pray about it and turn my fears over to God. I know He has a plan for our family, and we both feel led to this agency. If everything goes smoothly over the next few weeks of meetings both in the office and in our home, we should be "Waiting Parents" within the next month!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

We have been so busy with our classes and paperwork packet the past few weeks! We have 2 more classes to go and then we will be ready for our first in home visit with our caseworker. They tell us not to be nervous, but I am sure I will be cleaning like crazy the day before she comes.

At our last homestudy class, we were able to hear from a Birthmother. She did such an awesome job of telling about her Journey. She also made an awesome statement that gave me goosebumps, "Some babies are born into families; some babies are born for families". We were very touched by her story and her willingness to answer everyone's questions. This was also our last class as a group, so now each of us begins to follow our individual journeys toward the children that God has planned for our families. We will continue to pray for each couple and hope to get updates along the way.

We have two families that we know who are very close to bringing their children home to their forever families. One couple will be adding twins to their family. The other couple will be adding a son. We continue to be in prayer for each of these birth families, adoptive families, the babies, and everyone that touches their journey. What amazing Blessings!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Our first fundraiser, a Green For Gold party, was more successful than we had expected. It was so much fun to see the look on people's faces when they realized how much their gold was worth. It was also a great way to include our family and so many friends in this Journey. We placed a basket and envelopes on the table, along with the cutest piggy bank. Our guests were able to sell their gold and decide for themselves if they wished to donate. As the hosts of the party, we also received 15% of all sales. Our guests were very generous, and we have had many others who could not attend send donations for our adoption fund. We are almost halfway to raising our next fees!

Our next fundraising adventure will be a huge yard sale, which we are planning for April. We have put the word out for donation of items, and we will be gathering items soon. We hope to raise as much or more from the yard sale as we did with the gold party.

Adoption funds are hard to come by, and we feel so blessed to have so many of our friends, family, and church family step in and offer support. Our Journey continues, and we will have more updates in the coming weeks!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

We had our appointment last evening for our psychological evaluations. We really had no idea what to expect other than taking personality tests, but it was a very relaxed setting and we were finished earlier than expected. We are officially mentally stable! It was great to be able to sit down at dinner afterwards and discuss how we had individually answered questions. Our answers were so similar, but we had not really discussed anything ahead of time. It is also amazing to be able to go through this time together~when we were on the infertility merry-go-round, there were many times that I had to go to our appointments alone or with my mother or a best friend. I love that we are able to be on this Journey completely together every step of the way.

Our next big adventure is our first fundraising activity this weekend. My sister-in-law and one of my best friends are co-hosting a "cash for gold" party for us. It does feel a bit strange to be asking family and friends to donate to our adoption fund, as we really aren't used to asking others for help other than for their prayers. We have come to realize that we have spent so much on trying to get pregnant, that now we may need some help with our adoption fees along the way. At least we are finding fun ways to get everyone involved and get everyone excited about our Journey.

It is definitely a Journey, and it is one that we wouldn't miss for anything!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

We attended our first Homestudy class last evening. It was postponed last week due to snow, so we were anxious to get our classes underway. We were asked what is our greatest expectation and what is our greatest fear regarding adoption. Our greatest expectation is just being able to finally be parents. Our greatest fear falls into the main "what if" of adoption~what if the birthmother changes her mind. Although we do know that God has a plan for our family, and he has a child for us. Our faith helps us to know that if a potential birthmother decides that keeping her child is the best for her situation, we need to support her and continue to pray for her and the baby. If that were to happen, we would know that this baby was not the child that God has in store for us. So, our greatest "fear" would become a way to minister to the mother and family that we are all in this journey together, fears and all. When you chose to live by faith, your worst fears don't seem so bad after all.

We will continue through 8 weeks of Homestudy courses and completing our required paperwork/evaluations. This will be a very busy time for us, but once we have this two months behind us, the waiting begins. Our agency encourages us to start preparing for the wait time~read, read, read; talk with parents who have adopted; plan a vacation; plan fundraisers; complete projects; etc. Having a plan for the wait time will give us a feeling of still being proactive in the process. We have decided that we really don't want to prepare our nursery until we know for sure that we are bringing home our baby, but it sure is fun to be able to start looking at furniture, bedding, and tiny little outfits and be excited and full of hope~finally!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

We attended our all day orientation meeting with our adoption agency yesterday. We were a little bit anxious since we really had no idea what to expect. There were about 20 other couples in the orientation, with 3-4 of those couples planning to adopt internationally rather than domestic (US). We were able to listen to several former adoptive parents speak (3 domestic, 1 international, and 1 couple that had chosen embryo adoption). Our agency representatives kept stressing that it was "our day," and we were free to ask questions. We then heard from 5 agency employees who spoke about their different responsibilites and also took questions. The last item on our agenda was to go through our "folder". Oh my goodness, we were sent home with a stack of paperwork that is about 1" thick. We will start on our folder this week and plan to have everything complete within the next 2 months. We will also start our Homestudy classes this next week. We are going to be very busy little waiting parents!

All in all it was a great day for us. It was a good time for us to just talk about our expectations and really feel like we are on this Journey together as a couple. We were told that 95% of the couples in our class will complete this Journey and have a precious child in the end. Some will, unfortunately, become frustrated or just feel that they are being led in a different direction. The funny thing for us (I guess you can call it funny) is that if we were able to just have a baby "the old fashioned way," none of the things we are being asked to do would ever happen ~ for example: urine drug screens, TB skin testing, criminal background checks, psychological examination, infertility consultation (again), in-home visits, family/personal references, and the list goes on and on. We know that these items on our checklist are needed to provide the Birthmother and her family the peace of mind that their child will be placed with a good family, but it can just seem so overwhelming for two people in love that just want to share their wonderful life with a child.

But, we both came out of yesterday feeling that we are definitely on the right path for us. We know that there is staff available to help us through each step, and they will be there with us when we are finally able to bring Our Precious Gift home. I can hardly wait! You know we just had to look at the baby aisle at the grocery today. It is so much fun to finally have Hope and feel the excitement of knowing we are moving closer to becoming parents.

Friday, January 29, 2010

January 2009 ~ We submitted our Formal Application, along with family and personal references, to our agency. Oh my goodness, I think I would compare filling out this application with filing our taxes for 3 years all on the long forms. But, I know this is just the beginning. We will travel to our all day Orientation Meeting on February 5th. At that time, we will learn what to expect from this entire process. We will start our Homestudy just 4 days later. Oh, we are so excited to be getting Our Journey underway. Once we have completed our Homestudy, we will be considered as "Waiting Parents" by our agency. These "Waiting Parents" have now been waiting 2 years and 8 months, and we pray daily that we will soon be able to hold Our Precious Gift in our arms.

December 2009 ~ We submitted our Preliminary Application to our adoption agency. I was so anxious and nervous. Every day that we didn't hear anything (which was about 2 business days~it seemed like weeks) I told Bobby, "They aren't going to accept us". He would just laugh and say, "You're so silly; quit worrying". His faith never waivers. I don't think mine really waivers, I just have trouble giving over control to God sometimes. I'm working on this! We have now been assigned to our case manager, and I am able to email her or call when needed.
November 2009 ~ We had to decide whether we wanted to adopt internationally or domestic (US). We received a few packets of information by mail and email and began to read through stacks of paper. We both really felt that there are so many children right here at home that need a loving, Christian home. Once we had made that decision, choosing the best agency for us was pretty easy. We chose to work with an agency that only works with Christian families and whose fees were based on income~rather than certain fees per child based on race. From the beginning of our contact with this agency, we have felt that they place more concern on the best needs of the birthmother, children, and adoptive families than on the fees. I pray that this early impression stays true throughout our journey.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Our Story

Our story begins on November 12, 2005. That was the day that I met my future husband. We were introduced on a blind date by mutual friends, and the rest, as they say, is history. After dating for a year and one day~because the ring wasn't ready~he proposed. I was actually speechless and just kept saying "Are you sure?". We were both in our mid to late 30's and had never been married. It was a huge step, but we both felt that God had brought us together. We were married six months later. It was a such a very special day full of love and shared with so many of our family members and friends. We were so excited to start our new life together.

We were both so hoping that we would get pregnant sooner rather than later. I went to see my OB/GYN the next month, as I have a history of being diagnosed with polycystic ovarian syndrome in my late teens. At this time we were still hopeful that a pregnancy was not out of the question. My doctor was not very concerned, but agreed to go ahead and start me on medication to help with ovulation. Well, this went on for a year with no pregnancy. At that time, we decided to try surgery. After the surgery, we were aware that I was not ovulating and probably never had ovulated according to what my ovaries looked like. My doctor performed ovarian drilling to help increase the chance of ovulation. We scheduled the next cycle of Clomid (now at the maximim dose) and planned a trip to the beach. We were hoping that getting away and relaxing would help everything come together. We returned home tanned, but still not pregnant.

After much prayer and discussion. We decided to see a fertility specialist. That's where things got really crazy. After a lot of tests, our specialist still had no answers and no diagnosis, but did say I did not have PCOS. We were advised to try injections and intrauterine insemination. When you get on the infertility merry-go-round it is very hard to know what to do. We decided to give it a try, and we were advised that we had our best chance of pregnancy with 3 cycles. I thought I would be able to self inject my medication, but I was wrong! Bobby stepped right up and popped me with that first shot before I could change my mind. Well, we completed 3 very extensive and expensive cycles with no pregnancy. At this point, our specialist is recommending IVF. Bobby and I had already decided that we needed a break. I cannot describe the heartbreak every time I had a negative pregnancy test. We would try to not get excited, but the medicine would give me side effects that made me feel like just maybe I was pregnant. After the third cycle, we were just emotionally worn out. I kept feeling like maybe this was just not meant to be. As hard as it is to give up on the dream of being pregnant and giving birth to our child, I kept having this feeling that this was not going to be our path to our child.

We took a month off of medication to just re-evaluate and decide what we wanted to do. We had discussed the possibility of not being able to get pregnant before we became engaged, because of my medical history. I had always been open to adoption, and Bobby told me then that he was also open to adoption. We had tried all we knew to do, and we just didn't want to keep adding up debt when nothing was working~you have to love insurance companies that will not cover anything that has to do with infertility.

After much prayer and discussion, we began to look into the possibility of adoption. I began talking to other parents that had adopted children and researching agencies online. It seemed to be so overwhelming~which agency, domestic or international, etc. We just had to take some time and listen to what God was leading us to do. I find that when I am wanting something so badly, I don't usually take the time to stop and let God lead me. I start to think that I know best. But, after slowing down and just following the old saying, Let Go and Let God, things started falling into place. And that is where Our Journey To Our Precious Gift begins ...