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Slow Progress

IMG_20141024_184029First of all, J&I want to THANK YOU all for praying us through the weekend!  I didn’t receive good news on Thursday.  Matter of fact, I felt straight defeated leaving her office.  She told me that the chances of us getting this little one were very slim, if that.  I immediately called J, told him, then called my praying sisters.  They, along with you guys, prayed my heart to a better place.  Then, God came through in a way that only He could; a friend contacted me and let me know that she knows the family, and she placed a call.  This was late Thursday night.  Friday I got a message back that she had established contact with them, and now we wait.  Again.

Although we still don’t have a definitive answer, we do have hope.  We do at least know who has this sweet baby.  We do know that the family members that have her do love her.  And they seemingly want the best for her.  We continue to wait, but with patience and acceptance.

We were able to spend the weekend together celebrating our love and marriage.  We even got to go to Homecoming at Razorback Stadium and watch the Hogs take a Win (finally!!!).  We spent Friday night on a patio overlooking the river, reflecting our last year, and our hopes and dreams for the next year.  Saturday we spent the first half the day at the game with good friends, Saturday night with another group of friends.  And then Sunday we had friends over for lunch and spent a couple hours catching up with their family.  Our weekend was full of quality time, and investing in intentional relationships with several friends – filling our “love cups” up, as our friend Am says.  It was the best weekend I’ve had in months and months!

This week we’re gearing up for our first big fundraiser.  The chili supper is scheduled for Sunday, November 2 from 4-8.  We’ve got great friends and family donating their time, culinary skills, and energy to help us make this a real possibility!  There will also be a dessert auction with lots of goodies, and I will be raffling off a coffee table that I’m building this week.  Our hope is to raise the funds for our home study that is fast approaching ($2,000).  If you are in the Arkansas River Valley, and would like to join us, please feel free to contact us and we’ll get you the details!

As always, thank you so much for your continued support and encouragement!!!

J&G

“I wait for the LORD, my soul does wait, And in His word I do hope.”  Psalm 130:5

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A Big, Big Day

So today I go to the attorney today regarding the little orphan baby in our small town.  Currently she is with a friend of family, and has had no legal deeming as to who her guardian is.  We are hopeful that with our attorney and one of the family judges in our corner that the process may move forward quickly.  There is much anticipation, and as the meeting time draws nearer, my nerves are climbing even higher.  I know that I need to “be still and know that I am GOD”, but to be 100% honest with you, this human is having a very difficult time with that!

J&I celebrated our anniversary yesterday.  He was out of town on business, so we technically didn’t celebrate.  I, however, must admit, I snuck my card out of my gift (that he left on the dining table all week while he has been out of town) and read just the card.  I must say, my hubby is the absolute best!  How awesome a gift would this be to get positive word from our attorney today?  I put my trust in HIM, the Author and Finisher of my existence.

More than ever, we covet your prayer today. Please pray, not only for J&I, but for this sweet wee one, the family judge in the case, and the people who currently have her.  Pray that God’s will be done, fully and completely.  And my nerves.  This wait is making me crazy!

I will keep you all posted as soon as we hear something.

With love and thanksgiving,

J&G

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge HIM and HE shall direct your paths.”

Proverbs 3:5-6

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The first of many

Since starting to openly talk about our decision to adopt, I have found several people in my life whose lives have been personally touched by adoption.  Two of my immediate co-workers (out of 15 or so) were adopted as babies, there are two doctors in my department that have adopted babies, several of my extended co-workers have either adopted or were adopted.  This is both fascinating and awesome to me!  So, over the next few months, I’ll be talking with some of these folks and getting some answers to questions that hopefully will help J&I in our parenting of adoptees.

Below, is the conversation between my work pal, Sammi and I.  Sammi is super friendly, outgoing, loving and fun.  She works hard, plays harder, and loves even harder than she works.  Sammi was adopted at 4 days, and has never met her biological parents; she was raised in a family with older brothers and an adopted younger sister.  She has since married, suffered multiple miscarriages, raised a beautiful family, and has since divorced.  Through it all, as she has started looking through the storybook that is her life, she says she can’t help but wonder if her adoption has played a role in her self esteem and the way she sees life.

G: Do you remember finding out you were adopted?

S: I was 5 or 6 years old but don’t really remember how they told me.  But I was told all my life I was “a special angel given to my mom an dad.”

G: What is your family like?

S: My family consisted of my mom and dad (who was quite a bit older than my mom).  He was previously married and lost his first wife to cancer.  When I was adopted my three older brothers were in their late teens; one was heading into the army, the others were still in school. My dad owned quite a few businesses; a gas station, a bait and tackle shop, and a mattress box frame company. Plus we had two farms – one was cattle, wheat and soybeans, and the other was a walnut tree farm.

G: Do you look like your family at all?

S: No.  Not at all.  I feel after a while we did start to look like each other…  Many were really surprised that I did not belong to my mom. *laughter*  My adopted sister has dark hair and is thin.

G: Did you ever go through a phase of feeling upset you were adopted?

S: As far as I remember, we never felt that way.  Carrie, my sister, is four years younger than I.

G: When did you decide you wanted to track down your birth parents?

S: I decided to try to track down my parents when I lost my first child to a miscarriage at 5 months.  I decided I wanted to know what my medical history was. It hurt my mom like crazy, she was afraid that I wnted to replace her and was afraid I would get hurt in the outcome.

G: Has your sister ever trie dto find her bilogical parents?

S: No.  She has never had any interest in finding out anything about her parents.

G: So how did you go about the search process?

S: I started with a free site and got a lot of things filled out.  But then it go to the point that they wanted money to continue the search and I pretty much decided to drop the search.  But back in my head I am still curious about her.

G: What sort of information were you hopeful to find from her?

S: The only information I really wanted was medical, since my adoption was closed. I still, to this day, think that medical records/history should be available to the child so we can know our history.

G: Have you ever wondered about how your biological mother named you?  If she went through names she liked, thought about how they would fit you, knowing she would be giving you up?

S: I’ve never really thought about if my birth mother named me for herself. I was told my grandmother, AKA Grammie, was the one who named me…  Samantha Ann… Never knew why or anything.

G: How much do you know about the circumstances of your biological parents’ relationship?

S: I was told that my real father was not wanting another child and that is why my mother put me up for adoption.  Plus it did take her 4 days to sign the papers.

G: Are you glad you had a closed adoption, or would you rather have had the option to know your parets?

S: I couldn’t have had a better childhood.  But as I get older, I wish I had the chance to get to know my biological mother for health reasons.  I would never change it for anything cause my life I was spoiled rotten.  My feet never hit the ground with my dad and I was his little princess.  We did everything together.  I lost him when I was only 8 years old and his still missed daily.

G: Tell me about your parents’s decision to adopt.

S: From what I understand my dad couldn’t have anymore kids and after he lost his first wife he really didn’t think he would marry again.  When he married my mother they decided they wanted more children and decided to adopt.  That is how I came into their picture and then 4 years later they adopted my little sister, Carrie.

G: Did you ever le while you were fighting?

S: Yeah, I was the little black sheep of the family.  So yes, I did say a few times, “Fine, I will go find my REAL mom and she will want me now.”  Oooohhhh, that did not go over well!  Normally meant I got my butt beat…  One day she said, “Fine, pack your bag and go look for her.”  I just looked at her in shock and went to my room and cried.

G: Last question: Could you imagine either giving up a child for adoption, or adopting a child?

S: When I found out about my third child I was so scared.  I was single and dating her father, but had no clue how in the world I was going to take care of this baby on my own.  He was married, but planning to divorce his wife and I was strange to a new town in a new state.  So yes, it scared the poop out of me.  But then I thought I couldn’t do that and be the parent saying, “What if…”  If I could, I would adopt a child one at a time.  I was going to, but things just weren’t in the plans.  Instead, I had a fourth child, my last, Matthew.

Sammi went on to say, “I still walk around wondering if my birth mom is still alive, if I have ever run into her in public.  If I did run into her, would I instantly fell that, “Oh wow, you are my mom” type thing.  I think my adoption does effect my self esteem and confidence due to feeling I was never really wanted. But then I KNOW I was wanted by my adopted family.  As my aunt told me one day, “Sammi Ann, we were chosed to recieve a special angel and that angel was you.”

After talking with Sammi, I know there are going to be difficult conversations to have.  Self esteem to build up.  Questions to answer.  And battles to fight. But you know what?  EVERY single one of my friends and family that are raising kids have difficult conversations to hold.  Self esteem to build, questions to answer, and battles to fight.  That’s parenthood.  That’s raising a child.  That’s living for more than self.  And we’re ready for that!

Thank you, Sammi, for opening up to me.  For answering some tough questions, and digging back to some long forgotten parts of childhood.  Thank you for being such an example of how well-rounded and successful our little adopted baby can be!

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Patiently anxious

I can

‘t even begin to express how busy my brain is these days.  Since receiving the call on Monday about the possibility of a super quick placement, I spent the week preparing the nursery.  I finally painted the walls I’ve been wanting to for two years.  I drug the crib (from the planned daycare jaunt) out of the attic.  I re-arranged and re-purposed furniture and accessories.  And I am absolutely in love with the room that will foster a love so true, for a child we don’t yet know.  Though I’ve never “nested” before, I can’t help but imagine this is what it feels like.  Cleaning those parts of your home that rarely get cleaned.  De-cluttering dresser drawers and deep freezers.  Finishing those long over-due projects that have been on your list for months.  Some might see this as jumping the gun, but like the author of Luke writes, I will “Be dressed in readiness, and keep your lamps alight. And be like men who are waiting for their master when he returns from the wedding feast, so that they may immediately open the door to him when he comes and knocks.” Luke 12:35-36  Basically he is saying to 1) be prepared, 2) ensure maintenance of those particulars surrounding you and 3) walk in expectation.

I spoke to our attorney’s assistant this week regarding the hometown baby, and we have a meeting with her on the 23rd.  From what I gather, the baby is still in temporary custody of a family member, but is a ward of the court system.  DHS is not involved in this particular case, which could be a blessing or a curse.  I am so eager to meet with her and see what the possibility is of bringing this little girl home with us!

Of course we are working diligently to raise the funds; with each passing day I am taken completely by surprise as to the support and love that is showered on us!  We are planning a chili supper and dessert auction in the tiny town I grew up in.  My mamma still lives there, and my older sister isn’t far from home.  There are still a great many people I have kept in contact with through the years, and I am confident the community with show up and show love!  If you are in the River Valley, you should make your way to the NB Fire Department on Sunday, November 2 from 4-8.  Eat some chili, buy some pies, and help us bring our baby home!  We’ve also got a yard sale scheduled for October and a chili supper and silent auction for February.  The raffle is in full swing, and we have so much going on it’s hard to keep it all straight!

I have am hoping to have a little conversation with an adoptee this week, to see what she has to say about being chosen.  Hopefully the next time I sit down to update, it won’t just be a general musing of the life of an anxious mother-to-be!  I’d be happy to address or research anything you have questions about, so please, leave a question, let me know what you’re thinking.

Thank you for following our journey, and believing for our baby!

With love and thanksgiving,

J&G

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Vacation, 2014

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Precious gifts

I knew this whole process would be full of ups and downs, possibilities, hopes, opportunities and fears.  Our journey to adoption started two weeks ago, today. We know the potential birth mother has our letter. We know she is considering J&I.   That is all we know regarding her.  Each day I wake up in prayer for mother and child; their health, her decision, their well-being, their future, and our hearts and home.  Each day I thank God for her knowing adoption will provide her baby a life she isn’t able to provide.  Each day I eagerly await the mail like a toddler on Christmas morning.   Each day I trust in His plan,  His timing, and His provision.

Then tonight, as I pulled into the parking garage at work, my phone rings.  It is a friend of ours who runs the Crisis Center in our hometown. She has been contacted by a judge in town regarding a two-month old orphan whose parents were killed last month and this precious gift has been tossed from family member to family member.  And now they have decided their lives don’t have space for him.  Our friend knows we are in the beginning stages of a domestic adoption, and asked if we would be willing to take in this baby.  Of course I said “YES!” without even talking to J.  So she is going to talk to the judge in the morning to let him know she has a potential home for this precious wee babe.  (No worries,  J is on board!) I am certain we will continue pursuing both babies. I have ALWAYS prayed for twins and this would certainly be close!

As exciting as this is, I am terrifyingly anxious.  We don’t have anything completed for this fast of a possibility.  Our home study is scheduled for January,  our lawyer hasn’t met with us. The funds are just starting to come in.

The nursery may only have 2 walls painted and we don’t yet have our baby library built,  but this mama’s heart is as full of love as could ever be!

J&I have been working on ideas for raising funds,  but those ideas take time to get off the ground.  We have the raffle for the farm house table I wrote about last week,  we’ve scheduled a chili supper and a silent auction for the Spring, and we are working as many extra shifts as possible.  With the timeline being expedited so much, those plans are still in place, but we would be forever grateful if each person reading this would love us $10 at a time, and share our story.

We don’t like to feel like we have our hand out, but we need YOUR help to #BringOurBabyHome!  See the link on the right side of the page; check out our YouCaring.trunkofhope.com site.  Share our story, and pray with us.

With love and thanksgiving,

 

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J & G

Romans 12:12 “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.”

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Making it happen

So today was a productive day, in that I scheduled a meeting with our Social Worker to perform the Home Study as well as set an appointment with our lawyer.  Since the prospective due date isn’t until late Spring, the Social Worker suggested J & I wait until the first of the year to do the actual Home Study.  So we set a date and now we wait.  Seems like there is a lot of that, and the journey has only begun..  The lawyer came highly recommended from several families in the area, so I feel great about her, too.  However, she said that since the study isn’t until the first of the year, there’s really no reason to have her on retainer until after the Social Worker works that magic.

I guess I should be thankful there is a bit more time to get our affairs in order, and do a bit more around the house (like making that raised bed we’ve been wanting to and building a new chicken coup.  Might as well stay busy make improvements while we wait.  Too bad I can’t whistle while I work 😉

Just in the last 24 hours we’ve had 7 people donate to our fund.  Talk about an amazing testimony of people’s love and generosity!!!  We are no where near close to our goal, but we’ve only just begun.  Thank you to all of you who continue to check in and check up on our progress, we can feel your prayer and support daily!

I’ve contacted a couple people who have been adopted and asked if they would mind doing a little Q&A for the blog, so hopefully I can have some more perspective and a little more body to the blog once those coffee dates happen.  We also are talking to a few parents who have recently adopted in other states and getting a few “in-the-know” answers.

Are there any particular topics you would want to see addressed here?  Any questions you have for the two of us? Any advice from veteran adoptive parents?  I don’t want this to be a day-to-day journal, how boring would that be?!?

We’re engaged (2010)!!!

“Every good and perfect gift comes from above.”  James 1:17

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Who we are, in pictures

Our wedding day

Date Night

Anniversary

Family picnic

A day out in the woods

Celebrating a loved life

A little ATV ride is always good for the soul!

A cold day at a local amusement park

A day hike

Sunset watch party from the top of the world

Just thought we might share some of who we are.  Hopefully you can see how much love we share.  Not only for each other, but for life, too!