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Waiting is the hardest part

We got that text from Grandmother last weekend telling us to expect a call from Birth Mother this week.  I didn’t get too anxious, seeing that I know she had a doctor’s appointment and was to set the date to be induced on Friday.  I figured she probably wouldn’t call until after that appointment, and she didn’t.  We still wait…

I went out of state for Thanksgiving while J worked.  Thanksgiving just isn’t a day to be spent away from your biggest love!  I told J when I got home, this will probably be the last year I go out of state without him for a major holiday. I was able to spend time with both my sisters, my mom and my aunt.  We also celebrated my Nanny’s 100th birthday! Can you believe that?  We got to spend the night with cousins I’ve not seen in close to 20 years, meet everyone’s spouses and see their kiddos for the first time.  Social media is so great; it allows us to still be up-to-date with friends and family.  But at the same time, it allows so much time to pass between actually hugging each others’s necks. 

J&I have our homestudy scheduled for this week.  We have completed all the paperwork, have the funds raised, and everything notarized.  J&I have been working on the couple things around the house that we know will have to be addressed (build a gate for the back deck, install additional smoke detectors, etc).  Now we wait for the Birth Mother to call and let us know whether to proceed, or hold off.  Please join us in praying for her to place the call sooner than later.  We will have to have this information before committing to the homestudy.  And my poor husband needs it so that I can breathe a bit lighter! :/

As always, we so appreciate each of your love and support during this process.  We covet your thoughts and prayer!

With love and thanksgiving,

J&G

 

Romans 5:3-5 “Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.  And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out HIS love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom HE has given us.”

 

 

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2 months in and vaccinations

Reading up and he fell asleep.  Sweet baby!

Reading up and he fell asleep. Sweet baby!

I still remember waking up to the text that changed our course of becoming parents.  A friend of many years had let me know she had a contact with a possible adoption, and wanted to know if we were interested.  I immediately responded, without even consulting J, and said YES.  Then when I talked to J about it, he of course said yes, too.  J&I had talked about the possibility of adoption for 5 years; we knew we both had a soft spot for children who need homes.  We had an idea of what we would want our adoption to look like, what we were willing to navigate, and waters that didn’t interest us.  But we (more honestly, I) wanted to first have at least one biological child.  I had dreamed, for many years, what carrying a baby would be like, how it would feel when my unborn child had the hiccups, to feel him/her kicking and doing back-flips.  I even looked forward to morning sickness and daytime nausea, swollen piggy feet and heartburn.

But God had different plans.  And thanks to my pal, Mel, the wheels got rolling on our adoption journey 2 months ago today.  At times is seems like we’ve been pursuing this for much longer than 8 weeks, and other times it’s as though the process has barely started.  As of right now, we have 9 weeks left until our baby’s due date; the birth mother goes next week to schedule the arrival.  Crazy.  8 weeks in, and we only have 8 weeks left!  Geesh, talk about a fast pregnancy!!!

Baby’s grandmother sent me a text this week asking me to “please don’t freak out on us. lol”  I had never been so thankful for such a request!  She calmed my nerves just by that simple correspondence.  I can’t even begin to imagine the array of emotion going on for the family.  Even when I try to empathize, my mind falls short.  My heart aches for them; I know, without a single doubt in my mind, that this baby is LOVED.  I know this is not a decision that is made lightly or without anxiety.  And I know this adoption impacts not only the birth mother, but the whole family.  And we are so thankful they have chosen us to be the parents and family for this little bundle of joy!

As time nears and the countdown approaches, there is quite a bit of commotion in our lives right now. I have my doctor’s appointment the first week of December, and the homestudy is scheduled the end of that same week.  We have consolidated and organized each room of the house, but I’ll have to do a deep clean throughout that week. There are just so many things to do!  Yikes.  But then, after our homestudy, we are basically sitting and waiting until she goes into labor.

Our attorney has started the parental paperwork, as well as guardianship paperwork for us, and she is working through all of the ins and outs of an interstate adoption.  We had a list of questions for her at our meeting this week, some of them she was going to have to look into state statutes and talk to family judges for answers.  We have our living arrangements situated and squared up for the window of time we have to stay in state, thanks to good friends and family for assisting in this requirement!

We are working through our options for vaccination schedules.  Honestly, though, the birth mother might have all of the vaccinations administered before we even have a say.  She has the right to make all medical decisions regarding medical care prior to leaving the hospital.  We would rather forgo certain vaccinations and spread others out rather than super imposing all those compounds into such a tiny little body.  What vaccination schedule did you follow with your littles?  Are there certain vaccines you have chosen not to have as part of your child’s medical care?  I never thought I’d be one to ask for other’s opinions, as I am fairly opinionated and strong-willed, but something about a little one just makes you want to ensure you’re doing everything possible to keep them the safest and healthiest they possibly can be!  Alas, we can’t keep them in bubbles their whole lives!

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This next week is the last week of our raffle for our Farm Style Dining Table.  Be sure to get your tickets on the right sidebar!  Free delivery in the state of Arkansas or Missouri.  We are within $1400 of having our whole adoption paid for!  If you can, during this holiday season, give even $10, that would help us be one step closer to our sweet bundle of joy!

With love and thanksgiving,

J&G

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Learning patience

Each hour seems like a day, and every day seems like an eternity while waiting on that next phone call.  Patience has never been my strong suit, though the Lord’s been trying to instill this virtue in me since I was a wee child, myself.  I waited for a puppy. I waited to have my own bedroom.  I waited to get my driver’s license.  To graduate.  To go to college.  To graduate.  To start my career.  I waited to find my one true love (I was 29 before we met). And now we wait to grow our family.  And each time the wait seems as if it will kill me.  Yet, I always come out on the other side with what I was anticipating for all that time.  And always with what I was waiting for, or even better.

The birth mother has asked for a fairly open adoption, which J&I have agreed to.  There will be pictures and possible visits throughout the years, and the baby will know they were grown in one mom’s tummy, but in our hearts.  I won’t lie; at first the idea of an open adoption scared me. But, as I talk with more and more adoptive parents who have open adoption scenarios, my mind is put to ease, and my heart is a bit less anxious.  The extent to the openness is in essence up to the birth mother, so we sit and wait.  Not only for the next communication, but her solidified requests of just what her hopes are regarding this precious baby.

As we wait, I lean on friends and family.  If your phone rings more than usual, or your text messages are blowing up, it’s because my nerves are going 90-nothing and I just need a friendly distraction, or conversation.  I realize not all people process life the same way, and that’s okay.  Our differences are what make our world such a fulfilling and beautiful place.  We have been truly amazed at how supportive our circle has become.  How amazingly strong and loving our peeps have proven themselves to be.  And the generosity is just mind-blowing.  Our nursery is nearly complete; we have the crib and changing station, the rocking chair and dresser, car seats, pack and plays, cloth diapers and clothes.  We’ve got handmade blankets, and help changing out the ceiling fan.  I’m telling you, God is using this time in waiting to show me how truly blessed and loved we are.  It’s simply amazing!  If my nerves weren’t so wrapped up, the waiting would be a beautiful journey!

Waiting and loving it,

J&G

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Crazy what happens in a week’s time!

I am still in contact with Guardian.  Not much has changed on that front.  There seems to still be a terrible family battle, and we are waiting and trusting the Lord to protect WeeOne throughout this process and in these days.

With that being said, the past 5 days have been some of the most optimistic days of our life!  Last Sunday night at work a co-worker told me of a baby that is to be adopted out after the first of the year by a young mother who simply loves this baby enough to know she just can’t provide the life she wants for her child.  She is a mother already and knows deep down that the thing best for this baby is to provide an opportunity of a full life with a family outside her own.  I was put in touch with a family member, and we spoke several times throughout the week.  J&I met the birth family today for lunch, just to give them a chance to get to know us and determine if we are a good fit and the right family for this precious gift from God.  I feel like lunch went well.  J&I feel very positive and comfortable with the family; and they said their feelings are the same.  The birth mother was to get my contact information from her family and now we eagerly anticipate a conversation with her.

Heading to lunch to meet the birth family!

Heading to lunch to meet the birth family!

What do you say to a woman who loves her child so much she’s willing to provide a different life?  How do you ever come close to thanking her and conveying your love and gratitude for her and her selflessness?  How does an adoptive family even start to thank her adequately?  I’m not sure what the answer is; honestly, I’m not sure I’ll ever have those answers! But we pray and we praise God for this opportunity.  We thank Him for her choosing life.  We thank Him for her choosing us.  We thank Him for her unending, total selfless love for her child.  We thank Him and we love him.  And we lift her up.  We ask for strength for her, comfort for her spirit, knowledge that her child will be so incredibly loved.  We ask that her heart be strong, her confidence in her decision unwaivering, and her assurance that she is making the best decision for her baby and her family absolute.  We pray for her, her children that are in the home, her parents and siblings and everyone else involved for their peace of mind and contentment in soul.  And we thank God again for this opportunity.

2 Corinthians 9:15

2 Corinthians 9:15

We learned a little more about her, and her hopes and dreams today.  We learned a small portion of what her life scenario is at this point.  And we saw, first-hand, how loved this precious gift is already. Our hope is that the birth family feels comfortable and confident in our love for this baby.  That they feel secure in knowing we are sincere in our dedication to our family, to our love, and in all we are.  Hopefully they feel at ease with knowing we will do all we can to raise this child in an environment conducive to happiness, health, self-confidence, adoration, truth, and security. Honestly, my guts are in more of a tangled mess now, after meeting this family, than up to this point.  But I have to shake that.  I have to live knowing and standing firm in God’s promises, in His faith, in His plan!

We meet with our attorney this week, so as of Thursday we will have the paperwork officially started!  There is much to take care of in these next 8 weeks, and those weeks are going to fly by. I will have a better idea of where we sit as far as fundraising goes after our meeting with her.  We are still planning to host another chili supper and silent auction in February.  There are tons of AWESOME items donated to the silent auction already: a hot air balloon ride, some primping for the ladies, some yoga sessions, original artwork by a fabulously talented painter, vacation packages to Branson, Missouri, a hand-made quilt, a beautiful piece donated by Cotton Dahlia (an organization devoted to helping women out of the sex trade) and so much more.  Keep an eye open for additional details.  Be planning to come eat some great chili, see some local entertainers, and experience love and community like only a close-knit group can offer!

As always, thanks for reading and sharing our story.  Thanks for your prayer, encouragment, and love.  And thank you to those of you who have so generously donated, and to those of you who are planning to donate!  Thank you for your interest in our journey, and thank you for believing with us, for our baby!!!

We will keep you posted!

With thanksgiving and love,

J&G

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Big tiny steps forward!

J&G Bonfire with Buds (doesn't my hubby look hott with a beard?!?)

J&G Bonfire with Buds (doesn’t my hubby look hott with a beard?!?)

There is so much excitement and promise in our home these days!  I can hardly contain my PRAISE and thanksgiving to God for how beautifully he is writing our story.  The last update I gave was Monday after I had spoken with Guardian, and she said she would let me know after speaking with her lawyer.  Well, I didn’t hear anything Monday evening, and again nothing Tuesday.  I prayed, and petitioned, and called on my prayer partners.  I called prayer mamma’s and prayed some more.  I was a basketcase waiting on that call back.  Tuesday, I prayed some more.  Wednesday morning, after my morning prayer time and Bible Study, I picked up my phone, and there was a text message from Guardian!  Without going in to every detail, she apologized for not getting back in touch with me sooner, and she told me what the lawyer’s plan of action is.  There are still a few bumps in the road, and we’re facing an unknown amount of time before everything is worked through, but I am claiming VICTORY in this hour!  We are BELIEVING this baby to be in our arms in the next 90 days.  Guardian and I have been in contact again today, with reassurance her full intention is to adopt WeeOne to us as soon as everything is worked through in the current situation!!!  I wish I could share all the details, but for the family’s privacy, and the fact we live in a rural setting, J&I feel best if we keep some anonymity.

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I received further texts from Guardian today explaining some of the details, and the background of the family.  Please continue praying a hedge of protection around WeeOne.  That the baby would be well taken care of until the time of placement.  That health and well-being are being tended to.  That bad blood not be roused in this process.  That God’s holy and beautiful plan be worked out and that God would guide, guard and direct the steps for this process to be as smooth and quick a transition as He would have it.

One option of the finishes I am able to do on YOUR Farm Style Table!

One option of the finishes I am able to do on YOUR Farm Style Table!

We are still right at $2000 away from having all our funds raised for our attorney.  As a reminder, we are selling raffle tickets for a Farm Style Dining Table, valued at $950.  1 ticket for $10/ 3/$25, 7/$50. The drawing will be held on December 1, 2014.  I will build the table to your specifications, including height and finish.  I have finished tables in Oak, Walnut, Cherry, Black Stain, and painted.  Free delivery within the state of Arkansas, and within a 100 mile radius of any border. If we could just get 200 people to love us $10 at a time, that would meet our fee goal!  Ten dollars!  That’s a trip through McDonald’s drive-thru, a venti coffee drink from your favorite shop, less than a manicure, the newest album on iTunes.  Are you able to help us #BringOurBabyHome?  God has already seen to it that we have been able to raise the funds necessary for our Home Study, Financial Analysis, and Health Checks. He is so mighty, and His provision never fails.  Thank you for your sweet donations and love!!!

Along this process we have been able to find a great network of adoptive families.  Their stories are inspirational love stories that at times make you cry, then turn around and make your heart swell with hope and promise.  I can’t wait until we bring our WeeOne home and join the families who are able to say, “Our home and lives are so much richer because of this life!”

Again, this journey is not our own.  We could not do this without the love and prayer of our friends, family, and even some strangers.  We thank you, endlessly, from the bottoms of our hearts!

With love and thanksgiving, J&G

“Oh, that I might have my request, that God would grant what I hope for.”  Job 6:8

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God is just SO cool!

God’s perfect timing and story are just too good! His attention to detail is immaculate. His love for us is undeniable!

We went into the chili supper with a goal of raising $600, which would finish out the requirement for our home study.  The people of NB pulled through, and we

were able to not only meet, but we exceeded that goal! By the love and gracious generosity of the fine folks of my hometown, we can check that amount off our list.  Phew (wipes the sweat off my brow!)  We hugged necks, laughed at the *pie auctioneer* (my mom), swapped stories, loved on kiddos, and oh yeah, ate some chili.  There were so many people that pulled together and donated their time and talents making BEAUTIFUL desserts, (shame on me, I didn’t get a single picture!), delicious chili and cornbread,  and pitched in with paper goods. To you guys, THANK YOU!

Cindy was a HAPPY girl that she won our hand crafted coffee table!

Cindy was a HAPPY girl that she won our hand crafted coffee table!

After sleeping late this morning, I spoke with my friend regarding the May Baby, and she told me she believes that door is more than likely closed. So I went to my source of comfort and author of my life, God.  I just asked Him to provide a way and an opportunity for J&I to be the parents HE would have us to be.  I prayed for peace and understanding during this journey. That HE would “guide, guard, and direct us” (as my daddy used to close EVERY prayer) to the child HE has in store for us.

Lo and behold, a couple hours later, my friend calls me.  The one who knows the family of the orphan in our town!  Out of the blue sky WeeOne’s guardian called her on a totally unrelated note, and B boldly asked her about the baby.  Guardian told her to have me call her, so I did!! I TALKED TO WeeOne’s GUARDIAN TODAY!!!  She explained their situation to me, and it is a bit chaotic at this exact moment in time.  But she is confident that she DOES WANT US to have WeeOne!  There are a handful of details, and a “wicked witch” sized problem, but my God is BIG, my God is STRONG, and HE is MIGHTY TO SAVE! Talk about getting on the phone and rallying the troops!  Good thing we no longer pay by the minute for our cell usage!

Guardian went to her lawyer today and started the process. She assured me she would call  when the details are hashed out.  Until then, we wait.  With glorious anticipation, we wait.

And now we turn our efforts to raising the funds for our attorney, $2000 is what we need. That is only 200 people giving $10! A trip thru a fast food drive thru, a venti coffee at your favorite spot. Are you willing to forego that bagel and cream cheese? That double scoop of ice cream? How about a bottle of nail polish, or that picture frame?  Will you be the next person to contribute to our dream of being parents?

If you do want to donate, check out the Donate Here button on the sidebar, we are set up with PayPal, or contact us and we’ll be happy to provide our mailing address!

With love and unending thanksgiving, J&G

G on the way to the NB Chili Supper

G on the way to the NB Chili Supper

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It’s just so quiet

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So it’s been a week since seeing the attorney and making contact with the little baby in town’s family, and not a single word of hope or dispair.  There has been no contact regarding the May baby either, and my heart yearns for anything.  Even if the call is to let me know the family has decided to keep the baby, or give the wee one to another family-in-waiting.  Or that they are still making up their minds regarding this monumental decision.  But as much as I long to hear an update, my soul waits and my heart believes.

We had a pretty busy week this week getting ready for our first big fundraiser; chili is made, supplies are bought, the raffle table is made, and cookie supplies are sitting and ready.  I’m working tonight, but tomorrow, it’s on!  My kitchen will transform into a crazy mess with 25 dozen cookies being made.  And let it be known: I am NOT a baker.  I love some time in the kitchen.  Talk about soul food!!!  I love people by feeding them, hosting dinners and having people surrounding my table.  Talk about some truly intentional love in my book…  But baking?  Yeah, that’s not my love language.  Nonetheless, my kitchen will be covered in a layer of baking dust.  My stove will be roaring hot (which will be quite welcome, considering tonight is the first night below freezing!), and I’ll be wearing my daddy’s apron.  It’ll be a chance to channel my energy and do some serious meditation and talking to God while I’m mixing and spooning, squishing and baking, cooling and decorating all those sweet treats.  I’m pretty excited about the quiet solitude.

I had a chance to talk to a co-worker who told me her adoption story.  She and her husband had been in touch with local entities for about two years, with four people who changed their minds at some point through the process.  Then one night, she got a phone call in the middle of the night saying there was a mother who wanted to talk to her.  She met the mom that night, went back the next morning with her husband, and ended up taking her little bit home with her the very next day.  She said that as awesome as the experience was and is, she doesn’t know if emotionally she could handle another adoption. I just love hearing people’s stories of adoption.  How they came to the decision to adopt, what they went through during the process, their emotional state throughout, their timelines, whether they would do it again, and how life is with the child after life settles in.  Each story is so diverse.  Each family is so beautiful.  Each child is so completely loved and cherished.  And each parent is so inspirational!

Jeremiah 1:5-6 “Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before though comest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee.”  What a BEAUTIFUL promise!  I just love this verse!

A little project to be raffled off at our Chili Supper Fundraiser this weekend!

A little project to be raffled off at our Chili Supper Fundraiser this weekend!