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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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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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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