Saturday, August 31, 2013

AHC - Deadline Set (by us)

October 3, 2012
Kristin and Courtney from Covenant Kids came over to meet with us for our semi-annual appointment.  Mike and I shared with them how discouraged we have been feeling.  Kristin said that she had a birth mom she’s working with that is due in November.  The birth dad would like to parent the baby, however, he is willing to support whatever decision the birth mom makes.  Kristin said she seems set on making an adoption plan and she thinks we’d be a perfect fit.  The birth parents are both Hispanic and the birth mom thinks the baby is a girl (but hasn’t had a sonogram to determine the sex).  We told Kristin we’d talk about it and get back to her.  We were just still so unsure about how to proceed.

Mike and I talked about it for a few days and came to this decision.  Let Kristin show our profile.  If we are chosen…then this was God’s plan.  If we are not chosen or if the birth mom decides to parent, we tell Covenant Kids that we are done.  Then once the boys get older we’ll reopen the door with the idea of adopting an older child.
Well….after we met with Kristin and Courtney, they never heard from the birth mom again.  Something in me still doesn’t feel right about “quitting”.  I know we made the agreement that this was our last shot… but there’s still part of my heart that feels like God’s not done with us.  It might be while I’m driving to school, while I’m sitting in church, while I’m having quiet time with the Lord….it hits me at different times.  It’s a little voice saying, “Don’t give up.  I’m not done with you yet.  I didn’t call you to something that was easy.  I called you to something that will make a difference…and it’s not about you or your comfort!”  I have a hard time believing that God will so clearly call us to adoption….and yet he wouldn’t give us that same clarity if he wants us to step away.  Neither Mike nor I have heard God say, “You’re done.  Stop!” 
So…the plan now is to give it until the end of the year (December 31, 2012).  I pray that if that is not what God wants us to do that he will let us know.  That he will make it clear to both of us…and that he will re-light that passion in our hearts for we are growing weary.

**If you're just now joining us in our adoption journey...make sure you use the links on the right side of the blog to start at the beginning of our story...Answering His Call**

Friday, August 30, 2013

AHC - Laying out the Fleece

Any time we get a request from Covenant Kids to update our file, Mike and I have the discussion about whether or not to continue.  We pray about it and beg God to show us what he wants us to do.  What does God want from us?  I wish he’d just write it down and send it to us in an email. A few months ago I told Mike I was gonna lay out the fleece.  I prayed knowing that God would answer. 
This was my prayer,
 “Dear God,  We just want to do your will.  Will you please tell us what you want us to do?!  If you are wanting us to let go of the idea of adoption, send us an advertisement in the mail for a family four pack vacation.  If you want us to continue down the road to adoption, send us something about adoption in the mail.” 
Yes.  That is what I prayed. 
Seems kinda silly to most people, but I believed God would reveal himself to us.  Well he did…but he showed his humor in the process.  The next weekend I went to the mail box.  What did I find?  I laugh just thinking about it!  In our mailbox was a flyer for a family four pack vacation to Schlitterbahn…but wait…there was also a letter from a childhood friend, Ashley, inviting us to a dinner to raise money for Covenant Kids adoption program. 
I’m dead serious.  That’s what was in the mail. 
So I kindly told God thanks for the answer....not! lol

**If you're just now joining us in our adoption journey...make sure you use the links on the right side of the blog to start at the beginning of our story...Answering His Call**

Thursday, August 29, 2013

AHC - Preparation for future trials?

The following thoughts were penned in October 2012

Sometimes we don’t have any desire to continue with the adoption process.  We look at our boys and see how amazing they are and how well they get along and we think “why mess with a good thing?”  Little seeds of doubt seem to be more prevalent these days.  Here’s a list of just a few of the thoughts that have been invading:

·         Traveling is so much nicer now that the boys are older.  We can actually enjoy a vacation!  Do we want to go back to traveling with a baby?  Worrying about them waking our traveling companions or hotel neighbors?

·         Can we handle diapers, middle of the night feedings, and a crying baby that can’t communicate with us along with everything else we have going on (my grad school, Mike’s demanding job, the boys’ busy schedules)?

·         If we get a placement of a baby now, the new child will be an only child for almost their last 5 years at home!  Is this fair to them?

·         We’re getting older.  The longer this adoption draws out…the longer it will be before we can retire (because it will mean putting another child through college).

When these thoughts begin to invade I think, “Is this contentment with what we have….or complacency?”  If this is God giving us contentment because He is going to tell us to change course, then I’m thankful.  If this is just complacency and we are veering from God’s true calling…I hate it!  If you have read our adoption journey, you know that there is no doubt that God called us to adoption.  When we first started the process, Mike said something that has always stuck in the back of my mind…and has always bothered me.  He said, “You need to prepare yourself for the idea that there may not be a child at the end of this journey.  God has a plan and we think we know what it is…but we can’t see the whole picture.  He may be calling us down this road for a reason we can’t see…and it may not be for a child.”  At the time, the idea seemed lubricious to me!  As the months and years have passed a voice in the back of my mind says, “What if Mike was right?” 
Recently I talked with a friend about this and she suggested that God could be preparing us for something bigger.  By obeying his calling now, he may be better able to use us in the future.  It seems kinda hard to explain this idea on paper, but it made sense to me when she said it.  It also scared me a little.  If this was an easy “can you obey me?” task….what would He be requiring of us in the future!  I’m not sure I’m ready!

**If you're just now joining us in our adoption journey...make sure you use the links on the right side of the blog to start at the beginning of our story...Answering His Call**

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

AHC - Why is my faith so weak?

February 2012 – Yes….almost year has gone by without any action on the adoption front.  Mike and I are getting frustrated.  Things in our file are beginning to expire.  We’re getting emails from CK with lists of things to update.  We don’t know what to tell them because we’re not even sure if we should continue, so I avoid their calls and don’t return emails.  Finally we get an email that says we have until Friday to respond.  We decide to call them on Friday and ask them to place us on hold. 

On Wednesday I get out of Women’s Bible Study and have a message on my phone to call CK about a potential placement.  I’m shocked when I find out that the little boy is 5 years old.  Mike is out of town on a business trip when I call with the news.  We pray about it overnight and then decide to tell CK that we’re willing to move forward, but we are hesitant because of his age.  Over the next 3 months, God gives Mike and me a peace (and excitement) about this little boy becoming part of our family. 

During this time my cousin, Ginger, emails about a potential placement.  When that doesn’t work out, we take it as more confirmation that we are on the right path by seeking to adopt this little boy.  The bio family has said they want to place him in our family and we arrange for a meeting.  Mike and I meet with the involved parties of the bio family (the maternal side) at CK.  The meeting went really well and all parties involved were comfortable with moving forward.  Mike and I started planning for all the changes that would come with adding another 5 year old to our family and we were anxious to get the transition time started and get this little boy involved in our daily life. 

Today we got a call that changed everything.  The bio dad has now stepped into the picture.  For now, the door has been closed.  The little boy that we’ve been looking at pictures of, praying for, and planning for will not become part of our family.  Today the emotions are raw.  I have invested so much emotionally into this child without ever having met him and it breaks my heart to know that I will never hold him and share my love with him! 
I have to keep telling myself that God is in control of this….and I know that with time I will be able to thank God for taking us on this journey.  Right now, however, I’m so frustrated!  Mike and I were so hesitant about this placement and prayed that if this was the direction God wanted us to go that he would give us both a peace about it.  He did!  Why?!?  Why did he lead us down this road for months only to come to another dead end?  Why are we still waiting for a child to be placed in our home after years of putting aside our desires to follow the road God has laid out for us?  Why am I questioning God’s plan? Why is my faith not strong enough to just say, “Ok Lord!  I’m ready to wait on your timing.”?  Why has God called us to adopt and given us this passion when we already have two amazing boys?  Our boys are more than enough…so why is he asking us to take in another child to be a part of our family? How long will we walk this road of waiting?  Why is adoption so hard?!?   
It may seem like such an easy thing to so many, but adoption is not easy.  It will take all the emotional and physical strength you have to make it to the end.  I have no clue how anyone makes it though the adoption process without having strength from the Lord!  I know that someday God will place a child in our family.  When he does, we will be so thankful that he made us wait.  We won’t be able to imagine our life without that child in our family.  I also know that the day that child joins our family is only the beginning of this journey simply known as adoption.

**If you're just now joining us in our adoption journey...make sure you use the links on the right side of the blog to start at the beginning of our story...Answering His Call**

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

AHC - Dashed Dreams

February 2010 – I was at work when I got the call about an 8 month old baby that they were looking to place.  There was a transition in leadership taking place at our agency, so it was taking longer than expected to get our file verified.  Even though we weren’t verified, they didn’t want to leave us out of the process.  I told them I didn’t think that I could handle missing the first 8 months of my child’s life…and passed on showing our profile (without even talking to Mike).  He was a little upset that I didn’t talk with him before telling them “no”…and I have this regret in the back of my mind.  What if that was supposed to be our child and I didn’t even give it a chance!

October 2010 – Covenant Kids (our agency) called.  They wanted to show our profile to a young mother who wanted to place her baby girl for adoption.  We were told it would be a fast placement because she was due in 2 weeks.  We said yes and then began to pray.  During the time of waiting, Namaw and I went to the Just Between Friends sale (only happens twice a year).  We couldn’t help but buy a few little girl things….just in case.  Why did we do that?  I should have been guarding my heart more…but it’s hard not to hope and dream!  We got the phone call the day after the baby girl had been born.  Our family had not been chosen.  She loved our family profile….but we were told that someone in the other “final family” looked like this young mother and so she felt more comfortable placing her baby in that family.  I was devastated.  I remember laying on the floor in our bedroom sobbing.  As always, Mike (my rock) brought me back to the reality that this baby girl was obviously not the child God wanted to place in our family. 
April 2011 – It’s tax season.  One of our clients (who I’ve known since I was 5) said she wanted to put us in touch with her niece who was looking for an adoptive family for her baby boy.  I was disappointed at first because I had my heart set on a girl.  Mike was excited because he wants a house full of boys!  He left the decision up to me.  After much prayer I came to the same conclusion that he told me after the baby girl fell through…..if this was the child God wants to be in our family….it’ll happen.  So I gave her the go ahead to pass on our info.  There were phone calls and emails exchanged back and forth with our client.  In the end we found out that the niece’s father already had a family lined up to adopt the baby.  I was disappointed, but was able to take it in stride and trust God’s timing.
May 2011 – A girl who babysat for us said she had an acquaintance at school that was pregnant and looking for an adoptive family.  She told the teen (we’ll call her Jane) about us and Jane said she wanted to meet us.  She called and talked with me on the phone.  She said that her “baby daddy” (we’ll call him John) had broken up with her and said he’d sign whatever she wanted him to sign so that she could place the baby for adoption.  I met Jane and John at the mall. They could only meet at a time when Mike was already signed up to play in a golf tournament.  We tried to get them to meet with us later when he could come too, but they insisted on that morning, so I went alone. CK said that if Jane was comfortable meeting with me, that I should go alone for the initial meeting and then suggest that at our next meeting we bring along someone from our adoption agency.  It was the strangest meeting I’ve ever had with someone.  Jane & John arrived holding hands and acting as if they were in a junior high relationship.  They told me that they’d decided to parent the baby.  My first thought was, “Then why am I here meeting with you?!?” but then I thought about how wishy washy Jane had been up to this point and thought, “She’ll probably change her mind 10 times in the next few months before the baby’s born.”  She had me feel her belly for the movement from the baby (which I couldn’t ever feel) and then looked through our profile book.  When I asked about her due date her answers were confusing.  She said, “Well, 1 doctor told me August and another told me November…but I’m thinking he should come at the beginning of August so that I can finish high school.”  They didn’t seem to have a future plan…said they’d rather just think about one day at a time.  To make a loooooong story short…it was a very odd meeting.  I wasn’t too surprised when I found out that she had been lying and was never actually pregnant!  Wow.  What a rollercoaster to have to ride with someone who just needed someone to pay attention to her!

**If you're just now joining us in our adoption journey...make sure you use the links on the right side of the blog to start at the beginning of our story...Answering His Call**

Monday, August 26, 2013

Brody the 1st grader


AHC - Simple Words

On May 1, 2012 we hit a huge wall in our adoption.  To help me cope, I sat down at the computer and started writing.  I entitled the document "Adoption Frustrations".  Since it's a 3 page Word document, I'll post it in small chunks. 

The other day I was in the store and overheard a conversation between 2 women in their 60’s.  One of the ladies said, “I’m so ready for grandkids and I don’t think my kids are ever gonna give me any!  Maybe I should just adopt a little kid!”
Adoption.  Such a simple word to say. 

“You can’t have any biological children?  Just adopt!”
“I know so and so who adopted a child.”
“My mother was adopted.”
“I’d like to adopt some day.”
It seems so simple when put in those sentences.  Let me tell you….it’s NOT simple!  Adoption is HARD.  It wears a person down.  I’m not talking about the stacks of paperwork and home study and home inspections and that stuff.  Yes, that took a lot of work….but at that point in the process you’re excited and hopeful that once you get all the “stuff” turned in to your agency you’ll be matched with a child!  Oh, you know that the average wait time is 2 years….but since you don’t have a gender or race preference you assume you’ll have placement faster than “average”.  You don’t understand how many variables there are and how many things can happen along the way.

Today (May 1, 2012) has been 929 days (2 years 199 days) since we began the adoption process.  In my wildest dreams I never would’ve thought that we’d still be waiting.  For the most part we have been waiting without any action at all; however, there have been a few times that we got our hopes up only to have them dashed. 

**If you're just now joining us in our adoption journey...make sure you use the links on the right side of the blog to start at the beginning of our story...Answering His Call**

Sunday, August 25, 2013

AHC - Put your reading glasses on!

When Brianna was placed in our home, our case worker requested that we wait to post about our journey until after the adoption was finalized.  We have now reached the point where I can tell you our story!!!  Over the new few days (maybe even weeks) I will be posting about our journey to Answering His Call.  If you're new to our blog and our story, make sure you check out the links to the right so you can start our journey at the beginning.  We can now look back and say how thankful we are for the 3 1/2 year journey to adoption.  God's plan may be full of surprises...but it is perfect!

In case you're viewing the mobile version of our blog and don't see the links on the webpage, I'll post them here too...

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Goodbye Hawaiian Falls

Thanks for another great summer!
Barrett, Kade Matthews, & Brody

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Little hands

Someone is fussy today and needs to be carried around. I'm trying to organize the boys' room, so I have her in the backpack. I was getting frustrated at how she's making me slower...then I felt her little hand patting my side and my heart melted. I love these little hands!!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Backyard Campout


What's taking so long?!?

This morning Barrett, Brianna, and I were standing outside waiting on Brody to go over to work. We felt like we were waiting forever! What was taking him so long? What was he doing? I thought he was just getting his shoes on! All my questions were answered when I heard the door open and saw this...

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Fourteen Years!

5110 days of life together as husband and wife!

Every one of those days I have grown to love you more.  Each day I thank God for the blessing of you.  Not all the days have been easy, but that's what marriage is about.  Growing and learning together...through the hard times and the easy times.  You encourage our little family to spend time daily growing closer to God...and you make sure we always know that we are a priority to you.  You work hard to provide and yet still walk in the door with a smile on your face and open arms.  You have such a giving and servant heart.  I'm so thankful that our children have you in their lives as a role model and a hero. 

I cannot imagine going through life with anyone but you by my side.  I cherish each and every day that we have together...and I pray that God gives up many, many more years of days together.  I want to grow old with you.  I want to live every day of life to the fullest with you.  I want to fall asleep every night with your arms around me.  I want to hear you say "I love you" every day for the rest of my life.  You are my one and true love!

Today I was reading a note you gave me before we got married.  I have kept it in my Bible.  You are always so good with words.  I know that God has answered the prayer you wrote about...and that he will continue to bless our love each day.

You're the only one that can take a hold
of my heart and make me so in love!
Each day that I get to spend with you is
like stealing a piece of Heaven!
May God bless our ever increasing passion
and help us both to grow so close together,
that one day, when we are looking at ourselves
in the mirror, our reflections of mind, body,
and spirit will look as if they are one!
I love you!
Michael James

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Bri's 1st Food

I couldn't feed the girl fast enough!! She LOVED the baby cereal!

REALLY missing Brody

Not only is Brody out of town on vacation, but so are Trey & Nate! Even Mike is gone this week on a business trip. Barrett was sooooo excited for baseball practice today...and the chance to hang out with someone besides me and Brianna! He had so much pent up energy and he was ready to wrestle someone. Finally Cam had enough! lol

Saturday, August 03, 2013

Hangin' with my Cuz

While I went to Ann's baby shower, Barrett got to hang out with Caleb and Axton. They had so much fun that he didn't want to go home with me when I went back to pick him up!!

Hannah's Baby Shower