Thursday, May 31, 2012


I am overwhelmed with many emotions. Each step is bringing us closer to officially entering parenthood. We are so close to bringing our very own baby home and I will FINALLY know what it's like to be a mother. The majority of my emotional state is pure excitement and an absurd amount of joy for the glorious day of meeting baby and never letting them go; however, I've realized this process is hard to really express emotion fully and here is my reason:

I am trying to contain my excitement because unfortunately, the day has not arrived. My excitement is very closely related to our deep sorrow with infertility and desperately wanting children for so long. So when I let my excitement overwhelm me it seems a million other unwanted emotions creep in. This process is extremely beautiful and I'm ready for our baby. I know when we bring baby home I'll be able to let out any and all emotions. I'll be able to see the blessing the Lord has for us instead of just talking about it. I'll be able to kiss our baby instead of daydreaming of it's facial features and I'll be able to call myself a mother, and Jake a father. Until that day actually arrives, it still doesn't seem real. There are no physical implications that allow us to plan when our baby will become our baby. The thought that we ARE going to have a baby is hard to allow too much excitement because the disappointment is still so heavy. We don't know when, and it would be impossible to stay at this overwhelmingly emotional state of excitement until the day arrives without growing weary for the day to actually arrive. I don't want to spend these next *hopefully few months* in an uncontrollable emotional state. Therefore, I sort of don't allow for any emotion, good or bad, to rule me. Jake and I basically said today we feel like "okay cool, very cool, one step closer, but let's go on about our life." We are trying to take one day at a time.

I don't mean I'm never letting my emotions out- of course that would be unhealthy. I just wanted to express a little about how we feel during this process and why this step, and picturing our child will ALWAYS bring tears to our eyes, but we don't allow the full amount to pour out. So, we welcome you to cry and show as much excitement for us as you please... but I never want anyone to be confused as to why y'all might seem more excited than we do. Believe me- there is no way that's true, but we are trying to remain calm until the amazing day we meet our baby. :))) Thanks for reading and thanks for your prayers.

We are SO close

Today we completed our last interview! We are very excited nearing the end of this process and entering our "official" waiting period. Although, we've been waiting four years to start our family I feel this process is going a lot quicker than expected. I know we don't actually have our sweet baby yet, but everything is falling into place nicely. Our counselor, Mrs. N, is working hard to complete her report so we are able to pay our fee and get started. She's so sweet and our final interview was wonderful. It's interesting to hear people's responses to our heart and she was so complementary of our openness and ability to communicate the good, bad, and the ugly. I realize today even more how grateful I am to have Jake as my husband. He is such a wonderful partner and we compliment each other so well. We are so blessed to have a successful, happy, safe, and loving marriage.

 Thank you Lord for the unique gifting you've given both of us and the way we compliment and complete each other. Thank you for this plan you've laid out for our lives. Thank you for our desire to love You and each other to the best of our ability. Thank you Lord for the perfect picture of love by your adoption of us and the death of your Son. Please watch over our sweet baby as they grow, protect them and help the birthmother feel peace in knowing there is a family waiting to welcome and love her child. Continue to encourage and strengthen us through this process. We pray our adoption glorifies You. 

Here is Jake's letter to the birth mother. It was difficult to get his thoughts on paper. After a few rewrites of his original draft he realized there were two things he wanted his letter to portray. He wanted to say "thank you" and he wanted them to know what he promised to do for their child, how exactly he wanted to love our baby. He really amazes me. 

Dear Birth Mother,

            It is difficult to know exactly what I want to say to someone I’ve never met and whose story I don’t know. I’d like to start by saying I’m overwhelmed with admiration for your strength in choosing adoption.

            I want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart. Thank you for your courage in choosing adoption. Thank you for the selflessness and love you have for your child. Thank you for giving us the gift of parenthood. I will forever be grateful.

I desperately want you to understand my heart and what you can expect when your child completes our family. This is the best way I know how to express my promises to you:
  • I will love your child and raise them to the best of my ability. 
  • I will love my wife and give your child a stable and safe home.
  • I will provide for your child.
  • I will teach your child to love God and others.
  • I will pray for your child.
  • I will encourage, laugh, and have fun with your child.
  • I will discipline your child in a loving way.
  • I will make sure your child always knows your love for them.
  • I will cherish your child for the rest of my life.
Thank you.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The end of an era

Today is my last official day to keep Dylan. :(

I watched him M/Tue/Th/Fri last year and I've only been Tue/Th this school year. Although I'm moving on to a different chapter of my life and hopefully will be a stay-at-hom-mom soon, it's bitter sweet to no longer have an "official" day. I'm excited for my new role in his life and the opportunity to just be fun aunt Jo Jo from here on out, but I will miss him very much. I know I'll see him as often as I'd like but it will never be the same, and I really cherish the wonderful times we've had throughout these fun years. I love him and he's brought so much joy into my life- I've loved watching him grow and discover all sorts of things. Thank you Katherine and Robby for trusting me enough to keep your little boy. 

On our way to the hospital to meet lil D!

 Excited uncle Jake!

So deep in thought

always been a mover and a shaker

 Such a happy baby

His storm shelter!

 Real laugh- notice the camera- cue fake laugh

 loves his uncle jake



baby for jo jo (explaining adoption)

Love you buddy!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Time Flies..

It's hard to believe five years ago today, I married the man of my dreams. I guess time really does fly when you're having fun!! We've been through so much together-shared many laughs, heartbreaks, successes, prayers, adventures, kisses, hugs, tears, and smiles. We've made some unbelievable memories and I love how much we've grown together. I'm excited to see what the Lord has in store for us and I'm forever grateful He chose Jake to keep my heart. Thank you God for the sanctity of marriage and the many blessings you've bestowed upon us. 

We celebrated our anniversary at Truluck's Thursday night. Here are some pictures from our wonderful evening:

Headed to dinner

  Surprise stop for this beautiful necklace :))) 

Celebrating with champagne

5 yeeeeeaaaarrrrsss!

 Yummm! Thanks for our gift card Jon!

So blessed to call this man my husband.

Our anniversary is a time to look back at the good times and a time to look ahead to live our dreams together.
-- Catherine Pulsifer

Shout out: Happy Birthday David and Kristin!!! *sorry our wedding was on your special day, haha

Monday, May 21, 2012

Good morning Monday!

The lady from Hope Cottage, we'll call her Mrs. N, had a family emergency last week and called to cancel my Friday interview. I was under the impression that Jake's interview (scheduled for 9am this morning) was also cancelled. Well, my phone rang at 8:30 am and it was Mrs. N. She was calling to say she was "running late but should be there in about 45 minutes"... I went into crazy mode. I woke Jake up screaming she's coming, she's coming...

haha. Okay so, for those who really know me well, you know my home is generally about 30 minutes from being "picked up" at all times. However, Jake was sick all last week and my housekeeping skills were almost nonexistent. So we both frantically started cleaning and running around like crazy people. I'm so grateful for my husband because he stopped me mid-dusting and hugged me, said good morning, kissed me, and prayed for our visit. Whew- deep breath!! We were able to get the house "ready".. but I definitely didn't get to vacuum or bathe Zoie, and make the PERFECT first impression I was anticipating!

So Mrs. N arrives and she is sooooo wonderful. We really like her and her sweet spirit so much. She comes in and instantly compliments our home and how beautiful it is.. sigh of relief, she didn't notice the dead bug in the corner. She comments on how cute zoie is and goes to pet her and Zoie yelped SO loud. I've never really seen/heard her do that other than when Jake is rough housing with her. So I'm mortified and thinking we failed because our 5 pound yorkie scared this poor lady. Haha. She assured us it was no big deal and made a joke about having a small dog and understanding completely. Wow. Ridiculous morning. Dirty home, 30 minutes to get ready for the biggest house guest EVER, and our perfect temperament dog yipping at our case worker. Awesome.

All that to say, Jake's interview went REALLY well! Thank God.

My interview is at Hope Cottage tomorrow @10:30 am.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Emily Joyce

When I heard the news of her death, I was instantly flooded with so many memories of my childhood friend. I haven’t been close with Emily these past few years but I sure loved her. The world lost a sweet soul.

She was fun, unpredictable, adventurous, and creative. We spent hours making up our own country music videos, inventing our own shampoo, lotion, and mouthwash, and then planning our marketing strategy. We were trying to get rich quick back then but realized black mouthwash wasn’t going to take off any time soon… so we hit the lemonade business pretty hard. I remember planning to set up our stand down by her house and she got a very excited face and explained “we HAVE to set up down by your house this time, the evan’s house is being built and the construction workers are going to be BIG customers” She was right-it was our most successful business venture.

We got along great because she was definitely a tomboy. Most of the games she made up revolved around sports- like knee soccer in the hallway of her old home. I can still feel the sting of my peeled knees from the carpet burns.

There was never a dull moment with her-like the garage sale day she stuck an electric shoe buffer to my head and it took hours to get my hair untangled! Had it been anyone else I might have been upset but she just laughed and laughed- I couldn’t help but find it hilarious.

She was brave- like the time we were across the street and a little boy threw a piece of wood at her- a 6 inch splinter was stuck through her eye lid and she didn’t even cry. She was just sitting in the back seat giving my mom directions to the hospital. Calm and cool and laid back as always.

She was so funny. She loved putting on shows and making people laugh, generally at her brother’s expense J “Houston we have a problem”- such a great memory I won’t go into detail about! or the infamous “fonda-wanda” skit.

In high school, we had fun working at Chuggy Bears-we’d take turns making up flavors. My favorite sno cone til this day is an Emily original recipe. And before we even cashed our checks we would celebrate our pay at Red Lobster for crab cracking Mondays.

I always appreciated the mixed cds she’d make for me- they were well thought out and current, and then she’d sneak a Dolly or Reba song in every one. When she was in my car she’d replay songs over and over until I learned the words and could sing along with her. I am still surprised at how many dolly songs I know all the words to.

We spent many nights contemplating digging up the time capsule we buried in the front yard of her old house- and she was certain she could explain to the new homeowners and they’d let us. Thinking about it now- I bet she would have convinced them to let us tear up their yard and may have even persuaded them to do the digging for us. She generally didn’t take no for an answer.

Emily had an amazing ability to befriend people of different social circles. She didn’t care about the drama of cliques, she was just friends with who she was friends with. She never met a stranger. Which is why there were so many different people from all phases of her life at her funeral service. She really made an impact on so many people. I believe she lived by the words of her hero "If you see someone without a smile give them yours.”-Dolly Parton

I have many fun memories with Emily, as I know so many others do, because every minute spent with her provided a million laughs and stories to be cherished for a lifetime.

Rest In Peace.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Our paperwork pregnancy

We heard from Hope Cottage today and set up our interviews/home study!!

Schedule of events: 
Friday May 18- 10 am- my interview at Hope Cottage
Monday May 21- 9am- Jake's interview at our house
Friday May 31- 10 am- interview with both of us in our home.

We are ordering our profile books today so when the home study is complete we can pay our activation fee and hand over all the books! Then we are officially on the waiting list. I feel like we are nearing the end of our "paperwork pregnancy"... to document this fun time- here are the rest of the photos our sweet friend took for us. 

So excited to move forward with this process :)))