Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The first call

3:24 Monday afternoon I missed a call from Hope Cottage. The message came with a sweet greeting and the amazing, terrifying, exciting, and emotional words "I have a potential opportunity for your profile to be shown"----WHAAAT?? I was at the movies with a friend and I was hyperventilating, kind of crying, laughing, and I'm not sure what else. In the moment, I wished Jake were right next to me so I could put everything on speaker phone and I was thinking, it's been less than two weeks- we are totally going to be THAT couple! I decided I better call and get all the information before I called him; I didn't want him to wait with overwhelming anticipation. So I called Hope Cottage back, gathered the information and said "let me talk to my husband." Now, this was a unique case and we were able to decide it wasn't the right fit for us with some ease. We called Hope Cottage back to let them know we didn't want our profile shown.

We felt very excited to receive a call- and of course we wished it were THE call, and the right fit. However, it feels good to have a call, and a "no" under our belt. For those who aren't familiar with the process: when Hope Cottage has a birthmother who may be a good fit for us they will contact us, give us the details of the situation, and ask us if we would like to have our profile shown. If we say yes, they will show our profile and two others to the birth family. Then she chooses from those profiles!! Ultimately it has to be a good fit for everyone involved and they try to protect the hearts of us all. I pray we trust ourselves to know when it's a right fit and when it's not. This one was a clear "no" for us, but I'm not sure it will always be so clear. Also, I was encouraged by a sweet girl not to feel guilty about saying no, and realize it's not my burden to worry when and how these sweet children will find their forever family. I did pray for her and I trust she is going to find the best home-- 

♥ “There are no unwanted children, just unfound families.”  
-National Adoption Center 

Monday, June 25, 2012

the fog is lifting

I haven't been overwhelmed by the sorrow of infertility in a while. Maybe it's the distraction of life, the excitement of adoption, or by the grace of God. But, when I sat down to write the last post I was in a full on funk!

As I've said before, I've been fairly numb lately. In a way, I felt protected and as if the Lord was just giving me a break from the daily emotional challenges of our circumstance. However, after writing the last *much needed* post. I realize the fog was slowly lifting. I am constantly reminded it is okay to hurt, it's okay to be sad, but ultimately my joy is everlasting. I don't ever want a heavy post to be misconstrued that I'm blaming others for my response to them, or I'm not completely joy filled. I am. I have pure joy and deep sorrow. Learning to balance the two is very challenging. Just know--- I am good. Bad days come, but end of the day- The Lord my God has me right where He wants me- I have a personal relationship with Him and I know He hears me. I trust He will sustain me.

Also, I met a sweet woman after church who has a 2 month old adopted daughter and I felt the Lord's personal encouragement. She mentioned she'd seen me crying during service before and felt in her gut it was infertility related but never said anything. **I was thinking, geez, which time?** But when my father-in-law told them we were adopting too, she wasn't going to let another moment pass without speaking to me! She was so honest about all her fears and shared their amazing adoption journey. She also made it very clear she is available for me during this time. I am so thankful she stopped me and opened up to me, sometimes I feel a little behind in the game and it's nice to know other people feel the same way we do! So, the Lord is already working in building up our adoptive community and I'm so grateful he used her and her precious family to lift the fog even more.

I'm still a little foggy- but I feel MUCH better and am reminded I never walk alone.

Never Once- Matt Redman

**Scars and struggles on the way
But with joy our hearts can say,
Never once did we ever walk alone
Carried by Your constant grace
Held within Your perfect peace
Never once, no, we never walk alone

Saturday, June 23, 2012

It's tough being a woman thrown a giant-size weight

I'm doing a Beth Moore study of Esther and this week really made me think. We discussed the dilemma of destiny and why it's so hard to trust the Lord's timing. Two points really stood out to me:

1) The unreasonable expectation of our circumstance.

Beth Moore describes this as "what you're asking is beyond me". I constantly feel this way about infertility. Sometimes I feel like I'm drowning in babies. This oftentimes makes our predicament worse. I constantly joke that if you're trying NOT to get pregnant-don't be my friend.  Unfortunately with every birth announcement, discussion of sleep schedule, complaints and victories with breastfeeding, talking about losing baby weight--- all of it brings out the sting of what we're lacking and my frustration with thinking they don't appreciate what they've been given. Sorry, that's just a confession of what generally goes on in my mind. Now, I'm not naive, I've been around babies, worked at day cares, and been a caregiver--they are WORK. But I'm SO ready. I also am very aware it is not all about me!! So my circumstance has often brought out some ugly thoughts, and unfortunately I'll say people aren't very sensitive to the reality of our infertility, or I'll give them the benefit of the doubt and think they aren't educated on the matter. Although, at the end of the day I have to remind myself- I'm right where God wants me and He is using this for His glory. I try really hard not to get in the way of that, it's hard-I hate infertility and what it does to me.

2) The risky identification.

It's hard to face our God given destiny when we conceal what's really going on. Beth Moore says "one of the most important parts of fulfilling our destiny will require transparency." This is where it hit me... In sharing the Lord's goodness through our adoption process it's impossible to deny my "identification". In most settings I feel wearing this would just make things a lot easier:

However, I realize in my crisis, yes I very much consider our infertility to be the biggest crisis I've ever faced in my life-I realize my heart is turned toward the revelation that our adoption story isn't complete if we don't talk about our infertility. The dreaded label and reminder we haven't created life the "normal" way- and the lie that somehow I'm less of a woman and Jake is less of a man because he didn't "get me on the first try." (we've heard a lot of these comments as people are able to conceive quite easily). It all comes together with infertility rocking our world and the Lord pivoting our destiny. I now believe we are destined to adopt. period. Talking about adoption without infertility for us is kind of like chips and salsa without queso. Forgive my lighthearted comparison, but it's essentially withholding the "goods". The moment I realized God is glorified by the courage He gives me daily to face our infertility head on, I am able to trust His hand is in this. It amazes me He's made room in this pea brain head of mine to understand He's given me the faith to see this through. 

So, to wrap it up... I'll say this. I'm grateful the Lord has changed our hearts towards adoption. It definitely wasn't the plan up front and now that we are here- I can't picture it any other way. I also am very confident I'll understand more fully when we hold the special baby He's chosen for us. 

I still feel like I've been thrown a giant-size weight, but my prayer is I am able to find the faith to believe He put me on this path for my good and His ultimate glory. I've prayed many times "Lord, I don't want this to be my testimony, I just don't.. " end of the day it's not about me. I definitely don't want to be the bitter infertile friend that complains all the time... He is the only one who can sustain me and I don't look to my friends to always say the right things. But sometimes I just need to say: No matter how long it's been, how good the day, or how thrilled I am about adoption- it still hurts. 

Steady My Heart- Kari Jobe

Hope Cottage

Happy 94th Birthday Hope Cottage.

We feel so blessed to work with you!!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Waiting with a purpose

We've been waiting to become parents for 4 years. It's pretty cool to feel like we are waiting with a purpose during this season. We WILL be parents, and we WILL have our own sweet baby. I feel fairly numb during this time, and I am beginning to think it's the Lord protecting me from my emotions over ruling me. I find myself having a hard time investing any emotions into other people- but I'm grateful my emotions for my husband and my Savior seem to be soaring. I'm currently doing a Beth Moore bible study with some wonderful women, and the Lord is really speaking to my heart. Showing me ways He wants to change my heart and allowing my numbness to be lifted in order to serve and love Him.

I also realize the one thing on this earth that makes my heart skip a beat is my dear husband. He amazes me every day--- I am never numb towards him. He is so wonderful.  I love him for being such a safe place and for his capacity to love everyone around him. What a joy. This picture breaks my heart.. I'm so ready for the day he is able to hold our sweet baby.

Jake and sweet Finley Jean!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Happy Father's Day

20 Reasons why I love and appreciate my dad

1. He delivered a line from Talladega Nights as he walked me down the aisle. 

2. He's good help! 

3. He's a hard worker- he was always a great provider and an amazing po-po. 

4. He's fun, loving, and talented. (picture after playing trumpet in community band)

 5. He's a nut!

6. He has fun no matter what he's doing.

7. He taught me how to pull off pranks... or "goofs" as we like to call them. My mom calls them lies.. 

8. He can still fit in a suit from the good ole days.

9. He taught me everything I know about volleyball... well, maybe not, but he always supported me. 

**bonus fact-he appreciates the finer things in life, like gently worn board shorts.

10. He's a wonderful grandpa.. can't wait for you to meet your nieto. ;)

11. He's a great athlete. 

12. He's a mighty sledder. 

13. When a woman cries he offers a glass of water. 

** came in handy on my wedding day**

me: I'm getting married 
(with a hint of panic because I'd been running late all day and it hadn't really sunk in)

dad: yea. you are.

me: could I get a glass of water?
 ( I guess it was my way of asking for his support- he didn't fail me on this day either.. glass of water STAT!)

14. No matter the importance of the news his response is always "good deal".

15. He's a bada** snake wrangler.

16. He sent an audition tape to be on Survivor (too bad you didn't have that snake video back then)

17. He took me to the shooting range when I was just a little girl.

18. He is borderline OCD on his apple/chip/sandwich ratio.

19. He sweats clean.

20. He introduced me to westerns and encouraged my love for John Wayne.


Thanks for being a strong, fun, godly father.

Friday, June 15, 2012

The spoon that broke the camel's back

Yesterday was a wonderfully hard day. I wanted to send out the approval of our application so everyone would be up to speed, but I didn't have time to write details about how it went down. Unfortunately, it was just one of those days.

I woke up to a voicemail from Mrs. N saying we'd been approved. My heart leapt with joy until I realized we hadn't finished handwriting our letters. So, we brewed some coffee and got to work. I guess I started thinking "Why didn't we have these ready?"... as our hands were cramping trying to get it done, I realized we could have done one a day for a week and been ready to go. I don't know why I couldn't just be excited. I find myself constantly calculating ways to be prepared, and ways to be upset with myself for not being prepared enough. Weird.

Every time I tried to get out of the funk and let the reality sink in- we are waiting... we've been waiting for this approval and it should be nothing but joy-I just became more frustrated. Jake and I were at each other's throats about everything.. I was not angry with him, nor him with me, but it was as if we were speaking two different languages, on two different planets, and with completely different ideas of how the day should go.

Well, hours after getting the call we finally made our way to Dallas, but had to stop to return some shoes. Granted, Jake doesn't have much free time and I needed his foot to fix this shoe dilemma, but all I wanted to do was rush down there and sign the papers. It ended up taking no time at all to return his shoes, but I was anticipating this four hour ordeal and missing our opportunity to fly down there, sign papers, and miss rush hour trafffic. I was border line fuming at this point. What a terrible attitude. Sorry honey.

Finally we get there to sign papers and I'm still not able to truly become excited. What on earth is going on with me?.. I went through all the motions: smile for a picture, document this final step in the application process, send exciting texts out, hug Mrs. N and thank her for all her hard work. Still nothing in my heart felt right. Then I realize I didn't eat breakfast, and the cup of coffee was not satisfying my morning hunger, by this time it was no longer morning. It was 2 o'clock and I was STARVING. So we stop into Taco Cabana and I realize I needed to go to the bathroom since about 9:30 but was in such a hurry to get everything done I'd forgotten to relieve myself. Bathroom, order food, sit down and finally EAT. Yumm, I pick up my spoon to dig into my refried beans and I fumble the spoon.. as it falls crashing to the floor I burst into tears. I'm sobbing right there in Taco Cabana over a dropped spoon. My sweet husband hands me his spoon and I barely get the words out "I'm sorry."...

I don't know why yesterday was so hard. We tried to talk about it and came up with no particular reason other than- we are exhausted, excited, emotional, nervous, and sinful people. With big changes coming up in our life I confess I am nervous. I'm excited about all things coming our way but at the same time I have moments where I lack faith. I guess I've been so excited for the application process to be complete I forgot to evaluate what it means when it's complete. We are now a waiting family and it's time to start the true waiting. The real unknown is upon us and the potential heart break that could come our way is sometimes paralyzing. But above all else, we will be a family and we are ready.

**Funny part of the day- when I finally gathered myself after the spoon incident, I was still crying and laughing saying "I'm crying over a plastic spoon" and Jake asked "is this going to make the blog."... I guess it did.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

It's Official!

This morning we got a call from Mrs. N saying our application was approved!! So we hightailed it to Dallas to sign our contract and turned in our profile books.

We are now officially a waiting family. Wow!!!!