Monday, August 26, 2013

A sneak peak into our transforming world...

Since we found out that we are "Adoption-Pregnant", I have been in full-time go-mode to get ready for a baby to arrive! The agency gave us a timeline of 2 months to a year... And it could happen in a couple of different ways: We could get a call that a baby has been born, and we need to go pick him/her up NOW, or we could meet with a pregnant woman who has selected our profile out of a stack, and we could go through the remainder of her pregnancy alongside her. So... We have no idea how to mentally prepare for that!!! The agency recommends that we have the necessities on hand and for us to be ready for anything! It is so exciting, in a way, and a little bit terrifying in another! ha. As a result of the absence of a timeline, I have decided to go ahead and get ready!

My sweet mom has bought us a crib, travel system, and is making bedding! It is all AMAZING!!  My awesome mother-in-law bought be a GORGEOUS diaper bag and changing station. I have painted an old dresser of Austin's, built bookshelves, and created an abstract painting to hang over the baby's crib. I am going to re-cover some lampshades, and I'm looking for the perfect chair and rug to complete the room! Pictures are below!
Our Full Application!
My Bag!
The Britax Travel System
 My painting, crib, and bookshelves (don't pay attention to the random stuff on the shelves!)
The dresser with the lampshade I'm going to re-cover.

I'll post more pictures as things come together! For now, I am happy with how things are progressing, and I can't wait to welcome a baby into this room and our home!

Good things come to those who wait... or those who PRAY

This summer has been filled with plenty of ups and downs, joys and pains, questions and answers... We have felt, at times, like we were put in the middle of a cyclone with no direction! Amazingly enough, we made it out alive! I want to clarify that nothing particularly awful happened. We are strong and blessed, and we could not be more grateful for the lessons we learned and growth that took place as a result of the changes that have happened over the past few months. However, there is always so much uncertainty within a cyclone of change, and it can really rock you while you're in the middle of it!

A lot of things happened this summer, good and bad, big and small, but the biggest and most exciting this is... Drumroll.... We got approved to ADOPT!! 
The process was extensive, and for those of you wondering, it involved:
- 29 pages (typed) of information about our childhoods, lives, spirituality, families, views, theories, home, pets, etc, etc...
- Background checks 
- Physical Exams
- Interviews (Together and separate)
- Fingerprinting
- Financial evaluations and assessments
- Environmental Inspection (Weirdest part of all of this - They checked the temperatures of our fridge, inspected my meat thermometer, checked our toilets and tubs, looked in our closets, asked questions about whether we would make the baby buy their own toilet paper/diapers or would we provide it - seriously?!?! - and many other very invasive questions and inspections)
- Fire inspection
- Home Study
- Fees 
- Questionnaires that dug into our real feelings about rape, incest, drug abuse, special needs, race, culture, and other tough topics
- Training Classes 
- Wrote a "Profile Letter" for the potential birthmothers to review when making their decision on where to place their baby
- Re-wrote the "Profile Letter" when we were informed that we were "too excited about adoption" in our letter... I'll explain at another time. (We have learned SO much through this process!!) 
- Created an album that captured the essence of us (It was harder to do than you would think!) 
- I'm sure I am forgetting something...

I can't even begin to explain the myriad of emotions we have experienced.

First, let me explain how we arrived at our decision to adopt. As I have talked about in a couple of posts, we have been struggling with diagnosed infertility for the last two years. When we got married, since we were in our late 20's, we wanted to start our family rather quickly. We both desire children, and we know God has called us to raise children to love and serve Him. After the first year of our marriage, we assumed it wasn't happening because we weren't focused on actively trying to get pregnant. In the middle of our second year of marriage, we started to worry that something was wrong. Without going into too much detail, we were doing everything humanly possible to try to get pregnant, and still, nothing was happening! We saw a doctor, and we got to do all kinds of fun tests. (again, it would be TMI to talk about! ha) After all of the tests, nothing new was revealed. There was no specific explanation as to why were weren't getting pregnant. This led, first, to a lot of frustration, disappointment, even depression. I felt like I was failing... Even though I, literally, have no control over the situation, I felt like I was somehow not accomplishing something I was created to do! Finally, when the negativity didn't help (as it never does), I went to prayer. 

I had so many long talks with The Lord about my feelings, my frustration, my failures, and even my anger that this wasn't happening for me!! (see the common thread here?? MY, ME) It was all about ME! God was so sweet to me, as He always is, and I believe He revealed to my heart that, at this time, I WASN'T created to be pregnant!! He did not ordain for me to carry a child at this time. He DID, however, create me to be a MOTHER!! Once I recognized the difference, my heart felt so open and softened. I finally felt like I understood a small piece of God's plan for us! I keep saying "at this time" because I know I can never predict what will happen in the future, but for now, He is gently leading us in a beautiful direction that we could have never predicted, and we could not be more excited!!!!!

We started praying that God would establish in our hearts a clear direction and make us more excited about adopting than we would be about getting pregnant... It might have been a weird prayer, but I really love weird prayers because that is when you REALLY see God work when He answers! We started researching, reading blogs, talking to people who have adopted, etc, and one night, we both looked at each other,teared up, and said we KNEW we were being called to adopt!

Once we reached the conclusion that we were called to adopt, we started researching foreign vs. domestic adoptions. I combed through blogs by Jen Hatmaker, Jennifer and Chris Verme, The Getty's, and others. All of these people adopted from countries abroad. Although I find foreign adoption so beautiful and necessary, we kept feeling a tug towards a local adoption. We both had a picture in our minds of an open adoption - strange, unorganized, but beautiful. When we discussed our hopes for our adoption, we both wanted for our child to always know who his/her birth parents are, to always know that they are deeply loved by us and by their birth parents, to know their "other" grandparents and the depth of their love, to feel completely secure in their situation from the very beginning. We felt called to minister to birth mothers as much as we felt called to adopt. Most open adoptions include minimal contact, a picture a month, and maybe a meeting together every few months or once a year. We really desire to include the birth parents in our family as much as possible. This might sound strange, and we don't even know what that will look like for us, but we are just being faithful to whatever God leads us to at each step. A friend of ours pointed us to a local, Christian agency that specializes in open adoptions! (I didn't even know it existed!) This agency has been such a blessing to us... 

We contacted Special Delivery Adoptions ( and signed up for their initial training class. After the class, we both sat in the car and wept. (We have learned to be very comfortable with our tears over the last several months.) We had so much confirmation and so much excitement about pursuing adoption as our first choice! I was shocked at myself when I had the thought, "I hope I don't get pregnant in the next year, because that would mess up being able to adopt!!" What?! Who thinks that way? Especially someone who has done nothing but try and try and try to become pregnant over the last 2.5 years! (?!) Well, God answered our prayer! Our weird prayer became our reality.

The training with Special Delivery was such an amazing experience. I could have sat in that room all day. They brought in birth-mothers to talk to us about their experiences, emotions, thoughts, etc., and they also had a few couples who had previously adopted tell about the waiting period, finances, paperwork, and bonding with their child. It was so fascinating, and it spoke directly to our hearts. I was a little embarrassed while the adoptive couples were speaking because I COULD NOT stop crying!! I don't even know why! I think I was just so overwhelmed by the emotions that came with finally letting go of all of my previous expectations and emotions. I finally let go of "my plan" and let God's plan become my plan! Phew! What an experience!

At this point, we are approved to adopt, officially, and we are on the waiting list with Special Delivery! We keep saying we are "Adoption-Pregnant"!! We don't know when, how, who, or anything about our timeline, but we are boldly praying for our baby and his/her mother to come soon!! We are in a place of so much rest and peace, waiting on God's timing for us. We appreciate any and all prayers!!