Thursday, October 24, 2013

He is here!!

I apologize for the lack of updates over the last few weeks. It has been an emotional roller coaster. The weekend of his birth was filled with so many ups and downs - not only with the adoption process... About three hours after sweet boy was born, I got a call that my brother-in-law had died that same morning. (He and my sister were married for 13 years and have four children together). It was a sudden, unexpected death, so there are so many emotions involved with that. My sister lives about 21 hours by car away from us, and flights were outrageous, so we weren't able to be there, physically, for my family. We also were trying to navigate the adoption process (which has its own emotions associated with it).  I truly believe our entire family was under spiritual attack. I think satan has done his best to try to steal every ounce of joy our family has. We refuse to let him! We chose to praise God for our sweet blessing and grieve the loss simultaneously. We have remained joyful, even through sorrow. The phrase "God doesn't give you more than you can handle" is total bologna.  First of all, it is nowhere in the Bible. It is a saying that is meant to make people feel stronger or somehow think that everything bad that happens is from God and supposed to be used to teach you lessons or something.... I disagree with the saying/phrase entirely. That weekend was MOST DEFINITELY more than I could handle. Here is the beauty in it though: whatever I was not capable of handling, God handled. Whatever I could not process, He made sense of it. Whenever I was not strong enough to fight the spiritual forces of the dark world, He was my strength. In truth, we can not handle much in this world... There is sorrow, disappointment, grief, and pain. There is a promise in the Bible, "In this world you will have trouble..." (John 16:33) IT'S IN THE BIBLE!! We WILL have TROUBLE!!! It will be HARD!!! But I am soooooooooooooooooooo grateful that God doesn't just leave it with that.... The end of the verse says, "But TAKE HEART! For I (God Almighty) have overcome the WORLD!" What a precious, almighty God we serve! He has taken our burdens, and He has overcome the world already. He does not bring trouble or heartache on us... They are already here. They are part of this sinful world. It is a given. BUT - take heart. He has already overcome it all. He has also promised in Isaiah 61 that He will take our heartaches, sorrow, and brokenness and turn it into something beautiful. "(I will) bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair." We are clinging to these promises, and we have felt the comfort and Joy of The Lord in the midst of the chaos and sorrow.

Now, I HAVE to tell you a little about our sweet boy! He weighed 8lbs 2oz, and was 19 3/4 in long. (big baby!) It was actually a sweet time in the hospital with the birth mother to really bond with baby boy and with her. She expressed all of her emotions, and she was confirmed over and over that she was doing what was most loving for the baby by placing him in our home. It was amazing to see the love she showed to him, and it was so good for our hearts to see that. It is so hard to explain all of the emotions on both sides of an adoption, but all I can say is that is showed us, even more clearly, the selfless love God has for us. We are already SO in LOVE with that boy!!! He has brought joy and life into our home and into our entire extended families as well. My mom and sister were supposed to be in town with us the first week and a half, but due to the circumstances, they had to stay home. They are coming tomorrow, and we are praying for the hearts of my sisters' kids to be steady and comforted by the sweet families who are caring for them, for my mom and sister to find comfort and peace as they hold this sweet baby, and for their hearts to feel confident in The Lord's work of rebuilding what satan meant to destroy - turning the ashes into something beautiful and their mourning into gladness.

I appreciate all of your prayers during this time, and I would so much appreciate continued prayers for our entire family.

I am not, legally, allowed to post pictures of our sweet boy until the adoption has been finalized... I SO WISH I could flood the blog with pictures NOW! But, hopefully by April we will be able to post the thousands of pictures we have already taken!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

The last week that I will ever live as someone who isn't a mommy...

Wow... What a crazy realization. I will never NOT be a mommy again! (yikes. I used a double negative... sorry) I am thrilled and overwhelmed and excited and terrified all at the same time! It is a remarkable feeling but also extremely surreal. Most women get to experience the child living inside of their bodies. They feel the baby kick and move. They get to the point where they are ready to not be pregnant anymore. There are so many natural things that happen during the last couple weeks of pregnancy to prepare a woman for having a baby. In our case, I don't have all of those things happening, but I still am emotionally preparing to become a mother. There has still been a process of grieving the things I am missing out on, but there has also been a process of becoming established in God's individual plan for my life. I can not express my joy at the thought of becoming a mom, but also, I can not express the emotions that come along with this whole adoption process.

Here is a (short) list of things I am most excited about in becoming a MOM! - 30 things for my 30 years I have spent waiting and praying for this moment
1. teaching him about The Lord and training him to memorize scripture
2. snuggling
3. sharing my wacky sense of humor
4. dressing him up in adorable baby clothes
5. sharing Red River with him
6. laughing at baby phrases as he learns to talk
7. teaching him about the world
8. building "forts" out of blankets
9. making mundane things into adventures
10. watching him make friends
11.  playing board games
12. teaching him to be strong when he is afraid
13. going to the zoo
14. walking him around the neighborhood in a stroller, then on a bike, then on a hovercraft (I mean, hey, it could happen, right?)
15. teaching him how to snow ski
16. teaching him how to water ski
18. reading books for hours together
19. playing tricks on his dad
20. hiking together as a family
21. eventually introducing him to my favorite nerd pleasures: star wars, harry potter, mystery science theater 3000, and NASA
22. being a stabilizing force in his life - I want him to never doubt that I love him or am there for him
23. playing on the playground
24. playing make-believe
25. having long talks about life with him as he grows up
26.  instilling good values into his life structure
27. taking him to church and seeing his eyes light up as he learns Bible stories
28. singing songs together
29. comforting him when he is hurt or sad
30. hearing him call me "mom"

In the last 4 weeks, we have had 4 baby showers, dinners with friends, celebrations of birthdays, friends coming to visit, a dog who tore her ACL, lots of organization of baby things, research, meetings, doctor appointments, classes, appointments with the agency, and of course, work and normal life as well! Needless to say, it has flown by and been a bit overwhelming!! Here are a few pictures to document!

My baby shower at work! (These people are AMAZING!!)   
 Jaime and Alina came to visit from Georgia!

My cute registry at a local boutique
 My mom made beautiful bedding! Once she delivered it, I realized my painting doesn't match, so I made a new one!
 She also made beautiful burp cloths and changing pads, and bibs!

 My shower thrown by my mother-in-law's friends!
 Our shower from our church friends

I don't have any pictures to prove it, but Austin and I also celebrated our anniversary last night! PHEW!!! 

It has been a whirlwind!! I am so grateful for everyone who has contributed to our baby gear and who has offered so much emotional and spiritual support to us during this time. We are more blessed than we could ever ask to be! I am constantly amazed at God's mercy and love through all of these people.  I am so grateful to be able to walk through this life with my wonderful husband, awesome family, and amazing friends. I can't wait for the next HUGE chapter of our lives to begin in ONE WEEK AND ONE DAY!!!

Even though it has been a whirlwind with many ups and downs, we are still SO confirmed in the decision to adopt, and we have been so blessed beyond measure through this process. It has shown us the very heart of God in having grace and mercy on us when we don't understand His plan. It has also shown us how silly we must seem to Him when we make comments to Him about the things happening in our lives. It has made me love HIM so much more, and it has allowed me to feel so much more confident that He loves me, regardless of my ignorance or my constant failures. He is amazing. This is my largest take-away.... other than becoming a mom! :)