Tuesday, January 31, 2012

In His time...

"The only thing harder than waiting on God is wishing that you had."

I had the rare opportunity to attend my "home church" this past Sunday.  I always miss being away from our church family at HFBC, but it really blessed my heart to get to visit my "spiritual roots."  Pastor John used the above quote in his sermon that morning, and it really stuck out to me.

Waiting just isn't something I really enjoy... I've been known to "line hop" when I go to the store, switch lanes when I drive, and microwave when I cook.   Our society teaches us that when we want something, we should get it.  And without realizing it, it's so easy for me to apply that mentality to so many areas of my life, especially when expanding our family is concerned.

I'm reminded of when I started training for my first triathlon.  It was a PROCESS.  I didn't ride for 14 miles straight my first training session.  Instead, one of my training buddies and I pushed through a 45 minute workout and gradually increased our time and distance from there.  There was a goal to work towards.  It wasn't always fun to work towards that goal, but for the most part, we embraced the process and enjoyed it, and it made the end result that much sweeter. I also think of playing the piano.  I set goals for myself as a musician, but I didn't play a full recital on the day I first picked up the instrument.  It was a lengthy and gradual process. With both of these things, I can look back on the process and no, it wasn't always "fun," but I still found myself enjoying the process, in spite of difficulties and challenges.  I realized that the process was making me stronger and taking me closer to my goal.  I found joy in the journey. And that's basically where I'm wanting to be at with this new journey in our lives.  I want to be patient for HIS perfect timing to increase our family in HIS perfect way.  The paperwork is exhausting and the home study is overwhelming, but these are all a part of this process to taking us closer to bringing going home our baby.

So, I want to embrace this journey and find the joys in it.  I want to be realistic about the challenges, but I don't want fear to cripple me.  I know the Lord has already used this time of waiting in our lives to prepare our hearts for adoption, and I know He desires to make Himself known to us in new ways as we continue on this journey.  I don't have to be in love with everything involved in the journey, but I choose to embrace it!

Baby T-We choose joy for this journey even now, because it's all a part of your story, and we can't wait to see how it all unfolds for God's glory.  We can't wait to bring you home to be a part of our family, but in the mean time, we will wait patiently and pray fervently!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Pregnant on Paper...

I remember when I found out I was expecting Lucy--I was so anxious for that first doctor's appointment, for the first chance to hear her heartbeat, for the first glimpse at her on the sonogram, for the first movements, and most of all, for that first moment that I could see her face to face..there were so many things I just couldn't wait for!  This time, I am not carrying a baby inside of my belly, but we are still expecting and still eager to experience all of those "firsts."  And right now, we're definitely in that "first trimester" stage.  The stage where you know you're going to have a baby, but you don't necessarily "feel" pregnant.  (Well, until the nausea kicks in anyway, right?! lol:)  In other words, the point of the process we are in right now is summed up into one word: paperwork.

I know of several people who have adopted, and I have heard them talk about the paperwork and being amazed at how much there is.  So, I expected it to be a lot going into this process, but it's really one of those things that you just can't really fully understand until you've dealt with it.  HOLY COW!!  There are SO many forms, SO many questions, and it takes SO so much time!  I find myself wishing I could just stop everything else in life and just do it all right this moment.  But, it's definitely going to just have to be a work in progress, and I'm learning to become okay with that:)

The first really in-depth piece of paperwork I came across was the autobiography.  I have always enjoyed writing, but I was literally overwhelmed at the thought of "reliving" the past 29 years of my life in a paper (which I wrote my rough draft of in just two separate sittings--pretty exhausting, I have to be honest!)  But, as I began reading over my words, I couldn't help but smile at the end result.  It was so amazing to see the common threads of the journey God has given me in life, that no matter what triumphs or tragedies I was faced with, that God had a plan and a purpose for everything.  It reminded me of the hope I have because of Him and how He has always gone before me in every journey I've faced in life, so how could I doubt Him now?  I am so thankful to have Jesus in my life!  It may not be a #1 best-seller type of story, but that doesn't really matter.  My life is a story of a regular girl who has been saved, transformed, and guided by the Lord Jesus Christ, and the best part is that while He is still writing the rest of my story, I know the ending:)

Anyway...maybe at some point I'll share some of my autobiography--for now though, I will spare ya'll the 10 page paper of PB:)

(BTW: I heard of a blog called "Pregnant and Paper," so that's where I got the title for this post.  I think it definitely fits!)

Monday, January 16, 2012

We're Adopting!

I created this blog as a way for me to share my thoughts as we are on our journey to adoption.  Since beginning this process, I have had SO many emotions running through my head!  It honestly reminds me of when I found out that I was expecting our daughter--I immediately wanted to go out and announce it to anyone and everyone within hearing range!  But, I know not everyone wants to sit and listen to me go on and on...but for those that do, welcome to our site! :-)

I know our announcement to adopt came as a big surprise to many of our friends and family.  I promise that we were not trying to keep anything from anyone, and I hope we haven't hurt anyone's feelings by them finding out this news in a non-personalized way.  It's something we prayed about for a long time, and once we felt the Lord telling us this was His plan for us, we just went for it!  I thought ya'll might like some background info on our reason to adopt and such though, so I wanted to write an entry about that...

As most of you know, we often refer to L as our miracle-girl.  We were TTC for a long time (well, OK, anytime you want to be pregnant and you aren't, it seems like a long time! lol) and then found out DH had cancer.  We were told it was very likely we would not be able to get pregnant on our own...but God had different plans:)  Just two months after DH's surgery, we found out we were expecting!  I guess a big part of me thought that since we were able to get pregnant with her that once we were ready for another child we would be able to get pregnant again...but that just hasn't happened the way I thought it would.

After TTC for over a year, we began talking with my OB about possible problems.  DH went through some testing and I had a laparoscopy done, and our dr was convinced we would be pregnant very quickly...but again, it just didn't happen the way we thought it would, or hoped it would.  I always thought I would want to go through fertility treatments, but once I was faced with that possibility and prayed about it, I just did not feel a peace about it at all.  I had no desire to go that route, yet I was desiring a child so badly...I didn't understand...until we started praying about adoption.

I think adopting a child had always been in the back of mind.  "I'd love to adopt a baby one day...once our kids are older maybe..."  but as I began praying through adoption and looking into it more, my whole thought process began to change on it.  Without realizing it at first, my prayers had changed from "Lord, please let me get pregnant," to "Lord, please expand our family and bless us with a child."  I also started thinking of how our daughter would pray each evening, "Lord, thank you for my baby brother and sister."  She wasn't asking for God to give her a baby brother and sister--she was praying for them as if they already existed...and I began to wonder, does our baby already exist?  Is our daughter or son (or both!) already growing inside of their birthmommy's belly?  And as I sifted and prayed through these thoughts, I began to have this overwhelming desire to parent this child that I did not even know.  I began to view our struggle to conceive again as a blessing--had we not struggled in this way, adoption would probably have just stayed in the back of our minds.  But because of our struggle to conceive a child on our own, God was growing within us a desire to expand our family, and He was showing us that He had CALLED us to adopt.

I began researching agencies, but just did not feel a peace about any of them.  I really wanted to find a well-established Christian agency that was near our area, but I couldn't find anything that matched up to what we wanted...until a good friend of ours "just happened" to mention Christian Homes in Abilene.  I immediately got on their website (www.christianhomes.com) and felt an instant connection with this agency!  She told us about Christian Homes at our Annual New Year's Eve party we have to celebrate DH being cancer free--this last year, we celebrated him being cancer-free for FIVE years...and then we came home and rang in the new year by filling out our pre-adoption application!  What an exciting start to 2012!

The agency allowed us to get the necessary information in quickly and invited us to attend their winter orientation--there "just happened" to be one spot left for it!  We attended this past weekend and it totally affirmed our decision to use this agency!  The staff is just wonderful and full of Christ's love.  I love the ministry that they provide to birthmothers, and I cannot wait to adopt through them!

Since some of you have asked for more specifics...

We hope to adopt an infant domestically, most likely through an open adoption (I'll be blogging more about that another time.)  We would love to adopt a bi-racial child, but are definitely open to any race.  (And I'm not-so-secretly hoping for twins!:)  There are no guarantees, but the time-frame is typically 9-12 months, so we are very hopeful to be inviting our child(ren) home before the end of the year!  Please join us in praying for our baby!