Saturday, March 31, 2012

Happy early bday, DH!

No new news on the adoption front.  We're just anxiously awaiting our approval letter, but it will probably be at least another week before it comes...sure doesn't hurt to pray for it to happen sooner though!:-)  I am trying to prepare myself for the fact that we may have a long wait time ahead of us.  Even though my heart is so anxious for us to bring our baby home, I know God's timing is absolutely perfect, so I'm trusting in that and excited for Him to reveal it to us!  And, maybe His timing will be soon, but if it's not, I know He will give us the patience we need...I just continually feel this overwhelming sense of peace for this whole process.  There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that we have been called to adopt, so now we get to wait and see how the story will unfold.  And, just like a good story, I'm definitely in suspense, but also like my favorite stories, I know this one is going to have a really amazing ending, so I'm enjoying these middle chapters in the meantime:)

Since beginning this journey, DH and I have become more and more aware of the need to be advocates for the unborn.  I feel it's so important for us to support organizations that are striving to make pro-life choices, and we had the opportunity to do that this past Thursday evening.  Pregnancy Resources of Abilene was hosting a fundraiser concert--with MICHAEL W. SMITH!!  Neither of us had ever gotten to see him in concert, and DH especially has always wanted to see him, so for an early birthday present I surprised him with tickets. We've been to our fair share of concerts, but this was possibly the best concert I've ever been to!  It was a smaller venue, so the setting was more casual, which isn't typical when you see an artist like MWS.  He played a lot of his hits (some of the highlights were hearing "Friends are Friends Forever" and "You are the Love of My Life" (which he co-wrote with Jim Brickman whom I love!) he played some of his instrumental stuff (I never realized what an incredible pianist he is.  I love his writing style, and his playing is just incredible--the voicing and feeling he uses when he plays is beyond words.  So inspiring!) but he also did a ton of worship songs.  The evening was truly Christ-focused, and His presence was certainly felt!  The most incredible part of the evening was when he led the audience in "Alleluia...Holy, Holy, are you Lord God Almighty...Worthy is the Lamb..."  The entire building was proclaiming who Jesus is...even Lucy began to sing and had her hands lifted up in the air.  I couldn't help but think, Wow!  This is just a tiny taste of what it will be like in Heaven, to stand before our Father and worship Him...  It was definitely one of those "moments" that I don't think I'll ever forget.  I honestly feel a bit guilty that it was DH's birthday gift, because I think I enjoyed it just as much as he did!  It was certainly a special evening out as a family, and I'm glad we could support such an amazing artist and important organization.

 ...As a total side note, I get asked all of the time what "DH" stands for--that's my nickname for M.  it stands for "Dear husband."  It's a common internet term when speaking of your husband that I picked up on my pregnancy forum when I was pregnant with Lucy.  I spoke about him so often that the name DH just began to stick.  I definitely think it fits him well, too;-)

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Dear Birthmother letter...

While we're in this time of waiting for our approval, I thought I would blog about a few different things involved in our adoption journey, such as our letter.  One of the important steps involved in domestic adoption is writing a "Dear Birthmother" letter.  This is supposed to be a brief letter that describes who you are to the birth mother.  When she decides that she is going to place her baby for adoption, she looks through the letters and the scrapbooks of prospective adoptive families to make her decision on who she feels is the best match for her and her baby.

I've honestly been a little hesitant about posting our letter on our blog.  I guess it's because it's so personal-trying to convey our hearts (in one page or less!) to a woman who is making such a selfless and loving decision.  How do you put into words (again, in one page or less!) what you think of her and what she means to you, while also trying to let her know who you really are?  At some point, she will hold this letter in her hands and make the decision of whether or not she thinks we are the family for her baby.  So, this letter holds with it a weight that I cannot even express.  I want to share it with each of you first, so that you can join us in praying over it, over the woman who is meant to read it, and over the baby that she is so lovingly carrying inside of her...

Dear Birthmother,

We truly feel so humbled that you have a desire to consider our family as a possibility to parent your precious child.  Even though we have not yet met, we feel as if you are such a part of our lives already since we have committed to praying for you and your baby  on a daily basis.  We admire your strength and your selflessness-you are a hero to us.  Thank you for choosing life for your baby!  We cannot wait to see how God’s story unfolds in your life and ties into ours as well.  Hopefully, this letter can give you a glimpse of who we are.

Some know us as their music minister at church, the mommy and daddy to our 4-year-old daughter, a  friend down the street, and a loving extended family member...but when we look at each other, we see a best friend for almost twelve years.  We have been married over nine of those twelve years and truly love and respect one another.  We are very committed to one another and our relationship with the Lord.  We believe God placed us together because He can work more fully to accomplish His will for our lives as a couple, rather than as individuals.

Michael is an extremely talented man and has such a gift for leading others to God’s throne through worship.  He is a devoted husband and father, always looking for the best to be available to our church family and community, but not allowing that to interfere with making our family his top priority.  He is very disciplined to get up early to work out each morning and strives to make healthy decisions.  He is a self-proclaimed “tech-nerd” and has a wonderful talent for working with computers, creating videos, and graphic design.  He is a loving father and enjoys taking our daughter on special “daddy-daughter dates” so they can have one-on-one time.  He is also a devoted husband full of love and patience.  He enjoys playing the guitar, song-writing, following the Texas Rangers (he proposed to Paula-Beth at a game!), and anything related to Apple computers and products.

Paula-Beth has found such fulfillment in being a stay-at-home mommy and housewife.    She enjoys keeping on top of housework and cooking for her family, but she also loves to spend time playing with our daughter, whether it be bike riding, jogging, sidewalk chalk on the driveway, reading books, putting puzzles together, or just snuggling on the couch.  Paula-Beth is also an accomplished pianist and flutist and teaches private lessons in our home.  In her free time, she enjoys training for triathlons and working on various craft projects-knitting, sewing, and bow-making.

We have one daughter who is four and truly lives up to her name of being a light-bringer.  She is passionate, enthusiastic, and very happy.  Her smile can truly brighten a room!  One of our favorite times each day is our prayer time as a family.  She prays daily for God to give her a “baby brother and sister.”  Even at such a young age, she understands our family is not complete.

Our family has endured many trials together, and through them God has taught us that He is truly in control.  We have learned to rejoice in answered prayer--Michael was diagnosed with cancer in 2006, and we are so thankful to say he has been cancer free for over five years now!  We have also learned to rejoice even when things do not turn out like we hoped for them to--Paula-Beth’s father passed away in 2007, and it has been so hard to not have him in our lives.  But, no matter the uncertainties in our circumstances, God reminds us that He is constant.  His love, His grace, and His guidance never change, and we are confident that He has gone before us and prepared a path--HIS perfect path--for our family.  We truly hope His path leads us to you and your baby.  We are so excited for what He has in store for all of us!

With all our love and many prayers,
M & P-B