Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Grapes and Grieving

Oh my goodness, I had so much fun this ICLW reading new blogs and getting to make new blogger friends. I can't wait for next month

J and I returned late last night from almost a week in beautiful Napa California visiting with friends. Jeremy and Adam have been friends since elementary school and luckily his wife lisa and I have become firm friends too. They have three of the most fun loving, adorable and lovable kiddos on the planet and we woke up every day to the pitter-patter of their little feet coming to see if we were awake and ready to play!

We had such a great time; relaxing at home, horsing around with the boys, eating great food, discussing our faith, reliving old times and looking through old pictures, drinking good wine and exploring Napa.

We talked about our adoption plans and it was exciting to imagine taking a little one of our own on a visit one day. At the same time a few unresolved feelings about the adoption process decided to show their face. I guess it is like any kind of grieving, you go through the steps (Denial, Anger, Bargaining,Depression and Acceptance) and while it has potential for immeasurable joy, there is certainly grief involved and it certainly showed its face over the past few days.

As we looked through old pictures of our friends our conversation turned to which features we were able to see in their children. It is always amazing to me that genes work in that way and children can resemble both their parents even when the parents do not look at all alike! I always imagined seeing myself in my children, and after I got married I was so excited to think about a little Jeremy running around, I always hoped for a little boy with J's big brown eyes. Another loss. We will likely never get to see ourselves in our children. Suddenly this blow felt like one too many. My patched up heart began to come undone. "It's not fair" rang in my ears. The reality that adoption is not my first choice suddenly began to make me doubt our decision. If I couldn't get my head around this new revelation was adoption really the road for us?

I couldn't help looking down the path we are on and envision getting slapped in the face by more and more dreams that won't come true. Suddenly (potential) recurrent miscarriages or (potential) failed IVF became the less painful options. All the things we are surrendering for adoption seemed to be the things I was clinging most tightly to.

I feel as though the enemy is working his way into my heart, stealing my peace and my joy. I believe this is exactly where God wants us. The feelings of loss are real but the unique joys of adoption are teal too.

And so we continue with our paperwork, and pray that God continues to sustain us in the moments when we feel overwhelmed.

I just want a baby but I need a miracle.

Good thing there was lots of good wine flowing in Napa.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Cast all your paperwork on Him...or something like that!

We just scheduled our 2 hour orientation with our adoption agency. We had already signed up for a training day which is happening the second weekend in September and had to complete the orientation first. We also just got and the official application form. Yes, that's right, the preliminary one was a breeze compared to this!

I know that it could still be months before our fingerprints come back, and I thought they would be what is holding us up but honestly, this paper work is taking way longer than I expected! I am usually someone that just bulldozes my way through it but with all the extra paper work that appeared on our plate (visa, school etc) I have let this take a bit of a back seat.

I know that the orientation and the training will bring adoption stuff back to the fore front of our minds and actions, where we want it to be, so until then I think we can work hard to get the other stuff finished and out of the way.

We celebrated our anniversary a day belated because j had been away on business until late on Monday (Although he did walk through the door with a beautiful bouquet of coloured roses in hand!). We ate at a restaurant called 50 North here in Seattle. It was beyond tasty. Oh my goodness! We do not eat out that often, especially now as we are saving to bring our baby home, but I think we try to appreciate the chance to focus on each other without distraction. We know it won't be this easy forever. We are excited to take a little one out to eat but it will be different. So until then, we appreciate what we have.

It was a special evening, and fun to relive the last couple of years. What have we learned, where have we grown, how are we different? Two years ago, we had no idea that our journey would look the way it has. We could never have dreamed we would have had the strength to walk the path that our marriage has taken. But we have. God has been shaping and molding us. Loving us each step of the way. I know He will continue to be there through the mountains of paperwork and 'to do' lists all the way to our child(ren). It feels good to let go and give all the uncertainty to him.

Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall. Psalm 55:22

Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you
. 1 Peter 5:7

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Math. Yuck. Babies. Yay.

I started back at community college over a year ago to get a general AA degree. I have some qualifications at this level from England in Early Years Care and Education, but they don't really mean much over here in the land I now call home so I wanted to have something academics-wise to my name.

I tested in with an almost perfect score for English, but at the time I had not had a chance to revise to take the math one so I thought I would just register for English based classes, revise the math for a week or so and then come and take it so by my second quarter I would be free to take whichever classes I wanted.
That didn't exactly happen...
A year later and I am just now doing some online research to find some refresher questions to begin with that can help recover some of the math skills that have been hiding, dormant for about 15 years! Luckily my husband is a whiz with numbers and will be a great tutor.

I had a look back at my post from my first day back at college last year and how proud I felt. I had to give myself that same pep talk this week as I registered for classes, "you can do this".

Originally I started back at school imagining I would be pregnant quickly and that I would take classes as I was raising little ones (you know something to keep my brain active so I could have something more in there than just diapers and baby talk). That didn't happen, well technically it did. The pregnancies came, they just never lasted long enough to leave us a baby.

Now we are on our adoption journey, I am eager to get school out of the way as quickly as possible. I want to be ready to give our baby all the time in the world. Just to sit and rock this precious gift without worrying about assignments being due. I know homework will become insignificant once motherhood is bestowed on me in this way. I have fears about how attachment will happen with our baby, and I want to just be together with no other agenda than to fall in love.

I have another year or year and a half to go for school. It will be a busy, busy time but I am hoping it will help pass the time until we get that life-changing phone call that a birth mother has chosen us to parent her child. I am well aware that I could be well graduated before that happens, but it would be the perfect graduation gift!

Of course we would love to be matched quickly but another part of me would just like to get school out of the way so I can fully embrace everything baby without the nagging feeling that I should be doing homework. Not to mention, I am sure my grades would reflect the sleepless nights that come with a baby!

I wonder what the odds are that we get a baby before I finish my classes? Perhaps if I study hard for the math placement test I will be able to figure it out? ha ha

Happy Tuesday!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Second Anniversary

I cannot believe that today we are celebrating our second wedding anniversary. What crazy ride it has been so far!

I waited for along time to meet my Prince but boy, I just wish I had known how much God would out do himself when he brought Jeremy into my life. It would have made the waiting easier. And something of that lesson is a comfort as I think ahead to the child God will bring into our lives.

This year has been tough. But I love my husband more today than I did this time last year, and much more than the day we said "I do". I never thought that would be possible, but I am so glad it is.

There have definitely been growing pains in our second year, we have faced up to some pieces of ourselves which are not so pretty but in one another we have found constant love, forgiveness and grace. And in each other we find the strength to be transformed. To become more of the people God designed to be. To model honesty, generosity, integrity, hospitality, love, forgiveness to our community and the world.

I think our home has mirrored our marriage. When we bought the house, it was livable. We thought we knew what we were getting into!

After we moved in we discovered stains on the carpet that we hadn't noticed before and had to do a pretty big renovation to replace it all after we realised we couldn't just cover it up.

And then there are the other improvements wee have made. We have smoothed rough walls and changed their colours, found furniture that works for us and begun to feel more comfortable here.

It's taken two years to get to this comfortable point in our house. And in our marriage.

We got married thinking we knew what was coming. We found some issues that didn't surface until after we had been married a little while and they were not something we could live with and we had to take action to make changes. Then we got into a rhythm, we began to work together and now we are starting to feel really comfortable in the skin of our marriage.

Sadly, J had a last minute business trip to L.A. which he left for yesterday afternoon but he's back tonight. It feels sad not wake up on our anniversary in the same bed, but we woke up in different beds on our wedding day too. (I was in the house we now call home so my bridesmaids could all come and get ready here, and J had to sleep on the bed in his parents trailer because the beds in their house were full of our of town family visiting for the wedding, Oh memories! ha ha

I really wanted to add a couple of pics from our day - I mean, who doesn't love a good wedding picture? But they are not on this computer, so instead, here is a link to the first post on this blog from two years ago with a couple of my faves from the day. Enjoy!

Happy Anniversary my love, I can't wait to see what year three holds!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Our story so far..

(Most recently updated, Feb 2012)

Recently, I have seen some exciting jumps in the number of hits that the blog is getting. Thank you all for dropping by! I wanted to write a post which gave a basic overview of our story to becomming parents to catch you up on what's happening with us. But first let me introduce myself.

I am Chrissie.

Born and raised in South London until I picked up sticks and headed to Seattle, Washington in 2002.

Married to Jeremy, a born and bred Seattle-ite (I guess I am here to stay!)

Love Jesus with all my heart and try hard to live a life that reflects Him.

My kitchen is my happy place and I love nothing more than creating deliciousness.

Creeping from early-30's to mid-30's too quickly for my liking!

Here is our story to becomming a family of 3...

In Feb 2010 Jeremy I am lost our first pregnancy at 6 weeks. It had been an unplanned pregnancy but the loss cut deep and our pregnancy innocence was taken from us. This loss also made us realise how much we wanted to start a family. That July we began trying again, and couldn't believe it when we fell pregnant right away, but just before six weeks our second pregnancy ended. Our doctor advised us we didn't need to wait to try again and that two early losses didn't mean there was a problem, it could just be bad luck...
In August we were more cautious when those two line appeared on our test, but our tears feel when this pregnancy also ended as it neared the six week mark.

At this time my OBGYN ran a ton of blood work and other tests, and also referred me to a fertility specialist. We have truly been blessed with doctors who have taken time to really try to help us.

Our fertility specialist told us to stop trying while they ran the tests, so we took a couple of months off while we waited.

Tests came back, and everything was ok except hubby's swimmers had a little morphology issue. Our doc was confused because usually with this abnormality, people do not conceive for a very long time, if ever (naturally) but we had not fallen into that category...

Our doctor prescribed Progesterone supplements from 3 days after ovulation until a 14 dpo unless we got a positive in which case we would continue taking it. My levels had been low when they had done blood work during my pregnancies, and she hoped that this could be a simple supplement which could help sustain the pregnancies if they ere viable.

Back to TTC in December 2010, using progesterone for the first time, and this time when we got a positive test we were almost numb, and expecting the worst...which came true at 6 weeks.

At this time our doctor increased the Progesterone dose and we went back to trying. When I took at test at 14dpo in January 2011 there was only one line. It was the first month since we started trying to have a baby that we had not got pregnant. I was honestly in shock.

I reasoned that a month off could be in my body's best interest. But when that first months negative was repeated again and again my resolve to be positive got weaker and weaker. Hoping each month we would get pregnant and that it could be the time that eventually led to our baby was just too hard when our hearts broke a little with each period that showed up.

We set a time line of August 2011, if we had not fallen pregnant by then, we would consider our options and start a new journey, either fertility treatments or adoption.

By the time August arrived, Jeremy and I both felt God leading us down a path towards adoption as a way to build our family. And we began the journey towards a domestic with excited hearts, but open eyes that this will take strength we do not possess on our own. We are living in God's story, and He is writing something unique and beautiful for our family. We know this may take some time but we are willing to wait for the child God has in mind and we are already praying for our baby and for their birth parents. We understand that for our family to be built another person will make the ultimate sacrifice, a selfless act of making an adoption plan for a baby they love but cannot care for, and for that situation we pray because it will take such courage and strength.

....And then in mid November 2011 after a funny feeling, I felt God's urging to take a pregnancy test which I did. Positive. And not only that, when we had blood work, numbers were doubling at a great rate, early scans showed a normal healthy baby growing in me. We are beyond grateful for this precious miracle, and pray God continues to bless myself and the the baby with health. Our due date is August 2nd 2012, and we couldn't be more thrilled or more humbled by the gift we have been given by the God who loves us.

Thanks for stopping by, please leave a comment to let me know you were here.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Secret Thoughts of an Adoptive Mother

And onto a different topic...If you know me at all, you will know how a good book can have me MIA until I have read something cover to cover. Once we had made the decision to adopt, I began to compile a book list that would give me some more insight into what this could and world mean for our lives and I was eager to get started. Our agency suggested one book to start with and I had got it from the library, all ready to start reading once my final school assignments were handed in.

The book is called, 'Secret thoughts of an adoptive mother' by Jana Wolfe. It is the author's story of adopting her son. It is beautiful, and kept me out of commission for about 3 hours last night while I read it through. I felt very encouraged to read another adoptive mother's thoughts, the good, the bad and the ugly - it was comforting to know others who have walked this path have had similar thoughts.

There is much to process, and many many blog post which can be written from the pages of this book.

I could not read this book fast enough, I could hear myself loud and clear in Jana's words especially in the first few chapters where she and her husband are struggling with infertility and moving on to the adoption process. As I was reading page after page after page, one sentence stopped me in my tracks.

Jana and her husband had been chosen by a birthmother who was due to give birth in a month and Jana was visiting her mother to go shopping to prepare for their little one's arrival. As they wandered the aisles of the baby store, finding the items that would be best, Jana reflected how bitter sweet it was. "Every thought of this baby to come was also a reminder of the baby that never came" (46-47)

I tried to read the sentence to J but the words caught in my throat, and tears came before the words did.

Most of my emotion regarding our adoption process so far can be summed up in those few words. I am truly excited for the journey ahead, but I am still grieving the loss of our pregnancies and the loss of hope that J and I will ever welcome a child genetically related to us, and the real possibility that I will never carry a child in my body.

In my heart they are separate. Our journey to parenthood via adoption is a happy thing. It has many unknowns, but we genuinely feel this is a path God has set before us, and we are grateful for the comfort we have found in starting this journey and the hope it renews in our lives.
Our loss is still real and raw. It has changed us. It has humbled us. Brought us to our knees and forced us to find strength we never knew we had. Adoption can't heal the loss. Time helps. Prayer and love and most of all Jesus are the only things that provide true comfort but even then there is no one-time fix. Our wounds are real. Healing, but real.

Walking around Toys R us earlier to buy a gift for a friend, I found myself wandering around some of the baby supplies. For the first time in a year, I felt excited that one day I would be able to shop for a baby that would be calling me mama. And then I found myself at the baby formula shelf and I was comparing prices and checking labels for ingredients...of course, I only want the best for our baby. Suddenly, a reality hit me. If I had given birth to a baby, 'the best' would be breast milk, not organic, all natural (very expensive) formula. And suddenly my joy felt like it was momentarily swallowed up by the hole in my heart.

It feels like a huge truth. One that sneaks up on me multiple times a day in all kinds of expected and unexpected ways. It's hard to hold both of those feelings at once, but that seems to be part of the job description of an infertile adoptive mother.

I would highly recommend this book to any women in the adoption process. Any other book suggestions ladies? I would love to hear your recommendations.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Fingerprint news...

Thanks so much for your comments, suggestions and prayers about my fingerprint re-do this morning. I do not have the best news to share. I had a different lady take my prints and she was just not as good. She didn't look at my hands at all before she printed them, I was nervous, so the offer of a paper towel would have been appreciated. The paper was not tight in the holder and I had some boxes filled with JUST smudges, no line at all. Still, before I saw this I asked her how they looked and she said they looked good, "but you never know what will happen when they put them through the machine." No. It didn't fill me with hope. Especially when I then compared them to the first set - and in my humble, untrained eye, they had a much better chance getting an accurate reading from the fist set (which already had it's own excused note from it's mum)

Anyway, I said a prayer and mailed them off. So now we wait those 8-10 weeks and hope and pray that they get a good reading. Please Jesus.
I am fearful that this will be the thing that holds up our process. I DO NOT want to have to re-do them again and then wait another 8-10. Humph, *insert pouty face here.

So that's the update. Praying for a miracle. Both sets of prints to be accepted and approved.

We have an orientation meeting at our agency in the next couple of weeks and then a training day in early September. So that should take my mind off the waiting. I think that having stuff to do is a great distraction. We have been just twiddling our thumbs for so long that filling out forms is actually an enjoyable experience as we can feel as though our time is not being wasted, but actually doing something intentional and will get us closer to starting our family. Guess we are really doing this!! *insert much happier face

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

What's for Dinner Wednesday - Summer Cherry Salsa

This is not a meal but it is a fantastic, refreshing and summery snack treat. I am a big fan of making salsa with different fruits and vegetables. Last year my strawberry avocado was a big hit at summer BBQ's! This year however, my absolute favourite summer fruit, the cherry, has top billing.

I know this recipe might seem a little strange, but as I have said before, trust me. It is DELICIOUS.
While it is totally possible to make this without a cherry pitter I can never go back now I have found how handy this little gadget is. As I mentioned, cherries are my fave and we get through many a pound, in pies and cobblers and just munching through the summer and so it was a great investment!


1 lb sweet dark cherries
3/4 C red onion, diced in 1/8-inch pieces
6 T Balsamic vinegar
1-2 jalapeno peppers, depending on how hot you like it. I only used half a pepper, seeded and minced.
1 C basil leaves, finely chopped
1 C Italian parsley leaves, finely chopped
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper
3/4 tsp sugar

In a small bowl, combine onions with vinegar and let mellow for 20-30 minutes. Wash, stem, pit and quarter the cherries. Combine the cherries with the vinegar mixture and remaining ingredients.
Refrigerate until ready to use.
Serve with tortilla chips and enjoy.

(Recipe from the Full Circle Farm newsletter, July 2011)

Monday, August 15, 2011

Fingerprint Fail

Our adoption paperwork has been plodding along nicely. Timing for classes and such have fallen into place in a way that allows us a pretty quick process so far. And then today happened.

We got our paperwork notarized, got our official bank checks and took it all downtown early this morning to get our fingerprints taken and sent off to be checked by the folks at the FBI. This process takes 8-10 weeks and we wanted to get it started quickly so it would not be the thing that held us up. If there is an issue with your prints they return them and then you have to do them again and wait another 8-10 weeks to see if they pass the next time. I had a friend who's prints failed multiple times before they conceded and retina scanned her or something to prove she was who she said she was and had never done anything terrible (*I am pretty sure she was not retina scanned, that was just added for dramatic effect - I have not idea how she finally satisfied this criteria)

There was a lovely British lady working at the fingerprint counter, that made me feel at ease. However, it didn't seem to help us get good prints.

Sadly, as she rolled my blackened fingers across the card she commented about how flat they were. By the end, she says she is 100% sure they will be rejected. She even attached an official waver to the sheet which pretty much says, "I did the best I could with these dehydrated digits and I know they aren't good but do what you can"

So I asked if I could try again later this week and she said yes. Drink lots of water and use lots of hand lotion and then come back on Friday. So I put a call in to our agency and they are sending another sheet. So on Friday i will head back down and try again. I guess waiting a few more days to try and get a good sample is better than waiting 8-10 weeks to be rejected and then having to do the whole thing over again but I am nervous my prints are just crappy and all my computer typing and stuff has rubbed away the potential for a good set of prints!

It's silly, but not really. If it comes to mind, please say a quick prayer for us that I can get a good set of prints when I go back later this week so we can send off a good set.

Of course, she told Jeremy his set was one of the best she had ever printed.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

What's for dinner Wednesday - Zesty Quinoa with Broccoli and Cashews

It's been a while since I posted something from my kitchen, but this one is worth the wait! It's been sunny here, so lots of thrown together salads have been on the menu in our house. Deliciousness.
This is a tasty treat, full of things that make your body happy, healthy and strong!

I love quinoa (pronounced KEEN-wah) and since I discovered it, I have been constantly on the hunt for good recipes. It can taste a tad bland sometimes, but this recipe delivers on the 'zesty' in it's name.


1/2 cup sundried tomatoes (not packed in oil) I only had a jar where they were in oil, and using them worked great, but I am sure they added more fat to the recipe! If you use the ones in oil, they do not need to be soaked, just cut them and add them)
1 1/2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth, divided
1 cup finely chopped red onion
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
3/4 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 cup uncooked quinoa
2 cups small broccoli florets
1/2 cup roasted cashew pieces
2 green onions, thinly sliced


Soak sundried tomatoes in hot water to cover for 15 minutes to soften them, then drain and chop. Bring 1/2 cup broth to a simmer in a medium pot over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic and cook for 5 minutes. Add chopped sundried tomatoes, remaining 1 cup broth, wine and lemon juice and bring to a boil. Stir in quinoa. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 20 minutes.

Arrange broccoli on top of quinoa, cover and simmer for an additional 10 minutes. Remove from heat and toss gently to combine. Serve garnished with cashews and green onions.


Monday, August 8, 2011

All God's Children

Please take some time to prayerfully consider this post...

Many years ago, long before I came to Seattle God broke my heart for the orphans in China. I knocked on some doors with organizations going over to work with the orphans, but at the time nothing opened up. Eventually God led me to be Seattle to be part of YWAM here, and one of the major draws for this particular program was that they listed China as an outreach option. (Of course when I arrived, there was not a team going to China that year, but I truly believed that God put that passion in my heart to bring me across the ocean to Seattle)

Anyway, over the years my passions have evolved but there has always been a little bit of it reserved for the orphans of China.

Our very good friends, Tim and Sarah also have a passion for the orphans in China. And in recent years, I have watched the way God has been speaking to their hearts about caring for these little ones. They wanted to do something special for their daughters first birthday in May 2010 and asked party guests to give money to New Day Foster Home instead of gifts. New Day is a very special organization that works to care for China's orphaned and abandoned. Many of the children they care for have health problems and New Day offers care and medical help too. However, they are limited by a lack of funds, and many of the children need surgeries and medical care while they wait to be adopted by their forever families.

Recently, Sarah was a part of a campaign to raise money to send clothes to the girls at the New Day Foster home, such a special gift to give to these little girls and make them feel special and like someone cares.

I got an email from Sarah the other day with another great way to help these orphans. New Day has a fundraiser happening right now for medical treatment for the orphans in their care - and really exciting, that a doner has agreed to match everything that is raised up to $5000!!! This could make a HUGE impact on the lives of these children.

As a rule, I do not post fundraiser on my blog but this is personal to me. As Jeremy and I crunch numbers and refine our budget to finance our adoption in the same way we would have found a way to make IVF or fertility treatment happen, I am very aware of how fiercely I am willing to fight to give my child everything.

In the process of adoption, the reality that every child belongs to God has become even more real to me. And suddenly, every orphan becomes like a child that we could bring into our home, and a little piece of my mama's heart goes out to them and wants to meet their needs. I think this most recent fundraiser, which will bring health, healing and increased quality of life to these little ones really struck a chord with me. If we knew that our child was in need of a surgery we would sacrifice to make it happen, and while we are not seeking to adopt from China, a part of me takes responsibility as a mother to care for them in the small way that I can. In this case that means being able to give to this cause (especially because our donation will be matched!)

I know that many of you, like us, are on a budget. But please prayerfully consider this opportunity to give, even in a small way - remember your gift will be doubled!

I have put links throughout the blog so you can read up on some of the things and people I have talked about. Please do! I am not an advocate for many organisations but New Day Foster Home is a place that I am proud to support because they are being the hands and feet of Jesus to these little ones.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Artist of Heaven

A man’s heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps. Proverbs 16:9

This verse has become a little bit of a mantra for me over this past year. I have quoted it in conversations almost daily this week as we move forward with our adoption plans and I am facing the reality that we have some tough decisions to make. We cannot control the health of our child. We may adopt a child of a different race. There are so many things I worry that I won't be able to cope with and honestly, so many thing I just don't want to have to cope with. Time and again, God's gentle whispers remind me that the control I believe I have in my life is really just an illusion. I would not have as much control as I imagine over a biological child. I cannot ensure the details. Our family is growing in God's way.

J and I were talking the other day about some of my fears and he asked if I had considered that God may be asking our family to look different than I imagined. That if I stopped trying to plan all the details, then the potential of a child who would not live up to them would b=not seem so scary. My husband is not a man of many words, unlike me, the spouse suffering from verbal diarrhea on a regular basis, but boy, when he speaks I have learned to turn my ear and listen. It was almost an off handed comment. He wasn't expecting it to be a life altering moment, but I have not been able to get it out of my mind.

If I just plan to have a family and truly leave the details with God, I have nothing to be afraid of. What ever problems our future children may have, we will deal with it as and when it comes along and that will be our reality. Our expectation can be that God will give us exactly what we need at the time we need it and if we are living in His strength, we can trust everything will be for our good and for His glory.

This is not as easy lesson. This post is not claiming victory over these fears and concerns just yet, but when I opened my devotional this morning and saw that this was the verse for the day I knew I had to share a little of my heart and the lessons God has been teaching me recently.

I have seen so many friends begin their journey of parenthood and be faced with a reality that is nothing like they expected. I know that we will also have to walk through that too, and maybe even a little more because our child will be adopted but we are trying to get our hearts truly ready for what's to come.

This weekend J and I spent our first night under canvas this year and it was fabulous. The weather has just not been good for fair weather campers until recently. The sunshine was not super obvious yesterday but it was warm, and this morning when we woke up it was glorious so all is forgiven!! We spent a couple of hours at the street fair and then came back to the camp to enjoy the sun. But only briefly before I had to retreat to the cool air conditioned lodge and J went our for a ride on his bike.

It's a good day to be alive. And today we are full of joyful anticipation for the future and true appreciation for the present. God is good all the time. As we map out the outline of our live, He is there filling it in with a rainbow of glorious colour. We don't know what it will look like but the Artist of heaven is painting a perfect picture on the canvas of our lives.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Overwhelmed (in a good way!)

Wow! Thank you so much! Since our post yesterday, we have been completely overwhelmed by the outpouring of support and love. We are excited to think about how may of you are praying for our family and how incredible it will be for our babies to know how much love and prayer was surrounding them before they were ever officially in our family.

Clearly, it takes a village to adopt a child as well as raise one and we are so thankful for your care and prayers!

We received our initial application today and can start the process of filling that out. It feels real. Daunting and exciting all at once. We are trying to remain sensitive to the Lord's leading at each step. We feel confident is His call but the specifics are all still unclear.

We are dreaming Big Dreams and it's really fun. Over the past year we had lost some of the excitement and stopped dreaming. Having a baby was something surrounded by loss and grief and our hope was fading fast. Dreams and wonderings we once shared aloud, had become too painful to verbalise. We have been given back our dreams, and our conversations have already started up again!

Last night at dinner with close friends, Jeremy was so attentive to their little one. He has always loved their little guy, but something was different last night. I think he was really starting to let himself imagine being a Daddy. It just melted my heart.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

A different kind of announcement!

I just officially updated my 'About me' to include this little fact...I guess it's more than that. It's a pretty big deal. So here goes...

This is probably not a announcement that will come as a surprise for anyone I have had conversations with in the last month. Apparently, even before we had made the decision to adopt, my thought process was telling everyone else that is where we were being led! Funny how God can speak through our own words even before we are aware of what He is saying!

We met with our adoption agency this morning; asked lots of questions and heard lots of information. It's going to be a long process. It can take many months to even get our paperwork in, and after our names are officially in the pot the average wait with out agency at the moment is 18-24 months to get matched with an expectant mother (but it could take longer). We have many, many papers to fill out, questions to answer, and after all that is completed we have to wait. Put it in God's hands all over again, and trust that He will bring our baby to us in His perfect time.

So that is what is ahead for us.

We are truly excited. There is so much that has brought us to this place; many things we had to walk through, many fears to surrender and many hopes to embrace. But here we are and we trust that this is God's plan for our family. We have not ruled out all the other options for the future, and we do not know how God will move, but for now they seem to have faded into the background as this became the clear path for us to walk down.

I was excited and nervous before our meeting this morning. Questions ran through my head, "Are we really doing this, are we ready?", "How did we get to this place?" A part of me was so happy, but there is certainly a part of me that feet grieved too. I shed some tears as the reality that our child will most likely have been exposed to some drugs or alcohol in the womb sank in. It is so sad to imagine. After our baby is in our care, we can and will do everything to protect them but we are helpless to protect them before they are ours. We will live with the consequences of another persons actions forever in our home; this is true because our child will be a result of those consequences, but also because the challenges our child may face will also be there. This is a reality of adoption, an opportunity to grow in faith, but a very painful way to experience God's promises. I have to trust that the strength, grace and faith needed to parent which ever child God selects for us, will come from Him as we need it, because it certainly feels overwhelming to consider today. Again, God is asking us to surrender to His plans, ans trust His provision. And certainly, we are already praying for our baby and God's protection to be powerfully surrounding him or her!

I had felt so sure of God's direction in pursuing adoption, but I already sense fear creeping in. I am fighting with not wanting this to be our life. Feeling like God made this decision without asking my permission. Yes, I really just wrote, I know of course that God does not need my permission to do anything, but usually He is so gentle, and this infertility stuff feels too harsh to be a part of Him. Why does it have to be like this?

I believe that I am being asked, once again to surrender to His greater, perfect plan. Am I willing to do it? In all the fear I know I have to quiet my heart and listen for that still small voice. Trusting that this fear is truly the enemy's dissuasion. The call to adopt is a gift and wouldn't he just love it if we turned away at the first hurdle? Not going to happen.

My husband has been my rock. He continues to hold me close and tell me it's going to be ok - I believe it when he tells me. His words can often be the vessel God chooses to bring peace to my heart, and in this adoption process, it is no different. J has been on the adoption band wagon for a while now, just waiting for me to take my seat. His faith is firm and strong and his understanding of what God is asking of us is much clearer than my own. His confidence in God in the midst of this crazy journey does not seem to waver in the way mine does. (I blame hormones!) J's words and actions continue to turn my eyes back to Jesus in such a gentle way, and I am thankful that he is such a constant home for my heart.

So here we are. Our first forms to fill out on the table beside me. Yikes.

So now we what we can and then we can put it in God's hands and trust Him.

"Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever!" Ephesians 3:20-21

Monday, August 1, 2011

It's Kind of a Funny Story

We spent the best part of Saturday soaking up the 80 degree sunshine and laying on the beach. By evening we were wiped and decided to give our Seattle skin a break and watch a movie. Off to Red Box we headed and after scrolling back past the newest releases we found 'It's Kind of Funny Story.'
I didn't have high expectations but I can honestly say it is one of the best movies I have seen in a really long time.
It's a about a 16 year old boy who checks himself into a psychiatric hospital after feeling suicidal. I know, it doesn't sound lighthearted and at it's core there are some big subjects covered but over all it is a beautiful and uplifting story.
There are some very funny moments, you'll laugh. And when the movie is over my spirits were lifted and I was inspired to embrace the life I have and fight to overcome the things that threaten to drag me down.

I would encourage any of you looking for a good movie to end your day to try it out.

I can't help but think how that movie title is so appropriate for so many of our lives. If someone asks me, "How did you end up in Seattle?" I have to start my reply with, "well, it's kinds of a funny story...".

I see God's plans coming to fruition through the wonderful times in my life, and also see him shaping my heart and my life through the trials. My days have not only been full of smiles, but they have held their share of tears too. My life has certainly not turned out the way I would have planned it. I love my life, it's perfect even on days when it is not. But how I got here is still sometimes a mystery. It is so clear to me that my life is a story God is writing. I have decisions to make but truly God is working through me; in and through my decisions he is transforming me, revealing more of himself, and leading me into abundant life.

When I look back of the 'funny story' of my life I can find peace that whatever path we take towards parenthood. We are meeting with an adoption agency tomorrow, with the plan to begin this exciting new adventure as the way we will first add to our family. It's been a decision many years in the making, but we truly believe that this is the step God is asking us to take. We do not know where it will take us, but I am sure one day when we are sitting with our kids and they ask us about how God brought our family together we are going to say, "well, It's kind of a funny story!"

It's exciting to think that our meeting tomorrow may be the prelude to our baby story!


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