Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Not trying to keep you hanging...

Know we are hanging right there with you!

After getting the word that the expectant mother wanted to see our book, we printed out our letters to her and the other information we needed to have attached in the book and then dropped it at our adoption office at about 7am (before it opened, we just slid it under the door! But we wanted it to be there first thing!) And they sent it off.

The baby is still going to be born just as soon, we may just not have a s much notice if we were to be chosen and that is kinda stressing me out. I have another couple of weeks left of school and finals and stuff so I am trying to stay focused but that's easier said than done.

This advent season is all about anticipation for us and I am trying to draw closer to God in this time of waiting. Trying to hear his voice and remember his promises. I trust his plan is for our best and our anticipation only builds as we more deeply understand this truth.

Having been feeling a little off lately I am raring to get on with the Christmas festivities. I am about to whip up a batch of sugar cookies for tomorrow nights ladies night and I will be accompanied in my Christmas baking by a Lifetime Christmas movie of some sort! Promise to let you know any news when we do! I am feeling fairly peaceful that this is not our time, but of course we would be thrilled if it was.

Monday, November 28, 2011

More waiting!

When I saw our caseworkers number on my phone call I braced myself to hear, "she has chosen another couple"

Instead, I heard, "Her pregnancy counselor called and wants you to send your full profile book (we had just sent our basic profile sheet before because our books are still in transit!)

So now, we have to get our books over to the office to send out first thing tomorrow. I guess she still wants to see us. However, our caseworker did say that lots of people had agreed to be shown to her, so she may well chose another family before our book makes it to her but as of today she is still undecided.

And we can't quite relax just yet. I am ok with that. I know I would have been sad to hear we have not been chosen, but i am praying that she at least has a chance to see our profile before she decides.

Jesus, I know you have this. We have been waiting so long for your gift of a child and are praying that if this is that child then your plan will come to be.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

In the waiting

Feeling kinda yucky today. I have been a bit under the weather this whole week. I am not sure if its a physical reaction to the reality that our profile is being shown, as my mother suggested, or simply doing too much while living in a cold and wet city! Either way, the weather is a good reflection of how I am feeling.

I am trying to go on with life as normal. Planning meals for the week, and grocery shopping. Getting Christmas gifts wrapped and ready to mail home to England (really must get on that!) and making dates with friends for dinner or coffee or game night as we embrace the holiday season as a reason for fun. But it is hard to keep my mind distracted. The uncertainty just sucks all my energy.

I had a spurt of energy just now and tidied away our Christmas decoration boxes so all that is left is pretty decorations. That's a good thing but it did take me two days.

I am hosting a Christmas ladies night, for the ladies from my church this week so I wanted to have decorations up for that. At least now I know that all I will have to do to get ready for the party is to give the bathroom a wipe over and the carpet a quick vacuum! There will be baking too, but that isn't s chore to find enthusiasm for!

Last week Joann fabrics had a free shipping day, so I took full advantage and ordered some lolly pop sticks (which were already on sale) to try my hand at making cake pops, or something similar. I have a recipe for chocolate-mint ones, which look so cute, so we will see if they turn out well. I like having an excuse to try fun treats when I am not going to get left eating them all!

I really dislike feeling this lack of energy during this season. I love all things Christmas so I know I am feeling off when I am forcing myself to jingle! Hoping that a new week will give us certain answers about this adoption situation, and that I can find joy in the wait. Joy, and an appetite for Christmas cookies!! ha ha

Saturday, November 26, 2011


I have struggled to blog this week. I would love to blame the holiday business but truthfully, I have always wanted this blog to be an open book of our lives. God is doing wonderful things, out of the ashes comes beauty again and again. I do not believe in leaving out the bad stuff, but it can also be hard to share all the good stuff. I was always rubbish at keeping secrets and the adoption journey requires that we may often be in a situation that could lead to our lives changing. The dilemma comes as we have to decide to share if an when we are being considered by a birth mother. I had always thought I would want to keep these situations private so as not to let our hope get away from us. As if, once it was written down as a possibility, it would be too hard to take it back if we didn't get chosen.

In the past few days this has been the opposite of our experience. Our home study is pretty much complete and on Tuesday our caseworker called and asked if we would consider being shown to a birth mother delivering her baby very soon, and in a state far, far, away. There are many details which I cannot share because the cases are confidential but needless to say it felt like a huge decision and suddenly, I didn't want to be making it without the prayers of our community. We shared with our closest friends and made the decision to say we would be considered.

So now I am sharing that same information with you.

We are not putting much stock in being chosen, which is why I am typing this blog and not turning our office into a nursery, but how fun would it be if it did work out?! Fun. Well, crazy maybe. We are low on the list to be shown, and she may chose a family before she even gets to see our information but we agreed to be considered so there is a vague possibility.

Please say a prayer with us; for the birth parents to find peace with their decision and to feel certain when they find the profile of the 'right' adoptive parents for their baby. Please also pray especially for health for the baby. There are some pretty big concerns. Whoever adopts this precious life, I want this child to live a full and healthy life.

I will be sure to let you know if we hear anything more about this baby. I guess this is just the start of dipping our toes in the selection and matching process of adoption. Exciting, hopeful and totally surreal.

In other news, we decorated our Christmas tree today. I love the glistening and sparkling of the lights everywhere. My tree looks great, but the living room has a layer of tissue paper all over from unwrapping ornaments. I am avoiding clearing it up by blogging, making tea, and anything else I can think of. I guess I can't ignore it forever!

Thanks for reading, and for your prayers.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Post Thanksgiving Thanks

Yesterday was Thanksgiving, and I had nothing on that tryptophan! It knocked me out. Twice. Once on the floor next to the fireplace, and once as soon as my head even saw the pillow of the bed!

What a lovely day. Walked around the lake with friends. A tradition I have come to just love. The rain even held off until we were almost done which made the ho chocolate reward at the end even more delightful. Then home to put finishing touches on some dishes we were bringing to Jeremy's parents house for our Thanksgiving dinner.

Joined by family and friends, and a 25lb turkey, we feasted and were thankful.

Even though our life this past year has not looked the way we would have planned it, we are still so blessed. We have strong community in our family and friends who bring joy to our lives more than we can ever express.

Our story is still being written, and we are thankful that we can trust God to bring all the loose ends together as we entrust our future family into his hands.

Hoping you had a happy thanksgiving too. Must go, we are off to cut down the Christmas tree!!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Happy ICLW

Hello if you are joining today from ICLW, so glad you are here, welcome. Make yourself at home. I look forward to getting to know you are join you on your journey to and through parenthood. It's a crazy ride. Well, the getting there bit is proving to be a crazy ride for my hubby and I.

We hope to be officially "paper pregnant" but the beginning of December with our home study approved and our profile books ready for viewing by prospective birth mothers. I think we are both still a little in awe that this could really be happening so soon. Although it has actually taken a long time to get here, and we know it is only just the start of our next step, it is still exciting, thrilling and completely never wracking to think about!

This week I hope to leave some of the baby thinking and planning behind and get more fully into the holiday and Thanksgiving spirit. I have a lovely list of deliciousness to create in my kitchen and I am almost giddy to get on with it! I just have to suck it up and get on with some revision for my big important French test on Wednesday. Oh well! It will all be worth it in the end.

I would love to know who is stopping by so please leave a comment so I can connect with your blog too.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Blah and choices

My body is feeling blah today. I carry my emotional processing in my physical body, and even though the lessons God teaches can bring me peace my body still has some catching up to get there. I guess this is the burden of an anxiety sufferer. It could be worse, but today I am feeling pretty yucky, maybe not yucky, just heavy-hearted and well, blah.

I thought I would try and shake of the blah by running some errands. They included shopping for 'the perfect' paper and envelopes to stick into our profile books and print out our letters to the birth parents and our profile information sheet. They had to be just right. Not that I am obsessive or anything! So this fun sounding little jaunt ended up being much more stressful than I anticipated - self inflicted, of course.

It is silly, but I went back and forth, "what if the birth mother likes purple and we use a purple envelope and that is what draws her to our book? What is she thinks our colours are too boring and doesn't choose us because of that? On and on...our trip to Paper Source was longer than expected. We left with some fairly neutral colours, but I think they will look nice with the colours in the book and they are light enough that when we print the letters, they will be legible.

According to the UPS tracker our photo books will be here sometime this week or early next week, So we have until then to complete and tweak our letters. And then, that's it. Done. Waiting.

I feel as though our advent devotionals this year will have even more meaning than usual as we anticipate the arrival of our own child and remember the anticipation of Mary, and the longing world we waiting for baby Jesus all those years ago.

The fear and the unknown, the hope the joy and the peace. These feeling will resonate with us more deeply than ever this year.

We also shopped for our Thanksgiving feast, I am making cranberry cherry sauce, roasted sweet potatoes and Apples with bourbon glaze, mashed yams with goat cheese, and a fruit salad with pomegranate and mango it looks amazing! I love doing a pot luck type thing because we all get to create in the kitchen but no one gets stressed out because we are doing too much to enjoy the day. Hoping the busy few days at school, which include a french test (eeek!) will shake off the blah so I can embrace all the delights of thankfulness that are to come at the end of the week as we gather with family and friends.

What did you get up to this weekend?

Saturday, November 19, 2011


In many ways I have been able to find peace with the possibility that I may not carry a baby to term in my body, but it is still hard to wrap my head around how my faith in a God of love, hope and miracles would chose this to be the road I walk.

A friend, pregnant with her second child made the comment the other day, "I don't know why I deserve to have two healthy children when some people can't have kids." It struck me because I often have that some thought when I hear about a women who in my eyes is undeserving of a healthy pregnancy, for whatever reason I am judging her - some more valid determiners that others, but nevertheless not my responsibility to decide their deservability! Why do they deserve this gift? And why don't I deserve it?

The truth, is that my friend did nothing to deserve her two healthy babies, and in fact she does not deserve them. That sounds harsh even as I write it, but it help me find the truth. She doesn't deserve to be a mother, she doesn't deserve healthy babies but she was blessed with the gift of children. It was not through her own works. And in the same way, I do not deserve to have a baby of my own. I have done nothing to deserve it anymore than I have done something to un-deserve it, and I can do nothing to persuade God to give me another chance at motherhood viability.

Children are only ever a gift from God.

I was thinking over this in the shower, and God brought the passage to mind of the workers it the vineyard (Matthew 20:1-16). I think it's funny because this passage has always bothered me. I know the message that is being taught is true but the I struggle because I identify so much with the workers that complain they are being treated unfairly. I suppose this is way God brought it up today!

Jesus says, "But he answered one of them, ‘I am not being unfair to you, friend. Didn’t you agree to work for a denarius?" (A denarius is the daily wage for a laborer) I am saved by faith, and will live with Jesus eternally in heaven. God will be with me through trials, he will be my strength when I am weak, and he will protect me from the enemy. These are his promises to me. I have done nothing to deserve them, but they are gifts freely given. I worry that God likes me less because I can't have a baby, I worry that people imagine some hidden sin that is preventing us from being in God's will, but I have to stand on the truth that is simply, God's ways are not my ways. He is a just God. My only job is to trust him, and to be obedient to the calling he has put on my life.

I do not get what I deserve. Thank goodness because I would be in big trouble. I am saved by his grace. Undeserved, but received with thankfulness.

Lord, please help my jealous heart to be transformed. Please instill in me that your love cannot be seen only in the fruit of a pregnancy. Open my eyes more and more to your gifts given so freely that we may have an abundant life. My heart is yours.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Water and Rest, Lessons in Trust

Getting closer, we finished our profile book! It is not perfect ans as soon as I hit 'order' I thought of something I wanted to change. Then the first thought in my head when I woke up the next morning was something else I had forgotten to change. Oh well. Too late now. Good thing there is grace to cover even those mistakes! I know the Lord will not let that be the defining factor in us becomming parents.

As we edge closer and closer to being approved I feel my anxiety rising. We have wanted this for so long. Too long. This has been the longest 'conception' ever. Yet no as the reality is about to hit I am afraid. All the boxes we checked about the health risks we would be willing to consider seem overwhelming and I want to shout that I have changed my mind. I want only a perfect baby. I want to be in control of our family's future. I have a picture in my mind that I do not want to surrender.

When we are officially paper pregnant, probably in a couple of weeks, we will begin to hear about birth mothers and have to start making decision about whether we want them to be shown our profile. I am praying for a perfect situation. A women who has taken care of her body, eaten well, gone to her doctors appointments and abstained from drugs and alcohol, with a support system to care for her after the adoption. Perhaps I am crazy to think this is possible, or just extremely naive. And when I am praying, I feel a sense of selfishness. Why should we be blessed with a healthy child when there are so many children born addicted, or with diseases or struggles that will shape their lives? I know I am not owed anything but my heart still wrestles with wanting so badly to know what my life will look like, and wanting it to match my expectations.

My faith has certainly been taking a beating over the past couple of years. I see God drawing my heart to his and teaching me to trust. This whole adoption thing is saturated in exercise of trust, including but not limited to the health of our child and the relationship we will have with their birth parent(s).

Ultimately, if we do not believe I can trust God in this then I don't want to do it. I have seen God's faithfulness in many ways, but as I read over my journal entries from our miscarriages my trust is tested. My prayers for protection over our baby went unanswered, or at least unanswered in the way my heart so desperately wanted. Can I trust God to protect a child that is growing in another woman's body, when I feel as though I have lost trust that he can protect one in my own?

I guess that is a question I will have to face in time.

Reading in Exodus 15, I can see how the Israelites had to face the issue of trusting God. He had led them out into the desert and they ran out of water. They had no way of getting it on their own. They had to trust in God's provision. And he did provide. He already had a plan for them. They found water in Marah but it was undrinkable until God told Moses to throw the stick in. God wanted them to learn that his provision was already in place for them, they just had to trust him and He would provide. Not only that, but after they they drank God led them to a place of rest. After a time of trial God provides rest, and time for us to reflect on all He has done. Boy, I cannot wait for that time!

Until then I am choosing to trust that His ways are good and true. And that the plans he has for us will being us a future and a hope - and our baby...

"Who is like you among the gods, O LORD--glorious in holiness, awesome in splendor, performing great wonders?" Ex 15:11

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

It's a (almost) Thanksgiving Miracle

I just got word from our case worker that my, "these shriveled prints will certainly be rejected" prints and Jeremy's "we have no record of these, call back next week" prints have both been returned to our agency ACCEPTED!!!!

Yes, you read that right. God is good. I shed a tear when I heard the news. I am overwhelmed by His provision in this situation and His response to our prayers, and the prayers of others.

Our caseworker told us the office is going through an audit and so our Home Study will probably not be completed and approved for a few weeks, but we can (almost) just relax and enjoy the holidays.

I have to sing J's praise a little bit here. And maybe swoon, just a little. Included in our profile book are letters written by Jeremy and I, to the prospective birth parents. It has to explain a bit about our family, our home, values, and of course information about who we are. I had been asking - read nagging - Jeremy to start his letters for a couple of weeks now. I know this kind of 'getting your feelings onto paper' project is not something he finds easy and I felt like he had been dragging his feet. So this weekend, after a conversation that included,

Me - Did you write your letter yet? (knowing he hadn't!)

J - Not yet

Me - Can you please just write it, we are almost done. This is the last part.

J - I know you have told me. I told you I would do it. Please drop it.

Me - But please can you just start writing it, you don't have to finish but at least start it.

J - You know, you are not exactly inspiring me to write nice things about you right now.

Ha ha.

I dropped it! Realising that I was getting no where fast, and that I was being really annoying!

Later that night he wrote the first letter and when I read it I almost cried, it was so beautiful. I have a hard time getting my head around the fact that he wrote it. I mean, I would want this an to be the father of my child. Wait...! I am so proud that this guy is my husband and that I get to share life with him.

Looks like the beginning of December will be the start of our paper pregnancy. We are over the moon!!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Fingerprints and Christmas shopping!

A week after my first call, I thought I would call the fingerprint peeps over on the east coast and see if they had anymore info on J's prints. They told me last week that should have an update within the week and be able to tell when his prints would be sent out. (My prints are apparently still on track to be mailed tomorrow...or Monday - I'm not holding my breath but at least that's the same story/time line they talked about last week)

Today they told me J' prints however have gone A.W.O.L.

Perhaps I was a little too confident in his prints coming through without a problem. I know my 'potential problem prints' were bathed in prayer but this reminds me that it is in the places we least expect trouble that the enemy can sneak in.

The man I spoke with referred the case to a supervisor and told me to call back next Wednesday when they "might" have information for me. So I turn back to you, my faithful friends and ask that you take a moment to send up a prayer for Jeremy's prints to be found quickly and without a problem.

Ugh! I am SO tired of things being difficult. We are so close, I just wish we could catch a break! Ok. Pity party over - it was short lived.
I trust God's plan for our family, and I truly believe that fingerprints will not be the thing that stops his planning coming to pass!

So this Christmas I will not be shopping for my own baby, but who doesn't love shopping for little ones? Imagining their faces lighting up because your gifts made them feel so special and loved is part of the magic of the season. So this year, I saw an opportunity to still get my cute shopping fix and to make Christmas a little brighter for some little ones who need it.

Remember the fundraiser I promoted a while ago for New Day Foster Home in China? Well, they just put out the Christmas lists for all the kids. If you want to make Christmas a little brighter for a child in need check out this list, find a smile that you just can't resist and get shopping! Just email the address at the top of the blog to let her know who you want to buy for so they know which kids are covered.

I am off to the shops right now. I want to make sure I have things wrapped and sent off to arrive in time! I hope you will consider if this is something you could do too this Christmas season

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Plodding along

No news is good news. Or in our case, no news is because everything is just chugging along and we have both been sick with colds so there has been nothing very exciting happening around here.

We have been sharing a nasty cough/cold for about three weeks, and it has ebbed and flowed between us, one day I feel awful and the next it's Jeremy's turn again.

I have got back on track with 'myfitnesspal' and am feeling more in control of eating well again. If I keep the pace up throughout the holidays (which may be a challenge!) I may well hit my target before the end of the year after all. Or at least close into 2012. [Looking forward to that target weight shopping spree so much!]

As far as adoption stuff goes, our profile book is so very close to being done I can almost taste it.

I called the background check folks over at the FBI and they told me my prints would be mailed by November 11th but Jeremy's were still in process so she could give me little information other than they expected that they would be completed within a week. However, considering mine were finished with and had to wait almost two weeks for them to be mailed, I am not sure how long it will take for us to see his. If we do need to re-do my prints we can pay for them to be returned within two weeks but I am still praying for a miracle that we will not have to re-do them at all.

The next, and almost final step in the adoption process for us is writing letter to the prospective birth parents which will go in our profile book. Our case worker says that even if they don't want to look through all the pictures in our book, they will read the letters we write. It is a tough job to write to people who we don't know, who are in a difficult and heartbreaking position. I want to be compassionate, and yet I ultimately want to make a good impression - one that says, 'we would be great parents to your child.'

I might need a cupcake to get me through that! ha ha

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Home Visit. Check.

The home visit went well. She didn't even bring her white gloves to wipe along my base boards to make sure they were dust-free!

She asked us questions about our marriage and parenting plans as well as taking a tour of the house. It was simple. Easy. And then it was over.

We finish our profile book and our video for our online profile and after we figure out the stupid fingerprint situation we will be officially paper pregnant.

Then we wait. And we pray. We will hear about situations and have to decide if we want our book to be shown. Pray some more. And then wait to hear if we are chosen. EEkk! Is this really about to happen?!

I am in a little bit of shock that we are here already, and eager to get the last few things finished.

Our caseworker told us that some couples find it hard right after the paperwork is done because they suddenly find themselves with nothing to do. I am not sure this will be a hard thing for us. At least in the beginning. I am excited to feel as though I can be fully head-in-the-game with school work and focusing on having some fun with my hubby!

Thank you all for your encouragement over the past few months, we truly feel as though we have not walked this road alone.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Final home visit tomorrow!!

Phew! I just sat down after a long and busy day. Our re-scheduled home visit is tomorrow afternoon and the house is finally where I want it, all I have left to do is change the sheets in our bedroom and put out clean towels. i just want everything to be fresh and clean, to look lived in but not necessarily smell lived in! ha ha

I don't want to to look like I am trying hard, and she is just going to have to trust that I am a woman who is genuinely excited about the fall color m'n'm's in her candy bowl - because I am, and have been refilling the autumn gorgeousness for the past two weeks. They are not just for her sake.

I cannot believe we are here already. Here being the final home visit. Last night we went to our Babysafe CPR and first aid class which was great. Even J was raving about it. He has been really sick the past few days so I wondered if being alert for three hours in the evening would have been a struggle for him but he really seemed engaged in what was happening. That was the final thing to check off our 'to do' list and now we just have to get our book finished and as soon as our case worker writes her report from our visit tomorrow - usually about two weeks- we can be in the pool. I guess in adoption circles you call it being 'paper pregnant', meaning we are just waiting to be chosen by a birth mother.


I am in love with my life right now. This Thanksgiving we will have something beautiful to celebrate. Our journey has not been easy but we are so grateful to have journeyed it with such amazing people. Our families have been wonderful and our friends have really gone above and beyond to love us well. We are truly blessed.

See you on the flip side!

p.s. no, we have not heard any news on our fingerprints but we just heard of a way to get our next sets returned within a couple of weeks so if that's all that is left we'll pay the extra to get them back that way. I am no longer obsessing but still sending up prayers for a miracle they come back accepted and soon!


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