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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Adoption Update

I've been waiting to post an update once I felt like we had made some headway in our process. We definitely moved through our side of the paperwork very quickly. Paperwork, applications, interviews at our home, fingerprinting, background checks. . .we got it all completed in record time. So for a couple of weeks we've just been waiting on the return of most of those things. That part has been out of our control. Definitely the harder part. Just sitting and waiting. I've been saying during this time that we are waiting to be waiting. Meaning: we are waiting to be an actual "waiting family" with our agency. As of last night, our home study was mailed off by our social worker in Texas to our agency in Oklahoma. I believe that once the agency receives a few more reference sheets, we should get a bill and then soon after that payment has been made, we will get notification that we are officially a waiting family. I'm very eager and ready to be in that category. :)
As usual, God has been very close and real during this short amount of time of the process so far. I've said it before, but the adoption process really draws me to Him like nothing else. I can't explain it. It's the thought that my baby is out there in this world. It is probably already growing in the belly of a sweet woman right now. I can not physically see or feel any of it and so there is a large speraration that I sense most of the time. I have no details about my baby right now so it can seem a bit fuzzy and vague. But on the other hand, I just know it's happening and that part feels very real. A huge comfort for me is knowing God sees and knows my sweet little one and this birthmother. His hands are on them both while I can not be anywhere close right now. {There is one God who is father of all, over all, through all and within all. So He is my only connection to my baby at this time. And honestly, I couldn't ask for more. Nothing tangible for me could be any better than God himself being present with my little one in the same way that He is present with me. And so we talk alot. I go around and around with Him on things that I think maybe he's told me about our future babe. And I doubt myself alot. So honestly, my heart is really torn right now. I'm having a hard time deciphering between God's voice and possibly dreaming up my own desires for our family. I keep asking for confirmation, but I haven't received any yet. Jeremy tells me that if it happens, that's my confirmation. That I did indeed hear from God. So simple. But of course, I want to know now. So I keep talking with Him and asking for some kind of clarity. I think that's where I'm exactly supposed to be: talking to Him constantly and trusting Him with each day ahead. But doesn't He want this from me all the time and not just during this time of need. . .or what sort of feels like a need.  It has already been a good period of growth and learning more about Him. And I hope to know Him even better at the end of this little process.
One thing is for sure. . .these handsome fellas are ready to be big brothers. They are a delightful distraction as we wait for our next. I have MUCH to be thankful for and countless reasons to continue to trust.

Monday, February 18, 2013

pictures from our day: 2/14/13

My little loves. By now it's pretty much a full blown tradition that they each get a helium balloon on V-Day.
The valentines we put together for their school party
Jeremy delivered some goods: Taco Cabana dinner at home and beautiful flowers. And now you can see where Holden gets the freaky smile. (Just compare pictures 1 and 3. Weird.)
And I delivered some goods: a favorite bubbly and chocolate covered strawberries after the boys were in bed.
It was a typical, low-key Valentine's Day around here. But filled with lots of love.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Prayers of my 4 year old

Today I suggested to my little boys that we pray for our baby and birth mother. We were already curled up in the chair in the playroom as we had been reading a few books before naptime. Holden eagerly volunteered to pray, as he often does these days. It was a perfect prayer, praying for "whatever baby God wants to give us", praying for his/her safety and health and some other things. And  then he said the words "And God . . . if you want us to wait, we will." Honestly, my first thought was, that must have been part of Jeremy's prayer last night. From Holden's mouth, I often hear some very mature conversations and prayers, that he often has heard from his daddy. I told Holden how sweet and perfect those words to God were. Later I texted Jeremy about it only to surprisingly find out those words were not from him. Not last night. Or anytime. We haven't verbalized that particular submission to God outloud in prayer to the boys. I believe that submission is there. I would tell you right now that I'm willing to wait and I trust God with the timing and creation of my family. But honestly, if you couldn't guess from recent adoption related posts, I've had in my head that this thing was going to happen quickly. Jeremy doesn't necessarily feel that way. But that's where I've been. Maybe just because quick adoptions are familiar to me. So to hear these somewhat profound words from my 4 year old's mouth . . . And God . . . if you want us to wait, we will. 4 year olds aren't supposed pray that way! That's a big thought about a topic he is very unfamiliar with . . . he has no idea about adoption timelines and waits. I mean, for goodness sake, he asked if our social worker was bringing our baby to us on Friday when she came for our visit! So how did these words come from his mouth today!? By the grace of God, if this is any future vision of the prayers that will be coming from his mouth in years to come, it sure makes his last meltdown not so frustrating. :) Yeah, I added a smiley to keep it light, but I'm not really kidding. I HOPE my sister was right in her response to me today. I hope we are showing him how to trust God and that God can most definitely be trusted. I hope that he is already learning that God is in control of EVERTHING. Even these little things, like our wait. Holden humbled me today. God used him to refocus my thought life and my prayers. Our next baby may not even be conceived yet. And that's okay. Because God is in control of every little and big thing and we just have to be willing to wait on it.

Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD. Psalm 27:14

But these things I plan won't happen right away. Slowly, steadily, surely, the time approaches when the vision will be fulfilled. If it seems slow, be patient! For it will surely take place. It will not be late by a single day.
Habakkuk 2:3

Can you make me a pilot?

The boys are now sharing a room. We've tried it off and on for the last 6 months or so, but it's never stuck. Either it created an awful night's sleep for the adults in the house or it made for rough mornings because of their own lack of sleep. Obviously they do tend to play/talk much later when they are in the same room, attempting to wind down and sleep for the night. But on our trip to Colorado, we pushed the room sharing and it went really great. It had finally clicked. But they also weren't napping much on our trip, so they crashed out at night. So once we returned home, we continued it. Really there have been no hiccups. And now I need to follow through with my promise of putting up Pax's name in his new room. The shared room. Which you might guess, opens up his old room for our new little one. I'm glad we won't be making an additional transition, like moving the boys in or out of a familiar bedroom, once a baby is here. I'm glad it has naturally happened before a big change occurs.
Another small challenge with the room sharing has been the fact that Holden is an early bird. He normally wakes around 7. But since he has always had this little sunshine light that told him when he could leave his room, he stayed put until 7:30am. Pax typically would sleep much later. Sometimes I would allow him to sleep until 8:30. Since they've been sharing a room, it's been a big temptation for Holden to wake up Pax when he himself woke up. Though some mornings it has happened naturally as he not-so-quietly bounds down the steps of his top bunk and hits the floor. My little piece of bribery has always been that I would make him a fun, little pallet in the living room. So each night, I'll spread out a blanket and fill it with a few match box cars and library books. If Holden can make it out of his room quietly without waking Pax, he can come downstairs and enjoy his fun pallet before sunshine light turns yellow. Big priviledge! And this is where my title comes in and the reason for this pointless post. I've found it a little irresistable that each night Holden will ask me "Can you make me a pilot?". Man, it took a few repeats and finally a full explanation from him to figure out what in the world he meant.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Here we GROW again!!!

Exactly 1 month ago today I blogged here about our desire to to adopt again in the near future. I explained that we were seeking, praying and searching for God's guidance. Little did I know that a few days prior to that post, the adoption tax credit was made permanent for adoptive families. Yay adoption! :) I know that not everyone is excited about tax credits. But I hope you can understand how helpful this one is for families that are passionate about adoption. We are so grateful that this is permanent now. How will Jeremy ever stop me from adding just 1 more to the family! ;) But before this recent change, this was one of the hurdles for us going our familiar route of a domestic agency adoption. So we were seriously praying about and considering other options. Then, just days later, I received a phone call from a dear friend about a need for adoptive families at an agency in the Houston area. Sometimes when people know you are going to adopt, these phone calls just come. And often they don't work out. But in the back of my mind, I kept thinking that was how we received both of our boys. Their stories of how they came to our family are miraculous, but very random when I look at all the details. Neither was "typical" if there even is such a thing. So Jeremy and I both felt we couldn't disregard the Houston opportunity. After a few contacts, we realized none of those babies were going to be ours. There were no tears or regret. I've seen God's goodness in my life too much to doubt Him when a door closes. But through this process, Jeremy and I both realized how eager we were to get this party started. I'll admit that I've been ready for a while. But after this little experience, Jeremy gave me the green light and I've been running full speed ahead ever since. So now we are knee deep in paperwork. After some communication with the agency that Holden was placed through in Oklahoma, we felt complete peace and quickly began moving forward with them. All of our paperwork should be mailed off to them by the end of this week. Jeremy and I are getting finger printed tomorrow...and from what I understand that only takes 10 days to process. This was a surprise to me since Oklahoma takes 6 weeks (or they did back in 2008). Our interviews with our local social worker were supposed to take place next Friday. Today I just found out that she bumped us up to this Friday. Jeremy goes for his physical today. The boys physicals are completed. Apparently, it is supposed to take a 1-2 months to get in to my doctor for a physical. I called this week and they could have gotten me in within 2 days!! Unheard of! Seriously. Since we had the finger printing appointment scheduled the day she offered me the appointment for the physical, I had to schedule it for next Thursday. Thursday is the boys school day and that is definitely not an appointment my little ones should be present for. :) It's all happening very fast. I would say even more quickly than when we zoomed through the process before Holden. How can it even be possible for it to go any faster this time?! I have 2 kids at home and it definitely limits my time much more than it did in 2008. But it is going super fast. Like we may have everything completed, start to finish, in a total of 3 weeks. And that inlcudes almost a full week that we were gone for our vacay, where we did nothing to move us forward in the process. Sure, I'm pushing along the paperwork on our end. But I'm just seeing some unusual things happen and doors swing wide open for us. So it just makes me wonder what God is doing. I am very well aware that we may just breezing through this to wait and wait and wait. I know that could happen. But it just leaves me wondering why the rush. We are excited. So excited! Excited to meet our next little love that will change our lives and our family forever.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Winter Vacay!

Last week Jeremy took off from work and we headed to the Colorado Rockies for a little winter vacay. On Sunday we drove to my sister's house and arrived late. It was about a 12 hour drive. We hadn't made this drive in over 2 years! That is way too long to not go visit a sister and her family!  They make trips to Texas regularly so we get to see them. We just hadn't made the drive. But 2+ years ago, the drive was miserable with our little 10 month old. (I did just look back at that post when my sweet boys were itty bitty. Sometimes I forget how itty bitty 1year and 2year old boys really are.) Anyways, this time around, with a spacious mini{van}, a TV for movies and a 3 and 4 year old that don't mind the car, the drive was a breeze!
Monday we woke and drove to Salida, CO where my brother-in-law, Loren, had snagged us an incredible {free} cabin for 3 days and 2 nights. It surpassed our expectations. Originally when we started planning a ski trip for Jeremy, we were looking at mobile homes in Sipapu, NM...which I'm ok with and we may do in the future. But this place, in Salida, was amazing.  But more than the great lodging, it was such a fun and relaxing time with family. So much so, that when I walked out of Loren and Amanda's home on Thursday morning, I couldn't really turn back around for a wave because the tears were falling at a pretty good pace. And I knew if she saw them and started crying herself it would only be a worse and even more of a sad goodbye. I wasn't really ready to leave. Which might always be the case with me. It was just nice to have several days of these guys all to ourselves. Time was unrushed. There was not much schedule and nothing that really had to be accomplished. Loren and Jeremy got to ski at nearby Monarch. Holden got to give it a try...but with the well-below-freezing-temps, little dude didn't love it like we had hoped. My neice Hope got to try out skiing for the first time and was a pro. The cousins played together so well. Ava and Holden were pronounced boyfriend/girlfriend...which Holden said it means "she's my buddy." And that statement is true! Those two crazy kids are definitely two of a kind. Bella got to play mommy to Pax, which they both loved. That also meant that Pax fell into a puddle of tears every meal time that she wasn't seated right next to him. I know that is immature and sometimes he works those magical tears for attention...but it's still sweet to me because he loves his cousin. Those 2 are also very similar in personality. It was such a wonderful little winter getaway. I really didn't do much but visit with my sister and relax. We stayed holed up in the warm cabin, while watching the snow outside. Normally I like to go and do while on vacation. But this time, it was just what I needed and desired. And I left feeling so refreshed and so thankful for the family that God has given me. The ones that have to stick like glue when friendships have the oppotunity to fizzle and fade.  Here are a few pictures from our fun family time.
P.S. I'm still completely ticked off at Jeremy for not getting a single picture of he or Holden on the ski slopes. I haven't forgiven him for that yet, but I'm praying about it. ;)
The view on our drive to the cabin. Before the snow began to fall.
The beautiful cabin!
Jeremy and I's room
the boy's room
we rarely get pictures together
my snow bunnies :)
Bella on the very cool tire swing that swung out over a little drop off.
Bella, Pax and Ava
Our time was filled with puzzles and games. This cabin was stocked with everything we could have imagined.
and movie nights downstairs