Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Is Waiting an Action Verb?



I have been working at this forearm handstand pose for ages. Let me tell you, I have fallen on my face so, so many times. In my defeat,  I finally took the time to learn how to strengthen the other parts of my body (core, shoulders, back) needed to conquer this challenging pose.


Life Lesson:


The end game isn’t always what it’s all about. It is SO about the process, compadres. If I had nailed this pose right away,  I would  most certainly lack the strength, discipline, and patience that it took for me to get where I ultimately needed and wanted to be.


Refinement, my friends is painful, yet holy. Falling on my face is painful, yet…umm…painful.


All jokes aside, this is such a tender reminder that God sees the whole picture when we only see a part.


When we spend time doubting and groaning because we can't "get it," I believe God is lovingly looking at us with His unending grace and urging our hearts to just rest in His sovereignty.


I need this truth. It is my anchor.


I titled my blog today in jest. As a former english teacher, I am well aware that waiting, by definition, is an action verb.


It's hard though because anyone who has waited on anything for any length of time (HELLO rush-hour traffic) knows that it is often hard to feel productive or purposeful in the waiting. It seems like you aren't DOING much of anything (except perhaps growing frustrated or weary)..


We’re in the season of the adoption process that stirs up a lot of my struggles with control and my lack of desire to find rest in the waiting.


We’ve nothing left to “check” off of our  “Adoption To Do” list...but wait. I want so badly to experience the end game of a new little one in our home and hearts, but I know God is still working things out in His timing.


Much like my journey to a forearm handstand, I do believe that our journey to becoming a family of four will be worth every tumble, every tear, every second spent learning to endure and find purpose in the liminal space. Exactly as I strengthened the parts of my body to master the feat of the handstand, I can also use this time to strengthen the areas of life and heart (patience, trust. fear)  that will prepare me for this next season..


As humans we often don't place as much value on what comes easy. I know this for certain because my family is my greatest earthly treasure and joy, and it certainly hasn't come easy. If you're new to reading my blog, you can learn a bit more about our adoption journey here and here.


So I guess, the answer is a resounding YES  to the (originally hypothetical) question in my title. Waiting is an action verb.


Hold fast friends! Trust there is a plan! It may not seem clear or directly in front of you right now, and this proverbial plan may not even be in your distant or peripheral vision.


It comes down to the fact that God  either is who He says He is or He's not. I genuinely believe with all of my heart that He is exactly who He says He is.


He is a God who is faithful to finish what he starts (Philippians 1:6)


I will continue to wait, and rest, and trust. Will you join me?




Wednesday, November 4, 2015

On Fear & Faith

My baby turned two yesterday, y'all. I didn't even take to the internets to mourn because I was still processing. And now he is two years and one day old. He's practically three. It's all moving too fast!

Okay, enough hyperbole.

I spent all day yesterday remembering the day he was born. The anticipation, the joy, the preparation, the gratitude....and the fear.

the fear.

I flinch when I look back to two years ago and remember the fear. The feelings flood back so quickly, it takes my breath away.

This was the first time I held you.

I cannot look at this picture without tears. I remember looking at him and thinking how perfect and precious he was. I remember awkwardly introducing myself as "mommy" even though the words felt foreign and uncomfortable.

The JOY thick in the atmosphere, as well as the paralyzing fear creeping into the spaces left unguarded in my mind.

I hate (and I don't use that word often) that fear robbed me of experiencing the fullness of joy that God had for me in that moment. I was so afraid that something would go wrong. That someone would take him away from me. I was terrified that I would end up with a broken heart. I allowed the fear to penetrate so deeply that my guard was up. I was robbed.

I'm here today to encourage you. To challenge you.

Fear and faith cannot occupy the same space. You MUST choose one over the other. They are mutually exclusive. You must shift your gaze actively. I do this by connecting to my breath and the Giver of my breath through unceasing prayer. Now, there is such thing as healthy fear, don't get me wrong. I'm not talking about healthy fear.

 I'm talking about the encapsulating fear that is no holds barred when it comes to embezzling joy from an over-the-moon joy worthy moment! The JOY LARCENY!

Yesterday, Adam and I got the word that we are officially a waiting family. (YAY!)

After getting the news, I felt that familiar tinge of fear once again. I immediately took a deep breath and remembered my fear & faith mantra. I then celebrated the FULLNESS of joy that was meant for us in that space in time.

No longer will I  choose fear. (it is a choice!) I will step out in FAITH knowing that the Creator of the Universe has GOT me!

He's got you too, friends.

What is it that causes you fear? Is it the unknown? Losing a relationship? Finances? Trusting?

Take a deep breath now, and give it away. Give it to The One who asks to carry your burdens. His yoke is easy. (Matthew 11:30) Choose faith.

Now, a gushy ode to my toddler:

Isaac,
You are a light. You are fiercely loved. You make strangers smile everywhere we go. Your name means laughter, and it couldn't be more fitting. You are strong-willed, which I know will serve you well in this unapologetic world. I am so proud of you. It brings us such joy to watch you grow and learn. Your Daddy delights to teach you, and I adore to nurture and love you. You have been our greatest challenge and adventure. I cannot wait to see what your future holds, and I can't wait to see you shine. I have no doubt that this year will be wrought with challenges that only ones "two's" can bring...but I will delight in each moment with the gratitude that you are forever ours.

You are going to be a fantastic big brother. We love you baby boy!

Love,
Momma

Our first family photo





Sunday, October 25, 2015

Heart Grown

We are officially done with our required home visits for the Home Study! This is a huge milestone in the process because it's really the last official "action item" on our part before we become an actively waiting family. Our file will be presented to a committee sometime in the next week or so, and then our Life Book (A photo book that we put together with pictures and descriptions of who we are as a family so birth parents will have a chance to get an idea of what their child's life will look like if they choose us as the adopting family.) will be presented to birth parents that are creating an adoption placement plan for their child.

The Chosen Marathon is coming up in just a few short weeks, and we have such an AMAZING group of people who are coming to run, walk, and support! I always feel the tears coming anytime I reflect on our community of family, friends, and prayer warriors. This year's race will be unforgettable.



**It is not too late to get your Team Baby Steps shirt. This fundraiser has been an immense support and blessing for us! We covered both the application fee and the home study fee with the money YOU generously donated to get your shirt.  I plan to put our final order in by the end of the day tomorrow (Monday, October 26) with our screen printers. So please,  CLICK HERE  if you want to get yours! We are so, so grateful!



I get a lot of people who ask me about adoption. As I've said before, I LOVE IT! I love talking about how growing our family in this way has been the biggest blessing of our lives. It hasn't been easy. For those of you who have followed our journey for any length of time, you know that there has been incredible heartache. You have also witnessed the ABOUNDING JOY that came when God brought Isaac into our lives.

That being said, we are experiencing a spectrum of emotions as we prepare for what lies ahead of us with the adoption of Baby H number two. We are anxious, anticipatory, excited, fearful at times, and a range of other emotions that I could spend all day typing the list... We continue to request your prayers that we are able hem ourselves in to what God has already gone before us to prepare. For our joy and His glory. Being a family that came to adoption by-way of infertility, we want it to be crystal clear that our children know that they were never considered to be Plan B.  We always say triumphantly that adoption is our family's A Plus Plus plan! In fact, it was incredibly important to us that we walked through the necessary steps to recognize that we would not have a biological child. After coming out on the other side of that healing process many years ago, we were truly given the blessing of peace to move towards adoption KNOWING in full certainty that this is the way God was and is planning to build our family all along. He is so faithful to finish the work that he starts. (Phil 1:6)

We talk to Isaac a lot about a future little brother or sister. He smiles and points right next to him, as if that's where he wants them to sit. It's so sweet. He will be a great big brother.



We are starting a narrative with Isaac to help him begin to understand his beautiful story. This came about after I witnessed a mom asking her toddler son, "Where did you grow?" The giggling toddler immediately fell into his mother's lap and placed his hands on her tummy.

So now, when you pose the same question to my boy, he will grin sheepishly at first, and then allow the smile to track across his whole face as he comes to me and points at my heart.


An Adoption Creed states: "Not Flesh of my flesh, nor bone of my bone, but still miraculously my own. Never forget for a single minute, you did not grow under my heart, but in it." 
           
It's funny, though, because in a real way it is very true. I do feel that as we get closer to bringing another baby into our home, our hearts are growing once again. It feels at times that it just might burst with love and gratitude. It may not be my tummy or my feet that are growing and swelling. As a matter of fact, it's not even visible to the naked eye. However, if you sit down and chat with Adam and I at any given moment, you will see it. Our hearts are growing in great preparation and expectancy, and we cannot wait to see what the next chapter of our journey will bring.

We love you, friends. We thank you.

Stay tuned.

K, A, & I





Tuesday, September 29, 2015

A bit of an update

Our Baby Steps shirt fundraiser was a total success! We exceeded our goal by more than ten shirts! (We ordered a limited number of additional shirts, so please send me an email or FB message if you're still interested and I can check for your size.)

They should be ready in about a week, and we'll ship them out immediately afterwards!


We are officially on the docket for our home visits. This is the last step before we are officially a "waiting family".

The last time we were at this stage I was obsessive about everything being spotless and orderly. Well, these days that's nearly impossible with my adorable and charming little mess maker running around. I don't have time to stress about it like I did before, and I'm okay with that. I know they are not judging my parenting ability by the organization of my broom closet.

I really believe that God has been drawing me out into a space of total and complete authenticity in every circumstance. I want to be the best and realest person that I can be, and I make  no apologies for my dusty baseboards. :)

1 Peter 5: 6-7 (MSG) says,
"So be content with who you are, and don't put on airs. God's strong hand is on you; he'll promote you at the right time. Live carefree before God; he is most careful with you"


Lunch date lovin'


We had an all day training last Friday at our agency and it was very laid back and super informative. We just love our caseworkers and truly believe we are in great hands in this process. We also had a little day date when we got to break for lunch. It was a total treat.








We also completed our CPR training last night which was another box checked on our list. We were trained at a fire station by a paramedic and volunteer fire fighter. He was incredibly passionate about teaching the class which really peaked my interest. He has been teaching CPR since 1968. It's fascinating how someone's passion for a subject can truly ignite passion in others! God bless our first responders!
my sister and I at iFly


Lastly, I celebrated my 29th birthday on Sunday. It was a super cool day. I'm working on a "30 Before 30" list of things I want to accomplish before that looming 3-0! We went to iFly the indoor skydiving experience. It was fun, but in no way gave the desire to jump out of an airplane.



As as lot of you know, my birthday will be forever bittersweet as our precious Alex turned three on Sunday as well. I know the Good Lord ordained our birthdays to be one in the same long in advance. Even as life gets busy and my mind gets cluttered with mountainous amounts of other things, my day will always slow down on September 27. In my introspection I will always ponder my own life and his as well.  I will always slow down and pray for my boy.

Please join me in that. My fervent prayer is that somewhere in Jamaica on Sunday my sweet Alex was celebrated and sang to. I pray that he also blew out three candles and had cake covered cheeks.












Friday, September 18, 2015

The Truth

The truth is adoption is hard. It is undeniably worth it, but it is hard all the same.


Going through this process means doctors visits, references, notaries, fingerprints, hours and hours of required training (in person and online), well meaning, yet intrusive interviews, the home study...the list goes on and on.


I don’t want it to come off as if I’m complaining, (well, maybe I am a little) I just want to highlight the reality that building your family through adoption is certainly a lot more complicated and less...umm..romantic than the more traditional route.


But, believe it or not, a HUGE reason why people choose not to adopt has nothing to do with a lack of desire…


A lot of people would happily jump through every blazing hoop I mentioned above if it weren’t for the overwhelming cost.


I’ll be honest, I don’t get offended very easily. I LOVE when people ask me about adoption. It is part of my very heartbeat and I am honored to consider myself an advocate. However, I once had a stranger (upon finding out that Isaac was adopted) ask me how much he cost. Now, I am not denying the potentially innocent intention behind her question, but I can say it jolted me a bit.


My response, “Well, first of all..you don’t purchase children.” Then I went on to explain the various fees associated with paperwork, lawyers, medical exams etc.”


This stranger abruptly, and unwittingly highlighted a common theme associated with adoption...It’s expensive.


We would not have been able to adopt Isaac without the support of our family and friends.  


The truth is, you don’t have to be a millionaire to be the parents of an adopted child. You do, however, have to be intentional, educated, and resourceful.  


Adam works extremely hard at his job. I also work hard at caring for Isaac daily and teaching yoga classes part time. We are on a budget (Dave Ramsey, whoop!) and do not live lavishly. We are everyday hardworking people who are excited about growing our family.


Interested in coming along side us in this journey?


We have two fundraisers going on simultaneously.


You can buy one of our “Baby Steps” shirts. They will come in both Athletic (Dri-Fit) material and Traditional 100% Cotton. The cotton shirts are $20.00 and the Dri-Fit shirts will be $25.00. Please click THIS LINK to pre-order and mail us cash or a check! 

**(We also accept PayPal @ kattihenderson4@gmail.com)  

Shout out to my girl, Beth Bradford, for the shirt design & The Woodlands Screen Printing for their amazing work


We’ll take pre-orders until next Friday, September 25 and orders will be placed the following week!


OR


You can participate on our team for the Chosen Marathon. On November 21, 2015 we will be running (5K, 10K, Half Marathon, or Full Marathon) in New Braunfels. 100% of our teams registration fees go towards our family. If running is not your jam, you can register as a sleepwalker and not even show up to the event! Check out www.chosenmarathon.com for more information.


Our hearts are so grateful for every single person who invests in our family. We literally could not do it without your prayers, love, and support.

So--rock out in a rad Baby Step’s shirt, or run like the wind (or both!) knowing that you are supporting an awesome cause, and our family is forever grateful.

Much Love,
Katti, Adam, & Isaac

Monday, August 31, 2015

Baby Stepping

As I went on my evening run tonight I considered the seemingly infinite parallels I can make between running and being an adopting family. Daring myself to ponder the finish line while at mile one often seems too big. "There is so much ground to cover, so many mile markers, hills, and rough terrain in front of me." I find myself thinking.

Baby Steps.. Baby Steps.. Baby Steps..I remind myself.

One step in front of the other.

With both running and adoption we know that we are preparing.  We will be ready, and we are called to this.

With running it looks like hours of training, stretching, and planning increasingly long runs as we prepare for race day.

Our original "fur babies" make excellent assistants during late night adoption paperwork sessions. 
With adoption, it is prayerfully following a desire kindling deep in our hearts to come to the child that God has ordained to be a part of our family forever.

We were running toward Isaac for three years, although we didn't always feel it. During some of the most difficult seasons when we felt like tossing our hands up and throwing in the towel, we allowed  that aforementioned desire to give us the strength to square our shoulders, put our heads down, and keep moving despite both heartache and resistance.

So maybe I am due a perspective change tonight. Here I stand at mile one again it seems, and I will choose to say "Sure, there is so much ground to cover, but there are so many sunrises and sunsets to see, there will be so many milestone celebrations as we reach the next step in the process, and of course there will be bumps along the way, but what a GOOD and FAITHFUL God we serve."

No matter what I know I will look back at the remarkable beauty of the story that is unfolding.

It is so much more than a race for us. It is so symbolic of our journey.

Chosen Marathon, we are coming for you!




Saturday, August 29, 2015

Big News: Party of Four


We are so excited to announce that we are at it again! We have started our journey to Baby Henderson #2! As soon as we moved to Houston last year we began to research agencies in the area. We finally decided on an agency that we feel very confident with and we are beginning the beautiful, yet often tumultuous journey that will allow us to grow our family through the blessing of adoption once again. As I held the intimidatingly thick application in my hands, I  prayed for God's perfect plan to unfold and his provisions of grace and mercy all around it.


This time around feels very different. We understand the risk of heartache after our experience in Jamaica with our sweet Alex, but we have also encountered the mountaintop reality of becoming parents. We have been a little trio for almost two years now with our precious son, Isaac. He is our greatest earthly treasure and joy.


It has been an amazing journey since bringing our boy home in November 2013. Most certainly, it has been challenging at times, but worth every second! I hung up my  elementary school teacher hat for now, Adam took a new position which led to our move back to Houston, and I became trained as a Holy Yoga instructor and am teaching a few classes a week.

We are very excited to welcome another baby into our family and for Isaac to have a sibling. We are  moving forward with great faith and anticipation. The timeline, as always with adoption, is uncertain. 

In the meantime, we are planning to help raise funds to put towards the mounting adoption costs with this year’s Chosen Marathon in New Braunfels on November 21st. We will be running for our fourth year as team Baby Steps! This year Chosen has added a 5K component to the race and changed the half marathon course to include 10 miles of river-front running! There are so many ways to get involved with this race to support families that are adopting from all around the world! Click HERE to find out how to show support or join our team!


*We will also be selling some amazing shirts as a secondary fundraiser! Information coming soon, so stay tuned!

I'm so happy to resurrect my blog in order to keep everyone in the loop on our adoption progress. For now, we're preparing for our home study and the season of waiting. We appreciate your prayers and excitement as we step forward into this next chapter. Baby Steps, as always!

Much love,
Adam, Katti, & Isaac