Monday, November 26, 2012

Our Heart's Home


video
Please enjoy this slideshow of our trip. Pictures don't do it justice.

Wow. Wow. Wow.

I think I'm still processing all of the wonderfulness that was Jamaica. Adam and I left at 3:00 on Saturday morning complete with nerves, excitement, and expectation.

We prayed that the Lord would provide us friendships, favor, and connection. Boy did He. We made so many friends in Jamaica, and we can't wait to go back and serve again.

We had a great trip to the CDA where we turned in our completed application and met with our caseworker. She said we can call as often as we'd like to check on the status of our application. I told her that she might regret saying that to me...

Adam and I connected with some people from YWAM (Youth With A Mission) where we had the opportunity to go the the  hospital to pray with one of the staff member's father who is undergoing treatments for leukemia.

We got to visit two children's homes and spend time with so many precious babies. It was the highlight of my trip!

We also met so many awesome locals at the hotel where we stayed.

We were blessed in so many ways on our trip. I journaled every day and wrote letters to our baby. I've never felt closer to our child than I did when I was in Jamaica. We felt complete like never before.

It was difficult for us to leave, as a matter of fact, I know that we both left half our hearts there.

Now we're waiting patiently. Well, we're waiting anyhow. We're hoping to hear something from our caseworker. Maybe I'll call her tomorrow.

Twice.

Please be in prayer for our restless hearts, and that the Lord's will be done.

We know that His timing is perfect.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Jamaica Bound!



Some goodies for the children's home!


The time has come! We'll be leaving for Jamaica in the morning (by morning I mean 3:00 AM! Yes, there is one in the AM, too. )

It seems very surreal that we're finally going. Jamaica has been in my heart and on my mind for so long, I can't believe it's about to be in my sight.

Details of our trip...

We'll be getting into Jamaica tomorrow around noon. We're staying at a local hotel in MoBay (Montego Bay) that was recommended to us by a non-profit organization that works with the CDA and solely supports Jamaican Children's Missions called, Embracing Orphans. They have been a tremendous support system for us on our journey thus far.

We'll be serving at two children's homes on the island. One is called Blossom Gardens, and the other is called The Robin's Nest. We have gathered supplies (diapers, lotion, shampoo, wipes, small toys etc.) that we can pack in our bag and donate to the homes.

It brings so much joy to my heart when I think of getting the honor to love on those children! I'm going to take entirely too many pictures and monopolize everyone's conversations with stories from our trip, so I sincerely apologize in advance.

On the flip side, I have a sneaking suspicion that I'll be leaving half of my heart in Jamaica. I know that when we get off that plane and step foot on the island that has been placed on our hearts for almost seven months, we'll feel the blessing of stepping right into God's footprints for our lives. I can't wait to see what God has planned for us there.

We've connected with a couple that is currently living in Jamaica.  Although they've been living the the US for awhile, the husband is native born Jamaican and still has family on the island. They have offered to show us around and pick us up from the airport. Praise God for connections in the community!

Specific Prayer Requests:

  • Travel mercies. (safe travel I HATE airplanes) and safety while we're on the island.
  • For the people in Jamaica to see our hearts and know our love for them and their children.
  • For lifelong friendships to be formed.
  • For favor and grace when we meet with the Child Development Agency on Tuesday.
  • That we will continue to grow in peace and trust for God's perfect timeline for our family.
Well, that's about it. My next post will be full of pictures and tales of our wonderful trip. I can't wait to tell you how God moves. 

Pray it! Claim it! Amen!

We're so blessed by the number of people who gave, prayed, ran, and sacrificed so much to make this trip possible. We thank God for you. 

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Redefining Normal


Crossing the finishing line. Amazing moment!

Before I start my post, I want to wish a very happy birthday to my amazing momma. I know I shared this quote with you before, but it perfectly reflects how I feel.

“My mother... she is beautiful, softened at the edges and tempered with a spine of steel. I want to grow old and be like her. " -Jodi Picoult

After Chuck's burial I was standing near a friend. I turned to him and he told me that the hardest days were yet to come. I didn't necessarily believe him, but now I see that he was right. The days right after are a total blur. Funeral homes, obituary writing, burial, flowers, casseroles etc...

Then comes the real world.

I came back to work last Monday and was met with the abrupt recognition and truth that life. goes. on. I still have a job to do, our dog and cat still need to be fed, meetings, responsibility, obligation, no mercy, no exceptions, no excuses. I think it actually helped me. I needed to redefine what I've deemed, The New Normal.

We had our home study interviews and home visit. Everything went exceptionally well. We are so blessed to say that our travel dates to Jamaica have officially been booked. We'll be there from November 17-21. (Yes, that's two weeks away!) Our goal while we're there is to meet with the CDA and turn in our finalized dossier, serve at Blossom Gardens Children's home, worship at a local church, and build community. We can't wait and I'll update as soon as I can.


We also had an amazing turn out and experience at our race. We ran with a beautiful laminated picture of Chuck to honor his memory. I clenched it tight the entire last mile. He was smiling down, and that warmed my heart. It was truly the best day of my entire life. I'm not exaggerating. Our support system is second to none, and I can't wait to tell Baby H all about it. Crossing the finish line with Adam and being surrounded by so many family and friends was such an emotional and humbling experience. From the awesome cookies (LAUREN!) to the knitting half-marathoner (Samantha!), Baby Steps certainly had a presence. As pictures come in, I will post more. I didn't have a camera or take a single picture. It's a good thing I have stalkeratzi friends (Kristin, Cassi & Mom)

We will do this race as long as we are able.

I am still running on fumes I think, but the peace I feel is God given. I am so grateful for all of the prayers and encouragement that we've received. The Lord has been with us every step, for that I am certain.

Thanksgiving is coming, and although it has been tough lately, I am so grateful for so many things. The Lord is working and moving in ways I can't even explain. Our lives will change forever when we have our sweet child. My heart skips a beat just thinking about it.

As I prepare to tuck in for the evening, I know that we are one day closer to becoming a family. That's a good feeling.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The Pain Tornado: The Race Goes On



My step-father, Chuck, died yesterday. I didn't even know the depth of my sadness existed until that moment. I've always considered the term step-father to be ill fitting considering the role he played in my life. Let's call it what it is.

My dad died yesterday.

 It was completely unexpected and I think I'm still in shock. He was driving home from Louisiana on Thursday afternoon and knew he didn't feel quite right. He got home and took some medicine to ease the aches he was experiencing. My mom was already getting ready to go to the ER because she knew by the way he was acting that they'd be heading that way soon. They drove to the hospital both expecting some kind of treatment for the flu. They drove there fully expecting to be driving back that same evening.

By 2AM he was admitted to ICU, by 6AM he was sedated and on a ventilator. Yesterday morning, he went to be with The Lord.

Receiving a call at an odd time is the worst feeling in the world. The ringer was ringing in unison with the beating of my heart. I knew something was wrong. I could tell by the way my mom's voice cracked that things were bad. She called at 6:05AM and we were out the door by 6:17.

It was a long blur in the ICU. We waited for hours upon hours. We left only when they forced us to  because visiting hours closed from 6-8 in the evening. The hospital volunteer in the ICU was amazed because she said she'd never seen so many visitors for one person. At one point there were over 35 people staked out in the waiting room. We had puzzles, snacks, and laptops. We were a waiting army. There were prayers, tears, and hugs.

There are still a lot of those.

Chuck's condition was deteriorating rapidly and his organs were failing. I pleaded with God for a miracle, I claimed it in Jesus' name. I do believe that The Lord answered my prayer by granting

peace. He is fully restored in Heaven where death has no victory or sting (1 Corinthians 15:55). Chuck was diagnosed with MRSA, which is a very dangerous form of Staph. His body was not responding to the antibiotics, and the doctors had done all they could do. He went peacefully, and in no pain.

We are all trying to be strong for one another. I keep experiencing what I have deemed the pain tornado. I'll be sitting and chatting when, mid-converation, the reality will suddenly hit me and I get a piercing pain sensation in my stomach. It's an emotional pain that is somehow manifesting itself physically. I've never felt anything like it. I've had a lot of pain tornados today. I can't even imagine how my mother is feeling. I've been glued to her side. She's swirling in one continuous pain tornado.

It all just happened so fast. Chuck and I didn't always see eye to eye, but he made me strong. I'll never forget my wedding day when he gave me a necklace and told me that he was so proud that I'd found a love like the love he'd found with my mom. He was so proud to walk me down that aisle and give me away to man that he was certain would love me forever.

The entire reason for this post is to update everyone and to let everyone know that our adoption fundraiser RACE IS STILL ON! It was already going to be an emotional race, and now I have one more reason to run. One of the biggest patterns I've detected when it comes to the pain tornado is that it always comes when I think of the fact that Chuck will not get to see me be a mother.

 He won't get to see Adam and I as parents. I wanted that so, so bad. I am running for my sweet child and for my sweet child's  Paw Paw Chuck. It won't be easy, but he would have wanted me to run.

I want everyone to know that Chuck knew and loved the Lord. Our tears here on earth are selfish tears, and we're all aware of that.  We claim victory for Chuck. The Lord undoubtedly welcomed his dear child into Heaven and proclaimed "Well done good and faithful servant." (Matthew 25:21)

The compassion and love we've felt from everyone has been overwhelming. We are so grateful for the prayers. My hope is that the pain tornados will subside. I know it will take time, and they will happen fewer and fewer as time goes on. I'm sitting at our kitchen table where we ate thousands of meals together. The tears in my eyes are uniquely refreshing. There's so much value in memories.

For now, I'm gearing up to run a race in honor of two precious and amazing individuals who I can't imagine my life without.

My baby and my dad.




Sunday, October 7, 2012

On My Heart



Our  hearts are full tonight. We are feeling incredibly grateful, thoughtful, and moved. Our shirts are selling quite nicely. We've got at least 75 sold! I can't wait to get them in and see people wearing them! We've set a few aside for our little one. How amazing will that be to see our child wearing the very shirt that helped get him or her home?! My heart flutters a bit just thinking of it.

We're placing orders tomorrow, but will be ordering plenty of extras. So feel free to order one here, and we'll make sure to get it to you!

We're still moving full force toward completing our home study. We met with the licensed psychologist last week. Next step, the home visit.

I've been milling around my house trying to view things through the eyes of a social worker. I'm checking the fire alarms, gun safe, banister railings etc. I know it's not based on cleanliness (I guess it would be if the house is really bad) but I've been extra thoughtful about coasters, and super frivolous with the clorox wipes lately.

I just want the agency to know that we're not perfect, but we are a loving family with room in our hearts and home to be wonderful parents.

My impatience gets the best of me sometimes, but I'm still certain that things will all work out in God's timing.

The race is coming up SO soon. Our team is up to 34 members, which makes us the third largest team in the race. There are 70 teams total, so that's AMAZING! Not to mention the people who have said they'll be there for moral support! I can't wait to see everyone out there. Honestly, I don't know how I'll make it through the day without crying, and I'm perfectly okay with that. It is so moving to feel the love and support.

I'm making a gigantic scrapbook for our sweet child. It is our most sincere hope that they will never once doubt how much they are loved.

We're still planning a trip to JA next month. We're currently researching and seeking guidance on whether we should turn our paperwork in with the CDA (Child Development Agency) in MoBay (Montego Bay) or Kingston. We're also reaching out to Children's homes on the island to serve in while we're there. We've already been connected with a church, and are looking forward to building community with the people.

Things are moving right along, and we are feeling blessed,  but not quite whole. But, we're working on that part. Thanks for the prayers, love, and support.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Come ONE, Come ALL!! Tee Shirts! Tee Shirts! Get your Tee Shirts!

I've been holding off on blogging in anticipation our our Tee Shirt Fundraiser launch! A HUGE thanks to our dear friend, Cameron Sanderson, for creating this awesome design! Cameron, we are incredibly blessed and grateful for your time and talents.

*You do NOT have to be a part of our race team to order this shirt! This is for anyone and everyone who wants to help support us in bringing home Baby Henderson!* 

Here it is!
Front:
The shape is an outline of Jamaica!
Back:
John 14:18 says, "I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you."


If you're interested in sportin' one of these rad shirts, please submit your pre-order using the link below. Orders will be placed this week!




Checks payable to:
Katti & Adam Henderson

Send to:
1533 Winslow Ln.
Grapevine TX, 76051







Friday, August 31, 2012

Bossy Pants




Is it bad that every time I'm at Target I can't help but peer down at the infant/toddler stuff? I'm not even sure what I'm looking for seeing as we won't know the gender or age of our child for awhile. It's fun to imagine some of the cute, soft, & functional items adorning the rooms of our house one day.  However, sometimes after I have my hypothetical shopping spree I end up feeling rather sad.

We are trying to balance restraint and reality with excitement and preparation. I know it's okay to be  anticipatory, but at the same time I know it could be awhile before we will need a bumbo or jogging stroller.

I read this quote the other day and it gave me chills, " A mother's love for her child is like nothing else in the world. It knows no law, no pity. It dares all things and crushes down remorselessly all that stands in its path. " Agatha Christie

This quote resonates down to my bones. To me the quote seemed angry at first, but then I realized that it's just defining a fierce, righteous,  and protective love. The kind of love that gives a woman super strength to lift a vehicle off of her child that's been crushed beneath, or the kind of love that helps a woman leave an abusive marriage to give her child a better life, and the kind of love that sustains  a family who waits sometimes years to fly across oceans to meet and embrace the child that the Lord has called them to be mommies and daddies to. Yes, that kind of love. I'm blessed to feel it. 

ALL of our references are in! AMEN! We are now filling out a mountain of paperwork to be submitted to the agency's psychologist. We are planning to use the weekend to thoughtfully prepare everything, and get it submitted next week. I don't mind the paperwork one bit. I like the parts of this process that I feel like I can control. Yet another area of myself that I'm working on. Ultimately, I am well aware of who's in control here. 

The popular scripture that I so often cling to is in Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. "

We've been perusing plane tickets to Jamaica around November. 

I don't know, I'd like to do it sooner. I'm not sure, is it normal to make a weekend trip to Jamaica? Not that we're too concerned about what's normal anyway. It would be a lot to handle with work and everything..

Speaking of work, school started back this week and I have been so exhausted! I love my class, and I am looking forward to an awesome school year. 

I can make so many parallels between teaching and parenting. I feel like I'm receiving great training. 

Parenting is teaching in it's truest and most genuine form. I long for my students to develop lasting knowledge and a love for learning. I want them to grow in confidence, curiosity, and self worth. I hope they all know how much I care about them and pray for their success. 

We're still taking our classes through our church. To say it's been a commitment would be a dramatic understatement. I feel like I've done more reading for this class that I ever did in college. 


However, we are learning SO much. We leave every class with our minds blown. We are learning about how to parent an adopted child, how to be a conspicuous family, teaching our child coping skills, problem solving, discipline strategies, and so much more. Mostly, we've joined a beautiful community of people with beautiful hearts. 

I've posted some of the books we're reading. My personal favorite is Anatomy of the Soul. This book is based off neuroscience and scripture. It. is. fascinating. I highly recommend it. 

I'm also reading Bossy Pants by Tina Fey, just to keep things light. It's a busy time around here. A busy, but good time nonetheless. We're grateful for each moment.





Friday, August 17, 2012

Smorgasbord of Recentness

Photo Credit: Dave Einsel; Periwinkle Foundation


On Camp: Welp. It's been awhile since I  last posted. We've been awfully busy here in the Henderson House. We went to Camp Periwinkle and had an amazing time. Our campers were phenomenal, inspiring, and so incredibly strong. I tear up just thinking about it. My menial struggles in this life feel so petty when compared to a seven year old facing the terrible disease of cancer. The smiles on these kids faces are enough to last me  all year. They are the true definition of what it means to be a hero. I feel so blessed to have the opportunity to spend one week of my year with the most committed, energetic, and caring people on the planet. Periwinkle has blessed us in so many ways, we hope to be a part of this organization as long we we're here on this earth.

Adoption Books and Teacher Books: This is where you can find my nose.


On Work: Summer flew by before my very eyes. What an amazing break! I am grateful for sleeping in,  lunches that I don't have to scarf in twelve minutes, and most importantly, daytime TV. (specifically Ellen and Live With Kelly!) I have had an awesome break, but I am ready to get back to work. I spent several days this week preparing for the year in my classroom. I couldn't help but smile at the thought of my new group of kiddos pouring in to greet me in a few weeks. I know, maybe that sounds crazy, but I do love my job! I love that I have a career that makes me crack up laughing every single day.

 I am grateful to work in an atmosphere where, if you were a fly on the wall, you may catch me on any given day replying to a student with one of these little gems, "No, sweetie, symmetry is not a place where dead people are buried, but I see how you could confuse the two."

As well as, "I know you lost your lucky pencil and you lack the ability to do well on your quiz without it. I will take that into consideration when I am grading this afternoon. Thank you very much for your tact and diplomacy."

The truth is, I would rather spend my days supporting, encouraging, and guiding ten year olds than in an office building full of grown ups. Long story short, I'm ready to go back to work.




On Adoption: I have a few updates. We are still moving forward in the home study process. Our agency is still collecting a few more references, and then we will move on to interviews. We've began taking some classes through an organization through our church called Tapestry. We have learned so much, and have been so encouraged by connecting with other couples that are on their adoption journey as well. We can't wait to see how God uses this time in our lives.  The class will require quite a time commitment for us, especially within the next two weeks. (Which coincidentally, with the start of school, are the most stressful two weeks of my year.) So, we could definitely use your prayers for stress and time management.

 Taking these courses gives me comfort that I am doing something useful and proactive for my child. Sometimes I feel so helpless and out of control in this process. I can scan, fax, copy, e-mail, and call, but at some point the ball is not in my court anymore. So we wait. I will make a point to use that holding cell to be researching, praying, preparing, and learning. Needless to say, we are hopeful, encouraged, and excited!






On running: We're still doing it, and it's painful. Worth it, but painful. If you are interested in joining the misery please check out our team, baby steps!

On Fundraising: First of all, thank you, Samantha, for sending us a box of scrumptious, and fantastical cookies for our delectable dining pleasures! I am currently in the works of creating an online silent auction through this website. We will be featuring a gourmet cookie of the month, homemade hair bows, salon hair services, and more! If you or someone you know have a skill, item, or service that could be donated to our auction, please contact me! Also, t-shirts are being designed to sell. They are going to be super cool, and super stylish! Get excited!

The cost of adoption is certainly not cheap, but we know that God will provide where He has called, and we're certainly willing to put in the time and work. Baby H will be more than worth it.

It will be five years in December! Gosh, I love this guy!
On Us: We are so happy where we are, and have such a peace about this journey. This process, although challenging, has brought us both closer to the Lord, and to each other. Again, and I know I've said this before, we covet your prayers, encouragement, and excitement. We love you all!

Kate & Adam













Thursday, July 26, 2012

When Life Gives You Lemons

Adam and I are gearing up for the week we look forward to all year! We'll be headed to Burton, Texas to be counselors at Camp Periwinkle! Camp Periwinkle is truly a magical place where children with cancer and their siblings can get away from it all and have a total blast!
Although we'll be exhausted, Adam and I will walk away from the week feeling rejuvenated, grateful, and full of perspective.

 The campers are truly an inspiration, and we all have so much to learn from them! Adam went to Camp Periwinkle as a camper when he was undergoing treatment. He definitely represents a light at the end of the tunnel for all of the kids at camp. I love to watch him interact with his campers, it's a tiny glimpse into what an amazing father he'll be!

To learn a bit more about camp, watch the video below...
**If you look closely you can see Adam dressed as Tony Romo at the 0:16 second mark**

Also, I started my training schedule this week for our race in October. If you're interested in a program that has runs planned 3 days a week, check out my plan below! I'm excited to have a running plan that has 3 days of running per week rather than 4. Once school starts it will be difficult to keep up with training. Also, did I mention that the Chosen Marathon for adoption has a kids fun run?!? It's a 1/3 mile run for kids 11 and under! It's a neat way to get the whole family involved!  



Adam has been waking up three mornings a week just before five in the morning to go on his training runs. His commitment is such an inspiration. Every step forward is one step closer to our dream of becoming parents. 

We turned in all of our paperwork for our home study. The process will take around two months to complete. This is discouraging because our original goal was to have the home study done before school starts, but I know these things take time. Plus, we're hoping to fly to Jamaica and turn in our dossier, so having more time to plan/prepare for that will most likely be a good thing. 

Continue to pray for us as we move forward in this process. Also, pray for our week at camp and all of our sweet campers! 


On a particularly discouraging and exhausting run the other day I spotted something bright in the distance. I was panting, sweating, and had just come up with several legitimate reasons why I should research more stationary ways to entertain myself. Curiosity got the best of me and I ventured off the trail to investigate this seemingly glowing object. It was then that I encountered this random lemon in the grass with Phillipians  4:13 written on a piece of masking tape. "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." God works in mysterious ways. It was exactly the motivation I needed. I jogged back to the trail and felt refreshed and ready to finish my run.  

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Our God is bigger




           First of all, I want to say THANK YOU to everyone who has been reading our blog since we made our adoption journey "Facebook official". We were blown away by how many people reached out to us to say congratulations and offer their sweet encouragements. We feel so blessed and honored to have
so many friends, family, acquaintances, and even strangers who are willing to walk through this journey along side us.

         We traveled last weekend to meet some friends in New Braunfels and take part in the Orange Leaf half marathon & 5K. I ran the 5K, and Adam ran the half-marathon. The race fell perfectly in line with Adam's training to run the full marathon for our fundraiser in October. It was an awesome weekend filled with friends, laughs, and chafing. Shout out to Court and Marshall who ran the half with Adam. They are also running in October. I beat my record for the 5K, but more importantly, I beat the girl next to me who was unaware that we were in competition when she passed me abruptly after the starting line.



         As part of our home study, Adam and I are required to take ten hours of online adoption classes. We have learned so much about international adoption and the risks associated with it. I was feeling a bit anxious with some of the information I was receiving as I read, but then I immediately reminded myself that God is bigger than any roadblock, or situation we could possibly face.

        My heart aches some days because I feel so ready to be a momma, yet have no idea when that day will come. The Lord knows the desires of our hearts, and he is bringing tender mercies to us each day as we walk this road.

     It is easy to fall into the world of risk, fear, and worry, but  I am combatting these feelings with prayer and scripture.

2 Timothy says, "For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and self discipline."


I am grateful for all of the information that I'm learning, and look forward to learning more. We are turning in all of our paperwork to the agency that will be performing our Home Study tomorrow. Please
pray that this will be the first step in a speedy and positive home study process. 

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Congratulations

                                                                        Amen.

I had the honor and privilege of rocking my sweet friend Rachel's baby, Mattie Kate, to sleep this weekend. There is nothing more peaceful and calming than a sleeping baby. As I was rocking Mattie to sleep I couldn't help but pray...

"Please Lord don't delay the day when I get to rock our own sweet baby." 

We're beginning to announce our news more publicly now. I didn't like feeling that it was a secret to be kept. In reality, it is an announcement to be celebrated, and I am almost bubbling over with excitement. Maybe my tummy isn't growing, but the reality that we will soon be parents is.

I get the feeling that people don't always know how to respond when they get the news that someone they know is adopting.

I've had several encounters lately when I tell people that Adam and I have some have exciting news. I typically get the quintessential high pitched squeals and clappy hands, but then when I throw them for a loop and say that I'm not in fact pregnant, but adopting, they stow their clappy hands and instead respond with an quaint "how nice" or "wow, that's great".

It's ambiguous news, this I know. This process has  an unclear timeline and is an unpredictable journey. However, I still want the clappy hands...I still want to celebrate the fact that we are expanding our family, and will, at the end of all this, have a child that we will love and cherish forever.

Ultimately, what we want to hear is "Congratulations!", just like any other expecting couple. We're excited to share our news, and we covet the prayers of our friends and family.


**We're still gathering information for our home study. Our goal is to have our entire dossier completed and sent to Jamaica by the end of the summer. We are also working diligently on our race fundraiser for our team, Baby Steps. Please let me know if you have any questions. We're also working on another fundraiser. I can't give too much away yet, but it involves cookies. Get excited!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Father's Day



"He didn't tell me how to live; he lived, and let me watch him do it." 
~ Clarence Budington Kelland

Not only is he incredibly handsome, a wonderful husband, and a second to none nurse (I've been healing all weekend from wisdom teeth extraction), he will be a phenomenal Daddy. Adam, I can't wait to see you in action!

You are the most patient, funny, steadfast, and kind person I know. I am so proud that you are mine! I am grateful that you seek the Lord's wisdom and direction for our lives, and always encourage me to do the same. Thank you for praying for us as we continue to take the necessary steps to become a family. I am so thankful for your reassuring words and calming presence when I'm uneasy or anxious. Thank you for leading our little family, you are the best! You will carry on the wonderful legacy of fatherhood that has been left for you by your father, and his father before him!

I love you so much and can't wait to see what the future holds!

Love,
Kate, Harry, Brady &  Baby H.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Baby Steps


Put on your walking or running shoes and join us Saturday October 27th in New Braunfels, Texas for the Chosen Marathon for Adoption!

If you haven't figured out yet, this is not Katti writing.  I know I know, you thought, "WOW! Katti's writing has really improved since her last post!"  Haha, just kidding.  This is actually one of the first non-technical things I have written since college so bear with me.

Katti took up the hobby of running last summer and convinced me to join in December last year.  I always thought distance running was not for me but have really embraced it since I started.  It is a great way to get away and think...or not think and just zone out.  Both of these aspects can appeal to anyone that has a busy stressful life (a.k.a. - EVERYONE). 

I did my first half marathon in February this year at the Cowtown Race in Fort Worth.  It was amazing and I couldn't wait to start training for the next race.  I was addicted.  Katti and I then decided to sign up for the Chicago 13.1 Half Marathon which we are running this Saturday!  If you would have told me this time last year that I would have run in 2 half marathons I would have laughed you out of town. 

When Katti and I decided to begin pursuing our adoption we couldn't help but to read and hear about the enormous cost that goes along with growing your family this way, especially internationally.  We did a quick search on everyone's favorite, Google, for an adoption race and the first link was the Chosen Marathon for Adoption.  This is a national event and it is within 300 miles of us in one of our favorite Texas destinations!  We knew we had to put a team together and use our hobby to help grow our family.

When I was signing myself up for this race one of the questions was deciding between the half marathon and the full marathon.  Even though I know my body would hate me for it, I chose the full marathon.  Katti asked me why in the world I would choose the full marathon and looked at me like I was crazy.  I told her that if I can do something that I know in my mind is impossible (a full marathon), then there is nothing that can stop us from overcoming any adoption challenge that may come our way. 

Anyone that is interested in joining with Baby Steps in October please feel free to contact me for further details, advice on training (even though I am definitely still an amateur), or just general information. 

This race is a great way to celebrate adoption and fundraise for adoptive families.  The entry fees for everyone that joins our team will go directly to help support our adoption!  Our team name is Baby Steps (thanks dad for the name idea).  If you're interested in learning more or joining our team please follow the link and READ MORE.  Make sure you choose team Baby Steps/Team Henderson when registering.

P.S. We will be designing athletic gear for our team as well as regular tee-shirts...more on that to come later.  Get excited!!!!

Monday, June 4, 2012

No morning sickness, but the paper cuts are killer...

Organization at its finest
Hubs working on our Dossier
                                       
Well, it's the third day of summer vacation and we've hit the ground running gathering paperwork for our dossier. To say we're overwhelmed is an understatement. From printing malfunctions to attachment opening issues, we've seen the gauntlet. We've just been working on trying to focus on the silver lining. We are literally and figuratively taking baby steps.I have self prescribed reading glasses because it seems that all adoption paperwork is in size 6 font.

We've got our medical appointments next week, certified copies of our birth certificates ordered, and are currently looking for an agency to perform our home study. The ball is rolling. 

I asked Adam if he thought our child had even been born. He said he thought so.

My heart sank

The very thought of our child existing without us is a scary and torturous feeling. It's difficult to fathom that right now, at this very moment, our child is somewhere that is too far away for me to hold. 

For this I pray
"Father, I pray that where ever our child is and whomever they are with, they are loved, snuggled, and cared for. I pray that they are healthy, well fed, and smile daily. God, I ask that you instill something in their little heart that tells them we are coming.And may that bring comfort. I pray for a peace that only comes from you. Amen."

Please continue to pray specifically that God will grant us favor during this paperwork process. Pray that progress is plenty and roadblocks are few. 

Throughout my research, I am humbled by how many couples are  going through this process. Please pray for them too. 













Friday, June 1, 2012

Full Heart


Today was the last day of school. The parent paparazzi was in full force today. 

If you know me, you know that I've never dealt well with transitions. Today marks the end of my second year teaching. Two of those two years have been spent with the same children. This fact made the day even more difficult. I've had these children for 8 hours a day for 360 days. It is weird because I look forward to summer break all year, and now it's here and all day I found myself dreading the end.

The uncertainty of beginnings and ends are always dreadful for me. I will choose to reside in the middle. Middles are safe and predictable. I had more students cry today than I had anticipated. Part of me wanted to tell them to save their tears for middle school, they'd need them there. However, I didn't want to be pessimistic, but I know we can all agree, those are some difficult years. In all honesty, they're amazing kids, and I have no doubt that they'll accomplish many amazing things. Their insight and creativity amazes me, and I love to see them learn and grow.

I received the posted letter from a student and it made my heart so incredibly full that I thought it would burst. I haven't mentioned motherhood or parenting to my students at all,  so it means so much to hear that I will be a good mommy from a student. My students are the closest thing to a child that I have right now. I hope that I have been nurturing and kind when needed, as well as stern and strict when necessary. I pray that they always knew that my classroom  was a safe place to make a mistake. It is my highest intention that they will walk away from this year having learned the importance of kindness. I hope that they've grown in their confidence, security, and developed a lifelong sense of curiosity.

I've been a bit weepy all afternoon. I'm grateful that I'll have more time to get to working on the completion of our dossier now that things have slowed down.

I'm learning that some of the most significant and integral parts of our existence happen in the beginnings and ends of our life chapters. I think I'll marinate on that for a bit.

When It comes down to it, I want nothing more than to be a part of the parent paparazzi.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Amen


"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God." Philippians 4:6


Well...
Thanks for the prayers! They're working. We found out yesterday that our pre-application has already been approved! This happened a week and a half before our 4 week waiting time was up.

 My immediate prayer was this...


"Lord, I pray that this is a sign of things to come. I pray that this process, although difficult, will be as smooth as possible. I pray that we will experience more pleasant surprises such as this one. We continue to seek guidance and direction in accordance to your will for our lives. Amen"


I feel like we're one step closer. One step closer to becoming parents. One step closer to bedtime stories, rocking chairs, kids menus, and a love like we have never known.

So what is step two? Well. Here goes.

Along with the e-mail came about seven different attachment items that require action on our part. We will now be assembling what is known in the adoption world as our dossier. This includes items like birth certificates, social security information, home study, and fingerprinting. All of which will include copious amounts of scanning and paperwork.

I am grateful that school is almost out and I will have time off this summer to dedicate and invest in this grand venture.

The image you see on this post is a screen shot of the e-mail that we recieved. That word however is certainly a bit disconcerting. Adam reminded me that they just want to weed out the people who aren't serious. I know this path won't be easy. At this point we wholeheartedly believe that we are called to this country and to this journey...so we will press on.

Again, we are so grateful for the prayers and well wishes.

Some answers to some things that you may be wondering...

  • We did not specify a gender
  • We did specify a maximum age of 2
  • We are working on some exciting fundraising opportunities (Stay tuned!)
Throughout this journey there have been a few songs that have been like a hug to my heart. I've shared one already, and would like to share another. 

This is a song by Dave Barnes called Carry Me Through. 

My favorite part says, There's a mountain here before me
                            And I'm gonna climb it with strength not my own
                            And He's gonna meet me where the mountain beats me
                            Carry me through, carry me through



Enjoy.





Saturday, May 12, 2012

Mother's Day

"Biology is the least of what makes someone a mother."
-Oprah Winfrey

I've been feeling pretty crummy for the past few days. A head cold, I think. I did nothing today but lay around and veg out on my couch. We were hoping to go to Houston to visit with our families for Mother's day, but decided it was probably best to stay home and mend. 

Of course, idle time lends a lot of room for thoughts. With Mother's day being tomorrow and all, I've been thinking a lot about my longing to be a mother. The role of mother will be one of the most significant roles I ever play in this life. I will be so grateful for the ability to have such a strong influence over the life of another. It will be a privilege to be entrusted to care for and love this child. I can't wait. I was on the phone with a dear friend and she said, "Just like with pregnancy, this waiting time provides you the opportunity to prepare, pray for, and love the child that is on its way to you." Thanks, Court, I appreciated your words more than you know.

Prepare for, pray, and love this child we will...for as long as it takes

In the mean time, I want to take the time to thank all of the wonderful mothers that we have in our lives. From our own moms, to the mothers that our sisters and friends have become. I am so grateful for each of you. I cannot wait to learn from your wisdom. We have been provided with so many wonderful examples of motherly love, and I cannot wait to follow suite. I can't wait to experience this love. In starting this process of adoption I feel like, in a small way, I already have. I know that the love I feel will only grow stronger as the time goes on. 
I'll leave you with another letter I wrote to our sweet child.

12-23-2011 
My baby,
You feel far, far away right now. It's weird that it feels like I miss you, even though I don't know you yet. You will be the piece that completes our little family. It's almost Christmas and it's hard to see all the families everywhere I turn. We can't wait to one day hang your stocking and take you to see Santa. More importantly, we can't wait to teach you about our Savior, Jesus. His story is miraculous, just like yours will be. God found favor on Mary and rewarded her faithfulness. She trusted God, and we will too. We're still praying that every day and every moment will bring us closer to you. 

Love,
Momma


Sunday, May 6, 2012

Grateful

"I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers..." Ephesians 1:16


The aforementioned you listed above refers to all of you. Adam and I have been so encouraged and blessed by the reactions we've received after announcing our adoption journey. It is so meaningful to know how much support and prayers we will have throughout this process. We are still in the 4-6 week waiting period before hearing about our pre-application. I asked Adam yesterday if it had been 2 weeks..(I felt 100% sure that it had), and he told me that it hadn't even been one. 


I was encouraged in an e-mail (thanks, Aunt Brenda) that said Adam and I will reminisce back on this waiting time. In hindsight, we will see all the small ways that God was working. I will hold tight to that. Meanwhile, we're having a great time learning more about the history and culture of Jamaica. Here are some facts we've found:


Did you know:

  • Jamaica is the largest English-speaking island in the Caribbean.
  • Jamaica is the first Caribbean Country to gain Independence.
  • Rum is the national drink of Jamaica.
  • Ian Fleming designed and built his home, "Goldeneye", in Jamaica and wrote ten of his James Bond novels there.
  • The Blue Mountains in Jamaica are named for the mists that often cover them, which look blue from a distance.
  • Jamaica was the first tropical country to enter the Winter Olympics.
  • The national dish of Jamaica is Ackee and Saltfish.
  • Jamaica is the third largest island in the Caribbean.
  • Jamaica was the first commercial producer of bananas in the Western Hemisphere.
  • Apart from the United States, Jamaica has won the most world and olympic medals.

Are you enlightened? You're welcome.

We are also attempting to learn Jamaican Patois. Although English is the official language that is both spoken and written in Jamaica, Jamaican Patois is an informal language that is cherished and spoken by most Jamaicans. Here is a a little gem we found online that can help you understand  a bit more about Jamaican Patois, and teach you a little something too. Enjoy!





Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Patience

I'm not patient. I know this about myself. I never have been. My lack of patience will be a huge obstacle for me to overcome. Adoption is a hurry up and wait kind of process. I am grateful that I have a husband who is calming, comforting, and has all the patience in the world.

It's a struggle, because when "normal" couples make the announcement that they're expanding their families, they are able to do so within 9 months...give or take.

A selfish part of me feels like it's not fair if we have to wait any longer than that. Then I take a breath and remember that everything will take place in God's timing. We know this to be true.

I wanted to introduce you to a song I heard the other day while driving to work. I had never heard this song before, and immediately got misty eyed when I heard the lyrics.

As the song says, "I will move ahead, bold and confident, taking every step in obedience. While I'm waiting, I will serve you while, I'm waiting I will worship, while I'm waiting, I will not faint, I'll be running the race, even while I wait."


This song has become my anthem. I wanted to post the video, because the words resonate deep within my heart. I'll probably be able to sing this song backwards and forwards.

Please enjoy.

Side note: I had to walk away 2 or 3 times in frustration because the video was taking forever to load. Like I said, patience is a virtue.


Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Uniqueness...



When Adam and I made the decision to embark on our adoption journey, it came as a surprise to us that we both assumed it would not be a domestic adoption. We had never even discussed international adoption, yet we both assumed that an international adoption would be the route we would choose. When discussing exactly where on the planet we would adopt from, Jamaica was on both our hearts. God is leaving his fingerprints all over this decision. 

We are excited to announce that we have filled out the pre-application for an international adoption from the beautiful island of Jamaica. Jamaica is a bit tricky as it pertains to adoption, as they are not a part of  HAGUE. I don't want to spend too much time with the specifics, so if you're interested, click the words in purple to learn more. 

We feel strongly that this is the path the Lord has called us to, and your  prayers and encouragement will prove to be invaluable throughout this process. 

This may seem weird, but, for the past few months I've been keeping a journal...or really a book with pages of letters of sorts. The letters are to our future child. I wanted to share the first one I ever wrote, so that you can really see our hearts.

11-20-2011 
Our Baby,
First off, I should explain that you don't really exist yet. As a matter of fact, I have no idea when or how you will enter our lives, but I know you will. I bought this journal today in order to chronicle the journey we will take to get you into our arms. The journey will be unique and special, just like you will be, I'm sure. You see, your daddy had cancer when he was young. The cancer took a lot  away from him, and he is the most brave, funny, and loyal person that I've ever known. Cancer took away our opportunity to go the simple, traditional route of starting a family (something we'll discuss when  you're older...much older) But the way we look at it, who wants simple anyway?? It's the things in life that don't come easily, the things we work hardest for that we value and cherish the most. Your dad is a fighter, and an overcomer. He loves life more than anyone I've ever met. 

Your daddy and I are high school sweethearts. We've been together since we were just sixteen. He was my first car date. I'll never forget how nervous I felt that cold January evening when I heard the loud engine of his 1966 red Chevy pull into my parents' driveway. I knew I wanted to marry him early on. Our love story grew from that January night all the way through high school graduation. We continued our journey through college where we were wed in December of our Junior year. We struggled through that first year due to little money, sleep, or personal space in our tiny apartment. It wasn't easy, but as I look back now, those are some of the fondest years I can recall. We graduated and moved to Grapevine where we live now. Your dad is a project manager for a steel supply company, and I am in my second year of teaching. As a matter of fact, I bought this journal with a birthday gift card from my class. 

Those kids are teaching me so much about how to be a good momma. I've learned patience, empathy, and compassion. I've also learned about "tough love". I love my job, although it makes me weary at times. Your dad works very hard too. He is one of the most intelligent people I know. He's a phenomenal  problem solver and communicator. I'm so happy that we've found jobs that bring out our strengths, but challenge us as well. 

It was this past summer when your dad and I decided we were ready to add to our little family of two. We're excited, and nervous for this big step. I bought this book so that one day, you'll be able to read about how thought about, prayed for, and loved you are...even before you were came into our lives. 

I know that some days tears will stain these pages as I write to you. This journey will not always be easy, and some days you'll feel very far away. We rest in the fact that the Lord knows the desires of our hearts, and he longs to give good things to those who love him. So off we go...into a journey that will end with a new and beautiful family...however that may be.

We trust you Lord, and we Love  you child,

Momma and Dad



The decisions we've made lately have not been made hastily, but instead thoughtfully and prayerfully. I promise these posts will not always be this long. Please join together with us in prayer. We have been told to wait 4-6 weeks for our pre-application to be approved. Upon notification of approval, we can move to the next phase. 

We love you, and are so thankful that you're walking this journey with us.