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.