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Showing posts from 2010

On the eighth day of Christmas...

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...from December 21st...

I don't remember what was on the eighth day of Christmas in the song.  I sat here forever trying to remember.  I suppose I could have googled it, but oh well.  Maids a milking? 


Today is the eighth day of Christmas according to the calendar.  The Advent season is nearing an end and, if you remember my blog from last year, Advent has been an interesting time for me for the past few years.  I had always wanted to be pregnant during Advent.  I thought it would be a magical thing to get to feel what it might have been like for Mary as she watched, worried, wondered, and waited.

...December 30th...

Today is my last day as a probation officer with the State of Tennessee.  Justin and I have made the decision for me to stay home and fill my time continuing to prepare our home for a baby and getting more practice as I care for others' children (changing diapers is a learned skill!).  We have been blessed this year in that Justin got a promotion at HCA and it seems…

Here come the Holidays

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I can't believe it's been nearly a year since we sent our first e-mail requesting information from Bethany on domestic adoption.  This year has been full of so many changes for us as we prepare to expand our family.  We were talking just today about how we didn't know when we started dating five years ago that it would still be just the two of us this far down the road in our marriage.  But now, we're learning to appreciate that we've had the time to really get to know each other and become true partners.  I told Justin that it took what seemed like forever for me to find him (or for him to find me), that when our baby does come home, hopefully I will feel the same way: thankful for the time we had to wait because it makes the fulfillment that much sweeter.  We haven't had a referral since the last out of state (we don't know when our profile is being shown in Tennessee) and we're glad for the reprieve.  The last referral was so emotional, it's been…

Off to the Happiest Place on Earth!

I must admit, it's been nice to have a reprieve from all things adoption over the past month or so.  We've been focusing on getting ready for our trip to Disney, my favorite vacation spot!  Justin and I are flying down tomorrow so that he can attend a conference with HCA at the Gaylord Palms resort.  I'm staying with him for the first two nights, then my parents will arrive and we'll check in on Sunday at the Wyndham Bonnet Creek, just outside of Epcot.  This coming week, my dad will turn 60.  We all decided that Disney World would be the perfect place to celebrate his big day!  As a child, I remember mom and dad taking Amber and me to Disney no less than 15 times, and we never grew tired of the magic, wonder, and fantasy of it all.  Justin and I went down in April 2008, and although Justin doesn't really share my love for the place, he is a good sport! 

We have a crib that now has a mattress, a car seat, a painted nursery, a changing table, and a closet that conti…

"Beauty will Rise"

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We wait...and wait, and wait, and wait.  I am finding out that life must go on, even in waiting for our baby.  And it should.  I am aware that the process itself, no matter what it is, is as important or more so, than the destination.  I try to learn something each day about myself or about those I love.  But much like my family experienced in the months after Amber died, the world does not stop for us to get off and catch our breath and rest for awhile.  However, God provides that resting place even as life continues to spin around us.  There has also been another similarity I've noticed to grief in this time of waiting for our baby...the fact that others will say "I know exactly how you feel."  Adoptive families say this to each other, and I've even said it to friends, knowing that it's not true.  No one knows how we feel.  It's impossible.  I don't even know how Justin feels, though I try.  No family's story is the same, so therefore, as much as we…

On turning 37...

Thanks to our friend Kevin Tucker (www.collidecreative.com) for our new logo!!

This coming Saturday, I will turn 37.  37.  I can hardly believe it.  Some of the friends who are my age already have a kid who is going into or even coming out of high school.  Sometimes I wonder what in the world I'm doing by trying to become a mom for the first time at 37.  But then I remember the details and the journey that has led me to this point.  None of it would be possible without the others, so I am grateful for what it is.

For those who don't know, we received a possible referral last month, just 24 days after our home study had been approved.  It was a healthy baby boy in another state and we were contacted by Bethany to see if we wanted them to send our profile to the other state for consideration for the baby.  We said yes and after about three weeks, we were informed that the baby had been matched with a family in the state where he was.  Ultimately, this is best because the birth fat…

Advent in July

For those of you who follow the traditional church calendar, you know that Advent doesn't start until later in the year, in the weeks leading up to Christmas.  It is a time of expectant hope that our Savior will come to us!  I have always been fascinated with Advent since I was first introduced to the concept as a teenager.  My favorite Advent hymn is "O Come O Come Emmanuel" because of its haunting tune and striking lyric.  In the same verse, the singer is earnestly asking for Emmanuel to come and ransom her soul that has been exiled, and before the verse has ended, she is rejoicing because she has received knowledge that indeed Emmanuel shall come! 


When I had my "pregnancy plan" all figured out (laugh), I always wanted to be pregnant during advent.  I thought it would be amazing to experience the Advent season in hopeful expectation of my baby's birth, as Mary did as she anticipated the birth of Christ.  The feelings and emotions of carrying a baby in my…

Paper Pregnant!!!

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Well here it is!  The post where I shout "We're (paper) pregnant!!!"  We found out yesterday, after we came home from Vacation Bible School with about 90 kids!!!  Ironic, huh?  As I was running through the halls chasing the children last night someone said "are you sure you still want one?"  I said "yes, just one!"  It was the day after Father's Day and we had both commented to each other that hopefully, this is the last Father's Day before Justin is a dad and the last Father's Day before we start sending "Grandpa" cards to my dad, Doug, and Vince. 

We are thrilled and will definitely keep you posted!

Today

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There is a baby bed in my house.  A baby bed.  The night Justin put it together, I just sat there in the room and looked at it.  I thought, "this room is way too quiet."  It's exciting to think that at some point (soon, we hope) there will be a resident in that room! 
Today I ask that you remember us in prayer as we are considering some other life decisions that will affect our family in positive ways.  God is opening some doors for us and my prayer is that we will have the courage to walk through and know that God will be waiting for us on the other side.

Hopefully, my next post will be to shout "I'm paper pregnant!"  That is the term used in the adoption world when our home study is finally approved and we are officially WAITING...

Adoption Bug

We've got the adoption bug for sure and I came across a website thanks to another adopting couple that I just love!  It's www.adoptionbug.com and they have some of the best adult t-shirts, infant onsies, and toddler shirts that I have seen.  We will be registering with them soon, so hold off on ordering something until you hear from me.  You see, our adoption fund will benefit from your purchase with no upfront cost to us.  I will explain more later, but for now, go ahead and figure out what you want!

As for the process, we are just weeks away from being 'paper pregnant!'  The baby bed is being delivered TODAY and we are ecstatic.  We have finished up the interview process, the paperwork, the home visit, and our profile book for the birth moms and now we are just waiting for the agency to let us know that our home study is approved!!  There is quite a misconception out there that the home visit is the home study.  Quite the contrary, the home study is EVERYTHING we have…

Happy Mother's Day

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--Our Sunday School class--

We have had a couple of really busy weeks, both with adoption movement and life in general.  The Nashville flood has left parts of our city in shambles, but it has been amazing to see the volunteer effort and the resiliency of our people.  Justin and I have been involved in the clean-up and have been so proud to be Nashvillians. 

Two weeks ago, we had our first interview with the adoption agency.  You may wonder why this was the first interview, since we have been in the adoption process since January.  Bethany waits to formally interview adoptive couples until after all of the paperwork has been turned in.  The interview itself was very relaxed and conversational.  Our adoption social worker is wonderful at what she does and we feel blessed to have her walking with us.  For nearly two hours, she talked with us, asked questions about our lives, how we met, how we fight, what we like to do.  These interviews are to ensure that, when a birth mom chooses us, th…

Interviews and Imagination

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This past Wednesday morning, we finally sat down with Bethany staff for our first face-to-face interview.  We have been talking with folks from Bethany all along the way via e-mail, training events, etc., but it was nice to have our worker all to ourselves for an hour and a half so we could ask questions, she could get to know us, and we could all continue to be on the same page regarding our upcoming adoption.

As I sit here on this stormy, dark Saturday morning, I can't help imagining what Saturdays will be like when our baby comes home.  Last weekend, a friend from South Carolina, her husband, and their four children visited and stayed with us.  The house was chaotic, loud, and oh so much fun!  I wasn't sure how Justin and I would do with the craziness...we have grown accustomed to having our schedule fit our lives and our home as our sanctuary.  But we loved having them here and playing with the kids.  We have (at least) a head knowledge of the facts that we will be sleep-de…

The Fun Part!

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Today, I finally let myself get caught up in some of the fun of preparing for a baby!  Since the paperwork is finished and turned in, it's exciting to turn our attention to getting the nursery ready and exploring Babies-R-Us.  :)  After work, mom and I went to Target to start the registry!  I can't get over how many baby items are out there.  It's insane!  So, I decided to attach pictures of some of our favorite baby bedding sets to this blog and see if any of you have a vote.  Not saying we'll choose what you choose, but if you have an opinion one way or another, please let me know in a comment.  Keep in mind that we have to choose a set that would work for a boy or a girl.  We will be taking photos of the nursery to go into our profile book that is shown to the birth mothers.

So, can you tell that we like animals? 
Tomorrow, I'm going with "Aunt" Brittany and "Aunt" Candyce to Babies-R-Us and probably Target again so that my friends who have ha…

Affirmations and updates

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Needed to record what's been going on for us lately:  In the past few weeks, Justin and I have received so many affirmations that we are following God's path for our lives. I don't believe in coincidence, and even if I did, this would not be an example of it. I once heard it this way: "Coincidence is when God chooses to remain anonymous."

Two weeks ago, a gentleman at Justin's work gave us a generous donation toward the adoption fund. It was completely out of the blue and unexpected. He and his wife have an adopted daughter from China and he simply said "We've been blessed by adoption and wanted to bless you."  Then, Justin's mom and step-dad were compelled to give us another amazing gift. Along with my parents' donation, we now have the rest of the initial fee to complete our home study! After the home study is approved, we will be able to apply for grants and loans which will help us with the final placement fees.


Additionally, we found…

Honestly...

I didn't think about all of the possibilities that we've been learning about in our training.  For instance, we have been challenged to think long and hard about the implications of adopting a child whose skin color is different from ours.  When he or she is a baby, there will be difficult days, strangers asking questions, rude stares, etc.  But when he or she starts school, there will be an entirely new set of problems that we as a family will have to face.  This realization has not deterred me, but has made me want to be the best mom I can be for this new life.  Maybe I will have to change some of my presumptions and assumptions about raising a child who doesn't look like me.  From the beginning, Justin and I have said "we don't care what color the baby is...we just want a baby to love."  Perhaps God is teaching me that I should care, I need to care.  It will impact our lives and this child's life and to name it and face it will be the way to ensure a p…

Paperwork: Complete!

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Tonight, we attended our last "in-person" training session with the Bethany staff.  We still have three more weeks of training that we will complete by e-mail.  We were happy to have "Nana Jane," "Pawpaw," and Aunt Yvette join us for training.  It's been wonderful to have our families involved and interested in our journey.  We heard a birth mother speak about her experience and the training was on lifelong adoption issues.

The way my brain works, one idea leads to twelve more.  I began jotting down the significant days of our adoption highway thus far:  The day when I was a kid and I told my mom and dad that someday, I would adopt a child; the day that I first mentioned adoption to Justin when we were dating; the day we realized that we needed to change out assumptions about how God would bring us a child and consider adoption as a first choice; the day we sent our first e-mail to Bethany, January 2, 2010; the days we submitted our preliminary applica…

"Don't worry, Mommy will find you!"

So, we went to First Baptist Nashville on Sunday, Feb. 28 for our first 'adoption 101' meeting.  It is a support/information regarding adoption group.  Our friend Lori went along too because she and her husband are also in the adoption process.  My parents went to show support for Justin and me and love the notion of being grandparents in the near future! 

We met several couples, some in the adoption process, some just thinking about it, and some whose entire lives had been touched by adoption.  There were adult adoptees and those who have adopted children of all ages.  It was very cool to just have a place to talk about our excitement, our fears, and the process. 

One of the leaders of the group who is becoming a mentor to us in this journey adopted two of our turtles and took them home to her two adopted daughters.  Because she tells the story better than I could, let me quote her (permission was granted and first initials of names are used to protect identity):

"Tonight…

Training

It’s been nearly two months since we sent our first e-mail requesting information from Bethany about adoption. In the last eight weeks, we have been to Columbia, TN three times, for information, orientation, and initial training. For the initial training, Papa Mike went with us. He wanted to learn about the adoption process and what we had to go through. They put us in groups and asked us what we were most excited about and what we most afraid of. My dad said that he was most excited about being a grandfather and was most afraid about the first time he keeps the baby by himself! I said I was most excited about rocking the baby in a rocking chair…those bonding moments when I look at my sweet child and see the face of God. And, I said I was most afraid of adolescence! Justin said he was so excited to be a dad and was afraid of a birth mother changing her mind. In the State of Tennessee, a birth mother has 72 hours after the birth before she can sign over her parental rights. After that,…

Bethany Orientation

Last Friday Stephanie and I attended the Domestic Adoption Orientation put on by Bethany in Columbia. It was a long day. The morning started with several adoptive parents sharing their stories. Some of them brought their children who acted much like you would expect toddlers to: Calling for Mommy; grabbing everything within reach; sometimes crying. The distractions didn’t bother anyone. That is why we were all there. All of the stories had their share of happy and sad, but all were inspiring. The guest speakers lasted until lunchtime. We were released into Columbia for an hour and a half to find our own lunch. On her way to the bathroom Stephanie struck up a conversation with a young couple from Ashland City who invited us to have lunch with them. We had a great lunch with them. Conversation came easy and we talked so much that we were late returning to the church. They had just adopted a little boy internationally the year before. Stephanie and I picked their brains and listened inte…

First Thoughts

Tonight, I looked at my husband and said "Years ago, if someone had asked me 'how can you believe in God?' I would have said something to do with looking around at the universe or the trees and all of the majesty of creation. Now, if someone wonders how I can believe in God, I would simply point to you." Each day, I am more convinced that there was something much bigger than me orchestrating my collision course with Justin. It happened at just the right time in my life and although he is not what I thought I wanted, he is exactly what I needed.

And so, this metaphor continues into our desire to be parents. For several months, we have breezed by the subject of adoption if our attempts to have a child of our own continue to fail. But Justin has not been 'ready.' Such a strange word to me...when are we ever really ready for big changes in life? I have chosen to wait (sometimes impatiently) for him to come around to my way of thinking ;). My 36 year old body and…