Tuesday, September 28, 2010

My Baby Boy is 3!

The birthday festivities began the weekend before last when Justin's parents came for a little visit. They brought gifts for Jax and took us all to eat at the mall. Jax loves going the mall, because he almost always gets to ride the carousel and get dessert, especially when grandparents are involved. Jax is a Buzz Lightyear fanatic, so of course he had to have a Toy Story theme for his 3rd Birthday Party. My cousin came from Mississippi and brought a cake that she made him. It was so cute!
Jax loved it! He was a pro at blowing out his candles. I think this was the first year that his big brother didn't help him blow out the candles.
Oh, I love this happy kid. He absolutely keeps me on my toes and exhausts me every single day, but I love him to pieces.
Lots of friends and family came to celebrate with us at the park. The picture below is of Jax, Nolan (a little boy I keep during the week), and of course big brother Sawyer. They love Nolan like he is their little brother.
The little brother of our family had a blast at his party! He is so ready to meet his little sister and talks about her all the time. When we were planning his party he said, "When Mia comes home I want her to come to my party and eat cake with me." I told him that when Mia comes home we will have a party and we will most certainly eat some cake.
The other day when I was cooking dinner he came up to me and said, "I don't want to call my sister Mia, I want to call her MiMi." He is so silly, but I have no doubt that he will be a great big brother. Of course he will probably 4 or even 5 by the time she comes home, but I am sure it will go by fast. The last 3 years have flown by; that's for sure.
Monday, Jax's actual birthday, Justin and I took him to Build-A- Bear at the mall. Of course he had to choose a Buzz Lightyear costume for his new friend.
Like I said, we can't go to the mall without a carousel ride or dessert. So, Jaxon took his bear that he named Bear Lightyear on a little ride. He kept turning around to ask, "are you having fun, Bear?"
He shared green ice cream with marshmallows (tastes as gross as it sounds) with his daddy. Today I sent cupcakes to Jaxon's class. If all of that wasn't enough, we will be celebrating once more with my side of the family. My parents and little brother are coming to visit for the weekend and taking the boys camping Friday night. They are so excited!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Quick Update

I am still here. I have had a busy week and haven't had too much to say.

We celebrate Jaxon's 3rd Birthday yesterday, so I will post some pics soon. I can't believe my baby is 3.

We have our orientation call with our adoption agency tomorrow. Of course, we did this not too long ago, but this time it will be specific to the Ethiopia program. It is a little hard to be excited about these kinds of things this time around, but we are happy to be moving forward.

I am very excited about the fact that we completed all of our online adoption training courses. We continue to work through the big, fat Eyes Wide Open workbook. We are about half way through with it.

We hope to send off our orientation papers this week and wait for our new adoption planner and dossier to arrive.

Monday, September 20, 2010

God cares about the Details

I shared in my last post that as of Friday I have a peace in my heart about pursuing an adoption from Ethiopia. I really love the way I have been able to see God in the little details of our adoption process. When I see the little things work out, it reminds me that He is in control and can handle the big things that we still have ahead of us.

I have been reading in Exodus and last Friday morning I read chapters 25-28 where God gives the Israelites the instructions for building the tabernacle. He was so specific in his instructions. It was another reminder to me that God cares about details. He cared about details when he instructed the Israelites to build the tabernacle and He cares about the details of our lives.

After my Bible reading, I went for a walk. Like I said I just felt uneasy about our adoption. I prayed that the Lord would show me what to do. I began to think about the parameters we had set for our adoption. We have been saying all along that we would adopt a baby girl between the ages of 0-12 months. I prayed about it and really felt that God was leading me to expand the age a bit. I talked to Justin, who completely agreed, and we decided to request a baby girl between the age of 0-24 months. I can't really explain it, but as soon as we made this decision I had such a sense of peace come over me.

A little bit later that day Justin told me that he had received our mortgage bill and that our house payment had gone down a little. The thing that it so cool about it, is that our car insurance went up this month when we traded in Justin's car for a mini van. Our house payment went down the exact amount that our car insurance went up. How is that for attention to detail? God is so awesome!

I almost forgot to say that AGCI received our application today and officially accepted us into the Ethiopia program. I am beginning to feel excited again! Ethiopia, here we come!

Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows. Matthew 10:29-31

Friday, September 17, 2010

Back to Square 1

We mailed in our new application to AGCI today. It has been exactly 3 months since we signed our first application. 3 months ago I did not expect to be here, to be switching countries, and starting over.

I spoke to the social worker who is doing our home study and she told me that she will not have to redo our home study, just change a couple of things. Hopefully it won't take us too long to complete everything. I am not sure what all is involved with the dossier for Ethiopia. I do know it is less than the one for Rwanda, so that is a plus.

When I spoke with our social worker, I told her about all of the mixed feelings I have been having. She told me to make sure I took time to grieve. At the time I was thinking that I didn't really need to. I felt I already had, but this week was a really hard one for me emotionally. I have just been so sad and not felt peaceful about the whole situation. So, I have been grieving and praying.

I know I have not lost my child. She is still out there and God is leading us to her. I guess the thing that is upsetting me the most is the wait that is still ahead of us. When we first decided to pursue an adoption from Rwanda the total time frame from application to bringing home our child we were given was 9-14 months. Of course, we were told we had to be flexible and that things could change, but I really thought we might have a referral by spring and be bringing home a baby next summer or fall. I now know it will be much longer than that.

If we knew then what we knew now we may have made different decisions. Well, we would have. There is no may about it. The fact is we didn't, but God did. I am trusting that He is using all of this to lead us to our little girl.

This morning I woke up with that uneasy feeling again. I knew we needed to fill out our application today. I had tears in my eyes as I went for my morning walk and prayer time. I thought about all of our options regarding the adoption. When I say options I mean continuing or not. I even prayed about possibly pursuing domestic adoption. I prayed for God to show me what to do and to give me peace. I really wanted to feel peace. I don't expect things to be easy, but I want to at least feel like I am doing the right thing.

I can say now that God has given me that peace. We filled out our application and I truly think it was the right thing to do. Our daughter is in Africa and we are going to do whatever we have to do to get to her. If that means waiting longer than when we ever imagined waiting, then we will wait.

The other day, Sawyer told me that he didn't want a sister anymore, because it was taking too long for her to come home. It broke my heart to hear him say that. One of the hardest parts of this whole thing is that it doesn't just affect us, it also affects our boys. They want her to come home just like we do! I told Sawyer that we would have waited on him, because we loved him, so we are going to wait on Mia, too. I told him that we would pray everyday and that God will help us. He said that he would wait and that he loved her.

We all love her! Things have not gone as I have planned, but we are not ready to quit. She will be worth the wait. I keep telling myself this. Justin keeps telling me too. It will all be worth it!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

New Direction

So, our caseworker called on Thursday. We will not be adopting our daughter from Rwanda, at least not anytime soon. I pretty much expected this at this point, but it still hurt. We have decided to reapply with our agency and pursue adoption from Ethiopia.

I think this is what we are supposed to do. I can see God's hand in all of this. I know we are not supposed to stop. I believe He will work things out for good. I can't say I am excited about the adoption at this point. I pray I get back there soon, but right now I am just not.

I have said from the beginning that this whole adoption is not about me. I am really feeling that now. If it was, I would quit right now. I would just stop at least for a few months, but it isn't. It is about a baby girl who needs a family to bring her home. So, I am choosing to fight against the worry, the doubt, and the insecurities that are going on in my head right now. I am going to fight for her.

More importantly, it is about bringing Glory to the one who gave His life for me, the one who died so that I could have eternal life. I pray that we will honor our heavenly Father with our decision to continue on with the adoption.

We truly can see God's hand at work in all of this. He has blessed us tremendously and for that we are thankful. We will be starting over with the adoption, but we won't have to do everything over. Hopefully, we will not have to redo our home study. We have no idea how long it will take. We don't have a clue when we will meet our daughter. God knows and His timing is perfect. I am sure of that!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Sick and Tired

We have had a tough week! Sawyer came home from school sick last Friday. It turned out he had laryngitis/croup and tonsillitis. Monday morning he woke up feeling a little better, but little brother Jax woke up with a barking seal cough. He also had croup and is still getting over it. This is how he spent his first day of MDO. I teach MDO twice a week and Jax is in the class across the hall. He hasn't been able to go this week, but hopefully he will be feeling much better by next Tuesday.
I have really been trying to stay positive about our adoption, but it has been really hard the last couple of days. I am sure lack of sleep from being up all night with sick kids hasn't helped, but I have been feeling really discouraged. We haven't heard anything official from our agency, yet have been hearing that it could be a year or more before Rwanda reopens for adoption.

This evening we found out that the caseworkers at AGCI met today to discuss all of the Rwanda paperwork families. They will call all of us tomorrow to let us know what our options will be at this point. Please be in prayer for us. Pray for God to clearly show us what to do. I thought we were done making these big decisions, but things have changed and we may have some decisions to make. Please pray that we will have the courage to do whatever God shows us.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

One Smile Closer :: Tennessee

Justin is not the only one in our family who is talented with a camera. His twin brother, Jon and his wife Kelsey are amazing videographers. They live in Murfreesboro, Tennessee where they have their own wedding videography business. Check out their awesome site.

Jon and Kelsey have been with us on our adoption journey from the very beginning. We visited them on our way to the adoption conference and they prayed with us that God would lead us to our child. They have been such a great support to us and we are so very thankful for both of them.

A couple of weeks ago we got an envelope in the mail from Kelsey that said One Smile Closer. It turns out that she had taken some pictures for our One Smile Closer campaign. She is also a talented photographer. We were thrilled and thankful for their generous gift. Here are a few of the pics she took. You can see the rest here.

Thursday, September 2, 2010


I am feeling very impatient today. I was really hoping to hear something about our adoption by now. I am having flashbacks to feelings I had over 5 years ago; feelings of uncertainty, feelings of doubt, feelings of impatience. These are just some of the feelings I had when I was dealing with infertility. When I heard that Rwanda would no longer be accepting dossiers I felt a rush of these unwanted emotions again. I remembered how much it hurts to wait on God to answer my prayer for a child. I thought these feelings were way behind me, a part of my past life, so you can imagine my dismay when doubt, worry, anger, and fear began to rear their ugly heads once again. My plan and my timeline for when we will meet our third child is not working out and I have not been thrilled about it.

Then I remembered that my plan didn't quite work out with my other children either. It was never in my plan for it to take over a year and a half to become pregnant. I certainly didn't plan to deal with cysts, polyps, or endemetriosis during my quest to become a mother. It also would not have been in my first plan to become foster parents while we waited, but it was God's plan. I can't imagine my life without these two little cuties below. This was my first experience as a mother and I learned for the first time what it was to sacrificially love another person, actually two other people. It was also the first time that God laid adoption on Justin's heart. He just told me a couple of nights ago that he doesn't even think we would be adopting if we hadn't experienced what we did with Lilith and Sebastian.

If my plan had worked and we would have conceived immediately I would not have my Sawyer. Was every tear over a negative pregnancy test and every surgery to remove cysts and endemetriosis worth it when I held MY baby in my arms for the first time? You better believe it! Was he worth the wait? You bet he was and still is, of course!
When he was just a few months shy of his first birthday, we found out Sawyer would be a big brother. Let's see, who's plan was that?
Man, I can't claim that one either! Yet, I wouldn't trade my little pumpkin, Jax for the whole world!
So, I felt like God has been saying to my heart, "while you are remembering the pain you felt when your plans didn't pan out, why don't you remember the great joy that came when Mine did!"
So, even though I really wish I had more control over the situation we are facing, I am also glad I don't. God's plans are much, much, much better than anything I can come up with on my own.
These little ones were worth every tear, every doubt, every day of wondering if I would ever be a mommy. Mia is worth it, too!!!

Baby girl,
Wherever you are, I know that God has a plan for you to be in my arms one day. I don't want to wait. I want you now, but I am going to trust our Heavenly Father. I am without a doubt certain, that you will be worth the wait.

"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts." Isaiah 55:8-9

“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord. “For as the heavens are higher th“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts.” Isa 55:8-9an the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts.” Isa 55:8-9

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

New Friends

My friend Megan told us about some friends, Erin and Jonathan Clark, who were also in the process of adopting a baby girl from Rwanda. We found out that we have the same social worker working on our home studies. They only live about 45 minutes away, so we planned to meet for dinner.
So, our new friends Erin and Jonathan and their little cutie, Jackson came over for dinner last Friday night. We are at about the same place in the paperwork stage, and we all found out on Thursday that Rwanda is not accepting any dossiers at this point. We were glad that the Clarks were coming over on Friday, so that we could talk about what was going on with another couple in the exact same situation. It was such a blessing to get to know them.
We are praying for our little girls, wherever they may be. Jackson and Jaxon had lots of fun playing. They will both turn 3 this month.
We told the boys to put their arms around each other and smile and this was the best we could get. They were quite engrossed in Dora at this point in the evening (it was also way past bedtime!) I was glad to discover that my boys are not the only boys who love Dora.
Sawyer soon joined in on the Dora fun, and again this was the best pic I could get. I can't wait until there are two little sisters in these pics. We are so thankful we were able to meet such a fun family who is following God's call on their life to adopt.

We still don't have any news on Rwanda, and let me tell you I am ready to hear something, but I am excited about what God has in store for us and the Clarks.