Monday, January 31, 2011

So Long January!

January 2011 has not treated us too well, so I will not be too sad to see it go. It has been a terribly cold month filled with sick kids, a never ending cough, and little movement in our adoption. I have spent the last few days at home with my sick boys. They had the flu. Yuck! I will happily welcome a new month.

I love February! As a mom of two boys I love an excuse to make pink and red treats and crafts. I love celebrating my love for the three special guys in my life. Justin and I started dating in February, 10 Februarys ago to be exact. Wow! I had no idea when I said yes to that first date what God had in store. It has been an amazing 10 years. I sure am glad I said yes.

Last year around this time we were preparing to go to the Adoption For Life Conference at the end of the month. I started reading Russell Moore's book, Adopted for Life. We knew God wanted us to adopt and felt like it was the right time to begin. Of course, this was easier said than done. I had so many questions. International or Domestic adoption? If international, then what country? What agency would we use? How in the world would we pay for the adoption? Last February, I had so many questions, fears, and concerns about starting the adoption process.

We went to the conference asking the Lord to confirm to us that He wanted us to adopt and to show us where our child was. He was faithful to answer our prayers and give us some of the answers we were searching for. He clearly put Africa on our hearts. I remember looking up at Justin on the last day of the conference and saying, " I think our baby is in Ethiopia." He smiled and said, " I think so too." He gave us an amazing peace at the exact same time. We also learned about AGCI while we were on this trip.

I can't believe it has already been a year, since we began this crazy journey. I am so glad we said yes to Him when He put adoption on our hearts. This February I still have questions. When will we see our daughters face? How old will she be? What will it be like to hold her in our arms for the first time? I hope and pray that we will have our answers by this time next year.

This February I am attending the Created to Care retreat and I can't wait. Only four more days!!!! January exhausted me, so I am so thankful for a chance to get away for a couple of days.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Nursery Rhymes and Adoption Stories

Well, I haven't posted in over a week. The last time I posted I was feeling dreary and I hate to admit that my mood has not improved much. I have been sick all week. I finally went to the doctor yesterday and am now on an antibiotic and an inhaler for my chest congestion. I have been so exhausted all week. I am ready to feel normal again. Thankfully, Justin has been taking up the slack and helping with the boys even more than he already does.

Sawyer had his nursery rhyme parade at school today. He was Little Boy Blue. We all went to watch him and cheer him on.

Next week at this time I will be on my way to the Created To Care retreat. I can't wait. I just need a little extra encouragement right now and God knew that when I signed up for the retreat months ago. Speaking of encouragement there is a beautiful adoption story written by my friend Catherine on Kelly's Corner today. She also has people link up and tell their adoption stories. Our adoption story is still being written. I long to know how it will turn out. I want to know when we will see our daughter's face. I want to know who she is and for her to be home with us. There are so many unknowns. I struggle with doubts and worries on a daily basis. All I know right now is that we are being obedient to the calling God put on our hearts. We are seeking after Him. We want our story to bring glory to our Heavenly Father. He is writing our adoption story and for that I am thankful.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow ( I Hope!)

It has been a really dreary couple of weeks. I can't remember the last time the sun came out. I am not a fan of cold weather, especially yucky, rainy, cold weather. My three year old told me on our way to MDO that the sun is hiding in his tree house. I saw that it is supposed to be mostly sunny for the next two days. I really hope that's the case.

I also have been feeling a little dreary myself for the last couple of days. I am sure the weather isn't helping with this mood I am in, but I know that lack of referrals from our agency is a big part of this. We just got on the list in December and I knew that we would have a long wait and I don't personally expect to get a referral for our daughter for at least a year. However, I did think we would see some referrals going out. We worked so hard to make it on the list and now I feel like we are stuck. My heart goes out to the people at the top of the list who are waiting for that precious phone call. I would also love to move out of the 90s.

I really never expected the adoption process would be easy. I knew there would be lots of paper work, large expenses and long waits, but I didn't realize how emotionally difficult it would be. My heart breaks for the 145 million children who need families. I want to make a difference. I want to change the life of a child. My heart is broken.

One good thing about having a broken heart is that it causes me to cling to my Savior. I am constantly crying out to Him and I know He hears me. This waiting game is not easy, but thankfully I am not alone. Today I feel discouraged, but I know I won't stay this way for long.

"Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal." 2 Cor. 4:16-18

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

One More Giveaway

Yesterday, I posted about 4 fun giveaways and almost forgot about this one. Tracy, from Junk Posse is giving away this beautiful necklace. I adore her Etsy shop! You really need to check it out. Today is the last day to enter the giveaway, so hurry on over to find out how to enter. Oh, and she did say she can replace the Africa with a small heart if the winner so chooses, so you don't have to be adopting from Africa to heart this necklace.

Speaking of hearting things, we sure do heart Chick-fil-a family night. Last night, we took the boys to pajama night. As you can see Jax was very excited about meeting the cow. I was excited about not having to cook and Justin was excited that the kids ate free. Sawyer just enjoyed his nuggets, but he didn't care much about having his picture taken with the cow. His brother on the other hand begged me to take his picture with his new friend.
You've gotta love that big cheesy grin!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

4 Giveaways and a Blog Hop

I want to tell you about a few great Giveaways I entered this week. I found all of them on my adoption mama friends' blogs.

The first one is on the Domesticated Diva's blog. The winner gets $35 to spend on anything from the Canvas Heart. Crystal, from the Canvas heart, makes beautiful works of art incorporating Amharic, the main language of Ethiopia. Head on over and find out how you can win.

The next giveaway I found on Dahlias, Daisies, and Dandelions. The winner receives a precious little handmade baby doll and a taggie. I would love to win a sweet little doll for Mia Grace! Click Here to find out how to enter this giveaway and if you don't need a baby doll, you can give it to me if you win. Wink! Wink!

This next giveaway is from my friend, Alison from Lovin' Much. Alison is giving away a $40 gift certificate to CSN stores. There are tons of things to choose from on this site. Go here to enter.

The fourth and final giveaway can be found on Future Mama's blog. She is choosing three winners!! Each winner will be able to choose a beautiful bracelet from Twirling Trees. These beautiful bracelets are made by a 13 year old girl who uses all of the proceeds to help sponsor a 2 year old boy she met on a mission trip to Kenya. Isn't that the sweetest? Go here to enter this awesome giveaway.

My adoption mama friends are so much fun and so generous too. I am so excited that I will get to meet many of them at the Created to Care retreat in a few short weeks. If you are going let me know by joining in on the blog hop. Rebekah created this blog hop, so that we could get to know each other before the retreat. If you are one of the 250 women going, then go ahead and link up.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Thankful for Mia

For Christmas, one of Justin's cousins gave us an envelope for each of our children including Mia. Inside the envelope was a Christmas card and $20 bill for each child to spend. It was so sweet of her to do this and especially sweet of her to include our little girl. We do not have many girl toys in our house, so I decided since the boys bought a fun toy with their money, I would buy something fun for our future daughter. I bought Mia's first baby doll. Jax has really taken to the doll. He named her Baby Mia, of course. He says she is "attend Baby Mia", pretend Baby Mia. I took her out of the box today and he has not put her down all day. After lunch, he told me he was going to put Mia down for a nap. He was in the back for a while and was being awfully quiet. I went back to check on him and found him asleep in my bed like this. Melt my heart!
He is going to be an awesome big brother. Every night when he is saying his bed time prayers he says, "Thank you God for Mia." It struck me one night that I should have more faith when I pray. When my three year old prays, he has faith that God will bring Mia home. He doesn't ask anything from God, but simply thanks God for his sister, his sister he has never met, his sister who may not even be born yet. He doesn't fear that things may go wrong and his sister won't come home. He doesn't worry about everything that could happen like his mom does.

Lord, help me to have more faith in you and your promises. Thank you for using my children to draw me closer to you. Thank you for Jax and how much he already loves his little sister. Thank you for Sawyer and his growing love for Jesus at such a young age. Thank you for our Mia. Thank you for this journey to our darling daughter and sister. Thank you for loving us all and holding us in your hands.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Better Late Than Never: Christmas Recap

Wow! I can't believe I am just getting around to posting about Christmas. We had a fabulous Christmas with both sides of our family. We started off by going to my Grandma's house on Christmas Eve Eve. My grandma turned 80 in December, so all 7 of her children and their families came to celebrate her special day as well as the birth of our Savior. My grandma is the one in glasses who does not look like she could possibly be 80 years old. It was wonderful to celebrate her life. My grandma is one of the most influential people in my life. She is an incredible woman who loves Jesus and her family with all of her heart. I also loved seeing all of my aunts and uncles and most of my cousins. Oh, I love my family and our weekend together could not have been any better. We all rented cabins at the state park near my grandma's house.
On Christmas Eve, the boys were able to open one gift each. It was a special surprise before they went to bed. They were so excited about their pillow pets! Jax kept saying "I wanted a pillow pet for years and years." I am so glad I could fulfill his lifelong dream. =)
We put out Christmas Cookies for Santa. Don't you love our bright blue tree? Our cabin didn't have a Christmas tree and Sawyer was not happy about that one bit, so I picked this one up at Wal-Mart on Christmas Eve for $6.00.
My mom and I hosted Christmas breakfast at our cabin on Christmas morning.
My cousin Cameron really liked my mom's new kitten.
Look how happy my children were to take a family picture on Christmas morning. They were not being cooperative at all. They just wanted to play with their toys.
The little reindeer managed to cheer up, though.
Here I am below with 3 of my beautiful cousins, Miranda, Meghan, and Natalie. I was so happy Nat came in from California. We don't get to see each other nearly enough. We had family in from all over, 32 of us to be exact. Natalie's dad, my Uncle Gary, came all the way from Saudi Arabia. I wish we all got together every Christmas, but it really is hard with so many people spread out all over the world.
Here I am with my big reindeer, who happened to turn 31 the day after Christmas.
We traveled the day after Christmas, Justin's birthday, to celebrate and open gifts with his family. Justin has a twin brother who lives in Tennessee, and most years they are able to celebrate their birthday together.
Christmas for the Bufkin family was at Justin's grandmother's house this year. We love all of our grandparents!
As if my boys didn't have enough gifts of their own to open, they even helped everyone else open their gifts.
Below Justin's mom is wearing her fasionAble scarf that we got her for Christmas. Purchasing these scarves helps provide sustainable income for women in Africa. We bought several gifts with a purpose this year, which I loved and want to do as much as I can from now on.
After all the gift opening and cake eating, we traveled south to my parents house for a few days. Justin didn't have to work the week after Christmas, so we thought it would be fun to get away for a couple of days. We went to the Aquarium of the Americas in New Orleans. Jax is a huge fan of anything that lives in the sea. He loved the sharks, but kept asking where the orcas were. Killer Whales are his favorite animal. Jax wasn't really interested in posing for a picture. He is my little monkey boy.

We left the aquarium and met some other family members for pizza at Theo's. Delicious! Then we head to city park for Celebration of the lights. The boys had fun riding rides and running around the park.

The lights were beautiful! Our Christmas Break was wonderful. Last week reality hit as we all went back to work and school. Today church services were cancelled due to bad weather. We are pretty sure everything will be closed tomorrow too. I think I am a little too excited that we all get to stay home one more day.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Official January Numbers

Tomorrow marks the one month mark of officially waiting for a referral for our daughter or daughters. Today we got our first official number of 2011 and our first ever updated number. It's a pretty good day! Our number on the girl's list is 91. We moved 6 spots since last month. The number is lower than I expected, so I really can't complain. However, I would love to leave the nineties.
Our number on the siblings list is 36. We moved 5 spots last month. As you can see this number is considerably smaller than our number is for girls. Of course, we were told by our agency that they rarely refer siblings, especially young siblings (our parameters are 0-24 months ). I still can't help from daydreaming about twin girls.
I am praying for lots of movement in January. Several families are bringing home their babies this month. Yay!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Off to a Good Start

Last month when we sent in our dossier and were put on the wait list, our agency sent us this journal. I put it aside and decided I would begin using it in January. I love that it has a place to document our journey to our daughter as well as to write down prayer requests. It will be wonderful to be able to look back on one day and see what God was teaching me during the wait. Of course, if I was in control I would skip this whole waiting thing, but I know God has a plan and purpose for it. I am going to do my best to make the most of this time.

In the front of the journal there is a guide to reading through the Bible in a year. I was already reading through the Bible, but got way off track during the holidays. I decided January 2011 would be as good a time as any to start fresh. I started yesterday, because it was my first day back to a normal routine.

I love that our adoption agency realizes that adoption is a journey of faith and does their best to support us along this journey. I am so thankful we chose AGCI. I also think it's fun that my friend, Amber, who first told us about AGCI is on the cover of my new journal with her cutie, Silas. It's also pretty fun that my wonderful sister-in-law took the picture.

One of the things I love most about our agency is all the wonderful people I have "met" who have adopted or in the process of adopting. It has been awesome to connect with moms who really get how I am feeling and who can offer support, guidance, and prayer for one another. Yesterday, during my prayer time I felt especially lead to pray for two of these moms. One of the moms, Alison, shared that she felt God urgently prodding her to pray fervently for her baby girl in Ethiopia. The first thing I wrote in my new prayer journal was "Give Alison peace today". Later that day I saw that Alison had updated her blog and the title was "Peace". She shared about how God had brought her peace that day and how she could feel the prayers of God's people. Oh, I love how God works!

The second prayer request I wrote in my journal yesterday morning was that the Coopers would receive clearance to bring home their baby boy. Long story short, they were supposed to travel to Ethiopia to bring him home during Christmas and were not able to go. It has been a difficult few weeks and I know they had many people praying for them. Well, yesterday they received the clearance they needed to bring sweet Daniel home. They are traveling to Ethiopia tomorrow and won't come home empty handed.

I am so excited to see what else God has in store this year as we wait for our little girl. It definitely makes the waiting easier, to see so many children come home to their new families. Another thing that will make the wait a little easier is getting to meet many of these adoptive mommas who I have grown to care for. In just one month I will be attending the Created to Care retreat for adoptive moms. I am so excited about it and can't wait to finally meet some of my new friends.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

New Years Interview

Happy New Year. We are still here. We really enjoyed our Christmas break and I just haven't spent much time on the computer. I guess I will spend the next couple of weeks recapping our Christmas.
Last year I started a tradition of interviewing my kids on New Years. It is fun to hear their answers and see how they have changed since last year. This year Sawyer is 4 (he will turn 5 in less than 3 months, which almost makes me tear up to think about.) Jax, the baby of our family for now, is 3.
What is your name?
S: Sawyer J:Jaxon
When w
ere you born? S:March 26th J: I don't know
How old are you? S:4 J:3
Who is your mommy? S:you (looking at me) J: Meredith
Who is your daddy? S: Points to Justin J: Justin
What does your Mommy do? S: She cleans and cleans and cleans ( this makes me laugh, because it is definitely not true J: change clothes
What do you love about Mommy? S: I love it when she puts on games for me. J: When I give her hugs and kisses
What does your daddy do? S: Works and Works and Works and Works and Works ( again, a bit of an exageration) J: He goes to work.
What do you love about Daddy? S:Spending time with him J:When I give him hugs and kisses
What is your favorite color? S:Pink, Purple, White, Yellow, Blue, and Red J: Green
What do you want to be when you grow up? S: a builder J: a police officer
What is your favorite food? S Macaroni and cheese and candy J: string cheese
What food do you not like? S: lots of vegetables and crust J: some yucky cheese
What is your favorite animal? S:penguins and monkeys J: tiger, orca, shark
Where do you want to live when you grow up? S:in one of the houses I build J:I want to live in Heaven
What do mommy and daddy do after you go to bed? S: Stay up for a while and get ready for bed J: work
What is your favorite song? S: 5 Little Monkeys swinging from a tree J:Jesus Loves Me This I Know
What is your favorite movie? S: Cars J: Toy Story
What is your favorite kind of ice cream? S: oreo J: anilla
Where is your favorite place to eat? S: McDonalds, Sonic, and Peking J: McDonalds
Who is your favorite person? S: You (pointing to me, Gotta love those Momma's boys.) J: Cody and Andrew
Who is your best friend? S: Kadence J: Jayden
What is your favorite toy? S: My monkey J: Buzz Lightyear and Woody
What is your favorite book? S: My 2 leggo books and all my tag books J: My Toy Story one
Who is your brother? S: Jaxon J: Sawyer
What do you like to do with your brother? S: eat yummy foods and play together J: to play with him
What is your favorite thing to do? S: to trick-or-treat J: to go in the car
What does your brother like to do? S: take my stuff J: play with his monkey and penguins

I am excited about 2011. A lot happened last year. I turned 30, Sawyer began preschool, and we began the process to adopt our daughter from Ethiopia, to name a few. I asked the boys who their sister is and they both said Baby Mia. I hope we learn more about baby Mia in 2011.