Sunday, April 29, 2012

Home Study #1 Complete

We completed our first of four home studies on Friday morning.  When people ask how it went, I don't know how to answer them.  I think it went well because we answered all of the questions, but did they like our answers?  Well, I guess that is to be determined.

I loved listening to Scott answer the questions our home study agent asked.  I enjoyed hearing him talk about this adoption, and our fourth child with great delight, listening to his excitement, his concerns and his eagerness.  It's a precious thing to see a daddy pursuing a child through adoption, his child.  It left me pondering our Heavenly Father and how He pursues us, His children.  Scott is giving me a visual example of that through this adoption and it's beautiful to watch. 

 “See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that in heaven their angels always see the face of my Father who is in heaven. What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go in search of the one that went astray? And if he finds it, truly, I say to you, he rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine that never went astray. So it is not the will of my Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish."  (Matthew 18:10-14 ESV)

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Girls and Gifts

Four very dear friends spent the afternoon with me planning and preparing for our upcoming Spaghetti Dinner.  They also shared their creative gifts and talents, while I stood around and watched (literally :-).  People have been so generous.  Friends have called with a "Hey can you use this for your raffle?", or they pop by to drop off something they had lying around or picked up at the store.  The end result has helped to create four beautiful gift baskets.  

We are getting excited for the Spaghetti Dinner and today just added to that excitment.



 The final result!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Our First Home Study

We have some exciting news, well at least exciting to us.  We have our first home study appointment this coming Friday, April 27th.  YAY!!!  The reward for all that paper chasing we have been doing.  So if you think of it please pray for us on Friday!  We are looking forward to meeting our Home Study agent in person after speaking to her so many times on the phone.

Things are really beginning to come together for our Spaghetti Dinner.  We have most of the food, some really cool donations for the raffle, and so far about 100 people are coming. 

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

A child born in a mother's heart.

I have random thoughts all the time about this adoption. There isn't a day that goes by that I don't think about our child. It's so different from a pregnancy, because you get a "due date" and you know in 9 months this baby is coming one way or another. There is so much unknown with this. I do know that as time goes on and we get further along in the process, that date will come, but even that is subject to change. And if this child is anything like my other three I should almost expect a date change because my other three were all LATE.
I have cried myself to sleep some nights thinking about whether or not anyone has hugged or kissed them goodnight, or good morning, longing for the time I get to be the one. But than my thoughts change to maybe they are not even born yet. Then I'll think things like I wonder what makes them smile, do they have things to smile about? Are they lonely, scared? Does someone show them what love is? Are they attached to someone that will make them grieve when we come to take them away? Are they 1, 2, 3 years old? Do they have a favorite toy, do they have any toy at all? If they aren't born yet, when will they be? Will we even know their real birth date?
Then my thoughts go to what is their biological mother like? Does she really want this child and due to circumstances couldn't keep them? Is she breaking inside at the loss of her child? Will she ever know that someone took them in and loved them? Is she afraid, depressed? And the tears flow for her, uncontrollably. I can't imagine having to part with one of my kids. I try to put myself in her shoes, but I just can't imagine it all. Then again, maybe she didn't want this child. Maybe she had no problems leaving them, but will she one day regret it? Oh the randomness in my mind could drive me crazy.
A dear woman reminded me of a saying I have seen and heard before. Of course, it never really meant anything to me, until this morning. I was reflecting on my other three kids and trying to find ways that this adoption process is the same and ways this adoption process is different from being pregnant with a biological child. It's way more different then the same, at least for me. But this saying really hit hard this morning and finally it made sense, real tangible sense. The saying is "you grew in mommy's heart instead of her tummy". Honestly, I found this saying to be rather weird. Although it makes more sense now. This child is growing in my heart. There is actually a lot of controversy about this saying. Mostly because people find fault in the fact that your biological children don't just grow in your tummy, they grow in your heart too. I'm not sure the quote is disqualifying that myself, I think it's just stating a fact and that is adoptive children do grow in their mommies hearts. If you don't understand that, it's OK, because I didn't until today. But it's so true, this child has invaded my heart, just like my other three did/do. And I imagine, just like my other three that this love will only grow more and more over time.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Lillies, Birds and more!

Sorry for a "daily double" on my posting, but this could not wait. So while I was busy typing away my blues about the Spaghetti Dinner a very dear friend was sending me a Facebook message at the same time. What was in the message brought tears to my eyes, and is again just sharing it with you. This message said that she and her husband would be donating 10lbs of ground beef and a gift basket! She had no idea that I was typing away all my discouragement, but she was in tune to God's voice and I am blessed beyond measure. Just filled to the brim. Our mason jar is filling up...again!

"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." Romans 15:13 (my own emphasis added)

Discouraged - Birds? Lillies? - Encouraged

So I found myself pretty down and discouraged earlier this evening. I was even hesitant to write because the fog has just begun lifting. So please excuse any rawness in this post, it's pure emotion.

As most probably know by now we are hosting a Spaghetti Dinner and Chinese Auction fundraiser. As we geared up for it yesterday, posted a Facebook event, made flyers and plans it all seemed really exciting. Then today as we put all those ideas in motion I found myself obsessing over peoples responses. Most of the replies today were no's, and the discouragement began to set in. My girlfriend tried to encourage me that those who already have something on their calendar that day and know they can't come would reply right away. And realistically I know not everyone will be able to come, but when you are looking forward to yes and get no, well it just stinks. And please no this is not to make anyone who said no feel guilty, again I truly am aware that not everyone can come. It was just a lot of no's all at once, nothing personal!

Then later on today I spent a couple hours making phone calls to local businesses trying to solicit donations for the Chinese Auction part of our fundraiser. Again, realistically knowing that not every company would be able to donate. However, I did not expect to get all no's. More discouragement. And if all that was discouraging enough I went to Staples tonight to make photocopies of the flyer we made and when I was told they would be $.49 EACH, which totaled $73.50 + tax, I politely said never mind, no thank you and walked out. By this point I'm feeling pretty hopeless.

So what about birds and lilies could bring encouragement? It's like this:
"Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the BIRDS of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the LILLIES of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, "What shall we eat?" or "What shall we drink?" or "What shall we wear?" For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble." Matthew 6:25-34 ESV

So what does that say to my heart tonight? Maybe it doesn't say specifically don't worry about donations, or fundraising, or people's replies, but the underlying tone gives the same message, right? If birds and lilies are cared for by God and my value to God was worth the death of His Son, then why would I not believe He will care for me? And even more so, if our future child's value to God was worth the death of God's son, then will He not provide for them too? Yes, I am of little faith, that was written for me. And so I find myself thanking God even for the little faith I have, and praying and asking for more faith to believe those things I can't where donations will come from or how this whole night will pan out. And more than anything I am reminded that today had enough of it's own worries, and this fundraiser is not today, it's a few weeks away. So I need to stop worrying about something that is "tomorrow" and keep my focus on what needs to be done today. And I just want to go on record by saying I did not add a single hour to my day today with all my worrying, if anything I lost a few. So thankful that His grace is sufficient!

Monday, April 9, 2012

So this is what our dining room has looked like for the past couple months. This is what they call the "paper chase" phase. We are compiling tons of information for our home study and dossier. There is no privacy when you adopt, they want to know everything from your health, to your financial status, to who your family is, whether you have ever been arrested or charged with any offense. There is fingerprinting, FBI reports to file for, proof of marriage, birth certificates for everyone in our home and so on and so on. Most days I find it overwhelming, but progress is being made and that gets us one step closer to bringing our child home.