Moving Forward...Regardless

Friday, November 18, 2011 there has been more going on behind the scenes than I have been letting on to you. To make a long story short, a friend of ours shared with us, about a month ago, that they knew a girl who was pregnant and looking for adoptive parents. She asked if we would be interested...and boy, were we. This truly was the reason that we put the pedal to the metal in regards to our application process. Each weekend, our friend told us that they had talked with this family and they were "very interested", they were probably "going to call" us in the next couple of days, etc. My motherly nature just got overwhelmed with feelings and thoughts about becoming a new mom again...feeling like that baby was already in my arms. I was crushed this past weekend, when our friend regrettably told us that the family decided to go through an agency...CRUSHED.

I was so confused and frustrated with myself for getting so emotionally attached...especially when they never contacted us. I confused myself...I kept telling myself that I would be fine, but once we got the official news, I felt like I had gotten that dreaded call from the fertility clinic...the one telling me that my blood work was negative. I was right back in that place...that I never wanted to be in again.

So...put all of the brick walls back together again. With the above bad news on top of the email from our agency telling us that we were going to be placed on a wait list...and I feel broken.

Here is my plan...OH NO, you better believe that this is not going to stop me!!! I have to continue to move forward, because if there is one thing I learned from my four years of hell with's that you CANNOT stop moving forward. My darkest moments were when I stopped to set up camp in PITY park.

Yesterday, we had the pleasure of having dinner with some long time friends who have a lot of experience with they have two foster kids of their own. Our original intent to meet with them was to ask for advice on what we needed to do to prepare for our home study (Well, that was before we knew we were going on a wait list). Our evening ended up just being full of much needed encouragement. They shared their own experience in foster care, information on an agency that we didn't know about (one that has a huge success rate), as well as information on simply adopting with the aid of an attorney. Through our discussion, as well as with their testimonies, I was reminded of how much Craig and I were turned on to foster care when we finished the state mandated PRIDE training. After hearing the stories of what these kids had gone through, and also having first hand experience with some of these kids...being a teacher, sometimes I just want to take these kids home with me and love and protect them...give them a safe home to live in and a loving family to be a part of. This evening just helped to shed light on, yet, another option for us to move forward in.

Foster to adopt is a scary road to that you never truly know if the child placed in your home is a "forever" child. There are so many questions that you, I, need to consider. Am I strong enough for this? What if the child can't stay with us? Am I strong enough, emotionally? How will Emily handle this? How will this affect her? How will I handle it if a child is taken away from us and placed back with their family...which I completely understand that that is the states number one goal for all of the children. I just can't imagine having a child for any length of time, growing attached to that child, loving them...and then having them be taken back. BUT...I think about James 1:27, and how much it would mean to those kids to have, even for just a moment in their life, a glimpse into what a family "could" be like, a glimpse into what God's love for them is like. To be able to witness to each child...plant a seed in their life. How powerful would that be? Would the possibility of pain, on our part, be worth that? Without hesitation, the answer is YES!!! The only problem is that my mind knows that...but I don't know how to tell my heart that. My mother is a product of an amazing foster family, and I am convinced that it is because of that family that God placed her with...that allowed MY family to be as wonderful as it was/is.

We have a lot to think about...many choices in front of us to pray about. I will keep you posted.

Calling All Prayer Warriors. I'm Going Into Battle.

Friday, November 11, 2011
So, as if that letter from our agency wasn't frustrating enough... Craig and I received a call from our Dr. yesterday to reschedule our appointments. We scheduled a week in advance for our adoption physicals, and it seemed too good to be true that the Dr.'s office was open on the same day that both Craig and I had off from work. THEN, the day before the the appointment, they called to tell us that the doctor will not be in the office tomorrow and that we needed to reschedule.

I'll be honest, I wasn't the sweetest thing on the phone. I was so excited to be able to cross SOMETHING else off of my to-do list, especially with the bomb dropped from earlier this week...and to call me
THE DAY BEFORE my appointment?!?!? I say it nicely...a tad bit frustrated.

Well, just as before, I am finding myself consumed with thoughts of adoption. Before, when we were going through our journey of infertility, all I could ever think about was "it":
  • Would I ever be a mom
  • Would I ever get pregnant
  • Would I ever experience a baby in my belly
  • Would I ever get to hold a child and call it my own
  • Would I ever get to rock a child of my own to sleep
  • Would I ever...YOU NAME IT. 
I would always tell Craig, "You never have to wonder what I'm thinking's about a baby"...and I meant it. In EVERY SINGLE moment that I had to myself, in my head, I would start thinking about a baby and what it would be like to be a mom.

NOW, I find myself in a similar situation, only this time I am thinking about adoption...NON-STOP. It is overwhelming to be in this position again because it just drains you. I literally have to tell myself to snap out of it and pay attention to whatever it is I'm in the middle of doing.

This morning, I just prayed to God to give me peace about this situation, about the entire process. This process has given me the false idea of being in control...once again. (I seem to think that I am in control, or that I can easily take control, of these overwhelming situations I keep finding myself in). I prayed that I would be able to find rest in this situation while, at the same time, allowing God to do what he does best.

Today, I had one of those epiphany moments...while sitting at the lunch table THINKING about adoption. Let me start by sharing about my thought process from this morning. While standing in the kitchen, eating my breakfast...I was thinking about how it seems like all of these doors were closing on us this week...and wondering if God was trying to drop some pretty big hints that we were moving in the wrong direction. I thought that maybe we just are not called to do adoption. As I thought about that idea again, at lunch, here is the message that I received:

If God calls us to take care of the orphans (James 1:27  Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.) then why would he close the doors on us when we are moving forward according to his own Word? So, if it's not God closing the doors on us, than we must be under attack for doing God's will. John 10:10 says that the thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. 

It all made sense to me then. It was one of those moments where your palm meets your forehead and you think to yourself, "DUH"!!! Whenever God's children are moving forward in their calling, Satan is right around the corner to bring discouragement. Discouragement steals your joy, kills your hope, and destroys the plans that God had before you.

Even though my bombs from this week SUCKED...I am so encouraged to realize that I am in the middle of this battle because, to me, it means that I am moving forward in what God has for me...why else would Satan want to destroy it?? I am just going to be working that much harder, believing that much more...that God is beside me, watching over me, and will guide me every step of the way.

Please continue to I gear up for battle.

Coming To A Screeching Hault

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

WOW...Craig and I were seriously on fire and looking like we were going to finish our end of things by the end of this week. Today, I faxed over our PRIDE training certificates and our CPR certificates to our agency...and I received this email in response:

Hi Heather,

As to your question regarding a case manager, I want to inform you about a change we have just had to make in our adoption process.

We believe strongly in finding forever families for all orphans, regardless of age, and we do facilitate adoptions of orphans from all age groups. That said, we have an abundance of families who desire to adopt a child who is four years old or younger. Statistically, however, only about 20% of children within the state system who are ready to be adopted are ages 0 – 4. Currently, about 80% of the children who need a forever home are ages 5 – 17.  I do not mention that to discourage you, just to give you an idea of the issues we encounter. We are also working diligently on developing a birth parent program that would draw more birth mothers to our ministry, allowing us to facilitate a greater number of private infant adoptions.

In order to address the child population presented to us at this time, we have instituted a temporary wait list status for families requesting a child ages 0 – 4. To give you an understanding of what this means, once I have received all of your homework, you will have reached the point in the process when we would normally assign you to a case manager to begin working on your home study. At that time your family file would be put “on hold” temporarily until our case managers and placement coordinator have room on their caseloads to add another family requesting a child under five. During this waiting period we would still keep in touch with you and be available to answer your questions. We would contact you immediately when you are taken off “hold” and assigned to a case manager.

Ultimately we believe that if the Lord has placed the desire to adopt on your hearts, He has already chosen a specific child to add to your family. We do ask families to prayerfully consider being open to whomever the Lord has chosen for them, even if the child may be older than hoped. Of course, there are legitimate concerns for adopting younger children, such as keeping the birth order within your family if you already have children. Every situation is different.

We appreciate your patience and understanding in this matter. As always, please let me know if you have questions, and I will do my best to answer them in as timely a manner as possible.

A little disappointing...who am I kidding...A TON disappointing, however, the end of their letter is true and I just need to keep reminding myself this: God already knows!!!! If adoption is the road that He has chosen for us, then He already has a child in mind and their "wait list" won't stop Him. This will all come together in His timing...not mine.

A small part of me felt that if I can get the paper work completed SUPER fast, then it will speed up the process of adoption and we will be chosen to be adopted parents sooner. YES LORD...thank you for your small correction in reminding me that I am not in control of this situation. I put this back in your hands, Lord, and I will take rest in knowing that this is Yours to handle and take care of.


Adoption Paperwork Update

Friday, November 4, 2011 the paperwork isn't as awful as I expected it to be, and when I say "awful" I mean as long and detailed as I imagined.

When I actually broke it down, here is what I have left to do.

Like I said in a previous post:

  • We are taking our CPR/First Aid class tomorrow
  • We turned in our FBI fingerprints in the mail yesterday (please pray for a quick processing time)
  • We already completed our PRIDE training
In regards to the new paperwork:

  • We both have to have a Dr.'s check-up (which we are scheduled to do next week). Our doctor has to fill out some paperwork and send it straight to the agency
  • We have to have 4 references completed (which I have already sent out to our friends and family members in hopes that those will also be sent to the agency soon)
  • Then there are two sets of paperwork, one set for our case worker, and one set required by the state. Once all of the paperwork is completed, we have to burn it onto a CD and send it to the agency. 
I have already finished the set of paperwork for our case worker, and I hope to complete the state's paperwork by the end of this weekend. Once that is all turned in, then they assign us a case worker and we schedule our home study.
While we wait for the home study, they gave me detailed instructions on how to make a family profile, which seems to pretty much be a family scrapbook for the birth mothers to look through when they are trying to choose a family for their baby.

So there you go! So much happening right now. I am on fire!!! I want to get this done and be able to sit back and not have the "wait" be because of me anymore. Though, anyone who knows me...knows that I will not be able to just sit there and wait. Who am I kidding??? Nonetheless, I want to be able to complete my side of the work.

Craft Room Closet traveling craft room has found a permanent home. Ever since we moved into this craft room has moved to multiple locations. Before Emily was here, I started to set up shop in one of the bedrooms on the main floor. I found a desk on Craigslist and purchased a number of organizing boxes from Michaels and then waited patiently for Craig to hang up my shelves so that I could place my pretty IKEA boxes on them. The shelves didn't get hung until a number of years later...which was my excuse for not "crafting". For the most part, I did all of my crafting at my mom's house. She has the craft room of all craft rooms set up in, what used to be my own bedroom.

Now, as my craft room began piling up "stuff" on it...I began to try and convince Craig to let me turn the front closet into my "new" craft room. My reasoning was because we would eventually need to move Emily into the room where my crafts currently hopes that we would still need to use our nursery for another child (fingers crossed...lots of prayers). This convincing was not easy to do. Because I didn't really use my current craft room, Craig didn't see why I needed a craft room at all. He didn't want to go through all of the work of painting and hanging shelves again after he had already done it in the previous room and I did nothing with it. So...after some sweet and loving "husband and wife" discussion, we finally came to a mutual agreement. I would paint the room and move all of my crafts myself, and Craig agreed to hang shelves for me...once again.

So, this last summer, I did my part of the agreement and Craig attempted his part, however, it isn't very easy to hang shelves on walls made of plaster and lathe. After several attempts, and many holes in the wall, the progress came to a stop and my walls were bare.

Fast forward four months. This last weekend, Craig and I started talking about Christmas lists and what we wanted to buy for others and what we wanted on our own lists. I was "kidding" around (kind of...but not really), and I said that I wanted shelves to be hung in my craft room. I don't know what got into Craig, but he made it his mission that very weekend to get shelves hung for me...and POOF...shelves were hung, and I couldn't wait to organize my crafts and find a that perfect spot for everything.

So, without further is  my new craft room.

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