Monday, May 2, 2016
Well this little blog is dusty. Let me clear out some cobwebs and get started... I have had several ask for a little background into our adoption journey, so I thought this might be a great avenue to share.
While Chris and I were dating, we would dream and share about our future goals and dreams. One of our biggest, most important desires, was to have a family. We would discuss how many children we desired to have, the possibility of fostering some day, and the topic of adoption was discussed as well.
We dated, we were engaged, and then we were married. We always knew we wanted a family and were elated to have our first little guy join us a little after our first wedding anniversary. After having Henry, I had a stir in my heart to grow our family, but didn't know what that entailed. I didn't feel as if I could/should adopt and so I let the desire sit. Chris began to bring up adoption and the conversation would somewhat fall flat, never ending with a definitive, "this is what we are going to do". Chris began to research countries to see if there was a great need and continually would refer back to Africa and Haiti.
A few months before Henry's birthday, I signed a contract with a local adoption agency to work as a contracted worker to complete home studies. To say I was excited would be an understatement. This was my passion, this was my jam. Being directly involved with adoption, I was asked by my coworkers if we would ever adopt, and the answer would always be a maybe... followed by that same stir in my heart.
During my first few months at my new position, there was an international program that appeared to be thriving. I began to ask questions which ultimately led to Chris and I deciding I should email our director to see if we might be considered for the program due to not meeting the marital requirement for the country. We were ready. I researched the country, we prayed, if she gave us the green light, we were all in. A few days later I received a sweet, wise email stating that due to some uncertainty within the country at the time, it might be best to hold off. Within a few weeks we quickly realized this was God's sovereignty and protection in action. I found out I was pregnant, and the country began to put a holt on international adoption.
Nine months came and went quickly and little Tucker man joined our family. We focused on our family of four and enjoyed the transition from one to two kiddos. I told Chris I felt I was done having children and he agreed. Conversations would still pop up about adoption, but life was busy, international adoption appeared to be slowing down everywhere, we didn't meet requirements for several countries, and we had two busy boys.
After Tucker turned one, adoption began to be a consistent part of conversation again. I would ask my boss lady tons of questions and she encouraged me to look into China. So, we did. I had a file of all required documents for a home study gathered up, Chris was working on some financial statements, once again we were ready. We had always said we would wait until Tucker turned 2 to begin the process. This allowed us to meet the 5 year marriage requirement and, given the timeline of adoption and the age a child would be when they joined our family, we would most likely not disrupt birth order.
Around January 2016, I was tired of talking about adoption. I shared this with Chris and we both agreed to just stop talking about it. We agreed to pray separately about God's specific desire for our family and allow Him to work.
In early March a friend emailed me a David Platt sermon about adoption that had me crying my eyes out. This sermon so blatently and beautifully spoke about adoption. I forwarded the email onto Chris, asking him to watch and just informing him that any fear or hesitation I had was addressed through this sermon.
I'll be honest, during this gap of time when Chris and I stopped talking about adoption, I talked myself out of the whole thing. We have two great kids, adoption is full of unknowns, adoption is complete selflessness... I was scared. But, Ephesians 1:3-11 just puts it all in prospective. I pushed it down though. It's funny how something I was once so open to, was now something I was willing to put up a fight about.
Shortly after I watched this sermon, I was out with a group of friends for dinner. The conversation about kids was brought up and a friend jokingly said how lucky she and I were because we only have two kiddos we are accountable for. The friend who sent me the sermon responded with, "What are you talking about? They are adopting." I quietly laughed and felt my stomach knot.
The next Friday morning I receive a text from a coworker who is also the director of our Burkina Faso program. Her next text asked if Chris and I would like to apply for the program (along with some other information about the process). I frantically called Chris and he said we of course would consider. We went out for dinner that Saturday night to talk things over and he looked at me and said, "This is it, let's go for it." Our application was submitted two days later and we are now officially in the adoption process.
We recently wrapped up all of our visits for our home study and pray that every document is accounted for so we can send in our dossier in mid June. From there, we wait. The time line we have been given is anywhere from two to three years and bringing home a little one from age three to five. We are excited, nervous, anxious, and over the moon about our little one already. It has been amazing to sit down from time to time and reflect on how God has orchestrated this journey and we have full confidence that He is in control of the entire situation.
We are so excited to share more with you as time passes!
Wednesday, December 31, 2014
It would seem as if I have taken quite the hiatus when it comes to blogging. Every time I wanted to sit down to post, I felt as if I had nothing to say. However, as I have reflected on the past year the opposite it true. There has been so much to share, just not enough brain space to put it all together into words.
Last year at this time we had a bubbly little 16 month old and a baby bump to boot. We were also living in an 800 square foot house. Now, there is nothing wrong with this and we were very thankful to have a roof over our heads, I was just running out of ways to arrange and purge in order for our growing family to be comfortable. Also, we weren't in an ideal environment for a growing family. I had a repetative prayer for contentment, but also that the house would sell (we had been on and off the market for over a year).
After arriving home from a fun Disney Cruise with my family in January, we had a nibble. It was a VERY low ball cash offer, but we didn't care. However, after a few weeks of going back and forth, we threw in the towel of any hope of the house selling. I was frustrated and willed myself to continue to brainstorm how we could make this space work for a family of four (or how we could rent it and move).
A few days later, another showing was set for a different buyer. I begrudgingly loaded Henry up and left the house with little hopes that they would actually show the house (we had had many appointments and then they wouldn't even come in the house). We had an offer in writing later that night.
It was another low ball offer, but we had been saving in preparation of this. There was a tremendous amount of guilt felt by me that they house I had bought was causing my husband to dip into the savings he had worked so hard to build. After doing some research, I learned that my teacher retirement fund was almost the exact amount of the lose we would take on the house. I quickly filled out paperwork to withdrawal the money.
Some might see this as stupid, we saw it as an answer to prayer.
We closed on the house and moved in with Chris' parents to recoperate and allow ourselves plenty of time to find something we loved. I quickly became sick of looking. My belly was growing and so was the stress. Along with the endless changes that were occuring, Henry and I were repetitively sick. We hardly ever were sick.
Towards the middle of April we went to look at a house some friends had told us about. The couple who were selling had recently listed online just to see what would happen. I was reluctant to look, the house didn't meet my "criteria" but I trusted this friend. While on the tour, I broke down into tears in the master bathroom and asked our realtor if we could just give them a verbal offer then and there. The house met all of our needs perfectly and was less than we were thinking we would spend (the same amount we loss on the house and took out of retirement).
We closed and moved into our house in the middle of May. I was almost 8 months pregnant, had no voice, a rib out of place from coughing, and was turning 30. BUT, we had new carpet, new paint and new furniture. Our first night was bliss.
Six short weeks later, little boy Tucker arrived. He is a beaut and totally dreamy. Having two children is so much different than one. It took a long time for me to find how to balance attention between Henry and Tucker. The first three months were a lot of tears and frustration. Baby blues had a whole new meaning this time around. But, we finally got into a routine and I also started allowing myself and my kids a lot of grace. Our day to day is messy and not perfect, but I am learning that is ok. More to come on baby boy Tucker and I need to post several weekly updates (this entry has taken me five days to finish, blogging is hard ha!).
2014 was a little crazy and hazy. So much good occurred, so much stretching, lots of joy and sweet toddler and baby giggles. More than anything, our little family learned and continues to learn to live in the now. We dream of the future things (two kids not in diapers, building a house, paying off debt, vacations where people don't say you can't sit beside them on the plane because you have a baby... yes that really happened), but life is good right now. The pop in guests, the laughter around the table, the toys all over the floor, the dust bunnies in the corner, the money I save on make up because most days I don't wear any...
So long 2014 and thanks for the sweet memories.