Saturday, January 26, 2013

We passed

Friday afternoon we had our home visit interview for our home study.  I really wasn't that nervous about it.  That is until Friday morning.  I don't know why, but I was just feeling anxious.  I think it had more to do with the stack of papers I had to give her than with her coming to our house.  We have worked and worked over the last three weeks to have as much done as possible.  I wanted it all to be just right. I had cleaned the house.  Everything was in order.  Of course it is also the weekend of the Boy Scout's winter survival camp out so there was "scout stuff" out in several rooms, but it was neat and stacked up so it was fine.  I wasn't really ok with the huge cooler blocking the door in garage but I managed to push it out of the way.  We both got home about an hour before Lydia got here and Shane was able to load all the camp out gear into his truck and I felt much better.  He even stashed his huge camouflage bag that holds all his hunting stuff and usually sits in our bedroom during hunting season.  During the interview she asked me what was a way that Shane showed that he loved me.  I told her the fact that he took that bag up in the attic before she got here without me asking was all the proof I needed that the man loved me.  He knew it was driving me crazy, but I was determined not to say anything!

The interview went fine.  It was long, but pleasant.  I really like our social worker.  The home tour wasn't that big of a deal, although I'm glad all the smoke detectors were working since we had to press the buttons and prove they worked.

We have a plan for the house and I'm getting excited to start heading in that direction.  We will have to sell some furniture and buy some other furniture.  I've started a "Sister's bedroom" fund.  It's actually just an envelope with $25 in it right now, but it's a start right?!

We have our next interview a week from Monday.  That will be 2 down and 2 to go.  I have a timeline in my head for the home study to be done.  I'm trying not to get ahead of myself but I am a goal oriented person and I need something to work towards.  We have a book to finish reading and some other small things to handle.  The State of Louisiana still has not sent a copy of my birth certificate and it's been 6 weeks since I sent the request.  If anybody knows Ms. Walker in vital records could you encourage her to get a move on already!  The Lord is definitely teaching me to be patient!

Shane and I have some things to discuss and some decisions to make and your prayers for wisdom and guidance are greatly appreciated.  As always we ask for prayer for our sweet girl in China.  Every piece of paper and every interview is one step closer!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Good Night

My sweet girl-

We are longing for you at our house.  Your big sister is quickly devolping a passion for orphans.  We were looking at the lists of waiting children tonight and she told me how happy it makes her to see the word "matched" next to a name!  We are hoping to find you on that list.  We are praying for you everyday.  I want you to know, sweet girl, that you are loved.  You may not feel loved right now and when you get home you may not want to feel our love at first but that doesn't make it any less real.  God has chosen us to be your family and we are ready for you!

We had a snow day this week and as Will and Jenny romped and played through the snow I thought about you.  Have you seen snow?  Would you like it?  You know Will is going to throw a snow ball at you right?!  Its how he shows love!  And he loves you too.  He is a good big brother.

Just missing you tonight and wishing I could tuck you in to bed and kiss you goodnight and tell you that I love you and that Jesus loves you.  I know its going to be awhile, but I am making my way there. My prayer is that someone has touched you in a loving way today.

Goodnight sweet girl. We love you.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

The ball is rolling

When we left Lifeline's Mississippi office on Friday afternoon I told Shane that it felt like I was leaving the doctors office after hearing the heartbeat for the first time.  I remember that making things very real during my pregnancies with Will and Jenny.  There was a real live person in there and things needed to be done to get ready for them.

That's how I felt Friday.  Our daughter is becoming less of just an idea and more and more a real live person.  So much has to be done to be ready for her to come home but our hearts are ready for her.  We love her so much already.  I want her to know that although her life may have started off rough that she has always been loved and wanted.  God has been preparing our hearts for her for so long and he has always loved her.  He has plans for her-to prosper her-to give her a future and a hope.  I am so thankful he has chosen us to be a part of that.

The ball is officially rolling with our home study.  We had our orientation interview on Friday and Shane I have been busy with paperwork since.  That's a good thing.  As long as I have something to do I know progress is being made.  A lot of our basic documents we turned in on Friday.  Things like Birth certificates, marriage lisences, pay check stubs, tax returns and the like.  The State of Louisiana is dragging it's feet getting my birth certficate processed, but other than that most basic things we had already.  We did our local background checks today-including Will.  It cracked me up that he has to have all the background checks.  She told me he had to bring ID and I had to ask what she wanted since he doesnt even have a driver's license!

Shane spent all weekend working on his autobiography and actually got it finished.  It took hours and hours and he was determined to get it done.  I've been working on mine on my days off this week and hope to have it done by next week.  We have started our online training and are hoping to finish that sometime in the next week.  There are several more training courses we have to take and things we have to read but we have gotten a start and that's good.  We hope to have a lot of that done by the time we have our home visit in 2 1/2 weeks.  So much of adoption is waiting on other people and things beyond our control.. We have decided that we don't want anything held up because they are waiting on us.

I was feeling a little sad this weekend.  The kids and Shane had gone to run an errand and I was home alone.   I was looking at our agency's website and doing some reading and I just felt a sense of longing for our girl and a little overwhelmed at the road ahead.  Not that we can't handle all the minutia of it, just that I am ready to see her face.  At just that time I got a text from a precious friend saying, "I keep finding myself thinking about your soon to be daughter!  I am praying for her!"  God's timing is perfect.  I felt so refreshed knowing my friend was praying for my daughter!  We do so covet your prayers for us and for her.  I read this week that this is one of the coldest winters on record for China.  I found myself praying she was warm and comfortable.  I am praying some one touches her each day in loving way.  Please feel free to add us to any prayer list your church or Sunday School class may have.  Please pray for us and specifically for her.

And pray for that ball to keep rolling.....all the way to China!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

How we got here

Four weeks ago yesterday Shane and I had a short conversation that started us on down this path.  It wasn't long and involved.  It was basically me saying, "I really think we should do this." and Shane saying, "Me too."  It was the conversation that put into motion what we had been discussing off and on for years.  The subject has come up every now and then since before Will was even born.  Never serious, just wouldn't that be great.  About 5 years ago the discussions got a little more serious.  We were settled after several major life changes, the death of a parent, building a house, changing schools, jobs, etc.  We decided to "look into it."  I did A LOT of reading and research and we went to an information meeting at an agency.  We really wanted to do it but just felt unsure.  Shortly there after we underwent a lot of medical testing with Will and he was diagnosed with Celiac.  While certainly not the worst news in the world it was life changing and took a lot of time and adjustment.  It wasn't the right time to move forward.  Which isn't to say the desire or the conviction that this is what we were called to do went away.

I like to write (surprise) and when I have something on my mind I have to write it down.  Doesn't matter if its the grocery list or a prayer it gets written down.  I have filled pages and pages with prayers about this adoption.  I have prayed for my daughter before I knew if she would ever be mine.  The desire and conviction was strong and the confirmation was everywhere!  If I saw an article on adoption or read a blog, or heard of someone adopting I did not think, "That is wonderful" I thought "That's what I'm supposed to do."  The Lord's voice was strong but I also had good arguments.  Here they are in no particular order:

"We are in a very good place parenting wise.  I haven't given someone a bath in years.  I can not go backwards."

"We are in a very hard place parenting wise.  We have a teenager and an almost teenager.  Uncharted water for me.  Can't go backwards."

"It might take a long time.  I'm no spring Chicken."

"It is expensive."

"We don't have a big house.  We built this house with 2 kids in mind, not three.

And the God decided to bring in the big guns.  My children.  When your 11 year old daughter begins to tell you how she wants to adopt a daughter when she grows up and when your 14 year old son tells you out of the blue in the car one day that we should adopt someone you know its real and that the Lord is speaking.

My prayer has always been that if this is what we are to do that we would both have the desire.  That there would be no having to"convince" each other.  For the last 6 months and the month leading up to our conversation the desire and thoughts and hopes for our yet to be child have been overwhelming.  I could not get it off my mind.  Neither could Shane.  God is faithful and we are moving forward.

I adore my husband for lots of reasons.  This is one of my favorites.  It took him awhile to decide he wanted to get married but when he did he didn't want to wait for a wedding-he was ready for a marriage.  When we decided to start a family.  He didn't want to wait through a pregnancy-he wanted to be a dad.  Same with this.  He is ready now!

Four weeks ago today we told our children we were adopting a sister for them.  Jenny literally wept tears of joy.  She has wanted this for so long.  She just kept crying and smiling and laughing.  It was one of the most precious moments of my life.  Will too was so excited.  He made me laugh when he said, "If we keep doing this can we get a brother from Africa next time."  One step at a time Buddy!  They immediately started asking logistical questions like, "Where will she sit at the table? and "What room will be hers?"  I love that they immediately started making a place for her.  Her room will be the only room left and that's the room that is now the playroom.  Will asked, "Where will we put the Wii?"  Not in a whiny voice just a matter of fact question.  And it's a good question.  And it's kind of what all this comes down to.  We just decided that none of the excuses were good enough.  I don't want to get to Heaven and have God ask me why I didn't do what he asked, Why I skipped the blessing he had for me and for our family and my answer have to be "We didn't know where to put the Wii."

So that's how we ended up here.  We are excited.  We know the road is not easy but with obedience comes peace and we are ready.  It's been a long time coming!

As far as progress goes we have our first home study interview on Friday.  That will mean the process is officially underway.  We had not heard from anyone for a couple of weeks because of the holidays and I was feeling especially anxious yesterday afternoon. I was hoping to hear from our social worker and as the afternoon wore on I was sure we wouldn't and I was growing anxious.   But right at 5:00 we got a call to set up our interview.  Perfect timing!  I know that this is pretty much a waiting game so we are praying for patience everyday.  Shane reminded me of that yesterday.

In addition to having to write things down I'm also a list maker.  My prayers are often lists.  So here is my prayer list for where we are.

*We do have a teenager and an almost teenager.  Pray for them as they prepare for a sister.  Pray for us as we parent them through this.

*Pray for our daughter in China.  Through out this Christmas season my prayer has been that someone who loves Jesus was near her.  That is my continued prayer.

*Pray for the process.  That we will cross our T's and dot our I's and as best it can the process will move along.

Happy New Year!  Can't wait to see what this year holds!