Our Story

Our Story
We witness a miracle every time a child enters into life. But those who make their journey home across time and miles, growing within the hearts of those who wait to love them, are carried on the wings of destiny and placed among us by God's very own hands.
~ Kristi Larson ~

Not flesh of my flesh, Nor bone of my bone, But still miraculously my own. Never forget for a single minute, You didn't grow under my heart - but in it!
~ Fleur Conkling Heylinger ~
Adoption is not the call to have the perfect, rosy family. It is the CALL to Give LOVE, MERCY, and PATIENCE.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

The MOST Beautiful BROWN Eyes I've EVER seen!!!!!!

I ended my last post with this picture...

I have learned along this adoption journey that we never quite get from GOD, or LIFE or anything else for that matter, what we expect going into it.  We have our perfect and pristine plan that we are COMFORTABLE with - that works for us!!!  But God always, always, always has a DIFFERENT plan, not always comfortable, most often asking for us to step out in faith and TRUST His plan for our lives and family.

God has changed our heart and our minds sooo much on this adoption journey that I feel I have my Social Worker on speed dial!  He has led us and prodded our hearts along to the plan He has always had in mind!

This last Tuesday was our ONE YEAR mark from starting this crazy journey!  March 27th 2011 my husband popped the question that would change our hearts, minds, and family FOREVER.  "What would you think about adopting a little girl?"  It is crazy to think that a year ago my heart didn't ache for Africa and its people.  I didn't even realize that I had more children and that God was at work to bring them into our lives. I thought my husband was nuts...until God intervened and told me "a little bit" of His plans for my life. And so it began.

I struggled like crazy to make record time in getting all of our paperwork done so that the process would go fast, smooth and most importantly right on schedule. To my surprise just weeks after we went DTE, my husband decided to throw another kink into things. In early Spetember 2011, Josh told me that he had been having a reaccuring dream about taking a little boy fishing. He said every time he woke up he would try and adjust the dream so that he was taking a little girl fishing, but to no avail. He told me he had dreamt the same dream 3 or 4 times and couldn't help but think that God may be trying to tell him something. Needless to say, after a lot of prayer and discussion, we changed our adoption to include siblings. All the while we hoped and learned that God may have more plans for our family than we initially planned for ourselves.

So on went the last year, not at all on my fast, smooth and right on schedule timeline.  I have been waiting for this year milestone for the last week or so - so I could post about all that we've learned and struggled and grown over the last year.  I apologize for it being a little late - but God was in the midst of something and I needed to see it through before I made my post update! 

You see, I was going about my Spring Break like any normal person does - staying up WAY too late and then failing miserably at sleeping in, because the kids still get up at the crack of dawn. On March 27, 2012, I hopped on Facebook while still laying in bed and noticed a sweet post in our agency page about a new cute little one on our agency's WCL (Waiting Child List).  As has become a daily tradition, I meandered my way through some Facebook posts and then made my way to our WCL.

I opened it up and saw right away the new child who had been added to the list.  The right age.....the right requirements.....BUT.....different gender!!  I was looking at the MOST beautiful little boy ever put on God's green earth - along with the 2 boys already living under my roof that is!  BE STILL MY HEART!!!  My heart ached for him in an indescribable way.  I nudged Josh and had him take a look - "Cute!" he said as he rolled back over and fell back asleep. Josh is like a bear coming out of hibernation in the morning. I tried to go back to sleep myself but I couldn't get his beautiful face out of my mind. If only he had a little sister...if only he was part of a sibling group...if only...if only....

My mind was reeling about the possibility of pursuing this little boy who had stolen my heart in a matter of seconds.  I couldn't figure out why I felt that way so suddenly.  Our agency has the option to adopt unrelated children and my mind started reeling again - what if we requested this sweet little man if we knew there was going to be a sister for us in the near future. I was thinking that my plan would come together so perfectly if we could adopt a little boy and little girl at the same time. Might be worth a phone call?  I nudged Josh awake enough to get the ok to call our Family Coordinator and "Just See".  The reply we received was about what I expected - we cannot guarantee that if you move forward with "Nic" (the name given to him for the WCL for confidentiality) that there will be a girl ready for you in the next few months before you finalize things.

So - here we are at a cross roads....God put this little boy on our hearts for a reason - but for what reason??  We wanted a nice clear picture and response that we could pursue "Nic"and still pursue our daughter too.  But, as always with God, the answer was unknown and unclear - muddy if you will.  It was a decision we would have to make by FAITH...not knowing the end outcome!

So - we prayed and cried and pleaded with God to give us some clarity.  We knew from talking with our Family Coordinator that there were a couple other families interested in "Nic" as well.  We decided that we would allow God to keep the door open in regard to us pursuing "Nic" OR God would shut the door and allow another family to look into adopting him.  We let our Coordinator know late Tuesday afternoon that we wanted to pursue and review "Nic's" file, knowing there might not be a little girl referral along with him in the following months.  She said she would contact us Wednesday morning!

So....we waited....and waited!  When we made the decision to be open to his file, I felt ok either way.  God knows what's best and His plan will prevail.  Well, the further into the evening I went I started getting nervous, anxious, butterflies in my stomach.  I wasn't nervous about adjusting our request, yet again, or about puting aside our little girl or sibling request to pursue only this little one. I was SICK TO MY STOMACH nervous that someone else would get to be his mama.  That we wouldn't be chosen to spend the rest of our lives looking into his beautiful smile.  I prayed for God's will to be done and for my heart to have peace - it still blows me away how quickly that little boy crawled down in my heart and found a home.  As I went to bed Tuesday night, knowing I wasn't going to sleep well, I read the following verses...

"Have faith in God.  I assure you that you can say to this mountain, 'May God lift you up and throw you into the sea,' and your command will be obeyed.  All that's required is that you really believe and do not doubt in your heart.  Listen to me!  You can pray for anything, and if you believe, you will have it."
Mark 11:22-24

I went to sleep knowing that I served a Mighty God and a Good God and that He knows what is best for us!  I awoke to more waiting and phone calls and emails back and forth.  They were still trying to narrow down which family would be the best fit.  We continued to pray all throughout Wednesday that God's will would be done but also that we would get to be this sweet boys family.  We talked to the kids and told them about "Nic".  We told them that we would still be looking and praying for a sister too, and hope it is in the next couple months.  We thought Leah would be bummed to be out numbered and to have to postpone the joy of having a sister to share her room and her toys with.  Surprisingly she wasn't bummed at all.  She said she was excited and that she kinda liked being the only girl because then she gets all her stuff to herself ( AAGGGGHHH - That is a whole nother therapy session).  We were excited that the kids shared our enthusiasm and felt more than ever that God had a plan for this little boy in our family.

I kept getting on our WCL to see if he was still labeled "Available" while we waited.  I knew that once they had decided on a family his status would change to "File Under Review".  Josh had called in late for work thinking we would hear sooner in the day.  He finally gave up the wait and knew he needed to head out.  About 20 minutes after Josh left, Nic's status changed to "File Under Review".  I texted Josh and told him we should know in the next few minutes if he would be our son or not.  About 5 minutes later, my phone blipped that I had a voicemail - WHAT??? ARE YOU KIDDING ME??? My phone didn't even ring!!!  I got on and checked the voicemail. It was none other than the call we'd been waiting for - our Family Coordinator - asking us to give her a call.  Now mind you, she had said that she would contact us either way, so I still didn't know what the outcome would be.....my heart was racing!

She called and said...

I spoke with our Coordinator for a few minutes getting some specifics on his history and taking some notes.  She said she was forwarding over all the info they have on him for us to look through and make our decision.  The minute she said his name, his real name, my eyes filled up with tears and I knew that I had been looking into the face of our son for the last 48 hours.  Once we pass court I will share with you the importance of his name on my heart and how God used it to give us affirmation that this was indeed His plan all along.

SO.....we have accepted a REFERRAL for a sweet little 5 year old boy.

 Him and Leah are very close in age and will be the best of friends.  We are still keeping our request open for a girl if one becomes available in the next few months while we are working on bringing our son home.  I don't know where she is or when God will bring her to us...but I do know that my heart is in Ethiopia with our son - and even though God didn't follow our plans, He showed us that his plans are perfect...PRAISE GOD!!!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Another Month....7

It feels like just yesterday that I dropped our precious packet of paperwork worth of blood, sweat, and tears on its way across the ocean to represent our family on our journey.  In the very same breath - it feels like an eterenity ago that we officially got on the LIST and began our wait for our precious daughter/children!  Today marks 7 months - not necessarily an eternity - but a long time for a yearning heart!

We were told in the beginning that our wait would be in the 5-8 month range, "Probably the shorter end of that since we are requesting an older child..." Well, just this last week, the baby wait list increased once again, which now has doubled in the 7 months we have been DTE (Dossier to Ethiopia)....so I can only assume that our estimated wait would need to be doubled as well.  So....I am praying for peace and for my mind to resolve to the fact that it could be closer to 10-16 months before we get to lay eyes on our sweet daughter/children.

I have begun praying, not for a referral soon, but that God would give me PEACE while I wait for His Hands to work in our lives, the lives of our children, the lives of those around us, the lives that might be touched on our journey.  It never ceases to amaze me how God works and uses us, even in our imperfection.  I have been blown away with friends of friends, or acquantances of family, that have heard of our journey and have offered prayer and ask often how we are and where we are on our journey.  I have been reminded several times in the last week or so that this is not our journey, it is HIS.  It is for HIS glory and He is not done yet.  He is still working in and through our hearts, lives, hands...He is still preparing our children's hearts, lives, minds for the change that is to come.  He is preparing us to be the Mama, Daddy, Brothers, Sister....that we need to be to welcome new ones into our lives, hearts, homes!

To say the least, I am scared to death of what is to come.  I am scared to death of the heartache of seeing my daughter's face and not being able to hold her.  I'm scared to death of embracing her and loving her, telling her we are here and will always be her family, and then having to turn around and leave her in a country so very far away.  I'm scared to death that I'm not going to do the right thing or that I won't be what she needs when we get her home and launch into "attachment" and the new "normalcy" mode.  Amidst the fear and the dread of the pain and tears to come, I'm so anxious and ready to begin our forever journey.

I keep telling myself that this is a few months in the realm of eternity.  After this, she will be ours FOREVER.....and has always been HIS!!!  Just as I want to hold her and rock her and tell her everything will be okay, I find myself crawling up into the comforting arms of my Savior and asking Him to hold me, and rock me, and tell me that everything will be okay!  I've felt a tremendous peace the last few weeks that we are right where we need to be, that God's got this, it doesn't always make it easy but it does make it bearable.  I can tell people are praying for my mama heart and I covet your prayers now more than ever, and then even more so for what is to come!

I keep this quote on the wallpaper of my computer where I can see it often and be reminded that my God is Mighty and His plan is PERFECT!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Normal Hair

You may have seen this video floating around Facebook somewhere, but I love it!  Enjoy!

No matter what our Normalcy, we are ALL Children of God!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Movement - FINALLY!

Over the last 6 1/2 months since we submitted our papers and officially got in line to be matched with our child/children, we have done nothing but move BACKWARDS on "The List".  Now, there is nothing official about this list, it is just a list that the families have compiled to help us know where in the wait we are!  There is often movement in the wrong direction.  A couple of times, families above us opened up their request to a broader age range, therefore joining our list.  Other times, families that we did not know about would all of a sudden surface.  These families have always been before us in line, we just didn't know about them.  The list is enough to make anybody go mad - with the what ifs, and when is it my turns!

For the first time since we became DTE, we have finally moved up in the right direction, not only 1 spot but 2!!  SEVEN precious children were referred out this week into 4 beautiful forever families!  Two of these families received sibling groups and had previously been occupying spots above us on our sibling list!  So...I am SOOO very excited for my dear friends for getting their referrals, but for also moving on out of our way!! :)

Hope the referrals keep up!  Hope it will be our turn soon!  Until then....please keep us in your prayers!