Monday, January 31, 2011

Last day of January has arrived... preparing for the month of LOVE!

*Please cheer loudly here.* First visit of our home study is complete. Our social worker is absolutely wonderful and put us at complete ease. We enjoyed just having a friendly chat with her to get our home study process started. Next Saturday will be our second visit which includes interviews with the kids and us. We can really see the process unfolding before our eyes and are feeling that we are making great strides and progress to get our babies home. We still have a long journey ahead but to know we are a few steps closer sets my mind at rest. We are making progress and progress that I can actually see happening!

Roy's sister came in from South Africa for a visit! It was so wonderful to have her and her husband, Greg here with us for the week. I had the chance to reconnect with an older sister in my life. I love that relationship. It is not one I have had my entire life and I like being the "little sister" who needs help from her older sibling. That is exactly the role Debra played for me. She helped me clean our house and prepare for the home study. I felt so loved as I was cleaning out cupboards and she was folding laundry on the table while we talked and talked and talked about her  life, my life, our lives. Some very special moments happened for me and some lasting memories were created for me to look back on fondly.

Roy and I, Debra and Greg, and Sandi (our cousin that lives in Hollywood, FL) were able to go to an Ethiopian restaurant in Orlando. It was so YUM!! I highly recommend that if you are in Orlando for any reason make a pit stop at "The Nile" on International Drive. You definitely will not be sorry!!

Looking forward to this coming month of February. Our family is going to celebrate the entire month of February-- the month of love. We are going to do our best to show love all month long in any way we can. I hope to carry this into every day of my life-- my life goal is to love and show love in any and every way possible. Also, I cannot wait for the day of love, Valentine's Day when Roy and I will be celebrating our 12 year anniversary! It does not seem to me that we have been married that long-- surely I cannot be old enough to be married for 12 years. ;)

Closing and publishing--- need to get off to work!!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

"Not now??"

I do not love being confused and that is the only way I can describe my state of mind at this time. Is this my "not now?" I do not know what to do other than to be totally honest at this very moment. I am feeling so vulnerable by putting so much information out there because I do not know what direction my life is going in or what I may find myself doing.

I entered a week of prayer and fasting at our church feeling I was going to find clear direction because I was seeking it and I wanted it. I fasted for three days. I did not make it the entire week and am not sure what would have been different if I had. The details of why I gave up my fast are of no consequence and I am not going got get into it here. Regardless, I prayed more that week than I can remember doing in a long time. I was disappointed at the end of the week that I thought was going to be one of the most revealing times of my life-- I felt I knew nothing more than when I started.

As time went by, I started feeling that I needed to make a move. I cannot define it more than that. I can only say I felt it was time for a change. Though it wasn't the timing I anticipated... I was being blessed with a God given desire that I need to be doing something more. I started by envisioning myself working with orphans as a holder or as a helper or in whatever way I can to show them love-- not only my love, but God's love. As time has gone by, the desire has grown stronger. I was encouraged to share my desire with Roy. This is nothing we have talked about EVER. I mentioned it as a coward with a preface of, "You might think I am totally crazy but... " Roy's reply to me was overwhelming. It was more amazing than I could have ever anticipated. He replied that he has felt that we are in the wrong place and we need to be doing something different-- he also has felt a desire that we need to be overseas showing God's love and what it can do. WOW!

I was excited as I wrote a few emails to friends and acquaintances I know involved in missions. I had a beautiful reply. A friend of mine was so encouraging and gave me the advice I was seeking and the encouragement I needed. The following Sunday at church we received more encouragement. It seemed that everything that was spoken was showing me that we are headed the right way. We need to keep seeking and walking through open doors and we are going to be in sync with God's plan for our lives.

Then tonight, my low... I have had little shadows of doubt here and there but in the end I have always known that I am seeking God and I desire to achieve His objective for my life. I am rock bottom right now thinking to myself... We have a house that is not paid for. We have a car we owe on. We put in a pool last year-- we owe a bit on that. I think this is a problem. The housing market is horrible or believe me, I would sell-- I do not need this house to accomplish what God has made me for. A car, the pool-- meh, we can pay it off. This house is a massive hurdle. We bought at the peak of the market. Tears spill down my face right now as I sit in my owe-on-it-the-rest-of-my-life home thinking I may not be able to do what I am just dying to do... what I was made for.

I am not sharing for pity. I don't want it. I don't know that I even want advice. I am asking you to pray. Maybe this is not as bad as I am thinking? I really have no idea. Right now, at this very moment... I am feeling it is a pretty bad thing.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

It was a great night...

When I am feeling overwhelmed I like to have a party. We did just that tonight and it was wonderful. The kids needed the time to celebrate our lives together. We had a "back to Halloween" party with some girlfriends of mine and their kiddos. We had the kids all dress up in this past year's Halloween costumes and just play and have fun together. The kids had a blast and so did I. It is so fun to sit back and watch all of our children interact and play with each other. I am so fortunate to have such good friends and even better that our children are in the same age group and play so well together. Thanks Tricia and Ivy for coming. It was wonderful to unwind with you.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Officially, a hot mess...

... that is how I would describe myself. I am on the emotional roller coaster that adoption is. I always felt the term "paper-pregnant" was totally tacky-- but now-- with all this emotion, I truly feel I have all the extra hormones coarsing through my veins while we work to get all our requirements done and bring our babies home.

I have not shed so many tears in years as I have this week alone and it is only Wednesday. I am up and down, high and low, ready to be further than I am yet not wanting to miss a thing. (Again, with the patience)

I am so sensitive to everything around me: spoken words whether they are kind or not, gestures of  love, gestures of utter apathy, smiles and dirty looks. I feel like my eyes are so open to everyone and everything around me. My emotions are raw and I smile and laugh through my joyful tears for the happy things and find myself  broken and hurting as I peer through my tears at all that is so sad to watch. I notice more each day things that are happening in my life, Roy's life, and my children's lives and I am in awe of how things are changing for us and happening for us. I sit with arms crossed, almost stunned-- Who would have thought?? Where did my jaded outlook go?

We have the first meeting for our home study on Saturday. I am frantically getting the final paperwork together so we can be properly prepared. This part of the process is tough. The feeling  and thought has not escaped me that paperwork stands between my babes and me.

Because we have adopted before, we (I should probably be writing "I" here.) really thought the paperwork would be a breeze. HA! None of our paperwork from Josiah's adoption is eligible for this adoption because it is too old. Lessons have been learned. Yes, we have adopted in the past but adoptions have changed so much. We are now just looking at this process as if we have NEVER been through any of it. I guess I was a little naive thinking that this adoption would be similar if not the same-- I really did expect the same time-line, same paperwork, etc... We are not adopting from the same country, regulations have changed, we are not using the same agency, etc... Hmmmm.

Fortunately, some of the paperwork is familiar. However, some is very different. We are required to write an autobiography. Totally new to us. We each write our own and this autobiography requires a lot of very personal details to be written for many to read. I am not ashamed of my life or my experiences-- I believe it has made me who I am now-- but, YOWZA-- the emotion it has stirred. I am writing down so many personal details that I don't think of on a daily basis and reflecting on them over and over as I edit and proofread. Overwhelming emotions have come to the surface that I was not prepared for. More tears shed...

I am spring cleaning this house and baby-proofing for the next two days. I do kinda sorta feel like I have to prove how to be a Mommy to these babies that are out there waiting for me. Anxiety inducing on some levels. On the positive side, baby-proofing is such a fun step to take for me as I get to take action and see results-- not process papers and wait.

Another overwhelming, happy, teary moment was seeing pictures of Jim and Tiff in Ethiopia holding their beautiful son. I am ecstatic that they have finally met their son... they have waited what seems like an eternity to get their hands on him. I so wish I could be there to just watch them in action. In my mind's eye, I see so many teary kisses and gentle nuzzles as I  hear so many soft whispers of "I love you," "I am your Mommy" or "I am your Daddy," and  "We can't wait to get you home, my son." I am so proud of them... look at the beautiful story they are living, the gorgeous picture of family they are painting-- amazing.

My heart is aching and breaking over and over. I need my hands on my babies. My chance is coming and I am looking forward to it with such anticipation...

Let it be my life's song ... "I Refuse" by Josh Wilson

"I see their faces, look in their innocent eyes... don't leave me hungry for love... Give me the strength to be everything I am called to be... Give me the strength to lead them with strong hands, to stand up when they can't, don't want to leave them hungry for love, chasing things that I could give up... I'll show them I'm willing to fight and give them the best of my life so we can call this a home." (Sanctus Real)

Monday, January 10, 2011

All things new...

It is a new week with new events, new experiences, new plans, and new feelings. I am accentuating all that is new and leaving behind all the old. I am excited for all the new that is going to happen for us this year! It is such a great thing to know that there are going to be so many new things coming into our lives in this new year. I am focused and dedicated to live in the new and leave behind the old. It is so exciting for me to live daily with this perspective and not let myself be bogged down by my old feelings, old failures, old events, and old experiences. I hope to continue in this new mindset and keep myself guarded against anything other than that.

At our home, my parents have been down from NY visiting since Wednesday. It is so fun having them here and just being able to spend time with them. The past few visits have been so relaxed and laid back-- we make no plans, we have no agendas. Our only goal is to spend time together-- if that means that we go to the zoo, we go to the zoo and if that means that we sit at home and watch a move, we sit at home and watch a movie. I feel so guilty because I am working through most of the time that they are with us- it stinks to go to work each evening and leave them behind and then waste time sleeping the days away when I could be awake and spend my time being around everyone.

In our adoption process-- we are working to get our readings done for our home study and I have been working on my autobiography. We have come a long way  but we have a lot left to accomplish before we reach the next level. We can do it and we will-- we are definitely up for the challenge of getting everything completed. It is growing increasingly difficult waiting on paperwork from other sources. Roy's sister was able to request our marriage certificate and Roy's birth certificate from South Africa-- we are truly grateful. If we had requested it, from this side of the world, we would be waiting up to a year to receive the paperwork. We have been assured that her requests on our behalf will speed up the process-- we will only be waiting three months. Though it is only three months and we are grateful for the reduced time frame-- it is still three months. (Still working on patience.)


Monday, January 3, 2011

January's jewelry piece has been selected!!

A Little Lavish...

Come and look! You are going to just love, love, love. I have this necklace myself and wear it often. Lucky you-- there is a matching bracelet, anklet and pair of earrings!! Find it by clicking here . This is our choice for the January jewelry selection. Feel free to browse the website looking for what you love to wear! Please be sure to register under us knowing that all proceeds of your purchase fund our adoption. Would love to hear what you like from the site-- Any suggestions for February's selection?

Happy New Year! My imagination is running wild...

Saying farewell to 2010 and a hearty welcome to 2011. Thank you 2010 for all the experiences you brought me and all the things I have learned from those experiences-- good or bad. May I remember my lessons learned and hold onto all of them so that I may continue to grow from them. And may I never forget all the sweet memories created and look back on them fondly.

I consider myself so very fortunate to have the chance to adopt for a second time. I look forward with great anticipation to seeing the faces the angels that are sent to us to care for. I cannot wait to meet them, hug them, squeeze them, kiss them, and love on them.

I sat in church this morning imagining the first time we bring our new babes with us. It will be so fun to introduce our new children to our church family. I think that for sure I would be inclined to keep them with us and not give them any sense of abandonment by dropping them in the nursery. Roy and I would sit in the back-- each holding a babe in our arms. I just know in my heart they would be quiet, not making a peep throughout the entire service-- content sitting in our arms. As I let my mind wander a month or two ahead, maybe we will be more comfortable and feel that we have given them a feeling of safety and security. I imagine the first time we put them in the nursery-- hugging and kissing and loving on them so they know for sure that we will be coming back to take them home safe and sound.

I rode home in the car imagining the future with our newly acquired minivan full of our beautiful children-- laughing and playing and squealing as they come home from church. The older kids singing a song they learned that week in church and the younger babes clapping along. Maybe having to mediate a discussion on what "the words actually are."

I drift farther and father into the future...

I imagine my Jenna mothering my new babes. She will love on them endlessly-- bridging the gap between the older and the younger. She will help me in the only way she knows how cooing over them and  mothering and nurturing with me. I envision my Kallista pouring her love and hugs and kisses on these babes endlessly. She will make sure that these babes will have no choice but to feel love. She will read them stories and sing them songs, all the while loving them with all the sweet hugs and kisses she can give. Josiah will be the older brother that looks after and oversees-- the protector. He will claim these babes as his own. Just as he has done with the girls-- his sense of ownership and pride takes root when he talks about them to others, referring to them as "my girls." He will love in his very own way. He will hug and cuddle but more than that, I see Josiah talking his talk to them and showing them all the fun light up toys-- teaching them how to play with each and every toy they come in contact with. Lessons taught through playing side by side-- demonstration, verbal instruction-- whatever it takes-- my Josiah will make sure these babes get full use out of every single toy they encounter.

I am going to close with these sweet imaginations playing in my mind... Happy New Year!