Monday, August 19, 2013

The first of many adoption posts......

By now, I think most of you have probably heard of our hope to adopt. We are still very early on in the process, and there is still a LOT of things that need accomplished! However, the process IS started, and the fact that we're actually hoping to adopt is...well.....very exciting for me(for us!) I thought I'd take a minute and just share some of our decision making process and what we've been through so far. I hope to do updates like this once in a while as the process goes along. Not only will it be helpful to keep our family and friends informed of our journey, but it will also be an awesome reminder to look back on some day! So, here goes......

1. When did we start thinking about adoption? Well, the funny thing is, we both started thinking about it separately, but around the same time! After Reagan was born and starting to get older, we reached the point where we would 'normally' start thinking about having another baby of our own. And for some reason, I found myself picking up all these adoption books and reading all these blogs on adoption. I was growing fascinated with the whole idea, and the more I read, the more it just kind of grew on me. However, I wasn't at all sure of what Joel would think of the idea. Had the thought of adoption ever even crossed his mind? Well, wouldn't you know....right around that same time, Joel said to me one evening when we were out on a date without the kids "So....has the thought of adoption ever crossed your mind?" Mind-blowing moment for me! My immediate thought was "God is in this!!"  We started really talking about it and praying about it both separately and together, and the more time went along, the more we just knew this is what we were supposed to do.  We were both really struck with just how Biblical this whole idea of adoption is. Consider these verses:

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. James 1:27.

He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the foreigner residing among you, giving them food and clothing. Deuteronomy 10:18

I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. John 14:18 redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship. Gal. 4:5

Did you catch that last verse especially? WE are adopted. WE have been brought into God's own family through HIM adopting US. We adopt because, well, we're extending the same love and acceptance that God the Father gave to us.

2. Why go through the Foster Care system?  Honestly, I didn't even know this was an option when we first starting thinking about adoption. Joel did the research first and found out more about it. I had NO idea that there were so many thousands of children right here in the U.S. in the foster care system who are already 'ready' to be adopted---looking for their 'forever' families. We may end up 'fostering' some in the process until the right child is brought to our home, but our ultimate goal is adoption. We are currently seeking and going through the process to be accepted into the foster care system as a 'foster to adopt' family.

3. Don't you know the risks of adopting a child? Um, yep, believe me, we've thought of all of those risks. The risk of possibly not knowing this child's medical or family background. The risk of having a child who's birth mother is on drugs or alcohol. The risk of getting a child who has disabilities or illness. The FACT that as that child grows older, no matter how happy or well adjusted she/he is in our home, they WILL have questions about their birth parents/family. That is completely natural, and we would be surprised if they didn't----wouldn't each one of us wonder the same things? We accept all of these 'risks'. We are prepared to deal with them. And, quite frankly, saying 'no' to adoption over fear of these risks would mean saying no for selfish reasons.Although we all love to think about the 'happy endings' of adoption stories, the truth is, adoption is first born out of a 'loss'. The child being adopted is suffering the loss of his original parents and family--the biological parents are suffering the loss of their child--be it by their own choice or otherwise. Adoption is a 'better alternative'--better than leaving that child without someone to call 'Mom and Dad', or the chance at a 'forever' family. However, with that said, we HAVE to believe that God can work ALL things together for good---that He can take that child, bring it into our family, and give him/her 'a hope and a future'. While his/her past has been less than ideal, God can turn their future into something beautiful.  

4. How are our kids adjusting to the idea? Well, I'm very proud of them so far! They've all been quite open to the idea and even seem excited about it. We pray for our 'adopted baby' almost every morning during devotion time.

5. What has our experience been so far? Well, like I said, we are still VERY early in the process, which could take quite a while. We've completed our initial application and eight reference letters. We've completed our CPR/First Aid class and two LONG Saturdays worth of classes that dealt with all kinds of topics related to adoption/fostering and the whole process involved, both for the adopted child and the adopting parents. These were great classes, and we were quite impressed with the people that we had a chance to meet who work in the system. All of them seem to have a genuine heart for taking care of the children, their biological families, AND the adopting/fostering families. 

So........that is where we are currently. Down the road awaits such things as background checks, finger-printing, tons of paper work, and a Home Study. We're SO excited, and trying to just take one thing at a time. I want to whip out that 'to do' check list and wipe it all out in one afternoon----but maybe this whole process is meant to teach me patience as well :) 

We covet your prayers as each day we draw closer and closer to this next little member of our family :)

Also, I know that several of you reading my blog have immediate experience with foster care/adoption---either you've been foster/adoptive parents, you ARE an adopted child yourself, or you have an adopted sibling. Please, feel free to leave me any comments----I am still learning about this whole process myself, and I'd be happy to hear any advice/encouragement you have to offer :) 

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Thursday 'This and that'.....

So, this little guy has been asking me for two days now to ''please, teach me how to sew, mama?" So today, finally, we're sewing on buttons :)

She wanted to put the silverware away. She put it away, haha. She held up every piece and said " 'his a 'ittle fork? It goes here! 'his a big spoon? It goes here!'' Hilarious! By the way, don't you love her morning hair? 

Our new favorite breakfast. Whole wheat waffle, natural peanut butter, and sliced strawberries and peaches. ( A drizzle of maple syrup puts it over the top!) In college, I would occassionally eat a big belgian waffle topped with sliced strawberries and ice cream scoops (!!!) for dinner!! Ah....what a fun memory ;) 

My wonderful man is watching the kids for a couple of hours this evening, so I'm headed out for a haircut and some shopping---over the moon happy about that ;) Happy Thursday, everybody! 

Thursday, August 08, 2013

Raining coffee.....

When it rains, it pours. And sometimes, it even pours coffee. As in, iced coffee....dumped by your one year old when he tried to climb into your lap.....all over your fresh clean clothes that you just put on after your shower. So now, you no longer smell like vanilla body smell like iced coffee.

But that's only before you walk in the bathroom and find your brand new throw rug covered in.....something black. Mascara, maybe? All you know is, you didn't put it there. Which leaves five little people left to be interrogated.....

But the suspect is never determined. Everbody claims innocence. That's okay, though, because you already found a guilty suspect in another crime. Your three year old was poking nails into the new van's tires. And she admitted it. At least she doesn't lie.  So that's that. And you're hoping that you don't end up with a flat tire anytime in the near future.

But you don't have time to worry about that right now, because you've got to go clean up your favorite pottery plate that is smashed on the kitchen floor. The guilty person in this case? Yourself. You tried picking it up with wet hands. Dumb, dumb, dumb. Now, that beautiful set that your husband got you for Christmas last year is down to seven instead of eight. At least it was easy to clean up, though, because....

The Gak that you found smashed on your school room carpet right after that was NOT easy to clean up. Yes, yes, that 'perfect' Gak from a few posts back that is 'so much better than play dough because it makes less of a mess'. Well, it does.....but not on a hot, humid 80 degree day when your daughter decides to smash it into the carpet.

All I have to say is.................Thank goodness for nap time and dinner in the crock pot!! :)

Crafts that keep my boys busy for a while are also a blessing....

As are chocolate chip m&m cookies. It rained, and rain= bake cookies.

Oh, and when I was about ready to pull my hair out today, I kept walking by and looking at Reagan's newborn pictures that I finally got up on my wall after a year and a half! They make me smile :)

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Always there......

Leanna opened the door and came running down the hall, curls a  mess and bouncing everywhere. She ran to me and wrapped her arms around my neck in a big bear hug. And I thought.....This is seriously my favorite part of the day.

But then, later, I got to witness one of my children working through a tough challenge....seeing the fruit of the Spirit displayed in their life as they matured and grew in their faith. And I thought......This has got to be one of the best parts of motherhood.

But then, later, dinner was cooking in the oven, and I was mixing some ingredients on the counter. Eli came up and stuck his nose in the dish, inhaling a huge aroma of yumminess. "Oh Mom, this is my favorite stuff! You're awesome!" Okay.......How could that NOT be the best moment of my day?

But later, when all the kids were tucked in, and I sat on the couch next to Joel, and we pulled out the adoption book we've been reading, and then closed our eyes in prayer....I thought "Nope, THIS is my favorite moment of today."

And so I guess I'm blessed with 'favorite moments'. Don't get me wrong, life is not it for anybody? We have 'those days' around here too. We get sick. Mom gets grumpy. Children fight. This week, we'll remember the 3 year anniversary of losing my mom. I don't mean to make life seem all peachy and rosy and like nothing ever goes wrong.

But, in the back of my mind, I remember these words: "Never will I leave you, never will I forsake you....." And I know that through the snotty noses, the arguments and yelling of children, the work that needs done and the unexpected things that come our way....HE is there.

So I'll smile through the beautiful times.....the hugs of my children, the quiet moments with my husband, the smell of banana bread and the start of a new day. And when the rough times come.....this Friday, when I'll feal the ache of missing my mom even stronger than ever......I'll still smile, and remember that HE is always there. As the words of one of my mom's favorite songs said "Oh, How He loves us!"


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