Thursday, October 29, 2009

Truckin' along...

Yesterday we drove to Rockledge which was only about an hour and change instead of over two hours like the last time, for our meeting with our social worker. It was good meeting, she was praising us for how fast we were completing our paperwork and we’re going to be done one whole month earlier then originally planned! YIPPEE! Our final visit will be at our home on 11/30 at 11am, she’ll make sure we have child locks in place and fire extinguishers, and that our dogs aren’t going to kill our new child.

This week I’ve really tried to gain a little more knowledge on the country of Ethiopia. Our classes we’ve been taking have talked about the importance of preserving our child’s culture and so I’ve really kind of tried to make a lot more of an effort to check out the country as a whole. Hopefully some books that I’ve ordered will be here soon! I’m also going to head to the library and see if they have a good selection because Barne’s & Noble certainly did not. So I’ll update you a little later on what I’ve learned...I got nothin’ right now.

In other great news one of my most fantastic friends Leanne is coming to visit me for the weekend. I am so excited! She is hilarious, and laughs SO LOUD it makes people turn their heads...love it. We don’t have set plans, just want to enjoy some uninterrupted time together on my turf.

Well, there’s nothing profound for me to share today...just little nonsensical things. Still brainstorming in a major way for fundraising ideas, and I believe we are going to really try to do a garage sale. I’ve heard from a few people that they were able to raise enough to pay for a small chunk of their program fee or even paid completely for submitting their dossier. More on that later!

Isaiah 65:23 “I will provide for their needs before they ask,
and I will help them while they are still asking for help.”

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Cute...

Tonight…Tyler prayed out loud for our future child. We were on our way home from a party and decided that we should use the car ride time to pray instead of waiting until we’re both too exhausted when we go to bed. We always pray for the process of adoption and our home study and I’ve prayed for our future guy or gal before, but he never has. He prayed to keep them safe, and healthy, it was cool to hear him say it and strange too. Look out little one this guy is going to be an amazing dad…YOUR amazing dad.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

My soapbox...

There are a few soapboxes that are close to my heart and ones that I rarely get on unless I’m feisty enough and am faced with that soapbox directly. Today my soapbox strangely enough happened at the tire place (I had a leak in my tire and I go to this SUPER shady place on the other side of town where the tires are cheap and almost brand new). This neighborhood is no good, low income, high crime but like I said cheap tires. While I’m waiting there watching this dude fix my tire, my soapbox arrives in the form of 2 dudes, probably early twenties, screaming up in their car and park me in (thanks), they get out of the car smoking cigarettes (this is important later in the story) and clearly know the guy who owns the tire place. One dude who is hanging back a little says “oh yeah man, I have a baby”….he opens up the back door and sure enough there she is. Little girl, probably 5 months old, stuck in a seat, with two dudes tooling around town enjoying their cigarettes while little girl is stuck in her seat! The dad starts saying something to her like “the octopus is going to get you, watch out”…wow…as we’re leaving the dad hops into the passenger seat and turns up his music and increases the bass thump. Fantastic. Is this a normal afternoon for her? In her seat in the car with her dad and his irresponsible friend? Does she get read to or played with, fed on time or bathed regularly? Does he hug her and kiss her or just stick her in the seat and pass time until her mom gets home? What is her life going to be like? I felt sad, and felt like I needed to do something. I always feel this way when I see children in situations like that, it sucks, just plain sucks. How is it that I just spent my day answering questions about my health, getting blood work done, and blood pressure taken but all that dude had to do was have sex and get his girl pregnant…no questions asked. Don’t get me wrong, Tyler and I CHOSE this way, God chose this way for Tyler and I, as far as we know the ability for us to have children biologically is still there. I have not been faced with the harsh reality that I am in fact, infertile. In fact, I don’t think I’ll ever want to know if I am. I don’t think we’ll ever make that appointment with the fertility specialist and hear the words that it CAN’T happen…I’m good with the fact that adoption is our option unless otherwise noted. I got to thinking as I watched little girl in the car, at some point in time me and this dude shared an equal lack of experience, but I still am broken in situations like this. I wanted to go over to him and smash his cigarette in the ground and scream and yell that it’s not a great idea to blow smoke in your babies face while she’s sitting in the car!!!! I want to say that she probably should have been taking a nap or having a little snack at home!!!! Do you really think it’s a fantastic idea to make your horrifying music louder?!!! I wanted to say just give her to me!!! I think I missed my calling in life when I didn’t go the route of being in children’s advocacy or something because I literally could tear people’s heads off sometimes when I see or hear what they’re doing to their children. I know I’m not going to be the perfect parent, I know I’ll make a thousand mistakes and probably lose my temper more times than I can count, I know that I’ll hurt their feelings sometimes but I can guarantee that I will give my child a chance to be someone great.

1 John 3:18 ”My children, we should love people not only with words and talk, but by our actions and true caring”.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Thoughts...

So I was thinking today…what am I going to tell my child when they’re old enough to understand it? I mean we are definitely adopting more than one child in fact it’s safe to say we’ll adopt at least a few. The actual concept of adoption won’t be foreign to them, I mean that will be obvious. When they’re old enough to understand and retain information to form their own opinions on things, what exactly will I say? I won’t be able to offer them any “Honey I know what this feels like” because I don’t know what “it” feels like. Abandonment, living 7,000 miles away from your original home, truly probably never ever being able to see or meet your birth parents because they’ll probably be dead already (average age in Ethiopia is only 52). ”It’s” such a huge responsibility this whole adoption commitment, we’re committing to raising a child whose heart will be broken from the very beginning. I completed a module or two of required education for our home study, and one of the required readings was this amazing article…http://www.adoptivefamilies.com/articles.php?aid=428.html (just copy and paste it into your browser). So I still after all my thinking today have not come up with anything on what I’ll actually say to my little one. If I’m being totally honest I’m not going to really make myself come to conclusions right now. Just thoughts really. ”It” will be different.

As a side note, I am in no way, shape or form trying to say that what Tyler and I are doing is noble, deserves accolades, or is even better than having biological children. I hope that anyone that enjoys reading this already knows that but I felt like I needed to clarify.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Exciting news...

So I heard through the grapevine (ahem Joye Andrew) that Holt’s referral time was super short right now! (meaning, once we complete our home study and turn in our dossier, they match us with a child…OUR CHILD). Now let me say something, I am by nature an extremely impatient person. I always pay extra for faster shipping, I always leave in the first car load of people going on vacation, I’m not a huge fan of waiting. So when I first heard that our wait for a referral was going to be 6-9 months I was like, oh boy, I’m gonna die. I went back and forth with Holt today just asking more questions and specifically asking what the expected wait time was for a referral was to which she responded with… “We are matching families who have a home study done within a month or a few weeks”. CANNOT BELIEVE IT! I went from expecting 6-9 months waiting to one month? I mean even if it is double that by the time we get our home study done that’s still only 2 months, which is a breeze compared to 6-9. This happy news brings a lot of feelings one of which is, how is God going to provide us with the funds to bring this baby home? We officially can’t apply for any grants until our home study is completed, so now we’re trying to come up with some ideas. Mainly, trying to foot the $3,000 dossier fee that will be due upon completion of our home study before we can be on the wait list for a child. Anyone have any fundraising ideas? Do you know of anyone that has raised money for an adoption before that I could get in contact with? No idea is too big or too small at this point, we’re just looking to bring our little baby g, or baby b home and we’ll get there however we have to.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Sometimes this doesn't seem real...

It’s times like these last couple weeks where I am able to go almost an entire day without thinking about adoption, that I forget this is real. I mean for anyone who has gone through the adoption process and even those women who are in their first trimester of pregnancy (and not experiencing morning sickness & their bellies aren’t growing yet), where you’re kinda like “OH YEAH, that’s right…I’m going to be a mom”. We’ve just been gathering little bits and pieces of paperwork the last couple weeks, getting our first round of fingerprinting done, waiting really to hear what else we need to be working on. There’s so much paperwork but there’s piles that can’t be done until our home study is completed, and other piles that I’m procrastinating because they aren’t as fun to work on. One thing I’ve done to help me stay in the adoption state of mind is watch adoption videos on youtube and read tons of adoption blogs too. I am an information junkie…anytime I get a new electronic, dog, or hobby I read a TON of stuff on it. I read the manual, I research the breed, I buy a book on it. You can’t do this with your individual child but you can do it with the processes of child rearing…I mean the basic things like how to change a diaper, to what to expect developmentally. I know this kind of information won’t help me a hundred percent of the time but at least I’ll be able to refer to my internal manual on certain things. Those videos and blogs will help me pack the right stuff, bring the right medications, help me understand the process once we get there, give me good restaurants to eat at, or the right airline to fly. I’ll be able to learn about Ethiopia, the people, the country, the languages, and the need. I still continue to have my days of I can’t believe I’m going to be a mom. When those freaky thoughts overcome me I immediately think of some positives. Oh right, and to let you know as a side note, I have to do this for my own well being because we’ll be married for 8 years when this little treasure makes it way home, 8 years folks. Some of you may not know but I come from a very large family, I am the second of seven children which means my baby experiences are a lot, I always babysat, I’ve worked at a preschool and also have been a nanny so overall I’m very comfortable with the know how but none of those experiences weren’t ever overnight for the rest of my life experiences. I’m anticipating that within the first day of being a mom I’ll have utilized all that I remember and just be a complete mess. I keep thinking we don’t even know how to deal with a baby together let alone travel across the entire country and bring one back. Talk about adjustment, I’d like to connect with a first time parent who became a first time parent through adoption. Back to the positives…

1. I can’t wait to be able to soothe a child in my own way, you know have them want ME to comfort them the way I still to this day want my own mother to comfort me.

2. I can’t wait to see Tyler as a dad. He is an amazing human, and will be an amazing dad with great insight and silliness, and I’m sure will immediately teach his child guitar, to hate all green vegetables, and that the steelers are the best team in all of the land.

3. The laundry….even the laundry is cuter. The little socks and shirts!

4. I can’t wait for funny stories! I get to read so many facebook status updates, or other people’s blogs where their kids say the most hilarious things ever!

I’ll save the rest for another freak out day.

Proverbs 2:6 ”Only the Lord gives wisdom; He gives knowledge and understanding”. Amen to that.

Monday, October 5, 2009

First baby purchase...

Target was desperately calling my name today…I have neglected my dear bullseye friend the last few weeks, and it needed some quality time from me…just to get a good browse in. I found the cutest little blanket, so I bought it. It’s green (which is my favorite color) but also happens to be pretty gender neutral, and it has owls on it. I love owls, and they tend to be a little trendy right now so I thought to myself, perhaps in 12-18 months when this is done this won’t be here. Thus my first baby purchase. I also started to realize that I’m more than likely going to skip a whole stage of life, the newborn stage. Which in my opinion will save us some dough, then I won’t need to waste time with a bassinet, breast pump, swing, or those little mitts you put on their hands to keep them from scratching themselves. It was weird shopping for MY future child though…I always ALWAYS shop for other people’s babies, I mean like browse and think of people I know who have babies or are having babies and then I just go hog wild! So today I bought something for my baby…didn’t go hog wild though, but still I bought something for MY baby.

In other news, the reference letters went out on Friday to our required list of personal/work references. I just had a friend notarize our CHS application and we’re getting our fingerprinting done on Monday. Then we’ll send off the fingerprints and the app back to CHS and work on more paperwork.

Thanks to everyone who reads this and likes it…and if you’re praying…that makes me smile.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

God is good...

This morning we….ahem…I woke up bright and early to shower and put my face on for our first home study visit. 2 hours away. We were running a little late due to Tyler’s incessant need to buy coffee from Starbucks when he has a perfectly brand new bag of coffee at home! So it was a teensy bit tense for a little while after we got on the road, moving on though. Our appointment went great! Jan at CHS was very friendly and super accommodating. She has just recently taken over this position as the other lady retired after many many years so she was a little out of sorts trying to sort through some things. She kept handing us more and more paperwork…and more paperwork, but was explaining everything in detail and was very helpful. Basically that was it! 30 minutes in her office, and that completed one out of three home visits. The next one we have scheduled is for October 28th at 10:30, and this time we only have to meet her in Melbourne which is only an hour and change away, and to tell you the truth I’m not sure what we’ll be doing for that one. In the meantime we have to each write a life story (by answering 55 questions they’ve picked out for us one of which is “Describe each of your siblings”…UMMM HELLO that’s going to take me FOREVER), get physicals, get fingerprinted, and continue to fill out more paperwork. We are more and more excited each day and we’ve started praying for our future little one, if they’re born yet or not, and praying for the parents and trying to understand the struggles they must be going through right now to try and decide to give their child up. We are praying for God to keep our child safe, and would love for you guys to do the same!

So people keep asking what timeline is after we complete the home study. We begin to wait for a referral which, according to our agency, could be 6-9 months. Once the agency refers us a child we look over their file, have a doctor take a peek at it, and then decide whether or not to accept the referral. After that I believe it goes to court in Ethiopia in a few weeks and then we begin making travel plans. So we’re looking at AT LEAST a solid year.

Off to bed…for anyone that truly knows me this is my favorite part of the day, 5:30 this morning came way too early and I’ve been dreaming about my head hitting this pillow all day….ahhhh life without a newborn. I have approximately 365 days before I can’t say that anymore and the best part about it is…I love that idea.

Psalm 18:30 ”God’s way is perfect. All the Lord’s promises prove true. He is a shield for all who look to him for protection.”