Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Curiosity will not kill this cat...

So this is the week. The little girl that we said no to will be entering the world, and I don't know the outcome of it. I'm not running around getting things organized and put together for her arrival or looking forward to some time away from work (even if that means sleepless nights with a newborn), Tyler and I didn't celebrate our anniversary last night with our phones by our side in case we got a call from fab social worker. I don't know if the mom is deciding to keep her or if she has decided to give her up. I've been out of that loop since we said "thanks but no thanks". I prayed for her the other night...the mom. What if she still hasn't decided what she's going to do? These whole nine months and it's up in the air? What is that even like? Well I think she's amazing no matter if she chooses to keep her or give her up.
I'll tell you this much. As much as these fingers want to type an email to fab social worker inquiring the status of that situation, they won't. Wondering what it's like to be unsure of what you'll do with the child growing inside you...
For once curiosity will not kill this cat.

Monday, April 26, 2010

These eight years...


Yes we were thinner...and definitely young, but we still have the most fun with each other and it's actually even more fun now. It's hard to believe that eight years has gone by since I began life with this guy. We had a whirlwind relationship...met in a hallway between my sisters dorm and the conversation went something like this...
Kelly: "Tyler this is my sister Kari"
We exchange hello's...initially I thought he was cute.
Tyler: "Want some beef jerky?"
Me: "Uh, no thanks"
Tyler: "Huh, well more for me".
He worked in my dorm at the information desk, and I stalked him. I couldn't help it though, he was so cute and VERY funny. He didn't consider me a dumb girl that was involved in ridiculous drama or lamo brother/sister hall activities. We continued our few times weekly conversations while he "worked" and I fell for him, hook, line and sinker. We were wrapping up our spring semester and I was ready to head back home to Florida for the summer so we didn't even begin a dating relationship. "Just friends" was our motto at the time. I was worried about leaving for home, I didn't know what would happen to whatever it was that was happening. This was "pre-everybody had cell phones" era so I knew that we wouldn't be able to chat all the time on the phone and we really hadn't gotten to that point yet anyway. We stuck with email for the first few weeks and even hand writing letters as well, then we graduated to long phone convo's and before you knew it I was headed back to the good ole WL (Winona Lake) for a wedding. He met me at the airport with daisies and a kit kat. We went to a field and watched for shooting stars...I waited for him to bring up the whole "lets ditch the just friends label" but he wouldn't do it. It wasn't until a couple days later while we were on a walk that we stopped at the amphitheater and told each other "I love you". We talked about our wedding that night and our future together. He asked to hold my hand. July 13th 2001. Fast forward to late November we're engaged and then April 27th, 2002 and we were MARRIED!
He is my perfect match. He is my very best friend. He is who knows me to my core and loves me despite what he sees. He is considerate, smart, hilarious, compassionate, a gentleman, a good provider, intuitive, sensitive and lets not forget cute as a button! Waking up to him next to me for the last eight years has been nothing short of fantastic and I find comfort in our candid conversations and admissions.
Tyler, these eight years have brought us through many changes. Job changes, church changes, family changes, physical and emotional changes. These eight years have brought us so much laughter, and tears and growth. These eight years I have been blessed to have someone like you by my side every step of the way. I can't imagine doing this life without you, here's to these NEXT eight years, love.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Through the good and the bad, the quiet and the loud...

These last couple months have been hard...to say the very least. As you've noticed in a few of my posts and also in my lack of posting lately. It's been slow going with raising money and we're just struggling to make the right decisions for our family and to help, not hurt, this adoption process. My focus has been nonexistent, which as someone with ADHD that's really saying somethin'! Our midwest family has been completely a dream since we began this adoption process...specifically Tyler's parents, his brother and wife, and my bestie Jaci. They've collected change, given us bonuses, padded our Christmas checks with some extra $$$, and lifted us and our child up in prayer. Words absolutely positively canNOT express what this does for my heart. When I think about bringing this child home, which is just about every second of the day, I think of all the amazing stories we'll be able to tell them when they get here. I'll be able to show them pictures or point out the people who gave up time or money or both to help bring them to us. People that invested in their future without even knowing if they would ever get to meet them.
This morning my in-laws (mom, dad, bro in law, sis in law) put together a garage sale. They've been collecting donations for over a month, and advertising to friends and family for donations. Well my dear friends at the end of the day today they raised $1,050! I can't even believe it! When they told us what the final total was I was completely blown away! That teeny small town raised more in their garage sale than our booming metropolis. Terri (MIL) told me that there were people who showed up because it was an adoption fundraiser and began sharing their adoption stories as well, whether it was they had adopted or had BEEN adopted. The adoption community gets it...they really do. It doesn't matter if it's here in the U.S. or Internationally this process is so grueling and rewarding at the same time. After I hung up the phone I just cried...it was such a blessing to know that people stand behind us enough to use an entire Saturday, probably some of their own money, their house and yard just for us. No just for almost baby.
So thanks. Thanks to Jim and Terri for using their home, you two have supported us 100% from the beginning. Thanks to Chris and Crystal for rallying behind us to make this a reality, all the while growing your own baby in your belly. Thanks to every last one of you that donated stuff, even if it was a teeny box of random stuff, we don't care. We're learning serious truth behind the saying "every little bit counts".
Through the good and the bad, the quiet and the loud this child, whenever they do finally make it into our arms will have the biggest family ever.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Swirling...

my thoughts can't be anymore scattered right now.
job opportunity, less money, schedule friendly,
calmer and more stable work environment.
continuing relationship family issues.
church is stalled out a bit.
we're moving again.
adoption.

truth.
no tax bill.
our anniversary.
cheap rent, big house.
thriving marital relationship.
making positive changes in our health.
adoption fundraisers from our midwest fam.
Jesus died for me. Gave his life for me. Loves me, always.



Wednesday, April 21, 2010

And another one bites the dust...

So, I've been checking my mailbox like an idiot for the last three weeks waiting impatiently for the ShowHope decision. They told me the end of March beginning of April, and they were definitely last minute that's for sure. Finally on Friday night we got the answer we had certainly NOT been hoping for. Basically due to the hundreds of applications they receive monthly there's no way they could give everyone financial assistance. This sucks. I'm not asking for them to give us the rest of the money. But not even a little bit? We were both sad but like I mentioned before, I was not expecting this one to come through at all. We still have another one out there that we won't hear from until June I think, maybe that one will turn up some results. Until then we continue to collect our change, sell some things and make changes in our budget in an effort to try and cover the cost of this bad boy...I've come to the conclusion that I have to stop planning life around this baby. There are necessary plans that have to be made, this I know, but I have to stop thinking our child will be here soon because each holiday or vacation that has come and gone without them only breaks my heart. I have to plan that maybe baby won't be here, that way I'm not devastated when the trip or holiday has come and gone. Why I didn't figure this out earlier on in the process I don't know...oh wait, I'm impatient that's right, that's why I torture myself.
In the meantime we wait another 6-8 weeks to hear back from the another grant place. Another 6-8 weeks...we'll be moving by then, almost on vacation by then, this year is flying by and in our case I wish it would just slow down, just a little.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Uncomfortable feeling...

We've had to make a lot of decisions together over the course of our almost nine year relationship, but when it comes to this adoption we've like accelerated our tough decision making by a lot. We're trying to raise money right? We're selling some of our things, cutting most fun things out of our budget, saving our change, had a garage sale, pimping Just Love Coffee to facebook friends and family, applied like crazy to a lot of grant places...but there has been one thing the both of us have been avoiding since the beginning. Sending out a support letter to friends and family. This has been hands down the second most difficult thing in this journey, the first of course being almost baby in January. You see we don't view this experience or this chosen path as someone else's responsibility to foot the bill, or an easy way out. We do not expect that the teeny amount of support letters we sent out will cover the whole balance that we have left. We're mainly using this avenue as a way to help make a little bit of a dent in that very large $15,000+. I talked to Tyler a lot about this. I kept going back and forth, should we or shouldn't we. I'm afraid of what people will think when they get the letter. Will they be mad? Annoyed? Offended? Confused? Will they talk about it to other people and think badly of us for doing this? Because here's a secret...I care a lot about what my friends and close family think of me. It's a problem most days. I talk a big game sometimes and generally have a pretty thick skin about most things but I don't want people who have received the letter to see me and be put off. Here's the cold hard truth. We can't do this adoption without sending a support letter out. SO if you read this and you received a letter, please know that it was covered in prayer before we sent it out, please know that we agonized over whether or not this was the right move, please know that we don't expect one million dollars, know that you were special enough to us that we really felt this letter would be received positivity.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Focusing on the good...

So we still have this one nasty little grant hanging out there somewhere. We were supposed to hear from them the last week in March first week of April and still we haven't heard anything. I sent an email to the main lady at Show Hope and just let her know I hadn't received anything yet and wondered if there maybe was a chance it was lost in the mail. Fat chance, but whatever. So the last couple weeks I've been really discouraged about the lack of progress in regards to our adoption and I just really want some movement. I can't control it, so I have to move on and focus on what IS good right now.
In the fall Tyler and I started to specifically pray for a place to live once our lease was up here. We knew that we'd need a bigger place, with a yard for the dogs (and kids) but there was a catch. We needed more house for LESS money. This was our prayer from the beginning. Now for those of you who don't know, we've moved a lot in our eight years of marriage. Ten times to be exact. Not because we buy and restore houses, flip them and make a profit, or because we enjoy moving it's just what life has brought us in these eight years. We've lived houses, apartments, and townhouses all with different amenities...some were fantastic and I was sad to leave and others I wish I could erase from my mind permanently. Here is what I wanted in our next home. Wood (my first choice) or tile floors (with two dogs...one being large and extra stinky) this was a deal breaker. I couldn't do carpet with animals, not to mention kids too! Small bedrooms, big living area. Big bedrooms are a waste when we spend 90% of our time in the living room. Fenced in back yard, not huge, just something the dogs could run around in and also a place where I could throw them when they're driving me nuts. Now the other things are just silly aesthetics I was wishing for....nice deep big kitchen sink, a fireplace, screened in porch, a place for a veggie garden, garage, and a kitchen to die for. You want to know what God gave us??? ALL OF THE ABOVE. No pet deposit. No security deposit. Seriously. No joke. Including the more house for less money. A direct answer to a prayer.
Oh and one more thing...the last few years we've had to pay out in taxes. Last year we had to pay over $1,000 to the IRS. The beginning of this year when we received our tax forms we began praying that we would not have to pay. We didn't pray for a big return or any return, just that there wouldn't be any money that we'd have to pay out. Tyler received a call today from our accountant...we aren't paying! IN FACT we are getting money back. For the first time since Tyler was a student. We are excited that God is blessing is. I mean truly these kinds of things never happen to us...ever, not even just a little bit.
So these next few lonely trips to the mailbox where I'm waiting for that last little piece of correspondence from our last grant...I'll focus on the good in life right now, not the silent.

Psalm 40:1-5
I waited patiently for the Lord to help me,
and he turned to me and heard my cry.
2 He lifted me out of the pit of despair,
out of the mud and the mire.
He set my feet on solid ground
and steadied me as I walked along.
3 He has given me a new song to sing,
a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see what he has done and be amazed.
They will put their trust in the Lord .
4 Oh, the joys of those who trust the Lord ,
who have no confidence in the proud
or in those who worship idols.
5 O Lord my God, you have performed many wonders for us.
Your plans for us are too numerous to list.
You have no equal.
If I tried to recite all your wonderful deeds,
I would never come to the end of them.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

And we wait...

Still waiting to hear back from our last grant. They were supposed to send us yes or no via snail mail and I've been checking the mailbox like an idiot for the last week...waiting. I keep telling Tyler that I will literally wet my pants if we get assistance from them. So get ready for that blog if it's a yes!
Sometimes this blog is a blessing and sometimes it's a curse. It's a blessing when I can think of clever or profound things to say and it's a curse when I go so long in between posts and I feel obligated to write. It's an adoption blog for crying out loud and right now NOTHING is happening in adoption land. I need it though. I feel like it's a good friend that I haven't called in a while and that I can't seem to make time for. Every once in a while I'll come up with a good blog post idea and voice record it onto my phone so when I get a dry spell I'll use some of those ideas. My voice recorder is empty. Sorry folks.

Monday, April 5, 2010

In it to win it...

We had a little meltdown the other day. Ok so I'll be honest...I had a little meltdown the other day, Tyler watched in awe how I can go from 0-60 in 10 seconds. We have a lot on our plate as mentioned in a previous post. We can handle a lot of things going on but we've got a few MAJOR stressers that have really been taking their toll on us and finally it just got to be too much for me to internalize and it all just came pouring out. One of the biggest things that Tyler and I struggle with in our relationship is that he is a realist through and through, and I am a dreamer. I like to assume the best outcome in a situation and he always prepares for the worst, which always makes for some pretty heated discussions. What is truly amazing about this process is that we absolutely need that from each other, his realism keeps me in check with things and my dreaming allows him some sort of fun in this situation. At the end of the day with almost baby, there wasn't anything we could have done differently, we couldn't blame each other for the outcome, we only had each other to embrace and cry with. I had to ask him the other night if this is still what he wanted. I was terrified he might say no and list a million reasons why this isn't going to work, and instead he looked at me puzzled and said "yes, of course!". SO, we continue moving forward with what seems to be the impossible. We pray that God will continue to show us that this is how he wants us to start our family. We pray for miracles.