and here are the details!
several years ago after B was born we were faced with the possibility that he may be our only biological child and that God may have other plans for us than the dreams we had always held of birthing many babies and having a large family. there were many challenges and twists and turns and heartaches in those next few years that eventually and surprisingly culminated in J. after learning of the complications and risk involved with that pregnancy and delivery we felt very strongly that God was asking us to surrender those dreams and desires to him and be satisfied with what he had so graciously given. and he provided so much contentment within our family of four. adoption has been a part of our lives in various ways since we were even children but in the last few years, as we have seen first-hand the families of our friends and family change and grow through adoption, and learned more deeply the nature of our own adoption into God’s family through the work of Jesus it has become even more beautiful. the gospel and personal implications of those truths have become something we support and encourage and celebrate and have discussed for our family for several years…and yet we weren’t necessarily sure that meant for us a child in our home, in our lives, growing our family (because it doesn’t always!). but it is something we became increasingly more excited about and felt we were to pursue. and we couldn’t be more excited…we are anxious to meet the newest part of our family!
we have completed everything we can complete at this point and are waiting for our homestudy to be written up and finalized. we have one more meeting with our social worker to clarify a few more details, tie up loose ends, and answer a few more questions. we were told that everything will be finished by the end of April, sooner if she can manage to do so. in the meantime, we can be shown to birthmothers who are expecting but have yet to deliver (and who are set to deliver after our paperwork is finished). however, we cannot be shown to situations where the baby has already been born. surprisingly, most of their situations (70% we were told) are scenarios where the baby has already been born. this statistic shocked us as we were expecting the opposite to be true (that only a few of the situations would be for a child already born and waiting in the hospital). its a good shock…a very good surprise!
while we considered a few routes to adoption we ended up feeling very clear direction that this road was the one we were meant for at this time. this particular scenario will almost certainly be a newborn adoption, where a mother chooses to carry a child and establishes an adoption plan where she has the ability to choose the family. the agency we are working with very strongly encourage openness in adoption and this will be no exception. through friends who have walked the road ahead of us we know the challenge that openness might bring (we can all agree that life and relationships are messy, right?!) and yet we also see the overwhelming blessing of knowing and engaging despite it. for birthmother. for us. for this child.
we are excited. and nervous. and unknowing. but we have seen God work in the ways he does to display his power, and his care, and his timing…over and over and over again. and we know he can be trusted!
the following is part of a much greater story…one that i hope to share in its fullness one day!
several weeks passed and i was awoken in the night. blood. again. a lot of it. without concern for the sleeping child just across the hall, i screamed for K.
just minutes later i saw the headlights and K opened the door. a friend of ours showed up at 4:00 in the morning with a hug and her prayers; she was no stranger to this nightmare. i sat quiet on the couch, an odd, dare I say, peace flooding me.
the bleeding had stopped for the time being but that was the only thing we knew. for two hours we sat in the emergency room waiting for the arrival of the ultrasound technician. we sat. we talked. we even laughed. anything to keep our minds occupied. i took a deep breath as she entered the room…and it was a long while before i took another one.
another day, another darkened room. she couldn’t sleep that night, so the technician was awake and ready to go when she received the call to see if she could come in earlier than she was scheduled to perform our ultrasound. it began. the screen was facing away from me so i studied her face, K’s face. i waited for word, the word, ANY word. after several minutes, i closed my eyes. i prayed. i prayed for strength, for wisdom, for the power to trust God in the face of yet another loss. again, my eyes opened. still more clicking of the mouse, still more staring at the screen, still no word.
K wouldn’t even look at me. why wouldn’t he look at me? “look at me,” i thought! surely he had seen our baby. surely he had seen it perfectly still. surely he had seen the place where its heart once beat, now just a dark spot on the screen. the clock on the wall was the only thing I had to look at that ever changed, and 15 minutes after the ultrasound started, K’s eyes met mine. he looked at me and his hand tapped his heart.
his hand…TAPPED HIS HEART! our baby was alive!
one year ago…just one in a great string of events that testified (LOUDLY) of God’s grace and His faithfulness and power to protect and provide.
March 19, 2013
b: i can’t marry tinkerbell; she’s a flying girl.
b: does she have legs? can she walk?
me: yes, she has legs and wings.
b: can i marry her?
me: do you want to marry her?
b: no, i want to marry you.
me: daddy beat ya to it…i’m already taken.
b: well, i’m going to marry cinderella!
it starts as an innocent intruder in the middle of the night. he isn’t the scary kind that you immediately defend against, but more the precious kind that comes seeking comfort from his favorites. he snuggles up and makes himself comfortable.
you vow to end this. right now. but, before long, you don’t even wake to the intrusion. instead, you find yourself waking nose to nose with the invader himself (and, in a “it-won’t-be-like-this-for-long” kind of way, you love the sleepy-eyed smiles, the good morning whispers, those moments).
and then he’s scared. and you believe him. and you should, because he is. instead of him being the intruder, he is scared of an intruder. and of wind. and of dark. and of being alone all the while. things that are real, and things of which you are sometimes afraid. and you are the grown-up! so you stay. just once. and while it helps, it only makes it that much harder to do it alone the next night. and so you stay…even closer. but just once.
you encourage. you dispel. you turn on lights. you talk. you pray. you recite God’s word. you hug. you remind of God’s promises. you kiss. you speak truth.
but it’s fear. and it’s strong. and it’s just like real. and you want so bad to take it away. so you stay. but you know it won’t stop with just once.
your once great sleeper has hit another snag…the bigness and wide-open of the new bed, the lingering summer sunshine that causes sleep to come slowly, the awareness of reality and the growing imagination making fears grow up fierce.
this parenting stuff? it’s hard. because it is both comforting in the short-term and equipping for the long-term. it is deciphering the difference between what feels best and what is best. it is caring deeply for the present, but preparing for the future. it is correcting behavior while addressing the heart.
and this is only bedtime.
September 21, 2012
It was Sunday morning. A normal Sunday morning. We were finishing the final details before walking out the door so as to not be late for church. I hear K talking to B, calling for him to come look at the big dog across the street in our neighbor’s yard. But before B can get to the window to look, K changes his words and changes his tone. “Wait. That’s not a dog. That’s a goat!”
Goat was enough to get my attention! I made my way out to the window just in time for the two of them to step out the front door. Sure enough, a goat. A goat on a leash nonetheless!
It was being held by an older gentleman, accompanied also by a young boy. They were attempting to tie it to the tree in their front yard. The conversation that followed went something like this.
Man (who, by the way, we’ve never seen at this house before. same goes for the boy. a little strange in its own right): “Is this your goat?”
K: “No. It’s not yours?”
Man: “No. We just found it in the yard.”
Man: “I guess we’ll just have to call the police and let them know it is here. Do you know anyone else around there that has a goat? Do you know where it belongs?”
All of us had made it outside at this point. We were all beyond confused. K and I looked at each other confused but amused at the thought of this goat belonging to one of our neighbors. Our property does back up to a field but we definitely live in a neighborhood, not the kind of place you might find your average goat. So imagine our surprise when the neighbor beside us walks up from the backyard and answers the man across the street.
J (our next door neighbor, a man in his 80’s): “Yeah.”
K and Me to J: “You do?”
J goes on to explain some scenario where one family member needed a goat for a fundraiser, another family member had a goat but had somewhere they needed to be, and their house was chosen to be the storing place for the goat! It had been tied up out back but they looked out the window one time to check on it and it had gotten loose!
And that’s the story of how this guy ended up on our street one fine Sunday morning. Cute little fella, huh?
Weird. I love it!
*For the record, B’s favorite part of the whole morning was when J’s wife walked the goat back to their house but stopped off in front of our place to let him pet the goat first. As B tells it with wild animation in both voice and hands, “the goat peed and pooped right in front of my face!” Only a boy!!!
May 12, 2012
A little voice called out into the dark and within minutes a little body climbed into bed and snuggled between us, mumbling something about thunder.
This morning, K asked me what time the little intruder arrived and I admitted I had no idea.
Me: “He said something about being afraid of the thunder. Did it even rain last night?”
K: “He told me a duck landed on his back”
Me: “A duck? Clearly he was dreaming!”
B walks into the room and begins, with wild animation, to recount his duck tale!
A duck on my back? I’d have been scared too!
**There is a series of posts that are sitting, waiting to be published. And they have been for quite some time. Every time I get close to them I stop and I run from the blog for a little while. I’ve been trying to determine whether it is the fear of vulnerability keeping me quiet or something else entirely.**
But today? I have a different story entirely.
Last weekend was spent watching thousands of runners accomplishing their goal of 13.1 miles. Some are seasoned runners. Others are clearly out of their comfort zone. However, by the time they get to where we are, all of them have accomplished the goal. All of them finish the race. It is amazing to witness and be able to encourage.
Thousands of runners. Thousands of stories. Thousands of examples of finishing the race. In this instance a physical race, but nonetheless a race.
I LOVE IT!
Dawna and Bryan. (K, Uncle LoLo, and Justin also ran but they were off to shower before pictures were taken!)
Cousins minus one. This was just before B grabbed Abby’s cheeks and planted a big one on her! Unfortunately, I didn’t get that picture but thankfully K did!
April 20, 2012
April 11, 2012
Their family vacation plans fell through and so my sister in law asked if we would like to join them for a road trip out to St. Louis. We would stay with my sister and brother in law for a day or two and then spend a couple of nights at our ol’ faithful hotel, the Drury Plaza in Chesterfield. (Is it sad that we are so fond of this place? Yes? Well, sad it is then!) It seemed at first as though K would be able to go with, but after a little more consideration it appeared best if he stayed home and worked as well. It was at this point I almost backed out. You see, I’m not much good without my husband. And I like him. Though we were leaving mid-day on Tuesday and arriving home early evening on Saturday, it was the longest we’ve ever been apart. And I nearly backed out.*
But, I didn’t.
And we went. We saw. We made some great memories. We had a grand time. We were exhausted!
Tuesday was spent driving. And driving. And stopping. And driving. 8.5-9 hours after B and I left our driveway, we were there! Wednesday was spent exploring Washington, MO with a picnic lunch by the river, throwing rocks in the water, and window shopping with the kiddos. Grilled burgers and hot dogs, salad, deviled eggs, and homemade salsa filled our tummies that night.
Thursday was a great day for the St. Louis Zoo! And apparently a great day to walk! Between parking a mile away (we thought we were much closer to an entrance than we actually were…oops!), leaving our food in the car to go back for at lunch (done before we knew we parked a mile away!), and enjoying as many animals as our little legs would take us to…our bodies definitely racked up some mileage!
Friday may have been my favorite day. It included a trip to see both the people and the place of my old office which made me all sorts of happy. A pit stop past Donut Palace…enough said, really! Lunch at Qdoba. A packed afternoon at the Magic House followed by Coldstone Creamery. Yeah, I’d say that’s a pretty good day. Oh, and lest I forget, my sister and brother in law also went to the trouble of getting Tucker’s wings that night…a big deal when they don’t offer takeout!
There was swimming and bubble baths, eating and talking, giggling, and yelling, memories and so much fun!
The trip home went swimmingly, well, apart from that incident where B got in his just-turned-2-year-old cousins face and told her she was a bad girl for going potty in her pants and then continued (later in the car) to scold her for the same and let her know all of the things she was not allowed to do because of it….”no screaming, no louding, no basketball game, no playing, no gassing (he may have been influenced by our pitstop for gas), no eating ice cream, no talking on the phone…”
And now, for photographic evidence!
Look Ma, no hands!
*For the record, I had a great time. But I still think it would have been better with K along for the ride!