Thursday, December 27, 2007


At my interview last week, I was able to read through some of the profiles that other's have done. As I sat in the family room at Bethany, I found myself overwhelmed with emotions for the birthmother. I read this one dad to be's letter to her. He was telling her how courageous and brave that she is in her decision to choose life for her child. He was telling her how that he did not know if he could do the same if he were in her shoes. He was so real and honest that it caused me to really think as if I were in her place for a moment. I just sat and cried, thinking of what she will go through. Separation, grief, loss... of her child. I know that this is reality and that these situations are what they are. I understand that it was their choices that got them there in the first place. But then I also know all the bad decisions I have made in my life and a lot of bad ones many of you reading this blog have probably made. I have not yet suffered consequences like the ones that she will suffer in making this decision. I deserve it as much as she does. I cannot judge her or look down on her because of where she is. I used to generally judge birthmother's, although not purposefully. When we started this process, I remember feeling this same sadness for the children that are orphaned...and thinking, 'what good person could abandon her baby?' While I know this does happen and situations aren't always good intentioned, I have learned that a lot of birthmother's are acting out of courage, not shame... strength, not weakness. They are in reality, not a dreamworld, and taking responsibility for the place that they are in and the place that they have put this innocent being in. And so, as I was saying, I felt so overwhelmed with emotions of sadness and heart ache for the mother of my child. She will experience something that I hope to never experience. I commend her for her love for her child which drives her to choose life for it and choose a better life than she can give to it. I hope that when faced with such adversity and difficult decisions, I will have the same amount of character.

single interviews

The single interviews went great. Again, this was a very comfortable, easy process. No surprises. We are loving Lisa, who is doing our homestudy at this time. The interviews were last week before christmas. We traveled to KY for christmas, which was great. We got to see Eric's mom, aunt, brother and cousins. We also had christmas with Julie's parents and Kenny's parents (my in laws) and their extended families. Needless to say we have been busy as I am sure you all have. I love Christmas so much and cannot wait to have a little one around to share it with! On Christmas eve, Julie and Kenny gave us a basket full of baby stuff!!! I was so excited! My family is going to be sure that we are ready for this baby! They are so generous and we love them so much!

Today was our home visit. Lisa came out to the house and got her "tour" which was fun....and short. She had to see our fire extinguisher, fire alarms, bedrooms, bathrooms. She also needed to know how many sq ft our house is and how much land it sits on. Then we sat and talked some more about the next steps of the process and about the birthmothers. Lisa is always the one telling us how "quick we could be be ready!!!" So, we got started on our profile tonight. It is really difficult. We are trying to portray our life in about 6 pages. We have to write a letter to the birthparents from each of us. Bethany has really stressed how important the profile is in the decision process of the birthparents. That is a lot of pressure I feel like. But I am trying not to get overwhelmed. Hopefully, we'll be able give a good picture of what we are like and of our families. I'll let you know when we get done!!! We have also been working through the "service plan." This is where we specify our preferences on what types of situations we are okay with having our profile shown from birthmother history to issues with the child. This has been the most difficult thing of all. I find it hard enough to make decisions. I have felt sort of a peace about most of it though. I feel that the decisions that we have made in regards to our preferences are truly from our hearts and hopefully it will be right. I am just so thankful for this process for so many reasons. We are really blessed already and haven't even met our sweet child yet! I can't wait!!!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

interview #1, part 2

Well, the couple interview was a breeze...nothing to it really. I am starting to see that they are not having interviews with us to examine us and make sure they want us to adopt. They want us to adopt. They are doing this so that they can write up our home study report and actually have an idea of who we are and what we are like as people. Basically, she just gathered information about us. The neatest part of the time we spent with her was that she actually really knew a lot about us. She had read our self studies could tell. At one point she was says, "Now, I know how you guys met, about how your girlfriend was dating his guy friend and Mandy, you were like, 'I really didn't even want him to call me' and Eric, you were really into her from the beginning..." and I thought to myself... I put that stuff in there??? It was just really comforting to hear her tell us details of our lives, showing that she wanted to get to know us and makes me really glad that we went with Bethany through this process. I am sure there are other great agencies, but Bethany has just been really great so far. We talked a lot after we got done, just about birth mothers and the things that can go on within different situations. We talked about how "this could happen really fast, you know that right???" I promise she said that about 3 times! No chest pain this time though!

Next week we are both scheduled for our individual interviews. I go first and she will be showing me some examples of profiles from other couples to help me get and idea of what it should contain. Then, when Eric goes, she will be giving him what I think she referred to as a 'service plan'????? whatever that is. Something about that this is when we will specify about how open or closed we want to be with the birthmother after the adoption is finalized and things like that. Then the following week she will come out to our house for the home visit. She said, "The home visit is very casual, I am not coming in with a white glove or anything. You will just give me a tour of your house...." I said, "that won't take long!" She just started laughing. Eric and I just looked at each other at the same time and both said, "no, really, it won't take long" (because our house is so small) I told her we have a very "cozy" home! I am not putting our house down. It is perfectly fine. But for some reason the thought of giving a "tour" of it just makes me laugh. ANYWAY, after that we will pretty much be done with our homestudy and be ready to wait. So for the next 2 weeks we would greatly appreciate your prayers. We have some big decisions that we will be making. We will need wisdom, peace when we have come to a good decision, strength to make those decisions with confidence, unity with each other on the decisions. I am not talking about decisions like what color to paint the nursery, or what furniture to buy, or even what to name our child. I am talking about things like how often we are willing to meet with the birthmother, if at all or what medical problems specifically we can handle, etc. It is just like with all other decisions we make in life, I guess, except that they will stick with us for the rest of our life with this child. Eric and I are different people. We do not always think the same way about things and definitely have different feelings about things. I am really praying that we God would bring us both to the same page. I know He will.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

interview #1

Tomorrow afternoon we have our first of 3 interviews. We go together to the Bethany office at 4:30 for our "couple interview." Lisa, our new social worker, called me on Monday i think it was and I chatted with her for a few minutes. She seems really down to earth and I am excited to work with her. I am hoping that we can get our personal interviews set up for sometime next week, possibly??? And then, the home visit to follow, which I am hoping can be the following week. I still haven't started on our profile yet. We might be needing that soon!!! I am wanting to get that started this weekend. I am not good at that kind of creative stuff. Anyone got any good ideas??? I'll post saturday probably to say how the interview went. I am so excited!!!

Monday, December 10, 2007


We have been so encouraged and feel so loved and supported from all of you. So many people have been so interested in what we are doing, so monitarily generous with the garage sale and just with your own personal financial gifts; generous with your prayers, I am sure; generous with your time throughout the day to call and check in and to keep up with our blog. We want to say THANK YOU again. The feeling of being loved and knowing you are supported in your journey makes things so much easier, and much more fun! I love the comments that you guys, that last one was a tear jerker and I love you! I love that people like DeeDee Barfield can comment on things, when otherwise I probably would have no contact with her. All this to say that, silly me did not know that I could change the settings so that ANYONE can comment, whether you have an account or not. If you don't have an account, just sign your name at the bottom of your entry so we know who it's from. Keep them coming! They do our hearts more than yall can know.

a little news...

We got great news this weekend! Friday, after conversation through email about the psychologist and how he doesn't know how to return phone calls or do things in a timely fashion, I was informed by Bethany that as soon as they have our psych report, which should be Monday morning, that they would be contacting us to set up our interviews, with the home visit to follow. In their words....'we are in great need of families and would like to get you through the process.' There are normally two domestic social workers, Carolyn and Amanda. We have been working with Carolyn so far, and Amanda recently went out on maternity leave. So, because of Carolyn being so swamped, i guess, they are switching who we will be working with. Lisa will be doing our interviews, home visit and writing up our homestudy. I really liked her at orientation. She deals mostly with the international adoptions normally. I don't know why, but for some reason, once again, a wave of reality passed over me. I kinda freaked out again! I know, I know, I have to stop freaking out at the thought of being a mother! Sometimes I think that some of you, after having read my blog, think I am some deep thinker or whatever, but just to give you an example of how not deep my mind thinks...when I think of being a mom, and start to freak out, in my head I am saying, 'oh, shoot! oh shoot! oh shoot!' Deep thoughts, huh? Ha ha, anyways, I just wanted to let everyone know that the next step is near, and we are very excited! It makes me real sad that they are in "great need of families." I hope that anyone and everyone who reads this blog will prayerfully consider how they can specifically meet the need of an orphan. I don't have a clue what that might look like for any one of you, but probably the greatest desire I have in doing this blog is that someone else might be inspired to reach out to a little girl or boy who needs love and support. Eric and I have already been blessed in ways that we would not have been had we not pursued this thing that is so much bigger than we are. We have been challenged in our faith, in our marriage, in our personal lives...already. I never would've dreamed of being in this moment that we are in now, and I have a feeling that it has only just begun. We haven't even met our child yet!

At church this morning, we had a really neat opportunity to meet a group of refugees who were being persecuted in their country for practicing christianity. Women were being raped and beaten, and I actually don't even know all the details. But, instead of denying their faith, they have left everything they know, their country, their way of life, their friends and some family, and fled to smyrna, tn so that they can worship God freely. I think they said there were 80 of them currently. They don't speak our language, have driver's licenses, or have much money. But for them, nothing was worth the freedom to worship and serve God freely. First I want to say what a great country we live in. I have never honestly taken the time to appreciate my freedom. But this morning, I sat in my chair listening to their story and looking into their faces, tears streaming down my face and just feeling an overwhelming sense of thankfulness. Then came a feeling of conviction. Would I do that for my freedom to worship? How am I intentionally reaching out to people today and yesterday and everyday, since I have the freedom to do so? It seems that I have put a lot of energy and focus into this adoption as if that is my "mission" for the year. But I believe God desires much more from me. I hope, with God's grace that I can begin noticing others in need and stop being satisfied with the fact that we are adopting right now. I definitely don't feel this adoption is a prideful thing in our hearts, but can you see how it gets that way at times in regards to us doing our 'good deed' for the time being? Just something I thought about today. I'll post when we hear from Bethany again! Have a great week.

Sunday, December 2, 2007


Again, it has been awhile. We are kinda in a waiting phase right now. As I mentioned before, after we turned in our paperwork, everything is out of our hands now. It's kinda funny how deceiving that my perspective is in this life. My perspective causes me to believe that I actually have control of things, and that in a weird way is very comforting. I have really believed that during the paperwork portion of this process, that I was in control of the outcome, of how quickly we finished and that I could control how quickly we get to our child. But, I am wrong about that. I was no more in control of the paperwork than I am of the Psychologist who did our evaluation and of him turning our report in to Bethany. No matter how many times I call this man, he will not return my calls and for whatever reason, has not turned in the eval yet. I can't make him turn it in, so that we can hurry this thing up. Do yall see how funny this is? We rush, and I mean rush through the paperwork, get our fingerprints and background checks, study ourselves...but quickly (the long self study) all to get to the psych eval and have it take over a month and counting from start to finish to get it completed. 'What the heck is going on?'...i am thinking to myself. Then, I am reminded by a sweet friend of the truth that God is in control. He took us on this journey and He will finish it, in his time. Again, we will be parents, in His perfect timing. I see such a revolving door in my life in the area of control, especially in this phase of growing my family. And the even funnier part is that I like to think that Eric has the problem with control in his life. (sorry babe) I am quick to see his sin, but cannot see my own. Ha ha makes me literally laugh out loud at myself. Thanksgiving is technically over, but I am so thankful for friends who keep me grounded, cause God really knows how I like to float around a lot. I am thankful that He is in control of everything, and promises that He always will be. This is a truth that I used to not really get, or like. I have frequently been held captive in a sense, regarding God's control in my life. The idea of Him being completely in control, when from the wrong perspective can feel that way. Maybe none of you have ever felt this way. I have always heard the phrase, 'there is freedom in Christ' and I believe that this is one way that I have truly experienced this freedom. I am not a prisoner or a puppet of God's, due to his control. Nope, not at all like I once thought. I am free. Free to live my life, free to put aside my shortcomings, my sin and free to just live in his grace and know that He holds the future and the He is in control. AND that His plans for the future are plans to bring me life and to bring himself glory. I can trust Him. I can rest in Him. I can stop worrying. I can enjoy the journey He has us on.

I have spent the past few weeks worrying about if we are ready. Is our marriage ready? Am I ready? What if it comes too soon, or too late? My friend reminded me that I can pursue infertility, adoption, and even specific children, but there is one that is ours, and God will bring that child to us when He is ready.

I talked with Carolyn (our social worker) this week and she told me that as soon as the psych eval comes in, she will call us to set up our interviews. Then we will have a home visit and be completely done and ready to be officially "waiting." She did tell me not to expect to be finished until after the first of the year. I am glad to know this because I feel it gives me a little time to not be wondering when we'll be done. We can just enjoy the holidays. She sent out an email recently of several situations of babies who are in need of homes, some due this week and some due in the next few months. I am compelled to pray for these little ones who have no home before they are even born. Something that the agency encourages us to do while "waiting" is to pray for the children who are in need of families, whether they are to be a part of our specific family or not. As I remind myself how much God cares for orphans, I hope that all our friends and family who keep up with our blog will be inspired to pray for these children as well.
"A father to the fatherless, a defender of the widow is God in His holy dwelling. He sets the lonely in families..." Psalm 68:5-6
"He executes justice for the orphan..." Deut. 1o:18
"Vindicate the weak and fatherless; Do justice to the afflicted and destitude" Psalm 82:3
"Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and father is this: to visit orphans and widows" James 1:27
"How blessed is he who considers the helpless..."
Psalm 41:1

Monday, November 19, 2007

"psych eval"

Okay, sorry everyone, for not updating sooner. I did not even want to talk about that day last week that was so long and way boring (much more than I had imagined) I am just going to start by saying that we got to the office 20 minutes early (thanks to eric) and we enter the building to find a long hallway lined with a lot of closed doors. To our surprise, all the doors were locked. Even the one "105" which we were supposed to be going into for our appointment. We knocked. No answer. We walk upstairs to find the same thing, long hallway of locked doors. OK...we thought...lets go knock some more. Seriously, no one could be found except this one guy who sells insurance and he doesn't know anything. Then suddenly, about 5 or 10 minutes after 11 a guy comes walking out from behind one of the locked doors and is like, "yall lookin for me?" It was all we could do not to just bust out laughing. where the heck had this guy been? and what was he doing? weird. So, anyways, he procedes to give us a bunch of questions to answer, then we have the oral part of the evaluation. Basically, he just had us talk about our marriage and our "stuff" and what our issues are and all that. Then he gave us some advice and some test questions. We sat in this room, Eric at a desk and me on the couch and began doing this test of questions like 'I would like to be a fireman....true or false' and 'when I get angry I want to smash things' and 'I think about sex during the day' and all kinds of random things like these. Then you would find the same questions worded differently later on in the survey. About what I thought was half way through the test, I thumbed through to the back to see how much more I had to go (this is a common test taking habit that I have....sometimes i like to start at the back and work my way forward, just for fun) and I kept flipping and flipping. Finally I got to the last page....633 questions!!!!! so you know its not a typo...six hundred thirty three questions. I felt this overwhelming sense of dispair. I did not think I could ever answer that many questions that are formatted like these. It was truly really really long and really really boring. Finally we both had finished and once again the guy had disappeared. We were kinda over this whole experience at this point, so we left our answers and test questions on the desk and was 10 til 4!!! That thing took almost 5 hours! Hopefully he returned and found our answers and we don't ever have to do that again. And then, we get to the car and I check my voicemail where I find that many of you had called to see how it went... thanks! But the best message was from my sweet, psychological guru of an aunt, Stephanie....and i quote..."Hey, just wanted to see how it went today, I hope you got to do the MMPI...that one is so fun to do...." The mmpi was the name of the 633 question test we had just finished. I let her know that there is NOTHING fun about the MMPI. All in all, it wasn't that bad.... but of course, we don't know if we have passed or not yet! We are hoping no news is good news. Again, sorry it took so long to blog this time. I just couldn't think about that day before now.
p.s. (I have been very melodramatic in this blog. please, just humor me.)

Thursday, November 8, 2007

so, here is Aubrynne! My sweet niece who is the MOST precious girl. I promise Eric is not drunk.... just a little tired!
Here we are at our yard sale!

This is the first 5 bucks we made!

Let me tell yall about our week. A situation with a brand new baby girl was brought to our attention by some sweet friends at work that had been brought to the ER and would be needing a home. Without going into all the details of how and why this situation occured, I will just say that a need for a family came up, and Eric and I had the opportunity to make ourselves available to take her. When I recieved the call from the ER, it did not feel real...until I talked to Eric about it. When I told him what I knew of the situation, his response was, "What are you waiting for??? CALL THEM!" We hung up the phone, and with my mom as a witness, I began having chest pain, feeling short of breath and feeling like I was gonna vomit!! Some of you may be thinking 'wow, you really aren't ready to get a baby if you are gonna freak out!' You can rest assured, I was not freaking because we might be parents, but just at the thought of my baby being without me...alone...without a name! I have wondered if I will naturally feel that 'motherly instinct' or 'instant bond' with my adopted child. I know, after this week, that I will. I was overwhelmed with worry and an extreme amount of love for this little girl I have never met, seen, held, and quite frankly that was going to be a stretch to actually come into my home. After all, all we were doing was making ourselves available to the people in charge of this baby. It's not like this was actually something we were doing through our agency that actually had potential to be in our home. But it did not matter. If she was to be ours, I wanted her, and loved her, and immediately began praying for her and for her birthmom who is quite obviously in a really bad situation. Realistically though, I tried to keep myself grounded and remind myself that this was a long shot. But it did not matter. I still loved her, and wanted her, and prayed for her. At one point shortly after getting this phone call, I looked at my mom and asked her what on earth will I do with a baby? I don't have any stuff, like diapers and uh, a crib, or clothes! It's really cold outside! My mom calmly responded, "We'll go to target!" I said, "oh, okay...we'll...go to Target." So, we made the appropriate phone calls, to the appropriate people and then just have waited to hear something. I talked with a social worker this morning and it looks like that little baby girl will have a family soon, through the state's custody and provision. I am glad that there are other families waiting to take home little girls who don't have a home. I am glad that I was able to love her so much, so instantly, so unconditionally. I am glad that we got to experience the real possibility of becoming parents. I am happy with our response. I know that God is sovereign and in control, and that He is still preparing us for parenthood. I am really, seriously okay and actually great with that baby girl finding a home through the state program. I rest in knowing that our child will come to us soon enough. And it will be the child for only us. I am not having anymore chest pain or shortness of breath or nausea now that I know I am not separated from my little girl, cause she's not mine! I am also excited that i felt what a lot of my "anxious" patients feel and they never can quite explain it or why they have these symptoms, but the are real. And now I can stop thinking they are making it all up! (just kidding...I am not that harsh, but I am sometimes a little skeptical)

So, it's back to waiting some more, to finish our homestudy. We have sent letters now to our employers for their references and hopefully they will be prompt. Someone asked me today if this event makes me feel more anxious about the wait, or more ready for it to hurry up and be here. I think a little, but not too much. I am still not in 'wait' mode, because we aren't expecting to get a child yet. I still really see good in both sides of it coming fast and then we are parents! But here are the reasons that it is soooo okay that we aren't there yet:

  1. we need to save some major money so we don't have to borrow it!

  2. we get to spend more time together, alone!

  3. we need to be training our dog to be outside

  4. we need to be reading our required books about being adoptive parents

  5. we get to continue preparing our hearts

  6. me and mom have time to find some good material to decorate the nursery

  7. we have time to soak up Aubrynne (our new niece)

  8. we get to enjoy dreaming about what our child will look likel (it's kinda fun)

  9. we get to continue to trust God and experience Him in this time of waiting, in ways we wouldn't if we could just always have our way, when we chose and how we chose. I am convinced and expect that our child will prove to us and hopefully to any of you who are in this journey with us, that God's timing is perfect, His ways are better than ours, and we can learn to be thankful, hopeful people as a result of this truth and how it plays out in our lives.

Friday, November 2, 2007

We received a letter in the mail today that informed us of the status of our paperwork. We both have to give reference forms to our employers then once they are turned in and one more person turns in their personal reference form, we will move on to the next step...the interviews! We also are going to have a psychological evaluation done on November 12. First of all, this is my birthday. I kinda was being selfish in scheduling it on my birthday, cause Eric has to take off work to have it done cause it takes 3-4 hrs to complete. But, does this sound scary to anyone else... 'psychological evaluation'???? What on earth will this be like? I assumed we'd be able to adopt, but who knows what will happen if Eric and I both have to convince a psychologist that we are sane! I don't think either of us have felt 'sane' in a while now! Some of the people in these groups that we are going to for support have said that they actually try to trick you. There is some kind of validity score/test that is in the evaluation to see if you are being truthful with your answers. I don't do well when I am being tricked....I am quite gullable. May the Lord be with us! We also received our financial statement in the packet today. This basically told us what we have already paid, what we owe, and when to pay. It did not include lawyer fees (which comes after placement of the child) but I felt great about the cost. It was right at what we thought, actually on the low side of what we thought and that is ALWAYS good. I am feeling excited about everything, but still nervous. I am nervous that I am totally gonna be freaked out by bringing a baby into my house, forever. It sounds awesome, but feels crazy. I held my beautiful, sweet, precious, little neice Aubrynne tonight for like an hour or more. She makes me want to hurry up and bring our baby home. I also kept the Vinson boys again today. Tate (the youngest of the 3) is EVERYWHERE! At one point I found myself washing out his cloth diaper that was poopy, by the way, while owen was pooping in the potty right next to me, tate was just sitting in the floor laughing and smiling, while griffin was trying to 'help' me wash the poop out of tate's CLOTH diaper. He was pointing out what he thought Tate must have eaten earlier in the day and just thought it was so great! They began talking about all the different aspects of 'poop' from their 3 and 4 yr old perspectives and I thought to myself, 'This is where you are headed...poop land!' Laurie....more power to ya with the fuzzy buns (cloth diapers) and to having 3 boys who are so wonderful, but very busy! We really had a great time, as usual. I write all this to say that I am excited and curious about this next phase of life for us, but incredibly nervous and hesitant at the same time. I hope that is ok. I also feel really humbled and honestly quite amazed that someone (and God) is going to trust me with a child....on purpose!

I still feel like we are running like crazy right now. I don't forsee it getting better anytime soon. Between my work and then Eric's work and basketball starting up a few weeks ago, we definitely aren't looking at a lot of downtime. Please pray for us that we would make time for each other to strengthen our relationship. Also, that we would keep our priorities straight of what is important as far as our time is concerned. I'll be posting about that psych eval coming up. In the meantime, thanks for "waiting" with us!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

amazed and thankful!

Okay, for those of you who have not heard, our first adoption fundraiser was a success!!! We actually have deposited $1350 into our adoption account! We sold EVERY thing that was donated to us to sell (except a few things for baby that I could not pass up that I would've had to buy new anyway!) Our adoption fund is growing and we are just so amazed that this was so successful. It was fun to hear reactions from people when they learned why we were having the sale and where the money was going. It rained a little on friday morning but still we made more money that day than we did on saturday. I'll tell ya what, people will buy anything! And they love to bargain with you. I would like to say that if it were not for my mom and and Eric's dad on the actual day of the sale, we would've been in major trouble. They were such a huge help getting everything out and somewhat organized, even though there wasn't much time for that. People were literally waiting outside the door for us to bring things out of the garage for them to pilfer through.....seriously, amazing! This was a lot of work, from going around to everyone's house and loading the stuff up, unloading it into our garage, organizing it, pricing it, then organizing some more, and then finally selling it...but it was worth it!

I don't know that I have feel this kind of exhaustion in a while. I really thought on saturday afternoon that I was coming down with the flu. But, no, I was just that dang tired! Eric was as well. My body just ached for some reason. But we got some rest and it's back to work tomorrow. Thank you so much to all of you who donated stuff to us. Obviously, we couldn't have had the sale without you all and appreciate so much your generosity. Thanks also to everyone who has supported us through prayer and just calling to ask how it went and offering help when needed. We love you all and are just truly thankful for your love and support. We are so blessed!

Thursday, October 25, 2007


Hello everyone!!! It is 12:38 am and our garage sale is technically today! I am so pumped! Eric and I just finished putting up some signs and are about to get in bed. My mom came up yesterday to help me price. We tackled the entire garage full of stuff and actually priced it all. Mom, thanks for being such a trooper! We had an overwhelmingly large amount of clothes, at least is seemed that way. Today, as I was dragging them all out, and right in the middle of them all, about to break down cause I just did NOT know where to start or how to organize, Julie and Kenny came driving down the street. I was like, 'Hallelujah!' Julie is the QUEEN of yard sales, shopping them and hosting them! I don't know if I have ever been so happy to see her :-) We got all the clothes semi organized and just in time for Eric and I to head out to the hockey game with mom and dad. Nothing like leaving everything to the last minute and then, packing my day as full as I possibly can! (In my defense, I have been working a little bit crazily lately) We were able to enjoy the game knowing that everything was pretty much ready for the sale. So thanks to our parents! Yall are the best ever! Eric has taken the day off to help me with everything during the sale. So, as a last minute request....anyone who can come out and see us...please do! (and maybe shop a little, too!) Please pray in the morning that our efforts would be blessed. oh, and we will be out on saturday, too! Love you all! Goodnight.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007


well, once again, it has been a while. We have been extremely busy this last week or so. I worked night shifts the past two weeks and was reminded about why I did NOT like it! But, the blessing is, that I got to do all the stuff I wanted to do around my work schedule....the beauty of p.r.n. We had our last training last night that we actually have to attend. We will be completing two more in the next two weeks by email. This weeks training was focused on the core issues involved with adoption. They are loss, rejection, guilt and shame, grief, identity, intimacy and relationships, and control issues. I was reminded of the separate set of struggles that our child will face in life, in addition to the ones that would've come anyway. My heart felt so heavy and sad for my baby. At first I felt a little uneasy, just at the thought of struggle and difficulty. But quickly my mind went to the thought of how an innocent child is just born with a set of potential struggles that in a better place, would not be. I am feeling very priviledged that we get to parent this child. We will be the ones to help him/her work through these struggles. We will help him know who he is. We will bring him security. We will teach him through our actions about intimacy and relationships. We will model for him healthy boundaries (I hope!) We will accept him just like he is. I know that our baby needs us for all of these reasons. He will need God to be his shepherd through this difficult thing we call life, and with great hope and lots of prayer, we will show him, through our lives and with our love, who He is.

Our garage sale is this weekend, friday and saturday. Please come out and see us! We would really love it! Also, please pray for the sale, that it would go well, that it would not rain, and ask that He bless us immensly! Not because we deserve it, but because we don't deserve it. It's because of His grace that Eric and I are even on this journey. His grace is what sustains me. His spirit leads me. Please, pray that He would extend His grace again, so that we can bring our baby home.

Monday, October 15, 2007

puzzle pieces

Last week was a tough week. It seemed like more than usual, I saw pregnant women, or learned that friends were pregnant. On Thursday I went to my obgyn with some fullness in my left lower abdomen and just wanted to see if the cyst that was present before was too big or was causing any problems. My doctor was surprised to find that my ovaries are polycystic (I actually do have PCOS) If you don't know, PCOS is not that big of a deal and can easily be treated. Basically it just makes it harder to get pregnant. Well, the funny thing is, that last year before we started started seeing a specialist, I asked my doctor if she thought maybe my irregularity in my periods could be that I have PCOS, and she said no that she did not believe I had it. I felt okay with her answer and went along with the treatment plan of going to the fertility doctor which has ultimately lead to finding out that Eric has some infertility as well as I do. As I was standing there in the doctor's office, I just wanted to scream at my doctor, "I TOLD YOU I HAD PCOS! WHY DIDN'T YOU TREAT ME A YEAR AGO AND WE NEVER WOULD'VE HAD TO GO TO THE STUPID INFERTILITY DOCTOR." It was really all I could do to get out of her office without bursting into tears. I wanted to pray, but didn't know what to say. I wanted to call someone, but didn't know what to say to them either. So I just cried. really hard. all the way to murfreesboro. I was overwhelmed with sadness about our infertility. I wanted to be pregnant, and I was so angry at my doctor and wanted to blame her for our infertility. After a good cry, I began to think, 'what if we had've known that I have PCOS...what would've been different?' I realized that had we known that, my doctor would've treated MY infertility for much longer before sending us to a specialist, with hopes that she could help us get pregnant. But when she sent us to the Fertility Center, we found that Eric has male factor infertility, which eventually led to us deciding to adopt. (go back and read my very first blog) So, in conclusion, God is in control. He knows the child that will soon be needing us. He knows how much we need this child. Only in His perfect timing will we meet this child. We would not be this close to bringing our child home, had things gone differently in the beginning. We might not even have decided to adopt at this point and might have been still amidst fertility treatment. I know that God is sovereign. I think that when we have our child and we are able to look back over the journey, we will see how God took us out of circumstances and took our child from it's circumstances and brought us together. It will be like a finished puzzle. Last week was definitely one of the pieces of the puzzle falling into place.

Monday, October 8, 2007

I just want to say thank you so much to all of you who have responded about the garage sale and also for leaving such encouraging, sweet comments on our blog. We LOVE reading them and really feel loved. In a book that I read called 'Hannah's Hope' about infertility, the author talks about how she just really needed people not to necessarily try to understand what she was going through, but just to give a listening ear, give support, or to just love her well through it. I feel all of those things from all of you. Not just through the blog, but day to day as well. She is right. It makes the loss of your childhood dream for your life (which sometimes isn't even realistic) seem easier to bear and much more 'normal' (for lack of a better word). I feel so excited about our adoption and our new journey in life. I attribute that a lot to the Lord and how He is changing us daily. But I am writing this morning just for you all to know that I believe that He has used all of you to comfort us, to love us, to help us have new perspective, and to turn our hearts toward the Lord instead of away from Him during this difficult time. So.....THANK YOU from the bottom of our hearts to everyone! Old friends, new friends, and even perfect strangers....we are thankful for you all.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

the best traffic jam ever

So, I am sitting on I-24 this morning in what the radio guy called "a parking lot" trying to get to work. This is not a normal thing for me, because most days I work 10 minutes from my house. But, today, I was working at Baptist and had to be there at 8:30. Evidently this is not a good time to be going to nashville for any reason. Okay, so I am sitting in traffic today and all of the sudden, completely out of nowhere, and I mean completely out of nowhere it hit me, 'Our baby is in it's birthmom's stomach,'s has a heartbeat....if i were to see the birth mom right now, her belly would be sticking out....because she is carrying our child!' I don't know if my brain has just been thinking that the stork was going to drop our baby off on our doorstep, or what I was thinking. But, I definitely had never really thought about the huge possibility that our baby is already conceived and needs care and protection...right now! 9 months is a long time. So, if we meet our child in april, that means that our child was conceived right when we were making the decision to adopt. If it comes earlier, then that means it was even BEFORE we had decided to adopt, that this child was being conceived and was meant for us! Today was another first. I felt very emotionally attached to this child and actually cried with emotion because of how much I was longing for our baby. I want this baby. I want to hold him and say I love you to him. I can already tell that parenting is very emotionally overwhelming. Today, I felt like a Mom.

I am praying now, for our baby. I'm praying for health, protection, nourishment, growth. And for the birthmom, as she could be struggling in this minute with whether to parent or to make an adoption plan or to abort even. I believe this to be the most important, most loving thing that I can be doing...praying. I invite you all to join me in this priviledge to pray for my child.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

grace that is soooo enough

Praise the Lord, our paperwork is finished!!! Woo-hoo!!! We actually hand delivered our precious package to the Bethany office ourselves yesterday. We had an infertility consultation/interview. We are so relieved to have that behind us, however, kinda nervous because that seems to make everything so much closer now. In reality, there are several more things that have to happen before we are placed in the waiting family pool. It just seems that since the paperwork was the only part of this whole thing that we really controlled the timing of, that now it's out of our hands. I am so freaked out when I think of suddenly having an infant in my home that I am responsible for. Pregnant people have 9 months to prepare for it all. I want to start getting prepared, so that I am not just crazy when we are chosen. But after going through disappointment after disappointment with our infertility, I feel that I should protect my heart somewhat, and not get ahead of myself or of God. If it is a year before we bring our baby home, I really don't want to be sitting around counting the days until then. So please pray for us that we can find a healthy balance in this.

Talking about our infertility journey again was good, but I don't want to do it anymore! no, just kidding. It was very validating for me. I was encouraged that our feelings of loss, grief, jealousy, sadness, anger, confusion, resentment....all are and were normal. It was really hard to be reminded of the reality that those feelings are not gone from our lives regarding infertility just because we are adopting. It was hard to hear her say that we may even experience some of these emotions despite our new baby being home. It was hard, I think, because I do not like pain. I do not like infertility. Sometimes, I do not like God's plan for my life, at least not at first, I don't. But if anything has come of this struggle, for me, it is that I have found joy in it. Not so much happiness and fun at all times, but contentment with the Lord and trusting that He is working all things for the good of those who love him. I may have said this before, but for possibly the first time in my life, I have found myself in a place of despair, weakness, sorrow, and actually been able to praise God through it. Not ever perfectly, of course. We were at church several weeks ago singing that song Blessed be the name of the lord that they play on wayfm ALL the time. Heard it a million times, but this time, I was singing it and my heart just was arrested again, like it was when he first led us down this path. For once, while in what felt like total darkness, I still really believed that God is there, and real, and intimate and IN CONTROL, and I was so, so glad.

I do not like pain. I do not like infertility. But, by His grace, my heart is slowly learning to like His plan. And the crazy part about it all is that His grace meets me right where I am, never changes...ever, and is completely free.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

the waiting..... to finish our paperwork!!!

Today, we were supposed to be finishing our paperwork, (or should I say ERIC is supposed to be finishing) but Eric has gotten really sick since last night. Hopefully just a 24 hr bug or something, making it almost over! He is on fall break all week long, and so we have great expectations that it will all be turned in early in the week. Tonight I went to Griffin's 3rd birthday which was so fun. I find myself having different emotions about starting our family, as I have mentioned previously. Some days, I try to rush rush rush through everything to get it done and turned in; other days I am calm about it, understanding that we still have to work and sleep and live life while we go through this process. After being at the birthday party, I am back in rush mode again! I am hopeful though, because I know that my desire to be a mom is from the Lord, as is my desire to adopt. Early on in our infertility journey, I used to feel like maybe I just wasn't meant to be a mom. Maybe I was being selfish and sinful wanting to have children. I have since been reminded that this is absoultely not true. I have to admit something else. This is kinda funny, but mostly pathetic. At our orientation, I found myself looking around at all the other couples and thinking, 'are we better than them,' or 'would we get chosen before them'. Also, I would think, 'man, there are a lot of couples here... i wonder if this will lessen my chance to get a baby sooner'...isn't that awful!!! Instead of being so excited that we were surrounded by so many others who shared our desire and would be providing homes for orphans, I am thinking of myself!!! I confessed this to Eric and to my surprise...he was thinking the same thing!!! We both laughed pretty hard about it. Ultimately there is a child for us. No matter if there are 2 other couples or 100 other couples, it will not change the outcome, and I am so glad for that, that we can rest in God's sovereignty. I enjoy this truth in other areas of my life as well. It is very freeing to me.

About the garage sale... I sent out an email, to those of you whose I have. Again, anyone wanting to donate anything to the sale, just call me or email me. If you don't know what I am talking about, go back and read the blog entry entitled 'California Pizza Kitchen.' We love you all so much, and are so humbled by your generosity, both in giving financially and in donation of items.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

2 for 1

We won't charge yall for this second post, I have more to say tonight.

Eric and I had a wonderful treat this weekend. We kept our friends the Vinsons's boys from friday at 3pm to saturday at 3pm. We were so honored and excited that they trusted us with their children...all 3 of them! They have Owen- 4 1/2, Griffin-almost 3, and Tate- just turned 1! (you can click on the link to her blog to your left on the screen to see them) We started the afternoon off with some friendly trampoline jumping with the sprinkler beneath it, spraying them as they jumped, a favorite at the Vinson house! Then Eric got there and of course they had to wrestle a while, play 'tractor tippin' and just run like crazy through the house. Dinner time was interesting; I gave Tate his medicine, which he did NOT like, prepared his food, the boys had pizza, and we had a movie night with Happy Feet. It was rise and shine at 7 am on SATURDAY morning, and they were ready to go again. We had pancakes, then played more, and some more, and some more. Went to the park and then came home to take a nap. And then there were all the in betweens... changing clothes and diapers, making sure no one was in any danger, working out disagreements, etc. I will just say that I have a new respect for all you mom's out there! WHEW! I was tired! Luckily, Laurie had given great guidelines for us and the boys were great. We had a good time. We decided we should be cherishing our down time, rather than wishing it away! Yet, at the same time, it really made us long for our own child who we know will be brought home soon! I didn't even get to take a shower for 24 hrs! oh, and good news... I have a new weight loss plan... bring our baby home cause I definitely won't be having any time to eat and constantly running around! Just kidding. We had such a great experience and can't wait to keep them some more!

the story of my life

WOW!!! It's been over a week since my last post.... it's also been almost a week since we did stuff for the adoption. The story of my life....I get back to work, get busy, and what happens??? I neglect my goals and I settle in as the biggest procrastinator in the ENTIRE world. I get so frustrated with myself at times, when I start a book but never finish, set out to do really good with my bible study then slack off, start a blog then never blog! Okay, that's enough venting and bashing myself. I am a procrastinator, but I am better than I once was and will keep working on it!
(yall thought we did not have children, but here is a pic of our big baby)

Tonight we did our second session of training. We did not have to go there, she just emails us some literature and questions to do and we do them and email them back by next tuesday. I did not know I would have homework with this! It's all worth it though. The literature was really good, it discussed developmental stages of children and the importance of understanding them when raising adopted children. It talked about the loss and grieving that adoptions brings to a childs life and how how to prepare for and deal with that. Honestly, I start to get really scared and a little reluctant when I read this kind of stuff. I know that it is reality and that this road will bring along issues that come only with adoption. It is times like tonight, when I feel these feelings that I need to go back and read my very first blog, or some of my journaling from a few months ago and I remember that the Lord has guided us to this journey and that He is always faithful to me even in hard times. I know that the Lord's faithfulness and love for us does not exempt anyone from having a hard life, in fact, from our sermon on sunday, persecution, trials and conflict will be a HUGE part of a christian's life on earth. So, I pray for His strength in our weakness, wisdom beyond our years, and an immense amount of love for this child and the ability to love him or her well. We should be turning in our paperwork within a few days, hopefully by friday, but we'll let you know!

Oh...and about the comment from 'christine'... do we know you? do you have anything to say about our adoption journey? Sorry to Maris and Steven if any 'crazies' came knocking on your door....really, really sorry. (I don't do much on the internet, so I didn't even think about stating your last names)

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

California Pizza Kitchen

Last night was our first of 8 training sessions for domestic adoption. We carpooled with some new friends, Steven and Maris who go to our church and are also starting the process. They talked about lots of things at training that were hard for me to imagine, having no children yet. They talked about ways to promote attachment for mother and baby, about the loss that goes on, no matter how old the child is and to be mindful and prepared for dealing with those continuously throughout the child's life. Then they talked about a whole bunch of other stuff that made me feel like I was in college again learning about child psychology and stuff.

The best part of the night was definitely California Pizza Kitchen that we went to after the training! (not that the training wasn't good...but you all know how food ranks with me and Eric!) We had such a great time. We really clicked with Steven and Maris and just laughed and talked and ate... my 3 fav. things! I am so, so thankful and happy to know them and to go through this with them. Steven is in a band called Spur58 and Maris works in a obgyn's office. They are super cool and we love them!

Okay, everyone.... Eric and I are having a garage sale to help raise money to go to our adoption fund here in about 2-3 weeks. I am looking at Oct. 12-13. Okay, let's just be real honest for a second....Eric has successfully sold almost everything in our house that he found unneccesary in previous garage sales. (for those of you who have been here to our cozy home, you know we don't have extra "stuff" in our house) So....that being said, if any of you have anything that you would like to contribute to our yard sale we would love it! We thought that it would be a really fun way for any friends or family who wanted to support us financially to do so. For all of you Hendersonvillians, don't worry, you don't have to bring it to murfreesboro or even be present during the sale, we will come and get it from you if you just let us know. We believe so much in what we are doing, and would be so thankful for ANYthing you have to give. Thanks for even considering us. oh yeah, and if you know anyone who is the EXACT opposite of Eric and would actually have garage sale items, feel free to tell them of the cause or foward them the blog. (Eric, you know I love you!)

The other fund raising idea I had was that we could sell tickets to Eric's beat boxing show he puts on here at the house every night. every since Blake Lewis on American Idol, Eric has a newfound love for beat boxing and thinks he and Blake should get together. I quickly realized that this would not generate much money, cause the only person buying the ticket would be yours truly, and my money's already in the adoption fund! (I really do love you baby!)

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

the waiting

Last night we went to a support group meeting for families who are either in the paperwork phase or in the waiting phase. The topic of the discussionwas 'What to do while you are waiting.' Some of the women said that they have taken up tennis, or have painted their entire house, just to have an activity to keep her from sitting around and waiting. We heard couples share who were starting their second year of waiting for their child. We also heard from couples who have experienced failed adoptions, death of children, miscarriages, very long periods of infertility, etc. As we drove home last night, Eric and I both had the same feelings and thoughts about the meeting; we are so excited to get to know some of those couples who are in the same walk of life as we are; we are scared of the waiting, and we really hadn't given that much thought; but mostly, we felt humbled because it seemed that many of the people in that room had struggled much more than we have, and still have a strong faith in the Lord and have not given up hope. Eric said that for possibly the first time since all this started, he actually stopped feeling sad for himself and his heart went out to those other families who are waiting.

One of the social workers really made a great point. There are periods of waiting on the Lord in all of our lives. For her, it was her waiting to be married. She did not marry until she was 35 years old. She said that the wait was well worth it because now she is married to godly man who she couldn't imagine herself without. I know that waiting will be hard, but that in God's perfect timing, He will bring us to our child, and I can rest in that. So, my request is that you all help me remember this truth when we are getting discouraged along the way!

A few nights ago, I was asking Eric to tell me about his feelings about where we are right now. He began to tell me of his feelings about adoption, but also his lingering sadness about our infertility. I was so upset when I first heard him say that. I was really wanting him to say that he was okay with not having a biological baby...because to me that means that he can't possibly be feeling good and confident about adopting. I was really just blown away by his response. He helped me to see that our infertility journey and our adoption journey are two totally separate things. It is okay and very normal for us to have excitement about adoption and sadness/grief about infertility, at the same time. Just because we will soon be parents through adoption, doesn't mean that the hurt of not being able to conceive at this time won't still be real sometimes. This idea felt so freeing to me! This may not make a lot of sense to most of you, but it was just really great to hear him process that the way he did and then be able to help me see it, too.

God uses Eric to humble me, love me, sharpen me, and teach me all the time and I am so blessed for that.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007


Well, in the past 4 days, I have been an adoption-a-holic! I have been fingerprinted. I had a background, criminal record check yesterday. I have gathered info about my family's medical history. Tomorrow I am having a physical at the doctor's office. I have gathered all the financial information that I knew and didn't know that we had. I have scheduled meetings and appointments for asap. I have filled out paper after paper after paper. I am not usually this available, from work, and other stuff, but for some reason the past few days, I have been. All I can say at this point is that after all this paperwork and all these tasks I have completed, there is still one that is the most daunting for me..... the self-study. I will speak on it after I finally finish all 10 pages of essay style questions and answers.

Last night, we went to a transracial play group. For those of you who are wondering what in the heck that is....don't feel bad, I thought the same thing. It was actually pretty neat. Parents who have adopted transracially (meaning that the parents are one race and the child is another) come with their adopted children and biological children and they all play together while the parents and other couples who are in the process of adopting interact with the children and with other parents. There was a girl named Heather there who gave testimony of her experience growing up being biracial and being adopted into a white family. I loved her honesty so much. She did not make it sound all pretty and perfect. She gave a very real picture of what her life was like, what she wishes could have been different and advice she gives all parents who adopt transracially. A major theme of her talking was that she encourages all adoptive parents to educate their children about who they are and where they come from, instead of trying to hide it or pretend like they aren't different.

There was one little boy there named Carter who Eric and I affectionately renamed 'the mac daddy' of the group. He was around 4 or so. He would go around to all the other little girls and try to flirt with them and then run away as if he was trying to act like he didn't care if they noticed him or not. It was so cute! I'd say the night in general, if nothing else, really warmed my heart to see these kids flourishing and growing up in an atmosphere that they probably wouldn't have had a chance at if their parents had not adopted them. I also just looked at them and thought about how each one of them will most likely have the opportunity to come to know Christ personally because of their parents, homes, churches and surroundings. Isn't that so glorifying to God??? I am so excited to be an adoptive mom. I cannot wait to meet my sweet child!

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Eric Thoughts!!

The journey that Mandy and I have been on over the past year has definitely been the most intense moment that I have ever had to deal with. It has definitely been a rocky road of uncertainty. I have found myself many times asking, "What can I hope for?" The suspicion of infertility and the eventual validation of that suspicion was traumatic. I realize that disappointment and the prospect of unrealized expectations occur in life, but never did I imagine that the news of infertility would be to be at a higher degree.

I truly believe that God has a plan for all of us, even the infertile. In Ephesians 1:11-12, it states, "In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, in order that we, who were the first to hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory." How wonderful to know that our lives are not off track. Within God's plan everything fits together perfectly.

To our family and friends I want to say that we need your support, your attention, your love and to be excited for us. We have been told that this is not going to be an easy process and can be even more emotional that infertility at times. Please be patient with us. We know it is hard to understand what internal emotions we deal with on a daily basis. I know there is a child that God has picked out for Mandy and I. I am excited about that.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

its official...

....we have started the adopotion process. Yesterday was our Orientation with Bethany Christian Services for the infant adoption program. It was so wonderful! It seemed like all the questions we have been asking for a few months now were answered. We heard testimony from LOTS of people, about LOTS of different situations in adoption. Each story was so unique. I am again so at peace about where we are and where we are headed! It was just so sweet to see these children, in real life, with their adoptive moms or parents. I just can't wait!!

We got all our paperwork we will need to complete and kind of an idea of how things will go. Here is what is ahead, and what the whole process entails(as far as I can tell):
  • the paperwork- they want to know everything about us. Our financial information about our house, cars, assets, debt, checking/savings, credit checks, etc. We have to get FINGERPRINTED and have a criminal record check. Psychological, emotional and infertility evaluations are required. We must give references of people who know us and think we would be good parents....hope we can find some one! The longest portion is a 10 page self study to be completed by each of us. That thing asks questions that I am not sure I know the answers to!!!
  • the training- to ensure that we are well equipped iguess, they take us through 8 training classes about everything from parenting adopted children to transracial adoption. I am really excited about this part. We will go to support groups in addition to our training.
  • the interview- Once we turn in our paperwork, we will set up interviews with the infertility counselor and with the domestic adoption counselor, separately and as a couple.
  • the home visit- Then one of the social workers will come out to our home to see that we have a suitable place to raise this child. I hope size doesn't matter! We are very cozy in our home!
  • preferences- at some point Eric and I decide how much openness we want to have with the birthmother, what we prefer about a child (race, age, health status, etc.)
  • the write up- once all of the above things are complete, the director lady will write up what is our offical 'home study' and we will be placed in a pool of waiting families.
  • the wait- the wait can last anywhere from a few months (in some cases a few weeks) to 2 years for us to be chosen. Basically, the birthmother will be shown profiles of families who best fit with her and her baby's needs and desires. At some point she meets with us, face to face, then chooses a family to parent her child.
  • parental rights waived- Once we are chosen, and the baby is born, I think the birthmom must wait 4 days to sign to waive her rights as the parent in the state of tn. From that time, it is 10 days to the minute of when her rights are legally terminated. However, the funniest part is that day has to fall on a business day! So it could end up being a little more than 2 weeks, if the birthmom signs the waiver on the 4th day. She doesn't have to though. It's kinda all up to her.
  • the finalization- this doesn't take place until after the child has been in our home for more than 6 months. It is done in a court with a judge and everything.

I hope I am not leaving anything out.... I plan to update this blog as we go through each step, so that you all can walk through this with us. We really loved Bethany. They are really all about what is best for the child. They care for the birthmom's and the adoptive parents equally, which I think is so great. They also did a great job of educating us on friday. I am so looking forward to this! They did let us know that 50% of the time, birthmom's decide to go ahead with their adoption plan that was made before the birth....which means that 50% of the time they decide not to go through with the adoption plan and they decide to parent themselves. This was a scary thing for us to hear. We know this journey has the potential to be an emotional rollercoaster like our infertility journey has been, but....such is life! Please pray for us when you think of us; that we would give grace and love when needed, that we would be open with each other and be good communicators, that we would prayerfully make decisions and that we would continue to seek the Lord together and individually. we go.... our journey for our precious child.... BEGINS!!!!

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

My sweet, strong, handsome husband!

I am so excited to announce that Eric wants to be a part of the blog! He wants yall to get real up close and personal and all in his business. We have decided that he will write in blue and I will write in orange, to distinguish who is speaking. As of lately, we have been experiencing some anxiety about starting the process.... not sure why, though. I guess it is just really scary to think of becoming a parent. What a HUGE responsibililty we are taking on. I know, i know, people do it every day. We just really want to be able to teach our child how to love and be loved well, how to be a productive little person and most importantly to come to know our faithful God. That is just so overwhelmingly scary to me! The unknown is always a little intimidating, I guess. But thankfully we have such great friends and family who are encouraging us and reminding us of God's love for us. I was reminded tonight of the fact that it is God who we are trying to follow after and He is always faithful and so we have no reason to be afraid!

We go to orientation on FRIDAY!!! We are so excited to get started with the paperwork and the homestudy process. Now we can really start blogging about the adoption. If I had to guess, Eric will be giving the facts and I will be bringing the emotion! lol. anyway, I just am still feeling so honored that we will soon be parents!

Friday, August 24, 2007

matters of the heart

Well, what a week we have had!!! I am proud to announce the birth of my beautiful neice, Aubrynne! I am so in love with her! I didn't know you could love somthing so much that just lays there and sleeps! She was born August 19, 2007 in the afternoon. Eric and I were at the hospital, just waiting, wondering how it would be.
Would we be happy? sad? emotional? hardened? Well, we were a little of all of them.... so excited and proud to be aunt's and uncle's, so happy for Bryan and Amy and for all the family, yet so so overcome with sadness in our hearts due to our infertility. We felt guilty for feeling all those emotions. We cried, we thought, we prayed. And God was faithful to send His Spirit to comfort us in our time of emotional need.

Then, we really feel that God is healing our hearts. So many people have been so wonderful to us, so loving, gentle and kind. We appreciate that more than they can know. Just when we were feeling the most healing this week of our pain from sunday, we get the news...Eric's sister is pregnant! We love her so much more than she realizes that we do. Instead of our focus being on our own infertility, God had turned our hearts to her and the situation that she is in. We are thankful that He is once again faithful. Neither of my sister-in-laws would ever intentionally hurt us and we know that one hundred percent....and that is what makes it easier to bear.

ONE conclusion of our week that we have come to is that God intends for us to have community with each other. He gave us family and friends, other believers who can help pick us up when we have been knocked down. I am amazed at how intricately he planned human life. Eric and I know that we need our friends and family in order to survive this difficult place. We are so thankful to him that we have them! \

Orientation for adoption is on September 7. 2 weeks from today!!! Please pray for us as we prepare to start this awesome journey. We Love You All.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

the journey begins...

God is so faithful to me, in every cirmcumstance in my life! When I was sixteen and making plans for the rest of my life, like sixteen year olds do, I never would have dreamed that I would be dealing with an indefinite period of infertility at 25 years old. I expected to be married with at child right now, being a mom, which is all I ever really wanted to do. But, of course, nothing ever turns out just like we think it will. And, I am finding that in most cases, I am glad my plans don't supercede God's. The past year has been difficult, emotionally, for Eric and I. We learned 3 or 4 months ago that we would have to do invitro-fertilization in order to conceive a child ( atleast according to our doctor.) I am starting my blog with this post because I think it is important in our journey of adoption. I know that this is so long, but like I said, it is vital in understanding where we are presently, for you to see where we've been.

Learning that we are infertile has been the most difficult and trying thing I'e ever been through. With all the ups and downs, the emotional rollercoaster of the monthly let downs. I wish I had journaled more through that time. I know I felt sadness about our inability to conceive; anger, jealousy, envy and anxiety all but took over my body! It has been difficult to see pregnant people at work in the ER, who don't want their babies, who are devastated to find out of their pregnancy, who are planning to abort or who have recently intentionally aborted. Eric and I both are very different when it comes to dealing with it, and we have frequently felt alone and isolated, even from each other.

Some verses of a song I proclaimed all the time to God: My heart is heavy and my days are long. I lift my eyes up in the night. My heart it weighs me down, but your burden is light. So Lord, come walk with me til my heart can see all the bounties that your grace can bring.... Holy Spirit, rest upon me. Breath of God, touch my soul. Come unfailing love of Jesus. Rest upon us....

So, anyways...the though of adoption enters the picture! I began to think of adoption, for no apparent reason that I recall. I know that I my first thought was that I could never be an adoptive parent, Eric could, but not me. Then I remember my heart beginning to soften to the idea that maybe adoption could be part of God's plan for us, through our infertility. I was surprised at the response my family gave. Some of them had already thought of us adopting. An old friend wrote an email of encouragement to me, and reminded me of my mission-mindedness and heart for children when I was younger, and posed the question, "Could adoption fit into this picture anywhere?" How crazy is that? So through prayer and conversation, eric and I decided that we would adopt...SOMEDAY...after all infertility treatments and everything, of course. I was introduced to Steven Curtis Chapman's story of his adopted children on his website, Shaohannah's Hope. As I read, my heart just ached for the millions of children with no home and no family. I knew this was God working in me and giving me a heart for adoption. I expressed my desire to adopt now, instead of pursuing IVF. So much more to this story, but basically, this is how we got to the place we are now. There is no real reason to believe that we cannot conceive, or will not ever conceive. However, I have never been so sure of anything I am doing in my entire life.

We have met with other couples that we know who have adopted to hear their stories and have been so incredibly encouraged by them. I am learning from various scriptures and sermons, how much God cares for orphans! I am His adopted child through Christ's sacrifice, of no works of my own. I believe that God calls us to protect the fatherless, and holds them at a high priority! Just learning about adoption is teaching me about the heart of God.

My prayer for the entire process right now is a quote that I heard Jeff Patton quote,(not sure who he was quoting). "May we remember in the dark, what we could see so clearly in the light." I pray that we will not be discouraged, as I hear that the adoption process can be very trying. I pray for the birth mom and for our future child, for her mental and emotional clarity and health, and for the child's protection.

I plan to keep this blog posted about the steps of the process, in hopes that family and friends will have an easy way to keep up with us, amidst a very busy life. But also, that someone might be encouraged by my transparency in this journey.

"He upholds the cause of the oppressed...He sustains the fatherless and the widow" -psalm 146:7&9