Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Ringing in the NEW year!

**I drafted this blog on the new year of 2016. I just read it a year later and thought it was pretty good, so I decided to share it!

Hey everyone! I had a strong urge last night to go back and re-read some of my old blog posts. I am so glad I kept this up for so long because I really enjoy seeing the older posts. Its crazy how much time has passed and how much my life has changed. The main reason I created this blog was to share my life with others! It quickly became a blog about our adoption journey!! I was so happy to be on the path of adoption a precious baby and couldn't wait to see how the story would unfold. Then came baby! Adelyn joined our family in 2013 and life was never the same. The blog slowed down and I ran out of things to update because the adoption process also slowed down. However, when she was close to a year we began the foster care process. I sure wish I would have blogged better about that journey because it was really special. Difficult, but special. we are. Starting 2016 and I have major updates! The first thing I wanted to address is our foster care story!!
A few days before Christmas we became a legal family with our two big kids! Our family had an amazing adoption party and we kissed goodbye the unknown we had the whole year of 2015. We are a forever family and we are so happy to be together!
Backing up a few weeks, we had an big Ethiopian adoption change. We got another email from our agency explaining that new updates would be needed and more money was needed to help cover new costs due to STILL increasing wait times. Ryan and I had pretty much been checked out of the Ethiopian process for awhile, but we still just kept an eye on how things were going. We knew it seemed like a long shot for it to ever actually pan out for the last few years, but we didn't official do anything about it. After this last email, I decided I had a clear and sure answer that we would withdraw our family from the Ethiopian program. We felt confident of this decision and although, we don't know the reason behind starting this process, we do know that we followed a calling and now it was time to let it go.
We felt very strongly that our family was now complete. We have Adelyn, we have our big kids, Anna and Ezra, and we also have another blessing on the way! Our fourth baby to bless our family is due this summer! We are so excited to have our fourth baby and to have this baby bond our family together in a way that only new babies can!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Month Three..

Soooooo.... Remember how sweet and happy my two month post was? Well month three proved to be a little more challenging. Things are getting real in our house and life has started getting messy. There are still good times, but there are lots of difficult times too. God has lead me to read several passages when I have really been struggling. Each time the verses remind me of our purpose for walking down this path.

I randomly opened the bible one night when I was having a very difficult day. I opened to Luke 6. Wow. What a gentle reminder of how I should treat my kiddos. 

Luke: 32 “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. 33 And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that. 34 And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, expecting to be repaid in full. 35 But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. 36 Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.

 Just last night I felt like I needed to read Colossians. Wow God. Thanks. Another amazing reminder that we were all once hostile, evil, and alienated, yet the GOSPEL has reconciled us. We have HOPE in the gospel. We have HOPE in the hard times we are facing.

Colossians 21 And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, 22 he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him, 23 if indeed you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed in all creation[g] under heaven, and of which I, Paul, became a minister.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Two months!

I had a friend recently ask me what advice I could give her about foster care now that I am a foster mom. Her question got me thinking and these are the 4 main things I could come up with!

1.Foster care isn't as scary as I thought.
I had lots of fears going into the foster care world. I had heard a lot of horror stories. I was scared, but thankfully God gave me the desire to give this a shot. Our story has not been anything like the horror stories I had heard, or dreamed up in my head. It really could not be any better. Our big kids have adjusted great, Adelyn loves having older siblings,our families are a great help, and our big kids do great in social settings!

2. They are NOT their files.
A few minutes before we met our kiddos for the first time we had the brief chance to read their files. It was scary. I was panicked. I didn't know what we had gotten ourselves into. Fast forward a few weeks. I was re-reading their files and was laughing at how different they are in real life. They are just kids. Their past happened, but it doesn't define them. I had always heard that, but now I understand.

3. Older kids are AWESOME.
Plain and simple! I love that my kids can talk and are somewhat independent. It comes with challenges, but the advantages way out weigh the disadvantages.

4. Our marriage has NOT been ruined.
This was a biggggy. I had heard that foster care puts a huge strain on your marriage. Honestly, having Adelyn was way harder on our marriage than adding our two big kids. We work together and we laugh at the craziness going  on around us. We are a team have had a blast going through this together. I think we might even fight less now!

I prayed and prayed for us to have a positive experience with foster care. I can honestly say, this has been a great experience. I love our kids and I love this crazy, beautiful story I have been blessed to get to be a part of. We definitely have hard days and days when I think this wasn't such a good idea, but those quickly pass. God is making beauty out of ashes and I get to have a front row seat.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Adoption Update!

Hi there!! I just wanted to pop in and give an update on our Ethiopian adoption!! YES we are still adopting. We had a scare last month with the possibility of Ethiopia shutting down international adoption, but after much prayer and fasting our God gave us favor and the country is STILL OPEN! YAY! So here we are almost 2 years on the DTE list and still very far from getting our referral. I have no idea when we will get our phone call, but I do know the wait time is continually increasing. If you remember when we started this process back in 2011 (yes, you read that right ELEVEN), the referral  wait time was 10-15 months. We are closing in on waiting 24 months in March. The "official" wait time I heard was increasing to 36-42 months. The last family that received a referral for an infant boy waited for 34 months. SOOOO where does that leave us? Well, we are just buckling in and waiting it out! I don't know what God has in store for our family, but I do know that he blessed me with a beautiful baby girl and I am just enjoying her to the fullest while we wait to see what is next!!!

We were #47 on the list in August, then we went the wrong way to 49, now we are back to 47. Whew. This crazy adoption. 

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Proverbs 31

*pic from pinterest

My small group bible study broke up into girls and guys tonight to discuss biblical woman(man)hood. We read Gensis 2 and focused on God creating a suitable helper in Eve. Yes women should submit but we are also co-heirs in Christ! We as much a princess in Heaven as men are princes!

Then we jumped to Proverbs 31. Just being honest here, I sometimes dread reading this. It seems like the perfect women doing impossibly perfect things. How in the world can I do all these things? Then we shifted into something I have never done before. We started talking about how we could actually do some of the tasks that a noble woman does according to Proverbs. We definitely put our own spin on it, but I'm really excited and impressed with our challenges! Maybe you might want to join???

 VS 15 She gets up while it is still night;
she provides food for her family
and portions for her female servants.

Challenge: Cook dinner 3 nights a week

VS 22: She makes coverings for her bed;
she is clothed in fine linen and purple.

Challenge: Make your bed every morning for the week.

VS 24 She makes linen garments and sells them,
and supplies the merchants with sashes.

Challenge: Clean out our closests for a garage sale.

We aren't each doing all three challenges, but we each picked at least one challenge to complete during the week! I'm doing the bed making and possibly the closet! (It NEEDS to happen lol!)

We talked about how all these traits and qualities are great, but the real underlying quality that is above the rest is verse 30. If we grow at our relationship with the Lord then we will learn to respectfully fear the Lord and all the other qualities will fall into place!

VS 30: Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Hospital Bag

I recently saw a friend on Facebook ask what to pack in her hospital bag. I know there are alllll kinds of articles out there with their own opinions, so I figured I'd add mine! I'm pretty much a minimalist so if you need LOTS of details and stuff this might not be the list for you. Also, I'm not sure why it has taken me almost 8 months to decide to blog about all this baby stuff, but it is what it is!

For momma:
Fuzzy socks

Loose PJ pants
(You don't want anything "tight" these first few days)

Solid colored tops.
(Patterns may or may not be in style years from now,
and patterns aren't super flattering on swollen new mommas-just my opinion!)

Nursing snap tops.
 (I lived in these the first few weeks!)

Hair products.
(Chi, Blow dryer)
Make Up
Comfy presentable outfit for YOU to go home in.
(You'll be in pictures too!)
Bath products
 (Travel sized Shower gel, shampoo, conditioner, etc...)

Literally everything else I needed was provided by the hospital, and I was super comfortable.

For baby:
At least one comfy outfit
(Adelyn wore the hospital onesie the first day, and was in a gown the whole second day)
Going home outfit
Swaddle blanket
Pretty blanket
(We didn't bring this, but we had hospital pictures done
and she asked for a blanket which we didn't bring
and had to borrow from somewhere?)
(We didn't bring this either, but I think it would have been super helpful to have!)

Baby Mittens

That's it! We brought lots of outfits and diapers and everything else you can think of, but we didn't use any of it. The hospital provided diapers, blankets, hats, pacifers, bathing supplies, pump, formula if needed,etc.

Again. This is a very minimal list. I had LOTS of other stuff packed, but really didn't touch much of it. It's also super helpful to have relatives to can bring you food and anything you might need but forgot!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Birth Story

Tonight at our small group/community group/bible study/whatever cool name you wanna call it, I found myself retelling Adelyn's birth story. It surprised me how much I enjoyed telling it, and I could have told every little detail, but I don't think my audience would have appreciated it. However, you, my dear audience, can choose to stop reading if you don't want the all details. Here we go...

Adelyn Mae's Birth Story...

On New Years Eve, the hubz came home from work early because his stomach hurt. He ended up having the stomach bug and allll the fun that comes with that. I was only a few hours away from my due date (Jan 1st) and HUGE. I stayed away from him all day. My mother-in-law brought over medicine and took care of anything the hubz needed that day. At around 5pm, I decided to make a run for some gatorade and dinner. I got a Sonic chilli cheese cony and maybe some tator tots. I started to feel really bad after I ate dinner (I can't imagine why with that wholesome meal?!) so I went to lay down in our bed room. Sure enough the bug symptoms hit me not long after.

Inbetween bouts of sickness I felt fine, so I called my mom to see what I should do. She encouraged me to call the doctor. So I called the nurse and she said to go straight to Labor and Delivery IF I was having contractions. Well a first time 40 week pregnant lady can't really tell the difference between labor contractions and stomach bug issues, so my mom thought it was a good idea to go ahead just to be safe and head to the hospital to at least get check out.

My mom and dad picked me up around 11:30pm on New Years Eve to bring me to the hospital. My hubz was still too sick to move and definitely too medicated to drive me. The whole way to the hospital I kept thinking inbetween sickness episodes that I can't believe this is how my delivery is going to start. All the while I was not fully convinced that I was actually going to have a baby soon.

This is when things start to run together, and I get fuzzy on the details...I went straight up to L&D and went to the triage room. (The nurse had a hard time with me because she would get sick when other people got sick? Strange for a nurse?) Eventually there was talk about possibly a c-section because something was happening everytime I had an episode to the baby. I made my mom call Ryan and tell him to get up here fast. His mom had to drive him. I was admitted to the hospital after some time, but just to monitor the baby. There were no real signs of impending delivery. I got pumped full of some drugs to take away my stomach issues and started to fall asleep. My parents left and Ryan slept on the couch and his mom stayed with us. I guess that was all around 3 AM.  At about 4, I  I felt a pop and a gush. I suddenly woke up and told my MIL I thought my water had broke. She called for the nurse, but the nurse wasn't really convinced it was my water. (Not sure why? It very clearly was). Ryan's mom called my parents back up and Ryan had to wake up. It was game time...

Things progressed fast. Once I painfully got dilated to 6cm, they called for the epidural. I have no idea how long it took, but it seemed like FOREVER for the doctor  to get there. Once he did they started to sit me up and I was in PAIN. The nurses check me again and there was no time for the epidural. It was time to push. AHHH!!!! (The doctor also said since I was previously sick he wouldn't have done the epidural anyway.)

Pushing was intense and super hard. I was exhausted and so very thirsty. I pushed for about an hour and half and at 8:26 AM on New Years Day our doctor announced It's a GIRL!!!!
Adelyn Mae was healthy and perfect.

The rest they say is history....