Monday, February 29, 2016

It's Hell in the Hallway

Happy Leap Day! What a weird day...ANYWAY, yesterday was 13 months waiting for us. Each month that passes and we add to that number the wait gets harder and harder, but we know we are also getting closer and closer to our baby.
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We have been officially waiting for 13 months, over a year. We have been in the process and waiting for our child in our hearts for 21 months. THAT IS TOO LONG. I'm done waiting. (I'm sure you're sick of hearing me say that). But really, it's getting harder and harder to find joy in the waiting, to wait quietly, and to trust that we are on the right path. It's hard not to doubt ourselves and everyone and everything else in the process. So, we wait, we try our best to hope, and we struggle but we find the joy. One GREAT thing with our wait is that we have been able to prepare slowly, and last week we signed our baby up for daycare! We found a really super awesome local daycare that is opening in march and they are willing to hold our spot as long as we need and we only needed to pay the $50 registration fee. Most daycares you have to get on a waiting list and we can't because we don't have a due date. So the fact that we can just sign up and this place will hold our spot for as long as we need is awesome! This is such a relief and we are SO thankful that God brought us this opportunity. 

This week we have seen lots of pain and lots of rejoicing. A friend of mine had a terrible experience with her foster child this week and had to have the child removed from her home. Adam had a disappointing experience at work, and I am feeling a lot of pain in waiting right now. I also have a friend who heard great news about her adoption this week, a student who got her first job, and my dad worked his last real week of work before retiring. It is hard to rejoice with others when we are struggling. But we need to remember that God's plan is always best and He wants us to rejoice in the good that He is doing. Everything good comes from Him (James 1:17). We also need to remember that God owes us nothing, if life were fair we would all be suffering way more than we do for our sins. Relient K has a lyric in one of their songs "the beauty of grace is that it makes life not fair." Anything good in our life is a blessing and more than we deserve. I also have to remember that God gives us the desires of our heart and when it seems like He doesn't it's because He has something better for us (even if we don't see it that way). Whenever we are waiting or struggling or going through something tough we need to remember that when God closes one door another opens (even though this phrase is not in scripture it is true, God always has something different and better for us,and often allows doors to close to get us to His best). My friend Kelsey taught me the saying "When God closes one door He opens another, but it's hell in the hallway." And I think this is SO true, especially when waiting to adopt. When certain opportunities pass us by, or we get told no it is easy to think that God has given up on us. But, we need to remember that we are just waiting for the right door to open. And waiting is awful, waiting in the "hallway" for the other door to open sucks. But, we are hopeful that door will open and that something better and glorious is on the other side. So, while we are in this hell of a hallway, we will praise the Lord and look to Him for our hope and our joy. 

Psalm 23:4 - Even when I walk in the darkest valley I will not be afraid for You are close beside me. Your rod and Your staff protect and comfort me.

Romans 12:12 - Rejoice in our confident hope, be patient in trouble, and keep on praying. 

With love,
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Thursday, February 25, 2016

Favorite Adoption Blogs

Here's a fun post!
These are my FAVORITE adoption blogs that I keep up with.
What are your favorites? This is a great blog by a mama who brought her little girl back from China last year. Full of faith, family, and adoption stories this is a great one to keep up with. This is my best friend's blog. She hasn't blogged in a while, as their adoption wait was very short. But read her words, and you can read her story on blog here: Kelsey's Story This is a blog by a sweet adoptive mama who writes a lot about adoption, gives advice, and talks about her story. I love to come and read what she has to say. I LOVE Sara's story about foster care and adoption. NOW their blog has changed and now it is about her pregnancy after infertility and fostercare, but go to her instagram and look at her posts, which are mini blog posts really, for the past couple YEARS. I know that's a LOT of work, but it will be MORE than worth your time. (@saraluceroandco) Now, this is not just a blog, this is a website with a blog. BUT, it is run by a birth mother and speaker about adoption. I think it is SO important that birth mother's perspectives are learned, appreciated, and respected when reading and learning about adoption. So, DEFINITELY read some of what she has to say. This is a great blog from a woman who adopted domestically and internationally and is a social worker! She shares honestly about her adoptions, emotions, and how she handles every day life. Her story is worth a read! I just found this blog and I love it so much! It is by an adoptive mama who struggled with infertility and the wait. Her posts are so inspiring and remind me that I'm not alone and that God has not forgotten me. This is one of my good friend's blogs. Caitie and Nate are adopting domestically through Bethany Christian services in VA. They have been active since July 2016 and are waiting for their little one to come home!

I know there are more that I am forgetting, and I will add to this as I remember them and come across them, but I think learning from each other is one of the best resources we have in this crazy adoption world. So, check them out, and let me know your favorites!


Thursday, February 18, 2016

I am not in Control

I am not in control. I am not in control. I am not in control.

I have to keep reminding myself of this. I want to have a little bit of control over this adoption thing. I had control of doing the paperwork, I had control of picking an agency, I had control of my answers in our interviews and our adoption preferences, I had control of making our profile book, I had control over fundraising, applying for grants, setting up the nursery, and completing our service plan.
And now all of that is done and there is nothing else I can do. I've applied for all the grants, read a lot of the books, updated everything that needed to be updated. I HAVE NO CONTROL. There is nothing I can be working on to make me feel like I am "helping" this adoption along.
I am not in control.

Last week we were told there was a birth mother who was interested in us as well as several other families and she had more questions for us. Her questions included; "what would we do about daycare?" "What would you do if the child had homosexual tendencies later in life?" "Will the cats be allowed in the nursery?" (I hoped I answered these okay... this I am in control of)And our social worker told us that this birth mom wanted the adoptive family very involved in the hospital. And we were told the birth father was unknown which poses some interesting circumstances. When a birth father is unknown and the mother is making an adoption plan, the adoption agency or attorney needs to file with the putative father registry in the state the father is in (if they have one), and the father has a certain amount of time to claim his child. In situations like this, because there is legal risk, adoption agencies like to place the baby in interim care until the father is cleared. It helps save the families from potential heartbreak. So, our social worker talked to us about this and the risks involved whether it was a direct or indirect placement. And honestly, I had a hard time feeling hopeful or excited for this situation. I think I have become partially numb, after all the "no's."
I am not in control.

We found out yesterday that this mother picked another family.
I am not in control.

And I start to question, were my answers not good enough? What did she not like about us? The one thing that I felt in control of (my profile book and my answers to her questions) I questioned. We were also told that there is a lot of interest in our profile book and that it continues to be active. And honestly, that is still hard to hear. Yes it is good that it is active, but it makes me feel like we are not good enough over and over again. And I think part of not feeling good, is feeling like I'm not in control. Part of why it is hard to wait is because I can do NOTHING to speed up or help this process.
So, as we continue to wait - even though it's hard, even though it hurts, even though I am not control.
And if I think about it, I don't want to be in control because someone greater is in control. The One who is in control knows everything. Even though I don't like not being in control, God knows better than I do, He knows what situation will be the BEST for our family, not just okay, He knows what timing will be best for our family, and he knows which birth family will get along best with us, and a million other reasons why our situation is not yet here and why ours will work out best.
I am not in control and I am thankful for that.

Romans 8:28 - And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them.

Psalm 37:4 - Take delight in the Lord and He will give you your heart's desire.

We know that God will provide. We just need to continue to wait on Him, trust Him, and delight in Him, and remember that we are not in control.

Please continue to pray for us, the wait gets harder and more painful everyday and honestly, I'm struggling to wait quietly and take joy in the waiting.

With Love,

Thursday, February 4, 2016

January Views

Writing is cathartic for me. Usually, when I sit down to write a blog I have an idea of what I want to talk about, but I just sit and write (or type) and let the words come. And sometimes I edit it. So I decided to write to figure out how I feel about our January profile views - also because I KNOW that other waiting mama's feel the same so I want their voice to be heard in this as well. And I want them to connect to this post.

Last month, our profile was seen by 3 expectant families. In December, our profile was also seen by 3 expectant families. That means that 6 families have viewed our profile. This makes me feel so torn. This makes me excited that: our book is getting shown (in the adoption world 3x a month is a lot), we are just waiting for the right family to view our book, it means that 6 expectant families chose life over abortion, and it means that 6 families who have been waiting brought babies home. These are all HUGE things to celebrate. But my heart is having a hard time celebrating that today because that means 6 families viewed us and said no. I know this is not personal, but it is hard not think of the "why." What was "wrong" with us that they didn't like us? All waiting families think this (I think... and hope so that I'm not alone). "Maybe they didn't like our dog," "maybe they don't like that we live in an apartment," "maybe they don't like that I will be a working mom," "maybe our book wasn't good enough." The thoughts go on and on. It is hard to stop them. And it is hard not to internalize them. Now, I am a positive person, I always am able to see the good, and I can and I know the good, it is just hard right now. Adoption is HARD and I think I am allowed to have a hard day sometimes. If you have never ached for a child you don't have but want love it is a hard feeling to explain. And to ignore that feeling all day everyday gets exhausting. We know our baby will come in God's timing, we know it will be the baby meant for us and the "no's" won't matter. Well - they will matter - because we won't get OUR yes unless the one's not meant for us tell us no. We know that the "no's" are just part of our story and part of the path to get to our baby. We are just ready. Ready to be a family of 3, ready for the change it will bring, and ready for the waiting to end.
I feel like I can relate to David today in his Psalm:
Psalm 42: 6 - Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad? I will put my hope in God, I will praise Him again - My Savior and My God.
I know that God is still in control, still has the BEST plan, and is still good. I will praise Him in the waiting and in the hard stuff.
So, I'm going to try to focus on the happy, celebrate the good, and continue to wait quietly for the Lord. But today, I am also going to let myself feel the bad so tomorrow can be filled with all the good.
Thanks for listening to me babble I needed that. Hopefully, if you are in the same place you can relate to these mixed feelings.
With Love,

Monday, February 1, 2016

1 Year Waiting

Last Thursday was the anniversary of us being homestudy approved! Meaning we were officially on the waiting list and in the "official" wait. It is crazy to think that we have been waiting and on the list for an entire year. In some ways it has gone really quickly and in other ways it has gone very slowly. We have also had a lot happen in a year. In the past year we have moved, helped our church start doing Sunday services, done some fundraising, bought some baby stuff, made new friends, and more. With adoption, mostly we have waited and tried to get as ready as is possible. We got a new social worker and re-made our profile books, and at the end of December found out we had had 3 profile views! It has been quite the year. It is also crazy to think that we have been in the adoption process for 20 months that is almost 2 years that we have been ready for this baby, and let me tell you, we are ready for him or her to come home!

As I look back on the past year, it is bitter sweet. Sweet in the fact that we are learning so much about adoption, ourselves, and God's plan for us. Bitter, in that our baby is not home yet and we are still waiting. But that is adoption too, our greatest gain is another woman's biggest loss. And we hope to have a great relationship with our child's birth family, but that does not limit the loss that she may feel when another family is raising her baby. I also see how much this family and our baby is being covered in prayer by us, by family, by friends, and by people we don't even know. We know that God is hearing our prayers and will bring our baby home in His time. God is so good and we cannot wait to see His plan revealed.
We are still waiting. We wait everyday always thinking of our little one, hoping they will be home soon. Hoping that TODAY will be the day we get the call. And on some days we run out of hope, but that is okay, because God brings us joy and His mercies are new every morning.
Anyway - this is my attempt at emptying my head, all these thoughts about waiting swirling around, I hope it makes sense.
SO - in perfect timing we are having a fundraiser THIS WEEK ONLY (ends Friday).
The awesome @twinklouise on instagram is hosting a fundraiser for us. She makes beautiful jewelry and hand embroidered hoops and is donating ALL HER PROFITS to our adoption. How awesome is she. SO check it out and buy something from her - get something cute for yourself as you support us!
So, we haven't heard if we've had any profile views this month - I'll let you know when I know!
Thanks for all of your support in the past year and the support I know you will continue to give, I know that this is the year baby Werle will come home!
Kristen & Adam