Wednesday, September 28, 2016

One Day

Happy Fall! I LOVE fall, it is definitely my favorite season. And I even love rainy fall days like today. Today we have been "officially" waiting for 20 months.
And as you can see, I love pumpkins!

I was looking back at our timeline and thinking about our journey so far. We started the adoption process over 2 years ago. We have been planning for a child for 3 years. I remember 3 years ago we moved into our house (that we no longer live at) in Waynesboro because it had 3 bedrooms and we wanted to start a family soon. That Winter we had to decide when - because that would determine how my endocrinologist would treat my PCOS, so we decided okay, let's go for it, let's see what happens. That lead to 6 months of trying medicine for my PCOS, doing internal ultrasounds to look at my ovaries, trying to see what makes me ovulate, and seeing what fertility medicines may or may not work. First, that cost a LOT of money, second the medicines made me sick and had nasty side effects, and third this was just "testing" we weren't allowed to try to start a family yet because it wasn't safe. Then we decided, well, we've always talked about adoption, why aren't we looking into that? So, we looked, and researched and then June 2014 we decided to pursue adoption. And most of you know the rest if you have followed this blog from the beginning. 
And now, here we are 3 years after moving into a house with 3 bedrooms, moving into a nicer and bigger apartment, and still pursuing our dream of having a child. It is so cool to look back and see how far we have come in that time. Our apartment is way nicer than our house, Adam has a new job with a big raise, we have a great church that understands and supports adoption, we have paid off a car, gotten ourselves (mostly) out of debt, we have great friends who are our support system, and we are ready for our baby to come. It feels like all this time God was allowing things to fall into place so we would be even more prepared and ready for our child. 
One day, we will be able to look back at all of this and know why we waited so long, one day we will see our child and know they are the reason we waited so long, one day, all of God's testing will make sense, and one day our family will be complete. I cannot wait for that one day! It is a great reminder that as a believer we are always to look to the "one day" and live in the now. "Keep your eyes on the Kingdom of Heaven." We look forward to our hope, that we get to be with our Heavenly Father and Savior in the promised land. So, we wait for that or for His return anxiously. One day.
 For now, as we wait, we praise God for the position we are in, for the wait, for the call to adopt, for adopting us into His family, and for the child He has promised us. 

Please continue to pray for us and with us as we wait and as we pray desperately that our child will be home soon. We also applied for 2 more grants last week, so please pray for the people who decide on the grants as the make decisions, and pray for the rest of our funding to come in. 

Thank you so much for all of your continued support. You guys are seriously the best.
With love, 
Kristen

Monday, September 19, 2016

The Ugly

Man, these feelings that come with waiting to adopt are UGLY and so not fun! Lately, I have been very aware of the bitterness and jealousy that has taken root in my heart, despite my best efforts to try to prevent that. I notice it when I start having bad feelings towards people for reasons that have no depth or that I don't have a reason for. When I realize that I don't like them because of ME and not because of THEM it's almost always this bitter jealousy creeping in. (This is important for you to hear, these negative feelings I'm going to talk about are not because of you they are completely because of me and my desire for attention, my insecurities, and my heart that aches for a child).

Listen, please don't judge me on what I'm going to say, I'm trying to be transparent, but this is hard to talk about. I've talked about this before, maybe a year ago. For us, waiting to adopt is not just waiting for a child, it is waiting to complete our family, waiting to be parents, and waiting to see what our life will be like with children. I think that makes the bitterness worse. When I see pregnant people, it hits the deepest part of my soul with jealousy. Jealousy due to wanting attention for waiting for my child (adopting doesn't get you attention like being a cute pregnant lady does). Jealousy for someone else getting what I want (ugh I know this makes me sound like a terrible person). I see people with babies and sometimes I burst into tears. Seeing other people get matched, placed, or get a ton of support with their adoption makes that bitter jealousy creep up. See people get matched or get a baby after a couple of months waiting causes the same thing. Thoughts run through my head like, "If they only knew what it was like to wait almost 2 years," "It's not fair they get a baby and I don't," "Why are their fundraisers so successful and ours aren't?" And UGH these are so ugly and selfish and mean! Really, I hope that NO ONE has to wait as long as we have, I hope others fundraisers are SO MUCH more successful than ours, and I hope that others who wait get their babies - the babies meant for them and their family, and not for my family. When I sit and think about it, the UGLY thoughts are just my gut reaction, I really do want the best for people, even if I don't have what I want. But it is SO HARD to get to that point. I pray everyday for God to take these feelings away and replace them with joy, love, hope, encouragement, and understanding. I have also talked to my counselor about it and we have talked through some strategies for coping.
So, if you are feeling these ugly feelings - and I promise I hope you don't struggle with this too - here are some things I've found that help.

1. SELF CARE - this was a hard one for me to learn. There is a difference between being selfish and taking care of yourself (this was one my counselor had to tell me). Knowing your boundaries, not putting yourself into situations that will bring this feelings on or ruin your day if you can avoid it - obviously you can't not do anything, but being aware of your feelings and your limitations. If you put yourself in a situation that feels like your soul is being stabbed taking breaks, excusing yourself from a situation to pull it together, and being honest with others about your feelings.

2. BEING AWARE and HONEST about your FEELINGS - knowing how you feel, what causes those feelings, and then talking through to see if that's what you REALLY feel is important. You can only address and deal with them if you are honest about how you feel - honest with yourself and others. And then seeing if it is just a gut reaction or if you really wish ill intent on people or really have negative feelings about others - and then dealing with them from there.

3. FIND A FRIEND. Find someone or a support group who understands how you feel and can help you keep your feelings in check. Someone who can call you out on feelings that are inaccurate or unfair to others. It is important that this person is trustworthy and not judgmental because these are TOUGH things to share.

4. COMPROMISE - If you can't be around a certain person because those feelings creep up and you were invited to their birthday party or to a dinner at their house- send a gift, and try to be honest about your feelings and hopefully they will understand. If seeing other babies causes those feelings, don't volunteer in the church nursery or sit somewhere that you know the people with babies sit. If you have to go to something where people don't understand adoption or your feelings take a friend with you who does.

5. PRAY - a lot. Read scripture. Ask God to grow His fruit in your heart and prune out the negative feelings. Pray for those who you struggle to be around or have negative feelings towards. Ask God to bless those who your gut reaction is to run from or talk bad about because you have that jealousy.

6. SEEK HELP - Go see a counselor, join an adoption support group, ask for help. These are so important for you to help you cope during this extremely hard time. It also just helps to talk to someone who won't judge you, who will help you sort through your real feelings and opinions and get to the root of why you feel this way.

Okay, thanks for letting me be honest and share. I hope you haven't and never feel these things but if you do you can totally contact me and we can chat, also I hope you don't think I'm a jerk, because I kind of feel like one when I say this stuff out loud .
Thanks for your continued support. You guys are the best.
Love,
Kristen

Friday, September 9, 2016

Holding on to Hope

This waiting to adopt thing is so hard you guys. I know, I say that a lot, but today, it is still hard. Every month we get updates from our agency sharing how many babies have been placed, and what race and/or special needs have been placed this year so far. This year 37 babies have been placed, that is already 10 more than last year and it's only the beginning of September! This is very exciting because it means that more families are choosing life and choosing adoption for their birth child. And of course, the more families they see, the more families have the opportunity to see our profile and choose us to parent their child. Every month we also get updates of how many times our profile has been shown. This past month our profile was seen 2 times. This brings our total up to 20 views.
Wow...
This gives me very mixed feelings. It's great that our book is so active, the more it is seen the more chances we will get chosen. But at the same time, it is hard not to take it personally. My first thoughts are often "why were we not good enough for 20 families?" "How is it that 20 families saw our profile and we didn't get chosen?" "what's wrong with us or our profile?" And many other versions of these same thoughts. I NEVER thought our profile would be seen 20 times without a match. It's hard to remember at first that it's not usually about me (ok pretty much never). It's not what they didn't like about me, and more about what they DID like about someone else. And I know that ultimately, that means those families are not, and never were our future birth family. Their baby is not, and never was, our future child. And that God has a plan for us, a family for us, a baby for us.
So, on days like today, when it is easy to doubt, easy to focus on what I don't have, what God has not yet come through for me on, and focus on my waiting, I hold on to HOPE. If you remember my post from, I think, January, my word for the year is HOPE. I hold on to hope that God is still working in the background, that there is still a baby for us, that we are doing what we are called to do, that God will move this mountain, and that God is still good. I have to remember, even if none of this ever happens, He is still good.
Please continue to pray for us in the waiting as it is HARD stuff. And pray for us to get matched soon. There is power in prayer and God wants us to beg Him for our heart's desires. So, beg Him with us!
Thank you for your continued support of us, and thank you for always letting me share my heart honestly! And, let me know how I can pray for you!
LOVE,
Kristen